LAS VEGAS -- He is boxing's greatest heel since Jack Johnson, the undisputed king of convincing people to pay to watch him lose.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. had his nose bloodied midway through the fight, but maintained his poise to remain undefeated and claim the WBA junior middleweight title from Miguel Cotto.
LAS VEGAS -- Welcome back, Blog readers! We're at the MGM Grand Garden Arena (again) for a Floyd Mayweather fight (again) that is not against Manny Pacquiao (unfortunately, again). Mayweather's opponent tonight will be Miguel Cotto (37-2), the WBA junior middleweight champion regarded as one of the top-ten pound-for-pound fighters in the world. A few housekeeping notes before we get started
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s fans and critics will find out Saturday night if he's still "Money" -- his nickname -- and still undefeated, when he takes on WBA super-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.
CNN's Don Lemon talks to Floyd Mayweather before his big fight Saturday night against Miguel Cotto.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto sit down with Max Kellerman to preview their May 5 fight.
Miguel Cotto says he will beat Floyd Mayweather -- "no doubt" -- but don't expect him to dance around the gym, making it rain and running his mouth about it.
LAS VEGAS -- Sometime next week Floyd Mayweather will cash a check for something in the neighborhood of $32 million. Later, when all the pay-per-view buys are counted, he will deposit another check -- and another, and another -- pushing his total purse for Saturday night's fight against Miguel Cotto (9 p.m. ET, HBO PPV) to well over $35 million. Just another day at the office for Mayweather, the most financially successful athlete in sports.
Back in 2006, Top Rank kicked around the idea of matching two of its brightest young stars: Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto. Mayweather, at the time, was coming off the biggest win of his career, a one-sided destruction of Arturo Gatti. Cotto was undefeated and in the middle of a two-year reign as junior welterweight champion.
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. Floyd Mayweather enthralls and frustrates with equal measure. Mayweather remains as dazzling as he's ever been in the ring -- and as exasperating as he's ever been out of it. Such is the maddening duality of the welterweight champion who has never been in serious trouble in any fight, much less been defeated. He outclassed Victor Ortiz in a September title bout -- the best 147-pounder in the world not named Manny Pacquiao -- badly mistreating him with right-hand leads for three rounds before Ortiz saw red and committed a heinous foul. That's when Mayweather took rugged individualism to a new level and flattened his opponent with a one-two combination that Ortiz never saw coming. A cheap shot, but a legal punch. Fans cried foul, but the dearth of protest from within boxing was telling. The Mayweather enigma took a dark turn in December, when he was sentenced to 90 days in jail following his guilty plea on a 2010 domestic violence charge. Who knows what the next 12 months will
NEW YORK -- Genuine hatred, like the animus that underwrote Saturday's rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden, cannot be manufactured by even the shrewdest of boxing's carnival barkers, try as they might.
The fire in Miguel Cotto's eyes smolders, eclipsed emotionally only by the tears and anguish expressed by his wife, Melissa, when the subject turns to Antonio Margarito.
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:
The gap between potential and proven can be measured by Jeff Lacy.
We have gone eight long, Eddie Chambers- and Hasim Rahman-filled years since the last meaningful heavyweight fight. That was 2003, when Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko squared off in a rock-'em, sock-'em brawl in Los Angeles that abruptly ended when the ringside doctor declared the Ukrainian challenger couldn't continue because of a cut above his left eye so deep you could almost see bone.
I've been hearing more and more recently about a possible blockbuster fight:
Great athletes need challenges. And in 1996, Roy Jones felt he was running out of them. So that June, the then-No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world decided to create one. On the afternoon of his super middleweight title fight against Eric Lucas, Jones suited up for the USBL's Jacksonville Barracudas. He played 14 minutes that day. Seven hours later, he made Lucas quit in 33.
Here's what we know about Odlanier Solis after Saturday night's one-round TKO loss to Vitali Klitschko in Cologne, Germany:
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Sergio Martinez didn't deserve this. After moving up in weight to claim the middleweight title against Kelly Pavlik last year and having to drop a couple of pounds to defend it against Paul Williams, Martinez had earned a fight on his own terms, preferably one against a cushy would-be contender who ran his mouth outside the ring and stood and took a beating in it.
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).
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Sergio Martinez bounced up the stairs of the Boardwalk Hall dais on Saturday night, face unblemished, smile intact. It was a little over an hour after Martinez had defended his WBC middleweight title against Paul Williams, a fight billed as a 12-round, 36-minute slugfest that ended after four minutes and 10 seconds when Martinez connected with a savage overhand left that sent Williams careening to the canvas.
GRAPEVINE, Texas -- It was a bizarre moment, even by boxing standards. As the news conference promoting the undercard for Saturday night's show was winding down, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum stepped to the podium with an announcement. Antonio Margarito was here, Arum said, and he wanted to address the media.
NEW YORK -- The black SUV eased around a corner and settled into spot just in front of the Trinity Boxing Club. First out of the car was Miguel Cotto, the ex-welterweight king wearing a familiar Puerto Rican colored jacket and even more familiar cool expression. Trailing him is his longtime friend and PR boss Bryan Perez, a Big Punisher lookalike whose sheer size suggests he doesn't share the rippled Cotto's love for workouts. Alongside him Joe Santiago, Cotto's longtime cornerman and one-time trainer who counts himself as one of Cotto's most trusted advisors.
Five things we learned from Manny Pacquiao's unanimous decision over Joshua Clottey Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium:
GRAPEVINE, Texas -- From the day he collected his first boxing paycheck, Manny Pacquiao has been surrounded by yes men. Dozens of would-be handlers, many with nebulous jobs and no real responsibilities to speak of, have surrounded Pacquiao. And for the last five years, as Pacquiao has risen to the top of the sport, they have been well-paid to live a life of leisure.
NEW YORK -- When the March megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came apart at the seams earlier this month, it made losers of just about everybody: the fighters, the promoters and, most of all, the fans.
Over the past few weeks, boxing has taken a metaphorical shotgun to its foot.
The many supporters of Floyd Mayweather Jr. choose to see one of boxing's all-time great small men and the most dominant pound-for-pound fighter in a generation, a fistic surgeon who's never been in trouble in his career, much less been defeated in 40 paying fights.
As far as I know, the technology of the flux capacitor is still embedded in the fictional mind of Dr. Emmett Brown. Which is too bad, really: because so many of us desperately want to put it in the hands of Manny Pacquiao.
Freddie Roach has become the go-to guy for a feel-good story in boxing. He's the former pug of middling ability turned master builder of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world; the altar boy turned acolyte of legendary cornerman Eddie Futch (and Eddie begat Freddie); the trainer to the stars (he's worked with Mickey Rourke! Marky Mark!) who has become a star in his own right, as the wise, calm voice amid the behind-the-scenes madness of HBO's 24/7, and a friend to boxing writers everywhere for his thoughtful, engaging (and always crafty) interviews. And, of course, he is a model of courage, battling his Parkinson's with grace and dignity even as he works to protect his own fighters from the same sort of damage in the ring.
BEST FIGHTER: Manny Pacquiao Pacquiao opened the decade as a 21-year-old, ex-WBC flyweight champion who owned a 27-2 record and had fought just three times outside his native Philippines. His final pre-2000s excursion resulted in a third-round knockout loss to Medgoen Sengsurat in Thailand in 1999. Today, Pacquiao (50-3-2 with 38 KOs overall; 23-1-2 with 20 KOs this decade) owns seven world titles in as many weight classes, and is quite possibly the finest fighter in the world, pound-for-pound.
Each week SI.com's Richard Deitsch will report on newsmakers from the world of TV, radio and the Web.
1. Manny Pacquiao cemented his legacy as one of history's greatest fighters.
Manny Pacquaio talks to CNN's Mark McKay about the biggest fight of his career. His next one. Against Miguel Cotto.
LAS VEGAS -- Features in Sports Illustrated. Front page stories in the New York Times. The build up for Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto's welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand has been likened to a mini-Super Bowl and is as big a boxing promotion as any since Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought Oscar De La Hoya.
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.
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is one of boxing's most respected minds. The three-time BWAA Trainer of the Year owns and operates the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., where he's passed down fistic wisdom to more than 20 world titlists, including sitting pound-for-pound champion Manny Pacquiao.
This article appears in the November 16, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated.
CNN's Andrew Stevens talks with boxer Manny Pacquiao about his future political, boxing and entertainment plans.
In boxing, a fighter's relationship with his trainer, is either his biggest asset or greatest liability. The bond between the two can't be measured, but its effects can certainly be seen.
The mythical mantle of pound-for-pound champion is the most prestigious title in the fight game, perhaps because no sanctioning body can confer, revoke or validate it. There's a purity of essence to it. Only by winning the hearts and minds of the people can a contender be regarded as the greatest in the sport regardless of weight.
NEW YORK -- It's never just a prizefight when Miguel Cotto, the welterweight champion from Puerto Rico, headlines a card at Madison Square Garden.
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.
9:30 p.m. -- And we're back! Seated alongside SI boxing editor Rich O'Brien, I'm Chris Mannix here to bring you live coverage of the Miguel Cotto-Michael Jennings welterweight title fight. As you can see the crowd is starting to stream in here at Madison Square Garden in anticipation of Cotto's big comeback. Rich, what are your keys to... Wait...we're not on TV?
Evoking A.J. Liebling at the start of a boxing column is a little like shouting the name Pavarotti as you prepare to launch into a karaoke performance: it only reminds your audience of what they're not going to get. Nonetheless, here goes: I couldn't help thinking of Liebling (the legendary author of The Sweet Science, whose coverage of the sport for The New Yorker from the 1940s into the '60s, earned him general recognition as the finest boxing writer ever) Saturday night as I sat on press row at Madison Square Garden watching the fight card that culminated with Miguel Cotto's thoroughly impressive dismantling of the overmatched Michael Jennings. Specifically, I was reminded of Liebling's classic essay Boxing With the Naked Eye, and of how far things have come since he wrote it.
Miguel Cotto made the fifth and most memorable defense of his world welterweight title last July against Antonio Margarito at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Say you're Jack Shephard. You have been stranded on an island for months, far removed from civilization and cut off from all information relating to the outside world. Suddenly (and for the purposes of this example, recently) you're rescued. Big celebration. A couple of weeks later, after you reacclimatize yourself to eating fish out of a can and figure out how to play Nintendo Wii, you get an e-mail from a friend inviting you over to watch this weekend's Kelly Pavlik fight.
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.
One week, two cheaters. Rarely have the days of professional sports ever been darker.
How many times have we heard about how a distraction negatively affects an athlete or a team's performance?
I don't know, of course, what "Sugar" Shane Mosley is doing this Sunday afternoon. Maybe settling in to watch some football or getting a little work done around the yard. Or sneaking out for a round of golf. Or maybe he's counting the reported $1.5 million he was guaranteed for his bout last night against Ricardo Mayorga. Whatever he's up to, though, I hope the thought occurs to him that there are easier ways for a 37-year-old guy to make a living.
I'm beginning to understand Paul Williams' game plan: mop the floor with fighters from as many weight classes as possible until an opponent who carries a big payday agrees to a fight.
At 4 p.m. Wednesday, a contingent from Top Rank, led by CEO Bob Arum, will arrive at the Los Angeles offices of Golden Boy Promotions to begin -- and hopefully finalize -- negotiations with Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer for a December welterweight bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Paquiao.
10:40 p.m. -- Ever since I first learned about Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito, I've felt alone on an island.
There was a time not too long ago when Antonio Margarito was the most feared fighter in boxing.
With 38 professional wins, 10 world championships in six weight classes and an Olympic gold medal on his resume, one would think Oscar De La Hoya's legacy is secure.
Four months. It took four whole months for me to break my first New Year's resolution, but I am about to do it. I'm going to write about Floyd Mayweather.
Nicknames should be apropos, shouldn't they?
One of the loudest criticisms of boxing -- usually levied by advocates of mixed martial arts -- is that the sport is dominated by aging stars. For the most part, the critics are correct. Oscar de la Hoya (34), Floyd Mayweather (30), Wladimir Klitschko (31) and Shane Mosley (36) are all on the wrong side of 30. They are also still the biggest draws, with De La Hoya-Mayweather breaking every box office record and Klitschko leveling every young fighter left dangling in his path.
NEW YORK -- Shane Mosley is a well-credentialed man. The former lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight champion has a resume most fighters only dream of. He is arguably the most dominant lightweight in history, having run up a 32-0 record (with 30 knockouts) before leaving the division behind. He has beaten Oscar de la Hoya twice, and after a brief stint at super welterweight, Mosley returned to the welterweight division in 2005 and has put together five consecutive victories.