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Articles of 2007

Vote Mitchell for a Prouder (but Paler) Milwaukee!

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When I walk into my neighborhood polling place on Election Day, the workers start to retch and moan because they know they will have to decipher and painstakingly record all the write-in votes I cast in preference over the printed choices that always make me retch and moan.

But not since Nixon vs. McGovern in 1972 has an election raised my gorge like the one being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin right now.

And it won’t even determine who gets the next shot at my wallet and precious liberties.

It’s an on-line election to decide the most legendary dead Milwaukeeans ever, cooked up by the local Press Club for the city’s 161st birthday celebration later this month.

“As part of this year’s birthday party,” states the website at www.legendsofmilwaukee.org/, “the Milwaukee Press Club is asking you to vote for your favorite Legends of Milwaukee: The people who made Milwaukee famous! Those who made this list either were born in Milwaukee or made ‘their mark’ in our city. In all cases, candidates have a strong Milwaukee connection.

There are eight separate categories: entertainment, founders, “icons,” community, media, government, business and sports.

In the last category the Press Club politburo nominated eight candidates. They are Lionel Aldridge, a Green Bay Packer from the 1960s; NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki; Milwaukee Braves stars Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn; Marquette Warriors basketball coach Al McGuire; pro rassler Reginald “The Crusher” Lisowski; 1930s big league ballplayer Al Simmons; and Dick Bacon.

For those insufficiently up on their Milwaukee sports history, the ballot notes that Dick Bacon was “known for sunbathing year-round on Milwaukee lakefront.” I used to see him there, lounging amidst snow drifts in the wintertime and surrounded by mirrors to reflect the weak sunlight, wearing just posing briefs, sunglasses and the eye-poppingest tan this side of George Hamilton. He always waved cheerfully when anyone called out to him using the nickname by which he was widely known: “Nude Dude.”

That there are no boxers on the list isn’t really too surprising. As in most places these days, the Sweet Science isn’t on the Milwaukee media’s radar screen. But in the first third of the 20th century the city was, as The Milwaukee Journal itself then enthusiastically noted, “the big, real boxing center of the country.” And that was mostly on account of a homegrown fighter the Journal anointed as “the greatest sporting favorite Milwaukee ever possessed.”

But Richie Mitchell – known as “The Milwaukee Marvel,” for crying out loud – didn’t make the Press Club’s roster of local sports greats, and the Dick Bacon did?

Maybe for the members’ own good it’s time to look into revoking the club’s liquor license.

I’d stake my own yellowed press card on the fact that few if any of its nominees were as idolized as Richie Mitchell, or gave his sport and hometown a bigger thrill than the one Mitchell provided exactly 86 years ago this January 14.

That’s when he met Benny Leonard for the lightweight championship of the world at Madison Square Garden in New York, got knocked down three times in a row by the champion in the first round and then got up and knocked Leonard down and almost out. It was, said The Ring magazine, “as sensational a first round as the ring has known,” and even though Mitchell went on to lose on a sixth round TKO, his incredible courage won him immortality that, the Milwaukee Press Club notwithstanding, is more indelible then even the Nude Dude’s tan. Which is really saying something.

The small crowds who attend concerts and plays at the Milwaukee Theater nowadays have never raised the roof there the way Mitchell’s fans did when it was the Milwaukee Auditorium and he fought Freddy Welsh, Johnny Kilbane, Benny Leonard and other great mitt stars of that era. Local fans were so crazy about the classy, handsome blond boxer that after Mitchell’s thirteenth pro fight, a victory over Patsy Brannigan on February 24, 1914, they carried him out of the ring and down the street to a restaurant for a celebration.

By the time Mitchell fought Johnny Dundee at the Auditorium on August 30, 1915, it was the norm for hundreds of “Mitchell Rooters” to parade all over town in cars, led by a brass band. They even put a piano on a truck. “If you hear a bunch of noise on Thursday,” warned the Journal on the day before Mitchell fought Welsh on April 7, 1916, “it will not be anything but the Mitchell followers parading the downtown district.”

Lightweight champion Welsh wasn’t thrilled when the paraders held a Mitchell pep rally outside his window at the Pfister Hotel. He was even unhappier the next night when the local boxer clearly outpointed him over 10 rounds at the Auditorium (though Welsh kept his title because it was a no-decision fight).

