Monday, January 30, 2012

The Return of "JuanMa"

By Rich Mancuso

Showtime got the fight, the rematch with Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez set for March 10th at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in Puerto Rico. Last April, Salido knocked out Lopez and took the featherweight title for a second time. Since then Lopez has been on the comeback, also getting over some domestic issues at home

Top Rank, promoter of the fight and of Lopez had contemplated letting Lopez iron out his own issues. Once, he was one of their highly touted fighters and Bob Arum was looking at an eventual Lopez-Yuriorkis Gamboa main event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. But, Lopez had a setback and Gamboa had other ambitions moving up in weight.

That fight could still happen, but Lopez once again has to prove that he is this world class fighter that can overcome adversity. To Top Rank, this could be a make or break fight for Lopez. He is fighting the Mexican, Salido in his backyard. The issue also, as has been reported, is Lopez wants to train and fight in San Juan so he can be closer to his family.

Apparently that issue has been resolved. Arum is pleased and so is Lopez. The objective is to reclaim the featherweight title and once again take it one step at a time. Arum took this fight to Showtime. It had nothing to do with bitterness or a competitive war of words with HBO. To Arum, Showtime had the appropriate slot and he went with the date that was available, and the network values Lopez as a major fighter on their roster and televised the first fight.

At the press conference in Puerto Rico Tuesday, Lopez said “This fight is the most important of my career and I will train very hard to regain my title.” In that first fight, Salido put Lopez on the mat in the fifth round and the bout was called in the eighth when Lopez could not punch back. The three judges had the fight even when it was stopped.

However, something seemed to be wrong that night in Puerto Rico. Arum had alluded to Lopez not being as defensive in his prior fights at Madison Square Garden against Rogers Mtagwa in 2009, and in a featherweight title defense over Steve Luevano in 2010.

That was when Arum was leading to a build up for an eventual Lopez and Gamboa fight. But the promoter wanted his two fighters to milk in some more money before they met in the ring. Now, with Lopez fighting to regain a championship, and with Gamboa moving up in weight, the lure and possibility of that fight occurring have went out the window.

Lopez had one fight after the loss to Salido, stopping Mike Oliver in the second round back in October. Lopez said, “There were no excuses,” referring to the loss. If he loses this time, there will be no more room for excuses…

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Ortiz Has To Overcome Mayweather Loss To Be Considered The Best

By Rich Mancuso

Victor Ortiz still believes he did not lose to Floyd Mayweather Jr. The mental approach says that, yet his debut as a pay-per-view fighter was not classified as one that will be remembered. Those lasting images, Ortiz getting hit by a Mayweather punch in a ring, on HBO Pay-Per-View, have led to more questions.

Was the image of Ortiz tarnished? Is he classified as a legitimate championship fighter in an elite welterweight division? Time will tell in a few weeks when Ortiz opposes Andre Berto again, a 12-round bout televised on Showtime February 11th from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

“I still see myself as a world champion,” he says. “I will never bow down to not being a world champion because it wasn’t right what happened in my eyes.” He has had almost two months to contemplate what went wrong in losing the WBC welterweight title to Mayweather.

There have been meetings with his team, reviewing tape of the fight more than once, and courteous when answering questions to the media. The Berto camp feels his win over their fighter last April should have went their way. The judges scored it a unanimous decision for Ortiz, and both fighters were knocked down twice. Some classified this one as the 2011 Fight of the Year.

Ortiz would capitalize on his opportunity of winning the WBC Welterweight championship. The fight with Mayweather, though not as lucrative as would be for a champion, was supposed to lead to more. Major pay dates, exposure, and marketable, as this young champion who overcame adversity as a youngster. But one punch changed everything.

“I have a few chips on my shoulder from the first Berto fight,” he says. “It didn’t end the way I wanted it to end. And my last fight (Mayweather) wasn’t the greatest. So my roller coaster is re launching right now. I want to climax.”

It was written, and stated more than once. Victor Ortiz should not have been in the ring with Floyd Mayweather. He was outclassed, and most of all not a smart fighter who decided a head butt, in the corner, was a proper strategy. It was a defining moment of frustration and it was an approach, sadly remembered as a debacle.

Yes, it was not a climax against Mayweather. And there may not be another chance to fight him again. So, Ortiz realizes if there is any chance of a reunion with Mayweather, or meeting any of the other prominent fighters in the division, he must make a statement and defeat Berto a second time.

“Once again it comes back that I’m the underdog,” he says. “That’s the story of my life. At the same time, let’s not forget about this much. I was a 140-pounder in the first fight. Now I’m a natural 147.”

And before going into the Mayweather fight, Ortiz was a major underdog. He had many believing it could be pulled off, that Mayweather returning to the ring after 16- months would have that ring rust. The first few rounds, Ortiz was strong and aggressive and he had the skeptics fooled. The rest of the fight is history, a loss on the record of Ortiz that a fight fan will never forget.

To that, Ortiz says, “That part of my career is over. It is time to move on with Berto. Obviously people go through their ups and downs. But I’m having fun and enjoying going through my ups and downs. At the end of the day I’m just trying to be one of the greats.”

Golden Boy Promotions and Lou DiBella are co-promoters of the fight. Obviously they have an interest as to who will win. Berto is looking to restore his mark as a formidable welterweight, and Ortiz is seeking redemption to get back where he wants to be.

At first Berto was implicating Ortiz for using steroids as to a reason why he lost last April. Then he retracted his statement and said, “Ortiz was a better fighter that night.” Both have agreed to drug testing and that won’t be an issue. The focus will be who the better fighter will be and where they proceed.

This will be the first significant fight of the year and for Victor Ortiz, perhaps now more important than the Mayweather fight. He does not want to come off the Mayweather ending with further damage as to not living up to expectations. He intends to make a statement that the Mayweather chapter is over, and this meeting with Berto will be memorable.”

“He gave me a shot,” says Ortiz about his title opportunity a first time. But this one will be different because the winner will be in line for another title opportunity.

This post is sponsored in part by Bay Club Bayside & Garden City Homes For Sale

Hopkins Wants Dawson On The Boardwalk

By Rich Mancuso

The first fight with Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson was shifted from the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey. Territorial venue issues with Main Events, the New Jersey based promotion caused the fight venue shift to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

At the time, it did matter to Hopkins. His supporters would offer their displeasure to travel further and see Hopkins, the oldest fighter to hold a championship belt. Dawson went about his business, also not pleased that that there was a different venue for the fight. But he continued to do his business.

Now when the two meet again, and for the WBC light heavyweight title, held by Hopkins, the situation of where the April 28th bout takes place will be an issue. Especially for Hopkins, the Golden Boy promoted champion who favors Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City as the venue to defend his title.

“This is where it should have been the first time,” commented Hopkins, adding that Boardwalk Hall has been a venue of historic fights, more so it is Hopkins territory, no more than an hour drive from his hometown in Philadelphia. Dawson, who thought he won the title in the first fight, and later would have to give back the belt to Hopkins, would not have to travel far from New Haven Connecticut.

According to Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, Boardwalk Hall appears to be the venue, and HBO is a leader in televising the championship bout. It is also the last fight that Hopkins has in his deal with HBO. There is a score to settle and it is a fight, WBC mandated which resulted from the controversy of the first fight when Hopkins, according to referee Pat Russell, could not continue.

That second round second was one of the controversial endings of a championship HBO Pay-Per-View fight. Hopkins has completed his road to recovery and is ready again to defend the title. A third fight with Hopkins and Jean Pascal was discussed, however, with the WBC mandatory in place Pascal will once again have to wait for another opportunity.

“The shoulder is ready,” commented Hopkins, 53-3-2, who became the oldest fighter in boxing history to hold a title at 46 years of age when he defeated Pascal in their second fight last May. According to the WBC, a third fight is still possible, all of course pending on the outcome of the second Dawson-Hopkins fight.

Hopkins, a fan favorite who continues to stamp his mark in the Boxing Hall of Fame, has said he will continue to fight as long as his body cooperates. He said that defeating Pascal was a continuation of his legacy, as was the case when he defended his title against Dawson.. However, this time the legacy he wants, is to make sure there is a decisive winner no matter where the fight takes place.

“I have a chance to settle this,” said Hopkins by phone when the date for a return with Dawson was made public. “Straighten this all out,” he said. “A real athlete, don’t want to win on a disqualification.” The no -decision was also an issue, and Hopkins an old school fighter, has always stated that boxing needs to be corrected by doing the proper thing for fans.

As Hopkins continued to recover, at a rehabilitation facility in his hometown, he heard the emotions from fans. They want him to continue and there had to be a decisive ending with Dawson. After the first ending, he contemplated what would be the future. If the shoulder would not heal properly, the Hopkins legacy would not continue.

However, the champion has a body of a 24-year old, and takes his conditioning seriously. “Dawson has a chance to prove to the world what he thinks he can do to me,” he says. “And I have a chance to prove that he’s not going to do what he thinks he’s going to do,”

Because of the first outcome, the fight will not be a pay-per-view telecast. So the other issue is revenue fees from HBO and who will get what. Dawson, training in New Haven will be available to update his plan for the return bout in the next few days and his promoter, Gary Shaw is negotiating the financial issues and venue with Schaefer and HBO.

All of that does not matter to the boxing fan. They want to see a good ending in the second fight, even if Boardwalk Hall is not the venue. The Atlantic City age of the big fight has been limited since the retirement of the late champion Arturo Gatti. Though Sergio Martinez, the unofficial middleweight champion has had a good run at Boardwalk Hall. The recent Showtime Super Six 160-championship bout with Carl Froch and Andre Ward did not draw as expected in December.

All of that does mean something to the boxing industry. Big fights and major venues, Hopkins, though is more interested in having a resolution to who should be the winner. As much as the preference is to fight in Atlantic City, there is that itch to get back in the ring and continue the legacy. He scored upset wins, as an underdog on the boardwalk against Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik.

“I have a lot of history of making history in Atlantic City,” says Hopkins.

This post is sponsored in part by Bayside Coops & Garden City Real Estate

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sulaiman Instigates Chavez/Martinez

By Rich Mancuso

Jose Sulaiman, the WBC President opened his mouth again and said that their middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is not afraid of Sergio Martinez. Now, why would Sulaiman be so defensive of the WBC middleweight champion who is mandated to defend against Martinez at some point this year?

Sulaiman is very conscious of the media, in particular Mexico City outlets that constantly monitor Chavez Jr. They believe that Sulaiman is protecting Chavez Jr, that all stems from a continued business and friendship relationship with the legendary champion Julio Caesar Chavez, father of the champion.

“With all respect to Mexican boxing fans, I inform you that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has never said that he won’t face Martinez,”said Sulaiman in a statement. “I know Chavez. I know he has the same brave heart as his father.” Chavez defends his title against Marco Antonio Rubio, February 4th on HBO…

Arum is incensed that he has no tickets for the Super Bowl in Indianapolis a week from Sunday. Apparently, Arum, a fan of the New York Giants, who has attended every Super Bowl game, with the exception of two, got no tickets from a lottery system….

Nonito Donaire, “The Filipino Flash” reportedly is in line for a bout with the winner of Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido and will be at ringside at the Roberto Clemente Stadium in San Juan Puerto Rico for the fight on March 10th… With all due respect, why is former heavyweight champion John Ruiz discussing a comeback after a long awaited retirement that was official last year?

This post is sponsored in part by Woodmere Homes for Sale & Glen Cove Homes For Sale

Tarver's Challenge To B-Hop Gets Attention

By Rich Mancuso

This is a slow time for the boxing season with no major fights on the agenda for a few more weeks. So, that leaves room for continued speculation and Antonio Tarver, the Showtime analyst, and former champion made some noise on Tuesday.

Tarv er, apparently with some free time before Showtime gets busy with the upcoming Andre Berto-Victor Ortiz fight, said he could be a possible, interesting, and next opponent for light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins. Either as a cruiserweight or light heavyweight, Tarver claimed Hopkins getting in the ring with him would be more enticing than another Hopkins-Chad Dawson bout.

However, the WBC has mandated that Hopkins, once again their champion, defend the title again with Dawson. Hopkins has more interest in meeting Jean Pascal a third time, and reports from the Dawson camp in New Haven Connecticut are indicating they are prepared to meet Hopkins a second time.

Tarver created s a stir, social media again as the outlet. At the end of the day Tarver would say “Thanks for listening people. It was an interesting day.” Hopkins did not respond and could not be reached for comment. And at one point the name of Roy Jones Jr. came into the equation. Tarver made reference that he would defeat Jones again, that Pascal would have to wait in line, and he would be the perfect opponent for B-Hop.

There are discussions for Tarver to possibly step in the ring with cruiser Steve Cunningham, and he made reference to once again changing a scope of the heavyweight division. Though a challenge was not made to the Klitschko brothers who hold two-thirds of the heavyweight titles.

This post is sponsored in part by Woodmere Real Estate & Glen Cove Real Estate

Cotto-Pacquiao Is NOT Set

By Rich Mancuso

The way Bob arum sees it a second fight with Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao has not been made. The fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is another story, and according to Arum, Mayweather can keep his May 5 date but it won’t be with Pacquiao.

Tuesday was another day of this and that pertaining to the two biggest names in the sport. Arum was irate about an internet report, which claimed, a press conference had been set in New York City for this coming Monday that would announce the second fight with Cotto against Pacquiao. In that report there were further claims that Pacquiao continues to avoid Mayweather because Arum is afraid of Mayweather,

The matter continues to be Pacquiao, and a cut over his right eye that still needs time to heel after his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. Arum, who met with Pacquiao in the Philippines last week, is waiting to hear his champion about possible opponents for a June fight either against Marquez, Cotto, Timothy Bradley or Lamont Peterson.

The venue and purse split for the mega-fight with Pacquiao and Mayweather are still the main issues. Top Rank is going ahead with plans to erect a large venue on the Las Vegas strip, adjacent to the MGM Grand Hotel to accommodate as many fans as possible.

There is not enough time to put the fight together in May. And though it continues to appear that Arum and Pacquiao are looking as the bad guys in all of this, the logical explanation is that Mayweather is keeping his May 5th date, still without an opponent. Though all the reports say at some point in the next few days it will be Mayweather against Canelo Alvarez.

Arum is also incensed that reports of Pacquiao set for Cotto are coming from Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, the third man in the Mayweather picture. Apparently Schaefer, tied in with a boxing web site, is feeding information that does not get verified. And with the age of social media, with editing not as it was in the old newspaper era, anything can get published or is made to be believed.

Cotto remains in Puerto Rico and Arum is open to working with the three-time champion. Because Cotto has not re-signed his contract with Top Rank, it does not necessarily mean he will not deal with Arum. But there always is a possible scenario that Cotto could go ahead and make his own fight with Mayweather, though the more likely picture is Pacquiao will pick Cotto as his next opponent in June.

Does this mean once again that Mayweather and Pacquiao is dead? No, because Arum is open to Pacquiao fighting in November. Yes, to more drama and the mega-fight continuing to be a fantasy and more to write and discuss.

This post is sponsored in part by Great Neck Apartments & Five Towns Homes For Sale

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dropping Elbows with DieHard Derek

How do you feel about the Monday Night SUPER SHOW themes? What really makes a SUPER SHOW? I think WWE dropped the ball and they concept SUPER SUCKS!

Read and Discuss the WWE Monday Night RAW Super Show

You knew this was coming.... Time to talk about the return of Chris Jericho... I can imagine your what you think... Want a piece of my mind?

Read and Discuss Chris Jericho's WWE Return

A Message To The Hardcore Legend, Mick Foley on The Art Of Selling

Read and Discuss The Message To Mick Foley

One segment on RAW was absolutely painful - not only because of how it was executed, but because there is SO MUCH potential for those who were involved....Plus - allow me to give WWE creative a lesson in EFFECTIVE BOOKING!

Read and Discuss the Four WWE Wrestlers Creative Is Not Booking Right

BOOOOOM!!!!.... You know what that was?.... The sound of WWE dropping the ball with John Cena, The Rock and Kane!

Read and Discuss the WWE's Big Red Flop

Has the WWE slayed The American Dragon? Why isn't Daniel Bryan working...even with the heavyweight title around his waist?

Read and Discuss Daniel Bryan as WWE Champion

Share your thoughts and opinions on the death of Brodus Clay.

Rerad and Discuss R.I.P. Brodus Clay

What does the wrestling industry have in common with the US economy...? It's on the brink of a least from an emotional stand point. Wanna know how President DieHard would stimulate the wrestling economy? Check this out!

Read and Discuss Wrestling Economics

Check out DieHard Derek's Pro Wrestling Videos and Pro Wrestling Blog

Pacquiao-Mayweather Nonsense Ends Here

*Rich Mancuso can be heard Sunday nights from 6-8pm EST on Keep It In The Ring Radio at Call in and interact with him or reach him directly at

By Rich Mancuso

From a personal perspective, this writer has had enough of the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. theatre and drama. And until further notice there will be no more listening to what Mayweather, Pacquiao, or what Bob Arum have to say unless the contract is signed, sealed and delivered. Fight fans have had enough, so has the boxing media.

Mayweather made the call to Pacquiao, as reported by ESPN. Top Rank, promoter of Pacquiao will not deny the call. All they say is, “Pacquiao will fight June 9th and an opponent is to be determined.” We know this, Pacquiao will not fight Mayweather May 5th, or June 9th and could meet Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley or get Juan Manuel Marquez a fourth time. It is absurd and we have had enough.
Right now this is the only news that boxing media can write and discuss. Even those, not in the know are in the discussion. The fact is, Mayweather continues to talk and it is making Pacquiao and Arum look bad.

It has become a mockery. You-Tube which, can be fact or fiction, made the rounds with a prank phone call Mayweather placed to Pacquiao on Wednesday that created a buzz on Face Book and Twitter. Was it real? Of course not, because a conversation of this magnitude would never be released, and in the old days, when fights were made face-to- face, phone conversations with promoters and fighters were made known.

The promoters, then Don King and Arum, had the late Murray Goodman and Irving Rudd do the talking, the old school boxing publicist as they were known. And it was official when all the details and facts were signed, sealed and delivered. However in this age of bloggers, web sites, and social media, who are you to believe? This is how boxing has changed, and with Mayweather and Pacquiao it has been a two-year fiasco of words and rumors.

It has been official one day, and off the next. A fight that is losing interest with fans, as the media continues to write and talk about revenue that will be made and how all records will surpass any of the other mega-fights in boxing history. In addition, you do get tired of hearing how much this fight is needed for the sport.

Correction, the sport is not just about Mayweather and Pacquiao. There is Canelo Alvarez, Abnar Mares, Nonito Donaire. Sergio Martinez, Lamont Peterson, Andre Berto, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. and many more. Except, we as fans and the media are so immersed with this Mayweather-Pacquiao drama and that is all we write and talk about.

When all is said and done, the famous expression, with exception to Mayweather Pacquiao and company, this fight will eventually be made. ESPN breaks the story about the phone call and the so-called sports experts, those who could not name another fighter in the business, become the experts.
Except this is Mayweather and Pacquiao, and a major story the past two years with boxing has been…..Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. There has always been a history of premature talk in the sport, and with this fight the rumors and confirming of what is true or false have never been accurate.

From the steroid testing issue, the venue, and now the 50/50 revenue split, you never know what to comprehend. We do know that Arum is half- way there when he says that a 40,000 temporary stadium is under construction on the Las Vegas strip to host the fight. Though, Arum has also said he would like to see the fight held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas.

Keeping the fight in Las Vegas will favor Mayweather and Arum. Mayweather, who resides in Las Vegas, wants to stay home. Arum prefers a tax structure to stage this fight in the states of Nevada or Texas, which benefits Pacquiao because of his Filipino residency.

That rules out New York City and Madison Square Garden, the ideal venue, because the Garden is the so-called “Mecca” of boxing but the tax issue is not want Arum sees as reasonable for Top Rank or Pacquiao in New York. And Mayweather is adamant with his stance regarding choice of venue and a percentage of the revenues, more so the split that will come from final pay-per-view receipts.
So every word that comes from Mayweather, we listen and then await a response from Arum. Manny Pacquiao has an easier time negotiating legislation as a Congressman in the Philippines, and at this point still leaves the bargaining and timetable to his promoter.

In the end, rumors are a part of every sport. Players get traded and big time contracts are negotiated, but boxing is not played every day. So when Mayweather, Arum, or Pacquiao speak, it is always a story. Except this is a story of theatre and drama, maybe better than the way William Shakespeare wrote.
The Shakespearian drama had conflict and ended in tragedy. We can only hope this conflict of Mayweather and Pacquiao ends with a better result, a fight the boxing fan still anticipates waiting for a date, time, and venue.

So the next time you hear either participant saying something, close your eyes and clog your ears. You won’t hear anything on this end until the fight is signed, sealed, and delivered to the boxing fan and for a sport that needs more than Mayweather and Pacquiao talk.

This post is sponsored in part by Great Neck Rentals & Five Towns Real Estate

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Celebrating "The Greatest" on His 70th Birthday

By Rich Mancuso

To many he was “The Greatest Fighter of All-Time.” Muhammad Ali would say it that way, and we all believed because it was the truth. On his 70th birthday Tuesday, boxing once again received some deserved acclaim and a lot of that has to be attributed to Ali.

There was the unpredictability, the punch, and of course the foot- work, that “Floated like a Butterfly.” And while it can be open for debate, there is enough fact and evidence that Muhammad Ali was indeed and perhaps “The Greatest Fighter of All-Time.”

So when Ali reached a milestone, boxing was again in the spotlight. The sport always was in the headlines when the three-time heavyweight champion ruled a division that epitomized greatness. It was boxing, old school as we knew it, the sport of kings that had one legitimate heavyweight champion.

No alphabet soup champions. It was Muhammad Ali, a spokesperson for the sport when one champion was recognized as the best. Years later, it is a different and slower Ali. Not doing the shuffle, or much talking but still a great ambassador for the sport.

It was like yesterday when Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, would make an impact. Boxing then was a sport of kings. The late New York sports scribe, Dick Young informed this cub reporter in the 1980’s “Muhammad Ali was the easy story. You would ask the question and it was all about Ali.” In other words, there was no reason for a standard follow-up question.

And at a time when boxing was on the major networks, when pay-per-view and punch stats were never heard of, Ali was the theatre. The magnificent words of a champion that came with his punches lived up to expectations. We were never disappointed and he may be the most sought after former athlete of all-time.
You don’t want this to be a column in the memory of Muhammad Ali. That hopefully will not come for a long time, though those in his presence say his words are fewer, the walk much slower, and the shaking is more evident from the Parkinson Syndrome he has confronted the last decade.

A few years ago, this veteran reporter accompanied boxing author and historian Bert Sugar to see Ali at a hotel suite in New York City. Sugar recently published a book about Ali which was co-authored by Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee. It was about the exploits of Ali and how Dundee, giving a youngster Cassius Clay a chance at boxing fame.

Ali was gracious, as he was asked to rate the all-time heavyweights of his time. There was no conflict or memory loss regarding the same subject that he told Sugar for another book, “The Ultimate Book of Boxing Lists.”
Here is how Ali organized his top ten heavyweights and noted without including himself:

Jack Johnson: “Defensive fighter”
Jack Dempsey: “Strong could take a punch”
Gene Tunney: “Great left jab. Straight punches”
Joe Louis: Knockout punching…Fast”
Ezzard Charles: “Scientific Boxer”
Jersey Joe Walcott: “Movement. He could come in, then move out.”
Rocky Marciano: “Rugged. He could take a punch and keep on coming.”
Joe Frazier: “Hit hard. Brawler.”
George Foreman: “Strong puncher. Hit hard. Dynamic.”
Larry Holmes: ‘Strong. He beat me, didn’t he?”

Very interesting as to how Ali put Marciano eighth, the only retired and undefeated heavyweight champion. And there has always been the debate and comparison, as to who was better, or who would win if they had ever traded fists in the ring.

And interesting as to how Ali rated Frazier, the late heavyweight champion who gave him his first defeat at Madison Square Garden in 1971 in the epic fight known as “The Fight of the Century.” Yes, it was an era of boxing that Ali knew and analyzed.

We hope that Muhammad Ali stays with us a long time more. Because he is a legend at the age of 70, and when we talk about the good era of boxing his name is at the top of the list.

A Happy Birthday to you Champ. Boxing needs you more now than ever!

This post is sponsored in part by Glen Cove Homes For Sale & Bay Club Bayside

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Top Rank Says, May 5th Date Is Not For Pacquiao and Mayweather

By Rich Mancuso

Despite reports coming from the Philippines that Manny Pacquiao has accepted the May 5th date to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., Top Rank, promoter of Pacquiao, as of early Friday denied reports that the mega-fight has been made. Bob Arum, after spending three days with Pacquiao was en- route to Las Vegas and was expected to have a comment later today.

The next opponent for Pacquiao could be another meeting with Miguel Cotto, or a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.

The Mayweather camp on Friday continued to call out Pacquiao. Sources have confirmed that Mayweather has chosen Canelo Alveraz to be the opponent he meets for the WBC welterweight title on May 5th from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
“It is all rumor at this point and Manny will be fighting in early June, not May 5th,” commented Lee Samuels of Top Rank also a spokesperson for Arum. The stipulations as to a purse, whether it be a 50-50 split and a venue also have to be arranged.

Arum has contended that Pacquiao is not avoiding Mayweather. And Pacquiao, as of late Thursday indicated that he was acceptable to the anticipated and long awaited fight. However, it appears that conflicting reports about the May 5th date, partly due to rumors and blog reports have everyone believing that the fight has been secured.

A major issue at this point to solidify the fight is where it would be held. Mayweather started the speculation a few months ago by securing the MGM for a May 5th date, also stating that he wanted “The Little Fella,” with obvious reference to Pacquiao.

Pacquiao has agreed to the Olympic drug testing procedures, a main obstacle that derailed the fight that was planned almost two years ago. Then last week, Mayweather had his 90-day jail sentence for domestic violence pushed to early June which opened up the door for more speculation that his may 5th date would be a meeting with Pacquiao.

Arum wants the fight to be held in a 40,000 seat venue. Mayweather has reportedly stated that he wants the fight to stay in Las Vegas which also has become an issue.

Adding to the fury of all the rumors is speculation that Miguel Cotto would be the opponent for Mayweather on May 5th. As of Friday, Cotto has not re-signed his deal with Arum and Top Rank. And Golden Boy Promotions, a middle man for Mayweather, has done business with Cotto in the past.

Calls to Golden Boy were not returned and Richard Schaefer, CEO, could not be reached for comment. Any negotiation with Top Rank and the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight from the beginning have been conducted with Schaefer.

This post is sponsored in part by Garden City NY Real Estate & Bay Club

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why Sergio Martinez has Macklin and Not Chavez Jr.

By Rich Mancuso

The World Boxing Council has mandated that Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. defend his middleweight title against Sergio Martinez the Diamond Belt champion. But first there are some usual boxing political games that won’t see this fight occur until the summer or fall season.

The fight is logical. Martinez was unjustly stripped of the title by the WBC and Chavez was in the right place at the right time. So, boxing fans have to wait. Instead on March 17th at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Martinez will defend his bogus title against Matthew Macklin of Birmingham England.

In a few weeks, Chavez defends the title against Marco Antonio Rubio, February 4th on HBO. This is not what the WBC had in mind. But before their mandatory ruling, Top Rank had scheduled the Rubio fight for Chavez. And, despite the efforts of Lou DiBella, Promoter of Martinez, who has been advocating a lucrative payday for his fighter, Bob Arum would not listen.

Maybe Arum was too caught up with securing the next fight for his prize, Manny Pacquiao, or he was doing everything to keep his fighter, Chavez Jr. away from Martinez. He says, the WBC mandated the Chavez title defense after the Rubio fight was made.

That has not made DiBella a happy man. The New York based promoter, also calling the shots for Andre Berto, who meets Victor Ortiz next month, has been at war with Arum in the past. It has been a quiet confrontation. DiBella has been outspoken regarding Arum keeping his fighters from meeting Sergio Martinez.
Nevertheless, all of the friction and WBC politics takes nothing away from what Martinez and Macklin will offer on St. Patrick’s Day in New York City. It could be a brawl, and of course implications for both fighters. Should Martinez lose to Macklin, something that has not occurred since defeating Kelly Pavlik. Paul Williams and Darren Barker, the fight with Chavez will have no significance.
“Macklin is a warrior,” says DiBella. “He comes to fight. He comes forward. He throws a lot of punches, he pressures. He gives everything he has to give in the ring.” And it was no surprise, because the entire boxing world knew that Martinez would choose Macklin had Chavez not been available.

There is no telling where this will go, that is, the continued and quiet war of words between Arum and DiBella. When one poses the question to DiBella, he says, “It’s about Sergio Martinez and what is best for him. He is marketable and deserves a lucrative fight. We can’t keep chasing for the opportunity. Sergio is ready and when discussing best pound-for-pound you have to put Sergio in the group.”

Well said by DiBella who at times last year, especially after Martinez stopped Barker, stated that Martinez was in a class with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Though in his title defense over Barker, Martinez struggled and had a difficult time throwing the combinations.

Macklin is one of those fighters from England that presents another challenge for Martinez. He can punch, brawl, and if Martinez wants that inevitable opportunity with Chavez, he has to fight. He says, “This is the type of fight I like. It brings out the best of me.”

Macklin is coming off his fight with WBA Middleweight champion Felix Sturm in Germany. After that, he signed with DiBella and relocated to New York City. There had been talks that Macklin would step aside had Martinez met Chavez and be first in line to fight the winner.

The fight is also being billed as “The Real Middleweight Championship.” Consider that Chavez is the WBC champion, Martinez with a belt of gratitude that has no significance. Also added to the mix is an end to the rumors that DiBella was moving Martinez from HBO to Showtime.

Said Kery Davis, the Senior Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports “Sergio Martinez has become must-see television and he is recognized as the middleweight champion of the world.”

That alone should say enough as to why Martinez is still with HBO. Showtime was never in the running to obtain Martinez, as had been rumored for the past few months. And, DiBella, with the HBO ties, was fully aware that Arum and HBO are tied in with Chavez. So, the fight with Martinez and Chavez almost certainly gets televised on HBO with discussions perhaps as a pay-per-view event.

Because at this juncture, said as it is, Sergio Martinez and DiBella are looking for that lucrative pay date. Arum and DiBella in the end will work together, they have to, because HBO will be counting on Martinez and Chavez to be one of their mega fights this year.

This post is sponsored in part by Garden City Homes For Sale & Glen Cove Real Estate

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mayweather Tweet Won't Bring Out Pacquiao

By Rich Mancuso

Despite the Floyd Mayweather Jr. tweet on Tuesday that called out Manny Pacquiao, don’t expect the mega-fight to happen on that famous May 5th date. As Bob Arum, the promoter of Pacquiao met his champion in the Philippines, the agenda was about the next opponent and it was not going to be Mayweather.

Well, for the moment it won’t be the May date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A Top Rank spokesperson confirmed that Pacquiao will fight again in early June, with three or four possible opponents that were put on the table.

Pacquiao lets Arum do the talking, and in the past few days it appears from his statements that Arum is making peace with Mayweather, his main adversary. It has been a two-year battle of accusations, third party involvement, and hatred that has kept the most lucrative fight in boxing history from taking place.

And it may still happen at the end of the year, that is if Mayweather is in condition to fight after serving his 90-days in prison, a date that was moved to early June which started the talk and speculation that Mayweather will meet Pacquiao in May.

“One of four,” was the word from Top Rank on Tuesday. “Manny will decide Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley, or Lamont Peterson.” He added, that word will come soon maybe by the end of the week. And, unless there is a change in strategy, Arum and Pacquiao will go for a fourth fight with Marquez.
That would leave Mayweather with more time to prepare for Pacquiao. Because both Arum and Pacquiao look like the enemy through the eyes of fans and media, the fight will have to be made. The most likely scenario is for Mayweather to keep the May date and fight Canelo Alvarez.

In the meantime, since the Pacquiao third fight win over Marquez, Arum has been advocating for a fourth and decisive encounter, a fight that would draw interest as the Mayweather question continues. Arum would like to see Pacquiao and Marquez at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. Pacquiao would not take the fight in Mexico as much as Marquez would want it there.

That fight would be more marketable on pay-per-view than another bout between Pacquiao and Cotto. Pacquiao defeated Cotto, the junior middleweight title holder, in 2009 as a welterweight in the 11th round. And what makes the Cotto mix more interesting, is his desire to fight Mayweather.

His contract with Arum has still not been signed, sealed, and delivered and Cotto was rumored to be the opponent for Mayweather after his commanding win over Antonio Margarito in early December. Cotto has expressed an interest to expand his promotional company and has secluded himself in Puerto Rico.

Cotto, has been informed, if his deal with Arum is delivered, that Madison Square Garden would be his next fight. And if possible the Garden would be booked for a Cotto fight once again a night before the annual National Puerto Rican Parade in New York City. The Garden is a favorite venue for Cotto, and he defended his title two prior times on the eve of the parade in mid-June.

That leaves Bradley and Peterson as names for Pacquiao. Bradley, now with Top Rank would be a viable opponent and has been advocating a fight with Pacquiao. However, Arum has stated that Bradley is not marketable, as of yet, regarding pay-per-view numbers. That may not make Bradley happy, but the unfortunate factor for Bradley is Pacquiao is the money man for Arum.

And with the talk of Pacquiao’s skills dwindling, questions about his legs in the last two fights with Shane Mosley and Marquez, perhaps Bradley could be the right opponent. But Arum is more concerned about what will generate more revenue now as Pacquiao could have two or three fights remaining, one of them with hopes it will be Mayweather.

That leaves Peterson, who may not be an option. The new 140-pound champion, who won the title in a controversial year end fight over Amir Khan, will be forced to have his first title defense against Khan. It will be a return bout, brought on by the issues that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer sought that will give Khan another shot at redemption.

Ironic of course, as Schaefer handles Khan, and is also the third man in the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations. Arum, according to word from Top Rank is willing to sit down with Schaefer and iron out details for the fight. Schaefer could not be reached for comment as Mayweather made his move.

The Tweets were legitimate, all coming from Mayweather’s account. “Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see.” Later he would tweet that his jail sentence was pushed back, that the date was saved, and he called Pacquiao “A Punk.”

However, the world of social media is no way to negotiate a fight. Fight fans have had enough of the Tweets and want the fight to become reality. Regardless, Mayweather once again made the move, and now it is in the court once again with Arum and Pacquiao.

Surely this will continue. Arum is not only in Manila to discuss Marquez, Cotto, Bradley and Peterson. And if an answer to this latest social media message from Mayweather is not forthcoming, well Arum and Pacquiao will now be the culprits as to why the mega fight does not happen.

If the fight never comes to fruition, at least Floyd Maywether Jr, with all his legal issues, continues to make this interesting boxing theatre.

This post is sponsored in part by Forest Hills Real Estate & Garden City Real Estate

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Speculation on Next Mayweather Fight

So here we go again when it comes to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Immediately after a Las Vegas judge said Maywether has until June 1st to turn himself in, a 90-day jail sentence for guilt on a domestic violence charge, well the talk intensified. Does this mean that the famous May 5th date will bring Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao together?

Don’t count on the fight, because we have been through this one too many times in the past few years. Furthermore, Bob Arum, promoter of Pacquiao is not talking and a spokesperson said, “Nothing has been set.” Meaning, Pacquiao is occupied now with legislative duties as a Congressman in the Philippines, and has not set his boxing agenda for 2012.

If Arum does not jump on the opportunity, surprisingly by the decision to keep Mayweather free to fight, then he will be viewed as the enemy as to why the fight will not happen. There is now enough time for Mayweather to prepare for an early May fight, likewise the same can be said for Pacquiao.

In the meantime, the names of Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto are all speculation for Mayweather. The Cotto talk started after his win over Antonio Margarito early last month. More speculation was Cotto not renewing his contract with Top Rank and going ahead to promote a Mayweather fight under his promotional banner.

Again, this is all speculation. Nobody can offer a direct comment, and perhaps the Mayweather stay will only intensify the discussion as the first major news of the year. Leonard Ellerbe, manager of Mayweather did say in a statement, “The Mayweather camp was pleased the judge granted a postponement to allow for a mega-fight.”

Though, again, reference to the mega-fight made no mention of Pacquiao, Cotto, or anyone else. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas still has the date booked for a major fight card, one that was announced by Mayweather late last year. There has been no further mention of the mega-fight opponent being against the “Little Fella.”
Mayweather appears to need income with lawsuits. But it appears the fighter known as “Money” has no problem spending as he was seen driving a new White Bentley Mulsanne reportedly worth about $290,000. His last two fights against Victor Ortiz, where he reclaimed the WBC welterweight title and with Shane Mosley earned him over $20 million. The fight with Pacquiao could earn the two fighters over $25 million apiece and would be the most lucrative fight in boxing history.
But that is all in the balance once again. Because, as fight fans have come to know, the talk of Mayweather-Pacquiao is just that. If and when the fight happens, all the talk comes to a conclusion. We wait for Arum now, and if he is acceptable to negotiation, then the ball once again is in the court of Mayweather.

This post is sponsored in part by Nassau County Apartments & Five Towns Homes For Sale


Julio Chavez Jr. will have a mandatory defense of his WBC middleweight title, so will Sergio Martinez the WBC Diamond belt champion. The WBC has ordered a mandatory for Chavez, more important then, Martinez defending the not so well known Diamond Belt.

Martinez and Chaves will proceed with fights before getting in the ring together for a possible March clash. Recently the WBC gave consent for Chavez to defend against Marco Antonio Rubio on February 4th. Martinez and his promoter, Lou DiBella, will hold a press conference in New York City Wednesday of next week announcing his next fight against Matthew Macklin on March 17th from the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Both fights will be broadcast on HBO, ruling out all the speculation that Showtime has secured the next Martinez fight. However, with Showtime as a projected major player in boxing this year, DiBella has hinted that Martinez, if indeed successful with Macklin, could take a Martinez-Chavez fight into a bid with HBO and Showtime.

There is some clarity as to how Showtime will be a major player with boxing and UFC programming this year. A comment by Stephen Espinoza, the new Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports mentions a consolidation of programming, and in the business that means a major commitment.

Six to eight events this year of UFC programming enables the network to cross promote boxing events, as well as generating more revenue to put in their commitment to televise boxing. There has been no word from Espinoza, who succeeded Ken Hirschman, now at HBO, as to upcoming pay-per-view plans.
However, with DiBella looking at Martinez possibly working a venture with Showtime, and with the February Showtime telecast of Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz, there is increasing reason to believe that Espinoza will pursue pay per view ventures. He is also tied in with Golden Boy Promotions, as a former employee, which makes it more credible to do business with Richard Schaefer, their CEO and Oscar De La Hoya….

Not ruling out a fourth fight between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, Arum has made constant reference to the fight, while the WBA has stripped Marquez of his lightweight title, “Super” as it is known. The WBA said due to their bylaws, Marquez failed to defend during the mandatory 18- months which vacates the title…
And with the Mayweather buzz again on Friday, Timothy Bradley, another Top Rank fighter, was looking at options for his next fight. Sources say if he stays at 140, Bradley would want the fight with Amir Khan. However, due to the controversial outcome of the Khan loss to Lamont Peterson, Bradley may have to wait as a return bout with Khan and Peterson is more likely.

And there is word that Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero could be the opponent for Mayweather is this May 5th date stays. He has been looking at Mayweather the past year. According to Schaefer, in his latest statement, there are other plans if it is not Pacquiao. “Guerrero or Canal Alvarez,” he said. Either way, neither opponent should be considered a mega-fight for Mayweather.

Not on the calendar, but heard more in the past few days, is a return bout between Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins for the light heavyweight title still held by Hopkins. The Hopkins camp will not confirm a date, while Dawson could not be reached for comment. Jean Pascal has been advocating a third meeting with Hopkins.

This post is sponsored in part by Nassau County Rentals & Five Towns Real Estate