FRIDAY & SATURDAY FIGHT ODDS & PREDICTION

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada
(ESPN 2) Herman Ngoudjo (17-2, 9 KOs) vs. Juan Urango (20-1-1, 16 KOs) (IBF 140 lb. title) Odds/Prediction: Urango 9-5. Appears close on paper. Herman has hometown edge.
Antonin Decarie (20-0, 10 KOs) vs. Michael Clark (37-5-1, 28 KOs) Odds/Prediction: AD 3-1. Clark was once highly touted, but is a gatekeeper of sorts now. Like the favorite here!

Saturday, January 31, 2009 Guadalajara, Mexico
(TV Azteca) Marco Antonio Barrera (64-6, 43 KOs) vs. John Nolasco (17-4-4, 8 KOs) Odds/Prediction: Marco 6-1. Barrera in “work” fight in preparation for Amir Khan in the UK for a March fight.
Jorge Solis (36-1-2, 26 KOs) vs. Monty Meza-Clay (28-1, 19 KOs) Odds/Prediction: Even! Both guys are about at the same level.

Cebu City, Philippines
Michael Katsidis (23-2, 20 KOs) vs. Angel Ramirez (19-4-2, 8 KOs) Odds/Prediction: Katsidis 4-1. MK should drill foe!

Bohol, Philippines
A.J Banal (17-1-1, 14 KOs) vs. Nouldy Manakane (17-7-1, 8 KOs) Odds/Prediction: Banal 3-1. Filipino prospect in “work” fight.
Czar Amonsot (18-3-1, 10 KOs) vs. Zoel Fidal (16-6-2, 7 KOs) Odds/Prediction: Czar 4-1. Looking for rematch with Katsidis who fights tonight in Philippines.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

HOW GOOD (OR OVERRATED) WAS SALVADOR SANCHEZ?

REMEMBERING THE ICON SALVADOR SANCHEZ

San Francisco, CA– Celebrities, be it musicians, actors, ballplayers or boxers, they for the most part are thought greater of in death than in life. One fighter who may fall into that category was Mexico’s Salvador Sanchez. Born in 1959, Sanchez died at the tender age of 23 years old when his car rear ended a poultry truck in the wee hours of August 12, 1982. At the time of his death he was promoted by Don King Productions.

DID KING MAKE US DRINK THE SANCHEZ KOOL AID?

The wirehaired wonder from Cleveland, OH, King was touting, with lots of pundits chiming in, that Salvador, the then WBC featherweight (126 lbs) champion was the best boxer ‘pound for pound.’ This even though he had only beaten one-great fighter in a 44-1-1, (32 KOs) career that that began in 1975 when he silenced one Al Gardino (TKO 3) in Veracruz, MX. And the sole “great” fighter that Sanchez had bested, the then unbeaten Wilfredo Gomez, had some weighty issues entering the August 1981 bout. PACO WAS GOMEZ CAMP INSIDER

According to Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, current President of the World Boxing Organization, then an advisor to Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, the reigning World 122 lb. king moving up four lbs. to fight Sanchez at featherweight, Gomez was at weight the night before. Perplexed, I pushed for more info. Paco stated that Gomez stayed up late, and while he wasn’t partying, Wilfredo was (unwisely) eating and consuming fluids.

GOMEZ HAD 32 WINS & 32 KNOCKOUTS!

Gomez, then 32-0-1 with all 32 fights ending in knockout, was so confident of victory he could not face the reality that poor preparation might lead to losing, it just wasn’t part of the Gomez vernacular. Of the three judges, Duane Ford, Chuck Minker, Hank Elespuru, only Las Vegas’ Ford is alive and still skillfully scoring fights. Ford had Sanchez by two at 67-65, the others had it 67-66 when the fight ended at 2:09 of round eight.

GOMEZ NEVER EVEN WEIGHED 126 LBS!

When he hit the scale at 8 AM the day of the fight, Gomez was four lbs. over the featherweight limit at 130. Seeing this was one of my first big fight weigh ins, as I sat eating breakfast in the no longer in existence Caesars Palace coffee shop with people like Redd Fox, Sammy Davis, and the aforementioned King Don, I couldn’t believe that anybody in their right mind would come in four lbs. over! Given a couple of hours to lose the weight, that never happened as I was told that the lightest Wilfredo got was 128 ½.

