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Mayweather vs Hatton: The preview and prediction!

Boxing has had an amazing year in 2007, with a number of super fights taking place. Fights such as Barrera vs. Marquez, De la hoya vs. Mayweather, Hopkins vs. Wright, Taylor vs. Pavlik, Pacquiao vs. Barrera II and Calzaghe vs. Kessler all happened much to the pleasure of boxing fans and experts.

The conclusion of this magnificent year is no exception, as Pound for Pound King and World Welterweight Champion “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather and Jr Welterweight Champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton square off in a twelve round championship battle tomorrow night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will be contested for Mayweather’s World Welterweight Championship, as Hatton is coming up in weight for this fight.

Two years ago, Hatton sprung to the top of the boxing ladder with his upset win of defending Jr Welterweight Champion Kostya Tszyu in Manchester, England in June of 2005. Hatton stopped Tszyu inside eleven grueling and punishing rounds when the defending elected not to come out of his corner for the twelfth and final round. Later that year, he unified the IBF and WBA Jr Welterweight belts by stopping defending WBA titlist Carlos Maussa.

Hatton previously made a trip up to 147lbs to face defending WBA Champion Luis Collazo in Boston back in May of 2006. Hatton out pointed Collazo for the title via a controversial decision. Following that victory, Hatton moved back down to 140lbs where he felt more comfortable and beat previously undefeated Juan Urango this past January.

Hatton followed up on the Urango win with an impressive fourth round stoppage for Former Two Time Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo. In the ring immediately after his victory, Hatton called out Mayweather, siting that his fight with Castillo was more exciting than any performance or showing Mayweather had ever produced in his ten year career.

While watching the fight at home, Mayweather was provoked to instruct his advisor Leonard Ellerbe to, “make the f&*$ing fight.” Considered to be the consensus Pound for Pound best fighter in the world, Mayweather has won six different titles in five different weight classes in less than a nine year span and remained undefeated in doing so. Rather impressive, to say the very least. From 130lbs to 154lbs, Mayweather has defeated a who’s who of champion pugilists, such as Genaro Hernandez, Angel Manfredy, the late Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Oscar De la hoya, and the list goes on and on.

Acknowledging a fighter with such credentials, Hatton is fueled to rise to the occasion and pin the first loss on the record of his reputable opponent. Hatton himself is no push over, as he has won four titles in two weight divisions and has remained undefeated throughout his professional career. Together, Mayweather and Hatton boast a combined professional record of 81-0. The match up features a contrast of styles, pairing a boxer with speed of hand and foot against a relentless body punching brawler.

With over 50 million dollars in prize fight money banked away, does Mayweather still have that motivation and determination to give 110% of himself? Will his hands and body hold up, amidst the surgery he's gone through as seen on HBO's reality show 24/7? Is Mayweather just to fast and skilled for Hatton to deal with? Will Hatton's relentless aggression and grappling style frustrate and eventually shut down Mayweather as it did to Tszyu over two years ago? Will Hatton be susceptible to cuts?

Both men have promised a toe to toe battle. Both men have promised to emerge victorious inside the twelve round distance. The fight will be pretty even through the first eight rounds, with Mayweather and Hatton going back and forth taking rounds from each other. In some rounds, Hatton will be pressuring Floyd on the ropes and winning rounds by throwing more punches and keeping him on the defensive. In other rounds, Mayweather's defensive prowess, ring generalship, and accurate counterpunching will seize the momentum for him.

The championship rounds will tell the tale here in my opinion, and Mayweather, who has been in championship fights for almost ten years in various weight classes, will begin to showcase his experience. He may even have to dig down deep to put the fight out. Hatton throws those wide winging shots. That will keep Mayweather on his heels in the first half of the fight, and the British fans will be going "ahhhhhhhhhhh", but as the fight wears on, I see Hatton getting sloppier with that style and Mayweather coming down the middle with straighter and crisper shots catching Hatton coming in. Hatton, motivated and urged on by thousands of his countrymen in the crowd, will surely be putting forth his greatest effort, but technique, experience, and for once, being the bigger man, win this contest for Mayweather down the stretch.

Prediction: Mayweather by split decision.

Tune in to see "Undefeated" Mayweather vs Hatton live on HBO PPV at 9pm ET/6pm PT tomorrow night.

Guzman defeats Soto, but will he get a crack at Pacquiao?

Guzman wants Pacquiao, but he might have to wait in a line for that one. The whole world from 122lbs to 140lbs wants Pacquiao, but some challengers in that world command more money and attention than others!

Last night at the Borgota in Atlantic City, NJ, WBO Super Featherweight Champion Joan Guzman retained his title and kept his undefeated record in tact with a unanimous decision over Humberto Soto. Guzman utilized beautiful ring generalship at times to outbox and offset the powerful Mexican challenger. Soto had his moments when he would trap Guzman on the ropes and fire combinations and flurries to Guzman's body.

Guzman controlled the fight in the middle rounds for the most part, but seemed to coast down the stretch when Soto mounted a late round comeback out of desperation. In the eyes of the official ringside judges, it was simply too little too late for Soto. The judges awarded the fight to Guzman by scores of 117-111 (twice) and 118-110 (twice). I didn't score the fight round by round, but HBO's unofficial ringside scorer Harold Lederman scored the fighter closer at 115-113 for Guzman. The Associated Press scored the fight a draw, which may have been stretching it by just a little. Had I scored it round by round, I probably would've had it somewhere in the middle. Not as wide as the three judges, but maybe not as close as the unofficial scorers. The fight was probably 7-5, maybe 8-4 for Guzman.

In any case, this was a very good win for Guzman. Not only his best win at 130lbs, but also his career-best win to this date. Guzman would love to fight Manny Pacquiao, and he made a strong case with this win last night, but who doesn't want to fight Manny Pacquiao right now? The man brings money and a monster-sized fan base. He's helped to turn the public's attention from the heavyweights to the featherweights. Would I like to see Pacquiao/Guzman? Absolutely! I'd also like to see J.M.Marquez/Pacquiao II. In all fairness, Marquez should be Pacquiao's next fight, due to their unfinished business from three and a half years ago.

Marquez is the legitimate world champion at 130lbs, and being one of the two top pound for pound fighters in the world, that's a title that Pacquiao would probably love to take. The winner of Marquez/Pacquiao should face Guzman, who is respectably the number three guy at 130lbs right now. In all likelihood, Pacquiao will either face Marquez or move up to lightweight to face Juan Diaz in his next fight, or face Marquez and then face Juan Diaz. Those matches are where the money is at. Guzman, as good as he is, will probably have to play the waiting game - much like Winky Wright had to do for a number of years when he labored in obscurity.

Updated Pound for Pound rankings!!!

It has been a while since you saw an update of the Boxing Chronicles Pound for Pound List. With all of the significant matchups that have taken place throughout this fall, I wanted to wait until just about all of them happened. And guess what? There are some changes.

Significant changes, following middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik's title winning knockout victory of Jermain Taylor and Joe Calzaghe's successful quest to unify the super middleweight championship with a unanimous decision over Mikkell Kessler.

Where do they rank now? Click here to check out the new rankings. Feel free to comment!

Boxing Chronicles Scorecard: Cotto -vs- Mosley

Round 1: Cotto 10 Mosley 9
Round 2: Mosley Total: Cotto 19 Mosley 19
Round 3: Mosley Total: Cotto 28 Mosley 29
Round 4: Cotto Total: Cotto 38 Mosley 38
Round 5: Cotto Total: Cotto 48 Mosley 47
Round 6: Cotto Total: Cotto 58 Mosley 56
Round 7: Cotto Total: Cotto 68 Mosley 65
Round 8: Mosley Total: Cotto 77 Mosley 75
Round 9: Mosley Total: Cotto 86 Mosley 85
Round 10: Mosley Total: Cotto 95 Mosley 95
Round 11: Cotto Total: Cotto 105 Mosley 104
Round 12: Mosley

Total: 114-114 (6-6)

Cotto edges Mosley in a tremendous battle of wills!

Last night at Madison Square Garden in NYC, WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto retained his title with a unanimous decision over Shane Mosley. Cotto raised his record to 31-0, while Mosley's record fell to 44-5.

For the third time in a span of a month, I was wrong about a prediction in a big fight. First I picked Holyfield over Ibragimov. Dead wrong. Last weekend, I picked Kessler over Calzaghe. Dead wrong again. This weekend, I picked Mosley over Cotto. Wrong three times. Perhaps I can make some really good money by picking a fighter to win a fight, and then betting money the other way. Worth a try, maybe?

Back to the fight - I felt the fight was close as hell. I, for one give, credit to both fighters for giving such terrific accounts of themselves. These are two excellent fighters, fighting at an elite world class level, who tested each other wills in a fight that pretty much went back and forth. That was some truly great stuff to watch in the eyes of this observer.

In rounds one through four, the fight was pretty even and each guy took two rounds. Round one was Cotto's on the account of his cleaner punches and strong jab that was finding its target. Mosley began to loosen up a bit in rounds two and three, finding his bounce and outboxing Cotto. Cotto would begin to turn the tide in round four, however, as he applied pressure and began to nail Mosley with some hard shots to body and chin. To his credit, Mosley hit Cotto with some really good body shots as well. Mosley may very well have underestimated Cotto's hand speed, as so many other opponents have done in the past prior to entering the ring against the Puerto Rican sensation.

Rounds five through seven, it appeared as though Cotto was wearing Mosley down. At one point, I even said, "good thing I didn't put money on this one." Mosley, however, readjusted by getting up on his toes and began to bounce and throw right hands. Mosley hurt Cotto in round nine as well as in the first half of the tenth round. Cotto came back in round 11. Shane finished strong in round 12. It was an terrific fight that featured some toe to toe fighting as well as some boxing and counter punching. Could've gone either way. Both fighters gave as good as the received, but in the end, the three official ringside judges awarded the fight to Cotto by scores of 115-113 (twice) and 116-113. Boxing Chronicles scored the fight a draw, 114-114.

As many of you already know, I'm a Mosley fan. I wanted to see him win. It would've done wonders for his already brilliant career at the ripe old age of 36. Remember, this is a fighter, whom after the first fight with Winky Wright in 2004, many fans and experts believed was shot and had seen better days. Many felt it was the end of Shane's career, but not I. He proved it by fighting 12 hotly contested rounds with a young champion approaching his prime and may one day be great. Mosley had nothing to be ashamed of.

