Late Breaking

Author Archives: Norm Frauenheim

New Face of the Game? For now, it looks like uncertainty

Gennady Golovkin

By Norm Frauenheim– It’s been nearly three weeks since the boxing business was left to wonder whether Floyd Mayweather Jr. is really retired or already plotting a comeback. Who knows? Better yet, who cares? The bet here is that he’ll hint at a comeback throughout the next year and maybe longer just to prolong the guessing game. Above all, he ... Read More »

Phoenix featherweight Castro impresses with one-sided decision

PHOENIX – Featherweight Carlos Castro continued to exhibit poise and possible power in an effective mix that might lead to bigger bouts and major cards, scoring a unanimous decision Saturday night over Jose Silveira at Celebrity Theatre. Evident potential was the biggest victory in the 21-year-old Castro’s 13th pro bout on an Iron Boy Promotions card. He displayed plenty. At ... Read More »

Who Are These Guys? Heavyweights still a puzzle

Tyson Fury

By Norm Frauenheim– It’s hard to now what to make of the heavyweights anymore. Sometimes, they look as if they’re nearly extinct, vanishing faster than starving polar bears in the melting arctic. Sometimes, they appear to be a symbolic corner of nostalgia, gone from the here-and-now and consigned to the black-and-white clips relevant only to the documentary filmmaker. Then, there ... Read More »

Iron Boy kicks off busy AZ stretch with Saturday card

By Norm Frauenheim– PHOENIX – The Arizona boxing market, dormant for a couple of years, continues to heat up Saturday night with an Iron Boy Promotions card featuring unbeaten junior-featherweight Carlos Castro at Celebrity Theatre. The Iron Boy promotion is the first of four cards in Phoenix within the next four weeks. Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) is scheduled for Oct. ... Read More »

Mayweather’s low PPV number is a sign that retirement is the only option.

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim- Reports of low pay-per-view sales for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Andre Berto fight are more predictable than Mayweather’s victory. Berto, after all, had a better chance at landing the proverbial lucky punch on Sept. 12 than a casual customer had at spending $74.95 for a high-definition telecast of a bout already defined as one sided by style, records ... Read More »

Valdez gets an Oscar for stoppage of Avalos

Oscar Valdez

By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS – It was advertised as Oscar Valdez’ toughest test yet. So much for advertising. Valdez made it look easy, displaying a potent mix of smarts, timing and power for a fifth-round stoppage of Chris Avalos Friday night at The Cosmopolitan. “Everything we did in gym, it worked,’’ said Valdez (18-0, 15 KOs), a two-time Mexican ... Read More »

Mayweather has the right name for a code that says Berto has little chance at springing an upset


By Norm Frauenheim Las Vegas — Floyd Mayweather has his “May-Vinci “ code. He was talking about Leonardo and not Roberta, of course. Nobody knew who Roberta was until Friday when the tennis side of the Vinci family put together her own Leonardo Da Vinci-kind-of-masterpiece in a huge upset of Serena Williams at the U.S. Open. The upset of Williams ... Read More »

A reason to think Mayweather is serious about retirement


By Norm Frauenheim– Floyd Mayweather Jr, likes to gamble. If the winning tickets he posts are any indication, he’s pretty good at it, too. But life after boxing isn’t a NFL wager. It comes with more risk than just a point spread. That why all bets are off, despite a guessing game about whether he’ll continue to fight after he ... Read More »

Santa Cruz has more to smile about after winning decision over Mares


By Norm Frauenheim– LOS ANGELES – Leo Santa Cruz is always smiling. Now more than ever. Santa Cruz overcame some doubters and Abner Mares Saturday night, winning over nearly everyone but a judge in a majority decision for the WBA version of the featherweight title. But there was more than just an acronym-sanctioned belt at stake. It was about turf, ... Read More »

Back To The Future: Mares promises to be himself in a city he calls his town

Abner Mares

By Norm Frauenheim- It starts with the look. Leo Santa Cruz has a generous smile that moms love. Abner Mares has the uncompromising eyes of a man with a stubborn point of view and readiness to fight for it. It’s a reflection of how different they are. It’s also an intriguing look at how these unlikely business partners are linked ... Read More »

Benavidez back at work, hopes for fight in November or December


By Norm Frauenheim– Jose Benavidez Jr., the WBA’s interim junior welterweight champion, is back at work, hoping to fight one more time this year. “November or December,’’ said his father and trainer, Jose Benavidez Sr. whose unbeaten son resumed training last week at the Benavidez gym in downtown Phoenix. Top Rank, Benavidez’ promoter, has yet to put together its schedule ... Read More »

Fringe title stays in Rose garden

By Norm Frauenheim FORT McDOWELL, Ariz. – A title was at stake in a fight scheduled for only eight rounds. Turns out, Louis Rose only needed eight. Ten or 12 weren’t necessary. Rose (13-3-1, 5 KOs), of Lynwood, Calif., retained a junior NABF version of the middleweight title Saturday, stopping Phoenix challenger Andrew Hernandez (9-2-1, 1 KO) at 2:02 of ... Read More »

Giovani Segura off Arizona card


By Norm Frauenheim FORT McDOWELL, Ariz. — Former junior-flyweight champion Giovani Segura withdrew from a card Saturday night at We-Ke-Po Conference Center because opponent Juan Palacios of Nicaragua said he wasn’t ready, promoter Robert Vargas said before first bell. Vargas said he spoke to Segura’s representatives before the card. “They just told me that he needed more time to train,,” ... Read More »

Shopping List: From August to November, boxing is a buyer’s market

Abner Mares

By Norm Frauenheim- The table is set. From late August to November, from late summer to late fall, there’s a boxing schedule worth celebrating. The harvest starts with Abner Mares-Leo Santa Cruz on August 29 at Los Angeles’ Staples center. It continues with Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Andre Berto on Sept. 12 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand in a historical mismatch, yet ... Read More »

Giovani Segura in a fight to get back into flyweight title mix


By Norm Frauenheim- FORT McDOWELL, Ariz. –Former junior-flyweight champion Giovani Segura battles to get back into the world-title mix, this time at super-flyweight, Saturday night against Juan Palacios at We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center at Fort McDowell on the Yavapai Nation Reservation east of Scottsdale, Ariz. Segura (32-4-1, 28 KOs), a Mexican now living and training in Southern California, is ... Read More »

Hate the Fight? Berto bout is just more money in Mayweather’s business plan

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim- Floyd Mayweather Jr., whose real legacy is money, hears the anger from media and fans unhappy at his decision to fight Andre Berto. “I’ve been getting backlash,’’ Mayweather said Thursday at a Los Angeles news conference announcing the pay-per-view bout on Sept. 12 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. “He’s been getting backlash. “No one is forced to ... Read More »

Kovalev emerging as the potential cornerstone to a Four Kings sequel

Sergey Kovalev

By Norm Fraiebheim– Sergey Kovalev’s stoppage of Nadjib Mohammedi last Saturday in Las Vegas marked a six-year anniversary of his first fight in North America. It was a beginning then. In some ways, it still is. As the Russian learns English, we begin to learn more about him. At times, he’s as blunt as the Russian hammer. Ask him about ... Read More »

Send In The Clowns: Kovalev blows out Mohammedi

Sergey Kovalev

LAS VEGAS – Sergey Kovalev is blunt and effective. Mostly, he’s predictable. If you want subtlety, pick another Russian game. Chess, maybe. It’s full of a lot of pawns, which is what every light-heavyweight has become when faced with Kovalev. Nadjib Mohammedi was just the latest on a board that Kovalev continues to rule with impunity. Andre Ward looks like ... Read More »

Phoenix lightweight Victor Castro scheduled for main event on Iron Boy card

By Norm Frauenheim- Phoenix lightweight Victor Castro (15-0, 7 KOs) risks his unbeaten record Saturday against Mexican Angel Martinez (14-6-1, 10 KOs) Saturday night in Phoenix at Celebrity Theatre. The bout is scheduled for eight rounds on an Iron Boy Promotions card. As many as 12 fights are scheduled. First bell is 5 p.m. Read More »

A Kovalev smile means the Russian is ready to fight

Sergey Kovalev

By Norm Frauenheim- LAS VEGAS – It starts with a smile. It’s there because Sergey Kovalev genuinely enjoys what he does. Then again, so does a crocodile. That smile was perhaps a hint at what many expect Saturday. Kovalev turned his head away from Nadjib Mohammadi during the ritual stare-down after a formal weigh-in Friday at Mandalay Bay. After tipping ... Read More »

Opposite corner: Kovalev’s former trainer looks for ways to score an upset

Serhey Kovalev

By Norm Frauenheim- LAS VEGAS – Imagine trying to demolish what you once designed. It sounds awkward and it probably is if you’re an architect suddenly hired to bring down a building you constructed. But boxing isn’t architecture. It’s about changing roles and changing sides. One day, you’re drawing up the blueprint. The next day, you’re swinging the wrecking ball. ... Read More »

International Language: Kovalev speaks one that everybody understands

Sergey Kovalev

By Norm Frauenheim- Sergey Kovalev is new to English. It’s a second language for the light-heavyweight who grew up speaking Russian. Occasionally he’ll ask manager Egis Klimas to translate. Sometimes, a phrase or cliché will confuse him. But don’t let that fool you. He’s learning English grammar and some of its common slurs as thoroughly as he once learned his ... Read More »

Benavidez still hoping for Crawford fight


By Norm Frauenheim Jose Benavidez Jr. would welcome a chance to fight emerging star Terence Crawford, who is expected to make his second appearance at junior welterweight in the fall. “We want that fight,’’ Benavidez’ father and trainer, Jose Benavidez Sr., said Thursday while planning for his son’s return to the gym next week.. Benavidez’ dad echoed comments made by ... Read More »

The Real Fight of the Century: Lawsuits multiply as Haymon and the game enter the legal ring


By Norm Frauenheim– Lawsuits against Al Haymon aren’t surprising. More like inevitable. Haymon had to know they were coming. They’re just part of doing business. The last two suits, however, are different and perhaps more dangerous to Haymon’s PBC plans because of who and what they target. The Oscar De La Hoya anti-trust suit filed in May and Bob Arum’s ... Read More »

Seven Seconds: Bradley wins crazy decision in a fight stopped too early


CARSON, Calif. – Nothing is ever easy for Timothy Bradley. Or predictable In a career full of controversial decisions and crazy finishes, there was another wild ride for Bradley. Bradley wound up winning a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas Saturday. But it was in a 12-round fight that referee Pat Russell stopped about seven seconds before it was supposed to ... Read More »

Kovalev deflects talk about Ward, calls Stevenson a piece of bleep

Sergey Kovalev

By Norm Frauenheim- CARSON, Calif. – Light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev said he didn’t watch Andre Ward’s comeback victory over Paul Smith and instead concentrated on his July 25 title defense against Nadjib Mohammedi. “Empty talk right now,’’ Kovalev said Saturday during an hour-long session with reporters before a card featuring Timothy Bradley-Jessie Vargas at StubHub Center. The internet is on ... Read More »

Bradley back at StubHub and recalls “a war grounds”


By Norm Frauenheim- CARSON, Calif. – Timothy Bradley returns to a place that gave him headache. A career-defining victory, too. This time, he plans to leave without the headache and only a victory over Jessie Vargas Saturday night (6:45 pm PST/9:45 pm EST on HBO) in a welterweight bout he hopes will hit the-re-set button for bigger things in his ... Read More »

Timothy Bradley flushes the anger


By Norm Frauenheim Timothy Bradley doesn’t stay angry for too long. Maybe that’s because he’s a nice guy. Or maybe he just doesn’t have time for it. But he doesn’t let it metastasize into a career-killing grudge. That’s for a long line of angry young men in a business full of more grudges than catch-weight clauses. So it wasn’t exactly ... Read More »

Ward ready for a test drive, a look at his future, in comeback


By Norm Frauenheim- Andre Ward’s return from a 19-month layoff Saturday night comes at a time when he has to come back. Everybody’s prime comes with an expiration date. It’s hard to know how close Ward is to the end of what he has done so well, perhaps better than anyone among the leaders in today’s pound-for-pound generation. At 32, ... Read More »