By Vitali Shaposhnikov: It is not a secret that talent is always present in one’s genetics, but bringing it to light takes a special person, and more importantly the right kind of attitude and preparation.
By James Slater: No stranger to having to do things the hard way, honest, hardworking pro Travis Walker of Houston, Texas has had big opportunities come his way before, only for the 33-year-old, 6’4,” approx 250-pound banger to either fall short or go home feeling as though he was hard done by.
In compiling his 39-7-1(31) ledger, the powerful but sometimes shaky-chinned “Freight Train” has been stopped by Chris Arreola (after scoring a knockdown of his own in a tasty three-round slugfest), he has been blown away inside a round by Manuel Quezda (“a shot I never saw coming.”) and he has dropped a close, debatable decision to Ruslan Chagaev (“I know I won that one.”)
The softly spoken Walker has also been stopped by T.J Wilson (a premature stoppage, later avenged), Johnathon Banks and, in a fight that received far less acclaim than it should have done, Alex Leapai, in what was another premature stoppage, this time to a great up-and-down battle.
But throughout it all, Walker has never given up. After losing an exhausting 12-rounder with Kubrat Pulev last October, Walker finally bagged a big victory: an upset 6th-round TKO over Kali Meehan in Australia this March (“My biggest win to date, but my best win will come September 8th!”) and now he has a massive opportunity against Tomasz Adamek on September 8th.
By James Slater – According to a number of boxing web sites (I read it on FigoSport.com), unbeaten Russian banger Magomed Abdusalamov will face experienced former four-time heavyweight title challenger Jameel “Big Time” McCline on the under-card of Vitali Klitschko-Manuel Charr in Moscow on Sept. 8th.
Southpaw “Mago” has entertained fans with his raw power and his heavy hands, and the 15-0(15) slugger has also seen his fan base grow.
by Geoffrey Ciani – After being awarded a majority decision victory against the ageless warrior Bernard Hopkins, in a fight that appeared more decisive than the rendered verdict might suggest, ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson issued a direct challenge to super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Dawson made his intentions abundantly clear that this was the fight he wanted, even insisting that he would venture south to 168 in order to make it happen. Ward ultimately accepted this challenge, and now the two are slated to square off in a highly anticipated showdown on September 8.
Even though Dawson claims he can comfortably make weight and perform effectively as a super middleweight, many observers simply do not believe him. As a result, while the reality may be that this is nothing more than a tremendous clash of talent, the perception is that Dawson is being compromised. Not only does Chad, a naturally big light heavyweight, need to shed an extra seven pounds to make the 168 pound limit he last made over six years ago, but he will also need to travel to Ward’s backyard in Oakland. In the eyes of many, even if Ward wins in the most impressive fashion imaginable, the victory will already be tainted because of the concessions “forced on” Dawson.
By Vitali Shaposhnikov: With the available roster of opposition for Manny Pacquiao, picking a fight should not be too complicated as far as the fight itself goes, but of course there are always financial negotiates, which can stall or even prevent a good fight from coming together. It is safe to assume at this point in time, that Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao fight will not happen until sometime around summer of 2013, and even that is an optimistic hypothesis.
By Sevak Sarkisian: Former undisputed flyweight and super flyweight world champion Vic Darchinyan is slated to face the young unbeaten super bantamweight prospect Luis Orlando Del Valle on September 29th at the famous Foxwoods resort in Connecticut.
As most Boxing fans know, Darchinyan is a very affective heavy handed come forward type of fighter with an underrated skill set. Vic loves to apply a lot of pressure on all of his opponents and usually holds a size and strength advantage which he always makes great use of. However, it should be noted that since he made his move up to 118lbs from 115lbs his size and strength advantage hasn’t been as significant and it is clear that Vic has done his best work below 118lbs. The fight against Del Valle will be Vic’s first fight at 122lbs, which in my eyes serves as an advantage for Del Valle.
By Marcus Richardson: EBU middleweight champion Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 21 KO’s) is going to find out the hard way the difference between the world level and the European level next month against WBA World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (23-0, 20 KO’s) on September 1st at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Proksa, 27, has done well at the European level during his seven year pro career apart from the one blip on his resume when he was roughed up and beaten by Kerry Hope last March in a 12 round majority decision loss.
Proksa did a good job of avenging the loss to Hope by beating him last month in an 8th round TKO win. However, the fact that Proksa was defeated by a fighter in Hope’s class isn’t a good sign for Proksa now that he’s stepping up against a much better fighter in 30-year-old Golovkin next month. Proksa, 5’8″, really doesn’t have the size to be competing against a powerful middleweight like Golovkin. He’s more of a junior middleweight that’s fighting at middleweight.
By Michael Collins: It’s no secret that unbeaten heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (24-0, 24 KO’s) has received a whole mess of criticism from boxing fans for the opposition he’s faced since turning pro in 2008 after having captured the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. However, much of the criticism that’s been heaved Wilder’s way has been more than a little unfair, because it appears that Wilder is being punished for beating guys too easily.