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Bute KOs Andrade!

No controversy in the rematch last night at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec Canada, as it was IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute who knocked out Librado Andrade in the fourth round to retain his title. Bute was in complete control from opening round, knocking Andrade's head back with fierce combinations. On the few occasions at which the fight was at close quarters, Bute wisely held Andrade to prevent him from working on the inside.

In the fourth round, Bute dropped the tough and rugged Andrade with a left hook. Andrade, who clearly wasn't hurt, rose from the knockdown. The bodyshot that Bute landed seconds later, however, was a completely different story. Andrade, practically paralyzed from the pain, stayed down for the count. Time of the KO was 2:57. Bute's knockout was not unlike other memorable knockouts produced by bodyshots, such as Roy Jones Jr's knockout of Virgil Hill, Bernard Hopkins' knockout of Oscar De la hoya, or even Floyd Mayweather Jr's knockout of Sharmba Mitchell.

The win for Andrade was quite impressive, taking into account that Andrade was known for his ironclad chin and had never previous been knocked out. Furthermore, the Bute that this commentator saw last night certainly deserves to compete in the Showtime Super Six Tournament. How about replacing Jermain Taylor with Bute??? Taylor at this point in time, having lost four of his last fight fights, should not remain in that tournament.

Funeka badly robbed against Guzman!

Something was woefully rotten in Quebec, Canada last night in terms of the officiating, but it wasn't a referee this time and it certainly did not take place in the Bute vs. Andrade rematch. Waiting to hear the announcement that Ali Funeka would be declared the winner by unanimous decision, and new IBF lightweight champion of the world, two of the judges found some way to score his lopsided beating of Joan Guzman an even fight. As a result, the bout was inexplicably ruled a majority draw. Funeka vs. Guzman was being contested for the vacant IBF lightweight championship.

Guzman started off on the right track in the first two rounds, smothering the taller man and digging body shots at close range on the ropes. Showing his crafty defense, Guzman was initially able to duck beneath Funeka's long jab. Funeka began to find his range in the third round as kept his distance and his right hand started finding its target on Guzman. An unintentional headbutt opened a cut over Guzman's right eye, but it was Funeka's punches that did the damage to Guzman's bloodied nose. Funeka outboxed Guzman in the center of the ring, landing jabs and straight right hands. In the eighth round, Guzman was hurt when he got caught coming in with a straight right hand by Funeka.

From rounds nine to eleven, Funeka became increasingly dominant as he was teeing off combinations on a bloodied and battered Guzman. Guzman, looking like a beaten man, was practically in retreat and could not find a way to avoid taking the right hand punishment that Funeka was dishing out. Guzman showed more life, perhaps out of desperation, in the 12th and final round when he went on attack and once again began firing shots to Funeka's long body. Too little and too late for Guzman, I thought to myself, until I heard the official scores, which took a while to tabulate, from the ringside judges.

Joe Pasquale scored the fight correctly, 116-112 for Funeka, which was identical to that of HBO's unofficial ringside judge Harold Lederman scored the fight even wider at 117-111 for Funeka, disagreeing with yours truly on the final round. Judges Alan Davis and Benoit Russell, however, both managed to score such a one-sided fight 114-114. Such a result almost leads one to believe that the scores were penciled in ahead of time prior to the fight.

Guzman, whose face and red-colored trunks at the end of the night really told the tale of a beating, gets a draw and remains undefeated. The IBF lightweight title remains vacant. Unbelievable.

Alexander vs. Maidana in March of 2010?

Earlier this month, it was reported that HBO would be hosting junior welterweight tournament early next year between WBC champion Devon Alexander, WBA king Amir Khan, WBA interim titlist Marcos Maidana, and Victor Ortiz.

Unlike Showtime's Super Six tournament taking place, the junior welterweight tournament would only consist of three fights. Therefore, it more so resembles Don King's World Middleweight Series from 2001 between Bernard Hopkins, Felix Trinidad, William Joppy, and Keith Holmes. Hopkins emerged as the victor in that tournament, as well as the undisputed middleweight champion, with a memorable 12th round TKO of the previous unbeaten Trinidad.

