Friday, June 08, 2007
NEW YORK – Veteran HBO Sports boxing commentator Larry Merchant has agreed to a new contract, it was announced today by HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg.
“We are delighted to have one of sports television’s most respected broadcasters continue to call them as he sees them,” said Greenburg. “Larry is an institution at HBO. Sharing the workload with Larry will be Max Kellerman, which essentially gives us two formidable broadcast teams on ‘World Championship Boxing’.”
Max Kellerman, who joined HBO Sports in April 2006, will also work “World Championship Boxing” events, alternating the workload with Merchant. Among Kellerman’s upcoming assignments are: the June 23 Hatton-Castillo fight in Las Vegas; the Atlantic City portion of the July 14 “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader; and the July 21 HBO Pay-Per-View event from Las Vegas, featuring Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright.
“It’s exciting to have Larry continue with his unique perspective on our telecasts and to expand the role of Max Kellerman,” said Rick Bernstein, executive producer of HBO Sports. “We feel the winners are our subscribers, who will continue to get honest and insightful commentary from all our broadcast talent.”
Upcoming HBO announcer assignments include: Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, Emanuel Steward and Harold Lederman for the June 9 HBO Pay-Per-View program from Madison Square Garden; Bob Papa, Lennox Lewis and Lederman for the June 16 “HBO Boxing After Dark” card; Lampley, Kellerman, Steward and Lederman for the June 23 “World Championship Boxing” presentation from Las Vegas; and Lampley, Merchant, Lewis and Lederman for the July 7 “World Championship Boxing” HBO show in Cologne, Germany.
With two sites for the July 14 “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader, Lampley and Merchant will be working from Carson, Cal., while Papa and Kellerman are in Atlantic City. For the July 21 HBO Pay-Per-View presentation from Las Vegas, Lampley, Kellerman, Steward and Lederman will be on hand.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Everyone remember to check for crusties in your eye before you start reading…
News, Notes, and Rumors:
- Freddie Roach has said that Manny Pacquiao should postpone his fight against Jorge Solis on April 14th because he feels that Pacquiao is distracted with his foray into politics and also because he hasn’t had enough time to train. Pacquiao responded in The Manila Standard Today, letting everyone know that he is ready…
In the face of criticism about his plan to run for the congressional seat of South Cotabato while at the same time preparing for his fight with Solis, Pacquiao said he is perfectly capable of handling both tasks.
- Max Kellerman is slowly making his way back into the spotlight…
Yesterday on his ESPN 1050 radio show, Kellerman stated that he believes the majority of the top boxers in the heavyweight division are on steroids and that no one should be shocked when they learn that a well-known boxer is linked to the giant Balco scandal.
Is he talking about Holyfield or someone else?
“Seven out of the 10 top heavyweights are on the juice,” Kellerman said. “Most of the top guys are (juicing).”
Some Good Reads:
ESPN: Pernell Whitaker: The undefined champion
Eastside Boxing: Bowe vs. Lewis: The Best Fights – Which ‘Never’ Took Place Part 1, Many of The Brightest Stars in boxing Today are One Dimensional
Boxing Scene: Barrera-Marquez: A super-featherweight’s burden
Monday, February 26, 2007
Lennox Lewis has once again denied reports that he is planning to restart his career to take on the also recently unretired Vitali Klitschko.
“Although I’m flattered that the boxing community is eager to have me back in the ring, I have no plans to return,” Lewis said in a statement on his Web site.
“I have no idea how these rumors get started but I am a man of my word, I will remain retired.”
Klitschko has been attempting to coax Lewis out of retirement ever since he started training again to get back into shape…
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Trust me, if I was in Samuel Peter’s position, I’d be a little ticked off too…
If this whole thing sounds just a bit familar, it’s probably because we have been through this already. Peter was supposed to get a title shot after beating James Toney the first time around. Then Oleg Maskaev took a voluntary defense before the deadline of 2007 and defeated Peter Okhello. So Peter went ahead and beat Toney once again.
