July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
canelo alvarez

Stacey Verbeek

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MEXICAN superstar Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) returned to San Diego for the eighth consecutive time and for his sixth headlining Pay-Per-View event to open training camp ahead of his September 16 clash against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) for middleweight supremacy at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The mega-event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

The native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico shared his daily routine as he prepares for the biggest fight of his illustrious career.

Canelo’s daily routine in camp consists of:

  • Running from 6 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
  • Breakfast after the run, followed by rest.
  • Eats a light meal or snack at 1 p.m. before heading over to his gym.
  • Training in the gym from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (exercises, hitting the mitts, jumping rope, etc.).
  • Sparring sessions on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Canelo, who recently celebrated his 27th birthday, had the following to say regarding his training camp for the mega event:

“Basically, training camp has been waking up early at around six in the morning to go running, and then I’ll come back and relax a little bit and prepare myself for the training sessions, sparring, strategy, and what we normally work on.

“Usually training is almost always the same, but the strategy is different because every fighter is different. The strategy depends on the fight. While you’re preparing for a fight, you don’t know what happens once you’re in the ring.

“I’m a fighter who is a counter puncher, and his style is a come forward style, so I think both styles will lead to a great fight. My style, the style that I have, is superior to his style.

“With sparring, we usually go based on someone who is similar to the fighter in order to have the same style – the height and the weight. That’s usually what we focus on, to get somebody like that.”

Canelo Alvarez

Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, added, “Canelo is boxing’s most disciplined fighter. He takes every training camp very seriously and I know that he will be in the best shape of his life for this showdown with Golovkin on September 16 at T-Mobile Arena and live on HBO pay-per-view.”

July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
Naoya Inoue

Action Images/Reuters/Toru Hanai

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ON September 9, the super-flyweight division will come under the spotlight as a tantalising triple-header takes place at The StubHub Center in California.

A week before boxing’s most anticipated match-up between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin in Las Vegas, the biggest stars at 115lbs will take to the ring for a trio of potentially captivating fights.

It will be Nicaraguan icon Roman Gonzalez that headlines the star-studded card on American soil, as he collides with maiden conqueror Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a rematch of their initial March 18 epic.

With four-weight world champion ‘Chocolatito’ being the showcase attraction in what could be another barnburner of a main event, his former opponents and previous world champions Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras will also face-off.

Meanwhile, Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue will make his American debut in the card’s co-featured pairing as he attempts to defend his WBO super-flyweight title for what would be an impressive sixth time.

Despite such a strong roster of star super-flyweight names on show and ahead of what is a daunting challenge in California, Cleveland native Antonio Nieves is the fighter aiming to steal the show with success.

The 30-year-old is the latest man to contest Japan’s leading light Inoue and he is preparing relentlessly to tame ‘the Monster’ and subsequently realise his dream of becoming world champion.

“He’s a great fighter and he has a great record. But what does that mean?” Nieves told Boxing News.

“I got into this fight game to fight the best, be the best and become world champion. To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. So here we are.”

‘Carita’ will take to the ring against Inoue on the back of his maiden career setback, having came out on the wrong end of a split decision against Brooklyn-based Russian foe Nikolai Potapov In March.

That narrow loss in Detroit followed a stoppage success over Szilveszter Ajtai and a prior draw with Alejandro Santiago, with Nieves now seeking to achieve what 13 fighters have so far failed to do and overcome Inoue.

The latter WBO title holder has halted his last three consecutive opponents to retain his crown in rampant fashion, including a brutal knockout of Mexican Ricardo Rodriguez last time out in May.

In spite of the ferocious fashion in which Inoue has been dispatching the challengers for his super-flyweight strap, latest adversary Nieves believes the champion has enjoyed somewhat of a routine career path so far.

“You know, I take nothing from Inoue,” continued the American challenger.

“I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, he’s a great fighter, that’s why he is the champion, but I believe it has been easy for him in all his past fights.”

Inoue is already hailed as a household name in his homeland and his immediate aim is to attract a much more wide scale audience beyond Japan, starting in the United States.

Having been taken the full 12-round distance on just one occasion to date in his promising career, by game Mexican David Carmona in May last year, the hard-hitting Asian will attempt to continue his devastating surge in California and further boost his already growing reputation.

Although, determined challenger Nieves is preparing to step up and tame ‘the Monster’ from the Land of the Rising Sun, an incredible feat which would undoubtedly brighten his own career prospects immensely overnight.

