Sunday, February 26, 2012

As Hopkins and Dawson Get Ready, Schaefer: "Everything Fine With Arum "

By Rich Mancuso

According to Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, there are no differences with Bob Arum. In fact, Schaefer who presided over the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson return bout press conference, Wednesday in New York City, intended to meet Arum later in the day.

Arum is in New York for the second of a three-city tour Thursday announcing the welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. The fight will be televised on HBO Pay-Per-View, June 9th from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
Schaefer will be holding court in the Big Apple the next few days. As a liaison for Floyd Mayweather Jr, he will be at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, next Tuesday, when the May 5th Miguel Cotto-Mayweather welterweight title fight is announced also to be held at the MGM Grand.

So, the two major promoters of the sport, Golden Boy and Top Rank have invaded New York City for a media fest. They bring with them, perhaps five of the premiere fighters in the sport. And that does not include Dawson, and to many, he has a good chance of dethroning Hopkins for the light heavyweight championship April 28th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

“Once and For All” has been titled for the Hopkins fight. However, can it be once and for all that Schaefer and Arum work together? For the sport and the fans, the two money makers of the sport have to be on the same page even if it means they are competitors. They have not had that unity for the past two years, primarily caused from friction from the on- again and off- again and never seen Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

It is unfair to say that Richard Schaefer is a shrewd businessman. He does most of the business for Oscar De La Hoya, and he has become the primary spokesperson for potential money making fights out of the Golden Boy Stable He is a smart talker, some would say he has learned the sport from De La Hoya, and because of the association with Mayweather, Schaefer always seems to be the bad guy

“We have to work together, we need to work together,” said Schaefer Wednesday regarding Arum, this after Hopkins the oldest fighter to hold a championship had his stare down with Dawson. “It is what we need to do for the best interests of the sport,” he says. However, there is no telling how long this so-called feud with Schaefer and Arum will last.

Schaefer said, “Sure there have been differences,” when asked about the Mayweather and Pacquiao talks that have been going in different directions. They are considered the two powerful promotions in the sport. Last year, Top Rank and Golden Boy co-promoted a few shows. They had to, because of title unification bouts with their respective fighters and there seemed to be a good working relationship that fueled optimism that Pacquiao and Mayweather would finally meet.

Remember though, Mayweather is his own promoter. Schaefer, as he says, is the middleman for the WBC welterweight champion. And it was Golden Boy and Mayweather that co- promoted the fight last September that saw Victor Ortiz, a Golden Boy fighter lose the title to Mayweather.

Hopkins is a different situation because he is promoted by Golden Boy, and at one time had a financial interest in the company. And this so-called major feud with Arum and Schaefer may all be coming from Mayweather the noted adversary of Arum. Reportedly, Mayweather made the last offer to Pacquiao and Arum which called for a 60/40 split of revenue for the fight.

To that Schaefer says, “There never has been money put on the table. Mayweather is looking like the bad guy here but there have been no figures discussed for pay-per-view revenue.” Arum surely will be asked that question again when Pacquiao meets the media Thursday in New York.

In the meantime, Schaefer and Arum will reportedly meet at a private location. Is this a truce or a way to renew interest in the much talked about and potential all-time mega fight for the sport? Rumors have been a part of the Mayweather-Pacquiao drama and Schaefer put one to rest.

“There never were financial figures put on the table,” said Schaefer in regards to the split of revenue. “If and when the time comes we will tell you. But first Floyd has to get by Cotto and wait until the 90-days are over before anything happens,” he said.

The reference of course is to the 90-days of incarceration that Mayweather will begin in June after copping a plea for a domestic violence assault. Schaefer also denies rumors that he influenced the judicial system in Las Vegas to postpone the Mayweather sentence in order to keep the May 5th date.

“It was I the best interests for Floyd to fight and keep the commitment,” he said The MGM venue had been booked well in advance. Of course the speculation was rampant that the opponent would be Pacquiao, until Arum said otherwise.

In the meantime, Hopkins was his usual self. He wants to continue a legacy that was temporarily stopped when the unexpected happened in the first fight with Dawson back in November. A loss and title going to Dawson was overturned to a no-contest, and the championship was back with Hopkins. The return bout was mandated by the WBC after they got involved in the theatrics and controversy.

“I absolutely want to prove that I can beat Chad Dawson, said Hopkins. Time will tell if Schaefer and Arum can get Mayweather and Pacquiao together at some point this year.”

This post is sponsored in part by Bay Club Bayside & Pro Wrestling Blog

Tim Bradley Knew He Was Next For Pacquiao

By Rich Mancuso

Manny Pacquiao quickly left the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City and met a throng of fans Thursday afternoon. This is nothing unusual for Pacquiao, who has a love affair with his fans from the Philippines. The WBO welterweight champion was in town with challenger Timothy Bradley Jr. that concluded a two-city press tour.

Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on June 9th against Bradley, the WBO junior welterweight title holder. The three-time champion who makes his debut at welterweight was the last to leave the Lighthouse and on his way to the ESPN studios up in Bristol Connecticut and accommodated every member of the media.

So, Bradley is enjoying and taking in every moment of this sudden burst of popularity. The business of not taking a lucrative title fight with Amir Khan at 140 and moving away from promoter Gary Shaw is in the past. Taking an opportunity with
Top Rank and Bob Arum provided this moment to challenge Pacquiao.“This pushed me to the next level,” commented Bradley. The 28-year old resident of Palm Springs California, 28-0, 12 KO’s, had a plan to take on Pacquiao. There was that premonition that signing with Top Rank would grant him the opportunity.

However, when Arum met with Pacquiao in the Philippines to discuss the next opponent, Bradley was not definite with Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Lamont Peterson as names in the mix.

“I wouldn’t be here if I did not believe so,” he said when asked about his chances of dethroning Pacquiao. “When I got the call that I was getting this opportunity to fight MannyI was as happy to be. I got what I wanted. I went to Arum to get the fights like this.”

And Bradley, now will be the center of attention in the boxing world. He defeats Pacquiao, which is not out of the question, then, maybe Bradley gets a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. “I want a shot at Floyd,” he says. “Manny has to get him first, I realize that.”

So there are numerous possibilities after this fight. Of course, Mayweather, who defends the WBC welterweight title against Miguel Cotto on May 5th, has some business to do. Bradley will be the underdog with Pacquiao, and Arum can only smile even if the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is not in the cards.

“The fight will have to be competitive,” said Arum. “I think we will equal or exceed those fights,” he said about the competitive aspect of Pacquiao-Bradley compared to the last two Pacquiao fights with Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez. To Arum, the Pacquaio-Mayweather fight is not on the agenda. This is about Timothy Bradley.
When asked about a 50-50 split of revenue, or a 60-40 split that Pacquiao and Arum have reportedly been discussing with Mayweather, or with Richard Schaefer CEO of
Golden Boy Promotions, Arum says, “What are you talking about.”

This is about Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao and not about Pacquiao against Mayweather. “No” said Arum with an adamant look in his eyes when it comes to the Mayweather-Pacquiao question, about a fight the boxing world wants to see. Arum walks away and leaves more doubt about a mega-fight that would surpass revenue for any the sport has seen.

Pacquiao continues to do business and as always leaves it to Arum. He immediately took a jet back to the Philippines to resume his Congressional responsibilities. He arranged the press tour within his schedule that began Wednesday in Los Angeles where he had a previous engagement.

That has nothing to do with Bradley. He is taking it all in and the attention of fighting Pacquiao is what is important. Based on his last two fights with Mosley and Marquez, there has been talk that the skills of Pacquiao are on a decline. Bradley will the first to dispute the talk and intends to take an approach at fighting perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter.

“I do not see any decline in Manny,” says Bradley. “Marquez had his number. Styles make fights. Mosley was defensive. I know what I am capable of doing. I can do just enough to win. He’s strong and will push me to the next level. He is strong. If I can take his power, I can beat him. You have to think more when you get in there with Manny Pacquiao.”

Arum had visions of another Pacquiao-Marquez encounter. Pacquiao would have gone with the plan, but Marquez wanted a fourth fight in Mexico. Cotto was out of the picture. Arum was aware that Cotto, who made millions with Top Rank, needed one more mega fight and that was with Mayweather. When all the speculation ended, Bradley knew it was his time. “I waited for this breakout moment and it is here,” he says. “Mayweather is in front of me,” he says time and time again as to his rank now in the welterweight division, and to be placed in discussion as a best pound-for-pound fighter.

Arum also has Mike Jones on the undercard, another undefeated welterweight on the Top Rank roster who could be in the title mix. Jones has been showcased also on undercards of Pacquiao fights. But as Arum says, “Mike is not ready for a title shot.”

However, Bradley has been there and this is his time. He is enjoying every minute of the attention and he should. Because when you follow the protocol and oppose Manny Pacquiao it is your time.

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

Chisora – Haye Brawl: The Post Fight Presser Should Have Been Banned

By Rich Mancuso

View the Dereck Chisora and David Haye brawl at a post-fight press conference, seen by thousands on video, and there should be no further questions or answers. Boxing needs an attitude adjustment outside the ring and the traditional post-fight should be banned.

There is no need to elaborate about details. It was an ugly scene in Munich Germany after Vitali Klitschko defeated Chisroa and defended his WBC heavyweight title. What precipitated a brawl that became another story is not justified.
What becomes evident is this: The post-fight boxing press conference has become a travesty, the social after party, and in this instance, a reason why there is no longer a need to have one. Because media questions are not significant, and because those not in the media get involved, promoters and publicity personnel need to examine what is significant and what is not.

The ramifications are Chisora and his entourage arrested and detained by local authorities. Explanations from Chisora, Haye and Klitschko are not enough to offer justifications. If this is the result of animosity, or means to pump some excitement into a possible Haye and Chisora bout, it was conducted the wrong way.

However, this is boxing and it created a more negative vibe for the sport. And this created a more negative image about the sport, thankfully not making highlight reels on the sports networks in America. But those who were there, the international media, they got their story. It was not about Klitschko continuing his legacy as a heavyweight champion. It became the Dereck Chisora assault on David Haye or Haye assaulting Chisora.

Bernd Boente , manager of Vitali and his brother Wladimir, said “We’ve had it with British fighters we will now look for other countries.” Be honest, it has nothing to do with the actions of British fighters that precipitated the brawl. It has more to do with the actions of officials who coordinate the post-fight presser, and why they are not needed.

Go back in time, when the post-fight press conference was restricted to members of the media. The promoters, Don King and Bob Arum would implement a policy of “Media only allowed in the post fight press conference.” That was stated on press badges or another pass was issued with presentation of the fight media credential. Authorized media were granted access and seated in front. There were no bloggers, or gossip page writers. No members of the entourage, and if there were, very few.

The writers asked questions and got the answers. Yours truly was one of them, Bert Sugar, Michael Katz, Ed Schuyler of the AP, the late Pat Putnam of Sports Illustrated and Barney Nagler. The questions were asked and the answers came. The fighters, managers, and trainers had their say. It was over and the story went to bed.
Now it is a congregation of fools who want to be a part of the party, a post fight event that offers nothing more than what was said at ringside. The deadline and post fight quotes are delivered to media at ringside after the fighters have left the ring. Any more significant information, an injury, or something more that has to be said is rarely stated.

But, shouting out another fighter, challenges, and mayhem have become more often at the post-fight presser. And it is not what legitimate members of the boxing media should have to witness or be a part of. But unfortunately it has become more common.
And what will it take for promoters and personnel to end the mayhem? The publicists who handle most of the major fights in the United States said it is the discretion of the promoter regarding a post-fight presser. One off the record said, “It is a bunch of **** that is useless.”

So what can prevent another brawl at a post-fight media press conference? They apparently will continue, it does bring some type of attention to a boring or eventful main event. They are not held at club shows or uneventful fight cards, as there is no significance to an outcome, unless a brawl erupts in the ring that has consequences.

Promoters days it is a tradition, the post fight presser was at one time more important than the pre-presser. But then, when newspapers were read, and when the real reporters were from daily tabloids, the post-fight presser had a twist or another story line.

Arum or King would come to the podium. They would congratulate the fighters, give the live gate count, and provide a perspective that resembled a political victory speech. The fighters had their say. There would be a perspective date, venue, and main event announced.

It was preliminary for sure, but it was better than an unauthorized development that was seen with Haye and Chisora. The unfortunate part of the post fight press brawl in Munich, we are writing about something that had nothing to do with the fight.
Vitali Klitschko received minimal praise for defending his championship, one that was more difficult than anticipated. Where he goes after this latest title defense is not clear. The heavyweight championship picture remains in the hands of Klitschko and his brother.

And a fight with Haye and Chisora is inevitable. It is unfortunate that the post fight media mayhem will continue.

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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nothing New With Klitschko

By Rich Mancuso

Vitali Klitschko, the WBC heavyweight champion had a media conference call from Munich Germany Wednesday. He said there was nothing new to say about himself as he prepares to meet Dereck Chisora this Saturday. It is the first of three consecutive live broadcasts of heavyweight title fights on EPIX, the Mutiplatform premium entertainment service.

Yes, there is nothing new to say and that can be attributed to the mediocre heavyweight division that Vitali and his brother, Wladimir continue to dominate. To a boxing fan this has become old news. The emphasis to a fan has been focusing on anything lower than a heavyweight title fight.

However, the sport has always thrived from a legitimate, marketable heavyweight division and champion. The contention is the Klitschko bothers’ hand-pick opponents that contribute to their legacy. Yet, they continue to win, and any threat to stop the regime has been hard to find.

“I am going to teach this youngster a lesson,” said Klitschko at the weigh- in Friday. Chisora apparently slapped Klitschko in the face. It was pure boxing theatre or a way for the champion to say something different. Perhaps something to put some interest in a championship fight, and for a division that hardly exists to a boxing fan.

And there is not a viable contender that can make a statement, for this Klitschko or the other. Vitali dominated Chris Arreloa in their first fight, and they may fight again. Arreloa has lost some weight and looks like a different fighter as the number one contender to Klitschko’s title.

“If he is ready I would be happy to give him a second chance,” he said about another meeting with Arreloa. The media, those in Germany where Vitali has most of his fights and to who he does most of his talking, try to get him to spark more interest to renew an interest in the division.

It does not work. Because Vitali Klitschko is no Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, or even a Lennox Lewis, probably his last good challenge nine years ago. “Right now all the big stars have retired and Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson are not there,” he says.

“Lennox Lewis is not there. No big names and that’s why everyone from the new generation who stop the Klitschko’s get stopped. Any moment there can be a new guy and he can be tough and he can give us a tough challenge. And one of them is Dereck Chisora.”

So Klitschko is admitting there is no challenge. Chisroa, who has a height disadvantage, is considered to be another opponent that will add to the Klitschko legacy. And Seth Mitchell, a relatively unknown and talented heavyweight, is also a name being mentioned as a potential opponent.

“He could provide a challenge,” says Klitschko. Mitchell is an American, where the heavyweights can no longer be found, and that may also be attributed to the Klitschko domination. “For a real challenge it would have to be someone who can beat a Klitschko. We don’t give anyone a chance inside the ring. We leave no room for doubt that we are stronger than any our opponents.”

Klitschko admits, this is a crisis for the heavyweight division. Again, it leaves no doubt that he and his brother are dominant. There is a crisis because a challenge has not been met, even if David Haye, who did not give a fight to his brother, used a broken toe as an excuse.

“David Haye changes his mind and I can give David Haye a chance to fight for the world title,” said Vitali who is awaiting word if Hayes wants to challenge another Klitschko. So once again, we are looking ahead, because this Klitschko and the other, who hold two-thirds of the heavyweight title picture, have no challenge.

Unless they intend to fight each other and make some sense of this mediocre division there may be some interest with the heavyweights again. And that question is posed time and time again, because there is nothing new to say about either Klitschko.
To that Vitali says, “Right now I’m focused on the Chisora fight. I don’t want to fight him (Wladimir). I know my brother very well. He’s much more talented and right now, he’s much younger than me, almost five years.” He mentions how Wladimir dominates in swimming and ping-pong, and how he only wins a chess game.

But an assumption is the Klitschko brothers won’t fight each other because this keeps the division to themselves. They want to keep the title belts, as many as they can, in the family. And if there is indeed a crisis in the heavyweight division, as Vitali says, then there should be an outcry for a brother unification bout. It generates interest and could be a pay-per-view attraction.

It comes down to a legacy. That is what Vitali will attempt to continue on Saturday. And even if he has nothing or much more to say, he knows and thanks everyone for following the careers of the Klitchsko brothers.

This post is sponsored in part by Nassau County Apartments & Woodmere Homes for Sale

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mosley Gets One More Opportunity With Alvarez

By Rich Mancuso

After Shane Mosley met Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in New York City the day after, he was still a popular fighter. As he took a walk around Times Square fans would tell him that he was a champion. Mosley would hear that it was a fight he won, and he would still be a factor in the welterweight title mix.

“Boxing fans in New York know I won the fight,” Mosley would say. But, the judges thought otherwise about the welterweight title fight in November of 2007. Two of the three had Cotto winning the unanimous decision by a round, and there was a split consensus from media at ringside. Mosley could have won the fight or scored a draw with a good and final 12th round.

After that Ricardo Mayorga, Antonio Margarito, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sergio Mora and Manny Pacquiao have been in the ring with Mosley. So, there can’t be talk that “Sugar Shane” has avoided anyone, or that he quit in his quest to continue on as a three-time division champion. He is headed to the Boxing Hall of Fame though no longer considered the best pound-for-pound fighter.

“This is more of a fight to prove to myself that I still have it,” said Mosley when it became official last week that he would be opposing the junior middleweight title holder Canelo Alvarez, May 5th at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Mosley and Alvarez is one of the highlight undercard bouts prior to the Miguel Cotto-Floyd Mayweather main event at 154.

“This is another chance for me,” commented Mosley (46-7-1, 39 Kos) from his home outside of Los Angeles California. Golden Boy Promotions, where Mosley has some business interests, with Oscar De La Hoya, approached him about the fight. Alvarez was available when he did not become the opponent for Mayweather.

So how seriously should fight fans take to Mosley? He looked like a finished and old fighter last May 11th after losing every round in a title fight with Pacquiao. Mosley went down in the third round and could never recover. Mosley said he went in the ring with an injury to his left foot, later revealed as an Achilles tendon.

The Achilles seemed to be an excuse, though medical reports confirmed that Mosley fought Pacquiao with an injury. “I did not want to disappoint the fans, HBO, or the promotion and did what I could do against Pacquiao,” he said. “One thing I have learned in this sport is to always give your best no matter what the circumstance, and I believe fans now know that I did my best as an injured fighter that night.”
Under the circumstances that can be permitted as a valid reason as to why Mosley may have looked like a diminished fighter. His age is also a factor, leading many to believe that taking on Alvarez, a much younger fighter at 21, will put Mosley into retirement. Alvarez has become one of the rising stars in the sport and for him there is more to come.

“I want to get in the ring, fight a world champion and get another title,” said Mosley. “He is tough and young, I know that. The fans know what Alvarez has done at his age and that is also a credit to his talents. He is good for boxing. There are a lot of guys who would love to be in my position and I am taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Gone are the rumors and talk, the evidence of a Balco steroid case. Mosley has always avoided the question about using body enhancement drugs. No fighter or athlete in the steroid era could avoid the issue. However, Mosley faced the questions and continued his quest to the Hall of Fame. He has been through adversity, with his former wife and business partner, and has a good working relationship with Golden Boy after a brief separation because he took the fight with Pacquiao and Golden Boy rival Top Rank.

“I wanted this fight and did what I had to do to get it,” he said. Alvarez had to agree at first because of his contract with Golden Boy and how he gains revenue from a fight. Mosley is not the main event, and it could very well be with Alvarez, and that does not seem to be an issue.

Another factor is, Alvarez could be the first to stop Mosley. He has become the newest sensation in Mexico with talk he will move up in weight and take on middleweight champion Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. He respects Mosley, and is enthused about taking on an experienced opponent on Mexico cinco de Mayo weekend. “It’s youth against experience,” says Mosley. Maybe it could be a defining moment or walk into the sunset for the future Hall of Fame inductee.

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

Time To Censor Mayweather's Mouth and Use His Fists

By Rich Mancuso

Okay, have we not heard the racial insinuations from Floyd Mayweather Jr. before? He has attacked Manny Pacquiao about his Filipino decent, and now goes to another orbit and set a barn fire with remarks about a new face in the NBA, New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin.

Lin, an Asian with Chinese heritage, is that unheralded athlete in sports who comes along once in a while. He is right there now and got the opening to be in the spotlight, stepping in as two of the Knicks biggest stars went down. But Mayweather, as always, seized the moment and is in hot water.

Said Mayweather, about Lin on his Twitter account,” Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.” Oh yeah Floyd. They do get the praise. Every time Kobe Bryant drives to the lane, makes another three-point play beyond the arc. You hear about Kobe, read about him, and he gets the praise when scoring 50 points a game more than once.

And it is not only Kobe. It is the National Basketball Association, a league that has the largest percentage of African Americans playing the game. And they all get their due and respect from the media, except Floyd Mayweather who has more important issues to confront, uses social media again and makes himself a subject of controversy.
There are these great stories in sports and Mayweather should know. He professes to be the best pound-for-pound – fighter, has the undefeated record, but makes his yearly appearance in the ring as will see again May 5th in Las Vegas, defending the WBC welterweight title against Miguel Cotto.

Mayweather has never been the unheralded fighter or athlete. That is more reason why he should keep his mouth shut, and stay away from social media unless he has something positive to state. However, this is another way now for the future Boxing Hall of Famer to generate publicity. He rarely grants a one-on-one interview and technology enables Mayweather to be his own spokesperson.

But the comments of hate, bias, and racial slurs do not present a better image for Floyd Mayweather Jr. Added to the fact that Mayweather has been the enemy in his on and off fight with Pacquiao, and this latest racial slur does not help his image. However, that is not the entire part of the story. Sports and not race is the story here.

You don’t have to be a fan of boxing or bsasketball to understand the implications of another ignorant statement coming from Floyd Mayweather. And there are those coming to his defense, with claims again, that the Twitter account is not one used by the welterweight champion. Yet, records say otherwise and indeed Mayweather is now in another predicament.

The unfortunate thing is, we are writing about insidious statements instead of reporting how Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to make an impact on the sport of boxing and continuing his legacy.

The NBA, with a reputed commissioner, David Stern, has not issued a statement. An official in the league media relations department said a statement is not forthcoming and the Knicks have not issued a statement from Lin. A beat writer for the team when reached for a comment said, that Lin was being advised to remain silent.

Mayweather, in the meantime went on to say, “It’s Ok for ESPN to give an opinion but I say something and everyone questions Floyd Mayweather. I’m speaking my mind on behalf of other NBA players. They are programmed to be politically correct and will be penalized if they speak up. As soon as I support Black American athletes I get criticized.”

No Floyd, when you speak about another athlete in a derogatory manner, well you will be attacked. And you are not ESPN. The network has writers and on air talent to offer opinion. Again social media is the culprit here, and Mayweather, apparently has plenty of free time on his hands instead of focusing on his upcoming fight with Cotto.

The success story of Lin, an undrafted player out of Harvard University should be the story here. He has propelled the Knicks to five consecutive wins and has become an inspiration to the theory of never give up the dream of getting to the top. You see when we write about boxing it is supposed to center on the positive. But when Floyd Mayweather uses social media as a forum, as determined from his history, it always provides the negative. And nobody can stop him. He is a loose canyon.

Even the WBC, owner of the title that Mayweather holds can’t stop Mayweather. Because the promoters, one being Mayweather, advisors, and managers are not a national ruling body. In other words, a national commissioner may be able to intervene but boxing will never have that type of figure.

It is what makes boxing so different from the other sports, an issue of one of the most recognizable names having no self control to his feelings or actions. And nobody can stop him, because the name of Floyd Maywether Jr. means revenue to the sanctioning organizations, promoters, and most of all HBO and their pay-per-view entities.

When will it stop? The tweets, insults, racial slurs, and defamation of character have gone too far. As long as Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains a media figure and major face of the sport there will be no end. Because in the end, we all respect what Floyd Mayweather does in the ring and could care less about his actions when he goes outside his element.

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

Bradley and Pacquiao About To Sign The Deal

By Rich Mancuso

Timothy Bradley signed with Top Rank to get his opportunity, a chance to meet Manny Pacquiao. After back-and-forth negotiations, and after Bob Arum and Pacquiao weighed options for the next opponent, Bradley became the name.

The June 9th fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, assumed to be televised by HBO Pay-Per-View, will be announced Friday with a press tour to be determined. Bradley built his platform to get Pacquiao after leaving the 140-pound division and turning down a lucrative opportunity to fight Amir Khan, and would oppose Pacquiao the first time at welterweight.

The turn of events led to speculation. Bradley had ties with Top Rank. He has been vocal about getting an opportunity at Pacquiao, and when the Floyd Mayweather fiasco continued with his signing a deal to fight Miguel Cotto, Bradley was right in the mix.

Bradley says Pacquiao can be beat. Styles make fights and of course Bradley will be the underdog. Is this a marketable pay-per-view fight, and is Bradley the proper opponent for the Pacquiao legacy to continue? Apparently so, because Arum had Bradley in the mix with Juan Manuel Marquez, Cotto or Lamont Peterson, as the Mayweather fight remained in the balance.

Still to be determined is how much Bradley will earn, which will be his highest pay day, more than he would have made if he took the fight with Khan.


Knock out reports that Victor Ortiz is fighting Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. Or that the arm injury to Andre Berto was a ploy to give Berto more time. Ortiz and Berto has been rescheduled for June 30 at the Mandalay Bay from Las Vegas and televised on Showtime. Reached for comment, Ortiz said, “I prepared for Andre Berto. This is the fight fans want to see. Do I want to fight Guerrero? When the time is right I take any challenge.”

Amir Khan reportedly will have a return about with Lamont Peterson, so says Khan on his Twitter account. However, the IBF which mandated the rematch, based on the controversy of their fight in December, when Peterson won the title in Washington D.C. has not confirmed the May 19th date in Las Vegas that Khan is stating…
Question is, how fair is an open scoring system for the sport when it only occurs at a WBC title fight in Mexico, seen again last Saturday during the Chavez-Rubio fight… What is mandatory and happening is an IBF title fight for super middleweight champion Lucian Bute against Carl Froch…

Paul Williams says every time he gets in the ring he makes a statement. He has to back that up for sure when he meets Nobuhiro Ishida on Showtime February 18th… Hector Camacho Jr. who had three fights called off for some reason last year says this one is set. The March 30 bout with Elvin Ayala, the once again rising middleweight, from Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut and televised on ESPN 2 Friday Night Fights….

On that Paul Williams Showtime card, Chris Arreloa opposes Eric Molina in a heavyweight title eliminator bout. Hope Showtime will cut the mike off when Arreloa speaks in the ring because so many times, after a loss on HBO, the network failed to censor his foul mouth.

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

Is Chavez Jr. Avoiding Sergio?

By Rich Mancuso

Lou Dibella said this week that WBC Middleweight champion Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. must defend his title against his champion Sergio Martinez, or vacate the title. It was a statement directed more to Bob Arum, promoter of Chavez, and not to the WBC that mandated the fight.

And it was an indirect attack once again at Arum who has been accused of protecting Chavez to avoid Martinez. The factors attributed to Arum not wanting to make this fight are two-fold, one being compiling the purse money for Chavez and another from a previous war of words with DiBella.

Chavez lives up to his end of the bargain last Saturday when he successfully defended the title over Marco Antonio Rubio. Now it is up to Martinez, who many believe is the legitimate champion, to fulfill his part when he meets Matthew Macklin at Madison Square Garden on March 17th.

“As long as Sergio takes care of business on March 17th, Chavez must fight him next,” said DiBella in a statement this week. Arum has said the fight will happen in due time, however, when asked about the next opponent for Chavez, the name of Sergio Martinez does not come into play.

The names of Canelo Alvarez, which would be a mega fight in Mexico, and Antonio Margarito, off a loss to Miguel Cotto, may be on the agenda for Chavez and not Sergio Martinez. That causes further division for DiBella and Arum who have had a quiet war of words the past year.

Since the arrival of Martinez in the United States, wins of Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams, DiBella has always believed his middleweight champion is considered a top three best pound-for-pound fighter. DiBella called out names such as Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Arum fighters, Manny Pacquiao, even Miguel Cotto who was still with Arum at the time.

Martinez continued to go about business when his title was vacated because his next challenger was not what television, or supposedly what the WBC mandated. So he was delivered a bogus Diamond Belt, a respectful gesture by the WBC as Chavez would assume the role as middleweight champion. Boxing politics as everyone has become to understand, and Arum was content because he had the WBC champion in his stable.
“If Chavez does not want to meet his mandatory, then the son of the Living Legend should do the honorable thing and vacate his WBC title rather than continue to face lesser opposition,” said DiBella in a statement. Arum could not be reached for comment, and a spokesperson at the WBC, when asked said, “In December the mandatory title defense for Chavez against Martinez was made and nothing has changed.”
So where do we go from here? Arum has to part any differences with DiBella, and follow the WBC mandate. Of course if Martinez wins in New York City next month, the fight has to be made. But the standard of boxing is mandates can mean nothing.

This post is sponsored in part by Bergen County Bed Bugs & Bayside Condos For Sale

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tales From The Booker Launches

I get TONS of emails asking about my time n the pro wrestling industry and if I have any interesting stories that I can share. For the most part, I like to keep most of my experiences to myself because I'm not the type to kiss and tell. Don't take that in the literal sense. I'm not talking about stories of me fucking female wrestlers and ring rats. I mean that in the general sense , in that the business I conduct is between myself (or my company) and those who I am doing business with. Just because it pro wrestling has exposed itself and pulled the curtain on the inner backstage workings, doesn't mean that I do the same.

A while ago, I wrote an article entitled, "CM Punk is a Fucking Douchebag". It got a lot of attention because Punk's career was getting hot, and it was one of the first inside looks I offered DieHard Wrestling fans have in my experiences with some big name talent. The post was later followed by another article entitled, "Bret “Hitman” Hart – The 1998 Tribute Videos and Pre-Screwjob Story". Again, I told of my dealings with the WWE Hall of Famer and how we both started for WCW.

The emails poured in asking for more stories and insight. To be honest, there aren't as many stories as you'd expect, and furthermore, I'd really have to sit and sort my thoughts to give it in full details. But the other day, I stumbled upon some content that I had written while booking and co-promoting NWA Cyberspace. It was a column I had started called, Tales From The Booker.

At the time, I was accepting and answering fan emails while offering an inside look into our day-to-day operations. Yeah, it was against my rule, but with so many piece of shit websites out there trying to derail our hard work simply because they were envious keyboard tough guys who wanted to drag our names in the mud with their speculations and false stories - I figured it would be best for fans to hear it directly from the guy in charge who had a reputation for telling it like it is. I had nothing to hide and the truth is the easiest thing to remember.

So I opened the door for the fans to ask question on rumors they had heard. You want to know what really happened? Then come ask me, not some douchebag cocksucker whose never had a conversation with me and just likes stirring the pot of shit for the amusement of his little following. You want answers? You want the truth? Then let ME give it to you!

I came across articles on the subjects of April Hunter and Jeff Jarrett - and why they parted ways with the company. Not only did the fans dig their teeth into the story and my point of view, but I also got response from those who the articles centered around. I was thanked by April and Jarrett for my honesty, and for not trying to spin the situation to make me seem like I was the higher authority. I spoke the truth, admitted my faults and cleared the air from all the false rumors that were out there. I had no regrets.

With the resurgence of DieHard Wrestling, I get asked the same questions from a new group of fans. But rather than diving in headfirst, I figured I should test the waters and recycle some of the old stories before telling some new ones that I haven't told before. So at the DieHard Wrestling website, I've re-posted the original articles that tell the story of why April Hunter and Jeff Jarrett left NWA Cyberspace. I also give some insight on the scouting and booking process in another article discussing a four-way tag team match.

When you get a chance, give them a read. And if you have any questions you'd like answered by "The Booker", feel free to hit me up here in the comments section or directly at

Coming soon - Tales From The Booker will have all new stories featuring Lex Luger, Vince Russo, Tammy Sytch, Rodney Mack and Jazz, and much more!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Abner Mares: "Major Fights Are More Important Than A Title"

By Rich Mancuso

To Abner Mares a boxing title is not significant. Perhaps that explains why the bantamweight relinquished his IBF championship this week. This latest turn of events, in the more exciting and noted division, will enable Vusi Malinga, 20-2-1-12 K0’s of South Africa to fight for the vacant title against AJ Banal of the Philippines.

“Nowadays it really doesn’t matter,” said Mares about the significance of a title belt, especially in his division. “It just matters to make a good championship fight. You can be a champion and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to fight the mandatory.”

Mares was, no doubt referring to boxing politics. After he won his second fight over Joseph Agbeko in December, the IBF informed him about a mandatory defense against Malinga before March 3rd. From his home in Lakewood California, a suburb of Los Angeles, Mares decided to fight the boxing system. The title at this point had minimal value with a lack of time to prepare.

Yes, it is a championship title and an opportunity to defend. But there is also the factor of moving on, and opposing prominent names in another weight class. After his second and tough fight with Agbeko, which became a mandatory because of a controversial outcome of their first encounter, Mares had ambitions of moving on.

“This is the year to fight at 122, there is no doubt in my mind,” he says. “There are a lot of good names at 122. My first eight fights were at that weight before I went to 118, so I can handle it. Everything happens for a reason.”

And in boxing, most of the time, everything does happen for a reason. History of the sport does show how often a champion can vacate a title and then move on. Though Mares is not in a class of Manny Pacquiao, he will be the first to admit that, there is another champion from the Philippines that could be on his agenda.

Maybe Nonito Donaire, who is being showcased as one of the next and rising superstars of the sport?
“Donaire is one of those good names at 122,”says Mares who made a name for himself last year with is two fights against Agbeko, the first one in August that were televised on Showtime. “Jorge Arce, Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. and Guillermo Rigondeaux,” he says about future fights. Rigondeaux, of Cuba, recently won a major title at 122, with a 9-0 record and Mares know him well. “I know what he is capable of because he beat me at the Pan American Games in 2004.”

And if he moves up in weight, Mares will never be questioned about using body enhancement drugs. “I am not afraid to lose my undefeated record,” he says about his 23-0 mark. “Nowadays guys use things to their advantage,” he claims not making any direct accusations.

Regardless, Mares is in position to secure major fights this year. Showtime classifies him as one of the exciting fighters on their roster, though pay-per-view money will not be in the picture. The network is committed to doing more telecasts on their ShowBox and Showtime series. Mares, as of now is in a division that is not marketable for pay-per-view.

There has been discussion that Mares, a native of Guadalajara Mexico, would take on Eric Morel in Mexico on April 21st. Taking a fight in Mexico for the first time is something Mares has been anticipating, and a possible debut as a super bantamweight is not out of the equation. A third fight with Agbeko is out of the question even if a trilogy is good for boxing.

At 26-years of age, Mares says “I want to take advantage of my moment now. I planned on fighting three times last year and two or three times this year. I definitely want to take fights that benefit me the most. I am young and have a strong mentality.”

The fact Mares is young becomes an advantage. The time to make money is now, but unless he does what Pacquiao has, moving up in weight, big money fights will not come that easy. There is some logic as to why he did not keep the mandatory date in March and to some it will never be understood why a fighter would vacate his title.

Mares has started to pick up the training, He is putting in the run every morning, in the gym, but no sparring as of yet. To him, it was a busy 2011 and he is enjoying quality time with his wife and two children. “Young kids keep you on your toes,’ he says. “It has been good getting away from boxing and focusing on the family.”

But soon it will be back to work and then we can determine if a big enough money fight can be made.

This post is sponsored in part by Bed Bugs New Jersey & Bayside Condos

Will Pacquiao Be Next To Leave Arum?

By Rich Mancuso

Though three-time champion Miguel Cotto and Bob Arum remain on good terms there was no surprise as to the May 5th Cotto-Floyd Mayweather Jr. meeting. Cotto was rumored to be doing his own business and Arum said, he is always welcome to return.
Mayweather has had the May 5 date on his schedule, all of course with initial speculation it would be Manny Pacquiao. However, there were rumors that Cotto wanted Mayweather as his next opponent. And that became official last week when Cotto gave his answer and did not renew his deal with Top Rank,

So Cotto, who will fight without the Top Rank banner for the first time, has joined a group of other big time money fighters, Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya who deflected from Top Rank. All have made money for Arum and likewise Top Rank made millions for them. One can say it is all about business, but it leaves speculation as to when or if Manny Pacquiao will follow.

While Pacquiao has apparently agreed to defend his welterweight title, against Timothy Bradley Jr. in Las Vegas on June 9th at the MGM Grand Arena, Arum, according to a source is concerned. The priority now for Top Rank is to make assurances that Pacquiao is content and will end his career as a Top Rank fighter.

According to what has been determined, Cotto had been advocating the fight with Maywether. Immediately after he defeated Antonio Margarito in their second fight at Madison Square Garden in early December, there were reports coming from the Cotto camp that he wanted Mayweather next and would make every attempt to make the fight. With or without Arum, Cotto with his own promotional company had been negotiating with the Mayweather camp before the Margarito fight. Realizing that Arum has no regard to Mayweather, attributed to the back and forth bickering over the Pacquiao-Mayweather mess, Cotto contemplated a move and decisions. One goal was to get Mayweather, and to do that he had to sway away from Arum.

Regardless of when Mayweather was to begin his 90-day incarceration for domestic violence, Cotto was choosing Mayweather as the next opponent. Mayweather was not getting Pacquiao for May 5th and the moment was right.

And Top Rank confirmed last week that Mayweather could indeed have worked a deal with Cotto. It was all of course pending on the Mayweather license hearing that was taking place in the Nevada State Athletic Commission Las Vegas offices last Wednesday.
This has become a pattern for Arum, who claims to have no control of this latest turn of events. The Cotto situation may not lead to Pacquiao following Mayweather and De La Hoya out the door. Arum goes to great lengths in keeping Pacquiao happy and overall there is a good working relationship

Monday, there was an agreement in place for Pacquiao to meet Timothy Bradley, one of four possible opponents for Pacquiao. Arum took his journey to Manila and met with Pacquiao, a common part of their relationship. However, as the years progressed and, as De La Hoya and Mayweather became the hottest pay-per-view commodities, they no longer had use for Arum.

HBO continued to market Mayweather and De La Hoya, and with the exception of one fight on Showtime last year, Pacquiao and HBO have become a perfect marriage. And with Arum, there is a good relationship. There has been no knowledge of dissention or disputes when it comes to opponents for Pacquiao, unless, of course, what has come from reports that Pacquiao always wanted to fight Mayweather and Arum wanted no part of the fight.

Cotto commented last week that his fight with Mayweathe was what fight fans want to see. He added, “I never ducked anyone.” A source close to Cotto said this was an indirect attack at Arum. Realizing that Arum would not go along with a Cotto-Mayweather fight and with Pacquiao and Maywether not on the table, Cotto sought the opportunity.

A spokesperson at Top Rank said last week, “We have nothing to do with this,”
regarding Cotto going ahead with Mayweather as his next opponent. Cotto also had Pacquiao on his agenda, and when Arum met with Pacquiao that fight appeared to be signed sealed, and delivered. That is, until Cotto could not meet on a weight to fight Pacquiao.

Arum is also looking ahead and if Juan Manuel Marquez and Lamont Peterson should meet, perhaps Pacquiao will get that winner which could set up a fourth fight for Pacquiao and Marquez. So Arum does everything to keep Pacquiao content even if Mayweather is not the opponent.

The Mayweather-Pacquiao situation has taken a toll on Arum. And whether or not this determines how long Pacquiao remains with Arum, there is always talk that there is some dissension in the ranks. The question is, what is going on behind the scenes because this is not a script that is discussed daily in a WWE writers meeting.

Will Pacquiao eventually follow the path of Mayweather, De La Hoya, and Cotto? That ultimately could be a future and realistic script at Top Rank.

This post is sponsored in part by Bed Bugs NJ & Bayside Real Estate

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Angelo Dundee: An Innovator Who Knew How To Work The Corner

By Rich Mancuso

Sadly this has been a bad two days for boxing with the passing of middleweight Gene Fulimer, Goody Petroelli, the trainer and manager of Marvin Hagler, and on Wednesday the passing of referee Wayne Kelly and legendary trainer Angelo Dundee.

Dundee, 90, died of heart failure with family by his side in Tampa Florida. He had been ailing and was able to attend the recent 70th birthday celebration of Muhammad Ali, the fighter he was most known to be associated with. It was Ali and Dundee that was meant to happen and they will always be associated with boxing history.
Boxing trainers of today claim to say they have studied and analyzed how Dundee worked the corner, more so, how he schooled the unknown and then unknown Cassius Clay into the first three-time heavyweight champion.

The exploits of Dundee and Ali are chronicled in a recent book “My View from The Corner, A Life in Boxing” written by Bert Sugar the renowned boxing author and historian, and Dundee. In the foreword, Ali says about his trainer and mentor, “He never said I was wrong. He never asked why I joined the Muslims. He never said anything about it.”

“That is the one reason I stayed with him. Of course, he was a great trainer too. But through all those days of controversy, and the many that followed, Angelo never got involved. He let me be exactly what I wanted to be and he was loyal. That is the reason I love Angelo.”

And indeed, with loyalty not a word associated with boxing today, Dundee and Ali shared that so well. There was a bond and an instant gratification for each other. Dundee became the old school second father and mentor, Ali the student and son. It was as they, a marriage made in heaven.

Dundee also worked the corners for Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman. In 1981, when Leonard was losing this fight against Tommy Hearns he would say in the corner, “You’re blowing it son, you’re blowing it.” Leonard would go on to defeat Hearns by knockout, and become a lure in boxing history.

“A full appreciation of Ray’s talents and achievements would have to wait until his fight with Tommy Hearns,” wrote Dundee in the book. Working the corner for George Foreman contributed to the Dundee legacy that got him inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.

It was a career of six decades and working with 15 world champions. He guided Foreman in 1994 to become the oldest heavyweight champion at 45 with a win over Michael Moorer. Dundee would say about the Ali-Forman fight, “If the Sonny Liston fight was the formative one of Ali’s career, then the Foreman fight was his most satisfying.”
He would use salt to revive fighters in the corner, something the trainer of today is not known for. Dundee did not have any need for salt when the young Cassius Clay hit the scene and claimed the heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in 1964. Liston would quit on his stool after the sixth round in Miami Beach on February 25th.
After the fight, Dundee would comment to the late boxing scribe Red Smith, who did not believe Clay would win, “I told forty newspaper guys in six days how this fight would go.” Dundee would question the previous knockouts by Liston and his opponents. Ali, he knew, from the first day they met, 1959, in Louisville, that something special was going to happen.

According to Sugar, when Ali said, he was the best in the world and told people to bow down to him, “Angelo was the first and with a big smile.” It was a sign, respect, and admiration for a fighter, one that Dundee knew would be special for the sport, in an era when boxing was the sport of kings.

When the heavyweight division meant something and epitomized boxing, Angelo Dundee, and Clay were destined to make history.

Bob Arum, the promoter of Top Rank said, “Dundee was the whole package. Angelo was the greatest motivator of all time.” He added that Dundee and his motivation convinced Ali to continue in one of his legendary fights with Joe Frazier, the fight known as “The Thrilla in Manilla.” Ali would stop Frazier in the 14th round.
“Angelo Dundee was a plus for boxing and society,” said Sugar when reached at his home in Chappaqua New York. “He was the nicest man you ever met.” They ate many sloppy dinners of pasta when they put the book together. Sugar added, “Angelo had a wonderful run or 90 years, and he would end up writing the endings of Ali’s poems.”
One of those is most memorable, when Clay wrote his prediction of defeating Liston. The poem ends, “The crowd didn’t realize when they put down their money, that they’d see a total eclipse of the Sonny.” You are only good as your next performance is an old saying in sports. In boxing, more so, Dundee would always believe that when Ali stepped in the ring.

In the gym, the dressing room, and finally in the ring is where one would get to know Angelo Dundee. The motivator of champions is now in boxing heaven with the rest of boxing greats.

Rest in Peace Angelo Dundee. You were truly one of the greatest names that will always be associated with boxing history.

This post is sponsored in part by New Jersey Insurance Directory & Nassau County Rentals

Ortiz Can’t Catch Break, Fight With Berto Is Off

By Rich Mancuso

Victor Ortiz said he was in the best shape of his career. And the return bout with Andre Berto was significant after handing over the WBC welterweight title belt to Floyd Mayweather Jr. So on Tuesday, when Berto had to bail out of their Showtime February 11th engagement it was back to work for Ortiz.

Back to work as to finding another opponent soon for Ortiz, or waiting again for another good opportunity,

In essence, the Golden Boy promoted fighter can’t seem to catch a break. Berto injured his left bicep in training Monday, and though results from an MRI are still pending, Berto is unable to continue training and not able to be ready for the anticipated second bout with Ortiz.

This is one of those bad things that occur in boxing. Injuries are an aspect of the sport, both in and out of the ring. For Ortiz, as with any other fighter, that training period for a major fight, and getting word about a sudden turn of events, well, that can adjust a major game plan for the year ahead.

Lou DiBella, promoter of Berto echoed those sentiments saying “It is one of those sad things that happens.” Berto, reportedly was in the best shape of his career and ready to avenge his unanimous decision loss to Berto last April televised on HBO that was classified as one of the fights of the year.

The first title defense in September for Ortiz was classified as one of those not memorable fights and a loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He has not been in the mix for another fight with Mayweather, and there was no plans or speculation for Ortiz to fight Mayweather on May 5th. Still to be determined, who will Mayweather oppose on that day at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas and it does not appear it will be Ortiz with the latest turn of events

Regardless, Ortiz won’t be the opponent as Golden Boy, his promoter, is looking for another date because the entire Showtime card from the MGM Grand Arena has been cancelled.

Depending on extent of the injury to Berto, the fight can be rescheduled within three months. But that all depends on how Berto recuperates, and Ortiz will need a fight sooner after the loss to Mayweather. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, would not say more than that there was an unfortunate postponement of the fight.

So where does this leave Ortiz who could not be reached for comment? Schaefer said through Golden Boy spokesperson, “Victor is 25- years old and we would not want him to sit around and wait.” That means of course that every attempt will be made to get Ortiz a fight soon.

The opportunity to fight Maywether again would be unexpected, and Ortiz has stated that he wanted another chance at the undefeated champion. If that were to happen, Ortiz would have the opportunity for redemption. And of course, the talk of Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao once again would put on hiatus.

This does pose another interesting point of speculation. Would Pacquiao be willing to take his early June date and oppose Ortiz? Top Rank is still awaiting an answer as to the next opponent for Pacquiao. Ortiz is willing to stay at 147, or a catch weight of 154.

And Ortiz has always stated that two fighters he wanted to meet were Mayweather and Pacquiao. Top Rank said there would be no interest in a possible Pacquiao-Ortiz fight, and Bob Arum has been on the record saying that Ortiz is not a pay-per-view fighter, not a good enough draw to match with Pacquiao.

This post is sponsored in part by Bay Club & Massachusetts Insurance Directory

Berto Hurt? No Fight w/ Ortiz? Chavez Avoiding Sergio?

By Rich Mancuso

It has been confirmed that Andre Berto, who suffered a serious arm injury in training, is hurt and may not be able to get in the ring and fight Victor Ortiz another time on their February 11th Showtime televised fight. Berto, late Monday, was scheduled to have an MRI performed at a nearby hospital in Van Nuys California where he is training for the fight.

A source at Golden Boy, promoter of Ortiz, said it was undetermined if the fight will proceed. The extent of the injury is unknown, but reports say it is not good and the injury could require more than a three-week recovery period. Ortiz could not be reached for comment.

This is supposed to be one of the anticipated fights of the year. Their first fight,
last April 16th at Foxwoods resort in Connecticut, could have been classified as Fight of the Year. Both fighters were knocked down twice, both in the sixth round and Ortiz went on to a unanimous decision and taking the WBC welterweight title from Berto.

Despite all the talk and discussion, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. is not avoiding or backing off from defending his WBC middleweight title against Sergio Martinez. Chavez will defend the title Saturday on HBO against Marco Antonio Rubio.

But, promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, who holds the rights to Chavez, is putting a dent in the Martinez-Chavez fight when he stated last week that if Chavez prevails he could face Miguel Cotto next. Arum is also awaiting a decision from Manny Pacquiao about his fight plan with more speculation that Cotto could be the next opponent for Chavez.

This only adds fuel to the fire as to why Chavez is taking time to encounter Martinez. In the meantime, Arum may have no alternative because the WBC has mandated that after the Rubio fight, Chavez has to defend against Martinez. Arum said, “Chavez will fight Martinez when he is ready. I don’t think Martinez is all that good.” Yes, Arum can offer his opinion. And Chavez could be avoiding Martinez, but in the end the WBC has made their mandate and the fight will eventually be on the calendar at some point this year.

This post is sponsored in part by Forest Hills Rentals & Long Island Insurance Directory

Iron Mike Gets Call From Another Hall

By Rich Mancuso

Mike Tyson got his due last June as a new inductee into the international Boxing Hall of Fame. Now he goes from one Hall of Fame to another, as a new member of the WWE Hall of Fame which will be official the night before the annual WrestleMania event for the Vince McMahon owned wrestling organization.

And though this is not boxing, where Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion, the WWE was instrumental in his fame when he had a stare down with Steve Austin. He was a special enforcer referee at WrestleMania XIV in 1998, the same year he was suspended after taking a bit of the ear of Evander Holyfield in their heavyweight championship bout.

When word leaked out early Monday that Tyson would be inducted into the “Celebrity Wing” of the WWE Hall, boxing fans were not surprised. Neither was the wrestling fan. The official announcement, on the weekly Monday Night RAW- WWE telecast, was already known when WWE publicity personnel sent out an official press release earlier in the day. Like Boxing, wrestling fans seem to have their sources so the word about Tyson adding another accolade to his career came with minimal suspense.
Knowledge of a solid relationship with Tyson and the WWE was known when he earned a reported $1.5 million for his WrestleMania role, the annual and largest pro wrestling pay-per-view event of the year. McMahon has always admired Tyson and was seen at ringside for many of the memorable Tyson championship bouts.

Back then, Tyson, a huge fan of the WWE, since his youth was elated to get the call to work a program with Austin and be a headline at WrestleMania. The PPV received one of the highest buy rates since the WWE got into the pay-per-view industry and the “Guys”, as talent is known as, gave him respect something that is not customary when McMahon brings in a celebrity for the premiere wrestling extravaganza.

Tyson said he was honored and had his most fun when he was with the WWE. Austin, who will attend the Hall of Fame induction, is expected to induct Tyson at the official ceremony the eve of WrestleMania at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on March 31st.

When reached for comment, Austin said “Mike was such a pleasure to work with. We have remained friends over the years and it will be a pleasure to be there and see him get inducted as the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Tyson will be in the spotlight with other new inductees that include the famed “Four Horsemen”, Edge, and Rey Mysterio. Other names will be announced in the weeks to come. Austin was inducted two years ago and is still a popular draw when he appears occasionally at WWE pay-per-view events and television programming.

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