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Andre Ward Facing the Heavyweight Decision of a Kovalev Rematch!
By: Coach K - January 11, 2017


After helping boxing fill the void for boxing’s TMZ, Floyd Mayweather fans taking on Russian “Krusher” Sergey Kovalev Andre “SOG” Ward following his controversial decision win has a tough world championship career call to make.

After contentious contract negotiations, including “warm up bouts for both fighters Ward entering the Kovalev fight still healing the business wounds of a contract dispute with Goosen Promotions “SOG” signing with Roc Nation and going down for the first time in his career is faced with another one of those long time boxing business and legacy hurdles, a rematch clause.

It is that rematch clause giving Ward, 31-0, 15Ko’s the chance to squash the buzz of a controversial decision the opportunity to clearly frame and define his legacy.

Like so many of the sports greats before him, the 2004 US Olympic Light Heavyweight Gold Medalist is now faced with a personal and revealing choice, one that has defined many of those before him. One that has led to such historical rematches like “Sugar” Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio II, Rocky Graziano vs. Tony Zale II, “Sugar” Ray Leonard vs. Thomas “Hitman” Hearns II, Rafael Marquez vs. Israel Vazquez II and Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe II. Not ending there, the rematch choice has gone onto draw out some unforgettable, trilogies including Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson III, Erik Morales vs. Marco Antonio Barrera III, Micky Ward vs. Arturo Gatti III and of course the near fight to the death “Thriller in Manilla” Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III.

While no family man could disparage the reigning WBA, IBF and WBO World Light Heavyweight Champion for taking the biggest pay day, it is it’s more than just a man’s word or signature on the line for the financially sound Ward. He has a heavyweight choice to make. A choice no just for him, but one that could help steer the sport itself away from the last two decades of no risk, high reward, safe, ducking and dodging path of least resistance.

With todays newly found creation of college safe zones, I can only hope the aspiration for the proverbial undefeated “zero” doesn’t bring us a Mayweather styled timely first retirement or a step aside or in this case a go away check that would deny the sport and it’s loving fans the long-endeared right to witness true personal challenge, world championship drive and pursuit for greatness of fighting the best they demand and deserve to see. Anything short would be a sign it’s time hang them up and follow “Vicious” Victor Ortiz to the movies.

 

 

 

 

Canelo’s Next Fight Against Julio Cesar Chavez, HUH?
Isn’t He Really Ducking Gennady Golovkin?
By: Coach K - December 27, 2016


Reports have Guadalajara, Mexico “red headed” WBO Light Middleweight Champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez reportedly contemplating a fight against Sinaloa, Mexico’s former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

On face value isn’t this a simple unmasking of the highly-touted Alvarez? One must simply ask themselves with Alvarez, 48-1-1, 34Ko’s and the single loss coming to Floyd Mayweather September 2013, why would the Golden Boy Promotions star be considering a fight with Mexican rival Chavez Jr. when a very lucrative and fan demanding fight against WBC Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin looms so large.

The simple question is why is “Canelo” a natural light middle coming off wins over a fading Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and Liam Smith at 154lbs be so eager to move up to face the son of the Mexican Legend who fighting around the 170lb mark in his last five outings hasn’t fought at 154lbs since 2009.

Called out by 160lb title unifying minded Golovkin on several occasions Canelo has repeatedly has turned the unbeaten power punching WBC Champion seemingly seeking the path of least resistance. Or is the popular “red head” simply scared.

It can’t be the zero, it’s already gone having been drawn out at age 22 by a major payday against “Money” Mayweather.

So now how can "Canelo refusing to fight “GGG” because he didn't want to go 160 pounds but he'll meet Chavez Jr. at 165lbs?" Sure, a Canelo vs Chavez would be an epic payday in Mexico but why suddenly, now? That’s a fight been called for years. It must be Canelo doubt sinking in. How could you say no to 160 but go to 165 for Chavez?

I guess keeping with the new trend in boxing of seeking the least risk for most reward, has the proud Mexican fighter who so boast fully declared he's not afraid of no man, least of all Golovkin, has to play it safe and pile up the paydays to settle a Florida court ordered 8.5 million-dollar judgement to his former promoter Felix "Tutico" Zabala Jr. in June.

With reports of a six million dollar offer to Chavez to take the fight Cinco de Mayo 2017 the excuses to avoid Golovkin will only pile up with Chavez saying he wants Golovkin if a Canelo fight can’t be made and the WBO just naming Canelo as the mandatory challenger to another “GGG” ducker, Billy Joe Saunder’s middleweight title.

While you can’t call anyone, who climbs those stairs chicken, it appears if not scared the 26-year-old “Mexican” fighter unable to duck the unbeaten, 34 year Golovkin forever, is at the least intimidated.

Fighting like he's in the witness protection program, taking a page from his indirect mentor Floyd Mayweather, Canelo can only hope someone else can get the dirty work done, or at the least the heavy handed Golovkin will be a year older.

 

Everything said and done, it’s those reasons, that despite the recent loss Bernard Hopkins suffered calling out of heavy handed Joe Smith Jr. it was that challenge which was so special. Boxing is at its best when, champions answer the challenge to act like a CHAMPION.
 

 

 

 

Remembering "The Pride of the Ghetto"!
By: Coach K - December 23, 2016


(January 23rd) Coming off Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr’s coming out party and rudimentary launching of “The Executioner” Bernard Hopkins into retirement, I hope boxing fans with history in mind don't forget one of the sport’s greatest, Barney Ross, who passed away 48 years ago, today.

Ross, a US military veteran / professional boxer was a guru of both the offensive and defensive sides of the game was a true master of the “sweet science” winning world titles in three weight divisions.

Born Dov-Ber "Beryl" David Rosofsky; in New York City to Isidore "Itchik" Rosofsky and Sarah Epstein December 23, 1909 about the age of two moved to Chicago with his family where his father Isidore became a rabbi and owner of a small vegetable shop. As young boy Dov-Ber, envisioning becoming a Jewish teacher and a Talmudic scholar like his father had his life turned upside down when Isidore was shot dead resisting a robbery at the small family grocery, subsequently sinking his mother Sarah into a nervous breakdown leaving his younger siblings—Ida, Sam and George in orphanages or living with other family members.

It was then, with a burning in his heart Dov-Ber turned his back on the orthodox Jewish religion and began hanging out on the mean streets of Chicago with the Maxwell Street section rough-necks including future Lee Harvey Oswald assassin Jack Ruby.

Picking up the traits of the typical street thug, stealing and running money and numbers for Al Capone and whatever he felt he could do to help put his family back together, the diminutive Jewish teen gaining the nickname “Runt” swiftly picked a up reputation as a certified street fighter.

Drifting to boxing at Kid Cross’s gym with his new friend Ruby, Dov-Ber fighting as an amateur fell in love with the sport and the attention it would bring, winning the Chicago and Intercity Golden Gloves in 1929 selling all his awards to help subsidize the family. Turning pro at age 19 with about 200 amateur bouts under his belt, Dov-Ber like so many Jewish immigrants and pro fighters of the era changed his name to Barney Ross, mainly so his mother, now back at the head of the family would remain in the dark.

Fighting his first four fights in California, Ross would win his first ten before suffering his first defeat a six-round points loss to Carlos Garcia April 1930. Going 8-0-2 in his next ten, Ross picking up the moniker "The Pride of the Ghetto" would suffer his second pro defeat dropping an eight-round decision to Roger Bernard the following March.

Taking his brash courage to the ring and excepting a loss as part of the trade, Ross winning his next twenty-five bouts, including wins over Battling Battalino, Johnny Farr and the Petrole brothers Frankie and Billy "The Fargo Express." Ross big break would come June 23rd, 1933 challenging and beating future Hall of Famer Tony Canzoneri. Ross out boxed the heavier low punching champion claiming the World Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight belts winning a hard fought ten round majority decision.

Adding a 6th round TKO of Johnny Farr and a fifteen round split decision rematch win over Canzoneri, the very savvy and determined Ross, carrying superior ring generalship and great stamina would win his next four fights before vacating his light welterweight belt to move up and challenge for the World Welterweight titlist Jimmy "Baby Face" McLarnin. Ross scoring a fifteen round split decision May 1934 in true championship fashion would give the future Hall of Famer McLarnin an immediate rematch this time finding himself on the short side of another tightly contested a split decision.

Dropping back down in weight in his next bout Ross would reclaim the World Jr. Welterweight title winning a 12 round unanimous decision win over Bobby Pacho. Adding title defense wins over Frankie Klick and Henry Woods "The Pride of the Ghetto" would again vacate his title to face McLarnin, May 28th 1935 in a rubber match this time winning a fifteen round unanimous decision to regain the World Welterweight title.

Winning his next sixteen bouts, including wins over Baby Joe Gans, Izzy Jannazzo, Al Manfredo and three over tough bolo punching future World Middleweight Champion Ceferino Garcia, in what would ultimately be his last fight, a fight he refused to lose in action only, Ross would relinquish his title in a one-sided matter to fellow three division world champion and future Hall of Famer Henry "Homicide Hank" Armstrong.

Ross, trained by Packy McFarland and later the great Ray Arcel, fighting in one of boxing's top trilogies against Jimmy McLarnin, is named in the top three Jewish fighters of all time and is ranked in the top ten greatest welterweights ever. Compiling a record of 72-4-3, 22Ko's, 2 no decisions and 2 newspaper decisions "The Pride of the Ghetto" having always fought with an undeniable resolution of toughness in his heart retired after the Armstrong fight, May 31st, 1938.

Ross demonstrating the courage that kept him upright against Armstrong, over the draft age of 32 applied for and received waiver to join the Marines after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

First assigned a ceremonious position like Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Ray Robinson, the Marine Corp boxing instructor, again demonstrated incredible courage after facing charges for flooring a non-commissioned officer who had made an anti-Semitic comment "The Pride of the Ghetto" volunteered for combat duty, eventually serving at Guadalcanal, one of the battle of the Pacific's bloodiest battles.

The 140lb Ross receiving two Purple Hearts (wounded in leg and foot), a Presidential Citation and the Silver Star for heroism when after a night of battle, fighting off the Japanese opposition, out of ammo he crawled to an adjacent fox hole and carried a severely wounded 200lb comrade to safety.

Recovering in the hospital under an extended routine treatment of morphine for pain for his wounds Ross would develop a $500 a day heroin addiction when he returned to the states.

Drawing on his champions internal courage, Ross living with incredible pain from his war injuries would eventually break his heroin addiction going "cold turkey". The boxing champion / war hero would spend much of the rest of his life speaking out against drug abuse, drawing Hollywood to spotlight to the fighter’s life in the autobiographical movie "Monkey on My Back." Hollywood would also release the boxing movie “Body and Soul” which by no co-incidence had so many obvious connections to Ross life story, that the studio was forced to pay the former champion $60,000 for what amounted to copyright infringement.

In his private life, Ross married twice, with no children, like many fighters of the era loved his drink. Known as a carousing, chronic gambler, at times blowing his purses, spending large amounts of money he would constantly found himself in debt to bookies, loan sharks and even his mobster friends.

As mentioned in his autobiography "No Man Stands Alone", Ross, after all his battles in and out of the ring held a re-uniting with his family and his win over Tony Canzoneri as his greatest accomplishments.

Spending his late years in a celebrity status of a few small movie roles, the new proprietor of a very successful Chicago lounge bearing his name, Ross staying busy worked several other minor businesses but always had the time to make frequent Casino appearances. Staying loyal to his ghetto roots, “The Pride of the Ghetto” even testified as a character witness on behalf of his childhood friend Jack Ruby at his trial for killing Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Ross passing at age of 57, January 23rd, 1967 after a long bout with cancer was elected to the International boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Never forgotten, Barney Ross, the fast-reloading mercenary with a long history of field action and an even longer list of allies and rivals played by Sylvester Stallone in the Expendables movies was chosen to honor the former world champion.

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Boxing's Original "Baby Faced Assassin"!
By: Coach "K" - December 19, 2016


(December 19th) It was ten years ago, today we lost boxing's original "Baby Faced Assassin" and with all the present-day discussion in boxing gyms and chat rooms about subjects like TBE (the best ever) I couldn't help but find it important to remember one of the sport’s greatest legacies, Jimmy McLarnin.

James Archibald McLarnin, endearingly called "Jimmy" was born December 19th 1907 in County Down, Ireland. The last of the Irish dozen children, following the family patriarch Sam, Jimmy his mother and eleven siblings emigrated to Canada when was three.

In the tough economic times to follow Sam unable to keep up at wheat farming in Saskatchewan moved the family to Vancouver, opening a clothing store while encouraging all to contribute to the family's daily needs with Jimmy selling newspapers on the street.

After getting into a scrap selling papers Jimmy turned to boxing at the age of 10. At age of 13while playing soccer Jimmy first noticed for his leg strength by Charles "Pop" Foster, a former boxer who almost losing his legs in an explosion while fighting in the Boer War and WWI with Canadian Railway Construction Corp began his training with Foster in a makeshift gym.

Working under "Pop", McLarnin's raw talent quickly developed into an outstanding amateur boxing career and a British Columbia Flyweight Amateur Championship and the skillful, fast moving, methodical 16-year-old fighter jumping into the pro ranks scoring a first round stoppage of Young Fry at Hastings Gym, Vancouver, Canada December 19th 1923.

McLarnin wasting no time going all in his second pro fight just two weeks later, scored a majority decision over highly touted amateur rival, Mickey Gill.

The next year "Pop" acting as trainer and manager took McLarnin to San Francisco, where his youthful appearance making it difficult to get a fights gained the young Irishman the moniker "Baby Face".

Scoring 3rd round TKO wins over Eddie Collins and Joe Conde in his California debuts foster concentrating McLarnin  on speed and skill would have his ward fighting twice a month    winning his next eight fights on points re-discovering his power scoring a second round KO of Abie Gordon May 1924.

Already dealing with serious hands injuries McLarnin inactive until August would return recording his second majority decision win coming against his old rival Mickey Gill.

Staying active fighting monthly the pint sized "Irishman" (5'6") banking five more decision wins would suffer his first blemish with back to back draws against 1924 Olympic Gold Medalist Fidel LaBarba and Memphis Pal Moore (88-14-18) both future Hall of Famers.

Starting off 1925 with a ten round unanimous decision return win over LaBarba, the "Baby-Faced Assassin" adding wins over veterans Teddy Silva, Young Farrell and Eddie Spec Ramies the 18 year old McLarnin would suffer his first defeat a points defeat to future Hall of Famer Bud Taylor.

1925 would prove to be a good year with McLarnin adding wins over Flyweight Champion and future Hall of famer Pancho Villa in July, future welterweight champion and Hall of Famer Jackie Fields in November and return win over future Bantamweight Champion Bud Taylor in December.

McLarnin opening 1926 losing a points return match to Taylor, he would close the year alternating wins and losses in his next four.

Battling Tommy Cello to a ten round draw to start 1927 McLarnin would out point the San Francisco veteran in a rematch just a little over a month later.

Foster working on McLarnin's right had power beginning a nine bout win streak with a stoppage of Freeman Black adding an eight round Ko of Hall of Famer Louis 'Kid' Kaplan and a first round stoppage of Sid Terris
before losing a 15 round World Lightweight Title challenge to another future Hall of Famer, Sammy Mandell May 1928. Adding knockout wins over Phil McGraw and Stanislaus Loayza, McLarnin closed out the year with an eight round KO loss to New York ranking featherweight and lightweight contender Ray Miller.

Using the Miller loss as a source of motivation now known to some as "The Irish Lullaby" McLarnin would begin a nine bout run recording back to back wins over Joe Glick before avenging the Miller loss by way of a ten round unanimous decision.

Stopping Sergeant Sammy Baker McLarnin and squeezing a second round knockout of Hall of Famer Ruby Goldstein between two decision wins over Sammy Mandel "Baby Face" added a ten round decision win over Young Jack Thompson and a third round TKO of Al Singer before engaging Future Hall of Famer Billy "The Fargo Express" Petrolle in a three bout rubber match with Petrolle winning the opener November 1930 and McLarnin grabbing the next two on points wins May and August 1931.

McLarnin suffering numerous hand injuries throughout his career returned from an year of inactivity dropping a split decision loss to, yes another future Hall of Famer Lou Brouillard August 1932.

McLarnin still carrying power in those damaged hands rebounded closing out 32 scoring a 6th round stoppage Hall of Famer Benny Leonard and a eighth round KO win over Sammy Fuller.

In 1933, McLarnin, also known as "The Belfast Spider" won his first title claiming the World Welterweight belt May 29th scoring one of the sport’s biggest upsets a first round stoppage of southpaw Young Corbett III (101-8-22).

Engaging in his second three fight series May 1934 McLarnin losing the opener would then trade 15 round split decision wins with future Hall of Famer Barney Ross with "The Pride of the Ghetto" Ross winning a unanimous decision in the rubber match May 1935.

In 1936 McLarnin splitting ten round unanimous decision wins with seven time world champion and future Hall of Famer Tony Canzoneri, McLarnin retired his own Hall of Fame career at the young age of 29 fittingly winning a ten round unanimous decision over Hall of Famer Lou "Herkimer Hurricane" Ambers.

Fighting under numerous monikers in front of 10,000 fans with another 5,000 waiting outside all the way back in 1925 the two time world champion amassing $100,000 in the bank by the time he was 19 (over 1 million in today’s value) compiling a record of 55-11-3, 21Ko's, while fighting 15 world champions and five fellow Hall of Famers investing his money wisely retired from the ring a wealthy man.

McLarnin, who retired to get married raised four children (son Jimmy; daughters Jean, Grace and Nancy) with his wife Lillian in Glendale, California where avoiding growing calls to return to the ring, fully content with his life after boxing once turning down a $50,000 offer to make a comeback against Henry Armstrong, McLarnin opened a machine shop which he later sold at a substantial profit.

A skilled golfer, McLarnin played regularly with his good friends Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Fred Astaire working some acting gigs appearing in movies including The Big City, The Crowd Roars, Swing with Bing and Joe Palooka.

McLarnin living on the same street in Glendale as Foster, eventually inherited his mentors estate (estimated to be more than $286,000) when he passed May 5th 1956. McLarnin quickly gave all credit to Foster saying “Pop was the secret of my success. He taught me everything.”

After his wife's passing in 1985 McLarnin moved to the Tri-Cities area of Washington state where he lived with his family.

In a 1989 interview with LA Times McLarnin told writer Earl Gustkey "The greatest fighter of my era, but a guy I never fought, was Harry Greb. Inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota in 1991 and saw himself ranked as the fifth greatest welterweight of all-time in the May 1994 issue of The Ring Magazine. Living in good health until early 2003 the "Baby Faced Assassin" developing Alzheimer’s Disease was placed in a nursing-care facility where he died today 2004 at the age of 96.

McLarnin's brother Sammy also a professional boxer from 1926 to 35 built a record of 14-5, 4Ko's while his amateur rival Mickey Gill never claiming the attention of his early adversary retired from boxing in 1932 with a journeyman's record of 43-36-20, 8Ko's.

While many of today's athletes and fighters play into that "original gangster" role finding themselves caught up in all kinds of in and out of the ring scandals acting anything but like a champion. I think it’s important to remember the sports history and those who built it. Their legacies, challenges and risk taking.

Boxing needs more "Baby Faced Assassin's." Battling fifteen world champions, five Hall of Famers and waging war in trifecta's with the likes of Sammy Mandell, Billy Petrolle and Barney Ross, Jimmy under the guidance of Charles "Pop" Foster always handled "prize fighting" as a trade, not just a business. Remembering boxing history is essential to it's future and right now it could use a Jimmy McLarnin.

Mark Twain: "a favorite theory of mine—to wit, that no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often." After taking a look back my question for boxing is. Who wants to be boxing's next legend!

Karl Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

Having experienced the long over-do Manny Pacquiao / Floyd Mayweather first fight and now having to listen to the daily rumors of an upcoming rematch we must be in an extended farce phase.

 

 

 

 

 

The Final One! Hopkins vs Smith Jr. How Did We Get Here?
By: Coach "K" - December 14, 2016


On Saturday December 17th Hockessin, Delaware's, seven time, two division world champion Bernard Hopkins will return to for his final ring appearance when he takes on Mastic Shirley, New York's 27-year-old Joe Smith Jr. Let’s, take a look at how we got here.

The 51-year-old Hopkins 55-7-2, 32 Ko´s, the longest reigning, oldest fighter to ever hold the World Middleweight and Light Heavyweight titles also the oldest fighter ever to win a World Championship wants to carry on doing things his way again pushing the limits in his “Final” bout going out with one last legacy defining fight.

Just a few weeks ago, named in several possible fight rumors, including a match versus Callum Johnson, Philadelphia's seven time two division world champion and sure fire future Hall of Famer turning 52, January 15th looking to continue to build his legacy takes on Mastic, Long Island "Beast" Joe Smith December 17th in "The Final One" main event LIVE on HBO from the legendary Forum in Inglewood, California.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 15th 1965, the second of eight children growing up in the tough crime ridden Raymond Rosen housing projects, a gang member by age 17, Hopkins stabbed three times and arrested over 30 times with nine felonies was sentenced to prison for robbery at age 18 in 1983.

Holding an attraction to boxing inspired by his uncle Artie McCloud it would in prison under the tutelage of convicted murderer and three-time middleweight prison champion Michael 'Smokey' Wilson, a young Hopkins would gain his GED and world championship caliber boxing degree in Cellblock D of the Graterford Prison, in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

Converting to Muslim in prison and dedicating himself to his new passion, swearing off drugs, alcohol and junk food Hopkins mental toughness and discipline was quickly and suddenly tested when his younger brother was killed shortly after he began serving his prison sentence and his killer was sent to the same prison. Hopkins has openly voiced his appreciation for the man choosing to take lockup instead of entering the general population.

It would be after nearly five years in prison the newly paroled 23-year-old, dish washing, former four-time prison middleweight champion would turn pro suffering a majority decision loss to Clinton Mitchell in his debut October 11th, 1988.

No stranger to adversity, quickly righting the ship, training under the late Bouie Fisher, Hopkins would begin to make his mark on the middleweight division winning his next 22 bouts, with 16 of the victories coming inside the distance.

In his first real pay day, the often-avoided former Philadelphia street fighter would suffering his second pro defeat, losing a twelve round vacant IBF World Middleweight title challenge of then unbeaten future Hall of famer and rival Roy Jones Jr.

Winning his next four bouts and avenging a December 17th, 1994 vacant IBF World Middleweight title draw with Segundo Mercado, a 30-year-old Hopkins would win his first world title stopping the tough Ecuadorian banger in seven to claim the vacant IBF strap.

Twelve successful title defenses later including wins over John David Jackson, Glen Johnson, Simon Brown, Robert Allen (twice- 1st ruled a NC after Hopkins was injured accidentally “pushed” out of the ring by referee Lane, wins rematch by 7th round TKO), Antwun Echols (2) and Syd Vanderpool, Hopkins would add the WBC World Middleweight title winning a twelve round unanimous decision over Washington D.C. southpaw Keith Holmes, April 14th, 2001.

In an almost precondition, and self imposed requirement Hopkins campaigning as "The Executioner" always wanting a challenge would add the WBA Super World Middleweight title to his collection September 29th, 2001 scoring a fourteenth straight IBF title defense with a twelve round TKO win over Puerto Rican super star Felix "Tito" Trinidad.

Now training under Bouie Fisher protégé, Nazim Richardson, the pride of Philadelphia putting together four title defense wins over Carl Daniels, Morrade Hakkar, William Joppy and Robert Allen would again dare the pundits and all non-believers September 18th 2004 making a nineteenth title defense adding the WBO World Middleweight title to his ever-growing collection stopping Oscar De La Hoya with a brutal body shot in round nine.

It would just five months later, on February 19th 2005 banking a twelve round unanimous decision over Howard Eastman, Hopkins would tie Larry Holmes record of twenty straight title defenses.

Holding the record for the most middleweight title defenses (20) surpassing Carlos Monzon, the oldest fighter to ever hold the World Middleweight Championship surpassing Sugar Ray Robinson at 40 years, 6 months, and 1 day, Hopkins, record as the longest reigning middleweight champion (10 years, 2 months and 17 days) would come to a close by way of a WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO Middleweight title forfeiting controversial split decision to Little Rock, Arkansas, 2000 Olympic bronze Medalist Jermaine "Bad Intentions" Taylor.

Attempting to reclaim the belts, Hopkins would hit a skid suffering back to back losses dropping a December 3rd immediate rematch unanimous decision to Taylor, for just his fourth pro defeat.

Back in action six months later, putting the Taylor losses in the rear-view mirror, Hopkins once again searching and finding a way to push his limits, the self driven Philadelphia fighter moved up in weight June 10th, 2006 to claim the International Boxing Organization World Light Heavyweight title, scoring a twelve round unanimous decision win over Tampa, Florida 1996 Bronze Olympic Medalist and Roy Jones Jr. conqueror Antonio Tarver.

July 21st, fighting once in 2007, scoring a twelve round unanimous decision over former WBO, IBF, WBA and WBC Light Middleweight World Champion Ronald "Winky" Wright the outspoken Hopkins no stranger to controversy after saying he “would never lose to a white boy” opened up 2008, April 19th despite dropping the champion in the opening round fell short losing a tightly contested split decision WBO, IBF, WBA and WBC Super Middleweight title challenge of Newbridge, Wales, unbeaten Joe Calzaghe, (44-0).

Six months later, (Oct. 18th) never straying from facing the games top fighters, meeting at a 170lb catchweight a 43-year-old "Executioner" proved he ain't afraid of no "Ghost" winning almost every round, schooling the 26-year-old previously unbeaten WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion, Kelly Pavlik winning a "Ghost" demoralizing one sided unanimous decision.   

In a slight deviation from his deeply established test pattern, Hopkins would follow up a December 2nd, 2009 twelve round unanimous decision win over journeyman Enrique Ornelas, and end of his 17-year wait for revenge winning a brutal one sided twelve round unanimous decision over the future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr.

Battling WBC and IBO Light Heavyweight champion Jean Pascal to a majority draw December 18th, 2010 "The Executioner" would become the oldest fighter ever to win a world championship May 21st, 2011 relieving the Canadian based champion of his titles in a rematch winning a closely contested twelve round unanimous decision to eclipse George Foreman as the oldest world champion.

October 15th in a bout mirroring the August 1998 bout vs Robert Allen, Hopkins unable to continue after a "accidental injury" no contest in which he was picked up and slammed to the canvas in the second round by former IBF and IBO World Light Heavyweight Champion "Bad" Chad Dawson. "The Executioner" would forfeit his WBC title dropping an immediate twelve round majority decision in a rematch April 28th, 2012.

Never one to feign limits Hopkins, would break his own record as the oldest fighter ever to win a world title at 48 years, 1 month, and 22 days, March 9th, 2013 taking claim to the IBF Light Heavyweight strap scoring a twelve round unanimous decision over 31-year-old previously unbeaten Tavoris "Thunder" Cloud.

Adding a twelve round unanimous decision IBF title defense versus Karo Murat, October 26th, a 49-year-old Hopkins would again push the barriers becoming the oldest fighter ever to hold the World Light Heavyweight title, surpassing Archie Moore April 19th, 2014 with a split decision IBF defense win over once beaten IBA and WBA Super World Light Heavyweight titlist Beibut Shumenov.

In his latest outing, November 8th, 2014, primed for the Boxing Hall of Fame and all the Geritol commercials he could handle, "The Alien" opting for a IBF, WBA and WBO unification bout with one of the sports heaviest punchers, Hopkins would hand over his IBF strap dropping a twelve round unanimous decision to 31-year-old unbeaten "Krusher" Sergey Kovalev.

Trained by some of the sports elite trainers like Bouie Fisher, Nazim Richardson and even a stint under Freddie Roach, Hopkins has continued to evolve. If his name were to be used as a boxing term it could easily be synonymous with dedication and discipline. A crafty tradesman with average punching power and deceptive hand speed, a "gym rat" known for keeping himself well conditioned between fights, never allowing himself to stray too far from fighting weight, when you add in his outstanding physical conditioning, impenetrable chin, methuselah type recuperation traits together with his uniquely technical style and mental approach compounding it by four decades of total experience Hopkins legacy is already Hall of Fame bound.

It is in the true sense of the word, Hopkins has lived "what doesn't kill only makes you makes stronger". "The Executioner" originally a cagey, granite chinned, inside / outside knockout artist, pressuring with an active left to set up clean rights or sharp angled ambushing counters, transforming into the crafty alley cat styled defensive, counter punching, "B-Hop", then morphing one more time to a smooth, duplicitous “Alien” relying on his experience, mind and efficiency, rather than work rate to out maneuver and tie up younger, stronger fighters reminiscent of Archie “The Mongoose” Moore, Hopkins in all three phases, unmasks you, analyzes your plan, then reversing his prison survival skills takes away what you want to do, turning your strengths into a weakness.

Having fallen short versus Kovalev, Hopkins continuing to do it his way, won’t go easy and like so many greats before him wants one more “final” test and in keeping with his high standards has taken on no easy task in “The Beast”.  Certainly, it's not an impossible, or even unlikely task, even against a puncher like Smith. Despite his seniority, never having been knocked out, Hopkins continues to do it his way and still operating at an elite level, there is just one question who will we see, "The Executioner", "B-Hop" or "The Alien?

So, who is Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr.? The 27-year-old, Smith Jr. the oldest of seven brothers and one sister, like “The Executioner” made his bones on the streets, his coming in Long Island’s tough Mastic Beach. At age 13 Smith’s rugged street fighting reputation would precede him to the Atlantic Veteran's Boxing Club where his raw power and talent was immediately recognized. Finding his niche, the young, eager Irishman quickly developing his pugilistic skills would catch the eye of local scouts winning three straight Junior Olympic titles 2004 thru 2006.

Following a more traditional path than the "The Executioner," Smith’s heavy handed talent evident working his way up through the junior, novice and open rankings making it hard to get club fights, recorded most of his over 50 amateur victory's in the tournament action, winning numerous titles including a 2006, Title World Championship, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Empire State titles, four straight New York Metro Championships 2006 thru 2009 and a New York Golden Glove title beating Top Rank's unbeaten "Irish" Seanie Monaghan in the finals in 2008.

Gaining the attention of Huntington, Long Island former pro light heavy standout brothers Phil and Gerry Capobianco (2016 Ring 8 manager and trainer of the year) blasting out a Capobianco charge in a sparring session prior to winning the 2009 NYC Metro’s.

Working as a laborer for Local 66, Smith developing a large following even as an amateur turned pro October 2009 winning his first six bouts, all coming inside the distance, quickly gained the moniker "The Irish Bomber" for his devastating punching power.

While Hopkins would experience his first boxing adversity losing his pro debut, Smith's first run in with misfortune would come August 7th, 2010 when his six bout KO run would to an abrupt end, versus Lawrence, Massachusetts slugger Eddie "Thunder" Caminero when after dominating the opening four and half minutes "The Irish Bomber" fighting with what was later diagnosed as multiple fractures in his jaw, the rough and ready Smith battled on still controlling the action finally succumbing to the pain after being shouldered in a clinch with two seconds to go in the fourth round of the scheduled six rounder.

Following immediate surgery and an eleven-month recovery period, out of inactivity on a liquid diet, finally medically cleared for action Smith returned to heavy handed ways July 30th, 2011 stopping Santos Martinez in the second round with a ripping body shot.

Going on a second KO tear, scoring stoppages of Dennis Ogboo, Amador Acevedo, James Denson and Yasin Rashid, Smith finding it hard to get fights closed out 2013 with back to back unanimous decision wins over Lamont Williams and Hamid Abdul-Mateen.

