Late Breaking

Yearly Archives: 2006


After 12 great months of prizefighting, we have a decision, most likely considerably less than unanimous, but “You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.” We seen some really great fights this year, and that was just the promoters. Here’s my take on the outstanding achievements of 2006, with a few choice opinions along the way: FIGHTER OF ... Read More »

Hopkins and Chambers doing Philly Proud

It’s no secret that Antonio Tarver wants a rematch with Bernard Hopkins, who moved up from middleweight to light heavyweight and beat Tarver via unanimous decision last June in Atlantic City. Hopkins retired after that fight, which he won easily by three scores of 118-109. But as fighters often do, he recently said he wants to continue his career if ... Read More »

An Open Letter to Mr. Claus

My Dearest Santa . . . This time of year, I know, is a hectic one round the North Pole. Last night took you into the championship rounds. You never miss a Monday column, though; and so I thought to post an open thank-you letter. Bet the kiddies don’t send you many of those. Easiest place to start is here: ... Read More »


Last Saturday, HBO’s Boxing After Dark ended its 10th season on a high note with an exciting card headlined by middleweight marauder Edison “Pantera” Miranda’s eye popping KO of tough Philly fighter Willie Gibbs. And in the co-feature featherweight prospect Jason Litzau lost his undefeated status to Mexican Jose Hernandez, allowing his cockiness to ruin his chances in a very ... Read More »

Jermain Taylor looks to the future

Edison Miranda can yap all he wants about Jermain Taylor needing to give him a shot at his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization middleweight title belts. But if Lou DiBella has Boxing Organization middleweight title belts. But if Lou DiBella has anything to say about it, that’s not going to happen any time soon. DiBella, Taylor’s promoter, said ... Read More »

Hammering Away

Ours is a fine sport. Those who follow boxing through periodicals, television programs, and websites sometimes need a reminder. So negative about our sport are mainstream-media folks, sportscasters, and some veteran boxing scribes, that fight fans can get dispirited. As a rule, then, I try to write positively about prizefighting and what heroic personages fill it. When I succeed – ... Read More »


I’m against change by nature. I admit it. So naturally I’m opposed to open scoring in boxing. But I feel equally passionate about changes that have, in my mind, hurt other sports, and I just don’t want to see our sport similarly damaged. I still haven’t accepted the designated hitter in Major League Baseball, adopted in 1973. While the American ... Read More »

Awards time!!!

Now that everything important has taken place, thought it would be a good time to dole out some awards – good and bad – for 2006. Some of my awards are typical, some are unique. They’re all juicy : Hypocrite of the Year – Diego Corrales: This was probably the easiest pick to make. When Jose Luis Castillo weighed 139 ... Read More »

Taylor and Ouma Open an Experiment

There was the undisputed Middleweight Champion of the World, Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor, an offensive fighter of sometimes lax defense fighting in his hometown against a volume puncher whose only chance at victory would be thirty-six minutes of action. Proponents of open scoring picked the right match for an experiment, didn’t they? Read More »

The future of Jermain

If either Don King or Bob Arum were promoting Jermain Taylor and said that Taylor has the ability to become one of the top middleweights in history, we would have to take that with a grain of salt. As much as these two master promoters have done in boxing the past 40 years, few can dole out the rhetoric the ... Read More »

The Tijuana Intangible

From training injuries to accumulated wear on cartilage and scar tissue and tendons, from damage inflicted on a prizefighter to damage a prizefighter incurs while inflicting damage, in boxing there is one constant: No athlete is much more than half himself by the halfway point of a championship bout. What a prizefighter does when he is far from his best, ... Read More »


If this article is even less coherent than it normally is, it’s because I’ve spent the majority of the last week sleeping all day so I could stay up to cough all night. (Yes, I am looking for sympathy.) But I know you have to play hurt for the good of the team, so despite my misery and suffering, I’ll ... Read More »

Gil Clancy and Emile Griffith

Gil Clancy, the 84-year-old Hall of Fame trainer, has been involved in boxing over 60 years. Suffice to say, he has been part of many tremendous fights. We spoke with Clancy on the phone Tuesday from his home on Long Island, N.Y. The conversation ran the gamut, but much of it centered on Emile Griffith, who never fought an amateur ... Read More »

Frustrated, Fragile, Fearsome

“I want to unify the titles at 147. It is important to fight at my best weight.” – Antonio Margarito, WBO Welterweight Champion, 18 May 2006. “We’re starting to consider 154; we cannot get the fights we’re looking for at forty-seven.” – Sergio Diaz, Manager of Antonio Margarito, 24 November 2006. Such is the burden of being boxing’s “most feared” ... Read More »


Mia Rosales St. John, aka “The Knockout,” was, along with Christy Martin, the face of women’s boxing in the genesis of the sport’s prominence. Both pioneers were much maligned in those days of the late nineties and early years of the new millennium, yet their efforts set the table for legitimacy for the next generation of Laila Ali, Ann Wolfe, ... Read More »

Wright hoping to win an Oscar

Winky Wright is fighting Ike Quartey a week from Saturday, but according to Richard Schaefer, Wright may be fighting Oscar De La Hoya in the future. Schaefer, CEO of De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, on Tuesday confirmed a rumor that De La Hoya has decided to continue fighting after he takes on Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 5. “Well, ... Read More »

Pacquiao read for Morales

Manny Pacquiao was hitting the hand mitts held by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Those watching at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood had their eyes – and mouths – wide open. One of the onlookers was Lee Samuels, the head of public relations for Top Rank Inc., which has long promoted Erik Morales, who Saturday will tangle with ... Read More »


On Thursday we published part one of our interview with Golden Boy’s CEO Richard Schaefer, in which he responded in detail to negative charges made about his company. Schaefer was extremely generous with his time in our interview, even apologizing for our previous calls not being returned. Schaefer explained that his PR department was in transition, and further, he preferred ... Read More »

Perhaps a Pacquiao Pamphlet?

This pound-for-pound thing is beyond me, I admit. It seems to have started nobly enough, years ago, as a way of taking Sugar Ray Robinson’s ample achievements, adding fifty pounds to them, and imagining how our sport’s all-time-greatest pugilist would have done against his heavyweight contemporaries. That is, boxing aficionados began with what Robinson actually did and projected his accomplishments ... Read More »


THE STORY SO FAR In recent weeks we have run two articles quoting rival promoters that have cast Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) in a negative light. They have been charged with “poaching fighters” nurtured by other promoters, using Oscar’s huge earnings to offset losses incurred in the free agent market, favoritism from HBO, and being the ... Read More »

Morales is read for for Pacquiao

Starting with his second loss to Marco Antonio Barrera two years ago this month, Erik Morales has lost three of his past four fights. He has gone from a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter, to needing a victory against Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 18 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas to retain any sort of status as an elite ... Read More »

Shannon Briggs’s Unlikely Redemption

Quitter. Underachiever. Asthmatic. For the rest of his life, Shannon Briggs will now only be called one of those things again. That’s because two days ago, in 30 redemptive seconds that followed 2,130 damning ones, Shannon Briggs changed his legacy, became a champion, and proved that, whatever it may sometimes lack in drama or recognition, heavyweight prizefighting is always suspenseful. ... Read More »


A private research company recently designated St. Louis and Detroit, in that order, as the two most dangerous cities in America. Coincidently, the Cardinals and Tigers, Major League Baseball’s representatives from the two cities proved dangerous to the Fox network advertisers as they produced the worst World Series ratings in television history. To make matters worse, the Cards beat the ... Read More »

Ellerbe to run Mayweather's corner

Other than Floyd Mayweather Sr., there probably isn’t a man alive who knows more about Floyd Mayweather Jr. than Leonard Ellerbe. Ellerbe is the longtime friend and advisor of Mayweather Jr., who on Saturday will challenge Carlos Baldomir for his World Boxing Council welterweight belt at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Ellerbe usually works the corner of Mayweather, but only ... Read More »

Arizona Sport’s Historic Day

Before we go too far, let’s concede this: Sport is not the world’s most important topic. But if you’re reading this column, chances are you believe sport is enough of a topic to deserve some of your time. There. We’ve given the obligatory disclaimer to what scolds would lecture us about war, poverty, philosophy, or science. And we’ve confessed that ... Read More »


A few weeks ago Kathy Duva, the CEO of Main Events, said in this column that Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) was the “Wal-Mart” of the boxing business. Duva stated that GBP was guilty of “poaching” talent nurtured by other promoters, upsetting the economic balance in the marketplace by using Oscar’s considerable ring earnings to offset losses ... Read More »

Baldomir ready for Floyd

Carlos Baldomir, who is 35, can remember things as far back as 30 years ago, when he was just 5. It was the first time he can recall sitting down with about 50 family members and friends in Santa Fe, Argentina, and watching Carlos Monzon fight. The late Monzon is the most famous fighter the country has ever produced, and ... Read More »

Ayala Promotions: Honesty and Perseverance

Anyone who thinks seriously about our sport’s troubles for a few minutes concludes that promoters are as harmful as they are essential. Corrupt sanctioning bodies, rigged fights, incompetent officials, ruined pugilists; all return to promoters. Meanwhile, would-be reformers crowd barstools and message boards and inboxes with their suggestions. How many changes they would implement if only there were more time, ... Read More »


Mike Tyson returns Friday night in Youngstown, Ohio, at the Chevrolet Centre in a four round exhibition against Corey “T-Rex” Sanders, a 6’6” 300 pound former sparring partner who once stopped Oleg Maskaev, but retired after losing four straight. It’s the first stop of “The Mike Tyson World Tour,” designed primarily to help pull Tyson out of his spiraling financial ... Read More »

“I am Sergei Liakhovich; I am Totally Different”

If you live in Las Vegas, or anywhere between Madison Square Garden and Atlantic City, a heavyweight title fight is an interesting spectacle, not a historical event. For those of us who live in boxing’s emerging markets, though, a heavyweight championship fight is something else. Indulge me, then. November 4 is still nineteen days away, but my giddy anticipation wants ... Read More »