Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yusaf Mack: The BTBC Interview

 by Paul Magno

Yusaf Mack (28-2-2, 17 KOs) has traveled down the old-school road of professional boxing. From club to club, undercard to undercard, he's pulled himself to the upper ranks of the sport via hard work, dedication and a never say die attitude.

Now, he faces the defining fight of his career on February 5th against "The Road Warrior" Glen Johnson. The winner gets a shot at the IBF 175 lb. crown, the loser gets pushed back into the pile of contenders.

The Boxing Tribune: First, Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Your fight with Johnson was originally scheduled to be on the Shane Mosley-Andre Berto undercard. What went through your mind when you heard that the card was canceled?

Yusaf Mack: To be honest, I thought that they would just move our fight up to be the main event. The card had great depth with a number of great fights without the Shane fight, so HBO could have still had a good show with two fights worthy of main events, and since it was cancelled, it has created two TV shows with us as one main event and Daniel Ponce De Leon as the other.

BT: Your upcoming fight with Glen Johnson has Fight of the Year written all over to give any previews of what to expect?

YM: Fireworks. Both of us know this fight can make or break our career. If Glen losses, he is done; If I lose, then I am back to square one where I was after the Andrade loss two years ago. We are both coming expecting a war. Glen always comes prepared and in great shape and I am in the best shape of my life. I am confident that I have the superior skill and will win the fight, but I know Glen is not going to give me the win, thats why I have worked so hard

Sylvester Stops Brave Lyell, Magee Upsets Larsen in Denmark

In a relatively tentative bout, Sebastian Sylvester (33-3, 16 KO) successfully defended his IBF middleweight trinket for the first time with a tenth round technical knockout victory over late-replacement Billy Lyell (21-8, 4 KO) in a snowy place in Germany.
Sylvester decided to feel out the opening rounds, being out-worked by his American challenger. The difference is class was evident in the fifth, as Sylvester began to land heavily and frequently on Lyell’s face.
The German middleweight landed repeated straight right hands as Lyell struggled to stay up with the quicker pace of the fight in the middle rounds. His trainer, Jack Loew, had seen enough, and stopped the fight in the tenth round.
In my opinion, it was the perfect time to stop the fight. Lyell is a light hitting fighter that didn’t need to get taken out of there by a punch or sequence of punches. It would only derail him further on in his journeyman career. Some see it as premature, as he was still punching back and not particularly hurt, but his face did look busted up.
On the undercard, Robert Helenius (11-0, 7 KOs) was impressive in his breakdown of Lamon Brewster (35-6, 30 KO) by stopping the faded former titlist in the eighth round, after he was floored in the second following a body shot. It was actually entertaining, yes that’s right, heavyweight entertainment.
Kubrat Pulev (5-0, 3 KO) scored his most impressive victory to date with a stunning fourth round knockout victory over Matt Skelton (22-5, 19 KO). The Bulgarian looks like one for the future, but could well be another eastern European bum. Karo Murat (21-0, 13 KO) stayed busy with a second round knockout of Sean Corbin (13-2, 9 KO) in a light heavyweight contest.

Brian Magee (33-3-1, 23 KO) shocked local favourite Mads Larsen (51-3, 38 KO) to capture the Dane’s European super middleweight title by flooring the hometown hero four times in the fight.
Magee, who was stopped in a thrilling war by Carl Froch earlier on in his career, scored his career best win over the heavily-backed Larsen with a superb seventh round stoppage win.
To call it an upset is an understatement, as Magee really isn’t known for his power punching. Larsen is or used to be a decent technician, second-tier fighter that might be well past his prime by now. But Magee is no spring chicken at 34, is he!?
I’ve only seen glimpses of the fight here and there as the stream I found was poor and Danish. Magee fought a dirty fight, repeatedly low blowing Larsen in the third.
Magee floored Larsen in the fifth with a body shot and followed up with intense pressure that Larsen couldn’t handle. The Dane crumbled in the sixth, kissing the canvas twice and once more in the seventh as the referee waved away the contest.
Hats off to Brian Magee, I really didn’t expect him to bring back the belt from Denmark, take a bow son.

Friday Hangover

Erislandy Lara TKO 10 Grady Brewer
Our House Fighter series debuted with hot-prospect Erislandy Lara taking his record to (10-0, 6 KO) following a tenth round technical knockout victory over tough veteran Grady Brewer (26-12, 15 KO).
Lara dominated from the opening bell, losing only two rounds on my card as he cruised to a decision win. But Lara wasn’t satisfied, he craved the stoppage. Lara pounced on a tired Brewer and took him out with combination after combination knocking Brewer’s head back. Tony Weeks stepped in to save Brewer, and earned some brownie points in the process.
Impressive win for Lara, as our House Fighters are (1-0, 1 KO) after the month of January.

