By: Paul Yates
Rising middleweight Carlos Gongora co-headlines a match at The Encore Boston Harbor this Friday in Everett, Massachusetts. The hard punching Gongora faces Mexico’s Alan Zavala in a scheduled ten rounder. The fight is expected to be an opportunity for Gongora, who is presently 16-0 with 12 KO’s, to showcase his skills and explosive hitting power.
Photo Credit: Joe Gallo
Standing 6’1″ and fighting from a southpaw stance, Gongora ranked among the world’s leading middleweights as an amateur, during which he fought more than several hundred matches. Representing his home country of Ecuador, Gongora boxed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. He also participated in the 2007, 2009, and 2011 World Amateur Championships. Since turning professional in 2015, Gongora has been based in the United States. He currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and is 30 years old.
The lanky Gongora has impressed boxing aficionados with his agility, lightning quick reflexes, savvy ring tactics, and stalking, cat-like fighting style. His ring demeanor is best described as icily composed, or even eerily calm. Gongora packs one-punch knockout power in his left hand, and he often finishes opponents suddenly and unexpectedly with single, explosive shots to the head. The Ecuadorian delivers his left-handed power punch in the form of overhand blows to the jaw, roundhouse shots swung around his foes’ guards, and as uppercuts thrown from long and short distance.
Gongora usually boxes from long range, fully utilizing his height and reach advantages as he spears his opponents with long right jabs to the head and body. So far, Gongora’s defense has shown no flaws, as he effortlessly dodges blows by bouncing backwards on his feet and by leveraging his impressive upper-body maneuvering and agility. Foes who try to bull their way inside Gongora’s firing range are always tied-up and pushed away, or they are battered into retreat by the Ecuadorian’s heavy fisted counterattacks.
The flashy, one punch KO power in Gongora’s left hand, in addition to his height and unusually calm ring demeanor, remind this writer of 1980’s light-heavyweight champion Mike Spinks. Like Gongora, Spinks was a tall, wiry, thin boxer-puncher known for scoring dramatic, one punch knockouts. While Gongora’s money punch is his left, Spinks tended to dispatch opponents with his power-laden right hand, known to fans of that era as the “Spinks Jinx.”
Zavala, the opponent in Friday’s match, has earned a reputation as a strong, bullish, rough fighter who wins by mauling his opponents at close range. He has a professional record of 15-4, including 13 KO’s. Like most Mexican fighters, Zavala frequently unleashes hard, wide left-hooks to the head and body. He supplements his head-first offensive tactics by bobbing-and-weaving to dodge blows, and — unlike most Mexicans — he is not averse to dancing backwards in order to evade punches. At 5’11,” Zavala will be fighting at a height disadvantage against the rangy Gongora.
Although Zavala is regarded as a club fighter, he is distinguished in that he once lasted the distance against Jaime Munguia, the current WBO super-welterweight champion. The Munguia-Zavala match took place in 2015 in Tijuana, very early in the careers of both Mexican boxers. But considering that the hard-hitting Munguia is now regarded as one of the very best 154 pounders in the world, Zavala proved his mettle by finishing that bout on his feet.
Trained by Hector Bermudez and managed by Mike Criscio, Gongora has been promoted by Murphy’s Boxing since 2017. It is very probable that Gongora will eventually be rated among the world’s leading fighters in the middleweight and super-middleweight divisions.
In the main event on Friday’s promotion, NABA super-featherweight titleholder Abraham Nova defends his belt against Luis Ronaldo Castillo in a scheduled ten round bout. Nova is unquestionably the most advanced fighter on this evening’s card, as he is rated 6th worldwide by the World Boxing Association in the 130 lbs division. A native of Puerto Rico who was born to Dominican parents, Nova now lives in Albany, New York. His professional record is 15-0 with 11 KO’s. Nova was a heralded amateur, triumphing in 167 of 178 bouts and winning the prestigious New York Golden Gloves tournament five times. He also won the 2014 USA National Championships and participated in the 2015 US Olympic Qualifiers tournament. Nova is known for his exceptional athleticism, power, and speed of hand and foot. The Puerto Rican’s combination punching prowess, in addition to his ability to quickly alternate between offense and defense, has inspired many boxing experts to predict that he will eventually win a world championship.
Little is known about Castillo aside from his record, which is 20-3 with 15 KO’s. Castillo is 20 years old and has been fighting professionally since 2015. He has fought most of his bouts in his native Mexico. Earlier this year, Castillo fought twice in foreign countries and was knocked out both times. Australia’s Steve Spark stopped Castillo in four rounds in Toowoomba, and shortly after that, he was KO’d in four rounds by Jesus M. Rojas in Puerto Rico.
Another fighter with a stellar amateur background, Brian Ceballo, will appear on Friday’s card in a scheduled eight rounder. Ceballo, currently 9-0 with 4 KO’s, squares off against Luis Eduardo Florez of Colombia, who is 24-13 including 20 KO’s. Both fighters are welterweights. Ceballo’s amateur accomplishments include winning the 2014 Police Athletic League National Championships, taking first place in the 2016 National Golden Gloves Championships, and winning the US National Championships in 2017. Ceballo finished third in the 2015 US Olympic Trials.
The promotion will be rounded out by several other four round matches. Mansfield’s James Perella (4-0, 3 KO’s) faces Argentina’s Jose Aubel (8-5, 7 KO’s) in a welterweight fight. Perella is a tall, hard-hitting boxer who ranked among the nation’s best during his amateur career. In a cruiserweight bout, James Perkins squares off against Aaron Trecell Smith. Both fighters are from the Boston area and they are making their pro debuts. In another bout between debuting boxers, Brian Urday will face Greg Bono in the 135 lbs division. Both Urday and Bono are Boston area natives. The card will open with Boston’s Jonathan Depina making his pro debut against Michigan’s Robbie Thomas (0-1) in a lightweight bout.
