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Jul 24, 2005
Mack ripped and ready for war!

Yusaf Mack v Glen Johnson has finally been confirmed as the main event on ESPN on the 5th February in Glen Johnson's home town of Florida at the NSU Center Arena in Miami. The Super Bowl weekend fight is almost guaranteed to be a cracker, both fighters know this is there big chance to get back on top with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger to IBF champion Tavoris Cloud, a fight likely to happen in May. Yusaf Mack has been in camp since the 6th November after he was originally scheduled to fight Karo Murat in late December.

On speaking to Mack regarding all the changes of fight times and opponents we asked has this effected his preparation for the biggest fight of his life, his response "Hell no, I am in the best shape of my life, I have worked really hard and cut no corners and I am ready to light up the light heavyweight division. I was initially upset when the Murat fight was cancelled but that led to the Johnson fight which is a far better fight for me, if I had beaten Murat he is an untested fighter and I would not have been given the deserved credit, now I have Johnson he has won a world title a few times, he has been involved in a crazy number of title fights, he has been in with the best and beaten the best. When I beat Glen Johnson people cannot deny I am one of the top guys out there. In regards to the time I have been in camp, my trainer John Tandy has controlled my training superbly and only now I am ready to peak just in time for the fight, I feel great, look great and I will fight great..

Mack vs Johnson

Tandy was also spoken too in regard to how he has kept his man focused and not burned him out, he said "We were lucky to find out the fights were cancelled or postponed with enough time to adjust the training to ensure Yusaf didn't peak too early, Yusaf has worked his ass off and is in tremendous condition, my thanks go out to the others involved, Yusaf's chief sparring partner Prince Badi has done an impeccable job of impersonating Glen Johnson's style and Kris Andrews who has also helped out in sparring, thanks to Armstrong Performance and Treatment Centre who have worked closely with Yusaf, thanks to the Goossen's gym who have given us great work, guys like Edison Miranda and all the guys down there, Fortunes Gym in Hollywood as well, now we are going to win this fight because of all your help, it has been a real team effort. Yusaf is in the best shape I have seen him in since we got together in January 2008, he is now ready to show the world how good he can be.
Jul 24, 2005
De La Hoya: “The public will hopefully make him [Pacquiao] change his mind”

y Eric Thomas: Oscar De La Hoya still very much is hopeful that a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao can be made in the future. Despite the bitter negotiations falling apart last time, De La Hoya is still looking forward to a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao in the future. In an article at ABC-CBN News, De La Hoya says “The public will hopefully make him [Pacquiao] change his mind. Why would you not want to earn 40 million dollars? Why would you not want to show the public that all this speculation is nonsense? Be the one to stand up and say it.”

I think Pacquiao does want to fight Mayweather. He’s been saying he wants to fight him in the future. The only thing that would seem to be separating the two fighters from taking part in a huge mega fight is coming to an agreement about the drug testing. They were close to coming to an agreement during their last negotiations.

All that would need to happen now is for Mayweather or Pacquiao to agree on a middle ground to take for the blood testing. Pacquiao wants the random blood testing to stop at 24 days, whereas Mayweather wants the tests to continue until 14 days before the fight. Surely, they should be able to agree with something in between those two numbers.

De La Hoya says “That fight [Pacquiao-Mayweather] has to happen. It’s too big not to happen. We just have to cross one hurdle.” I agree. They need to settle this once and for all. It would be a huge disappointment if they are unable to agree to fight because of the drug testing.
Jul 24, 2005
De La Hoya: Negotiations between Mayweather-Mosley “not too far away” from completion

By Eric Thomas: Oscar De La Hoya, promoter for Golden Boy Promotions, is reporting that negotiations between World Boxing Association welterweight champion Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather for their May bout are “not too far away” to being wrapped up, according to Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times. This is good news because there has been no word about the progress of the fight for over a week. De La Hoya says “Is that fight [Mayweather vs. Mosley] going to happen? I’m confident that it will.”

One advantage that this fight has compared to the failed talks between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is that both Mayweather and Mosley are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, so there won’t be any hassles with having to deal with another promoter. Mayweather went around and circles with Pacquiao and his promotional team for over a month, and still was unable to complete negotiations for a fight because the two sides reached a stalemate when it came to the random blood testing methods.

The LA Times states that De La Hoya he doesn’t think that the random drug tests will be any problem for this fight compared to the failed fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao. De La Hoya says “I believe Mosley will raise his hand, and say, ‘Take me to the lab.’ In contrast, Pacquiao agreed to take three blood tests – one at the kick off for the fight, another 30 days before the fight and then a final blood test after the fight. Mayweather wanted the blood tests to be truly random and not just three times.

Pacquiao then agreed to have his blood tested 24 days before the fight, but Mayweather wanted the testing to be stopped at 14 days before the bout. At that point, the negotiations effectively ended.

De La Hoya says that Golden Boy Promotions will work on the boxing commissions to try and get then to create tougher drug testing policies similar to the ones used by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. If Golden Boy can get the commissions on board with using stricter drug testing, then arranging a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao should get a lot easier, at least in the area of drug testing.

De La Hoya says “You know what’s happening out there: all these athletes are taking steroids. I fought two guys on steroids [Mosley and Fernando Vargas]. It’s dangerous. I would love to see testing to be mandatory. It’s crucial. This is not like hitting a baseball or running a sprint. It’s two guys bashing their heads in.”

De La Hoya has a good point. If the urine testing that is used to check for steroids is outdated, there needs to be more up to date tests to prevent fighters who are using steroids or growth hormone from being able to get away with it. If it helps boxing, it should be something that is embraced.
Jul 24, 2005
Don’t be surprised if Pacquiao takes a beating from Clottey

By Esteban Garduno: As soon as I found out that Manny Pacquiao and his team chose to fight Joshua Clottey rather than stay and negotiate a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., I saw it as a fatal mistake by Pacquiao’s team. Mayweather has no power to speak of and only sparingly throws punches nowadays for some reason. Clottey is a whole different breed of fighter altogether. Clottey has superb hand speed, good power and isn’t afraid to take the fight to his opponent.

Clottey won’t wear down or back off against Pacquiao like Miguel Cotto did in his recent fight with Pacquiao. Clottey will just keep coming and coming and firing away at Pacquiao and making him miserable for as long as it lasts. Right about now, people are blowing smoke up Pacquiao’s backside, telling him how great he is, and saying how he’s going to destroy Clottey.

Pacquiao, being human, obviously is aware that people think he’s going to run over Clottey and I see this as having an effect on his mental preparation for the fight. Pacquiao is going to go into this fight thinking he’s got this guy right where he wants him, and is going to take a dish of punishment that he won’t soon forget.

Pacquiao may have pumped up to welterweight by eating and working out, but his frame is still basically that of a smaller fighter. I only weight 140, but if I was to put on 80 pounds of muscle, I still wouldn’t have a heavyweight frame to compete against one of those big guys round after round. We’re bone structure.

