RING No. 2-rated junior middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, RING No. 6-rated junior lightweight Adrien Broner, southpaw featherweight Gary Russell Jr. and heavyweight Deontay Wilder have a few things in common.
All four are unbeaten fighters promoted by Golden Boy Promotions who are at the age of 26 or younger, and all four are coming off sensational knockout victories that were secured on Saturday night.
The 21-year-old Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs) scored an HBO-televised fifth-round stoppage over former two-time beltholder Kermit Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KOs) in the third defense of his WBC crown before Alvarez’s partisan fans at Monumental Plaza de Toros, in Mexico City.
Prior to that, the 22-year-old Broner (22-0, 18 KOs) took only 1:43 to vanquish Martin Rodriguez (34-3-1, 19 KOs) for the WBO’s vacant belt in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati.
Broner’s finish began with a right uppercut. Then, following a flurry of punches, Broner put Rodriguez down for good with a perfect left hook that ended Rodriguez’s unbeaten streak at 13-0-1, with nine knockouts.
On the undercard, the 23-year-old Russell (19-0, 11 KOs) stopped Heriberto Ruiz (47-12-2, 29 KOs) in the first round.
Then, 26-year-old former Olympic bronze medalist Wilder (20-0, 20 KOs) came up with a 77-second stoppage of David Long (11-2-2, 7 KOs), ending Long’s unbeaten streak at 5-0-2, with four knockouts.
“We have the young guns in boxing. They’re all with Golden Boy. They’re guys who are the total package. You saw Adrien Broner, after he won the world title in the ring, asking for his hair to be brushed” by a camp-member, said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
“These guys are entertainers. They’re athletes who get it, and they’re exciting and they’re young. The fact is that we have the best young fighters, end of story. We have guys who can not only fight, but who have charisma.”
Schaefer still is anxious to see three more of his prospects peform over the next two weeks, starting with 25-year-old RING No. 3-rated IBF bantamweight titleholder Abner Mares (22-0-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday in a rematch with Joseph Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs).
In August, Mares dethroned Agbeko by unanimous decision in a controversial clash during which referee Russell Mora’s failure to penalize Mares for repeated low blows led to their IBF-ordered return bout.
Mares’ fight with Agbeko included an 11th-round knockdown punch that Mora ruled legal even though replays clearly showed the punch landing on Agbeko’s cup.
On Dec. 10, to more young boxers will be in action at The Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Khan will put his belt on the line in the hometown of 27-year-old contender Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs).
On the undercard, Mitchell will face his most difficult opponent to date in 36-year-old Timur Ibragimov (30-3-1, 16 KOs), of Uzbekistan.
Ibragimov is coming off a split-decision loss to former cruiserweight titleholder Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs) in December that ended Ibragimov’s winning streak of nine straight victories, including three stoppages.
Ibragimov’s biggest win was perhaps his unanimous decision in June of last year over Oliver McCall, whose fifth-round knockout of Lennox Lewis earned him the vacant WBC title in February of 1997.
“We have the young guns, and these guys are really the future of boxing. I’m so proud of Adrien and Gary and Canelo and Deontay Wilder,” said Schaefer.
“And then, over the next weekend, you’re going to see Abner Mares. And the week after that, you’re going to see Amir Khan and Seth Mitchell. The best young guys fight for Golden Boy.”
Photo / Pat Lovell, Hogan Photos ,Golden Boy Promotions
Photo / Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos ,Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org