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Live Blog: Pacquiao vs. Bradley II

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Tim Bradley will look to win his second win over Manny Pacquiao this coming April. (Chris Carlson/AP)

Tim Bradley is seeking his second win over Manny Pacquiao. (Chris Carlson/AP)

LAS VEGAS — It’s fight night in Las Vegas, and as usual will provide round by round coverage of a major pay per view. At around 11:30 ET (give or take) Manny Pacquiao will attempt to win back the WBO welterweight title Tim Bradley took from him in 2012.

It’s been a fairly quiet fight week. Pacquiao is never much of a talker and Bradley couched most of his trash talk with acknowledgments of Pacquiao’s greatness. Even the trainers–Freddie Roach and Joel Diaz–have been cordial. The only drama has involved Bob Arum, the promoter of the event, and executives at the MGM Grand, the site of Pacquaio-Bradley II. Arum has publicly (and repeatedly) rebuked casino execs for mixing signage for Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming fight in with Pacquiao’s. Mayweather fights Marcos Maidana on May 3rd at the MGM Grand. Suffice it to say, it may be a long time before Top Rank comes back to the MGM.

Keep this page bookmarked: I’ll check back in as we get closer to the main event

8:50 pm And we’re back. Three largely uneventful, uninteresting fights in the books. To recap: Bryan Vasquez scored a unanimous decision win over Joes Felix, Jessie Vargas outpointed Khabib Allakhverdiev in a mild upset and Ray Beltran easily decisioned  Arash Usmanee. Arum has made it clear he has little interest in investing big money on pay per view undercards. So I guess you get what you pay for.

A few notes:

-Pacquiao weighed in at 145-pounds yesterday, 151 on HBO’s unofficial scale tonight. Bradley tipped the scales at 145.5 yesterday, 152-pounds today.

-In talking to Top Rank and HBO executives this week, the sense I get is if the fight does in the neighborhood of 850,000 pay per view buys, they will be happy. Arum has trumpeted that he expects the fight to exceed 1 million, but I don’t see it. My prediction: Somewhere in the 750,000 range.

-Some early celeb sightings: Jack Nicholson, Charles Barkley, Dave Chappelle

-In addition to blogging, I’ll be tweeting updates from my account (@ChrisMannixSI). My new colleague Greg Bishop is also ringside. Follow him at @GregBishopSI.

8:55 pm Blog favorite and official boxing prognosticator Cheapo Tony (@CheapoTony) has weighed in: Bradley. As most of you know, Cheapo is the anti-oracle, the worst fight picker in Internet history. So take that for what it’s worth. Officially, per the MGM Grand, Pacquiao is a nearly 3-1 favorite (-280) while Bradley, the champion, is the underdog (+230)

9:10 Here comes Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao, the crowd favorite, walks to the ring to Katy Perry’s “Roar.” A “Manny, Manny” chant booms from the rafters when Pacquiao emerges from the tunnel.

9:15 It’s Tim Bradley’s turn. A Bradley highlight video with D.J. Khaled’s “All I do is win” playing over it is on the screens around the arena. Side note: Do you think D.J. Khaled knew that song would be immortalized in sports arenas? Seriously, will that song ever go out of style? Anyway, Bradley is in the ring. Not much of a reaction to his entrance, either.

ROUND 1: Pacquiao the aggressor, coming forward in the southpaw style with straight right hands. Bradley responds with a good body shot that Pacquiao acknowledges with a nod. Good straight right by Bradley. Another good counter body shot by Bradley. Pacquiao is not as active as Freddie Roach probably wants him to be. Another straight righ hand from Bradley. Pacquiao counters with a hard hook to the body. Close round. Bradley landed the cleaner shots. 10-9, Bradley

ROUND 2: Pacquiao rushes Bradley, knocks him off balance with a push. Bradley continues to flick the jab. Pacquiao misses with a left hook. Pacquiao connects with a brutal straight right hand. Again, another power shot from Pacquiao bacjs Bradley up. Pacquiao coming forward fast now. Bradley pushes back, is slugging it out with Pacquiao in the middle of the ring. Bradley looks unfazed by the assault. Good straight right by Bradley backs Manny up. Nice rally by Bradley, but a good round for Pacquiao. 10-9 Pacquiao 

ROUND 3: Bradley lands a clean shot to the jaw. Pacquiao counters. They are brawling now. Bradley seems perfectly willing to stand and trade. Their heads are coming dangerously close. Head butts have been a problem for Bradley in the past. Bradley with a hard right hand to the head. Another clips Manny’s jaw. Bradley coming forward now. Manny responds with a strong combination to the body. Manny flurries but Bradley’s good head movement keeps him out of harms way. Another close round but give it to the aggressor, Bradley. 10-9, Bradley 

