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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

Sergey Kovalev

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

Floyd Mayweather

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 »

Back in the USA: Klitschko return is real instead of rumor

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By Norm Frauenheim – Wladimir Klitschko’s return to America coincides with talks that are holding a sport hostage all over again. The heavyweight’s April 25 bout with Bryant Jennings at New York’s Madison Square Garden arrives in time to take attention off the paralysis-by-analysis of you-know-what. It’s impossible to know what’s happening, or who’s to blame, or if the reported ... Read More »

For an article about Mike Tyson, click here

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By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – This column was supposed to be about a live theatrical performance by Mike Tyson, a review of sorts from ringside by a writer who lives above the historic Majestic Theatre, downtown, and attends most Broadway-musical productions that visit. “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” was scheduled for Saturday night in the Lila Cockrell Theatre, a 2,000-seat ... Read More »

Mayweather-Pacquiao Summit: Talk elevates chances at the fight to a new peak

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao went one-on-one in an old-school way almost forgotten by all the methods offered by social media. Face-to-face. Imagine that. What took so long? It’s a fair question, one that they probably will ask themselves if they finally sign a deal to fight. But Twitter didn’t get in the way of their ... Read More »

With Mile High Mike as my mentor

Mike Alvarado

By Bart Barry- Ring the bell already, fool. I’ve written so many great columns in the past. That’s why you read me. And I’m more prepared for this column than any of those. This is the column for not just readers but writers, too, because they know what hard writing looks like. It’s for the readers also, don’t misunderstand, especially ... Read More »

Pacquiao-Mayweather talks continue, but what’s left to say?

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By Norm Frauenheim– It’s hard to recall when there wasn’t talk about Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado are about to fight for a third time. We’re still talking. Gas prices fall from $5-a-gallon to less than $2. Cheap talk continues. A German Pope quits the Vatican and a pope from Argentina moves in. Still talking. Maybe ... Read More »

Deontay Wilder, and an aficionado’s permission slip

Deontay Wilder

By Bart Barry- Saturday in Las Vegas, undefeated American heavyweight Deontay Wilder saw his 32-fight knockout streak come to a quiet end against Bermane Stiverne. Expected to force a violent conclusion to the match, regardless of victor, Wilder instead cautiously and exhaustedly made his way to the closing bell and won a wide decision, 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109. Stiverne, who ... Read More »

FOLLOW STIVERNE – WILDER LIVE

Stiverne_Wilder

Follow all the action LIVE from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as Bermane Stiverne defends the WBC Heavyweight title against undefeated knockout artist Deontay Wilder. The action kicks off at 10 PM ET with a Jr. Welterweight bout between undefeated Amir Imam and Fidel Maldonado Jr. The co-feature will pit undefeated WBC Super Bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz and ... Read More »

No Cotto-Canelo: May 2 fight is off the table

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By Norm Frauenheim– LAS VEGAS – Canelo Alvarez still plans to fight on May 2, but it looks as if he won’t be fighting Miguel Cotto. In a story first reported by www.boxingscene.com, Canelo promoter Oscar De La Hoya said Saturday that he is looking for alternate opponents after Cotto did not accept an offer Friday night. “The deadline has ... Read More »

Wilder and Stiverne in a fight to prove there’s still life in the heavyweight division

deontay-wilder

By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS – The heavyweights undergo more study than a species near extinction. That means everybody has a theory or maybe an autopsy. They’re either vanishing faster than Arctic ice, or they’ve moved to Germany, or they’re NFL linebackers, or they’ve been eliminated and forgotten by Wladimir Klitschko’s consummate skill. Take your pick. None-of-the-above is the hope ... Read More »

King of the Podium: Don King back in his element at heavyweight news conference

Don King

By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS — At times, it was bizarre. At times, downright goofy. It was also long-winded, sometimes dull. Yet, it was also unpredictable, often entertaining and controversial enough to keep everybody interested. Welcome to a boxing news conference that has begun to vanish, especially the heavyweight variety. But it was back Thursday, which is another of way ... Read More »

Column without end, part 3

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By Bart Barry- Editor’s note: For part 2, please click here. * MARFA, Texas – This city sits in a little known region of our country called “Big Bend” for the curve the Rio Grande takes. There is a national park that boasts Texas’ most challenging and beloved hiking trail to the top of the Chisos Mountains, but the basin ... Read More »

GGG Rx: Golovkin is the relief to boxing’s never-never land

Gennady Golovkin

By Norm Frauenheim– Gennady Golovkin’s stop in Los Angeles Wednesday at the end of an international tour for his Feb. 21 bout with Martin Murray in Monaco was an anti-dote, timely relief from speculation about what’s happening or not happening in negotiations for Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto. Boxing is stuck in never-never land these days, but ... Read More »

Portrait of HBO’s most-viewed fight of 2014, part 2

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By Bart Barry- Editor’s note: For part 1, please click here. * The week that began in February, ended in March and became the pinnacle of HBO boxing’s viewership feats in 2014 did not fool any of its participants or witnesses and still hasn’t. The ratings phenom who is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is not phenomenal at all when his ... Read More »

A few wishes for a New Year

Deontay Wilder

By Norm Frauenheim- The New Year gets a quick start, which is another way of saying there’s an early chance to forget about an old – a very old – year summed up by declining pay-per-view numbers. The message in the PPV trend is unmistakable. The customers want to see something different or they’ll pay to see something else altogether. ... Read More »

Portrait of HBO’s most-viewed fight of 2014, part 1

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By Bart Barry- The week that began in February, ended in March and became the pinnacle of HBO boxing’s viewership feats in 2014 began on a Thursday with dinner at La Gloria restaurant in the Pearl Brewery complex of the northern part of downtown San Antonio, a dinner that marked the first of the year’s biannual meetings of the Irish-American ... Read More »

A forgettable 2014 ends amid hopes for a better year

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By Norm Frauenheim It’s a year that will be remembered for what didn’t happen. There was still no Manny Pacquaio-Floyd Mayweather Jr., despite the resumption of tired talk. Andre Ward, in his prime and perhaps the sport’s greatest pure talent, didn’t fight at all. Take 2014, put it in a hefty bag and bury it where nobody can ever find ... Read More »

Column without end, part 2

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By Bart Barry- Editor’s note: Part 1 can be found here. * Every kid under the age of 25 on the Metro de Madrid has Sergio Martinez’s haircut, and while none is likely imitating Martinez so much as imitating Martinez’s influences, whoever they are, an hour on the Madrid metro – with aspiring supermodels, male and female, all practicing their ... Read More »

Scorecard controversy leaves no argument about Benavidez’ career

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By Norm Frauenheim Controversial decisions and interim titles are little bit like scars. If you haven’t got at least one of them, it’s time for a different line of work. It’s a mixed bag, but it’s a sure a way to measure progress in a chaotic game. Jose Benavidez Jr. returned to Phoenix from his Dec. 13 victory over Mauricio ... Read More »

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 »

Alexander grateful for a ring that is a refuge from the Ferguson riots

Devon Alexander

By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS — The ring doesn’t look like much of a refuge. Ropes contain the violence within them. Step inside at your own peril. But Devon Alexander feels more fortunate than ever at his chance to be there Saturday night. It’s his shelter from the storm. “With all the stuff in Ferguson – the rioting and everything ... Read More »