Posts Tagged ‘Floyd Mayweather’

The fight to televise Adonis Stevenson’s light heavyweight title defense, more notes

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Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson is set to defend his light heavyweight title. (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

• What a mess. What a politically fueled, fan-maddening mess. On May 24th, Adonis Stevenson will defend his light heavyweight title against Andrzej Fonfara. Stevenson’s trainer, Sugar Hill, confirmed the fight to me last week and it was formalized on Monday. HBO–which televised three of Stevenson’s fights last year — planned to televise this one, with an eye towards matching Stevenson in a highly anticipated 175-pound title unification fight against Sergey Kovalev later in the year.

That was the plan, anyway. Then HBO moved slowly executing the contracts, Stevenson signed with adviser Al Haymon and now we have the mess we’re in now: HBO uncertain if it will televise Stevenson-Fonfara and the growing possibility that Stevenson will head to Showtime and attempt to unify the titles against Bernard Hopkins later this year. This could be a potential nightmare for HBO.

And while it’s easy to blame Haymon — HBO has no interest in working with him, believing his business model to be toxic for the network — network executives have to shoulder some of the responsibility. Representatives for Stevenson and Kovalev say the key deal points for a two-fight deal that would have ultimately pitted Stevenson against Kovalev in the fall were agreed to well before Haymon got involved. Stevenson was set to receive the larger share of the license fee, Montreal or Las Vegas were being discussed as possible venues.

From HBO’s perspective, agreeing to deal points and finalizing a deal are two different things, but the delay allowed Haymon to slide in, sign Stevenson and produce more money from Showtime for a Fonfara fight while dangling the carrot of a future Hopkins fight, a fight that was always more appealing to Stevenson. Showtime, which under Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza has been aggressively pursuing big fights, is now in a strong position to put on one of the biggest light heavyweight fights in recent years.

Over the last few days, HBO executives have been attempting to convince Stevenson to pass on Showtime’s offer, pushing the idea that a long term association with HBO will ultimately be more lucrative. Stevenson hasn’t budged.

If Stevenson bolts, Kovalev becomes collateral damage. Kovalev is scheduled to fight Cedric Agnew on Saturday on HBO. Without Stevenson, Kovalev doesn’t have a natural future opponent. Andre Ward is there, but Ward is embroiled in a contract dispute with promoter Dan Goossen and has not indicated he is ready to move up to 175-pounds anyway. Main Events, which promotes Kovalev, has a handful of rising light heavyweights in its stable (Isaac Chilemba, Lonnie Thompson) but none that belong on HBO right now. What once looked like a big year for Kovalev could be flushed down the drain.

And a fight between Stevenson and Kovalev, the most relevant fight in the light heavyweight division, will be washed away with it.

• In an effort to lure Floyd Mayweather to Brooklyn, Barclays Center executives put together one of the most lucrative site fees in U.S. boxing history: $17 million, according to multiple industry sources. In addition to the cash, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark was prepared to roll out one of the most aggressive marketing plans in boxing history. From New York-based talk shows to promoting the fight in the financial community and on Madison Avenue, Yormark said the event would have given Mayweather “a platform like he had never had before. We would have made his brand dominant for the six weeks leading up to the fight. It was going to be our Super Bowl.”

Ultimately, Mayweather chose to stay in tax friendly confines of Las Vegas and at the MGM Grand, where he has fought his last eight fights. However Yormark told he hopes to lure Mayweather to Brooklyn before his career is over.

“At the end, Floyd probably decided the comforts of where he has been were better for him,” Yormark said. “Maybe one day it happens. We feel we gave them a lot to think about.

• Great to see ESPN get more involved in boxing, as they’re set to televise the heavyweight title fight between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne on May 10th from the Galen Center on the campus of USC. The success of ESPN, NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1 as boxing friendly outlets is critical to the growth of the sport.

• That Vivian Harris beat Jorge Paez Jr. last week is irrelevant; Harris, 35, shouldn’t be fighting. Harris has been knocked out five times in the last four years, some in absolutely brutal fashion, and recently he was denied a license by the British boxing commission for medical reasons. No respectable commission should ever license him again.

• Amir Khan says he plans to challenge Floyd Mayweather in the ring if Mayweather beats Marcos Maidana next month. Khan’s obsession with Mayweather is just weird. Khan should be focused on his opponent that night, Luis Collazo, a veteran welterweight who is coming off a career defining win over Victor Ortiz. If Khan looks like he did in his last few fights, Collazo will walk all over him.

• Tony Thompson keeps his career going … again. A win over Odlanier Solis last weekend will position Thompson, the heavyweight division’s gatekeeper, for another notable fight. Amazing.

– By Chris Mannix

  • Published On Mar 24, 2014
  • Bypassed by Floyd Mayweather, Danny Garcia finds match vs. Mauricio Herrera

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    Danny Garcia will defend his junior welterweight titles Saturday in Puerto Rico vs. Mauricio Herrera. (Matt Rourke/AP)

    Danny Garcia will defend his junior welterweight titles Saturday in Puerto Rico vs. Mauricio Herrera. (Matt Rourke/AP)

    The fight was set. Or at least most thought it would be. In the aftermath of Danny Garcia’s surprising win over Lucas Matthysse last September — a fight that was strategically placed on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s revenue record-breaking fight with Saul Alvarez — speculation was rampant that Garcia would challenge Mayweather next. Garcia had beaten most of the top talent at 140 pounds, and Mayweather did not have an obvious opponent for his next fight.

    It didn’t happen, of course. After a lengthy — and mind-numbing — process of choosing between Marcos Maidana and Amir Khan, Mayweather settled on Maidana. And Garcia? On Saturday Garcia will defend his junior welterweight titles against unheralded Mauricio Herrera in Bayamon, Puerto Rico (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET). Read More…

  • Published On Mar 13, 2014
  • Amir Khan goes on Twitter rant after believing he lost potential Floyd Mayweather fight

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    Amir Kahn

    Amir Kahn hasn’t helped his case for a Mayweather fight, dropping two of his last four bouts. ( Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    If anyone is looking for Floyd Mayweather, you can find him inside Amir Khan’s head.

    For nearly two decades Mayweather has been the master of the mental game, poking, prodding, doing everything he can to make an opponent uncomfortable outside the ring as he makes them look in it. Khan, the former unified junior welterweight titleholder long rumored to be a frontrunner to fight Mayweather in May, is the latest potential foe to understand this.

    To recap: Last December, Khan believed he had a deal to fight Mayweather sewn up. In an interview at Showtime’s Manhattan offices, Khan was practically giddy. While acknowledging that he couldn’t confirm anything, Khan consistently referred to a fight with Mayweather in the present tense. Privately, members of his team said that virtually all the deal points were agreed to.

    Things changed quickly on December 14th, when Argentinean slugger Marcos Maidana upset Adrien Broner. Suddenly Maidana—who Khan defeated back in 2010—was a player in the Mayweather sweepstakes. And Mayweather, never one to miss a chance to self promote, took advantage, publicly saying Maidana was a candidate, even putting a poll featuring the two fighters up on his website to give fans an opportunity to vote for their choice.

    As the weeks have gone by, Khan has begun to come unraveled. After urging his Twitter followers to vote for him in the poll, Khan tweeted after winning that he was just waiting for Mayweather’s call. There was a measurable desperation in his words. And then, on Wednesday, Khan tweeted this:

    Somewhere, Mayweather has to be laughing.

    Despite Khan’s surrender, it’s entirely possible he could still be Mayweather’s next opponent. Mayweather is about one thing: Money. Though Maidana offers the more crowd-pleasing style — and is coming off his biggest win — he brings little to a promotion. He speaks minimal English which diminishes his value on a U.S. press tour —  To those that say Saul Alvarez didn’t speak much English either, Alvarez is exponentially more popular than Maidana. Khan, on the other hand, is well known in the U.S., popular in his home country of the U.K. and has 1.38 million Twitter followers to sell the fight to. Showtime has been one of the biggest proponents for Khan, as network executives wanted to cash in on Khan’s popularity while he was still a viable opponent.

    Moreover, Khan may be a more dangerous opponent. Maidana’s brawling style is a hit with audiences, but it’s a solvable attack. Khan beat him in ’10. Devon Alexander virtually shut him out in ’12. Beating Broner was a nice feather in Maidana’s cap, and he has undoubtedly improved as he has grown more comfortable at 147-pounds. But a wild free swinger would seem to be a tailor made opponent for one of the best ring tacticians in boxing. Khan, on the other hand, brings a different level of hand speed and footwork, albeit with a weak chin.

    Whatever happens, Khan has no one to blame for this mess but himself. His sense of entitlement towards a Mayweather fight is mind boggling when you considering he has lost two of his last four fights—a decision defeat to Lamont Peterson and a knockout loss to Danny Garcia—and his two-fight winning streak has come against low level opponents. Khan has yet to fight as a full 147-pounder, yet he believes he has earned a shot at the best fighter in boxing?

    Khan put himself in this position, and now he has to live with the consequences. What he should have done was gone forward with a planned welterweight title fight against Alexander last December. Had Khan beaten Alexander, he would have been a strong candidate to face Mayweather. Instead Khan passed on the offer to wait on a phone call that has never come.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Feb 21, 2014
  • After long layoff, Victor Ortiz ready to get back to boxing against Luis Collazo

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    Losses to Floyd Mayweather and Josesito Lopez derailed Victor Ortiz's rise, but he's back with a vengeance after 19 months (Grant Hindsley/AP

    Losses to Floyd Mayweather and Josesito Lopez derailed Victor Ortiz’s rise, but he’s ready to get back in the ring. (Grant Hindsley/AP)

    NEW YORK — Three years ago Victor Ortiz was on top of the boxing world, a welterweight champion barreling towards a showdown with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather. He was young, good looking with a compelling back story, a true star on the rise.

    Today, Ortiz is something else entirely.

    Read More…

  • Published On Jan 29, 2014
  • Q&A with Amir Khan: Floyd Mayweather’s (possible) next opponent

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    Amir Khan is a British star who may be Floyd Mayweather's next opponent. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

    Amir Khan is a British star who may be Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK — Former unified junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan — the leading candidate to face Floyd Mayweather next May — sat down with on Wednesday to discuss Mayweather, his pairing with Virgil Hunter and the criticism that his weak chin will prevent him from ever becoming an elite fighter again So, you are fighting Floyd Mayweather…

    Amir Khan: That’s your first question, huh? Well why beat around the bush?

    AK: Well it’s a fight I’d love to have. That’s what I’m supposed to say, right? Floyd is the best fighter out there and you would love to see how you fight against the best. I’m not going to shy away from that fight. Styles make fights and I know for a fact that I will do better than most of the guys that he has fought. I’ll beat him. My speed and movement will give Floyd problems. I’m not taking any time off. I know that’s a fight that will change my life. That’s why I’m so focused on winning it. What about the argument that you have not earned the fight?

    AK: Well who else out there can give Floyd problems? No one. Danny Garcia? Floyd has fought many opponents like him. I have a style that has given him problems before. I’m an orthodox fighter who is quicker than him and faster than him. And if Floyd wants to be a global superstar, he has to fight me. It will make him popular in the UK and the Asia area.

    Read More…

  • Published On Dec 04, 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
  • Jabs: Latest on Mayweather-Hopkins, Mitchell likely done, Mosley’s big loss

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    Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Bernard Hopkins are unlikely to meet in the ring. (Duffy-Marie Arnoult/Getty Images)

    Some short jabs …

    • The most entertaining fight of Saturday night’s show headlined by Bernard Hopkins’ light heavyweight title defense against Karo Murat could be the middleweight showdown right before it. WBO champion Peter Quillin (29-0) defends his title against Gabriel Rosado (21-6) in a fight between two men who don’t back up much. Rosado, a 154-pound contender, moved up earlier this year to face Gennady Golovkin, only to get stopped in the seventh round. Quillin has shown steady improvement since turning pro in 2005 and isn’t afraid to slug it out. If Rosado has his way, that’s exactly what will happen.

    • Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told that he has advised heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell to retire. Mitchell (26-2-1) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Chris Arreola, his second knockout defeat in his last three fights. In both fights, Mitchell showcased a weak chin.

    Read More…

  • Published On Oct 24, 2013
  • Miguel Cotto shakes doubters, crushes Rodriguez in third-round knockout

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    Miguel Cotto

    Legendary trainer Freddie Roach helped prepare Cotto for this fight and it showed, as he dominated throughout. (Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)

    ORLANDO — Three thought on Miguel Cotto’s third round knockout of Delvin Rodriguez.

    Miguel Cotto is back

    After back-to-back losses to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout, it was fair to wonder if Cotto, at 32 and a veteran of many bloody wars in the ring, had anything left. Consider that question emphatically answered. Against Delvin Rodriguez, a capable veteran who has been on the wrong end of some bad decisions, Cotto was spectacular. He attacked Rodriguez with blistering body shots early (13 in the first round) and when Rodriguez dropped his guard Cotto punished him to the head. The final CompuBox numbers were big–specifically an 87-26 edge to Cotto in power shots–but they didn’t do this performance justice. Cotto simply obliterated a very capable opponent.

    Read More…

  • Published On Oct 06, 2013
  • Bernard Hopkins wants to fight Floyd Mayweather

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    Bernard Hopkins

    One for the ages: 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins believes he could defeat Floyd Mayweather if given the chance. (AP)

    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

  • Published On Sep 16, 2013
  • Three thoughts on Floyd Mayweather’s win over Saul Alvarez

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    Floyd Mayweather had little trouble with Saul Alvarez over 12 rounds Saturday. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Floyd Mayweather had little trouble with Saul Alvarez over 12 rounds Saturday. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    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.

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  • Published On Sep 15, 2013