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Robert Guerrero REALLY Wants To Fight Mayweather

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Robert Guerrero REALLY Wants To Fight Mayweather – Last week, fight fans heard the good news when Floyd Mayweather announced his intent to return to the ring on May 5th in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada. But many didn’t expect The Ghost to come calling. Lightweight champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero wants to move up two weight classes to challenge undefeated pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather on Cinco De Mayo. The southpaw says a bout between the two crafty boxers would be great for the sport.

With news of the super fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao being in jeopardy, Guerrero has pulled no punches in his quest to get Money May in the ring. Multiple press releases and appearances on sports shows are a few of the ways Guerrero expresses his viewpoint. Robert sat with me to discuss the potential Mayweather fight and why the “so called best fighters” (as he says) are afraid to fight him.

The Ghost says he will be ready in February if necessary and Floyd will be up to the task. “He is a champion,” Guerrero said of Floyd Mayweather. “I think this fight will be made. Everything makes sense.”

Don’t miss everything else Robert Guerrero has to say about Floyd Mayweather.

Ray Markarian: Hey Robert how’s everything?

Robert Guerrero: What’s up Ray? How are you doing man?

RM: I’m good. How’s that shoulder injury treating you man?

Robert Guerrero: Oh, it’s great. There is no injury anymore. I am ready to go.

RM: I have seen you call out a lot of fighters in the past. But not many fighters have gone to the lengths you have to call out Floyd Mayweather. Everyone wants to fight him. But you are doing it differently. There are press releases talking about the potential fight, predictions from boxing experts, and you have gone on talk shows to call him out. What makes this fight any different from the other challenges you have made?

RG: You know Floyd is the ultimate challenge. He is the best fighter in boxing right now hands down. And I am like those throwback fighters man, I want to fight the best. Every time I call out the best like Marquez, Pacquiao, or Khan, none of them want to fight. We are approaching this challenge like ‘hey, let’s make it happen. I know he set that date. Cinco-de-Mayo. I am Mexican-American right here. Let’s do it.

RM: Floyd also talked about fighting in February. Would you be ready for a fight with Floyd if it took place in February?

RG: Yeah, that is the around the time frame I would be ready to go. But May 5th, it is even more icing on the cake. More time to get ready. More time to train and prepare for a fight.

RM: I am sure you saw Floyd fight Victor Ortiz and other south-paws in the past like Judah. Floyd had some trouble with Judah early in the fight. And you could even argue that he had a bit of trouble with Victor Ortiz. Stylistically, how different would a fight with you and Floyd be than his fights with Judah or Ortiz?

RG: Well for one, Zab Judah is a one-two puncher. You can’t be that way with Floyd Mayweather. Same with Victor Ortiz, he is a one-two puncher. They only threw one or two shots at a time. I am 5’9. I have a great jab. I throw a lot of punches. I have good power on both sides. And I have great feet. I could box on the inside or outside. I could do it all in the ring.

RM: No doubt. I have seen you fight. And you do a lot of great things in the ring. But the nature of this interview is for me to play devil’s advocate. What makes you think that you could be a fighter that has never been beat before?

RG: I have a lot of faith in my ability. I believe I could beat anybody in the world. If you go into the ring without confidence, it haunts you. A guy like Floyd Mayweather, who is intelligent in the ring, takes advantage of weaknesses like that. I am that type of guy that is here to fight. I am here to take care of business. Nobody intimidates me. I ain’t scare of anybody. I go in the ring to win the fight. I don’t go in there just to fight.

RM: Do you think some of Floyd’s recent opponents just went in the ring to survive?

RG: You have to have a killer instinct. You have seen me fight. I go in with a killer instinct. Some people doubt themselves. Floyd has the utmost confidence in himself. That is why he is so dominant. That is why he hasn’t lost a fight. I am 100% confident in myself.

RM: You have to go in 100% confident right?

RG: Yeah, you have to be. The one thing I love is doubters. When I am the underdog I step up. I am a playmaker. When it is time to make that play, I am there. I will hit that home run.

RM: Do you think that Floyd is hearing these call outs?

RG: Oh yeah, it has been all over the media. I know he sees it. It’s all there to make the fight with Golden Boy. I am a five-time world champion in three different weight classes. You know, I have gone overseas to win world titles Floyd hasn’t. And I defended the titles many times. What more can I do? I am Mexican-American; he wants to fight on Cinco De Mayo. I could talk Spanish and English. It is all there. There is no reason that fight shouldn’t be made.

RM: You have never fought at welterweight. Would you accept any terms Floyd would offer for a potential fight?

RG: I carry the weight well. I go up weight classes and get better. Shane Mosley went from 135 to 147 to fight De la Hoya and beat him twice. Marquez just did it against Pacquiao. It’s been done before.

RM:  What did you think of the Pacquiao/Marquez fight last weekend?

RG: I had Marquez winning eight rounds to four. He had good range, good distance. I think he outsmarted Pacquiao.

RM: I think you have a lot of options outside of a Mayweather fight around 140 and 147 pounds. If the Mayweather bout does not materialize, would you accept a fight with Marquez, Pacquiao, Bradley, or Khan? Or is Floyd the only fight you want?

RG: Mayweather is the guy I want. Like I said, I want to fight the best. Khan called me out before. I signed the contract to fight him. Then he disappeared. I am tired of talking about him. Bradley is with Top Rank. I’d love to fight him. You’re right. There are a number of fights out there. I have been the number one contender to fight Marquez for the last three years. But that fight didn’t happen. There’s a reason why I haven’t got that fight with Bradley, Marquez, Pacquiao, Khan, or Mayweather. None of them want to fight. That is the problem I’m having. I am a 5’9 lefty with quick hands and feet that could fight on the inside and outside. You know, I know they call me The Ghost but nobody has to be spooked.

RM: So, you want to fight the best. And Floyd is the man with the guts to take you on. Is that how it boils down?

RG: He says he takes on all challengers. Everything is there to make that big fight. I could sell a big fight. The last fight I was supposed to have with Maidana was a sellout. It is all there for us to make a big fight with me and Floyd Mayweather.

RM: What’s your prediction for that fight, maybe a knockout?

RG: With me and Floyd?

RM: Yeah.

RG: Who knows? I believe in myself. I believe I could knock him out. Anything could happen in boxing. If you believe in yourself and have faith, anything could happen.

RM: Do you expect Floyd to accept your challenge? Or do you think he is not really paying attention?

RG:  I know he is paying attention. Floyd Mayweather would not be pound for pound best fighter in the world, if he wasn’t paying attention. Even when he retired he was paying attention. I am expecting him to take on the challenge.

RM: Do you have a message for Floyd Mayweather?

RG: Yeah, the only way this fight will not be made is if he doesn’t want it.

RM: OK.

RG: I could tell by the way you are talking that you sound pumped already. You want to see this!

RM: Of course man. I think it will be a great fight.

RG: Hey, like I said. I have the utmost confidence that I could win this fight. I believe in myself. And I know he believes in himself. I don’t need anybody to tell me ‘You could do it.’ Because I know in my heart I could beat this guy.

RM: Thanks Robert. I hope you have a great holiday season.

RG: I just want to tell all the fight fans that read your page to follow me @GhostBoxing for all the latest news on this FloydMayweather fight.

RM: You got it.

RG: Alright Ray. Thanks. Have a great Thanksgiving. God bless you.

RM: Thanks Robert, same to you.

Follow @RayMarkarian

Robert Guerrero REALLY Wants To Fight Mayweather / Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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Yoka vs. Hammer Kicks Off the Thanksgiving Weekend Slate on ESPN+

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PRESS RELEASE— Tony Yoka, the dynamic heavyweight punching Parisian, aims to impress in his ESPN platform debut. Yoka, who won a super heavyweight gold medal for France at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will fight veteran Christian Hammer in a 10-rounder Friday at H Arena in Nantes, France.

Yoka-Hammer will stream live and exclusively this Friday, Nov. 27 in the United States on ESPN+ beginning at 2:55 p.m. ET/11:55 a.m. PT.

The ESPN+ stream will also include the return of unbeaten 2016 French Olympic gold medalist Estelle Yoka-Mossely against Pasa Malagic in an eight-round lightweight bout. Yoka and Yoka-Mossely, who have been married since 2018, welcomed their second child in May.

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Earlier this year, Yoka inked a promotional agreement with Top Rank, which will co-promote him with Ringstar France.

“Tony Yoka’s potential is limitless, and he is a grounded young man who is motivated to be a great professional fighter,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “France has never had a world heavyweight champion, and I believe Tony is the one to bring the sport’s biggest honor home.”

The 28-year-old Yoka’s stellar amateur run included a berth at the 2012 London Olympics and gold medals at the 2015 World Championships and 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Before his triumph in Rio, he’d already defeated the likes of former heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker and current undefeated prospects Joe Joyce and Ivan Dychko. At the Rio Olympics, he defeated Croatian standout Filip Hrgović in the semifinals and edged Joyce in the gold medal match.

As a professional, Yoka (8-0, 7 KOs) made his debut in June 2017 with a second-round stoppage over the previously undefeated Travis Clark. Apart from a decision win over Jonathan Rice in his second outing, Yoka has stopped every foe, including durable Englishman David “White Rhino” Allen and former European champion Alexander Dimitrenko. He made his 2020 debut Sept. 25 and stopped former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas in one round.

Hammer (25-6, 15 KOs) has fought many of the leading heavyweight names during his 12-year career, falling short against Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin. He’s notched myriad upset victories, including a highlight-reel knockout over David Price and a 2016 split decision over Erkan Teper for the WBO European belt. In March 2019, he went the 10-round distance against Ortiz and has not been stopped since Fury forced him to retire on his stool after eight rounds in their February 2015 clash.

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Avila Perspective, Chap. 115: Macho, Freddie and More

David A. Avila

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Camacho me and Mia

“Macho.”

That single word is how Hector Camacho presented himself when introduced. It was the only word needed for the three-division world champion from Puerto Rico who was raised in Harlem, New York.

The first time I met Camacho was in a dark and packed Las Vegas nightclub in the MGM where he was a guest of Oscar De La Hoya back in March 2001. Though it was difficult to see, when Camacho was introduced, I could see the large gold medallion with the word “Macho” in letters six inches high.

Showtime network will be presenting a documentary called “Macho: The Hector Camacho Story” on Friday, December 4 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. It sparks memories of how a fighter in the lower weight classes grabbed the attention of the boxing world.

Camacho was more than flash or words, he was an electrifying boxer who stood out in the 1980s, an era dominated by the “Four Kings” Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. Oh, and also a guy named Mike Tyson.

The fast-talking Camacho was a phenomenal fighter who swept aside opponents with his blinding speed and shocking power. It was against Los Angeles-based fighters like Refugio Rojas and Louie Loy that I first read about his exploits. Both were knocked out.

A third Southern California fighter John “Huero” Montes was thought to be the one to give Camacho a real challenge. The fight was televised to a national audience in February 1983. At the time I was watching it on a tiny black and white television and at 1:13 into the first round Camacho unleashed one of those lethal uppercuts and Montes was out-for-the-count.

Camacho arrived that day.

From that point on few could withstand the speedy southpaw’s blinding charges. Six months later he stopped Mexico’s “Bazooka” Limon to win the vacant super featherweight title.

One fighter who heard the final bell was Freddie Roach who could take a punch and knew a thing or two about fighting southpaws.

“I liked fighting southpaws,” said Roach via telephone. “My dad taught me early to keep my foot on the outside and lead with right hands.”

Roach had never lost to a southpaw. The winner that day between Camacho and Roach in Sacramento, on December 1985, was supposedly going to fight Puerto Rico’s heavy-handed Edwin Rosario.

Using his surefire method of fighting southpaws, Roach managed a knockdown of Camacho with the help of his foot. But it was not enough.

“He was very difficult. Lot of people raved about how fast his speed was. You didn’t really realize until you got into the ring with him,” said Roach. “I wasn’t the slowest, but wasn’t the fastest. I just couldn’t keep up.”

Despite using roughhouse tactics against the lefty speedster, Roach said that Camacho invited him to dinner after the fight.

That pretty much explains Camacho, a talented and big-hearted guy.

Last Stages

The last time I ran into Camacho was at the Pechanga Resort and Casino when he and Mia St. John were about to fight on the same boxing card in 2009. He was much heavier but still able to defeat middleweights.

How good was Camacho?

He defeated two of the Four Kings when he beat Roberto Duran twice and stopped Sugar Ray Leonard by knockout when they fought in 1997. Yes, Leonard was 41 and had not fought in six years, but this was Sugar Ray Leonard.

“I didn’t think he would ever beat Leonard,” said Roach.

Neither did Leonard.

“I just felt that I was a bigger man. I was smarter, stronger, all those things, but the first time he threw a punch, it was like, Pow! And I said, ‘Wow, that hurt,’” said Leonard about their encounter. “I tried the best I could to just go the distance. When he was at his best, he was a thing of beauty.”

What I remember after Camacho beat Leonard was how sincerely apologetic he was after the victory. He could talk the talk and walk the walk but inside he remained the kid from Harlem who was given extraordinary talent. And he was humbled by it.

Roach remembers their dinner together after their fight.

“That night he took me out to dinner with his friends and said you fought a good fight,” said Roach adding that Camacho was a very likeable guy. “I saw him along the way in his career.”

Roach, who would later train another astoundingly fast southpaw named Manny Pacquiao, said he never fought anyone again as talented as Camacho.

“You hear rumors of drug problems and training problems. But when he fought me, he was in for 10 and I tried every trick in the book but it didn’t work. He was in a higher class than I was,” Roach said. “He was one of the best fighters in the world.”

Don’t miss this Showtime documentary next week.

Jacobs and Rosado

Speaking of Roach, the famous trainer will be working the corner of Gabe Rosado (25-12-1, 14 KOs) when he meets Daniel Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) on Friday, Nov. 27, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida. DAZN will stream the Matchroom Boxing card.

It’s Philly versus Brooklyn.

Rosado has long proven to be a real professional who keeps adding elements to his fight game. Paired with Roach he has further developed under the guidance of the Southern California-based trainer. Plus, Rosado can plain fight.

Jacobs, a former world champion, has proven to be an elite middleweight and looks just as comfortable as a super middleweight.

Expect the kind of prize fight they used to show in the Golden Age of boxing in the 1950s when you had guys like Johnny Saxton fighting Denny Moyer. It should be that kind of battle of wits and skill. I’m looking forward to it.

Photo: Hector Camacho, David Avila, and Mia St. John. Photo credit: Al Applerose

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Muhammad Ali Biographer Jonathan Eig Talks About His Book and the Icon Who Inspired It

Rick Assad

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Given the breadth and depth of Muhammad Ali’s 74 years, it isn’t very easy to capture the complete essence of the man.

Dozens of books have been written about the three-time heavyweight champion including Jonathan Eig’s 2017 biography, “Ali: A Life.”

Born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942 as Cassius Marcellus Clay, he would one day be known around the globe as a world-class boxer, civil rights advocate, philanthropist and cultural icon.

Like so many others, the Brooklyn, New York-born Eig became intrigued by Ali.

“I loved Ali as a child. He fascinated me. He was outspoken, radical, yet so very loveable,” he said. “And, of course, he could fight! I was astonished to realize, around 2012, that there was no complete biography of Ali, even though he was probably the most famous man of the 20th century.”

Eig, currently at work on a major offering about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., added: “I had read lots of Ali books, including [David] Remnick’s “King Of The World: Muhammad Ali And The Rise Of An American Hero,” and [Thomas] Hauser’s “Muhammad Ali: His Life And Times,” and [Norman] Mailer’s “The Fight” – but those were not complete biographies,” he pointed out. “By 2012, enough time had gone by to put Ali in historical perspective. Also, there were plenty of people still alive to tell the story. I did more than 500 interviews, including all three of Ali’s living wives. I wanted to write a book that would treat Ali as more than a boxer. I wanted to write a book that would show the good and the bad. I wanted to write a big book worthy of an epic life, a book that danced and jabbed half as beautifully as Ali.”

Given Eig’s exhaustive research, what previously unknown tidbits about Ali did he come across?

“I learned thousands of new things. I think even hardcore Ali fans will find new information on almost every page,” said the former Wall Street Journal reporter and 1986 Northwestern University graduate. “I discovered things Ali himself didn’t know. I discovered Ali’s grandfather was a convicted murderer, for example. Ali didn’t know that! I read Ali’s FBI files, as well as those of Herbert Muhammad, Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. I interviewed Ali’s childhood friends. I found MRIs of Ali’s brain. I counted the punches from all of his fights. I measured how those punches affected his speaking rate. Ali’s wives also confided in me things I never knew. I spent four years working on this book, and every day delivered revelations.”

Over the years, Ali, who posted a 56-5 ring record with 37 knockouts, seemed to mellow with time which helped ingratiate him to an even wider audience. How was this possible?

“People change. They grow. It’s hard to stay radical as you get older and richer,” said Eig, who has written five books including three that deal with sports. “The late Stanley Crouch had a great line about Ali. He said young Ali was a grizzly bear. Ali in the ’70s was a circus bear. Ali in his later years was a teddy bear. We all loved the teddy bear. We wanted to hug him and love him. But it was the grizzly bear who we should remember first. It was the grizzly bear who shook up the world.”

Sports Illustrated writer Mark Kram covered nearly the entirety of Ali’s career which spanned 1960 through 1981 and included a three-year period, 1967 until 1970 when he wasn’t allowed to box after being convicted of draft evasion because he refused induction into the armed forces.

In Kram’s book, “Ghosts Of Manila,” the author asserts Ali was essentially a pawn of the Black Muslims.

What’s Eig’s take?

“I love Kram’s book, but I think it’s dangerous to question anyone’s religious faith,” he said. “Ali was a true believer. The Nation of Islam took advantage of him at times. But does that mean he was a pawn? I don’t think so. He knew what he was doing. He made his own choices. One might argue that the NOI did more for Ali than Ali did for them.”

Ali wasn’t perfect and that included his fondness for women. As a Muslim, how did he hurdle this?

“He didn’t reconcile it – except to acknowledge that humans are human, they are flawed,” Eig said. “The thing I love about Ali is that he said he was the greatest, but he never said he was perfect. He talked to his wives about his weakness. He even talked to reporters about his flaws – his weakness for women, his disdain for training, his poor handling of money. He knew who he was and he never tried to be anything else.”

Eig, who has also penned “Luckiest Man: The Life And Death Of Lou Gehrig,” and “Opening Day: The Story Of Jackie Robinson’s First Season,” went on: “We’re all complicated, right? Ali was no more complicated than you or me, but he let the whole world see his complications – his racial pride and his racist behavior toward [Joe] Frazier, his love of women and his cruelty to his wives, his generosity with his money and his stupidity with money,” he said. “I don’t think Ali was different, just more open, more willing to let us see everything.”

Ali’s battles with Frazier, George Foreman and Ken Norton are legendary, but his two fights against Sonny Liston are filled with question marks, such as were they fixed?

Ali claimed the title on February 25, 1964 in Miami Beach when Liston failed to answer the bell for the seventh round and then faced Liston 15 months later in Lewiston, Maine, where he knocked out the challenger in the opening frame.

In Eig’s mind, were these two bouts on the level? “My hunch is that the first fight was legit. Liston quit when he knew he couldn’t win,” Eig said. “The second fight is more suspicious. Liston’s flop was pathetic. Bad acting! But I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure. As an aside, Liston’s wife said Sonny had diarrhea before the fight, which might have given him one more reason to throw it.”

Still, Ali in his prime was a sight to behold. “Ali before the exile, in my opinion, was the most beautiful boxer of all time. His combination of speed and power and ferocity was thrilling, elegant, frightening and marvelous,” Eig said. “Was he the greatest heavyweight of all time? Maybe, maybe not. Was he the most breathtaking? To me, yes.”

Early in Ali’s career his braggadocio was off-putting to many. But much of it was showmanship.

“One of the Greatest” doesn’t sound as good, does it? If we’re only discussing his action in the ring, Ali was one of the greatest,” Eig said. “But that’s like saying Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest trumpet players without considering his voice, his charm, his improvisational skills, his smile. In and out of the ring, Ali was the greatest in my book.”

For so many, Ali was many things. What traits in the man does Eig admire? “I love his fearlessness, his honesty, his insatiable appetite for people,” he said. “He was so very loving. But he could also be narcissistic. He wanted everyone to love him, but he wasn’t always sensitive to the feelings of others – including his wives and children. He turned his back on friends like Malcolm X and Joe Frazier when it served his purposes.”

While Ali could be polarizing, he had his legion of supporters including Howard Cosell, Jerry Izenberg, Robert Lipsyte, Larry Merchant and Jack Newfield.

“You could add Mailer, [George] Plimpton, and so many others to that list,” Eig noted. “Those men were lucky enough to spend time with young Ali and to bask in the great warmth of his sun. He was great to reporters. He was the best story they ever covered. And unlike most celebrities, he really paid attention to them.”

Eig continued: “I only met him once, six months before he died, and I envy those reporters who got to know him and got to see him at his best. I think those who knew and loved Ali became his disciples,” he pointed out. “Ali’s friend Gene Kilroy told me over and over that he thought Ali was like Jesus, that people would be studying his words and drawing inspiration from his life for centuries to come. That’s the feeling he gave to those with whom he spent time.”

Ali was a boxer, but so much more. How does Eig see him? “I think Ali will be remembered as one of America’s great revolutionary heroes – one whose courage went far beyond sports. Like Jackie Robinson, like Martin Luther King, like the abolitionists and suffragettes, he loved America but refused to accept its shortfalls,” he said. “He fought to make his country live up to the promises contained in the Declaration of Independence. He will also be remembered as an important world figure, one who united Africans, Americans and Asians, one who helped Americans better understand Islam and helped people of Islamic faith around the world better understand America.”

In Ali’s last quarter century, he was almost universally loved. This is a far cry from being labeled a draft dodger.

“Ali was always a spiritual man, but in his later years I believe he clarified and deepened his spirituality,” Eig said. “He became more focused and more thoughtful.”

When Eig turned in his manuscript, what was his immediate thought? “I wanted to take it back. I didn’t want to be done,” he said. “I had so much fun writing this book I wanted to work on it for the rest of my life. I knew I would never find anything more fun to work on.”

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