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The old theater feels empty without Dan Goossen

Dan-Goossen-says

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 »

Canelo Alvarez, cable networks, and learned helplessness

Canelo Alvarez

By Bart Barry- Another game changer happened Tuesday. It came with a series of email announcements and a conference call and probably a press conference, somewhere, too, so big the news this time. It was an official notice Mexican junior middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez changed American cable networks. If boxing historians return to this announcement someday, it will be to ... Read More »

Game-Changing Day: Canelo celebrates, Mayweather squirms

Canelo Alvarez

By Norm Frauenheim Canelo Alvarez’s jump to HBO from Showtime isn’t surprising. He follows Bernard Hopkins, who took the first step in a move that altered the business landscape with his decision to fight Sergey Kovalev on November 8. It’s hard to know what will happen next. A prediction is a fool’s exercise, especially with unresolved questions about who and ... Read More »

Travel box and away

Manny Pacquiao

By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – Saturday night I attended “Jazz’SAlive,” a two-day, free-admission jazz festival in the newly restored Travis Park, which abuts St. Mark’s, the gothic-revival Episcopal church where Lyndon Baines Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor 80 years ago. As always, the event happened two weeks before the lovely weather arrives, reducing crowds still more than the festival’s ... Read More »

Splitsville: Mayweather long on drama and short on promises

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim– Floyd Mayweather Jr. is boxing’s undisputed Drama Diva. The latest from The Money Team’s long-running soap opera is an apparent split between Mayweather and his longtime advisor and promotional partner Leonard Ellerbe. So much for the team in TMT. In comments to FightHype.com , Mayweather complained about a breakdown in communication, a lousy ringside seat for his ... Read More »

Ex-Olympians and Mosley’s son set for Phoenix card Saturday night

Top Rank

By Norm Frauenheim– Top Rank’s attempt to resurrect a dormant Phoenix market continues Saturday night in a partnership with Iron Boy Promotions in a UniMas-televised card at Celebrity Theatre that includes a couple of ex-Olympians, Shane Mosley’s son and a Russian prospect. The prospect, welterweight Konstantin Ponomarev (24-0, 12 KOs), faces perhaps his biggest challenge against Mexican Cosme Rivera (37-18-3, ... Read More »

An old Floyd is not the old Floyd

Floyd Mayweather

By Bart Barry– Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena in a rematch few aficionados demanded, fewer still watched, and fewer yet found entertaining as its predecessor, American welterweight and super welterweight titlist Floyd “Money” Mayweather unanimously decisioned Argentine Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. After promising to prove himself to himself, not you, by stretching Maidana, Mayweather finished the fight circling shamelessly ... Read More »

De La Hoya promises major cards in Vegas that could conflict with Mayweather

Oscar De La Hoya

By Norm Frauenheim- LAS VEGAS – Oscar De La Hoya got a key to the city Saturday and promised major cards in Vegas around each of the Mexican holidays in May and September. “I have to thank the great Julio Cesar Chavez, because that man got that tradition started,’’ De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, said to fans ... Read More »

No off-the-scale mayhem: Mayweather, Maidana all business at the weigh-in

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim- LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana were all business Friday at a weigh-in that sounded like a rap concert with speakers that packed more power than some of the fighters on the undercard. At 146.5 pounds, Mayweather was a half-pound heavier than Maidana and comparatively understated after days full of off-the-scale controversy generated by ... Read More »

May-vinci Code is just one of Mayweather’s puzzles

mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim- LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. has his “May-vinci Code.” Nobody can crack it, he says. And nobody has. His 46-0 record is perfect proof. But impossible puzzles aren’t always confined by the ropes. Mayweather has his own outside of them. Mayweather wants to be liked, a desire expressed in a press-conference rant Wednesday by his promotional ... Read More »

Mayweather, Ellerbe fight to quell controversy over comments about Rice

mayweather2

By Norm Frauenheim LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his promotional partner Leonard Ellerbe tried to put an end to questions about the domestic abuse scandal engulfing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice Wednesday after the final news conference for his rematch Saturday with Marcos Maidana. The questions continued the day after Mayweather said he wished Rice “nothing ... Read More »

Mayweather-Maidana 2: Circus of the sagging big top

Mayweather_maidana

By Bart Barry– Saturday at MGM Grand, over which a 20-story Manny Pacquiao banner likely will not drape, American welterweight Floyd “Money” Mayweather will make a rematch with Argentine Marcos “El Chino” Maidana as part of Mexican Independence Day festivities. Mayweather will seek the definitive victory that eluded him Cinco de Mayo weekend. The fight will happen on Sept. 13 ... Read More »

Read This: 50 Cent should issue a public apology to Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim– Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has publicly addressed questions about his reading skills from rapper 50 Cent, here’s another question: Doesn’t Mayweather deserve a public apology? It might be foolish to expect one from the musician, promoter and entrepreneur. But 50 Cent’s insult went beyond foolhardy and sunk into obscene depths. “Making fun of a person because ... Read More »

When a quest for great spectacles leaves boxing behind

PianoPavilion

By Bart Barry– FORT WORTH, Texas – There was a fight card in my hometown Saturday night, and I didn’t hesitate for a tick to forego it and make holiday plans to spend the weekend hundreds of miles away looking at buildings, yes buildings. In fact, hesitate is the wrong verb altogether because it implies choice, a pause over two ... Read More »

Mayweather’s many options leave him with no choice?

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim– Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been called the face of boxing about as often as Caesar has been called the face of ancient Rome. Anybody who has been to the modern Rome and walked around the crumbling Coliseum, knows what happened the Caesar’s version. But more on that later. From tickets to T-shirts, Mayweather is the man in ... Read More »

Cory Spinks gives back to USA Boxing; Adds a generation

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By Johnny Schulz- Former undisputed welterweight world champion and future Hall of Famer Cory Spinks has come full circle with his passion for boxing and is contributing to the humble grass roots of the sport that gave him a long and successful career. Since retiring Spinks has become a certified USA Amateur Boxing trainer and has flourished in South Florida ... Read More »

Another afternoon press conference for a local card

boxing_image

By Bart Barry– The temperature in the parking lot is a reminder just how badly abused is the word “sweltering” by Americans anywhere above of the 30th parallel, a plane deeper than most of the Deep South. Heavy with wet, the heat does not sap or wilt or hang or haunt but envelops, and then saps and wilts and hangs ... Read More »

Happy Warrior: Leo Santa Cruz fights the way Pharrell Williams sings

leo-santa-cruz

By Norm Frauenheim- Leo Santa Cruz is known for volume. In boxing speak, that means one thing. Translation: Lots of punches. But the traditional definition applies to Cruz, too. To wit: Call up Pharrell Williams song, Happy, and turn it up. In a sport often known for angry lyrics, Cruz is a happy warrior. Williams’ hit could accompany him on ... Read More »

Prizefighting’s blurrily expressed intimacy

Floyd Mayweather

By Bart Barry– A couple years ago, apropos of violence and documentaries and Pablo Picasso, too, a writer whose work I admire mentioned in a correspondence with me that when he blurred his eyes at an Italian photojournalist’s treatment of pornography he “could arrange a fight image.” The idea has not left me. This column, then, will not treat one ... Read More »

FOLLOW PORTER – BROOK PLUS 2 WORLD TITLE FIGHTS LIVE

Porter_Brook_Weigh In

Follow all the action as Shawn Porter defends the IBF Welterweight title against Kell Brook in a battle of undefeated fighters. The action kicks off at StubHub Center with the WBC Lightweight title bout between Omar Figueroa and Daniel Estrada as well as a rematch for the WBC Super Middleweight title between Sakio Bika and Anthiny Direll 12 Rounds–IBF Welterweight ... Read More »

