SANTA MONICA-Ocean breezes don’t quite make it to the gym where Saul “Canelo” Alvarez trains, but take my word for it, the training facility is less than two miles from the Santa Monica Pier. Instead of seawater you can smell asphalt from a nearby construction crew.
Maybe it’s appropriate that burning asphalt permeates the air rather than scent of sea water on Thursday morning. This is boxing, not volleyball.
Alvarez (pictured above in Gene Blevins-Showtime photo) arrived before a dog hungry crowd of media anxiously awaiting the red-head’s appearance at the Wild Card West. Alongside Canelo was Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya. It was a good tactic: divide and conquer.
On one side of the gym was Canelo, entertaining an invasion of cameras and the television interviewers bumping their way to the front. About 10 yards to the other side of the gym was De La Hoya answering questions in front of other TV media who will use about 60 seconds of their interview during their telecasts.
WBC junior middleweight titlist Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 Kos) is set to fight WBA titleholder Austin Trout (26-0, 14 Kos) in a unification battle of undefeated 154-pounders on Saturday April 20. Their clash takes place at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Showtime will televise.
Alvarez’s media day was an opportunity for the Guadalajara youngster to provide photo opportunities before his fight day. The interviews are the standard issue, “I prepared hard for this fight.”
It’s not going to be easy for Alvarez when he faces Trout, a long-armed defensive fighter who can be tricky for anyone.
“He’s a good fighter,” says Alvarez, who depends on his strength and accuracy of which he has in abundance. “I look forward to fighting any of the best fighters in the division.”
More than a few boxing writers felt that Canelo would avoid Trout at all cost. Many figure that the cinnamon toasted hair would opt to meet Ishe Smith, not New Mexico’s Trout. But here he is willing and ready to mix it up with the fighter who conquered Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto.
Alvarez didn’t care to really talk about HBO and Showtime, but De La Hoya did say that Showtime is the new giant on the block.
Broner and more
Adrian Broner is still asking for welterweight titleholder Paul Malignaggi and that fight is still attainable according to De La Hoya and tentatively set for June 22 in Brooklyn.
Other fights looming are Argentina’s human sledgehammer Lucas Matthysse looking to meet IBF junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson on May 18 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. So far Matthysse hasn’t had luck fighting on the East Coast despite knockdowns of opponents. He lost to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander in fights on that side of the country. But he wants the world title.
Long-time Colombian boxing manager Billy Chams died on Sunday due to respiratory complications. He guided the careers of 17 world champions including current IBF junior featherweight titlist Jonathan “Momo” Romero. Both Thompson Boxing Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions worked extensively with Chams.
Middleweight world champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez is training in Spain for his next world championship defense. He’s also promoting a boxing show that will feature Zeben Diaz (6-0) fighting Alejandro Heredia (8-10-3) in a welterweight match on Friday April 5 in Madrid, Spain.
Rustam Nuguev (22-6-1) meets Jonathan Maicelo (19-0, 11 Kos) for the USBA lightweight title on Friday April 5. The Gary Shaw Production fight card will be held in Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez. Also, Maria Suarez (3-0-1) fights Elizabeth Cervantes (3-9) in a flyweight clash.
Ricardo Alvarez (19-2-3, 12 Kos) fights Carlos Valdez (12-5, 9 Kos) in a junior middleweight bout set for 10 rounds. The match takes place in Michoacan, Mexico. Alvarez is the brother of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
WBA bantamweight titleholder Koki Kameda (29-1, 17 Kos) defends against Thailand’s Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (36-1, 19 Kos) on Sunday April 7, in Osaka, Japan. The hard-hitting Japanese 118-pounder Kameda is making his sixth world title defense.
Heavyweight Damian “Bolo” Wills of Lancaster is now being trained by Riverside’s Henry Ramirez. Back in 2006, both Wills and Ramirez’s other heavyweight fighter Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola fought each other in Las Vegas. They both work out of Riverside. Wills is managed by Warren Wilkinson. Arreola fights Bermane Stiverne for the number one WBC ranking on April 27, at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Former Mexican Olympian Oscar Molina (3-0) knocked out Mexico’s Francisco Sahuari (0-5) at 1:51 of the first round. The welterweight fight was held in Sinaloa, Mexico on Saturday March 30. Molina lives in Norwalk, California.