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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:46 pm 
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Canelo Likely Heading Up To Middleweight Next, Says WBO Prez

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By Miguel Rivera

The World Boxing Organization will have a very full schedule during the days of its Annual Convention, which is going to be held from the 17th to 21st of October at the Caribe Hilton hotel in San Juan.

WBO President Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel, is preparing to officially crown his new champion at 154 pounds, the Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez Mexican. The sanctioning body will deliver his belt to him.

Last month, Canelo captured the title with a knockout victory over Liam Smith before a crowd of 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It was Canelo's first fight at 154-pounds since 2013.

"Canelo and his group and his promoter Oscar de la Hoya will arrive on Wednesday the 17th to Puerto Rico. I will present the awards on the 19th, where I deliver his belt. But I also have a surprise," said Valcárcel to El Vocero.

"Alvarez is the fighter that sells the most pay-per-views right now in America. He is the 'Golden Boy II'. He is a pride for our sanctioning body and is a major champion who proves that he can draw a lot of people. We are happy that he is our champion."

Alvarez, who months earlier vacated his 160-pound belt of the World Boxing Council, decided to return to 154 pounds and take the opportunity to fight for the WBO crown against Smith.

His reign will be short-lived, as even the WBO expects Canelo to move up in weight to 160-pounds.

"We do not know their plans (Canelo and De La Hoya)," said Valcárcel. "I know that they are talking to several promoters. But what I think, and not what the promoter thinks, but what I think - is that we will see Canelo fighting in May and then in September, but it would be at 160 pounds. But it's what I think might happen," he said.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:09 pm 
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Evander Holyfield leads newcomers to Boxing Hall of Fame ballot

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Oct 6, 2016

Dan Rafael
ESPN Senior Writer

Evander Holyfield, the only four-time heavyweight world titleholder in boxing history and one of the most popular and exciting fighters of his time, is one of three newcomers to this year's ballot for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Also on the ballot for the first time in the modern category, which is for fighters whose last bout was no earlier than 1989, are a pair of popular former three-division titleholders with all-action styles: Marco Antonio Barrera and the late Johnny Tapia.

Full members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of international boxing historians began receiving their ballots this week. They are due back by Oct. 31, with results of the voting due to be announced in December.

Those elected will be enshrined June 11 during the 28th annual induction ceremonies at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. To be eligible, fighters must not have boxed for at least five years.

Electors can vote for up to five candidates, but only the top three will be elected. The three newcomers, all in their first year of eligibility, appear to be the likely candidates who will earn selection.

"The Real Deal" Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs), who fought from 1984 to 2011, is as close to a first-ballot lock as it gets, thanks to his record for heavyweight titles and a series of epic mega-fights against other Hall of Famers, including an all-time great trilogy with Riddick Bowe and two upset victories against Mike Tyson, the second of which famously cost Holyfield a chunk of his ear when Tyson bit it off in a disqualification loss.

After claiming a bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics, Holyfield raced to a cruiserweight world title in his 12th professional fight, winning a 15-round split decision against future Hall of Famer Dwight Muhammad Qawi in a bruising 1986 battle that remains one of the greatest in division history.

Holyfield unified two cruiserweight belts by third-round knockout of Ricky Parkey in 1987. Holyfield demolished Qawi later that year in the fourth round of a rematch and then knocked out Carlos De Leon in the eighth round in 1988 to claim a third belt and become the first undisputed champion in cruiserweight history.

Holyfield then moved up to heavyweight, where he really made his mark. In 1990, he knocked out Tyson conqueror James "Buster" Douglas in the third round to win the undisputed championship. Among his three successful defenses were decisions against aging legends George Foreman and Larry Holmes, but Holyfield lost the title by decision to Bowe in their first hellacious bout in 1992. A year later, Holyfield regained the title by outpointing Bowe in the rematch.

In his next fight, Holyfield lost the title to Michael Moorer by decision and, two fights later, got knocked out in the eighth round of the rubber match against Bowe. Many thought Holyfield was finished when he got a shot at Tyson, who had regained a piece of the title, in 1996. Holyfield was a huge underdog but stopped Tyson in the 11th round of a tremendous fight. Seven months later, they met again, and Holyfield won by third-round disqualification when Tyson melted down and bit off a chunk of his ear. Then Holyfield knocked out Moorer, who had regained a belt, in the eighth round to unify two titles.

In one of the biggest fights in heavyweight history, Holyfield received a controversial draw in his 1999 showdown with fellow champion Lennox Lewis for the undisputed title. Most had Lewis winning. Lewis did get the decision when they met in an immediate rematch later that year.

In August 2000, Holyfield notched his last big win when he outpointed John Ruiz to win back a piece of the title for the unprecedented fourth time.

Holyfield fought for another decade and got two more title shots, but he suffered decision losses to Sultan Ibragimov in 2007 and Nikolay Valuev in 2008, albeit in a fight many thought Holyfield won.

"I became four-time heavyweight champ of the world," said Holyfield, who was 18-9-2 with 10 knockouts against titleholders and Hall of Famers. "Would have been five if they gave me the decision I deserved against the Russian guy."

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:30 am 
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Chavez: Only Estrada Can Beat Chocolatito at Super Flyweight

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by Miguel Rivera

According to the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. - Juan Francisco Estrada (34-2, 24KOs) is the only fighter who can defeat four division world champion Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez (46-0, 38KOs)

Gonzalez, regarded by many as the best pound for pound fighter in the world, had recently disregarded a rematch with Estrada - stating that such fighters as Carlos Cuadras and Naoya Inoue are more deserving.

Gonzalez was in the ring last month, when he made history by becoming the first Nicaraguan fighter to win four world titles in four weight divisions. He won a twelve round unanimous decision over Cuadras to capture the WBC flyweight title at The Forum in Los Angeles.

According to Gonzalez, there is no interest right now to face Estrada, who lost a very tough decision to Chocolatito at the junior flyweight limit in 2012. Gonzalez says there is more money out there for a rematch with Cuadras.

"I have other plans, there are better opportunities and larger purses. Cuadras showed that he is much more deserving of another chance and I think it would be a fight that's even bigger than the first," Gonzalez said.

Chavez sees Estrada as having the skill and the style to overcome Gonzalez. Earlier this month, Estrada dumped his WBA/WBO flyweight titles and followed Gonzalez up to 115-pounds.

"In this division, I would favor Estrada over Chocolatito Gonzalez. I think 'El Gallito' Estrada - in the first fight with 'Chocolatito' - he went down to 108 pounds, but I think at this weight he has great potential to make a very good fight and win," Chavez said.

"And I'm not saying this because 'El Gallito' is a Mexican and not because I have anything against 'Chocolatito', who is a great fighter, but I think 'El Gallito' is the only one who can beat him."

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:21 pm 
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Andre Ward: Kovalev Will Need More Than Power, I'm Not Afraid!

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By Radio Rahim

WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (30-0, 26KOs) is one of the most feared fighters in boxing. Many regard him as one of the hardest punchers, pound-for-pound, in the sport.

In the last few years, Bernard Hopkins and Isaac Chilemba managed to go the distance with Kovalev - but both of them found themselves down on the mat from hard punches in their respective fights.

On November 19th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Kovalev will defend his titles against his toughest test to date - former super middleweight king and Olympic gold medal winner Andre Ward (30-0, 15KOs).

Ward believes a lot of Kovalev's opponents are already mentally defeated before they ever step inside the ring - which allows 'The Krusher' to have his way.

Ward has faced and beaten big punchers in the past. He has no fear of what Kovalev brings in his fists and he's not paying any attention to the champion's feared reputation.

Both fighters are listed very high on most legitimate pound-for-pound lists. The winner of this contest will be widely viewed as the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.

"In terms of the actual matchup.... this is why you have to tune in, this is why you have to be there. I just know that I'm going to get in tremendous shape, the best possible physical shape that I can get in. I'm coming to win. I don't get caught up in reputations. I've fought big punchers before. I'm sure that whatever they are saying about his punching power is legit, but its going to take more than that to beat me," Ward explained to BoxingScene.com.

"There are different nuances, there are ebbs and flows. I'm not afraid, and that's what happens with a lot of guys. They get in there with Kovalev and freeze, and then he has a field day - but it's not going to happen in this fight."   

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:46 pm 
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Joe Frazier's Amateur Career

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During Frazier's amateur career, he won Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championships in 1962, 1963 and 1964. His only loss in three years as an amateur was to Buster Mathis.

Mathis would prove to be Joe's biggest obstacle to making the 1964 U.S. Olympic Boxing team. They met in the final of the U.S. Olympic Trial at the New York World's Fair in the summer of 1964. Their fight was scheduled for three rounds and they fought with 10 oz gloves and with headgear, even though the boxers who made it to Tokyo would wear no headgear and would wear 8 oz gloves. Joe was eager to get back at Mathis for his only amateur loss and KO'd two opponents to get to the finals. But once again, when the dust settled, the judges had called it for Mathis, undeservedly Joe thought. "All that fat boy had done was run like a thief- hit me with a peck and backpedal like crazy." Joe would remark.

Mathis had worn his trunks very high, so that when Joe hit Mathis with legitimate body shots the referee took a dim view of them. In the second round, the referee had gone so far as to penalize Joe two points for hitting below the belt. "In a three-round bout a man can't afford a points deduction like that," Joe would say. Joe then returned to Philadelphia feeling as low as he'd ever been and was even thinking of giving up boxing. Duke Dugent and his trainer Yank Durham were able to talk Joe out of his doldrums and even suggested Joe make the trip to Tokyo as an alternate, in case something happened to Mathis. Joe agreed and while there, he was a workhorse, sparring with any of the Olympic boxers who wanted some action.

"Middleweight, light heavyweight, it didn't matter to me, I got in there and boxed all comers" Joe would say. In contrast, Mathis was slacking off. In the morning, when the Olympic team would do their roadwork, Mathis would run a mile, then start walking saying "Go ahead, big Joe. I'll catch up." His amateur record was 38–2.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Joe Frazier at 1964 Olympics

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In 1964 heavyweight representative Buster Mathis qualified but was injured so Frazier was sent as a replacement. At theHeavyweight boxing event, Frazier knocked out George Oywello of Uganda in the first round, then knocked out Athol McQueen ofAustralia 40 seconds into the third round. He was then into the semi-final, as the only American boxer left, facing the 6 foot 2, 214 lb. Vadim Yemelyanov of the Soviet Union.[15]

"My left hook was a heat seeking missile, careening off his face and body time and again. Twice in the second round I knocked him to the canvas. But as I pounded away, I felt a jolt of pain shoot through my left arm.Oh damn, the thumb." Joe would say. Joe knew immediately the thumb of his left hand was damaged, though he wasn't sure as to the extent. "In the midst of the fight, with your adrenaline pumping, it's hard to gauge such things. My mind was on more important matters. Like how I was going to deal with Yemelyanov for the rest of the fight." The match ended when the Soviet's handlers threw in the towel at 1:49 in the second round, and the referee raised Joe's injured hand in victory.

Now that Joe was into the final, he didn't mention his broken thumb to anyone. He went back to his room and soaked his thumb in hot water and Epsom salts. "Pain or not, Joe Frazier of Beaufort, South Carolina, was going for gold." Joe proclaimed. Joe would fight a 30-year-old German mechanic named Hans Huber, who failed to make it on the German Olympic wrestling team. By now Joe was used to fighting bigger guys, but he was not used to doing it with a damaged left hand. When the opening bell sounded on fight night, Joe came out and started swinging punches, he threw his right hand more than usual that night. Every so often he'd used his left hook, but nothing landed with the kind of impact he managed in previous bouts. Under Olympic rules, 5 judges judge a bout, and that night three voted for Joe.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:03 am 
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WBA belt "important" to Wladimir Klitschko

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By Mark Crellin

Last Updated: 18/10/16

  
Wladimir Klitschko twice had planned rematches with Tyson Fury called off

Wladimir Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente says the former world heavyweight champion's next opponent hinges on which fight can be sanctioned by the WBA.

A bout between Klitschko and IBF champion Anthony Joshua could be on the agenda for December but Boente says it will be delayed until next year if the WBA wants Klitschko to fight a different opponent first.

The WBA and WBO heavyweight titles are currently up for grabs, after Tyson Fury vacated them so he can concentrate on dealing with his mental health issues.

Anthony Joshua currently holds the IBF world title.

Joshua and Klitschko have agreed to a fight at the Manchester Arena on December 10 but the Ukrainian is keen to reclaim his old WBA title, which he lost to Fury on points, and both fighters have asked the organisation to sanction the Manchester event.

Were the WBA to decline, Joshua and Klitschko would be likely to have separate fights on December 10, before potentially squaring off in a unification bout next year.

David Haye is targeting a unification title fight with Anthony Joshua next year and expects Joshua to beat Wladimir Klitschko with relative ease

Boente told BoxingScene.com: "For Wladimir, it is absolutely most important that the WBA will sanction his next fight, regardless of his next opponent.

"Wladimir has always been a very loyal and committed WBA champion and the WBA has always been a very important belt.

"So, now we have to see what the WBA rules as the next step, and hopefully quickly because Wladimir wants to fight this year.

"For Wladimir it is very important that the WBA belt be on the line in his next fight and I think it shows that for Wladimir, his intentions are not just to cash in.

"If this fight with Anthony Joshua will not happen this year, then this fight could happen next summer, for example, in a stadium in Germany or England."

A Joshua-Klitschko showdown could happen in December

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn earlier confirmed to Sky Sports that plans for the Manchester fight with Klitschko were on hold.

"Both teams have written to the WBA to request sanctioning of our fight, but Wladimir wants the WBA belt to be on the line so until that is approved we cannot move forward," said Hearn.

"We expect news in the next few days but, in the meantime, I believe both sides will look at alternative options for December 10, while we hope to get the news we need to make the fight happen."

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:25 pm 
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Tim Bradley: I Need To Retire A Winner, Capture One More Title

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By Keith Idec

There are days – many days, honestly – when Timothy Bradley thinks it’s time to call it a career.

He has made millions of dollars and has wisely invested much of his earnings. The Palm Springs, California, native also has won world titles in two weight classes, engaged in an unforgettable battle against Ruslan Provodnikov, and owns legitimate victories over former or current world champions Miguel Vazquez, Junior Witter, Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell, Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander, Joel Casamayor, Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jessie Vargas and Brandon Rios over the past nine years.

There’s little left to accomplish for the 33-year-old Bradley, who hasn’t fought since Manny Pacquiao soundly defeated him in their third fight April 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley and his wife/manager, Monica, often discuss, too, that Bradley has given so much of himself in boxing rings since he turned pro in August 2004 that the risk of fighting again might out-weigh the reward.

The realistic former junior welterweight and welterweight champion fully understands that he has engaged in numerous fights that have taken a considerable toll on him physically.

“I could tell you this much,” Bradley told BoxingScene.com. “When you enter that ring, you know when you come out you’re not going to be the same. Taking those punches to the head – with all the research done nowadays, we know the after-effects of taking shots to the head. Same with football, or any combat sports where you take shots to the head. There will some repercussions after [you retire].”

Therein lies Bradley’s daily dilemma – is it time to retire?

His head tells him yes. His heart tells him no.

Timothy Bradley’s heart, as has so often been the case on fight night, will win this internal battle, at least temporarily.

“It makes me think about it a lot,” Bradley said regarding retirement. “Honestly, I think about it every single day. I do have a great life. My wife and I have done very well financially, with our earnings. I could return or I could hang it up. I’m in a good position. Right now, I’ve had a long layoff and I’ve been helping out with my son’s high school football team, coaching there.

“And my wife is gonna venture off into the restaurant business. She’s getting ready to open up her first restaurant in the beginning of 2017. So there’s a lot going on. But the urge I get, the thing that keeps me wanting to come back is, I don’t wanna retire in the losing column. I wanna retire in the winning column. And I wanna see if I can win one more world championship. And then I’ll be OK. Then I’ll be done.”

Countless fighters have succumbed to the dangerous urge to take one fight too many. Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) hopes he doesn’t join that extremely lengthy list.

Nevertheless, a bout between Bradley and Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) has been discussed for several months. Bryan Perez, Cotto’s close friend and business partner, told espn.com earlier this week that Cotto is more than open to fighting Bradley in February or March.

Whoever he fights next, Bradley has accepted that he won’t feel quite right about retiring if this third Pacquiao fight is the final memory fight fans have of him. Still, Bradley doesn’t offer any excuses as to why he wasn’t able to execute the game plan he and trainer Teddy Atlas crafted throughout training camp.

Pacquiao dropped Bradley twice on en route to winning a unanimous decision by the same score on all three cards (116-110). Bradley doesn’t think the first knockdown, which occurred with slightly less than 20 seconds left in the seventh round, should’ve counted.

Other than that, however, he can’t comprehend what went wrong against Pacquiao six months ago.

“I was on point, man,” Bradley said. “If I was gonna win a fight [against Pacquiao], it was gonna be that night. I was in superior shape and I was on everything he likes to do. And I knew everything he liked to do. But you’ve gotta be mentally tough all the way through. And for some reason, man – I’m not sure if it’s the history of it with Pacquiao – I’m not sure what happened. But during the course of the fight, I gave in. I don’t know why. … But my trainer always says, ‘You’ve got to be a professional at all times.’ And I wasn’t a professional that night.”

Bradley will face Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) from a far safer position when the Filipino superstar opposes Las Vegas’ Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) on November 5 at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. He’ll be part of a Top Rank broadcast team that’ll also include former ESPN boxing analyst Brian Kenny, who’ll serve as the blow-by-blow announcer, and polarizing ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith.

The low-key Bradley is looking forward to the task.

“You couldn’t get a better broadcasting team, man,” Bradley said. “I like Stephen A. I like Brian Kenny. He called the first Pacquiao fight, and he was spot on with everything he analyzed. This guy knows boxing very well. I think that me being the color guy, we’ll feed off each other. Brian is a smart guy. He knows me. I know him very well. And Stephen A., I met him one time, maybe twice. But he’s a sports guy, man. And he has his opinions.

“I’m not sure how much boxing he knows, but we’ll see. He might surprise me, man. When you involve Stephen A., you know there’s gonna be controversy. A lot of people have a lot of [criticism] about that guy. But he’s good at what he does. That’s the reason why you see him on TV, man. He brings that type of feel and he’s gonna keep it 100-percent real. He’s gonna call it like he sees it. And you’ve gotta respect a guy like that. Even though people don’t like to hear the truth, you’re gonna hear the truth come out of his mouth and what he believes. I respect him.”

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:39 pm 
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WBO Prez To Canelo Critics: Why Did Golovkin Reject Andre Ward!

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By Pablo Fletes, notifight.com

World Boxing Organization President Francisco 'Paco' Valcarcel has come out swinging in defense of his WBO junior middleweight champion Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez (48-1-1, 34KOs).

Paco is tired of the critics who continue to bash Canelo for delaying the mega-fight with IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33KOs).

The teams for Canelo and Golovkin are in talks to have the two fighters collide in September of 2017. Golovkin tried to face Canelo this fall, but the Mexican superstar went in another direction last month when he dropped back to 154-pounds and knocked out Liam Smith to capture the WBO crown.

 

Paco says the critics have to be fair - if they want to bash Canelo for delaying the fight with Golovkin, then they have to bash Golovkin for refusing to face Andre Ward at 168-pounds.

Last year, Ward tried to get a fight with Golovkin - but GGG's handlers had little interest in the contest and said they would consider that fight, at the earliest, in the first quarter of 2017. 

"People place too much blame on Canelo when it comes to the fight against Golovkin. People are always asking Canelo about that fight, questions on social networks, but nobody approaches Golovkin and questions him on why would not fight Andre Ward at 168 pounds. Why not blame Golovkin for not wanting to go to war with Ward like they always do with Canelo?," Valcarcel said to BoxingScene.com/Notifight.com.

"We must try to stop attacking Canelo. He is one of the great fighters of today. He will be a Hall of Famer and he's a fighter with a lot of impact in this sport. He brought 52,240 people to watch him fight an opponent who is unknown in America - that's a tremendous thing. He's what boxing needs."

"The presence of Canelo helps the sport a lot. He's like Manny Pacquiao, who is almost out of the sport. Miguel Cotto is on the last stage of his career. So let's recognize the merits of Canelo, because there is too much hypocrisy in this sport."

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:04 am 
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Manny Pacquiao leaves behind grueling schedule to head to U.S. for Nov. 5 title fight

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By: Bob Velin | October 20, 2016

With a little more than two weeks left before his first fight since his retirement in April, and with the Philippines Senate now in recess, Manny Pacquiao is winding down his training camp in the Philippines and preparing to fly to the U.S., where he will spend the last few weeks training and acclimating at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.

Pacquiao is ending his short-lived retirement to fight WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) in a pay-per-view battle (Top Rank PPV, 9 p.m. ET) on Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

More important, Pacquiao will be able to leave behind a breakneck pace that has him working as a first-term senator during the day and training with Roach after his work in the Senate is finished.

A typical day for Pacquiao goes something like this: the 37-year-old eight division world champion gets a 5 a.m. wakeup call, followed by a morning run of several miles at 6. He follows that with a grueling workout with strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune.

Then he showers, reads the Bible, eats breakfast and heads off in a business suit to his legislative duties in Manila.

After that, Sen. Pacquiao — he never missed a senate session — arrives at the gym at 5 or 6 p.m. for a three-hour workout with Roach and his sparring partners.

He finishes his day with dinner at home followed by a game of chess, and finally, sleep, usually of the deep variety.

“It is all about discipline and time management,” said Pacquiao (58-6-2. 38 KOs). “Boxing is my passion and public service is my calling. I will continue to travel both roads as long as I can do both effectively. I dedicate the fights I take on to my fans and my countrymen. They have kept me in their prayers. I fight to bring glory to the Philippines whether I’m wearing boxing gloves or standing on the floor of the senate.”

Roach says Pacquiao’s energy and ability to deal with multiple distractions around him never ceases to amaze him.

“I have been training Manny for 15 years and even after all this time he still amazes me,” said Roach a seven-time trainer of the year. “He’s pushing 38 and he still outworks every fighter I’ve ever worked with. He’s had a killer schedule during this training camp but it’s been really productive. You’d have to see it to believe it.”

Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, has seen it with his own eyes, and says the future hall of famer is the only person you can read about in both the news and sports sections.

“When Manny is inducted into the Hall of Fame, his plaque will say he was boxing’s only eight-division world champion, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what makes him so special,” Arum said. “He is literally a national treasure who has brought great honor to the sport and to his country.”

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:52 pm 
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Former middleweight champion Miguel Cotto won't fight in 2016

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Miguel Cotto has scrapped plans to fight in 2016 and will be back in the first part of 2017. 


Oct 20, 2016

Dan Rafael ESPN Senior Writer

Miguel Cotto the promoter has been busy with his promotional company signing young Puerto Rican boxing talent and making a foray into concert promoting.

Cotto the future Hall of Fame boxer has been a lot less busy.

At 35, Cotto is in the twilight of his career, during which he came out of the 2000 Olympics to become one of the sport's biggest and most exciting stars as well as the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles in four weight divisions (junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight).

In recent years, however, Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) has picked his spots to fight. He boxed only once in 2013 (following a 10-month layoff), once in 2014 (when he knocked out Sergio Martinez to win the middleweight crown) and twice in 2015, returning from a year layoff to stop Daniel Geale in a middleweight title defense and then losing a decision and the title to Canelo Alvarez in their huge fight in November 2015.

Since then there has been much discussion about Cotto's next move. He and promoter Roc Nation Sports talked at length about a fight in the second half of this year. There were negotiations with Mexican star Juan Manuel Marquez, also a four-division titleholder, for a major pay-per-view fight, but Marquez is a smaller man and they could not agree on a catch weight acceptable to both fighters.

Then there were conversations with HBO about a fight with former junior welterweight titlist and welterweight contender Lamont Peterson on Dec. 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. But nothing was ever finalized with one issue being that the date was too close to the Nov. 19 fight Roc Nation Sports is co-promoting between its other star fighter, Andre Ward, and unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev.

So for the first time since his 2001 pro debut, Cotto will go through a calendar year without a ring appearance.

"We have had several conversations with Roc Nation about where Miguel is at and what he wants to do. Everything is good but with different circumstances he decided not to fight in 2016," Bryan Perez, a Miguel Cotto Promotions executive and Cotto's close friend, told ESPN. "We had different conversations about fighting in December but we decided not to fight and do it in the first part of 2017, between February or March."

"The next fight is the last fight on the agreement we signed in 2015 but Miguel feels healthy and good and wants to continue fighting. He has the last word and will decide what to do and what his plan will be but he says he wants to continue to fight and to explore facing the best names out there and getting the best guarantee (in terms of money)."

Bryan Perez, Miguel Cotto Promotions executive

According to Perez, Cotto's next fight will be the last one of the three-fight deal he signed with Roc Nation Sports in March 2015. While many have speculated that would likely be the final fight of Cotto's career -- he has said he is looking ahead to life after the boxing ring -- Perez said it probably won't be.

"The next fight is the last fight on the agreement we signed in 2015 but Miguel feels healthy and good and wants to continue fighting," Perez said. "He has the last word and will decide what to do and what his plan will be but he says he wants to continue to fight and to explore facing the best names out there and getting the best guarantee (in terms of money). He will fight twice in 2017."

Although Cotto won the middleweight title, he fought below the division limit of 160 in all three of his title fights (155 and 153 twice). The mid-to-low 150s is where he intends to fight next.

"He will be comfortable fighting below 160, but whatever opportunities pop up and whatever fight is the best guarantee and benefits his career he will consider," Perez said. "We will wait to see.

Obviously, he is not going to go to welterweight."

Perez said Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs), 32, of Washington, D.C., remains a possible opponent. Peterson has not fought since last October.

"Lamont Peterson is a former world champion, a great fighter and it would be a great fight but not a pay-per-view fight. But I think it's a fight that could get done," Perez said, adding that even though Peterson is aligned with adviser Al Haymon it would not prevent a deal being made with Roc Nation Sports, which is owned by music star Jay Z, a longtime rival of Haymon's.

A far more intriguing bout would be against former welterweight and junior welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. (33-2-1, 13 KOs), 33, of Palm Springs, California. Bradley has voiced interest in moving up to face Cotto.

"That's one of the fights Tim would like before he is done with his career," Monica Bradley, his wife and manager told ESPN in August when he re-signed with promoter Top Rank.

Said Perez: "Bradley is a huge fight, a great fight to make. It's a great fight for the fans, a good style fight. Miguel is always willing to fight the best and if Bradley is there and available and we can agree on terms, we are more than happy to put them in the ring."

That fight would entail Cotto's camp co-promoting with Top Rank, which promoted Cotto for most of his career until he left to sign with Roc Nation Sports after saying he would never leave the company. It was a move that deeply disappointed Top Rank president Todd duBoef, who recruited Cotto out of the Olympics and grew very close to him through the years.

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"We ended our business relationship with Top Rank but if there's a fight we can work on together we will work together, no problem," Perez said. "We had a great relationship with Top Rank and we like and respect Bob [Arum] and Todd. I think Bradley would be a huge fight and a great fight."

When asked for his view of the possible fight, duBoef was not overly enthusiastic and not anxious to go down that road. But he said he would acquiesce to his fighter.

"If it's a fight that Tim Bradley and Monica want, I would discuss it," duBoef said.

Regardless of when Cotto returns, at what weight and against which opponent, he will be back soon training with Hall of Famer Freddie Roach and looking for the biggest fight that can be made.

"This is the first time he had a layoff like this," Perez said. "But at this point in his career it's good for him. He's been moving around in the gym to maintain his condition but it's good for him to get the rest. But he is ready to fight again."

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:37 am 
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Magdaleno on Track To Make 122-Pounds For Donaire Title Shot

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By Steve Kim

In about two weeks, Jessie Magdaleno fights for the WBO super bantamweight title against Nonito Donaire on the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas pay-per-view undercard, which takes place at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

In the past the talented southpaw from Las Vegas has had problems making the contracted weight, so there are concerns if he will be able to scale the 122-pound limit for this contest.

But Magdaleno, who is now under the guidance of trainer Manuel Robles at the Rock gym in Carson, California says there should be no concerns.


"It's great," he says of his physical fitness at this juncture. "A lot of people are questioning me about my weight but it's doing really well. I want to say that I'm about six pounds away and we've just been working hard and there's no doubt we're going to make the weight just perfectly fine."

According to the 23-0 (17 KO's) Magdaleno - "I have a nutritionist cooking for me, the foods already ready for me. I come here to train and do my work. I don't know anything about cooking, what to make, and how much of a portion of what - now that I have all that the weights been coming down easy.

"I've been eating right, taking care of myself. I come here and do my job and soon as I leave everything is already done for me."

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:31 am 
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Jessie Vargas

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Jessie Vargas (born May 10, 1989) is an American professional boxer. He has held theWBO welterweight title since March 2016, having previously held the WBA (Regular) andIBO super lightweight titles in 2014.

Amateur career

Jessie had an amateur career of 120–20. He was a two-time Mexican National Champion, a two-time United States Junior National Champion and was a member of the 2008 Mexican Olympic Team.

Professional career

Light welterweight
Early career

In September 2008, Vargas won his pro debut against the undefeated Joel Gonzalez by first round K.O.

Vargas got attention when, during a fight against Trenton Titsworth, Vargas was kissed on the neck and he responded by hitting Titsworth during the break. Titsworth was docked two points, Vargas one.

In his twelfth fight he knocked out a former IBO Light Welterweight Champion Daniel Sarmiento of Argentina. The bout was the main event of FSN's Fight Night Club. In his next fight Vargas won an eight-round unanimous decision against Mexican Ramón Montaño on the undercard of Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana.

Vargas vs. Harris

On April 8, 2011, Vargas stopped former WBALight Welterweight Champion, Vivian Harris. This bout was televised on TeleFutura.

On March 16, 2013, Vargas won a unanimous decision against Wale Omotoso.

Vargas vs. Allakhverdiev

On April 12, 2014, Vargas won his first world championship when he defeated Khabib Allakhverdiev by unanimous decision for WBA and IBO junior welterweight titles.

Vargas vs. DeMarco

On November 22, 2014, Vargas made his second title defense against Mexican superstar and former lightweight world champion, Antonio DeMarco. This fight took place at The Venetian Macao in Macau, SARon the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri.

Welterweight
Vargas vs. Bradley

Vargas fought Timothy Bradley on June 27, 2015 at Stubhub Center. Bradley pretty much dominated the exchanges throughout, punishing Vargas repeatedly to the body and head. While absorbing major damage, Vargas had showed the ability to hurt Bradley and with 20 seconds left in round 12 landed a massive punch that buckled Bradley's knees and had him stumbling across the ring. Vargas followed him and landed 2 more head shots before being tied up near the ropes. The referee heard the 10 second warning and mistakenly signaled that the fight was over with 7–8 seconds remaining. Vargas believed he had TKO'd Bradley and celebrated atop the turnbuckle. When order was restored it was ruled that the referee's mistake was impossible to fix and the fight would go to the scorecards. Bradley, at that point, deserved the unanimous decision. Vargas has called for a rematch.

Vargas vs. Ali

After Bradley decided against the rematch, instead opting to fight Manny Pacquiao for a third time, the WBO Welterweight title became vacant. It was announced that Vargas would still have a chance at the World title against Sadam Ali. In the fight, Vargas landed the more effective blows in what wasn't really a close fight. Vargas knocked down Ali in rounds eight and nine. Vargas landed a brutal body shot followed by a right to the head to knock him out on his feet and win the vacant WBO world title. Vargas was ahead on all judges scorecards at the time of TKO (79-72, 77-74 twice). Vargas credited new trainer Dewey Cooper, his sixth trainer in eight years as a pro, for the game plan and conditioning. Vargas landed 159 punches from his 428 thrown compared to 118 landed from 408 from Ali.

Vargas vs. Brook negotiations

It was announced on May 12, 2016 that negotiations for a unification fight with IBF titleholder Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) were under way. Hearn told Sky Sports he had "offered a huge amount of money" to make the fight happen and while he conceded Brook might have to travel to America, Vargas insists was willing to cross the Atlantic. Vargas signed his contract, manager, Cameron Dunkin, told ESPN.com on June 1. Eddie Hearn said the fight will take place August 27 or September 3 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield. Vargas would be making his biggest purse at $1.7 million, by a lot.  Vargas confirmed via his Twitter account that the bout was set for September 3. Negotiations fell through on July 9 for the unification title fight, when it was announced that Brook would be moving up two weight divisions to challenge Gennady Golovkin instead.

Vargas vs. Pacquiao

See also: Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas

Sky Sports announced on 4 August 2016, Vargas would defend his WBO welterweight title against 37-year-old eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), coming out of retirement, on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:48 am 
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ARUM PLOTTING CRAWFORD-PACQUIAO FOR 2017

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BY MITCH ABRAMSON

Bob Arum is already cooking up a possible match-up between Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao in 2017 if Pacquiao prevails on Nov. 5 against Jessie Vargas and Crawford wins  his Dec. 10 planned match, the veteran promoter told RingTV.com on Friday.

“If Manny wins the fight and funny enough with Crawford going again in December, it’s possible to do an April fight if Manny and Crawford are successful,” Arum said in a phone interview. “Crawford against Manny — that’s a possibility. That would be a great match.”

Aum is currently in talks to put Crawford on HBO on Dec. 10 after Gennady Golovkin moved off the date to continue negotiations with Danny Jacobs. Arum has tried to give Crawford a shot at Pacquiao before. However, Pacquiao’s side chose to face Vargas instead on Nov. 5, leaving Crawford without a dance partner.

Now, Arum is trying to resurrect the idea again. Yet the Vegas-based promoter isn’t limiting himself to just fighters he promotes as potential Pacquiao opponents. He also spoke optimistically on Friday of working with Al Haymon’s stable and a little cryptically of not having to deal with HBO again on future pay-per-view cards.  Arum seemed emboldened to usher Haymon into his fold and co-promote with Haymon with his company, Top Rank distributing Pacquiao-Vargas on PPV next month instead of HBO. Arum and Haymon had preliminary discussions about matching Adrien Broner with Pacquiao for November before Broner priced himself out.

“I talked to Haymon before I made the Vargas fight about Adrien Broner, who he couldn’t control,” Arum said. “But he has some other welterweights — (Danny) Garcia could be a good opponent. (Keith) Thurman could be a good opponent. I mean, there’s no more boundaries now for Showtime fighters and HBO fighters. As far as I’m concerned, we’re having a great experience doing our own pay-per-view and there’s no real reason for premium networks to get involved in pay-per-view.”

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:47 am 
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Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko Hits Rough Waters Over Alphabet Soup

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By Danny Howard

As if things couldn’t get any more messier in the wake of Tyson Fury’s drug-induced meltdown over the course of the past few weeks, it seems that the fallout is now a core reason that Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko has gone from a near-done deal to absolute uncertainty with time quickly running out.

Joshua/Klitschko had quickly gained steam after Fury pulled out of his rematch with Klitschko earlier this month and even former Cruiserweight and Heavyweight champion David Haye leaked that the fight between the two was all set to go for November. While Joshua’s IBF title would of course be on the line in the massive step up against Klitschko, a sticking point has come from the WBA and their non-committal to sanction the bout for their now vacated title.

Klitschko lost the WBA title along with the WBO belt to Fury last year, with the IBF title being vacated shortly thereafter and claimed by Joshua after beating Charles Martin earlier this year. The WBO belt will be on the line when Joseph Parker faces off against Andy Ruiz in the coming months, but Klitschko is adamant that his former belt be on the line in addition to Joshua’s title.

Not to be deterred, Joshua’s camp has also made efforts to convince the WBA to put their gold at stake on the proposed December 10 date, but Klitschko is not holding his breath after constant setbacks from waiting for Fury to grant him his rematch. Should talks fall apart, it may be due to the fact that the WBA has allegedly offered Klitschko a shot at the vacant title against either Lucas Brown or Alexander Ustinov, leaving Joshua without an opponent and a career-high payday according to Gareth Davies of The Telegraph.

While the most intriguing Heavyweight fight of recent memory hangs on the balance, we can only hope the WBA can make the right decision that will leave the Heavyweight division one step closer to crowning a true, undisputed champion.

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