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Jose Luis Castillo returns to action tonight!

Tonight on ESPN Wednesday Fights, Former two time lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo will face Sebastion Lujan in a welterweight fight scheduled for 10 rounds. A few years ago, Lujan challenged defending champion Antonio Margarito -- you may recall Margarito tearing a piece of Lujan's ear off. Last time I saw Castillo, he was challenging 140lb World Champion Ricky Hatton and he was stopped in four rounds. Castillo should have probably retired by now, as he looked flat and listless in the Hatton fight. However, Castillo is fighting in a new weight class so maybe that will help him. Perhaps the choice of the opponent for tonight's fight will help Castillo, as well. The fight will take place at Sycuan Resort in El Cajon, California.

Lacy unretires: Lacy vs Taylor set for November 15!

According to Fightnews, Jeff Lacy's attorney and advisor Jim Wilkes has confirmed that Lacy vs Taylor is a done deal for November 15.

Jim Wilkes, Jeff Lacy's attorney and adviser, has confirmed to St. Peterburg Times boxing writer John Cotey that Lacy will return to the ring against Jermain Taylor on November 15. "I'm telling you, as Jeff's attorney, a deal has been reached," Wilkes said. "It took a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of discussion, but we got it done."

That was one of the shortest lived retirements I've ever seen in boxing. Smart move on the part of the Lacy camp. Lacy needs a Taylor fight at this stage of his career, which appears to be slowly dying. A win over Taylor would surely revive the Floridian's career. The fight will probably be televised on HBO.

Jeff Lacy retiring: Views $550,000 offer for Taylor fight as an insult!

This past week, news has been circulating that Former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy is going to be retiring. Last Wednesday on ESPN Wednesday Night Fights, Lacy won a lackluster, razor thin majority decision over Epifanito Mendoza. Lacy was hurt a couple of times in the fight, but gutted it out in the tenth round of a very close fight and won the tenth round to win a very close fight. Upon reading Fightnews this morning, I was made aware of Lacy's reasons for the abrupt retirement. The following was taken from Fightnews:

Former IBF super middleweight Jeff Lacy has revealed that he's retiring from boxing because he is insulted by a $550,000 offer to fight Jermain Taylor. "What do I look like fighting a fight of that caliber for $550,000 when I have more to risk than anything?" Lacy commented to the Tampa Tribune. "I feel like Taylor needs me more than I need him and what do I look like fighting that fight for $550,000 and risking my life in there like I did Wednesday night because the referee is not on top of this guy hitting me in the back of the head?"

Jermain Taylor needs Jeff Lacy more than Jeff Lacy needs Jermain Taylor??? I really don't think so, Mr. "Left Hook".

The general public would appear to know who Taylor is more so than Lacy.

Taylor is the one who has headlined PPV cards.

Taylor has actually been in a few exciting fights.

Taylor is the one who has two wins over the legendary Bernard Hopkins, even if you choose to call them controversial.

Even though Taylor got knocked out the first time and lost a narrow decision in the rematch, he's been in there with Kelly Pavlik (one of boxing's P4P elite) two times and both fights were crowd pleasing affairs.

Taylor is the one who has been in there with Wright (another crowd pleasing fight) and fought to a draw with Wright (whom Pavlik still hasn't fought).

Lacy's greatest quality of opposition happens to be Calzaghe, who schooled the young and inexperienced pugilist -- and to be bluntly honest -- beat his ass from pillar to post in an easy shutout decision win over two years ago. Since the one-sided loss to Calzaghe, Lacy's had three fights, against mediocre opposition, and he's barely beaten all three and looked bad doing so.

Following the sequence of events that have transpired in Lacy's career from March of 2006 to present, Lacy would be well-advised take a $550,000 to face Taylor and attempt to pull off the upset and revive his dying career. Even if he doesn't, he can still retire $550,000 richer following the defeat.

Margarito stops Cotto in 11 rounds!

In what can be considered a mild upset, Antonio Margarito won the WBA Welterweight Championship with an 11th round TKO of defending champion Miguel Cotto. This marked the first loss in the career of the young Puerto Rican superstar. Two facts I must admit to the readers of Boxing Chronicles. My prediction for this fight was totally off. I just had my Margarito crow and eggs for breakfast this morning and I wasn't even aloud to marinate it in butter! =( Secondly, I did not see the fight live, nor have I seen a recording of it. I have not seen the fight at all. From what I have been hearing and reading, the fight was a classic -- a clear-cut candidate for Fight of the Year -- just as it was promoted to be. Next weekend, on the Clottey vs Judah telecast, I will be watching the fight for the first time. I was down at the shore partying this weekend with some of the old college buddies, so I will be able to give you my own exclusive full-blown detailed analysis of what happened in the fight this weekend. Major props to Antonio Margarito for his victory over Cotto.

