Sunday, June 18, 2006

Jermain Taylor: Quick to the Draw!

In what was a highly anticipated fight between 2 champions in there own respected divisions for Taylor’s WBC/WBA/WBO middleweight title turned out to be controversial. This bout made for some great action When the two fighters met in the middle of the ring and started trading fists. Winky showed that even though he was the smaller man on the square canvas, he was not to be intimidated. Forging ahead with his skilled jab, Winky seemed to confuse Jermain with his south paw attack. Jermain, on the other hand, seemed to think he was still in a sparring session, trying to figure out the best way to deliver his own offense. Jermain was successful with his powerful right hand cannon that clubbed Winky's head through most of the early to midrounds; though, around the mid to late rounds, Taylor seemed confounded at what to do next to his unrelenting opponent. Jermain, in many instances, was content to lay on the ropes or in a corner and let Wright fire off shots freely to his own skull possibley thinking that this would wear down or disheartened his attacker. This led me to believe that Jermain Taylor hasn't seem much tape of Winky to help him know better! Winky showed just how "RAW" Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor really is. Given Jermains inconsistent performance and the amateurish defense he displayed in this fight, he was very lucky to of secured a draw.

Regardless, at the end of this championship bout, Jermain seemed satisfied that he went to the school of Kronk and then to the school of "Hard Knocks" to eak out a draw against Winky. On the other hand, Winky saw the reminiscence of past fight horror at the hands of Fernando Vargas when he lost an obvious bad decision against "Ferocious Fernando". Though this time, I am thinking this particular title fight meant more to Ronald than when he faced Fernando Vargas. In that bout at that time, Winky was just content to show the world his elite ness against any top ranked contender he could possibly secure a fight against, but this particular title fight meant middleweight supremacy and canton history against a fighter who beat Hopkins, who in turn, beat just about every one else in the middleweight class. This genealogy can not be contested given the fact that Ronald "Winky" Wright has been fighting for as long as Bernard Hopkins has, and, just like The Nard Man, is still going strong.

So....What's left. Well, that depends on the fighters of course, but to the fans such as myself, I would personally like to see a rematch with these two boxers and make the conclusion more definitive even though after the fight, Ronald seemed to scoff at that idea by making some legitimate points of his own based on his performance against Jermain saying he was the man who landed the more clean shots and being the more busier fighter. Upon hearing the score cards after the bout had concluded, Winky stormed out of the ring in disgust. Feeling extremely dejected and not waiting on the customurial post fight interview with Larry merchant; instead, taking up the interview microphone in his dressing room. Rematch wasn't on the mind of Ronald at that moment; contraire, very far from it. But as the day turns into night and Mr. Sand Man hits their eyes the $$$ will come calling and the offer on the other side of the table jeeeeeeuuuuuuuust might be RIGHT, it could have a strange way of changing minds. When Winky and Jermain go home and sleep on it, they both just might wake up in spite of the headaches and body aches to decide a rematch might make more cents. ;)

Conclusion: With Jermain Taylor's 3rd defense; though, not exactley a successful one, you could call this defense the Luck of the draw that kept him from relinquishing his belts. The verdict is still out on this young champon, is Jermain Taylor legit?

Friday, May 12, 2006

ESPN Classic Boxing

Joe Louis (left) and Max Schmeling (right) shake hands before their heavyweight championship bout in 1938.

ESPN Classic is your new home for vintage boxing. Relive all the great boxing matches from Ali, Liston, Frazier, etc. every weeknight at 8 pm ET with re-airs at 12 am ET.

ESPN Classic's newest series, Ringside, is a monthly six-hour special (airing on Saturdays with Sunday encore showings) that brings viewers original footage of classic fights, interspersed with added context, perspective, stories and analysis from some of the most notable personalities in boxing. Hosted by ESPN's Brian Kenny and venerable writer and historian Bert Randolph Sugar, the original Ringside segments are filmed on location from the legendary Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn (where boxers Muhammad Ali, Jake LaMotta, Roberto Duran and many others have trained).

Upcoming Ringside premiere episodes include:
Sat., May 20, 12 pm ET - Joe Louis
Sat., June 17, 12 pm ET - Rocky Marciano
Sat., July 22, 12 pm ET - George Foreman

This great new series is a can't miss! How can you actually enjoy todays boxing if you don't first learn your boxing history?

Shane Mosley: Where's the "Sugar"?

Shane Mosley, who was once a sure fire legend, is now floating around the out most atmospheric bubble of boxing. What came of the premonitions that Mosley would be the next great “Sugar”?

Flash Back: When Shane fought for his first world title, he was less than spectacular going the distance with Philip Holiday for the IBF Lightweight Title. One of Shane’s biggest pro-active fans that night was Larry Merchant. When Larry falls in love with a fighter (Be it because of a fighter’s rock hard chest or throw back to old glory memories) he practically flounders all over them like a kid in candy store. Shane won that fight, but attributed a lackluster performance to a virus.

After a relatively short reign at lightweight, Mosley moved up to the welterweight division to take on “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar was an opponent Shane had beaten in the amateurs so the reasoning was Shane could probably beat him again. That reasoning was spot on so, in a hotly contested battle, Shane took the WBC, IBA title from De La Hoya.

Since his win over De La Hoya, the new reasoning was Shane would be 5 times bigger than De La Hoya ever could be; a mega star among stars! Shane was supposed to be the next best thing since Sugar Ray Robinson, though IMO, that’s saying TO MUCH!!!

Flash Forward: Taking another glance at what once was thought a sure fire super star, “Sugar” Shane is far removed from any kind of glory resembling the likes of “Sugar” Ray Robinson, ‘Sugar” Ray Leonard, or even Oscar De La Hoya! Upon taking a look back on Shane’s resume, the only fighters of note that Shane beaten was “The Golden Boy”. Sure, there’s Vernon "The Viper" Forrest (Whom Shane lost to in the amateurs) and Ronald “Winky” Wright, but he lost TWICE to both fighters convincingly.

IMO, Shane tried to rise too fast in his fight career for fame and fortune. IMO, he was trying to hard to catch up too Oscar De La Hoya and surpass him for ol glory.

Though analyzing Shane today, it seems like he’s ripening as a complete fighter. With his win over "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas, Shane looks like he is finally coming into his own. He is seasoned, experienced and still possesses that shot gun speed. Contrary to popular observations, it is proven Shane does not have tremendous power in either hand, but he can rock an opponent to the body. Mosley could never get off the ground quite like his other welter/super welter predecessors De La Hoya or Felix "Tito" Trinidad.

The Glory that was prophesied about Mosley never revealed its spoken potential. Shane is a good fighter albeit, but not the prophesied “Sugar” of his name sake in legends past, not even close.

The “Sugars” of legends past knew how to get themselves out of adverse situations and pull out the win in spectacular fashion. Shane had his chance with his bouts vs. Vernon Forrest or Ronald Wright. It is to late for anybody to make any convincing debate that “Sugar” Shane can hold a candle to his name sakes. He had his chance with his past foes to make any convincing argument. It's not to late to make the most of his waning career and take on the most lucrative matches before he goes the way of the do do bird.

To sum it all up, Mosley is who he is; a pretty good fighter who deserves to be champion, but not a legend.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Former boxing great Patterson dies at 71!

Undersized heavyweight became youngest to win title at age 21 in 1956

Updated: 12:35 p.m. ET May 11, 2006

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. - Floyd Patterson, who came back from an embarrassing loss to become the first boxer to regain the heavyweight title, died Thursday. He was 71.

Patterson died at his home, having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for about eight years, according to nephew Sherman Patterson. Patterson also had prostate cancer.

Patterson’s career was marked by historic highs and humiliating lows. Story Continues....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Latin Fighters: To Mas or to No Mas?

It seems, in my minds eye, there is a thread of behavior that runs through the genetic line of Latin fighters. NO, this is not profiling of any kind, it is a legitimate thought for you, the reader, to ponder. I have compiled a list of these “Latin Fighters” so that you can be the judge.

Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran- in Duran’s rematch with then welterweight “Sugar” Ray Leonard, it didn’t take but 7 rounds of poking and sticking to make this Latin Legend say “No Mas, No Mas"! Roberto had his way in their first match with his legend counter part, “Sugar” Ray. On the other side of the glove, when taken to task by Leonard in the rematch, Duran couldn’t handle the heat in “Sugars Rays” proverbial kitchen. The conception of this “No Mas” title can be solely attributed to Roberto Duran.

Genaro Hernandez- Genaro's first “No Mas” came at the hands of “East LA, Latin Legend” Oscar De La Hoya. With calculated skill, Oscar picked apart his foe round by round until Hernadez thought better of it and threw in the white towel of surrender in a most shameful way.

“Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather was the next foe in line to force Genaro to quit on his stool. It was Floyd’s fast handed volley that changed the mind of Hernadez and caused him to hang the gloves up for GOOD!

Yori Boy Campas- Campas is NOTORIOUS for the huge “No Mas” candidate QHS (Quitters’ Hall of Shame). The career of this Latin Legend Flop peaked when he stepped into the ring with Puerto Rican star, Felix “Tito” Trinidad. After his KO loss at the hands of Tito, he never was quite the same again.

Yori Boy’s most memorable no mas came about when defending the IBF light middleweight title to upstart 154lber, "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas. It is unfortunate to inform you that Luis Ramon Campas is still fighting today. Some fighters just need to say “No Mas” forever, and spare boxing another black eye.

Oscar De La Hoya- Some boxing observers might/might not question his inclusion to the “No Mas” club. Oscar’s most recent KO loss at the hands of middleweight legend Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, begs to tell the tale of “No Mas”. Did the Golden Boy really quit on his knees to an innocuous left hook to the body by the Nard Man? If this is true, did Oscar erase all his doubts and the doubts of others with a TKO win against Ricardo Mayoraga?

It might be hard to question such motives from an obvious BHF fighter who has fought EVERY NAME that De La Hoya had on his hit list. To us boxing conspiracy theorists, our gut feelings tell us “The Nard Man” was too much for the “Golden Boy” when Bernard took De La Hoya to the later rounds for immediate execution! This is a debatable inclusion but not out of the question.

Ricardo Mayorga- Mayorga, simply put, is an after class, school yard bully. Hailing from the mean streets of Nicaragua, this Latin Tyson was once a welterweight force until he was KOed in Feb. of 2004 by Felix Trinidad. Mayorga moved on with his career to win the vacated WBC light middleweight title against virtual unknown, Michele Piccirillo. In his first defense of his fresh off the press title, Ricardo took on former WBC, WBA, and IBF 154lb champ, Oscar De La Hoya for the WBC light middleweight title.

This fight was supposed to be a bludgeoning of Chicken De La Hoya. Ricardo backed up this assumption when he came to the promotions in his usual style; snapping verbiage, smacking heads, and with his 2 packs a day habit. Onlookers looked at this match up as the death nail in Oscars coffin; a bad ending to his illustrious career.

To provoke the anger of "Chicken De La Hoya" was a terrible judgment call on Mayorga’s behalf. The damage was already done when Ricardo spoke cutting words at the expense of Oscars family and heritage. What later ensued in ring was an absolute beat down of the “Nicaraguan Nightmare”!

There was no question that Ricardo was a defeated man in the 6th round at the fists of an electrified “Golden Boy”! Yes, Mayorga got a good look at Oscar’s cohunes by a huge left hook in the 1rst round; yes, he was hurt on several occasions throughout the proceeding rounds, but in the 6th, he opted to twice take a knee rather than go out on his shield like a beaten little Niño.

If I were getting pummeled as bad as Mayorga that night, I might take a knee or 2 and pray for some intelligent answer from God for my actions. That is, If I were Mayorga!

Is this a valid point of view? If you beg to differ, then post a comment below. To me, the evidence is very overwhelming!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Graphic Design Art Contributor: Harvey Vasquez
Alias: Moolz/ Killer

Fogs Pound 4 Pound!

It is by rights; here, that all fighters in every weight class are ranked by the powerful opinions of the boxing masses. This is the criteria which all boxers must past muster.
So without further adieux, here are my results in this HOTLY debated area!

1. Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather- How can he not be #1, he has beaten every one and anyone in 130lb through 14olb thus far and getting stronger. Now Floyd has arrived to take on the 147lbers with Judah his latest victim! Undefeated, this man has no limits. With everything ahead of him, how can you deny his destiny with boxing legendry?

2. Antonio “Legend Killer” Tarver- You can not diminish his stock, even though he had to come back 3 TIMES to avenge his losses, he still defeated all the top contenders in the LHW devision. With his frame, Tarver can go up to cruiser and match with WBA/WBC Champ, O’Neil Bell; maybe even all the way to heavy weight! Other than that, every top rank fighter in the LHW division wants a piece of him. Tarver is the man next to Floyd Mayweather based upon his latest ring accomplishments, IMO.

3. Ronald “Winky” Wright- This man is taking on all comers while scarring away other contenders! Winky is a classic throw back who has great skill and ability. With his up coming middleweght title shot against Jermain Taylor, Ronald Wright can solidify his #3 slot in my list of P4P best!

4. Joe “Pride of Wales/Italian Dragon” Calzaghe- Set at #4, his spot is concrete as P4P, not only for his accomplishments, but his longevity as reigning champ in the SMW division with a title, 9 years strong!

5. Dr. Wladimir “Steelhammer ” Klitscho- Defeating his last three, 2 undefeated, opponents, He has a lot of skill for a big heavyweight! Wlad needs to be a little more battle tested to solidify his ranking AND legitimacy as the top HW on this planet!

6. Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao- The Pac Man is still a terror; though, with the Marquez fight, he was challenged in both skill and heart, but came through in pretty good style. He also ran into Eric “El Terrible” Morales who adapted the Marquez style to defeat Paquiao. In that fight, Manny came through with more determination and better balance to defeat Morales. It's not in my thinking that Manny will just stop there, he still has massive potential.

7. Ricky “Hit Man” Hatton- Yes, he did beat Koysta Tszyu, but now me must take on even GREATER challenges if he would like to remain in the P4P rankings. One high profile win won’t make a P4P king. Let Hatton take on more legitimate contenders if he would like to remain in this cozy little position he made for himself.

8. Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor- Taylor has beaten 2 ex-champions, with Benard Hopkins being the biggest accomplishment. Let’s just see what happens after his future bout with Ronald “Winky” Wright!

9. Jose Luis Castillo “El Temible”- Wow, I can not take away from his accomplishments as he has been tested in heart, chin and endurance. Castillo is one of those great throw back fighters; battle hardened , methodically stalking his opponents and breaking them down blow by blow. He is a classic pressure cooker fighter with a good punch.

10. Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins- With Benards last loss at the hands of Jermain Taylor, can he bounce back to glory in the Light Heavy Wieght with a win over Antonio Tarver? TBD!

This P4P list was compiled based on individual accomplishments (IMO)! You can disagree with them but it doesn't mean you're right? Please, comment about your oppinions below! If you think you can do better, can sure try! >:)

All opinions are welcome. :)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

De La Hoya destroys Mayorga!

By Mike Sloan at ringside

Oscar De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KOs) destroyed Ricardo Mayorga (28-6-1, 23 KOs) to claim the WBC super welterweight title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. De La Hoya dropped Mayorga with a left hook in round one and staggered him later in the round. Oscar continued to batter Mayorga in round two. Mayorga landed a good uppercut in round three, although it was still Oscar's round. "The Golden Boy" continued to school Mayorga in rounds four and five then dropped Mayorga in the sixth. Referee Jay Nady halted the bout during Oscar's follow up barrage. Time of the stoppage was 1:25.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Perspectives mixed on 'Golden Boy' legacy

By Michael RosenthalSpecial to

A buzzing throng packed a back room at the old Forum in Los Angeles in the fall of 1992 for the unveiling of a future superstar. Oscar De La Hoya, impossibly good-looking and bursting with charisma, was holding a news conference to announce the beginning of his professional career a few months after bringing home Team USA's only boxing gold medal from the Barcelona Olympics.

He had yet to enter a professional ring but already was a can't-miss prospect, the complete package, the pressure-packed "next Sugar Ray Leonard."

Fourteen years later, De La Hoya, now 33, can look back on his career with great pride. He has won world titles in five weight classes, participated in some of the most compelling fights of his era, wooed fans on a mind-boggling scale and earned more money than all but one or two fighters in history.

"Oscar brought to the table a great personality and a great deal of talent, no question," Leonard said. "I think he passed the test in general. But it's very difficult to live up to any hype. It really is."

In this case, the hype was immense. With the gold medal came the moniker "The Golden Boy," a nickname that would prove prophetic when it came to business but gave him little room for error in the ring.

Some observers seem to forget how dominating he was in the first five years of his career, when he fought at 130, 135 and 140 pounds. At those weights, he went 23-0 with 20 knockouts by overwhelming his opponents with God-given talent, size (5-foot-11) and reach, unusual speed, and crushing power.

And remember: He succeeded even without the benefit of an established trainer, having worked with inexperienced Robert Alcazar before bouncing from one to trainer to another.

De La Hoya also never had much of a right hand. He's a natural lefty who fights right-handed, so his big punch was always his left hook. And, oh, what a left hook he had in the early days.

Rafael Ruelas, the tough, overachieving IBF lightweight champion, felt the power in that left hand in a high-profile 1995 bout outdoors at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. De La Hoya knocked down his L.A. rival twice with left hooks, the second one ending the fight in the second round and giving De La Hoya his first major title.

On that night, at that weight, De La Hoya was scary.

"Oscar made a world champion with more experience look silly," said Eric Gomez, De La Hoya's lifelong friend and current matchmaker for the fighter's promotional firm, Golden Boy Promotions Inc.

Among his other early victims: crafty John John Molina, against whom De La Hoya first demonstrated that he could win a taxing brawl; Genaro Hernandez, one of the best technical boxers of his era; and Julio Cesar Chavez, his one-time idol whose face and aura were ripped apart by pinpoint blows.

De La Hoya was peaking. The teenyboppers swooned and the money started to roll in as he quickly became one of the sport's great attractions. To this point, in most eyes, he was living up to ever-intensifying hype.

"I think it was around this time that unreasonable expectations began to build," said television analyst Larry Merchant, who has worked most of De La Hoya's big fights. "And it wasn't just his promoter [Bob Arum]; it was the whole boxing establishment. Everyone wanted him to become an all-time great, the next Sugar Ray Leonard -- or better.

"I think that was laid on him because of his early success. Even Arum got caught up in it as he was carefully moving him through the various divisions."

“If I would've stayed at 140 or maybe 147, I think I could've accomplished a lot more. Who knows, maybe I would've been considered the greatest fighter on the planet. ”
Oscar De La Hoya

At the same time, even when he was plowing his way through the lighter weights, De La Hoya had detractors.

The most common criticism: He was being coddled. His opponents were either past their primes (Chavez and later Pernell Whitaker, for example) or had moved up in weight to fight a bigger man (Jesse James Leija). That perception fostered a second nickname: "Chicken De La Hoya," the cold creation of veteran boxing writer Michael Katz.

Today, that label doesn't apply. In the end, De La Hoya fought almost everyone deemed worthy in and around his weight. He didn't match up well with speedy Shane Mosley, yet fought him twice. He was too small for Bernard Hopkins, yet took the chance in his most recent fight. And on May 6, having been out of the ring for 20 months, he faces wild slugger Ricardo Mayorga in Las Vegas.

In the hype leading up to the May 6 fight, Mayorga toyed with a live hen at his training camp in Miami to poke fun at De La Hoya but, by accepting a fight with the capable Nicaraguan, De La Hoya has proved again that he's no chicken.

Most observers now applaud the fact that De La Hoya has avoided few potential foes.

"He fought the best guys," trainer and ESPN television analyst Teddy Atlas said. "You have to give him credit for that. Even coming up, he fought guys like Molina, who you knew would give him trouble. … And in the last five, six years of his career, he took everyone on, even when it wasn't real smart from a management standpoint, [like] Mosley, for example. He took them on because of his pride, his confidence, the way he wanted to be thought of.

"You have to give him credit for that, especially because he didn't have to. He could've fought lesser guys and still got paid handsomely, but he didn't. He took risks."

And ultimately, he paid a price.

De La Hoya started his career 31-0 but is only 6-4 (between the ages of 25 and 31) since, which -- at a glance -- is hardly the record of a dominating champion.

Indeed, another common criticism is that he lost arguably the four biggest fights of his career: a controversial decision to Felix Trinidad at 147 pounds in 1999; two close decisions to Mosley, at 147 in 2000 and at 154 in 2003; and a ninth-round knockout against Hopkins at 160 in 2004.

Now, it's important to note that almost no one outside the Trinidad camp believes the Puerto Rican won that fight. De La Hoya picked him apart with his superior boxing skills for eight-plus rounds, appearing to be on his away to a one-sided decision.

Then, for still unclear reasons, De La Hoya did the inexplicable -- he ran. He bounced around the ring and away from Trinidad for three-plus rounds because he believed he was too far ahead on the cards to lose, as his corner told him, or because he tired badly -- or both.

Either way, it turned out to be the biggest regret of his career. The judges gave Trinidad a dubious majority decision, but De La Hoya lost sympathy because of his late tactics.

"I do regret it," De La Hoya said from his training camp in Puerto Rico in a telephone interview. "It was a fight I was winning easily and I should've won. If I would've stayed with the same game plan for 12 rounds, I probably even would've knocked him out. It was a no-brainer.

"I listened to my corner, and it was a mistake."

The Mosley fights were close. De La Hoya lost the first one to his then-unbeaten rival by a split decision in L.A. and the second by two points on all three cards in Las Vegas. No shame there, not against a fighter of Mosley's ability. Most observers point to Mosley's superior speed as the difference in the bouts.

Although their first fight was close, Mosley, left, defeated De La Hoya for the second time on Sept. 13, 2003, this time by unanimous decision.

Then there was the Hopkins loss. De La Hoya's choice of opponent now looks misguided; even he admits Hopkins was too big. However, De La Hoya also lost favor by the way he lost. Hopkins was becoming increasingly dominant when he landed a left hook to the body that put De La Hoya down and he failed to get up.
Although their first fight was close, Mosley, left, defeated De La Hoya for the second time on Sept. 13, 2003, this time by unanimous decision.

“He fought the best guys. You have to give him credit for that. ... He could've fought lesser guys and still got paid handsomely, but he didn't. He took risks. ”
ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas, on Oscar De La Hoya

He lay on his side, grimacing in pain and pounding his fist on the canvas, but his legs wouldn't function.

Was it a paralyzing shot to the liver? Or was De La Hoya looking for a way out of the fight?

"I think the way he was beaten by Hopkins is a black mark," said trainer and former fighter Freddie Roach, who believes De La Hoya will be remembered as a great fighter. "Even though he was hit by a middleweight, it was still only a body shot. I've been hurt by body shots in my life and never experienced that.

Bernard Hopkins, right, proved too big for De La Hoya, who moved up in weight to challenge for the middleweight title on Sept. 18, 2004. Hopkins scored a ninth-round KO.

"I think it was a hard body shot, but I kind of thought he could've gotten up. I guess that's easy for me to say."

Ironically, De La Hoya's two most memorable victories came at weights above 140. He believes his most significant accomplishment was rising from the canvas to knock down Ike Quartey in the 12th round and claim a split decision in 1999. Any doubts about De La Hoya's toughness evaporated during that final round.

"I think I showed my true heart that night. I'm proud of that moment," De La Hoya said.

And his victory over hated rival Fernando Vargas in 2002 probably was his most spectacular win. That night, he fought like Hopkins, wearing Vargas down until finally taking him out in the 11th round.

Certainly, those triumphs, battles with more than 20 world champions and so many dominating performances at the lower weights -- not to mention his profound impact outside the ring -- give him unquestioned Hall of Fame credentials.