HBO to Air "Under the Lights: Canelo/Golovkin" on Sept. 2 at 10 p.m.

HBO Sports examines the upcoming HBO Pay-Per-View showdown between the two best middleweights today --Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin -- when Under the Lights: Canelo/Golovkin debuts Saturday, Sept. 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand, and at hbo.com/boxing, as well as other new media platforms.

In an intimate and unvarnished setting, Under the Lights: Canelo/Golovkin will feature an engaging roundtable conversation hosted by HBO Boxing commentator Max Kellerman, combatants Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin and HBO boxing analyst and four-division champion Roy Jones, Jr. The four panelists break down and examine the many skills and experiences each fighter will bring into the ring for the best boxing matchup of 2017.

Canelo vs. Golovkin takes place Saturday, September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.

For more information, visit hbo.com/boxing; become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/HBOBoxing; and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @HBOBoxing. Follow the conversation using #CaneloGGG.

Comment

HBO

Jorge Linares to Defend Lightweight Titles Against Luke Campbell Sept. 23 on HBO

Jorge Linares will face Luke Campbell Sept. 23 in L.A. (Photo: Will Hart)

Jorge Linares will face Luke Campbell Sept. 23 in L.A. (Photo: Will Hart)

WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine world lightweight champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) will put his titles and 11-fight win streak on the line Saturday, Sept. 23 when he takes on Olympic gold medalist and No. 1 contender Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event from Los Angeles’ “Fabulous” Forum. The event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark® beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Linares, a three-division world champion from Barinas, Venezuela, who has captured titles in the featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight division, has spent much of his career in Japan. This time, however, Linares will fight in the U.S. for the first time in three years after first winning and then defending his titles against former WBA world lightweight champ Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla in the latter’s hometown of Manchester, England.

“I am excited to make my return to the United States and to headline an HBO show for the first time,” Linares said. “I know Luke Campbell is a tough competitor with an incredible amateur and professional background, but I am confident that I will emerge victorious on September 23rd.”

Campbell, a former WBC silver lightweight champion, who took home a gold medal in front of his English countrymen at the 2012 London Olympics, has defeated five solid contenders in a row, including Darleys Perez, “Dirty” Derry Matthews and Argenis Mendez.

"It's an honor to be fighting Jorge Linares for the WBA World title, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine titles in one of the biggest fights in the division.” said Campbell. "I’ve worked my way from Olympic champion to the No.1 spot in the WBA and WBC rankings, and I feel now is the time to take my chance. All the pressure is on Jorge headlining back in the States on HBO and I am so confident I am going to leave with all three belts.”

“By fighting all over the world, Linares has established himself as an international fan favorite with a reputation for lightening quick hands, solid power and crafty defense,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “I know how hard it is to win an Olympic gold medal, and given Campbell’s exciting style and punching power, we are in for an action-packed fight on September 23." 

"It's a pleasure to be working with Jorge Linares and Golden Boy again in helping to deliver this great fight on HBO,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn. “Luke Campbell is the most successful amateur the UK has ever produced, capturing Olympic gold in London 2012 and as professional has now become the mandatory challenger with the WBA. He is a razor-sharp fighter that can punch with both hands and this matchup is one of tremendous skill and speed. We have been on the receiving end of three Linares defeats in the UK but Luke comes full of expectation and belief to become World champion on September 23.”

Follow the conversation using #LinaresCampbell.

HBO to Air Two Installments of 24/7: Canelo/Golovkin

Photo: Ed Mulholland

Photo: Ed Mulholland

HBO Sports’ groundbreaking 24/7 reality franchise, which has captured 18 Sports Emmy Awards, will return for its 23rd multi-part boxing installment with 24/7 Canelo/Golovkin, it was announced today by Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. The two-part behind-the-scenes series follows two elite fighters -- Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin -- as they prepare for their middleweight championship megafight title showdown Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

24/7 Canelo/Golovkin debuts Saturday, August, 26 (midnight-12:30 a.m. ET/PT), immediately following the previously announced World Championship Boxing doubleheader, featuring Miguel Cotto vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai, that begins at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.

The show will also be available on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and affiliate portals.

“The boxing world has eagerly anticipated this middleweight showdown between two of the best fighters and biggest stars in the sport,” said Bernstein. “We now get to present them and their preparations for this long-awaited encounter in the ring.”

Episode two of 24/7 Canelo/Golovkin debuts one week before the high-stakes bout, on Saturday, Sept. 9 (1:00-1:30 a.m. ET/PT), immediately following the “HBO Boxing After Dark” tripleheader, featuring Sor Rungvisai vs. Chocolatito, that begins at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.

24/7 Canelo/Golovkin will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews, as the fighters gear up in Southern California for their Las Vegas collision in the ring. Both men rank high on many pound-for-pound lists and have been dominant in the middleweight division.

Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs), of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is again holding camp with renowned trainer Eddy Reynoso. The 27-year-old phenom is coming off a dominant victory over fellow countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May and is on a seven-bout winning streak that has reinforced his elite standing in the middleweight ranks. His drawing power as the sport’s top pay-per-view attraction has been demonstrated both at the box office and in pay-per-view performance.

Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, now living in Los Angeles, is training with the acclaimed Abel Sanchez. The undefeated 35-year-old has compiled an extraordinary knockout-to-win ratio of 89%, while only three of his fights have gone past the eighth round and only one has lasted the full 12 rounds. Golovkin’s dramatic ring style has transformed him into one of the sport’s brightest stars in a few short years and he has sold out arenas from New York to California.

Canelo’s fourth 24/7 appearance and Golovkin’s second, 24/7 Canelo/Golovkin is the latest installment of the acclaimed franchise that began in 2007. Among the most-honored sports series on TV, it was called “a masterfully entertaining reality show” by ESPN The Magazine.

Canelo vs. Golovkin will take place at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

Podcast: Midsummer Mailbag

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney talk about Kieran's trips to Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez's training camps, then they open up the mailbag to answer listener questions about boxing's judging problem, the September 9 "Super Fly" card, the best fights never made, and much more.

Podcast: Recapping Berchelt vs. Miura tripleheader

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney analyze all the action from Saturday night's tripleheader at The Forum, including Miguel Berchelt's decisive win over Takashi Miura, Jezreel Corrales' less decisive win over Robinson Castellanos, and Sullivan Barrera's off-the-deck domination of Joe Smith Jr.

Berchelt Withstands Miura Onslaught to Take Decision Win

Photos: Ed Mulholland

By Kieran Mulvaney

INGLEWOOD, Calif - Given recent history in the stacked 130 lb. division – Francisco Vargas’ come-from-behind knockout win over Takashi Miura; his draw with Orlando Salido; Miura’s gutty win over Miguel Roman; and Miguel Berchelt’s stoppage victory over Vargas – there was widespread anticipation that Saturday night’s battle at The Forum between Berchelt and Miura would produce another Fight of the Year candidate. It did not do so, because Berchelt produced a nuanced and skillful boxing performance, thwarting and frustrating his Japanese opponent for much of their 12-round contest and securing a unanimous decision victory.

Berchelt (32-1, 28 KOs) immediately came out on his toes, circling and moving as Miura stalked forward. The opening couple of minutes were uneventful, the crowd already expressing murmurings of disquiet at the lack of action, when a short right hand and left hook landed to Miura’s right temple and the Japanese fighter found himself on the canvas. The thought immediately occurred that perhaps Miura had been in too many wars and that this would be the night on which his bravery and fortitude came to an end, but he was able to not only beat the count but resist Berchelt’s follow-up assault and survive the round.

The second and third frames did little, however, to suggest that he might have much more in store. He walked forward in straight lines, but could get nowhere near Berchelt, who circled and circled, waiting for an opening to strike, which came whenever Miura reached with a punch and the Mexican stepped to his side, tagged his opponent with one punch and then launched several more before moving out of the way and resetting.

But Miura (31-4-2, 24 KOs) betrayed no emotion and no sense of defeat or submission, instead chugging forward steadily as he sought to land his patented southpaw to the body and slow his foe down. It was a task that was not made any easier by the fact that he seemed incapable of displaying any lateral movement or any ability to cut off the ring, and because as a result he was at no stage in position to throw more than one punch at a time.

Even when he appeared to be having a better round, it was generally not as good as the round Berchelt was having, as the Mexican would take a left hand to the head here, or a punch to the body there, but then maneuver himself into position to unload another combination that froze Miura in place.

A sequence in round 5 epitomized the flow of the fight: a series of straight right hands from Berchelt landed flush on Miura’s face, Miura responded with a shot to the body and missed with a sweeping left hand upstairs, which left him in the perfect position for Berchelt to crack him with a left hook and remove any hope of Miura building momentum.

Through six rounds, it was a masterclass of boxing from Berchelt, although bit by bit, as the Mexican tired almost imperceptibly from his efforts, Miura reeled in the distance ever so slightly, still losing the rounds but doing so by progressively smaller margins. Entering the ninth, Miura’s face was swollen and he had likely lost every round on all three official scorecards, but in that round he focused on one punch and one punch only, hurling left hands at Berchelt’s body that thudded home with growing frequency slowing down the Mexican and leaving him in range for still more body shots.

Still, Berchelt kept moving and boxing, and still he responded to Miura’s shots with flurries of his own, but the balance had shifted now. It was Miura who was winning the rounds and Berchelt who was seeking to remain competitive in them. Even so, there was no way that just winning rounds would be sufficient for Miura, as there were not enough remaining; the tension and uncertainty lay in whether he would land enough of his increasingly punishing body blows to bring Berchelt to a halt.

It was, ultimately, to no avail; Berchelt’s energy reserves were being sapped, but he had enough of them in the bank for one final burst in the twelfth, closing strong with combination after combination, Miura responding in kind as best he could, the two men exhausted but refusing to leave anything on the table as they threw punches at each other and the crowd at The Forum roared.

The scorecards – 116-111, 119-108, and 120-109 in favor of Berchelt – were a fair representation of the Mexican’s dominance. But they could not tell the full story of Miura’s dogged determination and Berchelt’s resilience in the face of a determined assault by a dangerous foe.

**

In a fight that was scrappy, sometimes sloppy, but entertaining throughout and full of drama and controversy, Panama’s Jezreel Corrales (22-1, 8 KOs) retained a 130 lb. title by majority decision over Robinson Castellanos after their scheduled 12 rounder was halted in the 10th following an accidental head butt that left the Mexican challenger bloodied and unable to see clearly through his right eye.

The opening three rounds were fast paced but uneventful, with Corrales firing off fast but inconsequential flurries of punches while Castellanos (22-12, 14 KOs) winged heavier but less accurate punches in the opposite direction. The most significant blow through three landed south of Corrales’ belt line and dropped him to his knees, but the fight exploded into action in the fourth. Corrales walked into a Castellanos counter left that dropped him to his knees; he recovered, returned to offense and began sitting down on his punches more than he had done previously as he sought to inflict damage in return; and then Castellanos landed hard again, this time dropping Corrales onto his haunches.

Corrales recovered strongly, however, fighting with purpose and finding a groove by the fifth, digging punches to body and head before gliding out of the way. He was at times in danger of relaxing too much, however, and shipped some strong Castellanos counters when he did so. A left hand dropped Castellanos to the canvas just before the bell to end round 7, and appeared to cement Corrales’ advantage, but the Mexican never stopped coming, and several rounds were difficult to score as the two men flung punches at each other with little attempt to set up their offenses with any kind of obvious strategy. Castellanos was already bleeding from his scalp as a result of a butt when Corrales fell into his cheek with his forehead 30 seconds into the 10th round. The clash opened up a bloody gash on Castellanos’ cheek, which immediately swelled up, causing the Mexican to blink and complain about his eyesight. The ringside physician advised referee Jerry Cantu that Castellanos could not continue, and because the bout was halted on an accidental foul, it went to the judges’ scorecards. Zach Young saw it a 94-94 draw, but Carla Caiz scored it 94-93 and Pat Russell a perhaps more representative 96-92 in favor of Corrales.

**

Fighting for the first time in front of the father he had to leave behind when he fled Cuba, Sullivan Barrera recovered from a first-round knock down to dominate Joe Smith Jr., scoring a unanimous decision win over ten rounds of light-heavyweight action. It was the third win in a row for Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) after suffering his only career defeat as a professional to Andre Ward early last year, and a disappointing return for Smith to the venue where he blasted Bernard Hopkins out of the ring and into retirement in December.

It appeared as if the fight would end both much more swiftly and differently when, in the middle of an exchange in the opening frame, Smith (23-2, 19 KOs) landed a left hook high on Barrera’s head, sending the Cuban backward and sprawling on the canvas. Barrera beat the count comfortably enough and was able to repel Smith’s assault over the closing part of the round; and in the second, he hurled himself into the task at hand, deciding to treat fire with fire by launching fierce punches at the Long Islander. A right uppercut landed clean and would be just the first of what soon became one of the Cuban’s go-to punches; he would pair those uppercuts with booming overhand rights, and although one just missed at the end of the round, there would be more to come.

The speed and variety of Barrera’s punches soon had Smith looking confused, and as the American tried to figure out how to respond, Barrera kept throwing. A huge uppercut landed on Smith’s chin in the fourth, snapping back his head; Smith was hurt, and another uppercut didn’t aid his cause, but he landed a strong hook of his own to back his opponent off as the round came to a close. A series of right hands had Smith in trouble again in the fifth, followed by more booming rights and another uppercut in the sixth.

The pace slowed over the final few rounds – the total number of which was unexpectedly cut from 12 to 10 by the promoter at the last minute – but the story remained the same, with Smith seeking to find a way to deal with Barrera’s speed, skill and movement, and Barrera appearing to hurt him with every right hand he landed. When the end came surprisingly early, the result was in doubt, and the scores of 97-92 (twice) and 96-93 were as close as Smith might have hoped for.

Watch: Berchelt vs. Miura Weigh-in Recap

Watch Miguel Berchelt and Takashi Miura weigh-in ahead of their super featherweight title bout, plus all of the undercard fighters.

Berchelt vs. Miura happens Saturday live on HBO at 9:50 p.m. ET/PT.

Berchelt vs. Miura Weigh-In Recap and Slideshow

Photos: Ed Mulholland
By Kieran Mulvaney

INGLEWOOD, Calif - It is an odd and frequently disconcerting feature of boxing that those who are especially disposed toward inflicting the most violent of beatings in the ring are among the most placid, even joyful, individuals outside of it. It is not always the case, of course: Mike Tyson in his pomp appeared to be a muscular bundle of contempt and rage; more recently, Sergey Kovalev has been prone to dismissing opponents as "piece of shit" and being annoyed, post-fight, that they selfishly allowed themselves to be knocked unconscious by his fists instead of staying upright and taking more sustained punishment.

But how often have you seen Gennady Golovkin mad? Exactly. He's a lovely fella, seemingly brought to anger only by those who do not follow his gentlemanly code and cross the line from smack talk into offensiveness, a sin that he rewards with a thumping and an admonition to "respect box." Manny Pacquiao is a vision of serenity when he enters the arena but in his prime transformed into an anvil-fisted Tasmanian Devil once he stepped between the ropes.
The six boxers who will swap punches on Saturday's HBO Boxing After Dark (9:50 PM ET/PT) are largely cut from similar cloth. Their personalities, for sure, run the gamut: Takashi Miura is as impassive as his super featherweight opponent, Miguel Berchelt, is expansive; light-heavyweight Joe Smith is taciturn while his foe Sullivan Barrera is all smiles. 

But Smith, the construction worker and boxing contender whose first appearance on HBO last December ended with him sending future Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins out of the ring, allowed himself to loosen up after Thursday's press conference when he was welcomed by members of the Laborers' International Union of North America, representing the crews busily building the new Los Angeles Rams NFL stadium across the street from the Forum. During the presser itself, Barrera burst into an ear-to-ear grin at the thought of his father, whom he last saw when he fled Cuba six years ago, being granted permission to visit the United States so he can sit ringside and watch his son in action as a professional boxer for the first time. Jezreel Corrales, making his US ring debut, proudly showed off the 130 lb. world title belt that he wrenched from Takayashi Uchiyama; his challenger, Robinson Castellanos – who lost seven of his first 10 pro bouts and half of his first 20, before embarking on a run that culminated in a shock knockout win over Yuriorkis Gamboa in May – looked around with a grin as if scarcely able to comprehend that he had made it to this point.

At Friday's weigh-in, Corrales – simultaneously acknowledging his opponent's "Robin Hood" nickname and completely butchering multiple storylines – donned a Batman mask to signify that their contest was Batman vs. Robin, which fortunately both he and Castellanos found hilarious. Miura acknowledged a cheering section in the crowd and the support of stablemate Roman ‘Chocolatito' Gonzalez, while Berchelt, drinking electrolytes and sucking down pieces of fruit after making weight, discussed strategy with Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera. Smith patiently waited his turn with the TV cameras while Barrera completed his. 

But if all has been a picture of civility to this point, that motif will change dramatically on Saturday evening. Smith's diffidence didn't stop him from ending Hopkins' career, Barrera's sunny disposition didn't get in the way of his annihilating previously undefeated Vyacheslav Shabransky, and Miura's unflappable disposition belies the fact that two of his last three contests have been vicious wars. Being agreeable before a fight may not generate as many social media clicks as throwing F bombs at your upcoming opponent; but at the end of the day, what matters is what happens when the bell rings and the punches start flying. There is too much at stake for all six of Saturday's combatants – none of whom know the meaning of a backward step – to do anything other than lay everything on the line. Pleasantries can resume on Sunday morning; but now, it is almost time for hostilities to begin. On Saturday evening, they will.

Weights from Inglewood:
Joe Smith Jr. 174.6 lbs. | Sullivan Barrera 173.4 lbs.
Jezreel Corrales 129.6 lbs.
| Robinson Castellanos 129.4 lbs.
Takashi Miura 129.2 lbs.
| Miguel Berchelt 129.2 lbs.