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Category Archives: Articles by Rick Assad

Rick Assad has been a sportswriter in Southern California for more than two decades. He has worked for the Pasadena Star-News, Glendale News-Press, the L.A. Times (Valley Section), and is currently the lead sports columnist at The Tolucan Times. He has written for several internet boxing sites, and has a political science degree from UCLA, and a journalism degree from CSUN.

Hoffer Delivers A Knockout

Courtesy of Richard Hoeffer

Courtesy of Richard Hoffer

By Rick Assad

A man for all seasons, there are few subjects that award-winning sportswriter Richard Hoffer can’t handle. Whether covering a college football game that decided the mythical national champion, penning long-form features, or insightful essays, Hoffer always delivered the goods.

But it was ringside chronicling the sweet science where Hoffer, first with the Los Angeles Times for a decade, and later Sports Illustrated for two decades, truly shined.

Hoffer’s thoughtful prose is lyrical and expressive, and it has left an indelible imprint on the literature.

The author of five books that range from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach who won 10 titles in 12 years, or gambling in America, Hoffer’s most recent offering, “Bouts of Mania: Ali, Frazier, Foreman And An America On The Ropes,” may just be his best.

In it, Hoffer, who still contributes to Sports Illustrated, details the classic bouts involving Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman that took place between 1971 and 1975, and feature the “Fight of the Century,” the “Thrilla in Manila,” and the “Rumble in the Jungle.”

“Bouts of Mania,” has received excellent reviews, and the book, brilliantly researched, should be on every boxing fan’s shelf. Hoffer recently agreed to do a Q&A over the Internet.

What prompted Hoffer to write this book? “The whole point of my book is that, for a few years there, there was one epic spectacle after another,” he said. “One after another! A Thrilla, a Rumble. They kept coming. You didn’t have to look for them, they just rolled you over.”

While boxing books are usually excellent reads, they can be tough to get published. “Boxing books are a notoriously hard sell,” Hoffer explained. “A real problem for publishers (and would-be authors). But I kept coming back to some kind of Ali project, figuring his charisma trumped the literary unpopularity of the sport. As I noodled around with the idea, trying to find some unexplored angle (there’s been a ton of stuff on him), it occurred to me that it wasn’t an Ali story so much as it was a slice of Americana, a story about a few riotous years and a few colorful characters.”

Hoffer went on: “The fact that it was so neatly bookended by the country’s social and political dysfunctions helped give me a logical timeline in what might be an arbitrary series of fights.”

Ali is now 72 years old and battling Parkinson’s disease, Frazier passed away in 2011 at 67, while Foreman is 65 and seemingly thriving. All three held the heavyweight title and each captured an Olympic gold medal. But does one stand out?

“That has to be Foreman, a man who has reinvented himself over and over,” said Hoffer. “When I was doing this book, I worried that I was just contributing another Ali enterprise. But by the time I finished and realized that, out of all the chaos I had just documented, there was only one true survivor, I thought, have I just done a Foreman book. He’s not just an intriguing athlete, but a fascinating person.”

Many believe that boxing is healthier than ever, given the money that’s being made. But is it?

“I have to admit I haven’t paid attention to boxing since I covered my last fight, five years ago,” said Hoffer. “I don’t know many who have. It’s become such a niche sport, catering to a few demographics, whatever support PPV (pay-per-view) buys, that it’s difficult to even think of it as a sport any more. It’s just a special event every now and then. When I started there were weekly fights, at more than one location in Los Angeles, all contributing to a kind of background noise. Now? As far as I can tell the sport exists to support a few mega-fights each year. It’s just dropped off everyone’s radar. Well, mine.”

Hoffer, whose first book on boxing was, “A Savage Business: The Comeback And Comedown Of Mike Tyson,” believes the sport will eventually fall by the wayside.

“Boxing ultimately will be abolished,” he explained, “but not because it’s a rogue sport. This is the curmudgeon in me, but I don’t see a future for a sport that no longer attracts youth, either as participants or fans. We talk about this every four years when we realize how paltry our Olympic boxing pickings are. It’s been a long time since those U.S. teams regularly graduated champions. Ali, Frazier and Foreman were all famous amateurs who inspired yet more amateurs. Now, without any accessible role models in boxing, I’m afraid our young athletes are employing their talents elsewhere.”

