Signed, Sealed, but will it Deliver?

imageStory by:  Chip Mitchell

Well folks, there you have it. The Internet has been on fire ever since the contract was signed for Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs. Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao. The fight, billed as “Fight of The Century” is on for May 2, 2015.

I guess I’m just as happy as anyone else….. I guess. But let’s put a few things in perspective:

 

  • This fight is about five years too late. The world wanted to see prime Mayweather versus prime Pacquiao, and that would’ve put us circa 2009, 2010.
  • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard folks say, “I’ll believe it will happen when they are in the ring.” Well guess what? Those same folk are sending retweet after retweet about the signed contract. Let’s not lose perspective people. They still aren’t in the ring. The earliest that will happen is on May 2. There’s been many-a-fight signed, only to fall through for many-a-reason. Fingers should remain crossed.
  • Both guys have slipped from their physical prime, which makes prognostication that much more difficult than usual. Translation: The things Floyd and Manny could do in 2010, they can’t do in 2015. Who truly knows what we will get on fight night?
  • The world is expecting a fight between a 38 year old welterweight and a 36 year old welterweight to live up boxing’s all time biggest bonanza. See previous bullet. Record amounts of money and effort will be spent on fighters based on what they used to do. It’s almost like a 33 year old MLB home run hitter. Underpaid until he reaches his physical prime, then overpaid once he’s past it.
  • The world is stoked for two boxers- one who hasn’t had a knockout in four years and the other who hasn’t had one in six. If you truly have extra money on hand for a high-risk wager, take each fighter by KO. Odds are it won’t happen, but if it does, you will clean up. At the time of this story, you’d get seven times the money for a KO.

Hopefully this fight won’t play out like Bernard Hopkins/Roy Jones II, which occurred well past its time and was dreadful. Rumor has it that scientists want to use that fight video as a potential cure for insomnia.

As a boxing journalist, the aforementioned bullet points make it difficult to conduct analysis and predict a true winner without hedging. Both warriors have slipped to the point where forecasters can’t be sure at any rate. As this sport goes, one can never be sure anyway.

Just when you want to pick Manny as a winner (he was something like 3 to 1 underdog last time I checked), you remember his last fight with Marquez and pause.

Just as you are ready to go with Floyd, you remember his two fights (especially the first) with Maidana. The much-slower-than-Pacquiao Maidana. The come-straight-forward Maidana who doesn’t give angles like Pacquiao. You are ready to place your bet on Mayweather, but then you are confronted with two questions:

1. Has Floyd slowed down to the point that he can’t see the slow, wide punches of a guy like Maidana?

Or…

2. Was Maidana simply Floyd’s “Ken Norton”, a guy with a style that perplexingly gave Floyd fits?

Had this fight taken place in 2009 or 2010, I believe a more accurate examination of facts could be achieved, potentially leading to a more logical conclusion. Nevertheless, it’s on! Like popcorn baby! We are set for May 2!

The conspiracy theorist in me dare suggests that there will be a two-fight scenario, quite specifically related to outcome of May 2. I’ll get into that at a later date. For now, let’s just digest a moment that has been sitting inside of our stomachs for over five years.

It’s been signed. It’s been sealed. But will it….

Stay tuned.

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Cotto signs with Roc Nation!

imageRoc Nation Sports, the promotional company founded by hip hop superstar Jay-Z, has announced a new partnership with Miguel Cotto and Miguel Cotto Promotions. The deal will cover Cotto’s fights, co-promotion of boxing events in Puerto Rico and other business collaborations in Puerto Rico. Cotto, of course, is a 2000 Olympian who has won professional championships in multiple weight classes while proudly representing Puerto Rico. Cotto has lost to both Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, but has earned is warrior stripes many times over, and along with Mayweather, Pacquiao, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and perhaps Amir Khan, Cotto remains one of the biggest pay-per-view attractions worldwide in the sport of boxing. Roc Nation Sports has only promoted one show so far, but now boasts two of boxing’s biggest stars under its promotional banner: Cotto and world super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Continue reading

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ALVAREZ/KIRKLAND HOUSTON PRESS CONFERENCE

imagePress Release:  Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Texas’ James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland hosted press conferences on Tuesday, March 3rd to announce details for their twelve-round junior middleweight showdown at Minute Maid Park in Houston on May 9th. Promoters Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson of SMS Promotions, Mike Battah and James Leija of Leija*Battah were also in attendance. The event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing. Below is what Canelo Alvarez, James Kirkland, Oscar De La Hoya, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson and their teams had to say during the press conferences:

CANELO ALVAREZ:

“I want to thank everyone for coming out today. As always you guys are very good to me you have always supported me.

