Tag Archives: robbery

Canelo vs. GGG 2: Robbery in the Desert


By: Gary Todd

When the rematch was finally announced for Canelo v Golovkin; I originally thought, “Why would you go back to the scene of the crime?”. They could have staged this fight in Dallas or New Yor and it would have sold out, but it wasn’t to be. It’s clear Las Vegas is the fight capital ,the Mecca of boxing, and it puts up the huge money required. This glittering town in the desert always has and always will be considered the Mecca,because money talks.

There is no doubt in my mind that Gennady Golovkin was a victim of a crime last night in Vegas. It was armed robbery in the ring. The fight was billed as “Final Judgment”, but after 12 rounds of tremendous armed combat by these two champion boxers, there was no judgment, and that was final.

Canelo Alvarez fought a great fight. He had a lot to prove, and he did answer a few questions in the ring. He fought the best he could , and he came forward while pressing and he stuck to a game plan. That game plan was to target Golovkin’s body every time he got inside the pocket. He also showed how tough he really is while taking some heavy blows. He also stayed off the ropes and fought the fight of his life. In saying all that, it still wasn’t enough to beat Gennady Golovkin.

GGG was dominant with his jab, and at one point in the fight I said to myself, “He’s winning this fight with one arm. “

I gave eight rounds to Golovin in this fight. I thought the 2nd round was close and I gave it to Canelo. I thought round 5 was close so I gave it to Canelo. I also gave Canelo rounds 6 and 8 . Other than that, it was Golovkin’s fight. The jab, uppercuts, and clean power shots stole the show.

I have been been covering boxing for a long time, and through the years I have been ringside to witness some of the greatest fights and this was a great fight. I travel alone, and when I get there, all I focus on is the fight and the fighters. There is no agenda with me. I don’t just watch the fight, I study the fight. I don’t count the punches, but I have been around long enough to know how to score a round. The judges scored this fight wrong. They have been around a long time. Maybe too long. They should all be made to sit in a room and watch the fight again and see how they scored it the second time around. 114-114 ? 115-113 ? 115-113.?

The 12th round was the deciding round according to the scorecards and 2 of the 3 judges gave it to Canelo. If you watched that 3 minutes of boxing , 10 times over, you would score that round to Gennady Golovkin. With everything at stake, these judges who are put into a tremendous position of power, need to get it right.

Like in the movies, all the good heists have a take down team, that all have a part to play, and last night in Vegas, there was a robbery in the dessert.

Gary Todd is an international author with his books on Boxing’s World Champions, “Workouts from Boxing’s Greatest Champs Volumes 1 and 2”. He has been involved in all aspects of the sport of boxing for over 25 years.

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Deception from Down Under; A Conspiracy Theorist’s Guide


Deception from Down Under; A Conspiracy Theorist’s Guide
By: Kirk Jackson

Here we go again…

Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao 59-7-2 (38 KO’s) apparently attracts controversy; this time in the form of losing another disputed decision – to relatively unknown, teacher/boxer Jeff “The Hornet” Horn 17-0-1 (11 KO’s).

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To be fair, Pacquiao has his share of debatablevictories as well. How about we ask Juan Manuel Marquez about the decisions regarding three of their four fights?

This recent uproar certainly created waves within the world of sports. Reactions from fellow boxers like former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, other athletes such as Kobe Bryant, boxing analysts and experts such at ESPN’s
Teddy Atlas, the collective sentiment is shock.

What do the Boxing Gods have against Pacquiao?

Perhaps the Boxing Gods still hold Pacquiao in good favor and the outcome resulted from the return of the puppet master, ensuring his key piece lacks leverage and remains at his mercy.

The puppet master is none other than the president of Top Rank Promotions Bob Arum. Dating back a decade now, Pacquiao served as his key marionette.

The main money generator of Top Rank in wake of the departures of Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao featured and excelled in Top Rank’s biggest events, generating millions in the process.

Serving as Arum’s puppet is not without perks however. Large pay purses, favorable marketing from Time Warner, HBO, ESPN and other media outlets due to Arum’s long-standing influences.

Everything comes with a price however. For Pacquiao, it’s the lack of liberty and control.

Remember the last time Pacquiao was in a position to re-up his contract as his current deal was coming to an end?

During this phase of time, he was scheduled to duel Timothy Bradley for their first of what would be three fights beginning in 2012.

Leading up into their first encounter, there was a question if Pacquiao would resign with Arum and Top Rank, if he would test the waters elsewhere, or if he would retire.

Many observers believed Pacquiao won the fight against Bradley, however Bradley was awarded the decision.

From a conspiracy theorist’s perspective, this may have been a power move from Arum, to keep Pacquiao in check and to let him know who holds the power.

The fight against Horn was the last fight due on his current five fight deal with Top Rank.

Do you think we’ve seen the last of Pacquiao vs. Horn? We’re going to see the pairing two more times.

Four fights were squeezed out of Pacquiao and Marquez, while three fights were squeezed out of Pacquiao and Bradley in recent years.

Undoubtedly Pacquiao will resign with Top Rank – to exact revenge against Horn, continue his farewell “World Tour,” and to carry on fighting at someone else’s leisure.

He will continue to fight till they no longer have use for him.

Rumors of Pacquiao in financial debt, some of the issues VisionQwest uncovered many years ago did not go away. The root of the problem always remained; financial instability, mismanagement of funds, along with wolves seizing advantage of opportunities.

“Boxing is my main source of income. I can’t rely on my salary as a public official,” explained Pacquiao after announcing his return to boxing last year.

“I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well. Many people also come to me to ask for help and I just couldn’t ignore them.”

With the capacity to earn money, comes great responsibility and a legion of persons seeking to take advantage of the benefactor.

People take advantage of Pacquiao’s generosity and it placed him in an unfortunate predicament. A position in which he must continue to fight to earn a living despite previous accomplishments and prize money earned in the past.

It’s truly unfortunate to see fighters forced to fight when it’s obvious their best years are far in the rearview.

In the past, Pacquiao hired the firm of VisionQwest Resource Group, Inc. and VisionQwest Accountancy Group out of Los Angeles, California, to handle all accounting, personal tax, business tax, audits and examinations, as well as all contract reviews.

Turns out tax business operator Michael Cabuhat was arrested in 2015 for defrauding customers through VisionQwest.

Under an alleged scheme that Cabuhat ran from 2010 through 2015, he allegedly stole over a million dollars in refunds that should have gone to clients.

Charges include fraud, aggravated identity theft and structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements. Pacquiao unfortunately, was one of Cabuhat’s victims.

Pacquiao hired a company to fix an issue and it turns out the company he hired further exploited the problem.

Financial woes, familiarity and reassurance led to a firm grasp of control from Arum. Control enables power moves.
Arum publicly talked down on Pacquiao in recent years and not always displayed public verbal support in light of a few controversial issues

Dating back to the beginning of the decade, Arum exerted his control over Pacquiao and most of the boxing landscape.

The eight-division champion was pitted against Top Rank stable mates; Bradley, Marquez, Joshua Clottey, ShaneMosley (temporary Top Rank fighter), Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri.

Not only were the match-ups controlled but so was the money flow – being as these were all Top Rank fights. It’s partially the reason why we never saw some of the other matches many fans hoped for.

It’s why we didn’t see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather until it was past the expiration date.

It’s why Pacquiao vs. Paul Williams never occurred, or Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan, Humberto Soto, Joan Guzman, Juan Diaz, etc.

The same is occurring yet again. Do you think we’ll see Pacquiao against the other top welterweights during his “World Tour?”

WBA and WBC unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, are managed by Al Haymon and under different promotional companies.

Terence Crawford is a name teased for years regarding a potential pairing with the ‘Pac-Man.’ Even though Crawford is a fellow Top Rank stable mate, it seems unlikely we’ll see the two in the ring.

Just like we probably won’t see Pacquiao vs. Thurman, Spence or Danny Garcia. It will be Jeff Horn a few more times. We’ll see what ever makes sense for Top Rank.

It’s important to point out, there isn’t necessarily a mandate for Pacquiao to fight anyone; his legacy is already cemented and there isn’t much that can change it.

But the observation of note is he does not have a choice on whom and when he fights.

From a conspiracy theorist’s lenses, the recent decision in the Pacquiao vs. Horn verdict was an extension of control and to ensure regulation of the type of match-ups that are made. Strings pulled.

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Boxing Writers Bury Pac Man After He Was Robbed Down Under


Boxing Writers Bury Pac Man After He Was Robbed Down Under
By: Ken Hissner

WBO welterweight champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquaio won at least 8 rounds if not 9 rounds Saturday night down under in Australia over “club fighter” Jeff Horn who is from Australia.