Beibut Shumenov SD 12 Gabriel Campillo
I hope the commission gave a tough time to Patricia Morse Jarman as she tried to defend the indefensible 117-111 card in favour of Shumenov. Revolting.
And coincidentally, which promoter is involved in another poorly scored contest? The Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya. Every bloody time the fight isn’t on HBO, unless it’s in a state known for bad scoring, Golden Boy fighters get swayed a couple of rounds here and there.
Campillo dominated from the middle rounds as Shumenov tired and swelled up like a beach ball. I scored it 117-111, Paul Magno scored it 117-111, a couple of guys on a stream scored it as far down as 114-114, nothing lower. Campillo was robbed. Cue John Ruiz with his expertly presented catchphrase.
Take nothing away from the fight, it started on a fast pace and gave us thrills and spills right until the very end. No praise for Shumenov, he’s just not good enough to be a titlist.

Peter Manfredo Jr. UD 10 Matt Vanda
In a fight that promised so much, Peter Manfredo (34-6, 18 KO) delivered an absolutely blinding performance as he eased to a shutout decision victory over Matt Vanda (42-10, 22 KO) to capture a vacant regional trinket.
The former “Contender” series campaigner won by scores of 100-89, 100-89 and 99-90 in an impressive high output performance against Vanda, who’s no more than a journeyman.
Manfredo isn’t world class, he’s a club fighter, but he thoroughly exceeded my expectations of him tonight. On paper, it looked like Manfredo would cruise to a victory. But Vanda is known to trouble the mentally challenged fighters, and I expected a back and forth battle.
Manfredo wins, gets higher up organization rankings, and faces an up and coming super middleweight and probably loses.
Matt Remillard RTD 3 Rafael Lora
Undefeated prospect Matt Remillard (21-0, 12 KO) stopped Rafael Lora (11-2, 5 KO) as he retired in his corner following three one-sided rounds.
The undefeated Remillard attacked the body early on which ultimately took its toll on Lora as he retired on his stool.
Jesse Brinkley UD 12 Curtis Stevens
I didn’t realise this was on British TV, but this was no ordinary Jesse Brinkley. It was a transformed fighter that utterly dominated a lacklustre Curtis Stevens (21-3, 15 KO) as he earned a title shot at IBF champion, Lucian Bute.
Still, I don’t give him any hope against Bute, who is scheduled to face Edison Miranda next in a busy April month. Brinkley (35-5, 23 KO) out-smarted Stevens from the get go, and in a relatively entertaining battle, one a lop-sided unanimous decision.
Brinkley, another “Contender” contestant, scored two knockdowns, one in the sixth and another in the twelfth, to cement his lead against wild swinging Stevens.

Lee McAllister UD 12 Sam Amoako
Not much to say, it was dull, boring, absolutely crap. I’d rather watch lowlights of John Ruiz’s career than that again. It was a lower talent and tactical level than Anthony Small’s most recent bout. Yes, it was a stinker.
Still, McAllister kept hold of his commonwealth lightweight belt. Congrats all round.
*          *          *
Heavyweight prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk (17-0, 10 KO) kept his unbeaten run going with a unanimous decision victory. Chris Avalos (15-0, 12 KO) scored a fourth round knockout win while Archie Ray Marquez (10-0, 7 KO) recorded an eight round unanimous verdict.

A War, A Bore, and A Robbery: A Day in the Life of Boxing

by Paul Magno

As Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley get closer to signing on the dotted line and Manny Pacquiao continues to sell thousands of tickets in Cowboys stadium, the actual business of boxing continues to chug along.

Last night was boxing being boxing, for better or worse, and it was about time business went on as usual.

* Jesse Brinkley was supposed to roll over and let promising slugger, Curtis Stevens, pad his resume en route to a title shot. Instead, a home town crowd went crazy and inspired Brinkley to the performance of his career by out-thinking, out-hustling and eventually even out-slugging Stevens in a one-sided unanimous decision.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Javontae Starks: The BTBC Interview

 by Paul Magno

With an amateur record of 98-16 and a fast growing reputation as the hottest prospect in Minnesota and one of the elite prospects in all the United States, an 18 year old Javontae Starks faced his toughest battle when he was  shot during a conflict at a graduation party. 

The gunshot wound to his thigh, which nicked a major artery, nearly caused him to bleed to death and was seen by many as the death blow to his career. Doctors doubted whether Javontae would ever even have full use of his left leg again.

Fast forward to 2010 as a 20-year old Javontae prepares for his third professional fight and has put together an impressive record of 2-0 with 2 KOs. 

The story of Javontae Starks is a true-life Rocky story with his very existence among the professional ranks being a testament to the hard work and dedication of a young man truly determined to pursue his dream.