Beginning his 2014 campaign with a February 12th solid six round unanimous decision over Sacramento, California cagey veteran Otis "Triple G' Griffin, Smith would again let it loose, adding knockout victories over Ghana's heavy handed Michael Gbenga and LA's Tyrell "Hollywood" Hendrix.

Signing with Joe Deguardia's, Star Boxing in September, "The Irish Bomber" scored an impressive first round TKO stoppage of Maxell Taylor December 20th 2014 in his "Rockin Fight's" debut.

Progressing well under the watchful eyes of "Fighting" Capobianco's and one of their mentors Tommy Gallagher of "The Contender" fame handling the cut work, "The Irish Bomber" would take his aggressive, paralyzing punching show the next level April 18th, 2015 headlining "Rockin Fights 18" where he would quickly become a Paramount Theater favorite overwhelming and stopping Newark, New Jersey's, battle forged veteran Corey "Black Ice" Cummings in two.

Staying active with a ninth round stoppage of Flint Michigan's, Dion Savage in September, Smith earning a showcased ten round bout on the undercard of the December 5th Daniel Jacobs / Peter Quillin WBA World Middleweight Championship card at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, the young Irish boxer / puncher would take full advantage demonstrating his ever growing stockpile of offensive and defensive skills working behind an active and accurate jab, setting up clean power shots and combinations to the body and head easily out boxing Ozone Park's highly touted Will "Power" Rosinsky for convincing ten round unanimous decision win.

Smith, gaining a wide range attention for his brutal workouts would gain an additional and very appropriate moniker "The Beast" ahead of his third headlining event "Rockin Fights 23" April 23rd, 2016 when in full "Beast" mode he scored a 2nd round total annihilation of tough Brazilian "Pit Bull" Fabiano Pena.

Flourishing under the Capobianco's family styled tutelage, Smith earning a third step up fight, totally confident in his skills, open to taking on all comers like an early Philadelphia prospect, presented with the financial reward and potential future door opening opportunity excepted the biggest challenge of his young career against Chicago's Andrzej Fonfara.

The hard hitting “Irishman,” intent on showing he belongs at the world championship level, meeting Fonfara coming off a ninth-round stoppage of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and a twelve round unanimous decision win over Nathan Cleverly wasted no time cashing and crashing in on the spotlight with a "2016 upset of the year worthy" first round stoppage of the former WBC World Light Heavyweight title challenger in his own back yard.

In boxing, as in life, we all know timing is everything. Now in the wake of his dramatic win over Fonfara, Smith again set on another challenge and taking his skills to the next level finds himself in a catch-22 fight.

A bit of a paradox but once again considering the financial reward, the immediate public attention and potential future fight fights I see it as no brainer. Smith once again gets to showcase his skills, development and fan friendly power in another challenging fight, this time against a legend.

Hey! Let's not forget a win over Hopkins would put Smith Jr's name on the lips of all those to ever discuss Hopkins and his standing as a Hall of Famer and an "All Time Great Middleweight".

Now two years after the Kovalev / Hopkin's bout as to why is this fight happening. First, keep in mind. it's more the norm than you think. Many of the sport’s greatest competitors at all weights and levels have pushed the limits.

For example: Anyone remember back July 4th, 1820? England’s sixteenth Heavyweight Champion Daniel Mendoza, one day short of his 56th birthday returned from a 14 year off layoff the face Tom Owen. In 1914, fifty-one-year-old former World Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion Bob Fitzsimmons, seven years after facing Jack Johnson fought a debuting KO Sweeney and Jersey Bellew. March 15th, 1963 culminating an already great 216 bout career, a forty-seven-year-old former World Light Heavyweight Champion Archie "The Old Mongoose" Moore, four months after being stopped by an undefeated twenty-year-old Muhammad Ali finished his legendary career facing a pro debuting Mike DiBiase. November 22, 1977, a forty-one-year-old ‘Sugar Boy’ Malinga beat Robin Reid for the WBC Super-Middleweight title December 1997. November 5th 1994 a forty-five-year-old George Foreman stopped a twenty-seven-year-old Michael Moorer to reclaim the title he won twenty years before. November 22nd 1997, a forty-eight-year-old George Foreman succumb to a twenty-six-year-old Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs in his final bout and March 8th, 2008 a sixty-year-old former WBC Junior Welterweight Champion, Saoul Mamby faced a thirty-three-year-old Anthony Osbourne.

While it’s not fifty-one, let’s not forget boxing's "Greatest Fighter of All Time" "Sugar" Ray Robinson. “Sugar” after battling future Hall of Famer Gene Fulmer at age forty went onto fight over forty more times taking on a twenty-seven-year-old Joey Archer in his final bout, at age forty-four. After all isn't pushing the limits how records are made and broken. Isn’t that what defines great or “the best”. Not the safe zero protecting, opponent selecting like choosing a done Andre Berto for a Marciano record tying 49th undefeated win. The difference in this case though its not just another fighter and not just another fight. Right now, Hopkins just represents the extreme and by no means is Smith a safe pick.

The closest comparison of this fight would be Hopkins Oct 18th 2008 versus Kelly Pavlik. Then in his fourth bout in the light heavyweight division with both Richardson and John David Jackson in his corner the “Executioner” using slick in close foot work, changing angles, a tight defense and hand speed to rattle and confused Pavlik hurt him early and often turning “The Ghost” to “Casper.”

To his credit Pavlik’s conditioning and solid chin and Hopkin’s marginal punching power kept him vertical but he was missing Smith’s equalizer, “one punch KO power. The elder statesman then a four to one underdog defied his age and the pundits giving his fans one of his best performances. Pavlik’s with his lifelong trainer Jack Loew in the corner calling for “The Ghost” to pick up the pace and use a double jab, there was no plan B and he never seemed to raise Pavlik’s emotion or sense of urgency allowing for Hopkins to coast to a 117-109, 119-106, 118-108 unanimous decision.

While there are several similarities in this “Legend versus the Future” bout like the youth vs age disparity, the experience and the level of competition differential like some of historical notes mentioned above that’s no guaranteed result.

In a major divergence, Smith unlike Pavlik won’t be stepping up in weight. A natural light heavy and the bigger man Smith Jr. a well-grounded and uniquely focused individual absent “The Ghost” demons won’t be giving away 11 pounds, 169 to 180lbs to Hopkins on fight night.

Adding to the drama Hopkins, 55-7-2, 32Ko's who's only defeats come to Roy Jones Jr., Jermaine Taylor (twice) Joe Calzaghe, Chad Dawson and Sergey Kovalev in a somewhat strange move has replaced Nazim Richardson, with former foe John David Jackson. Richardson, Bouie Fisher’s assistant, took over as lead trainer for the Jermaine Taylor rematch, December 2005.

Richardson who told "The Ring" he respects John David Jackson and has a gut feeling that Smith is too rudimentary for Hopkins, and a win would be tempted to look to take down a sterner test, like an Adonis Stevenson, well if history has shown us anything looking past an opponent can get you hurt. Not to butt heads with the great trainer Nazim but as far as rudimentary and saying "I think maybe John David could beat Joe" its boxing, fighting and sometimes when you have the power and skills of a Smith you know what they say, just "keep it simple stupid".

With the 51 year old "Executioner" a non-drinker or smoker with discipline being one of his greatest strengths to the disbelief of most pundits continuing to push his legacy as the man behind "The Fight Game Tricks of the Trade" Hopkins opens the fights a slight favorite with the #1 question being does the graying long time fundamentally sound, highly strategic defensive technician and unique counterpunching tactician still have enough left to get him past this young guns power backed pressure attack and take him to the later rounds where champions historically have held class.

While it wasn’t eithers final bout, Hopkins vs Smith Jr. can also be compared back to another youth vs experience bout when two greats passing the torch a 21-year-old future Hall of Famer Mickey “The Toy Bull Dog” Walker broke into the mainstream beating a 37-year-old Future Hall of Famer and “Boxing Marvel” Jack Britton for the welterweight title back 1922.

As to, why are we here? It’s simple is Smith Jr. a future Walker and how far can the fourteen time Ring Magazine cover legend Hopkins push the barrier. Can he beat the hard-punching young gun? If so who will we see? "The Executioner", "B-Hop", "The Alien" a new calculated blend. Hopkins is just continuing the long tradition of the passing of the torch, a ritual which is still very alive today, all you have to do is look at the up-coming 2017 Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko Heavyweight Championship bout.

So as far as my pick? In full disclosure, having known Smith Jr. since he was a teen and personally witnessing his considerable skill development and growth in and out of the ring, I have to follow the punch. After seeing this quiet, soft spoken, power punching "Irishman" show he clearly has his eye on the prize, never playing to the spotlight, quietly unnerving Hopkins in the media events, Smith hit a nerve with me, particularly when asked what he thought about the upcoming fight with the legend, he simply answered the same as he did ahead of the Fonfara fight. I'm doing this to give myself, my family and my daughter a better life."

 

 

 

 

After Technical Showcase Lomachenko Holds All the Cards to Help Reform Boxing and the Pound for Pound List!
By: Coach "K" - November 29, 2016


Choosing boxing over ice hockey because his father was a boxing trainer, Vasyl "HI-Tech" Lomachenko continuing his classic approach to the sport he has dominated since his entrance to organized  boxing at age six (in an international tournament) going onto become arguably the greatest amateur boxer of all time, it is no coincidence "Hi-Tech" finds himself on the brink of all time greatness and the complete definition of "The Sweet Science."

After compiling a record of 396-1, avenging his only loss twice, competing as a featherweight and lightweight Lomachenko winning too many tournaments to list but including a silver and two gold medals medal at the prestigious World Championships, adding consecutive Gold Medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics the 25 year old talent signed with Bob Arum's Top Rank, July 2013.

Scoring a 4th round knockout of Jose Ramirez and claiming the WBO International Featherweight title in his pro debut October 12th on the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Timothy Bradley Championship card at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, the highly touted Ukrainian old style war horse would suffer his first paid loss, in a pro ranks, eye opening introduction vacant WBO World Featherweight title split decision loss to crafty, pugilistic scofflaw Orlando "Siri" Salido, March 1st, 2014.

The 28 year old, speedy, sharp shooting southpaw with precision timing and a subtle defensive mastery staying "old school" reminiscent of classic greats like Robinson, Armstrong, Pep and Greb would return right to work putting his superior technical skills on display stepping up the competition in mostly world title fights, banking wins over previously unbeaten Gary Russell Jr., Suriya Tatakhun, Gamalier Rodriguez, Romulo Koasicha, Roman Martinez leading to Saturday night's complete dissection of Jamaican power punching, former WBA Featherweight Champion Nicholas "Axeman" Walters.

With the decisive victory there are just two time pressing options for the "Hi-Tech" Ukrainian. One, a loss avenging rematch with Mexican veteran and former five time world champion Orlando Salido, or two a showdown with long time Filipino star and eight time world champion Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao. Just continuing to put today's safety first opposition selection aside would be a big win for the sport of boxing but a victory over either or both would surely push Lomachenko to the top of the "pound for pound" rankings as boxing needs more "HI-Tech" fighters that want to do their job and FIGHT!

 

 

 

November 7th's Toll on Boxing!
By: Coach K - November 7, 2016


With tomorrow's election going to be one of the most remembered days in world history for some time, many may look back and reflect on a disturbing day in 1962 when former President Richard Nixon told the press he won't be available to kick around any more after losing election for Governor of California, but as a boxing fan I will always remember it as the day, albeit years apart we lost three of our sports greatest, Carmen Basilio, Joe Frazier and Gene Tunney.

Carmen Basilio born April 2nd, 1927, in Canastota, NY, the son of an onion farmer turned to boxing at the age of eight or nine after his father Joseph who himself boxed while serving in the Marine Corps in World War I, came home from work one night with a pair of boxing gloves.

First coached by his father and sparring with his brothers in a homemade ring in the basement of their home, Carmen  a member of the high school boxing team would leaving home and school answering the call of World War II joining the Marines in 1945 and at age 17.

Not long after receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps Basilio returned to boxing making his pro debut in 1948.

Working in a factory before going to the gym to train, the 5'6½", 22 year old, converted southpaw, carrying powerful shoulders, strong legs and a pugnacious heart began fighting mostly in central or western New York went 18-2-2 in his first 22 bouts including a majority decision win over future Hall of Famer, Lew Jenkins, March 1950.

Going 6-6-1 fighting through 1951 Basilio, stepped up the competition having a series of tough bouts fighting to a draw and a loss with Chuck Davey and a loss to future Hall of Famer Billy Graham. But it would be his tough, gritty style that not only would win him three world titles, the hearts of boxing enthusiasts and the much respected moniker "The Upstate Onion Farmer."

With his newly gained notoriety came another streak including a ten round unanimous decision over Hall of Famer Ike Williams and a win and a draw in a pair of return fights with Graham setting up a 1953 title shot in his 50th fight, dropping the champ and a 15 round split decision to the reigning Welterweight Champ Kid Gavilan.

Returning to the win column with a 7-0-1 run in 54, the popular "Onion Farmer" earned himself a second title shot, November, 1955 this time claiming the World Welterweight title scoring a 12th round knockout of "The Boston Bomber" Tony DeMarco.

Adding three more wins Basilio finished 55 with a repeat 12th round TKO title defense over Tony Demarco, a fight named The Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.

March 1956, losing his crown by way of a suspicious 15 round decision to the Blinky Palermo managed Johnny Saxton, Basilio would reclaim the belt in September with a rematch ninth round KO of Saxton voted the 1956 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Basilio would win the February 57 rubber match this time stopping Saxton in two completing the three fight trifecta.

Basilio would close out 57 with a fourth round stoppage of Harold Jones, winning the World Middleweight Title and his third straight Ring Magazine Fight of The Year with a split decision win over future Hall of Famer and to most boxing's best ever "Sugar" Ray Robinson.

Entering the Robinson fight with an intense hatred from a chance meeting on the street years earlier, when after introducing himself Basilio was brushed off by "The Sugar Man", something he would never forget.

The usually congenial "Upstate Onion Farmer" drew on his anger taking the fight to the champion, blitzing him in the eleventh round full filling a childhood dream claiming the middleweight title via a 15 round split decision at Yankee Stadium.

Things would change just a bit in 58, losing a split decision rematch to Robinson, fighting the second half of the fight with his left eye closed. The fight would be named the 1958 Ring Magazine Fight of The Year.

Adding KO wins over Art Aragon and Arley Seifer,    Basillio would lose 1959 and 1960, 12th and 14th round KO back to back middleweight title challenges to future Hall of Famer Gene Fullmer. The first meeting voted the 1959 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.

The next year scoring ten round unanimous decision wins over Gaspar Ortega and Don Jordan the gallant "Onion Farmer" would call it a career after losing World Middleweight Title challenge to Paul Pender in his final fight April 1961.

Retiring with a career record of 56-16-7, 27Ko's the 1957 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year and a participant of the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year, five straight years, the beloved "Onion Farmer" remaining in Canastota spent twenty years working as the physical education instructor at LeMoyne College in Syracuse and working in public relations for the Genesee Brewery Company in Rochester, New York.

During the height of his career, Basilio, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated three times, making TV appearances on the Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen and Mike Wallace shows and answering a summons in 1960 appeared before a Senate subcommittee investigating boxing.

Touching Basilio's heart, his nephew Billy Backus, also from Canastota claimed the WBA and WBC World Welterweight titles December 1970  a feat Basilio praised saying that to him, Billy winning the title was better than when he won it himself.

Inducted into The Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1969, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, 1982, the International Boxing Hall of Fame in his hometown of Canastota, 1990 and finally the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 "The Upstate Onion Farmer" one of boxing's most revered action fighters, died at the age of 85 due to complications from pneumonia two years ago today (November, 7th 2012) leaving behind his wife, Josie, and four children.

Describing his first world champion, 1994 Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee affectionately declared “He just kept coming.”

Joseph, William, Frazier, born January 12, 1944 in Beaufort, South Carolina, the last of eleven children to sharecroppers Rubin and Dolly Frazier.

Growing up on a farm in the early '50s, Frazier's father bought a black and white television and running an early century "Pay Per View" club invited family and others to watch big boxing matches like Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Willie Pep and Rocky Graziano sparking Joe's love for fighting.

"Joe" even as a young boy showed his propensity for the rough stuff, working his own juvenile protection racket escorting friends to school for some change or a sandwich.

After working on the farm and injuring his left arm in an incident with a 300lb hog, Joe at age fifteen moved to New York, where he was officially introduced to boxing after going to the gym to get in shape.

A short time later moving to Philadelphia with his older brother Tommy, Joe under the direction of Yancey Durham, quickly developed into an accomplished amateur boxer, wining Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championships in 1962, 1963 and 1964 culminating with Gold Medal victory at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo while only losing one bout, (Buster Mathis) a fight he would avenge years later as a pro.

Returning to Philly, Frazier turned pro in 1965 running off four straight KO wins before suffering an injury in training leaving him legally blind in his left eye. Joe would not allow the injury to deter him learning to pass his eye exams with an old magicians move, switching hands, not eyes, only reading the chart with his right eye.

Resuming action with the addition of Eddie Futch as an assistant to Durham, Joe would see things well enough, winning his next seven bouts all coming by way of knockout before settling for a split decision win over one of boxing roughest characters, Oscar Bonavena. Continuing to surge Joe closed out 66 with a tenth round stoppage of the more than capable veteran Eddie Machen.

It was after the addition of Futch, that the young Frazier would adopt and refine his now infamous bob and weave defensive style, making him more difficult to hit adding more power to his punches, in particular his left hook.

Skipping the 1967 WBA Heavyweight Elimination Tournament set to find a successor to Muhammad Ali, (stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted into the military) Frazier won his next six, five coming inside the distance, including a forth round stoppage of iron chinned Canadian, George Chuvalo.

March 4th 1968 Joe would avenge his only boxing defeat claiming the vacant NYSAC World Heavyweight title scoring an 11th round TKO of previously unbeaten Buster Mathis.

Making four successful defenses of his new title, including a repeat win over Oscar Bonavena and a 7th round stoppage of Jerry Quarry June 69, Joe would add the vacant WBC and WBA World Heavyweight title February 1970 with a 4th round retirement of Jimmy Ellis.

Defending his new WBC and WBA titles Joe would stop future Hall of Famer Bob Foster in four, setting up what many, even until today call "Fight of the Century" (first used to describe James Jefferies vs Jack Johnson 1910) Ali / Frazier I.

Ali / Frazier I: With both fighters unbeaten, Frazier now 26-0 and Ali at 31-0 returning from his ban scoring KO wins over Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena both guaranteed $2.5 million dollars, the largest single payday for any fight to date added to the already circus like atmosphere, drawing countless celebrities like artist LeRoy Neiman, Norman Mailer, Woody Allen and Frank Sinatra, who took photographs for Life magazine.

The fight itself would exceeded the promotional hype with Ali controlling the early action with his long snapping jab and the relentless bobbing and weaving Frazier tightening the fight in the middle rounds backing Ali to the ropes for thunderous left hooks, finally cementing the tide change sending Ali to the canvas with a monster left hook in the 15th and final round to win a 15 round unanimous decision voted The Ring Magazines 1971 Fight of the Year.

After TKO title defense wins Terry Daniels and Ron Stander Frazier floored three times in each of the first and second rounds by George Foreman would suffer his first defeat in the 1973 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.

Frazier would finish 73 in July winning a twelve round unanimous decision over the UK's 6'4" Joe Bugner setting up a long awaited return fight with Ali.

Responsible for the moniker "Smokin Joe" coming his locker room pre-fight prodding "Go out there, goddammit, and make smoke come from those gloves" Yancy Durham passed August 30, 1973 leaving Futch the coach to another Ali arch enemy Ken Norton as Joe's head trainer.

In 74, Ali ranked #1 and Frazier #2 the second meeting was seen by many as a revenge fight with Ali looking to avenge his loss and Joe looking for a second shot at now World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman.

The circus atmosphere from the first fight would take a dramatic turn this time after an ABC interview in which Ali called Joe "ignorant" infuriating  the Philly fighter who stood up and confronting Ali leading to a wresting match and a fine for both.
Ali and Frazier's relationship would become very contentious with Frazier openly disgusted with Ali's arrogant manner and insults especially after Ali called Joe an "Uncle Tom".

The fight would move on as entertaining as the first meeting until a referee Tony Perez miss step getting between the two combatants after Ali had rocked Joe with a big right seconds before the close of round two.

Ali would return to his circling, jab and combination punching leaving Frazier bobbing and weaving looking for another big left hook, that would never come leaving Ali the 6-5, 7-4, 8-4 winner and NABF Heavyweight Champion with a shot at Foreman a fight Ali would win knocking Foreman out in eight rounds in the historical "Rumble in the Jungle" nine months later.

Frazier regrouping with rematch knockout wins over Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis moved to a rubber match with Ali in 75 in a fight, Ali billed "The Thrilla in Manila."

The bout often ranked as one of the greatest and most brutal fights of all-time saw Ali circling and jabbing his way to an early lead and Frazier finding his bobbing and weaving rhythm in the middle rounds working Ali's body with thunderous shots from both sides.

In round ten with Frazier tiring, Ali swing the fight back in the "championship rounds" dancing and shooting sharp combinations leaving Frazier swollen and masked, defenseless to Ali rights one of which sent Frazier's mouthpiece flying out of the ring in round thirteen.

In the 14th round, almost totally blind now Frazier was viciously punished convincing trainer Eddie Futch to stop the fight at the close of the round against Frazier's emotional pleas to continue. Ali, announced the winner stood and raised his arm in victory only to show the toll of his battle collapsing to the canvas the victor of Ring Magazine's 1975 Fight of the Year.

After a brief rest / retirement Joe would get his rematch with Foreman. Despite changing his appearance shaving his head hours before the fight and his style in the ring (attempting to box) the result would be the same with Joe hitting the canvas twice in round five again forcing Futch to stop the fight, this time seconds before the close of round five.

After a 1981 majority draw comeback attempt with Floyd "Jumbo" Cummings, Frazier compiling a record of 32-4-1, 27Ko's retired for good. Joe making some TV and movie cameo appearances turned to training his sons Marvis, Joe Frazier Jr. (aka Hector Frazier), his daughter Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, and nephew Rodney Frazier along with many others at the "Joe Frazier Gym" in Philadelphia (formerly the Cloverlay Gym, bought by Joe in 1973).

Joe, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, published his autobiography, "Smokin" Joe in 1996 hitting main stream media again in 2007 with the release of a action figure as part of a range of toys based on the Rocky film, then dabbling in his love for music releasing his version of "Mustang Sally" in 2009.

Shortly after publically declaring that he no longer held hard feelings for Ali, Joe hospitalized in September 2011 passed November 7th that year at the age of 67 from liver cancer. Ali was among a large group of  luminaries attending the private funeral services.

Born the son of Irish immigrants Mary Lydon and John Tunney, James affectionately becoming known as "Gene" because his baby sister had trouble pronouncing his name grew up on the mean streets of New York finding his way to the Greenwich Village Athletic Club where he would feverishly take up boxing.

Tunney, quitting school as a teenager to help support his family taking on the job as a clerk for the Ocean Steamship Company, officially turned pro in 1915, at age 18 as a middleweight stopping Bobby Dawson, in eight rounds.

Tunney a dedicated student of the game would find early success going undefeated in his first eleven before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps on 1918 where he won the U.S. Expeditionary Forces Championship. With the end of World War I in 1919 Tunney awarded the Good Conduct Medal and Honorably Discharged two years later.

Running his record to 29-0-1, Tunney appearing on the undercard of the highly anticipated 1921 heavyweight championship match between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier scored a seventh round TKO of  Soldier Jones.

Scoring six more wins Tunney made the most of his first title shot winning a twelve round unanimous decision over Hall of Famer, Battling Levinsky a veteran of over 200 fights, January 13th, 1922.

Scoring four more wins in four months, (three Ko's and a newspaper decision) Tunney would suffer his first and only loss May 23rd 1922 dropping a 15 round decision loss to "The Pittsburgh Windmill" Harry Greb.

Rebounding with three more wins "The Fighting Marine" battling his third Hall of Famer would drop the "Philly Phantom" Tommy Loughran, with a big right hand but would be forced to settle for a eight round newspaper draw.

Five more wins would follow leading to a return match with Greb this time the scientific Tunney would out box "The Pittsburgh Windmill" winning a 15 round split decision regaining the American Light Heavyweight Title.

22 more wins including three more wins over Greb, a 15th round TKO of Georges Carpentier, a 12th round Ko of Tommy Gibbons, "The Fighting Marine would get a shot at the "The Manassa Mauler" the reigning National Boxing Association World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey, September 1926 at Sesquicentennial Stadium, Philadelphia, a fight Tunney would dominate winning a 10 round unanimous decision in a fight named the "Upset of the Decade" by The Ring Magazine.

A year later, almost to the day Tunney would meet Dempsey again, this time at Soldiers Field in Chicago in the first championship fight where a fighter scoring a knockdown was required to go to the neutral corner.

The disciplined Tunney with his expert technical skills and extraordinary conditioning would circle Dempsey keeping him out of range with an accurate jab taking an indisputable lead until the seventh round when "The Manassa Mauler" landing one of his patented left hooks pummeled Tunney to the canvas where in his usual stalking manner stood over Tunney starring down forcing referee Dave Barry to enforce the new rule, delaying the count allowing Tunney to smartly remain seated waiting on the count eventually getting up at the count of nine and finish the round.

In round eight the sharp punching Tunney taking advantage of Dempsey's aggression dropped him to a knee with a short right then returning to his skill set, boxed his way to a ten round unanimous decision.

While some believe that if Dempsey had responded to the new rule immediately he would have likely regained the world heavyweight crown with a seventh round knockout. But that can only be speculation as Tunney the consummate fighter did what ever cornerman or trainer would want their charge to do stay calm, regroup and return to what was working, leaving the now infamous "Long Count" to be debated until this day.

Both would have one more fight. Tunney, July 1928 defending his title with an 11th round TKO of Tom Heeney and years later, in a fight billed as an exhibition, the "Manassa Mauler" stopped KO Christner in five, February 1932.

Tunney would marry wealthy socialite, Mary "Polly" Lauder and in keeping a promise to his new father in law would never return to the ring. Living in Stamford, Connecticut the Tunney's would raise four children with Gene working in business as a director of several companies and investing in real estate making millions while dabbling in a short acting career and starring a in a movie called, you guessed it "The Fighting Marine."

Elected as Ring Magazine's first ever "Fighter of the Year" in 1928, Tunney retired with a record of  65-1-1, 48Ko's being elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1980, the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Tunney would pass at the age of eighty one, 36 years ago today (November 7th, 1978) at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut from complications from a circulation ailment.

March 2011, the Tunney family donated much of Tunney's boxing memorabilia, including the gloves worn during the infamous "Long Count" fight to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

When you consider a individual date and it's singular importance most times there are no yearly ties. Whether its fate or circumstance November 7th while many years apart took a toll on boxing's taking three of it's best. While there are some similarities between Tunney and Basilio with both volunteering for service in the Marine Corp during war time, there was a far bigger contrast in their styles. Oh, sure Frazier and Basilio both came from farming families and had similar aggressive fighting styles, but their amateur backgrounds couldn't have been more different.

Besides all three being world champions, having battling numerous Hall of Famers they had more in common. They were dedicated to their trade, giving their all while fighting the best, never allowing themselves to forget the fan who of course allowed them to do what they loved.

While I never got to meet Tunney I did have the pleasure to sit with Carmen and Joe at the New York Golden Gloves. Both were very pleasant and good humored with Joe warding off security allowing me and my son to sit with him and Carmen who like a mischievous young boy engaged my son in some playful slap boxing.

As boxing fans we all should review its history and remember some of the greats that made this great sport like "The Fighting Marine", The Upstate Onion Farmer" and "Smokin" Joe for their influence in and out of the ring.

 

 

 

 

Remembering Harry Greb, One of Boxing's Greats Called Way Too Soon!
By: Coach K - October 22, 2016


October 22, 2016 -  As the turmoil in today's boxing continues, with the who's ducking who match making and title fights being held up in court, I can't help but reflect back to a better time in boxing history, when ninety years ago today, we lost one of boxing's most indefinably fearless and almost unstoppable greats, Harry Greb.

Born Edward, Henry, Greb June 6th, 1894 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to a German immigrants Pius and Annie Greb. Edward later to go by Harry, raised in a blue collar household, quickly developing a love for boxing
as a little boy standing on a soap box in the basement of his house taking a fighting stance would declare himself the world champion. His growing love and aptitude for fighting becoming more and more apparent as he got older Greb would use his natural speed and quickness to stand up to local bullies.

Never one for books, Greb with just a grade school education his true love was boxing, something his father never approved. Wanting his son to take his athletic prowess to baseball Harry's affliction to boxing would lead to numerous arguments eventually boiling over and his father telling him "You’ll not be a boxer and live in this house" leading harry to pack up his minimal belongings leave his home in 1910.

Finding work as an electrician apprentice and staying in the gym participating in local boxing matches and tournaments Harry would begin his whirlwind boxing career at age nineteen, facing the best opposition in the talent-laden 1910s and 20s averaging over 20 fights a year for 13 years.

Making his pro debut as a welterweight May 29th, 1913 winning a six round newspaper decision over Frank Kirkwood at Exposition Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Greb would suffer his first defeat October 11th in his fourth bout losing a six round newspaper decision to veteran Hooks Evans.

Setting an early pattern battling unbeaten Mike Milko to a draw two weeks later, Greb would out point Milko in an immediate rematch only to suffer his second defeat a second round KO loss to New Castle, Pennsylvania's, power punching Joe Chip, November 29th.

In a current day comparison to boxing's self proclaimed "Best Ever" Floyd Mayweather Jr's forty nine wins in nineteen years, Greb possessing speed, rivaling Roy Jones, the stamina of Henry Armstrong and durability of Kid Gavilan, mirroring the uninhibited ferocity of "The Michigan Assassin" Stanley Ketchel, gaining the moniker "The Pittsburgh Windmill" Greb never avoiding anyone fighting a record THIRTY SEVEN times in 1917, the same year he married his childhood sweetheart, Mildred Riley, lost only twice to future Hall of Famer Mike Gibbons and Soldier Bartfield.

The quick, mobile, combative and destructive, Greb rivaling fellow Pittsburgher Fritzie Zivic as a master of the sports skullduggery having his style most accurately described by boxing writer W.O. McGeehan as "The Manly Art of Murder" would go unbeaten in his next seventy four bouts before dropping a ten round decision to future Hall of Famer Tommy Gibbons, May 15th 1920.

It would be twenty nine more bouts without a loss later that Greb is believed to have suffered a detached retina
winning a ten round decision Kid Norfolk August 29th 1921.

Included in his next nineteen straight victories, repeat wins over Tommy Gibbons and Tommy Loughran would take a back shelf May 23rd, 1922 when Greb lacking Ketchel's one punch KO power, described by a newspaper writer as a "fighting terrorist" viciously took possession of the American Light Heavyweight title with a brutal fifteen found beating of "Fighting Marine" Gene Tunney.

Closing out 1922 squeezing a 4th round stoppage of  Larry Williams between ten and twelve round poundings
of Bob Roper it would be in his first bout of 1923 a "thumbing" trifecta fight with Roper culminating in some post fight fisticuffs and Roper needing a protective police escort to the locker room that Greb reportedly would lose the sight in his right eye.

Hiding his blindness going 6-1 in his next seven bouts, including two more wins over Tommy Loughran and a rematch split decision loss to Tunney, as busy in life as he was in the ring, Greb no stranger to drink or the women who surround it would never take his eyes off the middleweight title.