Pacquiao hasn’t had to suffer the effects of having a strong welterweight pound away at him for 12 rounds as of yet, because Manny destroyed Oscar De La Hoya, who starved himself down from light middleweight to take the fight with Pacquiao. And Ricky Hatton was a light welterweight, and a short one at that.

Cotto, for his part, also was a small welterweight at only 5’7”. Cotto fought timidly after being dropped twice early in the fight and basically went into survival mode after the 4th round. It wasn’t like Cotto stayed in there and traded with Pacquiao for the full 12 rounds, because Miguel looked like he was thinking survival.

Clottey won’t be like that. He’s going to go be stalking Pacquiao all around the ring like a deer hunter going after a wounded buck. Pacquiao, with his sense of invincibility gained from his wins over De La Hoya, Hatton and Cotto, will make a calculated error of trying to meet fire with fire and soon find himself in a hopeless situation where Clottey is giving him a beating.

Rather than changing up to the situation and correcting his course, Pacquiao will continue to try and trade with the bigger and stronger Clottey despite the punishment he starts to take in the fight. Clottey will probably be carrying around at least 175 pounds on his frame by the time the fight starts, and will be like a huge ball of fire chasing after the little in comparison Pacquiao, whipping him with punches over and over again, and causing looks of pain on the face of Pacquiao.

Instead of backing off and regrouping, Pacquiao will wade into Clottey like the Titanic trying to stream through a huge iceberg. Clottey will wound Pacquiao with a huge shot to the head by the 7th or 8th round, and then batter him at will until the referee steps in to save Pacquiao from taking any further punishment. Roach will come into the ring, and carry Pacquiao back to the corner in his arms like a mother hen.
Jul 24, 2005
De La Hoya: “Haye is the most exciting heavyweight in the world”

By Scott Gilfoid: Say what you want about Oscar De La Hoya, but he sure knows how to pump up his fighters and make them look like the best thing since sliced bread. Speaking about World Boxing Association heavyweight champion David Haye, De La Hoya says “With his explosive fighting style, heart, youth and charisma, David Haye is the most exciting heavyweight in the world.” After reading what De La Hoya has to say about Haye, I don’t know if anyone can ever beat this guy?

It’s too bad that Haye still hasn’t proven that he is the most exciting heavyweight in the division yet. At 29, I don’t know that he’s all that young either. To me, 29 sounds kind of old, doesn’t it? That’s getting up there in age. Haye is going to be 30 next year, and I don’t think that’s young. In looking at him, I’d say he’s closer to his mid 30s rather than his early 20s.

And as far as fighting style goes, I still have yet to see the exciting, explosive fighter that De La Hoya is talking about. What I’ve seen in two of Haye’s three fights as a heavyweight is a cautious, tentative pot shot artist. If someone was to ask me who Haye reminds me of, I’d have to say Floyd Mayweather Jr. on one of his slow offensive nights.

I haven’t seen a fight of Haye’s at heavyweight where he throws a lot of punches. He seems to stingy with throwing punches like he’s afraid to tire himself out. Maybe Haye can be explosive if he did let his hands go more often, but at heavyweight, I’ve seen only one of his fights where he looked good and that was against an obscure heavyweight by the name of Tomasz Bonin.

I never heard of the dude until he fought Haye, and I haven’t heard of him since. But I did notice that Bonin was defeated by someone named Andrzej Wawrzyk.

Haye will be facing John Ruiz at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, Lancashire. That, no doubt, is going to give Haye a big advantage for the fight, because he’s going to have a ton of fans screaming their heads off for him. This is the perfect opportunity for Haye to try and live up to the praise that De La Hoya has given him.

If Haye can’t look explosive against an old fighter like Ruiz, who is both small and not a big puncher, I don’t know what to say. I think De La Hoya will have to re-think his thoughts about Haye being explosive and exciting if he labors to a 12 round win over Ruiz like he did in his last fight against 36-year-old Nikolay Valuev.

I don’t know how you can think Haye is exciting and explosive if he doesn’t show those attributes in fights against Valuev and Ruiz. Just think for a second. Would a prime Mike Tyson play it safe against the likes of Valuev and Ruiz? I somehow doubt it. If Tyson is considered to the gold standard for exciting “explosive heavyweights,” then this is what Haye needs to try and aspire to be.

I’m the first to admit that Haye has both the power and speed to be a Tyson clone if he wants to be, but as of yet, I haven’t seen it from him. I’ve been totally unimpressed with what I’ve seen of Haye in his fights against Monte Barrett and Valuev
Jul 24, 2005
Roach now thinks Pacquiao will knock Clottey out

By Dave Lahr: I knew trainer Freddie Roach would eventually work himself around to the point where he would predict a knockout win for his fighter WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao over Joshua Clottey on March 13th. In an article at GMA News, Roach had this to say about the Pacquiao-Clottey fight: “I’m not saying we can’t knock him [Pacquiao] out. I think we will somewhere along the way. But we’re gonna be ready for 12 hard rounds.” There it is. Roach now thinks that Pacquiao will knock Clottey out.

Like I said, I knew that Roach would reverse course and predict a knockout after reading recently where he said he thought Pacquiao would beat Clottey by a 12 round decision. This is classic Roach for you. Now all we need is Roach to start trimming off the rounds to the point where he has Pacquiao stopping Clottey between the 1st and 3rd rounds. I mean it’s hard to come up with new sound bites, so by trimming off rounds every so often for his predictions, Roach is coming up with new stuff to say to the media.

I don’t believe for a second that Pacquiao will get anywhere close to stopping Clottey. That won’t happen. That’s my prediction. Clottey’s chin is too tough and Pacquiao probably won’t be interested in standing in front of Clottey long enough to make it happen. I think Clottey can be stopped, but for that to happen, Pacquiao would have to camp in front of him for five to six rounds and throw a steady diet of hard shots to get him out of there.

The problem with that is Pacquiao would take a nasty beating himself in the process by the larger Clottey and probably end up looking like someone that crawled off the Civil war battlefield. Clottey isn’t a huge puncher, but if you let him put his hands on you for five to six rounds, his shots have a way of adding up.

But Pacquiao won’t be standing in front of this guy, you can bet on that. Roach will be going apoplectic in the corner screaming his longs out if Pacquiao tries to trade with Clottey for any length of time. He doesn’t need to. Clottey has limited movement, and tends to just stand in one place for long periods of time just covering up with both gloves glued to his face.

Pacquiao won’t have problems against an opponent like this. This kind of primitive fighting approach may work against 2nd tier opposition, but Pacquiao won’t have problems against Clottey unless he makes problems himself by trying to go to war with him.

About the training for the Clottey fight, Roach says “Manny’s a very intelligent fighter. Now he understands how to study fights. Before, he didn’t care. He just did what he did. But now, he sees it. And when you see it, you can execute it.” I think Pacquiao would do fine against Clottey regardless of whether he studies for him or not.

