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.
NEW YORK -- It wasn't enough for Freddie Roach that Amir Khan beat, batter and unequivocally outbox Paulie Malignaggi at Madison Square Garden last Saturday night. Roach wanted more. So when Khan settled onto his stool after the 10th round, comfortably ahead on the judge's scorecards, Roach delivered a message to his young pupil.
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.
LAS VEGAS -- Every punch Shane Mosley throws in the gym nowadays has a purpose, as if he is trying to knock out some of the misfortune of his past.
Here is the unspoken beauty of Showtime's Super Six tournament: a world-class champion can have an off night, get absolutely pounded and in his next fight get a shot at another title -- and a chance for redemption.
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.
IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko says to WBA title holder David Haye it is time to fight.
SI.com's Bryan Armen Graham brings you blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of the IBF/WBO heavyweight championship fight between Wladimir Klitschko (53-3, 47 KOs) and Eddie Chambers (35-1, 18 KOs).
Victor Ortiz can't regain his status as a viable HBO headliner in one or two fights. But he's certainly headed in the right direction. Thursday night in Los Angeles, Ortiz (26-2-1) dismantled Hector Alatorre via 10th-round knockout to pick up his second straight win following a career-threatening loss to Marcos Maidana last June.
Tim May covered Buster Douglas' upset of Mike Tyson for the Columbus Dispatch, where he's worked since 1976.
James "Buster" Douglas engineered perhaps the most shocking upset in sports history opposite Mike Tyson on Feb. 11, 1990. Twenty years later, many boxing fans are still trying to comprehend what happened that afternoon in Tokyo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Nov. 30. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer.
1. Manny Pacquiao cemented his legacy as one of history's greatest fighters.
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.
The celebrity photographer who had a scuffle with Mike Tyson at a Los Angeles airport terminal said he kept a "respectful" distance as he followed the former boxing champ and his family.
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.
In an interview with SI.com a few days before his heavyweight title fight with Nikolai Valuev, David Haye had many words for his opponent. With a rapid-fire delivery and a thick British accent, Haye spoke of sending "shockwaves around the world" when he would send the 7-foot Valuev "sprawling on the floor." He claimed that he was "as freakishly fast as Valuev is freakishly big" and promised that the punishment he'd deliver to Valuev in the ring would be "more one-sided than the Rodney King beating."
Chad Dawson has a problem. A 175-pound problem, to be exact.
Sometime in the next year or so, Showtime's Super Six tournament will anoint a new champion in the super middleweight division. It seems simple enough, but there's a small twist that has recently been questioned: Could a fight with the former champion be right behind it?
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.
When Vitali Klitschko announced his return to boxing in 2008, he told everyone he was coming back for one reason: He wanted to make history. He wanted to join his younger brother, IBF and WBO titleholder Wladimir Klitschko, as a world champion, thereby becoming the first pair of brothers to hold heavyweight titles simultaneously. Vitali accomplished that feat in his first fight back, knocking out Samuel Peter in a one-sided bout that earned him the WBC belt, the same title he relinquished when he retired.
CNN's Terry Baddoo asks boxer Floyd Mayweather why he would risk tarnishing a record like his with a comeback.
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.
A man has been arrested in connection with the July shooting death of former boxing champion Vernon Forrest, Atlanta police said Tuesday night.
Former boxing champion Vernon Forrest is dead after being shot multiple times in a neighborhood southwest of downtown Atlanta, officials said Sunday.
Former boxing champion Vernon Forrest is dead after being shot multiple times in Atlanta. WSB's Ashley Hayes reports.
In the spring of 2002, Vernon Forrest and I sat in front of his television watching a DVD from his previous fight. A few months earlier, Forrest had unexpectedly beaten Shane Mosley to win the WBC welterweight belt. Forrest was training for a summer rematch, but had carved out time to entertain a stranger with a notepad for two days in Atlanta. As he replayed the win over Mosley, Forrest would pantomime his moves, cleaving the air with jabs and bobbing his head. Then he'd pause the DVD.
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.
For the first time in nearly five years, a legitimate heavyweight champion roosts atop the boxing food chain.
