Tag Archives: comeback

Kell Brook vs Sergey Rabchenko Preview


By: Ste Rowen

This Saturday night, Kell Brook makes his return to the ring for the first time since his 11th round stoppage loss to Errol Spence in May last year. A punishing encounter that broke his left eye socket, lost him his belt and forced Brook into questioning whether it was worth carrying on.

‘People are right to question what I’ve got left and how I am going to be after the injuries and defeats. I know that I’ve got a lot left in me. I believe I am going to be the same fighter, I’ll be better with the bigger weight which will bring the best out of me.’

The Sheffield native was forced into taking in a knee in front of his home fans in the Spence bout but he’s back in Sheffield again, this time at Sheffield Arena, to make his first steps in the heavily stacked with talent, 154lb division and regain the momentum and perhaps respect he lost in defeat.
Brook’s first tilt at junior middleweight sees him come up against 29-2 (22KOs) Sergey Rabchenko. The Belarussian fought just once in 2017, stopping fellow countryman and journeyman Sergey Krapshyla. The combined record of Rabchenko’s last four victories is 51-59-5 (27KOs).

On his opponent, ‘Special K’ had his promoter’s hat on,

‘He’s a very good fighter, very clever. He has only got two losses, like myself…He’s naturally strong and powerful, and he goes to the head and body good. He uses the ring, he’s a very clever fighter.’

‘If anyone had not done anything right at the top level, they would get beat by this guy, because this guy is no joke.’

It’s not exactly the acid test some fans were hoping for but some leeway may have to be given for a man who in his previous two bouts suffered fractured sockets in both his left and right eyes, not to mention it being his first fight in a new division.

With the WBC ‘Silver’ junior middleweight belt being on the line, a win could propel the victor into a mandatory shot, unfortunately for Saturday night’s winner, the current 154lb WBC champion is the unbeaten, huge hitting and fellow Errol Spence gym-mate, Jermell Charlo, set to fight in June against an, as yet unnamed opponent.

But Kell’s new division is full of exciting fighters including match ups with contenders such as, Julian Williams and Erickson Lubin, recently knocked out in the first round by Charlo; or a domestic shootout with Liam Smith and of course, the never-ending speculation of a fight with Amir Khan. Another fight with the other champions can’t be overlooked, though WBA holder, Erislandy Lara and IBF champion, Jarrett Hurd face off against one another next month, a fight later this year even with the loser would be a great barometer of where Kell is at and how far he can go to reach the summit at 154.

Saturday night’s card in Sheffield also features some interesting matchups.
Gamal Yafai, brother of Super Flyweight champion, Kal, takes on 18-1-2 (5KOs), Gavin McDonnell. Gamal, 14-0 (7KOs) is currently on a 3-fight knockout streak with his biggest win to date coming in May last year when he stopped then unbeaten, Sean Davis in seven to claim the WBC international super-bantamweight title. McDonnell is two fights removed from his comprehensive loss to WBC super-bantamweight champion, Rey Vargas.
Fans favourite, Dave Allen will be looking to put old demons to bed and avenge his 3rd professional loss when he rematches Lenroy Thomas for the heavyweight commonwealth title. Allen and Thomas fought a close but ugly encounter on the Brook/Spence undercard last year which saw the Jamaican take the split decision victory. The ‘White Rhino’ now 12-3-1 (9KOs), is under no illusions about how significant this fight is for the trajectory of the rest of his career,
‘Mental preparation I think is key now, for a man like myself. Physically I’m there, so yeah, I’ve got to live the life in fight week, because I’ve thrown good performances away on fight week by doing stupid things.’

‘My message to Eddie Hearn is, when I beat Lenroy Thomas in fantastic fashion, which I will do, we’re going to have to sit down and make big plans.’

More Headlines

Floyd Mayweather’s Return? Don’t call it a comeback…


By: Kirk Jackson

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years,” famous lyrics recited from the Hip-Hop legend LL Cool J from his number-one single Mama Said Knock You Out can certainly apply to a recent scenario featuring the retired/semi-retired Floyd Mayweather.

In recent weeks, the eventual Hall of Famer posted videos to his social media sites featuring short snippets of training.

In the video, Mayweather is rigorously punching the heavy bag and participating in other boxing-fight related activities across other video footage. The question is why? What is his intent? Is he teasing for yet another comeback and if so, against who?

Notorious Mayweather criticizer and HBO boxing analyst Jim Lampley, suggests Mayweather intends to fight Conor McGregor one more time.

“Why else is he putting out videos of him working out?” Lampley said to a TMZ reporter. “He allowed Conor McGregor to ‘win’ three rounds. Why did the whole thing last 10 rounds, etc.? It’s all a setup.”
Lampley of course is referencing when the undefeated former boxing champion Mayweather defeated the current UFC lightweight champion McGregor via TKO in the 10th round Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.

“Why should he retire?” Lampley said. “He created a marvelous scam with this whole thing. He allowed Conor to quote ‘win’ three rounds, so the whole global MMA wish community could have something to latch onto.”

“I think there’s a decent chance, there’s enough suckers out there, Floyd could maybe make another $150 million.”

No matter how the fight played out at the very least, the event was a financial success. Although the official numbers have yet to release, UFC President Dana White has celebrated the fiscal achievements of the circus that was.

“The thing ended up doing 6.7 million pay-per-view buys globally,” said White on The Unnamed Podvideocast. “How about this, we broke the record in Australia, we broke the record in the U.K. at four in the morning. We broke the record in Spain, Canada and the United States.”

It’s estimated the fight generated around $670 million in PPV revenue alone, leaving Mayweather with the lion’s share of the profit, providing Mayweather with incentive to run this lap yet again as Lampley suggested.

For McGregor’s part, he probably wouldn’t mind getting another crack at Mayweather.

For one, he will not receive criticism for losing to Mayweather; even though he back-peddled from the smaller, older, frail, fighter most of the fight.

He’ll continue to make excuses and escape criticism.

Of course there’s also financial incentive. Why return to the Octagon for peanuts (comparatively to boxing) when you can earn when you can earn multiple millions more in the boxing ring against one of the highest all-time grossing athletes across any sport?

As for the fight itself, the proposed rematch between Mayweather and McGregor and the excitement factor for most boxing fans will more than likely be non-existent.

For viewers possessing a greater understanding of boxing semantics, many could see what Mayweather was doing and how the fight was going to turn out. Lampley even mentioned it.

Mayweather toyed with McGregor, intentionally conceded rounds to sell/carry the fight and there isn’t much McGregor could do in a rematch that could change the outcome.

For those latching on to hope a rematch will be different, keep this mind. McGregor is a talented fighter and is exceptional within his realm of fighting.

McGregor is a good athlete and with time and proper training, could potentially develop into a good boxer.

But boxing is not an art mastered over the course of a few months. Boxing takes years to master and Mayweather is one of the grandeurs of the sport.

The initial fight promotion was based on racial propaganda and viewed by many people invested in that drama; the rematch may potentially feature some of the viewers from the same crowd.