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The American referee Mark Nelson should switch from pro boxing to pro wrestling. I never saw so many “head locks” in one boxing match. Just when the stench was clearing from the first Kovalev-Ward referee Robert Byrd’s bias work of allowing Ward to clinch 46 times without losing a point. Ward won by a point on all three cards so if one point was taken Kovalev would have retained his title with a draw. Nelson allowed Horn to do whatever he could get away with. Horn’s head did more damage than his Fists did.

In 1995 “Big” George Foreman defended his IBF title winning a disputed majority decision over German Axel Schulz. In refusing to give Schulz a rematch he was stripped of his IBF title. In 1997 he lost a disputed majority decision to Shannon Briggs and retired at 48. Pacquaio is 38 and the media is trying to retire him like they did Foreman.

Pacquaio wants the rematch and he needs to have some say about the referee and judges even though Horn is now champ especially if the rematch will be in Australia which one would be sure it will be. Officials everywhere in the world should be held accountable for questionable decisions by their commission.

In sitting at press row one gets to meet the so-called “boxing writers” and you sometimes wonder why can’t they talk about boxers “before” they started writing? Is this just a “hobby?”

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If You’ll Take the Win Then You Have to Take the Loss


If You’ll Take the Win Then You Have to Take the Loss
By Coach Bruce Babashan

I have been training professional and amateur boxers for many years. In totality my fighters have competed in thousands of fights at nearly every level in the sport at one time or another. My athletes have competed for professional world titles, have been in the Olympics and have appeared at countless club and amateur level shows and tournaments.

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

A few years back, I was part of the organizing team for a national amateur tournament being held in Michigan. One of my roles that week was to be a liaison between the organizing committee and any coaches who had questions or wanted to dispute a decision. If you have ever been to any boxing tournaments you know there are always disputes… and many times bad decisions, as well.

It just so happens that the day before the tournament began I was meeting and greeting many of the coaches when I met and had a very nice chat with a coach who had two fighters there, one being his own son. He was a great guy!

The next day I noticed that his son was fighting so I made my way over to that ring to watch the action. His son was a very good fighter, well trained and very sharp. His opponent was a little less refined, awkward with strange timing and movement…but still effective in a way.

It was a very competitive fight and as I watched I could see that both sides were seeing it the way they wanted to. The man I had spoken with the day earlier was very pleased with his sons performance because he felt his son looked like “the real boxer” and was throwing tight combinations and looking the more technical of the two. Yet, when I walked into the other corner the coaches there felt their boy was winning and they were imploring their kid to “keep it up.”

After the bell sounded to end the fight both boys jumped for joy and eventually met back in the center of the ring with the referee awaiting the judges’ decision. Both boys were sure they had won because their corners had told them they had. So they waited with anticipation in the center of the ring for the judges to announce the decision.

Soon the announcer came on the microphone and announced…”the winner… out of the BLUE corner” and the boy and his coaches jumped for joy. The problem was the more technical fighter and the one I personally felt had won… lost! Needless to say, his father was very upset.

I knew it was going to be an issue so I immediately went to him to try and calm him down but it was to no avail. He was very angry and the more I talked the more I could see he was getting more and more agitated. I stepped back and the father and son gave way for the next fight that was entering the ring and I gave them a few minutes to calm down before trying to talk to the father.

Here is what I said:

I said “I thought you told me you were a boxing guy and you had been coaching for twenty years?” ”That’s right” he said….”I’ve been coaching for more than twenty years… what difference does that make?” I said “you mean to tell me in all those years you never won a fight you felt your fighter had lost?” It was clear what I said hit a nerve. “Of course I have” he said. I went on “when you won did you run across the ring and give the trophy to the other kid or did you go the officials and demand they reward the other fighter with the win?” Struck by the comments he looked at me and said “of course not.” I then asked; “do you feel we have some reason to be against you or your son?” “No” the man replied “but nonetheless the decision stinks” he said. “That’s probably something we can agree on” I said “but its not because anyone was against you!” I went on “let me ask you another question, you have been here all day, have you noticed a rash of bad decisions?” “Well, no” the man said…”but this one sure was”. “Maybe,” I said. I went on “let me ask you another question…in all those years I assume you’ve watched hundreds maybe even thousands of professional fights…right?” “Thousands” the man replied. I said “in all those fights you never once disagreed with the judges or the majority of fans about the winner.” “Of course I have” he replied.” “Then since we agree we don’t have any reason to be against you and since there hasn’t been a rash of bad decision today is it just one of those cases where you saw the fight differently then the judges…can’t it be just that simple sometimes?”

He was a smart guy and the logic of my point resonated with him. After a few more minutes he had calmed down and he went to prepare his next kid for his upcoming fight. We parted friends.

Here is the point; these things happen in boxing. No one is to blame, no nefarious intent, no incompetence on the part of judges… just a different point of view. The judge’s chair comes with a different perspective and set of responsibilities than you and I have as spectators. The judges are just human and for the most part they get it right most of the time. The fact is they are also as vulnerable as you and I are to our own biases and preconceived notions and despite the fact we want to believe we have a clear cut set of criteria on how to judge the big fights, the truth is we do not…and never will.

Complete objectivity is difficult to attain. It’s inhuman in a way to be totally objective. We have our opinions and views of these fights and they are shaped by many things and we need to stop acting like the sky is falling every time there is a decision the majority of us might not agree with.

I realize there was a lot of money at stake. I realize the history of our sport requires we remain vigilant at all times to keep the criminal elements away but to be honest, bad decisions and controversy are as much a part of boxing as the hook and the jab…and we like it that way!

I loved the fight the other night. It was exciting, bloody and fun! I felt PacMan won but both men emerged out of it ok and it was good for the sport.

As for the decision, “If you’ll take the win, you have to take the loss!“

Coach Bruce Babashan

Professional Boxing Coach/Trainer

USA Boxing Coach

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Five Post Fight Thoughts from Pacquiao vs. Horn


Five Post Fight Thoughts from Pacquiao vs. Horn
By: William Holmes

A legend in the sport of boxing lost to a man that nobody thought he would lose to on Saturday in Brisbane, Australia.

Manny Pacquiao is a sure fire first ballot hall of famer and is an eight division world champion. Since 2005 almost all of his fights were made available exclusively on Pay Per View. However, many were stunned to see Jeff Horn be named the victor and were left in disbelief. Many, including the announcers on ESPN, strongly felt that Manny was robbed and clearly won the fight.

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Is this the end of Pacquiao’s career? What does this mean going forward?

Here are five post fight thoughts from the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight.

1. Pacquiao Was Not Robbed

This may come as a shock to some, but Pacquiao was not robbed. I’m not saying he didn’t win the fight, but you can’t argue with the judges who felt Horn won the fight. Pacquiao didn’t dominate any round with the exception of the ninth, and many, many, rounds were “swing” rounds and could have been scored either way.

Fans have to remember that crowd reaction affects judges and this fight took place in Horn’s home country. Most of the fans in attendance were rooting for their fellow Australian and were reacting positively to every punch that Jeff Horn threw. Yes, judges are supposed to be able to block out the sound and view a fight objectively, but that’s easier said than done and no judge is completely immune to the vocal support that surrounds him.

Fans also have to realize that viewing a fight live is much different than viewing a fight on TV. When you’re watching a fight on TV you can be swayed by the commentary of the announce team and you have a much better view/angle on the action inside the ring than those who are watching the fight in person. Ring side judges do not have the advantage of wide camera angle and often their views are obstructed by the ropes, ring, competitors, and the referee.

Additionally, Jeff Horn pressed the action and was able to dominate the exchanges when they were in tight or when Pacquiao’s back was against the rope. Ring Generalship and effective aggression are two criteria that judges use to judge a fight, and it was clear that Horn was dictating the pace to Pacquiao and never stopped coming forward.

Again, I’m not saying Pacquiao didn’t win the fight, I’m merely stating he wasn’t robbed.

2. CompuBox Stats Are Overrated

Many upset boxing fans point to the CompuBox statistics as evidence that Pacquiao was robbed. They note that Horn only landed 15% of his punches and that Pacquiao landed almost 100 more punches.

However, fight fans have to understand that CompuBox punch totals are done by a person sitting ringside keeping a manual tally. There is nothing scientific or reliable about CompuBox, at best it is an estimation. CompuBox also doesn’t take into consideration the visible effects of the punches landed.

