Evander Holyfield's resume includes a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics and victories over all-time greats like Mike Tyson (twice), Riddick Bowe, George Foreman and Larry Holmes. He is the only four-time heavyweight champion in history. A little more than a decade ago, he was one of the 10 most famous athletes on the planet.
A high school gym erupts with cheers as the announcer introduces the women fighting to be the nation's top amateur boxers. Names like Esparza, Cruz and Estrada sound out over the PA system, as young Latinas with impressively defined arms take to the ring.
1. Boxing will finally get Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. It has been derailed by everything from drug testing to legal issues, but in 2011 the world will get the one fight everyone wants to see. While Pacquiao is training for his May 7 date with Shane Mosley, Mayweather will settle (or at least put off) his legal problems, making both available for a November fight. The hype for the showdown between boxing's top two will be unprecedented and more than 100,000 fans will buy tickets at Cowboys Stadium. Mayweather-Pacquiao will shatter the pay-per-view record, exceeding 2.5 million buys and finishing as the most-watched boxing event in history.
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.
Two years ago, Samuel Peter's boxing career flatlined on a stool in Berlin. His reign as WBC heavyweight champion was over, with Vitali Klitschko having battered the bulky Nigerian for eight rounds until Peter could no longer summon the strength to continue.
The discussion of late has revolved around mixed martial arts' rise has hurt boxing. But let's be clear: boxing has done a heck of a job hurting itself with corrupt rankings, meaningless titles and a noticeable lack of quality fights.
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Super Bowl party scene in Tampa lived up to expectations this year, which isn't really that impressive considering most expected it to be a down year, devoid of the over-the-top parties that had come to define the week in years past with Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Victoria's Secret and CAA all canceling their annual super shindigs in a down economy. With so many household names bowing out of the party scene this year it opened the door for a few new names and a surprising winner for this year's best Super Bowl party.
"As the most representative organization of Professional Boxing, where the right application of the fundamental principles of ethics, moral, loyalty, honesty and good faith can be found, considered as the main values, which orientates all legitimate activity of the Professional Boxing Worldwide." -- WBA Mission Statement
In the five years I have spent covering boxing, I have had a few of what I like to call "cringe moments." I cringed when greedy promoters paraded a battered and broken Mike Tyson into the ring for fight after fight, even though he was little more than a shell of his former self. And he had a history of biting people.
In the prime of his career, Evander Holyfield was regarded as one of boxing's fiercest warriors, a fearless combatant lauded for his willingness to chew off a body part (or have one chewed off for him) than quit on his stool.
NEW YORK -- Patience is a virtue that Samuel Peter is fresh out of. It has been nine long months since the 27-year-old Peter last competed, nine months since the man known as the Nigerian Nightmare beat James Toney for the second time to earn (for the second time) the title of the WBC's number one contender.
Boxing has long been regarded as, in the words of Jimmy Cannon, the red-light district of sports. In the popular imagination, the Sweet Science is anything but: it is widely viewed as a shady game run by mobsters and sharps, corrupt officials and snakelike managers, a morass of mismatches and fixed fights, in which the principles take more dives than Greg Louganis. Such Hollywood-fueled melodrama aside, however, boxing is a remarkably straightforward and transparent sport.
And so, having finally attracted a little mainstream attention again, has boxing squandered another opportunity. With all eyes upon the sport -- well, more eyes than usual -- it produced an event of not much drama, little excitement and no satisfying conclusion. And even for somebody who found the semispectacle satisfying, there was no possibility of another one with even this much promise. The winner immediately announced his retirement, and the loser, who doesn't fight much anyway (or win much anymore), was ambivalent about his future in the ring.