Posts Tagged ‘Wladimir Klitschko’

Quick jabs: Golovkin eyes return, Pacquiao-Marquez tix selling, more

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

Gennady Golovkin (above), one of the most intriguing and buzzed-about names in the middleweight division, will likely return to action on Dec. 8 in Europe. (AP)

Some quick jabs …

• I have to admit, I was bitterly disappointed when Golden Boy, on behalf of undefeated heavyweight and former Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder, turned down an offer to fight rising heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings last week. In case you missed it, Wilder and Jennings have been in a Twitter beef, during which Wilder called Jennings out. Jennings’ promoter, Main Events, responded by offering Wilder the slot opposite Jennings on its next NBC Sports Network show on Dec. 8. Yet Wilder’s team quickly shot it down, saying the money (likely around $25,000, though there was room for negotiation) wasn’t enough for that kind of fight.

Now, I understand that a year from now, Wilder-Jennings could be a pretty big fight. But that’s only if both continue their respective ascents. The fact is, neither Wilder or Jennings has fought anyone notable and there is a strong possibility one or both will get beating which would take much of the shine off of a matchup (see: the vaporized Juan Manuel Lopez-Yuri Gamboa megafight). The winner of a showdown in December would take a big step in the heavyweight division, probably vaulting himself up in the rankings and certainly becoming more attractive to the higher-paying premium networks. Unfortunately, Wilder, who frankly has accomplished nothing in his four-year professional career, sees it a little different.

• Here’s why Wladimir Klitschko may never fight in the U.S. again: More than 16,000 tickets have already been sold for Klitschko’s title defense against Marisuz Wach in November in Hamburg, Germany.

• Speaking of hot tickets, Top Rank reports that 13,000 seats have already been sold for Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV in December. It seems despite the lukewarm response the fight received from pundits, there is still a strong interest from fans to see these two future Hall of Famers in the ring.

• Looks like Gennady Golovkin will return to the ring on Dec. 8, when he will defend his WBA middleweight title somewhere in Europe. Golovkin hoped to land an HBO date, but the network is booked solid in December and Golovkin is determined to fight before the end of the year. Main Events lobbied Golovkin hard to fight on either its Dec. 8 or Dec. 22 shows. However Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, believes he can get a better deal fighting in Europe.

• There is some debate over when Wladimir Klitschko owes a mandatory defense of his WBA title. Sauerland Event, which represents WBA “regular” titleholder Alexander Povetkin, claims Klitschko must face Povetkin by the end of February. Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says the fight isn’t due until next July. My opinion: Who cares? Klitschko has chased Povetkin for years and, after Wach, doesn’t have any viable opponents on the horizon. Cut a deal — March sounds pretty good — and make the fight.

• Sign me up for more Kubrat Pulev. Pulev’s 11th-round knockout of 6-foot-7 Alexander Ustinov on Epix last weekend — which followed a knockout of 6-foot-7 heavyweight prospect Alexander Dimitrenko before that — has established the Bulgarian as a legitimate heavyweight contender. Pulev will likely face the winner of Tomasz Adamek-Odlanier Solis in December, with a win positioning him as the IBF’s No. 1 contender for Wladimir Klitschko’s title.

• Let me join the chorus of those who think Don King’s $1.1 million purse bid for Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne is nuts. Neither Arreola or Stiverne has done much of anything lately, certainly not enough to warrant that type of payday. There is a good chance Arreola-Stiverne on HBO or Showtime but there is no way King is going to get his money back in the license fee. It’s simply not that significant a fight.

– Chris Mannix


  • Published On Oct 02, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Victor Ortiz eyes Freddie Roach, Gabriel Rosado’s rise, more

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Former welterweight champ Victor Ortiz (above), who is coming off back-to-back knockout losses, could be pairing with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Victor Ortiz, who parted ways with longtime trainer Danny Garcia after last June’s loss to Josesito Lopez, has reached out to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Roach says he will meet with Ortiz once the former welterweight titleholder recovers from the broken jaw he suffered against Lopez.

    • With Emanuel Steward battling a serious illness, Wladimir Klitschko will begin training camp for his Nov. 10 heavyweight title defense against Mariusz Wach without a chief cornerman. Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says that Klitschko is hoping Steward will be able to join camp in late October and work his corner for the fight.

