Top Rank Loads Up Alvarez-Kovalev II Card On Super Bowl Weekend
By Jake Donovan
Cognizant of its placement on the eve of Super Bowl Sunday, the Top Rank staff have made significant additions to its super Saturday night of boxing.
A February 2 date long reserved for the light heavyweight title fight rematch between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev has now turned into a live quadrupleheader spanning ESPN and its streaming platform ESPN+.
Alvarez-Kovalev II will now headline the ESPN+ portion of the evening (12:00am ET). That portion of the loaded card from The Star in Frisco, Texas will be accompanied by the quick return of unbeaten lightweight Teofimo Lopez, who is fresh off of a highlight reel 1st round knockout of Mason Menard earlier this month in New York City.
An opponent has yet to be announced for Lopez. Sources with knowledge of the show have informed BoxingInsider.com that it will be a step up in class, as the 2016 Honduras Olympian and fast-moving prospect is eager to transition to rising contender.
“I took over my last show, and I am going to do it again,” Lopez (11-0, 9KOs) said. “‘The Takeover’ is coming to Texas, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Preceding the livestream will be the awaited ring return of unbeaten featherweight Oscar Valdez. Sidelined while recovering from injuries sustained in an ESPN-aired 12-round win over Scott Quigg in March, the two-time Olympian for Mexico returns in a title defense versus unbeaten Carmine Tommasone, who represented Italy in the 2016 Rio Olymnpics.
The bout will headline a live doubleheader on ESPN (10:00pm ET). In chief support to Valdez’ return comes a vacant lightweight title fight between Ghana’s Richard Commey and Russia’s Isa Chaniev.
Moving the Alvarez-Kovalev rematch to ESPN’s live-streaming service was undoubtedly motivated by a desire to boost subscriptions. Top Rank and ESPN continue to search for the proper balance in what will air live on ESPN’s flagship network and what to dedicate exclusively to its subscription-based streaming service.
This particular show will actually provide the best of both worlds. With the ESPN linear platform preceded by ESPN+ live coverage of the preliminary undercard action (7:00 pm-10:00pm ET), boxing fans will get seven hours of live boxing between the services, including three title fights and the latest step in the career of a blue-chip prospect.
“It’s Super Saturday, and by syncing the ESPN linear and ESPN+ platforms for one night, fans have an incredible opportunity to watch a stacked show with many of the world’s best fighters and rising superstars,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank in a statement released through the company’s press office in announcing the full show on Wednesday.
The addition of Valdez (24-0, 19KOs) comes in the wake of the decision to forego a planned January 12 showcase in his adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona. He was originally due to face Spain’s Andoni Gago, but issues in getting a travel visa in time along with other unbuttoned issues with the remaining undercard prompted an outright cancellation.
It gives Valdez an additional three weeks to further enhance his craft under new trainer Eddy Reynoso, while also providing an upgrade in competition.
“The fans can expect the same Oscar Valdez as far as being an aggressive and exciting fighter,” said Valdez, who looks to make the fifth defense of his featherweight title. “They are also going to see a different side that nobody has seen, which is the boxing skills that I also have and that I’m perfecting and learning with my new trainer, Eddy Reynoso.”
Tommasone (19-0, 5KOs) has yet to make his full mark in the pro ranks. However, the unbeaten featherweight is in the history books as becoming the first pro boxer to participate in—and win—an Olympic boxing match, doing so in 2016 while representing his native Italy.
The 2016 Rio Olympics marked the first year in which pro boxers were able to participate in competition previously limited to amateur boxers. Tommasone joined former flyweight titlist Amnat Ruenroeng (Thailand) and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (representing his native Cameroon, but who lives in France) as the three to break ground, winning his opening round bout before being sent home in the Round of 16 by Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, who went on to capture the Bronze medal.
Tomassone—who was 15-0 prior to his 2016 Rio tour—has since won four bouts in his return to pro competition. All have come versus non-descript competition, as he steps way up in class while fighting outside of Italy as a pro for the first time in his eight-year career.
Still, he comes with greater appeal than Valdez’ originally selected opponent—not to mention it’s a great opportunity for Top Rank to showcase one of its brightest young stars for the third time on ESPN, the latest coming on a busy sports weekend.
“It will be great to see our little warrior, Oscar Valdez, back in action on Feb. 2 after his full recovery from a broken jaw and a courageous victory over Quigg,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oscar always brings thrills and excitement to his fights.”
The ESPN-televised co-feature figures to serve as the perfect primer.
Ghana’s Commey (27-2, 24 KOs) has patiently waited for his crack at a lightweight title, which he originally believed would come versus Mikey Garcia. Those plans fell apart, however, after the unbeaten pound-for-pound entrant vacated his title in favor of a high-profile showdown versus unbeaten welterweight titlist Errol Spence.
The move left Commey as the highest-rated contender in his pursuit of winning a title on his second try. His previous effort came in a hard-fought split decision loss to Robert Easter Jr. in their Sept. ’16 vacant title fight, which was followed by an equally heartbreaking narrow defeat at the hands of Denis Shafikov just three months later.
Three straight wins have followed, including a six-round destruction of previously unbeaten Alejandro Luna this past March to earn his place as the mandatory challenger.
“When I started working with Richard in September 2016, our plan was to give him another chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a world champion,”said Lou DiBella , Commey’s promoter. “While Chaniev is a very tough Russian fighter, I’m confident that Richard has the skills, punching power and the mental toughness to come out victorious.”
DiBella’s efforts have not at all been lost on his lightweight client.
“I know how hard it is for Ghanaian fighters to get promoted by the top promoters, but Lou has consistently shown that if he thinks you’re the man, then he will be the man for you,” said Commey, who last fought in August in a 2nd round knockout of journeyman Yardley Cruz in Long Island, New York. “He has shown this by the investment DiBella Entertainment has put in me and by getting me this shot at the title and securing it in the United States.”
While it won’t be Commey’s first stateside appearance, his opponent stamps his passport for his first world title fight.
Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) has fought exclusively in Eastern Europe as he travels to the U.S. for the first time as a pro. The 26-year old Russian lightweight earned his place in the title mix after a strong showing in his career-best win, outpointing former titlist Ismael Barroso in his most recent bout this past May.
“I have the biggest motivation ever to win, and there is no other result that will satisfy me,” Chaniev said. “On Feb. 2, I will demonstrate all my skills and hard preparation. Some people don’t think I will win, but they will be shocked.”
Dereck Chisora “Going To War”
By: Sean Crose
The first time Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte fought, fans were treated to a heavyweight slugfest. Although the hard hitting Whyte won courtesy of a split decision that night in Manchester, England, the twelve round rematch, which will go down this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, promises similar fireworks. “The first fight was a great fight,” admits Chisora, “but they gave it to him, and I was like why?” Chisora, however, was eager for a second chance with his fellow Englishman.
“I kept on saying, I want the rematch, I want the rematch,” Chisora says, “and they didn’t want to give it to me and they were pushing Dillian towards AJ, and then suddenly people kept saying they want the rematch, so they gave it to me.” Chisora, 29-8, who has been boxing professionally since 2007, has clearly been at the fight game for quite some time. “I was a fat kid,” he says, “went to Finchley to box, plus I was under probation for three years, actually the Metropolitan Police paid for my boxing class, they bought my first boxing boot, boxing gloves, headguard, gumshield, everything!”
It’s doubtful Chisora needs to worry about finding himself on probation again. Like his friend Tyson Fury, the fighter is openly religious. “Like the big man, Tyson (Fury) himself,” says Chisora, “you listen to his interviews, all I heard him say is ‘praise God, praise God,’ because he went and believed that little bit of Jesus which helped him to come back the great fighter he is.” Like Fury, Chisora embraced faith while being in a dark place. “I lost the fight in Monaco (against Agit Kabayel) which I was not supposed to lose and then, as I was giving my interview, something said, you know what?, you just need to give yourself to the Lord. It’s made me a better person.”
Heading into his crossroads bout on Saturday, Chisora appears upbeat. After the match, he claims: “I’m going to leave the ring, go home, and attack that Christmas Turkey!” If the rematch with Whyte is anything like the first bout, however, Chisora may be in for the fight of his life. “I’m going to war,” he says. “I hope he’s ready to go where I’m ready to go. If he’s not, he’s stupid. I’m coming. Hunt him down, just go hit him, hit him, just hit him, hit him, and hit and hit and pounce and pounce, pounce, pounce, pounce!”
Khabib vs. McGregor in Boxing?
By: Michael Kane
Conor McGregor fought UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in October, and was convincingly defeated. McGregor would like a rematch and so it seems would Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father.
Only next time in a boxing ring.
After the Dagestani’s win, he called out Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather said the fight may happen and that he could make more money fighting Khabib than he did when he beat McGregor in the 10th round last year.
The rumours on this potential match up have gone quiet and now it seems Khabib and his team still fancy a boxing bout against his old foe, McGregor.
Whether this would hold much appeal to boxing aficionados around the world is debatable however, could it launch the much talked about entrance to the boxing world of Zuffa Boxing?
Speaking to Russian newspaper, Izvestia, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov said, “As for the fight against Conor under boxing rules, this is a fight we are interested in. Khabib showed that he is able to beat the best strikers of mixed martial arts.
“He said this before, but few believed it. However, after strong victories over Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza and Conor, people begin to believe.”
Nurmagomedov knocked McGregor to the canvas in the second round of their bout at UFC 229 and may have taken some confidence that He could out strike the Irishman.
“Nurmagomedov is able to do it in the boxing ring. Khabib has all the skills to win by the rules of boxing. One of the key skills can be called endurance.
“I remember his five round fight with (Al) Iaquinta, in which Khabib showed his willingness to fight in absolutely any area, using everything from a left jab to control on the ground. I want to note that the fight against Iaquinta was of great importance to us, there was a belt at stake and it was important to keep the bout calm and take the win. Which we did!”
Whyte vs. Chisora II Officially Announced
By Jake Donovan
With a high-profile rematch versus unbeaten heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua potentially waiting in the wings, Dillian Whyte sets his sights on another past adversary to remain active in the interim.
The top-rated heavyweight contender will once again meet with Dereck Chisora, as their long-discussed rematch is officially set. The sequel to their Dec. ’16 Fight of the Year-level war will take place December 22 at O2 Arena in London, England.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
“It’s on,” Eddie Hearn, Whyte’s promoter enthusiastically exclaimed through his verified social media account on Thursday. “[The] Dillian Whyte and Derek ‘WAR’ Chisora rematch, Dec. 22 (at) The O2!”
The matchup was formally announced during a press conference Thursday in London. Among the details revealed were broadcasting rights, with the heavyweight scrap to air live on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom and on sports streaming platform DAZN in the United States, both for whom Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing serves as the primary boxing content provider.
Their rematch comes just over two years after their Dec. ’16 thriller, in which Whyte (24-1, 17KOs) prevailed by split decision in a bout where both men were rattled but neither ever hitting the canvas.
For Whyte, the victory is among a current eight-fight win streak following the lone defeat of his career, a 7th round stoppage at the hands of Joshua who would go on to score knockout wins over Charles Martin and Wladimir Klitschko to become a unified heavyweight titlist.
Whyte’s name has surfaced high among the short list of candidates to man the corner opposite Joshua on a planned April 13, 2019 bill at Wembley Stadium in London. While it was important to remain active ahead of that potential fight date, a rematch with a career spoiler such as Chisora is a risk he didn’t have to take—but nevertheless boldly embraces.
More so, he sees a repeat win as a guaranteed ticket to his first career title shot.
“This will be Chisora’s last fight, the donkey’s last ride,” vows Whyte, whose impressive 2018 campaign already includes wins over previously unbeaten Lucas Browne and former titlist Joseph Parker. “I think that he needs to really have a good think about taking this fight because he’s going to be heading home after the fight looking like he’s been run over by a truck.
“I believe that I’ll knock him out in devastating fashion this time. Last time was my first 12 rounder and I was a little bit inexperienced but this time I’ll know exactly what to do. He’s at the end of the road.”
Wherever he may be in his career, Chisora (29-8, 21KOs) remains a dangerous task for any heavyweight on the planet. The divisional trialhorse—who turns 35 just a week after his forthcoming sequel with Whyte—is a modest 3-1 since their first fight but resurfaced in the heavyweight fold following an 8th round knockout of Carlos Takam this past July.
The bout came on the undercard of Whyte’s win over Parker, a show designed to set up a second pairing between the two. Talks stalled with the two seemingly intent on heading in opposite directions after Chisora signed with Hayemaker Promotions, run by his prior conqueror and one-time heated rival David Haye. Hearn intimated as much to media members when questioned after his October 20 show in Boston, revealing that the hunt was still on for a quality heavyweight to face Whyte.
Momentum somehow picked up in the past couple of weeks, though. With every other notable heavyweight either just coming off of a fight or booked in the foreseeable future, it only made sense for the two UK-based contenders to do it again—even if viewpoints vary on the delay in getting to this point.
“Dillian has spent the last two years avoiding getting back in the ring with me,” insists Chisora. “He knows exactly what it feels like to go toe-to-toe with me. For the next seven weeks he will have sleepless nights knowing what he has finally signed up to. His last couple of opponents didn’t come for battle, they didn’t even put heat on Dillian, on December 22nd I’m coming to burn him up!
“I was cheated in our first fight by the judges, everyone knows that I was the true victor. This time I have a score to settle, Dillian won’t be hearing the final bell to be saved by the judges. I will be stepping in the ring a different fighter. I have everything to prove and it all to lose. ‘Dell Boy’ is no more, ‘WAR’ Chisora doesn’t cut corners, he doesn’t skip sessions, he doesn’t look for the easy option. I’m in the gym every day pushing my body to its limit. I’m in complete control of my destiny, December 22nd will be WAR.”
