Kennedy McKinney: “How Come I Ain’t In The Hall Of Fame!”

mckinney56564Former IBF and WBO super-bantamweight ruler “King” Kennedy McKinney feels he is more than deserving of being enshrined in The Boxing Hall of Fame. An Olympic gold medallist, McKinney made a name for himself by showing he was a warrior willing to go anywhere to fight anyone at pro level.

With a number of highlight reel moments to choose from in his thrilling, up and down career, it’s a tough job picking where to start when speaking with the 47-year-old who walked away with a 36-6-1(19) ledger in the spring of 2003.

A good enough place to start is Kennedy’s 1992 IBF title win over Welcome Ncita: a fight that saw awesome two-way action, an incredible turnaround and a truly epic one-punch KO.

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Montana Boxing Legend Marvin Camel – First Cruiserweight Champion of the World

Camel Parlov 2By Brian D’Ambrosio  – Marvin Camel started off the bout on 3/31/1980 for the WBC Cruiserweight title picking up where he left off in their first encounter – a brutally unfair draw on his opponent’s home territory of Yugoslavia. He flicked out a stiff right jab and scored hard body shots. Mate Parlov retreated and lost the first pair of rounds. After a sluggish, indecisive third round, Parlov stepped up the aggression in the next three, countering effectively.

In the sixth, Parlov cut Camel’s left cheek near the sideburn. Despite the chants and flag-waving of a small contingent of his countrymen, Parlov could not sustain his advantage. After an even seventh, the rest was controlled by Camel except for the fifteenth when an ugly gash below Camel’s eyebrow caused him to lose that round.

Pleasing to the Las Vegas crowd crammed with many of his home state Montana fans, Camel re-established his right jab in the eighth round and dictated the rest of the fight with his most dependable asset. As the fight progressed, Camel discovered that he could deliver this punch to its target from a crouch, and that Parlov could not counter effectively when Camel was in this stance.

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Steve Collins V Roy Jones Jr a fight 16 years too late

royjones_otrby Seamus Hanratty: “The Celtic warrior” Steve Collins has announced a comeback fight at the age of 48, against former Boxing great Roy Jones Junior. In a comeback that amounts to a cross between a Walt Disney fairytale and a drug induced nightmare, the legendary Irish scrapper who in his hay day managed to win world titles against both Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, and later defended his belts some eight times, announced to the world that he intends to fight American Jones in the near future.

Collins, who also enjoyed some titanic struggles with middleweight champions Mike McCallum and Sumbu Kalambay in the early part of his career, stated that “It’s a fight Roy Jones needs. He claims to be one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters around but he refused to fight me.” Quite what planet Collins was on when he made the quote above remains to be seen, but it does seem far removed from the one we currently inhabit. It’s clear that both fighters need this fight as much as the average man needs to impregnate his boss’s daughter with triplets.

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The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 6: Perspective from Tarick Salmaci

The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 6: Perspective from Tarick Salmaci

“So his selflessness—that’s what I’ll remember most is his selflessness. I remember that most, and he always made us feel like we were something, and we always wanted to impress him as kids.”—Tarick Salmaci

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – This is Part Six of an ongoing series dedicated to the memory and legacy of an remarkable individual, Emanuel Steward, whose contributions to the world of boxing are simply extraordinary. In this installment, former Kronk fighter Tarick Salmaci shares his views and some of his unique experiences growing up in the Kronk Gym throughout his childhood. Here is a complete transcript of my discussion with Tarick:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Tarick, it was a big loss for the boxing world, especially the Kronk community, when we lost an exceptional individual when Emanuel Steward passed away. As someone who had the opportunity to work with Emanuel, what are your personal views on his personal impact on the world of boxing?

TARICK SALMACI: Good question. I think he’ll always be a part of boxing. He’s part of the game. He’ll always be part of the game. He helped make boxing what it is as far as training world champions, being involved in all these mega fights he was involved in throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, and current. It’s just when it comes to boxing he’s a legend. That’s a given right there.

