Vergil Ortiz to Headline Golden Boy Promotions’ Return to Boxing in July

Vergil Ortiz is the Golden Boy of the moment…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and undefeated welterweight will be the headliner when Golden Boy Promotions returns to boxing in July.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The original plan for Golden Boy was for the highly marketable and telegenic Ryan Garcia to take part in the main event on the Fourth of July. But the two sides weren’t able to come to a financial agreement. Oscar De La Hoya, the founder of Golden Boy, tweeted about the situation on Monday.

Eric Gomez, the president of GBP, confirmed to ESPN that Ortiz (15-0, 15 KOs), whom many consider the company’s best prospect, would be in the main event of Golden Boy’s first card of the summer. This show will most likely take place at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, and will be streamed on DAZN

Ortiz was originally scheduled to face Samuel Vargas on March 28 in Los Angeles, before that card was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s expected this fight will be rescheduled for late July.

Patrick Teixeira Wins Hard-Fought Bout Against Carlos Adames to Earn Vacant Interim World Title

Patrick Teixeirais officially a world titleholder…

Despite a bloodied face, the 28-year-old Brazilian professional boxer and junior middleweight won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Carlos Adames to win a vacant interim world title on Saturday night at The Chelseaat The Cosmopolitanof Las Vegas.

Patrick Teixeira

The judges scored the fight 116-111, 114-113 and 114-113 for Teixeira, who earned the winning margin on two scorecards on the strength of a knockdown in the final moments of the seventh round.

“It was tough with the cuts, but I was able to get through it because of my experience,” Teixeira said. “It was a little harder, but my corner did an excellent job on the cuts. I am very happy to bring a world title back to Brazil. I want to make boxing bigger in Brazil. Soccer is our biggest sport, and this is a great moment for boxing in my country.”

Patrick Teixeira

It was an action-packed battle that began as a boxing match as Teixeira, a southpaw, gave Adames trouble with his movement and jab in the early going. But the aggressive Adames got into the fight in the third round when he found a home for his body shots. He also landed stiff, straight right hands and looked like he would be able to overpower Teixeira.

The Robert Garcia-trained Adames (18-1, 14 KOs), 25, of the Dominican Republic, opened a cut under Teixeira’s swelling left eye in the fourth round and continued to force him back with heavy shots. He opened a cut under his right eye in the fifth round even though Teixeira rebounded in the round to land combinations that had Adames a little shaky.

The seventh round was a wild one. Adames was pounding Teixeira and landed three tremendous uppercuts that rocked his head back. It looked like he might stop Teixeira at any moment when the Golden Boy-promoted Teixeira (31-1, 22 KOs) suddenly rebounded to connect with multiple rights hooks and then a left hand to the chin that dropped Adames to his rear end along the ropes in the final seconds of the round. It was the first time Adames had been knocked down, and it ultimately cost him the fight.

They continued to battle on seemingly even terms, with Adames the heavier hitter but Teixeira’s movement and punches from unusual angles giving Adames problems.

“We are so proud of Patrick Teixeira,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoyasaid. “It was a brutal and bloody war, but Teixeira really dug deep to earn himself the most important win of his career against a very dangerous fighter. We look forward to starting the new year with yet another champion in our stable.”

Teixeira won his fifth fight in a row since his only defeat, a second-round knockout to former world title challenger Curtis Stevensin May 2016.

The fight was initially slated to be a title eliminator for the right to become the mandatory challenger for 154-pound world titleholder Jaime Munguia, but on Tuesday, the WBO sanctioned the bout for its interim belt because Munguia announced his next fight would be at middleweight. Munguia likely will vacate the junior middleweight belt, and Teixeira is expected to be upgraded to the full titleholder during next week’s annual WBO convention in Tokyo.

Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez Signs Co-Promotional Deal with Golden Boy Promotions

Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandezhas a new deal…

The 21-year-old Mexican junior lightweight boxer, one of Mexico’s most highly touted up-and-coming boxers, has signed a co-promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, according to CEO Oscar De La Hoya.

Eduardo "Rocky" Hernandez

Hernandez, who is also co-promoted by Promociones del Pueblo, one of Mexico’s leading promoters, will make his United States debut in his first fight of the deal. 

He’ll face Ibrahim Class in a 10-round fight on March 30 on the undercard of the Ryan GarciaJose Lopez lightweight bout at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.

De La Hoya and Oswaldo Kuchleof Promociones del Pueblo have worked together over the years, and they both hope the partnership will help launch Hernandez (27-0, 24 KOs), 21, to stardom.

“At Golden Boy, we are in the business of working with fighters from all over the world and making them into international stars,” De La Hoya said, listing an impressive roster of fighters that Golden Boy helped build into well-known names, including Deontay WilderAdrien BronerDaniel JacobsMarcos MaidanaAbner Maresand Jermell and Jermall Charlo.

“We’re doing it presently with the biggest star in the sport, Canelo Alvarez, along with world champions such as Jaime Munguia, Rey VargasXu CanAngel Acosta and Andrew Cancio; and we have the next generation of stars with Ryan Garcia, Vergil Ortiz, and Lamont Roach Jr.

“This company knows how to work with fighters from all kinds of backgrounds,” De La Hoya continued, “so we’re more than ready to join forces with Oswaldo Kuchle and Promociones del Pueblo to co-promote Rocky Hernandez as he begins to make big waves in the stacked 130-pound division.”

Hernandez turned pro at age 16 in February 2014.

“I’m very delighted to be presented to fans in the United States,” Hernandez said. “I am preparing very hard to give a great fight to the fans on March 30, and God willing, I will walk away with my hand raised. I have a tough opponent in front of me, but I am training very hard.”Class (22-5, 10 KOs), 28, of Tanzania, also will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time.

Tito Ortiz Returning to MMA Ring to Fight Former Rival Chuck Liddell

Tito Ortiz is ready to face his rival once again…

The 43-year-old retired mixed martial artist will rekindle his infamous rivalry with Chuck Liddell in a trilogy bout later this year, under the banner of Oscar De La Hoya‘s Golden Boy Promotions.

Tito Ortiz

ESPN has confirmed that Golden Boy, one of the world’s premier boxing promotions, has signed agreements with Liddell and Ortiz. An official date and location are being finalized and should be announced soon.

“Oscar said, ‘Let’s get this done.’ I said, ‘Let’s get this done,’ and it took about 2½ months to make Chuck happy enough to make it happen, and it’s signed,” Ortiz said Monday on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “This fight is going to happen this year.”

The pay-per-view event will mark Golden Boy’s first foray into MMA. It will take place nearly 12 years after Liddell knocked out Ortiz in the third round of their second meeting, at UFC 66 in December 2006.

“I’m proud to announce we’ve signed a deal for the fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz,” De La Hoya said in a statement to ESPN. “This will be huge for sports fans around the world. Ortiz and Liddell are two of the most recognized fighters in MMA history. They are legends in the sport.

“Everyone remembers their rivalry helped put the sport on the map, and we’re excited to host the next and final chapter of this historic rivalry.”

Golden Boy is not offering further details at this time. Liddell told ESPN the bout will take place inside a cage, not a ring, and Ortiz confirmed that.

Ortiz said the fight will be at 205 pounds, which is the same weight class both men fought in during their careers.

“It will be a strictly an MMA card,” Ortiz said. “We’re putting the fight together and there will be announcements as the weeks go on. We’re talking to fighters that have names.”

Liddell, 48, retired from MMA in 2010, at the request of UFC president and longtime friend Dana White. Liddell held an executive position at the UFC until 2016, when the company sold to new ownership.

The California native lost his last three bouts by knockout, but hinted at a comeback for years. He said he is not limiting his return to the Ortiz fight.

“It feels great to sign a deal, to be honest with you. It’s as exciting as I knew it would be,” Liddell told ESPN. “Golden Boy offers something different. We’re partners in this. And I never get sick of punching Tito.”

Ortiz announced his retirement in 2012, following his final bout in the UFC. He returned to the sport two years later for a four-fight run in Bellator MMA. He defeated Chael Sonnen via first-round submission in his most recent bout, in January 2017.

“I’m only interested in fighting Chuck at this time,” said Ortiz, who has already started training again. “If anything, the rivalry is worse than it ever was. This isn’t made for TV. This is as real as it gets.”

Ortiz continued: “I think the itch [to return] happened after my birthday, when I turned 43 and just got back into the gym to see how my body would respond to it — and it responded faster than I thought it would. I still feel young; my response skills are super-fast. It’s been a long road, working with UFC, then working with Scott Coker and Bellator and now working with De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions.

“I’ve been busy, but Chuck comes out and says, ‘Do you like to fight me?’ I thought it made sense, it gives me an opportunity to redeem myself. I think all my fans deserve it, I deserve so let’s play on an even playing field. I don’t think I got a fair handshake every time I fought Chuck.”

Ortiz (19-12-1), of Huntington Beach, California, will be seeking his first victory against Liddell. The two former UFC light heavyweight champions met for the first time in a non-title bout in April 2004. Liddell won via TKO in the second round.

The rematch at UFC 66 was a massive financial success, producing a live gate of nearly $5.4 million. It remains the ninth-highest-grossing MMA event in Las Vegas history.

“Just like boxing fans remember the historic rivalry between Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, so do MMA fans remember the rivalry between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz,” Golden Boy president Eric Gomez said. “But Liddell-Ortiz never got their third fight. This time fans will get to see the third fight. They’ll see the culmination of a heated trilogy that was pivotal for the sport.”

De La Hoya hinted at an interest in launching Golden Boy MMA earlier this year. Discussions are underway for a potential promotional tour later this year.

“I’m excited for Tito and MMA in general,” said Ortiz’s longtime manager, George Prajin. “Tito has been blessed to have worked with Dana Whiteand [former UFC owner] Lorenzo Fertitta, [Bellator president] Scott Coker and now Oscar De La Hoya, who is providing Tito the opportunity to maximize his last fight against his biggest rival.”

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with Facebook to Stream Live Boxing & Original Programming

Life is but a stream for Oscar De La Hoya

Facebook is punching up its video lineup with more live sports, inking a deal with the 45-year-old Mexican American boxer-turned-promoter’s Golden Boy Promotions to stream live boxing and original programming on the platform.

Oscar De La Hoya

The live boxing will be available to fans in the U.S. on Facebook Watch and globally via the Golden Boy Promotions page on Facebook.

The pact expands L.A.-based Golden Boy’s distribution outlets, which include deals with ESPN, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, HBO, EstrellaTV,and RingTV.com. The company also distributes content on owned-and-operated sites CaneloGGG.com and GoldenBoyPPV.com.

Under the pact, the first of Golden Boy’s five live fight nights on Facebook will be August 11, featuring Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) defending his WBA World Featherweight title against Joseph “JoJo “Diaz Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. The second live bout be on August 18 with light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) squaring off against a yet-to-be announced opponent at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa.

The boxing bouts will not carry any advertising. So far, none of the live sports broadcasts on Facebook have carried ads but the company has been experimenting with inserting ads into live-streaming video.

For the live Facebook boxing series, Golden Boy has teamed with Kathy Duva’s Main Events boxing promotion company to increase “the number of world-class fighters to be featured.” Golden Boy’s live boxing series on Facebook will be augmented with “shoulder programming,” including rebroadcasts of past fights featuring commentary from the boxers themselves, with the first content slated to debut July 13. The on-demand programming also will feature celebrities, influencers, and boxing commentators.

De La Hoya, a former prizefighter who won multiple boxing world titles in six different weight classes, touted the Facebook agreement as a “game-changing deal for the sport of boxing.” “The reach of Facebook is just incredible, and our sponsorship conversations will truly resonate with brands across all categories,” De La Hoya said in a statement. Kathy Duva added, “We look now to a future with Facebook with unlimited opportunity, where promoters can work together to best serve the interests of the fighters and fans all over the world.”

Golden Boy Media and Entertainment will produce the live fights and original programming for Facebook, with De La Hoya serving as executive producer. The content will take advantage of Facebook’s social features; for example, the live broadcasts will incorporate the real-time fan interaction and engagement.

Alvarez & Cesar Chavez Jr. to Face Off in Las Vegas over Cinco de Mayo Weekend

Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are headed to Sin City…

The all-Mexican mega showdown between the rival boxers on May 6, Cinco de Mayo weekend, will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Canelo Alvarez & Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Golden Boy said it had also been in talks to potentially put on the fight at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas.

Alvarez knocked out Liam Smith at the arena in September, on Mexican Independence Day weekend, to win a junior middleweight world title before a crowd of 51,240, the biggest of the three fight cards to take place at the stadium.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was interested in hosting the Alvarez-Chavez fight, a much bigger event than Alvarez-Smith, but Golden Boy said it got a sweeter deal from MGM Resorts International and AEG, which owns T-Mobile Arena.

“When my team and I talked about where to hold what will be the biggest fight of the first half of the year, we kept coming back to Las Vegas,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “The biggest fights of the last 30-plus years have taken place in Vegas, and it is a natural home for this enormous event.”

On Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2016, Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), 26, opened the T-Mobile Arena for boxing with a thunderous sixth-round knockout of Amir Khan to retain the middleweight world title before a crowd of 16,540. Alvarez then vacated his middleweight championship and returned to his more natural junior middleweight division to face Smith.

“I love fighting in Las Vegas, where the most important fights have historically been, and I’m very happy to be back at the T-Mobile Arena for this huge event on Cinco de Mayo weekend,” Alvarez said. “I know that people from all over the world, America, obviously Mexico and everywhere else will attend to witness a great show.”

Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs), 30, has not boxed in Las Vegas since Sept. 15, 2012, when he scored a 12th-round knockdown of Sergio Martinez on Mexican Independence Day weekend but was otherwise dominated in a one-sided decision loss that cost him his middleweight world title belt.

“I’m happy to return to Las Vegas, where I’ve had many important battles in the ring,” Chavez said. “Las Vegas is the home of boxing.”

The 12-round non-title fight will be contested at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds and headline an HBO PPV card (9 p.m. ET). Alvarez is moving up about 10 pounds for the fight, and Chavez, who has been fighting at super middleweight/light heavyweight, will come down about 6 pounds from the weight he has generally been fighting at.

Esparza Launches Pro Career with Multi-Year Golden Boy Promotions Deal

Marlen Esparza is heading to the big leagues…

The 27-year-old Latina boxer, won the bronze medal in the women’s flyweight division at the 2012 London Games, has decided to go pro, signing a multi-year promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions on Wednesday.

Marlen Esparza

Esparza, one of the world’s top female amateur boxers will make her professional debut in early 2017, Golden Boy president Eric Gomez said.

“I recently told my fans that I was going pro, and I am happy to announce that it will be the world’s best promotional company — Golden Boy Promotions,” Esparza said. “I am excited to get back into the ring as soon as possible and start climbing the ladder towards winning a professional world title.”

Esparza is the first female fighter signed by Golden Boy, which plans to become much more involved in women’s boxing.

“We really want to jump into women’s boxing,” Gomez said. “We feel she is someone who can revolutionize women’s boxing in the U.S. and bring awareness and excitement. Women’s boxing has been very successful around the world but we’re a little behind in the U.S. She is a smart young woman and she can fight.”

Esparza, who had around 200 amateur fights and lost about 12, won 12 consecutive U.S. national amateur championships and the flyweight gold medal at the 2014 world amateur championships.

She said she wants a world title as a professional and is very confident she will achieve her goal.

“This is a profession and a career for me but could I win a world title tomorrow? I could,” she told ESPN. “I could win it tomorrow but I want to do things correctly and fight my way to the top and do things the way they are supposed to be done, move my way up. I want to earn what I get. What I see myself doing is winning a world title when the time is right and when my team says it’s OK.

“I’m kind of for the first time feeling I’ve arrived. I’ve done so many things, but this (signing with Golden Boy) is something I feel I deserve. I am so ready for this. I’m not scared, I’m ready.”

She said she plans to get back into training right away and will go to England to train over the holidays with her good friend Nicola Adams, who won flyweight Olympic gold medals for Great Britain in 2012 and 2016.

Beyond her ring success, Esparza will come into the pro ranks already having established herself commercially. She has an endorsement deal with CoverGirl cosmetics and has appeared in Spanish-language television ads for Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, among others.

“Before she ever steps foot into the ring as a professional, Marlen Esparza has already established herself as a rising star,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “At Golden Boy Promotions, we pride ourselves on developing fighters and transforming them into the best of the best. We look forward to doing the same with Marlen.”

Alvarez Defeats Liam Smith to Claim WBO Light-Middleweight Title

Canelo Alvarez has a new title under his belt…

The 26-year-old Mexican professional boxer knocked out Liam Smith in the ninth round Saturday night after dropping him in the previous two rounds, winning the WBO light middleweight championship before a record crowd of 51,240 at AT&T Stadium.

Canelo Alvarez

The victory kept Alvarez (48-1-1) on pace for a showdown with undefeated, unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin that is expected be held by September 2017, according to Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya.

“I fear no man,” Alvarez said in the AT&T ring through an interpreter. “I am the best fighter in this. About a month ago, we offered GGG three or four times as much to make the fight.”

Golovkin is a 34-year-old Kazakhstan native based in Santa Monica, California, who has said he wants the fight as soon as possible. Signals have been mixed from the Alvarez camp whether he was waiting to better negotiating terms and location as well as wanting to spend more time training at a higher weight.

Alvarez, ranked as the world’s best boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec, had won a middleweight title but vacated it for this shot at the junior middleweight championship, sparking criticism that he was avoiding the hard-punching Golovkin.

“We are ready for him and he doesn’t want to accept,” Alvarez said. “As I said, we are a team and I fear no one. I fight the best and I want to fight the best. I am the best at this sport and Viva La Mexico!”

Negotiations toward a fight this fall fell apart, and some were surprised Alvarez said Golovkin had been offered a fight.

The large crowd for the Mexican Independence weekend bout will keep the home of the Dallas Cowboys in the running for the prospective match with Golovkin. The attendance record had been set in a Manny Pacquiao fight.

Alvarez was loudly cheered throughout the fight as well as every time he was shown on the screen during undercard bouts. Before the knockout in the ninth, his blistering pace of right uppercuts continued to take a toll and he opened a cut above Smith’s right eye.

Smith (23-1-1) wasn’t the pushover some expected when Alvarez announced the fight instead of meeting Golovkin. An inch taller and a little stronger, Smith had never been knocked down. He was willing take some hits while trying to land his knockout right. Alvarez was much quicker and had a strong and swift left while trying to set up a barrage of left and right body blows.

“If I would have waited a little longer and gotten more experience I would have been able to fight a guy like that better,” Smith said. “I am very disappointed. Canelo was too good. I needed better timing, my timing was off.”

De La Hoya Elected to International Boxing Hall of Fame

Oscar De La Hoya will forever be remembered for his illustrious career…

The 40-year-old retired Mexican American boxer and Olympic gold medalist has been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in balloting results announced Wednesday.

Oscar De La Hoya

De La Hoya has earned the honor in his first year of eligibility.

“I am honored and appreciative to be chosen for the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 and I thank everyone who has been a part of this journey with me,” said De La Hoya, who has struggled with substance abuse issues during retirement but also founded Golden Boy Promotions, one of the leading promotional companies in the world.

De La Hoya — “The Golden Boy” from East Los Angeles — won a 1992 Olympic gold medal at the Barcelona Games shortly after graduating from James A. Garfield High School before rocketing to professional stardom that resulted in his winning 10 world titles in a then-record six weight divisions (junior lightweight to middleweight) while becoming the face of boxing and a pay-per-view mega star during his 1992 to 2008 career.

“This is the dream of everyone who puts on a pair of gloves and steps between the ropes, and through the good and the bad, you always hope that when all is said and done, you put on good fights, entertained the fans and will be remembered for what you did in the ring. To know that I will be in the Hall of Fame with the greats of this sport is humbling, but it’s also put a smile on my face that isn’t coming off anytime soon.”

De La Hoya, whose titles came at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds, faced a who’s who of top opponents, including beating Hall of Famers Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (twice), Pernell Whitaker and Arturo Gatti. He also faced the likes of Feiix Trinidad (a fellow honoree), Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Ike Quartey, Shane Mosley (twice), Fernando Vargas, Hector Camacho Sr. and Genaro Hernandez.

De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) was a heavyweight when it came to selling pay-per-view as fans of all kinds, including women and a passionate Hispanic fan base, flocked to his fights. His 2007 junior middleweight championship fight against Mayweather set numerous revenue records, including selling nearly 2.5 million pay-per-view subscriptions, still the all-time high.

Oscar De La Hoya

Joining him and Trinidad in the modern category of inductees (voted on by the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of boxing historians) is  ormer super middleweight world champion Joe Calzaghe, who retired undefeated and is widely considered the best fighter to come out of Wales.

They will be honored on June 8 during the 25th annual inductions ceremony at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.

Lopez Filling His Resume with Producing Credits

Mario Lopez is beefing up his resume with more producing credits…

The 38-year-old Mexican American actor and Extra host has lined up a number of series projects as a producer.

Mario Lopez

Lopez, the host of MTV’s dance completion American’s Best Dance Crew, has a 10-episode commitment at MTV Tr3s for Golden Boys, a docu-series following some of the world’s top young Latino boxers. Lopez is executive producing with boxing star Oscar De La Hoya.

Lopez also has a series commitment for Conversations with Mario at Comcast’s Latin-driven channel NuVo. The series takes an in-depth look at some of the most influential Latino celebrities in the world.

At ABC Family, Lopez is the man behind Back To Badass, a pilot for a reality series that aims to take former star athletes back to the top of their game.

Lopez’s latest projects are in addition to the upcoming Mario Lopez And Courtney Mazza Wedding Special, a two-hour special for TLC chronicling the preparations leading to Lopez and Mazza’s December wedding.

In addition, Lopez is working in post on an untitled boxing documentary he’s producing and appearing in, along with Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington and others. And, Lopez’s Los Angeles radio show, On With Mario Lopez, has just gone national.