Canelo Alvarez sees fight vs. Sergey Kovalev as his chance to match Mexican legends

There wasn’t the usual trash talking between opponents. There wasn’t any bravado or overconfidence from either side of the podium.

Instead, there was a mutual respect between one of boxing’s brightest stars in Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and one of its most consistent in Sergey Kovalev. Make no mistake, though: Alvarez was on that stage with a clear goal in mind, one that would put him in rare company.

After moving up from the 160-pound weight class to 175, Alvarez has a chance to become just the fourth Mexican boxer to hold titles in four different weight classes, should he defeat Kovalev and take the WBO light heavyweight title from the 36-year-old Russian.

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Alvarez said he had the chance to meet Kovalev in 2012, when Kovalev was needing just four to six rounds in the ring before knocking out his opponents, “and now we’re about to share the ring and make history here.”

“I’m very motivated here,” Alvarez said Wednesday through an interpreter at a press conference to promote his fight vs. Kovalev on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas. “I know it’s going to be the most difficult fight of my profession. I’m aware it’s going to be a really difficult fight. And that day I’m going to put all my strength and effort into the ring, and that day we can yell, ‘Viva Mexico!’”

– – #CaneloKovalev pic.twitter.com/kqFENXe8Iu

— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) September 19, 2019

Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Juan Manuel Marquez are the only Mexican fighters to have pulled off the feat Alvarez is hoping to accomplish. Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, also held titles in four different weight classes.

MORE: Ryan Garcia-Romero Duno to be co-main event on Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev card

To this point, the 29-year-old Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) has held the unified WBA, WBC, Ring magazine and lineal middleweight titles since 2018, the WBA super middleweight title since 2018 and the IBF middleweight title between May and August 2018. His lone loss came against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The fight will pit one of the most exciting body punchers in Alvarez against the heavy-handed Kovalev. Nicknamed “The Krusher,” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) has fought at 175 pounds his entire career while Alvarez will be making his professional debut at the weight class. Alvarez, meanwhile, has claimed major world titles at 154, 160 and 168 pounds in the past.

“This is a really big test for me in my boxing career. This is one of the best fighters in the world right now,” Kovalev said.

Story by Edward Sutelan

 

 

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Anthony Joshua’s trainer admits he knew heavyweight was concussed in Andy Ruiz Jr. fight

Anthony Joshua’s trainer, Rob McCracken, says he knew the former heavyweight champion was concussed during his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June.

“I know him better than all these experts who virtually don’t know him or have met him once or twice so I knew he was concussed and I’m trying to get him through a few more rounds, one round at a time, and see where he’s at,” McCracken told the BBC. “‘Can he recover? Can he get back into this?’

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“But he was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with that initial shot in Round 3 and he carried that with him up until the end. It’s a nightmare situation, pro boxing is deadly and you’re in the corner with a heavyweight not responding as he should.”

After being knocked down in the third round, Joshua could be heard on the DAZN broadcast saying, “What round is it?” and “Why am I feeling like this?”

Joshua was ultimately stopped by Ruiz in the seventh round via TKO, losing the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts in the process.

Ruiz was an 11-1 underdog in the fight and became the first Mexican heavyweight champion in what has come to be known as one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

To add to an already tough situation, Joshua was also reportedly knocked out leading up to the fight with Ruiz, according to multiple reports.

He very well could have already been dealing with concussion-like symptoms even before he stepped in the ring with Ruiz which would further call into question everything surrounding this fight.

It is unclear what kind of ramifications this could have for McCracken, if any.

Joshua is set to face Ruiz in a rematch Dec. 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Story by Thomas Lott

 

 

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Anthony Joshua wants to rediscover passion before Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch

Anthony Joshua wants to rediscover his passion for boxing as he prepares for his rematch with unified world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr.

Ruiz stunned Joshua by technical knockout in the seventh round of the June 1 fight at Madison Square Garden to claim the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

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A rematch is likely to take place in November or December, though a venue is yet to be decided.

