The Al Haymon Takeover

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve heard about the “Premiere Boxing Champions” series being launched by Al Haymon. The powerhouse boxing manager has recently announced contracts with NBC, CBS, Spike TV and ESPN – with rumors of upcoming deals with BET, Telemundo and possibly more networks on the way. What short, middle and long-term impact will this series have on the boxing landscape? What complications lie ahead? And how may this all affect potential super-fights that boxing fans have been clamoring for?

The PBC series officially kicks off on March 7th from Las Vegas with a co-feature between Adrien Broner and John Molina, while Keith Thurman faces Robert Guerrero in the main event.

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Rios blows out Alvarado to Take the Trilogy

Brandon Rios, Mike Alvarado boxing image / photo

A capacity crowd gathered inside the 1stBank Center just outside Denver, Colorado to watch the rubber match between “Mile High” Mike Alvarado and Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. Oxnard, California’s Rios entered the ring first; drawing boos from the pro-Alvarado crowd. The hometown fighter followed, making his way to the ring among chants of “3-0-3” (Denver’s area code) from the fans. The atmosphere was electric and the stage was set for an epic finale to one of boxing’s finest trilogies in recent years.

The opening round started with Rios stalking and Alvarado looking to stay defensive. Rios controlled the action and buzzed his opponent late in the round, dominating over the final 30 seconds. In the 2nd round Alvarado was already bleeding from the nose and taking a ton of punishment. He tried to buy a minute by nailing Rios with a low blow halfway through the round, but the writing was on the wall.

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Alvarado-Rios 3 Weigh In Video, Photos

http://youtu.be/CLqLJmvH9rc

Photos by Tiffany Lam / ESB & Ed Mulholland/HBO: Everything went smoothly at today’s weigh in. There were no issues making weight, no trash talk, no shoving matches, it was all positive as the fighters hit the scales this afternoon in Denver, Colorado. The undercard fighters weighed in first, building up anticipation for when “Mile High” Mike Alvarado (34-3, 23KO) and Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (32-2-1, 22KO) hit the stage.

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Alvarado-Rios 3 Presser Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZqud3q-W9M&feature=youtu.be

Photos: Tiffany Lam – The much anticipated rubber match between Americans “Mile High” Mike Alvarado (34-3, 23KO) and Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (33-2-1, 22KO) takes place this Saturday night in Alvarado’s hometown of Denver, Colorado. Both fighters have had a tough road since their second bout in early 2013 and find themselves in need of a big win. Alvarado took plenty of punishment in losses to the hard-hitting Ruslan Provodnikov and Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez. For Rios, there was the shutout decision loss to Manny Pacquiao, and then a tough disqualification victory over the dirty Argentinian Diego Chaves. This afternoon at the final press conference before Saturday night, the two proud warriors promised fireworks.

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Boxing’s Best of 2014

In what turned out to be a somewhat lackluster year for the sport, there were some bright spots for boxing fans in 2014. The validation of stars like Sergey Kovalev, Terence Crawford and Nicholas Walters. The rejuvenation of Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao. The continued rise of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. This writer decided to share some of his favorites from the past twelve months below (check out the videos to see more). Let’s take a look at the pugilistic best of the year that was.

Montero’s “Rising Star”: Nicholas Walters

The “Axe Man” is one boxer who truly lives up to this nickname. He kicked off his year by chopping down former titlist Vic Darchinyan in Macau, then chopped down former pound for pound star Nonito Donaire in Los Angeles. The bilingual bomber can also box, as he showed a top-notch jab in his dismantling of Donaire. Fighting in a loaded featherweight division, the Jamaican native built most of his career in Panama and is fluent in Spanish. A consummate professional with a humble attitude and plenty of charisma, the sky is the limit for Nicholas Walters.

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“Night of Champions” card honors Dan Goossen in style

photos by Tiffany Lam: Thursday night ESPN Boxing put on a special three-hour telecast featuring four bouts. It was all part of a stacked Goossen Promotions card at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula California dedicated to the memory of the late Dan Goossen.

http://youtu.be/naCRgLDaZTk

In the main event, 46-year-old Antonio Tarver was coming in off a yearlong layoff against Detroit native Johnathon Banks, who was making his ring return after a year and half off himself. The heavyweight fight started very slowly, drawing boos from the crowd. But Tarver the former light-heavyweight champion of the world, appeared to be in control, occasionally timing his opponent and landing clean left hands that buzzed him. Banks did absolutely nothing but feint and tie up, hardly throwing a punch in the early rounds. Tarver’s game plan was obvious, to lure Banks in for a big counterpunch. But would he have the speed, and power, to pull it off?

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What Did We Learn in Macau This Weekend?

Manny Pacquiao’s shutout victory over Chris Algieri in Macau was the most one-sided 12 round affairs we’ve seen in years. Although several of the knockdowns should have been ruled as slips, Pac absolutely dominated his opponent throughout the fight, badly hurting Algieri several times. Does this mean the “old” Pacman is back, or was it all smoke and mirrors? Other than a handsome payday, what can be taken from this experience for team Algieri? What lies ahead for both fighters next year? And how does Pacquiao’s 2014 compare to that of Floyd “Money” Mayweather?

For Chris Algieri, there were indeed positives to take away from his first professional loss. Against Pacquiao he displayed the same heart, resilience and toughness that he showed against Ruslan Provodnikov in June. There was solid footwork for the most part, as well as a few nicely timed right hands that caught Manny as he lunged in. But the inexperience of Algieri and his team was obvious throughout; from coming in heavy on the scales at the weigh in, to the strategy of the fight itself. The game plan of starting with “four first rounds” was all wrong; Algieri averaged just 5 punches landed in those first four rounds. There was no “Plan B”. No adjustments were made. His corner gave the wrong advice between just about every round. On top of all that, the New York native was stripped of his WBO 140 pound title that same day for absolutely no reason (but since when do sanctioning bodies do anything logical, right?)

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Gennady Golovkin mows down Rubio in two

http://youtu.be/tj5aS6ioHB0

A record attendance of 9,323 fans filled the StubHub Center to see Gennady Golovkin face Marco Antonio Rubio in the “Mexican Style” fight card main event Saturday night. Golovkin proved that styles not only make fights, but fight fans, as the mostly Mexican-American crowd cheered for the Kazakhstan native throughout. Rubio appeared confident and ready during his ring walk, looking much fresher than he had at the weigh the previous day. “GGG” and his team made an extra-long ring walk, circling the entire lower bowl and waving to fans, sending the place into a frenzy. The stage was set for Gennady’s promise of a “big drama show”.

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