Connect with us

Featured Articles

KATHY DUVA SPEAKS OUT ON … WELL, EVERYTHING (PART 3)

Bernard Fernandez

Published

on

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
—Albert Einstein

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
—-George Santyana

A lot of familiar sayings pop into a listener’s mind when Kathy Duva speaks out about boxing matters then and now. She has been in the business for more than 35 years, first as a publicist for her husband Dan’s promotional company, Main Events, and after his passing in 1996, as its president. She has been to the top of the highest mountain, when Main Events’ deep roster featured such stars as Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor and Mark Breland, and later as more of a secondary player with a depleted stable, scoping out less treacherous hills to ascend. But Main Events and Duva are staging a comeback of sorts, with WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev as the brightest hope for renewed relevance.

When Duva ruminates about her company’s and family’s oldest and most bitter rival, Don King, it is with a curious mixture of pent-up venom as well as what almost sounds like near-sympathy for a one-time giant of the industry who has tumbled far from his own glory days. What satisfaction is there to be drawn from victories at the negotiating table unless they sometimes come at the expense of the fire-breathing dragon that so frequently has made your life miserable? Remember, Kathy once dressed up her then-toddler of a son, Bryan, with a fright wig and a gold-glittered, cardboard DKP-logo pendant for a trick-or-treating tour of her neighborhood. It was a sight gag worthy of the best of Mel Brooks, and a reflection of the mother’s utter contempt for the electric-haired model for the Halloween caricature as well as a sort of grudging admiration.

King, at 82, is still around and harrumphing his heh-heh-hehs and “Only in America!” mantra. And while it might not be his last stand, win or lose, his fighter, Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) takes on Chris Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) Saturday night in Los Angeles for the WBC heavyweight championship vacated by the now-retired Vitali Klitschko. Should Stiverne win – and, remember, he already holds a wide unanimous decision Arreola in their first meeting, on April 27, 2013 — King’s faltering operation could take on at least some of the trappings of its former status as one of the fight game’s major power brokers.

I interviewed Duva for a story I had planned to do for TSS a couple of weeks ago, but – she’d certainly hate to admit this – she did her own version of King’s rambling, stream-of-consciousness brand of verbosity, at such length and with such conviction, that she filled up eight legal pages with interesting quotes. What to do? Condense all that material into a Cliff’s Note single column? Or spread the wealth over a three-part series, the truth of which, or possibly the lack thereof, to be discerned by TSS’ knowledgable readers? I chose the latter.

What did surprise me was Duva’s frequent references not only to King as the head of a diminished Evil Empire, but as the main character in a cautionary tale that more recent wheeler-dealers – Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, adviser-to-the-stars Al Haymon and Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza –seem intent on reprising.

Main Events’ marquee attractions from the good old days almost exclusively appeared on HBO or HBO Pay-Per-View, and Kovalev has graduated from dates on NBC SportsNet, which has contracted for Duva’s company to furnish the matchups since “Fight Night” debuted on Jan. 21, 2012, to HBO. It’s no surprise that, in her assessments of the HBO business model in comparison to Showtime’s, she sees HBO as having the superior format. Make of that what you will. It’s only one person’s opinion and, well, it might be construed as more than a little self-serving. Remember, Duva filed a lawsuit in late April against Showtime, Golden Boy Promotions, WBA light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson, his adviser Haymon and promoter Yvon Michel. It is Duva’s contention that there is a legally binding contract between Main Events and Michel to promote a Kovalev-Stevenson bout, on HBO, which appeared to be quashed when Haymon took Stevenson to Showtime.

But that doesn’t mean that a perhaps biased point of view isn’t entirely without merit, and Duva makes no bones of her belief that Showtime’s make-or-break, multimillion-dollar bet on Floyd Mayweather Jr., Golden Boy and Haymon is reminiscent of a similar bet-the-house wager made by King two decades ago, with ultimately disastrous results.

“You can literally trace the decline of Don King as a major promoter to the day he made that deal,” Duva said of King’s jumping from HBO to Showtime, taking with him such ring luminaries as Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez. “His operation went straight down from there. It was a mistake on his part, I think it was a mistake on Showtime’s part. And now the same mistakes are being made all over again.

“Mayweather is being paid a tremendous amount of money (he’s three fights into a six-fight deal that potentially could bring him upwards of $250 million), and it’s putting Showtime at risk financially. It’s not just coming out of their budget that they’ve allocated to buy fights. They’ve got to make money every time he gets in the ring. Whether or not that was a good business decision on their part, I can’t say until the deal’s over, I suppose. They certainly got a lot of attention, and I’m willing to bet, a lot of new subscribers, at least initially.