Unable to get a match with Middleweight Champion Johnny Wilson it is reported that Greb pulled off one of the all time masterful hustles to get the fight. After Wilson's manager Marty Killelea refused to make the fight Greb took his dipsomaniac reputation to a few Pittsburgh and New York speakeasy's reportedly paying some workers to serve him water in darkened glasses, then faking his intoxication in a dramatic display until Killelea, witnessing one such exhibit assuming Greb was prime for the taking, agreed to make the fight. It would come August 31st, 1923 at the Polo Grounds, in New York that Greb would relieve Wilson of the World Middleweight title winning a Pittsburgh styled blue collar fifteen round unanimous decision.

On December 3rd, 1923, four wins and a ten round, points return loss to Loughran, Greb fighting in front of a hometown crowd at the Motor Square Garden, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, would become the first middleweight to regain the World Middleweight title winning a ten round post to post battering of Columbus, Ohio's, Bryan Downey.

Continuing to fight never using his vision as a crutch or an excuse, Greb dropping a fifteen round decision to Tunney in meeting number three and scoring repeat wins over Loughran and Wilson, "The Pittsburgh Windmill" would suffer a controversial DQ loss to Kid Norfolk April 19th, 1924. It would come in the sixth round when after an intentional Norfolk headbutt and low blows the referee mistakenly disqualified Greb for his retaliation.

Five more victories and a ten round unanimous decision over future hall of Famer Tiger Flowers, finishing 36 wins, 3 losses (Tunney, Flowers twice) -2 draws (Tunney - Loughran) in his last forty one fights, Greb retiring August, 19th 1926 after losing the second of two controversial World Middleweight Title split decision losses to Tiger Flowers, a clear contrast to today's boxing mind set and TMZ fans greatest boxer Floyd Mayweather's safe selection of Andre Berto for his forty ninth historically significant fight.

With his heart and will to win Greb who would walk through a mine field to deliver his high dosage of punishment, fighting many bouts versus much bigger fighters sometimes giving away as much as 50lbs was stopped only twice in nearly 300 bouts.

The first would come early in his seventh bout November 29th, 1913 when a 142lb Greb facing a 156lb fellow Pennsylvanian Joe Chip was stopped with a right hook to the jaw in the second round. The second would come two years later, December 16th, 1915 versus Kid Graves. Greb injuring his left arm, later X-rayed and diagnosed as a fractured radius in round one leaving the "Pittsburgh Windmill" shut down, Greb would succumb to the pain unable to continue and answer the bell for round three.

Boxing's first two time world middleweight champion Greb's record second to none includes burying some of era's top opposition under a squall of multi angle punches like boxing legends Soldier Bartfield, Jack Blackburn, Al McCoy, Jeff Smith, Mike McTigue, Gunboat Smith, Bill Brennan, Leo Houck, Jimmy Delaney, Jimmy Slattery, Willie KO Brennan and Willie Meehan. Always wanting to face the best Greb challenged the best of his day facing sixteen Hall of Famers, recording wins over the likes of Mike Gibbons, Tommy Gibbons, Battling Levinsky, Billy Miske, Maxie Rosenbloom, Tommy Loughran, Mickey Walker and Gene Tunney.

Strange enough, Greb wearing similar personalities as Jack Dempsey and holding the only win over Dempsey rival Gene Tunney after manhandling "The Manassa Mauler" in their famous sparring 1921 sessions, despite fighting several common opponents "The Pittsburgh Windmill" was never able draw out the heavyweight champion. Dempsey would later called Greb the fastest fighter he ever saw.

Having his right eye removed and replaced with a glass prosthesis, Greb after putting down Ted "Kid" Lewis in a exhibition, January 22nd, 1925, planning to open a gym in his hometown of Pittsburgh, suffering facial injuries in a serious car accident like "The Michigan Assassin" Ketchel (shot to death at age 24) Greb died way to soon passing away October 22nd at the age of 32, from heart failure due to complications while undergoing eye and nasal surgery at a clinic in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Life being stranger than fiction, one year later boxing would suffer another great loss when November 16th, 1927 "The Georgia Deacon" Tiger Flowers, Greb's last opponent trying to obtain a rematch with Mickey Walker would pass from complications during surgery to remove scar tissue from around his eyes.

Buried at Calvary Cemetery in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the face of their intense five fight rivalry Gene Tunney, a Greb antagonist having so much admiration for the "Pittsburgh Windmill" describing him as "The Phantom" for his cunning ring presence was a pallbearer at Greb’s funeral.

Greb, 107-8-3, 1NC 48Ko's 155-9-15 in newspaper decisions named the 7th greatest fighter of the past 80 years by the Ring Magazine, the 5th greatest fighter of all-time by historian Bert Sugar and ranked as the #1 middleweight and the #2 pound-for-pound fighter of all-time by the International Boxing Research Organization was elected to the inaugural class of International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

In today wrestling styled, zero protecting, safety first fight selection, there is no question it would only be Bernard Hopkins and "GGG" Gennady Golovin that take the challenge and step up in to the boxing windstorm known as "The Pittsburgh Windmill".

 

 

 

 

Remembering "The Michigan Assassin" Stanley Ketchel!
By: Coach K - October 15, 2016


One hundred and six years ago today, one of the real "characters" of boxing, Stanley Ketchel passed. Born, Stanislaus Kiecal, September 14th, 1886 to Polish immigrants Tomasz and Julia Kiecal, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Stanley, grew up to be a fearless man whose personality was perfectly reflected by his in-the-ring savagery and dramatic life gaining the moniker "The Michigan Assassin" becoming the first two-time middleweight champ of the gloved era.

A rough, tough brawler even as a youth, skipping school and running with a local gang, engaging in more than his share of fisticuffs Ketchel ran away at age 12, walking and riding the rails ending up in Butte, Montana.

At about age sixteen in Montana, working at a local hotel as a bell hop and later a bouncer, Ketchel joining in some backroom hotel boxing matches with older locals and transients for about twenty dollars a week the young pugilist soon began traveling throughout the state taking on any and all challengers.

Making his pro debut May 2nd, 1903 knocking out Kid Tracy in one round, only to lose his second fight a six round decision to Maurice Thompson, fighting 38 more times in Montana losing a rematch decision to Thompson, drawing with him in a third bout after knocking out 14 opponents in a row during an eight-month period in 1905, Ketchel 34-2-3, with one no contest  and 34Knockouts moved to California for more exposure in 1907.

Fighting six times that year recording three straight KO's wins, battling then recognized World Middleweight Champion, Joe Thomas to a draw "The Michigan Assassin" Ketchel would stop Thomas in round thirty two of the rematch, claiming the World Middleweight title December 12th, 1907 in the rubber match outpointing Thomas to close the year.

Continuing to fight against an increasing quality of opposition, Ketchel started 1908 with KO title defense wins over Boston "Twins" Mike and Jack Sullivan, retaining his title winning a ten round unanimous decision June 4th, 1908 in his first battle with "The Illinois Thunderbolt" Billy Papke who he would develop a nasty rivalry.

Recording two more title defenses with KO wins over Hugo Kelly and Joe Thomas, Ketchel would lose his title in the legendary "sucker punch" rematch bout with Billy Papke. Papke, rumored to have punched Ketchel in the face during the pre fight introductions went onto stop "The Michigan Assassin" in the 12th round of the scheduled 25 round championship fight. Two months later, November 26th, 1908, in their third meeting Ketchel would becoming the first two-time middleweight champ of the gloved era regaining the title with a rubber match 11th round knockout of Papke.

Starting 1909, March 26th, robbed of a KO win due to a NY rule the fighter can be saved by the bell, Ketchel was forced to settle for a ten round newspaper decision after flooring reigning Light Heavyweight Champion and future Hall of Famer "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien three times in the final round, the third time interrupted at the count of four by the final bell.

"The Michigan Assassin" adding wins over Hugh McGann and Tony Caponi would leave no doubt in the rematch stopping O'Brien in three rounds in his hometown, June 9th just seven days after the Caponi fight.

July 5th Ketchel would secure the Papke rivalry with a solid twenty round unanimous decision win before stepping up to challenge for the world heavyweight title in October.

In what many called a modern-day "David vs Goliath" at 5'9" Ketchel would take on the 6'1" "Galveston Giant" Jack Johnson, a 10 to 4 favorite to win and even money to stop Ketchel in less than 15 rounds, October 16th, 1909.

The fight scheduled for 20 against Ketchel's request of a 45 round limit, we would see "The Michigan Assassin"
giving away over nearly 40lbs still the aggressor fighting off his back leg.

Pushing the action, Ketchel would see his most of his aggression fall ineffective, thwarted by Johnson's superior reach and some timely grappling. Going down in the round two compliments of a Johnson long right with "The Michigan Assassin" would never give quarter staying on the attack pushing the fight.

The bloodied antagonist Ketchel never relenting to the champion's thumping jab or powerful rights, he stayed on the attack going into the second half of the fight until swinging from the hip in round twelve sending the surprised champion spinning to the canvas with a looping right hand to the back of the head. Following an abbreviated count, the awakened and infuriated Johnson immediately retaliated charging and dropping a non retreating Ketchel cold with a "Giant" sized, teeth embedding right, ending Ketchel's bid about thirty seconds into round twelve.

Motivated by his lack of fear and his knockdown of Johnson, Ketchel in search of a rematch returned to action with a March 23rd, 1910 draw with East Pittsburgh's Frank Klaus, then losing a six round back and forth, nobody down newspaper decision to Boston, future Hall of Famer, Sam "Tar Baby" Langford just a month later.

Ketchel rumored to imagine his opponent had insulting his mother putting him in a furious rage before each of his fights, was revered for his ferocity and his courage taking on all comers, even heavyweights sometimes outweighing him by more than 40 pounds.

Still in search of a Johnson rematch, finishing 2010 on a three bout KO win streak, it would be on October 15th, while eating breakfast training at family friend Col. R.P. Dickinson's Two Bar Ranch in Conway, Missouri, a 24 year old Ketchel was shot in the chest with a shotgun and killed by a jealous ranch hand and Navy deserter Walter Dipley for his alleged attention of the hired helps girlfriend Goldie Smith.

Both Dipley and Smith were arrested for the murder and tried in Marshfield early in 1911 with robbery being the named motive. Found guilty, both Dipley and Smith appealed their convictions, Smith's having hers overturned by the state supreme court and she released after serving about 17 months, while Dipley's conviction was upheld until he was paroled after serving nearly twenty five years.
 
Ketchel was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery at Grand Rapids, Michigan in the most attended funeral in the state history until the that of Ford family decades later. The neighborhood on Grand Rapids' west side was later named in Ketchel's honor.

"The Michigan Assassin", like Jack Dempsey, always appearing to want to kill his opponent, also known as the "Michigan Marvel" and the inventor of the "triple shift", stance changing lead punch was named to the inaugural class of inductees into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Ketchel, having boxed 500 rounds, no ducking, taking on all challengers, compiling a record of 51-4-4, 48Ko's with a KO ratio of 75%, ranked by The Ring Magazine in 2004 as the eighth greatest middleweight of all time, sixth on its list of all time 100 Best Punchers and the subject of numerous books including "The Killings of Stanley Ketchel," a novel by James Carlos Blake, "The Light of the World" by Ernest Hemingway, "A Life of Triumph and Prophecy," by Manuel A. Mora. "Biography The Michigan Assassin: The Saga of Stanley Ketchel," by RING Magazine Editor Nat Fleischer and his passing at the young age of 24 it stretches the mind wondering what else he could have accomplished planting "The Michigan Assassin" securely in this writers "Top 25 Fighters of All Time."

 

 

 

 

Looking Into Boxing's Shadows and Finding Saddler!
By: Coach K - September 19, 2016

 

Every morning I am pleased to join some of the most enthusiastic boxing fans listening to the Billy C Morning Show and entering the shows chat room daily, I am amazed at some of the comments of today's TMZ styled boxing fans. Many who refuse to take a look at the glorious history of our sport. It is their stance and the daily clashing of the intuitive insights of Billy C, his popular "Blast from the Past" by Alex Alex Pierpaoli and personal perspective former pro fighter "Rocky" Sal Cenicola's that once again has inspired me to take another glance back at one of the sports most freakish fighters featherweight Sandy Saddler who sadly passed away 15 years ago.

Born, Joseph Saddler the son of West Indian immigrants, June 23rd 1926 in Boston, Massachusetts later moving and being raised in Harlem, New York, the wiry seventeen year old, five foot eight, one half inch tall, 70 inch reaching "Skeletal Man" taking on the nickname "Sandy" after nearly 50 amateur bouts would begin to make his mark on the game, turning pro March 7th, 1944 scoring a eight round unanimous decision over 39 fight veteran, Earl Roys.

Returning to the Hartford Auditorium in Connecticut for his second professional fight "Sandy" would have his constitution tested early on when he was stopped in three rounds by Jock Leslie responding just seven days later returning with a second round knockout of Al King to begin a six bout winning streak until dropping a six round decision to Lou Alter, June 15th 1944 at the Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York.

Then, July 11th after a four round draw in a return fight with Alter on the undercard of the Ike Williams vs Cleo Shans at Madison Square Garden, Saddler would begin a 37 bout victory run finally coming to and end February 18th, 1946 losing a hard fought eight round unanimous decision to Bobby McQuillar at Arena Gardens, in Detroit, Michigan.

Never inactive long, "Sandy" adding five more wins, including a ten round decision loss to future World Boxing Hall of Famer Phil Terranova the convoluted medley of sharpened elbows and fists would go 36-3-1 in his next forty bouts finally gaining a title shot October 29th, 1948 at Madison Square Garden where he would floor the Rocky Hill, Connecticut, Garden favorite, Willie "The Wisp" Pep (134-1-1) three times, twice in the third round and once in the fourth for a full count to claim the World Featherweight title.

It would be five more victories in four months until the turbulent, Saddler would lose his title dropping a 15 round unanimous decision to Pep in a return match at Madison Square Garden, February 11th, 1949.
 
Banging, pawing and scrapping his way to 23 more victories, including triumphs over Paddy DeMarco and a vacant World Jr. Lightweight Title win over Orlando Zulueta, the rough disorderly and unrestrained Saddler would face his rival Pep in the rubber match September 8th, 1950 at Yankee Stadium, reclaiming the World Featherweight title when "Willie the Wisp" was unable to answer the bell for round eight suffering a separated shoulder near the close of round seven.

Three and one in his next four, the free swinging, praying mantis dropping a ten round unanimous decision to unbeaten Del Flanagan (44-0-1) would claim the World Jr. Lightweight Title with a riot causing two rounds stoppage of Diego Sosa, February 28th, 1951 in Havana, Cuba.

Then with seven of his next eight wins coming by way of knockout, Saddler despite suffering his eighth loss in 137 fights, a hard fought split decision rematch with Paddy DeMarco, August 27th, 1951 at Milwaukee, Arena in Wisconsin, the boxing public was ready for a fourth fight with his rival Pep.

September 26th, again rising to the occasion, in the most brutal of the four fights, both fighters would have licenses suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission, Saddler would again stop the popular Pep this time dropping and cutting up "Willie the Wisp" with driving left hooks in round two and Saddler being declared the victor of the foul filled event when Pep unable to see was forced to withdraw at the end of the ninth round giving the agile, "Skeletal" puncher a technical knockout win.

Hitting a three bout skid beginning with a rubber match split decision loss to Paddy DeMarco, December 7th 1951, Saddler would right the ship with a KO wins over Tommy Collins on St. Paddy's Day 1952 at Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts.

Having previously served ten months in the navy right out of high school in 44, Saddler called me back into the Army in 52 serving a two year stint in Korea with the Army's First "Big Red" Division returned to the ring in 54.

The title having been frozen during the war, Saddler returning four pounds heavier than before being drafted in an interview after promising to remain in the featherweight division, asked "How much do you think this stint in the Army has hurt you", the patriotic pugilist slowly replied "When I think of the breaks America has given me, from a poor kid, to a world's champion, I can see no way to put it down in money. I'm proud of this hitch in the Army," something today's self serving, TMZ 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick has obviously never having heard, read or even dreamed doesn't understand.

Always in the gym, a true tradesman, Saddler went right back to work scoring KO wins over Bill Bossio, Charlie Slaughter and Augie Salazar, suffering his thirteenth loss, a ten round split decision to Algerian veteran Hoacine Khalfi, May 15th, 1954 in another visit to St. Nicholas Arena, in New York.

Eight victories later, including a February 25th, 1955, World Featherweight Title win over Teddy Davis, at Madison Square Garden, Saddler would lose number fourteen dropping a ten round unanimous decision to Joey Lopes at Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, California.

Never to be held down the driven Saddler would quickly snap back again July 7th, 1955, recording a 6th round TKO stoppage of Shigeji Kaneko at Korakuen Baseball Stadium, in Tokyo, Japan.

It would be just two weeks later July 20th, Saddler would lose his first meeting with Philippines future International Hall of Famer, Flash Elorde only to squeeze in a year ending sixth round TKO of Dave Gallardo before scoring a rematch thirteenth round TKO World Featherweight Title win over Elorde, January 18th 1956.

Scoring a third round TKO of George Monroe a month later Saddler would be forced to go out on a ten round unanimous decision loss to Larry Boardman, April 14th, 1956 when the 30 year old reigning World Featherweight Champion sustaining a serious eye injury in a car accident while riding in a taxi in NYC would be forced to retire in early 1957.

Saddler, despite retiring with a record of 144 wins against 16 losses and two draws, only stopped once in 162 bouts and 103 of those wins coming by way of knockout, it would be the disregard of his graceful ring generalship and bilateral slugging power by many boxing pundits allowing his rough and ready tactics to over shadow his large volume of brilliant work keeping him in the shadow of "Willie the Wisp."

Remaining friends, the retired former world champion occasionally boxed Pep in large fan drawing exhibitions. Saddler, employed as the physical director at the National Maritime Union Gym in NYC where trained many pro fighters, would later join his cousin Dick Sadler, (that's right just one d) working with former heavyweight champion George Foreman in the 1970s.
 
"Sandy" the uncle to Bajan-born American hip hop recording artist, DJ Joseph Saddler, "Grandmaster Flash" battling numerous serious health problems just like his rival Pep, died from Alzheimer's complications September 18th, 2001 at the age of 75 at the Schervier Nursing Care Center in the Bronx.

It's the Saddler's and Pep's from which today's TMZ stars discover, draw and adjust and build their talents and in this case not knowing history that hinders boxing 's entering of a "New Golden Era."

 

 

 

 

Golovkin Retains Title with 5th Round TKO of Brook!
By: Coach "K" - September 11, 2016


September 10th, O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, UK: Heading a Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing, Tom Loeffler, K2 Promotions card LA based Kazakhstani Gennady "GGG" Golovkin retained his WBC IBF and IBO World Middleweight titles scoring a fifth round TKO of Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK's former IBF Welterweight Champion Kell "Special One" Brook.

The 34 year old Golovkin appearing to want to end it early, relentlessly stalked Brook from the start. Pushing the fight Golovkin backing Brook to the ropes uncharacteristically loading up his shots caught his skilled challenger rocking and hurting the hometown fighter with a under and over double left hook noticeably damaging Brooks right eye.

In round two GGG continued to press the action but the talented Brit refusing to fold began to jab and confidently throw punches in combination taking advantage of GGG's out of frame sweeping punches landing clean uppercuts opening a small cut on the Kazakhstani fighters forehead.

Opening the third round GGG stayed on the hunt when a tangling of feet sent Brook to the canvas, rightly ruled a slip by referee Marlon Wright. Brook electing to stay close landed some clean touches only to see the champion answer and land a solid right. To the delight of the prejudiced hometown fans Brook began to move his hands in spurts but the challengers shots showing little effect or caught on the champions gloves were beginning to show they were no match for the champions brutal power.

In round four while continuing to paw his right eye Brook mistakenly moving away from his most successful punch the uppercut continued to throw combinations but most of the buzz was coming from the crowd as the heavier and more telling work was being done by the champion.

In the fifth round GGG appearing determined to get it over began dish out some brutal punishment ripping shots up and down prompting the game Brook to put on a decoy front calling for more. Offering little in return Brook now appearing hurt by the champions thudding shots backed to the corner and appearing in dire straights and primed for some severe punishment, to the surprise of the partisan crowd the "Special One's" long time trainer Dominic Ingle concerned for his charges future threw in the towel prompting referee Wright to call the action in round five.

While we have to commend Brook for his true championship valor climbing two weight divisions and risk his zero to face the unbeaten punching machine, in the end it was that risk and Brook's lack of fear to trade with the power punching champion that would ultimately be the cause of his fist defeat. Golovkin with his record breaking 23rd straight KO win moves to 36-0, 33Ko's while the previously unbeaten Brook claiming a broken eye socket after suffering his first defeat slips to 36-1, 25Ko's and likely to the 154lb division stating "I think I'm more suited at light middleweight."

While GGG chases a unification fight with unbeaten southpaw WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders boxing fans will probably have to hold their breath for a Canelo vs GGG showdown. Should Alvarez not slip and get past lightly touted WBO World Super Welterweight titlist Liam Smith next week we will probably have to wait for Golden Boy Canelo's promoter to marinate it a while longer and set the red headed Mexican up for a Cinco De Mayo fight with the now once beaten "Special One.

As a side note I found it refreshing to see those loyal British boxing fans despite the UK Brexit and all their problems they found it fit to stand for both national anthems lets see what happens at our opening day NFL games on the anniversary of 9/11.

 

 

 

 

Olympic Boxing, Pro Career Path and Boxing Legacy A Matter of Choice!
By: Coach "K" - August 22, 2016


This past Saturday, at the Olympic games in Rio was the first United States vs Cuba Olympic Gold Medal bout since Philadelphia light middleweight David "American Dream" Reid knocked out Cuban Alfredo Duvergel in the final round of the 1996 games in Atlanta. this time around, long over do for the US, Newark, New Jersey's highly touted bantamweight Shakur Stevenson was forced to settle for Silver Saturday losing a split decision to Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez.

The smaller but more experienced, 22 year old, Ramirez giving away a significant advantage in height and reach started and remained the aggressor from the opening sound to the final bell putting the 19 year old Stevenson in reverse and at times in the amateur and pro boxing forbidden zone on the ropes. Fighting in a much more pro style Ramirez staying behind a high guard, bobbed and weaved his way inside and around Stevenson's usually accurate jabs catching a surprised and possibly over confident Stevenson rapid combinations landing cleanly several times to take the opening frame.

In round two, the battle of southpaws would see Stevenson giving away his optimum jabbing range meet the quicker, tighter Ramirez in close allowing the aggressive Cuban to continue out work him.  The physically talented Newark prodigy would battle back late in the closing seconds scoring enough clean shots of his own including a couple of solid uppercuts enabling him to close and capture round two.

The fight even going into round three, saw Ramirez a Gold Medalist as a flyweight at the 2012 games in London display a profound sense of confidence and a superior workrate, out throwing and out landing Stevenson who having not fought in the semifinal round because his Russian opponent Vladimir Nikitin, was forced to withdraw because of injuries sustained in the quarter finals may have allowed the more experienced and determined Cuban to gain and maintain a razor's edge in the round and the fight for a well fought split decision win.

After being served his first loss in 26 international fights, an emotional Stevenson taking a Silver Medal, the best result for an American male boxer since Andre Ward won a Gold Medal in 2004, openly shaken fighter regrouped and remained positive while admitting that Ramirez had won the fight saying “Hopefully they will allow Cuba to go to the pros in America because I definitely want to fight him again, I promise it’s going to be a different story.’’

The fight fought and all the hullabaloo about Floyd Mayweather's scouting of the Olympics over the question remains where and what will Stevenson or for that fact Ramirezdo or go now. With the new political grounds open with Cuba and some conflicting responses from Stevenson about turning pro one has to wonder which path will the "potential" stars take? Will it be one a 1996 Featherweight Bronze Medal winner Floyd "Money" Mayweather or that of a 1992 Lightweight Gold Medalist Oscar "Golden Boy" De La Hoya.

With both De La Hoya and Mayweather coming off impressive amateur careers highlighted by medal wins and both turning pro right out of their respective Olympic games co-incidentally starting and divorcing their pro careers from the same original promoter (Bob Arum) it would be De La Hoya that would fight the tougher, more timely competition.

While the still "unbeaten" Mayweather is seen by many millennial TMZ modeled fans as a "Master of the Sweet Science" while simultaneously being described by many other pundits as a dodger and picker due one way pre-fight negotiations and safe opponent selection its there where the De La Hoya and Mayweather career paths diverge.

The contrast starts with their first pro fights. De La Hoya started his pro career stopping a then 5-1-1 Lamar Williams in one round while Mayweather began his pro run facing off against another debuting fighter Roberto Apodaca.

De La Hoya, compiling a record of  39-6, 30Ko's, winning eight world titles in six weight divisions battling the likes of Troy Dorsey, Jorge Paez, John John Molina, Rafael Ruelas, Jesse James Leija, Julio Cesar Chavez (twice), Miguel Angel Gonzalez (unbeaten 41-0), Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, Wilfredo Rivera, Ike Quartey, Oba Carr, Arturo Gatti, Javier Castillejo, Fernando Vargas, Yory Boy Campas, Felix Sturm (unbeaten 20-0), Ricardo Mayorga, Floyd himself (unbeaten 37-0) and Steve Forbes its the prime challenges of unbeatens, Giorgio Campanella (unbeaten 20-0), Genero Hernandez (unbeaten 30-0-1), Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley (twice) or moving up to fight Bernard Hopkins at middleweight and a long time Floyd avoided prime Manny Pacquiao that makes the "Golden Boy" stand out.

It would take De La Hoya 12 fights and just over 2 years against a combined opposition record of 182-53-18, including a win over Floyds uncle Jeff Mayweather to win his first title stopping unbeaten WBO Super Featherweight Champion Jimmi Bredahl (16-0) in ten rounds.

In comparison Mayweather fighting against an combined opposition record of 206-107-13 would win his first title in his eighteenth fight over about the same time but coming beating Genero Hernandez, a fighter De La Hoya had beaten three years earlier in his nineteenth fight. The key here though is Mayweather would not go on and face "The Golden Boy" until nine years later well past his prime.

It is that avoidance and careful selection of opponents taking on declining fighters and "retiring" in 2008 to avoid the talent laden hot and heavy action that exposes his true colors together with his surgically protective career modus operandi selection of Andre Berto for his Rocky Marciano record tying 49th opponent that secures the picking claim.

Sure the so called self proclaimed "Best Ever" Mayweather, 49-0, 26Ko's has made more money, but I'm not sure where that stands in the equation. It's when you consider Mayweather's total package including wins over Louie Leija (the cousin of De La Hoya opponent, World Champion Jesse James Leija, Genaro Hernandez who De La Hoya already beat three years earlier, a beaten Arturo Gatti who Mayweather would face after his 5th round TKO loss to De La Hoya and three wars with Mickey Ward at the same time avoiding a fading Julio Cesar Chavez who just beat Ivan Robinson who just defeated Gatti in back to back fights the wins over Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo (twice) just don't make the case.

Of course there is Carlos Baldomir and Zab Judah (after he lost to Baldomir), a well worn Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez (fought refusing to make his own negotiated catchweight) and the at least five years too late fights against Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao but when you add a fight against "Viscious" Victor ortiz (LOL) that the fan wanted fights avoided against say Ricardo Torres, Kendall Holt, Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz, David Diaz, Cory Spinks, Vernon Forrest, Ike Quartey, Verno Phillips, Sergio Gabriel Martinez, Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, Joshua Clottey, Oktay Urkal, Amir Khan Kostya Tszyu and the lack of a career defining fight that casts a huge shadow over "Moneys" zero.

While we currently are witnessing the shameful WWE styled matching of fighters today, highlighted by the sad case of WBC Light Heavyweight Champions Adonis Stevenson's ducking and dodging of WBA, IBF and WBO World Light Heavyweight Sergey Kovalev while blue collar, old school fighters up and coming fighters like Joe Smith Jr. taking their chances challenging themselves and fighting their way up the ladder are avoided and shelved you can't help but recall Mayweather's long time evasion of Manny Pacquiao who while being four years "Money May's" senior De La Hoya fought eight years earlier.

While I see plenty of talent in both young Olympic stars, Ramirez and Stevenson, the question is which styled path will best allow them to meet and test their full potential? Which road will they chose? Will it be Oscar's challenging "Golden One" or Mayweather's paid to play money making "Yellow Brick Road".

When it comes to young talented fighters like Ramirez, Stevenson and the futures of female Olympians Katie Taylor or Clarissa Shields of course it's their future and their choice. By all means I do understand its also about making money. That's understood, but with that comes a personal choice between a potentially more lucrative, no risk, high reward, protect the zero Mayweather path of facing high profile broken down or lower division climbing names or the personal and professional challenging path of a true tradesman like Oscar De La Hoya who combining the two constantly facing incrementally increasing progressive and challenging opposition, like the "Golden Boy" along with professional and self satisfaction you can earn your fair share of financial reward.

After examining both paths along side that of Manny Pacquiao's its not just who you fought, but when and where did they come from. That said, I believe when it comes to their records and competition comparison that boxing historians will place both Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao above the "money maker." Only time will tell, who which will search to fill their full potential or take the easy way out.

 

 

 

 

Remembering the "Old Master" Joe Gans!
By: Coach K - August 10, 2016

On this day 106 years ago, boxing great and former World Lightweight Champion Joe "Old Master" Gans died at the age of 35 in his life long hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.

Born Joseph Gant; November 25th, 1874 a young Gans found his way to boxing after competing and winning a "Battle Royal", (a fight involving three or more combatants until only one fighter remains standing) at the Monumental Theater in Baltimore turning to pro boxing shortly after at the tender age of 17 in a local no decision smoker October 23rd, 1893 at the Avon Club with fellow Baltimorean Buck Myers.

After Compiling a record of  81-5-13, 48Ko's 4ND, 1NC and losing a Colored Lightweight Title challenge of Bobby Dobbs September 27th 1897, Gans in his 105th bout would lose a World Lightweight Title challenge to Buffalo, New York's, Frank Erne, March 23rd, 1900 when after being severely cut by an accidental head-butt in the 12th round of the scheduled 25 rounder Gans asked to have the bout stopped.

Going 13-0-1 over the next nine months, it would be December 13th in a non title fight at Tattersall's, in Chicago, Illinois, the "Old Master" surprisingly down once in the 1st round and six times in the 2nd round allegedly "took a dive" suffering just his sixth loss in 120 fights a 2nd round KO loss to Brooklyn, World Featherweight Champion and future Hall of Famer Terry McGovern.

It would be two years, eighteen wins (three coming in one night July 15th, 1901) and one draw later, on May 12th, 1902 that Gans would claim his first title stopping Erne in one round to capture the World Lightweight title.

Following twenty one victories, two draws and six title defenses over George 'Elbows' McFadden, Rufe Turner, Kid McPartland, Charley Sieger, Gus Gardner and Steve Crosby Gans would suffer two point losses in non title fights in 1903 both coming to future Hall of Famers, first heavyweight champion Joe Louis's future trainer Jack Blackburn and Boston Tar Baby" Sam Langford, the Langford fight coming just one day after beating Dave Holly in a six round newspaper decision.

Quickly returning to his winning ways retaining his title with a ten round title defense win over Willie Fitzgerald at the Light Guard Armory, Detroit, Michigan January 12th, 1904, the skilled Baltimore fighter unbeaten in his next sixteen bouts including a fifteen round revenge win over Jack Blackburn and a 20 round draw with future Boston's future Hall of Famer Joe "The Barbados Demon" Walcott it wouldn't be until after a three bout 2-0-1 trek with Boston's previously unbeaten future Welterweight World Champion Mike Twin Sullivan, the first a draw  and the middle fight a title defense that Gans would lose his tenth bout, a six round non title newspaper decision to Willie Lewis, May 1906.
 
Gans more often than not having to deal with the politics of the color his skin as well as the strengths of his rivals banked another victory over Blackburn on June 29th adding a 20 round title defense win over Dave Holly on July 23rd, the "Old Master in the sports first "The Fight of the Century" September 3rd would retain his title with a DQ win over future Hall of Famer Battling Nelson. The champion Gans paid $11,000 to Nelson's $22,500 punished nearly blinding the challenger nelson putting him down several times until Nelson was disqualified for throwing and landing a heavy low blow in round 42 and the fight was stopped on the foul. It would be two years and eight wins later until Gans would suffer his next defeat dropping back to back title fights with Nelson, July and September 1908.

The "Old Master" would go out on a winning note putting Birmingham, West Midlands, UK's Jabez White down four times winning a newspaper decision, March 12th, 1909.

Gans investing in a jazz club and a hotel the "Old Master" would not get to enjoy the fruits of his labor for long contracting tuberculosis he would succumb to the deadly disease August 10th, 1910. Laid to rest at the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Baltimore Gans was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and his memorial at Mount Auburn was restored in 2005.

Widely credited for inventing the jab, Gans was a polished boxer-puncher with great speed, power, combination punching skill and a masterful defense but it was his "scientific" approach to fighting that made him special.

A student of his craft, Gans with his trademark version of the "Sweet Science" demonstrated the ability to turn defense into offense by limiting his defensive movement while avoiding punches allowing him to remain in prime punching position and respond in offense taking apart opponents with pinpoint accuracy a style earning the nickname "Old Master".

Gans killer instinct was best be described by former boxing manager and second, George Blake who recalled Gans telling him "If you happen to hit a man in a certain place and it hurts, that is the place to hit him again, you only have to hit him half as hard there as any other place to finish him."

Mistakenly known as the first African American World Champion the skilled fighting on the inside as well as at a distance the fundamentally flawless Gans, a potent puncher finishing a brilliant and inspiring career with a record of  145-10-16, 100Ko's and a 58.5% KO ratio is listed among The Ring magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time and is also considered by many boxing pundits as one of the greatest boxers of all time, pound-for-pound.

Fighting in the color segregated era Gans obvious natural boxing talent and superiority a "well known secret" conning white managers and promoters to allow their fighters to take Gans fights with the Baltimore fighter often forced to pull his punches and carry his opponents in later rounds. It would be by Gans own admission that rumors would come that he took a dive in at least two high profile fights.

Gans used as a character guide in Ernest Hemingway's short story "A Matter of Colour" not only set boxing standards but like Canadian born George “Little Chocolate” Dixon fighting out of Boston who became the real first black African American World Champion knocking out Cal McCarthy, March 31st 1890 through his life in and out of the ring gave African Americans much needed hope at a time of deep racial segregation and in a period of wide social unrest.

I can only hope some of todays fighters and future pugilist will discover Gans "Sweet Science" sending todays ducking, running and hiding, low risk safe way out to the back of the gym.

To check out the "Old Master" Joe Gans go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXjqO_lo4ak:

 

 

 

 

Frampton vs Santa Cruz Proves Risk Is Worth the Reward!
By: Coach K - August 1, 2016


Saturday night, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York Northern Ireland's IBF World Super Bantamweight Champion Carl "The Jackal" Frampton and Rosemead, California's Leo "El Terremoto" Santa Cruz did more for boxing in one night than what Floyd Mayweather did in forty nine fights. That is they excited it's grassroots fans with a all in, all out competitive and entertaining career defining fight. The question is what will the victor Frampton do now?

Saturdays title unifying battle of unbeaten super bantamweights described as a 50-50 fight by both participants, going off less the pre-fight Las Vegas circus styled nonsense of glove negotiations and PED allegations saw the two combatants, the skill tradesman they are demonstrate their mutual respect of each other and sport going right to work "The Jackal" relieving Santa Cruz of his WBC Championship strap with a incredibly hard fought and skillfully contested back and forth twelve round fight leaving all in attendance and watching LIVE on Showtime' Championship Boxing the need to see more quickly spurring suggestions of a rematch.

Frampton fighting intelligently with his version of the "sweet science" answered Santa Cruz pressure offense with a sharp angled, quick change, crafty defense, backed by space measuring, clean heavy scoring shots grabbing the early lead needed to hold off the relentless WBC Champion to secure a well deserved hard fought 114-114, 116-112, 117-111 majority decision.

Frampton already showing no sense for this era's penchant to protect the zero by picking or dodging opponents by moving up in weight and crossing the pond to face the unbeaten Santa Cruz and making history becoming Ireland's first two division world champion now finds himself in the well deserved position of reaping in the reward of several future lucrative but risky options.

One option comes in the a choice of fighting once beatens like Barry Island, Wales IBF Featherweight Champion, '"Lightning" Lee Selby, 23-1, 8Ko's, WBC World Featherweight Titlist Gary Russell Jr. 27-1, 16Ko's or an immediate rematch with the now 32-1-1, 18Ko's, Santa Cruz.

A second option could be a battle with Nogales, Mexico's newly crowned undefeated WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar "The King" Valdez, 20-0, 18Ko's or a third option of facing another unbeaten "Jackal" coming in the name of much avoided Cuban, Guillermo Rigondeaux, 17-0, 11Ko's.

While all three options are fan friendly match-ups and any "pick" outside the named list being a step backwards with Frampton and Selby both holding the services of infamous "advisor" Al Haymon, a UK based blockbuster showdown with the Welshman, Selby leaving future money fights with any of the above probably makes the most $cense right now.

 

 

 

 

Canelo Vacating WBC Title to Get To or Avoid "GGG!
By: Coach K - May 20, 2016


It has been reported that after successfully defending his WBC Middleweight title with a brutal sixth round stoppage of Amir Khan that Saul "Canelo" Alvarez through a Golden Boy Promotions statement has vacated his WBC title making unbeaten interim champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin the full WBC Champion.

The surprising but increasingly more common move comes just weeks after Golovkin keeping his half of a interim fight deal blasted out challenger Dominic Wade April 23rd in the second round for his 22nd consecutive knockout win.

Canelo's announcement coming in a statement from Golden Boy Promotions Pressident Oscar De La Hoya justv days after the WBC announced that if Golden Boy and K2 Promotions couldn't reach a deal in the 15 day allotted negotiating period a purse bid would take place next week.

Here's what they had to say:
“After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible," Alvarez's statement read. "I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title. …

“For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today. I will fight 'GGG,' and I will beat 'GGG' but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines. ….

“I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and 'GGG' and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see.”

Oscar De La Hoya Canelo's promoter said “There is no denying that Canelo is the biggest star in the sport of boxing. He is eager to get in the ring with 'GGG' to show the world that he is also the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but we won't negotiate under a forced deadline,”. “Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that 'GGG' and his promoter K2 Promotions will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done.”

When you put together Golovkin making it clear that October 17th after his 8th round TKO win over David Lemieux that he wants to unify all the titles with WBC President Sulaiman subsequently declaring "GGG" as Canelo's mandatory after Alvarez November 21st twelve round unanimous decision 155lb catchweight vacant WBC World Middleweight title win over Miguel Cotto adding in the follow up public back and forth catchweight debate now with the completion of both fighters agreed interim fights and the above shocking statement it raises one big question is Canelo vacating the title to actually attempt to expedite the fight or is it  GBP and Canelo in a Mayweather styled bait and switch power play to avoid Golovkin or leverage the 160lb title fight at to a 155lb cap.

My guess is "GGG" will stay with his quest for the belts and give Canelo his out and take on WBA Champion Danny "Miracle Man" Jacobs, who co-incidentally just returned to the gym in the fall allowing Golden Boy and Team Canelo to unnecessarily and mistakenly dodge or marinate a fight boxing and its fans really wants and unquestionably needs NOW.

 

 

 

"The  Beast" Joe Smith Jr. Headlines April 23

By: Coach K- April 7, 2016

 

Coming off a convincing ten round unanimous decision win over Will "Will Power" Rosinsky on the Daniel Jacobs vs Peter Quillin WBA World Middleweight Championship card at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, Mastic Shirley, Long Island light heavyweight Joe "The Beast" Smith Jr. is finding it harder and harder to find fights.

The 26 year old Smith a power punching a talent with a impressive amateur pedigree including three Junior Olympic Championships, three Empire State titles, four New York Metro Championships and two NY Golden Glove titles returns to action when the Local 66 Union worker headlines Star Boxing's popular "Rockin Fights 23" card April 23rd at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, Long Island.

Trained by the "Fighting" Capobianco's Jerry and Phil, the fast rising "Beast" of a light heavyweight come off his best performance in his toughest test to date decisively outpointing the more experienced Will Rosinsky in his own back yard.

Smith, 20-1, 16Ko's, carrying a 76% KO ratio, first known as "The Irish" Bomber" for his raw punching power, now going by the "The Beast" mostly for his rigid training habits and "all in, give no quarter" boxer / puncher fighting style takes on LA based Brazilian "Pitbull", Fabiano Pena in the Rockin Fights ten round main event.

The 28 year old "Pitbull" 16-4-1, 12Ko's who's loses come to unbeatens Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Trevor McCumby, Ahmed Elbiali and D'Mitrius Ballard    comes in off a January 20th 3rd round TKO stoppage of previousley unbeaten se Mendoza.

The lethal punching "Beast" kicking off his pro career October 31st, 2009 with a first round stoppage of David Brown, ran running off seven straight KO wins when fighting with a multi fractured jaw suffered his first and only defeat August 7th, 2010 dropping a freak 4th round TKO loss to Lawrence, Massachusetts, "banger" Eddie "Thunder" Caminero.

The Caminero loss labeled as "freak" because after dominating the first round and all but the last twenty seconds of the second the Smith hit by a "Thunder" combination never wobbled or showed he was injured until  the sturdy gladiator was examined by the ringside doctor between rounds.

Unknown to the all ringside Smith, displaying more courage and heart than anyone not carrying an M-16, the young Irishman went on to fight and win most of the next six minutes before succumbing to the pain after being shouldered in a clinch from what was diagnosed later that evening as a double fractured jaw.

Following surgery and a liquid diet Smith returning to action eleven months later would rebound winning his next five inside the distance before then being forced to go the distance in his next three bouts scoring dominant point wins over Hamid Abdul-Mateen, Lamont Williams and Sacramento, California's cagey veteran Otis Griffin.

The "Irish Bomber" would return to his KO ways March 2014 stopping Michael Gbenga, Tyrell Hendrix, Maxell Taylor and Cory "Black Ice" Cummings in his last bout this past April.
    
Smith a fight fans fighter, trained by the “Fighting” Capobianco's, Gerry and Phil, carrying a good stiff, Tunney styled tactical jab, moves with the prowess of a Billy Conn. Armed punching with bilateral power showcasing  Fitzsimmons left hook and "Sailor" Tom Sharkey right staying behind a Jack O'Brien high guard defense attacks to the body and head with a relentless unforgiving assault reminiscent of “Irish” Bob Murphy.

Evaluating the whole package, Smith with his composed aggressive style, impressive offensive skills, tight defense and battle tested chin, parlayed with his natural punching power "The Beast" is destined to be someone to be reckoned with when some of the ducking dodging upper echelon of the light heavyweight division decides to get busy.

That said, there is no doubt that "The Beast" the oldest of seven brothers and one sister to second generation Irish immigrants runs green inside and out. Nor is there any question of the high quality boxing skills and pulverizing punching power represented in his impressive record.

Just ask Will "Power" Rosinsky or Newark, New Jersey veteran Cory "Black Ice" Cummings who having fought some of the best professional fighters, including Chris Henry, Keith Holmes, William Joppy (twice), Montell Griffin, Isaac Chilemba, Azea Augustama and Yusaf Mack was stopped in the second round on Smith's last bout in April.

Better idea, get your ticket and come see for yourself April 23rd when "The Beast" is released on LA's Fabian Pena in the main event of Joe Deguardia's Star Boxing Rockin Fights 23rd card at Paramount Theatre, in Huntington, New York.

In chief support of the Smith Jr. vs Pena main event is a very attractive ten round jr. welterweight co-feature matching a pair of popular Paramount warriors in a crossroads fight with Huntington's, Alan Gotay, 8-2, 4Ko's taking on Hicksville's, Anthony "Showtime" Karperis, 11-2, 4Ko's.

In a special battle of  Brooklyn super welterweight's Courtney Pennington, 8-3-1, 4Ko's takes on Shawn Cameron, 10-1, 5Ko's with Woodhaven, New York, welterweight Danny "El Gallo" Gonzales, 10-0-1, 4Ko's, Coram, NY super bantamweight Michael Stoute, 1-0 and  Elmont, NY super lightweight Terrell Bostic, 1-0, 1Ko all scheduled to see action with their opponents expected to be announced soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Weigh-Ins Tipping the Scales of boxing Integrity?
By: Coach “K” - March 17, 2016


Back in 2009 I originally wrote the below article but with several current events in our sport I have expanded on it as it has never become more clear that boxing needs to tighten the rules particularly governing weight divisions and weigh-ins.

(September 20th, 2009) First, lets make this clear I love the game of boxing. The problem I ask is where are we going? Do we want it to become wrestling? My “God” no please!!! Loving the game like I do, how is it we allowed for a fighter to demand a catch weight (144lb, Mayweather) then miss his own declared weight and weigh in at 146 just one pound below the next weightclass?  Even if you give him a financial punishment or garnishment its still a financial gain fought on an uneven ground in which the rule violator accomplished his objective. Win outside the rules.

Forget what you personally might think a true fighter should do. If the fighter excepts the weight change then fails to meet his own catch weight all penalty fees must be drawn from the violators purse and given to the fighter making weight. Still that only solves the topical problem.

Why in this case isn’t Floyd or any fighter in this situation severely punished. If it is a title fight it should no longer be  sanctioned.

Why? We really know why. If the Oakland Raiders as much as they would like to play with 14 players the NFL  would never allow it. If at any time they are caught over the limit of eleven they are immediately penalized. If it were a touchdown, it gets called back.

In baseball, if it were a homerun found with an illegal bat it would be disallowed. Why is this expectable in boxing? I guess it’s that money thing. If that’s the case why should we believe any of it? We all know for the right price anything can be bought.

Let’s think of the possible results. First now Floyd gets his seventh title bypassing “Sugar” Ray Robinson. How could you compare the two. First Robinson had to fight within his weight class for each title and even after 150 fights Robinson fought fighters inside his weight class on fight night.

More importantly is this the sort of thing that brought into question the weigh-in allegations regarding the late Arturo “Thunder” Gatti versus Joey Gamache, February 26th 2000. This fight went off after allegations following  several weigh ins resulting in a weight difference on the day of the fight so large that it resulted in a the public protest against boxing and Gatti due to the violent knockout and hospitalization of Gamache ultimately ending his career.

Most pundits gave Mayweather credit for taking a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in his first fight back, some purposely looking past the fact that Marquez actually would be moving up three weight classes. How could anyone give Mayweather, who after years of avoiding the likes of Paul Williams, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and “Sugar” Shane Mosley any credit for this pick especially after not making his own selected catch weight. Would the UFC allow this. Would major league baseball let the Yankees play a triple a team in the World Series?

This type of thing only adds to the idea that boxing is corrupt and is only about the money. If you are the champion, why aren’t you mandated to take on the number one contender? Even someone in the top ten. If you relinquish a belt, retire go on a hiatus, why are you allowed to come back and set the rules? (too many belts).

Why can you fight for the light welterweight title and weight 170lbs on fight night? Please tell me. Please! The only answer I get from any one in or out of the sport is $$$$$$$!

When answering questions after the fight Marquez was quoted "When I hit him, he laughed, but I knew he felt my punches," Marquez said. "We tried to work the speed, but the difference was the weight."

Let’s assume for a second Pacquiao losses to Cotto. Who did Mayweather get another smaller fighter moving up. Just this time four weight classes as Manny started his career at 106lbs to Mayweathers 130lb. If the answer is that’s what the people wanted. Then, why have weight classes or titles at all? Isn't that wrestling?

Why didn’t the supposed greatest pound for pound fighter of his time fight any of the fighters previously named? Well because no one made him. You can’t do this in any other sport.

If this is the way boxing is going to carry on we might as well watch USC play New England in the Super Bowl! Would you go for it? I want the best fight the best, when there at their best.

Watching a fight as a youngster an old timer once told me the best fights are the ones on the up and up, but sometimes "the money hits the corner." I guess I now know what he meant.

Here’s the real question. After already being given an extension due to an injury in training why wasn’t Floyd handed a jump rope to lose the two pounds as we watched him showcase his skills so prominently in the promotions. Just like you would have had to do in the Amateurs or be DQ’ed???

Game - a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators. How does Mayweather get to refuse to lose the weight?

What has happen to the even up, mano e mano, one on one, man on man, hand to hand combat sport we love? has even up become negotiable?

Now we WBC World Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez scheduled to defend his 160lb title against Amir Khan at a 155 catchweight. even going as far to say he wants his mandatory defense and unification fight against IBF IBO interim WBC and WBA Super World Middleweight Champion "GGG" Gennady Golovkin at that same catchweight.

First thought that comes to mind with the already watering down of titles with interim, silver, left, right up and down titles and the move from the original eight weight divisions to the current seventeen and now have fighters redefine championships with catchweights is illegitimately absurd.

Lets go back to the 2009 Mayweather bout versus Juan Manuel Marquez mentioned above which was duplicated by many, numerous times one such occurrence coming to mind is the events surrounding Mayweather disciple Adrien "The Problem" Broner failing to make the 130lb limit for his July 2012 WBO Jr. Lightweight title against Vicente Escobedo.

The brash Broner showing no regard for the title coming in 3.5lbs over the limit, fused to lose the weight despite the threat of being stripped of the WBO Super Featherweight belt. Broner even after being stripped and fined 20 percent $60,000 of his $300,000 purse and mandated a fight day weigh-in failed to come in at a ten pound over the original fight limit of 130lbs weighing in at 143.5lbs, leading to another fine which half went to Escobedo and the other half to the Commission.

Still the commission allowed the fight to go on. So let me understand this. If Broner weighed 135lb at the original weigh-in would the commission have allowed another "Broner" (Mulligan) and give him to 145lbs? How about the fact that the already bigger, stronger Broner increased those advantages by offering a financial compensation. The whole thing is  crazy.
Another question is, why does the commission get half of the fine.? It's Escobedo taking the risk. Have weigh-ins become a money making proposition? Can the idea of weight divisions and safety be bought and sold?

What made me reflect back on these events was Saturday's cancelled middleweight fight between David Lemieux and James De La Rosa. Lemieux coming in over weight and never attempting to make the weight lead De La Rosa refusing to fight.

The fight contracted at a catch-weight of 163 pounds — three pounds over the division’s limit saw De La Rosa meeting his professional obligation coming in at 162lbs but the former IBF Middleweight Champion Lemieux pushed the scale to to 165.6lbs, 2.6 pounds over the agreed limit.

Like the Mayweather / Marquez and Broner / Escobedo events there were negotiations between Lemieux’s team and De La Rosa’s camp allegedly offering to increase De La Rosa’s purse by 40 per cent. A fact disputed by De La Rosa’s manager Adrian Clark. Whether there was a offer or not it just tells me that boxing has taken a serious turn towards the entertainment factor. Just like wrestling and the circus motto of the "Show" must go only bringing serious question of the games integrity and the sports legitimacy.

The Broner vs Escobedo event very similar to the weigh-in fiasco surrounding the rematch of one of boxing's greatest wars when October 8th, 2005 Jose Luis Castillo swayed the scales for two days in his rematch with Diego Corrales leading to numerous lawsuits.

There is no other professional sport that allows last minute rule changes or a rules to be negotiated.

Imagine if the New York Yankees were to meet the LA Dodgers in the world series and the Yankees had a power hitting homerun team would the Dodgers be allowed to move their outfield walls out for a price. Nor would the Yankees be allowed to increase the spacing between the bases to neutralize a speedy Dodgers team.

More specific if a player in any sport is found to have violated the rules the opponent isn't paid off, there is norule change or step around to let the game go on.

Let's take baseball. Remember July 24th 1983, when the Kansas City Royals trailing 4–3 in the top half of the ninth inning in a game against the Yankees, Royals third baseman George Brett hit a two-run home run giving his team the lead only until it was discovered by an umpires inspection that Brett had an illegal tar substance on the handle of his bat, a direct rule violation so the homerun was immediately nullified there was no negotiation, Brett wasn't given a re-do, nor was he there any financial compensation. The rule stood and was upheld up by a rules committee in a subsequent hearing.

How about individual sports? In the Olympics. Olympic track Gold Medal winners Marion Jones and Ben Johnson having been found to have broken the anti-doping rules were stripped of their medals.

Following the 1998 Mark McGwire / Sammy Sosa single-season homerun record slug off baseball always a severe enforcer of the rules has suspended, fined and even banned future Hall of Famers for rule violations.

Cycling: Lance Armstrong after years of dominating the world's greatest cycling race, winning the Tour de France seven straight times (1999-2005) found to have violated U.S. Anti-Doping Agency rules was stripped of his accolades and fined in disgrace years after.

How about the legendary Jim Thorpe. There is evidence that the AAU knew and had ignored the issue Thorpe's amateur status having played semi-pro baseball until being confronted with it in 1913 and the subsequent stripping of Thorp's 1912 Olympic medals. Sure losing medals is one thing but rules are what give sports competition its context.

Now sure in the above cases they were violations discovered after the fact but for a moment do think the Olympic Committee discovering these rules violations pays a financial reward to the other runners and allows Jones and Johnson to compete. No way. Any chance those Gold medals will be returned. No! Rules are rules.

In the NFL, September 13th, the NFL fined the New England patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000, the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in the league's 87-year history. They also fined the Patriots team $250,000 and they forfeited their 2008 first round draft pick all for breaking a league rule of videotaping an opponents practice.

More recently Tom Brady with little or no evidence received a four game suspension for allegedly deflating footballs only to be overturned by a superior court because the NFL violated the players collective bargaining agreement in the process. By the way deflated footballs and video taping are non safety issues and the Patriots were not allowed to pay a financial compensation be allowed to continue the video taping or the use of deflated balls. Just the opposite happened new rules were made to ensure compliance and now carry even stiffer penalties.

When it comes to legitimacy the 24 hour weigh-in rule has only made more skeptics. Fighters under same day weigh-ins fought for titles inside the weight division. Boxing pundits unequivocal #1 "Pound for Pound Greatest" "Sugar" Ray Robinson weighed 155.5lbs for his February 14th 1951 World Middleweight title against Jake La Motta.

Never failing to make weight Robinson, as an example weighed 146.5lbs for his December 20th 1946 World Welterweight Title fight with Tommy Bell, 147lbs for his July 11th 1949 World Welterweight battle with Kid Gavilan and 159 3/4lbs for his March 25th 1958 World Middleweight Title, Ring Magazine Fight of the Year against Carmen Basillio making weight on same day weigh-ins and fighting for titles inside the division limit.

In comparison today's WBC World Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez calling for title fights with catchweights, weighed 152lbs one day before his September 14th 2013, 152 pound catch-weight WBC World Super Welterweight title fight with Floyd Mayweather only to come in 165lbs, eleven pounds over the division limit. So now when contrasting past champions we are making the proverbial apples and oranges comparison.

Alvarez also met Miguel Cotto, November 21st for the WBC Middleweight title at a contracted catchweight of 155 pounds, five less than the division limit. After made weight both refused the scales fight night. Question? What were they hiding? just bring back the question, why the catchweight to begin with?

Most recently regarding his mandatory WBC Middleweight fight with Gennady Golovkin, Canelo was quoted
"I'm not afraid of any fighter. GGG is a great fighter, and he is my friend. I have respect for him, but if we do fight, it's going to be at my weight class (155lb). I'm the champion. I don't have to do what he wants."

While boxing seems to be straying from the "Wide World of Sports" that would never have tolerated such blatant rule bending, it appears the Vince McMahon wrestling model of just matching known names with the ever growing use of catchweights has taken boxing by the throat allowing financial compensation to effect weights and dictate everything from venue, ring size, drug testing and even an opponents choice of gloves. All while ignoring flagrant violations like the use of IV's.

The strange thing it's the same boxing that stripped and banned Muhammad Ali, April 1967 for actions outside the ring, when he refused induction into the Army based on his religious beliefs but timely turns its head refusing to enforce their own rules and standards.

It seems boxing needs a new standard or a regulatory oversight or its integrity and legitimacy will forever be damaged. Even worse its only time until the continued bending, ignoring or rule negotiations gives us another Gatti / Gamache.

You could go on and on citing examples. It is clear that boxing needs some serious regulation and its a shame that the US congress did not vote on the American Boxing Act with the latest found major action 11/17/2014 it was referred to the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

Some thought provoking quotes:
"These state boxing commissions are still as unprofessional as they were in Ali’s time. This same politicized passivity is what has allowed boxing to evolve its strange economic structure that is half monopoly and half piracy.

Boxing is like no other sport. It has no national commissioner to set standards for health and safety. In boxing there are no leagues or schedules. Every match is a separate deal. There is no rational structure. The chaos itself becomes an impediment to reform. The casual fan does not understand how the sport is run." ― Jack Newfield "The Shame of Boxing" October 25th, 2001.


Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. ― C. S. Lewis

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. ― Douglas Adams

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home. ― Confucius

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Someday they’re going to write a blues song just for fighters. It will be for a slow guitar, soft trumpet and a bell. ― Sonny Liston

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin Heads Rockin Fights 22 Saturday, March 5th, at The Paramount in Huntington
By: Coach K - March 3, 2016


On Saturday, March 5th, Joe Deguardia's Star Boxing brings Shirley's heavy handed unbeaten boxer brawer Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin back to Long Island's #1 boxing venue, The Paramount, in Huntington in the main event of the 22nd edition their very popular pro boxing Rockin Fights series.

The 29 year old Seldin, a former high school football and wrestling standout turning to boxing at 22 years old after dabbling in MMA with his brother making his way to a local boxing gym to develop his stand up immediately fell in love with the sport.

Working under the tutelage of Wilfred Benitez challenger Kevin Moley and Atlantic Veterans Memorial Boxing's Mike Murphy, Seldin's brief amateur career would come to an end as a finalist in the 2007 NYC Golden Gloves.

The 5'7", 140lb Seldin a certified fitness trainer finding his style, physical strength and conditioning more suitable for the pro's turned pro July 9th, 2011 stopping Pompano Beach, Florida's, Wilson Feliciano in three rounds.

Holding true to his Jewish roots, fighting under the moniker "The Hebrew Hammer" would catch the eye of Star Boxing promoter Joe Deguardia stopping Rashad Bogar in three rounds in his Paramount Theater debut.

Signing with Deguardia a few weeks later, Seldin, 5-0, 3Ko's trained and managed by Pete Brodsky would make his star Boxing / Rockin Fights debut January 28th, 2012 ferociously stopping Colorado Springs, journeyman Tyler Pogline in just one round.

Winning his next five bouts, three coming inside the distance, Seldin coming off surgery for a torn right rotator cuff following a third round knockout of  Jonathan Cuba, January 23rd 2013 returned to his Rockin Fights trek adding a eight round points wins over veteran Gilbert Venegas November 22nd and a seventh round TKO stoppage of Chris Algieri and recent Emanuel Taylor opponent Wilfredo Acuna, Aril 24th, 2014.

Making his first national TV appearance July 18th, in the co-feature of ESPN Friday Night Fights Karim Mayfield vs Emmanuel Taylor, Seldin would have to settle for a no contest against the battle tested former three time Mongolian national amateur champion Bayan "Mongolian Mongoose" Jargal. Seldin off to a clear lead dominating the first nine minutes the bout was called at the end of round three after Jargal cut over the right eye from accidental clash of heads was unable to continue.

September 19th scoring a second round KO win over the Dominican Republic's Ramesis Gil, "The Hebrew Hammer" would square things with Jargal, December 20th on a Rockin Fight card introducing new Star signee light heavyweight "Beast" Joe Smith Jr. The hard charging Seldin leaving no doubt dropped "The Mongolian Mongoose" in the first and seventh rounds forcing referee Arthur Mercante Jr. to stop the punishment in round nine to claim the vacant WBC International Silver Super Lightweight title.

Seldin, adding 2015 KO wins over Johnny Garcia, February 27th and Ranee Ganoy, June 19th, Seldin the current torch bearer of Star Boxing's "Rockin Fights" series closely following a Deguardia fight career plan to a thirteenth appearance, sixth as a headliner at The Paramount in Huntington.

When it comes to fighting at The Paramount, Seldin, 17-0, 14Ko's saying “I love it, my fans and friends pack the place and it feels like I’m hosting a party" covers it all. "The Hebrew Hammer" is ready to "Rock and Roll" this Saturday March 5th when he makes the third defense of his WBC International Silver Super Lightweight title in the main event of Rockin Fight 22 against Baymon, Puerto Rico's tough veteran Orlando Vazquez.


The 33 year old, Vazquez,  18-7-1, 12Ko's having battled the likes of Long Beach, California's, Jose Zepeda and East LA unbeaten LA "Pitbull"  Frankie Gomez is in full upset mode coming off a October, 4th round TKO loss to Dublin, Ireland's, Stephen Ormond.

The Full Rockin Fights 22 Card:
Super Featherweights: Luis Franco vs Tyrone Luckey 8rds    
Super Lightweights: Alan Gotay, vs Jose L Guzman 6rds    
Heavyweights: George Arias vs James Hammortree, 4rds    
Welterweights: Tyrone James vs Neyeine Muang, 4rds    



 

 

 


Nike Releases Pacquiao from Endorsement Contract Over Anti-Gay Comments!
By: Coach K - February 19, 2016


As a long time boxing fan, the parent of two gay siblings and not trying not to pick a side, I have to ask myself what is Nike saying with their move.

The one big thing I noticed is that Nike who in there own adds claim a "Better World" is now playing one side of the political correctness card discriminating in its own actions actually being intolerant against Pacquiao for his religious beliefs.

Sure Nike who has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community and I understand them saying “We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent" and they are by all means entitled their opinion but what about Pacquiao's. Isn't Nike based in the still "FREE" United States.

In no way siding with Pacquiao but all the born again Christian unable to claim a bad shoulder did was respond "HONESTLY" to a journalists gotcha religious / political question, one the boxer Pacquiao would have looked to slip like a Mayweather jab.

There is no question that responding to the "Where does he stands on gay marriage" question saying that gay people who participate in the gay lifestyle are “worse than animals” that animals don't participate in homosexual relations is wrong and not even factually true, but it is his belief and one he draws from the bible. A stark change for the popular boxer / on the job learning politician whose view is seen through the same lens by most of the overwhelming majority Christian Philippine population.

I believe it was Manny's true religious beliefs that fueled his response one you may just find in the bible at Leviticus 20:13 is where says that homosexual behavior is an abomination or going back to the Torah where the book of Vayiqra homosexual behavior is traditionally regarded as something abhorred or detested. Even in Islam the Quran goes beyond merely disapproving of homosexuality, Sharia teaches that homosexuality is a vile form of fornication, punishable by death.

Maybe I'm not giving him enough credit for Congressional savvy and it was a calculated political move but like his shoulder story he could have could have just responded dodging the question just answering current day political mode saying like "What Difference Does It Make" or after the shit storm hit he could have blamed it on a video.

That all said, as the parent of both a male and female gay sibling I don't agree with Pacquiao's stand but not
hearing the popular world boxing champion and potential Philippine Presidential candidate mention homosexuality and death together as in many holy books I do accept and support the unalienable right he has to say what ever he believes or doesn't believe. Right or wrong.

On the other side looking at the whole picture in defense of Nike they have a long standing position dropping star athletes from endorsement deals. There is Oscar Pistorius (murder), Ray Rice, (punching his fiancé in the face), Adrian Peterson (child abuse), Michael Vick (assault, child abuse, dog-fighting), Lance Armstrong (taking performance-enhancing drugs) but they were all for criminal acts and the last I heard personal beliefs have not yet been criminalized, marginalized for sure but not criminal.

Now looking at the whole deal I have to wonder, with freedom of beliefs and speech not yet a prosecutable crime by the PC Police should I take an intolerable stand and call for a boycott of Nike for its perceived appearance as an anti-Christian, anti-Bible anti freedom, bottom line driven company. No then I would be doing exactly what they both did. I'll skip taking stance and just give the weight of Manny's words in this situation the same weight I did him saying he won the Mayweather fight. As far as Nike goes, like Manny I respect their RIGHT to take or make a stand and knowing my buying or not buying a product made by the world's largest shoe and apparel company won't effect the bottom line I just wish this political correctness culture would stay out of the fight game so we can keep the all battles between the ropes.

 

 

 

 

 


Walters Scrooged In Draw with Sosa!

By: Coach K - December 21, 2015


In the season of "naughty and nice" Saturday night at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, boxing's Christmas grinch reared it's nasty head robbing Jamaican former WBA Super World featherweight title of a well deserved victory in the semi main event of a HBO boxing After Dark televised co-feature calling his lopsided domination of Camden, New Jersey,'s Jason Sosa a majority draw.

While Walter's vs Sosa is now a lock for this years biggest robbery and worst decision award it leaves little consolation to the unbeaten Walters, who to most ringside and viewing on HBO witnessed Walter's methodically out point Sosa by the scores ranging from a shutout to the Jersey fighter winning only two rounds only to see the powers to be Saturday night judges Don Ackerman and Wynn Kintz called it even at 95-95 and the usually judiciously efficient Tom Schreck somehow calling it 96-94 for Sosa.

While I saw it a shutout for "The Axe Man" right on line with HBO's Harold Lederman's 99-91, the knockout artist Walters coming off a five bout KO streak ending WBA Super World Featherweight title twelve round unanimous decision win over Miguel Marriaga fighting above the 125lb limit for the second time must have earned this stocking full of coal for straying from his usual knockout ways for the straight time second time.

As there were several close rounds and Sosa at times may have appeared to be the busier puncher it was Walters higher quality and number of cleaner, sharper power punches including solid body work (4-1) that easily over shadowed Sosa's gallant, never go away effort. That if not alone by all standards except one that gives everyone a trophy should never have allowed anything close to a draw or dare say a win for the game, once beaten New Jersey fighter.

A dishearten Walters, now 26-0-1, 22Ko's sounding his dismay after being "scrooged" said “I am in total shock, I was never in any danger, never hurt, he is a good fighter the kind of fight I wanted but I thought I won all the rounds.” Sosa like any true competitor not having seen the tape saying “I thought I won and am disappointed it was a draw,” moves to 18-1-4, 14Ko's.

While the draw shouldn't derail Walters career the immediate damage may come to a potential Walters vs Takashi "KO Dynamite" Uchiyama, WBA Super World Super Featherweight title fight should he get past Leon, Nicaragua southpaw Oliver Flores on December 31st in Tokyo, Japan.


 

 

 

 

November 13th 1982 Mancini vs Kim "The Day Boxing Died"!
By: Coach K - November 13, 2015


Thirty three years ago today before 6,500 fans including celebrities like Bill Cosby and Frank Sinatra at the Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas and millions more live on CBS Saturday Sports TV, boxing suffered one of it's biggest tragedy's when South Korea boxing star Deuk-Koo Kim went into a coma after suffering a 14th round TKO loss to Youngstown, Ohio's, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini.

The 21 year old Mancini, making the second defense of his World Boxing Association Lightweight title and the challenger Kim engaging in an extremely brutal, back and forth battle seeing Kim taking a tremendous amount of punishment losing a point in round ten for holding.

The fight remaining mostly at close quarters continued Kim wearing a grotesque reward of his effort and
Mancini showing the wares of the war around his left eye came charging out fight in the 14th round meeting Kim in the center of the round turning him with a heavy combination before landing a "booming" right hand sending the southpaw Kim crashing to the canvas causing referee Richard Greene, witnessing the courageous Korean climb the ropes attempting to return to battle wave the fight over 19 seconds into round fourteen.

Minutes later Kim collapsed and was carried out of the ring and taken directly to the hospital where after surgery for a cerebral hemorrhage he lapsed into a coma and was placed on a respirator. Kim's mother, Yang Sun-Yo, was flown to Las Vegas to be with her son before he was taken off life support passing four days later November 17th at Desert Springs Hospital.

Kim leaving behind his mother Yang Sun-Yo and a pregnant fiancee, Lee Young-Mee, three months later, Kims mother took her own life by drinking a bottle of pesticide and the fights referee, Richard Green, committed suicide shortly July 1, 1983 the same month Lee Young-Mee bore Kim a son Kim Chi-Wan.

The fight having been fought with same day weigh-ins, weight was not a factor with Mancini only out weighing Kim by a half of a pound was ahead on the judges scorecards at the time of the stoppage 126-122, 128-124, 127-121 would have its effect on the sport and how it was perceived and presented, December 9, 1982 the championship bout distance was reduced from 15 to 12 making the WBC Super Featherweight title fight between Bobby "Schoolboy" Chacon and Rafael "Bazooka" Limon December 11th, 1982 the last fifteen round bout.

Going into the fight that would ultimately take his life Kim ranked #1 by the WBA purse was $20,000 while
Mancini contracted by Top Rank a guaranteed $250,000 and 45 percent of the gross revenue.

Strangely enough Mancini never the same fighter, winning his next four bouts, last victory would come stopping Bobby Chacon in three rounds January 14th, 1984. Carrying his self imposed guilt, Mancini missing the aggressiveness that made him "Boom Boom" retired 29-5, 23Ko's after four straight losses losing a pair of back to back fights to Livingstone Bramble, Hector "Macho" Camacho and Greg Haugen.    

In 2011 Mancini met Duek-Koo Kim's former fiancée and son as part of a documentary on the life of Mancini called The Good Son.
    
Though his career was brief, the popular Mancini now a boxing analyst for tru TV had a profound impact on the sport being inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, June 2015.

For a long while boxing has needed another "Boom Boom" Mancini maybe it has found one in "GGG" Gennady Golovkin!

 

 

 

 

Golovkin and Gonzalez Show They Are Boxing's New Leaders - Will Management and Promoters Stay Out of the Way?
By: Coach K - October 19, 2015 - BillyCBoxing.com


Following up on my recent post "Boxing Getting A New Leader?" looking into IBF, IBO, interim WBC and WBA World Middleweight Champion "GGG" Gennady Golovkin and WBC World Flyweight Champion Roman "Chocolito" Gonzalez chance to emerge as boxing's new leaders, after Saturday nights co-featured methodical dismantling of Montreal, Quebec, Canada's IBF Middleweight Champion David Lemieux and Waipahu, Hawaii's former four time former WBC and IBF Light Flyweight, WBO and WBA Flyweight Champion Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria at Madison Square Garden we have two. I see no reason why both or either can't and won't continue by example to lead boxing back to bigger and better days giving the fans the fights really want to see?

Taking note of "GGG's" post fight saying he wants to be the "undisputed champion" and immediately calling out the winner of the November 21st Miguel Cotto vs Saul "Canelo" Alvarez WBC World middleweight title fight and Gonzalez calling for his promoter K2 to set up a rematch with WBA/WBO title holder Juan Francisco Estrada I see these two warriors words as a wake up call to all those fighters watching to step up and fight.

The action speaks louder than words inspiration may have already began to show its influence when almost simultaneously as Golovkin and Gonzalez actions spoke loudly, Phillipines WBO Jr Flyweight Champion Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes after easily decisioning Mexico's Juan 'Pinky' Alejo, at Stub Hub Center called out "Chocolatito".  

Nietes, 37-1-4, 21Ko's unbeaten in his last 29 bouts going back to his 2004 split decision loss to Angky Angkotta may be already be the first one to line up and follow the sports new leaders.

As Golovkin and Gonzalez continue to "walk the walk" it leaves just one question. Will their promoters and management stay out of the way and allow them to lead boxing and its fans back to an era when fighters did their job and just fought.

Should unbeatens Golovkin and Gonzalez remain packaged on the same card a Golovkin vs Cotto or Canelo and Gonzalez vs Nietes or Estrada co-feature card at minimum parallels the solid card we saw Saturday night. the fighters have stepped up will the string pullers do the same?


Boxing to Follow a New Leader?
By: Coach K


As the smoke and mirrors of Floyd Mayweather's pick'em fights begin to fade from our memory are we seeing boxing take a step back the past regrouping with a set of big name fights matching fighters willing to risk it all and come to fight.

Sure we finally got Pacquiao vs Mayweather but like many of the headline grabbing self proclaimed "Best Evers" fights it came way to late and fell way short.

Quick to fill the void is unbeaten LA based Kazakhstani IBF, IBO, interim WBC and WBA World Middleweight Champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin, 33-0, 30Ko's and Montreal, Quebec, Canada's IBF World Middleweight Champion David Lemieux, 34-2, 31Ko's two of the sports biggest punchers who quickly agreed to put it all on line this October 17th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In a step away from the champion fighting a fading name David Lemieux put it straight saying "I'm not afraid of nobody, I'm willing to fight everybody, I want to be the best so I have to fight the best. I know I have a serious opponent in front of me and I'm going in like a bull."

Golovkin when interviewed echoed the same sentiment saying, "What do you like dancing? Or What do you like fight? What do want to watch? I like "old school! Action! "Lemieux is a dangerous guy, he is going to be a big test for me, it doesn't matter a decision fight, a short fight or street fight I'm ready I promise".

Keeping with that resurging fighters fight mentality we don't have to look to far with 27 year old unbeaten Nicaraguan boxer / brawler Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, 43-0, 37Ko's risking unblemished record and WBC World Flyweight title taking on Waipahu, Hawaii's former WBC and IBF Light Flyweight, WBO and WBA Flyweight Champion Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria, 36-4, 22Ko's in the Gennady Golovkin / David Lemieux, World Middleweight Championship co-feature October 17th LIVE on HBO PPV from Madison Square Garden.

October 24th Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK's IBF Welterweight Champion Kell "Special K" Brook, 35-0, 24Ko's takes on the challenge of Argentine banger Diego Chaves, 23-2-1, 19Ko's at Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

That same night this side of the pond Omaha, Nebraska's WBO World Super Lightweight Champion Terence "Bud" Crawford, 23-0, 18Ko's faces off against Montreal, Quebec, Canada based Haitian Dierry "All In" Jean, 29-1, 20Ko's at CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

November 7th, two all in, lay it all on the line champions go at it when five time world champion and current WBO World Welterweight titlist Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley, 31-1-, 12Ko's squares off against Oxnard, California's never too hard to find former WBA Lightweight Champion Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios, 33-2-1, 24Ko's at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

November 21st, Jalisco, Mexico's former WBC and WBA Light Middleweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 45-1-1, 32Ko's challenges Caguas, Puerto Rico's five time four division world champion Miguel Cotto, 40-4, 33Ko's for his WBC World Middleweight title at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

December 5th, in a battle for Brooklyn bragging rights Daniel "Miracle Man" Jacobs, 30-1, 27Ko's puts his WBA World Middleweight title up for grabs taking on fellow Brooklynite Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin, 32-0-1, 23Ko's at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York.

With the end of the wait in line hoping to get called to "come on down" for the Floyd Mayweather "sweepstakes" payday, there's are rumors that two of the "sweepstakes" avoided will go to battle with Clearwater, Florida's, unbeaten WBA World Welterweight Champion Keith "One Time" Thurman, 26-0, 22Ko's and Las Vegas, Nevada's Shawn "Showtime" Porter, 16Ko's in talks for a fight early next year.

Putting a relevant twist on the proverb "you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink" we all have seen time and time again in recent years, "you can bring some fighters a contract but you can't make them fight." Still, through the fog of high profile sparring sessions repeatedly substituting for real championship fights I see a glimmer of hope and I think it comes in the way of inspiration and leadership. However, inspiration is a funny thing, it comes in two forms, active and passive.

Passive inspiration, the consuming the success and ideas of others. An example in boxing might be a fighter watching a championship fight for motivation but never challenging himself stepping up the competition fighting lesser opposition waiting for the big fight or payday. What we have seen many times over the last decade and many are willing to except is some of the sports top stars fighting down to protect their zero in hopes of a Mayweather styled payday. While I am certainly for better pay for fighters, passive inspiration could be detrimental to the sport.

On the flip side active inspiration, the act of creating things, applying new learned or experienced tools or ideas to reach ones goals even at the risk of failure is in itself an act that builds drive and gaining of more information brings that increasing brings willingness to test themselves and risk it all striving to be the best. The best inspiration is not the receiving of information but applying information especially that is learned in failure.


Example fighting that challenging fight as opposed to watching one or fighting down. The perfect case is David Lemieux with two losses, building on those defeats won the IBF middleweight title gaining and giving the inspiration now willing to parlay and risk that information learned against Gennady Golovkin who himself sees Lemieux as a challenge and inspiration.

If the sport is looking to fill the so called void left by Floyd Mayweather and other fighters continue to play follow the leader there are a few who inspire and worthy of the pole position. That said, I believe Wladamir Klitschko is one and after this Saturday nights big middleweight championship fight I see boxing's, action speaks louder than words, styled "Smiling Assassin" Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and David Lemieux regardless who wins emerging as leaders who can open the doors to a yellow brick road or even a just leave bread come trail for those inspired or willing to challenge themselves to change lines and bringing us some long over due fights like, Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev finally facing Adonis "Superman" Stevenson in a light heavyweight unification fight, or a current day Battle of Britain with Bolton, UK's Amir "King" Khan meeting Sheffield, Yorkshire, rival IBF World Welterweight Champion Kell Brook or even WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay "Bronze Bomber" Wilder to finally getting out of the southern circuit and face a top rated fighter like Alexander Povetkin or Wladamir Klitschko.

 

 

 

 

 

Gennady Golovkin vs David Lemieux
By: Coach K - October 5, 2015


Unbeaten LA based Kazakhstani IBF, IBO, interim WBC and WBA World Middleweight Champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin sporting a expansive arsenal headed by a lethal jab coming off a sixth round TKO stoppage of Willie Monroe claiming a record 20 consecutive knockout win streak continues to combine his all in, aggressive ring style and a fan friendly persona into boxing's hottest ticket.

The 33 year Golovkin, nicknamed the “Smiling Assassin” for his out of the ring benevolent disposition and his in the ring "enforcer mentality" was born Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, (hence "GGG") April 8, 1982, in Karagandy, Kazakhstan, of the former Soviet Union to the parents of Russian / Korean heritage.

It is easy to see where the tough Gennady who with his fraternal twin brother Maxim was introduced to boxing around the age of 8 by their older brothers Vadim and Sergey (both later killed in action serving in the Soviet Army) would get his all business "assassin" style having been taken to the streets as a kindergartner by his brothers who urged him to fight strangers.

Compiling an amateur record of 345-5 winning numerous amateur titles and a Silver Medal at the 2004 Olympics as a member of the Kazakhstani Olympic Team "GGG" is not only known to have a devastating punch but a chin of granite reportedly having never been knocked out or knocked down in a fight or sparring, amateur or pro.

Golovkin turning pro in 2006 signing with Universum Box-Promotions following the Athens Olympics pro, the 5' 10" "GGG" possessing explosive power in both hands has crossed the sports ethnic boundaries demonstrating his self proclaimed "Big Drama" with a detrimental combination of bilateral explosive power, technical skill with the open willingness to fight moved to Germany.

In 2010 Golovkin, 21-0, 18Ko's after becoming frustrated unable to get a shot at then stablemate and WBA Super World Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm, "GGG" and parted ways with UBP signing with K2 Promotions moving to the Los Angeles where the charismatic pugilist making it a point to learn English is seen as a genuine in all his press and fan interactions.

Having banked wins over Milton Nunez (claimed interim WBA World Middleweight title), Nilson Julio Tapia (full WBA title) and Kassim Ouma (WBA title defense) returned to Germany to fight on his first K2 card stopping Lajuan Simon in the first round of his fourth WBA title defense December 9th 2011 "GGG" made his US debut September 1st, 2012 headlining HBO's Boxing After Dark LIVE from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York stopping Polish southpaw banger Grzegorz Proksa in five rounds.

The Abel Sanchez trained Golovkin paralleling another middleweight great, Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins who had his share of trouble getting top name, high profile, marquee fights, Golovkin even after calling out Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather (at 147lbs) and Andre Ward "GGG" and adding KO wins over Philly's Gabriel "King" Rosado, James Kirkland conquerer Nobuhiro Ishida, UK's Matthew Macklin, Brooklyn's Curtis "Showtime" Stevens, Ghana's Osumanu Adama, Aussie former IBF and WBA Middleweight Champion Daniel Geale, Mexican perennial challenger Marco Antonio Rubio, UK's former interim WBA World Middleweight titlist Martin Murray and ESPN 2014 Boxcino Middleweight Tournament champion Willie "El Mongoose" Monroe Jr. and moving his consecutive KO win streak to 20 the still very accessible "Smiling Assassin" has finally found top name worthy challenge in Montreal, Canada's power puncher David Lemieux.

Golvkin is set to face off with Lemieux October 17th heading a HBO PPV Championship Boxing card LIVE from New York at "The Mecca of Boxing" Madison Square Garden.

The 26 year old, Lemieux born to a French father and Lebanese-Armenian mother, December 22, 1988 turned to boxing at the age of nine. Winning three Canadian Amateur Championships, competing in a few international fights compiled an amateur record of 91-12.

Trained by Russ Amber, Lemieux who later said "I didn’t really stay long as an amateur because it was not my style of boxing.” chose to by pass tryouts for the 2008 Canadian Olympic team turned pro in April 2007 winning his first 25 pro bouts, 24 coming inside the distance including KO wins over Walid Smichet, Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr. and Purnell Gates.

But it would be just four years later, April 2011 just 23 years old the power punching Canadian would suffered his first defeat when he was stopped in seven rounds by "GGG" common opponent, Mexican veteran Marco Antonio Rubio. Lemieux under the rumors of excessive partying and team problems would suffering what would be his last defeat to date just seven months later dropping a ten round majority decision to Quebec, Canada based Haitian, Joachim Alcine.

Turning to new trainer Mark Ramsey, Lemieux armed with an explosive, left hook returned to the win column June, 2012 running off five straight wins over a growing list of unknowns before taking a second full-size step up in competition moving his unbeaten streak to nine scoring the biggest wins of his career, stopping Jose Miguel Torres (TKO7), Fernando Guerrero (KO3) and Gabriel Rosado (TKO10) before claiming the vacant IBF World Middleweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Hassan N'Dam this past June.

Golovkin vs Lemieux Preview & Prediction

On October 17th, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and David Lemieux will go head to HBO PPV in a fight matching two of the sports biggest bangers possibly determining the immediate future of the sport.

"GGG" vs Lemieux Snap Shot:
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin                                                 David Lemieux
Nationality: Kazakh                                                             Canadian
Stance: Orthodox                                                                 Orthodox
Record: 33-0, 30Ko's                                                           34-2, 31Ko's
Age: 33yo                                                                             26yo
Height: 5’10.5″                                                                     5'9".5"
Reach: 70″                                                                            70"
Amateur Record:   345-5                                                       91-12
Common Opponent: Marco Antonio Rubio: WKO2                   L-TKO7

Prediction: Lemieux armed with the proverbial "Punchers Chance" is stuck with the unenviable task of doing what 33 before couldn't, hurt GGG. I believe Lemieux will stake a tall gallant stand in "The Big Drama". He will make a go of things early but in the end it will be Lemieux to first to feel the punishment and it will be Golovkin's granite chin and superior skill set all built on a concrete amateur foundation that turns the page on Floyd Mayweather and opens the doors on boxing's bright shiny future when one of his text book counter right hands beats the heavy handed Canadian to the punch making him knockout mark #21.

After watching HBO's 24/7 Road to Golovkin vs Lemieux which gave us a look into the mindset off two of the sports biggest power punchers I saw two champions who have stayed away from the sports present day trend of protecting the zero.

David Lemieux put it straight saying "I'm not afraid of nobody, I'm willing to fight everybody, I want to be the best so I have to fight the best. I know I have a serious opponent in front of me and I'm going in like a bull."

Gennady Golovkin when interviewed echoed the same sentiment saying What do you like dancing? Or What do you like fight? What do want to watch? I like "old school! Action! "Lemieux is a dangerous guy, he is going to be a big test for me, it doesn't matter a decision fight, a short fight or street fight I'm ready I promise".

Well, I believe the both of them and while I have made my pick, regardless who is victorious October 17th the real winner will be boxing and its loyal fans.

 

 

 

 

Mayweather One Letter Short of "The Best Ever"!

By: Coach K - September 15, 2015


Now that it has finally happened. You know the big day Floyd Mayweather Jr. tied Rocky Marciano's record. Congratulations Floyd. But with that congratulations should come scrutiny. Isn't that why we keep records?

Sure Mayweather has tied "The Rock" retiring unbeaten at 49-0, 26Ko's. While one obvious comparison would be that Marciano did it in the heavyweight division where a fight can be lost on one punch and at a time where there was one world champion. Also Marciano's 49 wins occurred over 8 years while Floyd took almost 20 years to fight those same 49.

Before I continue let me make this clear I am not a Mayweather hater I just would like the millennial boxing fans to understand history before joining the whole TMZ pushed TBE (The Best Ever) campaign. Mayweather while on paper may have been the best fighter of his era, I'm not so sure his legacy will stand under scrutiny or time.

Sure Floyd has retained that beloved but overrated unbeaten status but when you listen to many champions over a wide range of sports most will refer to the trip getting there rather than the moment. So lets take a slightly closer look at Floyd's trip and how he and we got here and compare his trip and accomplishments to some of his predecessors.

"Money May" born Floyd Joy Sinclair Mayweather, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 24th, 1977 into a family of boxers the son and nephew of world title challenging fighters Floyd and Roger Mayweather respectively began training at a young age fighting competitively at age 7.

Training under the tutelage of father Floyd Sr. and uncle Roger Floyd Jr. gaining the moniker "Pretty Boy" for his defensive style compiling an amateur record of 84-6 winning many national titles went on to win a Bronze Medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta a place I believe the fan favored tunnel vision began.

When asked about Mayweather the amateur most of his fans will tell you about his winning a Bronze at the 1996 games but they will quickly add he would have won a gold, he got robbed.

I believe that was sign #1 while they tell you he got robbed versus Bulgaria's eventual Silver Medalist, Serafim Todorov they change the lens when discussing his previous 12-11 win gift over Cuban, Lorenzo Aragon. If left no other description I would say it is that exact should of had a Gold Medal lens I fear most of today's Mayweather fans view Mayweather and our sport today.

First lets deal with the whole unbeaten, zero thing. Sure engaging in any sport or life competition with a loss should be seen as an accomplishment but never the goal. Nor should it ever be used as the rule in measurement of quality.

None of which remains today. Also keep in mind that for most of boxing's history there were only having eight weight classes heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight. It wasn't until a gradual addition of junior weight divisions from the 60's until late 80's we now have seventeen.

With those facts in mind lets look at a few other boxers who have retired unbeaten. There's Packey McFarland 70-0-5, 50Ko's, Jimmy Barry, 59-0-10, 40Ko's, Joe Calzaghe 46-0, 32Ko's, Ricardo López 51-0-1, 38Ko's and the aforementioned heavyweight king Rocky Marciano 49-0, 43Ko's to mention a few.

Very impressive list right. Well imagine if Hall of Famer Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. who retired 107-6-2, 86Ko's only fought twice a year he could have left unbeaten after his first 87 bouts. Imagine the thrillers we would have missed.

Then there is "The Mighty Atom" Jimmy Wilde who went 93-0-1 to start a near 20 year career ending 132-3-1.

How about "Will o' the Wisp" Willie Pep turning pro in 1940 went 62-0 losing for the first time to Sammy Angott 1943. What? 62-0 in three years. Despite being seriously injured in a plane crash in January 1947 in which the co-pilot and two passengers were killed went on to win his next 73 consecutive fights retiring 229-11-1, 65Ko's. If Pep stopped at 49-0 would have never had four Saddler fights.

Can't forget Carlos Zarate who went 52-0 winning first 23 by KO before suffering his first defeat to then unbeaten future Hall of Famer Wilfredo "Bazooka" Gomez who himself was unbeaten in 33 fights until he ran into Salvador Sanchez. Zarate retiring after almost 18 years at 66-4, 63Ko's and an incredible %90 KO ratio.

Then there is Marcel Cerdan who turning pro in 1934 ran his record to 45-0 before suffering a DQ loss in 1939. Winning his next 23 bouts before his second defeat Cerdan finishing his 15 year career 111-4, 65Ko's in a final "fight" versus "the raging Bull" Jake Lamotta.

Chicago's "Little Tiger" Jimmy Barry went unbeaten in 59-0-10, 40Ko's in his eight year "bare knuckle career.

To lessen the perceived importance of the zero which I believe is killing young prospects and the sport Gene Tunney went 40-0-1 before losing to Harry Greb ending his 13 year career 65-1-1, 48Ko's.

On the flip side lets look at "Homicide Hank" Henry Armstrong who, losing three of his first four ended his 14 year career 151-21-9, 101Ko's once defended his title twice in 5 days and 5 times in a month.

Last and not least lets not forget "Sugar" Ray Robinson opened his 25 year career in 1941 going 40-0 until suffering his first loss to Jake LaMotta in 1943. Thats right 40 fights in three years. Robinson unbeaten his next 88 would go onto compile an unprecedented record of 173-19-6, 108Ko's.

How about considering greats like Benny Leonard, Ted "Kid" Lewis, Billy Conn, and Manuel Ortiz are Hall of Famers lost their first fight showing the zero is highly over rated.

The problem the over hyped zero has brought with it is the entertainment factor taking precedent over the sport and the idea of man on man competition.

As millennial boxing fan's continue to judge fighters by their TMZ highlights, their number of followers on twitter, competing in Dancing with the Stars or how much money they make the competition factor is lost.

As for the zero itself its over rated hype. Anyone remember Danish heavyweight Brian Nielsen? Well maybe if he was on dancing with the Stars, bought expensive sports cars or was on the news for domestic violence and was more careful in his critically selection of his opponents he could have retired a richer more popular self proclaiming "TBE" except in fight #50 he ran into an uncooperative, little known Dicky Ryan. Thats why the number of "competitions" counts.

Anyone remember heavyweight Lamar Clark he won his first 39, 38 by KO the he actually fought someone, Bartolo Soni. That right! Who? Thats why retiring unbeaten is relevant to the time and way you got there.

I remember a day when boxing like other sports got their champions by the best, to be the best, fought the best. Which by design gave the sport structure and on one fighter control.

 



How about Mayweather's picking mind set in his words. “Mosley can’t beat me,” Mayweather said. “He beat Margarito. So what? Margarito got beat by Paul Williams. Margarito got beat by Daniel Santos. Margarito lost six times. Mosley lost five times. Mosley got out-boxed by Cotto. Mosley is dreaming when he says he can outbox me. He may be stronger when it comes to lifting weights. But this is boxing, not a weightlifting contest. I got too much for Mosley to compete with me.”

Mosley is the perfect example of the importance of when a fights take place like so many of "Money's" picks they were monetary WWF name picks. Sure young fighters have always fought the out going name., a last payday for the veteran and a marquee name for the prospect. But Mosley like Kostya Tszyu, Cotto, Pacquiao, Khan, Margarito, Martinez and Williams were contemporary's. Mosley, Cotto and Pacquiao were timely picks already on the decline. All fights that should have happened years earlier. Mayweather if in front of a mirroe he truly believed he is the best ever would have done a Cerdan / Lamotta styled go away against say Kell Brook, Keith Thurman or a 33 year old Gennady Golovkin.

Except, "Money" Mayweather made it clear long ago saying “I call the shots, everything that goes my way isn’t always the right way. I know that. But I like things the way I like them.” Does that sound like the words of a true champion.

That said, you know the saying, "actions speak louder than words". So lets consider the following.

Mayweather turning pro in 1996 given a title shot in his 18th fight October 1998 beating Genero Hernandez who was already stopped by Oscar De La Hoya but it would take nine years and five De La Hoya losses for Mayweather to make the fight. In contrast "Sugar" Ray Robinson who averaged just under 8 fights a year for 25 years against Floyd 2.5 fights a year over 19years had to wait six years and fight 75 fights (73-1-1) before he was given an opportunity to fight for a title fight.

Recording wins over Justin Juuko, Carlos Gerena, Gregorio Vargas, Emanuel Augustus and his most named career defining fight Diego Corrales then "Pretty Boy" scoring wins Carlos Hernandez and Jesus Chavez had his Danny Garcia vs Mauricio Herrera moment grabbing a very controversial gift twelve round unanimous decision over Jose Luis Castillo.

After claiming Pacquiao styled shoulder injury in their first meeting to his credit Mayweather out pointed Castillo in an immediate rematch eight months later.

2003 through 2005 banking wins over Victoriano Sosa, DeMarcus Corley and Henry Bruseles, Maywather in what poker players call a "tell" he chose to fight Arturo Gatti in June instead of facing his #4 pick for "The Best Ever" Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. who just beat Ivan Robinson who just beat Gatti twice.

November 2005 adding a win over Sharmba Mitchell who was stopped by Kostya Tszyu in 2001, Mayweather chose to fight Zab Judah who just lost to relatively unknown Carlos Baldomir and remarkably was also stopped Julio Cesar Chavez conqueror Kostya Tszyu in 2001.

Mayweather then fighting Baldomir because he beat Gatti led to a way too late meeting with Oscar DeLaHoya setting up a ninth round stoppage of moving up Ricky Hatton December 2007.

Then conveniently announced he was “permanently retiring from boxing" at the time when Andre Berto was part of a large list of ranked qualified opponents like Vernon Forrest, Paul Williams, Verno Phillips, Cory Spinks, Sergio Mora, Sergio Gabriel Martinez, Sergei Dzindziruk, Daniel Santos, Joachim Alcine, James Kirkland, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey, Manny Pacquiao, Carlos Quintana, Luis Collazo, Timothy Bradley, Junior Witter, Andriy Kotelnik, Paul Malignaggi, Kendall Holt, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Ricardo Torres, Juan Urango, Marcos Maidana, Juan Lazcano, Juan Manuel Marquez, Nate Campbell, Juan Diaz, Joel Casamayor, David Diaz, Julio Diaz, Antonio Pitalua, Michael Katsidis, Ali Funeka, Yuri Romanov and Edwin Valero.

After 2 and a half years of the top fighters taking each other on Mayweather returned from hiding out or as he called "retirement" September 2009 to fight Juan Manuel Marquez making the Pacquiao beaten fighter move up to weight divisions to a carefully selected catchweight chosen by him. A weight he ultimately refused to make paying off Marquez.

After the man vs boy size differential win over Marquez, "Money" seeing a decline in the "Sugarman" finally selected Mosley who already having lost to Miguel Cotto, survived Ricardo Mayorga used Mosley's win over a criminal hand wrap distracted Margarito to finally justify the fight. Mayweather just waited until he saw the warrior Mosley was on the down side which became very evident in his post Mayweather draw with Sergio Mora.

Mayweather in what I believe was his career defining fight September 2011 chose "Vicious" Victor Ortiz. Ortiz coming in to the Mayweather fight off a win over Andre Berto gave us Hatton / Mayweather referee Joe Cortez in what became the infamous WWF Mayweather "Sucker Punch" fight.

Keeping up with his post retirement May / September two fight schedule was the long evaded Miguel Cotto. Cotto now having been brutally beaten by the skipped Antonio Margarito and the then avoided Manny Pacquiao somehow qualifies with a rematch win over the now banishment returning, legally blind Margarito who already lost to Mosley.

Waiting a year after the Cotto fight Mayweather picks Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero coming up two weight divisions who somehow got an interim welterweight title fight in his fist fight at 147lbs. The Selcuk Aydin win and victory over Andre Berto, yes Berto's in there again Guerrero gets the pick.

In what might be seen by many as a tough choice, Mayweather then took on 23 year old Saul Alvarez. Who having recorded wins over an aging Carlos Manuel Baldomir, a faded Lovemore Ndou, Matthew Hatton (claiming the vacant WBC World Super Welterweight title), Ryan Rhodes, Alfonso Gomez, Kermit Cintron, an all but done Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz jaw breaker Josesito Lopez and the Miguel Cotto de- dethroning Austin Trout who under any other circumstances other than the big money payday would have waited two more years.

Continuing with his May / September schedule keeping true to fighting the smaller guy moving up Mayweather takes on Marcos Maidana who earned his shot beating Mayweather disciple Adrien Broner. Maidana keeping it close with a majority decision loss and a Mayweather made glove fake controversy we got Mayweather vs Maidana 2, all while unbeaten Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Kell Brook and shelved Amir Khan are ignored.

Winning a rematch unanimous decision over Maidana six years, a Manny Pacquiao in tax trouble even after winning a PED defamation lawsuit against Mayweather we finally got the disappointing track meet and the follow up controversy (Pacquiao's shoulder) keeping a rumored rematch in the air.

After a disappointing May / Pac one no one crazy about a rematch should have seen a soft go away fight coming, but Andre Berto? Sure it fits "Money's" modus operandi.

The picking of Berto, a Al Haymon "advised" stablemate still in search of that big payday fight actually spotlights Mayweathers blueprinted selection process. Berto was clearly on the downside just like the five year too late Mosley, Cotto even Pacquiao fights. Berto also fits "Money's" high reward / low risk scheduling avoiding any real threat that might be supplied by say a shelved Amir Khan, a hungry Timothy Bradley or Shawn Porter an unbeaten Keith Thurman or Kell Brook. At 154 there was Erislandy Lara or a Saul Alvarez rematch all while staying as far away as you possible from a real champion style challenge of boxing's most exciting and avoided fighter "GGG" Gennady Golovkin.

The Berto pick also brings the forefront Mayweather hypocrisy. After all the what I believe was a child's play of "he who smelled it he who dealt it" Mayweather's PED allegations against Manny Pacquiao and team Mayweather loss in court actually ending up paying Pacquiao, the fact pacquiao couldn't get a shoulder shot while Mayweather Receives his regular hand injections together with the current IV allegations and Berto a convicted PED violator already lost to Mayweather WWF victim Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto just perfect fit the Mayweather pattern for an easy #49.

Now I want you to think how much credit would you give articles or news stories describing a champion in any other sport saying "he dominated" - "schooled" - "routed" - "was too superior" had they been able to choose, hand pick or negotiate out their opponents.

Then apply Mayweathers blueprint to some other sports stars. Imagine for a second what Ted Williams, who interrupted his 17 year career to serve three years in World War II .344 lifetime batting average, 521 home runs, and .482 on-base percentage, would have been if he could pick the pitchers he faced. Or how many touchdowns Peyton Manning would throw if he only played the Raiders. What other records would Wilt Chamberlain have crushed if there were no 3 second rule. See in their sport, they didn't and don't have the power to change or subvert the rules unlike. While Mayweather by design or not his financial pull and influence has been allowed not only schedule his Las Vegas county jail time for domestic violence around his fight schedule, allowed to defend two weight division titles in one fight (Maidana fights), fight in his home venue, select his opponents gloves and even skip out on paying set sanctioning fees after a title fight.

Now before you try to comprehend it all and draw a final conclusion consider what would "Money May's" legacy be if he fought when boxing had only one world champion, fighters fought with bare knuckles or wore small horse hair gloves, 15 round championship bouts and had same day weigh-ins.

While there is still the chance that Mayweather’s career is not yet over, wishing the era of zero good day I can only hope so. But with "Moneys' carefully completed six bout Showtime package completed and the doors wide open for a free for promoter bidding war for the Marciano record breaking fight my chin rattles the fear of a return. Unless of course he goes all in WWF and actually takes on Rhonda Rousey in a winner takes all bout, nah too much risk. Odds are "TBBBE" (The Best Boxing Businessman Ever) returns for #50 Manny vs Floyd 2. Coming to a theater near you 2016!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "Irish Bomber" Joe Smith Jr. Heads Rockin Fights 20 September 11th at The Paramount in Huntington, NY!
By: Coach K - September 1, 2015


After seeing the widely broadcast video of a Irish boxer tourist, Mohammed Fadel Dobbous taking on a Turkish crowd last week I couldn't help but think of Joe "The Irish Bomber" Smith Jr. (To watch video got to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYd5CYyteUI)

Watching the video and seeing the man described as a tourist / Irish professional boxer deck one of the attacking mob with a single shot, Smith's natural punching power quickly came to mind.

Smith, 25 years old from Mastic, Shirley Long Island, is a talented professional boxer who comes from a impressive amateur career, including two New York Gold Glove and four New York Metro titles. Smith who carries the moniker "The Irish Bomber" because of his raw punching power is 18-1, 15Ko's as a pro . Thats a 80% KO ratio higher than that of greats like Marvin Hagler and Stanley Ketchel .

The lethal punching Smith, kicked off his pro career October 2009 with a first round stoppage of David Brown, running off seven straight KO wins before suffering his first and only defeat August 2010 suffering a freak 4th round TKO loss to Lawrence, Massachusetts, banger Eddie "Thunder" Caminero.

The Caminero loss labeled as "freak" because after dominating the first round and all but the last twenty seconds of the second the Smith hit by a "Thunder" combination never wobbled or showed he was injured until  the sturdy gladiator was examined by the ringside doctor between rounds.

Unknown to the all ringside Smith, displaying more courage and heart than anyone not carrying an M-16, the young Irishman went on to fight and win most of the next six minutes before succumbing to the pain after being shouldered in a clinch from what was diagnosed later that evening as a double fractured jaw.

Following surgery and a liquid diet Smith returning to action eleven months later would rebound winning his next five inside the distance before then being forced to go the distance in his next three bouts scoring dominant point wins over Hamid Abdul-Mateen, Lamont Williams and Sacramento, California's cagey veteran Otis Griffin.

The "Irish Bomber" would return to his KO ways March 2014 stopping Michael Gbenga, Tyrell Hendrix, Maxell Taylor and Cory "Black Ice" Cummings in his last bout this past April.
    
Smith a fight fans fighter, trained by the “Fighting” Capobianco's, Gerry and Phil, carrying a good stiff, Tunney styled tactical jab, moves with the prowess of a Billy Conn. Armed punching with bilateral power showcasing  Fitsimmons left hook and "Sailor" Tom Sharkey right staying behind a Jack O'Brien high guard defense attacks to the body and head with a relentless unforgiving assault reminiscent of “Irish” Bob Murphy.

Evaluating the whole package, Smith with his composed aggressive style, impressive offensive skills, tight defense and "steel" tested chin, parlayed with his natural punching power it shouldn't be long before he makes his way to big name fights at the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division.

News Update: Turns out it has been miss reported that tourist in the above video was Irish, nor is he a professional boxer but is a Kuwaiti-born "Irish citizen" named Mohammed Fadel Dobbous with no professional boxing experience. That said, there is no doubt that Smith Jr. a second generation product Irish immigrants runs green inside and out. Nor is there any question of the high quality boxing skills and pulverizing power represented in his impressive record.

Just ask Newark, New Jersey veteran Cory "Black Ice" Cummings who having fought some of the best professional fighters, including Chris Henry, Keith Holmes, William Joppy (twice), Montell Griffin, Isaac Chilemba, Azea Augustama and Yusaf Mack was stopped in the second round on Smith's last bout in April. (To watch Smith Cummings got to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68DDsNDFivw)

Better idea, go see for yourself September 11th when "The Irish Bomber" takes on Flint, Michigan's, Shujaa El Amin in the main event of Joe Deguardia's Star Boxing Rockin Fights 20 card at Paramount Theatre, in Huntington, New York.

 

 

 

 

 

Take Part In Talkin Boxing with Billy C's Two Phase "All Time Best" Pound for Pound Poll!
By: Coach "K" - August 2, 2015


Here at the Talkin Boxing with Billy C TV & Radio program, we want to take advantage of our large e-mail and growing chat room participation to draw YOUR input in answering one of boxings longest and most controversial questions. Who IS boxings "All Time Best Pound for Pound"?

Your input will be drawn in two phases. First in phase one we want your personal list of boxings "All Time Best Pound for Pound" without including ANY ACTIVE fighters. Insert "All Time Best" in the heading, e-mail your list to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Upon receiving your personal list we will send you the second phase questions to our poll.

ALL emails from both phases will be analyzed and discussed throughout the length of the topic LIVE during the Talkin Boxing with Billy C TV & Radio program beginning next week.  

Get the conversation started, tell a friend and send your phase one list now!

 

 

 

 

 

Who is Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez?
By: Coach "K" - May 13, 2015


As the haze clears from the fog of the so called Floyd Mayweather / Manny Pacquiao "Fight of the Century" the talk in the hallways of boxing pundits and hardcore fans resoundingly echo's, "Who's next"? Not who's Mayweather's next carefully selected opponent, but who's ready to step up as the face of boxing.

While there are many popular names that jump to mind, including Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Terrance Crawford one name that flies just below the radar is Managua, Nicaragua flyweight Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez.

The 27 year old Nicaraguan boxer / brawler Gonzalez began learning boxing from his father hitting a makeshift heavy bag before finding himself under the tutelage of Nicaraguan legendary "Explosive Thin Man" Alexis Arguello. It was Arguello who eventually the gave his young charge the nickname, "Chocolatito" as Gonzalez along with a group of boys from the impoverished barrio would box every two weeks for food.

After an impressive amateur career including a Gold Medal at the 2004 Central American Championships Gonzalez turned pro July 2005.

Fighting mostly in Nicaragua and Japan running up 16 straight wins inside the distance "Chocolatito" claiming the vacant WBA Fedecentro, Nicaraguan Light Flyweight and the WBA Fedelatin Minimumweight titles along the way the hammer fisted talent would be forced to go the distance for the first time winning a lop sided ten round unanimous decision over Japanese veteran Hiroshi Matsumoto, January 2008.

Forced to go the full route again in his next fight flooring durable Mexican Javier "Maravilla" Murillo seven times Gonzalez would return to his heavy handed ways scoring stoppage wins in his next two before returning to Japan claiming the WBA World Minimumweight title with a 4th round TKO win over Yutaka Niida, September 15th 2008.

Winning his next five including three WBA World Minimumweight title defenses Gonzalez would add the vacant interim WBA World light flyweight title with a second round knockout of     Francisco Rosas in Tokyo, Japan, October 2010.

Gonzalez would add the full WBA World Minimumweight strap scoring a twelve round unanimous decision win over Manuel Vargas and it would be five more KO wins (Omar Soto twice in back to back fights, Manuel Jimenez, Ramon Garcia Hirales, Stiven Monterrosa)     before "Chocolatito" would put in a full nights work defending his WBA World Light Flyweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Francisco Rodriguez Jr. September 2013.

Ending his next eight fights prematurely it hasn't been until recently that "Chocolatito" fighting only three times in the US as a relative unknown but has began to draw the full attention of boxing media and purists when going to Japan, September 2014 Gonzalez claimed the WBC Flyweight title scoring a 9th round TKO of  Akira Yaegashi and returning two months later making his first defense stopping Rocky Fuentes in six. Gonzalez now listed on many pound for pound top ten list picked up in 2015 where he left off in 2014 returning home to Managua in February scoring a third round TKO win over Mexican veteran Valentin "Picoco" Leon.    
    
Gonzalez skill set together with his dynamic power and speed along with his fan friendly all out pressure style already has him breaking many top ten pound for pound lists.  

Trained by Arnulfo Obando Gonzalez is set to defend his WBC Flyweight title against Mexican former WBC Light Flyweight Champion Edgar Sosa this Saturday, May 16th in the co-feature of the Gennady Golovkin / Willie Monroe World Middleweight Championship card LIVE on HBO from the Forum, in Inglewood, California.

While most keep a close watch on Floyd Mayweather's quest to break Rocky Marciano's unbeaten record of 49-0 "Chocolatito" already carrying a resume of 42-0, 36Ko's the old school gym rat likes to the fight the best and is in my top three and will certainly become of the sports biggest draws. A typical "Chocolatito" styled win on Saturday nights televised card Gonzalez is sure to finally find his name on all the media pages and on all the lips of the average boxing fan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soro Shocks Tapia in Four, Monaghan Rolls On with Win Over Conceicao!
By: Coach "K" - Ringside - May 8, 2015


Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey: In the main event of a Top Rank promotion LIVE broadcast LIVE on TruTV  Frenchman Michel Soro claimed the vacant USBA and WBO NABO Super Welterweight titles scoring a 4th round stoppage of Passaic, New Jersey's Glen "Jersey Boy"  Tapia.

Tapia riding the high of his hometown fans started well firing and landing solid combinations to the head and body in the first two rounds but the counter punching Soro appearing unaffected by the shots slowly turned the tide in rounds three and four finally countering a Tapia's half cocked jab with a solid right left rocking "The Jersey Boy" opening the door for a powerful Soro follow-up forcing referee David Fields waved it off at 2:10 of round four. Soro improves to 26-1-1, 16Ko's while the Freddie Roach trained Tapia's three bout KO streak at 23-2, 15Ko’s.

In the co-feature Long Beach, Long Island's popular light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan remained unbeaten with another brick and mortar, blue collar ten round unanimous decision over 2000 Brazilian Olympian Cleiton Conceicao.

The former bricklayer, Monaghan a late comer to the boxing ring continued to grow under the tutelage of trainer Joe Higgins taking his blue collar discipline pressure attack straight to Conceicao tearing power shots to the head and body.

Monaghan controlling the center of the ring best success came behind an ever improving jab but it would be his consistent body work that would soften the tough Brazilians late round push allowing the relentless Irishman battling a grotesquely swollen right eye, never taking a back step to score his 24th straight victory with a solid 99-91, 98-92 times two unanimous decision. The 33 year old Monaghan rolls to 24-0, 15Ko's while Conceicao falls to 20-7-2, 16Ko's.

In other action: In a scheduled super lightweight eight rounder Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, Julian "Hammer Hands" Rodriguez made short work of Peter Oluoch blasting the out gunned Kenyan with a clean combination putting him on queer street for a follow-up barrage of punches forcing referee Harvey Dock to correctly step in and stop the punishment at 1:22 of round one. Rodriguez advances to 10-0, 9Ko's while Oluoch drops to 14-9-2, 8Ko's.    

In eight round middleweight action Brazilian 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Esquiva Falcao probed and measured Saint Joseph, Missouri's Paul Harness for most of the first two rounds finding his range and putting him on a knee with a big left hook in round three. Harness allowed to continue would serve as the landing spot for Falcao lefts and rights until referee Benji Esteves had seen enough stopping the bout at close of round three.  Falcao improves to 9-0, 6Ko's while Harness levels out at 5-5-1, 4Ko's.

In eight round super lightweight action Waldorf, Maryland Mike "Yes-Indeed" Reed out classed Jersey City, New Jersey, Osenohan Vazquez pounding the out gunned Jerseyite for most of the first two rounds until referee Harvey Dock stopped the action at the 2:00 mark of round two saving the defenseless Vazquez anymore unnecessary punishment. Reed improves to 14-0, 8Ko's while Vazquez 1-3 in his last four, stopped in three of those falls to 8-4-1, 3Ko's.

In a rock'em sock'em styled four round heavyweight bout Bronx, New York's George Arias over powered Rockville, Maryland's Carlos "Diamond Cutter" Black backing him to the ropes for a heavy barrage of punches forcing referee Benji Esteves to put a stop to the contest at 2:05 of round one. Arias moves to 3-0, 2Ko's while Black evens out at 1-1.

In a scheduled light heavyweight four round bout New Milford, New Jersey's, Darren Goodall and North Carolina's, Alex Asbury traded some early heavy leather with Ashbury getting the worst of it hitting the canvas twice prompting referee Benji Esteves call an end to the action at 2:47round one. Goodall moves to 2-0, 2Ko's while Asbury still without a win falls to 0-2, stopped twice.

 

 

 

 

Mayweather's Hypocritical About Face on Pacquiao Rematch!
By: Coach "K" - May 8, 2015


Just two days after saying he would be open to a re-match with long avoided Manny Pacquiao, Floyd "Money" Mayweather did an about face in an interview with Showtime to be broadcast on Saturday, calling the popular Philippine star Filipino "a sore loser" and "a coward".

Mayweather in selective memory, denial fashion conveniently forgetting his similar situation following the first very controversial first fight with Jose Luis Castillo, a fight most ringside thought he lost, to no-ones surprise in an outward act of hypocrisy he blamed on a shoulder injury he now calls Manny Pacquiao a "coward".

After weeks of denying and dodging logged and recorded domestic abuse charges and public reports of a Pacquiao MRI and surgery Mayweather stated "I'm not going to buy into the bulls**t... and I don't want the public to buy into the bulls**t, referring to Pacquiao's claim of a right shoulder injury going into the fight.

Mayweather went on to say "He lost. He knows he lost. I lost a lot of respect for him after all of this. At this particular time, no, because he's a sore loser and he's a coward... If you lost, accept the loss and say, 'Mayweather, you were the better fighter'."

While I agree Mayweather won the fight hands down, and feel Pacquiao should have postponed the fight the comments now coming from the "man" who calculatingly hand picked his opponents like a WWF participant, dodging Manny Pacquiao for six years ultimately losing a defamation case alleging the Filipino star used Peds, he then reneged on a promise to fight Amir Khan if he beat Devon Alexander. With all that said, lets not forget the self proclaimed "Best Ever's" part in the Ho-Hum "Fight of the Century" with all his running and hugging I find it hard to take anything he says serious as he takes the sport I love one step closer to WRESTLING!

 

 

 

 

Mayweather / Pacquiao Dud Over, Who Can Return Boxing to It's Hey Day!
By: Coach "K" - May 5, 2015


As many boxing pundits and fans choose sides after the disappointing Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao so called "Fight of the Century" many move on to whets next for boxing, who fills the Pacquiao / Mayweather void.

Will boxing fans move closer to wrestling and continue to except and big named well promoted match-up or will they return to the "Champion of the World" best fight the best, when they are the best.

Don't want to dwell on the timely Mayweather picking or even the appearance that the large paydays of a Mayweather bout brings in opponents who will do anything for the fight even leaving their best fight home.


Two names that jump to the fore front are former WBC and WBA Light Middleweight Champion and Mayweather opponent Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and WBA Super World Middleweight Champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin.

"Canelo" Spanish for cinnamon, the youngest of seven boxing brothers following his freckled, red headed mother with some Irish ancestry turned pro October 2005, at age 15 having only 20 amateur bouts the Mexican / Irishman jumped into the thick of things recording a win over eventual IBF Lightweight Champion Miguel Vasquez in just this third pro bout.

After battling Jorge Juarez to a controversial draw in fight number five "Canelo" building a solid unbeaten recording wins over previously unbeaten Gabriel Martinez, a rematch win over Miguel Vasquez, Lanardo Tyner, Jose Miguel Cotto (the brother of Miguel Cotto), tough veteran Luciano Leonel Cuello, former WBC Welterweight Champion Carlos Baldomir and former IBF Light Welterweight Champion Lovemore Ndou claimed his first major title March 2011 winning the vacant WBC World Super Welterweight Title scoring a twelve round unanimous decision over Matthew Hatton.    

"Canelo" Making five straight title defenses and running his record to an impressive 42-0-1, 30Ko's with wins over EBU (European) Super Welterweight Champion Ryan Rhodes, a southpaw, Contender TV Boxing series star Alfonso Gomez, former IBF Welterweight Champion Kermit "Killer" Cintron, an aging "Sugar" Shane Mosley and "The Riverside Rocky" and Josesito Lopez    , Canelo added the WBA World Super Welterweight strap with a twelve round unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto conqueror Austin "No Doubt" Trout April 2013 before suffering his first loss a split decision loss to self proclaimed "pound for pound" Champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather five months later.

Always looking to face the toughest opposition, the Golden boy Promotions fighter returned to work scoring a tenth round TKO stoppage of 2004 Mexican Olympian Alfredo "Perro" Angulo and a split decision win over often dodged Cuban Erislandy Lara in his last outing last July.

"Canelo" having a hard time getting tough matches faces Austin, Texas heavy handed James Kirkland this Saturday May 9th in the "Mandingo Warrior's" backyard LIVE on HBO from Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas.

At 33 years old Golovkin, 32-0, 29Ko's comes from a much different amateur background. After compiling an impressive record of 345-5 and winning a Silver Medal for his homeland Kazakhstan at the 2004 Olympics "GGG" turned pro in 2006 winning his first eight bouts inside the distance before being forced to go the full route winning an eight round unanimous decision over Frances Mehdi Bouadla, September 2007.

Going 10-0, 8Ko's in his next ten Golovkin laid claim to the interim WBA World Middleweight title with a first round stoppage of Milton Nunez, August 2010 adding the full title in his next bout four months later stopping Nilson Julio Tapia in three.

Hitting the boxing mainstream June 2011 with a tenth round TKO title defense win over Kassim Ouma adding consecutive knockout wins over Lajuan Simon, Makoto Fuchigami, Grzegorz Proksa, Gabriel Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida, Matthew Macklin, Curtis Stevens, Osumanu Adama, Daniel Geale, Marco Antonio Rubio and Martin Murray     in February, "GGG" named the 2013 "Fighter of the Year" holding the highest KO ratio in middleweight championship history with a 90.63% knockout percentage like "Canelo" finding it hard to get big fights takes on ESPN's 2014 Boxcino Middleweight Tournament winner once beaten southpaw Willie Monroe May 16th, LIVE on HBO from the Forum, in Inglewood, California.

Nothing against Mayweathers novelty unbeaten record or his Hall of Fame ready defensive style, the simple definition of "fight" seems to be the sports biggest attraction.

It is with that in mind I see old time, hardcore boxing fans and now turning millennial fans after Saturday nights Mayweather/ Pacquiao dud that the love for "fighters who fight" like Golovkin and Alvarez returning boxing to the forefront.

Lets just hope the "zero era" will quickly fade away with Mayweather and return us to a time when popularity came from fighters fighting the best, when they are at their best and with "GGG's" and "Canelo's" rising popularity and willingness to fight together with the possibility of a future showdown I see real challenges as  the formula returning boxing to is Hay Day.
 
I think rising stars like Sergey Kovalev, Terence Crawford, Roman Gonzalez, Nicholas Walters or even a young Naoya Inoue, all who stay busy fighting tough challenges and all have top shelf talent and styles can help boxing make the swing back.

 

 

 

 

Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Its Done, Lets Review How We Finally Got Here!
By: Coach K - February 24, 2015


I'm sure you heard the news, Mayweather vs Pacquiao is done. Both men have signed and both officially have stated, its on. So now that we are finally here lets take at a quick glance at how we got here.

The 37 year old Floyd Mayweather Jr. born February 24th, 1977 Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of welterweight contender Floyd Sr. turned to boxing at age 7 under the careful eye of with his former world champion uncles Roger and Jeff Mayweather.

Living just a few houses away from the local boxing gym, Floyd Jr. developing a slick, precision style, won National Golden Gloves titles in 1993, 1994 and 1996 ending his amateur career 84-6 following a personal disappointing Bronze Medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Mayweather carrying the moniker "Pretty Boy" for his glamour looks and defensive style turned pro the following October at age 19, 131lbs scoring a second round TKO win over Roberto Apodaca. Mayweather closed out his rookie year, a month later, scoring a four round unanimous decision over Reggie Sanders.

Starting 1997 with five straight KO victories, the former Olympian would win his next sixteen claiming the WBC World Super Featherweight title retiring Genaro Hernandez in fight and fact October 1998.

Nine title defenses later, after beating Angel Manfredy, Carlos Alberto Ramon Rios, Justin Juuko, Carlos Gerena, Gregorio Vargas, Emanuel Augustus, Diego Corrales, Carlos Hernandez (Mayweather down in 6th round) and Jesus Chavez the Top Rank, promoted Mayweather suffering his first sub par performance April 20th, 2002 when he was out landed 203 to 157 total and 173-66 in power punches somehow was awarded a very controversial 116-11, 115-111 times two twelve round unanimous decision and the WBC Lightweight title over Jose Luis Castillo.

To his credit eight months later "Pretty Boy" would redeem himself against Castillo. This time completely refusing to mix it up, boxed his way to a strange closer scored rematch 116-113, 115-113 times two unanimous decision rematch win.

Following up 2003 lightweight title defense wins over Victoriano Sosa and Phillip Ndou, Mayweather moving up to 140lbs won WBC Light Welterweight Title Eliminator bouts over Demarcus Corley, May 2004 and Henry Bruseles, January 2005, claiming the WBC World Super Lightweight title that June stopping Arturo Gatti in six rounds, repeating the deed stopping Sharmba Mitchell in November.

In a mysterious set of circumstances in 2006 Mayweather chose to fight IBF Welterweight Champion Zab Judah in April who had just lost only his WBC belt to Carlos Baldomir that January.

Mayweather providing us a brief glance at his future fight selection process then rejected an $8 million dollar career high purse offer by promoter Bob Arum to fight welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito instead buying out his contract for $750,000 going onto add the WBC strap to his collection with a twelve round unanimous decision over, yes that's right, Carlos Baldomir in November.

With big names still hovering at147lbs Mayweather moved 154lbs May 2007 for a showdown against a sliding Oscar De La Hoya, winning a split decision in a fight judge Jerry Roth scored the last round for Mayweather. Had Roth scored it for De La Hoya like judges Chuck Giampa and Tom Kaczmarek the fight would have been a draw.

Prior to his December 8th, 2007 10th round KO win over a 147lb unbeaten Ricky Hatton, Mayweather again possibly hinting at his new agenda was quoted “It’s not like it used to be. I think I liked this sport better when I was fighting for free. When you’re young, you don’t have concerns, so you’re not worried about nothing (losing?).

Shortly after the Hatton fight, Mayweather announced that he was “permanently retiring from boxing.” Strangely enough at a point when Ronald "Winky" Wright, Felix Sturm, Cory Spinks, Roman Karmazin, Vernon Forrest, Ike Quartey, Shane Mosley, Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito loomed large.

Facing IRS problems of his own "Money" would return September 19, 2009 taking on Juan Manuel Marquez in a fight that wouldn't go  without its own controversy when Marquez having moved up two weight division took the fight a Mayweather set catch weight he himself refused to meet. The much bigger, still skilled Mayweather,  had his way winning an oversized twelve round unanimous decision while Pacquiao just weeks claimed the WBO World welterweight title annihilating Miguel Cotto.

Mayweather clearly obsessed with money changed his moniker from “Pretty Boy” to “Money” has making it clear he's in charge declaring  “I call the shots, everything that goes my way isn’t always the right way. I know that. But I like things the way I like them.”

Mayweather on his way to become the greatest boxing businessman took full control of his fights picking
the venue, advertising, concessions, pay per view percentages, judges, referees and essentially hiring his opponents for peanuts on the dollar was exactly where he wanted to be. In full control.

"Money" joining partnership with "advisor" Al Haymon becoming today's the biggest pay-per-view attraction by design fighting entirely at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas since 2007 incorporated a semi annual "appearance" schedule of fighting on Cinco de Mayo weekend in May and a weekend selected in September.

Sticking to the May / September time line in the more recent past in a fight that should have happened somewhere around 2005 "Money" scored a twelve round decision win over Shane Mosley in May 2010, moving onto a carefully selected WWE styled "sucker punch" styled KO of "Vicious" Victor Ortiz September 2011.

In 2012, following a conviction for domestic abuse Mayweather with a brief exercise of distraction had his jail sentence postponed until June with the tease of a Pacquiao fight only to go on to record a twelve round decision over Miguel Cotto May 5th, Cinco de Mayo weekend, in another fight that should have taken place years earlier.

Released in August, after serving less than 90 days at the Clark County Detention Center, Mayweather under a new contract with Showtime returned Cinco de Mayo weekend May 2013 to win a twelve round unanimous decision over surprise opponent Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero.

After searching a long list for possible opponents, Mayweather would take on 23 year old unbeaten Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in September scoring a split decision win over Alvarez who hadn't it been for the large purse, no right minded camp would have allowed Alvarez to take the fight at that point.

Mayweather again unable to "come to terms" with Pacquiao and putting aside a possible fight with Amir Khan, sticking to his May, Cinco De Mayo / September timeline chose Marcos Maidana, and the gloves he would wear for back to back unanimous decision wins.

Manny Pacquiao, born December 17th, 1978 in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines grew up the son of divorced parents. His mother unable to support Manny and his five siblings and the family living in extreme poverty a fourteen year old Manny dropped out of school and left home.

Seeking refuge on the rough streets of Manila, trying to find work, Manny began boxing. With reports of him weighing as low as 98lbs and putting weights in his pockets to make the 105 pound weight division he earned room and board making the Philippine National Amateur Boxing Team compiling an amateur record of 60–4.

Motivated after the passing of a close friend and aspiring boxer Eugene Barutag, Manny turned pro at age 16 winning a 106lb four round unanimous decision over Edmund Enting Ignacio, January 25th 1995.

Winning his first eleven pro bouts, Pacquiao failing to make the 112lb limit would suffer his first defeat, a third round KO loss to Rustico Torrecampo February 9th 1996. Pacquiao mandated to wearing 8 oz gloves to Torrecampo's 6oz due to the weight difference (different than paying the opponent ala Marquez vs Mayweather September 2009) the two trading lefts would see Pacquio go down hard unable to beat the count.

Returning to action three months later, Pacquiao would go a roll winning his next thirteen. Eleven coming inside the distance, including claiming the WBC World Flyweight title with an eight round stoppage of  Chatchai Sasakul, December 1998.

Adding February and April KO wins early 1999, Pacquiao would suffer his second defeat a title defense 3rd round KO loss to unbeaten Medgoen Singsurat in September.

Returning to the ring in December or 99, Pacquiao would right the ship beginning a seven bout KO run claiming the WBC International Super Bantamweight title, defending it fives times before adding the IBF World Super Bantamweight title stopping Lehlo Ledwaba in six June 2001. In a November WBO / IBF World Super Bantamweight title unification fight with Agapito Sanchez, Pacquiao and Sanchez battled to a technical draw when the fight was stopped when Pacquiao was severely by an accidental clash of heads.

Defending his IBF sash with five straight TKO wins including an 11th round stoppage of Marco Antonio Barrera, Pacquiao would challenge future rival Juan Manuel Marquez for the WBA / IBF World Featherweight title, May 2004. Pacquiao despite putting Marquez down three times in round one he would be forced to settle for a split decision draw when one judge only scoring the fight 113-113 had round one 10-7 instead of 10-6 which would have given Pacquiao the edge and the respective titles.

Winning a IBF Featherweight Eliminator for the #2 Spot with a 4th round TKO of Fahsan 3K Battery, Manny would suffer his third loss March 2005 dropping a brutal twelve round unanimous decision loss to "EL Terrible" Erik Morales for the vacant WBC and IBA International Super Featherweight titles.

Claiming the vacant WBC International Super Featherweight title his next time out with a 6th round TKO of Hector Velazquez, Pacquiao would win a WBC Super Featherweight Title Eliminator with a 10th round TKO rematch win over Erik Morales two fights into a fifteen bout unbeaten streak including a second win over Marco Antonio Barrera and a rubber match victory over Morales, grabbing the WBC World Lightweight title with a 9th round stoppage of David Diaz, an 8th round retirement of Oscar De La Hoya, a blistering second round demolition of Ricky Hatton, adding the WBO World Welterweight title with a twelve round destruction of Miguel Cotto. Closing out the run with wins over Joshua Clottey, widely avoided Antonio Margarito and "Sugar" Shane Mosley Pacquiao banked his second win over Juan Manuel Marquez before suffering back to a controversial split decision loss to unbeaten Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr. June 2012 and a shocking sixth round KO loss to rival Juan Manuel Marquez the following December.

After an eleven month hiatus a less explosive Pacquio would return winning three consecutive one sided twelve round unanimous decisions over Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios, a rematch win over WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley and previously unbeaten WBO World Super Lightweight Champion Rulslan Provodnikov slayer Chris Algieri.

Pacquiao, the sports first and only eight division world champion, winning ten world titles had his share of distractions and successes outside the ring earning his high school equivalency diploma, enrolling in college for several business and government degrees all while serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Philippine Army reserves and being elected to the Philippines House of Representatives in May 2010.

After finding himself listed Forbes magazine as one of the worlds top paid athletes and re-elected to the Philippine Congress in 2013, "Pacman" would answer the opening bell for one of his toughest fights, an on going battle with the IRS and the Philippine tax authorities.

Mayweather and Pacquiao will meet May 2nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in what will be boxing's biggest gate of over $250 million easily surpassing the next three Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul Alvarez – Sept. 13, 2013 – $150 million, Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. – May 5, 2007 – $136 million and Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson – June 8, 2002 – $112 million leaving the sports biggest question. After all the years of  alleged picking, dodging, publicity, propaganda, hype and disappointment, will the hard sold fight actually meet up to the expectations or will Mayweather and Pacman just end up in another high profile sparring session leaving us all a bit lighter in the pocket while they laugh it up all the way to the bank.

The Negotiations
A quick look at the tedious Mayweather vs Pacquiao negotiations time lime:
Negotiations for a possible a Mayweather / Pacquiao fight started back in December 2009 quickly spiraling into a series of mostly unsubstantiated he said, she said styled volleys from both parties.

The first "alleged" contract was reported as an eight page package sent by Golden Boy Promotions on behalf of Mayweather to Pacquiao promoter Top Rank Boxing December 11th, proposing a 50-50 financial split and the fight to take place on March 13th, 2010.

The lengthy agreement was reportedly so detailed that it indicated Pacquiao would be first onto the scales at the weigh-in, first to the ring first and first to be introduced. Mayweather taking control would have his choice of locker rooms and both fighters would submit to Olympic-style drug testing as designed by Mayweather.

The venues named in discussion for the fight were the Superdome in New Orleans, Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and Mayweather's home away from home, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (allowing Mayweather to continue to have injections in hands have prior to the fight).

Shortly after reports that both parties had agreed to "all" the terms in the contract, Golden Boy Promotions sent out a press release (December 22, 2009) stating that Pacquiao was unwilling to comply with the Olympic style drug testing requested by Team Mayweather.

The fight was immediately declared off by Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum who claimed "We appeased Mayweather by agreeing to a urine analysis at any time, and blood testing before the press conference and after the fight. This is just harassment and to me, just signaled that he didn't want the fight."

Arum, would counter with a take it or leave it 24 hour deadline proposal of their own quickly declined by Mayweather ultimately ending in Pacquiao filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Nevada against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions executives Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer, alleging that they made false and defamatory statements accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

May 2010, the negotiations moved through growing allegations including that Pacquiao was afraid to have his blood drawn all while Arum setting Pacquiao's next fight date for November, even naming Mayweather as a possible opponent. Until Mayweather answered back, declaring he was taking the rest of 2010, and possibly 2011 off.

As boxing fans picked sides the saga would continue with further rumors, deadlines and denials, even reports Mayweather remaining in his controlling character called Pacquiao offering a flat 40 million dollar payday but would not allow him to share in the revenue.

Pacquiao, refusing the money split appeared on the ESPN's First Take sports talk show on September 20, 2012 emphatically declaring he had no problem with the drug-testing issue saying "No problem, whatever he wants to do."

The next week Pacquiao settled his PED's defamation lawsuit against Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer and president Oscar De La Hoya after a public apology while the case against Team Mayweather went on and was settled in court when after the case took a turn against Floyd Mayweather Jr. avoiding questioning under oath from Pacquiao's lawyers Mayweather was ordered him to pay about $114,000.

The story lines changed in December with it being reported that Mayweather said Pacquiao’s association with promoter Bob Arum is the reason why the bout will not happen, stating he will never do business with Arum.

The time would pass the rumors and storylines would grow with each fighters fan's securing a line. Mayweather would call Pacquiao desperate due to on going tax problems a shot firmly rebuffed by Pacquiao calling out "Money" to a mega charity fight with neither fighter receiving a cent and the proceeds going to the winners charity.

After excuses including Pacquiao not being on his level, Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter, wanting to open up the bidding for the venue to AT&T Stadium the two fighters were spotted together at a Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks game in Miami in January reigniting rumors and a possible Super Bowl announcement
only to pass onto a period of Mayweather / Pacquiao chatter silence until the February 20th announcement that the fight was finally a done deal. The fight was set and you guessed it, May 2nd Cinco de Mayo weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Yes, there have been a gluttony of talks, negotiations, arbitration, demands, deadlines, publicity stunts, lawsuits and even Mayweather's incarceration but both sides have their part in the non-fight.

Now hopefully with all the issues officially signed and sealed can the Floyd Mayweather / Manny Pacquiao long awaited showdown, a classic clash of styles, matching Mayweather this era's premier defensive boxer (not TBE the best ever) and Manny Pacquiao known for his all in, any angle offensive juggernaut meet the years of expectations.

Now the fight.
Common opponents:
De La Hoya
Floyd Mayweather in his usual minimum offense display, scored a split-decision victory to relieve De La Hoya of his WBC Light Middleweight crown in May of 2007.

Pacquiao destroyed  De La Hoya stopping the "Golden Boy" at 147lbs by way of an eighth round TKO,  December 2008.

Edge: Pacquiao, he just dismantled de La Hoya.
 
Juan Manuel Marquez
Mayweather’s fight against Marquez at a catch weight not met by Mayweather was not as action packed as any of Marquez battles with Pacquiao but Floyd the much bigger man won decisively.

Pacquiao versus Marquez comes with a different twist with the two battling four times. The first a controversial draw which should have gone to Pacquiao hadn't it been for some dubious first round scoring in which Pacquiao floored Marquez three times. There are Manny's second and third fight wins very close only to be erased from the minds of many with Marquez explosive sixth round Ko of the "Pacman" in their last meeting November 2011.

While the Pacquiao vs Marquez rivalry appears more even, Manny was taking it to the Mexican warrior when he was caught by a perfectly timed and placed single shot. Floyds win over Marquez as decisive as it may have been comes with the usual Mayweather control controversy.

Edge: Even Floyd would have to face Marquez at least one more time preferably at an even weight.

"Sugar" Shane Mosley
Mayweather in a fight that should have happened five years earlier overcame a shaky start being rocked by Mosley in round two (who mysteriously stopped punching) re-grouping to win a one sided twelve round unanimous decision, May 2010.

Pacquiao in similar fashion floored Molsey in round three coasting to a points win appearing to almost be carrying the future Hall of Famer, May 2011.

Edge: Even both for the most part had to their way with "Sugarman."

Ricky Hatton
December 8th 2007 fighting at 147lbs under the scrutiny of referee Joe Cortez, Mayweather turned Hatton's early success stopping the unbeaten "Hitman" in the ninth round. Mayweather would later call the fight his toughest fight to date.

Pacquiao facing Hatton at 140lbs floored the Brit twice in round one, brutally stopping him in round two for all intensive purposes ending Hatton's career.

Edge: Pacquiao for the quicker dismantling and fighting Hatton at his most successful weight.

Who Win's:
Floyd of course has his opinion stating "When you just look at the tale of the tape, I have a longer reach, I'm taller, I'm stronger, and I'm more accurate." Not missing a chance to take a shot added “I think I’ve seen a major change in Pacquiao when Alex Ariza left his training camp. Which is a great thing, Alex is working with me now."

On paper I might have to agree. Floyd is distinctly the bigger man and with the old adage - "A good big man always beats a good little man" most would probably see it that way.

When it comes to punching power many pundits have questioned Manny's lack of knockouts as of recent with his last coming November 2009, a twelfth round TKO win over Miguel Cotto.

I see Manny having left his single punch KO power back in the super featherweight division and most of his heavy work coming by surprise and in numbers. At 147lbs I believe Manny has reached his maximum weight and probably not his best ala Ricky Hatton.

Mayweather, somehow the reigning WBC Welterweight and Light Middleweight Champion should see a bit of a power edge just being the naturally bigger man with his last stoppage coming in a more millennial pleasing fashion a "sucker punch" knockout of  "Vicious" Victor Ortiz September 2011. before that it was a 9th round TKO of Ricky Hatton back 2007.

While Floyd is a defensive fighter he has very deceptive speed and power. While his punches are most times singular in nature they are technically sound and are triggered with speed and precision almost always with his opponents counters in mind denying him maximum leverage and power.

A matter of style and choice for Mayweather its an example of will, opening the way for a few questions. Does Floyd have the will to sit down and open up? Can he or will he match Manny's work rate? Will he just fall back into that control mindset having won the pre fight battles and stealing rounds?

To use Floyd's own words, sure it's "prizefighting." I get it, fighting for money. Duh! Of course, and there's nothing wrong with that. But at the time of a sinking economy, claiming you are "TBE" (the best ever) while avoiding high risk fights and timely challenges when your face is plastered on the cover of Forbes magazine as the highest paid athlete, giving us a career that could easily be argued as ducking and dodging, protecting the almighty zero with high priced PPV reality TV styled sparring sessions, against carefully selected opponents "prizefighting doesn't come close covering it. That's wrestling!

Even if Mayweather / Pacquiao finally actually happens, (when I see it I'll believe it) even if it comes close to expectations, it can never do for the sport what Ali / Frazier, Ross / McLarnin, Gatti / Ward or a Zale / Graziano singles or their trilogies did. Mayweather / Pacquiao took six years to get one fight signed. What are the chances Mayweather / Pacquiao actually equals any of those listed above? A boxing fan can only hope. Even if we get lucky and lighting does strike twice, I think it would take a time warp setting the clock back a few decades, when boxing was a trade.

After all is said and done, Mayweather vs Pacquiao isn't the boxing save all. Boxing the sport with the help of Mayweather himself has taken a very wide turn and gotten off track. "Money" for along time was in position to give the sport shot in the arm or even a bit of correction, but choosing to follow the dollars signs taking the path of least resistance he denied us fans what the sport truly needs. Fighters! Fighters who fight! Fighter fighting timely fights against the best opposition leading to true "World Champions."

With boxing's shadowy history and all the money involved, I don't like it but I have to say it. If on the up and up with such a large purse, now would be the time for all of boxing to get together and create some kind of regulation for boxing and boxers. Find a way or initiate a  pension or union for those who put it on the line every time they climb those stairs.

As I said before I see this as a fight of wills with two questions. Does Manny still have that aggressive drive to overwhelm the now fading master craftsman? Or? Does Floyd have in him that career defining fight I don't think we've seen yet? Well that's why they fight the fights and only May 2nd will tell!

Prediction: While "A good big man always beats a good little man," you can't judge the fight by the size of the dog but the dog in the fight."

I see both fighters stepping up. Manny's dog gives us flashes of that previous aggression, while thwarted most times by Floyd's stellar defense he puts "Money" down. Mayweather using his superior size displays a killer instinct never displayed before re-grouping giving us a "FIGHT" too close to call. Split decision and we do it all over again. Maybe a Gatti / Ward? Nah but a fight. Please! Or boxing takes an unnecessary hit.

 

 

 

 

Barney Ross with Jimmy McLarnin

 

Remembering "The Pride of the Ghetto"!
By: Coach K - January 17, 2015 - BillyCBoxing.com


As Jay Z and Al Haymon continue their new approach to boxing promotion with Jay Z's Roc Nation adding a new musical approach and Al Haymon bringing back LIVE big fight professional boxing to prime time TV, I hope they don't forget the old school development of their fighters (fighting) reminiscent of Barney Ross who passed 48 years ago today.

Barney Ross, a professional boxer / veteran winning world titles in three weight divisions was born Dov-Ber "Beryl" David Rosofsky; in New York City to Isidore "Itchik" Rosofsky and Sarah Epstein December 23, 1909.

Dov-Ber, near the age of two moved to Chicago with his family where his father Isidore became a rabbi and owner of a small vegetable shop. As young boy Dov-Ber, envisioning becoming a Jewish teacher and a Talmudic scholar like his father had his life turned upside down when Isidore was shot dead resisting a robbery at the small family grocery, subsequently sinking his mother Sarah into a nervous breakdown leaving his younger siblings—Ida, Sam and George in orphanages or living with other family members.

It was then, with a burning in his heart Dov-Ber turned his back on the orthodox Jewish religion and began hanging out on the mean streets of Chicago with the Maxwell Street section rough-necks including future Lee Harvey Oswald assassin Jack Ruby.

Picking up the traits of the typical street thug, stealing and running money and numbers for Al Capone and what ever he felt he could do to help put his family back together, the diminutive Jewish teen gaining the nickname “Runt” swiftly picked a up reputation as a certified street fighter.

Drifting to boxing at Kid Cross’s gym with his new friend Ruby, Dov-Ber fighting as an amateur fell in love with the sport and the attention it would bring, winning the Chicago and Intercity Golden Gloves in 1929 selling all his awards to help subsidize the family. Turning pro at age 19 after about 200 amateur bouts, Dov-Ber like so many Jewish immigrants and pro fighters of the era would change his name to Barney Ross, mainly so his mother, now back at the head of the family would remain in the dark.

Fighting his first four fights in California, Ross would win his first ten before suffering his first defeat a six round points loss to Carlos Garcia April 1930. Going 8-0-2 in his next ten, Ross picking up the moniker "The Pride of the Ghetto" would suffer his second pro defeat dropping an eight round decision to Roger Bernard the following March.

Taking his brash courage to the ring and excepting a loss as part of the trade, Ross winning his next twenty five bouts, including wins over Battling Battalino, Johnny Farr and the Petrole brothers Frankie and Billy "The Fargo Express". Ross big break would come June 23rd, 1933 challenging and beating future Hall of Famer Tony Canzoneri, out boxing the heavier punching champion claiming the World Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight belts winning a hard fought ten round majority decision.

Adding a 6th round TKO of Johnny Farr and a fifteen round split decision rematch win over Canzoneri,  
Ross a very savvy and determined fighter, carrying superior ring generalship and great stamina would win his next four fights before vacating his light welterweight belt to move up and challenge Jimmy "Baby Face" McLarnin for the World Welterweight title. Ross scoring a fifteen round split decision May 1934 in true championship fashion would give the future Hall of Famer McLarnin an immediate rematch this time losing a split decision and returning the belt just four months later.

Dropping back down in his next bout and reclaiming the World Jr. Welterweight title with a 12 round unanimous decision win over Bobby Pacho, adding defense wins over Frankie Klick and Henry Woods. "The Pride of the Ghetto" again vacating his title would face McLarnin in a rubber match regaining the World Welterweight title this time winning a fifteen round unanimous decision May 1935.

Ross, winning his next sixteen bouts, including wins over Baby Joe Gans, Izzy Jannazzo, Al Manfredo and three over tough bolo punching future World Middleweight Champion Ceferino Garcia set what would ultimately be his last, a fight. A fight he refused to lose in action only, relinquishing his title in a one sided matter to fellow three division world champion and future Hall of Famer Henry "Homicide Hank" Armstrong May 31st, 1938.

Ross, trained by Packy McFarland and later the great Ray Arcel, fighting in one of boxing's top trilogies against Jimmy McLarnin, is named in the top three Jewish fighters of all time and is ranked in the top ten greatest welterweights ever. "The Pride of the Ghetto" fighting with a resolution of toughness held in his heart retired after the Armstrong fight, compiling a record of 72-4-3, 22Ko's, 2 no decisions and 2 Newspaper Decisions.

Ross demonstrating the courage that kept him upright against Armstrong, over the draft age of 32 applied for and received waiver to join the Marines after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

First assigned a ceremonious position like Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Ray Robinson, the Marine Corp boxing instructor, again demonstrated incredible courage after facing charges for flooring a non-commissioned officer for making a anti-Semetic comment "The pride of the Ghetto" volunteered for combat duty eventually serving at Guadalcanal, one of the battle of the Pacific's bloodiest battles. The 140lb Ross would  receive two Purple Hearts (wounded in leg and foot), a Presidential Citation and the Silver Star for heroism for actions taken after a night of  battle, fighting off the Japanese opposition and out of ammo he crawled to an adjacent fox hole and carried a severely wounded 200lb comrade to safety.

Recovering in the hospital from his wounds suffered in combat Ross developed a routine of morphine use for pain that would turn into a $500 a day heroin addiction when he returned to the states.

Drawing on his champions internal courage, Ross living with incredible pain from his war injuries would break his heroin addiction going "cold turkey". The boxing champion / war hero would spend much of the rest of his life speaking out against drug abuse leading a Hollywood spotlight to the fighters life in the autobiographical movie "Monkey on My Back." Hollywood also released the boxing movie “Body and Soul” which had so many obvious connections to Ross life story that the studio was forced to pay the former champion $60,000 for what amounted to copyright infringement.

In his private life "The Pride of the Ghetto", married twice, having no children, drank like many fighters of the era. He was known as a carousing, chronic gambler, at times blowing his purses spending large amounts of money constantly finding himself in debt to bookies, loan sharks and even his mobster friends.

As mentioned in his autobiography "No Man Stands Alone", Ross, after all his battles in and out of the ring held re-uniting his family and his win over Tony Canzoneri as his greatest accomplishments. Spending his late years in a celebrity status with small roles in a few movies, the new proprietor of a very successful Chicago lounge baring his name, worked in several other minor businesses while making frequent Casino appearances always staying loyal to his ghetto roots, even testifying as a character witness on behalf of his childhood friend Jack Ruby at his trial for killing Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Ross passing January 1967 at age of 57, after a long bout with cancer was elected to the International boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Never forgotten, Barney Ross, the fast-reloading mercenary with a long history of field action and an even longer list of allies and rivals played by Sylvester Stallone in the Expendables movies was chosen to honor the former world champion.

 

 

 

 

 

Is Haymon's Alleged $40 Million Offer to Cotto, a Chapter and Verse from Mayweather's "Art of War"?
By: Coach K - December 29, 2014


After years of failed negotiations with Manny Pacquiao and suspicious opponent selection is Al Haymon offering WBC Middleweight Champion Miguel Cotto $40 million for a fight May 2nd proof of Floyd Mayweather's "picking."

From claims of venue, money, drug testing and record bashing killing years of negotiations between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao this alleged Al Haymon offer appears to fit Mayweather modus operandi with the rumored $40 million dollar offer matching that of a previous offer team Mayweather alleged by Pacquiao declined years ago.

After years of allegations and recently watching Amir Khan be dodged after dropping a planned fight with Devon Alexander to remain in the Mayweather sweepstakes, only to be cast aside for Marcos Maidana we now face another Mayweather slight of hand. This time after winning a rescheduled lopsided win over Alexander a Haymon signee Khan appears to be shunned again, this time for a rematch with Miguel Cotto. This all being done after the WBC declared there will be two tournaments one in each of the welterweight and light middleweight divisions for Mayweathers mandatory. Convient, to say the least as WBC World Middleweight Champion Cotto is in negotiations with former WBC World and WBA Super World Light Middleweight Champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez for a may fight we have the rumored Haymon proposal.

Inquiring minds want to know. Why Cotto? Well, most will say another title. If that's true what was wrong with Sergio Martinez all the years he held the belt? Why not take on WBA Super World, interim WBC World and International Boxing Organization World Middleweight Champion "GGG" Gennady Golovkin or a rematch with Alvarez. Lets call it for what it is. Following the path of least resistance. there is too much risk there in any of those fights.

Can't you see the Mayweather / Haymon path? It's paved with gold! Following his own interpretation of Sun Tzu's "Art of War", Mayweather only after a WWF style win over boxing's "Vicious" Victor Ortiz and years of avoidance Mayweather finally "chose" Cotto for his May 2012 Cinco DeMayo fight. This of course only after the Puerto Rican star had suffered brutal losses to Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito both who at separate times headed his must avoid list, all while Austin Trout (beat Cotto) , Erislandy Lara (split decision loss to Alvarez), Vanes Martirosyan, Sergio Martinez, Gennady Golovkin, Carlos Molina, Zaurbek Baysangurov, Manny Pacquiao, Kell Brook, Paul Malignaggi, Jan Zaveck, Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, Brandon Rios, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Mike Alvarado, Ruslan Provodnikov, Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman  and Ricky Burns amongst others were all are available.

While a Mayweather / Cotto rematch is still just a rumor it would fit his modus operundi. It may only be a strategic maneuvering attempt to buy a stall for the highly desired May Cinco de Mayo date but either way I believe its just another hinting at Mayweather and his "advisor" Al Haymon's risk vs reward formula.

Reason being, while a Mayweather fight with Manny Pacquiao is what most boxing fans still want they probably settle for Mayweather vs Khan. After all Khan, an Al Haymon fighter, doing what was asked easily beating Alexander should be easy to sign making everyone happy, even allowing Mayweather to maintain his path of least resistance approach skipping any real challenge like a Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao or Gennady Golovkin fight. Two fights that I predict will never happen unless the "money hits the corner."

The $40 million price for Cotto seems to high, to be real as Mayweather's PPV numbers continue to decline along with his fading fan support. If true, it appears Mayweather, with his lack of risk and challenge will now use his "money" position, to not only deny us the fights we want and he should take, but now interfering with ones other champions would run to make, like killing Cotto vs Alvarez. A fight between two fighters who have always followed a face the best and take on "ALL" challenges mentality.

Tzu where have all the warriors gone?

 

 

 

 

Joe Smith in action - photo by Coach K - BillyCBoxing.com

 

Seldin and Smith Winners In "Rockin Fight" Fashion!
By: Coach K - Ringside - December 21, 2014


Joe Deguardia's Star Boxing returned to Long Island's hottest boxing venue "The Paramount Theater" for the 16th edition of its popular boxing series "Rockin Fight" with this card absent the presence of "The Pride of Huntington" Chris Algieri who is on vacation following his big fight with Manny Pacquiao. While Algieri's absence was felt the crowd pleasing card was left in the fine hands of Star Boxing's power punching light welterweight Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin and Joe Deguardia's newly signed light heavyweight Joe "The Irish Bomber" Smith Jr.

In the main event, Shirley, New York's Seldin claimed the WBC International Silver Light Welterweight title in what can only be described a character and career building ninth round TKO rematch win over Arlington, Virginia veteran Bayan "The Mongolian Mongoose" Jargal.

The July first meeting, cut short after Seldin controlling the opening frames Jargal was seriously cut over his right eye from accidental head butt ending the fight in a no contest after tree.

The bigger, stronger Seldin answering the call of the sold out crown immediately went on the attack responding with a first round knockdown, flooring Jargal for a referee Arthur Mercante Jr. eight count with a clean straight right. To Jargal's credit the crafty Maryland fighter proved to be very malleable finishing the round and adjusting his fight plan in the following three rounds turning the fight into the kind of two way battle that has historically built champions.

Both fighters would make adjustments, Seldin turning to a Ken Norton style swarming attack and Jargal using a deliberate jab to set up some clean combinations.

The fight fought at close range would turn with "The Mongoose" landing with quick combinations piling up points leaving Seldin to singular power shots to the body and head.

Going into the middle rounds Seldin would also make adjustments this time answering the demand of his trainer Pete Brodsky who prompted his charge to box and step over with his shots, a tactical adjustment that not only showed a new side of the "Hammering" Long Islander" but a strategic turn that would bring out the determination and a new skill set that changed the course of the fight sending Jargal to the canvas twice in the second half of the eight rounder only to be ruled slips.

Seldin, now boxing, circled behind an active and accurate jab opening up the room for sharp combinations most times highlighted by clean hooks and straight rights rocking the game and very durable Mongolian. Jargal the consummate pro wouldn't go easy working behind his own jab and looking to counter only to fade under Seldin's heavier arsenal.

Seldin, increasing his work rate began to pile on the punishment landing with sharp, heavy power shots dropping Jargal again in the ninth before adding a follow-up barrage of clean unanswered power punches immediately calling referee Mercante to step in and stop the action of what was the kind of entertaining, action packed main event the fans of Star Boxing and the Paramount have grown accustom.

The 28 year old Seldin grows to 15-0, 12Ko's while Jargal who has battled Zahir Raheem, Chris Howard, Eric Aiken and our own Chris Algieri falls to 17-6-3, 11Ko's.

The light heavyweight  co-feature, showcasing the Star Boxing debut of Mastic Beach, Long Island's "Irish Bomber" Joe Smith Jr. was short and sweet with the heavy handed "Irishman" quickly dismantling Baltimore, Maryland's Maxwell "The General" Taylor.

Smith trained by the fighting Capobianco brothers, Gerry and Phil charged out at the opening sound tagging Maxwell with a thudding jab, followed a thumping right putting fear in the eyes of the Baltimore southpaw driving the defenseless "General" to the corner for a short set "Irish" bombs forcing the referee to order the fight over stopping the battering at 0:37 of round one. The 25 year old "Beast from the East" Smith climbs to 17-1 14Ko's while Taylor drops to 18-10-1, 8Ko's.

In a six round light welterweight match Hicksville, New York's Anthony "Showtime" Karperis scored a convincing points win over Brooklyn's Ian "Iron Skin" James.

Karperis controlling the action from start to finish was much more patient this out setting up his shots, mixing up his punches to the body and head only at times appearing non-committal not following up numerous chances to close the show and willingly settling for a 60-54, 59-55 times two unanimous decision. Karperis improves to 9-2, 3Ko's while James drops back into the red at 3-10-1, 1Ko.

Catskill, NY based Moldovan heavyweight Conststin Bejenaru continued his winning ways scoring a six round unanimous decision over Brooklyn's Bolden. Bejenaru targeting the taller, longer Bolden's body early jumped out to a quick start putting the Brooklynite on a knee placing a thudding left downstairs in round one.

The aggressive Moldovan southpaw switching his stance at times continued to bang away at Bolden's body and bringing down his guard for repeated heavy lefts.

Bejenaru suffering a severe cut under his right eye in the sixth and final round inspired Bolden leading to the fights best two way action and Bejenaru putting on his final stamp of what turned out to be a one way 60-53 times three unanimous decision. Bejenaru improves to 8-0, 2Ko's while Bolden finishes 6-10-1, 5Ko's.

In a scheduled four round lightweight bout Huntington fire plug John Hernandez gave Buffalo, New York's debuting Jack Grady all he wanted and all he could handle banging through the awkward Buffalo fighters ineffective survival mode rope a dope for a lop-sided 40-36 times three unanimous decision. Hernandez moves to 2-0, 1ko while Grady continues in search of his first pro win at 0-1.

Opening up the nights action was Huntington's own light middleweight "Haitian Hurricane" Wendy Toussaint remained unbeaten with a second round stoppage of Newark, New Jersey's Malik Jackson. The mobile Toussaint establishing his jab in round one early set up Jackson for a destructive 1-2 dropping and stopping Jackson at 2:04 of round two. Toussaint, improves to 6-0, 1Ko while Jackson sinks tom 1-5-4.

 

 

 

 

 

How Will Algieri Follow Up His Pacquiao Shot!
By: Coach K - November 24, 2014


Chris Algieri may have been knocked down six times going the distance challenging WBO Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao Saturday night, and while he won't be the first or the last the last fighter to bite off more than he can chew considering the circumstances the loss may be the best thing to have happened to the young fighter.

Sure at age 30 Algieri, a former two time kick boxing champion and late comer to boxing he isn't exactly "young" but his six year progression with no amateur background he has progressed at a rate coveted any trainer, manager or promoter all while drawing the attention of thousands of fans. With the prestige of a world title, the opportunity to set himself up financial, combined with the confidence and competitive nature of anyone who dare climbs into the ring to make a living the choice to take Saturday nights fight against Manny Pacquiao in Macau Saturday was a no brainer. In a game where timing is everything after almost being  "cornered" into the fight of a life time the real questions are the time to come.

Algieri, 20-0, 8Ko's earning his "shot" with an unblemished record, a title belt of his own, won surprisingly beating one of the sports toughest foes "The Siberian Rocky" Ruslan Provodnikov warranted him the "shot." That said let's be clear it wasn't just his style and in ring qualifications that helped drive the fight, it was the whole package including the out of ring intangibles.

There's no question the good looking, college educated challenger having won his title with such a tremendous display of courage had proven he could fight and holding the above mentioned intangibles the only question was at what level.

With his win over Emmanuel Taylor somehow determined to be the qualifying name on his resume gaining him the Provodnikov WBO Light Welterweight title fight, I can now use my Monday night quarterbacking crystal ball and my 20 / 20 hind sight to see the split decision win over Provodnikov checking off another box on the intangible list setting up another long time boxing loved underdog scenario, this time with a millennium twist.   

While Saturday nights fight may have been a wake up call for Chris on how big the step it is to the "A" division I think "The Pride of Huntington's" pedigree, character and growing resume prove that if anyone he can rebound, and take that step he can.

There is no question Manny Pacquiao's record and reputation squarely put the Filipino star there Saturday night but some post fight now wonder or discredit Algieri's performance questioning the right for him to have been there in the first place, leaving the question what and where does the Greenlawn, Long Island nutritionist do and go from here? Does the college educated fighter take the proverbial big payday and run? Inappropriately stripped of his WBO Light Welterweight title will the loss leave him over looked and banished to the minor leagues?

Going to history again, Manny Pacquiao himself learned the levels of competition in his own way. Suffering his first defeat at 11-0 being stopped by Rustico Torrecampo in 1996 getting rid of the now cherished opponent picking "zero" Pacquiao would not lose again until 1999 when after sixteen fights in three years would drop another step up fight against unbeaten Medgoen "3-K Battery" Singsurat.

Following the Torrecampo and Singsurat losses there was no rush to a return fight but a return to the incremental building of opposition gaining the experience needed to take future steps leading to IBF World Super Bantamweight title win over Emmanuel Lucero and a 11th round TKO win over Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003.

Now in the upper echelon taking another step, we will now call a challenge, Pacquiao stepping up to featherweight took on Juan Manuel Marquez in a fight that Marquez hitting the canvas three times in the opening round ending in a split decision draw that developed the rival and experience giving us the "Pacman" we know today.

Already showing the signs that over time forged Pacquiao in his rise to the top, Algieri banking the fight as a learning experience, saying it's not going to shake his confidence in his ability is the very important first step back. Holding a strong bond with his team, trainer Tim Lane, match maker Ron Katz and Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia, Chris, has all the pieces in place for a successful return.

While I don't see any reason for a rushed giant step return for this skilled, self driven, self confident fighter whether he gets his WBO Light Welterweight title back or not, it very well may be the outside forces of that will effect the choices in what he does next.

While history holds many stories of fighters taking that big step a bit too soon here are some exaggerated examples. Pete Rademacher challenged Floyd Patterson for the World Heavyweight Title in his first pro bout 1957, Jack Skelly challenged George Dixon for the World Featherweight Title in his second pro fight back 1892, Rafael Lovera challenged Luis Estaba for the vacant WBC World light flyweight title in his first pro fight 1975 and even as late as last year Vasyl Lomachenko challenged Jose Ramirez for the WBO International Featherweight title in his first pro fight. While those are extreme examples it is a combination of factors that created those occasions.

The 29 year old Rademacher, despite coming in with an Olympic amateur background was stopped by Zora Folley in his next fight and was floored by Archie Moore eight times four years later.

Following the loss to George Dixon, Jack Skelly relinquished to the "B" leagues and would never challenge for a title again.

In a more bizarre result the 23 year old Rafael Lovera being knocked out by Estaba in four rounds would immediately retire, never to fight again.

Coming to the sport with one of the greatest amateur records ever a 25 year old Vasyl Lomachenko would suffer a loss to Orlando Salido in his second bout rebounding to claim the vacant WBO World Featherweight title in his third fight, a title he would defend against Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo strangely enough on the Pacquiao / Algieri undercard Saturday night.

The above examples of shortcut runs to a title or payday cover a wide range of ages, weight's, era's and backgrounds, ending in varying levels of success and with today's protection of the "zero" taking its toll on the sport I don't see this scenario changing anytime soon.

Following the fight Algieri carrying his own set of particulars called the Pacquiao fight an "experience you can't measure." He went onto say he realized that Pacquiao's style is so much his own and it is so rehearsed and so experienced leaving the question does he see Pacquiao as the exception and join the risk versus reward mantra and jump right back into a rematch with Provodnikov or follow a Pacquiao styled return and go back to the gym and the time proven kinds of fights travelled by Pacquiao and incrementally close the gap with another title "shot" coming later down the road.

Putting together all the attributes and wherewithal demonstrated getting him to and through his two title fights with his post fight attitude and the experience of having gone the distance against one of the sports greatest, Chris now 20-1 is more than ever up to the challenge of another "shot." The only real question left is the path!

 

 

 

 

For Algieri It's "Rock, Paper, Scissors" November 22nd  In Macao!
By: Coach K - November 12, 2014


Remember the kids game "Rock-Paper-Scissors"? You know the ritual sometimes used to get other games started or to choose sides. Well first known as the Chinese hand game "Shoushiling" "Rock-Paper-Scissors" in many ways can be used to describe the up coming WBO Welterweight Championship bout between Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri, November 22nd, where else but Macao, China.

"Rock-Paper-Scissors," a hand game played by two people, where the players simultaneously form one of three shapes with an outstretched hand. The "Rock" formed by a fist beats "Scissors" which formed by two extended  fingers, beats "Paper" which formed by opening your hand with fingers extended flat and touching symbolizing a sheet of paper beats rock.

In the kids game, rock blunts, breaks, or crushes, scissors. Scissors of course cuts and defeats paper which covers or captures rock. The simultaneous displaying of the same form is a tie and draws a do over.

For our version or model of "Shoushiling" the fist or rock represents power. Scissors is used to represent speed and paper is used to epitomize timing or other such intangibles.

In the November 22nd "Rock, Paper, Scissors" bout between Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri many see the Filipino star as a clenched fist, holding the power advantage and a "speedy" scissors at the ready. On the other hand, no pun intended, it leaves the question does the surprising new comer Algieri have enough scissors of his own to draw the fight out and push the action into the later rounds where "paper" could come into play.

Making the third defense of his WBO World Welterweight title, the 35 year old Pacquiao having suffered back to back losses in 2012, a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley and a crushing KO loss to arch rival Juan Manuel Marquez,  I believe by design that "Pacman" has intentionally engaged in and won boxing battles with Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios and a clear rematch unanimous decision win over Timothy Bradley.

The 5'6" Pacquiao, moving more towards boxing has appeared to have lost some that punching power that has brought him 38 Ko's in 63 bouts.

Pacquiao last displayed any semblance of that power back in 2008 through 2009 scoring three of his last four stoppage wins (David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto) coming mostly as a result of his deceptive speed and the cumulative damage and last showcasing any pure power May 2009 when he stopped Ricky Hatton cold in the second round with a perfectly thrown, timed and placed left.

Despite that absence Pacquiao still brings power not felt by Algieri, even against Provodnikov and "Pacman's" speed hand and foot is a blur to that of any martial arts opponent or anyone on Algieri's resume.

The 30 year old former mixed martial arts champion Algieri unbeaten at 20-0, 8Ko's, albeit against much lesser competition showed the tools needed to win a decisive unanimous decision over Emmanuel Taylor setting up his WBO Light Welterweight title challenge of the "Russian Rocky" Ruslan Prodnikov this past June.

Around the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn where Algieri known as the "Pride of Huntington" picked himself up off the canvas twice in the opening round going onto exhibit tremendous courage fighting on with a grotesque swollen right eye, displaying a swift, crafty style needed to box his way to a shocking but well earned a twelve round split decision over Ruslan Provodnikov and the subsequent matching with Pacquiao.

While Algieri has presented the tools and the now more loved than ever "zero" that gained him the Provodnikov fight in June, it was that plus his now the known courage and determination demonstrated in his gallant win over the "Siberian Rocky" that has secured him the shot to pull off, if not the biggest, one of the greatest upsets in the sports history. Possibly matching that of Douglas / Tyson - Ali / Foreman or Turpin / Robinson back 1951.

Coming back to our "rock, paper, scissors" analogy, the question isn't in his skills. Nor does it lie in his character, leaving us asking, does the 5'11" Algieri have the "paper" to go along with his height and reach to defeat such a formidable foe. Well, that is the question before us today, just as it was in 1922 when Battling Siki upset Georges Carpentier. That's why they fight the fights.

Ok, the "rock, paper, scissors" tag was meant to draw you in. If anything I hope it made you think, even if just for a moment and maybe reconsider the whole picture. Sure on "paper" Manny is the faster, heavier puncher and comes with more experience, leaving Algieri as the new found marketable "undefeated" coming off a major step up win. But it is the intangibles we discovered in that fight and what we still don't know about Chris, that makes this fight so attractive.

Sure Algieri stepping in as the handsome, college educated, martial artist who still lives in his parents basement taking on the popular Filipino monster when combined with early 16-1 betting odds makes this fight very attractive to the casual bettor, especially with the 39 year old Mundine pulling off a 16-1 upset of his own over the 28 year old previously unbeaten Rabchenko earlier today.

One thing the Algieri vs Pacquiao challenge has going for it, with all the crying about who's "The Best Ever" these two do what fight fans want fighters to do most, take a risk and just fight.

While it may be Manny taking all the risk, all the pressure and burden of the fight weighs heavily on Algieri and we known what pressure does. It breaks some down, hardens others and at times even creates diamonds. So the question remains what will the pressure of fighting Pacquiao do? Will Algieri break down or will he hold up and capitalize on the moment and give us that monster upset and bring out some of the "zero" huggers. Or will Pacquiao overwhelm the young unbeaten in a matter finally precipitating a long over Mayweather fight or even, god forbid, an "all" in tournament to truly find out who's just the best today.

When it comes to the betting side, everyone knows you should keep you heart out of it. But to be 100% honest having followed it for the Provodnikov fight I think Algieri having surrounded himself with a solid team and having demonstrated the dedication, tools, drive and character to do more than just make it a fight, as a Long Islander and a Chris Algieri fan I'm going to stay loyal and put my "paper" on "The Pride of Huntington." Go Chris!

 

 

 

 

Carmen Basilio

 

November 7th's Toll on Boxing!
By: Coach K - StrictlyBusinessBoxing.com - November 7, 2014


Well some may remember today for something as disturbing as the day in 1962 former President Richard Nixon told the press he won't be available to kick around any more after losing election for Governor of California. But boxing fans will always remember it as the day albeit years apart, we lost three of our sports greatest, Carmen Basilio, Joe Frazier and Gene Tunney.

Carmen Basilio born April 2nd, 1927, in Canastota, NY, the son of an onion farmer turned to boxing at the age of eight or nine after his father Joseph who himself boxed while serving in the Marine Corps in World War I, came home from work one night with a pair of boxing gloves.

First coached by his father and sparring with his brothers in a homemade ring in the basement of their home, Carmen  a member of the high school boxing team would leaving home and school answering the call of World War II joining the Marines in 1945 and at age 17.

Not long after receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps Basilio returned to boxing making his pro debut in 1948.

Working in a factory before going to the gym to train, the 5'6½", 22 year old, converted southpaw, carrying powerful shoulders, strong legs and a pugnacious heart began fighting mostly in central or western New York went 18-2-2 in his first 22 bouts including a majority decision win over future Hall of Famer, Lew Jenkins, March 1950.

Going 6-6-1 fighting through 1951 Basilio, stepped up the competition having a series of tough bouts fighting to a draw and a loss with Chuck Davey and a loss to future Hall of Famer Billy Graham. But it would be his tough, gritty style that not only would win him three world titles, the hearts of boxing enthusiasts and the much respected moniker "The Upstate Onion Farmer."

With his newly gained notoriety came another streak including a ten round unanimous decision over Hall of Famer Ike Williams and a win and a draw in a pair of return fights with Graham setting up a 1953 title shot in his 50th fight, dropping the champ and a 15 round split decision to the reigning Welterweight Champ Kid Gavilan.

Returning to the win column with a 7-0-1 run in 54, the popular "Onion Farmer" earned himself a second title shot, November, 1955 this time claiming the World Welterweight title scoring a 12th round knockout of "The Boston Bomber" Tony DeMarco.

Adding three more wins Basilio finished 55 with a repeat 12th round TKO title defense over Tony Demarco, a fight named The Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.

March 1956, losing his crown by way of a suspicious 15 round decision to the Blinky Palermo managed Johnny Saxton, Basilio would reclaim the belt in September with a rematch ninth round KO of Saxton voted the 1956 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Basilio would win the February 57 rubber match this time stopping Saxton in two completing the three fight trifecta.

Basilio would close out 57 with a fourth round stoppage of Harold Jones, winning the World Middleweight Title and his third straight Ring Magazine Fight of The Year with a split decision win over future Hall of Famer and to most boxing's best ever "Sugar" Ray Robinson.

Entering the Robinson fight with an intense hatred from a chance meeting on the street years earlier, when after introducing himself Basilio was brushed off by "The Sugar Man", something he would never forget.

The usually congenial "Upstate Onion Farmer" drew on his anger taking the fight to the champion, blitzing him in the eleventh round full filling a childhood dream claiming the middleweight title via a 15 round split decision at Yankee Stadium.

Things would change just a bit in 58, losing a split decision rematch to Robinson, fighting the second half of the fight with his left eye closed. The fight would be named the 1958 Ring Magazine Fight of The Year.

Adding KO wins over Art Aragon and Arley Seifer,    Basillio would lose 1959 and 1960, 12th and 14th round KO back to back middleweight title challenges to future Hall of Famer Gene Fullmer. The first meeting voted the 1959 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.

The next year scoring ten round unanimous decision wins over Gaspar Ortega and Don Jordan the gallant "Onion Farmer" would call it a career after losing World Middleweight Title challenge to Paul Pender in his final fight April 1961.

Retiring with a career record of 56-16-7, 27Ko's the 1957 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year and a participant of the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year, five straight years, the beloved "Onion Farmer" remaining in Canastota  
spent twenty years working as the physical education instructor at LeMoyne College in Syracuse and working in public relations for the Genesee Brewery Company in Rochester, New York.

During the height of his career, Basilio, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated three times, making TV appearances on the Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen and Mike Wallace shows and answering a summons in 1960 appeared before a Senate subcommittee investigating boxing.

Touching Basilio's heart, his nephew Billy Backus, also from Canastota claimed the WBA and WBC World Welterweight titles December 1970  a feat Basilio praised saying that to him, Billy winning the title was better than when he won it himself.

Inducted into The Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1969, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, 1982, the International Boxing Hall of Fame in his hometown of Canastota, 1990 and finally the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 "The Upstate Onion Farmer" one of boxing's most revered action fighters, died at the age of 85 due to complications from pneumonia two years ago today (November, 7th 2012) leaving behind his wife, Josie, and four children.

Describing his first world champion, 1994 Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee affectionately declared “He just kept coming.”

Joseph, William, Frazier, born January 12, 1944 in Beaufort, South Carolina, the last of eleven children to sharecroppers Rubin and Dolly Frazier.

Growing up on a farm in the early '50s, Frazier's father bought a black and white television and running an early century "Pay Per View" club invited family and others to watch big boxing matches like Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Willie Pep and Rocky Graziano sparking Joe's love for fighting.

"Joe" even as a young boy showed his propensity for the rough stuff, working his own juvenile protection racket escorting friends to school for some change or a sandwich.

After working on the farm and injuring his left arm in an incident with a 300lb hog, Joe at age fifteen moved to New York, where he was officially introduced to boxing after going to the gym to get in shape.

A short time later moving to Philadelphia with his older brother Tommy, Joe under the direction of Yancey Durham, quickly developed into an accomplished amateur boxer, wining Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championships in 1962, 1963 and 1964 culminating with Gold Medal victory at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo while only losing one bout, (Buster Mathis) a fight he would avenge years later as a pro.

Returning to Philly, Frazier turned pro in 1965 running off four straight KO wins before suffering an injury in training leaving him legally blind in his left eye. Joe would not allow the injury to deter him learning to pass his eye exams with an old magicians move, switching hands, not eyes, only reading the chart with his right eye.

Resuming action with the addition of Eddie Futch as an assistant to Durham, Joe would see things well enough, winning his next seven bouts all coming by way of knockout before settling for a split decision win over one of boxing roughest characters, Oscar Bonavena. Continuing to surge Joe closed out 66 with a tenth round stoppage of the more than capable veteran Eddie Machen.

It was after the addition of Futch, that the young Frazier would adopt and refine his now infamous bob and weave defensive style, making him more difficult to hit adding more power to his punches, in particular his left hook.

Skipping the 1967 WBA Heavyweight Elimination Tournament set to find a successor to Muhammad Ali, (stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted into the military) Frazier won his next six, five coming inside the distance, including a forth round stoppage of iron chinned Canadian, George Chuvalo.

March 4th 1968 Joe would avenge his only boxing defeat claiming the vacant NYSAC World Heavyweight title scoring an 11th round TKO of previously unbeaten Buster Mathis.

Making four successful defenses of his new title, including a repeat win over Oscar Bonavena and a 7th round stoppage of Jerry Quarry June 69, Joe would add the vacant WBC and WBA World Heavyweight title February 1970 with a 4th round retirement of Jimmy Ellis.

Defending his new WBC and WBA titles Joe would stop future Hall of Famer Bob Foster in four, setting up what many, even until today call "Fight of the Century" (first used to describe James Jefferies vs Jack Johnson 1910) Ali / Frazier I.

Ali / Frazier I: With both fighters unbeaten, Frazier now 26-0 and Ali at 31-0 returning from his ban scoring KO wins over Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena both guaranteed $2.5 million dollars, the largest single payday for any fight to date added to the already circus like atmosphere, drawing countless celebrities like artist LeRoy Neiman, Norman Mailer, Woody Allen and Frank Sinatra, who took photographs for Life magazine.

The fight itself would exceeded the promotional hype with Ali controlling the early action with his long snapping jab and the relentless bobbing and weaving Frazier tightening the fight in the middle rounds backing Ali to the ropes for thunderous left hooks, finally cementing the tide change sending Ali to the canvas with a monster left hook in the 15th and final round to win a 15 round unanimous decision voted The Ring Magazines 1971 Fight of the Year.

After TKO title defense wins Terry Daniels and Ron Stander Frazier floored three times in each of the first and second rounds by George Foreman would suffer his first defeat in the 1973 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.

Frazier would finish 73 in July winning a twelve round unanimous decision over the UK's 6'4" Joe Bugner setting up a long awaited return fight with Ali.

Responsible for the moniker "Smokin Joe" coming his locker room pre-fight prodding "Go out there, goddammit, and make smoke come from those gloves" Yancy Durham passed August 30, 1973 leaving Futch the coach to another Ali arch enemy Ken Norton as Joe's head trainer.

In 74, Ali ranked #1 and Frazier #2 the second meeting was seen by many as a revenge fight with Ali looking to avenge his loss and Joe looking for a second shot at now World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman.

The circus atmosphere from the first fight would take a dramatic turn this time after an ABC interview in which Ali called Joe "ignorant" infuriating  the Philly fighter who stood up and confronting Ali leading to a wresting match and a fine for both.
Ali and Frazier's relationship would become very contentious with Frazier openly disgusted with Ali's arrogant manner and insults especially after Ali called Joe an "Uncle Tom".

The fight would move on as entertaining as the first meeting until a referee Tony Perez miss step getting between the two combatants after Ali had rocked Joe with a big right seconds before the close of round two.

Ali would return to his circling, jab and combination punching leaving Frazier bobbing and weaving looking for another big left hook, that would never come leaving Ali the 6-5, 7-4, 8-4 winner and NABF Heavyweight Champion with a shot at Foreman a fight Ali would win knocking Foreman out in eight rounds in the historical "Rumble in the Jungle" nine months later.

Frazier regrouping with rematch knockout wins over Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis moved to a rubber match with Ali in 75 in a fight, Ali billed "The Thrilla in Manila."

The bout often ranked as one of the greatest and most brutal fights of all-time saw Ali circling and jabbing his way to an early lead and Frazier finding his bobbing and weaving rhythm in the middle rounds working Ali's body with thunderous shots from both sides.

In round ten with Frazier tiring, Ali swing the fight back in the "championship rounds" dancing and shooting sharp combinations leaving Frazier swollen and masked, defenseless to Ali rights one of which sent Frazier's mouthpiece flying out of the ring in round thirteen.

In the 14th round, almost totally blind now Frazier was viciously punished convincing trainer Eddie Futch to stop the fight at the close of the round against Frazier's emotional pleas to continue. Ali, announced the winner stood and raised his arm in victory only to show the toll of his battle collapsing to the canvas the victor of Ring Magazine's 1975 Fight of the Year.

After a brief rest / retirement Joe would get his rematch with Foreman. Despite changing his appearance shaving his head hours before the fight and his style in the ring (attempting to box) the result would be the same with Joe hitting the canvas twice in round five again forcing Futch to stop the fight, this time seconds before the close of round five.

After a 1981 majority draw comeback attempt with Floyd "Jumbo" Cummings, Frazier compiling a record of 32-4-1, 27Ko's retired for good. Joe making some TV and movie cameo appearances turned to training his sons Marvis, Joe Frazier Jr. (aka Hector Frazier), his daughter Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, and nephew Rodney Frazier along with many others at the "Joe Frazier Gym" in Philadelphia (formerly the Cloverlay Gym, bought by Joe in 1973).

Joe, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, published his autobiography, "Smokin" Joe in 1996 hitting main stream media again in 2007 with the release of a action figure as part of a range of toys based on the Rocky film, then dabbling in his love for music releasing his version of "Mustang Sally" in 2009.

Shortly after publically declaring that he no longer held hard feelings for Ali, Joe hospitalized in September 2011 passed November 7th that year at the age of 67 from liver cancer. Ali was among a large group of  luminaries attending the private funeral services.

Born the son of Irish immigrants Mary Lydon and John Tunney, James affectionately becoming known as "Gene" because his baby sister had trouble pronouncing his name grew up on the mean streets of New York finding his way to the Greenwich Village Athletic Club where he would feverishly take up boxing.

Tunney, quitting school as a teenager to help support his family taking on the job as a clerk for the Ocean Steamship Company, officially turned pro in 1915, at age 18 as a middleweight stopping Bobby Dawson, in eight rounds.

Tunney a dedicated student of the game would find early success going undefeated in his first eleven before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps on 1918 where he won the U.S. Expeditionary Forces Championship. With the end of World War I in 1919 Tunney awarded the Good Conduct Medal and Honorably Discharged two years later.

Running his record to 29-0-1, Tunney appearing on the undercard of the highly anticipated 1921 heavyweight championship match between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier scored a seventh round TKO of  Soldier Jones.

Scoring six more wins Tunney made the most of his first title shot winning a twelve round unanimous decision over Hall of Famer, Battling Levinsky a veteran of over 200 fights, January 13th, 1922.

Scoring four more wins in four months, (three Ko's and a newspaper decision) Tunney would suffer his first and only loss May 23rd 1922 dropping a 15 round decision loss to "The Pittsburgh Windmill" Harry Greb.

Rebounding with three more wins "The Fighting Marine" battling his third Hall of Famer would drop the "Philly Phantom" Tommy Loughran, with a big right hand but would be forced to settle for a eight round newspaper draw.

Five more wins would follow leading to a return match with Greb this time the scientific Tunney would out box "The Pittsburgh Windmill" winning a 15 round split decision regaining the American Light Heavyweight Title.

22 more wins including three more wins over Greb, a 15th round TKO of Georges Carpentier, a 12th round Ko of Tommy Gibbons, "The Fighting Marine would get a shot at the "The Manassa Mauler" the reigning National Boxing Association World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey, September 1926 at Sesquicentennial Stadium, Philadelphia, a fight Tunney would dominate winning a 10 round unanimous decision in a fight named the "Upset of the Decade" by The Ring Magazine.

A year later, almost to the day Tunney would meet Dempsey again, this time at Soldiers Field in Chicago in the first championship fight where a fighter scoring a knockdown was required to go to the neutral corner.

The disciplined Tunney with his expert technical skills and extraordinary conditioning would circle Dempsey keeping him out of range with an accurate jab taking an indisputable lead until the seventh round when "The Manassa Mauler" landing one of his patented left hooks pummeled Tunney to the canvas where in his usual stalking manner stood over Tunney starring down forcing referee Dave Barry to enforce the new rule, delaying the count allowing Tunney to smartly remain seated waiting on the count eventually getting up at the count of nine and finish the round.

In round eight the sharp punching Tunney taking advantage of Dempsey's aggression dropped him to a knee with a short right then returning to his skill set, boxed his way to a ten round unanimous decision.

While some believe that if Dempsey had responded to the new rule immediately he would have likely regained the world heavyweight crown with a seventh round knockout. But that can only be speculation as Tunney the consummate fighter did what ever cornerman or trainer would want their charge to do stay calm, regroup and return to what was working, leaving the now infamous "Long Count" to be debated until this day.

Both would have one more fight. Tunney, July 1928 defending his title with an 11th round TKO of Tom Heeney and years later, in a fight billed as an exhibition, the "Manassa Mauler" stopped KO Christner in five, February 1932.

Tunney would marry wealthy socialite, Mary "Polly" Lauder and in keeping a promise to his new father in law would never return to the ring. Living in Stamford, Connecticut the Tunney's would raise four children with Gene working in business as a director of several companies and investing in real estate making millions while dabbling in a short acting career and starring a in a movie called, you guessed it "The Fighting Marine."

Elected as Ring Magazine's first ever "Fighter of the Year" in 1928, Tunney retired with a record of  65-1-1, 48Ko's being elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1980, the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Tunney would pass at the age of eighty one, 36 years ago today (November 7th, 1978) at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut from complications from a circulation ailment.

March 2011, the Tunney family donated much of Tunney's boxing memorabilia, including the gloves worn during the infamous "Long Count" fight to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

When you consider a individual date and it's singular importance most times there are no yearly ties. Whether its fate or circumstance November 7th while many years apart took a toll on boxing's taking three of it's best. While there are some similarities between Tunney and Basilio with both volunteering for service in the Marine Corp during war time, there was a far bigger contrast in their styles. Oh, sure Frazier and Basilio both came from farming families and had similar aggressive fighting styles, but their amateur backgrounds couldn't have been more different.

Besides all three being world champions, having battling numerous Hall of Famers they had more in common. They were dedicated to their trade, giving their all while fighting the best, never allowing themselves to forget the fan who of course allowed them to do what they loved.

While I never got to meet Tunney I did have the pleasure to sit with Carmen and Joe at the New York Golden Gloves. Both were very pleasant and good humored with Joe warding off security allowing me and my son to sit with him and Carmen who like a mischievous young boy engaged my son in some playful slap boxing.

As boxing fans we all should review its history and remember some of the greats that made this great sport like "The Fighting Marine", The Upstate Onion Farmer" and "Smokin" Joe for their influence in and out of the ring.

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering the Boxing's Original "Baby Faced Assassin"!
By: Coach "K" - www.StrictlyBusinessBoxing.com


October 28, 2014 - It was ten years ago today we lost boxing's original "Baby Faced Assassin" and with all the present day discussion in boxing gyms and chat rooms about subjects like TBE (the best ever) I couldn't help but find it important to remember one of the sports greatest legacies, Jimmy McLarnin.

James Archibald McLarnin, endearingly called "Jimmy" was born December 19th 1907 in County Down, Ireland. The last of the Irish dozen children, following the family patriarch Sam, Jimmy his mother and eleven siblings emigrated to Canada when was three.

In the tough economic times to follow Sam unable to keep up at wheat farming in Saskatchewan moved the family to Vancouver, opening a clothing store while encouraging all to contribute to the family's daily needs with Jimmy selling newspapers on the street.

After getting into a scrap selling papers Jimmy turned to boxing at the age of 10. At age of 13while playing soccer Jimmy first noticed for his leg strength by Charles "Pop" Foster, a former boxer who almost losing his legs in an explosion while fighting in the Boer War and WWI with Canadian Railway Construction Corp began his training with Foster in a makeshift gym.

Working under "Pop", McLarnin's raw talent quickly developed into an outstanding amateur boxing career and a British Columbia Flyweight Amateur Championship and the skilful, fast moving, methodical 16 year old fighter jumping into the pro ranks scoring a first round stoppage of Young Fry at Hastings Gym, Vancouver, Canada December 19th 1923.

McLarnin wasting no time going all in his second pro fight just two weeks later, scored a majority decision over highly touted amateur rival, Mickey Gill.

The next year "Pop" acting as trainer and manager took McLarnin to San Francisco, where his youthful appearance making it difficult to get a fights gained the young Irishman the moniker "Baby Face".

Scoring 3rd round TKO wins over Eddie Collins and Joe Conde in his California debuts foster concentrating McLarnin  on speed and skill would have his ward fighting twice a month    winning his next eight fights on points re-discovering his power scoring a second round KO of Abie Gordon May 1924.

Already dealing with serious hands injuries McLarnin inactive until August would return recording his second majority decision win coming against his old rival Mickey Gill.

Staying active fighting monthly the pint sized "Irishman" (5'6") banking five more decision wins would suffer his first blemish with back to back draws against 1924 Olympic Gold Medalist Fidel LaBarba and Memphis Pal Moore (88-14-18) both future Hall of Famers.

Starting off 1925 with a ten round unanimous decision return win over LaBarba, the "Baby-Faced Assassin" adding wins over veterans Teddy Silva, Young Farrell and Eddie Spec Ramies the 18 year old McLarnin would suffer his first defeat a points defeat to future Hall of Famer Bud Taylor.

1925 would prove to be a good year with McLarnin adding wins over Flyweight Champion and future Hall of famer Pancho Villa in July, future welterweight champion and Hall of Famer Jackie Fields in November and return win over future Bantamweight Champion Bud Taylor in December.

McLarnin opening 1926 losing a points return match to Taylor, he would close the year alternating wins and loses in his next four.

Battling Tommy Cello to a ten round draw to start 1927 McLarnin would out point the San Francisco veteran in a rematch just a little over a month later.

Foster working on Mclarnin's right had power beginning a nine bout win streak with a stoppage of Freeman Black adding an eight round Ko of Hall of Famer Louis 'Kid' Kaplan and a first round stoppage of Sid Terris
before losing a 15 round World Lightweight Title challenge to another future Hall of Famer, Sammy Mandell May 1928. Adding knockout wins over Phil McGraw and Stanislaus Loayza, McLarnin closed out the year with an eight round KO loss to New York ranking featherweight and lightweight contender Ray Miller.

Using the Miller loss as a source of motivation now known to some as "The Irish Lullaby" McLarnin would begin a nine bout run recording back to back wins over Joe Glick before avenging the Miller loss by way of a ten round unanimous decision.

Stopping Sergeant Sammy Baker McLarnin and squeezing a second round knockout of Hall of Famer Ruby Goldstein between two decision wins over Sammy Mandel "Baby Face" added a ten round decision win over Young Jack Thompson and a third round TKO of Al Singer before engaging Future Hall of Famer Billy "The Fargo Express" Petrolle in a three bout rubber match with Petrolle winning the opener November 1930 and McLarnin grabbing the next two on points wins May and August 1931.

McLarnin suffering numerous hand injuries throughout his career returned from an year of inactivity dropping a split decision loss to, yes another future Hall of Famer Lou Brouillard August 1932.

McLarnin still carrying power in those damaged hands rebounded closing out 32 scoring a 6th round stoppage Hall of Famer Benny Leonard and a eighth round KO win over Sammy Fuller.

In 1933, McLarnin, also known as "The Belfast Spider" won his first title claiming the World Welterweight belt May 29th  scoring one of the sports biggest upsets a first round stoppage of southpaw Young Corbett III (101-8-22).

Engaging in his second three fight series May 1934 McLarnin losing the opener would then trade 15 round split decision wins with future Hall of Famer Barney Ross with "The Pride of the Ghetto" Ross winning a unanimous decision in the rubber match May 1935.

In 1936 McLarnin splitting ten round unanimous decision wins with seven time world champion and future Hall of Famer Tony Canzoneri, McLarnin retired his own Hall of Fame career at the young age of 29 fittingly winning a ten round unanimous decision over Hall of Famer Lou "Herkimer Hurricane" Ambers.

Fighting under numerous monikers in front of 10,000 fans with another 5,000 waiting outside all the way back in 1925 the two time world champion amassing $100,000 in the bank by the time he was 19 (over 1 million in today’s value) compiling a record of 55-11-3, 21Ko's, while fighting 15 world champions and five fellow Hall of Famers investing his money wisely retired from the ring a wealthy man.

McLarnin, who retired to get married raised four children (son Jimmy; daughters Jean, Grace and Nancy) with his wife Lillian in Glendale, California where avoiding growing calls to return to the ring, fully content with his life after boxing once turning down a $50,000 offer to make a comeback against Henry Armstrong, McLarnin opened a machine shop which he later sold at a substantial profit.

A skilled golfer, McLarnin played regularly with his good friends Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Fred Astaire working some acting gigs appearing in movies including The Big City, The Crowd Roars, Swing with Bing and Joe Palooka.

McLarnin living on the same street in Glendale as Foster, eventually inherited his mentors estate (estimated to be more than $286,000) when he passed May 5th 1956. McLarnin quickly gave all credit to Foster saying “Pop was the secret of my success. He taught me everything.”

After his wife's passing in 1985 McLarnin moved to the Tri-Cities area of Washington state where he lived with his family.

In a 1989 interview with LA Times McLarnin told writer Earl Gustkey "The greatest fighter of my era, but a guy I never fought, was Harry Greb. Inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota in 1991 and saw himself ranked as the fifth greatest welterweight of all-time in the May 1994 issue of The Ring Magazine. Living in good health until early 2003 the "Baby Faced Assassin" developing Alzeimer's Disease was placed in a nursing-care facility where he died today 2004 at the age of 96.

McLarnin's brother Sammy also a professional boxer from 1926 to 35 built a record of 14-5, 4Ko's while his amateur rival Mickey Gill never claiming the attention of his early adversary retired from boxing in 1932 with a journeyman's record of 43-36-20, 8Ko's.

While many of today's athletes and fighters play into that "original gangster" role finding themselves caught up in all kinds of in and out of the ring scandals acting anything but like a champion. I think its important to remember the sports history and those who built it. Their legacies, challenges and risk taking.

Boxing needs more "Baby Faced Assassin's." Battling fifteen world champions, five Hall of Famers and waging war in trifecta's with the likes of Sammy Mandell, Billy Petrolle and Barney Ross, Jimmy under the guidance of Charles "Pop" Foster always handled "prize fighting" as a trade, not just a business. Remembering boxing history is essential to it's future and right now it could use a Jimmy McLarnin.

Mark Twain: "a favorite theory of mine—to wit, that no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often." After taking a look back my question for boxing is. Who wants to be boxing's next legend!

Karl Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

This waiting for a Manny Pacquiao / Floyd mayweather fight must mean we are in the farce phase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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