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Memories of Emanuel Steward: When Living Legends Leave Us

 Memories of Emanuel Steward: When Living Legends Leave Usby Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: I met Emanuel Steward face to face on three different occasions. The first time was to schedule a video interview shortly after I conducted one with Wladimir Klitschko before his unification bout against Sultan Ibragimov. At his request and as a great honor to me, the second time, and when the video was recorded, was at his bungalow at a resort where part of the training camp for that fight took place. Too busy with both the upcoming bout preparations as well as an upcoming HBO telecast Emanuel still spent the better part of an hour answering all sorts of fantasy boxing questions an interviewer/fan like myself could make up.

The interviews could be found at my YouTube channel under www.youtube.com/novirasputin2
After the interview, and despite the above mentioned schedule Emanuel spent another hour discussing more boxing, life, politics, and everything else in general. As a final imprint on the impression he would forever make on me the man took out a Kronk Gym T-shirt and handed it over as reminder of our interaction. Continue reading

Emanuel Steward…R.I.P.

By Joseph Herron Emanuel Steward…R.I.P. – Ladies and gentlemen, it’s with very heavy heart that I report one of the greatest proponents of boxing has passed away.

It’s been confirmed that Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward passed away on Thursday, October 25th, at a Chicago area hospital

The Hall of Fame trainer was responsible for the cultivation of so many great fight careers, including Tommy Hearns, Hilmer Kenty, Mickey Goodwin, Milton McCrory, Jimmy Paul, Duane Thomas, Steve McCrory, and Gerald McLellan.

There weren’t many trainers who could nurture a young fighter’s career from the amateur level and make him a world champion…but Emanuel was very special.

Under the legendary trainer’s tutelage, “The Hitman” Thomas Hearns became a five division world champion. The all-time great fighter was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame earlier this year and heralded Emanuel Steward as the greatest trainer, mentor, and friend a fighter could ever hope to have.

Emanuel did so much for not only his fighters at the world renowned Kronk Gym, but for the entire community of Detroit that he loved so dearly. Continue reading

Paulie Malignaggi: “I had Cano swatting at flies all night”

 Paulie Malignaggi: “I had Cano swatting at flies all night”By Joseph Herron – On Saturday, October 20th, “The Magic Man” Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) defeated Pablo Cesar Cano (25-2-1, 19 KOs) by way of controversial split decision as part of a quadruple header, which was broadcast on Showtime Championship Boxing.

Although many have cited folly with the official fight verdict, the reigning WBA Welterweight Champion visited “The Pugilist KOrner” to share his insight into the twelve round contest and answer the fight critics who believe his opponent deserved the hard fought victory.

“First of all, Cano came to fight. I think Pablo Cano is a very good fighter and he has a bright future ahead of him,” stated Paulie Malignaggi. “I definitely think I won the fight, but I had to work hard for it.”

“Just by watching some of his fights before I stepped in the ring with him, I knew Cano wasn’t going to lay down for me. He has heavy hands and good technique, and he’s advanced for a 23 year old fighter.”

“But no matter how much he came at me, I always kept the fight in the middle of the ring. Trust me, that wasn’t his doing. If Pablo had his way, he would have fought me with my back against the ropes. Ringside judges score for effective aggression, not just aggression. But sometimes in boxing, in America especially, boxers don’t get as much credit as punchers in the eyes of the judges.”

“Sometimes I felt like Cano was just following me around in circles and wasn’t effective in cutting off the ring or shortening the distance, which is why my back was never touching the ropes. Cano landed the occasional right hand and he is very heavy handed, but a lot of his punches didn’t land cleanly. I rolled away from a lot of his shots and they hit me in the neck or on the shoulder.” Continue reading

Erik Morales: For him the bell tolls

 Erik Morales: For him the bell tollsBy Marc Livitz – isiting hours are just about done, yet the one of the curators of the sweet science has allowed us to look back in retrospect on perhaps one of the most memorable careers in recent boxing history.

An individual who has on numerous occasions defied the odds, silenced the critics, and most pleasingly kept the heart and soul of the sport, the fans, in a perpetual state of amazement. Praise indeed is due to one Erik “El Terrible” Morales.

The four division champion from Zona Norte, Tijuana, BC, Mexico has provided many years of great memories within the ring for nearly two decades. He never backed down from a challenge and he often fought the best. Perhaps he may be best remembered for not only his exciting trilogy with fellow Mexican rival, Marco Antonio Barrera but also the absolute vitriol and near biblically proportionate hatred between the two warriors.

Some feel his February 2000 victory over Barrera was a heist, yet for whatever reason this particular fight is not the talk around many a water cooler. Even though he lost the next two fights to his Mexico City antagonist, Erik Morales did more than simply let the boxing public know that he meant business and would never run from a battle. Continue reading

Ghana’s Neequaye faces Mexican for NABA title October 27

 Ghana’s Neequaye faces Mexican for NABA title October 27By Prince Dornu-Leiku: Ghanaian boxer Samuel Kotey Neequaye takes to the ring again in the USA this Saturday October 27 with a chance to claim a first piece of silverware in America after easily winning his rookie fight in the States back on September 22 against Federico Flores Jnr.

The overwhelming unanimous decision victory back then was a statement by the boxer on his determination to get to the top.

Now the 29 year old Accra native’s quest to realize the childhood dream of becoming a world champion begins with a chance to claim the North America Boxing Association (NABA) Lightweight title come Saturday night.

Undefeated Neequaye, 18-0, 14 KOs, faces Mexican Pipino Cuevas Jr. at the Commerce Casino, Commerce, California, in a 10 round contest for the NABA belt.

How to Address the American Amateur Boxing Struggles

By James Stillerman- For the first since boxing was introduced to the Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904, an American boxer failed to medal. Despite the fact that America brought ten fighters to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, more than any other country, none of them reached the finals. Five fighters lost in the first round and another three boxers lost in the second round.

America recorded 108 medals, 48 gold, over the last 108 years competing in the sport which is the most among all the countries competing in boxing. Continue reading

Is the boxing industry trying to ostracize Lamont Peterson?

 Is the boxing industry trying to ostracize Lamont Peterson?By Joseph Herron – It’s been a rough year for the IBF Junior Welterweight Champion.

On December 10th, 2011, Lamont “Havoc” Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) fought the fight of his life and pulled off the improbable upset over former IBF and WBA 140 pound champion, Amir Khan. Although the DMV based fighter won by way of controversial split decision, Lamont turned a lot of heads with his gritty performance by battling the heavy favorite in a very physical but entertaining contest.

After the highly publicized surprise victory, things quickly went downhill in a hurry for the Junior Welterweight “maverick”.

With no rematch clause inserted in the pre fight contractual agreement, Golden Boy Promotions and Team Khan formally contested the December fight verdict, attempting to either reverse the official fight decision to reflect a “no contest” judgment or strong-arm the newly crowned champ into granting the former title holder an immediate return bout.

Subsequent to much deliberation, the 28 year old fighter eventually decided to turn down an offer made by Bob Arum and Top Rank, Inc. to face Juan Manuel Marquez in Cowboys Stadium, and enter into an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions to fight Amir Khan once again on May 19th, 2012.

One of the stipulations made by Team Peterson during the pre-fight negotiations was a request for random drug testing to be administered by VADA, an anti-doping agency created by longtime Nevada ring physician Dr. Margaret Goodman, sporadically during both fighters’ pre fight preparations. Continue reading

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: “Canelo wants Mayweather and Cotto in 2013”

 Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: “Canelo wants Mayweather and Cotto in 2013”By Joseph Herron: On November 10th, at the Wynn Las Vegas, an impactful contest between the top two WBC Junior Middleweight contenders will take place, which theoretically should determine the next challenger for the incumbent title holder.

But according to Golden Boy advisor and Hall of Fame matchmaker Don Chargin, it’s no guarantee that we’ll see Canelo Alvarez face either Erislandy Lara or Vanes Martirosyan anytime soon.

“There are a few fighters that we’re considering for Canelo’s next opponent,” claims the legendary boxing promoter. “But all Canelo has on the brain lately is a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.”

While the great Don Chargin acknowledges that massive scrutiny will more than likely arise among critics and detractors if the current WBC Junior Middleweight Champion refuses to face the eventual November 10th victor, the six decade boxing advocate doesn’t see any merit in an overtly negative analysis. Continue reading

BabyJet Promotions set for Ashie’s media workout in Accra

 BabyJet Promotions set for Ashie’s media workout in AccraBy Prince Dornu-Leiku: History making BabyJet Promotions are set to rewrite the record books in Ghanaian boxing when this week they hold a media work-out for the two boxers headlining their ‘Clash of the Kings’ bill. Reigning Commonwealth Junior Lightweight champ, Ashie (23-3, 16 KOs), squares up to former WBO Africa and IBF Intercontinental Junior Lightweight titlist Tagoe, 19-1, 8 KOs, for the WBA International Lightweight belt on November 10.

The maiden promotion by the syndicate founded, owned and headed by newly appointed Ghana national football team captain, Asamoah Gyan is scheduled for the Accra Sports Stadium on November 10 but BabyJet Promotions have released an itinerary of unprecedented events leading up to fight night never seen in the history of the sport in the West African country famous for nurturing Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey and Joshua Clottey, all former world champions. Continue reading

Quillin W PTS 12 N’Dam: ‘Kid Chocolate’ scores six knockdowns in close fight

By Peter Wells: If you didn’t watch last night’s fight between Peter Quillin and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, then you must be wondering how a fighter can score six knockdowns and still be in a close fight. Well the scorecards say it all, 115-107 across the board for Quillin, in a fight that had three 10-7 rounds in favour of the Cuban-American. Had it not been for those knockdowns then the fight would have been scored 115-113 to Quillin, or the fight could have easily been a draw, as in the 12th round he was in control before suffering the two knockdowns that ultimately ended any slim chance of an amazing comeback.

The fight was fought at a brisk pace, as both boxers took it in turns to take the front foot. Both looked better when they fought on the front foot, but it was Quillin who made the biggest impact with his powerful left hook. Continue reading

Garcia wallops Morales; Magic Man Squeeks By; Chocolate Boy can’t keep N’Dam Down; Devon deals with boring Bailey

 Garcia wallops Morales; Magic Man Squeeks By;  Chocolate Boy cant keep NDam Down;  Devon deals with boring Bailey(Photo credit: Naoki Fakuda) Showtime’s debut of the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y. was a big hit. Fans were so hyped they even gave Mike Tyson a standing ovation. That came about during the fight between Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin 28-0 (KO 21) and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam 27-1 (KO 17). Thankfully fans had been pulled out of their stupor induced by the Devon Alexander vs Randall Bailey fight. The biggest excitement in that fight came when Referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. took a penalty point from each man for excessive holding. It was definitely a yawner. If you ever hear Bailey say he’s committed to starting earlier and doing more, don’t believe him. Even Alexander the Great, holder of the IBF welterweight title and winner of the fight by UD, apologized for it.

Quillin and N’Dam changed all of that. N’Dam came back more times than a boomerang. He was down twice each in the fourth, sixth and twelfth rounds. His resiliency was unbelievable. Not only did he survive each knockdown, he got up and back into the fight, throwing good, hard combinations that had Peter experiencing a little instability of his own. But, Kid Chocolate proved his previous twenty kayos were no fluke. He ripped off his own impressive combinations with power in both hands. His primary weapon against N’Dam was the left hook. He landed it both as a defensive counter punch and as an offensive weapon. As a counter, he would time it perfectly, sneaking it in between N’Dam’s left and right. The opening would be there because N’Dam would start to “cock” the right, which meant it dropped low or was pulled back enough to expose his chin. As an offensive weapon, Quillin would set it up with a lead right, which would fall short, enticing N’Dam to once again “cock” his right to counter. Kid Chocolate would beat him to the punch and wham the left hook would slam in again. Five times that happened, with the sixth knockdown coming as the result of a right hand for good measure. The fight was so competitive that even with four knockdowns going into the twelfth round, there was still the possibility N’Dam might win. It took two more knockdowns to remove all doubt as to who won the fight. In other words, N’Dam fought so well, Quillin needed three 10-7 rounds to convince everyone that he was the better man. With his big win, Quillin captures the WBO middleweight title. Continue reading

Goodbye, EL Terrible, And Thanks For The Memories!

 Goodbye, EL Terrible, And Thanks For The Memories!(Photo credit: Naoki Fakuda) By James Slater - It was some night last night in New York, as world championship boxing made a return to the Big Apple for the first time in over 80-years. Inside a buzzing Barclay’s Centre, we got off to a sluggish start and saw a snoozer of an opening world title clash, as Randall Bailey seemingly gave up his IBF welterweight title without much of a fight of it. Throwing few punches, those he did let go failing to do any damage to Devon Alexander, “The KO King” never came close to living up to his nickname.

The only interesting question regarding this fight is, will new champ Alexander face British star and mandatory contender Kell Brook next? Bailey must surely call it quits.

The second fight of the night made up for the stinker, as unbeaten middleweights Peter Quillin and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam gave us the battle of the night. In an amazing shootout, “Kid Chocolate” put the defending WBO champ down a whopping six times, looking oh, so close to getting the stoppage win more than twice. But N’Jikam, showing Rocky-like heart and guts, would not quit. Coming back to WIN a number of the later rounds (this after being turned into a yo-yo in the 4th and 6th-rounds), the Cameroon warrior made his name in defeat. A rematch would be a great idea. Continue reading

Kell Brook Dazzles!

By John Wight – Sheffield’s Kell Brook returned to action on Saturday with a devastating performance against Argentina’s Hector Saldivia, which ended in a third round stoppage to earn the fighter known as ‘The Special One’ a crack at the IBF world title against the newly installed incumbent Devon Alexander, who defeated Randall Bailey on the same night in New York.

In front of a full house at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena, Brook was under added pressure to put in a convincing performance after his previous run out against Carson Jones back in July, which ended in a hard fought and unconvincing decision on points. Brook had boxed well against his American opponent for the first half of the fight, but Jones kept coming and forced Brook to dig deep as he began to run out of gas in the second half of the fight

In the aftermath, criticisms of Brook’s preparations and attitude were voiced by his promoter Eddie Hearn, and there was even talk of replacing Brendan Ingle and his son Dominic as Brook’s trainers with Rob McCracken.

However, after this latest performance, these rumours will have been dispelled, as the Kell Brook who stormed to victory with a display of power punching that will have the Alexander camp concerned was a revelation. Continue reading

Devon Alexander wins IBF Welterweight title in 12 round UD

 Devon Alexander wins IBF Welterweight title in 12 round UDBy Joseph Herron – In one of the most disappointing title changing efforts of recent memory, Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) lifted the IBF Welterweight strap from 38 year old Randall Bailey (43-8, 37 KOs) of Miami, Florida, to open Showtime’s quadruple header on Saturday night at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The former Junior Welterweight title holder easily controlled the action with lateral movement and a quick irregular jab. In what seemed like a fight with more clinches than punches thrown, both men threw and connected at an abysmal rate.

Alexander landed only 120 of 534 total punches thrown, and Bailey set a Compu-Box record for an all time low 45 of 198 total punches thrown.

Continue reading

Paulie Malignaggi wins split decision over Pablo Cesar Cano

By Joseph Herron – In what was supposed to be his first title defense at the newly erected Barclays Center in front of his hometown fans of Brooklyn, New York, current WBA Welterweight Champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) was forced to settle for a twelve round grudge match due to his opponent’s failure to meet the 147 pound weight requirement.

Former Lightweight pugilist Pablo Cesar Cano (25-2-1, 19 KOs) of Mexico weighed in at 147.75 at the official weigh in on Friday afternoon and lost his opportunity to challenge for the WBA title.

Despite missing out on the chance to become a Welterweight champion, the young 23 year old fighter made a very solid showing for himself against the much more experienced two division world champion.

Although Cano eventually lost a uniquely scored split decision to the Brooklyn born fighter, the tough Mexican body puncher gave Paulie everything he could handle, flooring the WBA Champ with a sharp right hand in the eleventh round of action.

But to begin the contest, the fight was all Malignaggi. Continue reading