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LOTIERZO: If You Buy Mayweather’s Next Fight You’re A Fool

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He made more money in one fight than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, who were both clearly superior fighters to him, made during their entire careers. Nobody begrudges a fighter making all the money he possibly can, even Floyd Mayweather, but enough is too much.

He’s been a pro for 19 years and yet has there hasn’t been one fight that he participated in that was truly memorable or one that you’ll take to the grave with you. Maybe there was for some but certainly not me. Is he the greatest or most complete boxer you’ve ever seen? Absolutely not. Unless perhaps you’re a new boxing fan under 35 years old. He’s certainly not the fastest of hand or foot that we’ve ever seen and his punching power is just adequate. His signature trait is his defensive prowess, and even at that he’s pretty basic and vanilla in that he covers when the opponent punches and doesn’t mix until they reload. Past defensive wizards like Willie Pep, Wilfred Benitez and Pernell Whitaker engaged with their opponents and made them miss repeatedly. And don’t point to one sequence where Mayweather did it and then act as if you shoot my argument down. If I searched long enough I could find a clip where Paulie Malinaggi looks as if he’s Ray Leonard’s equal as a finisher.

And then there’s the well-chronicled argument that he cherry picks his opponents, or at least most of them. This is something that cannot be denied by an open minded fan who has no stake in solidifying his place among the greatest of the greats in order to justify their fandom.

Since he barely defeated a washed up Oscar De La Hoya eight years ago via split decision, he’s never passed up the opportunity to say he always gives the fans what they want. This is the biggest crock that has ever been perpetrated by any fighter in boxing history. Actually the opposite is true. If there was a great fighter who cared less about boxing fans than Floyd Mayweather does, I need someone to point him out to me. In 19 years fighting as a pro there’s been one fighter that boxing fans pleaded with him to fight. His name is Manny Pacquiao. Remember him, the little flyweight/featherweight dynamo who chased Mayweather for almost six years before they finally fought.

Sports/boxing fans have short memories. The morning after Pacquiao took apart Miguel Cotto, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was a legitimate super-fight. Manny was a non-stop perpetual motion attacking machine and Mayweather rarely threw more than two punches at a time. However, regardless of how much the fans clamored to see them fight, Mayweather threw up a faux roadblock every time. Then fought a no hope opponent and dangled the possibility of maybe fighting Pacquiao next, but it never happened. During the interim fans foolishly bought everyone of Floyd’s fights on PPV for a lot of money. And with the exception of his bout against Miguel Cotto, three years after Pacquiao beat him, and the first fight against Marcos Maidana, not one of them were terribly exciting or drama filled.

Finally after the public became fed up with Mayweather not fighting Pacquiao, they let him know that they were done buying his fights. This was an idea that gained momentum when Mayweather’s friend and apologist Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN, while looking directly into the camera, that the only fight people wanted Floyd to make was against Pacquiao…..not Marcos Maidana or Amir Khan. The timing couldn’t have worked out better for Mayweather. By the spring of 2015 Pacquiao was 3-2 in his last five bouts, his offense was reduced to a jump in head first one-two and he was very hittable to put it mildly. Not to mention in his last loss he suffered one of the most brutal one-punch knockouts in boxing history, something Smith constantly alluded to on ESPN.

With the threat of fans ignoring Mayweather and the reality of Pacquiao’s decline, Mayweather agreed to fight the only boxer fans ever wanted to see him touch gloves with, Manny Pacquiao. Only six years too late. And as it was said in this space for six consecutive years, when Floyd finally agrees to fight Manny, the result will be a forgone conclusion, resulting in a Mayweather boring decision win. This is exactly how it turned out.

However, two things transpired that no one completely saw: 1) boxing fans would be ripped off like they never were before to see it and 2) Mayweather would be confronted by an injured Pacquiao who basically fought with one arm. I’m not saying that’s why Mayweather won. I’ve always maintained that Mayweather would beat Pacquiao because he owned the size and style advantage, nothing will change that.

Earlier this month it was reported that Mayweather was going to fight former title holder Andre Berto 30-3 (22) on CBS and not PPV. Which seemed like a good way for Mayweather to win some fans back after gouging their eyes out to see him fight the compromised Pacquiao.

Only now that doesn’t appear to be the case.

According to a report on TSS by Michael Woods, Mayweather “won’t be offering up a freebie for fans” on September 12 as he will fight on pay-per-view.

“The source tells us (that) money matters, and how to get Floyd the amount he desires won’t be so clear if it was done on ‘free’ TV,” Woods reported. “A mass of eyeballs would have been a bonus, the thinking seems to be, but the PPV model will lead to the payoff Floyd seeks as he tries to get to 49-0.”

If what Michael Woods says above comes to fruition, every fan who buys another Mayweather fight is a complete and utter fool. For what? Why would anyone pay to see Mayweather box again after the joke the Mayweather-Pacquiao promotion and fight turned out to be? Floyd had to be laughing at boxing fans on the inside after the fight. He even said to Pacquiao when the bell rang to end the 12th round “we made a lot of money.”

When are fans going to grasp that Mayweather will only continue to gouge them out of their money if they allow him to? What happens if nobody cares about Mayweather’s next fight? If fans have no interest and voice they’re not buying it, do you really think SHOWTIME is going to forge ahead and make a fight nobody is planning on coming to or buying via PPV. No way!

Then what? Well, either Floyd fights a real fight for a reasonable price, or he retires because nobody gives a damn anymore about him and the WWE event that his care has evolved into. Heck, as Woods detailed above, it’s all about money with Mayweather. Floyd taking the fans’ money and then mocking them when he thinks nobody is listening. Believe me that will change once fans, if they ever do, decide they want it to. And if they buy his next bout and it’s a snooze fest, which I guarantee it will be, they have themselves to blame and no one else.

If I were Mayweather I’d keep playing the fans as long as I could just because I can. Who wouldn’t? But I’ll tell you what…….let word get out that fans are done being ripped off by Mayweather and they refuse to buy his next couple fights and things will change in less than a New York minute.

Wake up boxing fans! You’re not going to see a great event or something you haven’t seen already. We’ve seen the show for eight plus years, it never changes, and now there’s undeniable proof that it’s not worth paying for again. What an amazing twist of fate. Mayweather goes 48-0 but can’t give away fight 49 because nobody cares or wants to get fleeced again.

Of course that won’t happen because people are like sheep and sheep usually are slaughtered and money changes hands.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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Avila Perspective, Chap. 284: Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, and Much More

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Avila Perspective, Chap. 284: Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, and Much More

Argue all you want about the appeal of other sports, only boxing grabs fans on all levels and stratum.

It’s the oldest sport that has an international swag that only the World Cup can rival once every four years. Boxing has it every year.

Heavyweights take the forefront in Saudi Arabia while lightweights battle in Southern California. It’s an all-day affair pitting champions from all parts of the world.

Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs), the WBC and lineal heavyweight champion, finally meets Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 15 KOs) who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles on Saturday, May 18, at Riyadh. DAZN ppv, ESPN ppv, and PPV.Com will stream the massive fight card at 9 a.m. PT/ 12 p.m. ET.

It’s a rare opportunity to decide who truly is the “baddest man on the planet.” Ever since the emergence of the alphabet titles, few know the name of the heavyweight champion. Not since Mike Tyson ruled the prize ring could fans tell you the name of the champ.

Some people still think Tyson is the heavyweight champ.

Now we have England’s “Gypsy King” Fury ready to prove that he indeed is the biggest and baddest of all the heavyweights in the world. He’s got his dad head-butting people to prove it.

“I predict that somebody’s ‘0’ has got to go. And it’s going to be that team over there, unfortunately for them,” said Tyson Fury who at six-feet, nine-inches tall towers over most opponents.

Facing Fury is Usyk, the Ukrainian fighter who twice defeated Anthony Joshua for several versions of the heavyweight championship.

