Posts Tagged ‘Wladimir Klitschko’

Looking at options after Vitali Klitschko’s decision to vacate WBC title

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After fighting Francesco Pianeta in May, Wladimir Klitschko is expected to face Alexander Povetkin. (Nadine Rupp/Bungarts/Getty Images)

Wladimir Klitschko may get a chance to unify his title with the vacated title of his brother Vitali. (Nadine Rupp/Bungarts/Getty Images)

Vitali Klitschko’s decision to vacate his WBC heavyweight title has created a scramble among boxers eager to fight for the coveted belt. On Tuesday, top contenders Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder engaged in (another) vulgar exchange on social media, while Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola both have made cases that they deserve a title shot.

How will it sort out? Here’s a suggested scenario:

Make Stiverne-Fury for the vacant title: Last April, Bermane Stiverne (23-1) beat Chris Arreola in a WBC eliminator, establishing Stiverne as the No. 1 contender on the WBC rankings. Whether he earned the right to be in an eliminator is debatable — boxing insiders get a good laugh out of the WBC’s monthly rankings, as they often appear to ignore merit — but Stiverne did win the fight.

Tyson Fury (21-0) is ranked No. 8 by the WBC, but his résumé is more complete than that of anyone ranked above him, a list that includes Bryant Jennings, Mike Perez and Dereck Chisora. Fury owns wins over Chisora, Steve Cunningham and Kevin Johnson in the last two years. His activity — he has not fought since stopping Cunningham last April — has been limited by the postponement and ultimate cancellation of a fight against David Haye. Still, among heavyweight contenders, Fury is as worthy as any to fight for a vacant title.

Make the new titleholder face the winner of Arreola-Wilder: Quality heavyweight fights in the U.S. have been scarce in recent years; Arreola-Wilder would be one of them. When Arreola (36-3) is in shape — as he was during a first-round destruction of Seth Mitchell last September — he can be very good. What he lacks in technique he makes up for with an iron chin and crushing power. Deontay Wilder’s list of opponents is pathetic, and he has been wobbled by non-punchers in the past. But he also possesses thundering one-punch power and, at 6-foot-7, Wilder (30-0) has the kind of size that is difficult to match up with.

It’s a classic crossroads matchup: Arreola, 32, the aging contender against Wilder, 28, the untested Olympic bronze medalist just entering his prime. It’s a fight Showtime would snap up in a heartbeat and it would produce a winner worthy of a title shot.

Whoever emerges gets Wladimir Klitschko: Make no mistake, Klitschko is dying to unify the titles. When Vitali held the WBC belt, Wladimir said all the right things. Privately though, Wladimir badly wants to unify the titles. Klitschko figures to be tied up with mandatory defenses for the first half of 2014, leaving would-be WBC contenders to fight it out for the title. Whoever comes out of that scrum will not only be battle tested against two legitimate heavyweight opponents but will have an increased profile that will undoubtedly create a bidding war among premium networks to secure the rights to the fight.

– By Chris Mannix


  • Published On Dec 17, 2013
  • A fresher Tomasz Adamek is ready for his next high-profile opponent

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    Tomasz Adamek (left) took some time off from boxing to sharpen his game. (Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

    Tomasz Adamek (left) took some time off from boxing to sharpen his game. (Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

    UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Sitting on a dais, dressed casually in shorts and a white polo shirt, Tomasz Adamek, 36, looked more like a peer of his longtime promoter, Kathy Duva, than several of the younger fighters he shared the stage with. Adamek has had a long and decorated career, one highlighted by titles at light heavyweight and cruiserweight and a heavyweight title challenge against Vitali Klitschko, and on Saturday he will take another step towards one more big opportunity when he faces Dominick Guinn at Mohegan Sun Casino (NBC Sports Network, 10:30 pm).

    “[A title shot] is my goal,” Adamek said. “If I win a couple of fights, that’s what I want.”

    Few fighters have the resolve–or longevity–of Adamek, one of boxing’s true warriors. He’s a take-two-punches-to-deliver-three type of boxer who has consistently been one of the toughest outs in the sport. Klitschko, Chris Arreola, Chad Dawson and Steve Cunningham (twice) are just a few of the fighters Adamek (48-2) has waged wars with. He didn’t win them all, but he didn’t go down easy in any of them, either.

