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Twelve of the Greatest Pound for Pound Boxers from Boxing’s Early Days


By: Ken Hissner

There have been many lists of who were the greatest boxers of all-time! In this list I go back to the first 50+ years from 1900.

The majority of people would say the former welterweight and middleweight champion “Sugar” RAY ROBINSON who was 174-19-6 with 109 knockouts and only stopped once (by the heat).

In 1939 and 1940 Robinson was the New York Golden Gloves Champion. He was 85-2 with 69 knockouts as an amateur. He won his first 41 fights as a professional before losing to Jake LaMotta. He had previously beaten LaMotta and go on to defeat him three more times after his loss. He was 129-1-2 when he lost his second fight to Randy Turpin in the UK. He would reverse this loss in his next fight in the US.

Robinson was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Another great that is mentioned as the very best by some was HENRY “Homicide Hank” ARMSTRONG who on titles at Featherweight, Welterweight and Lightweight in that order. He was 152-21-9 with 101 knockouts. In 1937 he won the Featherweight title. In 1938 he won the Welterweight title. In 1939 he won the Lightweight title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.
WILLIE “Will o’ the Wisp” PEP has also been mentioned as the top boxer of all time. He was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts.

He won his first 63 fights before losing to Sammy Angott. He was 134-1-1 before he lost to Sandy Saddler. He would reverse that loss but lose to Saddler twice after that. He was the World Featherweight Champion.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Regarded by many as the greatest heavyweight of all-time was JOE “The Brown Bomber” LOUIS, who was 66-3 with 52 knockouts. He had 25 successful title defenses. He won his first 24 fights losing for the first time to Max Schmeling. He would reverse this loss with a first round knockout. He was 52-1 when he lost to Ezzard Charles.

Ring Magazine had JACK “The Galveston Giant” JOHNSON, he was 56-11-8 with 35 knockouts. His record was also listed at 71-11-1. He was the first black heavyweight champion. Prior to that he held the Colored Title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

The heavyweight champion with the greatest record was Rocky Marciano, 49-0 with 43 knockouts. He defeated Joe Louis at the very end of the “Brown Bomber’s” career.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Sam “The Boston Bone Crusher” Langford, was 180-29-39, with 128 knockouts. He was the only fighter the great Jack Dempsey admitted to he didn’t want to fight. 213-43-53 was another record posted. He was as light as 140 and eventually got up to 192. He was also a Colored Champion. He was born in Canada but spent most of his boxing career in the US.

Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb was middleweight and light heavyweight champion. He was 107-8-3 with 48 knockouts. Some have him as 262-17-18. He was the only boxer to defeat heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. Greb was known to have a “glass eye”. A friend of mine Joe Shannon said they were on the Atlantic City Boardwalk when Greb’s eye fell out.

When he lost that eye is unknown.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Benny “The Ghetto Wizard” Leonard was the Lightweight and Welterweight Champion. He was 89-6-1 with 70 knockouts. 185-22-8 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Joe “Old Master” Gans was the Lightweight Champion and was 145-10-16 with 100 knockouts. 158-12-21 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Jack “Manassa Mauler” Dempsey was the Heavyweight Champion and was 54-6-9 with 44 knockouts.

He was inducted in to the IBHOF in 1990.
Mickey “Toy Bulldog” Walker was the Welterweight and Middleweight Champion and was 94-19-4 with 60 knockouts. 131-35-6 was another mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

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A Hagler-Leonard Story


By: Marley Malenfant

In my old man’s gym hangs a framed picture of Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler with the black and blue trunks, the trunks he wore in the fight against Sugar Ray Leonard 30 years ago.

Anytime I visit his gym and look at that picture, I think of my Pops sucking his teeth and said “that decision was bullshit. Hagler won that fight.”

The result of the fight is often discussed between my parents. Pops was ride-or-die with Hagler and my mom loved her some “Sugar” Ray Leonard, so they could never come to an agreement on who won the fight.
My Pops is from Rhode Island and always felt like Hagler was kin. My mother watched Leonard’s fights on TV before cable television monopolized the sport.


“The Green Hill boxing gym” opened in 2001. My pops called this part of the room the “wall of fame.” On the right is a framed picture of “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and “Sugar” Ray Leonard.

My parents met in the Army and boxing is likely what drew them together. While serving in the military, my old man was an amateur boxer.

Hagler, also a New Englander by way of Brockton, Massachusetts had this no nonsense image about him. In the build up to the Leonard fight, he wore a hat at a news conference with the word “WAR” embolden above the brim.

I think that’s what my old man liked about Hagler the most. Hagler disregarded his opponents.

New York Times columnist Phil Berger appropriately called him “Boxing’s Angry Man.” While I wouldn’t call my pops angry, I’d say he always approached boxing and training his students in a no bullshit way. My old man is like Julius (played by Terry Crews), the character that represented Chris Rock’s fictional father in the TV show “Everybody Hates Chris.”

Like Hagler, my pops grew up poor.

My old man saw Hagler as someone who made it out. More so than the power, skills and savagery that Hagler possessed, was the every-man feel that my pops and other fans admired.

Hagler came in each fight like therew was a repressed memory of a bully, and that bully did something awful to Hagler in his childhood and now he’s looking to take it out on whatever man is in front of him.

This is the behavior I sense from him but I had to watch Hagler-Leonard for myself again, by myself.

Hagler’s approach to most of of his fights was to remain mean. From the training camps and promotions, all the way through fight night, Hagler’s demeanor was bully-like. It was cartoonish, like the X-Men’s Wolverine or Dragon Ball Z’s Vegeta.

Hagler once called his Cape Cod training camp “jail.”

Columnist Michael Katz wrote about how Hagler skipped seeing his wife and new-born baby daughter because it would make him too soft before his fight with William “Caveman” Lee.

“Nah,” replied Hagler. “I don’t want to kiss no babies. I gotta be mean.”

Anger can be a valuable psychological weapon in the ring but in this fight against Leonard, it held him back. Hagler started the fight in a conventional stance even though it was known that Leonard struggled with southpaws.

