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Articles of 2007

Tua, Mesi and Harrison: Heavyweight Sightings

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At any point in a boxer’s career you can draw lines to connect the dots – time lines and opponents, victories and tragedies, things done, things having come undone – to cast, if one chooses, aspersions or make what amounts to final judgments. Winning or losing, when heavyweights of note fight on, they dream of restitution or convenient cash to make a go of family life or just enduring as a pro’s pro to the bitter end. In boxing, if you are not on an upward trajectory path, you must at least find ways to sustain routines, keep busy with your craft, while floating your name in as many promotional circles as is possible. Winning means visibility and visibility equates to viability and money.

For heavyweight boxing careers can be spectacularly fatalistic. The high tide of optimism soon enough rushes up to the shores of isolating desperation. When we take a minute to trace out the career trajectories and routes of progression and regression, we can appreciate just how sharp is the razor’s edge, the very ground upon which the big men of boxing tread, giants among men, conspicuous in victory and glory as well as defeat.

Just ask Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison of England, who was cut down over the weekend by perennial hard rock Brit some-body Michael Sprott. Sprott, from Reading, who has lost one in every four of his forty professional fights, downed in the first, found a single tranquilizing left hook to blunt and effectively burry the mega-ambitions of the irritatingly loquacious Harrison. So much for being an Olympic champion, so much for Harrison calling into question whether he should even be giving Sprott a payday. The inquest into Harrison’s failed heavyweight career has already been carried out overseas; Harrison with size, speed, a thumping right jab and ego to burn was – following his 2000 Olympic title – on a very short list of probable heavyweight stars for the first decade of the new millennium.

In Harrison’s case, ego often manifests itself as insufferable rants about his being the most talented fighter in the division and the obvious successor to Lennox Lewis. Conspicuously, victory didn’t mean development in Harrison’s case, only his trucks shimmered in many of his ring outings from the launch of his pro career against Floridian Mike Middleton up to his December 2005 defeat to talented career underachiever Danny Williams. That split decision loss to the likeable Williams put Harrison on notice that he was an arrested talent, a guy who was not moving along the celestial arch of a future heavyweight champion. A follow-up decision loss to Dominick Guinn in April of 2006 seemed to confirm that Harrison for all of his physical gifts was more glare than sunshine.

If his upper end fitness was lacking then so was his commitment to train in such a way as to secure his arsenal of offensive weapons. Boxing behind the big jab and repeatedly looking for the blistering left cross can turn assets into liabilities; when heavyweights become predictable they become ultra vulnerable. Self managed, self-assuring and self-contained – Harrison never learned the lessons that took fighters like Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis to the top of the heavyweight division. Being the best means realizing in yourself the absolute limit of your talents through total commitment to listening, learning, sacrificing and above all acknowledging the wisdom of others. Without total physical capacity even the most gifted fighters put themselves into a position to be neutralized.

Training to establish and develop top level fitness and technical capacity means a fighter literally tilts the odds in his favor, making the task of overcoming their advantages problematic for even the most determined opponents. Essentially, Audley Harrison was unable to make his potential into a multifaceted technical superiority, with mental and physical reserves anchoring technical ability. In December of 2006 Harrison reversed his loss to Danny Williams with an emphatic third round stoppage at London’s ExCel Arena and yet it was not proof of a definitive redress to his professional issues. Sprott’s left hook told the full tale as to what kind of character the now thirty-five-year-old Harrison was able to bring to his boxing. And as “Sugar” Ray Leonard has reminded us for decades now, boxing at the elite level comes down to will and character during moments of extreme duress.

At essence, Michael Sprott was able to absorb some of Harrison’s big body shots and clean up major league left crosses to give back in kind; “A-Force” – as Harrison calls himself – couldn’t. And so went the night and one expects the title aspirations of the controversial Harrison. The question lingers nevertheless… was he unequipped or talented to a fault? Contradictions do in fact define the impressions left by ironies; just look at what the career or Audley Harrison never became to find out the nature of contradictions.

New Zealander David Tua and Buffalo, New York’s Joe Mesi will be trying their best to avoid the fate endured by Harrison as they carry on with their respective careers in the heavyweight division. Harrison fell at the checkpoint this weekend, now it’s up to Tua and Mesi to try to buck the odds that seem surmounted against them. These two heavyweights of better days past are not fighting one another. David Tua and Joe Mesi fighting one another would be, even in 2007, news, truly an intriguing minor event on the not too packed early season of professional boxing. But they are both fighting on the same day, Thursday, February 22, 2007, Tua in New York at the Roseland Ballroom and Mesi at the Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, West Virginia.

Neither guy is taking on a world beater, no challenge of any real merit, with Tua mixing it with the light hitting Robert Hawkings, who’s lost 3 of his last 4. His ‘claim to fame’ is that he lost a unanimous decision to Samuel Peter in December of 2005. You can bet that Team Tua will compare notes visa vie Peter, should they get a stoppage win over Hawkings. Other than getting in some work that’s the only logic for the fight: making a point by comparison. Suggesting as it might, that Tua’s on Peter’s trail? You bet! How else does Tua come in from the cold of his almost cryogenically challenged career at this point, aged 34, though the weight scale, sadly, still sees him right around 250 lbs?

That’s the holding pattern, the perch of availability that Tua precariously stands atop of, since he cannot yet manage the kind of professional discipline it takes to get himself fully fit and back to being a full-time, 24/7/365 danger man ready to menace the entire heavyweight division. Though, despite all of his lost years, many believe he could be; though that too may be another sideways comment on the state of the current heavyweight division. No wonder Tua fans are among the most frustrated in all of world boxing. Their guy simply will not commit to being David Tua, full-time heavyweight threat.

Still, he lingers, refusing retirement, still engaging boxing to get a payday, if no longer truly challenging to be a top contender or heavyweight champion. There is about Tua, his long-term management troubles notwithstanding, something of a guy just trying to hold a theoretical spot on the muddled map known as the land of the heavyweights. Again, name recognition might be enough for Tua to reenter the limelight, coming back from the nowhere of repeated disappointments. He does have a KO win over Oleg Maskaev on his CV; alas, that hook will be of little or no import matter once Maskaev steps into the ring with a returning Vitali Klitschko in April, one would think. Yes, maybe it’s just a job, a way to make money for as long as his body holds out against the tide of inevitability. Let’s hope we are wrong in our insinuations; let’s hope David Tua holds out for far greater nights of credible ambitions. Of course, that’s what he’s left with to sell, himself as something like what he once brought to the ring: Tuaman!

As for “Baby” Joe, he’s still talking about getting back in shape, retracing his way back up the heavyweight ladder. There has been no evidence, so far, that Joe Mesi has anything like the package of pressurizing presence and thudding power he did before his neurological close encounter at the fists of Vassiliy Jirov, in March 2004. Rarely has a unanimous ten-round decision win been so destructive to the title ambitions of a fledging HBO blessed heavyweight super-somebody. But Joe Mesi fights on, asserting his rights and freedom to choose. More than a heavyweight, Joe Mesi’s become a small chapter in the legal history of professional boxing. And a diminished looking heavyweight elite tempts Team Mesi into playing (endlessly replaying) with the idea of sneaking back into a title fight. The operating principle here being ‘just keep winning and passing your self off as a winner.’ You never know how things might turn out.

Taking on George Linberger – whose latest “victim” was Butterbean – strikes Mesi and his father Jack as an act of progressive legitimation, meaning one more step toward the recovery of his name in the game, if not the prospects of his former conditional fame in the game of boxing. No matter how the metaphysics strain credulity, Mesi’s all about believing to the very end. So his career is, in a pure sense, about faith beyond reason.

For now Tua and Mesi press on seeking to impress upon the boxing world that they are becoming legitimate heavyweights full of marketing possibilities, given the right offerings, the right shot at something meaningful. Why not hold to the notion that a title or a significant payday is their next step after their respective Thursday paid workouts? Isn’t that precisely what fighting for the right to be paid the big money is all about: hope and glory blinding the faithful?

And, yes, you soldier on… making the case that you really still can be a significant some-body. You keep the fate of guys like Audley Harrison in perspective, meaning way, way in the back of your mind; if you think about it/them at all.

No point on dwelling on the negatives.

Falling from grace, that’s the other guy’s problem.

To the bitter end, you gotta believe!

Patrick Kehoe may be reached at pkehoe@telus.net

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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