Bookmark and Share

Taylor retains title with unanimous decision!

On Saturday night, from the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, AR, World Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor (26-0-1, 17 KOs) made a successful homecoming in his first return to Little Rock since winning the title, as he retained his WBA/WBC/WBO belts with a unanimous decision over the rugged and determined Kasim Ouma (25-3, 15 KOs).

For the first time in many years, officials emphasized the experiment of open scoring. Taylor consistently backpedaled and nailed Ouma with jabs and right hands, as Ouma constantly pressured the champion with ineffective aggressiveness.

Taylor's power was something that Ouma had never previously seen in his previous 27 fights as a professional, as Taylor was able to functionally cut Ouma's outpoint almost in half. At the end of the day, Taylor won by scores of 115-113, 117-111, and 118-110.

Next for Taylor could either be a super middleweight showdown with World Super Middleweight Champion Joe Calzaghe in 2007, or a rematch with number one middleweight contender Winky Wright, who scored a lopsided victory in his own homecoming last weekend against Ike Quartey. The longer it takes to make a Taylor/Wright rematch, the better Taylor is probably to get and the older Wright is going to become.

Wright demands parity with Taylor, as he refuses to settle for anything less than 50/50. Perhaps Wright is content to fight non-title fights that come his way rather than winning the World Middleweight Championship from the hungry young lion.

Hopefully, the two parties can come to terms in the negotiations and we can see Taylor/Wright II in 2007. Taylor/Wright I was clearly one of the best and most action-packed fights of 2006. If the Taylor/Wright rematch can not happen, Calzaghe/Taylor at 168lbs seems most logical and could be fun to watch as well. First, Calzaghe must get past Contender Season One star Peter Manfredo on March 3, 2007.

Ouma, who was sporting a hat that said "I love Larry Merchant" after the fight was over, would probably be better served to move back down to the jr middleweight class, as his frame is way to small to carry 160 pounds. At 154lbs, Ouma might still be able to make some noise, as his determination, will, and rugged style would appear to be a tremendous advantage to him against boxers in the same weight class as him.

On the undercard, rising Haitian welterweight and Undefeated 2004 Olympian prospect Andre Berto (16-0, 14 KOs) scored one sided sixth round stoppage of Miguel Figueroa (24-6-1, 14 KOs).

Berto's punching power was too much for Figueroa as he staggered him at the end of the round one, and appeared to score a knockdown with a jab in the third round, but referee Laurence Cole ruled it as a slip.

Berto completely outclassed Figueroa to the point when Cole brought an end to the carnage in the sixth round.

Taylor defends tonight against Ouma!

Live tonight from the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, AR, home town favorite and World Middleweight Champion Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor will make the third defense of hit title against Former IBF Jr Middleweight titlist Kasim "The Dream" Ouma.

Taylor last fought on June 17 of this in Memphis, Tennessee against Winky Wright. Taylor and Wright fought to a split draw, in an exciting tussle that sparked plenty of controversy regarding the result. Ouma's last fight took place on August 5 of this year, at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, when Ouma won a ten round unanimous decision over Sechew Powell.

Ouma is moving up in weight to 160lbs for the opportunity to fight for the middleweight championship. His chances, however, would appear to be slim, as he seems to lack the necessary punching power to put Taylor in any type of jeopardy.

In the jr middleweight division, Ouma, who had a high punch output and let his hands go frequently, was not known for his punching power. With the move to middleweight, I do not know what is going to change that.

Ouma's best chance is to try to get inside Taylor's reach advantage, pressure him on the inside, and let his hands go once he is inside Taylor's range. He will have to try to outwork and hopefully outpoint Taylor, but considering the fact that this fight is staged in Taylor's hometown of Little Rock, the chances of Ouma winning a decision are slim to none (and slim left town last Tuesday).

Bernard Hopkins couldn't retain his title in a close fight against Taylor, when he dropped a close split decision to the challenger in July 2005. Wright couldn't get a close decision in Memphis, when he challenged Taylor this past June. I can't see Ouma getting a decision against Taylor in his hometown of Arkansas tonight.

My prediction is that Jermain Taylor is going to win in one way or another. Either a unanimous decision, or a late stoppage. I can see Taylor knocking Ouma out.

Hagler vs Hearns - THE WAR!

Intense. Short but SWEET. Clearly one of the greatest boxing matches in the history of the sport! Promotionally billed as The War, Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler defended his Undisputed Middleweight Crown against Jr Middleweight King Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns, who was coming up in weight.

Vitali Tsypko: "I want to fight - and beat - Lacy again."

Press Release - Vitali Tsypko agrees with the experts who believe he was on the wrong end of a majority decision when Jeff Lacy last weekend clinched a debatable points victory in front of his hometown fans in Florida. While Larry Merchant and fellow journalists had the Ukrainian ahead, two of the judges controversially awarded the ten-rounder to the former IBF champion (96-94), with the third one scoring it a draw (95-95). "I feel like I have won this fight and I deserve a rematch," the 30-year-old southpaw (19-2, 10 KOs) said. "Lacy might have controlled the first two rounds but I took over in the following.

"I connected more often throughout and wobbled him big time at the end of the eighth round when only the bell saved him from a knock-down. I would have deserved to win."

ESPN´s Dan Rafael holds a similar view. "He (Tsypko) badly rocked Lacy at the end of the eighth round and dominated the final four rounds to do enough, it seemed, to win," Rafael wrote in his online column.

And Ant Evans, who called the result a "hometown decision", reported on "I had Tsypko - who came back from a torrid opening round to bully Lacy at time - a two point winner."

Lacy looked nowhere near the star fighter that had won all of his first 21 fights before getting blown out of the ring by a superb Joe Calzaghe nine months ago. In fact, as the St. Petersburg Times noted, "last March didn´t seem so far away".

Tsypko feels the fight has won him many hearts across the Atlantic.

"I have shown the American audience that I can fight," he vowed. "I want to build on that performance and get another chance to shine. I want to fight - and beat - Lacy again."

Wright/Quartey and Lacy/Tsypko scorecards!

Wright vs Quartey

Round 1: 10-9 Wright
Round 2: 10-9 Wright Total: 20-18
Round 3: 10-9 Wright Total: 30-27
Round 4: 10-9 Wright Total: 40-36
Round 5: 10-9 Wright Total: 50-45
Round 6: 10-9 Quartey Total: 59-55
Round 7: 10-8 Wright Total: 69-63
Round 8: 10-9 Wright Total: 79-72
Round 9: 10-9 Wright Total: 89-81
Round 10: 10-9 Wright Total: 99-90
Round 11: 10-9 Quartey Total: 108-100
Round 12: 10-9 Quartey

Total: 117-110 Wright (9-3)

Closing thoughts: Winky (rated #3 Pound For Pound at Speak Boxing) did exactly what he had to do. He widely defeated a tough former champion who was not coming into the ring to lay down. Quartey has never been KOed and that was not going to change against Wright, who has not scored a knockout in God knows how long. Wright won 9 rounds out of 12. Quartey still fought rather competitively, as he always has. I think he should go back down to 154lbs. He might still be able to make SOME noise there.


Round 1: 10-9 Lacy
Round 2: 10-9 Lacy Total: 20-18 Lacy
Round 3: 10-9 Tsypko Total: 29-28 Lacy
Round 4: 10-9 Tsypko Total 38-38
Round 5: 10-9 Lacy Total: 48-47 Lacy
Round 6: 10-9 Lacy Total: 58-56 Lacy
Round 7: 10-9 Lacy Total: 68-65 Lacy
Round 8: 10-9 Tsypko Total: 77-75 Lacy
Round 9: 10-9 Tsypko Total: 86-85 Lacy
Round 10: 10-9 Tsypko

Final Score: 95-95 (5-5)

Closing thoughts: Tsypko was way too reserved in his attack in the middle rounds and that cost him the fight in my opinion, but the fight taking place in Florida did not do much to help Tsypko's cause either. Tsypko did, however, close the show strongly enough to earn a draw on my scorecard. Lacy looked horrible in this fight; perhaps he is damaged from the thrashing at the hands of Joe Calzaghe, but it will take a couple fights to determine whether or not that is truly the case. I saw no improvements in his fight game, coming off the loss to Calzaghe, whatsoever. He still fights with the same style he brought into the ring against Calzaghe.