ROUND 4: It feels like Manny is missing chances to hurt Bradley. Bradley has been wilder than usual, but Manny has missed or ignored openings. Bradley continues to try to apply pressure. Manny responds with his own. Hard right to Manny’s head by Bradley. That got Manny’s attention. Manny looks a little tired. He’s not as active as he wanted to be. Bradley continues to apply pressure. Wings a right hand that misses, connects on another. A good round for Bradley. 10-9 Bradley

ROUND 5: Manny lands a nice combination to Bradley’s head. Bradley taps Manny with a looping left hand. Another good combination to Bradley’s head for Manny. Hard right hand by Bradley lands flush. Another right catches Manny clean. Manny comes forward, glances Bradley with a three-punch combination. Another close round, but give it to Manny. 10-9 Pacquiao

ROUND 6: Given how both Manny and Bradley come careening in, it’s surprising there have been no head butts yet. Pacquiao probes, looking for an opening. Pushes Bradley back. Pace has slowed a little. Both fighters trying to stay out of each others range. Bradley misses with a wild hook. Good left by Manny. Manny pushes Bradley to the ropes and unleashes multiple combinations, but Bradley’s movement keeps most of them from connecting. Manny was more aggressive, so give this round to him. 10-9 Pacquiao

ROUND 7 Bradley comes out aggressive, pushes Manny back with combinations. Manny continues to work that hard jab. A nice combination catches Bradley, knocks him off balance. Hard right by Bradley. Bradley’s evasiveness is obviously a problem for Manny. Manny just can’t find that range. Right hand by Bradley clips Manny’s head. Manny doing a nice job this round of moving in and out of danger. A huge flurry by Manny catches Bradley on the ropes. Bradley waving Manny towards him, wants to fight out of the corner! Manny continues to attack. Clearest round to score. Give it to Manny. 10-9, Pacquiao

ROUND 8: Crowd continues to chant for Manny. Bradley lands a stinging left jab. Manny lands a right. Bradley taunts Manny, shaking his head at him. Bradley dances a little in the ring. Bradley swings and misses. Bradley taps Manny twice on the head during a clinch. Crowd boos. Bradley continues to taunt. At this point, if Bradley loses he is going to regret perhaps giving some of these middle rounds away. I’ll give that one to Bradley though. Did a little more than Manny. 10-9 Bradley

ROUND 9: Both men exchange left hands. Manny knocks Bradley off balance with a left and does it again. Bradley stumbles into the ropes. Referee believes it was a slip, which it probably was. Nice right hand from Manny . He seems to be picking up steam this round. Bradley is not defending his head much. Relying on movement to make Manny miss. Bradley is not putting together many combinations this round. Manny’s punches may be taking a toll. Give the 9th to Manny. 10-9, Pacquiao

ROUND 10: Word filtering that Bradley may have hurt his hand. Would explain some of his inactivity the last few rounds. Nice left by Manny clips Bradley on the chin. Hard left catches Bradley again. Manny pushes Bradley to the corner. Bradley responds with a hard shot that backs Manny up. Not a lot of clean punches landed there. Give it to Manny. 10-9, Pacquiao

ROUND 11: Bradley drills Manny with a hard right to the head. Manny continues to push Bradley back. Flurries in the corner. Bradley escapes. Bradley fighting exclusively on his heels this round. Have to wonder if that hand is an issue. Bradley is just flicking the jab, refusing to unleash that right hand. Good straight right by Manny. Bradley continues to run. Terrible round for Bradley. 10-9 Pacquiao

ROUND 12: Bradley continues to protect his right hand. Pacquiao lands a strong combination. Bradley looks hurt and winded. Manny pokes at Bradley with the jab. The action slows. Bradley isn’t connecting with much of anything. Decent body attack by Bradley. A head butt catches Manny, opens a cut on his cheek. Doctors check it out. They give him the OK. Bradley flurries, tries to finish strong. Closer round than it looked at the beginning. Give it to Bradley. 10-9, Bradley

10:11 pm It’s a unanimous decision win for Pacquiao. 116-112 (twice). 117-111. scored the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao.

– Chris Mannix


  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • UFC 171 Live Blog: Hendricks defeats Lawler

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    Johny hendricks

    Johny Hendricks (left) survived a five-round battle with Robbie Lawler to win the welterweight title. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    Johny Hendricks outworked Robbie Lawler to win the vacant UFC welterweight title Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

    Hendricks earned an early lead with effective outside kicks to southpaw Lawler’s lead right leg and with mixed combinations. Lawler rallied with steady, measured boxing to take rounds three and four and closed the distance heading into the final round. Hendricks clinched the final stanza with effective striking and a fight-turning takedown with only seconds remaining on the clock.

    With the voluntary exit of former champion Georges St. Pierre, incumbent Hendricks becomes the division’s first new champion since 2008.

    Read More…

  • Published On Mar 15, 2014
  • VIDEO: MMA fight over in five seconds, but isn’t fastest KO in history

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    Mesquite, Nev., is less than 90 miles from Las Vegas, but it’s a world away in terms of the fight game.

    Still, you’ve got to start somewhere, and for Corey Conway and A.J. Leone, the CasaBlanca Casino and Resort in Mesquite was the venue for Saturday’s professional mixed martial arts debut for both bantamweights, as part of an event called Mayhem in Mesquite IV under the Tuff-N-Uff promotion.

    Spelling out those details took longer than the fight did. Conway needed just five seconds to lay out Leone with a right cross on the button.

    It was a spectacular debut for the 18-year-old, who competes as part of the Xtreme Couture team headed by UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. But it was not the fastest KO in MMA history. That honor would haver to go to the two-second KO scored by Ryohei Masuda after Takahiro Kuroishi charged at him at the start of their 2008 bout in Tokyo.

    How do these feats compare to those on the sport’s grandest stage? Well, the fastest finish in UFC history is 6.26 seconds, the time it took Duane Ludwig to flatten Jonathan Goulet in their 2006 fight in Vegas.

    That’s the record-breaking time recognized by the UFC, at least. In the annals of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which was the regulatory body in charge of the bout, the time was listed as 11 seconds. Someone apparently was slow with the stopwatch.

    Another UFC fighter owns an even faster KO. But when Chris Clements starched Lautaro Tucas in three seconds back in ’06, it was at a local show in Montreal in the welterweight’s pre-UFC days. – JEFF WAGENHEIM

  • Published On Mar 05, 2014
  • UFC 170 Live Blog: Rousey wins in first round again

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    Ronda Rousey wins in UFC 170

    Ronda Rousey made quick work of Sara McMann with this knee at UFC 170 in Las Vegas. (AP)

    Daniel Cormier had an easy first-round victory over Cummins. (AP)

    Daniel Cormier had an easy first-round victory over Patrick Cummins. (AP)

    UFC Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey didn’t need her savvy judo game in her ninth career bout, as she utilized brutal knees to the body to stop Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann one minute and six seconds into the first round of Saturday’s UFC 170 main event in Las Vegas.  Rousey said she’d sparred her entire preparation camp. This is the first of Rousey’s bouts that she hasn’t ended via armbar. Check out‘s round-by-round recap of the entire main card below.

    Main Card Results

    Ronda Rousey def. Sara McMann – TKO (knee) 1:06 R1

    Daniel Cormier def. Patrick Cummins  - TKO (strikes) 1:19 R1

    Rory MacDonald def. Demian Maia – Unanimous Decision (29-28 all)

    Mike Pyle def. T.J. Waldburger  - TKO (strikes) 4:03 R1

    Stephen Thompson def. Robert Whittaker – TKO (strikes) 3:43 R1


    Women’s Bantamweight Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann

    Sara McMann is the only challenger with similar Olympic credentials to Rousey. She’s a 2004 Olympic silver medalist (7-0) with obvious physical strength, something that might make a difference against Rousey, who’s been able to bully her previous opponents. McCann’s preference is top control and some good ‘ole ground-and-pound. The problem is Rousey (8-0) can maneuver her armbar assault from just about any position. The X-factor is the stand-up (neither woman is an ace there yet) and Rousey’s movie star distractions. No matter what she says, she hasn’t had the dedicated time to work her weak spots. Will McMann be able to capitalize?

    11:47 p.m. – Main event time. Sara McMann enters first with a T-shirt that reads “ETG.” Embrace The Grind. Rousey follows, mean-mugging an invisible opponent in front of her.

    11:55 p.m. – The women take center for instructions.  They touch gloves. Our referee is Herb Dean.

    R1 – It’s a brawl from the get go, both women throwing for the fences. McMann gets in the best strike and Rousey pushes it to the fence. McMann is defending well; Rousey is attacking with knees. Rousey throws a vicious body knee and McMann crumbles, her arms grasping her mid-section (liver shot). It’s all over.

     Official Result - Ronda Rousey def. Sara McMann – TKO (knee) 1:06 R1

    Light Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier vs. Patrick Cummins

    Though Cormier and Cummins have gone above and beyond to promote this bout, it’s hard to get excited for a last-minute replacement fight between a 4-0 newcomer and a 13-0 contender on the outskirts of the contender’s circle.

    Regardless, the two have had “beef” this week: the short of it is Cummins, a two-time All-American, made Cormier cry during an especially grueling wrestling session when Cormier was training for his Olympic bid. Apparently, UFC President Dana White booked the fight on this story. I’d gripe about this move, but why bother? Cormier has a good shot of knocking Cummins out.

    11:29 p.m.  - Goldie and Rogan going into overdrive to hype this next one. “Make no mistake. Pat Cummins deserves to be in the UFC,” says Rogan. At this point, everybody is making it into the UFC.

    11:34 p.m.  - Cormier jogs quickly to the Octagon. He looks determined. Cormier makes his Octagon lap. He looks all business; borderline peeved. Our referee is Mario Yamasaki.

    R1 – Cormier shrugs off Cummins half-shot. Cormier with an uppercut that hurts Cummins off the bat. Cormier taking his time. Cormier lands a left-right and Cummins goes down. Cummins turtled and Cormier lays on the hurt. This is over in no time.

    Official Result: Daniel Cormier def. Patrick Cummins  - TKO (strikes) 1:19 R1

    Welterweight: Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia

    This is the first bout on the card tonight that has actual ramifications for its division. Let’s start with Rory MacDonald (15-2), touted as the second coming of Georges St. Pierre, his mentor. MacDonald lived up to the hype with decision wins over Jake Ellenberger and B.J. Penn, but hit a brick wall with Robbie Lawler last November – a split-decision loss that cost him a title shot now that GSP has stepped down as champ. MacDonald had his hands full with Lawler; he needs a decisive showing tonight to get back in the title hunt.

    BJJ master Maia (18-5) was on a roll in his drop to 170 with back-to-back wins over Dong Hyun Kim, Rick Story, and Jon Fitch (February 2013). His split-decision loss to Jake Shields last October slowed down that train. Taking MacDonald out will get things back on track, though the young Canadian is quick on his feet.

    R1 – Maia shoots immediately and Mac sprawls. Maia shoots again and gets the TD this time into Mac’s guard. Maia is aggressive tonight. Mac has butterfly guard, trying to fend off the BJJ ace. Maia with an elbow and passes to side and then mount. Maia with punches. Mac trying to buck him off. Mac is trapped. Maia landing more punches. Mac tries to backdoor out and Maia maintains half guard. 1:30 to go. Mac fights to butterfly guard. Tactical battle here, folks. Maia is smothering Mac. Mac finally to his feet with :45 to go. Maia with inside left kick. Maia is with strong combo. He’s looking good. Mac bleeding on bridge of his nose. Maia 10-9

    R2 – Mac comes in strong with a combo. Maia with nice left hook to a shot; Mac sprawls. Maia with jab; then a big left.  Maia shoots; Mac sprawls again. Mac with body kick and Maia shoots again. No go. Maia slowing down fast. Mac is picking up momentum. Mac with a combo. Maia looks hurt, groggy on his feet.  Maia shoots again. Not even close. Mac starting to stalk. 1:45 to go. Mac with an inside leg kick; follow-up right. Mac with body kick and Maia stumbles a bit. He’s not landing his strikes anymore. Mac with another body kick. :30 to go. Mac misses a superman punch.  Big reversal of fortune here. Mac 10-9

    R3 – Mac takes center. Maia with another lame shot.  Mac with another body kick – these are killing Maia. Mac with straight right. Maia shoots again and pays for it with a punch retreating out. Maia throwing flailing overhand lefts. Maia grabs a single, musters the strength to lift Mac and body slam him. Not sure where he got the energy for that, but he’s got 2:30 to cinch this fight up. Maia trying to pass guard; his face is bloody. Mac bucks Maia over his head and is back to his feet. This is going down to the wire. Maia with another half shot and another. Mac sprawling away. Mac with front kick. Maia with another sprawl and Mac tags him with an uppercut on the way out. Maia is just swinging wildly at this point. He’s spent. Mac tags Maia with a right. Another right and a combo to finish. Mac 10-9

    11:25 p.m.  - “The animal is back.” — MacDonald

     Official Result: Rory MacDonald def. Demian Maia – Unanimous Decision (29-28 all)

    Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger 

    The 38-year-old Pyle (25-9) is entering the final phase of his career on a respectable note. He’s won four of his last five UFC bouts (eight of his 12 UFC appearances); Matt Brown took him out in the last with a 29-second KO six months ago. A win over Waldburger won’t put Pyle any closer to title contention…

    …but Waldburger (16-8) stands to gain more with a win over the veteran Pyle. The 25-year-old Texan is also coming off a first-round KO loss – his to Adlan Amagov last October.

    10:28 p.m. – Waldburger enters first to ACDC. Pyle enters with a big smile and his magic mullet. Our referee is Herb Dean.

    R1 –  Wald takes center. Feeling each other out. Pyle with soft outside low kick. Pyle with inside left kick that Wald returns. Clinch and Wald pushes Pyle to fence. Wald drops levels for a single; Pyle keeping him at bay. They separate and back to center. Wald slips on a high kick but recovers. Wald with left hook. 2:30 to go. Wald with overhead right and follow-up right. Clinch and Pyle trips Wald down and into side control. Pyle passes to side control. Pyle with sporadic punches, knee to Wald’s side. 1:00 to go. Wald bounces out and up. Pyle has Wald in Thai clinch, lands knee. Wald on outside along  fence. Pyle keeps the clinch; another sold knee as they travel off fence to opposite side of cage. Pyle trips Wald at bell. Pyle 10-9

    R2 – Wald forward with high kick that Pyle blocks easy. Wald with outside low kick. Pyle with straight left and Wald goes down, but grabs a leg on the way. Pyle twists out and maneuvers into half guard. Wald trying to set up guillotine; Pyle out. Wald wall-walks and Pyle knees him on the way up. Back to center. Wald bleeding from his nose. Pyle with spinning back kick; Wald blocks. Wald looks like he’s tiring a bit. Wald initiates clinch and pushes Pyle to fence again. We stall here in a fight for control. Pyle takes Wald’s back and rolls him down. Wald bounces back to his feet and tries to double-leg Pyle down. :30 to go. Back to center again and not much else to bell. Pyle 10-9

    R3 – Wald bleeding from his left eye and nose. Wald picks up his pace; he knows he’s down. Pyle with a nice right. Wald with a left hook. Wald with body shot. Pyle with overhand right. Another right and Wald stumbles. Clinch and Pyle lands again.  Spinning back fist from Pyle and follow-up knees from Thai clinch. Wald pushes Pyle to fence to slow him down. Ties him up. 2:20 to go. Wald with knee in clinch. Knees and two elbows from Pyle. He has Wald in trouble; rolls Wald into guillotine. Wald turtles and its follow-up shots from back mount. Wald can’t defend and ref Dean finally steps in.

    10:52 p.m.: “His leg quicks were hard. We expected a battle and we got it,” says Pyle. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith flash across our screen.

    Official Result: Mike Pyle def. T.J. Waldburger  - TKO (strikes) 4:03 R1

    Welterweight: Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker

    “Wonderboy” Thompson (8-1) has rebounded well enough from his sole career loss to Matt Brown last April with victories over Nah-Shon Burrell (May 2013) and Chris Clementes (Sept. 2013). He has potential in the division — especially as a quick, crowd-pleasing striker — but needs more time for development.

    Whittaker (11-3) should be a fine challenge. He took gritty TUF winner Court McGee to task last August, narrowly dropping a spilt-decision loss to the tough-as-nails fighter.

    R1 –  Whit takes center cage. Whit in with a jab; Thompson taking side stance. Good pace from both to start. Thompson with a right hook; then a left a few seconds later. Thompson landing front, side kicks; Whit has slowed down his attack. Thompson forward with a landing combo. Whit starting to chase Thompson down; lands here and there, but Thompson is generally circling out. Thompson with hook kick. Thompson standing in front of Whit, doesn’t look afraid of Whit’s striking. They continue to exchange. Thompson lands a big right straight and Whit goes down, tries to get his feet and is knocked down again in the Thai clinch with knees. Follow-up shots and referee Yamasaki stops it.

    Official Result: Stephen Thompson def. Robert Whittaker – TKO (strikes) 3:43 R1

    10:23 p.m. – Thompson very polished in his post-fight interview. Stone Cold Steve Austin and UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the house.

    Preliminary Results

    • Alexis Davis def. Jessica Eye – Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
    • Raphael Assuncao def. Pedro Munhoz – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)
    • Aljamain Sterling def. Cody Gibson – Unanimous Decision (29-28 all)
    • Zach Makovsky def. Josh Sampo  – Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
    • Erik Koch def. Rafaello Oliveira – TKO (punches) 1:24 R1
    • Ernest Chavez def. Yosdenis Cedeno – Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27

  • Published On Feb 22, 2014
  • Paulie Malignaggi remains relevant with dominating win over Zab Judah

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    In earning a unanimous decision over Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi didn't appear ready for retirement just yet. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

    In earning a unanimous decision over Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi didn’t appear ready for retirement yet. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK — Three thoughts on Paulie Malignaggi’s unanimous decision win over Zab Judah:

    This was all Paulie. Billed as the Battle of Brooklyn, Malignaggi dominated. In a battle of two fading former titleholders, Malignaggi, 33, appeared to have far more left in the tank than Judah, 36. Malignaggi boxed well, moving in and out, peppering Judah with shots, landing 36 percent of his punches (220 of 607) to Judah’s 24 percent (121 of 498). Save for a questionable second-round knockdown, Malignaggi was in complete control.

