Posts Tagged ‘Lou DiBella’

Three Thoughts: Gennady Golovkin brutalizes Matthew Macklin

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Gennady Golovkin dropped Matt Macklin in the third round with a vicious body shot. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Gennady Golovkin (left) dropped Matt Macklin in the third round with a vicious body shot. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Three thoughts from WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin’s third round destruction of Matthew Macklin…

There are body shots, and there was that: If you’re a young fighter who thinks headhunting is how you score knockouts, save the footage of this fight. In the third round, after backing up and battering Macklin up for most of the first two, Golovkin (27-0) delivered one of the most savage body shots in boxing history, a perfectly placed left hook that was both precise and savage, and kept Macklin on the mat long after he was counted out.

Make no mistake: Macklin is a live opponent. He gave Sergio Martinez all he could ask for in a loss last year and was coming off a first-round knockout win over veteran Joachim Alcine. But he had no chance. Golovkin’s pressure was swarming, and Macklin was never given a chance to fight back.

“It was an easy fight for me,” Golovkin said. “He never hurt me. I felt great in the ring. I want to fight again as soon as possible. Any top fighter, any champion, any belt holder, anywhere.”

Said Macklin, “He’s the best I ever fought. He never let me get started.”

Anyone still think it’s hype? There had been this bizarre belief among some on the Internet that, perhaps, Golovkin was more hype than substance. Maybe it was his opponents—no superstars on that resume yet—or perhaps it was the way HBO has anointed him as its next star. Regardless, that debate should be over. The narrative tomorrow will be Golovkin’s power, and it should. “He has clubbing, solid power,” Macklin said. “You can feel the weight of every punch he throws.”

But Golovkin is so much more than just a power puncher. He fought 355 amateur fights, and won 350 of them. He is methodical, technical, accurate with every punch he throws. There is no wasted motion, no wasted energy. He is a complete fighter.

“People talk about punching power,” Andre Ward said. “He is always in position to punch. It’s from that Soviet system. He has a strong base, strong foundation. He puts a lot of pressure on people, and it starts with his feet. He gets into position, then is able to unload the big shot.”

Who’s next? Anyone? Bueller? Think any middleweight is eager to get in with Golovkin? After the fight, Golovkin was asked about Sergio Martinez, the 160-pound division’s money man who is out for the rest of the year with multiple injuries. Golovkin was all for it. Lou DiBella, Martinez’s promoter, was not.

“It’s not that its out of the question,” DiBella said. “But he’s not going to come off a 14-month layoff and fight this animal.”

Fortunately for Golovkin, he is going to start attracting some top opponents, thanks to HBO’s exposure. Exposure means money, and Golovkin’s license fees will continue to rise. Top Rank’s Bob Arum said he is open to a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and IBF titleholder Daniel Geale—who fights on HBO in August—is another possibility. Even Ward is now warming to it; he told me after the fight that he has no problem fighting Golovkin, but said Golovkin’s team “doesn’t want it right now.”

In short: Golovkin is going to start getting bigger fights. And that’s good news for everybody.

– Chris Mannix

  • Published On Jun 30, 2013
  • Quick jabs: Rios-Alvarado creates buzz, Robert Helenius returns, more

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    Seanie Monaghan (right), a popular and rugged ticket-seller in the New York City area, could fight Notre Dame alum Mike Lee in the near future. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Promoter Lou DiBella is bringing popular light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan back to headline his next Broadway Boxing show in New York on Oct. 24 against Rayco Saunders. The 31-year old Monaghan (15-0) isn’t really a prospect–he’s slow and he gets hit a lot–but he’s a banger and sells a lot of tickets in the Irish community. I asked DiBella recently if he thought there was a big fight out there for Monaghan and he came back with an interesting name: Light heavyweight and Notre Dame grad Mike Lee. DiBella told me he thinks Monaghan-Lee could sell out the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

    • Hey, B.J. Flores: Time for a bigger fight.

    • I’m looking forward to Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado this Saturday night as much as anyone, and Top Rank’s Bob Arum has told me he thinks the winner is a strong candidate to face Manny Pacquiao next year. But that would be a massacre. Rios and Alvarado are wildly entertaining but neither is close to Pacquiao’s level.

    • Good to see heavyweight prospect Robert Helenius will make his return to the ring next month after a nearly year-long hiatus due to a shoulder injury. Here’s hoping Helenius gets serious about his training. Helenius has the size and killer instinct to be a top heavyweight but his jab is pathetic and Dereck Chisora — who is not exactly a great boxer either — beat Helenius up on the inside in his last fight. That jab needs to become a sharp, stinging weapon for Helenius, a la Wladimir Klitschko, or he will never become an elite heavyweight.

    • Time for Ivan Calderon to retire.

    • Interesting note I gleaned during my reporting of an item I wrote in Sports Illustrated this week on featherweight Orlando Cruz, who recently announced he was gay. In the aftermath of the announcement, Top Rank attempted to get Cruz out of his Oct. 19 fight against Jorge Pazos so they could match him against top 130-pound prospect Mikey Garcia. If Cruz beats Pazos, he will be a candidate for a significant fight, possibly against Garcia, sometime next year.

    • On Monday, Top Rank announced the signing of 19-year old Puerto Rican prospect Felix Verdejo. Verdejo, a lightweight, was a member of Puerto Rico’s 2012 Olympic team. He won two fights in London before losing to eventual gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko. Top Rank officials are targeting December for Verdejo’s pro debut.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Oct 09, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin, Adrien Broner making news

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    Manny Pacquiao (above), who fell to No. 3 in’s most recent pound-for-pound ratings, might not fight again in 2012 according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Expect to see Andre Ward, fresh off last weekend’s impressive knockout win over Chad Dawson, in Las Vegas this Saturday at the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight. Ward is eyeballing the winner for his next fight. Just don’t expect Ward, a 168-pound super middleweight, to drop too close to the 160-pound middleweight limit. Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, told me Ward might be willing to cut “a couple of pounds” but no more than that. Nor is Ward all that interested in moving all the way up to 175 pounds, either. Hunter believes anyone who wants a crack at Ward should have to fight him at his weight.

    • So much for TMT Promotions — a company founded this summer by rapper 50 Cent and believed to involve Floyd Mayweather — making a big splash. While TMT is still in the hunt for a November date on HBO, nothing is close to being finalized. Moreover, 50 Cent has indicated in recent interviews that his relationship with Mayweather isn’t as strong as it used to be. That’s not good news for Andre Dirrell, Yuri Gamboa and Billy Dib, fighters who have signed to TMT but don’t appear to have many options before the end of the year.

    • After watching Tomasz Adamek get knocked down and struggle in an eventual fifth-round knockout of journeyman Travis Walker, you have to wonder just how much the 35-year old Adamek has left in the tank. In the last year Adamek has been battered by Vitali Klitschko, gone the distance in wins over Nagy Aguilera and Eddie Chambers, and been life and death with Walker. Adamek has fought some wars in his career; now, they might be catching up with him.

    • When Zsolt Erdei withdrew from his Sept. 29 fight with Isaac Chilemba, one solution was to take Chilemba off promoter Lou DiBella’s HBO-televised show and move him to a Main Events-promoted Sept. 21 card on NBC Sports Network. Main Events had been searching for a replacement for Gabriel Campillo, who withdrew from a fight with Sergey Kovalev, which would have headlined the NBC show. DiBella and HBO, however, wanted Main Events to give up Kovalev and have him fight Chilemba on HBO. But because boxing promoters get along about as well as a divorced couple, Chilemba stayed on DiBella’s card, where he will fight a yet to be named opponent on the untelevised undercard, while Kovalev will face unheralded Lionel Thompson on the NBC card. No one wins.

    • I still think that from a marketing perspective, Kelly Pavlik makes the most sense for Andre Ward.

    • If HBO can’t make Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco in November, I don’t want to see either of them on television. The network has invested millions in Broner, who has looked great plowing over a collection of stiffs. And DeMarco, who knocked out John Molina in less than a minute on Saturday, told me that he is ready, willing and able to fight Broner in November. Make it happen, or don’t give them the platform or the money to fight someone else.

    • Look for scintillating middleweight Gennady Golovkin to be back in the ring before the end of the year; just don’t expect it to be a unification fight against Daniel Geale. There’s a strong interest from HBO to make Golovkin-Geale but the sense I’m getting is that it’s more likely to happen in the spring of 2013.

