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Monday, November 30, 2009

March Badness: The Worst Pay Per View Ever

by Paul Magno

2009 in the Taillights: A look back at the year in boxing.

Never has there been a more appropriately named pay per view event than Roy Jones' comeback spectacular on March 21st.

March Badness was put together with the best of intentions and meant to appeal to all demographics. It was a boxing/mma show with young boxers, established mma names, a former pro-wrestler-turned mma contender and, of course, a showcase for a rejuvinated Roy Jones jr. It covered all bases, except one...it was pathetically awful.

Boxing and mma can co-exist in the same universe, but it was doubtful whether both sets of fans could exist in the same auditorium, on the same card. But on this date, the impossible happened- boxing fans and mma fans united in their dislike for a truly horrible undercard. Boos, thick as the Pensacola humidity, buzzed the air as both groups of fans showed their distaste for the whole set of events.

The exact order of events is thankfully lost in my mind now, but the show alternated between boxing and mma. We saw a bit of everything that night: Sloppy club fights, obese mixed martial artists dry humping, a 'roided up pro-wrestler prison raping some strip mall karate student, a boring Cruiserweight pecking his way to a win over a fringe journeyman, and, of course, there was the main event.

Somehow, Omar Sheika found his boxing license and defied all odds by actually making it through the ring ropes without falling face-first to the canvas.

Jones came out next and proceeded to rip apart a hapless Sheika, going through all the motions of a prime Jones and bringing the partisan hometown crowd to its feet. This was Roy Jones jr. on a sliding fee scale; a Jones at 50% walking all over a Sheika at 40%.

The dancing and juking and jiving of a 40-year old Jones seemed almost pathetic when you take into consideration that he was doing it against a shell of a fighter in Sheika who, even in his prime, was no match for 50% of Roy Jones.

After Sheika was stopped in the fifth, the Pensacola crowd erupted and the previous hours of torture were forgiven. But what about those outside of hardcore Jones fans and Pensacola natives?

We would forever be bonded together as survivors of the worst pay per view in boxing history. Let us never forget the horror.







Magno vs. The Machine (Stage 5: Results)

Paul Magno was very lucky this week. When the judges decided to be stern and hold out to score a majority draw in the contest between Ali Funeka and Joan Guzman for the vacant IBF lightweight title, a sigh of relief and astonishment shook both Magno and Machine. The BTBC scored it to Funeka, and Sr. Magno should count himself slightly fortunate as he hopes to improve his record this week.

And the leader Magno, who would have been equal if there was justice in boxing, will be mightily relieved that there’s only one bout on the halfway mark, Paul Williams vs. Sergio Gabriel Martinez.

Lucian Bute vs. Librado Andrade II: With an astonishing performance, Lucian Bute’s accurate punching saw him drop Andrade to the canvas twice in the fourth, with the final knockdown a spine-busting liver shot that saw the Mexican hardman fail to rise on his feet. A perfect way to silence his critics after the controversial first fight.

Magno: Lucian Bute UD 12 Librado Andrade
Machine: Lucian Bute UD 12 Librado Andrade

Result: Lucian Bute KO 4 Librado Andrade

Joan Guzman vs. Ali Funeka: A farce. Funeka won at least 6 rounds on any sensible sober scorecard, but was robbed against Guzman, who failed to turn up in last night’s performance. Guzman started well, but Funeka wrapped up the contest winning the tail-end of the fight, after evening it out after halfway. Funeka’s jab deepend Guzman’s cut, and surely the South African will get a lucky break... sometime.

Magno: Joan Guzman UD 12 Ali Funeka
Machine: Ali Funeka TKO 10 Joan Guzman

Result: Ali Funeka D 12 Joan Guzman

The next Magno vs. Machine battle will travel back across the border, as Paul Williams’ long road for respect continues against tough Argentinean Sergio Gabriel Martinez over 12 rounds. There is plenty of great action next week, such as Huck-Afolabi and Khan-Salita, but we didn’t want to lower the standard of the P-4-P Magno vs. Machine debate.

Scores: Magno (6-2, 2 KOs), Machine (5-3, 1 KOs)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kameda Hits The Big Time

Koki Kameda put the final stamp on an action-packed and thrilling weekend of boxing by defeating rival Daisuke Naito and long time WBC flyweight champ in Saitama, Japan, staying undefeated.

The talented trash-talking Kameda (22-0, 14 KO) won by unanimous decision via scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111. BTBC scored it 116-112 for the challenger, who used speed, accurate punching, and ring generalship to outpoint Naito.

Naito (35-3-3, 22 KO) looked no older today than he has in his other recent fights. At 35, he's slowing down, but he's still a world-class fighter at 112 pounds. This was a big win for Kameda, no doubt.

This was less a show that Naito was too old than it was a passing of the torch in a lot of ways. Kameda is the real deal. His counter punching was outstanding, he stayed controlled the entire fight, and unlike the ferocious killer Kameda we've seen before, he recognized that Naito wasn't one of those slugs without a pulse he'd sparked in the past. Despite any out of the ring trash talk, Kameda clearly respected Naito as a fighter.

Kameda’s performance might just edge Bute for the fighter of the week.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bute...Perfect, Funeka...Robbed

The good and bad of boxing was on display Saturday night at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Canada.

First, the bad:

In the opening bout of the HBO championship doubleheader, for the vacant IBF Lightweight title, Ali Funeka battered and out-worked Joan Guzman, only to have the fight scored a draw by the Canadian judges.

Although Guzman came out fast, peppering Funeka's long, lean midsection with body shots, Funeka began to find the range with his jab and turned Guzman's face into a bloody mask with a possibly broken nose. Guzman also suffered a cut on the inside brow of his left eye that was caused by an accidental headbutt.

Funeka had Guzman stunned a couple of times in the later rounds, but Guzman proved his mental toughness by surviving until the final bell.

The result seemed a foregone conclusion as Funeka seemed to absolutely dominate most every moment of the final ten rounds.

However, nothing is 'for sure' in boxing...especially in Canada.

Jaws dropped around the boxing world as the score was read: 116-112 for Funeka by the American judge Joseph Pasquale and an incomprehensible 114-114 from Canadian judges Benoit Roussell and Alan Davis. The BTBC had it scored 117-111 for Funeka.

Then came the good:

Lucian Bute avenged his controversy-tainted first victory over Librado Andrade with an absolutely wonderful display of professional prize fighting in front of a very partisan crowd of supporters.

Bute boxed and used angles to keep the tough Andrade off-balance, slowly touching Andrade's well-regarded chin with increasingly strong shots.

Andrade was dropped hard in the middle of the fourth with a sharp left hand counter as he lunged forward. He didn't appear hurt, but the difference in skill level was becoming painfully apparent.

With seconds left in that same round, the southpaw Bute connected with a beautifully-timed left to the liver as Andrade rushed forward. Andrade hit the canvas hard and, paralyzed with pain, was unable to beat the count.

This was Bute's fifth defense of his IBF Super Middleweight title.

HBO Campaigns For Alexander-Maidana

When Amir Khan became WBA light welterweight champion, fans feared that it would be a short reign if he came up against power punching Marcos Rene Maidana, who was some sort of a mandatory in a very corrupt WBA system.

