Cecilia Braekhus and Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez Star in December 8 Doubleheader

Photo: Ed Mulholland

Photo: Ed Mulholland

Cecilia Braekhus and Roman Gonzalez make their respective returns at the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. on Saturday, December 8 for an action packed doubleheader. Braekhus (34-0, 9 KOs), will face two-time world title challenger, Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes, (18-4-3, 1 KO), a native of Gilwice, Poland, now based in Marshfield, MA in the ten-round main event.  Meanwhile, Gonzalez, (47-2, 39 KOs) will face off with Pedro ‘Jibran’ Guevara. The event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 PM ET/PT. 

“I’m thrilled to be announcing my next title defense against Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes,” said Cecilia Braekhus, currently training in Southern California with the renowned Johnathon Banks. “I know Aleksandra very well and this will be a very tough challenge for me.”

“It’s great to be back in Los Angeles, it’s starting to feel like my second home now. Right now, it’s pretty cold now in Norway so the sun and warm weather are treating me very good and I expect a lot of fans from Norway to come to my fight and experience the Southern California sunshine. My trainer Johnathon Banks and I have already started working very hard in the gym.” 

“A big thank you to Tom Loeffler and 360 Promotions for putting together this great event. Thanks very much to HBO for putting me on the network again. I promise to deliver another big fight, my last fight was very exciting and this one will be as well, I don’t do boring fights.”

‘I’m defending all the belts as you see in front of me. They represent a life-time of hard work. Hopefully when it becomes time to retire I can do so undefeated, that is my dream, that is my goal. I thank you for all your support and to the fans here in the United States and those attending the fight internationally.”

“It’s been my dream to fight Cecilia and I can’t wait to fight her,” said Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes. “She is the best women’s fighter in the world and has been for many years but on December 8 I will be up to the challenge and come out victorious with her titles.”

Stated Roman Gonzalez, “Thanks very much to God, Mr. Honda, Teiken Promotions, HBO Boxing and 360 Promotions. I know Pedro Guevara very well, he’s a very tough fighter and I will have to be at my very best to continue my pursuit of a fifth world title.”

“It’s an honor to be on the same card as Cecilia Braekhus, we’re very blessed to be here.  I was very happy with the knockout victory of my last fight and look forward to fighting in Los Angeles again in front of my fans.”

“Chocolatito was the best fighter in the world not too long ago and that is the fighter I am preparing for,” said Pedro Guevara. ‘It’s an honor to share the ring with him but on December 8 it will be another victory on my path to again becoming a world champion.”

Said Tom Loeffler, “This card truly is a tribute to HBO where the biggest stars in boxing have been made for decades. As we have seen with the ascent in popularity with Gennady Golovkin and as we continue to see with Cecilia and Roman their international popularity and marketability continues to increase with each appearance on HBO.”

“We’ve promoted some outstanding and record-breaking memorable nights of boxing at the Stubhub Center and we look forward to another great event on Saturday, December 8. We hold the record for the 3 largest gates at StubHub Center with GGG in his two fights at StubHub and Chocolatito with his sold out fight there last year.”

“Thanks to Dan Beckerman at AEG and everyone at StubHub Center for their support and for working on this show with us and to the California State Athletic Commission who have always been very fair while keeping the health and safety of the fighters as their number one priority.”

Fighting for the first time in Russia, Cecilia Braekhus won a 10-round unanimous decision over junior middleweight world champion Inna Sagaydakovskaya on July 21, 2018 in Moscow. The victory took place in front of over 25,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium and an international televised audience. Prior to that, Braekhus was victorious in the first women’s bout televised by HBO in their 45-year history on May 5, 2018. Defeating Kali Reis by unanimous decision at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, the fight drew an average of 904,000 viewers in the United States, the second highest viewership by the network for boxing in 2018.

Braekhus is currently ranked the #1 Pound-for-Pound Female Boxer by Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. She was presented with the first women’s Ring Magazine Pound-for-Pound Title belt in Las Vegas on September 15, 2018. Since September 2014, Braekhus has held the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Welterweight World Titles and was just awarded 3 Guinness Book of World Records Awards this year at the WBC Convention in Kiev, Ukraine.

Magdziak-Lopes has twice previously challenged for world title. On September 17, 2016, she traveled to Gdansk, Poland to face Ewa Piatkowska for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title, losing a hard-fought ten-round decision. In 2014, Magdziak-Lopes battled Mikaela Lauren in her hometown of Rocklunda, Sweden for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title. At the end of a highly competitive ten rounds, Lopes would come up just short losing a majority decision to Lauren. 

Magdziak-Lopes is unbeaten in her last 3 fight, including victories over Paty Ramirez and Lisa Noel Garland.

Returning to battle less than three months after a knockout victory, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez looks to continue on his path towards a fifth world title. On September 15, 2018, the hard-hitting Nicaraguan dismantled Moises Fuentes with a ‘Knockout of the Year’ stoppage in the fifth round on the HBO Pay-Per-View®Undercard of the World Middleweight Championship between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Gonzalez has held world titles in four weight divisions; minimum weight, junior flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight. From September 12, 2015 to March 18, 2017, he was the Consensus #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World. 

The 29-year-old Guevara first became a world champion on December 30, 2014 with a seventh-round knockout of Akira Yaegashi in Tokyo, Japan, winning the vacant WBC Junior Flyweight World Title. After making two successful defenses in Mexico, Guevara would return to Japan losing a split-decision to Yu Kimura on November 28, 2015.

In 2018, Guevara has recorded two stoppage victories, an eighth-round knockout of Angel Guevara on May 18, 2018 followed by a tenth-round stoppage of Roberto Sanchez on September 1, 2018.

Undercard Report: Chocolatito Gets Back On Winning Track With Brutal KO

Photos: Ed Mulholland

By Eric Raskin

The losing streak is over – and in emphatic fashion. Former four-division (and pound-for-pound) champ Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez scored his first victory in more than two years and flashed some of the old offensive brilliance as he disposed of Moises Fuentes with a vicious right hand in the fifth round of the GGG-Canelo 2 undercard opener.

This was the Chocolatito’s first bout in nearly 12 months, following back-to-back losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai – the first by controversial decision, the second by brutal fourth-round KO. Now 31 years old, questions swirled. Did the Nicaraguan have anything left? 

It may have something to do with the opposition, but against Fuentes (25-6-1, 14 KOs), an easy target, the answer was yes. After a tentative start to the fight, Gonzalez started opening up in the final 30 seconds of the first round and never slowed down from there. A head clash opened a cut over Fuentes’ right eye in the second round, and the blood was clearly bothering him. Gonzalez’s nonstop combinations to the body and head only exacerbated his problems.

A left hook in the third nearly dropped Fuentes, but he stayed up after dipping low. He had no such recuperative powers in round five, when a sizzling right to the chin knocked the Mexican veteran unconscious before he even hit the canvas. It may be a Knockout of the Year contender – and for Chocolatito (47-2, 39 KOs), hopefully the start of a memorable comeback in the talent-loaded super flyweight division.

Weigh-in Recap and Slideshow: Alvarez and Golovkin Go Head-to-Head Before Rematch

By Kieran Mulvaney

LAS VEGAS - And so, finally, twelve months after Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez battled to a hard-fought and controversial draw; four months after they were initially scheduled to meet in a rematch; and seven months after that rematch was jeopardized and ultimately postponed by Alvarez testing positive for clenbuterol, the two men are just hours away from going toe-to-toe again.

The road from initial bout to rematch began and will end at the T-Mobile Arena, but it has been a long, winding, contentious and ill-tempered one. Neither man was satisfied with the verdict rendered by the three ringside judges last September; by the time they agreed to terms for a do-over, they had already grown weary of and irritated by each other. Their moods have not improved since then: Golovkin was incensed by Canelo’s positive test, Canelo was infuriated by Golovkin’s repeated characterization of him as a drugs cheat, Golovkin was irritated by Canelo’s sense of grievance, and meanwhile, the two men’s respective trainers sniped at each other from the sidelines. So high did the tension ratchet that not until Friday’s weigh-in did the two men stand face-to-face, the first time they had looked each other in the eye since a promotional event in February, when they seemed set to face off on May 5, in the good old days when their mutual antipathy revolved around events inside the ring rather than outside it.

And when they did meet, the tensions that had been simmering for months immediately boiled over. After the two men had stepped on the scale, Alvarez marched directly toward Golovkin, pushing his forehead onto his rival’s. Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, immediately stepped in between the fighters, and Golovkin stared impassively before turning his back as Canelo’s trainers Chepo and Eddie Reynoso shouted angrily at him and Sanchez.

“I got excited by seeing all the people in the crowd,” said Alvarez afterward, by way of explanation of his actions. “It motivated me.”

“He is like a clown,” sniffed Golovkin.

“I defeated him at the weigh-in and I’ll defeat him tomorrow night,” insisted Canelo.

“I want to knock him out,” said Golovkin.

Twenty-four hours from now, each man will have the chance to prove himself right, and to bring a year of venom and spite to a definitive conclusion.

Weights from Las Vegas:

Canelo Alvarez 159.4 pounds.

Gennady Golovkin 159.6 pounds.

Jaime Munguia 154 pounds.

Brandon Cook 153.2 pounds.

David Lemieux 160 pounds.

Spike O’Sullivan 159.2 pounds.

Chocolatito Gonzalez 114.8 pounds.

Moises Fuentes 116 pounds.

Press Conference and Gallery: Canelo-GGG 2 Undercards

Photos: Ed Mulholland

Tensions ran high at today’s intense Canelo-Golovkin 2 undercard presser. Catch the fighters this Saturday, September 15 at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT on HBO.

Unbeaten Brawler Munguia Looking For Second Successful Title Defense

mungia-vs-smith-ss-09-1.jpg

By Nat Gottlieb

Power, a good chin, but subpar defense will only get you so far. So far, Jaime Munguia is getting away with it.

Munguia (30-0, 25 KO’s), a ferocious power puncher and world champion, will try to ride his strengths to a second junior middleweight title defense against Canadian boxer Brandon Cook (20-1, 13 KO’s). The bout headlines the three-fight undercard of the Canelo-Golovkin PPV rematch on HBO (8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT).

In the co-feature, two aggressive middleweights desperate to stay in contention for a title fight will be slinging the punches in what promises to be an entertaining, action-packed bout. Two-time world title challenger David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KO’s) will have his hands full with a tough and improving Irish brawler, Gary O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KO’s), who’s on a six-fight winning streak, with five of those victories coming by way of knockout.

The 21-year-old Munguia, who fights with reckless abandon and admits he’s still a “green” boxer, will be doing what he does best: trading punches and hoping his “style” of fighting can keep him unbeaten. Keeping that perfect record gives Munguia the best chance at eventually taking a crack at either Canelo or Golovkin.

The 32-year-old Cook, who competes in high-level duathlons, is aware of exactly what he will be facing. “I know people are going to be booing me,” he says. “It’s Mexican Independence Day. I just want to go out there and show people why I made it to where I am.”

To do so Cook will have to weather the tornado of punches that the young Mexican will be using to try and swallow up yet another knockout victim. Cook’s best chance to win is to stay on his feet long enough to utilize his above-average hand speed to rack up points and pull off the upset.

“The thing is with this guy, he has really good offense and he’s strong with both hands,” Cook said recently. “His defense isn’t the greatest, but he can take a shot. He just tries to knock you out, tries to overpower you. He doesn’t back down from anybody. All he knows how to do is come forward and fight.”

And in so doing, Munguia lets his boxing flaws hang out. The Mexican’s punches come from wide angles, which leaves him vulnerable to counters, and his “defense” consists of a chin that so far has not been bested, nor tested, by another power puncher.

Fortunately for Munguia, Cook isn’t likely to hit him any harder than his last victim, Liam Smith, who except for going down in the sixth round, managed to go the distance, breaking the Mexican’s string of six straight knockouts in four rounds or less. While Cook has a decent knockout rate of 62 percent, he’ll never be mistaken for a power puncher.

“I’ve got to be patient and listen to my corner,” Cook says. “I’ve got to catch him when he’s throwing, because he throws wide, looping shots, tries to rip your head off. I fight kind of like he fights, and I would say someone is getting knocked out.”

The odds are likely, given his recent history against a heavy-fisted fighter, that it’ll be Cook who gets flattened.

Last year Cook went up against an unbeaten and rapidly-rising junior middleweight contender in Kanat Islam of Kazakhstan. Islam, who has scored knockouts in 20 of his 25 fights, put Cook down in three separate rounds before scoring a TKO in the ninth. In each instance, Islam took advantage of a flaw in the Canadian’s style. Cook tends to open up when he starts to throw a big punch and drops his guard. Islam scored his knock downs by simply beating Cook to the punch.

Munguia doesn’t have nearly the hand speed of Islam. Instead of beating an opponent to the punch, the Mexican will eat a punch and then fire off a few heat-seeking missiles. If Cook avoids the knockout and piles up some points on a more efficient connection rate, the Canadian might make things interesting.

In addition to what’s at stake for Lemieux and O’Sullivan — keeping their title fight hopes alive —there’s bad blood between them. The pair of middleweights have been taking pot shots at each other on their Twitter accounts.

Lemieux, whose four losses have all been to either reigning champions or serious contenders, has made no secret of how little regard he has for the Irishman’s skills and the less-than-stellar competition he has been facing.

In response to a disparaging tweet by O’Sullivan, Lemieux fired back, “Keep talking clown @spikeosullivan we’ll see how smart you’re going to look when I’m gonna knock your goofy popeye looking ass cold…@spikeosullivan gonna be an easy fight.”

To which O’Sullivan responded: “Lemule you almost got something correct, thing is its actually gonna be a very!! Easy fight you’re getting battered and flattened again!!”

The 29-year-old Lemieux has gotten title shots largely due to his impressive power. But the Canadian is running out of chances and will likely need to knock out O’Sullivan or win a dominant unanimous decision to stay in the mix with the best middleweights.

The same will apply for O’Sullivan. The Irishman has been knocking on the door to bigger fights, and in Lemieux, he’ll be getting a chance to show he deserves one. One thing’s for certain, both boxers will be coming forward and will likely go toe-to-toe for as long as the bout lasts.

In the first of the three televised fights on the undercard, former pound-for-pound and four-division champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KO’s) will be looking to come back after suffering the first two defeats of his career, both at the hands of Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Runvisai. It will be a full year since Gonzalez lost the second of those two fights, and he needs to prove that he belongs with the best of the super flyweights after dominating the lower divisions.

The Nicaraguan will be facing Moises Fuentes (25-5, 14 KO’s), a graduate of those lower weight classes, who at 5’6 ½” and with a 68-inch reach appears to be better suited to fight at super flyweight.

Fuentes has lost three of his last four fights, but two were against reigning world champions at 108 and 112. His other loss was a majority decision to journeyman Ulises Lara at flyweight in July of 2017. Curiously, three months later in a rematch with Lara at the super bantamweight level, Fuentes knocked out Lara in the first round, perhaps suggesting he fights better at a higher weight.

During his one-year layoff, Gonzalez has made changes in his team. He’s been working with new head trainer Gustavo Herrera, who has been part of Gonzalez’s team for years, and new strength and conditioning coach Alfredo Corrales. What won’t change are the doubts that the 5’3” Gonzalez can carry his power into the loaded super flyweight division. Likely nothing short of an impressive knockout of Fuentes will begin to erase those doubts.

