Thursday, May 24, 2007
Just to let everyone know, this me blogging and not my father…
News, Notes, and Rumors:
- Zab Judah is a sly fox…
Judah fooled promoters and media alike yesterday when he allowed his father, Yoel, to replace him on a scheduled conference call. Moments after the 30 minute session was over, multiple writers contacted Top Rank’s Lee Samuels and said that they didn’t think it was Zab on the phone.
“We don’t promote Zab, we promote Cotto,” Samuels said. “So I immediately checked with Judah’s camp and they said it was his father on the conference call.”
“Mea culpa,” Samuels said. “I called Zab’s number 10 minutes ahead to make sure he would be ready and I assumed the person I was talking to was Zab. I’ve been doing conference calls for Top Rank since 1982 and I’ve never been snookered like this before. I would have made a lousy contestant on the game show ‘To Tell The Truth.’ But I do apologize to the media for this.”
Samuels said that he will attempt to schedule a new conference call with Zab before the fight…
- Former WBA Light Middleweight and Middleweight Champion Julian Jackson will be presented with a permanent Middleweight Title on June 18th by the WBC.
- According to a recent interview ITV did with Bob Arum, Kelly Pavlik is going to be bigger than Oscar De La Hoya:
“It is hard for you to envision now, but he will be much bigger than Oscar De La Hoya ever was. I’m telling you. That is my goal,’’ Arum said.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The LA Times has this quote from Bob Arum:
The pay-per-view boxing telecast featuring Manny Pacquiao against Jorge Solis Saturday at 6 p.m. is being produced by promoter Bob Arum, who is planning a different approach. He said he is going to copy Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) telecasts, which have become very popular.
“Their product is nowhere near as good as ours,” Arum said, “but the telecasts are very entertaining with a lot of music and activity and little talking.”
Of announcers Al Bernstein and Wally Matthews, Arum said, “You’ll see them talking very briefly between fights. And with less talking, we’re able to get four fights into the telecast rather than just two or three.”
Friday, March 30, 2007
News, Notes, and Rumors:
- The legal battle over the almost fight between Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams was finally settled in court yesterday.
What happens now? The results via ESPN:
Under the terms of the settlement, Goossen will promote the fight, which he won the right to Jan. 30 with a purse bid of $1,506,250, of which Margarito is entitled to 80 percent, or a career-high payday of $1.205 million. He will also receive an additional $395,000 that Goossen promised to pay him on top of the winning bid amount.
Although Top Rank won’t be involved in promoting Margarito-Williams, Arum said part of the settlement included Margarito signing a one-year extension to his promotional agreement with Top Rank, which will take him through at least 2008 with the company.
Also, if Margarito defeats Williams and Cotto defeats Zab Judah—who replaced Margarito in the June 9 fight—Margarito and Cotto will meet in the fall on HBO PPV.
- The Albuquerque Tribune is reporting that Johnny Tapia will not be charged by police with possession of cocaine for the time being.
Tapia was originally taken into custody on March 12 after he was hospitalized for a drug overdose.
Joel Julio vs Thomas Davis - Detroit, MI - Junior Middleweight (ESPN 2)
Jhonny Gonazalez vs Irene Pacheco - Tucson, AZ - WBO Bantamweight Title
Alfonso Gomez vs Martin Concepcion - Newcastle, England - Junior Middleweight
Freddy Curiel vs Ross Minter - Newcastle, England - Welterweight
Walter Wright vs Anthony Small - Newcastle, England - Junior Middleweight
Jesse Brinkley vs Robin Reid - Newcastle, England - Light Heavyweight
Cornelius Bundrage vs Colin McNeil - Newcastle, England - Junior Middleweight
Jerson Ravelo vs Paul Buchanan - Newcastle, England - Super Middleweight
Michael Clark vs Nigel Wright - Newcastle, England - Welterweight
Jonathan Reid vs Paul Smith - Newcastle, England - Middleweight
Virgil Hill vs Henry Maske - Munich, Germany - Cruiserweight (PPV)
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Former WBO Heavyweight Champion Tommy Morrison stated that his use of steroids in 1996 was the cause for a positive HIV test that year according to a recent interview Morrison did with Chuck Johnson of USA Today.
“I never had it in the first place,” Morrison told USA Today . “I was kicked to the curb and lost more than 10 years of my career because of a false positive. I was using steroids at the time. I believe that’s why the test came back the way it did. But I’ve taken five or six different tests in the last three or four months and I passed them all. I’ve got my livelihood back and the timing couldn’t be more perfect because as I look across the heavyweight division, there’s nobody that can beat me. I’ll be heavyweight champion of the world.”
Many doctors refuse to believe that Morrison has mysteriously rid of the virus inside of his body. Dr. Michael Schwartz, head of the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians, is one of them.
“Once somebody tests positive for HIV, they should always test positive,” Schwartz said. “If there’s a negative result, then you can only assume that it’s a one in a billion (miracle) where somebody goes from a positive to a negative or that the initial test was a false positive.”
Top Rank President Bob Arum who also serves as Morrison’s promoter says that the concern shouldn’t be on whether or not Morrison still has the HIV virus but should rather be focused on Morrison’s boxing skills. Are they still decent enough to allow him to take on today’s heavyweight fighters?
“He’s tested negative, so there is no medical concern and he is not at risk of infecting anybody,” Arum says. “That leaves the question of whether after 10½ years, can he still fight? The jury is still out on that. What I got from that first fight … was that because of rust, he can’t get out of the way of any punches. The guy punched the hell out of him. But I also learned that Tommy Morrison still retains at least a semblance of the left hook he used to have. He showed that when he knocked the guy out.”
“By keeping him off television and putting him against mediocre opposition, we’ll be able to see if he’s making progress. If it doesn’t pan out, he won’t be embarrassed. I don’t want anybody to say we’re exploiting him.”
Monday, March 26, 2007
Tommy Morrison will be out of action until at least May with injured ribs stemming from his February victory over John Castle according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
Morrison’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, was planning to have him fight on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jorge Solis PPV on April 14th but was then informed that Morrison would not be ready to fight until May.
“He’s not ready to go,” Arum said. “His ribs were hurting. We expect him to be ready to go in May.”
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Now that his fight with Antonio Margarito is officially off, ESPN is reporting that WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto will defend his title against former champion Zab Judah on June 9th, provided that the two both win their tune-up fights in March and April respectively.
Cotto will defend his title first against mandatory challenger Oktay Urkal on March 3rd in Puerto Rico; Judah will face an opponent yet to be named shortly after April 8th. Judah was originally signed to face Israel Cardona on April 27th but because the fight with Cotto has now been agreed on, Judah says he can’t wait three weeks after the date to fight since it would only leave him one month to train for Cotto.
Judah can’t fight before April 8th because that is the date he will finally be eligible to once again apply for a boxing license within the Nevada State Athletic Commission after his suspension as a result of the Mayweather brawl is up.
So if both fighters win - June 9th at Madison Square Garden on HBO PPV…
Never at a loss for words, Bob Arum was sure to give his take on the fight:
“Hopefully, everything will be signed and I look forward to the fight, assuming Cotto wins against Urkal on March 3 and Zab wins his fight,” Cotto promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank told ESPN.com. “Then we will have one of the really great events in Madison Square Garden history. There will be a lot of interest in the fight. A lot of people say the Judah fight is a bigger fight than the Margarito fight.
“I’m not going to go crazy with the prices for the tickets either. I’ll price it the same as if Cotto was fighting Margarito, and I think it will be a huge sell, $500 tickets down to $50, none of these crazy prices. I think most seats will be $100 and less.”
Judah also made it known that he is very excited to get his boxing career started back up again…
“It was a big strain, but you know I stuck it out. I’m just cool,” said Judah, also a former two-time junior welterweight titlist. “I just want to look to the future. I’m very happy about this fight. It’s a blessing for me, a blessing and the answer to a prayer. I am the comeback kid. I feel like I’m a cat with nine lives and I’m back. I cannot wait.”
Thursday, February 08, 2007
If you enjoyed yesterday’s rankings, I’m sure you will also like the fight predictions we will be coming out with in the next few weeks…
News, Notes, and Rumors:
- As of right now, the June 9th showdown between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto is apparently off...
So what exactly is happening here? Mark Vester breaks it down better then I can:
Last week, the WBO held a purse bid for a bout between their welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (34-4, 24KOs) and the mandatory challenger, Paul “The Punisher” Williams (32-0, 24KOs). Dan Goossen of Goossen-Tutor Promotions beat out Golden Boy Promotions for the right to promote the fight. Goossen bid $1.5 million to secure the promotional rights to stage the bout in either late May or early June, in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
Arum told scribe Robert Morales of the Press-Telegram that he did not participate in the purse bid because Margarito and his team told him that he was going to fight Cotto in June. Earlier this week it was revealed that Margarito signed to face Williams, instead of Cotto. Arum, who owns full promotional rights to Margarito, says that he never gave him permission to sign a contract for the fight.
Goossen-Tutor Promotions isn’t permitted to sign a contract making a Margarito-Williams bout since Margarito is under an exclusive contract with Arum and Top Rank…
“He has a contract with us, an exclusive contract with us,” Arum said of Margarito. “We didn’t participate in the purse bid because they (Margarito’s co-managers) told us not to because they were fighting Cotto. It (Margarito-Williams) may be a done deal as far as (Goossen) is concerned, but these people have no authority to sign a contract because they’re under an exclusive promotional agreement with us.”
You know what that means. Arum says he will be filing litigation by the end of the week, meaning he will now be in separate legal battles with Goossen-Tutor and Golden Boy Promotions at the same time.
- IC Wales is reporting that WBO Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Maccarinelli wants to come over to America and take on WBA, WBC, and IBF Cruiserweight Champion O’Neil Bell in an attempt to unify all four major cruiserweight titles.
Maccarinelli will defend his WBO title against Vincenzo Cantatore on April 7th. Because Bell fights the month before, a summer fight could work out great for the both of them:
“Bell is the one recognized as the undisputed champion, but he can’t call himself that until he beats me,” Maccarinelli told IC Wales. “That’s the fight I’m aiming for. He’s said he’s got a lot of admiration for me and that he wants my belt. I want to fight the best straight away and I definitely feel that I’ll get him.”
