Manuel Charr talks Klitschko, Wilder, Saglam and more!

HayeCharrExclusive interview by Dan Emicus

Having pursued kickboxing initially, what made you to want to switch to boxing?

“I started kickboxing because I liked combat sports. But I didn’t do it for a long time because it felt so easy to reach all my goals. I became German Champion and European Champion. There was no real hard competition. It didn’t feel like a big challenge to me. But I like challenges. I thought that in boxing it’s harder to get to the top. You can’t become European Champion in two years in boxing. And of course, it’s nearly impossible to make a living out of kickboxing while the best boxers in the world make good money. So that definitely contributed to the decision, too.”

From amateur kickboxing straight into professional boxing, how did you find the transition between two different combat sports? Most boxers with an ex-kickboxing background find it difficult to un-learn certain habits, such as engaging their opponents squarely, but you’ve never seemed to have such issues?

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Floyd Mayweather, Jr. – Decisions, Decisions, Decided

floyd32By Marc Livitz: In a bit less than one hundred days time, the world’s greatest fighter will take his place in the ring once again, a full year removed from his previous trip to the same place in the same city. While his space in Canastota all but secured, we could possibly acknowledge his tenure in the Gall of Fame as equally credible. Until that day comes, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will continue to turn heads, garner attention (for better or for worse) and get many of us to tune in to his next bout, which could always be his last.

In any case, the gears of professional boxing, which have been able to effectively run smoothly with the help of younger and fresh talent will screech to a halt whenever Floyd decides to officially announce his selected opponent for Saturday, May 4, 2013.

The recent revelations that Mayweather himself sets the venue, ticket prices, pay per view rates and perhaps even the price of extra cheese on the nachos is more than worth its weight in platinum that he is in full command. Good for him. Maybe he’s set the template for fighters present and future that they more than anyone else in their close and at times far too close inner circles and they alone face the biggest risks. He does call Las Vegas home after all and maybe that’s why he feels so comfortable in the figurative position of dealer, pit boss and floor man.

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Lucas Matthysse vs. Danny Garcia: Gogue’s big fight preview

15(Photo credit: Tom Casino/Showtime) By Joseph Herron: After the Argentine sharpshooter’s dominant and impressive performance over the outgunned Mike Dallas Jr. this past Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, most fight fans and boxing scribes are anxious to see an eventual showdown between two of the hardest punchers in the talent enriched 140 pound weight class, Lucas Matthysse versus Danny Garcia.
To wet the pugilistic whistle of the die-hard fight fan, boxing strategist and lifelong trainer James Gogue analyzes this perplexing match-up exclusively for

Although many observers of the sport have a hard believing that Garcia’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, would be willing to pit their potential superstar against a dangerous fighter like the Argentine veteran, the 30 year fight trainer insists that a super fight between Garcia and Matthysse at Junior Welterweight is unavoidable.

“Despite the cynicism of most fight skeptics, Golden Boy has plans to begin cultivating this fan friendly bout,” explains the experienced fight trainer. “The GBP brass is confident that both fighters will continue knocking out their respective opposition to create an appropriate and dramatic build-up for this super fight at 140 pounds.”

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Last weekend in The Garden the BEST KO nobody saw: Tony Ferrante KO’s Isa Akberbayev

Northeast Philadelphia native, Cruiserweight Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante 13-4 (8 KO’s)was a huge underdog when he faced undefeated cruiserweight prospect Isa Akberbayev 10- 0 (7KO’s) on Saturday January 19th inside the MECCA of boxing, Madison Square Garden. Ferrante recently moved up in weight from light heavyweight to cruiserweight after struggling to cut 38 lbs. in his last fight. Taking the Akberbayev on only 20 days’ notice, Ferrante said he and his new trainer went into combat mode. “We started training right after Christmas. I had always been keeping in shape with my strength and conditioning Coach Sean Thompson, but my boxing coach Mike Cassell had me watching tape, and together we came up with a game plan, not just to win, but to knock the big Russian fighter out.”

The game plan was simple for Ferrante and his team. Make the big man fight small, then take him deep and put him to sleep. Akberbayev was coming off 4 KO’s in a row and was very confident. Ferrante was coming off 2 very tough losses that both went 10 rounds. But Akberbayev had never gone past 6 and team Ferrante were hoping that he would fade.

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Lucas Matthysse: Lightning Escapes The Bottle

07(Photo credit: Tom Casino/Showtime) By Marc Livitz: Ah, the weekend that was. Gratitude in multitudes should graciously be passed along to Showtime for offering the boxing public such a memorable top to bottom highly pleasing telecast.

In stark contrast to their three letter cable network rival in sports, the job from the SHO group was one to be commended. The knowledgeable triumvirate of International Boxing Hall of Fame member Al Bernstein, Canuck import Mauro Ranallo, and Brooklyn’s own Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi have managed to serve a most delectable dish of the sweet science and its proper explanation to the viewing public.

Three fights were shown in primetime slots in addition to preliminary bouts being shown on a sister station. However, without any confusion to be had the evening almost wholly belonged to Lucas Matthysse. Of course, all due respect must be shown to the victorious Jermell Charlo and Jesus Soto Karass.

In the eyes of many, and not surprisingly in and of the opinion of those in the boxing know, the light welterweight division belongs to Mr. Juan Manuel Marquez. The giant wave of a foe conquered won’t soon meet its crest for “Dinamita”.

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Wladimir Klitschko vs. Odlanier Solis on April 6th?

Odlanier SolisBy Michael Collins: Kalle Sauerland, the promoter for WBA World heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin, believes IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO’s) will be ducking Povetkin and instead facing former 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Odlanier Solis (18-1, 12 KO’s) next on April 6th instead of his mandatory defense against Povetkin.

It’s no secret that Wladimir would like to put the Povetkin fight off so that he can get an optional defense in before taking the fight, but it looks like Sauerland badly wants Povetkin to be next.

Sauerland said on his twitter “Klitschko is trying to dodge his Povetkin mandatory to fight [Odlanier] Solis (he lost KO 1 v Vitali), 1 fight since then, not even ranked [Konstantin Airich]. Still can’t get over it. SOLIS! Daylight robbery of boxing fans time & $. Since when d’ya lose by KO, then almost directly [get] another chance.”

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Third Man in the Ring: A Life of Montana Boxing Referee Russ Hansen

IMG_0395By Brian D’Ambrosio – Firm, loud and concise verbal commands come from the third man in the ring. The action peppered with strident oral cues and succinct commands such as, “Time!”, “Break!”, “Watch the heads!”, “Stop Punching!” In the boxing ring, snappy orders address all situations. Indeed, boxers shuffle and jab to their own code.

Russ Hansen maintains order through communicating the necessary language. In a sport always on the verge of something chaotic – the true theatre of the unexpected – the referee anchors the fine line between stability and anarchy.

“My job is to make sure that the fighters keep it clean and to always think about the fighters’ safety,” says Russ Hansen, the face of the Montana boxing referee for decades. “No head butts, no low blows, to talk them out of the clenches. I work the fight and do what’s right. I’m the only one who can look into the fighter’s eyes, and that’s some responsibility.”

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