The biggest name in the sport is Floyd Mayweather Jr., the pound-for-pound best in the world. Undefeated in 46 bouts, Mayweather, who will fight Argentina’s Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 13th, makes as much news out of the ring as in the squared circle.

“I like Mayweather. He’s a consummate athlete, a dedicated boxer and a genuinely crazy person,” said Hoffer. “Certainly the best of his time. And yet, I can’t recall a singular moment from any of his fights. That’s not his fault. But he lacks his Frazier, his Foreman, someone to test him, or at least reveal him. I guess I wish his fights were half as exciting as a night on the town with him.”

Even now many fight fans still want to see Mayweather face off against Manny Pacquiao. Will this ever come to pass?

“They probably won’t meet and, if they do, under unpalatable circumstances,” said Hoffer. “Mayweather is 45, coming out of retirement, whatever. Once this could have been the kind of fight that restored, however briefly, some interest in the sport. It feels to me that the window has closed on this one.”

Though he’s covered hundreds of fights, Hoffer doesn’t have a favorite. “I’m not one of those guys who ranks fights, or even remembers them very well,” he said. “Stories, that’s another matter. I covered lots better fights than Tyson-[James] Douglas, but I doubt I ever had more fun writing one of them.”

That fight took place in Japan’s Tokyo Dome in February 1990, and ended with Douglas knocking out Tyson, a 42-to-1 favorite in the 10th round.

The loss was startling given that Iron Mike came in with a 37-0 record, and was a human wrecking ball.

“I sometimes feel bad for Tyson, because he’s going to be remembered as this psychotic burn-out,” said Hoffer. “He was not nothing. In that brief, and highly orchestrated prime of his, he was one of the most exciting attractions the game has had. And he wasn’t bad. Not great, of course, but for that little period of time, pretty damned astonishing.”

Hoffer said a couple of former boxers were both fun to watch and easy with a quote. “I tend to remember them in terms of personality, how story-friendly they were. Guys like Randall (Tex) Cobb or a long-forgotten fighter like Bobby Chacon remain more vivid to me than all those champions that passed in front of me.”

Cobb, a heavyweight who finished his career with a 42-7-1 mark and 35 knockouts, battled some of the best in the division like Larry Holmes and Ken Norton, while Chacon, a super-featherweight who fashioned a 59-7-1 record with 47 knockouts, likewise slugged it out with such titans as Alexis Arguello, Ruben Olivares [three times], Danny Lopez, Ray Mancini, and Chucho Castillo.

No, they don’t make them like Cobb and Chacon any more. Nor do they come any better than Hoffer.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

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Glendale’s Fight Night’s A Blast

By Rick Assad —

photo courtesy of Top Rank

photo courtesy of Top Rank

 

 

Undefeated lightweight Ivan Najera had just enough in the tank to escape with a hard-fought split decision victory over Stan “The Man” Martyniouk in the semi-main event on the Glendale Fight Night card at the Civic Auditorium last Saturday night.

Swinging from the heels, each landed several solid shots in the eighth and final round as a capacity crowd looked on.In the seventh round, Najera (14-0-0 with 8 KO’s) chased and eventually caught Martyniouk, and when he did landed several clean blows.But it wasn’t totally one-sided as Martyniouk (13-2-0 and 2 KO’s) drilled Najera with both hands late in the frame.

The sixth round was filled with non-stop fury from each boxer, but the 21-year-old Najera had the better of it and took the round which also featured a great deal of holding and clinching.

The pace in the opening round was tepid at best, but Najera, from San Antonio, Texas, picked up the action in the middle of the stanza when he drilled Martyniouk with a lively combination.

Najera landed an overhand right early in the second round, and then opted to attack the body and head.

In the third round there was more holding and clinching, along with some levity as Najera, while in a clinch, acted as though he was dancing with Martyniouk, which produced a smile from the eventual winner.

This same pattern unfolded in the fourth round with Najera once again busier, while the 29-year-old Martyniouk, who resides in Sacramento, primarily held and clinched.

The fifth round was somewhat dull, and likely went in favor of Najera, who was more active.

In an earler bout, Brazilian Esquiva Falcao punished and pummeled Malcolm Terry in a middleweight battle as the six-round affair was halted with 43 seconds left in the second round by a straight left.

Left-handed, Falcao (4-0-0 with 2 KO’s), who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, began the first round by decking Terry (6-4-0 and 6 KO’s) with a short right hand, and followed that by pounding Terry’s body while he was pinned against the ropes.

Meanwhile, Alex Zubov chopped and battered Harvey Jolly in a six-round cruiserweight confrontation and was credited with a unanimous decision.

Zubov came out with extreme purpose as he struck the head and body beginning with the opening round.

The second round was more of the same, but Jolly (15-20-1 and 7 KO’s) found time to land a couple of well-timed upper cuts.

Zubov’s energy took the third round, but it was also sloppy at times, while the fourth round had Zubov (5-0-0 with 4 KO’s) connecting with a right-left combination, and Jolly was warned after tossing a low blow.

The action-packed fifth round featured Zubov’s right eye getting cut by an accidental head butt, and Jolly tagging Zubov with an upper cut.

Zubov, from Magnitogorsk, Russia, controlled the sixth round as he landed a right hand and also found the mark with a left.

Unblemished Jose Zepeda pounded and backed down Adrian Garza who relented in the third round of their super-lightweight bout scheduled for eight rounds.

The end came at the 2:22 mark when Garza, the Mexico City native, intentionally touched both gloves to the canvas for the second time which forced the stoppage.

Zepeda (21-0-0 with 18 KO’s), quicker and faster, began the assault in the initial round when he clubbed Garza (8-4-0 and 6 KO’s) with a thunderous left hand.

The next round saw Zepeda, from La Puente, find the zone with a wicked left, which solidified that the evening belonged to Zepeda.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

Alvarez Works The Body

By Rick Assad

 

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

For roughly three rounds, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was totally frustrated by Erislandy Lara in their non-title junior middleweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday.

Those rounds saw Alvarez, a 2-to-1 betting favorite, continue to get tagged with rapier-like jabs from the left-handed Lara.

But midway through the third round, the bout tilted in favor of Alvarez, the Mexican superstar, who decided to attack Lara’s body with punishing left hooks, a longtime Mexican staple, and it helped him earn a split decision.

Two of the three judges witnessed a relatively close match as Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Alvarez, while Jerry Roth sided with Lara, 115-113.

It was Levi Martinez’s 117-111 scorecard that seemed off according to Lara, who connected on 107 punches to 97 for Alvarez.

Alvarez said you don’t win a prizefight based on jabbing and running. “I came to fight. I didn’t come to run here,” he said. “You don’t win by running. You win by hitting. He does have a great jab and he moves around, but you don’t win a fight that way. You don’t run.”

Lara (19-2-2 with 12 knockouts), a Cuban defector with a decorated amateur career, didn’t agree.

“One hundred percent I won this fight,” he said. “I was controlling the rounds and worse, I made him look bad in front of his fans. People know I won this fight.”

The 23-year-old Alvarez, who missed early with his punches, but came on strong over the last three-quarters of the 12-round bout, explained why he went to the body.

“The first couple of rounds I was just trying to cut the distance,” he said. “But after a few rounds I was able to get inside and work the body. When I did that he started moving and running.”

Unless it’s an amateur fight, the hit-and-run style usually doesn’t go over very well, and it didn’t in front of the 14,239 fans in the arena and with two of the three judges.

“I want to leave people with a good taste in their mouth,” said Alvarez, who is 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts and located 73 power blows to the body. “This wasn’t the fight I expected. I wanted to go toe-to-toe. He didn’t come to fight. He came to run. He’s a great boxer. I respect him, but he has to learn how to throw more punches.”

Alvarez added: “When I cut him with that upper cut he ran even more, but I thought I landed the harder punches and that’s why I won the fight.”

The 31-year-old Lara said he wanted another shot at Alvarez, who cut the Cuban’s right eye with a left upper cut late in the seventh round.

“When he learns how to fight then I’ll give him a rematch,” said Alvarez, who landed 28 percent of his power punches (88 of 232) to 37 percent (52 of 140) for Lara. “For now, my birthday [July 18] is coming and we’re going to have fun.”

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

Mares Back On Top

By Rick Assad

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

 

Abner Mares is a highly-skilled and likeable featherweight with a fan-friendly boxing style.

Mares bounced back into the fans’ good graces with a strong performance against Jonathan Oquendo last Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena after a unanimous decision on the undercard of the Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara non-title bout.

Getting back on track was critical for Mares, who suffered a first-round knockout by Jhonny Gonzalez in his last outing at the StubHub Center in August 2013.

Though it’s only one fight, Mares seemed to have righted the ship despite getting his left eye lid cut in the fourth round by Oquendo, who has a record of 24-4-0 with 16 knockouts.

Still, Mares was the aggressor throughout the 10-round skirmish and was rewarded with scores of 98-92 from Judges Adalaide Byrd and Burt A. Clements, while Glenn Feldman had it 96-94.

“I think I did good,” said Mares, a three-weight division world champion, who raised his ring mark to 27-1-1 with 14 knockouts. “I’m happy with my performance. I’ll fight any featherweight.”

There was back-and-forth action from the opening bell, and especially in the first and third rounds, but not so much in the second round.

The fifth round was tight with the edge perhaps going to Oquendo, who landed 24 percent of his power blows, while the tide changed in the next round as Mares, who connected on 49 percent of his power shots, seemed to gather himself.

Mares took over late in the seventh round when he attacked Oquendo’s body, and took the same approach across the next three rounds that saw him land a big right hand with less than a minute left in the ninth round.

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

 

Francisco Vargas punched and battered his way to a technical knockout victory over Juan Manuel Lopez in a World Boxing Organization International and North American Boxing Federation lightweight title match, as he dropped the one-time champ with 20 seconds left in the third round.

“I knew he was hurt, but I know he’s a warrior,” said Vargas, who is 20-0-1 with 14 knockouts. “My corner was making preparations to be able to knock him out. I won by throwing combo punches to Lopez’s body. Once I did that I knew he had lost control.”

Vargas made easy work of Lopez from the outset, who failed to get off his stool for the fourth round because his team stopped the fight.

“I wanted to keep fighting,” said Lopez, who is 34-4-0 with 31 knockouts. “I’m a warrior. But my corner decided it was enough. I really don’t know right now if I’m going to retire. I have to sit down with my family and my promoter and decide what the next step will be.”

It wasn’t totally one-sided, but Mauricio Herrera still managed to walk away with a majority decision versus Johan Perez in a World Boxing Association Interim super-lightweight battle.

The early portion of the bash was tight, but Herrera (21-4-0 with 7 KO’s) took over in the sixth round with multiple power shots.

“It was different at first because he had a very awkward style,” said Herrera. “It took me a minute to figure it out and he was making me miss a lot of shots at first. But once I relaxed and adjusted to the awkward style, I was able to get into a rhythm, take control of the fight and put pressure on him.”

Perez (19-2-1 and 13 KO’s) said he did well despite the loss. “I felt that Mauricio had a different style and that it was a close fight,” he said. “Ultimately, I felt that I won the fight. I am really surprised by the decision and I want an immediate rematch.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

Postol Was Patient

By Rick Assad
Photo by Chris farina

Photo by Chris Farina

Viktor Postol was patient, but always ready to pounce against Selcuk Aydin in their World Boxing Council super-lightweight eliminator on the Mike Alvarado/Juan Manuel Marquez undercard at the Great Western Forum on Saturday night.
After battering Aydin for most of the scheduled 12-round event, Postol ended it with a right upper cut and eight seconds left in the 11th round.
Postol’s next fight could be against champion Danny Garcia, provided he doesn’t move up to welterweight.
Postol connected on 36 percent of his total punches (395 of 1,105) according to Compubox, while Aydin made contact on 30 percent (118 of 393).
“This is the best training camp I ever had in my life,” said Postol, now 26-0-0 with 11 knockouts. “I’m ready to fight the best in the division. I’m ready for anything that comes my way because of this victory.”
Postol was in command and it was reflected on the judges’ scorecards as Cameron Quwek had the 30-year-old from the Ukraine, winning every round, while Omar Mintun Sr. and Steve Morrow gave him every round except the second.
Postol was busy throughout as he found the range on 235 of 484 power punches (49 percent), compared to 71 of 195 (36 percent) for Aydin, a 30-year-old from Turkey.
Aydin (26-3-0 with 19 KO’s) rocked Postol in the first round with a big overhand left that knocked him off balance and sent him into the ropes, but Postol did well otherwise.
An example of Postol’s dominance was the fourth round when he found the target on 39 of 111 punches, while Aydin connected on 12 of 39.
Postol took the seventh round when he knocked Aydin off balance with a left hook to the head early, and also used his upper cut effectively.
In the 11th round Referee Raul Caiz Jr. deducted a point from Aydin for hitting behind the head, but the bout would soon end which excited and prepared the crowd for the main event.
In an earlier match Diego Magdaleno out-worked and out-hustled Oscar Bravo across eight rounds in a super-featherweight fight and took home a unanimous decision.
Magdaleno (26-1-0 and 10 KO’s), from Las Vegas, Nevada, scored a knockdown with the left hand to the body late in the fourth round as Bravo (21-4-0 with 9 KO’s), from Santiago, Chile, took an eight-count from Referee Jack Reiss.
Meanwhile in a featherweight match, Oscar Valdez stopped Noel Echevarria in the sixth  round when Referee Jerry Cantu stepped in and stopped the action.
photo By Chris Farina

photo By Chris Farina

From the opening bell Valdez (11-0-0 and 10 KO’s) came out and drilled Echevarria with five jolting right hands, while in the second round Valdez, from Nogales, Mexico, went to work landing rights and lefts to head.
It was the same in the third round as Valdez attacked with both hands, and continued the assault in the fourth round when he unloaded multiple right hands.
Valdez chased Echevarria (11-3-0 with 6 KO’s) in the fifth round, and again found the target, landing several rights and lefts.
In the sixth round Valdez used Echevarria, from Guayama, Puerto Rico, as a punching bag, drilling the body and head with both hands.
 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

Marquez Powers Past Alvarado

 

 

Supported by a loud and boisterous fan base, Juan Manuel Marquez returned to the newly-renovated Great Western Forum in Inglewood, and put on a boxing clinic against Mike Alvarado in a World Boxing Organization welterweight eliminator bout on Saturday.
The home to championship boxing for decades, the Forum has hosted such pugilistic luminaries as Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate, Bobby Chacon, Jose Napoles and Marco Antonio Barrera to name but a few.
On this night in front of a pro-Marquez crowd, the Mexican idol controlled the tempo from the start and captured a unanimous decision in front of 12,090 fans.
Photo By Al applerose

Photo By Al applerose

Marquez hoped to treat the throng to something special, and did just that in the eighth round when he floored Alvarado with a right hand counter punch.
“I wanted to give the public here a gift, a gift that dignifies the history of the event and history of the Forum,” said Marquez, who improved his ring record to 56-7-1 with 40 knockouts. “I wanted to make this fight a gift to the fans.”
Alvarado is a tough customer and rallied to deck Marquez with a right counter in the ninth round, and even came close to knocking down Marquez in the 11th round.
“I made a big error when I was knocked down,” said Marquez. “I dropped my hand and he caught me. I put him down in the eighth and I was going to try and stop him in the ninth but I made an error.”
Despite the lopsided scores by Judges Julie Lederman and Max DeLuca, who favored Marquez 117-109, and Robert Byrd, who had it 119-108, the Mexican strong boy figured it was going to be a battle.
“My body felt good tonight. I felt strong. Mike Alvarado is big and strong and fast,” said Marquez, a four-division world champion. “I expected a hard fight. He took everything that I gave him.”
Each was coming off a setback and wanted to erase that memory as Marquez lost a split decision to once-beaten Timothy Bradley Jr., while Alvarado, a former junior-welterweight world champ, was stopped in the 10th round by twice-beaten Ruslan Provodnikov.
“I put that [Provodnikov] fight behind me,” said Alvarado, now 34-3-0 with 23 knockouts. “I believe tonight’s fight was a lot closer than the scorecards. At the end of every round the crowd cheered and swayed the judges.”
The fight opened with both using the jab effectively, before Marquez nailed Alvarado with an  overhand right.
Alvarado landed a counter left hook in the first minute of the second round, while Marquez rolled out a three-punch combination to the head.
Marquez went to the body in the third round, Alvarado missed a wild left hook as Marquez tagged him, but Alvarado came back with a left hook.
Marquez owned the fourth round as he launched a hard right followed by a straight left, then landed a flurry and unloaded a four-punch combo.
Alvarado drilled Marquez with a right hook in the opening minute of the fifth round, tagged him with a straight left, then boxed, but Marquez used his counter-punching skills and picked him apart.
This momentum carried into the sixth round as Marquez, who outlanded Alvarado in 11 of 12 rounds, went inside and found the target with a four-punch combo, while the seventh round was another three-minute drill as Marquez landed more combinations.
Alvarado found the target with a left hook in the first minute of the 10th round, attempted to work inside, but Marquez unleashed several counter punches before the two exchanged solid right hands.
The 11th round saw both trade left hooks in the middle of the ring, while Alvarado unloaded a right that nearly put Marquez on the canvas.
Alvarado came out in the 12th round and connected with a right hand, then put together a three-punch combo in the second minute, while Marquez unfurled a smashing right in the final seconds.
 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

