Late Breaking

Author Archives: Norm Frauenheim

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 »

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 »

Easy Money: Mayweather scores a big decision over Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather

LAS VEGAS — It was supposed to be one for the books. It wasn’t. More like one for the banks. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao got a lot richer Saturday night while fans got poorer in a bout that was sold, sold and sold as the greatest in history. It wasn’t even the greatest one in the last month. ... Read More »

Enthusiasm off the scale for Mayweather-Pacquiao


By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS – It was a carnival and a concert. It was chaotic. Demonstrators protesting domestic violence stood on one street corner. A preacher stood on another. Seek God, he told a passing crowd full of people seeking a ticket that not even God could afford. They spoke Tagalog, English, Spanish, Russian, politics and Hip-Hop. They waved ... Read More »

What Rivalry? A common fight links Roach and Mayweather Sr.

Freddie Roach

By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS – There’s not a day, or even a few hours, when there isn’t a volley of insults between Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Freddie Roach. They sound like natural antagonists, separated by a lifetime of irreparable slights. You could assume that they share only mutual contempt. But you’d be wrong. Roach and the senior Mayweather are ... Read More »

Pacquiao back at the bully-pulpit

May Pac PC 3

By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao is back at the bully pulpit like a saint among sinners. Boxing has never been much of a congregation, at least not in traditional terms. Pass the plate here, and you’re liable to lose it and its proceeds. But Pacquiao is here, talking about his faith and looking as if he knows ... Read More »

$: It’s the symbol that means more to Mayweather than the 0


By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS – Look into the 0 and you’re supposed to get a look into Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s soul. But the zero on the right side of his unbeaten record, Mayweather says, is the wrong place to search for hints at what motivates him. Only one symbol really matters. It’s in his wallet. “Absolutely, because at the ... Read More »

David Benavidez wins in a first-round blitz

PHOENIX, Ariz. – David Benavidez is not a young man in a hurry. It just looks like it. The 18-year-old Benavidez, the younger brother of WBA interim junior-welterweight champion Jose Benavidez Jr., wasted little time in a stunning light-heavyweight victory over Rollin Williams Saturday night at Celebrity Theatre in front of a near-capacity crowd that included Hall of Famer Michael ... Read More »

David Benavidez, Jose’s brother, set for main event in Phoenix

PHOENIX, Ariz. – David Benavidez, the younger brother of WBA interim junior-welterweight champion Jose Benavidez Jr., is scheduled for a main event Saturday night at Celebrity Theatre. The 18-year-old David Benavidez, 7-0 with 6 knockouts as a super-middleweight and light-heavyweight, faces experienced Rollin Williams (23-20-2, 8 KOs) in a 175-pound bout on a card staged by Iron Boy Promotions. David ... Read More »

The Real Story: It’s in what Mayweather and Pacquiao aren’t saying

Floyd Mayweather 2

By Norm Frauenheim– The curtain has come down on media day, a big-fight ritual that like so much in boxing is an interpretative art. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao and the people surrounding them said a whole lot at their respective camps in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. But it was what they didn’t say that mattered. To wit: Mayweather ... Read More »