Ryan Garcia will have to wait a month to get back in the ring…
A date has been finalized for the rescheduled vacant WBC title bout between the 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and Luke Campbell. The two will fight on Saturday, January 2, DAZN has announced.
Garcia and Campbell were scheduled to fight on December 5 in Los Angeles, but the fight was postponed after Campbell tested positive for COVID-19 on November 10.
“My mindset going into this fight hasn’t changed, and my training hasn’t stopped,” Garcia said. “I’m excited we have a new date and can finally bring this to the fans. I’m here, and I’m ready to ring in the new year with a victory … let’s go!”
Campbell, who has resumed training back in England, doesn’t seem too concerned about the short delay. “New date, new year, same result,” said Campbell. “I’m fully back in training and have never felt better. What a way to start 2021. This is going to be with a clinical Luke Campbell win.”
Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) hasn’t fought since a first-round KO victory over Francisco Fonseca in February. Garcia trains with Eddy Reynoso, who also trains middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, junior lightweight contender Oscar Valdez and former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr.
Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), 33, lost a unanimous decision challenging then lightweight unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in August 2019.
Devin Haney is theWBC lightweight titlist and Teofimo Lopez Jr. is the WBC “franchise” champion.
Following months of conflict between the 30-year-old Mexican boxer, his promoters and his broadcast partners, Alvarez is finally ready to rumble.
Alvarez will meet Callum Smith in Texas this December to unify WBA super middleweight titles, according to ESPN. This will be Alvarez’s first appearance since his 11th-round TKO victory over Sergey Kovalev in November 2019.
The target dates for the fight are December 18, 19 or 20.
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) faces “Mundo” Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) after he announced himself as a free agent last week. His first business partner will be Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. It’s very possible that DAZN, the broadcaster partner Alvarez was working with before severing ties with longtime promoter Golden BoyPromotions, could carry the fight in the U.S.
The fight — targeted for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, or the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas — will come a year after a meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, where Smith’s trainer, Joe Gallagher, spent a few minutes with Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s trainer, to tell him about his interest in an Alvarez-Smith fight.
Smith, 20, is seven inches taller than Alvarez and has about eight inches reach advantage. Smith, like Alvarez, hasn’t fought since last November when he scored a contested unanimous decision victory over John Ryder.
Smith is the WBA “super” super middleweight world titlist, and Alvarez has the WBA “regular” belt, but the fight could also be for the WBC super middleweight title that was left vacant when David Benavidez missed weight for his fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo in August and was stripped of the belt.
Alvarez starts a new era as his own promoter with a title fight against a legit opponent. Smith is considered one of the elite fighters in the division, and is ranked No. 1 by ESPN.
After several days of negotiations, representatives for the 30-year-old Mexican boxer and four-division world champion, the sport’s most lucrative fighter, and Golden Boy Promotions have reached an agreement to release him.
In September, Alvarez filed a lawsuit in federal court citing a breach of contract on an 11-fight, $365 million deal signed in 2018. A subsequent mediation situation between all parties failed, and the suit was refiled after a technical error.
Alvarez has not fought since November 2019, when he defeated light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev via DAZN. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN were unable to agree on Alvarez’s next opponent and the salary for that fight.
“After extended discussions between the parties, DAZN offered to pay Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions a fraction of the contracted $40 million license fee in cash and some DAZN stock in advance of a potential IPO,” according to the initial lawsuit filed in California. “However, the entire value of the package — for a bout against another World Champion — was substantially less than Alvarez’s contractual guarantee.”
When Alvarez initially signed with DAZN, it was a massive moment for the business of boxing. Alvarez had agreed to fight on the streaming platform that opted for a monthly subscription over the traditional pay-per-view model used in boxing in recent decades. DAZN also signed Gennadiy Golovkin, whom Canelo has defeated once and drawn with in two controversial outcomes.
However, a third fight to complete the trilogy has become less likely in the wake of Alvarez’s release from his promotional contract.
Court filings show that Alvarez’s lawsuit was refiled October 8 and an additional motion was submitted by the defendants that said the lawsuit should be settled via arbitration, which Alvarez’s side disagreed with. In a statement Friday afternoon, Golden Boy chairman Oscar De La Hoya said both sides had come to an amicable solution.
“The lawsuit was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and we wish Canelo the best going forward,” De La Hoya said in the statement. “In the strong partnership with DAZN, we will continue showcasing our wide array of talent, including rising superstars like Ryan Garcia, Jaime Munguia and Vergil Ortiz Jr., all of whom have the talent and potential to become the next biggest star in our sport.”
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will be sharing a special billing with his famous father…
The 34-year-old Mexican boxer, who held the WBC middleweight title from 2011 to 2012, will return to the ring on Friday, September 25 in an event that includes his legendary father, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
Chávez Jr. will face Mario Cazares in an event to take place in Tijuana, Mexico, while his former professional boxer dad, a multiple-time world champion, will fight in an exhibition bout against Jorge “Travieso” Arce.