WEIGHT DRAINED GOMEZ HAD GIANT STONES

When the fight started, Gomez went after the taller and leaner Mexican champion. A right hand counter that landed flush midway through the session, the punch broke a Gomez’s facial bone. From that point forward, Gomez showed elephant-sized stones as he continued to press the action all the while getting beaten to the punch. With Gomez’ face swollen to nearly unrecognizable proportions, his left eye nearly shut, time was not on the side of the Puerto Rican.

SAL’S RESUME WASN’T EXACTLY STAR-STUDDED

There is little doubt that this was Sanchez’ zenith. He would die 12 months and three fights later. The first post Gomez fight was a SD 15 over Pat Cowdell, Jorge Garcia (UD 15), and Salvador’s finale, the TKO 15 of future Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson (13-0) in Madison Square Garden on July 21, 1982. Prior to Gomez, Sanchez had beaten Danny “Little Red” Lopez (TKO 13, TKO 14) for the title and in a rematch, Juan Laporte (UD 15), Ruben Castillo (UD 15), this in addition to the father of future three division champ Felix Trinidad, Felix Trinidad Sr. (TKO 5).

TIME TO ANSWER TO THE $640,000 QUESTION

The lone blight on the Sanchez resume, a September 1977 SD 12 to Antonio Becerra (13-2) in a Mexican bantamweight (118) title scrap in Mazatlan, halted Salvador’s unbeaten mark at 18 & zip! The draw was to Juan Escobar one year later at the Olympic Auditorium. So I have to ask you, is Salvador Sanchez overrated? Or was he truly a fighter worthy of an iconic status? Remember, Salvador Sanchez only beat one “great” fighter!

“SPECIAL” MOSLEY DOMINANT IN TKO OF MARGARITO!

MARGARITO EXPOSED IN SHUTOUT

San Francisco, CA– There are few fighters that are “special.” You will never affix that terminology to Antonio Margarito, but you have to say that Shane Mosley is just that. Facing 4-1 odds, Mosley, 147 lbs, of Pomona, CA never lost a minute of the fight that ended with a TKO 9 at the Los Angeles Staples Center. From the get-go, Mosley who is now 37 years old, took the fight to the bigger framed 30-year old Margarito, 146 ½ from Tijuana, MX.

MARGARITO WAS NEVER IN THE FIGHT It started on the way to the ring. Looking at Margarito, I thought he felt all he had to do to win was show up. He probably wishes he hadn’t. Mosley went to work in the opener, landing right hands hard enough to take the round and give Margarito cause to worry.

DID NOT TAKE A CALCULATOR TO SCORE

If the first didn’t cause concern, certainly the second, third, fourth and fifth rounds, (are you getting the drift yet?) sixth, seventh, by then Margarito hadn’t dug himself a hole, but rather a mine shaft that on paper seemed insurmountable after Shane won round seven. Along the way Shane went from scoring right hands to landing numerous jabs, and then his ever effective left hooks.

CLOSE YOUR EYES & STILL LAND SHOTS!

The right hand was the Mosley key to success, for he landed it every time he threw it. For years Hector Martinez, Roberto Duran’s one-time manager, Hector was of the opinion, (even after Margarito defeated Miguel Cotto last July), that he had no defense. “You can close your eyes and hit him,” something Mosley alluded to post fight.

BEAT ON MEXICAN LIKE A BONGO DRUM

All that being said, Mosley hit the now former WBA welterweight (147) champion with everything he hurled at the Mexican mauler. Body shots, part of the Mosley arsenal from the beginning, accompanied by snapping punches to the head. They just kept coming and Margarito kept catching. A left hook in round eight put Antonio in “suspended animation.”

BLOOD IN WATER TURNS SHANE INTO SHARK

Pouncing on his foe sans mercy, Shane finally put Tony down at the end of the round. Staggering back to his corner, the fight was all but officially over. Coming off the stool for round nine, Margarito was still “buzzed” and Shane knew it. Hurling power punches in bunches, the final being an inside right that rendered Margarito “horizontal.” Referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight at about the same time a white towel of surrender. The time was 43 seconds of round nine.

MOSLEY NEED SAVOR WIN & PONDER FUTURE

In all, one has to give big props to Shane Mosley. With the BALCO Labs scandal haunting him, a divorce with wife Jin, the three kids, and this was in addition to Mosley hearing that most pundits gave him little or no chance. It was a great night for a man whom I predicted would be World champion while televising his sixth professional fight at the L.A. Forum in 1993. All this BALCO crap aside, Shane Mosley has always has been a “special” fighter.

