GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS REFLECTS ON A SUCCESSFUL 2015 – LOOKS FORWARD TO AN EVEN BIGGER 2016
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 8, 2016) – With its commitment to putting on the best fights for the fans, Golden Boy Promotions retained its position as the leading promoter in all of boxing in 2015. Receiving acclaim for many of its events from leading publications across the globe, Golden Boy Promotions was named Promoter of the Year by Sports Illustrated for the second year in a row and received the same honor from The Bleacher Report.
These accolades come in response to Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions, delivering on his promise of putting on the best fights for the fans. From the January show that brought the heavyweight world title back to America, to promoting a tremendous December card that saw the official arrival of a new heavyweight star in Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs), Golden Boy gave fans action-packed, competitive fights throughout the year.
Golden Boy Promotions was also awarded Best Cards of the Year for the undercards of Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux and Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez by The Bleacher Report and received acclaim by Boxing News Magazine UK by citing Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland, Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux, and Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez among “The 15 Best Boxing Events in 2015.”
Additionally, Golden Boy Promotions received honorable Fight of the Year, Fighter of the Year, and Event of the Yearmentions by Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, The Bleacher Report, The RING Magazine, FightNews, Boxing Scene and The Sweet Science, which included WBC, RING Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs), WBC Lightweight World Champion Jorge “El Nino De Oro” Linares (40-3, 27 KOs), former WBC Interim Super Lightweight World Champion Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs), WBC Super Featherweight World Champion Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (23-0-1, 17 KOs) and former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs).
“I’m thrilled that the media recognized Golden Boy with these well-deserved accolades but not surprised because I meant what I said when we started off the year 2015: Golden Boy is in the business of putting the best against the best to give the fans the fights they want to see,” said Oscar De La Hoya.
Golden Boy Promotions also graduated some of its most promising prospects to serious contenders in 2015. Among those making the transition: Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. (19-0, 11 KOs), who obtained the NABF Featherweight title after a second round technical knockout of Hugo “Olimpico” Partida (21-7-2, 16 KOs) on Dec. 18 and who was named as one of ESPN.com’s 2015 Top 20 Rising Stars;Vacheslav “Lion Heart-Chingonsky” Shabransky (15-0, 12 KOs) who made it to USA Today’s Boxing Junkie and ESPN.com’s Light Heavyweight pound-for-pound rankings debuting at number 9 on both sites after his defeat of Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-2, 12 KOs) on Dec. 19; and rising prospect Diego De La Hoya (13-0, 7 KOs) who received an honorable mention as a Finalist for 2015 the RING Magazine Awards’ Prospect of the Year.
“2015 was a spectacular year for Golden Boy Promotions but 2016 will be bigger and better in every way,” De La Hoya continued. “We’re just getting started. Our mission isn’t over as long as the fans are with us. We do this for the fans; it’s about giving them exciting matchups that they want to see.”
As we take a look into the great fights of 2015, look out for Golden Boy Promotions’ top prospects, contenders and future world champions of 2016 to be announced next week.
CANELO NAMED “FIGHTER OF THE YEAR”
Photo by Ed Mulholland/Golden Boy Promotions
The 25-year-old Canelo (46-1-1, 32 KOs) had a phenomenal year and was named The Fighter of Year by ESPN.com, USA Today’s Boxing Junkie, The Bleacher Report, Fight News and ranked as number 4 on Yahoo! Sports list for Fighter of the Year. ESPN.com stated Canelo to be “one of the best fighters in the ring” and The Bleacher Report considers him to be a “breath of fresh air for boxing fans who are looking to press the reset button on the last decade.”
In addition, Canelo received recognition for Knockout of Yearfor his third round knockout of James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland in May and Best Event and Best Card of the Year for his performance against Miguel Cotto in November which crowned him the new WBC, RING Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion and catapulted Canelo in to the sport’s top pound-for-pound rankings.
His fights drew top viewership for HBO, some of the best numbers the network has seen in years and “did big business (900,000 buys, $58,000,000 in revenue), the most pay-per-views sold without the help of Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao or Mayweather since 2002″ (USA Today). A new Pay-Per-View king has been crowned for the next generation, and his name is Canelo Alvarez.
CANELO ALVAREZ AWARDED “KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR”
Photo by Ed Mulholland/Golden Boy Promotions
ESPN.com, The Bleacher Report, USA Today’s Boxing Junkie, Boxing News and The Sweet Science all awarded Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland Knockout of the Year.
