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Deontay Wilder’s Manager Shelly Finkel Feels Anthony Joshua is Dodging the Fight


By: Bryant Romero

Deontay Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel revealed to the boxing press at the Wilder vs Ortiz post fight press conference that he’s not heard back from promoter Eddie Hearn who represents Anthony Joshua since last November when it comes to further discussions about a potential Joshua vs Wilder fight. Finkel also revealed that no negotiations have ever taken place between the two parties and strongly feels that Joshua and his team are dodging the fight for at least the immediate future. Eddie Hearn has since responded to these claims, and expressed that the reason he stop discussions with Wilder’s team is because of Wilder’s public demand for a 50/50 split and also says that Wilder’s team have never made an attempt or contacted him for a potential Joshua fight.

No matter who’s at fault for the delay of the Joshua vs. Wilder fight, most sane boxing fans don’t care about the back and forth disagreements between fighters handlers. They only want to see the fight at a reasonable time frame when both fighters are still arguably at their peak of their careers. And that is where the focus should be going forward for the teams of both fighters in figuring out the best time to put this fight together. Promoter Eddie Hearn has expressed in numerous interviews that the end of 2018 could be the natural fit for this fight to occur and he may be right.

Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) has never fought in America and if he defeats Joseph Parker later this month to unify three of the four heavyweight straps, there are plans already in place for Joshua to perhaps makes his U.S. debut at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn possibly against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs). However, the issue with this potential bout is that it sounds a lot like a HBO fight, which could mean Joshua is potentially going to change U.S. broadcasters in the near future.

Joshua switching from Showtime to HBO could further complicate matters in getting a deal done, but the most likely destination of a potential Joshua vs Wilder fight would be in Las Vegas. So it would make sense for Joshua to test out the American market and see what numbers he produces in America prior to a fight with Wilder.

The reality is the boxing world wants to see this fight and Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) did his part in building this fight by taking on the one of the most dangerous contenders in the heavyweight division and defeating Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) by 10th rd stoppage in Brooklyn this past Saturday night.

Wilder didn’t’ show great boxing skills, was quite vulnerable throughout the contest, but showed heart, great recovery powers, athleticism, and the ability to close the show when he has his opponent hurt.

Wilder is a threat in the heavyweight division not because of his limited boxing skills, but because of his desire to prove he is the best, his will to win, god gifted athleticism, and one punch knockout power in his right hand. Joshua vs Wilder is finally ripe and ready and it should take place by at least the end of this year, while both are still arguably at the peak of their careers.

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Did Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran Duck Colombia’s Antonio “Kid Pambele” Cervantes?


By: Ken Hissner

The boxing world knew that both Roberto “Hands of Stone” and Antonio “Kid Pambele” Cervantes would be IBHOF inductees someday and they were right.

Duran ruled the lightweights after his defeat of Scotland’s Ken Buchanan on June 26th 1972 at Madison Square Garden. He was 31-0 when he suffered his first loss that to Puerto Rico’s Esteban “Vita” DeJesus, 31-1 (only loss to Antonio Gomez), at Madison Square Garden in a super lightweight match. Duran was knocked down in the first round and lost by scores of 5-4, 6-3 and 6-2.

DeJesus would drop down to lightweight and win the NABF title from Ray Lampkin, 19-0-1, in his next fight. It took until March 16th 1974 in Panama City to get his rematch with Duran and got knocked out in the 11th round. Like in their first match Duran was knocked down in the first round. Duran would sometimes get up to 200 pounds between fights. By then DeJesus was 42-1 and Duran 41-1.

Duran would win 4 non-title bouts coming in at 139 three times and 140 once. In December of 1974 Duran in a title defense scored a first round knockout over Japan’s lightweight champion Masataka Takayama, 21-5-1. In March of 1975 in his next defense it was his turn to defeat Lampkin, 29-3-1, stopping him in the 14th round. Lampkin’s was rushed to a hospital afterwards.

Duran won four more non-title bouts before defending against Mexico’s champion Leoncio Ortiz, 30-5-2, knocking him out at 2:30 of the 15th and final round. In his next fight he defeated former WBA Super lightweight champion Saoul Mamby, 18-8. Just 19 days later he was in Erie, PA, dropping 6 pounds and defeating the local boxer Lou Bizzaro, 22-0, knocking him out in the 14th round.