What a muddled mess the heavyweight division has become. Four recognized titles. Five, if you count Ring Magazine. Champions. Champions in Recess. Champions Emeritus. Sanctioning bodies manipulating their rankings (have you seen WBA No. 1 contender John Ruiz recently?) just to squeeze out a few extra dollars. And the only cost is the integrity of the sport.
Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter dies after a treadmill accident. In a CNN exclusive, Larry King has more.
The four-year-old daughter of boxing legend Mike Tyson was in "extremely critical condition" after she was injured in a treadmill accident at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, police said.
Andre Ward's young career has been a series of firsts. There was his first Olympic gold medal in 2004, an accomplishment that put him in elite company with Cassius Clay, Leon Spinks and Evander Holyfield as the only U.S. gold medalists in the light heavyweight class.
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.
In sports, there are two types of fans. There are regular fans -- a group that ranges from the tailgating, body-painting and opposition-cursing diehards, to the corporate 9-to-5'ers who knock back a couple of pints at the local bar a few hours before a game before taking their seats, donning freshly purchased jerseys. These fans are loyal. Most eat, sleep and drink their local team, and some will even pack a duffel bag on occasion and make a road trip.
At a press conference to promote Saturday's WBC super middleweight title fight, a table at the front of the room was tightly packed with promoters, trainers, managers and various network and hotel executives. And, of course, there were the fighters. Well, at least one fighter for sure.
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?
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.
Joe Calzaghe's retirement announcement yesterday didn't take anybody by surprise.
"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
What we saw Saturday in the heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Hasim Rahman was a clinical dismantling.
Vitali Klitschko is hurt, and it may be serious.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Nikolai Valuev's disputed decision win over John Ruiz on Saturday (his second disputed decision win over Ruiz, for those who are counting) reportedly drew boos from the crowd in Berlin's Max Schmeling Stadium. It drew basically no response at all from American sports fans, of course, since the bout wasn't actually televised in the U.S. Even had it been, though, it's hard to imagine that the rematch between the 35-year-old Valuev, whose 7-foot height is barely enough to compensate for his rudimentary skills, and the 36-year-old Ruiz, who though adept, always seems to do just enough to underwhelm the judges, would have generated much interest on the first weekend of the college football season. Or on any other weekend, for that matter.
Ten-time world champion Oscar De La Hoya will make a decision on his next opponent by Thursday, Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez told SI.com.
BURBANK, Calif. -- Intent on making his last fight a "worldwide event," Oscar De La Hoya said that negotiations for a possible megafight with Manny Pacquiao, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, are not dead and that he is hopeful to make an official announcement on his final opponent either by the end of the week or early next week.
"I learned a long time ago from this guy named Cyrano de Bergerac, 'Don't bring me no mortal men, bring me giants.'" --Don King
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.
In a controversial battle July 16, James Toney defeated Hasim Rahman at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif., by techinical knockout at the end of Round 3
The already battered sport of boxing took another body blow when Floyd Mayweather Jr. walked away from the ring (and a potential $25 million fight with Oscar De La Hoya) last month.
1966 Mike Gerard Tyson is born.
The call came last week, just as I was boarding a plane to Salt Lake City. On the other end of the line was Bernd Boente, the top-flight manager for IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and his brother, former WBC champion Vitali Klitschko.
Nicknames should be apropos, shouldn't they?
While the most common topics leading up to Super Bowl XLII this weekend are the Patriots run for a perfect season and Tom Brady's ankle, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has its own questions to answer Saturday at UFC 81 in Las Vegas.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship opens 2008 with its first pay-per-view card of the year coming just three weeks after UFC 79. The promotion takes its show to Newcastle, England, after the UFC held two events in the country last year. UFC 80 begins a very busy stretch for the UFC -- one that includes a UFC Fight Night the Wednesday after UFC 80 and UFC 81 just two weeks later.
Floyd Mayweather grabbed the boxing spotlight May 5 in Las Vegas and he has yet to relinquish it. With a less than stunning showing but more than decisive victory over Oscar de la Hoya that night, Mayweather kicked off a year in which he accumulated more than $50 million in ring performances. He also developed thousands of new fans for his slick footwork out of it (Or maybe you missed Dancing with the Stars).