If Mayweather isn’t training for a McGregor rematch, who is he training for? Is it current middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin? Or former two-division champion Danny Garcia?

The interview was conducted roughly a year ago and the options mentioned may no longer hold much merit.
Garcia is rumored to face Brandon Rios towards the end of the year and if he emerges victorious who knows what is footing will be in the convoluted welterweight championship picture. Although a bout with Mayweather promptly trumps any other option.

There was a stipulation for Mayweather regarding a bout with Golovkin but due to Andre Ward’s recent retirement, combined with Golovkin performance against former Mayweather adversary Canelo Alvarez, there could be a slim opening for the fighter referred to as “Triple G.”

At the age of 35, Golovkin is slowly but surely transforming into a household name with his last bout reaching nearly one million Pay-per-view buys.

He’s undefeated, a long time champion and regarded by many as a feared knock-out artist; that’s enough of a storyline to sell a potential fight against Mayweather.

There’s also another fighter knocking on Mayweather’s door asking for a fight with the retired champion.

Although it’d be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Amir Khan’s family who wants to see a bout between Khan and Mayweather.

At this point, it’s purely speculation whether Mayweather will return to the ring as a fighter in the
upcoming months.

The question remains why post training footage unless there is a plan in motion?

Mayweather may keep us guessing until he’s ready to reveal his move; just as he does to opponents inside the boxing ring.

More Columns

Nonito Donaire Returns September 23rd


By Jake Donovan

Chief among the list of goals for Nonito Donaire’s ring return was quickly working his way towards another world title shot.

His first fight back takes a significant step forward in making that happen.

The former four division champion from Northern California by way of Philippines is locked in for a scheduled 12-round battle with Mexico’s Ruben Garcia Hernandez. The two will collide September 23 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as the chief support to the highly anticipated World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight quarterfinal matchup between knockout artists Yunier Dorticos and Dmitry Kudryashov.

“I’m ready to return to the ring and show that I still have what it takes to be a world champion and face the best in this sport,” said Donaire (37-4, 24KOs), who fights for the first time since a questionable loss to Jesse Magdaleno last November. “I’m excited to give the great fight fans in San Antonio a great show, just like when I fought Wilfredo Vazquez at the Alamodome in 2012.”

Donaire sat out the first eight months of 2017 following a disappointing – and highly disputed points loss to Magdaleno in his last bout, a setback that saw his second tour as a super bantamweight titlist come to a close after just 11 months and one successful title defense.

The 34-year old boxer-puncher claimed titles at flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight amidst a 30-fight win streak spanning more than 11 years, a run that also included Fighter of the Year honors in 2012. He let his promotional contract with Top Rank expire before resurfacing with Ringstar, with the promise of quickly making his way back to the title picture.

That wasn’t the only reason the California-based promotional outfit signed him, though.

“Nonito Doniare is a fantastic fighter, he’s one of those fighters who is never in a boring fight,” Richard Schaefer, chairman and CEO of Ringstar Promotions explained to BoxingInsider.com. “That is what really attracted me to signing him., but more importantly he is a super nice person and the same with his wife Rachel. It reminded me of Shane Mosley, whose biggest paydays came while we were both with Golden Boy Promotions.

“Funny enough, Rachel and Jin (Mosley, Shane’s ex-wife) are best friends. Nonito became a free agent, and spoke to Jin about where he should sign. Jin said, ’It’s easy, go to Richard.’ Jin and I have known each other for quite a while. I was honest with him in telling him what we needed to do to get hi back to the world championship level.”

First up is coming out on top in a scheduled 12-round bout that comes with the World Boxing Council Silver featherweight title at stake. To boxing purists, it’s just another trinket and an excuse for the alphabet organization to collect a sanctioning fee.

To Donaire it’s a chance to advance to the top of the queue for the WBC title held by Gary Russell Jr., or at least have him as an option among a loaded featherweight field that also includes the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares and Carl Frampton.

For his opponent, it’s the chance of a lifetime to not only land a title shot but also claim the scalp of one of the very best of this past generation of boxers.

“I am grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” said Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9KOs), who has won seven straight since a stoppage loss to former bantamweight titlist Randy Caballero last February. “I know that I am facing a great fighter and that has motivated me to train harder than ever before for this matchup.

“I’m planning on giving it my all and giving the fans a great fight. I hope Donaire comes to fight because I am coming to knock him out on September 23rd.”

Such a scenario would indeed upset the detailed plans Donaire and Ringstar have in place for the next year and possibly beyond.

“Nonito wants to compete at featherweight, not come back just to get in a few fights,” Schaefer outlined to BoxingInsider.com. “His last time at featherweight included a world title but how it ended never sat well with him (an Oct. ’14 knockout loss to Nicholas Walters).

“There are great matchups at this weight. Featherweight is a hot division, and he fits right in. Particularly when you look at Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Abner Mares, Gary Russell – mix those up, and you have a Fight of the Year candidate no matter how they are paired.”

The fact that Schaefer has a terrific working relationship with each of the aforementioned boxers made it a no-brainer for Donaire to sign with him.

“I’m thankful to Ringstar Sports for helping me in this next chapter of my career and I know with them in my corner, I’ll be back to where I belong soon,” Donaire believes. After this fight, I’m coming for all of the featherweight champions and to prove I’m the best in the division.”

Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

More Headlines

Why Jeffries Came Back for Johnson & Marciano Didn’t for Johansson!


Why Jeffries Came Back for Johnson & Marciano Didn’t for Johansson!
By: Ken Hissner

James J “The Boilermaker” Jeffries was considered one of the all-time great heavyweight champions when he retired after defeating Jack Munroe in 2 rounds in August of 1904. His record was 19-0-2 (16).

rockymarcianoarticle

When Jack “The Galvestan Giant” Johnson became the first black champion defeating Tommy Burns in December of 1908 the white race seemed to be quite upset especially due to the arrogance of Johnson. Johnson had four defenses with the first a draw with light heavyweight champion Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, NWS decisions with Tony Ross 11-6-2, NWS with Al Kauffman 18-1 and came off the canvas to KO12 middleweight champion Stanley Ketchell.

Johnson as you can see was running out of opponents though also drawing “the color line” not defending against any of the black opponents since becoming champion. On the other hand even Jeffries Pastor in front of his congregation was embarrassing him saying “we have a coward amongst us” in trying to bring him back to take back the title from the black champion.

Jeffries had gained over 100 pounds and hadn’t fought in 6 years minus a month. He unwisely came back at 227 to Johnson’s 208. Jeffries was 224 in his last fight some 6 years before. Jeffries was stopped in the 15th of a scheduled 45 round scheduled battle. In those days if you took a knee the round was over. Johnson was 38-5-7 going into this fight outdoors in Reno, NV.

In Marciano’s decision not to return after retiring coming off the canvas to knockout light heavyweight champion Archie Moore in his last bout in September of 1959 he had no plans to return to the ring. Floyd Patterson would defeat Moore for the vacant title. There was talk of a Marciano Patterson fight but Marciano who would take months prior to a fight away from his family wanted to spend time lost with his wife and children. At retirement he was 49-0 (43) with 6 title defenses the first was a KO1 over “Jersey” Joe Walcott whom he won the title over with a KO13 while behind in the scoring 4-7, 5-7 and 4-8 needing a knockout to win.