There are already talks of kicking off the junior welterweight tournament in March with a match on HBO Boxing After Dark between Alexander and Maidana, which would present an intriguing contrast of styles. Alexander has the classic boxer style, whereas Maidana is a heavy handed slugger as he showed in his 7th round TKO of Ortiz this past June. Let it be known that other titlists in the division, IBF champion Juan Urango and WBO kingpin Timothy Bradley, are not included in this tournament. Urango could be facing former two division champion Zab Judah at some point this spring, while Bradley is set to defend against Lamont Peterson next month.

Boxing fans might even witness a second junior welterweight tournament taking place between the winners of Urango vs. Judah, Bradley vs. Peterson, and whoever wins the proposed HBO tournament taking place this upcoming spring. With pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao having moved up to the welterweight ranks, the junior welterweight division is once again wide open and full of viable contenders who are determined to assume the position of world's best in that weight class.

Who would've thought there would be enough talent at 140lbs to necessitate not one, but two tournaments??

Bute vs. Andrade II on tap tonight in Canada!

Hopelessly behind on points, super middleweight Librado Andrade was merely seconds away from a knockout victory that would've gained him his first world title.

However, a controversially extended count administered to IBF super middleweight champion and Romanian native Lucian Bute, in the final seconds of the fight by Canadian referee Marlon Wright, prevented Andrade from seeing that fate last October in Quebec, Canada. Instead of proceeding with the count to Bute, who was down and badly hurt, Wright twice interrupted the count to turn around and warn Andrade move to the neutral corner. The final bell sounded, the result of the contest was put in the hands of the official ringside judges, and Bute retained his title by unanimous decision.

Andrade will once again get an opportunity to take the title from the Bute, but unfortunately the cards are once again stacked against him. Tonight's rematch is staged in Quebec, Canada where the controversy ending of their previous encounter occurred. There's no question that Andrade hurt Bute in the final seconds of that fight and that Bute looked withered by about the ninth round, but Andrade will have to get off to a quicker start this time around if he is going to have any chance of victory. It is incumbent on Andrade to understand that he must apply constant pressure to Bute in the early rounds in order to make him tired, rather than waiting nine or 10 rounds for him get tired on his own.

Considering the fact that tonight's contest is also in Canada, I'm leaning towards picking Bute to win the rematch as well. In this commentator's estimation, Bute will be a bit more weary of Andrade's punching power. Bute will likely be inclined to go into this fight with every intention of winning a decision and nothing more. While he won't attempt to stop Andrade (he's simply too tough) and he won't put himself in harms way either. As the better boxer who is the more technically sound of the two combatants, Bute will pace himself, try to win on points, and that will make it very difficult for Andrade to have the same success he had at the end of the first fight.

On the televised under card, former super featherweight champion Joan Guzman will meet Ali Funeka for the vacant IBF lightweight championship. Funeka was last seen in February, dropping a razor thin close decision to Nate Campbell. Guzman has been relatively inactive since his title defense against Humberto Soto in November of 2007, in what would be his final outting at the weight limit of 130lbs.

Scheduled to meet Campbell in a lightweight title fight in September of 2008, Guzman disappointed many by weighing in well over the lightweight limit of 135lbs. As a result, the fight was cancelled. Guzman has had one fight in the last two years, that being a unanimous decision win over the unheralded Ameth Diaz last December (that fight itself being almost a year ago).

Knowing the difficulties that Guzman faced in making weight for the Campbell fight, coupled with the facts that Guzman has been inactive for almost a year and tonight's fight will contested in the lightweight division, it makes one question just how effective Guzman will be against Funeka, who himself is a tall, rangy guy with a high punch outpoint.

Tonight's HBO Boxing After Dark doubleheader will begin at 10PM ET/ 7PM PT.