What’s there to think about when a fighter posts himself with his back against the ropes and covers up while his opponent shells away at him? I think Pacquiao could figure Clottey out just fine even without tape on him. Come off of it, Roach. This isn’t like going up against a slick fighter like Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Shane Mosley. Clottey will be there to be hit all night long for Pacquiao, and Manny could see that plain as day without studying Clottey.
Jul 24, 2005
Roach: "Pacquiao Wants Mayweather in The Worst Way"

By Mark Vester

Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach says his fighter wants a piece of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in "the worst way." Pacquiao is tired of Mayweather's trash talk and wants to settle things in the ring. After watching numerous tapes, Roach has put together the perfect plan to combat Mayweather's style - if the fight ever comes around.

"[Pacquiao] wants to shut him [Mayweather] up. I want the public to know that,” Roach told Gareth Davies of the Telegraph Sport. When fight time [with Mayweather] eventually comes around…we’ll have the perfect game plan. There are I’ve found some things he does really well. He’s good. Whatever personal things there are…I talk **** about him, he talks **** about me, but I think we have respect for each other.”

Roach himself has no issues with Mayweather's trash talk. He thinks it's good for selling fights. The fighters are still at odds over the issue that caused their fight to fall apart - random drug testing. Mayweather will not back away from his demand for random drug testing. Pacquiao's side will not agree to that demand. Pacquiao will face Joshua Clottey on March 13. Mayweather will likely face Shane Mosley on May 1.

“I like Floyd Jr. I have no problems with his b******, or trash talk, it sells fights, but if we get him in a ring, we’ll beat him. I studied him. He sucks you in, he let Ricky Hatton win a couple of rounds, gave Hatton confidence, let Hatton come after him, and Hatton was all set up. You have to be very, very intelligent when you fight him,” Roach said.
Jul 24, 2005
Bernard Hopkins: Contender Emeritus?

y Cliff Rold

Atop most of the notable non-sanctioning body ratings at Light Heavyweight, two men occupy the top slots: Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson. Fightnews, SecondsOut, and the U.K.-based Boxing Monthly have Hopkins currently at the number one spot; Ring Magazine and ESPN have Dawson up top.

One of them clearly belongs.

The other one signed for a rematch with Roy Jones Jr. earlier this month and warrants a closer look.

Thankfully for history buffs, and even they were among those who couldn’t get past the absurdity of Zsolt Erdei’s place as lineal champion, Erdei’s decision to return to the Light Heavyweight division after vacating his WBO belt to pursue Cruiserweight honors doesn’t undo the vacancy he left behind at 175 lbs. The sole link he had to the lineage of the crown, traced to Virgil Hill’s 1996 win over Henry Maske, was severed in November 2009.

The popular claim to Light Heavyweight supremacy was laid to rest even earlier last year. When he elected to retire, Joe Calzaghe took the Ring Magazine title with him. That was the claim linked to Roy Jones’s unification of the WBC, WBA and IBF belts from 1997-99. It was also, in terms of talent, always the superior line of champions. Jones, Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson, and Bernard Hopkins all took their turns.

Today, whether one looks purely to the lineage or not for champions, the sign above the Light Heavyweight division should read “vacant.”

Dawson (29-0, 17 KO) being near the peak of the class in anyone’s ratings makes perfect sense. The 27-year old, currently holding an interim claim to the WBC belt, and having previously volunteered to abandon the WBC and IBF belts in pursuit of higher profile challenges, has done almost everything which could be asked of him. Since 2007, he has picked up five high quality wins, four of them without dispute.

In February 2007, Dawson came off the floor late and won between eight and ten rounds on all cards against future Cruiserweight king and current Heavyweight hopeful Tomasz Adamek (39-1, 27 KO). In 2008 and 09, he squared off with Glen Johnson (49-13-2, 33 KO), Antonio Tarver (27-6, 19 KO) in consecutive outings, and then Johnson again. All four wins came via unanimous decision; only the first Johnson fight, a violent classic, was remotely close.

The first three of those five wins came while both the Ring and lineal claims to the crown were still in effect. The second Tarver fight came after the February 2009 retirement of Calzaghe. The second Johnson fight, November 7 of last year, came just one week before Erdei elected to vacate at Light Heavyweight.

Dawson, having not fought since, and having not had the opportunity to face either Calzaghe or Erdei, has not yet had the opportunity to cement a claim to the Light Heavyweight crown.

He has earned the right to do so.

Has Hopkins (50-5-1, 32 KO) truly done enough, at Light Heavyweight, to maintain being the man who decides whether or not he gets there?

When he elected to come back from retirement, initially in 2007 but ultimately not until 2008, Heavyweight Vitali Klitschko caused waves in the division by invoking his status as the WBC’s ‘emeritus’ mandatory. Basically, the ‘emeritus’ status meant Klitschko could do whatever he wanted for presumably as long as he wanted only to be guaranteed a title shot on demand whenever he wanted it. It was a situation that drew guffaws from the masses.

Similar logic may be at work in labeling Hopkins one of the world’s top two Light Heavyweights, even if it’s not referred to that way. To be fair, Hopkins’s twenty title defenses at Middleweight and continued successes well into middle age make him one of the game’s living legends. He must be assumed as a world class threat until someone proves he’s not.

No one has done it yet.

However, regarding him as still a threat runs into some realities that make Hopkins as a top two Light Heavyweight objectively hard to swallow. Since moving up from Middleweight to topple Tarver in 2006, Hopkins has won only against the men he spent a decade dominating.


Tarver is, in fact, the only man Hopkins has faced at Light Heavyweight who was active in the Light Heavyweight division immediately before meeting Hopkins.

In four fights since Tarver, Hopkins has gone 3-1, defeating Winky Wright (then a leading Middleweight contender), losing a competitive outing to Calzaghe (then Super Middleweight champ), and then decisioning Kelly Pavlik (then and now the Middleweight king) and Enrique Ornelas (two fights earlier a loser in a WBC Middleweight eliminator).

Also important in considering the question at hand, between Pavlik and Ornelas was an almost fourteen month layoff. With that sort of time off, and over three and half years without facing a rated Light Heavyweight, are exceptions being made for Hopkins in considering his place in the division?

Because they go beyond ratings and actually award the distinction of champion, and because in most cases Ring’s distinction lines up with the best claim to title lineage (Flyweight being the lone exception currently), Ring’s take on the situation was requested through their Editor-in-Chief Nigel Collins.

Asked if Hopkins historical standing was a factor in Ring’s current rating of number two at 175, Collins responded that “The Ring does not take a fighter’s historic standing into consideration when evaluating his ranking in a particular weight class. Results within the division are the main factor in all divisional rankings. Any fighter weighing more than 168 pound and less than 200 is a light heavyweight. Therefore, despite the fact that Bernard Hopkins’ bouts with Kelly Pavlik and Winky Wright (both of who weighed 170 pounds) were at catchweight, they were still light heavyweight fights.”

