Pacquiao Opts For Horn Rematch As Bradley, Marquez Retire
By: Sean Crose
Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez – arch foils of the great Manny Pacquiao – have announced their retirements. Good for both men. They’ve earned their keep in the sport. Sure enough, both fighters deserve Hall of Fame status upon becoming eligible for induction. As for Pacquiao (59-6-2), word is out that he aims to keep fighting – and that he plans to rematch Jeff Horn (17-0-1), which he is contractually permitted to do. Horn, for those with short memories, bested Pacquiao in highly controversial hometown fashion this past Fourth of July Weekend in Australia.
The problem for Pacquiao now may be the fact that it looks like he’ll be fighting Horn in Australia yet again. This, of course, means that the Filipino legend will probably once more find himself at the mercy of the judges. To say Pacquiao should simply knock his man out is to arguably divorce oneself from reality at this point. Pacquiao hasn’t had a knockout or stoppage in ages and he certainly didn’t seem his old self when he battled Horn this past summer. In all likelihood, a rematch will go to the scorecards, much as the first fight did. And that might not be good news for Pacquiao.
The bout will be for the WBO welterweight title which Horn lifted from Pacquiao, but it’s really for Pacquiao’s legacy, Horn’s future and for lots of money. Pacquiao isn’t the pay per view draw he used to be. Indeed, he’s not a pay per view fighter at all anymore. What the man remains, however, is a hugely popular, internationally known athlete. ESPN was rewarded for broadcasting the first Pacquiao-Horn fight with millions of viewers. No doubt the rematch, which may go down in November, will bring in some good ratings, as well.
Many believe Pacquiao has been on the downslide for years, and it’s hard to argue against that line of thought after seeing the man’s ring performance last month. The buzzing, dominating, angle maestro who threw punches in bunches with piston-like speed was nowhere to be found. Having said that, it certainly seemed like Pacquiao had done enough to win the fight after the final bell rang. Horn was tough, determined and more skilled than perhaps most people thought before the fight, but defying expectations doth not a winner make. Not in a fair world, at least. Life, however, isn’t always fair.
That’s something that’s painfully evident in the sport of boxing.
As for Pacquiao’s former foes, both Marquez and Bradley have opted to remove themselves from such ugliness. Both have earned a ton over the course of their careers. Marquez leaves the ring a legend. Bradley seems poised to perhaps become a legend as time moves on. He’s one of those fighters who looks to grow in stature as the years pass by. There are analysts who feel Pacquiao is at the point in his career where he too should hang up his gloves. A brilliant performance against Horn might change a lot of opinions, but does the man have another brilliant performance left in him?
Timothy Bradley Jr.: The Desert Storm
Timothy Bradley Jr.: The Desert Storm
By: Francisco Martinez
Timothy Bradley Jr. one of the most exciting fighters in boxing today has been out of action since his loss this past April to 8 division champion Manny Pacquiao in what was a tie breaker in a very unexpected trilogy. Bradley was in attendance for commentary work for this past Saturday’s Top Rank PPV card at the StubHub Center which saw Oscar Valdez, Zurdo Ramírez and Jessie Magdaleno all successfully defend their WBO titles in front of a packed house.
After the fight Bradley gratefully gave his time to the media and answered a few questions. The very first question was actually from a fan who asked Bradley when he was going to step back into the ring and Bradley replied “I don’t know I think I honestly need a tune up fight on the way back” as to who Bradley had in mind as a possible tune up he quickly noted Adrien Broner and when asked of Broner’s recent troubles he said “I don’t know but I think that would be a good tune up for me” when asked why he liked Adrien Broner as a tune up he replied “why not? why not? That’s the question and I think it makes a lot of sense. I think people would love to see that” all fans present quickly agreed by shouting yes to Bradley’s belief of Broner making good for a tune up and an exciting fight.
Timothy Bradley Jr. is in a packed division with the likes of Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Kell Brook and legend Manny Pacquiao still out there beating guys half his age. Also young up and comers like Errol Spence Jr and primed veterans like Danny Garcia as well the already mentioned Adrien Broner. However Bradley keeping in mind he’s been out of the ring for about a year or so a tune up makes all the sense for his career as he eyes a possible September return date. As for the lay off Bradley said this about it “it kind of just happened that way but you know what I believe everything happens for a reason and there’s a reason why I had this big long lay off. Let my body heal up and give my brain a rest from taking all them punches. I’ve been doing this for 23 years man, you know, it’s been a long journey but I can’t wait to get back in it. I got super excited seeing this fight tonight it got my blood boiling boy, I’m boiling”
Maybe Bradley can look for a MMA fighter for his tune up? Given the back and forward between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC star, MMA’s pound for pound number one fighter in the world Conor McGregor anything seems to be on the table granted McGregor wouldn’t mind Manny Pacquiao either if Mayweather “craps his jocks” and doesn’t go through with their fight why wouldn’t Bradley be as good of an option? Anyways Bradley touched on the potential mega fight between Mayweather and McGregor had this to say about the boxing vs MMA circus act
“what do I think about it? Honestly man, I’m gonna watch the fight, in my honest opinion, I’m gonna watch the fight. We know what it’s about, we are fight fans and everything, Conor McGregor has never been in the ring, yeah he’s the best MMA fighter, he’s the biggest name and it makes sense. He called out Floyd Mayweather and Floyd Mayweather is just trying to make it real like, okay, alright, put your money where your mouth is. If you really wanna do this let’s do this but we’re gonna do it in the ring so, I mean, the advantage goes to Mayweather. Mayweather is always strategic and he’s strategic with his business as well, you know, so I think it’s a money grab and I think everybody is gonna watch it. We know what it’s about but I think it’s gonna be fun and I think Mayweather destroys, destroys like destroys Conor McGregor”
Obviously Timothy Bradley knows the business side of boxing as he clearly states that Mayweather vs McGregor is just that, a good business move. During his time off Bradley made a business move and has now ventured into the business side of boxing by managing a couple of fighters along side his wife something to keep him busy until he finds his way back into the ring. This is what sets Bradley apart from the other fighters being a very intelligent individual and thinking his every next move outside of boxing as he does inside the squared circle.
Options for Timothy Bradley are wide and vary earlier in the year Miguel Cotto was mentioned at a possible 155lbs catch weight there’s also 2 division champion Jessie Vargas who’s been hunting down a rematch with Bradley after a controversial ending to the first one that actually took place in the same venue BoxingInsider caught up Bradley. Visit us on a daily as we bring you the latest and breaking news in boxing.
Adrien Broner and Timothy Bradley: Win-win Situation
Adrien Broner and Timothy Bradley: Win-win situation
By: Kirk Jackson
Timothy Bradley 33-2-1 (13 KO’s) called out Adrien Broner 33-2 (24 KO’s) and simply asked why not?
It’s a valid question and for Bradley, Broner appears to be a fine tune-up for something potentially bigger down the line.
The last time Bradley stepped in the ring was last April, in a lopsided losing effort against Manny Pacquiao. The third and hopefully final bout of their trilogy.
The soon to be 34-year-old is in the last phase of his fighting career and is probably seeking highly lucrative bouts before hanging up his gloves.
His legacy is set, albeit he is one of the most underrated, unappreciated fighters over the last 15 years. Bradley is a Hall of Fame quality fighter.
If Bradley were to retire today, he goes out as a five-time world champion across two weight classes, he defeated 11 world champions, defeated two future Hall of Famers (Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao) and is the only person aside from Floyd Mayweather, who can claim victories over Marquez and Pacquiao.
In regards to Broner, this appears to be a good match-up for Bradley from a stylistic standpoint.
The only man to defeat Bradley is Pacquiao and the problems presented by Pacquiao were the hand speed, foot speed, angles in combination with the punching power.
Broner possesses they attributes and some may argue he is even more athletic than Pacquiao; difference being Broner has a different method of implementing these traits – in some cases he does not fully utilize these gifts to his advantage.
In spite of his athletic ability and foot speed, Broner fights flat footed; defensively does not always present angles to his opposition and tends to lean back, allowing himself to be a hittable target at times. Broner also has a low punch output as he tends to rely on sharp counter-punching as his offense.
Bradley may believe he can take advantage of Broner’s flat footed-ness and he can overwhelm Broner with activity – similar to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. Maidana and Porter are the only fighters to hand Broner a defeat.
It appears Broner is down for the clash as well.
This is a great opportunity for Broner, especially since he wants to fight Pacquiao at some point. Why not defeat a common adversary shared with Pacquiao and get his attention.
Bradley and Pacquiao share the same promoter (Top Rank, Bob Arum). The concept of fighting Bradley presents an opportunity for Broner, his manager Al Haymon and for Arum to work together.
If this goes well, this continues to open doors down the line for Broner and other Top Rank fighters – most notably Pacquiao.
Broner mentioned returning to the ring in June or July, which leaves a fight in the fall for Bradley if not Pacquiao.
The self- proclaimed ‘Problem,’ can also silence many critics by defeating a credible opponent.
Broner gets a bad rap, has a bad reputation. Some of it is self-inflicted, but let’s not forget he is a talented fighter.
With all of the negativity surrounding his name, let’s not forget he’s only lost twice; those losses coming at welterweight against bigger guys like Maidana and Porter.
Let’s also remember he is a four-time world champion across three-weight classes and defeated five world champions thus far in his career.
If Broner can overcome a style like Bradley’s; a style that can resemble a rugged, overbearing, aggressive, physical and mentally demanding war, it can display Broner’s maturity as a fighter.
Bradley’s style is not quite the same in comparison to Porter or Maidana, as all three fighters have different physical builds and attributes.
Broner and Bradley have comparable physiques – which bodes to Broner’s favor. Both guys are listed as the same height (5′ 6″) and the same reach (69 inches).
Although Bradley may have the heart, will and activity to outwork Broner, he does not necessarily possess the punching power to bend Broner’s will.
Broner turns 28-years-old this year and Bradley will be 34-years-old. Age is on the younger man’s side and the physical tools may be as well.
Each fighter has strengths entering this fight, it’s a great opportunity for both fighters and it’s actually a good fight.
Manny Pacquiao – The Lion In Winter
Manny Pacquiao – The Lion In Winter
By: Sean Crose
In reality, it truly does seem like a sitcom that’s gone on a season or two too long. Indeed, Manny Pacquiao’s jump from known boxer to household name occurred the better half of a decade ago. Since that time, the man has suffered three loses, become a political figure and has inched closer to forty. Truth be told, there will never be a fight as big as the one Pacquiao engaged in against Floyd Mayweather close to a year and a half ago – at least not during Pacquiao’s career. For the end is far closer than the beginning for the fighter known as Pac-Man – unless, of course, the Filipino icon engages in some Bernard Hopkins-style timelessness.
But perhaps that’s part of the plan. Oh, Pacquiao would never go out and say he wants to fight into his fifties – and perhaps he doesn’t – but it’s clear the man still has at least a good amount of the old fire in his belly, at least if recent training videos of the welterweight are any indication. Sure enough, Pacquiao is preparing for yet another battle, this time against the talented and hungry Jessie Vargas on November 5th in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao, of course, halfheartedly retired from the sport of boxing last spring after defeating Timothy Bradley – perhaps himself a future Hall of Famer – for the second (some would argue third) time in a row. That retirement, however, didn’t even last as long as the regular distance between one Pacquiao fight and the next. And so now he’s back – as if he’s ever left – throwing punches like pistons against pads held by longtime trainer Freddie Roach, looking as comfortable in the sport that’s brought him fame and fortune as he’s ever been. Yet time, as has been said countless times, waits for no one, and Pacquiao is no exception.
Indeed, great as he is, even the iconic Hopkins isn’t the fighter he once was. And, as people like to bring up, Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out an opponent in years (though that sort of thing tends to happen when one regularly faces top level opposition). Sooner or later, some young buck will likely come along to play Kovalev to the man’s Hopkins, or – worse yet – Marciano to his Louis. Such things tend to be inevitable if one wishes to continue competing at the top of one’s profession – provided that profession is boxing.
Yet here’s a sticky truth that many seem to overlook:
Pacquiao is still arguably the best welterweight in the world. He’s just bested Bradley and could conceivably best the likes of Danny Garcia, as well (we’ll see about Vargas, though Pacquiao has good reason to be favored). Sure, men like Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, Amir Khan and Kell Brook (should he return to welterweight) could pose a real challenge, but no one in his or her right mind would write PacMan off against those potential foes – at least not yet.
Until proven otherwise, this all-time great still may rule the roost at welterweight.
Boxers Who Were Still Champs When Their Careers Ended Due to Injury or Death
Pirog, Hernandez, Simon and Valero’s Careers Ended as Champions!
By: Ken Hissner
Sometimes a champion can only be stopped by injury or death. First we will look at Russia’s Demitry “Grandmaster” Pirog, 20-0 (15), who was WBO Middleweight champion. He gave up his title to challenge Gennady “GGG” Golovkin instead of his top contender Hassan N’Dam which cost him his title. In training he suffered a debilitating (ruptured disc) back injury and never fought again. His last fight was on May 1st, 2012 in his third title defense.
Pirog is the only boxer to defeat (by stoppage) current WBA World middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs who was 20-0 at the time and 31-1 (28) now with 11 straight knockout wins since this defeat. Pirog was 16-0 at the time. It was July 31st in 2010 when they fought in Las Vegas, NV, for the vacant WBO title.
In his fourth bout Pirog won the Russian title defeating Sergey Tatevosyon, 25-5, by decision. In his eighth bout he stopped Juan Manuel Alaggio, 16-4-1, of Argentina. In his tenth bout he stopped fellow Russian Alexey Chirkov, 18-2, for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title. In his eleventh fight he knocked out another fellow Russian Aslanbek Kodzoev, 20-2-1. In his next and twelfth bout he defeated Serbian Geard Ajetovic, 16-2-1.
In Pirog’s next bout he stopped Kuvanych Toygonbayev, 29-4, of UZB improving to 13-0. In his next fight for the vacant WBC International title he ended the career of Ghana’s Kofi Jantuah, 32-3-1, in his first bout out of Russia in Saarland, Germany. This was followed with his first American opponent stopping Philly’s Eric “Murder” Mitchell, 22-6-1. Next he stopped and took the WBC Baltic title from Estonia’s Sergei Melis, 15-1.
In what would be Pirog’s only US appearance is when he stopped Jacobs in Las Vegas. In his first defense of his WBO title he defeated Javier Francisco Maciel, 18-1, of Argentina. In his final bout he defeated the former interim WBA champion Nobuhiro Ishida, 24-7-2. Ishida in his next bout was stopped by Golovkin being the only one to stop Ishida in his now 40 bouts.
Golovkin and Pirog were to fight August 25th 2012 on HBO. Pirog claims to have had a 200-30 amateur record. He gave up Chess at age 8 for something more physical which would start his boxing career. He has gone into training several times for a proposed comeback but could never get to the level he was when he stopped fighting.
The second Champion was Cuban Yoan Pablo “Iron Man” Hernandez, 29-1 (14), held the interim WBA Cruiserweight title before winning the IBF Cruiserweight title. In September 2005 he lived in Germany where he started his career. In the pro’s he was trained by Ulli Wegner.
In Cuba Hernandez fought from 2001 to 2005 and had quite a career. In 2001 he was a Cuban Jr. Champ. In 2002 he won the World Jr. Champion in Cuba. He lost that year to Cuban heavyweight Odlanier Solis. In 2003 he fought as a light heavyweight in the Pan Am Games going 2-1. He was in the 2004 Olympics getting a bye and losing in the second round. He then defected to Germany. In 2005 he was the Cuban National heavyweight champion. He had knee surgery for a rupture of the Meniscus of the right knee putting his professional career on hold.
Turning pro Hernandez won his first 10 fights knocking out Thomas Hansvoll, 25-3-2, of Norway, who resided in Denmark in the tenth fight. In his fourteenth fight Hernandez won the WBC Latino title knocking out Algerian Mohamed Azzaoui, 22-1-2, of France. In his fifteenth fight he lost for the first and only time in his career to former WBC Cruiserweight champion Wayne “Big Turk” Braithwaite, 22-3, of Guyana and living in the US.
In May of 2009 Hernandez defeated Aaron Williams, 19-1-1, of the US. In his next bout in October of 2009 he defeated Serb Enad Licina, 17-1, residing in Germany for the IBF Inter-Continental title. In February of 2011 he won the interim WBA title knocking out fellow southpaw Steve “Centurian” Herelius, 21-1-1, of France.
In October of 2011 Hernandez possibly had his toughest fight for the IBF title held by Steve “USS” Cunningham, 24-2, of the US. Both were promoted by Sauerland of Germany. Hernandez wasn’t ranked in the IBF due to holding the interim WBA title so why was this fight made by their same promoter? In the first round Hernandez missed with a right hand but followed with a left dropping Cunningham who upon getting up rolled back on his side but beat the count of referee Mickey Van. For some reason due to the referee it took about 10 seconds to resume the bout when the bell sounded.
In the second round and third rounds Cunningham became the aggressor in taking both rounds. With about 30 seconds to go in the round a clash of heads caused Hernandez to suffer a cut. The referee never stopped the action to inspect the cut. In the fifth round Hernandez hit Cunningham behind the head. By the time the referee got to the fighters Hernandez hit Cunningham behind the head again without a warning from the referee. The corner of Hernandez took the full minute then requested the ring physician to check the cut. Hernandez stood up looking to resume the action when the referee comes over to him and stops the fight telling both the decision will go to the scorecards.
When the scorecards were announced the first judge had Cunningham up 57-56. The other two judges had it 58-55 and 59-54 for Hernandez. This writer had Cunningham ahead 58-55 only losing the first round. Cunningham walked around the ring with his hands in the air with his thumbs pointing down. Hernandez was later informed he would have to fight Troy Ross with the winner meeting Cunningham. Hernandez’s camp insisted on a rematch with Cunningham some 4 months later with the winner to fight Ross.
The rematch was entirely different. Hernandez had Cunningham down twice in the fourth round and coasted to a decision win. After this fight he defended against Ross winning by decision. It was 14 months later before he fought again in 2013 when he knocked out Alexander Alekseev, 24-2, of UZB, residing in Germany in the tenth round. In August of 2014 he won a split decision over Firat Aslan, 34-7-2, of Germany. The fans were not happy with the decision. Both fighters complimented each other afterwards.
In late 2015 Hernandez was to have surgery for his knee and for loose cartilage in his elbow. He was to fight Ola Afolabi in April of 2015 but had to cancel due to his injury. He’s talked about a comeback but it’s never developed
The third world champion is Harry “The Terminator” Simon, 29-0 (21), of Walvis Bay, Nambia. He claimed to be 271-2 in the amateurs. One loss was in the 1992 Olympics. He was trained by Brian Mitchell and managed by Ellison Hijarunguru.
On November 21, 2002, in trying to pass two cars Simon hit a car head on killing a couple and their baby. Simon had two broken legs and a broken arm. In March of 2007 he returned after serving two years in prison.
Simon turned pro in 1994 in South Africa and after winning his first five fights stopped Enuel Marshile, 11-1. In 1995 he defeated Danny Chavez, 25-4-1. In 1998 he won a majority decision over Ronald “Winky” Wright, 38-1, for the WBO Super welterweight title. In 1999 to 2001 he fought out of the UK making a pair of defenses. In his third defense he traveled to Canada winning a majority decision over Rodney Jones, 24-2. In February 2001 he defeated Wayne Alexander, 15-0, who took the fight on 24 hour notice replacing Robert Allen.
In July Simon moved up to middleweight beating Hacine Cherifi, 32-5-1, of France in Puerto Rico, winning the interim WBO title. In April of 2002 he defeated Sweden’s Arman Krajnc, 26-0, in Denmark. He would return in March of 2007 in Nambia as a light heavyweight winning over Stephen Nzuemba, 7-0, but didn’t fight again for a year winning two fights and appearing at 200 pounds in June of 2012 stopping Ruben Groenewald, 23-9, some 18 months later. He returned to light heavyweight a year later winning a pair of fights with the last one a 12 round decision over Serbian Geard Ajetovic, 23-8-1, for the vacant IBF International light heavyweight title.
Simon would not fight again after September of 2013 a month before his 39th birthday. He had never been the same after coming back in 2007 after being off for five years but still never lost a fight.
The fourth champion is Edwin “Dinamita” Valero, 27-0 (27), of Merida, VZ, who was found dead after hanging himself in a prison cell on April 19th of 2009. He admitted killing his wife the day before. In March of 2010 he had cracked his wives ribs and punctured her lung. Upon visiting her at the hospital he made a commotion and was arrested.
Valero’s amateur record was 86-6 (45). On Feb 5th 2001 he had a motor cycle accident and fractured his skull. This could be the reason he eventually went bad. He would hold the WBA Super featherweight title defending it four times. He won the WBC Lightweight title and defended it twice. Both Golden Boy and Top Rank promoted him.
Valero turned professional on July 9th 2002 and won his first 18 fights all in the first round. In his 18th fight he stopped Whyber Garcia, 17-3, of Panama in an elimination fight for the WBA Super featherweight title. He also won the WBA Fedelatin title in February 2006.
Valero knowing he wouldn’t get the title fight for six months he took another fight one month later in Japan stopping Mexican Genaro Trazancos, 21-7, in the second round. In August of 2006 he won the WBA Super featherweight title stopping Panama’s Vicente Mosquera, 24-1-1, in the 11th round. He had Mosquera down twice in the first round and was down himself in the third round.
Valero made three defenses in 2007 with the first two in Japan and the third in Mexico. In April of 2009 he won the WBC Lightweight title stopping Colombian Antonio Pitalua, 47-3, out of Mexico knocking him down three times in the second round in Austin, TX. It was his only title bout in the US. In December of 2009 he made his first defense winning over Hector Velazquez who didn’t come out for the seventh round. In February of 2010 he had his last fight stopping Mexican Antonio De Marco, 23-1-1, who didn’t come out for the tenth round. In the second round an accidental elbow from De Marco opened up a large gash on Valero’s hair line which seemed to make him fight even harder with blood covering the right side of his face.
Plans for Valero meeting Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquaio were in the making later in the year. In January of 2004 Golden Boy took him to New York where a small blood clot was showing in his brain. He was suspended and would be off for 17 months.
This was one “wild man” who was in 8 world title bouts. He fought in VZ 12 times, Japan 5 times, US 4 times, Mexico and Panama twice each and Argentina and France once each. He was one of the few champions to end his career undefeated.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Smith, Bradley, Chisora, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Smith, Bradley, Chisora, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 16th to August 23rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions
Promo Video Released for Canelo vs. Smith
Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith are set to face each other on HBO PPV on Saturday, September 17th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. A promo video has been released for this fight and can be viewed below:
Canelo vs. Smith Undercard Announced, to Include Rosado vs. Monroe
Most boxing fans wanted to see Canelo Alvarez box Gennady Golovkin in his next face, but instead have to wait for Canelo to fight Liam Smith before he steps into the ring with Golovkin. However, fight fans will get a chance to see two opponents that Golovkin was able to beat, handedly, in the co-main event of the upcoming HBO Pay Per View.
Golden Boy Promotions recently announced that Gabriel Rosado will step into the ring to face Willie Monroe Jr. on September 17th. Two other undercard bouts have also been announced, and they include Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Andrew Cancio and Diego De La Hoya vs. Luis Orlando del Valle.
Timothy Bradley Jr. Resigns with Top Rank Promotions
ESPN’s Dan Rafael has reported that Timothy Bradley Jr., a former two division champion, has resigned with Top Rank Promotions for a two year extension. Timothy Bradley has been in some big fights with Top Rank Promotions, including three fights with Manny Pacquiao and one fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Top Rank’s stable includes rising stars such as Terence Crawford and Jesse Vargas and Top Rank is even willing to do business with Al Haymon fighters. Plenty of options remain for Tim Bradley that does not include Manny Pacquiao.
Dereck Chisora Back in the Ring on September 10th
Dereck Chisora (25-6, 17 KOs) returns to the ring on September 10 with an eight-round contest against Drazan Janjanin (13-7, 12 KOs) at the Hovet in Stockholm.
The former British, Commonwealth and European Champion is the latest addition to a stacked card in the Swedish capital topped by the female grudge match between domestic rivals Mikaela Laurén and Klara Svensson.
Chisora missed out on a second reign as European Champion in May, losing via split decision to Pulev, but having regrouped, the British boxer and his team will attempt to launch another title assault, starting with a keep-busy contest against the big punching Bosnian Janjanin.
‘’This is the fight game,’’ said Chisora. ‘’If you lose, you have to rebuild and come back. I lost a close fight to Pulev, but I’m still in a good position. I want a rematch, but let’s see if they give it to me. Either way, there are a lot big fights out there for me, and I’m ready to fight anyone.’’
The 32 year-old says he is looking forward to fighting in Stockholm, having never visited the city before, and will be ringside supporting local fighter Anthony Yigit and watching the main event unfold as Laurén and Svensson battle it out for the interim WBC Female World Welterweight title.
‘’I’m excited to be fighting to Sweden,’’ he says. ‘’This will be my first time in Stockholm, but I’ve heard it’s a great place. That is one of the good things about working with a big promoter like Team Sauerland – you get to fight all over Europe, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to sign with them.
Sullivan Barrera Frustrated with Inactivity, Wants a Top Contender
Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera has been diligently working on his craft in the hot Florida summer under the guidance of trainer Derik Santos.
The former Cuban amateur standout has inexplicably been out of the ring since coming up short against Andre Ward on March 26th in the top pound-for-pound fighter’s backyard. The loss was Barrera’s first and after producing knockout victories in his prior six fights, he is surprised that he hasn’t been back in action.
“I don’t understand it. I’ve been putting on great fights. People have seen my knockouts on ESPN and on HBO Latino. I thought I would have fought again in the summer or at least had a fight lined up by now,” said Barrera.
With a number #4 ranking by the WBA, #8 by the IBF and #12 by the WBC, Barrera is a worthy rival for any upper level opponent.
“Over the past few months there have been talks to face Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal and Slava Shabranskyy but when it comes down to signing a contract, nothing ever happens. I am willing to fight any of these guys. I went to Ward’s backyard. I am not afraid of anything or anyone. Ward and Kovalev isn’t official. Maybe he can give me my rematch. One of these guys needs to step up so we can give the fans a war!” Barrera stated.
Barrera has been very active, fighting 9 times since December, 2013 and he doesn’t see why he doesn’t have a fight scheduled. His frustration stems from his inactivity. He is used to fighting often.
“I don’t have any problems with my manager or my promoter which is usually why a lot of guys aren’t fighting. Everyone knows I am willing to go to Canada to fight Pascal and I am ready to fight Hopkins anywhere! I heard he is looking to have a final fight and I have no problem sending a legend out with a loss! There were talks of both of these fights. One of these guys needs to sign a contract! Seanie Monaghan hasn’t fought in a while. Artur Beterbiev, Eleider Alvarrez – I would take their ‘0’s’ away too. Just give me a fight!”
Kenneth Sims Jr. Signs with GH3 Promotions
GH3 Promotions is proud to announce the signing of undefeated junior welterweight prospect, Kenneth Sims Jr. to promotional contract.
GH3 Promotions will co-promote Sims with Antonio Leonard Productions.
Sims of Chicago is perfect as a professional, as he sports a record of 7-0 with two knockouts.
Sims was a highly acclaimed amateur, who amassed over 200 fights who became a 2-time National PAL Champion, Sims Jr. was also the 2013 USA National Champion, a Silver Gloves Champion, a Junior Olympic Bronze Medalist, a 3-time Ringside World Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials Semifinalist.
Sims turned professional on March 7, 2014 with a win over Corey Mudrew and has racked up six wins since, with the latest being a six -round unanimous decision over Tavorus Teague on March 11, 2016 in Tustin, California.
Sims will be back in action on September 15th as part of the televised undercard that will feature Thomas LaManna and Dusty Hernandez-Harrison from Philadelphia on the CBS Sports Network.
“This is another key signing for us,”said GH3 Promotions CEO, Vito Mielnicki. “Kenneth is another young and talented fighter who fits in with the blueprint we have set up for our athletes. Young, good amateur career and guys who are looking to fight often and are willing to step up. I am happy to be partnering with Antonio Leonard Productions and working with Kenneth’s manager James Prince and I will be looking to work with them more in the future with other fighters.”
“I am excited to be back boxing and getting back to work,” said Sims. “I am looking forward to being on television. This fight will get me the exposure and people who will know me.”
Like other GH3 Promotions fighters, look for Sims to be fighting regularly. That is a schedule that Sims will relish.
“I am looking forward to staying busy. I had only two fights last year and staying busy will help me make my way up the ladder to winning championships.”
At just 22 years-old, Sims has a good attitude and wants carve out an identity, not only in the boxing world, but be known in his hometown.
“I am trying to make a name for myself and do the best and do something for my city..
Sims is known for his boxing ability, who likes to work the body.
“It has been seven months since I fought and I am ready to put on a show. Philly is a great fight town and I am so excited to fight there.”
Said Sims father, Kenneth Sims Sr., “I am so happy to get back to doing what we love to do. We are happy GH3 Promotions picked us up, and those who didn’t will regret it. On September 15, business will be taken care of.”
Sims co-promoter Antonio Leonard has been by his side since he turned professional and had his eye on an emerging talent since his amateur days.
“I have always felt that Kenneth was a tremendous fighter. He has been in Colorado Springs helping with the U.S. Olympic team. The sparring sessions with him and (2016 Silver Medal winner) Shakur Stevenson were amazing.”
“He has the potential to be a great star. He is a grounded kid and with the help of Vito Mielnicki and GH3 Promotions, there is a good chance he could fight for a world title.”
Sims has been the main sparring partner at different times for the sport’s two biggest names and has performed well and gained incredible experience by working with Floyd Mayweather as he prepared for Andre Berto and with Manny Pacquiao as he was getting ready for Mayweather.
Dee Lee Promotions Presents “Heroes on the Sand” for a Tribute to Our Military
Presented by Vans for a special Tribute to our Military, Thursday, August 25th, 2016 on the beach at the 54th Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship, Virginia Beach, VA. Super middleweight Frank “THE FREIGHT TRAIN” Filippone (21-5-1/7 ko’s) of Virginia Beach, VA will headline this exciting card of knockout artists. Filippone, a Virginia Beach Police officer and former WBA-NABA Light Heavyweight Champion is set to take on, Timothy “The Boss” Hall (9-22-0/5 ko’s) of Athens, GA, in the 6 round Main Event on the Beautiful Beach in Virginia.
The Exciting Co-Main features another local favorite, Portsmouth, VA lightweight Dorin Spivey (46-7-0/33 ko’s). Spivey has fought 7 times for carious portions of the lightweight belts and has actually fought for, captured, defended and relinquished the WBA-NABA Lightweight Championship Crown 5 different times!! Spivey, is matched up against Larry Darnell Ventus (6-10-1/3 ko’s) of Detroit, MI.
Also featured on the Professional portion of this fight card is Jerry “SLUGGER” Forrest (13-2-0/12 ko’s) of Newport News, VA vs. Willis “The Prophet” Lockett (14-18-5/5 ko’s) Takoma Park, MD; First Class Petty Officer Carlos Moore (2-1-1/2 ko’s) of Virginia Beach, VA vs. William Lorenzo (3-19-1/1 ko’s) of Columbia, SC; and Defense Department Diver Roger Belch III (6-0-0/6 ko’s) vs Anthony Dave (0-12-1) of Canton, OH round out the professional end of this mixed Pro/Am fight card.
The Top Five Robberies of the Past 25 Years
THE TOP 5 ROBBERIES OF THE LAST 25 YEARS
By: John Freund
Here’s a news flash: Boxing isn’t fair. The best fighter, or the one who fights the best in the ring on a given night, doesn’t always win. In other sports, the scoring is obvious. Everyone knows when a basket is made or when a touchdown is scored. But in boxing, the scoring remains a mystery until after the final bell. And that often leads to controversy. Whether that controversy stems from poor judgment or corruption on the part of the judges, is up for debate. One thing is for certain though, there are plenty of asterisks alongside boxing wins and losses. Following, are five of the most egregious robberies of the last 25 years:
Note – this list factors in the commercial significance of each bout. So fights like Williams-Lara, and Rios-Abril, while clearly miscarriages of justice, are not weighted as highly given their lack of mainstream significance.
#5) De La Hoya vs. Trinidad – Sep 18, 1999
Billed as ‘The Fight of the Millennium,’ the last of the so-called ‘Superfights’ of the 20th Century, it was a battle of unbeaten champions as reigning WBC megastar Oscar De La Hoya squared off against boxing’s other pound-for-pound king, IBF Champion, Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad. This match would both unify the Welterweight titles, and prove who was the best fighter in the world.
Or so people thought…
“Outclassed is too big a word for what’s happening here, but it’s verging on that.”
When Jim Lampley spoke those words in Round 9, the so-called Superfight had thus far been nothing more than a chess match. And not even a competitive one at that – picture Bobby Fischer versus some hustler in Washington Square Park. Yup, it was that kind of lopsided.
De La Hoya frustrated Trinidad all night with his lateral movement and footwork, never getting caught up in the ropes and keeping his distance from the heavy-hitting Puerto Rican by effectively utilizing his jab. De La Hoya – a fighter known for his jab and vicious left hook – continually stunned Trinidad with right cross after right cross. He seemed to be landing them at will.
I gave De La Hoya 8 of the first 9 rounds. Larry Merchant had it 6 to 2 with 1 even. Howard Lederman had it 6 to 3, which, in my opinion, is exceedingly generous. Regardless of the score, there is little debate about who won the early rounds. It’s rounds 10-12 that this fight is remembered for.
De La Hoya, on the advice of his corner, played defense in the final three rounds – which is a polite way to say that he ran the hell away from Trinidad and didn’t fight for 9 minutes straight.
Now, to be fair, De La Hoya’s entire strategy was to box – stick and move, stick and move – and he employed that strategy beautifully for 9 rounds. He didn’t let Tito cut off the ring, and he picked his opportunities to fight and throw combinations, landing at least 2 or 3 per round. Tito, on the other hand, barely threw a single combination in the first 9 rounds. That’s how effective De La Hoya’s game plan was.
Yes De La Hoya took off the last 3 rounds, and yes he lost all 3 (though the 10th was pretty close). But even still, there is no question who won the fight. As Jim Lampley said, he didn’t outclass Tito, but it was verging on that.
The judges, of course, saw it differently. They handed Tito the win, and that’s how the ‘Golden Boy’ came to record his first ‘L.’ Incidentally, this fight set the record for non-heavyweight PPV buys, with 1.4 million; a mark that would stand for 8 years until De La Hoya-Mayweather broke it.
There would be future controversial decisions in the Golden Boy’s career – one where he was robbed against Mosely, and another where he was gifted against Sturm. Regardless, this fight goes down as one of the biggest boxing robberies of all time, given the hype surrounding it, the status of the two stars inside the ring, and the fact that they never fought again – so we’ll never really know who was the best boxer in the world at the time.
#4) Chavez vs. Whitaker – Sep 10, 1993
Before there was Mayweather-Pacquiao, before De La Hoya-Trinidad, there was Chavez-Whitaker.
Julio Cesar Chavez is a boxing legend, often considered the greatest Mexican boxer of all time, which is saying a lot. Coming into this fight, he had a jaw-dropping record of 87-0. Chavez was that rare combination of boxer and brawler, someone who could bob and weave and play defense on the outside, until he worked his way inside on you and broke your will. He was the best in-fighter in the game, and his chin was legendary; the first time Chavez ever hit the canvas was in his 91st pro fight.
Pernell Whitaker, meanwhile, was the best outside-fighter in the game. A slick southpaw with phenomenal footwork – he would dance, move, duck, hop, and sometimes even leap to places other boxers could only dream of reaching. Whitaker brought a 32-1 record into this fight, with his only loss being to Jose Luis Ramirez in what many consider to be a fight that Whitaker actually won. He was the Floyd Mayweather Jr. of his day, and Chavez-Whitaker was the ultimate ‘Bull vs. Matador’ matchup; it was brute force against blinding speed.
The first half of the fight was dead even. Whitaker established his game plan in Round 3, slipping and dipping, utilizing his speed and elusiveness, and finding just the right moments to throw wicked combinations. Chavez, who was the best in the business at cutting off the ring, was relegated to chasing the man they called ‘Sweet Pea’ around and around, just as Trinidad would chase De La Hoya six years later. Chavez did manage to force the action enough in the first 6 rounds to make it close on the cards, if not even.
But Round 7 was when Whitaker took over. He began to outclass Chavez, sticking and moving, capitalizing on his hand and foot speed. Whitaker even fought Chavez on the inside – and beat him there; something no one thought possible. There were moments when Whitaker double-jabbed Chavez, and somehow brought his right back in time to block a Chavez left hook. Thus was the blinding speed of Pernell Whitaker.
By Round 11 Chavez was exhausted. He was lunging and leaning, his punches lacking their usual sting. They fought the whole round on the inside, and Whitaker dominated without question. It was a masterful show of boxing prowess, and it earned Whitaker the right to be known as the first man to defeat Chavez in the ring.
But the fight was ruled a draw. Conspiracy theories abound, as Don King – Chavez’s promoter – was under federal indictment at the time for a litany of charges, including match-fixing. Dan Duva, Whitaker’s promoter, lodged a formal complaint with the Texas department of licensing and authorities after British judge Mickey Vann admitted to docking Whitaker a point for a low blow in the 6th Round. Referee Joe Cortez warned Whitaker for the blow, but did not instruct the judges to dock a point. To make things even more suspicious, the judges’ scorecards mysteriously disappeared the day after the fight…
If one were so inclined, one might argue that Don King rigged the match to keep Chavez’s revenue-generating, zero-loss streak alive for as long as possible. Of course that would imply that Don King were capable of such devious, underhanded, mafia-style tactics.
Regardless of what actually happened that night, one thing is certain: Sweet Pea won the fight, and was robbed of a victory.
#3) Castillo vs. Mayweather 1 – Apr 20, 2002
I can already hear Mayweather fans cursing my name. Go on, I can take it. Do your worst in the ‘Comments’ section…
If you’re a Mayweather fan, it’s time to eat some humble pie. Your hero was beaten and beaten soundly, and on Hitler’s birthday no less! (No idea why that’s relevant, I just like to point out Hitler’s birthday whenever I see it anywhere…)
Mayweather, at age 25, with a record of 27-0, was years away from the iconoclastic figure nicknamed ‘Money’ for having generated more of it than any other boxer in history. This was ’02, and ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ was moving up from Jr. Lightweight to Lightweight to face a Mexican bruiser named Jose Luis Castillo. Most experts predicted a Mayweather rout; just another rung on King Floyd’s ladder of greatness.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation – someone forgot to tell Castillo that he was supposed to lose. The fiery Mexican crowded his elusive opponent, pinning Mayweather against the ropes and viciously attacking his rib cage. Remarkably, Mayweather stood and traded with Castillo instead of slipping away eel-like, as he normally does. Perhaps he wanted to prove he could go toe-to-toe with a heavy-handed lightweight. Whatever the reason, as Larry Merchant later said, Mayweather ‘fought the wrong fight.’
His loss was apparent, even to Mayweather, who could be seen hanging his head immediately after the final bell sounded, and staring down at the canvas in the run-up to the decision. This wasn’t the loud and proud Pretty Boy Floyd we’d all come to expect. This was a man who knew he was beaten.
Yet the judges decided otherwise. Two of the judges scored it 115-111, and Anek Hongtongkam (best name ever!) had it 116-111.
I personally had Castillo up 8 rounds to 4. Harold Lederman at ringside had a similar score. I can understand 7-5 Castillo, but anything beyond that is stretching it. And to say that Mayweather not only won this fight, but won it convincingly – as all three judges’ scorecards imply – is an outright travesty. Castillo out-muscled, out-maneuvered, and out-classed boxing’s soon-to-be brightest star.
A lot of people blame the decision on Bob Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Castillo at the time. It’s clear what Arum’s motivation would have been to fix this fight – Pretty Boy Floyd was on the rise, and having that big goose egg in the ‘Loss’ column helped make him a household name.
And a household name he would become, as Mayweather went on to rack up 49 victories with no official defeats, and generate more money than any boxer in history. Would all that have changed if Castillo had gotten his just desserts? No one will ever know…
It’s impossible to say for certain if the fight was fixed, or if the judges were just in awe of Mayweather and scored him more generously than they should have. But don’t forget, this is boxing, where what goes on outside the ring is just as important – or sometimes even more important – than what goes on inside the ring. Perhaps Castillo himself put it best when he responded to the controversy by saying, “Well, I don’t want to say the wrong thing, but boxing is certainly filled with interests, let’s put it that way.”
#2) Holyfield vs. Valuev – Dec 20, 2008
If you’ve never seen this fight, don’t bother. It’s easily the most boring championship match of all time. I’ll give you a quick rundown of the entire fight right here: Valuev stands in the center of the ring and does nothing, while Holyfield dances around him and does next to nothing. Picture that for 12 rounds.
The reason this is an all-time great robbery is because, at the end of the day, next to nothing is still more than nothing.
Holyfield won this fight 11-1. The only round that is even plausible to give to Valuev is the 12th, yet somehow, in some universe, the judges gave Valuev the win. I guess they decided that lumbering around for 33 out of 36 minutes and throwing 4 or 5 punches a round – never mind any combinations – is enough to retain a title. Yikes.
This is a big deal, considering Holyfield would have made history with this win, notching his fifth world title and becoming the oldest man ever to win the heavyweight crown at age 45 (besting ‘Big’ George Foreman by several months). But alas, it was not to be.
The one cool thing about this fight is that Valuev is a monster. And by that I mean he’s 7 feet tall and weighs over 300 lbs. Holyfield, at 6″3, 210, looks like a hobbit dancing around that Stone Giant thing in Lord of the Rings.
The reason this fight is #2 on the list is because the decision is so egregiously wrong. Other than the 12th, I defy you to find one round that Valuev won. I know this isn’t the most meaningful heavyweight bout of all time, but from now on, when someone mentions the fact that George Foreman is the oldest man ever to win the heavyweight title, you can bring up the asterisk that is Holyfield-Valuev.
#1) Pacquiao vs. Bradley 1 – Jun 9, 2012
You knew it was coming. The grandaddy of all highway robberies. The most shameless star-making event in boxing history. The day that three judges decided Tim Bradley out-fought Manny Pacquaio.
A little context before we delve into this one: The fight took place in 2012, right around the time everyone was clamoring for a Pacquaio-Mayweather Superfight. We all know what happened there. Instead of Pacquaio-Mayweather, we got Pacquaio-Bradley.
Okay, fair enough. Bradley came into this fight undefeated, with impressive wins over Lamont Peterson and Joel Casamayor. He was ranked a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter, so after negotiations with Mayweather and for a Cotto rematch both fell through, why not give a guy a shot?
The fight went as everyone predicted. Manny just had too much speed, too much power, too much technical skill for Bradley to handle. Bradley fought Manny’s fight and PacMan picked him apart, landing his straight left all day long. As Max Kellerman declared in Round 5, Manny ‘Outclassed him.’
The fight itself brought zero surprises. It was the decision afterward that left everyone floored. In the narrowest of margins, the judges gave a mixed decision to Bradley.
It’s tough to find a single person who thinks the decision was justified. By my count, Manny won the fight 10 rounds to 2, and most of those were pretty decisive. The only rounds I gave to Bradley were the 10th and 12th. Now, I can see a 9-3 decision, and can even stomach an 8-4, but giving more than 4 rounds to Bradley…?
The judges unanimously gave Bradley the 7th round, even though Manny doubled him in punches landed! 2 of the 3 judges gave Bradley the 8th, even though Manny outpointed him 15-9 in that round. And there was no question who was throwing the harder leather. Jim Lampley and Emanuel Steward were commenting all night how much more power Manny had, and how Bradley simply couldn’t handle his trifecta of speed, skill, and punching power.
After the fight, Bradley was asked by Max Kellerman in the center of the ring if he thought he won. He said that he would ‘have to go back and watch the tape to see who won the fight.’ The crowd booed. Kellerman then asked Pacquiao if he thought he won the fight. Pac responded, “Absolutely, yes.” And the crowd went wild.
Now, if you’re going to claim that a fight is fixed, you should at least have a theory as to why it would be. There’s a pretty convincing one for this fight, and it starts and ends with Bob Arum.
Bob Arum promoted both fighters. Pacquiao was already a legend, and having had 3 losses, wasn’t protecting a goose egg the way Mayweather was throughout his career. So what’s one more loss going to do to his iconic reputation? Absolutely nothing.
Meanwhile, a win for Bradley makes him an instant star – which is exactly what happened. It also sparked a very lucrative Pacquaio-Bradley trilogy, of which Pacquiao convincingly won the last two fights (and wasn’t robbed by the judges).
And if you want to be uber-consipratorial about the whole thing (and who doesn’t!), you could say that, ‘isn’t it a coincidence that Bradley signed with Top Rank just before this fight, and fought a big match on the Pacquaio-Marquez 3 undercard, thus introducing him to a more mainstream audience?’ And… let’s just go the full nine here… ‘isn’t it strange that Bradley looks a heck of a lot like Floyd Mayweather Jr., whom fans wanted to fight Pacquaio, but the fight never materialized (up to this point)?’ Could Bob Arum be pulling his best Vince McMahon impression, giving us a substitute for Mayweather-Pacquiao – only one in which the drama was artificially manufactured instead of naturally ingrained?
Color me cynical, but I think all of the above is possible.
Whatever the case, things certainly didn’t go as planned for PacMan moving forward. He would fight Marquez for the fourth time later that year, and get famously knocked unconscious, then spend over a year recovering before returning to the ring. Boxing fans often point to the Bradley fight as the beginning of Manny’s downfall, if you can call the last 4 years a ‘downfall.’
Bradley, meanwhile, went on to fight and beat some top contenders, including an aging Juan Manuel Marquez, Jessie Vargas, and Brandon Rios.
Tim Bradley is by all accounts a very warm, likable guy, and it’s worth noting that he is not the one who robbed Pacquiao. It was the judges who robbed Pacquiao.
Or maybe it was Bob Arum…
Regardless, this fight is yet another reminder that boxing can be such a cruel mistress: she can seduce you, and just as quickly stab you in the back.
What are some of your all-time biggest boxing robberies? Leave a comment below…
Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Return of Manny Pacquiao
Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Return of Manny Pacquiao
By: Matthew N. Becher
It is official, Manny Pacquiao is no longer retired. Pacquiao, who said he was leaving the sport after beating Timothy Bradley earlier this year has an official fight date of November 5th against WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.
Pacquiao’s longtime adviser Michael Koncz told the LA Times “Retirement doesn’t suit Manny right now…Boxing is in his Blood.” Pacquiao, who has since become a Senator in his native Philippines is fighting for the 2nd time this year, which is more than almost any other major fighter in the sport today. Which doesn’t really even make this a comeback or a retirement.
Many suitors were in the mix for this fight. Four time division champion Adrien Broner was said to have priced himself out. Newly crowned lineal Jr. Welterweight champion Terrence Crawford seemed to be the top guy for the fight, until Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach spoke up about not wanting his man to fight Crawford, claiming that Manny would not be at 100%, since a majority of this camp would take place in the Philippines and take place around and after Pacquiaos senatorial duties.
Koncz and Bob Arum will be headed to the Philippines this week to speak with Pacquiao about where the actual fight will take place. Supposedly it will take place in Vegas or Dubai. Koncz said, “That’s the essence of the meeting (choosing location)….Not choosing the opponent. That’s already been done.”
Now the question comes into play, why did Manny even make this announcement of retirement. He is still on his normal schedule of fighting twice a year. He will take a pay cut from his normal $20+ million dollar payday from Arum. The fact that this is a Pay per view fight is another issue that people are taking up arms about. After a ppv of Algieri, Rios, and Bradley 3 all doing worse and worse, how can Top Rank look to make money on this fight?
Here is the point. Pacquiao is 37 and still one of the best in the division. He beat the brakes off Bradley for a third time only a few months ago. Most likely he will be a big favorite in this fight against Vargas and win another major title in the welterweight division. The end game is most likely a rematch with Mayweather in May of 2017, but, why Mayweather would take on an active Pacquiao after two years out of the game, with no tune up fights. Sure a lot of money will be on the table, but so will Mayweathers undefeated record, and a 50th win at that.
This is both a lead up to fight Crawford next year and set up Top Ranks new star. The Pay per view game is not doing well. The era of the Mayweather and Pacquiao paydays are over, but promoters still need to find the cash cows to keep them in the black, and Crawford may have been passed this time around, to set up his future next spring.
Terence Crawford’s Stepping Stone Pay-Per-View?
Terence Crawford’s Stepping Stone Pay-Per-View?
By: Brandon Bernica
Whenever I watch Terence Crawford step through the ropes, I get this feeling. It’s a sensation that resides in the pit of my stomach telling me I’m about to witness an extraordinary talent at work. His slick counterpunching and punctual knockouts affirm that belief – Terence Crawford’s ceiling truly knows no bounds.
Of course, the equation in boxing that encompasses the journey from prospect to star features many variables. Not only is talent essential but personality, promotional backing, activity in the ring, and luck all play roles in defining the faces of the sport. Most fighters maintain little control over these factors, paving a challenging road to bright lights and notoriety.
Terence Crawford is unquestionably gifted. He headlines his first PPV Saturday night against fellow belt holder Viktor Postol. The thing is, sales for the fight are projected to be low. While much of the blame for that prediction can be attributed to a weak undercard, it does point to Crawford’s stardom being far from a finished product.
Crawford suffers from boxing’s long-term struggle to cultivate stars out of potential. Very few fighters actually rise to “household name” status. Bob Arum – Crawford’s promoter – has said the desert is bleached with the bones of failed promoters; in the same way, many fighters’ careers flounder in obscurity due to failed promise. What makes matters worse is that the system often rewards fighters who are less-skilled but come from backgrounds or have stories that are more marketable.
Arum’s biggest challenge is to usher Crawford in as Top Rank’s new centerpiece. Since Manny Pacquiao’s retirement, a massive void remains as to which fighter will now carry the banner for the company. Crawford is the logical choice for this role, but is Saturday really the first step in that direction for his career?
Crawford holds a large following from his town of Omaha, Nebraska. Fight after fight, he’s sold very well in that city, galvanizing the hometown faithful with spectacular performances. The challenge with Crawford is to build his brand outside of that region. He doesn’t demean his opponents enough to market him as a heel. Still, he portrays the hard-working, underdog nature of the Midwest, which could hit a demographic that has historically supported boxing for years.
Crawford’s style backfires on himself, as well. You could categorize him as a counterpuncher with excellent power and timing. Usually, he knocks his opponents out with accurate blows, but there are times where the build up to those KO’s is slow and measured. If he desires the spotlight, he will need to consistently finish his fights in style. While it may seem unfair to hold him to such a high standard, it’s unfortunately the game boxing has devolved into, prioritizing style over substance.
If there is anything to expedite Crawford’s rise, it’s a good foil. Postol will undoubtedly test Crawford Saturday night, but Crawford’s true ascent will require a Goliath. Perhaps Manny Pacquiao comes out of retirement to fight him or Timothy Bradley finally agrees to a match with his close friend Crawford. These established fighters hold the esteem that Crawford wants. Which adds to why the PPV might flop: stars are not conceived from the ashes but enthroned by victory. Crawford just hasn’t had that opportunity yet, and it isn’t his fault. While Saturday might not be his coming-out party, it will serve as one last filter until we (hopefully) see him match up with the adversary he needs. For the sake of this talent, let’s hope someone steps up to the plate.
Boxing Insider Interview with Joel Diaz
Boxing Insider Interview with Joel Diaz
By: Francisco Martinez
After several fights under the guidance of multiple time trainer of the year Freddie Roach, Ruslan Provodnikov felt change was needed. Here’s where 2016 National Boxing Hall Of Fame’s Trainer Of The Year Joel Diaz comes into play. After a divorce like separation between Diaz & Timothy Bradley Jr. it wasn’t long before A level fighters looked to Diaz for help. From Ruslan Provodnikov to a short stint with Victor Ortiz. Joel Diaz is considered a teacher of boxing with a no nonsense approach towards training camp while Looking to make your weakness your strength.
Ruslan Provodnikov admits his defense is his biggest weakness and with Joel Diaz in his corner Provodnikov feels he has greatly improved that flaw in his game “technically and boxing wise I’ve added a lot of different things. Most importantly I’ve increased my defensive skills and that’s going to show in this fight. I’m positive of that…”
BoxingInsider asked Joel Diaz about the improvements he feels Provodnikov has made since being apart of his stable and Diaz feels the same way Provodnikov does regarding his defensive flaws “I don’t just focus on one thing. I know he’s just a fighter who wants to hear the bell and go. If (he) doesn’t listen you gotta get him used to it by repeatedly doing it over and over until he clicks on his own and that’s what he’s been doing. His progress has been great. In his first camp with me every time he sparred he came out with his face all bruised, look at him now, there’s no bruises. Which means he’s avoiding a lot of punches. His defense is a lot better now. That’s one of the main concerns with him. If he can through a fight without taking severe damage to his face he can perform better because once a fighter is cut and bleeding, obviously they’re thinking (about it) and they lose focus…”
BoxingInsider: These are similar style of fighters, what can we expect? When he fought (Lucas) Matthysse we were suppose to see that fight of the year but as we saw Matthysse resorted to boxing. Is he ready if (John) Molina does that, if he decides to box instead of accommodate the brawling?
Joel Diaz: One thing that I do in my camp with my fighters is, I prepare for the best and the worse. I prepare for any change. I don’t know if you’ve seen it in some of my fighters, I always make adjustments every round. Everything comes from the gym. I put everything in my gym. In the workout we do. I have fighters that are gonna come in and brawl with him. I have fighters that are gonna box with him. Even when I do mitts with him I move around on him and I teach him how to cut the corners, how to put them in a corner. How to cut the ring. As well against brawlers, how to give them angles. I put everything together. When we go to the fight he has gone through everything. He’s seen it all in the gym so he’s ready
In 2013 Joel Diaz faced off against Ruslan Provodnikov as he was in Timothy Bradley’s corner. From the first bell the fans would witness a fight that would go on to be awarded Fight Of The Year by Boxing Writers Association Of America & Ring magazine, The Bible Of Boxing. A long awaited and anticipated rematch between Bradley & Provodnikov is something the fans are demanding. However this time around given the rematch happens we would see Joel Diaz on the opposite corner facing a fighter he trained for over a decade and shared more than tears of joy & sorrow alongside him.
Joel Diaz initial reaction when asked how a rematch would play out between Bradley & Provodnikov with him in Provodnikov’s corner he quickly opened up emotionally about potentially facing Timothy Bradley one day.
“That’s a tough question for me, you know. Honestly, we know what happened in the first fight and me working the corner is my job, it’s my work and if I have to work against Bradley it would really bother me because I like the guy. I like Bradley, he’s a good guy. He’s one of the most humble fighters I’ve ever had in my career as trainer. Having to put punishment on Bradley and me being the master mind of the plan to beat Bradley in a fight like that especially doing damage and watching Bradley get hurt by a fighter like this, it would really hurt me. Honestly, I mean it from the heart. Bradley being a good guy, his kids, you know, I wouldn’t want to see it. If a fight like that happens I know I would lose sleep. I stress over every fight and just being in the opposite corner against a fighter that I spend more than 10 years with and we lived good times, bad times together it would really bother me. It would be something that I wouldn’t know how to handle”
This June 11th in New York the Siberian Rocky is set to face John Molina Jr. in a fight that doesn’t need much be said or written about it’s self explanatory. What hangs in the balance is what everyone has their eyes on. If Ruslan Provodnikov gets past John Molina Jr. there’s a big possibility we could see a Timothy Bradley rematch. One the fans have been longing for.
So tune in this June 11th live in New York on Showtime to witness one is a sure shot for candidate of Fight Of The Year. Use #ProvodnikovMolina on social media to follow all coverage on fight.
The Cloudy, But Perhaps Bright, Future Of Tim Bradley
The Cloudy, But Perhaps Bright, Future Of Tim Bradley
By: Sean Crose
So, once again Tim Bradley has lost to Manny Pacquiao. Bradley himself has essentially admitted as much, so there probably isn’t too much point arguing about. Yup, Manny is that good, folks. Still. People have good reason to wonder if the man’s really going to retire or not. Truth is, he’d probably beat every other welterweight out there at the moment – and that includes Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter or any other name you may have in mind. Again, he’s that good. In fact, the aging process seems to be remarkably slow as far as the guy is concerned.
What of Bradley, though? What of the man who most feel has lost three straight to his most notable opponent? Well, if there’s any justice the guy should be in line for induction into the Hall of Fame after he hangs up the gloves for good. His resume has been impressive, after all. Indeed, the only man who has ever been able to beat him is Pacquiao, one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair.
The conversation doesn’t end there, though. Here’s the truth – Bradley looked magnificent Saturday night, even in spite of the fact that he lost. Those paying attention could clearly see the man won his share of rounds. He just couldn’t overcome those two knockdowns he suffered at Pacquiao’s fists. The reality, however, is that Bradley was disciplined and game for the vast percentage of the evening.
Here was a man who gave Manny a challenge rather than a glorified sparing session. Who else can the same be said of in recent years? Mayweather, of course, and Marquez to be sure. But then who? No one. Looking at matters objectively, Bradley arguably did better against Pacquiao on Saturday than Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito did against the PacMan. And he most certainly did better than Ricky Hatton, Joshua Clottey and the (admittedly over the hill) Oscar De La Hoya. Telling stuff.
Where to from here for Bradley, though? That’s where things get cloudy. Let’s face it, the guy has taken some serious head trauma over the years…much of it needless. Add that to the stress of megafights (they must be incredibly stressful affairs) and the general wear and tear that being a true athlete – as opposed to say, a contemporary cherry picking fighter – brings and retirement may not seem like such a bad idea for this family man.
Then again, there’s that talent and skill to consider. If his brain and body haven’t suffered serious irreparable damage and he continues to fight in a disciplined manner under the tutelage of new trainer Teddy Atlas, there may be a bright future ahead for Bradley. Believe it. For while Pacquiao is indeed the greatest welterweight in the world, I’ve no doubt Bradley is the second greatest. And if Manny is truly retired, then that leaves Bradley at the top of the heap.
Ask yourself this, could any of today’s top welters besides Manny have beaten the Bradley of last weekend? Aside from Kell Brook the answer is no – and frankly, I suspect Bradley would beat the Englishman, too. Pacquiao isn’t a top level fighter, he’s a legitimately great fighter and legitimately great fighters come few and far between. Bradley’s faced him three times now and held his own. Sorry, but that’s a lot more telling that dominant wins over far less skilled foes.
Compare Bradley’s opponents to those of Brook, Porter, Garcia and Thurman. There’s simply no way the resumes of those men hold up against the California native’s. And let’s not forget that Bradley, unlike most of the others mentioned, makes sure to keep challenging himself with serious opposition. In other words, he has to be at his best each and every time out. Can the same be said of Garcia? Indeed, politics may be the only thing that keep Bradley from sweeping the entire lineup of young bucks out there at the moment.
Bradley just has to ask himself if it’s all worth it at this point. He’s done pretty well for himself as it is, after all.
Las Vegas and the Final Fight of Manny Pacquiao
Las Vegas and the Final Fight of Manny Pacquiao
By: Matthew N. Becher
Entering the MGM grand, opening the lobby doors to see a full sized ring with Golden Lion statue situated in the center, you knew that something was going on. Little else gave any indication to that. In years past, when the “Pride of the Philippines” Manny Pacquiao was set to fight in Las Vegas, the buzz surrounding the event was almost always at a fever pitch. For his final fight last night against former foe Timothy Bradley Jr. you hardly seemed to hear a whisper or any talk among patrons.
In the decade of the 2000s, when Pacquiao was named the BWAA “Fighter of the Decade”, people traveled in droves. The Filipino community would travel well for his fights. The “High Rollers” would also be present, as well as Hollywood celebrities that loved the fighter were constantly seen at his training sessions at the Wild Card gym would show up front row. Manny was a top seller in the business, whose tickets were hot and pay per view sales were among some of the greatest of all time. This time not so much. Most of the people we encountered were wearing shirts and hats from the previous night’s Guns n Roses reunion concert. What happened?
The box office announced that ticket prices would be dropped early yesterday morning in Vegas. Talks of Pay per View doing under 400 thousand buys were being circulated and people were wondering how an event that cost $24 million dollars would be able to see any of that money back. After speaking with ESPN writer Dan Raphael, we asked “how do you explain this fights Buzz compared to previous Pacquiao events”, his response “you can’t, this one doesn’t have it”.
As we watched the “No Trump” undercard that Bob Arum and Top Rank put together, it was very noticeable how empty the MGM Grand Arena was, Turquoise seats everywhere. Fights usually fill up the closer it gets to the major fights, but this was empty and that was consistent all the way up to the co-main event, a Title fight between legendary Arthur Abraham and newly crowned champ Gilberto Ramirez.
It was all a sad way to see the great Manny Pacquiao go out. After all he has given to the sport, a bad performance against Mayweather ruined all of this? No celebrities were ringside, most likely because of the anti-gay statements Manny had made a month ago, they could not take the chance of having their names connected with supporting Manny. It didn’t seem fair that a man who gave so much to the sport of boxing was just being given up on.
As the second to last fight ended and the ring was cleared, you could see that more and more people started arriving. People wearing the Philippine flag like capes. People of all walks of life, color and nationality wearing Pacquiao shirts began to take their seats. They may have been die hard boxing fans, or merely casual ones, but they were, without a shadow of a doubt, Manny Pacquiao fans, and they were there to see their favorite fighter, do what he does best in his final time in the ring.
From the ring walk, it happened. The place returned to that Buzz that was missing. People forgot all about the Floyd fight, they didn’t care about his remarks, all they cared about was watching a man that always puts on a great fight do his thing. Manny did do his thing, looking as good as he ever has in his previous three fights against Bradley, even scoring two knockdowns in the process. The arena was on its feet for almost the entire fight, screaming and chanting “Manny, Manny, Manny”. They cheered for his flurries, and took photos of the action, they waited to hear his “retirement” speech with Max Kellerman on HBO. They gave him the proper sendoff he deserved and in turn they were all treated to a great performance by a boxer that may only come around once in a generation. The Fighting Pride of the Philippines got his final victory in unanimous fashion last night, and it was just how it should have been.
Bradley vs. Pacquiao III Round by Round Recap: Pacquiao Sizzles in Retirement Bout
Bradley vs. Pacquiao III Round by Round Recap:
By: William Holmes
Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao met for the third time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on an HBO Pay Per View.
Roberto Duran was acknowledged before the national anthems and the Filipino National Anthem was performed by the World Choir of the Philippines. The United States National Anthem was sung by Season Fifteen American Idol winner Trent Harmon.
Timothy Bradley entered the ring first with trainer Teddy Atlas walking behind. Manny Pacquiao entered second and was treated favorably by the crowd.
Lupe Contreas, instead of the normal Michael Buffer, made the formal introductions for the boxers in the ring. Tony Weeks served as the referee.
The following is a round by round recap for tonight’s main event.
Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2) vs. Timothy Bradley (31-1-1); Welterweights
Bradley flicks out a few jabs, all short. Pacquiao with a jab to the body. The crowd is cheering for Pacquiao. Bradley is circling to the right of Pacquiao. Bradley lands a good jab after a missed combination from Pacquiao. Bradley is effective at keeping Pacquiao at bay with his jab. Pacquiao lands a jab and Bradley answers with a straight right hand. Bradley is making Pacquiao chase a little bit. Bradley lands a straight right hand on Pacquiao. Pacquiao has been unable to land much so far this round. Pacquiao lands a straight left counter. Bradley misses with a right hook. Pacquiao misses with a straight left hand at the end of the round.
Bradley is using his jab early on to keep a distance. Pacquiao lands a counter left hook when Bradley misses with a right hand. Bradley misses with a check left hook. Pacquiao barely misses with a straight left hand, but later follows it with another one that lands. Bradley is circling away from Pacquiao. Pacquiao is stalking Bradley and misses with a straight left hand. Bradley lands a short left hook when they tie up. Bradley lands a right hook to the body of Pacquiao. Pacquiao misses with a straight left hand. Pacquiao with a straight left to the body, Bradley misses with his counter. Pacquiao with a straight left to the body. Pacquiao lands a crisp straight left hand. Pacquiao lands another two punch combination as the round nears an end.
10-9 Pacquiao; 19-19
Pacquiao blocking Bradley’s jabs early on. Pacquiao barely misses with a wild left hand. Pacquiao has his back to the ropes but then lands a good jab. Bradley misses two bombs including a wild left hook. Pacquiao with a good two punch combination. Good straight right hand by Bradley. Pacquiao seems a little more hesitant to move forward after getting tagged with that right. Pacquiao is showing good head movement and lands a good check right hook. Bradley misses with a straight right lead. Jab to the body by Bradley. Pacquiao ducks under an uppercut from Bradley. Close round, but Bradley landed the best punch in the round.
10-9 Bradley, 29-28 Bradley
The announcers noted that Pacquiao was shaking his right arm out as if his shoulder was bothering him still. Bradley bangs two jabs against the guard of Pacquiao. Bradley comes forward and connects with two left hooks. Pacquiao lands a crisp straight left hand at the end of a combination. Pacquiao with another two punch combination followed by a straight left hand. Bradley barely misses with a straight right hand. Pacquiao looks light on his feet this round. Bradley misses with a straight right lead. Pacquiao barely misses after a combination. They both connect with straight crosses at the same time. Pacquiao bangs another straight left off the head of Bradley. Pacquiao is popping his gloves together. Bradley ends round with a hard right hand.
10-9 Pacquiao; 38-38
Bradley bangs a jab off the guard of Pacquiao. Bradley lands a two punch combination that momentarily knocks Pacquiao off balance. Pacquiao misses with a reaching jab, but lands a right hand afterwards. Pacquiao barely misses with a straight left hand, but connects with one immediately afterwards. Pacquiao lands a quick combination. Pacquiao misses with a straight left hand, but follows it up with a right hook. Pacquiao connects with a good left hand. Bradley connects with a right hook to the body. Bradley lands a good left uppercut. Pacquiao rushes forward and lands a three punch combination. Pacquiao connects with a straight left hand, and follows it with another flurry. Pacquiao lands another hard left hand and wide left hook. The crowd roars in approval as Pacquiao stalks Bradley. Pacquiao ends round with a two punch combination.
10-9 Pacquiao; 48-47 Pacquiao
Bradley throws two right hooks and Pacquiao blocks them. Bradley is pressing the action a little more to start the round. Bradley lands a good two punch combination on Pacquiao. Bradley connects with two jabs in the middle of the ring to the body. Pacquiao lands a hard straight left to the chin of Bradley. Bradley lands a three punch combination. Pacquiao lands a right hook to the chin of Bradley. Bradley lands a straight right hand and Pacquiao answers with a blistering combination. Pacquiao lands a check right hook and Bradley then ties up. Pacquiao lands a quick jab after a missed Bradley right. Bradley lands a two punch combination. Close round.
10-9 Pacquiao; 58-56 Pacquiao
Bradley is short with two reaching jabs. He bangs two punches off the guard of Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a two punch combination. Pacquiao thuds a hard two punch combination off Bradley’s head. Pacquiao is able to stay out of the range of Bradley. Pacquiao reaches with a wide right hook. Bradley catches Pacquiao with a hook after a missed Pacquiao attack. Bradley gets tagged with a straight left hand after Pacquiao blocked his combination. Pacquiao with a good jab to the head of Bradley. Bradley misses with a four punch combination. Pacquiao lands a right hook and Bradley’s glove briefly touched the canvas, scoring a knockdown for Pacquiao.
10-8 Pacquiao; 68-64 Pacquiao
Bradley presses forward early and lands a heavy hook to the body of Pacquiao. Bradley misses with a wide right hook to the body of Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a counter left after a failed Bradley combination. Pacquiao bangs his gloves together again. Pacquiao lands two hard right jabs to the face of Bradley, and Bradley answers with a hook to the body. Pacquiao barely misses with a two punch combination. Bradley lands a hard straight right hand. Pacquiao lands two consecutive two punch combinations. Bradley lands two hard hooks on Pacquiao, and Pacquiao may be hurt. Pacquiao ties up with Bradley by the ropes. Pacquiao lands a hard two punch combination.
10-9 Bradley; 77-74 Pacquiao
Bradley rushes forward and lands two punches off a combination. Pacquiao with a wide right hook on Bradley. Pacquiao misses with his jab. They both land hooks at the same time inside. Bradley with a good two punch combination on Pacquiao. Pacquiao with a good two punch combination off of a break. Pacquiao with a good straight left hand that forces Bradley to back up. Pacquiao lands a hard left hand and follows it with another left hand that sends Bradley falling backwards. That was a clean knockdown for Pacquiao. Bradley is backing up and Pacquiao lands a two unch combination. Pacquiao is backing Bradley up, but Bradley lands a hard right hand. Pacquiao answers with a quick combination on Bradley.
10-8 Pacquiao; 87-82 Pacquiao
Pacquiao and Bradley touch gloves at the start of the round. Bradley looks like he may still be wobbly. Pacquiao is backing Bradley up. Bradley circling to Pacquiao’s left hand now. Pacquiao lands a cross to the body of Bradley and follows it up with two straight right hands. Bradley misses with a left hook. Bradley lands a looping right hook on Pacquiao. Pacquiao misses with a straight left hand. Pacquiao is still pressing forward and lands a right hook followed by a straight left hand. Pacquiao barely misses with a blistering straight left hand. Pacquiao cracks Bradley with a hard straight left and follows it with a good two punch combination.
10-9 Pacquiao; 97-91 Pacquiao
Tim Bradley’s wife left her seat before the start of the eleventh round, but came back midway through. Bradley misses with a wide hook to the body of Pacquiao. Bradley misses with a straight right hand. Pacquiao connects with a stiff jab to the head of Bradley. Pacquiao lands a counter right hand to Bradley’s head. Pacquiao lands a good quick jab. Pacquiao misses with a lead right hook. Not a whole lot of action this round. Pacquiao lands a good straight left hand after a Bradley miss. Pacquiao connects with another clean jab. Bradley with an over the top right hand. Close round
10-9 Bradley; 106-101 Pacquiao
Timothy Bradley needs a knockout to win the fight. Bradley misses with a straight right hand and Pacquiao lands a quick two punch combination in response. A low blow may have landed by Bradley. Pacquiao with a lead right hook to Bradley. Bradley connects with a crisp counter right hand. Bradley misses with a wide lead left hook. Pacquiao lands a lead left cross. Pacquiao with a straight left hand and then moves out of the way. Pacquiao lands a good two punch combination and Bradley lands a hook while in tight. Pacquiao with a two punch combination and then moves out of the way. Bradley misses with a right hook. Pacquiao lands a lead right hook and then a straight left hand before moving out of the way. Bradley tries to catch Pacquiao by the corner but Pacquiao is able to move out of the way. Pacquiao lands a left hand that has Bradley hurt as the fight comes to an end.
Boxing Insider scored it 116-110 Pacquiao
The official scores were 116-110 on all three scorecards for Manny Pacquiao.
Afterwards, Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley and Joshua vs. Martin Weigh In Results
Pacquiao vs. Bradley and Joshua vs. Martin Weigh In Results
By: William Holmes
Tomorrow night HBO will present the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. on Pay Per View. Across the pond a few hours earlier in the day Charles Martin will put on the line his IBF Heavyweight Title belt against former Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Joshua at the 02 Arena in London, England live on Showtime.
Both of the cards held their weigh-ins today and the official weights are listed below.
HBO PPV Boxing Card
WBO International Welterweight Championship
Manny Pacquiao -145.5 pounds
Timothy Bradley -146.5 pounds
WBO Super Middleweight Championship
Arthur Abraham -168 pounds
Gilberto Ramirez -168 pounds
WBO NABO Featherweight Championship
Oscar Valdez -125.5 pounds
Evgeny Gradovich -126 pounds
Showtime Championship Boxing Card:
IBF Heavyweight World Championship
Charles Martin – 245 Pounds
Anthony Joshua – 244 Pounds
IBF Featherweight World Championship
Lee Selby – 125 Pounds
Eric Hunter – 125 ¼ Pounds
Back to the Future with Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas
Back to the Future with Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas
By Ivan G. Goldman
In a world teeming with excellent welterweights, we wake up just about every year to the same old match-up of Timothy Bradley versus Manny Pacquiao. Will this never end? Will they battle on and on like doomed ageless warriors in a demented sci-fi flick?
Won’t someone step up to release them and us from this bend in the time-space continuum?
When Bradley won a ridiculous split decision over Pacquiao in their first bout almost four years ago, promoter Bob Arum described the foolish scorecards as a “death knell” for the sport. Yet that didn’t prevent him from promoting a second and now a third contest, which comes at us this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view.
Everyone connected to the promotion acts like it’s an event surrounded by unparalleled drama, but when the microphones and cameras are gone everyone – and I mean everyone – understands Pacquiao prevailed in both previous contests. In terms of entertainment they were acceptable, certainly not thrilling.
Arum, who’s promoting this fight because he seems to be out of good ideas, hired respected boxing voice Bill Dwyre to write a series of pre-fight articles that are being emailed all around the fight community. Dwyre, now retired, used to run the sports section at the L.A. Times.
From time to time he falls back on the fact that both these fighters happen to be trained by celebrities – Teddy Atlas in Bradley’s corner and of course Freddie Roach in Pacquiao’s. The latter is a storied fighter/trainer combination known around the world. Atlas versus Roach creates a kind of reality TV programming atmosphere.
What goes unmentioned in publicity materials is that in his previous outing Pacquiao screwed all the paying customers by participating with a serious injury that he and his team covered up as long as they could. They clearly feared to jeopardize an astronomical payday for at long last facing Floyd Mayweather.
Previously Philippines Congressman Pacquiao had an almost sacred bond with fans. His Number One goal, he said repeatedly, was to entertain them with good fights. But if that ever was his mission, he discarded it like a wad of chewed-up gum when faced with the prospect of losing a $100 million purse. So he climbed into the ring injured and fought like it.
Mayweather, as is his wont, never really pressed him so the biggest-money fight in history was a terrible dud, a bomb, a failure, flop, a catastrophe, bogus. But not for the folks who shared the booty.
Afterward Mayweather jogged through a 49th victory – also on PPV — over Andre Berto and hung up his gloves. Meanwhile legendary Pacquiao, who turned 37 four months ago, soldiers on. Beloved by Filipino fans, he’s apparently been guaranteed $20 million. Isn’t 37 rather old for a welterweight? Especially one who’s been through so many wars as he notched up a record of 57-6-2, 38 KOs? Yes.
As for Bradley, guaranteed $4 million, he’s come through fire to achieve well-earned success, but he lacks a knockout punch. If they’ll keep offering him this kind of money to fight Pacquiao, he’ll keep showing up. But will the fans? Pacquiao, once known for blazing power, has delivered only one stoppage in his last 11 outings. That was over Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Al Haymon, who presides over cash-guzzling Premiere Boxing Champions, has reached the point where he might do business with his archenemy Arum and offer up welterweights like Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman as opponents. Maybe not. But Kell Brook and Amir Khan are also out there. Khan may or may not be involved in a business relationship with inscrutable Haymon.
Arum, who’s put together another so-so undercard, predicts a PPV audience of 700,000-plus. I hope everyone who buys this fight ends up pleased with the purchase. It’s possible.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available from Permanent Press wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.