Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Bradley’

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 SI.com 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. SI.com scored the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao.

– Chris Mannix

 


  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Is Pacquiao-Bradley undercard example of what boxing needs to improve?

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    Khabib Allakhverdiev

    WBA light welterweight champion Khabib-Allakhverdiev isn’t a household name. ( Didier Baverel/WireImage)

    LAS VEGAS — When it comes to pay-per-view undercards, Top Rank’s Bob Arum has a philosophy: People aren’t hitting the buy button because of it, so there’s no need to spend a lot of money on it. That position is evident in the undercard fights of Manny Pacquiao’s rematch against Tim Bradley (9 p.m., HBO PPV) on Saturday: None of the three early fights (Jose Felix vs. Bryan Vazquez; Jessie Vargas vs. Khabib Allakhverdiev; Arash Usmanee vs. Ray Beltran) feature a household name.

    “Most people who buy a pay per view buy it only to watch the main event,” Arum said. “As for the undercard, the people who want to see other boxing are entitled to see good competitive matches between really good outstanding pros. That’s what we try to give them. This undercard has good quality fighters in equal fights.”

    Mark Taffet, HBO’s Vice President of Sports Operations and PPV, agrees. 

    “Having been involve in over 180 pay per view events, we have seldom seen an undercard materially drive pay per view buys,” he said. “While we haven’t done extensive research on this, my instinct is that if the undercards are competitive and entertaining, that may provide tremendous value. I don’t necessarily believe it needs to be big name fighters, particularly in fights where the outcome is not in doubt.”

    MANNIX: Timothy Bradley’s journey leads him back to Manny Pacquiao

    That thinking is not uniform in boxing. Recently, Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions — direct rivals to HBO and Top Rank, respectively — have put more of an emphasis on high profile undercards. Last September, Danny Garcia fought Lucas Matthysse on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Saul Alvarez. Next month, Amir Khan will face Luis Collazo on the undercard of Mayweather-Marcos Maidana. Both Garcia-Matthysse and Khan-Collazo are fights that could headline their own HBO or Showtime card. 

    Arum acknowledges the value fights like Garcia-Matthysse and Khan-Collazo add to a card. But he points out that some of the other fights on these cards are less competitive. Arum cites Adrien Broner’s upcoming fight against Carlos Molina, which will appear on the Mayweather-Maidana undercard. Broner is an enormous favorite. 

    “Broner-Molina is dreadful,” Arum said. “Putting that fight on, you’re trying to delude morons.”

    Arum and Taffet are likely right: Fans do buy the top of the ticket. But there are other, less quantifiable ways that putting high profile fights on an undercard brings. Media exposure, for starters. Garcia-Matthysse was one of the most anticipated fights of 2013. The fight had its own press tour and generated significant press interest, which added another layer to the promotion. Similarly, Khan-Collazo is a crossroads fight between two welterweight contenders. The winner will take a big step forward, possibly into a fight against Mayweather in the fall. 

    There is also exposure. Pacquiao and Mayweather draw in the largest mainstream audience of pay per view buyers in boxing. That audience may not be as familiar with HBO’s or Showtime’s other fighters. Take Sergey Kovalev. He is one of boxing’s fastest rising stars. He is well known by boxing’s base. But Kovalev is still largely unknown to the casual fan. Put Kovalev on the undercard of a major pay per view and he would be exposed to a fan base that may not tune in to see him otherwise.

    Constructing undercards is complicated, and there are no easy, calculable answers. But as boxing desperately attempts to connect more with the average fan, it’s important to find them.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley set for rematch in April

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    Manny Pacquiao (right) will look to hand Timothy Bradley his first loss when the two meet in April.

    Manny Pacquiao (right) will look to hand Timothy Bradley his first loss when the two meet in April. (Chris Carlson/AP)

    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.

