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Jun 26th
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Home Boxing

Boxing Editorials

NOVEMBER BOXING PREDICTIONS

NOVEMBER BOXING PREDICTIONS

Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito - Margarito is getting this shot because Arum likes to keep it all in-house, and milk the Mexican fans for as much money as he can.  Shame on them for falling for it, but as trainer Freddie Roach says, Margarito's last two fights are the issue here, not the wraps.  He took a beating against Shane Mosley, had a layoff, and didn't come back impressively.  He will be in great shape, but will not be able to wear down the inexhaustible Pacquiao with his style.  Pacquiao will win every round, bust him up, and Margarito's corner will rescue him in about the 7th round. Zab Judah vs. Lucas Matthysse - Last time we got excited about an Argentine fighter names Matthysse (Walter), he turned out to be a protected, chin-less joke.  I feel as if the same thing is about to happen here, unless Judah is completely shot.  That is the real variable and asterisk here, and I don't think Zab is completely done yet.  He seems to only lose when he makes that step toward the top, and a fighter like Matthysse, who needed referee corruption/incompetence to beat a worn-out Vivian Harris is probably not it.  Judah by UD or late round TKO.

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WHO'S LEFT FOR KLITSCHKOS?

WHO'S LEFT FOR KLITSCHKOS?

This really has been a stalling year in boxing.... from super Six injuries and controversies holding off great fights to Mayweather and Pacquiao failing to connect yet again.  It has, however, never been worse than it is in the heavyweight division.  With Tomasz Adamek, David Haye, Nicolai Valuev, and Alexander Povetkin stalling in atempt to avoid the eventual beating from either Klitschko brother, Vitali and Wladimir are left in a bit of a quandry.  They wish to remain active, but are actually having to search for challengers.  As trainer Emmanuel Steward said, this is the first time the heavyweight champ(s) have had to seek out opponents.  No one seems to really be lining up to try to win the title.  This means we have been forced to watch a shot Sam Peter and an inept Albert Sosnowski receive the most recent opportunities.  It is about to get worse.  Shannon Briggs will get a shot next month against Vitali, while the 'names' being tossed around for Wladimir in December are such world beaters as Odlianer Solis and Alexander Dimtrenko.  I know even the great Joe Louis was allowed a bum-of-the-month club, but this was acceptible when champs fought that often.  Let's take a look at how these, and a couple others will match up, should they get the opportunity.
 

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SHOWTIME BANTAMWEIGHT TOURNEY

SHOWTIME BANTAMWEIGHT TOURNEY

I am very happy about this tournament.  Not only is it highlighting a recently exciting division; Not only does it involve fighters who have faced each other in exciting matchups; The main thing is that it is being done correctly.  It is featuring only 4 fighters, in a single-elimination format.  Start with semi-finals, and move straight to a final.  We are already dealing with championship-level fighters, who have faced each other in three separate fights.  The winner will be 'the man' at 118, if not the Undisputed Ring Magazine champ.  The first round of fights is also taking place on the same card, so as not to gobble up more unnecessary dates and airtime.  It is also taking place in Mexico, where fans are sure to appreciate the kind of action these fighters will bring. Even with talent like Montiel, Donaire, Rigondeaux, Hasegawa and others residing there, the winner of the Showtime tournament can lay claim to having vanquished higher opposition than any of them at Bantamweight.  This may also force those other fighters left to face each other.  My only issue with the line-up is that Darchiniyan vs. Perez, and Agbeko vs. Mares are not the match-ups leading off.  There is a rematch right out of the gate, and I think it would be much more interesting to make sure all participants face each other.

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STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS

Kudos to Joe Cortez for not disqualifying Yuriorkis Gamboa for hitting Orlando Salido when he was down.  He blew this call on Humberto Soto last year, and it appears he has learned.  This unnecessary fouling is getting worse in boxing, and needs to be addressed, but the fight was essentially over, and didn't get any more over from that extra punch.  Good job to Salido for not being opportunistic as well.  Speaking of intentional fouling... on the exact same night:  Anthony Peterson simply wanted out after realizing he could not beat Brandon Rios.  By the second low blow, that was apparent.  Do we really need to watch the referee do the standard 3 warnings, 2-3 points, final warning dance as if it was happening unintentionally?  Perhaps Peterson was drained, or affected by the 12 pound weight difference, or just outgunned by a superior fighter.  Whatever the reason, a fighter should not have to take half a dozen low blows from an opponent who has already mentally left the fight.  By the second low blow, referee Mora should have said, "I know you're trying to get out, and/or cheat.  You do that again, you're done."  The referee did not wait for Jesse Ferguson to hold Mike Tyson for 4 straight rounds while he took points off in their 1986 fight.  He stopped the fight, and called it what it was... a surrender, a TKO.  Serves the cheater and/or coward right.

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OCTOBER PREDICTIONS

OCTOBER PREDICTIONS

Carl Froch vs. Arthur Abraham
This is the big fight of the month, and most think it should be a firefight.  I say 'should', because despite the dynamite possible in this showdown, there is a high likelyhood that it could disappoint.  Both men have had action-packed fights, and explosive knockout wins, yet they often let their opponents dictate the pace of a fight.  This has been true of Froch's last two fights, as well as every Abraham opponent of any real talent level.  I wonder how Froch will react to Abraham taking early rounds off.  I wonder how either man will react to the other's power.  Abraham is a solid, durable fighter, yet he has yet to face a real puncher at Super Middleweight.  Froch's chin is still a mystery as well, having been seriously hurt against average-punching Jermain Taylor, yet weathering the shots of harder punching Mikkel Kessler.  Simply put, the first fighter to do something out of character will take control.  I see Froch winning the majority of early rounds, but Abraham coming on strong late.  I don't see a KO win here, probably from a lack of sustained action.  Hopefully there will still be some fireworks, but we are likely to see more careful behavior than anything, once mutual respect is established.  Abraham by close, perhaps controversial decision.  This fight is not on as neutral of territory as Froch thinks it is.

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REQUIEM FOR CALDERON

REQUIEM FOR CALDERON

Ivan Calderon was finally beaten.  It came in the way I thought it would, albeit a bit sooner than I thought it would.  While comparisons have been drawn to the career of Ricardo Lopez, it is only that of a long-dominant career in the lower weight classes where he failed to draw enough attention and/or top matchups until towards the end.  Other than that, the two couldn't be more different.  Not that Giovanni Segura didn't develop the perfect action plan and execute it... but this was also a case of a man with every disadvantage in nature (except of course the talent).  This is a fighter, in Calderon, who went unbeaten for 35 fights, and 19 title fights, before running into someone with so many more natural gifts, that he simply couldn't overcome them.