    Still, mixing it up in so many fights takes a toll, and Adamek started to feel that toll last December. While training for a rematch with Steve Cunningham, Adamek felt sluggish. His energy wasn’t as high as it used to be. His punches, said trainer Roger Bloodworth, were a split second slow. The mind was willing, Bloodworth said, but the body was weak.

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  • Published On Aug 01, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Gary Russell needs tougher fights, Tony Thompson still has it, more

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    Tony Thompson (left) recorded a TKO victory over David Price on July 6 in Liverpool. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

    Tony Thompson (left) recorded a TKO victory over David Price on July 6 in Liverpool. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

    Some quick jabs…

    • Raise your hand if you are surprised that featherweight prospect Gary Russell turned down a fight with Daniel Ponce de Leon. No one? I thought so. Ponce de Leon, according to Steve Kim at MaxBoxing.com, was ready and willing to take the fight, only to be told that Russell (22-0), who has not fought since March because of a hand injury, preferred to take an easier fight. That’s not particularly surprising because Russell’s entire career has been easy fights. I’m as big a fan of Russell’s talent as anyone, but until he faces an opponent who actually wants to fight back, he doesn’t belong on premium television.

    • Neither, of course, does Deontay Wilder, who continues his run through bums when he faces Siarhei Liakhovich, last seen getting flattened by Bryant Jennings 18 months ago and knocked out by Robert Helenius the year before that, in August. Showtime will broadcast it. Pathetic.

    • The late Emanuel Steward would have been 69 this week. If you missed it, here is the tribute I shot of him for Epix.

    Last year, Tony Thompson thought his career was over. It was in Switzerland, and Thompson had just suffered a sixth round knockout defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, his second straight loss to the unified champion. I was part of the broadcast team for Epix that night, and I remember what Thompson told me clearly: I still think I can beat anyone but Wladimir, he said, but if I can’t beat him, is it worth continuing? Apparently, it is. Thompson’s knockout win over David Price on Saturday was his second straight knockout of Price, a prized prospect seen by some as the heir apparent to Wladimir Klitschko. It made me remember: Since 2000, Thompson has lost two fights, both to the man considered the best heavyweight of this generation.

    At 41, Thompson clearly still has some fight left in him. He’s awkward, crafty and has a good chin. He wants a title shot with Vitali Klitschko, but that’s not going to happen. However Thompson has earned another big fight — and another big payday — and I could see some kind of premium network televised fight against a young prospect like Bryant Jennings or Deontay Wilder at some point later this year.

    • I think promoter Frank Warren made a big mistake matching heavyweight Dereck Chisora with Malik Scott on July 20. Chisora is trying to rebuild his career after back to back losses to Vitali Klitschko and David Haye, and Scott is a nightmare. He is the worst kind of combination, incredibly dull and incredibly skilled, the kind of fighter who impresses judges while putting an audience to sleep. Scott was robbed of a win against Czar Glazkov in February, and is very likely to box circles around Chisora later this month.

    • Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer refuted reports of a deal being struck for a fight between Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia, telling me via email that neither a deal nor a date had been agreed on. I continue to hear from industry sources that there is a strong possibility the fight could land on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez on September 14. If so, that will rank as one of the best cards in history.

    • One reason Matthysse-Garcia could move off the originally planned September 7th date: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is scheduled to return on that date. Though judging by recent photos of Chavez it’s fair to wonder exactly what weight class he plans to fight in.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jul 11, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Russian promoter shells out big bucks for Wladimir Klitschko fight

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    Wladimir Klitschko is expected to face Alexander Povetkin in August. (Nadine Rupp/Bongarts/Getty Images)

    Wladimir Klitschko is expected to face Alexander Povetkin in August. (Nadine Rupp/Bongarts/Getty Images)

    • In a shocker, Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov won a purse bid for the right to promote Wladimir Klitschko’s future heavyweight title defense against Alexander Povetkin with a whopping $23.3 million bid, far more than K2 Promotions ($7.1 million) or Sauerland Event ($6.01 million) put up. Assuming both Klitschko and Povetkin make it through their upcoming bouts, the fight will take place August 31 in either Moscow, Berlin or Las Vegas. Under the terms of the bid, Klitschko would receive $17.5 million with Povetkin entitled to $5.8 million. As big as Hryunov’s bid was, it falls well short of the $32.1 million Las Vegas businessman Steve Wynn put up to secure the rights to Buster Douglas’s title defense against Evander Holyfield in 1990.

