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30 Boxing Notables Recall Their All-Time Favorite Fight(s)

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favorite fight

This completes the participative trilogy involving a favorite boxer, a favorite boxing book, and now a favorite fight (though a favorite round still looms as a possibility).

I’ll weigh in first. Using the criteria of ebb and flow, controlled violence, courage, imposition of will, superiority of technical skills, and pure savagery, my selection is Yvon “The Fighting Fisherman” Durelle vs. Archie “The Old Mongoose” Moore on December 10, 1958 in Montreal. On the canvas three times in round one and once more in the fifth, Moore used every trick in the book to regroup and slowly come back to batter Durelle who finally went down in the seventh and then again in the tenth round when he was saved by the bell. Archie then settled matters in the eleventh when he finished the spent Canadian with two withering knockdowns– the second triggered by a savage right as the crowd watched in disbelief. In all, there were eight knockdowns in the fight. This nationally televised classic gave new meaning to the word courage and the saying “back from the brink.”

Here are the other selections. The respondents are listed in alphabetical order.

 JIM AMATO (historian, writer, and collector): Duran-Leonard I

Like Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Duran willed himself to win that night in Montreal. Everyone says that Ray decided to slug with Roberto. To me this is only partially true. The in-shape and highly motivated Duran forced Ray to slug with him. Roberto showed effective aggression throughout the battle. To Sugar Ray’s credit he dug in and fought back gallantly. At times Leonard was giving better then he got. I had Duran winning by a couple of points but Leonard fought his heart out.

MATT ANDRZEJEWSKI (boxing writer): Kevin Kelley vs. Ricardo Rivera

This 1995 fight was supposed to be a simple tune-up and stay-busy fight for Kelley coming off his bout with Alejandro Gonzalez, but it turned into one of the best fights of the 1990’s. It was an all-out war with each taking turns having their moments. Both fighters were hurt on multiple occasions. Finally, Kelley hurt and finished Rivera for good in the 9th.

DAVID AVILA (TSS West Coast Bureau Chief): Corrales-Castillo I.

Nothing like that fight to prove it’s never over till it’s over. Very few fans saw it in person—maybe five thousand.

My favorite fight in which I was not there in person was Ali-Foreman. I bet one person at my job Ali would win. Then 20 more chased me to bet. I took them all. I was confident in my judgement. I won a lot of money that night.

JOE BRUNO (former New York Tribune sportswriter; author of more than 45 crime-related books, including true crime, novels and screenplays): Hearns-Hagler

Although it only lasted eight minutes, it’s hard to beat Hearns-Hagler for pure excitement, which took place in almost every second of the fight. Hagler was hurt in round one and cut on his forehead. In fact, in the third round, the referee, Richard Steele, stopped the fight so that the ring doctor could look at Hagler’s cut. Seconds later, Hagler, who was constantly switching from righty to southpaw, landed two overhand rights that dropped Hearns face first onto the canvas. Hearns rolled on to his back and he somehow made it to his feet at the count of nine, but his legs looked like over-cooked spaghetti and his eyes were vacant. Steele rightfully and thankfully stopped the bout. It takes my breath away just to think about it.

TRACY CALLIS (premier boxing historian, author): Moore-Durelle, Ali-Frazier III, Hagler-Hearns

These are my choices of fights I have seen. I never tire of reading accounts of the second fight between Jim Jeffries and Tom Sharkey in 1899 and the third fight between Tommy Ryan and Tommy West in 1902. I’ve read accounts of these two fights hundreds of times.

STEVE CANTON (a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, Steve has been involved in every aspect of boxing for more than 52 years): Sellers vs. Thompson

The one that I enjoyed the most was Ezra Sellers vs. Carl Thompson in Manchester, England in 2001. I trained Ezra for that fight, changed his style (somewhat), developed the game plan, and witnessed from the corner one of the greatest fights in European boxing history. Ezra followed the game plan to perfection until he dropped Thompson at the end of round one, then forgot everything we worked on and went for the finish. Instead, he walked into a great right-hand counter from Thompson and went down hard. In the corner, I got him relaxed and in the second he went back to the plan to perfection. However, the end of the second was a complete replica of the end of the first, only this time Ezra was hurt even worse. Again, I was able to settle him down and the third went according to plan. In the fourth, Ezra finally finished Thompson with a short “upper-hook” with his back on the ropes. It was the only time Thompson was ever totally knocked out. It was a great fight.

WILLIAM DETLOFF (former amateur boxer, author, editor of Ringside Seat magazine): Foreman-Lyle

George Foreman’s KO in round 5 over Ron Lyle was the conclusion to the most exciting heavyweight brawl I’ve ever seen.

JILL DIAMOND (boxing writer and boxing official who last weekend received a Humanitarian Award from the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame): Golovkin-Jacobs and Saccaroto-Rakoczy

I will stay with contemporary times. For Male boxing, I really enjoyed the GGG-Danny Jacobs fight. It made me wonder what would’ve transpired if it had been 15 rounds. That being said, I’m not for 15 rounds, just speculating.