Chagaev vs. Meehan for interim title: Could the WBA sink any lower? has reported that the World Boxing Association ordered an interim title fight between former heavyweight titlist Ruslan Chagaev and former WBO title challenger Kali Meehan. The WBA, according to, summoned up this not so brilliant idea at their annual convention in Medellin, Columbia.

Meehan earned the mandatory spot in the WBA when he defeated DaVarryl Williamson by a sixth round TKO at Madison Square Garden in October of 2007. Chagaev fought heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in his previous outting back in June, but was dominated and stopped in the 9th round of their title fight in Germany.

Call me crazy, but I always thought the purpose of an interim title fight is to have a champion ready to crown, in the event that the actual champion himself remains inactive or vacates. David Haye just won the WBA title by majority decision over Nicolai Valuev on November 7, so why has the organization already ordered an interim title fight? Why are they ordering Meehan to face Chagaev, a man who was just stopped in his last fight, for this ridiculous interim title?

This commentator says, the WBA should allow Haye to defend his title before they begin searching their ever so dense list of contenders for another champion. Haye is supposed to fight continuously recycled heavyweight contender John Ruiz in his next fight. How exactly is Ruiz granted so many opportunities, after losing in consecutive attempts for the sanctioning body's title?? That, too, is quite troubling and indicative of just how shallow the heavyweight division has truly become.

How about Meehan and Ruiz agree to fight each other in order to fairly cement the number one spot in the WBA, while Haye celebrates the title he just won a few weeks ago??? Such a scenario might be just a little too logical for the WBA to bring to fruition. We should all be well aware by now that the corrupt sanctioning bodies feel the need to have multiple champions in each weight class.

Manny Pacquiao tests free of steroids!

Pound for Pound king Manny Pacquiao has once again, for the tenth time in the state of Nevada, tested free of steroids according to today's report at ABS-CBN News. According to Executive Director Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Pacquiao underwent urine tests, before and after the fight, and both tests came back negative.
There have recently been rumors of steroid usage drummed up by disbelievers in the sport, such as world renowned trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr., former IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron, and former IBF junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi.

Of course Malignaggi shares two common opponents with Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, but Malignaggi lost to both of those fighters in the two biggest fights of his professional career thus far. Pacquiao, on the other hand, dominated and stopped both of them in impressive fashion. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Pacquiao's success would result in skepticism from the outspoken Magic Man of Bensonhurst Brooklyn.

Malignaggi was quoted by, suggesting to the hosts of the radio podcast at, "There's something fishy about Manny Pacquiao, man, for a lot of reasons...if the situation is what I think it is, God, Manny Pacquiao will not lose to any of these welterweights. It's unfortunate. The level of drug testing in boxing is not really that deep. I mean, we have urine tests on the day of the fight and we don't have much else... there's things that don't come up in drug tests. There's ways to beat drug tests."

No Paulie, forget about ways to beat drug tests for just a moment. In the sport of boxing, the name of the game is for one to find a way to beat opponents rather than beating drug tests. One can not test ten times and turn in negative results each and every single time if he is generally regarded as a dirty fighter. Not everyone who defeats Miguel Cotto is necessarily going to be committing foul play. Maybe, just maybe, the haters and skeptics should give the man some credit for his accomplishments.

Malignaggi continued, "I know a lot of people are going to hate what I think. But it's what I think. I'm not telling anybody that it’s a fact." Well the more important fact remains, Pacquiao has passed ten drug tests in Nevada. I doubt anybody is hating what Malignaggi thinks. In all due respect, perhaps it is Mr. Malignaggi who is the one spewing hate towards Pacquiao for defeating the foes, who have legitimately pinned two losses on the Magic Man's professional record, in such spectacular fashion.

As for Mayweather, Sr., he is well aware that the pride of the Philippines could very well be facing his son in one of the most hotly anticipated fights of all time, so this commentator would expect Mayweather Sr. to start talking trash especially if he is at all concerned about his undefeated son's chances of victory.

Mayweather Sr. was quoted as saying in a report by, "Full blown welterweights don’t take those types of punches from Miguel Cotto the way he (Pacquiao) took them with total disregard for his power nor do they hurt him with every punch they hit him with… There is something that seriously makes me feel weird about Manny Pacquiao. I am going to leave it at that." In all due respect, Pacquiao is not the first fighter to move up in weight and take punches better than he did in the lower weight classes. Perhaps somebody should remind Mr. Mayweather that Chris Byrd began his professional career at 160lbs, moved up to heavyweight years later, and went twelve rounds with current heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko [weighing 238lbs at fight time!] in October of 2000.

Felix Trinidad also got stronger as he moved up in weight, from 147lbs all the way to 166lbs. Trinidad, when he campaigned as a welterweight, was dropped by a number of lesser opponents. As he moved up in weight, he was able to take punches better than he did at the lower weight classes. Nobody in their right mind would've guessed that a man who was knocked down by welterweights Anthony Stephens, Luis Ramon Campas, Oba Carr, and Kevin Lueshing would go almost 12 rounds with middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, much less last the distance with former light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. at a catch weight of 166lbs.

Pacquiao, who for the tenth time turned in a negative test result for steroids in Nevada, has always dismissed the claims and has insisted that he is a clean fighter who has never taken any performance enhancing drugs. Pacquiao told, "Maybe all of them -- they're using the steroids, and not me. You know what? I don't even know what a steroid is. I've never done that."

Steroids will not enhance one's ability to take solid punch to the chin, nor do they necessarily boost a fighter's stamina. Steroids certainly did not help Shane Mosley in his September 2003 rematch with Oscar De la hoya, nor did they benefit Fernando Vargas in his September 2002 title unification against De la hoya. If anything, it appeared as though Vargas tired as the fight progressed before De la hoya inevitably stopped him in the 11th round. Hopefully this dispels any rumors of foul play by Pacquiao.

How many times will a fighter be expected to return negative test results before one rightfully accepts him as a clean fighter who competes fair and square? Can the haters finally accept Pacquiao for the great fighter that he has become through hard work, dedication, and a desire to continuously face the best fighters in the world as he moves up in weight? Regardless of the matter, rumors of Pacquiao using performance enhancing drugs should be discarded.

The boxing world will continue to await finalization of the much anticipated Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight, for which HBO has already reserved the date of May 1, 2010 should the epic showdown come to fruition as a reality. Mainstream media is already buzzing about the prospects of such an event taking place.

photo courtesy:

Negotiations for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather have begun!

Dan Rafael of ESPN recently reported that negotiations for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather have recently begun.  On Monday morning, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer flew from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to meet with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum for lunch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.  Both parties have agreed to keep the negotiations private and out of the media. 

Schaefer was recently quoted as saying, "As part of the negotiations both Bob and I had to agree to keep all discussions confidential.  No further comments will be made until such time that we either have a deal or the negotiations fall apart."

While Schaefer does not currently have a promotional contract with Mayweather, the two maintain a friendly working relationship and have successfully worked together to negotiate Money May's last three fights.  Schaefer further elaborated, "Floyd and me want to see if we can get the fight done.  The fact that I am flying to Las Vegas to meet with Bob shows you how serious our side is about making the fight. Bob and I will approach this without egos and try to get it done under fair terms. Floyd gave me his marching orders and I will see today how it goes and report back." 
In his last outting on September 19 at the MGM Grand, Mayweather returned from a 21 month retirement to face Juan Manuel Marquez.  Mayweather unanimously outpointed Marquez, in a PPV event that generated approximately 1.05 million buys.  The Pacquiao vs. Cotto PPV produced 1.25 million buys and generated $70 million in revenue.  Arum also confirmed the meeting with Schaefer, as he informed ESPN, ""I can confirm I am meeting with Richard, but I'm not going to talk about the specifics.  It's a meeting where we will try to make the fight. Whether it can be made or not in this meeting, I don't know. We'll see what we will see."
As this commentator stated in a previous post, the idea of Schaefer negotiating this fight with Arum rather than Mayweather's advisors Leonard Ellerbe or Al Haymon, is an intelligent business decision.  Schaefer's job is to effectively communicate Team Mayweather's position to Arum as fairly and professionally as possible.  Talks between Schaefer and Arum, who have also developed a sound working relationship, are not likely to envoke as much ego or tension as talks between Arum and either Ellerbe or Haymon would.
However both sides end up spliting the money, this is still going to be the biggest pay day of both fighter's careers. As far as ideas for purse splits, how about adding the incentive of an additional bonus for the fighter who emerges as the victor?  Perhaps they split the initial purse 48/48 with the additional four percent being awarded to the winner?  How about 50/50, with a greater percentage of the PPV revenue being issued to the winner?  Mayweather probably maintains an edge in domestic popularity, whereas Pacquiao enjoys the greater international fan base.  I recently read the idea of an initial purse split of 50/50, with 55/45 of the domestic PPV revenue going to Mayweather and 55-45 of international PPV going to Pacquiao.  That is a brilliant idea. 

There are a number of reasonable ways to get this fight signed.  Let us hope that Schaefer and Arum realize them throughout their meetings with one another.  As a hardcore boxing fan, I sincerely hope they can find some way to get Pacquiao vs. Maywaether sealed and delivered. After all it is the first time, in God knows how long, that the top two universally recognized pound for pound best fighters in the world are campaigning at the same weight, in their respective primes, and could conceivably meet each other.   Remember, Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Arum - common sense, good faith negotiations while keeping the fans and the sport of boxing in mind. Find a way to make everyone happy.

Both combatants are already wealthier than Rockefeller.  The magnitude and significance of this event far outweighs the ever so common dollar sign. 
photo courtesy: golden boy

Ward dominates Kessler to win WBA super middleweight title

Press Release: OAKLAND, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2009) — The United States is alive and well in the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
In a scintillating performance, undefeated hometown favorite Andre Ward (21-0, 13 KOs) captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight title with a dominant 11th-round technical decision over Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler (42-2, 32 KOs) in the Group Stage 1 Super Six World Boxing Classic bout for both boxers Saturday on SHOWTIME®.

An exciting, one-sided match was stopped at 1:42 of the 11th round by the ringside physician, Dr. Smith Ketchum, due to cuts around both of Kessler’s eyes. After 10 completed rounds, Ward was ahead by the scores of 98-92 on two of the scorecards and 97-93 on the other.

A raucous, pro-Ward crowd of 10,277, which included Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Famer Herschel Walker, Metallica drummer and Kessler fan, fellow Dane Lars Ulrich, Super Six fighter Andre Dirrell and Strikeforce Mixed Martial Arts stars Scott Smith, Josh Thompson and Gilbert Melendez, turned out at the Oracle Arena for what became a virtuoso performance by Ward..

Kessler entered the scheduled 12-round fight as a co-favorites to win the tournament and a 3:1 favorite to beat Ward, but after a career-best performance, Ward has perhaps stamped himself as the one to beat.
“This was my dream come true and right now I’m dreaming,’’ said an ecstatic Ward, who won an Olympic Games gold medal for the United States in 2004. “It may take a while for all of this to sink it, but I am enjoying it all. This is a moment I’ll never forget.’’

Heading into Saturday, the tournament had been an all European affair with Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch defeating Americans Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell in Germany and England, respectively, in their Group Stage 1 fights last Oct. 17 on SHOWTIME.

But the U.S. is now on the board, thanks to Ward, who made it three consecutive hometown favorites to win in the Super Six.

Standings after one round of the six-fighter, round-robin tournament: Abraham (three points), Ward and Froch (two points apiece) and Kessler, Taylor and Dirrell (zero points). Scoring in the first three Group Stages of the tournament are as follows: Win – 2 points (with a 1-point KO/TKO bonus); Draw – 1 point; Loss – 0 points.

Upcoming Group Stage 2 matchups (dates to be announced): Abraham vs. Dirrell; Froch vs. Kessler; and Ward vs. Taylor.

At the post-fight press conference, representatives from the city of San Francisco, speaking on behalf of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom officially presented a letter of proclamation that Saturday, Nov. 21, was officially Andre Ward day.

But this was Ward’s night, too, as he effectively switched from orthodox to southpaw, consistently beat Kessler to the punch, never gave the Dane a moment to relax and bloodied the defending champion around both eyes to the delight of the fans who chanted “USA, USA’’ on several occasions.
“He never hurt me,’’ Ward said. “I was a little surprised that they stopped it when they did. I had just connected with a big right hand and would like to have seen what would have happened if the round had continued.

“I felt like it was my time. We were not intimidated by Kessler's record. Everyone felt that we got the bad draw in the first round. We never believed that. We beat the top guy.

“This win is as much for me as it is for Virgil Hunter. He has an Olympic gold medal with me and now he has a world championship.
“There were two accidental butts. I am not a dirty fighter. Everyone knows that. I’m ready to go and take the next step.

Kessler, who’s only pro loss was to Joe Calzaghe, said, “He was the better man tonight, but I wish the fight could have gone on. I wanted to continue. The cuts were not dangerous.

“He was going in with his head all the time. He was punching in the clinch. I am not used to this and I got off my rhythm. I don’t know why he never received a warning.

“After the butt (in the eighth round) I could not see anymore. If I fight Andre Ward again, I cannot go straight forward or stay in the middle. I have to go side-to-side.’’

Regarding his next tournament fight, Kessler said, “I have to go back and see what I can improve and see if I still have it.’’

Gus Johnson (blow-by-blow), Al Bernstein and Antonio Tarver (analysts) called the action from ringside with Jim Gray and Jenn Brown serving as roving reports. The executive producer is David Dinkins, Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.

Saturday’s bout will re-air:


Wednesday, Nov. 25, 11 p.m. ET/PT SHOWTIME 2

The fight will be available On Demand beginning Tuesday, Nov. 24.

SHOWTIME Boxing Schedule: In seven days, promising undefeated lightweight John Molina (18-0, 14 KOs) will face Martin Honorio (26-4-1, 14 KOs) in the 10-round main event on a special Saturday edition of ShoBox: The New Generation on Nov. 28 (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). In the co-feature at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif., Rico Ramos (13-0, 8 KOs) will be opposed by Alejandro Perez (14-1-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.

On Friday, Dec. 4, at Chumash Resort Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif., hard-hitting, unbeaten junior middleweight Tyrone Brunson (20-0-1, 19 KO) will be opposed by Carson Jones (23-7-1 14 KOs) in the ShoBox 10-round main event. In the eight-round co-feature, undefeated Mauricio Herrera (13-0, 6 KOs) faces Mike Anchondo (29-2, 19 KOs) in a super lightweight bout.

In a terrific battle of unbeatens in the Saturday, Dec. 12 main event at Aqua Caliente Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm’’ Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs) of Palm Springs, Calif., will defend against Lamont “Havoc’’ Peterson (27-0, 13 KOs) of Washington, D.C. In the co-feature, Vic Darchinyan (32-2-1, 26 KOs) will risk his WBC and WBA 115-pound belts against Tomas Rojas (31-11-1, 22 KOs).

For information on all SHOWTIME Sports telecasts, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries from its events and complete information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic, please visit the website at

photo courtesy:

Kessler and Ward meet tonight in continuation of Super Six Tourney!

WBA super middleweight champion Mikkell Kessler will meet undefeated 2004 US Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward in a 12 round title affair at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.  In what is acknowledged as a home town fight for the challenger, Kessler has been in the ring with stiffer competition and has only one professional loss at the hands of Joe Calzaghe from November of 2007. 

