Tonight on Sky Sports’ Ringside show – on a Froch-Groves II preview special – former middleweight king Chris Eubank was a guest, along with his son, unbeaten 15-0 pro talent Chris Eubnak Junior. Junior spoke of his “countless rounds” of sparring with George Groves and of his hard sparring with Carl Froch. Eubank said that, out of respect for both fighters, he would not give a pre-fight prediction on the rapidly approaching May 31st rematch; but he and his father (his father mostly) were not shy when it came to making predictions on Eubank Junior’s own career.
Some people, myself included, felt superstar Floyd Mayweather Junior would perhaps take a pass on his usual September fight due to the tougher than expected (not to mention foul-filled) night’s work “Money” had last time out, when he won a decision over a rough and ready Marcos Maidana. But such thinking has been proven wrong, because Mayweather has officially announced how he will next fight on September 13th – the venue and, more importantly, the opponent, will be announced in two weeks.
Leonard Ellerbe, speaking with ESPN.com last night, said a return meeting with Maidana, (who, along with his fans, claimed he was robbed of a deserved decision earlier this month) is a possibility, but that there is a “long list” of potential opponents according to Floyd‘s right-hand man.
74-year-old Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain is one of the finest boxing trainers in the sport’s long history. Almost certainly THE finest boxing trainer to have come out of the great fighting country of Mexico, Beristain has trained, at one time or another, no less than 24 world champions; from minimum-weight king Ricardo Lopez to multi-weight ruler Oscar De La Hoya.
One of the most deserving inductees in The Hall of Fame, Nacho still has more goals to achieve; most notably guiding Juan Manuel Marquez to success in “Dinamita’s” final ring appearances (starting this Saturday when Marquez will face thrill-a-minute slugger Mike Alvarado).
If Haitian-born heavyweight puncher Bermane Stiverne didn’t prove he was for real in his last fight, when he out-pointed Chris Arreola over 12-rounds, he sure proved it last night in stopping Arreola in the 6th-round. Stiverne, a powerful counter-puncher, was losing the fight last night, yet he sensationally made the score-cards null and void courtesy of his right hand.
Almost instantly, the talk turned to who the brand new WBC king will fight next (or who his promoter Don King – who, with last night’s big win, made a comeback to the top of the heavyweight division – will allow Stiverne to fight next). King spoke of Stiverne’s right to box a voluntary defence, making it a real possibility that Stiverne will not face WBC mandatory and unbeaten KO artist Deontay Wilder next. King also spoke of taking Stiverne on a “world tour.”
The full line-up is almost complete for the June 4th “Super-8” heavyweight tournament that will take place in New Zealand. According to a report in The New Zealand Herald, former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter is out, but Wladimir Klitschko trainer and top-ranked heavy Johnathon Banks has been given an offer to take part.
Peter, who would likely have been one of the most attractive/intriguing names had he boxed in the tournament, injured his calf and says fighting three times in one night (as per the formula of the tournament) is “too risky.” As a result of Peter’s withdrawal, Kiwi heavyweight Anthony Nansen has stepped in, taking on what he calls a “life-changing opportunity.”
The arguments continue, two days on from the unexpectedly great action fight, over who actually won on Saturday night in Las Vegas: Floyd Mayweather or Marcos Maidana. Reading what people have had to say on this particular web site, it’s clear the majority of fans feel Maidana – who lost by scores of 117-111 and 116-112 and was given a drawn verdict of 114-114 on the third official card – deserved a narrow victory.
Watching the fight again (something the three judges do not have the benefit of doing of course) I was surprised to see a different fight from the one I watched, somewhat blurry eyed (at approx 5a.m UK time, having stayed up all night) as it unfolded live. Initially, I had Mayweather a clear 117-112 winner. Watching again, I had it much closer – with Mayweather prevailing by winning the following rounds: 2, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11, with the 3rd even. I gave Maidana the following rounds: 1, 4, 5, 8 and 12, with the 3rd even. Second time around I had it 6-5-1 for Mayweather.
Make no mistake about two things -1: Floyd Mayweather Junior was given his toughest, roughest fight in years last night as a relentless Marcos Maidana ploughed ahead pretty much all night and made the unbeaten superstar work very, very hard. 2: Mayweather won the fight by a wide margin.
The fans in attendance at The MGM Grand, most of them vocal Maidana fans, felt the defending WBA welterweight champ was robbed, but the fact is, Mayweather – once he got control of the fight and began tattooing Maidana with shots, to the body most hurtfully – won the fight fair and square. This has done nothing to stop talk of a September rematch, though, and Mayweather, looking more tired than in recent times after a fight, said he would give Maidana one “if the fans want it.”
Today’s welterweight division is almost ridiculously talented, with the 147-pound weight class being stacked with excellent fighters. Floyd Mayweather Junior is of course the king of the hill, and any fighter from 140 to 147 (and 154-pounds also) is gunning for that life changing payday. But 154 aside, Mayweather has more than enough potential challengers at welterweight.
Over the past few months, two welterweight young guns have really broken through and impressed: Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. Both guys are talented, fast (Thurman especially) and powerful (Porter especially). Helping make an already exciting weight class that much more exciting – with top class operators Tim Bradley, Manny Pacquiao and (expected to move up from 140 any time now) Danny Garcia also fighting at 147 – Thurman and Porter have some people thinking they are capable of testing Floyd and testing him hard. But will Mayweather, who next faces the powerful yet slow-footed Marcos Maidana, an 11-1 underdog, risk a fight with one of the young guns who are hungry for the ultimate challenge?