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THE PULSE The Four Horsemen Get Stomped On, By Another Crummy PPV…PLUS: Hunter, Abraham Icy At Glove Choose-Off

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THE PULSE The Four Horsemen Get Stomped On, By Another Crummy PPV...PLUS: Hunter, Abraham Icy At Glove Choose-OffThe Pulse

Do you remember that scene in the movie “JFK” when Jim Garrison flies to Washington D.C. to meet with X, a character played Donald Sutherland, in the attempt to identify clues about who killed the President? It was the turning point of the movie. X saved Garrison’s case, gave him ideas that he never could have imagined, and bestowed in him the confidence to keep on plugging away towards his ultimate goal of finding out the truth.

Such persuasive wisdom could be used for boxing fans. There are moments like the Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley fight that are a source discouragement. But what can we do about it, besides talk? 

I am writing you this message in the honor of Claude, Stew, Kevin, and Ronnie. They are men who are considered by their peers to be knowledgeable boxing fans. Men, who at one time or another, have called boxing the best sport in the world. Men that are like just you and me, looking for some entertainment on a Saturday night from world class fighters who get paid a great deal of money to showcase their talents on the grand stage.  

The four horsemen are between the ages of 29-34. Most of them saw the Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley fight this past Saturday. And all enjoy the sport on a different level. This message will depict the levels of their love for boxing. And it will show how an undesirable fight like Pacquiao vs. Mosley could tarnish their desires to watch another manufactured bout that has little meaning. 

Below you will read the bios of four boxing fans and the messages that I received from them before, during, and after the Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley fight.

Claude: Age 32
Famous Quote: “There is no other sport like boxing.”
Favorite Fighter of All Time: Oscar De la Hoya
Favorite Fight: Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward I, 2002
Favorite Boxing Moment: Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope versus George Foreman. “Ali fought against the ropes, it was a style that I had never been seen before,” Claude said.

The Bio: Claude loves to express his passion for the sport. He thinks he knows about more about boxing than others, spewing about the names of former titlist as if he were Bert Sugar himself.
Claude is a fan of flamboyant fighters like Floyd Mayweather or Roy Jones Jr. But he does not bother himself with minor details such as the fact that A. Floyd was born in Michigan. B. He was a 1996 Olympic Bronze Medalist. C. His breakout fight was against Diego Corrales. And D. Floyd started his amateur career at 106 pounds and his pro career at 130 pounds.
I have heard, “There is nothing like boxing,” come out of his mouth plenty of times. And his assessment prior to the Pac/Mosley dance off did not sound like it came from a man that once nearly broke up with his fiancé to attend the Mosley vs. Mayorga fight back in 2008. It was actually Nostradamus-like. It was the message that we all should have gotten before forking out that hefty dough.  Claude refused to watch the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight on Saturday.

Claude’s Message:
Approximately an hour before Pacquiao and Mosley touched gloves for the first time, Claude said, “I feel great about boycotting this fight!” 

My response: “Good for you!” 

Claude said, “I am standing up for myself man. Do you think that I do not know Pacquiao is going to kill him? Are you kidding me? Boxing, you are insulting me? This sport is insulting my intelligence.” 

Then Claude unleashes in a way that could only make us loyalists proud. 

“They are making 20 million each to go spar, fooling us all. Mosley has no business fighting Pac. It is our fault as boxing fans.

We pay for this! They take our money and laugh at us!!!!”

Then I responded with, “I could not have said it better my friend. But, I am still watching this fight, like an idiot.”  