As a fan of his, I'm also an objective viewer who will tell you the fight could've gone either way and I'm content with the decision just as Mosley was after the fight. Props to Miguel Cotto for the big win.

Other results on the undercard:

Joel Casamayor rose from the canvas after an illegitimate first round knockdown to retain his Lightweight Championship with a highly controversial split decision over the game Jose Armando Santa Cruz. There is no way Casamayor won that fight. No way in hell! Santa Cruz was not only the aggressor, but he was the effective aggressor. He was throwing punches and landing some of his punches. Although his accuracy was nothing to write home about, he was landing more shots that Casamayor. Certainly, he was landing more power shots. Casamayor showed the effects of an older champion who had been out of the ring for over a year. He looked off balance. His upper body motion was sloppy. He avoided exchanges with Santa Cruz and looked bad doing it. Official scores were 114-113 Santa Cruz, 114-113 (twice) Casamayor. I scored the fight 118-109 for Santa Cruz, as did unofficial ringside scorer Harold Lederman as well as some other respectful fans and writers. Absolutely dreadful decision. Horrendous showing on the part of Casamayor! Let's call it the robbery of the year. Biggest robbery I've seen in at least a few years.

Joel Casamayor, you need to stop calling Juan Diaz a pussy. Looking like that, you need to stay away from Juan Diaz period. Diaz would appear to be the goods in the lightweight division and he'll eat your ass up like pacman!

Antonio Margarito looked impressive stopping Golden Johnson in less than a round. I didn't expect much from Johnson, but it was nice to see Margarito make such a big statement following the loss to Williams this past summer. He started quickly and wasted no time. Good job, Antonio Margarito. Onto a top five contender now, please.

Victor Ortiz, young 140lb contender from Oxnard, CA, made a tremendous statement in the opening televised bout of the evening with a first round knockout of his own against Carlos Maussa. Maussa, once a world champion, had been in the ring with the likes of Miguel Cotto, Vivian Harris, and Ricky Hatton. He stopped Harris in their title fight in Atlantic City in 2005 to win his world title, but lost it to Hatton in their unification match later that year. The guys who have beaten Maussa did not to him what Ortiz managed to do last night. That was an impressive showing on the part of this young fighter. The Jr welterweight division is wide open. Let's see Ortiz against one of the titleholders; possibly starting with WBO Champion Ricardo Torres being that he is the weakest of the titleholders.

Fast and Furious prediction!

Tonight, at Madison Square Garden, WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto is getting ready to defend his title against former three division champion Sugar Shane Mosley. In his last fight, Cotto beat up and stopped former welterweight champion Zab Judah in 11 grueling rounds in front of a sold out MSG crowd. Mosley was last seen outworking and outclassing the Luis Collazo at the Mandalay Bay back in February.

This fight is being titled Fast and Furious. Mosley is seen as the faster the fighter, while Cotto represents the furious. Cotto has made his mark by winning the welterweight championship with a stoppage of previously undefeated Carlos Quintana. He beat up Quintana and flat out made him quite last December. The whooping he handed Judah was very good. If he can defeat Mosley, that would be great. Mosley has revived his career, after consecutive losses to Winky Wright in 2004. At the time, he was fighting in a division where he appeared to be too small. His confidence also appeared to be at an all time low. Afterall, he had also been defeated twice by Vernon Forrest in 2002.

Since the losses to Wright, Mosley moved back down to welterweight and won some fights against David Estrada and Jose Luis Cruz. Mosley's back to back stoppages, particularly the 2nd one, of Fernando Vargas really signaled the return of the Sugar of old. Against Collazo last February, Mosley pitched a practically perfect fight against Collazo.

In this fight tonight, we have a matchup between a young undefeated tenacious slugger who is on the way up and a former champion, with blazing hand and foot speed, who has the potential to be an all-time great. Can Cotto, once again in front of his countrymen in a packed house at MSG, put an exclamation point on his so-far flawless career? Or can Mosley continue his resurrgence by upsetting the young champion?

My prediction: Mosley TKO 12

Calzaghe vs Kessler Boxing Chronicles Scorecard

Round 1: 10-9 Calzaghe
Round 2: 10-9 Kessler Total: 19-19
Round 3: 10-9 Calzaghe Total: 29-28 Calzaghe
Round 4: 10-9 Kessler Total: 38-38
Round 5: 10-9 Calzaghe Total: 48-47 Calzaghe
Round 6: 10-9 Calzaghe Total: 58-56 Calzaghe
Round 7: 10-9 Kessler Total: 67-66 Calzaghe
Round 8: 10-9 Calzaghe Total: 77-75 Calzaghe
Round 9: 10-9 Calzaghe Total: 87-84 Calzaghe
Round 10: 10-9 Calzaghe Total: 97-93 Calzaghe
Round 11: 10-9 Calzaghe Total: 107-102 Calzaghe
Round 12: 10-9 Kessler

Total: 116-112 (8-4) Joe Calzaghe

Official judges scorecards:

Massimo Barrovecchio scores it 116-112
Raul Caiz Jr. scores it 117-111
John Stewart scores it 116-112

Compubox numbers:

Calzaghe total punches: 285/1010
Kessler total punches: 173/585

Calzaghe total jabs: 137/550
Kessler total jabs: 52/326

Calzaghe total power punches: 148/460
Kessler total power punches: 121/259

Calzaghe decisions Kessler: becomes Undisputed Champion at 168lbs!

At 35 years of age, in this boxing fan's eyes, this was Calzaghe's break through fight. Anybody who wasn't particularly impressed prior to that performacne last night, should be now!

While celebrating my birthday at a local nightclub last night, one of the sports most anticipated showdowns was taking place. In the first big super fight at 168lbs since Roy Jones, Jr and James Toney fought in 1994, WBO and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight Champion Joe Calzaghe and WBC/WBA titlist Mikkell Kessler squared off in a battle of undefeated champions in Cardiff Wales. Thankfully, I was way too drunk last night to search for the result of the fight or even comprehend throughout the evening who the victor was. Therefore, the fight and the result were unknown to me when I popped the tape into the VCR this afternoon.

Let me admit to you that I picked Kessler to win by unanimous decision. Once again, I was dead wrong. In this instance, though, I was not the only one to pick Kessler. I thought Kessler would win the fight with his calculated counter punching style, but Calzaghe had other plans in store for us. Raising his professional record to 44-0, Calzaghe won a unanimous decision by scores of 117-111 and 116-112 (twice). Boxing Chronicles agreed with two of the three judges in terms of the score, giving Calzaghe the fight 116-112. Calzaghe did exactly what Jim Lampley described at ringside. He spoiled Kessler's boxing style. The fight started off with Kessler circling and trying to outbox Calzaghe, and Calzaghe coming forward throwing fast flurries behind his jab.

As the fight wore on, it was Calzaghe who became the boxer and Kessler who ended up trying to chase him down out of desperation when he realized that the boxing style wasn't working. This may have been Calzaghe's best performance to date; even more impressive than his win over Jeff Lacy. In my eyes, this was Calzaghe's career defining fight. He broke through with this performance. You come to box, he'll hunt you down and take that style away. You come to brawl and try to knock him out, he'll shoot crisp straight shots down the middle, as he did to Lacy, and punish you all night long.

Brilliant performance on Calzaghe's part. Kessler, who lost decisively, gave a fine account of himself as well. He did everything right, but it just wasn't enough to unseat a man who's been champion in that division for ten years and, between his professional and amateur careers, has been undefeated for seventeen years! Kessler landed some bombs throughout the fight and had some moments in the fight, but Calzaghe proved to have a cast-iron chin. The man can take a punch!

Next up for Calzaghe should be a move to 175lbs. He admitted that after Kessler, there's no other business to tend to at 168lbs. Expect to see Calzaghe at 175lbs, against either IBF titlist Clinton Woods or Ring Magazine Champion Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins is the bigger fight in the US. Woods, no question about it, is the bigger fight overseas. Given that Calzaghe is terribly interested in crossing the pond, and he doesn't exactly see Hopkins as major draw here in the states, the Woods fight is likely to be the more probable option for the Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion to exercise.

Sports comeback of the year - no question it's the sweet science!

LOS ANGELES, October 30—For a sport that has taken more than its share of slings and arrows over the last few years, boxing has proven to be as resilient as its greatest champions, rising from the canvas in 2007 to again take its place among the most popular and relevant sports in the world.

The latest sign that boxing is back came this week, when HBO revealed that the record-shattering May 5th super fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather did even better than initially thought, with final numbers now clocking in at 2.4 million pay-per-view buys and $134.4 million in domestic revenue. These numbers have established De La Hoya as the all-time leader in pay-per-view sales with 12.8 million buys. Not only did his fight with Mayweather shatter existing records for most PPV buys for a non-heavyweight fight, it sailed past the previous leader for overall PPV buys (1.9 million, which was set by the rematch between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson in 1997). “This is amazing news and the strongest possible sign that boxing is not only alive, but that it is thriving,” said De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions, the promoters of De La Hoya-Mayweather.

“There is no proof like cold, hard facts, and the response of fight fans to these events has given me hope that this sport will soon be back on the front pages of daily newspapers and in the mainstream’s consciousness like it was in its heyday.” “I’m happy that my fight with Oscar did so well, but I’m not surprised because this is what happens when you give the people what they want,” said Mayweather, who fights Ricky Hatton on December 8. “I am going to keep bringing that to the people and that’s what they will see when I fight Hatton. Plus, being a competitive person, I want to go past 2.4 million buys and show the world what boxing is all about.”

What’s even more impressive is that in this record-breaking overall year for the boxing business, there are still two PPV super fights left – the November 10th battle between Sugar Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto, and the grand pay-per-view finale December 8th between Mayweather and Hatton. Added Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, “I’ve always said that if you brought great fights and great fighters to the people and promoted it properly that every fight fan would respond, and the success we’ve had this year proves it. This is the dawning of a new age for boxing, and we are proud to be part of its renaissance.”

Other Boxing Chronicles Results

Jose Luis Castillo TKO6 Adan Castillas.

Jose Luis Castillo made a successful return to the ring, following his 4th round knockout loss at the hands of Ricky Hatton this past June, with a 6th round stoppage of Adan Castillas in Mexico. This fight was fought at the welterweight limit. Castillo posts another win, but I'm not sure what his future brings after the showing against Hatton. Against Hatton, he looked rather slow and his legs looked shot. We'll see where Castillo goes from here. You have to figure at 140lbs that boxers like Paulie Malignaggi and Junior Witter are going to take advantage of the Former two time lightweight champion's diminished reflexes.

Steve Molitor UD12 Fahsan 3K Battery

In a division that is heavily overshadowed by champions the likes of Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez, undefeated Steve Molitor retained his fraction of the Super Bantamweight Championship, IBF version, with a lopsided unanimous decision over 3K Battery in Ontario, Canada. Molitor controlled the action for the most part, with the exception of a brief moment in the seventh round when Battery seemed to stunned Molitor. Other than that, it was pretty much a flawless victory, with Molitor pinning the first loss on Battery since Battery's loss to Pound for Pound elite Manny Pacquiao back in December of 2004. Molitor, who is said to be a good boxer with little punching power, raised his record to 25-0 with 10 knockouts. The Super Bantamweight division is pretty hot right now.

As I stated, the two top guys in the division are Vasquez and Marquez. There are also a couple of other pretty good titlists. Daniel Ponce De leon, whom HBO viewers saw blowing out Rey Boom Boom Bautista this past August, is the WBO Champion. Cellestino Caballero is the undefeated WBA champion, who is still the only fighter to have pinned a loss on De leon's record. They fought a few years ago, and fans are still waiting to see that rematch happen. So it looks like Molitor is definitely the dark horse of one of boxing's hottest divisions. I'd definitely like to see Molitor make some more appearances in the US - I believe he's only made two thus far in NJ and Michigan - and work his way towards a unification match with any of the champions I have mentioned.

Povetkin stops Byrd in eleven.

Okay, so I am wrong again. How nice of it to happen again. Oh well. 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Alexander Povetkin raised his record to 14-0 with 11 KOs by stopping Former Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd in the eleventh round of their IBF Title Elimination match. Byrd's corner threw in the towel, when it appeared that Byrd was taking too much punishment. Povetkin will now wait to face the winner of the fight between Calvin Brock and Eddie Chambers. That fight is a really close fight on paper, but I probably pick Povetkin to defeat whoever it is. Lets see how the winner of that fight looks.

Povetkin and Byrd square off tonight!

Tomorrow night in Erfurt Germany, off American TV, undefeated 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Alexander Povetkin and Former Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd will do battle in an IBF eliminator match tomorrow.

Povetkin, who won the gold medal in the super heavyweight division in 2004, is a young up and comer who had an excellent amateur career, and although he is undefeated as professional, he is still relatively unproven with just 13 professional fights. His best win as a professional is a unanimous decision over Larry Donald in his last fight.

Byrd is viewed as an aging former champion who fights in a weight classes controlled by fighters who outweigh the smaller heavyweight. Even though Byrd has probably seen better days, he's the more established as well as experienced fighter going into this bout. Byrd has wins over Vitali Klitschko, David Tua, and Evander Holyfield. He's also a pretty big underdog for tomorrow night's fight against Povetkin. This is certainly your run of the mill crossroads fight between a young contender coming up and former champion on his way down as he tries to land one more title shot.

Many respectable fans and experts are picking Povetkin to knock Byrd out. I've been wrong with my picks before, and it will not the last time I am ever wrong, but in this case I am picking Byrd. I think his experience and elusiveness (although not nearly as apparent as it was five years ago) will get him across the finish line first against a Povetkin who is still somewhat raw.

Byrd by decision. Unanimous? Majority? Split? I don't know. Take your pick.

Sturm and Griffin fight to a draw!

The boxing world is well aware that WBC/WBO titlist Kelly Pavlik, who battered Jermain Taylor into a defenseless and senseless state last month in Atlantic City, is the legitimate middleweight champion of the world. This past Saturday night at the Gerry Weber Stadion in Halle/Westfalen, Germany, WBA Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm retained his title, but just barely, with a split decision draw against mandatory challenger Randy Griffin. The official scores for the fight were 117-113 Griffin, 115-113 Sturm, and 114-114 even. Most people remember Sturm for his fight against Oscar De la hoya, in which De la hoya scored a controversial unanimous decision win over Sturm to set up his mega showdown with Bernard Hopkins. Many people felt Sturm deserved to win that fight. Me too. As for the fight this past weekend, I have to see it for myself. Hopefully it goes on youtube pretty soon. Both combatants, Sturm and Griffin, came away from the contest believing that they had won it in close fashion. Sturm retains his title and Griffin retains his number ranking and title as mandatory challenger. A rematch is very likely.

Gomez wins; Mora held to a draw!

Elvin Ayala D10 Sergio Mora

Sergio Mora can win seasons of The Contender and sit next to boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard all he wants. The fact of the matter is, he was held to a draw last night against 18-2-1 Elvin Ayala. Not only was he held to a draw against this guy, but he turned down a big money world title shot at then-champion Jermain Taylor just to fight this Elvin Ayala. In fact, there are people who felt Ayala did enough to deserve the decision. What are you doing Mora? Mora is an undefeated middleweight contender who garnered a little bit of publicity by winning Season One of the Contender and perhaps by sitting next to Sugar Ray Leonard throughout the Season Two. However, he might be destroying any plateaus he reached by turning down a Taylor fight and struggling to a draw with less than stellar opponent. I believe Mora was supposed to fight Kassim Ouma earlier this year as well, but that never happened. We'll see where Mora goes from here. Scores: 96-94 Ayala, 99-91 Mora, 95-95.

Alfonso Gomez UD 10 Ben Tackie

In other action Alfonso Gomez continued the momentum that he built this past summer with his knockout upset of Arturo Gatti by staying busy and winning a unanimous decision over battle tested and shop worn Ben Tackie. Due to an unintentional clash of heads, Gomez had to overcome swelling that developed around his left eye. Nonetheless, he did enough to get the job done against his opponent last night. At one time, Tackie was a viable contender at 140lbs who challenged Kostya Tszyu for the Undisputed Super Lightweight Championship. Since losing to Tszyu, he has lost a string of fights to the likes of Sharmba Mitchell, Vince Phillips, and Ricky Hatton. All top fighters at the time, but now Tackie is limited to that of opponent status. This was a decent win for Gomez and we'll see how he looks in future outtings. Currently being discussed is a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in early 2008. Scores in the fight were 97-93, 98-92 (twice) all for Gomez.

Television: espn

Ibragimov vs Holyfield and Pacquiao vs Barrera II post fight reaction!

Lets start with the heavyweight title fight that took place between defending WBO Heavyweight Champion Sultan Ibragimov and the legendary Four title Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield. Legendary, but probably at the end of the road at this point.

Sultan Ibragimov UD 12 Evander Holyfield
WBO Heavyweight Championship
October 13, 2007 - Khodynka Ice Palace; Moscow, Russia

Allow me to admit that I was dead wrong about this fight when I made the prediction. I picked Holyfield by Majority Decision, and as Fight Doc, one of the commenters, pointed out to me, he admitted that he felt he made a bad pick when he picked Barrera to exact revenge on the Pacquiao and the Philipino sensation ended up winning their rematch decisively. I did the same with this fight between Ibragimov and Holyfield. I admit it! Official scores were 118-110, 117-111 (twice) all in favor of the defending champion.

Anyway, I did not pay the money to watch this fight on PPV. No way. I will wait for ESPN classic and watch it on there instead. From what I read, Holyfield could not pull the trigger against Ibragimov. Ibragimov beat him to the punch all night and won a decisive unanimous decision. I will have more to say about this fight when I watch it on ESPN Classic. Holyfield claimed after the fight that he would not retire. He believes he must get back in line now. That fifth world title means everything in the world to him, as he feels that he must go out as a champion. To me, health and happiness and being able to raise your kids and be with your family should be more important than winning a fifth piece of plastic.

Please give up Evander! Spend the rest of your life with your family and count all of the money you have made.

Manny Pacquiao UD 12 Marco Antonio Barrera
12 round Super Featherweight fight
October 6, 2007 - Mandalay Bay; Las Vegas, NV

Someone who isn't afraid or too proud to retire is one Marco Antonio Barrera, who announced his retirement following his one sided loss to Manny Pacquiao. This fight was a rematch of a fight these two had four years ago on November 15, 2003 in San Antonio Texas, when Pacquiao straped Barrera, beaten him down really badly, and stopped him in the 11th round of their featherweight championship fight. The rematch, however, was not as brutal. Barrera fought a more defensive minded fight by refusing to engage in exchanges. In the end, Pacquiao won a unanimous decision by scores of 118-109 (twice), and 115-112. Boxing Chronicles scored the contest 119-108 for Pacquiao, giving Barrera the fifth round.

Pacquiao probably boxed a little better in this fight than he did in San Antonio four years ago, when he was limited to that of a seek and destroy monster with just a left hand. Over the years, Pacquiao has developed his right hand and he's now a two handed monster who can knock guys out with either hand. Pacquiao showed patience, stamina, and boxing savvy in the rematch with Barrera. Tactically, it was probably one of Pacquiao's better displays. Barrera, on the other hand, looked like a fighter, once a warrior with killer instinct, whose flame had finally burnt out. It happens to all great champions.

Whether or not they live a life of contentment and happiness depends on their decision to retire or not retire when this flame eventually burns out. Barrera knows it's over for him as a prize fighter. Hopefully he maintains that awareness and fails to return to the ring because he's had one hell of a career. He's been a great champion and my hats off to him. Perhaps he should have a talk with Evander Holyfield.

Next up for Pacquiao could be a fight with Edwin Valero, who boasts a perfect professional record of 22-0, with 22 knockouts. That is a flawless record, but he has yet to face someone the quality of Pacquiao. Still, that fight could potentially produce some major fireworks. Obviously, these are two dynamite punchers. Let's see it happen. Pacquiao had mentioned to the press that he could be moving up to 135lbs, but that doesn't seem like it will happen at this time.

Bring us a fight with Valero. Bring us a fight with the winner of the championship fight between WBO Super Featherweight Champion Joan Guzman and Humberto Soto. And ultimately, lets see the rematch between Pacquiao and World Super Featherweight Champion and WBC titlist, Juan Manuel Marquez, who rose from three first round knockdowns to fight to a controversial draw with Pacquiao over three years ago. Lets be honest boxing fans, that is the rematch that should have happened on October 6, not the rematch that we got.

