Canelo Alvarez Parts Ways with Premier Boxing Champions

Canelo Alvarez has made an unexpected departure…

The 33-year-old Mexican professional boxer, one of the sport’s top stars, and Premier Boxing Champions have mutually agreed to part ways with two fights remaining on Alvarez’s three-fight deal signed in June, per ESPN.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez, ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, defeated Jermell Charlo via unanimous decision in September to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship. That was the first fight of Alvarez’s PBC partnership.

The pact called for Alvarez to fight Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall, on May 4.

However, Canelo and PBC couldn’t agree to terms for the matchup on Cinco de Mayo weekend sources said, which allowed Alvarez contractually to explore other options going forward.

The third fight of the deal was set to take place against a mutually-agreed-upon opponent, sources said.

An Alvarez-Jermall Charlo event would have struggled to generate the sort of business that Canelo is used to. After all, Jermell put up a listless performance vs. Alvarez and never threatened to win the fight, killing any brotherly revenge angle.

Jermall didn’t help himself, either. In November, he failed to impress against Jose Benavidez Jr., a natural welterweight. The bout was Jermall Charlo’s first in 29 months as he dealt with personal issues.

It’s a big event anytime Alvarez fights, but there’s little commercial demand for a matchup with another Charlo. Jermell Charlo also didn’t appear at his brother’s comeback bout as Jermall said the relationship was fractured.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) will look for a new opponent and promotional partner for May 4 and beyond. Edgar Berlanga‘s manager, Keith Connolly, told ESPN on Sunday that he’s had preliminary talks with Eddie Hearn regarding a Canelo-Berlanga fight in 2024.

Connolly said Berlanga would be ready to fight Canelo as early as May 4 after last night’s sixth-round TKO win over Padraig McCrory in Orlando, Florida.

Another option for Alvarez is fellow Mexican Jaime Munguia, who scored a career-best win last month with a ninth-round stoppage of John Ryder. Alvarez could end up fighting Berlanga in May and Munguia in September.

There’s significant public demand for Alvarez, 33, to fight David Benavidez, who’s with PBC, or even Terence Crawford, but so far Canelo hasn’t shown interest. Regardless, his legacy is secure.

The all-time great’s résumé includes a pair of wins over Gennadiy Golovkin and titles in five weight classes.

His win over Charlo was preceded by a decision victory over Ryder in May in Mexico. Alvarez scored knockdowns in both fights.

PBC’s stable is led by star boxer Gervonta Davis, who is set to return vs. Frank Martin this summer. PBC’s first event with Amazon‘s Prime Video will take place March 30 in Las Vegas, a PPV headlined by rising star Tim Tszyu against Keith Thurman.

Crawford signed a one-fight deal with PBC to meet Errol Spence last July, and after “Bud” won the undisputed welterweight championship, Spence exercised the rematch clause.

However, Spence underwent cataract surgery in January and the scheduling window provided by the rematch clause has since expired, meaning Crawford, like Canelo, is also a network and promotional free agent.

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez Defeats Sunny Edwards to Unify WBO & IBF Flyweight Titles

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez is celebrating a big win…

The 23-year-old Mexican American professional boxer registered a ninth-round stoppage of Sunny Edwards on Saturday evening in Glendale, Ariz., to unify the WBO and IBF flyweight titles in an action fight.

Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez,Rodriguez slowly broke down Edwards before he floored the Englishman at the end of Round 9 with a jab to the body followed by an overhand left. Edwards crashed into the canvas face-first — a face that was severely marked up — but managed to survive.

There was a deep gash over Edwards’ right eye and his left eye was also cut up. Edwards said he couldn’t see out of either eye by the conclusion, which came when his corner halted the bout following Round 9.

“I brought something out of him tonight that he couldn’t handle,” said Rodriguez, who was named ESPN‘s No. 1 boxer under 25 years old last week. ” … He was a lot quicker than I thought; a lot smarter than I thought . … I made him wanna fight … He got caught.”

Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage: 89-81, 87-87 and 87-83.

The San Antonio native entered the ring ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 112 pounds. Following a sound defeat of the No. 2 fighter in the weight class, Rodriguez could return to 115 pounds, where he was once a champion.

Future Hall of Famer Juan Francisco Estrada was ringside; both Rodriguez and promoter Eddie Hearn indicated the 115-pound champion from Mexico could be next.

“Up close, that was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen,” Hearn said. “This kid is super special. … You talk about pound-for-pound great fighters. Sometimes the lower division don’t get the credit they deserve.”

Rodriguez emerged from his most recent fight, a decision over Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez in August, with a broken jaw. But as “Bam” absorbed several clean overhand lefts during the first few rounds, he proved he was fully recovered.

He established an active southpaw jab from the opening bell, a punch that served as a tablesetter for his heavy left hands but also controlled range.

Rodriguez used that stiff jab as a power punch, too. In Round 2, the jab left Edwards with a large welt around his left eye. The 27-year-old said he couldn’t see from that point.

Edwards (20-1, 4 KOs) is known for his boxing ability, defense and footwork, but he elected to sit down on his shots and exchange with Rodriguez in the pocket from Round 3 onward. Edwards often switched to southpaw and unleashed overhand lefts that met their mark.

He began to beat “Bam” to the punch. However, Edwards had only scored four KOs in his 20 victories, and the power wasn’t enough to fend off Rodriguez’s sweltering pressure.

Rodriguez started to impose his size and as the rounds ticked by, his heavier, cleaner shots started to sap Edwards’ legs.

“Bam” stunned Edwards in the closing moments of Round 6 before he dropped his hands, allowing Edwards to catch him with a series of shots.

“I was confident the whole fight,” Rodriguez said. “Maybe too confident.”

It didn’t matter. Edwards was reeling by the end of Round 8 as Rodriguez began to batter him with a bundle of power shots.

Edwards tried to slug it out with Rodriguez in a gutsy display down the stretch, but Rodriguez was simply too strong, too powerful and too good.

“I couldn’t just keep moving, and moving and moving,” Edwards said. “His feet are too good for that, his lead hand was too good for that. I had to make him miss and try to land…

“The better man won tonight, no excuses. It wasn’t my night tonight but I’ll definitely be back for sure.”

Regis Prograis to Fight Devin Haney in December

Regis Prograis has a new date for his next bout…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer, the WBC junior welterweight champion, will fight Devin Haney at the end of the year.

Regis PrograisHaney, trying to become a two-division champion, will fight Prograis on December 9 at San Francisco’s Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN.

The Prograis-Haney bout, which was originally planned for October 28 in Las Vegas, will be streamed on DAZN pay-per-view, sources said.

Haney, 24, is the undisputed lightweight champion but will make his 140-pound debut as he prepares to campaign at a new weight. ESPN’s No. 8 pound-for-pound boxer, Haney retained his four 135-pound titles when he defeated future Hall of Famer Vasiliy Lomachenko in May via unanimous decision.

The bout was the last of Haney’s three-fight deal with Top Rank. Now, Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) will return to Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing, which promoted six of the American’s fights on DAZN.

Haney signed with Top Rank after his win over Joseph Diaz Jr. to pursue a fight with George Kambosos in Australia for the undisputed lightweight championship.

Haney, who fights out of Las Vegas, defeated Kambosos in June 2022 and then turned back the Australian boxer again in Melbourne with another decision in October.

He then made his pay-per-view headline debut with a career-best win, a thrilling victory over Lomachenko.

In his 140-pound debut, Haney will take on a dangerous southpaw puncher in Prograis, who is ESPN‘s No. 3-rated junior welterweight.

Prograis became a two-time champion at 140 pounds with an 11th-round KO of Jose Zepeda in November. Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) signed a three-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing afterward and went on to retain his title with a split decision victory over Danielito Zorrilla in a homecoming bout.

Now, Prograis will step up for the biggest fight of his career. His lone pro defeat came against Josh Taylor via majority decision in October 2019, a title unification fight in London. Prograis rebounded with four consecutive TKO victories.

With a victory over Prograis, Haney could place himself in pole position for Fighter of the Year honors.

Haney still retains the WBA, IBF and WBO titles at 135 pounds but was named champion in recess by the WBC. Shakur Stevenson and Frank Martin had been slated to vie for the vacant WBC title, but sources told ESPN that Martin has withdrawn from the fight.

Jorge Linares to Fight Jack Catterall in October

Jorge Linares has lined up his next opponent…

The 37-year-old Venezuelan professional boxer, a former three-division champion, will fight Jack Catterall, ESPN‘s No. 1 junior welterweight, on October 21 in Liverpool, England, Matchroom Boxing has announced.

Jorge Linares

Catterall dropped a controversial split decision to Josh Taylor in February 2022 in a bid for the undisputed 140-pound championship. Following several postponements of the rematch, Taylor moved on to a summer bout with Teofimo Lopez, while Catterall signed with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom.

“It is an honor to share a ring with Jorge Linares,” Catterall said. “I’ve watched him come over to the U.K. on three occasions and win three times. He is a legend of the game and this is a must-win fight for the both of us for very different reasons.