Wright outpoints Quartey!

Lacy escapes with razor thin majority decision!

Tonight, in the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL, Former two-time Jr Middleweight Champion and number one Middleweight Contender Winky Wright (51-3-1, 25 KOs) kept his ranking in tact with a convincing unanimous decision over Former Welterweight Champion Ike Quartey (37-4-1, 31 KOs) .

The fight was a homecoming of sorts for Wright, who was making his ring appearance in Tampa in fourteen years. Wright was credited with knockdowns in rounds two and seven. In the 2nd round, Wright managed to score a knockdown of Quartey, a moment in which the feet of the two combatants got tangled, Quartey was hit with a shot, and went down. In the seventh round, Wright knocked Quartey off balance, Quartey's glove touched his ankle (not the canvas), and the referee inexcusably ruled it a knockdown.

Wright went on to win by scores of 117-110, 117-110, and 117-109. I scored the fight 117-110 Wright, giving Wright only a 10-9 score in the second round, a round I felt Quartey easily won outside of the knockdown.

In a brutal undercard fight, Former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jeff Lacy (22-1, 17 KOs) returned to the ring, for the first time since his one sided loss to Super Middleweight Kingpin Joe Calzaghe last March, to narrowly and defeat Vitali Tsypko (19-2, 10 KOs) by majority decision.

Lacy started strong in the early rounds, but it was Tsypko who hung tough and gradually got stronger as the rounds went on. Tsypko won the final three rounds on my scorecards, but did not do quite enough to sway two of the three officials, who awarded the fight to Lacy. Scores: 95-95, 96-94 Lacy (twice). I scored the fight a draw at 95-95.

The performance failed to impress fans and backers of Lacy who want to see him make a successful return after the thrashing he suffered at the hands of Calzaghe earlier this year.

Wladimir Klitschko vs Calvin Brock

November 11, 2006
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY

Boxingtalk Interview with Floyd Mayweather, Jr!

Boxingtalk's Greg Leon conducted an interview with undefeated Pound for Pound King Floyd Mayweather, following one of his training sessions in preparation for his November 4 bout with World Welterweight Champion Carlos Baldomir. Mayweather spoke about his training, how he's getting ready for Baldomir, what he can expect, and talk of a possible fight with Sugar Shane Mosley in 2007.

Updated Pound for Pound List

Speak Boxing had not updated its Pound for Pound list since mid-July! How ridiculous is THAT?

There has been a change or two in the past few months, the biggest being Joel Casamayor's lightweight title winning victory over Diego Corrales. How does that affect the Pound for Pound list??? See for yourself:

Bryan's Top 10 Pound for Pound

Freitas coming out of retirement; wants Casamayor!

According to reliable sources at Boxingtalk, WBO Lightweight Champion Acelino Freitas, who attended to WBO Convention, apparently reported that he is unretiring and chooses to return to the ring for a unification bout with WBC Champion Joel Casamayor.

In January of 2001, Freitas defeated Casamayor by an extremely narrow yet unanimous decision. Casamayor, following his split decision victory over Diego Corrales in their rubbermatch a few weeks ago, is regarded as the legitimate World Lightweight Championship as he seized the RING Magazine crown as well as the WBC strap.

I find it extremely fitting and convenient that, so soon after Casamayor defeated Corrales, Freitas suddenly wants to come out of retirement and face Casamayor. Styles make fights. Freitas, who defeated Casamayor in 2001, was humiliated, dropped multiple times, and was forced to quit when he faced Corrales in August 2004. Casamayor, following his career-defining victory over Corrales a few weeks ago, is now the man at 135lbs! Freitas no longer has to worry about Corrales. He was just defeated, eliminated from the lightweight division as a result of his inability to make the weight any longer, and now looks to get the hell out of dodge and move up to 147lbs.

If I was Freitas, and I saw a man, whom I once defeated, beat the man who destroyed me for all of the marbles in my weight class, it would probably lure me out of retirement as well!

Popo is not leaving just yet, folks.

Countdown to Baldomir vs Mayweather!

Two weeks from tonight, at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV on November 4, Pound for Pound King "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather will step into the ring to face WBC Welterweight Champion Carlos Manuel Baldomir.

Mayweather, now campaigning in his fourth weight class since turning pro, made his welterweight debut November of 2005 with a systematic sixth round stoppage of Sharmba Mitchell with a bodyshot.

Surely, a Judah vs Mayweather fight, for the Undisputed Welterweight Championship of the world, was bigger than ever following Mayweather's victory over Mitchell. Certainly, it was atop the lists of many boxing fans experts most anticipated showdowns. Judah vs Mayweather was perceived as boxing's biggest superfight at that time, biggest in any weight class south of the heavyweight division.

However, there was one road block (one that was not initially viewed as threatening, however) that stood in the way of the Undisputed Welterweight Champion. One obstacle that he would have to overcome, to ensure that his major showdown with Mayweather could transpire into the event it was being perceived as. This obstacle went by the name of Carlos Baldomir, an unknown Argentinian journeymen, who had not lost a fight in eight years.

Baldomir, widely perceived as boxing's modern day Cinderella Man, burst onto the scene earlier this year, when he claimed the WBC Welterweight belt by scoring a dramatic upset via unanimous decision over 18-1 favorite and then Undisputed Welterweight Champion Zab Judah at Madison Square Garden in New York, which is Judah's home turf. That victory is still in the running for the award of Upset of the Year for 2006.

In his first title defense on July 21, 2006, Baldomir would enter a ring in a favored opponent's hometown, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, for the second consecutive time, to beat up and stop boxing's drama king Arturo "Thunder" Gatti, whom Mayweather had practically demolished almost a year and a month to the day at the exact same venue.

Two common opponents can be found on the professional boxing records of Mayweather and Baldomir. Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti. As one can see, Baldomir defeated Judah first, as Mayweather faced Judah just a few months later. Nonetheless, Mayweather stopped Gatti prior to Baldomir's destruction of him 13 months later. Two common opponents. Mayweather and Baldomir have a combined record of 4-0 with 2 KOs against those two opponents.

Such a sequence of events has led us to this moment, just two weeks before Baldomir and Mayweather. The contest, billed as "Pretty Risky," is one that carries risks of different types on both sides. Mayweather, the pound for pound king, puts that title on the line when he steps into the ring, as Baldomir looks to defend his Welterweight title against a fighter the world regards as the greatest in the sport today.

Out of all of Mayweather's previous opponents, Baldomir is definitely the biggest and strongest guy Mayweather has ever faced. It is my belief that Baldomir is Mayweather's greatest challenge in the last four years, with the last legitimate challenge of Mayweather being Jose Luis Castillo in 2002. Castillo, like Mayweather, is a strong fighter who applies constant pressure on his opponents and looks to out work them.

Baldomir possesses much of the same style as Castillo (Castillo probably has the faster hands), but his size will be something that Mayweather has never seen in a professional boxing ring. However, Mayweather's speed and skill level are certainly advantages that no other opponent of Baldomir has ever brought into the ring against the Argentinian.

The HBO Countdown to Baldomir vs Mayweather premieres Friday, October 27 at midnight. The fight, itself, can viewed Saturday November 4 live on HBO Pay Per View!

Diego Corrales signs with GBP!

According to Golden Boy Promotions, Former Jr Lightweight and Lightweight Champion Diego Corrales has recently signed a promotional contract to fight under the promotional auspices of GBP. Corrales, who lost his WBC Lightweight Championship a couple weeks ago in a rubbermatch to Joel Casamayor via split decision, looks to move up to the welterweight division and win a third title in as many weight classes.

