By now, most boxing fans have heard about the next big fight on the horizon between Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 knockouts) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) for the WBC world light middleweight title on Sept. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.
It should be a blockbuster.
Leading up to their showdown in Las Vegas, the two fighters already are promoting the pay-per-view megabout around the country at 11 locations, including New York City, Phoenix and Miami.
The next stop on the Mayweather-Alvarez promotional tour comes Monday in San Antonio at 6 p.m. in front of the Alamo, where the fighters will express their thoughts concerning the much-anticipated “The One” matchup on Sept. 14. The public is invited to attend the press conference.
If Monday’s event is anything like the press conference that was held at McAllen Convention Center in mid-March and open to the public to promote Alvarez’s last fight against Austin Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio on April 20, then expect a huge crowd to brave the South Texas heat and pack the area in front of the Alamo.
As great as Mayweather, a Michigan native, may be, “Canelo,” from Jalisco, Mexico, is the hero in these parts. That much was evident at the mid-March press conference in McAllen as a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,000 fans showed up to cheer “Canelo’s” every word. He responded on April 20 by defeating Trout on a 12-round unanimous decision. “Canelo” now faces his toughest challenge by taking on Mayweather.
Even though the Mayweather-Alvarez fight will take place in Las Vegas, there is a big push to bring high-profile boxing events to Texas, and Leija-Battah Promotions of San Antonio is spearheading that effort. Today's press conference is all part of the plan.
“We want to turn South Texas, particularly San Antonio, into a boxing mecca,” said Mike Battah, who is coordinating Monday’s promotional event and will be on hand along with co-promoter Jesse James Leija and Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions.
Leija-Battah Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions staged the April 20 fights at the Alamodome that attracted some 40,000 boxing fans, and now, they are bringing another top-level show to San Antonio at the AT&T Center on July 27. It’s billed as “Knockout Kings II” and features two-time world welterweight champion Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KOs) going against Jesus Soto Karass (27-8-3, 17 KOs) in the main event to be televised by Showtime.
Fighting in the “Knockout Kings II” co-main event will be Weslaco’s Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (21-0-1, 17 KOs), who faces Japan’s Nihito Arakawa (24-2-1, 16 KOs) for the WBC interim world lightweight championship. Also on the card, Mercedes cruiserweight Felix Piedra (9-2-1, five KOs) faces San Antonio’s Emanuel Ledezma (12-1-1, two KOs) in a rematch.
For ticket information for the “Knockout Kings II” show, call (956) 648-8305, (800) 745-3000 or (210) 979-3302.
Harlingen cruiserweight Raphael Murphy (6-0, six KOs) goes against Chris Thomas (17-19-2, 14 KOs) on July 19 in Chicago.
Anthony Cavazos Promotions is presenting an outdoor boxing show July 26 at Rio Grande Valley Harley-Davidson in McAllen. Mission’s Isaac Torres (3-0-1, two KOs) is set to fight in the main event. For ticket information, call (956) 369-0742.
It will be Luis Vega vs. David Armas in the main event of STFC XXVI on Sept. 6 at McAllen Convention Center. For ticket information, call (956) 681-3800.
Friday’s scheduled main event fight in Arlington between light welterweight Esteban Almaraz (10-5, four KOs), a Harlingen native, and McKinney’s Albert Rodriguez (9-1-1, four KOs) didn’t take place because of an apparent wrist injury suffered recently by Rodriguez. The fight is now tentatively rescheduled for August.
Taking the place of the Rodriguez-Almaraz main event was a bout between Brownsville’s Juan Manuel Reyna (4-2, two KOs) and Raymond Gatica (13-1, eight KOs) of Austin that was won by Gatica on a fourth-round technical knockout. Gatica was the one who KO’d Edinburg’s Raul “El Tigre” Casarez (19-4, nine KOs) in the fourth round on April 26 at Pharr Events Center.