Conor McGregor’s Return to MMA Post-Mayweather
by Bryanna Fissori
Conor McGregor (21-3) will be fighting again for the first time since his pro boxing debut against Floyd Mayweater Jr, just over a year ago. The former 2-Division UFC Titleholder faces potential his toughest MMA opponent yet in Khabib Nurmagomedov (26-0).
More Than a Championship Title
The bout is for the UFC Lightweight Title, which McGregor was stripped of earlier this year due to inactivity. But, there is more on the line this fight than just a championship belt. McGregor and Nurmagomedov have an open dislike for each other for years.
In April, McGregor flew from Ireland to the U.S. to hurl a handtruck through the window of Nurmagomedov’s bus, which was also carrying several other UFC fighters. The event was supposedly instigated by Khabib slapping a teammate of McGregor’s.
Recent Comments About the Bus Situation
In the recent UFC press conference, McGregor had something to say about the event,
“I showed you my hands, no weapons. The first thing [I did] when I showed up at that bus, I showed my hands to let him know, ‘I have come unarmed, no weapons. Step off the bus, you talked a big game and now I’m here.’ He done f*cking nothing. He sat there and took a shit on that bus. He hid and cowered behind women and caused [what happened], so that’s f*cking that. So here’s my location now, you little fool — right in front of you . . . “
“If you got off that bus, you’d be dead now. You’d be dead and I’d be in a cell, so shut your f*cking mouth…”
It was unclear for some time whether Conor McGregor would face legal ramifications preventing him from competing. Instead, he lives up to his nickname “Notorious” and has added fuel to the fire for this bout. Maybe he learned more than boxing moves last summer when he was studying Mayweather, who seems to know his way around a courtroom.
Toughest MMA Match to Date
The matchup between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov is a classic striker vs grappler, although both are well-rounded, high-level martial artists. Seven of McGregor’s nine wins in the UFC have come via knockout or technical knockout. He’s well known for his fan-friendly striking style. Nurmagomedov is noted to be a brutal grappler with a tough chin.
Though many fight promotions are guilty of promoting main events as “The Best Fight in History,” this one does seem to have some serious potential.
Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is schedule as the main event on UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be five – five-minute rounds for the UFC Lightweight Championship Title. Tickets to the event sold out in a just few hours. The rest of us will be watching it on Pay-Per-View.
Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Must Bend Opponent’s Emotions
By Ivan G. Goldman
Lots of fighters, trainers, and other experts have been doing a fine job analyzing the intricate advantages and disadvantages of each fighter in the history-making super-contest this Saturday night.
It’s Manny Pacquiao’s straight left against Floyd Mayweather’s shoulder roll, Floyd’s straight right against Manny’s vulnerable southpaw stance. And so on. And all that is fascinating.
Inevitably, we hear that it all comes down to who wants it more. That’s often true, but in this case their desire to win may be too strong to even measure. Unless there’s a rematch, which is unlikely, this will be the biggest fight of their lives, the chief standard by which their fantastic decades-long careers will be quantified.
Bernard Hopkins expects a knockdown or two because in the split-second give and take of offense, defense, and counter-offense, there will be moments when something won’t work for one of them.
At the start, the pressure is on Congressman Pacquiao, who feels the weight of the entire Philippines nation on his shoulders. In order to win, he’s got to hurt his man and then take advantage of the opportunity. But Mayweather needs only to do what he’s done his entire career — slip or blunt what’s coming at him, counter it from his lengthy list of offensive tricks, and, as usual, win more rounds.
In fact, according to Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather doesn’t even need to win all those points by himself. He merely, as old-timers like to say, needs to make it close enough to steal.
“Look,” Oscar told the Los Angeles Times, “it’s Las Vegas, Mayweather’s hometown. His picture’s on the side of the MGM. The close rounds are going to go to Mayweather. It’s big business. It’s no secret.”
Yes, Oscar doesn’t much like Floyd, and the feeling is mutual. But if you check the video of Floyd’s first outing against Jose Luis Castillo, you know The Golden Boy isn’t imagining anything here.
Or just check the record of the fight that almost everybody agrees Castillo won. It was April 20, 2002, MGM Grand, three lopsided scores for Mayweather were turned in by John Keane, Jerry Roth, and Anek Hongtongkam. And just to make sure everybody got the message, the Nevada commission chose Roth to score four additional Mayweather bouts and Keane one more.
You could argue that Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) gets no favors in Las Vegas, where he lost a crazily scored split decision to Timothy Bradley in their first contest and came away with only a draw against Juan Manuel Marquez in their first fight after knocking down Marquez three times in the first round.
And none of this is a secret to Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs), who is one of the best money weapons Las Vegas can bring to bear against rival Macau, which stole so many of the city’s high-rolling visitors.
You could find two other reasons Floyd wins in Las Vegas. One, he almost always deserves to win, and two, judges, who’ve never seen him lose, expect him to win. So they’re susceptible to seeing what they expect to see instead of what’s actually happening. Plenty of scientific experiments prove this phenomenon exists. Behavioral scientists even have a term for it: cognitive bias.
It’s no secret that much of the sweet science has to do with what’s in the mind – both in terms of intelligence and emotions. Each of the fighters will try to bend the emotions of the other and make him doubt his powers.
After the fight starts, Floyd will try to induce Manny to believe, at least in his subconscious, that Floyd just can’t be beat in Las Vegas, that he’s too slick and all the factors that favor him are too overwhelming.
Except there’s also this: Floyd didn’t want this fight. CBS Chairman Les Moonves had to intervene to get him to accept the largest purse in history, and it still wasn’t easy, not even with a 60-40 split in Floyd’s favor. Why? Because something in Mayweather’s mind told him no, don’t do it.
During the course of the contest, it will be up to Manny to remind Floyd just what it was that made him hesitate.
Neither fighter has an easy task ahead.
New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman’s Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag was released in 2013 by Potomac Books. Watch for The Debtor Class: A Novel from Permanent Press in spring, 2015. More information here.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao: The Big Fight “By The Numbers”
By Tyson Bruce
Record: 47-0 (26 KOs)
Weight: 147 lbs. (welterweight)
Reach: 72″ Biceps: 12 1/2″ Fist: 8″
Date of Birth: February 24, 1977
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada
Trainer: Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather
Record: 57-5-2, 38 KOs
Reach: 67” Biceps: 13″ Fist 10″
Residence: Kiamba, Sarangani Province, Philippines
Birthplace: Kibawe, Philippines
Date of Birth: December 17, 1978
Advisor: Michael Koncz
Trainer: Freddie Roach
Age & Physical Equipment:
One only had to look at the two fighters when they faced off—or glanced off in this case—at the press conference to understand that Mayweather, (47-0-0, 26 KOs), is the bigger fighter. The truth is that Mayweather and Pacquiao have never really been true welterweights, as they both moved up from the lower weight classes and essentially walk around at or around the 147-pound limit in their day-to-day lives. The fact their accomplishments rank with some of the best in the division’s history is a testament to the great talent of both fighters.
Mayweather, however, has been blessed with some unique physical advantages. Floyd’s 72-inch reach is remarkable for his size when you consider that middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, a much larger boxer, only has a 70-inch wing span. Mayweather has a six-inch reach advantage over Pacquaio (67-inch reach), which represents the single most graphic physical advantage for either fighter.
Mayweather also has a two-inch height advantage but Pacquiao, (57-5-2, 38 KOs), is accustomed to fighting boxers far taller than him, so that doesn’t figure to play much of a factor in the bout.
At 38 and 36 years of age, both Mayweather and Pacquiao have clocked a lot of miles on the speedometer. Remarkably, Pacquiao has seventeen more professional fights and a great deal more high contact, violent fights.
Conversely, Mayweather is probably the more physically handicapped boxer at this point in his career. Mayweather has suffered from a plethora of physical injuries throughout his nearly twenty-year career, including torn rotator cuffs and numerous broken hands.. Speculation is rampant that Mayweather no longer possesses the ability to move on his toes for 12 rounds, which was once the hallmark of his style.
Both men have been able to sustain dominance for such a long-time due to their high work ethic and the discipline to stay in quality condition in between fights. Despite his nocturnal lifestyle and his nefarious associates, Mayweather has always treated his body like a temple. By all accounts, he never drinks, smokes or takes drugs. Early in his career, the wild party life of Pacquiao was well-documented, but he’s left that behind in favour of an evangelical lifestyle.
A strong argument can be made that Pacquiao may be one of the most offensively talented fighters of the post-war era in boxing. Unquestionably, Pacquiao’s blend of blurring hand speed, one-punch knockout power and punching accuracy puts him in a league of his own when it comes to offence in this particular boxing era.