As a general rule punches are more noticeable when a bigger man lands against a smaller man, and Jeff Horn was clearly the bigger man. When his punches landed they visibly moved Pacquiao and many of Pacquiao’s punches were not noticeable to the untrained eye.

3. More Big Fights Need to Happen Outside of Las Vegas

As a fight city, Las Vegas is overrated.

Yes, it’s the gambling capital of the world and very few locations can compete with the purse sizes that Las Vegas provides. But, if you’ve ever gone to a fight in Las Vegas you’d know that most of the fans who attend a big fight in Las Vegas are more concerned with the glitz, glam and celebrity that Las Vegas provides instead of the action in the ring.

I’ve been to Vegas several times for big fights, and a good 95% of the fans in attendance do not show up until a few minutes before the main event starts. Most of the fans at a Las Vegas fight do not know the difference between a jab and a cross and are more concerned with looking good at a big event.

The Pacquiao Horn fight was held in an outdoor stadium in Australia and came across great on television. 50,000+ fans were in attendance, a number that currently can not be reached in Las Vegas. The excitement and anticipation of a fight comes off much better in a big stadium when compared to Las Vegas, and makes it more attractive to the casual sports fan.

The Klitschko vs. Joshua fight was held at Wembley Stadium and was one of the best fights of the year. The crowd was unbelievable and that fight also looked great on television.

The most entertaining fight that this writer ever attended live was when Pacquiao fought Margarito at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium. The venue was a big reason as to why that fight was so entertaining.

Granted, there will still be fight fans who only show up for the main event if a good boxing card were to be held outside of Las Vegas, but the overall experience is much better when it’s held in a stadium.

4. Pacquiao Needs to Drop Down in Weight

Ever since Pacquiao made the jump to the junior welterweight division and higher he has been the smaller man inside the ring. His walk around weight is near the welterweight limit and he often has to fight someone who has cut 10-20 pounds to make the welterweight limit.

When Pacquiao was in his prime his movement and endurance was good enough to run circles around his opponent so that they couldn’t catch him. He’s no longer in his prime and Jeff Horn was able to capitalize on his size advantage and trap Manny on the ropes with effective body work. If Jeff Horn was able to trap Pacquiao imagine what some of the other top welterweights could do to him.

Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Kell Brook, Shawn Porter, and even Lucas Matthysse are all opponents that are bigger than Pacquiao and would probably inflict more damage on him than what Horn did on Saturday.

Even though the current version of Pacquiao would still be competitive with most of the welterweights ranked in the top ten, he is risking serious damage to his body and health if he continues to campaign against bigger and stronger opponents when he is pushing 40.

5. An Aged Version of Pacquiao is Still Entertaining

Should Pacquiao retire? That’s a tough question but at the very least it should be discussed amongst him and his team.

But one thing that we learned on Saturday night is that even the faded and aged version of Manny Pacquiao is still exciting in the ring. His fight with Jeff Horn dominated social media and ESPN and has been the talk of the sports world for the past two days.

Fight fans were on the edge of their seat the entire fight and the ninth round was one of the most thrilling rounds of the year.

The ratings support the entertainment value of Pacquiao. ESPN recently released a press release indicating that the fight delivered a 2.4 overnight rating and was the highest rated fight for a cable network this decade. The release also indicated that the Battle of Brisbane was likely to be the highest-rated fight on ESPN’s networks since the mid 1990s.

The current version of Manny Pacquiao may have difficulty reclaiming a world title in the welterweight division, but he still draws eyes to the TV.

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Why It’s No Longer Crazy To Think Incompetent Judging Can Impact Mayweather-McGregor


Why It’s No Longer Crazy To Think Incompetent Judging Can Impact Mayweather-McGregor
By: Sean Crose

Picture, if you will, Las Vegas abuzz with screaming Irish fans and intense American fan boy love. The subject of all this wild admiration? One Conor McGregor. Now picture, if you will, McGregor doing more than anyone expected him to do against Floyd Mayweather. The Irishman is aggressive beyond aggressive for twelve straight rounds, displaying great heart and better than expected endurance. Sure, Mayweather clearly gets the better him, but McGregor impresses by virtue of not being humiliated.

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Now imagine the judges being taken away by the wave of that aforementioned ecstatic Irish and American fan boy love. Imagine them giving the decision win to McGregor…even though it’s clear for those who know boxing that Mayweather carried the night. Sound impossible? After this past weekend, I respectfully disagree. I find it to be entirely possible. Why? Because there’s a lot of incompetent judging out there these days. If it’s not at epidemic level, it’s clearly alarming. For one thing, crowds matter, and the T-Mobile arena will be a temple of McGregor worship on August 26th.

Also, perhaps equally alarming, many judges appear to no longer understand that aggression is not the same as effective aggression. In other words, a good percentage of judges rule unprofessionally, if not all the time, then often enough. Keep in mind that Mayweather-McGregor is a pop culture event. When people ask me about it on the street, I find I’m at a loss for words. I’m a boxing writer, not a member of the staff of a big entertainment site. Those who are intrigued by Mayweather-McGregor are apt not to know much about how boxing is scored. Therefore, they’re apt to think McGregor wins if he performs like a poor man’s Marcos’ Maidana. And, again, they’re apt to influence the judges – who may, for who knows what reason, have one again forgotten what effective aggression is to begin with.

So, will everyone be in an uproar on August 27th, the day after the Mayweather-McGregor Pop Culture Event Of The Summer? I wouldn’t have written this after Pacquiao-Horn and the Bounce TV brouhaha the night before, but now I wouldn’t be too surprised if incompetent judging proved to be McGregor’s secret weapon. Think it’s unlikely? You’re probably right. But I don’t think it’s as unlikely as you believe. Remember this – all McGregor has to do is stay on his feet and defy expectations and all bets might be off after the final bell. In other words, all the Irishman may have to do to win is look good. That won’t be easy, but it’s a lot easier than winning fairly.

Of course, I’ll be watching Cotto-Kamegai on the 26th of August. It’s a far better matchup than Floyd-Conor. And besides, bad judging isn’t as painful when it doesn’t become an international incident.

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Pacman Robbed Down Under


Pacman Robbed Down Under
By: Ken Hissner

WBO welterweight champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquaio, 60-6-2 (38), of the PH, lost a disputed decision to Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, 17-0-1 (11), of Australia in Brisbane, Australia, over 12 rounds.

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In the first round Horn seemed to hold an edge. In the second round it was close with Pacquaio. In the third round Pacquaio continues getting the best of Horn who uses all the dirty tactics the referee allows him to get away with. In the fourth round Pacquaio lands many power punches.

In the fifth round Horn caused a clash of heads caused a cut along Pacquaio’s hairline. In the sixth round Pacquaio continues to fight both Horn and the American referee Mark Nelson. The much larger looking Nelson landed a good punch along side of the head of Pacquaio. In the seventh round Horn tries to bull his way in but Pacquaio counters him well. In the eighth round Horn was cut over the right eye.

In the ninth round Pacquaio had a big round but Horn came back in the tenth. In the eleventh round referee Nelson finally warns Horn for using his forearm into the throat of Pacquaio but not for all the headlocks he gets away with. In the twelfth and final round both let it all hang out with the blood flowing. Pacquaio’s hand speed has been his biggest asset.

Judge 117-111, 115-113 twice for Horn and this writer 117-111 for Pacquaio. Another black eye for boxing with a horrible decision by the “three blind mice” and the actions of referee Mark Nelson.

Middleweight “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Jr., 10-2 (7), of Pamona, CA, lost by split decision to southpaw David Toussaint, 10-0 (8), of Australia, over 8 rounds.

In the first round it was a feeling out round on both parts. Toussaint suffered a small cut over his eye. In the second round Toussaint landed a hard straight left to the head of Mosley. In the third and fourth rounds Mosley out boxed Toussaint.

In the fifth and sixth rounds Toussaint got in his share of punches but Mosley still was in control. In the seventh round Mosley went to the body as instructed by his trainer. In the eighth and final round it ended up the best round of the fight.

Judges 77-75 Mosley, 77-76 Toussaint, 77-76 Toussaint. This writer had it 77-75 Mosley.

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Aging Pacquiao Stunned By Horn Via Controversial Decision In Australia


Aging Pacquiao Stunned By Horn Via Controversial Decision In Australia
By: Sean Crose

Pacquiao was believed to be something of an afterthought, a dwindling has-been of an attraction who was clinging to diminishing pay per view receipts as the sport of boxing moved on without him. Promoter Bob Arum and ESPN, however, gave Pacquiao the opportunity to reintroduce himself this weekend, when the legendary fighter faced popular Australian contender on (at least in Australia) Jeff Horn on Sunday morning in Brisbane. The bout was aired live basic cable television in the United States, where fans were able to watch the famous PacMan defend his WBO welterweight title strap for free in front of 50,000 Australian fans.

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Horn came right out to win after the opening bell and managed to land cleanly. Things got closer – and quite exciting – however in the second, with Pacquiao seeming to get into his groove. Things stayed intense in the third, but it looked like Horn might be starting to tire. Still, Horn was able to land and roughhouse in the fourth, while Pacquiao was able to employ his legendary skill. A head butt stopped the fight temporarily in the sixth, as Pacquiao suffered a cut. Perhaps more tellingly, he was able to land hard at round’s end. It was hard to write off Pacquiao’s skill and slipperiness, however.

It was, surprisingly, a strange fight to comprehend. Horn was bigger and perhaps even more aggressive. Yet Pacquiao was getting the more important clean shots in. A second head butt stoppage in the seventh caused a lot of blood to run down Pacquiao’s face. In the eighth, Pacquiao tossed Horn to the canvas. It was a somewhat ugly, knotty affair. By the ninth, however, Pacquiao’s greatness rose to the occasion, as he started to beat the clearly exhausted Horn senseless. While Horn sat on his stool between the ninth and tenth, the referee threatened to stop the fight if Horn didn’t come alive.

Horn, however, survived the tenth, In fact, he looked decent. Furthermore, Pacquiao’s foot was off the gas for the full three minutes. By the eleventh, the Filipino icon looked exhausted. Still, Pacquiao was able to employ his effective clean punching in the round. The twelfth and final chapter ended with Horn going for broke and a feeling that the judges might give the fight to the local guy, even though he might not deserve the win. And indeed, Horn was given a unanimous decision victory with scores of 117-111. 115-113, 115-113.

Welcome to big time boxing, ESPN viewers.

Earlier in the evening, Jerwin Ancajas bested Teiru Kinoshita with a brutal seventh round body blow in their IBF super flyweight title matchup. Before that, Irish Olympic star Michael Conlon took out Jarrett Owen in his third pro bout with a great display of featherweight body work. Lastly, Shane Mosely Jr opened the night by losing a split decision to David Toussaint in an eight round middleweight throwdown.

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Andre Ward crushes Sergey Kovalev and shows he is King


Andre Ward crushes Sergey Kovalev and shows he is King
By: Kirk Jackson

Silencing the opinions of fans and critics amongst the media, Andre “SOG” Ward 32-0 (16 KO’s) defended his WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles defeating Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev 31-2-1 (26 KO’s) via eighth-round technical knockout in their highly anticipated rematch.

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Ward picked up where he left off in their first encounter; using lateral movement and angles to navigate inside the Kovalev’s dungeon of danger. Ward avoided the full brunt force of the hazardous, powerful 1-2 combinations (straight right hands, left jabs) of Kovalev while unleashing his own devastating attack.

As menacing as Kovalev’s punches can be, Ward proved again his will and fistic sophistication is even more demoralizing.
“I think it was plain to see that I broke him mentally and physically,” said Ward in a post-fight interview.

“I’m not a person that demands respect or none of that. You don’t have to respect me and I don’t demand anything, but at a certain point and time, you got to give a person their just do. I’m 13 years in and I’ve been doing it against the best.”
In crushing Kovalev from a physical standpoint, the emphasis of Ward’s attack was towards the body. A successful strategy utilized in their initial encounter.

After taking command during the first half of the first fight, Kovalev slowly succumbed to the constant pressure applied from Ward; squandering his lead and losing his titles in the process.

As the bigger man and the fighter thought of as the more threatening figure based off his destructive punching power, Kovalev looked worn for wear heading into the later rounds. The “Krusher” looked deflated after a hard fought highly competitive battle.

The same strategy proved successful the second time around.

“When I saw him react to the body shots that were borderline, I knew I had him,” Ward said. “Go back down there. Why get away from it?”

“Then I hurt him with a head shot and I just had to get the right shots in there to get it over with. That one’s probably borderline – he was hurt, I went right back there again, he wasn’t reacting, right back there again and the referee stopped it.”

And as with the first fight, the second fight also appears boiled in controversy. In which HBO, the network responsible for broadcasting the event contributed to regarding confusion the first time around.

Whether it’s the dubious scorecards from longtime HBO judge Harold Lederman, or the questionable calls of analysis from play-by-play commentator Jim Lampley, more times than not, the casual fan is misinformed regarding the content and story of the fight.

The controversy regarding the results of the rematch stems from the interpretation of what is perceived as effective body punches or illegal low blows.

Critics, most notably Kovalev’s promoter, Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, points to low blows from Ward as a reason Kovalev lost yet another fight to Bay Area boxer. HBO analyst and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. suggests otherwise.

“We saw earlier that he [Kovalev] was complaining from a borderline body shot and anytime someone fakes that much from a borderline body shot it makes it hard for you not to go back down there if you a seasoned veteran,” said Jones.

“It was borderline but when your cup is above your navel, the ref usually tells you I’m not gonna call these shots low right below the belt, because your belt is above your navel.”

Bob Bennett is the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The bout between Ward and Kovalev took place in Las Vegas, NV.

Bennett talked to the referee in charge of the fight, Tony Weeks. Bennett also expressed his confidence and belief that Weeks made the correct decision regarding the bout between Kovalev and Ward.

“I felt we had it right the first time. And I thought Tony did a great job this time,” Bennett said to USA Today.

“I’ve reviewed the fight this morning. I looked at those punches that were allegedly low, and even spoke to (HBO’s) Tom Hauser, who sent me a video, saying one of those punches was low but it was very hard to determine because Kovalev’s arm was by his waist, and the punch looks like it comes up underneath and hits on the belt line.”

Bennett continued, “It’s rather interesting at the end that when Ward hits him in the stomach at the end, he sat on the ropes. And the punch looked good. Weeks was in good position to see where those blows landed and they’re right on the belt line.”

“Are they close? Sure. But do they look good? Yeah. Did he have one or two low blows where Tony told him to keep them up? You could argue that he did. But at the same time you could argue that Kovalev put Ward in numerous headlocks and Tony had to reprimand both of them. I think the stoppage was good.”

Bennett’s assessment, along with Weeks’ assessment of where Ward’s punches landed regarding Kovalev’s belt line, reiterates the observation and analysis from HBO analyst Roy Jones Jr.

What we have from Duva and Team Kovalev is a litany of excuses. Ironic as the theme for this particular event is “No Excuses.”

“Excuses” correlates to the main reason Kovalev suffered defeat against Ward not only once, but twice.

This isn’t just the physical element at play. Yes this is a sport, this is boxing, the highest form of competition, one on one battle, where physicality matters. But there was a psychological war waging as well.

Kovalev’s foundation and mental makeup is constructed as a carefully crafted portrait of a cerebral, cold blooded killer. What was left out is the mountain of lies and excuses shadowing this illustration.

There are two types of people.
The first type makes excuses for their shortcomings and lacks accountability.

The second type recognizes and accepts their flaws and weaknesses, while making necessary adjustments to correct mistakes and progress forward.

Excuses can be regarded as a sign of mental weakness.

As great of a fighter Kovalev is, rising to the top of the sport bullying fighters and relying on intimidation; mainly predicated from his punching prowess, he lacks accountability regarding his deficiencies.

He mocked fighters, singled out and disrespected groups of people varying in sex and background en route to his rise of success.

Whether it’s suggesting to the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields, that women should be at home making family life comfortable, or addressing Haitian-Canadian, light heavyweight rival Adonis Stevenson as a monkey, referring to Ismail Sillakh and African-American fighters as “negros,” along with other references aimed at “dark-skinned people,” is uncalled for.

Referring to Grover Young as a “thoroughbred nigga” further implies ignorance and immaturity.

Utilizing memes and videos, attributing idiotic stereotypes based on someone’s skin complexion and background is another red flag.

Former light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan, expressed his belief in Kovalev’s narrow-minded bigotry in an interview with Ring Magazine.

“I was shocked when I heard about his racist comments that he said in reference about African-Americans. There was no misinterpretation or lost in Russian-to-English translation of what he said,” Shumenov said.

“He will have to live with the derogatory words that he said in print and video. A lot of my team are African-Americans, and they are more than members of my team, they are family to me. They have my back and I have theirs, and I have zero respect for racist views of any kind.”

Do you notice a pattern here?

Whether its disrespectful remarks hurled towards peers, distasteful comments and tweets, or thoughtless posts across various social media outlets, character is often revealed through particular actions.

The “Krusher’s” character is on full display.

But what happens to the bully once he’s confronted? The bully usually folds. The case with Kovalev and Ward is a classic example. Ward stood up to Kovalev.

Regarding their fights, it’s why entering the jaws of death (fighting in range of Kovalev’s punching power) was imperative for the success of Ward.

It leaves a psychological effect; telling the bully I’m still here regardless of your tactics.

The “Krusher” openly and adamantly discussed his desire to end Ward’s career. Time and time again, his tag line for the rematch and this was directed at Ward, “I’m going to end your career motherfucker!!”

Perhaps it was just for promotion for their fight, although there appears to be genuine dislike between camps.

After suffering consecutive defeats and the last by TKO to Ward, it now appears Kovalev’s career is heading down the drain.

The question is who will fight Kovalev now? He is still a great fighter and arguably still one of the best fighters pound-for-pound.

But that’s the underlying issue; he’s still a great fighter, possessing terrorizing power, but lacks leverage or incentive to garner fights.

So which upcoming challenger is going to take the risk of fighting him? The question beckoning for that challenger is the financial compensation worth the risk of potentially losing?

It’s unlikely he and Ward will mix it up for a third time. The option of WBC and Lineal light heavyweight champion Stevenson appears improbable due to failed negotiations of the past.
As far as figuring Kovalev’s next step, these duties fall under the promoter and management team correct? The same promoter responsible for paying Kovalev.

Or not paying him, depending on the live gate and pay-per-view success of this past event.

Duva is clearly frustrated, displaying emotional discomfort during a trying time for her fighter who is short on options.

It’s also fitting the fighter and promoter in this instance is paired together.

Now this isn’t an obituary for Kovalev or his promoter Duva.

The 34-year-old former champion can work his way back to title contention, it’s just a matter of how he decides to do so and if he decided to remain in the light heavyweight division.

Regarding the winner of last weekend’s festivities, Ward proved yet again, he is the best fighter pound-for-pound.

Speaking to HBO after the fight Ward said, “Let me ask you the question, can I get on the pound-for-pound list now? At the top?”

Five time world champion, winner of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, unified champion at super middleweight and light heavyweight.

He overcomes every test and every adversity placed in front of him; whether it’s nagging injuries, criticism from fans and the media, or physical and psychological challenges of his opponents. No excuses, he rises to the occasion.

After conquering the super middleweight division, he moved up to a loaded light heavyweight division and just knocked out the biggest bully in boxing.

Enough said, crown him.

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Kovalev Gets Shafted by Ward and the Referee Again!


​Kovalev Gets Shafted by Ward and the Referee Again!
By: Ken Hissner

Foul’s ended two fights while the Nevada commission allowed this to happen on the PPV event. The event was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. Another black eye for boxing!

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WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward, was given the stoppage over Russian Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 30-2-1 (16), of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at 2:29 of the 8th round.

In the opening Kovalev outlanded Ward who did more clinching than fighting. In the second round Kovalev used an effective jab. Ward hit Kovalev low and referee Tony Weeks gave him a minute rest. In the third round Kovalev landed the best punch of the fight up until that point a right to the head of Ward. In the fourth round Ward got in a jab and right hand though Kovalev continued to press the action. Looked like the first round Ward won.

In the fifth round Kovalev bloodied Ward’s nose. In the sixth round Ward landed a good left hook to the chin of Kovalev. Kovalev continues to outpunch Ward. In the seventh round Ward outlanded Kovalev in a close round. In the eighth round Ward rocked Kovalev with a right to the head hurting him. Kovalev did his best to hold on but was hit low for the third time without losing a point. The fourth low blow doubled Kovalev over while the referee Ton Weeks suddenly stopped the fight not DQ’ing Ward but giving him the win.

Judges Glen Feldman and Dave Moretti had Ward ahead 67-66 while Steve Weisfeld had Kovalev ahead 68-65 as did this writer.

WBA Super World Super bantamweight champion Cuban southpaw Guillermo Rigondeaux, 18-0 (12), of Miami, FL, hit Flores “after the bell” but the referee was overruled by the Executive Director Bob Bennett ruling a knockout over IBO Super bantamweight champion Moises “Chucky” Flores, 25-1 (17), of Guadalajara, MEX, at the end of the 1st round.

For some reason referee Robert Byrd was allowed to talk and influence Bennett while referee Vic Drakulich wanted it called a NC. Bennett said it was a punch before the bell sounded though the replay showed it was after the round. Bennett said he got word from the truck confirming it was before while HBO commentator Jim Lampley of HBO said he called someone in the truck and got the opposite answer. Roy Jones, Jr. agreed it was a knockout despite watching the replay show it was a punch “after the bell”.

In the first round Flores did all the punching until the 10 second warning when Rigondeaux grabbed Flores behind the head and hit him with a pair of uppercuts to the midsection when the bell sounded Rigondeaux hit Flores with a left hand to the head and to the canvas.

USBA Middleweight champion Luis Arias, 18-0 (9), of Milwaukee, WI, stopped Arif Magomedov, 18-2 (11) at 1:16 of the 5th round.

In a close 4 rounds Arias was allowed to clinch and hit Magomedov in the kidney and behind the head without warning from referee Robert Byrd. In the 5th round during a clinch referee Byrd out of position behind Magomedov grabbed him by the arms while Arias “sucker punched” him to the head. Referee Byrd only warned Arias without taking a point. Within 30 seconds a right hand from Arias dropped Magomedov. After beating the count Arias jumped on him causing referee Byrd to halt the fight.

WBA World light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol, 11-0 (9), of St. Petersburg, RUS, stopped southpaw Cedric Agnew, 29-3 (15), of Chicago, IL, at 1:27 of round 4.

In the opening round Bivol dropped Agnew with a combination to the head. In the following 2 rounds Bivol beat up on Agnew who kept his hands up and threw very little in return. In the fourth round Agnew suffered a bloody nose and swelling under both eyes. Bivol landed a left hook driving Agnew back a few steps forcing referee Russell Mora to wisely call a halt.

It was a sad night for boxing. NV insists on using their own referee who are average at best. The PPV buyers got shortchanged again!

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Re-Visiting the Ward vs. Kovalev I “Robbery”


Re-Visiting the Ward vs. Kovalev I “Robbery”
By: Matt O’Brien

In the immediate aftermath of Andre Ward’s unanimous victory over Sergey Kovalev in their first fight last November, emotions from both sets of fans were running high and the controversial nature of the decision elicited some intense scrutiny of the judges’ scorecards. Cries of “robbery” flooded the web, with a deluge of fans enthusiastically taking up the “boxing is crooked” narrative. With the immediate rematch looming, here I take a look back and re-examine some of the perceptions, misconceptions and post-fight reaction to their first encounter.

After Capturing Light Heavyweight Titles, What is Next for Andre Ward?

The Knockdown

One of the most widely circulated post-fight misconceptions has been the idea that the deficit created by the second-round knockdown fundamentally altered Ward’s chances of victory on the judges’ cards. See, for example, the myriad variations of the argument that, “there’s no way Ward won – especially with the knockdown!”

Somewhat counter-intuitively though, mathematically speaking the 10-8 round made no difference to the final outcome. Which sounds silly on the face of it, until you do some pretty basic maths: 7-5 in rounds gives a score of 115-113; minus a point from the winner’s score and you are still left with exactly the same winner. In fact, the only scenario where a knockdown ever plays a decisive role in the scoring (assuming no further point deductions occur, which they did not) is where the twelve rounds are evenly split at six each between both fighters.

So while it may be tempting to fall for the idea that Ward’s second-round trip to the canvas gave him a mountain to climb on the cards, actually the task facing him remained the same: he still needed to win a total of seven rounds in order to take the belts home. Of course, whether or not he deserved to win seven of the remaining rounds is a contentious issue, but assuming he did, the knockdown in round two is a moot point.

Perceptions vs. Reality

It’s also often been said that, having climbed off the canvas, Ward was then given too much credit in the scoring simply because he wasn’t “getting beaten up as badly as he was earlier”, rather than for actually winning the rounds. And there is some merit to this idea. After all, anyone who was expecting and/or hoping that Ward would be the superior boxer going into the fight would have found enough reason to justify their pre-fight narrative based on the way he responded in the ensuing rounds.

