Late Breaking

Author Archives: Norm Frauenheim

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 »

Memo to Mayweather: LeBron James is the true definition of TBE


By Norm Frauenheim- There’s a lot of talk about TBE this spring. It started with Floyd Mayweather Jr. It continues with LeBron James. But there’s a difference, one that becomes increasingly evident as the drama unfolds in the ongoing NBA Finals. For Mayweather, TBE is a fashion statement, an acronym he wears on caps, T-shirts and anything else for sale. ... Read More »

Race To Be Next: Contenders battle to grab A-side power

Gennady Golovkin

By Norm Frauenheim- A shuffle the top of the marquee begins to unfold, almost like a political campaign, in an inevitable transition put into motion by Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao. Despite record-setting revenue, the fight was an artistic flop, yet a sign that the business is moving on in search of new stars. They’re there, on a list topped by ... Read More »

Another title with another catch-weight is no title at all


By Norm Frauenheim Amid the clutter of 17 weight classes and more acronyms than letters in the alphabet, there’s something else to hang in that chaotic closest full of belts not worth a decent sanctioning fee at the corner pawnshop. Catch-weights are just another part of the mess. Like a lot of junk, the catch-weight clause is many things. Sometimes ... Read More »

Fans move on while Mayweather, Pacquiao sift through the cash and the remains


By Norm Frauenheim- Nearly three weeks have passed since Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s decision over Manny Pacquiao in the Letdown of the Century and there’s been no backlash. Canelo Alvarez’ knockout of James Kirkland on May 9 drew HBO’s biggest audience for non-pay-per-view bout since 2006. A week later, there was a capacity crowd at the rebuilt Forum for Gennady Golovkin’s ... Read More »

Iron Boy card set for Phoenix Saturday

PHOENIX – Iron Boy Promotions will stage a second card within eight days Saturday night at Celebrity Theatre. Iron Boy, which helped Top Rank promote Jose Benavidez Jr.’s stoppage of Jorge Paez Jr. in a WBA 140-pound title defense on May 15 at US Airways Center, goes back to work with a card that features Phoenix welterweight Jose Marruffo (5-2-2) ... Read More »

Benavidez fulfills guarantee, stops Paez

By Norm Frauenheim (ringside) PHOENIX, Ariz. – Jose Benavidez Jr. celebrated a birthday and a homecoming. It was all part of the guarantee. In a bold promise at a news conference, Benavidez Jr. promised that his WBA interim 140-pound title would not leave his hometown. It didn’t. It is still interim, whatever that means. But the guarantee proved to be ... Read More »

Benavidez, Paez make weight for a bout with some AZ history at stake


By Norm Frauenheim- PHOENIX, Ariz. – Jose Benavidez Jr. and Jorge Paez Jr. made weight Thursday for a truTV super-lightweight title fight Friday night in a bout that is critical to Benavidez’ future and represents a step in a larger battle to resurrect boxing in Arizona. Benavidez, (22-0, 15 KOs), Arizona’s first champion with a major championship since Hall of ... Read More »

Benavidez hopes to celebrate 23rd birthday with 23rd victory


By Norm Frauenheim PHOENIX, Ariz. – He turns 23 on Friday. Jose Benavidez Jr. approaches his birthday unbeaten, yet not unchallenged. His record is the product of a jab, an exclamation point that is at the cutting edge of his natural talent. He was born with it. Lots of it. The challenges are a little different. Some are self-imposed. Some ... Read More »

Mayweather Speaks: Changes mind about a Pacquiao rematch

May Pac PC 5

By Norm Frauenheim- There are more tired excuses than reasonable explanations for what happened May 2 in the colossal failure to fulfill even a fraction of the expectations for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight. Still, everybody attached to the pay-per-view affair will try. They have to. Believe it or not, there’s even more money to be made. There are ... Read More »