Valuev: Inspired by Muhammad Ali!

Press Release: Imagine seven-footer Nikolai Valuev as a track and field athlete. It could have happened if a teenage Valuev didn't become inspired by watching tapes of Muhammad Ali. In an interview with a German journalist, Valuev credited the Greatest for getting him into the sweet science. "As a matter of fact, it was Muhammad Ali, who got me started in boxing," he said. "I moved away from home and into a sports boarding school at the age of 13. Back then I was in track and field. Often, my trainer would show us videos of Ali's fights in the evening – I was fascinated to the point that boxing became both my sport and my passion." The WBA heavyweight titlist also told the German interviewer about his career goal. "Any world champion naturally dreams of winning all four belts and becoming the super champion of the world. That is, of course, a question of the right management – but definitely a realistic goal from an athletic viewpoint.

Williams destroys Mitchell; calls out Margarito AGAIN!

Margarito: Forget about Floyd for now; fight those who are calling you out!

Last Saturday night in Reno, NV, Paul Williams maintained his mandatory WBO ranking and undefeated record by posting a 4th round TKO of Former two-time Jr Welterweight Champion Sharmba Mitchell.

From the opening bell, Williams attacked Mitchell like an angry swarm of bees. Mitchell's size disadvantage was apparent from the outset. Mitchell did, however, manage to connect with a combination in the 2nd round, but was dropped in the third round.

The fourth round saw the end for Mitchell, as Williams decked him three times to prompt the referee to the stop the fight. Once again, Williams called out WBO Welterweight Champion Antonio "the self-proclaimed most feared man in boxing" Margarito to a fight.

Margarito has a fight lined up for December 2 in Atlantic City, NJ on Showtime, and word has it that the opponent will be Joshua Clottey, so Williams could be off Margarito's dance card until early next year. One thing is certain; Margarito must defend against Williams (his mandatory) in order to keep the belt he currently holds.

Most feared man in boxing, Antonio?

Face Clottey. Face Williams. Take on Kasim Ouma, who has expressed an interest in fighting you.

Those who acknowledge the fact that Margarito is only a welterweight might be overlooking the fact that he moved up to Jr Middleweight to fight Daniel Santos in September 2004. Although he lost that fight at the 154lb weight class via a technical decision, he did not exactly look ridiculously removed from his natural weight element of 147lbs.

If he can fight Santos, he can fight Ouma at 154lbs, or even a catch weight of 150lbs. Margarito has never been knocked out. Ouma, who has a high punch output and works three minutes and ten seconds of every round, couldn't crack an egg with his punches if he wanted to. What is wrong with Margarito vs Ouma at 154lbs, or even 150lbs????

Most feared man in boxing? How about knocking out these top 147lbers or even a 154lber, to prove to your fellow pugilists at 147lbs just how feared you are????

Just because Floyd Mayweather is facing World Welterweight Champion Carlos Baldomir on November 4, and does not have you on his dance card at this moment, does not mean that all of the other welterweights and super welterweights are avoiding you!

Give the boxing fans, and most importantly, some of your fellow welterweights a legitimate reason to "shiver!"

Spinks vs Mayweather November 4 on HBO PPV???

Reliable sources in boxing are implying that a proposed fight between IBF Jr Middleweight Champion Cory Spinks and undefeated Pound For Pound phenomenon Floyd Mayweather is close to be finalized.

Agreements have been reached between both parties and the contracts have been signed by both boxers. The bout has already been approved by the IBF, and now the only thing left on the agenda is for Don King to make an announcement in regards to the date of the opening press conference to officially announce the fight.

Spinks was last seen in the ring on July 8, dethroning Roman Karmazin in his hometown of St Louis to win the title via a close majority decision.

Mayweather's last appearance was on April 8th in Las Vegas, as he defeated Zab Judah for the IBF Welterweight Championship via unanimous decision.

Toney and Peter wage war via conference call!

09.08.06 - The 20-year anniversary celebration of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING continues in spectacular fashion on Saturday, Sept. 2, when James “Lights Out” Toney faces Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare’’ Peter in a 12-round WBC heavy weight elimination bout on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. In the co-feature, Eric Aiken defends his IBF featherweight title against Robert “The Ghost’’ Guerrero.

PLEASE NOTE: Portions of the transcript have been edited (more than usual) for content.

Peter: I am in Las Vegas training, waiting for James Toney. I thank everybody that put this fight together. I am so excited because it is going to be an exciting fight. I know nobody can tell what God's glory is, so I am ready to roll.

Toney: I am looking forward to Sept. 2. I am fighting a very credible challenger in Sam Peters, second in the world to date. I am looking forward to the opportunity to show everybody that I am the best heavyweight out there. It is going to be a great show. This is the kind of fight that the fans want to see. They want to see James fighting Sammy Peter. It should be a vacation match..

Question: James, what has training been like? Are you doing anything differently? Do you feel you're more focused? Are you doing anything differently? Do you feel this is a must win fight for you?

Toney: Every fight I am in is a must win fight. I went back to basics. Same as with Holyfield, that is what I went back to. It is going very well. I have no complaints.

Question: Sam, this is a crossroads fight. Do you feel it is a must win fight for you?

Peter: Yes. I am really sure this is a big fight and a big win for me because I am fighting a two-time heavyweight champion, two times challenging. So I am ready to prove I am going to be the next heavyweight champion of the world. I thank Toney for giving me this opportunity to beat him.

Question: James, some feel you could have defeated Hasim Rahman easily if you had come in at 225 instead of 237. Have you thought about that? Do you agree with that?

Toney: I have gone back towards it. I thought I won the fight, but I should have come in better shape because I had a little cold before the fight. No excuse. But now we are here. I will jump right back into the frying pan. You don't know too many fighters today that will jump right back into the frying pan with a difficult fight. I don’t think anybody in boxing, but James Toney, is taking a tough fight after a tough fight. So I will be in great shape. I wish the fight was today, but it isn't. Three and a half more weeks, and I will be ready.

Question: Do you have a target as far as what you want to come in for this fight?

Toney: I am going to come in wherever I am comfortable at. I am just excited.

Question: Do you feel like it is time, especially from this fight, or maybe your next two, for James Toney to really go out there and prove it?

Toney: Definitely. I am going to start with this fight. I was unhappy with the last fight, and we should be. It is like being on a football team. Even if your team had a draw, you are never happy with the results. You always want to strive for the perfection. And that is what I plan on doing. Like I said, I am just happy to get the opportunity to show that I am the best fighter in the world.

Question: James, what kind of threat does Sam Peter pose to you?

Toney: He poses a threat to everybody else, but not to me. Don't get me wrong, he's a good fighter. But he has never been in the ring with anybody like me before in his life. It doesn’t matter if I fought middleweight or lightweight, or cruiserweight, James Toney can flat out just fight. I am a natural born fighter. Everybody else was taught to fight. That is the difference between me and everybody else.

Question: James, Sam Peter is probably the biggest, strongest and fastest guy you fought at heavyweight. Do you agree with that? If so, are you approaching this fight any differently?

Toney: I don't approach any fight different. If you know me, you haven't ever seen me change my style for anybody. I am not that type of fighter. I do what James does best, and that is just fight. Ruiz is bigger than Sam Peter, and Rahman. Both are stronger than me. You see where that went. So it doesn't matter. I just know how to fight, period. And that is what this is all about. James Toney flat out knows how to fight. The best fighter in the boxing world, period, ever born.

Question: Sam, James is very different than anyone you have fought, as well. He is a very skilled fighter. How do you approach a guy who is going to give you all kinds of angles and really knows every trick in the book?

Peter: Well, Toney hasn't fought anybody like me before. Even though he has been two or three times champion of the world, I have my own training. Nobody has seen Sammy Peter yet, but I think this fight will prove that people have things wrong about me. I am a fighter, I am a boxer. I can do anything. Any kind of situation. This is a great fight for me because I love the way Toney boxes. I think this is going to put me in a good position.