Preview and prediction: Cotto vs Margarito

In what can be defined as latest summit in the welterweight division following the retirement of former welterweight champion and pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather, Jr, WBA champion Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito will meet this Saturday night in a hot summer blockbuster event that has hotly anticipated.

The Battle, which is being televised on HBO PPV, will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NJ. At the weight limit of 140lbs, Cotto appeared to be a top contender who's pension for providing fireworks and setting up explosive knockout victories was a sight to behold. By the same token, less than stellar boxers the ilk of Ricardo Torres and a shopworn DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley both seemed to fall just short of stopping the vulnerable Puerto Rican sensation.

Struggling to make the weight in the jr welterweight division was visably hurting Cotto and hindering his performances in the ring. His final outting at that weight class was a entertaining twelve round unanimous decision over Paulie Malignaggi at Madison Garden in June of 2006. Malignaggi, a current titlist at 140lbs and not known for his punching power, gave Cotto all he could handle, but Cotto mustered up the determination to hand Malignaggi his first defeat as a professional. Following a tougher than expected tussle with Malignaggi, Cotto's move to welterweight wasn't only warranted -- it was long overdue.

Cotto's ascension to the top of the welterweight division has been meaningful, admirable, and inspiring. Making his debut in the division back in December of 2006, he faced the dangerous and equally undefeated Carlos Quintana for the vacant WBA Welterweight Championship. Quintana, a slick boxer who had just upset Joel Julio a few months prior, was actually favored by some to foil the Cotto express into the welterweight picture. Cotto had other plans in mind, beating Quintana and forcing him to surrender inside six rounds. This is the same Quintana who was able wrestle the WBO title from Paul "The Punisher" back in February of this year. That goes to show just how much of force Cotto has become at welterweight as well as in the boxing world as a whole.

Cotto followed up with a spectacular knockout victory of Former Undisputed Welterweight Champion Zab Judah, stopping the Brooklyn native in 11 punishing rounds at Madison Square Garden in June of 2007. At the same venue five months later, Cotto met former three division champion Sugar Shane Mosley in a matchup that was deemed virtually even going into the fight. The contest itself was a crowd pleaser and almost as close as spectators predicted it would be, with the official judges awarding Cotto a close unanimous decision victory.

Cotto and Margarito came pearlessly close to meeting each other last year, but those plans were derailed when Margarito lost his WBO title to Williams by unanimous decision in July of 2007. It was a setback that Margarito was quick to bounce back from, scoring a first round knockout of Golden Johnson on the undercard of Cotto vs Mosley at Madison Square Garden this past November.

In his last fight at Boardwalk in Atlantic City, Margarito rematched Kermit Cintron for Cintron's IBF welterweight title in a rematch of their fight from April of 2005, in which Margarito devastated and stopped an overwhelmed Cintron. Surely, Cintron would be more experienced and seasoned with three more years of experience and the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward. Nonetheless, Margarito proved that he had Cintron's number, beating up the Puerto Rican power puncher once again and stopping him in six rounds of yet another one sided fight to claim the IBF title. On the same night, Cotto made yet another successful defense of his title with a 5th round technical knockout of Alfonso Gomez.

Just four days shy of July 26, 2008, Cotto and Margarito are back on the collision course that was all but set to transpire last year. The question becomes, who is going to emerge victorious?

Looking at the quality of opposition for both combatants, it is crystal clear that Cotto's opposition is way better than that of Margarito's. Margarito's best opponents to date are Clottey and Cintron. Cotto, on the other hand, has only been fighting at welterweight for approximately a year and half, and he's managed to defeat Quintana, Judah, and Mosley in that time frame. Even at junior welterweight, Cotto has beaten the likes of Torres and Malignaggi -- Malignaggi being a current titlist and Torres being a former champion who just lost his title to Kendall Holt.

Margarito is probably the strongest welterweight Cotto has faced to date, but it remains uncertain as to whether Margarito has faced someone who punches as precise and with the power that Cotto does. Cotto has been known to get into exchanges and trade with his opponents, but he's also shown the ability to box his way out of some critical moments. In no other Cotto was this more evident than his sea saw battle with Mosley.

There will be moments when this fight is fought toe to toe and both fighters will get into exchanges. At the end of the day, I believe it will be Cotto's ability to box and counter punch his way out of nervous moments. We may even see see Cotto in the same type of jeopardy that he was in against Mosley late in their fight. Margarito has never been hit by a puncher like Cotto either, so this is going to be interesting. I'll take Cotto by a close and exciting unanimous decision, in a fight in which both guys are hurt and possibly even on the canvas.

Cotto by unanimous decision

Should Julio Cesar Chavez Jr retire?

It may seem as though I am coming down hard on him, but perhaps Julio Cesar Chavez Jr should consider hanging up the gloves. The undefeated 22 year old hinted at retirement following his lackluster and controversial split decision win over journeyman Matt Vanda this past Sunday.

It would appear as though Junior is really just living off his legendary father's name by consistently facing limited opposition. He's not doing anything to build up his own legacy. When you have a father who is an all-time great as Julio Cesar Chavez Sr is, it can be cumbersome to try to fill your father's shoes. I won't deny that at all, but at least attempt to make some kind of serious noise or splash of your own in the sport! Not only does Junior continue to fight these low caliber opponents, but he's just barely scraping past them. That's not how you improve as a boxer.

Junior has yet to show me that he's trying to improve or get to the next level whatsoever. His own supporters were booing when he was awarded the split decision against Vanda, throwing beer cans and other objects in the ring. His father, the legend, had to calm the angry Mexican crowd that was booing his son for such a dreadful performance. To his credit the fight was a terrific action fight, but he shouldn't be getting into wars like that against such limited and sub par opposition.

When you continue to fight sub par opposition, you grow accustomed to fighting down to the level of your opposition and you become sub par. That tells me that Junior really needs to shit or get off the pot. While I would like to see him retire at the rate he's going, his handlers should test him, once and for all, by putting him in with somebody world class. Put Junior in a title fight with WBC Super Welterweight Champion Sergio Mora, in a shit or get off the pot type of fight. Might even be a decent promotion. Hell, I'm not sure it wouldn't be a decent fight. The undefeated Latin Snake and Contender Champion, turned World Champion vs The undefeated Son of a Mexican Legend.

Nobody thought Mora was any good before he beat Forrest. He was held to a draw against an unranked and unknown opponent prior to the Forrest fight. Chavez needs to do something of value if he is going to stick around. He's 37-0... and who's he fought???????

By the time you're 37-0, or even 30-0, one should really know whether or not one is something special, somebody who is credible, or somebody with the potential to be something special who is making progress. Junior hasn't even fought anybody credible in 37 fights. Does he have the desire to fight somebody world class and make a name for himself, or is he living off his father's name?

The time is now for Chavez Jr to either make a move to get to the next level, or retire as he hinted at following the fight with Vanda.

Soto vs Lorenzo now a no-contest, Cotto vs Margarito, and September lightweight fights!

Yesterday, the WBC ruled that the 130lb elimination title bout between Humberto Soto and Francisco Lorenzo be ruled a no-contest. Originally, Lorenzo was declared a 4th round DQ winner by Joe Cortez in what was a highly controversial result. For the first three and a half rounds, Soto beat Lorenzo from pillar to post, dropped Lorenzo twice, and on the second knockdown, grazed the back of Lorenzo's head with one of his punches. The fact that the WBC decided to overrule the original decision is good news. It is nice to see that justice can be served in boxing as well as anywhere else. Cortez made a terrible call in that fight. There's a place for the likes of Francisco Lorenzo; it's called Hollywood. He did a great acting job and unfortunately Cortez was like a guest at the theater watching and justifying his performance.


On Saturday July 26, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, undefeated WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto will defend his title against two time welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito. This is a match up that has fight of the year written all over it. I believe this fight will be very interesting and at times exciting. But when it comes down to who I believe is going to win this fight, I think Cotto has more tools, he's the better boxer, and he's fought the better level of opposition up to this point. Cotto has only fought at welterweight for a year and a half, and he's beaten Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah, and Shane Mosley in that time frame.

Margarito has been at welterweight forever, and he's only beaten the likes of Kermit Cintron and Joshua Clottey. Margarito did fight Paul Williams, just a year and a day ago, but got outhussled in that fight and ended up losing a unanimous decision, along with his WBO title belt, to Williams. Overall, the two levels of opposition just don't equate. Margarito knows one way. Come forward at a fast pace and throw a lot of punches. Cotto can box AND brawl. There will be moments when these guys are going to have to brawl toe to toe, but it's going to be Cotto's ability to box his way out of trouble that makes the difference in the fight.

Cotto was able to outbox Shane Mosley, a guy with fast hands who is rather elusive, in a lot of the rounds they fought. Margarito is not as fast as Mosley. Margarito is the strongest and possibly the hardest hitting welterweight Cotto has faced to date, but I'm not sure Margarito has faced anyone that hits as hard as Cotto either (and hits as hard with that hand speed). Good fight.


In September, there are a set of significant lightweight fights happening on HBO and HBO PPV. On September 6 on HBO Boxing After Dark, Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis are set to square off. Both fighters are coming off losses in world title bouts, with Diaz losing his titles to Nate Campbell via split decision this past March in Mexico and Katsidis losing in a bid for the linear championship to champion Joel Casamayor via 10th round KO. Both fighters, who happen to have come forward - seek and destroy styles, are looking to battle their ways back into another title shot. The road begins in the fight that they have against one another. This fight should be a crowd pleaser, and on paper, it resembles the type of match up that prompted the evolution and idea of Boxing After Dark.

