Boxing


No blueprint to beat him - Ward convincing UD over Froch; Price-McDermott on 1/21

Andre Ward(Photo credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME) By Paul Strauss: Finally, the long awaited Super Six World Classic Champion of the super middleweight division is anointed, and it's the man who remains undefeated. Someone of whom announcer and former champion Antonia Tarver said, "There's no blueprint (out there) to beat him." He, of course was speaking about Andre "S.O.G." Ward.

It seems like forever since the tournament started. There were injuries, delays, with a bit of controversy thrown in for good measure. But, tonight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. it all came to an exciting conclusion for Showtime's Super Six fans. The thinking going into this contest was that it would be a classic matchup of a puncher versus the boxer. Carl "The Cobra" Froch of course was considered the puncher.

But, speed, superior reflexes, and skill accounted for the difference. Froch said it best, explaining in the post fight interview with Jim Gray that he couldn't get anything going. As announcer Al Bernstein said, "His honesty is refreshing." Froch made no excuses. He said he had a bad night, because Ward had a good night. Good is probably an understatement. He did almost everything right.

In the pre-fight media meetings, Ward and his trainer Virgil Hunter said they would fight Froch both from a distance and inside. Tarver thought that might be a mistake because, he felt Ward would be going into Froch danger territory. But, Ward did it and pulled it off. The key was he didn't just move inside, He did it at the right times, and he didn't just move inside, he moved way inside, so much so that he smothered Froch's inside game. Ward kept his punches short and sharp. The result was frustration on Froch's part.

Ward has heard and ignored criticism that he isn't a big puncher. But, he is so effective with his strategy, management of distance, punching accuracy with short, sharp shots. That fact is obvious from the beat up faces of his opponents have after fighting him. He puts plenty of hurt on his opponents, and tonight was no exception Froch had a bruise under his right eye.a swollen and cut nose, and miscellaneous marks and bruises. Several times over the course of tonight's action, Ward landed hard, clean shots that shook up Froch. Froch might not have been in danger, but he certainly was forced to regroup and re-think what he was trying to do. In other words, it wasn't working. To his credit, he threw more punches than Ward. He let it all hang out, But, Ward landed at a much higher percentage.

Every up and coming amateur and pro should be forced by his coach and trainer to watch and study Ward. He does so many things right and at the right time. He has quick footwork, but he doesn't waste motion. He slips and counters, and nullifies any reach disadvantage. He rips off his combinations, and then drops down. But, he doesn't stay there. He moves again, up and down, side to side, making his opponent more than just a little familiar with punching air.

He's no pushover either. You can't muscle him or try to rough him up. If you do, you will get back as good as you give. He definitely can do that too. Before his opponent has a chance to realize his mistake in trying to get rough, he'll be eating a little shoulder or elbow. He might also find Ward head under his chin. Then Ward will step around you, and crack you on the back of the head to point out your foolishness.

Tonight was a relatively clean fight though. There were only a few moments when Referee Steve Smoger had to get involved. A few times, even he could be heard to express an appreciation for Ward's skill. When Froch would try to drive Ward to the ropes, only to see him slide away, Smoger would say, "Nice move!" How right he was.

Of course there was talk of a possible fight with Lucien Bute, but Ward wanted to enjoy the night. He understandably said he and his team deserve a good rest. Then, he said, they would decide what's next.

Froch thinks that even though he lost, he can make some changes and improvements, and possibly beat Ward down the line. He definitely thinks he has a lot of fight left, and can beat anyone. The night ended with nothing more to be said then, "What a class act" these two guys are.

Jon Miller Talks About NBC Sports Network Fight Night

Earlier today, Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and VERSUS (which will become NBC Sports Network on January 2); Kathy Duva, CEO Main Events and series promoter for the NBC Sport Network Fight Night series; and Russell Peltz, Peltz Boxing Promotions and Fight Night series matchmaker, spoke with a group of media about the NBC Sports Network and the NBCSN Fight Night series.

The opening show is slated for January 21, 2012 at Asylum Arena in Philadelphia. The main event will feature Philadelphia heavyweight contender "Fast" Eddie Chambers as he takes on former World Heavyweight Champion Sergei "White Wolf" Liakhovich. The co-feature is also a match that will resonate with Philly fans as "King" Gabriel Rosado of Philadelphia meets up with Jesus Soto-Karass of Tijuana, Mexico.

Here's some of the discussion:

Jon Miller: "We are excited to be getting our team involved with boxing again. We had a long, rich, storied history with NBC Sports. We would do as many as 20-30 fights per year on NBC. We think that there's an opportunity here with the right matchmaking (Peltz) and the right positioning to possibly introduce boxing back to 'free, over the air, and in this case cable' television. Our feeling was that boxing had been under-exposed on linear television and we thought it was a good time to jump back into the ring."
Jon Miller - President of Programming - NBC Sports and VERSUS

Jon Miller

Pres of Programming

NBC Sports/VERSUS

"There's still as many fights domestically as there was 20 years ago. We have over a dozen US world champions, but the sport clearly has become less US-centric and we thought this was an opportunity for us to see if we could make this work again."

"We're excited about working with a promoter (Main Events) who is looking to create crossroads fights that'll be competitive. We didn't want to go in a situation where the outcome might have been pre-ordained because the promoter didn't want to put in a challenging opponent. We needed to be sure that we found reputable matchmakers and promoters to bring us quality content. Our past experience in dealing with Main Events and Peltz Boxing led us back to them. We premiere with 2 great fights on Saturday, January 21st live from Philadelphia and we're looking forward to it."

Russell Peltz: "We have certainly gone out of way to contact all the promoters in the business. We offer their fighters exposure on the new network. There is still a whole squad of fighters out there that don't get exposed, that do want to fight on television and are willing to take a risk. The main thing I found over the years is if you want to make a good match you make it. If you don't want to make a good match you just get your fighter an easy win and you move on from there. To me that's the only difference between a good matchmaker and a bad matchmaker. There are more undefeated boxers parading around now than ever in the history of boxing. I don't want to give a fighter a streak of wins at the expense of competitive boxing."

Kathy Duva: "This isn't going to be done where all the money in the budget goes to paying for the main event and then the undercard fights are a bunch of appearance fights. As a matter of fact, Russell has put together a co-feature on this show between Soto-Karass and Gabriel Rosado that would be a main event on any other cable show - a terrific pick-em fight that will be nothing but action."

"Once the first show was announced we started getting a lot more calls from promoters, so I don't think we are going to have any problem filling up these shows with really great fights. We're matching fighters not records."

Jon Miller: "Our new model is one that we are excited about. The model that has not worked is a network handing all of its fights over to a single promoter. We have repeatedly seen promoters use this just to build their own fighters. This system was great for those promoters but all too often lead to "appearance fights" that abused the system; created mismatches; and served neither the fans, nor the growth of boxing."

"In this NBC model, you have Russell Peltz who is overseeing quality control and Main Events who helps promote and stage the bouts. While both have fighters in our first show, both of those fights are involving very competitive fights in almost "pick 'em" bouts. Lots of other promoters were offered opportunities but they didn't want to take risks with their fighters and that's one of the reasons we didn't want to go down that road. So this is open to all promoters who have fighters who want to come into the ring and have Russell put together a quality match up."

Kathy Duva: "The fighter's purses for this first show are going to exceed the rights fee, so it's not like we are holding back. I think that's one of the reasons NBC chose us. I don't have 30 or 60 fighters that I have to give wins to. We are more than happy to put anybody's fighters on the card. Our goal here is to make great fights so that NBC is going to want us to do more of them, not just for one year. And also to prove to fighters that if you fight in a really competitive fight and lose your career is not over, as opposed to being protected and put in the ring against guys that you learn nothing from."

Jon Miller: "I think the boxing fan has been under-served on cable and network television because so many fights have gone the Pay per View route. It's incumbent upon us to showcase fighters in competitive fights and help to build a model that shows how great boxing is and what it can be. The best way that I would equate that is for example, when you look at the sport of golf, if Tiger (Woods) and Phil (Mickelson) only played on PPV, you'd have no way of knowing who Ricky Fowler and Rory McElroy and Bubba Watson and guys like that are. I think the same is true here. We need to showcase these other fighters and help build them up so that they become more household names and more recognizable, and if they eventually migrate to a bigger payday then that's great."

Russell Peltz: Boxing's not dead. "Angelo Dundee said a few years ago that they've buried boxing so many times they've run out of shovels. Well, December the 10th they just had close to 10,000 in Washington DC of all places. The week before even though it hasn't been printed yet, I believe that the crowd in Madison Square Garden with 21,000 for the Cotto fight was actually the largest crowd to witness a boxing match in the history of Madison Square Garden. And three weeks before that you had Pacquio drawing 15 or 16,000 people in Las Vegas. So I think that when you make the right fights at any level, whether it's at the elite level or the upper or middle class, if you make fights that people want to see they'll come out. I'm just not sure that enough promoters have made the kind of fights that people want to see in recent years."

Jon Miller: "We are encouraged by what we think the audience will be. We have our second show scheduled for March 24 and we've got a couple other dates penciled as well later in the year, and quite honestly if it's successful there's nothing that says we can't do more than 4 shows this year."

"Our goal is to build an NBC Sports boxing brand where consumers know our fights are always going to be competitive and that they can expect exciting 'crossroads' fights where the fights are very evenly matched to the point where it's tough to predict a winner in advance."

Promoted by Main Events, Peltz Boxing Promotions and Goossen Tutor, the non-televised undercard fights will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $45 and $65 can be purchased by calling Peltz Boxing, (215) 765-0922.

David Price a big hit at the WBC convention; fights McDermott on 1/21

British heavyweight sensation David Price made an impression with all the stars from the world of boxing at the recent World Boxing Council (WBC) convention in Las Vegas.

Life long Liverpool fan Price took a signed Steven Gerrard football top to present the president of the WBC Jose Sulaiman and was impressed with his knowledge of the sport.

David said; “I talked in length with Sulaiman regarding the premiership and was shocked that he knew so much we talked about Hernandez who play’s for premiership giants Manchester united and my club liverpool and he has nothing but admiration for Dalglish for what he has achieved so far this season.

“ We then got on to boxing and I told him my ambition is to fight for the best title out there, and be the WBC champion within the next two years.”

Also at the convention was Heavyweight legends Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Larry Holmes.

“Meeting the likes of Tyson and Holmes was a dream come true and hope that one day I stand next to them as an equal and not just a fan.”

A big talking point at the convention was how to revive the heavyweight division, “I believe I am the man to that, I will bring back the good old days and the excitement”, Said David

David workout at the world famous Top Rank gym where he impressed the Las Vegas die hards.

Promotor Frank Maloney took great pleasure in telling a fight fraternity that he has found the man that can put heavyweight boxing back at the top of the pack and rule the division.

David’s Next fight will be against Big Bad John McDermott at the Olympia in Liverpool in an British Title eliminator on January 21st.

Tickets for the event are available to buy online at www.frankmaloney.com.

Article posted on 18.12.2011



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