LAS VEGAS -- The faded champion getting served up to the young lion is a cruel tradition as old as boxing itself.
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
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.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto sit down with Max Kellerman to preview their May 5 fight.
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
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.
There are words we, as writers, are guilty of overusing. Genius is one. Electrifying is another.
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:
LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao put on yet another clinic, but an unaccommodating dance partner kept boxing's pound-for-pound kingpin from a more satisfying showcase of his brilliance.
LAS VEGAS -- Five hours before a sellout crowd of 16,412 watched Manny Pacquiao outclass Shane Mosley on Saturday, the MGM Grand Garden Arena was as quiet as a library.
Manny Pacquiao tells CNN's Mark Mckay he has trained hard and is well prepared to fight Shane Mosley.
LAS VEGAS -- It's fight night here at a sold-out MGM Grand arena, where the buzz for Manny Pacquiao's WBO welterweight title defense against Shane Mosley has picked up considerably since earlier in the week. Pacquiao closed as a 9:1 favorite and has a very strong (and vocal) Filipino presence.
LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao is known for his shy smile and boyish charm, a sharp -- but believable -- contrast to the raw fire and fury with which he fights in the ring. But as Pacquiao wrapped up his remarks at Wednesday's final news conference promoting his welterweight title fight against Shane Mosley, the toothy grin vanished and the world's top fighter suddenly turned somber.
LAS VEGAS -- Over the next few days you will hear a lot of good things about Shane Mosley.
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.
The questions are the same, the phrasing and the people asking are the only things that vary.
LOS ANGELES -- Manny Pacquiao won't be here for at least another two hours, but there are already two dozen fans on the sun-splashed asphalt outside Hollywood's Wild Card Boxing Club trying desperately to look like they're not loitering.
NEW YORK -- Andre Berto is good.
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.
Sergio Mora has experienced plenty of highs in boxing. There was his stint on The Contender, the NBC reality show that launched Mora into the mainstream (and made him $1 million) in 2005 when he defeated Peter Manfredo on national television. Three years later, Mora won a world title by stunning junior middleweight champion Vernon Forrest.
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.
1. The year of Pacquiao. Already boxing's most exciting fighter, Manny Pacquiao became a global phenomeon in 2010, penetrating the American sporting mainstream like no Asian-born athlete in history. He's won major sanctioning-body titles in eight different weight classes, nearly half of the sport's 17 divisions. He was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile in November, less than 12 months after being named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. He was elected to Congress in the Philippines in May and named Fighter of the Decade by the Boxing Writers Association of America in June. He won as many fights at Cowboys Stadium (two) as the full-time tenants won football games during the whole 2010 season. He sings, he acts. He fights Shane Mosley on May 7.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was arrested at a Las Vegas casino on a misdemeanor battery charge after he allegedly assaulted a security guard at his housing complex, a police official said Friday.
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.
Floyd Mayweather is a bully, one neatly wrapped in a cut 5-foot-8, 147-pound package. Like most bullies, Mayweather is intimidating. He sends promoters, managers and networks cowering in the corner with the mere threat of withholding his services. He holds the boxing world hostage by saying he will take his gloves and go home unless the fight isn't when he wants, where he wants and at what weight he wants. He perpetuates a lie -- like the one about his advisor, Al Haymon, not being involved in negotiations with Manny Pacquiao -- because he is confident in the fact that no one in the industry will stand up to him.
Five things we learned from Floyd Mayweather's unanimous decision over Shane Mosley on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
SI.com's boxing guru Chris Mannix provides a running account of all the sights and sounds of Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley in Las Vegas, pitting two of the world's best pound-for-pound fighters in a non-welterweight-title superfight.
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.
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.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The venue, the crowd, the atmosphere, all of it met -- and in some cases, exceeded -- expectations. Boxing should absolutely return to Texas, where the third-largest crowd in U.S. boxing history (50,994) packed Cowboys Stadium to see Manny Pacquiao successfully defend his WBO welterweight title against Joshua Clottey on Saturday. Only next time, it should come with a better fight.
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.
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.
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.
This article appears in the November 16, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated.
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.
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.
1. The concerns over Mayweather's ring rust were greatly exaggerated
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.
As he sat inside an ambulance carrying Oscar De La Hoya from the MGM Grand last December, the concern for De La Hoya was written all over Richard Schaefer's face. Just moments earlier, Schaefer had witnessed De La Hoya, his business partner for the last eight years and the man who he helped build Golden Boy Promotions from the ground up, endure a savage, eight-round beating at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. It was the third of what Schaefer called "really bad fights" for De La Hoya, a string of events which began against Floyd Mayweather in May, 2007 ("he couldn't jab in that fight," said Schaefer), continued against Steve Forbes in May, 2008 ("he got hit more times than I have ever seen him get hit") and culminate against Pacquiao, a former lightweight champion who had jumped up two weight classes to face De La Hoya. As he stared at De La Hoya's reddened face and winced as he looked agonizingly at Oscar's closed left eye, Schaefer, as he has done so many times in the course of his
The first time I saw Oscar De La Hoya was at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle. He was just 17, but already a highly touted prospect (back at a time when Americans actually paid attention to amateur boxers). Still, on a U.S. team that included Tim Austen, Shane Mosley, Raul Marquez and super heavyweight Larry Donald, the 126-pound high school kid was far from the only focus. For me that changed somewhere in the first round of his quarterfinal bout against Lee Sang-Hun of Korea.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Big mixed martial arts fans who don't want to lay down the $40 for a PPV fight have a treat coming this weekend. September is a loaded month for high profile MMA events, and the biggest fight will be available for free on Spike TV this Saturday.
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."
Special from SI Latino
Also in this column: SI.com's boxing gurus make their picks.