“He’s been able to do as he pleases so far. Come September 9, we plan on changing that.”

Naoya Inoue

July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
movement training

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WE place huge emphasis on strength, speed and fitness when structuring a physical training plan for a boxer. A boxer also needs fast hands, great footwork, coordination, balance and great lateral movement. Having the mobility to float around the ring and use the right muscles at the right time is essential for you to harness the physical characteristics required for high performance. Mobility and movement training also helps reduce muscular imbalances and reduce likelihood of injury. This doesn’t often get boxers excited … but what if we told you it will also improve your punching force?

Movement and mobility isn’t just about static stretching either. You can improve the way you produce force and glide around the ring with dynamic, flowing, explosive exercises.

Shoulder Mobility for Boxing

“Hands up, chin down” is often the coaching point to a defensive guard, requiring rounding the upper back and shrugging the shoulders. If you’re throwing 100’s of punches thrown in a week’s training, the anterior shoulder and trapezius muscles can become over-active.

This alone can cause shoulder mobility issues for boxers. Large volumes of strength exercises like press ups and shoulder press further confound the issue meaning shoulder mobility should be a focus for boxers.

Poor shoulder mobility often creates over-active anterior deltoids and upper traps, causing the middle and lower traps become weak which affects the natural movement of the shoulder and arm. This can also cause shoulder impingement, rotator cuff weakness and lower-back injuries.

Mobility training can improve this.

Following eight weeks of movement training, mean overall FMS scores increased by 9%. Stand out improvements were seen in overhead squat (2.1 vs 2.6 out of 3) left shoulder mobility (1.62 vs 2.8 out of 3) (pre vs post).

This Affects your Rotational Mobility!

Rotational mobility is needed to transfer force from ‘foot to fist’ when delivering punches.

However, tightness in muscles across the thoracic spine can limit rotation, causing the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) to play a big role during rotation.

The QL is a muscle in the side of the lower back. Over activity can cause lower back pain. You can use a foam roller, spend money on a sports massage and try numerous ways to stretch it to make it feel better, but this is likely to be only a short term fix.

To make beneficial long-term changes, you should focus on improving thoracic and core rotation. This will reduce the compensatory patterns of the QL and use the preferred muscles in your kinetic chain.

To check out Boxing Science’s elite Train like a Champion programme click HERE

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July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
punch harder

Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

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With a conflict between the rising popularity of strength and conditioning in boxing, and the stigma of ‘weights make you slow’ – Boxing Science’s Danny Wilson explains how strength training can really benefit a boxers punch.

Science Behind The Punch – Recap

Studies suggest that punching force is dependent on the Impulse-Momentum relationship (the change in momentum experienced by a body under the action of a force is equal to the impulse of the resultant force).

Impulse is calculated as force multiplied by time. So the largest impulses are created by large forces optimised for the time it takes to perform a skill. It’s important that you can produce large amounts of force but an effective punch relies on technique when initiating the punch and at impact.

We need to develop a large amount of force in a short space of time

Effective mass is a term given to the ‘snap’ of a punch. This requires the whole body to stiffen up upon impact. The snap requires whole body tension, however the main contributors are the arms, shoulder joint and the core.

So, we need to improve Impulse and Momentum at the same time…. how do we do it?

The Boxing Science Way!

The best way to improve punch force is to improve your punching technique.

However, how easy is it to improve technique once it’s engrained after years of training? Answer: It’s pretty hard!

But we can use strength and conditioning to improve physical performance in an easy and effective way to develop punch effectiveness.

What’s the focus of strength training?

From our own research, we think that a few things contribute to punching force. These include:

  • Lower and upper body maximum strength,
  • Ability to rapidly produce force and;
  • Function of the core muscles.

Like we’ve said before, it’s not a case of ‘moving light weights quick’ nor ‘grinding heavy reps’.

It takes various training types programmed and delivered in a deliberate and systematic manner. You can’t just jump into developing sport specific strength. It must be carefully considered with respect to several inputs.

At Boxing Science, we use diverse training methods to get athletes stronger, more explosive, moving better and punching harder.

To check out Boxing Science’s elite Train like a Champion programme click HERE

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July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
Callum Smith next fight

Action Images

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THE battle for the inaugural 168lb Muhammad Ali Trophy begins on September 16 with the first of the World Boxing Super Series’ hugely anticipated super middleweight match ups. British betting favourite and number two seed Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) will meet undefeated Swedish star Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) in a quarter-final bout at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Smith, who is undefeated in his twenty-two professional contests, selected Skoglund as his quarter-final opponent during the live Draft Gala on July 8th at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, and as one of the four seeded super middleweights he will enjoy home advantage for his first tournament test.

‘’A ring is a ring no matter where it is, but of course, I’m happy to be fighting in Liverpool,’’ said Smith. ‘’This is my home and this is where all my best performances as a professional have been. I like fighting in Liverpool, and with the crowd behind me, I will have an added advantage on September 16.

‘’There are no easy fights in this tournament. It’s the best fighting the best, but I believe I made the right decision in Monte Carlo. That’s not to say Skoglund is not a good fighter. I think he is a very good fighter. His record speaks for itself, but I think stylistically, he was the right choice for me.

‘’It will be a tough test. On paper, Skoglund is probably the best fighter I’ve ever faced, and I will need to be at my best to beat him. But every time I’ve been up against it in my career and every time there’s been that fear factor, it’s brought out the best in me and I’m hoping for the same on September 16.’’

Skoglund, who is unbeaten in his twenty-four paid fights and ranked with all major governing bodies at 175lbs before moving down in weight, is relishing the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with one of the division’s top talents, and believes the winner of this fight can go on to lift the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.

‘’This is a huge opportunity for me to prove myself at the highest level,’’ said Skoglund. ‘’Callum Smith is a top-level fighter and one of the tournament favourites. This is what the World Boxing Super Series is all about – the best fighting the best! That’s why I entered and that’s why I’m really looking forward to this fight.

‘’For me, it’s no problem fighting in Liverpool. Of course, I am always thankful for the opportunity to fight in front of my fans in Sweden, but I’m happy not having that pressure on my shoulders for this fight and I will enjoy being the underdog for once.’’

The WBC Diamond Championship will also be on the line for the winner of this quarter-final bout giving both men an added incentive. ‘’I’m in this sport to win as many titles as possible, and it will be great to add the WBC Diamond belt to my collection,’’ said Smith. ‘’It’s going to be an honour to fight for the WBC Diamond title,’’ said Skoglund. ”It gives me even more motivation to win!’’

Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa´s Head of the Management Board, has expressed his delight at bringing the first World Boxing Super Series’ super middleweight quarter-final to Liverpool. ‘’We’re delighted to be bringing the World Boxing Super Series to Liverpool,’’ said Dalmiglio. ‘’We intend to set a new standard for boxing events and believe the Echo Arena will provide the perfect setting for a truly remarkable night of sporting action on September 16.’’

Kalle Sauerland, Comosa´s Chief Boxing Officer, is excited to see the tournament get underway, and believes this quarter-final fight will showcase the quality of the super middleweight tournament. ‘’This fight, along with our other quarter-final match-ups, really reflects the strength and depth of our super middleweight line up,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’Callum Smith and Erik Skoglund are two young, hungry, undefeated fighters with a combined record of 48-0. This is going to be an explosive encounter!’’

Callum Smith

In the World Boxing Super Series, 16 elite fighters – eight super-middleweights and eight cruiserweights – will battle it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament. In both divisions, there will be four quarter-finals (September / October 2017), two semi-finals (early 2018) and one final (May 2018), making for a total of 14 high-class fights.
Ticket details for the quarter-final clash between Smith and Skoglund on September 16th at the Echo Arena in Liverpool will be announced next week.

July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
Ray Beltran

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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MEXICAN lightweight Ray Beltran is working to force his way to a world title fight. His next bout will be on August 5, on Vasyl Lomachenko’s undercard at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, against Bryan Vasquez.

“He’s tough, a tough opponent, he comes to fight and he can take a punch. I expect a physical fight. I’ll get ready and prepare myself for a hard fight. We’re getting ready,” Beltran tells Boxing News.

It will be his second fight of the year, after he knocked out Jonathan Maicelo in May. “I think it’s good. I love it. I prefer to stay busy, stay in shape and fighting. I don’t want to spend too much time off. I want to fight and be busy and keep the rhythm,” Ray continued. “We’re working to get another title, hopefully after this fight. We’ll see what we’ve got and what the opportunities are. We’re trying to position ourselves to become mandatory in the most sanctioning bodies possible, because it’s been really hard to get an opportunity, we feel like they’re avoiding us and they don’t want to fight us so we’re trying to become mandatory so they’ve got nowhere to go.”

Beltran is keen to fight the best at 135lbs. “Right now we’re mandatory for the IBF, we also might fight for the WBC. Mikey Garcia, Terry Flanagan, [Jorge] Linares, I’ll fight everybody. I just want to get that opportunity,” he said. “We’ll see what happens in the future.”

The Mexican has fought Ricky Burns and Terence Crawford for the WBO title and would love to challenge their reigning champion. “Terry Flanagan’s a really good fighter, he’s a champion. He’s improving,” he said. “I respect him. I’ve got nothing bad to say about him. He’s a really good champion. He’s just one of the guys on my list and I think I’ve got what it takes to beat him.

“All the champions are good. It’s good for us. I love it. It really motivates me to work hard and become a champion, and get respect.”

However he is concerned about judging and decisions in the sport. He’s been unlucky in the past himself.

“The judges, they do whatever they want and they don’t get sanctioned. They should do something about it. It’s not good for boxing,” Beltran mused. “The only one who gets sanctioned is the boxer. Other than that nobody, not the referee, not the judges, nobody. It’s not fair. If we make a mistake and we pay for it, okay we pay for it. But if somebody else makes a mistake and it’s obvious it’s corruption, they should do something about it. It’s just unacceptable.

“They’re stealing money from boxing fans. It’s not fair. They’re going to kill boxing if they don’t make a change. If they can’t do their job then get them out.”

Ray Beltran

He points to Manny Pacquiao’s recent Australian misadventure as another example. “The referee did a horrible job. Jeff Horn was fighting dirty and the referee didn’t do anything,” Beltran said. “He was fighting so dirty. He did what he had to do to get the win but that’s the referee’s job, to keep a close eye and the judges, it’s stupid, it’s ridiculous. I’m scared what they can do to me.”

He added ominously, “It’s getting worse.”

July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
world boxing super series

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WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES PROFILES – THE SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHTS

GEORGE GROVES

george groves

The champion

Groves – the first super-middleweight confirmed for the tournament – announced his inclusion in the Super Series just days after winning the WBA world title against Fedor Chudinov in May. That title win was an emotional night for the Londoner, who had admitted beforehand that fourth chance at world honours would most likely be his last.

After his pay-per-view win over James DeGale in 2011, Groves became a big name in British boxing and his profile exploded with his bitter two-fight rivalry with Carl Froch. After rebounding from those two losses to Froch, Groves was edged out by then-WBC champion Badou Jack in 2015. Having won five on the bounce since then, Groves enters the tournament in scintillating form and is more accustomed to the big stage and bright lights than any of the other participants.

HOMETOWN: London, England

NICKNAME: ‘The Saint’

TRAINER: Shane McGuigan

BEST WIN: pts 12 James DeGale (2011)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: Jamie Cox

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 5/2

 

CALLUM SMITH

Callum-Smith

The favourite

The unbeaten Liverpudlian was a surprise addition to the Series and one of the last to be confirmed. He had a shot at the vacant WBC world title confirmed against Anthony Dirrell, but some shameful attempts by the American to change the date and venue frustrated Smith and a the more attractive option of this tournament was presented to him.

Though he is unproven at the highest level, Smith has been installed as the betting favourite for the super-middleweight class. Huge for the weight, an excellent amateur and with some explosive first round finishes over quality opposition, Smith has bags of potential and this is why many are backing him to win the whole thing.

HOMETOWN: Liverpool, England

NICKNAME: ‘Mundo’

TRAINER: Joe Gallagher

BEST WIN: rsf 1 Hadillah Mohoumadi (2016)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: Erik Skoglund

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 13/8

 

CHRIS EUBANK JNR

Chris Eubank

The wildcard

Eubank earned his spot in the Super Series this past weekend when he dominated former two-weight world champion Arthur Abraham. That was only his second fight as a super-middleweight, having wrecked Renold Quinlan earlier in the year.

An excellent middleweight, Eubank’s sole loss came to Billy Joe Saunders back in 2014, though he went on to become British champion and almost fought the likes of Danny Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin. He drew criticism for seemingly walking away from both those fights but his decision to join this Series proves he does want to fight the best. Outspoken and a huge draw, he is a fascinating addition but he and his father are notoriously difficult to deal with – they could cause some riffs.

HOMETOWN: Brighton, England

NICKNAME: ‘Next Gen’

TRAINER: Ronnie Davies

BEST WIN: pts 12 Arthur Abraham (2017)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: Avni Yildirim

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 3/1

 

JUERGEN BRAEHMER

Juergen Braehmer vs Nathan Cleverly

The veteran

The former WBA ‘regular’ light-heavyweight champion will be boiling himself down to super-middle for the tournament – perhaps not the best idea at age 38. He hasn’t fought at 168lbs since 2007 when he was a well-ranked super-middleweight.

Having fought almost exclusively in Germany, some feel Braehmer never tested himself against the toughest challengers while he held the WBA belt, but he proved himself an effective technician and difficult to beat. He enters the Series off the back of a loss to Nathan Cleverly in October, a fight he withdrew from after six rounds due to a shoulder injury.

HOMETOWN: Schwerin, Germany

NICKNAME: n/a

TRAINER: Karsten Rower

BEST WIN: rtd 5 Enzo Maccarinelli (2014)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: Rob Brant

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 14/1

 

JAMIE COX

Jamie Cox

The unknown

Cox’s recent move to Matchroom Boxing was vindicated with his addition to the Super Series. Like Smith, he too had a title shot lined up – against British champion Rocky Fielding – but he chose this more lucrative path. In his first fight, he will challenge world champion Groves.

Having started out as a super-welterweight, Cox is one of the smaller super-middleweights however he carries potent power. He’s been fairly inactive over the past couple of years due to problems outside of the ring and despite his relative inexperience compared to the other fighters involved, he is highly touted. He’s looked fantastic in the past, and this tournament could show us just how good he is.

HOMETOWN: Swindon, England

NICKNAME: n/a

TRAINER: John Costello

BEST WIN: pts 12 Obodai Sai (2011)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: George Groves

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 16/1

 

ERIK SKOGLUND

erik skoglund, callum smith

The big one

A rising star in Sweden, Skoglund has been progressed well by the Sauerlands – his promoters – and was ranked highly at light-heavyweight. However, he is coming down in weight to participate in the Super Series. He was a fully-fledged light-heavy so, provided he does the weight properly, he will be a massive super-middleweight and a real physical presence.

With a stellar amateur career behind him, Skoglund has been in some gruelling fights as a pro so is well-seasoned coming into this tournament. Certainly one to watch and perhaps a little underrated.

HOMETOWN: Nykoping, Sweden

NICKNAME: n/a

TRAINER: Johan Skoglund

BEST WIN: ko 11 Timy Shala (2016)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: Callum Smith

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 33/1

 

AVNI YILDIRIM

avni yildirim

The dark horse

Yildirim has been operating on the fringes for some time now, fighting in various countries and bulldozing his way through opponents. With no major backing, he is one of the lesser-known names of the Series but he has a strong reputation in boxing circles.

Brutal sparring sessions with several world class fighters have made him a respected name among those in the know and with heavy hands, a decent amateur career and a relentless style he is certainly the dark horse of this competition.

HOMETOWN: Sivas, Turkey

NICKNAME: ‘Mr Robot’, ‘The Dentist’

TRAINER: Ahmet Oner

BEST WIN: rsf 3 Schiller Hyppolite (2016)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: Chris Eubank Jnr

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 18/1

 

ROB BRANT

Rob Brant

The American

The only US fighter in both the super-middleweight and cruiserweight tournaments, Rob Brant enters as one of the biggest underdogs. There was not much of a stir in Europe when he entered the tournament, mainly because he has been making his name in the States – and as a middleweight.

He was one of the WBO’s top contenders and almost in line to fight middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. He’s sparred many top American fighters, including Errol Spence Jnr, and numerous American experts are excited about Brant’s potential. He’s ruined his last four opponents and looked good doing it – there’s a lot to like about the 26-year-old, but he might have his work cut out trying to put a dent in the bigger men he will be facing in the Super Series.

HOMETOWN: Saint Paul, USA

NICKNAME: ‘Bravo’

TRAINER: Emmett Yanez

BEST WIN: ko 4 Decarlo Perez (2016)

FIRST SUPER SERIES FIGHT: Juergen Braehmer

ODDS TO WIN THE SERIES: 33/1