Now it’s time for a title shot right? Not exactly…
We told you a while back that Vitali Klitschko was seriously thinking about attempting a comeback. Well now rumors are swirling that his official return to boxing is only weeks away. Of course it tends to not be a rumor anymore once the president of the WBC is actually speaking to Vitali about fighting in the coming months.
Jose Sulaiman is currently awaiting a phone call from Vitali and his camp about the opportunity of getting an immediate title shot against Maskaev. Vitali was originally promised an immediate title shot if he decided to come out of retirement from injury. It looks like he actually may get it.
That would mean that Vitali would be jumping right over Peter in the rankings and would receive a title shot before him. Rightfully so, Peter is pretty pissed off about this whole thing. Sulaiman however just wishes that everyone would calm down for the time being…
“I am waiting to hear something back from Vitali,” Sulaiman said. “Vitali contacts me directly from the Ukraine or wherever he is. He called me a week ago speaking about this comeback. It’s very clear that an immediate title shot is what Vitali wants. I took notice of that just as I have taken notice of (complaints from) Dino Duva, Don King and Iyavailo Gotzev made on behalf of top contender Samuel Peter.”
Sulaiman may say that he is going to hear arguments from both sides but it’s obvious what he wants to do as of right now. Peter knows that too:
“It’s a disgrace! I fought my way into this position without taking shortcuts. I paid my sanctioning fees not once, but twice. I wasn’t even supposed to fight the second time, but people were questioning their judges, so I fought again to prove myself. They’re trying to take away everything I worked for all those years. I’m number one and they’re going to have a very big problem if they allow this. They are putting their own hands in the fire and making a big mistake.”
Why did he (Klitschko) wait till I beat Toney the second time to say he was coming back? Why not announce before? Because he’s not a true champion. He got his title when Lennox Lewis retired. And now he wants to fight Maskaev, who is also not a true champion because he’s avoiding me. Let me go against Maskaev and I’ll knock him out and then I’ll knock out both Klitschko brothers on the same night!
They tried to bribe me to get me to shut up. I don’t care about money. I want the heavyweight championship. I came to the United States six years ago and I’ve worked very hard to be in this position. They are all going to pay for this!”
If boxers can be measured by the words they say, then Peter is an animal. If that Superfighter thing ever gets started up again, Peter should lay out an open challenge to both Klitschko brothers and see what they say…
Monday, January 01, 2007
Ike “The President” Ibeabuchi scored his twentieth and last victory on March 20, 1999. It was an impressive knockout stoppage of unbeaten, future WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd. Twenty one months earlier he had handed David Tua his first defeat. Ike was a serious heavyweight contender but then he took a detour to prison. In March of 1999 Lennox Lewis drew with Evander Holyfield in a battle to unify the WBA, WBC and IBF titles. They met again eight months later with Lewis getting the decision. Lennox was now the undisputed champion.
Let’s just say that Ike does not go to jail. Let’s pretend that Lennox decides to meet Ike in the Spring of 2000 instead of Michael Grant. How would that fight had played out? Lewis was 6’5” tall and usually came in around 250 pounds with an 84” reach. He was an imposing figure in the ring. In Ibeabuchi he would not be meeting a small heavyweight. Ike was 6’2” who would tip the scales in the 235 pound range. Lennox would have an eight inch advantage in reach though. Going into the fight Lewis would have the edge in experience with a 35-1-1 record against better quality opposition. Although Ibeabuchi had to be considered a serious threat, Lennox would have probably been around a 3 to 1 favorite.
Here we go…Twelve rounds for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
The Greatness of Lennox Lewis and Floyd Mayweather Jr and the Gameness of Shannon Briggs and Arturo Gatti
I had the great treat of watching replays this weekend of Lennox Lewis vs Shannon Briggs and Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Arturo Gatti.Within the realm of these bouts I saw and respected two things. Tremendous talent and equally tremendous courage.
Lennox was the cream of the heavyweight division but Briggs had just come off a disputed victory over George Foreman who was, by all rights the linear heavyweight champion.George had beaten Moorer who had beaten Holyfield who had beaten Tyson. Case closed.
Lennox knew that by beating Briggs he would solidify his status as being the best heavyweight of his era. Briggs started fast and late in the first round he rocked Lennox on a couple of occasions. After that Lennox took over and he dominated Briggs flooring him on several occasions. Finally the fine referee Frank Cappuccino had seen enough and ended the battle in round five.
I’ve never been a big Lennox Lewis fan but he showed great size, physical condition and talent. Was he the best heavyweight of all time ? No…But he would have been a very serious opponent to any of the past greats.
Briggs who is now the WBO titleholder and that shows us how weak the division is. I have little doubt that if Lewis would step out of retirement now he would whip Shannon. I don’t care how big Briggs has become. His gain in size has diminished his best asset, speed. He stands like a statue in the ring. Lewis didn’t miss too many right hands back when Shannon could move. Lennox wouldn’t miss any now. To Shannon’s credit he showed the heart of a true champion against Lewis. He took some monster shots. He went down but he kept getting up. I will always have a healthy respect for the grit and heart of Shannon Briggs.
Who’s the best fighter pound for pound in the world today ? That’s a no brainer…Floyd Mayweather Jr. He is the Sugar Ray Leonard and Roy Jones Jr. of the era. I am just in awe of his talent. Against a dead game Arturo Gatti it was target practice. In this bout three things stuck with me. Of course the tremendous talent of the gifted Mayweather. The never say die courage of Gatti and last but not least, the compassion of Gatti’s trainer Buddy McGirt. Buddy was a fine fine fighter in his own right in his day. He won titles in two weight divisions. Now he has to be considered among the elite of today’s trainers. What impressed me was how he stopped this hopeless crusade Arturo was waging against Mayweather. Buddy knew there was no quit in Arturo. He was willing to go out on his shield. McGirt showed the love for his fighter that the great Eddie Futch showed for Joe Frazier in Manila. I will always have high regard for Mr. McGirt.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The title really says it all…
The Sweet Science was able to catch up with Vitali Klitschko after the final press conference for his brother’s fight against Calvin Brock this weekend in NYC. As he has stated before, Vitali is still hoping that Lennox Lewis will take up his challenge and meet him in the ring for a rematch…
“If Lewis says yes, we can discuss and find a day for me to be ready.”
Vitali also said that a comeback will still take time anyway as his knee is not yet fully healed:
Klitschko’s body, he said, still hasn’t bounced back from the ailments that plagued his last years as a pro puncher.
My knee is not 100% ready,” he said. “I’m not ready.”
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis is not impressed by any of the fighters who currently hold heavyweight titles and believes that he could beat every single one of them.
“I wish I was still around now because with the style I have I could beat all of them, but I have retired and gone to other things,” Lewis said. “Now it is up to someone else to take the reins over.”
“This shows the impact I had on the heavyweight scene because it is a flat period (now) and I think I am the cause of that (by retiring),” Lewis also said.
This also shoots down all possibilities of Lewis coming out of retirement and accepting Vitali Klitschko’s challenge for a rematch…
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Former heavyweight champion Oliver McCall continued his winning ways Saturday night, stopping Darroll Wilson with a flurry in the 4th round. McCall became the WBC Champ in 1994 after a 2nd round knockout of Lennox Lewis.
Christian John retained the WBC featherweight title, defeating Renan Acosta by unanimous decision. John remaines undefeated at 38-0-1.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
“If Lewis comes back, I will fight by all means,” Klitschko told fans in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday.
Well if everyone didn’t already know that Vitali Klitschko wanted to avenge his loss to Lennox Lewis, I’m sure people are aware now…