However, this kind of perception cuts both ways. The most tangible and dramatic moments are naturally the ones that leave the most lasting impression in our minds, and with the Russian continuing to be the aggressor after flooring Ward in the second, the lingering sense that he was still dominating the action even after the seminal moment had passed was not an easy one to shake off. As Max Kellerman noted for the HBO commentary during the sixth round: “Psychologically I think it sways observers to think that Kovalev is doing maybe a little better than he’s actually doing.”

The reality unfolding in the rounds following the knockdown was probably somewhere in-between these two perspectives. Kovalev continued to be the aggressor, but he was never quite as effective as he was in the second round; meanwhile Ward did begin to get a foothold in the fight, but had not established any kind of firm control.

The Late Rounds Rally

One of the main bones of contention from those who cried robbery was Ward’s virtual whitewash on the scorecards over the second half of the fight, in which Kovalev was only awarded a single round (the twelfth) by a single judge. With most of these rounds being closely contested, many fans cited the near clean-sweep as evidence of the judges’ incompetence, since there was no way Ward “dominated” Kovalev so conclusively.

The problem with this argument is that rounds that are decisively won and those that are nicked by the finest of margins are both scored 10-9, and judges are supposed to view every round as an individual entity, not try to “balance” their scores according to how close the action has been overall. In other words, a series of rounds that are edged by one fighter produce a lopsided score total that does not necessarily reflect just how competitive the action as a whole has been. Consequently, even though Ward did not “dominate” Kovalev over the second half of the fight, in the sense of putting a beating on him and decisively winning every single round, that doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve to “dominate” the scoring on the cards, assuming that he was consistently doing better – even by the tiniest of margins. And there is evidence to support the idea that this was actually the case.

Firstly, the punch stats indicate that Ward was the more effective boxer from round seven onwards. Although Kovalev recorded a slightly higher number of landed punches over the fight as a whole (10 more total punches) over the last half of the fight it was Ward who connected with more (80-74 in total), landing more in four out of the last six rounds. He also connected at a higher percentage in every round from 7-12, even though Kovalev threw more shots in all except the seventh – indicating that while the champion was still the aggressor, it was the challenger who had the much superior accuracy and defence.

Secondly, it’s also worth bearing in mind Kovalev’s own words in the buildup to the rematch. Speaking on HBO’s “24/7” program, the former champ admitted that, “[the] first four rounds, I didn’t feel it. But in the fifth round, my energy finished… I mean, I finished the fight, all the twelve rounds. But I just don’t know how I managed all the remaining seven rounds.” Again, this would seem to indicate that Ward’s second-half resurgence was much more than just a figment of our imaginations.

The Swing Rounds

HBO’s Harold Lederman is a respected analyst and the broadcaster’s longtime on-air scoring guide. He had Kovalev winning the fight comfortably, by a margin of 116-111. Taking the scorecard of someone who had Kovalev clearly winning the fight as a benchmark then, is it really so outlandish to suggest that Ward should have emerged the winner? The evidence says no: in fact, even using a card that favours Kovalev so widely, it only takes three swing rounds out of twelve to produce a different result. And it is not difficult to find three such potential rounds on his card.

Consider, for example, that after eight completed rounds Lederman had Kovalev in a 5-3 lead. Notably though, Lederman’s colleague Max Kellerman stated during the eighth round: “In terms of the scores, Harold has given two rounds to Kovalev that I thought could have been given to Ward”. Swinging just one of these rounds on Lederman’s card would then put the fighters dead even at four rounds each going into the last third of the fight. Then consider Lederman’s view of the ninth round, which seemed way off base. Ward clearly landed the more eye-catching blows and according to the punch stats it was actually his best round of the fight (Kellerman again immediately voiced his opinion that he thought Lederman’s reading of the round was wrong).

Far from needing to give Ward “every benefit of the doubt” then, in fact using Lederman’s card we’d only need to swing two rounds out of the first eleven to put Ward into a 6-5 lead going into the final round. As it turned out, the twelfth was another close one in which the official judges and many pundits were split – a classic “swing round” that could reasonably be scored in either direction.

The “Robbery”

The upshot of all of this is that whether or not you thought Ward deserved the decision, it makes no sense to claim that the judges’ verdict was implausible. The truth is that it was a close fight where both men had palpable moments of ascendency. Kovalev made an excellent start, but his lead was far from insurmountable and Ward clearly fought more effectively over the second half of the fight. From the third round onwards there were several swing rounds where a good case could be made for either boxer; which way you saw those rounds essentially determined how you scored the fight.

So if you thought Kovalev deserved to be the winner, by all means state your case. But let’s not pretend the first fight was a robbery – the sport has enough problems without adding phony ones to the list. The two men will settle their difference in the ring tonight, so let’s hope the result will be more clear cut this time whichever way it goes, and just sit back and enjoy a rematch between two of the best fighters in the sport.

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Vaughn Alexander Interview: “My overall plan is to be the best middleweight in the world”


Vaughn Alexander Interview: “My overall plan is to be the best middleweight in the world”
By: Matthew N. Becher

​Vaughn Alexander is a 9-0 prospect from St. Louis Missouri who will be fighting on the undercard of the June 17th, HBO pay per view between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward. Alexander’s story is a bit different, since he is 31 years old and still a prospect. He was an up and comer on the rise in 2005 when he was sent to prison for armed robbery, 11 years later he is back to where he left off. The brother of 3x world champion Devon Alexander, we spoke with Vaughn about his past, his upcoming fight and what his future in boxing has in store.

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Boxing Insider: So could you tell us a little about your background and coming back from an 11 year hiatus to the sport?

Vaughn Alexander: I’ve been fighting since I was 8 years old. I was one of the top amateurs in the world. I turned pro in 2004, I was signed to Don King promotions. I had 5 fights. I was 5-0 before I went to prison. I went to prison in 2005. In the 11 years that I was in prison I learned a lot, mentally, spiritually and I kept myself right physically.

Boxing Insider: How do you stay in fighting shape while incarcerated?

Vaughn Alexander: I ran a lot. Of course they didn’t have any of the things the outside world have, since they stopped boxing in prison a long time ago. I just did any and all things to keep my body strong. I ate right, I didn’t eat any junk or things that keep your body down. I just basically did everything I could, in the 11 years I was in prison.

Boxing Insider: Is it hard mentally to start over as a prospect again, being that you are now 31?

Vaughn Alexander: No. I feel that everybody goes through things. It’s just that I had to go to prison. That was just something in my life that I had to go to. Everybody makes mistakes, but they don’t all have to go to prison. I had to go to prison to become the man I am today. I have lots of patience that I didn’t have before. I have a lot of knowledge that I acquired in those eleven years. I always had a good work ethic, but I feel that I gained a proper work ethic dealing with myself. If it is dealing with people or dealing with my training, or anything I had to deal with, I’m 100% better to deal with because of the man I am today.

Boxing Insider: Your brother became a world champ while you were away. Has he given you any words of advice or wisdom in your comeback?

Vaughn Alexander: No, not really. I mean, you can’t give advice to someone that was doing what he was doing at the same time. It’s just that he became a world champion while I was in prison. The fact of it is, I am so proud of my brother for that. I’m proud of him in that sense, but me and Devan are two different people. I just go by the things I learned from my own mistakes. It’s just some things you have to learn on your own. You can accept peoples advice, but if people haven’t gone through the things you’ve went through. Me and Devan didn’t really talk a lot when I was in prison. That was my time to get myself together.

Boxing Insider: What advantages will you have over Fabiano Pena, who is younger and has more ring experience?

Vaughn Alexander: No one in the middleweight division has more experience than me. I feel that I was gone for 11 years, but I gained so much knowledge. I feel that these guys in 11 years were getting beat on, I wasn’t. I was eating right, working out while they were getting beat on. I’m fresh and I’m just ready to put myself in a position to fight one of these top guys. I’m not looking over this guy, trust me, every fighter has a punchers chance. And the likelihood of this guy beating me is slim to none, because I trained so hard and I’m coming in June 17th to get this guy out of there.

Boxing Insider: What are your overall plans in boxing, now that you are back?

Vaughn Alexander: My overall plan is to be the best middleweight in the world. I don’t just want to be one of the best. You got these people that are politically correct saying they want to be “one of the best”, nah, I’m trying to be the best middleweight in the world. That is my goal and that is what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m taking steps right now, with Main Events behind me to accomplish that.

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Overweight Jacobs Should Fess Up and Quit Crying After Loss!


Overweight Jacobs Should Fess Up and Quit Crying After Loss!
By: Ken Hissner

On March 17th Gennady “GGG’ Golovkin, 36-0 (33), got on the scale and it was 159¾ while Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1 (29), stepped on the same scale and it was 159½.

