Canelo Alvarez Officially a Free Agent After Release from Golden Boy Contract

Canelo Alvarez is officially a free agent.

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.

Canelo Alvarez

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.”

Leo Santa Cruz to Defend WBA Junior Lightweight Title Against Gervonta Davis on Halloween

Leo Santa Cruz is ready for a Halloween rumble….

The title fight between the 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer and Gervonta “Tank” Davis, one of the biggest events of 2020, has been moved to October 31 at San Antonio’s Alamodome, the two junior lightweight fighters have announced.

Leo Santa Cruz

The bout, which will be broadcast on Showtime PPV, is tentatively scheduled to be the first American combat sports event to allow fans since COVID-19 became a pandemic. The number of fans who’ll be in attendance has not been announced.

Santa Cruz (37-1, 19 KOs), ranked eighth among junior lightweights, will be defending the primary WBA junior lightweight belt.

Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is the No. 4 lightweight in ESPN‘s divisional rankings.

Santa Cruz is coming off a unanimous decision against Miguel Flores last November. Davis most recently fought in December, when he stopped veteran Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Davis, 25, needed two attempts to make the 135-pound weight limit for the Gamboa bout. The October 31 fight against Santa Cruz will be at the junior lightweight limit of 130 pounds.

Under current state guidelines, Texas allows 50% of a stadium’s capacity for sporting events. The indoor venue has a listed capacity of 32,000 for boxing events but seats 64,000 for football. Last weekend, the announced attendance for UTSA‘s football win over Middle Tennessee was 6,182.

Smaller cards around the country have hosted fans in attendance since the pandemic forced restrictions nationwide. But every major bout has been conducted in a closed environment with no paid spectators.

Premier Boxing Champions, which unofficially promotes Davis and Santa Cruz, held a Showtime PPV event last weekend at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut featuring Jermall Charlo and Jermell Charlo. It was PBC‘s first major event since the COVID-19 shutdown.

Andy Ruiz Jr. Agrees to Fight Against Chris Arreola

Andy Ruiz Jr. has a new challenger…

The 30-year-old Mexican American boxer, a former unified world titleholder, will battle against former title challenger Chris Arreola in a heavyweight bout.

Andy Ruiz Jr.

No date and venue have been announced, but the fight is supposed to take place later this year.

“It’s a planned fight. They pretty much know that the plan is to fight each other. We don’t have a set date for that or know what show we’re going to put it on yet,” a source at Premier Boxing Champions tells ESPN.

The Athletic first reported the news.

Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) was the Cinderella story of boxing in 2019 after shocking the world by stopping Anthony Joshua by seventh-round TKO to win the WBO, IBF and WBA world titles at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ruiz then lost the belts by unanimous decision in a rematch with Joshua six months later at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

After coming in at 268 pounds for the first encounter, Ruiz weighed in at 283.5 pounds for the rematch and was soundly criticized for his training habits leading into that fight. Ruiz replaced his head trainer, Manuel Robles, with Eddy Reynoso, best known for his work in developing Canelo Alvarez.

The 39-year-old Mexican American Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) has been a fixture in the heavyweight division for years. He has gotten two shots at the world title, against Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder.

After getting stopped by Wilder in eight rounds in 2016, he took nearly a year and a half off from the ring but returned to score stoppage victories against Maurenzo Smith (TKO in 6th) and Jean Pierre Augustin (TKO in 3rd) before losing a unanimous decision to Adam Kownacki last summer.

Danny Garcia Has Reportedly Agreed to Fight Errol Spence Jr. This Fall

Danny Garcia has lined up his next opponent…

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, the former junior welterweight and welterweight titlist, has agreed to fight unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in a fall pay-per-view event, according to ESPN.

Danny Garcia

The bout — which needs a negotiation of final contract numbers — is expected to take place in November at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, according to sources. 

But, Premier Boxing Champions, which promotes both fighters, has put holds on other venues around the country as it monitors the coronavirus pandemic and the guidelines in place for each state.

The Athletic first reported the agreement.

Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) was a unified champion at junior welterweight and a world titlist at welterweight. In his most recent fight in January, Garcia outpointed Ivan Redkach over 12 rounds.

Spence defeated Shawn Porter by 12-round split decision on September 28 in a tough fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Spence, who came into the bout as the IBF titlist, earned the WBC belt with the win. He was involved in a horrific one-car accident a few weeks later near Dallas, Texas, and suffered serious injuries, including facial lacerations and a broken jaw.

Before the accident, there was talk of Spence facing Garcia in late January 2020.

Spence is ranked No. 1 at welterweight in ESPN‘s divisional rankings, and Garcia is No. 6. Manny Pacquiao (WBA) and Terence Crawford (WBO) are the other titleholders in the division.

Jeison Rosario to Fight Julian”J Rock” Williams for World Title

Jeison Rosario is hoping to take the belt in his first world title fight…

The 24-year-old Dominican professional boxer is set to take on unified junior middleweight world titlist Julian J Rock” Williams in Philadelphia next month.

Jeison Rosario

Williams will defend his two 154-pound belts against Rosario ‎in the main event of a Premier Boxing Championscard on January 18 (Fox, 8 p.m. ET) at Temple University‘s Liacouras Center, according to PBC.

‎In the co-feature, rising junior lightweight prospect Chris Colbertwill fight former world titlist Jezreel Corralesin a 10-round bout.

In his second shot at a world title, ‎Williams traveled to Jarrett Hurd’s home area in Fairfax, Virginia, in May and won a unanimous decision, taking the belts in an action-packed contender for fight of the year.

They were initially supposed to meet in a fall rematch, but Hurd ultimately decided not to go through with the fight.

That pushed Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs), 29,‎ back to January against Rosario.

‎”There’s no better way for him to follow that up than by defending his titles in front of his hometown fans in Philadelphia,” said TGB Promotions president Tom Brown, whose company is promoting the card. “The great fight fans in Philadelphia are in for fireworks because Jeison Rosario hits hard and he comes to pull off the spectacular upset, and he only needs one punch to do so.”

‎Williams will be fighting in Philadelphia for the first time in nine years.

“This is going to be great having a homecoming fight back in Philadelphia,” Williams said. “I’m excited for the crowd that’ll be at the Liacouras Center and to be back fighting on Fox. I haven’t fought in Philadelphia since 2011, so I can’t wait to get back in the ring in front of all my people.

“Rosario is a good fighter and I’m very familiar with him. I know he packs a solid punch and that he’s been on a tear ever since his lone loss to Nathaniel Gallimore. So he’ll be a stiff test for me, but I’m prepared to win. Most of all, I’m just excited to defend my titles and as a unified champion in front of my hometown crowd.”

‎Rosario 19-1-1, 13 KOs), who is Miami-based, will take an eight-fight unbeaten streak into his first world title fight.

“I’m very thankful and excited for this opportunity,” Rosario said. “I’m going to take advantage of it. I plan to bring these titles back to the Dominican Republic by knockout, but if I have to go 12 rounds, I’m ready. I learned a lot from my first defeat, and it will never happen again. I also want to thank PBC, my promoter Sampson Boxingand my manager Caesar Mercedesfor putting me in this position. I can’t wait to make the most of it.”

Colbert (13-0, 5 KOs) is one of boxing’s top prospects. He’s coming off a sensational one-punch knockout of Miguel Beltran Jr. in the first round in September.

“This is the stage that I’ve been waiting for,” Colbert said. “It’s time to show out. I’m going to show the world what the hype behind me is all about and prove that I’m a soon-to-be champion of the world. All I know about Corrales is that he’s a former champion who’s going to bring his A-game, but I’m looking to get him out of there. I’m excited to be back in Philly and I’m definitely going to have my crew and fans coming down from New York to show support.”

Corrales (23-3, 9 KOs), 28, of Panama, will look to rebound after a split-decision defeat to Ladarius Miller in July.

“Colbert is a good fighter but he’s not ready for what I can do in the ring,” Corrales said. “I’m going to show that I’m still one of the best in the division. This is a great opportunity to prove that.”

Leo Santa Cruz to Vie for a Belt in a Fourth Weight Division Against Miguel Flores

Leo Santa Cruz is looking for a fourth world title…

Premier Boxing Champions has announced that the 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer and featherweight world titlist will go for a belt in a fourth weight division when he moves up to junior lightweight to face Miguel Flores for a vacant 130-pound title.