One week later on September 13, Joel Casamayor and Juan Manuel Marquez will meet in a fight for the linear lightweight championship live on HBO PPV. Casamayor showed a lot of heart and grit in coming from behind to knock out Katisidis this past March. Marquez is coming off a split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in a fight that was extremely close and hotly contested. Should a Casamayor vs Marquez fight be on PPV? No way. Neither Marquez or Casamayor are well known enough by the general public to face each other in a PPV headliner. They are the types of fighters who need a household name or a cash cow in the opposite corner to be able to headline a PPV card. Marquez has only headlined a PPV twice, against Barrera and Pacquiao.

Casamayor has never been in a PPV headliner. His biggest fights (Campbell, Freitas, Corrales I-III, Castillo, Katsidis, etc) were HBO World Championship Boxing undercards, main events on Showtime, or PPV undercards respectively. Outside of the Katsidis fight, his fights haven't exactly been crowd pleasers. Although the Campbell fight five years ago wasn't too shabby, but it wasn't the most exciting fight I have ever seen in my life. Nonetheless, it is a significant fight in the lightweight division and I want to see who wins it.

Even more to come tomorrow!

Boxing chronicles is back, and there is plenty to cover!

Boxing Chronicles is back and we're back with bang baby! Plenty has happened in the sport of boxing since my last update back in April. My last update was the aftermath coverage of the Calzaghe vs Hopkins fight. DAMN, it's been a long time. Let's get to boxing news!


Floyd Mayweather Jr has retired from the sport of boxing. We all know about it already. He's also fired some choice words as well as hasty accusations at HBO ringside announcers Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant. More to come regarding that story later on.


Wladimir Klitschko made another defense of his version (IBF, IBO, and WBO) of the heavyweight championship with an 11th round KO of WBO mandatory challenger Tony Thompson. Surely this was a more conclusive result for Klitschko than was his last outing, uneventful and uninspiring unanimous decision win over Sultan Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden. Thompson did manage to puzzle Klitschko early on with his southpaw style and sneaky body attack, but as the rounds progressed, Klitschko got more aggressive, started landing more right hands, and lowered the boom in the 11th round. Next up for Klitschko could very well be the undefeated Alex Povetkin, who is the mandatory challenger in the IBF.


It looks like WBC Heavyweight Champion Sam Peter will be defending his title against Klitschko in October, but it's not the Klitschko we want to see him against. It's elderly brother Vitali Klitschko, that's right. The Klitschko who hasn't fought in four years. The Klitschko who [when he was the champion] pulled out of a number of mandatory defenses against Haseem Rahman.

Vitali can't possibly be the same fighter he was before. That's my opinion, anyway. He's 36 years old and hasn't been able to make it through a solid training camp since 2004. Peter is younger, in his prime, and he's shown some improvement technically. Lets see if Vitali can make it through a good long training camp.

With all of the WBC mandated fights that this guy has withdrawn from in the past 3 years, I don't know why the WBC continues to praise this guy and keep bringing him back for fights in their organization. What did he do for the WBC that was so special? He lost to Lennox Lewis in a shot for their title in a classic heavyweight fight that took place in June of 2003. Following the defeat at the hands of Lewis, he knocked out Kirk Johnson in an eliminator for that title several months later. He beat Cory Sanders for the vacate title the following year, and then defended it once against *drum roll* Danny Williams.

After that, Vitali pulled out of a number of defenses against Rahman and also pulled out of a comeback fight last year (if I'm not mistaking). I won't hold my breath on this guy coming back or even making it through a training camp.If the fight were to happen, my money is on Peter.


The light heavyweight championship fight between champion Joe Calzaghe and former pound for pound king Roy Jones Jr appears to be set for September 20 at Madison Square Garden. HBO PPV will televise the event. The way Calzaghe was able to overwhelm and outwork Hopkins, it's difficult for me to see Jones doing any better. Nonetheless, it's still a big fight and folks want to see if Jones can turn the clock back, regain his old dazzling form, and upset the undefeated Welshmen.


Manny Pacquiao won his fourth world title in as many weight classes by dominating, punishing, and stopping defending champion David Diaz in nine rounds back on June 28 in Las Vegas. Granted the fact that he wasn't exactly facing the utmost stiffest competition in the division, or at least the most skilled guy available, Pacquiao looked sensational in his lightweight debut. Rumor has it that Pacquiao will now face Humberto Soto in November 15. That would be a hell of a fight given the styles and punching power that both of these combatants carry in both hands. With Mayweather retired, at least for now, Pacquiao becomes the number one pound for pound fighter in the world.


More to come tomorrow!