In the process, Pacquiao has put together some truly mind-boggling numbers. He joined the prestigious “400-club” when he rearranged Antonio Margarito’s face by landing a withering 474 blows, the 11th most ever tracked by Compubox. Pacquiao landed over three hundred punches against Marco Antonio Barrera (309) and Miguel Cotto (336), two future Hall-of-Fame fighters.
In his bout against Cotto, a great fighter in his own right, Pacquiao was able to land a staggering 336 out of 780 (43%) punches. Mayweather, on the other hand, was only able to land 179 of 687 punches thrown (26%) against the Puerto Rican slugger. In just eight rounds against Oscar De La Hoya, Pacquaio was able to land 224 punches, which is 17 more than Mayweather landed (207) in a full twelve rounds.
Even against Shane Mosley, which is recognized as one of Mayweather’s more offensive outings, Pacquiao landed more punches, with 228 landed to 208 for Mayweather. That said, Mayweather landed at a 44% connect rate to just 31% for Pacquaio.
While it’s easy to see why Pacquiao is such a prodigious offensive fighter, Mayweather’s offense is often vastly underrated. While he often has an extremely low punch count, he makes up for it by landing extremely obvious and flashy counter punches that allow him to steal rounds because regardless of how aggressive his opponents are, they rarely land anything clean. Mayweather’s “less is more” philosophy allows him to connect on an astonishingly high 44% of his punches, the most of any active boxer.
What all of these punch stats illustrate more than anything is that Pacquaio is the more committed offensive fighter. In doing so, he puts himself in a great deal more danger than Mayweather, but also inflicts a great deal more hurt on his opponents. There hasn’t been a single Pacquiao opponent, even the times that he’s lost, that didn’t receive a vicious amount of punishment fighting him. Pacquaio, even with a diminished killer instinct, is clearly the offensive force in this bout.
Mayweather relies on sharp flashy counter punches to steal rounds and rarely lets his hands go in multi-punch combinations the way he did earlier in his career. This was his way of coping with fighting bigger and stronger fighters. Pacquaio took the opposite approach and uses his hand speed to out-punch bigger slower boxers. It’s hard to argue that either approach hasn’t worked out splendidly.
As dominant of an of offensive force as Pacquiao has proven himself to be, he doesn’t come close to matching Mayweather’s superiority on defence. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Mayweather equals or even surpasses all time great defensive geniuses like Willie Pep and Pernell Whitaker.
The fact that he’s managed to retain his reflexes into his late thirties perhaps gives him the leg up on anyone in boxing history in the category of defence. According to Compubox– a computerized scoring system that counts every punch a boxer throws and lands—Mayweather’s opponents connect on a measly 19% of their punches. That puts Mayweather miles ahead of any other fighter currently in the sport.
In fact, prior to his Showtime contract that began in 2013, the last nine Mayweather opponents landed just 16% of their punches, which is the lowest collective figure in more than thirty years of tracked boxing.
While Mayweather remains the most elusive target in the sport, his shield of invincibility is beginning to show some cracks. Since his bout with Robert Guerrero in 2013, Mayweather’s opponents connect percentage has risen with each passing fight: 19, 21, 22, 26 and 22.
That Marcos Maidana, not known for being an accurate puncher, landed 26% of his punches against Mayweather set off a potential red flag that the champ was beginning to slip. More telling than the percentage was the fact Maidana landed more punches (221) than any other opponent in his career. To put that in perspective, in Pacquiao’s second blood-curdling war with Marquez, he was hit with 172 punches.
Boxing experts have frequently lambasted Pacquiao for his perceived lack of defensive skills. Pacquiao is far from the punching bag that some of his detractors accuse of him of being, but he’s not exactly Willie Pep–or Mayweather either. Pacquiao wins fights by being aggressive and overwhelming people with the speed and power of his combinations. Often his aggression can lead to him getting hit more, although it must be noted that Pacquiao has made a conscientious effort to be more defensively responsible since his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.
Over his last five or so bouts, Pacquiao’s opponents have connected on 24% of their total punches. That’s not bad when you consider that one of those opponents was Tim Bradley, a top-ten ‘pound for pound’ level talent and superior fighter to anyone Mayweather had fought since arguably Miguel Cotto in 2012. That gives Pacquiao a plus/minus ratio of plus-12, which ranks sixth best among all active championship level fighters.
Despite a record short promotional build-up, the financial numbers involved in this bout are truly breathtaking. Even before the start of the bout, it’s fairly easy to say that from a financial standpoint Mayweather-Pacquiao will be the most significant fight in boxing history.
The most decadent and easiest point to start with are the purses of both fighters. Before PPV profits, Mayweather will earn $120 million and Pacquaio will make $80 million. If you combine the salaries of both men, it exceeds the salary cap of an NFL football team. If the PPV sales for the fight, which are priced at a record one hundred dollars, go as well as expected, you can guarantee that they will make many millions more.
The fight is truly a sporting event for the one percent of society, as virtually no tickets will be sold to the general public. Instead, the promoters (Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank) and the MGM Grand (the hotel/casino hosting the fight) will act as mercenaries selling the tickets to the highest bidders. The live gate gross is already a record setting $72 million, which is more than the top fifteen UFC live gates in Nevada combined.
Reportedly even Academy Award winning actor and multimillionaire Liam Neeson has pandered to Pacquiao personally for a ticket to the fight. What some people have done to actually get tickets to the fight borders on the grotesque. Pacquiao was given a ten million dollar mansion by a prestigious LA Realtor who narrowly out bid a business rival just to get a handful of tickets. Bob Arum was reportedly offered 200,000 dollars by mystery celebrity to sell him his seat to the fight.
Various companies have also came up with creative ways to profit from the massive event. According to website spin.ph, a six by four inch patch of Pacquiao’s boxing trunks will cost a whopping $300,000 and the smaller patch, which looks like an imperceptible spot on TV, will run for a cool $150,000. And to think that us boxing fans used to laugh at the unscrupulous and ridiculous “goldenpalace.com” signs that would be painted on fighters’ backs.
The fight week will be an orgy of excess, as the “who’s who’s” list of entertainment, sports and the business worlds gather to see and be seen at the biggest fight since Ali-Frazier I. That vast majority of true boxing fans have been totally excluded from the event is as much of a condemnation of our times as it is about the people involved in the fight.
Did Robots Bid for Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao Tickets?
By Ivan G. Goldman
Selling tickets to the May 2 super-fight at the official price was like throwing currency out the window of a moving vehicle. They were worth at least five times their stated value a split second after changing hands.
But in what amounted to a public relations gimmick, the Las Vegas MGM Grand offered up about 500 of them today, according to the Associated Press count, and they were gobbled up, by some accounts, in less than 20 seconds at prices ranging from $1,500 to $7,500.
As it turned out, the toughest negotiations between the Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather camps centered on the distribution of those tickets. Not only are seats worth several fortunes, but there’s a magic to them that transcends their monetary value. Everyone wants to be seen with the celebrities who will be sprinkled around the arena, including their fellow-celebrities.
The ticket quarrel was finally settled by intermediary Les Moonves, the CBS chairman, whose intercession was also necessary to make the fight happen. With both sides finally satisfied Wednesday night, the casino was free to release some tickets.
Those trusting souls who thought they could get lucky and jump into the right place in the cyberspace line were almost certainly bidding against users of a mysterious computer science involving mathematical algorithms, whatever they are.
It’s related to the same techno-process now employed by options traders who spend millions and millions of dollars putting together programs that can purchase or sell financial derivatives in tiny slivers of milliseconds so they can take advantage of new data long before puny human brains can act.
According to Slate, these automated actions exercised by bots can even be triggered by tweets. In the case of Mayweather-Pacquiao, bots could be trained like cyberspace spaniels to watch the MGM Grand Internet site for any twitches of movement.
Apparently most of the 16,800 seats in the arena were allocated to the two camps, and you can bet most of those are already or soon will be on the secondary market. Because after all, you can’t expect the two fight teams to be satisfied with the miserable hundreds of millions of dollars in purse totals (weighted 60-40 in Mayweather’s favor).
Just about everything you read about this ticket flap is no more than a rumor because no one on the inside talks about it on the record, and when they do they talk around it in a kind of code. It may be easier to get top secret information on the placement of nuclear missiles.
The fighters’ camps apparently suspect they might be accused of greed so they figure the less we know about details the better.
