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INSIDE THE RING: Canelo, Barrios, Tanajara and more

Most of our area boxers fought this month and some are already looking to closing out 2019 strong. Here's some of the latest information coming out in the world of boxing.

CANELO READY FOR KOVALEV

While Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was having his hard earned title belts stripped from him recently, boxing's biggest star was desperately trying to work out a deal with Sergey Kovalev. According to numerous sources, and even Kovalev himself, both sides tried to negotiate a deal to make the fight happen sooner rather than later. That was weeks ago however and ultimately, both fighters had to wait to work everything out.

Specifically, they had to wait for Kovalev to battle Anthony Yarde first.

Kovalev knocked out Yarde in the 11th round Saturday night in Russia, successfully defending his WBO World Light Heavyweight title belt. Now both camps are in the clear to begin finalizing the details for a match in the next few months. Kovalev is 34-3-1 with 29 knockouts and Alvarez is 52-1-2 with 35 knockouts.

AND RUIZ JR. FINALLY AGREES

 

 

Christmas is coming early to boxing fans this December. After a lot of back-and-forth, Andy Ruiz Jr. will face Anthony Joshua is Saudi Arabia on December 7.

Ruiz Jr, who shocked the boxing world with his impressive defeat over Joshua back in June, wanted the rematch in Mexico or the United States. Joshua wanted the rematch back in the United Kingdom and settled for a neutral site for this second bout.

The "Destroyer" has made the most of his recent fame, appearing in parades, talking on late-night talk shows and yes, even hanging out with the celebrities, like comedian Gabriel Iglesias this past weekend.

BARRIOS FIGHTING IN L.A.

 

 

It's finally decided! KSAT 12 Sports first reported three weeks before the official announcement that Mario Barrios will fight Batyr Akhmedov later next month. The Southwest High School alum, who is 24 and 0 with 16 knockouts, will battle Akhmedov in a 12-round super lightweight contest on pay-per-view, part of the Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. "El Azteca" will be fighting for his second belt, the vacant WBA World Super Light title belt.

Should Barrios win this match, a showdown with the undefeated Regis Prograis could happen in early 2020.

TANAJARA JR. VISITS KSAT 12

 

 

Over two weeks ago, Holmes High School alum Hector Tanajara Jr. just dominated his match with Ezequiel Aviles. The 22-year-old lightweight was never in trouble in his 10-round bout in North Texas. The judges all scored it the same, every round in favor for "El Finito" who successfully defended his World Boxing Council USNBC lightweight title.

"I thought he (Aviles) was going to give me a little more competition," said Tanajara Jr at KSAT 12 last week. "I thought he was going to come at me a little bit more but I guess I was ready and prepared for him. My jab didn't let him get in and I didn't give me any chances."

It's been rare to see so many local fighters make their way up at the same time. That kind of success also means fighters, who happen to be life long friends, get to fight in the same card together. That was the case as Tanajara Jr. fought before Joshua Franco's main event trilogy with Oscar Negrete two weekends ago. If you watched the broadcast on DAZN, you could clearly see fans from San Antonio in the crowd, holding signs and cheering on the boxers from the Alamo city.  Tanajara Jr. didn't spend much time in the locker room after his victory; he came out quickly to watch Franco fight.

"It felt good going up there together," said Tanajara Jr. "We haven't fought together like that in a long time. It feels good seeing each other in the locker room getting ready, telling him 'good luck' or 'wish you the best' before the fight."

"He's like an older brother, even if he's smaller than me," Tanajara Jr. jokingly added. "Everything we do is different but it felt good to represent San Antonio up there."

"El Finito" did tell KSAT 12 Sports after the interview that he may need some plastic surgery later on to repair a nasty cut he suffered above his right eye in his fight against Ivan Delgado back in late February. Luckily, Tanajara Jr says the cut, which has healed, has not caused any problems during training or sparring.

Click on the tweet above to hear how @Hector_Tanajara called out Ryan Garcia after his latest fight.

FRANCO FINISHES TRILOGY

 

 

There were over 5,700 punches thrown between Joshua Franco and Oscar Negrete in their trilogy showdown that concluded recently. Fans, just like the judges, were divided on who won these very close and competitive bouts.

"As a fighter, these matchups with Negrete have helped me grow," Franco said to KSAT 12 Sports. "I'm more comfortable every time I fight now. With each fight with him (Negrete) I felt I grew. I'm more patient and relax now in regards to my skills when I'm inside the ring."

Click on the tweet above to hear more from @JoshuaFranco_

KENDO GETS MATCH

Holmes High School alum Kendo Castaneda will finally fight again in 2019. The last time we saw him inside the ring, Castaneda won by unanimous decision over Eudy Bernardo at Cowboys Dance Hall in late March. The 25-year-old super lightweight is 16 and 0 with 7 knockouts. Castaneda will face 34-year-old Stan Martyniouk who is currently 20 and 2 with 6 knockouts. The 10-round fight will go down on Friday, October 25 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada. The fight is promoted by Roy Jones Junior Boxing Promotions.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 16 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com