Further asked what it would take for Hopkins to drop lower in their ratings given his wins since 2006, lengthy layoff between Pavlik and Ornelas, and choice of Ornelas and Jones as consecutive opponents, Collins further replied, “Hopkins could drop in the ratings at any time--the same way he went from number one to number two following Chad Dawson’s second win over Glen Johnson. Hypothetically, Hopkins could drop again if contenders below him score significant wins. Right now, Jean Pascal, Tavoris Cloud, and Yusaf Mack are well positioned to do just that, but everything depends on what happens inside the ring.”

At the least it can be noted that, in signing to fight Jones, Hopkins has settled on a foe that has clearly been active at Light Heavyweight. The revenge factor, even if only for pride, is somewhat understandable given Hopkins’s loss to Jones in 1993 and years of rhetorical battle between the two.

However, Jones has fallen from most ratings after his first round knockout loss to Danny Green at Cruiserweight last December and, at 5-5 since 2004, Jones can’t point to a what could be considered a major win since his first 2003 struggle with Tarver.

Asked for his take on whether Hopkins should drop lower than the top two, ESPN’s Dan Rafael (who, like Ring, compiles comprehensive divisional ratings) answered “not yet” though he noted that, also like Ring, he’d recently dropped Hopkins below Dawson.

Ring’s web editor, Doug Fischer, addressed the Light Heavyweight ratings in his mailbag on January 15th. “It’s a free country, so Jones and Hopkins are free to beat on each other if they want, and fans are free to ignore them. The only thing I’ll ask of Hopkins (and the esteemed editorial board at THE RING) is to drop from that No. 2 spot in the magazine’s 175-pound ratings. I don’t want to diss Glen Johnson, but part of me is rooting for Yusaf Mack to win their fight on Jan. 30, so the Road Warrior will drop from the No. 3 spot. That way, if No. 4-rated Tarver doesn’t fight by mid-May, he’ll be dropped for being inactive for one year and there’s a possibility that the proposed summer matchup of Dawson and Jean Pascal could be for the vacant RING light heavyweight title. Fight fans deserve a real light heavyweight showdown and a real 175-pound champ. Dawson-Pascal could give us both.”

Johnson-Mack has since been reset for February 5th due to the cancellation of Shane Mosley-Andre Berto. Pascal-Dawson may or may not be able to occur over the summer due to injuries the WBC champion Pascal sustained last year in his second contest against Adrian Diaconu, though recent signs are positive.

Should Dawson-Pascal be the place where a new ‘real’ champion is crowned?

The current divisional ratings at BoxingScene, compiled by this author, have Dawson and Pascal rated at numbers one and two (followed by undefeated IBF titlist Tavoris Cloud). The answer from this corner is yes.

It is understandable if some argue that these top three might be a case of jumping the gun.

Neither Pascal nor Cloud is as accomplished in their careers as the three men rated directly beneath them (Hopkins, Johnson, and Tarver). The preference for them here, over their veteran counterparts, comes from favoring Pascal and Cloud for recent wins in the division over rated contenders.

The most recent official win over a serious Light Heavyweight contender for the veterans came at Tarver’s hands in April 2008, prior to his losses to Dawson, against Clinton Woods.

Since that Tarver win, even while plagued with far too much inactivity for a fighter in his 20s, the exciting Cloud (20-0, 18 KO) has gone 2-0 against former titlists Julio Gonzalez and Clinton Woods, the latter for the then-vacant vacant IBF belt.

Pascal (25-1, 16 KO), following a Super Middleweight title loss to Carl Froch in December 2008, has won four times with the last three all at 175 lbs. A thrilling win over the then-undefeated Diaconu in June 2009 for the WBC belt was followed with a stoppage of faded former titlist Silvio Branco and another decision over Diaconu before the year was out.

Hopkins being rated over either Pascal or Cloud is a case which can be made by pointing out that, Middleweights or not, Wright and Pavlik were both excellent fighters regardless of weight. The dominance of those wins cannot be easily discarded. Losing to Calzaghe, who like Hopkins is destined shortly for the Hall of Fame, in a close fight is nothing to hold against him either. And, it can be pointed out, Hopkins beat a better and younger Tarver than Dawson did and with more ease.

There is also the argument that Hopkins is, well, he’s Bernard Hopkins. At 45, if he wants to take a little longer off than others, he’s earned the right. In an era where three fights is a busy schedule for a year, his layoff means less than it might have in more active eras.

None of this answers the implications of the layoff combined with the Ornelas and Jones fight coming back to back, along with previous public dismissals of a Dawson fight as not worth his economic while. It appears for now that Hopkins isn’t really interested in the thick of the 175 lb. hunt. Stranger things have happened than the seemingly shot Jones upsetting Hopkins to make this all moot.

Strange hasn’t happened as yet.

That means, for now, the question remains: is regard for Hopkins as a top Light Heavyweight in 2010 a case of ‘emeritus’ or merit?
May 13, 2002
^^the problem with that article is that they don't mention Chad Dawson's last three fights hasn't even generated a total of 5,000 ticket sales. That's 3 fights. It's embarrassing. Hopkins is 45 years old, a hall of famer & an all time great. He isn't looking to fight some young guy yet again that has no fanbase. Hopkins is trying to cash out before he retires. He's got 1 fight left at Light Heavyweight.

So the writer should just accept the fact that hopkins will only be ranked at LH for probably less than another year, then he's gone for good (either going to heavyweight or retiring). Chad can fight Pascal and Tavoris Cloud and if he wins those fights, he'll be the champ. Besides, Chad Dawson's last opponents ages have been 40, 41, 40, and 40. So maybe it's time he fights someone under the age of 40 not a guy who's 45.
Jul 24, 2005
Evander Holyfield, Francois Botha Drama Continues

By Per Ake Persson

Botha vs who: Not a word from promoter Eddie Bazira in Uganda about the change of date and opponent for WBFederation´s heavyweight champ Francois Botha´s February 27 defense in Kampala against Joey Abell. However, the story gets better than that because in Las Vegas Sterling McPherson says he's got a contract with Botha and will try and stage the fight against Evander Holyfield over there but "the deal isn´t completed yet".

Botha vs Abell February 27 in Kampala? "Just bull**it" says McPherson. "I got a contract with Botha, end of story!"

When this reporter tried to suggest that many have confirmed Botha vs Abell, Mr. McPherson replied: "didn't you hear what I just to told you?"

Howard Goldberg, President of the WBFederation, says the story of Botha fighting Abell is completely rubbish and that the Uganda event fell through due to lack of funds.

According to Goldberg, based in South Africa, a venue in Las Vegas will be confirmed Monday and "at present Botha vs Holyfield remains on, with a date in March to be confirmed". Ken Sanders, representing Holyfield, told this reporter Tuesday the fight with Botha was off but that a fight on March 6 was being worked on with a second set up for April 24. Sanders was well aware of that Botha vs Abell was on (or claimed to be on). It deserves to be noticed that Botha vs Holyfield on for February 20 in Kampala had been up on the WBFederation website until it was pointed out by yours truly.

