Sunday, November 13, 2011

Manny vs Marquez - The eyebrow-raising saga continues

I got a chance to catch up with boxing judge, Robert Hoyle after Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez III. Hoyle was the only judge to score it a draw and I wanted to hear his take on the fight as well as what it's like to be a boxing judge...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Freddie Roach on Olympics, Amir vs Manny and what he's most proud of...

I got to talk to Freddie Roach after his return to the Wild Card gym from the Olympic trials in Alabama. Amongst other things, I got his predictions on Agbeko vs Mares, Hopkins vs Dawson, Mayweather vs Ortiz and even asked him about the possibility of Khan vs Pacquiao.

Freddie also tells me what he's the most proud of as a trainer. I was a little disappointed with the answer (just kidding.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Roger Mayweather on Zab Judah (kinda)

Poor Roger - I constantly ask him stupid questions. You might not be able to see it because of the lighting, but he was laughing at this one - just didn't want to say anything I guess...a rare, speechless moment.

Ann Wolfe - back in Team Kirkland

Ann is surprisingly soft-spoken, so it's a little hard to hear, but she is 100% BAD-ASS and was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for me after James Kirkland defeated Alexis Hloros by a monstrous TKO2 victory.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Fall and Rise (?) of Paul Williams

Saturday, July 9th, 2011 - 9:25pm

Erislandy Lara has just defeated Paul Williams in what was to be Williams' comeback fight after a devastating knockout loss at the hands of Sergio Martinez. Lara masterfully timed his left hand against the taller south-paw and landed them seemingly at will throughout the 12-round bout.

The HBO commentators were pontificating on whether Paul Williams should retire after this embarrassing loss throughout the later rounds and the unofficial scorekeeper, Harold Lederman only found two rounds to give to Williams by the fight's end.

The collective disgust felt by boxing fans was almost palpable when a majority decision was announced in favor of.......Paul Williams.

W H A T ? !

I was already a little sickened when the first scorecard was read as 114-114, a draw. I couldn't fathom what kind of idiot saw that fight as close, much less a tie. Then as the other scorecards were read I felt a little relief, although they seemed a little too close as well, considering the one-sided victory for Lara that I had just witnessed. It turns out, the idiot who saw it as a draw was the smartest idiot of the group. How sad for boxing.

It is these such decisions that sour die-hard boxing fans and perpetuate the opinion by many that the sweet science is filled with fixed outcomes. We as fans should boycott heinous judges by being vocal about our dislike for them. Boo them at the fights - write letters to the sanctioning bodies - I don't know...something!!

A list of names that consistently get brought up when discussing horrible judges:

Glen Hamada (scored it 115-111 for Vic Darchinyan vs Abner Mares and had Katsidis beating Diaz, among his worst offenses)

Ken Morita (famously had Douglas losing to Tyson going into the 10th round)

Gale Van Hoy (Texan who has been accused many times of accepting bribery $$)

Adalaide Byrd (Hated equally in MMA)

Doug Tucker (thankfully retired)

Patricia Morse Jarman (Campillo vs Shumenov II - saw it as a Shumenov victory)

Jerry Roth (too many to mention)

and now, Hilton Whitaker III (Williams vs Lara, Judah vs Matthysse)

Somehow, boxing judges need to be rated, with points taken away for horrible decisions. Penalties, even. And eventual boycotts. The bad seeds are an embarrassment to the sport and need to be extricated. It's ridiculous.

Back to Paul Williams:

One friend offered a shared perspective by stating that the last legitimate win by Williams was against Winky Wright in April, 2009. Think about it - the first win over Sergio Martinez was shaky, although it was a close fight. He was behind in the scorecards when Kermit Cintron inexplicably dove out of the ring during their fight and did not return, resulting in a Technical Decision Win for Williams.

We all know what happened in Williams vs Martinez II

And now this very controversial decision against the previously undefeated Erislandy Lara.

Some might say the HBO commentators and unofficial judge, Harold Lederman influenced public opinion throughout the broadcast and are responsible for a misrepresentation of what was actually happening. This has certainly been known to happen in the past, but was this fight even close? Perhaps it is too late to watch the fight 100% objectively, even with the mute button engaged, but in the interest of posterity - I will definitely do so tomorrow morning.

Your opinions and viewpoints are appreciated.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interview with Freddie Roach

My latest interview with Freddie Roach, fresh from his trip to England for Amir Khan vs Paul McCloskey. With Amir's victory in the books, Freddie continues with Manny Pacquiao's training camp for his fight with Shane Mosley and starts training with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nonito Donaire vs Fernando Montiel

I was lucky enough to be in Las Vegas to watch Nonito Donaire vs Fernando Montiel live at the Mandalay Bay. Having been a fan for years now, it was incredible to watch the ferocious bantamweight Donaire, top his knockout victory of Vic Darchinyan within two rounds against a formidable fighter such as Montiel.

Having watched the fight on television several times since, (the whole thing is under 7 minutes including the corner talk), I've learned three very important things:

1. Nonito Donaire is a beast.

2. Donaire is pronounced Doe-NAI-Ray and not Doe-NAIR.

3. Richard Steele may have been correct in his stoppage of Meldrick Taylor vs Julio Cesar Chavez I.

Let me explain.

I've long been of the mindset that with 2 seconds left in the round and with Taylor winning, it was highway robbery for Steele to stop the fight. Granted, Taylor had two swollen eyes and was bleeding from nose and mouth, barely hanging on for the last 3 rounds. Then in the final round, being served a vicious blow from Chavez, Taylor crumpled down to the canvas, seemingly unable to continue. Taylor rose at 6 seconds in the count and was resting on the ropes when referee Steele asked him if he was ok. Taylor became distracted and looked to his right, not responding to Steele's second request and so the fight was halted. I've watched that tape over and over again and have always been full of contempt for what was seemingly an incredible injustice to Meldrick Taylor at the hands of Richard Steele. There were only 2 seconds left! TWO! How could Steele live with such a seemingly unfair and irresponsible decision?!

After watching the devastating left hook that Nonito Donaire delivered to Fernando Montiel late in the 2nd round of their fight and seeing how Montiel crumbled to the canvas, convulsing with his hands and legs - I was pretty sure the fight would be over. Instead, Montiel rose to his feet at 6 seconds in the count, stumbled, fell and bounced back up right at 8 seconds. Though he looked dazed, he was astute enough to know exactly where he was in the count and chose to beat it. Referee Russell Mora asked him to take a step forward, which he did not, but the fight was resumed anyway, with Mora stopping the fight approximately 2 seconds later, but not before Donaire had a chance to land another brutal 1-2 combination that Montiel was seemingly too dazed to defend.

For Mora's part, Montiel was the current champion and it was only the 2nd round of the fight. We've seen warriors such as Juan Manuel Marquez get knocked down 3 times in a round only to get back up and come back stronger. I believe referee Mora wanted to give the young champion a chance, but it cost Montiel two hard and unnecessary blows and he sustained further physical injury as a result.

Fight fans were incredulous that Mora continued the fight.

Fight fans continue to be incredulous that Steele stopped the fight.

This begs the question: How long is 2 seconds?

Two seconds might seem insignificant at first thought, but if you really think about it, it can be the difference between making the train or missing it. A gold medal at the Olympics, or dead last. In boxing, 2 seconds can mean life or death. It's a long time when you're the one who is hurt (especially when your opponent can throw 8 hard punches within that time).

The important thing I realized was that when a fighter is done - he / she is done. Regardless of how much time is left on the clock, it's the referee's job as the only other person in the ring to look out for each fighter and know when to stop the fight. Ask any ref and I'll guarantee you not one would ever say that they enjoy stopping a fight and playing a factor in the outcome. They do it because they have to. Because it's in the best interest of the fighter.

As it turns out, Lou Duva, Taylor's trainer at the time, had jumped up on the ring apron, causing Taylor to look to the right at that crucial moment when Steele asked him for a second time if he was ok. His lack of response was what caused Steele to stop the bout. Never mind the fact that a trainer can't be up on the apron without getting his fighter disqualified, but because Duva was not in the frame of our televisions, Richard Steele has shouldered 100% of the blame for the unpopular outcome of that fight. Would things have been different if Taylor hadn't been distracted? Maybe. Maybe not. We will never know. I merely present it as a possible factor, lessening the burden for referee Steele.

I really wish Meldrick Taylor would have won that fight.

But I no longer blame Richard Steele for stopping it. He did what he thought was best for the fighter. He did his job, as hard as that must have been.

I certainly have even more respect for the referees who take on the responsibilities of officiating each fight. Please continue to keep our fighters safe. And stay out of the clinches - let them punch out. Come on.

Thank you to Greg, the ONTHEGRiND BOXiNG listener who inspired me to revisit this and to write about it.


A sneak peek into the 2nd week of training camp for Amir Khan's upcoming match against unbeaten Irishman, Paul McCloskey. Footage taken on location at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood, California.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Freddie Roach - Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to beat Sergio Martinez?!

Seriously though - NO WAY.

Freddie Roach was quoted in the boxing media as saying he thought his new charge, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would beat Sergio Martinez. It sounded a little outlandish - even for Freddie, so I had to hear it from the man himself.

Sergio Martinez is anything but forgettable in my opinion, and I'm sure Paul Williams would agree with me there.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Freddie Roach Interview

I had a chance to speak with Freddie Roach after his return to the Wild Card from Culiacan, Mexico, where Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. beat Billy Lyell.  Freddie speaks candidly about Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander with regards to Amir Khan as well as confirming and denying certain rumors rolling around the internet lately...

I wanted to ask more questions and get a little more in-depth, but I was running out of battery.  Sorry y'all.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I just never get sick of this video.  Larry Holmes is the MAN!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Joshua Clottey's trainer, Lenny De Jesus speaks candidly about what happened against Manny Pacquiao

Check out these excerpts from my interview with veteran cornerman, Lenny De Jesus. As a cutman and trainer, De Jesus has worked the corner assisting and attending to such legends as; Angelo Dundee, Eddie Futch, Al Gavin, Carlos Ortiz, Roberto Duran, Hector Camacho, Wilfredo Gomez, Wilfredo Benitez, Alexis Arguello and Carlos Santos. More recently, De Jesus has worked with Joel Casamayor, and served for three years under Freddie Roach as Manny Pacquiao's cutman. De Jesus stepped into the role of head-trainer for Joshua Clottey prior his bout with Pacquiao, creating another subplot in the Manny Pacquiao story that turned out to be more eventful than the actual fight. In the pre-fight build up, De Jesus made claims he had the "key to beating Pacquiao." In his interview with ONTHEGRiND BOXiNG, De Jesus revealed what the key is and shared his take on some of boxing's hottest topics.  To listen to the entire interview with the entire gang, click 'play' on the box to the right.

Looking Back On Joshua Clottey vs Miguel Cotto...

“With the Cotto fight, I also worked in his corner and he made it close. I would go as far as saying he did enough to lose, not enough to win when he fought Cotto. Yet there, we were trying to push him to throw more punches and give Cotto more of a fight when we had Cotto cut. Even though it was an unintentional head-butt, when you have an individual who is cut, go for the jugular vein – the cut. And try to make more damage, and maybe the fight will get stopped and we get a TKO. 0

Joshua Clottey does not go all the way."

Claims of Possessing The Key To Beating Pacquiao & The Key Revealed...

“Well you know what happened was that I had a fighter (Clottey) that didn’t have the confidence that I was putting into him. In other words, when I trained him I said, 'If you do exactly what I tell you, we’ve got a win.' That’s how sure I was to beat Pacquiao.
I got an idea that we could beat him because we had the height, the strength and he [Clottey] had a bigger body than Pacquiao, you know, he had all the things to actually knock him out because that’s what my training was based on – to knock out Pacquiao. Because [if] we would have gone 12 rounds, and the decision would have been close, Pacquiao gets the nod, no matter which way you look at it.
When I said I had the key, it was to go for the body inside and try to do damage, because Pacquiao got knocked out by one body-shot many years ago. A lot of people don’t know that. But when he got stopped, it was a body-shot.
In this case, [Clottey], after the fight told me that he did not want to give Freddie Roach the satisfaction that Manny Pacquiao got him knocked-out because Freddie Roach had said in the [press] conference that this is the first time that my guy is going to get knocked out.

So that came into play – as an excuse, more or less – and this is why he said, ‘I wanted to last all 12 rounds."'

Pacquiao's Punching Bag & A Trip To The Bank...

"But I said, ‘This is not fighting because you went down the tubes, because a lot of people don’t want a guy to just be a punching bag.'

And that’s what he was. A punching bag.
At the end I was almost going to tell him, ‘Give me your gloves and I’ll get in there and I’ll beat the hell out of Pacquiao.'
He [Clottey] did not do exactly as I said, and yet he did enough damage to Pacquiao. You know, Pacquiao had more swelling in his face than my guy. My guy came out with no marks…but yet his stock, instead of going up, went all the way down.
I would have rather seen him get knocked-out than go the distance, so then maybe you could say, ‘Well at least he tried, but he got knocked out.’

There’s no shame.
Sometimes people can get on your inside and I think Freddie Roach is good at that. When he told him that, 'Pacquiao is gonna be the first guy that’s going to knock out Joshua Clottey,' that bothered him and that got into his game plan.
In the third round, I more or less knew already that we had sort of like, a chicken in the corner. I’m not afraid to say it. When you fight the way he did, I think we had a guy that was afraid to throw his punches…this is a hurting game. You throw punches, you do your best.
He [Clottey] went there, I would go as far as saying - to survive. And take his million dollars and go to the bank laughing."

On Joshua Clottey's Future...

“He is still good out there. He is still a product to be reckoned with. But which TV [entity]; HBO, ESPN, whoever, would want a fighter who didn’t…he didn’t earn his money, let me put it more blunt. You should do a little more to earn your money. I mean you go, you get a job for a million dollars and you sit down and you read a magazine and you chew gum? I mean, what is that? But if you go to the job and you did your role and you do everything, you earn the money.”