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WOMEN'S BOXING... WILL OLYMPICS HELP??

WOMEN'S BOXING... WILL OLYMPICS HELP??

With the announcement that the 2012 London Olympics will include women's boxing, the first sarcastic reaction I had was, "great, now that amateur boxing is over for U.S. men, they're going to invite women to the party."  I'm sure the ladies appreciate being included in this sinking ship.  I'm the first to hate it when mainstream sportswriters, whose bandwagon behavior is often at political party or religion levels, write about the death of professional boxing.  It has been a ridiculous assertion since they started saying it 30 years ago, and it still is.  Amateur boxing, however, did seem to be dying... at least for Americans. 5 straight Olympic games with only 3 gold medalists is not a drought.  That is a pattern.  I miss the days when we at least deserved medals, and they were robbing us.  That still happens, but nowadays its more likely that the fighters style did not fit the Olympics, and they made no adjustments... more concerned about their pro car 

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WHO SHOULD REPLACE KESSLER?

WHO SHOULD REPLACE KESSLER?

The news that Mikkel Kessler would be forced to withdraw from the Super Six tournament due to an eye injury is certainly taking some of the luster off of the future events.  It is still the hottest thing going on boxing now, but only a quick glance at the ratings show that whomever the replacement is for Kessler, they will not bring his level of interest. Lucien Bute?  This would be the only person to generate the same big interest, but it's not likely to happen.  He is being prepped to take on the winner of the Super Six, and he will not be taking any big risks until that happens.  Not at 175.  Not at 168.  Nowhere.  Sakio Bika?  He was certainly the most deserving, until he starched Jean-Paul Mendy while sitting on the canvas last month.  This cost him respect, as it did for Arthur Abraham (and Bika vs. Abraham is still a fight that I would like to see, just for the punching power and durability... not necessarily the fouling).  Moreso, it cost him the throngs of fans who were previously saying he was being ducked.  This was a chance for him to shine, and he blew it.  Now, sadly, it will become easy to ignore him again.

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IF IT SEEMS LIKE...

IF IT SEEMS LIKE...

I have talked about many of the same subjects repeatedly in recent months, it is because they are still not fixed.
 
1) Sauerland Promotions is STILL stealing decisions.  I know they were robbed in their first two title fights with Axel Schuilz, but they have gained more than enough of a credit line, stealing muliple decisions for Sven Ottke, Markus Beyer, and Nicolai Valuev.  This is not to mention the Abraham-Miranda fight, or the recent scorecard controversy over Karmazin vs. Sylvester.  I know many promoters engage in this activity.  Judges are bribed or silenced all the time.  In fact a California referee recently told me stories of the old days when he used to referee fights in Japan between Asian and Latin fighters.  Like clockwork, he said, each judge (Latin or Asian) would score for their own, and the referee would have to break the tie.  When this particular referee broke the tie against the house fighter, he did not work Japan for two years.  Don't expect Allan Green to get a close decision over Mikkel Kessler, either.  That fight should have been held in Green's hometown of Tulsa, if there was any fairness.  Kessler has fought both at home and away in the tournament.  Green has only fought away.  He's due for a home crowd advantage.  Until more people start putting the heat on Sauerland to allow their fighters to lose fairly, you will continue to hear from me on this subject.

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MARGARITO GETTING HIS COME-UPPANCE?

MARGARITO GETTING HIS COME-UPPANCE?

In the wake of Margarito being denied a license by the state of California, as well as the top experts picking him to be sliced and diced by Pacquiao, there are many fans in boxing who are beginning to circulate the idea that Tony 'PlasterCaster' is actually getting what he deserves.  To these people, I will say, you are missing the point.  First of all, the fight is going to happen.  Playing the California Commission game was simply a PR move.  Bob Arum doesn't believe in justice, or fairness.  He is a businessman and lawyer.  He believes in profit... and Margarito makes money, for now.  I say 'for now', because his loss to Mosley, as well as his rusty unimpressive comeback fight prove he is likely done as a serious threat.

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'HEDGE YOUR BETS' SCORING?

'HEDGE YOUR BETS' SCORING?

I think it is appropriate to look at the scorecards of the recent Tomasz Adamek vs. Michael Grant match, in order to uncover some bad intentions.  This particular bout was scored 117-111, 118-111, and 117-110, yet by most ringside accounts was a 7 rounds to 5 victory for Adamek.  It looks as if Grant would have had to dominate just to win a close decision.  This is not the first time I have left a match with that particular thought in mind. I remember when Zahir Raheem defeated Erik Morales.  He had won by scores of 115-113 twice over Morales, even though the third scorecard of 117-111 was more accurate.  It just goes to show you that there was obviously an intention to deceive.  Should Grant or Raheem have deserved to win 7 rounds to 5... they would have actually lost 7 rounds to 5.  Nicolai Valuev and Sven Ottke made a career of winning/losing this way, and we are already seeing it in the Super Six.  Heck, even in Valuev's two losses to Chagaev and Haye, the bouts were scored much closer than they actually were.

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EVIL BOSS, ROSS

EVIL BOSS, ROSS

HBO head cheese Ross Greenberg had recently buried himself with his own words, by stating that the Heavyweight division was dead to American fans.  I know that wasn't his exact quote, but the action behind it was the same.  HBO would no longer be covering the Klitschko brothers, until it got more interesting (Adamek or Haye).  Now, I don't know what is taking Showtime so long to snap this up (they can't move the date for you... get real), but within weeks of this statement, Mr. Greenberg's ego was put to the test.  Klitschko has now been paired with the last fighter ever to be competitive with him, in a rematch, for the undisputed Heavyweight title.  In a move that should surprise no one, Wladimir Klitschko vs. Samuel Peter will still not be covered by HBO.  Oh, Juanma and Gamboa engaging in tune-up fights was covered, but the legit Heavyweight championship will not be.

 

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WEAK CHINS ON WORLD CHAMPIONS

WEAK CHINS ON WORLD CHAMPIONS

There is certainly a wide variance as to what makes an individual an easy mark for a stoppage.  Mike Tyson never had a decision loss, yet few would argue he has a weak chin.  His KO losses were more the result of a lack of desire, and/or an accumulation of punches.  Also, Juan Manuel Marquez is frequently dropped and wobbled by opponents, yet has never been stopped.  Here, however, I am looking at three multi-title winning fighters whose careers were still hindered in a way by their vulnerability to head punches.  That criteria is based on one question about their chin... did they have more than one winnable fight that was lost because of it? Junior Jones - Other than Erik Morales, one would be hard pressed to find a loss on Jones' record that would not have been a win had he not been caught early or late.  Paul Ingle, Kennedy McKinney, Darryl Pinckney, and John Michael Johnson all looked to be headed for either a close, or widespread defeat when they exposed the achilles heel of this Brooklyn-fighter.  Jones managed to lift the WBA Bantamweight title without much of a hiccup, but once the word was out, it was only a matter of time before the big punchers caught him. 

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KEEP AN EYE OUT

KEEP AN EYE OUT

As someone who was unable to turn pro partly because of poor vision, and lack of funds to correct it... I have always felt badly for fighters who lost careers because of their eyes.  Sugar Ray Leonard came back from a "career-ending" eye injury to win a close decision over the great Marvin Hagler.  What was extraordinary about this feat was not only the layoff, but the fact that detached retinas were not something that was previously considered overcomeable.  If you had a detahced retina, you retired.  Period.  Ever since Leonard's recovery, however, it has been assumed that an eye injury is something that one takes time off for, and has repaired.  However, some eye injuries have been career ending.  Here, I will look at a few of those fighters who had their careers hindered, or ended by eye injuries... before, during, and after the time of Leonard.

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SEPTEMBER PREDICTIONS

SEPTEMBER PREDICTIONS

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Samuel Peter - In the wake of yet another Povetkin failure to take advantage of his mandatory, Samuel Peter will get his chance at revenge.  I must already disagree with the boxing scribes who act as if both men have improved since their first meeting.  Peter has suffered several knockdowns, and two defeats since their first meeting, while Klitschko has scarcely lost a round.  If you thought Klitschko was dominant in every other second except when he was on the floor from questionable punches, wait til Peter's chin is no longer granite.  Klitschko by 7th round TKO in a bout very similar to Peter's failure agaisnt the elder Klitschko. Rafael Marquez vs. Juan Manuel Lopez - I honestly have no idea what will happen here, but I know I will be watching.  This is compelling in every way possible.  Both men are vulnerable, big punchers with tremendous offense. 

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A Few Notable Suspicious Fights in Boxing History - Were We Sucker Punched?

A Few Notable Suspicious Fights in Boxing History - Were We Sucker Punched?

I am positive that most readers and my self included learned early on in life that P.T. Barnum, the great circus master, coined the phrase ‘There’s a sucker born every minute.’ Our parents swore by it, some of our teachers mentioned it and it became legendary without much of an explanation.  However, it is false. Barnum never said such a thing. So no matter how long we have harbored the belief and continue to pass on the phrase to our own siblings, friends, or cohorts, it just isn’t true. The real truth of the matter is that Barnum had a competitor named David Hannum. Hannum was a banker and like Barnum, an opportunist. Both men would be part of the greatest hoax, or caper you prefer, of the Unites States 19th Century. In many respects, even they were in just a secondary school of charlatanism compared to one paleontologist, George Hull, the actual mastermind of the great giant fake which would fool the layman, church officials, and even his contemporaries.

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CAREERS RUINED BY CRIME

CAREERS RUINED BY CRIME

 There are some bizarre reasons that fighters careers have ended prematurely, but while death is the most tragic, and often the most frequent, the second place finisher is probably crime.  When fighters are not the victims of other people's violent or careless tendencies, they are usually sidelined by their own.  I will look now at three fighters who had promising careers cut short because of trouble with the law, plus a few others that ended their already finished careers with prison time. Tony Ayala Jr.  An unbeaten Junior Middleweight who was set to take on some big names at 154, when he was convicted of rape, and served 17 years in prison.  He lost his entire prime and then some, eyt still made an inspirational comeback, but was limited to a journeyman fighter by that time. 

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BAD STARTS FOR WORLD CHAMPIONS - PART 2

BAD STARTS FOR WORLD CHAMPIONS - PART 2

Buster Drayton - A late start, a bunch of losses, but still he managed to win the IBF Junior Middleweight title over a fading Davey Moore.  He was the then-ancient age of 32, and had learend on the job.  Drayton also went about defending his title on the road, facing Said Skouma and Matthew Hilton in their respective hometowns.  While this might have helped his french, it didn't do well in keeping his title.  When he was unable to KO his opponent, the decisions would not go to him, much like in his earlier career.  He managed to get off to a winning start, unlike most fighters on this list, but he was at "Opponents-Ville' with multiple losses only a few years in.

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Ryan Barrett Vs. Mark Alexander - York Hall, London - 11th September 11

Ryan Barrett Vs. Mark Alexander - York Hall, London - 11th September 11

‘IT’S PERSONAL' - Promoter Steve Goodwin has added some extra fuel to the fire that’s already burning between Hackney’s Mark ‘The Flash’ Alexander and Former English Super Featherweight Champion Ryan Barrett, by making their 11th September showdown, at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, for a championship title. It’s already more than clear that neither Barrett or Alexander particularly likes the other by the comments each has been publicly making recently. Now with a championship belt on the line it’s become a ‘light the blue touch paper’ situation.

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BAD STARTS FOR FUTURE WORLD CHAMPIONS

BAD STARTS FOR FUTURE WORLD CHAMPIONS

While watching young Olympians and amateur stars continue to pad their records against hopeless opposition, I am reminded of how silly this is.  Much has already been said about Deontay Wilder and Shawn Estrada, but let's take Frankie Gomez for a new example.  He has now won two straight fights against soft opposition, in ridiculously early stoppages.  This protection/marketing strategy from Golden Boy is only going to delay the inevitable tests he has to face in order to become truly great.  Perhaps they are still reeling from Victor Ortiz's high-profile loss, but Ortiz is still young, and the loss to Maidana may prove to be the best thing that has ever happened to him.  While a promoter certainly wants to make his prospect seem like a killer, as well as build his confidence, most of the ones destined for success will stumble, and come back. 

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MEXICO'S GREAT DECLINE

MEXICO'S GREAT DECLINE

A Generational Transition?

Mexico has  always been said to have produced quality  competitors  in boxing and soccer, but something seems to have changed over recent years. Surely, Mexico has experienced glory with  home grown boxers Julio Cesar Chavez and Marco Antonio Barrera, as well as legendary Mexican soccer players  Hugo Sanchez and Claudio Suarez. Unfortunately, morale among many of Mexico's most elite boxers and soccer players seems to be taking a plunge. Let's  take boxer Antonio Margarito for example. Margarito's disappointing loss to Shane Mosley left many of his fans wondering what happened to his world-class chin and powerful punches.  

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5 GREATEST MEXICAN BOXERS SINCE 1970

5 GREATEST MEXICAN BOXERS SINCE 1970

Marco Antonio Barrera - A multi-division world champion in some of Mexico's glamour divisions.  Came from the upper-classes of Mexico, therefore his heart and warrior spirit certainly didn't come from circumstance.  It came from within him as an individual.  Power, speed, combinations, movement, and underrated defensive ability when he wasn't going toe-to-toe.  He even figured out how to beat fighters with odd styles, and slick boxers as well.  Other than the post-head-butt reaction to Junior Jones' right hand, Barrera also displayed a better chin than other Mexican stars of that era: Marquez and Morales.  He also fought many past, present, and future champions... and he'd be higher on this list if he beat them all, but he came back many times when thought to be finished and held his own with the top fighters again.  He also did the one thing that makes you beloved to Mexican fans.  He quieted a loud-mouth from another culture (Hamed).

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NEXT CROSSOVER STAR ALREADY HERE??

NEXT CROSSOVER STAR ALREADY HERE??

Andre Ward's recent domination of Allan Green brings to mind a question: Has the next mainstream boxing star been right under our noses this whole time?  While few would dispute that Ward would have been a star right out of the Olympics, had those Olympics been 20 years earlier, I think the mainstream media may have outdone their own normal level of bias and stupidity when it comes to boxing, in this particular case. Ward had the story... a kid from the mean streets of Oakland... lost his father... found Jesus... found boxing... only gold medalist for the USA in 2004, while fighting outside of his natural weight-class.  Add to that him having the right look and temperament for TV interviews, etc.  Add to this a story that would have been three different TV miniseries 25 years ago, and you have to wonder what was missing.

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Balancing Boxing and Family Life

Balancing Boxing and Family Life

Marquez vs. Diaz II "Fight of the Year: La Revancha

MEXICO CITY – Balancing boxing with family life may prove challenging for fathers, Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan "Torito" Diaz. Marquez and Diaz are training hard for their championship rematch scheduled Saturday July 31 at Mandalay Bay, a time when most fathers are spending time with their family. Marquez who has three children ages between three and 12 years old, and Diaz, who the father of a three year old, have grown accustomed to balancing their rigorous boxing lifestyle with their family life. "I know I will not have much time, but I must stay focused on what I do and not forget about my children.” Said Juan Manuel Marquez.

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DON KING, LET MY PEOPLE GO!

DON KING, LET MY PEOPLE GO!

I think it's time for Don King to decide once and for all if he really still wants to be a boxing promoter.  And if so, then he must increase his fighters' activity, or allow them to have non-exclusive contracts.  The way fighters are losing their most active years is a disgrace.  It is also a long time in the making.  He has been sitting on the fence for quite some time, and it has cost fighters an awful lot. It's not as if he was the picture of activity in the mid 1990's.  Just ask Tim Austin, Frankie Liles, or even cash-cows like Felix Trinidad.  No championship fighter should ever be idle longer than 6 months, and routinely these fighters sat on the shelf much longer.  However, in the last decade it has gotten much worse, with fighters such as Maselino Masoe, and most recently Guillermo Jones sitting on the shelf for nearly two years, while holding onto a world title. 

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Ishe " Sugar Shay" Smith vs. Fernando Guerrero

Ishe

Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith(21-4) will keep his streak of challenging the best opposition alive when he goes toe to toe with middleweight prospect and NABO champion Fernando Guerrero(18-0) at the DeSoto Civic Center In Memphis, TN on July 16 on Showtime.  Smith will again move up to middleweight to meet the hard hitting Guerrero. Smith will be fighting above his primary weight of 154 lbs, but the Former Contender star has put forth exceptional performances in the middleweight class. Smith will be making his fifth appearance on Showtime, a network which he has compiled a 4-0 record on, the last appearance being a dominating performance over then undefeated Pawel Wolak in 2008.

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CRUISERWEIGHT, SUPER EIGHT?

CRUISERWEIGHT, SUPER EIGHT?

In the wake of the recent Steve Cunningham- Troy Ross title fight, I guess there has been talk of a tournament like the Super Six at Cruiserweight.  Actually, I think a tournament is an excellent idea.  However, some things need to be done sooner rather than later. I think the Super Middleweight Super Six is great, however at 200lbs, things are in such chaos, that there is no time for multiple brackets.  I believe a round robin of eight fighters is the way to go here.  First off, it must be set up properly.  Allow Guillermo Jones and Valery Brudov to finally fight this summer, getting a belt-holder back in the ring after a ridiculous two-year absence.  Also, give Troy Ross another shot at a title, by allowing him to fill the August date with Marco Huck. 

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HALL OF FAME WORTHY??

HALL OF FAME WORTHY??

As boxing fans and writers we often question everything about what we are dealt from the powers that be.  Decisions, referee calls, opponent choices, and retirements are all fair game for us to analyze.  However, rarely does the debate come up as to who is in the ‘Hall of Fame’.  Are there names that do not belong there?  Are there names that should be added?  In an imperfect world, any structure is bound to benefit from some improvement.  Where human beings are concerned, there is always bias, error, and influence.  Now, I know there are some who will say it is called the ‘Hall of “Fame”’, not ‘Hall of “Ability”’, but I believe fame has enough of its own benefits, without letting it blur the lines of who was really exceptional in our sport.  I believe that inclusion should only be determined by how good someone was… period.  Therefore, that is the angle at which I am exploring this.  Let’s look at a few fighters whose “Hall” status bears a second look. 

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Steve Cunningham IBF Cruiserweight Champion For The Second Time

Steve Cunningham IBF Cruiserweight Champion For The Second Time

Steve Cunningham is once again the IBF Cruiserweight Champion of the World, having regained the coveted title, at the Jahnsportforum, Neubrandenburg in Germany in Germany tonight, after the ringside doctor deeming Troy Ross unfit to continue before the start of the fifth round. From the first bell Cunningham dominated the centre of the ring using his wickedly fast jabs to keep the shorter Ross at bay. Ross, a seriously tough southpaw, seemed willing to take a few punches in order to get in closer to let off some wicked bombs.

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JULY PREDICTIONS

JULY PREDICTIONS

Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz 2 - I don’t see much Diaz can do differently, except stay on his feet, out of pride.  I believe he will do just that.  The early lead he jumped out to last time will also be missing, as Marquez will be looking to capitalize on a speed edge after being the slower man against Mayweather.  Marquez by wider, unanimous decision, in a fight less exciting than the first, but still with some tense moments for both. Timothy Bradley vs. Luis Abregu - Two unbeaten prospects in a row for Bradley… this time it’s a bigger man, also.  He is taking no soft touches, which will endear him to fans.  I don’t see a different result here than any of Bradley’s last several fights.  He is not a puncher, but is a superior talent.  A few well-timed counters will put Abregu in his place.  Bradley by unanimous decision. Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Bernabe Concepcion. Timothy Bradley vs. Luis Abregu. Alfredo Angulo vs. Joachim Alcine

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Fighter Profiling??

Fighter Profiling??

In the 25 years I have been following boxing closely, there is a trend I have been witnessing.  It only just struck me recently, however.  Referees tend to allow fighters to take more punishment, based on their ability to dole it back out.  When a fighter is seen as incapable of knocking out his opponent, the focus of officials, commentators, and cornermen all seems to shift to "how much longer are we going to let this go on?", once an insurmountable lead is built up. This past weekend, this phenomenon was on very clear display during the two HBO-televised fights from Madison Square Garden.  Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan thoroughly dominated their opponents, winning every round, and leaving no doubt from about mid-way onward as to who the victor (pun intended) was going to be. 

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Friday Night at L.A. Live - Live Coverage

Friday Night at L.A. Live - Live Coverage

On Thursday, May 27, Club Nokia played host to professional boxing for the fourth consecutive month in Downtown Los Angeles, via Golden Boy Promotions.  Celebrities in attendance included future Hall-of-Famers Bernard Hopkins and Freddie Roach, as well as former WBC Junior Middleweight champion Sergio Mora. In the main event, Lightweight David Rodela got back into the win column with a six-round split decision over Puerto Rico ’s Eric Cruz.  Rodela, of Oxnard , got out to an early lead, but Cruz kept putting on the pressure until he closed the gap.  The decision was in doubt at the end, yet Cruz’s lapses in offense appeared to be the difference.  Two judges had it 77-75 Rodela, while a third had it 78-74 for Cruz.  Cruz drops to 7-3-3-7 KO’s, while Rodela climbs to 15-3-3-6 KO’s.

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BAD NICKNAMES

BAD NICKNAMES

A good moniker can really make a difference in this game.  In certain cases, if people love it enough, it will replace your first name.  Just ask James Smith or James Douglas... or "Bonecrusher" and "Buster".  However, many people just have nicknames that are truly awful, or worse in my view, don't fit them at all.  Today, I will examine the latter, as that is less about taste, and more about logic and common sense. Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor . Never have I seen a fighter (that is not a backpedaling counterpuncher) have less of a bad intention behind his punches.  Jermain Taylor is perhaps the worst finisher of any top-shelf talent I have seen in over a decade.  Kelly Pavlik and Carl Froch should have been early round KO victims.  However, against Pavlik he was unable, and against Froch he was unwilling, to capitalize. 

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Promoters Have Changed, for Better and Worse

Promoters Have Changed, for Better and Worse

Better: Working together:
I love that we have to listen to three or four different promoters after each press conference.  It means they are working together.  The “Super Six” alone features five different promotional outlets.  And with Yvon Michel working well with Sauerland on Ross vs. Cunningham, it makes Lucien Bute vs. the "Super Six" winner that more likely (if it ends up being a Sauerland fighter).
 Worse: Fighting too hard for advantages: Do not think for two seconds that either of the Andre’s would have been victorious had those “Super Six” fights taken place on European soil.  While it was entirely fair the way each man won… Sauerland Promotions would have stolen both of those fights had they taken place in Germany .  Ward’s head-butts would have been ruled intentional, and he would have either been disqualified, or penalized to the point that a technical decision could have been stolen for an undeserving Kessler.  Abraham’s foul over Dirrell would have been ruled unintentional, and they would have gone to the scorecards where Abraham would have been inexplicably ahead.  It is this knowledge that has led Sauerland to fight so hard for hometown advantage lately. 

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Hard Luck Challengers:

Hard Luck Challengers:

Here are some fighters who had many shots at titles, but could never attain the ultimate goal.
 
Victor Polo – Four title shots featuring incorrectly ruled slips, bad decisions, and simply close losses.  Scott Harrison, and Julio Pablo Chacon both needed help to beat Polo, while Derrick Gainer took a close, deserved decision.  However, it wasn’t until Juan Manuel Marquez beat him easily that Polo realized it was never happening for this talented Featherweight.  He is one of the better fighters, alongside Rocky Juarez, to have never worn a belt in this era. Ali Funeka – Two fighters coming in overweight, in order to gain advantages and close decision wins, as well as one total screw-job decision.  That is Ali Funeka’s experience with North American title shots.  His countrymen Mbulelo Botile and Isaac Hlatshwayo fared much better over here, but Funeka cannot get the judges, or the scale, to see things his way.  When the 6’1 fighter is the one making 135 easily, our hemisphere is coming off looking fat and lazy once again.  Nate Campbell did not make a career of this, but Joan Guzman, and his handlers, ought to be ashamed of the way his career is being handled.  His mother was right... quit boxing!

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Williams vs. Cintron Live Coverage

Williams vs. Cintron Live Coverage

Paul Williams, of Aiken, SC, scored an unsatisfying four-round technical decision over Kermit Cintron, Reading, PA, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.  Returning to a building where he has never disappointed, Williams had scored a TKO win over Walter Matthysse here in 2006, as well as won the WBO Welterweight title here against Antonio Margarito.  Williams, however, was hesistant to mix things up with Cintron, who himself spent the first three rounds trying to counter punch.  Neither fighter landed more than 10 punches a round for the first 3 rounds.  When the action finally picked up in round 4, it ended as quickly as it began.  Williams landed a sharp combination, and Cintron answered with a right-hand counter. 

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Requiem For A Class Act

Requiem For A Class Act

Long before Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy good looks graced boxing magazines, another Latino heartthrob created flutters in the ladies at ringside. Tall, lean, and mustached, Alexis Arguello cut a dashing figure which embodied the spirit of Hispanic elegance. Never ostentatious, his poise in the ring was legendary. He was a symbol of pugilistic nobility, and the apotheosis of dignified Machismo. Fighting out of Managua, Nicaragua, as a featherweight, Arguello earned the nickname “El Flaco Esplosivo.”  His explosive career got off to a lurching start when he lost his pro debut by TKO in the first round at the tender age of sixteen. In his first thirty-nine fights, all but one taking place in Managua, he lost three times from 1968-74, two by TKO.  But he remained undeterred and tenaciously honed his craft.

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Adamek vs. Arreola – Live Coverage

Adamek vs. Arreola – Live Coverage

Tomasz Adamek moved forward yet another step in the heavyweight division, with a 12-round majority decision over Cris Arreola, in front of nearly 7,000 spectators at The Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario , CA .  The see-saw battle featured numerous shifts in control, but Arreola’s lack of output seemed to be the factor, as Adamek was able to box his way to victory in most rounds.  He more than held his own during exchanges, however, and caused swelling over Arreolas eyes. While the former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight world champion was wobbled on occasion, he never appeared significantly hurt.  Arreola kept his energy up, but was unable to catch Adamek when the Polish fighter went on the retreat. 

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Orange Cove Boxing Club Grand Opening

Orange Cove Boxing Club Grand Opening

John Bray Boxing Foundation Teams up with City of Orange Cove for Grand Opening of Orange Cove Boxing Club

The John Bray Boxing Foundation in conjuction with the City of Orange Cove held the Grand Opening of the Orange Cove Boxing Club along with a free youth boxing clinic in an effort to help the community in preventing and combating gang violence while promoting discipline and academic success among school-age students.  The special guest was world class boxing trainer and California Boxing Hall of Famer John Bray who made the long trip from Los Angeles. In November of 2009, Jerry Gonzalez, the Chief Executive Officer of the John Bray Boxing Foundation, made a presentation to the Orange Cove City Council asking for assistance in opening a boxing club for the youth in the city as they were experiencing major gang problems.  The Orange Cove City Council were all pleased and offered to assist.

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BAD DECISIONS SCREW EVERYBODY

BAD DECISIONS SCREW EVERYBODY

When officials make errors, or engage in corruption, the fighter on the short end is often the one for whom we cry, and attempt to gain justice.  However, in the long run, especially after rematches are completed, the fighter who had at first benefitted from the errors has often also been shorted. 

Here are a few examples:

Joan Guzman vs. Ali Funeka.   While we would still be complaining that he came in overweight on purpose to gain an advantage, he would have had revenge.  A rematch would have still been likely, as it was an entertaining fight between two TV-known fighters in a not-so-talent-rich division.  Funeka clearly beat Guzman in their first fight, and then Guzman avenged the loss.  That is what really happened, even if the first fight was scored a horrible draw.  The proper result would have made Guzman's recent decision win a much more glorious end. 

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Enrique Ornelas vs. Julius Fogle Ringside Report at L.A. LIVE's Club Nokia

Enrique Ornelas vs. Julius Fogle Ringside Report at L.A. LIVE's Club Nokia

Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles played host to the third installment of it's monthly series on Thursday, April 22, with a 7-bout card.  In the main event, Enrique Ornelas, La Habra, CA, made a triumphant return to the ring after his decision loss to Bernard Hopkins, with a 4 round TKO over Tacoma, WA's Julius Fogle. Van Nuys Cruiserweight Deon Elam returned to action after his Contender contract finally expired, and won a four round decision over Philadelphia's Andre Hemphill.  Hemphill showed decent fundamentals, but quickly ran out of gas after a few rounds, and was being caught by the faster and taller Elam. Bantameight Khadir Suleymanov, of West Hollywood by way of Russia, continued his unbeaten streak by scoring a six-round decision over San Diego spoiler Bengi Garcia.  Suleymanov took a couple of rounds to warm up, but graudally landed the crisper shots against the wilder Garcia. In a bout of two debuting Junior Middleweights, Lancaster, CA's Roberto Reyes won a 1st round knockout over Salt Lake City, UT's Azamat Umarzoda. Luis Martinez rasied his record to 2-3 (1 KO) with a unanimous four round decision over Juan Sandoval. In the opening bout, Japanese Light Heavyweight Hiromitsu Miura won a four round decision over Tenessee's Nathan Bedwell.

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STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS

RIP Edwin Valero.  What you did was disgusting, but you made it as right as you could.  Spare the Venezuelan taxpayers a big trial, and not give the Venezuelan government a chance to do something else corrupt (look up Foreman vs. Norton, post fight tax). Congrats to Sergio Martinez.  You showed me.  Funny thing is I predicted the first 9 rounds accurately.  What I did not expect is Martinez to be the one to land the big shot that changed things.  Once Pavlik was willing to look bad by throwing more, he took control.  After his eye was cut in round 9, however, Pavlik could not longer see, and had trouble pulling the trigger. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Carl Froch is going to have a very tough night against Mikkel Kessler.  Not just because Kessler will be more motivated.  Not because Froch's fights with Dirrell and Taylor showed more of his weaknesses than strengths. Kostya Tszyu should not return, as he is teasing that he may do.  He is likely a hall of fame fighter already (not immediately, but eventually), and would be fighting in the very talent-rich 140lb and 147lb divisions.  Oh, the beatings that await him as an elder statesman.

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What We Deserve

What We Deserve

Edison Miranda and Sergio Martinez do not deserve their title shots, but neither did George Foreman against Michael Moorer, nor Sugar Ray Leonard against Marvin Hagler.  Am I predicting similar upsets? David Haye does not deserve a crack at either Klitschko.  No one deserves to sit through Haye vs. Valuev 2, as will likely happen, but Haye has not earned the shot yet. Roman Karmazin deserved to fight Sebastian Sylvester in his hometown of St. Petersburg.  I don't know what happened that led to that fight taking place in Germany, with Sylvester getting the advantage yet again, but "Made in Hell" will have a hell of a time getting a decision now. Danny Green deserves a title shot against a belt-holding cruiserweight, and Guillermo Jones deserves a fight, ANY FIGHT, so let's make this happen soon.  Anthony Mundine deserves nothing but to be forced to prove himself in a rematch with Daniel Geale, plus he and Green are now three divisions apart. Floyd Mayweather Jr. deserves respect.  Period.  I won't say I approve of his every move.  I won't even say I'll be cheering for him on May 1.  However, history is actually beginning to allow annoying behavior to undermine results.

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Vladimir Tereshkin Wins in Impressive Fashion

Vladimir Tereshkin Wins in Impressive Fashion

Fighting in front of a American audience at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino  for the first time in his career, heavyweight prospect Vladimir Tereshkin, was impressive as he scored a unanimous six round decision over Joseph Rabotte.  Tereshkin (13-0-1, 7 KO's) completely dominated Rabotte (7-12-0, 3 KO's) all six rounds, winning on all three judges' scorecards 60-54. Vladimir TereshkinTereshkin was happy with his win in his debut and looks forward to only getting better in his quest for a world heavyweight title. Catching up with his Co-Manager Alex Mezherovsky of Union Boxing Management...

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Union Boxing Management team up with Freddie Roach and John Bray

Union Boxing Management team up with Freddie Roach and John Bray

Los Angeles, California (April 9, 2010) - There are many bright young prospects currently in the state of boxing but none more promising than the young fighters that are currently signed with Union Boxing Management.  Since 2001, Co-Managers Alex Vaysfeld and Alex Mezherovsky have been diligently working to build future world champions, guiding the careers of promising young prospects such as former IBF inter-continental welterweight titlist Sergey Stepkin.  Stepkin was most remembered for his all out slugfest with middleweight contender Miguel Espino for the WBC Caribbean middleweight title. Mezherovsky added the following, "We are looking for talent all over the world and have teamed up with two great trainers in Freddie Roach and John Bray. We are a U.S. company and will continue to build future world champions." 

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A few thoughts on the recent Abraham vs. Dirrell match:

A few thoughts on the recent Abraham vs. Dirrell match:

How did Laurence Cole get this assignment?  How bad do you have to mess up before nepatism isn't enough to save you?  He has the fundamentals of a referee, but is not good enough to take on the big assignments.  This was a painful reminder that there actually is a worse commission than Texas.  Michigan has proved its incompetence before with lousy decisions (Rico Hoye against Montell Griffin, and Courtney Burton over Emmanuel Augustus).  In fact, in the Augustus fight, commentator Teddy Atlas actually caught a judge not knowing what a majority decision is! Michigan however, did itself horribly on this night, by allowing the entoruage of Andre Dirrell immediate access to him following the DQ.  Did anyone else notice the vigorous head-shaking of Dirrell by his handlers?!  That could have been disastrous.

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HOPKINS VS. JONES... WE COULDN'T BE TOO SURE

HOPKINS VS. JONES... WE COULDN'T BE TOO SURE

Although I predicted the recent Hopkins vs. Jones rematch accurately, as I'm sure many of you did, it is a hard one to gloat over.  Bernard winning a wide, defensive-minded unanimous decision wasn't exactly a ballsy pick.  James Toney vs. Michael Nunn - Nunn was one of the best fighters in the world, and Toney, while undefeated, was largely untested. Bernard Hopkins vs. Glen Johnson - Hopkins is not a big puncher.  Johnson is barely phased when big punching light heavyweights tag him clean.  Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Greg Haugen - There was no surpise here as to who won the fight.  The surprise was the 5th round stoppage.  Chavez was motivated by Haugen's critique of his opponents, while Haugen was not training seriously due to personal problems.  Calvin Grove vs. Jeff Fenech - This was a battle of former world champions... in Fenech's case, he had held titles in three weight classes, and arguably should have been four, after his draw with Azumah Nelson that many thought should have been a win.

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BRITISH ANNOUNCERS, FLAGRANT BIAS

BRITISH ANNOUNCERS, FLAGRANT BIAS

From booing the national anthem of the country you are visiting, to recycling holiday songs, to bringing your own horn section, the British are clearly the most annoying group of fans.  This is usually dismissed, however, as they are fans.  Let them enjoy the game as they see fit, as long as no one gets hurt.  Americans see this kind of blind allegiance out of Latino (and now Filipino) fans all the time.  It is nothing new to us.  Yet, for the British, it bleeds to the announcers and officials, and that is where it is becoming a disgrace. First, the announcers.  I admit, I gave Jim Lampley quite a lot of grief for his biased handling of The Paul Williams - Sergio Martinez match, but when watching any British telecast, I am always reminded that I have never seen a more blatantly biased group of fans posing as journalists in all my life.  Their "David Haye is the next Messiah" coverage of the recent John Ruiz match was shameful to anyone who wants to watch an unbiased call of the action.

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Leo Nolan Steps Back Into The Ring

Leo Nolan Steps Back Into The Ring

Heavyweight contender Leo Nolan, 27-2 (10), steps back into the ring on April 24th. Nolan will be taking on heavyweight prospect "Big Fred" Kassi, 15-1 (8) at the Hollywood Casino in St. Louis Missouri. This bout marks the return of major heavyweight fights to the Hollywood Casino. For Nolan, it is the first fight back since being stopped in the third round by Alexander Povetkin in December and his second since he was the victim of an attempted car jacking in which he was shot in the neck last June. The shooting left his left arm weakened and his left hand numb. Nolan said he was very tentative going into the Povetkin fight, but has gone through extensive rehabilitation of his injuries and feels a lot better than he did in December.

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John Bray Boxing Foundation Clinic a Success!

John Bray Boxing Foundation Clinic a Success!

The John Bray Boxing Foundation and LAPD Foothill Jeopardy Program teamed up to hold the 3rd Annual John Bray Free Youth Boxing Clinic this past Saturday in an effort to continue to assist at-risk youth in the area.  Both non-profits arranged this free youth boxing clinic because of the issues with kids that are of crucial importance to the community.   Many children and young adults face temptations everyday, whether it is drugs, gangs or peer pressure.  The free youth boxing clinic was organized to provide a safe haven for the kids as well as give them a chance to listen to very interesting motivational speakers as well as learn a few boxing techniques from former and current professional boxers. We would also like to graciously thank the following sponsors for making this event a reality: Everlast Worldwide Inc., Powerade, Convicted Artists, Visual Impact Stunt Equipment Company, the International Stunt Association, Remetee Clothing and the Tournament of Contenders.

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Ringside with TKO Promotions at the Commerce Casino

Ringside with TKO Promotions at the Commerce Casino

TKO Promotions played to nearly a packed house in Commerce Casino's ballroom, Thursday night, March 25.  In the main event, Demetrius Hopkins and Jesse Feliciano. Super Middleweight Brothers Fedor Chudinov (4-0-3KO’s) and Dmitry Chudinov (4-0-2KO’s).  Chudinov had too much strength for Jones (1-3-1-0KO's), and dropped him in the 1st round with a big right hand.  Steve Fierro, of Carson City, NV stopped Mike Finney, of San Jacuinto, CA in the 2nd round of a scheduled 4-round Heavyweight prelim.  Finney dropped to (1-7-1 KO). Ivan Redkach, of Los Angeles, by way of the Ukraine, overcame a game challenge from Ontario, Oregon's John Lopez.  Mikael Zewski, of Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada scored a 3rd round TKO over debuting Moses Alvizo, of Phoenix by way of Guadalajara, Mexico.   Flavio Rodriguez, looking pudgy at 147, stopped Toledo, OH's Najee Hayes in 3 rounds.  Flyweight Randy Caballero, of Coachella, also had a successful. Super Middleweight J’Leon Love (3-0, 3 KO’s) took a while to get started.

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IS IT JUST ME OR...

IS IT JUST ME OR...

Are judges ever going to get tired of screwing Kassim Ouma?  Seriously guys, it is getting old.  The poor guy has been through enough.  Let him win a decision.  And note to Kassim: Your shoe-shine style doesn't work.  It generates no power, and judges are ignoring your work.  Throw less, throw harder, and take the judges out of the equation. Speaking of getting tired... did you think sportswriters would get sick of writing about the "death of boxing", especially after being wrong for the last 30 years?  Just like reality TV, some fads grotesquely outlive their usefulness. 

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John Bray 3rd Annual Free Youth Boxing Clinic

John Bray 3rd Annual Free Youth Boxing Clinic

The John Bray Boxing Foundation is holding the 3rd Annual John Bray Free Youth Boxing Clinic in an effort to continue to help the community in preventing and combating gang violence while promoting discipline and academic success among school-age students.  For the second consecutive year, the John Bray Boxing Foundation has teamed up with the LAPD Foothill Jeopardy Program, which is a program within the LAPD's juvenile division that targets children "at risk" of becoming involved in gang activity and offers them a variety of educational and physical projects from tutoring to boxing.  We would like to graciously thank the following sponsors for making this event a reality: Everlast Worldwide Inc., Glaceau Vitamin Water, Powerade, Convicted Artists, Visual Impact Stunt Equipment Company and the International Stunt Association.

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STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS

Some observations from recent events: Andre Ward's injury.  What is with all these injuries all of a sudden?  30 years ago, the Super Six could have been completed in six months.  Now, the mid-2011 deadline is looking more and more unlikely.  Are athletes just softer, training harder, or taking a new definition of the word injury? I am still happy for Manny Pacquiao.  He took a match with someone he knew could make a boring fight, because he was the best available.  Willing to risk marketability to make sure no one would question who the best was.  That is a fighter.  I just hope we don't lose him to politics.  Even if we do, take a lesson from Vitali... they always come back.

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APRIL PREDICTIONS, Vol. 2

APRIL PREDICTIONS, Vol. 2

David Haye vs. John Ruiz. It’s difficult to say what is going to happen here, because Ruiz has not seemed to be losing a step in his ability to maul, mug, and make fights ugly.  That is also a tiring fight to manage, and Haye has had stamina issues in the past. Tavoris Cloud vs. Glen Johnson. Given that whenever it seems Glen Johnson is done, he turns in a great performance against a lower level contender, this could be interesting.  This is the fight that will let all of us know if Cloud is a top 5, or top 10, fighter.    Andre Berto vs. Carlos Quintana. Expect the same thing you saw with Luis Collazo… the only difference being Quintana’s questionable chin.  Chris Arreola vs. Tomasz Adamek. I don’t think too many true boxing fans will be missing this one, and this is one that can bring mainstream fans back into boxing. 

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Pacquiao Clottey - The Event at Cowboy Stadium

Pacquiao Clottey - The Event at Cowboy Stadium

Manny  Pacquiao vs. Joshua  Clottey. A showy Joshua  Clottey entered the ring with a boogie -like sway, looking both self-assured and vigorous.  Humberto Soto vs. David Diaz. Diaz Diaz came in as the aggressor against a more calm and collected Soto. This was a common south paw against a conventional fighter match. Jose Luis Castillo vs. Alfonso Gomez. This fight was a disappointment to many, who expected more out of Jose Luis Castillo. John Duddy vs. Michael Medina. Duddy and Medina appeared to be of equal value.  

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GREAT FIGHTS NIXED BY DEATH

GREAT FIGHTS NIXED BY DEATH

I'd like to look at three big fights throughout history, that boxing fans would have likely seen, had one of the participants not perished young: Marcel Cerdan vs. Sugar Ray Robinson. While Jake La Motta was always a tough assignment, I think most would agree he lucked into the Middleweight title when Marcel Cerdan injured his shoulder in their 1949 title fight. Zab Judah vs. Diego Corrales. Both men had good power, skill, and will... but couldn't quite overcome that top level with regularity. George Foreman vs. Sonny Liston. Like Joe Louis vs. Rocky Marciano, or Mike Tyson vs. Larry Holmes, the torch is always best passed man to man.  For these two heavyweight greats

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APRIL PREDICTIONS, Vol. 1

APRIL PREDICTIONS, Vol. 1

Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones. Yes, it is years too late, but these two have done enough in their careers to warrant our mentioning it. Kelly Pavlik vs. Sergio Martinez. I know many will pick Martinez here, based on the hype machine loving him, as well as vilifying Pavlik's choice of recent opponents. Lucien Bute vs. Edison Miranda. Miranda does not deserve this title shot... pure and simple. Mikkel Kessler vs. Carl Froch. This is a pick 'em only because both men looked so unimpressive in their last outings, and now we don't know what to expect. Andre Ward vs. Allan Green. Green doesn't have an easy assignment, no matter who he takes on, but he does have the tools to compete.

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Danny Batchelder vs. Kubrat Pulev in Germany

Danny Batchelder vs. Kubrat Pulev in Germany

American heavyweight contender Danny Batchelder, 25-7-1 (12), will be traveling to Berlin Germany to take on former Olympian super heavyweight and fast rising heavyweight prospect, Kubrat Pulev, 6-0 (4), on March 13th. The fight will be part of the undercard of the Marco Huck vs. Adam Richards bout for the WBO cruiserweight title. For Batchelder, it marks the first return to the ring since dropping a decision to former contender Lance Whitaker in July. Batchelder has trimmed down to 220 lbs and has been very focused on his training leading up to this fight. 

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The Difficulty With Decisions

The Difficulty With Decisions

“There is a fifth dimension … between science and superstition … it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”  I hear these words echo inside my head every time a great fight goes the distance. Rod Serling, a former boxer and author of the teleplay “Requiem for a Heavyweight,” knew a few things about the sport, and I often wonder if his introduction to the 1960’s TV series was a private joke about one of boxing’s greatest flaws - a bad decision. 

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