NEW YORK — Three thoughts on Mikey Garcia’s unanimous decision win over Juan Carlos Burgos and Bryant Jennings’ knockout win over Artur Szpilka at Madison Square Garden:
Posts Tagged ‘Boxing’
NEW YORK — Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao will challenge WBO welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley on April 12th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Top Rank announced on Saturday. Pacquiao-Bradley will be a rematch of the controversial 2012 fight that Bradley won in a highly disputed decision.
ATLANTIC CITY — He watched the fight just once, but for Curtis Stevens one viewing of his November loss to middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin was enough to burn every detail into his memory. Sitting outside Gallagher’s Steakhouse this week, Stevens was able to recall every mistake he made against Golovkin. Backing up too much. Not letting his hands go enough. Too much time spent looking for the perfect shot.
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
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
Former heavyweight titleholder David Haye has undergone reconstructive shoulder surgery and will withdraw from his February 8th fight against Tyson Fury. Via his website, Haye says doctors have advised him to consider retirement.
“I genuinely believed the shoulder injury wasn’t that bad,” Haye said. “But the doctor sent me for a detailed MRI scan and within 24 hours I was told the full extent of the damage. Twenty-four hours after that I was in the operating theatre.”
Haye, 33, has not fought since July, 2012, when he knocked out Dereck Chisora. A fight with Fury — who Haye has engaged in a tense war of words with at press events and on social media — was originally scheduled for September but was postponed after Haye (18-4) suffered a cut above his left eyebrow that required six stitches to close.
Now, Haye — who signed a four-fight deal with Matchroom Sport earlier this year–faces the possibility of never fighting again.
VERONA, N.Y. — Three thoughts on Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov’s unanimous decision win over Garrett Wilson…
1. For a blowout, this was a fun scrap
Injuries in boxing happen; they are not the fault of the promoter, matchmaker or network, much as we like to search for someone to blame. And there is no question that when Tomasz Adamek bowed out of Saturday night’s fight against Glazkov with a stomach virus, the card took a hit. Adamek and Glazkov was a crossroads fight, an aging contender against a rising one. But credit Main Events–and matchmaker Jolene Mizzone–with a nice save on this one. Wilson wasn’t Main Events’ first choice (Steve Cunningham, Bryant Jennings, Malik Scott, among others, passed) but the cruiserweight contender ended up being a pretty fun one.
Super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez could not make weight for Saturday’s scheduled fight against Andre Ward. On Friday, Rodriguez weighed in at 170-pounds — two over the limit — and did not weigh in again. Rodriguez will be docked a percentage of his $1 million purse and is ineligible to win the WBA title.
Rodriguez will be fined $200,000 and must not weigh heavier than 180-pounds on Saturday.
It’s a disappointing — and embarrassing — development for Rodriguez (24-0), who last fought in July. The fight with Ward (26-0) represents the biggest fight and largest purse of his career. Throughout the promotion, Rodriguez repeatedly expressed that he was ready for this fight.
“Mentally I’m prepared and I’m ready,” Rodriguez said on a recent conference call. “I understand that Andre Ward is at a whole different level, but I have proof that I’m also at a different level. I do understand that Andre Ward is undefeated, but so am I. He has to figure me out just as much as I got to figure him out. I’m not worried about all the hype. I’m ready.”
Apparently, Rodriguez is not.
– CHRIS MANNIX
LAS VEGAS — The pool of prospective opponents for Floyd Mayweather’s next fight already includes Danny Garcia and Amir Khan. Late Saturday night, another fighter tossed his name into the mix: Bernard Hopkins. The 48-year old light heavyweight champion said he would be willing to drop down to 160 pounds for a fight with Mayweather.
“Floyd, his skills are so out there that he can risk going up to 160,” Hopkins said. “It isn’t the weight that is going to win the fight, it’s the skills. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The only guy who is going to beat a guy like Floyd Mayweather is a master chess player. And who is the master chess player? I’ll go back to 160. It’s the biggest old [man] fight. Everyone from the nursing home will be watching.”
It’s certainly conceivable that Hopkins, who has fought at light heavyweight since 2006, could make a 160-pound weight limit. Hopkins is a finely conditioned athlete. He doesn’t drink or smoke and rarely strays from a disciplined diet. He says he walks around 10 pounds heavier than his fighting weight and if given until May, he could make the weight.
“I will go to New Orleans or some place hot, I will train like a dog, and I will make an extraordinary fight,” Hopkins said. “If I was coming from [heavyweight] to [light heavyweight] like Roy Jones did, then it would be a problem. But being a guy who lives the way I live… for me to come down to 160, it’s doable.”
For Hopkins, 160 pounds would be familiar territory. He was one of the greatest middleweights in boxing history, dominating the division for the better part of a decade, making a record 20 title defenses along the way.
Mayweather, though, may not share Hopkins’s enthusiasm for a middleweight fight. Mayweather’s win over Saul Alvarez was just the third time he has fought above 147 pounds. On the day of the fight Mayweather “rehydrated” to half a pound lighter than what he weighed in at the day before. Moreover, even if Hopkins weighed in at 160, it’s likely he would balloon into the 170’s on fight night, creating an enormous size advantage.
Still, Hopkins believes Mayweather could be interested.
“When your name is Money, money moves you,” Hopkins said. “It would be a chess game. He would have the burden. You can’t let a 49-year-old go the distance with you. It would have to be a rumble. It wouldn’t be easy, This man has a defense that it would be a counterpunching fight.”
For now, Hopkins says, he is focused on October 26, when he will defend his IBF title against Karo Murat. After that, it will be Mayweather’s call.
“You can be 200 pounds [but] if you can’t fight, I could be 115 [pounds] and I will still kick your a–,” Hopkins said. “And Floyd can fight. I was one of his critics. When he beat Shane Mosley, remember I sort of instigated that fight. But when I saw him recover [from a Mosley punch], when I saw him make Shane Mosley want to shake hands and talk, I was converted. You give me until May, I will make that weight.” – Chris Mannix
LAS VEGAS — Three thoughts on Floyd Mayweather’s majority decision win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez:
This was a blowout: Judge C.J. Ross—the same C.J. Ross who scored Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley for Bradley last year—inexplicably scored the fight a draw, 114-114. This wasn’t even close. For 12 rounds, Mayweather put on a boxing clinic. He ricocheted his jab off of Alvarez’s head repeatedly, snapping it back as Canelo made no effort to move out of the way. Though Canelo was the aggressor, it was Mayweather landing the cleaner, harder shots all night. According to SHOSTATS, Mayweather landed 232 of his 505 punches (compared to 117 of 526 for Canelo) and connected on 139 of his 330 jabs (44 of 294 for Canelo). Mayweather never appeared to be in trouble and never appeared tired, and Canelo fought with his hands down in the later rounds and was rooted to the mat when Mayweather pushed him to the corner. Credit Canelo for taking so many clean shots, but that’s about the only thing for which you can credit him.