But Khan managed to manipulate the system and give Dimitri Salita his ‘well-deserved’ title shot, and left Maidana out in the cold. With Maidana having to wait until 2011 possibly for his title shot, HBO has offered to screen a fight between the newly crowned WBC light welterweight titlist Devon Alexander and the Argentine.

Alexander ‘The Great’, won the WBC title against veteran Englishman Junior Witter, winning by eighth round corner retirement. He is yet to defend his belt, and doesn’t have a mandatory in line, so a chosen defence against Marcos Rene Maidana is set up for Spring 2010.

The fight is likely to be made in March 2010, possibly as a double-header with the rematch between Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins, or as a Boxing After Dark broadcast

You heard it here first!

No Weight Issues in Championship Doubleheader

For IBF Super Middleweight Title (Left)

Andrade:
166.71
Bute: 166.8

***************


For Vacant IBF Lightweight Title
(Right)

Funeka: 133.9
Guzman: 134.4

Friday, November 27, 2009

BTBC Fight of the Week

Saturday, November 28th

Librado Andrade vs. Lucian Bute

(IBF Super Middleweight Title)

Pepsi Coliseum, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada



The Breakdown:

Lucian Bute: 24-0 (19 KOs), Rated #1 at Super Middleweight by The BTBC,

Age: 29

Height: 6' 2

Reach: 70"

Stance: Southpaw

Career Achievements: Reigning IBF Super Middleweight Champ (3 defences)

Notable Opposition: James Obede Toney (Win via TKO 8), Sakio Bika (Win via UD 12), Alejandro Berrio (Win via TKO 11), Librado Andrade (Win via UD 12), Fulgencio Zuinga (Win via TKO 4),

Pre-Fight Quote: "It was a small mistake (the ending of the first bout where he was dropped and hurt badly), this time I will be better,

*********

Librado Andrade: 28-2 (21 KOs), Rated #7 at Super Middleweight by The BTBC

Age: 31

Height: 6' 2"

Reach: 78"

Stance: Orthodox

Career Achievements: n/a

Notable Opposition: Otis Grant (Win via RTD 7), Mikkel Kessler (Loss via UD 12), Yusaf Mack (Win via TKO 7), Robert Stieglitz (Win via TKO 8), Lucian Bute (Loss via UD 12)

Pre-Fight Quote: "I came there to knock him out and that's exactly what I did. I got to him and I'll get to him again."

*********

Paulie the Sicilian's Prediction: Bute boxed Andrade's shorts off for 11 and a half rounds last time before getting knocked loopy. Andrade will be coming in with more confidence and the knowledge that he can hurt Bute...that will be a big factor in keeping this contest a lot closer than the first one.

But, still, Bute can outbox Andrade all night and hold when necessary...and he'll get the chance to with the Canadian officials.

Bute wins this via closer UD than the first time, but he won't be in danger at any point.

The BTBC Rumor Mill

by Dafs117

With everybody discussing potential match-ups for 2010, I thought it would be a good idea to give some inside knowledge into potential fights. And after talking to many little birds, I’ve rustled up 10 boxing rumors that could be in place for 2010, with everyone a potential scoop.

Robert Stieglitz vs. Edison Miranda (WBO Super Middleweight)
Two hard-hitting sluggers could battle it out shortly after New Year’s Eve

Tomasz Adamek vs. Hasim Rahman
The Pole will return on February 6 and Rahman is in pole position, followed by Sam Peter

Paulus Moses vs. Marco Antonio Barrera (WBA Lightweight)
Could Barrera become a 4 weight world champion against undefeated Namibian

Steve Cunningham vs. Matt Godfrey (IBF Cruiserweight)
An all American affair could be in place in February

Chad Dawson vs. Jean Pascal (WBC Light Heavyweight)
Dawson will not wait for Hopkins, so could he fight a very live underdog in Jean Pascal

Yhonny Perez vs. Fernando Montiel (WBC & IBF Bantamweight)
Montiel could turn to Perez in a unification fight in the Summer after Gorres injury

Miguel Cotto vs. Jose Luis Castillo
Two post-prime attacking styles could meet in a crossroads fight in April

Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Pacquiao foes face off in the biggest bout for British boxing

Edwin Valero vs. Humberto Soto (WBC Lightweight)
With Antonio DeMarco not quite ready for a title shot, Soto could jump up to face Valero

Joshua Clottey vs. Kermit Cintron
Two former welterweight titlists could face off for an interim belt

5 Unrealistic Rumors
Alfredo Angulo vs. Kermit Cintron II
Timothy Bradley vs. Mike Alvarado
Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Daniel Ponce de Leon
Michael Katsidis vs. John Murray
Antonio Margarito vs. Zab Judah

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sosa Undergoes Surgery, Named WBC Emeritus Champion

Although the WBC failed to officially acknowledge Edgar Sosa's protest of his loss to Rodel Mayol last Saturday, the organization did agree to name him Emeritus Champion based on his solid reputation as champion and the hint of some confusion in the initial in-ring decision.

A fierce headbutt from Mayol on Saturday dropped and clearly hurt the defending WBC Jr. Flyweight champion, Sosa. The butt was initially ruled as accidental by the referee, but later ruled intentional by members of the sanctioning body. Whether intentional or not, Mayol seized the opportunity and stopped Sosa seconds later.

The designation of Emeritus Champion means that Sosa, after he recovers from his injuries, can immediately demand a rematch for the title without having to wait in line. Sosa will also have the opportunity to challenge for the Flyweight title, under the same conditions, if he wishes.

Sosa is currently recovering from surgery which required him to have two titanium plates screwed into his face due to a triple fracture of the cheekbone that affected his cheek, nose and the orbit of his eye. He's expected to be out of commission for at least 6 months.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Magno vs. The Machine (Stage 5: Bute/Andrade, Guzman/Funeka)


Stage 5: Bute-Andrade II + Guzman-Funeka

Boxing Tribune editor-in-chief, Paul Magno could extend his lead over Title Bout Championship Boxing 2.5 this week, as Joan Guzman and Ali Funeka have split the pair.

We are blessed with another double-header as Stage 5 stages even more compelling action, as both competitors will try and correctly predict the outcome of the well deserved rematch between Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade, and Joan Guzman’s first real test at lightweight against Ali Funeka.

Can The Machine even things up?

Lucian Bute vs. Librado Andrade

Magno: In the first fight, Bute won 11 and a half rounds in a contest that was becoming boring because it was so one-sided. Andrade came on strong at the very end and made things memorable, but will that make a difference in the rematch?

I say, "yes."

Andrade knows he can hurt and knock Bute out and he's probably buying into the false notion that the ref saved Bute the first time. Confidence is a huge factor in boxing and Andrade will come in with an added sense of it.

However, technique still trumps King-King confidence and I see Bute pretty much following the blueprint of the first fight. Andrade will push harder, earlier, but Bute is still the better boxer.

Bute wins via UD in a more competitive bout than the first time.

Machine: The first bout was a farce. The second bout doesn’t strike the machine as competitive.

Look for the defending champion and hometown favourite Lucian Bute, to identically outbox and outfox his opponent and gain an early lead. He’s quicker, cleverer, but he lacks the cutting edge of his opponent to stop the Mexican.

