Connect with us

Featured Articles

Behind the Scenes At Pacquiao-Bradley 2: Part One

Published

on

Shortly after one o’clock on the afternoon of Thursday, April 10, Manny Pacquiao concluded a series of satellite interviews that originated in Section 118 of the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The interviews were designed to promote his April 12 fight against Tim Bradley and everything had gone according to plan.

“My advantage is that I’m quicker than him and punch harder than him,” Pacquiao told one interviewer.

When asked about being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny responded, “Sometimes these things happen. That is boxing.”

An interviewer for Sky-TV posed the all-but-obligatory question of whether or not Pacquiao would fight Floyd Mayweather.

“I’m happy for that fight,” Manny said. “If not in boxing, maybe we can play one-on-one in basketball.”

As for his musical talents, Pacquiao acknowledged, “I can sing, but my voice is really not that good. The fans like my singing because of what I’ve done in boxing.”

At one point, Manny noted, “Sportsmanship is very important to me because it is my way of displaying respect to the sport of boxing, to my opponent, and to the fans.”

After the interviews ended, Pacquiao was leaving Section 118 when a voice from across the arena shouted out loud and clear: “Manny, we love you. Manny, we love you. Manny! Manny!”

Pacquiao turned to acknowledge the fan, one of many who follow him wherever he goes. Then his face broke into a broad smile. The man shouting was Tim Bradley.

Manny waved, Tim waved back. In two days, they would try to beat each other senseless in a boxing ring. But for now there was fondness between them.

Welcome to Pacquiao-Bradley 2, featuring two elite fighters who carried themselves with dignity and grace throughout the promotion with no lapse of decorum by either man.

Pacquiao’s saga is well known. In an era of phony championship belts and unremitting hype, he has been a legitimate champion and also a true peoples’ champion. The eleven-month period between December 6, 2008, and November 14, 2009, when he demolished Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto were his peak years in terms of ring performance and adulation.

That was a while ago.

Tim Bradley believes in himself and epitomizes Cus D’Amato’s maxim: “When two fighters meet in the ring, the fighter with the greater will prevails every time unless the opponent’s skills are so superior that the opponent’s will is never tested.”

Most elite athletes are overachievers. Bradley comes as close to getting one hundred percent out of his potential as anyone in boxing. He’s a more sophisticated fighter than many people give him credit for. He’s not just about coming forward, applying pressure, and throwing punches. He has a good boxing brain and knows how to use it. But he isn’t particularly fast, nor does he hit particularly hard. The keys to his success are his physical strength and iron will.

“I’m not the most talented fighter in the division,” Tim acknowledges. “Not at all. There are guys with better skills and better physical gifts than I have. Where I separate myself from other fighters is my determination. I wear the other guy down. That’s what it is; hard work and determination. I work my butt off. I come ready every time. People keep saying that I don’t hit that hard, that I don’t box that well. But I keep winning, don’t I?”

Before each fight, Bradley promises himself that his opponent will remember him for the rest of his life. Marvin Hagler is his favorite fighter. Blue-collar work ethic, shaved head, overshadowed by boxing’s glamour boys.

Pacquiao and Bradley met in the ring for the first time on June 9, 2012. During that bout, Tim suffered strained ligaments in his left foot and a badly swollen right ankle. He was rolled into the post-fight press conference in a wheelchair.

“Both of my feel were hurt in that fight,” he recalls. “And I had a lion in front of me. All I could do was take it round by round. And it wasn’t enough to survive each round. I had to win them.”

Bradley, as the world knows, prevailed on a split-decision. A firestorm of protest followed.

In the aftermath of the bout, Pacquiao was an exemplary sportsman. “I’m a fighter,” Manny said. “My job is to fight in the ring. I don’t judge the fights. This is sport. You’re on the winner’s side sometimes. Sometimes you’re on the loser’s side. If you don’t want to lose, don’t fight.”

But others were less gracious. The beating Bradley took outside the ring was worse than the punishment he took in it.

“After the fight,” Tim remembers, “they announced that I was the winner. I was on top of the world, and then the world caved in on me. It should have been the happiest time of my life, and I wound up in the darkest place I’ve ever been in. I thought the fight was close. I thought the decision could have gone either way. You prepare your entire life to get to a certain point; you get there; and then it all gets taken away. I was attacked in the media. People were stopping me on the street, saying things like, ‘You didn’t win that fight; you should give the belt back; you should be ashamed of yourself; you’re not a real champion.’ I got death threats. I turned off my phone. All I did was do my job the best way I could, and It was like I stole something from the world.”

“It was bad,” says Joel Diaz, who has trained Bradley for the fighter’s entire career. “Tim was all right with people criticizing the decision, but the personal attacks really hurt. Tim is a proud man, and it was hard for him to walk tall anywhere.”

In Pacquiao’s next fight, he suffered a one-punch knockout loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez. Eleven months later, he rebounded to decision Brandon Rios. Meanwhile, Bradley edged Ruslan Provodnikov in a thriller and outboxed Marquez en route to another split-decision triumph.

