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Articles of 2007

Taylor/Spinks Lowdown (With Weight Woes)

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It’s a middleweight buffet with Jermain Taylor defending his world championship and a couple of contenders angling for position on the top of the mountain. But answer me this: who will be the next Marvin Hagler?

Taylor (26-0-1, 17 KOs) defends his world championship against junior middleweight Cory Spinks (36-3, 11 KOs) on Saturday at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. Even more interesting, perhaps,  is the collision between Kelly Pavlik and Edison Miranda. Both fights will be televised on HBO.

Yes, Bernard Hopkins has the current middleweight record of 20 title defenses, but he’s still fighting so we’re going to talk about legendary 160-pounder Hagler.

“Marvin was a very tough man inside the ring,” said Ray Leonard to this reporter a year ago. “He was so strong.”

Strength only begins to tell the story about Hagler, the bald-headed southpaw stylist who mowed through the middleweight division from 1973 to 1987. Like most great fighters he found it difficult in the beginning to entice world title opportunities from the champions. Instead, he battled in middleweight wars in Philadelphia.

It took him six years to finally grab a title bid when another tough guy named Vito Antuofermo held the title and willingly accepted the challenge. That first fight ended in a draw.

Today, Taylor didn’t find his road to success as difficult. After competing on the U.S. Olympic team in 2000, the likeable Arkansas middleweight burned a path to the world title and was given a shot against Hopkins in July 2005. Though not everybody agreed that he won the fight, two of three judges did.

After that, it’s been all down hill for the aggressive Taylor.

Another close win over Hopkins on December 2005, a draw against Winky Wright in 2006 and an under whelming win against the much smaller Kassim Ouma has scrubbed some of the luster from Taylor’s trophy case. Now he’s fighting another smaller guy in Spinks.

Fight fans are not amused, but Taylor feels he has no choice.

“I tried to fight Winky Wright again but he didn’t want to step up,” said Taylor. “I’m through with him.”

Another fight was proposed to fight Sergio Mora from The Contender reality television show. But after changing the sites from Oakland to Las Vegas than Memphis, the Mora representatives felt they were getting set up for a can’t win situation. They pulled out.

Now here comes Spinks. He’s a good boxer with no knockout power and his best tactic is to hit and hold if not hit and run. Against Roman Karmizan he was able to pull out a win using excessive holding because he was in his hometown. Not this time Spinks.

Fighting Spinks is very un-Hagler like for the middleweight champion of the world. Even proposing something of that nature to the Marvelous-one would have been an insult to his fistic nature.

So what’s the solution?

Fight fans realize the better fight on the loaded Memphis fight card could be Pavlik facing Colombia’s Miranda. It could be another Hagler versus Tommy Hearns-like conflagration.

Miranda talks tough, looks tough and hits people with enough power to generate fanfare despite a somewhat lackluster main event.

Pavlik, 25, brings something of a different element. He can flat out fight. Forget that he’s white, forget that his nickname is “The Ghost”, the Youngstown middleweight strafed two hard as rock opponents in Fulgencio Zuniga and Jose Luis Zertuche.

Both these guys take no prisoners.

“I’m definitely going to go in there and make a statement,” says Pavlik (30-0, 27 KOs), who has turned heads in the boxing world with his ability to box when needed or blow them out if possible. “I think it’s very important I go in there and take care of business.”

Miranda, who doesn’t speak English, doesn’t let the language barrier keep him from tossing verbal insult bombs toward Pavlik’s direction.

“Even my grandfather can knock out Kelly Pavlik,” said Miranda (28-1, 24 KOs) during a telephone conference call. “He doesn’t even know what he’s doing. He shouldn’t even be on this line.”

What Pavlik has shown is an ability to box scientifically when necessary or pull out the roughhouse tactics book of brawling if needed. He’s a well-rounded prizefighter who has paid his dues by fighting gradually to the top.

“We think Kelly is the best fighter,” said Bob Arum, president of Top Rank who promotes Pavlik. “This was obviously a logical fight for Kelly.”

Logical or not, Miranda has brutalized several opponents including WBO middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham whose jaw he broke in their meeting eight months ago in Germany. He didn’t win that day but he won over many fans with his furious assaults both physically and verbally.

“He doesn’t have the heart to fight me,” Miranda, 26, says of Pavlik. “It doesn’t matter.”

The winner of their fight has been promised a match with Taylor who is expected to win easily in his title defense.

Will this fight start a middleweight renaissance in boxing’s blue-collar weight division similar to Hagler’s reign?

“In the old days Marvin Hagler wouldn’t allow an Edison Miranda and Kelly Pavlik to fight each other,” said Arum. “Because that wouldn’t allow him to fight both guys.”

That was Hagler’s hammer to anvil philosophy. He wanted to hog the best fights for himself.

Instead Taylor is fighting Spinks who shouldn’t even be fighting at junior middleweight let alone middleweight.

Hagler probably looks at the whole middleweight situation in disgust.

On Saturday, the muddled middleweight division will become a lot clearer at the end of the day. Pavlik or Miranda will emerge as the heir to the throne.

“It’s great. It’s what every fighter wants, it’s a dream,” Pavlik says.

Miranda seems to see Pavlik as a stepping-stone to Taylor.

“I’m going to knock him out dead,” Miranda says. “Is he sleeping well?”

Being a middleweight champion carries a lot of responsibility. It’s the one division where its champion has the ability to beat even a heavyweight. From Bob Fitzsimmons to James Toney, middleweights possess the clout to beat anyone. The good ones don’t shy away.

EDITOR UPDATE: Spinks made weight at 159.8 after weighing in at 161.4. It took him about an hour. Miranda, too, came in over, but cut for an hour and then made 160.

Lou Dibella, on the line from Memphis,  told TSS that Cory tried to bulk up for the fight, resulting in his overage.

“The fight will go some rounds, Taylor will use his jab, push him, move him around, stop him late. Any time someone can box as well as Spinks, there is a degree of danger. But because he doesn't have the big punch, it's not as exciting danger.”

SATURDAY PM UPDATE/TSS PREDICTION SQUAD/WOOLY WEIGHS IN

WOOLEVER SAYS: If Taylor can't stop Spinks within the first scheduled half of the fight he's completely lost what momentum he gained from the Hopkins dates, but some of that could arise from old friendship. The call here is that Taylor should be able to flatten Spinks but could hold back. Taylor by underwhelming TKO.

Nobody will hold back anything between Pavlik and Miranda. Pavlik will not go easily, but he could go quick in what should be a whapathon while it lasts.

KEENAN SAYS: Taylor will probably be taken the distance by Spinks. He'll dominate the fight, but doesn't seem to have the finesse to catch the slippery Spinks and score the KO. Pavlik has too many tools for the raw Miranda and should win a decision in a grueling contest.

REIN SAYS:
Though Jermaine Taylor hasn’t shown he can adjust, consistently firing combinations over the head of slippery opponents, by round ten Spinks should slow enough for one of Jermain’s long rights to freeze him.  The rest is mopping-up till the ref stops it; the inevitable end to a listless pairing.

Miranda-Pavlik’s just the opposite.  If ever a fight should be the main-go, this it – drama! Will Pavlik fold under Miranda’s nukes or is he ready for prime time?  If he can weather four rounds of bombs, he’ll systematically pick Miranda apart till what little technique he has frays and unravels.  Miranda will keep pitchin’ Hail Mary’s but will be cut down for good in the 11th.

JAY-GON SAYS:

Though Jermain Taylor may have been effective going forward against Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright, I don't buy the fact that he is an aggressive fighter. Taylor has regressed as a boxer since the two fights with Hopkins. He looks very doofy to me when he fights going forward. This leads me to believe that he isn't comfortable being the aggressor. Spinks' height, lateral movement, quick hands and the right jab will pose a lot of problems for Taylor. I am, however picking Taylor to win, but it's not going to be easy. From a style standpoint, this is a bad match up for Taylor. Taylor is going to have to chase the southpaw Spinks all night and he hasn't shown the ability to be able to make the proper adjustments in fights accordingly. Taylor wins a very boring unanimous decision. But don't be surprised if that jab Spinks utilizes while moving backwards wins him the fight.

Now Edison Miranda and Kelly Pavlik may be the reincarnation of “Tito” Trinidad and Ricardo Mayorga. It will be exciting while it lasts. Pavlik has shown to have a better chin then Miranda. Pavlik will weather the early storm from Miranda, then box the socks of f 'Pantera' till he puts him out for the count in the 6th round. Potential fight of the year candidate. The fans will be requesting a rematch.

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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