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Golovkin was defending his WBA, WBC and IBF titles while Jacobs was the WBA World champion. The following day Jacobs failed to show up and meet the IBF rules of a day of the fight weigh-in to keep the weight differences at a maximum ten pounds. Golovkin got on the scales and it was 170 pounds. If Jacobs got up the day of the weigh-in and was 180 pounds he would still have a ten pound advantage in the fight. He obviously was over 180 and possibly as much as 185 and forfeited fighting for the IBF title and possibly having the entire fight cancelled. You know Jacobs got on a scale Saturday morning in order to decide not to show up for a second weigh-in or he would not have skipped Saturday’s weigh-in.

The fight itself lived up to the hype and then some. Jacobs fought well above what was expected which may have given a false opinion for many. In the fourth round Jacobs went down which can be considered the difference of winning and losing at the end.

Judge Max DeLuca scored it 114-113 while judges Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld scored it 115-112 as did this writer. DeLuca gave both fighters 6 rounds each while Trella and Weisfeld 7 rounds to Golovkin and 5 to Jacobs. Though listed as having a 1” advantage in height Golovkin had to look up to Jacobs who obviously had at least a 3” advantage in height.

The way the scoring broke down was as the following:

Golovkin took rounds 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9. Jacobs rounds 2, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12. Each fighter took 6 rounds apiece but the fourth round was the difference when Golovkin scored the lone knockdown of the fight to take a 10-8 round. Four of the twelve rounds were 2-1 to the winner. Those were Golovkin in the third, Jacobs in the second, seventh and twelfth rounds.

Golovkin keeps his WBA, WBC and IBF titles and improves to 37-0 with 33 knockouts. He is 34. Jacobs drops to 32-2 with 29 knockouts. He is 30. Golovkin made 17 WBA super world defenses, 3 IBF defenses and 1 WBC defense while Jacobs made 4 defenses. Golovkin has been a professional for 11 years and Jacobs 10 years.

Golovkin’s manager Tom Loeffler stated the next defense will be in June in KAZ. Their hope is WBO champion southpaw Billy Joe Saunders, 24-0 (12), from the UK with 1 defense will back up his mouth and put his signature on a contract with all 4 titles on the line.

Golovkin has a tentative September date with WBC super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 48-1-1 (34), who must defeat Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., 50-2-1 (32), on May 6th with a 164½ weight limit. Alvarez has 7 defenses. He has never weighed more than 155 pounds.

Chavez was WBC World middleweight champion and had 3 defenses. His last 5 fights have been at super middleweight with a 172½ high. In his last fight in December of 2016 he came in at 168.

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Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev Robbed of Belts and Unbeaten Record!


Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev Robbed of Belts and Unbeaten Record!
By: Ken Hissner

As a boxing writer I have covered former WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 31-1-1 (26), for years. He is a perfect example along with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin of how a boxer should act in and out of the ring.

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On November 19th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV, this writer was stunned at the decision of judges Burt A. Clements, Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie scoring it the same at 114-113 for Andre Ward, 30-0 (15) depriving Kovalev of the victory. I can’t remember a time in a major 12 round fight all three judges had the same score. Even back in 2014 when Kovalev shut out Bernard Hopkins only two of the three judges agreed with their scores.

When this writer saw who the referee was I knew Ward had an edge already. Of all the referee’s that the NV commission had to pick from such as Kenny Bayless, Tony Weeks, Jay Nady and Vic Drackulich they picked Robert Byrd. He is without a doubt the slowest moving of the group. If you go to www.you-tube.com as I did you will see that Ward initiated 46 clinches in the 12 rounds while Kovalev initiated less than 10.

Though Bird made several warnings he never took away a point from Ward which was unbelievable from my point of view. Allowing Ward to jab and grab made it one frustrating fight and hard to watch. For those who said it was a good or great fight should either go to their local optometrist or were rooting for Ward all the way. I judged it 116-111 for Kovalev. To only award Kovalev 5 rounds when he took 5 of the first 6 rounds would make one wonder what the judges were thinking. HBO judge Harold Lederman an IBHOF inductee had Kovalev ahead.

Sadly the organizations of the WBC and WBA have Kovalev ranked No. 2. The WBO No. 1 and for some reason the IBF do not have him ranked. Go figure! Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas has commented that Kovalev will need a knockout in a rematch. Seems Ward has already asked for WBC champion Adonis Stevenson in his next fight.

Kovalev came to the USA from Russia to start his career in 2009. He didn’t go to New York City like many of the Europeans do but to St. Petersburg, FL. Down there he hooked up with trainer John David Jackson. He turned professional and won his first eleven fights with ten by stoppage. The veteran Darnell Boone known as the “upset kid” was not only the one to go the distance but lost a split decision in Kovalev’s first eight rounder. It would be almost two years before they had a rematch with Kovalev stopping Boone in seven rounds. Two fights prior to their first meeting Boone stopped current WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.

In Kovalev’s eleventh fight he stopped Devin Vargas, 22-5. Then in his twelfth fight he returned to Russia scoring a decision win. Then back to the states. In July of 2011 he would win his first minor title the vacant WBA-NABA USA knocking out Kenyan Douglas OtienoOkola, 23-6, in his first ten rounder. In August of 2011 his opponent Grover Young suffered a bad cut from an accidental clash of heads making it a TD in the second round.

Kovalev would return to Russia in his next fight putting Roman Simakov, 19-1-1, into retirement winning by knockout and claiming the WBC Asian Council title. Next was the return match win over Boone. Then he stopped Lionel Thompson, 12-1, and followed up stopping former WBA champion GarbielCampillo, of Spain, 23-4-1. In June of 2013 he stopped Cornelius White, 21-1, earning him a WBO world title shot two months later in the UK stopping Nathan Cleverly, 26-0, in 4 rounds despite getting cut over the right eye in the second round.

Just three months later Kovalev would make his first of three defenses stopping opponents IsmaylSillakh, 21-1, of the UKR, in Canada, Cedric Agnew, 26-0, and Australian Blake Caparello, 19-0-1. This set the stage to meet Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, 55-6-2, who held the WBA and IBF titles, in Atlantic City, NJ. Kovalev would shutout Hopkins winning all 12 rounds on two score cards plus mine. He would make a return trip to Canada and stop former WBC champion Jean Pascal, 29-2-1, of Haiti, living in Canada, in 8 rounds.

In Kovalev’s next fight he stopped Frenchman NadjibMohammedi, 37-3. Then a return bout in January of 2016 with Pascal in Canada, stopping him in seven rounds. In July he returned to Russia and won a decision over Isaac Chilemba, 24-3-2, of South Africa. This set the stage for the Andre Ward bout in November. Ward had returned from an eighteen month layoff to move up to light heavyweight in winning three bouts.

Kovalev was at the stage of his career to make the boxing world wake up to his greatness. In boxing if it comes down to a decision and the “3 blind mice” determine the outcome anything can happen and it did. This deprivedKovalev of much as his promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events is doing her best to sign a rematch with Ward who may be reluctant before having a fight in between. The WBA, WBO and IBF should have demanded an immediate rematch but have been silent!

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More praise and less criticism: The battle between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev


More praise and less criticism: The battle between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev
By: Kirk Jackson

Andre Ward 31-0 (15 KO’s) captured the WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles from Sergey Kovalev 30-1-1 (26 KO’s), in an action-packed, highly competitive bout, with historical ramifications this past weekend.

Historic, as this fight was the seventh instance, seventh world title fight featuring two undefeated fighters with at least 30 wins each. Ward also became the seventh fighter to capture world titles at 168 and 175 lbs.

After Capturing Light Heavyweight Titles, What is Next for Andre Ward?

Instead of celebrating the fact we witnessed two truly great fighters; each fighter exercising their skills in a highly competitive bout and displaying why each fighter is highly regarded as a top pound for pound fighter.

Instead of reveling in the actual instance of watching two elite fighters in their prime, going back and forth as was the ebb and flow of the fight, Rocky-like if we consider the storyline and circumstances of the fight, we are talking about controversy.

We’re all entitled to our opinions, and in the United States at least, we are allowed the freedoms to express such.

With these varying perspectives and interpretations of what is witnessed, we can certainly have a difference of opinion.

Now how someone interprets a fight is subjective. But scoring rounds and scoring fights are supposed to be based on primarily four factors.

Effective Aggression: Being the aggressor may leave an impression of dominance, but the aggressor must actually “land” punches and avoid counter-punches in return, in order to truly be “effective.” Just chasing the opponent is not effective aggression.

Ring Generalship: The fighter who controls the pace of the fight; the fighter enforces his/her will and is the conductor of the action. Setting the range, establishing the distance in which the fight takes place, which can include clinching/in-fighting.

Defense: How well a boxer is blocking, parrying and slipping punches. Clinching/tying up the opponent, moving around the ring, moving from side to side, presenting different angles is considered defense. It’s not running; there is nothing stated within the rules of boxing that suggests a boxer must only step forward throwing punches. It’s important to keep in mind, good defense is just as important as offense.

Clean/Effective Punches: To the untrained eye, it can appear as if a boxer is landing a lot of punches, when in fact, most are either blocked, not landing flush or grazing punches. A judge or observer needs to look for hard punches that land clean. Hard punches can definitely constitute as effective, but a boxer should not be penalized if he/she is not a powerful puncher; again, it’s about clean, landed punches.

Truly unbiased commentary.

As former world titlist and current esteemed boxer analyst Paulie Malignaggi points out;

Kovalev missed many of his big shots and some of the punches were glancing blows. More importantly points out, the HBO commentary team, missed what was actually going on.

There were various moments in the fight where play by play commentator Jim Lampley, inaccurately called out punches, claiming they landed, while they did not indeed land at all. He even admitted this in round 11.

“Yep, I gave him [Kovalev] credit for a landed punch, but it didn’t land.”

Problem is, Lampley has a long standing history of doing so. As a boxing analyst, play by play or punch by punch boxing commentator, these kind of mistakes are unacceptable.

Question is, are these unintentional mistakes, or intentional calls to paint a narrative to go along with the intended agenda accompanying his commentary?

Harold Lederman is notorious for his bad scorecards during HBO telecasts. As Lampley was quoted as saying in round 11 of Kovalev vs. Ward, “The Lederman card is unofficial and judges often disagree with it.”

The narrative Lampley and former judge Lederman attempts to and successfully projects is the narrative of only appreciating “certain” types of fighters.

There seems to be an agenda aimed against other “certain” styles of fighter. A fighter with a slick defensive style, who is not overly aggressive with an offensive punch output, is not appreciated or even respected by their standards.

Fighters such as Erislandy Lara, Floyd Mayweather, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Bernard Hopkins, Andre Ward, and the list goes on and on. Terence Crawford, was a guy on the list they constantly criticized, until he changed his style and became more action oriented.

Guess what other trait each fighter has in common aside from their defensive acumen? Let it marinate.
Certain companies like to promote fighters who are action fighters; all out-action like the late Arturo Gatti for instance. Hence the “Gatti List” from HBO’s Lampley.

Fighters who are about constant action with no regard for defense, or guys with tremendous punching power or high punch output.

Reminiscent to former HBO broadcaster Larry Merchant, with his criticisms of fighters reluctant to openly engage in all-out slugfests.

However, it’s unfair to criticize a fighter on the basis of his/her lack of punching power. Especially at the highest competitive level of boxing, it may be more impressive for a fighter who is successful despite their lack of punching power.

It’s unfair to criticize a fighter on the basis of their style; there are no unwritten rules where it states a boxer must walk directly towards their opponent and engage in open warfare. And they must not move around or avoid punches; they must stand directly in front of their opponents and throw punches back and forth with disregard for defense and their health.

Again, these commentators openly critical of a fighter for his/her fighting style never stepped in the ring themselves; don’t have to worry about the long term effects of the damage sustained in the ring.

As a commentator, as a boxing analyst, the goal is to educate the fan, to educate and explain to the viewer what they are watching. As the well informed, there is a responsibility to go over different styles, analyzing strengths and weaknesses of each style.

That is the beauty of boxing, the sweet science. The goal should not be to force feed viewers bits of false information to fit your narrative.

It’s okay for fans to have a particular bias; not for commentators. Some observers believe Kovalev won the fight and that’s fine.

They may believe Kovalev won the fight based on total punches landed. According to CompuBox, Kovalev threw 474 punches, landed 126. Ward threw 337 punches, landed 116. 26.6 percent (Kovalev) to 34.4 percent (Ward).

So Kovalev threw 137 more punches and landed only 10 more. Also, just because more punches are landed throughout the course of the fight, this statistic does not necessarily tell the entire tale of the fight. It’s important fights are scored and tallied round by round.

Another thing to consider is some observers may not consider the inside-the-trenches work from Ward; fighting inside the clinch, landing many effective body punches. The HBO commentators surely neglected to mention the activity.

Some observers may say Kovalev chased Ward around the ring and all Ward did was run and hold.
Kovalev never cut the ring off, if he did, he would be showcasing ring generalship and would throw and land more punches. Ward was never trapped against the ropes or in the corner and he did not initiate all of the holding. There were many instances of Kovalev placing Ward in a DDT-styled head lock.

From each fighter, from each camp, of course they’ll have opposing views on what transpired and who won.
Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva expressed her disdain towards the decision after the fight.

“I knew all along this would be a close fight, but once I watched the first five or six rounds [Kovalev] was clearly dominating, Ward was backpedaling and actually looked afraid for a while there. When he knocked him [Ward] down it was so emphatic.”

“It’s close. And when it’s close like that I know you can’t yell too loud…but it’s just one of those fights where some of the rounds were so clear-cut.”

Kovalev added, “I don’t think I won only because I dropped him early. I won with my speed and power. He would touch me with the jab, and then grab. I don’t understand,” said Kovalev.

“I feel a bit uncomfortable because I don’t agree with the decision. Boxing fans saw what happened today.

Clearly understandable from their side. Duva believes in her fighter, believes he earned the decision and she is doing her diligence as his promoter. Kovalev was in the fight; it was close and should feel like he won, nothing wrong with that.

The Ward camp, had a different view of course.

“I’m pleased and I’m happy. Of course I wish it was a dominant performance in terms of the scorecards,”
said Ward. “But this was a tough victory against someone a lot of people thought would stop me. We did what we had to do, we got stronger, and I’m very happy.”

“I can’t do anything about the controversy,” Ward said.

“It was a close fight, it’s boxing. If I honestly felt I lost the fight, I would tell you guys. I would
hold my hands up and say, ‘I don’t know what happened, the judges got it wrong, I lost.’ But that’s not how I feel.”

What’s lost in the mist of complaints from Kovalev, his promoter Kathy Duva and some other spectators, was this was a truly great fight.

Ward was knocked down, behind on the scorecards and had to find a way to not only adjust to the power of Kovalev, but to the skills, safely trying to find a way implement his style of fight and enforce his mental toughness and fighter’s spirit.

Ward climbed mount Kovalev and conquered it.

Some journalists such as Larry Merchant, Steve Kim and others say this was a robbery; likening the decision to the greatest robbery since Pernell Whitaker and Julio Caesar Chavez. Some even compared it to the first encounter between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.

Stop it.

If anyone wants to talk about robbery, why not discuss the fight between Maurice Hooker 21-0- 3 (16 KO’s) vs. Darleys Perez 33-2-2 (21 KO’s). Want to talk about bad decisions, Perez was robbed of a victory and ended up with a draw.

As a result of the decision between Ward and Kovalev, people are not giving Ward the credit he deserves, even questioning his top position as the sport’s top p4p fighter which is ridiculous.

According to the The Ring Magazine, the “Bible of Boxing,” Ward is ranked no. 4, still behind Kovalev listed as no. 2.

The Ring should reflect the results of the fight, not their interpretation of how the fight went. Going off official records and paperwork, going off Boxrec, Wikipedia, fighters book, however you want to document it, this fight goes down in the history books as a win for Ward.

The Ring did the same thing with Pacquiao with the whole Bradley fiasco of their first fight. They still had Pacquiao as the no. 1 fighter, in spite of his defeat.

But The Ring had nothing to say when Juan Manuel Marquez appeared to defeat Pacquiao in their third encounter, albeit falling short of victory according to the judges. Their p4p standings did not reflect what many interpreted in the ring as defeat for Pacquiao, even if it was not registered officially as a defeat.

According to The Ring, how they critique and fighters:

Results: This is the most objective criterion and takes precedence above all others.

Performance: How a fighter performs in a victory or defeat can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings.

Track record: A fighter’s accomplishments in the recent past can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings. That includes quality of opposition.

You see the justice there? The double standards are remarkable. Again this is the same publication that featured a mma fighter on the cover. A fighter who would ultimately lose to another mma fighter who was accomplished as a world champion boxer.

Again, both Kovalev and Ward should be applauded for their efforts in what is truly a classic.
Consider what Ward had to do and how he effectively enforced his will and skill to EARN victory over another truly great fighter.

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