In their first fight, Bute was gone. He had a 20 second count, and he was still gone. Andrade should have earned the knockout, but referee Marlon Wright had other ideas. That’s in the past. Andrade needs to forget all that, and focus on wearing Bute down. He has power, he has strength, but can he catch Bute often enough to stop the IBF champion?

Bute will win the first ten rounds, making Andrade look silly at times. But Bute will tire, and Andrade will quickly jump on his prey and brutally attack him for the remainder of the fight.

Can Bute survive Andrade’s barrage of punches in the final two rounds? Can Andrade turn in another remarkable late stoppage?

The answers to those questions is, no. Unfortunately for Andrade, and very fortunate for Bute, time will run out, and Bute will be victorious, by a near shutout unanimous decision. Andrade will kick himself, and Bute will plea for a place in the Super 6.

Joan Guzman vs. Ali Funeka

Magno: Make no mistake about it, Joan Guzman is a boxing machine, possessing a skill-set second only to the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley. The question about him is whether he has the hunger to push himself anymore.

Funeka, the lanky punching machine from South Africa, will test Guzman's desire. In his performance against Nate Campbell, Funeka proved he belonged among the elite, but he did show some signs of cracking under pressure as a weight-drained Campbell nearly put him away late.

This will be a very tough fight for Guzman, but I see his reflexes and overall flexibility being the decisive factor. If Guzman really wants it, he will win.

A motivated Guzman takes some time to study Funeka and then begins to time his shots, moving in and out with greater fluidity as the fight progresses.

At the end of the night, a puzzled Funeka wonders how he could've thrown so many punches and landed so few.

Guzman via close UD

Machine: A more accurate prediction could be made after the weigh-in, as Guzman unprofessionally and out of character failed to make the lightweight limit against Nate Campbell, despite campaigning at a lower weight for most of his career.

Ali Funeka, was on the other end of another weight problem in a Nate Campbell fight. Campbell threw away his titles at the weigh-in, and they were up for grabs for the South African. In a very close fight that could’ve gone either way, Campbell won, but Funeka was the real winner, gaining popularity and recognition for his performance. He eventually, earned another title shot.

With both men likely to come in bang on the lightweight limit, the taller, clumsier Funeka will struggle to deal with the slippery Guzman early on. The first four rounds will be cat and mouse, with the ego-inflated mouse emulating the cartoon character Jerry, proving to be too quick for the natural lightweight.

As the rounds roll on, Guzman’s reflexes will slow down remarkably, and Funeka has proved that he grows as the fight goes on. A big right hand floors Guzman in the seventh with Funeka closing the show after three more tiring rounds. Ali Funeka the winner by 10th round stoppage.

Current Scores: Magno 5-1 (2 KOs), Machine 4-2 (1 KOs)

Grading the Champions: Amir Khan


The third Jr. Welterweight champion to be graded is Amir Khan.

Amir Khan (21-1, 15 KOs)


Current Title: WBA Jr. Welterweight Title
BTBC Ranking: #17 at Jr. Welterweight
How He Earned His Title: Out-classed Ukranian Andreas Kotelnik to capture his title in the M.E.N Arena in July 2009.
Defenses: Yet to defend
Next Defense: Dmitriy Salita, December 5
Down the Line: Marcos Rene Maidana, Winner of Juan Diaz-Paulie Malignaggi II
Comments: Khan has been rocked in many fights against blown up Super Featherweights, but he seems to be a new fighter under new trainer Freddie Roach. Has fought legend Marco Antonio Barrera and didn’t lose a round against the Mexican icon. He’s one of the fastest fighter pound-4-pound, but his defense and chin are definitely not his strong points. He hasn’t carried his power to world level, but that’s only a minor defect in his game that could be altered. He is technically sound, and could well carry the torch for British boxing in the future. As he hasn’t defended yet, he hasn’t achieved a grade, but he could be on the right track if he defeats Salita and then Argentinan monster Marcos Rene Maidana, which is likely to be a mandatory for the New Year.

Grade: I

Monday, November 23, 2009

Please Ricky, Don't Do It

by dafs117

After hibernating since May, Ricky Hatton is coming back. He's going to put down his pint and bacon butty, rip four stones off that small frame to get into fighting trim for the tough Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez. I can't say this is the best news I've heard in a while, for British boxing or for Hatton.

Fighters fight for one of two reasons. Money or glory. Hatton says he doesn't need the former, not more than any other millionaire desperately needs more money, so he must miss the applause, the buzz or, as he put it last week, "the itch". That's not a good reason to take a suspect chin back into a boxing ring. He was brutally knocked out by the great Filipino Manny Pacquiao six months ago, and his chin hasn't grown any muscles since, and he risks humiliation this time.

The sport is addictive, as nearly any former fighter will tell you, but you don't kick the habit by getting beaten up in public, especially by such an accomplished operator as Marquez who, although outclassed, went the distance with Floyd Mayweather Jr. only two months ago and ran Manny Pacquiao close, twice. So Ricky wants to fight the man who was competitive with the only two fighters he himself has lost to, badly.

All this fight will do is feed Hatton's addiction. No apologies here for repeating something Barry McGuigan says on repeat “boxers are the first ones to know when to quit and the last to admit it.”

If a 31 year old Hatton does the impossible and gets past Marquez, he won't stop there. He will be growing older by the round. If Marquez doesn't get him, someone else will, someone tougher, younger, someone who will see him as a stepping stone.

There is another reason Hatton should not fight again, his drinking. He has always said his lifestyle makes him what he is. It gives him a thrill. He lives two hundred miles an hour, and trains at the same speed. In his mind you can't have one without the other.

Hatton knows the sport inside out and he has seen great fighters go one fight too many, Kostya Tszyu, for instance. That was Hatton’s finest night by a mile, Saturday, 4 June, 2005, at a packed MEN Arena. He was inspired. But he knows he caught Tszyu on the last leg of a long journey, and so does Tszyu.

Tszyu also has been tempted a few times to fight again, and so far, has resisted the urge. Let's hope it stays that way because he would do nothing but ruin our memories of him.

And I'm afraid that is what Hatton is getting ready to do. He’s been a terrific character, great to get Britain back into boxing, but there comes a time in sport where a sportsman must call it a day.

That last point is half the problem. Ricky is desperate to please his fans, the 30,000 and more who followed him to Las Vegas, a travelling circus who lit up boxing like probably no other fans could.

But Ricky needs to step back from the roar of the crowd because it is distant and fading. They're not the ones taking the punches. Their health is not at risk.

The real warning signs for Hatton arrived in the weeks before he fought Pacquiao. A young Cuban light-middleweight called Erislandy Lara gave Ricky such a tough time in sparring in Las Vegas he was kicked out of the camp.

Lara is a serious prospect (he is unbeaten in eight contests with five KOs) and much bigger than Hatton. So what was this young monster doing in a ring with Hatton so close to a big fight? What genius brought in a big man to prepare Ricky to fight a smaller, quicker man?

That camp was the worst preparation Hatton could have had for Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather Sr, a defensive master if slightly eccentric, was marginalised and, ultimately ignored. Hatton went to the ring with a divided team and it showed in the short time the fight lasted.

Hatton looked as if he were fighting on roller skates. His balance was awry and his judgment of space and distance was awful. He fought like a desperate man. While he did himself no favours with what passed for strategy, it was still no disgrace to lose to a wonderful champion, but the piercing scream from ringside by his girlfriend Jennifer when he hit the canvas in round two should have been the only voice he listened to. It should have been the final bell for Hatton, but it seems not.

There was chaos in the corner and in Hatton's mind. That confusion, which begun in the Mayweather fight and resurfaced in May, does not seem to have gone away. Ricky still thinks he can do in the ring what his brain tells him. It would be a fairytale if he did come back. But boxing is about reality, as Hatton knows better than most.

He said before fighting Mayweather: "There's no more honest place in sport than the boxing ring. You can't tell lies in there, you can't pretend."

I'm afraid that is exactly what he is doing now.

Magno vs. The Machine (Stage 4 Results)


As the ever competitive boxing related battle of Man vs. Machine looked to be a nail-biting contest until the twelfth and final round, The Boxing Tribune editor-in-chief Paul Magno has
finally emerged as the front-runner in the close prediction game.

And it looks like Magno will be the leader coming out of the jam-packed November schedule that has gripped our boxing community. With another double header next week, Magno could stretch his lead further, as him and the Machine have gone separate ways on Guzman-Funeka.

Mikkel Kessler vs. Andre Ward: With an impressive performance and head-butting skills that would make Ivan Calderon proud, Olympian Andre Ward proved that he was worthy of a place in the Super 6 Boxing Classic with a comfortable but nervy victory over the one dimensional Mikkel Kessler. His hand speed was too much for Kessler, who couldn’t adapt his game to defeat the American.

Magno: Andre Ward UD 12 Mikkel Kessler
Machine: Mikkel Kessler KO 9 Andre Ward

Result: Andre Ward TD 11 Mikkel Kessler

The next Magno vs. Machine debate will be from Canada, as Librado Andrade aims to get his revenge on IBF Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute after a crazy first fight and the underrated Dominican Joan Guzman will fight Ali Funeka for the vacant IBF Lightweight title.

Scores: Magno (5-1, 2 KOs), Machine (4-2, 1 KOs)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grading the Champions: Juan Urango


by Paul Magno

In an ideal world, there would be only one champion per division, but unfortunately, boxing in the year 2009 is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. For that reason, The Boxing Tribune has designed a new feature to rate recognized alphabet champions.

Hopefully, this will give the fans a clearer idea of who are the "real" champions and who are just simply belt holders.

The second Jr. Welterweight champion to be graded is the big-punching, Colombian "Iron Twin" and reigning IBF 140 lb. champ, Juan Urango.

Juan Urango (22-2-1, 17 KOs)


Current Title: IBF Jr. Welterweight Title
BTBC Ranking: #7 at Jr. Welterweight
How He Earned His Title: Bludgeoned the usually tough Herman Ngoudjo en route to a UD win for the vacant IBF crown.
Defenses: Randall Bailey, TKO 11
Next Defense: Undecided
Down the Line: Kendall Holt, Zab Judah, The Winner of Diaz-Malignaggi II
Comments: Urango looked sloppy and vulnerable in his sole defense of he title against Bailey, but as is usually the case with the southpaw, Urango, his tremendous one-punch power turned the fight around and led him to victory. His challenging of Andre Berto at Welterweight was both pointless and disappointing. Hopefully, the urge to move up to 147 never comes up again because there is plenty of talent at 140 and several quality match-ups to be made within his own division.

Grade: C

Welterweights Beware! Can the division survive the fast approaching black hole?

by dafs117

As the talent rich, money making welterweights relax before the festive vacation, none of them will predict the turmoil that could eventually see the division collapsing, as one of the main money sources in 2011.

Star after star, the galaxy of welterweights will drastically fade in 2010, with retirements, defeats and weight jumping, destroying the near perfect atmosphere within the weight class.

And when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally turn towards each other, they would create the biggest buzz ever created in the modern era of the sport. The 147 pound division will be the centre of the universe as both red giants collide in a battle of the supernovas.

Win or lose, retirement beckons for both fighters. Boxing would be dealt a massive marketing blow, as two of the brightest stars quickly shoot off the scale. But what about the welterweight division? The loss of Pacquiao and Mayweather cannot be put into words as the welterweight division would lose the elite class.

Where does that leave Shane Mosley? If he loses to Andre Berto, there’s no-one to fight at 147 pounds, as Miguel Cotto wouldn’t dare cross paths with Sugar Shane again. In his hour of need, will Paul Williams be his knight in shining armor and battle him at the 147 limit? Highly unlikely.

Welterweight could lose three superstars in half a year. Three pound-4-pound ranked fighters. Three legends that have truly left their mark on the sport with outstanding, but all different legacies which stand out from the rest.

And if Miguel Cotto had anything left after last year’s loss to Antonio Margarito and his split decision victory over Joshua Clottey, Manny Pacquiao would either bring it out of him, or beat it out of him. He duly delivered, and probably smashed Cotto’s half life into smithereens. That’s another slightly more faded welterweight star, gone.

Can the icons make another impact, such as Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and Jose Luis Castillo? They might even turn to each other, in a true crossroad elimination process that would see the loser retire, for good.

With Joshua Clottey and Carlos Quintana likely to move up in weight, and once-great Zab Judah scampering down south, the depth of the division is quickly deteriorating. Names like Luis Collazo and Carlos Manuel Baldomir are simply stepping stones in the asteroid belt, waiting for a young rocket to dent.

Is the division’s superhero and savior Andre Berto? He’s hardly impressed in his recent performances against immobile Juan Urango and a post-prime Luis Collazo. Can he step up to the thrown and take over the reigns as the leader of the new welterweight revolution?

By 2011, Saul Alvarez would surely have stepped up his level of competition, and maybe young Brit Kell Brook can cause a stir among the HBO missionaries. Could Mike Jones be the next great American welterweight?

If the stars of today hang up their gloves in 2010, the welterweight division would be in a transition period. As the greedy, inflated egos of Mayweather, Pacquiao and Mosley disappear into the black hole, they would be replaced by the hungrier bright stars of tomorrow. Could the 2010 black hole be good for the division?

The Best of the Rest: A Recap of Saturday's Action

The big stories yesterday were Andre Ward's dominant win over defending champ Mikkel Kessler and Edgar Sosa's shocking loss to Rodel Mayol, but there was plenty of championship-level action all over the globe. Here's the recap:

Maidana Crushes Gonzalez in 3

Despite a brave attempt at a quick start against a hometown champ, Gonzalez (22-6-1, 7 KOs) was outgunned by defending WBA interim champ, Marcos Maidana (27-1, 26 KOs). The end came via thudding left to the liver in the third round.

Up next for Argentina's Maidana is the winner of the Amir Khan-Dimitry Salita contest.

Erdei Gets the Nod in Germany

Unbeaten Zsolt Erdei outthought once-beaten Giacobbe Fragomeni in their title fight in Germany tonight to win the Italian’s WBC Cruiserweight crown via majority decision.