Though several inches shorter and much lighter in weight, Usyk has displayed mobility and agility that allows him to dart in and out of danger. Will this tactic work against Fury?

“I have a plan. It’s a better plan. And it’s a great plan,” said Usyk. “I will have the opportunity to become undisputed for a second time.”

Of course, size doesn’t always matter when it comes to heavyweights. History has taught us the bigger man doesn’t always win. From Jack Dempsey whipping Jess Willard to Joe Frazier beating Buster Mathis, size doesn’t dictate the winner when it comes to heavyweights.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum summed up the importance of this heavyweight clash.

“After this fight, there is one ‘Baddest Man on the Planet,’ the undisputed heavyweight champion. That means everything in the sport of boxing. That means everything for fans who love boxing,” said Arum.

Two other world titles fights are also planned.

IBF super featherweight titlist Joe Cordina (17-0, 9 KOs) defends against Anthony Cacace (21-1, 7 KOs).

Cordina was seen in Santa Monica, California sparring various super featherweights in preparation for this match. His last match against Texan Edwin Vazquez was a squeaker but you can never tell what the Welsh fighter will do.

Who can forget his two-round demolition of Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa?

Cruiserweights also battle. IBF titlist Jai Opetaia (24-0, 19 KOs) of Australia defends against Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (28-2, 20 KOs). This is a rematch. They fought two years ago with Opetaia winning by decision in Australia. Can Opetaia do it again in neutral territory?

PPV.Com

Headlining the PPV.COM announcing crew for the Fury-Usyk card will be Dan Canobbio, Chris Algieri and Kevin Iole. They will be commentating and also discussing the fight via text on social media.

It’s been almost a year since this this style of reporting was adopted. Fans like the opportunity to discuss the fight with the experts.

San Diego Fights

Three-division world champion Emanuel Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) attempts to become a four-division world champion when he meets Ukraine’s Denys Berinchyk (18-0, 9 KOs) for the vacant WBO lightweight title on Saturday, May 18, at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, Calif. ESPN will televise.

The Mexican fighter known as “El Vaquero” seeks to become the sixth Mexican fighter with four division world titles and join the prestigious elite. Among those accomplishing the feat are Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Leo Santa Cruz.

Navarrete barely survived his last fight with a majority draw against Robson Conceicao last November in Las Vegas. Perhaps the extra five pounds will help?

On the co-main event welterweight contender Giovani Santillan (32-0, 17 KOs) of San Diego returns home to face Georgia’s Brian Norman (25-0, 19 KOs) for the interim WBO welterweight title.

Santillan, 32, is coming off a big knockout win over Alexis Rocha last year. The southpaw has always stepped up when bigger and better competition confronts him. Can he do it again?

Norman, 23, is a hard-hitting welterweight who fought 16 times in his first two years. Many of those fights took place in Mexico. It’s a big test for him.

East L.A. Fights

Super featherweights Dariial Kuchmenov (7-0) and Daniel Lugo (5-2) meet Saturday May 18, at Salesian High School in East Los Angeles. The Elite Boxing USA promotions card begins at 6 p.m. The card features several other bouts including female fighter Mayra Ruiz.

For tickets go to www.tix.com/ticket-sales/eliteboxing/7

18th & Grand Exhibit

The final day to visit the “18th & Grand” exhibit takes place on Sunday May 19, at La Plaza De Cultura Y Artes located at 501 N. Main Street in downtown Los Angeles 90012. The exhibit is free.

Inside you will find photos and art of the Olympic Auditorium that was the center of boxing, wrestling, roller derby, and rock concerts for decades.

For boxing fans, its where the sport showcased the likes of Henry Armstrong, Baby Arizmendi, Art Aragon, Jerry Quarry, Mando Ramos, Scrap Iron Johnson, Art Hafey, and many others.

The exhibit is free of charge.

Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson

Tickets went on sale this week for the return of Iron Mike Tyson who will face Jake Paul in a heavyweight match commissioned as an actual fight.