By: Hans Themistode
WBC Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) put on a great performance in front of his hometown crowd down in Houston Texas. He easily dispatched of Brandon Adams (21-3, 13 KOs) via unanimous decision. It was the first time that Charlo was defending his WBC title. During the contest, he showed that he not only has power but that he also can box his way to victory as well.
The loud, brash and confident Houston native needs a big fight for his next ring appearance. Or at the very least he needs to take on a credible name at the division in order to truly announce his presence. Who exactly should he take on next? Keep reading to find out.
Although Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) lost his last outing against Canelo Alvarez, he is still one of the very best Middleweights in the world. There is a belief that Jacobs has outgrown the division and will be looking to move up.
If a title opportunity presented itself however, he could be tempted to stick around. Charlo and Jacobs have a bit of a history of animosity towards one another. This is a fight that would sell itself. With the styles that both of these men possess, there will be no shortage of fireworks.
Jermall Charlo is a terrific young fighter, but he still needs a bit of seasoning. A matchup with Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) is what he should be aiming for. The former title challenger is chomping at the bit to get another crack at a world title.
Although he has just 14 fights under his belt he is well known for his amateur pedigree. Derevyanchenko would present a major step up in class for Charlo, but at this point its sink or swim. Let’s see what the WBC champion is made of.
A fight with former champion Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) would be tricky. Both fighters are on opposite sides of the street, so coming up with an agreement to fight would be a difficult one. However, if it can be made then this should be next for Charlo.
It was once believed that a fight between these two was to high risk and too little of a reward for Golovkin. Now that Charlo is the owner of the WBC title, it could entice Golovkin to step in to the ring with him. This one may seem farfetched but for the fans sake, let’s hope this one gets made next.
By Jonah Dylan
Two of the three middleweight world titleholders were in action this weekend, as Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo both cruised to title defenses in their hometown. It’s always frustrating when two world champions defend their belts in separate fights on the same night, but this night pretty much illustrated all the problems boxing has in this day and age.
First of all, I like Andrade. He’s a fun personality, he comes to fight and he has really impressive skills. The mainstream boxing media seems to be obsessed with him, and I don’t totally get it. His resume is pretty thin and he’s never really been tested, so I don’t quite get why everyone is acting like he’s up there with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Maybe he is, but there are still a lot of unknowns.
Andrade and Charlo would be a nice fight, but there’s almost no chance it happens. That’s because of the fact that Andrade is with Eddie Hearn and DAZN and Charlo is with PBC, a huge promotional divide that rarely gets crossed. That’s one of the main problems in the sport in this day and age, where promoters are extremely reluctant to let their fighters cross the metaphorical street and face other top fighters. So even though we’d like to see Charlo fighting the DAZN guys, there’s almost no path for him to do so.
Then there’s the nonsense of promotional bodies. Nothing illustrates that better than the absurd decision by the WBC to make Alvarez the “Franchise Champion,” a designation that makes no sense. In doing so, they elevated Charlo – who had been the interim champion – to the full titleholder and Alvarez now only holds the IBF and WBA belts.
First off, no one should ever be defending an interim title. If there is an interim title fight, the winner should either fight the full titlist in the next fight or someone should be stripped. It’s absurd that anyone would ever be defending an interim title. Charlo was set to defend it for the second time and then was elevated to the full champion earlier this week. The timing of the WBC’s decision was clearly based on the timing of Charlo’s fight, because they wanted him to be defending the title he’d actually be holding after the fight. It’s all nonsense.
Alvarez had been on a quest to unify the entire division, so the WBC should have ordered a fight between him and Charlo if he wanted to keep his title. For all the nonsense about sanctioning bodies, the one thing they can actually do that’s beneficial is order fights between fighters from different promotional companies. In this case, they could’ve ordered Alvarez (DAZN) to meet Charlo (PBC) and if Alvarez turned down the fight then it would’ve made sense to strip him. Stripping him without even giving him the chance to defend the belt doesn’t really make sense.
After the WBC’s decision, there’s little to no chance that we’ll see an undisputed champion in the middleweight division.
To cap it all off, another issue in the sport is that oftentimes the best fighters never share the ring, for one reason or another. Alvarez and Golovkin are the two best guys in the division, but Alvarez is chasing Callum Smith and Sergey Kovalev, so it looks like we won’t see that fight next. Add it to the list, honestly.
There are lots of intriguing fights in the middleweight division, and it really should be one of the hottest divisions in the sport. But for the foreseeable future, we’re probably gonna see Charlo against PBC guys, Andrade against Matchroom guys and Canelo against super middleweights and light heavyweights. If Canelo is moving up, Golovkin vs Andrade is the fight to make, but I see why Golovkin’s team doesn’t have much incentive to chase that fight. In just a few months, the division went from one of boxing’s best to a mess. And there’s no end in sight.
Follow me on Twitter @TheJonahDylan.
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) didn’t just prove that he is the best Middleweight in his division but, he also showed that he is the best fighter in the world.
This past Saturday night on Cinco De Mayo, Canelo successfully defeated Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs). The win added yet another title around the Mexican superstar’s waist. Canelo now holds the WBA, WBC, IBF and Ring magazine Middleweight titles.
For as great as Canelo has been in his career, there has always been a few lingering question marks. His resume is filled with wins over great fighters, this is true. However, it is also filled with a bit of controversy as well. Wins over Erislandy Lara and Gennady Golovkin (GGG) are sometimes questions. Favorable judging has also been the narrative surrounding the three division world champion. Some have questioned his place amongst the elite of the boxing world today. These anecdotes can be put to bed.
Now former, IBF Middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs is a great fighter, one that provided Canelo the platform to showcase that he is the best in the world.
Jacobs has the full package. The power to stop any boxer dead in their tracks, and the boxing ability to out skill them as well. You name it and Jacobs possesses it. Although their fight which took place in front of over 20,000 fans at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was a nip and tuck affair, Alvarez dominated for long stretches and made it clear who the better fighter was.
We all understand what happens now. Canelo will be given no opportunity to enjoy his victory, instead the immediate question will be, who should he take on next? Canelo will have no shortage of opponents to choose from.
Undefeated WBO title holder Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) is a name that has been on the tongue’s of many of the fans. He may not be the biggest name but he very well could be the biggest threat. How about Jermall Charlo? Not only does he also boast an unblemished record consisting of 28 wins with 21 stoppages but he also holds the mandatory position for Canelo’s WBC title.
Last but certainly not least is GGG. There is a reason why the former unified champion was in attendance this past Saturday night. A third installment between these two would certainly present fireworks once again.
Whomever the Mexican megastar takes on next will undoubtedly present him with a challenge. That aforementioned challenge is one that he will be well equip for.
Canelo Alvarez has been the face of boxing for a number of years now. He was also considered one of the very best fighters in the world. However, with his penchant to not only take on but defeat the best fighters out there, he has now elevated himself to another level. His victory over Daniel Jacobs has now cemented him as the best fighter in the entire world.
By: Ste Rowen
Picture the scene, Las Vegas, December 14th; the Mexican national anthem rings out as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, WBA, WBC, IBF & Ring Magazine champion prepares to walk out and into the ring with WBO champion, Demetrius Andrade in Canelo’s third fight of the year.
It’s a pipe dream of course. Canelo hasn’t fought more than twice in a year since 2011 but 2019 feels like an opportunity, one that he’s not had since he came up against Floyd Mayweather, for the current WBA ‘Super’, WBC & Ring middleweight champion to be remembered as an all-time great.
Canelo is already all but confirmed for Boxing’s Hall of Fame, and that’s no small achievement, but to be remembered as one of the greatest middleweights in boxing history is an impossible task for 99% of professional 160lbers.
Ask someone in the know who the greatest middleweight of all time is and they’ll most likely say Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon or perhaps Sugar Ray Robinson. It’s pretty much a given that no modern boxer will be able to eclipse any of those three men, or even other 160lb greats down the years such as James Toney or Bernard Hopkins, but, as in Canelo’s case, they can stand alongside them. But it’s going to take multiple fights against the cream of the crop at this weight, to be recognised as such.
The flame haired boxer has, thus far, taken on all comers from welter to middle in 54 bouts; losing just once, to Floyd, along the way. The Tapatio most recently earned a close decision over Gennady Golovkin and saw 2018 out with an easy stoppage of Rocky Fielding, up at super-middle, but the real glory lies in the glamour division. The plan for Alvarez in 2019, assuming he continues to win, should be Danny Jacobs this Cinco de Mayo weekend, the rubber match vs. Golovkin in September and then, assuming Andrade continues to win, a December matchup with the WBO champion to become the undisputed king of the middleweights; a feat not achieved since Jermaine Taylor decisioned Bernard Hopkins in 2005.
There should be no promotional or programming disputes as all four of the boxers mentioned are signed with DAZN and with Canelo continuing to be the biggest draw in the sport – a crown he’s only really competing against heavyweight champ, Anthony Joshua for – every fight is a big money event for the Mexican.
The incentive for rivals of the unified champion is clearly there, so it’s surely now all down to how ambitious Alvarez wants to be at 160. When money isn’t an issue, for Canelo, it should now be all about his lasting legacy.
By: Sean Crose
“The objective this year,” said Canelo Alvarez on a Tuesday conference call to promote his May fourth middleweight title bout against the highly regarded Daniel Jacobs, “is to win all the belts.” The winner of the fight with Jacobs will most certainly have the lion’s share of middleweight titles, with the IBF, WBC, and WBA Super world middleweight belts at stake. Canelo, who last fought in December against Rocky Fielding, is facing yet another high level opponent. “It’s going to be a very difficult fight,” said the man who has faced such esteemed fare as Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, and Floyd Mayweather, “especially in the first few rounds.”
Canelo, like many fans, felt that Jacobs, 35-2, bested Gennady Golovkin when the two engaged in a razor close battle back in 2017. “For me,” the 51-1-2 star said, “Jacobs won the fight.” Considering the fact that a great many feel Canelo recently lost two fights to Golovkin himself, it’s obvious the fighters isn’t afraid to continue to take on large challenges. “He’s an opponent that is very complete,” Canelo said of Jacobs. “He knows how to move in the ring – very difficult.” Canelo made it clear throughout the call that he was eager to climb new mountains.
“We know the risk of this fight,” he said, “and it is a high risk fight.” Although controversial at times, Canelo is a man who wants to buck the current tide of safety-first big name fighters. “I always dreamed of being a world champion,” he said, adding that he now wants to keep chasing glory. “That’s what motivates me – to continue writing history.” A big part of writing history, of course, is to continue to be dedicated to his craft. “I love boxing,” he said. “I love what I do and that motivates me in all my fights.”
I asked the man what the biggest lesson is that he’s learned since his first true superfight, which ended in a one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013 (when Canelo had arguably yet to enter his prime). “I’ve had many fights that I’ve learned (from),” he responded. “In fact, every fight.” Canelo went on to say that his entire career has been something of a growing process. “That’s what I am today,” he continued, “because of all those fights.”
“I continue to learn,” he concluded, “and I continue to put it into practice.”
Although he’s had plenty of opportunity to practice his craft against Golovkin, Canelo may not face the Kazakh again any time soon if title unification is his goal. For Demetrius Andrade currently holds the WBO world middleweight strap. Still, Golovkin, like Andrade, Jacobs, and Canelo himself, now fights on the DAZN streaming service – which means there’s a lot of big names (and potential big matches) operating under a single broadcast tent.
By: Ste Rowen
Ever since the inception of the super-middleweight division, American and British boxers have dominated it’s rankings and outstanding bouts. From Sugar Ray Leonard to Andre Ward, Joe Calzaghe to Callum Smith, super-middle has been one of the great divisions for boxers on either side of the Atlantic, and although we never got James Toney vs. Benn or Chris Eubank the final year of the teens, the 10’s, the tenties? Whatever the proper name for this decade is, it could be about to signal the biggest conflict between the US and Great Britain since the 1700’s.
After the roaring success of the World Boxing Super Series which concluded last September, there was a worry that the division might hit a lull in excitement. Worry no more. Where 2018 was the year of the cruiserweights, or more specifically, the year of Usyk, 2019 is set to be the year of the 168lbers.
Caleb Plant was the first to make his mark on the division this year when, thirteen days into 2019, the Tennessee-native dominated IBF champion, Jose Uzcategui, dropping him twice en route to a comfortable twelve-round decision. He joined titlists Callum Smith (WBC & Ring) as well as then WBO champ, Gilberto Ramirez.
Despite conflicting reports it appears Ramirez has vacated and is making the move up to light-heavyweight which has opened the door for another Brit to enter the title scene. At the time of writing, Billy Joe Saunders will fight Shefat Isufi in April for the WBO 168lb belt.
If Saunders wins, as is expected he will enter the super-middle scene just after his past adversary, Chris Eubank Jr pulled off a career-best performance to defeat former world title holder, James DeGale.
Last Saturday, Eubank dominated DeGale across twelve rounds. It was very reminiscent of Plant’s performance vs. Uzcategui. Chris dropped DeGale twice en route to a unanimous decision win, which turned out to be a little too close on the official scorecards – Howard Foster, it’s time to call it a day – But despite the cards, the IBO champion’s performance and general fighting style and intrigue means nobody will forget him when talking about the biggest fights that can be made in the division.
A couple of hours after Eubank pulled off the slight upset over British rival, DeGale, brother of a former DeGale opponent, Anthony Dirrell was announcing himself back into view with a split – and slightly controversial – decision win over Avni Yildrim.
The curious career of Dirrell continues. His only pro-defeat has come at the hands of Badou Jack back in 2015, and despite proving himself to be just above fringe level multiple times, including a 1st round KO of former champion, Caleb Truax; inactivity has seriously hampered the Michigan boxer. But with the top 10 looking as it currently does, it’s gonna be difficult to find a fight that won’t define the top super-middleweight’s careers.
So let’s assume that Ramirez has moved up to light-heavy and Billy Joe Saunders will fight and win the vacated WBO – sorry Shefat. I’ll publicly apologize if you beat Saunders in April – then the 168lb scene is set to draw it’s battle-lines in a dysfunctional US vs. UK way.
On one side of the Atlantic: Caleb Plant, the unbeaten IBF champion; alongside Anthony Dirrell, WBC titlist with just one defeat on his record and almost forgotten.
On the other we have: Callum Smith, WBA and Ring king, arguably the only man who has a legitimate claim to being #1 in the division; Then Chris Eubank Jr, holder of the minor IBO belt but more importantly the victor over DeGale; and Billy Joe Saunders, the unproven entity at 168 but it feels safe to assume he’ll fit in nicely considering his style of technical boxing.
But don’t forget the US wildcard: former WBC champion, David Benavidez lurking in the background, itching to gain back his title and claim supremacy. David at just 22-years old lost his belt outside the ring and based on the evidence of his past performances, a switched-on Benavidez is a world class fighter.
In the 90’s the division was on the verge of a Roy Jones Jr/Toney/Benn/Eubank round robin that never occurred. When you look at the world champions and challengers right now, it will be just as much of a disappointment in two years if we’re not talking about the Smith/Plant/Eubank/Dirrell/Saunders/Benavidez wars of 2019.
Somebody give Kalle Sauerland a call for a WBSS Super-Middleweight 2 ASAP.
By: Ken Hissner
Going into 2017 Gennady “GGG” Golovkin was considered one of the best P4P boxers in the world if not the best. He had scored 21 straight stoppages and was 36-0 (33) when he defended against Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs 33-1 (29) in March of 2017.
Jacobs refused to come to the day of the fight weigh-in. Golovkin had gained ten pounds that day coming in at 170 lbs. Rumors were Jacobs was between 180-185 lbs. when he entered the ring that night. Another surprise was he fought the fight southpaw.
Though a close fight, Golovkin got the decision by scores of 114-113 and 115-112 twice. The WBC was in no hurry to order a rematch that Jacobs could have asked for but didn’t push for it.
The WBO and WBC World Super Welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, then 48-1-1, who had rarely weighed over 155 lbs. during his entire career was being groomed for a shot at 160 lbs. His promoter Oscar de La Hoya decided he should fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., 50-2-1, at super middleweight with both fighters coming in at 164 lbs. Alvarez won every one of the twelve rounds on all three score cards and Chavez hasn’t fought since.
It was decided by Alvarez’s promoter to take on WBC, WBA and IBF world champion Golovkin in Las Vegas which was a “second home” for Alvarez who fought there in seven of his previous nine fights only losing to Floyd “Money” Mayweather. It had been a year to the day since Alvarez defended his two titles defeating Liam Smith by knockout while receiving a fractured right thumb and received a cut.
The fight with Golovkin didn’t make a lot of sense except financially for the state of Nevada, the promoter (Golden Boy) and both fighters. Alvarez may have been ahead after five rounds winning three of them. Suddenly when the sixth round started Alvarez had enough of trading punches with the hard hitting Golovkin and ran the next seven rounds. If Golovkin had run like Alvarez they would have called him “chicken” but Alvarez seemed to get a free pass.
At the end of the bout the scores were announced as 118-110 by one judge Adalaide Byrd. Had she actually watched the fight? Afterwards there was a rumor she would be under temporary suspension but it never happened. Byrd was a Nevada resident and a “house” judge. Another judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Golovkin. Close but still it was a fair decision going to the obvious winner. Then the third judge Don Trella came up with a 114-114 score giving Alvarez a “gift draw” with the WBC ordering a rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin that would make Nevada and Golden Boy richer. The fight with Jacobs was closer for Golovkin than the Alvarez match but no one ordered a rematch after that one. This writer had it 116-112 for Golovkin and being generous to Alvarez in their first match.
Then it was found that Alvarez was using a banned substance and yet he stayed in the rankings. How in the world was he then taken off suspension and given a title fight? It took a year before the rematch came about with Alvarez inactive and Golovkin having one match knocking out forty fight veteran and former Olympian Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds being the only time he was stopped and hasn’t fought since.
So, in September the rematch between Golovkin and Alvarez happened. Golovkin was satisfied boxing Alvarez almost at will landing his jab. His trainer told Golovkin to go and take it to him but Golovkin didn’t follow his instructions. Then came the decision with Moretti back as one of the judges along with well-regarded Steve Weisfeld calling it for Alvarez 115-113. Glen Feldman the other judge had it 114-114. The IBO didn’t recognize the fight since Alvarez wouldn’t pay their fee. This writer had it 115-113 for Golovkin.
To avoid a rubber match Alvarez moved up to take on ordinary WBA World Super Middle champ Rocky Fielding with a built-up 27-1 record stopping him in three rounds. Afterwards Alvarez said he had no intentions to stay at super middleweight. He even fought this one at MSG where he wouldn’t fight Golovkin figuring he wouldn’t have the protection that the Nevada commission and the WBC would give him.
The WBC goes out of their way not insisting on a third Alvarez-Golovkin fight but tells Golovkin to fight interim champ Jermall Charlo. Since when does an organization tell a non-champion who to fight? If Alvarez isn’t fighting Golovkin then why didn’t the WBC tell Alvarez, not Golovkin to fight Charlo? The WBA dropped Golovkin to No. 2 behind David Lemieux whom Golovkin has stopped in eight rounds in one of his title defenses. Lemieux had even lost in a title challenge for the WBO title since being stopped by Golovkin.
This is more than a conspiracy against Golovkin with the Nevada Commission, Golden Boy and the WBC behind it. So where does Golovkin go from here? Rumors have him signing with the DAZN as did Alvarez recently. A title fight with new WBO World champion Demetrius Andrade who claims to want to fight Golovkin in the past would make more sense. Even a rematch with Jacobs who now has the IBF title would make sense. The IBF had the nerve to rank Golovkin No. 10.
It seems the WBC, WBA and IBF all have it out for Golovkin while the WBO had never ranked him. Maybe Golovkin should drop to 154 lbs. or go up to 168 lbs. where in the past he said he could fight. Fighting for the vacant WBC title or the WBA super middle title that Alvarez said he won’t defend. There are many options for Golovkin but it seems if he doesn’t knock out his opponent he can’t win a decision.
One thing for sure Golovkin should never fight in Las Vegas again where he cannot get a fair decision.
By: Daniel Smith
Alvarez, to unify Super Middleweight division 2019?
Last night at the Garden, Canelo Alvarez was razor sharp, formidable and devastatingly accurate as he peppered Rocky Fielding with a torrent pounding and punishing body shots to force the stoppage within three rounds of boxing.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Fielding struggled to ignite the engine, let alone move out of first gear as Canelo smothered, suffocated and obliterated the Liverpudlian’s offence and game-plan by deploying his brutal artillery throughout the rounds.
Meticulously targeting and thudding away at Fielding’s long, skinny flank; dishing-out lightning-bolt shots to the liver, one after the other, relentlessly zapping the former WBA champion into submission without even breaking a sweat. Incidently, whether it’s Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua, a sickening shot to the liver ultimately instructs the body to take a knee, no matter how big, bulky or solidly conformed you are – so no discredit to Rocky in that regard.
Although it was the Mexican who stepped up a weight-class; it certainly seemed as though Rocky Fielding was the one who’d brought a knife to gun fight, as every attack and combination he fired-out seemed fruitless.
So what’s next for the cinnamon-haired, super middleweight smasher? After skillfully bulldozing through the division’s WBA champion with such ease and cool; could Canelo continue on his 168lb division ascent and lay down the gauntlet for a clash with the WBA and WBSS champion, Callum Smith? A fight with Smith would be a an electrifying clash, an enticing prospect with another belt to add his collection, but ultimately, it would be a gruelling night’s work for the now, three weight-class champion.
There may be other fish to fry in the division such as WBO Gilberto Ramirez, IBF Jose Uzcategui and WBC David Benavidez. Or, alternatively, he could have a third dance with GGG which I’m sure would rake-in the fans and financial spoils.
Who knows? But one thing’s certain – 2019 will be explosive.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions top promotional star, Canelo Alvarez, will make his debut in New York City and on the DAZN Streaming Network when he faces off against Rocky Fielding for Fielding’s WBA Super Middleweight title.
This bout will take place at the famed Madison Square Garden and features a rather stacked undercard. The co-main event of the night was originally supposed to be between David Lemieux and Tureano Johnson, but Lemieux had to withdraw due to dehydration issues and the bout between Tevin Farmer and Francisco Fonseca will take it’s place.
Other notable undercard fights include a welterweight bout between Sadam Ali and Mauricio Herrera, an IBF/WBA Women’s Lightweight Title bout between Katie Taylor and Eva Wahlstrom, and two bouts featuring high rated prospects Ryan Garcia and Lamont Roach Jr.
DAZN has gone all in with their partnership with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Alvarez, and this is the first of an eleven fight contract that they have with Canelo.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Tevin Farmer (27-4) vs. Francisco Fonseca (22-1-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
Tevin Farmer is one of those feel good stories in the sport of boxing. He wasn’t a heralded amateur and started his career with a 2-2 record, but he has shown significant improvement since his professional debut and was able to win the IBF Super Featherweight Title.
Farmer only had sixteen amateur fights so he had to learn quickly on the job. He’s not known for his power, he has only stopped six of his opponents and was stopped twice in his career. He lost by TKO in his very first professional fight and was later stopped by Jose Pedraza.
His opponent, Francisco Fonseca, has stopped sixteen of his opponents and was only stopped one time in his career, a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis. Fonseca will have a slight inch and a half height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Fonseca has fought mainly in Panama and Costa Rica against suspect opposition. He lost his only fight outside of Central America. His biggest win to date was against a 13-3 Daniel Miranda. He’s been fairly active and fought once in 2018 and four times in 2017.
Farmer fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. He’s shown significant improvement since his debut, especially defensively, and has beaten the likes of James Tennyson, Billy Dib, Arturo Santos Reyes, Ivan Redkach, and Angel Luna.
This is a bout that Farmer should win by decision. Farmer is angling for a future fight with Gervonta Davis and he’ll need an impressive performance to get the boxing community talking about a potential fight with Davis.
Rocky Fielding (27-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2); WBA Super Middleweight Title
Canelo Alvarez is arguably boxing’s biggest, active star. He’ll be chasing history on Saturday night as he looks to win a title in his third weight class, and become the ninth Mexican boxer to do so.
Canelo is in the midst of his prime at 28 years old and is three years younger than his opponent. However, Canelo is the smaller man and will be giving up height, reach, and size to Fielding.
Canelo turned pro at the age of fifteen, so Fielding has more amateur experience than Canelo as he experienced some success as an amateur on the English circuit.
Canelo also has significantly more power in his punches than Fielding. He has stopped 34 of his opponents while Fielding has only stopped fifteen. Fielding also has a TKO loss on his record when he was stopped by Callum Smith. Canelo’s lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. five years ago and he has never been stopped.
Both fighters have been fairly active. Canelo fought twice in 2017 and once in 2018 while Fielding fought twice in 2018 and in 2017.
Canelo has a long list of accomplished opponents that he has beaten. He has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Carlos Baldomir.
Fielding’s biggest wins were against Tyron Zeuge for the WBA Super Middleweight title, David Brophy, John Ryder, and Brian Vera. This will only be his second fought outside of the United Kingdom and his first fight in the United States.
It’s likely Fielding’s size advantage will give Canelo some problems early on, but Canelo’s skill is levels above Fielding and he should win quite comfortably in his New York City debut.
By: Ken Hissner
After compiling a 110-10 amateur record Joe “Pride of Wales/Italian Dragon” Calzaghe turned professional in November of 1993 and won his first 9 fights by knockout. In his 17th fight he defeated Mark “Del” Delaney, 21-0, by TKO 5 in his first BBBofC British title defense he won in Oct 1995 stopped Stephen Wilson, 11-1.
In June of 1997 Calzaghe stopped Luciano “Toto Dodo” Torres, 45-2, of Brazil, to earn a title fight in his next fight with Chris “Simply the Best” Eubank, 45-2-2, for the vacant WBO World Super Middleweight Title. He had Eubank down in the first round and went onto win a lopsided 12 round decision.
Photo Credit: Joe Calzaghe Twitter Account
In Calzaghe’s third defense he won a split decision over Robin “Grim Reaper” Reid, 26-1-1. In August of 2000 he stopped Omar Sheika, 20-1, of the US. In his following fight he stopped Richie Woodhall, 26-2.
In Calzaghe’s next fight in April of 2001 he scored a first round stoppage of Germany’s Mario Veit, 30-0, having him down twice. In April of 2002 he defeated former IBF Champion Charles “Hatchet” Brewer, 27-8, of the US in his tenth defense.
In June of 2003 Calzaghe stopped former WBA Champion Byron “Slamma from Bamma” Mitchell, 25-2-1, coming off the floor for the first time in the second round. He got up and floored Mitchell in the same round. In his next fight he stopped Armenian Mgr “Matador” Mkrtchyan, 18-1, of Russia. Next he defeated Kabary “Egyptian Magician” Salem, 23-3, coming off the floor in the fourth round. He had Salem down in the twelfth.
In May of 2005 Calzaghe went to Germany in a rematch with Germany’s Mario Veit, 45-1, stopping him in the sixth round for his sixteenth defense. Next he won every round on two of the judge’s cards defeating Kenya’s Evans “African Warrior” Ashira, 24-1, of Denmark. In March of 2006 he added the IBF World Title defeating Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, 21-0, having Lacy down in the twelfth round.
In October Calzaghe defeated Cameroon’s Sakio “The Scorpian” Bika, 20-1-2, out of Australia, who would win the WBC title in 2013. In April of 2007 in his twentieth defense he stopped Peter Manfredo, Jr. 26-3, of the US. In July he added the WBA Title defeating southpaw Mikkel “Viking Warrior” Kessler, 39-0, of Denmark. This would be his twenty-first and last defense.
In April of 2008 Calzaghe went to America for the first time in an overweight bout coming off the floor in the first round winning by split decision over former WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight Champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, 48-4-1, in Las Vegas, NV. Hopkins was far from finished as he went onto win the WBA, WBC and IBF Light Heavyweight titles.
In Calzaghe’s final fight he defeated former IBF Middle, Super Middle, WBC, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight champion who also won the WBA Heavyweight Title Roy Jones, Jr., 52-4, coming off the canvas in the first round to do it. All three judges had it 118-109. The bout was held in the Madison Square Garden, in New York. On February 5th, 2009 Calzaghe announced his retirement with a 46-0 record with 32 knockouts.
Calzaghe was trained by his father Enzo and promoted and managed by Frank Warren. “I’ve had more broken bones than I can remember. My hands are crippled. They ache every single day from all the breaks. I have a really bad back too. I’m on pain killers a lot and I’m going to have bad arthritis when I’m older. I was happy to retire. I retired at the top. Yes, it was hard to fill the adrenaline rush for a while and that pisses you off but it’s nice to just be normal. Now I’m a dad and live the quiet life. I never wanted to be a celebrity. It was all about the boxing,” said Calzaghe.
In 2014 Calzaghe was inducted into the IBHOF in New York along with Felix “Tito” Alvarez and Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya who both lost to Hopkins who Calzaghe beat. I did an article stating “Calzaghe should not be in the shadows having beaten the man (Hopkins) who beat both Trinidad and De La Hoya. My editor at the time informed me Calzaghe’s father Enzo loved the article.
Calzaghe’s was 46-0 with 32 knockouts and had 21 title defenses. He held the WBO, WBC, WBA and IBF Titles. Was he the best Super Middleweight in the history of boxing? The record speaks for itself!
By: Michael Kane
Could Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) be following Canelo Alvarez to the super middleweight division?
According to Matchroom Promotions supremo Eddie Hearn that is a possibility.
Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) faces WBA Regular champ Rocky Fielding (27-1,15 KOs) in New York on Dec 15th, in a debut fight at the 168 lbs division. Hearn has said talks have started about GGG taking on WBA Super champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs), potentially at the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield, next year.
If Smith doesn’t face GGG then there is talk of him moving to light heavyweight for a shot against one of the champions from that division.
“I’ve spoken to Tom Loeffler [‘GGG’s promoter] about it before,” Hearn told Sky Sports, “not since the press conference last week though
“That’s my No 1 choice for Callum Smith.
“I think it’s a fight that fills Anfield. It’s a great profile fight, it’s a great fight, full stop.
“Also, for Golovkin it gives him a chance to move up, do what ‘Canelo’ is doing, fight for the ‘Super’ title, and also for the ‘Ring’ magazine title at 168lbs.”
GGG may fancy a move up to super middleweight having competed at middleweight for so long and could set up another blockbuster with Canelo in the process, this time at super middleweight.
“If he [Golovkin] is even close to the mark in terms of weight at middleweight, it might be a good option,” Hearn continued.
“But whether he wants to take that risk before a possible third Canelo fight, I don’t know.”
By: William Holmes
The middleweight division has a rich history of classic fights. Hagler-Hearns, Hagler-Leonard, Hearns-Leonard, Duran-Leonard, Hopkins-Trinidad, Robinson-Fuller, Graziano-Zale, Robinson-LaMotta, the list goes on and on.
The middleweight division is one of the deepest and most intriguing divisions in boxing today. Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez just put on two great, grueling, competitive fights. Daniel Jacobs has been on a tear and was giving Golovkin all that he could handle in their close fight. Billy Joe Saunders is undefeated and dominated hard hitting contender David Lemieux. Jermall Charlo is a young undefeated fighter with dynamite in both hands. Rob Brant just put himself in the middleweight map with a surprisingly easy win over former Olympian Ryota Murata.
There are many match-ups that could be made that would get fight fans excited. Unfortunately, promotional and network alliances will make some of those fights difficult to make, but there’s one fight that has the potential to be a pay per view blockbuster.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
That would be a fight between undefeated middleweight champion Jermall Charlo and undefeated middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
They both fight in New York City in December and will get undoubtedly get a lot of east coast press. Canelo will be making his super middleweight debut when he takes on Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden on December 15th. Jermall Charlo will defend his title at the Barclays Center the next weekend against former title challenger Willie Monroe Jr.
But an eventual fight between Charlo and Alvarez will be difficult to make.
Canelo’s fight will be taking place on streaming pioneer DAZN and Charlo’s bout will be televised on Fox. Canelo is aligned with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions while Charlo is aligned with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
These two promotional companies don’t have the best history of working together.
But in boxing, money has a way of bringing sworn enemies together to make the fight that fans want. And there’s money that could be made here.
Even better, for fight fans, it should be a highly entertaining fight.
Canelo and Charlo are known for the concussive punching power. Canelo has thirty four stoppages on his resume with a knockout ratio of 64%. Charlo has twenty one stoppages on his resume, but has had less fights and a higher knockout ratio. He has stopped an eye opening 78% of his opponents.
They’ve both faced a defeated a good number of high level opponents. Canelo has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Liam Smith, Julio Cesar Chavez, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, and Shane Mosley.
His lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr., when Mayweather was still in the midst of his athletic prime and Canelo was not even two months past his 23rd birthday.
While Charlo has not faced the number of high quality opponents that Canelo has, he has never experienced anything other than a victory inside the ring as a professional. His string of no losses/no draws include victories over boxers such as Hugo Centeno Jr., Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage.
It’s a fight that can sell. Both fighters are young power punchers with strong personalities. Canelo has a very loyal Mexican fan base and name recognition. The Charlo brothers are two entertaining personalities with a brash bravado that reminds you of Floyd Mayweather.
The story line to sell the fight is evident.
But this is a fight that would have to be on DAZN. Canelo signed an exclusive agreement with DAZN and will no longer be doing pay per view fights. Charlo might be able to put on a pay per view show or two, and even though the middleweight division is stacked with talent, he doesn’t have a dancing partner available to put on a highly successful pay per view.
There’s nobody outside of Canelo that can draw in a pay per view bout for Charlo. Gennady Golovkin’s biggest pay per view outside of Canelo was Daniel Jacobs, and that’s estimated at only 170,000 buys.
His drawing power also probably took a hit with his recent loss to Canelo Alvarez. The other known boxers in the middleweight division are either signed to DAZN, or don’t have the drawing power to make a pay per view venture worthwhile.
Canelo vs. Charlo is the most entertaining fight the middleweight division can offer. The question is, will Charlo take the risk to fight him on DAZN? Or will he continue to fight lesser known fighters for less profitable options on Fox and Showtime?
Time will tell.
By: Rich Mancuso
Canelo Alvarez holds the WBC Middleweight title and last week became the richest athlete in sports with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN. Saturday evening two championships in the division changed hands and now the middleweights are the talk of boxing.
Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden, Daniel Jacobs gets his opportunity on HBO with the iBF title middleweight title up for grabs. Jacobs (34-2, 29 KO’s) opposes Sergly Derevyanchenko, 12-0, the undefeated pro formerly of Feodosia Crimea, Ukraine who has more of an amateur background.
Welcome again to the middleweight division. Daniel Jacobs sits in the middle of this, a division that suddenly is compared to the elite fighters at 147. That weight class has dominated and is highly contested.
Similar to the complexion and change of televised boxing, so goes the middleweight title that has been highlighted with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. And according to Eddie Hearn, promoter of Matchroom Boxing, the middleweight division has the top fighters.
“The middleweight division is class,” Hearn said on a conference call Monday afternoon. Hearn now has rights to Canelo Alvarez and said the winner of Jacobs-Derevyanchenko could fight Alvarez in May.
So the process, and as difficult as it can be, is to unify the middleweight titles. And with the different promoters, titles, and networks unifying the titles can be difficult. However, Hearn has the capability to get that accomplished and every fighter in the division will be aiming at getting that opportunity to challenge Canelo Alvarez.
“I think its a great time to be a middleweight in the division,” Jacobs said on the conference call. “A great time for the middleweight championship.”
Though Daniel Jacobs “The Miracle Man” knows this is the proper time, he sits in the middle. Alvarez is also aiming for the super middleweight title at Madison Square Garden in December but still holds the number one spot.
Rob Brant dethroned Ryota Murata on the WBA side and former 154lb world champion Demetrius Andrade defeated Walter Kautondokwa and claimed the vacant WBO middleweight title on Saturday night. Yes, in a matter of a few hours the complexion of this division changed.
And this is all good for boxing. As always, there has to be unity and Daniel Jacobs with a victory at the Garden Saturday night would no longer be sitting in the middle.
Eddie Hearn could be the promoter that gets the unity accomplished. Again, he has been at the forefront of changing the complexion of the sport with DAZN and signing big name fighters.
“You are going to see a lot of these big unification fights,’ he said. “Another champion in Andrade. Think with now the championship spreading out, three champions, the winner Saturday night is in prime position to fight Canelo.”
Assuming Jacobs gets the win, anything is possible. The middleweights have become as good as the always talked about welterweights.
“Being in one of the hottest divisions I’m looking to take advantage,” Jacobs said “Time to get a middleweight belt and campaign for some of these bigger and better fights. I don’t believe in sharing belts. I want unification ”
He added: This is a good time. The fans are the one who will benefit the most.”Jacobs has the advantage Saturday night and is the favorite. His opponent is undefeated in 12 professional fights
but is also motivated for something bigger, a piece of this middleweight title.
“This is a respected belt,” he said. More so, this is how Daniel Jacobs gets out of the middle of this pile and once again becomes a dominant middleweight.
And all you have to do is listen to co-promoter Lou DiBella. His perspective of where this division will stand after the Jacobs fight does speak volumes. That elite division of welterweight champions and contenders is in good company.
“Boxing is a business,” said DiBella. “When you get past the heavyweights we’ll see big middleweight fight after big middleweight fight.”
By: Jeandra Lebeauf
At a special ceremony in Los Angeles on Thursday, unified middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez received the Middleweight World Title and the Pound-For-Pound Championship Belts.
In an eventful week, capped off by the announcement of a massive $365 million dollar signing with the sports streaming site DAZN, and the announcement of a December 15th fight date to challenge Rocky Fielding for the super middleweight title, Canelo thanked God, his team and Ring Magazine.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
“I want to thank God, my team and my family. I want to thank Golden Boy as well. Having a belt like this is a responsibility, and this is a responsibility that I plan to undertake.
I never imagined that my success would reach this magnitude. This just shows that with discipline, hard work and love for the sport, one can achieve anything. A lot has changed in one year. It’s a big change. I’m going to defend this title with honor. See you all on December 15.”
Following Canelo’s acceptance of the middleweight and pound-4-pound belts, Ring also recognized Canelo’s trainer, Eddie Reynoso, with a special trainer’s version of the belt named in honor of Efren Torres, a former Ring title holder and descendant of Reynoso’s wife.
Thank you very much to Ring Magazine and the family of my wife. One time, in a photo, we saw that he won the Ring title and it’s not [the belt] with the family of my wife. So I asked Ramiro to ask the people at Ring Magazine if he won the title and it was true, against [Chartchai] Chionoi one of the greatest fights.
So they gave it to me in the name of me and my wife’s family so I am really grateful.
The event concluded with the unveiling of Ring Magazine’s soon to be released latest issue featuring Canelo wearing the Ring Magazine title.
Canelo, who currently holds the WBC, WBA and lineal middleweight world titles will move up to 168 pounds to challenge Rocky Fielding for the WBA super middleweight title in a 12-round main event on Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden and streamed Live on DAZN.