Floyd Mayweather Announces He’s “Coming Out Of Retirement In 2020”
By: Sean Crose
Floyd Mayweather is now all but saying that he will be fighting again in 2020. Although the fighter known as Money has made a second career teasing and occasionally delving into comebacks, the former pound for pound great has presented two typically enigmatic posts on Instagram which suggest he’s about to get back in the fight business in one form or other. “@danawhite and I working together again,” Mayweather wrote alongside a picture of he and UFC honcho Dana White sitting together court-side at a basketball game, “to bring the world another spectacular event in 2020”
Photo Credit: Floyd Mayweather Jr. Instagram Account
The first and – up until now – only “spectacular” event Mayweather and White put on was 2017’s novelty superfight between Mayweather and the UFCs biggest star at the time, Conor McGregor. Mayweather predictably won, but the fight brought in a ton of money and publicity and was arguably the defining pop culture event of that summer. Since then Mayweather has fought a single one sided exhibition fight in Japan while McGregor has faced and lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC octagon. Although McGregor is expected to return to the world of mixed martial arts, it’s hard to imagine a rematch between he and Mayweather capturing the public’s imagination the way their first fight did.
Still, there the post is, with both Mayweather and White smiling at the camera. The second post, released a short time later Thursday evening, showed Mayweather in fighting physique with the single line attached: “Coming out of retirement in 2020.” At press time, no comments have been left under the second post. The first post, however, featured a comment from White in the form of a three fist emoji, indicating that there may be more to all this than Mayweather simply leading on the public, as he’s known to do. What’s more, White went ahead and placed Mayweather’s second Instagram post up on his own Twitter account.
With all that in mind, it’s a bit hard to imagine what Mayweather and White have up their sleeve. Mayweather is now well into his forties. For a man who prizes an undefeated record the way Mayweather does, it’s hard to imagine the man really getting back into the ring. It’s frankly even harder to imagine the man learning a whole new skill set in order to enter the octagon. Then again, this is Mayweather – a man known to be full of surprises (Did anyone, for instance, really think he was interested in fighting Conor McGregor before serious negotiations got under way?).
As for Dana White, the man has wanted in on the boxing business for a while now. And there’s probably no better way for him to get in the door than through Mayweather and Mayweather’s adviser, PBC boss Al Haymon. As of late Thursday night, Twitter reaction was predictably mixed, with some expressing excitement, and some expressing exasperation. No one can deny, however, that both Mayweather and White know how to attract eyeballs and copious amounts of dollars.
Boxing Insider will keep readers posted on this developing story.
Evander Holyfield Ends Retirement For Charity Boxing Match in Japan
By: Hans Themistode
It’s been close to ten years since former Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs) has entered a boxing ring. Like many former boxers who have a hard time staying away from the bright lights associated with it, Holyfield has regained his itch to compete at a high level once again.
Holyfield, age 56, is the only four time Heavyweight champion in history and was inducted into the boxing hall of fame back in 2017. It’s safe to say he has accomplished what many people never will.
Unlike his predecessors such as Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr, James Tony and a host of others that kept fighting well into their late 40s and in the case of Hopkins, well into his 50s. Holyfield seemingly hung up the gloves for good following a knockout win Brian Nielsen in 2011.
Although concerns over his health could follow, the comeback trial that Holyfield is trekking on isn’t as strenuous as it may seem. The former Heavyweight champion and all-time great will step into the ring for charity reasons in Japan. This contest won’t be an official that will be placed on his record, nor will it be licensed.
Much like former champion Floyd Mayweather, Holyfield will simply look too dazzle the crowd and give them a show.
“The big thing is to give people in Japan the opportunity to see the only four-time heavyweight champion of the world.” Said Holyfield.
It’s true that Holyfield is the only four time Heavyweight champion but he is also one of the best to ever step into the ring as he has effectively carved out one of the best careers for a boxer regardless of the weight class.
There are currently no reports of Holyfield continuing his career past this one event. In terms of his physical abilities in the lead up to this contest, the former champion has always kept himself in great physical condition. His once vaunted power which resulted in stoppage wins over Michale Moorer, Mike Tyson and many others is still believed to be there, but don’t count on him putting it on display.
“I probably do,” when regarding his knockout power. “but it’s a charity match and we’ll see.”
As for when his contest will take place, it is slated to happen sometime in 2020.
Holyfields endeavors back into the ring shouldn’t alarm anyone concerned about his health. That is however, as long as this is not a reoccurring theme. For now, everyone should view this as nothing more than a fun night for the fans of Japan.
Golovkin Is Aging – But There’s More To It Than That
By: Sean Crose
Gennady Golovkin found himself in a war this past weekend when he battled Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden for the vacant IBF middleweight title. Golovkin, the man who not so long ago possessed a well earned a reputation for steamrolling over all comers looked at times this past Saturday like he himself might be about to be bested before the final bell. Although after the fight Golovkin walked out of the ring with the IBF belt and his 40th win, word around the proverbial campfire is that this was not the Golovkin of old. Sure enough, word is that the man, at 37, has aged considerably, at least in the context of professional boxing.
It’s hard to deny that Golovkin no longer appears to be his prime self in the ring. Derevyanchenko peppered his man with shots throughout Saturday’s bout. Perhaps even more telling, Golovkin’s vaunted patience almost didn’t pay off for him this weekend against his determined foe. Whereas before Golockin could get through numerous bad rounds sure of the fact that he would eventually get his man, Golovkin couldn’t finish the deed when he landed on Derevyanchenko on Saturday. And while much of this was due to the stellar performance of Derevyanchenko himself, the Golovkin of lore never found himself in such hairy situations.
That is, until he had met Daniel Jacobs in March of 2017. Some might argue that Golovkin’s hard earned, less than impressive, victory over Jacobs that long ago winter night was the first indication the Kazakh warrior was showing signs of the slippage that appeared all too evident this past weekend against Derevyanchenko. The Jacob’s fight was an extremely close affair, after all. A considerable number of ringside observers (this writer included) actually felt Jacobs had done enough to earn the upset win. Still, it was worth noting that Jacobs was the kind of high level opponent Golovkin had long craved to meet in the ring. As impressive as his resume was, Golovkin had never met a full blown middleweight of Jacobs’ caliber before that evening.
Since that time, Golovkin has fought the brilliant Canelo Alvarez twice. He’s yet to beat the Mexican star (though most observers feel Golovkin won at least one of the two fights), but the battles between he and Canelo have been thoroughly brutal affairs. Then came Saturday night against Derevyanchenko. Throw in his hard earned 2016 title defense against Kell Brook in England, and it’s clear that Golovkin has been facing a line of high end challenges since turning thirty. Since September of 2016, Golovkin has fought a total of seven times. Only two of those fights were against clearly beatable opponents, a May 2018 battle against Vanes Martirosyan and a fight this past June against Steve Rolls. Long story short – Golovkin has taken the hard road. The Kazakh fighter is most distinctly not of the low risk, high reward vein.
All of which leads to the matter of Golovkin’s now advancing age. Although Father Time wins time and aging, inevitably taking his toll as the years pass by, a fighter of Golokvin’s mindset can speed up the again process by doing, well, what a high level fighter is supposed to do – and that’s regularly face high level competition. Fans want their fighters to be ambitious, but then they’re quick to point it out when those fighters shows signs of slowing down. This is only natural, but when it comes to the case of someone like Golovkin, the caliber of competition has to be taken into consideration. Simply put, it’s hard to fight well into one’s late thirties and early forties when one has essentially spent a number of years facing the likes of Jacobs, Derevyanchenko, Brook, and a prime Canelo.
There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but those are exceptions. Bernard Hopkins, a ring wizard, was able to keep going and going. Manny Pacquiao, who has somehow been able to remain both great and aggressive as he’s turned the corner at forty, is nothing if not an anomaly. Golovkin is highly skilled, but he also fights in a grinding fashion. He wears his opponents down. He takes shots, sometimes very solid ones. He’s willing to engage in wars of attrition. None of this bodes well for any potential longevity. On the other hand, Golovkin has never, not once, bored boxing’s fan base. Nor has he looked anything other than excellent in the ring. His disappointments are only disappointments in the most relevant sense. They’re disappointments for Golovkin. For most other fighters, they’d be very impressive performances.
It’s being said that Canelo, who clearly dislikes Golovkin, will be more likely to face his rival a third time after seeing Golovkin’s performance on Saturday night. This may be true, but it’s worth noting that Canelo himself isn’t keen on creating a career full of soft touches, either. Names like Golovkin, Mayweather, and Lara pop up on his resume. His next opponent is the aging, but still very dangerous light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev. He may still be under thirty, but Canelo’s chosen a path similar to Golovkin’s. Things may well play out in similar fashion for boxing’s current top star.