That set the stage for an April 12 rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley was the reigning champion, but Pacquiao was the engine driving the economics of the fight. The event was labeled “Pacquiao-Bradley 2”, and Manny was guaranteed a $20 million purse ($6 million less than for their initial encounter). Tim was promised $6 million (one million more than the first time around).

Each fighter felt that there was unfinished business between them.

“There is a big question mark on our first fight,” Pacquiao said at a February 6 press conference in New York. “This time, we will answer that question.”

“The whole Pacquiao situation still bothers me,” Bradley added. “So on April 12, I’m going to clean that up.”

Fight week had a strange feel to it. The Pacquiao-Bradley rematch hadn’t taken place earlier because neither HBO nor Top Rank (which promoted both fighters) thought it would sell well. But after Marquez starched Pacquiao and Bradley beat Marquez, the possibility of beating Tim loomed as a more impressive credential for Manny. Also, as part of a deal to secure the fight, Bradley agreed to a two-year extension of his promotional contract, which was due to expire in December 2014.

That said, the promotion was struggling a bit.

Elite fighters have a glow, an aura around them. Pacquiao in his prime was electrifying. But in recent years, the Pacquiao super nova has dimmed.

In the days leading up to Pacquiao-Bradley 2, the narrative was no longer about Manny’s Magical Adventure. The media no longer waited in heightened anticipation for his arrival at publicity events. The fighter himself seemed to have a bit of “Pacquiao fatigue.” Certainly, he was aware of the talk that his career was nearing an end.

Again and again during fight week, Manny told interviewers, “My time in boxing is not yet done. I want to prove that my journey in boxing will continue.”

There was the mandatory appearance by Pacquiao on Jimmy Kimmel Live and all of the ritual hype. But pay-per-view sales were tracking poorly, an estimated 650,000-to-700,000 buys (down from 875,000 for the first Pacquiao-Bradley fight). Ticket sales were respectable, but there wouldn’t be a sell-out.

It was Bradley who generated much of the energy in the media center. Tim is inherently likable with an exuberance for life and a smile that lights up a room when he enters. Insofar as his status as a role model is concerned, he and his wife, Monica, appear to have a loving stable marriage. When Bradley takes his children to school in the morning, it’s not a designed photo op for television cameras. There’s no bimbo girlfriend, no charge of domestic violence, no conspicuous spending. The thought of Tim blowing twenty thousand dollars in a strip club is ludicrous.

Bradley loves challenges. “I’m looking forward to the fight,” he told the media. “It will be fun.”

Reflecting on his football-playing days, Tim opined, “Boxing is more fun than playing quarterback. I like it better where, if someone hits me, I can hit him back.”

Defending the judges’ decision in Pacquiao-Bradley I, Tim told an interviewer, “Everybody has an opinion. That means I have an opinion too. Manny Pacquiao is one of the best fighters ever to lace on a pair of gloves. I’m a big fan of Manny Pacquiao. But I beat him.”

Then the interviewer stated proudly that he was rooting for Pacquiao, and Bradley responded, “If you’re a Pacquiao fan; hey, Manny is a good dude. I respect the person he is and I respect what he has done for the sport. I have no problem with anyone who roots for him.”

That left the trashtalking to Bob Arum, who spent much of the week denouncing the host site and the MGM Grand’s president of entertainment, Richard Sturm.

Arum was appropriately angry that the hotel-casino was festooned with advertising for the May 3 fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana to the detriment of his own promotion. Introducing Sturm at the final pre-fight press conference on Wednesday, he referenced the executive as “the president of hanging posters and decorations for the wrong fight.”

Then, at the end of the press conference, Arum went further, declaring, “I know the Venetian [which had hosted Pacquiao’s previous fight in Macau] would never make a mistake like this, They would know what fight was scheduled in three or four days, and they wouldn’t have a 12-to-1 fight all over the building that’s going to take place three weeks from Saturday. That’s why one company makes a billion dollars a quarter and the other hustles to pay it’s debt.”

The following day, Arum elaborated on that theme, telling reporters, “There are two companies which are the leadingAmerican companies in gaming, and it’s for a reason. It’s because they’re smarter than these guys and they know what they’re doing. First is the Venetian-Sands company and then there is the Wynn. Pick up a paper and look at where the stock of each company is going. Then tell me who has smarter people. Is it luck? I don’t think so. If one company is making so much more than the other company and doesn’t have financial problems because they borrowed too much money, it’s not luck. It’s because they’re smarter and conduct themselves better. This company really has a serious management problem.”

Thereafter, in various interviews, Arum called Sturm “a horse’s ass . . . totally clueless . . . a moron . . . a brain-dead moron,” and added, “He doesn’t have a fucking clue what the f— he’s doing.”

On Friday, the promoter proclaimed, “They [the MGM Grand] did something that I believe is an absolutely horrendous thing to do. It shows tremendous disrespect for the Filipino people, who are suchnice people. If I were Flipino, I would never patronize an MGM Hotel again.”

