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The Triumphs and Tribulations of the Rocky Franchise

Rocky Balboa

What is it about the iconic Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone that makes them so appealing? Why do we find ourselves settling in on the couch to watch one whenever they’re on broadcast television, like a moth to the proverbial flame? Ultimately, was it necessary for the series to be “capped off” by the sometimes questionable last film in the ... Read More »

Column without end, part 1

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By Bart Barry– BARCELONA – At the metaphorical center of this autonomous place on the Mediterranean Sea, an ostensibly Spanish city much nearer France than Madrid, stands La Sagrada Familia basilica, masterwork of its city’s greatest architect, Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, known the world over as Gaudí, a man whose patronymic bears a curious resemblance to the derisive modifier “gaudy.” ... Read More »

Unlike the Pacquiao-Mayweather riddle, Keith Thurman is a real answer to the real question about who and what is next

Keith Thurman

By Norm Frauenheim- LAS VEGAS – Boxing’s chessboard is full of potential moves Saturday with dueling cards that include 18 bouts televised by competing networks and each promoted by rivals who are learning how to cooperate. Look for more lessons than solutions, more possibilities than answers, for a business confronted by declining pay-per-view numbers and no resolution to the tired ... Read More »

Two cards, one common fight for relevancy

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By Norm Frauenheim– The arenas and networks will be different. Nearly everything else about dueling cards on Dec. 13 shares a common theme and the same Strip of tourists, vendors, mimes, pickpockets and Las Vegas neon. From the Top Rank-promoted show featuring Timothy Bradley-Diego Chaves on HBO at The Cosmopolitan to Golden Boy’s Amir Khan-Devon Alexander on Showtime and about ... Read More »

Terence Crawford, and optimists and evangelists

Terence Crawford

By Bart Barry- Saturday at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraskan lightweight champion Terence Crawford decisioned Mexican Raymundo Beltran lopsidedly, 119-109 and 118-110 and 119-109, in a match that was not large as its superlatives but demonstrated Crawford should stay at lightweight, which he won’t, Beltran was overrated, which no rater will admit, and Crawford should be 2014’s fighter of the ... Read More »

2 Men Pay Their Respects to 43!

OMAHA, NE – Last night, before a crowd of 11,127 people – mostly Nebraskan’s – two fighters stepped into the ring; one was defending his IBF featherweight crown and the other fighting for the WBO lightweight title, but BOTH representing a purpose. Evgeny Gradovich, of Russia, otherwise known as the “Mexican Russian” had the number 43 stitched into his Sombrero and entered ... Read More »

Pacquiao-Mayweather has everybody’s vote but the one it needs

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By Norm Frauenheim– Manny Pacquiao has spoken. Freddie Roach has spoken. Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya have spoken. They’re still speaking. We’ve yet to hear from the Republicans and Democrats, but even they’d agree. The bandwagon demand for a Pacquaio-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight is back at the top of the noise meter. It’s as loud as ever. But ... Read More »

Full gonzo: Sleeping through Pacquiao-Algieri

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By Bart Barry– FORT WORTH, Texas – The understated perfection of architect Louis I. Kahn’s soft marble masterpiece, Kimbell Art Museum, known round the world as The Kimbell, is so palpable one cannot fathom hoarding its charms, if architectural charms were somehow hoardable, and feels a compulsion to share. Long a fan of friend and mentor Thomas Hauser’s accounts of ... Read More »

John Determan “Heartbroken” For His Son

Johnny "White Boi" Determan

Johnny “White Boi” Determan is still holding some hope that an opponent will be found in time for this Saturday’s Lightweight showdown, starring Omaha’s Terence Crawford vs Raymundo Beltran of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico in a scheduled 12 round title bout. Johnny is considered by many to be Omaha’s “younger” son. “I am heartbroken for my son,” said John Determan ... Read More »

FOLLOW PACQUIO – ALGIERI LIVE FROM RINGSIDE

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Follow all the action live from Ringside as Manny Pacquiao defends the WBO Welterweight title against undefeated WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Chris Algieri. The show begins at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT / 10 AM in Macau with a three fight undercard that will feature two world title bouts. Jessie Vargas defends the WBA Super Lightweight title against ... Read More »

Pacquiao not Algieri’s toughest challenge, says trainer

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By Norm Frauenheim– Chris Algieri has had tougher fights than Manny Pacquaio, Algieri trainer Tim Lane said Thursday before Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said the Filipino would score a a knockout within three rounds. From opposite corners, the trainers had widely — wildly too — different views on how things will play out in a 144-pound bout scheduled for midday ... Read More »

New opponent for German KO star Feigenbutz

German KO star Vincent Feigenbutz (16-1, 15 KOs) will now face the Latvian ‘Viking’ Oleg Fedotovs (18-17, 12 KOs) when he makes his UK debut on November 22 on the undercard of the domestic grudge rematch between Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Fedotovs replaces Lorenzo Di Giacomo who ... Read More »

Pacquiao-Algieri: From opposite ends

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By Bart Barry Saturday at the Venetian in Macau, Filipino Manny Pacquiao will defend his welterweight title against New Yorker Chris Algieri, a junior welterweight titlist. It is a fight somewhat intriguing because, while few aficionados imagine the match will be close, a number disagree on its likely victor. Perspective plays a larger role than usual in determining where an ... Read More »

Follow Klitschko – Pulev Live

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Follow all the action live from Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles against undefeated Kubrat Pulev. The action begins at 4:45 ET / 1:45 PT 12 ROUNDS–WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP–WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO (62-3, 52 KOS’S) VS KUBRAT PULEV (20-0, 11 KO’S) Round 1 HUGE LEFT AND DOWN GOES PULEV…ANOTHER HUGE EFT AND DOWN GOES PULEV..Klitschko lands a right…10-7 Klitschko Round 2 ... Read More »