MERCHANT WILL BE ON “RING TALK RADIO” @ 8:05 PM PT

HBO’s Larry Merchant’s will be part of the mix Sunday night when ”Ring Talk Radio” broadcasts LIVE on air and online right here at www.RingTalk.com Click on the flashing LIVE radio box at the top right hand side of this page.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

MOSLEY’S AGE, STEROID USE & MARGARITO!

INTRIGUE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL ON HBO

San Francisco, CA– In the past we’ve gone into depth on youth prevailing over old more times than not. There are rare exceptions, George Foreman and most recently Bernard Hopkins come to mind, but they are the exception to the rule. Usually it’s Larry Holmes-Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano-Joe Louis, or a pairing still fresh in your mind, Manny Pacquiao-Oscar De La Hoya, with the old guy looking like a manually tenderized steak.

WATERLOO OR WONDERLAND FOR SHANE? Is this “Sugar Shane” Mosley’s turn to look like Louis in 1951, Ali in 1980, or De La Hoya just last month? Or can he extract enough sucrose from his 37-year old body to do what the aforementioned trio could not, this by turning back the clock? Well, you can’t turn back Father Times, he waits for no one. Louis and Ali were 38, Oscar like Shane is 37.

SHANE’S BEEN FIGHTING 25+ YEARS NOW!

Now that I’ve reassured you that youth beats old more often than not, the question that we need to ask is this the Waterloo of a boxing icon in Shane Mosley? I ask the question redundantly and purposeful for the reason Mosley has heard the bell starting a professional boxing round some 343 times. And the truth is Shane hasn’t won a big fight in almost six years, that being the fight in which Mosley has admitted to having used Steroids provided by BALCO Labs’ owner Victor Conte.

CONTE TEAMS WITH EX-MOSLEY AIDE

Shane is suing Conte who has produced testimony from ex-trainer Darryl Hudson backing Conte. Said Hudson, “I know that Mr. Mosley was aware that the performance-enhancing drugs provided to him by Mr. Conte were banned drugs because I discussed that fact with Mr. Mosley both during and after our visit to BALCO.” Mosley’s attorney, NY’s Judd Burnstein denies it all.

LAWYER BURNSTEIN A GREAT FIREMAN!

And yet not Judd or Mosley deny Shane took steroids, they claim he just didn’t know. Quoting Shane last year in the New York Daily News. “We were misled by (Conte). I guess I got the clear and the cream.” Shane had told the San Francisco Grand Jury looking into BALCO, “that he injected himself with the doping agent EPO as he prepared for a fight against Oscar De La Hoya,” according to the paper.

SHANE PASSED POLYGRAPH BEFORE ADMISSIONS

There have been denials, admissions, denials of denials, denial of admissions. There is so many different variations from Mosley that it muddles the mind. All that being what it is, Mosley is facing a man two inches a man taller in Antonio Margarito tonight on HBO.

FIGHT BOILS DOWN TO THIS FOLKS

In July, Margarito stopped Miguel Cotto in 11 rounds. Cotto bested Mosley by a whisker 14 months ago on points. To stop Margarito, you’ll either have to hurt him, or be BIG enough to out box him like Paul Williams did. Margarito has a chin of steel and the will of a rhino. Shane isn’t tall, and he doesn’t hit that hard. What do you think?

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

OODS & PREDICTION: MARGARITO VS. MOSLEY

SATURDAY’S BIG FIGHT ON HBO Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA– (HBO) Antonio Margarito (37-5, 27 KOs) vs. Shane Mosley (45-5, 38 KOs) (WBA 147 LB. belt) Odds/Prediction: Margarito 3-1. Hard to see Mosley beating Margarito at this stage of their careers. Figure Antonio is too big, too strong, too durable, and near his zenith as a professional. Shane’s best was circa 2001-2002. That being said, Margarito is the clear favorite here. Dropping $3,000 refried beans on the Mexican mauler.

EX-IBF CHAMP IN “SUPPORTING” ROLE!

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (22-1-1, 15 KOs) vs. Edel Ruiz (31-21-4, 22 KOs) Odds/Prediction: “The Ghost” 6-1. This is a work fight for “The Ghost” who hasn’t been in action in 11 months. Ruiz a “trial horse” at best, AND I don’t see him winning a round if Robert is right!

JOSE TORRES: CHAMPION BOTH IN & OUT OF THE RING DIES

JOSE MUCH MORE THAM JUST A FIGHTER

San Francisco, CA– The passing of Jose Torres, former World (WBC/WBA) light heavyweight (175 lbs) champion in the mid 1960s, did not go unnoticed. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in May 1936, “Chegui” was a pugilist put together by a pair of boxing genius’ in Cus D’Amato and Joey Fariello.