As for Women, the 2007 fight between Ann-Marie Saccaroto and Jessica Rakoczy was a nail biter. Ann rallied in the later rounds and trailed by a point or two when she knocked out Rakoczy two seconds before the final bell. Rakoczy tried to get up, but referee Jack Reiss wisely called the fight.

STEVE FARHOOD (award-winning TV boxing commentator and 2017 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee): Pryor-Arguello I.

Of all the fights I’ve attended, this remains number one. Amazing setting, back and forth, tremendous stakes, and two legendary fighters. What more can you ask?

BERNARD FERNANDEZ (TSS mainstay and one of eight lifetime members of the Boxing Writers Association of America): Tyson-Douglas and Chavez-Taylor I

I had the incredible good fortune to have been at ringside covering these two fights which occurred just five weeks apart. The first — not necessarily the best, most competitive fight, but the best EVENT, and the greatest upset in boxing history — was on Feb. 11, 1990, in Tokyo, when Buster Douglas shocked the world by knocking out the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson. The immediate aftermath of that fight — the “long count” controversy which might have resulted in Douglas’ deserved victory being overturned, were it not for intense media and public rejection of that notion — made an already huge story continue to generate follow-up pieces for several days afterward.

Then, on March 17, Julio Cesar Chavez, too far behind on two of the three official scorecards to win a decision, stopped Meldrick Taylor with two seconds remaining in the 12th and final round of their junior welterweight unification bout at the Las Vegas Hilton. Great, great fight, controversial ending (I still maintain that Taylor should have gotten those two seconds), and a consensus Fight of the Year that even eclipsed, as much as anything possibly could, Tyson-Douglas.

JEFFREY FREEMAN (KO Digest founder; TSS New England correspondent): Tyson-Douglas

I’ve watched it over and over again through the years. Arguably the greatest upset in sports history, this was also one hell of a good heavyweight title fight featuring hard punches and solid knockdowns. I was just 20 years old, enraptured in the boxing culture of my hometown Brockton, Mass; but I was also scheduled to work that evening at a local restaurant called Ebenezer’s Place. I’d never missed a Tyson fight on HBO and wasn’t about to start. I couldn’t afford a VCR and there was no such thing as DVR. So I quit. I walked off the line. I went home to watch Tyson-Douglas live on my small black and white TV. Expecting nothing, I got everything. The undisputed world heavyweight championship changed hands in Tokyo from those of a cruel and unusual champion to those of an unknown conquering hero. Buster did it for his Mom. Buster got up off the canvas to win by highlight reel knockout. Buster busted the invincible Iron Mike. There was cheering in my neighborhood when Tyson was finally counted out. I got my job back the next morning but the journey to learn more about Buster, the new heavyweight champion, was just beginning.

Dr. MARGARET GOODMAN (president of VADA, former Nevada boxing official, neurologist, author):

No real favorite fight, but one of my favorite fighters–Marco Antonio Barrera– was great when he beat Prince Naseem Hamed.

LEE GROVES (author, journalist): Chacon-Limon IV

The fourth fight between Bobby Chacon and Bazooka Limon not only featured tremendous back-and-forth action and multiple knockdowns, but there was rivalry between the two. The series was 1-1-1 and each detested the other. An explosively pro-Chacon crowd and the back-story of Chacon making his third attempt to gain a world title after throwing his first away in his early 20s due to careless living. At least a half-dozen times Chacon was trapped in a corner and taking dozens of punches only to fight his way out — a microcosm of his life outside the ring. Still down on the cards entering the 15th round, Chacon scored a knockdown in the final moments to pull ahead and complete his odyssey. It is the single greatest fight I’ve seen in my 43 years of watching boxing and I don’t think that another will ever boast the combination of action and human drama that persuaded me to make this fight number one on my list.

HENRY HASCUP (historian, collector, and long-time president of the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame): Moore-Durelle I

This was the first fight I ever saw. My parents just got a TV back in December of 1958 and my father told me that this guy by the name of Archie Moore was so great. I was only ten years old at the time. After the first round I looked at him and started to laugh and said ‘he don’t look that great to me.’ He told me ‘the fight isn’t over yet.’ Well, we all know what happened and that hooked me on boxing forever.

MIGUEL ITURRATE (former MMA matchmaker, writer and Senior Archivist at The Boxing Channel):

I’m going to go with the trilogy between Troy Dorsey and Jorge Paez. I got to see all three fights. Dorsey was a guy who most would probably classify as a journeyman, but he had a kickboxing background and worked a crazy rate of punches as Paez tried to stay with him.

