By: William HolmesOn Saturday night the MGM Grand Garden Arena will be the host site for the next fight of Canelo Alvarez, arguably boxing’s biggest star in the sport today. He will be jumping up two weight classes to face Sergey Kovalev for Kovalev’s WBO Light Heavyweight Title.The co-main event of the evening will be a lightweight fight between Ryan Garcia and Romero Duno. Garcia was able to resolve his issues with Golden Boy Promotions in time to fight on the co-main event of this card.Other fights on the undercard include an IBF Junior Middleweight eliminator between Bakhram Murtazaliev and Jorge Fortea and a WBA Interim Women’s Flyweight Title Fight between Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza. Other boxers on the undercard include Blair Cobbs, Carlos Ortiz, Evan Holyfield, and Tristan Kalreuth.The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening. Ryan Garcia (18-0) vs. Romero Duno (21-1); Lightweights Ryan Garcia was able to resolve his promotional issues with Golden Boy Promotions and land himself as the co-main event in one of the biggest cards of the year. The opportunity isn’t lost on Garcia.“This is a big moment for me.” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going to show that I’ve reached another level on November 2nd.”Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter AccountDuno, a Filipino born fighter, is three years older than Garcia at twenty four years old. However, he will be giving up about three inches in height and two inches in reach to Garcia. Both boxers have decent power. Garcia has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Duno has stopped sixteen.Both boxers are also extremely active. Garcia fought once in 2019, four times in 2018, and six times in 2017. Duno fought three times in 2019, 2018, and in 2017. Both boxers didn’t accomplish much as an amateur on the international stage, but both were successful on the national level as an amateur. Garcia is a former US National Gold Medalist and Duno won local titles in the Philippines. Garcia is also a former ESPN Prospect of the Year. Garcia has beaten the likes of Jose Lopez, Braulio Rodriguez, Carlos Morales, Jayson Velez, and Fernando Vargas Parra. Duno has beaten the likes of Ivan Delgado, Juan Antonio Rodriguez, Kuldeep Dhanda, Gilberto Gonzalez, Yardley Cruz, and Christian Gonzalez. His lone loss was to Mikhail Alexeev in 2016.This bout represents Garcia’s toughest fight of his career, but Duno isn’t an elite level opponent. It’s a good stepping stone fight for Garcia as he angles for bigger fights in the future, and it’s a fight that he should walk away as the victor. Sergey Kovalev (34-3) vs. Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2); WBO Light Heavyweight Title Canelo Alvarez looks to make history as he attempts to capture a world title in a fourth weight class when he faces Kovalev. At a recent press conference he stressed that he’s motivated and recognizes the difficulty in moving up weight classes. “I’m very grateful to all the fans as always. I’m very motivated here, it’s an honor for me to share the ring with a fighter like Kovalev who I met in 2012. Now we’re about to make history. I know it’s going to be the most difficult fight of my professional career. I will give the best in the ring and that day we can yell “Viva Mexico!””.Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter AccountCanelo is in the midst of his athletic prime at twenty nine years old while Kovalev is nearing the end of his at thirty six years old. Kovalev will have a significant height and reach advantage on Saturday. He is four inches taller and has about a two inch reach advantage. Kovalev and Canelo both are fairly active. Kovalev already fought twice in 2019, twice in 2018, and twice in 2017. Canelo has fought once in 2019, twice in 2018, and twice in 2017.Kovalev has the edge in amateur experience. He is a former Russian National Champion as an amateur while Canelo turned pro as a teenager. Kovalev has losses to Eleider Alvarez and Andre Ward. His loss to Alvarez is a loss he later avenged. He has defeated the likes of Anthony Yarde, Igor Mikalkin, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal, Nadjib MOhammedi, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Cedric Agnew, Ismayl Sillah, Nathan Cleverly, Cornelius White, Gabriel Campillo, and Lionell Thompson. Canelo’s lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather. He has draws with Gennadiy Golovkin and Jore Juarez. He already has a hall of fame resume and has defeated the likes of Daniel Jacobs, Rocky Fielding, Gennadiy Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, Carlos Baldomir, and Miguel Vazquez.Kovalev’s weakness is his ability to take body shots while one of Canelo’s strengths is his attacks to the body. This is an intriguing bout and Canelo may be jumping up too high in weight to face Kovalev, but he’s facing Kovalev at a moment in his career when he appears to be on a downward trajectory. They previously met and sparred with each other, and Canelo must have seen something during that session to believe he can jump up in weight to challenge Kovalev. For that reason, this writer feels Canelo will win on Saturday. The post Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev, Garcia vs. Duno Fight Preview appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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By: Kirk JacksonOver the course of time, historic empires experience a meteoric rise through careful craft and many, as is the scope of life, eventually fall. Historically, the Roman Empire, the Qing dynasty, Byzantine Empire and Ghana Empire are just a few that come to mind.From a fictional standpoint, The Galactic Empire of Star Wars fame, is arguably the most well-known dominion.https://youtu.be/-bzWSJG93P8In boxing, greats such as “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather have all enjoyed experiences as the most polarizing constellation, amongst the solar system.This current era was supposed to be Anthony “AJ” Joshua’s (22-1, 21 KO’s) reign.Joshua was the pugilistic version of the British Empire. Like the British Empire, he fulfilled his own version of sovereignty; through championship unification and by capturing three of the four world titles in the heavyweight division.But like Luke Skywalker, flying the X-wing down the Death Star’s channel, manufacturing the shot that destroyed the Death Star, Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz (33-1, 22 KO’s) playing spoiler, contrived the left hook that led to a series of knock downs for Joshua.Ruiz would ultimately pummel Joshua into submission, earning victory in spectacular fashion and leaving the Joshua Empire in shambles.Staying with the Star Wars theme, Ruiz epitomizes A New Hope – as it relates to the current dynamic of the heavyweight division.While we have other champions, other great fighters such as WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (43-0-1, 42 KO’s) and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (29-0-1, 20 KO’s) battling it out amongst each other in recent times, Joshua remained isolated from those challenges in his own realm.While capturing three world titles may be deemed as impressive regardless of circumstance, it appeared there wasn’t a willingness from his side to face Wilder, or even Fury for that matter. Which is not to suggest those bouts would not manifest from fantasy to reality and there still is a chance of these bouts occurring eventually.However Wilder believes the dreams of unification will not happen if Joshua regains his titles over Ruiz.“I’m looking forward to him defeating AJ (Anthony Joshua) and winning a second time. He has all the momentum and courage. He knows what to do and I think he’s going to be victorious,” said Wilder to reporters.“It would be great for boxing if he wins because then we can finally have a unification bout. One champion, one face, one name. ‘That’s not the case if AJ wins, he’s already stated that he has no interest in fighting me no more. In the heavyweight division it’s all about unifying the division. When you have two fighters who are in agreement about that then you have no choice but to go for that fighter and you want that fighter to win. There should just be one champion in this division…so go Ruiz!”Backed by the current WBC heavyweight champion, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone with a bad word to say about Ruiz. Even his former promoters speaks of the highest esteem regarding the first ever heavyweight champion of Mexican ancestry.“We let Andy go because of the financial demands he was making,” said former promoter Bob Arum to Boxing Scene.“We thought they were too high for us. We have never had anything but the utmost respect for Andy. He’s a terrific kid. He’s great. We enjoyed working with him. But these things happen. We didn’t renew with him and he went elsewhere and hit the lottery. Great for him. He deserves whatever he gets because he’s a nice person. When we parted with Andy, we made the right move. It happens.”It’s possible Ruiz is introducing his own version of the Age of Discovery – ushering new life into the division and bringing about the possibility of unification bouts against Wilder and or Fury.Since defeating Joshua this past summer, Ruiz has enjoyed his newfound wealth and acclaim to fame. A combination of buying lavish gifts for his family, performing charitable acts and living like a rock star, Ruiz realizes his distinction as heavyweight champion, affords these types of opportunities and does not want to relinquish the throne.“Of course, I don’t want these beautiful belts to go away,” Ruiz said in the final press conference leading up to the rematch.“Remember, I’ve been doing this since I was 6 years old. It’s finally paying off and no way I’m going to let these belts go. I’m going to die trying, and do anything that’s possible to get that victory. It’s been a long journey, a long roller coaster in my life, and no way I’m going to let these go Dec. 7. Let the best man win.”Entering the rematch this weekend, we have the champion with retention on his mind. Also, the mindset of the former champion, now turned challenger, with the mentality of retaliation and retribution.Joshua shares certain parallels with the Galactic Empire of Star Wars. While Joshua’s promotor, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, isn’t Emperor Palpatine and Joshua is not some treacherous force of evil, there is a collection of fans and media alike who dislike the former champion.Sometimes a dominant force is not liked or accepted for whatever reason. The New England Patriots have many detractors, as with the New York Yankees. Different variables for each respective entity, but it doesn’t matter if you’re well liked. Kings and Queens rule regardless.Referring back to Star Wars, the Empire regained control in the sequel and it remains to be seen if Joshua can do the same. He may tap into darker forces to create the result he wants.If you’re a high profile champion such as Anthony