A Collective Face: Fighter of the Year is the current generation from the old Soviet bloc

Sergey Kovalev

By Norm Frauenheim- Sergey Kovalev’s victory over Bernard Hopkins was one thing. His dominance was something else. After awhile, the benefit of hindsight will make Kovalev’s win look predictable. Nobody ever whips the clock, although Hopkins did it longer than anyone ever has. The shutout on the scorecards, however, was a stunning testament to a Kovalev skill set that had ... Read More »

Kovalev-Hopkins: The fight of 2014

Sergey Kovalev

By Bart Barry- The most unexpected thing shared by guys who hit hardest is rarely how hard they hit or the speed of their attack. No, what surprises most about those guys is the nimbleness with which they take a backwards step the first three or four times you try to attack and smother them, their balletic willingness to move ... Read More »

Encounter of Another Kind: Hopkins’ many lives get a defining challenge in Kovalev

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By Norm Frauenheim- Bernard Hopkins’ life as street thug, ex-con, Congressional witness, peace-maker, fighter, promoter, pundit, provocateur, butcher, baker and candlestick maker includes different nicknames, a couple of masks and roles only he knows are still within him. “I’m not human,” Hopkins said in a recent conference call. But he is. There’s an endless array of humanity jammed into that ... Read More »

Mental alignment, Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev

Bernard Hopkins

By Bart Barry– SAN MARCOS, Texas – Three miles southwest of Texas State University is a mostly waterless stretch of terrain called Purgatory Creek Natural Area, a verdant place complete with trails named after Dante, Ripheus, Ovid and Beatrice, for those with an Italian literary bent. Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in the American purgatory of Atlantic City, light heavyweight Bernard ... Read More »

At The Crossroads: Remembering Ali-Foreman

Ali Foreman

By Norm Frauenheim Drivers pass the Lonnie and Muhammad Ali Pavilion Center near downtown Phoenix all the time. It’s just another building at an intersection full of people en route to and from work, school and the mundane. But on Thursday it was something different. If you looked up and saw the name that overlooks the traffic from its location ... Read More »

MFAH & GGG: Enduring doubts

Gennady Golovkin

By Bart Barry- HOUSTON – Saturday this city’s largest art museum previewed for its members a fall exhibition, “Monet and the Seine,” that is unimpressive. Composed of middling efforts by the French Impressionist master, canvases from sundry places, some painted in cottoncandy hues and some deeply indebted to others’ influences and one so pedestrian Monet himself misdated it, this exhibition ... Read More »

Mind Games: Pacquiao’s sparring partners better than Algieri? Maybe, says Roach

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By Norm Frauenheim– Chris Algieri is good enough to fight Manny Pacquaio, but he might not be good enough to beat some of his sparring partners. That, at least, was Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach’s suggestion Thursday in a conference call from the Philippines where the Filipino Congressman is training in his hometown, General Santos City, for a Nov. 22 bout ... Read More »

Harmonious manhood: Nicholas Walters, Nonito Donaire and Corey Holcomb

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By Bart Barry– HOUSTON – Saturday at Carson, Calif.’s StubHub Center, a great fight venue with a moronic name, Jamaican featherweight Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters hacked former world champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire to a stump, in the co-main, and stopped him at the end of round 6. It was a case of dessert served before dinner, increasingly common in ... Read More »

Heavy Price: Overweight Rubio pays $100,000 for 1.8 pounds

Gennady Golovkin

By Norm Frauenheim CARSON, Calif. – Marco Antonio Rubio lost money instead of weight in failing to make the 160-pound limit Friday for his attempt to upset favored Gennady Golovkin Saturday at sold-out StubHub Center. Rubio forfeited $100,000 when he chose not to step on the scale for a second time two hours after he was 1.8 pounds heavier than ... Read More »

GGG: Gennady Going Global

Gennady Golovkin (208x138)

By Norm Frauenheim– CARSON, Calif. — The GGG at the belt of his waistband isn’t much of a secret anymore. But Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin’s initials might as well be evolving into a marketing acronym. These days, it could be Gennady Going Global. World class means more than a gaudy piece of tin on a plastic belt worth a lot less ... Read More »

The Axe Man cometh

Nicholas Walters

By Bart Barry– Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., in a co-main event broadcast by HBO and certain to be more entertaining than what follows it, Jamaican featherweight titlist Nicholas “The Axe Man” Walters will fight “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire in a WBA unification match – being that both men already have WBA featherweight titles. Much as happened two ... Read More »

Jermain Taylor’s paper crown includes a dangerous future

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By Norm Frauenheim- Sad spectacles are little bit like jagged scars. They are always there, an uncomfortable reminder that real estate between the ropes is as bizarre as it is dangerous. Jermain Taylor is another chapter in the never-ending tale of a love-affair with stories that unfold like accidents. They are doomed to fail. Leave it up to others to ... Read More »

Jhonny, El Travieso, and Devil’s River

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By Bart Barry– DEL RIO, Texas – A few miles south of here begins the Mexican state of Coahuila, and about 40 miles north of here begins Devil’s River State Natural Area, and if you’re wondering which is more hospitable, it is Mexico – by far. There are lovely places whose brochures promise romantic getaways, and then there are mere ... Read More »

The old theater feels empty without Dan Goossen

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By Norm Frauenheim– Dan Goossen’s death this week is a reminder that boxing survives because of the characters who have always understood that theater is as fundamental as a good jab. It’s balancing act that includes just the right mix of salesmanship, comedy, opinion and conviviality. Goossen is the face of a passing generation that has worked hard to stay ... Read More »