Then, as a helpful guide to Filipino high-rollers who might have been offended by the slight, Arum listed all of the MGM Grand properties that they might want to avoid in the future.

Meanwhile, the odds had settled on Pacquiao as a 9-to-5 favorite, down from 4-to-1 in the first Pacquiao-Bradley encounter.

Bradley has never been thought of as a big puncher. His ledger shows a meager twelve knockouts, with only one in the past seven years. Pacquiao, by contrast, has 38 career KOs. But Manny’s record is devoid of stoppages since his 2009 demolition of Miguel Cotto.

That led Bradley to declare, “Manny is still sensational physically, but I don’t think the fire is there anymore. He’s not the same fighter he used to be. He’s still a tremendous fighter. But the killer instinct, the hunger, is gone and it won’t come back again. Manny fights for the money. I have the hunger to win. I just feel that his heart isn’t in it anymore.”

Were Bradley’s comments about Pacquiao no longer having “killer instinct” designed to undermine Manny’s confidence? Or perhaps to goad him into fighting recklessly?

“Neither,” Tim answered. “I’m simpy stating a fact.”

Team Pacquiao didn’t entirely disagree with Bradley’s thought. Trainer Freddie Roach acknowledged, “Recently, Manny has felt it was enough to just win his fights. He didn’t want to hurt his opponent more than he had to. I’ve had a lot of talks with him about that and I’m sure it’s not going to happen again. When Bradley told Manny that he’d lost the killer instinct, frankly, Manny got pissed off. He thought it was disrespectful.”

“Sometimes I’m too nice to my opponent,” Pacquiao added. “I have been happy winning on points because it is winning. But the fans want to see that hunger from me, and I’m always concerned about the fans and their satisfaction. So I’m going to fight this fight to show that I still have that hunger and that killer instinct.”

But there were questions as to whether, intent aside, Pacquiao still had the strength and physical stamina to close the show against an elite opponent.

“To me, it’s not about killer instinct,” Joel Diaz noted. “I don’t think Pacquiao is being compassionate. I don’t think he can finish anymore. Look at what happened when he fought Marquez in their third fight. The judges scored it for Pacquiao, but a lot of people thought Marquez should have won. Everyone knew it was close. And Pacquiao couldn’t come on strong late. Pacquiao is getting older. He’s not the fighter he used to be in the second half of his fights.”

Bradley understands that there are no sure things in boxing. “I may lose this fight,” he said in a teleconference call. “You never know.Things happen in the ring when you least expect it.It only takes one punch to end the night.”

But as Pacquiao-Bradley 2 approached, Tim was confident, saying, “I’m a more mature fighter now than I was two years ago. I’m better at getting in and out on guys and controlling the distance between us, which I showed in the Marquez fight. I’m a better fighter now than I was the first time Pacquiao and I fought. And Manny can’t say that.”

“This is the first time I’ve fought the same guy twice,” Bradley continued. “And I think it’s an advantage for me. The first time we fought, I didn’t know how much intensity Manny brought to the ring. Omigod! He throws so many feints and closes the distance so fast and punches from all angles. He always keeps you guessing when he’s going to come in and out. Now I know what to expect. I was able to make adjustments in the first fight, and Manny had problems with me when I was moving. I’m excited; I’m happy. On Saturday night, I’ll get to show what I can do on the biggest stage possible. I know there are people who say I can’t hurt him. If Manny feels that way, let him come in reckless and see what happens.”

And there was another factor to consider. In his first fight against Pacquiao, Bradley had done something stupid. For the only time in his career, he’d entered the ring without socks because he’d once heard Mike Tyson say that going sockless helped him grip the canvas and increase the leverage on his punches. Bradley had trained sockless in the gym for that fight. But the canvas in the ring on fight night was different from the gym canvas. And the demands on fight night are different from the demands of sparring. In the early going against Pacquiao, Tim had suffered ligament damage in his left foot and sprained his right ankle.

“With two good feet, I’ll be able to move quicker this time and set down harder on my punches,” Bradley promised. “With two good feet, I can adjust my footwork to deal with whatever Pacquiao brings to the table. Pain-free is another dimension, and I’ll be pain-free this time.”

Indeed, the main concern in Bradley’s camp was that the judges might overcompensate for the perceived injustice of the scoring in Pacquiao-Bradley I and, fearing ridicule, have a default setting on close rounds in favor of Manny.

“We know the judges will have a lot of weight on their backs,” Joel Diaz noted. “The stage was set for Tim to lose the first fight, and it didn’t happen. Now the stage is set for Tim to lose again. If the fight goes the distance and it’s close, the judges will give it to Pacquiao. All I ask is for the judges to be fair. If Tim wins, give him the win. If Pacquiao wins, give him the win.”

Meanwhile, as the clock to fight night ticked down, it seemed as though Bradley had more enthusiasm for the battle than Pacquiao did.