Later that year, while Mitchell was watching a movie in a downtown theater one day, his car was stolen from the street in front. His avid fans put an ad in the newspaper offering a $50 reward for “information that will lead to the return of Richie Mitchell’s 1916 5-passenger Mitchell automobile,” and God help anyone seen driving a similar vehicle around town.

When Mitchell joined the U.S. Navy during World War I, and left Milwaukee for Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, a crowd turned out at the railroad station to bid him farewell. He wept as he told his fans, “I’m going to do my best, and serve my country to the best of my ability.”

Over a thousand people saw him off when Mitchell went to fight Leonard for the title, and later a chartered train called “The Mitchell Special” ferried hundreds of Milwaukee fans to New York for what The Ring called “the night boxing crossed over from ‘the other side of the tracks’ – when rugged Tenth Avenue mingled with fashionable Park Avenue, and the Gas House District met up with Newport and the Hamptons. Bankers, brokers and political bigwigs blended with longshoremen, clerks, truck drivers and barbers in one happy gathering.” The fight was promoted by Tex Rickard and Anne Morgan, daughter of financier J.P. Morgan, to raise money for war-devastated France.

“I never seed nuthin’ like it!” said Rickard, agog at the tuxedoed, begowned crowd. And at the end everyone agreed with columnist Rube Goldberg of the New York Mail, who said of the fight: “It was simply wonderful, that’s all. Old case-hardened, leathery-skinned, grimy-bearded sports, who have been going to sports since the aquarium had only one fish, were enthralled and speechless.”

Mitchell and his fans blamed those three knockdowns on his “first-round jinx.” He was often knocked down in the opening round of important fights, and Journal reporter Sam Levy said the problem was Mitchell’s popularity:

“Mitchell has countless friends. These friends have been a worry to him. He enters the ring thinking of his moral supporters. He is in there to satisfy their wishes. Being of a nervous temperament, it has required several rounds for him to get well started. His first round disasters may be attributed to this. He worries too much, and is too anxious to make a flying start so his friends will not be disappointed in him.”

When he fought in Milwaukee after the losing the championship fight to Leonard, crowds at the Auditorium would stand on the chairs, toss their hats into the air and scream themselves hoarse when the bell rang to end the first round, because “Richie the Lion-Hearted” – another popular Mitchell nickname – had survived the jinx.

On April 9, 1921, under the headline “The Idol,” the Journal reported that Mitchell “was acclaimed the city’s hero Friday night at the Auditorium when he appeared as second to Jimmy Muzzy.” For merely stepping into the ring to work the corner of a preliminary fighter, the crowd gave Mitchell an ovation that went on for five minutes.

When he died at 53 on June 26, 1949, the headline in the Journal was, “City’s Greatest Era Dies With Mitchell.”

“No one who came to Milwaukee since Mitchell’s fighting days can appreciate what an idol he was,” said the story by sports editor R.G. Lynch.

I’d be surprised if a lot of the Press Club folks were even born in 1949, which would explain their egregious snub of the city’s greatest sports legend.

But there is a remedy for that. The Legends of Milwaukee election runs through the end of this month. The results will be announced at a party at the Milwaukee Public Museum on January 31.

Write-in votes – the salvation of a free society – are accepted, so in the great American tradition of such political heavyweights as Boss Tweed, Mayor Richard Daley and “Landslide Lyndon” Johnson, I’m calling on fight fans to stuff the ballot box by logging onto the Legends of Milwaukee website and writing in Richie Mitchell. (While you’re at it, throw in a vote for Thomas S. Andrews, author of annual boxing record books in the early 20th century and a Milwaukee newspaper editor, in the Media category.)

In addition to being a terrific prizefighter, Richie Mitchell was by all accounts a very humble, sweet human being who shrank from self-promotion. But under the circumstances – the Nude Dude, for God’s sake! – I suspect that he would approve this message.

Articles of 2007

St-Pierre, Liddell, Clementi Win @ UFC 79

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LAS VEGAS-A reinvented Georges St. Pierre proved he’s ready for the true Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title with a dominating win over Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell returned to the win column in his big showdown on Saturday.

St. Pierre took the final chapter in the trilogy with Hughes and now is the UFC interim champion at the 170-pound division.