Dr. STUART KIRSCHENBAUM (former amateur boxer; co-founder of the National Association of Boxing Commissioners): Foreman-Lyle

During my years as Boxing Commissioner of Michigan I was often asked if I would have stopped the Rocky Balboa fights because of the brutality. I loved those fights but wearing my commissioner’s hat the answer was always in the affirmative. Later on I would eat my words when George Foreman fought Ron Lyle in perhaps the most ferocious, hard hitting heavyweight fight in history. This would have to be my single most favorite fight, so much so that for years I would give VCR copies of this fight as a special gift to friends who had not seen it. In my opinion the final round, round 5, was better than Hearns vs. Hagler round 3 which I witnessed ringside sitting next to the Hitman’s mother.

JIM LAMPLEY (HBO fight broadcaster and member of the IBHOF): Leonard-Hearns I

I didn’t have to think more than a minute. Greatest role reversal fight of all time and a fight which showcased the greatness of both.

ARNE LANG (historian, author, editor-in-chief of The Sweet Science): Chavez-Taylor I.

The first fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor, held in a ballroom at the Las Vegas Hilton, was incredible. The fight had something of the drama of a horse race where the eventual winner comes from far back to win by a nose at the wire. Two seconds separated Taylor from winning the decision, but he absorbed a terrible beating and was never the same.

HAROLD LEDERMAN: (famous boxing judge, member of HBO team, and 2016 IBHOF inductee): Gomez vs. Pintor

Wilfredo Gomez, from Puerto Rico, was the WBC super bantamweight champion. Lupe Pintor, from Mexico, was the WBC bantamweight champion. It was an absolute war until Gomez knocked him out in the 14th.

RON LIPTON (world class referee): Tiger vs. DePaula

This one is easy for me. I had boxed hard swap session rounds with Dick Tiger and Frankie DePaula and both were my friends. When they made the fight (Oct. 25, 1968 at Madison Square Garden) I was in the police academy. I went with another police officer and sat ringside. In the second round DePaula, all of a sudden instead of looping his punches, just dropped two short shots, a left and right, so stiff and hard the leather made the sound of an explosion. I will never forget that sound.

Tiger was lifted off of his feet and landed so hard on his ass it shook the ring slats.  The entire crowd where I was sitting, every single person, jumped out of their seats with complete shock. When Tiger got up he had aged like the picture of Dorian Grey.

DePaula was on him like a maniac and dropped him again and hard. Tiger got up with sheer will and to this day I do not know how he made it. He came out in the third round and beat the heck of Frankie, digging in body shots up to the wrist, and dumped him with the same left hook that dropped Rubin Carter. Frankie made it to his feet and tried to take charge again and was knocked down with the same body shots and left hook. This time when he got up, all the fury was drained from him. They fought it out in the trenches until the final bell and Tiger clearly won.

FRANK LOTIERZO (former boxer, writer, and lead analyst for The Boxing Channel): Ali-Frazier I

If there ever was a fight between two more skilled and fit heavyweights at or near their prime, I certainly am not aware of it. It’s the only sporting event of my lifetime in which I couldn’t picture either side losing. At the time it bothered me that Frazier won, but that passed because losing the real “Fight of The Century” was the best thing that ever happened to Ali in the ring. It set the stage for him to carve out his legacy.

PAUL MAGNO (writer, former boxing web site manager, and boxing official in Mexico): Corrales-Castillo I.

Hold my feet to the fire and I’d give you Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo I as the very best of everything I like about the sport — two outstanding fighters engaged in beautiful brutality, pushing one another to the edge and finishing up with nothing but pure courage and pride when their bodies could take them no further.

But, at the risk of veering off the road a bit, I also enjoy the virtuoso performances from the masters and would probably suggest them as must-watch material for new fans just as much as the classic wars. On my list of most memorable (and most satisfying) masterpieces is Marco Antonio Barrera over Prince Naseem Hamed, Bernard Hopkins over Felix Trinidad and Floyd Mayweather over Diego Corrales.

GORDON MARINO (philosophy professor, Wall Street Journal boxing writer, trainer): Ali-Frazier I

Not even a doubt.

ROBERT MLADINICH (former NYPD police detective, author, boxing writer): Palomino vs. Green

I have many favorite fights but this 1977 fight stands out the most. Dave “Boy” Green was undefeated, but Carlos Palomino was favored to retain his WBC welterweight title. The champ was out-boxing Green, who refused to give up and kept propelling himself forward, throwing superb combinations even as one eye was closing. Palomino finally stopped the relentless challenger in the 11th round, but Green’s courage and grit, as well as Palomino’s steadfast determination, took my breath away. Another favorite is the 1958 bout between Gene Fullmer and Joe Miceli for the sheer savagery displayed by Fullmer. It was not often that Miceli was beaten so easily.

JOE PASQUALE (esteemed boxing judge): Taylor vs. Davis

My favorite fight that I worked was the battle of the gold in Atlantic City, Meldrick Taylor vs. Howard Davis. So many close rounds, but under the old 5-point round system. The three judges — myself, Al Devito, and Gene Grant — came up with a three way split. Grant had it even, Devito had Taylor, and I had Davis. The skill level of this fight was just great. So many more since 1984. I have been very fortunate to have such a great seat.