As you can see, there's plenty of business for Pacquiao to tend to at 130lbs. No move to 135lbs is necessary.

Sam Peter UD12 Jameel McCline
WBC Interim Heavyweight Championship
October 6, 2007 - Madison Square Garden; New York, NY

Wow! What I originally perceived to the be a stay-busy fight for Sam Peter turned out to be a life and death struggle for him in the early rounds, when he was decked three times by McCline.

You might recall that I admitted how difficult it was for me to fatham McCline getting out of the early rounds with Peter. On the contrary, it was Peter who had to get up off his ass, dig deep, and find the resolve to go on and make the necessary adjustments to win the fight. Before the fight, I also said that McCline is notorious for decking fighters more skilled than he is and not sealing the deal (Byrd and Brock). He did it once again in this instance with Peter. Give credit where credit is due; Peter got up and outhussled a timid and lazy McCline down the stretch to earn the unanimous decision.

It now appears that Peter is scheduled to face the full time WBC Heavyweight Champion Oleg Maskaev on February 2, 2008! Maskaev is a puncher, atleast with the right hand, and we saw what McCline did to Peter in the early rounds. I think I still pick Peter to beat Maskaev, but I'm not nearly as sure as I was before the McCline fight. Peter has shown that he can be dropped (against McCline) AND stunned (12th round against Wladimir Klitschko.

One must also take into account that Peter was training for Maskaev and got McCline instead at last minute's notice. However, Peter still showed some vulnerabilities that precise puncher like Maskaev could potentially take advantage of. First, lets see the damn thing happen before I make any concrete predictions.

Juan Diaz stops Julio Diaz: What lies ahead for the Babybull?

Hello boxing fans. I would like to apologize for my hiatus from this page. I've wanted to update it for the longest time, but better late than never!

Alright, lets get right to it. This past weekend at the Sears Centre in Chicago, in the hometown of the third Diaz, David, WBA/WBO Lightweight Champion Juan Diaz dominated and stopped defending IBF Lightweight Champion Julio Diaz in nine rounds. As you might've seen about a month, I posted an update regarding the Diaz Trifecta. As Larry Merchant commented with his usual charm - or cheese - the Lightweight Division has become the Diaz division.

Juan Diaz is fun to watch and I think you know why. He lets his hands go! The man throws six to eight punch combinations at a time and he is not exactly slow when he does so. Those are fast combinations and about 50% of those shots are usually landing on his opponents. Much like the fight with Freitas this past April, Julio pretty much quit when he realized he was not going to win the fight. Juan's head was in his chest practically the whole night and Julio had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and nowhere to create space to box circles around Juan.

In fact, at certain points throughout the fight, it was Juan who was circling Julio! He would throw those rapid fire combinations at Julio and, instead of staying in one spot and giving Julio a chance to move around him and escape the barrages, Juan would circle Julio and continue to tattoo his opponent. It was a brilliant and eye catching performance on the part of Juan Diaz. Give the kid his due, ladies and gentlemen. He's undefeated. He's 33-0. He has three of the four major titles.

After the fight, when Larry Merchant asked him who he wanted to face, Juan stated that would he love to face Manny Pacquiao who had just defeated Barrera and sent him into retirement. Juan proceeded to say that Pacquiao had been beating old Mexican warriors and was time to step up to the plate and face a young Mexican fighter. Will Pacquiao move up to 135lbs for a fight with Juan Diaz? Pacquiao expressed an interest in moving up to the lightweight division after the Barrera fight, but the move has not looked as probable in recent days. Diaz is probably a bad fight for Pacquiao at 135lbs because Diaz is naturally bigger and stronger and throws a lot of punches himself. He throws fast combinations. As a result of that, I'm not sure how well the Pacman would do.

I for one would love to see Diaz fight the Interim WBO Champion Michael Katsidis. Like Diaz, Katsidis brings it to his opponent when the bell rings. He's a tough undefeated kid who has a really physical crowdpleasing style and he lets his hands go the way Diaz lets his go. This fight would be a war of wills between two young undefeated lightweights. I would love to see this fight happen. Katsidis is prone to bruising to being cut up by punches, so that's something that he'd have to be careful and worried about with a guy like Diaz. Diaz busts his opponents up, and when you get a guy who bruises as easily as Katsidis has in the past, it could make Diaz job easier than the action in a fight of that nature might lead you to believe if the referee chooses to stop the contest on cuts.

There's also the legitimate World Lightweight Champion Joel Casamayor (who holds the WBC belt). Ironically, Diaz made no mention of Casamayor, but it's easy to see why he'd prefer a fight Pacquiao. Millions of dollars and worldwide exposure immediately come to mind when I think of why that'd be his FIRST choice. Casamayor is not nearly as marketable and he doesn't command nearly as much money as Pacquiao does. While he's still the champion at 135lbs, Casamayor hasn't fought in over a year and he's never headlined a PPV show.

I would have to say that Casamayor is still the Lightweight Champion of the World, but in my eyes and mind, Juan Diaz is the best lightweight in the world as well as the guy who dethrone the champion if he opts to face him. Casamayor's no spring chicken; all it takes sometimes is a hungry young babybull on the rise - a bull who throws punches in bunches and doesn't get tired - to defeat an older inactive champion on the way down.

Predictions: Juan -vs- Julio and Ibragimov -vs- Holyfield!

It's been a busy week for me. Stay tuned for Pacquiao/Barrera and Peter/McCline coverage here at Boxing Chronicles.

A special thanks also goes out to all those who read this blog and make comments. I've hit up your blogs before, left comments, and I will be doing it again really soon. I do read them.

Juan Diaz vs Julio Diaz
Juan Diaz is an underrated fighter who continues to fight and win for recognition. He has yet to lose a professional fight. He throws a lot of punches and fights aggressively. I like him for his workrate. Julio Diaz can box a bit, but he he would be able to keep the Baby Bull at bay. Diaz is too young, too up and coming, and too hungry to lose to Julio.

Juan Diaz by Unanimous Decision.

Sultan Ibragimov vs Evander Holyfield
I've seen Ibragimov a few times, and he hasn't looked all that impressive to me. He couldn't beat Ray Austin, a guy whom Wladimir Klitschko demolished in two rounds. Given the fact that Shannon Briggs threw like nine punches a round in his unsuccessful title defense against Ibragimov this past summer, Ibragimov should've done more to the timid and soft chinned heavyweight than just winning a cautious decision. Ibragimov did just enough to win that fight. Both guys are great shape. Ibragimov weights 219, I believe. Holyfield is a trim 211.5, which tells me that he's taking this title shot very seriously. I don't care if the fight's in Moscow. I'm picking the upset here.

Holyfield by Majority Decision.

Umm, oh yeah - Sam Peter is also fighting ... Jameel McCline ... tonight.

Looking beyond the big rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera taking place tonight, Interim WBC Heavyweight Champion Sam Peter is fighting Jameel McCline tonight at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be televised on Showtime.

Originally, Peter was supposed to fight WBC Heavyweight Champion Oleg Maskaev in what would've been a much more significant fight. That's a fight worth watching. Hopefully Maskaev nurses himself back to fighting condition so he can give Peter the title shot he deserves. I'm sure Peter doesn't want to be given an interim title that becomes the real title because Maskaev won't face him. No, Peter would much rather knock Maskaev out to win the title because Peter wants to knock everyone out. But that's neither here nor there, as we have the fight that we have tonight. No doubt, I'll be watching the Pacquiao/Barrera fight and catching this one on Youtube in a few days.

You might remember McCline dropping Chris Byrd and not finishing him off in that same arena three years ago. You might also remember McCline dropping the boxing banker Calvin Brock and not finishing him off. Earlier this year, he got a shot at then WBA Heavyweight Champion Nicoli Valuev, broke his fucking leg, and was stopped in three rounds. Yet, he's back on TV again and getting a shot at who is probably the #2 heavyweight in the world. How on God's green Earth does that happen??????????

Sam Peter is a heavy handed beast who just wants to inflict pain on whoever is standing across the ring from him. It's difficult for me to imagine McCline getting out of the early rounds with Peter. Steroid allegations on McCline's behalf couldn't KO this fight, but Peter will KO McCline. Ohhhh, yes he will.

I'll take Peter by a 4th round KO.

Pacquiao and Barrera, ready to battle again this Saturday night four years later!

but can the result - or even the fight - be any different this time around?

This Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, former Featherweight Champions Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera will meet in rematch of the Featherweight Championship fight they fought almost four years ago. This bout will be fought in the 130lb weight class.

On November 15, 2003, Barrera entered the ring as a 15-1 favorite, as many outside fans had no idea who Pacquiao was. To them, he was some Phillipino entering to the ring to be exposed by a great Mexican champion who was rated on everyone's pound for pound list. Some die hard boxing fans were picking Barrera, based on the fact that Pacquiao had been knocked out earlier in his career and he was stepping up in weight as well as class to face a great champion in Barrera. Little did we all know what was actually in store.

Pacquiao administered a terrible beating to Barrera, stopping him after eleven one-sided punishing rounds. Since that fight, both fighters who taken different paths to where they are now. Pacquiao has been in some big fights, including his memorable unification draw with Juan Manuel Marquez in May 2004 and his exciting trilogy with another Mexican legend Erik Morales. The first fight of the trilogy with Morales marked Pacquiao's debut at the 130lb weight limit. In the three fights with Morales, Pacquiao lost the first by decision in March of 2005, but came back to out due Morales with two blazing knockout victories (one 10th round KO in January 2006; another 3rd round KO in November of that year). Currently, Pacquiao is rated in the top three of most fans and experts pound for pound lists.

Since the devastating loss to Pacquiao, Barrera has also moved up to 130lbs. He dethroned Morales for the WBC Super Featherweight Title in the third fight of their trilogy in November 2004. Since that fight, Barrera has not quite looked the same as he did prior to the move up in weight. His fights against Robbie Peden and Rocky Juarez, particularly the first fight with Juarez, indicate that Barrera does not have the stamina he had at 122lbs and 126lbs. He seems to gas out in the late rounds, as he once again did in his last fight when he lost his Super Featherweight Championship to Marquez.

When you analyze their pre fight situations, you noticed this time around that Pacquiao is in the position that Barrera was in four years ago. Entering the fight as a substantial betting favorite, Pacquiao is involved in numerous activities outside the ring, such as politics and acting, that could potentially come back to conspire against him when the fight happens. Barrera was the favorite the first time around, but had a number of distractions himself such as the publicity over the metal plate in his head as well as having to evacuate Big Bear due to a forest fire. These things supposedly took away from Barrera's focus during preparation, and according to those around him, he wasn't ready for the fight.

Winding down to the end of the week, heading towards October 6, fans are ready to see this rematch. Can Pacquiao, who may very well be at his peak, be any better than he was the first time around? Is Barrera, who is clearly at the end of his career, going to be psychologically effected by the beating he took from Pacquiao the first time around? Will that tell the tale of the evening, or will Barrera be hungrier than he's ever been going into this titanic confrontation against this Phillipino buzzsaw who fights like the energizer bunny? Will Barrera's stamina cause his demise against his power punching opponent?

Logic tells me that Barrera's boxing style will not work against Pacquiao. He tried to box from the outset in the first fight, but the boxing match turned into a bloody brawl in less than five minutes. Barrera might have to enter to the jaws of the lion in order to win this fight. He might have to apply effective aggression, ala a Kelly Pavlik, to get Pacquiao's attention and make some contact in order to hurt the Philipino superstar. Barrera is one of the most intelligent fighters to ever lace up a pair of gloves. Even in a losing effort, fans saw how easily he adapted to Junior Jones in their rematch. He made a compromise and modified his style and strategy and, as a result, was much more competitive against Jones. However, we must keep in mind that that was over ten years ago. Can the Mexican legend galvanize the public and gather all of his forces for one last heroic effort against a great young fighter in his prime who once destroyed him four years ago?

If Barrera manages to pull off the upset, it wouldn't just be a big win. It would be something absolutely special. Something outstanding. Something memorable. Something that would truly cement his legacy as possibly an all time great. Where ever Barrera is going to rank -prior to a win, loss, or draw this Saturday night - would be significantly increased if he pulled off the upset and scored an unbelievable and incomparable victory over Pacquiao on Saturday night. There's a old belief that every great fighter has one last great fight left in him. If that rings true for Barrera, will it be enough for him pull off this miracle????? My heart says yes. My mind says no. In this case, I must listen to my mind.

I pick Pacquiao by a mid round stoppage.

Post fight quotes: Dawson, Mendoza, Agbeko, etc.

The following are post-fight quotes from this weekend's clash between WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson and challenger Epifanio Mendoza.


"I am the man. I believed I could be a World Champion and no one was going to stop me from my dream. I think I can do more than what I did. "You got to fight the best to be the best. I have a IBF title. I think we can unify this title."I've seen Luis Perez' fights and I knew he was going to throw his big shots early. I gave it back to him tonight. "I dominated him. If the referee didn't stop it, I would have stopped him."

KENDRICK GARCIA, Perez' manager

"Perez was willing to continue. He is very upset with the doctor's decision. Agbeko is a strong puncher, but Perez was doing a great job of absorbing the hits. He doesn't agree with the doctor's decision to stop the fight. Like I said, he is very upset because he felt he could continue.""We will ask for a rematch because Perez knows he could have finished the fight."

DR. SMITH KETCHUM, Ringside physician

"I examined him the round before and his pupils responded slowly which caused me concern. After the 7th round, I rechecked his pupils in the corner and they reacted more slowly. That combined with the multiple head blows I saw him taking caused me to stop the fight." (On the advice of ringside physican Ketchum, referee Dan Stell halted the bout after the seventh round. Perez was taken after the fight to UC Davis Medical Center for observation)


"I did what I was supposed to do. I did my job. I got him out of here. I executed. It would have been the same fight with Diaconu. He would have gotten the same thing."It is an honor. I work hard. I put in the work. The work shows. Eddie (Mustafa) said this fight shouldn't go more than five rounds. I didn't look for it. "I was looking for the one big punch, but I knew the body shots would slow him down. "I will do this to anyone, I am the best in the world. I have been fighting since I was eight years old. My success in the ring is for my entire family. I am not in the ring for myself. I have 5 brothers, two wonderful sisters. It affects them too. They call me before the fights. I am fighting for them as well as myself. "A dream fight…I would want Tarver. If he takes the fight, he does, if he doesn't he doesn't. I've got nothing to prove."

EDDIE MUSTAFA (Chad Dawson's new trainer)

"Chad stepped up like I wanted him to. He double-jabbed and he triple-jabbed. He gave me perfect head movement, defense. This kid is really something and a force to be reckoned with."


"Chad is a great fighter. He is tough to hit. It just wasn't my day today."I feel fine right now. I am not hurt, just a little overwhelmed with how fast he was."I'll have another fight. This fight was taken on short notice and I think with a little more preparation I would have been able to give a better performance."

Dawson emerges victorious, but will Antonio Tarver eventually face him????

Attention Antonio Tarver: "Refusing to face Chad Dawson, just because he does not yet command the big bucks, will not do anything to lessen the bad after taste of your lackluster performance in losing to Bernard Hopkins last year!"

As we all this past weekend, Chad Dawson made the 2nd defense of his WBC Light Heavyweight Title with a 4th round stoppage of Epifanio Mendoza. The champion, who has managed to stay busy since winning the title from Tomaz Adamek earlier this year, had to the challenger severely over matched.

When one thinks of Dawson, one thinks of young undefeated champion. Young undefeated champion, looking to stay busy and searching for that big fight. That big money making fight. That type of fight that can propel him to heights to recognition that he craves. Who can do that for him at this moment, or at least put him on the path that leads to that destination? Two words you'll immediately hear are ..... Antonio Tarver.

Many thought that Tarver would be standing in the opposing corner from Dawson this past Saturday, but the fight never happened. Dawson vs Tarver is a fight that many fans and experts want to see in light heavyweight division; it is a crossroads fight. Dawson needs Tarver for the payday as well as the name on his resume. Tarver, who is the bigger and more recognizable name, needs Dawson to make a big statement in what is likely the final chapter of his storied career. Tarver is the one who pulled out of the Dawson fight that was originally proposed for this past weekend, only to make a fight with Danny Green instead. Dawson was ready to fight Tarver; Tarver had other plans.

I for one happen to like Tarver. I've met him in person, talked to him on the phone, and found him to be very personable - regardless of the impression one might get from seeing him on TV when he's in front of the cameras. However, he needs to fight Chad Dawson! Dawson is a young undefeated champion who has what Tarver wants (a belt), just as he has what Dawson wants (name recognition to make for a big money fight).

Antonio, refusing to face Chad Dawson, just because he does not yet command the big bucks, will not do anything to lessen the bad after taste of your lackluster performance in losing to Bernard Hopkins last year! You didn't exactly blow Elvir Muriqi away when you fought him either. Conventional wisdom says that, after you beat Green (hopefully you do as much), you should face Dawson sometime in the spring of 2008. This is a fight that the boxing world wants to see and - let's be real here - it's a fight both of you need right now!

Pavlik stops Taylor for Middleweight Title!

Boxing drought ends with Fight of the Year Candidate!

Time has passed since I last posted on this site, but as we all know, the sport has been in a drought ever since August when HBO Boxing After Dark televised the Mexico/Philippines World Cup doubleheader. Last night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, undefeated Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik rose from a second round knockdown to win the Middleweight Championship by pummeling defending champion Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor and stopping him in seven grueling rounds.

In the first round, both fighters came out guns blazing. Taylor came over the top with the right hand to start the round. Taylor was throwing combinations, but appeared to be using nervous energy. Pavlik finished the round much stronger by landing a series of straight right hands that forced Taylor to go backwards. The tide would change - albeit momentarily - in the second round when Taylor stunned Pavlik with a barrage of punches and dropped the challenger.

Pavlik showed outstanding heart and desire to rise from the canvas the way he did, because he was seriously hurt. At that moment, I thought the fight might've been over. However, Pavlik managed to survive the onslaught and make it out of the second round. In between rounds, Pavlik recovered beautifully because he was able to resume control immediately in the third round as he went back to being the effective agressor. Beating Taylor up on the ropes, Pavlik was once again in control of the fight. Pavlik's momentum continued in the fourth round, which was more of the same. Pavlik was landing jabs and right hands and Taylor was be forced to go backwards.

The major difference in the fight was not only Pavlik's physical strength and punching power, but the fact that he was firing straighter punches. Taylor, who was presumed to have the better hand speed, was throwing wider shots and Pavlik was landing his shots in between Taylor wider shots. Pavlik could not miss Taylor with his right hand. In the fifth round, Taylor would have his best round since the second round, as he was able to box effectively in the center of the ring and keep the stronger challenger at bay. Once again in the sixth round, Pavlik resumed control. The seventh round spelt Taylor's demise, as Pavlik knocked Taylor into a corner with a series of hard right hands and beat him down until Taylor inevitably crumbled in the corner and the referee waved it off.

No count on the referee's part was administered nor was one necessary, as Taylor was a beaten man. Taylor, himself, did not protest the stoppage and neither did his Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward. The official scoring at the point of the knockout was complete and utter bullshit in my opinion - with the official scores reading 59-55, 58-55, and 59-54 all in favor of Taylor. The judges were scoring shots thrown by Taylor that were landing on Pavlik's gloves and arms. Pavlik was blocking like 80% of those blows. I gave Taylor no more than two rounds (rounds two and five), as Boxing Chronicles had Pavlik ahead 57-56 (same as HBO's unofficial score keeper Harold Lederman).

Thank God, the scoring was irrelevant in this case due to the knockout. Pavlik is now the new World Middleweight Champion. He emerged victorious in what was not only one of the most significant fights of the year, but also the best fight of the year in my estimation. We not only witnessed a great middleweight championship fight, but also a decisive conclusion unlike many fights. Pavlik's promoter Bob Arum was quoted as saying, "That was the second best middleweight fight of all time, behind only Hagler vs Hearns." I'm not sure I would go so far to make such a statement. One would really have dig through the archives of middleweight fight history to see the classic battles that have happened over the years.

At this point, what I will refer to it as is the Fight of the Year for 2007. We might also have a viable candidate for Fighter of the Year in Kelly Pavlik, who has fought Jose Luis Zertuche, Edison Miranda, and Jermain Taylor. In two of those fights, he was the betting underdog. Now, he is the World Middleweight Champion. This result produces three things. A Fight of the Year Candidate. A Fighter of the Year candidate. A new Pound for Pound entrant.

There is a rematch clause in the contract, but only for the fight to take place at 168lbs. Last night after the fight, Taylor expressed an interest in exercising the rematch clause immediately.

Dawson stops Mendoza in four rounds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2007) – Boxing fans were treated to two thrilling and memorable fights on Saturday night as “Bad” Chad Dawson retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight belt with a flawless dismantling of Epifanio “Diamante” Mendoza Saturday, Sept. 29 on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING from the ARCO Arena. Referee Jon Schorle stopped the fight at 2:30 of the fourth round (KO). In the co-feature, Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko became boxing’s newest champion capturing the International Boxing Federation (IBF) 118-pound crown with a one-sided victory over Luis “El Demoledor” Perez. Referee Dan Stell stopped the fight on the recommendation of ringside physician Smith Ketchum immediately after the seventh round. Don King presented Saturday’s world title doubleheader in association with Maloof Sports and Entertainment and Gary Shaw Productions.Dawson, a speedy and powerful young southpaw, controlled the fight from the beginning, setting the pace with his rabbit-quick right hand jab.

"I did what I had to do,” said Dawson, who improved to 25-0, 17 KOs. “I got him out of here fast. I know he came in on 12 days notice, but he didn't make any excuses. I was supposed to execute and I did.”

Mendoza looked confused and overmatched by Dawson’s hand speed and superior footwork, both of which made Dawson practically untouchable and reduced Mendoza to a sitting duck."I feel fine right now,” said Mendoza, who fell to 28-5-1, 24 KOs. “I am not hurt, just a little overwhelmed with how fast he was."SHOWTIME color analyst Al Bernstein mentioned on the broadcast that Dawson may have the best double right hook in all of boxing."

It is an honor and a pleasure,” said Dawson, who looked unbeatable in his second title defense. “I put the work in at the gym. We worked very hard on my body punches. We knew that against Mendoza—against anybody, body punches will wear you down.”

The end looked near for Mendoza after the end of the third round when Dawson connected with powerful combinations to Mendoza’s body.Dawson unleashed a torrent of punches to finish the round and it seemed like Mendoza was certain to fall in the ensuing round."

I didn't look for the knockout,” said Dawson, who said his dream fight is against Antonio Tarver. “I was patient. I let it come to me. We talked about this fight not going past five rounds, but I didn't force it."In the fourth, Dawson continued to stalk the slower Mendoza. Dawson trapped him against the ropes and unloaded a series of right hooks and jabs to the head forcing referee Jon Schorle to step in and halt the contest at the 2:30 mark.

The undercard provided plenty of fireworks as both fighters settled on a blistering pace.Agbeko, however, controlled the fight with straight rights and left hooks. He seemingly landed at will as Perez could not keep the Ghanaian off of him. "I thank God for my talent and allowing me to get to this point and I thank my opponent for giving me this world title shot,” said Agbeko, who improved to 25-1, 22 KOs. “I am presenting this win to my motherland Ghana for her 50th Anniversary.”

Agbeko, who looked in better shape than Perez, punished the former champion with a torrent of bunches. Perez tired as the fight wore on and Agbeko grew stronger with each passing round."

I was destined to be a world champion,” said Agbeko, who joins Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey on the list of Ghanaians who have won world title. “I knew he was going to fight his best tonight, but there was no way he was going to stop me from achieving my dream.” Kendrick Garcia, Perez’ manager, said that Perez didn’t agree with the doctor’s decision to stop the fight.

"Perez was willing to continue,” Garcia said. “He is very upset with the doctor's decision. Agbeko is a strong puncher, but Perez was doing a great job of absorbing the hits. He doesn't agree with the doctor's decision to stop the fight. Like I said, he is very upset because he felt he could continue."Perez fell to 25-2, 21 KOs.

Are we going to see Wladimir Klitschko -vs- David Tua?

Cedric Kusher has agreed to drop lawsuit against Shelly Finkel if Tua gets titleshot at Klitschko.

In November of 2006, Shannon Briggs was supposed to get a title shot against Wladimir Klitschko at Madison Square Garden. Supposedly, Klitschko pulled out of his contracted defense against Briggs and opted to face Calvin Brock instead. Kusher sited a breach of contract on Klitschko's part and proceeded to sue his manager Shelley Finkel. Kusher, who also promotes David Tua, has agreed to drop the lawsuit if Klitschko gives Tua a title shot.

The fight is not yet made, but it could happen in Spring of 2008. It could be an interesting match up and chance for David Tua to re-surge as a viable heavyweight contender. Tua as of late appears to be in much better physical shape than he had been for fights against Lennox Lewis, Hasim Rahman, and the opponents he had faced after those fights. Perhaps he's finally starting to take this sport, his profession, more seriously now. In the event that Tua upset Klitschko, he would not only emerge as a contender, but as the number heavyweight in the world. Klitschko is currently the most established fighter in the heavyweight division, with wins over Peter, Byrd, Brock, Austin, and Brewster.

When you sit back and and analyze that level opposition, Austin (the weakest name in that list) drew with Ibragimov - also a current titlist - prior to his shot against Klitschko. As we all know, Klitschko destroyed him in two rounds. Can Tua seriously derail the Klitschko express? Let's talk about the match up.

Klitschko has been knocked on his rear end by all the big punchers he's faced. However, he's gradually adapting to those big punchers and he has improved significantly as a boxer. While he was embarrassed by Corrie Sanders (March 2003) and Lamon Brewster (April 2004), the fact remains that Klitschko is getting up and winning his fights against these big punchers now (Williamson, Peter), whereas he wasn't a few years ago, because he was not as developed or fundamentally sound at that time as he is now.

His boxing skills, through the teachings of Manny Steward, have improved immensely. As he gets better, his boxing ability will make up for the inability to take a good punch on the chin. Klitschko possesses all the same tools that Lennox Lewis had when he was champion. I remind you all that Lewis, a great fighter and the last Undisputed Champion that this sport has seen, has never gotten up from a knockdown. Everytime he was put down, he stayed down. The fact that Klitschko has gotten up off the canvas to win fights says something about his durability and heart during those fights.

Klitschko isn't exactly a light puncher himself and Tua was unofficially knocked down by Rahman in the closing seconds of the final round of their rematch. It took almost 11.5 rounds to do it, but Klitschko also managed to hurt and wobble Peter who is also known for having a rock-solid chin.

Anything is possible, but this spectator currently believes that Tua is in for a one-sided boxing lesson and MAYBE a late stoppage, if his durability has slipped at all with age.

Marquez -vs- Juarez rescheduled for November 3!

WBC Super Featherweight Champion Juan Manuel Marquez, who withdrew from his title defense originally scheduled for this Saturday due to an infection in his knuckle, is rescheduled to defend his title against Rocky Juarez on November 3. Their fight, originally scheduled for this Saturday, was scheduled to be televised on HBO Pay Per View. On November 3, however, the fight will be televised on a Showtime Championship Boxing. Thanks for tip, Boxingtalk.

How the hell does Rocky Juarez get so many title shots???? He gets a shot at Barrera in May 2006 - loses a controversial decision. Fine, he gets his rematch in September 2006 and loses decisively. All is settled. Juarez then gets a shot at IBF Featherweight Champion Robert Guerrero, on what was supposed to be the televised PPV under card to the originally scheduled Marquez/Jorge Barrios title fight. Barrios pulls out due to issues of getting into the country. Juarez automatically gets the shot at Marquez, the man who defeated the man who just defeated him TWICE.

Signing with Golden Boy, immediately following the consecutive losses to Barrera, was the best thing that ever could have happened to Juarez. I'm glad the fight was AT LEAST moved to Showtime because it certainly does NOT belong on Pay Per View. Not at all.

Mayweather -vs- Hatton Press Tour begins next week!

PRESS RELEASE: Helping to promote their upcoming “UNDEFEATED” welterweight championship, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton will pack their bags and take off on a five-city global media tour which marks the first time since the days of Muhammad Ali that a press tour has traveled across the seas. The two champions own a combined record of 81-0 and will collide in the ring December 8 at MGM Grand, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

The first city on the historic trip will be in Los Angeles, followed by stops across the globe including Mayweather’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. as well as New York City, before crossing the Atlantic for stops in London, England and Hatton’s hometown of Manchester. The Mayweather vs. Hatton press tour dates and cities are:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 — LOS ANGELES, CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 — GRAND RAPIDS, Ottawa Hills High School
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 — NEW YORK CITY, Rockefeller Plaza, Center Garden THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 — LONDON, ENGLAND, O2 Arena, Vue Theater

“UNDEFEATED,” featuring Mayweather’s defense of his world welterweight championship against the universally recognized world junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton, will be promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets for “UNDEFEATED,” priced at $1,000, $750, $600, $300 and $150, go on sale Monday, Sept. 17 at 10 am PT Tickets will be available for purchase by visiting or to charge by phone with a major credit card call (702) 474-4000. Ticket sales will be limited to two (2) per person.

The Mayweather vs. Hatton pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For your Mayweather vs. Hatton fight week updates, log on to

Golden Boy Enterprises buys Ring Magazine!

PRESS RELEASE: Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, is extremely pleased to announce the acquisition of the following titles from Kappa Publishing Group, Inc.: The Ring magazine, KO, World Boxing and Pro Wrestling Illustrated, which are the leading periodicals in the boxing and wrestling industry. Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, is an autonomous member of Golden Boy Enterprises family of companies.

The Ring was founded in 1922 and is known in the industry as “The Bible of Boxing.” It pioneered the concept of boxing rankings and has been awarding the prestigious Ring championship belt to genuine world champions since then-heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey was the first recipient. Pro Wrestling Illustrated was launched in 1979 by Stanley Weston and is acknowledged as the number one independently published pro wrestling magazine in the world.

“We have a very skilled and capable team at The Ring, headed by Publisher Stu Saks and Editor-in-Chief Nigel Collins, and I have all the confidence that these magazines will not only continue to prosper, but in fact grow globally,” said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Enterprises. “These magazines will be held in an editorial trust where they will be operating totally independent of any influence from me or others from the Golden Boy Companies as it relates to editorial direction or content.”

“This is the kind of asset you never really own, but rather safeguard for the next generation,” said Golden Boy Chief Executive Officer Richard Schaefer. “We are proud and honored to be part of this next generation and are mindful of the responsibility trusted upon us.”

“The Ring and Pro Wrestling Illustrated brands are, in our opinion, two of the strongest and most recognized brands in their respective fields,” said Schaefer. “We are looking forward to being part of the next chapter of these great titles and are very respectful of the deep history of each.”

“Oscar and I would like to thank Nick Karabots and Despina McNulty of Kappa Publishing for giving us this opportunity as well as all fight fans for all they have done for these great magazines during their ownership,” said Schaefer.

De La Hoya continued, “As a young kid growing up I was always waiting
with anticipation to get the new issue of The Ring. To be here now and
actually own the title is truly a dream come true. We encourage fight
fans, fighters, and promoters to rally together and continue in the
impressive resurgence our beloved sport of boxing has experienced this

Duva supports Holt's protest

Despite their current contract dispute, promoter Dino Duva is sending his support to junior welterweight contender Kendall “Rated R” Holt and his quest to secure a rematch against WBO boxing Champion Ricardo Torres. Holt (22-2, 12 KOs) suffered a controversial eleventh-round stoppage during his challenge of Torres last week at Salon Jumbo del Country Club in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Allegations have been leveled of bottles being thrown, ringside personnel grabbing Holt, an early stoppage by the referee, and a dangerous lack of order during the fight.

“After reviewing some highlights from the fight, I just want to say that I support Kendall’s bid for an immediate rematch. I think it’s warranted and the right thing for the WBO to do. There were a number of improprieties evident to me in watching the tape.”

Despite the fighter’s injuries and setbacks, Duva has skillfully guided the career of Holt since 2001. Shortly before he received his dream of a title shot, however, the 28-year-old suddenly declared his promotional contract void -- a claim that Duva strongly disagrees with.

“Kendall and I are in court regarding my contract and that’s disappointing to me, but regardless of our differences, what happened to him in Colombia isn’t right. I think the WBO should do the right thing and correct this mistake by giving him another shot at a safer location. We can’t allow young men who work so hard to make a living suffer injustices like this without taking corrective action. Things like this are not good for the sport of boxing. It must be corrected, and the only fair way is to order an immediate rematch.”

Roy Jones Jr is all wrong for Felix Trinidad!

On January 26, 2008, Former Pound for Pound King Roy Jones Jr is scheduled to face off against Former Three division Champion Felix "Tito" Trinidad in a battle of legends.

Jones was last seen in action on July 14, 2007, when he outpointed the younger and previously undefeated Anthony Hanshaw by unanimous decision. Trinidad has not seen action since May of 2005, when he was simply outclassed and whitewashed for twelve rounds by Winky Wright. These stats should only begin to tell a tale of what is to come in January.

While Jones is clearly in the twilight of his career, following three defeats (Tarver by KO2, Johnson by KO9, Tarver L12), he has somewhat re surged his career with wins over Prince Badi Ajamu and Hanshaw. Trinidad doesn't appear to have the physical size or skill to duplicate what Tarver and Johnson were able to do to Jones a couple years ago.

Jones has been fighting at or above 175lbs for almost eleven years now, beginning with his victory over Mike McCallum in November of 1996. He has even gone up as high as 200lbs to take on and defeat John Ruiz for the WBA Heavyweight Title in March of 2003. Trinidad, on the other hand, has not fought beyond the class of 160lbs. Jones has the advantage over Trinidad in speed, size, and skill. Wright was too fast and elusive for Trinidad and was more less the same size as the Puerto Rican superstar.

What happens when the naturally bigger Jones, who pound for pound probably has more speed and is more athletically gifted than Wright, gets his hands on Trinidad? Trinidad is coming up to 170lbs (the agreed upon weight for this match up) and he has never previously fought at that weight before in his career. He is doing so after what will be a two and a half year layoff come fight time.

When a fighter is naturally smaller and slower than his opponent, and he's coming off such a long layoff, it spells trouble for that fighter and that trouble would appear to be evident for Trinidad. Roy Jones Jr is all wrong for Felix Trinidad. Expect Jones to lay down an old fashioned, Roy Jones, Jr - "yall mustve forgot" - type, ass whooping on Trinidad, probably stopping him in the middle rounds and sending him right back into retirement. Although we must be reminded that the fight is still months away from happening and postponements and cancellations happen in boxing. Ask Vitali Klitschko.

Witter crushes Harris in seven!

In Doncaster, England this past weekend, WBC Super Lightweight Champion Junior Witter successfully made the 2nd defense of his title with a crushing 7th round knockout of Former Champion Vivian Harris.

In the preview post, I noted that Harris' chin has failed him before in the past; it failed him again against a man who is not known for his punching power. Nonetheless, Witter got the job done emphatically and remains a player in the 140lb weight division. His stock probably goes up a bit after his victory over Harris, which is probably the biggest victory of his career to date.

Harris, on the other hand, sees his stock go down as one must question where the Brooklyn native goes from here. In an interview at Boxingtalk, conducted with Harris by Greg Leon, Harris insinuated that Witter was injected with something and that was the reason for the greater than expected punching power from Witter.

The fact of the matter remains that it was a world championship fight Vivian. Coming off a three fight winning streak, this was your chance to redeem yourself after your title-losing debacle against Carlos Maussa in 2005 and regain a title to gain back a foothold in your weight class. Did you not agree to take the fight in England? You state that you realize what happens when you go to England for a fight. Fighters get hurt. The point of the matter is, anybody can get hurt in any place at any time when they don't block the punches of their opponents.

More importantly, you signed a contract to face this man in his home country of England, and you are a former World Champion much less a world class fighter. A veteran of your caliber should've been ready to rise to the occasion. These days, fighters seem to be making every excuse in the book for their defeats. Once in a blue moon, you see a controversial situation like the Torres vs Holt fight that happened in Columbia. Other fighters, who just happen to lose fights, begin to make excuses for their own defeats.

This was not a case of the crowd interfering with your performance by chucking loaded beer cans at your head, throwing ice into the ring, or a referee stopping a fight too soon while you're still on your feet. No, this was not Torres vs Holt by any means. You got hit with a shot, you went down, you didn't beat the count, and the referee stopped the fight for your safety. Done deal!

Go back to the drawing board, Vivian. When you don't block your opponent's punches, and they hit you and you go down without beating the count, you have nobody to blame but yourself. You got knocked out.

WBO considering Team Holt's protest!

As well they should!

As noted here at Boxing Chronicles earlier, Team Holt lodged a protest to the victory of WBO Jr Welterweight Champion Ricardo Torres from their controversial title fight that took place last weekend in Columbia.

The WBO Complaints and Grievance Committee is requesting tapes/DVDs of the fight, affidavits, reports, summaries, and other vital information relevant to the decision making process from both the Torres and Holt camps.

From what I've read, fans were launching loaded beer cans and soda cans at Holt during the fight, particularly at the moment during which Holt dropped and hurt Torres in round six. Torres fought on wobbly legs for a few rounds after that, but the fans saw fit to enter the drama with their hostile ways and interfere by tossing objects at their home country hero's opponent. As far as I'm concerned, that's a terrible interference to Holt and the event as a whole.

Holt was not just battling Torres, he was also battling the crowd at hand. It requires enough focus and discipline to concentrate on what your opponent is throwing at you. When fans start throwing objects as well, it interferes with the fighter's concentration and that is not right.

It would be an injustice to Kendall Holt if the WBO didn't grant him an immediate and automatic rematch.

Jr Welterweight buzz: Witter -vs- Harris, Holt & Torres, etc

Witter faces Harris tonight in UK! Torres stops Holt in controversial title fight in Columbia last weekend - appeal logged by Holt and considered by WBO.

Tonight at the Doncaster Dome in Doncaster, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, WBC Super Lightweight Champion Junior Witter squares off with Former WBA Super Lightweight Champion Vicious Vivian Harris. This is a good fight for both of these two combatants to make a statement and steak their claim as the best fighter in the division. Titleholders Paulie Malignaggi and Ricardo Torres might have something to say about that, but we'll get to them later.

This is Harris's first title fight since losing his title by knockout to Carlos Maussa back in June of 2005. Since then, Harris has rebounded for that loss with three wins, two of which came against former lightweight champion Stevie Johnston and Juan Lazcano. Witter won the vacant title with a unanimous decision over former WBO Jr Welterweight Champion DeMarcus Corley and successfully defended that title with a 9th round TKO over Arturo Morua.

Harris is a devastating puncher. He's a great pitcher, but as shown in the Maussa fight, he's not always the greatest catcher. Even against Johnston, a fighter Harris dropped like 10 times, Johnston still managed to get up from those knockdowns to come back and momentarily stun Harris from time to time. Johnston is not a puncher by any means. Neither is Witter, but he is a mover and one can expect Witter to use those legs and keep the powerful Harris at distance.

American television viewers last saw Witter years ago on Showtime Championship Boxing in his unsuccessful title challenge to then IBF Jr Welterweight Champion Zab Judah in June 2000. He was a lot younger and significantly less experienced and seasoned at that time than he is now, but the fact remains that he stunk out the joint that night with his retreating style. Perhaps that has something to do with tonight's significant title fight not being televised in the United States? It should AT LEAST be on ESPN2 or Fox Sports Network.

Harris can punch, and he may even be able to hurt to Witter, but Witter has to be there in front of Harris for him to be able to hurt him. Being that this fight is staged in Witter's home country England, and given the styles of the two fighters, I expect Witter to win on points over Harris - perhaps even a controversial decision. Harris is stepping into foreign territory for this title challenge.

Speaking of title challengers stepping into foreign territory, a fellow by the name of Kendall Holt attempted such a feat last weekend and unfortunately came up rather short against WBO Jr Welterweight Titlist Ricardo Torres. The fight happened in Columbia, which is Torres's country, and ended somewhat controversially. Absolute pandemonium! I did not see the fight for myself, but I read that Holt was controlling the fight for the first ten rounds, and even managed to drop and hurt the champion in the sixth round.

The crowd was heated, impassioned, and totally out of control, as one of the fans presumably launched a loaded beer can at Holt's head. That's totally uncalled for! I mean, that is what you call hostile territory! I did manage to catch the end of the fight on Youtube. In the 11th round, Holt was on the move for the most part when Torres launched a left hook that almost knocked Holt through the ropes. Holt clearly beat the count, implying to the referee that he was alright, and resumed fighting. Torres jumped on him with some shots and the fight was stopped.

It would appear to me that the fight was stopped prematurely as well. When you have a world title fight, and a challenger has fought his heart out for ten plus rounds and is winning the fight, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt under fire. Nonetheless, we must remember that this fight was in hostile territory in the champion's home country and these things happen in boxing. In any case, the Holt camp has logged an appeal to the WBO and the WBO is considering that appeal.