TYSON’S GUY CUS D’AMATO MADE TORRES TOO The man that brought us Mike Tyson and Floyd Patterson, ‘twas D’Amato that really taught Jose how to fight. Turning professional in 1958 after a Silver medal in the 1956 Olympics, Torres who had lost only once (TKO 5 Florentino Fernandez May 1963) retired (TKO 5) World light heavyweight king Willie Pastrano in Madison Square Garden. With three defenses in 1966 against nondescript opposition, Jose met Nigeria’s Dick Tiger who took his title with a UD 15 in December.

COULD BEAT EVERYONE BUT……..TIGER!

A 1967 rematch resulted in a SD 15 loss for Torres, who fell one round (round by round scoring in New York then) short. The scores read 8-7 twice for Tiger, and 8-7 for “Chegui.” Torres fought two more times, winning in Australia (TKO 6 Bob Dunlop) and here in MSG (KO 2 Charley Green) before retiring in 1969 at 41-3-1, 29 KOs. The lone draw on the Torres record was to Benny Paret in a 1959 dime.

LIFE DIDN’T STOP WHEN TORRES QUIT FIGHTING

A well-spoken gentleman, Torres, an iconic figure in the Puerto Rican community, Torres ran the New York Athletic Commission from 1984 for four years. He would write books on Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, this in addition to being the WBO President from 1990 to 1995. A longtime NYC resident, Torres returned to his hometown Ponce, Puerto Rico a couple of years ago where he died Monday from a heart attack. Classy man, author, gentleman, good fighter, Jose Torres, he was all that and more. A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Torres was 72.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

BOXING FAILS TO LEARN FROM MISTAKES, UFC BREAKS HBO PPV RECORD

FIGHT GAME HAS GENERAL MOTORS MINDSET

San Francisco, CA– Presidential historian Arthur Schlesinger said in the 60s, “Politics is essentially a learning experience. You learn what works, and what works against you and you use them.” And while one can say that about life in general, it certainly applies to the sport of boxing. And while the fighters have fulfilled their part, the real powers in boxing, the promoters, HBO and Showtime to an extent, they don’t really want any change in the way “bidness” gets done.

PEOPLE AT THE TOP STILL MAKING BANK Reason being, everybody is making money, even in this recession near depression point and time. They, this would include the promoters, especially HBO, which is in 38 million homes across America and has exclusive contracts with most of boxing’s elite performers, I don’t think they want the kind of boxing reform that might drive boxing to the masses in great numbers. A Federal Commission given the teeth to bite is one move. The second is national TV, something I’ll delve deeper into as we go. In short, more average people think the sport is “rigged,” than not!

HBO RESIDES IN ABOUT 10% OF US HOMES

Thirty eight million homes represents a little more than 10% of the populace. And don’t you think for a minute that all 38,000,000 homes watch the fights. I’d say there are maybe four million homes that watch the HBO fights. Networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, and at times FOX, because they are not premium channels people have to pay extra for, can sometimes command an audience 10 times that of HBO.

ARUM & KING SHOULD PRAISE DAN DUVA

As for the promoters, every single one of them making money on PPV should send a check to the estate of the late Dan Duva. He was Lou Duva’s son, brother of Dino, husband of Kathy Duva, who now runs the firm he founded Main Events. It was Dan alone, with fellow promoters Bob Arum and Don King ridiculing him, Dan put the “Sugar Ray” Leonard-Thomas Hearns World welterweight (147 lb) title match on limited U.S. PPV in September 1981.

IS CABLE DOING A GOOD JOB FOR YOU?

Is boxing on Cable reaching the masses? ESPN would be tickled pink if they got a million homes to watch their Friday night presentations get about 500 to 700,000 homes watching. For some reason, the Wednesday Night Fights never caught on. Too bad USA Cable got out of the game and the Tuesday Night Fights went dark.

UFC BROKE ALL PPV RECORDS IN 2008

Boxing needs to take a cue from the UFC which broke HBO PPV’S cash record in 2008. Their gross earnings were in the $290 million neighborhood. The WWE has had ups and downs in PPV revenue as their best year was 2001 and $260 million. In 2007 the Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight helped push HBO to a record $255 million, far shy of the UFC 2008 numbers.

HONDA MENTALITY NEEDED, NOT GM!