Joshua’s choice is Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, but Ruiz has refused to fight in the UK and a neutral venue is expected to be confirmed.

However, Joshua insists he is paying little attention to the negotiations and is solely focused on regaining his titles.

“I need to soak in the boxing environment again, get that passion back,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “The only fighter I’m interested in right now is Ruiz and beating him good so I can get those belts back.

“The only guys I should be fighting are the best in the world. I feel like I can correct my wrongs. I’ve come from a tough background and I know Ruiz beating me is something I can overcome.

“I see a lot of talking about what Ruiz wants. I don’t mind fighting in America, I’ve done it before. And I’d love to fight him [in the UK] because I went [to America] off my own back. So I’d love it to be in Cardiff. However, it’s going to be on neutral ground. I’ll battle for it to be in the UK. It’s my stomping ground.

“The British fans that have been riding with me from day one want to see me get those belts back. To walk out in Cardiff in front of 70,000 or 80,000 people screaming for you to win. The energy running through your body is incredible, and it might give me the little bit of edge I need to win those belts.

“I need to focus on my training. I know there’s a rematch, I know it’s going to be this year and it’s going to be on neutral ground. I want Ruiz to have a say, he’s the champion. I want to fight here, he wants to fight elsewhere. We’ll fight on neutral ground, no problem. I just want to focus on the win. I’m not interested when the decision is made or where it is.”

You know what they say… He who laughs last laughs hardest #StayHungry pic.twitter.com/FBRuAE8h9V

— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) July 10, 2019

Joshua has elected not to have a warmup fight, a decision he has no doubt is the right one.

MORE: Ruiz fires back after AJ’s venue comments

“Anyone who tries to tell me different isn’t cut from the same cloth,” the 29-year-old said. “Who’s my warmup fight going to be? I don’t fight B-class heavyweights, I fight the best in the world. Ruiz has got what I want, so let’s get it on.

“It’s a fight I know I can win, that’s what makes it important. What makes it even more important is how I prepare for this fight. [He could beat me again], that’s what makes it so important. It was a defining moment but I’m about to make it right.”

Written by Patric Ridge

 

 

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Eddie Hearn says ‘the world’ feels Dillian Whyte is guilty of doping violation

After his unanimous decision victory over Oscar Rivas on July 20, it was announced that Dillian Whyte failed a drug test before the bout took place in London.

An emergency hearing took place the week of the fight in which Whyte attended. The British Boxing Board of Control along with the United Kingdom Anti-Doping cleared Whyte to face Rivas. The WBC went on to temporarily suspend Whyte’s status as the WBC interim titleholder until an investigation is complete.

The consensus among boxing pundits is Whyte cheated and there should have been a punishment. His promoter at Matchroom Boxing Eddie Hearn thinks his fighter should be allowed to show he’s innocent even though others think differently.

“Obviously, the world has made their minds up that he’s guilty,” Hearn recently told Sporting News. “He has to be given a chance to show people that he’s not.”

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People have been upset at the fact Whyte still was able to fight even with the adverse finding. Hearn wants to make it clear that Whyte provided everything the UKAD and the BBBofC were looking for, thus being allowed to go on with the bout.

“One thing you have to know about the process, that was the protocol followed in that instance where he was asked to provide information at a hearing of an independent panel with the UK anti-doping panel to present evidence to effectively clear him for the fight,” Hearn said. “He did that, and he was cleared to fight. We followed procedure.”

Another bone of contention has been the fact Rivas nor his team were told about the matter. Rivas’ promoter at Top Rank, Bob Arum, felt Hearn had an “obligation” to let the Rivas team know precisely what happened. Hearn disagrees and says he followed the rules and didn’t have to inform them.

“My contract with both guys was that if they were cleared to fight by the commission, the fight was on,” Hearn said. “No one can stop that fight in that instance. It’s a confidential case as is the UK policy.”

