An Open Letter To Robert “The Disappearing Ghost” Guerrero from Paulie Malignaggi
Dear Robert: For the past 3 months, you and your team have attempted to trick the media and boxing public into believing that you were on a short list to fight the best fighter in the world, Floyd Mayweather. You also called out every Golden Boy Promotions boxer you could between 135 to 147 pounds, proclaiming your health after shoulder surgery and your readiness to step into the ring in a big fight on May 5th. Every time you had a big bowel movement, your publicist sent an email blast about it.
Article posted on 11.02.2012
Two days ago, you and I were offered to fight each other on May 5th as an important supporting pay-per-view bout on the Mayweather vs. Cotto blockbuster PPV. I am sure you will agree that Mayweather vs. Cotto will be the biggest pay-per-view show of the year and on the biggest platform imaginable at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and on HBO PPV. Millions of boxing fans will have the opportunity to finally see if you can back up your recent widespread chatter on the internet.
Robert, I accepted the challenge to fight you within 2 hours of being offered the fight. But I have been informed by our promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, that you have categorically refused to fight me. This news was absolutely shocking to me because I have seen you transform yourself from a cute, soft spoken, California kid to well, someone like me. I give you props for trying to wake up the old boxing farts with sound bites like telling Mayweather to “Step Up Punk” or telling Victor Ortiz 3 days ago that “if you’re really a true warrior, you’ll step in the ring with me.” But take it from an older and wiser Magic Man that has never needed to hide behind a publicist and has always backed up his words by stepping into the ring with the best fighters in the world, if you start talking the way you have been talking, you better be ready to accept whatever challenges come your way.
Robert, I know that you and your team have been present in the Arena for my past three fights and you have seen how good I have looked in dismantling my opponents. And maybe your advisors think that all the garlic in Gilroy won’t protect you should we fight on May 5th. But you need to find the Mexican warrior within yourself and back up your hot air by stepping into the ring on the day of pride and heritage for your people, Cinco De Mayo. Because if you think you deserve to fight the elite boxers in this world, you need to earn it with more than just a trigger happy publicist. You are a paper Champion that has never fought anyone in the Top 100 of boxing. Beating a geriatric Joel Casamayor or the Australian punching bag that is Michael Katsidis does not earn you the right to call out Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan, and Victor Ortiz. Beating me on May 5th might get you one step closer to that honor.
So come on, Robert. Don’t become a big joke with the boxing world. Listen to your own words and step up punk. If you’re really a true warrior, and not just some internet loud mouth, you’ll step in the ring with me on May 5th. What are you afraid of? Coming off shoulder surgery? I have had more surgery on my hands than an aging Beverly Hills housewife. Are you for real or are you truly just a ghost with a good publicist?
The Magic Man
History is Made as the First U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing Opens Action in Spokane
(SPOKANE, WASH.) – The moment that female boxers have dreamt about finally arrived on Monday night at the Pend Oreille Pavilion in Airway Heights, Wash., as 23 boxers took the ring for opening round action at the first-ever U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing. Monday’s competition featured quarterfinal competition in all three Olympic weight divisions with 12 boxers advancing to semifinal action in the winners bracket and 11 contestants dropping into the challengers bracket.
The flyweight division opened the action with six-time national champion Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) enjoying the honor of being the first boxer to take the ring at the inaugural Olympic Trials for Women’s Boxing. Yet, due to an injury to her opponent, Cynthia Moreno (Phoenix, Ariz.), Esparza won the bout on walkover.
Two-time USA Boxing National Team Member Alex Love (Monroe, Wash.) fell behind early in her bout with Taversha Norwood (Marietta, Ga.), but came back strong over the final two rounds to win a 24-15 decision. Love will face Esparza in Tuesday’s winners bracket semifinals.
Two-time USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Tyrieshia Douglas (Baltimore, Md.) won the most convincing bout of the flyweight division, defeating Latonya King (Harrison Township, Mich.) by a 34-11 margin. Douglas will face 2011 Pan American Games representative Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) in the winners bracket semifinals on Tuesday following Cruz’s 15-12 win over Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas.
Five-time national champion Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) entered the ring to strong home state support in her bout with Bertha Aracil (Yonkers, N.Y.). Underwood claimed the first victory of the night in the lightweight class, defeating Aracil, 22-12 to move on to a semifinal contest with 2011 National Golden Gloves champion Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.). Mayer won a southern California showdown with Lisa Porter (Northridge, Calif.), 27-10, to advance to the semifinal bout with Underwood.
On the opposite side of the bracket, N’yteeyah Sherman (Barberton, Ohio) put on a show in her bout with Asia Stevenson (Washington DC). Stevenson took the early lead but Sherman dominated the final three rounds, winning a convincing 42-17 decision. Sherman will face off against 2012 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Tiara Brown (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) in the second semifinal bout. Brown claimed an 18-13 victory over Patricia Manuel (Long Beach, Calif.) in their quarterfinal contest.
A highly anticipated bout between multi-time national champion Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) and 16-year-old 2011 National PAL Champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) opened competition in the middleweight division. It was youth winning over experience in the middleweight contest as Shields officially introduced herself to the national scene with a 31-19 victory over Crews.
Shields will face 2010 Welterweight World Champion Andrecia Wasson (Centerline, Mich.) in a rematch of the 2011 National PAL championship bout on Tuesday. Wasson enjoyed an impressive showing of her own in quarterfinal action, taking a 34-9 victory over late entrant Dara Shen (Alexandria, Va.)
It was Tiffanie Hearn (San Diego, Calif.) winning a slim decision in the battle of Tiffanies with Hearn claiming an 18-17 win over Tiffanie Ward (Hacienda Heights, Calif.). Hearn will challenge
U.S. Olympic Team Trials action in both the winners and challengers bracket will continue on Tuesday with the second day of competition beginning at 7 p.m. PT at the Pend Oreille Pavilion at the Northern Quest Resort.
The bouts can be viewed online at http://www.universalsports.com/video/assetid=80bb851c-d7d2-4100-a270-261b66ed052a.html.
U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing Results
112 lbs: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas on on walkover over Cynthia Moreno, Phoenix, Ariz., W/O
112 lbs: Alex Love, Monroe, Wash., dec. Taversha Norwood, Marietta, Ga., 24-15
112 lbs: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., dec. Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas, 15-12
112 lbs: Tyrieshia Douglas, Baltimore, Md., dec. Latonya King, Harrison Township, Mich., 34-11
132 lbs: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash., dec. Bertha Aracil, Yonkers, N.Y., 22-12
132 lbs: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Lisa Porter, Northridge, Calif., 27-10
132 lbs: N'yteeyah Sherman, Barberton, Ohio dec. Asia Stevenson, Washington DC, 42-17
132 lbs: Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla., dec. Patricia Manuel, Long Beach, Calif., 18-13
165 lbs: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich., dec. Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., 31-19
165 lbs: Andrecia Wasson, Centerline, Mich., dec. Dara Shen, Alexandria, Va., 34-9
165 lbs: Tiffanie Hearn, San Diego, Calif., dec. Tiffanie Ward, Hacienda Heights, Calif., 18-17
165 lbs: Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa., dec. Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif., 16-10
U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing Tuesday Bout Sheets
112 lbs/winners bracket: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas vs. Alex Love, Spokane, Wash.
112 lbs/winners bracket: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., vs. Tyrieshia Douglas, Baltimore, Md.
112 lbs/challengers bracket: Taversha Norwood, Marietta, Ga. unopposed
112 lbs/challengers bracket: Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas vs. Latonya King, Harrison Township, Mich.
132 lbs/winners bracket: Queen Underwood, Spokane, Wash., vs. Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif.
132 lbs/winners bracket: N’yteeyah Sherman, Barberton, Ohio vs. Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla.
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Bertha Aracil, Yonkers, N.Y., vs. Lisa Porter, Northridge, Calif.
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Asia Stevenson, Washington DC vs. Patricia Manuel, Long Beach, Calif.
165 lbs/winners bracket: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich., vs. Andrecia Wasson, Centerline, Mich.
165 lbs/winners bracket: Tiffanie Hearn, San Diego, Calif., vs. Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa.
165 lbs/challengers bracket: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., vs. Dara Shen, Alexandria, Va.
165 lbs/challengers bracket: Tiffanie Ward, Hacienda Heights, Calif., vs. Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif.
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United St
Stephen Smith vs. Arpad Vass on Saturday night on the Chisora-Klitschko undercard
After bagging British and Commonwealth featherweight titles after just a dozen pro starts, former white hot amateur star Stephen Smith was widely touted to advance to major international honours.
However, after a shock loss to Barry's Lee Selby last September, the popular Scouser has re-grouped and is on a mission to avenge the loss and reclaim his titles.
Smith returns to action this Saturday night in Munich, Germany, on the undercard of Dereck Chisora’s WBC World Heavyweight title challenge against Vitali Klitshcko in an eight-rounder against Arpad Vass.
The man they call 'Swifty' spoke to Glynn Evans about how he intends to re-establish his standing.
Watch Smith v Vass and Klitschko v Chisora live and exclusive on the Undisputed Home of Boxing BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).
What are you hoping to get out of the exercise?
I’m fighting a Hungarian, Arpad Vass, over eight-threes. Apparently he’s won seven of nine and stopped five. (The 25 year old was outpointed over six by Belfast flyweight Luke Wilton and stopped in two by ex John Murray victim Andriy Kudryavtsev). It’s an opportunity to get back to winning ways, become a winning fighter again.
It’s an absolute privilege to be on such a huge bill and it’s going to be great experience. It’s a bill I’d like to be at as a spectator so to actually be part of it in a small way adds to the incentive. There’s going to be a lot of people watching so it’ll be an ideal platform to announce that I’m back, then push on from there.
I boxed overseas many times as an amateur, often against hostile crowds so I’ll not be fazed by going to Germany. I boxed in front of sell out crowds every day at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre when I won the Commonwealth Games in 2006. It’s far more exciting, more motivating, than boxing down the undercard of some British show.
I have to prove that last time was just a blip and none of the ambition has gone out of me.
The loss of your British and Commonwealth belts to Lee Selby last September (KO8) wasn’t supposed to happen; given it was a voluntary defence in your home city. How do you account for it? It appeared as if you were trying too hard to satisfy the Liverpool crowd. Did you underestimate Selby?
No. I rated him. I knew he’d be tricky and long limbed. It was never going to be easy. I’ve still got every confidence I can beat Lee Selby because I knew it wasn’t me in the ring that night. If I’d performed, and Lee had just been better, I could accept that but I wasn’t a tenth of what I could be. No disrespect, but I’ve beaten far better fighters than Lee Selby in the amateurs.
If you remember, I was primed to defend the titles on July 9th (beneath Murray-Mitchell) but, when that show was put back a week, I couldn’t appear because it was our Paul’s wedding and I was best man. The fight was re-made for five weeks later which wasn’t enough time to take a break to let my body rest and recover, and it told on the night.
If you under train, you can still knock out four or five decent rounds but, having over trained, I felt dead after just two. I had no legs. I’d have preferred to have boxed him but, with nothing happening in my legs, I decided to try and grind him down but it backfired. He was hitting me with jabs I could blatantly see coming and normally would’ve avoided easily.
There’s nothing much I could’ve done differently. It was just circumstances.
You were on the wrong end of a bad knockout. What affect did it have on your confidence?
It didn’t dent my confidence or self belief but it hurt my pride and I felt very embarrassed. I’ve never even been over before in my life and I took far bigger shots earlier in the Selby fight. I took too many shots all night but seriously didn’t rate Selby, power wise. The kinockout was purely through exhaustion.
On the Monday following the fight, I went on holiday to Tenerife for a week but, on my return I dreaded going out for a week, for fear of bumping into fans on the street. Everyone in Liverpool gets behind our fighters and I felt I’d let ‘em down.
Facing the lads back at the gym was easy. They all understood. Our Paul, who I’ve always really looked up to, has had a couple of similar setbacks but he was the perfect big brother; put his arm around me and gave sound advice.
Have you ever had to comeback from such a devastating loss before, in the amateurs?
Nothing of that magnitude but, when I first moved up to feather back in 2005, I lost three fights consecutively, to Alex Tischenko, the reigning world and Olympic champion, to France’s Daouda Sow who went on to get silver at 60 kilos at the Beijing Olympics, then to a Swede, in Sweden. That last one was a real bad decision. Nothing was going for me. With the 2006 Commonwealth Games looming, I knew I had to get my act together and won 20 of 21, including the ABA title and Commonwealth Games. The only defeat was in the European Seniors semi-final so I’ve proved my character before.
The Selby loss was your second start under Manchester coach Joe Gallagher. He was criticised after but you were quick to defend him. What has he added to your make-up as a fighter?
I felt very sorry for the stick Joe took because it definitely wasn’t his gameplan for me to walk Selby down, taking shots. As I say, I just didn’t feel right in my body. I defy anyone to have won, feeling as I felt. I knew my spark wasn’t there in the dressing room but what fighter would pull out at that stage?
Joe’s added more to both my attack and defence and the quality of sparring at his gym, with the Murrays, Anthony Crolla, Scott Quigg, is different class.
What are you hoping to achieve in 2012? A return with Selby? How would the outcome be different?
Provided I come through in Germany, I’m due to fight Ben Jones for the WBO InterContinental title at the Troxy in London on March 2nd. That’s up at super-feather but I’m still a feather; just taking the job to keep busy.
I want to climb back up the ladder and I want my British and Commonwealth titles back. And I want to get them from Selby, I definitely want him back. I didn’t have to fight him. It was a voluntary defence so I’d like to think he’d be enough of a gentleman to give me a chance. Anyway, he’s as much to prove that, it wasn’t a fluke as I have. I believe Frank has options on us both so it should be easy enough to make. He’s long limbed and very awkward but nothing I haven’t seen before.
Do you still feel that a world title is a realistic expectation or has the Selby defeat made you re-assess your goals?
Yes, a world title is still my ambition. You have to aim high but I intend getting there by following short term goals. I’d like one (fight) to get the rust off then I’m more than willing to fight Selby or whoever anytime after that.
Right now, I’m not looking beyond anything other than getting my titles back. I’ll not rest until I’ve got ‘em again.
***Stephen Smith’s return and Dereck Chisora's WBC World Heavyweight title challenge against Vitali Klitschko can be seen live and exclusive on the New Undisputed Home of Boxing BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) on Saturday 18th February from 8p***
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