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By Joseph Herron – Every young fighter dreams of one day becoming a world champion once they lace up the gloves for the first time.
But the commitment, discipline, sacrifice, and pain that every prizefighter is forced to endure is enough to turn even the most ardent of athletes away from the ring. Despite recognizing the various obstacles on the pathway to glory, every fighter indeed has a vision; and until they accomplish their ultimate goal, most of these brave warriors will continue to place themselves in harm’s way for our entertainment.
2000 American Olympic Silver Medalist Ricardo “Rocky” Juarez (28-10-1, 20 KOs) still possesses this dream; and it still burns feverishly within him just as the first day he began boxing.
“My goal in this business has always been to be a world champion. I feel like I’ve been right there on the borderline. I’ve come so close and have been in a lot of great championship type fights. I know I have what it takes to do it. It just hasn’t officially happened for me.”
The Rock has certainly come unnervingly close to grabbing championship hardware throughout his storied fight career.
After beginning his professional career with a perfect 23-0 record, the hard punching Houston, Texas native was in line to face the WBC Featherweight Champion In-Jin Chi of South Korea in August of 2005. In what was billed as a possible “Fight of the Year” candidate, the highly anticipated match-up was slated to air on HBO as the co-main event of the Fernando Vargas/Javier Castillejo spectacle. Continue reading →
(July 7, 1944 to October 25, 2012)
Written by Damian McCann
Legendary boxing icon, Emanuel Steward passed away peacefully with his loving family present last Thursday at the age of 68.
During his lifetime he amassed a vast wealth of experience and knowledge of the sweet science. He had many roles in the sport as a commentator, manager and promoter, but it will be as a trainer that he will be most remembered in the history of boxing.
As an amateur star he compiled a distinguished record of 97 fights with only 3 losses including winning the 1963 National Golden Gloves Bantamweight Championship in Chicago. He was inducted into both the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles and the International Hall of Fame in New York in 1996 in recognition of his achievements and contribution to boxing.
But he also leaves a legacy as one of the most respected and loved people in the sport; boxing fans around the world loved him and he loved them. No matter how busy or gruelling a schedule he had he always had time for a handshake, a photograph and a conversation. Continue reading →
By Joseph Herron, photo by Esteban Stipnieks: Earlier today from the historic Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas, 2000 Olympic Silver medalist and former title challenger Rocky Juarez (28-10-1, 20 KOs) from Houston, Texas met face to face with heavy-handed, 27 year old Super Featherweight contender Antonio Escalante (28-4, 19 KOs) of El Paso, Texas, at the Leija-Battah Promotions official weigh-in presentation.
While both men were greeted with cameras and flashes, the two knock-out artists were eager to step on the commission scale and authenticate their highly anticipated Super Featherweight showdown, which is slated to be broadcast on Telefutura “Solo Boxeo Tecate” with a 12 PM EST/11 PM PST start time.
Rocky Juarez was the first fighter to hit the scale and weighed in at exactly 130 pounds. The eleven year fight veteran looked to be in superb shape and expressed his enthusiasm to get in the ring tomorrow night. Continue reading →
by Geoffrey Ciani – The sport of boxing lost a remarkable individual when Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward passed away yesterday at the age of 68. Steward of course was an outstanding world class trainer, a tremendous commentator and analyst, and an overall great ambassador for the sport that he loved. But with Emanuel, his total contributions to boxing were far greater than the sum of its parts. His passion and enthusiasm endeared fans, boxers, and fellow trainers alike. He possessed a very unique gift that enabled him to enhance the entire boxing experience for a whole community dedicated to the sweet science in varying capacities.
With his vast wealth of knowledge, experience, and a proven track record of success, Emanuel Steward was undoubtedly one of the greatest trainers the sport of boxing has ever seen. In fact, he trained and/or managed 41 world champions during his illustrious career, and this included two of the longest reigning heavyweight champions in history: Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. His long celebrated success was largely the result of his incredible boxing mind. Steward was simply masterful when it came to developing a sound fight plan that would give his boxers their best chance at victory. He also had an exceptional ability when it came to fine-tuning the existing strengths of a given fighter. This was important. Emanuel never tried to implement a complete stylistic overhaul. Instead he worked with what he had in front of him and always stressed the importance of fundamental basics, which included good balance and working behind a solid jab. This was essential to his philosophical outlook as a trainer. Continue reading →
By Adrian Hernandez – On October 26th, at “Casa de Amistad” in Harlingen, TX, Bantamweight prospect Sergio “Time to Shine” Perales will be making his return to the ring since stopping Rafael Casias in three rounds on March 23rd of this year.
The 25 year old fighter is currently rated number 8 by the IBF, but has not been active over the last year due to lingering injuries as well as his scholastic requirements at the University of Texas at Brownsville.
Trainer Robert Campos is excited for the fight but has expressed a bit of concern coming into the scheduled bout.
“Sergio and I are excited for the fight,” stated the veteran fight trainer. “We look forward to getting back in the ring and hopefully shaking off some of the ring rust. I have total confidence in my fighter and the skills he possesses, but as of late we have not been as active. Any fighter or coach will tell you that inactivity is always something to be a bit concerned about.” Continue reading →
by 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 →
By Joseph Herron – 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 →
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 →
By 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 →
By 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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
By 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 →
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 →
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