Marciano went onto KO11 Roland LaStarza in 1953 who he had won a split decision over in 1950 before becoming champion. He then defeated the former champion Ezzard Charles twice. The first was a decision 8-5, 9-5 and 8-6 and in the rematch Charles split Marciano’s nose so bad a only a knockout would save his title from the referee or ring physician possibly stopping the fight though ahead 5-1 and 6-1 twice. Then after 8 months he knocked out the British Empire champion Don Cockell 66-11-1 in 9 rounds with the Moore fight to follow.

Patterson after defeating Moore for the vacant defended his title 6 times all by knockout until he was knocked out by Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson. This is when Marciano felt he would come back to bring the title back to America. He spent time alone nearby his home trying to get back in shape. He said the desire wasn’t there anymore. Patterson would come back to win the title from Johansson bringing back the title to America.

More Boxing History

Miguel Cotto Aims for his 6th World Title with Golden Boy Promotions Aid


Miguel Cotto Aims for his 6th World Title with Golden Boy Promotions Aid
By: Francisco Martinez

Puerto Rican legend and future hall of farmer Miguel Cotto is ready for his highly anticipated ring return. Early in the year he was set to face middleweight slugger James Kirkland in Dallas a fight put together by Roc Nation. Fast forward a couple of months the Kirkland fight fell trough as did his partnership with Roc Nation come to an end. Now August 26th at the StubHub Center Miguel Cotto returns under Golden Boy promotions with a multi-fight deal and the first being against action brawler Japanese Yoshihiro Kamegai for the WBO 154lbs title.

CottoGeale_Hoganphotos2

If successful Miguel Cotto would be making his 6th title reign in 4 division to add to his sure first ballot hall of fame career “It’s an honor for me to be back again and for the WBO championship is something extra” Cotto arguably the best Puerto Rican fighter we have seen to date. His career has been very important for boxing. Miguel Cotto has fought literally everyone that can be mentioned from the current cash cow in boxing, Saul Canelo Alvarez to Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao who at the time where the biggest names in boxing and PPV stars.

With a win this coming August 26th Miguel Cotto can get right back into the big fight stage as his new promoter Oscar De La Hoya states Canelo vs Cotto rematch is possible “It’s an option, why close doors on anybody. I think if you’re winning fights, you win world titles than you should be in the Canelo sweepstakes. We’re not saying no, we’re not saying yes. It’s just a matter of you performing in the ring and demonstrating it that you belong once again” clear indication that Miguel Cotto is an option for Canelo given he gets past Gennady Golovkin this coming September 16th.

Obviously Miguel Cotto will keep a close eye on Saul Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin and being that he has faced Saul Alvarez before he shares his take on the mega bout that the whole world awaits “I think they’re really skilled guys. Really strong boxers and they have to find their key to beat each other in the fight” Cotto also has a reserved fate for December 2nd given he is successful on August 26th which will also be Cotto’s first fight in California, Los Angeles since he faced Arturo Rodriguez at the Staples Center back in 2001 for his 6th professional bout.

Miguel Cotto is used to fighting in New York or Las Vegas however Cotto seems like one of those guys who doesn’t give much thought as to where he fights or who he fights as he has always left it on the line win or lose “I’ll do my best in training camp and I know it’s going to be a great night of boxing at the StubHub. I going to do my best as always. He’s just another boxer he has two hands to hit like me and all that is talked about on the night of August 26th your going to see the way we handle our training camps”

As Miguel Cotto has always given his best and nothing less during all his fights it was unclear if he would step back into the ring and if so when as he come close to about a 2 year inactivity since his last fight which was against Saul Alvarez. Having stated early this year 2017 would be his final year as a fighter things quickly unraveled and now the extension of his great career will be guided by Golden Boy promotions most like into 2018 and possibly beyond. Miguel Cotto doesn’t shy away from critics or criticism and replies to those that might think he should retire instead of carrying on.

“I’m happy to be here, I’m healthy, I’m good here. People will see what Miguel Cotto has in boxing” as for the end of his promotional partnership with Roc Nation Cotto said this about the parting ways “we just decided to split our relationship because we understood that because we are going to be better with Roc Nation on their path and Miguel Cotto on his path. We understood that we couldn’t go further in our relationship and we just decided to move on”

August 26th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on HBO for the WBO 154lbs Miguel Cotto steps back into the ring with the Japanese brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai who’s coming off a fight of the year candidate and plans to bring it to Miguel Cotto in what is the biggest opportunity of his career. Don’t miss this it. Follow the conversation via #CottoKamegai for complete coverage.

More Columns

Tag Team: Cotto To Face Both Kamegai And Father Time On August 26th


Tag Team: Cotto To Face Both Kamegai And Father Time On August 26th
By: Sean Crose

It’s been a while, but Miguel Cotto will finally be returning to the ring on August 26th. His opponent will be the exciting Yoshihiro Kamegai in a battle for the WBO world super welterweight title, which Cotto’s last opponent, Canelo Alvarez, vacated in order to easily defeat Julio Caesar Chavez Jr a few weeks back. The bout, which will be held at California’s StubHub Center, will be featured on regular HBO. The fact that the fight won’t be a pay per view event is a refreshing change for fans, since bouts which used to appear regularly on outlets like HBO now seem to cost those fans extra money.

Miguel Cotto Greatest Hits

The last time Cotto was in the ring was way back in November of 2015, when he faced Canelo in a major fight that proved to be a rare pay per view success during the time following the Mayweather-Pacquiao bomb earlier that same year. It was a close bout, but Canelo walked away with a decision win. Since that night, names like Tim Bradley, James Kirkland and Juan Manuel Marquez have been attached, in varying degrees, to Cotto’s. The only major event in Cotto’s stalled career, however, has been his break with promotional entity Roc Nation Sports, which had been representing the Puerto Rican star.

Now, though, the man is set to face Kamegai in a bout that some may be calling a dud, but that, in reality, could prove interesting. For, at thirty six years of age, Cotto will not only be coming off a long layoff, but will be running from Father Time, as well. His 40-5 record is impressive, but it’s hard to imagine the man’s best days being ahead of him. His last victory will have been over two years earlier, after all, and that will have been against Daniel Geale, a quality, but certainly not great, opponent.

Still, there are those who see the 27-3-2 Kamegai as something of a tuneup for Cotto before he moves on to bigger and better things, possibly in the fall. The 34 year old Tokyo resident, however, has a shot at glory here. He also has some impressive wins on his resume that are worth considering. Although he may not be the favorite, there may be too many questions in play at the moment to just write the veteran warrior off as a glorified sparring partner for Cotto.

More Headlines

Haye Haye, My My (into the Comeback)


Haye Haye, My My (into the Comeback)
By G.E. Simons

David Haye’s return to competitive boxing continues on 4th March with a ‘Heavyweight Feature Attraction’ against the WBC Cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew, which will be broadcast live from London’s O2 Arena via SKY Box Office in the UK.

