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Floyd Speaks Out On Pacquiao: “Take It Or Leave It”



220px-Floyd Mayweather Jr. at DeWalt eventThe provocative pugilist Floyd Mayweather did what he does second best, create buzz with his mouth, on “Speaking Out,” a half hour talk with respected author Michael Eric Dyson, a professor at Georgetown.

“One of the most provocative athletes of our time,” Dyson described Mayweather, who gloves up against Miguel Cotto on May 5. The host of the show talked about the boxer's impending jail term, and then we saw him sitting next to the ace hitter. He started out soft, asking him about training camp. “Everything is playing out the way it should be playing out,” he said. Next, Dyson went there, into the Larry “I Wish I Was 50 Years Younger” Merchant controversy.

Floyd said he and HBO have had a rich history. He said something then that I took issue with, that one shouldn't be able to comment on the sport if one hasn't been a boxer. And if one hasn't been president? And if one is a man and comments on women's issues? C'mon, man…

As I said, provocative…

Dyson asked how Floyd stays hungry. How? He is after the money and being the best, all-time, he said. “They” are talented, and “I am God gifted,” he said. He noted that he gives back, and cares, because he came from a tough place, with a mother on heroin and crack and a dad who went to prison, not long after holding a young Floyd up as a shield to keep from getting shot in a beef with a family member. Floyd said his mom was on crack, and he was one of seven people in a one-bedroom apartment, with no heat or lights sometimes. He saw his dad sell his mom drugs, Floyd said, giving, perhaps, some who have been hard on him a bit of a better insight into some of his actions.

Dyson asked Floyd about not having his dad around. He said his dad was there for him, but only for the boxing part. They never went to a flick or to dinner. It's all been boxing. He said he tries to be unlike his dad, and goes to his son's football games, and doesn't want to force anything on them. “There's no hard feelings,” he said, and then threw dad under a bus, telling us dad doesn't want Floyd to love his mother, because he thinks he deserve all the praise.

Floyd said he's set for the rest of his life. But he admits “there's a lot of problems.” We hear about his tussle with his ex, and how his kids were there for the altercation between him and the lady. The boxer said as a boxer, there is a presumption that he'll get physical, get into fights. He said he doesn't worry about his impending incarceration. MLK, and Malcolm X also did time, and he will get through it, he said. He said he is not guilty, but he took a plea. He said he didn't want to bring his kids to court. He said he'll try and stay positive, and will stay strong.

Do people resent his success, because he's young, black and rich? “No one will ever understand my pain,” he said. “I beat all odds.” He admitted he told his then best pal that he wanted to get into the drug racket. Then 16, he had second thoughts. His pal didn't, and he is dead now. Heavy-duty stuff, which helps explain somewhat the boasting and such, no?

Floyd says that he says what he wants, unlike many other pro athletes. Does race shape perception of him? He said he's outspoken, as in the Jeremy Lin situation. Floyd said NBA players called him to say thank you. Dyson asked why black athletes get silenced when they talk race. Floyd said it seems like people want him to take the money, and be quiet. Dyson asked why some call him racist. He said it's because he stands behind black Americans first. It's OK for other races and nationalities, he said, but not blacks. He didn't bring up his Ustream rant versus Pacquiao, in which he used very questionable language.

Floyd said Ali stood for a cause, and that he and Ali could argue whose best. “I'm in the same shoes as Ali, they hate me when I'm at the top but once my career is they gonna really miss me,” he said.

Floyd then talked money. Will he keep his money? He said he is surrounded by smart people, so the implication is yes.

Does he worry people use him? He said he sticks with old friends. Dyson said the Obamas said the same thing when they took the White House, no new friends. He and Obama sat down before he was nominated, the boxer said.”Obama is truly a great guy, great guy. You know, the coolest president I ever met. He got swag.”

How bout Floyd vs Barack in the ring?

“People want to know how much power Floyd Mayweather got…I can guarantee you this. I show you how much power I got, if I was to fight Manny Pacquiao, I'd let Barack Obama walk me to the ring holding my belt. Can I make it happen, absolutely.”

What cut would it take to get Manny-Mayweather made? He said he offered Manny $40 million, and that Manny asked for 50-50. Manny doesn't deserve Floyd money, he said. Is it not because he lacks heart, as some say, Dyson said. He said he's happy with his career to this point. He'd like to fight Manny, but if it doesn't happen, no biggie. He cited Pacquiao's defamation suit, which I've referenced time and again on TSS, theorizing that until the suit is dropped, Floyd won't sign for the bout.

Floyd said he did call Manny and chatted. Manny, he said, asked for 50-50, and then hustled off the phone. “My offer it won't change. I'm not budging. Forty million is what you are getting. Either you take it or you leave it…Manny Pacquiao needs Floyd Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather don't need Manny Pacquiao.”

Dyson brought up gambling. He said he bets some boxing, but not on himself. “I haven't bet on myself, yet,” he said. Pal 50 Cent bet $300,000-400,000 the last fight wouldn't go the distance, he said.

He ended with a plug of his May 5 fight with Miguel Cotto, and said he'd retire at age 37, a little over two years from now. “I'm gone, 37 I'm gone,” he said.

Thoughts, readers?

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Fast Results From London: Joshua Takes Out Povetkin in the 7th



UK sporting

It was a very wet night at Wembley Stadium, but the dampness didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the crowd which welcomed UK sporting hero Anthony Joshua into the ring with a thunderous ovation. And Joshua didn’t disappoint. After six relatively even rounds, he found his range in the seventh and became the first man to stop Alexander Povetkin. A three punch combo that began with an overhand right sent Povetkin sprawling into the ropes. The Russian beat the count, but Joshua smelled blood and as soon as the ref allowed the proceedings to continue he moved in for the kill. The official time was 1:59.

Povetkin started fast and in the eyes of many observers won the first three rounds. A sharp right hand in the waning seconds of round one reddened Joshua’s nose which leaked blood in the next round. The tide began to turn in round four when Povetkin suffered a cut above his left eye.

Povetkin (now 34-2), was the lighter man by 23 pounds. Joshua had a four inch height advantage and a seven inch reach advantage. And it mattered greatly that AJ was the younger man by 10-plus years. Povetkin wasn’t intimidated by Joshua and had several good moments but, at age 39, his reflexes betrayed him once the fight had crossed the midpoint.

Joshua, who owns three of the four meaningful heavyweight title belts, improved to 22-0 with his 21st stoppage. His next fight is penciled in for April 13 of next year against an opponent to be determined. His promoter Eddie Hearn has reserved that date at Wembley Stadium.

Other Bouts

In a 12-round lightweight bout, Joshua’s Olympic Games teammate and fellow gold medalist Luke Campbell (19-2) avenged the first loss of his career with a unanimous decision (119-109, 118-111,116-112) over France’s Yvan Mendy (40-5-1). This was Campbell’s second start since coming up short in a bid for Jorge Linares’s lightweight title and his first fight under his new trainer Shane McGuigan.

In their first meeting in December of 2015 at London’s O2 Arena, Mendy won a split decision that should have been unanimous. Campbell insisted that he had improved greatly in the interim and tonight’s fight bore witness. However, he needs to develop a harder punch to rank among the top lightweights in the world, a list headed by Mikey Garcia. As this fight was framed as a WBC title eliminator, Campbell is next in line to meet Garcia, but Mikey has indicated that he will pursue bigger game.

Lawrence Okolie, a 2016 Olympian who trains with Anthony Joshua, won a Lonsdale belt in only his 10th pro start with a 12-round decision over defending BBBofC cruiserweight champion Matty Askin in a messy fight. The undefeated Okolie had a point deducted in round five for leading with his head and had two more points deducted for holding, but banked enough rounds to get the nod on all three cards: 116-110, 114-112, and 114-113. Askin, who declined to 23-4-1, had won five straight heading in.

A 10-round heavyweight match between Sergey Kuzmin (13-0, 1 NC) and David Price (22-6) ended suddenly when Price retired on his stool after four relatively even rounds. The six-foot-eight, china-chinned Price claimed to have aggravated a biceps tear.

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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.



Michael Dutchover

ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face



Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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