Javontae was gracious enough to take a few moments from training to talk with The Boxing Tribune:

Erislandy Lara vs. Grady Brewer: The Prospect vs. "The Contender"

by Dafs117

If anybody asks you to name ‘The Next Generation’, just take a small peek at our House Fighter list. The fighters have been carefully picked by BTBC members who have voted for the most promising fighters possible to bring glory to the board.

And for the first time in the history of The BTBC, we will be heavily backing Erislandy Lara to defeat Grady Brewer at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas on Friday 29th. The fight will be broadcast on Fox Sports if any BTBC members or readers want to catch a glimpse of ‘The Next Generation’.

As we’ve already given a little profile on our house fighter, let’s first focus on the opponent, Grady Brewer (26-11, 15 KO). 

Ranked #8 by the IBF and #14 by the WBC, don’t be fooled by that unbalance and horrible looking record. If you don’t trust the alphabet mobs, Boxrec rank him #30, in front of Lara #53. On the right side of his record, Brewer holds an impressive split decision victory over Steve Forbes, an even better split decision verdict over Cornelious Bundrage (who faces Cory Spinks for the IBF junior middleweight title on March 6), and he’s currently on a seven match winning streak, his last fight an upset knockout victory over Canadian prospect Albert Onolunose. Yes, Brewer’s no joke.

If you look at his losses, they come from notable names that have either been hyped up to be future champions, have challenged to become a champion, or even succeeded and has qualified under the champion bracket; Kelly Pavlik TKO 2, Peter Manfredo Jr. UD 8, Jermain Taylor UD 8, Danny Perez UD 8, Jose Luis Zertuche KO 5, Sechew Powell SD 8 and Marco Antonio Rubio TKO 8. This list does qualify Brewer to come under the ‘stepping stone’ umbrella, but he does have enough experience to maybe overpower Lara’s youth.

Brewer is a good fighter. Good enough that if Lara looks past him, he could be in some trouble. This is not saying that Brewer is Roberto Duran, as he doesn’t qualify to be in the same sentence as the ‘Hands of Stone’, but he does have that desired stingray effect that all journeymen attempt to possess. He’s no spring chicken, at 39 he’s probably not at his physical peak. Standing at 5’10’’, he will hold an inch height advantage over Lara as they square up at the weigh-in.

Back to our boy wonder, Lara (9-0, 5 KO). Lara is another amateur standout from the communist nation Cuba, which has struggled to develop prospects onto the world stage. But Lara, like Gamboa and Rigondeaux, is an exception. He might not be the most charismatic of characters, but Lara has the tools to engineer a title challenge and even more. I’m sure if you threw him in the ring with Cory Spinks tomorrow, Lara would take the IBF light middleweight title home with him as extra luggage.

I think Lara is too fast, too strong, too dynamic, and too good for Brewer. This isn’t Onolunose, Anthony Thompson or Miguel Martin, three undefeated fighters that have felt the sting of the journeyman. This is one of the most promising young fighters in the sport today.

I’m quietly confident that Lara will show us why he’s one of the gems of our House Fighter crew. Hopefully, Lara start rolling the House Fighter project with a victory Friday night.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BTBC Exclusive: First Look at "The Fighter" Mickey Ward Bio Movie

by Charlie 21er

Being a hooligan, roustabout and all around never-do-well has its benefits.  Some people don't believe this, but you'd be surprised what a nose broken in the name of friendship can get you.  Somebody owed me a favor, and that somebody being low on cash did the next best thing for me: got me into movies.  Now, seeing movies for free is well and good, but really, EVERYONE gets to see Legion, or Sherlock Holmes.  At that rate it would take a long time to get square, but tonight, the BTBC's mole paid off and got me into the first test screening for The Fighter, the Micky Ward biopic starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The BTBC House Fighters (Cruiserweight, Super Middleweight, Middleweight, Jr. Middleweight, Welterweight)

The members of The Boxing Tribune Blue Corner (BTBC) decided to make 2010 personal by selecting a house fighter to follow in each weight class.

The BTBC House Fighter, as voted by the members of the community, is the fighter that most represents our community through either style, attitude or ability.

To avoid the label of front-runner, The BTBC has limited their choices for house fighter to only those who have yet to receive a world title shot.

Good luck to those fighters selected for this honor...the full support of boxing's pound for pound best fan forum is behind you every step of the way. Make us proud!

The votes were close, but have been tabulated for our next division winner and here are the winners:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gamboa and Lopez Raise Calls For Immediate Showdown

 by Dafs117

Yuriorkis Gamboa KO 2 Rogers Mtagwa
Juan Manuel Lopez TKO 7 Steven Luevano

Rogers Mtagwa looked little more than a journeyman last night as Yuriorkis Gamboa used him as a human punchbag by landing 50% of his wild punches in their co-feature at Madison Square Garden.