Just like General Motors has lost the auto war to Japan, boxing looks to be losing the war to the UFC. The promoters, HBO suits, they all need to go to a UFC event live. Don’t sit with fellow suits, get yourself a mid level ticket. Watch how worked up the crowd is from the beginning to the end. Look at the PPV numbers and you’ll see that the UFC did over $1 million PPV buys in November and December 2008. I’m told, and I’ll correct myself if I’m wrong, that the HBO PPV numbers in 2008 were around $200 million.

BOXING FAILS TO LEARN FROM HISTORY

Going back to when Arthur Schlesinger said nearly a half century ago, “Politics is essentially a learning experience. You learn what works, and what works against you and you use them.” Why haven’t the powerbrokers in boxing learned from the WWE and more importantly the UFC? Are they in denial, or they just content with a machine that prints money for them?

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

PEDRO’S TIES TO OBAMA INAUGUARATION

WASHINGTON GALA STIRRED UP MEMORY

San Francisco, CA– My watching the inauguration of President Obama was obviously a moment in history. But not because Barrack’s black, and not cause he’s white. Rather because he’s right! Right in that the status quo of the past eight years has not fostered goodwill for Americans abroad or prosperity here at home. That being said, I worked with two of the prominent females that were on the inauguration dais alongside the new United States President.

USED TO BABYSIT DIANNE FEINSTEIN’S HOUSE When I was assigned to San Francisco Police Dept., I enjoyed working a smorgasbord of work assignments over eight calendar turns. One was my sitting in a marked police car in front of US Senator Diane Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum’s house for hours and hours. She was the Mayor of San Francisco at the time. I usually saw her when she came out for the paper.

SOME VIPS FEED YOU & MORE

Unlike other VIPs I have guarded both a police officer and then in my civilian work in executive protection, Senator Diane Feinstein never so much as gave a cookie! There were times when she’d come out and chat for a minute. Feinstein left the Mayor’s office in 1988, lost a run for Governor in 1990, this before she was elected to the United States Senate in 1992.

LADY WITH “THAT HAT” FROM MOTOR CITY

Although there are many females that can belt out soul out of rhythm & blues music, few can do so in the manner of Aretha Franklin. One of a few Detroit acts that did not sign with Motown Records, Aretha began recording in 1961. Last year she was ranked #1 of all time singers by Rolling Stone magazine. While working in Detroit, announcing at the Joe Louis Arena, I met Aretha and got to spend a couple of minutes talking generalities and pop culture. Later I introduced Ms. Franklin to a surprised crowd which responded with thunderous applause.

AND THEN THERE’S TED KENNEDY

When Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles in June 1968, his younger brother Teddy Kennedy was here in San Francisco. A couple of days earlier I had pushed myself close enough to Robert Kennedy to shake his hand. On June 5, with the primary over, Ted was to be the “toast of San Francisco,” at least before learning his brother had been mortally wounded around midnight. Ted flew to Los Angeles on a 6 AM flight, and Bobby died in the wee hours of June 7th. To hear that Brain Cancer is now causing the Senator seizures, like the one he suffered at a post inauguration luncheon, this was indeed disheartening.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

PACQUIAO-HATTON DISPUTE SETTLEMENT COMING

THINK PAC-HATTON IS A STADIUM FIGHT?

San Francisco, CA– The hottest fighter in the current world of boxing is Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. Ricky Hatton of the UK, he is almost as hot as Manny. When Hatton fights in Las Vegas, and regardless of whom, at least 10,000 fans make the trek to support their guy. Pacquiao, the best fighter ‘pound for pound’ so say the majority of pundits, he’s good for bringing about the same amount of fans to Las Vegas. All that being said the biggest indoor arena in Las Vegas, the MGM Grand where this fight is being held, holds about 16,000 for boxing. If ever there was a fight worthy of being held in a Yankee Stadium type of venue, Pacquiao-Hatton appears to be it.

ALL CASH TO BE SPLIT EVENLY! Although nothing is yet signed, after originally agreeing to a 50-50 deal, Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum began pushing the envelope for a 60-40 split with Manny getting the bigger number. The fight, set for May 2 figures to be the most hyped match of 2009. With their perspective followings, and the fact that both have international appeal, the end of the day revenues should be humongous. Not only will Pacquiao-Hatton do 800,000 homes in the US on PPV, it’ll do over a million, if not closer to two million British homes paying to watch the fight on the telly.

WHAT BRINGS MANNY & RICKY TO THIS POINT?

His December shutout and then stoppage of Oscar De La Hoya was a surprise to everyone. Pacman’s beating De La Hoya, to me that wasn’t as big a thing as the manner in which he did it. Out boxing and punching De La Hoya from the first bell until the TKO 8 ending, Pac (48-3-2, 36 KOs) never allowed Oscar to land anything significant, if at all. De La Hoya did land a blow or two, but he did so only while holding Manny with his free hand.

HATTON MIGHT BE THE BIGGER DRAW OVERALL

Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) from Manchester, UK, is coming off of a near shutout (TKO 11) of Paul Malignaggi in November. His prior outing against Juan Lazcano in May 2008, it had some egregious refereeing by Britain’s Howard John Foster, meaning had Foster not given Ricky a “time out” to tie his shoes when Juan had him reeling, Lazcano might be champion. Team Hatton thought they’d be facing De La Hoya on May 2, but they aren’t complaining. Some of the numbers being bantered about have each guy making $25 million!

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

BOXING LOST A SPECIAL MAN IN HOWIE ALBERT

”OLD SCHOOL” MANAGER WAS TRULY A GEM

San Francisco, CA– Having always enjoyed being around Howie Albert, I was truly saddened to hear of his passing a fortnight ago. The partner of Gil Clancy, Howie was the manager, or as we joked, “the brains” of a successful partnership that spanned six decades. Emile Griffith, George Foreman, Rodrigo Valdes, Jerry Quarry, Juan Laporte, all titleholders in their own right are among the dozens of fighters they handled.

THOUGHT RUIZ WAS TOO BIG FOR ROY! Howie was given the “legend” treatment in the lead up to the Roy Jones 2003 win over John Ruiz in Las Vegas. Working with Don King, he was the “expert” everybody in the pressroom could quote going into the fight. Around me, Howie liked to be funny, wasn’t afraid to be the center of attention, and was quite forthright when talking about boxers and or boxing in general. He thought Ruiz was going to win, and wasn’t afraid to voice his displeasure with the lack of aggression John Ruiz displayed.

TREATED HIS FIGHTERS BEYOND EXTREMELY WELL

To say Howie was “old school” would indeed be a truism. This was truly a man who was genuine in his concern for his “kids” as Howie liked to call them. A family man, an honest man, and while I didn’t know Albert during his heyday of the 60s & 70s, the occasions to which I was afforded his company were always pleasant and enjoyable. Howie Albert was 86.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

JERMAIN TAYLOR-ANDRE WARD FIGHT “NOT HAPPENING”

DIFFICULT FIGHT FOR BOTH MEN

San Francisco, CA- A couple of months ago I wrote that a fight between ex-World middleweight (160 lbs) champ Jermain Taylor (28-2-1, 17 KOs) and 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Andre Ward (17-0, 12 KOs) was being discussed. When talking to the Ward camp, they flat out said they wanted the fight.

2004 OLYMPIAN VS 2000 OLYMPIANThis proposed clash at 168 lbs. would pit the 2004 Olympic champ Ward vs. the seemingly far more experienced 2000 Bronze medalist Taylor, appears to not be in the cards. Team Ward is saying that Taylor’s promoter Lou Di Bella nixed the fight. And I’m sure Lou will say something to the effect, “The numbers weren’t right.”

BEST CROSSROADS FIGHT ON THE BOARD?

This would have truly been a “crossroads” type of bout for both men, especially Taylor. Were Ward to prevail, and to do so impressively, this would wake up a majority of boxing fans. It would be the young tiger Ward vs. another tiger with slightly longer teeth (age wise) in Taylor.

AND WHAT IF JERMAIN WERE TO IMPRESS?

On the flipside, were Taylor to smoke Ward, this would give him a great deal of political (boxing) capital. He could go to Wales and fight Joe Calzaghe if Joe isn’t really retired. He could gain a lot, or lose a lot. The reason why this fight isn’t going to happen is that it presents too much risk for Jermain at this point and time for the money being offered.

LACY WIN A REAL SHOT IN ARM

Jermain is coming off a near shutout over win over Jeff Lacy (24-2, 17 KOs) in November. After two losses to Kelly Pavlik, who was then exposed by Bernard Hopkins, a guy Taylor outworked twice, a third loss for Taylor would be an indicator that he should take the money he has and run back to Little Rock, AR, where he resides. Jermain has more than enough money to retire if he were to do so.

WARD GOES IN LEMORRE NEXT MONTH

Unbeaten Ward, 25 next month, goes in Lemoore, CA at the Tachi Casino on February 6 against Henry Buchanan (17-1, 12 KOs) of Capital Heights, Maryland. Certainly a decent fighter, but nothing special, Henry’s lone loss was a near shutout on points to unbeaten Jean Paul Mendy, this in what was a significant step up in class for the 30-year old.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

NEW WEB DESIGN MERITS NEW BOXING WRITERS!

