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Rios vs. Alvarado: There Will Be Blood

 Rios vs. Alvarado: There Will Be BloodBy John G. Thompson: This coming Saturday night Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (30-0-1, 22 KO’s) will face Mike “Mile High” Alvarado (33-0, 23 KO’s) in the ring at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California televised on HBO Boxing After Dark. While the outcome of this fight is as hard to predict as Rios’ conditioning, one thing is certain – when these two aggressive power punchers meet there will be blood.

Rios of nearby Oxnard, California (born in Lubbock, Texas) is just twenty-six years old, but has already battled weight issues in his last two fights, losing his WBA World Lightweight title on the scales in July of last year. Rios was an experienced and decorated amateur with about 275 bouts and was the 2004 United States Amateur Featherweight Champion and a 2004 Olympic alternate for the USA. Continue reading

Chavez Jr. receives suspension

By Rob Smith: Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. received the first part of his suspension yesterday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for marijuana for his fight last month against Sergio Martinez. This is a temporary suspension until the Commission can sit down and decide on the young 26-year-old Chavez Jr’s case either at the end of this month or next month, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.

Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Commission, said to ESPN “He [Chavez Jr] had a license to fight in Nevada and we suspended it pending a hearing. Chavez had no objection to it. He wasn’t going to fight again this year anyway…I can’t imagine the suspension will be any less than six months.” Continue reading

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao: “It’s just business”

 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao: “It’s just business”By Joseph Herron: This morning on ESPN’s “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, HBO’s Larry Merchant chimed in on whether or not a mega fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao would ever take place.

“What’s stood in the way of a big Mayweather/Pacquiao fight taking place up to this point is a financial disincentive for both men,” insists the world renowned boxing commentator. “Both fighters are already making 40 and 50 million dollars a year fighting lower risk opposition. There’s no financial urgency to make this fight happen. This is a business as well as a sport.”

While many fight fans and boxing scribes have called for a PPV boycott of both fighters’ events to force the hand of the promoters and athletes involved, Mr. Merchant feels the prospect of that actually happening is highly unlikely. Continue reading

Adonis “Superman” Stevenson vs. Don “Da Bomb” George: “Someone’s getting knocked-out”

 Adonis “Superman” Stevenson vs. Don “Da Bomb” George: “Someone’s getting knocked out”By Joseph Herron: On Friday, October 12th, a super fight will break out in the Super Middleweight division at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Slated to be televised this week on Wealth TV, at 9PM EST, two of the biggest punchers in the very competitive 168 pound division will square off in an impactful IBF title eliminator. Popular hometown KO artist Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (18-1, 15 KOs) will take on the always dangerous Don “Da Bomb” George (23-2-1, 20 KOs) in yet another intriguing match-up within the entertaining Super Middleweight division.

While most fight scribes and boxing pundits are viewing this fight with eager anticipation, lifelong boxing coach Ronnie Shields is observing this match up with a very meticulous eye.

The elite level trainer’s Super Middleweight standout, Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs), could easily find himself in the ring with the eventual winner sometime in 2013. Continue reading

Khan vs. Molina: Amir can’t afford to lose

By Michael Collins: Former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KO’s) is in a dire situation going into his December 15th Showtime televised bout against unbeaten American Carlos Molina (17-0, 7 KO’s) at the Sports Arena, in Los Angeles, California. Khan, 26, is coming into the fight with losses in his last two fights and he’s now in a situation where he really can’t afford a third straight loss if he wants to remain relevant. Continue reading

Arturo “Thunder” Gatti: Hall Of Fame-Worthy Or Not!?

 Arturo “Thunder” Gatti: Hall Of Fame Worthy Or Not!?By James Slater: Sadly, as we all know, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti passed away in July of 2009 (with still no definitive answer as to what happened that tragic day in Brazil), but had he lived, Gatti would soon be very interested in seeing whether or not the boxing writers of the day deem him worthy of being enshrined in The Hall of Fame in Canastota.

Gatti, who retired with a 40-9(31) ledger, is on the 2013 inductions ballot; leaving it to today’s influential and highly respected experts to either vote him in or decline to do so. One such expert, ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael, has said it will be a tough call indeed. For while Gatti lost nine times, being stopped on 5 occasions, “The Human Highlight Real” lit up the sport like few other pugilists (the nickname really says it all). Some argue how Gatti is THE most exciting warrior of modern times, if not in all of boxing!

Sure, that’s some praise, but maybe Gatti is deserving of it. Maybe Gatti is also deserving of being voted into IBHOF hands down. And it sure will be tough for anyone who ever saw Gatti thrill to forget the thrills this amazing warrior with a ton of heart and limitless bite-down courage and guts provided his sport with.
Continue reading

Arthur Abraham vs. Mehdi Bouadla on December 15th

 Arthur Abraham vs. Mehdi Bouadla on December 15thBy Michael Collins: WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (35-3 27 KO’s) won’t be taking any chances for his first title defense of his World Boxing Organization belt by opting not to face a super middleweight contender at all and instead defend his title against middleweight Mehdi Bouadla (26-4, 11 KO’s) on December 15th in Nuremburg, Germany.

I guess Abraham’s handlers must not have liked what they saw of the top 15 contenders that the WBO had listed and chose to instead to fight the short 5’8″ Boudla, who is ranked #13 WBA in the middleweight division. Abraham can definitely win this fight, although it’s not exactly sporting to be fighting a bottom dweller from a division below. If you’re going to take an opponent from a lower division you’d like to see that fighter be a top 5 ranked guy instead of someone near the bottom like Bouadla.

Abraham, 32, won the WBO 168 pound title last August over German based Robert Stieglitz. Abraham had too much power for the limited Stieglitz and it was a pretty clear cut win for Abraham. However, Stieglitz was considered a paper champion by a lot of boxing fans and he was bound to lose his title sooner or later once he finally fought someone with semi-decent skills. Continue reading

Rakhim Chakhkiev vs. Mendoza on Friday

By Marcus Richardson: This Friday night the hard hitting WBC Baltic cruiserweight champion Rakhim Chakhkiev (14-0, 11 KO’s) faces replacement opponent Epifanio Mendoza (34-14-1, 30 KO’s) in a fight at the at the Sporthalle, Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany. Chakhkiev will need to make some slight adjustments for this fight as his originally scheduled opponent Alejandro Valori came up with an injury during training making it necessary for him to back out of the fight. Mendoza, 36, should make it interesting for as long as the fight lasts, which probably won’t be too long. Continue reading

Khan vs. Molina: Amir in the rebuilding stage of his career – and Showtime will be televising

By Michael Collins: Former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan is being matched against a lightweight in his next fight when he takes on unbeaten Carlos Molina (17-0, 7 KO’s) on Showtime on December 15th at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. This is a rebuilding fight for Khan, as he’s lost his last two fights against light welterweights and has looked terrible in both fights.

His former trainer Freddie Roach has been let go, and Khan is now being trained by Virgil Hunter, the same guy that trains WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward. The idea here is that Hunter will rebuild Khan and hopefully slow him down to where he’s not running around the ring in a senseless manner like he’s been doing his entire career. Hunter will then try also to fix Khan’s defense, which isn’t that bad. His defense isn’t the problem. It’s his chin and his tendency to trade too much.

Hunter will need to get cooperation from Khan in order for him to make the needed changes for Khan. Hunter may have problems getting Khan to follow his instructions, especially once Khan starts finding a little success with the soft matchmaking that’s likely going to continue even past the Molina mismatch. Continue reading

Hatton to likely fight Malignaggi for WBA 147 lb title if he can get past Senchenko on November 24th

 Hatton to likely fight Malignaggi for WBA 147 lb title if he can get past Senchenko on November 24thBy Michael Collins: 33-year-old Ricky Hatton’s comeback course is predictable at this point. Hatton has a fight against former WBA World welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KO’s) next month on November 24th in Manchester, England. If Hatton wins that fight then he’ll likely be fighting WBA World welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KO’s) for his title in early 2013. This is the belief a lot of boxing fans, and Hatton hasn’t said anything recently to give the impression that he’ll do anything else.

Hatton already easily beat Malignaggi four years ago by an 11th round TKO in an easy fight for Hatton. It’s no wonder that Hatton wants to fight this guy again given how badly he dominated him in 2008.

Before Hatton can get the Malignaggi rematch, Malignaggi, 31, has to win his next fight against 22-year-old Pablo Cesar Cano this month on October 20th at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York. Malignaggi should be able to win this, because his promoters at Golden Boy has been good enough to select Cano from the light welterweight division to face Malignaggi instead of choosing a welterweight for him to fight. Continue reading

Adrien Broner – The Making of a Star

 Adrien Broner   The Making of a StarBy Paul Strauss: Adrien “Problem” Broner is a star in the making. You doubt that? If so, it’s obvious you haven’t done your homework. Look around, read a little and listen to boxing people in the know. You will soon realize the media want this guy to be boxing’s next star. One prime example is Ring magazine’s current edition. It devotes considerable ink to the undefeated youngster from Cincinnati, Ohio.

However, when preferential treatment is allotted, it begs certain questions. For example, “Is all of this attention justified? Does “Problem” deserve all the attention”? The media is in the star making business. Star making “sells newspapers” as the old saying goes. That’s obvious, so don’t necessarily look to them for answers. The media will too often shrug and say what they do is acceptable behavior in modern society. Many in the entertainment business from Mae West to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. have understood that fact and exploited it to the hilt.

The truth is there’s always been a kind of unholy union between a star in the making and the media, kind of a wink wink thing. It’s not a new phenomenon, and in fact unholy unions even exist on a much more serious level with governments. Continue reading

Reggie Johnson Interview

 Reggie Johnson InterviewBy Michael R. Cumberbatch — Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Catching up With” — a feature series focusing on former champions. In this edition, I had the privilege to talk to Reggie Johnson, a former three time champion who fought at the middleweight and light-heavy weight divisions. I found Reggie to be quite engaging, extremely intelligent, and passionate about boxing and life.

MRC: Reggie, earlier this year you talked about fighting again. At age 46 is that still a possibility?

RJ: First Michael, let me thank you for this interview and platform to be heard. My return to the ring is in progress and in early 2013 I will announce when, where, and who I will be fighting.

MRC: You’ve also talked about the Boxing Hall of Fame. If you were given the opportunity to state your case for becoming a member, what would you say?

RJ: I was blessed to visit the IBHOF in 2005, 2006, and this year, 2012. If any man is not inspired by that experience as a fighter, trainer, manager, promoter, etc… to take their chosen profession higher, they are working in the wrong field. I read a blog years ago that featured me …… titled “Reggie Johnson wants to be in the Hall of Fame.” Continue reading

Tyson: Ricky Hatton should take the slow approach back to the top

By Michael Collins: Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson feels that former two division world champion Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 KO’s) should take his time getting back to the top of the sport rather than rushing headlong into a fight that could lead to Hatton getting knocked out once again. Hatton is coming off of a three year retirement to face former WBA World welterweight champion Vyachslav Senchenko next month on November 24th in Manchester, England.

Tyson said the the Telegraph.co.uk “My main advice for Ricky would b to take it very easy, you don’t go in over your head to prove you’re tough…Take comfortable fights and build your confidence back up.” Continue reading

Baysangurov defeats Konecny

 Baysangurov defeats KonecnyBy Marcus Richardson: Fighting at home, WBO light middleweight champion Zaurbek Baysangurov (28-1, 20 KO’s) defeated WBO interim light middleweight champion Lukas Konecny (48-4, 23 KO’s) last Saturday night at the Sport Palace, in Kiev, Ukraine. The final judges’ scores were 119-109, 117-111 and 118-110. You can make a strong argument that Konecny deserved to win the fight, not the 27-year-old Baysangurov.

Konecny landed the much cleaner shots and the harder shots in pretty much round of the fight. The crowd, however, was in Baysangurov’s favor the entire time, and cheered each time he would land a light shot. His power was considerably lesser than Konecyny’s and there was long stretches of the fight where Konecny was landing all the good shots, whereas Baysangurov was just throwing weak jabs that looks more like arm punches than quality jabs.

Konecny really worked Baysangurov over with huge shots for the first eight rounds of the fight. The crowd was completely silent when Baysangurov was getting tagged. However, when he’d finally offer up a light punch, the crowd would go crazy as if he landed a huge shot. The fact is Konecny was the only one landing with any power in this fight, yet he was completely ignored by the crowd. Continue reading

Jorge Linares decisions Velazquez, and Yoshihiro Kamegai draws with Silva

 Jorge Linares decisions Velazquez, and Yoshihiro Kamegai draws with SilvaBy Joseph Herron - On Saturday night, October 6th, at the classic Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California, Don Chargin Productions & Paco Presents Boxing staged a memorable eight bout fight card, which was headlined by the return of two division world champion Jorge Linares (32-3, 20 KOs) and the Japanese KO artist, Welterweight Yoshihiro Kamegai (21-0-1, 18 KOs).

In the co-main event of the evening and the first bout on the Fox Sports televised portion of the fight card, Jorge Linares was tested by rugged Lightweight gatekeeper Hector Velazquez (52-18-3, 35 KOs) for ten action filled rounds.

The featured bout marked Linares’ first contest since being stopped on cuts in the 2nd round by hard punching Sergio Thompson of Cancun, Mexico on March 31st of this year.

Although the hard-nosed Velazquez pressed the talented young fighter from start to finish, “El Nino de Oro” showed flashes of brilliance throughout the entire contest.

Despite getting cut over his left eye in the fourth round and being hammered occasionally by the Velazquez right hand, the gifted Venezuelan sharpshooter scored often with clean, effective punching and crisp, precise counters to the body and head of the 37 year old Mexican fight veteran.

After the ten rounds of competition concluded, the judges at ringside scored the bout 100-89, 99-91, and 97-91, all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Jorge Linares. Continue reading

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