Tag Archives: Arthur Abraham

Madcow’s Standing 8 Count (6/29/09)

by Madcow

Aside from actually being written, this week’s column will be a little different.

Last week, as you all know, Michael Jackson died. I have had a special relationship throughout my life with madcow11Jackson. No, I never got to visit Neverland ranch as a child and I was never able to share a can of Jesus Juice with the “one-gloved-one.”

My connection with Jackson isn’t even about music. Actually, I’m luke warm to his talents.

No. My link with Jackson goes directly through Lori C, Madcow’s first love and a very fine looking High School Junior with bubble gum lip gloss and a teddy bear backpack.

I had taken “Ms. C” to the Junior Prom and, to spare all the details, that was the night your favorite bovine became a man.

On the way home, I turned on the radio in my clunker in absolute glee and the first song on the radio was “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. Not my type of music, but on that particular night, it was the greatest song I had ever heard.

So, this column is dedicated to Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean,” and beautiful Lori C, who was more woman at 17 than all 3 of my wives put together. But enough with this sappy crap.

In a “Thriller,” Marcos Maidana overcame knockdowns and all obstacles to force Victor Ortiz into submission. Now, after an embarrassing quit job and a non-fighter-like post-fight interview, Ortiz has to seriously take a look at the “Man in the Mirror” and decide if he really wants to continue fighting or if he just wants to “Beat It.

Smooth Criminal,” Oscar De la Hoya desperately tried to spin Ortiz’s quit job into something quite the opposite, but nobody is buying it. Overall, it hasn’t been a good time to be a Golden Boy prospect. Abner Mares split, Ortiz was just crushed and “King of Pop,” James Kirkland is eating bologna and mayonaise sandwiches behind bars.

Remember the Time” when PPV dates were reserved for only the elite fights, the best of the best? The Latin Fury show this Saturday was just, plain “Bad.” I would like to run into the chump who paid 35 bucks to see this suck-fest so I can sell him some bumper car tickets at Neverland Ranch. Wake me up when Juanma Lopez starts fighting someone with a pulse.

Arthur Abraham defended his title against some guy named Oral on Showtime Saturday. I’m sorry, but the only thing I’m watching with the name “Oral” on it is a PPV movie from The Spice Channel.

Everything else this Summer has been a big let-down. Cancelled or postponed fights, combined with weak matchups. Boxing is in a serious “Jam” and needs to fix things fast or, maybe next year, there won’t be anyone buying these shows for broadcast.

Well, seeing that its been a slow news Summer and that I’ve exhausted my Michael Jackson references, I think I’ll end this special edition of Madcow’s Standing 8 Count.

Besides, I’ve just called the escort service and told them to send their best; Doesn’t matter if they’re “Black or White,” I just “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’.” Now, “Leave Me Alone.”

RIP Michael

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Madcow’s Standing 8 Count (5/24/09)

by Madcow

Welcome to a very special edition of  The Standing 8 Count. Ok, not really. Actually, this is another slow news madcow11week.

So, seeing that there’ll be nothing worth talking about until next week when Alfredo Angulo makes Kermit Cintron weep like a little school girl, I thought I’d share another personal list with my dozens upon dozens of loyal Mad Bovines.

Last week, I wrote about what I hated about boxing. This week I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, so I’ll flip in the opposite direction and talk about what I love about boxing.

* I love the way the Super Middleweight division is shaping up: Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler, Librado Andrade, Lucian Bute, Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell, Allan Green, Jermain Taylor, Jean Pascal and in a short while Arthur Abraham and Kelly Pavlik. I sure hope greedy promoters and cable companies don’t ruin this.

* I love the blind optimism behind fans of Chris Arreola. Here’s a guy who is practically obese and has ever beaten anyone tougher than a tough night club bouncer, yet some people rate this blob as the best American Heavyweight. I know the big boys aren’t a deep bunch these days, but Arreola ain’t the best of an entire nation.

* I love the Tecate ring card girls in Tijuana. These are the only ring card girls in the world where I know that with some elementary Spanish and a few bucks in my pocket, I can bring these chicas back to the Hotel Paraiso with me.

* I love the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. riles up both haters and nut-huggers alike. Say what you will, but it feels good to see some real emotion injected into the sport.

* I love seeing fights in Las Vegas and I love the big fight atmosphere in Sin City. Vegas is Boxing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you don’t like all night Blackjack binges in dim casinos, surrounded by whores and bad, bad people after a big prize fight I seriously question your manhood. Boxing shouldn’t be a “bring the whole family” event like the Ice Capades.

* I love fighters who actually take the time to learn the art of professions prize fighting. These are the guys who know how to walk properly, they know how to cut off the ring, they know how to properly set up their punches, and they know a little something called “defense.”

* I love my old fight films.

* I love what Showtime has been doing with their matchmaking lately.

* I love Denise Tarver and Jin Mosley and the crazy night we’ve had in my imagination.

* I love the back and forth struggles of an evenly-matched bout.

* I love the intenet for allowing me to be able to see even more boxing than I could imagine.

* I love when an undeserving bum of a fighter like Margarito gets what’s coming to him and publicly flogged by the entire boxing world.

* I love to get hateful e-mails from Manny Pacquiao fans: P4P, Boxing’s goofiest goof balls.

* I love the idea of Rick Hatton fans having to get back on the plane for the long ride home knowing that they just came to see Hatton mugged once again.

* I love that if our other blog takes off, I’m gonna start getting paid! http://btbc-boxing.blogspot.com/

Alright, enough with the happy thoughts. Next week I’ll be back with my regular rage and whiskey- filled column.

Until next Sunday, keep your friends close and your bribe money closer.

So long, ladies.

5 Fights to Bring Boxing Back to the Mainstream

by Paul Magno

The cure for almost everything negative in Boxing is exposure. With more people watching and with the “legit” press keeping a keen eye on the goings on, some of the shadier aspects of the sport would simply cease to exist. As it is now, treated as a fringe sport and relegated to the sports section, behind high school baseball, the scoundrels call the shots and can pretty much do anything their dark hearts desire.

The ideal road for Boxing to get back into the mainstream is for it to return to free, network TV, but with the way the sport’s currently structured, that would be an impossibility. The premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime have exclusive deals with the bigger fighters and the promoters have adapted the “pay per view mindset” of wanting to pocket quick cash from the sport’s most loyal fans.

So, the best road to mainstream respectability for Boxing would be to fight its way back into the same level as other major sports like baseball, football and basketball. Smart, quality match-ups and aggressive promotion are the keys to getting Boxing some face time on Sportscenter and back on your local TV news’ sports report.

Here are 5 bouts that would help get the sport back into the nation’s collective unconscimay-paq1ous:

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao: This is a no-brainer. With Oscar De la Hoya out of the picture, Mayweather and Pacquiao represent the two biggest draws in the sport. Aside from the obvious pound-for-pound angle of the sport’s two best getting it on, the lead-in publicity would be insane. Mayweather plays his role as a new era Hip-Hop bad guy to perfection while Pacquiao has the “quiet warrior” act down pat. The contrast in personalities and the inherent skill level involved in this contest would be undeniably appealing to everyone in the sporting press.

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Vitali Klitschko: Imagine the pathos of a “Brother vs. Brother” Heavyweight Title Unification bout? Even the most avid anti-Boxing producer on Sportscenter would have to give this bout its proper klit bros.attention. This would be the type of event that would draw the attention of both fans and non-fans alike and, while most of the publicity around this bout would surely be negative, it would absolutely bring the sport of Boxing back into the realm of current events. This fight has zero possibility of happening since both brothers have flatly stated that they would never fight one another, but it would definitely provide a boost for the lagging Heavyweight division as well as for the sport itself.

Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. II: A lot has changed since these two first-ballot Hall of Famers first fought jones vs. hopback in 1993. While a blazing Jones solidly defeated a tentative Hopkins 16 years ago, the shoe is most definitely on the other foot now as a 40-year old Jones has been relegated to the spot of a fringe fighter while the 44-year old B-Hop is still classified as a Top 10 Pound-for-Pound fighter. Jones is currently close to signing a fight with Jeff Lacy and Hopkins has most recently been rumored in negotiations with Cruiserweight champ Tomasz Adamek and Super Middleweight titlist, Carl Froch. However, the only truly big fight remaining for either fighter is a rematch of their 1993 encounter. Neither Jones nor Hopkins will find any opponent more marketable than one another. Given their ages and the relative weak shape of the Light Heavyweight division, this is the only fight that makes sense for either…and probably the only chance either has at PPV success. A smart promoter, though, would forego the immediate pay-out of PPV and opt to try and put this battle of the legends on free TV. The fight itself isn’t likely to make waves or win over new fans, but the publicity and realtive importance of this match-up would push it into the public eye.

Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II: After Margarito’s one year suspension is up, the hype could begin, cotto vs. margarito1even with the foul taste of Margarito’s plaster-coated handwrap controversy still fresh in the mouths of fans. In Boxing, popularity and notoriety are two offspring of the same twisted and distorted creature. But this one would have it all…Of course, the heated Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry would be in effect, but more importantly, the universal concept of redemption would be in play. Cotto would be seeking redemption from his previous loss to Margarito; A loss that he feels was unjustified since Margarito may have been using illegally-loaded handwraps to beat him down. Margarito would be looking for his own redemption by proving to the world that he is indeed a world class Welterweight without having to resort to underhanded tactics. Imagine the intrigue and drama of a camera tightly focused on Margarito’s hands as they’re wrapped carefully for the world to see. The first bout sold over 500,000…this one would easily double that and it would earn a ton of mainstream press in the process.

Kelly Pavlik vs. Arthur Abraham: This one would be big, not for the bout itself, but for the fact that it could Kelly-Pavlik-Arthur-Abrahamrestore Kelly Pavlik to his previous position of money machine on the verge of mainstream popularity. Pavlik was knocked down several pegs when he was absolutely schooled and dominated by Bernard Hopkins last year, but there’s nothing better to restore the shine to a young, blue-collar, power-punching Middleweight champion than a thrilling win over a cocky European champion who calls himself  “King.” A win over “King” Arthur Abraham puts Pavlik back into  the Americana stereotype of humble underdog athletes fighting their ways to the top.

Could also Bring on Mainstream Attention:

Oscar De la Hoya vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.: Oscar is supposedly retired, but so was Mayweather. This one would be an easy sell for so many reasons.

Ricky Hatton vs. Amir Khan: Should Khan get by Andreas Kotelnik for the WBA Jr. Welterweight title, we’d have the perfect UK encounter of a beloved ex-champ (Hatton) against the next big thing (Khan).

Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Israel Vazquez: Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, Old Warrior vs. Young Warrior…If Vazquez isn’t totally burnt out after the Marquez Trilogy, this will be the type of war that will be revered for generations to come.

David Haye Comes to America: If Haye gets by both Klitschko brothers to become a 3-belt Heavyweight champ, his arrival in America would be huge. The United States has been thirsty for a trash-talking, flashy big man for the longest time. Haye could definitely be what American fight fans need.

The BTBC Middleweight Rankings

by Paul Magno

1) Kelly Pavlik: 34-1 (30 KO)

Wins: Bronco McKart, Jose Luis Zertuche, Edison Miranda, Jermain Taylor, Gary Lockett

Losses: None

Titles: WBC, WBO (1 defense)

2) Arthur Abraham: 28-0 (23 KO)

Wins: Shannan Taylor, Kofi Jantuah, Edison Miranda, Sebastien Demers, Khoren Gevor, Wayne Elcock, Elvin Ayala, Raul Marquez

Losses: None

Titles: IBF (8 defenses)

3) Felix Sturm: 31-2 (13 KO)

Wins: Maselino Masoe, Gavin Topp, Javier Castillejo, Noe Gonzalez Alcoba, Jamie Pittman, Randy Griffin, Sebastian Sylvester

Losses: Javier Castillejo

Draws: Randy Griffin

Titles: WBA (2x) (6 defenses)

4) Sebastian Sylvester: 29-3 (14 KO)

Wins: Steven Bendall, Franck Mezaache, Peter Mitrevski Jr., Alessio Furlan, Amin Asikainen, Simone Rotolo, Francois Bastient, Javier Castillejo

Losses: Amin Asikainen, Felix Sturm

Titles: EBU (2x) (5 defenses)

5) Marco Antonio Rubio: 43-4-1 (37 KO)

Wins: Anthony Ivory, Octavio Castro, Daniel Stanislavjevic, Erik Esquivel, Sherwin Davis, Jose Luis Zertuche, Enrique Ornelas

Losses: None

Titles. None

 6) Winky Wright: 51-4-1 (25 KO)

Wins: Sam Soliman, Ike Quartey

Losses: None

Draws: Jermain Taylor

7) Khoren Gevor: 30-3 (16 KO)

Wins: Sergey Khomitsky, Andile Tshongolo, Samir Dos Santos Barbosa, Amin Asikainen

Losses: Arthur Abraham

Titles: None

8.) John Duddy: 25-0 (17 KO)

Wins: Shelby Pudwill, Alfredo Cuevas, Yory Boy Campas, Anthony Bonsante, Howard Eastman, Walid Smichet, Charles Howe

Losses: None

Titles: None

9) Amin Asiksinen: 25-2 (17 KO)

Wins: Walter Fabian Saporiti, Christophe Tendil, Sebastian Sylvester, Alexander Sipos, Lorenzo Di Giacomo, Yory Boy Campas

Losses: Sebastian Sylvester, Khoren Gevor

Titles: EBU (3 defenses)

10) Sebastian Zbik: 25-0 (9 KO)

Wins: Jose Hilton Dos Santos, Fawaz Nasir, Alejandro Gustavo Falliga, Samir Dos Santos Barbosa, Marco Schulze, Mario Alberto Lopez, John Anderson Carvalho

Losses: None

Titles: None

11) David Lopez: 37-12 (23 KO)

12) Javier Castillejo: 62-8 (43 KO)

13) Wayne Elcock: 19-3 (9 KO)

14) Koji Sato: 14-0 (13 KO)

15) Daniel Geale: 20-0 (12 KO)

16) Mahir Oral: 25-1-2 (10 KO)

17) Randy Griffin 24-2-3 (12 KO)
20) Dionisio Miranda: 19-3-2 (17 KO)

18.) Enrique Ornelas: 28-5 (18 KO)

19) Peter Quillin: 20-0 (15 KO)

Overview

Historically, the Middleweights have been one of Boxing’s glamour divisions, but the 2009 version of the 160 lb class is sorely lacking in glamour unless you happen to be an Eastern European fight fan.

The top 3 of the division, Pavlik, Abraham and Sturm is as solid a top 3 as you’ll see in the sport, but after that, things fall into a general state of, to put it diplomatically, parity. So much parity, as a matter of fact, that 9 of the Top 20 ranked fighters have been beaten at least once by another member of the Top 20. The division is made up of solid, competent fighters, but aside from Pavlik and Abraham, there’s little real excitement in the division. For the first time in the division’s history, Super Middleweight is more compelling and attractive than the historical home of Bernard Hopkins, Marvin Hagler and Carlos Monzon.

In the past, the Middleweight division would be loaded with strong, American talent. Now, there are only 5 Americans in the Top 20 and only 2 in the Top 10. The Europeans have shoved the Americans to the back seat and there seems to be a much livelier Middleweight fight scene in Europe than in the States.

All 3 of the recognized world champs have been long-term belt holders, with Abraham setting the standard for number of defenses while Pavlik can make the valid claim of being the true, lineal champion. The only major fights to be made at 160 would involve two of the top 3, but this is highly likely, at least in the short term, as Sturm seems to be cold to the idea while Pavlik seems to be content to stay domestic following his embarrassing loss to Bernard Hopkins at Light Heavy.

The scheduled Paul Williams vs. Winky Wright bout will add Williams to the mix at 160 and interject Wright back into the meat of the division after a long absence. The winner is likely to be a high profile defense for Pavlik later in the year.

Aside from the top 3 and maybe Williams and Wright, there doesn’t seem to be a lot major happening at 160 right now.

Upcoming

 The Kelly Pavlik (#1) vs. Marco Antonio Rubio (#5) bout this Saturday promises to deliver some fireworks while it lasts while Arthur Abraham’s (#2) proposed next defense against Lajuan Simon is purely of the “stay busy” variety. Felix Sturm (#3) is scheduled to take on Koji Sato (#14) in late April in a bout that could be a little more competitive than Sturm would like.

Winky Wright (#6) will be taking on Paul Williams in an April bout that will either re-establish Wright as a force at 160 or establish Williams as the next top American Middleweight. Whatever the case, the winner likely gets Pavlik at some point in ‘09.

At this point last year, Pavlik vs. Abraham seemed to be a no-brainer. Now, after taking a beating at the hands of Hopkins, Pavlik has decided to slow things down. After his mandatory with Rubio, expect a defense against the tough, but crude John Duddy (#8) in the Summer and, probably, the winner of Wright/Williams later in the year. Expect Abraham, on the other hand, to stay busy with token defenses in Germany and cross his fingers for an all-German unification with Felix Sturm.

In other upcoming fights, heavy-handed Colombian, Dionisio Miranda (#20) will fight for his spot in the rankings against tough Dominican, Giovanni Lorenzo (#2 in the “5 to Watch”). This fight will also be an IBF Title Eliminator… John Duddy will take on Matt Vanda on the Pavlik/Rubio undercard…Sebastian Sylvester (#4), Sebatian Zbik (#10), Javier Castillejo (#12), Wayne Elcock (#13) and Daniel Geale (#15) will all have “keep busy” fights within a month’s time.

On The Cusp

Jose Luis Zertuche will always have a puncher’s chance to work his way into the mix while veteran boxers like Sebastien Demers, Bronco McKart and Raymond Joval would like to prove that they have enough in their tanks to make one last run.

On the Horizon

The Middleweight division is light on prospects as “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin (#19) and fan favorite Fernando Guerrero are still too green to make an impact on the rankings and, unless there’s a sudden change in career trajectory, James McGirt Jr.’s days as a prospect are done with. British Gold Medalist, James DeGale will make his pro debut this month under the guidance of Frank Warren.

With a light list of young prospects, the only shake ups may occur if veteran Jr. Middleweights like Ricardo Mayorga, Danny Perez and Saul Roman decide to move up to a less-crowded division to make an impact.

For More Information on the BTBC World Rankings, Click Here: http://www.btbc.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=rankings

The Standing 8 Count (12/21/08)

by Madcow

HO HO HO!!! Santa Madcow is here to deliver all the kiddies their weekly sack of bovine wisdom. As I write this, madcow117snowflakes are falling outside the window of my heavily-fortified bunker and chestnuts are roasting over an open sterno flame- It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

What didn’t smell so good was the judges’ scorecards in the Evander Holyfield/Nikolay Valuev bout yesterday. Madcow’s patented “Score ‘0’ Matic” surgically-implanted brain chip had the fight scored 118-110 for the father of 11 and, actually, a case could even be made for Holyfield pitching the shutout. Instead, Valuev won a majority decision in the robbery of the year. I guess that’s what you get when you host a title fight in a neutral country like Switzerland. Maybe the judges didn’t want to take sides.

But Evander should look on the bright side. That 600K that he made is enough to pay his child support for at least a month!

For those who didn’t see the fight, I don’t want anyone to think that this was a classic…a good fight…or even a bearable fight. This abomination for the bogus WBA interim title was one of the worst fights of the year. With minute upon minute of Holyfield circling, doing nothing, and Valuev waiting and doing nothing, this bout made the previous week’s Toney/Oquendo look like Vazquez/Marquez.

Rumor has it that Antonio Margarito weighed over 200 lbs at the time his fight with Shane Mosley was finally put together and that he’s still battling to get back down. With the holidays coming and many,many pesos still in his pocket, getting 100% ready for his January 24th date may be a tougher than anticipated task. Some fighters are better champions than challengers, raising the level of their game with a title belt around their waists while some get a taste of big money and big fame and let it go to their heads. Fat Tony is starting to make a case for the latter.

Talks are on their way for a title unification between Kelly Pavlik and Arthur Abraham, possibly in the Summer. With all the great fights getting made next year, my letter to Santa will be the shortest ever. Actually, my list will be reduced to just one item- my yearly request for a drunken Scarlet Johanson to be delivered to my bunker in a shopping cart full of Jack Daniels bottles.

Rumors are still swirling around about  a Floyd Mayweather Jr. comeback in 2009, probably against Manny Pacquiao. The issue, as is usually the case, will revolve around money and how of it there is to pay Mayweather. Just to facilitate negotiations, I’m organizing a crew of burglars to put together another 7 million dollar heist on Pretty Boy Floyd’s mansion. If there’s anyone who wants in, just drop me a line.

Adios Solo Boxeo. Good fights on a regular weekly schedule are hard to come by. The Telefutura show will be missed now that they aired their last show on Friday. For the last two days, I’ve found myself just staring at Mexican soap operas, shaking my head in disbelief with tears welling in my eyes. In memory of one of my favorite boxing shows, this Friday I will order-in a burrito and some tacos al pastor from my favorite Mexican restaurant. I will cry…and fart…the whole night.

Well, Santa Madcow has to deliver a package to one of his “elves” at the massage parlor, so I must cut it short for now…This week you’ll get a double dose of Madcow as I will be sending in a feature piece during the week- So you better watch out!

From the entire production staff of The Standing 8 Count (Me, My ladies and The cross-eyed homeless broad who sells me pens at the stoplight near my house), Merry X-Mas!!!

The Standing 8 Count (10/05/08)

by Madcow

It’s me, your “Super” bad-ass Boxing columnist coming out for another round of pure nastiness- Not to be confused with your “Regular” and “Interim” bad-ass Boxing columnists, who I hope to one day make responsible for all my mandatory columns.

There were supposed to be two PPV cards yesterday with Juan Manuel Lopez fighting “Standard Casting” Mexican fringe contender Cesar Figueroa and Arthur Abraham against Raul “No I haven’t retired yet,” Marquez, which was eventually called off. Maybe these promoters should crack open a newspaper and see that our economy is in the tank, gas is on the rise and everybody’s nervous about where we’re headed. Asking nearly 30 bucks for a PPV with no real main event is almost as screwy as charging 50 bucks for a PPV with no real undercard. It’s time we stand up for ourselves and refuse to buy the steaming BS hoagies they shove down our throats or, at the very least, insist that we get four quality fights with every 50 dollar event.

Stepping down from my soapbox…

It’s a good thing for Raul Marquez that Arthur Abraham came down with the flu and pushed back their bout until November 8th. Now, Marquez can have a share of the spotlight for another full month before he’s sent off into retirement. Marquez is almost like the fat girl competing  for Homecoming Queen in high school- What a relief to have a delay in the voting and enjoy another few brief moments of glorious optimism before being slammed by the harsh reality.

Yuriorkis Gamboa looked almost human in the beginning of his fight last night until his opponent, Marcos Ramirez, started acting like this was a real, winnable fight for him. For future reference to all those willing to fight Gamboa- Don’t make him mad and you may see the 6th round.

Lightweight King, Nate Campbell declared bankruptcy this week. This is a true first- usually fighters declare bankruptcy after leaving Don King, not before.

Cristian MijaresVic Darchinyan is officially set for November 1st. Expect this one to look like the home video of me slapping around my elderly, drunken uncle at last year’s Thanksgiving celebration. There are only two words to describe what Mijares will give to Darchinyan: Boxing Clinic. (or, maybe: Punk Card)

With all the nasty words being exchanged between Antonio Tarver and Chad Dawson before their big fight next Saturday, we should be expecting an all-out war- What we’ll get is what we usually get from both fighters: a dull, confrontation-less Tarver and an unfocused, inconsistent Dawson. Whatever the case, expect 10 times the battle than what we’ll get during Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Speaking of Calzaghe-Jones, I hear both parties have settled on an 80 ft. ring so they won’t accidentally have to come in contact with one another during their November 8th “fight.”

Sam Peter will be defending his WBC Heavyweight title against Vitali Klitschko this Saturday. Expect these two to look like me and my brother coming out of the Circus Circus buffet in Las Vegas- bloated, disoriented and extremely gassy.

There’s a horrible joke floating around that Arturo Gatti is considering a comeback. If there is any truth to this, Gatti should be handcuffed to his radiator immediately. The only world-class fighter I’ve seen more shot than Gatti in his loss to Alfonso Gomez was Meldrick Taylor- and that’s a very sad comparison to make. Any promoter who thinks about booking a Gatti comeback should have his license revoked.

Positive note of the week: Is there anyone more “Old School” than Alfredo Angulo? The kid looks like he was brought to life straight from a 50’s fight film. Fighting spirit, granite chin, 100+ punches a round? This kid’s a keeper.

Until next week…stop buying the sizzle when all you want is a good steak…and pay off your damn mortgages- even if it means missing Calzaghe-Jones!

An Open Letter to Bob Arum

by Paul Magno

Mr. Arum,
First, congratulations on your recent successes. Despite the pressure placed upon you by your other promotional rivals, you have thrived and have become the most powerful company in the sport with a firm grasp over three of the recognized glamour divisions in the sport: the Middleweights, The Welterweights and the Lightweights.


It is well within your right to try to make some major money form this position of power and I, personally, have no problem with trying to book the biggest events possible. These Mega-Events benefit both you and the boxers and I would never complain about boxers making as much money as they possibly can.

So, the attempts to get a fight for either Antonio Margarito or Manny Pacquiao against Oscar de la Hoya are understandable and reasonable since Oscar is currently Boxing’s biggest draw. Even the upcoming Pavlik/Hopkins fight is fair since it will be a Mega-Fight for a fighter like Kelly Pavlik who most definitely deserves a major payday. However, once the De la Hoya and Hopkins Sweepstakes are done with, I would make the humble request to get down to business and start with the business of stabilizing and unifying the divisions where your guys are in control.

Let’s start with the Pound for Pound king, Manny Pacquiao. Manny is a pure joy to watch and is 5-1-1 against first ballot Hall of Famers. Every fight with him is amazing and his recent ascent to Lightweight against David Diaz was only further proof of his greatness.

Like I said earlier, I won’t put him down for thinking about a huge fight with Oscar or even Ricky Hatton, but once ‘09 begins, regardless of whether a Mega-Fight at a higher weight goes down or not, its time to get down to business and dig into the ultra-deep Lightweight division where there will be any number of great fights awaiting.

Manny vs. the winner of Casamayor/Marquez, Campbell/Guzman or Juan Diaz/Katsidis would surely be a classic. Manny could take his pick among the winners of these three and the result would be pure Boxing gold.

As a matter of fact, the Lightweight division is deep enough so that Manny could spend the rest of his career there and never have anything less than a major PPV fight. Behind the current crop of quality Lightweights, the division also has some of Boxing’s most promising prospects like Amir Khan, Vicente Escobedo and, your fighter, Anthony Peterson as well as some tough veterans like Jesus Chavez and another one of your fighters, Kid Diamond.

The Pac-man is good enough to unify this division and the result would be great for the sport..

Now, move up to Welterweight, another one of the best divisions in the sport where Top Rank currently holds two of the four recognized World Titles. With Margarito as WBA champ and Joshua Clottey as IBF title-holder along with former #1 Welter Miguel Cotto and newly-crowned NABF champ Jesus Soto Karass, the Welterweight division is squarely in your hands. A unified Welterweight division, something that hasn’t existed in a long while, can certainly be achieved with just a few well-placed phone calls from you.

Reports are that a Margarito/Clottey rematch unification bout is in the works for November 1st and this is a major step in the right direction, but don’t stop there. You need to bite the bullet and call up Paul Williams. The winner of Margarito/Clottey must fight Williams or the credibility of the title unification would be destroyed. Williams has a win over Margarito and nobody can be considered a true, undisputed champ unless they beat Williams first.

Next would be WBC title-holder, Andre Berto, the least experienced of the division champs. It is also well within your power to corner Berto into a fight by establishing Cotto or Soto Karass as Berto’s #1 mandatory. This won’t be difficult since Cotto is already ranked #2 by the WBC and Soro Karass is #4..

Then, assuming your guys can take the title from Berto, this could lead to another title unification by the Fall of ´09. Conceivably, the Welterweight division could be unified by the end of ‘09 and the end-result would be good for both Top Rank and Boxing in general.
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Now, lets go up to the Middleweight division where Kelly Pavlik, WBC and WBO champ and the consensus #1 160 pounder in the world currently resides. After his catch-weight money fight against Bernard Hopkins takes place, it would be in his, as well s Boxing’s, best interest to stop with the catch-weight fights and focus on the division that he has ruled over since beating Jermain Taylor last year.

IBF champ Arthur Abraham has showed interest in a title unification fight and a fight between Abraham and Pavlik would be a very good match-up as well as a solid money fight all over the world. Next would be a fight with Felix Sturm if Sturm would be willing to risk his title in a fight with Kelly. If not, the world would know the truth and Pavlik would be considered the true unified champ despite only holding three of the four belts.

After the dust settles at 160, Kelly could move up to 168, where there are some very interesting young prospects on the horizon, and try the whole thing all over again. He’s young enough to give it a real go and possibly even make a run at 175 before he calls it a career. Kelly can even be bigger and make more money over a longer period of time by foregoing the Senior Fighter’s Circuit and becoming a fighter who take on and takes out the best fighters in his division in their primes. Remember, people pay homage to the prime Roberto Duran and not the Duran who became a fixture on the Senior Circuit. Pavlik, with his age and talent, gives Top Rank the possibility of representing a respected money fighter for the next decade. The moves up and down in weight and the wasted time of fighting horrible challengers only take away from the time he could be using to achieve is destiny in the sport.

So, again Mr. Arum, congratulations on your recent successes, but now comes the truly hard work. By foregoing some of the fast money fights and concentrating on the significant divisional bouts featuring your fighters, you will be ensuring the overall strength of the sport at a time when Boxing is becoming more and more of a fringe sport in the eyes of the media and general public.
I’m just speaking for myself as a life-long fight fan and a peripheral member of the Boxing community and I wouldn’t presume to be able to do your job better than you, I can only comment on how things look from this side of the TV or computer screen and as someone who fills the seats for your shows, buys them on PPV and watches them on cable.

Boxing is, ultimately, a business where money needs to be made and nobody blames a fighter or a promoter for making the occasional fluff fight for a big payday, but all fluff fights result in a bad overall product. They make the sport look bad, the fighters look weak and the promotional company look even worse. Solid, unified champions defending against the very best in their divisions reinforces the love of the game in the fight fan as well as making it easier for any new fans to jump right in and follow the sport. Remember, what’s good for Boxing is good for Top Rank.

Mr. Arum, you are in the unique position to be able to have a huge positive impact on the sport. You can still make your money while truly being able to stabilize a sport that so desperately needs stabilization. And some day, when you are retired from the sport, you can look back and honestly feel the respect of being one of the men who saved Boxing.

Sincerely,

Paul Magno, Adminstrator of the Boxing Times Blue Corner (www.boxingtimes.com)..

P.S. Feel free to come into our forum anytime you wish and see how many truly informed boxing die-hards there still are..

(I sent this off to the offices of Top Rank and if I get any reply, I will post it here and on our forum.)
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