“The problem, as far as I can see it, is that people aren’t watching Showtime because Floyd Mayweather is fighting on pay-per-view or because Canelo (Alvarez) is fighting on pay-per-view. Or Amir Khan or Adrien Broner. These are the people who are getting their highest ratings, and more and more they’re fight on pay-per-view now. They have a very different business model than HBO had back then.

“Clearly, their business model is to build fighters up to pay-per-view and that’s where they make their money, or not. That’s a perfectly legitimate business model. HBO’s is more – I think – to develop talent, to hopefully put on entertaining fights with that talent, which was what they were trying to do with Kovalev and Stevenson.”

To Duva’s way of thinking, HBO’s model is analogous to a baseball team – say, the St. Louis Cardinals – building through a strong farm system while Showtime taking the approach of the late George Steinbrenner’s free-spending New York Yankees, throwing wads of cash at big-ticket free agents. It’s a bold step for Showtime, which apparently is no longer content to play Avis to HBO’s Hertz.

“The people who got the ratings on Showtime are the people who were built up on HBO,” Duva continued. “They only recently poached another HBO fighter in Stevenson. Their whole business model is, `We’ll poach some top guys from HBO and put them on pay-per-view.’ It was unthinkable that Showtime could do that back then (in the 1990s) because HBO’s budget was much bigger.

“King was able to make the deal he did with Showtime based on Mike Tyson being that sort of pay-per-view attraction. Chavez was a tremendous fighter who, frankly, was buried on Tyson undercards for years when he should have been a bigger star in his own right. But you can’t build a superstar on Showtime. You just can’t, no matter how hard you try.

“What’s interesting to me is how long can this continue? How many more HBO fighters can Showtime poach? At what point will they have too much inventory? I don’t know.”

The principals, of course, are different now than they were then. King’s role presumably is now being filled by Haymon and/or Schaefer, while Espinoza is sitting in the chair once occupied by his twice-removed predecessor as executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports and Event Programming, the late Jay Larkin. Mayweather is cast in the role of the new Tyson, the bell cow whom PPV customers are expected to follow no matter whom he fights or how well he fights them.

“This is so much what King tried to do in the ’90s,” Duva said. “He was saying, `I want my own network. I want to call all the shots. I want to do whatever I want.’ It was a situation that was very beneficial to him in the beginning, but in the end he isolated himself. Now, you can see the same thing starting to happen again.

“What stopped King from signing every fighter in the world was that even he had a limited budget and, let’s face it, he was Don King. People were wary of signing with him. It wasn’t that difficult to keep our fighters from going over to him. Generally, it went in the opposite direction.”

It all makes for a soap opera that, unlike actual daytime soap operas with story lines that go on and on and on, figures to have some sort of definitive conclusion. Whether that turns out to be sooner or later, who can say?

“I think the end game for Golden Boy and Al Haymon is to go back and get every date on HBO, too,” Duva said. “The lack of competition is not good in any business. I don’t think that Showtime’s interests should be so closely aligned with Haymon’s and Golden Boy’s. But they are. Ultimately, if HBO capitulates, it means that they give the HBO dates to Showtime, too. And where does that leave Showtime?”

What boxing needs, Duva said, is someone with the patience, persistence and clout to move mountains when necessary. Someone like, say, former HBO Sports boss Seth Abraham.

“Back then, Seth was almost like the commissioner of boxing,” she noted. “Think about it. He came from (baseball commissioner) Bowie Kuhn’s office. He had that mindset. The way Seth used to operate, because I went to a lot of those meetings with my husband, he’d put everybody in a room and not let them out until he had an agreement.

“Now, there was a time when Seth was accused of being way too cozy with Don King. There was an executive with his company who resigned over it, or perhaps he was pushed out. Well, there also was a time when King walked away from Seth, but, still, Seth worked with him when he had to. He didn’t welcome King back with open arms ever again, and there was a lot of bad blood. There always is when you say, `I’m taking my bat and ball across the street.’
“ We once crossed the street ourselves when we made Whitaker-Chavez on Showtime Pay-Per-View because that was the only way to get a fight our guy desperately wanted. To this day, I don’t know that Seth would say he’s forgiven (Whitaker’s manager) Shelly Finkel and maybe my husband for that. That was seen as an enormous affront and I don’t think it helped us in the least in our relationship with HBO. But that was one fight, and you could get past it.

“But to take your whole business across the street? Think about it. HBO enabled Golden Boy’s very existence. They literally pushed Main Events aside at a time after Dan had died and our stock had begun to dwindle. We were not in a good position. At the turn of the millennium when Lennox Lewis was heading into his last days, as was Arturo Gatti, and Whitaker had retired, those dates that used to go to Main Events started going to Golden Boy.”

