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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

Photos: Vazquez Jr. KOs Oquendo in 7th; Fuentes destroys Calderon in 5

By Dwight Chittenden: Former WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (22-2-1, 19 KO’s) got off to a slow start in the early rounds but then really came on to batter Jonathan Oquendo (22-3, 15 KO’s) and stop him in the 7th round on Saturday night in a crucial fight for the 28-year-old Vazquez Jr. at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Vazquez Jr. was dominated in the early rounds, but suddenly he started coming on in the 5th with his big power shots and eventually stopped Oquendo in the 7th. The referee then stopped the fight at 2:33. Continue reading

Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns: “Floyd Mayweather Jr. would have a lot of problems with a prime Hitman”

 Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns: “Floyd Mayweather Jr. would have a lot of problems with a prime Hitman”By Joseph Herron: Whenever anyone strikes up a passionate mythical debate between fighters facing off from different eras, one match-up always enters the conversation: “How would Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Welterweight fair against the 147 pound version of the six division world champion, Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, circa 1981?”

Earlier this week on “The Pugilist KOrner” radio show, the Hall of Fame fighter shared his thoughts on the hypothetical prime for prime pairing.

“You know how I fought. And if a man couldn’t deal with that, then I would just have to say goodnight to him,” professed the legendary “Hitman” Tommy Hearns. “That was my thing; to put everybody to sleep. It didn’t matter who I faced, it was almost a guarantee that I would put them to sleep.”
Continue reading

Exclusive interview with Alexander Dimitrenko

 Exclusive interview with Alexander DimitrenkoBy Pavel Yakolov: October 6, 2012) Alexander Dimitrenko is still in the heavyweight title chase, and there are reasons why his best performances may occur in the future. Just 29 years old, the Ukrainian is still young, especially for a heavyweight. At 6’7”, 245 lbs., he towers over his opposition, has superb offensive skills, speed, and athleticism. Dimitrenko packs power in both hands, possesses a whiplash jab, and is one of the division’s best combination punchers.

Currently 32-2 (21 KO’s), Dimitrenko lost his last bout, against the top-rated Kubrat Pulev. However, the fight was closely contested for most of the match, which Dimitrenko entered under unfavorable personal and athletic circumstances. Considering that Pulev may be the world’s leading heavyweight outside of the Klitschko brothers and David Haye, the loss should not be considered career-breaking.

Now a free agent after a decade fighting for Universum Box Promotions, Dimitrenko is exploring new promotional opportunities. Noteworthy is that he hopes to campaign in American rings in the future. In this exclusive ESB interview, Dimitrenko discusses his career and plans.
Continue reading

Sergio Martinez named WBC Fighter of the Month for September for win over Chavez Jr

 Sergio Martinez named WBC Fighter of the Month for September for win over Chavez JrBy Marcus Richardson: Sergio Martinez’s win over WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last month on September 15th has earned the 37-year-old Martinez WBC’s Fighter of the Month for September. Saul Alvarez was given Honorable mention for his win over Josesito Lopez on the same date.

Martinez’s win was extra special though as he wasn’t fighting someone a division or two below him like Alvarez was with Lopez. Martinez was actually out-sized by the 180+ pound Chavez Jr. in this fight and yet was still able to dominate him with ease for 11 rounds before having to hang on in the 12th to preserve the win after getting careless and knocked down by the young 26-year-old Chavez Jr.

Martinez never flinched as he got back to his feet and kept firing away with his own power shots until the bell rang. That little bit of drama helped Martinez because now boxing fans are interested in seeing a rematch between him and Chavez Jr. Had Martinez not been dropped then there would be demand for a second fight between them. Continue reading

Roach hopes to end his losing streak with Pacquiao’s next fight against Marquez

 Roach hopes to end his losing streak with Pacquiaos next fight against MarquezBy Rob Smith: Trainer Freddie Roach was on the top of the world a couple of years ago with fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao all fighting well for him and making him look like a genius. However, thinks have really gone downhill for Roach with his fighters Jorge Linares, Amir Khan, Chavez Jr. and Pacquiao all losing recently. Linares has lost has last two fights, Khan has lost his last two fights as well, Chavez Jr. was recently beat as was Pacquiao. That’s 0-6 for Roach in terms of his big name fighters.

There are already a lot of boxing fans coming out of the woodwork saying that Roach was always an overrated trainer to begin with, that he lucked out when the naturally gifted athlete Pacquiao decided to train with him many years ago.

There’s no question that Roach is a good trainer, but what is debatable is his ability to teach defense. Khan recently left his stable in order to find a new trainer in Virgil Hunter, who he believes can teach him the defensive skills that were missing from his time with Roach. Continue reading

Hatton can’t decide who he’d do better against – Khan or Kell Brook

 Hatton cant decide who hed do better against   Khan or Kell BrookBy Michael Collins: Former two division world champion Ricky Hatton returns to the ring next month against former WBA World welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko on November 24th in Manchester, England. If Hatton looks really good in blowing out Senchenko, he could find the pressure mounting for him to fight Amir Khan or Kell Brook in fights that would be positively huge in the UK. Hatton, 33, still wants to prove himself worthy of facing both of those guys by getting past Senchenko in style and perhaps some other fighters.

In an interview by Kugan Cassius of IFilm London, Hatton said “It’s really hard to say [who Hatton would do better against]. I’d have to sit on the fence and go right down the middle. If Amir Khan gets drawn into a fight, it goes to the blue corner. But if Amir sticks to his boxing ability and moves and uses his hand speed, then obviously you’d have to side with Amir by a slight edge. I really can’t split between the two of them.”

Hatton goes onto say that he has to prove himself against Senchenko before he’s mentioned with Khan and Brook. However, I just wonder how much Hatton will have proven even if he does blow out Senchenko. Continue reading

Broner vs. Burns in early 2013, says Warren

 Broner vs. Burns in early 2013, says WarrenBy Michael Collins: Promoter Frank Warren is interested in matching his guy WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO’s) and American star Adrien Broner (24-0, 20 KO’s) if the two fighters can win their next upcoming fights this year. Burns will be fighting on December 15th, presumably against a top 10 lightweight contender, and Broner will be challenging WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco on November 17th in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Both Burns and Broner are expected to win their next fights, which could set up a mouthwatering fight between them in early 2013 in February or March.

Warren said to Frankwarren.com “Provided Rickster prevails, I have an understanding with Golden Boy [Promotions] for him [Burns] to lock horns with white hot U.S hope Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner in late February or early March…I’m more than happy for my man to meet, and beat, Broner in a little unifier on either side of the Atlantic.”

Golden Boy will snatch this fight up in a second because this would give Broner a great chance of picking up another world title and putting himself in the position where he’ll have half of the lightweight titles. The only lightweight titles that will be out of Broner’s clutches are the IBF and WBA titles, but Broner can capture those belts as well if he really wants to put the time in going after them. Continue reading

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