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Canelo and Krusher Kovalev Meet at Union Station in L.A.

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  • Canelo and Krusher Kovalev Meet at Union Station in L.A.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Canelo_Bernard_Ryan G_Oscar and Kovalev (1).jpg Views:	1 Size:	101.2 KB ID:	14686

    By David A. Avila

    LOS ANGELES-About 113 years ago an historic heavyweight world title fight took place near Union Station where Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev announced their light heavyweight world title fight on Wednesday.

    Back in 1906 a middleweight named Tommy Burns moved up in weight and defeated Marvin Hart at Naud Junction Pavilion for the vacant world heavyweight title. It’s the exact location where Philippe’s Restaurant resides 200 yards away from the L.A. train station.

    Funny how history sort of repeats itself.

    Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) the middleweight world champion moves up two weight divisions to challenge WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) on Nov. 2, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. DAZN will stream the Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events card.

    The Mexican redhead already conquered the super welterweight, middleweight and super middleweight divisions. Now he wants to add the light heavyweight to become a four division conqueror for Mexico.

    One who knows the significance of making the attempt is Bernard Hopkins, the East Coast chief for Golden Boy Promotions.

    “There are very few fighters who have accomplished 160 to 175 and been successful. As you know, you're standing and hearing from one right now,” said Hopkins who accomplished the feat in 2011 and then lost to Kovalev in 2014. “I have a personal feeling about making history because I've been there and done that and now it's Canelo's time. I understand what it's like to be in there with the Krusher.”

    Down the Block

    History has seen this act before down the block from Union Station where the press conference took place. The actual arena that housed the heavyweight world title fight between Burns and Hart and also Burns' title defenses against Fireman Jim Flynn and Philadelphia Jack O'Brien in the early 1900s has long been gone and replaced by the restaurant famous for French dip sandwiches.

    If you know your boxing history, you would also know it was Burns who would later fight Black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in 1908 and lose in Australia. Johnson fought about eight times in Los Angeles and held the actual heavyweight title until 1915.

    Now it’s Alvarez's turn and the popular Mexican fighter dares to be great and challenge Kovalev for the light heavyweight title.

    “I think this is a big test for me in my boxing career because this is one of the best fighters in the world in boxing right now. I'm happy and I am excited,” said Kovalev who will be trained by Buddy McGirt.

    The tall Russian light heavyweight just recently defended the WBO title and seemed to be losing when he rebooted and retired Anthony Yarde with a left-handed blow in the 11th round last August 24 in Russia.

    But this is another test entirely and though he is the bigger fighter, he maintains this is a tremendous challenge.

    “This is the biggest fight in my life. If I win it’s my legacy,” Kovalev, 36, said. “If I lose I get experience.”

    Alvarez, 29, is several inches shorter in height, but known for his vicious body punching. He wants this fight because it appeals to him to be among the greats in both Mexican history and boxing history overall. His last fight was a decision win over another taller fighter Daniel Jacobs last May.

    “This important to me,” said Alvarez, who previously won the super middleweight world title last December against Britain’s much taller Rocky Fielding. “I like challenges.”

    It’s a challenge that others have made throughout boxing history including Sugar Ray Leonard who was in attendance. Alvarez also wants to be a four division winner like fellow Mexicans Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, and Jorge Arce.

    "Canelo hopes to become the fourth Mexican to win a world title in four divisions," said Oscar De La Hoya the CEO of Golden Boy. “One big difference (between Canelo and the others) is that Canelo is at a higher weight class. And this opens the possibility for many more matchups, and bigger opponents with strong punching and star power. When talking with Canelo about his career goals, he said he wanted to make history and fight the best.”

    Its Alvarez’s overall fighting skills versus Kovalev’s punching power and physical advantages.

    Kathy Duva, whose company Main Events promotes Kovalev was ambivalent about the matchup.

    “Canelo, you may have bit off more than you can chew, but that's okay. Great fighters are not afraid to challenge themselves. And win or lose, history will reward you for taking a risk,” said Duva.

    Risks are what makes prizefighting shine.

    Ryan Garcia

    Another who looks to shine on the same boxing card will be Ryan “The Flash” Garcia who appeared in the press conference with a huge smile despite warring with Golden Boy head honchos this past weekend.

    When asked if things were patched up with his promoter Garcia responded, "What do you think? Can’t you see how happy I am?”

    Unknown to reporters at Union Station, Garcia signed a new contract with Golden Boy Promotions that allegedly makes him much wealthier. He will also be fighting Romero Duno who was the subject of public arguments when Garcia refused to fight him without renegotiating the contract. The original opponent for last Saturday’s fight card at Dignity Health Sports Park - Avery Sparrow - was arrested and unable to fight. Duno and others were mentioned as possibilities through social media sites and a public war ensued between De La Hoya and Garcia.

    Things were patched up this week.

    “This fight week was exhausting,” admitted De La Hoya about the verbal skirmish with Garcia. “Boxing is like a marriage, you have your little scuffles.”

    Garcia was signed to an extension which De La Hoya said makes him one of the richest prospects. The Victorville native trains in San Diego with Alvarez and trainers Eddy Reynoso and Jose “Chepo” Reynoso.

    “We’re all good,” said Garcia beaming with happiness. “I get to fight the guy I wanted to fight most in Romero Duno.”

    Photo credit: Al Applerose (pictured left to right: Canelo Alvarez, Bernard Hopkins, Ryan Garcia, Oscar De La Hoya, and Sergey Kovalev)

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Golovkin really should consider a move up in weight!

    I can't see Canelo ever coming all the way back to 160.


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Garcia is showing signs of Divaship"

  • #3
    I'd rather see Buddy with his Krusher than that kid. ☝️