Hughes just shook his head after tapping out before a sold out audience at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It was called “Nemesis” and St. Pierre conquered his nemesis.

“Georges is just a better fighter,” said Hughes (43-6) who beat St. Pierre several years ago, but lost two years ago in a title match. “I just don’t know how much longer I got.”

St. Pierre (15-2) found Hughes using a left-handed stance to change up his attack, but the Canadian quickly adapted and used his quickness, skills and raw strength to take Hughes to the ground.

“If it wasn’t for my wrestling training I wouldn’t have been able to adjust,” said St. Pierre who had been preparing to represent Canada’s Olympic wrestling team.

Inside the Octagon the Canadian was never in danger. In fact, Hughes was the fighter teetering for the entire fight that ended in 4:54 of the second round.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way.

Hughes, known for his wrestling skills, just couldn’t solve St. Pierre’s quickness. Every move the Illinois fighter attempted was squashed.

St. Pierre is now promised a fight against the current UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra, who pulled out of the fight with Hughes because of injury.

“If I don’t get my belt back, I’m going to consider myself champion,” said St. Pierre filled in for Serra with less than a month of training.

After dominating the first round on top of Hughes, the second round was even worse as St. Pierre landed elbows and fists. Though the Illinois fighter escaped from underneath, he was quickly thrown down. Within seconds St. Pierre grabbed Hughes left arm and turned it into an inescapable arm bar.

Hughes screamed out: “I tap!”

St. Pierre now awaits Serra to recover from his back injury.

The semi-main event was no less intense.

The light heavyweight showdown between Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Brazil’s Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva was a three-round punch out between two famous sluggers. In the end Liddell’s sharper punches in the first and third round decided the fight despite a knockdown in the second scored by Silva.

Silva (31-8-1) dominated the second round for four minutes and 30 seconds but Liddell rallied and took the Brazilian to the ground. Two judges were somehow impressed by Liddell’s last 30 seconds and inexplicably gave him that round.

With both fighters huffing and puffing, and Silva with a bad cut over his right eye, Liddell seemed the stronger puncher and landed a back-handed fist and a right hand that stunned the former Pride FC fighter Silva. But he survived the round.

The judges scored it 29-28, 30-27 twice for Liddell who won his first bout after back-to-back losses.

“I knew it was a big fight for everybody and especially for me to get back on track,” said Liddell (21-5). “He had a lot more than I thought he had.”

Silva, who was making his first UFC appearance, was gracious in defeat.

“He won,” said Silva. “I gave my best.”

Temecula’s Rameau Sokoudjou fell short against Brazil’s undefeated Lyoto Machida (12-0) in their light heavyweight contest. The Cameroon native was unable to use his punching power with effectiveness against the karate-trained fighter. Then, unexpectedly, Machida landed a left hand that dropped Sokoudjou (4-2) and proceeded to gain an arm triangle that forced a submission at 4:20 of the second round.

“I’ve been working on my ground game,” said Machida who wants a world title match. “I beat the Alaska assassin, the African assassin, what other assassins are left?”

A heavyweight bout featured two Southern Californians eager to punch out. But San Diego’s Eddie “Manic Hispanic” Sanchez’s experience proved decisive in beating Temecula’s Soa Palelei (8-2) with uppercuts for three rounds. With his nose bleeding profusely and sustaining three consecutive uppercuts, referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight at 3:24 of the third and final round for a technical knockout.

“He was out of gas,” said Sanchez (10-1). “He was always putting his head down.”

Undercard

A grudge fight between two Louisiana fighters ended in a decisive submission victory by Rich Clementi of Slidell over the favored Melvin Guillard of New Orleans. A rear naked choke at 4:40 seconds of the first round forced Guillard, who had been predicting domination, to tap out. Though the fight was definitively over, Guillard attempted to assault Clementi but referee Herb Dean grabbed the fighter.

“He still didn’t learn his lesson,” said Clementi after Guillard attempted to rush him after the fight. “I validated what he’s known for six years, I’m the better man.”

James “The Sandman” Irvin (13-5-1) was nearly put to sleep by an illegal knee to the eye from Brazil’s newcomer Luis Cane (8-1) in the first round of a light heavyweight fight. Unable to continue, Irvin was declared the winner by disqualification at 1:51. Cane seemed unaware that UFC rules disallow knees to the head while the person is on the ground. Some mixed martial arts organizations allow it.

Former Ultimate Fighter participant Manny Gamburyan (6-3) quickly took his fight to the ground with former boxer Nate Mohr (6-5). Once on the ground the lightweight used his quickness to grab an ankle and twist. Mohr screamed to stop the fight at 1:31 of the first round.

“I’m so sorry for you man,” said Gamburyan who suspects he broke Mohr’s leg. “Nate’s a great guy.”

San Diego’s Dean Lister (10-5) scraped out a unanimous decision win over Bulgaria’s punch-crazy Jordan Rachev (16-2) in a middleweight bout. The judges scored it 29-28 for Lister.

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Articles of 2007

Pavlik Or 'Money': Fighter of the Year Is…

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There’s nothing like the terror felt when you have a big black bear snarling and snorting and hunting you down, eager to stuff your tender head into his mouth, to make you run as fast as you’ve ever run.

Thanks, Dana White, aka the big black bear.

Thanks for waking up the semi-slumbering powers that be, and forcing them to acknowledge that boxing needed to step up its game, or be eaten alive, and shifted even further back in the sports world’s relevance race, in 2007.

With UFC threatening to snarf up those much lusted after PPV dollars, the suits went into overdrive, and worked smarter, and harder, to give fans compelling matchups.

They agreed to get along to get money, and they relegated the sanctioning bodies, with those moronic mandatories, and instead listened to you, the consumer, and booked the fights that made sense.

Nobody worked smarter or harder than the PR arms for HBO, and “Money” Mayweather, the artist formerly known as Pretty Boy Floyd. Through his appearance on the ABC reality dance competition “Dancing with the Stars,” and stubbornly effective marketing by HBO (24/7 before the De La Hoy and Hatton showdowns were masterful mini-movies which whet appetites of even non fight fans), “Money” emerged as a pay per view attraction who can take the baton as the premier earner from Oscar De La Hoya.

He transcended the sport, and boxing added another player to the mix of fighters that even non-fight fans in the US recognize the name of. Now there’s Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, and Floyd Mayweather…

Boxing, a sprawling mess of interests lacking a central organization that insures cohesiveness in marketing, and message, and mission, relies on a central figurehead to maintain its precarious perch in the mainstream sports information flow. Mayweather, a savvy marketer who has outgrown his periodic outbreaks of youthful indiscretions, is a superstar that fits our age to a T.

He knows exactly what buttons to push to keep his name in the papers-—or, more accurately today, on computer screens—and feeds us rabid presshounds of negativity and turmoil red meat, with his intra-familial beefs and 50 Cent-inspired rants proclaiming his peerlessness.

The only thing holding Mayweather back is his own talent, probably, as he owns too much of it. He blew out De La Hoya, and Hatton, and like Roy Jones in his heyday, he so dominates his opposition, that drama is missing from his fights. Most of us tune in to the sport to savor the drama that comes from one man reaching deep into the well of heart and guts to bring forth reserves even he didn’t know he possesses, and imposing his will on an opponent who had been imposing his will upon him. That sort of drama, as manufactured by the late Diego Corrales, is the variety that the sweet science can deliver like no other sport.

We saw it in excess in 2007, from my personal choice for 2007 Fighter of the Year, Ohio’s Kelly Pavlik.

He dug into his well, after getting knocked to the floor in the second round of his tussle with middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, and refused to lose.

All of us could apply his tenacity in staying on his feet, and roaring back to topple Taylor with a furious flurry in the seventh round of their Sept. 29 battle, in our own lives. We all could identify with, and root for, the TSS Fighter of the Year.

One could argue that Mayweather, with ultra high profile wins over De La Hoya and Hatton, who did as much as anyone to keep the sport relevant in the last 12 months, deserves the TSS FOTY honor. As referenced before, maybe his superior level of talent has set the bar too high for us nitpickers. We may be prone to be too hesitant to bestow praise on Floyd, because he makes it look too easy. Sorry, Money, it’s possible you are being penalized for just being too damned good. You certainly are the runaway frontrunner for Fighter of the Decade…

Pavlik, we didn’t know how good he was coming in to this year. We knew how good his promoter, Bob Arum, thought he was. But we reserved judgment, unwilling to make too much of wins over Lenord Pierre and Bronco McKart. We became believers, to a point, when the Ohio native showed boxing skill and a closer’s mentality with his January win over Jose Luis Zertuche (KO8), and true believers with his dominant march over Edison Miranda (TKO7), the heavily hyped Colombian who was no match for the Youngstown hitter’s work rate in their May match.

But we still withheld a measure of respect before Pavlik met Taylor, the middleweight king, in Atlantic City. Maybe we had been burned by (not as great as we were led to believe) white hopes in the past, and were worried that hype and marketing were his greatest attributes as a boxer. The respect came pouring forth when he stayed on his trembling legs in the second round of his September scrap with Taylor, and intensified when he closed the show with a KO crack in the seventh.

The fighter has to be rewarded for staying the course, and not allowing himself to be knocked off the title path since turning pro in 2000, and progressing at a sometimes snailish pace, and sticking with his no-name trainer Jack Loew even though some experts urged him to trade Loew in for a flashier model, and battling frail hands, and getting pinched for slugging an off-duty cop in 2005.

Pavlik’s rise in 2007 came the old fashioned way, via training his tail off, and staying on message mentally, and rising to the occasion when the situation offered a softer, easier choice.

There was no mega marketing machine bombarding our short attention spans with a campaign to make Kelly Pavlik into the torchbearer for the sport in 2007.

But the 2007 leg of his march to prominence reaffirms the best of what the sport has to offer, and reminds us that with talents like Pavlik, the sweet science will never crumble into obsolescence.

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Articles of 2007

Resolution Time For Harold Sconiers

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When Harold Sconiers of Tampa, Florida, looks in the mirror these days he doesn’t see the journeyman heavyweight with a 15-17-2 (10 KOs) record that most other people do.

What he sees is the dynamic, hard-hitting heavyweight who made it to the finals of the 1996 Olympic Trials, and began his pro career with six straight knockouts and one decision victory.

Since being stopped in the first round by then undefeated Bermane Stiverne, who had won all nine of his fights by knockout, in February 2007, Sconiers has completely reassessed his life and career.

He has come to understand what transformed him from an exciting amateur and fledgling young pro with seemingly limitless future to a nominal heavyweight who had at one point lost 10 fights in a row.

Now aligned with a new manager, David Selwyn of New York, he plans on utilizing that newfound knowledge to embark on what he believes will be the comeback story of 2008.

“I always knew I had a lot of talent, but I never let that talent completely develop,” said the 31-year-old Sconiers, who has lost to such notables as Clifford Etienne, Maurice Harris, Donovan “Razor” Ruddock, David Defiagbon, DaVarryl Williamson and Eric Kirkland.

“I had a lot of different problems, but my biggest problems were self doubt and self sabotage. I would do things to make sure I never rose above a certain level.”

During his intensive, exhaustive and brutally honest re-examination of himself, he chose to forego all of the negative aspects of his career and instead focus only on the positive. Through lots of reading and candid discussions with his former trainer Larry Berrien, he went about changing the mindset that made him so comfortable with losing.

The first thing he did was look at his complete record from a totally different perspective. Rather than just dwell on the losses, Sconiers lauded himself for beating six previously unbeaten or once beaten fighters. Among them was Ray Austin, who was 14-1 at the time and later challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the heavyweight title.

He also fought Edward Escobedo, who was 12-1, to a draw, and lost a split decision to Ruddock, who has always been a formidable ring presence.

When he examined his 10 fight losing streak, he realized that his opponents had a combined record of 164-32-8. Of the 32 losses, Harris, who had revitalized his once dismal career in much the same way Sconiers hopes to, had incurred 10 of them.

And the always competitive Sherman Williams, accounted for another 10, which means eight other opponents had only 12 losses between them. Several were undefeated at the time they faced Sconiers.

“Losing to all of those guys gave the boxing world the perception that I was washed up and just didn’t care anymore,” said Sconiers. “I realized I had to change that perception, and the only way to change it was to change my old habits and my old ways of thinking, dissect everything I’d been doing wrong, and working really hard to establish a new belief system.”

Tapping deep into his own psyche, Sconiers came to realize that much of his lack of self worth was rooted in childhood issues. As a kid he had a passive personality, and both of his parents were college graduates who held what he calls high ranking positions in the corporate world.

He was bright enough to skip grades in school and he scored high on IQ tests. In no way was he destined to become a boxer. His parents had told him on many occasions that he would be well-suited as psychiatrist or attorney.

His life changed when his father held a Mike Tyson fight party at the family home. To say that Sconiers was mesmerized would be a gross understatement.

“I was instantly locked in,” said Sconiers. “I told myself that I have to do this.”

Sconiers ventured to the Frontline Outreach Gym in Orlando, where he met Antonio Tarver, who was roaring through the amateur ranks en route to the 1996 Olympics. Because Tarver was a few years older than Sconiers, he became a surrogate big brother to him. To this day, Sconiers has the utmost respect for Tarver as both a fighter and a friend.

During Sconiers’ amateur career, which consisted of 77 fights, of which he lost 9, his mother continuously reminded him that, in her opinion, “boxing was for dummies.”

Still, he managed to win a silver medal in the 1996 U.S. Nationals, where he beat eventual Olympic representative and future heavyweight title challenger Calvin Brock, as well as the finals of the 1996 Olympic Trials. In that tournament he lost to Williamson and Lamon Brewster.

When his pro career began to get derailed, the young and immature Sconiers blamed everyone but himself for his shift in fortune.

“I thought the problem was outside me, and thought everyone was responsible but me,” he said. “I dumped Larry in order to self-manage myself. I left what had always kept me grounded. Some of the fights I lost I could or should have won. There’s no way I should have lost to Etienne, but all I did was show up. The Ruddock fight should have been mine.”

As Sconiers lost interest and motivation, he also began dabbling in drugs and alcohol. More times than not, he would take fights on short notice. Even if he had time to train, he never cared if his opponents were switched or where he was lacing them up. Resigned to the fact that he was just fighting for money, he didn’t train hard, if at all.

He’d also pick up a few dollars working as a sparring partner for the likes of Etienne, Shannon Briggs, Jameel McCline, Larry Donald and Kirk Johnson, but the passion was gone. Many of those fighters, as well as their trainers, told Sconiers to snap out of his trance because he was a lot better fighter than he gave himself credit for.

While working with Etienne, the esteemed trainer Don Turner told Sconiers he could make him heavyweight champion of the world if only he’d “get his (stuff) together.”

Sconiers said he was at his personal abyss in mid-2003, when he was stopped by Kirkland, who was 16-1, in the first round in Vallejo, California.

“That was a real bad time for me,” he said. “I was up all night using drugs and alcohol and just didn’t care about anything.”

Although it would be nearly four more years before Sconiers embarked on his personal renaissance, when he looks back on his sordid past that is his most vivid memory. He has learned to use that memory to his advantage.

“A lot of people go down the same route I did and destroy themselves completely,” he said. “I was close to that point around the time of the Kirkland fight, but managed to survive another four years. It is so obvious to me now that I was trying to destroy myself.”

Sconiers is the first to concede that once you fall into the role of an opponent, it is hard to extricate yourself.

“A lot of guys go through this and fall by the wayside,” he said. “Look at Emanuel Burton (Augustus). He’s an immensely talented guy who’s good enough to be competitive and probably beat anyone. But he is in that opponent role, which is hard to snap out of.”

Having done lots of reading on positive thinking and overcoming psychological roadblocks, as well as completely revising his physical training regimen, Sconiers believes he has snapped out of it.

Besides the steadfast support of his beloved wife of six years, Jennifer, who just earned her master’s degree, he believes that his association with Selwyn is a pivotal component to the success he foresees for himself.

They plan on having a momentous and memorable 2008.

“Harold says he is going to be the Cinderella Man of 2008,” said Selwyn. “We plan on keeping a very busy schedule. History has shown that heavyweights are always just a few wins away from redemption. At his best, Harold is very good. It is undeniable that he was his own worst enemy in the past. Now he believes in himself, Larry believes in him, and I believe in him. I’m really looking forward to working with him so he can reach his full potential.”

“We plan on a busy schedule and a lot of upsets,” added Sconiers. “After my first couple of wins, people will probably say they were a fluke. I’m not quite the Cinderella Man and I’m not quite Rocky, but I am an underdog who can make it. Hope sells in boxing, and I plan on being one of the biggest stories of the new year.”

Manager Dave Selwyn can be contacted at: Boxingkid@aol.com or 845-893-2829.

*photo courtesy Harold Sconiers

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