Canelo Alvarez, in front of more than 31,000 raucous fans at Minute Maid Park in Houston on May 9, knocked out the dangerous James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland with a thunderous right hand in the middle of the third-round, capping a sensational performance that saw the then 24-year-old drop Kirkland in the first round and deliver a number of huge shots before the eventual end of the fight.
This fight also marked Canelo’s second biggest attendance record since Canelo vs. Trout, that drew in more than 40,000 fans in 2013.
TAKASHI MIURA VS. FRANCISCO VARGAS AWARDED “FIGHT OF THE YEAR”
Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions
Serving as the co-main event to the highly anticipated Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alavrez event on Nov. 21, Takashi Miura vs. Francisco Vargas stole the show and received unanimous Fight of the Year nods from Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, The Bleacher Report, USA TODAY’s Boxing Junkie, The Sweet Science and Boxing Scene.
The action packed fight featured knockdowns, great performances and a lot of hear from two of boxing’s’ most respected warriors; where Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (23-0-1, 17 KOs) was able to claim the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship via ninth-round technical knockdown over Takashi Miura (29-3-2, 22 KOs) after suffering a knockdown during the fourth round.
ESPN.com called the fight “the most dramatic comeback since the late Diego Corrales used a legendary 10th-round rally to stop Jose Luis Castillo and unify lightweight titles in 2005.”
BOXING NEWS MAGAZINE UK NAMES JORGE LINARES VS. KEVIN MITCHELL AS “FIGHT OF THE YEAR”
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Named as Boxing News Magazine’s “Fight of the Year” by UK Fans and also received an honorary mention by ESPN.com, Jorge Linares vs. Kevin Mitchell had all the ingredients for an exciting matchup. Jorge “El Nino de Oro” Linares (40-3, 27 KOs) defeated the courageous Kevin “Mighty” Mitchell (39-4, 29 KOs) in the first defense of his WBC Lightweight World title on the Brit’s hometown turf in London at the O2 Arena on May 30.
The equally matched fighters delivered an exciting fight that had Linares fighting with his brains and brawn but suffered a knock down in the fifth while the crowd went crazy for Mitchell. In the 10th round, Linares landed a big right hand to Mitchell’s face that backed him into the corner forcing Mitchell to take a knee but was able to make the count. But the referee had seen enough punishment and stopped the count and the fight, declaring Linares the victor by technical knockout.
OTHER GREAT FIGHTS IN 2015 IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder: On Jan. 17, 2015, Golden Boy Promotions promoted the highly anticipated heavyweight bout between Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) and Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), where Wilder became the WBC heavyweight world champion and the first United States born fighter to do so since 2007 after the heavyweight division was dominated for decades by European champions such as Lennox Lewis and the Klitschko Brothers.
Rocky Juarez vs. Robinson Castellanos: After starting his career with a 3-7 record, not many people would have picked Mexico’s Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (23-11, 13 KOs) to become one of the best featherweights in the world. But eight years later, the 33-year-old is on the verge of a title shot after capping off his remarkable career comeback with consecutive victories over unbeaten Ronny Rios and perennial contender Rocky Juarez (30-11-1, 21 KOs).
Castellanos was able to become the WBC Featherweight World Championship mandatory challenger on Jan. 26 after one of the bloodiest fights of 2015 against Rocky Juarez, knocking Juarez in the fifth and twice in the 10th round to win via unanimous decision.
Francisco Vargas vs. Will Tomlinson: After a 2014 stoppage of Puerto Rican superstar Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (34-5, 31 KOs) propelled Mexico’s Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (23-0-1, 17 KOs) into the spotlight, he kicked off 2015 in March with a punishing eight-round technical knockout victory over Australia’s ultra-tough “Wild” Will Tomlinson (24-2-1, 13 KOs) to set the stage for a classic November title fight against Japan’s Takashi Miura.
Lucas Matthysse vs. Ruslan Provodnikov: Although the fight did not win the covenant title of “Fight Year” it did receive honorable mentions from ESPN.com, The Bleacher Report, and USA Today’s Boxing Junkie as one of the best fights of 2015. Argentina’s Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) and Russia’s “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOs) waged war for 12 rounds on April 18 at the sold-out Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York.
