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Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, Pacquiao, Lara, Oscar De La Hoya, GGG, Canelo, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 11th to September 18th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Open Letter to Fight Fans From Oscar De La Hoya

Dear Fight Fans,

On the night of Saturday, September 15, fans were set to be treated to what sports should be all about: the two best athletes in a sport squaring off against each other with the winner earning the title of the best in the business. This kind of an event – where an individual can be called the best in any sport – is truly rare.

Not only did the fight itself deliver all that was promised, against all kinds of pressure, Canelo Alvarez gave the performance of his lifetime to secure the unified middleweight championship of the world.

•Unfairly criticized for not fighting “Mexican” enough in the first fight, he kept Gennady Golovkin on his heels all night, taking the action to the “boogeyman of boxing,” walking him down and controlling the pace.

•Repeatedly ravaged for two positive drug tests that showed minor traces of clenbuterol – a common occurrence in Mexico due to the contamination of beef across the country – Canelo submitted to more than 20 drug tests in the lead up to the fight and passed them all with flying colors.

•Saddled with a judge’s card of a year ago that he had nothing to do with; the pressure of millions of fans watching; and what many were describing as a must-win to stay relevant, Canelo delivered a near-flawless fight.

And yet…

It wouldn’t be boxing if thousands of keyboard warriors weren’t talking (or tweeting) complete nonsense in the hours and days after Canelo began to cement his legacy as an all-time great fighter.

Many have told me to ignore the haters; that I’ll never win. But, while I know I won’t convince many of them, allowing them to even partly soil what was a certain Fight of the Year; a mega-event seen by millions of people; and a virtuoso performance by boxing’s marquis fighter would do a disservice to the sport I love.

So allow me to respond to a few of the more absurd comments:

Golden Boy paid the judges to fix the fight.

Though I don’t think this deserves response, here are the facts: The three judges were chosen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Given the result of the first fight, NSAC was under a lot of scrutiny to come up with the fairest group of judges possible. For the first time I know of, Golden Boy Promotions and Team GGG were even allowed to approve a pool of judges. They saw what everyone else did; a close, competitive fight and scored it exactly that way.

Golovkin landed more punches and therefore should have won the fight.

If landed punches were the difference between winning or losing a boxing match, we would have an incredibly different and less interesting sport. Clean punching, ring generalship, effective aggressiveness and defense are what the judges are looking for in determining the winner of a round. I’m obviously a promoter, but in the four areas that actually count in judging, I can’t find one where GGG was the victor.

Tom Loeffler’s statement that he doesn’t know if Golvokin can win a decision in Las Vegas.

Perhaps Tom is just looking to make GGG feel better, but regardless this is maybe the most disappointing comment, because it comes from someone who knows the sport. Of course, GGG can win a decision in Las Vegas. But 22,000 people aren’t going to crowd into the T-Mobile Arena to watch Golovkin fight and blast out the likes of Dominic Wade, Willie Monroe, Jr., or Vanes Martirosyan. He is going to need to fight a higher level of competition – and then fight better than that opponent – to earn a victory in the mecca of boxing.

Boxing is a wonderful sport that is coming back thanks to streaming technology and growing international interest. But, it is a sport that also faces competition, not only from the outside in the form of other, more-widely watched leagues, but from inside where the fractured nature of boxing has made it tougher and tougher for the best to face the best.

Just look at celebrity row to see how special Saturday night was. There, another best-in-sport athlete, Lebron James, joined by Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and a huge group of other A-list celebrities to witness something special.

While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (especially in boxing), let’s take a moment to appreciate what Canelo and GGG gave us on Saturday night and work towards doing it more often for the sake of the sport we all love so much.

Erislandy Lara Wants Canelo or GGG Next

Former WBA super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs), felt inspired by the state of boxing after watching last Saturday night’s main event between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought an amazing fight, it was a true classic.” said Lara. “I want to congratulate both of them for putting together such a tremendous effort to bring the spotlight back on boxing. It would be a great honor to fight either fighter, and I would love to challenge myself against them.”

Erislandy Lara has been training in Houston, Texas for his next fight with trainer Ronnie Shields, as he is working hard in the gym, getting ready for his next fight date.

“I am ready to make a statement and to challenge either fighter at middleweight, whether it is Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez in a rematch…I am ready!”
Mayweather-Pacquiao Rematch Props

After news broke that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is planning come out of retirement and return to the ring for a fight with Manny Pacquiao, BetDSI immediately posted a line on the rematch.

The online sportsbook also posted odds on the probability of the fight happening in 2018, as well as how many pay-per-view buys it will generate if it does occur.

Will Mayweather-Pacquiao II take place before Dec. 31, 2018?

Yes -150
No +120

Total PPV buys (in millions) for Mayweather-Pacquiao II (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)

Over 4.3 (-115)
Under 4.3 (-115)

While Vegas set the odds at Mayweather -220, Pacquiao +180, the sharper, offshore market sees Mayweather as a slightly bigger favorite.

Moneyline (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)
Floyd Mayweather -265
Manny Pacquiao +215

Total Rounds (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)
11.5 (-300)
11.5 (+200)
Berchelt and Roman Set for El Paso Rumble

WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel ‘El Alacrán” Berchelt and Miguel “Mickey” Roman went face-to-face on the arena floor of the Don Haskins Center, site of their Nov. 3 showdown that will, once and for all, settle this simmering grudge match.

Berchelt (34-1, 30 KOs), from, Cancun, Mexico, is the 26-year-old champion looking to make his fourth successful title defense. Roman (60-12, 47 KOs), from Juarez, Mexico, is a 32-year-old who will be making his third attempt at a world title.

Roman and Berchelt met the media on Monday in El Paso, the middle stop of a three-city press swing that, if anything, has stoked the rivalry between the two. Here is what they had to say 47 days away from one of the year’s most anticipated fights.

Miguel Berchelt

“I am very happy to be here. It’s my second time on ESPN. I am training very hard in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. When there are two Mexicans in the ring, the show is guaranteed to be great. This won’t be the exception.”

“In boxing, trash talk is normal. At the end of the day, we are fighters. It is going to be a great fight. The people will leave the arena happy because they are going to see a great fight. They are going to see a great champion in Miguel Berchelt.”

“Roman and I have wanted this fight for a very, very long time. He asked for this opportunity, and I am happy to give it to him. This is going to be a great fight, but I know it will end with my hands raised. I am young and hungry. It doesn’t matter that we’re fighting in his backyard. El Paso and Juarez are going to be my towns when it’s over.”

Miguel Roman

“I would like you to know I’m very happy. I feel great fighting for this belt against Miguel Berchelt. This is something that we’ve been waiting for. Now, it’s happening. I live near the border, and fighting here is like I’m fighting in my house. The people from El Paso, Juarez, and Las Cruces {New Mexico} always support me. On Nov. 3, my people are going to come and support me.”

“I’m fighting a great champion in Miguel Berchelt. He’s very strong and I respect him a lot. I gotta do what I gotta do. I gotta do my job. My experience, strength, and hunger to win this title will take me to victory.”

“He’s talking all of this stuff, that he’s going to take my head off and things like that. El Paso is my town. If he thinks he’s going to come in here and be talking like that, he’s got another thing coming.”

Berchelt-Roman and a soon-to-be announced co-feature will stream live in the United States beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

Park Theater Showdown:Ryota Murata –Rob Brant Tickets On Sale Today

Japanese superstar Ryota Murata is taking his talents halfway around the world.

Tickets for Murata’s WBA middleweight world title defense against Rob “Bravo” Brant on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Park Theater at Park MGM go on sale TODAY at 10 a.m. PST. The event is promoted by Top Rank, in association with Teiken Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions.

Tickets are priced at $204, $104, $54 and $29, not including taxes and handling fees, and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets also can be purchased through the MGM Resorts International Call Center at 877-795-2564.

Murata-Brant will stream live in the United States beginning at 7:30 p.m. PST on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

This is the second defense of the WBA title for Murata (14-1, 11 KOs), who won the belt with a dominating seventh-round TKO over Hassan N’Dam in October 2017. Five months earlier, N’Dam handed Murata his only professional loss via a highly controversial split decision. Murata left no doubt in the rematch and defended the title in April in Yokohama, Japan, knocking out Emanuele Blandamura in the eighth round.

A 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Murata is a sports icon in Japan, as the Blandamura fight drew a peak rating of 17 million viewers on Japanese TV. Brant (23-1, 16 KOs), from St. Paul, Minn., is undefeated when fighting as a middleweight and is the WBA No. 2-ranked middleweight in the world.

HBO Replay of Canelo-GGG 2

HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: CANELO ALVAREZ VS. GENNADY GOLOVKIN 2, the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated rematch, SATURDAY, SEPT. 22 at 10:05 p.m. (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team, which was ringside at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the live HBO Pay-Per-View® presentation on Cinco de Mayo, called all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

The fight will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

In the sport’s top prizefight of the year, middleweight champ Gennady “GGG” Golovkin put his title belts and undefeated record on the line once again against his arch-rival, superstar Canelo Alvarez, who despite his youth (27) has emerged as a box office powerhouse and one of the sport’s elite fighters. Their 12-round fight at 160-pounds took place under the bright spotlight of the T-Mobile Arena.

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Oscar De La Hoya Quotes Ahead of Pacquiao-Matthysse


Oscar De La Hoya:

Lucas is a strong and determined fighter. Believe me that he is a very determined fighter. The mental aspect is the most important aspect of this fight. We know that Lucas Matthysse works very hard. They call him “La Maquina” for a reason. He is still training like never before. The fact that he always wanted this fight, a dream fight for him—believe me he will be in the best condition for this. He is very focused. This is an even fight. This is a dangerous but winnable fight. These two fighters love pleasing the fans. They are come-forward fighters. This fight will have a lot of action.

A lot of people think that Lucas Matthysse is just a knockout artist. But he’s an intelligent fighter too. He knows how to box and counterpunch. This fight is interesting in terms of styles. The people who really know boxing know that Matthysse can change his style and even confuse him. He may even be able to confuse him and land some counterpunches.


Photo Credit: Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

Pacquiao has a very unique style. When I fought him, I thought he was going to get tired. He never got tired. So, I don’t know what Pacquiao we are going to see for this fight. I don’t know how distracted he may be. I do know that Matthysse is fully focused and determined. This is the fight of his life. It’s all going to depend on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings. Will it be a distracted Pacquiao? Or a Pacquiao that everyone is used to seeing? That’s why the odds are 2-1. It is a great fight.

I was already a promoter when I fought him. So, I’ve always been very optimistic that I would still be working with Manny after so many years. I always felt that life comes around full circle and puts us together. The fact that Manny has his own promotional company and the fact that Golden Boy Promotions has been involved in so many of his fights made me optimistic that we would work together again. I’m still hoping that we promote more fights together. Once he’s retired, we can do a lot more together.

