Thursday, June 08, 2023  |


Lem’s latest: Alvarez-Chavez Jr. go head-to-head; Williams vulnerable; Goosen shaken by earthquakes

Fighters Network

Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer have each expressed interest in long-range plans to match 21-year-old WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul Alvarez and 25-year-old WBC middleweight beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in an all-Mexican clash of unbeatens.

On Sept. 17, in separate locations, each of the young fighters will be in action as they make defenses of their crowns.

Chavez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KOs) will meet the challenge of 32-year-old Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KOs) of Southfield, Mich., in his native Culiacan, Mex.

Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KOs) will do the same opposite 30-year-old Alfonso Gomez (23-4-2, 12 KOs) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on HBO Pay Per View.

The 30-year-old Gomez moved from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mex., to Anaheim, Calif., when he was 11 years old.

Alvarez-Gomez will take place as a split-site double-header whose main event features WBC welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs) in a bout that will take place at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Asked which of them will have the most fans watching on Sept. 17, Alvarez seemed indifferent.

“It doesn’t bother me at all. He has his fans, and I have my fans. I’m going to go into the ring to do my job,” said Alvarez. “I don’t care about what he’s doing. It doesn’t matter to me.”


Now that Paul “The Punisher” Williams appears to be looking vulnerable, the fighter’s trainer and manager, George Peterson, said opponents are more eager to face the three-time beltholder.

“I think that now it seems like people are beginning to ask for him,” said Peterson, who declined to name any of those being considered as rivals. “In the past, we didn’t ever really have that option before to pick and choose.”

Once considered among the sport’s most feared fighters, Williams (40-2, 27 knockouts) has faced adversity against fellow southpaws — a dominant decision over former beltholder Winky Wright notwithstanding.

Williams has split match ups with left handers Carlos Quintana and Sergio Martinez, knocking out Quintana in their welterweight rematch, but being stopped in second round of a middleweight return bout with Martinez.

In addition, Williams is coming off of last month’s disputed majority decision win over southpaw junior middleweight Erislandy Lara, a fight that most ringside media believed Lara won.

“Of course there are people out there, and by next week, I’ll be able to talk a little more about this,” said promoter Dan Goossen, who would like Williams to return against a quality right handed fighter in November or December.

“People have contacted us, and I like that. It makes things a little bit easier to move forward with.”

Williams could fight at welterweight, junior middleweight or middleweight when he returns.

“All that we need is a weight class and an opponent. We haven’t been in a position where we could choose a weight class,” said Peterson.

“We don’t have anything on the drawing board right now because I’ve given him some time off for his wounds to heal. But we’ll be back in the swing of things in a few weeks.”


On Tuesday, the most powerful earthquake in 67 years shook the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine. Goossen claims to have been in earthquakes twice in one day on separate coasts.

“I was in one in New York on Tuesday afternoon, and then, I was in another one in Oakland, Calif., later that night,” said Goossen. “It’s really ironic is that I was in two earthquakes in one day. Now tell me, when was the last time that has ever happened to anyone?”

The story goes this way.

On Tuesday, at about 2 p.m., Goossen said he was working with officials at Showtime filming an edition of Fight Camp 360, which chronicles the network’s Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament.

The tournament’s final is also for the RING belt and features WBC super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) against WBA counterpart Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KOs) in a clash slated for Oct. 29 in Atlantic City, N.J.

“We were doing the Super Six video in New York when the earthquake happened. They evacuated the building that we were filming in. Quite frankly, I thought that most people in New York over-reacted,” said Goossen, who promotes Ward from his office in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

“We’re kind of used to it out here. I mean, as long as we survive the quake, and we don’t have any damage or any injuries, which they didn’t in New York, you kind of get past it and go on.”

Later that evening, Goossen flew out of New York’s JFK Airport to Oakland, Calif.

“We got to our hotel in Oakland at about 11 p.m. I got up to my room, lay down in the bed at 11:36, and there was a big shaking. I figured it was maybe a heavy truck driving by or something like that. So I called up some of my guys and said, ‘Was that an earthquake?'” said Goossen.

“But the next morning, when I went to get my coffee at 6 a.m., and I asked the guy, ‘was that an earthquake last night?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, it was a 3.8 earthquake.’ So on two separate coasts, I was in an earthquake in both places. When has that ever happened to anyone?”

Goossen is, nevertheless, looking forward to Ward-Froch.

“If this is a sign of things to come,” said Goossen, “then we would be rocking and rolling on Oct. 29.”


Goossen also unveiled that southpaw heavyweight Tony Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) and Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs) will meet in an IBF title eliminator bout for the right to avenge their respective stoppage losses against titleholder Wladimir Klitschko at Bally’s in Atlantic City, N.J. on Oct. 28.

Thompson-Chambers will take place the night before the Showtime-televised clash between Ward and Froch, which is also in Atlantic City but at Boardwalk Hall.

“We’re working on getting that fight on television,” said Goossen. “We’ve got at ShoBox event on Friday night that we’re going to be doing from Bally’s.”

On ShoBox, said Goossen, “Shawn Estrada and Javier Molina will appear in it.”

Estrada is a 26-year-old super middleweight with a record of 13-0 that includes 12 knockouts, with three straight stoppages. The 21-year-old Molina is a junior welterweight with a mark of 8-0 that includes four knockouts.

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]