Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 25th to May 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
“Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” to Air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes This Week Featuring Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The Golden Boy Media and Entertainment production of “Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” will air this week on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr.
“We are very excited to further our partnership with ESPN by having Mano-A-Mano air across the ESPN family of networks as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. mega fight on Saturday, May 6.
We’ve had a successful start to the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN series, and this is just the next step in what we hope to be a long partnership with ESPN” said Oscar De La Hoya, executive producer of “Mano-A-Mano” and chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
“Mano-A-Mano The Battle for Mexico” – Air Schedule:
• Monday, May 1 available on ESPN’s VOD Platforms
• Tuesday, May 2 at 8:30pm ET – ESPN Deportes
• Wednesday, May 3 11:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Thursday, May 4 at 9:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Friday, May 5 at 7:30pm ET – ESPN 2
“Mano-A-Mano” goes behind the scenes of the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. megafight as Golden Boy Media and Entertainment takes you into the camps of Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) as they prepare for their Saturday, May 6 showdown. “Mano-A-Mano” also features exclusive interviews with Canelo, Chavez, Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Eddy and Chepo Reynoso, as well as others from around the fighters’ fight camps and promotion.
“Golden Boy Media and Entertainment has established itself as a leader in boxing television production for live, scripted, and documentary programming,” said Golden Boy Media and Entertainment Executive Vice President David Tetreault. “Golden Boy’s new partnership with ESPN creates the foundation for new and exciting programming that boxing fans will truly appreciate as they gear up during Canelo-Chavez, Jr. fight week.”
Deontay Wilder Conference Call Highlights
American Heavyweight Champion hosted a media conference call prior to the fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. Below are a few select quotes from the conference call.
“I love this fight for these guys. I love it for the sport of boxing. The fans seem to be well in-tune with it and I think this is a super fight for the heavyweight division.
“I can’t wait for it. I can’t wait to see what happens and hopefully those guys go in healthy and come out the same way. This is a very dangerous sport, especially when you’re trying to perform and put on a show.”
On what Wilder sees as vulnerabilities in Joshua..
“There’s a lot of flaws that Joshua has, but Joshua is still young in the game as well. A lot of people look at Joshua and they’re going off of his physique and they’re going off of the hype that their countryman has brought to them.
“If you really look deep down and soul search and look at his resume, with all of the guys he’s fought … that sometimes makes a person look busier than what he is. There’s a lot of flaws in all of us though, to be honest. Nobody will ever be perfect in the ring. We only try to be our best and that’s the only thing you should go off of.
“I am looking forward to this fight and I can’t wait. I want Klitschko to come in and fight. You can always be hyped for a big fight but it’s all going to boil down to what fighter is going to bring what to the fight. I think he’s ready and he’s going to show a lot of things. He’s going to teach Joshua a lot of different things in the ring, as well, and we’ll see if Joshua has any flaws or not.”
On potentially fighting the winner later this year…
“Hopefully. There are a lot of people that are involved in this. If it were just solely up to me then I’d be 1,000 percent confident, but it’s not just me. That’s what the fans want. I’ve been wanting to give the fans what they want my entire career. Unfortunately, I am one of those fighters that’s always getting the short end of the stick. I only can work with what I can work with.
“I am very confident that I am the best in this division. I am very confident that I will unify this division. I am very confident that I will retire on top, undefeated as well. I’m just waiting for my moment. I’ve been sitting patiently all of this time, even in the start of my career and I’m sitting patient now. I’m just looking forward to my turn.”
On why it’s important for him to be ringside in London…
“When you have guys that are competing against each other at the top, it’s only right for me to be there. I’m not just going out there to be on Sky Sports, I am for sure going there to scout. All the other heavyweights come to my fights. They’re not just there to be a fan. They’re there to scout and look for different openings and certain signs.
“I am definitely going over to scout. And maybe we can make a mega-unification bout.
“I want to go get [Joseph] Parker. Parker doesn’t have an opponent right now. I’m fresh. I’m ready and what would be better than me and Parker fighting for the unification and then have another unification where winner takes all at the end of the year? Then, 2018 you can start off the year with nothing but mandatories.
“The heavyweight division is getting exciting. This is the heavyweight division, and we’re already coming out of that dark place and we finally got light. Don’t take it back. Don’t go backwards when we’re moving so freshly forward. With that, I want to move it more forward. I want to give the fans what they want, and they want a unification. They want one champion and I’m trying to make that happen. So here I am Joseph Parker.”
Fans to Receive Exclusive Commemorative Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. Fight Poster at Movie Theaters Across the Country
On Saturday, May 6, fight fans watching the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. superfight on the big screen will also each receive an exclusive commemorative fight poster with the purchase of a ticket (while supplies last). The Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. poster, issued by Fathom Events, features both fighters against a Mexican flag backdrop ready to meet in the ring to settle their boxing feud once and for all.