    • A dark horse candidate to face super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward: Denis Grachev, who will face Lucian Bute in November. Grachev (12-0) is coming off a stunning knockout win over top prospect Ismayl Sillakh last April. If Grachev beats Bute, he will likely become a very appealing possibility for Ward.

    • I still think Kelly Pavlik is the most realistic big-name opponent for Ward.

    • Miguel Cotto picked a dangerous tune-up opponent in Austin Trout. Trout isn’t exciting — his win over Delvin Rodriguez in June was as dull as it was decisive — but he is slick and savvy in the ring. If Trout isn’t overwhelmed by the moment, he has a great chance at an upset.

    • What a wasted year this has been for Gary Russell Jr. For Andre Dirrell, too.

    • While Cornelius Bundrage’s IBF junior middleweight title defense against Andre Berto isn’t done yet, I’m told it’s very close to being finalized for Nov. 24 on HBO. On paper, Berto, who has not fought in over a year after testing positive for a banned substance during training for his scheduled rematch against Victor Ortiz, would appear to be a big favorite. But Berto will be moving up in weight to face Bundrage, whose aggressive, awkward style could give Berto problems.

    • The winner of Berto-Bundrage will be obligated to defend the title against Gabriel Rosado, who earned the position of mandatory challenger with a knockout win over Charles Whittaker last Friday. A year ago, high-profile opponents would have done everything they could to avoid Rosado. But because Rosado’s profile has risen considerably on the heels of three straight knockout wins on NBC Sports Network — wins that have sparked interest from the better paying premium networks — expect him to get that shot early next year.

    • I like Main Events plan to focus on moving fighters up the IBF rankings. The IBF is regarded as the most respectable of the sanctioning bodies, which is to say if a fighter is ranked No. 1, he is going to get his title shot.

    • Ricky Hatton has sold more than 18,000 tickets to his comeback fight in November — and he doesn’t even have an opponent yet. Incredible.

    • Roy Jones-Kimbo Slice? Pass. Pass, pass, pass.

    • Thoughts and prayers are with the family of former heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders, who according to police was shot and killed while celebrating a family member’s 21st birthday party in Cape Town, South Africa. Sanders was 46.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 25, 2012
  • Thoughts from Wladimir Klitschko’s win over Tony Thompson

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Wladimir Klitschko improved to 58-3 with Saturday’s win. (ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE/EPA)

    BERN, Switzerland — Three thoughts from Wladimir Klitschko’s sixth round knockout win over Tony Thompson …

    1. Well, that was predictable — In 2008, Klitschko knocked Thompson out in the 11th round. It only took six this time around, and after an awkward first three rounds Klitschko started to tee off, putting Thompson down with a crushing — a crushing — right hand in the fifth and dropping him again in the sixth. Thompson beat the count, but couldn’t walk without the help of the rope and the referee wisely stopped the fight.

    The outcome was expected: Thompson is 40 and doesn’t have the kind of power a 6-foot-5 heavyweight might be expected to have. Klitschko’s team didn’t want any part of this fight, preferring some fresh meat. But Thompson was the IBF mandatory and Klitschko is never voluntarily giving up a piece of the title. Thompson came, he saw, and he went down, which given his status as a 33-1 underdog, is not at all surprising.

    2. Can Klitschko be beaten? — Anything can happen in boxing; Buster Douglas proved that. But Klitschko is so big, so disciplined, so powerful — that right hand he drilled Thompson with in the fifth round was the hardest punch I’ve ever seen — that beating him is going to be more complicated than a Rubik’s cube. At 36, Klitschko has little wear and tear on his body and is poised to be fighting at a high level into his early 40s.

    But let’s play the obligatory ‘who’s next’ game, shall we? The pool of opponents is pretty shallow. There is Chris Arreola, who is sending signals that he isn’t interested in fighting Klitschko this fall. There is Tomasz Adamek, who is available but unlikely, due to issues between the two promoters. There is Seth Mitchell, Bryant Jennings and Deontay Wilder, but none of those three are ready for that kind of fight.