    • No one at 140 pounds wants a piece of Lucas Matthyse. No one.

    • Spent some time talking to several people in Manny Pacquiao’s camp this week and no one can say with any certainty whether Pacquiao will fight again this year. Top Rank is still holding the Dec. 8 date but it is waiting to hear from Pacquiao.

    • During its broadcast last weekend, HBO incorrectly identified Ward as the last U.S. Olympic boxing gold medalist. Ward is the last men’s boxing gold medalist. The last gold medal won by a USA boxer was claimed by Claressa Shields, the 17-year old phenom who picked up middleweight gold in London.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Sep 11, 2012
  • Three thoughts from Chavez-Manfredo

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    Julio Cesar Chavez is still one or two fights away from his showdown with Sergio Martinez. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

    HOUSTON – Three quick thoughts from Julio Cesar Chavez’s fifth round knockout win over Peter Manfredo Saturday night.

    Chavez looked good. Chavez takes a lot of heat for a soft résumé and an inflated profile thanks to his famous father. But Chavez was impressive Saturday night. After a slow first round, Chavez turned it on, tagging Manfredo with clean, thudding combinations. In the fifth round Chavez rocked Manfredo with a straight right hand. When Manfredo stumbled back into the ropes, Chavez closed brilliantly, swarming Manfredo with a flurry of punches until the referee stepped in. Manfredo wasn’t happy with the stoppage but he had a chance to take a knee, recover and fight on. It was a tactical mistake by Manfredo and you can’t blame Chavez for taking advantage of it.

    What’s next for Chavez? Everyone wants to see Chavez against Sergio Martinez. That’s not happening. Bob Arum told me he would like to see Chavez fight one or two more times before considering a Martinez fight. I don’t blame him. Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella, doesn’t blame him either. Chavez is still an unfinished product. DiBella would like to make Chavez-Andy Lee early next year. That’s a decent fight. The big money fight is Chavez-Saul Alvarez, an all-Mexican showdown that would do big business south of the border. Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, says he would make the fight at a catchweight of 156 pounds. Arum says he will do 158. If the two can get together, that fight would be a war.

    Manfredo retires. After the fight, Manfredo, 30, announced his retirement. Manfredo has nothing to hang his head about. He carved out a solid career for himself. Best known as the runner-up on the first season of The Contender, Manfredo (37-7) fought for world titles against Chavez and Joe Calzaghe and made a name for himself in a business that chews journeymen fighters up and spits them out. He could have stuck around, fought in small shows and made a few bucks. But he walks away with a $100,000 payday and his faculties intact.

    “He had two shots at a world title, he stood their toe to toe with everyone and he had a great career,” said Manfredo’s promoter, Lou DiBella. “He represented himself and Providence very well. His nose may look messed up but his brain isn’t. He has beautiful kids and a beautiful wife and he can have a great life.”

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Nov 20, 2011
  • Hershman to be named HBO Sports president

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    Ken Hershman (above) oversaw a period of impressive growth while in charge of Showtime's sports department. (Ed Mulholland/US Presswire)

    NEW YORK — HBO is set to name Showtime’s Ken Hershman as President of HBO Sports, sources told Hershman will replace Ross Greenburg, who resigned in July.

    In a statement, Showtime confirmed Hershman has left the company.

    Hershman has been with Showtime since 1992, rising from an attorney with the network to the head of the sports department in 2003.

    Since 2005, Hershman has taken Showtime from a boxing-heavy programming to include mixed martial arts and successful programs Inside the NFL and Inside NASCAR, as well as several feature documentaries.

    Among the candidates who could replace Hershman is Lou DiBella, the former head of HBO Sports, who currently runs his own boxing promotional company.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Oct 13, 2011
  • Three thoughts from Martinez vs. Barker

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    Darren Barker was relentless in the ring against Sergio Martinez. (Andrew Couldridge/

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Here are three quick thoughts on Sergio Martinez’s 11th-round knockout of Darren Barker:

    1. Barker was a live dog. This was supposed to be a soft touch for Martinez, who over the last two years has run a gauntlet of the top middleweights and junior middleweights in the world. But Barker—who at one point was a 25-to-1 underdog—proved to be much better than advertised. Barker had a brilliant strategy early, utilizing a stiff defense and tagging Martinez with clean shots when he saw an opening. He broke Martinez’s nose with a crisp right hand in the second round and was more than competitive the first half of the fight.

    In the second half, however, Martinez dominated. He continued to blast away at Barker’s defense, and by the seventh round many of his shots were slipping through. Martinezoverwhelmed Barker with power shots in the last two rounds (a 33-7 edge) and closed the show with a relentless series of combinations that put Barker down and out.

    2. Martinez is, at worst, the third-best fighter in the world. Martinez, according to sources in his camp, was fighting hurt. He battled knee and shoulder problems in the weeks leading up to the fight and spent the last eight rounds wiping a steady stream of blood from his nose. Yet Martinez overcame it all to pick up a spectacular—and, perhaps more importantly, entertaining—win. I’ll buy that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are 1-2 in the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. But Martinez (48-2-2) is firmly entrenched right behind them.

    3. Paging, Miguel Cotto. OK, let’s be real: Neither Mayweather or Pacquiao is getting in the ring with Martinez. Moreover, Martinez isn’t jumping up to 168 pounds to fight one of the Super Six participants and isn’t moving to 170-pounds for the winner of Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson. And while Lou DiBella is pushing recently signed Matthew Macklin as an opponent for next year, that’s a fight only a diehard can love.

    There is, in my mind, only one truly marketable opponent forMartinez: Cotto. He’s a legitimate pay per view draw and a Martinez fight would sell out Madison Square Garden in a matter of hours. Martinez wants it—he doesn’t like Cotto much and has offered to cough up his purse if he loses to him—but neither Cotto or Bob Arum has shown much interest in making that fight happen. Now, it’s on Martinez and DiBella to make it happen. Poke, prod, insult Cotto, whatever. But he is the one opponent that could conceivably elevate Martinez to the next level.  Get him in the ring, whatever it takes.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Oct 02, 2011
  • Martinez draws for Times Square workout

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    Sergio Martinez defends his middleweight championship Saturday against England's Darren Barker on HBO. (Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

    NEW YORK — The best pound-for-pound boxer in the world not named Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquaio is middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who returns to action Saturday against England’s Darren Barker at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall (10 p.m. ET, HBO).

    The 36-year-old Martinez held an open workout Tuesday at Modell’s Sporting Goods in Times Square, jumping rope, shadowboxing and working the pads with trainer Pablo Sarmiento before as many as 100 boxing fans and curious passers-by walking 42nd St. during lunch hour. Notables in attendance ranged from Kery Davis, senior vice president in charge of programming at HBO, to adult film actress Lisa Ann (of Who’s Naylin’ Paylin? renown).

    Martinez captured the WBC and Ring magazine 160-pound titles from Kelly Pavlik in April 2010 and defended them with a savage one-punch knockout of Paul Williams in November — a highlight-reel finish that landed him consensus Fighter and Knockout of the Year honors while propelling him to No. 3 in most pound-for-pound tables.

    But despite matinee-idol looks and a compelling backstory — a product of one of Argentina’s toughest barrios, Martinez sought careers in soccer and cycling before taking up boxing at 20 — the late-blooming southpaw’s improbable success has yet to translate to box-office appeal and crossover recognition. (“Is he a UFC guy?” asked one Valley-girl type who wandered in to see what the crowd was for; “No, he’s the middleweight champion of the world,” Martinez promoter Lou DiBella bemusedly corrected.)

    Martinez looked sharp throughout the half-hour session and is widely expected to walk through 9-to-1 underdog Barker, who is undefeated but underexperienced. Beyond that, who knows. Before moving from the storefront to sign autographs for the fans downstairs, Martinez expressed interest in boiling down to face either Pacquiao or Mayweather at a catchweight of 150. “At 160 there are no opponents available to me,” he said through translator Sampson Lewkowicz. “I want to prove I’m pound-for-pound the best.” A noble cause, but whether he’ll be able to transcend the moderate fame of a successful boxer depends largely on whether Floyd or Manny steps to the plate in 2012.

    – Bryan Armen Graham

    As many as 100 boxing fans and curious passers-by watched middleweight champion Sergio Martinez at a public workout Tuesday at the Modell's Sporting Goods in Times Square. (Bryan Armen Graham/SI)

  • Published On Sep 27, 2011