Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Iran Barkley and Eddie Goldman on "Joey Reynolds Show" Late Tues./Early Wed. 

“The Blade” is back, but this time in another ring, so to speak.

Iran “The Blade” Barkley is best known for being a former world champion in the middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight divisions. His 1988 TKO victory over Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns was The Ring’s “Upset of the Year,” and his 1999 split decision loss to Roberto Duran was its “Fight of the Year.”

Now retired as a boxer, Iran has recently begun appearing on a different sort of stage: he is now a participant in the sweet art of stand-up comedy.

Iran will be a guest later tonight, Tues., Feb. 28/Wed., March 1, on the nationally-syndicated "Joey Reynolds Show" on radio to discuss all this. I will be joining Iran and Joey as well.

The "Joey Reynolds Show" is heard on over 80 radio stations. This talk show airs live beginning at 1 AM ET and runs to 5 AM, on WOR 710 AM in New York.

You can also listen to the "Joey Reynolds Show" online. For more information on the show's webcast, go to: http://www.wor710.com/listen.shtml .

For more information on the "Joey Reynolds Show," go to: http://wor710.com/joey_reynolds.shtml .

For more information on Myra Chanin, who is a producer for the show, and also about Joey and the show, go to: http://motherwonderful.com/ .

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Joe Calzaghe and Jeff Lacy Interviews on SecondsOut Radio 

The latest edition of SecondsOut Radio, hosted by yours truly, is now up.

On this week’s show, we speak with undefeated WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe (40-0, 31 KOs) and undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy (21-0, 17 KOs). They fight a title unification bout Saturday, March 4, at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England. This fight will be televised live in the U.S. on Showtime at 9 P.M. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) and also live in the UK on ITV.

It is free to listen to SecondsOut Radio, but you must register to gain access to it. Just click here, and listen, learn, and enjoy.

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Mosley-Vargas Reviews 

The fight Saturday night in Las Vegas between Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas has been receiving generally positive reviews. Mosley won this fight by tenth-round TKO when referee Joe Cortez stopped it after Vargas’s left eye was swollen shut.

On TheSweetScience.com, Phil Woolever has an interesting report from ringside called “Cyclops Last Stand”.

Another take on the fight is offered on BraggingRightsCorner.com by that site’s redoubtable editor, Elisa Harrison. Her report, entitled “VARGAS IS IN DENIAL, MOSLEY REMAINS SWEET AND LAMPLEY WAS MISSED...”, comes from the TV side, and also includes a telling critique of the actions of the ringside physician in Mosley-Vargas and also Calvin Brock’s knockout earlier on the card of Zuri Lawrence.

As usual, the best boxing journalism can be found online.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mosley 10th round TKO: HBO 


It's a special edition of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING when HBO Sports presents the exclusive delay broadcast of the compelling junior middleweight showdown: FERNANDO VARGAS VS. SHANE MOSLEY, airing SATURDAY, MAR. 4 at 10:00 P.M. ET/ 7:00 P.M. PT, on HBO. The HBO Sports broadcast team, which was ringside for the live event in Las Vegas, will call the action.

In a much anticipated 154-pound showdown between southern California natives Fernando Vargas and Shane Mosley, the two met on Feb. 25 in an HBO Pay-Per-View telecast from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

The exclusive HBO replay will be broadcast Saturday night and paired with the live junior welterweight fight from Puerto Rico as Miguel Cotto meets Gianluca Branco in a 12-round battle.

The two-fight telecast will also air on HBO2 on Sunday, Mar. 5 at 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Mar. 7 at 11:45 p.m. All times are ET/PT.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Best Boxer in the World is on TV Today 

If you love boxing but are put off, disgusted, or even enraged by the endless string of overpriced, overhyped, mediocre, and piss-poor mismatches, meaningless fights, and utter garbage constantly, relentlessly, and shamelessly force-fed to the public by the promoters and TV networks, you can now have a reprieve from this pugilistic purgatory. Of course, it involves a fighter who ruled the boxing world a half-century ago, but we’ll take it, we’ll take it.

ESPN Classic – easily the best TV network for boxing – is premiering the latest edition of its Ringside series today, Sat., Feb. 25. Today’s episode in this series of six-hour specials features the boxer just about everyone agrees is the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time: Sugar Ray Robinson.

Here is the schedule, with all times ET, so check your local listings:
Sat, Feb. 25 12:00 pm
Sat, Feb. 25 6:00 pm
Sun, Feb. 26 12:00 am
Sun, Feb. 26 10:00 am

And don’t forget to get your video recorders ready.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

New Online and on HD Radio: Gretchen 99.9 

The HD radio revolution is beginning in earnest this year. What this means is that over-the-air radio stations are switching to digital transmission. This gives them the capability of broadcasting numerous signals at once. These new signals are called HD 2 channels, and these stations are now figuring out what formats to play on them.

According to the industry trade group, the HD Digital Radio Alliance, from January 2006 on, "some 264 entirely new HD 2 channels will carry a variety of music or talk formats."

Of course, few outside of the techie and radio worlds are at present aware of all this. Plus, receivers able to get HD radio signals are still extremely expensive, going for about 500 bucks. But one report predicts that the prices of these new radios will soon plummet, as have most other new types of technology, and that "sales could surge to 4 million units in 2007 from 35,000" in 2005. Others, however, such as Joel Hollander, chairman and CEO of CBS Radio, are less optimistic, saying that with the spread of HD receivers he "could not see any significant progress happening for at least three to seven years."

Whatever happens with the transition to digital radio, some stations are wasting no time in coming up with innovative formats. One of those is the popular country radio station 99.9 WKIS-FM in Miami, FL.

Their HD 2 channel , begun in September, is named Gretchen 99.9, for the "Redneck Woman" country superstar herself, Gretchen Wilson.

According to a press release, besides Gretchen's own songs, this channel "showcases music from core artists including Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Daniels Band, The Allman Brothers, Montgomery-Gentry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Travis Tritt, Toby Keith, Gretchen Wilson, and other musically inventive, creative 'outlaws' of the format."

If you don't have one of these pricey HD radios yet, you can still listen for free by going to the WKIS web site.

Listening for about two hours Friday morning confirmed the promised mix, with country anthems by Gretchen and Hank Williams Jr. alternating with the likes of Janis Joplin and various Southern rockers. It all is hard-edged, rocks, and spirited. So if you're looking for fluff, you found the wrong honky tonk, er, radio station.

Like all present HD 2 channels, Gretchen 99.9 is commercial-free and has no DJ's. But that also means that there is no one to identify the songs played.

Check it out when you can, 24/7. If you have any suggestions, there also was an announcement that e-mails are welcome from listeners. Just send them to bob@wkis.com, and tell 'em Eddie sent you.

