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Boxing manager Luis Decubas Jr: “Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero will be in a blockbuster fight very soon!”

 Boxing manager Luis Decubas Jr: “Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero will be in a blockbuster fight very soon!” By Joseph Herron – With big fights currently scheduled on the remaining 2012 boxing calendar for many of the top 147 pound fighters, fight fans are curious who reigning interim WBC Welterweight Champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs) will be stepping in the ring with next.

Talented young boxing manager Luis Decubas Jr, gives us a glimpse into the future plans of the four division world champion.

“Robert is in a very good position right now,” insists the lifelong boxing proponent. “He’s a very hot fighter at this time, coming off of a very impressive performance against one of the highest rated Welterweight fighters in the world in Selcuk Aydin. He picked up his fourth world title in his first fight at the 147 pound weight class, and this was coming off of a 15 month period of inactivity. He made a big statement with the win.”

“There are so many great fights to be made in the division right now with Berto, Maidana, Alexander, and Malignaggi. We tried to make the fight with Timothy Bradley and he turned us down. Bradley feels that he has a very good chance of getting the winner between Pacquiao and Marquez, so he didn’t want to risk fighting a guy who would beat him.”

“So instead of making a fight with Robert a reality, he will more than likely choose to face a guy that he’s already dominated in Lamont Peterson.” Continue reading

Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez: “If Kelly Pavlik thinks I’m so horrible, he should prove it in the ring”

 Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez: “If Kelly Pavlik thinks I’m so horrible, he should prove it in the ring”By Joseph Herron – After his dominant performance against previously undefeated KO artist Jason Escalera on HBO Boxing After Dark two weeks ago, Super Middleweight contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) immediately issued a challenge to former universally recognized Middleweight Champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik.

Although the superb match-up would be one of the more fan friendly pairings that could possibly be made in the talent enriched division, the Youngstown, Ohio native stated through numerous media sources that Edwin isn’t an accomplished enough fighter to make a truly meaningful fight at this stage in his career.

The Dominican born puncher had much to say about Kelly’s public commentary on the October 9th edition of “The Pugilist KOrner”.

“In a recent interview I read, Kelly Pavlik stated that I was horrible and that he would rather watch paint dry than watch one of my fights,” stated Edwin Rodriguez. “He also stated that there wasn’t enough money in a fight with me at this time.”

After headlining HBO Boxing After Dark and closing the show with a resounding bang, “La Bomba” found great folly and hypocrisy in Kelly’s response. Continue reading

Pacquiao extends contract with Top Rank

By Rob Smith: Manny Pacquiao has extended his contract with Top Rank through 2014. It’s not all that surprising because Pacquiao seems to be pretty committed to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. The contract could pretty much finish out the remaining quality years of Pacquiao’s career. If he’s still fighting in 2015, it’s hard to imagine him being relevant in terms of still being the best at welterweight.

He’d still be among the top two fighters in terms of money in the sport, but the way that Pacquiao has been looking slower and less active in the ring, it’s hard to imagine him being able to fight on a high level by 2015. What this means is boxing fans will probably never get to see Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. Continue reading

Froch vs. Mack: Carl hopes this will be an easy fight

By Michael Collins: IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch (29-2, 21 KO’s) will be taking a rare tune-up fight the next time he steps inside the ring to fight light heavyweight Yusaf Mack (31-4-2, 17 KO’s) on November 17th at the Capital FM Arena, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK. It’s been ages since Froch took on a guy that was clearly out of his league and didn’t deserve to be in the same ring with him. Mack, 32, is a decent fighter but it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t stand much of a chance in this fight unless he can score a knockout.

Mack does have good power, but he’s had problems with his stamina in the past for fights that go past four rounds. Also, he’s going to be coming down in weight from 175 for this fight and it’s likely he’ll be weaker than he usually is.

It’s unclear who’s idea it was for Froch to fight a soft touch for his next fight – his or his promoter Eddie Hearn. Froch had a ton of options available for him for the November 17th fight. Continue reading

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