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Hopkins and Jones debate their April 3 encounter, a fight most people perceive as meaningless!

Press Release: Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins and Roy "The Terminator" Jones stayed true to their reputations as outspoken boxers as they announced The Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones II, which will take place April 3 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be broadcast live on pay-per-view. The debate style format allowed the two aging lions to prove why their nearly two-decade long rivalry is worth paying $49.95 to see.

BERNARD HOPKINS:

"To not watch this fight would be a disservice because we will be making history.

"Roy Jones Jr. had nothing to do with my legacy and career up until now, but I will be the final chapter [of his]. We probably would have been here earlier if he would have taken the fight when we were debating through the media.

"My statement is simple. This fight is very important to me because it is personal. We have 17 plus years of on and off history. I want to show the world that when our legacy is put together and analyzed, this fight will be the reason. So to me, not only am I a better fighter today, I will prove my legacy on April 3rd. I have a lot of incentive to win. I have waited 10 plus years to come to this debate.

"Everyone has it in their spirit to get somebody back. Whether it is justified or unjustified. This fight is redemption in a lot of ways - to finish him once and for all.

"I can't speak for Roy, but my name is 'The Executioner.' I execute. I am going for his head.

"He (Jones) won that fight. I have watched that tape a million times. What Roy has to understand is that I got better. I have a resume to show that I have gotten better. That is the difference between then and now. Come April 3, Roy Jones Jr is going to realize that his worst nightmare has come true.

"It is important to get the knockout. There is a financial incentive. I want to finally close a chapter personally. This is a 17 year rivalry.

"I am going to kick his ass."

ROY JONES:

"Now, 'Big Head' (Hopkins) has got to get it in his mind. We both went on to do good things in this sport. Mine was great early. His was great late. The facts wont change I am still going to beat him.

"I only hit with one hand last time. I've got two hands now. With two hands, I'm going to beat the hell out of this old man.

"I never have dodged 'Big Head', and I never will. That is why this fight is so important to me.

"We are long time rivals. We waited a long time to fight again. We went our separate ways. I haven't had a rival as long as I have had 'Big Head' sitting around.

"This is like putting on an old pair of pants that still fit after a bunch of years. They probably look better on me now too.

"Have you ever seen somebody run from somebody who he has already whooped? Does that even make sense? Duh!

"I have been trying to fight the bastard for five years. I know Bernard Hopkins. I know him very well. I have never taken anything lightly [and given him reason] to say he hopes I am ready.

"I don't duck and dodge anyone [Editor's Note: Dariusz Michalczewski does not agree]. I was the test he had to pass to get out of high school. He didn't pass that test. Now he wants to retake the test!

"Like I said I am still me. I can care less about how much better he has gotten. My job is to knock him out on April 3 and that is what I am going to do."

The Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones IIis set for Saturday, April 3 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. The event will be broadcast live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Tickets are on sale now at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or http://www.ticketmaster.com/.

The Hopkins vs. Jones II pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and has a suggested retail price of $49.95. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. The main event will begin live immediately following the college basketball semi-finals. For Hopkins vs. Jones II fight week updates, log on to http://www.goldenboypromotions.com/.

Results from the weekend

Saturday, February 6

Edwin Valero TKO9 Antonio Demarco...This past weekend in Monterrey, Mexico, undefeated WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero overcame deep lacerations on his cheek and forehead, product of an unintentional blow from an elbow in the second round, to stop challenger Antonio Demarco in the ninth round.  Valero improved his record to 27-0 with 27 KOs.  Is there anyone out there who can last the full distance with Mr. Valero??  I must say, nine rounds is pretty far and beyond the average distance of a typical Valero fight thus far.  This commentator thinks it might be time for Valero to step up the competition.

Carlos Abregu W10 Richard Gutierrez...Welterweight Carlso Abregu kept his undefeated record in tact on the undercard, winning a unanimous decision over Richard Gutierrez.  Abregu was floored in the second round, but came back to knock Gutierrez down in the third round, rallying from that point on to win a decision by scores of 98-90 and 97-91 (twice).

television: Showtime Championship Boxing

Alexander vs. Urango, Khan vs. Marquez, Ortiz vs. Campbell, and the 140lb landscape!

Boxingchronicles.com readers know by now that the 140lb title unification between WBC champion Devon Alexander and IBF titlist Juan Urango is set for March 6.  The title fight will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT and will be televised as an HBO Boxing After Dark headliner.  This would appear to be the beginning of the super lightweight house cleaning that this commentator had previously proposed should take place.

Last year, following Paulie Malignaggi's unanimous decision win over Juan Diaz in December, I stated that HBO should have a tournament at 140lbs not unlike the super middleweight tournament that Showtime is currently in the process of hosting.  While the matchup between Alexander and Urango bares significance, Alexander remains a substantial betting favorite to win the contest. Urango has only lost to Ricky Hatton, who at the time was the universally recognized undefeated champion of the junior welterweight division, and WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto in May of 2009, but he remains a volatile force in the 140lb landscape. Although he is a brawler who can punch hard with either hand, Urango remains technically limited in terms of his skillset.

Before I begin discussing the fighters and future fights at 140lbs, let me start off by saying that undefeated WBO super lightweight champion Timothy Bradley is currently the best 140lb fighter in the world today.  Following his upset win over Junior Witter in England in 2008 to capture the WBC strap, Bradley has not taken a single back step.  He successfully unified the WBC and WBO belts when he defeated New Jersey native Kendall Holt by unanimous decision in Canada back in March of 2009. 

Since the win over Holt, Bradley vacated the WBC title which Alexander currently possesses.  Following the no-contest with Nate Campbell in August of 2009, Bradley showed the boxing world that he has become a complete fighter when he impressively outpointed previously undefeated Lamont Pearson in December.  Alexander, who won the vacant WBC title in August of 2009 with an 8th round TKO of Junior Witter, is undefeated and would appear to be the second best fighter in the division right underneath Bradley.

Boxingchronicles.com recently learned that WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan will likely sign on to face Hall of Famer and lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez on May 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Victor Ortiz taking on former lightweight champion Nate Campbell on the undercard.  The card will likely be televised on HBO.  Khan's style appears to be a nightmare for Marquez, who is coming off a one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr back in September of 2009.  Therefore, I'm not quite sure about Marquez accepting such a dangerous fight so soon.  Marquez may have been better suited fighting Hatton, in what would have been a battle for continued contention at a 140lbs.  Perhaps a doubleheader featuring Khan against interim WBA champion Marcos Maidana and Marquez vs. Hatton would have been more sufficient.  Nonetheless, this commentator will certainly be tuning in. 

In regards to the Ortiz vs. Campbell match up, many observers view it as a mismatch in favor of the young Ortiz.  For the record, I do not view this fight as a mismatch.  This is actually an interesting crossroads fight. Campbell is by no means an easy fight for the twice beaten 23 year old fighting out of Oxnard, CA. Although Campbell did not look good for three rounds against Bradley in August of 2009, the fight was stopped as a result of a cut before anybody could come to a solid conclusion. Also keep in mind that Ortiz is no Bradley, as Bradley has shown considerable improvement with each an every outting and has ascended to the top of the junior welterweight rankings. A win over Campbell is far from a lock for Ortiz.

Golden Boy Promotions officially announces Mayweather vs. Mosley

Press Release: Floyd "Money" Mayweather made his upcoming fight with Sugar Shane Mosley official today when he signed the contract that pits the two fighters against each other on Saturday, May 1st at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a mega-bout which will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View. Mayweather is undefeated with world titles in five weight classes (130, 135, 140, 147 and 154), while Mosley has world titles in three weight classes (135, 147 and 154) and currently reigns as the WBA weltwerweight champion. Mosley's title will be at stake.


"This one is definitely for the fans as I wasn't going to waste anyone's time with a meaningless tune-up bout and asked to fight Shane immediately," said Mayweather. "I have said ever since I came back to the sport that I only wanted to fight the best. I think Shane is one of the best, but come May 1, he still won't be great enough to beat me."

"I have always wanted to fight Floyd and now it is finally coming true," said Mosley, who signed his side of the deal last Friday in Las Vegas. "I am already in great shape and ready to show everyone on May 1 that I am stronger, faster and better than he is. I will have no problem beating him."

In addition to the fight being one of the most competitive and talked about contests in each of the fighters' careers, Mayweather and Mosley have agreed to Olympic-style drug testing for the fight.

"Floyd has been trying to make this fight for the last 10 years, so he is extremely excited about the opportunity to face Shane," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO, Mayweather Promotions. "He can't wait to extend his undefeated record and perform at the highest level. More importantly, he is also happy to set the precedent for random blood testing in order to ensure fair and safe contests for all fighters."

"When two champions of this caliber meet in the ring, you can expect nothing but excellence and that is what we are going to see on May 1," said Richard Schaefer, CEO, Golden Boy Promotions. "Shane Mosley is one of the greatest fighters of this era and I commend him for not only agreeing to the fight against Mayweather, but also agreeing to participate in a testing process that can only help the integrity of the sport."

"Mayweather-Mosley is a showdown of superstars that fans have been talking about for years", said Mark Taffet of HBO Pay-Per-View. "It has all the elements of a pay-per-view mega-fight."

A 1996 Olympic Bronze medalist for the United States, Floyd Mayweather (40-0, 25 KO's) has since gone on to strike Gold in the professional ranks, winning six world titles in five weight classes to firmly establish himself as one of the most elite fighters of his era. With dominating wins over the likes of world champions Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton, Mayweather was on a meteoric rise to hall of fame greatness when he announced his retirement from the ring in 2008. But he left the door open for a return if the right challenge presented itself and after 18 months of a much needed physical and emotional break from the ring, he returned to boxing on September 19, 2009 with a dominating and spectacular victory over future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez.

A future Hall of Famer with five world titles to his name, Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KO's) has ruled the lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight divisions over his storied 16-year career and at 38 years old, the Pomona, Calif. native seems to be getting better and better as the years pass. Winner of seven of his last eight fights dating back to 2005, Mosley has defeated the likes of Fernando Vargas (twice), Luis Collazo and Ricardo Mayorga, but his most recent victory also was one of his most spectacular -- a ninth round stoppage of Antonio Margarito in January 2009 to win the welterweight world title for the third time.

The 12-round welterweight battle is a highly competitive match-up that already has sports fans across the world buzzing to see two of the sport's biggest names meet in the squared circle in the premier boxing match-up of 2010.
More information on Mayweather vs. Mosley, including ticket prices, HBO Pay- Per- View information and press tour dates and cities, will be announced shortly.

The ever lasting presence of John Ruiz

His nickname is the Quiet Man, but I am not entirely sure if quiet is the term I would use to label the former two-time heavyweight titlist from Chelsea, Massachusetts who continues to resurface through thick and thin in the heavyweight division.  On April 3 Ruiz set to square off with WBA heavyweight champion David Haye. 

Back in March of 1996, when David Tua practically decapitated Ruiz in the first round of the opening bout on HBO's Night of the Young Heavyweights card, one would have suspected that the boxing world would not be seeing much more of him on the world class stage.  After all, that was was a devastating knockout.  To his credit, Ruiz was able to rebound from the loss to Tua and managed to win the WBA heavyweight championship with a unanimous decision over Evander Holyfield in March of 2001.  The win over Holyfield was the second of their three fights, with Holyfield winning the first by way of a controversial unanimous decision in August of 2000, and the rubbermatch ending in a draw in December of 2001. 

Following the trilogy with Holyfield, Ruiz successfully amassed a number of significant victories, including a DQ win over Kirk Johnson, a TKO win over Fres Oquendo, and decision wins over Hasim Rahman and Andrew Golota.  He also lost an embarrassing, one-sided decision to former middleweight champion Roy Jones Jr in March of 2003, in what was considered a historic victory for the Pensacola, FL native.  Quite an embarrassing set back for Ruiz, knowing that such a feat had only been achieved once, back in 1897 when Bob Fitzsimmons, also a former middleweight champion, knocked out Jim Corbett in the 14th round to win the heavyweight championship of the world. 

In April of 2005, Ruiz lost his title in a unanimous decision to James Toney, but was later reinstated as the WBA champion when Toney's post-fight drug test returned with a positive result.  Ruiz lost his title by way of majority decision to Nikolay Valuev in his next fight in December of that year.  After losing a title elimination to Ruslan Chagaev, Ruiz got another shot at Valuev and lost a unanimous decision.

It is no wonder that most pugilists hold the Olympic Games to a higher regard than they do the professional ranks. Winning medals in the Olympics is a greater achievement to most boxers than winning world titles as a professional. While professionals get multiple shots at world titles, thousands of athletes around the world fiercely and passionately compete in extensive trials to make the Olympics knowing that they will only get a single opportunity to do so. One can only hope it stays that way.

This commentator is still trying to figure out how a guy, who lacks both the crowd pleasing fighting style and the sufficient fan base to keep an ailing heavyweight division on life support, gets so many title shots for doing nothing!  Ruiz loses to Toney, but the decision is overturned because Toney's drug test is positive.  Ruiz loses to Valuev. Ruiz loses to Chagaev. Ruiz loses to Valuev again.  Now he is preparing for his next fight on April against Haye as an unlikely challenger. 

To be fair, Ruiz did score a win over Jameel McCline in 2008, but it is appropriate to mention that McCline had seen better days and was coming off a decision loss to Samuel Peter as well as his own disappointing title challenge against Valuev in which he broke his leg in the third round!  Most of Ruiz's notable, career-defining victories were scored in the first half of the previous decade, from 2000 up until about 2004.

Such an ever lasting presence reminds me of the villains from the classic horror films of the past.  Ruiz reminds me of Michael Myers in the original Halloween, after Dr. Loomis shoots him six times and he just gets up and walks away! Yes, that's Ruiz.  You can defeat him over and over again.  At times, you can practically tear his head right off his body, as Tua seemingly attempted to do in scoring that memorable first round knockout 14 years ago.  Other times, you can beat him and it will still get overturned because you tested positive for drug use. 

When it's all said and done, you may very well legitimately defeat the guy, and he will still be fighting for the same exact title a year later.  He may even be fighting you again in a rematch.  Yours truly is finally convinced that The Quiet Man may never go away.

photo courtesy: boxingnews.com.ua

Hopkins vs. Jones II: HBO PPV....without HBO broadcast team?

According to Evan Korn of Fighthype.com, Dan Rafael recently reported that the HBO broadcasting team will not be calling Hopkins vs. Jones II.  Although HBO will be distributing the PPV, production of the event is in the hands of Golden Boy Promotions. 

There have been rumors of adding the WBA heavyweight title between champion David Haye and recycled former heavyweight titlist John Ruiz to the telecast.  The fight will take place in the UK, but Golden Boy has expressed interest in adding same day coverage to the PPV telecast.  Such a proposition, however, has not yet been confirmed.  Could this event get any worse??

Lets face the facts: this rematch is happening at least ten years too late and its relevance was rapidly reduced to a dead fish out of water when Danny Green embarrassed Jones in December of 2009 by scoring a shocking first round knockout in Australia. Therefore, who could really blame Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, and Max Kellerman for not wanting to cover such a fiasco? 

Would you like to know just how well my memory serves me?  I still recall Merchant's sentiments following a dreadful HBO Jones/Mosley doubleheader that took place in January of 1999 at the Civic Center in Pensacola, FL.  Jones, making an appearance in his hometown, defended the light heavyweight championship with a 2nd round TKO of the vastly overmatched civil service worker and part-time boxer Richard Frazier, while Mosley posted a 7th round knockout of Golden Johnson to retain his IBF lightweight title. 

At the conclusion of the telecast, Merchant boldly exclaimed to the HBO subscribers watching worldwide, "We brought you junk tonight."  Following the announcement of the Hopkins vs. Jones rematch, HBO echoes those precise sentiments eleven years later.  This time, however, they react appropriately by quietly stepping aside and turning their heads in shame.

Mayweather vs. Mosley done deal for May 1

It should come as no suprise to Boxingchronicles.com readers that the WBA welterweight title fight between champion Shane Mosley and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr is a done deal.  This was second fight that Team Mayweather had been considering all along, prior to the fallout of the Pacquiao fight as well as after. 

Mosley was originally slated to face WBC champion Andre Berto in a title unification bout on January 30, but Berto withdrew due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding family members of his involved in the Haiti earthquake disaster.  For Mosley, this has been a blessing in the making considering the fact that Mosley has been calling for this fight for years.  Money May deserves praise for signing on to fight Mosley, who himself is also a consensus top five pound for pounder and is regarded as the universally recognized welterweight champion of the world. 

This commentator has absolutely no problem with a Mayweather vs. Mosley fight. Following Mayweather's win over Marquez, I went on record stating that I wanted to see Mayweather against either Pacquiao, Mosley, or Cotto in his next fight. Pacquiao stopped Cotto in November of 2009 and is now scheduled to face former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey in his next fight on March 13, so that leaves Mosley. Admittedly this is not quite on the plateau of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, but I am still looking forward to seeing this fight in May.

Mosley hasn't fought since January of 2009, when he knocked out Antonio Margarito to win the WBA welterweight championship.  Mayweather successfully returned from a 21 month hiatus, winning a unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in his last outting in September of 2009. The title fight will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV and will be televised on HBO PPV.

Mayweather vs. Mosley on May 1?

According to boxing writer Kevin Iole on Yahoo, a super fight between undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr and WBA welterweight champion Shane Mosley is imminent. The welterweight title fight is on the cusp of being signed, sealed, and delivered for May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.

Mosley was originally slated to face undefeated WBC titlist Andre Berto tomorrow night, but Berto who is of Haitian descent, understandably withdrew from the contest almost two weeks ago due to the tragic loss of his loved ones in the Haiti earthquake disaster.

For the past couple months, Mayweather and his team were in heated negotiations for his highly anticipated showdown with pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao, but that mega fight eventually collapsed over controversial disagreements on drug testing. Pacquiao declined Team Mayweather's request for USADA Olympic-style drug testing that included random blood tests, but Mosley has stated that he is more than willing to comply with such a request. Those who follow boxing are well aware that Mayweather and Mosley have been long time rivals, ever since the late 1990s when Mosley was a lightweight title holder and Mayweather was champion at super featherweight.  At the time, both boxers were undefeated.

To his credit Money May has remained undefeated as a professional, having won world titles in several different weight classes from 130lbs all the way up to 154lbs. Mosley, on the other hand, has suffered a few set backs in decision losses to the likes of the late and great Vernon Forrest, who gave Mosley the first loss of his professional career in January of 2002, Winky Wright, and Miguel Cotto. Mosley resurrected his career a year ago when he won the title with a memorable and arguably career-best performance, a scintillating 9th round TKO of Antonio Margarito.

Twelve years later, both combatants still remain two of the best pound for pound fighters in the world today. Many would argue that this showdown is long overdue.  Credit to Mayweather for agreeing to face a foe as formidable as Mosley, as he deserves praise for his selection of opponent following the fall out of the Pacquiao fight, circumstances for which many observers vilified and blamed the undefeated pugilist from Las Vegas. Having been off for over a year, this commentator thinks it would serve Mosley well to have a tune up prior to the Mayweather fight. In all fairness, Mayweather facing Mosley would competitively weigh heavier than Pacquiao meeting Joshua Clottey, who lost to Miguel Cotto in his last fight, on March 13.

Expect a press conference in New York City to officially announce the fight, possibly as early as next week.

Brinkley, Stevens duke it out tonight on ESPN FNF!

Press Release: The final press conference for the upcoming showdown between Curtis "Showtime" Stevens (21-2, 15KO) and Jesse Brinkley (34-5, 22KO) was held today at the Extreme Sports Bar in the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada. The bout, scheduled for twelve rounds in the super middleweight division, is for the #2 spot in the IBF's ratings. ESPN2's popular "Friday Night Fight" series will broadcast the event live, Friday January 29th, starting at 10PM ET.

CURTIS STEVENS

Stevens was the first of the main event fighters to speak. "I have trained eight hard weeks for this fight and I'm just ready to go. As I have already said, I can't stress enough that Jesse has never been in with a fighter like me. He has never been in with someone who has as much power or skill as me, and come Friday night you will see that. This fight is scheduled for twelve rounds, but I don't plan on it going that far. I'm ready to die in that ring, he better be ready too."

JESSE BRINKLEY

Last to the podium was Brinkley. "I know this is definitely going to be a tough fight, Curtis is a very tough fighter. But I have been training since October and I couldn't be more ready for this. I plan on coming out of this fight victorious. I never have backed down from anyone and I don't plan on it now, so Curtis better know he is in for a real fight."

The fight, taking place Friday night, is promoted by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing and Let's Get It On Promotions. Kicking off the press conference was Terry Lane of Let's Get It On, who thanked everyone for coming and showing their support for what has shaped up to be a huge fight. "We are very excited we were able to put this fight together," stated Terry. "This is a huge fight for Jesse, a huge fight for Reno, and a huge fight for boxing. This is going to be exciting fight. You have two big punchers, who are going to come forward and leave everything they have in the ring come Friday night."

Next to the podium was Terry's brother Tommy. "We have been trying to put this fight together for a few years now and finally it's here," said Tommy. "This is a very intriguing fight because both of these guys are the gatekeepers to each other's future. The winner of this fight will be in line for a world title opportunity, while the loser will have to take a hard look at their future in the sport of boxing. With both Jesse and Curtis' power you just know there is going to be fireworks come the 29th."

Next to address the audience was Joe DeGuardia, CEO of Star Boxing, and President of the newly formed Boxing Promoters Association. "It's a pleasure to be here in Reno, and it has been a pleasure working with Terry and Tommy and everyone at Let's Get It On Promotions," began DeGuardia. "This fight between Curtis and Jesse is what boxing is all about. On Friday night you will see two warriors putting everything on the line and leaving it all in the ring, and as a true boxing fan, you couldn't ask for more."

Tickets are available at http://www.grandsierraresort.com/ or by calling (800) 648-3568. Tickets for a King's Row Booth for four are priced at $1,000. Included in your V.I.P. ringside booth are light appetizers and one bottle of premium alcohol.

ABOUT THE GRAND SIERRA RESORT AND CASINO:

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is located in the heart of Reno/Tahoe - America's Adventure Place. GSR is northern Nevada's most complete resort destination with nearly 2,000 guest rooms and suites. The property offers a wide variety of accommodations for the every day business traveler to the complete family vacation with amenities that include 200,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, branded retail shopping, headliner entertainment, a cinema, a 50-lane championship bowling center, outdoor thrill rides, aqua golf driving range, an 85,000 square foot casino with 24 hours of heart- pounding action plus so much more. GSR is a proud member of Summit Hotels and Resorts, a prestigious brand of Preferred Hotel Group. For more information, please visit http://www.grandsierraresort.com/ or to make reservations call 800-648-5080.

Mickey Bey Jr: I definitely plan to be one of the next great PPV fighters!

Boxingchronicles.com is extremely proud to bring you the first ever one-on-one interview with a professional fighter.  The following is the interview I did yesterday with junior lightweight contender Mickey Bey, Jr, who is 15-0 with 8 knockouts.  Definitely not lacking for confidence, Mickey looks forward to anybody and everybody who stands in his way of becoming a lights-out, multi-division champion and PPV superstar. 

Bryan Bradley: Mickey Bey Jr, I understand you compete in the lightweight division, currently boasting a professional record of 15-0 with 8 knockouts. Can tell me a little bit about yourself – how you got into boxing and the drive behind your ascension into the professional ranks?

Mickey Bey: I got into boxing. I tried a lot of sports when I was young.  I played football, tennis, baseball, ran track.  Really, I did it all, but boxing was kind of in my blood. My grandfather used to fight.  He never turned pro, but he used to fight.  My dad was the huge boxing fan.  He had all the tapes in the house. So when I found the gym, locally, I started boxing, and since day one, you know I've been a boxer ever since and that was when I was 12 years old back in 1996.

BB: I understand you were a Golden Gloves champ as well?  You fought in the Golden Gloves?
MB: Yes, yes, I won the Golden Gloves. Nationals.  Actually, I was on the 2004 Olympic team.  I caught pneumenia in training camp, and I wasn't able to compete in Greece, but I won the Olympic Trials and everything.

BB: You won the Olympic Trials.  I think Showtime at one point said you had about 200...maybe a little over 250 bouts.

MB: Yea, well close to 200 amateur bouts.

Tell me what it was like to even compete in the trials and what it meant to you as an athlete in the United States.

MB: Oh it means everything, especially to me, the big thing is that the olympic trials were in my hometown of Cleveland, OH.  So that made it even bigger than family and friends got to see me fight.  Winning it from there made it even bigger, but, that's the biggest thing that you can do actually as an athlete.  That's just as big, or even bigger, than winning the world championship - making the olympic team, you know, that's every athlete's dream. A dream come true.

BB: Alot of the boxers I hear from say, what's bigger?  Winning a world title, a world championship or fighting in the olympics, or even fighting in the olympic trials?  The olympic trials, a lot of them say, is so much bigger of a buzz.

MB:  Right, because you got more than one chance to win a world title, you know, you got so many hundreds of thousands of people that's competing to make the Olympics, you know, when you make that, it's a big thing.

BB: For the readers who are learning about Mickey Bey Jr and looking out for him as he moves up in professional rankings, can you tell me what you feel your greatest strengths are as a boxer?

MB: Really, my greatest strengths are I can do everything in the ring.  I can mix it up. I got all the tools and I know how to use them and when to use them.  I'm a smart fighter.  I fight different every fight, according to the opponent that I am fighting. And my determination and discipline outside of the ring.

BB: So you mix it up a little bit.  What you're saying is, you're unpredictable to the opponent.

MB: Right, I'm unpredictable.  It would be hard for anybody to study me throughout my whole career because you might see one fight, I might do one thing, but the next fight I'll do the complete opposite.  I could just get in the ring and adapt and know what to do when I'm in there, so I never go into the fight with the same game plan.  I go in the ring and can carry out a game plan when I'm fighting.

BB: You know, the Mayweathers are a pretty deep pack in the sport of boxing.  They're a long time family of fighters.  You have Roger, who won the world championship.  You have Floyd Mayweather Sr, and then you have Jeff Mayweather.  How is the experience of working with Floyd (Jr's) uncle Jeff Mayweather?

MB:  Oh it's great.  Jeff was a really good fighter himself.  He just decided to go to college and manage his nephew and help him with his career.  But, it's great because he did it on a high level.  His brothers are great fighters and trainers and he knows the game. He knows everything that's needed to know, and by me being able to pick up on it and actually perform and all, I think we're definitely going to be big duo in boxing for some time to come.

BB: Has he ever brought Floyd in to work with you?

MB: Yea actually, Floyd Sr, he trained me first when I first turned pro.  That was my first trainer.  He was great too. After training with those guys, I can't see myself training with anybody else for the rest of my career.

BB: Good boxing family.  No doubt; very knowledgable people.

MB: Yeah they are.  They're very knowledgable.  They know it all.  When it comes to boxing, that's their God given talent is to be great trainers, you know, for all of them to be able to train at that level that they train on.  That's their calling definitely.

BB: You know, you're in the lightweight division.  Just a year ago, the lightweight division had some stars.  It had some guys like Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Diaz, Marquez and Diaz had a fight that was a candidate for Fight of the Year last year...

MB: ....Actually, I'm competing at junior lightweight. I usually fight a lot of fights at lightweight because it's hard to get fights, but I eventually will be moving up, probably a few weight classes, but I'm going to compete for my first world title at junior lightweight sometime this year.  Hopefully the first half of the year. I'm looking to fight any titleholder.  Me and Jeff both know that we can come out victorious against any of them.  We're looking at Robert Guerrero, Roman Martinez, and the WBC champ, and whoever. Whichever one of these guys that I get to first, I'll definitely fight them.

BB. Maybe Humberto Soto?  Humberto Soto is the guy who's got the WBC.

MB: Oh yea, me and Soto, we can definitely do it.  I'll fight Soto tomorrow.  I'd love to fight Soto.

BB: In your view, who is the best pound for pound fighter in the world today?

MB: Well I think Floyd Mayweather is, because he's been on top for the longest. and the way he handled Juan Manuel Marquez was great.

BB: That was definitely the Comeback of the Year.

MB: Yeah, that was big for him to beat him the way he did.  When you look at Manny's fights, he had a draw and a split decision.  Even though styles make fights.  I definitely think with Manny it's arguable, but I will say Floyd just because he still hasn't lost and he beat everybody he fought hands down, and especially if he fights Shane and beats him, I think you really can't even make an argument then.

BB: Well that's true.  Floyd fighting Shane vs. Pacquiao fighting Clottey.  It would definitely be bigger.

MB: Yeah that's a lot bigger and that's almost closed for May 1, so hopefully both of them win and they still get to fight sometime this year.

BB:  Getting back to your training regimen, would you say you're one of those types of fighters who reviews video tape or video coverage of your opponents or are you the type of person that just likes to learn what your opponent is giving you hands on when you get into the ring with him that night because what he does in the ring with you may not be the same as what he's done in the past?  Like you said, you're unpredictable.

MB:  Yeah exactly, that was a  good way you put it.  Mainly I would let Jeff look at it because Jeff can pretty much adapt and break down the game plan, and I'll do just like you said, just get in the ring.  You know, it's just like me, I fight different every fight so, you don't want to look at a fighter for what he did in the past, but I look at the basic things that I think they can't change that they've been doing and look at some bad habits, but other than that I just get into the ring and just let it flow.

BB: Coming up in April, as you know, Bernard Hopkins is going to be fighting Roy Jones, Jr. on April 3rd.  This is after Jones got knocked out by Danny Green in one round in Australia which was kind of embarrassing.  The fact that it's a PPV headliner, what do you think of that?  Do you think this fight should even be happening still, or...

MB: I don't even think they should fight.  I don't even think Roy should fight anymore. It's just damaging what he did in the past.  In his career Roy was one of the best fighters in the last 20 years, but if people look at the way you go out, I don't know what it's going to take for him to stay out.  He keeps getting brutally knocked out, and he's 41 years old, I don't understand.  It's not like he can get better at this point than he was before.  I don't understand why he's fighting, and Bernard Hopkins, I don't know why he's even fighting Roy. I guess he's looking at it as an easy pay day, but he already made a ton of money, so if I was Bernard, there's a lot of other fighters out there that he can fight like Chad Dawson and guys like that, but I guess he doesn't want to fight those kinds of guys.

BB: Or maybe even move up to heavyweight and fight David Haye.

MB: Right.  Yeah. David Haye, yup.  But obviously he just wants the easiest pay day out there.

BB: You're at 130lbs right now.  You'd like to fight Guerrero. Humberto Soto.  When you move up lightweight, like I was saying, last year you guys like Nate Campbell, Juan Diaz and Juan Manuel Marquez holding down the lightweight division. Now they've kind of gone North. Right now you got guys like Undefeated Edwin Valero, whose opponents can't seem to get out of the first round with him.  You got guys like Joan Guzman and Ali Funeka, who fought to a bizzare draw last November.  Personally I feel Funeka won 10 of the 12 rounds in that fight.  When you move up to lightweight, would you consider any of those guys potentially?

MB: Oh yea, definitely.  When I move to a weight class, I want to fight the best that's there. So whoever's the best, whether it's any of those guys, that's the one I'm definitely going for.  I'm going straight for the titles and straight for the biggest fights out there.  I definitely plan to be one of the next great PPV fighters, so I'll fight guys like that in order to get to that status.

BB: This question is the perfect segway to PPV, you brought up PPV and that you want to become a PPV star.  If you could take one fight.... You go to bed every night thinking to yourself if I could fight that one guy, if I could have this one fight which would propel me to the level of being a PPV superstar, fighting for a world title, all the marbles are on the line for this fight, and it's going to make a superstar if I beat this guy and beat him in spectacular fashion, what fighter could you dream being in the ring with?

MB: I'm going to be totally honest, and it might sound crazy, but Manny Pacquiao. *laughing*

BB: *laughing* That doesn't sound crazy.  That doesn't sound crazy.  I mean he's gone up from 106lbs and now he's 147lbs.  You're a young man, you're still at 130lbs, so you could very well move up to that weight and fight him some day perhaps.

MB:  Right. Definitely.  I wouldn't say Floyd, because we're really close and great friends, so I would kind of exclude him, so I would say Manny Pacquiao. I would love that one. And I wouldn't be suprised in the next few years if that might be one of the matchups that the world wants to see hopefully.

BB: How do you think a fight between you and Pacquiao plays out?

MB: Oh I'll definitely win.  I wouldn't guarentee a knockout or anything because Manny is just relentless himself, but I think I at least beat him by unanimous decision.  I think I'll outsmart Manny because I feel like, especially,  in two or three years I think I'm going to be unstoppable once I get that world championship experience. It'll be hard for anybody to beat me at that point but I think I'll outsmart Manny because I think I'll be able to match anything he can do, and he'll even do a lot more at that point in two years or so.

BB: The first Erik Morales fight from 2005 is a blueprint.

MB: Oh exactly right.  Right.  That was the one that really showed the way to beat Manny.  And Floyd, I think he'll be the next one to beat Manny, but you know, Manny definitely is at the top of his game right now, so you know, he's dangerous for anybody.

BB: Any closing thoughts for the fans?  Any words you'd like to give to the fans or the people around the world?

MB:  Oh yeah, I definitely just want to let everybody know to be on the look out for Mickey Bey.  Anybody from boxing fans, hardcore fans, and just the casual fans, you know I'm getting ready to bring a lot of excitement and do my part in the ring to bring a lot of excitement and a lot of flair, just like the fighters in the 70s and 80s, and bring a nice decade of world championship, world class performances.

[Editors note: When talking about the junior lightweight champions, I mentioned Juan Carlos Salgado's 1st round upset KO of Jorge Linares for the WBA title last year, but I had a mind block when trying to think of the name!  Off the record, Mickey correctly informed me that Salgado, himself, had just been stopped and detroned of his title.  On January 11, undefeated Takashi Uchiyama stopped Salgado in the 12th and final round to win the title.]

Boxingchronicles.com sincerely thanks Mickey Bey, Jeff Mayweather, and Jeanette K of Boxingladiators.com for this golden opportunity.  Thank you very much! 

Boxingchronicles.com looks forward to seeing Mickey Bey quite frequently in the future as his young and promising career blossoms.

Lopez, Gamboa win big over the weekend, but they won't be fighting each other just yet!

This past Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York, undefeated featherweights Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez scored big wins in separate showcases. 

