GOLDEN BOY LOOK-AHEAD — A light heavyweight contender and a light heavyweight future Hall of Famer both tasted defeat for Los Angeles-based boxing powerhouse Golden Boy Promotions on consecutive days on the company’s last two shows of 2016.
Vyacheslav Shabranskyy lost in Indio and Bernard Hopkins in Inglewood.
“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted. It was a successful show and we had some really good fights on the shows,” said Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy. “It was a good end to a long year.”
Despite those losses, the machine moves forward with its talent-rich roster primed for 2017. Among those ready is boxing’s ticket selling king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who headed the year’s best pay-per-view cards.
What’s planned for the Mexican redhead in 2017?
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. seems to be the target for Cinco de Mayo.
Canelo vs Chavez
“Yes, we’re in discussion. I would love nothing more than to make the fight,” said Gomez about matching the two most recognizable Mexican middleweights.
A photo of Alvarez and Chavez was racing through the social media sphere with lightning precision as talk of a possible conflict erupted. In years prior, it was thought the match would be impossible to make with Chavez hovering at the light heavyweight weight limit. But in his last bout two weeks ago, Chavez actually made 168 pounds.
According to Gomez, talks have already begun.
“Trying to make a deal,” said Gomez. “A lot has been done thru e-mails. I’m trying to make it happen.”
When Alvarez moved into the middleweight division for two fights in facing Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan, it signaled that the Guadalajara star could fight in the bigger division. And with Chavez able and willing to drop down in weight to fight Canelo, it’s a Mexican showdown that could result in enormous pay-per-view dividends.
Of course, one other mega-fight awaits for Alvarez and that could be even bigger if Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin wins his upcoming fight in March against Danny Jacobs.
Last week, Golden Boy chairman Oscar De La Hoya appeared on ESPN with Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith. In front of a live show De La Hoya promised that Alvarez will fight Golovkin in 2017, probably in September.
That’s two big pay-per-view shows for Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions that not only brings in the cash but provides massive showcases for the rest of the fighters on their payroll.
Here are some of those that can benefit by the massive exposure:
East L.A.’s Frankie Gomez remains one of the biggest secrets in boxing for super lightweights and welterweights. For one reason or another, mainly weight issues, the super-quick prizefighter now training at the Wild Card Boxing gym in Hollywood has been unable to get steady work. Since falling under the Freddy Roach influence the talented Gomez has made the welterweight limit in back-to-back bouts.
“He (Gomez) will come back next year. His fight fell through for this card. He needs a high profile fight. We’re going to find the right fight for him,” said Eric Gomez about Frankie Gomez who is not related to him. “He wants a big fight. People know that about him and the kind of work he does. He is special.”
In his last fight Frankie Gomez was able to defeat the very talented Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera. It was the first time anyone had decisively beaten Herrera who has more hard luck than any other fighter around when it comes to decisions.
Last month, hard luck bit Herrera once again when he lost a split decision to Mexico’s Pablo Cano. Many, including this writer, felt Herrera won the extremely close fight. Of Herrera’s seven career losses including the controversial defeat to then super lightweight world champion Danny Garcia in 2014, only Frankie Gomez was able to clearly win. All of the others were debatable losses due to judgments.
“Mauricio was in a close fight. He’s not done yet,” said Gomez of Herrera’s last loss in November. “We’re going to bring him back. He has nothing to be ashamed of. It could have gone either way. The plan for him is to get him another high profile fight.”
Herrera, who lives in Riverside, California, has always been willing to fight anyone anywhere.
Hector Tanajara Jr.
Another who lives and trains in Riverside is 20-year-old Hector Tanajara.
The tall lightweight, originally from San Antonio, Texas, was dominant in every fight he engaged in this year and the year before with seven victories, four by way of knockout. The long-armed lightweight has speed and good power to go with his tight boxing skills.
“From all the young kids he’s the one that reminds me of a young Oscar. His style, his jab, we’re really excited about that kid,” said Gomez. “We’re developing him for 10 round fights this coming year. He has a lot of amateur experience. He’s an amateur champion. He could have gone to the Olympics.”
Last week, four of Golden Boy’s crown jewels were victorious as Jojo Diaz, Jason Quigley, Joet Gonzalez and Ryan Garcia were impressive. But the big surprise announcement came a few days before last weekend’s show when a former Olympian was signed named Marlen Esparza.
“Marlen is the first girl we ever signed to a multi-year deal. We feel she can really revolutionize boxing,” said Gomez of Esparza who won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics. “She has a good style, she can fight. She has that look. That’s a girl if we do it the right way she can go far.”
This coming year has some major fights of interest.
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