JOHN “ICEMAN” SCULLY (elite trainer; former world light heavyweight title challenger): Leonard-Hearns I and Pryor-Arguello I.

Both fights featured just about everything a great fight would need. Tremendous skills mixed with ferocity, heart, willpower and toughness. The back and forth in each fight was spectacular and both winners had to go through hell to achieve victory and each guy who didn’t win (I hate to call them losers) showed more in defeat than most people show in landslide victories.

BRUCE TRAMPLER (Top Rank matchmaker; 2010 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame).

Foreman-Lyle for the excitement, Foreman-Moorer for the drama, several fights of Bill “Dynamite” Douglas, whom I managed.

GARY “DIGITAL” WILLIAMS (boxing writer, blogger and “Master of the Beltway”): Bryan vs.Barber

It was on a club show that took place at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Maryland just outside of Washington, DC on November 30th, 1995.  An undefeated middleweight prospect named Lloyd “Jabba” Bryan of Capitol Heights, MD by way of Jamaica took on Bernice “The Heat” Barber, a former kickboxing champ from Virginia Beach, VA. The bout was a 12-rounder for the vacant USBA Intercontinental Middleweight title.

From the second round on, the excitement kept building. During the final round, it seemed like everybody was drained: the boxers, the fans and the announcers. Bryan had enough, however, to pull out the 12th round and win the title. It was the first time I had ever called a full 12-round bout and I felt like I had boxed 12 rounds. I had never had that feeling before and haven’t had it since. But it was a feeling of total accomplishment. Those two boxers gave it their best and those who saw it are still talking about it.

PETER WOOD (boxing writer, author, and former boxer): Gatti vs. Rodriguez

In 1996, twenty one years ago, I was ringside in Madison Square Garden and witnessed a miracle – Arturo Gatti’s sensational come-from-behind victory over Wilson Rodriguez to retain his World IBF Super Featherweight Title. The sellout crowd witnessed six rounds of fierce fistic mayhem.

At the end of the third round, Gatti was so disoriented that he staggered toward the wrong corner. Between rounds, I could see the ringside physician conducting a vision test, holding up his fingers in front of Gatti’s face .Gatti was losing big, but he never panicked. He kept up his intensity, digging deeper than deep. In the final seconds of the sixth round, Gatti went for broke and hit pay dirt with a thudding left hook that landed flush on Rodriguez’s jaw. Rodriguez went down like a rag doll. This was boxing at its best.

Observations: The responses reflected a great variety with no one fight dominating although Moore-Durelle I, Pryor-Arguello I, Corrales-Castillo I, and Foreman-Lyle attracted multiple votes. One surprise (at least to me) was that Hearns-Hagler did not get more attention.

That said, what’s your favorite fight?

 Ted Sares, a member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame, is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records in the Grand Master class. He has won the EPF Nationals championship four years in a row.

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

A native of Chicago, Ted resides in the White Mountain area of Northern New Hampshire with his wife Holly and dog Kater from which he manages a number of private investments. He has closely and passionately followed boxing for over 60 years and has written three related books including the popular “Boxing is my Sanctuary.” He also has written a true crime book titled “Shattered.” Ted has written for many different on-line boxing sites and publications and enjoys a strong international following. An elector for inductees into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF), he is a member of Ring 4 (New England) and its Boxing Hall of Fame and also is a member of Ring 10 (New York). Sares is also one of the oldest active powerlifters and strongman competitors in the world. He is currently the four- time EPF Grand Master Nationals Champion.

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The BWAA Shames Veteran Referee Laurence Cole and Two Nebraska Judges

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In an unprecedented development, the Boxing Writers Association of America has started a “watch list” to lift the curtain on ring officials who have “screwed up.” Veteran Texas referee Laurence Cole and Nebraska judges Mike Contreras and Jeff Sinnett have the unwelcome distinction of being the first “honorees.”

“Boxing is a sport where judges and referees are rarely held accountable for poor performances that unfairly change the course of a fighter’s career and, in some instances, endanger lives,” says the BWAA in a preamble to the new feature. Hence the watch list, which is designed to “call attention to ‘egregious’ errors in scoring by judges and unacceptable conduct by referees.”

Contreras and Sinnett, residents of Omaha, were singled out for their scorecards in the match between lightweights Thomas Mattice and Zhora Hamazaryan, an eight round contest staged at the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa on July 20. They both scored the fight 76-75 for Mattice, enabling the Ohio fighter to keep his undefeated record intact via a split decision.

Although Mattice vs. Hamazaryan was a supporting bout, it aired live on ShoBox. Analyst Steve Farhood, who was been with ShoBox since the inception of the series in 2001, called it one of the worst decisions he had ever seen. Lead announcer Barry Tompkins went further, calling it the worst decision he has seen in his 40 years of covering the sport.