Expect a rematch to happen sometime next year, and hopefully in the United States. Holt was ahead on points on two of the three scorecards, which says alot when one acknowledges where the fight was happening.

Zab Judah returns to action tonight!

against Edwin Vasquez on ESPN2.

Former Undisputed Welterweight Champion Zab "Super" Judah returns to action tonight against the unknown Edwin Vasquez. If Vasquez was laying down on the sidewalk in front of your house, and you stepped over him walking to your car, you probably wouldn't even know who he was.

But you know what they say about the unknown and unlikely tuneup: sometimes he or she can tune you up. However, I do not see that happening tonight against Judah, but who knows. As long as Judah is focused on the task at hand, and no black cats have crossed his path, he should be able to deal with Vasquez and move on to bigger things.

Judah is coming off an exciting but punishing 11th round TKO loss at the hands of current WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto. Hopefully Judah can stay busy from here on out and fight durable opponents to get some rounds in and keep himself sharp. Judah has made a name for himself, so he's the type of prizefighter who can fight a stay busy fight or two and then climb right back into a big fight. We saw that, after a year of inactivity due to his suspension, when Judah fought Cotto for the title after a short and sweet one round no-contest against Ruban Galvan.

Chances are, should Judah emerge victorious tonight, we could find him in a match against Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, or possibly even Joshua Clottey later this year.

Ibragimov -vs- Holyfield: Is Holyfield the modern day Cinderella Man?

With these four Russian titlists locking down a once glamourous heavyweight division, can a 44 year old Holyfield in fact be the hero that the people and fans of the United States are looking for?

On October 13, undefeated WBO Heavyweight Champion Sultan Ibragimov will defend his title against Former Four Time Heavyweight Champion and recently re-surging legend Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia. In this title match, Holyfield assumes the role of the re surging yet unlikely challenger.

This marks Holyfield's first title fight in almost five years, the last one coming in December of 2002 when he lost a unanimous decision to Chris Byrd for the vacant IBF title. Ibragimov, one of the four titlists, is coming off an uninspiring title winning victory over Shannon Briggs this past June. He's likely to be the betting favorite going into the fight, but look at where Holyfield has come from and where he's at.

After his three consecutive losses to Chris Byrd, James Toney, and Larry Donald (talk about the icing on the cake of a sad losing streak), commissioners in NY tried to ban Holyfield from ever fighting again. From November 2004 until August 2006, Holyfield would remain inactive and was presumed to be finished goods following the one sided decision loss to Donald. However, The Real Deal returned to action in August of 2006 when he stopped Jeremy Bates in two easy rounds. When asked about the losses he had suffered leading up to his latest comeback, Holyfield cited shoulder injuries for the reason behind his losing streak.

Following the victory over Bates, Holyfield posted wins against the likes of Fres Oquendo, Vinny Madalone, and Lou Saverese. Whether or not Holyfield should still be fighting, the fact remains that Holyfield's form in the ring looks better than it ever has in the last five or six years. Taking into account the state of heavyweight division, and what these four Russian titlists have accomplished in recent history, Holyfield has probably accomplished more in the ring in the last 13 months than the titlists have in the last two or three years.

Wladimir Klitschko is really the only titlist who makes a solid claim to posting more impressive wins, with victories over Sam Peter, Chris Byrd, Calvin Brock, Ray Austin, and a revenge victory over Lamon Brewster this past July. Other than Klitschko, the other titlists have done very little to steak their claim as true champions and represent the heavyweight division the way it should be represented to the general public.

The question is, can Holyfield, who was presumed to be a shot fighter after some poor performances in the ring, cap off his latest comeback by adding a record breaking fifth title to his collection on October 13 in Russia??? Should Holyfield emerge victorious against Ibragimov, it would signify an inspiring success story not unlike that of Jimmy Braddock's comeback from poverty during The Great Depression to World Champion status.

Let's face it folks, this is a man (really a legend), much like Braddock, who was told he couldn't fight again after giving accounts of himself that reflected that of a shot fighter. Since that time Holyfield is on a four fight winning streak and he's not looking back. He's been kicking ass and taking names. We should note that he's doing so at a time when the heavyweight division is not exactly at it's peak in terms of talent. If an aging Holyfield is going to make history and win another title, this is the ideal time for him to do so. Still, if Holyfield upsets Ibragimov next month, there could be a at least a few people calling him the modern day Cinderella Man.

Originally it was planned for ESPN Classic to show the fight, but ESPN supposedly couldn't come up with the money, so it's being televised on an American Pay Per View network. Go figure.

Why Cotto -vs- Mosley is the most significant fight of 2007!

On November 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto and Former Two Division World Champion Sugar Shane Mosley will square off against one another in one of the biggest super fights of this year.

Not only is this match up a super fight, but it is also in this writer's opinion "the most significant fight of 2007." Now that the match is set to officially happen in a few months, I can break down my reasons for the substantial significance of this compelling matchup. This is a very important fight, not only for the 147lb weight class, but also for the sport of boxing as a whole.

Yes, De la hoya vs Mayweather was the biggest money making super fight between the biggest star in boxing and the best pound for pound fighter in boxing. Significance? Cotto vs Mosley bares more significance than that fight in my eyes and I am going to explain why.

1. Welterweight division...
is by far the hottest division in boxing right now. This is the division in which Cotto vs Mosley is taking place. This is a division, at this very moment, that is talent rich and money filled. There is a lot of money to be made in this division, with all of the names and super fights that can be made between those big names. Look at who campaigns at welterweight: Floyd Mayweather Jr, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, Oscar De la hoya is coming back down to welterweight, Ricky Hatton (facing Mayweather on December 8) is coming up to welterweight, Zab Judah is still around (although he's gone 0-3 over the last year and half, Luis Collazo is still a top second tier contender, etc. The division is hot right now.

2. Floyd Mayweather, Jr...
who happens to be the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world today, has chosen to vacate his Super Welterweight belt to campaign in the welterweight division, where the biggest match ups can be made. Floyd has never taken an L before and has won titles in five different weight classes, remaining unbeaten in doing so, over a span of nine years. Fans want to continue to see the Pound for Pound Picasso in the best match ups possibles. The most significant and most exciting match ups possible. In choosing to remain at welterweight, the winner of a Cotto vs Mosley fight becomes the heir apparent and most deserving challenger for Mayweather in 2008.

3. Styles of the two fighters...
make this match up intriguing. It's a classic match up of puncher vs boxer - physical determination vs speed of hand and foot. Cotto is that guy who does whatever it takes to win his fights. He fights with heart, applies pressure, and throws punches non stop until he accumulates enough punishment to prompt his opponent's demise. He's also a devastating body puncher. Mosley is the counter puncher. He fires quick combinations, displays beautiful ring generalship, and takes advantage of his opponent's openings and leaky defense. Not only do you have the contrast in styles, you have two guys who will let hands go. Therefore, expect these two competitive warriors to beat the living hell out of each other. Great fight style-wise.

4. Virtual toss up.
Although Cotto is the younger undefeated fighter and Mosley is 35 years of age yet more proven in the ring, neither fighter has a decisive edge going into this fight. Fans and experts are split down the middle as to who they believe has the edge between these two boxers. The element of unpredictability makes this exciting showdown all the more intriguing.

5. Pound for Pound candidacy...
is on the line in this match up. As you all can see, Cotto is currently number 10 on the Boxing Chronicles Pound for Pound List. With Vasquez getting revenge over Marquez (who himself was a pound for pound entrant and will likely face Vasquez in rubber match), he's barely hangs on at number 10. The winner of Cotto -vs- Mosley becomes a sure fire Pound for Pound candidate, especially if the winner makes a bold statement with his performance and the way he wins. When is the last time anybody saw Mayweather, the Pound for Pound king, in the opposite corner of a ring from a fighter who was also a top ten pound for pounder????

(Mayweather has faced some really good opponents, but top 10 pound for pounders???? Gatti, not even close. Mitchell, no! Judah - had just lost to Baldomir. Baldomir, might've been top 20 if that. Oscar De la hoya was probably the closest at t0p 12).

Exactly! It's been a while since we've seen Mayweather in the ring with a fellow Pound for Pound entity. The winner of Cotto -vs- Mosley surely gains a solid Pound for Pound spot on the general consensus Pound for Pound lists.

5. If Cotto wins...
this sets up a huge match up between two undefeated Welterweight titlists, in their primes. Mayweather is the Pound for Pound king, and more or less, the modern day Golden Boy. Cotto, in many ways, is emerging as the Felix Trinidad of this era. He's Puerto Rican, undefeated, fights with relentless aggression doing whatever is in his power to emerge victorious in his fights, and has a nice fan base on the East Coast. Mayweather has his own following and is probably the 2nd highest grossing money maker in boxing underneath De la hoya. Both fighters have their respective fan bases, and this would be BOTH the BIGGEST and the MOST SIGNIFICANT welterweight fight since De la hoya vs Trinidad in September of 1999.

6. If Mosley wins...
he further solidifies his argument that Mayweather picks and chooses his opponents, should Mayweather still refuse to face Mosley because of his earning potential in comparison to himself, or lack thereof. As Mayweather stated, he made almost three times as much for his fight against Oscar De la hoya (approximately $21 million) than Mosley did in two fights with De la hoya (approximately $4.5 million for each fight). The fact would still remain that Mosley would be the most viable challenger to Mayweather. In my opinion, because of styles, he already is. A victory over Cotto, pinning the first loss on the undefeated Puerto Rican superstar's record, would give Mosley every reason to chase down Mayweather - much Antonio Tarver did for years with Roy Jones when Jones was the seemingly invisible Pound for Pound king.

7. Madison Square Garden...
is the Mecca of Boxing. This fight is happening at Madison Garden Garden. The Garden is not far from where I live, so I could easily commute to NYC to attend this fight. Given the significance of this match, and the fact that I have not been to a fight in almost four years (Hopkins vs Joppy in Atlantic City - December 13, 2003), there's an excellent chance that I will be present at the Garden on the evening of November 10.

Folks, if you can make it Madison Square Garden on November 10, do so. This is a very important fight in boxing. It will likely be a memorable fight - a memorable super fight. If you can't make it, order this fight on HBO PPV. I personally can't wait!