“He’s got a fight in March and I’m fighting in April, so it could work out. There’s talk about Joe going over to the States in July or there’s a lovely stadium (Liberty) down in Swansea which would be happy to hold the event. Home or away doesn’t bother me whatsoever. When that bell goes it’s only me against him, the crowd’s not going to help either of us.”
Some Good Reads:
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
After a little hiatus that extended into the beginning of the week, we are back once again with the Early Eight Count…
News, Notes, and Rumors:
- The April fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jin Chi has been postponed until at least October according to Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum yesterday.
Arum informed ESPN that Pacquiao would still be fighting in April, but now he would be lacing up the gloves on April 21st against an opponent that has yet to be named. The fight will take place in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
“Manny will fight in San Antonio and we’ll have an announcement on the opponent in a couple of days,” Arum said.
Arum also announed that Jorge Arce and Jose Navarro will face off in the co-main event. Other fighters who could also possibly be added to the card in the near future are Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Brian Viloria, and Edgar Sosa.
So what was the reason for the change? It’s hotel problems…
“We found out that because of certain delays there are only about 4,000 decent hotel rooms in Macau, and that is not enough to handle demand for this event,” Arum said. “They have a whole group of properties that are coming on line that we were expecting to be open by the end of April, but they aren’t going to make it. By the fall there will be 10,000 rooms. There will be plenty to handle the people in the fall.”
- Yet another boxer arrested…
Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion O’Neil Bell was arrested in Big Bear, California after assaulting his training partner, Larry Slayton.
37-year-old Larry Slayton, was helping Bell train for his March 17 rematch with Jean-Marc Mormeck in Paris, France. Slayton claims that Bell became angry with him during a workout session in the woods, and threw a hatchet at him. Bell was carrying the hatchet for protection against bears. At that point Slayton ran as Bell allegedly began to pelt him with large rocks. Arden Wiltshire, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, said that Deputies found Slayton with cuts from running through the brush and “fearful for his life.”
He is currently out on bail…
- Miguel Cotto has been named fighter of the year by the Puerto Rico Boxing Commission…
Some Good Reads:
ESPN: From gridiron to ring, Rossy’s rising fast
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Bob Arum and Top Rank announced earlier today that WBO Welterweight Champion Antonio Margarito will challenge Miguel Cotto for his WBA Welterweight Title on June 9th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“This is the biggest fight out there for me,” Margarito said. “I am anxious to get into the ring against Cotto.”
One interesting thing to note about this fight: Cotto is scheduled to make a mandatory title defense against Oktay Urkal on March 3rd. Will this fight still go on as planned even if Cotto loses?
Even more important: Will Cotto overlook Urkal in a big way? I’m sure that Urkal is loving the fact that his opponent has scheduled two fights in the next five months…
Monday, January 22, 2007
A little bit of news for you as we start a brand new week. For those who haven’t read up on the results of this weekend’s fights, be sure to scroll down and check our latest posts to find out for yourself…
News, Notes, and Rumors:
- Controversial promoter Dan Goossen sent out a press release last week that ripped Bob Arum and Antonio Margarito because Magarito did not give Paul Williams his mandatory title shot, instead choosing for a showdown against Miguel Cotto on June 9th.
Arum said that he is willing to setup the mandatory fight between the two, but the fight cannot happen before June unless Cotto loses when he takes on Oktay Urkal on March 3rd.
Margarito was originally supposed to return to the ring on the undercard of Cotto-Urkal but he is still recovering from a wrist injury that will keep him out of action for a few more weeks.
“(Margarito) can’t fight until (May at the earliest), and why should he fight Williams for no money when he’d have a big-money fight with Cotto there for him in June?” Arum said to Iole. “But if Cotto loses (to Oktay Urkal on March 3), then, sure, (Margarito) wouldn’t blow the title. He’d fight him then.”
Williams can still become the champion however. How? The WBO may decide to strip Margarito of his belt for not meeting Williams in the coming months.
- Former Manny Pacquiao manager Shelley Finkel is apparently warning his former client that the result of the lawsuit between Top Rank and Golden Boy over his contract may not have the result he is hoping for…
- The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that Kelly Pavlik and Edison Miranda may take on each other this summer in a matchup that would bring together two of the hardest-hitting middleweights in boxing.
The fight will only go down however if Pavilk sucessfully defeated Jose Luis Zertuche on January 27th as part of an HBO televised card.
Both Top Rank and Warriors Boxing have had several meetings discussing a possible matchup between the two and everything seems to be set in stone if Pavlik wins this weekend.
“I really believe Kelly Pavlik is going to be the next big thing in the middleweight division,” he said. “... He’s exciting. People want to see that,” Arum said.
There is another unusual reason why this fight could also not happen - If Jermain Taylor wants to challenge Miranda this summer according to Miranda’s camp. Why they think Taylor would want him when he still has other top middleweights to rid of in beyond me…
Some Good Reads:
Doghouse Boxing: The Re-Education of the Boxing Fan