So the combatants have changed, but the old battle rages on. It’s a war of attrition, with conflicting strategies and visions of how it will all play out, eventually. Maybe Showtime has the right answers this time. Maybe it doesn’t. To Duva’s way of thinking, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

“HBO’s got a machine there,” she offered. “They can build more talent. It’s a rare fighter who comes along who is so valuable that he can’t be replaced. It happens maybe once or twice in a generation. Floyd Mayweather is one of those fighters, no doubt. But there’s nobody else over there who’s a Floyd Mayweather.

“How many guys like that have there been in the pay-per-view era? Tyson. Holyfield. De La Hoya. There aren’t too many of them.

“At some point I think HBO will buy fights from Golden Boy again. At some point I think Showtime will buy fights from other promotional companies. I really think that’s the only things that makes sense in the long run.”

For now, though, expect the status quo to remain.

“Richard gave an interview that was related to me the other day,” Duva said. “He said, `I don’t agree with (Bob) Arum’s idea that you go to China and Russia and bring back talent from there. But if they build up somebody that’s attractive to us,’ we’ll just take him.’ If a network wants to empower someone with that attitude, someone who sets himself up to put other people out of business, you will see the demise of the boxing as it exists today. Except that I don’t think (Golden Boy and Showtime) can put HBO out of business.

“I’ve been going to meetings at HBO for 10 years and I told them that this was going to happen. It got pooh-poohed every time. If I went to meetings at Showtime, which I don’t, I would tell them the same thing. They’re looking at boxing as if it observes the laws of economics, as if it obeys the laws of supply and demand. It doesn’t. It never has.”

Read the parts 1 and 2 here :

Kathy Duva Speaks Out On…Well, Everything (Part 1)

Kathy Duva Speaks Out On…Well, Everything (Part 2)

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Book Review

Thomas Hauser is the Pierce Egan of Our Generation

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Thomas-Hauser-is-the-Pierce-Egan-of-our-Generation

Thomas Hauser is the Pierce Egan of our generation. Two centuries ago, Egan chronicled the goings-on in the world of prizefighting in a series of articles. When he had completed a bunch of these, he knotted them together in a compendium under the title Boxiana; or Sketches of Ancient Pugilism. The first volume was issued in 1813. Four more volumes would follow.

Pierce Egan was drawn to the sport of prizefighting during the so-called Regency Era in England when prizefighting, although an outlaw sport, enjoyed a great burst of popularity. Aristocrats and commoners alike, bluebloods and lowlifes, caravanned to the big fights which of necessity were held outside areas of dense population. But, as indicated by the sub-title of “Boxiana,” Egan was also interested in the history of prizefighting which pre-dated the Regency Era. He wasn’t the first historian of the Sweet Science (a term that he coined), but he was certainly the most influential. Nearly 200 years after his death, a fellow interested in learning about the roots of modern prizefighting is encouraged to start by dredging up a reprint of “Boxiana.” (Or, if one doesn’t wish to be that immersive, checking out one of several collections by the great New Yorker essayist A.J. Liebling who rucked Egan out of obscurity.)

Which brings us to Thomas Hauser.

In common with Pierce Egan, Hauser gathers previously published articles about boxing into a book. A Hauser compendium has become an annual tradition at his publishing house, the University of Arkansas Press. Hauser’s latest offering, the 15th in the series, is fresh off the press. It bears the title Broken Dreams: Another Year Inside Boxing. TSS readers will recognize some of the nuggets as they first appeared at this web site.

Two hundred years from today, if mankind still exists, folks interested in the goings-on in the world of boxing during the first decades of the 21st century, will be directed to the writings of Thomas Hauser. And I have no doubt that a complete set of his annual anthologies, although released in paperback, will be a prized collectable.

Pierce Egan did round-by-round reports of major fights, but he was more interested in things that happened outside the ring. He saw the big picture; prizefighting as an ecosystem. Hauser likewise views the sport through a wide lens. The power brokers command his attention, as do those on the periphery. Hauser once wrote a story about ring card girls that was a fun read and would have also fit neatly as an insert in a textbook on the sociology of work.

“The boxing scene,” wrote Hauser, “is about so much more than the fights.”

In his role as an investigative reporter, for which he has won several awards, Hauser has written extensively about PED abuse in boxing and about the failings of the New York State Athletic Commission.