CIANI: Can you tell the fans out there a little bit about what it was like the first time that you worked with Emanuel?

SALMACI: Let me start by saying that Emanuel, I mean I first met him when I was 11 years old. So I kind of grew up around Emanuel, and from the first time meeting him as a kid he always made you feel important. You know what I mean? That’s one thing he always did, and I noticed that as a kid. He made us feel important, and we always tried to impress him. I mean we were like 11 and 12 years old, here we are, kids from the ghetto, and this man would take us. We were young kids! And with Emanuel this was like the 80s. So he was already on top of his game. He would pick us up and take us to the most expensive restaurant in Detroit. There was a steakhouse called “Carl’s Chop House”, and he’d take about 14 or 15 of us there randomly. Every month, every couple of months, he would take us all there to experience something we never experienced before.

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Mike Tyson Interview Transcript

tyson5754434MIKE TYSON: Hey Guys

Is there anything you don’t like to talk about in the show? Something that hurts you to talk about.

MIKE TYSON: You went right to the hurt part, huh? I speak about my daughter towards the end of the show and that’s kind of not a pretty sight.

Did you have to be pushed to talk about everything?

MIKE TYSON: I talk about everything that everyone knows about. They have seen them in the press and they don’t know the underlying factors – I am expressing that.

MIKE TYSON: They know it all so I have to talk about it or they would say, ‘that’s bull’ because they know it. What they don’t know it how i got started and what caused the altercation. They just know about the altercation. I am expressing the underlying story.

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Famous Boxing Rivalries: Exclusive Interview with Iceman John Scully

Famous Boxing Rivalries: Exclusive Interview with Iceman John Scully

“He’s a true boxer. People think a boxer has to get on his toes and circle the ring laterally constantly to be called ‘a boxer’, but a boxer should be able to box in a ring the size of a phone booth and still be able to not get hit, and that’s the thing. I think Duran was a master at that.”—Iceman John Scully

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – With Manny Pacquiao slated to square off against Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time this Saturday night, I had the opportunity to speak with ‘Iceman’ John Scully to get his views on the upcoming match. From there, Scully shared his views on some other famous boxing rivalries throughout history, including Ali-Frazier, Gatti-Ward, Robinson-LaMotta, Holyfield-Bowe, and all of the fights that took place when Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, and Tommy ‘Hitman’ Hearns faced off against each other in the 1980s. This is the second installment of an ongoing series dedicated to the history of the sweet science. Below is a complete transcript of my discussion with Iceman.

John Scully Audio

GEOFFREY CIANI: Iceman, this Saturday night Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will be fighting for a fourth time, which is unusual in this day and age. In your view, what do you think the keys to victory for each fighter is?

JOHN SCULLY: I mean basically to me I think each guy needs to do, well I mean Marquez certainly just needs to do what he’s been doing the other three times, because I think like even though he hasn’t been getting the decisions, I think he’s a little bit more on track towards a definitive victory than Pacquiao actually is. So I would recommend to him to just sharpen up the best he can, but basically do the same thing. I think if it’s not broke you don’t need to fix it. I think Pacquiao probably needs to throw a few more punches, you know raise up his output, and maybe he’s got to step around. He’s got to get Marquez a little bit more off balance than he was. I think Marquez was allowed to play the matador a little too much the last three times.

CIANI: Now what did you think of their first three encounters, and in particular their last bout that seemed to bring the most controversy of the three they’ve had so far?

SCULLY: I mean I kind of saw what everybody else saw. I mean they were real tough fights, real just hard to score. A lot of those were hard to score, but I mean for the last one, you know I have to admit that I thought Marquez was going to get the decision. I thought before they announced it I figured he had it. And I think not just for them two, it didn’t just mess up them two, but I think that the decision in the last fight, or the performance of both guys in the last fight has done a great deal of damage to a potential Mayweather fight with Pacquiao. I think that people that thought Pacquiao was going to beat Mayweather, I think a lot of those people have changed their minds. And I don’t think any new people that didn’t think Pacquiao was going to win, I don’t think they changed their minds after the last fight. So I think they kind of bit themselves in the butt there because I think they did a lot of damage to the potential of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight with his performance last time.

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Mike Tyson Vs. Sonny Liston!

Mike Tyson Vs. Sonny Liston!by James Slater – Though the late, great Charles “Sonny” Liston is arguably best remembered (certainly by younger fans) for his two fights with the one man he could never intimidate, in Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, it is beyond debate that the former heavyweight king was one of the most adept boxers in heavyweight history when it comes to frightening an opponent.

Is Liston in fact, THE single most successful heavyweight in all of boxing when it comes to being able to win fights through little other than scaring his man stiff – therefore making his adversary an easy, ready-for-the-taking, deer caught in the headlights, “victim?” Of course, Liston had other ring skills, a punishing jab and awesome punching power, to name just two. But without his ability at terrifying an opponent even before the first bell, Sonny was certainly a lot less effective a fighter. This was also very much the case with another legendary heavyweight – the former champ who lists Liston as one of his ring idols.

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The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 5: Exclusive Interview with Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko

The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 5: Exclusive Interview with Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko

“Believe it or not, the monster has been created and Emanuel is with me. Even if he is not there he is with me. He is whispering in my ear as soon as I’m getting in the gym.”—Wladimir Klitschko

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – This is Part Five of an ongoing series dedicated to the memory and legacy of an extraordinary individual, Emanuel Steward, whose contributions to the world of boxing are simply remarkable. In this installment, I had the privilege of speaking with the Heavyweight Champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KOs), who is coming off of a lopsided unanimous decision victory when he successfully defended his crown against Mariusz Wach (27-1, 15 KOs) last Saturday night. This was Klitschko’s first bout without Steward since the two first paired up more than eight years ago. Wladimir provided his views and unique insight, and also shared some of his experiences working together with the Hall of Fame trainer. Here is what Wladimir had to say:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Wladimir, first of all I want to congratulate you on another outstanding victory this past weekend. I got to say I’m surprised that Wach was able to stand up to your shots for twelve rounds. How do you feel about your performance?

WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO: I should say that Wach showed a big heart, with no doubt. He had to absorb really bad punishment in the ring, because I know those shots were not easy to take. I felt my knuckles almost on every shot, and this man was like made out of rock. He took a lot of punishment. So I have a lot of respect for him for keeping on going, and especially in the eighth round when the referee almost stopped the fight and his corner let him go the next round. So I was really impressed with that performance, but it was another title defense and that’s basically it.

CIANI: Now I know this must have been difficult for you on some level, being your first fight without Emanuel Steward since you two first joined forces. For you, how was it dealing with that scenario for the first time without Emanuel for your preparations and for the fight itself?

KLITSCHKO: I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining with how difficult it was. You can imagine it was not easy to all of us, to the entire team, to get to know one week and a half before the fight that Emanuel passed away. It was something that really affected the entire team, and we’re still actually affected by that. We miss Emanuel! I mean everything in the training camp and everything related to boxing, in my life in boxing, is Emanuel Steward. I am Emanuel Steward in a certain way, because he shaped the size of my character and my presence in this world as I am, through Emanuel. And I feel this before when I worked with Emanuel. I finally could see Lennox Lewis, because Lennox Lewis is also Emanuel Steward. He’s a part of Emanuel Steward, and Tommy Hearns and everyone else. It’s just something that is difficult to describe with words how much we miss him and how much it hurt us.

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The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 4: Perspective from Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage

The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 4: Perspective from Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage

“So he was not just only a manager, a trainer, a commentator. He was a good man. He was a man that would give you the shirt off his back, and that’s what I will remember about Emanuel Steward.”—Cornelius Bundrage

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – This is Part Four of an ongoing series dedicated to the memory and legacy of an extraordinary individual, Emanuel Steward, whose contributions to the world of boxing are simply remarkable. In this installment, reigning IBF junior middleweight champion Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs) provided his perspective and shared some of his experiences with the legendary Hall of Fame trainer. Here is a complete transcript from my discussion with ‘K9’ Bundrage:

GEOFFREY CIANI: K9, it was a big loss for the boxing world when Emanuel Steward passed away. As a fighter who had the opportunity to work with Emanuel, can you give us your views on his impact on boxing?

CORNELIUS BUNDRAGE: Wow! You know I don’t know if boxing, as far as the knowledge that Emanuel Steward had in boxing, I don’t know if we’re going to run across a guy like that again. I mean how many guys do you know that came across fighters Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, and still have world champions to this day, that knew what he was talking about? I mean I believe he helped Jim Lampley and all of them to know more about boxing, because he was actually a boxer himself. I mean he’s going to be missed by not only just the people in Detroit and the people in boxing, but he’s going to be missed by a lot of people. Emanuel Steward was feeding a lot of people. What people don’t realize or know is he was taking care of a lot of fighters. He once had a house where there were like a lot of fighters who stayed there, and it was fighters from all around the world. It wasn’t just the fighters from the city. You even know Andy Lee stayed in one of his houses, and Andy Lee is from Ireland. But he had a training camp house where I was actually in. It was Johnathon Banks, it was me, and it was another local fighter named John Jackson. He had a whole camp or so. You know there are going to be a lot of people that are going to be really affected by Emanuel Steward leaving, because like I said he was looking out for a lot of people. There were guys at the gym who I know personally that used to go to his house and get a check every week. They’re going to be greatly affected. So you know Emanuel was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. He was a real cool guy, definitely a cool guy, and he knew the sport of boxing. He didn’t act like he was too good for anybody, and he was out there. You know people knew who he was all over the world, and he always gave you the time if he had it, and he didn’t treat you like you were a nobody. Even if you were nobody, he treated like you were somebody. That was Emanuel Steward right there. He was like the Michael Jackson of boxing. Or should we say the James Brown of boxing, the Godfather.

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The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 3: Perspective from Naazim Richardson

The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 3: Perspective from Naazim Richardson

“I’m proud to say I knew the man. I’m honored to say I had a personal communication and I’m fortunate to be able to say that I got to see him work.”—Naazim Richardson

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – This is Part Three of an ongoing series dedicated to the memory and legacy of a remarkable individual, Emanuel Steward, whose extraordinary contributions to the boxing world spanned sixty years. In this installment, trainer Naazim Richardson provided his perspective and shared some of his experiences with the legendary Hall of Fame trainer. Here is a complete transcript from my discussion with Naazim:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Naazim, it was a sad day for boxing and we lost one of our greatest ambassadors in the sport when Emanuel Steward passed away nearly two weeks ago. I’m wondering if you could share your personal views on the impact that Emanuel had on boxing?

NAAZIM RICHARDSON: Well like you said, Emanuel was a great ambassador for the sport and a very intricate part of the sport as we know it in the last few years, and he touched on all facets of it in that he was, you know a commentator, trainer, manager, promoter. He was just in every detail of the sport, and like I’ve said, it’s a great loss but it’s one of those situations where we lose, but in a sense there’s a piece of Emanuel that’s going to exist forever in the sport from when he sat down and what he let the world share from the Kronk’s Gym on to when he was analyzing the fights as a commentator. So he’ll be with us as long as the sport is around.

CIANI: One of the things I remember that Emanuel said about you once, it was when he was still training Chad Dawson and he was looking forward to the challenge of going up against you, and Bernard, and all of the great boxing minds from your corner. He actually said it reminded him of when he was training Evander Holyfield and he had to go up against the old school corner led by Eddie Futch. One of the things Naazim, you’re known as a great preparer of your fighters, and I’m wondering if you could tell the fans out there how you gauge Emanuel when it came to preparing his fighters to give them their best chance at victory?

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