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Miami Press Conference Quotes: Gamboa vs Beltran, Juanma


In the “REDEMPTION IN MIAMI” main event, former four-time world champion in three weight divisions and Olympic Gold Medalist YURIORKIS “El Ciclon De Guantánamo” GAMBOA will battle two-time world title challenger MIGUEL “Barreterito” BELTRAN, JR. in a ten round lightweight bout. In the co-feature, former three-time world champion in two weight classes JUAN “JuanMa” LOPEZ will clash with CRISTIAN RUBEN “Piedrita” MINO, also in a ten-round lightweight bout. “Redemption in Miami” will take place Saturday, November 10 at Marlins Park on the West Plaza in Miami, Florida and will be available live on pay per view, distributed by Integrated Sports Media, beginning at 9 pm ET / 6pm PT at a retail price of $24.95.

“Redemption in Miami” is promoted by New Champions Promotions in association with Marlins Park. Ticket prices start at $60 and will go on sale Wednesday, September 26 at 10:00 am ET and be available at the Marlins Park ticket office and on line at www.marlins.com/boxing. Fight night doors will open at 6:00 pm and first bout will begin at 7:00 pm.


Photo Credit: David Martin Warr

JUANMA LOPEZ
Thank you again for coming and I am happy to be on the big stage again, one that I have been used to being on. This is a pay per view event and that merits a lot of attention. With the help of my management team including Mr. Pepiama who has taken the spot of my promoter and has helped me very much and become almost a father figure to me. I thank New Champion Promotions for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to it. Obviously most important to me personally is to win this fight and potentially set up the next fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa, which has been a fight that has kind of eluded both of us but as long as I take care of business and he takes care of business there is no reason for that not to happen for the next fight. On the other hand he is talking about fighting Lomachenko. If he wins this fight and skips me and wants to keep running, let him run, but hopefully he does not run. This fight was done with the idea and the plan that we both get featured on a card and we fight and win and fight each other but now he’s talking a different language – fighting Lomachenko – so maybe he is having second thoughts. It’s a fight that the public wants but it is all up to him. Hopefully he sticks to the plan.

MIGUEL BELTRAN JR.
I am very happy to be here. This is my first time I Miami. I respect the community, I respect all of the Cubans here in Miami and I respect all the press here in Miami and I respect Gamboa but I came here to fight and I came here to win so let’s get to it. I will be 100% training for the fight. I came here to win and I will give everything in the ring to make that happen and that’s the way it’s going to be. I will be the one winning that night. I am very appreciative of everyone here and than you very much.

GAMBOA
I would like to thank everyone that is here supporting this event. This is something that has been a long time coming. It is something that I have promised to my fans in Miami, which is the city that has really embraced me when I first got here from Cuba. I would like to thank Jesse Rodriguez for believing in me and not only me but believing in Miami to make this a reality. There have been a lot of things that have happened in my career and my career is far from over. I am here to be the best, which is what I have always felt I am. With the right people around me I am looking forward to having a great fight on November 10th and not only a great fight, but a great event in and of itself.

The comment that JuanMa had made earlier that I may be running or I may be ducking – that is false. He knows he is contractually obligated to New Champions for two fights – the second fight would be, if we both win, a fight between me and him. The fact that my goal is to fight Lomachenko or someone else in the division does no mean that I am trying to duck him. By all means I know my obligation and I know his obligation. My obligations right now it to win on November 10. After winning November 10, I want JuanMa.

Very important to note is that the effort that New Champion Promotions is making in not only hosting the event but making the commitment to the city to bring this caliber of an event to Miami and South Florida. Both he and I and the company itself hope to continue to host thee type of events not only in the near future but long term as well.

With respect to my fight in and of itself I would like to welcome the city of Miami, not just my fans, to come and embrace this event on November 10 – it’s going to be a great event. In respect to the comments made by my opponent on November 10, Mr. Beltran, I understand the challenge that he poses but I don’t see him as too much of an obstacle towards the goals that I have set for myself – in the near future is JuanMa and then after JuanMa, going up against Lomachenko. Those are my objectives and I want to share this ride with Miami and that’s what I am doing coming into this new arrangement with New Champion Promotions and making it a must to do the PPV here in Miami because I know the people of Miami are going to support it.

The pay per view show will include four bouts in all.

Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Redemption in Miami” in the USA on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV and DISH; and live-streamed worldwide on the FITE.TV app and website www.fite.tv, each way for a suggested retail price of only $24.95.

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Logic Says Pacquiao Wants This Mayweather Fight Again


By: Rich Mancuso

This is no longer a rumor as reliable sources on Tuesday afternoon were able to confirm that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao in the ring again as soon as early or mid December. And if that date is not workable then the rematch would take place early next year.

Though numerous sources at Top Rank, who reportedly still have promotional rights with Pacquiao, are not commenting, sources say that Mayweather and Pacquiao meeting last week was more than talk and reality about staging a second fight.

Details as to where, telecast rights, and the financial aspect to all of this are also far from discussion as more talks with the respective Pacquiao and Mayweather camps are planned in the coming weeks. Mayweather, with his promotion would be a major player here and the other principles involved would be more complicated.

When asked about the status of Manny Pacquiao and his business with Top Rank, a source at the promotion would only say, “As far as we know Manny Pacquiao is still under contract.” Though there are reports still circulating that the eight-division champion is done with Top Rank and with other options.

Pacquiao, reportedly has not signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN the global live and on-demand sports streaming service. Matchroom and DAZN is quickly becoming a major competitor to Top Rank and their ESPN deal and to the PBC and their television deals with Showtime and Fox.

A source at Matchroom Boxing could not be reached for comment. So for the moment it’s wait and see, and it is known that Bob Arum is not enthused about being involved in a possible second Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

As for the demand to see a rematch, the boxing fans are skeptical after the outcome of their first and anticipated fight in May of 2015 that generated

As one boxing fan said, and what seems to be a majority of the opinion, “If they are fighting again the only reason I would watch it would be to see if Mayweather can get his 50th win against a professional boxer and not against a guy who had boxing shoes on for the first time.”

The reference, and of course to Mayweather getting a record 50th win against UFC star Conor McGregor last August, a fight that rivaled the record income generated from that first Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and became a reality show with shouting, obscenities, and needed minimal hype.
Which leads to questions and to why this fight could happen again, and real soon between two of the biggest draws the sport has seen the last decade.

Those in the Manny Pacquiao camp are not questioning the rationale. With one or perhaps a few more fights before retiring, the 39-year old and future Hall of Famer stopped Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight belt and regained a piece of that title.

Forget about the bitter and controversial defeats to Timothy Bradley and Jeff Horn, two blemishes on a career that Manny Pacquiao would have wanted to end differently. In his mind, and those close to Manny Pacquiao say, redemption and another fight with Mayweather is what keeps him going.

Other than that, there is not much more Manny Pacquiao can achieve with his latest WBA title added to his resume. Floyd Mayweather, on the other hand, it’s all about the money and the spotlight and again it is a matter of specifics as to how much and who will have television rights.

The public on the other hand? That is the prevailing question about this second fight. Will they buy into it, and different from the first time those intrigued and not into boxing, well they will probably opt to skip this one.

Regardless, count on another meeting and soon because Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, a bit older are still wise when it comes to making a dollar.

Comment: Ring [email protected] [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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Boxing Biggest Names Predict Canelo vs. GGG 2


By: Sean Crose

It’s the bout the fight world is focused on: Canelo-GGG 2. After the controversial first fight, which ended in a highly unpopular draw, the boxing world was left with a feeling of unfinished business. Now, with Canelo having been suspended for testing positive for Clenbuterol and team Golovkin letting the world know exactly what they feel about the Mexican star, there’s going to be a lot of bad blood simmering in the ring on Saturday night, when the rematch goes down at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Boxing Insider has collected predictions throughout the internet from some of boxing’s biggest names. Check out what some of the most respected individuals in the fight game have to say about this weekend’s highly anticipated bout:

Demetrius Andrade: “If I had to pick a fighter, it would be GGG.”

Daniel Jacobs: “I think it will be a repeat o f the last fight. I think GGG will win.”
Shane Mosley: “I think Canelo’s the better technician, but I think GGG is a little too big for him.”

Terence Crawford: “GGG if he goes to the body…if Canelo boxes him and stays of the ropes, Canelo may get the decision. GGG if he goes to the body.”

Evander Holyfield: “GGG…GGG is one of those guys whose very aggressive and has good defense, but he has power in both hands?”

Kevin Kelly: “GGG by 12 round decision.”

Badou Jack: “GGG.”

Mikey Garcia: “I think Canelo wins, he will box intelligently, and he will win a decision,”

Carl Frampton: “Obviously, with the circumstances surrounding the last fight, the dope test, I think … I hope Golovkin wins.”

Miguel Cotto: “Canelo has to make adjustments in the fight… but I think Canelo wins the fight.”

Tim Bradley: “I’m picking Golovkin by decision.”

Ricky Hatton: “(GGG) is technically a lot better than people give him credit for. I think he can go away and work on some things and came back where I think Canelo is Canelo. I think with Canelo you will get the same, no disrespect to him.”

Billy Joe Saunders: “I think Golovkin took it the first time and got robbed. I think Golovkin will win the rematch.”

Lennox Lewis: “I think that because they get to do it again, somebody is going to want to say, ‘No, I’m not going to make no mistake this time. I’m not leaving it up to the judges.’ Let’s hope one of them says that. I think Golovkin is going to say that.”

Andre Ward: “Historically, the guy who can do more and has more tricks in his bag, they typically do better in the rematch. That is Canelo in this case.”

Freddie Roach: “Triple G is my friend. I like him and know him really well, but I would have to say Canelo.”

Kelly Pavlik: “I think for Triple G his time is kind of sliding past him. Right now, I’m going to favor Canelo in this fight.”

Robert Garcia: “Canelo gassed out a little but he had a monster in front of him. I think in the rematch he will be more confident and will dominate in the rematch.”

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HBO PPV Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin Rematch, Plus Full Undercard


By: William Holmes

Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin PPV
HBO PPV: $84.95
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Start time: 8PM ET/ 5PM PT
TV Undercard: Jaime Munguia vs Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook
David Lemieux vs Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Moises “Moi” Fuentes

On Saturday, September 15th the long awaited rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will finally occur for Golovkin’s WBA and WBC Middleweight Titles.

They were originally to fight on May 5th, but a positive test for clenbuterol scuttled those plans. Canelo claimed the trace levels detected were due to contaminated meat, which was met with some skepticism by Golovkin and his team.

Jaime Mungui and Brandon Cook will meet in the co-main event of the night for Munguia’s WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. David Lemieux and Gary O’Sullivan will also meet in a middleweight bout with possible future title implications.

Other boxers such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Moises Fuentes, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Alexis Rocha, and Brian Ceballo will also be featured on the undercard.

The following is a preview of the three top fights for Saturday’s HBO PPV offering.

David Lemieux (39-4) vs. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2); Middleweights

David Lemieux is only twenty nine years old, and will be five years older than Gary O’Sullivan come fight night, but in ring years he’s significantly older. He’s been in some tough fights with some tough competition and already has thirteen more professional fights than O’Sullivan.

They’re about the same size, O’Sullivan will have a slight ½ inch height advantage. They both have decent power. Lemieux has stopped thirty three of his opponents while O’Sullivan has stopped twenty. However, Lemieux only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights while O’Sullivan has five victories in a row by stoppage.

They also have both been stopped. Lemieux has two stoppage losses while O’Sullivan has one stoppage loss on his record.

They both have been fairly active. He fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and twice in 2016. O’Sullivan fought once in 2018, four times in 2017, and once in 2016.

Lemieux does have an edge in amateur experience. He won the Canadian National Junior Championships in 2006 while O’Sullivan does not have any notable amateur accomplishments.

Lemieux’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, and earlier in his career to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubion. He has beaten the likes of Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr., Fernando Guerrero, Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, and Karim Achour.

O’Sullivan’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. He has defeated the likes of Berlin Abreu, Antoine Douglas, Nick Quigley, Melvin Bentancourt, and Matthew Hall.

If this fight happened three years ago Lemieux would be considered the favorite. But he looked slow and old in his loss to Billy Joe Saunders and he is starting to show signs of ring wear. O’Sullivan on the other hand, has been riding a good win streak and looked sensational against a solid young prospect in Antoine Douglas.

This writer has to pick O’Sullivan in a minor upset.

Jaime Munguia (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title

Jaime Munguia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ best young fighters and at the age of twenty one is already a legitimate world champion.

He has exceptional power. He has twenty five stoppage wins and has stopped six of his past seven opponents. He’s also eleven years younger than his opponent Brandon Cook, who only has thirteen stoppage wins, and already has one stoppage loss.

Munguia has been incredibly active. He already fought four times in 2018 and fought seven times in 2017. Cook has also been active and fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017.

Munguia has the better amateur pedigree. He was a Gold Medalist in the Mexican National Championships and turned pro at the age of 16.

Cook’s lone loss was to Kanat Islam by TKO in 2017. He doesn’t have any big victories of note, he has defeated the likes of Miguel Suarez, Steven Butler, and Hector Santana.

Munguia has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Sadam Ali, Jose Paz, Paul Valenzuela Jr., and Johnny Navarrete.

On paper, it’s hard to find anything that Bradon Cook does better than Jaime Munguia. It’s likely we will see that in the ring too.

Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title

Gennady Golovkin has to be considered one of, if not the best middleweight boxers in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t have that big signature win over an exceptional opponent on his resume.

Many thought he did enough to beat Canelo last year, but Canelo came on strong in the later rounds and was able to make the fight a draw.

Both boxers have good power. Golovkin has stopped thirty four of his opponents, though his power seems to be slipping recently. Canelo also has thirty four stoppage wins. Neither boxer has ever been stopped in their career.

Canelo will have a slight ½ inch reach advantage, but will also be giving up about two inches in height. Canelo will be eight years younger than Golovkin on Saturday, and Golovkin may be showing some signs of rust in his armor with his advancing age.

Golovkin has the better amateur career of the two. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Canelo turned professional at a young age, but did win the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships.

Golovkin has beaten the likes of Vanes Martirosyan, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado. He has fought twice a year in 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Canelo has beaten the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he had a draw very early in his career to a Jorge Juarez.

Both boxers seem motivated and have a genuine dislike of each other since Canelo’s positive steroid test in the spring. In their last fight they appeared to be very respectful towards each other, almost too much.

Golovkin’s age is a big concern and his best days are likely behind him. Canelo also appeared to have figured out Golovkin by the end of the fight and was coming on strong. The fight fans in attendance will also likely be in favor of Canelo over Golovkin.

The intangibles favor Canelo,but it’s hard to pick against a man that has never lost and looked absolutely dominating at times.

This is basically an even fight, but this writer has to give the slightest of edges to Golovkin, only because it appeared that Golovkin should have received the decision last time.

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Canelo and Mayweather Could Signal the End of PPV, Streaming Poised to Take Over


By: William Holmes

“I don’t fight for legacy. I don’t fight for none of that, I fight for that check. I’m in the check cashing business.”

-Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Boxing isn’t just a martial art, it’s also entertainment. Floyd Mayweather was wise enough early on in his career to understand that having a public persona sells, and when you’re a fighter it’s best to minimize the physical damage while maximizing your earnings.

He has professed that his career is over, and it’s hard to argue against the proposition that he has been boxing’s most profitable star.

Entertainment value is not the only key to a pay per view’s success, nationalistic pride can also be a driving force in PPV sales.

Manny Pacquiao was a pay per view force in part because of it. Today, the Mexican pride for Canelo Alvarez leads many to express their patriotism with their wallet.

But the long term stability of PPV fights is at risk with the rise of streaming platforms.

New outlets like DAZN and ESPN+ now offer a reasonable financial alternative for fight fans. PPV’s were costing anywhere between $60 and $100 for the opportunity to watch one fight. $60 will get you half a year subscription with DAZN. DAZN promises to have 32 US and UK Matchroom Boxing Events and 15 World Boxing Super Series Events for the year.

ESPN+ has a partnership with Top Rank Promotions and will broadcast 54 live boxing events annually. ESPN + is available for only $5 a month.

The value for fight fans is with the streaming services, and a fight fan that’s spending $15 a month for both DAZN and ESPN+ will be less inclined to shell out another $60 or more for a ppv.

The expansion of heavily invested streaming services combined with boxing’s lack of marketable stars to the wide casual sport fan, spells the beginning of the end for pay per view.

The past two years have been particularly troubling for the boxing pay per view business. The rematch between Golovkin and Canelo is the only notable boxing pay per view fight of 2018. In 2017, Canelo’s fights with Golovkin and Chavez Jr. did well on pay per view, as well as Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s one off showcase with Conor McGregor, but outside of these two Boxing PPV has floundered.

Andre Ward rematched Sergei Kovalev on HBO Pay Per View, but by all accounts that fight underperformed and only sold 125,000 pay per views.

The money for boxing is still present for promoters and boxers alike to take advantage of, even with the decrease in PPV events. The contract DAZN has with Matchroom is worth a reported $1 Billion dollars over eight years (125 million a year) and while the official financials that Top Rank has signed with ESPN hasn’t been reported, it is for seven years and was lucrative enough to lure Top Rank away from their long time partners at HBO, and to resign one of their top stars, Terrance Crawford, to a recent contract extension.

The rise of streaming will present many problems for the Pay Per View model. The obvious one is the value that streaming provides. Fight fans will be able to get high quality fights, and a large number of them, for a substantially cheaper price than PPV.

Additionally, streaming services like DAZN and ESPN+ provide access to other events besides boxing. DAZN has locked into an agreement with Bellator MMA and provides other sport offerings, and ESPN has an agreement in place with the UFC as well as other professional and collegiate sport leagues.

The CEO of DAZN, James Rushton, believes DAZN will be a big disruptor in the industry and he believes DAZN will help change the game of Sports Broadcasting. He recently stated, “We are the world’s first truly dedicated, which stand alone, OTT live sport streaming business. We focused on what that means, is providing fans with unlimited access to some of the best premium sports content available, for one affordable monthly fee. No contracts, no bundles, all that stuff that people don’t like with traditional network television. We are live in five markets right now, and we are launching here in the US later on this summer, we are super excited. We are looking to disrupt and change the game of sport broadcasting starting off with fight sports with our partnership with Matchroom Boxing US and Scott and his team at Bellator. We’re looking forward to our first event going live on the 29th of this September with Bellator.”

The introduction of ESPN+ and DAZN into the boxing viewership marketplace will also force each to be competitive and put on high quality fights. Under the PPV model, boxing broadcast mainstays like HBO and Showtime would showcase their best fighters against boxers that would basically be considered “enhancement” talent, in order to build their popularity for the almighty goal of PPV.

With streaming, DAZN and ESPN+ will have to put on high quality competitive fights to draw the consumer away from the traditional televised boxing model to the new streaming boxing model. Tune-up fights won’t attract paying customers.

Mayweather’s last hurrah was likely against McGregor. If he chooses to come back, he will undoubtably remain a PPV attraction. But as of now, he’s officially retired.

Canelo is still in his athletic prime and has many productive and profitable years ahead of him. A loss to Golovkin will hurt his financial drawing power, but he still has that passionate and loyal Mexican base and will still be a bigger draw than most in the sport.

But outside of Canelo and Mayweather the PPV pickings are slim, and for fight fans and their wallets, that’s probably a good thing.

Is PPV Dead? Not yet, and PPV will likely remain an option for promoters who want to cross promote. But it’s on wobbly legs, and the streaming platforms look fresh and ready to go.

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GGG-Canelo: Did Golovkin Have the Better Poker Face?


By: Charles Jay

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are set for their rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, which is a year minus a day from the first meeting, although that wasn’t the plan, as you know. The numbers from sportsbooks around the world have GGG favored, but in a very competitive fight; the odds most prevalent on him are -175 (a little higher some other places), while Alvarez fetches anywhere from +140 to +160.

Ah, sports betting – that’s one pastime very popular on the Vegas strip.

Another pastime is poker, and that looks just like what these guys have been playing – through their representatives – in the negotiations leading up to the final agreement.

Both went all-in. So who got the better of the pot?

Well, Alvarez’s hand seemed to have weakened; he has been through the wringer as far as flak for his failing two drug tests, and no one seems to be buying the excuse that he ate some contaminated meat, although in Mexico that would seem to be altogether possible. Canelo’s manager is Chapo Reynoso, a former butcher.

Should he have known? Oh, the drama.

When this rematch was originally planned, GGG was going to get 35% of the pie, which was five percent more than he got for the previous fight. Of course, that’s before all the trouble started.

So the way this went is that, as the fight was rescheduled, Golovkin now wanted a 50% cut, since he was the champion.

Ultimately GGG settled for 45%, which was not a big concession on his part, and a big gain after getting no better than a draw, but then Alvarez’s side, presumably for the purpose of calling his bluff, wanted to cut him down to 42.5%, and set a deadline for him to take it and like it. Golovkin wasn’t coming off his figure. So we’re right there at the 55%-45% split. According to GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler, “It was all about the principle and respect for him as the champion.”

Was it? Maybe, but not all the way.

If it was all about the principle, he may never have budged from 50%, especially as he insisted later that Canelo didn’t deserve to have 5% or 7.5% conceded back to him.

And looking at the other side, we have been hearing this theme lately about how Canelo’s image needs to be “rehabilitated,” but did he take such a hit that it was with 10 to 15 points of damage in terms of negotiating leverage?

Oscar De La Hoya, who holds the promotional paper on Alvarez, didn’t think so. He’s been maintaining that “Canelo is bigger and more popular than ever.” He probably won’t be far out of the ballpark when all is said and done.

Sure, there are probably a lot of Mexicans who were disappointed in him last September; not so much for the result but for the performance. It was not necessarily “blood and guts” and Alvarez did more than his fair share of retreating. But of all the boxers active today, Canelo is among the top two or three when it comes to bringing a built-in audience to the table, and it’s doubtful that his countrymen will want to see this fight any less. The media isn’t likely to give it less coverage either; in fact, the angle of the failed drug tests adds an element that might actually create more interest. It’s important to point out that this time around, the fight (which drew 1.3 million paid subscribers) does not come on the heels of a Mayweather-McGregor bout, which was a very expensive event for the more mainstream audience they’ll be trying to snag here. The point is, will revenues take a hit because of Canelo’s “image problem,” or will they instead experience a spike because of that and other factors?

Let’s push our point across even further. The business of Pay Per View (PPV) in boxing may not seem fair when the champion is taking less than the challenger, but it’s actually quite democratic, in the sense that the guy who can produce more fans and followers will pull in more revenue. Is there any question about Alvarez being that guy? If you ever watch those documentaries with wrestlers of years gone by, you’ll notice they always talk about the concept of “drawing money.” Well, same principle at work here. The guy who can do more of that should have more leverage.

And the fact is, Golovkin couldn’t carry a PPV on his own. He just couldn’t drive the big guarantees as the A-side of a matchup. Impatient after Alvarez got suspended, he fought a relatively known quantity in Vanes Martirosyan, who was handpicked not just because he was the right kind of opponent but because he had better “name” value than other alternatives. And GGG made a grand total of $1 million.

Meh.

Loeffler was talking about a backup plan for Golovkin, whereby he’d fight Billy Joe Saunders in Los Angeles on August 25, and would be more than happy to do that if Canelo wouldn’t come to terms. But even though there are some provisional odds at online sportsbooks that have Golovkin priced at -450, it’s still the kind of fight that may have given him more trouble than expected. And from the standpoint of money, what would that have really produced?

When you go beyond that, who else is there for him to make a bundle of money with? The Charlo brothers? Maybe, if he fought them on the same night. Other than that, pickings are slim.

So you wonder whether Alvarez’s people (Eric Gomez with Golden Boy in particular) could have stood firm, even at 35% or 40%, and still landed Golovkin’s name on a deal. That may well have been the case. But despite De La Hoya’s assertions, they may have valued the whole “rehabilitation” angle about as much as many of the media people do.

Who knows – maybe Alvarez is the guy who’s really fighting with principle on his mind, and was willing to pay for it.

And if he got bluffed, he wound up second best.

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Canelo-GGG Reportedly Does Over A Million Pay Per View Buys


By: Sean Crose

*UPDATE*

Since the publishing of this article Golden Boy Promotions released the following statement:

While everyone at Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions appreciate the media’s recognition that the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin was an enormous success, the figure that is being cited by some news outlets is simply inaccurate.

Not only are satellite operators and cable companies still in the process of compiling data, that number does not include online PPV sales through RingTV.com, Sony Play Station, and Sling TV which far exceeded any previous fight featuring Canelo or Golovkin. The bottom line is that we expect the final numbers to be well north of current reports, and we will make a decision on reporting those numbers when we know they are accurate.

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The Los Angeles Times is reporting that this month’s middleweight extravaganza between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin brought in 1.3 million pay per view buys. That’s a very impressive sum for any pay per view event, though some may be disappointed that the fight, which went down on September 16th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, didn’t perform even more strongly on the pay per view front. Any number over a million when it comes to pay per view sales is indicative of a clear success, however. This is particularly true in the case of Canelo and the fighter known as GGG.


Photo Credit: USA Today

To begin with, neither individual speaks English well. That’s a serious PR issue for any boxer looking to crack through towards mainstream success in the United States, where English is the dominant language. The fact that Mexico’s Alvarez and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin managed to draw in as many viewers as they did speaks volumes to both their in-the-ring skill sets and their likable personalities. It can be fairly stated that each fighter is a man of few words. Yet Canelo, and particularly Golovkin, have emerged as pleasant on-air personalities once the fists stop flying. Rather than engaging in outrageous pre-fight theatrics, the two middleweights came across as mature professionals in the leadup to their bout. Call it the anti-MayMac affect.

Speaking of what was clearly the pop culture event of 2017, last month’s Mayweather-McGregor battle may have also had an impact on the pay per view performance of Canelo-GGG. Lots of money – LOTS of money – was coughed up for fans to watch Floyd and Conor throw down in what was essentially a one sided but entertaining affair. That bout, which reportedly came within a hair of breaking the all time pay per view record (set by Mayweather’s 2015 battle with Manny Pacquiao) had the potential to either draw attention to or take attention away from the Canelo-Golovkin battle. Yet it remains to be seen what kind of impact, if any, the August 26th blockbuster had on the September 16th card.

One thing most analysts and fans agree on, however, is the argument that Canelo and Golovkin put on a highly entertaining affair that, unlike Mayweather-McGregor, didn’t skimp on showcasing high level ring techniques. The match, which was declared a draw, instantly begged for a sequel, one which is apparently already in the works. That inevitable pay per view card should draw in quite a good number, itself. At the moment, it appears either May or September will be the date for Canelo-Golovkin II. Both months have major Mexican holidays and are the months Canelo traditionally likes to fight during.

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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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Oscar De La Hoya: Canelo-GGG Will Be “Bombs Away Right From The Start”


By: Sean Crose

Iconic boxer turned heavyweight promoter Oscar De La Hoya predicted on ESPNs First Take that this weekend’s Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin superbout will be “bombs away right from the start.” He then went on to compare Saturday’s match to the legendary 1985 middleweight battle between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns. It’s been rightfully said that particular classic (this author’s personal all-time favorite sporting event, much less boxing match) will be hard to match, and indeed such an assertion seems to be true. Yet there appears to be more to De La Hoya’s words than just standard promotional hype.


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

Make no mistake about it, Canelo-GGG is the single biggest fight in combat sports. Last month’s Mayweather-McGregor shindig may well have been the hottest pop culture event of 2017, but Canelo-GGG is most certainly the year’s most significant fight. What’s more, the style of each combatant means there’s a real potential for fireworks. Both these guys can turn off the lights. Sure enough, between the two combatants – who will meet at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night – there have been a total of at least fifteen knockouts in the past five years alone. And now they’re going to face each other.

In truth, De La Hoya has taken heat from fans and the media for not making Canelo-GGG sooner. The common argument went that, since Canelo was De La Hoya’s star fighter, a fight with the feared Golovkin could potentially damage De La Hoya’s cash cow. With the fight now just days away, however, and the mainstream media reporting on the match regularly during the final leadup, such criticism has largely evaporated. And, after openly bashing the Mayweather-McGregor fight for what some fight watchers felt like was forever, De La Hoya has once again returned his focus to this weekend’s big event.

Naturally, the promoter, who himself was the biggest name in boxing during his prime, picked his man, Canelo to win. Being a good promoter, however, De La Hoya also predicted “nine or ten rounds of hell.” That may not end up being the case, as both Canelo and Golovkin know how to play chess as well as they know how to fire howitzers, but again, the potential for fireworks is definitely there and De La Hoya wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t hype that potentiality to the media and fans.

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Gennady Golovkin’s Long Road To Saturday Night


By: Sean Crose

Gennady Golovkin is a long way from Kazakhstan. The 35 year old product of the former Soviet Union is now in Las Vegas for the biggest fight of the year (so long as you don’t count a certain novelty bout between an all-time great and an Irish mixed martial artist that went down a few weeks ago). Golovkin’s opponent? None other than the man who might be the current face of the sport – Saul Alvarez, better known as Canelo, a red haired Mexican star who has lost only once, and that was to the greatest boxer of his era, Floyd Mayweather.

The 2017 version of Canelo, however, is not the young man who faced the Herculean task of besting Mayweather back in 2013. For Canelo has since grown from a talented youth to a polished pro with an accomplished skill set and the power to turn off the lights at a moment’s notice. In fact, the consensus seems to be that the Canelo-GGG fight, which goes down this weekend at the T-Mobile Arena, is a coin toss. This wasn’t the case about a year ago, when most fans seemed to feel that Golovkin would mop the floor with Canelo, a fighter who actually seemed to be avoiding him. Now, though, the charges of ducking have faded off and a prime Canelo is ready to face a version of Golovkin some feel is less than his best.

For middleweight king Golovkin had a hard time of it when he bested the vastly underrated and underappreciated Daniel Jacobs last March at a sold out Madison Square Garden in New York. Sure, he beat the Brooklyn native by decision, but there were those who legitimately felt that Golovkin should have lost he fight. What’s more, there are whispers that Canelo waited until Golovkin started to look weak before agreeing to face the man in the ring. If so, it might prove to be just another case of a fighter playing it safe rather than face a top level incarnation of the man known as GGG.

“He’s been a little bit frustrated these last few years,” trainer Abel Sanchez said of Golovkin during a recent conference call to promote this weekend’s bout. “We’ve had a terrible time getting people in the ring with him,” promoter Tom Loeffler claimed on the same call. Loeffler even stated that “the other champions really weren’t willing to get in the ring with him.” Sure enough, while big names like Canelo opted to face the likes of little known Liam Smith, Golovkin was heading to places like London in order to fight welterweight titlist Kell Brook, the biggest name (and perhaps the bravest soul) available at the time.

Yet it’s also worth noting that some feel Canelo himself merely avoided Golovkin out of loyalty to his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya. Indeed, Canelo built his reputation at least in part upon a willingness to take on challenging opposition, like the slick, accomplished Erislandy Lara, who Canelo squeaked by via decision in 2014 after a tough chess match of a fight. What’s more, Canelo has exuded nothing but confidence since the match with GGG has been signed. Perhaps, one may conclude, the man feels that a great weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

One thing is certain, Canelo is – or certainly shouldn’t be – a walkover. Reasoned, objective reflection indicates that GGG has quite the challenge on his gloved hands this Saturday. That’s how it should be when it comes to a superfight, however – and yes, Saturday’s is a superfight. “A long time ago it was my dream to come to the United States,” Golovkin has said. “Right now, my dream is real.” Undoubtedly, Canelo will be eager to turn the dream into a nightmare.

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Officials Picked For Canelo-GGG


By: Sean Crose

With the fight serious boxing fans have been waiting for less than a week away, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has chosen its officials for the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight superbout Saturday night at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. Dave Moretti and Adalaide Byrd, both of Nevada, have been chosen as judges, as has Connecticut’s Don Trella. The referee will be Kenny Bayless. The officials were named at a Monday morning meeting. All of the names picked are well known to fight fans. Bayless was the referee of Canelo’s last fight, against Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., back in July.

As for the judges, Moretti was scoring the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor match last month before Mayweather stopped his man in the 10th. Trella’s last big bout was in England, where he judged the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko superfight until Joshua settled matters in the 11th. Byrd’s last notable fight was also in England, when, back in May, she judged the Errol Spence Jr-Kell Brook clash before it concluded violently in the 11th, as well. Canelo has traditionally done well with judges, even controversially getting the nod from one official after his famed, ultimately losing, battle against Floyd Mayweather back in 2013.

Canelo, however, clearly has prepared for any contingency. If the man’s physique is any indication, he obviously isn’t willing to simply survive against Golovkin in the hope that the judges will give him the nod. Indeed, much is being made of the shape the red haired star has been spotted in as the days leading up to the bout pass quickly. Some have taken to claiming Canelo looks much bigger, or at least much more muscular, than is usually the case. This may not be a cause for surprise, however, as this will be the fighter’s first legitimate foray into the one hundred sixty pound realm.

Still, numerous publications are bringing up the fact that many feel Golovkin won’t be treated fairly if this weekend’s fight lasts an entire twelve rounds. And, to be fair, boxing officials are often the source of their own tarnished reputations. Insanely wide scores, inexplicable scores and scores that some even feel point to corruption have led to a profound level of suspicion among the sport’s fanbase at times. With that being said, boxing can be an extremely subjective endeavor and scoring is very much a matter of interpretation and perspective.

Hopefully fans will walk away from Saturday’s throwdown satisfied that the officials did their jobs to the best of their abilities.

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GGG: Canelo Fight “Is Special For Me. It’s Huge.”


By: Sean Crose

“It’s special for me,” Gennady “GGG” Golovkin said during a Wednesday conference call to promote his middleweight title showdown against Canelo Alvarez on September 16th. “It’s huge.” Indeed, his fight with Alvarez will be enormous, the biggest boxing event this side of Floyd and Conor. And team GGG made it clear on the call that it’s all been a long time coming. “We’ve had a terrible time getting people in the ring with him,” promoter Tom Loeffler said, adding later that “the other champions really weren’t willing to get in the ring with him.” Trainer Abel Sanchez claimed that landing the long awaited major fight with Canelo has had an impact on Golovkin.


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

“There’s been a sparkle in his eye,” said Sanchez. “He’s been a little bit frustrated these last few years.” Sure enough, the long awaited fight with Canelo looked to be put off indefinitely, as fans salivated for a legitimate superfight between two decorated ring combatants. After besting Julio Caesar Chavez Junior last spring, however, Canelo – to his credit – finally announced (in the ring, with Golovkin present) that a fight between himself and the Kazakh warrior was a go. Now, with the biggest match of his life being only weeks away, Golovkin is clearly on a natural high. “A long time ago it was my dream to come to the United States,” he said. “Right now, my dream is real.”

For not only is Golovkin a known commodity among American fans of the sweet science, he’ll be facing Canelo at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas – the very Mecca of boxing. Surprisingly enough, this is the first time Golovkin will be in Las Vegas to fight. He’s made his mark in New York and California, but never in the neon city in the desert, where Canelo is known to fight to great fanfare. I asked him how he felt about most likely not being the fan favorite this time around. “In Vegas,” he said thoughtfully, “maybe the crowd will be for Canelo.” Yet Loeffler made it clear that fan bases can be localized entities. “In New York,” he explained, “ he (Golovkin) would be more popular than Canelo.” Sanchez also spoke on the issue as an Hispanic American, stating that “we just enjoy a good fight.”

It was clear that team GGG clearly feels a sense of satisfaction. It’s been a long haul and they now at least have the opportunity to shine on the largest scale imaginable. That’s true even in light of last week’s Mayweather-McGregor juggernaut, a fight which was brought up even on Wednesday’s call. Indeed, the fighter was asked what he thought of McGregor essentially accusing him of being boring. “McGregor,” said Golovkin, “he’s not a boxer.” Sanchez too had thoughts on the Irishman’s brash assertion. “I think, “ said the veteran trainer, “you have to consider the source.”

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Cotto-Kamegai Ratings Impacted By Mayweather-McGregor


By Jake Donovan

The last time Miguel Cotto fought live on HBO’s flagship station in June ‘15, it turned out to be the 3rd highest-rated fight of the year.

Saturday’s ring return for Puerto Rico’s first-ever four division world champion merely produced the third highest-rated boxing telecast of the evening.

Cotto’s rousing 12-round win over Yoshihiro Kamegai attracted an audience of just 730,000 viewers on a very busy Saturday evening of boxing. The bout peaked at 805,000 viewers, with both numbers paling in comparison to Cotto’s last two live appearances on HBO—a 4th round knockout of Daniel Geale in June ’15, which averaged 1.589 million viewers for the third most-watched cable boxing match of the year; and a 3rd round stoppage of Delvin Rodriguez in Oct. ’13, drawing 1.555 million viewers in the most watched cable boxing telecast of 2013.

Unfortunately for the Puerto Rican superstar, commanding an audience for his first fight in 21 months—since a Nov. ’15 World middleweight championship title losing effort to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez—as going to be a much tougher battle on the dial than in the ring.

All eyes were on the circus at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with Floyd Mayweather making a celebrated ring-return of his own with a 10th round knockout of UFC superstar and boxing debutant Conor McGregor.

Pay-per-view sales won’t be released for another week or so (if at all), but figure to do no worse than 3 million buys, with some speculating it can even threaten the all-time mark of 4.6 million units sold set by Mayweather in his 12-round over Manny Pacquiao in May ’15.

Also easily edging Cotto in the ratings battle on the evening was a Mayweather-McGregor undercard lead-in show airing live on Fox. The featured bout of the evening—late replacement Yordenis Ugas outpointing fringe welterweight Thomas Dulorme—drew well north of 2.4 million viewers, also performing above average in the coveted 18-49 market compared to past Fox telecasts in that time slot.

It was mission accomplished on every level for Mayweather, whose timing of the event was deliberate with the intention of disrupting major business in place for Golden Boy Promotions.

In addition to going head-to-head with Cotto’s ring return on HBO, the PPV event also dominated the headlines and commanded the overwhelming majority of media attention. The latter meant very little focus on the year’s most anticipated matchup between Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, which takes place in the very same venue in three weeks, topping a September 16 HBO PPV telecast.

While industry chatter surrounding Canelo-Golovkin has begun to pick up, the majority of boxing headlines are still being dedicated to what took place this past Saturday in Las Vegas. Whatever attention is—or isn’t—going toward September 16, even less has been paid to Cotto’s first pro appearance in California, an unfortunate scenario for a superstar who has spent his career carrying his boxing rich Puerto Rico island on his back for more than a decade.

Instead, he returns to one of his lowest-rated bouts among the 23 times he’s been prominently showcased on HBO’s airwaves.

Perhaps a grander stage will come of what Cotto insists will be the final bout of his incredible pro career, targeting December 2 as last call.

The co-feature saw Rey Vargas outpointing Ronny Rios over 12 rounds for the first defense of his super bantamweight title. The lead-in attraction drew an audience of 524,000 viewers on average; peaking at 687,000 viewers.

Both boxers appeared live on HBO for the first time in their respective careers.

All aforementioned data provided by Nielsen Media Research.

Jake Donovan is the latest to join the BoxingInsider.com family. Follow him on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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Floyd Mayweather Media Call: “This Is My Last One”


By: Sean Crose

“This is my last one, ladies and gentleman.”


Photo Credit: USA Today

So said Floyd Mayweather during a Thursday call to promote his August 26th superfight against UFC superstar Conor McGregor. “I gave my word to Al Haymon,” he added, “I gave my word to my children…I’m going to stick to my word.” At least some on the call (it seemed like more) didn’t appear to want to talk about the fight itself. Floyd’s legacy, for instance, was important to one of the reporters who spoke. Racism, not surprisingly, is what obviously interested the caller from the New York Times. Floyd, however, remained the same laid back guy he has largely been with the media in recent years.

“I haven’t had time to focus on anything but this event,” he claimed, which anyone who has closely followed Mayweather knows is most likely true. Yet Mayweather also made it clear that he was as serenely confident as ever. “I’m not really worried about the outcome,” he said, referring to the match itself. Floyd, however, was still Floyd, no matter how over the hill he wants to come across to the media these days. When asked about his early struggle to make it as a star, for instance, the 49-0 slickster suddenly came alive.

“Floyd Mayweather has never been struggling,” he asserted. “Me and (boxing guru) Al Haymon joined forces.” When asked about the notorious Paulie Malignaggi – Conor McGregor sparring session the public has seen clips of, Mayweather also made it clear that he found McGreggor to be a dirty fighter. “A lot of shots were illegal,” he noted. When queried as to whether he was worried about McGregor fighting dirty when they meet in the ring, though, Mayweather stated that he’s “pretty sure the referee is going to be fair on both sides.”

Truth be told, Mayweather is always interesting to listen to speak. Love him or hate him, he’s an fascinating individual. If McGregor rides on overdrive with the media, Mayweather likes to sprinkle his talks with interesting asides. For every boast (“My real estate portfolio is truly amazing.”) there’s something telling about the man that’s offered. Like the fact that he refuses to watch his own fights. “When I look at them,” Mayweather said, “I’m like I could have done this better I could have done that better.” There’s also his interesting take on Rocky Marciano, the man whose 49-0 record most assume Mayweather will best in a week from Saturday.

“Rocky Marciano is a legend,” he claimed. “Rocky Marciano did it his way. I just want to do it the Mayweather way.”

One interesting side note:

No one – not a single person – asked Mayweather why he chose a man who has never had a boxing match in his life as his supposed last opponent. Perhaps those who spoke already had asked that question previously. Or perhaps those who were allowed to ask questions didn’t think it was important.

Or perhaps they simply didn’t want to hear the answer.

More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

Canelo, De La Hoya Talk About “Real Fight” Against Golovkin This September


By: Sean Crose

Canelo Alvarez’ camp took part in a media conference call on Tuesday to promote the upcoming battle for middleweight supremacy between the Mexican superstar and Gennady Golovkin this September. Naturally, that other big fight – if you want to call it a fight – was brought up. You know, the boxing match for people who don’t like boxing? A journalist asked Canelo if he would be willing to take on Conor McGregor should McGregor somehow defeat Floyd Mayweather when they meet later this month. Canelo’s answer was priceless.

“If that miracle was to happen,” he said through a translator, “then it’s a different conversation…but I doubt it (a McGregor victory) very much.” In a summer of wanton immaturity, it was nice for a top fighter to talk like an intelligent adult. Of course Canelo would be open to fighting McGregor should the Irishman prove to be a special case by legitimately besting Mayweather. Yet, like most most true observers whose maturity has risen beyond that of a fifteen year old, Canelo has a hard time seeing that happening. Mayweather-McGregor is a novelty boxing match. Canelo-GGG is what promoter Oscar De La Hoya said on the call was “a real fight,” a “serious fight,” a “serious event.” The difference, frankly, should be noted as often as possible.

“We’re concentrating on our own fight,” De La Hoya claimed, adding that “we sold out in ten days.” It’s true. While tickets for Mayweather-McGregor are having difficulty moving, tickets for Canelo-Golovkin, which will be going down in the same T-Mobile arena Mayweather-McGregor is, promptly sold out in just over a week. It was clear during the call, however, that Canelo believed his focus had best stay on Golovkin, his formidable adversary this coming fall. “It’s going to be a difficult fight,” he stated. “It’s going to be a very hard fight.”

Canelo insisted he’s no longer the young man who Mayweather easily bested in their 2013 megabout. “I’ve definitely learned a lot (since that time),” Canelo said. “I’m more of a mature fighter now.” Even De La Hoya made it clear that Mayweather was too much, too soon for the Canelo of four years past. “Yes,” the legendary fighter/promoter stated, “he did take that fight too soon.” Still, De La Hoya added that Canelo is man on the rise. “I strongly feel he’s only getting better,” De La Hoya said. As for Canelo himself, the man exuded certainty. Referring to Mayweather, he claimed: “I think the only reason he beat me was because of the experience.”

Now, though, Canelo has enormous experience under his belt when it comes to performing under the bright lights of a major fight in Vegas. Not that he feels that alone will give him the upper hand against the feared Golovkin. “Having more fights in Las Vegas is not an advantage,” he said plainly. And least someone is levelheaded out there at the moment.

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