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Floyd Tweets Out The News; It’s Official, Mayweather-Maidana II Is A Go

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Floyd has taken to Twitter, and made it official: for his next fight, taking place Sept. 13 at the MGM, his fighting home, he will again fight Marcos Maidana.

Maidana, a rugged Argentine, gave the 46-0 Floyd a run for his proverbial money when they clashed May 3, and he had Floyd on his heels. Some were asking if Floyd’s legs had started to go a bit, if his reflexes had dimmed when the judges announced a decision, a majority nod for Mayweather.

Bum rushing the skilled pugilist, hitting him, high, low and even behind the head, the 35-4 Maidana gave Floyd the stiffest test of any man, since Jose Luis Castillo back in 2002. For that, he’s been granted the license to try and do even better this time around.

“#Mayhem. Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 September 13, 2014 MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Live on Showtime PPV,” the Tweet read.

Predictably, I think, fan reaction was mixed. Many fight fans would like to see Floyd take on, stop me if you’ve heard this before, Manny Pacquiao…or Shawn Porter…or Keith Thurman…or Peter Quillin. Many of those negative nellies think that Floyd was “letting” Maidana have some success early on in their tangle and that when he decided to use his legs and brain, he took rounds with relative ease. Maidana has no hope of winning, they say. Me, I think the kid should be rewarded for exceeding expectations…and I think the possibility exists that at 37, Floyd, who turns 38 in Feb., has started to slide. I saw him get caught with some punches that he didn’t expect to, as if the reflexes that were present a couple years ago were no longer A plus grade.

Here is the release the promoters sent out shortly after Floyd’s newsy Tweet:

REMATCH SET BETWEEN 11-TIME WORLD CHAMPION FLOYD MAYWEATHER AND POWER-PUNCHER MARCOS MAIDANA ON SATURDAY, SEPT. 13 ON SHOWTIME PPV® AT

MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (July 10, 2014) – Their thrilling first fight last May left sports fans clamoring for more. Now, 11-time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Marcos “El Chino” Maidana will do it again. “MAYHEM: Mayweather vs. Maidana II,” a welterweight world championship fight announced today,will take placeSaturday, Sept. 13 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME PPV.

Ticket information and information about an upcoming five-city, cross-country press tour starting thisMonday, July 14 will be announced shortly.

Despite the brutal nature of their first meeting, Mayweather has chosen to give Maidana a chance to redeem himself and earn a victory against the undefeated champion by facing him again in the storied MGM Grand Garden Arena. This exciting rematch will serve to test the skill and will of both men and finish what was started last May.

“Marcos Maidana is a tough customer and he gave me a fight that had me work for the victory,” said Mayweather. “His style is difficult at best, but with experience comes a way and will to win. I’m not one to give second chances in the ring, but I want to give the fans what they want to see. I will be as prepared as I always am when I step in the ring on September 13. I only see the outcome one way and that’s another successful night for me and my team.”

“The rematch with Mayweather is the only fight that really motivates me,” said Maidana. “I feel I earned it in the ring and Floyd owed it to me. I’ve already proved that I don’t care if the man I have in front of me is the best pound-for-pound champion. I was close to ending his reign last time. On September 13 he will not get away undefeated.”

“This will be another great test for Floyd as Marcos Maidana is hungry to prove he can not only give Floyd a good fight, but redeem his loss and hand Floyd his first defeat,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Maidana is clearly one of the best in the division and earned this opportunity to face Floyd once again. But that is a big mountain to climb and Floyd will be prepared as he always is to prove once again why they call him TBE, the best ever. It will be another great fight and action-packed evening for the fans.”

“SHOWTIME has established itself as the destination for the biggest, most exciting events in boxing, and we are proud to announce our next event with Floyd Mayweather,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “On May 3, the fearless Marcos Maidana attacked Floyd Mayweather with reckless abandon, landing more punches than any previous Mayweather opponent and giving Mayweather one of the toughest fights of his career. That peformance earned Maidana this rematch, and we are in for another electrifying night of boxing.”

“The first fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana was incredible and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to host the rematch at MGM Grand,” said Richard Sturm, president of Sports & Entertainment for MGM Resorts International.  “These two world-class athletes put on a spectacular show in May and will do so once again in September when they step into the ring.”

“MAYHEM: Mayweather vs. Maidana II, a 12-round world championship bout for Mayweather’s 147-pound titles taking place Saturday, Sept. 13 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona. The event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV and is the fourth fight of a lucrative six-fight deal with Showtime Networks Inc.

