A few days ago Sultan visited Red Square wearing a USA track suit. Moments after entering he was confronted by Kremlin workers lugging bags of Russian clothing gear who insisted that he change into their nation’s colors . . . I guess none of them noticed the ticket checker at the Kremlin entrance who was wearing a New England Patriots baseball cap . . ..
Moscow traffic makes the LA Freeway at rush hour look like the Indy 500. There are between 10-12 million Muscovites-and 4 million cars. Drivers park everywhere and anywhere, including on the sidewalk. One individual parked in the right lane of a three-lane highway. . . . Amazingly enough horn blowing is rarely heard . . . Read the rest of this entry »
While boxing’s current longest-reigning world champion JOE CALZAGHE was feted today marking 10 years of superstardom and 20 consecutive successful title defenses, his opponent MIKKEL KESSLER tried to rain on Joe’s parade and issued a few choice word to The Sun’s Gavin Glicksman.
“Joe is a great champion but I’m going to beat him,” said Kessler. “I’m going to be 200 per cent better than my last fight and he’s going to get a big surprise. I’ve seen some of his fights and he’s never fought a guy like me before, that’s why he’s going to be in trouble. I hit straight, I hit hard, I hit directly. I’m going to show everyone I’m a bigger champion than he is.” Read the rest of this entry »
World welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, looking fit and trim, came in at 157 pounds today in San Juan for his 30-day pre-fight weigh-in. Cotto was far under the limit for this date and said he is anxious to take on Sugar Shane Mosley at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 10. “I am very satisfied with all of my training and work we have done so far,” Cotto said. “There is no doubt I will be in my best-ever condition on November 10..” Read the rest of this entry »
As four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (42-8-2, 27 KOs) approaches this Saturday’s heavyweight championship bout with WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov 21-0, 17 KOs) at the Khodynka Ice Palace, in Moscow, Russia, a big questions looms about how much Holyfield has left in the tank after twenty three years as a professional boxer. Holyfield, 44, though he’s not fought as many bouts as many younger fighters, such as Wladimir Klitschko, his bouts have been much tougher, the type in which he’s stood in front of his opponents and traded shots for round after round. Along with his many wars, you have to factor in his advanced age which makes him one of the oldest heavyweights to challenge for a title since George Foreman accomplished the feat in the 90s.
While much has been made about Holyfield’s recent success over journeyman fighters Jeremy Bates, Fres Oquendo, Vinny Maddalone, and Lou Savarese, the fact remains that these fighters are hardly world class, and certainly not the type of competition to get a good gauge about how much Holyfield has left in the tank. Read the rest of this entry »
In his toughest bout to date, unbeaten Ukranian heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitreneko (26-0, 16 KOs) will be defending his WBO-inter continental title against German Timo Hoffmann (36-5-1, 20 Kos) on November 17 in Bordelandhalle, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. Both Dimitrenko and Hoffmann stand at 6’7” 250+ pounds, making this fight a bout in between two gargantuan. Beyond that, the skill level between the two of them are drastically different. The undefeated Dimitrenko, ranked #2 in the World Boxing Organization, is perhaps the best heavyweight prospect in the division, though he’s still largely unknown by many fans due to most of his fights taking place in Germany. His skills are second to none, resembling a younger Wladimir Klitschko at the start of his career. With impressive wins over journeyman fighters Ross Purity, Chris Koval, Vaughn Bean and Malcom Tann, Dimitrenko has proved to be a force in the heavyweight division.
However, his German management has been slow to bring him along, a common characteristic in the German boxing community. Hopefully, after this bout with Hoffmann, his management will start moving him forward against tougher opposition. If not, Dimitrenko needs to consider getting away from Germany, perhaps moving to America or England, where they don’t shelter their fighters nearly as much. Read the rest of this entry »
Fred Sternburg: We’ve got a bi-coastal conference call today. In Hollywood, California, I’m here with superstar Manny Pacquiao, boxing’s most exciting fighter, and trainer world-famous Freddie Roach.
And from Atlantic City, we have promoter Bob Arum who is there with Kelly Pavlik as he attempts to dethrone Jermain Taylor this weekend in their middleweight world championship. Read the rest of this entry »
Many thought that all Kelly Pavlik (32-0, 29 KOs), had was a ghost of a chance when he entered the ring at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, packed with over 10,000 fans, last night to challenge defending middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (27-1-1, 17 KOs), in a fight that was broadcast live on HBO. Apparently that’s all Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik needed as he came back from the brink of defeat after suffering a second-round knockdown to knockout Taylor in the seventh round of their battle of undefeated gladiators..
ZOWIE! DOUBLE ZOWIE!!
Already the early favorite for “Fight of the Year,” Pavlik staked his claim as “Fighter of the Year” as the boxing spotlight shone bright on his hometown of Youngstown, OH for the first time since Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini’s heyday as WBA lightweight champion during the early ’80s. Mancini was at ringside rooting on his heir apparent. Read the rest of this entry »
Previously unbeaten Canadian heavyweight Jean-Francois Bergeron (27-1, 19 KOs) is crowing for a rematch with former WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev (47-1, 34 KOs) after losing a 12-round unanimous decision to him on Saturday night at the EWE-Arena, Oldenburg, in Niedersachsen, Germany. The scores, however, were lopsided with Valuev winning by 118-111, 118-111, 117-111. Despite this, Bergeron feels wronged, suggesting that he was given a bad decision by the judges. What encourages him even more, though, is the polite applause he received from the German crowd, who appeared to be clapping mostly because they thought he had performed well against Valuev. However, Bergeron didn’t actually look that good in the bout, certainly not good enough to win by the bout by any stretch of the imagination. Read the rest of this entry »
Former World Boxing Association champion Nikolay Valuev (47-1, 34 KOs) won a much harder than expected uanimous decision over previously undefeated Canadian Jean-Francois Bergeron (27-1, 19 KOs) tonight at the EWE-Arena, Oldenburg, in Niedersachsen, Germany. Valuev, 34, struggled often in the early rounds, as the 6″5′ southpaw Bergeron landed powerful left hands that rocked Valuev on a couple of occasions.
However, Bergeron appeared to fade badly in the latter part of the fight, in which Valuev took charge and was able to land his big right hand repeatedly to win the championship rounds. The final judges’ scores were 118-111, 117-111, 118-111, awarding the decision to Valuev. The win enable Valuev to keep moving forward towards another possible title shot in the future against Ruslan Chagaev, who Valuev lost a controversial split decision to in April 2007.
In the first half of the fight, Bergeron did well to keep the fight in the middle of the ring, keeping the bigger Valuev from forcing him to the ropes where he often mauls his smaller opponents. Bergeron used his faster hands to land excellent combinations to the head of Valuev as he came forward on the attack. Read the rest of this entry »
WBO super bantamweight Daniel Ponce De Leon (33-1, 30 KOs) destroyed a weaker Reynaldo Lopez (28-5-2, 19 KOs), stopping him in the 5th round on Friday night, at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, in Cabazon, California. De Leon pounded away at the thirty-three year old Lopez for five rounds until knocking him out with two consecutive left hands in the fifth, which sent Lopez to the canvas. He gamely attempted to rise but was only able to lift his head up off the canvas, because his body wouldn’t respond. Up until then, Lopez was seldom able to mount much of an offense of his own, mostly because he was so preoccupied with dealing with the incoming fire from the hard-punching De Leon, who rarely left off the gas pedal for more than a few moments of each round.
In rounds one though three, De Leon landed well with his hooks and straight left hand, which he threw constantly at the wilting Lopez. Even when he wasn’t landing cleanly, the punches had the effect of knocking Lopez backwards and keeping him from setting up his own attacks. Lopez was able to land an occasional hard shot of his own, however, due to De Leon being more focused on his own attack, forgetting all about worrying about any semblance of defense. Read the rest of this entry »