“I got something to prove,” Tim declared. “I got something to prove to the media; I got something to prove to the fans; I got something to prove to everyone who says I didn’t win the first fight. This fight is redemption for me. I feel deep in my heart that I won the first fight and I didn’t get any credit. I’m going to beat Manny Pacquiao again. And this time, I want the credit for it.”

Team Pacquiao, of course, had a different view.

“Bradley is a very good fighter,” trainer Freddie Roach said. “He’s tough and resilient. He takes good shots.He has a good chin. He has determination and a lot of heart. When you hit him, he fights back.”

“But I don’t think Bradley has all the abilities that Manny has,” Roach continued. “He’s not as fast. He doesn’t punch as hard. When Manny is on his toes and uses his footspeed, he closes the distance better than any fighter in the world. Once you put Bradley on the ropes, his chin goes up in the air, he opens up, and he punches wild. When that happens, Manny can beat him down the middle. Once the scores have been announced and you’ve lost a fight, there’s nothing you can do about it except say, ‘We’ll get him next time.’ I think Manny beat this guy once, and I think he’ll beat him again.”

Pacquiao agreed with his mentor.

“I am impressed with what Bradley has done since our fight,” Manny acknowledged. “His style is hard to explain. He is not easy to beat. But I am still faster than Bradley and I still punch harder than Bradley. He says that he wants to see my killer instinct, so he will see it.”

Part Two of “Behind the Scenes at Pacquiao-Bradley 2” takes readers into Tim Bradley’s dressing room in the dramatic hours before and after the fight. It will be posted on The Sweet Science tomorrow.

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Thomas Hauser is the author of 52 books. In 2005, he was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America, which bestowed the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism upon him. He was the first Internet writer ever to receive that award. In 2019, Hauser was chosen for boxing's highest honor: induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Lennox Lewis has observed, “A hundred years from now, if people want to learn about boxing in this era, they’ll read Thomas Hauser.”

Advertisement

Featured Articles

Abraham Nova and his Mascot are Back in Action on Friday Night

Published

on

Abraham-Nova-and-his-Mascot-are-Back-in-Action-on-Friday-Night

With his black beard dyed gold, junior lightweight Abraham Nova is one of boxing’s most recognizable practitioners. Sometimes there’s two of him which makes him stand out even more. His twin is an inflatable mascot painted to look just like him. On fight nights they are inseparable. The mascot shadows Nova on his ringwalk, bouncing up and down and dancing to animate the crowd.

Some gimmicks are just plain hokey. Some are annoying. But there’s something whimsical about Nova’s invention that brings a smile to boxing fans of all ages. “Abraham Nova having his own mascot is one of the coolest things in boxing,” says fight writer Ryan Songalia.

“I played all sports in high school, football, baseball, track, and got the idea of it from other sports,” says Nova of his twin who he unveiled in January of 2020 at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona, New York, where he upped his record to 18-0 with a fourth-round stoppage of Mexican journeyman Pedro Navarrete.

He’s 5-2 since then, the smudges coming against future world featherweight champion Robeisy Ramirez (KO by 5) and defending super featherweight world champion O’Shaquie Foster where he came out on the short end of a split decision. This coming Friday, in his first assignment since failing to de-throne Foster, he opposes 21-0 Andres Cortes at the Fontainebleu in Las Vegas on a Top Rank card airing on ESPN+.

“I was the one who asked for this fight,” says Nova. “Top Rank offered me a match on their June 8th Puerto Rican Parade Weekend show at Madison Square Garden against an opponent who was 17-2, but I turned it down and asked for a better opponent and they accommodated me.” Las Vegas native Andres Cortes, who has been profiled in these pages, is ranked #2 at 130 pounds by the WBO.

In common with boxing’s historical pattern, Abraham Nova had a hardscrabble upbringing.

Born in Puerto Rico to parents from the Dominican Republic, the second-youngest of 10 children, he came to the U.S. at the age of 1 where the entire family was initially shoe-horned into a two-bedroom apartment in Albany, New York.

His father, Aquiles, had a friend here who was the pastor of a church and in need of an assistant pastor to help with his growing congregation. Aquiles eventually founded his own church in Albany, The Pentecostal Church of Unity & Prayer where services are held in both Spanish and English.

As a toddler, Nova lived briefly in Guatemala and Mexico where his parents were called to “spread the word” and to assist in redevelopment projects. The family traveled 5,500 miles in a rickety old school bus from Albany to Guatemala during the end days of the Guatemalan Civil War.

Each of Nova’s four brothers boxed, but he was the only one to turn pro. As an amateur, he won the 2015 Olympic Trials Qualifying Tournament in Memphis, defeating Frank Martin and Richardson Hitchins in back-to-back fights, but failed to make the U.S. team for the Rio Games when he lost a split decision to Gary Antuanne Russell at the Olympic Trials in Reno. Those bouts were contested at 141 pounds.

A 30-year-old bachelor, Nova had his final amateur fights in Lowell, Massachusetts, a pillar of amateur boxing in New England, and has remained in the Boston area without losing his Albany identity. He is trained by ex-U.S. Marine Mark DeLuca, a boxer of some renown who sports a 30-4 record and may not be done with fighting quite yet at age 36.

Nova’s opponent, Andres Cortes, has won five of his last seven inside the distance beginning with a smashing first-round knockout of 34-2 Genesis Servania. On paper, it’s a 50-50 match-up. (The pricemakers are flummoxed; as of this writing, they have yet to establish a betting line.)

Abraham Nova’s mascot may never become as well-known as some of the costumed human mascots in college sports (e.g., West Virginia’s Mountaineer or Michigan State’s Sparty), let alone as beloved as the University of Georgia’s flesh-and-blood bulldog mascot Uga, but give the boxer credit for originality and for bringing a little levity to a sport too often besotted with incivility.

Note: Abraham Nova vs. Andres Cortes is the co-feature. In the main go, new Top Rank signee Rafael Espinoza makes the first defense of his WBO world featherweight title against Mexican countryman Sergio Chirino. Espinoza forged the 2023 TSS Upset of the Year when he got off the deck to defeat Robeisy Ramirez on Dec. 9 in Pembroke Pines, Florida, winning legions of fans with his unrelenting buzzsaw attack. Action from the Fontaineblue begins at 4:00 pm PST on ESPN+.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

A True Tale from the Boxing Vault: When the Champion Refused to Fight

Published

on

A-True-Tale-from-the-Boxing-Vault-When-the-Champion-Refused-to-Fight

A True Tale from the Boxing Vault: When the Champion Refused to Fight

BY TSS Special Correspondent David Harazduk — A hundred years ago, ducking a worthy challenger wouldn’t simply stoke the ire of the fans, it came with the prospect of jail time.

On Thursday, November 3, 1927, 16,000 fans packed Wrigley Field in Los Angeles hoping to witness their local favorite challenge for the welterweight world championship. Nicknamed the “Nebraska Wildcat,” Ace Hudkins had relocated to the Pacific Coast where his devil-may-care style in the ring made him instantly popular among Angelino fight fans. He was set to battle Joe Dundee, the champion, an Italian immigrant who had settled in Baltimore at a young age. But there was one problem.

The champion refused to fight.

Members of the California boxing commission, along with promoter Dick Donald, raced to the Biltmore Hotel to plead with Dundee (pictured) and his manager Max Waxman to come to Wrigley Field and fight. Waxman steadfastly refused. Donald, a quick-witted cigar-chomping Irishman known as the “Boy Promoter,” had promised Max’s man the ungodly sum of $60,000, and Dundee wouldn’t enter the ring for a penny less.

Under the rules of the California commission, a fighter could only receive a guarantee of $500. The rest of the purse came from a percentage of the gate: 37.5% for the champion and 12.5% for the challenger. Waxman insisted that Donald had offered $60,000, but the commission couldn’t enforce this side deal.

Tickets in the bleachers were sold at $2.20 a pop while those closer to the ring went for $11. The most the gate could possibly produce would be $90,000. Add in Wrigley Field’s 15% usage fee and payments to the preliminary fighters, officials, and even to rent the chairs situated around the ring, and Dundee’s dreams of $60,000- $75,000 if he lost the title- never had a prayer of being realized. After all, 37.5% of $90,000, plus $500, is only $34,250.

Meanwhile, Eddie Mahoney, a preliminary fighter, entered the ring at 8:30pm. Mahoney was scheduled to fight Joe Dundee’s brother Vince, a future middleweight world champion. When Vince didn’t follow Mahoney into the ring, Mahoney soon left, much to the bewilderment of the crowd.

Donald scrambled to find a plan B. He searched for welterweight contender Sergeant Sammy Baker to replace Dundee and fight Hudkins. When Baker couldn’t be located, Donald asked a preliminary fighter, Olympic gold medalist Jackie Fields, to take on Hudkins instead. Hudkins and Fields had been sparring partners when the featherweight champion of the 1924 Games in Paris was a nascent pro back in 1925. Fields’s manager, Gig Rooney, felt Hudkins was too big for the Olympic champ at this stage of his career and preferred to remain on the undercard against San Francisco’s Joey Silver.

With no plan B, Donald and the commissioners went back to Waxman in a last desperate plea to coax Dundee to defend his title. One commissioner, Charles Traung, offered Waxman an additional $10,000 check for Dundee to fight. Waxman stubbornly held out for more.

At 9:20pm, back at Wrigley, Donald signaled Jackie Fields and Joey Silver to enter the ring. Though Fields was wobbled twice, he opened up a cut over Silver’s left eye and split the San Franciscan’s lip on route to a convincing points victory in a ten-rounder. A few minutes after 10pm, Mahoney and Vince Dundee finally entered the ring for their clash. Dundee starched Mahoney inside of two rounds. When Waxman, who also managed Vince, heard of the second-round stoppage, he said “Vince knocked that guy out, eh? I told him to carry him along.” Waxman had hoped to stall for time.

Soon after the end of the Dundee-Mahoney fight, Ace Hudkins waltzed to the ring. He spent fifteen minutes seated in his corner, covered in a bathrobe and towels to keep him warm. Dundee never showed.

At 11:25pm, ring announcer Frank Kerwin slid into the ring and bellowed, “Owing to the fact that Joe Dundee did not receive his guarantee, he refused to go on with his match against Ace Hudkins.” The crowd was advised to “hold their seat checks and watch the newspapers for other announcements.”

The fans didn’t take too kindly to the announcement and hurled those rented chairs in disgust. Fights broke out all over the stadium, spilling into the ring. All available police officers in the area rushed to Wrigley Field, wielding their nightsticks in a bid to subdue the violent mob. Dozens of fans were injured in the fracas. To add insult to injury, those who had paid $2.20 for their seats in the bleachers were out of luck; they had never received a ticket in the first place.

The next day, Waxman and Joe Dundee checked out of the Biltmore Hotel at noon and made their way to the train station. Later that night, they were pulled off an eastbound train at Pasadena and arrested for false advertising.  Waxman posted a $1,000 bond for each of them.

A warrant was issued for Donald on the same false advertising grounds. He phoned into the police station promising to turn himself in once his feelings of humiliation subsided. The police agreed to wait.

Ultimately, all accused would be acquitted. Waxman would return the $22,249.43 that had been placed in his account and an $11,000 check.

Fans didn’t receive refunds as it was deemed unfair to give them only to those who had bought $11 tickets since the gallery patrons had no ticket stub and thus, couldn’t get a refund anyhow. After the preliminary fighters, Wrigley Field, officials, ushers, and the chair rental company were compensated, the rest of the money was placed into a community fund.

Because he had entered the ring for his title challenge, Ace Hudkins declared himself the new champion, but no commission accepted his claim. Dick Donald’s promotional career, once so promising, abruptly ended. In 1935, he took one last gasp in boxing, serving as matchmaker at the famed Olympic Auditorium for a brief spell.

Joe Dundee would never fight in California again. His championship reign ended dishonorably a year and half later when several commissions agreed to strip him of the title for refusing to fight any top contenders. When Jackie Fields won the vacant title, he and Dundee were matched for the undisputed crown on July 25, 1929. With Dundee a two-to-one underdog, Waxman and Dundee bet $50,000 on Joe to win, with fouls canceling the bet. Fields shellacked Dundee, knocking him down twice. In the second round, after the second knockdown, Dundee knew he was licked. He got up and hit Fields low as hard as he could. Dundee was instantly disqualified, losing any claim to the title as disgracefully as his hold-out against Hudkins.

If only some of the alphabet champions of today had to post bail under the threat of jail for ducking contenders, maybe boxing would be in a better state.

EDITOR’S: Author David Harazduk has run The Jewish Boxing Blog since 2010. You can find him at  Twitter/X @JewishBoxing and Instagram @JewishBoxing

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Results from the MGM Grand where Gervonta Davis Returned with a Bang

Published

on

Results-from-the-MGM-Grand-where-Gervonta-Davis-Returned-with-a-Bang

After an absence of 421 days, Gervonta “Tank” Davis returned to the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In the opposite corner was Detroit-born Frank “The Ghost” Martin who has been training in Dallas under Derrick James. In previous fights, Gervonta, who holds the WBA world lightweight title, has shown a tendency to start slow before closing the show with a highlight-reel knockout. Tonight was no exception.

Martin, 18-0 heading in, fought off his back foot from the get-go, but had good moments and was arguably ahead after five frames. But as the fight moved into the middle rounds, Martin became more stationary and one could sense that the ever-stalking Davis was wearing him down. In Round 8, Davis trapped Martin against a corner post, discombobulated him with a left uppercut and then turned out his lights with a chopping left hand. There was no chance that Martin could rise before referee Harvey Dock completed the “10” count.

Davis (30-0, 28 KOs) celebrated by standing on the top strand of rope and doing a black flip. He has many lucrative options going forward and will be favored to defeat whoever his next opponent will be.

The Davis-Martin fight was the capstone of a four-fight pay-per-view, the second collaboration between Premier Boxing Champions and Amazon Prime Video.

Benavidez-Gvozdyk

In his first fight as a light heavyweight, David Benavidez scored a 12-round unanimous decision over former lineal light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Benavidez, who improved to 20-0 (24), worked the body well and kept up the pressure in the early-going, building a substantial lead. His work output declined over the last third of the fight, but his punches still carried more steam than those of Gvozdyk, 37, who suffered his second loss in 22 pro fights, the other inflicted by the indomitable Artur Beterbiev, prompting the SoCal-based Ukrainian to take a long hiatus from the ring. The judges had it 119-109, 117-111, and 116-112.

Puello-Russell

In a major upset, Alberto Puello of the Dominican Republic saddled Gary Antuanne Russell with his first pro loss, winning a split decision. Puello appeared to have the edge in a furious final round, without which the bout would have ended in a draw. Puello, who improved to 23-0 (10), had to overcome a dubious call by referee Allan Huggins who took a point away from the Dominican in Round 7 for too much holding.

Russell, who was making his first start against a southpaw, is now trained by his brother Gary Russell Jr., the former featherweight champion, who replaced their late father. Russell Jr last fought in January of 2022.

Heading in, Gary Antuanne Russell had won all 17 of his pro fights by knockout. One of the judges thought he won handily. But his tally, 118-109 for Russell, was overruled by the115-112 and 114-113 scores awarded the underdog. Puello, who briefly held the WBA diadem at 140 but had it stripped from him when he tested positive for PEDs, won an interim belt in that weight class with his upset tonight.

Adames-Gausha

In the PPV opener, Alberto Puello’s countryman Carlos Adames successfully defended his WBC middleweight title in his first world title fight with a one-sided decision over former U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha. Adames, whose late father reportedly sired 35 children, was the aggressor and landed many more punches. He advanced his record to 24-1 (19). It was the fourth loss in 29 pro starts for the 36-year-old Gausha. The judges had it 119-109 and 118-110 twice.

Adames’ triumph made it 2-0 for the Dominicans and their trainer Ismael Salas.

Other Bouts of Note

In a huge upset, Delaware’s Kyrone Davis overcame Arizona’s previously undefeated and highly-touted Elijah Garcia, winning a split decision. A 21-year-old father of two, Garcia, 16-0 heading in, was rated #1 by the WBA and seemingly one step removed from challenging Erislandy Lara for the WBA middleweight title. But Davis, trained by Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, had a solid game plan and although Elijah came on strong in the homestretch, it was too little, too late.

One of the judges favored Garcia 98-92, but his cohorts each gave seven rounds to Davis (19-3-1, 6 KOs) and the decision was fair.

Filipino junior lightweight Mark Magsayo, in his second fight back since losing back-to-back fights with featherweight belt-holders Rey Vargas and Brandon Figueroa, advanced to 26-2 (17) with a 10-round unanimous decision over Mexico City’s Eduardo Ramirez (28-4-3). Magsayo scored a knockdown in the third round with a straight right hand and won by scores of 99-90 and 97-92 twice.

Photos credit: Al Applerose

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Ireland's-McKenna-Brothers-are-Poised-to-Make-Big-Waves-in-the-Squared-Circle
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Ireland’s McKenna Brothers are Poised to Make Big Waves in the Squared Circle

Oleksandr-Usyk-from-a-Historical-Perspective
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Oleksandr Usyk from a Historical Perspective 

Christian-Mbilli-has-the-Wow-Factor-Dismisses-Mark-Heffron-in-40-Seconds
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Christian Mbilli has the Wow Factor: Dismisses Mark Heffron in 40 Seconds

The-Inoue-and-Serrano-Championship-Warches
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Inoue and Serrano Championship Watches

Boxinjg-Odds-and-Ends-A-Bountiful-June-and-a-Cult-Fighter-Returns-from-Prisonj
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: A Bountiful June and a Cult Fighter Returns from Prison

Big-Bang-KOs-the-Bronze-Bomber-in-the-Heavyweight-Finale-of-a-Splendid-Show-in-Saudi-Arabia
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

‘Big Bang’ KOs the Bronze Bomber in the Heavyweight Finale of a Splendid Card in Saudi Arabia

In-a-One-Sided-Beatdown-Batyr-Jukenbayev-TKOs-Shopworn-Ivan-Redkach
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

In a One-Sided Beatdown, Batyr Jukembayev TKOs Shopworn Ivan Redkach

How-Soon-Before-We-Know-the-Fate-of-Ryan-Garcia-and-Will-the-Result-Stand?
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

How Soon Before We Know the Fate of Ryan Garcia and Will the Result Stand?

Gay-Talese-an-Icon-of-the-New-Journalism-Wrote-Extensively-About-Boxing
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Gay Talese, an Icon of the ‘New Journalism,’ Wrote Extensively About Boxing

Ireland's-Callum-Walsh-KOs-Carlos-Ortiz-at-the-Chumash-Casino
Featured Articles1 week ago

Ireland’s Callum Walsh KOs Carlos Ortiz at the Chumash Casino

Okolie-Demolishes-Rozanski-to-Jump-Start-a-Busy-Boxing-Weekend
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Okolie Demolishes Rozanski to Jump-Start a Busy Boxing Weekend

zhilei-Zhang-and-Deontay-Wilder-Meet-at-the-Final-Crossroads
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Zhilei Zhang and Deontay Wilder Meet at the Final Crossroads

Avila-Perspective-Chap-285-Heavyweights-Clash-in-Saudi-Arabia-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 285: Heavyweights Clash in Saudi Arabia and More

Sweet-Revenge-for-the-Cat-Catterall-Outpoints-Taylor-in-a-Fan-Friendly-Fight
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Sweet Revenge for the ‘Cat’: Catterall Outpoints Taylor in a Fan-Friendly Fight

Boxing-at-the-Paris-Olympics-Looking-Ahead-and-Looking-Back
Featured Articles7 days ago

Boxing at the Paris Olympics: Looking Ahead and Looking Back

Canastota-Chronicles-2024
Featured Articles1 week ago

Canastota Chronicles 2024

Boxing-Notes-and-Nuggets-from-Thomas-Hauser
Featured Articles1 week ago

Boxing Notes and Nuggets from Thomas Hauser

Resukts-from-Florida-Where-Blair-Cobbs-Proved-Superior-to-Adrien-Broner
Featured Articles1 week ago

Results from Florida Where Blair Cobbs Proved Superior to Adrien Broner

Xander-Zayas-Wins-a-Lopsided-Decision-Over-Patrick-Teixeira
Featured Articles1 week ago

Xander Zayas Wins a Lopsided Decision over Patrick Teixeira

Notes-on-Saturday's-Boxing-Card-Featuring-the-Return-of-Gervonta-Tank-Davis
Featured Articles4 days ago

Notes on Saturday’s Boxing Action Topped by the Return of Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis

Abraham-Nova-and-his-Mascot-are-Back-in-Action-on-Friday-Night
Featured Articles12 hours ago

Abraham Nova and his Mascot are Back in Action on Friday Night

A-True-Tale-from-the-Boxing-Vault-When-the-Champion-Refused-to-Fight
Featured Articles2 days ago

A True Tale from the Boxing Vault: When the Champion Refused to Fight

Results-from-the-MGM-Grand-where-Gervonta-Davis-Returned-with-a-Bang
Featured Articles2 days ago

Results from the MGM Grand where Gervonta Davis Returned with a Bang

Billam-Smith-Avenges-Lone-Defeat-Retains-Cruiser-Belt-in-a-Messy-Fight
Featured Articles3 days ago

Billam-Smith Avenges Lone Defeat; Retains Cruiser Belt in a Messy Fight

Notes-on-Saturday's-Boxing-Card-Featuring-the-Return-of-Gervonta-Tank-Davis
Featured Articles4 days ago

Notes on Saturday’s Boxing Action Topped by the Return of Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis

Boxing-at-the-Paris-Olympics-Looking-Ahead-and-Looking-Back
Featured Articles7 days ago

Boxing at the Paris Olympics: Looking Ahead and Looking Back

Arne's-Almanac-More-Chaos-for-Ryan-Garcia-and-a-Note-on-Don-King's-Impotent-'Whip'
Featured Articles1 week ago

Arne’s Almanac: More Chaos for Ryan Garcia and a Note on Don King’s Impotent ‘Whip’

Canastota-Chronicles-2024
Featured Articles1 week ago

Canastota Chronicles 2024

Boxing-Notes-and-Nuggets-from-Thomas-Hauser
Featured Articles1 week ago

Boxing Notes and Nuggets from Thomas Hauser

Xander-Zayas-Wins-a-Lopsided-Decision-Over-Patrick-Teixeira
Featured Articles1 week ago

Xander Zayas Wins a Lopsided Decision over Patrick Teixeira

Ireland's-Callum-Walsh-KOs-Carlos-Ortiz-at-the-Chumash-Casino
Featured Articles1 week ago

Ireland’s Callum Walsh KOs Carlos Ortiz at the Chumash Casino

Resukts-from-Florida-Where-Blair-Cobbs-Proved-Superior-to-Adrien-Broner
Featured Articles1 week ago

Results from Florida Where Blair Cobbs Proved Superior to Adrien Broner

The-Inoue-and-Serrano-Championship-Warches
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Inoue and Serrano Championship Watches

Avila-Prospectus-Chap-287-360-Promotions-Don-King-and-More-Action
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 289: 360 Promotions, Don King and More Action

Boxinjg-Odds-and-Ends-A-Bountiful-June-and-a-Cult-Fighter-Returns-from-Prisonj
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: A Bountiful June and a Cult Fighter Returns from Prison

Big-Bang-KOs-the-Bronze-Bomber-in-the-Heavyweight-Finale-of-a-Splendid-Show-in-Saudi-Arabia
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

‘Big Bang’ KOs the Bronze Bomber in the Heavyweight Finale of a Splendid Card in Saudi Arabia

Avila-Perspective-Chap-285-Heavyweights-Clash-in-Saudi-Arabia-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 285: Heavyweights Clash in Saudi Arabia and More

Ireland's-McKenna-Brothers-are-Poised-to-Make-Big-Waves-in-the-Squared-Circle
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Ireland’s McKenna Brothers are Poised to Make Big Waves in the Squared Circle

Gay-Talese-an-Icon-of-the-New-Journalism-Wrote-Extensively-About-Boxing
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Gay Talese, an Icon of the ‘New Journalism,’ Wrote Extensively About Boxing

zhilei-Zhang-and-Deontay-Wilder-Meet-at-the-Final-Crossroads
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Zhilei Zhang and Deontay Wilder Meet at the Final Crossroads

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement