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Enthusiasm off the scale for Mayweather-Pacquiao

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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 »

Some perspective on Mayweather – Pacquiao 

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By Joseph Davey For me and I’m sure many boxing fans, Saturday’s superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao brings with it equal parts excitement for the bout itself and disdain for it’s coverage. For years at a time, mainstream sports media avoids boxing as if it were a plague that could infect the  very image of America’s most “wholesome” ... Read More »

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

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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

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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

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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 »

The big payout

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By Bart Barry– Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena, before a crowd likely to comprise not one person reading this column, American Floyd Mayweather finally will fight Filipino Manny Pacquiao. The time for manufactured enthusiasm is upon us, for tossing oneself wholly into the futility of shouting in print towards a volume to rival the industrial din of Time Warner ... Read More »

Truth and Beauty: Crawford, Piano, Khan, Provodnikov and Matthysse

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By Bart Barry- FORT WORTH, Texas – This is not the city where Terence Crawford fought Saturday. But it is part of an enormous thing called Metroplex, a collection of cities that comprises Dallas and Arlington, where Crawford did fight, a 50-mile expanse whose population, if counted as one, would tally 6.5 million souls, sitting just behind New York City ... Read More »

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

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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 »

Without Premier: Bud, Rocky and Machine

Terence Crawford

By Bart Barry– Saturday brings a cleansing of the palate, doesn’t it, a reminder of a painfully missed time when you watched boxing because you couldn’t imagine a better use of your energy – not because you felt obligated, as a longtime fan, to support your sport’s return to public airwaves because, apparently, leaving public airwaves was what doomed our ... Read More »

FOLLOW GARCIA – PETERSON; LEE-QUILLIN LIVE FROM RINGSIDE

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Follow all the action live as it happens from Barclays Center as world champions Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson square off in a welterweight contest. The action begins with a middlweight fight between WBO champion Andy Lee and Peter Quillin. The action begins at 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PT. 12 ROUNDS–WELTERWEIGHTS–DANNY GARCIA (29-0, 17 KO’S) VS LAMONT PETERSON (33-2-1, ... Read More »

Forget Redemption: Garcia-Peterson is about recognition

Danny Garcia

By Norm Frauenheim- Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson are quick to say they aren’t fighting for redemption Saturday night at Barclays in Brooklyn. Fair enough. It’s called prize fighting. Going into the ring for redemption is little bit like going to the bank to pray. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll leave broke. “I don’t see this as redemption,’’ Garcia ... Read More »

Gabe Oppenheim, and one of the last good books about boxing

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By Bart Barry– “If you’re gonna write about boxing, you need facts and grittiness and maybe even some awkward bad writing. It can’t be perfect. It can’t be ethereal. It can’t be self-contained. It can’t be its own art. It has to be bled into by the fighting itself. “But only the defeat is permanent in boxing. And I guess ... Read More »

Provodnikov-Matthysse: A Corrales-Castillo sequel?

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By Norm Frauenheim It’s a fight that really doesn’t need much in the way of explanation or analysis. Strip away all of the subtlety and finesse, and you’re left with Ruslan Provodnikov-Lucas Matthysse, a collision waiting to happen. Maybe an accident, too. But that’s the attraction. Power, the ability to deliver it and a willingness to risk it, exerts it ... Read More »

Gary Russell Jr, and the end of cable sports journalism

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By Bart Barry– Saturday, Showtime’s preternaturally gifted Gary Russell Jr., an Al Haymon fighter, knocked-out the hardest puncher in Mexican history, Jhonny Gonzalez, on Showtime, a Haymon-affiliated network, to seize from Gonzalez the Showtime featherweight title Gonzalez took from Showtime’s Abner Mares a few years back. Whatever the depth of boxing’s featherweight division, and whatever Russell’s postfight protestations, Showtime’s featherweight ... Read More »

Adonis Answer: Stevenson fights to ignore the Kovalev question

Adonis Stevenson

By Norm Frauenheim– It’s the question Adonis Stevenson can’t shake. It’s there when he wakes up and sits down for breakfast. It’s there when he goes to the corner store. When he looks in the rear view mirror, there it is: What about Sergey Kovalev? It was asked again, again and ad nauseam Wednesday during a conference call that included ... Read More »

Column without end, part 7

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part 6, please click here. * BURNET, Texas – We begin here, again, with a thought experiment of sorts, before hiking to a roadside memorial in the state Terence Crawford will visit next month, honoring Catalan masterpieces the whole way: A tiger bursts through your door in the next instant. You react, in less ... Read More »

Junior to Senior: Only a grown-up Chavez can win this fight

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By Norm Frauenheim– Boxing was never meant to be the family business. Fathers fight so their sons don’t have to. That sounds like a sensible plan, or at least a good way to avoid scars, concussions and everything else that comes from a livelihood in the ring. But it’s never been one that could be applied to Julio Cesar Chavez ... Read More »

Of Soviets and athletes

Kovalev & Pascal Weigh-InCasino de Montreal

By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – If you’re reading this column, it is highly probable you watched on HBO Russian Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev’s Saturday reduction of Jean Pascal from a ferocious spectacle of athleticism to a man stumbling across the canvas like an enthusiastic toddler determined to crawl no longer. There’s also a fair chance you watched Thursday’s HBO Latino ... Read More »

On The Stage: Mayweather-Pacquiao a fight between different personalities

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By Norm Frauenheim– Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao stood side-by-side in what was the third time they have ever been seen within a few feet of each other. They looked uncomfortable, almost awkward. Mayweather raised his right hand and pointed his index finger toward the ceiling as if to remind anyone in the theatre and the heavens that he ... Read More »

Premieres

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By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – Tuesday at Aztec Theater, the oldest theater in this old city, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and James Kirkland announced their May 9 fight in Houston. Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Keith Thurman decisioned Robert Guerrero. In between those two middling affairs, Showtime announced plans to honor its televised trilogy of Israel Vazquez and ... Read More »

Follow Thurman – Guerrero; Broner – Molina LIVE

Keith Thurman

Follow all the action as Keith Thurman defends the WBA Welterweight title against Robert Guerrero. The action kicks off at 8:30 PM / 5:30 PM PT as Adrien Broner battles John Molina in a Jr. Welterweight bout. 12 Rounds–WBA Welterweight Title–Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KO’s) vs Robert Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KO’s) Round 1 Thurman lands a combination..Right from Guerrero…Right to ... Read More »

Bet on the Future: Haymon, NBC go back to an old model in search of some new stars

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By Norm Frauenheim– Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) begins Saturday on NBC in prime time amid anticipation and some skepticism. It’s risky. It’s gutsy. It’s a lot of things. Above all, it’s necessary. It’s the first step in an attempt to re-create the game after Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2. Pacquiao has already hinted at retirement. With ... Read More »

Column without end, part 6

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part five, please click here. * But how will this influence resolve itself? Three of the most influential artists of the 20th century – Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro and Salvador Dali – grew up in Catalonia, wandering through Barcelona looking upwards at the architectural masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi, edifices that, in their sublime ... Read More »

Clueless: Kovalev has heard from the best, yet Pascal still talks trash

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By Norm Frauenheim– Jean Pascal is called quick for hands that can put punches together in rapid succession. He’s called quick for graceful feet that are a human version of rapid transit. But a quick thinker? Not so much. At least, Pascal’s sudden-strike agility in hands and feet was not evident in anything he said Tuesday during a conference call ... Read More »

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It’s OK to be happy

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By Bart Barry– The announcement came sometime Thursday, or maybe Tuesday, the announcement there would be an announcement coming soon from a professional athlete about a future sporting event. It was a reminder how unserious our time is that adults awaited such silliness, but there we were, men who are otherwise grandfathers, fathers, professionals, role models, even, collectively saying, “Whatever ... Read More »

Mayweather-Pacquiao: Negotiations have been the biggest show

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim– A nervous rash escalated to full-blown panic on social media Thursday when speculation about the Floyd Mayweather Jr.- Manny Pacquaio negotiations reached a new high. Or is that a low? Whatever it was, the monster got fed, leaving the world atwitter with anxious expectations that at any minute, any second, Mayweather would announce the May 2 fight ... Read More »

Column without end, part 5

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part 4, please click here. * It is a question of competence much as intent. That is where boxing now stumbles in an exaggerated way that defies expectations more than most things in America do anymore. Whether the larger part of this country was ever competent is a question for fantasy, not history, but ... Read More »

Back To The Future: Douglas-Tyson an escape from today

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By Norm Frauenheim- A week-long celebration of the 25-year anniversary of Buster Douglas’ upset of Mike Tyson is a revealing look at where boxing has been and where it is, or perhaps isn’t these days. Nostalgia is a good thing. It’s a personal attachment to dramatic moments in a rich history that the UFC will never have. But nostalgia is ... Read More »

Column without end, part 4

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part 3, please click here. * Another week comes to pass in the decisive erosion of public interest in our sport. Those curious about The Fight to Save Boxing do not migrate elsewhere within – they do not, anymore, find a minimumweight master or junior middleweight from a few towns over and redirect their ... Read More »