The Avila Perspective, Chapter 2: GGG, Danny Roman and More

LOS ANGELES-Can pugilistic bliss be attained by Gennady “GGG” Golovkin post-Canelo?

It’s a question that was rendered to Mexican style prizefighter Golovkin before various media on Monday at the Palm Restaurant.

Golovkin received a trinket from one of the other boxing publications and a variety of questions on Monday. It’s following his announcement last week that he will again fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Sept. 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Just don’t ask him to smile and feign friendship with the Mexican redhead.

“He’s not the same anymore,” said Golovkin about Alvarez who once sparred with him several years ago. “Maybe it’s the money.”

After months of bad vibes and diatribes tossed at each other, the two former foes will return to see who grabs the middleweight world championship. But don’t ask them to pose face to face.

“He cannot look into my eyes,” said Golovkin at the luncheon. “He knows I’m correct on everything.”

Perhaps it’s better this way.

Middleweights have a long and impressive history in the world of professional boxing. Ever since middleweight champion Bob Fitzsimmons dethroned heavyweight champion Gentleman Jim Corbett in 1897, fighters from the 160-pound division have exceeded expectations and captured the attention of fans. Middleweights have power, speed and the guts to match blows with anyone and often do.

Jack Dempsey began as a middleweight and eventually became the heavyweight champion of the world. Others followed throughout the years. Stanley Ketchel, Harry Greb, Mickey Walker, Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon and Bernard Hopkins were among the great middleweights.

Golovkin said one of his favorites is Marvin Hagler.

One boxing publication handed Golovkin a belt signifying status as the number one fighter pound for pound in the world. Ironically that publication is owned by Golden Boy Promotions that promotes Alvarez.

With most publications declaring the flavor of the week as the top pound for pound, it was a good choice. Golovkin has never suffered defeat and until he does he’s also my choice for top dog. It should never be a popularity contest that changes from week to week.

Danny Roman and Newspapers

Despite winning a world title almost a year ago Danny Roman finally tasted newspaper coverage, but only after Showtime placed him as the co-headlining event with Errol Spence Jr.

Roman, a Los Angeles area resident, grabbed the WBA super bantamweight title last August in Japan and despite more than a dozen daily newspapers in the area he was scarcely, if at all, mentioned until Showtime placed him on the schedule. Then an article appeared and not by a boxing beat writer, but a sports columnist.

Newspapers are committing suicide by their failure to be relevant. Instead of looking for new trends and covering a rapidly growing boxing industry that has exceeded more than 100 gyms in Southern California, they remain committed to doing things the old way. Is it prejudice or ignorance?

Boxing is basically Latino and African-American. Refusal to cover non-televised boxing by newspapers has to be some kind of biasness against people of color. Or maybe they just don’t care to visit gyms on their own and do the reporting. They’re leaving it up to television to tell them what to do. That’s my opinion.

Roman (25-2-1, 9 KOs) handily defeated Mexico’s Moises Flores (25-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday in Texas. Before that he defeated Ryo Matsumoto by unanimous decision and Shun Kubo by knockout. Both fights were in Japan and anytime a boxer defeats a Japanese fighter in their native land that’s big news.

If not for boxing web sites and social media platforms Roman would have no coverage. It’s a shame.

The young man is promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions who are famous for discovering hidden gems. Well, they’ve uncovered another jewel in Danny Roman.

Belasco

A Golden Boy Promotions show at Belasco Theater takes place on Saturday instead of the usual Friday. The reason: ESPN will be televising the event.

Vergil Ortiz (9-0, 9 KOs) faces former world champ Juan Carlos Salgado (27-8-1, 16 KOs) in the main event in downtown Los Angeles.

Ortiz, 20, a heavy-handed super lightweight from the Dallas area, recently moved from Indio to Riverside, Calif.

Salgado, 33, formerly held the IBF super featherweight world title and defended it three times before losing to Argenis Mendes at the OC Hangar in Costa Mesa. I remember it well. He’s a solid puncher and likes guys that stand in front of him. So does Ortiz. That’s a recipe for a knockout by someone.

Also on the card is Hector Tanajara (13-0, 5 KOs) meeting Venezuela’s Roger Gutierrez (19-1, 16 KOs) in a super featherweight bout between extremely tall 130-pounders. Both are facing a do-or-die situation with the winner moving forward.

Tanajara, 21, is a native of San Antonio but has been living in Riverside, Calif. where he trains at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. So far in 2018 the tall Texan has faced tough competition and survived comfortably. Now he’s facing a solid puncher.

Gutierrez, 23, failed his first test last July when he was stopped by Nicaraguan gatekeeper Rene Alvarado. The taller Venezuelan was manhandled at the Belasco Theater and returned to his native country where he knocked out four in a row. Now he’s back.

Two weeks later Belasco opens its doors again to boxing with the return of Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada in the main event.

Females Headline a Showtime Card

This Friday Showtime will televise two female bouts including Claressa Shields (5-0) fighting Hanna Gabriels (18-1-1) in the main event for the vacant IBF and WBA middleweight world titles. The semi-main event features Christina Hammer (22-0) versus Tori Nelson (17-1-3) in a battle for the WBC middleweight world title. Both of these female middleweight clashes should be epic.

Shields, 23, is facing yet another tough and experienced foe. The 23-year-old keeps pushing the envelope and that’s good for boxing fans. She’s dropping down from super middleweight to middleweight to face the Costa Rican.

“We got to keep it going,” says Shields who worries that too many female fighters are protecting their records and worrying about big paydays instead of fighting. “Think of Lucia Rijker and how she didn’t get to fight against Christy Martin. Those were the big fights that could have happened.”

Gabriels, 35, holds the WBA and WBO super welterweight world titles but is moving up a weight division to fight Shields. It’s a challenge she’s anxious to meet.

“They avoid her because she doesn’t come with the big money, fact, so people are waiting for her to be on Showtime and not ShoBox,” said Gabriels on why others are avoiding Shields. “I’m moving up in weight and fighting a big name.”

The telecast begins at 7 p.m. ET.

Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Hogan photos

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