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NOW Maybe Begins the Golovkin Era

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This is the first fight, the first big one, in a new era.

This is the post Mayweather era, friends, and auditions are beginning now on NEXT….

Check out the results “Good Boy Gets Stopped; Game Lemieux TKO’d By Golovkin in NYC” at The Sweet Science by Michael Woods.

Dust will settle, after it flies, and a new guy will anoint himself the lead dog in the sport, the new leader who represents, symbolically, the status of the sport as a whole.

(I say guy because the sport isn’t currently set up to accomodate a woman as lead dog, as the MMA sphere right now enjoys…but we will get there.)

Seems like a lot of folks are tabbing the fighting pride of Kazahkstan, who gloves up and looks to take down David Lemieux on Saturday night in NYC, at Madison Square Garden,  to be the takeover leader, the one to usher in a new atmosphere.

Gennady Golovkin, a fella who delightfully mangles the English language, and also synaptic connections in the brains of foes, is front of the pack to make Mayweather a distant memory; Floyd, so-called “TBE,”  who will be seen as a perfect representation of a time when excesses were still more applauded than they morally and spiritually should have been…a period when in our united states, income inequality and a celebration of wealth accumulation were but two symptoms of a nation and world in a state of decline reversal…and concurrently a rising and spreading understanding that change can and must happen, after a 40 year drift towards “values” that have been championed by a cynical crew of shrewd operators who prize profits and power over people.

Golovkin, who turns 34 next April,  tells us he is NOT businessman first.

In fact he embraces the way it used to be, when they fought, yes, to put food on the table, but more so for personal and national pride, to prove worth to self and to entertain the masses. He better than Mayweather acts as a living metaphor for our universal struggle, to make our way through an existence which mandates we stay ready to fight, get knocked down, get back up, lick our wounds and buck up and put our hands up and keep on keeping on.

Golovkin can help us move on from a time when the sport was held hostage by a guy with undeniable talent, but such severe scarring as a human being, that he was able to function and flourish best only by being divisive. Golovkin is a guy who can bring all us fight fans together, on a same page.

Here is a release which went out which contains quotes from a Tuesday media workout, featuring 3G, the likeable fellow-throwback Lemieux, and the guy who might well be the best active pugilist on the planet, the fighting pride of Nicaragua, “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN VS. DAVID LEMIEUX FINAL MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES & PHOTOS

Photos by William Hart, K2 Promotions/Golden Boy Promotions

Footage by K2 Promotions/Golden Boy Promotions

NEW YORK CITY (October 13, 2015) WBA, IBO and WBC “Interim” Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, (33-0, 30KOs) and IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) hosted their fight week media workout today alongside number one Pound-for-Pound Fighter and WBC Flyweight World Champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, (43-0, 37KOs) and Four-Time World Champion in two weight divisions Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria, (36-4 (22KOs) at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in advance of their anticipated matchups on October 17 at “The Mecca of Boxing” Madison Square Garden. The Middleweight World Championship Title Unification will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

Golovkin vs. Lemieux is one of the most anticipated bouts of the year breaking records for Madison Square by selling the most tickets during pre-sale for a major boxing event.

Below are what the fighters and their teams had to say at today’s media workout:

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, WBA, IBO and WBC Interim Middleweight World Champion:

“This is the biggest test for me. He’s the IBF champ. It’s big situation, unification, Pay-Per-View. Right now it’s a very interesting situation to be in in the middleweight division. I think we have three or four fighters and it’s very important who is number one.”

DAVID LEMIEUX, IBF Middleweight World Champion:

“What I have done with the degree of the fight and the intensity for this fight, I know I have to be better than I was for N’Dam.

“Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya are letting me do what I need to do. I have a great team around me and they feel very confident in my abilities.

“I am aware of his record but I am also aware of who I am and what I can bring to the table. My concern is the present and making sure I win on Oct. 17

“I am going to be a lion in there. Nothing is going to be in my way.

“It is kind of like David and Goliath. Everyone is impressed on this big GGG, he is impressive and talented but there is also David who is making a lot of noise. I know what I am going up against and I am going in with a nice package to deliver to Golovkin.”

ROMAN “CHOCOLATITO” GONZALEZ, WBC Flyweight World Champion:

“This fight is going to be exciting. It’s impossible to predict if it will end in a knockout or if it will go the distance.

“I loved the opportunity to be fighting at Madison Square Garden. I feel blessed, and I want to give the best fight ever to the world and demonstrate why I am the best in the world.