I noticed Pacquiao was special when part of the promotions of Pacquiao vs. Barrera. What I saw was his determination. His conditioning was incredible. His explosiveness was incredible. He had a great work ethic. He was very well prepared. I really don’t know how he is now. In boxing, you’re as good as your last fight. That’s what boxing is. That’s why this fight is important for Pacquiao to show that he is still the same Manny Pacquiao. You have to perform and show the people that you still have it. This is a sink or swim type of fight for both guys.

If I were Lucas, I would not get frustrated because Pacquiao can frustrate you. He can do that because he throws so many punches. Lucas has to be cool, calm and collected. He has to force the action. He has to show Manny that he is younger, stronger and fresher. If you don’t show that to Manny, he can walk all over you. That’s who he is. That’s why he’s so good.

Manny Pacquiao:

I am very proud of promoting stronger and diplomatic cultural ties with our Asian neighbors. I would like to thank our friends at Golden Boy Promotions, represented by our friend Oscar De La Hoya. I am ready. I have never predicted the outcome of any of my fights, but this training camp is special for many reasons. I am motivated. I am happy. I am hungry. I am excited to show the world a new Manny Pacquiao on July 15 (July 14 in the US) at the Axiata Arena here in Kuala Lumpur.”

Joel Diaz:

I’m grateful to be a part of this event. I want to thank Manny Pacquiao and his team. He is a great fighter and a legend. His team is great and professional. I want to thank Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to work with a lot of elite fighters as is the case now with Lucas Matthysse.

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Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo Is Looking for her Eighth Consecutive Victory


By: Bryant Romero

Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo returns to the ring next Friday July 13 at the Novo at LA in Los Angeles when she takes on the undefeated Samantha Pill (3-0, 0 KOs) as she looks to record her 8th consecutive victory. Cornejo (11-2, 4 KOs) a golden boy fighter with huge aspirations of becoming a world champion and to become a major star in women’s boxing. She hopes of one day being in major PPV fight with another big name opponent. The-31-year old now living and fighting out of Los Angeles, California recently talked to boxinginsider about her late start in boxing, her traumatic experience as a young girl that she still deals with today, and her dreams she wants to accomplish in the sport.

“My upbringing was great out in Washington State. I grew up in a pretty big family,” Cornejo said. “We would all get together when Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya would be fighting.”


Maricela Cornejo Facebook Account

Cornejo remembers boxing from a very young age, but it wasn’t until just six years ago that she entered a boxing gym initially to lose some weight for an acting role she was preparing for that would spark a serious boxing career.

“It wasn’t until six years ago and I had a friend who got me a small role with Eric Roberts in a comedy,” Cornejo told me. “This is going to be on a big screen so I want to look good, so all girls think we can lose 10 pounds over a weekend.

“So I go into a gym, which happened to be Freddie Roach’s gym at wildcard and at that time Pacquiao was huge. I go in and they tell me that I hit like a man.

“I remember those words coming from Frank who was the trainer. It was the best $500 dollars I invested in myself and I stuck with it and I said ‘I’m going to literally fight my way out of Hollywood,” Cornejo said.

Her first week of training at the wildcard, Cornejo didn’t even know what a jab was, but she had a huge vision and one of those goals was to be signed to De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotions, which she would later make a reality.

“I didn’t even know what a jab was. I had this huge vision I said ‘I’m going to get signed with Oscar De La Hoya and Oscar had been there (wildcard) with Amir Khan. He was there with Ricky Hatton as well and they’re watching Amir Khan train with Freddie Roach and I told Oscar ‘you’re going to sign me one day’ and it was my first freaking week of boxing,” Cornejo said.

“I fell deeply in love with the sport. Sometimes I ask myself why the hell this sport? But I didn’t even choose boxing, it literally chose me. Because I never ever thought I was going to be a boxer,” she said.

Cornejo did become a boxer however and the sport has helped her deal with a traumatic experience she suffered when she was a very young girl that she says “changed her whole entire life.”

“I was sexually molested by a family friend,” she told me. “That took my childhood away and I started seeing things through different eyes.

“I would always keep quiet, going from an expressive child to a reserved child and I kept that with myself. Boxing has helped me deal with it; I get emotional when I do speak about it in public because obviously it still affects me.

“But I know I’m dealing with it in a positive way because if you don’t it will eat you alive. Boxing is helping me deal with it. It’s an experience I’m blessed with because it’s made me who I am today,” Cornejo said.

Cornejo has come a long way since her first week at the wildcard gym. While she took up boxing late and only had a less than a handful of amateur fights, she’s a much more confident fighter now after being able to hang with girls that had much more extensive amateur backgrounds.

Her good looks give her attention, but she can also fight and she’s in a hot division for women’s boxing at middleweight that can produce some big fights with the likes of Clarissa Shields, Hanna Gabriels, Christina Hammer, Cecilia Braekhus, and perhaps a rematch with Kali Reis.

“I would love to fight with Hanna Gabriels and Cecilia Braekhus. I’ve sparred with Cecilia,” she said. “I’ve told my team to give me the Clarissa fight for end of this year. I’ve been asking for bigger fights, bigger opponents.

“I hope I get that. I want to be a world champion, to showcase my true potential and be on a major stage, a major network, and a PPV fight. That is my dream to be on stage and headlining against a very big opponent that’s done the work, just like my team and myself that’s been promoting.

“I know that the Clarissa Shields fight is going to be big, her team is doing everything to grow her and my team is doing that as well. When we do meet it’s only going to benefit both of us and most importantly boxing. I can’t wait for that dream,” Cornejo said.

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Diego De La Hoya Looks to Stay Unbeaten on Friday on ESPN2


By: Ken Hissner

Unbeaten No. 2 WBC Super Bantamweight Diego de La Hoya, 20-0 (9), of Baja CA, MEX, looks to stay unbeaten Friday on ESPN2 when he meets No. 15 Jose Salgado, 36-4-2 (29), of Quintana Roo, MEX, at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, NY, on IBHOF weekend. This is for the NABF Super Bantamweight and WBO NABO Super Bantamweight titles over 10 rounds.


Photo Credit: Diego De La Hoya Twitter Account

This is a Golden Boy Promotions – Oscar De La Hoya with the Oneida Indian Nation Athletic Commission overseeing the event.

Super Welterweight Travell “Black Magic” Mazion, 12-0 (11), of Austin, TX, takes on Daquan Arnett, 17-1 (9), of Winter Park, FL, over 8 rounds.

June 8 GBP on ESPN Diego De La Hoya from Golden Boy Digital on Vimeo.

Middleweight Isaac Rodrigues, 24-2 (19), of Belem, Para, BRZ, looks to extend his seven fight win streak not losing since 2011 when he takes on Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone, 25-7-1 (9), of Norfolk, VA, over 8 rounds.

Super Lightweight Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr., 12-0 (4), of Chicago, IL, takes on TBA, over 6 rounds. Super Welterweight southpaw Alex Rincon, 3-0 (3), of Carollton, TX, takes on Engelberto “Guarura” Valenzuela, 11-13 (3), of Sonora, TX, over 4 rounds.

Cruiserweight Lawrence Gabriel, 2-1-1 (1), of Syracuse, NY, takes on Jimmy Levins, 0-2 (0), of Buffalo, NY, over 4 rounds. Welterweight Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla, 6-0 (5), Rio Piedras, PR, takes on Julio “El Cubano” Perez, 6-20-3 (4), of Tamaulipus, MEX, over

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Tarver, De La Hoya, Hernandez, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 16th to May 23rd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Antonio Tarver Credits USA Boxing for Giving Him Structure That Carried Him to the Top

Future Hall of Famer Antonio “The Magic Man” Tarver (31-6-1, 1 NC, 22 KOs) has just about done it all as a boxer having been an Olympic medal winner and world champion as an amateur, along with capturing five major light heavyweight world titles as a professional, as well as a pair of The Ring magazine’s top honors, and four other world championships in two different divisions.

“I credit USA Boxing for giving me structure for the first time in my life,” Tarver explained. “Everything was scheduled; curfew, eating, training, sleep….everything! I then understood that I had to be accountable for everything I did. I had talent, but I wasn’t structured, and that was bigger than me. I had to adjust to authority. My determination took off, giving me support I never had before. I went on to make speaking engagements and get sponsors. I broke barriers. I’ve been the best at every level that I fought at in the world.”

Tarver was a highly decorated amateur who had an amazing 158-12 record. He is the only boxer to capture gold medals at World Amateur Championships, U.S. National Championships and Pan-American Games in the same year (1995). The Orlando, Florida-born southpaw won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, losing in the quarterfinals to future world champion Vassiliy Jirov, who Tarver had defeated in the semifinals of the 1995 World Amateur Championships. Tarver also won top honors at the 1994 National Golden Gloves Tournament and 1995 World Championships Challenge.

“I went on a winning roll in 1995 and went into the Olympics in rare form,” Tarver said. “And that’s why I was favored to win a gold medal. I was hitting him (Jirov), the same guy I’d beaten in the World Championships, but no points were registering for me. I had a good second round, but I was down three points, so I threw my game plan away in the third round. I felt I had to do more and got away from my style: counter punching, not getting hit, and being patient. I thought I had won and so did a lot of people. I made up for that, though, with a gold-medal professional career.

“I had been faced with a decision about going pro after I was beaten in the ’92 Olympic Trials. I decided to stay in the amateurs, despite not having any guarantees about making the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. I sacrificed four years of my pro career, which is why I turned pro at a relatively late age (27). I was determined when I found out the 1996 Olympics were in Atlanta. I think I made the right decision and I have no regrets.

“I had always dreamed of going to the Olympics. I saw Roy Jones, Jr – we first fought each other at 13 – get robbed of gold. I was watching that on television, jumped up, and knew where I was heading: The Olympics! We both suffered horrible decisions in the Olympics and I knew then that our careers would be parallel.

Tarver made his pro debut February 18, 1997 in Philadelphia, stopping Joaquin Garcia (4-0) in the second round.

“I was an Olympic bronze medal winner but when I first turned pro,” Tarver added, “I didn’t have a promoter or manager. Nobody was willing to take a chance on me until I was 4-0, when I signed by first contract with Russell Peltz. I felt nobody could beat me.”

Nobody was able to beat Tarver, at least until his 17th pro fight, when Eric Harding defeated Tarver by way of a 12-round unanimous decision.

Two years later, Tarver embarked on a 12-fight murderer’s row stretch during the next seven years, arguably establishing him as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It all started with a successful rematch with Harding (21-1-1) in Indianapolis, when Tarver dropped Harding in the fourth round, plus twice more in the fifth, on his way to a fifth-round technical knockout to avenge his lone pro loss to that date.

Next up for Tarver was a showdown with 44-3 Montell Griffin for the WBC and IBF 175-pound division titles, which were vacated by Roy Jones Jr., April 26, 2003 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. In his first world title shot as a pro, Tarver pitched a complete shutout, decking Griffin in the first and last rounds to shut out his opponent by scores of 120-103 from all three judges.

Seven months later, however, Tarver lost a controversial 12-round majority decision and his WBC crown (he was stripped of his IBF belt) to WBA Super and IBO champion Jones in Las Vegas. The following May at the venue, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, though, Tarver became the first to knockout Jones, putting him to sleep in the second round.

Tarver then became a mainstream celebrity, appearing on late-night shows and covers of The Ring magazine and KO Magazine, and co-hosting an ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast.

“I was robbed in my first fight with Roy,” Tarver insisted. “They called my knockout of Roy the greatest upset in light heavyweight history. Why didn’t they see me coming? I had beaten everybody ranked ahead of me. Roy was the pound-4-pound king, but he knew. I may not be the fastest, the quickest, or the strongest, but I doubt that there’s ever been a pro fighter to enter the ring with a higher IQ than me. Even at my age, I still feel that way today.”

The WBC stripped Tarver of his title in 2004 for fighting IBF champion Glen Johnson (41-9-2) instead of the WBC mandatory challenger. Johnson, ironically, was stripped of his IBF title for the same reason right before his fight in Los Angeles with Tarver. Tarver and Johnson fought for The Ring and IBO titles and Johnson won a 12-round split decision.

In their rematch six months later in Memphis, Tarver won a unanimous 12-round decision over Johnson to capture the IBO strap. Tarver completed his trilogy with Jones, retaining his IBO title with a unanimous 12-round decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112).

Tarver lost a 12-round decision June 10, 2006 in Atlantic City to Bernard Hopkins for the IBO championship, which was soon vacated and recaptured by Tarver with a 12-round majority decision over Elvir Muriqi (34-3).

Tarver traveled to Australia in 2011 to challenge IBO cruiserweight champion and local hero Danny Green, who retired after nine rounds, as Tarver added another title belt to his display case.

In December of 2013 in Temecula, California, Tarver knocked out Jonathon Banks (29-2-1) in the seventh round, and Tarver’s last fight was a 12-round split decision draw with former world champion Steve Cunningham (28-7) in Newark, New Jersey.

In 2006, Tarver starred as Mason “The Line” Dixon, the heavyweight champion in the film, Rocky Balboa.

Tarver, as he marches towards his planned history-making performance by becoming the oldest heavyweight world champion of all-time, also has served as a color commentator in boxing for Spike TV and Showtime.

Today, at the age of 49, Tarver is still technically active, and he also trains his son and undefeated middleweight prospect, Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0 (4 KOs), where they live in Tampa, Florida.

“I was older than the rest of the boxers on the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. National Team,” Tarver remarked. “What a team! Guys like Diego Corrales and Zab Judah didn’t make that Olympic Team. I gave Floyd Mayweather, Jr. his first moniker, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, until he changed it years later to ‘Money’. We had a bond on that Olympic team with Floyd, Fernando Vargas, David Reid, Zarim Raheem and the others.”

Although at the age of 49 he is still an active fighter, Tarver occassionally does some color commentating and he trains pro and amateur boxers at a gym in Tampa, Florida. “I’m not retired as a fighter,” Tarver commented. “I started a program, ‘Train with The Champ’, and it includes room rent and training. I like to say it’s an AirB&B for boxing. I train my son (5-0 middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. there. I learned a lot from my early days, training in Orlando with my coach, Lou Harris, and I reunited with Jimmy Williams, who is 90 now, training my son together in Tampa.

Tarver also is an advocate of the relatively new “USA Boxing Alumni Association,” which was created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — the Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

“I’m going online to join,” Tarver said. “I’m looking forward to attending an Alumni Association meeting, June 24-30 during the Junior Olympics in Charleston, West Virginia.

Everything that goes around, comes around, in USA Boxing. Just ask future Hall of Fame candidate Antonio Tarver.

Oscar De La Hoya Delivers Keynote Address to International Sports Marketing and Media Executives

Boxing legend, businessman and philanthropist Oscar De La Hoya kicked off the SPORTELSummit 2018 as the keynote speaker May 16 in Miami Beach before an exclusive audience of decision makers from the international sports marketing and media industries that shape the business for tomorrow.

As the keynote for SPORTELSummit 2018,De La Hoya shared insights from his decades of fighting, from winning the Gold medal at the ’92 Barcelona Summer Olympics to reaching the top of boxing’s professional ranks as one of the best fighters in recent history. De La Hoya transitioned successfully from fighting upon retiring in 2009 to lead his company, Golden Boy Promotions, as one of boxing’s best and most respected promoters around the world. De La Hoya has been at the forefront of moving the sport of boxing into the digital age, having launched Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in 2015, a new division of his company devoted to live streaming and delivering engaging, timely content on the sport to online audiences around the world.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be part of some of the biggest sporting events in recent history, whether as the athlete or promoter on the business side, and I’m pleased to share my experiences from those opportunities and how I’ve built a successful boxing promotions company with other decision makers in the sports business world at SPORTEL Summit 2018,” said De La Hoya.

De La Hoya continued, “I created Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in response to consumers seeking more live boxing content online. Golden Boy Media and Entertainment was the first to record fights in virtual reality and broadcast live in virtual reality. Because of the changes and new ideas Golden Boy Media and Entertainment is bringing to the boxing world, we are beginning to see a shift in the sport. Other boxing promoters followed our lead and are implementing our ideas in their own ways.They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I couldn’t agree more.”

A superstar whose popularity transcends boxing, De La Hoya is known around the world not only as one of the best fighters of his era, but as an elite promoter, Grammy-nominated singer, active philanthropist and astute businessman. Over the course of his boxing career, he was an Olympic gold medalist, 10-time world champion in six divisions and among the biggest draws in the history of the sport. Since retiring from the ring in 2009, De La Hoya has focused his attention on building the company he founded, Golden Boy Promotions, into one of the most successful boxing promotion companies in the world. He runs Golden Boy Promotions as its Chairman and CEO from Los Angeles, representing some of the best fighters in the sport today include Canelo Alvarez, a three-time world champion in two weight classes and the current Pay Per View king of the sport in the US.

Nico Hernandez Captures IBA Flyweight World Title

History was made this past Saturday night on the “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” pay-per-view card, when 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and local hero, Nico Hernandez, knocked out Hungarian challenger Szilveszter “The Silent Assassin” Kanalas in the opening round to capture the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight World Championship in only his fifth professional fight, at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.

In the first world title fight ever held in Kansas, Hernandez (5-0, 4 KOs) overwhelmed Kanalas (14-7, 9 KOs), the former World Boxing Federation (WBF) super flyweight world champion, to become the youngest (22) IBA world champion ever, as well as setting the record for the fewest pro fights needied to become IBA world titlist.

SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes was launched as Super Channel’s new live boxing series, SUPERBOX LIVE, in association with KO Night Boxing LLC, and it aired live exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.

Integrated Sports Media distributed “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” in the United States on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view as it was live-streamed worldwide on FITE.TV app and website (excluding Canada).

Hernandez was aggressive from the opening bell, pounding Kanalas’ head and body. A Hernandez left hook to the body really hurt Kanalas, who went down from a right that followed the vicious liver shot. Kanalas beat Hall of Fame Steve Smoger’s count, and it was only a matter of time before Hernandez would end the fight. It came soon, right after another body-and-head combination put the over-matched Hungarian on the mat for the second and final time.

“A lot of people underestimate my power,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I believe that once he felt my power, I don’t think he wanted it anymore. I felt like I took his heart away. I was patient, I wanted it to go a few rounds to see what he had, but I took his heart away. I can’t really be disappointed because I am a world champion now.”

“Nico was explosive Saturday night and he showed killer instinct,” promoter John Andersen commented. “He was going to box, but I think he smelled fear, and Nico got into Kanalas’ head. He sensed it and jumped on him.”

Before he left the ring, Hernandez took the microphone in the center of the ring and called out three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist, “Irish” Paddy Barnes (5-0, 1 KO), who was the favored to win a gold medal in the flyweight division at the 2016 Olympics. He was eliminated in the round of 16 and Hernandez took home the bronze medal. “There’s a bronze medalist from (Northern) Ireland, Paddy Barnes, and that’s who I’d really love to fight.”

“I think that’s a fight we should start a conversation about,” Andersen remarked. “It’s not line Barnes is 21 (he’s 31) and I don’t know of a lot of 30 or older flyweights. It makes a lot of sense and can be a big fight. They’re both Olympic bronze medalist, already fought in scheduled 10 and 12 round fights, and have belts. (Barnes is the WBO Intercontinental flyweight champ). Nico needs to step up in terms of competition, too. I think they should get in the ring and then we can see what happens.

“If they don’t want to make this fight right away, maybe we can build it up by putting them on the same card, and then fight next year. This fight makes a lot of sense for both fighters and Nico has already said he wants to fight Barnes.”

Hernandez joined reigning IBA world champions, light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev and junior middleweight Mark DeLuca, as well as past IBA world champions such as Hall of Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, in addition to stars Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.

2011 Russia Junior Championships gold medalist Andrey Afonin (6-0, 3 KOs) kept his undefeated record in tact when Pedro “El Reguilete” Rodriguez (23-4, 19 KOs), the Cuban native and former World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedalatin cruiserweight champion, was unable to answer the bell in the third round of the co-featured event.

Unbeaten Ukrainian heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko (13-0, 11 KOs), promoted by DiBella Entertainment and fighting out of Toronto, stopped Terrance “Big Jim” Marbra (9-6, 7 KOs) in the second round.

Undefeated Washington featherweight Victor Morales, Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) was too much for David Berna (15-4, 14 KOs), of Hungary, who complained of an elbow injury and lost by way of a second-round technical knockout, in the televised opener.

In the television swing bout, which was held prior to the main event, popular Wichita junior welterweight Jeff Strum (3-0, 2 KOs) kept the train rollin’ with a second-round knockout of Nigeria-native Archie Weah (2-11).

In the most competitive fight of the night, as well as the lone match that went the complete distance, St. Louis cruiserweight Leroy Jones (3-3, 2 KOs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Kansas City, KS favorite Chris Harris (2-3-2, 2 KOs).

EverybodyFights Partners with Aaptiv to Bring Its In-Gym Boxing Fitness Experience to Everyone

EverybodyFights, an award-winning boxing gym, announced today a partnership with Aaptiv, a leading provider of premium digital health and wellness content. As part of the partnership, EverybodyFights, which was founded by George Foreman III, son of the two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman Sr., has created audio-guided classes exclusively for Aaptiv that are modeled after its in-gym experience and based on a real fighter’s training camp.

The classes will make up an entire “Train Like a Boxer” program and will be part of Aaptiv’s new collection of boxing workouts, which are now live on the Aaptiv app. The program is based on a real fighter’s cross training regimen that includes shadowboxing, bag work, strength training, cardio conditioning, and yoga. All of the EverybodyFights audio-guided classes are led by the gym’s certified instructors, including George Foreman III, who retired from professional boxing with a perfect 16-0 record.

“Our mission is to unleash the inner fighter in everyone, at home and in the gym, and Aaptiv gives us the unique ability to make authentic boxing training accessible to the masses,” said George Foreman III. “Bringing boxing to users through audio is a challenge that requires partnering with the best, and we knew Aaptiv was the perfect partner for EverybodyFights because they are the best.”

Aaptiv members have unlimited access to the EverybodyFights boxing program, which they can use for training at home or in a gym.

“We’re focused on continuing to offer our members new, world-class workout content and are excited to officially launch boxing classes with the help of EverybodyFights,” said Aaptiv CEO and founder Ethan Agarwal. “We know our members will love the workout program because EverybodyFights’ incredible training camp pairs perfectly with audio, making it easier than ever to train like a boxer.”

Aaptiv’s entire boxing collection is available now and includes comprehensive training on foundational boxing technique, high intensity workouts, fun and inspiring playlists, and recovery and mindfulness instruction for rest days. To learn more and to download the app, visit Aaptiv.com/everybodyfights.

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Vergil Ortiz: “My Ultimate Goal Is To Be Remembered”


By: Sean Crose

“I have like four or five guitars,” super lightweight Vergil Ortiz tells me. “I got into music when I played Guitar Hero.” It’s not often that a contemporary fighter – perhaps with the exception of woodwind practitioner Keith Thurman – is known for a love of instruments. An interesting thing about Ortiz, however, is that he’s quite open to talking about an area of interest outside of the ring. “I like to play guitar or piano,” he explains. It was being exposed to the piano, in fact, that led to Ortiz discovering an interesting truth about himself. “I realized I kind of have an ear for music.”

Ortiz sees music as an outlet, a chance to be himself, after six full days of training a week. After four to six miles of daily roadwork and other grueling weekly routines (“Every other day we spar”) Ortiz appreciates his spare time. “I like to play my guitar or piano,” he says. Still, the 9-0 Texan knows that his primary focus has to be his ring career. When I ask if he has a wife, girlfriend or children, Ortiz makes it clear that there will be time for such fulfillment in the future. “I’m just focused on boxing right now,” he tells me. “That’ll all come later.”

A native of Grand Prairie, “a pretty big small town” outside of Dallas, the undefeated Ortiz is developing the reputation for having Texas sized power. None of the 20 year old’s fights have gone the distance. All of Ortiz’ opponents, without exception, have succumbed to the fury of the man’s gloved fits. Not that Ortiz is always looking to call it an early night each and every time. “They just come when they come,” he says of the KOs. “If I could go the distance, that would be great.” In order for such a thing to happen, however, Ortiz will have to find the opponent who can withstand his power.

“My dad took me to the gym after school,” Ortiz says of his start in boxing. “They put me in to spar with no training.” The older Ortiz was himself a boxer, though “he never went pro.” The younger Ortiz, who has “two brothers and three sisters,” is carrying the family legacy into the professional ranks, however. And yes, boxing is still a family affair. “My dad’s been my coach, “says Ortiz. Legacy is an important thing to the fighter. “My ultimate goal is to be remembered in boxing,” he claims.

Asked who throughout history he’d have liked to fight, Ortiz gives the honors to the late Arturo Gatti. “For me he was the toughest of the tough,” he says. Other fighters the man admires are Sergio Martinez, the late Salvador Sanchez, and the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De la Hoya. One Vasyl Lomachenko also earns a great deal of the man’s respect. “There’s a reason why he’s undefeated,” Ortiz says of the Ukrainian, stating that right now, the man called Loma “is the best fighter” out there. Like Lomachenko, Ortiz started as an amateur standout.

“It was good,” he says of his apprentice years. “I won seven national titles…most of my losses came when I was little.” It was during one particular tournament that Ortiz caught the eye of a company owned by one of his favorite fighters, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy. In truth, the promotional outfit was also interested in another fighter, but when the two rising stars faced off, it was Ortiz who emerged victorious. “I knocked that guy out in about thirty seconds,” he says. Since signing with the famed company, Ortiz has found himself in places like Vegas and even AT&T Stadium, near his home.

“It was pretty cool,” he says of that particular experience, adding that friends and family were on hand live at the stadium to see him knock out Ernesto Hernandez. In fact, Ortiz is finding himself becoming a known commodity. “I get it a lot,” he says of public recognition, “especially in my hometown.” Good things happen when one has strong backing. “I fought on ESPN five times already,” he claims. As for the immediate future, the burgeoning KO artist plans on being back in the ring soon.

Should he continue on his current path, Ortiz may well be able to add quite a bit more to that guitar collection of his.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Cotto, Hernandez, De La Hoya, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 14th to November 21st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Miguel Cotto and Undercard Fighters Workout Quotes

Four-division world champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) hosted a media workout today at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles ahead of the final fight of the future Hall of Famer’s career, which will be against Sadam “World Kid” Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) for Cotto’s WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship. The action will take place at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Also participating in the workout was NABF Bantamweight Champion Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs), who will challenge Rey Vargas (30-0, 22 KOs) for the WBC World Super Bantamweight belt in the HBO-televised co-main event, along with Ronny Rios (28-2, 13 KOs) and Aaron “Silencer” McKenna who will also be on the card in separate bouts that will be streamed on RingTV.com.

Here is what today’s participants had to say at the workout:

MIGUEL COTTO, Four Division World Champion:

“Though it has been my last training camp, everything has gone well and been the same. The fact that it is my last fight has not changed anything. I have always dedicated myself fully and have worked hard, and that’s why I’m here now, finishing my career on my terms. I haven’t really felt nostalgia yet during the final days of my camp. I’m just grateful for what boxing has given me and for the life it has allowed me to give to my children.”

OSCAR “EL JAGUAR” NEGRETE, Current NABF Bantamweight Champion:

“I’m so excited for this opportunity. This is everything that I have worked for so far in my career. Being undefeated doesn’t make him [Rey Vargas] invincible. I’m a forced to be reckoned with. People may underestimate me, but I know what I’ve done to make sure I walk away with the victory.”

RONNY RIOS, Featherweight Contender:

“I learned a lot from my last fight. I feel like that’s prepared me a lot for this next one. From my last fight I learned that I need to throw more punches and be more aggressive. If I would have just thrown 20 more punches in every round, things would have looked a lot different. I’m prepared for [Deivis] Julio, and I’m ready for fight night. As soon as I got the call, I was ready. I always stay ready in between fights.”

AARON “SILENCER” MCKENNA, Welterweight Prospect:

“Today’s workout and meeting the LA press was fantastic! I had a tremendous training camp and have had some really strong sparring at Maywood Gym. Ever since I put on my first pair of gloves at the age of 6, all the hard training, tournaments, amateur fights have led to me fighting at Madison Square Garden Dec. 2. I’m a delighted to be making my pro-debut and look forward to putting on a great show for the fans!”

Cotto vs. Ali, a 12-round fight for the Cotto’s WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions.

Nico Hernandez Set to Face Jozsef Ajtai

Hernandez vs, Ajtai is the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Americas flyweight title fight, Saturday night, December 2, on the “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” card, at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.

“KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC., in association with Hartman Arena, and sponsored in part by Twister City Harley-Davidson Metro PCS, Mort’s Cigar Bar and Jimmy’s Egg.

The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.

The 21-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, was a decorated amateur boxer who compiled a sterling 123-12 record, highlighted by his bronze-medal winning performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Hernandez made his pro debut last March. All his fights have been at home, each has been in the main event, and on national television. His fight against Ajtai, however, will be his first title fight, coming in only his fourth pro bout.

Ajtai, who is one year and six days younger than Hernandez, made his professional debut 2 ½ years ago, and he’s already fought in five title fights.

Hernandez’ amateur pedigree versus Ajtai’s pro experience?

“I feel like I’m already at the level of a lot of top pro fighters,” Hernandez said. The only advantage he has is he’s used to fighting more rounds than I (this is Nico’s first scheduled 8-rounder), but I don’t plan on letting it go the distance anyways.

“I feel blessed to have this IBA title fight opportunity so early in my pro career. It honestly couldn’t come any faster. I do believe it will be special and open a tot of opportunities to fight bigger names once I win this fight. A win should open-up additional title fight opportunities, both overseas and, hopefully, back here at home to help us continue building Wichita into a fight town.”

Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) has already had 28 pro fights, including a full 10-round distance loss by decision last year at Madison Square Garden in New York City to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion. The Hungarian has fought at home in Hungary, as well as on the road in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Ukraine and Slovakia. A trip to America’s heartland doesn’t faze him in the least.

“He will be at home, where everybody wants to fight, but this isn’t a problem for me,” Ajtai explained. “I know he is a good boxer, but I will try to be a bit better December 2nd. When my condition is good, as it is for this fight, nobody likes to fight me.

“This is a big opportunity for me. It’s always difficult to beat a good fighter but doing so is real success. Fighting Shiming Zou in only my fourth fight was very nice for me. I want that feeling again in this fight against Nico.”

Hernandez realizes that this fight could be his last at home for a while, due to the lack of quality American flyweights, and that most world-class fighters in his weight class are from Central America, Thailand and Japan.

“I don’t think I’ll have many more fights at home,” Hernandez admits. “I don’t think that will matter too much because I feel more pressure fighting at home than elsewhere. I will miss everyone cheering my name like they do at home. I think I’ll be traveling more to fight bigger names to work my way up the ladder until I’m at the top.

“I think the early rounds in this fight (vs. Ajtai) will be a chess match because, from what I’ve seen, he runs a lot. I feel that once I start landing my body shots, he’ll slowdown in the latter rounds. and, like I’ve said, I don’t plan on this fight going the distance.”

Ajtai, of course, isn’t traveling all the way to Kansas to visit Dorothy or the Wizard of Oz, he’s coming to win!

“Nico will not know where I will be in the ring,” Ajtai predicted. “When he looks to the left for me, I will go to the right; when he tries to find me on the right, I will be on the left. When he wants to rest, I will come forward punching; when he wants to punch, he won’t find me.

“I have a plan for this fight and I’m sure he does as well. But, in the ring, only one fighter’s plan can succeed. It’s going to be a good fight, but I can’t promise the public that Nico will be the winner.”

The full “Gold & Glory” card will be announced later this week. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Diego De La Hoya to Face Jose Salgado on Golden Boy on ESPN

After giving a career-defining performance as the HBO Pay-Per-View televised opening bout on the Canelo vs. Golovkin undercard in September against former world champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero, recently crowned NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) will return to the ring on Dec. 14 as the main event for Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. De La Hoya will face battle-tested Jose “Sugar” Salgado (35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Quintana Roo, Mex. in a scheduled 10-round super bantamweight bout that is sure to be action-packed as both give their final fight performances of the year. Doors to the Special Events Center open at 4:30 p.m. PT, and the first non-televised bout starts at 4:45 p.m. PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, and the ESPN3 transmission will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

“I’d like to thank Golden Boy Promotions and my manager once again for keeping me busy with this final fight of 2017,” said Diego De La Hoya. “It’ll be my fifth fight this year and my team and I feel confident in my progression. I’m looking forward to closing the year off at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and on ESPN. I anticipate 2018 to be even greater!”

“Since my last fight, I have been hoping for an opportunity like this one,” said Jose Salgado. “This fight motivates me. De La Hoya is a great challenge and I hope he is prepared to take me on. On December 14, I am going to give it my all to come out victorious for my fans and family.”

“Diego showed us with every fight this year that he continues to hone his craft and get better with every opponent,” said Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “This will be a fun fight for the fans and a great way to close out what has been a phenomenal year for Diego.”

Leading the co-main event on Dec. 14, LA’s Carlos “The Solution” Morales (16-2-3, 6 KOs) will face Kosovo’s Dardan Zenunaj (14-3, 11 KOs) for a scheduled 10 rounds of action for the vacant NABA Super Featherweight title. Morales will have the opportunity to get back the belt he originally lost to Alberto “Explosivo” Machado in a tough unanimous decision this past August in Puerto Rico.

Hoping to make TV time as part of the ESPN coverage, Ferdinand Kerobyan (6-0, 3 KOs) will face a soon to be announced opponent in a four-round welterweight bout. Kerobyan is coming off a hot first-round knockout victory over Uriel Gonzalez in October.

Rounding out the stacked undercard, Southern California favorite Joet Gonzalez (17-0, 9 KOs) will take on the resilient Juan “Buffy” Montes (25-6-2, 15 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout.
Gonzalez is coming off a blazing fifth round knockout win over Deivi Bassa on the undercard of Cotto vs. Kamegai this past August.

San Antonio’s Joshua “El Profesor” Franco (12-0, 6 KOs) will participate in a scheduled eight-rounds of super flyweight fury, and East LA’s Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (11-0, 6 KOs) will engage in eight rounds of super lightweight action. Opponents for these respective fights will be announced shortly. Opening up the action at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Mexican Olympian Raul “El Cugar” Curiel (1-0) will take on Mexico City’s rugged Israel Villela (6-7, 2 KOs) in a welterweight bout scheduled for six-rounds.

Tickets for the event start at $25 and are now on sale at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Danny Gonzalez to Fight Danny O’Connor at Mohegan Sun

Star Boxing has added a second WBC Championship bout to its already stacked “Slugfest at the Sun” on November 25th at Mohegan Sun. Undefeated DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (Woodhaven NY, 14-0 5KOs) will put his perfect record on the line against highly regarded DANNY “DANNY O” O’CONNOR (Framingham MA, 28-3 10KOs) in a 10-round bout for the vacant WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Title.

This interesting co-feature has been added to an expected ‘action-packed’ main event title bout between current WBC International and Continental Americas Cruiserweight champion CONSTANTIN BEJENARU (12-0 3KOs) vs #1 mandatory challenger, from South Africa, THABISO “THE ROCK” MCHUNU (18-3 11KOs).

Danny Gonzalez has been attracting the attention of fans in and out of the ring. Maintaining a very busy 2017, Gonzalez will look to cap off his year with a WBC title around his waist. In front of him stands no easy task.

O’Connor, an Irish-American amateur star, has enjoyed success in the pros as well, beating the likes of former WBC Continental Americas Champion Michael Clark and former WBC World title challenger Vivian Harris. He comes into Mohegan Sun boasting an impressive 28-3 pro record. O’Connor is coming off a two fight winning streak including a win over another previously undefeated prospect.

Gonzalez will look to muster the strength of his native Puerto Rico, utilizing his accurate punching, and quick combinations, to keep O’Connor guessing. In his last bout at Mohegan Sun, Gonzalez took down Samuel Amoako (then 21-14 17KOs) in decisive fashion, showing both power and speed, and hopes to continue his success and maintain is undefeated record.

When asked about fight, Danny Gonzalez stated: “I want to thank my promoter Joe DeGuardia, the WBC, and my management and team for this great opportunity. When you work as hard as I do victory is the only result. 90% grind 10% rest, I will not be denied. It’s Rooster time”.

Danny O’Connor said: “I am grateful to be back in the position to make a name for myself in boxing. That all starts by winning the WBC Silver belt November 25th against Danny Gonzalez. Under the guidance of my coach, Adam Quitt, I am fully prepared. I’m thankful for all the support from Ken Casey and Murphy’s Boxing. We are excited about our new relationship with Star Boxing and Joe DeGuardia and believe together we will accomplish big things in the sport of boxing to come.

Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the co-feature title fight, “I am pleased and proud to add this exciting and meaningful fight to our show at Mohegan Sun on November 25. It says a lot for both fighters that they are willing to put so much on the line for the opportunity to capture the title and advance their careers. This fight will bring everything a boxing fan could want, action, skill, speed and significance. Be sure to get your tickets and come to Mohegan, this will be a great night of boxing.”

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Tampa’s A La Carte Event Pavilion Hosts Its Final Boxing Card Friday


By: Sean Crose

Friday night will see the final fight card go down in the arena on Dana Shores Drive in Tampa, Florida. Once known as the Egypt Shrine Temple, the A La Carte Event Pavilion will be hosting its 99th and last evening of boxing this evening. According to All Star Boxing, Inc, the promotional entity behind the night’s bouts, “the main event Friday will be a ten-round super bantamweight bout between Daniel Lozano (14-4, 11 KOs) from Bowling Green, Florida against Ricardo Rodriguez (16-4, 5 KOs) from Mexico City, Mexico now residing in Los Angeles, California.” Tuto Zabala, President of All Star Boxing, Inc, has clear memories of the arena’s boxing history.

“Many promoters have done shows in this building,” he says. “I remember when Brad Jacobs back in the 80’s was doing boxing shows in that I building.” Needless to say, Zabala is pleased to be a part of this evening’s card. “I feel privileged and honored,” he says, “for All Star Boxing, Inc and the Telemundo Network to bid farewell to such an iconic building for boxing fans in Tampa, Florida.” The list of known fighters who have plied their trade in the arena at one time or other is quite impressive.

One particularly memorable fight went down in August of 1984, “when future world champion John ‘The Beast’ Mugabi won by TKO against Frank “The Animal” Fletcher.” Yet there were far more big names than just Mugabi who stepped inside the arena’s ring over the years. Former heavyweight champion James “Bonecrusher” Smith fought there. Former light welterweight kingpin Frankie Randall fought there. What’s more, super featherweight Ender Cherry fought the first fifteen bouts of his career there, as well. Perhaps most notable to modern fans, however, current welterweight star Keith “One Time” Thurman made his professional debut at the arena in 2007.

All Star Boxing, Inc itself has had a notable history at the arena. For the entity “promoted it’s first show at A La Carte in 2010 and Friday’s event will be it’s 19th there.” According to a press release: “Egypt Shrine Temple hosted it’s first of twenty-seven boxing events on October 24, 1982 and the last on November 13, 1998. The first of seventy one boxing events under the present name of A La Carte Event Pavilion took place on April 13, 2002.” That’s a lot of boxing to be held in a place many fight fans unfortunately may have never heard of.

The A La Carte Event Pavilion “was recently sold and faces December demolition.”

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HBO PPV Undercard Results: Diaz, Martin, and De La Hoya Win Uneventful Decisions


By: William Holmes

Three bouts were televised on tonight’s HBO PPV offering before the start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

The undercard fight between Nicola Adams and Alexandra Vlajk was called off after Alexandra Vlajk failed the pre-fight medical. Three fights were on the untelevised undercard in front of a nearly empty arena.


Photo Credit: HBO Boxing

The first bout of the televised portion of the pay per view was between Ryan Martin (19-0) and Francisco Rojo (19-2) for the WBC Continental Americas and WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Titles.

Martin was the taller fighter and fights out of an orthodox stance, but was previously promoted by 50 Cent and has been relatively inactive the past few years.

Martin stayed busy with his jab in the opening two rounds and Rojo targeted the body, but not much action and Rojo was slightly busier than Martin.

Rojo complained to the referee about punches landing to the back of the head and Martin appeared to be shaking off ring rust. Rojo continued to come forward in the fourth and fifth rounds and was the more aggressive fighter of the two.

Martin was able to land a good double left hook to the body and head in the sixth round but that may have been his best combination of the first half of the fight. Rojo was able to momentarily stun Martin with a right cross in the seventh round and Martin was warned by the referee to keep his punches above the belt line.

Martin was warned for low blows twice in the eighth round and the referee gave Rojo time to recover, but Martin was not deducted a point. Martin connected with some good right hooks this round, but this round, like the others before it, could have been scored either way.

Martin was finally deducted a point in the ninth round for landing another low blow, but he was able to land some good combinations to the head of Rojo.

The final round was similar to the rounds previous, with Rojo pressing the action coming forward and both boxers throwing and landing, with Martin appeared to land the cleaner punches but Rojo throwing slightly more.

The judges scored it 98-91 Rojo, 96-93 Martin, and 95-94 for Martin. The crowd loudly boos the decision of the judges.

The next bout of the night started almost immediately afterwards and was between Randy Caballero (24-0) and Diego De La Hoya (19-0) for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles.

Caballero is another boxer that has not been very active in the past two years. De La Hoya was able to land good hooks to the body in the opening round but was reaching for his punches a bit. Both boxers were a little sloppy in the opening two rounds and clash of heads occurred in both the first and second round.

De La Hoya was landing the cleaner shots in the third and fourth rounds, though Caballero was able to knock De La Hoya off balance a little bit with a right hand to the chin in the fourth.

Caballero had a small shiner underneath his left eye in the fifth round and took a hard combination that forced him to retreat into the ropes a little dazed. De La Hoya continued to land good combinations in the sixth round and even pushed Caballero to the mat.
De La Hoya had a good showing in the seventh round and was able to tie up Caballero whenever he got in close.

Caballero needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came and he didn’t press the pace enough to ever come close.

Diego De La Hoya wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.

The final bout of the undercard was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0) and Rafael Rivera (25-0-2) in a WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Rivera was training for another fight when he got the call to face Diaz at the last minute.

Diaz came out aggressive in the opening two rounds but Rivera was more than willing to fire back with shots of his own. Both boxers appeared to be evenly matched early on.

Diaz was pressing the pace more by the fourth-round while Rivera was looking for his counter shots, but Diaz was the more accurate puncher.

Diaz’s accuracy carried the way in the middle rounds with the exception of the seventh, in which Rivera was able to land several hard shots on Diaz during their exchanges.

Diaz focused on the body in the eighth and ninth rounds and looked like the fresher fighter. He had a dominating tenth round and landed several hard-straight left hands on Rivera.

Even though Diaz didn’t score any knockdowns, he looked like the fresher fighter and was boxing better as the fight progressed. The championship rounds were rounds that he clearly won.

The final scores were 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Joseph Diaz.

Untelevised Undercard Quick Results:

Marlen Esparza (3-0) defeated Aracely Palacios (8-8) by scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards in the Flyweight division.

Vergil Ortiz (7-0) defeated Cesar Valenzuela (7-2) by TKO at of the 1:22 of the second round.

Serhil Bohachuk (5-0) defeated Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1) by TKO at 1:58 of the second round in the super welterweight division.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Golovkin, Canelo, Booth, De La Hoya, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Golovkin, Canelo, Booth, De La Hoya, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 30th to June 6th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

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Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia to Meet in 140 Pound Main Event Matchup

SHOWTIME Sports® announced a blockbuster matchup between two of boxing’s biggest stars as three-division world champion Mikey Garcia moves up in weight to 140 pounds to face four-division champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, Saturday, July 29, live on SHOWTIME. Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

In yet another significant main event matchup on SHOWTIME, these world-class fighters will meet at a critical time in their respective careers. A three-division world champion at the age of 23, and one of the youngest four-division world champions in boxing history, the flamboyant Broner remains one of the most accomplished and popular athletes – and perhaps the most polarizing – in the sport today. Among the top 140-pounders in the world, Broner is undefeated at or below 140 pounds with his only two losses coming against welterweight world champions Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. An experienced fighter at just 27 years old, Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) still believes he is the future of the sport and promises to prove it against Garcia on July 29.

Mikey Garcia, 29 years old and undefeated (36-0, 30 KOs), is a recently crowned lightweight champion on a self-appointed journey to become a household name in the sport of boxing. Garcia will move up in weight for the second time in just three fights to challenge Broner. Garcia represents a boxing family developing legendary status in the modern era of the sport. He is renowned for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia. Mikey has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but has never fought north of 138.

Saturday, July 29 will be the 19th live boxing event on SHOWTIME this year. The main event bout will be a WBC 12-round special attraction.

“SHOWTIME Sports continues to deliver the most anticipated matchups, the most important events and the most thrilling fights in boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “We consistently feature top-rated champions and challengers. The best are fighting the best and the results have been spectacular. Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia is a fight that fight fans have dreamed of—an undefeated, young star facing one of the best 140-pound fighters in the sport, both men in the prime of their respective careers. July 29 promises to be a memorable night in a year already full of memorable boxing events.”

Broner, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has achieved more in his young career than most fighters can hope for in a lifetime. After earning world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, Broner won a belt in a fourth weight division – 140 pounds – in October 2015 when he defeated Khabib Allakhverdiev via 12th round stoppage to become the second youngest four-division champion in boxing history at 26 (behind Oscar De La Hoya, 24). As an amateur, Broner compiled a record of 300 wins, 19 losses under the guidance of his trainer Mike Stafford, who has remained in Broner’s corner throughout his entire career. Broner will turn 28 years old on July 28, the day before his bout with Garcia.

Once considered one of the top young pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Mikey Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat. He scored a dominant fifth-round stoppage over former world champion Elio Rojas in his first fight back. Then, Garcia became a three-division champion by beating previously undefeated lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin with a vicious third-round knockout last January. Garcia has stopped 19 of his last 21 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido and Bernabe Concepcion.

Canelo vs. Golovkin Lands in Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena on Mexican Independence Day Weekend

The biggest fight in boxing today will come to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 16 when two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) squares off against IBF/WBA/WBC Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) over 12 rounds during Mexican Independence Day weekend. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

“I am thrilled to return to T-Mobile Arena, and to give the fans the best fight that can be made in our sport today,” Canelo said. “I have repeatedly said that I fear no man, and I am now going to prove it by stepping into the ring against GGG. When the final bell rings, everyone will know that this is indeed the Canelo era, and that I am the best fighter in all of boxing.”

“This is the type of fight I have dreamed of since I became a professional boxer,”

Golovkin said. “This fight will be at a true championship level and we will give the fans an exciting fight.”

The fight, to be contested at a maximum of 160 pounds will feature two of the most explosive, heavy-handed fighters in any division in the sport today. In their combined 88 fights, 67 have ended before the final bell.

“For the best fight on the best date in boxing, there is no better venue than the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Fans won’t only be treated to a classic battle between the two best boxers in the sport, they will also be able to enjoy an incredible week of activities marking Mexican Independence Day. This will be a can’t-miss event for hardcore and casual fans, alike.”

“This is the result of many years of hard work for Gennady, travelling around the world fighting world champions and top contenders to become an undefeated unified middleweight world champion,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. “Gennady’s reward, and the fans’ reward, will be battling in the biggest and best match-up in the sport of boxing. Gennady is ready for his date with destiny.”

“On September 16 there will be fireworks in Las Vegas when the biggest fight in boxing decides the middleweight championship of the world,” said Tony Walker, Vice President HBO Pay-Per-View. “We are thrilled to be producing and distributing this power-house event from the bright lights of Las Vegas.”

The last time Canelo stepped into the ring at T-Mobile Arena, he and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. drew the largest number of fans – more than 20,000 – to ever attend an indoor boxing event in Las Vegas.

Richard Sturm, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “There is no doubt this will be one of the biggest fights in boxing history. T-Mobile Arena has quickly become one of the leading venues to host championship boxing of this magnitude. We look forward to celebrating Mexican Independence Day Weekend in Las Vegas with our event partners and boxing fans worldwide.”

A press tour for the fight and on-sale ticket release will be announced in the coming days.

Canelo vs. Golovkin is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

LA17 World Police and Fire Games Partners with 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions

From Monday, August 7 to Wednesday, August 16, 2017, Los Angeles will host the World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) with Opening Ceremonies at the LA Memorial Coliseum. More than 8,000 athletes, all active or retired Police Officers or Firefighters, from over 70 countries will compete in over 65 different sports and disciplines, and draw up to 50,000 spectators.

According to Chief Charlie Beck, a veteran competitor and future athlete in the 2017 Games, “The World Police and Fire Games not only help to promote physical fitness through intense competition, it also builds camaraderie and life-long friendships among first responders. The opportunity to showcase our great city is great, but the fortuity to bring athletes from around the world together with our diverse communities to share in the passion of sport, that’s something special.”

In addition, the WPFG is proud to announce the partnership with 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist, 10-time world title champion and local legend, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. “Boxing has always been a premier and well attended event of the World Police & Fire Games, but with Oscar and Golden Boy Promotions as a Presenting Sponsor, it’s sure to take the Games to an even higher level of competition,” said Chief Beck.

“All over the country, our police officers and firefighters work tirelessly to keep us safe,” Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “We are proud to honor their service and help provide support as they demonstrate their athletic abilities in Los Angeles.”

The following, is a World Police and Fire Games promotional video featuring Chief Charlie Beck and Oscar De La Hoya:

We are proud to announce the partnership with Golden Boy Boxing and Oscar De La Hoya for the World Police and Fire Games coming to Los Angeles, California this August! Look for more announcements and watch Oscar De La Hoya and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck discuss our Boxing Competition to be hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Aug 8 – 12! #GoldenBoy #LA17WPFG #Boxing #RegisterNow #FirstResponders #LAPD Headquarters

Posted by World Police and Fire Games on Tuesday, 6 June 2017

For more information, regarding the LA17 World Police & Fire Games, opportunities to become a WPFG sponsor or volunteer, or the schedule for Boxing, and other sporting events, please visit: www.LA17WPFG.com.

Burnett: Adam Booth Has the Plan to Beat Haskins

Ryan Burnett believes he has the perfect man in his corner in Adam Booth to get the gameplan right to take the IBF World Bantamweight title from Lee Haskins when they clash at the SSE Arena Belfast on Saturday June 10, live on AWE–A Wealth of Entertainment at 3 PM ET / 12 PM ET

Burnett faces the Bristol ace in his first World title shot and it’s a welcome return to his hometown after over three and a half years on the road.

Burnett’s last outing in Belfast in November 2014 was his first fight with Booth and the pair have moved seamlessly to 16-0 and on the brink of World glory as their partnership has blossomed in Booth’s Surrey gym.

Booth has been in the corner for many World title fights with David Haye and Burnett feels that having those expertise behind him can be the difference.

“Adam believes I am ready for it and he’s a man who has been there and done it,” said Burnett. “Adam knows how to put a game plan together to beat a southpaw, and I have every faith in Adam. If I am calm, relaxed and I deliver what Adam tells me to do on the night, I’ll win that belt.

“I’m always learning with every fight and every day in the gym with Adam. People were saying a year ago that I was ready for a World title shot so that must mean I am even better placed for it now. Adam makes the decisions of what the right move is for me.

“Adam has given me intelligence on what I actually have to do. All the skills are there, but he’s teaching me how to control it. That’s what we work on every day – understanding what you have to do and how you have to do it.

“I needed to sit back, peel away the layers and understand what I am doing. Adam’s work speaks for itself. He’s been in the sport for a long time and he’s a well-respected coach. I’ve come to the gym willing to listen and learn because I know that Adam has so much knowledge to give, so if Adam says jump, I say how high.”

Burnett challenges Haskins on a huge night of action in Belfast where Paul Hyland Jr faces Adam Dingsdale for his first pro title, with the IBF European Lightweight strap on the line.

An exciting undercard features a the Cruiserweight debut of Mike Perez, Ian Tims and Luke Watkins meeting for the Irish Cruiserweight title and local favourites James Tennyson, Paddy Gallagher, Matthew Wilton, Feargal McCrory and Tyrone McCullagh.

2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez Dedicated to Building Boxing in Wichita and Across Kansas

Wichita-native Nico Hernandez (1-0, 1 KO), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, is on a mission to establish his home as a real “fight town” like world champion Terence Crawford has done in Omaha, Nebraska.

The 21-year-old Hernandez returns to action Saturday, June 17, in the six-round main event against Mexican-born flyweight opponent Jose Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs), headlining “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire”, which will air (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.

“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC.

Hernandez drew nearly 3,200 fans for his professional debut, March 25, in nearby Mulvane (KS), in which he knocked out Patrick Gutierrez in the fourth round of the main event, which was also televised live on CBS Sports Network.

Hernandez’ promoter, KO Night Boxing, LLC, is committed to showcasing Hernandez at home on national television, as well as provide a platform for young Kansas boxers for them to develop their skills and build intra-state rivalries as evident on this card.

“My plan is to do it like Terence Crawford has done in Omaha,” Hernandez explained. “I’m hoping it works out as well for me. It means so much for me to bring boxing to Wichita, to all of Kansas, for these fans and all the good, young boxers we have here.”

“This is a good opportunity for fighters from Wichita, across Kanas, to showcase their skills to the boxing world,” promoter John Andersen said. “Nico is giving all these other fighters a chance to do that by headlining our shows on CBS Sports Network. They need to fight to develop; otherwise, they’d have to travel far from home just to fight. They can build fanbases close to their hometowns.

“We’re an up-and-coming promotional company, much like Nico as a pro fighter, and together we want to build boxing across Kansas and build natural rivalries like we have on this card. Nico is the perfect fighter to do this because, in addition to being an Olympic medalist, he’s a great role model for young people in Wichita, and Kansas as a whole, to emulate. We’ve planted the boxing seed in Wichita, through
Nico, and we feel that boxing is going to grow across the state where Nico is bigger than life.”

Unbeaten Canadian featherweight Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan (10-0-1, 8 KOs) meets Angel “Terrible” Monrreal (10-8-1, 3 KOs), of Mexico, in the eight-round co-feature, while Wichita junior middleweight Noel Esquada (7-3-2, 5 KOs) takes on 2012 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Limberth “El Gallito” Ponce (12-3, 9 KOs) in the six-round match,

A prime example of a budding intrastate Kansas rivalry will be displayed in the televised opener as Garden City (KS) featherweight prospect Eric Vargas (2-0, 1 KO) takes on pro-debuting Humberto “Tito” Tellez, fighting out of Winfield (KS).

The non-televised “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” undercard is loaded with local talent: pro-debuting Topeka (KS) junior welterweight Brian Clements vs. Bryan Montalvo (1-9, 1 KO), of Garden City (KS); Winfield light heavyweight Juan Hollingsworth (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Oklahoman Matt Dixon in his pro debut, and pro-debuting middleweights Eddie Chavez, of Wichita, and Garden City’s Fernando Jasso throw-down in the opening bout.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

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Oscar De La Hoya On Mayweather-McGregor Super Farce: “Our Sport Might Not Ever Recover.”


Oscar De La Hoya On Mayweather-McGregor Super Farce: “Our Sport Might Not Ever Recover.”
By: Sean Crose

“Our sport might not ever recover.”

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Those words came from Oscar De La Hoya in a no-holds-barred Facebook post regarding the potential Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor super farce the public is enthralled with. Although his words may be a bit hyperbolic, there’s little doubt that De La Hoya, head honcho of Golden Boy Promotions, is on to something. “Floyd’s and Conor’s motivation is clear,” he writes. “It’s money. In fact, they don’t even pretend it’s not.” Sure enough, Mayweather has made it perfectly clear this potential stunt, where the world’s most well regarded boxer faces it’s most popular mixed martial artist in a boxing match, is essentially about padding his personal bank account (though perhaps McGregor and his followers may believe otherwise).

De La Hoya also makes it clear in the post that it’s not the general public he blames the hype on, it’s the two would-be participants. “I fully understand the initial attraction from any fan of combat sports,” he writes. “McGregor is almost certainly the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter. Floyd is Floyd — the most dominant boxer of his time.” Yet De La Hoya also points out that each man fights in a unique sport, and that boxing and mixed martial arts don’t exactly mesh. “Think about it,” states De La Hoya, “beyond Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, what other athlete has successfully competed in two sports in the modern age?” Holly Holm comes to mind (actually, she crossed three sports lines), but that’s about it – and she most certainly took her time with it.

Still, De La Hoya is opening himself up to criticism here. He’s the one, after all, who wanted to “marinate” the upcoming middleweight battle between his fighter, Canelo Alvarez and feared Kazakh power puncher Gennady Golovkin. What’s more, there’s now reason to believe that Mayweather and McGregor are trying to muscle in on territory reserved for the Canelo-Golovkin superbout by staging a fight between themselves within the same general time and place. In other words, De La Hoya has plenty of personal reasons to be displeased by what he rightly calls a “circus.”

There’s no denying, however, that a Mayweather-McGregor match could spell big trouble for boxing, and at a time when it’s actually on the upswing. Chances are McGregor would easily outsklick the Irish brawler. Not only that, there’s a VERY good chance, as Michael Montero has pointed out, that Mayweather would drag a fight with McGregor out for twelve excruciating rounds. “If you thought,” writes De La Hoya, “Mayweather/Pacquiao was a black eye for our sport – a matchup between two of the best pound-for-pound fighters that simply didn’t deliver — just wait until the best boxer of a generation dismantles someone who has never boxed competitively at any level – amateur or professional.”

His words, of course, make sense. As does his desire for boxing fans to avoid the spectacle. “As undercard fights start to take form, athletic commissions give their blessings in exchange for millions of dollars and the fighters start counting even more cash,” De La Hoya states, “one group will eventually be left to make sure this farce doesn’t occur.” And just who is that group? “We, the fans, who are the lifeblood of our sport.” Although he can be accused of hypocrisy and shrewdness, there’s little doubt De La Hoya has some ideas worth pondering.

“After this fight,” he says of Mayweather and McGregor, “neither of them will need us anymore. Floyd will go back to retirement — presumably for good this time with another nine-figure paycheck — and Conor will go back to the UFC.” De La Hoya then offers what might be the coup de grace: “It’s a win-win for them. It’s a lose-lose for us.”

More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

Playing Favorites – The WBO Shows Its Love For Canelo Alvarez


Playing Favorites – The WBO Shows Its Love For Canelo Alvarez
By: Sean Crose

The World Boxing Organization’s middleweight champ, Billy Joe Saunders, may not be happy about it, but the sanctioning body has named one Canelo Alvarez as his mandatory opponent. That means Saunders is going to have to face Canelo if Saunders wants to hold on to the WBO title – provided, of course, that Canelo is himself is interested in the fight. Since Golden Boy, Canelo’s promoter, asked the WBO for the mandatory ranking, however, it appears that Canelo may indeed be zeroing in on a potential throwdown with Saunders. Or at least zeroing in on the WBO title.

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Let’s face it, Saunders has done nothing concrete since winning his belt off Andy Lee late last year to show that he wishes to challenge himself. By seeming to have shied away from matches with middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin and/or Canelo himself, Saunders has placed himself in a position where he is simply not well regarded. Worse still for the Englishman, he appeared far from stellar when he faced off against an opponent no one had ever heard of, one Artur Akavov, earlier this month. Such things do not make for good public relations.

Frankly, it appears as if the WBO might well prefer having red haired star Canelo holding on to its middleweight strap. After all, the sanctioning body let Canelo jump in front of the deserving but unknown Avtandil Khurtsidze, it’s number one contender, in order for Canelo to be next in line for Saunders. And while it’s true Khurtsidze can appeal to the organization regarding its ruling, the WBO has been brazenly open in admitting it’s played favorites here. Indeed, the organization has come right out and essentially said it chose Canelo as Saunders’ top mandatory simply because of the Mexican’s popularity. Make no mistake about it, the WBO wants big names.

The question now, of course, may well be how Saunders reacts to all this. While it’s true no one person can be defined by sound bites or Twitter rants, Saunders has at times presented himself as the most modern of modern fighters, the epitome of the low-risk athlete that has arguably made the sport even more marginalized than its previously been. So then, will Saunders drag things out as long as possible? Will be plead for postponement of the inevitable? Will he simply give up his hard earned crown? Or will he show the world that a fight with Canelo is actually all right by him?

Of course, there are those who are claiming Canelo wants a middleweight title to use as leverage against Golovkin. That’s a bit confusing, since Canelo is already clearly the A-side in any potential promotion between the two. Perhaps team Canelo feels that it can put GGG in a corner by holding all the cards – in other words, a big money fight AND one of the belts Golovkin craves. That seems rather silly, but like most fans, I don’t deal in untold millions of dollars, so, by and large, potential game playing (in this case, at least) comes off like a moot point at best to me. I just want to see fights that make the most competitive sense.

And, in this case, believe it or not, one of those fights is Saunders-Khurtsidze. While Saunders-Canelo is certainly intriguing and clarifying, Khurtsidze should get first crack (whether the WBO or its rules agree or not). Boxing, after all, is not a popularity contest. Scratch that – boxing IS a popularity contest. That doesn’t mean it should be, though.

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Is Canelo Too Much Of A Fighter At Heart To Not Face Golovkin?


Is Canelo Too Much Of A Fighter At Heart To Not Face Golovkin?
By: Sean Crose

Okay, not to get overtly political here, but if a reality television star can win the White House (for better or for worse), then most certainly Canelo Alvarez can meet Gennady Golovkin in the ring in the not too distant future. Right?

Right??????????

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Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Truth be told, it wasn’t long ago that I seriously wondered if the red haired Mexican superstar would ever face the Kazakh terror in the ring for middleweight supremacy. This is an era of “I’m happy with what I have,” after all. Adonis Stevenson, for instance, certainly doesn’t seem interested in light heavyweight supremacy. Even worse, Billy Joe Saunders has yet to show any real interest in fighting anyone who might be a conceivable threat. Perhaps, I thought, Canelo would be happy to star in relatively small scale pay per view cards, count his money and eventually retire content in his lack of legacy and true stardom.

There was always something that bugged me about that scenario, however, something that never seemed quite right. Canelo, you see, has always struck me as a fighter. Not just an athlete. Not just a man with a popular fan base. A fighter. Someone who doesn’t walk away from a challenge. And indeed, I still feel that’s who he is.

And that’s why I feel Canelo-GGG will probably happen in 2017.

Yet there’s something else in play here – and that’s the potential of Floyd-Manny, Part Two. Were that fight to be made before Canelo were to sign to fight GGG, the Mexican star’s stock would drop even more than it has recently. And that’ something I seriously don’t think Canelo wants to have happen.