Their first meeting, “THE MOMENT: Mayweather vs. Maidana,” was an epic 12-round showdown that ended in a majority decision (114-114, 117-11, 116-112) in favor of the pound-for-pound champion Mayweather. Maidana came out of the gate with his trademark wild style, making Mayweather uncomfortable and keeping him on the ropes in the early rounds of the fight. Using his typical animalistic style, Maidana attacked Mayweather with punches from all angles and by the end of the night, had landed more punches on Mayweather than any other opponent Mayweather faced throughout his undefeated career.

This style contrasted in a beautiful symphony between the two fighters with Mayweather’s legendary defense on full display from the pound-for-pound great. After taking time to adjust to Maidana’s style, Mayweather was able to find his rhythm and use his expert technique to keep Maidana’s aggression from getting the best of him. Mayweather’s ring intelligence guided his game plan as he displayed a series of combinations and counterpunched effectively to win the fight. Both fighters left everything in the ring, but Mayweather’s undeniable ring savvy led to a 12-round majority decision for him over Maidana, but also left the fans clamoring for more.

Undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather, (46-0, 26 KOs), an 11-time world champion in five weight divisions, is boxing’s biggest star and its undisputed pound-for-pound champion. His speed, defensive prowess and ability to read his opponents have carried him to 46 victories over his already legendary career. Prior to the aforementioned exhilarating first fight between Mayweather and Maidana, Mayweather had already faced boxing’s most feared opponents and been a part of its biggest events. He solidified his worldwide popularity when he faced then-undefeated boxing phenom Canelo Alvarez last September. The mega-event, which set the record as the highest grossing pay-per-view event in television history with over $150 million in revenue, showed once again that Mayweather’s drawing power is unlike any other. During Mayweather’s extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over numerous world champions, including Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, Alvarez and most recently Maidana, marking his 46th win. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native, who fights out of Las Vegas, averages more than one million pay-per-view buys per event, which is the highest pay-per-view buy average of any boxer in history, and is the only fighter to participate in two events which generated over 2 million pay-per-view buys each. In 2007, Mayweather co-headlined a pay-per-view event with De La Hoya, which generated the largest number of PPV buys in history. Mayweather has continued to rack up the accolades since defeating Maidana in May, as he has been named the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes and Fortune/Sports Illustrated for the last calendar year and nominated for “Best Male Athlete” and “Fighter of the Year” at this year’s ESPN ESPY Awards.

Thirty-year-old Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) put on a show this past May when he stood toe-to-toe and challenged the king of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, before losing a majority decision that left the MGM Grand Garden Arena and sports world buzzing. More people than ever were able to gain an appreciation for the soft-spoken Argentine brawler with this great pay-per-view performance that earned him another shot at Mayweather. Maidana put himself on the map when he stunned the boxing world in December 2013 with a dominant victory over up-and-coming superstar Adrien Broner. Hailing from Margarita, Santa Fe, Argentina, Maidana first emerged on the world scene in 2009, when he won the interim WBA Junior Welterweight World Championship with a stunning sixth-round technical knockout over Victor Ortiz. After three defenses of his title, Maidana lost a 2010 Fight of the Year candidate to Amir Khan, but he regained the belt with another classic against future Hall of Famer Erik Morales in 2011. In 2012, Maidana joined forces with renowned trainer Robert Garcia (2012 Trainer of the Year) and has since gone 4-1 with 3 knockouts with his only loss coming at the hands of Mayweather.

Talk to me. You like? Dislike? Can Maidana get the W in a rematch..or will Floyd have a much easier time against the rumbler in this rematch?

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Avila Perspective, Chap. 121: Prizefighting in 2021

David A. Avila

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Prizefighting actually dipped underground for the past nine months with professional boxers training illegally in darkened gyms behind shuttered windows and locked doors.

It still remains an underground sport.

The slow death cloud of the coronavirus led to government restrictions forbidding large gatherings especially in enclosed facilities. Boxers still train.

It was a primary reason that prizefighting among the elite was never more bare.

When Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder met at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for their rematch, a crowd of more than 15,000 fans witnessed the heavyweight spectacle. That took place on February 22, and it was the last hurrah in 2020.

A new year begins but the old ways of doing things are no longer in place. Those large purses are unattainable without fans, but it’s difficult to convince the prizefighters. All they know is they want to get paid with pre-2020 checks.

Very few of the top male prizefighters took to the prize ring.

One leading American matchmaker, who did not wish to go on record, said fighters do not understand that ticket sales are an important aspect of the fight game. Many prizefighters feel they are underpaid and being cheated when offered purses that fall under their pre-2020 monies.

No fans, no money.