His longtime rival welcomes the challenge—and the opportunity to once and for all turn the page on this chapter of his career.
“This is Heavyweight boxing and you never know what’s around the corner, but I’ve done what I need to do to secure a shot at a World title,” Whyte believes. “There’s always something getting in the way, other fights being made or money and politics ruining things, but after I finish Chisora nobody can deny me my shot.”
Per Matchroom Boxing press release:
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 VIP.
On sale dates: O2 Priority (Thursday 1 November) Matchroom Fight Pass (Friday 2 November, 1pm) and general sale via StubHub on Saturday 3 November at 1pm.
Stephen Espinoza Believes Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2 Will Happen
By: Michael Kane
Stephen Espinoza, the President of Showtime Sports, has suggested that the Mayweather v Pacquiao rematch is very likely.
Mayweather faced Pacquiao on the 2nd of May 2015 in what was being billed ‘The Fight Of The Century’ and ‘The Battle for Greatness’.
However the event never lived up to the pre match hype and probably came too late in the career of both boxers.
Mayweather (50-0) won an unanimous decision 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110.
Pacquiao (60-7) went on to win the WBO International welterweight title, defeating Timothy Bradley Jr almost a year after the Mayweather fight.
— Boxing Insider.com (@BoxingInsider) October 2, 2018
Pacquiao then added the WBO world title, defeating Jessie Vargas, later in 2016, only to lose that title to Jeff Horn last year.
He currently holds the WBA Regular world title after beating Lucas Martin Matthysse in July 2018.
Mayweather last fought in August 2017 against UFC champion Conor McGregor, winning by stoppage in the 10th round, a fight that moved him to 50-0 and then told the world he was retired.
How much appeal a rematch between the two greats has, can and will be debated.
“Floyd Mayweather is very serious about the fight, from everything I’ve seen and heard Manny Pacquiao is serious about it as well.” Espinoza said in a media scrum today.
“There is a lot that needs to be done, this year would be a big challenge. Not that we haven’t pulled off stuff in a short time. Like we did with Mayweather – McGregor.
“But I do think we will be seeing the rematch, Mayweather – Pacquiao in short order. I understand people doubted it because of the way it was announced, so to speak, in a viral video but I think that was just Floyd taking advantage of an opportunity in marketing and the way he markets things.”
When asked how does 2019 sound.
“2019 sounds perfect. That way I get a little sleep after this event then we go at Mayweather – Pacquiao 2 right away!”
It would seem the fight is a lot closer than people originally thought.
Subverting Expectations Isn’t The Same As Winning
By: Sean Crose
Boxing judges can be a lot like film critics. After seeing pretty much the same thing over and over again, both sets of professionals can sometimes be unduly influenced by the unexpected. Not something particularly good, mind you, just something unexpected. Boxing judges, like film critics, appear to love it when someone subverts their expectations. Unfortunately, many fans aren’t as impressed with originality for the sake of originality as judges and film critics seem to be. Take last year’s Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. Critics went nuts for it because it was so unlike other Star Wars flicks. Many fans, on the other hand, were far from impressed.
Boxing itself recently went through a similar experience. Most fans believed Gennady Golovkin clearly bested Canelo Alvarez in their Vegas middleweight title rematch earlier this month. Yet the judges, like film critics, saw things differently. Canelo, once again, walked out of a big fight with the blessing of authorities and a nearly perfect record. Why? My opinion is that the judges may have been impressed that Canelo did something he wasn’t expected to do against Golovkin, and that’s be aggressive. No matter that many didn’t feel he did enough to earn the victory. The fact Canelo subverted judges’ expectations might have been good enough for them. Again, it’s just my opinion, but I think there’s more than this one example available for me to build my case upon.
Gennady Golovkin knocked a lot of people out before meeting Canelo for the first time in 2017. A lot of people. He didn’t knock Canelo out in that first match, however. Canelo played defense and kept from being the Kazakh’s punching bag – in a sense, subverting expectations. The Mexican star walked away from that fight with a draw – even though most feel he lost that battle, much as most people feel he lost the rematch. That’s telling. Yet the power of subverting expectations can go back even further than this decade.
Way back in 1987, when Ray Leonard came back with eye trouble from a long hiatus to take on middleweight king Marvelous Marvin Hagler (his full, legal name, by the way), many, if not most, felt Leonard was doomed. The thirty year old Leonard made a great showing of himself against Hagler, though. He was slick, energetic and impressive. Leonard won the bout on the cards that evening, even though many felt his performance, impressive though it was, wasn’t good enough for the decision. The fact that Leonard survived, however, that he had managed to hold his own, certainly subverted expectations. Hagler, likewise, didn’t live up to expectations by failing to completely demolish his popular counterpart, just like Golovkin didn’t live up to expectations by not completely dominating Canelo decades later.
A piece of advice for judges – leave the expectations at the door, and just judge the fight on its merits. Hell, try pretending you don’t know the men or the women competing in the ring if you have to, just try to go the extra yard to be fair. Exhausted fans will thank you for finally subverting their expectations.
So You Won’t Watch Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Again? You Should
By: William Holmes
The reports are becoming clearer and clearer, the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks like it’s going to happen.
As to when that fight is going to happen we aren’t sure. TMZ recently reported that Mayweather is planning on a tune up fight in Tokyo before coming back to fight Pacquiao again. Mayweather also posted a video where he indicated that before he fights Pacquiao he will be back in Tokyo for a huge boxing event.
Regardless, the response on social media to this possible rematch, even from many boxing pundits and reporters, was almost immediately negative. Dan Rafael wrote a column on this rematch entitled “The Fight Nobody Asked For.” Kevin Iole seems equally pessimistic, when he wrote the following in his column about the proposed fight , “The hype will be incredible if it happens again, though the action certainly doesn’t figure to be anything close.”
The belief that the fight will be a dud has already spread to boxing fans on social media, with some fans indicating they’ll watch them fight again, but many promising to not waste another dollar on it.
But many who now claim they won’t watch the rematch aren’t telling the truth.
The buzz behind a possible rematch began to hit social media the day before the Golovkin and Canelo rematch; when Mayweather and Pacquiao “ran” into each other in Japan and verbally agreed to fight each other in December. The talks of the rematch trended on social media and news outlets around the world began to pick it up and report on it.
Will the rematch be as boring as their first fight? There are reasons to believe it won’t be.
One of the biggest stories to come out of their first fight was Manny Pacquiao undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair his injured right shoulder immediately after his loss. Pacquiao’s seemingly reluctance to throw right hooks and jab was evident from the third round on. Some believe Pacquiao’s shoulder wasn’t really injured, but his surgeon seemed pretty convincing when talking about the surgery that it was a legitimate injury. Pacquiao had asked for an anti-inflammatory shot on his shoulder on the night of the fight, but the Nevada athletic commission denied it.
Pacquaio has also has had his fair share of rematches, and many of them turned out to be successful fights for him. Can he continue that trend with Mayweather?
Consider the following: Pacquiao fought Erik Morales in March of 2005 and lost the decision. He went on to face Morales two more times, in 2006, and was able to stop him both times. He fought Marco Antonio Barrera twice and was able to beat him both times. He fought Marquez four times. He drew with Marquez the first time, beat him by a close decision twice, and was knocked out his last fight with Marquez. He fought Timothy Bradley three times. Lost the decision the first time and bounced back to beat Bradley two more times.
Pacquiao has a history of rematches, and he usually does better the second time facing an opponent.
Lack of activity may also be of some concern for Mayweather. He did not fight at all in 2016. His one fight in 2017 was against Conor McGregor, an MMA champion with no boxing experience. In reality, Mayweather hasn’t stepped in the ring against a legitimate boxer in three years.
Pacquiao’s activity isn’t that of a young boxer, but since facing Mayweather he has stepped into the ring against several notable opponents. He defeated Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas. He lost a close decision to Jeff Horn in a match that nearly everyone feels he should have won. He also had his first stoppage victory in years against Lucas Matthysse in his last bout.
Three years without facing a legitimate boxing opponent and choosing to step in the ring against an all time great like Pacquiao is a fact that most are over looking.
Finally, one of the biggest differences in their rematch is Freddie Roach, or the lack of Freddie Roach. Roach’s hall of fame credentials as a trainer aren’t in question, but his ability to effectively train his fighters while Parkinson’s Disease ravages his body is a fair question. Mentally, Roach can probably still hang with the best trainers in the world. But it’s not a certainty that he can keep up physically when working with his fighters or doing pad work.
Pacquiao chose his long time friend, Buboy Fernandez, as his trainer when he faced Matthysse. He also got his first stoppage in nine years with Buboy, and not Roach, in his corner.
Can Manny beat Floyd? It’s still going to be a very difficult task. Mayweather size advantage will still be there, and getting past Mayweather’s five inch reach advantage will be very difficult for Pacquiao; especially when Mayweather is as fast, if not faster, than him.
Manny’s best bet at victory would be to throw caution to the wind and fight like he has nothing to lose. He will have to go on the attack and be willing to take Mayweather’s best punches in order to land just one. He cannot win by being passive.
He will have to fight with the same hunger and desire as he had when he was a young kid that was trying to fight his way out of poverty in order to have any chance of victory.
He was able to watch Saturday’s thriller between Canelo and Golovkin. At the end of the bout he wrote on twitter:
Nothing like two iconic fighters going toe to toe for twelve rounds. #CaneloGGG
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) September 16, 2018
If Pacquiao can show that he’s willing to go toe to toe for twelve rounds with Mayweather, it will be a fight worth watching.
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.
Mayweather-Pacquiao Rematch May Be Officially Announced As Soon As This Week
By: Sean Crose
“We will finalize the fight this week, either Mayweather or somebody else, where and when, what date.” So says boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. In a turn of events that has taken the fight world completely off guard, it looks as if Pacquiao may indeed get his long hoped for rematch against Floyd Mayweather, who bested Pacquiao by a ho-hum unanimous decision back in 2015. The long awaited initial (and so far only) match between the two men was widely regarded as an enormous financial success, but a disappointment for fans, as the defensive minded Mayweather wisely played it safe throughout the bout.
Things got controversial after the much hyped match, however. Word reached the public that Pacquiao had sustained a shoulder injury before the bout. Then, in a development mysteriously under-reported by the mainstream media, reports emerged that Mayweather had taken an IV injection after the weigh in for the fight with the blessing of USADA, whose job it was to let people know that things were essentially on the up and up. The whole affair left a bad taste in most people’s mouths. What’s more, no one was clamoring for a rematch. Last Saturday, however, the world learned a rematch might indeed happen.
“I’m coming back,” Mayweather posted on Instagram, “to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another 9 figure pay day on the way.” The announcement was posted alongside a video of the two men at a Japanese night club. The fact that Pacquiao has largely, if not entirely, broken ties with longtime promoter Bob Arum means that a rematch will have an easier chance of being made that the original match did. Unlike the first bout, this one probably wouldn’t be delayed by managerial and promotional squabbling, as the Filipino icon is now essentially free to come and go without being troubled by previous burdens. In short, a rematch might be easy to make.
And, if reports from reliable sources are to be believed, negotiations are pretty much going well and the two men will announce an early December rematch this week (according to Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger, December 1’st and December 8 are targets). The decision of the two aging greats to face off yet again makes sense. Although people didn’t demand a rematch, enough time has passed, and each fighter has deteriorated enough, for things to look interesting. The fight might not be anywhere close to the first as far as earning potential is concerned, but it will undoubtedly be a huge affair.
Floyd Mayweather Takes the Limelight from Canelo vs. Golovkin, Announces Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2
By: William Holmes
The unthinkable appears to just have happened.
The most financially successful pay per view of all time, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, sold millions of pay per views and was a world wide success. It was a fight that fans saw Mayweather win by comfortable margin. Afterwards, Pacquiao felt he did enough to win the fight and claimed he injured his shoulder halfway through.
It took years for that fight to take place with a lot of negotiation and posturing on both sides. Many felt that fight took place a few years too late and there wasn’t a whole lot of commotion for a rematch.
But Pacquaio is now a free agent, and one of the impediments that kept the first fight from happening, the fact both fighters were represented by two different promotional companies, is no longer present.
Shockingly, sport fans around the world woke up to a message on Instagram from Floyd Mayweather. He stated, “I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure pay day on the way @mayweatherpromotions”
In the clip, you can see Mayweather and Pacquiao talking in a club and hear Floyd tell some members of his entourage that he’s coming back in December. You can also hear Mayweather tell Pacquiao he doesn’t want to hear anything about his shoulder this time.
No official announcement has been released about this alleged planned fight. HBO has appeared to be slowly backing out of the boxing business so it ‘s likely that Showtime will be involved.
When something is officially announced Boxing Insider will let you know, but Floyd Mayweather has once again caused a big buzz in the boxing world.
Golovkin on Canelo Rematch: The Most Important Fight in My Life Right Now
“I feel very good,” middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin said on a Tuesday conference call to promote his September 15th rematch against Canelo Alvarez. “My body, my speed, my power, everything is coming back.” What used to be a respectful, cordial relationship between Golovkin and Canelo has now clearly turned hostile, with both sides lobbing accusations at the other. “They were trying to avoid us every way possible,” Golovkin said when essentially asked if he should have faced Canelo sooner. “They even gave up one of the belts. The WBC, they gave up trying to avoid us.” As for Canelo himself, Golovkin was almost glib. “It doesn’t matter what he says,” he quipped. “Let him say whatever he wants.”
The first fight, in September of last year, ended in insanely controversial fashion, with Canelo and Golovkin getting a draw in a bout many, if not most, felt Golovkin won. It was the odd scoring of certain rounds, however, which really brought about fan disdain. Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, said he hoped such controversies could be avoided the second time around. “Controversy sells,” he admitted. Yet the promoter went on to say that: “We just want the focus…on the fighters in the ring, not any controversies outside the ring.”
Not that any of this kept Golovkin from making some digs of his own. “What I’m really grateful to Abel for,” he said of his trainer, Abel Sanchez, “is not bringing any banned substances into my fighting career.” With Canelo testing positive earlier this year for having the banned substance of Clenbuterol in his system, how else could such a comment be taken other than being at least a partial slap to team Canelo? When asked if he thought the negativity leading up to the rematch would dwindle his fan base, Golovkin showed a considerable degree of confidence. “I don’t think my fans will turn away from me,” he said.
Despite the obvious hostility involved in the lead up to the rematch, the weightiness of the bout was still acknowledged during the course of the conference call. “This is the biggest event in the sport of boxing,” Loeffler stated plainly, adding after that: “Everything was amicable with the officials,” in the leadup to September 15th. “It’s the most important fight in my life right now,” Golovkin admitted. No doubt Canelo would say the same thing. “A lot of people talk about fighting each other,” Loeffler offered. “This is the second fight GGG and Canelo have fought.”
Media Speculates On Possibility Of Mayweather-McGregor Rematch
By: Sean Crose
ESPN, SN Sports, and undoubtedly other outlets have been talking, as it were. The subject? Mayweather-McGregor. No, you haven’t stepped into a time machine, and it isn’t 2017. You’re right here, in September of 2018. And if you thought the Mayweather-McGregor silliness ended with their insanely lucrative novelty fight last year, well, it looks like you’re mistaken. The two have been trading jabs on Twitter, you see. What’s more, McGregor, who was stopped by Mayweather in last year’s bout, has made it more than clear he wants another shot at the pound for pound great.
First, though, McGregor has to get by an undefeated and feared rival in his home sport of mixed martial arts. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the unbeaten UFC lightweight champion of the world and a notable, high energy wrestler. He and McGregor will be crossing swords this October in Vegas in a fight a considerable percentage of UFC followers expect McGregor to actually lose. The Irishman has, if you include the Mayweather bout, lost two of his last four professional contests. What’s more, some feel he should have lost his UFC rematch against Nate Diaz in 2016, as well (McGregor lost their first war by submission). Add that to the fact the UFCs biggest star hasn’t entered a professional contest in over a year, and it’s obvious there’s questions that await answers.
Should McGregor win against Nurmagomedov in the fall, however, people may start calling for a rematch with his most famous opponent in earnest. It might make sense to Mayweather and McGregor to fight again – at least to Mayweather and McGregor. Mayweather would still probably win and even if he lost, who could blame him at his age and activity level? As for McGregor – well, let’s face it, the guy has been in some real wars. His body took a ton of wear and tear in his two matches against the surly Diaz. What’s more, an unspoken aspect of the Mayweather-McGregor fight was the fact that Mayweather dished out a whole lot of head trauma to his novice foe that night. McGregor endured quite a beating from Mayweather, make no mistake about it. And a person can only suffer so much damage (or outside the ring/cage antics) before it all really starts to take it’s toll. Sooner or later, it may be wise to just cash in.
So maybe a second fight with the great Mayweather does indeed make all the sense in the world to those involved. That’s not the case for others, though. Once was surely enough as far as many are concerned, thanks very much. Not that the first match didn’t turn out to be kind of fun. McGregor did fine, all things considered, and Mayweather broke what seemed to be his own rules by making things exciting. Still, the collective groan can already be heard saying “let it go already.” There’s undoubtedly millions who would pay to see Mayweather and McGregor do it all over again, however, for a hundred dollars or so a pop on pay per view.
Which is why it might be wise not to write this rematch off as something that’s never going to happen.
Canelo On Golovkin: “The Respect That We Had Was Lost”
By: Sean Crose
“That’s the way I want this fight to end,” Canelo Alvarez claimed during a Wednesday conference call to promote his highly anticipated rematch with Gennady Golovkin on September 15th, “by knockout.” The first fight between the two top middleweights went down last year in Vegas, only to end in a controversial draw. Although most feel Golovkin deserved to win the first fight, Canelo clearly feels the initial experience of facing Golovkin in the ring will pay off for him this time. “Any error he makes,” said Canelo, “I’m going to take advantage of.”
Much was made during the call of last winter’s positive test for Clenbuteral, which led to a suspension for Canelo and the pushing back of the rematch from May until September. Since testing positive for the banned substance, Canelo has seen his reputation clouded by suspicion. Golovkin, for one, has openly made it clear he feels Canelo is a cheat. “The respect that we had was lost,” Canelo said of his formerly cordial relationship with his foe. “This will help me to give 100%, to give that extra push.” The Mexican star does not, however, plan to face Golovkin overheated with emotion. “I’ll go in with a cold and clear mentality,” he said.
“I’m very bothered and angry” Canelo claimed, “of their (team Golovkin’s) accusation…I’m going to use that anger intelligently.” Although the past few months have clearly not been easy for the man, Canelo asserted that there was a plus side to the entire experience. “I learned a lot,” he said. “I learned who’s really there for me.” Aside from the drama of testing positive for a banned substance, the fighter will now also enter the ring without having fought in around a year. Not that it bothers him. “I feel well and I don’t think the year off will affect me at all,” he argued, arguing that stays fit between camps.
Although the rematch is weeks away, there’s already been word circulating of a third fight between Canelo and Golovkin. For his own part, Canelo was cool to the idea on Wdnesday. “Personally, for me,” he said, “I want it to end here.” Canelo pointed out that he wants matters settled definitely this time around. “I know Golovkin is not an easy opponent,” he said, referring to the first match. This time, however, Canelo argued he’s more confident. “I learned that I could knock him out (the first time). I learned that I could hurt him.”
“He’s a respectable puncher,” Canelo said of his foe, “with respectable power, but he’s nothing out of this world.”
Sylvester Stallone “About 99% Certain” Mayweather-Pacquiao II Will Happen
By: Sean Crose
Sylvester Stallone is a celebrity, not a boxer. Yet the man is so ingrained in the mind of the public as the heroic Rocky Balboa that at this point it’s easy to see how he can be mistaken for a genuine retired ring great. In other words, the guy’s name is synonymous with boxing. And when Stallone talks the sweet science, people tend to listen. That’s why the star’s recent comments to TMZ are drawing attention. “I think that’s about 99% certain it’s gonna happen,” the individual known as Sly claimed when asked if a rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is possible.
“They have every reason — honor, money, history and you got nothing better to do for the weekend,” he added with a wink. Although it will never be remembered as a classic fight, Mayweather and Pacquiao broke the bank and put boxing back in the headlines when they belatedly met in 2015. Mayweather won a one sided decision, millions groaned over the tedious nature of the battle, and those behind the match counted untold amounts of money. Just how big was the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? So big that not even last summer’s Mayweather-McGregor novelty matchup couldn’t beat it’s pay per view record.
While there’s no question Mayweather-Pacquiao II, should it happen, would fall far short of the first fight’s revenue and viewing numbers, it would still likely be a huge pay per view success. Pacquiao just had a thrilling win over an aged Lucas Matthysse and the retired(?) Mayweather proved last year that he’s such a draw even the biggest MMA star in the world had to cross the street in order to make a Mayweather level pay check.
What’s more, people love big events, and a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch would be just that.
It’s worth noting that Stallone isn’t the top authority on the matter here. He’s a movie star who is exceedingly well regarded in the fight world. Stallone also makes it clear in the very short TMZ clip that he’s merely offering his opinion. He was asked a question regarding Pacquiao’s reported call out of Floyd this past summer after the Matthysse victory. “It’s up to him,” Pacquiao said of Mayweather at the time. “If he wants to come back in boxing let’s do a second one.”
Pacquiao’s impressive summer performance, coupled with Mayweather’s age, could make things interesting should the aging greats meet once more.
Closed Circuit Tickets for Canelo vs. GGG2 On Sale Wednesday August 15th
Tickets for the closed circuit viewing in Las Vegas for the historic rematch between Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and WBC, WBA, IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) will go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Closed circuit viewing of one of the most important matchups in middleweight history will be available at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, The Mirage Hotel & Casino, and Luxor Hotel and Casino.
“We want to give fight fans every single opportunity to watch this historic rematch live in Las Vegas, and buying a closed-circuit ticket is a great way to experience this important moment in boxing. There’s nothing more electrifying than gathering with other fight fans in the boxing capitol of the world,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya.
Tickets for the closed circuit telecast of Canelo vs. GGG 2 at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage and Luxor are priced at $100, not including applicable fees. Seating is general admission at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage while Luxor will have assigned seats. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Tickets may be purchased at any MGM Resorts International Box Office, by phone with a major credit card at (800) 745-3000 or online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/canelovsggg2.
Canelo vs. GGG 2 is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle,”O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets for Canelo vs. GGG 2 are on sale now, and are priced at $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700, and $500 not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of eight (8) per person at all price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets will also be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.