Wladimir Klitschko v David Haye - World Heavyweight Championship Fight

Haye informally retired from boxing back in November 2013 following a second withdrawal from planned fights with Tyson Fury due to a serious shoulder problem which required surgery.

In the same November, Tony Bellew suffered his second career defeat at the heavy hands of the defending Light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, before a successful and still undefeated reinvention at Cruiserweight.

Mixing in solid company at the new weight Bellew has excelled with good wins over Valery Brudov, a score settler with Nathan Cleverly and Mateusz Masternak, followed by a fairy-tale knockout victory over the feared Ilunga Makabu to claim the WBC word title.

Less than a month after Bellew’s unlikely ascension to the very top of the Cruiserweight division, David Haye announced his own return to the ring, with a new trainer in Shane McGuigan and a new opponent in the shape of Croatia-based Aussie, Mark de Mori.

A quick knockout of De Mori in January 2016 was followed by a slightly more time consuming KO of second comeback opponent and Swiss import Arnold Gjergjaj who fulfilled the roll of victim with the accuracy for which Switzerland is famed.

So, from an athletic point-of-view the coming together of Haye and Bellew in 2017 has no more credibility or relevance than Conor McGregor buying Gucci silks on Rodeo Drive.

SKY is of course doing it’s best to fan the flames of the dissent that the two protagonists seem to have manufactured from somewhere, as copywriters feverishly mine the ‘war of words’, ‘bitter battle’ and ‘fierce rivalry’ seams of content provision, but with the PPV priced at £16.95 a pop they need to.

The real problem with this fight is that it means absolutely nothing from a boxing point of view and really doesn’t move the needle of either fighter’s career no matter what the outcome.

If Haye wins by KO early, late or in the middle, so what. He’s a Heavyweight with freakish power against a Cruiserweight who was knocked out at Light-heavyweight.

Of course if Haye wins, the comeback and the paydays continue and in a still splintered division he may also reclaim a portion of the Heavyweight title spoils.
If Bellew wins via any outcome, so what. Haye hasn’t had a meaningful fight since his loss to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg nearly six years ago, is 36 years old and has a bad shoulder.

Of course if Bellew wins, his legacy swells and he returns to Cruiserweight with a Royal Flush of options or stays amongst the big boys for the well earned payday of his life.

And there you have it, the needle that this fight does move is a fiscal one. It’s really a Catchweight, PPV opportunity for one of boxing’s recent underachievers in David Haye and one of boxing’s recent overachievers in Tony Bellew to cash in now, and for the winner especially, afterwards as well.

No one involved has shied away from the financial motivation of this scrap either and why should they.

Interestingly, at the official launch press conference back in November Haye lost his cool somewhat as he ranted in clear frustration about promotional hierarchy with Eddie Hearn who asserted, “You are working with Matchroom because you need the dough. You need the dough that’s why you’re here.”

“You’re fighting me because you’re skint.” Bellew later told Haye as the former WBA heavyweight champion continued to wind himself up and threaten his opponent with stretchers and hospital beds in-between mentions of $2m offers to Lucas Brown and Shannon Briggs copping out.

Later and looking out at them, Bellew told the Press, “This idiot has blown the lot and this is the only reason he’s fighting me. He could have fought for the Heavyweight championship of the world but he chose the money. He chose the money because he’s skint. David is broke.”

This is one Pay-per-View event that will split the fans of boxing and the fans of fighting straight down the middle, with the latter group much more likely to reach for their PIN numbers and credit cards on this occasion.

Both fighters have peaked athletically, both are British Hall of Fame worthy, both have earned the right to meet and share a PPV pot whipped up by talk of a bitter rivalry, and so it really is up to if you want to help fill the pot that these two good old warriors are going to share.

More Columns

Andy Lee Plots His Return


Andy Lee Plots His Return
By: Sean Crose

Andy Lee, who was last seen losing his portion of the middleweight title last year, is now apparently rested and eager to return to the ring. This, friends, is good news. Why? Well, for starters, Lee is a good fighter. Sure he’s lost a few times (he’s 34-3-1), but he’s looked quite effective on more than one occasion – and against talented opposition, no less. Just ask Matt Korobov and Peter Quillin. It’s also worth keeping in mind that Lee can knock down a wall with his right hook. Yes, it’s a shot that can deliver, and that means Lee will always be an interesting fighter to watch.

img_1077

There’s something else worth liking about Lee, however, and that’s the fact that he probably means it when he claims willingness face Gennady Golovkin once he shakes off the rust. To be sure, the man gives no indication that he’ll price himself out, or argue that things need to marinate, or hide behind a managerial entity that can protect him. Lee’s record shows that he’s willing to challenge himself, win, lose or draw. Therefore, no matter what else happens, one might actually be able to believe there’s a top middleweight out there ready to challenge GGG now that Lee’s returning to the ring.

To be sure, Lee could give quite a few fighters out there some real trouble. He lost a close one to Billy Joe Saunders. Who’s to say Lee wouldn’t win a rematch – if Saunders would actually have one? Also, who’s to say Lee wouldn’t give Daniel Jacobs a run? Or Canelo Alvarez, for that matter? Indeed, Lee might well be able to beat each of those men. Could he beat GGG himself? One never knows, though it’s hard to imagine Golovkin falling to the Irishman – though there’s always that right hook to keep in mind.

As it stands, Lee claims to be back in the gym. He reportedly wants a quality opponent for his first fight back, then wants to shoot for the upper echelon of the middleweight division. Needless to say, it will be good to have the man back. He may not be an all time great middleweight, but he’s a pretty damn good one and he’s proven to be willing to – wait for it – take risks. Lee also comes across as a pretty nice guy, which is a good thing to see in boxing, where personalities can sometimes be as nasty as knockout blows.

More Columns

“The Preacherman” Cometh Back: Interview with former world cruiserweight champion Robert Daniels


“The Preacherman” Cometh Back: Interview with former world cruiserweight champion Robert Daniels
By: Ron Scarfone

The World Boxing Council (WBC) was the first sanctioning body to recognize the cruiserweight division in 1979 with a vacant world title fight in that weight class. Originally, the weight limit for cruiserweights was 190 pounds. This was later changed to 195 pounds. Currently, the division has a weight limit of 200 pounds. Rocky Marciano weighed between 184-189 pounds when he was the world heavyweight champion in the 1950s. In the 1970s, boxers such as Muhammad Ali usually weighed in the 220-230 pound range. Throughout the years that the cruiserweight division has existed, there has usually been a dearth of talent in that division. Light heavyweight champions such as Virgil Hill and Zsolt Erdei eventually moved up to cruiserweight and were able to win world cruiserweight titles even though they were both past their prime. Talented cruiserweight champions such as Evander Holyfield and David Haye became heavyweights for the money and prestige that the heavyweight division can provide. Holyfield and Haye were able to make a successful transition from cruiserweight to heavyweight and both became world heavyweight champions. There are other cruiserweight champions who have had more success at cruiserweight than in the heavyweight division such as Robert “The Preacherman” Daniels.

image

Daniels made his pro debut in 1984. Daniels received his first world title shot about five years later. With a record of 17-1, Daniels won the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) cruiserweight title in 1989 after he defeated Dwight Muhammad Qawi by a split decision. Daniels made two successful title defenses in 1990, but lost the WBA cruiserweight title to Bobby Czyz by a split decision in 1991. Daniels would have to wait six more years to become a world champion again. In 1997, Daniels defeated Kenny Keene by a split decision to win the International Boxing Council (IBC) cruiserweight title. In 1998, Daniels defeated Don Poeder by KO in the tenth round to win the International Boxing Organization (IBO) cruiserweight title. In 2000, Daniels moved up to the heavyweight division and faced world-class opposition. Daniels lost to heavyweight contenders Lawrence Clay-Bey and David Tua that year. Daniels later won two titles in the super cruiserweight division: one from the World Boxing Federation (WBF) in 2001 and the other from the International Boxing Association (IBA) in 2003. This division is no longer recognized. In 2003, Daniels lost to Jermell Barnes by unanimous decision in a North American Boxing Organization (NABO) cruiserweight title fight. The NABO is part of the World Boxing Organization (WBO). In 2004, Daniels lost to Dale Brown by a split decision in a North American Boxing Federation (NABF) cruiserweight title fight. The NABF is affiliated with the WBC. In 2005, Daniels won four consecutive fights. In 2007, Daniels fought twice in Sweden against Aldo Colliander. Daniels lost to Colliander by majority decision and unanimous decision. Daniels would not fight again until 2012. Daniels lost by TKO in the third round against Victor Bisbal in Puerto Rico. Four years later, Daniels is making another comeback. Daniels is scheduled to fight 39-year-old Carlos Reyes (7-9-1, 5 KOs) on September 17th in Fort Myers, Florida. Daniels’ official record is 49-10-1, 41 KOs.
At 48 years of age, Daniels’ fight against Reyes will be at an agreed upon weight of 205 pounds. Daniels currently teaches boxing classes at the Fight Fit gym in Pembroke Pines, Florida. This gym was previously known as South Florida Boxing. Former welterweight contender David Estrada used to train for his fights as well as teach classes at South Florida Boxing. Angelo Dundee was one of Estrada’s trainers and was frequently at the gym during that time. I was a member of the gym when it was South Florida Boxing, but was not there during the change to Fight Fit. I knew Daniels had been a trainer at Fight Fit for at least a few years, but never met him until recently. In spite of Daniels’ accomplishments and his victory over Qawi who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Daniels has been overlooked. His win over Qawi does not get much recognition because Qawi was considered to be past his prime. Even in his hometown of Miami, Florida, Daniels has not been popular. I have a KO Magazine from March 1991 which has an article about Daniels. The title of the article: Unknown…Even in His Own Neighborhood. It seems like that has not changed despite the fact that he has won world titles at cruiserweight and will have 50 wins if he is victorious over Reyes. Daniels agreed to be interviewed and I met him at Fight Fit gym.

Boxing Insider: Hello, Robert. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you. I remember when you were WBA cruiserweight champion, but I never saw when you won the title against Dwight Muhammad Qawi by split decision. I also could not find any video of the fight on the Internet. What do you recall about Qawi’s abilities and how you were able to defeat him?

Robert Daniels: Qawi was a very tough, cagey veteran. Of course, he had over 35 fights at that time when I fought Qawi. I had 18 fights at that time, so he definitely had more experience than me. Very cagey, very wise, very crafty, and very slick guy.

Boxing Insider: Regarding his abilities, some people say that he may have been past his prime. How do you feel about that?

Robert Daniels: If you beat someone with a good name, of course some people are going to say he’s past his prime, he’s washed up, or he shouldn’t be fighting. You’re always going to have critics. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is, whether it be good or whether it be bad.

Boxing Insider: I didn’t see the fight. I was a fan in those days, but not every fight was televised. The fight was in France, so maybe it wasn’t televised in America. Qawi was a little older than when he fought Evander Holyfield, but he wasn’t that much older. He was only a couple of years older, so I don’t believe that about his prime. Maybe he was a little bit past his prime, but I don’t think a lot. I think it was still a significant win for you. You won the WBA cruiserweight title and then when you lost the title to Bobby Czyz, it seemed like you were not throwing as much as Czyz and that enabled Czyz to win by a split decision. What are your thoughts on that fight?

Robert Daniels: Going into the Czyz fight, I had a lot of things on my mind. I was in the process of buying my home. I was also in the process of doing other things to get into business. I really let that fight go. I let that fight slip. That’s something that I would never do again. He won the fight. They say he won. I believe I won the fight. That’s neither here nor there. I’m still here.

Boxing Insider: Right. There are not many people fighting at your age and continuing to be active. I think everybody, the champions at that time, are probably retired by now.

Robert Daniels: Of course.

Boxing Insider: I think the oldest one was probably Holyfield and he was 48 years old in his last fight. You won the IBC cruiserweight title from Kenny Keene who had a 38-1 record at the time. That was a grueling and action-packed fight which you won by split decision. That was your third split decision in a world title fight. What do you recall about that fight and why do you think you received split decisions so often in your career?

Robert Daniels: I think basically because I come on at the last part of the fight. Honestly, I’m a 15 round fighter. I prefer 15 rounds. If I fight fewer rounds, it is very hard for me to get started. I have to learn how to start faster and that’s something that I’m doing now.

Boxing Insider: (Writer’s Note: The last 15-round world title fight happened in Bangkok, Thailand on August 29, 1988. Samuth Sithnaruepol defended his IBF minimumweight title against In-Kyu Hwang. Sithnaruepol won by unanimous decision. After this fight, 12-round world title fights have been the standard for men.) Is it because you’re not warmed up enough or do you prefer to come on later in the fight?

Robert Daniels: That’s half of my strategy. Going into this fight here, knowing that it is a 6 round fight, I know that I cannot sit back and wait for 3 or 4 rounds to go by and then try to come on. That’s definitely not going to happen.

Boxing Insider: Yeah. More than half of the fight would be over. What do you recall about that fight against Keene?

Robert Daniels: Kenny Keene, that was a very tough fight. Very grueling. It took a lot of energy out of me. Thank God that, by the grace of God, God allowed me to be victorious.

Boxing Insider: You were both 28 years of age, both in your primes. It was a good match. When you were a heavyweight, you did not have as much success in the ring. In this comeback, are you intending to be a cruiserweight and are you seeking to be a world champion again?

Robert Daniels: I’m seeking not to just come back to make money. That’s not my goal. Of course, I want to make money. My goal is to come back and win a world title again. I feel within myself that I was robbed of some years of my life.

Boxing Insider: Due to what?

Robert Daniels: Due to my former job and things of that nature. I feel that I was robbed of 10 years of my life. It might sound crazy, but I just want to see.

Boxing Insider: I heard from your promoter Ron Rose that you are fighting at a contracted weight of 205 pounds for this fight, but that you will be a cruiserweight after that.

Robert Daniels: Yes. After this fight here, I will be a cruiserweight.

Boxing Insider: What are your thoughts on the cruiserweight division now and what the division was like in the 1990s when you were a cruiserweight champ compared to today?

Robert Daniels: The fighters were definitely a lot better. Not taking anything away from the champion of today because I know he worked very hard to become a world champion. I don’t take that lightly. I don’t take that for granted. My goal is to come back and become a world champion again.

Boxing Insider: Do you follow who the champions are today?

Robert Daniels: To be honest with you, no. I don’t even watch boxing.

Boxing Insider: The best cruiserweight champion today is probably WBO champ Krzysztof Glowacki of Poland. Glowacki defeated Marco Huck and Steve Cunningham who are both top ten cruiserweights. Beibut Shumenov is the current WBA cruiserweight champ which is the title that you held. Do you want to win any world title or is there a certain title that you desire?

Robert Daniels: I basically just want to win a world title whether it is the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO. A world title is a world title to me.

Boxing Insider: I know you won a super cruiserweight title from the World Boxing Federation (WBF). They don’t use that division anymore. The current WBF cruiserweight champion is Zine Benmakhlouf. He is 39 years old and is rated No. 131 in the world, so he probably has the least ability of the world champions. If you were offered a title shot against him, would you be interested?

Robert Daniels: Of course. Of course.

Boxing Insider: You have been an ordained preacher for about twenty years. What do you do in your role as a preacher?

Robert Daniels: Right now, I pretty much backed away from the ministry, but not backed away from God of course. I could never do that. I still attend church. I decided to just get myself some time to focus on what I really want to do.

Boxing Insider: When you were a minister or a preacher, did you do sermons?

Robert Daniels: Yes, I did sermons once every 2 or 3 months. I was an assistant minister to my pastor. Every time my pastor needed someone to stand in his place, he would ask me and I was more than welcome to do it. Right now, I am not in the ministry.

Boxing Insider: Is it because of the time that it takes to make the speeches for the sermons?

Robert Daniels: Putting a sermon together takes a lot of time. People think that a minister can just get up and give a great sermon, but that’s not the case. You have to study. You have to do research. With me, that’s what I do because I don’t want to get up there misleading people and telling people the wrong information.
Boxing Insider: I know from doing speeches that you have to prepare. If you are not prepared, people will know it. How does the spiritual life help with your boxing career?

Robert Daniels: It helps me to basically maintain my humility. Regardless of how many belts I collect, how many belts I win, God always has a way of humbling his servants. Sometimes, we can get out of control. Even us as children of God, we can get out of place and have a big head, so to speak. God always knows how to humble his servants and that’s something that I always ask God to do, just to keep me humble. I could do nothing without the help of God. It is God that is within me who is allowing me and giving me the strength and the ability to do what I do. Without Him, I can’t do anything.

Boxing Insider: You are now 48 years old, but you look at least a decade younger in my opinion. How do you take care of yourself?

Robert Daniels: I go to bed early. I don’t hang out. That was never part of my life even before I got into the ministry, even before I got into the Lord. Hanging out and drinking and smoking and partying, that’s never been a part of my life. Probably about 8 or 9 o’clock the latest, I’m in the bed asleep because I’m normally up by 4 o’clock running every morning. My body has gotten so used to going to bed early that it’s like a clock. When 8 o’clock or 9 o’clock comes, my body shuts right down. Even if I wanted to go out to a club and try to hang out until 12 or 1 o’clock in the morning, my body wouldn’t even allow me to do that because around 9 o’clock, my body already knows it’s time for bed.

Boxing Insider: Yes, sleep is very important. I read an article that you only trained three weeks for your last fight which was a third round knockout loss to Victor Brisbal in 2012. You are scheduled to fight Carlos Reyes who is rated No. 200 on BoxRec at cruiserweight. How is your preparation going for this fight?

Robert Daniels: My preparation is going well. I am having enough time basically to get prepared for this fight and to lose the weight, to focus, and concentrate on what I really need to do. I’ll be ready. Definitely, I’ll be ready for this fight here with no excuses.

Boxing Insider: Do you think you will be inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame after your career is over?

Robert Daniels: I believe so. If I don’t, as long as I make it into The Big House, I’m happy.

Boxing Insider: Qawi who you defeated is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. What do you think your chances are of getting inducted in there?

Robert Daniels: I really don’t know. I live my life one day at a time. If the powers that be see that I deserve to be inducted, then so be it. Definitely, I’ll accept it.

Boxing Insider: I have this KO Magazine from March 1991. It has an article about you that I want to show you. (The title of the article: Unknown…Even in His Own Neighborhood). Do you feel that you have been overlooked by people in spite of your accomplishments maybe because that you’re not showy or you’re more soft-spoken than other boxers?

Robert Daniels: I believe so and also with me being from South Florida which is basically a Hispanic area, I truly believe that if I was Hispanic, I would have more popularity. It doesn’t really even bother me about popularity. I live a spiritual life. I don’t live a carnal life. If I was seeking to be big, I would do anything. I would go out there and do something crazy, be flashy, be a showboat, but that’s not within my persona. If I did something like that, I would be a hypocrite because that’s not part of who I am. I am not a guy who talks loud saying “Oh, I’m going to knock you out!” That’s what people want to see. I don’t want to make myself look like an idiot. Boxing is a sport where two individuals come together, they compete, and the best man wins, and that’s it. If people want to showboat, they can go to New York. They can go to Broadway. To give the people a good show, a good fight, of course. That’s my job. My job is to put on a great performance. Every time I step in the ring, my job is to perform at top level and to give the people, give the crowd, give the audience what they came to see and that is a good show and, of course, everybody wants to see knockouts and that’s what I like to do.

Boxing Insider: Yeah, and you have a lot of them. (Writer’s Note: Daniels has a new nickname and will be known as “The KO Master” for his fight against Reyes.) You have 41 knockouts in your 49 wins. Now, you’re going for your 50th win later this month. How do you feel about that?

Robert Daniels: That’s a milestone because that’s something that I really want to accomplish: 50 wins.

Boxing Insider: I know BoxRec could be different than the official Fight Fax records, so I actually ordered your Fight Fax record and I saw that it was the same record as on BoxRec. By the way, I wanted to give this (KO Magazine) to you. This is for you because you told me before this interview that you didn’t have that article about you.

Robert Daniels: Thank you.

Boxing Insider: You’re welcome. I read another article about you on the Internet that you were falsely accused of stealing boxing equipment and it was very disturbing. (Writer’s Note: According to the article, Daniels worked for Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation and managed their boxing gyms. He organized events for amateur boxing and helped obtain new equipment. In spite of this, Daniels was fired from his job. Daniels filed a lawsuit for discrimination, unfair dismissal, and loss of earnings. As a result, his former employer made false accusations and stated that Daniels stole boxing equipment. The case went to court, but was dismissed after Daniels was offered only $500 as a settlement. Daniels stated that he lost $100,000 in earnings.) I’m sorry to hear that happened to you and the money that you lost. I have dealt with false accusations a lot in my life and I’m glad that you overcame that.

Robert Daniels: Thank you.

Boxing Insider: You’re welcome. Was that part of the years that you said you were robbed of?

Robert Daniels: Yeah, that was part because working for Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation, I worked for them for 10 years. I helped build up their program. I helped to get them sponsorship and equipment. I’m talking about thousands and thousands of dollars of equipment for free. For them to falsely accuse me saying that I stole boxing equipment, this is no disrespect to anyone else, but they said that I stole TITLE boxing gloves. I said, first of all, I don’t even wear TITLE boxing gloves. I hold no ill feelings against Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation. I don’t hold any ill feelings even though they did me bad. They did me very bad. God teaches you to forgive people when they mistreat you. That’s something that we have to do as Christians, as children of God. It’s very hard to do. It’s very, very hard. When someone lies on you, when someone tries to ruin your reputation, because everyone knows what kind of person I am. If you go around this whole town and ask anyone, you can even go inside there (in Fight Fit gym) and ask anyone what kind of guy is Robert Daniels, they’ll tell you he’s a laid-back guy, he’s quiet, funny. I don’t hold any ill feelings against Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation whatsoever. To be honest with you, if they called me back to go to work for them, I’ll go back to work for them.

Boxing Insider: Really? I read that a cop pulled you over because of it.

Robert Daniels: They did. It was really bad. They harassed me for a long time.

Boxing Insider: It’s hard to forgive. I’m dealing with false accusations in my workplace. I’m a librarian, but not in Miami-Dade. I work for another employer. I said to Human Resources that my manager refused to help two African-American women on the reference desk in two separate incidents. She didn’t help these people. Also, she’s done a lot of other things too. In retaliation, she wrote lies against me. Her and her coworker friends are now against me.

Robert Daniels: Is she Hispanic?

Boxing Insider: No. She’s Lebanese. That’s the way she is: the end justifies the means. She will lie to get what she wants and will ruin someone’s reputation. I have had a hostile work environment for a few years. It caused my health to decline. I am trying to get another job and get out of there. It’s hard to forgive. I don’t forgive yet. I haven’t forgiven her. I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t know if I could be like you to be honest with you.

Robert Daniels: It’s sad because there is so much racism in South Florida. It’s really sad. She’s Lebanese, so she should know how it feels to discriminate or to be racist against another person.
Boxing Insider: Other workers are affected in my library too. When she got promoted from my supervisor to manager, then she was managing the whole library. I warned my coworkers that it is going to be tough for them. She started to criticize people. She just wants to delegate and she wants to find fault with other people. That’s what she does. When she was my supervisor, we only had me, her, and another coworker of mine in our department. She would give me and my coworker almost all of the work. She would hardly do anything. She would read a book in her cubicle and say that she is advising people on what to read. No one else in the library system reads books like she does. They don’t have the time because they’re actually doing work. I complained about the workload and then after I complained, she got the manager against me. The manager retired and then my supervisor became manager. Now, the manager and my new supervisor are against me and it is difficult.

Robert Daniels: Well, you know how you can overcome that?

Boxing Insider: How?

Robert Daniels: The power of prayer. Prayer is powerful.

Boxing Insider: I need to pray more, definitely. I read pastor Joel Osteen’s book Become a Better You. I found 10 grammatical or spelling errors. I sent him a letter and stated the ten errors that were in his book. I wrote that I wasn’t criticizing him and that I just wanted to make him aware of the errors so that maybe he could correct them in a future printing. I stated that even though there are errors in it, the book is still a masterpiece. He sent me a signed copy of the book and he later did a sermon titled You Are God’s Masterpiece. I think he was inspired by my letter. He talked about even though we all have faults, we are still masterpieces in God’s eyes.

Robert Daniels: That’s true. That’s true.

Boxing Insider: Thanks Robert for talking to me.

Robert Daniels: Okay.

Boxing Insider: Good luck in your upcoming fight.

Robert Daniels: Thank you.

Daniels is scheduled to fight on September 17th in Fort Myers, Florida at Six Bends Harley-Davidson. Doors open at 6:00 PM. First bout is at 7:00 PM. The event is titled Return To Macho Time. This is a tribute to Hector “Macho” Camacho. In his heyday, Camacho won world titles at super featherweight, lightweight, and super lightweight. In 2012, Camacho was shot in San Juan, Puerto Rico and died a few days later. Camacho was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016. Christian Camacho is Camacho’s son and he will also be fighting at this event. Christian Camacho has a 3-1 record and is 24 years of age. After losing his pro debut in Mexico, Camacho has won three consecutive fights in the super featherweight division. Nine bouts in total are scheduled for this event. For ticket information, click on this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/live-return-to-macho-time-professional-boxing-event-to-benefit-blessings-in-a-backpack-charity-tickets-26079466386

More Columns

Pacquiao: “I Can’t Rely On My Salary As Public Official”


Pacquiao: “I Can’t Rely On My Salary As Public Official”
By: Sean Crose

“Boxing is my main source of income,” Manny Pacquiao claimed amidst the hubbub of his public announcement that he will return to the ring this November to face WBO welterweight champ Jessie Vargas. “I can’t rely on my salary as public official,” he added. Considering these words come from a man who literally earned well over 100 million – that’s million – dollars for thirty-six minutes’ worth of work against Floyd Mayweather in last year’s superbout, the reality of Pacquiao’s situation may seem strange to most people.

Nov. 23, 2014, Macau, China    ---   Superstar Manny Pacquiao wins a 12-round unanimous decision over  WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Chris "Real Rocky" Algieri. at the Cotai Arena in The Venetian Macao Resort in Macau,China. ----    Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2014

Look, your author is no math expert, but if Manny’s been making a guaranteed 20 million per fight, as has been said, then his pay would have been close to 40 million dollars an hour if he punched a clock. Outrageous, right? Not so fast. There seems to be more than just immediate family for Pacquiao to support. “I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well,” he states. But that’s not all. “Many people also come to me to ask for help,” he adds, “and I just couldn’t ignore them.”

While it may be easy for people to accuse Pacquiao of being a sap, the truth is the man’s endured some grinding poverty and knows what it means to not have the basics like food and shelter to take for granted. First world judgements are easy to bandy about, after all. Pacquiao may not share one’s political, moral, or religious beliefs, but it’s hard to argue that the guy isn’t generous, nor that he doesn’t understand the plight of the needy.

Still, it’s clear one can’t provide for everyone and that history is littered with stories of boxers done in on account of their generosity before being thrown to the world’s wayside. Perhaps that won’t be the case with Pacquiao in the end, however, since he’s mentioned first that it’s his love of the sport that’s driving him back in the ring. That surely is discouraging to some Filipinos, since the guy is a sitting senator, but Manny feels he can be both politician and pug at the same time.

