Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ricky Hatton...Royalty?

Ricky Hatton has stated that this upcoming bout with Manny Pacquiao is his chance to gain the coveted title of Pound for Pound King, but I don't know how that could be possible.

The title of Pound for Pound King is reserved for those very few fighters who consistently beat the best and are universally considered the best all-around fighters. It's not like a belt, where you put it up for grabs and an opponent can take it from you. Rather, it's a recognition by fans, critics and peers and most certainly cannot be won from one fight.

I don't mean to disrespect Ricky Hatton - I actually really enjoy watching him fight, but it seems a bit arrogant and dare I say, hopeful-bordering-upon-desperate that he would hinge the Pound for Pound title on this fight. Beating the Pound for Pound King is certainly an achievement, but it doesn't mean anything other than a boost in bragging rights. I mean, would Oscar de la Hoya have been considered the Pound for Pound best had he beaten Pacquiao last December as almost everyone had predicted? Truthfully, it had never been discussed because it would have been a ridiculous conversation. (Although it may have been more likely in his case, since he owns 'The Ring' magazine...)

Ricky Hatton does not deserve to be recognized as the Pound for Pound King if he beats Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2009.

There. I said it.

But that's just my opinion.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Golden Era

Oscar announced his retirement yesterday at a press conference in Los Angeles. Some speculated that he may fight one more time in order to exit with a Win, but the majority was correct in predicting his retirement announcement. Though he "promises" his family and supporters that he is indeed, done, I can't help but wonder if he'll come out of retirement to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. It would certainly be a poetic end to an illustrious career, no matter what the outcome.

Oscar De La Hoya can most certainly be credited with bringing the popularity of Boxing to new heights in America. Aptly named "The Golden Boy", his good looks and charm seemed in stark contrast to the barbarity of the sport he claims he was born to do, which was compelling to us. It made us want to see if this guy could fight. And it made us cheer him on.

Personally, I would have preferred he stayed more elusive and mysterious rather than constantly being in the public eye. His media training and business persona made him less human somehow when watching him on series' like HBO's 24/7. Just one aspect of how being a top promoter and top fighter can be confusing and contradictory, I suppose.

As tough as it must have been for Oscar to utter the words "retirement", I am very happy for him and optimistic about it. Unlike most fighters in the twilight of their careers, Oscar has built an empire for himself in Golden Boy Promotions and certainly will never need to struggle through his retirement. He will not need to face the impossible decision of needing to feed his family versus risking his health and life by fighting past his prime like most fighters do.

Congratulations on a stellar career, Oscar. And thank you for the memories.

P.S. Oscar's heartfelt retirement announcement reminded me of other iconic sports heroes who have retired and one stood out as my all-time favorite retirement speech --> Click here to watch Andre Agassi say goodbye like a true champion (to skip the preamble, FF to 6:25).  The crowd gave him a 3 minute standing ovation and the words he chose to leave the court officially will be remembered always.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Interview with the one and only IRISH MICKY WARD!

THE Irish Micky Ward is in town and training someone at Wildcard this week. He has kept himself in amazing condition. He's really fit. I was also struck by how shy and humble he is. He was really just there to do some work and go - so unassuming.

I've heard that Mark Wahlberg has (finally) got it all together to make the movie about Micky's life that he has been wanting to make for years now, which is why Micky is in town to begin with. Apparently Christian Bale is slated to play the coveted role of Dick Ecklund, Micky's brother, with Mark Wahlberg playing Micky Ward. Congratulations for getting that off the ground, Mark. Your perserverance and tenacity is what is making it happen.

I was honored to be able to chat with Micky Ward for a few minutes and watch him train. It got me to thinking...really, what other trilogy touches the Gatti vs Ward fights? Some might say Marquez vs Vazquez, which were amazing, but the crowd really did it for me in the Gatti/Ward trilogy. It was just different. Knowing they were good friends also added a unique element for me. There was so much heart from each fighter...they really make the Sweet Science proud.

I got to ask the Irish Thunder questions I've always wanted to ask...and I hope I got him to answer questions that you've always wanted to ask as well...enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Coaching Margarito?

Rumors have been abound about whether Freddie Roach will indeed be Antonio Margarito's new trainer.  With the likelihood that Capetillo will be banned for life from training any fighters in the U.S. and most other countries, Margarito looks to redeem himself and what better way to do that than to hire one of the most credible Boxing trainers around?