Gamboa stopped Rogers Mtagwa, best known for giving Lopez all he could handle in a 122lb title challenge last fall, in two rounds to retain his WBA featherweight championship.  In the main event, Lopez stopped defending champion Steve Luevano in seven rounds to win the WBO featherweight title in impressive fashion.  One would believe that the two rising stars are on a collision course to meet one another very soon, but promoter Bob Arum says, not so fast. 

In an interview conducted by Greg Leon at Boxingtalk earlier this week, when asked about HBO's interest in a Lopez vs. Gamboa showdown, Arum was quoted as saying, "Put them against all of the tough featherweights, have them beat all of the tough featherweights, and then make a big event, maybe at the Meadowlands, in the spring of next year. Where I can put 30,000 people in the place, that's doing my job as a promoter of these two fighters. That's what, as a promoter, I have to do. It's not necessarily pleasing the sports writers, or pleasing HBO, or pleasing the fans, who want instant gratification, it's about positioning the fight so that it makes the most money for two wonderful young fighters, for when they finally fight each other."

Aside from Chris John, who is universally recognized as the featherweight champion of the world, who else is there to fight in the featherweight division?  Most of the big name talent and competition is campaigning in either the junior featherweight, junior lightweight, or lightweight divisions respectively.  Many fans and experts longed to see Lopez fight Celestino Caballero, the unified IBF and WBA junior featherweight champion, prior to moving up to 126lbs.  That fight never happened at 122lbs, so perhaps Caballero would be obliged to chase Lopez up to featherweight and make things more interesting in that weight class. 

Other than John or Caballero, Lopez and Gamboa would appear to have nobody else to fight but one another.  This commentator understands the promoter's desire to make as much money as possible as well as his vested interest in his fighter's monetary compensation, but it is we the fans who pay to see the fighters perform.  As a result we the fans deserve gratification, period, whether it is instant or not.

A fight between Lopez and Gamboa would likely produce an exciting knockdown, drag out type of affair.  I still have vivid memories of the hurt and staggered Lopez who was trying to survived heart and guts alone in rounds 11 and 12 against Mtagwa. Replace Mtagwa with Gamboa, and Lopez could potentially find himself in serious trouble. Gamboa has talent as well as a gradually improving skill set, but Lopez is no pushover as he showed against Mtagwa.  He can also punch, as was illustrated against Luevano.

photo courtesy: Examiner.com

Boxingchronicles proudly brings you Mickey Bey Jr!

Boxingchronicles.com has a special update for you.  Recently, I conducted the first ever BOXINGCHRONICLES.COM one-on-one interview with undefeated junior lightweight contender Mickey Bey, Jr

Let me say that it was both an honor and a privledge to be able to speak with the young boxer from Cleveland, OH; he was a gracious gentlemen and a class act.  As a result, Boxingchronicles.com personally extends a very special thanks to Bey, his trainer Jeff Mayweather, and Jeanette K of Boxingladiators.com for giving me such an opportunity. 

Bey spoke about his experience in the 2004 Olympic Trials, his training regimen, who he wants to fight as he moves up in the professional rankings, and a dream fight he admitted he would love to have with a popular fellow by the name of Manny Pacquiao.  The interview itself will be published later this afternoon.  Stay tuned!

photo: fightwriter.com

JuanMa Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa featured in featherweight title doubleheader tonight!

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town once again tonight.  In what is the first big fight card of the new year and decade, HBO Boxing After Dark will televise a featherweight championship doubleheader, featuring two of the sport's fastest rising undefeated stars, WBA champion Yuriorkis Gamboa and WBO super bantamweight Juan Manuel Lopez. 

Most of the knowledgable fans and experts in the world of boxing regard Indonesia's Chris John as the universally recognized featherweight champion of the world.  In a division that was most notably populated the previous decade by stars such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Prince Naseem Hamed, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Manny Pacquiao, the four young contestants on tonight's card are eager to establish their own respective legacies in the featherweight division, as they squared off at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Gamboa will defend his title against Rogers Mtagwa, who was last seen giving Lopez all he could handle in a spirited challenge for his title last October.  Lopez is moving up from super bantamweight to featherweight to challenge WBO titlist Steve Luevano in the main event.  HBO would like to match Lopez and Gamboa against one another later this year, but as we learned this past week when Scott Brown upset Martha Coakley for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts, sometimes the best laid plans can be derailed.  Both undefeated stars are matched pretty tough tonight. 

Lopez exploded on the scene in June of 2008, when he scored a devastating first round KO of defending champion Ponce DeLeon to win the WBO super bantamweight champion.  He's made a number of defenses, including the win over Mtagwa, as well as a 10th round TKO over Gerry Penalosa in his native Puerto Rico in April of 2009.  Reminiscent of a young Mike Tyson, Lopez can be extremely dangerous early and his professional record proves just that.  In his 27 fight career, the 26 year old residing in Caguas, Puerto Rico has scored a total of 10 first round knockouts. Where Lopez has looked particularly vulnerable is when he's taken into the late rounds.  We could very well see that vulnerability tonight, as Luevano is a durable guy who can take a punch and has never been stopped.

Luevano won the vacant title with an eleventh round knockout of Nicky Cook in July of 2007.  He has been relatively inactive with only one fight in 2009, that being a 7th round DQ win over Bernard Concepcion. A skilled technician whose only loss was a 10 round decision to Martin Honorio in November of 2005, Luevano has been in his own share of exciting fights, including a twelve round war with Mario Santiago in June of 2008, which ended in a draw. In his next fight in October of 2008, Luevano outclassed Billy Dib to retain his title.

Perhaps it is Gamboa who is the most gifted fighter on tonight's card. A native of Cuba who won the 2006 World Cup Championship, and is also a four time national champion, Gamboa is a talented young fighter with fast hands and feet. After scoring a 10th round TKO over Jose Rojas in April to win the interim title, Gamboa became the full-time titleholder following a 4th round TKO of Whyber Garcia in his last outting this past October. Having been knocked down couple of times, Gamboa does have a questionable chin and probably gets hit just a little too much for the liking of his immediate backers. 

Mtagwa, who is challenging Gamboa in the preliminary bout, survived the early rounds of his fight against the hard punching Lopez and managed to hurt a tiring Lopez in the closing rounds of their title fight this past fall.  Mtagwa ran out of time and rounds, as Lopez held on to win a unanimous decision. 

What we have here is two outstanding match ups; the main event could exceed expectations especially if it goes into the late rounds. As I stated earlier, Luevano was in a barnburner against Santiago on the Pacquiao vs. Diaz undercard. Put Lopez, a guy who's not afraid to take punches in order to deliver,  into the ring with Luevano and things could get exciting.  This commentator believes Luevano is a live underdog and is actually leaning towards him to pull off the upset.  Gamboa should get past Mtagwa, after some rocky moments and perhaps even suffering a knockdown. 

Wouldn't it be something, though, if the year kicked off with two upsets??

Pacquiao vs. Clottey set for March 13

A press conference was held yesterday at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas to publicly announce the WBO welterweight title fight between titlist and pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao and former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey taking place on March 13. 

Of course, the fight everyone wanted to see was Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. Due to the fact that Pacquiao and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr simply could not come to terms over the drug testing controversy, both parties have elected to move on.  Pacquiao is the one who retains the March 13 date for his next outting.  As Hopkins vs. Jones II will inexplicably be filling HBO's PPV time slot of April 3, Money May must wait until the month of May before securing a PPV date for his next fight.

Clottey, to his credit, is a viable opponent who is probably the next best available challenger for Pacquiao.  In June of 2009, Clottey fought Miguel Cotto to a hotly contested and questionable split decision at Madison Square Garden that was awarded to the Puerto Rican native.  To this day, Clottey firmly believes he deserved the verdict from the judges, but points out that they gave the decision to Cotto because the people wanted to see him in a super fight against Pacquiao.

Although he has posted significant wins over the likes of the late and great Diego Corrales in April of 2007, as well as Zab Judah in August of 2008 to claim the IBF title, he lost the two biggest fights of his career by the slimmest of margins - a razor-thin unanimous decision to Antonio Margarito in December of 2006, followed by the split decision loss to Cotto this past June.  Clottey is a skillful technician, but he has also shown a reputation for choking at this level of the game.  Might the third time be a charm??

Pacquiao vs. Clottey will be televised on HBO PPV.

photo courtesy: Robert Hughes

Berto has withdrawn from Mosley fight

As a result of having lost loved ones the Haitian earthquake disaster, WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto has withdrawn from his January 30 title unification bout with WBA kingpin Shane Mosley. 

Boxingchronicles.com offers its sincere condolences to Mr. Berto as well as family members of the thousands who have lost their lives in Haiti.  I support and respect Berto's decision in this case. For any human being who is not totally void of emotion, family comes before any sporting event. 

As Berto steps down and devotes his attention to Haiti as well as the process of rebuilding what has been destroyed as a result of the earthquake, this opens doors for a potential Mosley vs. Mayweather clash.  Sources are saying that Mosley vs. Mayweather could potentially take place in May 1 in Las Vegas.

Andre Berto devastated by earthquake travesty in Haiti!

PRESS RELEASE: WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (Winter Haven, Fla.) is devastated by the catastrophic earthquake, which hit the island nation of Haiti on Tuesday. The former Haitian Olympian had the following comments about the tragedy and rescue efforts he will be developing to assist the people in the island nation:

“I’m devastated by everything currently happening in Haiti. As everybody knows, I have a lot of family members in Haiti and proudly represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympic Games. Like many other Haitian-Americans, my family and I are working to reach my loved ones. From what we have learned to this point, some of my family members are still missing and we have already been informed that members of my family have passed away in the earthquake.

"We are currently working on starting our own Haitian relief efforts, and I will be releasing additional information on how everyone can help very soon. I am asking everyone for their continued thoughts and prayers for the people in Haiti during this devastating time.”

Hopkins vs. Jones II set for April 17 - on PAY PER VIEW. Why, Bernard????????

In what can only be summed up as a sad and rather unfortunate monetarily-influenced fiasco, Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr will proceed to meet each other in the proposed rematch that has been 17 long awaited years in the making. 

Hopkins vs. Jones II is set for April 17 and will take place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.  The event will be televised on PPV.  A little over a month ago, an old looking Jones was embarrassed and stopped in the first round of his fight against Danny Green in Australia.

Hopkins, in hometown of Philadelphia, scored a unanimous decision over Enrique Ornelas.  So why is this rematch still happening?  Boxingchronicles finds it obsurd that Hopkins would still go through with the Jones rematch.  Hopkins claims that Jones is the only man in his long career who has ever truly defeated him, so obviously he's looking to avenge that defeat - 17 years later.  What Hopkins fails to comprehend is that the version of Jones he will be facing on April 17 is far cry from the young and gifted pugilist who outclassed him in 1993.  On the contrary, Jones is a merely a shell, of the shell, of his former self.

Following 45-year-old George Foreman's 10th round knockout of Michael Moorer in 1994 to win the heavyweight championship in what was a historical achievement, how ridiculous would Foreman have been to challenge Muhammad Ali to a rematch of their 1974 Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight title classic in which Ali knocked Foreman out eight rounds???  Exactly, that's what I thought too. 

This commentator firmly believes that Hopkins vs. Jones II is absolutely unnecessary at this point.  Jones would be well advised to retire, as those around him should be greatly concerned about the man's mental health and physical safety.  Hopkins should definitely be targeting prime, elite-level competitors such as Paul Williams, Chad Dawson, or cruiserweight champion Tomaz Adamek.   Hopkins has absolutely nothing to gain (other than millions of dollars) and everything to lose by fighting Jones at this stage of his career.  Should Jones manage to defeat Hopkins on April 17, it would absolutely spell devastation for The Executioner's legacy.

Fighthype's Andre Zurbrug accurately noted that fighters have lost tune-up bouts in the past, prior to contractually binded superfights that were set to take place.  Zab Judah and Floyd Mayweather had an agreement to face each other in 2006, but Judah lost his welterweight championship by unanimous decision to unheralded journeyman Carlos Baldomir in January of 2006.  Judah went on to meet Mayweather in April of that year, losing a unanimous decision to the undefeated multi-division champion.  Prior to his rematch with Manny Pacquiao, Erik Morales was completely outboxed by spoiler Zahir Raheem enroute to a unanimous decision loss.  Morales still fought Pacquiao in his next fight and the Pacman stopped El Terrible in 10 rounds.

However, there is a distinguishable difference between those situations and the circumstances surrounding Hopkins vs. Jones II: the losers did not get knocked out in their tune-ups!  They sure as hell didn't get knocked out in one round!  Boxingchronicles.com wishes both fighters a successful promotion and a great fight, but a meaningless fight like this could ONLY EXCEED EXPECTATIONS.

Boxingchronicles.com 2009 - Upset of the Year!

Amidst the long hiatus due to the holiday season, Boxingchronicles continues its awards for the year 2009.  The next award is Upset of the Year.  From time to time you tend to come across a young superstar in the making who seems to be on the expressway to the top of the boxing world, by way of electrifying knockouts and dazzling ring performances.

Every now and then, when you least expect it, a guy like that gets blown away in much the same way that he has blown away his previous opponents. Which result in the year 2009 was the most shocking and least expected?  One major upset comes to mind.  Marco Maidana's TKO win over a broken-willed Victor Ortiz was rather stunning, but the real winner for Upset of the Year is...

Juan Carlos Salgado TKO1 Jorge Linares
WBA super featherweight championship

Many respected fight fans and columnists viewed young Linares as someone special who was up and coming.  The kid had the makings of a star and packed quite a wallop along with hand speed.  Salgado shockingly derailed the Linares express, but there is still plenty of time for redemption for the 24 year old currently residing in Tokyo, Japan. 

Current WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan found himself in the same predicament in 2008, when he was knocked out in similar fashion by Breidis Prescott (a fighter who went on to lose a couple of fights since the big win over Khan).  Khan, however, rebounded nicely with a technical decision win over Mexican ring legend Marco Antonio Barrera last March.  He also won the title with an impressive unanimous decision win over Andriy Kotelnik in July, followed by a 76 second knockout of previously undefeated Dimitriy Salita last month. 

As you can see, others have successfully come back from such low points in their careers.  We will see what 2010 has in store for El NiƱo de Oro.

photo courtesy: fightwriter.com

Jermain Taylor elects to withdraw from Super Six Tournament

Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a while since I posted anything on this website.  Happy New Year. The holiday season was wonderful, but now it's back to the business of the boxing.  Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor has announced that he is withdrawing from Showtime's Super Six Tournament. 

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Press Release: Jermain Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs) has made a decision regarding his future boxing career. Taylor, who was a participant in Showtime's Sports World Boxing Classic last fought on October 17th in a losing battle against Arthur Abraham in Berlin, Germany. "I'm going to take some time off from the sport of boxing and take myself out of Showtime Sports World Boxing Classic tournament. It's important that I give my body and mind some much needed rest, because I have been boxing for nearly 20 years," said Taylor. "I plan on keeping myself in shape and making a return to the sport sometime in the future. This was not an easy decision for me, having discuss it with my family, trainer, friends and my adviser Al Haymon, because I'm a very competitive person-but I know this is the smart road for me to take. I want to thank Showtime Sports for everything and I wish the best for my 5 counterparts who will continue on in the Super Six tournament. Most of all, I want to thank the many fans for their continued support."

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Yours truly believes that is a wise decision on Mr. Taylor's behalf. Following his devastating 12th round knockout loss at the hands of former IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham this past October, Taylor would be well advised to retire from the sport of boxing rather than simply taking a break.

Statement from Team Mayweather/Golden Boy Promotions

PRESS RELEASE: After a Christmas weekend filled with comments and reports related to the potential mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions have issued the following statement:

Let the record be clear: Manny Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum are threatening to walk away from the largest fight in history. The fact is that random blood and urine testing was one of the many deal points and was listed along with the others, such as the financial split, the weight, financial penalty for being overweight, the appointment of the foreign sales agent, the production of the marketing assets, the gloves and many more. Team Mayweather made major concessions in many of these areas and we were optimistic that Team Pacquiao would do the same as it related to the request for random blood and urine testing, which Floyd Mayweather agreed to immediately.

It is disappointing for us to see that the benefits of blood testing and the fact that many different substances and procedures can only be detected by blood testing, are still not fully understood by all.

Their “take it or leave it” approach where blood testing would stop 30 days prior to the fight unless the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) approved differently is another indication that they may not want this fight. Pacquiao’s position (and as stated on his website) is. “The truth is taking blood out of my body does not seem natural to me and mentally I feel it will weaken me if blood is taken from me just days before the fight” or he is “afraid of needles” and does not feel comfortable with blood being taken closer than 30 days before the fight is another interesting point. The fact is that he did have blood taken just 14 days prior to his fight with Ricky Hatton, an event which was documented on HBO’s 24/7 reality show.

Also when told that Pacquiao feels that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is an agent of Golden Boy Promotions-which is in and of itself a ridiculous accusation-we moved swiftly and made yet another concession by stating that we would be perfectly fine to retain another agency which would do the random urine and blood tests and jointly agree on a reasonable cutoff prior to the fight but which would still maintain the integrity of the results. Let it be clear that this procedure was declined by Pacquiao as was the proposal to bring in an independent mediator such as Sen. John McCain, a suggestion that was in fact embraced by Bob Arum, but also declined by Manny Pacquiao.

Let it be very clear that nobody from Team Mayweather or Golden Boy Promotions is accusing Pacquiao of anything. But the reality seems to be that for whatever reason Pacquiao does not want to participate in random blood testing, which has already been deemed a harmless procedure that many current athletes are subjected to prior to and during competition.

Team Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions is still open to the earlier discussions of having both parties work out a mutually agreeable understanding of the testing, which would be conducted by a mutually agreed upon agency.

In closing Floyd Mayweather is one of the most decorated athletes boxing has ever seen and he is anxious to make this fight happen for all of the fans and sports enthusiasts that are asking for this fight to happen too. As you might have noticed Floyd has been silently watching and patiently waiting for the final details of the fight to get worked out. As Floyd has already stated he does not have a problem with the random procedure and will be under the same requirements as Pacquiao, it is simply hard for him to understand why there is reluctance on Pacquiao’s part to agree to do the same.

Pacquiao vs. Malignaggi on the horizon? Has The Magic Man altered his tone as a result?

Following the death of the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao super fight, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank made it clear that they would consider former IBF junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi as Pacquiao's next opponent. As you are all well aware, Malignaggi has been rather verbal and open-minded regarding his belief that there is evidence suggesting that Pacquiao is committing foul play.

Back in November you may recall that Malignaggi was quoted Fighthype.com as making his case to Onthegrindboxing, "There's something fishy about Manny Pacquiao, man, for a lot of reasons...if the situation is what I think it is, God, Manny Pacquiao will not lose to any of these welterweights. It's unfortunate. The level of drug testing in boxing is not really that deep. I mean, we have urine tests on the day of the fight and we don't have much else... there's things that don't come up in drug tests. There's ways to beat drug tests."

Upon realizing that his name has suddenly been tossed into the Pacquiao sweepstakes, Malignaggi seems to have conveniently taken a slight change of tone. In an interview with Boxingtalk's Greg Leon that was published today, Malignaggi admitted, "I gave my opinion, it's my opinion and I feel the same way. That being said, I have full confidence in the drug testing procedures of the Nevada Commission and that they will conduct the proper testing. At the end of the day, they were my observations and my opinions. Let's keep in mind that Manny Pacquiao has never failed a drug test. But there are certain things I have observed him that have led me to my opinions."

How have we gone from drug testing not being that deep in boxing, to a commission that administers proper testing and instills confidence? The testing of the Nevada commission did not change over night Mr. Malignaggi. The same commission that you are suddenly expressing your confidence in is the one in which Pacquiao has passed a total of ten drug tests. When one's name is thrown into the dynamic equation for what could be a career high pay day, it is fascinating but also understandable to see just how ones tone or point of view can take a different shape.

Nonetheless, Pacquiao has agreed to submit to blood testing if necessary, but one can also see Pacquiao’s point in not wanting to concede total control of drug testing demands to Floyd Mayweather Jr and his team. Malignaggi believes he has a style to beat Pacquiao, stating that Pacquiao has never been in the ring with a fighter that possesses his style of fight.

Going from Juan Diaz to Manny Pacquiao, pound for pound the best fighter in the world, is like going from a rain puddle to the ocean in terms of the dramatic step up in class that The Magic Man would be taking. More power to Malignaggi if he's able to secure the opportunity and substantial payday to meet the pride of the Philippines inside the squared circle.

photo courtesy: John Booz / Fightwireimages.com

Is Pacquiao trying to hide something, or does Team Mayweather truly believe they're riding some mythical high horse above and beyond any boxing commission?

Hopefully everyone had a nice Christmas weekend and enjoyed precious time with their families and friends. Over the weekend, it appears as though the much anticipated Mayweather vs. Pacquiao mega fight completely died and fell through the cracks. Pacquiao has simply refused to comply with Team Mayweather's request of subjecting himself to Olympic style drug testing, which would include random blood testing, administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Pacquiao did in fact agree to take three blood tests. One blood test prior to his training camp. One blood test thirty days prior to the bout. One blood test immediately following the fight in his locker room. One would think that would be enough to satisfy Team Mayweather, but that simply was not the case nor will it ever be. Drug testing with the USADA is a non-negotiable stance that is being taken by Team Mayweather. Last week on The Huge Show, Mayweather's advisor and confidant Leonard Ellerbe once again confirmed that they had no intentions of backing down from their random blood testing request. "It wasn't Floyd at all. I have the responsibility to put him in the best situation to be successful," Ellerbe said. "I'm not making any accusations or allegations when it comes to Manny Pacquiao but this is something we're putting in place. We feel the fans and the sport deserve a level playing field."

Last Wednesday, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank gave Mayweather twenty four hours to renege on their stance, but come Christmas Eve the holiday cheer did nothing to sway the hearts and minds of the pugnacious Mayweather clan. As a result the proposed fight in the squared circle is now officially off, but there will surely be another type of battle taking place.....in the courtroom. Pacquiao openly stated that he is suing Floyd Mayweather Jr, Floyd Mayweather Sr, Golden Boy Promotions, and their entire team on the grounds of defamation.

The day after Christmas, Pacquiao was quoted as saying in article by ESPN's Dan Rafael, "I have instructed my promoter, Bob Arum, head of Top Rank Inc., to help me out in the filing of the case as soon as possible because I have had people coming over to me now asking if I really take performance-enhancing drugs and [if] I have cheated my way into becoming the No. 1 boxer in the world." For weeks, Mayweather's father Floyd Sr. had been saying that he wants Pacquiao to give blood. One of Floyd's uncles Jeff Mayweather has also publicly stated that Pacquiao could be taking illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Do Golden Boy Promotions and Team Mayweather truly believe that they are bigger than the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), feeling as though they can call the shots when it comes to drug testing procedures??? A request for blood testing is one thing, but making demands as to which testing agency is going to be administering those tests is a completely different story. Keep in mind, fight fans, that Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was slated to be a world championship fight for the WBO welterweight championship, with key emphasis on the term world.

Why should Pacquiao be required to submit himself to random blood tests with the USADA, the same agency that governed Mayweather's 1996 Olympic Championship triumph [Mayweather emerged as a silver medal winner]? Why not conduct the testing through a more neutral agency in Europe or any other place throughout the world? Following what appeared to be fair and balanced negotiations of a 50-50 purse split, eight ounce gloves, and fighting weight of 147lbs, it remains a little bit odd that Team Mayweather would go public with a demand that blatantly swinging in their favor. Was this indeed a pre-meditated evacuation strategy on behalf of Team Mayweather to pull out of the fight? This reopens a big question that was asked in an article that was posted at Boxingchronicles.com earlier this year. That question asked, will Floyd Mayweather Jr avoid Manny Pacquiao when the time comes? When you look at the situation that way, it almost comes as no surprise that the 50-50 purse split was so unbelievably easy to negotiate.

Hypocrisy in the drug testing fiasco has clearly surfaced on behalf of Golden Boy Promotions, the company that was representing Mayweather throughout the weeks of negotiations for the super fight. Golden Boy has also stood firm in their case that Pacquiao should comply with the random drug testing request. However, when former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah demanded that Shane Mosley, a fighter of the Golden Boy stable, commit to testing for performance enhancing drugs prior to their proposed May 2008 bout (which inevitably fell through due to an injury sustained by Judah), Golden Boy immediately rejected Judah's request. Therefore, who are they to demand that Pacquiao must go above and beyond the standards of the NSAC in order to make this fight happen???

My take as a commentator is this: If the drug testing was a major concern leading up to the finalization of the bout, logic says that these details would have and should have been ironed out during the negotiations, away from the media, before the fight was set for March 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. You do not come out publicly about something like that, after the fight has already been set. Both sides agreed beforehand that this fight would be privately negotiated away from the media and the newspapers; it was Team Mayweather that went public and broke that agreement. If Pacquiao is going to agree to random blood testing, which is above and beyond the demands of the NSAC or any commission in the country for that matter, he should at least be granted the opportunity to do so at a neutral testing agency, not the agency that governed Mayweather's USA Olympic trials.

Boxingchronicles.com has posted an exclusive poll question, asking you who you think the grinch was that stole the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. There have been differing opinions regarding this matter, so feel free to comment and cast your vote! You may also email me at boxingchronicles@yahoo.com if you wish to opine.

Bob Arum: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is OFF!

Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, has notified the BBC that Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is off.  Pacquiao has refused to agree to random blood testing conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). 

Earlier this week, Arum conceded that Pacquiao would be willing to test with the agencies that administer the drug testing for professional football and baseball players, but not the USADA.  The potentially richest fight in the history of the sport has fallen apart at the seams. 

Not over purse splits.  Not over the venue.  Not over the fighting weight.  Not over the glove size.  Drug testing.  Can you believe it??  Sad news for the sport of boxing.  More to come.  Stay tuned.

Timothy Bradley willing to step in against either Pacquiao or Mayweather!

“I’ll take any random test requested -- blood, urine, even the SATs.  My name is Timothy Bradley, not Milton Bradley and I'm not playing games. I'm ready to fight in March, April or May next year.”

Is there anybody that undefeated WBO super lightweight champion Timothy Bradley will not fight???  This young man is establishing a very nice resume for himself and he's doing it quietly.  No trash talk and no need for him to vilify himself.  In his last few fights, he's beaten Junior Witter for the WBC title, Edner Cherry, Kendall Holt for the WBO strap, fought Nate Campbell to a no-contest in a fight he was winning, and he just defeated Lamont Peterson by a wide unanimous decision a couple of weeks ago. 

Now he's made it clear that he wants Pacquiao or Mayweather in the event that their mega fight falls through.  You have to admire a guy like this.  With that kind of track record and determination, Mr. Bradley will soon find himself ranked amongst the top pound for pound fighters in the world.

PRESS RELEASE: Undefeated World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion TIMOTHY “Desert Storm” BRADLEY is ready to enlist in a war against Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao should their fight against each other fall through.

“Timothy is happy to defend his world title or move up to welterweight to challenge Pacquiao or Mayweather should their fight fall through,” stated Gary Shaw, Bradley’s co-promoter with Thompson Boxing Promotions. “There isn’t an active world champion who has been seen more on premium TV than Timothy. Since the day he won his first world title he has proven he is the goods. The shellacking he gave undefeated interim champion Lamont Peterson earlier this month proved Timothy is one of boxing’s elite fighters and a Top-10 pound for pounder. He’s ready, willing and able to fill the breach.”

“I’ll take any random test requested -- blood, urine, even the SATs,” said Bradley. "My name is Timothy Bradley, not Milton Bradley and I'm not playing games. I'm ready to fight in March, April or May next year.”

Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs), from Palm Springs, Calif., captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight in 2008, dethroning defending champion Junior Witter in England. After successfully defending his title against Edner Cherry later that year, Bradley unified the title by winning a unanimous decision over World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion last April. Bradley’s most recent victory was also his most impressive, taking the undefeated WBO interim champion Peterson to school, winning a dominant 12-round unanimous decision with scores of 120-107, 119-108 and 118-110, which included Peterson hitting the canvas for the first time in his 28-bout professional career.

Boxingchronicles.com 2009 - Fight of the Year!

Boxingchronicles.com has submitted its award for Fight of the Year.  Believe me, it was a tough contest with some of the great fights such as Williams vs. Martinez and Marquez vs. Diaz that have taken place this year.  However, the award goes to a fight that was not even televised in the United States.

The winner is...

BERNARD DUNNE TKO11 RICARDO CORDOBA
WBA SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

March 21, 2009 - The O2, Dublin, Ireland

In what was a knockdown drag out, the challenger Bernard Dunne dropped defending champion Ricardo Cordoba in the 3rd round, only to be dropped twice himself in the 5th round.  Dunne showed a lot of heart and determination, taking tremendous punishment to come back and drop Cordoba three times in the 11th round to seize the title.  At the time of the stoppage, Dunne was trailing on all three scorecards by scores of 92-95, 91-96, and 90-97.  Great come from behind stoppage in a dramatic, action-packed title fight.

Dunne went on to lose his title in his first title defense against Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym this past September.  Kratingdaenggym stopped Dunne in three rounds to win the title.

STAY TUNED FOR THE UPSET OF THE YEAR AWARD COMING VERY SOON!

Drug testing controversy for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: The latest in a tiring saga of smoke and mirrors?

Negotiations and demands for the proposed March 13 Mayweather vs. Pacquiao mega fight are beginning to leave me almost as dazed as this country's unending Healthcare Reform in currently unfolding in Washington. The process is ongoing, but a question mark remains as to whether or not the fight will actually happen.

The latest obstacle in the proceedings, which may very well be a deal breaker, is the accusation coming from Team Mayweather that pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao refuses to undergo Olympic-style drug testing. Olympic style testing consists of multiple tests taken randomly throughout preparations for the sporting event. These tests include eight to ten random urine tests as well as five or six blood tests.

Al Haymon, manager of undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr, insisted that the fight can still happen as planned, but Pacquiao must agree to the blood testing standards of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (U.S.A.D.A) and take a blood test within thirty days of the bout. This is a demand that Team Mayweather firmly stands behind; it is non-negotiable. Pacquiao, who never previously had a reputation as a dirty fighter, has passed every single one of his drug tests. The customary drug test, however, consists of a stand urine test before and immediately following a fight.

Team Mayweather, particularly Floyd's father Floyd Mayweather Sr, suspects that Pacquiao is taking Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Human Growth Hormone is a peptide hormone that enhances tissue growth by stimulating protein formation throughout the body. Side effects of HGH injection are high risks of liver damage, due to the fact that liver is overworked, as well as a possible shutdown of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized hypophysis located at the base of brain.

In an interview with Fighthype's Percy Crawford, Mayweather Sr said, "Yeah, I definitely want Pacquiao to give blood. How is that going to affect him mentally? You could give blood a day before the fight and it wouldn't affect you, let alone three weeks out. Something isn't right man and we're going to make sure everything is copacetic." Mayweather supporters will continue to question whether or not Pacquiao is indeed attempting to hide something from the public. After all, if one is a clean and honest competitor, there should be no objection to following through with blood testing.

Perhaps all of this is just yet another negotiating ploy on behalf of Team Mayweather representative Golden Boy Promotions. Maybe it is just smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day, this commentator believes Pacquiao will go through with the testing. Should he fail to comply with the testing, he would likely be subjected to more of the same criticism from that general public that Team Mayweather is currently bestowing upon him. That is exactly what Team Mayweather wants. However, I doubt very much that Pacquiao would jeopardize such a historic event or risk damaging his own reputation by failing to comply. It is my prediction that both Pacquiao and Mayweather will be tested and both will come out absolutely clean.

Mayweather has already agreed to go through with the blood testing, as well as a demand by Team Pacquiao that he be penalized $10 million for each additional pound should he weigh in over the weight limit. Both combatants, however, will be subject to that penalty for coming in overweight.

photo courtesy: bustedspoke.com

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao in serious jeopardy; Pacquiao refuses to have blood taken!

PRESS RELEASE: The mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is now in jeopardy after Golden Boy Promotions, on behalf of Mayweather Promotions, learned today that Manny Pacquiao is refusing to comply with Olympic style drug testing as outlined and mandated by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) and as requested by Mayweather's management to ensure fair play and sportsmanship by both fighters.


Early today Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, was contacted by Top Rank President Todd duBoef, who informed Schaefer that Pacquiao would not agree to have his blood taken within 30-days of the bout based on the fighter's superstition of testing so close to a fight..

Schaefer commented, "Todd told me that Pacquiao has difficulty with taking blood and doesn't want to do it so close to the fight. He, Pacquiao, would only agree to have blood drawn before the kick-off press conference and after the fight."

Olympic style drug testing involves random sampling of the athlete's blood and urine prior to and after the fight. The USADA procedure includes both blood and urine sampling so that all banned substances, some of which do not show up in urine alone, are tested for thoroughly.

"It is unfortunate to hear this from Manny Pacquiao's representatives, particularly since, as of today, both parties had worked out all other issues related to this fight," said Schaefer. "Team Mayweather is certainly surprised that an elite athlete like Manny Pacquiao would refuse drug testing procedures which Floyd has already agreed to and have been agreed to by many other top athletes such as Lance Armstrong, and Olympians Michael Phelps, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant."

Mayweather, who was informed of Pacquiao's reluctance shortly after Schaefer received word of the impasse, feels Pacquiao has to explain himself immediately or be faced with accusations from the media and the public regarding his own status as a clean and drug free athlete.

"I understand Pacquiao not liking having his blood taken, because frankly I don't know anyone who really does," said Mayweather. "But in a fight of this magnitude, I think it is our responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level. I have already agreed to the testing and it is a shame that he is not willing to do the same. It leaves me with great doubt as to the level of fairness I would be facing in the ring that night. I hope that this is either some miscommunication or that Manny will change his mind and step up and allow these tests, which were good enough for all these other great athletes, to be performed by USADA."

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions said, "We hope that Manny will do the right thing and agree to the testing as it is an egregious act to deny the testing and hence, deny the millions of fans the right to see this amazing fight. We just want to make sure there is a level playing field in a sport that is a man-to-man contest that relies on strength and ability. I still hope this decision is coming from someone in Pacquiao's camp and not Manny himself as it would be a shame that an athlete of his stature and who represents his whole country would not be able to show the public or his fellow athletes that he agrees to the highest standards in sports competition."