It´s a been a bit overlooked but WBO I/C light heavyweight champ Karo Murat, 20-0, defends the title against Sean Corbin in a supporting bout to Sylvester vs Lyall on Saturday in Neubrandenburg. Off the show due to illness is cruiser Alexander Frenkel, who was to have fought Michael Simms, who beat Martin Kempf on his last visit to Germany.

Newly crowned Finnish heavyweight champ Jarno Rosberg have tested positive for an illegal substance following his win over Juho Haapoja in November but there are questionmarks around the doping procedure. The Finnish Federation will decide on the matter February 1.

Danish lightweight Martin Kristjansen now fights Felix Lora, from the Dominican Republic but fighting out of Spain, on the undercard to Larsen vs Magee in Aarhus on Saturday.

Rachid El-Hadak´s defence of the French cruiser title against Zakaria Azzaoui is postponed from February 10 until March 4 with site remaining Hyeres.
Jul 24, 2005
John Ruiz: "I Want To Bring The Fight To David Haye"

By T.K. Stewart

There was a press conference in Manchester, England Tuesday to announce the April 3 heavyweight title bout between WBA titlist David Haye and former two-time belt holder Johnny Ruiz.

At most pre-fight press conferences, both fighters show up, go through the motions for the media and tell everyone why it is they will be victorious. Haye and Ruiz will meet at the Manchester Evening News Arena and today it was expected that both fighters would make their case and get the promotion for the fight off to a rousing start.

But Johnny Ruiz decided not to show up.

“We paid for his first class tickets over here, a great hotel and tried to accommodate him as best as possible,” Haye said at the press conference. “But he didn't get on the flight. I don't know what his reason is.”

When contacted at his hometown of Las Vegas this afternoon, Ruiz was vague as to the reason or reasons behind his absence.

“It was too far a trip to make,” said Ruiz to “Right now, I’m focused on training. This fight is important to me, important to my career. All I can say is that I’m sorry for not being there and I apologize.”

Ruiz, who turned 38 earlier this month, is no stranger to heavyweight title fights, nor is he a stranger to fighting overseas. A 54 fight veteran, Ruiz has fought six times in England and four times in Germany. He has engaged in 10 world title fights over the past decade.

“I heard some of what David Haye said today,” claimed Ruiz who recently signed a contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. “I’m glad he’s doing all the talking. That’s what he does. It’s doesn’t bother me. He just uses that to motivate himself because he knows that when he fights me he’s going to have his hands full. So, let him talk is what I say.”

Ruiz’ claim that he decided to skip the press conference because he needed to focus on training sounded like a hollow excuse. The bout is still 9 ½ weeks away and he last fought in November at a very trim and well-conditioned 227 pounds.

When asked if he had decided upon a plan of attack versus Haye, Ruiz (44-8-1, 30 KOs) said he had.

“The biggest strength I see in him is his movement. I want to slow him down, bring the fight to him and stay on top of him. I want to make him fight my fight.”

The odds for the bout have not yet been posted, but the 29-year-old Haye, a former cruiserweight world champion who has a record of 23-1, 21 KOs who will also be fighting in his home country, is expected to open as a heavy favorite.
Jul 24, 2005
Why was the Pacquiao-Clottey fight put together so fast?

By Chris Williams: It seems like the bout between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey was put together in a lightning fast motion after the Mayweather-Pacquiao talks reached a brief stalemate. I don’t see how or why Pacquiao’s promotional team didn’t stick around for another week or two and continue to work on negotiating with Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions. Come on, it was only going to be the hugest fight in the history of boxing.

How come they quickly bailed on a fight that would have given Pacquiao a payday of $40 million to fight a guy like Joshua Clottey? I know Clottey fights for the same promotional company as Pacquiao, Top Rank, but what does Pacquiao and boxing fans get out of a fight against Clottey? This isn’t something that will further Pacquiao’s legacy, as far as I can tell, because Clottey doesn’t have a title and was recently beaten by Miguel Cotto in his last fight.

Clottey has one knockout in his last 11 fights and has only fought a small smatter of top tier opponents during his career, losing to two of them, Antonio Margarito and Cotto. Why couldn’t Pacquiao’s team wait one or two more weeks to work on finding something that Mayweather and Pacquiao could agree on for the random blood tests.

It just seems like they bailed on the negotiations way too fast for my tastes and with the huge interest and money on the line for the fight. A lot of boxing fans are pretty angry with both fighters and their teams for not making this fight happen, and I can hardly blame them. And Pacquiao’s replacement opponent only seems to make it worse in my book. They can paint it anyway they like, but Clottey is not an interesting fight for Pacquiao.

You know who’s going to win and there’s no drama other than artificial hype that some people put into it. They should have at least tried to go after Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Juan Manuel Marquez or Paul Williams as a replacement for Mayweather. I guess it doesn’t matter to some boxing fans, because they’ll watch Pacquiao no matter what, but if they have any idea about boxing, they’re probably not too excited about the prospects of watching Pacquiao fight the recently beaten Clottey. How can you get excited about this fight? And to top it off, you’ll have to pay to see.

I won’t pay a dime to watch this fight. They should have stuck it out for two more weeks and completed the negotiations instead of moving on quickly to a fight that few boxing fans, aside from diehard Pacquiao fans, want to see. And the second option that Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum was offering, Yuri Foreman, was also a crummy idea as well for replacement opponent. Foreman also is a Top Rank fighter, and one that is not well known among boxing fans. With his nonexistent power and his hit and run style of fighting, I can only imagine how awful a fight it would have been between Foreman and Pacquiao. Thank god that fight didn’t happen.

In the best of worlds, Pacquiao and his team should have come back with a counter offer to Mayweather and agreed to have the random blood tests stop at 17 days before the fight. If Pacquiao feels weak for two days after having a tiny amount of blood taken from him, he would still have 15 days to get his strength back before the Mayweather bout.

That should have been enough time to get his power back before the fight, I would think. Even if 17 days isn’t good, they could have worked on a couple days more and make it 19 days or whatever. I just don’t see how they could back away from a huge fight like this so fast and then take a bout against Clottey.
Jul 24, 2005
Victor Ortiz vs. Alatorre on Feb 25th

By Jim Dower: Light welterweight contender Victor Ortiz (25-2-1, 20 KO’s) will continue with his comeback against the light hitting Hector Alatorre (16-8, 5 KO’s) on February 25th, at the Club Nokia, in Los Angeles, California. It looks like Ortiz’s promotional company, Golden Boy Promotions, isn’t going to take any chances with Ortiz that he might get beaten again by matching him soft this time. Alatorre, 28, has lost eight out of his last ten fights dating back to December 2006.

The only good thing that you can get from these defeats is that Alatorre has yet to be knocked out. That’s good news, Ortiz needs rounds to improve his defense. Last year, Ortiz was stopped in the 6th round by Argentinean knockout artist Marcos Maidana (27-1, 26 KO’s) in June. Ortiz came out slugging against Maidana and quickly knocked him down three times in the first two rounds.

However, Maidana dropped Ortiz in the first with hard right hand and then hurt him at the end of the 5th with a big right to the head. In the 6th round, Maidana finished off a still hurt Ortiz with another hard right, knocking him down. The fight was then stopped at 0:46 of the 6th. There are boxing experts who say that Ortiz made a mistake of slugging with a slugger, and that he could have beaten Maidana if he had only chosen to box more. Maybe, but Maidana was putting a great deal of pressure on Ortiz from the earliest moments in the fight and not giving him any room to maneuver.

Even if Ortiz did want to try and stay away Maidana, there’s a high probability that Maidana would have caught up to Ortiz anyway and ended up taking him out. He just didn’t seem to have the chin to take the hard shots that Maidana was blasting him with in that fight. Ortiz rebounded well from that loss and defeated Antonio Diaz by a 6th round retirement in December.

Ortiz landed some nice shots in that fight showing excellent power in knocking Diaz to the canvas in the 3rd. However, Ortiz still was easy to hit as Diaz landed some big shots of his own in that fight. Clearly, Ortiz has some serious work to do on his defense if he wants to capture a title in the future.

While I think Ortiz is good enough to beat World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Amir Khan and IBF champion Juan Urango, I think Ortiz would have big troubles against WBO title holder Timothy Bradley, WBC champion Devon Alexander and, of course, Maidana. I also think Ortiz would have troubles against Kendall Holt and the hard punching Ricardo Torres.

Those would all be tough fights for Ortiz and it would be asking a lot for him to come out of those fights with wins. At 22, I think Ortiz won’t be put in with any of those fighters any time soon. I think his management team have learned their lesson and will play it safe for awhile before deciding to put him with tougher fighters.

Alatorre should be way out of his class in this fight, but he will be a good test to show whether or not Ortiz is improving defensively. He doesn’t have any power but he’s capable of throwing shots that Ortiz will be forced to defend against. Hopefully, Ortiz doesn’t come out looking for a quick knockout again and get tapped on the chin and put down. Ortiz’s chin is clearly his weak spot.
Jul 24, 2005
Margarito deserves a shot against Pacquiao

By Esteban Garduno: After serving his year suspension from the California Athletic Commission, it’s high time that former IBF welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KO’s) be allowed to fight against. Presently, Margarito has applied to have his license renewed by the Texas Athletic Commission rather than the California Commission. It makes sense, because Margarito is planning to fight on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey fight on March 13th at the Dallas Cowboy stadium.

But it’s also the smart thing to do, because the California Athletic Commission might not give Margarito his boxing license back this year, even though he’s done his year suspension. Last year in January, Margarito’s hand wraps were found to have an illegal substance inside. Margarito said that he wasn’t aware that there was anything inside.

Margarito lost his license anyway for a year by the California Commission. But the year is over, it’s time that Margarito be allowed to fight again. And if Margarito beats his March 13th opponent, Carson Jones, I’m hoping that Margarito can be set up with a fight against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Pacquiao.

I think this would be a great fight. And for those boxing fans who think that Margarito should be banned for life for the hand wrap incident, all I can say is what about all the fighters that are caught using steroids and growth hormones? Why aren’t they banned for life? If you don’t think that a chemical that helps you put on muscle and hit harder than you normally don’t help you, then I think people are being naive.

Performance enhancing drugs allow a fighter to hit someone harder than their body would naturally allow them to. Granted, the steroids and growth hormones probably don’t help for fights that go into the later rounds were conditioning becomes a factor, but I suspect that they do help in the first half of the fights.

And I also think it helps some unethical fighters put on bulk to move up in weight so they can make more money. I don’t think it’s easy to put on 15 to 20 pounds of pure muscle in three to six months. I don’t know that you really can. For fighters to move up in weight like that, a lot of the weight that they put isn’t muscle when they’re moving up in weight so quickly.

So my thoughts are if fighters found dirty with steroids or growth hormones in their bodies aren’t being banned for life, then why should Margarito be? To me, they both seem to come out to being the same thing. How can a fighter who uses steroids and/or growth hormone be allowed to continue boxing while a fighter who pads his gloves can’t? Both of them would seem to me to be dangerous.

This is why I think Margarito deserves a second chance against Jones initially and then Pacquiao later on in 2010. He’s done his time and given that there’s no laws saying that he should be banned for life from boxing, then I think he should be able to fight again. Boxers need to be able to have a second chance if they screw up. But if fans and the commissions do want to make it impossible for fighters like Margarito to fight again, then I think they need to apply the same standards for fighters using growth hormones and steroids.
Jul 24, 2005
Erislandy Lara: Steady Wins The Race

By Cliff Rold

Some opponents make a hot prospect look better. Other opponents actually make them better. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive, but often in boxing, with the pressure of television lights bearing down, one is chosen over the other.

And the choice is too often style over substance.

This Friday night it won’t be the case for 26-year old Erislandy Lara (9-0, 5 KO) of Cuba. He’ll be stepping in with awkward, schooled veteran Grady Brewer (26-11, 15 KO) on the undercard of the WBA Light Heavyweight title rematch between Gabriel Campillo and Beibut Shumenov. Even at 39, the Contender Season Two winner Brewer represents on paper not just the stiffest test of Lara’s career but arguably the stiffest test any of the current, hot Cuban crop has faced.

That the Brewer fight has been made says his people think he can win.

That Brewer could make him look less than sensational even if he does says a lot about what his real long term prospects are hoped to be.

Brewer is likely to be motivated for the contest, unready to play the opponent. After all, he hasn’t been the luckiest fighter in recent years. His breakthrough moment didn’t break him through after years on the fringes.

Before reality television success found him, Brewer had an up and down career. Among his early losses were rising World Champions Jermain Taylor by decision and Kelly Pavlik by knockout. He upset then mega-prospect Anthony Thompson by knockout in 2004 and lost a controversial call to Sechew Powell later in the year, putting Powell on the floor before it went to the cards.

2006 was his memorable Contender run, a streak of five wins that ended with a decision over former Jr. Lightweight titlist Steve Forbes. Injuries kept him from capitalizing, sticking him on the shelf until 2008 but it’s not lost that he enters the Lara fight with a career best eight fight winning streak.

His age doesn’t mean he’s shot, but it does mean Brewer is short on chances. Whatever his best is, he’ll bring it to the ring on Friday.

What Lara’s best is, or can be, remains to be seen in the paid ranks. The record is clear about what sort of potential is there. An Amateur Welterweight World Champion in 2005, the southpaw defected before he could make a run at Olympic Gold in 2008. He would have been a favorite.

Now competing as a Jr. Middleweight and Middleweight, it’s easy to peg him as a favorite for major professional titles but also easy for him to get lost in the shuffle.

Last weekend a fellow Cuban, Featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa (17-0, 15 KO) dropped jaws with a display of speed and power which simply overwhelmed the usually durable Rogers Mtagwa. Jr. Featherweight Guillermo Rigondeaux (4-0, 3 KO), one of the greatest amateurs of all-time, has already toppled a 70-plus fight veteran by knockout and could be ready to challenge for a belt before his tenth fight.

Gamboa has been a pro just shy of three years, Rigondeaux less than a year, but both bring a speed and flash to the ring which makes them stick out more than Lara. It’s not that Lara lacks for speed or power, but his is the package which pays off over time. It’s all beautiful footwork and deliberate execution.

It’s, so far, the recipe for steady professionalism. It’s the picture of a fighter being crafted for a longer run. Younger than either of the other two of what are considered the best of the Cubans, he’s has a luxury of the clock they may not.

He also has a far different field than they have in front of them.

With Juan Manuel Lopez already out of the Jr. Featherweights and being moved towards a hoped-for big fight with Gamboa, and with unified 122 lb. titlist Celestino Caballero likely to follow both up to the 126 lb. Featherweight class, Jr. Featherweight is opening wide up with only a couple of dangerous titlists to outright avoid for the time being. It’s the perfect spot for Rigondeaux to make quick moves.

Gamboa has a Featherweight field which is in need of fresh blood and can be, in part, molded around his remaining development.

Lara, conversely, is coming of age in a youth movement at both 154 and 160 lbs. Russia’s Matt Korobov (9-0, 7 KO), American Olympians Demetrius Andrade (9-0, 7 KO) and Shawn Estrada (6-0, 6 KO), Fernando Guerrero (17-0, 14 KO), and Shawn Porter (12-0, 10) are among the leaders of the new pack with other young fighters like Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, and Yuri Foreman already having made their way into contention or towards serious belts.

Lara’s path to bigger things isn’t easy to craft around him. It’s not easy to craft at all. To navigate towards the hopes of becoming the very best of this blue chip wave, his development by design will have to be more deliberate, taking moments to impress where they emerge but sacrificing some of that for the impressions that last.

Grady Brewer, a proven spoiler, as Lara’s tenth professional opponent is just risky enough to raise the eyebrows. It’s a winnable fight with what politicos might call ‘teachable moments.’ By night’s end he might have had the opportunity to look better than he has so far.

Far more important, by the time the final bell rings, even if the victory is tougher to come by than Lara or his team would desire, he almost certainly will have become a little bit better.

The real payoff for that might not come for a couple of years, but if it does it will be the sort of payoff which keeps the checks coming.

o Erik Morales is making a comeback? Yeah, this probably doesn’t end well…Holyfield-Botha is called off? Darn. It’s hard to count how many people were looking forward to that one. If any readers know of someone who actually was, please inform. That would be truly shocking…Why is Freddie Roach still questioning the courage of Floyd Mayweather? Isn’t his guy scared of needles or something?...Chris John says he wants Juanma Lopez or Yuriorkis Gamboa. Good. Before those two get all into fighting each other, it would be best they go through the best Featherweight in the world first. Who wants to watch the race for second place?...David Haye-John Ruiz is coming and, oh, never mind…Koki Kameda-Pongsaklek Wonjongkam is one of my favorite fight made so far this year.
Jul 24, 2005
Arum Impressed With Manny Pacquiao's Gym Work

By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum showed up at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles on Wednesday to watch his prized possession Manny Pacquiao train and said later he was “very impressed.”

The pound-for-pound icon went through his usual routine as well as nine rounds on the punch-mitts without a break.

Conditioning coach Alex Ariza told us that Pacquiao started his strength training and noted “he looked a lot stronger than he has been in the past and in some of the exercises it was nice to see on my part that its like he’s not starting from the beginning.”

He said Pacquiao will begin sparring on Thursday (LA Time) but there was no word on who trainer Freddie Roach had picked to serve as sparring partners.

Ariza said Roach was “trying to put everything in order” which includes strict restrictions on who could remain inside while Pacquiao trains. He said the gym was virtually empty with only a few people from Team Pacquiao including Filipino trainer Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez present.

Ariza informed us that Gerry Penalosa who fights former two-division world champion Eric Morel on the “Pinoy Power III” card at the Las Vegas Hilton on February 13 which will be telecast in the Philippines by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN said Penalosa was “aggressive, active and comes forward and is nice to watch.”

However, Ariza was most impressed by Philippine bantamweight champion Eden Sonsona, the flashy southpaw. He said “he looks really good. He’s strong and I really like him.”
Jul 24, 2005
David Haye's Trainer Breaks Down The John Ruiz Fight

By Terence Dooley

Adam Booth, who has guided David Haye to the pinnacle of the heavyweight division, took time out to chat exclusively with during David Haye’s press conference in Manchester. Haye, 23-1 (21), is due to lock horns with Ruiz, 44-8-1 (30), on April 3rd at the MEN Arena, Manchester.

Although Ruiz fought here in the UK earlier in his career the two-time WBA title holder, and the only Hispanic to become heavyweight champion, may be largely unknown to British armchair fans.

However, some of these fans may vaguely recall seeing Ruiz on the first-ever Sky PPV event, Frank Bruno's pitiful WBC title defence against Mike Tyson, as highlights of the previous night's 'Heavyweight Explosion' bill were televised as part of that PPV. Ruiz, of course, was knocked out in 19-seconds by David Tua on that ‘Explosion’ card, prior to Tuaman's weight gain and ritual humiliation at the hands of Lennox Lewis, yet Booth believes that the Tua result, far from being a good omen, is highly misleading.

“John Ruiz has only ever been stopped once, by David Tua, one of the most powerful heavyweights of the past twenty years, so we can’t look at that,” stressed Booth. “If Ruiz does get caught then of course he’ll look to protect himself. He is so effective at taking away other people’s skills and attributes. Ruiz has to protect his space to do what he wants to do - that is a big challenge (for David in this fight).”

Ruiz is analogous to a modern day Kenny Norton, allow him into a contest and he is a nightmare proposition yet if you tag him hard and often early in a fight, as Tua, Roy Jones and James Toney did, he will either hit the deck, as he did versus Tua, or retreat into his shell, as we saw in the Jones and Toney bouts. Booth also believes that Ruiz can be knocked out off his stride early in a fight.

“One hundred percent,” agreed Booth. “He retreated into his shell against Roy Jones because he couldn’t see the punches coming. Against James Toney, Ruiz was caught with counter right hands, again these are shots you don’t see and they take you by surprise. When he was knocked out by Tua he was trading with Tua and you saw what happened. John Ruiz has had every punch from every style and with every level of power thrown at him in his career so he will believe that David won’t be able to show him nothing new.”

Booth also believes that Ruiz's new training regime, John has hooked up with Miguel Diaz, will bring give him an extra edge. Indeed, Booth believes that the ‘Quiet Man’ is making changes across the board, starting with his footwear.

“Yeah, he has a new trainer and a change is as good as a rest sometimes. I was watching John skipping on YouTube the other day and I noticed that he was wearing a new brand of trainers, someone must have told him they were the best running shoes and he’s switched to them, it shows the type of mentality he now has,” declared Booth

“All of a sudden he has another crack at the heavyweight title, and in a big venue and against a new holder, he won’t change to the extent where he can out-box David, that won’t happen, but if he does a bit more boxing than brawling in the gym then we’ll see a fresh Ruiz come fight night. One thing John will always be able to do is brawl.”

Don't laugh, Lennox Lewis, when asked what was the difference in his rematch with Oliver McCall, told Larry Merchant that his white shoes had thrown Oliver into disarray, although he stopped short of claiming that they had brought about McCall's in-ring nervous breakdown, another white substance was the root of that memorable meltdown. Still, Booth has a point; Ruiz looks reborn in training and could be a tough test for Haye.

Speaking of running shoes, people have asked if Haye will bring his track shoes to the Ruiz fight, the inference being that Haye, for all his talk, ran against Nikolay Valuev. This is nonsense, Haye moved, jabbed and laid traps for Valuev in that fight implementing a dying art known as ‘boxing’, as opposed to incessant holding, to bring about victory.

“No one said it was a bad fight during the [Valuev] fight as there was an air of tension, people were waiting to see when David would get squashed,” said Booth when discussing the Valuev performance.

“If you watch it back you can see why the fight developed in that way. You can see the technical side, jabs to the belly to stop him [Valuev] walking forward, jabs to the belly to stop him throwing that left hook and give David the distance to get his shots off, David would then get out off the spot he was in and repeat the process.”

Haye was criticised after his last appearance here in Manchester when he boxed within himself during a points win over Ismail Abdoul in 2006. Prior to that one, many people had wondered if Haye would ever be able to do the 12-rounds distance. Haye proved that he could and people said, “Well, he wasn't under much pressure was he?”

Later, Haye goes 12 with Valuev, who is huge, in a high pressure, away day encounter and what does he hear, “Yeah, he did the 12, again, but he didn't knock the guy out did he?” Consider, David went the distance with Abdoul then gave us a blood and guts war in his next encounter, that dramatic ninth round TKO of Giacobbe Fragomeni. Could history repeat itself on April the 3rd?

“I don’t want to see that much blood!” laughed Booth when reminded of the Fragomeni showdown. “Although I don’t want a calm night because we both thrive on the atmosphere and the crowd. David will be in that zone where he is focussed and he loves it when people enjoy watching him fight. He gets off on entertaining people.”
Jul 24, 2005
Donaire Sr. Says Morales Does Not Have a Weight Problem

By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Trainer Nonito Donaire Sr says undefeated Ciso “Kid Terrible” Morales (14-0, 8 KO’s)has no weight problem and will surely make the 118 pound limit when he fights WBO bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel (39-2-2, 29 KO’s) on the “Pinoy Power III” Top Ranks fight card at the Las Vegas Hilton on February 13.

Donaire Sr. spoke to,, Standard Today and Viva Sports while en route to the University of San Francisco with Morales and former WBO super flyweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona for a sparring session at the university with bigger fighters ready to give them a good workout.

The trainer who steered his son Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire to the IBF/IBO flyweight title with a sensational 5th round knockout of Vic Darchinyan and then handled Sonsona who won the WBO super flyweight title with a rousing win over veteran Jose Carita Lopez last September 4 said Morales was just seven pounds over the 118 pound limit

Donaire Sr Morales “runs five miles a day and we have no problem with his weight. I don’t know who is saying we have a problem with his weight.”

He said they plan to fly to Las Vegas on February 7 to wind down training for the title fight.

The elite trainer said both Morales and Sonsona were “in good condition” and indicated that Sonsona who battles undefeated Puerto Rican champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr for the WBO super bantamweight title in Puerto Rico on February 27 has “made a lot of changes. He is more focused and I don’t see any problem with him.”

Morales stepped in for Z “The Dream” Gorres who was scheduled to fight Montiel in an eagerly awaited rematch . However, the flashy southpaw suffered a tragic injury after putting on a superb display to beat Colombia’s Luis Melendez over ten rounds at the Mandalay Bay House of Blues last November 12. Gorres collapsed in his corner after the decision was announced and was rushed to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas where he underwent brain surgery that ended his promising career.

After Montiel turned down Michael Domingo as a replacement for Gorres, the Mexican champion accepted Morales as a substitute for Gorres.

Morales said he is dedicating his fight to Gorres and wants to win the title for the stricken fighter who has said he wants to be at ringside to watch Morales and the other Filipino boxers in action in a card to be telecast in the Philippines by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN.

The 22 year old Morales is the reigning WBO Oriental super bantamweight champion having won the vacant title in a close but unanimous decision over tough Indonesian Maragin Marbun on February 9, 2008. He is coming off an eighth round majority decision over Miguel Angel Gonzalez Piedras last November 21 at Casino Rama, Ontario, Canada.

The 30 year old Montiel is coming off a third round technical draw against Alejandro Valdez last September 12, 2009
Jul 24, 2005
Riddick Bowe Wants To fight Again, Possibly Against Juan Carlos Gomez

by James Slater - Former heavyweight world champion Riddick Bowe may not be done fighting yet it seems. Though the now 42-year-old ex-champ has not fought since December of 2008, that fight coming after over three-and-a-half years of inactivity, Bowe says he wants to fight again as soon as he possibly can. And one man "Big Daddy" has called out, according to, is former WBC cruiserweight champ and heavyweight title challenger Juan Carlos Gomez..

Gomez, last seen being hammered by WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko last April, is set to return to action in Germany in March. Could we be seeing Gonzalez-Bowe?

"I want to get back in the ring as soon as I can and Gomez is a good fight for me," Bowe is quoted as saying by Fightnews. "He's already fought Vitali Klitschko and now it's his last chance to prove he belongs with real world class. I'm even ready to come to Germany for him if that's what he wants."

Bowe, the last time he fought (against the little-known Gene Pukall of Germany, on the under-card of Wladimir Klitschko Vs. Hasim Rahman), was still able to jab well, but he was hugely overweight and his other punches lacked speed and power. Though Gomez is no killer at heavyweight, he would still almost certainly prove to be far too much for the badly faded Bowe.

Seemingly unable to give it up and find something else to do with his life other than fight for money, the once awesome big man who is now 43-1(33), despite only having ever lost once as a pro, will no doubt struggle to find too much fan support in this, his latest comeback. If it actually happens, that is. Because Bowe has spoken in the past about certain further comeback bouts - he once, quite recently, spoke of wanting a fourth fight with old rival Evander Holyfield - only for them to fail to see the light of day.

Maybe a Bowe-Gomez match-up will also disappear; but in boxing these days, no-one can tell for sure. But even if Bowe was able to handle the Cuban's superior speed and reflexes as well as his southpaw stance (it's been a long time since Bowe faced a lefty) and beat Gomez, what would the win lead to? The thought of Bowe in there with a Klitschko or a Haye? Now that is scary!