“There is talk of a huge fight for me after this, but it’ll count for nothing if I take my eye off the ball — which I can’t afford to do at this stage of my career. It’s no secret my career has lacked momentum, so after boxing in May and now October, I genuinely believe you’ll see the best version of me on October 21.”

That “huge fight” Catterall mentioned is the rematch with Taylor. There have been discussions for a Catterall-Taylor encore targeted for late 2023 or early 2024, sources told ESPN. Taylor is set to campaign at welterweight after he lost his title to Lopez, but Catterall is willing to meet him in between 140 and 147 pounds, sources said.

But first, Catterall (27-1, 13 KOs) will need to come out victorious against the second-toughest opponent of his career.

Linares (47-8, 29 KOs) has captured titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but at 37, the Venezuelan boxer has lost three consecutive fights. Linares was competitive in a decision defeat to Devin Haney in May 2021.

Afterward, Linares fought twice in Russia: a 12th-round TKO loss to Zaur Abdullaev and a decision setback vs. Zhora Hamazaryan in December.

“October 21 I’m back in the UK,” said Linares. “I’m full of emotion and ready to give everybody a spectacular performance against a tremendous opponent, Jack Catterall.

“I just want everyone to know that I’m ready to give Jack a great boxing lesson and to continue making history in the U.K.”

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez to Face Sunny Edwards in Flyweight Title Unification Fight

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez is looking to up his title count…

The 23-year-old Mexican American professional boxer and Sunny Edwards have signed contracts for a flyweight title unification fight, Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing has announced.

Jesse "Bam" RodriguezThe matchup pits ESPN‘s top two boxers at 112 pounds: Rodriguez, who holds the WBO title, and Edwards, the IBF champion who is rated No. 2.

The fight will take place in the U.S. and will likely land in December, sources told ESPN.

“Delighted to deliver the biggest fight in the division for both of our fighters,” Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith told ESPN. “Respect to both for making it happen.”

Rodriguez, who fights out of San Antonio, captured the vacant WBO flyweight title in April with a unanimous-decision victory over Cristian Gonzalez.

“Bam”, the younger brother of 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco, broke out last year with a pair of victories over former champions Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in junior bantamweight fights.

Now, Rodriguez (18-0, 11 KOs) will step up to what shapes up as the toughest test of his career in Edwards, a slick-boxing Englishman.

The 27-year-old retained his title earlier this month with a unanimous-decision win over Andres Campos.

The bout was Edwards’ Matchroom debut, and now he, too, will step up in competition against a fellow elite fighter.

“What I do is different to anything anyone else does in a boxing ring,” Edwards (20-0, 4 KOs) said ahead of his win over Campos. ” … It’s not just that I want all of the belts, I don’t want anyone else to have them.

“It sickens me, it pains me that there’s three other people at my weight that walk around saying the same s— that I say.”

Regis Prograis Defeats Danielito Zorrilla to Defend His WBC Junior Welterweight Title

It wasn’t his best showing, but Regis Prograis has successfully defended his title…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer successfully defended his WBC junior welterweight title by defeating Danielito Zorrilla by split decision on Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center.

Regis PrograisPrograis won on two cards 118-109 and 117-110 while one scorecard went Zorrilla’s way 114-113.

Prograis (29-1, 25 KO) was honest about his performance and felt he could have put on a better show for the local crowd.

“My performance was s—. I can admit to myself it wasn’t a good performance,” Prograis said. “The last two days, I felt the hometown jitters. The hometown fights, they are the worst. I felt it going into it yesterday into today. I got the job done. I kept the belt. I’m happy about that, but I’m definitely not happy about my performance.”

Zorrilla (17-2, 13 KO) took the fight on less than a month’s notice as he was a late replacement for undefeated Australian fighter Liam Paro, who pulled out of the bout with an injury.

Following the fight, Prograis sat with Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn as the two spoke with reporters about what options could be next at 140 pounds. Bill Haney, Devin Haney‘s father, was in attendance on Saturday but Hearn said there are plenty of options for Prograis’ next fight.

Hearn mentioned Haney, Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis as all great fights that could be made for Prograis.

“For me, it’s up to Regis,” Hearn said. “I mean, I think the great thing about tonight is there’s going to be a lot of people queuing up to fight. I’ve not heard any of those big names mention Regis’ name before tonight, other than Devin. But now I think you’re going to see people actually target Regis Prograis that he might be beatable now.

“Which we know, there’s a completely different performance to come from Regis Prograis. I think that’s the one thing that I’m happy about and I believe Devin wants that fight.”

It was the first successful title defense of Prograis’ career. After winning the WBA title at 140 pounds from Kiryl Relikh in 2019, Prograis dropped the belt in a majority decision to Josh Taylor later that year. It remains the only loss of his career.

This time, Prograis defended his crown.

In the third round, Prograis dropped Zorrilla with a left hand and started to build on that momentum the rest of the fight. However, that quickly went away as the two danced and plotted on each other for the remainder of the fight.

“He came to survive,” Prograis said about Zorrilla. “He didn’t want to get knocked out. He came to survive. I was chasing him. I just had to chase him for 12 rounds.”

Prograis went to the mat three times but none were ruled knockdowns by referee Ray Corona. In the first round, Zorrilla stunned Prograis with a right knocking him off balance, and both men went to the ground as Prograis tried to clutch with Zorrilla falling into the champion. However, it was ruled as a push. In the 10th round, Prograis’ fall was called a slip and then he again touched the mat in the 12th on a push.

He admitted after the fight that he felt the first-round fall didn’t feel like a knockdown in the moment but looking back at the replay, it could have been.

This was the first major championship fight inside the Smoothie King Center since 2000 when undisputed light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. defeated Eric Harding at what was then called New Orleans Arena (Derrick Gainer also defeated Freddie Norwood for the WBA featherweight title on the same card).

It was the third card that Prograis has headlined in New Orleans. His previous two fights were at the Lakefront Arena on the campus of the University of New Orleans.

New Orleans rap duo Fresh X Reckless performed during Prograis’ walk as he put his own flair on the entrance with a 10-foot Rougarou — Prograis’ nickname and a werewolf-like monster from local folklore — following him.

However, because of those “hometown jitters” Prograis mentioned, there’s a good chance his next fight won’t be in the city.

“I don’t think next time,” Prograis said. “We’ll probably go on the road and then come back here down the line. But not next fight.”

Hearn said there are opportunities for Prograis that could be in Las Vegas or the Middle East for his next fight.

Regis Prograis Looking for New Opponent for Summer Homecoming Bout

Regis Prograis is on the hunt for a new opponent…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer is looking for a new challenger for his June 17 homecoming title defense in New Orleans after Australia’s Liam Paro withdrew with an injury.

Regis PrograisPrograis (28-1, 24 KOs) will make the first defense of the WBC junior welterweight title he won with an 11th-round KO of Jose Zepeda in November.

Prograis signed a three-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing earlier this month and will headline on DAZN.

ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 140 pounds, Prograis’ lone career defeat came in 2019 when he dropped a majority decision to Josh Taylor in a title unification in London.

Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) was set to fight outside Australia for the first time. Whoever replaces Paro will fight for the title on less than four weeks’ notice.

Regis Prograis Signs Three-Fight Deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing

Regis Prograis has a new deal…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer, a junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis, has signed a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing.

Regis Prograis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) accepted the offer over a more lucrative offer from Top Rank, sources said.

Prograis’ first fight with Matchroom will take place on June 17 in Prograis’ native New Orleans against Australia’s Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs), Prograis told ESPN. Sources said it is a headline bout on DAZN.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been contemplating which move I should make next,” Prograis said. “I had a lot of good offers on the table. But I feel like Matchroom is the best for me. I just feel like it’s the right fit. From the beginning I had that gut feeling and it never left. I can’t wait to start this chapter in my career.”

Prograis, who fights out of Houston, was ringside with Hearn for the Canelo AlvarezJohn Ryder undisputed super middleweight championship fight, Canelo’s first fight in Mexico in nearly 12 years.

ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 140 pounds, Prograis became a two-time champion when he scored an 11th-round KO of Jose Zepeda in November. Prograis’ lone professional defeat came against Josh Taylor in 2019 via majority decision.

Now that he’s aligned with Matchroom, Prograis could be matched with Jack Catterall, ESPN’s No. 1 junior welterweight. Catterall, who signed with Hearn last month, dropped a controversial decision to Taylor last February in his lone pro defeat.

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez Claims WBO’s Vacant Flyweight Title Despite Jaw Injury vs. Cristian Gonzalez

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez has secured a new division title…

The 23-year-old Mexican American boxer, who moved down to flyweight, secured the WBO‘s vacant 112-pound championship with a unanimous-decision win over Cristian Gonzalez (118-110, 117-111, 116-112) at the Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio.

Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez,But when Rodriguez spoke in his post-fight interview, it was immediately clear that not all went right for the promising boxer in another hometown victory. Rodriguez said he battled through a broken jaw against a very feisty opponent to add to his growing list of accolades.

Rodriguez became a two-division world champion, following up a year in which he won the WBC‘s junior bantamweight title. But despite the feat, he said he wasn’t pleased with his showing.

“It wasn’t the best performance,” Rodriguez said in a brief postfight interview with DAZN. “I’ will admit that.”

Rodriguez (18-0, 11 KOs) was bleeding from his mouth by the end of the fight and said he could barely speak after he suffered the injury against Gonzalez (15-2, 5 KOs), who was a heavy underdog entering the fight.

“I guess I got caught with my mouth open,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the injury likely occurred sometime around the sixth round. It came during a stretch when Rodriguez was controlling the action in the ring, peppering Gonzalez with a barrage of body shots that opened up power punches to the head.

But as the fight continued, Gonzalez regained some of the form he showed early in the fight, sticking Rodriguez with straight punches from the outside while he constantly moved around the ring.

Rodriguez’s injury complicated what was expected to be a showcase performance for someone who had knockout wins over Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2022, with both of those performances coming in San Antonio.

It also makes things a bit tricky for Rodriguez’s long-term outlook.

Saturday night marked his first fight in the flyweight division. Before the fight, Matchroom Boxing chairman Eddie Hearn pointed out that with a Rodriguez victory, three of the four champions in the 112-pound weight class would be promoted by Matchroom. And with the matchmaking relatively simple, Hearn was eyeing a potential undisputed championship fight.

“We want to wrap up these belts with one champion,” Hearn told DAZN.

Hearn said he wanted Rodriguez to face Sunny Edwards, the IBF champion based out of London. Rodriguez confirmed those plans after his win against Gonzalez.

“That’s the only option,” Rodriguez said.

However, that option might have to wait. After Saturday’s fight, Hearn told DAZN that with Rodriguez’s broken jaw and the recovery timeline, Edwards might need an interim bout before a potential showdown with the newest flyweight champion.

“It’s just about timing now,” Hearn said. “Obviously, with that injury, if that jaw is broken, that’s going to keep him out probably the back end of the year. Sunny needs to fight.”

Canelo Alvarez Will Defend Undisputed Super Middleweight Championship vs. John Ryder in May

Canelo Alvarez is going on the defensive…

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the sport’s top star, will defend his undisputed super middleweight championship versus John Ryder on May 6 in Jalisco, Mexico, the fighter has announced.

Canelo AlvarezThe Alvarez-Ryder bout will take place at Akron Stadium, a soccer venue with a capacity of nearly 50,000.

It will be Alvarez’s first in Mexico since 2011, when he defeated Kermit Cintron to retain his 154-pound title. That event was in Mexico City. Alvarez hasn’t competed in Guadalajara since 2010, before he won his first championship.

Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) will step inside the ropes for the first time since he underwent left wrist surgery in October. The procedure followed Alvarez’s win over Gennadiy Golovkin in September to close out the trilogy.

“I feel really happy to be coming back in May, because following my surgery, I was unsure of when I’d be coming back,” said Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer. “Returning to the ring and coming back to fight in Jalisco, where I’m from, makes me especially happy. And in John Ryder, I’m facing a very competitive fighter.”

The injury also hampered Alvarez in an upset loss to Dmitry Bivol in May at 175 pounds, Alvarez’s first defeat since he was routed by Floyd Mayweather in 2013.

Ryder, a 34-year-old Londoner, will be a major underdog in his second world title opportunity. He was on the wrong end of a controversial decision when he challenged Callum Smith for his 168-pound title in 2019.

Since the defeat, Ryder has won four straight. His most recent two victories came against Daniel Jacobs and Zach Parker last year, in February and November, respectively. The victory over Jacobs was a tight decision, while Parker retired on his stool with a broken hand following Round 4.

Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) won the vacant WBO interim title when he defeated Parker, so Alvarez could be in position to fulfill one of the obligations for the four 168-pound titles he possesses. Ryder, a pressure-fighting southpaw, is ESPN’s No. 4 super middleweight.

“There’s no denying that Canelo is one of the greats, and I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s achieved in the sport, but I fully believe this is my time [to] fulfil my dream of becoming a world champion,” Ryder said.

“I’m not going over there for a holiday. For me, this is purely business, and my full focus is on going into his backyard in Guadalajara on May 6 and bringing those belts back with me to the U.K.”

Alvarez, meanwhile, could face Bivol in a September rematch, but this time at 168 pounds for his undisputed championship. Bivol has expressed a willingness to drop down in weight, so the bout could materialize once Alvarez pushes past Ryder as expected.

Alvarez is a promotional and network free agent, but he’ll be fighting for Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing on DAZN for the third consecutive outing.