In a slow start, Erdei struggled to adapt to Fragomeni’s 17 pound weight advantage, and the relentless pressure brought by the 40 year old won him most of the opening half of the fight.

But Erdei, the former WBO Light-Heavyweight titlist threw more punches in the second half of the fight, which saw both fighters go toe-to-toe from round 9 on.

As they exchanged heavy hooks in the middle of the ring, Fragomeni tired and Erdei fully capitalized by wobbling him in the 11th. The fight went to the scorecards, and Erdei was the winner 115-113, 115-113, 114-114. The BTBC had it 115-113 to Erdei.

On the undercard, recently crowned WBC Super Featherweight champion Humberto Guttierez defended and dropped his belt to Vitali Tajbert by unanimous decision.

Segura Blows Jaro Away


In defense of his WBA Mini-Flyweight title, Giovanni Segura (22-1, 18 KOs) even surprised himself by blowing away the Philippines' Sonny Boy Jaro (30-7-5, 19 KOs) in just 88 seconds.

It was a big body shot in the first that did the trick.

Sonsona Loses With a Draw/ Molitor Stays Afloat

The Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada was not friendly to Marvin Sonsona (14-0-1, 12 KOs) yesterday as he lost his WBO Super Flyweight belt on the scales earlier in the day and then, later on, was fought to a draw by tough-as-nails Alejandro Hernandez (22-7, 11 KOs). Scores were: 115-113, 113-115, 114-114.

On the same card, Canada's own, Steve Molitor (31-1, 12 KOs) survived a fifth round flash knockdown to win a unanimous eight round decision over rugged, but crude, Jose Saez (17-9-4, 8 KOs). Scores were: 78-73, 79-73, 78-74...all in favor of the former IBF Super Bantamweight world champ.

Jorge Barrios stops Michael Lozado

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, former world champ, Jorge Barrios (49-4-1, 35 KOs) stopped former world title challenger, Michael Lozado (33-6-1, 26 KOs) in the fifth.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Super Ward Tears Kessler to Shreds

Andre Ward (21-0, 13 KOs) outclassed and outfought defending WBA Super Middleweight Champ, Mikkel Kessler (42-2, 32 KOs) to finally put the American portion of the Super 6 Tourney on the leader-board via Technical Decision with scores of 97-93, 98-92, 98-92 (The BTBC also had it scored 98-92).

Every round seemed similar as Ward's speed and reflexes seemed too much for the game, but stiff defending champion. Ward, fighting in his hometown of Oakland, CA, employed a distinct strategy of tying Kessler up on the inside and using his hand speed to potshot Kessler from the outside.

Kessler, on his part, never adapted and seemed a step behind the entire night.

Several headbutts occurred along the way with Ward rushing forward and Kessler slow to react and, ultimately, it was one of those butts that resulted in the fight being waved off and sent to the scorecards in the eleventh.

Up next in the tournament for Ward is a bout with Jermain Taylor, while Kessler will take on Carl Froch.

Mayol Rips Title From Sosa

After 10 successful defenses in about 28 months, defending WBC Jr. Flyweight Champ, Edgar Sosa (37-5, 21 KOs), was shocked, along with his partisan Mexican crowd in Chiapas, Mexico, by Filipino challenger, Rodel Mayol (25-4-1, 19 KOs).

After a fairly even first round, Sosa was dropped by an unintentional headbutt in the second round. Mayol then pounced on a still-groggy Sosa to, first knock the defending champ down again, and then force the stoppage.

This was Mayol's fifth attempt at a world title.

Fragomeni Holds 17 pound weight advantage

WBC cruiserweight champion Giacobbe Fragomeni and challenger Zsolt Erdei have officially weighed-in. Italy's Fragomeni tipped in at 195.8-pounds, while long-reigning WBO light-heavyweight champion Erdei of Hungary weighed-in at the significantly lower weight of just 178.8-pounds.


Fragomeni will hold a significant advantage in weight over the talented Erdei, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Italian will bully the challenger around. Erdei is the younger of the two and has more ability than the champion.

The Italian is as tough as fighters get, coming off the canvas to draw with Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. With Erdei weighing in so low, possibly as he’ll go back to light-heavyweight after this fight, it makes a compelling contest for us fight fans tonight. The fight is on at 4:15 Central US Time.

Joe Calzaghe...Nigga, Please!


"...he should just retire. Unless he’s going to fight the best, why bother?"- Joe Calzaghe on the possibility of Floyd Mayweather not being able to reach an agreement to fight Manny Pacquiao.

Ummmm, Joe? Do you see the irony of you, of all people, saying this? Remember, how you fought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-caliber opposition for the better part of 8 years? What about the fact that... Oh, never mind...you just wouldn't get it...



Dedicated to the late, great Ol' Dirty Bastard, the heart and soul of the Wu Tang Clan, the "Nigga, Please!" award will be given to a fighter, event or situation that is just plain stupid enough to garner ODB's famous phrase of disgusted disbelief, "Nigga, Please!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today They Make Weight, Tomorrow They Make War!


Mikkel Kessler: 167 lbs.
Andre Ward: 166.5 lbs.

From Oakland and as part of the Showtime Super Middleweight Tournament, defending WBA Super Middleweight champ takes on former Olympic Gold Medalist, Andre Ward.

Check the BTBC TV Schedule for details on when and where to watch it. Also, watch Part 2 of Fight Camp 360, chronicling the behind-the-scenes stories of the Super Six World Boxing Classic: CLICK HERE

Pacquiao-Cotto Sells 1.25 Million

Officials at HBO have released the confirmed buy rate for the Firepower PPV, which featured the Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto main event: 1.25 million.

Although sales are significantly behind the rumored 2 million and even below HBO's rough pre-fight estimate, the show still takes its place as the highest selling boxing pay per view of 2008, selling approximately 245,000 more than the Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez card in September.

Mayweather Will Work With Top Rank To Make Pacquiao Fight

In an apparent softening of position, Team Mayweather has issued somewhat of an olive branch to Top Rank and is willing to negotiate terms for a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout in 2010. The negotiations will take place through a third party, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy, but they still represent the first time that any serious negotiations will take place between Mayweather and Top Rank since Mayweather left the promotional company several years ago in a bitter and messy split.

Mayweather advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, summed up the general opinion of the entire boxing world when contacted for comment, "It's no secret the camps don't see eye to eye, but this is bigger than boxing. We understand the magnitude of this."

Ellerbe went on to say that if the Pacquiao fight can't get made, their next option is Shane Mosley, if he gets past Andre Berto in January.

Making Haye: The Rebirth of the Heavyweight Buzz

by Paul Magno

That buzzing noise you hear in the background has nothing to do with Manny Pacquiao's big win over Miguel Cotto or the continuation of the Super Middleweight Super 6 Tournament this weekend.

No, the sound is coming from the recently reborn Heavyweight division and the cause of the buzz is the UK's trash-talking, headline-making, recently crowned WBA World Heavyweight Champ, David Haye.

On November 7th, Haye took the title from the 7 ft tall Russian Giant, Nikolay Valuev, in a tepid performance that was later partially forgiven due to an apparent hand injury suffered by Haye early in the bout.

Lukewarm performance or not, it was a satisfying closing chapter to a frustration-filled year that saw Haye's plans for Heavyweight dominance get side-tracked due to issues outside the boundaries of the squared circle.

Now, with the dust barely settled after the Valuev dethroning, challengers are coming forward to take a shot at the mouthy Brit with the brand new belt.

First comes John Ruiz, though, who has somehow managed to work himself into position for yet another title shot despite not really having beaten anyone of note since his loss to Valuev back in August, 2008...but Ruiz is a topic for another article.

After Ruiz, the sky's the limit for Haye as promoters and fighters seem to be crawling over one another to get to the new champ.

Oscar De la Hoya, Haye's promotional partner in the United States, was on a nationally-televised talk show building Haye's street cred and proposing a fight with Chris Arreola in Las Vegas.

Promoter Cedric Kushner has been talking to Haye's people this week about a potential showdown with David Tua after the Ruiz bout.

Former Cruiserweight champ, Tomasz Adamek, has called Haye out as well.

Even 45-year old Light Heavyweight and future Hall of Famer, Bernard Hopkins, has expressed more than a passing interest in trying to snatch Haye's new championship.

Make no mistake about it, the rush of challengers for Haye is due to the fact that they see him as a marketable, yet supremely vulnerable, champ.

However, as the Klitschko brothers continue to dominate the division and will actually soon begin to move through recycled victims of prior defenses, Haye represents a fresh face and a chance at restoring some nail-biting intrigue to the Heavyweights.

For the sport's primary glamor division, any press is good press and the current buzz around David Haye is like a godsend.

Hopefully, Haye will be as good a champion as he is a talker.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nothing Heroic About Chicken Cotto


by Madcow

Sometimes I sit back in my fortified bunker and just go from website to website, reading all the absolute crap that somehow finds a home onto the vast, barren information super highway called the internet. Sometimes I'm amused...sometimes downright red-assed.

The latest garbage involves Miguel Cotto and his performance against Manny Pacquiao this past Saturday. I've seen the words "brave," "heroic," "classy" thrown around to describe his effort. But wouldn't it be nice if we told the truth just this one time? Replace those adjectives with real descriptions of what we just saw from Cotto: "cowardly," "weak-willed," "yellow."

Listen, before I start taking flack for calling any fighter a coward when they are surely braver than some fat slob behind a keyboard, let me just remind you that these are guys that are making their living as professional warriors. They've put themselves up there to be judged, analyzed and critiqued as a breed apart from the average man.

Cotto's performance on Saturday was reminiscent of my performance back in '87 when a chain-wielding member of the Sacramento branch of the Hell's Angels chased me around a VFW parking lot for a good thirty minutes while I ducked behind cars and yelped like a lady.

And, like Cotto, I eventually succumbed and took my ass beating...but without a 10 million dollar check waiting for me and sans several thousand apologists calling my flat-out chicken-defense "heroic."

Cotto, as soon as he felt the pressure, began to run. He ran more than any runner has been accused of running in boxing. Cotto's sprinting went beyond defense. His "Fight or Flight" instinct went off and he decided to run...run...run.

There were times when I felt like I was watching Mel Gibson's Apocalypto instead of a PPV main event, billed to be the fight of the year.

Even the usually even-tempered Pacquiao was finding Cotto's pugilistic track meet to be distasteful as he openly showed his frustration at Cotto's unwillingness to actually fight in the second half of the bout.

And this isn't the first time that Cotto has put in such a limp-wristed performance. Against Mosley, he began to run at the end when Mosley started coming on strong; Against Margarito, he sprinted from corner to corner, like he was looking for a place to hide inside the ropes; Even against Clottey, when the going got tough, Cotto got the urge to be the Puerto Rican Jesse Owens.

So, let's call a spade a spade. Cotto's a great front-runner; Awesomely brave when he's beating up an inferior opponent. But when the chips are down and he needs to pull out a big win against an unrelenting foe, he'd much rather be doing road work.

Magno vs. The Machine (Stage 4: Kessler vs. Ward)


After 3 rounds of competitive action, Magno and Machine can’t be separated. With both camps beginning to realize the importance of the contest, scheduled for 12/15, both are eager to get their noses in front as the battle heats up. With the comeback of the fan-friendly Super 6 Boxing Classic, both challengers will predict the outcome of Mikkel Kessler vs. Andre Ward.

Mikkel Kessler vs. Andre Ward

Magno: For better or worse, this may be the one the separates the man from the machine. There's no cold, hard logic to explain my pick in this one, no statistics back me up and I have no logical basis...this is based on a gut feeling.

I feel that Kessler's ultra-orthodox style will be relatively easy for Ward to deal with and that Ward, while having only shown this briefly as a pro against Miranda, has a championship presence that will push him to victory

My pick is Ward via close UD.

Machine: A gold medallist against an experienced Viking Warrior. This one could really go either way.

The calibre of opponents on the Dane’s record is far superior than the Oakland prospect. The names include Librado Andrade and Anthony Mundine, with a defeat to undefeated superstar Joe Calzaghe. Ward’s major win was a shutout decision against hard-hitting Edison Miranda.

With superior strength and power, the Dane will utilize his orthodox jab, to keep the speedy American at bay. Andre Ward will try and go in and out of range and trying to protect his weaker chin.

With the Europeans already 2-0 up in the Super 6 series, could Ward get the Yanks on the board. Or would Kessler ensure a first round whitewash to the Europeans?

Ward will easily win the opening rounds against the painfully stiff Kessler, but as the rounds wear on, so does Ward, and his speed and reflexes slow down dramatically. Kessler takes advantage, landing power shots frequently, and evening it up on the scorecards at the halfway mark. A ferocious uppercut dents Ward’s chin, and the American Olympian goes down in the eighth. He survives the round, but Kessler comes out banging, stopping Ward in the ninth.

Kessler the winner by 9th round knockout.

Current Scores: Magno 4-1 (1 KOs), Machine 4-1 (1 KOs)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grading the Champions: Timothy Bradley

by Paul Magno

In an ideal world, there would be only one champion per division, but, unfortunately, boxing in the year 2009 is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. For that reason, we've begun a new feature on The Boxing Tribune.

We'll be grading all the reigning and recognized world champions, division by division, to come up with a clear idea of which titlists are making the grade.

Hopefully, this will give the fans a clearer idea of who are the "real" champions and who are just simply belt holders.

Our first subject is Timothy Bradley and the Jr. Welterweight division.

Timothy Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs)

Current Title: WBO Jr. Welterweight Title
Other Titles Held: WBC Jr. Welterweight Title (Vacated)
BTBC Ranking: #1 at Jr. Welterweight
How He Earned His Title: Beat reigning WBO champ, Kendall Holt in title unification bout; Beat Junior Witter for the WBC title
Defenses: Edner Cherry (UD 12), Kendall Holt (UD 12), Nate Campbell (NC 3)
Next Defense: Mandatory, Lamont Peterson (12/12/09)
Down the Line: Rematch with Nate Campbell; Unification against Juan Urango; The winner of Diaz/Malignaggi II
Comments: Bradley has shown the courage and work ethic of a real world champion. He was willing to take on Jose Luis Castillo in Mexico for an eliminator (Castillo couldn't make weight); He took the WBC crown from Brit, Witter in the UK; When left to his own devices , he chose a tough unification bout with Holt and a dangerous encounter with the crafty "Galaxxy Warrior."

Although lacking in power and in some of the finer points of technical proficiency, Bradley has embodied the risk-taking attitude of a champion yearning to be the recognized champ in his division. His short reign, so far, keeps him from a higher grade, but he's definitely on the right track.

Grade: B+

Hatton and Marquez Begin Talks For 2010

When Ricky Hatton was laid flat, by a left hook in his second-round knockout loss against Manny Pacquiao in May, few people thought that Hatton would fight at world level ever again.

Even the Brit hinted on many occasions that his arm chair was calling, but in a new twist, Hatton “has felt the buzz” from seeing his promoted fighters win over the past months.

A fight against his friend Amir Khan has caught the imaginations of some British fans in dreamland, but it seems ever more likely that ‘The Hitman’ will fight Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in a true crossroads bout.

Marquez recently moved up two weight classes as he challenged Floyd Mayweather Jr. but struggled to win a round against the five weight world champion in September. Mayweather has also stopped Ricky Hatton in the tenth round.

Both fighters are said to be interested in the fight, and have begun talks to fight in Hatton’s hometown of Manchester. No date has been discussed and they’re most likely to meet at the light welterweight limit of 140 pounds.

Is this a fight for the fans or promoters? And is there any hope for Hatton? Discuss...




Monday, November 16, 2009

Pacquiao in Perspective


by Paul Magno

He puts on the kind of exciting performances that make people take note and he certainly has the public support and positive publicity to become an even bigger star, but as Manny Pacquiao achieves yet another milestone with his blow-out against Miguel Cotto this past Saturday, the call to place him among boxing's all-time greats is louder than ever.

Now that the standing ovation has settled down, we can take a closer look at where Manny stands in history by looking at how his career holds up among his peers.

As a frame of reference, we'll take a look at Pacquiao's career compared to the previous Big Man on Campus, Oscar De la Hoya's. We'll look at Manny as compared to Oscar in the area of major championship bouts and title reigns, with a breakdown of titles, defenses and attempts at unification:

Manny Pacquiao

Championships

Flyweight- Beat Chatchai Sasakul
defenses- 1 (Gabriel Mira)

Super Bantamweight- Beat Lehlohonolo Ledwaba
unifications 1- (draw w Agapito Sanchez)
defenses- 4 (Jorge Julio, F. Rakkiatgym, Emmanuel Lucero, Draw with A. Sanchez)

Super Featherweight- Beat Juan Manuel Marquez
defenses-0

Lightweight- Beat David Diaz
defenses- 0

Welterweight- Beat Miguel Cotto
defenses-0

Other notable opposition: Marco Antonio Barrera (2 wins), Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales (2-1), Oscar Larios
Record in officially recognized world title fights: 4-1-2

*It should be noted that, although not recognized as official world title bouts, Pacquiao beat lineal champs Barrera and Hatton at Featherweight and Jr. Welterweight respectively for the Ring Magazine title.

Oscar De la Hoya

Championships

Super Featherweight- Beat Jimmi Bredahl
defenses- 1 (Giorgio Campanella)

Lightweight- Beat Jorge Paez
unifications- 1 ( w over Rafael Ruelas)
defenses- 6 (Carl Griffith, John Avila, John Molina, R. Ruelas, Genaro Hernandez, James Leija)

Jr Welterweight- Beat Julio Cesar Chavez
defenses -1 (Miguel Angel Gonzalez)

Welterweight- Beat Pernell Whitaker
unifications- 1 (L against Felix Trinidad)
defenses - 7 (David Kamau, Hector Camacho, Wilfredo Rivera, Patrick Charpentier, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ike Quartey, Oba Carr)
lost title to: Felix Trinidad

Jr. Middleweight- Beat Javier Castillejo
unifications- 1 (w over Fernando Vargas)
defenses- 3 (Fernando Vargas, Yory Boy Campas, Ricardo Mayorga)
lost title to: Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Middleweight- Beat Felix Sturm
defenses- 0
lost title to: Bernard Hopkins

other notable opposition
: Shane Mosley (2 Losses), Manny Pacquiao (L), Arturo Gatti
Record in officially recognized world title fights: 24-5

*********
Summary

So, is Pacquiao ready to be tossed into the mix with names like Sugar Ray, Armstrong and Ali? The sober truth for the Pacquiao true-believers is "no."

But he definitely stacks up with De la Hoya and that puts him at, or near, the top of modern day greats...and Manny still has a few fights left in him...Not bad for a skinny kid from the slums of General Santos City.

Has Berto Bitten Off More Than He Can Chew?


by Dafs117

After bitching about him on twitter, Andre Berto has landed the fight he’s been chasing for the past year, but is Shane Mosley a step too big for the undefeated welterweight?

Back in January 2009, both men were victorious with Mosley smashing Antonio Margarito, and Berto defeating Luis Collazo. So why has it taken a year to negotiate this fight?

When Margarito-Mosley was in danger because of money matters, Mosley turned to Berto, who was being pushed hard by HBO over the last year. The fight was good to go, but Margaito realised that he had over-priced himself, and agreed to fight Mosley. Berto fought his mandatory challenger Collazo and a fight with Mosley was set in the Summer.

Berto survived his first gut check in his relatively young career, while Mosley was probably on a career high win. And over 11 months, Mosley has tried and failed to land a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, as they both went in other directions. He spent most of the year verbally calling out the pair, but Berto’s name was never mentioned. Berto hasn’t verbally called Mosley out, just posting abuse on Twitter.

He finally steps back into the ring at the grand old age of 38 on January 30, 2010, to face Andre Berto in a welterweight unification fight that will prove how much Mosley has left and if Berto is world class material?

Berto made brick-built Colombian 140-pound IBF titlist Juan Urango look immobile in May, a fight so uneventful it's been nearly forgotten already on the sheets of both men. It wasn't the sort of performance the crowd craved from Andre, and Urango simply went back to light welterweight and fought in wild slugfest with Randall Bailey. Can Berto turn on the heat against Mosley?

Both fighters are fast, agile, and strong. Mosley has fought at this level for so many years, and Berto has hardly looked unbeatable in his previous two fights. I know it's way too early to start making predictions, but this is a fight that has got my attention already. If Mosley pulls this one off, he continues his hall of fame career with another fantastic win. If Berto pulls what will be an upset over the veteran, a new star could be born. This is the fight HBO have groomed Berto for, and it's time for him to show what he's got on a new level.

Would Berto’s bitching bite him in the arse come January? Mosley is still an elite fighter, and disrespecting fighters at this level shows how desperate you are. Mosley learned after Mayweather defeated Marquez that disrespecting world class fighters gets you nowhere. Will Mosley punish Berto for his childish spites?

Berto has made this fight a mouth watering clash to kick off 2010!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Z Gorres In Stable Condition

Z Gorres, the Filipino bantamweight star who collapsed and underwent brain surgery following a points win on Friday in Las Vegas, is said to be in stable condition after surgery, doctors at Vegas' University Medical Center announced.

There was real concern for 27-year-old Gorres, who was placed in a medically induced coma after having part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain, and maybe be unable to come through the intense surgery. But it's looking more and more like he will, and even though his active career as a boxer is surely over, his life will continue.

It's been a gigantic week for Filipino boxing, with Manny Pacquiao destroying Miguel Cotto on Saturday. We narrowly avoided another tragedy in the sport, and it quickly brought back the memories of the horrible month of July. It's a reminder that this sport is no game, even for someone as talented and prepared as Gorres.

The BTBC's thoughts and prayers go out to Z Gorres and his family.

Pacquiao Outclasses Cotto In Massacre

Manny Pacquiao TKO 12 Miguel Cotto

Manny Pacquiao lined up the shot with the cunning of a pool shark, and when his right hand flashed out and drilled Miguel Cotto on the chin in the third round, the Puerto Rican suddenly found himself on his back. A gasp went up in the pro-Cotto side of the MGM Grand, and it looked momentarily like boxing’s proudest fighter was on his way to retirement.

Going into the WBO welterweight title fight between both elite fighters Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, there was a lot of discussion in the boxing community about the manner in which the fight was going to be won and lost. To say the undercard was shabby would be an understatement, but the main event was something to treasure forever.

Cotto’s best moment came in the opening round, and although he kept it close in the first half of the fight, he never had Pacquiao in serious trouble. And as the rounds went by, Cotto’s irreversible slide just got steeper.

The fight plan that Cotto had drawn up, along with his new trainer Joe Santiago, was to establish a potent jab and to force the Filipino backwards. However, in retrospect, it might have been better if Cotto had immediately jumped on Pacquiao and gone all-out for the kayo. But he was morphed into a prudent tactician on the night, and a quick blitz was not part of the blueprint. That blueprint was out of the window in the 4th round, after Pacquiao landed a sharp left uppercut that saw Cotto fall to the canvas for the second time in the fight.

After five rounds, Cotto had won 2, but should have won 4, had he been born with a bit more awareness. Instead of being 49-46 up, he was 48-45 down. By the seventh round, Cotto’s gas tank was perilously close to empty, but Pacquiao gave him no favours, backing him up into the ropes on every opportunity.

From then on it was brutal. Referee Bayless had more than enough opportunities to stop the contest, but failed to act until the final round. Cotto bravely fought on with a cut over his right eye, and deep swelling covering his eyes and making him look like a panda. Cotto’s wife Melissa had seen enough, and walked out after the tenth round.

Pacquiao was again at his sublime best, but the lack of authority to force the stoppage by Cotto’s corner and on the referee’s behalf, tarnished his amazing achievement. A bout with Mayweather is a must for Team Pacquiao as he reaches the bracket of All Time Greatness.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Z Gorres Collapses On The Eve Of Pacquiao-Cotto

Just as the world is preparing for the mega-fight between his country's hero Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, a boxing nightmare occurred in Las Vegas, as Filipino prospect Z “The Dream" Gorres collapsed after improving his record to 31-2-2 with a 10-round unanimous decision verdict over Columbian Luis Melendez at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay by 98-90, 98-90 and 97-91.

After out-boxing his opponent over nine and a half rounds, the talented 27-year-old Z Gorres, was knocked down in the tenth and final round. He survived the bell, but shortly after the announcement of the verdict, reports suggested that Gorres walked back to his corner unsteadily and eventually collapsed. He was later rushed to the UMC Hospital in Las Vegas.

Gorres suffered a subdural hematoma and had to undergo emergency surgery. The Filipino fighter is in a medically-induced coma and is scheduled to have further tests over the weekend.

Gorres is one of the top bantamweight boxers on the planet, and has battled against the best of the division. He battled to a draw against the trash-talking Vic Darchinyan but lost a close and scrappy controversial decision to Mexican, Fernando Montiel, who he was scheduled to fight on February 13th in a rematch at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.

The BTBC's thoughts and prayers go out to Z Gorres and his family.

Pacquiao and Cotto Weigh-In: Fireworks Await


WBO welterweight champ Miguel Cotto and people’s champ Manny Pacquiao both weighed in under their contracted weight of 145 pounds, in front of a massive crowd at the famed MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KOs), tipped the scales at 144 pounds.

Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs), weighed in bang on the contacted catchweight of 145 pounds, ahead of his seconds defence of his WBO belt. Freddie Roach and Joe Santiago had a minor kerfuffle, but nothing severe, enough to catch the eye of many fans and adding more spice to the November 14’s fight.

The 12-round bout is the main event of the “Firepower” pay-per-view event, and will be broadcasted live on HBO PPV.

Johnny Nelson...Nigga, Please!


After a close fight between local lad Matthew Hatton and Lovemore N’Dou for the South African’s IBO welterweight title was scored a draw, Johnny Nelson showed his disgust at the end result.

In his opinion, Hatton was winning by a country mile, 5 or 6 rounds. The fight was very close, but 6 rounds? Seriously?

In The Boxing Tribune's opinion, his comment duly deserved a nigga, please accolade.


Dedicated to the late, great Ol' Dirty Bastard, the heart and soul of the Wu Tang Clan, the "Nigga, Please!" award will be given to a fighter, event or situation that is just plain stupid enough to garner ODB's famous phrase of disgusted disbelief, "Nigga, Please!"

Hatton Fails In Title Bid, Samuels-Renda FOTY Candidate!

Lovemore N’Dou D 12 Matthew Hatton

In a decent starter before Pacquiao-Cotto, Matthew Hatton put in his best performance of his up and down career, by drawing with South African Lovemore N’Dou.

N’Dou showed his class in the earlier rounds, opening a cut over Hatton’s eyelid in the second round. The middle rounds were tight, with the Sky team scoring them for Hatton. With no clear indication of a winner, both fighters raised their glove after a gruelling twelfth round.

Hatton’s disappointment came after a tight 12 rounds, which both fighters won clear rounds, but with many evenly fought rounds, the judges declared a draw. Judge John Coyle scored the bout 115-114 to Hatton. Judge Steve Marshall scored the fight 115-114 in favour of N’Dou and judge Tom Marshall, who scored the Haye - Valuev contest at 116-112, scored it 114-114.

Lovemore N’Dou seemed to land the more scoring shots, even though the computer disagreed, with Hatton landing 91 to N’Dou’s 78. The BTBC scored it 114-114.

On the undercard, 24 year old puncher Cello Renda, was stopped in a definite fight of the year contender by journeyman Paul Samuels.

In the opening round of their fight that was pointlessly scheduled for eight, Renda knocked down the in-rushing Samuels with a crisp left hook. Samuels came off the canvas and rocked Renda with hard right hands and eventually won the round.

In an all-action second round, Renda gained the upper hand, landing and throwing more frequently than his older opponent. Then, out of the blue, a boxing rarity happened. A double knockdown! As both fighters traded heavy shots simultaneously, Renda and Samuels fell to the canvas. Renda was up at 5, while Samuels barely beat the count, rising up at 9. Renda put his foot on the throttle, throwing punches left, right and center. He probably punched himself out at this point.

Samuels went for broke in the 3rd, tasting victory against the dangerous Cello. Samuels landed with every punch that was thrown and the helpless Renda was stopped by referee Terry O’Connor. What a fight!