The only statement Whyte has made was on his Twitter page stating he cannot talk about his situation publicly at this time. With Whyte testing positive for methylhexaneamine in 2012 and receiving a two-year suspension, the 31-year-old is facing a lengthy suspension if found guilty. At this stage, any significant punishment could spell the end of Whyte’s peak fighting years.

“He has to come out and obviously with the UK (anti-doping panel) and make everyone aware that he is innocent in that situation,” Hearn said. “That’s a difficult position for him now. That’s why he hasn’t said too much because he’s got to get this right. His career is at risk here.”

Written by Steven Muehlhausen

 

 

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Top Rank Boxing starts fundraiser for family of Maxim Dadashev

Top Rank Boxing has started a GoFundMe fundraiser in memory of Maxim Dadashev. All proceeds will benefit his family.

The Russian boxer died on July 23 of a brain injury he suffered during an 11th-round knockout loss to Subriel Matias on July 19. He was 28 years old.

MORE: Boxing community reacts to death of Maxim Dadashev

The campaign has a goal of raising $500,000 to donate to Dadashev’s family. He is survived by his wife, Elizaveta Apushkina, and their two-year-old son.

As of July 29, over $40,000 has been raised.

Written by Alyssa Sconzo

 

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Regis Prograis lists keys to victory for Maurice Hooker-Jose Ramirez fight, talks clash with Josh Taylor

The stars are aligned in the super lightweight division and Regis Prograis knows it.

Four undefeated champions fighting in a pair of unification bouts, with the road to undisputed glory lit with high beams … what’s there not to love about that?

WBO champion Maurice Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KOs) faces WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs) at the College Park Center in Arlington, TX. on Saturday night, with Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) putting his WBA belt up against IBF titleholder Josh Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) this fall and the winners expected to face each other to give the division one champion, one face, one name.

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“It’s perfect,” Prograis told Sporting News. “Timing is everything and I’m in a real good time right now. These big fights are happening at 140 (pounds) right now.

“I always had it in my mind that I was going to run through this tournament (World Boxing Super Series), get through Josh Taylor — he’s the second-best fighter in the division — and then after that, I’m going to fight the winner of Ramirez-Hooker and it looks like everything is happening just the way I envisioned it happening,” he continued. “We’ll see how it plays out, but hopefully it plays out the way I envisioned it.”

Prograis plans on approaching the WBSS super lightweight final against Taylor like he has every pro bout before it — by figuring his opponent out in real-time and being ready to adjust on the fly.

“I never have a game plan going into the fight — never,” Prograis insisted. “Of course, you go out there and establish a rhythm, get a jab going and then after that, I just go off my instincts. I just do me. I have so many different tools, so many different things that I could do. I just do what I gotta do — that’s all.

“When me and Josh Taylor got in the ring (in May), he said ‘You should be ready for a war,’” he continued. “I was like, ‘Alright … if that’s what you want from me, alright.’ Nobody has ever seen the dog fight come out of me.

“I definitely think Josh Taylor is a top-class fighter and I don’t put anything past him, but I just feel like right now, I’m on a different level.”

Before Prograis gets to test that belief out, he’ll be in attendance for the Hooker-Ramirez fight on Saturday night to get a closer look at who he could be facing for undisputed acclaim.

Here, Prograis dons his analyst hat for Sporting News and punches up the keys to victory for each Hooker and Ramirez, before weighing in with his final prediction.

Keys to victory for Ramirez

“I feel like he just gotta stay busy. That’s the thing. With (Hooker), he likes to fight at a slow pace. I think Ramirez will have to be real, real busy and have a big output without getting caught with nothing big, basically.

“I think he’ll have to push him around because Hooker likes to fight at his own pace. He doesn’t fight at a high pace — he fights at a real slow pace. He likes to flick his jab out and throw a big right hand on top of that. I think, for Ramirez, he’ll have to just basically go in there and try to push him around, boss him around and have a high output.”

