Haye impressive in HBO Face Off with Klitschko; Mack pays homage to Hopkins; Garcia chosen as boxer with most caracter
By Jordan Stoddart: The much anticipated ‘Face Off’ feature for the huge Klitschko v Haye bout was aired last night on HBO in the US, and across Europe via the Internet early this morning. The excellent format of this mini-programme has proved a great success for recent Pay Per View fights of late, and is now a staple part any big fight build up.
Article posted on 17.06.2011
It is a crucial element in actually selling the event, but more importantly, showcasing possible physiological flaws or advantages in front of a large international audience. Last night’s episode was a superb advertisement for any mainstream fan wanting to buy the PPV, or even bother to watch it if you are an HBO subscriber.
The ever professional IBF/WBO king Wladimir Klitschko, and the ever so loud WBA champ David Haye crossed tongues, not swords, for approximately 13 minutes, half of which were spent silent as Klitschko visibly angry at Hayes wild and abusive comments, paused for thought, and at one point, looked ready to lick Haye in front of the confused Max Kellerman. The 'Face Off’ for Bernard Hopkins (WBC Light Heavyweight champ) now history making defeat over Jean Pascal was an enthralling watch. If you have not already, pop onto Youtube and have a look, its TV at it’s best. The difference with Hopkins v Pascal ll, was the fact the story had been set 5 months previous to their rematch of May this year, when Hopkins rose from the canvas to score a hotly disputed draw with the Quebec based light heavyweight. The first bout had controversial scoring, flash knockdowns, and what many thought, an overall unsavory result courtesy of the loud and loyal Canadian crowd. Klitschko V Haye does not have that luxury, before it deals with the actual fight (which I hope turns out to be a Heavyweight classic), it must first try to generate genuine worldwide interest, and it could do without the comments that arose on last nights show. But then again it is the whole reason fans are going to purchase the fight. Trash talk sells, ask Mike Tyson.
The fight itself, is a blockbuster by any standards. A massive unification fight showcasing two heavyweights who probably have more critics than followers, but who still, are probably the biggest fighters in the sport bar Filipino sensation Manny Pacquaio and the now re-activated Floyd Mayweather. Both of the fighters mentioned above will share an eery similarity if they ever do meet in the ring. Klitschko V Haye has been on and off for about 3 years now. It was put together twice, and the ‘Hayemaker’ (25-1 (23 KO’s) even managed to put a fight together with Vitali Klitshcko in that time, only for it to be cancelled for him to fight the giant Nicolay Valuev for his WBA strap in 2009. Such a horrendous run of events for fans of both camps has soured the proceedings, although the fight now looks like it will sell big in Europe at least, as David Hayes antics will be splashed across tabloids for the 2 weeks running up to the fight. It works, do not get me wrong, it is one of the reasons I, and millions of others watch Boxing. You can get a build up to a football, soccer or cricket match/game, but nothing can equal the anticipation, excitement and intrigue of a big fight build up, and the hype that comes with it. Trash talk will always be a part of it, but it generally emanates from the US and the UK, you will hard pitched to find the following comments emit from, say a European fighter. Wladimir Klitschko (55-3 (49 KO’s) is the complete opposite to a David Haye, a Ricardo Mayorga, or a Floyd Mayweather to an extent. He possesses a diplomatic, calm, even statesman like demeanor, and is as famous in his homeland of Ukraine for his charity work, as the work he does with his fists.
That is what made watching the ‘Face Off’ episode so hard. You see, personally I do have an allegiance to the former undisputed cruiserweight champion fighting out of London, England. I grew up not far from where he still operates, and I grew up watching his fights both on the BBC, all the way up to his UK PPV’s against Monte Barrett, John Ruiz and Valuev, and of course the awful ‘event’ with Audley Harrison. This is a fighter who has cashed in his chips in a big way, and whom I view more of as a businessman than a global boxing star. You get the impression if he did lose come July 2nd, that it would not matter that much to him, as there will be around £20 million in the bank from this fight alone, not to mention the £5 million he earned against Harrison. Throw in the October retirement date, the fact Vitali will not be fighting him regardless of the outcome with his brother (Vitali Klitschko fights Tomasz Adamek on September 10th in Poland for a defence of his WBC belt), and you get the distinct impression that Haye is doing a runner to Hollywood with no conscience as soon as that cheque clears. One can only come to this conclusion when you add up how much money it costs to follow such a fighter. The PPV fees for a UK subscriber; around £100 if you had started watching him post 2008, after dismantling Enzo Maccarinelli inside 2 rounds at London's 02 arena. We see the glitzy Hayemaker t-shirts, the phone applications, the constant bad press that circles him everywhere he goes, it just smacks of raking in all possible funds available, before a pre-determined retirement date that will deny his fans the fights they have always wanted to see. Haye is a great fighter, really he is. he is devastating and explosive when he fights. His speed and agility for such a small heavyweight is astonishing, his power and finesse is worth paying a fee to see, but after last nights showing, there really is a line. A lot of people fail to se the bigger picture, that they have been dragged along on a 4 year journey to this fight, which has seen him only score one convincing victory along the way. Barrett had him down, Ruiz was an old example of his former self, Audley Harrison, enough said. The Valuev fight was a great tactical masterpiece, but that was a t a cost of missing out on him fighting both bothers back in 2008-2009.
Max Kellerman, host of HBO: face Off “What do you think of Wladimir Klitschko, David?” He’s a dickhead”. Probably the most stupid of all insults someone can throw at another human being. Its something that lacks intelligence, is cringe-worthy and childish. I mean it does not even make sense, well it makes money sense. This attitude definitely taps into that mainstream market of UK fans, the football/soccer heads who have no sport for the next 2 months, and will have been bored stupid by tennis for the last month or so. It is without doubt, the sporting event of the summer in Europe, its a huge fight, and if either win, you could argue it will be a career defining victory. Unfortunately for Haye, what little amount of fans he had outside of the UK, he would of lost them last night. I am not sure our fans or even media know the extent of how much Haye is derided and ridiculed outside his homeland, and in boxing circles. He is a bad advert for British boxing as a whole. It is not about whether you need to sell your PPV, and you need to generate support, its about the integrity of the sport, and most importantly how you represent your nation. It is bad enough that HBO are airing this ‘fight of the year’ for free as they are seriously not keen on David Haye, Vitali Klitschko or Wladimir for that matter. They never will be. Hardcore boxing fans are really excited about this fight, it could be an all time great, but someone is getting knocked out in 2 weeks, that much is academic. If it is to be Haye who is the victim, then he will never be able to repair what is left of his legacy on the international stage, last night was pretty much the last throw of the dice. Sure, he will remain popular amongst his fan base, he probably will become an actor as he has always wished, and will still be on peoples TV’s as the man who used to box. But amongst true boxing fans, he will be remembered for his bad PR stunts and lack of his respect for his opponents, in what still is the quintessential gentlemans sport.
Aside from the obvious negativity surrounding Haye’s comments, Klitschko did not have much to say. For the most part, he let Haye take the lead, and at one stage stayed silent for at least a minute, looked visibly seething at the Londoners comments. If Klitschko is to win this fight, he has to remain focused and not get sucked into the Hayemakers gameplan. It may look like the Englishman has the physiological advantage if you check out the clip on HBO/Youtube now, but that was recorded 6 weeks ago. Since then, Klitschko has been received very well in the UK, in particular his interviews on prime time SKY and BBC news shows have shown who he is and what he is about, and to be frank, none of it was bad press. He fits the bill perfectly for the actual marketing of the fight. Haye assumes the bad guy role, and Wlad remains placid, choosing not to engage in the childish antics such as the infamous decapitation t-shirts and video games that have preceded the build up to the 2 fights, one of which Haye pulled out of due due to an ‘injury’. Although, his UK TV contract with the broadcaster Setanta went under the same week, leaving him without a cable TV platform. (Brief history of Klitschko v Haye if you did not know before. You can probably now see why the Germany based fighter is so aggrieved and agitated when discussing David Haye). If Wladimir does get sucked into the mind games, then he loses his focus, his game plan and all of his training is out of the window, and he reverts back to the Klitschko bother who has been knocked out on 3 occasions, all before 2004 mind.
Wlad is trained by the legendary Kronk founder, Emmanuel Steward, although it is not an orthodox fighter-trainer relationship that exists between the two. Only last week, Klitschko appeared to be slightly negative, when discussing how they work together. Something along the lines of ‘I decide how I fight, not Emmanuel.’ It may of been misinterpreted, but it is a fact that ‘Dr Steelhamer’ has suffered devastating KO losses in the past, to Corrie Sanders in 2003 (knocked down 3 times before being rescued by the referee in round 2) and the to Lamon Brewster only 1 year later, going out on a TKO in round 5. He is nowhere nearly as careless these days, choosing to operate a safety based approach which is somewhat derided by some boxing fans, and is the reason HBO will not buy into the Heavyweight division anymore. Ask HBO president Ross Greenburg for clarification. Such a view is ignorant and ill founded, its just a fact of national interest. If he is not American/Mexican we are not interested, that kind of thing. Klitschko has the most devastating jab in modern heavyweight history, and when needed, KO’s his victims in a seriously bad way. He pummeled the likes of Samuel peter, Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev and Eddie Chambers within the distance, and to be honest has rarely been in trouble since he lost to Sanders all those years ago. He is a legit pound for pound fighter, but you could argue, his resume is as flawed as Haye’s. Do not forget that Klitschko pulled out on Britain’s Dereck Chisora, twice, whilst trying to make the fight with Haye happen. Chisora was never a worthy opponent, and was merely tossed to the gutter on both occasions, a pawn in this immensely tiring set of negotiations to make the bout. Still, Wlad is a classy boxer, but can be exposed, and if he fights with his heart, not his head, which Haye literally is begging him to do, then he loses.
Its an intriguing fight nonetheless. 50/50, not in the sense that they are evenly poised and matched, they both have contrasting attributes, strengths and styles, it just depends on who wins the mind games, and who enters the ring focused on one thing, winning. Nothing personally, just getting the job done, and achieving the sole goal of the fight, to win. Adam Booth, David Hayes trainer and manager, pulled off a stunning tactical victory when his boy George Groves defeated the highly rated Olympic medalist James de Gale only last month. There seems to be a great confidence omitting from Team Haye over this fight, and there is much talk of a so called ‘masterplan’ that will defeat Klitschko easily. I feel it is common sense, that Haye is betting all of his chips that he has dragged Klitschko far enough out of his comfort zone to want to go to war with him, and that he has to knock him out early. It can be done, and I feel probably will be done if it works, that is how important last nights Face Off was, the early suggestion is that David Haye is getting the upper hand on Wlad Klitschko, and his Ali-esque tactics have wound him up enough to want to kill him. I wonder if Haye will try and fight southpaw, or will it be a similar fight to when he picked away at Valuev, and stole a decision in Germany. I doubt a Decision of any kind is up for debate, especially as Wladimir so adored there. Haye has to win big, to save his reputation and prove he belongs with the Heavy weight greats. Either way, the damage to Haye’s standing on the global stage and his legacy in the sport is done, lets just pray that Wladimir is not bluffing though, as someone is going to end up with Pizza on their face. On PPV to. Food for thought.
YUSAF MACK PAYS HOMAGE TO LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT KING BERNARD HOPKINS
PHILADELPHIA (June 17, 2011)—Next Saturday night in St. Charles, Missouri, Yusaf Mack of Philadelphia will attempt to follow in the legendary shoes of Bernard Hopkins and capture a slice of the Light Heavyweight championship as he takes on Tavoris Cloud for Cloud’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) title.
Mack of Philadelphia has been extra motivated by a man he calls one of his mentors as he watched Hopkins become the oldest man to win a major boxing championship when he won the World Boxing Council (WBC)/Ring Magazine crown with his win over Jean Pascal on May 21st in Montreal.
“I have known Bernard for my whole boxing life and he was one of the guys who has given me pointers and helped me throughout my career and seeing what he has accomplished and in particular what he did to Pascal gives me that extra drive and inspiration that lets me know I can win this fight”, said Mack
Mack has a record of 29-3-2 with seventeen knockouts recently attended a ceremony where the Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter presented Hopkins with gifts and recognized him for his amazing accomplishment.
“That was amazing. I was and am so proud of Bernard and being at the ceremony I just kept thinking that if can accomplish some of those things, I can achieve the same. It starts on June 25th when I beat Tavoris Cloud and bring back that IBF Belt home. Ironically it the IBF belt that Bernard first won.”
“After I win on June 25th, The Light Heavyweight division will run through Philadelphia with Bernard and I ruling the division. This has been the best training camp of my life and if Tavoris thinks he is seeing the same guy who fought Glen Johnson, then that will be his problem on June 25th.”
Cloud against Mack is part of a big fight card that will be televised LIVE on HBO.
Tickets priced at $25, $50, $125 and $300 are on sale now and can be purchased at the Family Arena Box Office, all MetroTix outlets including online at metrotix.com or charge by phone at (314) 534-1111. All tickets include parking. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions. Alexander vs. Matthysse, presented in association with Golden Boy Promotions; Cloud vs. Mack, presented in association with Bash Boxing/Lights Out Promotions; and Stiverne vs. Austin will be televised on HBO beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT (8:45 p.m. CT).
ELCO GARCIA CHOSEN BY FANS AS BOXER WITH THE MOST CARACTER
New York, N.Y. (June 17, 2011) – Not only did Elco “El Animal” García win his June 10 “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” fight against Joaquin Zamora by unanimous decision, but the judges at home also decided that he displayed the most character in the ring. García earned 51 percent of votes received from across the nation, putting him in the running to receive the “Cinturón Tecate.”
“Cinturón Tecate” (Tecate Belt) is an award created to support the boxers who display the most carácter in the ring during the “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” broadcast each Friday night on TeleFutura. Tecate recognizes that viewers at home are the best judges and allows them to vote for their favorite boxer of the night by sending a text message to 55333 or visiting Univision.com, Uniclave: Solo Boxeo Tecate. To thank participating fans, each text submitted gives them the opportunity to win boxing memorabilia, such as T-shirts, autographed pictures and even tickets to future “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” fights.
As contenders in the competition, the boxers who receive the most votes throughout the season will have the opportunity to win an actual “Cinturón Tecate” belt, equipment for their gym and donations to a charity of their choice in their name. Current rankings stand as follow:
Ranking Boxer % of Votes Date of Fight
1 Mike Perez 87% May 13
2 Jessie Vargas 82% April 8 3 Leo Santa Cruz 80% June 3
4 Librado Andrade 75% May 6
5 Charles Huerta 75% May 20
6 Peter Quillin 68% April 29
7 Elco García 51% June 10
During today’s “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” on Telefutura, fans will have to decide whether Texas native Omar Figueroa or Puerto Rican Eric Cruz displays the most carácter as they face each other on an 8-round featherweight event. To participate, fans 21 and older can send a text message to 55333 with B1 for Omar Figueroa or B2 to support Eric Cruz, or visit Univision.com, Uniclave: Solo Boxeo Tecate.
The broadcast will air on TeleFutura at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT (10:30 p.m. CT) from the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Visit www.Facebook.com/TecateBoxing or www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing for additional details on the next fight.
For more information on “Cinturón Tecate,” results or to speak with a brand executive about Tecate’s continuous support of boxing, please contact FORMULATIN at (212) 219-0321.
Tecate, cerveza con carácter, is the largest beer brand to sponsor boxing matches in the U.S. Part of its commitment to make boxing accessible to consumers is the title sponsorship of “Sólo Boxeo Tecate,” which creates an opportunity for local fans to witness some of the most exhilarating fights by today’s up-and-coming prospects. Additionally, Tecate has been a primary supporter of Golden Boy Promotions’ marquee events since 2007, and has launched a variety of initiatives to ensure consumers are part of the boxing experience, including boxer autograph signing sessions, commemorative cans, PPV mail-in rebate offers, and most recently the launch of a mobile museum “Tecate Museo de Boxeo”, which showcases decades of the most memorable moments in the sport.
About Golden Boy Promotions
Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions was established in 2002 by Oscar de la Hoya, the first Hispanic to own a national boxing promotional company. In 2007, in its fifth year of promoting, Golden Boy Promotions set a record by selling over 2.5 million in pay-per-view homes in a single night. Also in 2007, Golden Boy Promotions established the record for highest grossing pay-per-view homes in a single year with more than 4 million total. In 2009, the company broke records again by breaking the million mark in pay-per-view homes again with the return of Floyd Mayweather. Golden Boy Promotions is one of boxing’s most active and respected promoters, presenting shows in packed venues around the United States and the world on networks such as HBO, HBO Latino, HBO Plus, SHOWTIME, TeleFutura, Televisa, ESPN2 and Fox Sports Net.
Golden Boy Promotions currently has over 70 fighters under contract, from future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins to current world champions and superstars Saul Alvarez, Robert Guerrero, David Haye, Chris John, Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana and Victor Ortiz. Also included on the company’s roster are top contenders Librado Andrade, Abner Mares and Daniel Ponce De Leon as well as highly regarded prospects Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Frankie Gomez, Erislandy Lara, Seth Mitchell, Carlos Velasquez and Deontay Wilder.
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