LOOKING FOR NEW BLOOD/TALENT!

San Francisco, CA– With the revamped RingTalk.com site just about completed by our web genius George “Shipwreck” Tapia, I am looking for five new writers. If you think you want to contribute, send me a sample story between 450 and 750 words. You need not be an accomplished journalist to join the team, as few are from the start. But this will be an opportunity to expand your horizons. So if you think you can produce copy regularly send me something at RingTalk@Yahoo.com

OBAMA’S TIME COMPARED TO JACK JOHNSON

THE MASSES CALLED HIM “NIGGER JACK

San Francisco, CA– Coinciding with the inauguration of the nation’s first black, OK half black President of the United States Barrack Obama, I’ve decided to look at the heavyweight championship from a black perspective. Jack Johnson, the first black universally recognized heavyweight champion was crowned in 1908 and held onto to the title until 1915. For those of us that recall the social reverberations of Muhammad Ali in the 60s, the hatred of the champion by many, you might find it hard to believe the reign of Jack Johnson was far more tumultuous.

WHO WAS JACK JOHNSON ANYWAY? From everything that I’ve read or seen, Jack Johnson was nothing short of an asshole! But remember my paraphrasing Winston Churchill when taking that judgment into account. “The winners write history, not the losers.” Johnson, born in Galveston, TX in March 1878, turned pro in 1897 and won the “colored” world heavyweight title in 1903 with a UD 20 over Denver Ed Martin. Jack would defend the black world heavyweight title nine times before losing in 1907 via DQ 2 to Joe Jeanette. This was the only time Johnson lost to Jeanette whom he faced eight times.

TALK ABOUT “PENIS ENVY”

By several accounts the 6’1 Johnson had a sexual appendage so large he would tie it to his thigh while training publicly. In addition, Jack would travel about the country with more than one white woman. He was partying, having sex, Jack Johnson was flaunting his intimate relationships with white women in the press. Insecure white men, not to mention their being jealous and prejudiced, all across this country they wanted JJ dead. In his lifetime there were many death threats put forth, and besides being the best fighter in the world, Johnson packed a gun at times.

JEFFRIES WAS FIRST “GREAT WHITE HOPE”

In 1910, former champ James J. Jeffries came back after six years to among other things display white supremacy over “colored” men. With the promoters blessing, the Reno, NV Ricky Hatton-esque crowd was chanting, “Kill the nigger.” Jeffies was stopped in the 15th round of a 45 round fight that was about as one-sided as they come. In his zenith at 32, Johnson got $225,000 and weighed 208 lbs. For their part, white men all across the United States rioted.

WHITE WOMEN & FIGHT VIDEOS MADE ILLEGAL

With President William Taft’s disdain for Johnson at a fevered pitch, there were two laws created because of Johnson’s antics. The first was making it illegal to send fight films over state lines. That’s right, the government was so threatened by a black man beating on whites that they conjured up such ridiculous legislation. Another law that was formed because of Johnson made it illegal to transport women across state lines.

“WHITE SLAVE TRAFFIC ACT” AKA “MANN ACT”

A conviction under “The Mann Act” was what drove Johnson into exile for bringing his white girlfriend (Taft’s people labeled her a prostitute) across state lines in 1913. Sentenced to a year and a day, Jack left the country instead of going to the slammer. He would fight abroad, losing the title to Jess Willard in 1915 in Havana, Cuba. Scheduled for 45 rounds, Johnson was out of gas and was stopped in the 26th.

FOUGHT A COUPLE OF TIMES A YEAR

After going unbeaten 21 times in the 11 years since Willard, Johnson would drop seven of his last nine fights before retiring in 1938 at 73-13-9 with 40 KOs at the age of 60. When he died in 1946 at 68, the result of driving his car too fast in the rain, Johnson was again labeled the devil. Devil or not, it maybe that Johnson was the greatest heavyweight in boxing history. Although it’s tough to compare eras, Johnson might have ran every heavyweight in history out of the ring!

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

MOSLEY’S STEROID SAGA BROKEN HERE IN 2004

”RING TALK” SCOOPED EVERYONE ON SHANE & ‘ROIDS!