Provodnikov was cut badly in round two from an accidental head-butt but came back and landed furious shots to Lucas Matthysse’s head. Matthysse bounced back in round five as he landed some hard jabs to the face of an oncoming Provodnikov. The war continued through the middle rounds as both fighters went toe-to-toe while Matthysse landed combinations from a distance and Provodnikov went on the defense and continued to brawl.
Provodikov had a strong round 11 as he landed a hard left to the top of the head that buckled Matthysse and the Argentinian was forced to hold on. The two waged a final flurry in round 12, and it was Matthysse who won via majority decision with scores of 115-113 twice and 114-114.
Sadam Ali vs. Francisco Santana: A member of the 2008 United States Olympic team fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, Sadam “World Kid” Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) impressed boxing fans with his unanimous decision victory over Francisco “Chia” Santana (23-4-1, 12 KOs) in April that earned him the WBA International Welterweight Title and also made him the mandatory challenger for the WBO Welterweight World Championship.
Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland: It was a risky move for Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) to take on devastating knockout artist James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) on May 9, especially with a lucrative ‘SuperFight’ against Miguel Cotto on the horizon.
But Canelo proved his warrior spirit once more as he not only fought Kirkland in front of more than 31,000 fans at Minute Maid Park in Houston, but he tore through him en route to a third-round knockout victory. “The Knockout of the Year” was viewed by 2.2 million on HBO World Championship Boxing, the biggest numbers on the network since 2006, confirming Canelo’s superstar status.
Antonio Orozco vs. Emmanuel Taylor: It was the rarest of fights in the boxing world: two top prospects meeting on the way up. But Golden Boy Promotions has never shied away from such matchups and on May 15, unbeaten Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (23-0, 15 KOs) took on equally talented Emmanuel “Tranzformer” Taylor (18-4, 12 KOs) in a competitive matchup where Taylor wasn’t able to get the lead against Orozco. “Relentless” proved he was ready for prime time with a unanimous decision win over the top prospect, Taylor.
Hassan N’Dam vs. David Lemieux:Montreal’s David Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) has long been destined for stardom, and on June 20, in his hometown arena, the Bell Centre, he added the title “world champion” to the title of “star” when he knocked down Frenchman Hassan N’Dam (31-2, 18 KOs) four times on route to winning the IBF Middleweight World Championship.
Lucas Matthysse vs. Viktor Postol: Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse may not have gotten the win after a gutsy effort against Viktor “Ice Man” Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) on Oct. 3, but after selling out the StubHub Center in Carson, California for the WBC Super Lightweight.
Humberto Soto vs. Antonio Orozco: As impressive as Antonio “Relentless” Orozco was against Emmanuel “Tranzformer” Taylor, the true test for him in 2015 would come on Oct. 3 against former three-division world champion Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto (65-9-2, 35 KOs).
Riding a seven-fight winning streak, Soto was still in top form, but Orozco proved to be too much for him, winning a clear-cut unanimous decision that confirmed his place as a legitimate world title contender heading into 2016.
Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux: Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) in both fighters’ first Pay-Per-View event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Given the styles of both fighters and the high stakes involved, the bout sold-out MSG and had a record breaking pre-sale, the first time two non-American fighters have sold out the venue.
Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez: The Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez Super Fight in Las Vegas on Nov. 21 didn’t just crown Canelo as the WBC, RING Magazine and Lineal Middleweight Champion – it also crowned Canelo as a megastar whose ability to garner 900,000 Pay-Per-View buys is a strong indicator that he has now become the face of boxing.
Those numbers are more than any non-Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya fight since 2002 and if the exciting and talented Canelo, who is still only 25 years old, has his way, he will surpass those numbers in the coming years now that he is firmly entrenched on the sport’s pound-for-pound list.
Bryant Jennings vs. Luis Ortiz: On Dec. 19, at Turing Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) defended his WBA Interim Heavyweight World Championship against one of the toughest fighters in the division, Bryant “By – By” Jennings (19-2, 10 KOs) in a fantastic display of boxing skill with a dramatic seventh round knockout of the former world champion challenger Jennings.
Ortiz, dominated the fight early on with powerful hooks, uppercuts and jabs that kept him in control of the pace throughout the 12-round heavyweight brawl. The victory allowed Ortiz to keep his undefeated status but also made a loud announcement to the boxing community that a new heavyweight threat had arrived to the division.
Header photo by Ismael Gallardo/RBRBoxing