Anyway, I’ve actually inspected the worst seats in the MGM Grand Arena and whatever you do, don’t waste your money. The fighters look like mice from up there and many of the seats have no line of sight to the giant monitors. If you actually care about the fight itself, and not just the spectacle surrounding it, you’re much better off curling up with a brew and watching on a nice high-def screen for a miserable $100.
New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman’s Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag was released in 2013 by Potomac Books. Watch for The Debtor Class: A Novel from Permanent Press in spring, 2015. More information here.
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NoteBook: Manny Pacquiao & Floyd Mayweather Fight Updates
By William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider special edition notebook for the upcoming Mayweather vs. Pacquiao super bout, set for May 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada. This notebook covers most of the news and notes that have been emerging from their respective camps.
-FanDuel has sponsored Floyd Mayweather for his May 2nd fight against Manny
Pacquiao FanDuel’s logo will appear on Mayweather’s trunks at the beltline on fight night. FanDuel and Mayweather are running a contest billed “The Mayweather Fight
Experience”, where 6 trips and tickets will be awarded to winners through one-day fantasy leagues on FanDuel. The first contest will run tomorrow for baseball – Friday April 24th. It is $2 to enter and awards $135,000 in cash and prizes. First place wins a trip fro two to Vegas, two tickets, a hotel room, and $10,000 cash.
-You can join here:
Tickets will be on sale Shortly!
Bob Arum told Yahoo Sports: “We resolved all of the issues and now we’re waiting for the paperwork, I said on the call that if what we agreed upon is in the paperwork we receive, we will sign it and the tickets will be released.” There will be a small number of tickets made available at a cost of $7,500; $5,000; $3,500; $2,500 and $1,500.
HBO’s Mayweather/Pacquiao: The Legends Speak Premieres April 25th
Mayweather/Pacquiao: The Legends Speak will debut on Saturday, April 25th (12:14 a.m. ET/PT), immediately following HBO World Championship Boxing.
The half hour special will feature Jim Lampley sitting down with Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, who both faced Mayweather and Pacquiao, to talk with them about what they think each fighter will need to do to win the upcoming showdown. HBO also captured interviews with Juan Manuel Marqez, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto.
The segment will close with Max Kellerman anchoring a roundtable discussion with George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, and Bernard Hopkins about the upcoming fight and what it is like to train and excel for a super fight.
Referee and Officials Are Selected>
Veteran referee Kenny Bayless has been selected by the Nevada Athletic Commission to referee the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight. The three judges are Dave Moretti, Burt Clements, and Glenn Feldman.
The list of candidates included twelve referee and thirty judges before the final picks were announced. Bayless is scheduled to make $25,000 for the fight and the three judges will make $20,000 a piece.
Manny Pacquiao’s Conference Call Cancelled
Manny Pacquiao was supposed to have a conference call with reporters on Monday, April 20th, but it was quickly cancelled just as Pacquiao was about to speak.
Top Rank blamed technical difficulties for the cancellation, as the system had so many calls that several reporters were unable to get on the conference call to speak with Pacquiao.
Promoter Bob Arum decided to cancel the conference call when he heard a reporter ask the first question that wasn’t supposed to be the first person in line to ask Pacquiao a question.
Tickets Required for Mayweather/Pacquiao Weigh-In
Fight fans who can’t afford to go to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight but are hoping to attend the weigh-in will have to do something that is rarely done in professional boxing.
They will have to pay for a ticket for the weigh in.
The MGM Grand will be charging fans $10 a piece to attend the weigh in and the money generated from sales to the weigh-in will be divided equally among two charities—the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The Susan G. Komen Foundation was Mayweather’s choice of charity and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health was Pacquiao’s choice.
Heightened Security Expected at Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that unprecedented security measures will be in place for the May 2nd fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Prior to other big events, such as the NBA All-Star Weekend, over 400 arrests and shootings were related to the showcase event. Hotels and law enforcement are already bracing for the influx of visitors.
The WBC Created a $1 Million Belt for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
The World Boxing Council (WBC) has created a belt that is worth a reported $1 million dollars for the winner of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. The belt is encrusted with more than 3,000 real miniature emeralds and will travel to the MGM Grand from Mexico escorted by the President of the WBC and two private security guards.
More information can be found here.
Pacquiao Selling Advertising Space on his Trunks
It’s not uncommon for boxers to sell the space on their trunks to advertisers when they have a big bout on the horizon. Pacquiao is offering space on his trunks to potential advertisers, at a whopping sum of $300,000 for a simple six inch by four inch path on his trunks.
Smaller logos on the front of his trunks are priced at $150,000 and a logo on the back of his trunks will cost around $100,000.
More information can be found at this link.
Floyd Mayweather Using -220 Degree Cryotherapy Bath for Pacquiao Fight
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is using a -220 degree nitrogen gas Cryotherapy sessions to get ready and heal his body after training as he prepares for his bout with Manny Pacquiao.
The cryo sessions last 90 seconds to 3 minutes and allegedly helps enrich blood and expel toxins.
Radio GMA to Exclusively Broadcast Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight from Las Vegas in the Philippines
GMA Radio stations will have an exclusive right to broadcast the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight live from Las Vegas on May 3rd in the Philippines.
Mike Enriquez, the GMA Vice President, stated,” This is not going to be a delayed broadcast or what and this will be aired not only in Mega Manila but in all our radio stations AM and FM from as far as south of Tuguegarao to as far south of Zamboanga. So even the people in places like Maguindanao and Basilan, they will have a chance to listen to live real-time blow-by-blow fight.”
Pacquiao to Appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live
On Wednesday, April 22nd Manny Pacquiao will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live at 11:35 P.M. ET on ABC. This will be the ninth time that Pacquiao has appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show, dating back to November 3, 2009, a week before his fight with Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao’s last appearance on Jimmy Kimmel occurred after the March 11th press conference announcing the fight between himself and Floyd Mayweather Jr. That appearance can be viewed here.
Raging Babe Soiree fight weekend
The Raging Babe Soiree: Reaching New Heights presented by RAGING BABE will take place on April 29, 2015, just three days before the fight of the century, Mayweather vs Pacquiao.
Over 100 of boxing’s most prestigious and influential women have been invited to attend this exclusive event. The Raging Babe Soiree will be held at Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, located in The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas. After dinner, the women of boxing will take in the best views of Las Vegas aboard the world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller, which features 28 spherical passenger cabins which can accommodate up to 40 passengers each, and is illuminated with dynamic multicolored LED lights nightly.
May Pac store opening up in Las Vegas
With the historic Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao match up just over a week away, fans will have a unique opportunity to engage in the pre-fight excitement at the official “MayPac” pop-up shop opening this Friday, April 24 at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Fremont St.
The 1,700 square foot space will offer a one-of-a-kind fan experience featuring an interactive game, official merchandise and VIP meet and greets. The pop-up shop will remain open to fans through fight night on Saturday, May 2.
The fight simulation experience will give fans the opportunity to step into the ring, as either Mayweather or Pacquiao and take on the other as an opponent. Custom designed to resemble Mayweather and Pacquiao’s own training rings, each game is equipped with a high-impact punching sensor and a video screen over 10 feet tall, delivering an immersive experience like no other.
Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase official fight gear, merchandise and art commemorating the historic matchup in addition to attending celebrity meet and greets.
More information including shop hours and celebrity appearances is available at http://maypacstore.com/
Pacquiao Feels He’s Too Young to be President
There’s been a lot of discussion as to what Manny Pacquiao will do once his political career is over, but as of now he says he’s too young to think about becoming the future president of the Philippines, but that he’s not counting out a run for the senate.
This was in response to earlier comments by Bob Arum in which he believes Pacquiao will one day run for president. Pacquiao also is on a strict no sex plan before the fight.
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Breaking It Down: Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao for All the Marbles
By Ivan G. Goldman
Let’s forget those hundreds of millions of dollars, the persistent odor of a tickets scandal, the soap operas about the fighters’ private lives, and the totality of the May 2 spectacle.
What about the fight itself?
If you’re like me, you’ve changed your mind eleven or twelve times about how it will go, sometimes holding an opinion only two or three minutes before making another shift. But let’s try to break down some advantages and disadvantages for each fighter:
Judges (yet-to-be-named): They often see what they expect to see even if that’s not what they’re seeing. And they expect Floyd Mayweather to win because after all, they’ve never seen him lose. Advantage Floyd.
Referee: Kenny Bayless, just named, is one of the best ever and always impartial. No advantage.
Speed: No fighter throws at the same velocity on each shot, and though Mayweather can show blinding speed, he tends not to put much leverage on those super-quick shots. No advantage to start with, but as fighters get hurt or tired they slow down. Advantage to be determined.
