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How Quickly We Forget

Memories can produce untrustworthy flashes of the past and the memories of sports fans often exist as disjointed strands of pain and joy forcing us to remember and forget merely out of service to our own emotions. Unlike other sports, boxing does not rely upon the same meticulous examination of statistics. It’s not a numbers games the same that way baseball, basketball and football are.

What happens inside the ring is more anecdotal, a bloody story retold over and over again until the memory becomes a fragmented version of its original narrative.

Since and including his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao has knocked exactly one of his opponents out cold. Each and every other win, save for his clash with Miguel Cotto in 2009, has gone the distance. His beat-down of Antonio Margarito, his one-sided battering of Joshua Clottey, and his fights with Mosley, Rios and Bradley all went 12 rounds. Continue reading

Cleverly v Bellew II – Main Event Preview

The talk, the hype, the bravado, it all stops today for Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew as the time to set the record straight finally arrives. The magnitude of the occasion will have dawned on the fighters the moment they opened their eyes; failure is not an option at this stage of either career. And, if the weigh-in is anything to go by no stone has been left unturned, both men looked great tipping the scales at 14st 3lbs, ready to deliver as they did 3 and half years ago.

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Cleverly v Bellew II – Undercard Preview

The moment has finally arrived to put an end once and for all to a bitter domestic rivalry that stretches back to before the first time Nathan Cleverly stood in the opposite corner to Tony Bellew in Liverpool’s Echo Arena in May 2011.

We return to the same venue, but this time under Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom banner, who has once more delivered one of deepest undercards in recent British boxing memory in support of one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of the year.

Here we will take a look at the mouthwatering list assembled that has boxing fans licking their lips. Continue reading

Has Manny Pacquiao really lost his power and killer instinct?

A trendy topic of conversation in boxing circles lately is whether Manny Pacquiao has retained his power as he has aged and ascended in weight. Some also wonder if his out-of-the-ring commitments to politics, music and basketball have re-shifted his priorities and zapped some of his natural boxing killer instinct. Let’s take a look at the compelling evidence from both sides of the argument in order to get to the heart of the matter before I share my personal opinion.

One glaring fact that stands out is that Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) has not scored a knockout win since his TKO victory over Miguel Cotto back in November 2009. That’s an eight-fight, five-year span in which nearly all his fights went the full twelve rounds, the lone exception of course being his December 2012 knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

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Pacquiao vs. Algieri: The Macau Massacre 2?

The place is Macau. A PPV perceived mismatch eerily similar to Manny’s last trip in China. Will Pacquiao pick up where he left off last November when he white-washed face-first mauler Brandon Rios? Or will the upstart Chris Algieri do the unthinkable halfway across the globe?

Bob Arum continues his eastern experiment establishing the sport we love to hate in the Communist Republic of China. Top Rank’s fearless leader is banking on the billion plus eyeballs he can attract to the tube and a live streaming PPV. Zou Shiming and Manny Pacquaio lead the charge of taken China by storm. The process has provided opportunities on the PPV undercard and more importantly given unheralded fighters an outlet to showcase their talents on HBO 2. All from the Venetian hotel and casino site-fee that fattens Bob’s bottom line. Continue reading

Kubrat Pulev to Wladimir Klitschko: “Earn my respect!”

As with any loss, comes not only a period of denial, but also hope. Rarely does a fighter admit to losing because their opponent was simply better, throwing verbal jabs and suggestions at something other than their boxing ability that may have caused their loss.

Losing to Wladimir Klitschko has become a standard in the heavyweight division, as the towering Ukrainian champion has developed a style that has been working for him without a flaw. For Klitschko’s latest victim Kubrat Pulev, accepting his 5th round knockout loss is not something that he is willing to give in to. Continue reading

Two Current Olympic Champions on the Professional Arena on Saturday

The under card of the main event featuring Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri on Nov. 22 at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, contains two other names that are worth mentioning: WBO featherweight champ Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1) who is also the current lightweight Olympic champion from the Ukraine and Zou Shiming (5-0), still the light flyweight Olympic champion from China.

Vasyl Lomachenko will defend his title against a Thai boxer by the name of Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo who brings a record of 52 professional wins and 1 loss. The Ukranian is a double Olympic champion and triple World Amateur champion and now holds the WBO featherweight title. His pro record consists of two wins and one loss and it is quite unusual for a champion. Most boxers would still be doing 4 and 6 round fights and would not even dream of fighting for world titles on their second and third fight. Continue reading

Bryant Jennings – Stiverne or Wilder…I don’t care who it is, I’ll be ready to fight either one of them

Photo By Paul Hernandez – Gary Shaw Productions and Antonio Leonard Promotions’ undefeated heavyweight contender, Bryant “By-By” Jennings (19-0, 10 KOs) is waiting patiently as he is next in line to face the winner of Bermane Stiverne (24-1, 21 KOs) vs. Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs).

Stiverne, who is the current WBC champion, will battle Wilder at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on January 17, 2015. Jennings, who’s next in line, passed on a HBO date in November as he wanted to wait for the opportunity to fight for the prestigious WBC championship. Continue reading

Bellew vs Cleverly II – What’s the Worth?

“Oh fast Eddie, you slick, sly, Essex guy you. Tried to pull another fast one over us again have you? Trying to get us to pay for a pay-per-view that isn’t worth the hourly wage of the call-centre worker that will be taking the call are ya!!!???”

Add in a bunch profanities and this is the kind of talk currently being aimed at Eddie Hearn. The man in charge of Matchroom Sports, responsible for giving over a dozen British fighters world title shots and organising one of the biggest boxing bouts of all time in just the last four years, is under a hail of criticism. As Roy Keane probably once said, sports fans are fickle bastards. Continue reading

Reasons Why Algieri Will Lose and One Why He Won’t

The big day is quickly approaching. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Chris “The Real Rocky” Algieri collide this Saturday (here) in Macau, China at the Venetian Casino. The undefeated Algieri is expected to suffer his first defeat. Betting odds makers have made him a big underdog. Why?

Well, there are lots of reasons when added together sum up the better fighter. First of all, Manny has accomplished things that no other fighter ever has. He’s won more titles in more weight classes than any other fighter in history. In doing that, he has been in the “big show” many times. The pressure associated with it has already been experienced over and over, so it is no longer a distraction. Continue reading