San Francisco, CA- In recent days, the MaxBoxing.com website has delved into Shane Mosley’s admission to using steroids known as the “cream and the clear.” According to evidence in Federal custody, Shane used steroids in preparation for his second fight with Oscar De La Hoya. While this might come to some of you as a surprise, those that have been here for longer than a few minutes know that I penned this “exclusive” story back in 2004.

TOOK BOTH HEAT & THREATS AFTERWARDS People jumped all over me. Shane’s team called me a liar and Judd Burstein, Mosley’s lawyer, was talking lawsuit! My source was within the Grand Jury system, thus I knew then as I do now, that my story was correct and that Shane had done “cycles” of both then undetectable steroids.

PASSED LIE DETECTOR TEST & NOW ADMITS ‘ROIDS

Although Mosley is now candid, this seeing Sports Illustrated “outed” him. Before that he was adamant that he hadn’t taken anything. Why just last week, his publicist Debbie Kaplan (Sept 2007) issued a blanket denial, stating that Shane had passed a Polygraph test, (after my story ran). So, while it is admirable to come clean as Shane has done here, remember this. He only did so because Sports Illustrated and some other news entities printed what I had three years ago. One would think that an apology to a certain writer is warranted here Shane. In addition, Shane should come totally clean about the entire BALCO experience.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

TIME TO RELICENSE “INFAMOUS” PANAMA LEWIS?

DOES PANAMA DESERVE ANOTHER CHANCE?

San Francisco, CA– There are very few guys around that can mold raw talent into that of a champion. Deceased trainers Ray Arcel, Freddie Brown, they were two all time great teachers. They were eastern legends while on the left side of the US was LA’s Jackie McCoy. These were the “old school” guys that could turn chicken s*it into chicken soup. Arcel and Brown I’m told, taught the art of teaching boxing to Carlos “Panama” Lewis. Infamous? Lewis was convicted of taking the padding out of the boxing gloves of Luis Resto before a 1983 bout with the late Billy Collins Jr. . He would spend 2 ½ years of a six year sentence in prison. Resto spent about the same time behind bars.

LAX NY COMMISSION FACILITATED CRIMINAL ACT A removal of an ounce of padding in each glove resulted into what amounts to two gloveless fists busting up Collins’ facial bones, destroying his vision, and thus ending his promising career. It was one of the most despicable moments I had ever witnessed in my decades of watching prizefights, that night at the defunct Main St. Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on Closed Circuit TV. Collins, 101-7 as an amateur, drove his car off a road and died nine months later. He was 14-0 when he met the light puncher Resto at Madison Square Garden.

MANY HAVE CALLED FOR LEWIS’ HEAD

From that June day in 1983 forward, I’ve been a backer of the 49 states (Pennsylvania has licensed Lewis) that “banned Lewis for life.” Once I wrote, “They should tie him to a cactus in the Nevada desert and pour Coca Cola all over him, let the ants just eat him alive.”

ALMOST WENT TO BLOWS ONCE

I told Panama all of the above and more at the Mike Tyson-Buster Mathis Jr. weigh in that took place at in Philadelphia. It got so heated that people witnessing the event said after that they thought we would go to blows. Having seen a few times over the years, we’ve never talked.

FRAGMENTED COLLINS FAMILY TODAY

Billy parents, Billy and wife Bettye Collins are still together and live in Antioch, Tennessee. Collins did have a child, Alisha, shortly after the Resto assault with then wife Andrea Collins-Nile. The former daughter inlaw and the Collins’ are estranged. Last year the Estate of Billy Collins Jr. filed suit against the New York State Athletic Commission, the filing coincided with a documentary film release entitled, “Cornered.”

COMMISSION AT FAULT SANS QUESTION

The lead Inspector signed off on the gloves, this even though he wasn’t there when they were put on. The tampering took place under the auspices of the New York State Athletic Commission. Shouldn’t they be held responsible? One trial resulted in a hung-jury. If Collins-Nile is successful in a bid for a new trial, look at once for an out of court settlement. Whether by accident, blunder, or chicanery, it was the failure of the NYSAC that led to Collins taking the beating that he did.

THE $640,000 QUESTION

That being said, is it now the time to/ relicense Panama Lewis? Murderers spend less time in prison in a lot of instances. If Panama had intentionally run somebody over with a car, you don’t think that 25+ years later he’d be forbidden to drive. Of course had Lewis been a rapist, he probably wouldn’t be allowed be allowed to work in an OBGYN clinic. I say….yes! Your call, grant him a Assn. of Boxing Commissions license or not?

Pedro Fernandez

Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion. Comments regarding this submission can be left below.

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