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Watch Live Boxing From Mexico City (Friday, Feb. 24) – from TheSweetScience.com 

TheSweetScience.com is pleased to announce a special treat for fight fans ...

Join our sister sites Friday night (Feb. 24th) as BoxingChannel.com and CANALdeBoxeo.com - along with Maldonado Productions - bring you live boxing from Mexico City. There's a 12 round WBC Fecarbox Superfeatherweight title bout on tap, plus 5 more exciting bouts on the undercard.

The Fight Card:
Juan Carlos Salgado vs. Ismael Gonzalez (Superfeatherweight WBC Fecarbox title)
Daniel Tovar vs. Luis Alberto Cruz (8 rounds, lightweight)
Oscar Saturnino vs. Pascasio Zarate (6 rounds, miniflyweight)
Andres Estrada vs. Ambrosio Martinez (4 rounds, bantamweight)
...plus 2 more undercard bouts!

All you have to do is visit BoxingChannel.com TONIGHT (Friday, Feb. 24th) to watch all the exciting fight action. Or if you would like the Spanish webcast, go to CANALdeBoxeo.com.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Guaranteed Prediction 

I was asked to send in a prediction to TheSweetScience.com for Saturday's Mosley-Vargas pay-per-view, available in the U.S. for the low, low price of only $44.95. Here it is:

Here's my prediction, which is guaranteed to be right: HBO will rebroadcast the Mosley-Vargas fight next Sat., March 4, as part of the live Cotto-Branco show. That is their plan to compete with the more important live card on Showtime that same night, headlined by Lacy-Calzaghe. But Showtime will win that fight as well, at least in terms of providing a meaningful and quality show.

PS - And what genius decided to put on a UFC pay-per-view the same time as these two live boxing shows?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

“Four’s Company” on TheSweetScience.com 

My latest weekly column on TheSweetScience.com is up.

Titled “Four’s Company”, it discusses the damaging effects of the existence of four major sanctioning bodies in boxing. And it offers a suggestion for how an alternative, including a broadly-based media rankings poll, might be established.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What’s New on NO HOLDS BARRED 

As the billions and billions of folks who regularly follow this blog know, important changes have recently been happening pretty fast, both here and in my overall media activities. Working in the media, and especially the Internet media in these still-pioneering days, does not make for a stable situation. Media outlets come and go, technologies change at lightning speed, and wise people are joined by fools young and old trying to make a go of it online.

So here are some of the main new developments to report:

SecondsOut Radio: As I blogged yesterday, the first edition of this new, free, weekly boxing Internet radio show has been posted. I have known many members of the SecondsOut.com team for some time, and it is good to be working with such a serious and stable group of people. If you haven’t done so already, go to http://www.secondsout.com/radio to complete the quick registration form.

TheSweetScience.com: I recently started my weekly column on this boxing site, one of the most popular, well-written, and heavily-trafficked on the net. And, surprise, surprise, I’ve already drummed up some controversy. Yup, I am now with two major boxing sites at once.

Throwdown Magazine: This new combat sports magazine, with veteran journalist Todd Hester as publisher and editor-in-chief, recently put out its premiere issue, in which I have a regular column. You can subscribe online, so check it out.

Combat Sports News: I am still posting stories, mainly press releases, about all of the combat sports. I also posted links in the right-hand column of this blog to the five different categories:
Boxing News
MMA & NHB News
BJJ & Grappling News
Wrestling News
Kickboxing, Karate, Sumo, etc. News

MySpace.Com Profile: My profile and postings on MySpace.com are more for fun than those on this blog, but this social networking site, now reportedly with over 54,000,000 members, is invaluable to anyone who takes the online world seriously. Of course, since it has become so popular, it has alarmed all sorts of technophobic authoritarians who are now trying to either ban it or prevent the youth from using it. And we’re not talking about some place like China or Iran here, but liberal, open-minded New York.

Yup, this will only make it stronger, so keep it up, jerks. With 54,000,000 people on MySpace.com, there are, of course, bound to be some criminals and predators among them – just as there are among some schoolteachers, members of the clergy, and cops. Maybe we should ban all these institutions as well.

Music: Besides just fooling around on the MySpace.com site, a luxury for which I have little time, and corresponding with and even meeting some very cool people, I have also used it to catch up on some new music, new at least to me. So when you go to my profile, you will usually hear a song of my choice playing.

Up now is “I Need More Love” by Robert Randolph, whose band plays a smoking, tight, and fresh blend of soul, funk, gospel, jazz, rock, and even some country. I also added a link to this blog for the Robert Randolph official site which has some of this band’s videos as well as lots more information. Their MySpace page is at http://www.myspace.com/robertrandolph .

American Foundation for the Blind: I have also added a link on my blog to this site. Although I am not blind, I have always had poor vision and it is worsening as I age. This group is playing a leading role in fighting for online accessibility for people with low or no vision. I am grateful for and supportive of the work they are doing, and plan to write more about them in the future.

I already have one post up about their critiques of lack of accessibility in major sports web sites. And I have also forwarded their press release to some people I know at some of these offending sites.

Ourmedia.org: I am also maintaining a page on Ourmedia.org with similar content as on here, although there are direct links to the audio interviews there. Plus, if one site goes down, as has happened a few times, the other is probably still up.

There will be more news to come as I work on these and other, new projects. So to combine two slogans in the same sentence in a way probably no one else would even dream of, I have to Git-R-Done, by any means necessary.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

SecondsOut Radio Debut: Eddie Goldman interviews Fres Oquendo, Curtis Stevens, Joe Mesi, and Sechew Powell 

The debut show of my latest Internet radio production, SecondsOut Radio, is now up.

On this edition of SecondsOut Radio, we have post-fight interviews with returning heavyweight contender Fres Oquendo and undefeated super middleweight prospect Curtis Stevens, who headlined the Feb. 16 Broadway Boxing card in New York. We also spoke with heavyweight Joe Mesi about his plans to resume boxing, and rising, undefeated super middleweight Sechew Powell.

It is free to listen to SecondsOut Radio, but you must register to gain access to it. Just click here, register and sign in, and listen, learn, and enjoy.

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Happy Presidents' Day 

I am still not a crook.

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Not Again …. 

This coming Saturday, for only $44.95 in good American currency, it's Vargas vs. Mosley. Or maybe it's Mosley vs. Vargas.

More importantly, it's pay$per$view vs. your wallet, and your cable or satellite bill vs. the sky.

How many care enough about this one to take the plunge?

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Whole World Wasn’t Watching 

Boo again to the American TV networks for not buying Saturday's fight card in Las Vegas headlined by welterweight slugger Antonio Margarito and undefeated light flyweight Brian Viloria.

Both fighters are ranked at or near the top of their respective weight classes by the independent boxing rankings. All descriptions of these fights, including Margarito's 74-second blowout of Manuel Gomez and Viloria's 12-round unanimous decision over Jose Antonio Aguirre, made them sound interesting in their own ways. And both headliners usually provide an entertaining show.

But the fight was consigned to pay$per$view, and for about 40 bucks at that for a show headlined by excellent but not that well-known fighters facing less than top-notch opposition in their bouts. With more pay$per$views than there are crooked politicians and business execs, I know I was far from alone in passing on this one.

Tim McGraw advised the world to "Live Like You Were Dying". Boxing is dying but living like it wants to accelerate its demise.

When the promoters and network suits can't put their half-brains together to create a show featuring fighters like Margarito and Viloria, then maybe it's time to take a short break from country music and dig out some Mozart.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Friday Night Fouls 

It was an increasingly bizarre edition this week of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” in a show coming from the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.

The first televised fight proceeded smoothly enough. There undefeated junior welterweight prospect Lamont Peterson notched his record up to 16-0 (7) with a near-shutout ten-round decision against an overmatched Leo Moreno, now 12-2 (10). According to the ESPN2 Punch Track numbers, the busy Moreno actually threw more punches than the far speedier Peterson, 1196 to 928, but it was Peterson who was by far the more accurate and effective, and almost as busy. Peterson landed 316 of his punches for a 34 percent connect rate, to 259 and just 22 percent for Moreno. Peterson also outlanded Moreno in head shots, 269 to 124. Peterson deservedly won by scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91, the latter also being ESPN2 announcer Teddy Atlas’s score.

Thus it was mission accomplished, as Peterson had beaten an opponent hand-picked to showcase his speed and boxing ability, and who did not have the power to hurt him. Such is usually what “Friday Night Fights” is for.

Then things went downhill.

The main event pitted welterweight prospect Delvin Rodriguez against Alexis Divison. This one started out as a competitive fight, as in the first round the underdog Divison landed with high, overhand, looping rights. Although Divison seemed to be doing well, the first round ended with referee Bill Clancy warning him for hitting behind the head.

As the fight went on, Rodriguez was soon able to time these shots and outbox the awkward and wild Divison. That, however, did not become the main story of this main event, as more warnings for more fouls by Divison followed.

In round two, Clancy told Divison, “Arriba,” Spanish for “Up,” after he hit low. Then he was cautioned for holding. Later he told Divison, “No mas” after another blow to the back of Rodriguez’s head. And yet another low blow by Divison rocked Rodriguez, who was given extra time by Clancy to recover.

Round three saw Clancy warn Divison for hitting with his elbow, with yet another warning for yet another low blow.

Round four started with Divison smacking Rodriguez in the back of his head, for which an increasingly annoyed Clancy deducted one point. The ref then stated, “No mas.” He next told Divison and his trainer, in a warning clearly picked up by the ESPN2 microphones, “He does it again, I’m going to toss him.”

So what did Divison do? Just seconds after the fight resumed following this warning, Divison landed still another low blow on Rodriguez. Clancy had seen enough, and so had we, as Divison was disqualified for repeated fouls. Rodriguez is now 18-1-1 (10) while Divison, who has faced much more limited opposition, falls to16-3 (12)

Since this bout ended short of the distance, another one had to be televised to fill up this valuable prime time slot. We would have been better off, however, seeing the entire Brian Kenny interview with Floyd Mayweather from last week.

Next up was a bout billed as a heavyweight fight, but with only one real heavyweight. Alonzo Butler, 20-0-1 (15), 253 pounds, and 26 years old, with his most impressive credentials apparently being that he was a top high school wrestler and football player, was matched, or more precisely hopefully mismatched, with cruiserweight Terry Porter, 15-17-3 (9), 38 years old, only 197 pounds, and the loser of seven of his last nine fights. Even this didn’t go as planned.

Fast forward to round three of this scheduled six-rounder, the best way to view this one anyway. In the opening minute, Butler landed a few punches which caused Porter to flee to the ropes on the other side of the ring. Butler pursued him, swinging wildly and clearly missing with a right. As Butler arrived at the other side of the ring, Porter crouched down to avoid this blow, but was met instead by Butler’s butt. Butler’s momentum carried him right into Porter, which pushed the smaller man right through the ropes and onto a ringside table. Porter was unable to arise, and the fight was over.

Butler’s butt butt, if you will, was clearly inadvertent. No punch had caused Porter to fall through the ropes, only this accidental push. Nonetheless, referee Randy Phillips ruled that Butler was victorious by a knockout.

Whatever rules were in effect for this bout in Tennessee, if the fight is stopped because of an accidental foul in the third round, the uninjured fighter should not be declared the winner by knockout. We’ll see if this verdict is corrected.

Even the appearance of junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton as a guest commentator on this show didn’t work out that well. While sitting, a close-up shot of Hatton made his face and chin look pudgy and soft. He did not look that way when showing his boxing moves to Brian Kenny and hitting a heavy bag, so Hatton is just one of these guys who looks fat on TV.

And you wonder why boxing has trouble getting enough commercial sponsors to return to network TV in the USA.

Note: After writing this, I read another, similar critique of this show, “ESPN's Pathetic Excuse of a Fight”, by Alex Stone on TheSweetScience.com. You can read it as well by clicking here.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Broadway Boxing 

Veteran boxing writer George Kimball has a nice piece on Thursday's Broadway Boxing card in New York on TheSweetScience.com.

We will have some audio interviews from this show, but we'll announce just where they will be in a few days. I'm not trying to tease anyone, just waiting until we get it done and posted for all to hear.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sports Sites Fall Short of the End Zone When it Comes to Accessibility 

Note: I just came across this very important press release from the American Foundation for the Blind, posted below. The issue of accessibility is one of great importance to me, and should also be to anyone who has a sense of decency and fairness. And if you can, please support organizations like the American Foundation for the Blind. - Eddie Goldman

Sports Sites Fall Short of the End Zone When it Comes to Accessibility

2/1/2006 8:31:00 AM

To: National Desk, Sports and Technology Reporter

Web: http://www.afb.org

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- With Super Bowl XL just a few days away, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is reporting that sporting web sites are not high scorers in the game of accessibility. After evaluating NFL.com, ESPN.com, and SI.com, AFB found that many of the sites' features were difficult, if not impossible, to navigate with a screen reader-an assistive technology product used by people who are blind to read the text on a computer screen.

"All three sites are extremely cluttered and have design problems that prevent screen reader users from easily navigating the pages," said Jay Leventhal, editor of AccessWorld(r), AFB's online technology magazine. "But the good news is these sites can get back in the game and please all their fans by incorporating accessible design into their web sites."

Using a Window-Eyes screen reader-a popular and well respected access program-AFB evaluated NFL.com, ESPN.com, and SI.com for usability. Rather than focusing on every unlabeled graphic or link on the web sites, AFB looked at the sites' overall accessibility, and the ease and efficiency with which information could be found and analyzed by screen reader users.

AFB found all three sites to be difficult to navigate, but SI.com did score more points than the others in the access department because it was easier to find articles. NFL.com was found to be difficult, but possible to use for frequent site visitors with extensive knowledge of screen reader software. ESPN.com was found to be the least accessible of the three. For the full report visit http://www.afb.org/SuperBowl.asp.

Making a web site user-friendly to people with vision loss isn't as hard as it sounds. With a few changes in web page design-like properly labeling forms when building web interfaces and providing descriptive alt-text for graphics-it is possible to make web sites accessible to the millions of computer users with vision loss worldwide.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the over forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit us online at http://www.afb.org.

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A Look at Mayweather-Judah and the Rankings 

It has been a little over a week since the official announcement of the April 8 fight between Zab Judah and Floyd Mayweather Jr. for Judah’s tainted IBF welterweight belt. Just about everyone who knows how to type, talk, shout, or bark has denounced the IBF for letting Judah retain his belt after his unanimous decision loss to Carlos Baldomir Jan. 7 at Madison Square Garden, and rightly so. And the billing of Judah-Mayweather as a welterweight title fight has also aroused much sensible ire and disgust.

But Brian Kenny’s outburst against Mayweather on last week’s “Friday Night Fights” on ESPN2 was a misdirected tirade by a representative of one of the major TV boxing networks against a fighter who, as he stated, doesn’t “make the rules in boxing.” I went into this in depth in my “Nasty Boyz” column on TheSweetScience.com this week.

This controversy led me to examine just where Judah and Mayweather stand in the boxing rankings of independent media outlets, as opposed to the nonsense put out by the various alphabets. What it revealed was eye-opening.

Both the latest rankings of Dan Rafael on ESPN.com and The Ring are dated through Feb. 8, meaning, of course, that they take into account both Judah’s Jan. 7 loss and the official announcement made at a Feb. 7 press conference in New York of Judah-Mayweather for April 8.

Both Rafael on ESPN.com and The Ring have Judah ranked number 3 at welterweight (147) and Mayweather ranked number 2, but at junior welterweight (140).

Keeping Mayweather at 140 is pretty puzzling. His most recent fight, a sixth-round TKO win on Nov. 19, 2005, over Sharmba Mitchell, was fought at welterweight. Mayweather still holds the WBC 140-pound title, which he won from Arturo Gatti on June 25 of last year, but his next fight with Judah will be, of course, also at welterweight. By the time Mayweather fights after that, it will be well over a year after capturing that WBC belt, and less likely than ever that he will go back down to 140 to defend it, especially if he beats Judah.

The WBC, whose welterweight belt was won by Baldomir in his victory over Judah, still ranks Zab as number 2 at welterweight. And like ESPN.com and The Ring, they also still only have Mayweather at 140, the weight from which he has now moved up. So once again we see more agreement than many would have imagined between ESPN.com, The Ring, and the WBC.

There are two other fledgling boxing media polls which, despite their weaknesses, rank these fighters at the weights at which they are now fighting.

The WBM Pro Boxing Poll of Feb. 1 ranks Mayweather number 1 at welterweight with Judah number 4. They do not rank Mayweather at 140.

The Boxing Writers Rankings Poll of Jan. 25 has Judah number 3 at welterweight, and Mayweather both number 4 at welterweight and number 2 at junior welterweight.

All these polls agree on one thing: Both Zab Judah and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are ranked no worse than in the top four in their weight classes. We don’t know where ESPN.com, The Ring, and the WBC would put Mayweather if they ranked him at welterweight, where he is presently campaigning, but judging from their high rankings of him at 140, and his overall, undefeated record, no doubt it would be quite high.

So yes, it is absurd to bill this April 8 bout as a welterweight title fight, as is being done by the promoters and HBO. But don’t blame the boxers for this.

Finally, can we look at more than just this title charade? Judah vs. Mayweather will involve two of the top fighters in the sport today going head-to-head against each either in the ring. It would be a shame if the alphabets’ title madness obscured that more important fact.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

MySpace.com Boxing Forum 

Special thanks go to colleague and old buddy Tom Luffman for reposting the announcement about my latest audio interviews on the boxing forum he runs on MySpace.com.

As of Wednesday evening, the member count in that group was 2167.

It is free to join, as long as you also have a free account at MySpace.com, so check it out.

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New Article, "Nasty Boyz", on TheSweetScience.com 

My latest weekly column is up on TheSweetScience.com.

Called "Nasty Boyz", it continues the debate about the April 8 Mayweather-Judah "title" fight and who is responsible for that mess, ESPN2's Manfredo-Pemberton fight Monday, The Ring's awarding of title belts, and the potential roll of a boxing media rankings poll.

Read, learn, enjoy, and comment.

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Curtis Stevens Audio Interview 

Lots of young fighters bring an enthusiastic group of friends and family to cheer them on at local boxing shows. Not as many create a body of followers by their efforts in the ring.

20-year-old Curtis Stevens of Brownsville, Brooklyn, a rising, undefeated super middleweight with a record of 10-0 with 9 KOs, is one of that latter rare breed. Stevens’s aggressive style and effective power-punching have earned him the notice of the local boxing fans and media. Now he is trying to ready himself for national exposure.

Stevens fights in the co-feature this Thursday night, Feb. 16, on the latest Broadway Boxing card, to be held at New York’s Manhattan Center near Madison Square Garden. His opponent will be the most experienced he has faced yet in his brief pro career, Jose Spearman (24-9-4, 10 KOs).

We got a chance to speak with Curtis Stevens at a press conference Monday in New York.

You can listen to that interview for free. Just wait a moment for the file to download since it is in MP3 format. All you have to do is click here or here or here or here.

You can also listen to our earlier interviews with heavyweight contender Fres Oquendo (24-3, 15 KOs), who fights in the main event on this show Thursday against Brazilian Daniel Bispo (16-2, 10 KOs), and promoter Lou DiBella,

To listen to the interview with Fres Oquendo, click here or here or here or here.To listen to the interview with Lou DiBella, click here or here or here or here.

For a listing of and link to my recent podcasts, you can check out my page on podOmatic.com here.

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Gold Medalist Speedskater Joey Cheek Donates $25K Winnings to Right to Play 

Amidst the usual sordid tales of top athletes getting caught as dope cheats, felons, and fiends of all types, at least one story has emerged from the 2006 Winter Olympics which should warm even the coldest hearts.

American speedskater Joey Cheek, who won the gold medal in the men’s 500-meter speedskating event Monday, has announced that he is donating his entire $25,000 gold medal bonus which he received from the U.S. Olympic Committee to the humanitarian organization Right to Play.

A story on this appeared in The New York Times.

Here also is the U.S. Olympic Committee’s press release:

Cheek to donate Operation Gold funds to charity
by Craig Bohnert - U.S. Olympic Committee

Joey Cheek (Greensboro, N.C.), gold medalist in the men’s 500m long track speedskating event at the Oval Lingotto on Monday evening, announced during his post-race press conference that he will donate the $25,000 he will receive from the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Operation Gold program to charity.

Cheek indicated that he would donate the sum to Right to Play, Inc., a charity founded by Olympic gold medal speedskater Johann Olaf Koss of Norway.

Quotes from the press conference:

“I know you guys all want to do sweet stories about Hallmark and chocolates and butterflies and all that, but I have a pretty unique experience and a pretty unique opportunity here. So I'm going to take advantage of it while I can.

“I have been blessed by competing in the Olympics in speedskating. I am grateful that my family has supported me through all of this, my coaches, my friends and my country has supported me wholeheartedly. The United States Olympic Committee has been amazing. Without their support, none of the athletes who train and compete would be able to train and compete at this level. And so, I've always felt that if I ever did something big like this I wanted to be prepared to give something back. So ... I'm going to be donating the entire (Operation Gold) sum the USOC gives to me, which is think is around $25,000, I'm not sure, to the organization that Johann Olaf Koss either started or gave to in 1994. And I'm going to be asking all of the Olympic sponsors that give hundreds of millions of dollars if they will also maybe match my donation to a specific project.

“For me, the Olympics have been the greatest blessing. If I retired yesterday I would have gotten everything in the world from speedskating and from competing in the Olympics. So for me to walk away today with a gold medal is amazing. And the best way to say thanks that I can think of is to help somebody else, so I'm going to be donating my money, I'm going to try and talk to the Olympic sponsors, and if there's anyone in particular in the U.S. or Europe who's going to be reading these articles, if you'd like to check out Right To Play, you can check out their web site, it's righttoplay.com.”

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Introducing “Throwdown Magazine” 

The latest entrant into the combat sports magazine business has just released its debut issue. Called Throwdown Magazine, its editor-in-chief and publisher is our old pal and colleague, Todd Hester.

Besides coverage of sports like mixed martial arts, grappling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Throwdown will also venture beyond just the combat sports and include coverage of activities like surfing, skateboarding, motocross, and even music. I am writing a regular column for Throwdown, as well as doing everything else I have already been doing plus planning much more.

As the new Throwdown web site states, the magazine will have “Columns by Kid Peligro, Todd Hester, Eddie Goldman, DC Maxwell, Sherdog, etc. Music column by Eugene Robinson. Motocross coverage by Mark ‘The Bear’ Smith. Hot car coverage by Overhaulin' TV show host Adrienne Janic. Skate coverage by skate park builder Mike McIntyre. Coverage of KOTC, Gladiator Challenge, Ironheart Crown, Mass Destruction, etc. Coverage of top BJJ events and stars.”

Right now Throwdown will be published six times per year.

For more information, including on how to order Throwdown online, go to their web site at http://www.throwdownmag.com/ .

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Fres Oquendo and Lou DiBella Interviews 

The last time we saw heavyweight contender Fres Oquendo (24-3, 15 KOs) in New York was not one he would like to remember.

Oquendo had earned a title shot against then-WBA heavyweight champ John Ruiz by going the distance on Sept. 20, 2003, with IBF champ Chris Byrd. While he lost a highly controversial decision to Byrd in that fight, many felt the verdict should have gone Oquendo’s way.

But when Oquendo faced Ruiz in Madison Square Garden April 17, 2004, he was stopped in the 11th round. On top of this, that fight was heartily booed by the Garden fans for its lack of action and repeated holding by both fighters.

Since then, for almost two years, the 32-year-old Oquendo has been inactive as a fighter. Now he is finally set to return to action and resume his campaign to win a world title in the unsettled heavyweight division.

Oquendo will fight in the main event of the latest Broadway Boxing show this coming Thursday night, February 16, at the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, about a block away from the Garden.

We got a chance to speak with Fres Oquendo a few weeks ago at a press conference in New York about why he has been inactive, the Ruiz fight, and his current plans. We were joined in our discussion with him by veteran sports reporter Rich Mancuso. We also spoke with promoter Lou DiBella about Oquendo, the state of Broadway Boxing, and his recently defeated fighter Jaidon Codrington.

To listen to the interview with Fres Oquendo, click here or here or here or here.

To listen to the interview with Lou DiBella, click here or here or here or here.

These are free to hear. Since they are in MP3 format, you may have to wait a few moments for them to download.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Shoot …. 

The headline: Cheney Accidentally Shoots a Fellow Hunter.

This guy is a heartbeat away from becoming Commander-in-Chief? And will he finally admit that he did something wrong?

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mo Lawal Wins Gold in Turkey 

Congratulations go to our buddy, freestyle wrestler Mo Lawal, who Saturday won a gold medal at the prestigious Yasar Dogu International in Samsun, Turkey, at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Mo also took first last week at the Dave Schultz Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was a 2005 U.S. World Team member, won the 2005 U.S. Nationals and World Team Trials, and also took first in his weight at the Oct. 2004 Real Pro Wrestling tournament.

On top of all this, Mo is a huge fan of both boxing and mixed martial arts.

We hope to speak with him when he returns home.

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John Legend: No Ordinary Performer 

Yeah, he just won a bunch of Grammys, but don’t hold that against him.

John Legend is a present-day soul singer in the hallowed traditions of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Sam Cooke. While it is far too early in his career to include him in such a distinguished classical group, he has the voice, musical skills, songwriting ability, heart, and intelligence to make it there some day, and maybe in the near future.

If you haven’t listened to and studied his music already, this weekend, with no major boxing and an impending blizzard in the Northeast U.S., is a good one to take the plunge.

There are both full-length studio and live versions of his signature song “Ordinary People" on his page on the VH1 site. This page also links to a short biography.

You can also go to his own site for more information, although unfortunately it is poorly designed and hard to navigate, especially bad for a bidding superstar.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend buying his debut album, Get Lifted, either by legal download, or the CD or CD/DVD versions. This is one you will want to keep and play repeatedly.

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U.S. Loses in Iraq 

It may just about be over. The towel is being readied to be thrown in, as the U.S. is so far behind on the scorecards and has no chance of delivering a knockout blow that for all intents and purposes it has lost its war in Iraq.

The latest sign that a virtual white flag is lurking next to the red, white, and blue is a new article entitled Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq in the March-April issue of Foreign Affairs, written by Paul R. Pillar, the CIA’s top national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005.

Pillar states "that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized."

Where I come from we call that politicians lying to the public.

He also said that U.S. pre-war intelligence showed: "More likely, war and occupation would boost political Islam and increase sympathy for terrorists' objectives -- and Iraq would become a magnet for extremists from elsewhere in the Middle East."

In other words, they knew that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq was likely to work against the objectives of what Bush called the “war on terror.”

The article is most significant because of where it appeared. Foreign Affairs is the discussion journal of the Council on Foreign Relations.

These are the big money guys, the top bankers and industrialists, and the politicians and professors who love them. Or, as Foreign Affairs puts it about the CFR, "Its 3,400 members include nearly all past and present Presidents, Secretaries of State, Defense and Treasury, other senior U.S. government officials, renowned scholars, and major leaders of business, media, human rights, and other non-governmental groups."

Or as they say in my old 'hood, the ruling class. And the publication of this article signals that most of these guys are mighty pissed off with Bush.

Bush’s choices are now this: get out of Iraq as cleanly and quickly as possible, or go down in the flames of a Nixon-like scandal fueled by the previously docile mainstream corporate-controlled media. Already storm clouds are gathering over his administration's ignoring of the threat of Hurricane Katrina and now the cover-up of its inaction during this tragedy in what its rubber-stamp media call "red states."

But he does not have much time to try to control the media and events as he thus far has been doing. What that battle will bring is uncertain and possibly dangerous, as are all unstable situations, but it is another fight in which he will be the big underdog.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Athletes vs. Dopes 

The start of the 2006 Winter Olympics has been accompanied by a sleigh full of stories about the new danger of gene-doping, suspensions of more cheaters for old-fashioned doping, and the behind-the-scenes battle between those who are battling this poison and those who are creating loopholes, excuses, and cover-ups for the dopes.

One of these stories which shouldn't be overlooked indicates just how fed up the honest, dope-free athletes are with the widespread cheating in many sports.

Egyptian swimmer Rania Elwani, a member of the Athletic Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), is quoted as saying, "Everybody clean wants a stronger ban."

The article states that these athletes are proposing "dope cheats to be banned for four years for a first drugs offence instead of two."

Such a doubling of the present ban may be unlikely to be adopted, especially since so many, including the international football (soccer) federation FIFA and almost all American sports organizations and those politicians who have addressed this issue have been arguing for reducing it or making it more "flexible."

Nonetheless, it is a good sign that such prominent clean athletes are speaking out against the dope cheats and those who aid them.

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The Martin Luther King Rodeo 

Those of you who are city slickers know everything about country and rural life, right? Just like you know everything there is to know about everything else, eh?

For those whose minds are still at least relatively free of the Borg-like influence of the major corporate-owned mainstream media brainwashing and brain-damaging machine, check out some information about the Martin Luther King Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions, held Jan. 16 at the Denver Coliseum.

Honored were Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Hattie McDaniel, cowboys and cowgirls, steer wrestlers, and their families. One review of it can be seen here.

Such as event, of course, busts a lot of myths about a lot of people who devoted their lives to busting racist myths. So keep on learning, because grasping the truth, which shall set you free, requires an active mind.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Coming Up .... 

this is an audio post - click to play

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Muhammad Cartoons 

I was sent by a boxing writer colleague an article about the escalating controversy about the publication of a series of cartoons depicting Muhammad, the founder of Islam. The article, similar to many which have appeared in the Western media, aimed its fire directly at Islamic radicals.

You won’t find me defending any religion and you won’t find me defending censorship, let alone calls for the death penalty over some controversial cartoons. But you also won’t find me defending racism against Arabs or sweeping stereotypes of Muslims.

Here is my response:

Problem is, it is not only the Islamic radicals who do this. Far more Palestinians than Israelis have died in their territorial warfare. Don't forget the Crusades. The popular singing group the Dixie Chicks was run off country radio for criticizing Bush, a position now a majority of Americans agree with.

There are also several issues here. Did you see the cartoons? Some were just weird, but the ones with the bombs in Muhammad's turban could be considered not only blasphemous, about which it is just too bad, but racist, which is a real issue. Basically, those imply that Muslims in general are terrorists.

What would these right-wings media outlets which are now reposting or reprinting these cartoons do if the following appeared:

A cartoon of Moses with a bomb in his yarmulke (think King David Hotel, JDL, West Bank settlers, Lebanon, etc.).

A cartoon of Jesus with a bomb in his hand or wherever (think abortion clinics, American slavery, fascist Italy and the Vatican, etc.).

A cartoon of the Ten Commandments tablet saying "Thou shalt kill those who won't give us their oil."

A cartoon of Bush with bombs, torture dogs, and wiretaps on the Presidential seal.

You see, there are many issues involved. The Islamic fanatics are stirring up people for their own ends. But so are those who oppose them. First Amendment concerns are very real, but not the only issue, just as they were not the only issue when there was a battle against anti-Black imagery in the U.S.

And to take it to boxing, what would the BWAA do if a member wrote, say, about yesterday's Mayweather-Judah press conference using the type of language used about Jack Johnson in his day, and got fired?

By the way, it should be obvious that I do hate these Islamic fascists. But you can't fight them with racism, unless all you want to do is occupy their countries and turn them into people without rights.

This is also why I oppose all religious fanaticism and mythology, another issue for another place and time. So you better not say nothin' bad about MY favorite, Zeus!

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

“Should Titles Be Won in the Ring or in The Ring?” on TheSweetScience.com 

My latest column on TheSweetScience.com has been posted. Entitled “Should Titles Be Won in the Ring or in The Ring?”, this one takes on both the alphabet soup sanctioning bodies and those who are trying to replace them, especially The Ring.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

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Chris Byrd-Wladimir Klitschko 2 Set for April 22 in Germany 

It has finally been officially announced that the rematch between IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd and Wladimir Klitschko will take place April 22 in Mannheim, Germany. When they first fought, in October 2000, Klitschko won a 12-round unanimous decision victory, also in Germany, to win the WBO belt. Byrd, however, charged that some substance had been improperly used to cause his eyes to swell up.

So after unconvincing performances against Fres Oquendo, Andrew Golota, and even DaVarryl Williamson, can Chris Byrd retain his title in this rematch with Wladimir Klitschko? And in Germany? We'll try to ask him Wednesday at a New York press conference to hype this fight.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Blogger Going Down Again Monday Night 

A note from Blogger: "Just a quick reminder that we will be going ahead with a planned network maintenance on Monday the 6th from 7–8PM PST. Blogger and Blog*Spot blogs will be unavailable during that time."

So, No Holds Barred folks, you can also catch me at my page at Ourmedia.org at http://www.ourmedia.org/user/57277/ .

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A Not-So-Golden Boy 

Seven-foot, two-inch Nikolai Valuev, who won the WBA heavyweight title in December from John Ruiz with a highly disputed majority decision victory, has nonetheless been receiving mainly sympathetic coverage from the mainstream media, especially in Europe. But now the glitter seems to be wearing off his golden image.

Valuev, writes Andrew Osborn in the Feb. 6 online edition of the UK's The Independent, "has been accused of beating up a 61-year-old parking attendant, and murky reports have started to emerge of his moving in criminal circles in the 'wild' 1990s."

We doubt we have heard the last of the escalating controversies surrounding Valuev.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Saturday Night Down the Tube 

As I told y'all I would (or, for my New Yawk homies, youse), I watched the boxing on Showtime Saturday night and skipped the UFC.

The Jose Luis Castillo-Rolando Reyes fight literally was putting me to sleep. Both guys mailed it in as Castillo coasted to a 12-round decision. Castillo seemed to be preserving himself for his big money rubber match with Diego Corrales, which was postponed from last night because of a rib injury Corrales suffered while training. It will probably now take place in June or July. As for Reyes, despite saying all the right things in his pre-fight interviews, including with us, he basically fought to survive and not get knocked out. No Carlos Baldomir was he.

The co-feature, however, was a thrilling, see-saw, action-filled battle between up-and-coming lightweight contenders Jose Armando Santa Cruz and Edner Cherry. These guys gave it their all for 12 hard rounds, with Santa Cruz surviving a knockdown and being rocked several times to outwork Cherry to take a close decision. Cherry just couldn't put Santa Cruz away when he had him in trouble, try as much as he did.

These fights will be replayed for the first time on SHO Extreme on Monday, Feb. 6, at 11 PM ET/PT. Here are other replay dates, all in ET:

SHOTOO Feb 07 10:00pm
SHOWTIME Feb 08 11:00pm
SHOWHD Feb 08 11:00pm

Make sure to check your local listings, watch the Santa Cruz-Cherry fight, and, if it is not that important to you, skip Castillo-Reyes.

We also have the Showtime press release and some photos from this show posted on the Boxing News page on Combat Sports News.

As for UFC, I did not pay 40 bucks to see the 42-year-old Randy Couture in what turned out to be his retirement fight. I did cover his first NHB fight (that's what we called it then) in 1997, and what also turned out to be his retirement match in Greco-Roman wrestling after losing at the 2000 Olympic Wrestling Trials. Last night Couture was stopped in the second round by Chuck Liddell.

Congratulations are due to the victorious UFC light heavyweight champion Liddell (whose last name so much of the "MMA media" still can't spell correctly). But I'm sure his name is spelled right on the checks he receives. I just hope he socks it away somewhere and does to all the vultures what he does to his opponents in his fights.

Yes, my priorities have changed over the years. So have my income opportunities.

Now to get ready for the Stupor Bowl. Sorry, no nasty Janet Jackson this year, only those peaceful Rolling Stones.

Preview: Look for at least one announcement in the coming week about where in the media you will also be able to find my work.

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Down Goes Blogger, Again 

All the blogs on Blogspot have once again been down for considerable periods of time in the past few days.

If you try to access this page and it doesn't come up at all, you can also check out my No Holds Barred page at Ourmedia.org at http://www.ourmedia.org/user/57277/.

It has similar content, although not as much as here, at least for now.

And make sure to bookmark that page for your convenience.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

I Know What I'm Watching Sat. Night 


From Showtime: (Picture One) Jose Luis Castillo (left) and Rolando Reyes each tipped scales at 138 pounds Friday for their 12-round fight Saturday on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

(Picture Two) Edner Cherry (left) weighed 131 1/2 pounds while defending NABF champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz weighed 133 1/2 pounds for their NABF lightweight title bout in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature.

Links to my discussion with Jose Luis Castillo and Rolando Reyes are in the post right below this one.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Showtime Fighter Audio Interviews: Jose Luis Castillo, Rolando Reyes & Promoter Gary Shaw 


Boxers (left-to-right) Jose Armando Santa Cruz, Jose Luis Castillo, Rolando Reyes and Edner Cherry pose after Thursday's press conference in El Paso, Tex. In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader Saturday on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). Castillo faces Reyes in a 12-round lightweight belt and Santa Cruz risks his NABF lightweight title against Cherry.

If Saturday night’s fight between Jose Luis Castillo (53-7-1, 47 KOs) and Rolando Reyes (26-3-2, 16 KOs) turns out to be one-sided, you can’t really pin much blame on Showtime, the network which is televising it in the U.S., from the Don Haskins Center on the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) campus. This date was supposed to have featured the rubber match for the world lightweight championship between Castillo and current champ Diego Corrales, whose first battle last May is winning every 2005 Fight of the Year award in sight.

Corrales, as we know, injured his ribs during training for this third fight, and a last-minute replacement had to be found to salvage the card. While it would have been impossible to have found anyone, especially on such short notice, to guarantee a Fight of the Year-caliber match-up, a good job was done in landing Reyes.

Reyes’s most impressive recent fight was his next-to-last, on July 22, 2005, when he won by an eighth-round TKO and battering over recent lightweight contender Courtney Burton. Yet Reyes also has had his shaky moments. In his last fight, on Oct. 8, 2005, in Las Vegas, he only got a split decision win over Ivan Cabrera, who had a record of just 12-5-1 going into that one.

Fighting top-flight opponents like Castillo, however, sometimes brings out the best in fighters whose records, on paper at least, are not the best in the world. Such scenarios also at times lead to slacking and overconfidence by the adjudged superior fighter; just ask now-former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir, who, coincidentally or not, fought on the most recent of the monthly Showtime Championship Boxing cards, in January.

On a media conference call last week, we got a chance to speak about all this with Jose Luis Castillo (through a translator), Rolando Reyes, and the promoter of both Reyes and Corrales, Gary Shaw.

You can listen to that for free. All you need to be able to do is download an MP3 file, so please be patient if it takes a few moments.To hear this discussion, just click here or here or here or here.

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How to Navigate the Combat Sports News Page 

While some people follow more than one or even all of the combat sports, there are many others who are just interested in one of them. We thus have made it easier for everyone, no matter what pleasures them the most, to navigate the Combat Sports News page on the King of the Cage web site.

For the main Combat Sports News page, with a menu of the five sections we have provided, click here.

For Boxing News, click here.

For MMA & NHB News, click here.

For BJJ & Grappling News, click here.

For Wrestling News, click here.

For Kickboxing, Karate, Sumo, etc. News, click here.

We also have now included these links in the right-hand column of this blog.

So click away, bookmark one or more of these pages, and support the combat sports!

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

“ShoBox” Fighter Audio Interviews: Sechew Powell, Andre Berto, and Jonathan Tubbs 

It is a time of reckoning for undefeated junior middleweight prospect Sechew Powell (18-0, 11 KOs). He survived a fifth-round knockdown against prospect-killer Grady Brewer on June 17, 2004, in Laughlin, NV, to take a controversial eight-round split decision. He has won his next five fights much more decisively, although on May 6, 2005, against then-undefeated fellow prospect Cornelius Bundrage, a national TV audience watching on “ShoBox” witnessed the rarity of a first-round double knockdown. Powell arose, the better off of the two, and closed the show just seconds later with a KO victory at 22 seconds.

Powell’s last two fights have seen him defeat veteran Santiago Samaniego by a third-round TKO on Aug. 25, 2005, in New York, and by a clear-cut unanimous ten-round decision over another highly-touted prospect, Archak TerMeliksetian, on Nov. 4, 2005, in Miami, OK.

Now Powell tries to rise up in the ranks yet one more step by facing his most experienced and arguably his most dangerous opponent yet, veteran Robert Frazier (31-6-4, 15 KOs). This fight headlines a card to be held this Friday night, Feb. 3, at the Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, Washington, and also to be shown live in the U.S. on Showtime’s remarkable “ShoBox” series.

While Frazier has never held a major world title, he has competed against world champions in the past, and is 14-2-2 since 2000. His last two losses were both against title holders: in 2001 to Winky Wright for the IBF 154-pound belt, and in 2004 to Felix Sturm, who later became a WBO champ. Both were by decision. Frazier also was held to a controversial ten-round draw on April 9, 2005, against the unbeaten up-and-comer, Tarvis Simms, in Verona, NY. In addition, Frazier holds a ten-round decision win on March 3, 2000, again in Verona, NY, over Jose Antonio Rivera, later a WBA 154-pound champ.

What this means is that while Frazier may have become more or less a journeyman, he still has skills, has a wealth of experience, and can take advantage of any rookie mistakes an opponent may make. While Powell has a strong grasp of boxing fundamentals, and as an amateur was a national Golden Gloves champ, his fights with Brewer and Bundrage both show that he can be hit, and hit hard.

Powell, of course, believes that he has learned enough to begin to be taken seriously in the 154-pound title quest. If he gets by Frazier, and does so convincingly, he will become yet another “ShoBox” alumnus to graduate to the big time.

The televised co-feature on this card will be a showdown between two more unbeaten prospects, 2004 Olympian Andre Berto (9-0, 7 KOs) and Jonathan Tubbs (7-0-1, 3 K0s). While these two met as youth in the amateurs – Berto recalls it being when they were 12 or 13 – and Tubbs won, both men are going into this fight confident that they will prevail under pro rules.

We got a chance on a national media conference call to speak with Sechew Powell. Andre Berto, and Jonathan Tubbs about their fights this Friday night (Robert Frazier had left the call at the beginning of it). You can listen to how it went for free. All you need to be able to do is download an MP3 file, so please be patient if it takes a few moments.

To hear this discussion, just click here or here or here or here.

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Top Wrestlers Going to Dave Schultz Memorial International Tournament Feb. 3-4 

Most of the top American Greco-Roman, freestyle, and women wrestlers will be wrestling this coming weekend in the 8th Annual Dave Schultz Memorial International at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

USA Wrestling has a preview of it here.

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NYC Mayor's Cup High School Wrestling Championships Set for Feb. 11 -- Support Our Youth! 

Physical education of America's youth has been under attack for some time. Both those politicians who love to defund public education and those who separate educating the mind from developing the body have a tacit and unholy alliance to leave far too many of the youth uneducated, overweight, out-of-shape, with low self-esteem, and with little future.

Fortunately there have been several organizations in New York which have been battling against these trends, at least as far as the sport of wrestling goes, virtually the only combat sport offered in schools below the college level. The Metropolitan Wrestling Association has been working with the Public School Athletic League and the New York City Sports Commission, along with, of course, the coaches, athletes, parents, and community, to enhance the wrestling programs and attract more youth to them.

One of the fruits of their labor is an event called the Mayor's Cup New York City High School Wrestling Championships. It is a tournament which includes the top four high school wrestlers in each weight class from the PSAL, the CHSAA (Catholic schools), and the Independent Schools Association (private schools).

Calling this event the Mayor's Cup, a name which has been used for years both in other scholastic sports as well as the exhibition games between the New York Yankees and New York Mets, adds prestige to high school wrestling and also draws more fan and media attention.

This year's edition will take pace Saturday, February 11, at Hunter College in Manhattan at 68th Street and Park Ave., beginning at 9:00 AM ET. It will run all day through the late afternoon or early evening.

Don't just complain about the situation in the New York schools and the direction many of our youth are taking; DO something about it, and support them in participating in the world's oldest sport.

For more information on the 2006 Mayor's Cup New York City High School Wrestling Championships, click here.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Carlson Gracie Passes 

Gracie Magazine has posted a report that jiu-jitsu and vale tudo legend Carlson Gracie passed away Wednesday in Chicago at the age of 72.

Kid Peligro also has a report on the ADCC News.

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He's Come to America: Karam Gaber 

We received news Tuesday night that 2004 Olympic gold medalist Greco-Roman wrestler Karam Gaber, regarded as the world's best and most exciting wrestler, has relocated from his native Egypt and is now living full-time in the U.S.

According to his brother, Adel Ibrahim, Karam is beginning to work on seeking U.S. citizenship. He also plans to continue wrestling as well as learning grappling. Negotiations are underway for him to train with, let us just say, the best grappling instructor in the New York region if not beyond.

Karam also may resume fighting in mixed martial arts events. In his one appearance, on Dec. 31, 2004, in the K-1 Dynamite card in Osaka, Japan, he was knocked out in the first round by Kazuyuki Fujita.

We will have more news to come on this developing story.

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Combat Sports News Page on KingoftheCage.com Revamped 

The Combat Sports News page on the King of the Cage web site has been revamped to allow quicker posting than before. There are still the same five categories which we had, representing the various major areas of the combat sports: Mixed Martial Arts & NHB; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Grappling; Boxing; Wrestling; and Kickboxing, Karate, Sumo, etc.

While much of what is posted are press releases, this makes it the only page which we know where news about ALL the combat sports appears in one place.

You can still get to this page through the main King of the Cage page, or through the main Combat Sports News page on it.

You can also now get to it through the KeepersoftheCage.Com forum page.

But if you want to get directly to the main menu for the five sections in the Combat Sports News, click here.

So make sure to bookmark all these pages and check them regularly.

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