Laurence Cole (pictured alongside his father) was singled out for his behavior as the third man in the ring for the fight between Regis Prograis and Juan Jose Velasco at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans on July 14. The bout was televised live on ESPN.

In his rationale for calling out Cole, BWAA prexy Joseph Santoliquito leaned heavily on Thomas Hauser’s critique of Cole’s performance in The Sweet Science. “Velasco fought courageously and as well as he could,” noted Hauser. “But at the end of round seven he was a thoroughly beaten fighter.”

His chief second bullied him into coming out for another round. Forty-five seconds into round eight, after being knocked down for a third time, Velasco spit out his mouthpiece and indicated to Cole that he was finished. But Cole insisted that the match continue and then, after another knockdown that he ruled a slip, let it continue for another 35 seconds before Velasco’s corner mercifully threw in the towel.

Controversy has dogged Laurence Cole for well over a decade.

Cole was the third man in the ring for the Nov. 25, 2006 bout in Hildalgo, Texas, between Juan Manuel Marquez and Jimrex Jaca. In the fifth round, Marquez sustained a cut on his forehead from an accidental head butt. In round eight, another accidental head butt widened and deepened the gash. As Marquez was being examined by the ring doctor, Cole informed Marquez that he was ahead on the scorecards, volunteering this information while holding his hand over his HBO wireless mike. The inference was that Marquez was free to quit right then without tarnishing his record. (Marquez elected to continue and stopped Jaca in the next round.)

This was improper. For this indiscretion, Cole was prohibited from working a significant fight in Texas for the next six months.

More recently, Cole worked the 2014 fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Orlando Salido at the San Antonio Alamodome. During the fight, Salido made a mockery of the Queensberry rules for which he received no point deductions and only one warning. Cole’s performance, said Matt McGrain, was “astonishingly bad,” an opinion echoed by many other boxing writers. And one could site numerous other incidents where Cole’s performance came under scrutiny.

Laurence Cole is the son of Richard “Dickie” Cole. The elder Cole, now 87 years old, served 21 years as head of the Texas Department of Combat Sports Regulation before stepping down on April 30, 2014. At various times during his tenure, Dickie Cole held high executive posts with the World Boxing Council and North American Boxing Federation. He was the first and only inductee into the inaugural class of the Texas Boxing Hall of Fame, an organization founded by El Paso promoter Lester Bedford in 2015.

From an administrative standpoint, boxing in Texas during the reign of Dickie Cole was frequently described in terms befitting a banana republic. Whenever there was a big fight in the Lone Star State, his son was the favorite to draw the coveted refereeing assignment.

Boxing is a sideline for Laurence Cole who runs an independent insurance agency in Dallas. By law in Texas (and in most other states), a boxing promoter must purchase insurance to cover medical costs in the event that one or more of the fighters on his show is seriously injured. Cole’s agency is purportedly in the top two nationally in writing these policies. Make of that what you will.

Complaints of ineptitude, says the WBAA, will be evaluated by a “rotating committee of select BWAA members and respected boxing experts.” In subsequent years, says the press release, the watch list will be published quarterly in the months of April, August, and December (must be the new math).

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

 

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The Avila Perspective, Chapter 8: Competing Cards in N.Y. and L.A.

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Rival boxing shows compete this Saturday as light heavyweight world titlists are featured in New Jersey while former world champion welterweights and middleweights tangle in New York.

A mere 150 miles separate the two fight cards staged in Uniondale, N.Y. and Atlantic City.

But there’s no mercy inside the boxing ring and certainly no mercy between boxing promotions. While Main Events stages WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev and WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol in separate bouts, DiBella Entertainment stacks former champs Andre Berto against Devon Alexander in a welterweight clash.

Take your pick.

Russia’s Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) has lost some luster and hopes to reboot his popularity with a win against Canada’s Eleider Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs). But he will be directly competing against WBA champ Bivol (13-0, 11 KOs), also of Russia, who defends against Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2) of South Africa.

HBO will televise both light heavyweight title fights.

Bivol, 27, has slowly, almost glacier-like slow, picked up fans along the way by training in Southern California. The quiet unassuming fighter with a conservative style and cobra-like quickness appeals to the fans.

“I do not think that now I am the best light heavyweight, but I am now one of the best. One of four guys,” said Bivol during a press conference call. “But I hope in not the far future, we will know who is the best.”

That, of course, would mean a date with Kovalev should both fighters win on Saturday. Nothing is certain.

Kovalev, now 35, has lost some of that fear factor aura since losing back-to-back fights to now retired Andre Ward. Though he’s cracked two opponents in succession by knockout, many are pointing to the potential showdown with Bivol as the moment of truth.

“Most likely this fight is gonna happen since both Sergey and I are HBO boxers and as long as that’s what the people want, most likely the fight will happen,” said Bivol. “Me and Sergey will make sure to give this fight to the people.”

It’s time for the build-up and it starts on Saturday Aug. 4, on HBO.