    The obvious question: Can Hryunov come up with the cash? Occasionally, a promoter will come in and submit an outlandish bid for a fight, and then default. Don King has done it twice in the last year, first with a $1.1 million bid for the right to promote a heavyweight fight between Cris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne and later with a $1.5 million bid for Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi. King would default on both, losing the ten percent deposit he was required to put down. Sources involved with the bid told SI.com that Hryunov, who is being backed by a Russian-based businessman and real estate developer, will spend the next few weeks exploring ways to monetize the fight.

    • Some numbers from a busy boxing weekend: Last Saturday’s Showtime-televised fight between Saul Alvarez and Austin Trout peaked at 734,000 households and 1.061 million viewers, a modest increase from the 1.031 viewers Alvarez attracted for his September fight with Josesito Lopez. Meanwhile Saturday afternoon’s fight on NBC, headlined by heavyweights Tyson Fury and Steve Cunningham, did a strong overnight rating that translated to 1.2 million viewers. Expectations are that when the full numbers come in later in the week, peak viewership will exceed 1.8 million.

    • I love Juan Manuel Marquez-Tim Bradley. Like most, I was surprised that Marquez didn’t take a fifth fight with Pacquiao. Despite all the rhetoric, I figured Marquez would go for the biggest check. But in fighting Bradley, Marquez can still cash a big check and give himself a chance at history by becoming the first Mexican to win titles in five weight classes. And if he beats Bradley — and Pacquiao gets past either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios — a Pacquiao fight will still be there.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever been less interested in a notable fight than this Saturday’s heavyweight bout between Deontay Wilder and Audley Harrison. It’s another absolute joke of a fight for Wilder, a 2008 bronze medalist whose résumé as a pro is pathetic.

    • If Danny Garcia beats Zab Judah on Saturday, I think he becomes the favorite to face Floyd Mayweather in the fall. Mayweather clearly isn’t overly interested in facing Saul Alvarez; if he were, he would have agreed to face him already and fought together on the May 4th pay per view. I’ve been told that during negotiations with HBO and Showtime Mayweather’s representatives mentioned Garcia often as a possible opponent.

    • Ishe Smith-Carlos Molina: The very definition of not-made-for-TV.

    • Golden Boy’s ability to get Bernard Hopkins’ upcoming title defense against Karo Murat on premium television could get interesting. The fight stinks. Murat (25-0-1) is not a particularly big puncher and a complete unknown in the U.S. And everyone knows that at this stage of his career Hopkins (53-6-2) needs a certain type of opponent (Tavoris Cloud, Jean Pascal) to look impressive. I’m told Showtime is interested in showing the fight, but will require a strong co-main event to make it worth their while.

    • There is still nothing to make me think that a fight between Nathan Cleverly and Bernard Hopkins will be anything but dull.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Apr 25, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Gennady Golovkin’s next move, Seth Mitchell experiment probably over and more

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    Gennady Golovkin (above) will defend his middleweight title against an opponent to be determined on Jan. 19 in New York at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • I’m told HBO is now considering two possible opponents for Gennady Golovkin’s Jan. 19 middleweight title defense: Fernando Guerrero, a one-time prospect who is represented by Al Haymon, and Gabriel Rosado, a rising junior middleweight who is currently the IBF’s mandatory challenger for Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage’s title. To me, the decision is an easy one: Guerrero — who beat Rosado in a controversial eight-round middleweight fight in 2009 — has done nothing recently to warrant this kind of opportunity. Rosado, meanwhile, beat three quality opponents in 2012, all on NBC Sports Network, all by knockout. Rosado is the definition of a television-friendly fighter. A matchup with Golovkin would be a war.

    • Super featherweight Teon Kennedy’s injury forced Main Events to find a new opponent for undefeated prospect Jerry Belmontes in the co-feature of the Dec. 8 card on NBC Sports Network. On Monday they announced that Eric Hunter (16-2) would step in. Hunter has been on the shelf for most of the last two years, fighting once (last July) since December of 2010.

    • Kudos to Seth Mitchell for accomplishing a lot in boxing despite not picking up the gloves until he was 24. But this experiment is probably over. You can’t teach a chin and in his last two fights Mitchell has been buzzed by Chazz Witherspoon and knocked out in two rounds by Johnathan Banks. There are things Mitchell can do to improve — he still has no idea how to hold when he gets hurt — but if light hitters like Witherspoon and Banks can wobble him, he’s a sitting duck for one of the Klitschko brothers.

    • Speaking of Banks: I’d like to see him face one more quality opponent before looking for a fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. A matchup with Tyson Fury, David Price or his preferred choice, Alexander Povetkin, next year could make Banks some money and, if he wins, give him some momentum heading into a major title fight.

    • I’m looking forward to Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout on Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden, but that undercard is horrendous. Jayson Velez and Danny Jacobs — questionable choices for a televised undercard to begin with — will fight separately on Showtime’s broadcast in fights that do nothing for me. Velez (19-0) will face Salvador Sanchez II (30-4-3), nephew of Mexican legend Salvador Sanchez, while Jacobs (23-1), the former prospect and cancer survivor who will fight for the second time in three months, gets Chris Fitzpatrick (15-2).

    • I don’t know what has gotten into Carl Froch, but after another impressive knockout — this one over handpicked challenger Yusaf Mack — I just don’t know how Lucian Bute can beat him. Froch is just too strong.

    • Bring on Adrien Broner-Ricky Burns.

    • Thank you, Fred Sternburg, for sending out 400 emails letting everyone know that Manny Pacquiao gave away free turkeys last week. My overflowing inbox extends its regards.

    • Hey British promoter Frank Maloney: Your comment that Wladimir Klitschko would be happy not to have to pay Emanuel Steward his 10 percent after a one-sided win over Mariusz Wach last week was disgusting and classless. Steward, a longtime mentor and trainer for Klitschko, lost a battle with cancer last month. Maloney should be ashamed.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 20, 2012
  • Tony Harrison, protégé of late Emanuel Steward, soldiers on alone

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    Tony Harrison (left), shown here with Emanuel Steward in July, fights on the undercard of Saturday’s Wladimir Klitschko fight. (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

    HAMBURG, Germany — As the godfather of Detroit boxing, Emanuel Steward touched the lives of thousands of kids trying to make it in an unforgiving sport.

    “He sure did,” said Tony Harrison. “And he never asked for a penny.”

    The 22-year old Harrison is the latest potential star to come out of Steward’s stable. With crushing power and pinpoint accuracy, Harrison, Steward told me once, fought like a young Tommy Hearns. For the last year, Steward brought Harrison along to Klitschko camps and put him on the undercard of his fights.

    Like many, Harrison was rocked by Steward’s death last month.

    “It’s devastating,” Harrison said. “It came too quick. Everyone was expecting him to heal and get through it. But God called on him. Sometimes He just calls on you. But he’s resting now. He fought a hard fight and now he is upstairs, resting.”

    In Harrison — who will face veteran Daniel Urbanski on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko’s heavyweight title defense against Mariusz Wach on Saturday — Steward’s legacy has a chance to live on into the next decade. A rising junior middleweight, Harrison (10-0) has won eight fights by knockout, cruising to comfortable decision wins in the other two. Members of Team Klitschko say that in sparring Harrison has given Johnathan Banks — a heavyweight preparing for a showdown with Seth Mitchell later this month — all he could handle.

    With Steward gone, Harrison is on his own, operating for the first time as a professional without a head trainer or manager.

    “I’m speaking for myself now,” Harrison said. “That’s why it’s important for me to go out in this next fight and look good. [Manny] taught me a lot and I learned a lot. Now I’m just taking what I learned and try to get to the next level. It’s going to be hard to do alone. It’s why it’s important for me to win big in this next fight.”

    Like Klitschko, Harrison has a little more fuel for this fight.

    “I’m going to the ring with a chip on my shoulder,” Harrison said. “I wish he was here so bad. I miss him. This fight is for him.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 07, 2012
  • Quick Jabs: Lucian Bute’s underwhelming victory, Jean Pascal’s return and more

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    Lucian Bute (right) showed little in Saturday’s points win over Denis Grachev (left) that suggested a rematch with Carl Froch would go any differently. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Lucian Bute needed a win to regain his confidence after last May’s devastating knockout loss to Carl Froch. But nothing I saw in Bute’s unanimous-decision win over Denis Grachev on Saturday convinced me Bute will beat Froch in a rematch, tentatively scheduled for next March. Bute looked tentative at times, was backed up way too often and looked clueless when forced to fight on the inside. Put it simple: If that Bute shows up against Froch, it will be lights out again.

    • A quick thought on Grachev: I believed he was a good fighter when the Bute fight was made, and I still do. The fight was close — the 118-110 card submitted by Canadian judge Claude Paquette reeked of hometown scoring — and Grachev was the aggressor throughout. The super middleweight division is loaded and I would have no problem seeing Grachev in a big fight next year.

    • Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really looking forward to Wladimir Klitschko’s fight against undefeated 6-foot-8 challenger Mariusz Wach. I think it has the potential to be a pretty good fight.

    • Count me among the many disappointed that Tyson Fury’s fight against Denis Boytsov has been called off. Fury-Boytsov was just the kind of fight the heavyweight division needs: a matchup between two undefeated, would-be contenders that would bolster the resume of the winner and weed the loser out of the division rankings. What’s worse, Boytsov pulled out because, according to his promoter, he wasn’t going to be in shape for the fight. Not in shape? Then why did he agree to the fight in the first place?

    • Marco Huck’s entertaining cruiserweight title defense over 42-year old Firat Arslan was fun to watch but provided incontestable proof that Huck should not go anywhere near Wladimir Klitschko. Huck is young (27) but is showing the wear and tear of a fighter who doesn’t know how to duck. A matchup with Klitschko — which Huck has publicly pleaded for — would be criminal.

    • Hey, look, Jean Pascal is coming back. That is until Pascal — inactive since losing to Bernard Hopkins in May 2011 — finds a reason not fight. Between Pascal and Andre Dirrell, I’m not sure who has wasted more prime fighting years.

    • Almost four pounds over the light heavyweight limit. Way to be professional, Allan Green.

    • This 50 Cent-Floyd Mayweather feud is pretty entertaining, and it only figures to get better. History suggests that 50 will soon release a track bashing Mayweather and Mayweather will use the press tour for his next fight to verbally smack 50 around all over the country. Still, in a battle for the boxing industry, my money is on Mayweather. Floyd is a marketing genius with the biggest draw in town — himself — in his stable. 50 Cent has an unwatchable fighter in Billy Dib, an inactive one in Andre Dirrell and another, Yuri Gamboa, who may be on his way back to Top Rank. 50 is a gifted recording artist but he doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to make it in boxing.

    • Memo to Tom Loeffler: Keep Gennady Golovkin away from the super middleweights. The latest intel has Golovkin returning in January against either Edwin Rodriguez or Thomas Oosthuizen, two 168-pounders. Golovkin is powerful and seriously skilled but he is not a particularly big middleweight (5-foot-10) and it makes no sense for him to be moving up. I admire Golovkin’s willingness to take on all comers, but a better fight — with the understanding that neither Daniel Geale or Peter Quillin will face him — is Matthew Macklin. Golovkin-Macklin would sell a lot of tickets at the Madison Square Garden theater and be a pretty good fight.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 06, 2012
  • Rep for Wladimir Klitschko scoffs at $6.5 million offer from Marco Huck

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    Marco Huck (above) is stepping up his efforts in an ongoing campaign for a shot at reigning heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. (AP)

    For the past few months, cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck — who lost a competitive decision to Alexander Povetkin in February — has been campaigning for a shot at unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. On Thursday, Huck’s promoter, Sauerland Event, upped the ante, issuing a press release offering Klitschko five million Euros — roughly $6.5 million — for the fight.

    “Bernd Boente, Klitschko’s manager, has been talking to Marco directly about the possibility of fighting Klitschko,” promoter Kalle Sauerland said. “Now we have used the official channels to approach them with an offer. Of course, we are now expecting them to come up with a counter-offer. We are always willing to hold personal talks to discuss the terms for such a fight. Then we will see if they will actually put their money where their mouth is. We definitely want to make this fight happen.”

    According to Sauerland, if Huck (34-2), who will defend his title against Firat Arslan on Saturday, wins, he wants Klitschko to be his next opponent.

    In a telephone interview with SI.com, Boente scoffed at the offer.

    “The offer was ridiculous,” Boente said. “The offer to us would be a buyout. We would give up all rights. We have an exclusive deal with [European network] RTL to broadcast all Klitschko fights. They work with ARD. We have been working with RTL since 2006. It doesn’t matter if the offer was $100 million. We cannot breach that contract. They know that.”

    “[Sauerland] always does these things before a Huck fight because they know no one is interested in a Huck fight. They are trying to use the Klitschko’s for p.r. It was not a serious offer.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 01, 2012
  • Legendary trainer Emanuel Steward leaves behind rich legacy of accomplishment, dignity and grace

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    Renowned trainer Emanuel Steward (left) helped more than 40 fighters to world championships, operating with a dignity all sportsmen can aspire to. (AP)

    “You know what Chris,” Emanuel Steward told me recently. “I really hope Chris Arreola gets his s–t together.”

    It was last March, and Steward was sipping on a cup of coffee in a hotel ballroom in Dusseldorf, Germany, just days before his prized pupil, Wladimir Klitschko, was set to defend his heavyweight titles against Jean Marc-Mormeck. It wasn’t that Steward was especially excited about a fight with Arreola, a fringe contender who Klitschko would probably put down before the final bell; it was about where that potential fight would take place. Mormeck would be Klitschko’s seventh straight fight in Europe and, well, Steward was hoping he would find a fight on U.S. soil.

    “I’d really like to fight closer to home,” Steward said. “New York, L.A., anywhere. Just home.”

    Here’s the thing about Steward, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 68: He loved Klitschko, the man he morphed from a tall, chinny heavyweight into the most dominant big man of his era. But he loved everyone else the same. He loved Tony Harrison, his 22-year-old junior middleweight prospect, as much as he loved Tommy Hearns, loved Oscar De La Hoya as much as Lennox Lewis. He loved all the kids who came out of his famed Kronk gym. He bragged about his fighters like a father brags about his sons and he hated to be away from them for too long.

    Steward will be remembered first as a brilliant trainer, then as a polished, insightful commentator but what I’ll remember most about Steward was that he was, undeniably, a good man. Anyone who has walked the halls of a Las Vegas hotel with Steward, who has watched it take him 50 minutes to go 50 feet because he is stopped so often to pose for a picture or sign someone’s shirt, all without a trace of complaint, knows this. Anyone who has worked a press room with Steward, who has watched him take the time to do interview after interview, whether it’s with Sports Illustrated, ESPN or a blogger with a camcorder, understands this.

    Steward enjoyed arguing about his legacy, particularly his connection to the jab. Oftentimes when Steward’s name was connected to a fighter it’s because that fighter lacks that defensive, set-up weapon that Steward made Lewis and Klitschko so dangerous with. But Steward never wanted to be known as a finesse trainer, one content with decisions. Yes he taught the jab, Steward often told me. But he liked knockouts more.

    In Detroit, Steward turned Kronk into a welterweight factory, churning out contender after contender like he was piecing them together from body parts of past legends. “They had a lineup of guys,” said promoter Bob Arum, “that was absolutely unbelievable.” But what many remember about Kronk was that with Steward, simply winning was not what it was all about.

    “He tried to instill in all of them a sense of sportsmanship and camaraderie,” Arum said. “Manny would call me and say ‘Join me for dinner in Detroit.’ Well, he would have 20 to 30 people at dinner with us, mostly fighters from the Kronk gym. He was there for all of them.”

    In his dying days Steward wanted to be there for Klitschko, to work his prized pupil’s corner when Klitschko fought Mariusz Wach on Nov. 10, to be a teacher one last time. He held out hope that his body would grant him one more chance to be there for someone he cared about. Klitschko knew his mentor was failing but he kept his cornerman spot open for weeks, hoping for a miracle. He knew Steward was almost gone but he could not close the door on that chapter of his life.

    Steward is gone but his memory will remain, as strong as ever. The true measure of a man is how he he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good, and inside that oft repeated quote lives the reason why Emanuel Steward will be remembered as one of the most beloved men in boxing.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Oct 25, 2012
  • Three thoughts from David Price’s swift knockout of Audley Harrison

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    David Price (right) made quick work of Audley Harrison (left) on Saturday in Liverpool, scoring a first-round knockout to retain his British heavyweight title. (AP)

    Three quick thoughts from David Price’s 82-second knockout of Audley Harrison on Saturday night in Liverpool …

    It didn’t prove much, but Price did exactly what he needed to do. The new hope in British heavyweight boxing proved coldly efficient against Harrison, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist whose professional career has failed to realize once-great expectations. A thudding straight right exploded on Harrison’s chin less than a minute into the fight, triggering a punishing flurry capped by a right hook that sent the 40-year-old crashing to the canvas with a broken nose and concussion. Thus Price (14-0, 12 KOs), who turned pro after winning Olympic bronze in 2008 and captured the vacant British heavyweight title last year, passed the first real challenge of his career — a devastating showing that required less time than his spine-tingling ringwalk to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” which electrified the sellout crowd of 8,000 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. The general thinking is the 29-year-old Price is too raw and inexperienced to challenge Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko, the brothers who collectively rule the division. But given the dearth of fresh challengers at heavyweight and Price’s formidable size — at 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, he’s one of the few contenders who can look down at the champions — many within boxing are bullish on the Liverpudlian’s chances to one day inherit the title. “I think he’d beat the klitchkos now,” tweeted Ricky Hatton after the fight.

    It’s time for Harrison to retire. The faded veteran getting served up to the young lion is a tradition as old as boxing itself, and Saturday’s latest episode was no less cruel. Many had called for Harrison (28-6, 21 KOs) to quit the sport in 2010, after he capitulated so weakly in a third-round knockout loss to David Haye in which he threw just one punch. Those suggestions will only intensify after Harrison was booed from the ring Saturday night, a desultory farewell for a fighter who fell from national hero to figure of public ridicule during a 12-year career marked by mystifying underachievemnt. “If I lose to David Price, I’ve got no future,” Price had said this week. “It’s over for me as a professional fighter if I lose to David Price. This is my door. This is the door I have to walk through. This is the last-chance saloon for me and I would not want it any other way.” After a showing that couldn’t have been any less competitive, Harrison’s decision should be easy.

    Price should fight Tyson Fury. Though Price is tentatively slated to return on December 8 against Matt Skelton (who won on Saturday’s undercard), Frank Maloney, who promotes the Liverpudlian, wasted no time in calling out British compatriot Tyson Fury in the aftermath of Saturday’s laugher. Maloney offered £500,000 to Fury (19-0, 14 KOs), who last year vacated the British heavyweight title rather than face Price, who was the mandatory challenger. Since then, Fury has appeared to change his tune, prodding Price and campaigning for the bout via social media. (“He needs to get off the Twitter, stop Twittering and take this fight,” Maloney said.) Less than an hour later, Fury responded in a foul-mouthed TV interview with Channel 5 from ringside during the James DeGale-Hadillah Mohoumadi bout, expressing his willingness to make a fight the public wants to see, one that could potentially fill a stadium in the U.K. “I’ll fight David Price any day of the week,” Fury chirped. “It’s personal between me and you and I’m going to do you some serious harm, you big stiff idiot.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Oct 13, 2012


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