Gamboa was devastating as he knocked down his Tanzanian challenger three times before referee Steve Smoger had seen enough. Gamboa has always been a blitz of entertainment, but this was by far his best performance to date. The amateur prospect showed that he can step up in class, no bother.

It’s always been tough for Rogers Mtagwa, who loses no respect for being out of Gamboa’s league. Some may argue that Mtagwa overtrained as he weighed in at 122.5 pounds in Friday’s weigh-in, but he was simply beaten to the punch by the younger, classier opponent.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The BTBC Interview: Michael Moorer

by Todd Dunn

Boxing Tribune: First, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Looking back on your career, would there be any personal decisions you would change?

Michael Moorer: Not to trust people that I thought were out for my best interests.

BT: At Light Heavyweight, you were you ever regret not staying at 175 a bit longer to maybe unify the division?

MM: No. I tried to unify the belts many a times, but we could never get anyone to fight me. Emanuel, at the time, tried to negotiate. Main Events tried to negotiate with people to fight me, but they never would follow through with the fights. You know, I guess there was some intimidation, I'm not sure. But my weight...I would walk around at 206 lbs. And being at 206 lbs, I would have to lose all that weight to get down to 175 lbs. I told Emanuel at one time, "I'm just tired of making that weight. I want my body to mature into being a man.

BT: As a three-time heavyweight champ during a real solid generation of big guys, What do you think about the current crop of heavyweights?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Juanma's Big Step Up

by Paul Magno

Juan Manuel Lopez is not your father's Puerto Rican boxing hero.

There is a long line of stoic, no-nonsense boricua heroes, from Jose Torres and Carlos Ortiz to Wilftredo Gomez and Wilfredo Benitez, right up to Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto. The Puerto Rican hero has been characterized by an old school blend of technical proficiency and pure, island-forged bravery.

Reigning WBO Super Bantamweight champ, Lopez, seems to be cut from a different cloth than the typical Puerto Rican boxing star. More at home in front of the cameras and always willing to flash his trademark toothy grin, Lopez is, personality-wise, more Hector Camacho than Wilfredo Gomez.

Of course, being a friendly, marketable character isn't a bad thing...But the question is whether the ever-smiling Juanma's ring work is slipping as his fame is on the rise.

Dana White, UFC Blink...Move PPV To Avoid Another Head to Head Clash With Boxing

by Paul Magno

UFC head honcho and modern day carnival barker, Dana White, announced his plan to move the UFC 113 pay per view from its original May 1st date to a week later in order to avoid competing with the probable Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley PPV.

The UFC got two black eyes in 2009 when they tried to air competing MMA shows against PPV boxing telecasts. According to reports, the Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez card in September outsold UFC 103 by approximately a 3 to 1 margin. UFC 105, which was booked to go head to head with the Pacquiao-Cotto PPV was not even marketed through PPV and was broadcast, instead, on free Spike TV.

Mayweather and Mosley are rumored to be clashing on May 1st after the falling apart of Mayweather-Pacquiao and the withdrawal of Andre Berto from a January 30th clash with Mosley.

"We were trying to not go the same night as boxing but these [expletive] guys can't get out of their own way," White told Yahoo! Sports "I have never seen anything so unorganized, selfish and dysfunctional as boxing. It's a joke!"

A joke, maybe, but White has learned that going head to head with boxing is no laughing matter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beibut Shumenov Seeks Redemption On January 29 Against Gabriel Campillo

Press Release:



LOS ANGELES, January 21 – A comprehensive analysis by highly-regarded punch stat compiler and analyst CompuBox supports Team Shumenov’s original contention, as well as the contention of the vast majority of fans in attendance, that Beibut Shumenov deserved to win a unanimous 12-round decision against Gabriel Campillo in their August 15, 2009 World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Heavyweight World Championship fight.

Magno vs. The Machine (Stage 8 Luevano-Lopez, Gamboa-Mtagwa)

We’re back. After both competitors hibernated over the Christmas period, hopefully both are in top condition; looking to erase those New Year cobwebs with two correct predictions in our first Magno vs. Machine of the decade.

WBO featherweight titleholder Steven Luevano will defend his crown against undefeated Puerto Rican sensation Juan Manuel Lopez, who survived his first gut check against tough cookie Rogers Mtagwa, who faces former amateur standout Yuriorkis Gamboa for a quarter of the WBA pie.

Is Magno beginning to tire over the stretch? Can the Machine bottle up one more shot at defeating The Boxing Tribune’s Editor-in-Chief?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Khan’s Gamble Will Pay Off

by Dafs117

Shortly after penning a new deal with Golden Boy Promotions, Amir Khan announced that he’s set to defend his WBA junior welterweight title against tough mandatory challenger Marcos Maidana, possibly in his American debut on HBO PPV, as chief support for Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr.’s grudge rematch.