Cinemas across the U.S. will play host to a Cinco de Mayo weekend mega-fight with a pulse-pounding live broadcast event featuring two of Mexico’s finest boxers: “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” in a historic showdown that will rival the biggest fights in Mexico’s rich boxing history. Former two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) will square off against former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) in a 12-round battle.
Presented by Fathom Events and Golden Boy Promotions, the one-day cinema broadcast is set for Saturday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. CT / 9:00 p.m. ET, live from the sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” cinema event are on sale now at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 250 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN).
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Memorabilia on Steiner Sports Auction Block
When heavyweight immortals Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier squared off for the third time in 1975 in the Philippines, it climaxed a bitter rivalry in a fight that many, including The Ring Magazine, rank as the #1 Fight of All-Time. Steiner Sports Memorabilia is now offering fans a chance to own a piece of history with an original promotional poster from the “Thrilla in Manila,” hand-signed by both Ali and Frazier.
The “Spring Fever Auction” has over 1,600 collectibles, and this one is certainly one of the rarest. The poster is a lithograph of an original Leroy Neiman painting, and features both Hall of Fame boxers in the classic fighter’s stance. The opening bid on this piece of boxing history was $500, but after spirited bidding over the past several weeks – six bids to date – the action is at $1,302. Visit http://auction.steinersports. com/ to bid. The auction closes at 10:00 pm on May 6.
Other boxing memorabilia featured includes:
•Muhammad Ali Signed Boxing Trunks
•Muhammad Ali Signed Gloves
•Mike Tyson Signed WBO Championship Replica Belt
•Oscar de la Hoya Signed Boxing Glove
•Joe Frazier Signed Boxing Glove
•Manny Pacquiao Signed Photo
David Lemieux Media Workout Quotes
Fighting as the co-main event to Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., Former IBF Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) makes quick return to the ring after spectacular knockout over Curtis Stevens in March to face tough Middleweight Contender Marco “Dorado” Reyes (35-4, 26 KOs) on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Below is what David Lemieux and his trainer had to say yesterday at their April 26 media day:
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight Champion:
“I’m in better shape than I was against Stevens. I only took a week off before heading back to the gym. I could not pass up the opportunity to fight on the May 6th card as the co-main event for Canelo vs. Chavez Jr., while all eyes will be on us. I love the Mexican fans who always put on a great atmosphere during the fights.
“Reyes is a solid opponent, but I am very confident in my abilities. I don’t think he will last long in the ring against me. I intend to make another statement on May 6.”
MARC RAMSAY, Trainer to David Lemieux:
“It’s going to be a good fight, especially in the early rounds. We are facing a bit of a kamikaze boxer, which we must take very seriously. You have to have a good defense and a good approach.
“When it comes to technique, David really is superior, so it’s going to have to show. He is very conscious of the extent of the importance of this fight.”
Jerome Conquest to Take on Daniel Perales in Co-Feature Bout on Friday, May 12th at the Sugarhouse Casino
Jerome Conquest will take on veteran Daniel Perales in the scheduled six-round super lightweight bout that will serve as the co-feature on Friday night, May 12th at The SugarHouse Casino
The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.
The bout will support the already announced main event that will pit Christopher Brooker (11-3, 5 KO’s) taking on Oscar Riojas (14-7-1, 4 KO’s) in a super middleweight bout scheduled for eight rounds.
Conquest of Philadelphia, has a record of 6-2 with one knockout, and will be making his first start in 2017.
The 31 year-old is a three-year professional, and trains out of the Joe Hand Boxing Gym under the tutelage of Wade and Randy Hinnant.
Conquest has a win over Christian Molina (4-1), and is coming off a close six-round unanimous decision defeat to Victor Vasquez on August 5, 2016 in Philadelphia, and I watched his most recent fight.
“I am happy to be back in the ring for the first time since my last fight in August. I am coming off a broken foot. I watched two of his fights. His fight against Damon Allen and I saw his last bout.. I think he is tough. He didn’t show too much in his last bout, but I know he is a tough guy, and I know he is not coming all the way from Mexico to get knocked out,” said Conquest
Perales of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 10-9-1 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old Perales is a six-year professional, and has faced some stiff competition.
He has faced six undefeated foes. Perales should be familiar to local fight fans, as he has dropped bouts to Frank De Alba and Damon Allen.
Perales has been on the wrong end of his last three fights with the latest being six-round unanimous decision defeat to Hector Tanajara on March 23rd in Indio, California.
Brooker of Philadelphia has a record of 11-3 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old is known for taking on anyone at anytime.
The combined record of his last seven foes is a staggering 92-9-3, with Brooker winning five of those bouts, and Brooker has appeared on national television three times.
Brooker is a two-year professional, who already has wins over Leo Hall (8-0), John Magda (11-0), Antowyan Aikens (10-1-1), Gabriel Pham (6-0) & former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (28-7-1).
Brooker has dropped his last two bouts to Ronald Gavril (16-1) in a bout that Brooker was even on the scorecards before being stopped in the final round. On January 20th, Brooker dropped an eight-round unanimous decision to undefeated Ronald Ellis (13-0-1) in Atlantic City. That fight was shown live on ShoBox: The New generation.
Riojas of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 14-7-1 with four knockouts.
The 33 year-old Riojas in a four year professional, who won his first 11 bouts. Like Brooker, Riojas has not shied from tough competition as the combined record of Riojas opponents that have defeated him are 81-1-2.
Riojas and Brooker have two common foes as Riojas has dropped fights to Gavril and Ellis.
Riojas is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision over Roberto Nafate on April 6 in Leon, Mexico.
Philadelphia Produced 12 Olympians Since 1920!
Philadelphia Produced 12 Olympians Since 1920!
By: Ken Hissner
The first Philadelphia Olympians were in 1920 when 3 made the USA team. There was Sid Loog at 160, William Clark at 147 and Earl Hartman at 118. None came back with a medal from Antwerp, Netherlands.
In 1928 Ray Gatsby was at 126 in Antwerp, Netherlands. No medal.
Photo Credit: Phillyboxinghistory.com
Frankie Sodano was at 112 in the 1948 Olympics in the UK. No medal. Sodano was the first to turn professional and had a very good career going 49-8-1 with 22 knockouts.
It took some time until “Smokin” Joe Frazier brought home the first Gold Medal in 1964 in Tokyo. He had lost in the Olympic Trials to Buster Mathis who broke his hand allowing Frazier to replace him. He would go onto become the heavyweight champion of the world finishing with a 32-4-1 record with 27 knockouts.
In 1968 James Wallington won a Bronze Medal at 141 in Mexico City. The previous year he won the Gold Medal at the Pan American Games in 1967 held in Winnipeg, CAN. He would end up his career at 79-3 winning 3 titles each from 1966 to 1968 in the AAU, Golden Gloves and inter-service tournaments. He was a career serviceman in the US Army passing away at 43.
In 1984 Tyrell Biggs at Super heavyweight and Meldrick Taylor at 126 both won Gold Medals in Los Angeles. Biggs would go onto fight for the world title and finished with a record 30-10 with 20 knockouts. Taylor would become world champion of the IBF at 140 and WBA champion at 147. He finished with a record 38-8-1 with 20 knockouts.
In 1996 David “American Dream” won the Gold Medal at 154 at Atlanta, Georgia. He would go onto become the WBA 154 world champion. He finished at 17-2 with 7 knockouts. Also in the same Olympics was Zahir “Z-Man” Raheem at 119 who would later turn professional and finish up at 35-3 with 21 knockouts. No medal.
In 2004 Olympics at Athens, Greece, Rock Allen represented the USA at 141. He won numerous amateur titles and turned professional posting a 15-0 record with 7 knockouts before a car accident ended his career. No medal.
How Good Could Marvis Frazier Have Been if “Smokin” Joe Didn’t Take Over in the Corner?
How Good Could Marvis Frazier Have Been if “Smokin” Joe Didn’t Take Over in the Corner?
By” Ken Hissner
Marvis Frazier the son of “Smoking” Joe Frazier was an all-around top athlete at Plymouth-Whitemarsh H.S. when he went to the Joe Frazier Gym to keep in shape for the upcoming year in sports. He got the bug and gave it all up at the school.
Joe turned Marvis over to former top professional boxer and then trainer George Benton who was a future IBHOF trainer. In four years Marvis compiled a 56-2 amateur record. He defeated such boxers as future professional world champions James “Bonecrusher” Smith and “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon. He also defeated Mitch “Blood” Green in the Olympic trials who was a 4-time New York Golden Gloves champion and Jimmy Clark who defeated Greg Page in the 1977 Golden Gloves championship bout.
Marvis suffered but two defeats during his amateur career against future professional world champion Tony Tubbs and being stopped by James “Broad Axe” Broad in the 1980 Olympic Trials. In 1979 he won the Junior Heavyweight World title. In 1979 Team Frazier consisted of Pennsylvania Golden Glove champion Lonnie Young, who would die in an airplane crash in Poland. Joe had a dream that if he left Marvis go on that plane there would be trouble so he wouldn’t let him fly there. As it turned out President Jimmy Carter refused to allow the USA boxers go to the 1980 Olympics.
Also members of the team were Myron Taylor the older brother of Meldrick Taylor and Roland Cooley who was a National Golden Gloves Champion, Marvin Richardson. The brothers Marvin and James Shuler were members with James winning the National Golden Gloves championship. Also a member was Vaughn Hooks along with Marvis.
Why Joe ever took over as trainer replacing Benton who directed Marvis through the 56-2 amateurs was a big mistake. While Joe was down at a Boy’s & Girls Club in Wilmington, Delaware the year of his death this writer asked him “when did you start training Marvis?” He replied “when he turned professional”. I bit my tongue not asking why replace Benton?
This writer once was taking a picture in a Philly gym for boxer Mario Saurennann when I heard a voice behind me say “move or I’ll use you as a heavy bag!” I turned around and it was Joe. I almost made the mistake of saying “if I was Sonny Liston you wouldn’t say that!” Joe’s brother Tom asked me to serve as matchmaker for Team Frazier with several of the boxers turning pro. This writer told him “on one condition. That Joe wasn’t involved”.
When I followed Tom up the stairs in the Frazier Gym to the office Joe took one look at me and said “is this the guy?” I immediately said to Tom “what did I tell you” and exited the office and the gym.
This writer only saw Marvis fight once as an amateur I believe for the State Golden Gloves title at the Blue Horizon narrowly defeating a kid I believe named O’Donnell. Marvis was definitely not the size of a heavyweight on today’s standards.
Why Joe signed Marvis with the Madison Square Garden in New York this writer made no sense. A black boxer from Philadelphia would not be so ideal. If he was Puerto Rican that would be different. The signing bonus was 25k and shortly after that Joe opened a bar called “Smokin” Joes on City Line Avenue in Philadelphia that later burnt down.
Marvis once told this writer “I insisted James Shuler would be part of the deal.” Shuler was a top notch professional known as “Black Gold” who lost after twenty-two wins defending his NABF title to Tommy “The Hit Man” Hearns in the first round. A week later he was killed in a motorcycle accident. Buster Custus named his gym The James Shuler Gym in West Philadelphia which is one of the top facilities in the city.
Joe had a local Philadelphia furniture dealer Joe Verne brought in as the manager. For some odd reason Marvis never fought in Pennsylvania let alone Philadelphia in his twenty-one professional fights which was another bad decision. The Frazier name was so well known in Philadelphia where Marvis would have fit in perfectly.
After Marvis won his first four fights at the Felt Forum in New York he would never return to fight in New York again. He had defeated James Broad in their rematch in the pro’s and in his tenth fight defeated Joe Bugner who Joe had defeated.
One of the biggest bone head match-ups had Marvis 10-0 in a non-title bout with 44-0 Holmes who had 17 defenses. How the Nevada Commission even sanctioned such a fight is beyond this writer. Unfortunately for Marvis the referee was Mills Lane. Holmes peppered Marvis with a jab early in the round then pulled his usual dirty tactics of throwing Marvis into the ropes with not even a warning from Lane.
Holmes would continue his dirty tactics putting his left straight arm (football style) into the face of Marvis following with a right hand. He also was grabbing him behind the head hitting him with a right hand without warning from Lane. It bothers this writer when a boxer is superior to his opponent and has to add insult to injury with dirty tactics. The fight was stopped in 2:57 of the first round. Rumors were Holmes said “that’s for all the lickings your daddy gave me in the gym.” Marvis would later state “I thought I was ready for him.” In the after fight interview he said “I didn’t want to hurt him.” He also made that statement after stopping Muhammad Ali in the latter’s only stoppage loss. Ali gave Holmes many a beating when Holmes served as his sparring partner. This writer doubts if he meant it either time.
Marvis would not fight again for almost two years. The only other loss that Marvis suffered was a devastating knockout by future world champion Mike Tyson who was 24-0 with 22 knockouts at the time while Marvis was 16-1, in 30 seconds of the first round. “I thought Tyson was just another guy who was going to be a statistic. Yeah that’s what I thought. I threw a jab and that’s all I remember,” said Marvis. He would not fight again for 11 months.
Marvis won his last three fights with two being in Secaucus, New Jersey, and the final one in Tucson, Arizona, defeating Phillip Brown, 31-2-2, over 10 rounds. “I knew it was my last fight (Brown) before I took it,” said Marvis. In his previous fight he defeated Robert Evans, 6-12-3, over 10 rounds. He only had twenty-one fights over eight years in the pro’s while having 56 in four years in the amateurs. Such sudden inactivity didn’t help any. He was 28 when he retired. If only the cruiserweight division was in effect.
Marvis served as the 1992 US boxing coach and was inducted into the PA BHOF in 1996. He took over Joe’s Gym training and managing it until 2008 when it closed down. “It crushed me,” said Marvis. The gym wasn’t the same when this writer last visited it with few boxers training there.