    There is one intriguing opponent: Dereck Chisora. Chisora, if you recall, was scheduled to face Klitschko twice, only to have those fights canceled for various reasons. Next week, Chisora has a grudge match with countryman David Haye, who he brawled with after his loss to Vitali Klitschko in March. If Chisora wins that fight, he would seem like an ideal opponent for Klitschko.

    Klitschko, however, doesn’t sound interested. When I asked him about possibly facing the winner of Chisora-Haye, he answered tersely.

    “Two Klitschko losers are fighting,” Klitschko said. “Why should I care?”

    3. Got motivation? — There are a couple of things that keep Klitschko training at a high level. First, the undisputed championship. Klitschko’s brother, Vitali, holds the WBC belt, the lone piece of the heavyweight pie Wladimir doesn’t have. Wladimir doesn’t begrudge his brother for having the belt, but those around him say he wants it. Badly. Vitali is scheduled to defend his title in September, after which he will turn his full attention to the Ukrainian parliament elections. It’s possible he could retire, vacating the belt and giving Wladimir the opportunity to become the undisputed champ.

    The other thing is his legacy. Joe Louis holds the heavyweight record for consecutive title defenses, with 25. The win over Thompson was Klitschko’s 13th defense. Reaching that mark, friends say, is important to Klitschko, and will help to keep him sharp when it seems like so many of his opponents are overmatched.


  • Published On Jul 07, 2012
  • Evander Holyfield, ringside for Mayweather-Cotto, wants a Klitschko

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Evander Holyfield, at 49 years old, says he’s still active and would like to fight for the heavyweight title against one of the Klitschko brothers. (AP)

    LAS VEGAS — Evander Holyfield is five months shy of his 50th birthday but the former undisputed heavyweight champion still believes he will be the current  undisputed heavyweight champion.

    “I’d like to fight a Klitschko,” Holyfield said Saturday at ringside during the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto fight. “I want to be a champion. I’ll fight any one of the champions.”

    Holyfield has been out of the ring since last May, when he knocked out Brian Nielsen. Holyfield says he is still active and hopes to have a fight before the end of the year. But there’s a catch: He says he will only fight again if it is a title fight.

    “If I have to fight somebody else, why fight?” Holyfield said. “I’m only interested in championship fights.”

    Holyfield could technically fight for a title without going through one of the Klitschkos. Alexander Povetkin holds the WBA “regular” heavyweight title — the organization bizarrely elevated Wladimir Klitschko to “super champion” shortly after he won the title from David Haye — and rumors persist that Povetkin’s promoter, Sauerland Event, is interested in making a Povetkin-Holyfield fight later in the year.

    “At the age of 50, I thought I’d be to be out of the game,” Holyfield said. “I thought I would have accomplished all I wanted to accomplish. But I still want to fight for the title.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On May 05, 2012
  • Seth Mitchell talks heavyweight future, football-to-boxing transition and more

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Seth Mitchell

    Seth Mitchell said he would consider a fight against one of the Klitschko brothers, for the right price. (Mel Evans/AP)

    LAS VEGAS — Megafights like Saturday night’s showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto generally bring many of boxing’s biggest names to town. That includes Seth Mitchell, the former Michigan State linebacker and current heavyweight prospect, who last weekend defeated Chazz Witherspoon in a third-round knockout.

    Mitchell sat down for a quick conversation with SI.com while in town for Saturday’s fight.

    You were a football player. How in the heck did you get into boxing?

    I went to Madison Square Garden and saw [Ravens safety] Tom Zbikowski’s pro debut, in 2006. I played against him in college. I thought, ‘if he could do it, I could do it.’ I had no experience. I was a very casual fan. I watched the major fights. I was a Tyson fan growing up. But I didn’t know a lot about it.”

    What made you think you would be good at it?

    Athletics is my gift. Not sport, athletics. I’ve always stood out when it comes to competing. I only played football for three years, and I was an All-American. My drive, my will, I figured I would have success.

    Did you take to it quickly?

    The transition from always running sprints to running three and four miles, it’s different. You have to train yourself to go hard for three minutes versus in football, you get a 30-35 second break. And you can’t train to take a punch. That was the toughest part. Playing middle linebacker in football, I was always tight when I would take on and engage those blockers. Where in boxing, you have to relax. It took me sometime to learn to relax in the ring.

    You got buzzed pretty good by Witherspoon in that first round, didn’t you?

    I was hurt. I had been buzzed three times before, but that time I was hurt. I have to start keeping that left hand up.

    Did you learn anything from that?

    If you had asked me how I would have reacted before, I would have told you that is how I would react. That I would be OK. But I didn’t know. Now I know I can recover. I know I have that drive and that will. I have to keep that left hand up. I have to keep my head on a swivel.

    Read More…


  • Published On May 04, 2012
  • Three thoughts from Klitschko-Mormeck

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Wladimir Klitschko

    With no heavyweight rivals, Wladimir Klitschko must set his sights on history to stay interested. (PATRICK STOLLARZ/GETTY IMAGES)

    DUSSELDORF, Germany — Three thoughts from Wladimir Klitschko’s fourth-round knockout win over Jean-Marc Mormeck:

    Well, that was predictable. I understand that there are no heavyweights that can reasonably be expected to challenge one of the Klitschko’s. But Mormeck was a terrible choice. The 39-year old former cruiserweight titleholder (with knockout losses to O’Neil Bell and David Haye on his résumé) had no business being in the ring with Wladimir. His heavyweight résumé consisted of wins — decision wins — over Vinny Maddalone, Fres Oquendo and Timur Ibragimov. He isn’t ranked in the top eight by the WBA (an organization that ranks Hasim Rahman as its No. 1 contender), WBO or IBF and isn’t ranked by the WBC at all.

    This was considered a massive mismatch, and it lived up to its billing, with Mormeck driving his head into Klitschko’s chest trying to get inside and Klitschko pot-shotting him from the outside when he couldn’t. Mormeck connected on three — three –punches before a brutal combination put him down and out in the fourth. In a word: pathetic.

    So where does Klitschko go now? There is a mandatory title defense due against Tony Thompson — the same Thompson who Klitschko knocked out cold in 2008 — which Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, told me would take place in July. Down the road, Klitschko and his trainer, Emanuel Steward, both seem locked in on a fall fight with Chris Arreola, last seen getting his face carved up by Vitali Klitschko in 2009. Arrreola has lost some weight and put together a seven-fight winning streak, albeit against largely anonymous competition, and Klitschko told me in the ring after the fight that he believes he has proven himself worthy of a title shot. Klitschko’s motivation to fight Arreola is simple: He’s an American. Klitschko badly wants to fight in the U.S. and sees Arreola, who has an aggressive style, as part of the plan. Look for the two sides to work on putting that fight together in October or November, likely at Madison Square Garden.

    Is there anyone else? Klitschko rattled off a list of contenders — Tyson Fury, David Price, Seth Mitchell, among others — after the fight but really, there is no one who can touch him. Klitschko is simply too big and too talented. His footwork is flawless, his power is concussive and his long, stinging jab is a potent weapon. To stay motivated, Klitschko must set goals. His win over Mormeck was the 11th straight defense of his title; Joe Louis holds the heavyweight record for title defenses with 25. Klitschko will be 36 this month, making Louis’ mark a daunting task. But with so many inferior opponents in front of him and no real threat on the horizon, he needs to strive for something.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Mar 03, 2012
  • Golden Boy blocking Wladimir Klitschko-Chris Arreola fight in Brooklyn?

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Bernd Boente, who manages Wladimir Klitschko, won't bring the heavyweight champion to Brooklyn if it means a co-promotion with Golden Boy. (AP)

    DUSSELDORF, Germany — As Wladimir Klitschko prepares to defend his heavyweight titles against Jean-Marc Mormeck on Saturday, his team already knows when, where and against whom they would like his next fight to be: October, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, against Chris Arreola.

    The problem? According to members of Team Klitschko, Golden Boy Promotions, which signed a three-year deal to be the official partner of the new building, is blocking the fight.

    “The people who run the building came to us and asked us to bring a Klitschko fight to the Barclays Center,” said Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente. “When we said yes, they said we had to take Golden Boy as a co-promoter. We’re not going to do that. I don’t want to do a co-promotion with an American who has nothing to do with the Klitschkos. Why should we? We’re about to do our seventh stadium event. We do huge shows all over Europe. We have fought at Madison Square Garden. They bring nothing to the show.”

