By Robert Morales
Oscar De La Hoya can say, or tweet, whatever he wants. But you have to wonder what was going through his head this week when he sent this out on his social network: "My man Kid Chocolate will destroy any middleweight out there. I wanna see Golovkin vs. Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam and then I'll see if he's good or not."
"Kid Chocolate" is middleweight champion Peter Quillin, who is promoted by De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. And, of course, Golovkin is fellow champion Gennady
Golovkin, who just about tore the liver out of Matthew Macklin on June 29, knocking him out in the third round of their fight. Macklin is the same guy who decked another champion, Sergio Martinez, before being stopped after 11 rounds by Martinez.
It's one thing for De La Hoya to bellow his fighter is the best. But to suggest that Golovkin still has to beat a guy like N'Jikam to prove to De La Hoya that he's actually good, seems ridiculous.
"He's delusional," Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez, said via telephone in response to De La Hoya's comment.
N'Jikam is the fighter Quillin knocked down six times to win his title last October at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Sanchez said N'Jikam is also the same guy who in
February 2012 refused to even participate in a purse bid to fight Golovkin; instead, Sanchez said N'Jikam's promoter sent the WBA a letter basically stating N'Jikam would rather give up his interim title than fight Golovkin, who has the regular title.
And this is the guy against whom Golovkin must prove himself to De La Hoya's satisfaction?
Anyway, Sanchez wasn't finished. In general, he expressed disappointment in De La Hoya.
"It blows my mind," Sanchez said, again specifically referring to what De La Hoya said. "But when Oscar first got into the promotional business, I remember him saying that he was going to be good to the fighters. He was going to make the best fights, he was going to take care of the fighters and I think it's gotten to the point now where he's saying things now that I never though he'd be saying.
"I thought he would do things that were good for boxing."
Sanchez broached the subject of HBO vs. Showtime, the two major networks. Golovkin fights for HBO, Quillin and everybody else from Golden Boy on Showtime. Sanchez said De La Hoya is going to use that as an excuse not to make the fight with Golovkin.
"This tiff between HBO and Showtime, whoever created it, it doesn't really matter," Sanchez said. "What matters is that right now 'Kid Chocolate' is an undercard fighter; he fights on undercards. Golovkin is the show. He's the main event. So if he (De La Hoya) really believes what he's saying, then I think he needs to - like I said in the press conference after the fight (against Macklin) - he needs to call to talk to Tom Loeffler and try to make some kind of arrangement to have these two guys fight."
Loeffler is general manager of K2-Promotions, which promotes Golovkin.
"It's good for boxing, it's good for Golden Boy, it's good for the networks and it's just good for the boxing fans," Sanchez said.
If not, Sanchez has an alternative idea for De La Hoya.
"Or, stop talking about Quillin-Golovkin," Sanchez said. "Turn in a different direction."
Sanchez reiterated what he told BoxingScene not long ago, that he doesn't think Quillin is yet at the level of Golovkin, Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He said he believes Quillin will eventually get there.
Sanchez then backtracked to De La Hoya's original blast about what Gennady needs to do to prove himself to him.
"Why is he saying it?" Sanchez wondered. "He doesn't really believe it, does he?"
De La Hoya's executive assistant, Nicole Becerra, was contacted to see if De La Hoya wanted to comment on anything Sanchez had to say. Without knowing exactly what Sanchez said, De La Hoya said he would have no comment.
'Canelo' won't train at Sanchez's Big Bear gym
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will square off with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a junior middleweight title fight Sept. 14 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view).
Alvarez has previously trained at the aforementioned Sanchez's gym in Big Bear Lake, Calif. But for Mayweather, Alvarez will use Shane Mosley's gym, also in Big Bear.
On the surface it might seem like Alvarez moved his training headquarters because of this ongoing verbal back-and-forth between Sanchez and Golden Boy as it relates to Golovkin and Quillin. Sanchez, however, said that although Alvarez has used his gym as many as three times, he did not use it for his past two fights against Josesito Lopez and Austin Trout.
Alvarez, last week at the final news conference in Los Angeles, was asked why he was going to use Mosley's gym instead of Sanchez's.
"Because of Chepo (Reynoso), my trainer, and my manager, my team, they decided to go there," Alvarez said. "Mosley's going to be there, and he can give me some advice as well."
Both Mosley and De La Hoya fought and lost to Mayweather. Mosley hurt Mayweather early, but did nothing else. De La Hoya seemingly could have beaten Mayweather, but De La Hoya stopped throwing his jab in the second half of the fight, and dropped a split-decision.
Alvarez said he will accept pointers from them.
"They both fought against Floyd," Alvarez said. "They weren't victorious, but it's very important with their input, just get the best of what they tell me and formulate a game plan."
Since Mosley is active again, Alvarez was queried as to whether he expects to spar with him. He said he did not know if that will be the case.
He wants, needs this step up in class
It was suggested to Alvarez in Los Angeles that he might be too inexperienced to step into the ring with a guy like Mayweather, who is perhaps one of the best fighters of the past 50 years. But the way Alvarez (42-0-1, 31 KOs) sees it, all potential superstars have to step up in class at some point.
"Floyd, Oscar and (Julio Cesar) Chavez were also in my position and that's what they needed to get to the next step," said Alvarez, who will be 23 on July 18.
Arum mum on Alvarado situation - for now
BoxingScene.com reported Wednesday that interim junior welterweight champion Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) is not happy with the money being offered him for a proposed Oct. 19 fight against Ruslan Provodnikov, who gave welterweight champion Timothy Bradley all he could handle in March at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.; Bradley won a narrow unanimous decision in a terrific fight.
We tried to make contact with Alvarado's promoter, Bob Arum, late Wednesday afternoon. Through his Top Rank Inc. spokesman, Lee Samuels, Arum said he had nothing further to report at the moment. He said he would speak more on the subject Thursday at a Hollywood luncheon with reporters ahead of a Zou Shiming workout at Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym.
Samuels said the fight is not close to being done.
Antillon back in the ring
When last we saw Urbano Antillon, it was two years ago and he was being stopped in the third round by Brandon Rios in a lightweight title fight in July 2011 at Home Depot Center. According to his trainer, Sanchez, that was the last time Antillon has fought. Interestingly, BoxRec.com shows Antillon actually had a fight in Hidalgo, Mexico this past March and stopped Leonardo Resendiz of Mexico in the second round.
Perhaps the most curious thing about that is Resendiz is a cruiserweight. We have not heard back from Sanchez as to whether that fight actually took place. One thing's for sure, Antillon is going to fight again in August on a Thompson Boxing Promotions card at junior welterweight against an opponent to be determined.
When asked if it's possible Antillon could have had the fight against Resendiz without his knowledge, Sanchez answered in the affirmative.
"That could be, he may have, but he really has not been in the gym since the Rios fight, so he's had a rest," Sanchez said. "I think his body is rested, his mind is rested. Any time you take time off like that, you get rejuvenated."
Though Antillon is returning at a higher weight class, Sanchez said he is hopeful he will get back down to lightweight and campaign there. If not, Sanchez still believes Antillon could make some noise at 140 pounds.
"Yeah, he could be a threat at 140," Sanchez said. "He's experienced enough and has enough big-fight experience under his belt, that he'll give some of those guys at 140 pounds a run for their money."
Sanchez said the idea would be to get the 30-year-old Antillon (29-3, 21 KOs) in position for another title shot.
Robert Morales covers boxing for the Los Angeles Daily News and BoxingScene.com.