In October Duran scored a 1st round knockout over Alvaro Rojas, 15-7, of Costa Rica. In January of 1977 he knocked out Vilomar Fernandez, 19-5-1, in the 13th round. Two more non-title wins and in Philadelphia in September in a “grudge match” he defeated Edwin Viruet, 22-2, over 15 rounds. This writer got a picture with him prior to the fight. I have never seen anyone skip rope better than Duran.

Next up would be his final defense at lightweight in a “rubber match” with DeJesus, 52-3, stopping him in the 12th round at Caesers Palace in Las Vegas also capturing the WBC title in addition to keeping his WBA title.

Duran would go onto win 8 non-title bouts coming in as high as 151 in one of them. In June of 1980 he won the WBC World welterweight title from “Sugar” Ray Leonard, 27-1, at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada. In the rematch in November came the humiliating loss to Leonard at the Superdome in New Orleans quitting in the 8th round.

Duran would go 4-2 before winning the WBA Super welterweight title stopping Davey Moore, 12-0, for his title in the 8th round in June of 1983. In his next fight he stepped in with WBA, WBC & IBF Middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, 57-2-2, losing a close 15 round decision by scores of 144-142, 146-145 and 144-143.

In Duran’s next fight in June of 1984 he suffered a devastating loss to former welter and super welter champion Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, 38-1, in the second round. In February of 1989 he would win the WBC Middleweight title that Iran “The Blade” Barkley, 25-4, held by split decision at the Convention Hall, in Atlantic City, NJ. He had Barkley down in the 11th round. He would end up his career in July of 2001 with a record of 103-16 with 70 by stoppage at age 50.

Now let’s look at Cervantes. In December of 1981 he got his first title shot against Argentina’s Nicolino “El Intocable” Loche, 103-2-14, losing every round for the WBA World super lightweight title. In October of 1972 Cervantes would win the same title from Panama’s Alfonso Fraser, 30-4-1, at Panama City with a 10th round knockout. It was just four months after Duran defeated Buchanan. That’s about as close as they met.

In Cervantes next fight and first defense he won a split decision in San Juan, Puerto Rico, over Josue Marquez, 26-5-1. Just a month later, he got his revenge defeating Loche, 110-3-14, who couldn’t come out for the 10th round due to a cut. Just two months later he gave Fraser a rematch, 31-5-6, stopping him in the 5th round.

In September of 1973 Cervantes was home in Bogota, Colombia, stopping Argentina’s Carlos Maria Gimenez, 72-2-3, in the 5th round. On December 5th he was back in Panama stopping Japan’s Lion Furuyama, 30-5-2, over 15 rounds. Just two days prior to this in Panama Duran was winning a non-title bout knocking out Tony Garcia, 13-2-4.

Cervantes would win three more title defenses starting with Chang-Kil Lee, 22-1, with a 6th round knockout in March of 1974. In July he would knockout in 2 rounds Victor Ortiz, 25-6. In October in Japan he would knockout Shinichi Kadota, 35-7, in 8 rounds.

In May of 1975 it was Cervantes’ time to meet DeJesus, 45-2, knocking him down in the 1st, 12th and 15th rounds winning a lopsided decision in Panama. In November back in Panama he would stop Australia’s Hector Thompson, 55-4-2 in the 7th round. Duran the following month was in Puerto Rico defending against Mexico’s Ortiz. Cervantes was 5-0 in Panama and maybe that is why Duran never challenged him with either he or his people seeing how good Cervantes was.

In March of 1976 Cervantes in his eleventh title defense would lose his title to 17 year-old Wilfred Benitez, 25-0, by split decision in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cervantes never got a return match. In January of 1982 Benitez then the WBC World Super champion would defeat Duran. After five wins Cervantes would get another shot at the vacant WBA title in June of 1977 in a rematch with Gimenez, 98-8-4, stopping him in the 4th round.

After a pair of title defenses Cervantes would go to South Africa and stop Norman Sekgapane, 51-6-1, in the 9th round. He had another three defenses including two against Miguel Montilla, 33-4-3, stopping him in the second one. In between those two defenses he was in South Korea defeating Kwang Min Kim, 15-0-1, by split decision. That gave Cervantes sixteen defenses.

Next up in August of 1980 for Cervantes would be future Hall of Famer Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, 24-0, stopping Cervantes in the fourth round at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum. The hanger-on’s swarmed Pryor to the point he couldn’t get interviewed. Cervantes would go onto win his next four fights before losing his final one in December of 1983. His final record was 93-12-3 (45), while Duran ended up 103-16 70). Both would become IBHOF inductees. What a fight that would have been if they ever met. Duran vacated his lightweight title in January of 1979 after defeating DeJesus in their third fight. He would “skip” super lightweight and go onto welterweight eventually winning that title, the super welter and middleweight titles. He never challenged Cervantes for the super lightweight title. What a match that would be between Cervantes and Duran.

