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Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy headlines season premier of “Friday Night Fights”

By Joseph Herron – Highly touted Super Featherweight prospect Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) takes his first step towards 130 pound contention tonight on the season premier of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” from the Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida, when he faces undefeated Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs) of Canada.

The scheduled twelve round main event will not only serve as the Cuban exile’s first big step up in competition, but also determine the #2 IBF position in the wide open Junior Lightweight division.

Against a very tough, unbeaten opponent, “Kid Blast” will be marching into undiscovered territory as he embarks on his first outing over eight rounds. Most fight critics and boxing scribes believe the “Cuban Missile” to be ready for his challenging litmus test on network television.

What has a lot of boxing insiders buzzing is Barthelemy’s big 5’11” frame, power in both fists, and his ability to comfortably make the 130 pound weight restriction. Most fight pundits claim Rances Barthelemy has the potential to be a future star of the sport. Continue reading

Peter Fury hoping Tyson will fight Vitali in March

By Michael Collins: Peter Fury, the trainer for unbeaten #4 WBC Tyson Fury (20-0, 14 KO’s), is hoping that the 24-year-old Fury can jump in line in front of the arguably much more popular David Haye to get a title shot against the 41-year-old WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in March or at some point in 2013. Continue reading

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero: “God has put me in this position to humble everyone in the sport”

 Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero: “God has put me in this position to humble everyone in the sport”By Joseph Herron: With great speculation concerning a huge May 4th fight date with Floyd Mayweather Jr, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero truly believes that he and his team are on the cusp of something very special.

While nothing has been officially confirmed by all parties involved, the interim WBC Welterweight Champion has been riding an incredible wave of success both in and out of the ring since winning the coveted green strap.

“Before my last two bouts, everyone counted me out and smirked at the idea of me jumping up two weight classes and dominating my opposition. Everyone thought that I would get knocked out. I just laughed it off and continued to believe in my Lord and savior Jesus Christ and continued to follow his plan for me.”

“Everyone can see it unfolding every day and it’s befuddling all of his detractors. They’re wondering how I’ve moved up to Welterweight and have dominated my opposition. If you look throughout my entire career, I really haven’t lost that many rounds. I’ve dominated fighters and champions. Through the power of Christ, nothing is impossible and nothing can stop me.”

While his impressive showings against Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto in 2012 have garnered universal respect throughout the boxing industry, most fight scribes and boxing fans feel that his inspirational winning streak will come to an end in May, if and when he faces the pound for pound king, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Continue reading

Adonis Stevenson will have to step aside for Froch/Kessler II

 Adonis Stevenson will have to step aside for Froch/Kessler IIBy Joseph Herron: On October 12th, 1012, Super Middleweight contender Adonis “Superman” Stevenson knocked out Donovan George in spectacular fashion in the final round of a very entertaining twelve round slugfest to become the IBF mandatory opponent for current 168 pound title holder Carl “The Cobra” Froch.

According IBF bi-laws, Froch was given 90 days to negotiate a title defense with the number one contender after dispatching Yusaf Mack in three rounds on November 17th, 2012, in Nottingham, England.

But now, according to a spokesperson for the IBF, Adonis will have to step aside and wait until a unification bout between WBA title holder Mikkel Kessler and the incumbent IBF champ takes place.

“Usually, a mandatory defense is required of the reigning IBF Champion ninety days after a voluntary title defense,” stated a spokesperson for the International Boxing Federation. “But a unification bout always takes precedence over a mandatory defense upon request from the reigning champion.”
Continue reading

Five Boxers to Watch out for in 2013

By Jazz Gill:

Heavyweight – Magomed Abdusalamov (16-0, 16 knockouts)

Quietly going about his business in a spectacular yet efficient manner, Russian Magomed Adbusalamov has amassed a superb record undefeated record, with a highlight reel KO that makes him look like a white Mike Tyson.

