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Pacman: “I Underestimated Marquez Our Last Fight”

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Pacquiao Marquez LA PC 120917 002aPacquiao says this fourth fight will be different, because he will be fully focused on training for the counterpunching ace Marquez. (Chris Farina-Top Rank)

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (September 17, 2012) – Fighter of the Decade MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO of the Philippines and four-division world champion JUAN MANUEL “Dinamita” MÁRQUEZ of México will go mano-a-mano and toe-to-toe once again in a 12-round welterweight battle between two of this era’s top pound for pound and evenly matched fighters. Pacquiao-Márquez 4, the eagerly anticipated fourth act of their fistoric rivalry that has had fans and media standing on their feet for 36 action-packed rounds, will take place Saturday, December 8. It will be produced and distributed Live by HBO Pay-Per-View from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Zanfer Promotions, Márquez Boxing, Tecate and MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, tickets to Pacquiao-Márquez 4 will go on sale Friday, September 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT. Tickets are priced at $1,200, $900, $600, $400, and $200. Ticket sales at $1,200, $900, $600 and $400 are limited to 10 per person and ticket sales at $200 are limited to two (2) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

“Our previous fights against each other brought out the best in us,” said Pacquiao. “Of all the opponents I have fought, Juan Manuel Márquez is the only one who was able to anticipate many of my moves and effectively counter a lot of them. I underestimated him in our last fight but I will not make that mistake this time. Freddie Roach and I will make the most of every training day to prepare for Juan Manuel, which is why my all my training will take place at Wild Card in Hollywood.

“No days will be wasted traveling between training camps in the Philippines and California. When I walk into the ring on December 8, it will be another opportunity to bring honor and glory to my country and to my fellow Filipinos in the Philippines and around the world.”

“I am very excited to be fighting Manny again,” countered Márquez. “I beat him the first three fights but did not get the decision; this time I will beat him again and I also will get the victory officially. It’s an election year and I am going to win by a landslide.”

“This fight I truly believe will be the best of the four that these two great warriors have engaged in. After Pacquiao won a close decision from Márquez, both Pacquiao and Márquez want to win decisively to erase any doubts,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

Pacquiao told the Boxing Channel that he wants to erase doubt in the minds of the fans, and beat Marquez decisively this time. In the TBC interview, Pacman also touches on his discussions with 50 Cent, and a rematch with Timothy Bradley.

“Fight fans everywhere love rivalries and the competition between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Márquez has been intense and furious since day one and still is unresolved,” said Mark Taffet of HBO Pay-Per-View. “We are delighted to work once again with both of these future Hall of Famers.”

“The third battle between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Márquez was one of the biggest fights of 2011 and we look forward to another sensational event in December,” said Richard Sturm, president of Entertainment & Sports for MGM Resorts International. “It is an honor to host this international championship event as we end another successful year of boxing at MGM Grand.”

Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs), the lone congressional representative from the Sarangani province in the Philippines, returns to the Fight Capital of the World as the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many weight divisions. A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade,” Pacquiao’s resume features victories over future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Márquez. From 2008 to 2010, five of his seven victories were world title victories in five different divisions, where he dethroned super featherweight champion Márquez, lightweight champion David Diaz, junior welterweight champion Hatton, welterweight champion Cotto and he annihilated three-time world champion Antonio Margarito for the vacant super welterweight title. Pacquiao’s seven-year, 15-bout winning streak came to an end on June 9, when he lost his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown to undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, Jr. via a controversial split decision. Pacquiao’s knockout victories over Cotto and Hatton in 2009, his victories over Joshua Clottey and Margarito in 2010, his wins against Mosley and Márquez in 2011 as well as his disputed loss to Bradley in June have combined for more than seven million pay-per-view buys making Pacquiao a pay-per-view king. No boxer sold more live tickets in the U.S. than Pacquiao in 2010 and 2011, making him a pound-for-pound monarch in the ring and at the box office.

Márquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs), of México City, is one of only a rare few fighters from México to have won world titles in four different weight divisions. He captured his first world title – the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight championship – with a seventh-round stoppage of three-time featherweight champion Manuel Medina in 2003. He unified the title that same year with a decisive victory over World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight titlist Derrick Gainer. Márquez successfully defended the titles three times during his three-year reign, which included unanimous decision victories over Victor Polo and Orlando Salido and a Draw with Pacquiao. After losing the crown to Chris John and winning the WBO interim featherweight crown, all in 2006, Márquez moved up in weight to dethrone the legendary Marco Antonio Barrera and claim his World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight championship belt in 2007. After successfully defending the title, by a unanimous decision over Ricky Juarez, he lost the title in his 2008 rematch with Pacquiao by the slimmest of margins – a one point split decision. Since that fight, Márquez has won six of his last eight fights, including knockout victories of Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis — the latter two in World Boxing Association (WBA) / WBO lightweight championship fights. In his last fight, on April 14, Márquez won his fourth world title in as many divisions, capturing the WBO interim junior welterweight championship with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over Serhiy Fedchenko.

The Pacquiao-Márquez 4 telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. Follow HBO Boxing news at www.hbo.com and at www.facebook.com/hboboxing. Use the hashtag #PacquiaoMarquez to join the conversation on Twitter. For Pacquiao vs. Márquez updates, log on to www.toprank.com or www.hbo.com.

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

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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.

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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

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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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