Make no mistake about it, this is a five star fight, probably more mouth watering than its headliner. Maidana is there to be outboxed, Khan is there to be knocked out, and that’s just part of the story.
At the Mandalay Bay Casino, Khan will have the opportunity to earn more than just recognition, but his overdue respect. Maidana is not a top 5 opponent by any stretch of the imagination, but for a defensively flawed and heavily criticized Khan to take a fight against a puncher of this magnitude is a credit in itself.
Khan will go into this fight as favourite, but Maidana is a very live underdog with more than just a puncher’s chance. Maidana showed everybody what material he was made of when he broke Ortiz down to stop him in a fight of the year contender. Maidana is a tough cookie and Khan will need to be very disciplined if he wants to walk away with his belt.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Something Rotten at Boxingscene?

by Paul Magno

According to Boxingscene, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is eyeballing a fight with 19 year old prospect Saul Alvarez. Before this, Mayweather was rumored in Boxingscene to be fighting Nate Campbell and Paulie Malignaggi, then it was Kermit Cintron...until some started talking about the fact that Cintron would not be such a bad choice for a time-filler while waiting for Mosley or Pacquiao...Then, Cintron talk was dead.

Don't you find it odd that these rumors, all with negative implications for Mayweather, always seem to pop up on Boxingscene? Isn't it odd that whenever Bob Arum has something to get off his chest, Boxingscene is always first in line to facilitate a Top Rank rant? Why is it that other respected boxing news sources aren't reporting these "strong" rumors?

Lou Dibella, promoter of both Malignaggi and Cintron, says that he never talked to anyone from Mayweather's camp. Nate Campbell has said that he never talked with anyone from Mayweather's camp, either. So, where are these rumors coming from?

They can't be coming from Team Mayweather or Golden Boy. What would they have to gain by making their guy look like a dope, looking to take the easy way out?

That only leaves one possible source for all these Mayweather-crushing and the frequent Top Rank-exalting rumors...

I'll leave that answer to the inquiring minds of the readers.

All I'll say is this: If you want the truth about the sport of boxing, stay away from these high-profile, big budget sites...They are businesses looking to pay bills and make a profit. They take money from the same promoters that they are trusted to report on...

For the truth, come to independent websites like The Boxing Tribune and other independent media sources who have no vested interest in telling anything but the truth.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The BTBC Rumor Mill: WBC wants Martinez Out of the Picture

Rumblings in the WBC offices indicate a strong desire to put a world strap on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s waist within the year.

Rumor has it that there's a less than subtle push by the organization to encourage reigning 154lb. champ, Sergio Martinez, to make a permanent leap up to 160.

The thought within the Mexico City-based WBC is that a Chavez with a belt will boost an extremely sluggish Mexican fight scene.

Chavez Jr. is already the organization's number 1 ranked Jr. Middleweight with Kermit Cintron ranked second. Look for the organization to somehow bypass Cintron and work to match up Chavez against third ranked Brit, Ryan Rhodes.

If Martinez can't be rushed out the door to compete full time at Middleweight, look for a Chavez Jr. interim title bid later in the year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something Like Hulkamania...Only Dumber

by Paul Magno

Manny Pacquiao has many smart fans who know and understand the sport of boxing.

If you're one of those, this article isn't about you...go take a walk or make yourself a cup of tea.

I want to talk about the large wave of Pacquiao fans who aren't very bright and seemingly don't know much of anything when it comes to the sport.

Manny Pacquiao has generated a huge wave of interest among Filipinos, Filipino-Americans and Asians in general. That same wave has picked up some MMA followers and a few casual fans on the way before crashing right into the mainstream of boxing like a gigantic logic-defying Tsunami.

The boxing landscape, in its wake, has been devastated.

Audley Harrison: The Saviour Of Boxing(?)

by dafs117

After reading the title, your imagination must have travelled far far away. Maybe to Germany against a Klitschko brother, or in London, against David Haye in an all-British contest, before I quickly bring you back down to earth. However misleading the title might sound, there is still an element of truth to the fact, that Audley Harrison, might give boxing its much needed kick up the backside in its battle to eliminate greedy insiders.

Make no mistake about it, I don’t think the ‘A-Force’ will get past Albert Sosnowski in February, without even bothering considering him against someone as talented as Haye, Vitali and Wiladmir. But he still has his dream. The dream of becoming Heavyweight Champion of the World. Dream on Audley, dream on.

Nine years ago, Harrison won Gold at the Sydney Olympics, a major feat. He had a perfect platform to elevate himself into the professional game. He had millions of money-grabbing, but clever promoters, begging for his services. But Audley being Audley, decided to take the journey alone. Was this the first wrong turn on his journey to the top?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009 Lightweight Report

by Dafs117

Somebody check the temperature, this division is getting hot.

Lightweight is one of the few divisions that have an obvious champion in Juan Manuel Marquez, when he defeated Juan Diaz in The Boxing Tribune’s Fight of the Year by ninth round knockout. Marquez is head and shoulders above the rest in talent, but that doesn’t limit his options at the weight class.

His next opponent is Michael Katsidis, an Australian warrior that drags every fighter into war. Katsidis sort of broke America, stopping Jesus Chavez and outpointing Vicente Escobedo on the Mayweather-Marquez undercard. Has another shot to capture the 135 pound crown, after being stopped by Joel Casamyor, who has since moved up in weight, in the tenth round of their war.

Juan Diaz has returned following his very short departure up in weight, as he had two contests with Paulie Malignaggi at catchweight, going 1-1 with the Magic Man. ‘Baby Bull’ will stage his comeback at lightweight, but it could be a difficult road back to the top of the rankings.

Behind Juan Manuel Marquez is Edwin Valero, a power punching beast that can’t get a license in the States. The Venezuelan is a beast, a monster in the ring, and his wild style will always make for exciting viewing. A fight with Katsidis would be outstanding, the sheer volume of power being thrown would be immense. Some doubt his whiskers, but they are untested at lightweight.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Recap of Asia's and Australia's Monday Madness

There were three fights to take interest for hardcore fans bright and early this morning from the Eastern side of the planet, two WBA title fights from Japan and a grumpy Australian middleweight fighting a blown up welterweight. Here’s The Boxing Tribune’s recap.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Old Switcheroo

by Dafs117

As I write this, James Toney, one of the best fighters of the 90’s, is planning to wage war with MMA heavyweights across America. If he can avoid being side kicked or being splashed on the canvas like a beer logo with submission holds and ju-jitsu grappling, ‘Lights Out’ is expected to pocket a few more dollars than he would in boxing.

A few writers and radio talk show hosts have already blasted Toney’s career change. These aren’t boxing writers, but mixed martial arts specialists that have already had enough of Dana White’s silly games.

Stieglitz Opens Up World Title Account For 2010

Robert Stieglitz (37-2, 23 KOs) successfully defended his WBO super middleweight title for the first time by stopping late replacement Ruben Eduardo Acosta (23-4-5, 7 KOs) from Argentina in the fifth round.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

FNF Opens 2010 With a Bang

Former junior middleweight titleholder Roman Karmazin (40-3-1, 26 KOs) scored a spectacular come-from-behind knockout of Colombian puncher Dionisio Miranda (20-5-2, 18 KOs) last night at California in the opening television bout of the 2010 season.

2009 Junior Welterweight Report

by Dafs117

Vastly becoming the division to watch, the 140 pounders are competing with the talent rich welterweights up north, putting on explosive fights and competitive battles throughout the year. The division is pretty deep, and we have 3 new alphabet titleholders this year to turn the division upside down, with the average age of the current four titlists at a toddler age of 25.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who Next? The BTBC Weigh-In On Floyd and Manny

With the proposed March 13 super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. supposedly ‘off’, and names of all kind of opponents branded about on nearly every different skill level possible, we thought we’d beat everyone else to it and give our take on the fighters that are in the running to face the super giants in March.

You do know, Manny's really to blame for this, right?

by Paul Magno

Ok, at the risk of irritating all those who would blindly believe that Manny Pacquiao sits on a throne of benevolent love and spends his free time curing cancer kids while Floyd Mayweather cowers under a rock, looking to steal peanut butter cookies from girl I go.

Manny's to blame for this mess and he should rightfully carry the stigma for the collapse of The Fight of the Millennium.

I do hope you know that...

Regardless of whether you love Manny and hate Floyd, the reality of the matter is that this fight would be already signed and sealed if not for Manny Pacquiao and his inability to give in to one contractual stipulation.

You would think that Manny could be a bit more flexible about bending slightly, just this one time, considering the fact that he's had an easy go of it, pretty much forcing his opponents to give in to his every contractual whim since the second Morales fight in 2006.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The BTBC House Fighters (Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Light Heavyweight)

The members of The Boxing Tribune Blue Corner (BTBC) decided to make 2010 personal by selecting a house fighter to follow in each weight class.

The BTBC House Fighter, as voted by the members of the community, is the fighter that most represents our community through either style, attitude or ability.

To avoid the label of front-runner, The BTBC has limited their choices for house fighter to only those who have yet to receive a world title shot.

Good luck to those fighters selected for this honor...the full support of boxing's pound for pound best fan forum is behind you every step of the way. Make us proud!

The votes have been tabulated for our first three divisions and here are the winners:

BTBC Heavyweight House Fighter

Nate James
Age: 28
Record: 2-0, 1 KO
Nationality: American

Given the current state of the heavyweight division, The BTBC decided to throw their support behind one of the young lions of the weight class.