Keys to victory for Hooker

“Hooker is the total opposite. I think that he would have to be the boss and establish a real good jab and definitely move his feet — move around and just keep Ramirez off balance with the jab and that big right hand. I think he’ll just have to keep throwing that. I think that will be his main (weapon).

“Don’t let (Ramirez) push him back when he comes in, but at the same time, he’ll have to move his feet and just out-box him, basically. Keep the jab in his face and keep landing the big right hand.

“I think Ramirez will try to suck the wind out of him by hitting him with a body shot, but don’t let him even get that close. Keep him on the outside with the jab and keep occasionally putting the right hand on him and fight at his pace.”

Prediction

“I think it will be will versus will in this fight. Whoever has a strong will, will win. I think (this fight will go the distance). I don’t think neither one of them will get knocked out. None of them have ever been knocked out before, but both of them have actually been dropped.

“I think we will see some knockdowns and if a knockdown happens, I think Hooker will probably get knocked down from Ramirez. But at the same time, Ramirez could get knocked down too because he likes to rush in. I think it will be an exciting fight and I really feel like both of them will take knockdowns in this fight. But I still lean more towards Ramirez.

I lean more toward Ramirez because he could be a little more active. I think he’s a better all-around skilled fighter, but at the same time, Hooker has a big right hand. He has a big, sneaky right hand. He’s long, he’s tall and I think maybe he could out-box Ramirez, keep him off guard and then hit him with the big right hand. I think it’s a 50-50 fight, but I lean a little more toward Ramirez.”

Written by Mark Lelinwalla

 

 

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Deontay Wilder continues to jab Anthony Joshua over upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Deontay Wilder was quick to blast Anthony Joshua following the British boxer’s monumental upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr., essentially calling for the former unified world heavyweight champion a fraud who “quit.”

Well, more than a month later, the WBC heavyweight champ isn’t done jabbing at AJ.

Speaking with TalkSport’s Jim White, “The Bronze Bomber” doubled down on his opinion that Joshua quit during his shocking seventh-round TKO loss to Ruiz at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 1.

“I think Ruiz beat him too easily,” Wilder said. “I don’t think Joshua knows how he lost right now. In my opinion, Joshua quit.

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“As a fighter looking in, understanding and reading the body language, he quit. I’m sad to say, he quit, though.”

Wilder proceeded to pinpoint three tell-all signs that Joshua did indeed quit, including him spitting out his mouthpiece following his fourth knockdown of the fight, blatantly ignoring the ref’s instructions to come forward and finally looking to his corner for guidance, which the WBC champ believes was a “sign like I’m looking for a way out.”

“I don’t think he’s a quitter,” Wilder continued, “but it’s going to sound contradicting, but he quit that night.”

“In my view, Joshua quit.” ❌

“As a fighter reading the body language, I’m sad to say that he quit.”

“Ruiz beat him too easily, he doesn’t know how he lost that fight.”@BronzeBomber says Anthony Joshua quit in his big fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. pic.twitter.com/frz1pURAHr

— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 26, 2019

MORE: The timeline that led to Ruiz’s historic upset of Joshua

Wilder’s latest comments follow him ripping Joshua with a series of tweets in the immediate aftermath of him losing to Ruiz.

(Warning: explicit language)

He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts.
Facts and now we know who was running from who!!!!#TilThisDay

— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) June 2, 2019

The worst thing you can do in life is Fucking Quit!!

— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) June 2, 2019

Wilder and Ruiz were all smiles last Saturday night during the PBC on FOX pay-per-view broadcast for the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight in Las Vegas.

Of course, the newly-crowned unified world heavyweight champion, Ruiz, and Joshua continue to iron out the details for their highly-anticipated rematch, where the former will look to prove that his upset wasn’t a fluke, while the latter seeks redemption.

Written by Mark Lelinwalla

 

 

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