“When we go into the fighting game we do it for family, to provide for them. But once you have it all, boxing has taken me to different places where I have been able to proudly represent Nicaragua. That is a great motivation for me; it’s a passion for me. I want to leave a legacy. It is what God has given to me, and I feel happy to share it with the world.

BRIAN “HAWAIIAN PUNCH” VILORIA, Former Four-Time World Champion in Two Weight Divisions:

“I am prepared mentally and expect everything and am ready for it. Now all I have to do is wait a few more days for the fight to happen.

“I have no pressure. I believe all the pressure is on him to maintain and stay number one. This is a motivation for me to train harder, to run longer, faster. The hard part is done. The easy part is performing and that is the fun part.

“I try not to think about everything, my concern is giving it my all. I can live with that and I am prepared to leave it all in the ring.

“I have fought at swap meets and parking lots, and to be at a place like Madison Square Garden on HBO Pay-Per-View this is a dream come true for me. I want to do the best I can do to make this fight entertaining for all the fans.”

TOM LOEFFLER, Managing Director of K2 Promotions:

“We’re very excited to be here in New York City with this terrific event. The response from the fans and media has just been outstanding, and we’re looking forward to a great evening on Saturday.

“Gennady has had a great camp up in Big Bear with Abel, and he’s ready to put on another strong performance against David Lemieux.

“This is Gennady’s first title unification and first Pay-Per-View, and he’s been looking forward to Saturday night in front of his very supportive fans here in New York City and at Madison Square Garden.”

BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Partner:

“David is ready to become the unified middleweight world champion. I saw him in Montreal and he looked so strong. Today he looks ready to take Golovkin’s head off.”

ERIC GOMEZ, Senior Vice President of Golden Boy Promotions:

“I saw David three weeks ago and today he looks so fast and strong. Now not only does he have the power that we all know David Lemieux for, but he also has speed and it’s going to be a dangerous night for Golovkin.”

ABEL SANCHEZ, Head Trainer to Gennady Golovkin:

“I don’t think David is going to change his stripes now. I think David is going to come at him and expose himself and give Gennady an opportunity to knock him out.

“I would say Curtis Stevens, who was as dangerous if not more than Lemieux because of his reputation- I think you look at him a little bit different.

“The Chin-Checkers, they were beating everybody up and as a coach I look at what guys have done in the past. David is a force, but I think he’s going to be really surprised when he gets checked the first time.”

MARC RAMSAY, Head Trainer to David Lemieux:

“David has shown tremendous commitment, determination and focus in the gym. This fight has brought out the best in David Lemieux.

“This has been one of the best training camps we have had and everyone will see how powerful David Lemieux is on Oct. 17.”

Golovkin vs. Lemieux is presented by K2 Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with GGG Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management and is sponsored by Corona Extra, BI Group and Tsesnabank. The event will take place Saturday, October 17 from Madison Square Garden and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. ET and the first fight begins at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Check out The Boxing Channel video “Golovkin vs Lemieux HBO PPV – Quick Results”.

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Re-visiting the Walker Law of 1920 which Transformed Boxing

Arne K. Lang

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One hundred years ago this week, on March 24, 1920, a boxing reform bill sponsored by Sen. James J. Walker passed the New York State Senate. The bill ultimately became law and its provisions came to be adopted by law-makers in other states, bringing some uniformity to the most anarchic of the mainstream sports. And what better time to re-visit this transformative legislation than now, the centennial?

Prizfighting was an outlaw sport in the Empire State until 1896 when the legislature passed the Horton Law which allowed bouts up to 25 rounds with five-ounce gloves in buildings owned or leased by a chartered athletic club. New York was a beehive of world class boxing during the days of the Horton Law, but the hubbub was short-lived. A spate of fixed fights and ring fatalities sparked a cry for reform and the law was repealed in 1900.

The Lewis Law, which supplanted the Horton Law, reduced the maximum number of rounds from 25 to 10 and stipulated that no decision would be rendered. The Lewis Law also restricted patronage to members of the athletic club sponsoring the event.

The Frawley Law of 1911 re-opened the fights to the general public but otherwise left the provisions of the Lewis Law pretty much intact. The most important fight in New York during the Frawley Law days was Jess Willard’s defense of his world heavyweight title against Frank Moran at Madison Square Garden in 1916. The fight went the distance, the full 10 rounds, and Willard had the best of it although you wouldn’t know that from the official decision as there was none.

