NEW YORK — You may have heard that old boxing term “The Tomato Can” apply – known as an easy opponent, a fighter getting an undeserved opportunity for quick fame. Boxing, though, has always thrived on the heavy underdog.
We love the underdog in sports and the story behind it. Boxing in particular, and with history seems to thrive on the spectacle of an underdog. Recently, George Kambosos Jr. a heavy underdog was supposed to be the unheralded 29-year old lightweight.
Ranked, Kambosos Jr. a few years ago was not that Tomato Can and dethroned Teófimo López of his undisputed lightweight titles with a controversial decision. Unknown, because Kambosos Jr. was compiling wins outside of the United States and disposing opponents in his native land of Australia. He would hand his titles to Devin Haney, the young superstar and a subsequent rematch in Australia.
It’s what makes boxing a science of the unexpected. Controversy and all, politics that surround a lucrative industry, after all who does not like the success story? Haney, though, could be the next face of boxing. Gervonta Davis, would say otherwise after his seventh round stoppage of 24-year old Mexican-American Ryan Garcia.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) April 23, 2023
Garcia and Davis surpassed 1.2 million pay-per-view buys, that in the record books next to Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao, and Mayweather versus MMA star Conor McGregor.
Canelo Alvarez, though, who has stepped down a notch as the face of boxing, was never an underdog. He gets that so-called Tomato Can Saturday evening in a hometown championship fight at Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, Mexico.
John Ryder of Great Britain, classified or not as an underdog, will attempt to dethrone Alvarez of his unified Super Middleweight titles. Alvarez, in his second of a multi-fight deal with the DAZN streaming network, will again be seen world wide on Pay-Per-View.
1️⃣ week for #CaneloRyder Are you ready? 🇲🇽
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) April 29, 2023
His last fight in the Mexican city was in 2011, a commanding win then, and this one should be no different. Alvarez is expected to easily defend his 168-pound titles, Ryder, not expected to be the latest underdog or Tomato Can opponent that will place his name in boxing history.
It’s a flight Alvarez wanted, possibly a step to avenge a bitter and unanimous decision loss last year to Dmitry Bivol, in his quest to become a two-time light heavyweight champion. A loss that sticks with Alvarez because he wants to continue his legacy as that multi-division champion.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) May 3, 2023
The 34-year old Ryder, (32-5,0, 18 KO’s) though, seeks to stop the legacy. He is not Bivol or David Benavidez, the Mexican-American with power and best chance to dethrone Alvarez. Benavidez versus Alvarez is tentatively in plans for September.
But it is Alvarez, who commands his schedule and wants Bivol again fighting either at 168, or avenging that loss and taking away his light heavyweight titles.
You be the judge, and I am being honest here. Because this fight with Ryder is not expected to be in the hands of “Three Blind Mice” judges at ringside. Alvarez ( (58-2-2, 39 KO’s) is expected to easily dispose of another challenger and Benavidez is likely next.
If Alvarez goes the 12-round distance then questions arise regarding the future of a 32-year old Hall of Famer on a decline? Difficult to judge or determine an outcome, because boxing is unexpected and subjective at times. The rise and fall of a fighter is not predicated solely on a loss or a win.
Alvarez is thriving on this legacy as a four-division champion, perhaps the icon fighter from Mexico with popularity that surpasses a legend Julio César Chávez, a Hall of Famer that could not be stopped.
Alvarez says he has the accomplishments as the best fighter. “After 12 years accomplished a lot of things in boxing,” he says. “To fight for Guadalajara, I feel proud about it. I feel happy to bring this fight to my people who support me from the beginning.”
Regardless of your opinions, Alvarez is an all-time great. The legacy should continue, anticipation of a mega fight with Benavidez awaits the outcome after Saturday, though a rematch with Biviol is his preference.
Throwing The Punches: Amanda Serrano (44-2-1) the first undefeated Puerto Rican world champion, considered the face of female boxing has her next fight with former WBO Featherweight title holder Heather Hardy (24-2 4 KOs) August 5th. Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) and Real Fight Inc. (Real Fight) announced the rematch with Hardy.
After earning the WBO featherweight from Hardy nearly four years ago, Serrano will put all her belts on the line and defend her undisputed title for the first time vs. Hardy in a co-main event alongside Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on August 5th.
The event will be distributed globally on pay-per-view by DAZN. Paul is the lead promoter with Most Valuable and finally gets in the ring for an anticipated fight with Diaz, the renowned MMA champion….
Ryan Garcia is back in the gym after his loss to Davis, this time though with a different trainer and reportedly reuniting with Eddy Reynoso who also trains Canelo Alvarez.. So what happened with the reputed Joe Goosen who trained Garcia for his last two fights including the loss to Davis?
As indicated to me from sources, Garcia gave the walking papers to Goosen. Differences of opinion during an intense training camp leading to the Davis fight was attributed to their parting. Others say Garcia was not listening to Goosen and there were constant conflicts with both during an intense training camp.
Though Garcia reportedly is placing blame on Goosen for the loss and that’s difficult to swallow. There are conflicting reports, regardless, leading up to the mega fight that generated 1.2 million pay-per-view purchases, about a discrepancy with distribution revenue.
Also, it is hard to understand this split. Goosen, a renowned trainer of champions , up until fight night was quoted numerous times discussing the dedicated ethics of Garcia in the gym. Goosen at one point said, he has bever seen a young man more hungry and dedicated to achieving his goals, so lots to digest on that one. In the meantime, Garcia starts all over, moving up in weight to 140, an elite class of fighters in the junior welterweight division…
Get ready for “Bad Bunny” and his latest venture with the WWE, hosting and being a part of their premium event “Backlash” Saturday evening from San Juan, Puerto Rico and streamed live on Peacock.
The Grammy Award winner got involved with the “Judgment Day” feud and came to the rescue of Mexican icon and Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio. Bunny got involved with fellow Puerto Rican star Damien Priest, the two battled, and now their differences will be settled in a Street Fight. In wrestling that amounts to no rules and anything goes.
I always say, “Keep It In The Ring.” This won’t stay in the ring and Bunny is bound to win the contest in the sold out Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot. Of course in pro wrestling the hometown hero has to win.
Rich Mancuso Co-Editor and Senior Writer LatinoSports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso.
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