There’s less about PEDs in his newest book than in previous editions, inevitable perhaps considering that boxing activity in 2020 was stunted by the pandemic, but the NYSAC gets its usual comeuppance. The agency “has long been a favor bank for powerful economic interests and a source of employment at various levels for the politically well connected,” says Hauser, who informs us that for several higher-up employees, and one woman in particular, the job there is basically a sinecure and a good paying one at that.

Another recurrent theme in Hauser’s writings is boxing’s waning popularity among America’s youth and what can be done about it. In a story titled “Why Doesn’t Boxing Attract More Young Fans?” Hauser lists 11 reasons why it doesn’t, each of which can be reconfigured into a prong to be used in a campaign to stanch the erosion and reverse the trend.

None of Hauser’s compendiums would be complete without book reviews. Several years ago, Hauser wrote that “the written history of Muhammad Ali is an ongoing construction” and, in 2020, new construction continued at a brisk pace; there was a spate of new Ali books.

Hauser, needless to say, is well-versed in the subject matter. He interviewed more than 150 people for his 1991 book, “Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times,” long considered the definitive Ali biography, and he takes a fine-tooth comb to any book that traverses the same territory. Factual inaccuracies gall him and he doesn’t hesitate to point them out in reviews of books concerning Ali by Todd Snyder, Stuart Cosgrove, and Rahaman Ali (Muhammad Ali’s brother) and in a book for young readers ostensibly co-authored by book-seller extraordinaire James Patterson.

“Broken Dreams” is divided into four sections, the last of which is titled “Boxing and the Coronavirus.” There are some stories in this section that I suspect wouldn’t make the cut if Hauser were assembling the book today. He writes that “the restoration of normalcy (in boxing) will be a long, slow process.” With the benefit of hindsight, the future wasn’t quite so gloomy.

Among my favorite stories in Hauser’s newest compilation, which clocks in at 308 pages, is a long piece about Gleason’s Gym which, like Madison Square Garden, is currently in its fourth location. There are 44 components in all, modules of various length, and it’s the sort of book that one can open to any page and find something interesting.

Notes

Thomas Hauser and Pierce Egan have other things in common aside from their association with prizefighting. Both wrote about other things. Egan, who died in 1849, achieved his greatest success with a work of fiction, Life in London, about the escapades of Corinthian Tom and his country cousin Jerry, excitement-seekers who flouted the norms of society as they caroused about the London metropolis. The book gave rise to a long-running play, to a popular 18th-century expression (“Tom and Jerrying” denoted a rowdy night on the town), to a once-popular Christmas cocktail, and to a cat and mouse team in a children’s animated cartoon series.

In his review of Hauser’s Ali biography, Dave Anderson of the New York Times noted that this was Hauser’s 14th book and that seven of his previous books were novels. Among the non-fiction books that Hauser authored prior to “Ali” was “The Execution of Charles Horman” about the murder of an American journalist who disappeared in Chile during a right-wing military coup. It was adapted into the Oscar-winning screenplay for the movie “Missing” starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek.

Lastly, a caveat: Although A.J. Liebling thought Pierce Egan was a real hoot, the average reader will likely find Boxiana hard to digest. The book is freighted with slang terms, some of Egan’s invention, that long ago disappeared from the lexicon.

Egan eventually turned away from boxing cold-turkey, purportedly disgusted by too many fixed fights. If Hauser follows his example, let’s hope that it doesn’t happen any time soon.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Shakur Stevenson’s Star Turn Gets No Media Coverage in Atlanta

Bernard Fernandez

Published

on

Shakur-Stevenson;s-Star-Turn-Gets-No-Media-Coverage-in-Atlanta

Shakur Stevenson’s Star Turn Gets No Media Coverage in Atlanta

For that part of the sports world that takes notice of boxing, Shakur Stevenson announced himself as a superstar-in-the-making – well, maybe – in totally dominating and ultimately dethroning WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring Saturday night in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena. Shakur, the 24-year-old southpaw and 2016 Olympic silver medalist from Newark, N.J., seemingly hit Herring, 35, a combat-toughened but outgunned Marine Corps veteran, with everything but the proverbial kitchen sink en route to a 10th-round stoppage that wowed, among others, former junior welterweight and welterweight titlist and ESPN commentator Timothy Bradley Jr., who had chided Stevenson, a sometimes risk-adverse defensive wizard, as a “boring” fighter in his most recent bout on the Worldwide Leader, a 12-round scorecard shutout of Namibia’s Jeremia Nakathila on June 12 in Las Vegas.

After referee Mark Nelson stepped in to save the bleeding and battered Herring 1 minute, 30 seconds into round 10, Stevenson surprised Bradley by thanking him for providing the motivation he needed to ramp up his offensive output.

