SAN DIEGO, Calif., September 22, 2017 – The middleweight megafight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin captured the boxing world’s attention last week. Fans and experts alike are still talking about it.
HBO Boxing will air a replay of the middleweight fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on Saturday starting at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT. It was one of all too rare occasions in boxing when a fight lived up to all expectations and then some. Canelo and Golovkin delivered an exciting contest with plenty of plot changes, right up to the controversial decision rendering it a draw.
You might complain about the result, but you won’t complain about the entertainment value. Don’t let the scorecards distract you from the pleasure of watching these two athletes, among the best the sport of boxing has to offer.
If you must, score the fight alongside the three judges. We’ll show you their scorecard. How will yours compare?
Following the replay, enjoy another one of boxing’s best. Lineal lightweight champion Jorge Linares of Venezuela (42-3, 27 KOs) makes his second title defense against Luke Campbell of Great Britain (17-1, 14 KOs). It is the first main event fight for Linares on HBO Boxing.
Linares, who trains in Japan, hasn’t fought in the U.S. for three years, and he’s never fought in the historic Forum. Linares has fought in enemy territory in England his last three fights, first defeating Kevin Mitchell, then winning the WBO lightweight title from Anthony Crolla, and defending against Crolla in a rematch. By comparison, Los Angeles will feel like home.
Campbell is making his first appearance outside Great Britain in his professional career. He is considered among the finest amateur boxers to ever come from the UK, winning a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Boxing is enjoying a huge surge in popularity in Great Britain. At the end of 2016, Britain boasted 13 world champions; the number is now eight.
Linares credits his trainer Ismael Salas for turning his career around. His promoter, Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions made the suggestion to Linares, and he says in the last five years he’s change nearly everything about his style, and he fights better in every bout.
Credit Campbell for taking on such a formidable challenge on foreign soil. After two rough losses in 2011, Linares put them in the rear view mirror and breathed new life into his boxing career. He is riding an eleven-fight winning streak including his championship fights.
Linares knows the low of losing, and isn’t about to take Campbell for granted. “Luke Campbell is a young and hungry fighter and that can be a critical difference in the ring,” said Linares. “Being a former Olympic fighter, the big lights and cameras won’t scare him off and neither does being the underdog.”
Campbell is in the position of having everything to gain from an upset, or even a strong performance that pleases fans who haven’t seen him before. I’m fighting on the biggest network out there. It’s a fantastic way to introduce myself to the American market … This is my opportunity to show what I’ve got,” said Campbell.
It’s a lot to ask from Campbell. Linares is a veteran with more than twice the number of bouts and rounds in the ring as Campbell. He has also fought far better opposition. Campbell is the mandatory opponent, ranked among the top ten in the lightweight division. But the depth of talent isn’t the strongest at 135 pounds. Campbell would need the best fight of his life to beat Linares the powerful, talented Linares.
Should Linares win, he’d love to face Vasyl Lomachenko (for which he’d need to move down in weight), or titleholders Mikey Garcia or Terry Flanangan. Linares says he’d also be willing to move up to junior welterweight to find worthy opponents.
HBO originally planned to show the co-main event between junior welterweights Antonio Orozco of San Diego and Roberto Ortiz was called off after Orozco failed to show up for the weigh-in, reportedly seven pounds over the 140 pound limit. Ortiz weighed 142.5 pounds on the scale and had already reportedly agreed to a 143 pound catchweight, but Orozco wasn’t in striking distance of making that number either.
It’s a a significant blow to Orozco. It’s the second time in a year he failed to make weight for a bout. Orozco was coming off one of the best wins of his career, a spectacular knockout win over Keandre Gibson. Orozco had hired a nutritionist and seemed to be in tremendous shape. To squander the chance to appear on HBO Boxing under a significant main event, bolstered by the Canelo vs. Golovkin replay is close to unimaginable. Orozco needs to move up to the 147 pound welterweight division, but he’ll face significantly greater competition there, something he was surely trying to avoid for a little longer.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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