“That’s certainly a goal of Sergey’s and he’s made it very clear to me that that’s what he wants to do,” said promoter Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “He wants to do unification fights if he is successful with Eleider Alvarez. That’s what he wants to do next; he’s been very clear about that.”

DiBella

Five former world champions stack the fight card at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

Former welterweight world champs Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) and Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs) lead the charge in a 12-round clash. FOX will televise the main event and others at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET.

Berto, 34, has been fighting once a year so it’s difficult to determine if age has crept into his reflexes. When he knocked out Victor Ortiz in a rematch two years ago Berto looked sharp and dangerous. But against Shawn Porter a year ago, the crispness seemed gone and he quickly lost by knockout.

Alexander, 31, has the advantage of being a southpaw. But he always seems to do the minimum when he fights. Last February he slowed down and allowed Victor Ortiz to steal the fight. All the commotion by the announcers was for naught. Defense does not win fights, it allows you to win fights. The lack of offense in the latter rounds cost Alexander a win in a match that entered the books as a majority draw.

It’s a curious matchup of former world champions.

Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (33-1-1, 23 KOs) the former WBO middleweight titlist meets J’Leon Love (24-1-1, 13 KOs) in a super middleweight bout set for 10 rounds. It’s another intriguing fight especially between two fighters with great personalities.

Quillin, 35, was ambushed by Daniel Jacobs in the first round a year ago in losing the title. Was it bad luck, age or both? As a fighter the Brooklyn-based prizefighter has a ton of followers who like him as a person. Few are as classy as Quillin.

Love, 30, has long been a mainstay in Las Vegas and since his amateur days his abilities have been touted. Throughout the years Love has shown that charm and friendliness can go a long ways, even in the bitter wars of prizefighting. But the time has come to see if he belongs in the prizefighting world. Quillin will present an immense challenge for Love.

A number of other interesting fights are slated to take place among former world champions including Sergey Lipinets who lost the super lightweight title to Mikey Garcia this past winter. There’s also Luis Collazo in a welterweight match.

One world title fight does take place on the card.

Female WBA super middleweight titlist Alicia Napoleon (9-1) makes the first defense of her title against Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (5-1). It’s a 10 round bout and the first time Napoleon defends the title since winning it last March against Germany’s Femke Hermans. Ironically, Hermans now has the WBO super middleweight title after defeating former champ Nikki Adler by decision this past May.

L.A. Congestion

Next week the city of Angels will be packed with three fight cards in four days.

First, on Wednesday Aug. 8, 360 Promotions stages Abraham Lopez (9-1-1, 3 KOs) versus Gloferson Ortizo (12-0-1, 6 KOs) in the main event at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood, Calif. This is Filipino fighter Ortizo’s ninth fight this year. You read that correctly.

All of Ortizo’s fights have taken place across the border in Tijuana. The 32-year-old now returns to California against another Californian in Lopez. He’ll be looking for his fourth consecutive knockout, but Lopez, 22, has not lost a fight since his pro debut. Inactivity might come into play for Lopez who hasn’t stepped in the boxing ring in over a year.

New York’s Brian Ceballo (3-0) returns in a six round welterweight bout against local fighter Tavorus Teague (5-20-4). Ceballo, who is promoted by 360 Promotions, looked good in his last appearance. The amateurish punches seen in his first two bouts were gone by his third pro fight. His opponent Teague has ability and can give problems if Ceballo takes his foot off the pedal.

One of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s training partners Ali Akhmedov (11-0, 8 KOs) makes his California debut when he meets Jorge Escalante (9-1-1, 6 KOs) in a light heavyweight match.

Female super lightweight Elvina White (2-0) is also slated to compete. The entire fight card will be streamed at www.360promotions.us and on the 360 Promotions page on Facebook. First bell rings at 6:15 p.m.

Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. is the site of Golden Boy Promotions fight card on Friday Aug. 10. A pair of young prospects will be severely tested.

San Diego’s Genaro Gamez (8-0, 5 KOs) meets Filipino fighter Recky Dulay (10-3, 7 KOs) for the vacant NABF super featherweight title. For Dulay it’s always kill or be killed. Five of his last fights have ended in knockout wins or losses.

Gamez, 23, seems to thrive under pressure and broke down two veterans in back-to-back fights at Fantasy Springs Casino. Now he returns to the Belasco, a venue where he has struggled in the past. But this time he’s the main event.

Another being severely tested will be Emilio Sanchez (15-1, 10 KOs) facing veteran Christopher Martin (30-10-3, 10 KOs) who is capable of beating anyone.

Sanchez, 24, lost by knockout in his last fight this past March. He’s talented and fearless and one mistake cost him his first loss as a pro. He’s not getting a break against Martin, a cagey fighter who has upset many young rising prospects in the past. Martin also has experience against world champions. It’s an extremely tough matchup for Sanchez.

The fight card will be televised by Estrella TV beginning at 6 p.m.

World Title Fight

On Saturday, boxing returns to the Avalon Theater in Hollywood.

The main event is a good one as Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) defends the WBA featherweight world title against Southern California’s Jojo Diaz (26-1) in a 12 round clash. It’s power versus speed.

Rojas, 31, is one tough customer. When he took the interim title against Claudia Marrero last year he chased down the speedy southpaw Dominican and blasted him out in the seventh round. Several months earlier he obliterated another Golden Boy prospect, Abraham Lopez (not the same Abraham Lopez that is fighting on the 360 Promotions card), in eight rounds. Now he has the title and defends against the speedy southpaw Diaz.

Diaz, 25, just recently lost a bid for the WBC featherweight title against Gary Russell Jr. Though he lost by decision three months ago, that fight might be easy in comparison to this challenge against Rojas.

The former Olympian won’t be able to take a breath against the Puerto Rican slugger who is about as rough as they come.

Two more undefeated Golden Boy prospects get a chance to eliminate each other when Philadelphia’s Damon Allen (15-0-1) meets East L.A.’s Jonathan Navarro (14-0, 7 KOs) in a super lightweight fight set for 10 rounds.

Phillie versus East LA is like fire versus fire in the boxing ring. Boxers originating from those two hard-bitten areas usually have go-for-broke styles that result in pure action. Allen versus Navarro should not disappoint.

Allen, 25, is not a hard puncher but he’s aggressive and like most Philadelphia fighters, he’s not afraid to mix it up.

Navarro, 21, lives in East L.A. but trains in Riverside under Robert Garcia. He’s slowly finding his timing and will be facing the fastest fighter since his pro debut in 2015.

Others featured on the card will be Hector Tanajara, Aaron McKenna and Ferdinand Kerobyan.

The card will be streamed on the Golden Boy Fight Night page on Facebook beginning at 6 p.m.

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What’s Next for Manny Pacquiao?

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Manny Pacquiao isn’t quite ready to retire, and more big-money fights against high-level competition seem to be on the 39-year-old’s way.

“I feel like I’m a 27-year-old,” Pacquiao told GMAnetwork.com’s Jamil Santos last week. “Expect more fights to come.”

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) looked exceptionally sharp in his seventh-round knockout win over former junior welterweight titleholder Lucas Matthysse on July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was Pacquiao’s best performance in at least four years, netting Pacquiao a secondary world title at welterweight along with a slew of renewed public interest in the boxing superstar’s career.

But what comes next for the only fighter in the history of boxing to capture world titles in eight different weight classes? TSS takes a detailed look at the potential opponents for one of the sport’s most celebrated stars.

Cream of the Crop

Pacquiao looked good enough against Matthysse to suggest he’d make a viable candidate to face either Terence Crawford or Vasyl Lomachenko next. Crawford is ranked No. 2 on the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s pound-for-pound list while Lomachenko slots at No. 1.

While Pacquiao is no longer under contract with longtime promoter Bob Arum at Top Rank, most industry insiders expect he will continue working with Arum’s team in some capacity so long as his career keeps moving forward. Pacquiao started his own promotional venture, MP Promotions, to co-promote the Matthysse bout with Oscar De La Hoya, but Top Rank was still involved in the fight which is why the bout ended up streaming on ESPN+.

Top Rank’s two hottest commodities at the present are Ring Magazine and WBA lightweight champ Lomachenko and welterweight titlist Crawford. Both are highly-regarded, multi-division world titleholders in the primes of their careers who are universally considered the top fighters in boxing.

Lomachenko and Crawford would each present a unique set of problems for Pacquiao stylistically. Of the two, Pacquiao probably matches up best with Lomachenko at this point in his career. Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) is much larger and heavier than both Pacquiao and Lomachenko, and unless Pacquiao just really wants to test himself against someone incredibly dangerous, it’d probably be best for Team Pacquiao to avoid fighting Crawford at all costs. Crawford would be a heavy favorite against Pacquiao and most boxing insiders don’t believe this version of Pacquiao could compete with Crawford.

Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is naturally smaller than Pacquiao and has never fought above 135 pounds. If Pacquiao could lure Lomachenko to 140 pounds or above, he’d find himself in a winnable fight against a top-notch opponent. Lomachenko would probably be the slight favorite based on age alone but Pacquiao’s power and athleticism would give him a realistic chance to pull the upset.

Other Notable Possibilities

Former junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan has long been angling for a bout against Pacquiao. Khan faces Samuel Vargas on Sept. 8 in another comeback bout against lower level competition. Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) bravely moved up to middleweight to fight Canelo Alvarez in 2016 but was knocked out in the sixth round. He left the sport for a spell but returned to boxing in February as a welterweight with a sensational first round knockout win over Phil Lo Greco. A win over Vargas puts Khan in good position to secure a bout with Pacquiao, and the fight is a reasonable move by both camps. Pacquiao would probably be the heavy favorite, but Khan’s speed and long reach give him a decent chance to pull the upset.

