Notes: Canelo switches TV networks in Mexico

Speed Bag: Canelo To Fight Kirkland

Brian Campbell discusses the challenge James Kirkland provides against Canelo Alvarez in their May 2 fight.

A few notes from around the boxing world:

• In the United States, the rival boxing networks are HBO and Showtime. In Mexico, the rivals are free networks Televisa and TV Azteca. In recent years, junior middleweight star Canelo Alvarez’s Mexican television home was Televisa with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fighting on TV Azteca. But there has been a recent big change. Now that Chavez has left Top Rank -- which works with TV Azteca -- he will fight on Televisa on Saturday night for the first time when he faces light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara while Golden Boy, Alvarez’s promoter, has made a deal with TV Azteca to exclusively broadcast Alvarez’s bouts in Mexico beginning with his May 9 fight against James Kirkland. Alvarez and Chavez also have switched U.S. networks with Alvarez signing with HBO and Chavez’s upcoming fight on Showtime.

"TV Azteca broadcast my first televised national fight against Victor Marquez, and I am happy to return to this prestigious home and have it be the platform that displays my professional career at this stage," Alvarez said. “TV Azteca has stood out for their dedication to bringing boxing to the masses and I am very happy and grateful that all my fans will have the chance to see my fights on TV Azteca."

• Showtime Extreme will carry preliminary bouts from the Chavez-Fonfara card on Saturday night at StubHub Center in Carson, California. While the Showtime portion of the card begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Showtime Extreme will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will include at least two bouts. One will be junior featherweight Oscar Escandon (24-1, 16 KOs) defending his interim belt for the first time when he faces Moises Flores (22-0, 16 KOs). In another bout, junior middleweight Omar Chavez (32-3-1, 22 KOs), Julio’s younger brother, will face Richard Gutierrez (28-15-1, 17 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

Time permitting, welterweight Fabian Maidana (5-0, 4 KOs), younger brother of former junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana, also will see airtime against Cory Vom Baur (2-2, 0 KOs).

• European middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, the mandatory challenger for world titleholder Andy Lee, was named 2014 fighter of the year by the European Boxing Union. The EBU, which sanctions the traditional European titles, also named Saunders’ win over Chris Eubank Jr. to retain the European title as the championship of the year.

“Of course, to be named boxer of the year is a tremendous honor, seeing as there are a lot of great European fighters out there, but my achievements in the ring haven’t been matched by anyone else in the last few years, so I’m delighted that they have rewarded me with this,” Saunders said.