Let’s get something straight, however:

Canelo has never shown enormous interest in facing Golovkin. He fought for the middleweight title because he wanted to face then current champ Miguel Cotto, plain and simple. When Canelo embraced the middleweight championship, however, he also embraced the “GGG problem.” Had Canelo said a year ago, before the Cotto bout even went down, that he was really just interested in a dream fight wight Cotto, and that a showdown with Golovkin would certainly happen at one point in the future, he’d have saved himself some PR damage.

The man didn’t do that, though, and now he’s in the unfortunate position to have to fight an absolute ring assassin in order to save his dignity. It’s hard not to feel a sense of empathy for the guy. Still, he’s a professional fighter…and a popular, wealthy one at that.

He’s also someone I suspect will only avoid the likes of one Gennady Golovkin for just so long.

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HBO PPV Undercard Results: De La Hoya and Diaz Win Easily, Monroe Decisions Rosado


HBO PPV Undercard Results: De La Hoya and Diaz Win Easily,
By: William Holmes

Golden Boy Promotions and HBO put on a four fight pay per view card tonight live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

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Diego De La Hoya (15-0) , the nephew of Oscar De La Hoya, opened up the card in the division against Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2) in the super bantamweight division. This bout was for the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight Championship.

De La Hoya was seven years younger than Del Valle and was taking a big step up in competition. De La Hoya was looking for his straight right counter early in the first round but was able to find range with his jab. Del Valle was knocked stumbling backwards into the corner in the middle of the round from a three punch combination, and the few punches he landed didn’t phase De La Hoya.

The second and third rounds were similar in that Del Valle would start off strong and De La Hoya would finish the roung strong. Del Valle showed he was willing to exchange with De La Hoya and held his own during their exchanges, but by the end of the third round it was De La Hoya who was winning the exchanges more frequently.

De La Hoya was tagged early in the fourth round with a sharp right cross, but he fired back with digging body shots. De La Hoya remained the aggressor for the remainder of the fourth and looked like he hurt Del Valle several times. De La Hoya also had control during the fifth round and was able to pop shot Del Valle at a safe range.

Del Valle was hit hard with a straight right counter in the first minute of the sixth round, and he remained tentative for the remainder. By the seventh round Del Valle’s right eye was showing signs of swelling. De La Hoya punished Del Valle to the body and to the head and was physically imposing his will.

Neither boxer stepped on the gas pedal in the eighth and ninth rounds, but De La Hoya was in clear control and landed the higher number of punches.

Del Valle needed a knockout in the final round to win the bout, but that knockout never came.

Diego De La Hoya remained undefeated with decision victory with scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.

Joseph Diaz Jr. (21-0) and Andrew Cancio (17-3-2) was the next bout of the night in the featherweight division.

Joseph Diaz was a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team and was four years younger than Cancio.

Diaz, a southpaw, stuck to the body in the opening two rounds and was looked very comfortable in the ring. He was able to avoid the punches of Cancio with solid upper body movement and kept his head an elusive target.

Cancio was able to get within striking range in the third round, but took a pounding from Diaz when he got in tight and got his nose busted in the process. Cancio was unable to handle the hand speed of Diaz.

Cancio was able to briefly trap Diaz in the corner in the opening minute of the fourth round and landed some solid body shots, but Diaz took control in the final two minutes and had the head of Cancio snapping backwards from several crisp punches.

Diaz really turned up the pressure in the fifth round and pounded Cancio throughout with combinations at will. Cancio looked outclassed and bewildered, and was simply out of his league.

Diaz’s dominance inside the ring wasn’t impressing the crowd as a wave broke out at the stadium in the sixth round, but at this point it was even clear to the regular fans in attendance that Cancio stood no shot.

Cancio corner was thinking about stopping the fight before the start of the seventh round but they sent him back into the ring. But this round was no different from the previous rounds and he was a punching bag for the talented Diaz.

Diaz’s offensive output dipped in the eighth round, but he still landed at a higher clip and the harder punches. Cancio’s corner repeatedly asked him if he wanted them to stop the fight, but Cancio refused and went back out for the ninth round. Hwoever, in the middle of the round Cancio’s corner wisely decided to stop the fight.

Joseph Diaz impressed with a TKO victory at 2:27 of the ninth round.

Gabriel Rosado (23-9) and Willie Monroe Jr. (20-2) met in the final bout of the televised undercard in the middleweight division.

Rosado looked like the taller fighter, but he was standing straight up while Monroe was boxing with his knees slightly bent. Monroe was able to stay out of Rosado’s range for most of the first round and boxed Rosado effectively by landing the higher number of punches, but none of them could be considered power shots.

Neither Monroe nor Rosado took many risks in the second or third round, but Monroe was landing more punches than Rosado and fought very defensively. The fans started to boo and whistle the lack of action in the third round.

The wave started again in the fourth round, and Monroe continued to safely outbox Rosado. Rosado complained to the referee in the fifth round from an apparent backhand landed by Monroe, but offered little offense after the complaint.

Monroe was sharp in the sixth round and landed several straight left crosses and quick counter jabs. Monroe was able to continue to stay out of the range of Rosado in the seventh round as Rosado was mainly landing at air when he threw punches, but he was pressing the pace and that could have factored in his favor in the eyes of the judges.

Rosado was able to land a few flurries at the end of the eighth round and may have stolen it. It was his most effective offensive output at this stage of the bout.

A cut opened up near the back of the head of Rosado in the ninth round and the referee briefly stopped it to get it attended to, but afterwards both boxers finally threw power shots and both landed heavy shots. Rosado may have scored a knockdown at the end of the round, but the referee ruled it a slip.

Rosado was pressing forward more in the tenth round, but he was not able to land any punches of note while Monroe side stepped him and pop shotted him from the outside.

Rosado needed at least a knockdown in the final two rounds in order to win the bout,but a headbutt in the eleventh round badly swelled and cut the left eye of Rosado and made it much more difficult. Rosado ended the fight better than he started, but it was too little too late.

The judges scored the bout 116-112, 118-110, 117-111 for Willie Monroe Jr.

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HBO PPV World Championship Boxing Preview: Canelo vs. Smith, Monroe vs. Rosado


HBO PPV World Championship Boxing Preview: Canelo vs. Smith, Monroe vs. Rosado
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas will be the host site for HBO’s next pay per view offering.

Golden Boy Promotions will pit their superstar, Canelo Alvarez, against British boxer and WBO Junior middleweight champion Liam “Beefy” Smith. Most fight fans were hoping that Canelo would face Gennady Golovkin instead of Liam Smith, and view this fight as mismatch for Canelo.

Two former opponents for Gennady Golovkin, Gabriel Rosado and Willie Monroe Jr., will be fighting in the co-main event of the night. Highly rated prospects Joseph Diaz and Diego De La Hoya will fight on the televised portion of the undercard in matchups that they should win.

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Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

The following is a preview of the main event and co-main event of the night.

Gabriel Rosado (23-9) vs. Willie Monroe Jr. (20-2); Middleweights

The co-main event of the night will be between two boxers that were stopped by Gennady Golovkin, but remain top contenders in the middleweight division.

Monroe is twenty nine years old and Rosado is thirty, so both boxers are in the middle of their prime years. Rosado will be about an inch and half taller than Monroe, but he will be giving up about two and a half inches in reach.

Rosado has the clear edge in power. Rosado has stopped thirteen of his opponents while Monroe has only stopped six. Monroe has the edge in amateur experience as he won the New York Golden Gloves and reached the finals in the Golden Gloves in 2007. Monroe is also the son of Willie Monroe and the great nephew of Willie the Worm Monroe. Rosado does not have any notable accolades as an amateur to mention.

Monroe has been slightly more active than Rosado in recent years. Monroe fought once in 2016, twice in 2015, and three times in 2014. Rosado has fought once in 2016, once in 2015, and two times in 2014.

Rosado’s record can be deceiving. He does have nine losses on his record and has only gone 2-3 in his past five fights, but his losses have come against some of the biggest names in boxing. He has defeated the likes of Joshua Clottey, Antonio Guiterrez, Charles Whittaker, Sechew Powell, Jesus Soto Karass, Ayi Bruce, and saul Roman. His losses have come to Gennady Golovkin, Peter Quillin, Jermell Charlo, David Lemieux, Alfredo Angulo, Fernando Guerrero, and Derek Ennis.

Rosado is a warrior, but he has been stopped four times in his career. He was able to capture the middleweight crown in Big Knockout Boxing (BKB) outside of his normal career of boxing.

Monroe has defeated the likes John Thompson, Brian Vera, Brandon Adams, Vitaliy Kopylenko, Donatas Bondorovas, and won the Boxcino tournament in 2014. His losses were to Darnell Boone and Gennady Golovkin.

Rosado is a live dog in every fight he enters into, and this Saturday is no different. He would be a bigger underdog if Willie Monroe was known for his power, but he’s not and Rosado can box. This should be a very competitive fight, but this writer sees Monroe winning a decision victory.

Liam Smith (23-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title

Canelo Alvarez holds the WBC World Middleweight Title but will bumping down to the junior middleweight division to face Liam Smith for his WBO Junior Middleweight Title. An argument could be made that even though Canelo holds a legitimate middleweight title, he has never faced an actual true middleweight, and has only faced blown up junior middleweights and welterweights.

Liam Smith has already gone on the record to state that there will be no fight if Canelo cannot make the 154 pound weight limit. However, there is little reason to believe that Canelo won’t make weight.

Saturday will be Canelo’s 50th fight as a professional, and that’s an impressive feat for someone who is only twenty six years old. Smith is two years older than Canelo, and will have a slight height advantage.

Even though Canelo has nearly double the number of fights of Smith and is two years younger, Smith has been more active than Canelo in the past two years. Smith fought four times in 2015 and twice in 2014, while Canelo has averaged two fights a year since 2012. It should also be noted that Smith has never fought outside of the United Kingdom.

Neither boxer has an overly impressive amateur background. Smith was a two time winner of the ABA Championships as an amateur and Canelo won the Junior Mexican National Boxing Championships as a young teenager, but neither competed in the Olympics or won any medals at an amateur world championship.

Canelo’s only loss in his career was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. His list of defeated opponents is impressive, and he has defeated the likes of Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Alfonso Gomez.

Smith has never been in the ring with someone of Canelo’s talent. Smith has defeated the likes of Pregrad Radosevic, Jimmy Kelly, John Thompson, and Zoltan Zera.

The one major positive that jumps out at you when looking at Smith’s resume is that he has stopped his past eight opponents. Canelo has stop three of his past five opponents. However, Smith only has thirteen knockouts on his record while Canelo has thirty three.

Again, this will be the first time that Smith has fought outside of the United Kingdom and this fight will be held in Texas which has a large population of Mexican boxing fans. The fans will be hostile towards Smith, which is something he is not used to, and Canelo is the type of high quality opponent that Smith has never seen before.

The stars are aligned for an easy Canelo victory.

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