Only time will tell if he’s right or not. Just like only time will tell if he can keep competing at the top level. Jessie Vargas is a good fighter, but he’s not as highly regarded as Terence Crawford, who many thought should be the man Pacquiao got into the ring with this fall.

More Columns

Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Return of Manny Pacquiao


Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Return of Manny Pacquiao
By: Matthew N. Becher

​It is official, Manny Pacquiao is no longer retired. Pacquiao, who said he was leaving the sport after beating Timothy Bradley earlier this year has an official fight date of November 5th against WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.

Pacquiao workout_131119_004a

​Pacquiao’s longtime adviser Michael Koncz told the LA Times “Retirement doesn’t suit Manny right now…Boxing is in his Blood.” Pacquiao, who has since become a Senator in his native Philippines is fighting for the 2nd time this year, which is more than almost any other major fighter in the sport today. Which doesn’t really even make this a comeback or a retirement.

​Many suitors were in the mix for this fight. Four time division champion Adrien Broner was said to have priced himself out. Newly crowned lineal Jr. Welterweight champion Terrence Crawford seemed to be the top guy for the fight, until Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach spoke up about not wanting his man to fight Crawford, claiming that Manny would not be at 100%, since a majority of this camp would take place in the Philippines and take place around and after Pacquiaos senatorial duties.

​Koncz and Bob Arum will be headed to the Philippines this week to speak with Pacquiao about where the actual fight will take place. Supposedly it will take place in Vegas or Dubai. Koncz said, “That’s the essence of the meeting (choosing location)….Not choosing the opponent. That’s already been done.”
​Now the question comes into play, why did Manny even make this announcement of retirement. He is still on his normal schedule of fighting twice a year. He will take a pay cut from his normal $20+ million dollar payday from Arum. The fact that this is a Pay per view fight is another issue that people are taking up arms about. After a ppv of Algieri, Rios, and Bradley 3 all doing worse and worse, how can Top Rank look to make money on this fight?

​Here is the point. Pacquiao is 37 and still one of the best in the division. He beat the brakes off Bradley for a third time only a few months ago. Most likely he will be a big favorite in this fight against Vargas and win another major title in the welterweight division. The end game is most likely a rematch with Mayweather in May of 2017, but, why Mayweather would take on an active Pacquiao after two years out of the game, with no tune up fights. Sure a lot of money will be on the table, but so will Mayweathers undefeated record, and a 50th win at that.

​This is both a lead up to fight Crawford next year and set up Top Ranks new star. The Pay per view game is not doing well. The era of the Mayweather and Pacquiao paydays are over, but promoters still need to find the cash cows to keep them in the black, and Crawford may have been passed this time around, to set up his future next spring.

More Headlines

Well, that was quick: The un-retirement of Manny Pacquiao


Well, that was quick: The un-retirement of Manny Pacquiao
By: Matthew N. Becher

​On April 9th, earlier this year, Manny Pacquiao had his hand raised, for what was supposed to be the last time in a Hall of Fame caliber career, after beating Timothy Bradley for the second time in three fights. Pacquiao, who is 37 years old, announced his retirement after the fight and explained that he would be focusing on his political career and the upcoming election, where he would be running for a Senatorial seat in his native Philippines. Pacquiao summed it up by saying “I started boxing to help my family, my mother….I want to end my boxing career now, because my desire in my heart is to help my people, my country.”

Pacquiao_Algieri_141123_001a

​Well, it seems that less than 3 months after his last fight, Pacquiao is ready to get back in the ring. According to his promoter, Bob Arum, who told The Guardian news outlet on Tuesday, the newly elected senator would like to fight again, “He now has given us the go-ahead to shop for a venue and opponent and see if we can do it on particular dates….that doesn’t interfere with his senatorial responsibilities and his ability to train.”, Arum told the Guardian.
​Talks of a fight with former 4 division champion Adrian “the problem” Broner were floating around, but it seems that the rumors of Broner pricing himself out of the fight are true, according to Arum, “Broner wants more than Pacquiao…Obviously he doesn’t want the fight or just doesn’t understand the economics of this business.” This seems very ridiculous that Broner, who has never come close to making the same kind of money that Pacquiao ever has for a single fight, would ask for more, but it does sound like something that Adrien Broner would actually do.

​From what we are getting from Arum is that the date will have to coincide with Pacquiao being able to take a leave of absence from his Senator duties. He will need to train mainly in the Philippines to be close to his political job and need to leave “for three weeks before the fight to complete training in the United States”.

​Who and where are the big questions now. Also, Why? What does Pacquiao have left to prove? One thing is for certain though, he is still one of the top fighters in the world, based on his last performance against Bradley. He would be a heavy matchup for any fighter in the 140-147 pound divisions. With boxing looking for a new star, maybe it will just have to wait, and take back an old one for now.

More Columns

Pacquiao-Broner? Stranger Things Have Happened In Boxing


Pacquiao-Broner? Stranger Things Have Happened In Boxing
By: Sean Crose

Manny Pacquiao is supposedly retired and embracing his new job as a Filipino senator. Yet there’s word that the aging great may be coming back to face one Adrien Broner. That right, the one and only Adrien Broner. While this bout may seem absurd on the face of things, there’s little doubt that there’s a certain appeal to it. Boxing is very much a personality based business, after all, and the contrast in personalities here would be glaring. Bad boy Broner, with his history of legal trouble, is a brash, showy, obnoxious guy who some say puts his persona over his genuine talent.

Pacquiao_workout_140324_004a

Smiling Pacquiao, on the other hand, doesn’t have much bad to say about his opponents in the lead up to fights. He’s just not into trash talk. He is, however, quite into beating the hell out of his opposition in the ring. Sure enough, it’s hard to imagine many people picking Broner to win the matchup, should it occur. Even if Pacquiao is indeed growing long in the tooth, Broner has simply never looked great against the most serious of his opponents. The Cincinnati native may simply have to become an all-around new man if he wants to be serious enough to beat Pacquiao.

Still, some very smart people in and around the fight world are claiming this is all a lot of talk – at least for the moment. Golden Boy, the promoter of Canelo Alvarez, supposedly wanted its man to (ridiculously) fight Pacquiao (he’s a lot smaller than middleweight Gennady Golovkin, after all) but that they were led to believe (by who, we don’t know) team Pacquiao essentially had its eyes on a Broner fight. Whether this bit on information is true or not remains to be seen, though it’s worth noting Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum claims he has Broner in mind should Pacquiao return to the ring.

As for how this fight might play out, we’ve only got what has come before to use as a guide. Pacquiao isn’t what he was as a fighter, but he’s still one amazing athlete. Lightning fast and aggressive, the guy employs angles that may truly fluster Broner, who, let’s face it, doesn’t have great foot movement. As for Broner, well, he’s disappointed a lot of people. He’s fast and has a solid skill set, but his Mayweather influenced defense is a pale imitation of the original. Still, it’s ridiculous to write the guy off. Broner is a VERY talented fighter. If he were to somehow develop that talent while Pacquiao were simultaneously to slip deeper into decline, an upset might well be in order.

That, however, is a very big if.

More Columns