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
WBC International silver Super Bantamweight champion, Fatiou Fassinou returns into the ring this Saturday, January 3 2015 against Michael Barnor in an international 10-rounder in Accra.
28 year old Beninois, Fassinou (22-3-1, 10 KOs) will be making a first defence of the title he won via a majority decision victory over Felix Williams back on June 28 at the Aborigines Beach Resort in Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana against the highly fancied Barnor of Ghana in the headline bout of Landmark Promotions bill.
On the co-main event scheduled for Unity Park, Trantra Hill, Achimota, Accra, Ghana’s highly popular Ayitey Powers will slug it out Anicet Amuzu, also of Benin for the West Africa Boxing Union (WABU) Heavyweight title.
Also featuring is former WBA Pan-Africa Light Heavyweight champion, Emmanuel Danso AKA Kwahu Tyson in an international 10-rounder against a yet to be confirmed opponent. Continue reading
A fight between former three division world champion Abner Mares (28-1-1, 15 KOs) and WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) is a possibility for April of 2015, according to Steve Kim. This would be a good fight, and it would partially make up for Santa Cruz’s mismatch against Jesus Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs) on January 17th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ruiz is ranked #14 WBC in the featherweight division. Ruiz appears to be an easy mark for Santa Cruz after his last easy fight against an overmatched Manuel Roman last September. Continue reading
WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto may end up vacating his WBC title rather than facing interim WBC 160lb champion Gennady Golovkin. Cotto’s adviser Gaby Penagaricano talked recently about Tim Bradley being a bigger fight for Cotto than Golovkin. If that indeed is the direction that Cotto will be going in if he can get by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in May, then we could see Cotto either vacating or having his WBC title stripped from him by the WBC.
Of course, the WBC may end up not enforcing the mandatory and letting Cotto take additional optional defenses besides Canelo, who isn’t ranked in the top 15 in the middleweight division. Continue reading
By Paul “Paparazzi“ Jones and Justin Jones
Tis the season of giving and we aim to pass on some holiday cheer to a group of fighters that we believe deserve top honors. In some categories, we also offer honorable mention. Without further ado, here are our front-runners for 2014’s major boxing superlatives:
Knockout of the Year
“Paparazzi” Jones — Amir Mansour KO7 Fred Kassi. Amir “Hardcore” Mansour’s (21-1, 16 KOs) clock-cleaning 7th round KTFO of Fred Kassi (18-3, 10 KOs) was my top choice. This highlight-reel KO deserved an R rating for Strong Violence and it was SI.com’s Knockout of the Year (KOTY). 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
I’m “a typical liberal with his head in the clouds,” my former barber once told me. Reductive labels aside, the simple truth is that I have no time for anyone who insults others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs (or lack thereof), sexuality, age, physical and mental differences, and so on. I’m not talking about political correctness. I’m talking about basic human decency. Back in 07, when said former barber told me he’d end his own life if “that nog Obama or that bitch Hillary” got the Democratic nomination, I stopped patronizing his business.
Imagine then how I digest a comment thread on any given boxing website. Rampant and various forms of discrimination – though they may be the oldest – aren’t the only problems plaguing our niche sport. Continue reading
For those who are unaware, the city of Youngstown has a rich tradition of boxing royalty. Former world champions and contenders Ray Mancini, Jeff Lampkin, Greg Richardson, Ernie Shavers, Harry Arroyo, and most recently Kelly Pavlik, all called the city in the upper right hand corner of the buckeye state home. In the past few years however, things have quieted down around the rust belt. That is until last month, when Kelly Pavlik’s former trainer, Jack Loew, promoted an eight bout card at St. Lucy’s Palermo Hall. All fights where scheduled for four rounds, all local prospects making their pro debut. In the main event lightweight Alejandro Salinas made quick work of his opponent, dispatching Chris Tanner in the first round. “Salinas has what it takes to be great,” states Loew emphatically. Continue reading
Boxing has become a careful “matching” event, where few fighters are protected from getting a loss or a beat down. This is because some promoters don’t want to lose the “zero defeat” status of their cash cows, or the fighters themselves are well aware of who they should not step into the ring with… coward, but a smart business move. Fighters often become a “shell” of themselves by getting into the wrong fights. We have witnessed this with Kelly Pavlik after facing Hopkins, Jeff Lacy after calling out Calzaghe and I believe we are seeing such symptoms in Danny Garcia after the Mathysse and Judah fights. My supporting argument for this claim can be seen in the fight against Mauricio Herrera. It was supposed to be a tune up fight, instead he struggled and many believe he actually lost that match. 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