Television or streaming app revenue is not enough without the clicking of the turnstile.

Fans are the reason that fighters get paid and without fans prizefighting does not exist.

Reality in 2021

Before the advent of television, prizefighters were paid strictly on the basis of ticket sales. The more fans a fighter could attract, the bigger the purse. When television arrived it drastically changed the landscape.

Television networks who delve into boxing bring their own budgets and cable networks like HBO and Showtime drastically changed the landscape. Instead of thousands, millions were being paid to the stars. Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather were the prizefighters leading the way past $20 and $30 million dollar purses. MMA still hasn’t reached those figures. Not even close, unless they are fighting against a boxer as Conor McGregor did several years ago.

During the past three years new players arrived with streaming apps like ESPN+ and DAZN entering the boxing world. One primary advantage has been its worldwide ability to transmit boxing events. However, because not all of the world has access to high tech, those streaming apps are still in the pioneering phase when it comes to building a fan base. At the moment, television still holds the upper hand but the gap is closing quickly.

Lately, DAZN has taken to inserting sponsors logos into their live programming without skipping a beat. It was only a matter of time before they realized the capabilities of inserting commercials digitally. It’s not a new idea; it was explored decades ago by our own BoxingChannel.tv.

Still, as long as the pandemic exists and fans are unable to attend boxing cards the mega fights that drive prizefighting will not take place. The arrival of various vaccines for the coronavirus are a big plus for the sport emerging out of the underground state of boxing. But the fighters need to fight.

Tyson Fury needs to meet Anthony Joshua in a battle for the heavyweight championship and Errol Spence Jr. must fight Terence Crawford this year. Others like Teofimo Lopez are doing their part to open the eyes of fans to the new breed of prizefighters who can fight, talk and excite with their electrifying skills.

Potential stars like Serhii Bohachuk, Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Charles Conwell are catching the eye of fans and all are basically around the same weight classes. They took advantage of the openings for television and streaming spots.

Prizefighters everywhere need to understand this pandemic may last longer than you think. God forbid, but there could be another looming around the corner. It’s time to go for broke and get back in the prize ring. Time is not on your side.

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Remembering Young Stribling on the Centennial of his First Pro Fight

Arne K. Lang

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This coming Sunday, Jan. 17, marks the 100th anniversary of the pro debut of one of boxing’s most interesting characters. On this date in 1921, Young Stribling, carrying 118 pounds, won a 4-round decision over Kid Dombe in the opening bout of a 4-bout card at the auditorium (it had no name) in Atlanta, Georgia. Stribling would go on to fight for the world heavyweight title and would leave the sport as boxing’s all-time knockout king, a distinction that commands an asterisk.

Stribling’s effort against Dombe, who was billed as Georgia’s newsboy champion, made a strong impression on the ringside reporter for the Atlanta Constitution. “A young gentleman,” he wrote, “is destined to become mighty popular in the squared circle. He is Young Stribling of Macon, and a classier bit of boxing machinery hasn’t been uncovered in these parts in a good many years.” Stribling failed to stop his opponent, but left him “badly mussed-up.”

Young Stribling, born William Lawrence Stribling, bubbled into a great regional attraction. Name a place in Georgia – Albany, Americus, Augustus, Bainbridge, Rome, Savannah, Thomasville, etc. – and Stribling fought there. As the star forward on his high school basketball team, one of the best teams in the country, he never ventured far from home for a boxing match until he was deep into his career.

Many of Stribling’s fights were held in conjunction with fairs and carnivals and some others were staged in vaudeville houses. Stribling was the son of professional acrobats. As a young boy, he and his younger brother Herbert performed alongside their parents in a novelty act, a mock prizefight done up in slapstick.

Stribling attracted national attention in 1923 when he opposed veteran Mike McTigue, the reigning light heavyweight champion. The bout was held in a 20,000-seat wooden arena in Columbus, Georgia.

A New Yorker, but an Irishman by birth, McTigue brought his own referee, which wasn’t uncommon in those days. The arbiter was Harry Ertle, a City Marshal in Jersey City, famed as the third man in the ring for Jack Dempsey’s fight with Georges Carpentier, the first fight with a million-dollar gate.

“The road is a treacherous place,” a wizened old fight manager was overheard saying at New York’s fabled Stillman Gym. And Columbus, Georgia, a town situated on the banks of the Chattahoochee River and purportedly a Ku Klux Klan stronghold, was certainly a treacherous place for Team McTigue on that balmy October afternoon.