Mayweather’s List: Porter and Brook fighting to get on it

Floyd Mayweather

By Norm Frauenheim– Getting a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been called a derby and a sweepstakes. There are no rules on how to get in line, if in fact there is one. Still, Shawn Porter and Kell Brook will try to win a chance Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. They’re fighting for Porter’s International Boxing Federation ... Read More »

Henri Matisse, and absorbing the lessons of predecessors in a way boxing does not

Matisse

By Bart Barry- SAN ANTONIO – This city’s largest art museum, SAMA, is now in the throes of a three-month exhibition, “Matisse: Life in Color,” that is exceptional by any museum’s standard of quality and particularly exceptional by this one’s. Frenchman Henri Matisse, a painter and sculptor and printmaker and papercutter and architect who resides in the top five of ... Read More »

FOLLOW GARCIA – SALKA PLUS 2 WORLD TITLE BOUTS LIVE FROM RINGSIDE

Garcia_Salka_Weigh In

Follow all the action as unified Jr. Welterweight champion Danny Garcia takes on Rod Salka in a Welterweight bout live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The action gets underwy at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT with 2 world title bouts as Daniel Jacobs and Jarrod Fletcher vie for the vacant WBA Middleweight title while Lamont Peterson defends the ... Read More »

Game-changer: Hopkins offers a chance at one in dangerous fight against Kovalev

Bernard Hopkins

By Norm Frauenheim– A few days after Oscar De La Hoya talked about upsets during a contentious conference call involving Danny Garcia’s perceived mismatch against Rod Salka , Bernard Hopkins scored the biggest one of the year with his decision to fight Sergey Kovalev in a many-sided move that is bold, risky and perhaps a lesson for a balkanized game ... Read More »

Sergey Kovalev, and the genuine possibility of being Krushed by an Alien

Serhey Kovalev

By Bart Barry- Saturday in Atlantic City in another hideous but portentous mismatch on HBO, Russian light heavyweight titlist Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev raced through a helpless Australian named Blake Caparello, stumbling out the block and getting flashdropped in round 1 before spearchiseling his way to a TKO-2 result whose time was irrelevant and preordained. For the first time in Kovalev’s ... Read More »

Ya’ll Must Have Forgot: Jones could have been singing about Ward

WardWins300

By Norm Frauenheim- Roy Jones Jr. continues to fight and we wish he wouldn’t. Andre Ward doesn’t fight and we wish he would. It’s hard to explain and harder to understand. Then again, business-as-usual has never made much sense in a sport where the primary goal is to render the other guy senseless. In one form or another, it gets ... Read More »

GGG: Golovkin Gores Geale / Good Going Guys

Gennady Golovkin

By Bart Barry- “Geale had the best credentials of anyone that’s gotten in the ring with him. Geale is a former two-time titlist.” – Gennady Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler, July 26. Saturday at Madison Square Garden, 32-year-old Kazakhstani middleweight titlist Gennady “GGG” Golovkin stopped Australian challenger Daniel Geale at 2:47 of round 3. It was another attraction-building event televised by ... Read More »

Grown-up message: Benavidez hopes to deliver one

JoseBenavidez300

By Norm Frauenheim PHOENIX –- He was a 16-year-old prodigy. Then, he was a 17-year-old prospect with a contract before he had a high-school diploma. Now, Jose Benavidez Jr. is 22 with something to prove. “I want everyone to know that I’m ready for tougher fights,’’ Benavidez said. “It’s time for me to step it up a notch.’’ Benavidez (20-0, ... Read More »

The Soviets are coming

Gennady Golovkin (208x138)

By Bart Barry- Saturday begins an eight-day Soviet-boxing siege on HBO. No, you’re right, “siege” is more than a bit over the top, and the Soviet Union survives today only in the American minds of Cold Warriors and millionaire defense-contracting executives, and what politicians and media outlets they employ, but those clicks count much as others in online-traffic ratings, so ... Read More »