Chavez Jr. (51-4-1, 33 KOs) will face Cazares (11-0, 5 KOs) in a sanctioned 10-round light heavyweight bout. Cazares was the last fighter to defeat Canelo Alvarez as an amateur in 2004.
Chavez Jr. had planned to return October 17, but his father persuaded him to join his exhibition card.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission placed Chavez Jr. under indefinite suspension for refusing a random drug test ahead of his bout against Daniel Jacobs on December 20. That middleweight fight eventually took place in Phoenix, where Chavez Jr. quit in the fifth round with a broken nose to boos from the crowd.
The fight took place after Chavez Jr. won a temporary restraining order lifting the Nevada ban. However, the suspension was reinstated a few months later. Chavez Jr. has been training in California since.
Chavez Sr. and four-division champion and fellow Mexican legend Arce, will headline the card.
This is the third exhibition bout between Chavez Sr. and Arce. Another of Chavez Sr.’s sons, Omar (38-6-1, 25 KOs), joins the card in his first fight since a loss to Oziel Santoyo in June 2019. Arce’s nephew, Karim Arce (16-2, 7 KOs), is also scheduled to fight.
Canelo Alvarez is willing to fight with or without an audience…
While no opponent or date has been finalized, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez says the 29-year-old Mexican boxer doesn’t mind fighting without a live audience in his next post-COVID 19 outing.
Alvarez, who holds titles at 160 and 168 pounds, is one of the biggest draws in the sport. But regulations related to the coronaviruspandemicwill prevent events from having audiences as fights begin to resume.
“Yes, for the time being, Canelo is open to fighting in September with no fans,” Gomez said Wednesday on “The 3 Knockdown Rule” podcast. “We’re actually discussing all the details now. But he’s open to it.”
As for who Alvarez’s opponent will be and when a fight will take place, Gomez said nothing has been finalized.
Alvarez was expected to face WBO super middleweight belt-holder Billy Joe Saunders on May 2 in Las Vegas, but that fight didn’t happen because of the pandemic.
For now, the economics of the business have been greatly altered. With no fans and no tickets sold, the numbers involved in overall revenue have shrunk. For a franchise fighter like Alvarez, who signed a ballyhooed, 10-fight, $365 million contract with DAZN in 2018, ticket sales are vital to the bottom line.
For example, Alvarez’s rematch against Gennadiy Golovkin sold 16,732 tickets at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, netting more than $23.4 million.
The reality is there is currently less money available to everyone involved in the sport.
“It’s going to be tricky. There are certain fighters that are going to accept it. They understand it,” said Gomez, whose company hopes to resume operations on July 4. “There are other fighters that are going to reject it.”
Messi comes in at No. 3 on the list, behind Roger Federer and Cristiano Ronaldo, with earning reported at $104 million.
The Futbol Club Barcelona star’s earnings includes his $72 million salary with his team, as well as $32 million in endorsements, including his lifelong deal with Adidas.
Nipping on Messi’s heels… Neymar.
The 28-year-old Brazilian footballer, on a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain through June 2022 worth $350 million, comes in at No. 4 with combined earnings of $95.5 million.
Nike‘s Jordan Brand signed Neymar as its first soccer ambassador in 2016. In March 2020, its film unit released a movie about his life.
Messi and Ronaldo had previously held the No. 1 spot in three of the past four years.
Rafael Nadal comes in at No. 27 on the list.
The 33-year-old tennis star has combined earnings of $40 million. The greatest clay court player of his generation captured two of Grand Slam titles in 2019, his 12th French Open title and fourth U.S. Open.
Here’s a look at the Latino athletes making this year’s top earners list.
No. 3: Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentine, $104 million No. 4: Neymar, Soccer, Brazil, $95.5 million No. 27: Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spain, $40 million No. 30: Canelo Alvarez, Boxing, Mexico, $37 million No. 46: Andres Iniesta, Soccer, Spain, $29.6 million No. 56: Oscar, Soccer, Brazil, $27.5 million No. 67: David de Gea, Soccer, Spain, $25.7 million No. 69: Alexis Sanchez, Soccer, Chile, $25.6 million No. 79: Al Horford, Basketball, Dominican Republic, $24.4 million No. 100: Sergio Ramos, Soccer, Spain, $21.8 million
Ryan Garciadidn’t need much time to score the win…
In an eye-opening performance, the 21-year-old Mexican boxer stopped Francisco Fonseca in the first round of their lightweight bout with a blazing counter left hook that left his opponent flat on the canvas on Friday.
Referee Raul Caiz Sr. counted out Fonseca at 1 minute, 20 seconds.