Most Valuable Promotions will stage Tyson versus Paul along with the rematch between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano on July 20, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Netflix will stream the card live.

A number of other bouts are planned for the mega event.

Paul’s first actual boxing match took place when Tyson fought Roy Jones Jr. in Los Angeles several years ago.

“I started Jake off and I’m gonna finish him,” promised Tyson when they fight.

Paul said he respects Tyson like family.

“I love you like a father loves his son, but I must discipline you. You’re going down, man,” said Paul.

Fights to Watch

Sat. PPV.COM 9 a.m. Tyson Fury (34-0-1) vs Oleksandr Usyk (21-0).

Sat. ESPN, 7:30 p.m. Emanuel Navarrete (38-1-1) vs Denys Berinchyk (18-0).

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At Long Last: Marvelous Marvin Hagler to Finally Get His Statue in the ‘City of Champions’

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At Long Last: Marvelous Marvin Hagler to Finally Get His Statue in the ‘City of Champions’

Not much good news comes out of Brockton, Massachusetts these days but I’ve got some.

Former undisputed middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler will be posthumously honored in the city he helped keep on the boxing map with a life-sized bronze statue produced by Brodin Studios in Kimball, Minnesota. The statue of Hagler, “in an action stance” will be unveiled on June 13th at a small space near to where the old Petronelli Gym was once located.

According to Hagler’s widow Kay, the space is now called the Marvelous Marvin Hagler Park.

That date, June 13, 2024 will be on the 43-year anniversary of Hagler’s 1981 rematch with Vito Antuofermo at the Boston Garden. As the new champion, Hagler was making the second defense of the world title he won in 1980 from Alan Minter. Hagler’s first shot at the title came in 1979 against Antuofermo in Las Vegas and was ruled a draw. The rematch was a mismatch.

The unveiling, scheduled for Thursday June 13 at 11 am, will also fall on the 31-year anniversary of Hagler’s 1993 induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY. Will thousands show up to celebrate like they did when another Brockton boxer was remembered?

Back in 2012, when a 22-foot-tall Rocky Marciano statue was put up by the WBC, many asked why Hagler didn’t also have a statue in Brockton and would he ever get one? The answer is yes.

Somebody finally did something for Hagler. Before he died in 2023, longtime Marciano family friend Charlie Tartaglia told me the reason he put up a bronze plaque for Hagler at Massasoit College with his own money was because as he put it, “Nobody ever did nothin’ for Hagler.”

Brockton state representative Gerry Cassidy secured the $150,000 needed from the state to build and maintain the long overdue statue in tribute to Hagler who died in 2021 at the age of 66.

Hagler’s new sculpture will be on display approximately two miles away from Rocky’s. It won’t be as tall as Marciano’s towering memorial but that’s fine, Rocky was a heavyweight while Marvin was a middleweight.

“This testament to a true hometown sports and community icon will be a permanent monument to one of the greatest champions from our ‘City of Champions,’” said Brockton Mayor Robert F. Sullivan in a public statement announcing the marvelous news.

The legendary physique of Hagler in his prime is befitting of a likeness commemorating it. Somebody on Facebook wrote, “I guarantee his jaw and muscles were stronger than his statue is going to be.” Another Facebooker wrote, “A fitting tribute to a boxing great gone too soon.”

Hagler reigned as middleweight champion of the world from 1980 to 1987 and during this time he carved out a reputation as one of the greatest middleweight champions in the history of boxing. Hagler was a member of the “Four Kings” which also included Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns and Roberto Duran. Hagler beat Duran and Hearns but lost to Leonard.

One of the reasons it took so long for Hagler to be honored in this way is that despite his greatness in the boxing ring, Hagler had another reputation in Brockton and that was as somebody with the capacity for violence against women, most notably his ex-wife Bertha.

Domestic incidents between the pair were common and in her complaint against Hagler, Bertha alleged that she lived in fear of Marvin; that he put his hands on her and threw a large rock at her car. Regardless of all this, Brocktonians are happy and excited to see Hagler and his surviving family finally get what’s coming to him even if it will come three years after Hagler passed away.

Still, not everyone in the City of Champions is so pleased with the planned placement of the new statue. As mentioned, the Hagler memorial will be located a couple miles away from Marciano’s.

“Hagler’s statue belongs at Brockton High School,” says Mark Casieri, owner and caretaker of Rocky Marciano’s childhood home located at 168 Dover Street. Casieri knows a thing or two about Brockton boxing. “It belongs there alongside Rocky’s statue so that the youth coming up through the school system are able to know the sports heroes that came out of Brockton.”

Brockton High School has been in the news recently but for all the wrong reasons. Violence and debauchery at the high school has gotten so bad that politicians considered bringing in military units of the National Guard to quell the unprecedented unrest. It’s ironic but Brockton has become like Newark, NJ, the city that Hagler’s mother moved him away from to protect him.

As a young middleweight just starting out as a professional fighter, Hagler fought nine of his early bouts at the Brockton High School gym including his pro debut against Terry Ryan in 1973.

For the record, I reached out to Brodin Studios for some information about the statue (its official height and weight? What fight is the action stance from?) but they are playing it very close to the chest, saying only what an honor it was to build it for Hagler and the entire Brockton community.

The Marvelous One is finally getting his statue in the City of Champions. Better late than never.

Photo insert: Marvin Marvin and Vito Antuofermo (undated; circa 2010)

*** Boxing Writer Jeffrey Freeman grew up in the City of Champions, Brockton, Massachusetts from 1973 to 1987, during the Marvelous career of Marvin Hagler. JFree then lived in Lowell, Mass during the best years of Irish Micky Ward’s illustrious career. A former member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and a Bernie Award Winner in the Category of Feature Story Under 1500 Words, Freeman Covers Boxing for the Sweet Science in New England.

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Fury vs. Usyk: Who Wins and Why? – The Official TSS Prediction Page

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The heavyweight division, it has been said, is the engine that drives the sport of boxing. By this measure, Saturday’s match in Saudi Arabia between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is the most important fight in decades.

Whenever a very big fight comes down the pike – assuming the odds are not too lopsided – we call upon our fine community of wordsmiths to get their thoughts. The participants in the poll are listed alphabetically.

Simply put size matters. Usyk has never fought anyone that weighed more than 225 pounds and given Fury’s recent history it seems safe to assume he should tip the scales north of 260. Eleven years ago, Fury fought another former cruiserweight champion in Steve Cunningham. Cunningham’s speed gave Fury problems early and Fury was even knocked down. But Fury used his size and weight to lean on Cunningham draining him of all his energy. Eventually a badly fatigued Cunningham was knocked out by Fury. I see something happening when Fury faces Usyk. Usyk has success early and maybe even scores a knockdown or two. But Fury leans on Usyk and uses that weight advantage to slowly wear down the smaller man. FURY TKO 10. – MATT ANDRZEJEWSKI

After a lackluster and controversial split decision win over Francis Ngannou, Fury looks fit as a fiddle and should handle the six-inch shorter Usyk by keeping his distance and landing more than enough big blows. In a fight filled with drama and excitement, it’s FURY by unanimous decision. – RICK ASSAD

Fury’s jab and straight right vs. Usyk’s straight left and right hook (think Cotto vs. Pacquiao), whichever two-punch combination is more effective will decide who controls the range and pace. I believe Usyk’s straight left along with his southpaw stance and movement will give Fury trouble, but Usyk doesn’t attack like other smaller heavyweights to the body (i.e. Tyson/Frazier). Like Lomachenko, he uses his footwork to get inside, which will give him enough moments to make a focused and in-shape Fury take it to another level. Fury also isn’t a big body puncher, but he will use his size to lean on Usyk after he lands clean shots to wear Usyk down and gain control of the fight. FURY by decision. – LUIS CORTES III

Oleksandr Usyk is a good little man but he’s in way over his head against a well-trained Tyson Fury who looks to be treating this fight with the respect it deserves. Usyk will puzzle Fury for a few rounds but once Tyson makes his adjustments, he will bring his superior size and power to bear on the smaller fighter, wearing him out to the body and grinding him down late. I pick FURY by TKO in the championship rounds. Usyk will be on his feet when the fight is stopped but nobody will be crying foul about it. – JEFFREY FREEMAN

FURY by stoppage late. He’ll be in condition this time (unlike the Ngannou debacle). And an in-shape Fury boxes well enough and is too big and strong for Usyk to deal with. – THOMAS HAUSER

There’s always a chance that a fight will be stopped on cuts. Of the two, the Gypsy King would seem to be more prone to this unfortunate happenstance. He overcame a terrible gash over his right eye to upend Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin and it was a cut over his right eye during a sparring session – a cut that reportedly required extensive stitching — that pushed back this fight from its originally scheduled date of Feb. 17. Since this fight has a rematch clause, the ring physician may feel less pressure to allow the fight to continue against his better judgment if it boils down to this. Regardless, USYK has lost fewer rounds as a pro and it’s easy to envision the Ukrainian banking enough rounds to stave off a late rally by Fury to cop the decision. – ARNE LANG

A lot of ink has been shed on the cut Tyson Fury suffered in sparring causing a postponement of this fight to this coming Saturday; it’s Tyson Fury’s elbows that interest me though. Fury fought in terrible pain in his third contest against Deontay Wilder in 2021, taking cortisone injections in both elbows prior to this fight. Wilder actually outjabbed Fury early and Fury threw three or fewer jabs in seven of the eleven rounds. Since, he has been inactive (only three fights since his late 2021 defeat of Wilder), unimpressive (especially against novice Francis Ngannou last year) and irrelevant (the world needed Chisora III like it needs more inflation). In short, this fight, which once seemed so clear cut to me, will now be decided by intangibles. Fury looks sleek, I’m interested to see his weight. Over 265lbs and he’s struggling to get the jab working and will be here to maul a fleet-footed Usyk. Under and he thinks his elbows are right and he will look to control the smaller man with his range.  Based on the videos team Fury have been releasing, I’ll go for Fury to dominate until his stamina starts to slide at which point, Usyk will take over – I think that will be late enough for Fury to get home with a decision win.  But nothing would surprise me now. – MATT McGRAIN

Since his high profile wins over Deontay Wilder, madhatter Tyson Fury has carried himself like a dilettante (admittedly, not the first time he has been guilty of that charge in his erratic career) and the effects showed last year against Francis Ngannou, a boxing newbie who nearly (and risibly) secured a place in prizefighting lore next to Buster Douglas. Fury will find his usual advantages—size, footwork, counter punching—negated by Oleksandr Usyk, who, despite being a converted cruiserweight, has proven he can not only outthink his opponents but outwork them as well. USYK via Split Decision – SEAN NAM

FURY uses size alone for a UD 12, with little drama barring a cut. Unless the distractions of Fury’s celebrity lifestyle have eroded his mauling focus (the wake-up call against Ngannou probably remedied that), I can’t see how Usyk can win this though he’s proved me wrong before. Fury’s mobility makes it very doubtful Usyk will be able to get in and out unscathed to score like he did against Joshua or Dubois, and even more unlikely he can outgun Fury toe to toe. Still, Usyk has perfected his southpaw style into a puzzle nobody has solved yet so Fury might have some early problems. — PHIL WOOLEVER

Editor’s Note: It’s a fair guess that Fury vs. Usyk will be the most heavily bet fight of all time, surpassing Mayweather-Pacquiao. As a rule, fights in the “pick-‘em” range attract the most action. At mid-week, although the action was tilting toward Fury, “11/10 and take your pick” was still readily available. In fact, at some houses, the action is so well-balanced that the operator reduced his vigorish (i.e., the house commission assuming balanced action), going from a 20-cent to a 10-cent line, confident that he could not lose.

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