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Canelo And GGG Return Home In Episode One Of HBO’s ’24/7′ Series

HBO

Now that the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is over, we can all turn our attention to the very real boxing match between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. The two athletes will finally face off in the ring on September 16th in a fight that both boxers promise to be the greatest of their lives. HBO teased the upcoming fight with the first episode of “24/7” focused on Canelo and Golovkin. Below are some of our favorite moments.

Canelo’s brother, Rigoberto Alvarez, returns to where it all started.

CREDIT: Rigoberto Alvarez in Juanacatlan. Credit: HBO Sports/YouTube

After an intro that hypes up the upcoming bout as the greatest of all time, narrator Liev Schreiber takes the viewers to Canelo’s childhood home in Juanacatlán, Jalisco, with his older brother, Rigoberto, as the tour guide. There, he points to the exact spot outside their former home where a then 10-year-old Canelo asked Rigoberto to train him. The small street outside became their ring until Rigoberto took him to train with Chepo and Eddy Reynoso when he was 13.

Canelito’s portrait hangs on the gym wall.

CREDIT: Canelito Alvarez. Credit: HBO Sports/YouTube

Canelo and Rigoberto visit his first gym, where Canelo spots an old newspaper article framed on the wall. The headlines states “El Niño En Busca De La Gloria” (The Boy In Search Of Glory) and features a photo of a scrawny, red-haired kid nicknamed Canelito.

Ana Maria Alvarez’s olla de frijoles make you hungry.

CREDIT: The infamous olla! Credit: HBO Sports/YouTube

After the visit to the gym, Canelo swings by his mom’s house for a visit. Canelo used some of his wealth to buy her a fancy new home with the large kitchen she’d always dreamed of owning. The camera eventually cuts to a shot of Ana Maria scooping beans out of, what else, one of those ceramic pots found in nearly every home in Mexico and the U.S. (my mom has two!). And like any traditional Mexican madre, Ana Maria spoils her baby boy with lots of food and plenty of homemade tortillas.

We see that Golovkin’s start parallels Canelo’s early beginnings.

CREDIT: Golovkin’s old ‘hood. Credit: HBO Sports/YouTube

The action then heads to the city of Karagandy in Kazakhstan, where Gennady Golovkin was born and raised. Much like with Canelo, it was an older sibling who put him onto the path towards a boxing career. Gennady and his twin brother Max played soccer for a time until their older brother Sergey dragged the two to the local boxing gym instead. Max retired from boxing in his early 20s and has supported his twin brother ever since.

Golovkin shares his three fundamentals of boxing.

CREDIT: Three Fundamentals. Credit: HBO Sports/YouTube

As narrator Liev Schrieber explains, Golovkin attributes his success to three fundamentals of the sport as he understands it, which he shares with a group of young Kazakhstan boxers training at the Olympic Training Center in Karaganda.

“Never be scared of anyone and don’t be nervous about anything. There are only three punches: jab, hook, and uppercut. The most important thing is heart and that’s what you need to show. If you do have a big heart, all of you will do well.”

How famous is Golovkin in his native Kazakhstan?VERY!

CREDIT: Giant Gennady approves! Credit: HBO Sports/YouTube

Check out this giant, autographed portrait of the boxer on the side of a wall of a bank.

Watch the special in its entirety below:

READ: Canelo, Triple G and Oscar De La Hoya Are Hyping Up Their Fight So Mayweather Vs. McGregor Doesn’t Steal Their Thunder

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He’s Been Called The Greatest Latino Boxer Of All Time And Panamanian Boxer Roberto Duran Might Just Prove His Case In This Documentary

Entertainment

He’s Been Called The Greatest Latino Boxer Of All Time And Panamanian Boxer Roberto Duran Might Just Prove His Case In This Documentary

robertoduranbox / Instagram

No one can deny the impact Latinos have had in the sport of boxing. The rough upbringing of many young men from the region has led trainers and managers to generate a vast quantity of world champions. Names like Julio Cesar Chávez, Ricardo López Nava, Felix Tito Trinidad, Alexis Arguello, and Carlos Monzón bring tears of joy to fans from countries as diverse as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Nicaragua. Boxing champions encapsulate the dreams and aspirations of young Latinos. Because it is often the case that in our continent governments fail the population and each person has to fend for themselves, boxing has become a metaphor for individual progress amidst the most adverse circumstances. 

Roberto Durán is one of the most iconic boxers from Latin America to embody the fighting spirit of Panama.

Credit: Instagram. @robertoduranbox

Panamanian legend Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Durán broke into the Latin American and U.S. mainstream pop culture due to his volatile personality and the brutal precision of his fighting style. Now retired, Durán is again in the spotlight due to the release of the documentary “I Am Durán,” directed by Mat Hodgson and which features other personalities such as Oscar De La Hoya and Robert De Niro, a big fan of his.

So before you watch the documentary, here are some facts about the proud son of Panama. Keep your guard up!

He was born on June 16, 1951.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

He was born in Guararé, where his mother Clara Samaniego was from. His father was from Arizona in the United States and was of Mexican descent. 

He was abandoned by his dad when he was only 5-years-old.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

As a way of survival, his family could not keep him in school but rather had to send him to work in the streets as a shoeshine boy. Just like the Filipino great Manny Pacquiao, Durán learned the ropes of life in the streets. That made him hungry for success, a hunger he translated into surgically performed combinations in the boxing ring. 

He laced up the gloves when he was 8-years-old. 

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

His fighting spirit was there from the beginning. He grew up in the slums of El Chorrillo, so he had to learn how to defend himself in the rough streets. He visited the gym Neco de La Guardia as a kid and the rest is history: before they knew it, he was up there in the ring sparring experienced boxers. What a chico maravilla

He began his pro career with 31 straight wins.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

Durán got a reputation of being a killer in the ring due to his hard punches, solid body frame and general toughness. He won the lightweight championship against Ken Buchanan in 1972 but lost for the first time that same year against Esteban de Jesus. The fight in Madison Square Garden was his Waterloo. Two years later he rematched De Jesus and knocked him out. It is important to note that the De Jesus fight was his sixth in 1972, so he was worn out. 

He was the first Latin American boxer to rule in four weight classes.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

Others would follow (the Mexican greats JC Chávez, Juan Manuel Márquez, and Travieso Arce), but Roberto was the first bad hombre from Latin America to rule in four weight classes. And he did so in a day and age when a world championship was hard to get (in today’s corrupt boxing world there are up to four champions per each one of the 17 weight classes, so being a champ is relatively easier). He also fought many fights scheduled for 15 rounds instead of the current 12. Even though his best years were at lightweight, he rules the following classes:  lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight, and middleweight. 

He made 12 defenses of the lightweight title.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

Roberto was practically indestructible for a period of time. He won eleven title defenses by KO and reached a record of 62-1. He gave up the lightweight title in 1979. He basically dominated world boxing in the 1970s with those hands of stone that sent opponents to sleep, one after an another. 

His biggest night: beating Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980 for the welterweight title.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

After vacating the lightweight title “Manos de Piedra” moved to welterweight. He defeated Carlos Palomino and Zeferino Gonzales, two tough opponents. Once comfortable in the new weight, he faced the golden boy of US boxing, Sugar Ray Leonard, in a fateful June 20 night in Montreal, Canada. Roberto’s relentless pressure broke down Sugar Ray. Thunder defeated lighting and Durán won by a unanimous decision. 

But then came the infamous “No Más.”

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

After defeating Leonard “Manos de Piedra” became even more legendary. He went back to Panama and partied like there was no tomorrow. The rematch was fought in November. Leonard trained like a champ, while Roberto had to cut weight extremely fast and just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Leonard was magnificent: he played with Roberto, mocked him, slipped the Panamanian’s punches and basically humiliated him. In the eighth round, Roberto turned his back to Leonard and said: “No sigo” (this were his actual words, although the infamous “No Mas” is how the event was remembered. 

He rebuilt his career.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

It would be hard for any sports figure to come back after such a meaningful defeat. It is not the same being knocked out after a valiant effort as quitting. It was such a disappointment not only for the fighter but also for his millions of fans. So what did the great fighter do? What all elite pugilists do: he came back with a vengeance. He defeated Wilfred Benitez and Davey Moore, two of the best fighters in the world.

He is one of the 1980s Magnificent Four.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

Boxing in the 1980s was defined by four greats: Roberto, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, and Marvin Hagler. These four all fought each other and gave fans thrills. Roberto lost to Hearns by KO and to Hagler by a tough decision, but his name will always be attached to one of boxing’s golden eras. 

He fought until 2000.

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

It is unusual for a fighter in this day an age to compete across four decades, but Durán did it. His professional debut was on February 23, 1968, and his last fight was a loss to Puerto Rican extraordinaire Hector Macho Camacho on July 14, 2000. At the end of his career, his record read 103 wins, 16 losses, and a whopping 70 KOs. Wow, just wow.

The debate continues: is he the greatest Latino fighter ever?

Credit: robertoduranbox / Instagram

That is hard to tell. The main contenders for this mythic title are here in this photograph with him: Mexicans Julio Cesar Chávez and Juan Manuel Márquez, who also faced myriad of champions and former champions over their storied careers. One thing is for certain, Roberto wrote his name on the annals of boxing history in golden letters. And he will never be forgotten.

READ: Andy Ruiz Jr. Might Be A New Boxing Champion But He Doesn’t Start Any Fight Without His Snickers

Andy Ruiz Jr. Might Be A New Boxing Champion But He Doesn’t Start Any Fight Without His Snickers

Entertainment

Andy Ruiz Jr. Might Be A New Boxing Champion But He Doesn’t Start Any Fight Without His Snickers

andy_thedestroyer13 / Twitter

The night of June 1, 2019, will forever live in the minds of boxing fans and in the hearts of Latinos worldwide. Andy Ruiz Jr, a son of the border, the face of Mexican-American cultural identity, defied all odds and knocked out the unbeaten, Adonis-like, British megastar Anthony Joshua. It was a sight hard to believe: the world champion down, the pudgy Mexican challenger having just put him on the canvas with a lethal combination. Ruiz became the first ever Mexican world champion (he IS Mexican, so let’s put that controversy to rest, more below) to win the heavyweight championship of the world. Yes, the man from Mexicali became the successor to famous athletes like Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson. We are still scratching our heads and raising our hands in triumph at the near-impossible feat that Andy pulled off. 

Felicidades, pinche Andy, campeón del mundo.

The road to that historic night at Madison Square Garden wasn’t easy, though, and Ruiz had to fight prejudice for years. Here is what you need to know about our own Latino Rocky, sí se pudo chingaos.

He was born on 11 September 1989 (age 29 years) in Imperial Valley, California, United States.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

However, he has gone back and forth Mexico and the United States for all his life, and represented the state of Baja California and then Mexico in his amateur career. He has a Mexican passport and is, by all means, Mexican, so let that controversy rest, por el amor de Dios!

His win is the biggest upset in boxing since Mike Tyson lost his undefeated record to Buster Douglas.

Credit: roundbyroundboxing / Instagram

It will be years before an upset of this magnitude is witnessed again in boxing. Ruiz was a 25-1 underdog, and very few saw a possible avenue for his win. The KO made us remember the fateful night of February 11, 1990, when journeyman James Buster Douglas knocked out Iron Mike Tyson to snatch his titles and his aura of invincibility. Ruiz’s performance was as amazing and Douglas’, and the shakeup in the sports world as big. We still can’t believe it or wipe the smile off our proud Latino faces.

He had fought just five weeks prior and got this shot at the title by chance.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

The now-former champ Anthony Joshua was slated to fight Jerral Baby Miller from New York, but when the challenger was found guilty of doping English promoter Eddie Hearn started a mad search for an opponent. Ruiz pushed his case based on a great performance just five weeks ago and also based on the fact that he had only lost once in a very disputed decision to former world champ Joseph Parker of New Zealand. A true Rocky story! At first, the promoters were hesitant in choosing him as an opponent for AJ’s US debut, they said fans would laugh when Ortiz took his shirt off at the weigh-in.

He was about to quit boxing because critics called him fat.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

In a culture that values body image above almost an anything else, Ruiz’s body type did not fit the standards of elite heavyweight boxing. It is quite contradictory how NFL linebackers with panza are considered elite athletes but Ruiz wasn’t. Instead of quitting he just decided to let his fists talk in the ring. His is a story of bashing stereotypes. We are sure he could trim down and fight in a lower division, but he chose to compete in the king of divisiones del boxeo.

It got really nasty, but Andy les calló el hocico.

Credit: @BoxingNews / Twitter

So much of the press in the days leading up to the fight focused on Andy’s body that Joshua’s fans, and perhaps AJ himself, got overconfident. During the weigh-in, they called Andy “fat bastard”. Who is the loser now, eh?

In fact, boxing commentators attributed his magnificent win to old-fashioned huevos!

Credit: @BoxingKingdom14 / Twitter

Ruiz followed a strict training regime and followed the Floyd Mayweather motto: hard work, dedication! He has taught the boxing world that there is no such thing as impossible and that anyone can implement the perfect game plan and come out the winner. 

Canelo came to his defense when commentators started trashing him for his built.

Credit: @Canelo / Twitter

Stephen A. Smith from ESPN twitted a very disrespectful message saying that Andy was Butter Bean, a boxer-circus act who has massive and KOd second-rate boxers in the 1990s. This was terrible, and other commentators and boxers like Canelo came out in Andy’s defense, pointing out Smith’s plain and simple ignorance.

Don’t let his panza fool you.

Credit: ringtv / Instagram

Ruiz is quick as hell, a rare quality in heavyweight boxing. His hand speed is his best asset and the few who gave him a chance singled out his capacity to produce punches in bunches. He executed the perfect plan against Joshua, and it paid off. Con creces.

His motivation: providing for his amá.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

After the fight, he sent a message to his mom. We won’t struggle anymore, he said. Those words resonated with millions of working-class families the world over.

He eats a Snickers chocolate bar before each fight.

Credit: roundbyroundboxing / Instagram

Yes. And he laughs at himself for doing so. Whatever gives him the energy and drive right?

His win was no fluke, it was not a lucky punch that made him a champion.

Credit: DAZN / Instagram

Ruiz’s win has been compared to the two KO loses suffered by another British boxer, Lennox Lewis, in the 1990s. However, the men who defeated Lewis, Oliver McCall and Hassim Rahman, landed the perfect punch at the perfect time. This was not the case with Ruiz, who executed a perfect plan to neutralize Joshua’s massive advantage in reach and athletic ability. Ruiz countered Joshua perfectly every time the Brit tried to land his left hook, a punch feared by everyone in the division. Ruiz found and opening and BOLAS, he landed a punch to the temple in the third round that basically won him the fight. He dropped Joshua once more in that round and then was patient, stalking the bigger man and getting to the body (old Mexican trainers say: mata al cuerpo y la cabeza cae sola). In the seventh, Ruiz let Joshua open up and BAM! fight over. If someone told you he got lucky, tell them off!

Joshua was a class act in defeat.

Credit: DAZN / Instagram

Joshua is a gentleman, that is for sure, and he offered no excuses in defeat. Rather, he said that it was Andy’s night and that the spotlight should be on him. If only all men in a position of power were as classy as AJ. 

Andy Ruiz Jr is now an Internet sensation.

Credit: roundbyroundboxing / Instagram

Since is win on Saturday, dozens of memes have popped up, exalting the surprising nature of his win and the massiveness of his accomplishment. You made us proud, Andy. CARAJO, SI SE PUDO!

And like siempre pasa, Latino humor has stolen the show!

Credit: @boxeomundial / Twitter

We mean, a few good laughs are alright, o no?

READ: This Mexican Boxer Just Pulled The Most Iconic Upset Making History As The First Mexican Heavyweight Champion

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