It was a dazzling display of reflexes, timing and power, as Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) caught Fonseca (25-3-2, 19 KOs) with a flush shot he never saw coming.
“It was good,” Garcia said of the knockout punch. “[The fight] didn’t last that long, but I watched a video of Sugar Ray Robinson, and he did this little feint and threw the perfect left hook. I saw it and went for the left hook. Thought I was going to go longer, not going to lie. I respect Fonseca and thank him for the opportunity.”
For Garcia, who was ESPN‘s 2017 prospect of the year, it was another step in his development as a fighter and a box-office attraction. Friday night’s card played to an announced crowd of 10,310.
Garcia has shown steady improvement under the direction of trainer Eddy Reynoso, best known for developing light heavyweight titleholder Canelo Alvare zinto one of the best boxers in the world.
The victory could set up a possible fight with former three-division world titlist Jorge Linaresin a classic crossroads matchup pitting a young rising star versus a seasoned, proud former champion.
“I’m 21, I’m a late bloomer,” Garcia said. “I’m ready for everyone, and I’m comfortable. I’m ready to go after everyone. I’m turned up. Let’s go.”
The 30-year-old Mexican American boxer will box on Golden Boy Promotions’ “Thursday Night Fights” series (DAZN/RingTV.com, 10:00 pm ET) on March 19 at the Avalon in Hollywood, California.
Esparza joins a card that includes Joet Gonzalezand Lamont Roach, all coming off decision losses in world title bouts.
Esparza (7-1, 1 KO), who was a 2012 U.S. Olympicbronze medalist, will face Lucia Nunez(7-10), 29, of Mexico, in a six-round, women’s junior bantamweight bout.
In Esparza’s last fight, on November 2 in Las Vegas on the Canelo Alvarez–Sergey Kovalevundercard, she lost a ninth-round technical decision because of a bad cut from an accidental head-butt against rival Seniesa Estradafor a vacant interim women’s flyweight title.
“I’m ready to get back in the ring,” Esparza said. “There were multiple factors that made this last fight a real learning experience, but this next round of professional boxing is just the beginning of much more. I’m looking forward to coming out with the new strategies that I’ve been learning and switching up my game a bit.”
Gonzalez (23-1, 14 KOs), 26, of Glendora, California, will square off with former world title challenger Chris Avalos (27-7, 20 KOs), 30, of Lancaster, California, in a 10-round featherweight fight.
Gonzalez will be fighting for the first time since he faced bitter rival Shakur Stevenson for a vacant featherweight world title on October 26 in Reno, Nevada, and lost a near-shutout decision.
“I can’t wait to step back into the ring,” Gonzalez said. “I fought for a world title, so I know what it’s like to be at that level. Now, I’ll be coming back with an even stronger desire to become a world champion. This March 19, I will not disappoint.”
Avalos has lost two fights in a row but has vast experience, including in losses in world title bouts to Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz and to Oscar Valdezin a nontitle bout.
“We’re coming to win,” Avalos said. “We’re back on track. The old Chris Avalos is back. (Gonzalez) may think I’m a joke. You may think I’m washed up. But I’m coming to kick your ass. Keep your hands (up) or you will see what happens.”
Roach (19-1-1, 7 KOs), 24, of Washington, will face Neil John Tabanao(17-7, 11 KOs), 25, of the Philippines, in a 10-round junior lightweight bout in the co-feature.
Roach will be in the ring for the first time since he lost a competitive unanimous decision as the mandatory challenger for 130-pound world titlist Jamel Herringon November 9 in Fresno, California.
“I’ve been itching to get back in that square to show that I’m the best at 130,” Roach said. “My last fight was just a glimpse, but this year it’s all the way up with me.”
Tabanao is coming off three 10-round decision losses in a row, all against undefeated fighters.
“I’m looking forward to this fight against Lamont Roach Jr.,” Tabanao said. “I know that he’s coming off his first loss and that he wants to fight for a world title again. However, I more experience than he, and I know how to score an upset.”
Oscar Valdez has earned his shot at another world title…
The 28-year-old Mexican former featherweight world titlist made a successful move up to the junior lightweight division on Saturday night to earn a shot at a world title in a very tough fight.
Valdez survived a second-round knockdown and some shaky moments, but stopped Adam Lopez in the seventh round of their 130-pound world title elimination bout in the main event of the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitanof Las Vegas.
Valdez was supposed to face Adrian Gutierrez, but he showed up at Friday’s weigh-in at a shocking 141 pounds, 11 over the contract weight.
Lopez was supposed to face Luis Coriain a 10-round preliminary bout at featherweight, but with Gutierrez so heavy, Top Rank offered Lopez the opportunity to face Valdez, whom he has known for years and wanted to fight. Lopez consulted with trainer Buddy McGirt and agreed to the new assignment and a bigger paycheck.
Lopez (13-2, 6 KOs) gave a tremendous effort and had his moments, but Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs), a two-time Olympian from Mexico, drew on his vast in-ring advantage.
“My experience made me win the fight,” Valdez said. “I have a great amateur background and a lot more experience than him, and I think that’s what made me win the fight. He’s a great fighter, but I think my experience made me win.”
The victory propelled Valdez, who earned $300,000 to Lopez’s $75,000, into a mandatory shot against countryman Miguel Berchelt, who was all smiles in the ring after the fight when he and Valdez embraced.
Lopez looked like he might pull the upset against Valdez when he connected with a clean left hook to the chin that knocked him down with about 50 seconds to go in the second round. Valdez, who hit the mat awkwardly, never saw the shot coming and looked a little unsteady when he got to his feet, but he made it through the round without taking too much more damage.
“I was very surprised [by the knockdown],” Valdez said. “I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior, just like his father [the late Hector Lopez] was. I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for Gutierrez. Got a new opponent, but that’s no excuse. This kid is a warrior.”
According to CompuBox statistics, Valdez landed 91 of 330 punches (28%) and Lopez connected with 92 of 436 blows (21%). Although Valdez had some problems, he closed the show by outlanding Lopez 21-7 in power shots in the seventh round.
“I would love a rematch with Oscar. He’s a true fighter,” Lopez said. “I’m not a 130-pounder, but I’m a real fighter as well, so I’ll take on anybody, anywhere. Let’s get a rematch. I’m glad people know who I am now. I can fight. People love my style. This is what I do. It’s in my blood.”
Indeed boxing is in his blood. His father, the late Hector Lopez, was a 1990s lightweight and junior welterweight contender and 1984 Olympic silver medalist for Mexico. He died at age 44 in 2011.
Valdez, who was in his third fight since switching trainers to Eddy Reynoso— who also trains Canelo Alvarez— made six featherweight title defenses before vacating his 126-pound belt in early August to move up in weight. With Lopez vanquished, Valdez will next get a shot at Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs), 28, who has made six title defenses and is generally considered the No. 1 fighter in the world at 130 pounds.
“Miguel Berchelt is a true champion inside the ring and outside the ring,” Valdez said. “The fans love him. He’s a champion. That’s the one I want to fight. He has that WBC belt, and he’s trying to take it back home.
It’s a case of a little gain for the pain for Canelo Alvarez..
The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer and middleweight world champion is set to climb two weight divisions to challenge light heavyweight world titlist Sergey Kovalev.
In a fight finalized on Friday, Alvarez and Kovalev will meet on November 2 (DAZN) at the MGM Grand Garden Arenain Las Vegas.
Alvarez didn’t demand a catchweight in an attempt to drop Kovalev below the division limit of 175 pounds.
Golden Boy Promotionshad hoped to stage the fight at the larger T-Mobile Arena, but the NHL‘s Vegas Golden Knightshave a home game on November 2.
Kovalev is by far the biggest name in the light heavyweight division.
Alvarez, who pressed for the fight, will have the opportunity to win a world title in a fourth weight division after claiming belts at junior middleweight and middleweight and a secondary title at super middleweight.
If Alvarez wins, he would become only the fourth fighter in boxing history to win world titles at junior middleweight and light heavyweight. The other three — Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearnsand Mike McCallum— are in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
“The second phase of my career is continuing just as we had planned, and that’s why we are continuing to make great fights to enter into the history books of boxing,” Alvarez said. “That’s also why I’ve decided to jump two weight classes against one of the most feared champions of recent years.
“Kovalev is a dangerous puncher, and he’s naturally the bigger man, but that’s the kind of challenges and risks that I like to face.”
Alvarez, boxing’s biggest star, has never fought at a weight heavier than 167¼ pounds, which is what he was for his third-round knockout win over Rocky Fieldingto win a secondary super middleweight belt in New York in December. Alvarez returned to the 160-pound middleweight division for his next fight in May, a unanimous decision to unify three belts against Daniel Jacobs.
The deal between Golden Boy, Alvarez’s promoter, and Main Events, which represents Kovalev, had been close for the past week. It got hung up, sources told ESPN, when Top Rank— which has rights to Kovalev stemming from a deal it made with Main Events to put his February rematch with Eleider “Storm” Alvarezon ESPN+— sought a low seven-figure fee to give up its involvement in the bout.
After days at a stalemate, Main Events agreed Wednesday to pay Top Rank what it was seeking. Once that contract was signed, Main Events signed the deal it had made with Golden Boy to finalize the November 2 fight. Part of the agreement gives DAZN rights to future Kovalev fights, at least one if he beats Alvarez — possibly a rematch — and two if he loses, before he would return to ESPN under his Top Rank agreement, according to a source.