A standout amateur, Abdusalamov lost to David Price in 2008 before he turned pro. Despite the physical disparities the two are very similar in status, both holding similar record and of similar age, with Abdusalamov also just as good at this stage. The 31 year old is short for a modern heavyweight at just 6ft 3in but he has a compact explosive style. Continue reading

Agbeko fights for IBO title in Ghana February 22

 Agbeko fights for IBO title in Ghana February 22By Prince Dornu-Leiku: Former IBF Bantamweight champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko returns to the ring on February 22 against Colombian Luis Melendez for the vacant International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Bantamweight belt when he fights in Accra for the first time in 6 years.

Scheduled for 12 rounds at the Accra Sports Stadium, it will be the former two-time world champion’s first bout since losing the bid to unify the IBF Bantamweight and WBC Silver Bantamweight titles against Abner Mares way back on December 3, 2011.

Promoted as the maiden bill of the newly launched Fresh King Entertainment syndicate, the fight against Melendez (34-8-1, 25 KOs) will also be the first time Agbeko, 28-4, 22 KOs will be fighting on the homeland since claiming a 4th round TKO against Baba Nsor on March 23, 2007 at the Azumah Nelson Sports Stadium in Accra. Continue reading

10 Fights that Must Happen in 2013

By Jazz Gill: 2012 was a superb year of fights for boxing fans, even if it was the year when the dream of Mayweather vs Pacquiao died forever.

The two still had great fights respectively, whilst other veterans like the Klitschko brothers and Sergio Martinez continued to dominate. At the same time, new young stars proved they are capable of going u the next step – Austin Trout and Danny Garcia for example – whilst others proved they are among the elite of today and ready to take the mantle of the aforementioned veterans (Nonito Donaire, Robert Guerrero and Andre Ward).
Continue reading

Five “Dark Horse” match-ups for 2013

 Five “Dark Horse” match ups for 2013By Joseph Herron: Although several intriguing and potentially crowd pleasing match-ups have already been slated throughout the New Year, there remain many superb pairings that have gone unnoticed by major promoters in boxing.

Because of various promotional, monetary, or network conflicts, many fan friendly unions have very little chance of materializing in 2013. Here are just a few terrific fights that should be made in the upcoming boxing year but probably won’t.

Nonito Donaire versus Abner Mares at Super Bantamweight

Although the fight fans of the world overwhelmingly prefer this superb pairing over any other in the packed 122 pound weight division, there is little to no chance this fight will become a reality in 2013. Abner Mares, the undefeated WBC Super Bantamweight Champion, currently fights under the Golden Boy Promotional banner, while Nonito Donaire, the Ring recognized 122 pound champ, exclusively competes on Top Rank, Inc promotional fight cards. Continue reading

Marquez still undecided about whether he’ll continue his career

 Marquez still undecided about whether he’ll continue his careerBy Rob Smith: 39-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez still doesn’t know if he’ll return to the ring in 2013, as he’s considering whether to continue to fight or not, according to He’s still talking with his family about whether he should come back and perhaps fight one or two more times before hanging up the gloves permanently.

It’s going to be difficult for Marquez to retire right now with the lure of a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao at the Cowboys Stadium this year. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum hasn’t yet talked to Marquez about his future plans, but you can guess that he’ll make a huge offer to get Marquez to continue fighting so that he can set up a Pacquiao vs. Marquez fifth fight this year.

It might actually be better Pacquiao’s sake if he doesn’t try and get Marquez to continue fighting because Pacquiao really doesn’t need another knockout loss like the one he suffered on December 8th of last month when Marquez knocked Pacquiao completely out in the 6th round. That was a knockout that could have some lasting negative effects for Pacquiao for the remainder of his career.

Arum could be making a mistake of having Pacquiao fight Marquez again, because even if it makes a ton of money for Pacquiao, Arum and Marquez, it could be the last big payday for Pacquiao if he gets knocked cold again. You would have to figure that Pacquiao would have a lot of pressure on him to retire after getting knocked out a second time. Continue reading

Is Pacquiao losing now because he’s not training hard enough?

 Is Pacquiao losing now because he’s not training hard enough? By Brad Cronick: In looking at how hard Juan Manuel Marquez prepared for his recent 6th round knockout win over Manny Pacquiao last month, it seemed as if he wanted it much more than Pacquiao did. Marquez not only looked like he was in better shape than Manny, but he looked he was working a lot harder than him in training camp.

Pacquiao seemed to be strolling around the ring and one got a sense that he wasn’t really doing as far as he needed to in order to get in the best shape. Pacquiao’s physique looked soft compared to Marquez and we already know the outcome of the fight with Pacquiao getting knocked out.

British boxing trainer Joe Gallagher has his own theory with what’s happened to Pacquiao, saying to “Nothing can go on forever…He’s [Pacquiao] had distractions outside of the ring, his personal life and it may affect him, It’s just about making money now and when you’ve made so many millions, it’s hard to train hard.”

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like being Pacquiao because he’s not like any other fighter right now in terms of popularity. He is huge in the Philippines and to be such a big celebrity as him, it’s got to be difficult for him to get the same amount of motivation to train hard like he did earlier in his career. He’s making over $20 million per fight plus the other big money he’s getting through endorsements deals. Continue reading

Oosthuizen could face Stevenson or Grachev on March 2nd for Froch’s IBF super middleweight title

By Michael Collins: IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch is going to have to decide real soon if he wants to defend his belt against his mandatory challenger Adonis Stevenson or vacate the belt. The International Boxing Federation already ordered that Froch has to begin negotiations for a bout with Stevenson. Continue reading

Donaire voted Fighter of the Year for 2012

 Donaire voted Fighter of the Year for 2012By Rob Smith: WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KO’s) has been selected as Fighter of the Year for 2012. Donaire got the nod over 39-old Juan Manuel Marquez, who fought only twice in 2012 compared to the four times that Donaire fought. Donaire’s selection was based on wins over Jorge Arce, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Jeffrey Mathebula and Toshiaki Nishioka.

Two of those fighters – Arce and Nishioka – were well respected fighters and at were at one time high quality fighters. Vazquez Jr. is one of the best fighters in the 122 pound division, although far from the best. Mathebula had recently won the IBF title against Takalani Ndovu by a 12 round split decision.

Donaire dominating Arce and Toshiaki, but struggled against Vazquez Jr. and Mathebula in wins that weren’t really impressive or even close to being impressive.

It looks like Donaire got the 2012 Fighter of the Year award based on activity level because he four times during 2012 and for his wins over the aging stars Arce and Nishioka. Watching Donaire’s performances against Vazquez Jr. and Mathebula, it would be impossible for me to give Donaire fighter of the year for those victories because Donaire really struggled in those fights and he didn’t look worthy of Fighter of the Year based on those two fights. Continue reading

Khan to stay at 140 for a while to try and capture titles

By Michael Collins: Amir Khan (27-3, 19 KO’s) has changed his mind about wanting to move up to 147 to chase the title holders in that weight class. He now plans on staying at 140 to go after the four titles. That’s Khan’s immediate goal and if he’s successful, he’ll move up in weight to go after the titles in that weight class. Continue reading

Arum: Pavlik vs. Bute possible for March

 Arum: Pavlik vs. Bute possible for MarchBy Marcus Richardson: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says a fight between former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KO’s) and Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s) is possible by March of this year. Bute is one of the names that Pavlik’s management is working on putting a fight deal with for March.

Arum said to “I talked with Cameron Dunkin. They’re working on a big fight with Pavlik for the first three months of the year. One of the names is Lucian Bute.”

Bute’s promoter Jean Bedard mentioned recently that he’s interested in putting together a fight between Pavlik and Bute. Whether it can happen is still unclear, but it’s a great fight for both guys. Pavlik needs a big win over a fighter with a name because he’s done nothing for the last two years other than facing weak opposition.

Bute lost to Carl Froch last year in May in a disappointing 5th round TKO loss. Bute didn’t look like he had put a good game plan together because he didn’t have a plan B to fall back on after it was clear that Froch had too much power for him to fight in the center of the ring in a toe-to-toe battle. Bute needed to shift into a hit and run style that he had used earlier in his career to great success. Continue reading