James, the 2007 National Golden Glove Super Heavyweight Champion, compiled an impressive amateur record of 83-11, winning four New England Golden Gloves Championships in the process.

In March 2008, James turned professional with Joe DeGuardia’s StarBoxing, but frustrated by an inability to land bouts, he bought himself out of his contract to become a free agent.

Hall-of-fame trainer Emmanuel Steward invited James to help Wladmir Klitschko prepare for his upcoming contest against Tony Thompson. The 6ft 5 southpaw impressed Steward with his athleticism, and was offered the opportunity to debut on the undercard. He quickly found his feet in the pro game, outpointing Timo Schwarm over four one-sided rounds.

Vitali Klitschko invited him to spar in preparation for Vitali’s first defense of the WBC title against Juan Carlos Gomez. He was offered another spot on the undercard for his services, this time blitzing Taras Varva in the first round.

He’s been made chief sparring partner for Wladmir Klitschko, which is surely a positive sign if he can be competitive with Wladmir at this early stage of his career.

Shaped by direct and indirect lessons from high profile boxing minds such as Al Mitchell, Emmanuel Steward, Chris Byrd and the Klitschko Brothers, many insiders see Nate James as a "can't miss" prospect...The BTBC sees him as their house fighter.

Do us proud, Nate!

BTBC Cruiserweight House Fighter

At this point, the voting is too close to call...this position will be vacant until we have a decisive winner.

BTBC Light Heavyweight House Fighter

Name: Nathan Cleverly
Age: 22
Record: 18-0, 8 KOs
Nationality: British

After an amateur record of 32-4, Nathan ‘Clever Boy’ Cleverly started his pro career fighting four rounders on Joe Calzaghe undercards. It didn't take long for him to be fast tracked into his first meaningful bout.

Cleverly came up against an undefeated Tony Quigley, a former MMA fighter that had a massive Scouser following. With Cleverly receiving abuse from every corner of the stands for his nationality, he stunned everyone by stopping Quigley in the fifth round.

He was promoted to chief sparring partner for Joe Calzaghe, and fought over 400 rounds with the undefeated champion. He took his sparring experience as he decided to permanently campaign at light heavyweight and struggled in his first televised fight against Joey Vegas, but still managed to outpoint the orthodox opponent.

Cleverly then travelled with Team Calzaghe to Las Vegas, where he shutout Antonio Barker over eight rounds in a showy performance that earned high praise from the HBO broadcasting team.

In September 2008, Cleverly decided to leave Enzo Calzaghe’s stable to team up with his father, Vince. Cleverly had also been torn between joining Calzaghe Promotions or re-signing with Sports Network, but Cleverly made a wise call and stayed with Frank Warren.

The decision paid off as he was chosen to replace Dean Francis on two weeks notice to fight Tony Oakey for the vacant commonwealth title. In a fast fight, Cleverly decided to mix it up early on before outboxing the older Oakey for the final half of the fight, winning by comprehensive scores of 119-110, 117-111 and 116-112.

Still determined to complete his math degree at Cardiff University, he managed to balance studying and training to maintain his perfect record. Cleverly graduates this Summer and is hoping for an unrealistic double, winning a world title to go with his graduation.

Three defenses later, all coming by early stoppage, Cleverly challenged unbeaten Danny McIntosh for the British crown. Cleverly unexpectedly brawled with the stronger McIntosh, flooring him twice in the second round and once in the third. Cleverly failed to close the show and allowed McIntosh to creep back into contention. The referee saved the brave McIntosh in the seventh following a barrage of punches teed off by The Welshman.

He was edged out by Kell Brook for the prestigious Boxing Writers Club young boxer of the year award by one vote in the closest vote in history of the award.

His next opponent was spoiler Courtney Fry, a counter punching boxer with amateur pedigree. Cleverly dominated from the opening bell, but struggled to deal with Fry staying on the ropes until a perfect one-two rattled Fry in the eighth to force the stoppage.

‘Clever Boy’ will face his toughest test to date, against Antonio Brancalion in the Italian’s backyard. Can our light heavyweight house fighter capture the vacant European title on January 27?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holyfield vs. Botha: The Real Deal's Chance To Take A Real Stance

by Damon Ealy

As early as New Year’s Day, during the bowl games, ESPN had the item on its crawl, helpfully led off by “BOXING”: “Evander Holyfield will fight Francois Botha for WBF world heavyweight title in Uganda on January 16.”

Anyone who follows the sport knew of this proposed matchup well before the waning days of 2009. Boxingwise, it’d have been one of the last things in a fan’s mind. But the network, seemingly determined to get this “news” item to as wide an audience as possible, kept it crawlin’ on through the day and into the night. Thanks, ESPN, but, as they say, boxing can do bad by its damn self. Paging Uncle Roger.

Within days, the fight was pushed back. The Associated Press is catching up with it today, January 5:

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Evander Holyfield's return to the ring against Francois Botha has been postponed to late February to give the fighters more time to prepare.

(Well, I guess not everyone got the memo. As recently as today, ESPN’s Cam Martin had this madcap item in his “Weekly Best” column:

Best country to see a boxing match on January 16: Uganda, where Evander Holyfield challenges Francois Botha for the WBF title. Hardy har. Way to stay on top of things, “worldwide leader.”)

2009 Welterweight Report

by Dafs117

If gray is the new black, and Macau is the new heights of Las Vegas, then welterweight is the new heavyweight. “If the heavyweight division goes, so does boxing” is another cliché that‘s just plain nonsense. It’s the glamour division filled with X factor fighters and marquee names that HBO executives live off. It’s no secret that the 147 pounds is star-studded, but the depth of the division is what makes the welterweight field the best of the lot, and one of the most intriguing fields in the open era. It’s right up there with the featherweight class of ’01, the welterweights of ’81, maybe even the middleweights from the early ‘50s.

What more could you want than to have the two best pound-4-pound fighters and two of the most marketable fighters, challenging each other for the pleasure of millions of hardcore fanatics across the world’s surface, and grabbing the attention of many casual fight fans in the major boxing nations. At the top of the division, there are two faces that have made their case for the fighter of the decade, followed by a revitalized future hall of famer, an exciting Puerto Rican, a undefeated heavily hyped titlist, and a seemingly unending list of recognizable faces that includes a balanced mix of veterans and youngsters, punchers and boxers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ross Greenburg’s Time To Shine

by Dafs117

When Thomas Hauser tore the HBO budget apart in September, with a cut of $15 million dollars announced for the next boxing year, his criticism towards Ross Greenburg was deserved.

His plan to bring the stars of the future, coincidentally all promoted by Golden Boy, was an epic failure. Victor Ortiz quit against Marcos Rene Maidana, James Kirkland is in jail for possession of firearms, Chris Arreola was very one-dimensional for the classy Vitali Klitschko, and his F-bombing was hardly in the HBO role model criteria. Plus Alfredo Angulo left it too late against Kermit Cintron, who is hardly a presentable character.

The analysis of HBO’s 2009 boxing programme is as up and down as the current stock exchange this year. It began with a bang, as Andre Berto, the only highly hyped HBO star to make it to world stardom, surviving a middle round revival by Luis Collazo to eke out a unanimous decision. A week later, Shane Mosley demolished Antonio Margarito, after the added extra hype to the fight when Margarito was found with an illegal substance in his handwraps. HBO had a much better January than predicted with two competitive fights producing storylines for the media to develop a fairytale effect.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How Manny Broke Boxing

by Madcow

I warned you.

Don't tell me that I didn't warn you about enabling the pint sized Filipino Frankenstein, Manny Pacquiao.

It was sweet, the way he moved up in weight from 130 to 135 to 140 and 147, blowing opponents away and getting more positive press than Mother Teresa.

Forget the fact that his rise was carefully choreographed, eschewing the best in each division and, just to make things safer, imposing crippling pre-fight contractual demands to ensure total domination.

Why is everyone falling for the pantomime saga?

by Dafs117

Boxing is a very deceiving sport, full of promises to fans that never come to grips. Many fighters and promoters tell you how their fighter is not scared of anyone, the best in the world at a given weight class, and how he will knock out his next opponent in sixty seconds. However, as every knowledgeable fight fan that’s been analysing the sport for years would know, what one says aloud isn’t always what one means.

When Floyd Mayweather Jr. called out Manny Pacquiao after the Filipino’s twelfth round technical knockout win over Miguel Cotto, everybody predicted the negotiations to be a drag between the stubborn, ego-inflated duo.

Dissecting The Decade

by Dafs117

When deciding pound-4-pound rankings, minor details make the difference between making the cut, or just missing out. The depth of the division, performances against the highest calibre of opponents, and the fighters’ defects on the big stage are just some of the things someone should take into consideration when rating and separating the best from the rest. In boxing, it’s always a tough task, and it’s commonly whatever takes your fancy.

So before I disappoint you all and make you start waving your fist in fury at the computer screen, I’ll give you a little insight in the mind of yours truly.

What I tend to look for is longevity. If someone has been at the top of his game, and able to maintain his performance output throughout the decade, for me, it seals the deal. How much of a decline a fighter goes through after hitting his prime, did he adjust his style to deal with his age, or was he like fine wine, getting better with age?

If there are many great fighters with a nano-meter of distance separating their achievements, I search for the career defining moment. The outskirts of the top 10 is always tricky, but without further ado, here are my top 20 fighters of the ‘00s: