Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pacquiao Camp Officially Sues Mayweathers and Party for Steroids Accusations

Manny Pacquiao, the current pound-for-pound head honcho, IBO and Ring Magazine light welterweight and WBO welterweight titlist, has officially filed his defamation lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather, Jr., his father Floyd Senior, his uncle and head trainer Roger Mayweather and other associates including Richard Schaefer and Oscar de la Hoya.

It can be recalled that the Mayweathers have accused Pacquiao with steroids usage shortly after his stunning knockout victory over Ricky Hatton. The Filipino initially brushed these accusations but has had enough when the Mayweathers and Golden Boy Promotions demanded a random, Olympic style drug test for both fighters.

Pacquiao believes that such allegations, both baseless and lacks substantial evidence have tarnished his reputations as a professional boxer.

The lawsuit is at the District of Nevada. The Filipino boxing icon is represented by Las Vegas-based law firm Lewis and Roca LLP, specifically by Attorneys Eric D. Hone and Franchesca Van Buren. Pacquiao also demands a trial by jury against the defendants.

Here is a copy of the Defamation Complaint.

With the lawsuit, the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is off. Bob Arum is now in the talks of concocting a potential matchup between Pacquiao and the current WBA juinor middleweight (154 lbs) champion Yuri Foreman. A win over Foreman will further solidify Pacquiao's status as an all-time great for bagging eight titles in eight different weight divisions.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Online Thread Reignites Donaire-Viloria Feud

Apparently, there are still some kinks between two Filipino champions Nonito Donaire Jr. and Brian Viloria. It can be recalled that Viloria beat Donaire and his brother Glenn in the finals of the 2000 US Olympic eliminations.

But after turning professional, it was Donaire who enjoyed large mainstream success both in and out of the ring while Viloria, due to losses in his major fights, slightly faded from the limelight. The feud between the two kicked off when Donaire directly dismissed Viloria and saying the native from Hawaii is not on his (Donaire’s) level and has nothing to offer him.

But Donaire was quick to apologize, reasoning that he was exhausted during the interview. Donaire said, “"Well I guess there is still some bad blood then. I apologized already for saying that he wasn't on my level and explained that I was just cutting weight and tired when that interview came.”

Everything seemed to be going all right for Donaire and Viloria when a thread started by Erica Navarro, Brian Viloria’s live-in partner, in a social networking site reignited the row between the two world class champions.

In her thread, Navarro blasted a certain fighter for hiring a certain trainer. Navarro and her friends went as far as calling this fighter names, including loser and copycat. Boxing insiders believe that she is referring to Donaire and his move on hiring Roberto Garcia, Viloria’s trainer, as part of his team.

Navarro posted the thread on December 21, 2009 when she and Brian learned that Garcia would miss a training day to appear at the press conference of Pinoy Power 3 / Latin Fury 13, which will be held on February 13, 2010, at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Donaire is slated to fight knockout artist Gerson “El Nene” Guerrero as one of the main bouts.

For his part, Donaire only hired Garcia as his strategist on the suggestion of his manager, Cameron Dunkin.

“I didn't think I was stepping on any one's toes hiring Robert,” Donaire commented. “Just like Freddie (Roach), I figured Robert could coach whoever he wanted. I mean he coaches my friend, Steven Luevano, a world champion, as well."

Donaire further clarified, "I just don't see what the big deal or problem is. Robert Garcia will be my strategist, not trainer at this time."

Rachel Marcial-Donaire, ever the faithful and loyal wife, came to her husband’s defense. "Well, I thought we were all friends so it's kinda sad,” said a disappointed Rachel. “I mean we invited them to all our outings, to the dinner in Manila, and we make sure if Nonito is recognized as a world champion, so is Brian."

She punctuated her piece saying, “But I'm glad I found out what she really thinks of us. I mean name-calling us "copycats"? Isn't that a high school thing?”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight in Jeopardy

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is scared of Manny Pacquiao. That’s how I see it as terms in negotiations are starting to get really ugly and could jeopardize this potential superfight between two prime fighters.

First, Mayweather asked Pacquiao to fight him on March 13. Considering Pac’s political ambitions as well as some time to heal his busted eardrum he got from his brawl with Cotto, the date is so soon. But hey, Pacquiao accepted, so the ultimatum did not work.

Next, you got Mayweather demanding Pac to fight him at the junior middleweight limit of 154 lbs and use 10oz gloves. That did not work also as they were very ridiculous to begin with.

Now, here is where the shit (forgive the language) hits the ceiling. I have been saying long before that the Mayweather camp will use the steroids issue as a way out of the fight. And perhaps this time, their plan might succeed.

Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe has been insisting that Pacquiao should undergo strict drug testing, blood screens and random urine sampling. First off, the steroids accusations are baseless. Second, Pacquiao has passed all the necessary tests before and after the fights. Third, he is just an anomaly which is why it’s hard to explain how he rose through the weights without losing his speed and power.

If Floyd Mayweather does not fight Pacquiao, then we all know who to call chicken.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mosley-Berto Showdown is All Set and Ready to Go

With all the hype being channeled to the upcoming matchup between 7-division titleholder and current WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and former world champion Floyd Mayweather, some people do not really know Shane Mosley will be up against Andre Berto for the unification of the WBA and WBC welterweight titles on January 30, 2010.

Mosley is coming off an impressive and dominating knockout victory over Antonio Margarito almost a year ago, when he clubbed the Mexican with countless strong right hands to the head. Mosley was a 4-1 underdog in that fight, since Margarito defeated Cotto in a “spectacular” fashion in his last bout. Cotto edged a split decision over Mosley in their encounter.

The young Berto is undefeated in 26 fights and has shown great potential for superstar status. Aside from his power punching, he has also shown above average technical skills against veteran Steve Forbes. In his last outing, Berto managed to grab a unanimous decision victory over then undefeated Juan Urango for the WBC title.

Here’s my analysis of the fight.

Berto is the younger guy and that should be a key factor here. He will have to use his youth to his advantage. That means he should move a lot, box Mosley inside and outside, and wear him down with those jabs. If Berto is able to do that, he might get a decision.

That said, Mosley is no pushover. A great jabber, Mosley knows how to control the fight and keep it in a pace that favors him well. He also has power and a durable chin, which should pose problems for the former Olympian. If Berto gets careless or decides to trade with Mosley, he might find himself in the losing end of the bargain.

Adding to that the fact that Berto has not fought anyone with the caliber of Mosley, an elite fighter who has been proven and tested. However, Father Time is not on Mosley side and the fact that he has not fought for almost a year may have some adverse effects once he steps back in the ring.

Berto is young but lacks the necessary experience against an aging legend in Mosley. I see Mosley winning this one by decision.

Shane Mosley
Wins: 46
Losses: 5
KOs: 39
Stance: orthodox
Height: 5′ 9″ / 175cm
Reach: 74″ / 188cm


Andre Berto
Wins: 26
Losses: 0
KOs: 19
Stance: orthodox
Height: 5′ 8½″ / 174cm

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You Are Remembered

It’s my late brother’s birthday today. He would have been 27 years old.

Carlos Placencia Ragpala III
(December 13, 1982-May 3, 2009)


We miss you! We love you!

Magic Man Overwhelms Diaz For UD

Like their first fight, Paulie Malignaggi went the distance with Baby Bull, Juan Diaz, but this time, the Magic Man’s boozing wizardry proved to be too much for the game and aggressive Diaz. He was simply superb and boxed beautifully. In a need to point it out further, what Malignaggi did to Diaz was the same thing he did when they fought in Houston, Texas.

Only this time, no judges favored the Texan native.

Malignaggi used his left jab so beautifully to sting Diaz time and then. The Texan was seen to be frustrated with the Magic Man doing his magic – boxing, quick lateral movements, and frequent 1-2s – while keeping Diaz on the charge.

Simply put, Diaz’s skills and abilities were no match for the Bronx native’s ring savvy. That said, Diaz had his moments, particularly in the fifth round, when he had Malignaggi backed against the ropes and pummeled away at his body. Diaz did not hurt Malignaggi to wear him down.

In the 12th round, Malignaggi made a surprising stand as he went all-out against Diaz. Malignaggi is no power puncher while Diaz is. Both men did go for the knockout, however, it went the distance. All judges scored the bout 116-111, giving Diaz the unanimous victory and finally sealed that controversy in Texas.

As Big Ragu jokingly warned boxers, never fight in Texas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Is Paulie Up for Redemption?

I have always seen former junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi as a second-tier fighter. While he is a good fighter with above average boxing skills overall, he lacks knockout power in both hands. Should he be gifted with destructive punches, he would have been an exciting fighter to watch.

But then again, what he lacked in the power department, he makes up with his excellent boxing IQ, ring savvy, superior hand speed, and quick reflexes. And it was evident in his last outing against Juan Diaz in Texas that he was the better man in terms of all attributes mentioned above.

While Baby Bull was tenacious and aggressive, Paulie was cool and adamant. In a battle that featured a contrast of styles, Paulie’s potshotting and lateral movements gave Diaz fits, although the former also had his moments.

The fight was close that a draw or a close decision either way would have been the right call. But as Paulie prophesied way before the fight, hometown advantage for Diaz was more than just the roaring crowd. With judges who should not be allowed to judge again, Diaz was made the victor over the Bronx native in scores that showcased wide margins.

In a rematch that will be staged in the neutral Chicago, Paulie has the chance to redeem himself. So does Diaz. Both men want to close this chapter of their career. For Paulie, beating Diaz should avenge his loss. On the other hand, a convincing Diaz victory should end the controversial whispers that arose from their first fight.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

MGM Grand Heavy Favorite to Host Manny-Money Super Bout

For the first time since the negotiations began, Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer hit a snag in their talks as the GBP executive canceled his scheduled tour with Arum and HBO Sports head honcho Ross Greenburg to the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Arum was visibly upset when Schaefer called him to told the Top Rank big boss that he is canceling the trip since he feels the place is not the right venue for the superfight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Arum was celebrating his 78th birthday when Schaefer called.

Arum also expressed his disappointment over the move as Jerry Jones, the stadium’s owner, was slated to personally give them the tour and pitch his proposal for the bout.

“I’m just embarrassed, really embarrassed,” Arum told The Associated Press. “The man (Jones) changed his whole schedule for this and you certainly want to listen to the man.”

With the Cowboys Stadium out in the equation, MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the heavy favorite for the fight’s venue. Representatives from the New Orleans Superdome and Los Angeles Staples Center have expressed their interests in having the bout held in their arenas. However, both boxers are partial in fighting in Las Vegas since they have fought most of the big matches there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is Floyd Happy Or Annoyed Pacquiao Accepted?

by: Scoop Malinowski

Do you think Floyd Mayweather is happy or annoyed that Manny Pacquiao has accepted to do battle on March 13?

This is not such an easy and obvious question to answer because neither Floyd nor Leonard Ellerbe has made a public statement or comment upon learning last week that the Pac-Man wants to come back to America to trade fists with the self-proclaimed greatest fighter in history.

So we really can’t say for sure if Floyd is happy or annoyed or worried to know that he now has to man up and fight themost dangerous, most ferocious, most complicated challenge of his life on March 13, which could pay the talkative American in upwards of $20, 30 or even $40 million.

I am one of the belief that had Pacquiao rejected the fight date of March 13 – reasonably saying he needed more time torest after Cotto or prepare for elections – Mayweather would have been all over the media, declaring victory and that Pacquiao
was ducking him.

And Mayweather would have been able to justify to HBO and Golden Boy about proceeding with plans to box Matthew Hatton in London in March or April. I believe it is entirely possible that Mayweather attempted to force Pacquiao with an ultimatum last week that he fully expected Pacquiao to reject the aggressively rushed date of March 13.

But once again, like how he unexpectedly shocked everyone by easily destroying Oscar, Hatton and Cotto, Pacquiao has bewildered and confused Floyd who does not know exactly what to say at this time about having to fight Pacquiao.

Of course, Mayweather could say or release a simple statement saying:

“I’m very happy that Manny has accepted to fight me on March 13 and I look forward to proving I am the best boxer in the world.”

or “I want to thank HBO, Golden Boy, Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao for this opportunity. I am honored and privileged to be a part of a prolific event like this. And may the best man win.”

or “I respect Manny Pacquiao and thank him very much for making this super-fight possible. But I will rise to the occasion and show the world I am the most skilled and exciting boxer of all time when I easily beat Manny on March 13.”

or “I have waited my entire career to be involved in such a defining fight and be assured I will be the winner.”

or “Manny Pacquiao is a good little fighter with a whole country behind him but I will show everyone he is making a big mistake picking a fight with me.”

or “I have grown bored with boxing again as all fights are a no-win situation and therefore I have decided to immediately retire from the sport for the second time.”

But no. We have heard nary a peep from Mayweather Headquarters. And the strange silence is sparking suspicion and curiosity.

Could Floyd be in secret panic and examining all possible excuses to use as an escape from the March 13 date, such as by coming up with an injury?

Or could Floyd be celebrating with a 72-hour party in Las Vegas at having secured the biggest payday in boxing history?

Or could Floyd be so inspired by the challenge, he is already busy studying films and already engaging in two-a-day training sessions, to make sure he is more than ready for Pacquiao?

Could Floyd have bolted all windows and doors, shivering and suffering
from repeated nightmares of what Manny Pacquiao might do to him on March 13?

We don’t know. We can’t tell what Floyd is thinking because he hasn’t officially said anything about Manny Pacquiao agreeing to fight him.

Could Floyd be busy? Sure. Could Floyd be partying? Maybe. Could Floyd be struggling with the reality that after all theseyears he has finally been cornered and must put his skills to the ultimate test, against a man even his own father advised him to avoid? Yes.

Could he be…scared? Any boxer, now matter how talented, who saw what happened to Oscar, Hatton and Cotto, and knows he has to fight that monster next, has every right and reason to be even a little bit scared.

Floyd Mayweather included.

Original post here.

Remember Lindol

The Philippines has been enjoying a stream of popularity in the boxing world, many thanks to the nation’s most popular icon, Manny Pacquiao.

But long before Pacquiao graced the ring with his brand of the Sweet Science, long before he even became famous, one man shook the boxing world with his fists.

Although not as popular and in demand as Pacquiao now is, this man, aptly nicknamed “Lindol,” meaning earthquake, garnered honor and recognition for his native land. Like Pacquiao, he laid his life on the line every time he laced his gloves and stepped inside the squared circle.

Every blow he unleashed was made heavy by his hopes and the hopes of people who believed in him. Every punch he took, he countered with perseverance that is unmistakably Filipino in its essence.

Like Pacquiao after him, this man fought against the best of his time and won most of those battles. With each hand he delivered punches and blows of seismic proportions that rendered champions helpless and stripped of their prized belts and challengers sent to dreamland long before it was bedtime.

Like any boxers, except for those exceptional few, he had his share of losses. But then, only the tough ones can go the distance against this man, and it takes tougher ones to beat him. Some even have to rely on the judges to snatch a victory over this fellow. He was that durable.

Polished skills and flair, he did not have, although he did have a bag of tricks here and there. A sneaky right cross, a stiff jab, followed by a tectonic plate-shaking straight left hand. But what he lacked in overall boxing talents, he made up with sheer grit, determination, a strong chin, and an even stronger right hand.

A proud champion he was. But like any soldier, after soldiering on for a noble cause, be it to bring honor to the Pearl of the Orient or make sure he and his loved ones have food on the plate, he faded away, or so the great General Douglas MacArthur said.

For those who saw his last fight, against a virtual unknown, he did not lose. He simply was not there. For those who did not know him, they speculate that he is a shell of the great fighter he was once. For those who knew the heart of the matter, the loss came simply because there is no reason for him to fight. Truth be told, a personal tragedy stealthily pounced on this man and ruined him, his focus, his determination, and his will. Betrayal always has its ways of breaking even the strongest of men.

No longer is this man’s named chanted by droves of fans, or even whispered inside the boxing circles. No longer is this man considered a pillar of the sport he, on many occasions, risked his life for. This man, a former boxing champion, whose name alone caused tremors running up on his opponents’ spine, faded into obscurity, merging with the shadows of nothingness like those that came before him.

This man will never be in the Boxing’s Hall of Fame, regardless of what he has achieved and the honor and glory he brought to his native land. But know that a boy who watched him pummeled opponents en route to his victories, and watched him getting pummeled in return, remembers him, remember his exploits years before. And that this boy refuses to infuse the man, that proud champion who courageously graced the sport of boxing, with some person who now packs boxes at Costco for a living.

I remember you, Lindol.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mayweather Demands Pacquiao to Fight Him at 154

Is it me? Or does Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather really want to be in the ring with the Pacman?

See, I have read an article about Mayweather’s ridiculous demands if Pacquiao wants to fight with him. Seriously, I do admire Mayweather’s skills and boxing abilities; I do regard him as the best defensive fighter of all time. But why sully his reputation with terms that are way beyond realistic and rational?

According to esteemed boxing trainer, Freddie Roach, Mayweather stated that he wants Pacquiao to fight him at the light middleweight limit of 154 lbs. Adding to that is the use of 10oz gloves.

For those who do not know boxing, Pacquiao fights at the welterweight category, which is within the 141-147 lbs weight frame. Pacquiao’s usual fighting weight plays from 144-148, at which he is really effective in terms of speed and power. And the Pacman has always used 8oz gloves.

Adding more muscle mass will have an adverse effect on a boxer’s performance if he goes beyond his ideal fighting weight. The Mayweather-Marquez fight is a prime example. Marquez, who is a natural lightweight fighter (135 lbs), climbed the scales to 144 lbs to fight Mayweather. If you have seen the fight, you will notice how slow, sluggish and ineffective Marquez was in that bout.

Though Pacquiao is a different case, who has been able to climb the scales without losing his speed, power, and mobility, he might be pushing the envelope too far should he agree to battle Mayweather at 154 lbs.

Another thing to consider is that Mayweather is the bigger fighter and the added pounds will favor him very well. Muscles act like armor, and the more muscles a boxer has, the higher his resistance to blunt trauma caused by the other boxer’s punches. Also, Mayweather already fought as middleweight when he faced Oscar dela Hoya.

Again, let’s go back to the Marquez fight. Mayweather weighed 146 lbs, two pounds over than the 144 limit and four pounds heavier than Marquez, who weighed at 142. Mayweather was visibly he bulkier fighter during fight night, and while he was defensively superb that night, he got hit with clean power shots by Marquez. The problem was, Mayweather was not hurting.

And now we go to the boxing gloves issue. First off, boxers in championship fights often wear 8oz gloves. Less padding and this translates to effective transfer of force from the boxer’s punch to the intended target if it lands. 10oz boxing gloves have more padding. Do the math.

I think a lot of people are really hyped to see this fight happen (writer included), but it seems Mayweather’s preferred terms are going to make the negotiations a tad difficult and perhaps cancel this era’s most lucrative match. I pray not.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pacquiao-Mayweather Set for March 13

For all intents and purposes, both fighters have now agreed to set the record straight and determine who the best fighter of this generation is. It is a fight I want, you want, hell, everybody wants. And it is going to happen.

Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs), the current holder of the IBO light welterweight, Ring Magazine junior welterweight, the WBO welterweight titles and the WBC Diamond Belt, , is coming off from an impressive and convincing win against Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao’s technical demolition of Cotto proves that the Pacman can fight anyone in the welterweight division and can take a true welterweight’s punch. The fight also showed that Pacquiao has the power to hurt and bring down a welterweight fighter.

Opposite Pacquiao is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Flamboyant, loud, and oozing with braggadocio, Mayweather boasts of a pristine 40-0 record, with 25 wins by way of knockouts. After more than a two-year hiatus, Mayweather clinically outboxed a game but helpless Juan Manuel Marquez in his last outing.

The win only proved that Mayweather is as good as he was before he went into semi-retirement. Still slick and sneaky, with an almost impenetrable defense, Mayweather is perhaps the best boxer in terms of defensive and evasive skills.

So what we have here is battle of two different styles – one who presses on with unrelenting power and speed and one who extensively uses his defense as part of his offense. It's Pacquiao, who prefers an all-out, all–action battle, versus Mayweather, a defensive mastermind who selectively punishes his opponents with extreme precision and counters.

Who’s going to win? Too early to call, but I will make an analysis later on these two great warriors. But one thing is for sure, I am so hyped up for this fight.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Williams Survived Martinez Onslaught

Paul Williams narrowly escaped a loss after a close, grueling, and action-packed match with Sergio Martinez in a middleweight bout last December 5. That the most feared and most avoided boxer today was shown as vulnerable as any, Martinez exposed after going toe-to-toe with Williams.

Martinez was able to down Williams in the first round, cut him over the eye in the fourth, and perhaps outworked him the rest of the night. Williams may have done enough to survive the beating. Either way, both men could have won. It was very close. So close a draw would have been justified and rightly so.

But what transpired in the scoring is one reason why boxers should never leave it to the judges. Judge Julie Lederman scored it even (114-114), but Lynne Carter credited Williams with a narrow win (115-113). The most bizarre twist came from the third judge, Pierre Benoist, as he scored the bout with a very surprising (gasping) 119-110 scorecard.

Benoist either watched a totally different fight, or had placed a huge bet on Williams. Either way, that guy should not score a bout again.

I do believe Martinez deserves a rematch. But after the beatdown he dished to Williams, I doubt the “most feared” man in boxing would want anything to do with Martinez.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Unknown Champion Cuts Down Boxing Legend in Jones

Whether its age, ring rust, or long-term absence from the ring, the journey of Roy Jones is over. Jones, who was slated to fight arch-rival Bernard Hopkins sometime in 2010, may perhaps consider retirement his best option, after losing. To a virtually unknown boxer. In the first round.

Danny Green of Australia trapped Jones into the corner and then downed the boxing great with a right hook to the side of the head. The impact of the blow was obviously visible, as Jones struggled to get himself up on wobbling knees.

Jones, shortly after recovering, was on the bad side of the bargain as Green rushed to him and battered him with powerful shots to the body and to the head. All Jones could do was cover up and try to survive.

With the defeat, the possibility of a Hopkins-Jones rematch has been reduced to embers. Green, on the other hand, retains his IBO Cruiserweight title and improves to a 28-3 record, 25 knockouts.

As for Jones, a legend definitely has fallen.

Amir Khan Blasts Salita for an Easy Win

I really can’t understand why so many Brits love to loathe British boxing star Amir Khan. He’s a nice guy for crying out loud! He’s a great chap, hands down.

Born to Iranian parents, the current WBA World light-welterweight champion successfully defended his crown for the first time against the highly touted and undefeated Dmitry Salita. In what was a much hyped matchup, Khan only needed less than 80 seconds to dispose of the Ukrainian-American contender.

Ten seconds into the fight, Khan unleashed a powerful right straight that literally obliterated Salita out of the match. While the challenger held on to buy time, it was not enough to stop Khan from launching furious and rapid barrages.

With the win, the 23-year old Khan is obviously much better than the one Breidis Prescott knocked out September last year. Under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, who Khan hired after the Prescott loss and who also trains pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, Khan is slated for higher heights.

“He can take on the world,” Roach said in the ring. “No one can touch him, I feel. Whoever wants to step up and fight, we’re ready.”

“I want to show the Americans that I have the talent, the speed, the power to do it,” he said in the ring immediately after the brief fight. “… I can only get better as I mature. I still haven’t hit my peak. I’m only 22, 23 on Tuesday.

If such thing is true, then Khan is a scary prospect for the contenders in his division. Pacquiao already admitted that Khan has the speed to match, or even surpass, his.

Z Gorres Out of Danger; Coach Roach Attacks Writer

My apologies again for not updating this blog as frequently as I want to. Been busy. Shoot me.

Now that apologies are aside, let me say that my prayers go with Z “The Dream” Gorres and his family. Z suffered a serious brain injury after defeating the hard-punching Luis Melendez last December 12th in Las Vegas. The Filipino boxer slipped into coma shortly after being declared the winner.

Z’s stable, ALA Promotions, has recently released a press report that the boxer is now out of the woods and slowly improving.

Kaya mo yan Z!

***

World-renowned trainer Freddie Roach is accused of assault and battery after he aggressively “approached” a boxing scribe who wrote an item on the famed boxing coach titled “Sick Roach Misses Concepcion’s Last Workout.”

Roach, who is known to suffer from Parkinson’s disease, is said to have felt degraded and demeaned by such title. Sources even said that Roach threatened to kill the writer if he does the same thing again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ward Claims Kessler's Belt

I hate it when I am wrong. But there is nothing worse than proven wrong. Former American Olympian Andre “S.O.G” Ward did just that when he outboxed and outpaced Mikkel “Viking Warrior” Kessler of Denmark en route to a victory last Saturday. Extending his run to 21 straight wins and no losses, Ward also became the WBA Super Middleweight champion.

I have a told in a previous article why Kessler will beat Ward. I made the Danish ex-champion a good case and he did show how tough he was inside the ring. However, it was clear from the opening bell that the young American pugilist was superior in technique and style, speed, and skills.

Kessler complained to the referee about Ward’s holding tactics. Though the Dane had a point, his stand-up European boxing style could not cope with Ward’s extreme mobility inside the ring. The later rounds saw Kessler flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to land a big one.

At the end of the bout, Kessler is faced with questions. Being the tournament’s favorite, does he have what it takes to make it through after losing in such fashion in his first fight? Is he washed-up as some of his critics say? Hard to answer for sure, but the responses will be made clear when he faces champion Carl Froch next year.

Although there were some occasional head butts and excessive holding, Ward deserved such victory. Kessler drops to 42-2, 30 knockouts while Ward elevates 21-0.

The fight concludes the first stage of the Super Six Tournament. Here’s a quick recap of the scores:
Arthur Abraham – 2 points

Andre Ward – 2 points

Carl Froch – 1 point

Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, and Jermain Taylor – 0 points each

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shane Langford: In His Own Words

People live with the cards fate dealt them with. Others may have the odds favoring their lives, while some have to keep on living with everything stacked against them. For Shane Langford, boxing was supposed to be his ticket to boxing grandeur.

But glory inside the ring will never be his. Despite his impressive amateur career in his native Canada, the 32-year old 1999 Canadian National Amateur Boxing Tournament bronze medalist was, according to him, mishandled by the people who were supposed to look out for him.

When he turned professional in 2000 at super bantamweight, Langford’s first two bouts were against a very seasoned veteran in Steve Molitor, who had 30 victories in 31 bouts at the time. Needless to say, Langford’s lack of experience in professional prizefighting, plus the fact that his first opponent was a highly-skilled boxer delivered Langford his first two losses.

He will taste his only victory in his third fight opposite a fellow Canadian boxer Sheldon Wile who was then 2-0. All succeeding fights ended in a loss, except one bout which resulted in a draw. After his fifth professional bout, Langford, now a homeless boxer living off in the streets of Los Angeles, met Pepper Roach, Freddie Roach’s brother, and he was taken under the care of the famed boxing trainers /siblings.

The Roaches tried to reignite Langford’s career, but despite it all, Langford’s dreams of becoming a world champion seemed to have never been etched in stone.

The final blow came from Jorge Espinoza when Langford faced him in April 1, 2005. Langford suffered his final loss via a tremendous beating at the expense of his left eye. The punishment he took closed his left eye forever.

The cards dealt to Langford are cruel to say the least. Losing a career in general and an eye in particular is a double whammy indeed. Langford’s professional boxing career ended with the record 1-7-1.

But fate may have other things planned for the former brawler from Canada. After recovering from his last bout, Roach offered him a job as custodian of the world-renowned Wild Card Boxing Club.

Under Freddie Roach’s tutelage, Langford immersed himself with knowledge of the Sweet Science the boxing guru has to teach him. Eventually, Roach allowed him to train his own fighters and have Langford assist him when Roach is working with top-class boxers.

Prominence and popularity also came to Langford when he was featured in the award-winning series 24/7 Pacquiao-Hatton. Today, Langford has his own droves of fans and a short list of clients, mostly amateur boxers.

Questions in bold. Answers in italics.

How did you get started in boxing?

I started learning how to box when I was 15 to fight the bigger kids in school.

You were a medalist during your amateur days in Canada. Does that say you got a great amateur experience?

Not really but I had about 30 fights. I fought in the nationals twice and I beat the then Canadian national Champ Ernesto Moraino. I fought a few good guys and beat some of them and lost to some.

When you turned pro and found out that your first opponent was a seasoned veteran, what were the thoughts that raced through your mind that night?

I thought I could win and I put a lot of pressure on him but never really made him work that hard. He won easily the next time I fought him but I did a lot better but lost a majority decision. I didn't really train that hard for that because they called me on a short notice. But it was only a four rounder and Steve (Molitor) wasn’t a good puncher yet.

You only have one victory as a pro and it was your third fight. How did you celebrate it?

I don’t remember really. I thought I would have more in the future but it didn’t work out.

You went from a pro boxer to a homeless person in LA. How did you survive a life on the streets?

Being a good fighter helped. I’ll not lie; I think I had close to one hundred fights on the street those first couple years and a bunch more since. Yesterday I had one in the Mobile gas station before that it was a few weeks on the vine by the Bliss Café and before that I had way more than that. The list goes on and on.

The thing is in L.A there are not many hungry people as there are so many people giving out food by the beach or in a church or in the street. You see them almost anywhere and they give u doughnuts and patisseries and cake and whatever is cheap.

It’s still good they got places for you to sleep if you’re not in good condition for the streets. Shelters and stuff the Glendale armory, they’ll let u sleep there. For showers, I went to the Wild Card boxing gym. They let me in for free because Freddie told them to. I then found a job at Burners, a bar on Hollywood and Cherokee as a dishwasher.

I lived well then! I got fired for fighting so I tried making money by fighting professionally. After what happened to my eye, I called it quits.


How did you meet the Roach brothers?

I met the Roaches when I was training in their gym. They knew I used to fight and let me train for free. I’d always show up with bruises from the street then they said that I could fight for real and make money so I did and lost to some Spanish guy. I then fought a bunch of other guys then I retired because of my eye.

They let me stay in the gym and clean it for a job. Being in the gym all the time, I started watching Freddie train guys and id copy his moves. In those days nobody did that. Now everyone does so that changed and it was good.


As a fighter, Freddie trained you. As a trainer that you are now, did Freddie Roach teach you everything you know or did you observed his training methods?

Freddie taught me all I know about training but he didn’t just give it to me he made me watch and observe. I took notes. The other coaches did not like it and I often got into fights with them.

Among the boxing legends that trains at Wild Card, who is the closest to you?

Pacquiao is always very nice and cool that I like him from the first day. Israel Vasquez is a real cool guy also. I am a huge fan of Michael Moorer who was fair and cool. Then there’s Ricky Keyless who is super good. I hang out with Craig McQuinn and Dean Byrne the Irishman.

Brian Villoria is a good friend and I sparred with him for a while and made $60 a day from him. I would have sparred with him for free but he really insists on paying me, which is cool since he really punches hard. I remember I got dropped by a bodyshot and it hurt for like a week.


Wayne Mchough is also nice and I sparred with him a few times. I liked Martin Cordova. Me, him, and Dean Byrne broke into this New Year’s party one time by climbing the fence because I had no ID. There are more guys like Markus Harvey and Troy Bodean and Pepper Roach but it would take too long.


Any regrets in choosing boxing as a profession? Would you change things in the past if given the chance?

Never regretted anything I’ve ever done. Only what I didn’t do.


Last question. How is life at Wild Card Gym after you got featured in Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7?

The clients realize that I’m teaching Freddie’s methods since the show aired and that I’m a good guy but all the fights I’ve been in gave me a bad name. I guess fighting will always be a part of me but after the show, people seem to understand better.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pacquiao Decimates Cotto, Becomes 7-Division Champion

My apologies for not updating this blog these past few days. A friend during my college days came over and I had no choice but to do my moral obligation to such person – show him around and make sure he (by that I mean we) had a good time.

Of course, we did get to watch the much anticipated Pacquiao-Cotto fight at a restaurant in the city and like the rabid Manny Pacquiao fans that we are, cheered wildly as the Filipino champ obliterated a tough Miguel Cotto with a TKO victory in the final round. Just two rounds past my prediction.

The fight (or the half of it) lived up to its title, with both men showcasing their skills and trading bombs from the get go. Cotto was doing well in the first couple of rounds, using his left jab extensively to upset any combinations Pacquiao was trying to concoct.

Pacquiao,on the other hand, did something rather foolish – stay still. Cotto had a field day landing powerful blows to the Filipino slugger’s body. Surprisingly, Pacquiao was able to handle what Cotto can dish out. Bad news for Cotto.

Third round started to spell good for Pacquiao as he downed the Caguas native with a short right. In the next round, Cotto was again decked to the canvas on all fours; this time leaving everybody with no doubt that Pacquiao can really fight and bring down a true welterweight.

By the middle of the seventh round, Cotto, whose disfigured face has been the recipient of many combinations and flurries, starts to ride on his bicycle while fending the stalking Filipino with his jabs and occasional power shots.

The thing was every punch Cotto lands has no more pop. He was obviously drained of his energy and was clearly bent on finishing the fight and not end up as Pacquiao’s KO #38.

Pacquiao was obviously frustrated at times when Cotto would rather dance away instead of engaging him. But with patience, Pacquiao occasionally staggered Cotto with flush combinations, adding more damage to the already beaten and battered face of the Puerto Rican fighter.

Cotto’s father Miguel Sr. pleaded him to quit, but Cotto would have none of it. A true warrior, Cotto chose to finish the fight or fall trying.

55 seconds into the last round, Pacquiao landed another powerful left and trapped Cotto against the ropes. Referee Kenny Bayless saw enough and saved Cotto from another Pacquiao onslaught and called a halt to the bout.

After dethroning Cotto, Pacquiao, in the process, became the only boxer in history to capture seven titles in seven weight categories. Revered boxing historian Bert Sugar has already named Pacquiao as the Greatest Asian Fighter of All Time and the Greatest Left-Handed Boxer of All Time.

Great respect to both fighters for giving us a good fight. This one will surely go down as a classic.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mia Eteläpelto: In Her Own Words

If there is anything that can take off a boxing fan’s attention from a good boxing match, that would be a fine babe. And fine babes can top a good brawl any time of the day. So perhaps it is a consensus desire for every man that the two and two would fit and mesh.

Enter Mia Eteläpelto.

Miss Eteläpelto parades a fine female physique that boasts of a towering 5’11” frame, a slender body, and a face that could easily land on a beauty magazine’s cover page and put other models to shame. A native of Finland, the 31-year old Mia did not conceive of any plans of scorching the catwalk and get involved in cat fights. But get this, she loves to fight.

Instead of easily dominating the modeling world, Mia opted to dominate a sport that cashes in on brutality, and she is fast becoming very good at it. It is pretty hard to imagine how someone as lovely as Mia got involved in the sport of boxing. After seeing her fight resume, a person would certainly be impressed and more perplexed at the same time.

Mia’s accomplishments, which comprised of amateur championships in 2003, 2004, and 2006, are extraordinary to say the least. But she aims for higher heights and has enlisted the help of Freddie Roach’s prodigy Shane Langford (yes, the one-eyed guy featured in Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7) to train her for the pros.

In June 6, 2009, Mia debuted with flying colors as she easily scored a unanimous decision over fellow pro starter Mia Henderson at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California. As for the moment, nobody is filling the position for opponent #2.

Questions in bold. Answers in italics.


Why boxing? You know you could have been in a safer, more glamorous, and less brutal profession.

Well, some of those glamorous professions can be pretty brutal. With boxing at least I see most of the punches coming. Seriously though, I have a degree in civil engineering and I had a great job in Finland, but I listened to my heart and decided to focus on fighting.

What is your biggest motivation every time you step inside the ring?

I’m very hard on myself. My biggest motivation is not letting myself or my trainers down. It’s important to me to do my best and I always want to get better.

You train at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. Do you get starstrucked when you see legends training there as well? Are they nice to you?

Wild Card is a great place to train. We’re like a big family and we get along well. Most of the time  Of course it’s nice to see how legends are training, and get some additional ideas what kind of trainings I should do.

Who inspired you to fight?

Nobody really inspired to fight. I started training kung fu when I was 19 and later I changed to thai boxing (muay thai). After my first fight, I knew this is what I wanted to do and after each fight I began setting my goals higher.

Freddie Roach is a master of your trade. Does he offer you tips on how to become better or does Shane do all the training stuff with you?

Freddie is a master and he’s always helpful. Shane has taught me so much, but Pepper has been in my corner since Day 1 and recently I’ve been training more with Pepper. I’ve also hired Lucia Rijker for more specialized training techniques.

Does Freddie’s brother, Pepper Roach, attempts any hits on you?

No no no. Pepper is like a father to me.

You got long arms and legs, which gives you height and reach advantage. Logically, you are better off as a classic/distance fighter. But do you have any tendencies to become the aggressor and bring the fight to your opponent?

When I started fighting years ago, it was natural to me to be aggressive but since I’ve been training in Wild Card I’ve become much more well-rounded.

You already sparred with Chika Nakamura. If you were to fight Chika in a professional match, who would win and why?
Chika’s my sparring partner and we learn a lot from each other. However, we’ll never fight against each other because we’re in totally different weight classes.

Do you have a dream match against anyone?

Not specifically. It’s important to me to fight the best fighters in my weight class. I know if I continue to train hard and remain disciplined, eventually, I’ll hold the belt.

Are you married? Engaged? Dating?
Yes, I’m engaged and very happy.

Last question, do you have a sister who is as hot as you?

I have a beautiful younger sister… but she’s engaged too. Haha, sorry!

Writer's note: At the time of publication, Mia and Shane are no longer working together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto Corner Preview

While it will be a slugfest between the Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, another battle will be fought and this is one does not need any punching power and blazing hand speed to seal the victory. Each boxer’s corner will be crucial to their victories. But who will prevail in this war of encouragement?

Both fighters will get 1-minute rest period in between rounds, where the fighter get a new set of instructions, a bag of heartening words, or a heed of warning. And the one with best people on the corner has the huge advantage to rake a win.

Manny Pacquiao has Freddie Roach, Buboy Fernandez, and Alex Ariza on his side. Miguel Cotto, will have Joe Santiago, Philip Landman, and Joe Chavez. So who has the best team come fight night?

Experience wise, Team Pacquiao has the advantage with Freddie Roach parading above the rest. The 49-year old boxing trainer was a former contender himself. He has produced several champions and will probably manufacture a lot more. He has gathered a lot of accolades, including a Hall of Fame nod and the Trainer of The Year thrice.

Opposite Freddie Roach is Joe Santiago. A nutritionist who got promoted to chief trainer, Santiago never fought in the ring and his first fight as a chief trainer was the Joshua Clottey bout. But what Santiago lacks for experience, he makes up for the strong bond he shares with his fighter. Then again, Roach and Pacquiao also has this mystical connection that transcends the usual boxer-trainer relationship.

Camaraderie goes to the Cotto camp. Everybody is at ease with everybody. No issues or signs of discord whatsoever. Team Pacquiao, on the other hand, has a rising dissent in within their ranks where an adviser to Pacman wants to take charge of the boxer’s affairs and running over the other members of the team in the process.

Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao's assistant trainer, also happens to be the boxer's best friend. If there is someone who know Pacquiao better than Roach, it's Buboy. And that knowledge will really come into play, whether Pacquiao needs some word of encouragement or a wake-up call.

Joe Chavez, a veteran cutman, is perhaps the most experienced individual in the Cotto corner. If there is someone who can tell Cotto what are the best things to do when the fight comes, Joe is certainly the man. But then, that is Joe Santiago's job.

So who has the best corner? Too early to say for certain. But it would be interesting to see who prevails come fight night.

Log on to this blog for live updates on the Pacquiao-Cotto mega bout on the day of the fight.

Lucia Rijker Cements Her Boxing Legacy

Last October 24 2009, Lucia Rijker made history as she became the first female boxer to be inducted to the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Largely unknown to people outside the boxing circuits, Lucia became popular when she played the role of Billie “The Blue Bear” opposite Maggie Fitzgerald, played by Hillary Swank, in the Clint Eastwood’s 2005 hit tragedy Million Dollar Baby.

As a child, Lucia Rijker has shown great potential for athleticism. She trained in judo at the age of six; became a member of the Dutch National Softball Team; and by 14, Rijker became the Netherlands Junior Champion in the sport of fencing.

But it was a glimpse of the fight between legendary boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier that got her on the road towards boxing glory. Watching the fight at the age of seven, she made a promise to her mother that she will become a boxer, but little did she know that she will become an icon of the sport.

Lucia’s first professional bout was held in Amsterdam on June 19, 1988, where she knocked out Vivien Gonzalez of the USA in the third round of a scheduled 12-round boxing match. She then steamrolled and gathered 17 wins with no defeats, capturing the WIBF European Championship, WIBF Super Lightweight title, IBO Women's (WIBO) Junior Welterweight title, and the IFBA welterweight championship in the process.

Lucia retired undefeated, stating that there is no one good enough to give her a competitive fight. She did say that she considers one more bout - a clash with the equally talented and charismatic Laila Ali.

She now works as an actress, a boxing trainer, and a speaker and proponent for women empowerment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Former Welterweight Champ Resurrects Pacquiao Steroids Issue

In an interview with legendary radio boxing commentator Pedro Fernandez, Kermit Cintron seconded a previous accusation made by the Mayweather boxing clan and said current pound-for-pound king and IBO light welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao is taking something to maintain his peak physical condition.

“The guy started at 107 pounds,“ Cintron remarked. “Boxers who come up in weight like that gain water weight.”

“I don’t know how a boxer can get a body ripped like that without taking something. He’s taking something, that’s for sure,” Cintron added.

Perez incidentally echoed Cintron’s sentiments. But Perez was a bit neutral and really didn’t attack Pacquiao with the steroids accusation.

Kermit Cintron sports an impressive record of 32-1-1, 28 wins by knockouts. His last defeat, which was delivered by the hands of Antonio Margarito, is now in question after the discovery of Margarito’s team attempting to load his hand wraps with Plaster of Paris in his bout against Shane Mosley.

Whether it’s a true assessment or a publicity stunt to get himself in the limelight again, throwing accusations can be bad, especially if you do not have any proof to back what you said.

It’s one thing to be opinionated about something, but saying that you “know” is another. Cintron claims to “know” Pacquiao is taking something, though he is not keen as to what it is.

Both Cintron and Fernandez are rooting for Miguel Cotto in his upcoming fight against Pacquiao. Cintron is Puerto Rican.

Click here to download the radio interview.

Note: The Kermit Cintron interview starts at 40:00.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

WBC Diamond Belt Will Go To Pacquiao-Cotto Winner

Aside from the WBO welterweight title, Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto will also battle it out for the recently unveiled WBC Diamond Belt this November 14th. The belt has been described by boxing analysts and enthusiasts as a rubbish item designed to collect more funds from boxers who are involved in super-fights.

Regardless of the commotion it made during its planning phase, WBC pushed through with its plans and produced the Diamond Belt, no matter how worthless it may seem. Unveiled in front of a full house at the Corona auditorium in Mexico City, WBC will award the Diamond Belt to its first holder, the winner of Pacquiao-Cotto.

As the name implies, the WBC Diamond Belt is decked with precious stones. The belt is fashioned with 18 karat gold and fused with 861 diamonds, 6 rubies, 221 emeralds and 180 Swarovski glass stones all mounted on beautiful Italian Ferrari leather and features the pictures and the flags of the 2 boxing heroes that will battle on November 14.

The Diamond Belt may not be a legitimate title strap, but it will surely augment the prestige and the glory of boxing.

And on fight night, tune in on this blog and feel the excitement as I deliver you a blow-by blow account of the Pacquiao-Cotto fight.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

David Haye Too Fast, Too Good For Valuev

In the world of boxing, nobody wants to be wrong. And I certainly did not want to be wrong when I made my prediction that David Haye will win via decision against 7-footer Nikolai Valuev. And Haye really made me look good, not only because the Haymaker won, but the manner of which he bested the Russian giant in his own backyard.

Check my Valuev-Haye preview and prediction for more history on the matter.

I stated in a previous article that Haye will use his superior skills and quick reflexes to his advantage, effectively outworking and outpacing Valuev all throughout the fight. Haye’s efficient footwork allows him to get in close and rain his punches then retreat while firing a shot or two.

Valuev’s size and height advantage may have been glaring at Haye’s diminutive figure, but speed and technique ruled the night for the former undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world.

Haye almost made good his promise of a knockout victory in the final round when he unleashed a three-punch volley that sent Valuev staggering against the ropes, clearly dazed from the punishment he took against the smaller Briton.

Drawing upon Haye's performance against Valuev, I can clearly say that Haye is today's fastest heavyweight in terms of hand speed, reflexes, and foot speed. He can even rival boxing legend Muhammad Ali in that department.

With the win, Haye cements his spot among the top 10 heavyweight contenders and perhaps gained him a ticket to fight either one of the Klitschko brothers.

Of course, he won by majority decision, instead of a unanimous victory I earlier predicted. But still, a win is a win.

Check out the last two rounds of the fight here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pacquaio-Cotto: My Prediction

Me being a boxing fan always supercedes me being a boxing scribe and this coming November 15, I will be rooting for Manny Pacquiao in his epic bout against Puerto Rico native and current WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. That said, I do not disregard any possibility of a Cotto victory. The no. 8 pound-for-pound best is no pushover and regarded as among the most feared welterweight boxers today.

Now that I have my lain where my loyalties lie, here is what’s going to happen come fight night.

Pacquiao will go for an early knockout. As Roach said, Cotto is a slow starter and that is one flaw Pacquiao will extensively capitalize on. Fans should expect Pacquiao to bring in the rain from rounds 1 to 3 and attempt to end the fight before it reaches round 4.

Here’s the logic of the plan. Cotto takes time in sizing up his opponents and a quick, heavy assault from the opening bell might distract his rhythm and eventually confuse him totally for the first three rounds. The first three rounds is where Pacquiao should try to knock Cotto out earnestly.

Should Cotto survive an early onslaught, expect a great shift in momentum favoring the Puerto Rican champion. Cotto is at his element in the middle rounds. Cotto will certainly go after Pacquiao to retaliate, but with more superior footwork and speedy reflexes, Pacquiao will try to coast all throughout rounds 4 to 9.

That said, do anticipate Cotto pinning Pacquiao to the corner and against the ropes on numerous occasions and throw some power blows to the body. Pacquiao, in turn, will try to evade any traps or retreat with sheer volume punching from all directions.

The remaining rounds will be crucial to both men. Cotto is shown to slow down by the 10th round while Pacquiao, if not seriously hurt, has the stamina and strength to go on for 15 rounds. If Cotto is unable to finish Pacquiao before the 10th round, odds will slowly turn in favor of the Filipino superstar.

This is where Pacquiao will be able to deliver a finishing punch and win his seventh belt in seven divisions. I do not see it going the distance.

My bold prediction? Pacquiao wins via stoppage within 10 rounds.

By the way, if ever you bet on Pacquiao with my prediction in mind and win, please do share your winnings.

Michael Jackson Would Have Been BAD Inside The Ring

I was watching This Is It, a Michael Jackson documentary when I remembered an article (a tribute really, from a boxing writer who also happened to be a big fan) elaborating on how the Prince of Pop would have been a terrific and perhaps the perfect boxer specimen.

Although the writer of the article was clearly poking fun at then recently deceased Mr. Jackson, I cannot help but agree with the writer’s points, which really hold water.

Seriously, Michael Jackson cannot last a single round with a standout amateur, but after reading the said item, one cannot help but think, “He could have reduced Pacquiao to smithereens with those moves.”

Here’s a snippet of the MJ tribute from a boxing writer:

"Sources close to Jackson in the past indicate Jackson was a great fan of the sport of boxing and had great hand technique as well as footwork. When news came out about Jackson's potential in the ring and a rumoured ring debut, several world champions were concerned because of his hand and foot speed."

If you want to read the whole thing, click here. Do shoot me with what you think.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why Mikkel Kessler Will Beat Andre Ward

There is a big reason why Mikkel Kessler of Denmark is the heavy favorite of the Super Six boxing tournament. Of all the tournament entrants, Kessler is the most experienced with 43 fights, having won 42 with 32 fights ending in knockouts. His lone loss came at the hands of one of the greats, the now-retired Joe Calzaghe of England.

Parading as the WBA super middleweight champion, Kessler will defend his title for the third time against a young American prospect, 25-year old Andre Ward, who is undefeated in 25 bouts. The fight will also be the third match of the of the Super Six contest and will be held in Oakland, California.

Several boxing pundits have claimed that Kessler is a washed-up fighter and that Ward will expose that to the world. While Kessler is five years older than Ward, the Viking Warrior is far from washed-up. Kessler is still a dangerous power-puncher who has an assortment of skills that could match or even surpass anything that Ward will bring to the ring.

There is no evidence of Kessler slowing down or eroded skills over the past five years. Though the Danish boxer had a lay-off for almost a year, he kept himself in great shape. Heck, he could box anytime and win. As Kessler enters the Super Six tournament, there is no doubt that he is in the best shape of his career.

Experience is a key element in any boxing match and that is something only Kessler can brag about. Ward may be superior in some skills, but overall ring generalship and boxing knowledge belong to Kessler.

With all that said, Ward has what it takes to beat Kessler. But his chances are slim. He may have won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics in an impressive fashion and beat all 25 of his previous opponents, but Ward has never faced someone of the caliber of Kessler – big, strong, agile, and intelligent.

There is no doubt that Kessler will need to bring his A game to put Ward down. But it is Ward who needs to bring more than his best to seize a win and have a significant something to brag about.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

David Haye vs Nikolai Valuev: Both Men Have Hard Work Ahead

In a dramatic pitting of Size versus Skill, heavyweight contender David “The Haymaker” Haye of England will try to dethrone the 2-time and reigning WBA heavyweight champion, the 7-foot, 300-pounder Nikolai Valuev of Russia on November 2, Saturday, at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg, Bayern, Germany.

The smaller Haye, who sports a 6’3 frame, have predicted a knockout victory over the giant. While decking a man of the size of Valuev is almost impossible, a decision victory for Haye is not a farfetched reality.

Here are my points.

For starters, Valuev, despite his fearsome exterior, may have lost his touch for knocking out his opponents. While I do not discount the power generated by the Russian Giant, his last five fights went the distance. Most notable fights would be his wins over Evander Holyfield and John Ruiz and his loss to Ruslan Chagaev.

Valuev, if faced with a much skillful opponent, can be outpointed, outboxed, and outworked, as evidenced by his bouts against Chagaev and Holyfield.

Haye, who just recently moved to the heavyweight division, has more finesse than Holyfield and Chagaev, and perhaps more power too. Quite certainly, Haye has the skills required if he wants to win on points against the behemoth from Russia.

He can slip in throw some fast combinations and laterals to either left or right and threw more punches before pulling away.

The slow and sluggish Valuev will have little time to react to any assault the Englishman will concoct come fight night. Simply put, speed and skill will be Haye’s bestfriends in this bout.

That said, I also believe that Valuev can knock Haye out. If the giant can impose his will using his sheer size and reach advantage and pin Haye to the ropes, Valuev can wear the Englishman and set him up for the finish. But with Haye’s speed and superior boxing skills, it might be a herculean task for Valuev to press Haye and make him pay.

My prediction: David Haye via UD


Boxer Profile

David Haye

Record: 22 W 1 L 0 D 21 KOs
Alias: Hayemaker
Weightclass: Heavyweight
Stance: Orthodox
Style: Boxer
Height: 6'3"
Reach: 80"
Nationality: London, England
Date of Birth: October 13th, 1980

Nikolai Valuev

Record: 50 W 1 L 0 D 34 KOS
Alias: The Russian Giant
Weightclass: Heavyweight
Stance: Orthodox
Style: Boxer
Height: 7'0"
Reach: 85"
Nationality: St.Petersburg, Russia
Date of Birth: August 21st, 1973

Mayweather Contradicting Mayweather

Smart businessman, he claims to be. That may hold true since he has been quite successful in terms of money. But claiming he is the best is a tad too far for a true boxing fan (that may not be the case for his die-hard lickers). Floyd Mayweather got himself in a heated exchange of words with the R.A. the Rugged Man in a satellite radio show.

Obviously, Floyd Mayweather was losing every issue Rugged Man throws at him, even called PBF a liar at a certain point. I for one was thoroughly enjoyed with the verbal jabs spewed by both men. But as a lover of the sport, I could not help but notice that Floyd Mayweather is contradicting himself on numerous occasions throughout the debate.

For starters, Floyd stated that Carlos Baldomir was the legitimate welterweight when Floyd fought him in 2006. Rugged Man was quick to point out that Baldomir had 11 losses then. Floyd dismisses this and implying it is not about the losses.

If you guys remember the argument between Brian Kenny and Mayweather, Kenny asked Floyd why he would not fight Shane Mosley. The answer came quick and in Floyd’s own words, the guy has five losses. So what about it Floyd? Is it or is it not about the losses?

Then comes another claim from Floyd. He said that he came from smaller weight divisions and would fight anyone on his way to the top. The contradiction came when Rugged Man asked if he would fight Paul Williams. Floyd’s quick retort – he is TOO BIG.

I have mentally listed other Floyd’s contradictions and they all intersect like that of a web of drunken spider. If you want to see how many contradictions you can find, just click the following links:

Larry Merchant calls PBF a boring Fighter

Brian Kenny vs Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather Got Ass-Kicked in a Radio Show

Monday, November 2, 2009

Perez Dethrones King Kong

In a contest for the IBF bantamweight crown last October 31, Yonnhy Perez of Colombia dethroned Joseph King Kong Agbeko with a brilliant display of raw aggressiveness fused with polished boxing skills. Both fighters staged vicious assaults and no one gave up an inch. It was never a boring fight.

Both Agbeko and Perez traded bombs right at the sound of the first bell. With so much action these fighters generated that night, no doubt their ancestors were rocked as a solid shot landed one after the other. It was action packed and fight fans really got their money’s worth that night.

While the Agbeko-Perez fight was action packed, it was Perez who was getting the most of it. Agbeko, classy fighter that he is, forgot one rule though –PROTECT YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES. A head butt occurred late in the 10th round, which caused Ghana’s Agbeko to turn his back to Perez and complained to the referee. Perez in turn gladly delivered a left hook and decked the champion to the canvas.

Referee Robert Byrd explained that he did not see the head butt, which was obvious in the replays.

The judges of the bout scored 116-110, 117-111, and 117-111 in favor of Perez, who now improves to an impressive record of 20-0, 14 KOs. Agbeko drops to 27-2, 22 KOs.

Photo taken from: http://boxingledger.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Floyd Mayweather Got Whipped in a Radio Interview

Like any other true boxing fan, I feel that though Floyd Mayweather is very talented, he needs to prove he is great

And with the level of opposition he has faced recently, associating the term “great” with Pretty Boy Floyd is pretty much a farfetched idea. He needs to fight the best. So far, he dominated the best lightweight at a fight that occurred at welterweight.

Point is, PBF parading as the best is plain silly. And just recently, Floyd got owned in a heated argument with the Rapper R.A. the Rugged Man on Shade 45 satellite radio.

Rugged Man blasted Floyd with a series of questions, ranging from his choice of opponents, why he is dodging the best fighters out there, and comparisons with some of the legends and a relative unknown of the sport. And as usual, Floyd’s arguments can’t hold water while Rugged Man’s points are as valid as they can be.

If you want to hear how Floyd Mayweather went down in this debate, just click here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Updates

My apologies for not updating this blog for the past week. I was among the organizers of a recent blogging summit held in my home city and the event demanded time and much more from me. However, I have not slacked about with regards to the event of the boxing world and so far, things are going great.

Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto are to clash in November 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. That would be nearly two weeks from now. And the first episode of the 24/7 series was a great success. I’ll write about that on a separate article.

And then there is this upcoming bout between IBF bantamweight champ Joseph Agbeko and challenger Yonnhy Perez. Agbeko (27-1, 22 KOs) is coming off a unanimous victory over hard-punching super WBC super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan. On the other hand, Perez is undefeated in 19 fights, 14 by knockouts, with his last win over David Martinez ended in a sixth round TKO. This will be a promising fight as you have two hard hitters in the lower weights go at it for honor and glory.

Filipino fight fans! Brace yourself as three of our countrymen will battle it out a day before the Pacquiao-Cotto war. Bantamweight Federico “Magnifico” Catubay (25-15, 13 KOs), a native of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte, will face Juan Alberto “The Monster” Rosas (30-5, 25 KOs) of Mexico in a title eliminator bout for the IBF super flyweight title.

Mighty Mark Melligen (16-1, 12 KOs) of Bacolod City will slug it out against Mexican Michel Rosales (24-3, 21 KOs) in a 10-round bout in the welterweight division. Z “The Dream” Gorres (30-2-2, 17 KOs) will try to get a win over Luis Melendez (26-3-1, 21 KOs) of Colombia in a 10-round fight in the bantamweight division.

Go Filipinos!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hatton Plans a Comeback Fight with PBF

After a five-month lay-off following his defeat in the fast hands of P4P kingpin Manny Pacquiao, former junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton is now eyeing a comeback in the early or middle of 2010. And who the Hitman wants for his comeback fight? His first conqueror, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

While I genuinely believe that Ricky Hatton still has some fights left in him, a rematch with the younger Floyd Mayweather is a long shot. See, the Hitman has already tried to conquer the top and fell short against the best – he got knocked out by Mayweather in the 10th round in 2006 and was dominated brutally by Pacquiao in a fight that lasted two rounds last May.

Hatton is an entertaining fighter. His brawling style really gets the fans off their seats. But as may have witnessed, his forward, head first, form of boxing does not have what it takes to take out the A-listers of boxing.

It comes as a no surprise for any boxing fan to hear a boxer avenge his loss and Hatton is no different. But blaming the referee for his loss does not add up. Hatton said that the third man inside the ring, the venerable Joe Cortez, did not allow him to impose his will on the American champion.

The disparity in skills was very much visible. Poor defense, lack of maneuvering skills, and less speed are just some of the things why Hatton did not overcome Mayweather that night. And to try it all again would be a futile attempt.

But then, this is boxing. Hatton certainly has a puncher’s chance of beating Mayweather or perhaps Pacquiao should they meet again. That said, Hitman’s chances of winning are almost nil.

Hatton is a true fighter in every sense of the word and he will certainly be looking for a rematch with Mayweather. Whether there is a possibility of having the same results or not, people are going to spend money to see how it goes.

Mayweather to Evade Potential Clash Between Pac-Cotto Winner

As the events leading to Pacquiao-Cotto: Firepower begins to unfold with the opening of the 24/7 series this weekend, news about Floyd Mayweather, Jr. inching his way out to fight the winner is brewing. Many boxing fans and pundits have called on Pretty Boy Floyd to fight the Pacquiao-Cotto victor if he wants to claim the P4P throne now ruled by Pacquiao.

But it seems Floyd has other plans underway. And it does not involve fighting Pacquiao-Cotto winner, nor does it entail a match with Shane Mosley, Paul Williams, and Andre Berto. Simply put, Floyd does not have any schemes to fight any legitimate welterweight.

Instead, Floyd has his sights on a 19-year old Mexican slugger Saul Alvarez. Relatively unknown, Alvarez sports a record of 29-0,22 KOs. But while he definitely has power he lacks experience and skills he requires to compete with the A-listers of the welterweight division.

Golden Boy Promotions’ second-in-command Richard Schaeffer is already selling a potential match between Mayweather and Alvarez sometime in 2010. Alvarez-Mayweather is estimated to sell 100,000 tickets if held in Aztec Stadium. Loaded with BS, no?

Mayweather already discredited himself by beating a blown-up lightweight (no disrespect to Juan Manuel Marquez, he’s one of the best boxers there is). If he does opt to fight Alvarez, then he will not only stain his image, but ruin his legacy as well.

If Floyd wants people to believe in him when he says he is the best, then it is in his best interest that he fights those who are in the top and are his size. But if he does end up fighting the kid, then it’s pretty much clear that it’s all about the money.

It may be a good move for him business wise, but that would be a great disservice to the sport and its fans. When will Floyd truly prove his great?

Pacquiao-Cotto Preview: A Genuine Display of Respect

When you have two elite boxers trying to hype up an upcoming fight, trash-talking, name-calling, and other verbal insults are surely flying around nonstop.

You have Muhammad Ali calling Joe Frazier an ugly bear, to which of course Frazier responded with a rain of punches. The Mayweathers also are not lost when it comes to belittling their opponents before a fight. Floyd Mayweather Senior blasted fellow trainer Freddie Roach with titles such as “cockroach” and “the joke Coach.” The younger Mayweather, at a press conference, brought a chicken to cement his description of Oscar Dela Hoya.

So it’s quite refreshing to see two of the best P4P fighters smiling at each other as if they have no intentions of reconfiguring each other’s faces and perhaps careers.

Manny Pacquiao, the current pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, and Miguel Cotto, ranked 8th best pound-for-pound boxer and current WBO welterweight champ, are all smiles in their mini-interview with boxing analyst Max Kellerman. Both fighters handed each other praises and credit for their respective careers and in the truest sense of the word, mutual respect is visible between these guys.

Both Pacquiao and Cotto acknowledged the skills of the other and also talked about their motivation why they fight – family, honor, and country. But make no mistake. No matter how genuine these guys are, no matter how friendly they seem outside the ring, once they become boxers, they will try to get the other’s lights out.

Pacquiao-Cotto with Max Kellerman here.
Pacquiao and Cotto on the reason why they fight here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Froch and Abraham Triumphant Against Americans

British Carl Froch and Germany’s Arthur Abraham have succeeded in garnering their respective wins in the first stage of the first round of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Froch edged out Andre Dirrell in a split decision in what was a very thrilling match. In the German part of Europe, Abraham proved to be too powerful for the talented Jermain Taylor and knocked him out in the final round.

It proved to be a great night for both Europeans, staging great fights in Europe’s soil.

As expected, the younger and faster Dirrell danced around Froch and hitting him with crisp jabs and some solid shots. The early rounds saw a frustrated Froch trying to deliver his own dose of power bombs.

This pattern remained on its course until Froch found some openings in the later rounds and succeeded in transforming this bout into a brawl. And brawling is something Dirrell is not used to. Froch easily capitalized on the situation and asserted himself over Dirrell in most part of the bout.

With the win, Froch advances to the tournament with two points and elevated his record to 26-0, 20 KOs, while Dirrell suffered his first defeat in 19 bouts.

In Germany, Abraham versus Taylor seemed to be the reminiscent of Froch versus Taylor. What we all saw was the same stuff that unfolded last April. Taylor dominated the first half, gassed out, and got knocked as the 12th round was nearing its end.

After the fight, boxing pundits (most of them anyway) are now coming to a conclusion where Taylor is now on his way down and probable retirement awaits him after the tournament. Such concurrence is quite understandable considering that Taylor fades in a fight. He ran our out of steam against Kelly Pavlik, Carl Froch, and now Abraham.

This is Taylor’s fourth defeat and his second consecutive following his loss to Froch.

Winning his 31st fight in a row, Abraham proves to be a scary prospect for the other entrants of the Super Six. Not only did he win his first fight at the super middleweight level, he carried his destructive punching power with him.

Abraham’s record now stands at 31-0, 25 KOs. Taylor drops to 27-4, 17 KOs.

Next month, we’ll see how the young Andre Ward will fare against the tournament’s heavy favorite Mikkel Kessler of Denmark.

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