Hagler chased him all fight long and Sugar Ray’s clinch’s frustrated Hagler. He made Hagler badly miss what seemed like easy set ups for power punches, and he outworked Hagler by using his legs and speed and working the ring.

While Hagler muscled his way through Leonard’s flurries, Sugar Ray never panicked. His legs were tired but still battled and got off flurries and quick combinations on the stoic Hagler.

I scored the fight 115-114 for Leonard.

Sorry pops, but you can’t win this one. Mom was right.

She usually is.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Yafai, Barthelemy, Robinson, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Yafai, Barthelemy, Robinson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 9th to May 16th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

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Lorenzo Fertitta Gives Blessing for Mayweather vs. McGregor

Lorenza Fertitta, former co-owner of the UFC, recently told TMZ that he supports Dana White’s plan to pay Floyd Mayweather $100 million and Conor McGregor $75 million if they fight and believes they deserve it.

Lorenza Fertitta, along with his brother Frank, invested $2 million into the UFC in 2001 and sold it for $4 billion in 2016.

Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/13/lorenzo-fertitta-ufc-mayweather-mcgregor/

B. Riley & Co. Presents the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night Benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation

WHO:

Sugar Ray Leonard and celebrity guests including Bill Bellamy (Event Host & Actor/Comedian), Bo Jackson (Former NFL/MLB Athlete), Chris Spencer (Actor, Black-ish), Cindy Crawford, Craig Robinson (Actor/Comedian), David James Elliott (Actor, Secrets and Lies), En Vogue (R&B/Pop Vocal Group), Holly Robinson Peete (Actress, Chicago Fire), Johnny Gill (Recording Artist), Judge Greg Mathis (TV Personality), Laila Ali Conway (Former Professional Boxer), Magic Johnson, Matthew Rutler, Mia St. John (Professional Boxer), Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO), Rande Gerber, Rodney Peete (Former NFL Athlete), Sergio Mora (Professional Boxer), Terry Norris (Former Professional Boxer), Tina Knowles Lawson, Tommy Davidson (Actor/Comedian), and Usher (Actor/Recording Artist). *All attendees subject to change.

WHAT:

On Wednesday, May 24, B. Riley & Co. will present the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation at The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Hosted by actor and comedian Bill Bellamy, the evening will feature live professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The live fights will begin at 6:30 PM through 9:00 PM and the main event of the evening features Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias in a featherweight bout scheduled for six rounds.

The evening will feature a National Anthem performance by En Vogue, as well as a live & silent auction display, which will include iconic memorabilia and other one-of-a-kind items and experiences to benefit this important cause.

Additionally, the event will honor nine-year-old Jackson Blair with the 2017 Golden Glove Award for his extraordinary dedication and hard work to raise money and awareness for type 1 (T1D) diabetes.

Proceeds from the exclusive event will support the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and their mission to fund life-changing research, care and awareness for pediatric type 1 & 2 diabetes and to help children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.

The 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night is presented by B. Riley & Co., a leading investment bank which provides corporate finance, research, and sales and trading to corporate, institutional and high net worth individual clients.

WHEN:
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

4:30pm Media Check-in Begins
5:00pm Red Carpet Arrivals & Silent Auction Begin
6:30pm Fights & Live Auction Begin
Note: Fight Card Subject to Change
• Fight 1: Rafael Gramajo vs. TBA, Super Bantanweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 2: Marvin Cabrera vs. Quantavious Green, Middleweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 3: Luis Coria vs. TBA, Featherweights for 4 Rounds
• Fight 4: Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias, Featherweights for 6 Rounds
7:00pm Welcome Remarks/National Anthem/Award Presentation
9:00pm Event Ends (approx.)

WHERE:
The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Rances Barthelemy Training Camp Quotes

Rances Barthelemy is set to face Kiryl Relikh in a WBA 140 pound title eliminator on Saturday May 20th on Showtime from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Below are a few select quotes from a recent press conference.
1) How is training camp going? How have you benefitted from sparring and training alongside of your brother Leduan and Yordenis Ugas and have their recent performances been an indication of how you expect to perform?

“Training camp is going really well. Training alongside of my brother and Yordenis under the tutelage of Ismael Salas is the best thing that could happen in my career. They keep me focused and motivated to get better every day. Yordenis and I have been helping each other during our camps, he’s an Olympic athlete so having him to train with is really beneficial. We have a new strength and conditioning coach as well who has us in the best shape possible. I know May 20 you guys will see the best Rances Barthelemy yet.”

2) What would it mean to you to become the first three-division world champion from Cuba?

“It would mean the world to me, after all that it took to defect from Cuba, the near death experiences, the imprisonments, leaving my loved ones behind, it would all have been worth it. I want to inspire the youth that come after me as well, let them know to never give up on their dreams no matter the conditions you live in or what the naysayers may say. Me winning a third world title and making history for a Cuban would prove that.”

3) What did you take away from Relikh’s loss to Ricky Burns?

“I didn’t get to watch the fight but watched the highlights and it seemed like a very entertaining fight. People were saying that it probably should have gone the other way even, so it seems like he put on a good performance.”

4) How would you characterize Relikh’s style and how do you see this fight playing out?

“He likes to come forward a lot and attack. I’m prepared for that if that’s what he plans to do come fight night but I also anticipate having to make adjustments. I always prepare to adjust to whatever my opponent brings. Being a cerebral fighter is a skill that has helped me succeed inside the ring.”

5) Can you address your 11-month layoff and how your training has been geared towards shaking off any ring rust you may have?

“There will be no ring rust come May 20 as we have been in the gym non-stop since my last fight against Mickey Bey. We took a few weeks off to visit Cuba for the first time since my defection. Aside from that I made sure to stay active and I’ve been training hard to be prepared when my name got called. The 11-month layoff happened for reasons out of my control. My management team has been trying to get the best opponents and unfortunately it took longer than we expected but we are here now and I’m as prepared as I have ever been.”

6) How did you trip back to Cuba come about and what was it like to be back in your home country?