    Boente says if Golden Boy were in his position, they wouldn’t do a co-promotion either. He cites the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight, which originally was slated for the Prudential Center in Newark only to be moved to Los Angeles when the Prudential Center insisted the show be a co-promotion with Main Events.

    “If the Barclays Center wants a Klitschko fight, there can’t be any preconditions,” Boente said. “If they want to deal with Golden Boy and their crappy fighters, fine. I can’t understand why an arena is doing an exclusive deal with an American promoter. What do they bring to the table? A Klitschko fight is a worldwide event. It would be covered by 150 countries. It would be huge with the Russian speaking community [in Brooklyn]. I just don’t understand what they are doing.”

    Both Boente and Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions, said they would be open to putting Golden Boy fighters on the undercard. Loeffler said one possible matchup could be middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin against Brooklyn’s Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, one of Golden Boy’s top prospects.

    “But [Golden Boy CEO] Richard Schaefer is not standing up at a Klitschko press conference,” Boente said. “We don’t need him.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Feb 28, 2012
  • Wladimir Klitschko fight still on despite hospitalization

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    HELSINKI — Unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko told SI.com that he is doing well after being hospitalized briefly on Friday with stomach pains and that his title defense against Jean-Marc Mormeck on Dec. 10 will go on as scheduled.

    “I’m alright,” Klitschko said in a text message. “[The fight] is ON!”

    Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, told a German news outlet that Klitschko displayed symptoms of renal colic, a pain commonly caused by kidney stones.

    “The fight isn’t called off yet,” Boente said. “Wladimir is doing well. There will be further examinations on Saturday, but we’re assuming that the fight will be able to take place.”

    Klitschko (56-3) will face Mormeck (36-4) at the ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany. The fight will be televised by ESPN3.com.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Dec 03, 2011
  • Klitschkos, Stallone announce ‘Rocky’ musical

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Heavyweight titleholders Vitali (far left) and Wladimir (far right) Klitschko are co-producing a musical version of "Rocky" set to debut in 2012. (AP)

    A musical version of Rocky is set to debut in Germany in November 2012, Sylvester Stallone announced Monday in Cologne.

    Stallone is teaming up with heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, who will co-produce the musical and train the actors in boxing.

    Rocky: The Musical will debut next year in Hamburg. Casting has yet to take place.

    The feature film Rocky won three Academy Awards in 1976, including Best Picture, and spawned five sequels that altogether grossed more than $1.25 billion worldwide. Stallone has long fancied the idea of bringing his most beloved film character to the stage.

    “At the end of the day, Rocky is a love story and he could never have reached the final bell without Adrian,” Stallone said at Monday’s announcement. “To see this story coming to life on a musical stage makes me proud. And it would make Rocky proud.”

    Budgeted at $15 million, Rocky: The Musical will have its world debut in German before Stallone brings an English-language version on tour around the world.


  • Published On Nov 21, 2011
  • Odds set on David Haye’s next career move

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Former heavyweight titleholder David Haye retired from boxing Thursday on his 31st birthday, staying true to a promise he made when he started out as a fighter.

    Whether the retirement is genuine or merely a ploy to finalize contract negotiations with Vitali Klitschko remains to be seen, though Haye denied suggestions of gamesmanship.

    So what’s next for the loquacious Londoner, whose most recent outing was a lopsided decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko in July? British oddsmaker William Hill opened action on Haye’s next career move within hours of the announcement.

    Hill installed Haye at 6/1 to fight in WWE and 8/1 to switch to mixed martial arts and join the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

    Should he turn to entertainment, Haye is 3/1 to appear on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, 7/1 to skate on Dancing on Ice and 8/1 to tango on Strictly Come Dancing (where other British punchers have enjoyed mixed results).

    Haye also opens at 50/1 to succeed Daniel Craig as the next James Bond and 250/1 to win the 2012 London mayoral election.

    Since it would surprise exactly no one if Haye came out of retirement to fight Vitali, who holds the WBC heavyweight title, the oddsmaker installed the brash two-division champion as a 4/1 underdog to defeat the elder Klitschko brother.

    “Haye is an even bigger price to defeat Vitali than he was when he took on Wladimir and if he will have to make sure that he is serious about the challenge if he is to avoid a double Klitschko KO,” William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly said.

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Oct 13, 2011


  •