    Read More…


  • Published On Jan 25, 2014
  • 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: Kelly Pavlik has a tough fight ahead, Gabriel Rosado recovering, more

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    Kelly Pavlik

    After struggling with alcoholism, Kelly Pavlik has retired from boxing at the age of 30. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

    • I can’t say I’m surprised that former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik decided to call it quits last week, at 30. From what I have been told, the move to Oxnard, California to train with Robert Garcia had not been going as well as planned and that Pavlik often appeared disinterested during training. It’s fortunate for Pavlik that Andre Ward had to back out of a scheduled January date with a shoulder injury; that could have gotten real ugly, real fast.

    Is Pavlik done? I doubt it. Boxing is littered with comebacks, and Pavlik is young enough that he can take a couple of years off. I just hope Pavlik can keep the demons that have chased him the last few years in check. I wrote the first story on Pavlik following his second stint in rehab and I remember his defiance towards accepting that he had a drinking problem. It’s going to be a battle for him to keep his life in order now that he is retired. I hope that, like so many of his battles in the ring, he wins it.

    • I’m told Gabriel Rosado, who absorbed a pretty good beating from Gennady Golovkin last weekend, is recovering well and expects to return sometime this summer. Rosado plans to drop back down to 154-pounds, where he will still be a top contender. I know Rosado has his eyes on Saul Alvarez, but a good fight for him would be a rematch with Alfredo Angulo, who knocked Rosado out in the second round in 2009.

    • Speaking of Golovkin, promoter Tom Loeffler told me the plan going forward was to have Golovkin fight in March, somewhere in Europe, before returning to the U.S. in June for a bigger HBO fight. If IBF titleholder Daniel Geale wins his rematch with Anthony Mundine later this month, a unification fight with Golovkin would make for a good matchup.

    • Timothy Bradley — who has made some of the worst business decisions in recent memory — is reportedly closing in on a fight with Yuri Gamboa. I like it. It’s a very winnable fight for Bradley and would give him a big bounce towards a bigger fight later in the year.

    • Checked in with Sergio Martinez’s advisor, Sampson Lewkowicz, last weekend, who told me Martinez is doing well in his recovery from knee surgery. According to Lewkowicz, Martinez is doing strictly upper body workouts right now but will begin full training in late February and will be ready to fight in April.

    • Top Rank announced the signing of Chinese amateur superstar Zou Shiming, a three-time world champion and two-time gold medalist in the junior flyweight division. Zou, 31, will make his pro debut in Macau in April.

    • If you missed Sergey Kovalev’s one-sided beating of former light heavyweight titleholder Gabriel Campillo, find the replay on NBC Sports Network. In his stiffest test to date, Kovalev walked right through Campillo, a slick, talented boxer who had been knocked out just once before. Kovalev is more than just raw power: He’s a smart boxer who under the tutelage of John David Jackson has developed a complete game. He goes to the head, to the body and when he smells blood has a tremendous killer instinct. Main Events would like to bring him back sometime in June, preferably on HBO. If Tavoris Cloud can get past Bernard Hopkins in March, a Cloud-Kovalev showdown would be explosive.

    • I like Bryant Jennings — he was SI.com’s 2012 Prospect of the Year. But fighting Wladimir Klitschko right now is a bad, bad idea. Jennings made great strides in 2012 but he is nowhere near ready for that kind of fight. At this point in his career, a knockout loss to Klitschko might be something he doesn’t recover from.

    • Still no decisions have been made on the futures of the Klitschko brothers, per manager Bernd Boente, though I still expect both to be back in the ring sometime this spring.

    • So Jorge Arce wants another fight. Boxers really need to stop using the word ‘retirement.’

    • Another week, another disgraceful judging performance, this time by Tony Paolillo, who inexplicably scored the Roman Martinez-Juan Carlos Burgos fight for Martinez, 116-112. I’ve watched that fight three times and there is no way you can give Martinez that many rounds. The official punch stats gave Burgos a 286-193 advantage, including 234-164 in power shots.

    Unsurprisingly, Burgos’ promoters demanded a rematch.

    “Juan Carlos won that fight hands down and this week we will file for an immediate rematch”, said Artie Pelullo, CEO of Banner Promotions. “The kid worked hard and should be a world champion this morning. We just hope the WBO agrees with what the whole world saw and does the right thing by granting us this rematch.”

    -Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jan 23, 2013
  • Timothy Bradley to defend welterweight title on Dec. 15 at Marlins Park

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    Timothy Bradley (left) won the WBO welterweight title from Manny Pacquiao (right) in June, handing the Filipino his first loss in more than seven years. (AP)

    Timothy Bradley will defend the WBO welterweight title he won from Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 15 at Marlins Park in Miami.

    While an opponent has yet to be officially signed for the HBO-televised fight, former welterweight titleholder Andre Berto has emerged as the most probable candidate.

    “We’re trying to lock in Berto,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told SI.com on Friday. “HBO is working on it right now. If all things come together over the next couple days that’s what we’re looking at.”

    Bradley (29-0-0, 12 KOs), currently No. 8 in SI.com’s pound-for-pound ratings, won a highly controversial split decision over Pacquiao on June 9 to capture the title. The Palm Springs, Calif., native has since recovered from injuries to his left foot and right ankle sustained in the fight.

    “From a dates point of view it works out OK for him,” Moretti said.

    Berto (28-1-0, 22 KOs) won the WBC welterweight title with a technical knockout of Miguel Angel Rodriguez in June 2008, making five successful defenses before losing it to Victor Ortiz in April 2011. That bout was widely regarded as a Fight of the Year candidate, prompting a much-anticipated rematch scheduled for June 23 in Los Angeles.

    But the Miami native tested positive for the steroid norandrosterone in May and was dropped from the card. Berto has since had his license reinstated by the California State Athletic Commission.

    Interestingly, Bradley and Berto faced off previously at the 2003 National Golden Gloves championships in Las Vegas, where Berto earned a unanimous decision in the junior middleweight final to win a national title and place in the Olympic trials.

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Sep 28, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Ricky Hatton comes back, Amir Khan finds new trainer, more

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    Former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton (above), who announced a comeback last week, might be an attractive opponent for compatriot Amir Khan. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • How much money did Miguel Cotto leave on the table when he passed on a rematch with Manny Pacquiao? According to Bob Arum, a lot. Arum said Cotto’s guarantee for a Dec. 1 date with Pacquiao would have been around $13 million, with the possibility of going as high as $15 million if the pay-per-view numbers were strong. Instead, Cotto will settle for significantly less in a fight with unknown junior middleweight Austin Trout while Arum signed Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth fight with Pacquiao by guaranteeing just $6 million.

    • HBO was thrilled with the rating it got for the heavily promoted Sept. 8 showdown between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. According to the Neilsen numbers, Ward-Dawson attracted 1.3 million viewers, the sixth straight World Championship Boxing telecast exceeding 1 million viewers for HBO.

    • Here’s my one and only thought on the proposed partnership between Manny Pacquiao and 50 Cent: I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • I’m fully expecting a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez to take place early next year. Chavez Jr. wants it and Martinez isn’t going to sniff that much money against anyone else. Hopefully Chavez will take his training a little more seriously next time. He has the talent to beat Martinez but he has to be in peak condition both mentally and physically if he expects to have a shot against a fighter as fast and skilled as Martinez.

    • At 33, comebacking Ricky Hatton probably has one more big fight left in him. And perhaps the biggest one of his career could be out there: Amir Khan. They haven’t invented a word for how big Hatton-Khan could be in England and after a tune-up or two both could be ready for it.

    • Little tired of strength coach Alex Ariza taking to Twitter and passive aggressively implying that a fighter would have done better had he been more involved. In the aftermath of Chavez’s loss to Martinez, Ariza, who had reduced role in Chavez’s camp this time around, in a Q&A with his followers, suggested that Chavez would have performed better had he followed his diet and that Chavez was “not in my kind of shape.” It’s not the first time Ariza has done this and it’s getting a little old.

    • Arum says he plans on bringing welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley back in December. Possible opponents include Ruslan Provodnikov, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Robert Guerrero. Guerrero is under contract with archrival Golden Boy but Arum told a handful of reporters last week that Bradley-Guerrero was a fight he would really like to make.

    • Hasim Rahman, who held the WBC heavyweight title for a year between 2005 and ’06, is getting another crack at a world title. Rahman, 39, will travel to Germany to take on Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 29 in a fight that will be televised in the U.S. on Epix.

    • Predictably, the Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco negotiations are progressing slowly. Broner, who is represented by influential and divisive manager Al Haymon, wants the lion’s share of the money and DeMarco isn’t willing to give it to him. Like I’ve said before: Fight each other or don’t fight anyone else in your weight class on premium TV.

    • How much did it cost 50 Cent to pry Yuri Gamboa away from Top Rank? That would be $1.2 million. From what I hear from Top Rank officials, that’s just about how much the company invested in Gamboa.

    • The always entertaining Gabriel Rosado (20-5) is back in action on Friday night, when he headlines the next installment of NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night series against Charles Whittaker (38-12-2). This is a big fight for Rosado: If he wins, he becomes the No. 1 contender for the IBF junior middleweight title held by Cornelius Bundrage.

    • While we all wait (and wait, and wait) for Pacquiao-Mayweather, it’s clear Arum is setting up the winner of next month’s junior welterweight fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado as the next opponent for Pacquiao. Rios-Alvarado is expected to be a war, which should give the winner a nice bounce going into a Pacquiao fight.

    • Showtime has to be pleased with the numbers for Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez on Saturday. According to Neilsen ratings, Alvarez-Lopez attracted 1.04 million viewers. Still, that’s a 42 percent drop from Alvarez’s HBO-televised fight against Kermit Cintron in November 2011, which drew 1.47 million viewers.

    • Amir Khan is reportedly set to name Virgil Hunter, best known for training super middleweight champion Andre Ward, as his new coach. That’s a good call. Hunter has a brilliant boxing mind who believes hit-and-don’t-get-hit is the only philosophy a fighter should live by. For a shaky-chinned fighter like Khan, that’s the best kind of trainer.

    • Speaking of Ward, cross Mikkel Kessler off the list of potential next opponents. Ward had expressed interest in a rematch with Kessler — whom he picked apart over 11 lopsided rounds in 2009 — but Kessler elected to face 37-year old Brian Magee, who owns a minor super middleweight title. It’s just as well: Ward-Kessler would have created no buzz in the United States.

    • Last week, Arum spent a lot of time talking to reporters about junior middleweight prospect John Jackson, even going as far as to say Jackson would get a televised slot on the Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast. But on Saturday, Jackson (13-1) ran into another pretty good prospect, the Jack Loew-trained Willie Nelson (19-1-1), who beat him in a close decision. Jackson still has potential and a lot of power (12 knockouts) but needs to polish his game so he can out box fighters he can’t knock out.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 18, 2012
  • Report: Manny Pacquiao didn’t need to move fight over paperwork issue

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    Manny Pacquiao, a congressman in the Philippines with lofty political aspirations, has designs on the office of governor of Sarangani province in 2013. (AP)

    The intrigue surrounding Manny Pacquiao’s next fight continues to simmer.

    The Filipino puncher’s first outing since a controversial loss to Timothy Bradley had long been scheduled for Nov. 10 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against an opponent to be determined, with Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto — all previous Pacquiao opponents — among the leading contenders.

    On Wednesday, longtime Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz told ESPN.com the fight had been moved to Dec. 1 due to issues with his re-election campaign for the congressional seat he holds in the Philippines. Koncz said Pacquiao was required to submit his certificate of candidacy in person and didn’t want to interrupt his training for two days in October with less than a month before the fight.

    However, a spokesperson for the Philippine Commission on Elections told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Pacquiao in fact does not need to submit his certificate in person, but can send the documents through an authorized representative.

    The inconsistent messages surrounding the postponement have only further fueled rumors, perhaps borne from desperate hope of fight fans and media, that Pacquiao’s team is working to make the long-anticipated megafight with Floyd Mayweather.

    Koncz flatly denied the Mayweather speculation, however, saying he doubts the undefeated American will fight again before 2013 after recently serving two months of a three-month sentence in a misdemeanor battery case.

    “As you know, we’re willing and able to fight Floyd anytime he wants, but I don’t believe he is ready,” Koncz told ESPN.com. “Floyd just got out of (county jail). He’s spending time with his family. He’s enjoying his freedom. He has money left over from the last fight after being in jail for two months. I don’t see Floyd going into the ring until next year, but who knows? I have no confirmation of his schedule. I’m just glad he’s out of jail. I wish him all the luck in the world and so does Manny, but I don’t see Floyd fighting before us this year.”

    – SI.com staff


  • Published On Aug 23, 2012
  • Top Rank requests ‘complete inquiry’ into Pacquiao-Bradley decision

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    Timothy Bradley

    Timothy Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao in a controversial split decision last Saturday. (AP)

    Top Rank has submitted a request to the Nevada Attorney General’s office for a “full and complete inquiry” into the circumstances surrounding the scoring of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight last Saturday in Las Vegas. Bradley was awarded a split decision win over Pacquiao despite most ringside observers scoring a lopsided victory for Pacquiao.

    Both fighters are promoted by Top Rank.

    “The public has a right to know,” said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. “The fighters have a right to know. The only way to restore fans’ confidence in boxing is by letting an independent body investigate every detail of the fight no matter how big or small. Sunshine never hurt anyone.”

    On Monday, one of the judges who scored the fight for Bradley, Duane Ford, defended the decisions in interviews with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    “I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson,” Ford told the newspaper. “I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I thought he was throwing wildly.”
    Skip Avansino, the chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said he had no problem with the decision.

    “We had three seasoned professionals working and I don’t question their determinations,” Avansino said. “Unless something is brought to our attention that there was improper behavior, we’re not going to take any action. I’m not going to second-guess our judges.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jun 11, 2012
  • Three thoughts from Bradley-Pacquiao

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    Timothy Bradley

    Despite being outpunched, Timothy Bradley won by split decision over Manny Pacquiao (AP).

    LAS VEGAS — Three quick thoughts from Timothy Bradley’s shocking win over Manny Pacquiao …

    This was a bad decision. Pacquiao won the fight on my card, HBO’s card and virtually everyone else’s card … except judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, who are the only two that matter. Despite Pacquiao outlanding Bradley (253-159), out power punching the junior welterweight champ (190-108) and outperforming him in 10 of 12 rounds, a pair of judges handed Bradley the WBO welterweight title. It was a bizarre and unpopular decision, one that (again) makes you wonder about the competence of judges in boxing. Bradley was active, but too many of his shots were gobbled up in Pacquiao’s gloves. Bradley didn’t embarrass himself, but he didn’t win this fight, either. Said Bob Arum, “Nothing in my career has stunned me as much as this decision.”

    Manny could have done more. Here is why Bradley won: We are in Nevada, and in Nevada the judges have, historically, favored the aggressor. And while Pacquiao was landing the cleaner, heavier shots, Bradley was more active, outpunching Pacquiao (839-751). Every round, every single bleeping round, Pacquiao appeared to give the first minute away. You can’t do that in Nevada. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s the way the judges in this state score a fight.

    Goodbye, Pacquiao-Mayweather. You will never, ever be the same. We could still see that fight happen, and there will always be plenty of money in it. But win or lose, the takeaway from this fight for me is that Pacquiao has lost something off his fastball. We thought we saw it against Juan Manuel Marquez, and it was confirmed tonight. The Pacquiao I saw fight Miguel Cotto walked through punches, threw savage body shots, fired heavy head shots. It just didn’t seem like Pacquiao could put together the punches with the same speed or ferocity like he has used to. It’s disappointing, because we will never know what a Pacquiao-Mayweather in their prime fight would have looked like. And that is the biggest blow to boxing.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jun 10, 2012


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