Former welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn won a controversial decision over Pacquiao last year in Australia. The bout grabbed huge ratings for ESPN and there have been many debates since it happened as to which fighter truly deserved the nod from the judges. Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) doesn’t possess elite level talent, but he’s huge compared to Pacquiao and fights with such ferocity that the two can’t help but make an aesthetically pleasing fight together. Pacquiao would be the heavy favorite to defeat Horn if the two fight again.

Pacquiao vs. PBC fighters?

Boxing’s current political climate and the ongoing battle of promoters and television networks for the hearts and minds of boxing fans usually leaves many compelling fights between top level stars off the table. Fighters promoted by Top Rank and Golden Boy are almost never able to secure bouts with fighters signed to Al Haymon to appear under the Premier Boxing Champions banner and vice versa. But Pacquiao’s free agent status opens up new and interesting possibilities for the fighter to pursue noteworthy PBC fighters.

There had been lots of chatter about Pacquiao facing Mikey Garcia next. Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) has been decimating competition at both lightweight and junior welterweight. Garcia is considered by most experts to be one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. He’s the TBRB junior welterweight champion and a unified lightweight titleholder (WBC, IBF). While Garcia is hoping to land a big money bout against IBF welterweight titleholder Errol Spence, most boxing experts believe the jump up to 147 pounds would be too much for the diminutive Garcia who began his career at featherweight. A better welterweight target for Garcia would be Pacquiao who also began his career in a much lower weight class.

Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) is probably the best of the PBC welterweights. He’s considered by many to be on par with Crawford at 147 so it would be an incredibly dangerous bout for Pacquiao to go after at this point in his career. But Spence is aggressive and fights in a style that Pacquiao traditionally matches up very well against. Spence would be the favorite based on size, age and skill.

Slightly less dangerous to Pacquiao would be facing the winner of the Sept. 8 battle between Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) and Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) are fighting for the vacant WBC welterweight title and the possibility of capturing another world title in his career could sway Pacquiao to seek out the winner. Pacquiao could find himself a slight favorite or underdog depending on which of the two fighters he would face, but both would be winnable fights.

The WBA welterweight champion is Keith Thurman. Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) is a good boxer with tremendous power but Pacquiao’s speed and athleticism would probably give him the leg up in that potential matchup. Thurman hasn’t fought in over 16 months though and recent pictures suggest he’s not in fighting shape at the moment, so the likelihood of a Pacquiao vs. Thurman fight is pretty much nil.

Some fans want Pacquiao to face Adrien Broner. Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) is a solid contender at 147 but probably doesn’t have the skill to seriously compete with Pacquiao. Pacquiao would be a significant favorite and would likely stop Broner if the two were able to meet in a boxing ring.

Mayweather-Pacquiao 2?

Pacquiao lost a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, but the circumstances surrounding the fight, and the fact it was the biggest box office bash in the history of the sport, have led many to suspect the two fighters would meet again in a rematch.

Yes, Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) is retired, but he’s unretired several times in his career for big money fights including last year’s crossover megafight with UFC star Conor McGregor. While it seems unlikely to happen, Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 would still be a huge worldwide event worth millions of dollars to both fighters so those following the sport can never say never to the idea of it happening again.

While Mayweather is 41, he’d still get the nod as the betting favorite should he fight Pacquiao again based on what happened in the first fight as well as his stylistic advantage over Pacquiao.

Pacquiao vs. McGregor?

McGregor’s bout against Mayweather last year was such a financial success and the MMA star made so much more money in the boxing ring than he did as a UFC fighter that the idea of him returning to the sport to face Pacquiao isn’t as far-fetched as one might think.

Pacquiao vs. McGregor would be an easy sell to the general public. According to CompuBox, McGregor landed more punches against Mayweather than did Pacquiao, and the general consensus is that Mayweather-McGregor was more fun to watch than Mayweather-Pacquiao.

The size difference between the two would lead to an easy promotion. McGregor is a junior middleweight and Pacquiao has only competed at the weight once back in 2010. Despite all that, Pacquiao would be a significant favorite to defeat McGregor and rightly so. He’s too fast and too good a boxer, and his aggressive style would likely lead to a stoppage win.

Pacquiao’s Top Targets

Pacquiao’s top targets should be Mayweather, McGregor and Lomachenko. Pacquiao would stand to make the most money facing either Mayweather or McGregor. Pacquiao’s reportedly injured shoulder heading into 2015 bout left many wondering how the fight might be different had the Filipino gone into things at his best, and Mayweather’s age might play more of a factor in the second fight than it did in the first. A Pacquiao-McGregor fight would be a worldwide spectacle, one Pacquiao would be heavily favored to win. Besides, it’d be interesting to see if Pacquiao could stop McGregor sooner than historical rival Mayweather. Finally, Lomachenko might be trying to climb up weight classes too fast, and Pacquiao would certainly be fit to test the validity of that theory. It’d be one of the biggest fights in boxing and a win for Pacquiao would be another huge feather in the cap of one of boxing’s true historically great champions.

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