Posts Tagged ‘Manny Pacquiao’

Ex-HBO exec. Ross Greenburg following Floyd Mayweather to Showtime

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Ross Greenburg speaks with Bill Russell at SI's 2010 Sportsman of the Year party. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Ross Greenburg speaks with Bill Russell at SI’s 2010 Sportsman of the Year party. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

If you are familiar with the boxing industry, the following sentence will sound strange: Ross Greenburg is working for Showtime.

Greenburg, of course, was the President of HBO Sports from 2000 to 2011 — and an executive producer at the network for nearly two decades before that — before being forced out in the summer of 2011. With Showtime, Greenburg will produce a one-hour documentary that will air on CBS chronicling the last year in the life of Floyd Mayweather, including his time in prison. In addition, Greenburg will work on Showtime’s All Access reality show, a carbon copy of the the 24/7 series Greenburg created at HBO in 2007, that will air in the weeks leading up to Mayweather’s fight against Robert Guerrero on May 4th.

“This has always been in my blood,” Greenburg told “I have always been a producer at heart. I love telling stories. It’s refreshing. There are not a lot of headaches. I didn’t have to put out too many fires. I really enjoyed the people I work with.”

Since leaving HBO, Greenburg has worked closely with NBC, producing documentaries on Earl Campbell (which was nominated for a Sports Emmy), the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union, the 1952 U.S. Open and the 1991 Ryder Cup. Greenburg also worked on Costas Tonight on NBC Sports Network — including Mayweather’s appearance on the show last year — and consulted for the NHL, Discovery Channel and Under Armour.

Now, Greenburg is back in boxing, working with the archrival of the network that he had a big hand in turning into a powerhouse.

“I guess I feel like [Kevin] Youkilis and [Johnny] Damon going into the [Yankees] locker room,” Greenburg said. “I’m just interested in helping [Showtime Executive Vice President] Stephen [Espinoza] as much as I can. It’s been very easy for me. They have welcomed me like family. It’s like Jeter putting arm around Youkilis. I’m back doing what I want to do. I have to take care of my family. I’ll always remember and cherish the glorious past. I had a wonderful 33 years [at HBO].”

It’s been comfortable for Greenburg to work with Mayweather, who he maintained a close relationship with during his time with HBO. And despite the fact that since Mayweather became a star on 24/7 in 2007 his story has been told repeatedly, Greenburg believes the events of the last year have left a rich tale to tell.

“There is the evolving relationship between Floyd, Roger [Mayweather] and Floyd Sr.,” Greenburg said. “Floyd himself spent 62 days in solitary. It changed his whole point of view on life. We spent the last three or four days with Floyd in the gym. Floyd and Roger are both there. Floyd Sr. is very involved. It’s an interesting evolution of that relationship. Floyd and his father are very close. The time he spent in prison did change him.”

Greenburg wouldn’t say if his relationship with Showtime could last beyond this fight (“We’ll see,” Greenburg said) but said he had no regrets about his time at HBO.

“No, not at all,” Greenburg said. “I did my job. The HBO sports department is something I will always remember. I think we built a hell of a franchise and a brand. The boxing program when I left it was as strong as it ever was. I have no regrets whatsoever. I took a lot of criticism, most of it unwarranted, but that is OK. I’m a big boy. I’ll pick myself back up. I have so many great memories. All fond memories.”

Well, almost all. Greenburg admits he still wishes he could have made the mega fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

“It’s funny, there weren’t that many times that I couldn’t make a fight,” Greenburg said. “I tried twice and got very close. To this day, I’m not going to put the blame on anyone because I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t happen. But I think boxing can recover. It didn’t happen, and it was not meant to be. It’s unfortunate because it probably would have been an epic buildup, even though I’m not sure it would have been a good fight. I know Floyd has moved on. He continues to be asked about Pacquiao and his attitude is much like mine, that if it was meant to be, fine. He believes his third act, over the next couple of years, is going to be special.”

– Chris Mannix

  • Published On Mar 22, 2013
  • Timothy Bradley takes out Ruslan Provodnikov in welterweight fight

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    Timothy Bradley improved his record to 30-0 with a 12-round unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

    Timothy Bradley (left) improved his record to 30-0 with a 12-round unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

    Three thoughts on Timothy Bradley’s wildly entertaining win over Ruslan Provodnikov:

    Who saw this coming?

    Bradley, the defending champion who has spent his career competing against top competition, was a heavy favorite coming in against Provodnikov, a 140-pounder best known for being Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner. But from the opening bell, it was clear this was no mismatch. Both Provodnikov and Bradley came out aggressive, but while Bradley landed the higher volume of punches, Provodnikov’s carried more steam behind them. Provodnikov had Bradley rocked multiple times in the first two rounds, including a shot in the first that appeared to knock Bradley down, to the point where he stumbled twice just trying to get up. Referee Pat Russell ruled it a slip, and Bradley recovered to control the action until the 12th round, when an aggressive Provodnikov swarmed him with power punches and put him down with less than 20 seconds to go. The final scores (114-113, twice, and 115-12) were right, given that judges are handcuffed by what the referee calls. But if Russell had ruled a first-round knockdown, the fight would have been scored a draw.

    Read More…

  • Published On Mar 17, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Manny Pacquiao in no rush to fight, Glazkov-Scott card could be unwatchable, more

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    Manny Pacquiao

    Despite rumors, Manny Pacquiao probably will not be fighting in April. (AP)

    • Speculation has been rampant in the boxing industry that Manny Pacquiao could return to the ring in April, possibly in a fight in Singapore, Macau or Abu Dhabi. Yet I’m told that there is no sense of urgency to rush Pacquiao back into the ring.

    Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, told recently that he prefers that Pacquiao — who was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last month — stay out of the ring until September. Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, isn’t pushing to make the fight, partly because getting a $10-million site fee secured in the next two months would not be easy, and partly because Top Rank, like Roach, doesn’t see any need to rush back in the ring, not with another $30 million payday coming Pacquiao’s way in a potential fifth fight with Marquez. Most of the talk of a comeback fight is coming from Pacquiao’s business advisor, Michael Koncz, who will need the full support of Top Rank to make the fight happen. And right now, he doesn’t have it.

    • Last week, Main Events announced that heavyweight prospect Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov would headline an NBC Sports Network Fight Night show against undefeated Malik Scott on February 23. Now there has been some backlash to the choice of Scott. Despite good size (6-foot-3) and an unblemished record, Scott is rarely, if ever, in an entertaining fight, preferring to jab his way to lopsided wins on the outside against inferior opposition. It’s how his career has gone and, at 32, it’s likely how his career is going to be.

    Certainly Scott wasn’t the promoters’ first choice. Main Events thought it had a deal with heavy-handed heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov before he backed out. They it turned to Joe Hanks, Jason Estrada, Travis Kauffman, David Rodriguez, Justin Jones and Franklin Lawrence. Each turned the offer down.

    There is plenty of upside for Glazkov (14-0). Beating Scott (35-0) would be a nice feather in his cap. The fear though is that Scott, as he has done his whole career, will use his length, box on the outside and win a boring, unwatchable decision. And for Main Events, which has made Fight Night a success largely by putting together exciting fights, that would be a disaster.

    • Shane Mosley, whose skills have deteriorated significantly in recent years and who retired following a lopsided decision defeat to Saul Alvarez last May, is coming out of retirement to challenge welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center in April. Putting aside that Mosley, 41, whose declining motor skills have been noticeable to reporters who have interviewed him the last few years, has reached the point where just fighting is especially dangerous, there is almost no way that can be an entertaining fight.

    • British promoter Frank Warren announced a terrific card to be held March 16 at Wembley Stadium in London. Headlining will be lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns, who will attempt to unify the 135-pound titles against fellow titleholder Miguel Vazquez. In addition, light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly will defend his belt against mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi, super middleweight prospect George Groves will face Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye, and Dereck Chisora, who has not fought since being knocked out by David Haye last summer, will face an undetermined opponent.

    Chisora’s participation in the show is contingent on him being relicensed by the British Boxing Board of Control, which suspended Chisora’s license indefinitely after he provoked an ugly brawl with Haye last year.

    The card will be televised in the U.S. on Epix and

    • Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek will likely have to deal with charges stemming from an arrest for driving under the influence in upstate New York last week, but physically Adamek emerged from the three-car wreck unscathed. Adamek reportedly crashed his car into a parked vehicle, which was pushed into another parked car, while driving late Saturday night near Lake Placid, N.Y.

    Adamek is hoping to face Kubrat Pulev later this year in a fight that will determine the next mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko.

    “Fortunately, he’s fine,” said Adamek’s promoter, Kathy Duva, in an email. “This will not affect his next fight.”

    • Undefeated heavyweight Denis Boytsov, who is recovering from elbow surgery, has resumed training again. I’ll care when the oft-injured Boytsov starts fighting again.

    • Lightweight Adrien Broner’s impressive stoppage of Antonio DeMarco last November has many clamoring to see him in more big fights, including some at junior welterweight, one of the deepest divisions in boxing. However Broner, 23, has no plans to move up in weight anytime soon.

    “That’s what everybody wants you to do,” Broner said. “They have just seen me dominate and put on a great performance… but I just moved up to this weight [135 pounds]. I still make the weight [by] eating steak and potatoes every night at training camp. I make the weight comfortably, so I’m going to stay here for a lot of good fights that I still can have at 135-pounds.  So, I’m going to flush out this lightweight division and then we can go up to the light welterweight and crush their dreams. We’re going to stay here for a while.”

    • An interesting fight under discussion for the spring: Steve Cunningham, the former cruiserweight titleholder coming off a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek last month, against Tyson Fury, the big (6-foot-8) heavyweight prospect who has been looking for name opponents.

    -Chris Mannix

  • Published On Jan 15, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Mayweather still needs opponent, Pavlik could benefit from Ward injury, more

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    It is still unclear who Floyd Mayweather will be facing in May. (AP)

    It is still unclear who Floyd Mayweather will be facing in May. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said no decisions have been made regarding opponents for Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez in May. While Robert Guerrero continues to be a leading candidate to face Mayweather, Schaefer indicated that Austin Trout, who is coming off an upset win over Miguel Cotto in December, isn’t a likely candidate for Alvarez.

    “[Trout] is one of the names being considered,” Schaefer said. “But at this point, I don’t think it will happen.”

    • The shoulder injury that will sideline Andre Ward for at least the next few months could turn out to be a blessing for Kelly Pavlik. Pavlik, of course, was scheduled to face Ward later this month. Few people in the industry — myself included — gave Pavlik little more than a puncher’s chance against Ward, a physically stronger and more skilled fighter who has been campaigning at 168-pounds for most of his career. With Ward out, Pavlik has plenty of options in the super middleweight division. A fight with Lucian Bute has been dangled and a long-awaited matchup with Arthur Abraham could be a possibility. One name I’ve heard linked with Pavlik: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who could still be contemplating a move up to 168-pounds.

    • So Mariusz Wach says he has lost his passion for boxing. I would too if I took the beating Wladimir Klitschko gave him.

    • Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev’s promoter, Chris Meyer of Sauerland Event, told me on Monday that he will begin negotiations with Main Events CEO Kathy Duva this week about a matchup between Pulev and Tomasz Adamek this year. Pulev-Adamek would be an IBF eliminator, with the winner guaranteed a shot at IBF titleholder Wladimir Klitschko. Meyer said he hoped to have a tentative plan settled in the next 10-14 days.

    • Credit junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado for refusing to fight middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin at a catchweight of 158-pounds. I like Golovkin to win that fight but Rosado — who has never backed up from anyone — will make Golovkin fight. Could be an early candidate for Fight of the Year.

    • NBC reported that the ratings for its December 22nd card headlined by Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham averaged 1.6 million viewers (a 1.2 rating), peaking at 3.2 million viewers (2.2 rating). On the heels of a successful show on CBS a week earlier, I think it’s safe to say boxing will be back on network TV. Soon.

    • Count me among those concerned about Manny Pacquiao after his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last month. But I don’t think doctors who have never examined him — like Filipino neurologist Dr. Rustico Jimenez, who last week said he saw early signs of Parkinson’s disease in Pacquiao — have any right to go public with that kind of accusation. That’s staggeringly irresponsible.

    - Chris Mannix

  • Published On Jan 08, 2013
  • Podcast: Amir Khan, Nonito Donaire look ahead to weekend fights, look back at Pacquiao-Marquez IV

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    Sports Illustrated staff writer Chris Mannix looks back at Juan Manuel Marquez’s devastating knockout of Manny Pacquiao last weekend at the MGM Grand, then speaks with Amir Khan and Nonito Donaire ahead of their fights this weekend.

    Click here to listen:

  • Published On Dec 14, 2012
  • Manny Pacquiao’s wife, mother say he should retire

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    Manny Pacquiao’s wife and mother said the Filipino fighter should retire after Saturday’s knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

    “When you see your husband get hurt, you cannot even sleep,” Jinkee Pacquiao, Manny’s wife, said in an interview on the GMA Network that aired Monday in the Philippines.

    Jinkee was highly emotional Saturday following the knockout, weeping inconsolably as she attempted to climb into the ring to reach her fallen husband after a counter right hand from Marquez left him face down and unconscious on the canvas for nearly two minutes.

    Does that mean she wants Pacquiao, the first and only eight-division champion in boxing history, to retire?

    “You know the answer to that,” she told the interviewer, according to Agence France-Presse. “He knows what I am asking him”.

    Pacquiao’s mother Dionisia was more direct in a separate interview on the same network.

    “I have long asked you son, it is time to retire because you started boxing at such a young age. I always pray that he will stop. I asked God to tell my son to stop,” she said.

    Dionisia had previously blamed Pacquiao’s defeat — his first by way of knockout since 1999 — on the religious recommitment he’s undergone over the past year, attributing his lost sleep to late-night Bible studies with “Protestant pastors.”

    “That’s what he gets for changing his religion,” she said, a quote that led a front-page story in Monday’s Philippine Daily Inquirer.

    Pacquiao turns 34 on December 17. He’s amassed a record of 54 wins, six losses and two draws with 38 knockouts since turning pro as a 106-pounder in 1995.

    – Bryan Armen Graham

  • Published On Dec 10, 2012
  • How Juan Manuel Marquez’s win played on newspaper front pages in Mexico

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    Juan Manuel Marquez’s stunning knockout of Manny Pacquiao concluded early enough to make the close of most Sunday newspapers in Marquez’s native Mexico. Here’s a look at how the victory played on the front pages.

  • Published On Dec 09, 2012
  • Why is Snooki in the ring? Apparently no one really knew she’s a promoter

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    Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi made her top-flight promotional debut Saturday, appearing in the ring with her fighter, Patrick Hyland, who fought on the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard. This confused people.

    1. @snooki representing Hyland in the first fight of the night of the #pacquiaomarquez fight?
    2. snolasco
      Snooki Boxing? That’s just wrong. Very wrong. #boxing
    3. lala_les
      I was wondering wow @snooki is working it she even showed up to the fight.
    4. dkrpjazz
      If you have snooki in your corner you deserve to lose. #sorrynotsorry
    5. TheBrownBooger
      What is snooki doing in the ring at the MGM idk ???
    6. MrDuff_Duff
      Snooki in the irishman’s corner & not the latino’s corner makes no sense. Not sure wut she doin anyway ��#undercard #selfhate #marquezpacquio
    7. ciso27
      @snooki was that you in the ring, thought you were gonna fight,haha
    8. xoedithh
      I just saw snooki, Wth is she doing up there
    9. Hadouken_33
      WTF Is Snooki Doing In The Boxing Ring������lol
    10. marieegee_
      wtf was snooki doing on the ring. -________- waiting to see #PacMarquez
    11. TheRealJamesWal
      Snooki standin behind pajo hyland before the fight started
    12. JustReal_E
      Why the fuck is Snooki at a boxing match? Maldita lambona
    13. LindsaySmith84
      Why is Snooki standing next to the Irish guy in this first fight? #boxing
    14. Kathy_Pdizzle
      Snooki’s in Vegas. I know…random. Lol. She’s representing an Irish boxer, Patrick Hyland…uh why?
    15. james_tiny
      Snooki’s lost bare weight! Never knew she was married to a boxer as well aha
    16. DinoDilly
      WHY IN THE FUCK was snooki in the ring!? She just ruined the whole thing t-_-t
    17. RealSeanB
      Yo #Snooki has a boxing promotions company?? O.o