Stew: Age 29
Famous quote: “Boxing sucks now bro. But I want to be a promoter.”
Favorite Fighter of All Time: Manny Pacquiao
Favorite Fight: Tito Trinidad vs. William Joppy 2001.
Favorite Boxing Moment: Floyd Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton 2007. “It was like USA vs. UK, such a great moment. And at the time, I was living with a British guy. So it felt even better to cheer for USA.”
The Bio: Stew is one of those undercover fight fans. On the surface, he acts as if boxing is extinct; loves talking down on the promoters that set up unimpressive fights and wonders out loud as to why Mayweather and Pacquiao do not throw down.  Stew probably has not been excited to see a PPV event since Floyd Mayweather’s first retirement in 2007. Yet at the time of a big fight, he shows his true loyalty and tunes in. The level of negativity towards the sport of boxing that comes out of Stew’s mouth is frustrating. But he loves to share his opinion nonetheless.

Stew’s Message:
On Thursday, Cinco de Mayo, two nights before the Mosley vs. Pacquiao fight, Stew and I went out for some drinks to enjoy the pleasant traditional Hispanic festivities. We ran into Mario Serrano, the boxing publicist for Gilroy based lightweight champion Robert Guerrero. Quickly, our conversations turned to the then upcoming big fight between Pacquiao and Mosley.

And Stew had his normally assertive viewpoints to share with us. 

Stew said, “Look, Pacquiao is going to knock that old man out. Just watch, I will bet you dinner on it.”

I said, “You got a bet.” 

Stew goes, “Ok, it’s on. And I am not going to no chump ass restaurant either. Just be ready, we are going to order a fine bottle of cab, a nice little appetizer, and have ourselves a feast. Mosley is finished.” I gladly accepted the bet, as a competitor and we all know the result, Mosley lost by unanimous decision, meaning that I won the dinner. Being the standup guy that he is, Stew did take much time to concede his defeat. 

Immediately after the fight Stew sent me a text message saying, “I owe you dinner. This is why boxing is going downhill; some of these guys fight way too defensive bro. Pick a nice place to eat!”

I responded with, “You were talkin way too much beforehand. That is your problem.” 

Then Stew said, “And I still am talking. Listen man, you have to call out weak running so called fighters like this. I am glad that I lost the bet. Just to prove my point. It kills the sport when these dirty fighters come to just pick up a pay check.”

I said, “Yeah.” 

Stew continued, “He (Mosley) should get zero money. Then that would make him fight. Call them out Ray. You have the power. Mosley came for a check.” 

“Oh, you know I will!” I said. 

Stew: “For every big fight, there should be a total purse: 75% for the winner, and 25% for the loser.” 

I said, “They do that sometimes.” 

“Then why does this always happen?” He asked.

“It is a long story bro,” I said.

Kevin: Age 31
Famous Quote: “Mike Tyson is the greatest champion of all time.”
Favorite Fighter: Mike Tyson
Favorite Boxing Fight: Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks, “91 seconds of destruction,” 1988.
Favorite Boxing Moment: Mike Tyson’s entrance music against Michael Spinks. “The song that goes Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmvfb8al0QE
Least Favorite Boxing Moment: Shane Mosley’s cowardly act on Saturday night.
The Bio: Kevin thinks Mike Tyson is the greatest heavyweight champion in the history of the sport. Surround the guy with some fight fans and he will unleash hell, spewing out historical facts about Tyson as if he was Cus D’Amato himself. As you could tell, Kevin never hesitates to worship the greatness of Iron Mike. Perhaps that is what keeps him watching PPV fights.

He is the definition of a casual fight fan, getting much of his info by word of mouth, or high end news publications like ESPN or Yahoo. After watching the PPV bout between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley, Kevin had this to say via text.

Kevin’s Message:
Kevin said, “Boxing is wack because big namers don’t fight for glory. They fight for money, unlike the MMA. In any prize fight, the loser should get $0.”

I responded with, “This fight was a joke.”

Kevin, “Mosley is a coward. You should talk about Mosley and how the boxing industry needs to be regulated. It should all be tournament style.”

“Yeah,” I say. 

Kevin continues, “The top ten fighters should fight in a tournament in every weight class, 1 vs. 10, 2 vs. 9, 3 vs. 6, and so on. If you do not fight then your boxing license gets suspended for five years.” 

I said, “Do you mean, like the Super Six?”

Kevin’s response, “The Super Six sucks too. It is taking forever.” 

Then I said, “Well, that is boxing my friend.”

Ronnie: Age 34
Famous Quote: “I hate Floyd Mayweather.”
Favorite Fighters: Marvin Hagler and Manny Pacquiao
Favorite Fight: Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns, 1985.
Favorite Boxing Moment: “I still get the chills thinking about a Mike Tyson ring entrance.”
Least Favorite Memory: “Hagler being robbed by Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987.”

The Bio: Ronnie is a modern day boxing zombie. He cares merely about the fights and little about the politics that at times corrupt the sport. Manny Pacquiao is Ronnie’s hero of the moment. So he naturally hates everything that Floyd Mayweather stands for. A couch, beer in the left hand, and pumped fist in the right, Ronnie is the prototype, a fight promoters dream. There is never a dull moment during a big fight when Ron is in the room. Screaming and hollering with every solid punch thrown, Ronnie could be seen as the life of the fight party. 

Ronnie’s Message: Moments before the fight Ronnie sent me this text: “Thanks for the memories Shane, enjoy retirement!!”
I said, “You have spoken like a scholar.”

During the fight, here are Ronnie’s messages to me in chronological order: “59-54 Manny”… “69-63 Manny”… “79-62 Manny”…  “Mosley’s girl is hot”…  “80-71 Manny, this is a laugher”…. ?B******* knockdown”….  “I think Mosley wants to kiss him not fight him” …. “Pacquiao is the greatest of our era!!!”  

He stated the obvious so I did not bother to respond. 

The Answer: 

Ronnie enjoys the game for what it’s worth. He watches a fight, hopes for a knockout, and wants some action. That is what a fight fan should be. But the other three guys were left asking questions. Why did we ever believe Pacquiao vs. Mosley would be a good fight? Why do we continue to pay for fights that are seemingly one-sided? Why do promoters continue to sell us a poor product? And why do we let them get away with it? 

These doubts are raised much too many times in boxing. When will we start sticking by our guns and searching for ways to find some solutions?  That is the real question.

Politics is power. And boxing is a sport that is as political as they come. During their discussion, X told a discouraged Jim Garrison that, “Fundamentally, people are suckers for the truth. And the truth is on your side.” 

I wish that were true in boxing.

PLUS:

Roughly an hour after the weigh in for tonight’s Super Six Semifinal bout between Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham, the Continental Ballroom in the Crown Plaza LAX Hotel in Los Angeles, CA was practically empty when the respective camps of both combatants stuck around to go over the CSAC rules for the bout, and inspect the gloves to be worn for each fighter.

Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter stood first. He examined the Everlast and Adidas versions of the boxing gloves that were placed on the table in front of him, smacking the front of the gloves with the palm of his left hand, and chose red Everlast gloves for Andre Ward. Then Arthur Abraham’s trainer, Uli Wegner, who seemed less animated than Hunter, picked out black Adidas gloves for Abraham. It was a process that seemed to be predetermined due to the fact that Andre Ward’s nickname, S.O.G. was already engraved in the Everlast gloves.

Meanwhile, Hunter doubled checked the Adidas gloves and argued that they felt lighter than the Everlast glove.  At that point, Arthur Abraham casually walked into the meeting and tried on both versions of the gloves himself. Once Abraham grabbed Ward’s Everlast gloves, Hunter said, “Don’t worry, he (Ward) doesn’t hit that hard. You won’t feel anything when he hits you.”

Abraham gave Hunter a confused look then asked one of the members of his camp for a translation of Hunter’s comments. When Abraham received clarification, the trainer and the Armenian exchanged tempered glares.

In the end, there was no harm done. But the exchange between Hunter and Abraham was a small bit of gamesmanship before the true battle goes down tomorrow night.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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