After 10 rather pedestrian rounds, Ertle called the fight a draw. But he was in such a hurry to exit the ring that he did not make his verdict clear. Rather than call the combatants to the center of the ring and raise both their arms, he merely pointed at both corners, “spreading his hands as a baseball umpire calling a baserunner safe after a slide.”

Ertle didn’t get far. He was immediately accosted by the head of the local organizing committee who upon confirming that Ertle had scored the bout a draw, ordered the referee back into the ring. “You will never get out of here (if you don’t give the fight to Stribling),” he said. “We have all the railroad stations covered.”

Ertle went back into the ring, awarded the fight to Stribling, and then three hours later in the safety of a private residence, he signed a statement saying that his original decision should stand. The incident made all the papers and made Stribling a household name in houses where folks read the sports pages.

When Stribling fought McTigue, he was only 18 years old. And he was fast growing into his body, tipping the scales for the fight at 165 pounds.

Stribling and McTigue renewed acquaintances five months later in Newark, New Jersey. In a shocker, the “Georgia Schoolboy” dominated the Irishman. Stribling won all 12 rounds in the estimation of one ringside reporter. He had McTigue almost out in the 11th and again in the 12th but reverted to clowning and let him off the hook. “It was a bad habit,” said a reporter, “that the kid picked up working the country fair circuit.”

Because New Jersey was then a “no-decision” state, McTigue was allowed to keep his title. Stribling would get another chance at the belt in June of 1926 when he met McTigue’s conqueror Paul Berlenbach at Yankee Stadium.

Boxing writers fawned over Young Stribling who seldom appeared in public without his parents; his father was his chief cornerman. His parents’ names were “Ma” and “Pa,” or that’s what condescending East Coast writers always called them.

The Stribling-Berlenbach fight, wrote syndicated sportswriter Damon Runyon, “was the most widely advertised and most eagerly anticipated event of some years in New York.” The crowd, reportedly 56,000, “attracted more political bigwigs and social and sporting dignitaries than you could shake a stick at.” And the fight, marred by excessive clinching, was a dud. It went the full 15 rounds and Berlenbach, the Astoria Assassin, won decisively (the scores were not announced).

It was back to the drawing board for Young Stribling, which meant back to the life of a barnstormer. Over the next 33 months, he had 75 (!) documented fights and lost only once, that coming at the hands of clever Tommy Loughran in a 10-round bout at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. That impressive run boosted him into a match with Jack Sharkey, an “eliminator” in which the winner would be one step removed from fighting for the world heavyweight title vacated by Gene Tunney.

Stribling vs. Sharkey was the last important bout arranged by Tex Rickard who died seven weeks before the bout materialized in an arena erected on a polo field in Miami Beach. It was North against South, and the crowd, nearly 35,000, was solidly against Sharkey, the Boston Gob. But Stribling came up short again in a rather disappointing, albeit closely contested 10-round affair. There was little dissension when the New York referee gave the fight to the Bostonian.

Later that year, Max Schmeling defeated Paulino Uzcudun at Yankee Stadium, setting the stage for a Sharkey-Schmeling fight for the vacant title. In the fourth round, Sharkey was disqualified after sending Schmeling to the canvas with a punch that was palpably low.

After his setback to Jack Sharkey, Young Stribling fought his way back into contention with wins over three ranked opponents after splitting a pair of suspicious fights with Primo Carnera in Europe. In fact, in a 1930 poll of 55 sportswriters by the New York Sun, Stribling was named the best heavyweight, out-polling both Sharkey and Schmeling. When the German picked Stribling for his first title defense, he was, in the eyes of many people, choosing his most worthy challenger.

Carnera vs. Stribling was the icebreaker event at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, the new home of the city’s baseball team, the Indians. The bout came to fruition on the eve of the Fourth of July in 1931, two days after the cavernous ballpark was formally dedicated in an elaborate ceremony.

Stribling started fast, but Schmeling ultimately proved too strong for him. In the 15th round, Schmeling knocked him to the canvas and then pummeled him into a helpless condition, forcing the referee to intervene and waive it off. This wasn’t a great fight, but it was a quite a spectacle, notwithstanding the fact that there were a lot of empty seats. The Ring magazine named it the Fight of the Year.

This would be Young Stribling’s last big-money fight. In his final ring appearance, he outpointed light heavyweight title-holder Maxie Rosenbloom in a 10-round non-title fight in Houston. According to BoxRec, he left the sport with a record of 224-13-14 with 129 knockouts, a record eventually broken by Archie Moore who would be credited with 131.

About those knockouts: It came to be understood that many were bogus, not fictional, but rather set-ups on the carnival circuit where he padded his record against someone with whom he was well-acquainted. But there are also some curious knockouts on Archie Moore’s ledger. On Moore’s list of KO victims one finds the names of Professor Roy Shire and Mike DiBiase, popular grunt-and-groan wrestlers.

As to Young Stribling’s fistic legacy, historians are all over the map. The biography of Stribling by Jaclyn Weldon White (Mercer University Press, 2011) is titled “The Greatest Champion that Never Was.” That’s a bit over the top. The reality is that when Stribling was matched against his strongest opponents, his Sunday punch was missing in action.

You won’t find Stribling’s name on Matt McGrain’s 2014 list of the 100 Greatest Heavyweights of All Time. Stribling checks in at #23 on McGrain’s list of the all-time greatest light heavyweights and, with all due respect to McGrain, that also strikes us as a bit off-kilter, not giving Stribling enough credit. In more than 250 documented fights, he was stopped only once, that coming with 14 seconds remaining in the 15th and final round of his bout with Max Schmeling.

Regardless of where you choose to place him, Young Stribling was certainly colorful.

Young Stribling lived his life in the fast lane, and with him that isn’t a cliché. He loved to fly, and when he headed off somewhere in his six-seater, said a reporter, “he would take the plane off the ground in a shivering climb so steep veteran flyers gasped.” On the highways, his preferred mode of travel was a motorcycle.

Stribling married his high school sweetheart and they had three children. On Oct. 1, 1933, he left his home in Macon on his motorcycle and never returned. A head-on crash with an incoming car sent him to the hospital where he died the next day from internal injuries. Ma and Pa were there with him in his final hours, as was his wife who had given birth to a baby boy eight days earlier in this very same hospital.

William Lawrence “Young” Stribling was 28 years old when he drew his final breath. He packed a lot of living into those 28 years, including a whirlwind boxing career that took flight 100 years ago this coming Sunday.

Note: The photo is the cover photo from the October 1924 issue of The Ring magazine

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R.I.P. Boxing Promoter Mike Acri

Arne K. Lang

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Word arrived yesterday, Jan. 12, that boxing promoter Mike Acri died this past Sunday at age 63. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

Acri was from Erie, Pennsylvania, which also happens to be the hometown of Hall of Fame promoter Don Elbaum. The two often worked in tandem, most notably when they promoted the fight between Laila Ali and Jacqui Frazier-Lyde.

Acri promoted Ali; Frazier-Lyde was under contract to the venerable Elbaum. The bout between the daughters of the legendary pugilists, billed as Ali-Frazier IV, took place on June 8, 2001 at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York, kicking off Hall of Fame Weekend at the boxing shrine in nearby Canastota.

Mike Acri birthed the tradition of holding pro fights at Turning Stone on the Eve of the Hall of Fame festivities. The first of these shows, in 1998, pitted Hector Camacho against West Virginia journeyman Tommy Small. Camacho TKOed Small in the sixth, recapturing some of the prestige he had lost in his pussycat showing against Oscar De La Hoya.

Acri was especially proud of the Turning Stone series. “At these events, you have memorabilia people, you have past inductees, and most important, boxing fanatics from everywhere… it’s the ultimate thrill to know that my fight cards are the center of attention for the biggest boxing weekend of the year,” he told prominent boxing writer Jake Donovan for a 2005 story that ran on this site.

Acri had his best run with Paul Spadafora, the trouble-plagued “Pittsburgh Kid” who went on to win the IBF lightweight title and left the sport with a record of 49-1-1.

Spadafora fought frequently – 15 fights in all — at the Mountaineer racino in Chester, West Virginia, where Acri was the matchmaker. The little town of Chester sits roughly 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh and 40 miles south of Youngstown, Ohio, cities with rich boxing traditions.

Although Acri was with Spadafora when the “Kid” was just getting started, he was best known as a rejuvenator who latched hold of fighters with name value who were cascading into irrelevancy and restored some of their lost luster while maneuvering them into a few good late-career paydays. Exhibit A was Roberto Duran.

Acri was one of the prime movers of the lucrative rubber match between Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. In his next outing, Duran was shockingly defeated by Pat Lawlor, a third-rater, and was written off as finished, but Acri extracted more mileage from the Panamanian legend, guiding him into two good-money fights with Vinny Pazienza and two with the aforementioned Camacho, interspersed with stay-busy fights that served to keep his name in the news.

Mike Acri’s last co-promotion, if that is the word, was the acclaimed Showtime documentary “Macho: The Hector Camacho Story,” for which he received an Executive Producer credit. We here at The Sweet Science send our condolences to his family and loved ones.

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