Tonight, for the first time in nearly 30 years, Boxing will return to non-subscription based television as NBC is set to air the “Premiere Boxing Champions” series. During its well documented absence, those in and around the sport have pushed for this effort. What was once a wish is now a reality, and what that reality means for two men at the center of this spectacle could be very intriguing after the final bells.
Since their arrival to the sport, both Adrien “The Problem” Broner (29-1, 22KO’s) and Keith “One Time” Thurman (24-0, 21KO’s) have lived in the proverbial ‘under the radar but above the rim’ echelon of the sport. Heavy with the hands, yet light with sympathy for anyone standing across from them with plans to prevent their rise to the top. While very different in presentation, there is a lone common thread between these two talents. Both seem to embody that patented “it” factor, making them easy to love, yet equally easy to hate. Continue reading
Casey C. (Daytona, FL): I’m stoked that the sport is finally getting the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight, but now that it’s official, can you give your thoughts on this whole saga, as it relates to which stories you think will play the biggest role in the outcome and give your personal opinion on the road we’ve traveled to get to this point?
Vivek W. (ESB): Honestly, despite us being days beyond the announcement, it’s still a bit surreal in my mind. When you look back at the controversy and the negativity that came as a result of that controversy, it’s just a beautiful feeling to know that this long road has basically come to an end. The constant allegations of “ducking” and so forth; those narratives all must give way to the prevailing one. Which is the fact that the fight is now official and the time (to rumble) has come. Continue reading
Chris H. (Dallas, TX): Reports have spread that Miguel Cotto will be announcing his next opponent in a week or so. What are the odds that Floyd Mayweather has opted to face him instead of Pacquiao at this time? And if not, do you think the Pacquiao fight gets done?
Vivek W. (ESB): All eyes in and around the sport remain locked on Mayweather and Pacquiao. I’ve said from day one that there are more layers to this mess than meets the eye, and as time goes on, we’re reminded of exactly how complex these negotiations are. Years ago, these two men stood to make two incredibly healthy pay checks. Despite Pacquiao being knocked out and on the losing end a few times, the demand for this fight is even greater now than it’s ever been, which may actually have a lot to do with why the fight can’t seem to be made. Continue reading
Jeff H. (Liberty City, FL): Deontay Wilder served me a huge bowl of ‘crow’. I was really impressed with the way he performed and don’t see too many people walking thru his power the way Stiverne did. How did you rate his performance and what would you like to see next for him?
Vivek W. (ESB): For starters, I’d like to say congratulations to Deontay Wilder and Team Wilder on a job well done. What a way to start the new calendar year of Boxing! What I loved most about this fight was that it put the spotlight on a man who said he was “ready” for the next level, as well as the burden of proof which required him to rise to the occasion. What was perceived as “conventional logic” prior to the first bell was a totally different story once the bout was in the books! Continue reading
Jason H. (Brooklyn, NYC): I was very shocked to see your post last week about Mayweather and Pacquiao and the fact that the fight is nearly signed. Considering all that has happened since this fight was first discussed, can you give your thoughts on the road to get here and what you think it will be like once they actually fight?
Vivek W.: The road to get here…..all the drama between the two camps, the lies, the lawsuits, the subsequent bouts…..it’s been a hell of a ride, but truthfully, I don’t know if I’d change any of it. The buildup we’ve just experienced is unlike any we’ll ever experience again. Some say the fight is years too late. I say there’s never a bad time to see a good fight. When you examine things closely, both men have appeared to slow down a bit. That being said, they both remain head and shoulders above practically all of their contemporaries! Styles make fights, and this showdown is no different. Continue reading
2014/2015 Previews & Reviews: Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder, Bermane Stiverne, Demetrius Andrade, Mikey Garcia, Abner Mares, Jermell Charlo, & Felix Verdejo
2014 was simply a continuation of the pattern Klitschko has seen for quite some time now. Two unknown opponents, two more victories, and two more defenses of a title that he’s rarely been tested for. While critics will jump at the chance to tear down this ‘great wall’ of talent, the truth is that no talent can choose the era in which they dominate.
Wladimir unfortunately came along at a point where the talent pool in the heavyweight division is about as tough as that last ply of toilet paper on the roll. No fault of his own, which has to mean something when scanning over his lifeless resume. 2015 could offer a few interesting twist, as suddenly, the heavyweight division has received a shot in the arm that few saw coming. Continue reading
2014/2015 Reviews & Previews: Nicholas Walters, Guilliermo Rigondeaux, Leo Santa Cruz, Vasyl Lomachenko, Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, & Jean Pascal
(Note: In the fourth installment of a week long breakdown, boxing scribe Vivek “Vito” Wallace analyzes where today’s top fighters stand, and whether or not 2015 could be the year many of them fall. This week long analysis will cover over 30 top fighters from around the world)
For the best boxer of this era to rise from the Cuban ranks, 2014 was far from eventful. After a stunning 2013 that saw him defeat both Donaire and Agbeko, 2014 saw him destroy an unknown fighter in China, and forcibly scrape himself off the canvas twice against an unknown fighter in Japan. Definitely not the level of competition you’d like to see from a fighter none as “boring”. Continue reading
2014/2015 Reviews and Previews: Terence Crawford, Bernard Hopkins, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Carl Froch, Lucas Matthysse, Peter Quillin, & Erislandy Lara
(Note: In the third installment of a week long breakdown, boxing scribe Vivek “Vito” Wallace analyzes where today’s top fighters stand, and whether or not 2015 could be the year many of them fall. This week long analysis will cover over 30 top fighters from around the world)
Despite a somewhat uneventful 2014 in the sport, the one golden talent which served as a silver-lining with platinum potential was Omaha, Nebraska’s Terrance Crawford. Coming into the year few knew his name. By the time it ended, few could forget it! The emergence of Terence Crawford onto the scene has been a breath of fresh air. In what was once considered a limited selection of fans, suddenly, the African American base around the world has a talent to root for that does more fighting than flaunting (money), and more taming than talking! Continue reading
(Note: As part of a week long breakdown, boxing scribe Vivek “Vito” Wallace analyzes where today’s top fighters stand, and whether or not 2015 could be the year many of them fall. This week long analysis will cover over 30 fighters from around the world)
Throughout Boxing history we’ve seen drugs, alcohol, crime, and a host of other demons strip precious time away from distracted talents which they could never get back. In the case of Andre Ward, 2014 proved that even for a focused “Son of God” the ills of the sport can be far too much of a cross to bear. For Ward, a stiff game of politics has been more of a test outside the ring than his incredible talent ever allowed inside of it. Continue reading
2014 will end as one of Mayweather’s more intriguing chapters of his 18 year career. After closing out 2013 with an amazing performance over Mexico’s Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Mayweather entered 2014 on a high. Unfortunately, a love life gone bad, assisted by other personal drama’s would only serve as a small subplot compared to what would unfold on the night of May 3rd, 2014. Mayweather would dig deep and create a path to victory, but a rugged performance by Maidana proved that even the great ones have reason to fear ‘father-time’. Continue reading