Miguel Cotto Named to International Boxing Hall of Fame

Miguel Cotto entering the hall

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican former professional boxer will be enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, alongside Roy Jones Jr. and James Toney.

Miguel Cotto,Cotto, Jones and Toney highlight the Boxing Hall’s Class of 2022, as revealed on Tuesday.

They’re joined by female champions Holly Holm and Regina Hamlisch, alongside publicist Bill Caplan, journalist Ron Borges and historian/producer Bob Yalen.

When they’re all inducted on June 12 in Canastota, New York, the group will be accompanied by the previous two classes. Because of the pandemic, fighters from those classes — such as Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and Wladimir Klitschko — have yet to be enshrined.

Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) retired at age 37 following an upset loss to Sadam Ali. One of the most accomplished boxers from Puerto Rico, Cotto routinely fought before sellout crowds at Madison Square Garden, thrilling the masses with his ferocious body punching.

Cotto won titles at 147 pounds and 154 before he upset Sergio Martinez for the middleweight championship. Cotto competed with three Hall of Famers during his career: a win over Shane Mosley and losses to Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Cotto was also defeated by future Hall of Famer Canelo Alvarez.

Cotto’s loss to Antonio Margarito in 2008 is a welterweight classic. He later avenged the defeat.

WBC Approves Canelo Alvarez’s Request to Chase Title in Fifth Weight Class

Canelo Alvarez may soon be chasing a title in a fifth weight class.

The WBC has approved a request by the 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer’s trainer and manager, Eddy Reynoso, to have Alvarez challenge Ilunga Junior Makabu for the cruiserweight championship.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez, ESPN‘s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer, became the undisputed champion at 168 pounds earlier this month with an 11th-round TKO of Caleb Plant.

A win over Makabu would make Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) a five-division champion.

Alvarez has never competed at cruiserweight, so Reynoso needed to petition the WBC to order the title fight. Now that the fight has been approved, negotiations can begin; and if no deal is struck, a purse bid will be ordered.

“I know … what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight,” Reynoso told ESPN Deportes’ Salvador Rodriguez. “We know that [Makabu] is strong, but Canelo can beat him. … Many may say that it is crazy, but they also said that it was crazy when Canelo was junior middleweight champion, and we were looking for middleweights, super middleweight, light heavyweights.

“I have a lot of confidence in Canelo. He is very strong and has many qualities, and I know that he is going to win that fight.”

Alvarez fought once at 175 pounds, a November 2019 TKO victory over Sergey Kovalev for a light heavyweight title. He unified titles at 154 pounds and 160 pounds before that.

The cruiserweight limit is 200 pounds, but the WBC recently introduced an 18th weight class — bridgerweight — with a limit of 224 pounds. In a corresponding move, the Mexico-based organization is reducing the cruiserweight limit to 190 pounds, the same weight when the division was introduced in 1979, before it was increased by 10 pounds in 2004.

Reynoso told Rodriguez there have been some offers to fight in Congo, Makabu’s birthplace.

“Let’s see if something can be arranged for that to happen,” he said. “It is one more challenge. Just as we took the challenges at 168 and 175 pounds, now we are going to cruiserweight.”

Makabu, ESPN’s No. 4 cruiserweight, has reeled off nine consecutive wins since he lost the title to Tony Bellew via third-round TKO in 2016.

He is promoted by Don King, who last month announced a deal for Makabu to fight Thabiso Mchunu. However, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman claimed Mchunu wasn’t ready to fight on Jan. 8, as planned.

Makabu, 34, said he was excited about the prospect of fighting Alvarez.

“I’m feeling very happy because I fight the best boxer in the planet,” Makabu, who resides in Johannesburg, told Rodriguez. “Canelo has been beating everyone … but now he’s fighting one tough man.

“I’ll fight anywhere. Even if they put on the fight in his own house with no public. I’ll fight.”

Vergil Ortiz, Jr. to Reportedly Train with Eddy Reynoso

Vergil Ortiz, Jr. is making a big change…

The 23-year-old Mexican professional boxer, one of the fastest rising stars in boxing, has a new trainer.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The undefeated welterweight, who has long been with former trainer of the year Robert Garcia, will be under the guidance of Eddy Reynoso as he prepares for his first bout of 2022.

Ortiz will train with Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez‘s San Diego gym, according to ESPN.

Ortiz denied Friday that the change to Reynoso is happening. Garcia, meanwhile, posted a YouTube video in which he confirmed that Ortiz told him last month that he was opting to leave Garcia’s camp.

Reynoso is best known for training Canelo, the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. Along with Alvarez, Reynoso is the trainer of star lightweight Ryan Garcia, former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr., 130-pound champion Oscar Valdez, heavyweight Frank Sanchez and 112-pound champion Julio Cesar Martinez.

Coming off a Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year campaign, Reynoso now adds Ortiz.

Ortiz makes the change on the heels of the biggest year of his career. He stepped way up in competition with a seventh-round KO of former champion Maurice Hooker in March and then topped that performance with an eight-round TKO of Egidijus Kavaliauskas in August.

Ortiz (18-0, 18 KOs) is now eyeing a January return with Reynoso in his corner.

Canelo Alvarez Defeats Caleb Plant to Become Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion

Canelo Alvarez has a new title…

For the first time in his career, the 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer can call himself an undisputed champion.

Canelo Alvarez

Alvarez, the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world and the sport’s biggest attraction, promised to punish Caleb Plant, and on Saturday he did just that with an 11th-round TKO victory at a sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena to unify all four 168-pound titles.

A left hook followed by a brutal right uppercut sent both of Plant’s gloves to the canvas in the penultimate round. He never recovered. On unsteady legs, Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) attempted to escape danger, but Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) sensed the moment. He closed in with a barrage of shots that dropped Plant a second time as referee Russell Mora halted the bout at 1:05 of Round 11.

“It means so much to me, for the history of Mexico, to be an undisputed champion,” said Alvarez, who earned a guaranteed $40 million. “My respect to Caleb Plant. He’s a very difficult fighter with a lot of ability. I do respect the fighter.

“We’re men at the end. He wanted to continue. I said, ‘There’s no shame. We had a great fight today.'”

Plant, who earned a career-best $10 million, was transported to University Medical Center for observation, according to a PBC spokesperson. He was behind on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage: 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93. ESPN scored it 98-92.

Alvarez broke Plant down with relentless pressure and a dedicated body attack, a strategy he has used time and again on his way to the top of the sport. The entire left side of Plant’s body was red early in the fight as Alvarez continued to dish out blows to the midsection. Plant used a strong jab and deft footwork to keep Alvarez at bay and make him miss, but he rarely made Alvarez pay.

According to CompuBox data, Alvarez landed 102 power punches to 59 from Plant.

Plant, a 29-year-old native of Nashville, Tennessee, is regarded for his defensive ability, not his power, and it showed. The punches never gained Alvarez’s respect, who swarmed, round after round, even as his elusive opponent glided around the ring.

The pressure mounted, and Alvarez didn’t stop coming. It was simply a matter of time. The elusive fourth belt would soon be his.

“He was making things a little difficult, but [trainer] Eddy [Reynoso] told me, ‘Let’s keep with the game plan in the last two rounds here,'” Alvarez said. “And in the end, I got him. That’s the way it had to finish. He was already hurt, and I went in for the kill.”

He also got what he has long searched for: undisputed status. Alvarez won two super middleweight titles with a December victory over Callum Smith and picked up a third when he shattered Billy Joe Saunders‘ orbital bone in May. After that victory, it was clear whom he wanted next: “I’m coming, my friend,” Alvarez warned Plant then.

And Alvarez never stopped coming once he lured Plant into the ring. The outcome was never in doubt, though Plant boxed well over the first few rounds. His use of feints, an educated jab and smooth footwork allowed him to stay off the ropes and, mostly, out of harm’s way. But Alvarez is known for being a methodical starter, and Plant has a reputation for slowing down late in fights.

The matchup was originally being eyed for September 18, but at the 11th hour, the deal fell apart. Alvarez then entered talks for a light heavyweight title challenge from Dmitry Bivol, but before a deal could be completed, Alvarez decided to delay his return until November so he could chase the fourth super middleweight title, which belonged to Plant.

When they finally faced off at a promotional event in September, chaos ensued. After Plant hurled insults at Alvarez, Alvarez responded with an open-handed left hand. Plant went after Alvarez too but emerged with a small cut under his right eye. Alvarez was left with deep personal disdain for Plant, who disrespected his beloved trainer, Reynoso, and called Alvarez a cheater.

The accusation was a reference to Alvarez’s positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol that postponed his May 2018 rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin and led to a six-month suspension. Alvarez blamed the adverse finding on tainted meat consumed in his native Guadalajara.

After Saturday’s fight, Alvarez, after four fights in 11 months, said he envisions a May return to allow his body time to properly recover. Canelo usually fights on Cinco De Mayo weekend.

Plant, ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 168 pounds, is the first champion in Al Haymon‘s PBC stable to earn a crack at Alvarez, but he might not be the last. The deal between Canelo and PBC is for one fight, but there’s reason to believe Alvarez will continue to face off against Haymon’s boxers. David Benavidez, ESPN’s No. 2 super middleweight, is aligned with PBC, as is Jermall Charlo, the middleweight champion who plans to jump to the 168-pound division in the near future.

A third meeting with Golovkin, though, is the biggest fight of all. They clashed twice for the middleweight championship after Alvarez unified titles at 154 pounds. He also won a title at 175 pounds, where he could seek a bout with Artur Beterbiev.

It’s less clear where Plant is headed after his first career loss. He won the title with an upset decision victory over Jose Uzcategui in January 2019 and defended it three times against light opposition. The fight with Alvarez was a quantum leap in competition. He fared well early, but in the end, Alvarez was too much.

It’s a familiar story since Alvarez lost to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, and at this point, there doesn’t appear to be anyone on the horizon who can dethrone him.

Canelo Alvarez Nearing Deal to Fight Caleb Plant to Crown Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion

Canelo Alvarez is closing in on the biggest fight of his career…

The 31-year-old Mexican boxer is nearing a deal with Caleb Plant for a November fight that would crown an undisputed super middleweight champion, according to ESPN.

Canelo Alvarez

A fight between Alvarez and Plant was agreed to last month for September 18, sources said, and officials were simply awaiting signatures when the deal fell apart at the 11th hour.

After talks collapsed, Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) turned his attention to a 175-pound title fight with Dmitry Bivol. When that matchup couldn’t be finalized in time to stage the fight on Mexican Independence Day Weekend (Sept. 18), Canelo decided to delay his return until November.

Now boxing’s top star is deep in talks with PBC for a one-fight deal that would feature him on Fox PPV, sources said.

The prospect of a fight between Alvarez, ESPN‘s No. 1 pound-for-pound-boxer, and Plant, an undefeated 168-pound titleholder, was dead just two weeks ago. With Alvarez and PBC’s Al Haymon locked in a stalemate, Alvarez moved on to talks with Bivol. When the Mexican star decided to forgo Sept. 18 and instead fight in November, the possibility of Plant returned to the table.

It’s the fight Canelo wanted all along. After Alvarez stopped Billy Joe Saunders in Round 9 of their May fight, picking up his third 168-pound belt, he issued a message to Plant: “I’m coming, my friend.”

Becoming undisputed champion has long been Canelo’s goal, a feat he hasn’t accomplished despite a Hall of Fame résumé that includes titles in four weight classes. Alvarez was set to earn upward of $40 million guaranteed — a career best — in the proposed deal for Sept. 18.

Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) was slated to make $10 million-plus, also a career high. The original pact disintegrated, Plant told ESPN last month, over last-minute “ridiculous requests” from Team Alvarez.

“One that is absurd: If I get injured or sick, then he gets a late replacement for the same amount of guaranteed money, but if he gets sick or injured, then we gotta wait for him,” Plant, ESPN’s No. 3 super middleweight, said after the deal fell apart. “… His bark is bigger than his bite.

“We’ve been waiting for him to get done with his wedding, shooting his TV show, his golf tournament and now have tried to give him everything he wants and more to make this fight,” the Nashville native added. “I’m more than willing, able and ready to fight Canelo Alvarez on any date.”

Those issues could be ironed out now, it appears. This is the third consecutive year Alvarez won’t fight on the coveted September date, a holiday he starred on against bitter rival Gennadiy Golovkin in 2017 and ’18. Another drawn-out negotiation in 2019 forced Alvarez to instead fight in November, a KO victory over Sergey Kovalev.

If he can strike a deal with PBC, it will mark Alvarez’s return to pay-per-view, a platform he has headlined nine times since his fight with Shane Mosley in 2012. Those bouts included a megafight with Floyd Mayweather in 2013 and a pair of matchups with GGG.

Alvarez signed a landmark 11-fight, $365 million deal with DAZN after the GGG rematch, but following four fights, he sued his then-promoter, Golden Boy, along with the streaming platform. After the lawsuit was settled, Alvarez remained with DAZN for a December 2020 win over Callum Smith, then linked up with Matchroom‘s Eddie Hearn on a two-fight deal. The contract for that partnership expired after the Saunders win, opening the door for Alvarez to seek a one-fight deal with Haymon’s team and a chance at undisputed status.

Canelo and Plant were training to fight each other when talks came to an abrupt halt — Alvarez at his San Diego gym and Plant in Las Vegas. This time, the hard work in the gym might lead to what they both want: a showdown for super middleweight supremacy.

Anderson Silva Defeats Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by Split Decision

Anderson Silva has taken down a boxing champion…

The 46-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, a former UFC middleweight champion who made a career out of doing the impossible, defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision (75-77, 77-75, 77-75) in a shockingly impressive boxing performance on Saturday night at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Anderson Silva

A heavy underdog, Silva hadn’t competed in boxing since 2005 and had just two pro boxing matches coming in. Chavez Jr., the son and namesake of Mexico’s most popular boxing superstar, is a former WBC middleweight champion.

“I love fighting,” Silva said in his postfight interview. “Boxing was my dream for many years. I needed to show my respect for boxing. I need to come here and do my best.”

The bout was contested at 182 pounds with eight three-minute rounds. Chavez Jr. missed weight by 2.4 pounds Friday, forfeiting $100,000 of his purse to Silva. The event was dubbed “Tribute to the Kings” with the headliner pitting Chavez Sr. against Hector Camacho Jr., the son of his biggest rival, in an exhibition boxing match.

Silva’s fight against Chavez Jr. started slow, but Silva started to gain confidence in the third round and looked like the vintage version of the MMA all-time great. He started dropping his hands and taunting Chavez Jr. in the third round, a stunning display, considering the enormous gap in boxing experience. Silva carried that confidence and started hurting Chavez Jr. in the fourth round with combinations and a long, straight left. Silva, a southpaw, showed off a solid, snapping jab as well.

Chavez Jr. had some moments with body shots and left hooks, but never really hurt Silva. In the seventh, Silva opened up a cut near Chavez Jr.’s right eye, which started bleeding worse in the eighth round.

“I think it could have been a draw,” Chavez Jr. said. “I failed to throw more punches. He didn’t do much damage. There were a few rounds that went back and forth.”

Silva outlanded Chavez Jr. 99-53 in total punches and 60-41 in power punches, per CompuBox. Afterward, Canelo Alvarez, the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, came up to Silva and gave him a “salute,” Silva said.

“I don’t believe it,” Silva said. “Canelo come talk to me. I’m so happy.”

Silva has been talking about doing a boxing match for a decade or so, but had been under contract with the UFC. Silva always said a boxing bout with Roy Jones Jr. was a dream and goal of his. Maybe now it can happen at both of their advanced ages.

Silva (2-1) is one of the greatest champions in MMA history. The Brazil native held the UFC middleweight title for seven years, the longest reign in promotion history. “The Spider” owns the longest winning streak in UFC history (16) and the most finishes in UFC title fights (nine). Silva asked for his release from the UFC last November, and it was granted. He has just one MMA victory since 2012.

Chavez Jr. (52-6-1) has lost four of his past six fights. He is indefinitely suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission for refusing to take a drug test before a fight with Danny Jacobs in 2019.

Chavez Jr., 35, has never quite lived up to the lofty family expectations, though he does own wins over Marco Antonio Rubio and Andy Lee. He has dropped high-profile bouts to Canelo Alvarez and Jacobs.

Canelo Alvarez Defeats Billy Joe Saunders to Claim WBO Super-Middleweight Belt

Canelo Alvarez has expanded his belt collection….

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer added the WBO super-middleweight belt to his growing collection, defeating Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday night in front of a record-breaking 73,126 crowd inside Texas’ AT&T Stadium.

Canelo Alvarez

The attendance figure set an all-time record for an indoor US boxing event — breaking the previous record set in 1978 when Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks in front of 63,352 at the Louisiana Superdome — and marked the largest crowd at a sporting event since the pandemic began.

Alvarez dominated the opening seven rounds, leading on all three judges’ scorecards, before a brutal uppercut in the eighth caused a deep cut under Saunders’ right eye and left the Briton unable to come out for the ninth round.

Saunders was reportedly taken from the venue by ambulance straight after the fight to have the extent of his injuries assessed.

“As I said beforehand, the fight was going to develop by the seventh or eighth round,” Alvarez told broadcaster DAZN. “That’s what happened, but it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. That’s where I take note that my preparation is good and I improve day by day.

“The fight I was winning round by round. I told you, my fight would develop after six or seven rounds, but I started getting adjusted quickly. I knew that this round (the eighth) was going to be the final round. I knew it. I think I broke his cheek and I knew he wasn’t going to come out. That was it.”

Alvarez, widely considered one of the best boxers in the world, said “the plan” now was to unify the super-middleweight division by claiming the IBF belt held by American Caleb Plant.

“I’m coming. I’m coming, my friend,” he said.

The hugely popular fighter delighted what appeared to be a largely Mexican crowd, raising his arms at one point during the fight to encourage the already raucous arena to make more noise.

“It’s difficult to explain,” Alvarez said of their support. “I don’t have the words. All the emotions I feel, they give me the motivation to continue on.”

Anderson Silva to Fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 10-Round Boxing Match

Anderson Silva is taking on a tough competitor in his next bout…

The 45-year-old Brazilian former UFC champion will face former middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a 10-round boxing match on June 19 at Jalisco Stadium in Jalisco, Mexico, according to promoters.

Anderson Silva

Promoter Saul Rios says the fight will take place at 180 pounds. This will be Silva’s third professional boxing match. He suffered a first-round TKO loss to Osmar Luiz Teixeira in 1998 and won a second-round TKO over Julio Cesar De Jesus in 2005. Both earlier fights were held in Brazil.

Silva (34-11, 22 KOs and 4 submissions in MMA) is considered one of the best MMA fighters in history. He owns the longest victory streak in UFC history with 16.

However, after he lost four of his last five fights, including decisions to current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Daniel Cormier and KOs to Jared Cannonier and Uriah Hall, the UFC released Silva. He hasn’t fought since October.

“When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain,” Silva told TMZ. “I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

“I train continuously, always striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath.”

Chavez Jr. (52-5-1, 34 KOs) defeated Jeyson Minda in November but is 2-3 in his past five fights, which includes a loss to Canelo Alvarez.

Also on the card, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. will face Hector Camacho Jr., the son of the late Hector “Macho” Camacho, who was the senior Chavez’s archrival.

WBC Announces Juan Francisco Estrada & Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez Trilogy Fight

It’s a trilogy for Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

The WBC has announced a four-fighter 115-pound tournament to crown a true junior bantamweight champ, which includes a trilogy fight against the 30-year-old Mexican junior bantamweight champion and the 33-year-old Nicaraguan professional boxer.

Juan Francisco Estrada x Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez

The card will also include a bout between former champions Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras. The winners will face each other after.

For this to happen, the WBC elevated Estrada as its “franchise” champion and chose to make Rungvisai vs. Cuadras 2 for the now vacant regular 115-pound title. Estrada is the third WBC “franchise” champion (Canelo Alvarez at middleweight and Teofimo Lopez at lightweight are the others).

The request for a third battle between Estrada and Gonzalez came naturally after both were involved in a great rematch on March 13 that Estrada won in a close and controversial decision to unify the WBC and WBA world titles.

Estrada was supposed to face his mandatory challenger, Sor Rungvisai, who defeated Ekkawit Songnui by third-round TKO, also on March 13. However, the fight that generated the most interest was Estrada-Gonzalez 3 and therefore Matchroom Boxing, who promoted the rematch, began to work with the WBC to finalize the tournament.

Estrada and Gonzalez are 1-1 in their series. Rungvisai and Cuadras will meet a second time after Cuadras took the WBC junior bantamweight title from Sor Rungvisai in a technical decision victory seven years ago in 2014.

Matchroom has not announced yet when the third battle could take place and if the two title fights would be in the same card.

Jose Ramirez to Fight Josh Taylor in Junior Welterweight Unification Title Bout

Jose Ramirez is ready to expand his belt collection…

The junior welterweight unification title bout between the 28-year-old Mexican American boxer and Josh Taylor will take place on May 22 at a to be determined Las Vegas venue.

Jose Ramirez

Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion, and Taylor, the IBF and WBA champion, had initially been planning to fight on May 8, but the fight was moved as to not conflict with the Canelo AlvarezBilly Joe Saunders title fight. Instead, they’ll fight later in the month, headlining a card on ESPN and simulcast on ESPN+.

“This is the best boxing has to offer, two elite fighters in the prime of their careers colliding in a legacy-defining matchup for the undisputed championship of the world,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in a news release. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO) last fought in August, winning a majority decision over Viktor Postol in his first defense as both the WBC and WBO titleholder. He has held the WBC belt since March 17, 2018, when he beat Amir Imam and the WBO belt since July 27, 2019, when he TKO‘d Maurice Hooker in the sixth round.

Taylor (17-0, 13 KO) won the IBF title in a May 2019 decision over Ivan Baranchyk and the WBA belt in a majority decision win over Regis Prograis in October 2019. Taylor, 30, last fought in September 2020, knocking out Apinun Khongsong in the first round.

Both Taylor and Ramirez fought as lightweights in the 2012 London Games, each losing in the quarterfinals in a division won by Vasiliy Lomachenko. On the same side of the bracket, they would have met up in the semifinals had they kept winning. Now, they’ll fight to unify a professional world title instead.

Terence Crawford was the last fighter the unify the division, a feat he accomplished in 2017. Crawford then vacated the titles with a move up to 147 pounds.