Ward's claim to fame was his upset victory over the Russian world champion, Makarenko, to secure Olympic Gold in Athens Greece for the 2004 US team.  Early in his professional career, Ward had some question moments, when journeyman Daniel Boone managed to score a knockdown of Ward, but Ward went on to win that fight and has remained undefeated.  Kessler has fought  Calzaghe, as well as former super middleweight titlist Anthony Mundine, whom he managed to dominate.  Ward's biggest win came against Edison Miranda, whom he outscored to win win a unanimous decision this past May. 

Though one can never underestimate and undefeated young pugilist who brought a Gold medal back hom with him from the Olympics, this commentator believes Kessler holds a substantial edge in the experience as well as durability.  Both combatants have decent punching power, but Kessler carries the bigger wallup.  As mentioned previously, Ward has been hurt a few times before and was cut against Miranda in the first round of their fight.  Miranda was able to land some of his shots against Ward, yet Kessler's hand speed is classes above that of Miranda's.

Prediction: Kessler TKO 11.

Tonight's title fight will air on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

Team Mayweather will negotiate with Top Rank through Golden Boy Promotions CEO!

Floyd Mayweather Jr's lead advisor and confidant Leonard Ellerbe recently informed the Los Angeles Times that Team Mayweather is open to negotiating the Pacquiao fight through their co-promoter's CEO, Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer.

Ellerbe told The Times during a telephone interview, "Team Mayweather/Mayweather Promotions have been discussing our options and when we're finished, we'll let (co-promoter) Richard Schaefer express our position to Top Rank." This commentator supports that idea and believes that this is a fair and productive step, creating positive momentum that could possibly lead towards good faith negotiations in order to finalize this historic confrontation. Schaefer, who represents former super lightweight champion Ricky Hatton, is the gentlemen who effectively worked with Arum in arranging a deal to put together Pacquiao vs. Hatton.

Ellerbe continued, "It's no secret the camps don't see eye to eye, but this is bigger than boxing. We understand the magnitude of this." Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, whose relationship with Mayweather has deteriorated ever since their split in 2006, clearly does not see eye to eye professionally with Mayweather Promotions.  Ellerbe is correct in noting the magnitude of this fight; I believe he is sending a good message.  Such a potentially historical event is indeed considerably greater than any feud or discrepancy that might be ongoing. Golden Boy Promotions, on the other hand, has a constructive working relationship with Mayweather. Golden Boy has been successful in coming to terms with Top Rank, after a prolonged dispute between Arum and Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De la hoya had been preventing those two promotional companies from doing business.

Ellerbe failed to disclose the purse split that Mayweather is requesting, but assured The Times that if a fight with Pacquiao can not be made, Team Mayweather would purse a match with welterweight champion Shane Mosley if he is successful against WBC welterweight titlist Andre Berto on January 30.

photo courtesy: Las Vegas Review Journal

Are negotiations for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather over before they even began?

Following pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao's scintillating 12th round TKO of Miguel Cotto this past Saturday night, the boxing world has shifted its attention to the prospects of the long-awaited clash between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. In a recently televised statement on KTLA, Mayweather was quoted as saying, “Tell Manny Pacquiao to be his own man and stop letting everyone including his loud-mouthed trainer talk for him. If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight me, all he has to do is step up to the plate and say it himself."

Forgive me if I'm mistaking, but didn't that same tactic fail previously for both Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley? In 2006, if memory serves this commentator correctly, Margarito challenged Mayweather to a fight during the De la hoya vs. Mayorga post-fight press conference in Las Vegas while Mayweather was doing an interview, but Money May dismissed the challenge, claiming that Margarito had to win a few big fights and establish a reputation for himself before such an event could become reality.

Exactly two months ago this very day, following Mayweather's come back win over Marquez, Mosley was in the ring with Mayweather during his post-fight interview with Max Kellerman and he also confronted Mayweather in front of thousands in attendance as well as 1.6 million PPV television viewers. Mayweather, in a defensive manner, hastily replied, "I don't come up here and interrupt you when you're doing your interview. Don't disrespect me. Respect me as a man."