“First of all I want to thank all the people; I feel like home every time I come to Texas.

“This is the first time that I am anxious to fight here and I am looking forward to fighting Kirkland. He is coming to fight. He is dangerous and powerful. I am also powerful and aggressive and I can guarantee you, this is going to be an explosive fight.

“I am very happy to be with Golden Boy Promotions, they want to make the best fights and so do I. I want to give fans an exciting night of boxing on May 9.

JAMES “MANDINGO WARRIOR” KIRKLAND:

“I want to thank HBO Championship Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, SMS Promotions for giving me this opportunity.

“I’m ready to put my life on the line and give it everything I’ve got. I want to show my fans what I’ve really come to do.

“May 9, we’re here. Team Kirkland!”

Oscar De La Hoya (Alvarez’s promoter):

“Canelo has faced all the top guys at this age. Why? Because he wants to be the very best and to be the very best you have to fight the very best.

“We have to pair the best styles to create the best fight. No questions asked, this is going to be the fight of the year.

“We have all seen what Kirkland can do. He is a tough fighter. But, these are the types of the fights that Canelo loves, the fights for the fans.

“In just two hours since they went on sale, 15,000 tickets have been sold for May 9.

“Canelo has said he wants to fight in Texas once a year. That is how important the Teaxs fans are to Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions.

“We are happy to announce that tickets start at $10. The $10 seat is probably the best seat because of how the arena is built. We wanted to reasonably price these tickets out of respect for the fans.

“We are thrilled and happy that we can have this fight here in Texas. Come Saturday May 9, we know that a lot of fans from San Antonio will be driving down and filling up the place in Houston.

“We are extremely happy to have a home for this fight and what better place than HBO.”

CURTIS ’50 CENT’ JACKSON (Kirkland’s promoter):

“It’s a pleasure to be here and announce one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year.
“Fans will see something really exciting on May 9. In James, you have a fighter who is powerful, intense and aggressive.

“James is a powerful warrior, and you all will get to see him in action on May 9.” Continue reading

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Baltimore Boxing Presents Snap, Crackle, and Pop March 27!

image

Immediate Release:

Baltimore, MD (March 4, 2015) – Baltimore Boxing Promotions will present another evening of action-packed fights when “Snap, Crackle and Pop” takes over Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD Friday, March 27.

Tickets are on sale now by calling 410-375-9175 or going to Baltimoreboxing.com. Individual tickets start at $25 and VIP tables of 10 are available for $500. All VIP ticketholders can enjoy free hors d’oeurves from 7-8 pm and the best seats in the house. VIP ticketholders will also be able to participate in a special meet and greet with 5-time world champion Vinny Paz, who will be signing autographs, discussing his upcoming movie and wine company.

Doors open at 6:30 PM and the first bout begins at 8.

On January 23, Baltimore Boxing Promotions entertained a full house at Michael’s Eighth, creating a high demand for a quick return.

In the main event of the evening, popular junior middleweight Joey “Bazooka Joe” Veazey of the Baltimore Boxing Gym faces Lamont White of Washington, DC. Known for his loyal fan base, Veazey was scheduled to fight on the 23rd but was forced to withdraw due to an injury. Last year, Veazey captured the silver medal at the National Junior Golden Gloves. Having won many tournaments since he started boxing as a young child, Veazey is on the path to stardom.

Veazey and White battle it out for the East Coast Junior Middleweight crown.

Heavyweight slugger and former football standout Sam “Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed will defend his East Coast title vs Jeff Knight in the co-featured bout of the evening. In 2013, Crossed made national headlines by scoring the fastest knockout in history, demolishing Adrian Bean in four seconds.

Allen “The Hampden Hammer” Burris meets Tyrone “Jitter Bug” Jones and Courtney Hartlove squares off against Somer “Thunderstorm” Smith in a special attraction ladies bout.

Former college basketball standout Stefon McCray, Joe Nolan, Ed Park, Steve Layer, Melad Attashy and 2015 Golden Gloves Champion Tommy Coe Jr. will also appear on the card. Continue reading

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Chilemba and Lepikhin Conference Call Quotes

TheFightJournal.com was in the house on a conference call with Isaac Chilemba and Vasily Lepikhin leading up to their big bout next Saturday. Their fight will take place on the undercard of the highly anticipated Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal championship fight.

This fight could steal the show. Here is what the participants had to say:

Isaac Chilemba

[On his shorter training camp] First of all, I thank God for this opportunity. I am fighting on HBO and it is a dream come true. When I am back home, I always keep in shape so training in the United States is just a tune up for me before the fight. I am really looking forward to next week.

[On his game plan for Lepikhin] I am always ready for anything. We prepare for anything that might possibly happen in the ring. Lepikhin is a good fighter. He has good movement. He has a good jab. That is what training is there for. I don’t see anything to cause a problem in the fight. We will deal with what he brings us.

[On whether the close decisions he lost in the past have added pressure] I have learned from my close decisions in the past. My goal is not to give any opponent a chance that it could be close call again. I want to win every round from beginning to end. I don’t want to give any second thought as to whether or not I win the fight.

[What was his favorite win?] I value all my fights. Every win means a lot to me. They are all equal.

[On his dreams as a child in Malawi] My dream from the beginning has been to be the best in the world and to be best in my division. People talk about Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier; I wanted to be like them. This is my dream coming true. I am getting closer. The closer I get to my dream the more I want to be one of the greatest in the world.

[On his toughest fight so far in his career] [Tony] Bellew was my hardest fight in my career. I defeated myself. I didn’t know who I was, what I was or what I was doing; I continued to fight with myself. I never thought that would happen in my life. It was a big learning point for me. I have to make sure I am mentally in good shape for this fight. I am always make sure I am in good shape physically.

[On fighting in the deeper rounds] My 12 rounds fights have taught me a lot. I don’t know how Lepikhin is prepared and whether he is tough enough to go the distance but I have been there. I always push myself to the max because I just want that win.

[On fighting in the United States and Canada] Here in America is the mecca of boxing. It is every African fighters dream to fight in America and get an American promoter. I am living that dream.

[On who he would like to fight next] My goal is to fight anyone who is on top. I think even the loser of Kovalev-Pascal will still be ranked higher up. I would love to fight the winner or [Adonis] Stevenson because I am ranked #2, even if I have to wait for that opportunity I know I am getting closer to the champ.

Vasily Lepikhin

[On Chilemba] First of all I am very happy to be fighting on HBO. It is all going to depend on the situation what will happen. I am going to do my work. I am not going to aim for anything. I am trying to win the fight. Continue reading

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Bounce TV to Broadcast Live Boxing In New Multi-Year Agreement for Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)

PBCPBC The Next Round to Showcase Boxing’s Future Stars, Debuts on Bounce TV in July

ATLANTA, March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Bounce TV has signed a multi-year deal to televise live boxing events of the new Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series, joining an impressive line-up of television networks with long-term agreements to air the PBC series.

PBC The Next Round will be a monthly series, with two hours of live boxing featuring the most exciting prospects in the sport and boxing’s future stars. The series will premiere on Bounce TV in July, with a schedule of fights and on-air talent to be announced shortly.

Bounce TV is the fastest-growing African-American (AA) network on television and has become the #2 most-watched* among all AA networks. It has grown to be available in more than 85 million homes across 90 markets, 90% of African American television homes — including all of the top AA television markets — and three quarters of the total television homes in the United States. Among the founders of Bounce TV are iconic American figures Martin Luther King, III and Ambassador Andrew Young.

“This series provides future stars of boxing frequent nationwide exposure on over-the-air television, and will benefit the African-American audience who I believe miss watching this great sport on free TV,” said Mr. King, III.

Ambassador Young commented, “Many legendary boxing champions have been heroes to the African American community, whose love of, and passion for, the ‘sweet science’ spans decades. I am thrilled that Bounce TV will take part in this great sport’s return to prominence.” Continue reading

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Chocolatito improves to 42-0!

imageRoman Gonzalez TKO3 Valentín Leon…

In his home country of Nicaragua, WBC 112-pound champion Roman “ Chocolatito” Gonzalez succesfully tested the waters at 115 pounds by stopping Mexico’s Valentín “Picoco” Leon, in the third round. Gonzalez, a pound-for-pound contender, improved to 42-0 by getting into gear early. He dropped Leon (38-29-3) in round two and twice more in round three. After the conclusión of this brief bout, Roman expressed his desire to take on Edgar Sosa as his next opponent. Gonzalez’s amazing resume includes the following title reigns: WBA 105-pound title from 2008-2010; WBA 108-pound title from 2011 to 2012; and WBC 112-pound title from 2014 to the present. After Gonzalez beat Juan Francisco Estrada at 108 pounds, Estrada moved up to 112 and won the world flyweight championship.

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