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin Arrive in Las Vegas

Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, and the stacked Canelo-GGG2 undercard arrive in Las Vegas ahead of Saturday’s match. Watch Canelo-GGG 2 on September 15 at 8 PM ET/5 PM CT on HBO Pay-Per-View.

PODCAST: Canelo-GGG 2 Undercard Preview (Ep 269)

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney offer an early preview of the stacked September 15 Golovkin-Alvarez II pay-per-view undercard, analyzing Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez vs. Moises Fuentes, Jaime Munguia vs. Brandon Cook, and David Lemieux vs. Spike O'Sullivan.

Jaime Munguia, David Lemieux and Chocolatito Headline Stacked Canelo-GGG 2 Undercard

Photo: Ed Mulholland

Photo: Ed Mulholland

Fans at T-Mobile Arena and millions watching at home will be treated to a stacked undercard featuring current world champions and returning contenders in support of the fight between Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and  Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0, 34 KOs). The event will take place Saturday, September 15 and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.

“This historic rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin can only be supported by an equally great undercard,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “That’s why some of the best champions and contenders from all over the world will be featured on this event of international proportions, while some of our brightest prospects will have the opportunity of a lifetime on this undercard so they can one day headline events of this magnitude.”

In the co-main event, breakout Mexican star Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) will make the second defense of his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against rugged Canadian contender Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) in a 12-round battle.

“I’m very motivated to be in such an important card,” said Munguia. “It will be the most important boxing event of the year. For me it is an honor to be on this card supporting Canelo Alvarez, who is also Mexican, on a date that is so special for Mexico, for me and for all of the people. We will do our best to please the public. I promise to not disappoint, so don’t miss my fight and don’t miss Canelo vs. GGG 2.”

Cook said, “It’s always been a dream for me to fight for a world title. To be on the biggest fight card of the year with two of my favorite fighters is a dream come true. Jaime Munguia is an exciting, young, up-and-coming fighter. He has great punching power in both hands. I’m going to do everything possible to bring that world title back home to Canada. I can’t thank Golden Boy Promotions enough for giving me this opportunity. I have a great team behind me and we will be ready September 15. I’m coming to fight.”

Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions, said, “It can’t get any bigger for boxing than a Pay-Per-View fight in Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day. That’s where Jaime Munguia is fighting and that’s where he deserves to fight. He always shows his best on the biggest stages and during biggest moments, so be ready for a spectacular performance from Munguia”

Former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) of Montreal, Canada and Irish warrior Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) of Cork, Ireland will go head-to-head in a 12-round middleweight battle that has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it.

Lemieux said, “I’m looking forward to fighting ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan next. I have some unfinished business at 160. We’re going to take one fight at a time. Spike is an action fighter, like me. He’s a tough cookie and comes to fight. This is a fight for the fans. Come September 15, I want to steal the show.”

O’Sullivan said, “This fight is just another step towards fulfilling my ambition of becoming a world champion and providing a good life for my family! David Lemieux is just an object in my way that I fully intend smashing through! Then, I want Canelo or GGG—either one, it doesn't matter! I'm going to war!”

Former pound-for-pound king and former four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez(46-2, 38 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua will make his highly anticipated return against experienced Mexican warrior Moises “Moi” Fuentes (25-5-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super flyweight battle that will open the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast.

Gonzalez said, "I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to be back in the ring. This will be my second fight in Las Vegas, and I look forward to fighting on this great show. I have been training hard in California and will give a good show for the fans. I respect Moises Fuentes, and he will be a strong challenge for me. I want to thank Mr. Honda of Teiken Promotions, along with GGG Promotions for making this possible for me to be on the biggest show in boxing. I look forward to seeing all of my fans again and promise a good performance in the ring."

Fuentes said, “This will be a difficult fight because of Gonzalez’s style of fighting. But it won’t be impossible. In boxing, nothing is written. I still have what it takes to do it—a good record and a lot of potential. I’m confident I will win this fight and Gonzalez will be a big trampoline for me to join the highest levels of boxing.”