Question: Sam, why do you think James is such a good fight for you and why do you feel you are going to win?

Peter: Because the ring man is going to be standing there with me. I know I am going to catch him later on.

Question: James, you’re from Michigan, but you consider yourself a Los Angeles fighter, right?

Toney: I consider myself a trained fighter living here in L.A.

Question: You are going to fight the winner of Saturday’s fight. What do you think about that fight? Obviously, this fight appears to be much more attractive than that one.

Toney: Nobody wanted to see that fight. Oleg Maskaev hasn't done anything since he beat Rahman seven years ago. If he had beaten me like they said he would, he should have knocked me out, as bad shape as I was in when he fought me.

Question: So you were not in the best shape for Rahman?

Toney: Yes. He should have knocked me out. He did all this whooping before the fight, but when that bell rang, you saw how tentative he was.

Question: Since he didn't do that, what did you learn from that experience?

Toney: What I learned is give 100 percent when I am ready. That is what I learned. But percent of James Toney beat the best Rahman ever can be in. Forty percent James Toney versus 110 percent when he tried his best. He was scared to death.

Question: James, you said you were only 40 percent for Rahman. What about the other 60 percent? What was the problem there?

Toney: You saw him around my waist. I had a little flu. Like I said, I am going to do my thing.

Question: So you had the flu?

Toney: I had the flu. My whole crew knew about it, but I do what I do.

Question: How are you now at this point? Are you all recovered from that?

Toney: Good. I am 100 percent I am ready to go. Whatever. He did what he had to do. We had an incompetent referee, Eddie Cotton. But I am pretty sure we have a professional referee this time. And I am ready to go. I am excited. Even though fighting in L.A., my adopted hometown, the fans will be there. And it is on SHOWTIME boxing. I am ready to go.

Question: Was it because of just the weight and the flu that you had before the fight? Because a lot of people felt, going into that fight, that you were going to win in a very, very clear-cut fashion. Of course, officially it ended up being a draw.

Toney: I still want to fight. I have a credible opponent. His people feel they can beat me, so put it up. Put up or shut up.

Question: And at what point is Father Time going to be a factor? You are approaching the age of 38, an age which, especially a lot of heavy weights, start to think about hanging it up.

Toney: Father Time? I don't even know what that is.

Question: Sam, Toney is a tremendous fighter in terms of defense, counter punching, fighting from angles. A lot of things that are really old school. You are a younger fighter and known more as a power puncher. Have you adjusted your style, or are you going to adjust your style, to face Toney?

Peter: I am going to walk through him.

Toney: Oh, I like that. Keep your promise.

Question: Did you say you are going to walk through him?

Toney: That is what he said.

Question: Then what is your game plan going to be? Is it going to be similar to the fighting you did against Klitschko, or is it going to be different?

Peter: That is why I said I am going to walk through. He is a very good fighter, but I know I am going to walk through him. He is not going to stop me, he is not going to crack me. I am going to walk through him.

Question: What did you see in James' fight with Rahman that leads you to believe that you can walk through him?

Peter: I see a lot of things. It was an interesting fight. But I saw a lot of things that Rahman was not able to do as a heavyweight. But for me, I will rail on his body.

Question: Have you adjusted any of your style since the Klitschko fight?

Peter: It depends on who you fight. Toney is the best fighter for me to prove that I am a real fighter, I am a real boxer.

Question: What kind of sparring partners have you been bringing in to prepare for James.

Peter: I have been doing what I was supposed to do, what I do for a championship. The championship is different from any fight that you fight. You have to do something different. Because the people being around you, my sparring partners and everyone that is with me, we do something different. Everybody will see on Sept. 2.

Question: Do either of you guys want to make a prediction?

Toney: I am knocking him out. I am knocking him out. Sammy, you are getting knocked out.

Peter: You are still dreaming.

Toney: Speak English.

Toney: You have a little Russian behind you.

Peter: I am from Africa.

Toney: Yes, you are from Africa.

Peter: You don't even know where you are from. Do you know where you are from? You don't even know where you are from.

Toney: I am from my mama, where are you from? I am going to send you back on a banana boat, punk.

Peter: You don't know where you are from. You can't even speak English.

Question: James, what do you think is your big advantage is when you step in the ring?

Toney: Look, Samuel is a strong guy for the guys he has fought. But all the guys he fought were paid to lie down. You know that. I am for the best fight in the world. You know what I am saying? There isn't a strategy. It is just me being me.

Peter: That was history. We are talking present. You always talk history.

Toney: I am going to beat you, I will tell you that.

Peter: Stop talking history. You are talking history. That was done. You were done. That is history. Talk present. You know what it means?

Toney: I am going to back it up. Who cares?

Peter: Talk English. Speak English. You don't even know where you are from.

Toney: Shut up. Shut up.

Peter: You tell me to shut up. You cannot even speak.

Toney: Shut up. Get off the telephone. You telephone talk, that's all you are.

Peter: Don't worry. You are in L.A.

Question: Sam, what do you think your big advantage is against James.

Peter: Well, I am going to knock Toney out, no matter what.

Toney: Like I said …

Peter: Shut up when I am talking.

Toney: Shut up. You are not anyone.

Peter: Shut up when I am talking.

Toney: Make me shut up. Make me shut up, punk.

Peter: Be quiet when I am talking. Sammy is talking. Be quiet when the …

Toney: Climb a tree.

Peter: Did you hear what I said? Shut up when Sammy is talking.

Toney: Whatever, man, whatever. Say it.

Toney: No more questions. I am gone. I have business to take care of. He made me mad.

Peter: Sit down and talk. Sit down. Right now.

Toney: Shut up.

Peter: Don't move.

Toney: You are going to see me in a couple of weeks anyway. Don't worry about it.

Peter: I said keep quiet. Sit down where you are right now.

Toney: You are a telephone talker, that's all you are. You aren't scaring anybody.

Peter: Sit down, do you hear what I am saying?

Toney: You're scared. I own you. I am your master.

Question: James, has the draw against Rahman served as a motivation for this fight?

Toney: I don't need motivation. I am the best heavyweight in the world, best fighter in the world. We put the challenge out to everybody. They stepped up and took it. They are going to regret it. Bottom line. I will fight anybody, anywhere, any time. I am big and bad as they come. I blow houses down.

Question: Sam, when you first heard you were going to get this fight, what was your reaction?

Peter: I was thinking glory be to God. Thank God. Because this is what I was looking for, to be the heavyweight champion of the world. This is the opportunity. I was so excited that Toney gave me the opportunity to beat him, to become heavyweight champion of the world.

Question: Were you surprised when this came?

Peter: Well, I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure until I met him in person, and then I saw how it is and everything was going through. Then I was glory be to God.

Question: James, do you think you are going to be able to lie on the ropes and allow the fighter to come to you. Do you think that is an effective strategy against a guy like Peter?

Toney: I fight everybody the same way. If you watch my career, I knock them out. It is like a Hollywood horror film when I get done with them. Look at Rahman. I swelled him up. Even though I got a draw, I swelled him up. Look at Ruiz. All these supposedly big guys, tougher guys than me. I have seen it all, I have been there, done that. It doesn't matter.

Question: This is a question for both fighters. After the exchange that went on today, has this fight become more personal?

Toney: It has been personal. He signed a contract. Anybody that signs a contract to fight me, it is personal.

Question: How about you, Sam?

Peter: Does that mean anybody that signs a contract? It is a personal issue right now. He signed a contract, I signed a contract. We are ready to roll.

Question: James, could you tell us what you think is going to happen in Saturday's fight?

Toney: It is going to be a stinking fight. I have a feeling Rahman might get knocked out. He got knocked out once. It is in the back of his mind. It could happen again. I tested him a couple of times. If I had been like I should have, I would have knocked him out. Rahman hasn't got the best ticker.

Peter: Well, I thank everybody. I thank all of my fans, being there for me. I thank the good promoters for putting this fight together. I thank my manager. I thank James Toney, being a man and stepping over for this fight. Everybody that is watching this fight, it is going to be a great show. It is going to be a great fight. So thank you, everybody.

Toney: First and foremost, I want to thank the Man upstairs for giving me the opportunity. I want to thank my promotional group, my whole management team, my pop, my wife. Everybody around me. Showtime -- you know, the greatest network for boxing. They only show the greatest fights and this is going to be one of them. Thanks to STAPLES Center. And the whole city of L.A. for hosting this. It is going to be a tremendous night of fireworks on Sept. 2. I can't wait. Thank you.

Forrest vs Quartey Master Scorecard!

Here you will see the official master scorecard for the Ike Quartey/Vernon Forrest fight, which took place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York last Saturday night. The fight was televised on HBO World Championship Boxing.

The official cards, as you will notice, reflect a narrow decision victory for Forrest (96-93, 95-94 twice). I had scored the fight 95-94 Quartey (as you can see on my unofficial card at the bottom of this post), while others such as HBO's unofficial ringside judge Harold Lederman gave Quartey much more credit than I did, with a score of 97-92. The following is an illustration of the official master scorecard.

Click on image to enlarge.

From this observer's perspective, without the point deduction for the low blow by Forrest in the 9th round, Quartey would've deserved a draw in that fight. However, the officials did not quite see the fight from the same perspective. The ninth round was undoubtedly the most critical round of the fight. Whether you liked Quartey's effectiveness in the first half of the round, or Forrest's rally in the last minute to save the round as an even round, score totals of this fight could conceivably swing either way. The fight was close.

Therefore, I can not exactly label that decision made by the judges, a decision that prompted aggitated fans in the crowd to angrily chant "bullshit," a highway robbery (ala Holyfield vs Lewis I or Foreman Briggs, two of the biggest highway robberies of the 90s), but I will admit that Quartey was once again on the wrong side of another close and unpopular decision, just as he was seven years ago with Oscar De la hoya. I thought he deserved to win a close decision in the De la hoya fight, too.

Certainly this was not one of those robberies that warranted immediate investigation. I would, however, care to see a rematch.

Quartey just can not seem to catch a break when it comes to being in close fights in America. In October of 1997, Quartey was forced to settle for a draw with Jose Luis Lopez, in a fight in which Quartey clearly won atleast eight rounds.

With all of the business being conducted from 147lbs to 154lbs (which you will read a bit more about later on), involving all of the other big players in the neighboring classes, Quartey and Forrest seem to be left alone solely for each other for the time being. Let's see a rematch with a much clearer winner. Here's to hoping Quartey doesn't fall into obscurity for another 14 to 16 months as a result of this.

My scorecard for Forrest/Quartey read as follows:

Round 1: 10-9 Forrest
Round 2: 10-9 Quartey Total: 19-19
Round 3: 10-9 Quartey Total: 29-28 Quartey
Round 4: 10-9 Forrest Total: 38-38
Round 5: 10-9 Forrest Total: 48-47 Forrest
Round 6: 10-9 Quartey Total: 57-57
Round 7: 10-9 Forrest Total: 67-66 Forrest
Round 8: 10-9 Quartey Total: 76-76
Round 9: 10-9 Forrest/1 point deduction from Forrest = 9-9 Total: 85-85
Round 10: 10-9 Quartey
Total: 95-94 Quartey (5-4-1 in rounds).

Ouma vs Powell scorecard

Round 1: 10-9 Ouma
Round 2: 10-9 Powell Total: 19-19
Round 3: 10-9 Powell Total: 29-28 Powell
Round 4: 10-9 Ouma Total: 38-38
Round 5: 10-9 Ouma Total: 48-47 Ouma
Round 6: 10-9 Ouma Total: 58-56 Ouma
Round 7: 10-9 Ouma Total: 68-65 Ouma
Round 8: 10-9 Ouma Total: 78-74 Ouma
Round 9: 10-9 Ouma Total: 88-83 Ouma
Round 10: 10-9 Powell
Total: 97-93 Ouma (7-3 in rounds).

No controversy here, as you can clearly see.

James Toney spews venom!

Determined to silence the critics who constantly harp on him about his weight and conditioning, the normally loquacious James "Lights Out" Toney was uncharacteristically near silence himself in responding tersely to questions addressed to him during preparation for his September 2nd "No Risk, No Reward" WBC 12-round Heavyweight title elimination bout against the hard-hitting Samuel "The Nigerian Nightmare" Peter at the Staples Center.

Following a spirited sparring session this past weekend, an obviously irritated Toney redirected his anger toward his critics. Below are comments distributed by his publicist:

Q: How is your weight, James?
A: "I am a (bleeping) heavyweight. No one questioned Ali and Foreman, so don't question me."

Q: How is your conditioning?
A: "Same as above." (Bleep) Off!"

Q: What about your cigar smoking?
A: "Yeah what about it? Smoke this."

Q: What is different with this camp as to your camp for the Hasim Rahman fight?
A: "I am not talking about camp. I'm putting the Nightmare to sleep."

Q: Who are you sparring with and how is it going?
A: "Keep asking stupid questions, it'll be you. Now (Bleep) Off!"

"No Risk, No Reward" is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, Don King Productions and Duva Boxing and will be the main event on the live "Showtime Championship Boxing" telecast. An IBF 12-round Featherweight Championship Bout between NABF Featherweight champion, Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, against the IBF world champion, Eric "Mickey Mouse" Aiken will open up the SHOWTIME broadcast. Tickets priced at $300, $150, $75, and $50 are available at STAPLES CENTER box office or

Forrest wins controversial decision over Quartey!

Vernon Forrest won a controversial unanimous decision over Ike Quartey tonight at the theater at Madison Square Garden. The fight had shifting tides of fortune, as in this observer's eyes, both fighters appeared to give and take rounds from one another.

At times, Quartey was keeping Forrest on his heels by landing the harder and cleaner shots - left jabs, left hooks, and right hands. Forrest's right eye was slightly swollen, a product of Quartey's repeatedly landed left hands. Other times, Forrest was able to get on his bicycle, move around, and outwork Quartey with shoeshines and flurries and appeared to win some rounds for him.

Since the surgeries, Forrest's left shoulder has not been the same, as he dispensed with his left jab for most of the night. When he did throw it, it was nothing more than a powder puff. Round nine was the most crucial round of the fight, as Forrest had a point deducted for a low blow.

That point deduction, many observers felt, might have cost Forrest a close decision loss. Forrest, in my eyes, appeared to win the 9th round, earning himself a 9-9 score for that round. The point deduction, on my scorecard, made a huge difference, as I scored the fight 5-4-1, 95-94 for Quartey. Judges scores for the fight were 95-94 twice, 96-93, all in favor of Forrest. The booes throughout the arena told the tale of the crowd's disapproval of the decision that was made by the three judges at ringside.

Kassim Ouma W10 Sechew Powell

On the undercard, Former IBF Jr Middleweight Champion Kassim Ouma turned in a workman like effort, outworking previously undefeated Sechew Powell for a unanimous decision victory. Ouma looked like the energizer bunny, as he continuously walked down Powell, threw more punches (an average of over 100 punches per round) and beat the retreating Powell with sheer activity.

Powell appeared to land the cleaner shots, but he did not land nearly enough of them to get Ouma's respect or, more importantly, to win the fight. He fight the wrong fight and probably should've fought more aggressively. Judges scores were 100-90, 97-93, and 96-94 all for Ouma. I scored it 97-93 for Ouma.

Quartey vs Forrest: Set to take place tonight at MSG!

Tonight, at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, a showdown between two former Welterweight Champions is set to take place. Ike Quartey, of Accra, Ghana, meets Vernon Forrest, of Atlanta Georgia, in a jr middleweight fight that is set for 12 rounds. Both fighters, in addition to being former welterweight champions, are also well into their mid-thirties.
You might recall that the Theater at Madison Square Garden is the site at which Forrest scored his first professional victory over Sugar Shane Mosley to win the World Welterweight Championship on January 26, 2002.

Since defeating Mosley on that night, and coming back to defeat Mosley once again in a return engagement in July of that year, Forrest relinquished his title in a shocking three round KO loss to Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga on January 25, 2003. Forrest, believing the loss was a fluke, would return for a rematch against Mayorga six months later. The second time around, Mayorga would score a controversial majority decision over the Atlanta native.

After taking a two year hiatus away from the ring, Forrest returned to the ring to score an impressive second round stoppage of Sergio Rios on the undercard of Hopkins vs Taylor I in July of last year. Following the victory over Rios, Forrest posted 10th round TKO victory, this one much less impressive, over relatively unknown Elco Garcia.

Coming back from a variety of surgeries which kept him out of action, Forrest looks to regroup and turn the clock back to that fateful night at the Garden back in January of 2002, in order to defeat Quartey tonight in this significant battle for 154lb contention.

Ike Quartey, who was devastating force in the late 1990s, became the WBA Welterweight Champion with an 11th round stoppage of Crisanto Espana in April 1994. With title defenses against the likes of Vince Phillips (who later became a titlest at 140lbs with his upset victory of Kostya Tszyu) and Oba Carr, Quartey cemented his status as one of the best welterweights in the world.

In October of 1997, Quartey would face off against the Mexican power-punching Jose Luis Lopez. After ten rounds of action, seemingly dominated by the Guanayan champion, Lopez would hurt Quartey and drop and him in the 11th round. Quartey was badly stunned, but got up and continued to the final bell. Quartey had also been dropped in the second round; that knockdown being more of a flash knockdown. That fight ended in a majority draw, but most observers felt as though Quartey deserved the decision.

The draw against Lopez would lead Quartey, 16 months later, to a mega showdown with WBC Welterweight Champion Oscar De la hoya. In a highly competitive fight that saw both of the undefeated contestants kiss the canvas, De la hoya would emerge with a razor-thin split decision that is highly debatable to this very day.

Quartey would take another 14 months off before facing then-undefeated IBF Jr Middleweight Champion Fernando Vargas. Vargas, who was then considered a much younger and fresher champion rising to the top of the boxing world, outworked and outboxed Quartey to a close yet convincing unanimous decision.

The loss to Vargas signaled a five year retirement from the ring for Quartey. Taking a long rest and deciding to return to the ring in 2005, Quartey is 3-0 in his comeback, two of the wins coming against former IBF Jr Middleweight Champion Verno Phillips (considered a quality win for Quartey on his comeback) and Carlos Bojorquez. Quartey looked sharp and impressive in both of those victories.

That leads us to tonight's showdown. Forrest is a tall and ranger boxer who likes to fire combinations, while Quartey possesses a piston-like left jab with power that would constitute a legitimate power punch for most other boxers. Will Forrest's height and reach advantage bother Quartey from the outside? Will Quartey's left jab find its target on Forrest and have an impact on the flow of the fight? Knowing that both boxers are coming back from inactivity, and are in their mid thirties, will there be stamina issues late in the fight? In terms of a prediction, I have gone back and forth on this fight. Don't know who exactly to pick. There are so many intangibles.

Both pugilists are facing each other to earn one more showdown for either a championship, big money, or both, at 154lbs. The Jr Middleweight division, with titlests such as Corey Spinks and Jose Antonio Rivera, and top contenders such as Shane Mosley, Kasim Ouma and Roman Karmazin, is a division that is filled with talent.

Tonight's fight between Quartey and Forrest will be televised live on HBO at 10PM/ET 7PM/PT.

Antonio Margarito, Floyd Mayweather's greatest threat??? Why?

WBO Welterweight Champion Antonio Margarito has made some rather frivolous claims in the recent weeks that he is "the most feared man in boxing." He claims that nobody will take a fight with him. Based on what? What makes him the most feared man in boxing??? Better yet, what legitimate prize fighter or threat has Margarito defeated to place himself on such a lofty pedestal???

He knocked out Andrew "Sixheads" Lewis, Kermit Cintron, and Manuel Gomez. Okay. But none of those names are up at the level of top-notch championship competition that surrounds Margarito in the 147-154lb neighborhood. Mayweather. Baldomir. Hatton. Collazo. Spinks. Rivera. Let's not forget that Margarito also lost a fight to then-WBO Jr Middleweight Champion Daniel Santos in September of 2004, who later went on to relinquish his title to some unknown challenger by the name of Sergiy Dzinziruk in Germany last December.

Other than that, what has Margarito done to be considered the biggest threat to "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather's Pound For Pound throne???? Mayweather has a November 4 HBO PPV date open for a fight. The opponent who will be in the opposing corner from Mayweather has yet to be determined. Margarito keeps making these claims about being "the most feared man in boxing."

Ishe Smith, who is coming back down to 147lbs, wants to face Margarito. Winky Wright, who would come down to 154lbs strictly for the occasion, has also expressed an interest in facing Margarito. Kassim Ouma would love to get the chance to fight Margarito. Perhaps somebody should shut Margarito up and convince him that he is not the most feared man in boxing. With a proposed September 9 fight upcoming for Margarito against Cosme Rivera (Zab Judah's three round leftovers), it is difficult to forecast when exactly we will see Margarito in the ring with a top notch champion or competitor.

Since Shane Mosley has declined to face Floyd Mayweather in November of this year, in what could be the biggest payday of Mosley's career to this point, perhaps Margarito can enlighten the boxing public, do away with facing somebody who Judah made mince meat of last year, and step up to face the Pound for Pound King on November 4. If Mayweather finds another opponent, maybe Mosley and Margarito can lock horns, to prove who is the most worthy challenger for Mayweather. Back to back knockouts of Fernando Vargas and then a knock out of Margarito, at the hands of Mosley, could make a Mayweather vs Mosley fight bigger than ever, should it eventually happen in 2007.

At this time, Mayweather vs Mosley is the fight I want to see at 147lbs. At 147lbs, I believe Mosley is Mayweather's greatest threat. Before Hatton struggled against Luis Collazo, and looked out of his element at 147lbs, I felt as though Hatton might be Mayweather's greatest test. Maybe not. After seeing Mosley dominate a physically bigger Vargas, and look better than he has looked in the ring in many years, I believe Mosley could be Mayweather's stiffest test. Maybe the stiffest test of Mayweather has yet to face up until this point of his flawless career.

Mosley still has exceptional handspeed for a fighter in the 147-154lb neighborhood and he's capable of switching to southpaw. He is a tremendous switch hitter. Judah's handspeed and southpaw stance troubled Mayweather in the early rounds of their fight last April. Mosley possibly has equal speed to Judah, can also fight effectively as a southpaw, and will not crack under pressure the way Judah has on several occasions in the late rounds of his most difficult fights (Pineda, Baldomir, Mayweather, etc).

Shane should step up, accept the greatest payday of his career, and challenge Floyd Mayweather. It may in fact be Mosley's last opportunity to accomplish something spectacular in the sport; something that could potentially once again catapult him to the top of the boxing world and boxing's Pound for Pound lists. Sugar Shane, opportunity is knocking at your door.

Antonio Margarito, on the other hand, should face AND defeat a legitimate threat before he proclaims himself as the most feared man in boxing. Less talking and more fighting. There are plenty of worthy and capable challenges out there for the so-called most feared man in boxing, and the so-called greatest threat to Mayweather. Greatest threat to Mayweather??? Based on WHAT?????

Baldomir stops Gatti in nine... hopefully he sent him into retirement!

Last weekend at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, World Welterweight Champion Carlos Balomdir stopped Arturo Gatti in nine rounds.

After a rather successful opening round for Gatti, a slow feeling out round in which Gatti was able to move around and box with Baldomir, Baldomir's natural welterweight strength and accurate right hand managed to tell the tale for the rest of the evening. As the rounds progressed, Baldomir's right hand appeared to find its target with increasing frequency.