  • Published On Dec 08, 2012
  • Heavy action on Juan Manuel Marquez hours before fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao

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    The line on Juan Manuel Marquez (above), who opened as a 3-to-1 underdog, have moved closer to even odds as Saturday's fight draws near. (Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

    The line on Juan Manuel Marquez, who opened as a 3-to-1 underdog, have moved closer to even odds the fight draws near. (Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS — The shifting odds at the MGM Grand sports book hours before Saturday’s fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are reflecting a rush of action on the underdog.

    Marquez started as a +300 longshot when betting opened on Sept. 19, meaning a $100 wager returns $300 in winnings. Those odds had been slashed to +260 by Friday afternoon, after the bulk of Marquez fans arrived and created a vocal presence at the weigh-ins.

    Yet the line on a Marquez victory was down to +175 as of 1:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, approximately seven hours before the non-title fight (9 pm. ET, HBO PPV, $59.99).

    Pacquiao, who opened as a -400 favorite (meaning a $400 bet returns $100 in winnings), had fallen to -370 on Friday. Those odds had been slashed to -220 by Saturday afternoon.

    Experts’ predictions on Pacquiao-Marquez IV

    Marquez was a far more lopsided underdog — opening at +500 — for his third fight with Pacquiao in November 2011.

    That fight ended in a controversial majority decision for the Filipino, with a majority of the media at ringside scoring it a draw or a narrow victory for the Mexican. The announcement of that outcome by Michael Buffer prompted a cascade of boos from the heavily pro-Marquez crowd, many of whom hurled bottles and cans toward the ring.

    – Bryan Armen Graham

  • Published On Dec 08, 2012
  • Juan Manuel Marquez fans make themselves heard at weigh-in for Manny Pacquiao fight

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    Manny Pacquiao (left) and Juan Manuel Marquez (right) both made weight for Saturday's welterweight showdown, their fourth meeting in eight years.(AP)

    Manny Pacquiao (left) and Juan Manuel Marquez (right) both made weight for Saturday’s welterweight showdown, their fourth meeting in eight years. (AP)

    LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao will bring a slight weight advantage into Saturday’s welterweight fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, the fourth in a classic series between surefire Hall of Famers that’s spanned eight years.

    But if the crowd split at Friday’s weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was any indicator, Marquez will enjoy a marked edge in fan support. Approximately 4,000 fans, mostly Marquez supporters, made themselves heard throughout the afternoon — waving Mexican flags, doffing sombreros, drowning out the Pacquiao fans with still another cascade of “Olé, Olé, Olé” chants.

    Yet there were no theatrics after the fighters hit the scales — Marquez weighed in at a chiseled 143 pounds, Pacquiao matched a career-high at 147 — only the traditional staredown between two longtime rivals who prefer to do their talking in the ring.

    “We know each other really well and it’s going to be a war,” Marquez, 39, said afterward.

    It marks the second straight fight Pacquiao has weighed 147 pounds, the division limit. Before his June bout with Timothy Bradley — a highly controversial loss that cost him the WBO welterweight championship and rendered Saturday’s bout with Marquez a non-title fight — the 33-year-old Filipino had always come in comfortably under the limits for fights at welterweight or above.

    Even when he fought Antonio Margarito for the super welterweight title at a contracted limit of 150 pounds, Pacquiao weighed in at 144.6. As trainer Freddie Roach explained it, preserving Pacquiao’s speed took precedent over a few extra pounds of muscle.

    Pacquiao, a sitting congressman in the Philippines who is running for vice-governor of Sarangani province in May, voiced his concerns about the effects of Typhoon Bopha, the strengthening storm that’s already responsible for at least 500 deaths in his homeland.

    “This fight is dedicated to those fans,” the eight-division champion said.

    The weigh-in came hours after Top Rank CEO Bob Arum announced the fight was an official sellout, generating a live gate of $10.5 million.

    – Bryan Armen Graham

  • Published On Dec 07, 2012