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Khan Rules Roost

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

At this point in Amir Khan’s boxing career, he’s strictly main event. Not this past Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when he outclassed Luis Collazo and took the vacant World Boxing Council Silver and World Boxing Association International welterweight belts on the Floyd Mayweather Jr./Marcos Maidana undercard.
Khan had no problem solving the tough and awkward Collazo, who likes to carry his hands low, as the 27-year-old exited the ring with a unanimous decision.
Khan eventually hopes to fight Mayweather, who after a slow start rallied and took home a majority decision over Maidana.
Khan has been out of the ring for 13 months, and feels the time away helped. “I thought I did enough for a fight with Floyd Mayweather,” said Khan, who raised his record to 29-3-0 with 19 knockouts. “Styles makes fights, and I think my style will cause problems for Mayweather. I did a lot of training over the last year.”
Khan sparkled in the fourth round when he decked Collazo with a right hand, and the 10th when he scored a pair of knockdowns.
After a feeling out opening round, Khan came on strong in the second round when he landed two early rights and a combination.
Khan followed that with more right hands in the third round, while each shined in the fourth. The fifth round saw Khan attack the body and head, but Collazo (35-6-0 with 18 KO’s) remained spirited. The next three-minute stanza also went to Khan, who again used the right hand.
Khan dominated the seventh round again by employing the right, each had a point deducted in the eighth round, while three of the final four rounds was dominated by Khan, who finished the affair strong.
In another bout on the undercard, Adrien Broner easily pushed aside Carlos Molina via a unanimous decision for the vacant WBA International light-welterweight belt.
“I wasn’t worried about this fight,” said Broner, who was on the losing end of a unanimous decision to Maidana late last year. “I was humbled by that. I did some things and I didn’t do some things. But at the end of the day I’m still Adrien Broner.”
It took a few rounds before Broner (28-1-0 with 22 KO’s) was in complete control of the 10-round skirmish as he exhibited awesome hand and foot speed to overwhelm the game and steady Molina (17-2-1 with 7 KO’s).
Knowing that he was way ahead on the scorecards of Judges Patricia Morse Jarman, Levi Martinez and Richard Ocasio, Broner “showboated” some in the ninth round and completed the assault with flair.
In an earlier fight, J’Leon Love’s piercing jab was the weapon of choice as he roughed up Marco Antonio Periban and came away with a unanimous decision for the vacant WBA International super-middleweight title.
Love’s overall quickness was the difference, and was on full display during much of the 10-round fray.
In fact, Love (18-0-0 with 10 KO’s) was so dominant that he claimed the final five rounds.
In the opening round Love drew blood from Periban’s nose using the jab, and followed that with more jabs in the second round, before Periban (20-2-1 with 13 KO’s) looked better in the third round, while Love was sharp in the latter portion of the round.
The fourth round belonged to Love, who once again made effective use of the jab, and then added a few combinations as he opted for the body and head.
Periban knocked Love down in the fifth round with a whopping right hand followed by several punches, but Love eventually gained control of the fight and didn’t let up.
 
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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

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Money Rallies

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

It’s time to give Floyd Mayweather Jr. his due as the pound-for-pound titan found yet another way to remain undefeated.
This time the man nicknamed “Money” had to rally in a welterweight unification match last Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, as he pulled out a majority decision victory over hard-hitting Marcos Maidana before 16,238 customers.
Playing dirty at times, Maidana came out in the opening round and tried his best to rough up Mayweather, who clearly became frustrated in the early going.
For five rounds this tactic worked to perfection for Maidana, who landed an astounding 221 punches according to Compubox, the most in 38 fights it has charted for Mayweather, who improved to 46-0 with 26 knockouts.
Maidana used elbows, forearms, head butts, low blows, over-the-top shots, clinched, wrestled, and even pushed in order to get the always unflappable Mayweather off his game.
“I described this fight as a tough competitive fight,” said Mayweather, who now owns the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council belts. “It’s what the fans wanted to see. I want to give the fans a good exciting fight. Tonight I gave the fans their money’s worth. He was a tough competitor. I take nothing away from Marcos Maidana.”
In the end, however, Mayweather prevailed because he controlled the pace over the second half by keeping his distance which allowed the Las Vegas resident to unload an array of punches seemingly at will.
Maidana unleashed 100 punches in the first round, but seemed to get tired over the final six rounds as he failed to approach that figure again.
Perhaps taking a page out of Roberto Duran’s first battle with Sugar Ray Leonard in which he earned a one-sided decision partially by roughhousing, Maidana crowded Mayweather at every turn and threw punches from every angle.
“He did dominate some rounds, but the majority of them I dominated them,” said the Argentine Maidana, now 35-4-0 with 31 knockouts. “I definitely thought I won this fight. Floyd did not fight like a man like I thought he would. Other fighters respected him and didn’t go toe-to-toe like I did.”
Maidana added: “I feel I was robbed. I feel I won. I trained hard and I fought a good fight. And I feel this was an injustice. He never hurt me with a punch. I have to give him a rematch because I felt I won the fight.”
In the fourth round Maidana’s head clashed with Mayweather’s, and the end result was a cut above his right eye.
Maidana said afterward the gash wasn’t due to a head butt, but rather a punch he delivered. “I wanted to stand and fight,” said Mayweather, who earned at least $32 million. “He put a lot of pressure on me. After the head butt I couldn’t see for two rounds. But that’s what champions do. True champions adjust to anything. He’s a champ and I’m a champ and we did what we did tonight.”
Either way it was a small annoyance for Mayweather, who finally got into a groove in the sixth round when he kept Maidana at a safe distance.
From that point it was all Mayweather and his incredible skill, will and talent.
 
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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

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Night of Rising Stars

Five of the six bouts on the card billed as the “Battle of the Rising Stars” dripped with action at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday, including the main event which saw Jose Hernandez walk away with a unanimous decision over John Hays in a super-middleweight scrum.
Each boxer refused to give an inch and the crowd was appreciative knowing these young men were willing to lay it all out in the ring.
Hernandez, who exited the fight with a 6-1-1 record and three knockouts, proved a little too strong and landed the cripser and cleaner punches, while Hays also found the target, but less frequently.
The scheduled six-rounder began well for Hernandez, who smashed Hays with the sharper blows in the first round, but Hays (4-1-3) also tagged Hernandez.
The second round looked even, but the edge went to Hernandez because he was busier and landed the better blows.
Round three was chock full of action and once again the edge went to Hernandez. The fourth round also went to Hernandez, and the fifth round was more of the same, but Hays struck early with a terrific right hand. The final round was similar to the others with Hernandez busier and able to locate the more powerful shots.
The most action-filled bout was a lightweight brawl between Adam Munguilla and Daniel Ruiz as the two stood toe-to-toe and unloaded bombs across four rounds with Munguilla, who was making his professional debut, getting a unanimous decision.
Tough as nails, both threw caution to the wind as Munguilla and Ruiz (2-2-0) each came out swinging, and it continued for the rest of the bout.
Munguilla and Ruiz each landed massive rockets in the first round, but Ruiz had the better and more effective punches.
The second round was similar to the opener and could have been scored even, and what followed in the third round was more of the same, but this time Munguilla had the better of it, while the fourth round was equally exciting and full of action.
Heavyweight Xavier Vigney was relentless from the outset as he pounded Helaman Olguin over four rounds and earned a unanimous decision.
Vigney (2-0-0 with 1 KO) went to work attacking the body and head early and didn’t stop. When he unleashed his jab it kept Olguin at bay, who was game and willing to trade blows with the taller Vigney.
The first round saw Vigney drill the bigger strikes mostly with the right hand. The second round was more of the same, while the third round was similar as Vigney seemed well-tuned and too powerful for Olguin (1-3-0 and 1 KO).
Early in the final round Vigney bloodied Olguin’s nose, and from there he attacked the body and head with gusto.
After a strong opening round by Tavarus Teague, he went on the assault early in the second round against Diego Garibay in their super-welterweight fight that was stopped with 2:38 left.
Teague’s big right hand did the damage, and it landed flush on Garibay’s chin. When Garibay hit the canvas it was apparent that he didn’t know where he was.
The fight started with Garibay, who was making his pro debut, finding the range in the opening half of the first round, while Teague (1-0-0 and 1 KO) was much more effective in the second half.
Reggie Verduzco and Brian True exchanged severe punches in their middleweight clash, but Verduzco dominated as the bout was halted 1:24 in the fourth and final round after True sustained damage to the right eye.
Verduzco took the first half of the opening round, but True gathered himself in the second half. Verduzco captured the second round by using the jab, but again True (1-1-1 with 1 KO) rallied late.
The third round was exciting as each man went after the other with sustained fury, but Verduzco (1-1-0 with 1 KO) took the round after unloading three solid right hands.
However, the pair continued throwing punches after the bell and Referee Raul Caiz Jr. deducted a point from both.
Heavyweight Alexey Zubov tagged Anthony Mason early and didn’t relent which forced a stoppage 30 seconds into the first round.
Zubov (2-0-0 with 2 KO’s) seemed ready and fit even before the bell sounded, while Mason, who was making his pro debut looked out of shape.
 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

Pac-man outduels Bradley

Photo by Al applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

Manny Pacquiao wasn’t about to take any chances this time around when he faced Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In front of 15,601 spectators on Saturday, Pacquiao came out dedicated, aggressive, determined and dominated the action as he reclaimed the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt, which he lost to Bradley in June 2012 on a controversial split decision.
Pacquiao wanted to finish rounds strong and make a lasting impression on the three judges. He did just that as Glenn Trowbridge (118-110), Craig Metcalfe (116-112) and Michael Pernick (116-112) all voted in his favor.
In fact, Pacquiao claimed the final seven rounds on Trowbridge’s card, and took six of the last seven rounds on Metcalfe’s and Pernick’s cards.
“I didn’t want to get careless,” said Pacquiao, who raised his record to 56-5-2 with 38 knockouts. “I picked up more steam in the second half. I made the adjustments Freddie [Roach] gave me in the corner.”
Coming into the fight, Roach, a six-time Trainer of the Year, hoped Pacquiao would end it with a knockout and dispel the notion that, according to Bradley, he lacked a killer instinct.
“He wants to prove to the world that he has the killer instinct,” Roach said prior to the highly-anticipated rematch. “He motivated Manny this time. I told him to knock them out early and then you won’t have to worry about that.”
If Pacquiao was trying for a knockout, something that hasn’t happened since he dropped Ricky Hatton in May 2009 with a crushing left hook in the second round, or six months later when Miguel Cotto was stopped in the 12th round, was still sharp as he landed repeatedly with the left hand and scored with combinations.
Nonetheless, Bradley was duly impressed by the Filipino congressman. “Pacquiao was the better man tonight, and he showed what he’s made of,” he said. “One of the reasons why I love Pacquiao so much is he never ducks an opponent.”
The fight seemed to change momentum after the sixth round when Pacquiao really went to work offensively against the heavily-muscled Bradley, who was coming off a split decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in October 2013.
In that fight Bradley out-boxed the Mexican counter-puncher, rocked him in the 10th round and staggered him in the 12th round.
Seven months earlier Bradley was involved in a slugfest with Ruslan Provodnikov, who floored Bradley in the first round [ruled a slip], and then scored heavily in the second round before losing a unanimous decision.
Bradley, a two-division world champ, tasted defeat for the first time in 32 professional bouts with 12 knockouts, and was willing to match punch-for-punch with the eight-division king.
But when it became apparent that Bradley was trailing on the judges’ scorecards, he opted to try for the knockout which never came.
Bradley said Pacquiao is still one of the best in the business, and is always looking for challenges.
“He’s always willing to face the best and he faced one of the best tonight,” Bradley said. “He came out on top and that’s why he’s so great.”
Indeed, and for one night Pacquiao was his old self and is still one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

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