In the fifth round, Gatti seemed to hurt his hand, which added to the jeopardy that Baldomir was placing him in round by round. As Larry Merchant eluded to at ringside, the silence of the pro-Gatti cult-like crowd, packed tight inside Boardwalk Hall, was not unlike that of a funeral. In the ninth round, Baldomir trapped Gatti on the ropes, unleashing a series of sledgehammer shots and knocking Gatti down with a monster left hook.

Gatti got up at the count of six, but Baldomir jumped on him, attacked him, and knocked him down once again. Referee Wayne Hedgepath had seen enough and mercifully called a halt to the bout. Hopefully, this was the final appearance of Arturo Gatti entering a ring for a prize fight. Arturo has clearly seen better days, and should retire while he is still healthy, perhaps even taking Fernando Vargas along with him.

After all is said and done, Baldomir is still the recognized Welterweight Champion of the world. With this big victory over Gatti, Baldomir has successfully made his first title defense. Gatti is the 2nd opponent whom Baldomir went to his hometown and achieved victory, the first being his well-deserved title winning victory over Zab Judah last January.

Baldomir is a tremendously strong welterweight who can punch and take a punch. He is not the fastest guy in the world, but he is quite solid in his attack and his durability. Santa Fay, Argentina, Baldomir's home country, also produced Carlos Monzon, one of the greatest middleweight champions of all time. In this day and age, Santa Fay says hello to their biggest star champion fighting at the present time, Welterweight Champion Carlos Baldomir.

Would anybody be interested in seeing Baldomir, the hometown striker, defend his Welterweight Championship against Pound 4 Pound Picasso Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, NV or Grand Rapids Michigan???

Mosley stops Vargas!

Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Sugar Shane Mosley once again managed to stop Fernando Vargas, but with considerably less controversy.

Speed kills, and it was the speed of Mosley that befuddled a listless Vargas, who this time around, did not look like he belonged in the same ring with his vastly superior opponent. Vargas, both of hands of feet, looked exceptionally slow. He just could not pull the trigger or even manage to put Mosley in any type of jeopardy. Mosley's right hand seemed to fight its target rather easily, but it may have been the left hand that did most of the damage this time around. After five one sided rounds won by Mosley, Mosley managed to cut Vargas right eye with a left hook, and dropped him later in the round. Vargas barely beat the count, was seriously hurt. Referee Kenny Bayless let the fight continue, but Mosley immediately reigned a series of a devastating combination punches on his battered opponent, prompting Bayless to stop the carnage just seconds later.

Where do both fighters go from here? Hopefully last night's one-sided loss signals retirement from the square ring for El Feroz. The man appears to have seen better days. This was a case of a young kid, years ago, spending himself way to early by fighting dangerous and more experienced opponents too soon in his career. Spending himself before he even reached his prime, Vargas fought all of the top notch champions and skilled boxers one after the other. From Winky Wright, to Ike Quartey, to Felix Trinidad, and on to Oscar De la hoya, he has provided fans with memorable wars that were crowdpleasing affairs, but he also sustained a great deal of accumulated punishment over the years. Best of luck to Fernando Vargas, a fellow who I have always had a great deal of admiration for. Great heart, but I would tell him to retire while he still has his wits about him.

As for Sugar Shane Mosley, he may have performed better in this fight, than he did in his previous engagement with Vargas. This fight, too, was fought at 154lbs, which was out of Mosley's natural element. Back down to 147lbs? Could well be. After seeing what Mosley did last night at 154lbs, I would love to see him move back down to 147lbs for a showdown with Pound for King King Floyd Mayweather Jr. Taking note of Zab Judah's success in the first five rounds against Mayweather, it would be interesting to see what type of challenge Mosley puts forth against the sweet science's modern day picasso.

Mosley, unlike Judah, is not a natural southpaw, but he's been known to fight from the southpaw stance rather effectively [you may recall that he changed the tide of his first fight against Oscar De la hoya by switching to southpaw]. Mosley is a switch hitter, with perhaps greater speed than Judah.

Yes, Mayweather vs Mosley is an intriguing matchup at 147lbs. Let's see it happen, hopefully early in 2007.

Mosley,Vargas meet again tonight in rematch!

After having fought each other at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV approximately five months ago, former world champions Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas return for a second engagement, once again in Las Vegas, but this time at the MGM Grand Garden. In their previous bout, the fight had shifting tides of fortune, but was stopped due to severe swelling around Vargas' left eye.

Swelling, the product of Mosley's repeated right hands landed in the first few rounds, influenced the ring side doctor to stop the fight. After Mosley experienced success in the first three rounds, Vargas did come back to win rounds four through seven with affective aggressiveness. When the eye became too much of a handicap, Mosley began to regain command and win rounds eight and nine, enroute to the stoppage in the tenth round. Tonight is the eagerly anticipated rematch, which is probably happening at just the right time.

Too many rematches over the years have happened years too late. Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns fought their legendary welterweight battle in 1981, in which Leonard stopped Hearns in the fourth round. They did not have a rematch until eight years later, in June of 1989. Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor fought in what many considered to be the fight of that decade [and perhaps the most controversial]. They did not rematch until four years later, 1994.

How refreshing it is to see two fighters, two former champions, who had staged one hell of a fight for boxing fans, having their rematch within a reasonable time frame. Let us hope it is every bit as thrilling as their original encounter.

Klitschko stops Byrd!

Repeat, rather than revenge, was the name of the game last Saturday night in Mannheim, Germany, as Wladimir Klitschko won his second world heavyweight title, the IBF version, by way of a dominant seventh round knockout over defending champion Chris Byrd.

The IBF (International Boxing Federation), you may recall, is the New Jersey based organization that chose not to vacate their welterweight title after defending undisputed champion Zab Judah lost to Carlos Baldomir, but to let their belt remain around Judah's waste due to the fact that Baldomir did not pay a sanctioning fee to the organization prior to the bout.

Yes, that IBF...

This was the second fight between the two pugilists, with the first taking place October 14, 2000, also in Germany. At that time, Klitschko won a convincing unanimous decision over Byrd to win the WBO title. On Saturday night, however, Klitschko would twice drop Byrd and end matters in the seventh round.

Byrd's best round seemed to be the opening round, when he was able to land some clean straight left hands to Klitschko's mid section. Klitschko, using the round as a feeling out round, basically pawed with his jab. In round two, Klitschko began firing more right hands. He could not miss Byrd with his right hand leads.

By the third round, Byrd, whose right eye was already beginning to swell, appeared to be frustrated at his inability to get to Klitschko. As the fight progressed into round four, Klitschko's confidence was continuously rising and the round produced more of the same as rounds two and three. Klitschko kept landing his right hand at will. In round five, Klitschko dropped Byrd really hard with a one two combination. Byrd, with a bloodied nose, rose to his feet, but took brutal punishment to survive the round.

After the sixth round, which was a slow, yet another ones-sided round won by Klitschko, Byrd would visit the canvas for the second and last time in the fight. Referee Wayne Kelly, noticing that a bloodied and battered Byrd could not continue with such a lacerated face, called a halt to the bout.

When asked by Larry Merchant what his future plans are, Klitschko responded, "Defend my title. Even better, I plan on getting another one. Have two. Let's go for another belt!"

Good answer. Such an accomplishment would be grand for the division, the sport, and the fans. I am glad to see he has such a commendable goal. The other champions in the division need to acquire the same enthusiasm. If he can maintain the mental and physical poise that he has brought into the ring with him in his last three fights, Klitschko may just be on his way to accomplishing his plans. He is certainly talented enough to do so.

Perhaps Byrd has seen better days, while Klitschko progresses further towards the top of the division with his trainer, heavyweight architect Emmanuel Stewart.