Leo Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs), who has won world titles at bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight, will leave behind the featherweight division having had two title reigns and having made three defenses in his current reign, but not having had the major fight he could have had: a title unification bout against fellow PBCfighter Gary Russell Jr.

“When I first started boxing my dream was to be a world champion, and I’ve been fortunate to win three different world championships in three different divisions,” Santa Cruz said. “I couldn’t imagine winning championships in four divisions. It’s something I never really dreamed of, and I’m very happy about this opportunity.

“I know Flores is another tough Mexican boxer like me. He always comes forward, so it’s going to be a fun fight for the fans. I’m really looking forward to fighting again in Las Vegas at MGM Grand.”

Santa Cruz was supposed to defend his featherweight belt against Flores (24-2, 12 KOs), 27, of Houston, on February 16 in Los Angeles, but Flores suffered an ankle injury and withdrew, and Santa Cruz instead outpointed Rafael Rivera in a one-sided fight.

Flores has won two fights in a row, both in the junior lightweight division.

“I’m extremely excited to be getting this opportunity once again to fight Leo Santa Cruz and win a world title,” Flores said. “This is a dream come true for me, and I’m going to take advantage of the situation.

“This moment in my life is something I’ve envisioned since I was a kid. On November 23, you will see the best version of myself as I plan to be in the best shape of my life, with the goal of becoming a world champion, and what better way to do it than in Las Vegas at MGM Grand. Leo and I are going to put on a great show, that you can guarantee.”

Luis “King Kong” Ortiz to Fight Deontay Wilder in a Highly Anticipated Rematch

Luis “King Kong” Ortizis ready for a rematch…

The 40-year-old Cuban professional boxer and heavyweight world titlist Deontay Wilder have made their long-expected rematch official, formally announcing that they’ll face off again on November 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arenain Las Vegas.

Luis "King Kong" Ortiz

The Premier Boxing Championsfight will headline a Foxpay-per-view card. 

For Wilder (41-0-1, 40 Kos), who will be making his 10th title defense, retaining his belt is the final hurdle to a much-anticipated rematch with lineal champion Tyson Fury, whom he fought to a disputed draw in December at Staples Center.

If Wilder comes through against Ortiz, Wilder-Fury II is slated to take place on February 22 in a joint ESPN/Fox pay-per-view event in Las Vegas.

On paper, at least, Ortiz looms as a far greater risk to Wilder than Wallin was supposed to be to Fury.

“When I fought Ortiz, not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogeyman of the division,” Wilder said. “I agree with those who say that Luis Ortiz was my toughest fight to date. No one wanted to fight him and they still don’t. In the rematch there’s more confidence and more motivation to do what I have to do. I’ve already seen the style before. It’s going to make it more fun. I can’t wait to see how he tries to handle me when I’m at my best.”

Wilder said he was very ill going into their first fight yet still was able to prevail.

Although Wilder and Fury were close to finalizing an immediate rematch after their draw, Fury instead signed with Top Rankto have his fights on ESPN platforms. 

Eventually, however, Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions, which handles Wilder, worked out a two-fight deal for the rematch and a third fight.

However, Wilder and Fury would each take two interim bouts first. Wilder blew away mandatory challenger Dominic Breazealein the first round May 18, Fury did the same to Tom Schwarzin the second round June 15, and then Fury escaped from Wallin two weeks ago. Now Wilder-Fury II hangs in the balance on the outcome of Wilder-Ortiz II. Ortiz aims to ruin those plans.

“I have to give Deontay Wilder a lot of credit for taking this fight because it shows he has the heart of a true champion,” Ortiz said. “He is not at all scared to take a dangerous fight, because let’s be honest, this is the most dangerous fight for him. In my opinion, he’s the best heavyweight in the world until someone beats him, a nd that’s exactly what I’m going to do on November 23. ‘King Kong’ is coming to Las Vegas!”

Wilder first faced Ortizin March 2018 in what turned out to be a dramatic fight-of-the-year contender after a slow start over the first four rounds. Wilder knocked Ortiz down in the fifth round, then nearly got stopped during an Ortiz onslaught of punches in the seventh round before rallying for a punishing 10th-round knockout victory.

Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs), a power-punching southpaw from Cuba fighting out of Miami, who has twice failed tests for performance-enhancing drugs, has won three fights in a row since the loss to Wilder, including on the Wilder-Fury undercard.

Erislandy Lara Defeats Ramon Alvarez to Claim Vacant Secondary Junior Middleweight World Title

Erislandy Lara has a new title…

The 36-year-old Cuban professional boxer made quick work of Ramon Alvarez, knocking him out in the second round to claim a vacant secondary junior middleweight world title on Saturday in the Premier Boxing Champions main event at The Armory in Minneapolis.

Erislandy Lara

In his first fight since parting ways with longtime trainer Ronnie Shieldsand reuniting with Ismael Salas, his original professional trainer, Lara made it look easy against heavy underdog Alvarez, the less accomplished older brother of middleweight world champion and boxing’s biggest star Canelo Alvarez.

“Thank you to Alvarez. He gave me the work I needed today. Having this title here on my shoulders feels great,” Lara said through an interpreter.

Lara had held a top tier 154-pound world title from 2014 until losing it by split decision to Jarrett Hurd in the 2018 ESPN fight of the year, and then fighting to a draw with Brian Castano for the secondary belt in March to drop to 0-1-1 in his previous two fights.

But he got back on track before a crowd of 2,896 against Alvarez, who was not eligible to win the belt.

While Lara comfortably made weight at 153.8 pounds at the weigh-in on Friday afternoon, Alvarez was dramatically over the 154-pound division limit at 158.6 pounds. By fight night, Alvarez had blown up to 177.4 pounds while Lara had only rehydrated to a more normal 169 pounds.

The extra size made no difference for the much slower and less skilled Alvarez, who appeared uninterested in the fight from the opening bell.

Lara (26-3-3, 15 KOs), a southpaw, easily won the opening round and then battered Alvarez in the second round. He drilled him with a pair of straight left hands, a right and another left that sent Alvarez flying between the third and fourth ropes and nearly out of the ring. Referee Mark Nelson properly ruled it a knockdown because the ropes held up Alvarez (28-8-3, 16 KOs), 33, of Mexico.

When the fight resumed, Houston’s Lara, a former Cuban national team star before defecting, continued to paste Alvarez with clean punches from both hands. He forced Alvarez into the ropes as he landed 14 unanswered punches, finishing him with a powerful right hand that forced Nelson to step in and stop the bout at 2 minutes, 3 seconds just as Alvarez’s corner was throwing in the towel.

“Once I had him against the ropes I knew I had this fight won and then I really didn’t want to give him another shot, a power punch, and maybe really hurt him,” Lara said of Alvarez, who dropped to 1-2 in his past three fights with both defeats coming by knockout.

Alvarez did not dispute the stoppage.

“I respect the referee’s decision,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “I’m going to keep working. It is what it is. I fell down, but I will get up again.”

Lara’s victory not only earned him another title belt, but it also gave him a measure of revenge on the Alvarez family. In 2014, Lara lost a highly competitive split decision to Canelo Alvarez in a non-title pay-per-view main event.

According to CompuBox statistics, the fight was also a landslide as Lara landed 33 of 96 punches (34%) while Alvarez landed only seven of 59 shots (12%).

With Alvarez nowhere near Lara’s class, Lara said he hoped to again fight a top opponent and had two guys in mind.

“I’ll fight anybody in the division, but I do want to fight the best boxers out there, being in the higher divisions or lower divisions and I’m talking about [welterweight titlist] Errol Spence Jr. or Canelo Alvarez,” Lara said.

“Me and Canelo have our own little rivalry. I want to fight him in a rematch. His brother had nothing to do with that. They’re a great team and I wish them nothing but good things in the future. Canelo and me have a rivalry to finish.”

“I really trained for this fight, but maybe at 39, I’m nearing the end of my career,” Bisbal said. “I was out of gas by the end of the fourth round, so my corner stopped the fight. They said I looked too tired to fight more. I’ll talk to my team and see what’s next in my career.”