LAS VEGAS -- Someday, maybe before the end of this decade, Floyd Mayweather will make the cross-country trip to Canastota, N.Y. and be inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame. Leonard Ellerbe will be there. So will Al Haymon, Richard Schaefer and 50 other people with vague connections to the longtime champ. There will be a palpable buzz to Mayweather's arrival, for one of two reasons:
When the announcement came that former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather would face alphabet welterweight champion Victor Ortiz on September 17th in Las Vegas -- news delivered succinctly by Mayweather to his one million-plus followers via his Twitter account -- it was greeted by an overwhelmingly negative response.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Victor Ortiz walked into the second floor ballroom at the MGM Grand late Saturday night, a toothy smile creasing his face and the WBC welterweight title raised high above his head. He was two years removed from his lowest professional point, a no mas moment against Marcos Maidana that threatened to define his career. Two years. Here, it seemed so much longer.
During a recent conference call to promote his upcoming junior middleweight title fight with Miguel Cotto, Ricardo Mayorga broke out the trash-talking playbook. Responding to no question in particular, Mayorga labeled Cotto and his Hall of Fame trainer, Emanuel Steward, "failures," called them both "clowns" and suggested an alternate occupation for Cotto after the fight.
DETROIT -- The two men sitting in the lower bowl were NBA fans, or so their Pistons T-shirts led you to believe. They were boxing fans, too, a subject their conversation turned to during a break in the action of Wednesday's Pistons-Nuggets game.
The auditions are over, the field is set. Over the past two weeks, fighters have been submitting their metaphorical resumes to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum with performances in the ring (Sergio Martinez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Andre Berto) and out (Shane Mosley).
The boxing landscape is littered with fighters who have stayed too long at the fair. Evander Holyfield. Roy Jones. James Toney. Father Time has caught up with each of them, robbing them of their reflexes and making each absorbed punch more damaging than the last.
In many ways, Wladimir Klitschko's career mirrors that of other great heavyweight champions. At 6-foot-6, 244 pounds he possesses uncanny power (a 84.2 percent knockout percentage) and skill and for the last five years has dominated opponents like few other fighters of his era.
SUNRISE, Fla. -- If there is a criticism to be levied against boxing's elite, it's that they are chronologically undesirable. Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez make up the top of most pound-for-pound rankings, but each is on the other side of 30 with Mosley, 38, the resident greybeard of the group. Critics wonder who the sport will turn to when Pacquiao makes politics a full-time gig and Mayweather finally walks away for good.
WESTON, Fla. -- It was mid-January and Andre Berto had just stepped out of the gym when his cell phone began to buzz. The caller was a longtime friend from Miami, who wanted to let Berto know that there had been an earthquake in Haiti, the birthplace of Berto's parents and home to more than 30 of his relatives.
Pacquiao's stunningly swift and brutal win over Ricky Hatton clearly established him as the best fighter in four weight classes: super featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight. Perhaps the only question Pacquiao has left to answer, and one trainer Freddie Roach acknowledged after the Hatton fight, is how the Pac-Man can handle the top counter-puncher. He may get the chance as early as next year in a showdown with the winner of Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez.
Shane Mosley has spent the better part of his professional career fighting in someone else's shadow. First, it was Oscar De La Hoya, who Mosley defeated twice -- in 2000 and '03 -- but who he could never match in popularity. Then it was Floyd Mayweather Jr., who danced in and out of Mosley's weight class before dancing (literally) right off the boxing stage.
SI.com boxing writer Chris Mannix brings you blow-by-blow, round-by-round thoughts on the junior middleweight, non-title clash between "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga. The fight should begin sometime before midnight (EST).
In a sport where sanctioning bodies routinely manipulate the rankings to serve their interests, where networks permit promotional companies to dictate scheduling and where promoters allow a general distaste for one another to get in the way of making the best fights, is it possible that judging is the most corrupted part of boxing?
There is a belief in this world that boxing is dead. There is a belief the sport is plagued by dull fights and managed by corrupt promoters -- whose only interest is keeping an alphabet soup of title belts around the waists of their fighters. There is a belief that when the icons of the sport (Floyd Mayweather, Oscar de la Hoya, Bernard Hopkins) walk away, the sport will be left with scores of average fighters who possess a fraction of the skills of their predecessors.