    The three judges scored it 116-111, 117-110, 117-110. scored the fight 117-110 for Malignaggi.

    A prevailing storyline coming into the night was that Malignaggi wasn’t interested in fighting anymore, that he was ready to move full time onto his next career as a commentator for Showtime and Fox Sports. But Malignaggi was the more engaged fighter on Saturday, refusing to back down. Malignaggi is in the winter of his career, no question. But it doesn’t look like he is ready to retire just yet.

    “This definitely allows me to continue boxing,” Malignaggi said. “With a loss, I don’t know if I would have wanted to continue.”

    Malignaggi has options. Golden Boy has a deep stable of fighters at 147 pounds, and with Saturday’s win Malignaggi put himself in the mix for fights with all of them. Shawn Porter, who upset Devon Alexander on the undercard to win the IBF welterweight title, is a possibility. And next weekend features a pair of appealing 147-pound fights in Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana (Malignaggi says he wants the winner) and Keith Thurman-Jesus Soto Karass. There is also Danny Garcia, who appears headed out of the 140-pound division.

    It’s amazing, really, that Malignaggi (33-5) is still a legitimate factor. Three years ago Malignaggi’s career appeared over after a bad loss to Amir Khan. He talked of fighting in Europe, while his then-promoter, Lou DiBella, suggested he get into broadcasting. Yet here Malignaggi is, outlasting the bigger punchers, fighting on longer than some bigger names. It is quite an accomplishment.

    Bad Zab. There is an oft-used phrase among people who have been associated with Judah’s career: You just never know which Zab you are going to get. Some nights, Judah is as tough as any fighter in his class, a sweet blend of speed and power. On others, he can appear disengaged, disinterested and be totally outclassed. On Saturday, we saw more of the latter. Before the fight, Judah promised to go after Malignaggi, spouting that he had no fear of Malignaggi’s power. What we got was a tentative jab, one outboxed a out power-punched (98-54) by a lighter puncher.

    “It just wasn’t there,” Judah said.

    Judah’s career can continue — Golden Boy’s aforementioned stable needs opponents, and Judah (42-9) still draw decent ratings on the network and helped draw a reasonable 9,363 to the Barclays Center — and it probably will. But his days as a legitimate threat at either 140 or 147 pounds are probably over.

    – By Chris Mannix, SI

  • Published On Dec 08, 2013
  • Brooklyn duo Judah, Malignaggi didn’t think Saturday’s bout would ever happen

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    Paulie Malignaggi will step into the ring against Zab Judah Saturday. (Getty Images)

    Paulie Malignaggi, above, will step into the ring against one of his former coaches, Zab Judah, on Saturday. (Getty Images)

    NEW YORK  – The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a Paulie Malignaggi-Zab Judah matchup is this: It hasn’t happened yet? For years, Malignaggi, 33, and Judah, 36, have fought in similar weight classes. Both are from Brooklyn. Both are appealing to television networks. Yet it’s only now, in the winter of their careers, that a matchup  is made.

    “[A fight] really didn’t come to mind,” said Malignaggi, who will face Judah on Saturday night at the Barclays Center (Showtime, 8 pm ET). “We were in different weight classes and at different places in our career. But people started mentioning it and talking around Brooklyn the past year or two. But I still didn’t think the fight had any chance of happening because we were still in different weight classes and kind of had different goals for our careers.”

    Circumstances have a funny way of changing that. Last April, Judah dropped a unanimous decision to junior welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia. Two months later, Malignaggi lost a split decision — and his welterweight title — to Adrien Broner.

    With dwindling options, Malignaggi and Judah turned to each other.

    Said Judah: “In my preparation for moving forward [after losing to Garcia], to do what I do [my promoters, Golden Boy Promotions] said Paulie. I said ‘Paulie, nah, Paulie is my homeboy.’ But then I was like, ‘Hey, you know this is an opportunity that you’ve got to take for boxing.’ So I guess we’re here now.”

    Neither fighter is a stranger to tense promotions. Malignaggi and Broner engaged in a vulgar back and forth. Members of Judah’s and Garcia’s teams brawled at the introductory press conference and nearly came to blows again at an autograph signing session in Brooklyn a few days before the fight.

    The buildup to this this bout, however, has been tame. Press conferences are cordial. The weigh-in on Friday ended with winks and smiles. Malignaggi and Judah have a long history — Judah coached Malignaggi as a teenager during the Empire State Games – and both profess respect for the other’s accomplishments.

    “Number one, I admire Paulie because he’s from Brooklyn,” Judah said. “He stands up with that Brooklyn pride. He represents Brooklyn wherever he goes. He talks about it and keeps it fresh in people’s ears and eyes. Number two, he’s a fighter. I respect that every fighter has the heart and audacity to climb into the ring and take on competitive fights, so you’ve got to respect him as a human being.”

    Added Malignaggi, “The admiration I have for Zab came from trying to follow in his footsteps coming up. I saw him accomplish things that I had the goal to accomplish. I watched Zab accomplish each and every one of them before me. It was an admiration and a motivation to see someone from my city, from my borough, accomplish these things and get some credibility and notoriety doing the same thing that I do. When somebody does it so close to home they automatically get that admiration when they’re older than you, and you see them accomplishing those things and you kind of want to follow in their footsteps.”

    Ultimately, this fight is significant for both men. The winner will likely earn a high profile 140- or 147-pound title shot. The loser will be pushed one step closer to retirement.

    “It’s not hard to get up for a fight like this,” Malignaggi said. “I know I have what it takes to be a world class fighter. I know what it takes to get back to the top. Winning a fight like this and getting myself a chance to get another world championship in my career is something I don’t doubt.” — CHRIS MANNIX

  • Published On Dec 06, 2013
  • Who could be next for Manny Pacquiao?

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    Caption goes here in a minutes (Getty Images)

    Manny Pacquiao won a 12-round decision over Brandon Rios and will fight again in April. (Getty Images)

    With promoter Bob Arum announcing that Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring in April, let’s look at some of the potential opponents.

    Floyd Mayweather – Even if the issues of network, financial split and drug testing could be worked out — and hitting the lottery three straight days is more likely than that — Mayweather and Pacquiao would still find reasons not to fight. These two are just destined to dance around each other. Moreover, making Mayweather-Pacquiao now — as I’ve noted on Twitter — would irritate as many fans as it pleased. It still would do big business, but it would be a fraction of the ridiculous numbers it would have done in 2010, when Mayweather and Pacquiao were at the top of the sport. Not that it matters. After a month or so of public sabre rattling, both sides will do what they always do. Move on. Probability of it happening: Very low. 

    Juan Manuel Marquez — If a Mayweather bout doesn’t happen, this is the fight Pacquiao’s team wants. Freddie Roach has noted on numerous occasions that before he was stopped, Pacquiao was boxing beautifully and likely would have stopped a battered Marquez in the later rounds. The future of this fight depends on Marquez, who at 40 and coming off a loss to Tim Bradley, may not be interested. But for those claiming Pacquiao-Marquez fatigue, remember this: Every round of their first four fights was entertaining, and a fifth installment — perhaps in Mexico – would virtually guarantee more than one million pay-per-view buys. Probability of it happening: High. 

    Tim Bradley — Despite losing a controversial decision to Bradley last year, Pacquiao has little interest in a rematch. Perhaps it’s because most observers thought Pacquiao won a lopsided decision; perhaps it’s because the first fight was far from a financial success. Bradley has had a strong year, beating Ruslan Provodnikov in an entertaining slugfest and outpointing Marquez to bolster his résumé. And his willingness to trade haymakers with Provodnikov could make Bradley even more appealing. Still, it’s likely one or two opponents will have to fall out before Bradley gets a shot. Probability of it happening: Somewhat High. 

    Ruslan Provodnikov — After two fights this year, Provodnikov has established himself as a must-see attraction. Unheralded before his matchup with Bradley, Provodnikov rebounded from a close loss in that bout to pound Mike Alvarado and win a piece of the 140-pound title. An old-school slugger, Provodnikov has the ability to wear down any opponent who stands in front of him. Still, that Provodnikov is a stablemate of Pacquiao’s –  both men are trained by Freddie Roach — could prove an obstacle to any deal. And HBO may want to build Provodnikov up even further in fights with Rios, Bradley or Marquez, whom Provodnikov has campaigned for a fight against on Twitter. Probability of it happening: Medium.

    Miguel Cotto — In 2009, in one of his finest performances, Pacquiao stopped Cotto in 12 rounds. Since then Cotto has moved up to junior middleweight and established himself as one of the best in the division. A rematch is certainly possible, but Cotto has shown little interest in dropping below 154 anymore and Pacquiao prefers to fight at 147. In addition, Cotto is now trained by Roach, who has publicly stated that it is unlikely the two will fight again. Probability of it happening: Low. 

    Sergio Martinez – OK, so it’s not likely. But say Miguel Cotto elects to face Saul Alvarez next. And say Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. loses his rematch with Bryan Vera. And say Martinez, who at 38 is a big-purse hunter, was willing to drop to 155 pounds. Could a chance to win a middleweight title appeal to Pacquiao? Probably not. Then again, we never thought Pacquiao would get in the ring with Oscar De La Hoya, either. Probability of it happening: Very Low.                         — CHRIS MANNIX

  • Published On Nov 25, 2013
  • Adamek apologizes for pulling out of fight; more short jabs

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    Tomasz Adamek may not be able to put his 49-2 record on the line this weekend. (AP)

    An illness will keep Tomasz Adamek (right)  from fighting this weekend. (AP)

    On Thursday, Main Events announced the plan for its Saturday afternoon show. The originally scheduled main event between heavyweights Tomasz Adamek and Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov is off. Adamek, 36, was forced to withdraw after coming down with an illness on Wednesday. After scrambling to find a replacement — Steve Cunningham, Bryant Jennings, Malik Scott, Monte Barrett were among those who passed — Main Events settled on Wilson, a fringe cruiserweight contender coming off a loss to Alexander Alekseev last February. Glazkov-Wilson will now headline the show from Turning Stone Resort Casino (NBC, 2:30 p.m.). It’s possible that Adamek could return in December, on a Main Events card that will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

    In a statement, Adamek apologized for having to withdraw from the fight. “For the first time in my career I have had to pull out of a bout,” he said. “I apologize to all of my fans, but the stomach flu has hit me so hard that it is impossible to go through with Saturday’s bout. I was hoping that against the odds I would recover sufficiently to compete.  However, that has not happened.  My doctor has told me that I should not fight and, very honestly, I feel awful.  Therefore, I had to inform Main Events that I could not compete on Saturday.” Read More…

  • Published On Nov 14, 2013
  • Adamek-Glazkov bout in jeopardy

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    Tomasz Adamek may not be able to put his 49-2 record on the line this weekend. (AP)

    Tomasz Adamek (right) may not be able to put his 49-2 record on the line this weekend. (AP)

    NEW YORK — Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek is sick and his fight with rising prospect Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov is in jeopardy, promoter Main Events announced on Wednesday.

    The fight is scheduled to be televised Saturday afternoon (Nov. 16) on NBC.

    According to Main Events spokesman Ellen Haley, Adamek went to see a doctor on Wednesday. A source said there is a slight chance that Adamek could fight on Saturday, but Main Events has already begun exploring possibilities for a replacement. Bryant Jennings, who has made numerous appearances fighting on Main Events promoted shows on NBC Sports Network, passed on the fight.

    “[Adamek] is not feeling well,” Haley said in an email. “He wants to wait until tomorrow to see if he feels better before making any decisions regarding Saturday’s fight.”

    Even if Adamek can’t go, the show will go on. Unlike an HBO or Showtime card, NBC shows cannot be canceled. In addition to Adamek-Glazkov, NBC is scheduled to air an eight-round lightweight fight between Karl Dargan (13-0) and Mike Brooks (11-0-1). Scheduled to appear on the untelevised undercard is light heavyweight prospect Isaac Chilemba (20-2-2), who will take on Michael Gbenga (13-9).


  • Published On Nov 13, 2013
  • Gennady Golovkin makes Curtis Stevens latest in line of middleweight victims

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    Gennady Golovkin knocked down Curtis Stevens in the second round en route to upping his record to 28-0.

    Gennady Golovkin knocked down Curtis Stevens in the second round en route to upping his record to 28-0.

    NEW YORK — Three thoughts on Gennady Golovkin’s knockout win of Curtis Stevens:

    The Golovkin train rolls on: Since making his U.S. debut in September, 2012, Golovkin has been leaving a trail of flattened middleweight contenders in his wake. You can add Stevens to the list. Stevens talked a good game coming into the fight, even hosting — and posting on Twitter — a fake funeral for Golovkin. But when the bell rang, he wasn’t much more of a threat than many of Golovkin’s previous opponents. From the first round on, Golovkin stalked Stevens, pushing him to the ropes, hammering him with power shots to the head and body. Stevens did what he could to counter, tagging Golovkin with several hard hooks and straight right hands, landing flusher than any Golovkin opponent in recent memory. But Golovkin just smiled and walked right through them. In the second round Golovkin landed two left hooks that knocked Stevens to the canvas, putting a look on his face that is already a GIF classic. In the eighth round, Golovkin landed a whopping 56 of his 101 power shots. When the bell rang to the end the eighth, referee Harvey Dock walked to Stevens’ corner and told them he was going to stop the bout. Stevens’ trainer and uncle, Andre Rozier, agreed. Read More…

  • Published On Nov 03, 2013