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The Misrepresentation featuring Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux


The Misrepresentation featuring Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux
By: Kirk Jackson

Vasyl Lomachenko 8-1 (6 KO’s) is considered by many pundits as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and is in an odd position.

A fighter with less than 10 fights to be considered by many observers at the very worse, top five pound-for-pound is quite unique.

Lomachenko_RussellJr_140621_007a

^ I personally have Andre Ward clearly ranked at No. 1, followed by Terence Crawford, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman or Roman Gonzalez.

Lomachenko’s assortment of skills is a sight many observers marvel at; his fluid punch combinations, the flickering of his feet with how he seamlessly moves in, out and around opponents, the various angles and looks that make it nearly impossible for opponents to capitalize on, Lomachenko lives up to his moniker “Hi-Tech.”

With Lomachenko’s short stint as a professional, he boasts a pretty decent resume for the small amount of fights.

Wins against Nicholas Walters and Gary Russell Jr. no matter the circumstances will look good on anyone’s resume.
I wouldn’t hold his last fight versus Jason Sosa 20-2-4 (15 KO’s) against him, as I believe that was set-up as a showcase fight, in effort to build towards a greater fight in the immediate aftermath. But it appears I was wrong with that assessment.

Lomachenko is scheduled to face Miguel Marriaga 25-2 (21 KO’s) August 5th at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Wait what?

Fighting Marriaga does not suggest willingness to fight the best per say. For one, Marriaga is not even ranked
within the top 15 of the junior lightweight division.

He is ranked 27th according to Boxrec which is fitting because you have to resort to Boxrec just to figure who Marriaga is.

Marriaga is also coming off a sound defeat against Oscar Valdez via unanimous decision.

The interesting thing, Lomachenko and his supporters (mainly HBO’s Jim Lampley) claim Lomachenko is avoided by everyone virtually between 126 through 135 lbs.

Lomachenko and his handlers claim the same.

However, aside from Russell wanting a rematch with Lomachenko, there is one fighter in particular adamant on facing the Ukrainian star. Another pound-for-pound fighter, often overlooked, Guillermo Rigondeaux 17-0 (11 KO’s).

Rigondeaux is overlooked and often disrespected by many prestigious members of the media. Therefore, there is a clear misrepresentation of the Cuban and his accomplishments.

The question is why?

Along with Lomachenko, Rigondeaux is arguably the most accomplished amateur fighter of all-time. Winning two Olympic gold medals, winning over 400 fights, Rigondeaux is a seven-time Cuban national champion at bantamweight (2000–2006), finishing his amateur career with a record of nearly 475 fights with 12 losses.

The misused and overused rhetoric regarding Rigondeaux is he is “Boring” and isn’t a big draw. Comparatively speaking, these sentiments can be regarded as false.

Rigondeaux has his detractors, HBO commentatorJim Lampley, former promoter Bob Arum, to ESPN writer Dan Rafael.
Rafael flat out called Rigondeaux boring on numerous occasions, while Arum has been quoted saying, “When Rigondeaux stands and fights, the [expletive] has a lot of power and a lot of skill, but running the way he does really makes it not a watchable fight.”

The more accurate reality is Rigondeaux is suffering from being blackballed within the industry.

A small example:

The height of Rigondeaux’s fame was when he dominated Nonito Donaire, at the time regarded as the top guy pound-for-pound.

Why is it, after such a great accomplishment with the unifying of titles, and brilliant performance of defeating a top pound-for-pound fighter, the victor was less promoted than he was before prior to that fight?
It’s as though he was penalized for being that good.

Around that time, circa 2013, Rigondeaux headlined another event on HBO to close out the year. For some odd reason there was a lack of promotion, even though Rigondeaux was fighting a former champion and highly qualified contender, Joseph Agbeko.

That same day rival network Showtime was airing the heavily promoted bout PaulieMalignaggivsZab Judah at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.

There were subsequent fights on both networks and here are the numbers as follows; these numbers are based off a Jake Donovan article on www.boxingscene.com.

Highest to Lowest:
Kirkland-Tapia, HBO, 718,000
PaulieMalignaggi – Zab Judah, Showtime, 640,000
Rigondeaux- Agbeko, HBO, 550,000
Devon Alexander- Shawn Porter, Showtime, 515,000
SakioBika- Anthony Dirrell, Showtime, 446,000
Erislandy Lara- Austin Trout, Showtime, 429,000
Matthew Macklin-Lamar Russ, HBO, 401,000

It can be argued when these two opposing networks (HBO and Showtime) go head to head they lose a significant amount of viewers.

Rigondeaux’s fight was in direct competition with a fight that was actually promoted and didn’t do too bad.
If Rigondeaux vs. Agbeko aired on a night where the opposing network was not showing any boxing events, the numbers may have increased substantially.

We compare those numbers to Lomachenko’s last airing, there was an average of 832,000 viewers who watched Lomachenko defend his WBO world super featherweight title against Sosa in the main event of HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader.

An event featuring another Ukrainian star, WBO cruiserweight champion AleksandrUsyk (12-0, 10 KO’s) and talented light heavyweight contender OleksandrGvozdyk (13-0, 11 KO’s).

With everything considered, promotion vs. no promotion, Lomachenko and Rigondeaux are in the same ball park.

Again why is there praise for one (Lomachenko) and disdain for another (Rigondeaux)? Why can’t there be room to praise both talents? By praising both, it’s how we continue to appreciate and build the sport as opposed to continually tear it down.

Also very important, why hasn’t this fight been made?

This can be an interesting match-up of talents featuring two legendary amateur fighters.

Rigondeaux uses an unique skill-set, possesses power in both hands and based on his social media handles (Twitter, Instagram) appears willing to fight the best as well.

The same can be obviously echoed for Lomachenko.

Perhaps it is the former promoter of Rigondeaux and current promoter of Lomachenko who does notnot want the fight to come into fruition?

Arguments and disagreements with weight, money, prevented this epic match-up from manifesting into realization in the past.

The interesting thing is this fight could potentially favor Lomachenko provided his skillset, along with his youth and size advantages.

Based off Rigoneaux’s last performance against Moises Flores 25-0 (17 KO’s) albeit a small sample size, he appears to still possess his reflexes and power.

It’s interesting both Lomachenko and Rigondeaux share so much in common; from amateur pedigree and mirrored accomplishments at the amateur and professional level, high boxing intellect and skill-levels although each possessing different skill-sets and I believe there is a gift and curse they both share.

A gift and curse once shared by Floyd Mayweather, Marvin Hagler and many other great fighters of the past.
Rigondeaux and Lomachenko are so talented, there is reluctance at some degree regarding other fighters and their desire to face them.

It’s to a point where the financial compensation must warrant the risk of the fight.
Rigondeaux’s appears ready.

Let’s make it happen.

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Is Louis “King Kong” Ortiz the Most Feared Heavyweight Since Mike Tyson


Is Louis “King Kong” Ortiz the Most Feared Heavyweight Since Mike Tyson?
By: Ken Hissner

Have you ever noticed when one of the organizations four champions talk about their next opponent or challenging one of the other champions the name Louis “King Kong” Ortiz never comes up? The 6:04 Cuban southpaw will be 38 before the month is out. He is 27-0 (23), and still waiting for a shot at one of those four titles. He is managed by Juan L Jimenez who has 7 other Cuban boxers under management. His promoter was Golden Boy Promotions and later Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport in 2016.

OrtizJennings_Hoganphotos4

The amateur record of Ortiz is reported to be 343-19. The most outstanding award was winning the Pan American Games Gold Medal in 2005 in Brazil. In 2006 he won a Gold Medal to make the Cuban National team. He wouldn’t turn professional until February 16, 2010 at the age of 30 in Hollywood, FL. It wasn’t easy getting out of Cuba for Ortiz.

In just the third fight for Ortiz he won his first minor title defeating Kendrick Releford, 22-13-2, for the vacant WBC FECARBOX heavyweight title. In his fifth fight he would defeat Puerto Rico’s Francisco Alvarez, 12-1, at the end of 2010 by stoppage. In his eighth fight he stopped former title challenger Bert Cooper, (38-22) in Miami.

In his eleventh fight Ortiz added the vacant WBA Fedelatin title to his WBC FECARBOX one knocking out Luis Andres Pineda, 22-9-1, of Panama in 6 roundsat Panama City in June of 2011. In his fifteenth bout he won the vacant WBO and WBC Latino titles by DQ7over Epifanio Mendoza, 32-13-1, in Palm Bay, FL, for an intentional low blow. In February of 2012. He had 9 fights in 2011 besides Panama he fought in Costa Rica and Dominican Republic.

In 2012 Ortiz added Nicaragua to his travels winning another 5 bouts. He won 3 of them in DR over an 18 day period. In 2013 he was limited to 2 bouts with one a NC due to his opponent accidently falling out of the ring in the fourth round in North Carolina. The bout would have had to have gone 4 rounds for a decision. The other bout was knocking out Puerto Rico’s Alex Gonzales, 20-8, into retirement at Sunrise, FL. In his first fight in 2014 Ortiz put veteran Monte Barrett, 35-10-2, in retirement scoring a knockout in Indio, CA. This lead to an interim WBA World title fight against LateefKayode, 20-0, and another NC, in September of 2014.

Ortiz landed 15 unanswered punches in the first round and down went Kayode who would later appeal it was from a slip and a premature stoppage in an appeal. Ortiz had the stoppage changed to the NC when he tested positive for a banned substance. He received a 9 month suspension before returning to the ring in Montreal, CAN, stopping Byron Polley, 27-18-1, in the first round. In Octiber of 2015 he would have another shot at the interim WBA World title knocking out Argentina’s Matias Ariel Vidondo, 20-1-1, at Madison Square Garden in NY, in 3 rounds. Ortiz was to fight former WBC champion BermaneStiverne who promoter Don King refused to sign the contract after agreeing to the match with Vidondo taking it on short notice.

Just 2 months later Ortiz would make his first and only title defense stopping Philly’s Bryant Jennings, 19-1, in the seventh round at the Turning Stone resort & casino, in Verona, NY. Earlier in the year Jennings lost a 12 round decision against WladimirKlitschko for his WBO, WBA and IBF titles. That was in December of 2015 and Jennings hasn’t fought since.

In March of 2016 Ortiz knocked out Tony “The Tiger” Thompson, 40-6, in DC, after scoring 3 knockdowns in 6 rounds, but since Thompson was not ranked in the top 15 the title was not at stake. Ortiz was to fight Russia’s Alexander “The Great” Ustinov, 33-1, living in Belarus, but the fight never materialized. So after this Ortiz signed a promotional contract with UK’s Eddie Hearn’s in October of 2016. Ortiz took on and defeated Malik Scott, 38-2-1, winning the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title in November of 2016. Just 4 weeks later Ortiz stopped David “White Rhino” Allen, 9-1-1, in the seventh round in Manchester, UK.

French heavyweight Carlos Takam, 34-3-1, was to fight Ortiz but passed to take another fight. Now Ortiz is told that the winner for the IBF and WBA titles between IBF champion Anthony Joshua and former champion WladimirKlitschko who is No. 2 in the WBA is to meet Ortiz. Even Tyson Fury is back! Ortiz is ranked No. 1 by the WBA, No. 2 by the WBC and No. 8 by the IBF and no ranking by the WBO. The winner will probably give up the WBA title and keep the IBF one.

Why the WBA is allowing the IBF champion Joshua and No. 2 Klitschko fight for the vacant title instead of Ortiz who is No. 1 in the WBA is simply not right. Ortiz either has opponents pull out or get by-passed by the organizations. It makes one think, ”is Luis “King Kong” Ortiz the most feared heavyweight since Mike Tyson?

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Is Bud Crawford Being Avoided?


Is Bud Crawford Being Avoided?
By: Sean Crose

Let’s face it, with the exception of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao can pretty much face whoever he wants, whenever he wants. It’s the sort of privilege that comes with being an all-time great. And, make no mistake about it, the Filipino star still has a great deal of pop. Just look how good of a 2016 the man had if you don’t believe me. Want to say he’s diminished? Fine, he’s diminished – but he still might be able to take every active welterweight in the word at the moment. That’s really saying something when you consider just how loaded the welterweight division is.

Crawford_Gamboa_140628_001a

There’s one particular junior welterweight, however, that team Pacqauio seems intent on avoiding – at least for the time being. While big names like Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner might be palatable to someone like Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, this top stable mate of Pacquio’s appears to be off limits. The stable mate is, of course, fellow Arum fighter Bud Crawford, the unquestioned dominant force of the 140 lb realm. Like PacMan, Crawford had himself one hell of a 2016, besting the likes of top competition such as Viktor Postol while firmly establishing himself as one of boxing’s rising stars – at least in the eyes of hardcore fans.

Crawford’s lack of casual fan recognition, however, makes it easy for him to be avoided. While his fight with Postol was a pay per view event, it had no business outside of the realm of basic pay cable and had a less than stellar buy rate. Even a Pacquiao who is no longer essential viewing for casual fans is still far more of a known commodity than Crawford is. Ask a person on the street who Manny Pacquiao is and he or she will probably know. Ask a person who Bud Crawford is, however…

All of this actually leaves team Pacquiao in a strange place. Again, the man isn’t the draw he once was – at least not in North America. And he’ll continue to marginalize his own popularity here so long as he continues to face less than top names. On the other hand, Pacquiao should be given some slack, considering his extended and extremely courageous career. He’s older now, after all, and has arguably earned the right to take it a bit easy. In this sense he is much like former opponent, Miguel Cotto, a man who can be forgiven for cherry picking at this point on his resume.

Like Cotto, however, Pacquiao must realize that he will continue to lose eyeballs and earning potential if he wraps up his career fighting men who simply aren’t the best opposition out there. What’s ironic in all this, of course, is that Pacquiao might well take Crawford to school. Believe it. Even now, there’s few out there as good as he is. The guy’s incredibly fast, mobile, buzzsaw style could well cause Crawford considerable frustration. Then again, Crawford would certainly stand a chance of besting Pacquiao. Which, of course, might be the reason why this potential matchup is being put off, if not avoided entirely.

Arum says he intends for Pacquiao to fight outside the United States next, and no, Crawford is not included in the plans. Perhaps team Pacquiao is just looking for one more large payday outside of America before facing the man from Omaha. Then again…

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News Flash: You’re Not Floyd Mayweather


News Flash: You’re Not Floyd Mayweather
By: Sean Crose

Back when I was in my mid thirties, I decided to give up a career in retail and give the whole college thing a shot. I was a literary dude by nature, so I quickly took to my Lit classes like Danny Garcia to an overmatched opponent. One thing that particularly sticks in my mind about those days, however, is something I had to read about literary figures from the 20s…the fact that some of them thought they were more famous than they actually were. Sure, there were your Fitzgeralds, Joyces, Steins and Hemingways, but they were rarities. Some of the others simply had bloated impressions of themselves.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Sound familiar?

Billy Joe Saunders is said to want gobs of money to fight GGG. Same, apparently, with Daniel Jacobs. Leo Santa Cruz is stunned when a New York City crowd isn’t cheering wildly for him. Indeed, some fighters out there these days expect to be made rich merely by gracing the boxing world with their presence in the ring. Why? Because they feel it’s their due. Why? Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve read somewhere that the millennial generation is encouraged to ask potential employers during interviews what those employers can do for them. That’s right, they’re encouraged to interview the interviewers who might well provide them with financial and career stability. After all, they’re that important.

You don’t need to be a master of deduction to figure out these poor kids have been fed a lot of bull…and that’s particularly true in the case of many of today’s young fighters. Indeed, some contemporary fighters appear to have a very acute case of inflated ego at the moment. And while some of this may indeed be generational, there’s also the “Mayweather Effect” which might be in play here, as well. For, as many know, Floyd Mayweather is as known in some circles as much for who he didn’t fight than for who he did. Koysta Tszyu, Keith Thurman, Antontio Margarito, the list of people Floyd is said to have avoided can sometimes seem endless.

To argue the validity of the cherry picking argument right now is pointless, though, at least as it pertains to Mayweather. What is important is that a considerable number of name fighters apparently believe Floyd got rich and famous by virtue of selecting his opponents carefully. In other words, they believe Floyd took on easy touches for big money until there was an opportunity to face a top guy (usually over the hill) for a whole ton of cash. Unfortunately, these young fighters, who now emulate their hero, are missing a key component of the scenario:

The fact that Floyd was an amazing boxer.

Believe it. Like it or not, the guy was a once in a generation talent. Just how good was Mayweather? Well, I’d be hard pressed to find a single contemporary of Floyd’s who could beat the man, even on that contemporary’s best day. That also counts for the opponents I’m told Floyd avoided or aged out. The bottom line here is that guys like Jacobs, Saunders, Santa Cruz and others aren’t as good as Floyd was and probably never will be. Why they seem to feel they’re worthy of the man’s fame, wealth and clout is frankly puzzling.

And sad. These guys just aren’t seeing the world as they should…never a good thing.

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If it walks like a Duck…..Tyson Fury’s Unprecedented Second Refusal to Honor a Rematch with Wlaidmir Klitschko


If it walks like a Duck…….Tyson Fury’s Unprecedented Second Refusal to Honor a Rematch with Wlaidmir Klitschko By:Ronald Neal Goldman

Tyson Fury on Wladimir, Wilder and His Father’s Homecoming

The first explanation of Tyson Fury reneging on his rematch with Klitschko on July 9 was a sprained ankle, or as those of gender reassignment aspire to, but are unable to achieve, the ability to grow a pair, as it were. Admittedly, athletes in particular, who engage in contact sports, are prone to injuries. With Fury’s ankle issue there wasn’t and, rightfully so, any suggestion of incredulity, it happens; a second cancellation, however, due to being medically unfit stretches the boundaries of believability. Considering Fury’s questionable histrionics in and outside the ring, a more apt term for Tyson’s abstention might be mentally unfit. The English heavyweight’s disturbingly brash challenge to Deontay Wilder following one of Wilder’s impressive wins, was perceived by many as a tad more than merely a ploy to sell tickets for a Wilder-Fury bout; he was, it seemed to this observer, on the path to what appeared to be an meltdown, emotional or psychological, Dr. Phil, are you there? There is, as well, Tyson Fury’s pathetic imitation of Mel Gibson’s latest hits: how “Zionist, Jewish people …own all the banks, all the papers, all the TV stations, Mr. Fury’s homophobic proclivities, notwithstanding.

Clearly, Wlaidmir Klitschko lost his bout with Fury, though it wasn’t a question of why Fury was at his best, but why the K2 heavyweight, seemingly, was at his worst. Problems at home which, in turn, I believe compromised his focus during the heavyweight title match. Married to Nashville actress, Hayden Panettiere with their first child, the actress was known to have experienced postpartum depression, an intriguing scenario as her character in Nashville, Juliette Bares, suffered the identical crises on the TV drama, talking about life imitating art.

Had the Ukrainian strong man reached and passed his prime in his fight with Fury, perhaps, but in the KO fashion that “Dr. Steelhammer” had dispersed with many of his opponents I think not. Something was amiss in his fight with Tyson Fury and the sad part is that we’ll never know if the reason that the second match is not going to happen is whether it’s Tyson’s inability to get it together, or a belief that their first and, what appears to be their only, fight was fluke catching Vitali’s younger brother on an off night. Probably the latter.

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Can Canelo Repair His Reputation?


Can Canelo Repair His Reputation?
By: Sean Crose

Things are good yet not so good for Canelo Alvarez. The middleweight/junior middleweight/155 lb weight superstar and (to some, at least) lineal middleweight champ is rich, famous and about to fight yet another world titlist, Liam Smith, in front of an enormous crowd at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in September. On the other hand, Canelo now has been labeled by many as being a duck…and being labeled a duck is never, not under any circumstances, a good thing for a fighter’s reputation. What’s more, some of Canelo’s comments to the press – and let’s be fair here, his English isn’t great when he speaks to the English speaking media – have only served to alienate him further from some fans.

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Still, are things meant to terminally be this rough for the Mexican icon? Or will he someday redeem himself in the eyes of his detractors (let’s face it, the man was until very recently one of the few fighters in the modern era who didn’t seem afraid to face a real challenge)? That may actually all depend on two things: whether or not Canelo faces middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin before the Kazakh warrior begins to age significantly and whether or not Canelo will somehow manage to avoid being beaten before such a fight actually materializes.

To be sure, there are some who feel Canelo just isn’t talented or skilled enough to pick up the mantle left by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, respectively. And make no mistake about it, Floyd and Manny are no longer kings of the ring. Even if they were to fight again, it would be more of a novelty than a snapshot of an era. Is Canelo near either man’s caliber, though? While only someone clouded by bias would claim the red headed star isn’t very, VERY good at what he does, there are some legitimate questions regarding the true quality of Canelo’s ring performances.

For instance, in his two biggest twins, Canelo bested an aged Miguel Cotto, and destroyed a known welterweight in Amir Khan. Impressive feats, sure, but how impressive when one looks at the whole picture? What’s more, few will give a win over the game, but widely unknown Smith a whole lot of props. Not when guys like GGG and any number of quality junior middleweights are – figuratively speaking – just a phone call away.

The truth is that Canelo can only completely and thoroughly re-establish his reputation by facing GGG in a timely manner. Even if he were to move on to best top level competition other than Golovkin, the letters GGG would hang over his reputation for as long as Canelo walked the earth. Which would be something no popular fighter would want to have happen.

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After A Brilliant Victory, Frampton Publicly Declares He’ll Keep Avoiding Rigondeaux


After A Brilliant Victory, Frampton Publicly Declares He’ll Keep Avoiding Rigondeaux
By: Sean Crose

Why, Carl Frampton, why?

You looked so good on Saturday night against Leo Santa Cruz! Indeed, you looked brilliant. Sure enough, I said aloud that I thought you might be able to actually beat Guillermo Rigondeaux if you two should some way, somehow, get around to actually fighting. You made it clear after beating Santa Cruz convincingly that you still wouldn’t be facing Rigo, however…you just wouldn’t. Fair enough, but make no mistake about it, this avoidance of a gifted foe will follow you around. Count on it.

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For while the internet makes life easier for people, it also makes for longer memories. There will always be a tweet or post out there to remind people that you avoided the best competition available. In short, people won’t forget. Perhaps you don’t care. You indicated after the Santa Cruz fight that you’ve got a family to support, after all, and that you need to focus on money. Again, fair enough, but just remember that you’re making a lot more than the average boxing fan right now. A lot more. You’ve also got the looks and personality to have a successful career around the fight game after you retire – so long, of course, as you keep your brains about you.

Oh, and claiming you don’t want to fight Rigo because the match will be boring is lame. Honestly, it sounds like a cop out. Saying, as you did, that you “would fight anyone,” except that you “want to be involved in exciting fights,” smells, frankly, like a duck. Sure, Rigo can be boring. Really boring. Every honest person can admit as much – but he’s in your general weight realm and most think he’s better than you. Although that puts you in a sticky position, it is what it is.

Look, there’s a lot to like about you, Carl Frampton. You’re a gentleman and you’re a hell of a fighter – two things boxing always needs. There’s no doubt you’re physically brave, but it looks like you’ve got a world class case of career fear, even now, during what may well be your crowning ring achievement. And while it’s true there’s good reason for you to have that uneasiness, you’re a professional boxer and professional boxers don’t look good when they obviously avoid tough competition. That’s even true in this day and age.

Again, it’s easy to sympathize with you on this, Carl. For Rigo is indeed the ultimate high risk, low reward opponent. You’re an athlete, however, and an athlete who avoids a legitimate challenge tarnishes his legacy. And that’s something to think about.

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Santa Cruz And Frampton Would Rather Punch Each Other’s Lights Out Than Face Rigo


Santa Cruz And Frampton Would Rather Punch Each Other’s Lights Out Than Face Rigo
By: Sean Crose

Sure, Saturday’s bout between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz will probably be exciting. These are two fighters who can excite, after all. They’re both also quite popular and lucrative properties, to put it bluntly. Yet therein lies the problem to me. These guys are bringing in bucks and eyeballs while avoiding the biggest threat out there that either of them could face – Guillermo Rigondeaux. Sure, they could say that they’re in a different division than Rigo now, but everyone knows that’s crap. These two have been avoiding the slick Cuban for ages – so much so they’d rather punch each other’s lights out than be made to look foolish for twelve rounds.

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Look, I understand that boxing is “prize fighting,” and that it may well have been first designed to be a part of the entertainment business as opposed to the sport’s world. That doesn’t mean it should stay that way, though. The truth is, boxing isn’t pro wrestling, it’s ultimately a sport (whether it was originally designed to be one or not), and competition should be first and foremost on everyone’s mind. Indeed, the reality is that the New York Yankees might bring a lot more eyeballs to the World Series than, say, the Tampa Bay Rays…but baseball fans would be outraged if the top division teams didn’t get to play in the big one at the end of the season. Where is that sense of fairness among those of us who love the sweet science?

Well, it’s there when we want it to be, it seems, but only when we want it to be. We call bullshit when Canelo calls GGG into the ring, then gives up his title rather than face the man. We make Stevenson a virtual nonentity for not getting it on with Kovalev. We do not, however, charge Santa Cruz and Frampton of ducking Rigo. We simply nod our heads, laugh, and say Rigo is too boring to watch anyway. Fair enough, but we then need to remember that boxing is the entity we ourselves allow it to be. We either wish it to be about who is the best or we don’t.

What we need to remember, however, is that there’s consequences to our choices. When we pick an entertainment business over true competition, we avoid having to watch Rigo potentially bore the hell out of us in a twelve round snoozer. Yet we also get the Canelo-GGG scenario, and Danny Garcia facing less than challenging opposition. It’s a tradeoff, plain and simple.

And, for all our griping, it appears to be one we fight fans are willing to accept.

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