During the last years of the nineteen-teens, several boxing reform bills were presented to the New York legislature. In fact, the Walker Bill was one of four that was taken under consideration. When it finally came to pass, the no-decision rule had been struck down by a 1919 amendment to the Frawley Law that gave the referee the authority to designate the winner.

A key feature of the Walker Law was that everyone involved in a boxing match — from the lowliest spit-bucket carrier to the promoter — had to be licensed. This included managers, matchmakers, referees, judges, ring doctors; even the ring announcer. The licensees were accountable to the boxing commission, a panel appointed by the governor. The commission had the power to approve matches, assign the officials, and establish and collect fees.

The Walker Law approved matches up to 15 rounds and allowed official decisions. Two judges would determine the winner and if they disagreed, the referee would act as the tie-breaker.

Previous laws allowed prizefighting under the guise of sparring exhibitions. The Walker Law made no distinction and this took the police out of the equation. Historically, it was the Sheriff’s responsibility to determine if a bout should be stopped because it had become too one-sided; too brutal. And if, pray tell, one of the contestants died as a result of blows received, his opponent and his opponent’s chief second and perhaps others would be arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Under the Walker Law, the decision of whether to stop a match rested with the referee or the ring physician or the highest-ranking boxing official at ringside. A boxer could now fight full bore without worrying that he could be charged with a crime.

After passing the Senate, the Walker Law passed the Assembly by a margin of 91-46. It was signed into law by Gov. Al Smith on May 24, 1920 and took effect on Sept.1. This ignited a great flurry of boxing in the Empire State. By March of 1924, the state had licensed 6,123 boxers.

The Walker Law became the template that lawmakers in other jurisdictions followed when they introduced their own boxing bills. Cynics would have it that the most attractive feature of the Walker Law to those that embraced it was the tax imposed on gate receipts. In New York under the guidelines of the Walker Law, it was 5 percent.

This wasn’t too far off the mark. The drive to legalize boxing picked up steam in the Depression when state coffers were depleted and new sources of revenue were needed to cushion the fallout. By 1934, boxing was legal in every state in the union, but not in every county. Nowhere was the Walker Law adopted word for word – every politician had to put his own little spin on it, tweaking this and that – but the map of boxing, from an organizational standpoint, became less disjointed.

For the record, the first boxing show under the imprimatur of the Walker Law was held on Sept. 17, 1920 at Madison Square Garden. Joe Welling fought Johnny Dundee in the featured bout. It was the eighth meeting between the veteran lightweights. Welling won a unanimous decision, which is to say that both judges gave the bout to him (their scores were not made known). Ten weeks later, after two intervening bouts, Welling returned to Madison Square Garden to face lightweight champion Benny Leonard. This would go into the books as the first title fight under the Walker Law. Welling was stopped in the 14th round.

James J. “Jimmy” Walker spent 15 years in Albany, the first four as an Assemblyman, but would be best remembered as New York City’s flamboyant Jazz Age mayor. He served two terms, defeating his opponents in landslides, but was forced to resign before his second term expired, leaving office in disgrace. In January of 1941, at the third annual dinner of the Boxing Writers Association, Walker was honored for his “long and meritorious service” to the sport and in 1992 he would be enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Walker (pictured) was a fascinating man, the big city version, in many respects, of Louisiana’s colorful Huey “Kingfish” Long. In a future article, we’ll peel back the layers and take a closer look at the man who did so much to popularize boxing.

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Think you know boxing? Then Man Up and Take Our New Trivia Test

Arne K. Lang

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Beneath his salty exterior, Roger Mayweather had the soul of a scholar when the subject turned to the history of boxing. We suspect that Mayweather, who left us on March 17, would have fared pretty well on this 15-question multiple-choice trivia quiz and we dedicate it to him.

All good trivia tests should have a connecting thread. Here the common theme is “places,” more exactly U.S. cities and towns.

This isn’t an easy quiz. We have too much respect for our readers to dumb it down. Get more than half right and give yourself a passing grade. Twelve or more correct answers and proceed to the head of the class.

Here’s the catch: To find the correct answers, you need to go to our FORUM (Click Here). There this trivia test will repeat with the correct answers caboosed to the final question.

  1. In 1970, Muhammad Ali returned to the ring after a 43-month absence to fight Jerry Quarry in this city:

(a) Miami

(b) Atlanta

(c) Houston

(d) Landover, Maryland

 

  1. Rocky Kansas and Frank Erne, recent inductees into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Old-Timer category, were products of this city:

(a) Buffalo

(b) Hartford

(c) Scranton

(d) Portland, Maine

 

  1. The July 1, 1931 match between heavyweight title-holder Max Schmeling and Young Stribling was the icebreaker event in the largest stadium ever built to house a baseball team. What city?

(a) Detroit

(b) Cleveland

(c) St. Louis

(d) Milwaukee

 

  1. Jake LaMotta was from the Bronx, but he acquired his most avid following in this city where he lifted the world middleweight title from Marcel Cerdan.

(a) Detroit

(b) Chicago

(c) Cleveland

(d) Syracuse

 

5.  Jess Willard was called the Pottawatomie Giant because he hailed from Pottawatomie County. What state?

(a) Oklahoma

(b) Kansas

(c) Montana

(d) West Virginia

 

  1. There is a statue of former welterweight champion Young Corbett III, born Raffaele Giordano, in this California city.

(a) Oakland

(b) Bakersfield

(c) Anaheim

(d) Fresno

 

  1. Elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011, this iron-chinned bantamweight was stopped only once in 163 documented fights. Fill in the blank:

______ Pal Moore.

(a) Laredo

(b) Memphis

(c) Peoria

(d) Pasadena

 

  1. More of the same. Fill in the blank.

(a) George Lavigne, the ______ Kid            Boston

(b) Jack Johnson, the ______ Giant            Joplin

(c) Jeff Clark, the _______     Ghost           Saginaw

(d) Jack Sharkey, the _______ Gob            Galveston

 

9. In the 1930s, there was a second Madison Square Garden in this southwestern city. Future light heavyweight champion John Henry Lewis had several of his early fights here:

(a) Albuquerque

(b) El Paso

(c) Pueblo

(d) Phoenix

 

  1. Match the fighter with his nickname.

(a) Max Baer                  (1) Astoria Assassin

(b) Paul Berlenbach      (2) Fargo Express

(c) Billy Petrolle            (3) Livermore Larruper

(d) Bud Taylor              (4) Terre Haute Terror

 

  1. Match these boxers with the city with which they are associated.

(a) Fritzie Zivic and Charley Burley         (1) San Francisco

(b) Johnny Coulon and Ernie Terrell       (2) New Orleans

(c) Abe Attell and Fred Apostoli               (3) Chicago

(d) Pete Herman and Willie Pastrano      (4) Pittsburgh

12. The first great prizefight in Nevada, pitting James J. Corbett against Bob Fitzsimmons, was held here:

a. Goldfield

b. Carson City

c. Reno

d. Las Vegas

 

13. On March 28, 1991, Sugar Ray Leonard headlined a boxing show at the new Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. Who was his opponent?

(a) Larry Bonds

(b) Wilfred Benitez

(c) Donny Lalonde

(d) Floyd Mayweather Sr.

 

  1. Match these Hall of Fame boxing writers with the city in which they spent the bulk of their newspaper careers:

 

(a) Jack Fiske                   (1) New York

(b) Michael Katz              (2) Philadelphia

(c) Jerry Izenberg            (3) San Francisco

(d) Bernard Fernandez    (4) Newark

 

  1. Match these Hall of Fame boxing promoters with the city that served as their headquarters:

(a) Herman Taylor         (1) Boston

(b) Rip Valenti               (2) Philadelphia

(c) Sam Ichinose           (3) Los Angeles

(d) George Parnassus    (4) Honolulu

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A Chain of Fistic Violence in Southern California in the ‘70s

Ted Sares

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 The decade of the 1970’s was a great one for boxing and the Southern California scene was especially a hotbed. Throw a dart and you’d come up with a fan-friendly sizzler at the Inglewood Forum, the Olympic Auditorium, the Convention Center in Anaheim or even the Valley Music Theater in Woodland Hills. Throw that same dart at the following fighters and you would land on fighters who made the West Coast scene a special one.

Men like Danny “Little Red “ Lopez, the star-crossed Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon, Jose Napoles, the legendary Ruben Olivares, the underrated Ernie “Indian Red” Lopez, Armando Muniz, Rafael Herrera (who beat the great Olivares twice), Carlos Palomino (who made one of the greatest comebacks in boxing history), Carlos Zarate, Art Hafey, Shig Fukuyama (who had that one big moment against “Little Red” in 1974), Octavio Gomez, Rudy Robles, Frankie Baltazar (who practically lived in the Olympic where he had 31 of his 43 career bouts), and Alberto Sandoval who had 37 of his 38 career fights in the Olympic Auditorium!

Many of the above were world champions; six are in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

The following fights are representative of this super exciting and very violent time:

Chacon vs. Olivares (June 1973)

This one was at the Forum in Ingleside, California and the Associated Press report said it best:

“Former world bantamweight champion Ruben Olivares of Mexico ruined the perfect record of local featherweight hero Bobby Chacon, scoring a 9th round knockout. Chacon, 126, appeared strong in the first two rounds, but Olivares dramatically changed the complexion of the fight in the 3rd and didn’t lose another round. Olivares, 125 3/4, knocked Chacon down with a straight right in the first ten seconds of the 9th and then pounded the San Fernando fighter unmercifully for the remainder of the round. During the intermission, Chacon’s manager, Joe Ponce, asked referee Dick Young to stop the fight, which had been scheduled for 12 rounds and for the NABF featherweight title.”

The pin-point exchanges in the ninth were non-stop and raised the bar for ring malice; it was legal assault and battery.

The two met twice more.

In June, 1975, Olivares met Chacón who was then the WBC’s world featherweight champion. Olivares won the fight by savage stoppage in round two and became a world champion for the fourth time.

The trilogy ended in August 1977 when Chacon won a UD at the Forum.

However, the equally adored Olivares dominated the bantamweights and retired with a record of 89-13-3 with an astonishing 79 wins coming by knockout.

Lopez vs. Chacon (May 1974)

Danny “Little Red” Lopez was 23-0 when he faced off with Bobby Chacon (then 23-1) at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles in front of 16,000 screaming fans. Both fighters personified excitement; in fact, Little Red was a “Gatti before Gatti” as he often would come back in dramatic fashion to snatch victory from certain defeat.

As for drama both inside and outside the ring, no one ever topped Chacon. His career against the toughest opposition imaginable included historic fights against Cornelius Boza- Edwards and four thrillers against Bazooka Limon against whom he was 2-1-1. His name was synonymous with “Fight of the Year” but so was Danny’s. He was all heart and all action; you had to staple him down to the canvas if you wanted to keep him down. His only loss prior to the Lopez fight was against the aforementioned Ruben Olivares (71-3-1 at the time).

LA Times sportswriter Steve Springer recalled that fight in a story that ran in the Times on April 28, 1995:

“In the early rounds of that memorable night in 1974, both fighters absorbed and delivered a terrifying amount of punishment. If not for the breaks between rounds, there would have been no time to breathe. But by the end of the fourth round, having seen and survived the best Lopez had to offer, Chacon took command…Chacon maneuvered Lopez into the ropes. Lopez dropped his hands and Chacon moved in for the kill. But referee John Thomas stepped in and ended it.”

It was not quite malevolence but it was something pretty close. The fans got what they paid for and more. Sadly, Bobby would pay a terrible price, but he kept his sense of humor almost until the end. When questioned about his failing memory, he would smile that smile that would stop you in your tracks and say, “I forgot I forgot.”

Bobby Chacon, like Ruben Olivares, was adored by his fans in a special kind of way.

Lopez vs. O’Grady (February 1976)

There was never a time where I thought I was going to be anything other than a boxer…” – Sean O’Grady

Now it was Danny Lopez’s turn to prevail against the young but talented and undefeated Sean O’Grady who had run up 29 straight wins until he met “Little Red” at the Inglewood Forum. In 1975 alone, the upstart, who turned pro at age 15, fought 26 times with 22 stoppages (but mostly against weak Oklahoma-style opposition which ill-prepared him for the likes of “Little Red” who was honed on Southern California-type opposition).

O’Grady instinctively chose to brawl with the gritty and hard-hitting Lopez rather than use fundamentals and technique and while it was a good fight for as long as it lasted, the youngster absorbed serious punishment prompting his “corner” which was composed of father, manager, mentor and trainer Pat O’Grady to toss in the towel after four rounds, saving Sean for another day.

It would prove to be an extremely wise decision as the youngster would later have great success. O’Grady won the WBA lightweight title in 1981 and finished his career at 81-5 with 70 wins coming by way of stoppage, an eye-popping KO percentage of 81.4 %.

While the 70s were considered the golden age for heavyweights, serious fans and historians know that the smaller men should receive the same level of respect. They also know that Mexico’s bantamweights of the 50s were nothing less than sensational, building the platform for the chain of sizzlers that delighted Southern California fight fans in the 70s.

Ted Sares can be reached at tedsares@roadrunner.com

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