In the sport of boxing, Floyd Mayweather is without peer. He is an unparalleled champion, a fighter with multiple talents to go along with his multiple personalities. On Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather (39-0) put on a boxing clinic against welterweight pretender, er, contender Ricky Hatton, out-boxing the former junior welterweight champion before flattening Hatton with a series of combinations that left the former undefeated Brit wondering why he even bothered stepping into the ring in the first place. After the fight ended, Mayweather embraced his challenger as a friend and praised him for his efforts, calling Hatton "the best I have ever fought."
Boxer Ricky Hatton loves to eat, drink beer and throw darts. But if he can upset Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, he'll be the toast of Britain
A unification fight between IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov is close to being finalized, Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente told SI.com on Friday.
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.
In the aftermath of the most impressive win of his career, Joe Calzaghe did an incredibly unimpressive thing.
He is one of the most successful fighters of his generation but he is as anonymous as Waldo.
With enough glitz, kitch and corporate sponsorships to make Las Vegas blush, welcome to the new and weird (yet weirdly underwhelming) epicenter of world boxing
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.
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.
I just wanted to ask him one question. Maybe two. But Floyd Mayweather wasn't having it.
Last week SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed Buster Douglas for the magazine's Q&A. The 47-year-old former heavyweight champion -- he stunned Mike Tyson in 1990 -- is launching a career as an actor. Here are additional excerpts from their conversation:
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.
NEW YORK -- IBF and IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko refuted a report Sunday that he suffered a broken hand during his win over Lamon Brewster.
Saturday night was all right for fighting. But the pageantry for the 69th card in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's tough-and-rumble existence began much earlier that week. Long before the fighters unhinged the latch of the steel Octagon on April 7 and fought on a card titled UFC 69: Shootout, thousands of fans had converged on Houston, tribalists on a pilgrimage. The prefight weigh-ins drew massive crowds. The line for the fighters' autograph show wreathed the girth of the Toyota Center, the venue for UFC 69. The downtown bars and restaurants were overrun by fight fans.
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.
LAS VEGAS -- Nearly 24 hours have passed since Saturday night's epic battle between Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya. The crowds have thinned out (or as much as they can in a casino) and the celebrities have all gone home.
The rumblings of the jet engine are deafening, but for Oscar De La Hoya they're as soothing as an ocean breeze. As he settles into one of the plush leather seats on the Gulfstream G-4 -- one of two $14 million planes leased by his promotion company, Golden Boy, to carry him and Floyd Mayweather Jr., his opponent in Saturday's megafight, on a nine-day, 11-city promotional tour -- he can finally be at peace. Why? Well, for starters, it's one of the few times during the day he can put some much-needed distance between himself and Mayweather, against whom he will defend his WBC super welterweight crown and vie for the title of boxing's best pound-for-pound fighter. "I love being able to interact with people, to shake their hands and sign autographs," says De La Hoya. It's the other stuff that gets a little old. "Sometimes when I'm sitting onstage listening to Floyd run his mouth, I think to myself, Hey, I don't need this."
Oscar De La Hoya, the most acclaimed boxer of his era, has a loving family and a budding business empire. He needs one more victory to gild his Hall of Fame career -- and wants one more whopping payday.
Special from SI Latino
Andre Ward can hear the doubters.
Juan Manuel Marquez entered the ring Saturday as an unknown commodity. When he walked out, he was a proven one.
Also in this column: SI.com's boxing gurus make their picks.
Vitali Klitschko wants to make history. More precisely, he wants to make history again. "I have a vision," said Klitschko in a telephone interview from the Ukraine. "It's one I have had for a long time. I want my brother and I to be heavyweight champions at the same time."
In 1992, Riddick Bowe decided to take a stand. Unhappy with the WBC's mandate that he fight No. 1 contender Lennox Lewis, Bowe decided that the belt was no longer worth the leather strap it came on. So in a glorious public-relations stunt, Bowe took the belt and unceremoniously dumped it into a London trash can.
When Roy Jones Jr. defended his IBF super middleweight title in 1996, he was wearing Grant boxing gloves. Evander Holyfield wore them, too, for his 1999 WBC heavyweight bout against Lennox Lewis. A...