“It was very emotional and a long eight years since I had been back. I didn’t know if I’d be able to go back or not. But I visited the Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. and they told me I’d finally be able to go back to visit my loved ones. It was nothing but nerves until I got over there. It was an emotional time and everyone welcomed me back with open arms in my hometown of Havana. It’s something I will never forget, especially for the way I was received.”

7) How do you rate your skills and progression as a fighter considering your last three dominant wins over top quality opposition? Do you feel that you are at the peak of your career?

“I am definitely at my peak physically, and I’m looking to match that on paper this year. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring. I don’t like to rate myself, I leave that to the people and the media. They’ve taken notice and that’s why I am where I am today, but I am expecting big things to happen this year.”

8) Why did you feel it was time to rise in weight, especially considering the wealth of talent at 135 right now? Who do you consider to be the top 135 fighter now that you are gone?

“My body was asking for it, 135 was taking too much of a physical toll on me. It may not have been noticeable, but I struggled to make weight during my last fight at 135 and felt I lost some of my power because of the drainage. Since I moved up to 140 I definitely have felt a lot better. It was the right move. Plus, I now have the chance to go after a third world title in a third division, which would be the first time for any boxer from Cuba.”

9) Why did you make the decision to move from Miami to Las Vegas and how do you think it has benefited you?

“To be honest, there is nothing better for a Cuban than to be living in Miami, because the weather is just right and what we are used to. But at the same time it presents a lot of distractions too. So moving to the boxing hub of the United States is better for me so I don’t get wrapped up in anything extra other than boxing. Plus, there are so many sparring partners here and I can go up to Mt. Charleston and get my runs in up there.”

Oscar Escandon Training Camp Quotes

Top 126-pound challenger Oscar Escandon shares his thoughts on training camp and more ahead of his first world title opportunity against WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr. Saturday, May 20 on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and features super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui battling for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a 140-pound world title eliminator. In the telecast opener, from Copper Box Arena in London, Gervonta Davis puts his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh.

Tickets for the live event at MGM National Harbor, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to http://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

Here is what Escandon had to say from Las Vegas before he wraps camp and heads east to headline at MGM National Harbor in Maryland:

On his recent training camp:

“Training camp started off in Gilroy, California where we got a lot of good sparring in the Bay Area. But then we moved camp to Las Vegas where we are training in high elevation. We are running up at Mt. Charleston where the elevation is 8400 feet. All in all, it has been a fantastic camp.”

On fighting in his first main event on SHOWTIME:
“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on SHOWTIME, especially in the main event for a world title. I believe the fans watching will enjoy my fighting style. I always bring excitement to the ring. This will be a fan-friendly fight to watch.”

On facing his opponent, champion Gary Russell Jr:
“Gary Russell Jr. is one of the best fighters in the division. I know it’s not going to be an easy task to defeat him but I’m confident in my ability to come out victorious. I will dig deep and impose my will on him.”

On training with head coach Ruben Guerrero:
“Together Ruben and I get along very well. He’s always there for me when I need him. We are doing everything to get better and we’ll be ready to go. We have a nice game plan that we will display on fight night.”

On what a victory will do for his career:
“This is the biggest fight of my career and a win will lead to bigger and better things, like unification bouts. To capture the WBC world title will be an honor for my team and my people of Colombia. I need to win this fight and capture that WBC title. I can see myself in major fights with a victory.”

Kal Yafai Retains WBA Flyweight Title with Decision Victory

On Saturday, Kal Yafai thrilled his hometown fans in Birmingham, England, and made the first the defense of the WBA Super Flyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Suguru Muranaka.

The bout headlined another tremendous day of action AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.

“I am thrilled to be able to bring this action-packed cards to the American fight fans,” said Charles Herring, President of AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.

“In recent months, The super-flyweight division has been one of the divisions that has featured terrific fights, and today Kal Yafai proved that he is one of the elite in the division. Sam Eggington carried on the momentum of stopping Paulie Malignaggi, and won in another thrilling fight. We have a great Spring and Summer fight schedule that we will be excited to share with the fans very shortly.”

Yafai looked like he was going to have an early day as he sent his Japanese challenger down to the canvas in round two. Muranka proved sturdy and even had a few moments in the fight. Yafai was deducted a point in round eight for low blows, but he was comfortably ahead, and won by scores of 119-107 twice and 118-108.

Yafai is 22-0. Muranaka is 25-3.

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Who Was the Best P4P “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker or Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr?


Who Was the Best P4P “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker or Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr?
By: Ken Hissner

This writer has met “Sugar” Ray Leonard several times, Aaron “The Hawk” once and Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker once. I never met Floyd “Money” Mayweather. All are IBHOF inductees except Mayweather who has to wait five years after retiring before induction. He hasn’t fought since 2015.

Mayweather media day

As far as an amateur Leonard would be in a class of his own compared to the other three though Whitaker also won an Olympic Gold Medal but against lesser opposition.Leonard was from Palmer Park, MD.

Let’s take a look at Leonard first with an amateur record of 145-5 (75) winning the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal before turning professional on possibly the greatest Olympic team in the history of the Games. He won the 1975 Pan American Games the previous year defeating Cubans for both Gold Medals. He was inducted into the Olympic HOF in 1985 and the IBHOF in 1997 fighting from 1977 thru 1997 with a 36-3-1 (25) record.

In talking with Manny Steward who helped this writer judge 1976 vs 1984 Olympic teams we both agreed Leonard was a better amateur than a professional. Steward told me due to hand injuries as a professional. His manager was Mike Trainer and his trainers were Dave Jacobs, Janks Morton, Adrian Davis, Angelo Dundee and Pepe Correa.

Leonard won the WBC & WBA welterweight titles, WBA Junior middleweight, WBC’s middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Highlights winning world titles by stopping Wildfredo Benitez, winning two of three from Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, stopping and drawing with Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns, stopping AyubKalule, defeating “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and stopping Donny Lalondetwice.
Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, 39-1 (36), was from Cincinnati, OH. He was 204-16 in the amateurs winning AAU and Golden Gloves titles while being a Silver Medalist in the 1975 Pan Am Games and a 1976 Olympic alternate losing to future Gold Medalist and Van Barker winner Howard Davis. In talking to Davis over the phone I told him I thought he lost against Pryor in the Olympic Trials. He didn’t agree. Pryor won the 1976 Golden Gloves defeating Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns.

At the Pan Am Games in 1975 Olympic members Chuck “White Chocolate” Walker and Davey Armstrong agreed Leonard just got the best of Pryor in sparring in unforgettable performances by both.

Pryor was the IBF and WBA light welterweight champion. He was 35-0 and was inactive for 2½ years coming back and tasting his only career defeat to Bobby Joe Young then winning his last three fights. He fought from 1976 thru 1990. His most notable wins were over Antonio “Kid Pambele” Cervantes, Dujuan Johnson and over Alexis Arguello twice.His manager was Buddy LaRosa and trained by Panama Lewis.

Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker as a professional was 40-4-1 (17), and as anamateur 201-14.In 1982 he was the Silver Medalist in the World Amateur championships reversing the loss by defeating the same Cuban for the Pan Am Games 1983 Gold Medal. The Russians and Cubans didn’t compete in the 1984 Olympics where Whitaker won the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal in the lightweight division.

Whitaker held the WBA, WBC and IBF titles as a lightweight and a light welterweight. His first attempt for the WBC lightweight title was his first career loss to Jose Luis Ramirez but defeated Ramirez the following year for his first world title. He defeated Azuma Nelson, Jorge Paez, BuddyMcGirt twice and drew with Julio Cesar Chavez. He lost to Oscar “Golden Boy” De la Hoya and Felix “Tito” Trinidad. He fought from 1984 thru 2001.

Whitaker was managed by Shelly Finkel while trained by George Benton and Lou Duva as a professional. He was inducted into the IBHOF in 2007. He would become a trainer after retiring.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr.,was 49-0 (26), as a professional winning the WBC super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight titles. He won the IBF, WBC, WBA and WBO titles as a welterweight and the WBA & WBC light middleweight titles.

He was managed by Floyd Mayweather, Sr., James Prince and Al Haymon. He was trained by Roger Mayweather, and Mayweather, Sr. He was promoted by Top Rank, Goossen Tutor Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions.

Mayweather was 84-8 as an amateur winning the 1996 Golden Gloves and the Bronze Medal in the 1996 Olympic Games. As a professional he fought from 1996 thru 2015.

In this writers opinion “Sugar” Ray Leonard was the better P4P boxer than the other three. What do you think?

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Muhammad Ali’s Offer of a Million to “Sugar” Ray Robinson Rejected!


Muhammad Ali’s Offer of a Million to “Sugar” Ray Robinson Rejected!
By: Ken Hissner

It was after Muhammad Ali won the world title in 1964 over then champion Sonny Liston that he announced he had joined the Nation of Islam.

FILE - In this March 1, 1964, file photo, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, right, is shown with black muslim leader Malcolm X outside the Trans-Lux Newsreel Theater in New York, after viewing the screening of a film about Ali's title fight with Sonny Liston. Ali turns 70 on Jan. 17, 2012.  (AP Photo/File)

Considered by most historians as the greatest pound for pound boxer in the history of boxing was “Sugar” Ray Robinson the former welterweight and middleweight champion.

After winning the title Ali was invited to join Robinson on the island of Jamaica in 1965 as a celebrity trainer for one of Robinson’s fights. In March Robinson was fighting Philadelphia’s Jimmy Beecham in Kingston.

As the story goes there were two figures mentioned. Ali either offered Robinson a million dollars or $700,000 if he would become a Muslim. The money would come from Muslims donating $1.00 each. Robinson informed Ali that he could not accept such an offer being a Christian.

It’s been reported recently that the FBI has made public the racist remarks Ali made against white people. One thing not mentioned is that his trainer was Italian Angelo Dundee and his cut man a white Cuban named Ferdie Pacheco. Wali Muhammad was the assistant trainer along with Bundini Brown.

In December of 1990 Ali was responsible for bringing home 15 hostages from Iraq which included both black and white.

Pacheco would inject needles into Ali’s tender hands when Ali’s manager Herbert Muhammad requested he put a halt to it. Pacheco advised if he didn’t do this “Frazier would kick his ass!”

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Why People Are Still Talking About The Hagler-Leonard Fight 30 Years Later


Why People Are Still Talking About The Hagler-Leonard Fight 30 Years Later
By: Sean Crose

In all honesty, I’m surprised the fight is still such a big deal. As the media of the time pointed out, it wasn’t the most thrilling affair. What’s more, the bout occurred just before the zenith of the Mike Tyson era. And while it’s true Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard were the two biggest names in boxing at the time, the magnificent age of pugilism they represented was clearly on the way out when the two men finally met in the ring on April 6th, 1987. Upon some retrospection, however, it makes sense that the Hagler-Leonard middleweight championship fight remains alive and well in the public consciousness to this day.

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For those who don’t know, Sugar Ray Leonard was the darling of the boxing world, if not the entire sports world, from the late seventies, through the early eighties. A former Olympian with a winning smile and a skill set to burn, the man epitomized what it meant to be an all American success story. After winning the welterweight title back from the meanspirited Roberto Duran in classic stand up to the bully fashion, Leonard said he was happy to win the championship for America. He meant it. And in an era where patriotism wasn’t confused with xenophobia, that sort of thing meant something to the public.

Leonard’s polar opposite was Marvelous Marvin Hagler. The word Marvelous was actually part of his legal name. He put it in there himself (apparently Marvin Hagler simply wouldn’t do). A gritty product of Brockton, Massachusetts (which gave him a kinship with one Rocky Marciano) Hagler had to come up the hard way, through grueling affair after grueling affair. When the man finally won the middleweight title strap, the British audience who witnessed the fight live and in person tossed bottles into the ring. But Hagler wasn’t to be denied. He wasn’t showered with accolades, he earned them.

Yet it wasn’t until Hagler actually bested a rejuvenated Duran in a fifteen round war that attention was finally paid. And, after beating former Leonard nemesis and all time legend Tommy Hearns in what is still the greatest single sporting event I’ve ever seen, it was Hagler, not Leonard, who was on top of the boxing world. Where was Leonard? Well, eye problems had taken him out of the sport – at least for a while. For it’s said that after Leonard watched Hagler struggle against the valiant John Mugabi a year after the epic Hagler-Hearns bout, Leonard realized he could beat the man.

And beat Hagler Leonard did, in one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing and also of sports in general. Yet that’s not why the fight is still such a hot topic all these years later. There’s a lot more to the story than just that.

For many people feel Hagler got robbed that night, that the 12 round decision victory went to the wrong man. Yet that’s still not why the fight is such a hot topic in 2017. The real reason Hagler-Leonard resonates as it does three decades later is because a golden child bested a working class Joe in a way many found to be unfair. And that sort of thing can hit home.

Had Leonard knocked Hagler out, the bout would remain a classic – but it wouldn’t be seen as the giant enigma it remains to this day. Look at it this way: If Hagler had been awarded the decision that night instead of Leonard, the fight would still have been controversial, but it wouldn’t have irked as many people as it does now.

The fact that the match consisted of Hagler chasing Leonard around the ring while Leonard fired off quick bursts naturally made it open to interpretation.

In a lot of ways, a person’s opinion of the contest could very well be based on his or her preferred style of fighting. Those who like aggression would be inclined to give the nod to Hagler.

Those who like stylists, on the other hand…

This is simply one of those cases where a real consensus will most likely never be reached. Hagler retired after the bout, denying Leonard the chance to erase any question marks. In a sense, both Hagler and Leonard will forever be seen as they are in still photos from that night – frozen in time, engaged in combat, equals in all ways, save for individual opinions, the golden child and his blue color nemesis. It wasn’t a great fight, but it was most certainly a memorable one, in large part because many feel it was emblematic of life itself, a thing where the golden child forever emerges victorious, deservedly or not.

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The Night the Two Greatest P4P Boxers Faced Each Other!


The Night the Two Greatest P4P Boxers Faced Each Other!
By: Ken Hissner

There have been many opinions on “who was the greatest P4P boxer in the history of boxing?” Going way back it was Sam “The Boston Tar Baby” Langford, 180-29-30 (128), Stanley “The Michigan Assassin” Ketchel, 51-4-4 (48), Jack “The Galveston Giant” Johnson, 56-11-8 (35), Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, 107-8-3 (48), and Willie “Will o” the Wisp” Pep, 229-11-1 (65). In modern times we had “Sugar” Ray Leonard, 36-3-1 (25), Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, 40-4-1 (17), Julio Cesar Chavez, 107-6-2 (86), and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, 49-0 (26).

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There always seemed to be two others on everyone’s P4P list. They met at Madison Square Garden in New York on August 27, 1943 before over 15,000 fans.

In one corner being introduced was a young 22 year-old boxer out of New York City named “Sugar” Ray Robinson, posting a 44-1 record and coming in at 5’11” and 145 lbs. He was 4 fights from losing to Jake LaMotta who he previously beat and after the loss beat again prior to this fight and would win 4 out of 5 overall against LaMotta. He hadn’t won a title yet but would go onto win the welterweight (76th fight) and middleweight titles. He was well ahead in an effort to win the light heavyweight title after 13 rounds but couldn’t continue due to heat exhaustion.

In the other corner was the former NBA, NYSAC featherweight champion who won that title in 1937, won the welterweight title in 1938 and then dropped back to 135 winning the world lightweight title in 1939 while fighting to a disputed draw in 1940 for the middleweight title. In the other corner was the 33 year-old boxer out of L.A. named Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong, posting a 134-17-7 record and coming in at 5’5 ½ and 140 lbs. He had a 23-3 record after losing his title in back to back losses to Fritzie Zivic whom he defeated after that and prior to the fight with Robinson.

This was no grudge match. Robinson idolized Armstrong in his youth. It was scheduled for 10 rounds.

The best punches by both boxers were Armstrong rocking Robinson with a left hook to the chin in the fifth round and Robinson staggering Armstrong with a fight right bolo uppercut. Robinson opened up an old gash on Armstrong’s lip in the second round that never proved to be a problem throughout. Armstrong ran out of gas after the fifth round.

In attempting to find who the officials were and how the scoring went this writer came up with zero. Even www.youtube.com didn’t have the fight. Boxing Historian Henry Hascup sent me two newspaper articles about the fight. The only comment I saw was Robinson won every round. Robinson ended up with a 173-19-6 record with 108 knockouts. Armstrong ended up with a 151-21-9 record with 101 knockouts.

Armstrong said after the fight “I’m sorry to go out with such a bad fight and he wouldn’t stand up and mix it. I have to retire now due to scar tissue inside the pupil of my left eye. I can’t take any more chances for I get blurred vision.” The fans were not happy with Robinson moving from side to side and dancing away from Armstrong while landing jabs and occasional rights.

Two other fights that I can think of is when future heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano stopped Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis and said he cried afterwards since he idolized Louis. Larry Holmes “claims” he felt bad after beating Muhammad Ali for the latter’s only stoppage during his career. But when you remember after the then 44-0 world champion slaughtered Marvis Frazier within 3 minutes of the fight. Afterwards he was heard saying “that’s for the whooping’s your daddy gave me in the gym.” So it makes one wonder about his sincerity.

Another report had the losing Armstrong saying “I couldn’t have licked this kid on the best day I ever saw.” Robinson would admit when he hurt Armstrong he would go into a clinch with him keeping him steady. It was well known that both boxers went broke and kept fighting to either pay the IRS or have a place to lay their heads down.

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Style Analysis Sugar Ray Leonard v.s. Marvin Hagler


Style Analysis Sugar Ray Leonard v.s. Marvin Hagler
By: Sean Kim

The flow of Ray Leonard’s footwork in the face of a highly disciplined power puncher such as Hagler was the perfect instrument for achieving a dominant performance. What Leonard was able to employ brilliantly was a series of flurries to Hagler’s head all the while gaining quick victorious momentum right from the get go, partially thanks to Hagler’s odd choice of using the orthodox stance for the first two rounds.

Boxing Tribute – Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Leonard

Leonard did not permit Hagler to engage in a combative boxing match. He refused to stand right in front of Leonard and face his opponent like James Toney. To commit to such a stance in front of someone like Hagler, whose timing and boxer-punching versatility was brilliant when his opponents stood before him, would have been the formula for self-defeat.

Even if some may say Leonard didn’t give Hagler a fight, Leonard geared his tactical contemplations towards objective analyses which were not dominated by emotion or pride but towards the end goal in all boxing matches: victory.

Hagler no doubt was able to give a highly spirited effort. Like Joe Frazier, Hagler refused to step back once. Though for a majority of the rounds he was ineffective in cutting off the ring (as say Gennady Golovkin or
Julio Cesar Chavez), some psychological advantages may have played in Hagler’s favor for the sake of the late rounds as Hagler threw multiple combinations as he pinned Leonard against the ropes.
This was a confrontation between two top-caliber boxer-punchers, but clearly, in such a clash between two masters of the sport, both Leonard and Hagler had to resort to their primary identities as a fighter: boxer and puncher respectively.

Just to bring in another boxer-puncher v.s. boxer-puncher match, this contrasts with the bout between Canelo Alvarez against Miguel Cotto. Though both were primarily aggressive brawlers before anything else, both were able to display great versatility in their choice of footwork angles, counter punching opportunities and timing of combinations.
How come Hagler could not pull off a versatile performance with Leonard?

Because Leonard was just simply the greatest boxer of his generation, whose footwork was unparalleled and the greatest witnessed at that time since perhaps Willie Pep. Leonard was completely comfortable in that ring for a majority of the fight. At one point even, during Round 5, Hagler managed to pressure Leonard to the corner while causing his opponent to momentarily stop his dance around the ring. But Hagler could not capitalize on this opportunity. Hagler threw inaccurately, perhaps psychologically frustrated up to that point by Leonard’s refusal to engage in a brawl while constantly evading him. At that moment in the corner, he also threw multiple southpaw jabs, but Leonard- completely relaxed and confident- was able to dodge them all with his hands down.

Hagler was at his finest during the last three rounds, when Hagler began to overwhelm Leonard with a multitude of combinations and successful jabs to Leonard’s head. The constant pressure paid off for that moment, causing for an incredible ending to what had essentially been a dominant chess match forced upon by Leonard. It was at that point that Leonard at last accepted Hagler’s invitation to a brawl. And did Leonard disappoint?

Not at all.

After all, Leonard wasn’t just a boxer with fanciful footwork. He had a fighter’s instinct who wished to knock out his opponents with overwhelming speed and aggression. Leonard may have been overwhelmed against the ropes strategically, but he was in no way momentarily caught in an inescapably dangerous situation. He basked in the moment and fought back with equivalent willpower and amazing speed.
Even during Hagler’s finest moment, Leonard did not permit him to win any rounds easily.

Leonard employed a masterpiece of footwork, timing, speed, reflexes, psychology and ring generalship while simultaneously displaying will and bravado.
This was perhaps his greatest performance.

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Boxing in Sands Casino in Bethlehem and Sugar House Casino in Philly This Week!


Boxing in Sands Casino in Bethlehem and Sugar House Casino in Philly This Week!
By: Ken Hissner

Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, continues to be busy thanks to Kings Promotions while Hard Hitting Promotions is the first running in the Sugar House Casino in South Philly.

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The Sands event will be over Fox Sports 1 on Tuesday with a line-up of young talent with a total record of 60-6 versus some good record opposition. Headlining is Super Middleweight Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant, 13-0 (10), from Nashville, TN, against Dominican Juan “La Amenaza” DeAngel, 18-4-1 (17), over 10 rounds. Caleb is a top prospect who has fought in PA on three occasions including twice at the Sands.

There will be four 8 round bouts with Cruiserweight Earl Newman, 9-0 (7), of Brooklyn, NY, and Leo Hall, 8-1 (7), of Detroit, MI, Middleweight Dominican Junior Castillo, 10-1 (9), meets Khurshid Abdullaev, 7-1-1 (3), of Kyrgyzstan now out of Oxnard, CA. Light heavyweight Ecuador’s Carlos Gongora, 5-0 (4), out of Brooklyn, NY, takes on Ronald Mixon, 7-0 (6), out of L.A. Kyron “Shut It Down” Davis, 10-1 (4), of Wilmington, DE, with a TBA opponent. Four other bouts will open the nine bout show.

At the Sugar House Casino they will feature 19 year-old sensation Super Lightweight Milton “El Santo” Santiago, 14-0 (3), of Philly, against Dominican Ken Alvarez, 7-4-2 (3), out of PR, over 8 rounds. This is a 10 bout card with three 6 round bouts featuring Ricky Lopez, 16-4 (6), of Colorado Springs, David “One-Two” Murray 4-1 (3), of Wilmington, DE, and National GG champion Christian Carto, 2-0 (2), of Philly, John Joe Nevin, 7-0 (4), Two-time Olympian from IRE, a Silver Medalist in 2012 Olympics, Lebron “Popeye” Lebron, 5-0 (2), of San Juan, PR, Ring Announcing-boxer Alex Barbosa, 5-2-1 (1) , and debuting Angel Pizarro, both out of Philly. Making their debut will be Philly’s Laurie Shiavo against Mary O’Leary of Springfield, MASS. Philly Heavyweight Pedro Martinez, 7-9 (3), of Philly will also appear. There will be a press conference Wednesday 5:30pm at the Labor Union Hall Local 57, on 500-506 N. Sixth Street, in South Philly.

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“Hands Of Stone” Director Jonathan Jakubowicz: “It’s The Beauty Of working With Geniuses.”


“Hands Of Stone” Director Jonathan Jakubowicz: “It’s The Beauty Of working With Geniuses.”
By: Sean Crose

Sometimes we don’t know how well we have it. While living in a world of Twitter trends and the latest celebrity gossip, it’s often hard to appreciate the suffering that comes from growing up in dire poverty, or the fear that comes when one’s life might well be threatened. Such things, we might well feel, are only the stuff of movies, right?

Wrong.

Édgar Ramírez and Robert De Niro star in HANDS OF STONE

While the upcoming film “Hands of Stone” deals with the relationship between Panamanian boxing legend Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran – played by Argentinian actor Edgar Ramirez – and American trainer Ray Arcel – played by Robert DeNiro – it’s worth keeping in mind that the film is based on a true story. For the real Duran grew up in grinding poverty in his home country, while Arcel had legitimate reason for fearing the mafia would kill him. It’s actual life the movie deals with…though the story itself is custom made for Hollywood.

Director Jonathan Jakubowicz, took time to speak over the phone on Monday and claimed he wanted to create the “story of a positive Latino figure.” He ultimately settled on the 103-16 boxing legend. “Why not,” he asked, “focus on somebody who actually achieved greatness?” Sure enough, Duran’s life is fertile ground for a biopic. “He was a legend,” Venezuela’s Jakubowicz told me, “to all of us.”

“I was fascinated by him,” the director stated about his subject, “by his style, by everything he represented.” Yet Jakubowicz, who burst onto the scene with 2005’s “Secuestro Express” made it clear Duran “wasn’t a saint.” Sure enough, Duran was apt to make things as difficult for the “Hands of Stone” team as it was for his trainers during his prime.

For instance, just before Duran was to give the film his blessing, the feisty 65-year-old instead decided to give the production team a jolt. “He called us at five in the morning,” Jakubowicz said, “and sent us to hell saying he’s not going to sign anything.” Fortunately for the director, it was all bluster. “He’s a mind gamer,” claimed the director, adding that “he comes from rage.”

Sure enough, the dire poverty of Duran’s youth helped shape the man. Jakubowicz explained how, as the extremely poor Panamanian son of an American Marine who abandoned his paternal obligations, Duran felt the sting of American influence, as well as an individual American’s neglect. Still, the director made it clear that America also provided with fighter with incredible opportunity, especially through the person of Ray Arcel, who’s played by Robert DeNiro in the film.

“That dichotomy I found extremely fascinating,” the director said.

What may be extremely fascinating to film and boxing fans is the film’s cast. Besides Ramirez, who was brilliant in 2010s “Carlos,” Robert DeNiro, famous for, among other things, the fight classic “Raging Bull,” proved to be extremely helpful. As Arcel, he plays an aging trainer who comes back to the fight game after being run out of boxing years earlier by the mafia.

“He said I needed to work on the script,” Jakubowicz said of DeNiro, “to find Ray Arcel’s voice.” After helping Jakubowicz strengthen the screenplay, the legendary actor was then ready to act in the film. “DeNiro, he transformed,” Jakubowicz claimed, mentioning that the actor “shaved his head and dyed his hair white.”

Yet DeNiro wasn’t the only big name to come aboard. Someone was needed to play Duran’s arch nemesis, the popular and masterful “Sugar” Ray Leonard. Needless to say, Leonard the character was as difficult to cast as Leonard the fighter was difficult to defeat. Jakubowicz was bewildered. “I met with Freddie Roach,” the filmmaker said. “He goes, ‘listen, for Sugar Ray, you should get a dancer.’” That may have seemed crazy, but Jakubowicz took the iconic trainer’s advice. The role went none other than pop icon Usher – who’s listed in the film as Usher Raymond IV.

Much to Jakubowicz’ delight the song and dance maestro “trained for like a year for Leonard.” Sure enough, the great fighter himself helped prepare Usher for the role. “You nail the smile,” Leonard said of Usher, “everything else I’ll teach him.”

“It’s the beauty,” Jakubowicz said of the “Hands of Stone” experience, “of working with geniuses.”

With the script and cast lined up, it was time to film. “I focused on the psychological aspect of the sport,” Jakubowicz claimed, explaining that the first fight between Duran and Leonard contains a lot of “quick cuts,” due to the up close and personal nature of that battle. The rematch in New Orleans, however, was filmed with “wide lenses,” in order to effectively capture the movement and tempo of the notorious rematch. And the first fight in the film, where Arcel initially catches Duran in action live and in person? Jakubowicz made sure that viewers are “seeing it through the eyes of Ray Arcel.”

It was obvious just talking to the director that he was a true fan of the sport of boxing. “It’s a labor of love,” he said of the film, adding that “the golden era of boxing” that Duran and Leonard ruled, deserved top notch treatment. After all, these were men who went for broke – repeatedly. And frankly, it’s a story that’s needed to be told on film.

“We really need everybody to go,” Jakubowicz said.

Undoubtedly many fight fans will heed the call.
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“Hands Of Stone” opens nationwide on August 26th.

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CBS Sports Net Boxing Preview: Mosley vs. Avanesyan


CBS Sports Net Boxing Preview: Mosley vs. Avanesyan
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night “Sugar” Shane Mosley’s GoBox Promotions will present a televised card on CBS Sports Net live from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Shane Mosley will be featured in the main event of the evening when he takes on David Avanesyan for Avanesyan’s WBA Interim Welterweight Title.

Pacquiao_Mosley weighin 110506_004a

Several prospects will be featured on the card, including Dimar Ortuz (10-0), Shane Mosley Jr. (6-1), Victor Castro (16-0), and Luis Oliveras (10-0). The only other bouts scheduled to be televised will be Victor Castro against Carlos Zatarian (6-2-2) in the lightweight division as well as Dimar Ortuz (10-0) against Ricardo Campillo (9-9-1) in the cruiserweight division.

Several pre fight activities were planned this week. The promotion attempted to break the Guinness world record for the largest boxing lesson in history on May 24th and they held a ring girl search on May 25th. The promotion will also hold a public workout on May 26th with celebrity guests.

Additionally, the official weigh in will be open to the public on May 27th at the Westfield Shopping Center and a publicized flash mob will be held on the same date following the weigh in.

UFC fighter Brendan Schaub and boxing journalist Steve Kim are the scheduled broadcasterse for the bout.

The following is a preview of the main event of the evening.

David Avanesyan (21-1-1) vs. Shane Mosley (49-9-1); WBA Interim Welterweight Title

Despite the fact Shane Mosley is forty four years old and has nine losses on his record, he gets another shot at a world title when he faces David Avanesyan for the WBA Interim Welterweight Title.

The winner of this bout will be next in line to face the winner of Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman which is scheduled for June 25th in Brooklyn, New York. The winner, no matter who it is, will be a significant underdog against Porter or Thurman.

Avanesyan is seventeen years younger than Mosley, but will be giving up a half an inch in height and approximately two and a half inches in reach. On paper, Mosley appears to have more power than Avanesyan. Mosley has stopped forty one of his opponents while Avanesyan has only stopped eleven. However, Molsey’s last two fights were stoppage victories in 2015, but before that he hasn’t had a stoppage win since 2009. Avanesyan last two fights were also by stoppage victory.

Mosley has the better professional resume and amateur resume. Mosley won the US Amateur Championships as a lightweight but failed to qualify for the 1992 Olympics when he lost to Vernon Forrest in the light welterweight semifinals.

Mosley’s recent record has been subpar as he defeated a clearly past his prime Ricardo Mayorga and fringe contender Pablo Cesar Cano. His other notable victories came earlier in his career, and include Antonio Margarito, Luis Collazo, Fernando Vargas, Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Diaz, and Jesse James Leija.

Mosley’s nine losses have come against some of the best in boxing. They include Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright twice each, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, and Anthony Mundine.

Avanesyan lone defeat was to Andrey Klimov early on in his career. His notable victories pale in comparison to Mosley, but they include Charlie Navarro, Dean Byrne, Kaizer Mabuza, and Carlos Herrera.

Mosley has hired the legendary Roberto Duran to be his trainer for this bout and they are calling themselves the “Sugar and Stone” team. Mosley is clearly past his prime, and he hopes that pairing up with Duran will help recapture that magic he had earlier in his career.

If this bout happened five years ago Mosley would be a clear favorite. But his recent fight against Mayorga was considered by many to be a farce and he looked terrible in his loss to Anthony Mundine.

Avanesyan doesn’t appear to have the power to stop Mosley, but the seventeen year difference in age should make a difference if the bout goes all twelve rounds.

It’s a tough fight to pick, but father time is not on Mosley’s side.

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Canelo/Khan is no Leonard/Hagler


Canelo/Khan is no Leonard/Hagler
By: Matthew Becher

On May 7th the lineal Middleweight champion of the world Canelo Alvarez will defend his title against Amir Khan. It is a much anticipated fight against two of the best fighters in the world today. Canelo, who has fought his career in the Jr. Middleweight division of 154 pounds, currently holds the WBC & Ring Magazine titles and looks to defend them at the minimum catch weight of 155 pounds. Amir Khan, the former Jr. Welterweight champion of the world, has never won a title at welterweight or even fought at Jr. Welterweight and is essentially jumping over two divisions to get his shot at Canelo and the lineal middleweight belts.

Boxing Tribute – Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Leonard

There is no real problem with this attempt. It shows great courage by Khan, taking on a much bigger man, relying on his boxing skills and superior speed to lead him to victory, but we were taken back when Khan compared this fight to one of the greatest rivalries and fights in the sports history. Khan compared the fight to that of Marvelous Marvin Hagler defending his Middleweight title against the great Sugar Ray Leonard.

“I know it can happen, because we’ve seen it happen in the past, when Sugar Ray Leonard took on Marvin Hagler. He was in a very similar position to me, where people were saying he was going to get beaten up, get knocked out and get hurt. He was going up two division and he went in there and beat Marvin Hagler.” -Amir Khan

Many problems arise when that statement is made. First it is the comparison that Amir Khan makes between himself and Sugar Ray Leonard. By that time in Leonard’s career he was already a Olympic Gold Medalist, multiple time World Welterweight champion and had beaten the likes of Hall of famers such as Wilfred Benitez (by KO), Roberto Duran (by TKO) and Thomas Hearns (in an epic TKO comeback). Ray Leonard was the best fighter on the planet. Khan has already shown that he has a suspect chin and his most recent win against Chris Algieri proved that he may not be at the elite status that he believes. Ray Leonard and Amir Khan are not the same type of animal. They may have been known for having fast hands, but that’s pretty much where the buck stops.

Also, to be fair, Canelo is no Marvin Hagler. Hagler is one of the greatest Middleweight champions of all-time, some say he is the best. Hagler defended his titles from 1979 until his split decision loss to Leonard in 1987. In between those years he went to war with some of the greatest as well, Duran, Hearns, and John Mugabi. Hagler was 33 when he fought Leonard, with 67 fights under his belt. Canelo will be 25 on May 7th.

Another enormous difference between the two fights is the animosity between the two opponents. Marvin Hagler loathed Ray Leonard. Hagler always felt he was the better fighter of the two and attempted to fight Leonard for years. Leonard had the pizazz and good looks that put him on the television shows, cover of cereal boxes and adored by the masses. Hagler was always bitter, and was easily made angry by Leonard. The greatest mind game that Leonard ever played on Hagler was in 1984, after Leonard beat Kevin Howard, he held a press conference in Baltimore, Maryland, and he insisted that Hagler and his team fly down for the announcement. Hagler was ecstatic, assuming that he would be announcing a fight between the two, only to arrive and have Leonard retire on the stage. Leonard had played the ultimate trick, something that infuriated Hagler, and when they met 3 years later, would help play right into the hands of Leonard. Hagler wanted nothing more than to batter the smaller fighter. Sugar Ray would use that to his advantage and make the bigger man chase him around for 12 rounds.

Canelo and Khan have no bad blood. Neither fighter is at all in the others head. Canelo doesn’t have to think about anything except his game plan. He knows that Khan is fast, but he has been in the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Khan isn’t close to that kind of level. Canelo has flattened many tough fighters, who fight at the 154(5) lb. limit in every fight. What happens when this smaller fighter, Khan, gets hit on the chin by a true, young, middleweight champion? We’ve seen what smaller fighters like Breidis Prescott and Danny Garcia can do. I doubt those guys would have been able to do that to a guy like Sugar Ray Leonard.

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