3 More Rounds

Ringside with Raymundo: Canelo, Chocolatito, Berto

What an action packed three straight weekends us boxing fanatics have been treated to, right?!!!

Starting with Gennady Golovkin notching his 22nd consecutive win by knockout with a support bout featuring the No. 1fighter in the world Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez facing stiff competition in McWilliams Arroyo on April 23 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, then shifting to the Stub Hub Center in Carson California where Victor Ortiz was unable to avoid Andre Berto or a bundle of pizza boxes tossed in his direction by a disgruntled fight fan, to the newly opened T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada where ‘Kid Cinnamon’ Saul Alvarez showed the back of Amir Khan’s head to the canvas in spectacular fashion, and what we fight fans just had were back to back to back weekends filled with Canelo’s ‘Born Bold’ Tecate, Advil and Cinco De Mayo ‘grito’ calls in the busiest month yet in the sport of boxing in 2016.

Now that things have simmered a bit, (this writer also covered the Manny Pacquiao/Timothy Bradley trilogy ender in Las Vegas), let’s take a look back at these three action packed weekends that made our bank accounts lighter, our wives madder, and our hearts pumping as some of boxing best threw down in this last month and change.

THE FORUM, THE GOOD BOY AND THE CHOCOLATE BOY

Photo: Chris Farina / K2 Promotions

Photo: Chris Farina / K2 Promotions

The newly renovated Forum in Inglewood, California is nothing short of spectacular.  The site lines provide excellent views for boxing matches, making it one of the premier locations for the sport.

With an almost capacity crowd of 16,353, that amount of boxing fans under one roof competes with the sights and sounds of the home of mega-fights, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, which holds just about the same amount of heads capacity-wise.

To top it off, fans were witness to the No. 1 (Chocolatito) and No. 2 (GGG) fighters in the world plying their trade, with a Michael Buffer ‘let’s get ready to rumble’ thrown in.

Eat your heart out, MGM.

The support for GGG was of course en masse’, yet it was also hard to ignore the Nicaraguan contingent at The Forum.  The proud people donned flags, took large group pictures for their social media and conducted their country’s chants; and that wasn’t just inside the arena, but even in the lobbies of the Forum.

Another eye catching scene was the centipede-long lines for GGG merchandise, which rivaled the beer lines in the joint (and if you’ve been to live fights, you know that beer lines lead all other lines in the history of line formation).

There were just as many people anxiously waiting to plug down $30 for a t-shirt as there were people anxiously waiting to plug down $10 for a beer.  It really was eye catching to see just how much of a fan base GGG has at this point of his career and the swiftness that the fan base has grown since the fist-throwers United States debut in September 2012.

The co-feature saw a weight drained Chocolatito struggle early and often with contender Mc Williams Arroyo, although the undefeated No. 1 fighter in the world still showed flashed of greatness in the speed, punch selection and combination categories that have elected him the finest leather swapper in the game.

As for the main event, well, we all saw the one plus rounds that unknown Dominic Wade was able to register against Golovkin.  Golovkin showed exactly why every other 160 pound titlist or contender is avoiding, or at least cautious about entertaining a bout against the Mexican Style fighter and even better than the KO was Golovkin’s always lovable post-fight comments.

The crowd went wild as the LA Ram colored glove wearing GGG started off by saying ‘muchos gracias’ to the largely Mexican crowd and quipped yet another soon to be infamous soundbite when telling WBC middleweight titlist Canelo Alvarez to “give me my belt, I need my belt.”

Yet another classic line from one of the most ferocious, yet classy gentleman in the sport of boxing.

ORTIZ-BERTO AT THE SHC

Photo: Suzanne Teresa/PBC

Photo: Suzanne Teresa/PBC

In what may have been Premier Boxing Champions most successful boxing event since its inception last year, fight fans were treated to freebies left and right, knockout (Jorge Lara over Fernando Montiel) after knockout (Thomas Williams Jr. over Edwin Rodriguez) after knockout (Andre Berto over Victor Ortiz) in what turned out to be a sunny yet breezy afternoon of fisticuffs in the best venue for boxing in Southern California, the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California.

Word around ringside was the venue sold out, even with the stigma that the PBC faces of padding their crowds with free tickets.  The house was full or nearly full as fight fans were offered up party music from mariachi-rock band Metalachi as pretty much every big name boxer signed with the entity (Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Shawn Porter, Chris Arreola, John Molina, Jr., Josesito Lopez, Alfredo Angulo, Fernando Guerrero, Sergio Mora, Hugo Centeno, Jr., . Alejandro Luna, Dominic Breazeale) provided free autographs and renowned fight artist Richard Slone provided free fight posters with autographs upon request, as well as a Corona tent and PBC table throwing out free nick knacks such as beer holders and keychains, etc.

Hey, say one thing about the PBC not providing enough competitive matches, utilizing 1iota to provide free tickets to fight fans, and overall trying to monopolize the sport (which fans really shouldn’t care about as long as we see quality boxing) every fan in attendance got more than they bargained for, and then some, during this event.

As for the headline bout, well, what can you say.  When Ortiz and Berto get in a fight ring, they both bring it.  Of course Berto will parlay this bout in which he traded knockdowns once again in a fight with Ortiz into a bigger bout in the fall, who’s to say Ortiz-Berto III wouldn’t produce the same entertaining bout a third time around?

CANELO’S TECATE KO

Photo: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/GBP

Photo: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/GBP

What was expected happened yet still, it was hard not to be highly entertained by just how emphatically Kid Cinnamon turned off Amir Khan’s headlights in thudding fashion inside six entertaining rounds.

Once Canelo was able to get a feel of Khan’s speed and movement, wham! Here comes the show closer via vicious right hand set up perfectly with a feint to the body; Canelo had been pursuing Khan with bodywork as the England native pot shotted from the outside and darted around the ring with deftness. The hammer was laid down by the Tecate sponsored Alvarez with such ferocity that it is the leading candidate for KO of the year.

One would imagine Golden Boy Promotions is just as elated that the first official MYM (May Without Mayweather) went off without a hiccup other than the Mayweather-McGregor fight rumors present and being thrown around in the weeks leading up to the fight, which may have bene by design.

For the first time since 2010, Las Vegas did not host a Mayweather Cinco De Mayo bout, and by the looks of it, Canelo may now have Mexican lead dates of May 5, as well as the coveted mid-September date, locked down for the foreseeable future.

In the end, power beat speed as Canelo and Khan christened the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in what will hopefully bring us Canelo v. GGG later this year. (Or next year, blah).

Canelo’s ‘no mames’ to GGG hopefully leads the proud Mexican to back up his words and faces Golovkin in a middleweight title fight that would be the highlight bout of 2016 (Or 2017, blah).

Fight fans could respond to Canelo with ‘sin marinada’.

PACMAN/BRADLEY III POSTSCRIPT

Just a quick word on the post-fight presser of the third throw-down between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.

This writer was present in both post-fight press conferences when in April 2016 Manny Pacquiao and in September 2015 Floyd Mayweather declared their retirements to the media present inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena pressroom.

Going head to head, one has to believe Mayweather’s retirement was more believable.  Mayweather’s body language, as well as his words, foretold a story of a man both physically and mentally ready to call it a day.

Pacquiao’s farewell speech was shorter and repeatedly beat up by boxing writers, one in particular who had hard-hitting follow up after follow up questions (along the lines of, oh yeah, your retired huh, what if a Mayweather bout was a possibility) to Pacquiao, who openly stated to the writer, “your good”.

The Pac Man cited his families desire for him to stop swapping leather for pay, yet the now Senator continued to leave the door open just a smidge.

Of course, no boxing fan believes either will retire, yet going head to head, Mayweather did a more believable exit interview. (What is that, some fighter named Conor McGregor is challenging Mayweather, and Mayweather wants $100 million? Wow, only in America, only in boxing, and I guess now, only in the UFC…)

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