“Shakur tonight showed a ton of maturity,” Bradley said of the new-look, presumably more fan-friendly version of Stevenson that was on display. “The fact that he thanked me and said that I motivated him is a beautiful thing. That showed even more maturity, because that’s all that I want from these young fighters. I want them to grow.

“This is what I wanted to see from Shakur Stevenson. But I knew he had it in him, and he showed it tonight.”

Not that Bradley has completely bought into the notion of all that Stevenson could be, citing the lack of the only weapon – one-punch power – in his otherwise well-stuffed trick bag. Maybe that will come should Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) continue to enhance his man-strength, and maybe what you see now is all that fight fans can ever expect to get. In baseball terminology, Shakur Stevenson was more or less categorized by Bradley as a high-average singles hitter with enough gap power to accumulate a fair share of doubles that can get opponents out of there on accumulated damage. Who could complain if Stevenson, whose avowed goal is to become a superstar and fixture at or near the top of everyone’s pound-for-pound lists, continues to show flashes of such stylistic predecessors as Pernell Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

On this night and in the fight’s host city, however, Stevenson took a worse media-coverage battering from Eddie Rosario than he had administered to Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) with his fists. Rosario, a trade-deadline acquisition of the Atlanta Braves, slugged a three-run homer to lift his new team to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at nearby Truist Park, sending the Braves into their first World Series since 1999. For now, Rosario, who went 14-for-25 with three homers in winning the NLCS Most Valuable Player Award, is the toast of the town and the focus of reams of space in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports section. But it wasn’t only Rosario who siphoned attention in the local paper away from Stevenson; the fight might have gotten a few lines in the print editions, but online it was completely ignored by the AJC, Rosario’s hot bat followed in the pecking order by stories about the NBA’s Hawks losing at Cleveland, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets dropping a high-scoring contest at Virginia and a five-star high school defensive end prospect named Mykel Williams verbally committing to the No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

While it had to be frustrating to Stevenson and Atlanta’s fight fans for the event to be ignored by AJC, there were other deserving participants on the card who were similarly overlooked by the press in Georgia’s largest city. Not that anyone in the Internet age still pastes newspaper clippings into scrapbooks, but 19-year-old middleweight prospect Xander Zayas might be at a similar embryonic stage of development once occupied by Stevenson a couple of years ago. He deserved at least some recognition in the paper for his fourth-round stoppage of Dan Karpency, as did two other undercard fighters with celebrity familial ties: middleweight Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of the great Muhammad Ali, who scored a third-round TKO of James Westley II, and junior middleweight Evan Holyfield, son of four-time heavyweight champion and Atlanta-area resident Evander Holyfield – can it be nearly 30 years since “The Real Deal” shook off an early knockdown to stop Bert Cooper in seven rounds on Nov. 23, 1991, in Atlanta’s since-demolished Omni Coliseum? — who bombed out Charles Stanfield in two rounds.

But Atlanta is not the only metropolis that devotes fewer newspaper column inches, if any, to the sport that once made Evander Holyfield as important a local sports figure as any Falcon, Brave or Hawk. It will be up to Stevenson to break through, if he can, to a level where his every ring appearance becomes a must-see because boxing’s viability is and has always been largely tied to the popularity of its larger-than-life figures.

“I wanted a fun fight – show my skills, my boxing, my power,” Stevenson said of the modifications he and trainer/grandfather Wali Moses made from the relative dreariness of the wide points nod over Nakathila to the pulse-quickening pummeling of Herring, who apologized to the Marine Corps in general for his defeat, not that any such admission was necessary. Herring seemed to be contemplating retirement, but there has never been any occasion when he failed to conduct himself honorably inside the ropes.

The question now is, will Stevenson continue to hew to demonstrate the aggressiveness he exhibited against Herring? His comments following the Nakathila bout suggest that it might not always be so. His style is evolving, but what works better on one night might not be advisable on another.

“To be honest, I didn’t really like my performance,” Stevenson said after his paint-by-numbers dismissal of Nakathila. “I felt I could’ve performed a lot better. I was being real careful because he has power. He was real scary. I got the best defense in boxing. But I’ll be better in my next fight.”

Former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Andre Ward, a 2021 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame who also did commentary for Herring-Stevenson, said Shakur shouldn’t feel pressured to become something he is not in order to meet anyone else’s expectations.

“I think we got to kill some of these misnomers that have been around the sport for far too long, that fighters that go about their craft a certain kind of way, hit and don’t get hit, (means) there’s something not tough about them,” Ward said. “I heard that my whole career. Floyd Mayweather heard that his whole career. Just because a skillful fighter who can think and plays chess when everybody else is playing checkers doesn’t mean he can’t get down and dirty. It only means we’re going to get down and dirty when we have to.

“Fighters who have (high) IQs and skill, keep doing what you’re doing. Some people are going to like it and others won’t. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If a good fighter has a bad night, he can still win every round. If a guy who takes two to (land) one had a bad night, it’s a pretty ugly night. He’s probably going to get knocked out or take a lot of punishment.

“I wasn’t who they wanted me to be. I just beat all those guys, all the guys they said were going to get me. I just kept winning. And winning covers a lot of problems and issues.”

A lot, for sure, not all. In addition to Whitaker, Mayweather and maybe Ward, there are elements of Stevenson’s makeup that call to mind the technical proficiency of two-time Cuban gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux, a former Top Rank fighter. Stevenson has been groomed by Top Rank for a prolonged and successful run at the elite level, but what so far has been a mutually beneficial working relationship could hinge in part to the fighter’s willingness to more regularly perform as he did against Herring than he did against Nakathila and a few other opponents that led to the perception that he was supremely talented, yes, but also a touch boring.

Prior to Rigondeaux’s release by Top Rank, company founder Bob Arum complained that his style leaned more to Masterpiece Theater than Rocky, which made Rigo a poor box-office and television attraction. Arum even said that when he brought the Cuban’s name up to HBO executives, “they throw up.”

There are many ways to win a prizefight, and now Shakur Stevenson has shown that he can win with chamber music or semi-heavy metal playing in the background. How far he advances in his march toward the truly elite status he is convinced is his destiny may be determined by the method he chooses to employ should a much-discussed showdown with Mexican blaster Oscar Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) take place in 2022. The hard truth is that a lot of fight fans not only like, but require splashes of blood-and-guts mixed in with their favorite sport’s artistic side.

Editor’s Note: Bernard Fernandez, named to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Observer category with the class of 2020, was the recipient of numerous awards for writing excellence during his 28-year career as a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Daily News. Fernandez’s first book, “Championship Rounds,” a compendium of previously published material, was released in May of last year. The sequel, “Championship Rounds, Vol. 2,” with a foreword by Jim Lampley, arrives this fall. The book can be ordered through Amazon.com, in hard or soft cover, and other book-selling websites and outlets.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Fast Results from Atlanta Where Shakur Stevenson Turned in a Masterful Performance

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Fast-Results-from-Atlanta-Where-Shakur-Stevenson-Turned-in-a-Masterful-Performance

Former world featherweight title-holder Shakur Stevenson turned in his career-best performance tonight at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta while wresting the WBO 130-pound world title from the shoulders of Jamel Herring via a 10th-round TKO. At age 24, Stevenson was the younger man by 11 years and it was a case of youth being served.

As a pro, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) has lost precious few rounds. The rap against him was that he is content to outclass an opponent, providing few fireworks. In this vein, the assumption was that tonight’s bout would be a tactical (i.e., tame) affair. But while there were no knockdowns and Shakur fought a measured fight, there was more snap in his punches than had been the norm and he finished the bout on a high note.

Early into the fight, Herring’s left eye began to swell. In round nine, Stevenson opened a nasty cut over Herring’s other eye. In round ten, with the cut bleeding profusely, Stevenson revved up his attack, forcing referee Mark Nelson to waive it off. The official time was 1:30.

After the fight, Stevenson called out his WBC counterpart Oscar Valdez. Herring, an ex-Marine and former U.S. Olympic team captain, falls to 23-3.

Other Bouts

Fast-rising 19-year-old middleweight Xander Zayas shellacked intrepid Dan Karpency whose father and chief cornerman pulled him out after four rounds. A future star, born in Puerto Rico, Zayas is now 11-0 (8). One of the three fighting brothers, Karpency (9-4-1) will return to his day job as a registered nurse at a maximum-security prison in Western Pennsylvania. He hadn’t previously been stopped

In the first bout airing on ESPN’s flagship station, middleweight Nico Ali Walsh, the 21-year-old grandson of Muhammad Ali, scored a third-round stoppage of scrappy but out-gunned James Westley II, a 36-year-old from Toledo, Ohio. Walsh (2-0, 2 KOs) knocked Westley down with a straight right hand in the waning seconds of round two and knocked him to his knees with another short right hand early in the next stanza. Westley wasn’t badly hurt, but his corner saw fit to throw in the towel.

Junior middleweight Evan Holyfield, one of 11 children fathered by the great Evander Holyfield, knocked Charles Stanford flat on his back with a harsh left-right combination in round two, advancing his record to 8-0 (6). The official time was 0:30. Stanford, a 35-year-old Cincinnati man with an MMA background, was 6-3 heading in.