Power: Only a slight edge here. Mayweather can throw hard enough to hurt you. If he didn’t, power hitters like Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez would have disregarded his shots and come in at will, both fists flying. It wasn’t just defense that stopped them short. They were getting punched hard enough to prompt them to change plans. But Manny Pacquiao looks for knockouts while Mayweather looks for points. Advantage Manny.
Size: Yes, Pacquiao turned pro at 105 pounds, so supposedly he’s a bulked up small fry. That’s mostly a red herring. He was 16 at the time. At age 16 Mayweather was competing at 106 in the amateurs. However, Mayweather is the natural welterweight here. Pacquiao could probably still make 140. Advantage Floyd.
Height, reach: At 5 foot 8, Mayweather is an inch and a half taller, and he has 5 more inches of reach at 72 inches. Advantage Floyd.
Experience: This category is a two-edged sword. Whenever you hear TV analysts say some up-and-coming fighter has to deal with his opponent’s vast experience it usually means the opponent is a broken-down has-been and they’re trying to build suspense for an uneven match. These two have both fought a long roster of dangerous dudes. No advantage
The Crowd: Pacquiao, whether consciously or not, will try to impress his Philippines countrymen in attendance and back home, which means he’s more likely to do something stupid. Advantage Floyd, even if Manny draws more cheers.
Patience: See above.
Combinations: Advantage Manny. Obviously.
Health (including wear and tear): Manny, 57-5-2, 38 KOs, has been in more damaging wars. He also has a history of cramping calves. Floyd, 47-0, 26 KOs, has a long history of fragile hands. If you have sufficient determination you can throw hard with pained hands. A Charlie horse, however, can’t be ignored, and a fighter with compromised legs is a stationary target. Advantage Floyd.
Body attack: Floyd may hurt you to the body, but he rarely sticks around to inflict more torso damage. You need to get close to throw to the body, and he doesn’t like to stay close very long. Advantage Manny.
Head attack: While Pacquiao is throwing to the body it exposes his head. Advantage Floyd.
Footwork: Floyd’s is superb, but now that he’s 38 he can’t maintain it for 12 rounds against a sharp, aggressive opponent like Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s footwork is better than he gets credit for. Paulie Malignaggi sees a lot of wasted movement, but some of that works to Manny’s advantage because it’s unorthodox and unexpected. Slight advantage Floyd.
Conditioning: We’ve seen them both tire in later rounds, though not badly. No advantage.
Chin: Mayweather’s been staggered by Shane Mosley and cracked hard by Miguel Cotto, Marcos Maidana, and Jose Luis Castillo (in their first fight). His recoveries were spectacular. You know how much techno-savvy they’ve got in the Silicon Valley? That’s how much ring savvy Mayweather’s got in his mind and body. When it gets tough in there he gets tougher.
Pacquiao was stopped in 1996, 1999, and most famously, by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. The first two times he was just another Third World slugger fighting under the usual slipshod Third World conditions. As for that Marquez kayo, let’s try to speak frankly while not attracting sharks, lawyers or lawyer sharks.
Marquez, who clocked him beautifully in round six with one beautiful right hand, had never been able to hurt him like that in three previous fights. At age 39 he was curiously faster and stronger than he’d ever been, with what looked like a brand new body that was newly pimpled. His physical trainer was Angel “Memo” Heredia working under an alias. Heredia, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was allowed to stay in the U.S. after testifying against associates and clients whom he’d assisted with banned performance-enhancing drugs. None of the athletes ever tested positive. Advantage Floyd.
Corners: Both trainers are superb. Freddie Roach says Floyd Senior gets excited and stutters, but Freddie fails to mention that Manny always has a guy shouting in his ear in Tagalog while Freddie’s trying to communicate in calm English. They will both have top-of-the-line cutmen. No advantage.
Summary: Slight advantage Floyd. Which helps explain why he’s the betting favorite.
New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman’s Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag was released in 2013 by Potomac Books. Watch for The Debtor Class: A Novel from Permanent Press in spring, 2015. More information here.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao? What Fight? It’s About the Parties That Weekend
By Jackie Kallen
Although there are many people who are going to Las Vegas the weekend of May 2 to see the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, there are ten times as many who will be in town but who will never get near the arena. They are not there to see the fight itself. That is not the main draw.
They are there to PARTY!
For those who can’t get into the fight, there are viewing parties. If you can scout up a ticket, you can attend a viewing party at Caesar’s Palace for just $798 a person. You get free appetizers and a selection of beer, wine, and sodas.
Depending on who you are and how well connected you are, there will be many soirees to choose from. Lil Jon is hosting a party at Wynn Hotel’s Surrender Club on Friday night. This one is open to the public if you have the bucks for it. $1,772 will get you bottle service and a table for six.
Jermaine Dupri is throwing a party on Friday night at the Tryst Nightclub. It’s officially sold out but it’s rumored that there will be tickets floating around at the door. Kascade’s party at the Encore is not full as of this week and guys get in for $100, while females need only cough up $20.
If you really have deep pockets and a thirst for the big time, the party to go to is the one being given by Jay Z after the fight at the Cosmopolitan Hotel’s Marquee Club. A good table there will set you back $50 grand. But what’s a few bucks when you’re on a roll and having a good time?
If you’re in the mood for music and have $10,000 to spare, Nicki Minaj is performing at the Paris Hotel’s Chateau Nightclub right after the fight. She’s bringing along Funkmaster Flex, Sevyn Streeter and Jeremih. Should be a raucous end to a crazy night.
Then there’s the Chris Brown gala at Drai’s. I imagine some people will be going from party to party so as not to miss any of the action. The night before the big fight—it will be 50 Cent throwing the festivities at Drais.
So both Friday and Saturday will be huge parry nights. The clothes will be outrageous, the heels high, and the bling heavy. Wads of cash will be flashed and pimps and their hos will be strutting from one glam spot to the next.
For the common folks, not wanting to shell out five figures, every hotel and bar in town will be celebrating. From a beer at a downtown joint to table service at Tao’s, every joint will be jumping and no one will sleep much for 48 hours..
Gotta love this fight weekend!
Betting Line Favors KO by Manny Pacquiao over KO by Floyd Mayweather
By Ivan G. Goldman
When it comes to scoring a knockout, Floyd Mayweather is a longer shot at the sports books than Manny Pacquiao.
At the Bovada offshore betting site, a bet on Mayweather winning before the bell rings to end the 12th round at is set at +550 in their May 2 mega-match in Las Vegas. An early Pacquiao victory is +400. That means $100 will win you $550 on Mayweather but only $400 on Pacquiao.
Yet Mayweather remains the overall favorite. Odds have settled in at +170 Pacquiao, -210 Mayweather, a fight that will almost certainly attract record action before it’s over.
The line reflects everything that’s known about these two fighters, and it’s no secret that Mayweather has been more likely to settle for a points victory while Pacquiao more likely to take risks in order to put his opponent on the canvas.
Yet on the over-under, a distance fight is still favored by -300 to +230 over a stoppage by either fighter. That’s to be expected when you have two welters who’ve scored only three stoppages in their last 20 outings.
Talk to ten people in the know and you’ll get ten answers on where the odds will end up, but Mayweather was a 3-1 favorite before the fight was actually signed, and the number slimmed down in reported heavy action.
Looking for a close fight and can’t decide who will pull out the victory? You’re not alone. Well, you could look for a draw. It pays 16-1.
In other interesting situations that pop up on the Bovada offshore site, look at light heavyweights Adonis Stevenson versus Sakio Bika Saturday in Quebec City. Not surprisingly, it’s -1600 Stevenson and +800 Bika. But a stoppage by Stevenson, the hometown favorite, is favored at -150. A Stevenson win by decision actually pays a premium at +140. That’s how certain bettors are that Bika, 32-6-3 (21 KOs), won’t make it to the final bell against a knockout artist who’s 25-1 (21 KOs).
But over on 5Dimes, another offshore site, you can get +150 betting the bout won’t make it past 7 and 1/2 rounds. I find that an intriguing bet. The over is -170.
On April 11, gamblers give Irish southpaw Andy Lee only a puncher’s chance against Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin in Brooklyn, -325 Quillin, to +250 Lee.
Lots of bettors can’t make up their minds on what promises to be an action-filled tussle April 18 between junior welter powerhouses Lucas Matthyse, -140, and Ruslan Provodnkiov, +110 in Verona, New York.
Look at Vasyl Lomachenko, a staggering -2500 versus Gamalier Rodriguez, +1000 on the Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. At 5dimes it’s +1900, -3800. When the spread is that wide it indicates the house doesn’t really want the action but will grudgingly book your bet. Within those odds is one of the looniest bets on the board. Would you really be willing to risk $3,800 just to win $100 on Lomachenko? But if you do want to bet Rodriguez, clearly 5dimes is the place to do it.
Finally we come to the 5dimes view of Willie Monroe versus crushing middleweight phenom Gennady Golovkin May 16 in Inglewood, California. It’s +2500 Monroe versus -7500 Golovkin. Now there’s a site that doesn’t want to bet against Triple G. A crazier wager you can’t find. Yes, Triple G is a lock, but you’ve still got to be nuts to risk $7,500 to win a mere $100.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available in April from Permanent Press wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.
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Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao High-Def Price Soaring to $99 Record
By Ivan G. Goldman
So you thought the pay-per-view price for Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao would be $100? Well, you were just about right, according to the Wall Street Journal, which is usually correct on these financial topics. Its sources say the price will come in somewhere around $99 for high-def.
That exceeds the previous $75 record by about 33 percent.
Usually the sellers quote the price for the grainy, old-fashioned transmission because it sounds less expensive, but face it, most viewers will spring an extra few bucks for the high-def reception. It only makes sense. Otherwise it’s like trying to save money on a pizza by ordering no toppings.
The May 2 card will break all previous records by miles. The PPV money record is $152 million for Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez in 2013. The record number of buys is 2.3 million for Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
Notice any common characteristics? There are plenty, but I’ll name three. First, of course, there’s Floyd. Second? You can bet that once again a majority of the buyers hope he’d lose at last. Yes, there’s plenty of money to be made from playing the villain. Whether Mayweather — who’s on the upper end of a 60-40 purse split – just plays at being a villain or is the real thing is a judgment I’ll leave to you.
It’s the third common characteristic that’s been troublesome so far. Neither of the previous two fights was particularly entertaining. The De La Hoya fight was close, but solid exchanges were rare. Oscar won most of the first rounds, then lost steam, stopped throwing his superb jab, and faded as Floyd picked him apart, throwing a shot here, a shot there, and escaping with a split decision.
Against Canelo, Mayweather had his number from the first minute. Floyd hit and didn’t get hit much at all. One judge who seemed to be watching from Mars scored it 114-114. So Mayweather, who didn’t hurt Canelo much and once again never went in for the kill, came away with a majority decision.
It’s great for the sport when plenty of casual fans get interested in a fight, but when the fight disappoints, it leaves a sour taste behind, particularly when fans paid extra to see it.
The Journal says this will be a $74 million gate at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That’s also where Floyd faced Oscar and later Canelo. If you figure in 3 million buys at $99, plus the sponsorships, the gate, the foreign rights and the closed circuit cash, you can see that a $400 million gross isn’t a far-fetched estimate.
Distributors normally get about half of the PPV money. This time, the Journal reports, they’ll have to settle for less, perhaps 40 percent. There are two networks to take care of – HBO and Showtime. They’ll do a joint telecast.
Undefeated Floyd has remained the betting favorite, slipping from about 3-1 to 2-1 as Pacquiao, a super-quick southpaw, attracts more support.
That’s another record that will be broken – the betting handle. If all the cash wagered offshore and with illegal bookies were legal and channeled through the Internal Revenue Service, we could inject some serious money into federal coffers.
Boxing Insider Special Edition Notebook: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider special edition notebook for the upcoming Mayweather vs. Pacquiao super bout, set for May 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada. This notebook covers most of the news and notes that have been emerging from their respective camps for the week of March 24th to March 31st.
98 Million Filipinos to Receive Pacquiao vs. Mayweather on Free-TV
One of Manny Pacquiao’s biggest concerns on making the “super fight” was to be able to have the full support of over 98 million Filipinos when he takes on Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2nd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
SolarSports, which bought the broadcasting rights of the fight for $10 million, had been in partnership with GMA7 when it comes to broadcasting the fight, but had decided to hook up with other networks, ABS-CBN and TV5, for the nationwide broadcast of the fight that will determine the best fighter of this era.
SolarSports president and CEO Wilson Tieng stated, “Manny played an important part to put this thing together. Solar Sports can only take part of the credit. It’s still congressman Manny who made this possible.”
More information can be found here.
HBO Sports Presents Mayweather/Pacquiao:At Last on April 18th
HBO Sports has begun production on the one-hour special Mayweather:Pacquiao: At Last, detailing the nearly six-year journey to the most anticipated fight of the modern era, the May 2 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao blockbuster welterweight unification title bout.
It will debut on Saturday, April 18th (11:45 p.m.-12:45 a.m. ET/PT), immediately following HBO Boxing After Dark. The film will be narrated by Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) and chronicles the biggest challenge of Manny Pacquiao’s pro career.
A special prime time replay will air on Thursday, April 23rd at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
“This is the mega-fight fans have been anticipating for many years, and we are thrilled to chronicle Manny Pacquiao’s path to this defining moment in his career,” says Rick Bernstein, executive producer of HBO Sports.
“This special will provide viewers with a narrative of how this fight came to be and spotlight Team Pacquiao’s preparations heading into the biggest challenge Manny has confronted in the ring. It will be a terrific primer for any viewer eager to go behind the scenes in the lead-up to May 2.”
Showtime Sports to Broadcast Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Showtime Sports will offer viewers exclusive access to Floyd “Money” Mayweather and the most anticipated event of the year with Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, an intimate four-part documentary series chronicling the life of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. as he navigates his collision course with Manny Pacquiao.
The documentary will premiere on Saturday, April 18th, following the live Showtime Championship Boxing doubleheader featuring Mexican Superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao will deliver a unique perspective on Mayweather in the weeks leading up to the biggest prizefight of this generation. The fourth installment will focus on the unpredictable drama of fight week, take viewers inside the ropes on fight night, and into the mind of the fighter in the aftermath of the bout.
Episode 1 premieres Saturday, April 18 on SHOWTIME, immediately following SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Chavez vs. Fonfara (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Episode 2 premieres Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME
Episode 3 premieres Wednesday, April 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
Epilogue premieres Saturday, May 9 on SHOWTIME
Sky Sports Box Office Will Exclusively Show Live Coverage of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Sky Sports Box Office has been awarded exclusive live rights to “the fight of the century”, the welterweight world championship unification clash between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Sky Sports’ viewers will be able to follow the build-up to Mayweather v Pacquiao across its channels and digital media outlets, including access to both boxers’ training camps, press conferences and public appearances.
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “This fight has everything and is set to be one of the biggest sports events of the year. As the home of boxing in the UK and Republic of Ireland, we’re thrilled to be awarded the rights.
“We’ll provide Sky Sports viewers with the best possible build-up across our channels and outlets and the best coverage of the fight itself from our team in Las Vegas.”
Analysis of the fight will be provided by Adam Smith, former world cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson and former world lightweight champion Jim Watt, as well as a range of boxing experts. Sky Sports viewers can also enjoy an extensive schedule of support programming providing the best possible analysis of the fight, including the weekly magazine program Ringside, the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast series and feature length interviews.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Could Bring $400 Million to Las Vegas
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is already shaping up to be the biggest fight in Las Vegas since Mike Tyson fought Evander Holyfield II.
The purse is set to be in the neighborhood of $300 million with a the split set at a 60/40 in favor of Mayweather.
The rooms at the MGM Grand have already gone from a rate of $198 a night to $1,601 for a standard king room during fight weekend. Neighboring hotels have also seen similar rate increases. The face value of tickets for this bout have already been set at an astronomical price of $7,500.
More information on the economic impact of this bout can be found here.
Manny Pacquiao Hounded over Tax Affairs Ahead of Clash with Mayweather
The Telegraph is reporting that Manny Pacquiao is being hounded by the Philippines tax department over payments stretching back seven years, in spite of being the highest tax payer in the Philippines government.
Pacquiao earned $41.8 million in 2014, which made him the number one taxpayer in the Philippines. It put him about 64 percent higher than the next taxpayer. The Philippine government alleges that Pacquiao owed up to 2.2 billion pesos in unpaid taxes for 2008 and 2009.
Read more here.
Broker Selling Ringside Seats for $87,000 Each
TMZ Sports is reporting that a high-end NY based hospitality service says it has the very first authentic ringside seats to the Mayweather vs. pacquiao fight. . .and that they are going for $87,500 a piece.
Oren Schneider, the head of Precision Concierge New York (PCNY), told TMZ sports he has 39 tickets to the fight ranging from upper level to ringside seats.
More information can be found here.
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Andre Ward: Boxing’s Forgotten Champion
By Tyson Bruce
The rebirth of boxing on mainstream network television and the approaching superfight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is bringing unprecedented coverage to the sport of boxing in our times. One fighter who seems curiously absent from the goldmine of media coverage, however, is arguably the sports most talented practitioner, Andre “Son of God” Ward.
After defeating some the toughest opposition in recent years, Ward has spent the last two years in a curious tailspin of near constant injuries, out the ring squabbles, and inactivity. Until his recent signing with boxing’s newest player, Roc Nation Sports, Ward was involved in a bitter contract dispute with promoter Dan Goossen, a case that went to court three times on a variety of different jurisdictional levels.
Each time, Goossen was deemed to be in the right, one of the rare times in boxing the majority of its notoriously jaded fan base actually sided with the promoter instead of the fighter.
Goossen’s untimely death in 2015, however, allowed Ward to seek new representation.
Despite his high profile public signing with Roc Nation (courtesy of figure head Jay-Z’s celebrity) he has yet to sign a contract for a comeback bout. Rumors are abounding over the struggle between HBO and Ward over opponent selection. Recently the opponent selected by Ward’s people Thomas Oosthuizen, a struggling fringe contender from South Africa, was deemed inadequate by HBO.
Ward’s outright refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of his contract led to him spending all of 2014 absent from the ring.
The “SOG’s” last performance was a foul-fest against top contender Edwin Rodriguez all the way back in November of 2013. Since that point, the public reaction to Ward’s perceived “diva” behavior has moved from scorn to utter indifference. It’s been so long since Ward has been in the ring that major boxing outlets like ESPN and The Ring (for what that’s worth) have removed him from the rankings for chronic inactivity.
Most boxing insiders appear to believe that Ward bears a great deal of responsibility for the wasteland that his career has become. However, is it possible that the public has always been a little too hard on Ward?
Ward’s path to success has been anything but conventional. Despite being the only American boxer to win a gold medal since 1996, Ward has constantly struggled for respect and recognition. Unlike many previous fighters, winning the gold medal didn’t lay a red carpet to riches and fame for Ward. After making a glitzy pro-debut on HBO, he was largely discarded by many in the boxing media.
Ward’s development happened on the back pages of the boxing world, where he honed his craft against a variety of journeymen and contenders with different assets and styles. Despite his low profile, Goossen somehow managed to maneuverer Ward into the ground-breaking “Super Six Championship” series on Showtime, a super-middleweight tourney where he was considered a massive underdog.
Despite having just twenty professional fights, Ward dominated tournament favourites Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch with an athletic superiority not seen since Floyd Mayweather. Ward capitalized on the victory by laying an absolutely clinical beating on then light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson.
Regardless of one’s personal feelings towards Ward’s personality or fighting style, one cannot deny the magnitude of his accomplishments. Ward has a Hall of Fame resume of victories, and he’s just 31 years of age.
Despite their vastly different personalities and temperament, Ward’s career greatly resembles that of Mayweather’s at a similar stage. Mayweather was a three-weight division world champion before he was twenty-eight and had been on the pound for pound list since his early twenties, yet before fighting Oscar De La Hoya the guy couldn’t sell out his living room. Mayweather, like Ward, struggled to tap into a boxing market that in North America is geared toward the Latino fan base.
In recent years, boxing promoters have utterly failed, for the most part, to engage with the African American market. After all, Mayweather only became a household name when he left Top Rank. Can Ward do the same thing? The move to Roc Nation, which as of yet has no track record of success in boxing, appears to be an attempt to engage with a wider cross section of fans because of Jay-Z’s success in the entertainment industry.
Ward shares almost no personality characteristics with Mayweather other than hubris, which they express in vastly different fashions. Ward isn’t going to “make it rain” or get arrested for domestic assault to draw attention to his fights. Ward must win people over the hard way: by beating the very best fighters out there. The truth of that statement makes his absence from the ring and contempt for the late Goossen all the more puzzling.
With boxing set to erupt in the next several months with a non-stop slate of events on a multitude of different platforms, Ward needs to set his ego aside and get into a boxing ring. If he does not, he runs the risk of reaching a level of obscurity that will be impossible to overcome.
Also, after so long away from the ring, how much longer can Ward go without fighting until his famous self-belief begins to give way to doubt and regret?
Boxing Insider Interview with Freddie Roach: “Manny Will Win by Knockout”
By: William Holmes
May 2nd is less than two months away and the training camps of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are kicking into high gear.
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has been busy preparing his fighter for the toughest test of his career and a for a fight that they have been waiting for a very long time. Boxing Insider had the opportunity to talk to Freddie Roach in the middle of Pacquiao’s training camp.
Boxing Insider: How excited are you for this fight? How does the anticipation for this fight compare to some of Manny’s other big fights such as Marquez, De La Hoya, or Cotto?
Freddie Roach: Well you know, it’s so big this fight you know? It’s maybe the biggest one we’ve ever been in. I think we’re in a rough situation, if we don’t win this fight he goes down as the best in the world and we go down as bums. We’re training really hard and we have a great strategy for the fight and we have great sparring partners for the fight. . .Manny is on fire right now. He sparred yesterday, we just finished today, we were there for four hours and tomorrow we will spar again. I do have six sparring partners there right now and we mix them around and see who the best one is.
Boxing Insider: Who do you plan on bringing in for Manny as a sparring partner? Why did you choose them?
Freddie Roach: I didn’t want old, old, old, guys like Zab Judah and stuff like that to come in there and take a beating. I brought in contenders and up and coming fighters who will work really hard. I give them a little incentive and if they knock Manny down I give them $1,000 extra. We have to get Manny ready for whatever [Mayweather] brings to the table. Whatever he brings. I’ve got runners, I’ve got fighters, I’ve got strong guys, I’ve got fast guys. . . I’ve got six really good guys that I feel really confident with. And these young guys they fight with Manny Pacquiao, one of these guys will be a superstar one day I believe.
I don’t know which one, but that’s what happens. When I was 18 and I started sparring with Alex Aguello for four fights, I learned more from him than anyone else in my life. It’s really great for the kids and for everybody.
Boxing Insider: There were reports that stated that you had brought in Guillermo Rigondeaux as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao, but were later reported to be untrue. Did you ever consider asking Rigondeaux to be a sparring partner for Manny?
Freddie Roach: That’s a lie. Rigondeaux is a good friend of mine, but we’re not fighting a southpaw, we’re not fighting a counter puncher. . . Rigondeaux is a challenging kid, I trained him for several fights, he’s met Manny before. He did want to box with Manny when he came over getting ready for a different type of opponent, but that is completely untrue. I have no idea where that came from. Rigondeaux is a good friend of mine, I told him I would love to train him again last time I saw him and when Roc Nation signed him. Rigondeaux is a great guy, he’s just not the right style for this fight.
Boxing Insider: How does Manny look in camp so far?
Freddie Roach: He’s really, really, on fire. I’ve never seen him like this. He’s motivated, training hard, first day of sparring went well. I mean he hasn’t boxed in about eight months, but on the first day, I was very happy.
Boxing Insider: In your opinion, what was Manny’s biggest win of his career?
Freddie Roach: Manny’s biggest win. . . I think when he knocked out [Ricky] Hatton, I love that fight. I think Hatton was the best knockout, the best win was Oscar [La Hoya].
Boxing Insider: What about Floyd Mayweather’s style impresses you the most? Is there anything about Floyd Mayweather’s style that you think Manny can exploit?
Freddie Roach: We’re working on it every day, we watch tape every day, he’s not a perfect fighter. He sets traps very well but we recognize the traps and we know not to fall into the trap. He is very fast…his legs I think have given out a little bit, he has to take breath sometimes, he says he wants to exchange so the fans are happier but I don’t agree. I think he wants to and has to rest and I think he has to exchange because his legs are giving out on him. When Manny fought Algieri he would throw punches and run in circles the whole time, he has better legs than Mayweather and I think that will be the difference in the fight.
Boxing Insider: Can you tell us anything about your strategy to combat Floyd’s quick lead right followed by a move away?
Freddie Roach: Yes….we are working on it every day. Ummm, it’s one of his best weapon and of course we have to adjust to it.
Boxing Insider: Where do you rate Floyd Senior as a trainer?
Freddie Roach: Floyd Senior. . . I think Roger’s better, Roger has been with him more, Roger knows him better, Roger has been there a lot longer, I think Roger is a better trainer than the father. Floyd senior gets really excited and he stutters and he has a hard time getting his message out. But, I think Roger is better, he’s OK. but I don’t think he can be better than me to be honest with you, I’m not trying to be cocky or anything like this but I think I can know my fighters better than he does.
Boxing Insider: Who are some of the under the radar boxers in your stable that you think will become future world champions? Why?
Freddie Roach: Frankie Gomez is my best boxer. He will be a world champion. He’s 18-0, he’s a very good fighter, what I like about him is that when he gets in the ring he is mean. He wants to hurt people.
Boxing Insider: Do you have any concerns about Manny peaking too early for the fight because he’s been training so hard?
Freddie Roach: Well the thing is I know boxing well, I’ve done it for a long time, I was a fighter for a long time, we’re not going to overtrain. We definitely have a system and the system has been working very well for a long time and I think that I have 32 world champions that I work with. They’re all great but the system is very similar for all of them.
Boxing Insider: What’s your prediction for the fight?
Freddie Roach: I think Manny will knock Mayweather out. I think his speed and power is much better than his. Mayweather has fragile hands and doesn’t hit that hard anymore. He’s not a physical strong guy. Well, sometimes I see pimples on his back and I wonder why, but. . . I don’t know why he’s like that. I mean, if someone needs to cheat to win it’s not worth it.
Boxing Insider: Do you have a round as to when the fight will be stopped?
Freddie Roach: Well, we got him with a couple of counter punches, depending on what he brings to the table. Depends on how he comes out, it could be early or it could be late. He does have holes in his defense, he definitely does, especially against a southpaw.
Boxing Insider: Do you think Floyd will want a rematch after this fight?
Freddie Roach: We’ll be making a lot of money, I like it, yeah.
Boxing Insider: How much longer do you think Manny will continue to fight?
Freddie Roach: Maybe if he does alright, I think he has a couple of years left.
Boxing Insider: I’m sure you got the chance to watch some of Floyd Mayweather’s tapes…
Freddie Roach: That’s all I do, what are you talking about?
Boxing Insider: What was his most impressive win in your opinion?
Freddie Roach: Well, I’m going to watch tape today, but I still watch when him and Oscar fought. I trained Oscar to beat him, we won the first six rounds and we lost the last six rounds, and I know why that happened. I have to make sure that Manny doesn’t fall into that trap that Mayweather sets, and he hasn’t yet. When I set that trap he gets out every time.
Mayweather he’s a little bit clever right, but he doesn’t have a lot of moves, he doesn’t have a trainer. He barely doesn’t have anyone. . . .I don’t particularly think. . . it just comes naturally to him. He’s like my little brother Paul. He’s the best fighter in the house, but my mother wouldn’t let him fight because he’s had too many fights.
[Floyd’s] his own coach, he doesn’t have a lot of movement, he does have a lot of 5, 6, or 7. Every time he makes a move, he makes a mistake on the return. Manny will take advantage of that, I promise you.
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Mike Tyson with a Potential Blueprint to Beat Floyd Mayweather?
By Kirk Jackson
Recently, Hall of Fame boxer Mike Tyson was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and gave his opinion on the huge fight taking place May 2nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the set of ESPN’s First Take, journalists Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless offered their insight on Tyson’s remarks in regards to the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather 47-0 (26 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao 57-5-2 (38 KOs).
More importantly, Tyson indicated this will be Mayweather’s toughest fight to date and there is a great possibility of Mayweather getting busted up and losing. Tyson offered great perspective on what Pacquiao should do to secure a victory May 2nd.
“You need to put constant pressure on Floyd, be in front of him all the time by moving side to side and punching from angles,” said Tyson.
“Manny is going to feint Floyd out of position a lot and make him throw more punches than he is used to, and that will open Floyd up. He [Mayweather] has never been tested, whatever happens in the fight, I think he’s going to get hit and hurt more than he has ever before; we’re going to see how tough he is.”
There are many things to take away from this Mike Tyson quote.
Although Tyson’s is not a comprehensive game plan, this is a good foundation on how to attack Mayweather. Pacquiao has the athletic gifts to pull off this game plan. Pacquiao has a herky-jerky style and could very well feint Mayweather out of position, where he can capitalize because of his great foot and hand speed. This is one of the advantages and tactics Pacquiao utilizes over most opponents.
A danger exists, if the fighter cannot execute this style of fighting efficiently. Moving side to side while dodging attacks can be physically and mentally taxing, especially if the fighter [Pacquiao] is missing punches occasionally eating counter-punches for his troubles.
The thing is, aside from what Tyson mentioned as keys for success against Mayweather, in order to have just a modicum of success against Mayweather, it can be argued the opponent must possess a solid jab, ala Miguel Cotto, Marcos Maidana, Oscar De La Hoya, and Jose Luis Castillo (first fight).
A trait all the fighters mentioned have in common, with De La Hoya being the exception, is they’re really good pressure / inside fighters. Another point is that all of those fighters mentioned are naturally bigger / stronger than Mayweather.
Pacquiao is the smallest opponent Mayweather has faced since Juan Manuel Marquez back in 2009, so the size advantage for Pacquiao will not be there. Pacquiao is not a pressure fighter by nature and rarely fights on the inside: he is more a mid-range fighter.
He uses his speed to his advantage, move in and attacks, dashes back or to the side, usually towards his right, away from danger. With all that Pacquiao has in his arsenal, the jab is not necessarily one of his best punches.
Tyson and others are mistakenly labeling Pacquiao as an all-out pressure fighter, when that’s not really his game. Tyson may be implying that he has to fight ferociously like he did in his prime, but in reality, the “old” and “new” Pacquiao are two different styles of fighter.
Many claim Pacquiao lost his “killer instinct” over the last couple of years as he found religion. I think he just he evolved and maximized his strengths as a fighter.
As Chris Algieri 20-1 (8 KOs) was quoted saying after his defeat against Pacquiao this past November, “Manny is great at being Manny.”
Fighting Marquez four times probably provided Pacquiao with the realization that he can’t rush in, giving caution to the wind against certain fighters, which contributed to Manny’s evolution as a fighter.
Pacquiao may have to continue with the next phase of evolution and change his temperament in order to apply the Tyson game plan and a defeat Mayweather. He is going to have to learn to cut off the ring; he will have to suddenly develop or at least be effective in using the jab as well.
Tyson could be alluding to the strategy Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach plan to implore May 2nd.
The last take away from Mike Tyson’s analysis of the fight is the question of Mayweather’s toughness or lack thereof.
It seems as though Mike Tyson doesn’t care for the Mayweather, at least not in this fight. Freddie Roach trained Tyson toward the end of his career and Roach is the current trainer of Pacquiao. Tyson on a number of occasions expressed his displeasure with Mayweather and said he would have liked to have fought Mayweather and expressed pleasure in the notion of beating him up.
That’s fine, as I would expect for him to remain loyal to his former trainer and gravitate towards Pacquiao because he is a fellow action fighter.
For Tyson to question the toughness of a guy who has been a champion for over 17 years, defeated 22 former or current world champions, fought in 24 championship fights across five weight classes says a lot. Mayweather was visibly stunned against DeMarcus Corley, Shane Mosley, and Zab Judah, yet bounced back and dominated all of them.
Tyson’s overall attitude seems ridiculous and adds to the notion that people will not be satisfied until they see Floyd Mayweather lose.
Loyalty to the side, I guess we’ll see what happens May 2nd.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Pacquiao, Mayweather, Brook, Golovkin, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 10th to March 17th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Floyd Mayweather’s Diet Valued at $1,000 a Plate
TMZ has reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has hired a private chef to cook up his meals for the Manny Pacquiao fight at a price for about $1,000 a plate. If Floyd were to eat four meals a day he’s look at a bill of around $184,000.
The woman he has hired is Chef Q who is based out of Las Vegas. More information can be found here.
Manny Pacquiao Donates P5.3M to United Nations World Food Program
Manny Pacquiao has donated P5.3 million ($120,000) to the United Nations World Food Program to fight hunger in the Philippines. The contribution will support the World Food Program’s school feeding program in Central Mindanao.
“The school feeding program ensures that school children in Central Mindanao have one less thing to worry about so they can instead focus on their studies. According to our monitoring data, school feeding programs help increase the retention rate of students in WFP-assisted schools by over 90 percent- a testament to how school feeding helps these children stay in school,” said WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal.
More information can be found here.
Premier Boxing Champions Returns to Spike TV on Friday, April 24th in Chicago
The Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series will return to Spike TV on April 24th at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
The main event will be in the super middleweight division between Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1) and Badou Jack (18-1) and the co-main event will be between Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (28-1) and Caleb Truax (25-1-2) in the middleweight division.
The bout is co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Mayweather Promotions and tickets will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com.
“I’m extremely excited to be fighting on Spike TV and I plan on being the guy everyone is talking about when the night is over,” said Dirrell.
“This is a great platform for me and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show for the fans. Badou Jack is a tough opponent, but I’m going to make it a very bad night for him.”
“This is a great opportunity for me and I am not going to let it slip through my fingers,” said Jack. “I know Anthony Dirrell is a very skilled fighter but he’s about to feel a different kind of power when I hit him. I’m looking forward to becoming the super middleweight champion on April 24th.”
ESPN Friday Night Fights Returns to Mohegan Sun
ESPN Friday Night Fights returns to the Mohegan Sun on Friday, April 17th. The main event will be between highly touted prospect Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0) and former world-title challenger Elvin Ayala (27-6-1) in the main event of the evening and the co-feature will be between Ryan Kielczweski (22-0) and Danny Aquino (16-2) in the featherweight division.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be headlining this card and appearing for the first time on the ESPN network and I want to thank my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. for this opportunity,” said Derevyanchenko.
“Ayala is a very tough and experienced opponent. He challenged Arthur Abraham for his title, going 12 hard rounds. He is coming off a very good win in his most recent fight and I know he will be coming to win in front of his hometown fans come April 17. I am looking to make a statement in this fight though. I am going to show the world that I am one of the best 160-pounders in all of boxing and I belong at the elite level of this division.”
“On April 17th, I will be victorious” said Ayala. “I am training like never before and I am ready to put on the performance of a lifetime. I have suffered losses in my career but never defeat. God knows this and I know this and now it is time for the world to know it, beginning with Sergey Derevyanchenko.”
Kell Brook vs. Jo Jo Dan to be Televised on Showtime
Showtime Sports has announced that they will broadcast the Sky Sports telecast of the IBF Welterweight World Championship between Kell Brook and the number one challenger Jo Jo Dan on Saturday, March 28th live on Showtime at 6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT. This bout will be held at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England.
The same evening will feature a WBC Featherweight Championship bout between Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8) and Gary Russell Jr. (25-1) in the main event of Showtime Championship Boxing as well as a bout between Jermell Charlo (25-0) and Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1) in a super welterweight bout.
“After everything that’s happened over the last six months, it feels incredible knowing I will be defending my World title in Sheffield,” said Brook. “I’m not looking past JoJo, I know he will bring the heat but I want to get this mandatory defence done and then target those mega-fights that are out there in the division. I know he feels he worked so hard to get into the mandatory position just like I did, but I will be working twice as hard to keep the belt that I earned. After May 2nd, there will only be two champions in the division—myself and Floyd or Manny. I want to unify this division in style. I’m coming for them all.”
Willie Monroe Jr. to get Title Shot Against Gennady Golovkin
Many people were hoping that Gennady Golovkin would be facing an elite level boxer such as Miguel Cotto or Canelo Alvarez in his next bout, but fans will have to accept the fact that the winner of the 2014 Boxcino Middleweight tournament as Golovkin’s next opponent.
Willie Monroe Jr. will face Gennady Golovkin for his WBA/IBO and WBC Interim Middleweight Championship on May 16th at the Forum in Inglewood, California. This event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
“On May 16, I will shock the world,” said Monroe. “I think this is an awesome fight. We have two contrasting styles that will make for some spontaneous combustion. We will see which style comes out on top on May 16.”
Monroe went on to state, “I want to thank Banner Promotions for standing by me. I also want to thank “GGG” for accepting the fight. This is a risky fight for him because people have not given me credit for who I am,” continued Monroe. “I also want to thank Brian Kweder and John Campagna of ESPN for the platform of the Boxcino tournament. I know that it was those three fights that really springboarded me into this position.”
Adrien Broner Arrested on Drunk Driving Charge
The Sharonville, Ohio police arrested Adrien Broner in January of 2015 for a drunk driven charge after he refused a breath test when officers stopped his Merecedes.
He has pleaded not guilty and will ask for a jury trial.
More info can be found here.
Full March 20th Fight Card Set Featuring Alfonso Gomez
Golden Boy Promotions recently announced the full card for March 20th at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Former world title challenger Alfonso Gomez (24-6-2) will take on Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-2-1) in a super welterweight bout.
This bout will be aired live on Fox Sports 1 and future hall of famer, Bernard Hopkins, will be in attendance to meet and greet with fans at the Special Events Center from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The undercard will feature Ronny Rios (23-1) taking on Sergio “El Frio” Frias (16-4-2) and former Irish national championship fighter Jamie Kavanagh (17-1-1) facing Miguel Zamudio (29-6-1).
More information can be found at www.goldenboypromotions.com.
Waiting With 100 Media Aristocrats to Question Floyd Mayweather
By Ivan G. Goldman
I’m in a nondescript room in downtown Los Angeles with about 100 other media people, mostly writers, a few photographers. We wait for Floyd Mayweather. This is about two hours prior to the big media conference to kick off publicity for the welterweight superfight I will refer to hereafter as FloydPac, to be fought May 2 in Las Vegas between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd is 50 minutes late, somewhere outside in the Nokia Plaza on the red carpet, we’ve been told. There are lots more media people out there, about 600. They were awarded credentials in other colors but deemed unworthy of the prized green credentials we have dangling from chains around our necks. We greenies, the hundred media aristocrats, will get to interview the fighters and their principal team members in separate, back-to-back, open-ended sessions.
I look around for “The Ghost,” Floyd’s adviser Al Haymon, who supervises events from his secret headquarters. Could he be here in disguise? Spotting him would be like a bird watcher seeing a blue-tailed Pterosaur, a flying dinosaur that hasn’t been around for the last 66 million years.
I’ve already seen Floyd Mayweather, Sr., outside the building. Once again chief trainer for his son, he was surrounded by about 30 determined operators of smart phones and other electronic devices, their users drinking in his every word as though he held the secret to world peace.
There’s already griping among the boxing media, even among us greenies, because we know that on fight night in Las Vegas the MGM Grand Arena holds only 16,000, and some of those seats are so bad you could call them joke seats. In terms of capacity, there will be a monstrous shortage for media and fans. Those in the joke seats will barely see the ring. Some won’t even be in sight of the big screens.
And with tickets selling for a minimum price of $1,500 before the scalpers bid them higher, that means if the promoters give someone in the media even a crummy seat, they’re giving up $1,500 from a paying customer.
Of those media people who do obtain decent seats, many won’t be boxing writers. They’ll represent big outlets that rarely cover prizefighting, if ever. Most boxing writers on fight night will get screwed, relegated to hotel ballrooms to watch on closed circuit in Siberia.
The catch is, they don’t inform you of your seat location until you get there. By holding out the promise of seating in the arena, the promoters obtain more coverage from more outlets.
Many of the excluded ones watching off-site will write their stories as though they were on the scene, without informing readers of their shamed circumstances. And today, many of the 600 excluded ones to be allowed inside later won’t inform their readers that they weren’t present for the good parts. They’ll write around it somehow.
Our color-coded credentials and the system of insiders and outsiders today and on fight night reminds me of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a novel that describes a nightmare future in which everyone’s station in life is designated at birth, ranging from alpha to epsilon. But they get plenty of drugs to ease the pain.
Why will a fight that could easily sell 50,000 tickets be held in a venue that holds less than a fourth of that? For the answer you’d have to understand the rock-solid business relationships the MGM Grand has formed with the principals.
Mayweather Promotions won its place as lead promoter during pre-fight negotiations. Many fighters are superstitious. Floyd’s never lost at the MGM Grand, so why take a chance? Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, wanted the bout in the much bigger Dallas Cowboys stadium, but he’s not complaining, at least publicly.
Golden Boy Promotions, which normally handles the details of Floyd’s fights, was shut out. Former CEO Richard Schaefer is gone, and Floyd and Oscar, the Golden Boy president, dislike each other.
Many of us wonder whether Floyd’s company, which isn’t used to handling all these details, has enough experience to present FloydPac to the world. But it turns out this event is well organized. We’re fed breakfasts with hot, scrambled eggs and buffet lines are short. There are plenty of people to direct us. Nothing is exactly on time, but these things are never punctual.
I’m prepared with laptop, water bottle, and Dodgers baseball cap to shield my eyes from the glare of TV lighting.
Ah, what’s that? Why it’s the champ, Floyd Mayweather, who entered rather quietly. He takes a seat up front, and the questions begin. You can find the interview elsewhere on this site.