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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!