Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn't have to report to jail on a domestic violence conviction until June, after a Nevada judge acceded Friday to a defense request to push back the date until after a May bout.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum will travel to the Philippines next week, where he will present pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao with a list of four possible opponents for him to choose from for his next fight: Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto and Lamont Peterson. Whomever Pacquiao chooses, the fight will probably generate 1 million pay per view buys and north of $50 million in revenue. But who should[ital] it be? Let's break down the pros and cons of the candidates:
1. Cruiserweight will become cool. Not heavyweight cool. Maybe not even welterweight cool, either. But there are some interesting talents in the 200-pound weight class. In Europe there is Marco Huck, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. There is talent in Russia (Denis Lebedev), Australia (Danny Green) and Nigeria (Lateef Kayode). And in the U.S. there is Steve Cunningham and a resurgent Antonio Tarver, giving the division a true global flavor. It's the kind of talented-but-anonymous weight class that would make for an interesting tournament. You hear that HBO and Showtime?
LAS VEGAS -- Juan Manuel Marquez walked briskly down an empty hallway in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the swishing sound of his mesh pants echoing against the walls. It was quiet today. On Saturday, when more than 16,000 fans are expected to file into the building for his WBO welterweight fight with Manny Pacquiao (HBO PPV, 9 p.m.), it won't be.
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.
LAS VEGAS -- Minutes after Manny Pacquiao's lopsided decision win over Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden on Saturday -- a thoroughly uninspired performance that had little to do with Pacquiao and everything to do with a faded Mosley -- Top Rank promoter Bob Arum walked over to press row and offered another piece of discomforting news:
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.
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).
To rattle off the list of elite fighters in the featherweight division takes a couple of breaths, a pause and maybe a short snack break. There is Chris John, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez. There is Celestino Cabellero, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Elio Rojas.
Juan Manuel Marquez is no newcomer to overcoming adversity. Growing up in dangerous barrios of Mexico City, his life was littered with horrors: from witnessing to two rival gang members executing another to falling asleep each night with the sound of gunfire ringing outside his window -- the devil's lullaby echoing through the devil's playground.
LAS VEGAS -- It's hard not to like Floyd Mayweather. He's outgoing and outspoken, a reporter's dream. His bravado is public but his philanthropic work -- the life skills course he taught at the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, the visits he made to battered women and children shelters, the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has personally invested in his foundation -- are largely private.
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.
He was America's next great hope, remember? Kelly Pavlik first burst onto the national boxing scene in 2007 with a viral knockout of Edison Miranda and captured the countries hearts with two decisive victories of unified middleweight champion Jermain Taylor. With an entertaining back story and a concussive right hand, this tire-whacking, dart-playing, sleeping-on-his-mother's-couch kid from Youngstown, Ohio was quickly tabbed as the next American to thrust his name into a globalized sport that was being dominated by champions with the last names of Klitschko, Pacquiao and Marquez.
As strategists go, they don't get much better than Freddie Roach. The mastermind behind 24 world champions, Roach devises winning game plans the way Adrian Peterson scores touchdowns or Ray Allen buries jump shots. And no one has benefited more from Roach's skills than Manny Pacquiao. In just the past two years, Pacquiao has defeated a skilled counterpuncher (Juan Manuel Marquez), knocked off a physically superior hook artist (Oscar De La Hoya) and routed a bulldogging slugger (Ricky Hatton). Each victory propelled Pacquiao to a new level. Each came under Roach's watchful eye.
Throughout a brilliant 16-year professional career, Shane Mosley has always conducted himself with the utmost class. Mild mannered and well spoken, Mosley is a journalist's dream, the kind of athlete you begin an interview feeling ambivalent and end it rooting for him to succeed. Mosley has always been the underdog, a fighter who has spent his life living in the shadow of Oscar De La Hoya (who "Sugar" has defeated twice) and never getting adequate recognition for his achievements.
Here we go, fight fans. The final undercard bout -- Chris John's successful defense of his WBA featherweight title against -- just finished and we're minutes away from Floyd Mayweather's return to the ring. First, a quick recap of tonight's other notable fights: Shelly Finkel's prized prospect, junior middleweight Erislandy Lara, KO'd journeyman Jose Varela, Mayweather protégé Cornelius Lock scored an impressive stoppage of unbeaten featherweight Orlando Cruz and Australian brawler Michael Katsidis survived an early cut over his left eye to win the WBO interim lightweight title in a split decision over Vincente Escobedo. No surprises there and some pretty entertaining fights.
"I think the promise of fame and what it holds to you as a child and dreaming of it is not what it is. What it is, I'm not complaining about, but it's just different than the reality you dreamed." -- Rosie O'Donnell
MEXICO CITY -- Inside the ring, Rafael Marquez has a well-earned reputation as a gambler. Unlike his technically proficient brother, lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, Rafael is more of a brawler, a heavy handed fighter willing to absorb a power shot if it means he can get off one of his own. It's a style that has served him well in his 14-year professional career -- a career highlighted by 38 wins (including 34 by knockout) and world titles in two weight classes.
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.
LAS VEGAS -- We're baaaack. You missed The Blog, didn't you? Well, here we are, sitting at a wobbly folding table blanketed by a cheap black tablecloth four rows from ringside at the MGM Grand Arena to bring you play by play and instant analysis from the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton junior welterweight title fight.
You are Juan Manuel Marquez. You just turned in arguably the finest performance of your professional career when you systematically destroyed lightweight champion Joel Casamayor last Saturday night. You have catapulted yourself to the top of every pound-for-pound rankings and have the boxing world buzzing about a potential third fight with your nemesis, Manny Pacquiao, once Pacquiao finishes his business with Oscar De La Hoya.
If Manny Pacquiao had a fan club, Juan Manuel Márquez would probably be its president -- as long as Pacquiao promised to show up for the club's meetings. With his trainer. And an official from the WBC.
When it comes to the movies, the finale of a trilogy can be hit or miss. You have the good (The Bourne Ultimatum), the bad (Species III) and the why-did-I-just-shell-out-10-bucks-for-this (Robocop 3). The same holds true in boxing, which has a long history of epic final battles. From Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier to Mickey Ward-Arturo Gatti, when two pugilists meet in a rubber match, the expectations usually meet the hype. There are exceptions, however.
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.
I suppose I could have tried to make a bigger splash in my first foray into participatory journalism by challenging Barry Bonds to a home run contest or approaching Kobe Bryant about a game of H-O-R-S-E. But these days Bonds is busy chasing that Aaron fellow and Bryant is trying to prove that USA basketball is still a player on the global landscape. Not that either one them would have taken my phone calls. Still, when I first approached Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions in April about taking on one of their golden boys, WBC super featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, I was surprised by how willing they were to fly Marquez across the continent to step in the ring with a novice. "That's a great idea!" they said. "When do you want to fight him?"
I suppose I could have tried to make a bigger splash in my first foray into participatory journalism by challenging Barry Bonds to a home run contest or approaching Kobe Bryant about a game of H-O-R-S-E. But these days Bonds is busy chasing that Aaron fellow and Bryant is trying to prove USA Basketball is still a player on the global landscape. Not that either one them would have taken my phone calls.