Kell Brook Set for Retirement?
By: Shane Willoughby
Earlier this week Eddie Hearn spoke about having once last throw of the dice in an attempt to make Kell Brook vs Amir Khan. But let’s all be honest there is more chance Chris Eubank Sr fighting Nigel Benn for the 3rd time.
The fight isn’t happening. So what does that mean for Kell Brook? He is one of the only credible fighters in the sport who hasn’t boxed this year.
Since his defeat to Errol Spence, Brook has fought bellow par opposition and hasn’t had any big fights. At one stage after moving to super welterweight, it looked as if he was chasing a fight with at the time, IBF champion Jarrett Hurd as he worked himself into a number position.
Then when he was set as the mandatory challenger for the American and Hurd expressed his desire to make that fight, Kell Brook turned the fight down to chase Amir Khan.
Whilst many fight fans were optimistic, thinking they finally will see Brook and Khan square off, it was obvious that it was all smoke and mirrors.
So Brook turned down an opportunity to fight for a world title, to fight no one. It’s very obvious Brook is looking for a cash-out fight. A massive payday to say farewell to the sport.
His attitude outside of the ring is well documented; blowing up in weight in between fights. He obviously doesn’t intend to stick around for much longer.
Once the inevitable happens and Hearn says the famous words Brook vs Khan isn’t happening. What then? Kell brook will retire.
There were talks that Brook was chasing Terence Crawford but with Crawford set to face his mandatory at the end of this year that fight isn’t on the table.
A year of inactivity for any athlete isn’t good, especially one that doesn’t particularly look after his weight when he isn’t in camp. Without a big fight, Kell Brooks days as a professional fighter are numbered.
“Super” Sage Northcutt’s Career in Question after Devastating ONE Championship Loss
By: Jesse Donathan
The fallout from Sage Northcutt getting the brakes beat off him by Cosmo Alexandre still hasn’t subsided. “Northcutt’s ONE FC debut at ONE Championship: Enter the Dragon didn’t exactly go as planned,” writes author Lewis Mckeever in his May 25, 2019 bloodyelbow.com article titled, “Brendan Schaub questions Sage Northcutt’s future after ‘life-changing knockout’ loss in ONE FC debut.”
“It was a mistake for Sage Northcutt to sign with ONE Championship,” said the former UFC heavyweight Schaub. “You (expletive) the trajectory of his career,” according to Schaub of ONE Championships decision to match Northcutt up with Alexandre, a vastly more experienced kickboxer who shattered Northcutt’s face with just one punch.
Bloodyelbow.com would go on to write that according to Schaub, “I hate to say this because ONE Championship has been good to us, good to Mighty Mouse, and it’s obviously on the fighter and it’s up to him to navigate his way through the rankings of fighting, but you (expletive) him, ONE Championship.”
As BoxingInsider.com previously reported, Northcutt found success in the UFC’s 155-pound lightweight division, while having a less than perfect run in the UFC’s 170-pound welterweight division. So, Northcutt’s decision to fight in ONE Championship at 185-pounds was a perplexing one, especially against a veteran kickboxer like Cosmo Alexandre who laid waste to the young mixed martial arts prospect in just under 30-seconds without even breaking a sweat.
It was an ill-advised, ill-fated decision from Northcutt’s camp which could very well end up haunting the young star for years to come. And one, according to Northcutt’s coach Urijah Faber that wasn’t completely unforeseen.
“Against some advice, the fight was taken,” Faber told “The MMA Hour” host Luke Thomas. As MMAFighting.com’s Alexander K. Lee reported, Faber would tell Thomas that, “In retrospect, there were some warning signs maybe not to take this fight and like you said, it’s not like you go into a fight thinking you’re gonna get your face smashed.”
Lost in the sea of Monday morning quarterbacking, hindsight being 20/20 and the controversy surrounding ONE Championships lack of transparency in their weigh-in model is Cosmo Alexandre himself. On the tail end of a career that has the kickboxer thinking about retirement and the means to do so comfortably, Alexandre is now universally known as the guy who smashed “Super” Sage Northcutt’s face into a million pieces.
“When they brought a stretcher, I knew something serious had happened,” said Alexandre in a May 24, 2019 bloodyelbow.com article titled, “Cosmo Alexandre ‘sad’ about Sage Northcutt’s multiple fractures after KO win.”
According to bloodyelbow.com’s Lucas Rezende, Alexandre would recall the immediate aftermath of the fight with Northcutt stating, “When the fight was over and he got back up his face was already swollen, and that’s something unusual. I had a feeling that it wasn’t 100 percent.”
Alexandre went on to be quoted by Rezende as stating, “The next day I heard that he had a long surgery. I hate that, man.” Northcutt reportedly underwent a nine-hour surgery in the wake of the 29-second KO loss in the Singapore based promotion. According to the Brazilian stand-up specialist, “I’m doing my job there, to go in there and win. I know we can get hurt, but nothing that serious. I was sad because that’s his job and I don’t wish that to anyone.”
“I’ve fought everyone and won everything I could win in Muay Thai,” reflected Alexandre. “The major titles, I’ve fought and won them all.” Which underscores the curious nature of the matchup ONE Championship put together in pitting Northcutt, a talented but green striker just starting his journey in mixed martial arts against a crafty and seasoned veteran like Alexandre with over 85 professional kickboxing matches to his credit.
Northcutt not only found himself outmatched, but he was also outgunned, reportedly giving up some size to his Brazilian opponent according to coach Urijah Faber. The UFC hall of famer would go on to tell host Luke Thomas that fighters are still cutting weight in ONE Championship despite the promotions attempts to eliminate the practice by introducing a new weigh-in model and system, redefining the conventional weight classes under the umbrella of safety.
Interestingly, ONE Championship’s new, redefined welterweight division model alone spans 170.2 pounds thru 184.9 pounds. For comparison, the conventional 170-pound welterweight model most fight fans are accustomed to is widely used by the sports premiere mixed martial arts organization in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is common throughout much of the mixed martial arts world.
ONE Championships welterweight division is approximately the equivalent of spanning the UFC’s welterweight and middleweight divisions, coincidentally exactly what we are talking about in the controversy surrounding Northcutt being led through the gates of the slaughter house to meet the executioner Cosmo Alexandre.
With ONE Championship enjoying the reputation as an exciting promotion delivering violent fights that the fans want to see, they are ultimately the clear winner here when former UFC stars like Northcutt and others are blasted into the upper stratosphere under the ONE Championship banner.
But with the promotions lack of transparency during the weigh-in process, yet justifying their redefining of the conventional weigh-in model and system under the guise of safety there is growing concern ONE Championship may need to return some of their safety merit badges.
Sage Northcutt is looking at a lengthy layoff after disturbing the bull and getting the horns. Having your face smashed into 30-pieces is no laughing matter. With even Northcutt’s own camp expressing regret over having taken the Alexandre fight it is hard to believe the matchmakers at ONE Championship didn’t see the ultimate end result coming from a mile away themselves. An organization advised and lead by knowledgeable and former mixed martial arts greats, ONE Championship isn’t blindly stumbling through the dark house in the middle of the night. They know exactly what they are doing.
Northcutt was sent to slaughter in order to help put ONE Championship on the map. A better UFC 155-pound lightweight than a UFC 170-pound welterweight, Northcutt had no business meeting a fighter like Cosmo Alexandre at 185-pounds at this stage in his career and he was predictably scalped as a result for his efforts.
Now, instead of being praised for their new weigh-in model and system, ONE is increasingly under scrutiny for stacking the deck in their favor. With Northcutt’s sacrifice to “The Just Bleed God” highlighting the fact that smaller, less experienced former UFC fighters are being toe tagged and bagged against larger, top tier ONE Championship based competition and the promotions lack of transparency surrounding its weigh-in results; more questions than answers are beginning to surface. We are talking about squash matches here for all intents and purposes.
In short, if you’re a big name signing to ONE Championship you can now consider yourself marked for death. Northcutt’s career may very well have been cut short by a variety of unfortunate circumstances to include ONE Championships match makers and Northcutt’s failure in taking sage advice from his own camp and team.
One can only hope Northcutt was compensated handsomely to agree to take a trip behind Cosmo Alexandre’s woodshed, because the only thing he discovered were the wonders of modern facial reconstructive surgery. Northcutt was fed to the wolves in a promotional war where ONE Championship sent a loud and clear message to the UFC that their former stars will be laid to waste in ONE Championship in a bid to show the world that there is a new sheriff in town.
Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman: Could a Loss Lead to Retirement?
By: Waqas Ali
Boxing’s only eight division titlist Manny Pacquiao has been in a battle of verbal exchanges with Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman over the possibility of retirement.
The pair are scheduled to meet in a welterweight clash on July 20 for a Fox pay-per-view event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Thurman (29-0) will be defending his WBA welterweight belt for a third time against Pacquiao and has vowed to end the Filipino’s career in retirement.
“If you understand boxing history, you know that times change,” Thurman said.
“Boxing is in a new era. Come July 20, Pacquiao will disappear. He’ll always be remembered in the sport, but I’m doing to Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya. I’m excited to be the guy who shows Manny Pacquiao where the exit is.”
The reference to De La Hoya was when Pacquiao retired the Mexican – American fighter in their 2008 bout. Pacquiao had moved up three weight classes for that bout.
But Pacquiao (61-7-2), who’s been a professional fighter for 24 years, insisted that he’s not ready to retire and will decide on his own terms.
“He’s saying things before we fight, but I will send a message to him in the ring about exactly who he’s fighting; he will come to know that,” Pacquiao said Wednesday as he and Thurman stopped at the Beverly Hills Hotel to promote their bout.
“No man can dictate when I’m going to retire.
“I’ve been in this sport two decades. Nobody intimidates me. Thurman should respect his elders, especially this elder.”
When the 40-year-old legend spoke to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, they asked him on his thoughts regarding Thurman considering retirement, should he lose to Pacquiao, he simply said: “He will retire.”
There was a huge distinction from both fighters in their recent bouts.
Pacquiao fought former four-division titlist Adrien Broner in January and outclassed him for 12 rounds.
The speed. The timing and the footwork was executed really well and for most of the fight Broner could not respond to the punches utilised by Pacquiao.
According to Compubox, Pacquiao landed 112 of 568 punches (20 percent), and Broner connected on 50 of 295 (17 percent).
Many viewers and spectators at ringside felt that it was like the Pacquiao of old. For Broner, it was lowest amount of punches he’d ever landed going the 12 round distance.
Thurman on the other hand fought Josesito López and after a year and a half away from the ring he was pushed to his limits in this bout.
By Compubox statistics, Thurman landed 247 of 899 punches (27%), and Lopez connected on 117 of 513 (22%).
There were times in the fight where Thurman was troubled in the middle rounds and in particular rounds seven and eight.
Though he managed to survive and won on two of the three judges’ scorecards, it had raised doubts of the 30-year-old’s ability to defeat a man of experience like Pacquiao, who was already a 3-weight world champion when Thurman turned pro.
Regarding the purse for the bout, there has been no official confirmation of how much Thurman will be making but sources have indicated Pacquiao will be making at least $20 million for the bout.
This bout is a crucial one for both fighters as one could contemplate retirement higher than the other. Pacquiao in particular had not stated when he would retire specifically but a loss against Thurman could be the option for him.
A second fight with Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather would be a mega sell as boxing fans have been yearning for it since the first. It broke records in gate, television, tickets and purses. But neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao have come close to negotiations.
Thurman, however has stated that if he were to lose to The Fighting Pride of the Philippines, he would possibly consider commentating as a fighting analysis broadcaster.
“Pshh … probably,” Thurman said when asked about retiring if Pacquiao beats him.
“I’d at least think about it. I’d at least be like, ‘Can I do some more commentating or something? Can I do some more commentating?’ Momma said I look good in a suit. I don’t think she wants to see her boy get punched on TV. Getting beat up by an old man.”
It’s really doubtful that this could be the case considering that it would the one loss in his record and that he would still a lot in his ammunition to offer.
Especially when the welterweight division is packed with exceptional talent and potential rivals such Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr, Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia.
The Scarlet Letter: Brock Lesnar, USADA and Retirement
By: Jesse Donathan
Did Brock Lesnar retire from mixed martial arts because he failed another USADA prohibited drug test? “If you were a level of conspiracy theorist, or as we do over here, we just simply speculate, and visit, and talk, there is some clues to point to that is a possibility, said Bad Guy Inc. CEO Chael Sonnen in his May 9, 2019 YouTube video titled, “Did Brock Lesnar fail a USADA drug test and retire?” An ESPN analyst and current Bellator fighter, Sonnen is a former UFC middleweight challenger who counts UFC President Dana White among his friends. In other words, Sonnen is an industry insider and someone you should listen to when he has something to say.
Sonnen, who once famously thrashed Anderson Silva in the Brazilians’ prime before succumbing to a come from behind triangle armbar submission in the fifth and final round went on to list a litany of reasons of why its possible that rumors of a Lesnar failed USADA drug test could possibly be true:
“The first of which is Brock Lesnar retired out of nowhere, he retired out of nowhere after taking a lesser WWE schedule, he retired out of nowhere after going into training for 12 full months. He retired out of nowhere after entering and clearing the USADA protocol of things that he had to pay for from his last outing at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt.”
As Sonnen correctly surmises, Lesnar’s abrupt retirement from MMA came out of left field. Everything was pointing to a Lesnar return to the cage; he had been training with Gable Stevenson, one of the top collegiate wrestlers in the country at the University of Minnesota and had shoved the UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier across the octagon at UFC 226 in a picture-perfect promo in the lead up to the fight. “It looked like all; everything was a go. He had a world title fight, he had a main event, he had a huge pay day, he had Daniel Cormier standing in front of him,” Sonnen exclaimed, and out of nowhere, Lesnar retires.
“Guys, I don’t want to add to something right now, I want to come to you candidly and tell you that I do not have information but I am starting to hear things from people who generally do have the correct information that perhaps that wasn’t totally wrong,” Sonnen said on the rumors of a Lesnar issue with USADA that went ignored by the MMA media when the information first started trickling out.
“The new way that USADA is operating, okay, I’ll remind you of the old way first. Which was a guy flags, boom! They put out a boilerplate statement, the only thing they change between athletes is simply the name. John Doe right, fill in the blank, and the whole rest of the uniform statement. We get it. But when USADA got confronted with five people who were later cleared and the USADA was able to look at it and go you know what, we didn’t total clear out, we cleared them, but in the world of PR and the mess they went through, in the minds eye, the day of the internet, the sponsors that were already lost, its just very hard to unfry that egg.”
The Bellator light heavyweight contender who lost to “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko in a valiant effort during the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament last year at Bellator 208 went on to say of USADA’s new approach to handling athletes who may have flagged a prohibited substances test:
So, what we’re gonna do now is if we flag somebody, we are not going to say a word. They will very quietly not be booked for a contest but we will also very privately see the process through to the very end. And when we make our release, we will not only tell you who, what and when but we will also tell you what the remedy was. Whether it’s a disciplinary action or a clearing of the athlete. But we will present one statement to you in its entirety. Okay great, really good way to do things. There is now some people that are saying that they have dug into this and it’s the very spot Brock Lesnar is in.”
Prior to Sonnen’s fire side chat, Dave Metzler on Wrestling Observer Radio had suggested that the new UFC deal with ESPN had been a factor in Lesnar’s retirement, according to Sonnen that just isn’t the case.
“It is a very strange circumstance, and it seems that there was then a later dialogue that came in and said no, the reason Brock walked away is because the pay-per-view model has changed, and therefor he can’t collect his pay-per-view points and therefor he lost his enticement to do this. Now, that is, I can tell you now that is not what happened. I don’t know what happened, but I think it’s probably a pretty straight forward. One, either, we’re going to find something out in the next 45 days or two, and far more likely if I am being fair, far more likely, he started training and his body was just sore and tired and he wasn’t getting the same reaction as fast as he had in the past and he said I’m done.”
As reported by Foxsports.com in their January 4, 2017 article titled, “Brock Lesnar suspended one year by USADA after failing two drug tests,” the WWE superstar infamously, “tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on June 28, 2016, and an in-competition urine test conducted on July 9, 2016, at UFC 200 in Las Vegas, Nev. Clomiphene is a prohibited substance in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”
According to USADA.org, “In men, clomiphene can alter testosterone levels by interfering with the negative feedback loop of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis.” Interestingly, the USADA description of clomiphene goes on to state that, “clomiphene is not FDA-approved for use by men for any condition,” but there are some exceptions to that claim as USADA goes on to state.
“However, it may be prescribed off-label, meaning that a doctor may prescribe a medication for a use that is not indicated on the FDA’s approved packaging insert or label. Once the FDA approves a drug, healthcare providers can typically prescribe the drug for an unapproved use when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.”
The USADA clomiphene description goes on to state that, “In males, similar to other substances with anabolic properties that lead to increased muscle mass, clomiphene is associated with a number of potential and serious side effects, including: increased risk of negative cardiovascular events, liver damage, and gastrointestinal discomfort.”
In an April 24, 2012 bleacherreport.com article titled, “Brock Lesnar: Understanding Diverticulitis, the Illness That Changed His Life,” author Louie Babcock wrote that, “In November of 2009, Brock was diagnosed with mononucleosis, and later in the month it was discovered he had a serious case of diverticulitis.” According to Babcock, “Diverticulitis is a disease of the digestive tract, normally in the large intestine. On the colon of the patient, tiny pouches form. These pouches are called diverticula. When these pouches become inflamed, diverticulitis is diagnosed.” The bleacherreport.com article would go on to note that Lesnar suffered another bout of diverticulitis in May of 2011, retiring after his last match in December of 2011 against Alistair Overeem before coming out of retirement to face Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in 2016.
According to dopinglinkki.fi, “Clomiphene is a doping substance according to the Penal Code. Particularly men, who use anabolic steroids, commonly use clomiphene or other anti-estrogens (for example, tamoxifen) as an accompanying drug.”
Dopinglinkki.fi would go on to state that, “The purpose of clomiphene, in this case, is to inhibit the estrogen problems caused by the overdosed anabolic steroids, that appear when anabolic steroids convert in the body to estrogens or other metabolic products that have estrogenic effects.”
With Lesnar’s history of at least two bouts of diverticulitis in 2009 and 2011, one would think that Lesnar would have been weary of using Clomiphene, a drug described as causing “gastrointestinal discomfort” as one of its potential side effects. Which immediately brings me to one of the oldest questions plaguing mankind. Which came first? The chicken or the egg? The answer to that question could very well let many cats out of the bag.
According to thesmokinggun.com, “Brock Lesnar, the World Wrestling Entertainment champion, was once arrested for illegally possessing steroids, though the felony charge against the 26-year-old athlete was dismissed four months after his January 2001 arrest.” The report would go on to state:
“Lesnar was exonerated when tests showed that the seized pills were not, in fact, steroids. While a Louisville detective told TSG that the material was some kind of growth hormone, Lesnar’s defense attorney, Scott Cox, characterized the confiscated pills as a ‘vitamin type of thing.’”
Regardless of the true circumstances of Lesnar’s retirement(s), health problems and reported prohibited drug use, there is no question that Brock Lesnar is a huge draw for both the WWE and UFC. Former K-1 kickboxing champion Mark Hunt once famously sued UFC President Dana White, Lesnar and the UFC, accusing them of collusion, “in an effort to allow Lesnar to use performance enhancing drugs,” according to a February 15, 2019 ESPN.com article titled, “Judge dismisses most of Mark Hunts case Against UFC, Brock Lesnar,” by Brett Okamoto.
According to ESPN, “U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey threw out all but one of the claims Hunt made against the UFC,” with the Judge ordering, “Hunt and the UFC to enter a mandatory settlement conference on the final outstanding claim — breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. That claim is against the UFC only. All of Hunt’s claims against White and Lesnar were dismissed.” Putting the pieces together, the extent of the breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing could potentially stretch back some time in this case with the reader being left to make up their own minds as to what the actual truth may be.
When Do Fighters Know “It’s Time to Give It Up?”
By: Ken Hissner
When this writer looks on www.boxrec.com I noticed a middleweight boxer named Eric Crumble who had 31 fights. He had a perfect record having lost all 31 fights by stoppage. Stoppage you say? Yes, he was stopped all 31 times.
What isn’t unusual is people with poor records can always get fights. They are called “record builders”. Crumble was from Milwaukee, WI, and turned professional in June of 1990 losing to Joe Watts III, 2-0, at the Civic Center in Lansing, MI. Watts knocked out crumble in two rounds. Watts would then go 3-0 and in his fourth fight he lost to Todd Nadon, 4-1-1, by decision and “never” fought again.
“Back in the Day” in the US commissions allowed fighters like Crumble to fight fighters like future or former world champions. For example Crumble fought “Ramblin” Rick Camlin, 17-0, from Bismark, ND, when he was 0-4, in Sterling, ILL. Few places in the US would allow this today yet in the UK it is not uncommon today. Camlin stopped Crumble in the second round and ended his career at 36-5.
In Crumble’s second fight he lost to Angel “Got Jesus” Manfredy, 0-1-1, getting knocked out in the first round. Manfredy would go onto a career record of 43-8-1, with 32 stoppages.
When Crumble was 0-8 he lost to Antwun Echols, 12-1, getting stopped in 1:25 of the first round. Echols would go onto with the NAFB and and USBA titles ending with a 32-22-4 (28) record. In his last sixteen fights he went 1-17-3. He was 24-3-1 when he challenged Bernard “Be Hop” Hopkins, 35-2-1, for his IBF World Middleweight title getting stopped in the second round. For some reason two years later Echols gets a rematch with Hopkins and gets stopped in the tenth round. Why a rematch?
In Crumbles fourth fight it ended in the first round a No Contest in one round against Rick Lanas, 1-0. Lanas won his first fight his opponent was 0-2, then Crumble, 0-3, and in his third fight his opponent was 0-1. He then retired 2-0 with one no contest.
In Crumble’s eighth fight he lost to Bruce “The Rage” Rumbolz, 8-0-1, getting knocked out in the first round. Rumbolz retired with a 22-35-2 record. Go figure!
When Crumble was 0-11 he was match with Ralph “Tiger” Jones, 29-1, of Pittsburgh, PA, getting stopped in the second round. This was not the same fighter that fought in the days of “Sugar” Ray Robinson. In Jones next fight he was knocked out by Ike “Bazooka” Quartey, 33-0, in 5 rounds and never thought again. Fighters who lose in their first fight may never fight again. Here was Jones 30-1 and lost to Quartey and never fought again.
Crumble was 0-3 when he was knocked out in the second round by Mike Jankovich 5-0, in the second round. Jankovich retired with a 19-0-1, record. His opposition was 68-316-8. So you can see why he had such a good record. His draw was against Rick Haynes, 5-18-3, when he was 17-0. Two wins later he retired.
When Crumble was 0-18 he lost to Donnie “The Spoiler” Penelton, 8-95-2, getting stopped in the second round. Wouldn’t you figure at that time Crumble wasn’t going to beat anyone? Penelton retired with a 13-166-6 record.
In Crumble’s next to last fight he was stopped at 2:27 of the first round by Mike Stone, 9-0, who would lose his next three fights and retire at 10-3. The fight before Crumble Stone defeated James Rice, 3-33-4, over four rounds. After the Crumble fight Stone was 10-0, and was in a no decision with Hector Ramirez, 14-42-1, after four rounds. In his next fight he got stopped in five rounds by Reggie Strickland, 61-252-15. Fighter from Indiana, like Stone were typical with built up records. In his debut he stopped Jerry Strickland, 13-103. Does that tell you something?
This is just one fighter this writer picked out. Bheki Moyo ended up 0-73-2, only stopped six times. Alexandru Manea was 0-54, stopped fourteen times. Dominican Heavyweight Alexis Castillo, 0-40, stopped 36 times and is still fighting. All his fights were in the Dominican Republic. What kind of commission do you think they have down there? He lost to twenty-three opponents who were unbeaten at the time. He had a double DQ against Joselito Del Rosario, 2-40, when he was 0-12.
Boxing Commissions around the world have to be held accountable and stop letting fighters continue to fight and put their health at risk when it’s obvious they have no shot at winning.
George Groves Announces Retirement
By: Ste Rowen
On Monday George ‘Saint’ Groves, former WBA super-middleweight champion, last seen fighting in the World Boxing Super Series final last September, has announced his retirement from boxing.
Playing a significant part of one of Britain’s most iconic sporting events, Groves leaves behind a legacy that will inspire future sportsmen and women, not just boxers.
In a snippet of the statement made via Instagram Groves said,
‘‘After taking a little time to reflect on the recent events in my career I have decided that it is time for me to retire as a professional fighter. In 2017 I boxed in front of a home crowd in Sheffield and became WBA super-middleweight world champion. After four attempts I had finally fulfilled my childhood dream and the experience was as great as I had always imagined it would be.
…Although we step through the ropes on our own, of course every fighter is backed by a team and not just the ones in the corner. There are many, many people that have helped me on my way to fulfilling my boxing dreams.
…I don’t want there to be a time where I’m ‘too old’ to box on or where an injury retires me in or out of the ring…I want to respectfully bow out while I’m still at the top of my game.’’
Groves also mentioned former opponent, Edward Gutknecht, who suffered life changing injuries after their 2016 bout,
‘‘A prayer for Edward Gutknecht who suffered a brain aneurysm after our fight in November 2016. He was put into an induced coma for 3 weeks and bravely fought his way back to consciousness. He lives in Germany with his wife, 3 children and a full-time carer…After winning the WBA world title I decided to only continue fighting while it felt necessary.’’
The full statement can be read here; https://www.instagram.com/p/BtLTP-8FHuC/
Now formally retired George’s professional record stands at 28-4 (20KOs), within that time achieving accolades that include the British, Commonwealth and ‘Super’ WBA super-middleweight belts. By the time he was 10-0, he had fought in Germany, Las Vegas and all over the UK, and already held the Lonsdale and Rainbow titles.
When Ricky Hatton made his unsuccessful return at the beginning of 2013, a void for British boxing needed to be filled, and Groves, along with Carl Froch filled it with firstly, their Manchester Arena fight in November that same year, which ended in controversy and then the super-event and ’80,000 people at Wembley’ in 2014.
Groves is the every-man boxer. A balding, pale, loud mouth challenger that got under the skin of the chiselled, unified 168lb champion at the time, Carl Froch. He went into his two most famous fights with avid supporters and rabid doubters. Even after getting knocked out in the rematch he was gracious in defeat.
Time and again he proved he was leagues above British, European and fringe level, sweeping aside the likes of Paul Smith, Charles Adamu a veteran Glen Johnson, and many years later, Martin Murray; as well as scoring a decision victory over Olympic gold medallist, and future world champion, James DeGale early on in both their careers.
When the time came to return to big time boxing, 14 months on from the Froch rematch, he travelled to Vegas to fight WBC champion, Badou Jack. Hitting the canvas in the first round, the Brit fought out to ultimately a split decision loss and it felt George was back to square one.
On the comeback trail from the Jack defeat George proved once again he was capable of challenging at the top again, stopping David Brophy and dominating Murray over 12 rounds, until his fourth opportunity to win a world title came along in the form of the WBA, held by Chudinov.
At Bramall Lane Stadium, on the undercard of Brook vs. Spence ‘The Saint’ achieved the ultimate objective. Through six rounds of what felt like all-out action, where both boxers were buzzed and hurt multiple times, Groves unleashed a brutal flurry and with no reply coming from the Russian, the referee stepped in to end the bout, an emotional George with arms held aloft in triumph, was lifted into the air by trainer, Shane McGuigan
A boxer’s rise almost seems incomplete without the fall and ultimately that’s what happened to ‘The Saint’ in his last fight in the World Boxing Super Series finale. Despite folding Jamie Cox in half in the quarter-finals with a 4th round body shot KO and outclassing Chris Eubank Jr in the semis (GG dislocated his shoulder in the later rounds), the final proved a step too far as Callum Smith consistently beat George to the punch and ultimately ground the ‘Saint’ down to a 7th round stoppage, finishing him off with a body-shot.
It was almost the perfect passing of the torch, although Groves will have wanted to keep hold of the metaphor, as well as his belt into retirement.
His fighting style had his lead hand low, and constant feinting; a boxing column about a Groves fight didn’t really count unless you mentioned how good he is behind the jab. His approach in the ring was just as synonymous as his entrance to it. When ‘Spitfire’ by The Prodigy rang out, and a hooded figure bowled towards the ring, you knew it was ‘The Saint’.
Memorable victories, famous defeats and multiple British classics. From Wembley Stadium to Las Vegas, Hammersmith to the Middle East, ‘Saint’ George Groves achieved the ultimate dream of becoming World champion, fighting the best along the way and leaves behind a boxer’s story that will live long in the memory of all hardcore and casual fans alike.
Manny Pacquiao vs Adrien Broner: Can Broner Resurrect His Career and Force Pacquiao to Retire
By: Waqas Ali
BOXING legend Manny Pacquiao has achieved so much and fought countless number of competitive fighters in his 24-year boxing career.
The Filipino icon is the first and only boxer in history to become an eight-division world champion. He started at flyweight (108 pounds) and went all the way to light-middleweight (154 pounds).
He is currently fighting at welterweight.
As he trains ahead for his upcoming clash with Adrien Broner, Pacquiao recalls some of his greatest competitors in the ring when he spoke to the media.
He stated: “I think my top opponents are Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather, Erik Morales, and Ricky Hatton.”
In terms of being a global pay-per-view attraction, Pacquiao has generated approximately 19.2 million in pay-per-view buys and an astonishing $1.2 billion in revenue from his 23 PPV bouts.
According to Forbes, he was the second highest paid athlete in the world as of 2015.
With regards to Broner, 29, The Pacman insists that Broner is no easy fight for him.
“Broner is not a tune-up fight,” he says.
“He’s a former champion. He’s fast, he moves fast and he’s a good boxer. And that’s why I don’t want to talk about my next fight until we finish this. I finish this business against Adrien Broner on January 19.”
Broner, also known as ‘The Problem’ has stated that once he beats the 40-year-old Pacquiao, he will become “a legend overnight.”
“He slipped a few times and he didn’t get up. But he knows his boxing. I am pretty sure he is training and he’s got goals but I am here to f*** his plans up.”
According to a poll conducted by Editinking, out of 240 plus voters, 44% of them picked Pacquiao by points and 38% by knockout.
— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) January 12, 2019
The pair will be fighting this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for Pacquiao’s WBA ‘Regular’ belt.
But what styles, skills, and selection of punches does each fighter have? What does Broner have to do to resurrect his career and what does Pacquiao have to do to avoid retirement?
Let us take a look at from an analytical point of evidence in records, opposition, and achievements.
Broner’s record stands at 33 wins, three losses and one draw.
His height consists of five feet six inches and 69” reach.
In terms of big achievements, after he defeated Paulie Malignaggi for the welterweight title, Broner joined the likes Roberto Duran and Roy Jones Jr after capturing a world title in just their first bout after jumping two divisions.
There was a time where Broner at the age of 23, had a record of 27 wins, with 22 KOs and no defeats.
That was until he met his nemesis Marcos Maidana who completely dismantled Broner in their December 2013 bout.
‘The Problem’ had been solved courtesy of two knockdowns via unanimous decision by the Argentinian Maidana. Giving him his first ever loss.
In Broner’s last six bouts, he’s won three, lost two and one draw.
In terms of competitiveness, he’s beaten Daniel Ponce de León, Antonio DeMarco, Gavin Rees, Paul Malignaggi, Khabib Allakhverdiev. But lost to Maidana, Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia.
Broner’s style and skill set consist of footwork, timing and counterpunching. He is able to use his right hand effectively and load up some vicious power to it. His countering is often done retaliating from the left jab of his opponent.
Majority of the time, Broner breaks the range depending on the footwork of his opponent. He can exchange on the inside with his punches but tries to avoid being hit back.
His accuracy is a plus point considering that his punch stat accuracy of power punches stands around the rate of 44%, nine connecting per round, according to Compubox stat.
In his last bout with Jesse Vargas, Broner landed 152 power punches with a connect percentage of 43%.
However his activity level is poor with an average of 38 punches thrown, whilst the average welterweight throws 57. His average landing is 13 while the rest of the welterweights land at 17.
Pacquiao has been fighting since 1995 and boasts a record of 60 victories, seven losses and two draws.
His height is five feet 6 with 67 inches of reach.
By level of competition, he’s faced 19 former, current or future world champions. Four of them he’s fought more than once.
Just to name a few: Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Erik Morales (twice), Juan Manuel Marquez (four times), Oscar De La Hoya, and Antonio Margarito.
The Filipino Slugger is known for his exceptional speed of reckless retribution and immense immortality of footwork.
By weaponry, his left hand is the most dangerous punch. One example of this was back in 2009 when Ricky Hatton was knocked out cold in round two by the Pacman’s devastating left hook.
Horror, shock and astonishment were struck like lightning on the eyes of the audience.
It’s like the famous saying in boxing goes: “The punch you don’t see coming is the one that hurts you the most.”
In Pacquiao’s last six bouts he won four and lost two. Many would argue that the loss to Jeff Horn should have gone to Pacquiao.
In his last six bouts, Pacquiao’s activity level just like Broner is lacking the superstitious work of the average welterweight. He throws at 41 and lands about 13. His power accuracy is 39% with nine connecting per round.
Based on the numbers, it would indicate an equal level of compatibility. However, depending on the context of the bout, it could vary.
One thing must be known is that Broner has fought five times in the welterweight division and it has been a hard-hitting weight class for him. He’s won two, lost two and one draw. Even with the two victories they remain disputed by many fans today.
This bout is a make or break fight for Broner. It’s the only fight he has in order to resurrect his career and he needs to really bring the best out of him. He needs to whisper the words of revival and restoration to his fans and to Pacquiao himself. Like I mentioned in the analysis, the welterweight division hasn’t been that nice to Broner and the competitors are going to get harder for him. He hasn’t had a win since February 2017 when he controversially beat Adrian Granados. Should, he beat Pacquiao, it will put Broner back in the frame of level competition and this is something he can’t take for granted.
For Pacquiao, he insists that he has one more fighter after Broner to finish. Whether it’s Floyd Mayweather or not is irrelevant but Pacquiao has to deliver a performance that will make Broner lose his tracks. We saw the finish against Matthysse and it felt like it was the Pacquiao of old. The eruption of the crowd was so loud it felt like the turn of the century had just arrived. It had been over nine years since Pacquiao last won by KO. It felt like the Almighty had sent His words to Pacquiao and he was granted a wish. Indeed, thou shall receive what he desires. I don’t see any other alternative way for a fighter in his 40s, who’s achieved so much in his career and intends to do great things for the people of his country, should he lose to Broner.
It’s either the possibility of a resurrection for Broner if he wins or retirement for Pacquiao if he loses.
Canelo and Golovkin: What’s Next for Both
By: Oliver McManus
With the benefit of 72 hours to sleep on things, it’s time to address what’s next for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin after their ferocious rematch at the T-Mobile Arena and, whilst some of these options are a little more realistic than others, we can be dreamers, so here are my top picks (trilogy aside!) –
This one seems a little adventurous to begin with but there are two fights that makes me stand up with interest, with regards to Canelo, and they both involve fellow Mexicans in what would make the perfect Cinco de Mayo bouts for 2019 – whilst it’s likely that Alvarez would look to fight in December first, these fights could brew nicely into the early months of next year.
First up is Jaime Munguia and given the size of the WBO 147lb champion, it’s equally likely that this bout could be taken at middle as it is welterweight and we’ve seen Munguia really start to stamp his authority over the course of 2018 with the youngster playing the role of underdog in his title challenge against Sadam Ali and, marginally, in his first defence against Liam Smith.
The sheer size and explosivity of Munguia means the fight with Canelo would guarantee action – akin to the last two with Golovkin – and of course there’s that added all-Mexican spice.
Looking into the super middleweight and you find another WBO champion in Gilberto Ramirez who has failed to really find any momentum over the last couple of years despite defending the title on four occasions and Zurdo has made no bones about his desire to land a big fight.
We know Canelo looks BIG when out of the ring – I’m not even going to go near the whole clenbuterol situation – and even at the catchweight of 164 for his bout with Julio Cesar Chavez he looked comfortable. I mean, admittedly, not a great performance but it wasn’t because of the extra weight.
More of a tactician than Munguia and, indeed, Golovkin, Ramirez would represent a different type of opponent for Alvarez with the opportunity to show a different set of skills than the, relatively, brawling nature over the last few months and Canelo, certainly, is an elite level boxer not just fighter. (If that makes sense).
Munguia and Ramirez, starting to sound like a fajita, but I want to see ANOTHER all Mexican encounter involving Canelo because you just cannot beat those atmospheres and the two champs either side of middleweight appear to be the frontrunners in that respective category.
Saunders vs Golovkin
A fight that has been mooted for a long, long time and it seems that now could be the most realistic timing for the super-fight to take place and on the assumption that the WBO champion can navigate his way past Demetrius Andrade on October 20th , this would provide the opportunity for GGG to bounce straight back into the world title scene.
For Saunders it provides him with the chance to carry on with the momentum he picked up in Canada last December with a, let’s not beat around the bush, masterclass performance against David Lemieux and, whilst his antics outside of the ring have been less than respectable, in the boxing world a victory over Golovkin would cement his credibility as one of the best.
An awkward southpaw who dictates the tempo of the bout from the centre of the ring, Saunders poses a distinctly different threat to that of Canelo but is equally capable of getting dirty on the inside and involved in a firefight as he is executing a technical, counter-punching gameplan.
Golovkin doesn’t need warm up bouts following his first ever career loss, he’s an elite fighter, certainly a Top 15 pound for pound and, with only a few fights left in him, it seems logical to target the fight with Saunders because it’s one we know he is mightily confident in winning and if he were to be able to reclaim the single belt that has alluded him his whole career then, surely, we could be looking at the best middleweight ever?
Saunders vs Golovkin make sense, it’s been in the works for a long time and it’s a bout that both men are confident of winning so let’s get it on!
Canelo vs Lemieux
We’ll keep this section short and snappy because I think we’re all aware that David Lemieux, especially after the pasting he got via Billy Joe Saunders, is in a different league, technically, to the world champions but following a devastating knockout over Spike O’Sullivan he finds himself back in the fold for a world title.
The one that can’t be argued with is the power of the Canadian who, when given a chance, is able to unfurl bombs in the direction of whichever Tom, Dick or Harry is standing in front of him. Having said that, he is equally susceptible to stinking out a stadium when he fails to turn up for a fight and that happens alarmingly often for him to be taken seriously as a contender.
It’s very hot and cold with David Lemieux but even when he’s on top of his game it’s nothing that would really send Canelo back to Mexico quivering in his boots looking for some more of that steak – the threat of Lemieux is easily nullified by Canelo taking the fight to the Canadian, boxing at a high tempo for the duration of the fight with a strong lead jab.
Canelo vs O’Sullivan was being lined up for December and, thusly, it makes sense that O’Sullivan’s conqueror is also in the frame.
The truth of the matter though, like it or not, is that this would only serve as a stay busy fight until a big clash in May.
Retirement for GGG?
What is left for Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin to achieve in the sport of boxing? With seemingly little possibility of moving a weight class, the former unified middleweight champion has literally been there, done that and seen it all.
20 successful defences of his belt, five as unified champion, the 36 year old possess a record matched only by the great Bernard Hopkins and, looking through the eras, you’d be hard pressed to suggest he wouldn’t have found success across them all.
A World Amateur champion and Olympic silver medallist, to boot, Golovkin has a career, both amateur and professional, to be immensely proud of and in the eyes of many an onlooker he has got nothing left to prove.
On many scorecards he should have won that first fight with Canelo, the second was a stormer and there can be no loss of legitimacy for losing what was, let’s be honest, a fight that could have gon either way; you get the feeling that Golovkin and Canelo could go toe to toe 60 times and it would never get boring, 20 would be a win for Golovkin, 20 for Canelo and the other 20 a draw… it’s just that sort of a fight!
But for the love of the sport and the pride he gets from fighting, there is nothing left to achieve for Triple G so, if you ask me, hang those gloves up, kick back and just enjoy life Gennady!
Of course the fight we all want to see, well most of us anyway, is ANOTHER rematch between the two protagonists of the middleweight division and why shouldn’t we want that? 24 rounds of simply stunning action during which neither fighter could comprehensively claim to be the better man, throw in some controversy, a bit of bad blood, and we have got ourselves not just a fight but an EVENT.
The first two fights were must-see entertainment that captured the imagination of the boxing community and there’s very little reason to believe a third would be anything but the same – the only question’s that really need answering are where, when and how much is it going to cost us?
Preliminary talks are being held between the parties, allegedly, so hopefully we’ll be able to see the trilogy contest sooner rather than later because there’s some unfinished business to take care of and it’s a fight that I, certainly, will never get bored of.
Having said that, what if Golovkin wins the third fight? Does that mean we’ll have to have a fourth?!
What’s Next for Pacquiao?
By: Oliver McManus
The clock was ticking, the guard began to change as star after star began to fade into the background but an ever present constant in the boxing hemisphere, Manny Pacquiao, was determined to shift the sands of time back into his favour last weekend as he faced Lucas Matthysse, in Malaysia, for yet another world title.
“He’s too old”, the doubters said. “Matthysse has too much power”, cried the naysayers. “Getting rid of Roach was a mistake”, echoed those who questioned Pac Man.
He paid no attention to the script, setting about what can only be described as a demolition job in crushing the Argentine in a manner akin to taking a hammer to a peanut. Matthysse landed a fair few half-decent punches but never looked like carrying a realistic threat to the legacy of Pacquiao and was dropped time after time before the contest was waived off in the seventh round.
What next for Pacquiao, then?
Seems harsh to suggest in the immediate aftermath of such a scintillating performance – his first knockout victory since 2009 – but retirement does seem to be a genuine option for the Filipino with the huge money making fights seemingly few and far between and with increasingly more risk to the ageing eight-weight world champion.
The legacy of Pacquiao is solidified with the defining moment seeming to always be characterised by his series of fights with Juan Manuel Marquez so there’s no real need for the legendary fighter to carry on and risk becoming a Roy Jones Jr figure – albeit at a higher level and not against guys such as Bobby Gunn, Rodney Moore and that respective ilk.
It’s not as though the 39 year old is without other options, boxing is very much a secondary focus as things stand in Pacquiao’s life with his priority being politics – elected as a senator in his home country, Pacquiao has a minimum term until 2022 which, in itself, makes preparing and organising fights relatively difficult.
And let’s be clear this was probably Pacquiao’s best performance in six or seven years and there will always be the eternal question regarding his age and stamina – he proved his doubters wrong on Saturday but as we saw against Horn there is a distinct blueprint for beating Pacquiao and he’s ripe for the taking – so what better a night than to call it quits, retire as a world champion with plaudits aplenty.
On the distinct polar opposite vein you could argue that because Pacquiao looked so good that in itself is all you need to back-up a call for him to continue – whether that’s papering up the cracks or not is something we’ll find out as and when future bouts happen – and an immediate fight that springs to mind is Amir Khan.
Big in the States and big in the United Kingdom, Amir Khan is of an ideal profile for a mega fight with mega dollars to boot – it could also see Pacquiao in the United Kingdom for the first time though such is the statue of the guy we’d likely only see him for a press conference over here as opposed to the actual bout.
Let’s not forget that the pair were scheduled to fight on April 23rd last year in the United Arab Emirates before the bout was called off but the desire to see the two meet in the ring has not dampened and if anything the flame has only burned brighter since Khan’s successful comeback.
For Khan, who has more options than Kell Brook, this is a perfect opportunity to return to the world title scene and, in all honesty, it’s possibly the easiest champion he’d have to face in the division which is saying quite something.
Amir has been there, too, he’s no stranger to these big fights and even though he lost, viciously, to Canelo, he put up a really good showing and there’s no doubt that against Pacquiao we could witness a tremendous, 50-50 fight with styles meshing.
From that knockout loss to Canelo, mind, Pacquiao will be able to take immense confidence especially off the back of such a convincing beat-down of Lucas Matthysse. Couple in the notorious “glass chin” that Khan is often accused of having, the risk for Pacquiao would be relatively big but the reward would be phenomenal – Khan is possibly one of the biggest names that the Filipino could face whilst still possessing the tag as favourite.
For me this is a fight that simply has to happen.
Dropping down a weight division to super lightweight there is the possibility of facing Vasyl Lomachenko in yet another HUGE fight – Lomachenko needs no introduction so I won’t bother giving him one but it’s fair to say that a fight of this magnitude would invoke memories of Pacman’s contest with Mayweather and supersede the sport of boxing in becoming a sheer event for the pubic, fans or not.
Loma is out until December at least following shoulder surgery and Pacquiao has hinted at wanting to drop back to super-lightweight for some time now so the build-up for the potential clash would no doubt capture the imagination of the boxing world.
A clash with Lomachenko is the only bout that could have a positive impact on how we look back on Pacquiao’s career in 10 years – any other opponents are merely extra icing on the already lavishly decorated cake that are his 23 years as a professional boxer – but the Ukrainian provides a test that is unlike any other, a living legend, a walking Hall-of-Famer, a fighter who is, frankly, a freak of nature.
Lomachenko would be the best opponent since Floyd Mayweather and there’s a reasonable argument to be made that he’d be the best opponent INCLUDING Floyd Mayweather, at least in retrospect, and would enter the fight as a favourite but if Pacquiao is determined to prove, once and for all, that he IS back then this is the sort of challenge he really needs to be looking at.
The question that gets raised when you talk about this fight – potentially held at catchweight – is whether Manny really looked that good against Matthysse or if he was simply the least washed up of the two boxers as whilst it was a very accomplished performance you’d be hard pushed to say the Matthysse that turned up was on his A game.
It’s a risk, yes, but is it a risk worth taking?
I’ve opted for Jeff Horn to fill this last section although I was tempted to select Terence Crawford instead but Horn gets the edge because there is history in that encounter, we all know what happened in Australia and this would be a perfect opportunity to silence his critics from that night and prove it was a fluke loss.
Over here in the United Kingdom endless repeats of their first fight were being shown on the broadcaster and, make no mistake, there wasn’t anything like the outrage shown in America with regards to the scoring but this is a fight that would sell, literally, to all four corners of the globe; you’ve got the Australian market who will be fervently routing for their home hero, the America’s backing Pacquiao and the Brit’s / European’s who love nothing more than a rematch with a bit of needle so in terms of marketability, this fight has it all.
Redemption is a factor that can never be over-stated because looking back on his career, Pacquiao is not a man who will be satisfied with a perceived injustice if there was a possibility to put such a situation to bed and we’ve seen immediately after their contest in February last year that Pacquiao wanted the rematch so his self-belief is there.
Horn, himself, is looking for an avenue back to the big time after getting soundly beaten by Crawford and the fight against Pacquiao is the instant avenue to go down because, for him, if he can pull of the “miracle” a second time then who can doubt him, immediately goes away all the criticism from their first encounter.
A snagging point in this whole deal is the style of Horn, it’s not exactly conducive to a performance that will knock your socks off because even if Pacquiao is able to control every second of every round, he’s going to emerge with a bruised and bloodied face such is the aggressive nature of the Australian – the less sound about his leading head, the better – so whilst emotionally and sentimentally the fight may be seen as a win, stylistically and in terms of future stock, it’s hard to see Pacquiao emerge looking any sharper than the fight at the weekend.
Time after time we’ve sat here and idolised about what could be next for such an icon of the sport and time after time he’s delivered the complete unexpected, the only thing we can ever take for granted with Manny Pacquiao is that he will never duck an opponent and he will always bring his all to a fight.
What more could you ask for from an all-time great? Wherever he goes next, even if he doesn’t fight again, let’s just take a minute to bask in his shadows because for now, at least, this warrior is taking a one-man stand against the surge of young pretenders and, boy, is he holding his own when everyone and their dog seems to be writing him off.
Manny Pacquiao and Bob Arum Continue to be at Odds Over Prospective Opponents
By: Bryant Romero
Manny Pacquiao’s return to the ring sometime this year has been on been ongoing saga on whether the proposed bout with Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) will actually pull through for sometime this summer. Reports of strain relations between Pacquiao and Arum should come to no surprise as there were signs prior to Pacquaio’s fight with Jeff Horn in Australia. The Pacquiao camp caused a stir in recent weeks as they announced to boxing press that Pacquiao is currently a free agent and no longer contractually obligated to Top Rank.
“I reviewed the contract and I found out that Bob Arum has no more say even in the rematch, should there be any between Manny Pacquiao and Australian boxer Jeff Horn,” said Pacquiao’s lawyer Eldibrando Viernesto to the Philippine press.
Furthermore, the camp also announced a date that has since been rescheduled at a site in Malaysia with the hopes of sealing a deal with Matthysse through his promoter Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Pacquiao was reportedly insulted with the initial offer from Top Rank to perhaps be on a undercard to Horn-Crawford to fight Mike Alvarado. Manny rejected the offer and is now reportedly negotiating a fight through his own without the involvement of Top Rank.
Pacquiao and Arum have been down this road before and it’s obvious that Manny had very little interest in fighting Jeff Horn last summer in Brisbane as he tried to set up a fight with Amir Khan in the UAE instead. The fight fell through however, and Pacquaio was left to fight Horn as Arum didn’t seem to offer any other opponents.
There are doubts that the Pacquiao vs Matthysse fight will pull through to a now rescheduled date of July 8. Aquiles Zonio who is Pacquiao’s media relations officer has made allegations that promoter Bob Arum has in the past threatened to sue some of the financial backers for which resulted in the fights being scrapped. Accoring to Zonio, Arum is trying to sabotage the Pacquiao vs Matthysse fight in Malaysia by threatening a lawsuit to the Malaysian financial backers.
It’s going to be an interesting next couple of weeks on finding out whether Pacquiao is truly a free agent and whether Bob Arum can once again convince Manny to get back on board and fight an opponent of his choosing instead.
PBC on FS1 Results: Pascal Defeats Elbiali and Retires
By: Ken Hissner
At the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Hialeah, FL, on Friday night, promoter Leon Margules of Warrior Boxing over USA Fox Sports 1 presented a triple header.
In the main event light heavyweight Egyptian Ahmed Elbiali, 16-1 (13), of Miami, FL, suffered his first loss as former world champion Haitian Jean Pascal, 32-5-1 (19), of Quebec, CAN, ended his career with a win at 2:06 of the sixth round.
Photo Credit: Douglas DeFelice / Premier Boxing Champions
In the first round after twenty seconds Elbiali landed a left hook to the chin of Pascal rocking him. He went after Pascal who countered with a left hook to the head of Elbiali. Pascal finished the final minute strong with left hooks to the head of Elbiali. In the second round Pascal was swinging wildly mostly with left hooks. Elbiali landed his share of rights to the head. Pascal ended the round with a flurry of punches to the head of Elbiali.
In the third round both fighters mixed it up well taking turns getting the better of it. Pascal would throw and land punches then hold too much. In the fourth round just under a minute into the round the slugfest continued with both fighters landing bombs. Referee Tellis Ashimentos warned Pascal to stop holding. A big left hook by Pascal to the chin of Elbiali was the highlight of the round.
In the fifth round both fighters landed right hands to the head at the same time. With a minute remaining in the round Pascal was overwhelming Elbiali. Both fighters looked exhausted at the end of the round. In the sixth round Pascal turned up the heat over the much younger Elbiali driving him into a corner landing a dozen punches causing Elbiali’s corner to throw in the towel forcing referee Telis Assimenios ending the fight.
Returning after a fourteen month layoff welterweight southpaw Bryant “Goodfella” Perrella, 15-1 (13), of Ft. Myers, FL, wona lopsided decision over southpaw Alex “Chi-Town Heat” Martin, 13-3 (5), over 8 rounds with a first round knockdown.
In round one Perella was the aggressor outworking Martin. With less than half a minute left in the round a vicious right hook from Perella on the chin of Martin dropped him. Referee Andrew Glen gave him the 8 count. Martin held on to get through the round. In the second round Perella continued to walk through Martin who was on the defense for the most part.
In the third round Perella continued to push Martin around the ring. Martin waited until the final ten seconds to land a combination to the head of Perella. In the fourth round Martin worked his way back into the fight with right hooks to the head and body.
In the fifth round Perella was on the offense backing up Martin. With less than a minute left in the round a Perella right hook to the head stunned Martin. In the sixth round Perella continued to outwork Martin. Halfway thru the round Perella landed half a dozen punches that were unanswered by Martin.
In the seventh round Perella continued to dominate Martin. With a minute left in the round Martin landed a rare combination to the head of Perella. In the eighth and final round Perella dominated the first half of the round while Martin came back landing well but too little too late.
Judges scores Green and Ray 79-72 with Ross 77-74, this writer 78-73.
In the co-main event returning after a year off heavyweight Cuban southpaw Louis “King Kong” Ortiz, 28-0 (24), of Miami, FL, knocked out Daniel “The Mountain” Martz, 16-6-1 (13), of Clarksburg, WV, at 0:43 of the second round.
From ringside WBC champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder got into the ring telling Ortiz “you better be in shape because I am going to knock you out!”
In the first round it was all Ortiz. With less than twenty seconds left several body shots while inside dropped a defensive Martz. In the second round a crushing left on the chin of Martz and down he went and out. Referee Sam Burgos didn’t count but just waved it off.
Featherweight Stephen ”Cool Boy Steph” Fulton, 12-0 (5), of West Philadelphia, PA, scored a majority decision over Adam “Blunose” Lopez, 8-1 (3), of Glendale, CA, over 8 rounds.
In the first round both were trading jabs until Lopez landed a 3-punch combination. Lopez gets Fulton in a corner and lands half a dozen punches before Fulton spun out and landed several punches of his own. With half a minute left in the round Fulton landed his best punch of the round a lead right hand to the chin of Lopez. In the second round half a minute in Lopez landed a power punch right to the head of Fulton. With a minute left in the round Fulton landed a big right to the chin of Lopez. Lopez would come back and rock Fulton with seconds to go in the round with a big right to the head.
In the third round Lopez landed several good shots driving a countering Fulton into the ropes. Lopez landed over a half dozen punches to a hands held high Fulton who was against the ropes. With under a minute left in the round Fulton landed a solid left hook to the head of Lopez drawing blood from the nose of Lopez. In the fourth round the blood from the nose of Lopez is flowing. Fulton countered much better in the round outworking Lopez for the most part. Lopez seemed to have some trouble breathing due to the nose bleed.
In the fifth round in the middle of the ring after Fulton becoming the aggressor for the first half of the round Lopez landed several good uppercuts with both hands to the chin of Fulton. Under a minute left in the round Fulton landed a good right to the chin of Lopez. The jab of Fulton is giving Lopez trouble. In the sixth round Lopez turned to southpaw again becoming the aggressor. With a minute to go in the round Fulton takes the lead landing straight rights to the head of Lopez making him go back to orthodox. In the final twenty seconds Fulton drops his hands scoring well but at the bell he got his second warning from the referee Assimenios for a low blow.
In the seventh round both boxers are slugging it out. Halfway through the round Fulton continues to show his better hand speed while Lopez works on the body when inside. In a close round Fulton seemed to have a slight edge. In the eighth and final round Lopez lands a double left hook to the chin of Fulton. Lopez got a warning for a low blow. Lopez was scoring well but walked into a Fulton left hook to the head. Just under a minute Lopez landed a good right to the head of Fulton. Lopez’s trainer former champion Buddy McGirt was screaming to let his hands go. The corner of Fulton was Hamaz Muhammad and assistant Naziim Richardson.
Judges scores were Rupert 76-76, Ross 78-74 and Young 77-75 with this writer having it 76-76.
Miguel Cotto Built a Legacy of Tough Fights and Few Words
By: Eric Lunger
Miguel Cotto, a man of few words and larger-than-life deeds in the ring, retired from boxing this weekend. At age 37, Cotto dropped a unanimous decision to Saddam Ali in a tough and hard-hitting bout, bowing out on arguably the sport’s greatest stage, Madison Square Garden in New York City. Gracious in defeat, Cotto thanked his fans and summarized his boxing career with characteristic brevity: “thank you [to] all the fans. I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.” In an age of unrelenting celebrity narcissism, Miguel Cotto spent 17 years in the hurt business for his family; the boxing glory was incidental.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter
Turning pro in 2001, Miguel captured his first world title in 2004, the WBO World super lightweight belt. He then reeled off six successful defenses, the last against Paulie Malignaggi in 2006, a twelve-round unanimous win. Cotto then went up to 147, winning the vacant WBA World welterweight belt against then-undefeated Carlos Quintana in Atlantic City, in December of 2006.
After four successful defenses — including back-to-back wins over Zab Judah and Shane Mosley — Cotto relinquished the WBA belt in July 2008, suffering his first loss against Antonio Margarito (TKO 11th) in a bloody and controversial bout. But in February of 2009, Cotto bounced back, winning the WBO welterweight belt from Michael Jennings (at MSG). In his third defense, Cotto took on the great Manny Pacquiao, then at the height of his talent. Pacquiao won by TKO in the 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in an incredible, action-filled thriller.
Cotto then went up to super welterweight, winning the WBA title by stopping Yuri Foreman in nine rounds at Yankee Stadium in June 2010. After a successful defense against Ricardo Mayorga, Cotto faced Margarito for a second time, battering the Mexican fighter into a ninth-round retirement. After Margarito had been exposed with doctored hand-wraps against Shane Mosley, Cotto’s revenge victory was all the sweeter, and called into question the outcome of the first fight.
In May of 2012, Miguel faced undefeated Floyd Mayweather at the 154-pound limit, and lost a unanimous twelve round decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in one of Mayweather’s most coldly efficient exhibitions of defense and counter punching. After a consecutive loss to Austin Trout, Cotto sought new challenges in the middleweight division, defeating Sergio Martinez for the WBC title in June of 2014. This set up a great crossroads battle with rising Mexican superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez, in Las Vegas in November of 2015. Alvarez took the twelve-round decision and the belt.
This time, it would be a nineteen-month layoff before Cotto returned to the ring, as he faced Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO super welterweight belt in August of 2017. Kamegai put in a game effort, but Cotto gave his fans one of his finest performances to date. Not content, however, to retire on that note, Cotto decided to finish his career with one more fight, this time at MSG against a top opponent.
That Cotto choose a tough, competitive fight for his last bout, when by all rights he could have taken a victory lap, speaks volumes about who he is as an athlete and a person. As a fighter, he could duck and slip like a bantamweight, his right hand was held high to protect his chin, and he came forward like a dancing bulldog. With his left hook as his best punch, he could throw it as a lead, or from inside. Cotto fought hard, always gave the fans his best, and he took on all the big names of the sport. He summed up his approach to boxing in one of the final press conferences: “I have always dedicated myself fully and worked hard; now [I am] finishing my career on my own terms.” A four weight-class champion, Miguel Cotto leaves behind a legacy of great achievement as a boxer and genuine integrity as a person.