Middleweight Troy Isley, a 23-year-old U.S. Olympian from Alexandria, VA, improved to 3-0 (2) with a first-round stoppage of 37-year-old Nicholi Navarro (2-2), a former Army Ranger from Denver. Isley rocked his overmatched opponent several times before putting him on the canvas with a combination, forcing the ref to intervene. The official time was 2:48.

In an upset, Erik Palmer saddled Atlanta’s Roddricus Livsey with his first defeat, winning a split decision. Palmer, from the Karpency family stable, was 12-14-5 heading in, versus 8-0-1 for Livsey. The scores were 58-56 twice and a curious 59-55 for the hometown fighter.

Haven Brady Jr, a 19-year-old featherweight from Albany, Georgia, improved to 4-0 (3) with a 4-round unanimous decision over Corpus Christi’s Roberto Negrete (3-1).  The scores favoring Brady were 40-36 across the board, but Negrete was no slouch.

Chicago welterweight Antoine Cobb made an impressive pro debut with a brutal one-punch knockout of Jerrion Campbell (2-2). It was all over in 58 seconds. Cobb, 25, is a protégé of former light heavyweight champion Montell Griffin.

In the opening bout on the card, 21-year-old Brooklyn lightweight Harley Maderos, a 2021 USA national champion, improved to 2-0 (1) with a 4-round unanimous decision over Deljerro Revello (0-2). Maderos scored a knockdown in the opening frame and won all four rounds on all four cards but wasn’t particularly impressive.

Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty images.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Triller-Fight-Club-Boxing's-Keystone-Kops
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Triller Fight Club: Boxing’s Keystone Kops

David-Avanesyan-Dazzles-Again-on-a-London-Card-That-Lost-Its-Main-Event
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

David Avanesyan Dazzles Again on a London Card That Lost Its Main Event

A-Snapshoy-of-Hall-of-Fame-Boxer-Tony-DeMarco-Who-Has-Passed-Away-at-Age-89
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Snapshot of Hall of Fame Boxer Tony DeMarco Who Has Passed Away at Age 89

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Notes-on-Canelo-Plant-Probellum-and-Adrien-Broner
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Notes on Canelo-Plant, Probellum, and Adrien Broner

The-Official-TSS-Wilder-Fury-III-Prediction-Page
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

The Official TSS Fury-Wilder III Prediction Page

Fury-KOs-Wilder-in-the-11th-in-a-Brutal-Slugfest
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Fury KOs Wilder in the 11th in a Brutal Slugfest

Shakur-Stevenson;s-Star-Turn-Gets-No-Media-Coverage-in-Atlanta
Featured Articles2 days ago

Shakur Stevenson’s Star Turn Gets No Media Coverage in Atlanta

Reconfiguring-the-Championship-Rounds-What-if-There'd-Been-3-More-or-3-Less?
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Reconfiguring the Championship Rounds: What if There’d Been 3 More or 3 Less?

Nothing-Lasts-Forever-Not-Even-Manny-Pacquiao's-Exquisite-Boxing-Career
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Nothing Lasts Forever, Not Even Manny Pacquiao’s Exquisite Ring Career

Avila-Perspective-Chap-153-Manny-at-the-Olympic-and-More
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 153: Pacquiao at the Olympic and More

Wayne-McCullough-Remembers-Eddie-Futch-Who-Passed-Away-20-Years-Ago-This-Sunday
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Wayne McCullough Remembers Eddie Futch Who Passed Away 20 Years Ago This Sunday

Undercard-Results-from-Las-Vegas-Helenius-Kownacki-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Undercard Results from Las Vegas: Helenius-Kownacki and More

AIBA-Confirms-Corruption-at-2016-Rio-Olympics-in-Other-News-Water-is-Wet
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

AIBA Confirms Corruption at 2016 Rio Olympics; in Other News, Water is Wet

Avila-Perspective-Chap-155-James-Toney-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 155: James Toney and More

Boxing-Odds-ans-Ends-Richard-Schaefer-Returns-and-a-Bare-Knuckle-Fatality
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Richard Schaefer Returns and a Bare-Knuckle Fatality

Boxing-Scribes-Take-to-Twitter-to-Celebrate-the-Fury-Wilder-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Scribes Take to Twitter to Celebrate the Fury-Wilder Fight

Russell-Peltz's-Thirty-Dollars-and-a-Cut-Eye-Nook-Review-by-Thomas-Hauser
Book Review2 weeks ago

Russell Peltz’s “Thirty Dollars and a Cut Eye”: Book Review by Thomas Hauser

WeekendBoxing-Recap-The-Mikey-Garcia-Stunmer-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Weekend Boxing Recap: The Mikey Garcia Stunner and More

Late-Bloomer-Jersey=Joe-Walcott-Goes-the-Ditance-Again-With-Statue-in-Camden
Featured Articles1 week ago

Late-Bloomer Jersey Joe Walcott Goes the Distance Again With Statue in Camden

Results-from-Liverpool-Liam-Smith-TKOs-Fowler-Plus-Undercard-Results
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Results from Liverpool: Liam Smith TKOs Fowler plus Undercard Results

Thomas-Hauser-is-the-Pierce-Egan-of-our-Generation
Book Review5 hours ago

Thomas Hauser is the Pierce Egan of Our Generation

Shakur-Stevenson;s-Star-Turn-Gets-No-Media-Coverage-in-Atlanta
Featured Articles2 days ago

Shakur Stevenson’s Star Turn Gets No Media Coverage in Atlanta

Fast-Results-from-Atlanta-Where-Shakur-Stevenson-Turned-in-a-Masterful-Performance
Featured Articles3 days ago

Fast Results from Atlanta Where Shakur Stevenson Turned in a Masterful Performance

Results-from-Tampa-Harold-Calderon-Survives-Bite-to-Become-Undefeated
Featured Articles3 days ago

Results from Tampa: Harold Calderon Survives Bite to Remain Undefeated

Remembering-Mustafa-Hamsho-One-Tough-Syrian
Featured Articles3 days ago

Remembering ‘Rocky Estafire,’ One Tough Syrian

Miguel-Madueno-Scores-His-12th-Straight-Knockout-at-Ontario-Calif
Featured Articles4 days ago

Miguel Madueno Scores His 12th Straight Knockout at Ontario, Calif

Oscar-Rivas-is-Boxing's-First-Bridgerweight-Champ-Tops-Spunky-Ryan-Rozicki
Featured Articles4 days ago

Oscar Rivas is Boxing’s First Bridgerweight Champ; Tops Spunky Ryan Rozicki

Avila-Perspective-Chap-157-Tank-Davis-and-Rollie-Romero-in-LA-and-More
Featured Articles5 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap: 157: Tank Davis and Rollie Romero in LA and More

Hotlanta-Has-Suddenly-Become-a-Professional-Boxing-Hotspot
Featured Articles5 days ago

‘Hotlanta’ Has Suddenly Become a Professional Boxing Hotspot

Late-Bloomer-Jersey=Joe-Walcott-Goes-the-Ditance-Again-With-Statue-in-Camden
Featured Articles1 week ago

Late-Bloomer Jersey Joe Walcott Goes the Distance Again With Statue in Camden

WeekendBoxing-Recap-The-Mikey-Garcia-Stunmer-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Weekend Boxing Recap: The Mikey Garcia Stunner and More

Emanuel-Navarrete-Retains-WBO-Featherweight-Title-in-a-San-Diego-Firefight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Emanuel Navarrete Retains WBO Featherweight Title in a San Diego Firefight

Russell-Peltz's-Thirty-Dollars-and-a-Cut-Eye-Nook-Review-by-Thomas-Hauser
Book Review2 weeks ago

Russell Peltz’s “Thirty Dollars and a Cut Eye”: Book Review by Thomas Hauser

Avila-Perspective-Chap-156-A-World-Title-Fight-in-San-Diego-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 156: A World Title Fight in San Diego and More

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Notes-on-Canelo-Plant-Probellum-and-Adrien-Broner
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Notes on Canelo-Plant, Probellum, and Adrien Broner

A-Snapshoy-of-Hall-of-Fame-Boxer-Tony-DeMarco-Who-Has-Passed-Away-at-Age-89
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Snapshot of Hall of Fame Boxer Tony DeMarco Who Has Passed Away at Age 89

Boxing-Scribes-Take-to-Twitter-to-Celebrate-the-Fury-Wilder-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Scribes Take to Twitter to Celebrate the Fury-Wilder Fight

Fury-KOs-Wilder-in-the-11th-in-a-Brutal-Slugfest
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Fury KOs Wilder in the 11th in a Brutal Slugfest

Undercard-Results-from-Las-Vegas-Helenius-Kownacki-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Undercard Results from Las Vegas: Helenius-Kownacki and More

Results-from-Liverpool-Liam-Smith-TKOs-Fowler-Plus-Undercard-Results
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Results from Liverpool: Liam Smith TKOs Fowler plus Undercard Results

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement