The fight of the year is literally hours away. Both Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are on the final stretch of their training and will meet in Las Vegas for their weigh-ins before going toe-to-toe in the ring. As the two boxers prepare and fans begin their own preparations to converge at Las Vegas for the fight, HBO Sports has done their part to raise the anticipation levels by releasing the second part of their special, “24/7 – Canelo/Golovkin.” Below are some of the most revealing moments in an episode that digs into each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses.
Golovkin’s previous opponent, Daniel Jacobs, may have revealed some of GGG’s weaknesses.
CREDIT: Credit: Youtube/HBO Sports
Early in the episode, GGG’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, rewatches his boxer’s fight against Daniel Jacobs in March of this year. GGG defeated Jacobs but the latter shocked the boxing world when he regained his footing after an early knockdown and went the full 12 rounds against GGG. Jacobs is the only fighter to date to have done so. Jacobs managed to win a few rounds and landed a number of good punches but lost by decision.
GGG relaxes with some ping-pong but it’s clear he’s a competitor.
CREDIT: Credit: Youtube/HBO Sports
GGG and his training team are isolated in the mountains of Big Bear, Calif., so the boxer takes a needed mental break from training by going mano-a-mano with Sanchez on a round of ping-pong. It’s clear he is no less competitive with a paddle as he is with a glove.
Canelo meets a fellow Mexican champ, decorated jockey Victor Espinoza.
CREDIT: Credit: Youtube/HBO Sports
Canelo spends some down time from training in San Diego by visiting Mexican horse racing jockey Victor Espinoza. Canelo’s love of all things equine is well-known and it shows in the clip. Espinoza made global headlines two years ago when he became the first jockey in 39 years to win the Triple Crown. He is also the first Latino jockey (and the oldest) to win the Crown.
Abel Sanchez predicts the fight will be similar to Canelo vs. Liam Smith.
CREDIT: Credit: Youtube/HBO Sports
Sanchez is later shown watching one of Canelo’s fights, one he believes serves as a good predictor of how Saturday’s fight will go down: Canelo vs. Liam Smith. Sanchez watches and reveals a number of Canelo’s strengths and weaknesses. “He has a tendency to be slappy,” says Sanchez, adding, “[I]f he’s not on point for three minutes of a round he’s going to get knocked out… easily.”
Yes, Canelo and GGG sparred six years ago.
CREDIT: Credit: Youtube/HBO Sports
The HBO special has repeatedly mentioned how Canelo and GGG first met six years ago, when Canelo was 19, for a couple of sparring sessions. Now the producers/director offer photographic evidence of that fateful meeting. Unfortunately, neither fighter uses the opportunity to talk trash. “He helped me, I helped him, like that,” said GGG. “I’ve improved a lot. I’ve fought many difficult opponents. They’ve given me experience,” said Canelo.
HBO has decided to expand its Latin American catalog by adding four new shows aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences. The new programs all seem to vary in subject matter with some focusing on LGBTQ issues and others on criminal underbellies or counter-terrorism. The slate will launch in conjunction with six new English-speaking series on the network.
“ will be a year in which we will concentrate even more on subscribers’ experiences with the brand, especially in the digital environment,” Gustavo Grossman, vice president of HBO Latin America, told the Digital Weekly.
According to Variety, the company decided to continue to broaden the scope of their Latin American content due to a hit Colombian documentary it produced called Guerras Ajenas, along with a recent International Emmy winner for the scripted series Sr. Avila.
So here’s what you can look forward to in the new year.
Entre Hombres is a 4-episode mini-series based on the novel by Argentinian author Germán Maggiori. The story takes place in 1996 in Buenos Aires and will center around a senator who covers up a murder during a time of great social division. The show will star Gabriel ‘El Puma’ Goity, Nicolás Furtado, Diego Velázquez, Diego Cremonesi and Claudio Rissi.
“At HBO we continue betting on good stories. In this sense, Argentina has always been a source of talent and inspiration for our productions. Entre Hombres is a visceral piece and we are very proud with this new project that will enable us to take this magnificent cult novel to a big audience on the screen of HBO,” said Roberto Ríos, VP Corporate Original Production at HBO Latin America.
The production will be made in collaboration with Pol-ka and the series will be directed by Pablo Fendrik who previously directed El Jardin de Bronce. Author Maggiori will adapt the book for television.
HBO will launch its first show in Colombia Mil Colmillos in partnership with Rhayuela Films. The series will focus on a military mission to thwart a rogue squad roaming the Colombian jungles. The popular director of suspense thrillers, like El Paramo and Siete Cabezas will co-direct with Pablo Gonzale.
They will film eight one-hour episodes in various locations in Colombia including Bogota and the Amazon jungle, according to Variety. The series will have a high production value, indicating HBO is willing to invest in Latin American content to broaden its audience.
The new HBO series set in Brazil will follow Rafa, an 18-year-old non-binary person who is pansexual. Rafa decides to leave their family and move to Sao Paulo. Claro Gallo will portray Rafa and star alongside Kelner Macedo, Juliana Gerais, and Golda Nomacce.
The series adapted from Spanish author Fernando Aramburu’s novel Patria is technically an HBO Europe production, but is still aimed at Spanish-speaking audience nonetheless. The series will be eight parts and written by Aitor Gabilondo and directed by Venice-winning Pablo Trapero and Goya-winning Félix Viscarret.
Set in Spanish Basque County the story will span over thirty years, following two families divided by the separatist terrorism of ETA. It will center around Bittori whose husband is murdered by ETA and her friendship with Miren, whose son is a member of the ETA.
“I’ve dedicated almost a year to adapt Patria for TV. Now, it’s time to bring these characters to life and recreate the painful past reflected in this work of fiction. That the wounds of this recent history are still open in the Basque Country fuels my commitment and forces me to sharpen my sensibility,” said writer Gabilondo.
Antony Root, EVP of Original Programming and Production, HBO Europe told Deadline that he believed that while the story may take place during a specific political backdrop it is largely a universal one.
“A personal, human story that unfolds against the backdrop of political violence in the Basque country, and which explores themes of grief, community and forgiveness, Patria is at once acutely local and affectingly universal,” Root said. “That we have such an outstanding creative team to bring it to life is testament to our ambition for the series, and its appeal to both Spanish and international audiences. It is the perfect project to kick-off HBO Europe’s drama slate in Spain.”
The series began shooting in Northern Span this year and like the other series will premiere in 2020, though no premiere dates have been set yet.
“Luckily, HBO has enabled me to be surrounded by an exceptional technical and artistic crew who share the same commitment. To me, Patria is not only the challenge of adapting a powerful and moving novel that has reached readers all over the world. It’s also a personal journey which, through these characters, takes me back to the toughest years of ETA that made such an impact on my youth,” Gabilondo.
Boxing is the one sport in which those individuals that come from an underprivileged background or have had to lace up the gloves to escape street violence can have their own rags to riches stories. Many of the greatest boxers of all time come from ethnic and cultural minorities, or from Global South regions such as Latin America. Today, world boxing is dominated by a handful of Latin American boxers and fighters of Latino origin in the United States. From junior flyweight all the way to heavyweight, Latino boxers are enjoying a dominance that translates into accomplished dreams and millions of dollars. Here are 13 established and upcoming fighters across most of the weight classes that are vanquishing their opposition and writing their names on the annals of global pugilism.
1. Saúl Canelo Álvarez Weight class: middleweight
The current king of boxing in financial terms. No one has made more money after Floyd Mayweather retired from boxing a couple of years ago. The Mexican Canelo has just signed a $350 million dollar deal with the streaming service DAZN and will fight again on September 14, Mexican Independence weekend, in Las Vegas. His opponent is yet to be confirmed, but it seems it will not be Gennady Golovkin, but perhaps the world light-heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev. If that is the case and Canelo defeats him, he will prove his worth against a much heavier and much more powerful puncher. By this point we are all surprised by the amazing things Canelo can accomplish in the ring.
2. Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz Weight class: heavyweight
This native of Imperial Valley became an elite boxer after soundly defeating British champ Anthony Joshua in a shocking fashion. No one, other than experts and insiders, would have predicted a KO win by Ruiz, whose flabby physique contrasted with the muscular Joshua. He will make millions in the rematch, which is rumored for September, and win or lose he will increase his popularity among Latinos the world over. Mexican-Americans can now claim a champ amongst them.
3. Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada Weight class: super flyweight
This Mexican veteran is a true master of the craft. He recently defeated the Thai dynamo Sor Rungvisai, who had defeated the amazing Nicaraguan Chocolatito Gonzalez. Estrada combines savvy counterpunching with exquisite lateral movements and is bound to become a top pound-for-pound star in the lower weight classes.
4. Teofimo Lopez Weight class: lightweight
This brutal puncher has quickly established himself as the top prospect in boxing. He is an American of Central American descent, and his fists have put him in line to challenge the pound-for-pound king, Ukranian Vassily Lomachenko. Only time will tell how far this bombastic pugilist will go, but he is must-watch TV and the diamante en bruto of powerful promoter Bob Arum.
5. Zurdo Ramirez Weight class: light heavyweight
This powerful Mexican ex-champ recently moved up from super middleweight, where he enjoyed a great reign. He is ready to mingle with the big boys in the light heavyweight class. He is hungry and undefeated, a deadly combination. His persona is as ranchero as it comes, sombrero included, so he has captivated Latino audiences in the United States.
6. Luis Panterita Nery Weight class: bantamweight
This former champ is undefeated and fights in a category in which the indomitable Monster, Japanese fighter Inoue, reigns supreme. Nery, a native of Tijuana, reminds us of the great Erik Terrible Morales in his precision punching and big cojones. After losing his title on the scale he is ready for big things and making up for lost time.
7. Rigoberto “El Chacal” Rigondeaux Category: super bantamweight
This Cuban fighter is one of the best amateurs in history and has only one defeat in his record. He has been around for a while, but because of his exquisite defensive skills he is sometimes deemed as a boring fighter. In his latest fight, however, he went toe-to-toe with Mexican Julio Ceja, which made for a more audience-friendly demonstration of the escuela cubana del boxeo.
This Mexican just scored a huge upset by knowking out Puerto Rican raising star Angel Acosta. Mexico has given amazing fighters in this category (remember Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez?), and Soto could be the next in line to be a Hall of Famer. Even if his skills have to be polished a bit more, he possesses a fighting style reminiscent of the great punchers of the 1970s.
9. Vergil Ortiz Jr. Weight class: welterweight
Some consider him the top prospect in boxing. He fights in an elite category that includes Errol Spence Jr. and Terrence Crawford, perhaps two of the best fighters in the world. Ortiz has just demolished every single opponent due to his precise body punching and fierceness. His motto: hard work. He takes nothing for granted and seems to be destined for greatness. Born in the United States, Ortiz is proud of his heritage and often wears the Mexican national colors, verde blanco colorado.
10. Jaime Munguia Weight class: super welterweight
This young champ started making headlines in 2018, when he was mentioned as a possible opponent for Gennady Golovkin when the May 2018 fight against Canelo fell through. Munguia is an all-action fighter that, however, still needs some work on his defense. He will eventually fight Canelo or GGG and surely produce an unforgettable fight. The native of Tijuana signed with streaming DAZN, just like Canelo, so we are sure there are big plans in store for him. But, as we said, he has to work on his defense or a big puncher might take him.
11. King Ryan Garcia Weight class: super featherweight
The Mexican-American golden boy has been touted as the successor of Oscar De la Hoya and Canelo: he is a charmer who is as galancito with the ladies as he is a killer in the ring. He possesses otherworldly speed and good instincts inside the ring. He is yet to be tested, though, which reveals the care that promoter Oscar De la Hoya has had in not rushing him into the elite circles just yet.
12. David Benavidez Weight class: super middleweight
This former super middleweight champ was stripped from his title in 2018 after testing positive for cocaine. He is back with a vengeance and after admitting his guilt on social media he is determined to get back what he lost out of his own fault. Only time will tell, but he has one of the fastest hands in the upper divisions. A fight against Zurdo Ramirez would be a barn burner, one of those Latino classics. He is a native of Phoenix, Arizona.
13. Luis “King Kong” Ortiz Weight class: heavyweight
This gargantuan Cuban puncher was very close to becoming the champ when he had Deontay Wilder on the verge of a knockout. He eventually lost a few rounds later but will fight a rematch in September. If he pulls off the upset, and he very well might be given his technique and ring generalship, we will have two Latinos, him and Andy Ruiz, calling the shots in the holy grail of boxing: the heavyweight championship of the world.