Joshua losing like he did n this social media era is extremely rough but if he over comes this backlash and win clean he’s gonna be hard 2beat in the future ps I’m a fan of both fighters I jus wanna see a great fight #RuizJoshua2— JulianJrockWilliams (@Jrockboxing) December 4, 2019 As mentioned earlier, subsequently in spite the events of A New Hope, the Empire still maintained control of the galaxy. Joshua is still the premier star heading into the rematch and regarded as the favorite. He is considered by most United Kingdom-based media outlets as the biggest star in the division.In spite of the upset loss to Ruiz, all it takes is victory in the rematch and things can return to how they once were for Joshua.Any aura of invincibility is certainly erased, but new levels of greatness may be on display by showcasing he can combat through adversity and show he never lost love or passion for the sport.“I’ve been in boxing a while now and when I came into boxing, I didn’t come to take part, I came to take over, with full force, fully committed,” said Joshua in a press conference. “The focus has already been there but I never had a chance to reflect.”“European Championships, World Championships, Olympics, British title, world title, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I am not here to put on a show, I am just here to win. I’ve been around the block in this game in a short space of time. So I have to understand that I am definitely experienced, I know what I am doing.”https://youtu.be/Ggn4-W8v2gg“I still enjoy it 100%, because I am getting better all the time. You have someone like Vasyl Lomachenko, who is great but then you have some who get better with every fight, like Canelo Álvarez, and that is what I am. You are going to see me get better every step of the way. One loss can’t strip your skin off overnight, when you put your solid foundations in, one chip in the brick can’t destroy the whole building.”If earlier claims are to remain true, as far as obtaining domination of the sport, Joshua must win this weekend. Moving forward, he must also conquer America. That means an eventual showdown with the Bronze Bomber.If Joshua wants to establish complete supremacy, that may entail challenging another monarch. The Gypsy King.https://youtu.be/XiAXAHmWyi0“Me and Andy are very different, but the only thing that all of us in this room have in common is time. I have had to use my time very wisely. I didn’t lose any heart, I didn’t lose any fire in my belly. I’m just really looking forward to it. There’s no fear in my heart, no fear in my eyes, no fear in my mind.”Joshua aims to complete the ultimate tale of redemption this weekend at Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Will the Empire strike back?The post The Empire Strikes Back!? Starring Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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By: Hans Themistode It wasn’t exactly on the level of their first encounter, but Anthony Joshua successfully won back his IBF, WBA, IBO and WBO Heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia. Ruiz informed everyone that Joshua would look to out box him this time around, and he was absolutely correct. You can criticize Joshua if you want, but he got the job done. With the Heavyweight titles back around his waist, it’s time for him to look ahead and figure out who would be the best option for him. Andy Ruiz Jr v Anthony Joshua, IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight championships, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.7th December 2019.Picture By Mark Robinson.Let’s take a look at who he should jump into the ring next in 2020. Oleksandr UsykAfter clearing out the entire Cruiserweight division, Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made his long awaited Heavyweight debut back in October earlier this year. He didn't exactly look great against fringe contender Chazz Witherspoon, but he got the job done. As it currently stands, Usyk holds a mandatory position with the WBO. In fact, Joshua was just given 180 days to make the fight with Usyk happen or he would be stripped of his WBO title. Usyk has made it very clear that he wants his shot at gold in 2020. Fight fans would be ecstatic if this bout took place next. Hopefully, they’ll get their wish. Kubrat Pulev Much like Oleksandr Usyk, Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) is currently the mandatory for Joshua, this time around, for the IBF title. These two were scheduled to face each other in the past but the bout fell apart with Pulev suffering an injury. Since his lone defeat back in 2014 to Wladimir Klitschko, Pulev has gone on to win eight straight fights. He has done his part in fighting his way back up the ladder. It might not be the contest that fight fans want to see, but Pulev has earned his position and deserves a crack at the title. Andy Ruiz AgainAfter such a lackluster contest in their second matchup, there isn’t exactly a large number of people who are looking to see these two do it again. Yet, it has to happen, so why not sooner rather than later? Ruiz took home the stoppage win in the first bout, while Joshua boxed circles around Ruiz in the rematch. A tiebreaker between the two seems only fair. Fans might be ready to move on from this rivalry, but that can't happen until a third fight takes place. It might as well be next.The post What’s Next For Anthony Joshua? appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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