Taking those hypocritical responses into consideration, how exactly will Pacquiao be any more successful in landing a fight with Money May, by categorically stating that he is eager to face Floyd Mayweather, whereas an identical approach failed for both Margarito and Mosley? Hypocrisy at its finest, ladies and gentlemen. As of Monday afternoon, there were reports in the Manilla Times that Pacquiao was fully aware of Mayweather's request that he express an interest in fighting him. Pacquiao called Mayweather's bluff, as he declared, "OK, let's do it."

Pacquiao once again articulated his interest in facing Mayweather, when interviewed by Cher Calvin of KTLA, as you can also see for yourself in the following video.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who represents Pacquiao, has expressed his willingness to enter negotiations amidst his ongoing feud and soured relationship with the undefeated braggart. Arum admitted, “Maybe I prefer not to deal with him, but if your fighter wants a fight, you deal. Mayweather is not one of my favorite people, and I’m sure I’m not one of his. What difference does that make?” USA Today also reported on Monday that Mayweather would enter negotiations within 24 hours of Pacquiao's agreement to face him.

What exactly is the status of the negotiation process for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather at this time? According to Ben Thompson of, Mayweather is already considering fights with Matthew Hatton (brother of Ricky), Dimitry Salita, and Carlos Quintana (whom Paul Williams knocked out in less than a round last year). Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Salita have a fight coming up with WBA super lightweight champion Amir Khan? Isn't Quintana penciled in for a meeting with former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey on December 5 in Atlantic City, on the under of Williams vs. Martinez?

When questioned by a member of the media about a possible meeting with Mosley at the post-fight press conference following the Marquez fight, Mayweather replied, "Mosley has a fight scheduled. He should be in training right now." That being the case, why is Mayweather wasting his time considering other opponents who also have fights scheduled on the horizon? More importantly why are those options not Manny Pacquiao, less than 24 hours after both parties agreed to come together in good faith to produce the showdown that the world is clamouring to see? One can only hope that this is a petty ploy on behalf of Mayweather to gain greater leverage at the bargaining table for the Pacquiao fight.

Earlier this year, you may recall a post I published on this website, questioning Mayweather's willingness to face Pacquiao when the time came for the two superstars to meet in a big showdown to determine boxing's best pound for pound competitor. During that period of time, many may have felt as though I was being too critical of the former pound for pound king. Noticing the sequence of events that have unfolded over the past four days, perhaps the question once again resurfaces. Is Floyd Mayweather, Jr going to avoid a fight with Manny Pacquiao? will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Pacquiao sensational in 12th round stoppage of Cotto!

Last Saturday night was once again on hand at Miami Mike's Sports Zone in East Hanover, NJ, when pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao scored a 12th round TKO over defending champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV to claim the WBO welterweight title. Pacquiao's triumph could best be described as historic, as the pride of the Philippines has risen from 110lbs, and has now become a volatile force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division.

Criticism that Pacquiao is a little lightweight who can not take a powerful welterweight punch has been dispelled. In the first round, Cotto was able to keep Pacquiao at bay with his jab and land a number of telling blows that had the Pacquiao contingent concerned. From the second round on, Pacquiao turned up the tempo and began to find his punching range as he settled into a rhythm.

Pacquiao scored a flash knockdown of Cotto with a right hand in round three, but Cotto was not seriously hurt. In fact, Cotto seemed to be winning the fourth round, when Pacquiao stunned him with a left uppercut with only ten seconds remaining in the round. From that point forward, Pacquiao proceeded to gradually wear the Puerto Rican down with brutal power shots, particularly when he had Cotto on the ropes.

By the eighth round, it was apparent that the bloodied and battered Cotto had put forth a courageous effort, but at that time he was in complete retreat and trying his best to play out the clock and survive until the final bell. Pacquiao reigned a series of explosive flurries on his beaten foe in the twelfth and final round, prompting referee Jay Nady to call a hault to the contest 0:55 seconds into the round. With the monumental win, Pacquiao picks up his seventh world title.

The attention of the boxing world now turns to the long awaited clash between Pacquiao and undefeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr.