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Special Edition Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo vs. Golovkin Buildup


The following is a special edition of the Boxing Insider Notebook; covering the comings and goings in the upcoming Canelo vs. Golovkin PPV Fight.

Canelo vs. Golovkin Fight Week schedule

Tuesday September 11th:
Grand Arrivals: MGM Grand Lobby- 11:00AM
Wednesday September 12th:
Canelo vs. GGG2 Undercard Fighter Workouts
MGM Grand Casino Floor Next to Tap & The Race & Sports Book-3:00PM
Thursday September 13th:
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
The Joint- 2:00PM

Friday September 14th:
Canelo vs. GGG2 Official Weight In
T-Mobile Arena-12:00PM
Hennesy Tweet Up
MGM Grand-Centrifuge-5:00PM
Saturday September 15h:
Canelo vs. GGG2 Fight Night
T-Mobile Arena-2:00PM

Golovkin Blog Post
Gennady Golovkin has been doing a series of blogs on his upcoming fight. Below is an excerpt:
What did you learn about yourself and Canelo in the first fight? Is that going to help you in the rematch?

“So many people show me their true face during and after the first fight with Canelo. I am talking about lots of different people. I know who I am and I know who Canelo is, and what he has become. I know what kind of people I am dealing with in this rematch, what everyone is about. I do not think about the first fight anymore. I did not lose that fight. I walked out of the ring with all my belts, still the world champion. The second fight is much bigger and more interesting. The last fight was a good experience because it was a learning experience. Now it is a different situation. I understand the situation. I now know that boxing is not just a sport. It is a business. That is one thing I learned from the first fight. So from that I learned how to deal with this rematch. I learned how to deal with Canelo and his promoter. Now we have new judges and a new referee. The world will see a new fight and different sides of that fight.

“I have worked very hard in this training camp, building myself up. It has been very exciting because I have been working on new things with Abel. Every day has been a good day. I am very happy and very strong. This will be the biggest fight for boxing. I cannot wait to give the fans a great fight, an exciting fight, a Mexican Style fight. This is a battle between the two best middleweights. To me, it is a fight about honor. This time I am fighting for a lot more than my world championship belts.
RingTV.com, Powered by Cleeng, to Stream Rematch Between Canelo and Golovkin-Live On PPV
RingTV.com and Cleeng today announced a partnership to stream the most anticipated boxing showdown of the year as Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) takes on WBC/WBA/IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) in a 12-round rematch Saturday, September 15.

Canelo vs. GGG 2 presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions, will air live on www.RingTV.com Pay-Per-View in the United States starting at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT, from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The PPV broadcast will be available to watch in HD on RingTV.com & CaneloGGG.com (video promo). RingTV.com will be the online programming platform for purchasing and viewing the Pay-Per-View, with Cleeng providing all the supporting technology to drive the Sept. 15 event programming.

“Over the past several years Golden Boy Media and Entertainment has changed how fight fans experience the sport of boxing,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “We have invested heavily in making sure that boxing fans can choose how they watch their favorite fighters on the RingTV.com platform. We are delighted to deliver Canelo vs GGG 2 to fans across the globe on a world-class platform as we continue in our efforts to make boxing more and more accessible.”

“We’re excited to be a part of this historical boxing event with Golden Boy Promotions. We continue to work closely with RingTV and Golden Boy Promotions to deliver High Quality and engaging events at high traffic volume” Cleeng Inc. VP of America, Sal Romana said. “The Ring magazine has been known as the ‘Bible of Boxing’ since 1922. We’re proud to be partnering with RingTV.com, which has grown Ring’s powerful influence in pro boxing to a rapidly changing, increasingly younger audience, by streaming the best available boxing events and news.”

In the co-main event, breakout Mexican star Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) will make the second defense of his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against rugged Canadian contender Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) in a 12-round battle. Former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) of Montreal, Canada and Irish warrior Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) of Cork, Ireland will go head-to-head in a 12-round middleweight battle that has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it. Former pound-for-pound king and former four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua will make his highly anticipated return against experienced Mexican warrior Moises “Moi” Fuentes (25-5-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super flyweight battle that will open the pay-per-view.
Canelo and GGG Featured in New 8-Bit Boxing Game on Eve of World Championship Boxing Rematch
RingTV.com and Cleeng today announced a partnership to stream the most anticipated boxing showdown of the year as Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) takes on WBC/WBA/IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) in a 12-round rematch Saturday, September 15.

Canelo vs. GGG 2 presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions, will air live on www.RingTV.com Pay-Per-View in the United States starting at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT, from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The PPV broadcast will be available to watch in HD on RingTV.com & CaneloGGG.com (video promo). RingTV.com will be the online programming platform for purchasing and viewing the Pay-Per-View, with Cleeng providing all the supporting technology to drive the Sept. 15 event programming.

“Over the past several years Golden Boy Media and Entertainment has changed how fight fans experience the sport of boxing,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “We have invested heavily in making sure that boxing fans can choose how they watch their favorite fighters on the RingTV.com platform. We are delighted to deliver Canelo vs GGG 2 to fans across the globe on a world-class platform as we continue in our efforts to make boxing more and more accessible.”

“We’re excited to be a part of this historical boxing event with Golden Boy Promotions. We continue to work closely with RingTV and Golden Boy Promotions to deliver High Quality and engaging events at high traffic volume” Cleeng Inc. VP of America, Sal Romana said. “The Ring magazine has been known as the ‘Bible of Boxing’ since 1922. We’re proud to be partnering with RingTV.com, which has grown Ring’s powerful influence in pro boxing to a rapidly changing, increasingly younger audience, by streaming the best available boxing events and news.”

In the co-main event, breakout Mexican star Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) will make the second defense of his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against rugged Canadian contender Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) in a 12-round battle. Former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) of Montreal, Canada and Irish warrior Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) of Cork, Ireland will go head-to-head in a 12-round middleweight battle that has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it. Former pound-for-pound king and former four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua will make his highly anticipated return against experienced Mexican warrior Moises “Moi” Fuentes (25-5-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super flyweight battle that will open the pay-per-view.

Team GGG Responds to Oscar De La Hoya’s Outlandish Claims

Tom Loeffler, promoter of undefeated World Middleweight Champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN has called out the team of Canelo Alvarez and specifically, its promoter Oscar De La Hoya. On Sunday, under the headline “Oscar De La Hoya Boldly Claims Gennady Is Unpatriotic,” Niall Doran posted on the website Boxing News and Views a story based on a video interview De La Hoya had done with Villainfy Media which was posted on You Tube on Aug. 31. The story also stated that De La Hoya “…questioned his {Golovkin’s] support of his own country.”

“I have no idea what Oscar is talking about but it is not true,” said Loeffler. “The truth is Team Golovkin had requested that the national anthems of Kazakhstan, Mexico and the United States be sung before the pay-per-view telecast began so that we could proceed with the fights seamlessly and uninterrupted. HBO supported this position and has always preferred that the anthems take place before the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast begins. To suggest that Gennady is unpatriotic and has no respect for the anthems of his Kazakhstan, Mexico or the U.S., where Gennady resides in southern California, is patently false. Oscar and Canelo owe Gennady yet another apology. This is just another example of why Gennady never believes anything from Canelo’s side.”

This link will take you to De La Hoya’s interview with Villainfy Media. His statement about Gennady begins at 2:58 of this video which was posted on You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p15oRiI-hwU. Below is a transcription of it.

“Look, I mean, they have to stop all this nonsense. I can tell you one thing for instance. Talk about not supporting your own country? The Golovkin people didn’t want to sing the national anthems before the fight. That’s a ritual. Having a national anthem before a championship fight is what you’re supposed to do. It makes it feel like a bigger event. Golovkin’s people didn’t want the Kazakhstan national anthem to be sang, the Mexican national anthem to be sung, the American national anthem to be sung. I mean what else are they going to demand? Jesus, are they going to cancel the fight? It’s ridiculous Just go out there and fight!”
Countdown to Canelo vs. GGG 2 Reveals Brutal Street Fighting Past of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin
Golden Boy Promotions, GGG Promotions and Leigh Simons Productions are proud to present “Countdown to Canelo vs. GGG 2,” a 30-minute special that features never-before-heard details about the dangerous street fighting pasts of Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and WBC, WBA, and IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) who will fight for the middleweight championship of the world on Saturday, Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

While making the 30-minute special, producer Leigh Simons discovered that both Canelo and Golovkin had their own respective street fighting pasts that lead them down the path to becoming professional fighters. Both Canelo and Golovkin are sure to channel the aggression from their past along with mounting tension between the two fighters since the last time they met in the ring for their highly anticipated rematch at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 15, which 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.

During the film shoot with Leigh Simons, Canelo revealed his street fighting past began as early as age five, with at least 100 street fights to his credit before he became a professional fighter at age 15.

“Because I was the red haired one, I was different in school. I had to show everyone that saying things to me or picking on me would not be easy. That they would have to go through the beating I was going to give them. I never bowed my head to anyone, even if they were bigger,” said Canelo Alvarez.

“Since childhood he has shown character, and that’s what has made him succeed, his character,” said Jose ‘Chepo’ Reynoso, co-trainer of Canelo Alvarez.

“I told Canelo, ‘Don’t leave it in the judges hands this time. Go out there and win the fight and knock him out’ and I believe that he is going to knock GGG out this time,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.

Simons found a similar response and nature when interviewing Golovkin separately for the “Countdown” special.

“It was really survival of the fittest in that area where he [Golovkin] grew up,” said Tom Loeffler, Promoter of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. “One name for him could be the ‘Smiling Assassin’ because he’s confident. He’s experienced.”

“He grew up on the streets; he grew up in probably the roughest part of Kazahkstan, in Karaganda. It’s where all the rough people and gangsters were. He grew up beating people up because someone always wanted to take your shoes or jacket from you so he learned to defend himself,” said Abel Sanchez, trainer to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

In behind the scenes footage captured during the “Countdown to Canelo vs. GGG 2” commercial shoot, Golovin described one instance of street fighting back in his hometown in Kazahkstan for producer Leigh Simons with, “I can’t talk like this. It’s not legal,” refusing to go into detail alluding to the brutality of the fight.

The 30-minute special is now airing on various digital platforms, including the HBO Boxing YouTube and Golden Boy Boxing YouTube channels and includes interviews with celebrity boxing fans including actress Rosie Perez, Superbowl Champion and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and Omar Benson Miller, one of the stars of the HBO series “Ballers.”

“Countdown to Canelo vs. GGG 2”

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Jesse Valdez from the 1972 Olympics Was a Special Boxer


By: Ken Hissner

It was the summer of 1972 when this writer was watching the Olympic boxing from Munich, Germany. Who would know that the USA team would only win a total of 4 medal’s one being a Gold and three Bronze medals?

The one boxer on this team I always wanted to talk to was a Bronze medal winner Jesse Valdez out of Houston, TX. I started writing ten years ago and during that time I tried making contact with him but never was able to. Finally a week or so ago I saw an article by Rick Wright a Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer in New Mexico entitled “Boxing star Valdez still counting his blessings”. I was able to contact him and he gave me Jesse’s phone number and I took it from there.

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“The Lord gave me a gift,” said Valdez. His first coach was Charles Cord.

There was one Gold medal winner on the 1972 team and it was “Sugar” Ray Seales from the Tacoma Boy’s Club that Joe Clough was coach. Seales would go into the professional ranks and end up with a 57-8-3 record with 34 knockouts.

Also on the team gaining a Bronze medal was future two-time world light heavyweight champion Marvin Johnson, 43-6 (35).I contacted him and he said “why would you want to do a story on me?” I said “you were an Olympian and a two-time world champion”. He agreed to do a story. I love it when they are as humble as Marvin was.

Another Bronze medal winner was Ricardo Carreras, of NY, representing the Air Force. After failing to make the 1976 Olympic teamhe turned professional in 1978 and went 2-0 (2).

Three other team members of the eleven turned professional who were Duane Bobick, of the Navy, 48-4 (42) who I did a story on, Reggie Jones, 16-9-1 (8), of the Marines, Louis Self, 3-2 (2), of the Air Force and Davey Lee Armstrong, 24-3 (6) who was also a team member of the 1976 team that I did a story on him and teammates.

Not turning professional were Raymond Russell, of the Marines, Louis Busceme, Louis Self of the Air Force and Tim Dement. “I love Jesse Valdez,” said Dement. Getting back to the other boxer representing the Air Force was Valdez who was the one boxer that stood out to this writer. My two favorite Olympians of all time were him and Chuck Walker from the 1976 team.

Walker said of Valdez: I was one of those glued to the TV in 1972 watching boxing in the Olympics at Munich. Everybody knows Jesse was THE guy. He was the darling that year. I was 14 and just started boxing. He was one of my early heroes. Never noted at all for power but could that guy box, very slick, clever and effective. I believe he won the Bronze but should have won the Gold. I got to know Jesse well when he was the assistant coach at the 1975 Pan Am Games in Mexico City. We (team) trained in Durango, Colorado for several weeks, then got outfitted in Dallas and then onto MC. Jesse was a great pal and coach. He related well with the guys since he was more our age. I remember one time we were riding a taxi to the coliseum for the fights. I was fighting and Michael Dokes was fighting that night. Jesse was trying to find a radio station in English and finally happened on a song by Barbara Streisand. Dokes acted like that was pure anathema and went for the dial. Jesse slapped his hand away and said “Look man….we finally found something in English. Let it be. You’re not going to find any soul music in this city. Dokes said “I don’t know what’s worse….no music at all or Barbara Streisand!!!” Jesse and I used to walk around the Pan Am village together just out of boredom. We went to a few musical acts just outside the pavilion on the grounds. Often we had lunch together in the big cafeteria. Jesse was the one that took me to the USA medical building in the village when I got my lip split by Clinton Jackson in a freak accident in sparring. He looked out for us because he had been there and knew what it was like. He knew it was a tough business and he tried to make it less so.

Valdez was also instrumental in calming what could have been a horrible situation when Tommy Sullivan won 100 bucks from Michael Dokes betting on pinball in the game room. Tempers flared and the two almost went together for real, but Jesse talked them out of it. Later that night 100 bucks came up missing from Tommy’s locker. Jesse, along with “Sugar” Ray suggested to the other fighters that we all put in a few bucks to get Tommy paid back. And then again the situation was controlled. I haven’t talked to Jesse in probably 35 years but have thought of him often and I’m glad to hear he’s doing well. If you talk to him give him my best and tell him I’ve had Burton Gilliam (from Dallas, TX) in several of my movies. Burton and Jesse fought several times back in the amateurs.

Valdez said he had about 200 fights but never kept track of his record. It was in 1964 that the then 16 year old Houston native won the National AAU welterweight championship upsetting Olympic Bronze medalist Quincy Daniels of the 1960 Olympics. Valdez would qualify for the 1964 Olympic team as an alternate. In that same year he toured as a member of the US team in Africa.

In 1967 Valdez won a Bronze medal at the Pan-American Games and was also the Golden Gloves champion. In 1970 he won the National AAU light middleweight title. In 1972 he won the Golden Gloves again and qualified for the US national team by defeating future world light heavyweight champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. “He cold cocked me and dropped me to a knee in the first round. I would return the favor in either the first or second round,” said Valdez.

At the Olympics in 1972 Valdez defeated KolmanKalipe (Togo) 5-0, Carlos Burga (Peru) 4-1 which I thought was a tougher fight than with the Cuban but Valdez disagreed, David Jackson (Uganda) 4-1, Anatoly Khohlov (Soviet Union) 5-0, before losing in the semi-finals to Emilio Correa (Cuba) 3-2. This writer thought Valdez won without any doubt.Correra also won the 1971 Pan-American Games and participated in the 1976 Olympics.

Valdez was in the Air Force never turning professional but even fought until 1980 at age 32 as an amateur. Junior Robles had him box on an amateur show against a Marine who outweighed Valdez by 40 pounds. “When I saw how big he was I moved and boxed him,” said Valdez. Robles also had him compete for the CA state amateur title in Sacramento where Valdez came out victorious.

“He gives boxing a good name because he was so kind hearted yet capable of destroying his opponents while staying calmly in control. Good manners are special and Jesse is someone worth writing about. Many years after the 1972 Olympics Jesse told me something to the effect that, I made an impression on him seeing me reading my Bible when we were teammates. What a great guy my brother Jesse is….he loves our Lord,” said Tim Dement. (1972 Olympian at 112)

“I heard about him before I met him. He was like a legend. Everybody talked about Jesse. In 1967 or 1968 I saw him fight Joe Cokes, brother of world champion Curtis Cokes whom he out boxed.He was a gentleman, smart and a classy fighter. I was in the Air Force five years and knew him for about three years. Jesse touched a lot of boxers lives in a very positive way. He is a good friend, mentor and was an inspiration to me. I was proud to be his teammate. When he boxed he was sweet, hard to hit and he could punch…..hard. Jesse coached all the 1972 USAF boxing team in the National AAU,” said Nick Wells.

Valdez was asked to go to Poland on the USA team by Robles whose father had a gym that Valdez was helping with the kids. “The Holy Spirit said why do you need to go. Also veteran USA team official Bob Surkant who was a father figure to me advised me not to go. So I told Robles I wasn’t making the trip. I almost fought Robles at the 1964 Olympic Trials,” said Valdez. Other boxers who claimed to be asked but didn’t make the trip were Jimmy Clark, Marvis Frazier, Bobby Czyz, Robert Hines and Davey Armstrong. The plane went down in Warsaw, Poland, killing all 87 aboard which included Robles.

“My wife Jackie and I got down on our knees and prayed thanking God that I didn’t go. My whole life changed after that, my faith became my way of living,” said Valdez When he told me they were living in San Diego I told him we had a Calvary Chapelchurch there (Harvest Christian Fellowship) where Mike MacIntoshwas the pastor. Valdez couldn’t believe it for he attended that same church. Pastor Chuck Smith was the founder of Calvary Chapel. I’ve attended three of their churches on a week-end in 1989 after starting in Philadelphia. He and his wife Jackie (originally from Buffalo, NY) now attend a Calvary Chapel church in Albuquerque where Skip Heitzig is the pastor. They have two sons James (42) and Jeremy (40).

“My oldest brother (Steve) was on the Air Force team with Jesse and we met at numerous tournaments and went overseas together. He was the greatest amateur of all-time. He could beat you many different ways. I was in awe of him. We were roommates at the Olympics. He met my family. He was like a brother and really humble. He came back from Italy and gave a picture of him and the Pope to my father. He was someone you looked up to and wanted to be like. He was a real role model,” said Tim Dement. (1972 Olympian)

Valdez told me “in 1972 I would spar with 156 pound team member Reggie Jones and I felt he stayed that heavy to avoid meeting me in the Olympic trials,” said Valdez.He said he worked with the Spinks brothers in 1976 and almost had to bring them home.

After leaving the Air Force, Valdez became a TV cameraman, first in Houston and then to San Diego. I told him I had notes that in 1974 he worked on the prison siege at the Huntsville, TX, State Prison. “I was sent to Huntsville where 5 prisoners were holding 5 guards as hostages,with (now well-known writer) Cal Thomas who was the reporter,” said Valdez. In 1976 Valdez working with the Spinks brothers and almost had to take them home.

In 1979 I was in Philadelphia at the Joe Frazier Gym where “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Marvin Stinson (1976 Olympic Alternate) and Leonard’s cousin O’Dell would be fighting in Philadelphia. The name Valdez came up and one of them informed me he was the one who started the bowing to the four corners prior to his fight. “I think I saluted but Correa did bow after that to the four corners. I would also go to my opponent’s corner after the fight before then returning to my corner,” said Valdez.

“Jesse Valdez, David Martinez and Mark Tessman were (boxers) who I wanted to be like,” said Termite Watkins. I got an email from him due to contacting the Texan boxers I had articles with and all Christians. Termite was 61-5-2 (42), and from Houston who fought for the WBC super lightweight title. He has a book called “Termite” about his experiences in Iraq as a pest control exterminator which is well worth reading. He’s a great friend and one of the most genuine and humble boxers I ever met. I’m honored to call him my friend today. We keep in touch on the phone. He may be the greatest amateur fighter I ever saw.

Valdez was kind enough to answer some questions.

KEN HISSNER: The first time I saw you was in the 1972 Olympics and was immediately impressed with your style of boxing. Was your coach Charles Cord responsible for that?

JESSE VALDEZ: In the long run I would say yes. I had him as my coach at a younger age.

KEN HISSNER: You winning the National AAU championship at 16 in 1964 defeating Quincey Daniels who was on the 1960 team did that qualify you as an alternate for that Olympic team?

JESSE VALDEZ: I lost to Maurice Trilot of the Marines and was an alternate.

KEN HISSNER: Did you get involved with making the 1968 Olympic team?

JESSE VALDEZ: I lost to Armando Muniz in the finals.

KEN HISSNER: What period of time were you in the Air Force?

JESSE VALDEZ: 1969-1972

KEN HISSNER: In 1972 you defeated Eddie Gregory (Eddie Mustafa Muhammad later) to qualify for the Olympic team. Was defeating him and Daniels two of your biggest wins prior to going to the Olympics?

JESSE VALDEZ: If I win I win but never think of who I fought.

KEN HISSNER: Were you still pretty active from 1972 to 1980 between your coaching at the 1975 Pan Am Games and still having some fights?

JESSE VALDEZ: I was an assistant at the 1975 Pan Am Games.

KEN HISSNER: Do you still stay in touch with any of your 1972 team members or have any re-unions?

JESSE VALDEZ: I don’t really except “Sugar” Ray Seales.

KEN HISSNER: Getting ripped off in the 1972 Olympics against the Cuban was that a deciding factor in not turning professional?

JESSE VALDEZ: I had two offers. One was to stay in Air Force as the boxing coach and from Bill Daniels owner of the Denver Rockets.

KEN HISSNER: How did the terrorist attack at the Olympics in Munich affect you and your teammates?

JESSE VALDEZ: We heard the gunfire. It was quite alarming.

KEN HISSNER: Not going to Poland in 1980 when their plane went down killing all aboard did that end your boxing career?

JESSE VALDEZ: It totally did. I was 35 at the time and figured at that age I was too old. Junior Robles convinced me to go but I changed my mind. He was among those killed on the airplane.

KEN HISSNER: I know you go back to Houston for some of the Golden Gloves tourneys. Are you completely out of training boxers now?

JESSE VALDEZ: Unless you’ve been in the ring it is hard to teach someone to box.

KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer questions and I have to tell you it is so rewarding to finally catch up to you.

JESSE VALDEZ: It was nice going back in time with you.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Kell Brook


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Kell Brook
By: William Holmes

On Saturday afternoon at the Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield, England one of the best fights that could be made in the welterweight division will occur.

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Uber prospect Errol Spence Jr. will take on IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook in Kell Brook’s home town and this bout will be televised on Showtime in the United States.

Eleven bouts are currently scheduled to take place on the undercard, including a WBA Super Middleweight Title bout between George Groves and Fedor Chudinov. It’s unlikely that the Groves bout will be televised in the United States absent a quick stoppage.

The following is a preview of the IBF Welterweight Title fight. The lead promoter for this bout is Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

Kell Brook (36-1) vs. Errol Spence Jr. (21-0); IBF Welterweight Title

The welterweight division has always been a stacked division full of talent. Keith Thurman currently holds the WBA and WBC World Titles, Kell Brook holds the IBF Title, and Manny Pacquiao holds the WBO title, but only Kell Brook had the courage to move up two weight classes to face Gennady Golovkin and give him a better fight than most expected.

Brook could have taken an easy fight after his bout with Golovkin and most boxing experts would not have blamed him. However, Brook has decided to take on one of the most dangerous prospects in the sport today, Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.

Errol Spence was an amateur star on the United States amateur scene and was a 2011 US National Champion and a 2012 Olympic team member. Kell Brook didn’t compete in the Olympics, but was able to experience a good amount of success as an amateur in England, including two Amateur Boxing Association of England titles.

Spence appears to have the advantage in the physicals. Spence will have about a half an inch height advantage, a three inch reach advantage, and is four years younger than Brook. Spence also appears to have the edge in power. Spence has stopped eighteen of his opponents and is currently riding an eight fight stoppage streak.

Brook also has power in his hands as he has stopped twenty five of his opponents. Seven of his past eight wins were stoppage victories, but his last bout was a TKO loss.

Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Spence fought twice in 2016 and four times in 2015. Brook fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Spence has soundly defeated the likes of Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Alejandro Barrera, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, Ronald Cruz, Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. Kell Brook has defeated the likes of Kevin Bizier, Frankie Gavin, Shawn Porter, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Carson Jones, Matthew Hatton, Lovemore Ndou, Michael Jennings.

This is a tough bout to choose the winner. Spence will be in enemy territory and the 30,000 expected fans in attendance will be loudly cheering for Brook. However, Brook is coming off a TKO loss to Gennady Golovkin and has not been seen in the ring since.

Additionally, Brook will have to make the cut back down to 147 again after competing in the middleweight division.

This is a rare time that we get to see a young prospect with high expectations take on an established champion still in the midst of his athletic prime, and it’s a fight that hardcore boxing fans are looking forward to.

It’s a fight that this writer expects Errol Spence Jr. to officially announce to the world that he is, in fact, the next big thing with a convincing and clear victory.

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