Posts Tagged ‘Canelo’

Canelo and GGG Battle to Contentious Split Draw

Posted: September 17, 2017 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Fight Reports
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LAS VEGAS — Leave it to one judge to screw up a great fight. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin battled tooth and nail over 12 rounds in a highly competitive fight that was mired by judge Adalaide Byrd’s wide 118-110 scorecard for Canelo, creating a split draw decision.

In an eerie replay of the early rounds of Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard 30 years ago, Golovkin was gunshy in the early round. This allowed Canelo to get off first at ring center with flashy combinations and jump out to a 3-0 lead on all scorecards.

From there, Golovkin became the stalking predator that’s made him famous.

Golovking upped the pressure and forced Canelo to the ropes with his jab. Canelo was visibly uncomfortable trying to maintain movement as Golovkin repeatedly cornered him and worked right hands around the guard. While Canelo did manage to occasionally back up Golovkin with hard counter shots, it was the middleweight champion’s pressure, jabs and right hands that consistently dominated the action through the ninth.

Sensing he was in a hole, Canelo dug deep in the championship rounds. Despite being fatigued, he exploded strategically with clusters of eye-catching power shots before retreating under Golovkin’s relentless pressure. This tactic proved to be a lifesaver as Canelo out-landed Golovkin in power shots over the last three rounds and swept them on the judges’ cards.

The close fight was correctly reflected in the scores of Dave Moretti (115-113) and Don Trella (114-114). But Byrd’s egregious 118-110 card made for the split draw. The crowd lustily booed the verdict and Canelo, who declared he won at least eight rounds. Golovkin chastised Canelo for “running” and affirmed his willingness for an immediate rematch.

The result marks a sour end to a superfight that was 18 months in the making and marketed as the antithesis of the “Mayweather-Gregor circus.”

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Well, at least the people who bet on a draw get to clean up at the sportsbook. I’ll write more about this tomorrow, but let me close your evening with a few points.

  1. Adalaide Byrd should never judge another fight. She gave GGG two rounds.
  2. This verdict sullies Canelo’s reputation and paints him as a protected fighter. We’ve seen too much scoring favoritism in his high-level fights against Trout, Mayweather, Lara,  and now Golovkin. Getting booed out the building on Mexican Independence Day weekend says it all.
  3. I had GGG winning 115-113, but his stamina is becoming a concern at 35 years old. He never stopped the pressure after round three, but his punch output dropped heavily in the championship rounds, giving Canelo the wiggle room to escape with the 114-114 score.
  4. If you’re wondering why GGG looked so happy about arguably being robbed, keep in mind he’s thinking about another career-high payday in the rematch.

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Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

Ryan Martin escaped with a too close for comfort split decision win over a determined Francisco Rojo.

The taller Martin had difficulty controlling distance and dealing with Rojo’s pressure. When inside, it was Rojos who had the more consistent workrate. Martin never seemed comfortable and had little rhythm to his offense. The ninth round also saw Martin docked a point for repeated low blows.

Scores for Martin were 91-98, 96-93 and 95-94. He improves to 20-0 (11 KOs). Rojo falls to 20-3.

 

 

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Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will not fight for the remainder of 2016 after doctors diagnosed a right thumb fracture, Golden Boy announced today.

The injury occurred last Saturday during Alvarez’s ninth round stoppage victory over Liam Smith. An X-Ray and CT scan from Dr. Pedro Jaime Lomeli revealed an avulsion fracture to the right thumb that does not require surgery.

Canelo’s right hand will be immobilized for the next six weeks, effectively nixing rumored plans to fight in New York in December.

Canelo still plans to move up to 160 pounds next year and “take on the best in the middleweight division.”


This presents an interesting dilemma for Canelo and Golden Boy next year. The time frame to “grow” into the middleweight division is now sped up. Although the doctor stated the  prognosis is excellent, there is a chance Canelo will get just one middleweight tune-up in May before facing Gennady Golovkin next September.

Should he go with David Lemieux? The fight is in-house, and Lemieux’s punching power and seek n’ destroy style would be a good litmus test for how Canelo deals with the strength of an attacking middleweight. Or, does Canelo try to one-up Golovkin’s performance a few weeks back by facing Kell Brook on Cinco de Mayo?

If I’m Canelo’s team, I hope for the quick recovery and aim for an early 2017 bout before the one in May. And while a Brook fight is intriguing and lucrative, his focus needs to be on getting adjusted to middleweight size and power. Therefore, I’d look in-house to the aforementioned Lemieux and Curtis Stevens, who both fought (and won) on the undercard for Canelo-Khan.

Since Canelo targeted a December fight in New York, he can look to face Stevens, a Brooklyn native, on an early 2017 date, and move on to Lemieux in May. That gives Canelo two fights against dangerous and strong middleweights that also happen to be Golovkin victims (furthering the hype and comparisons headed into the superfight).

In boxing, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. In other words, a lot needs to right for the above scenario to happen. For now, all we can hope for is a speedy Canelo recovery.

 

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Starting at 3:45 p.m. ET, BeatsBoxingMayhem will stream the untelevised undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith live from the AT&T Stadium at Arlington, Texas. Watch below.

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2016 is supposed to be Canelo Alvarez’s year. With Floyd Mayweather’s retirement at the end of last year, the throne for boxing’s premier superstar became vacant. Canelo, with his previous strong pay-per-view outings and popularity, was the only logical candidate to fill the role. He had just decisively defeated Miguel Cotto last November in a well-received pay-per-view, and scored a spectacular one-punch knockout of Amir Khan in May.

Then came the first big misstep of Canelo’s career. After bringing middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin into the ring and vowing to fight him next, Canelo surprisingly vacated his WBC middleweight crown rather than face his biggest threat and most lucrative opponent. The combination of Canelo’s machismo-laced words to Golovkin, and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, promising to call to Golovkin’s people asap, made Canelo the laughing stock of the boxing world for several weeks. What happened to the ambitious fighter who forced his promoter to ink a high-risk fight with spoiler Erislandy Lara just to shut his mouth?

Internet jokes and media criticism aside, Canelo’s decisions have yet to hurt him at the box office. His fight this Saturday, against WBO junior middleweight titlist Liam Smith, has sold nearly 40,000 tickets at AT&T Stadium. Should Canelo win, it’s rumored he’ll fight again in December, possibly in New York. This would mirror his rival Golovkin’s strategy in recent years of becoming a live attraction on both coasts.

Although Alvarez won’t concede Golovkin’s influence on his potential venue selections, he realizes the importance of building their anticipated superfight in every aspect.

“I fight wherever need to,” he says. “I feel comfortable in any arena. The fans are always welcoming and I’m received well wherever I go. But, Las Vegas has to be a priority when looking at my options.”

The science of opponent selection isn’t “sweet” like the action we see in the ring, but it’s just as important if Canelo’s brand is to remain strong moving towards a Golovkin showdown. According to his promoter, Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya, there is a “verbal agreement” in place for Canelo to face Golovkin this time next year.

“Canelo is going to build up to being a true middleweight,” said De La Hoya last week. “The plan is to face Smith – a big, bruising 154-pounder – in September, and if Canelo emerges victorious, to start making his way up to 160 pounds and fight Golovkin on equal turf (in terms of weight). We envision Canelo doing a third fight in 2016 either at or close to the middleweight limit and then a fight on Cinco De Mayo at 160 before facing Golovkin in the fall.”

In recent years, Canelo has looked his most dominant against limited, come-forward sluggers, notably Alfredo Angulo (TKO10) and James Kirkland (KO3). Smith fits the pressure fighter mold, but with one key exception — he’s undefeated with none the battle wear and tear that burdened Angulo and Kirkland.

“Smith is a bigger challenge (than Angulo and Kirkland). I’m preparing for a guy that comes forward, is a hard puncher and fast with his combinations,” says Canelo. “I have to be at my best and be able to adjust.”

Canelo has come to accept that Gennady Golovkin’s name will be linked with his for the foreseeable future. He remains calm in answering the ducking accusations and the embarrassment of his May post-fight interview bravado. But the first sign of irritability comes when the 26-year old is asked about his weight.

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In his 11-year career, Canelo Alvarez has never weighed more than 155 pounds for a fight. Over his last six bouts, he’s tipped the scales at 155 four times. But the rumors of Alvarez risking his health to stay at junior middleweight over facing Golovkin at 160 gained steam in the immediate aftermath of the Khan knockout. Media, including this author, waited for close to two hours for Canelo to appear for post-fight questions. When he finally spoke at the podium, his opening words were translated as stating the delay was due to being a “little dehydrated” and needing more time to complete the post-fight physical.

Khan estimated Canelo was 180 pounds when they clashed. Smith is on record as stating he expects Canelo to struggle with the weight and accused him of only returning to 154 to avoid Golovkin. As for Canelo, he lets out an animated sigh and mutters a few choice words when the dehydration and weight issues are brought up.

“Aw, come on. Look, there was no dehydration issue at all,” he declares. “What happened was they needed to take more blood from me and I had just urinated, but they needed more to finish the testing. The weight is 154 and no issue. That was just a mistranslation on the podium.”

Mistranslation or not, junior middleweight will not be a rest haven. There are the Charlo brothers, who hold the WBC (Jermell) and IBF (Jermall) titles. Erislandy Lara, who’s been clamoring for a Canelo rematch since losing a controversial split decision in 2014, holds the WBA strap. And the undefeated Demetrius Andrade, who put the division on notice by outclassing Willie Nelson (TKO12) in June, is now the mandatory challenger for the Canelo-Smith winner.

“I’m not worried about the other champions,” is all Canelo will commit to on record. “We can figure out the next step after Smith.”

Boxing wears you down. Most fighters on the wrong side of 30 put health and favorable opposition over the tough matchups that make fans salivate. But Canelo is 26. Fans watched the sport make a mockery of itself with the five-year delay in making Mayweather-Pacquiao. In the immediate aftermath, Canelo and his promoter vowed to resurrect the sport by giving fans what they want to see. Was it all smoke and mirrors?

Another Canelo sigh.

“The fight with Golovkin will happen at a good time for the fans,” he assures. “But he doesn’t concern me. My focus is just Liam Smith.”

Is Canelo Alvarez more fighter, or more businessman? We have one year to find out.

Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith airs live on HBO pay-per-view on Saturday September 17.

 

 

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Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez have been the recipients of immense criticism since the latter vacated the WBC middleweight title to avoid facing mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin. Fans who were tortured with a six-year delay for Mayweather-Pacquiao have felt deja-vu with Canelo showing no urgency to make what is unquestionably the biggest fight in boxing.

Today via his HBO blog series, De La Hoya disclosed Canelo’s one-year plan to “build” towards a Golovkin superfight in fall 2017. Phase one begins with Canelo taking WBO light middleweight titlist Liam Smith September 7 live on HBO pay-per-view.

What does Liam Smith provide in term of helping Canelo to get ready for a potential fight with GGG? As a promoter, what do you tell boxing fans that wanted to see Canelo-GGG instead of Canelo-Smith?

Well, first of all, Canelo takes every fight seriously and never looks past anyone. Liam Smith is an undefeated fighter, the WBO Junior Middleweight Champion of the world, has knocked out his last eight opponents and comes from an outstanding boxing family.

As of today, Canelo is a 154-lb fighter. He only fought for a Middleweight championship because fans wanted a fight with Miguel Cotto, and Canelo delivered by winning that fight convincingly. 

I have been clear that Canelo will fight Golovkin at 160 pounds and we have a verbal agreement to do it in the fall of 2017. But in the meantime, Canelo is going to build up to being a true middleweight.

The plan is to face Smith – a big, bruising 154-pounder – in September, and if Canelo emerges victorious, to start making his way up to 160 pounds and fight Golovkin on equal turf (in terms of weight).  

 We envision Canelo doing a third fight in 2016 either at or close to the middleweight limit and then a fight on Cinco De Mayo at 160 before facing Golovkin in the fall.

I know Canelo/Golovkin is the biggest fight to make; the fighters know it’s the biggest fight to make; and the fans know it’s the biggest fight to make. Everyone agreed that a fight for the middleweight championship should take place at the middleweight limit and once Canelo builds up to that weight, the fight will be on.

In the meantime, we are hopeful and confident that Canelo will continue to perform at a level that has led to back-to-back knockouts of the year over James Kirkland and Amir Khan and when his body is ready, GGG should look out.

The HBO Sports special ROAD TO CANELO/SMITH debuts Saturday, September 10 at 12:45 a.m. (ET/PT) immediately following HBO World Championship Boxing.

 

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Canelo Alvarez will officially return to the 154-pound division when he faces WBO titlist Liam Smith September 17 on HBO pay-per-view.

Having faced criticism for dropping the WBC middleweight title over facing Gennady Golovkin this year, Canelo claims to have wanted a competitive fight worthy of Mexican Independence Day weekend.

“I am very pleased to announce my next fight against Liam Smith, a tremendous fighter with real knockout power, and the WBO junior middleweight world title owner,” said Alvarez. “I have no doubt that this fight will be give and take, which will fill the expectations of the fans, and I will work with all the enthusiasm as I always do to get the upper hand on September 17.”

Nicknamed “Beefy” for his stocky 5’9 frame, the Liverpool-raised Smith is on a eight-fight KO streak that dates back to 2013. He picked up the vacant WBO title with a seventh round stoppage over John Thompson last October, and has made two successive defenses. On June 4, he stopped Predrag Radosevic in two rounds.

“This fight allows me to make my name in the U.S. and show just how good I am and this is the big stage that will enable me to do that,” said Smith, who will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time. “I thank my team for getting me this opportunity: Frank Warren, BoxNation, Daniel and of course Golden Boy for providing it.  I am confident of winning this fight and returning to the great city of Liverpool with my belt still around my waist.”

At press time, the venue and ticket information have not been finalized. The card will be distributed in the UK by Box Nation.