Klitschko's last defeat happened on April 10, 2004, when Lamon Brewster stopped a fatigued Klitschko in five rounds to win the vacant WBO Heavyweight Championship. With newly crowned WBO Heavyweight Champion Sergei Liakovich's recent upset victory over Brewster earlier this month, will Klitschko attempt to unify the titles against the man, who defeated a man who knocked him out a couple years ago???

Klitschko's biggest challenge could come against Liakovich. The biggest fight in the heavyweight division right now could be between Klitschko and WBC Champion Hassim Rahman. Rahman must feel that if he couldn't get Vitali, he may as well go after his reemerging younger brother who has just won another one of the alphabet soup title belts. First, Rahman must get by Oleg Maskaev in a rematch that they are planning for this summer.

Bring me not sanctioning bodies. Bring me not bowling ball shaped heavyweights with greater appetites for food rather than pugilistic success. Bring me not more title belts and titlists.

Bring me unification and one Heavyweight Champion!

Stay tuned.

Mayweather defeats Judah!

How about Mayweather vs Hatton?

This past Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather kept his undefeated record in tact, and picked up the rather insignificant IBF Welterweight Title belt with a unanimous decision victory over Brooklyn native Zab "Super" Judah.

In the opening rounds, Judah fared rather well with his speed and southpaw stance. He seemed to be getting off his punches faster and crisper than was the case for Mayweather. By the fifth round, however, Mayweather began to adapt to Judah's timing and landed some telling body shots. As the rounds progressed, Mayweather kept targeting Judah's body, which would ultimately place Judah in retreat mode. By the 10th round, Judah was worn down, but a low blow by Judah may have prevented Mayweather from stopping Judah.

The low blow ensighted a near riot, as Mayweather's trainer and uncle Roger Mayweather entered the ring and spouted off some choice words to Judah. The team members of both parties immediately entered the ring and this caused further commotion. The scene in the ring was reminiscent of the fan man incident that caused approximately a twenty minute halt to Bowe vs Holyfield II in November of 1993.

After about a ten minute delay, security managed to calm everyone down, end the confrontation, and fortunately the commission was about to resume the fight. Mayweather's trainer, however, was removed from Floyd's corner. Floyd went on to win a unanimous decision in a competitive fight that was good, but not great.

Judges favored Mayweather by scores of 117-111, 116-112, and 119-109. My scorecard showed Mayweather winning by a closer margin of 115-113, but he got the job done nonetheless.

In my estimation, Mayweather's greatest challenge at this point could come against Ricky Hatton, who is equally undefeated and will be challenging Luis Collazo for the WBA Welterweight Title on May 13 in his American debut at Foxwoods.

Mayweather vs Hatton would be a classic matchup between a boxer and pressure fighter. This fight would present Floyd with a true challenge due to the fact that Hatton is an exceptional pressure fighter and pressure fighters give Mayweather the most trouble.

Castillo, as you may remember, was able to befuddle the pound for pound picasso with resilience, pressure, and a consistent body attack over the course of 12 rounds in the first of their two fights in April of 2002. Castillo, however, had more mileage at that time than Hatton currently has.

Mayweather and Hatton are two undefeated fighters in the welterweight division who appear to be headed on a collision course. First thing is first - Hatton must defeat Collazo.


Results from the Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT:

Kevin Johnson UD8 Robert Hawkins
Scores 79-73, 80-72 (twice)

Kevin Johnson primarily used his jab to dominate a listless and overweight Robert Hawkins over the course of eight rounds. Johnson has a nice stiff jab, as well as a confident demeanor and sufficient physical appearance. Unfortunately, he carries his guard way to low and is limited to a jab. Johnson also appears to lack real heavyweight punching power. He needs to expand his arsenal, get a little more aggressive, and develop as a professional. He's still young. Plenty of room for improvement.


The Weekend Weigh-In!


Weights from the Activities Center, Maywood, Calif:
Anthony Thompson 157 vs Darnell Boone 157
Victor Ortiz 137.5 vs Freddy Barrera 138.5

Weights from the Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT:
Montell Griffin 175 vs Norman Jones 174
Robert Hawkins 260.25 vs Kevin Johnson 237.5
Matt Remilard 127.5 vs Edward Valdez 128
Wesley Hobbs 151.75 vs Ron Lewis 152.25*
William Gill 176.25 vs Elvin Ayala 168.75

*Gill will have to lose weight.


Weights from Wolstein Center, Cleveland, OH
Lamon Brewster 232 vs Sergei Liakhovich 238.5
WBO heavyweight championship
Ray Austin 255 vs Jeremy Bates (Weighs in Friday)
Kevin Mcbride 286 vs Byron Polley 244Larry Donald 245.5 vs Stacy Frazier 261.5

Brewster, Lyakhovich to collide in Cleveland tomorrow night!


Tomorrow night, in Cleveland, OH, WBO Heavyweight Champion Lamon Brewster (33-2, 29 KOs) will defend his title against Sergei Lyakovich (22-1, 14 KOs). Brewster won the title on April 10, 2004 with a stunning upset KO win of Wladimir Klitschko. Since then, he has made three title defenses against the likes of Kali Meehan, Andrew Golota, and Luan Krasniqi.

Brewster, the dark horse of the champions and title contenders, will try solidify his claim as the top dog at heavyweight tomorrow night against Lyakovich. After Hasim Rahman and James Toney fought to a disputed draw two weeks ago, there appears to be more questions than answers as to the state of boxing's biggest weight class.

Unification must take place in order to have legitimate clarification as to who the real heavyweight champion is in boxing. In order for Brewster to maintain his race for heavyweight supremacy amongst the rest of his fellow titleholders, he must focus carefully on the task at hand tomorro night.

This spectator has not seen much of Lyakovich, outside of his unanimous decision win over Friday Ahunanya, on the undercard of Rahman/Lewis II, in November 2001. He went on to lose via 9th round KO at the hands of the Maurice Harris in a non televised bout in June of 2002 on the undercard of Holyfield/Rahman in Atlantic City. Lyakovich also fought to a draw with fringe heavyweight contender Dominick Guinn.

Brewster possesses better than average handspeed, as well as volatile punching power, for a heavyweight boxer. He annihilated Andrew Golota in less than a round in May of last year in Chicago, something only Lennox Lewis was previously able to accomplish. IBF Champion Chris Byrd struggled to a controversial draw with Golota in April of 2004 and then-WBA Champion John Ruiz squeaked out a narrow and unconvincing unanimous decision over Golota in November of 2004.

My prediction: Brewster via mid to late round KO.

The bout, promoted by Don King Productions will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, April 1. The telecast will begin at 11pm ET. This is a free preview weekend for SHOWTIME, so the telecast is available to all viewers.

Cotto/Malignaggi set for June 10!

Boxing's two Magic Men fighting in separate fights, as well as on separate PPVs, on the same evening!

On the same evening that Light Heavyweight Champion Antonio "The Magic Man" Tarver and Bernard Hopkins are squaring off in Atlantic City, WBO Jr Welterweight Titlest Miguel Cotto and boxing's other "Magic Man" Paul Malignaggi will also face each other at Madison Square Garden in NY. Most fans and media question the reasoning behind two pay per view cards in one night.

While the Tarver vs Hopkins fight clearly features two of the better known, yet veteran fighters in the sport, the other bout between two youthful and undefeated jr welterweights, a Puerto Rico superstar and an Italian American rising star from Bensonhurst Brooklyn, could provide fireworks for fight fans, as well as some clarity to a division that is losing top fighters and champions.

Ricky Hatton, the current world champion at 140lbs, is moving seven pounds North to face WBA Welterweight titlest Luis Collazo later this spring. Furthermore, fighters such as pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather, Sharmba Mitchell, and Arturo Gatti have also vacated the premises and made their jumps to the welterweight division. Therefore, the Jr Welterweight division appears to be wide open at this time.

On June 10, you can view Cotto vs Maglignaggi live on Pay Per View for a suggested retail price of $39.95. Which of these two young contenders will rise to the top of their division. Tune in and find out for yourself!