November 27th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
ERIC MARTIN STORY FROM THE ARCHIVES!South San Francisco, CA- Six years ago this week or last, I literally ran into Eric “The Prince” Martin for the last time. Running through the streets of this little city, a community a few miles south of The City by The Bay, Eric turned the corner at Grand & Maple. He was leaving the Physique Magnifique boxing gym. We talked, nothing major, exchanged holiday wishes and the next thing I know “The Prince” is dead. One of the worst eaters I ever knew, especially from an athletic point of view, Eric preferred McDonald’s over a filet, and in the end that would lead to his death. A type 2 Diabetic, that and complications from a tooth extraction brought Eric’s life to an end December 23, 2007 at the age of 48.
CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF GREAT BOXER SANS CONNECTIONS
Eric’s record is less than impressive. At the same time, he fought seven world champions, none of whom could stop the former San Francisco Police Dept. recruit, who left the academy to fight professionally. On any given night, he could be the best “boxer” in the world. The problem with Eric was two-fold. 1. He was a a great boxer who lacked the ability (punch or mean spirit) to finish guys. 2. That being said, he couldn’t sell tickets and his manager, the late Bill Mateo was about as straight as San Francisco’s Lombard St. Loyal to an ignorant fault, Martin wouldn’t listen to those of us (he was (8-2) that knew the game and cared, thus he stayed with Mateo and instantly became an underpaid opponent.
DIDN’T CRY WHEN BILL DIED
I mentioned Eric had fought seven guys who claimed world titles. Eric made the boxing world take note when he all but bi*ch slapped future World champ Lupe Aquino (22-1, 16 KOs) on the Larry Holmes-Marvis Frazier card in 1983 that resulted in an absurd draw. Not impressive physically, but always in shape, Eric needed four rounds to make the “house” judges realize he was in the fight, let alone winning it! Mateo, who died in 2005 from a heart attack, really had little regard for Eric, and like a guy in love with a crack addict, Martin put up with Mateo to a point where I might have wanted to end the manager’s life.
SEVEN CHAMPS FROM 140-160 & NONE COULD DROP/STOP ERIC READ MORE…
November 10th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
Corpus Christi, TX- (HBO) Mikey Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) KO 8 Roman Martinez (27-2-2, 16 KOS) (Wins WBO 130 lb. title) Martinez stunned everybody by dropping Mikey in the second, but that appeared to be his zenith as Garcia fought his way back and never let go until the end that was the result of a body shot from Garcia at the :57 second mark. Mikey shined, good mettle, but I wonder about that chin as the light punching Puerto Rican dropped him with a counter right.
TENTATIVE NONITO KO’S DARCHINYAN
Former multi-division champion Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) TKO 9 Vic Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28 KOs) (126) Twas’ a rematch of July 7, 2007 KO win for Nonito, who looked uneasy and was losing on points before dropping Darchinyan with a left hook, this after he himself had eaten a Darchinyan uppercut. Up and wobbling, Darchinyan was getting battered about the ring until the referee had seen enough. Donaire has peaked and need be careful in selecting foes as he is ready for the taking. Time was 2:06.
ONE JUDGE “LOWLIGHT” OF WBO TITLE SCRAP READ MORE…
October 22nd, 2013 By Zak Attack
Los Angeles, CA- Promoter. Snake Oil Salesman. Marijuana enthusiast. Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions wears many hats. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Arum has had an extremely lucrative career in boxing. He is responsible for some of the biggest fights in history (Marvin Hagler-Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad) and some of the biggest non-events (Juanma Lopez-Yuriorkis Gamboa, Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao). Arum is both good and bad for boxing, as one would expect from a man who once said “Yesterday I was lying, but today I’m telling the truth.”
TOP RANK CZAR STILL HAS “FIRE IN BELLY”
Like any good lawyer, Arum knows the difference between “the letter of the law” and the actual meaning. At the ripe age of 81, Arum still has the fire of a man 40 years his junior, and is the creator of a complex language known as “Arumaic.” It is one of the oldest languages in the sport of boxing, and has yet to be properly decoded by a non-speaker. After years of research, I believe I have finally cracked the code.
CODE OF ARUM HAS BEEN FINALLY DECODED! READ MORE…
October 1st, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
SECOND AND FINAL INSTALLMENT
San Francisco, CA- In Part I, I took you through the maze of bull s*it that led up to the October 2, 1980 match between unbeaten heavyweight champion Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali. The morning of the fight, the Godfather of all boxing writers, Jack Fiske is milling about the lobby of Caesars Palace. Also working the circular bar in the lobby (fight headquarters in those days) was press legend Dick Young when Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis (and two very unassuming bodyguards) approached the Big Apple columnist.
CAESARS PALACE LOBBY BAR WAS PLACE TO BE
Although the bar was open to the public, the ambiance was such that it made like a private setting. For some reason, only the most fanatical of fans would unknowingly breach the invisible circle of privacy that surrounds celebrities. Joe Frazier was there, as was Ken Norton, Joe Louis in a wheelchair, (all three have now passed) this less than six months away from the April 1981 death of the “Brown Bomber.”
SQUARES AFFECTED THE BETTING LINE BIG! READ MORE…
October 1st, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
10/2/1980 WAS DAY “THE FIGHTER” DIED IN ALI
San Francisco, CA- The overweight man you see with a mustache here is Muhammad Ali in the late summer of 1980. After a two year hiatus from boxing after besting Leon Spinks in a 1978 rematch, promoter Don King, only eight years into promoting, convinced Muhammad to come back and fight unbeaten World heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. Actually, Ali didn’t need much convincing as DK was offering him $8 million reasons to fight again.
CHAMPION WAS SECOND FIDDLE HERE
A former sparring partner of Ali, Larry can be seen beating Ali up in a Deer Lake, PA training session in the movie, “Ali: Brains, Skill, & Guts,” taped in 1974 as Ali prepped for his “Rumble in The Jungle” with George Foreman. Holmes, AKA “The Easton Assassin” was 31 years young and 35-0, 26 KOs.
IN THE HOUSE PAY PER VIEW NOT YET HAPPENING READ MORE…
September 29th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
BOXING REACHES YET ANOTHER NEW LOW!
San Francisco, CA– They say the oldest profession in the world is prostitution. That being said, hookers, be it male or female, are aware that they are going to get screwed, that is the nature of their profession. Professional boxers on the other hand apply their trade in the squared circle of battle and not between the sheets of some cheap motel. But if you watched the Julio Cesar Chavez-Brian Vera fight Saturday on HBO, then you know that the business concept of prostitution is more noble than that of professional boxing.
PROFESSIONALS SHOULD NOT MAKE SUCH GAFFS!
There are lots of people that have bad days at work, hell, I commit typos all the time. But the errors of a writer will not impact, and or destroy one’s livelihood. That cannot be said for the decision of boxing judges Gwen Adair, Marty Denkin and Carla Caiz, who by some stretch of the imagination gave Chavez a unanimous decision win over Brian Vera, who threw more punches, landed more shots, thus winning far more rounds than the not-so svelte (fat ass) son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
EVEN PEOPLE AT FATBURGER HAD TO PUKE!
Adair, best known for being the first US female boxing referee, her cameo appearance on the TV series MASH, who also started the Fatburger fast food chain, scored the fight 98-92 (8 rounds to 2) for Chavez. Marty Denkin, Hall of Famer or not, had Chavez up 97-93 (7-3 in rounds), while the third judge, Carla Caiz gave it to JC. Jr. by a 96-94 (6-4 in rounds) score, when in reality Julio won at the very most three rounds.
IS BOXING SCRIPTED JUST LIKE THE WWE? READ MORE…
July 31st, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
SOMETIMES THINGS CAN’T BE UNBROKEN
San Francisco, CA- Did you ever have something, be it a car, computer, maybe a relationship, once it is broke, it’s never again the same? Send it to the shop, they fix it, you pay for it with a credit card and the item is not working again even before your monthly cardholder statement arrives via email?
FIGHTERS THAT ARE “ONE AND DONE”
In the realm of our subject matter, some fighters are “One and Done,” meaning one ass kicking and they’re instantly nothing more than a punching bag with a name. While there are plenty of guys/gals that take a lickin’ and keep on tickin‘, no pun intended Liz, but the truth is nobody can un-break an egg once the shell has been cracked!
JUAN MA FELL OFF OF PUERTO RICAN MANTLE
Recently we’ve Juan Manuel Lopez, unbeaten and talented, albeit with a penchant for putting on unprofessional (obscene) amounts of weight between scraps and has now been knocked out thrice, Orlando Salido twice, and a couple of months ago Mikey Garcia (30-0, 22 KOs) hammered him into submission. The change in Lopez is almost a metamorphosis he has changed so drastically and quickly.
LOOKED LIKE GREAT FIGHTER IN THE MAKING
Lopez 31-3, 22 KOs, was an amazing technician and was the perfect definition of a “boxer-puncher” as he garnered 23 KOs in those 31 victories. His downhill descention was predicted by none other than his promoter Bob Arum. The contortion of Juan Ma’s facial features in the three losses do not appear to be healthy if you were looking at him from a neurological point of view. Having never heard of Juan Ma being on anything other than a 10,000 calorie a day diet between fights, steroids or PEDs would tend not to be parcel to the decline
DEM’ DARN VITAMINS & ANDRE BERTO
Had Andre Berto not been into those Flintstone vitamins that some people claim are not from Bedrock, the lad could have been a bit more than he was at his peak. I think he over did it on the weights, had traces of banned steroids in his system which put him on the shelf. Berto’s thing, and I believe his father played a role in this, was one of those guys that over emphasized weightlifting which made him stiff not fluid. There are some fighters, one Aussie in particular that broke down earlier than one would think and the reason cited was steroid use.
BERTO “COULD HAVE BEEN” SOMETHING SPECIAL READ MORE…
July 12th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
BIGGEST BOXING MISTAKE IN YEARS!
San Francisco, CA- The biggest mistake from a monetary point of view in recent years regarding the sport and business of professional boxing was the gaff commited by Manny Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum in their letting the Floyd Mayweather fight get away.
NEGOTIATING IS “GIVE & TAKE”
Some people are quick to point out that Mayweather was putting forth unreasonable demands that Pacquiao, who had gained an incredible amount of muscle in putting on 40 lbs., to adhere to “random drug (steroid) testing. Floyd had agreed to Manny’s demands that he fork over millions of dollars for every pound over 147, Floyd agreed, Manny refused, and the rest is history.
WAS IT REALLY ABOUT DRUG TESTS?
Many speculate that Manny was using Performance Enhancing Drugs, and that his refusal to take the testing with no cut off date was the real reason Pacquiao and Mayweather did not split a record purse. Mo, the drug testing issue was nothing more than a Bob Arum smokescreen.
TRUTH HARD TO SWALLOW FOR SOME READ MORE…
May 6th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
BRANDON RIOS INKED TO FACE MANNY PACQUIAO
San Francisco, CA- Well its official, Manny Pacquiao will meet Brandon Rios on the greatest day of any year, November 24, in a place Hall of Fame writer/broadcaster Larry Merchant calls, ” Las Vegas on steroids,” Macau, the former Portuguese colony that reverted back to the Chinese in 1999. As far as getting bang for the buck, taking Manny Pacquiao to China is the thing to do. The negative is that in order to broadcast the fight in the United States, we’re looking at a 10 AM Sunday morning start.
Having been known as a man who likes to bet on rooster fights, pool hall competition, some blackjack, Manny is now said to have abandoned all of his vices (poor guy) and is living a “cleaner” life. But has that change of lifestyle been beneficial to Manny Pacquiao the boxer? Rumors of almost Voo Doo like settings that were said to have involved the consumption of somebody else’s blood, this as Pacquiao left the Catholic church for a Born Again sect of Christianity.
NEW RELIGION GOOD FOR BOXER PAC?
Obviously not as he has lost two in a row. Now while some may feel the Tim Bradley contest was controversial to say the least, one cannot say the same with the ending of the Juan Manuel Marquez fight. With one punch an entire country was silenced as Manny lay motionless in a horizontal position in Las Vegas. Having been around this a while, knockouts don’t get much nastier than the face planting shot that Marquez perfectly timed shot that caught the rallying Pacquiao on the button!
RIOS MORE THAN JUST A SPEED BUMP! READ MORE…
April 25th, 2013 By Jarrad Woods
New York, NY- According to reports, Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) will put his WBO title on the line against Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) on September 14th, Mexican Independence Day weekend. This will be a dynamic fight and should serve as a defining match up for both pugilists. If there was ever a time when both warriors could gain the most out of facing one another, it is now. Each own recent wins over Manny Pacquiao and seem destined to clash as there are limited marketable welterweight (147 lb.) opponents on Top Rank’s roster.
BRADLEY AS LITMUS TEST: EXHIBIT A
One thing we will learn, is if Bradley will stick to his guns and request random drug testing leading up to this bout. As mentioned in my previous article, Bradley previously announced that all of his opponents would be required to participate in random drug screening. Many boxing insiders are aware that Marquez has been working with reported Balco Lab linked strength and conditioning coach, “Memo” Heredia, AKA Angel Hernandez.
GOOD TRAINING? STEROIDS? NEITHER?
Many beleive Hernandez is responsible for Marquez’s newly formed muscular physique and noticeably increased punching power. The same power that unexpectedly stopped former champ, Pacquiao “dead” in his tracks in December of last year. Random screening will clear Marquez of any viscous rumors and also be a positive directive for high profile bouts.
BRADLEY AS LITMUS TEST: EXHIBIT B READ MORE…
April 11th, 2013 By Kevin Perry
TWO BEST 122 LB. FIGHTERS FACE OFF SATURDAY NIGHT
Los Angeles, CA- WBO super bantamweight (122 lb.) champion Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs), a native of the Philippines, residing now in San Leandro, CA, faces a “Catch 22″ situation Saturday night in HBO’s main event when he faces decorated Cuban amateur and WBA 122 lb. counterpart Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs).
“FILIPINO FLASH” & “COMPLETE CUBAN”
If he defeats the former two-time Olympic Gold medalist its possible he won’t get the credit he deserves due to Rigondeaux’s lack of professional experience, limited profile and minuscule fan base. If he loses, future fights become less lucrative and detractors who believe Donaire has been fighting handpicked opponents will be vindicated. The biggest problem here is that Rigondeaux has a style that most likely can make Donaire look bad, be it winning or losing.
CAN FIGHT LIVE UP TO HYPE?
Hardcore boxing fans have been looking forward to this bout for the last year. It appears to be a toss up, at least on paper. The Filipino looked stellar in 2012, winning four times, beating some of the top guys at 122; Wilfredo Vasquez Jr.(22-3-1, 19 KOs), Jeffrey Mathebula (27-4-2,14 KOs), Toshiaki Nishioka (39-5-3, 24 KOs) and Jorge Arce (61-7-2, 46 KOs). However Saturday for quite possibly the first time in his career, Donaire’s facing a fighter with comparable hand speed and power. Rigondeaux, who won reportedly near 400 amateur bouts has arguably better footwork and superior defense. READ MORE…
March 17th, 2013 By Kevin Perry
“DESERT STORM” BESTS PROVODNIKOV
Los Angeles, CA- In the aftermath of his controversial victory over Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) last June WBO welterweight 147 lbs.) champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) has had a chip on his shoulder. Out to prove to critics that he’s more than just a winner, but an entertainer, Bradley went toe to toe and blow for blow with limited, but persistent slugger Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs). Provodnikov, a native of the rugged terrain of Siberia is trained by Freddie Roach and is also the main sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao.
BRADLEY NEARLY HALTED EARLY
Round one saw both fighters battle in what amounts to a proverbial phone booth. Bradley unfortunately gave the one-dimensional Russian an opportunity to land his punches and paid for it dearly. Tim was hurt in rounds one and two by power punches, and at times appeared to be out on his feet. Unfortunately Provodnikov never earned credit for a knockdown that he appeared to earn in that first stanza.
MOMENTUM IN FIGHT SHIFTED READ MORE…
February 13th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
WHO IS IN THIS INTERESTING BUNCH SITTING RINGSIDE?
San Francisco, CA– I’m going to name the obvious people in this picture. As for the not so well known boxing characters seated here, I’ll leave that to people like birthday boy & matchmaker supreme Johnny Bos. Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie (or Veronica?), a younger Bob Arum.
MUSTACHE GIVES APPROXIMATE DATE
In 1980, Arum, who had promoted Muhammad READ MORE…
December 8th, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA- The drama, the ebb and flow of the first three Juan Manuel Marquez-Manny Pacquiao fights were hard acts to follow. That being said, their fourth encounter Saturday night in Las Vegas was more exciting than any of the prior three. Pacquiao came out very aggressive and won the first two rounds with quantity and quality, using the right jab to set up the left cross.
PACQUIAO CRUISING UNTIL HE GOT PUT DOWN HARD
With Pacquiao surging, Marquez landed a beautiful right hand over the top in round three that dropped Manny like a deer shot with a high powered rifle. Getting up, Pacquiao tried to fight back, but for the most part was on the take. The right hand that felled Pacman was set up by a series of body shots, mainly left hands underneath. In round five, Marquez ate a left cross that knocked him off center to the point where his left glove touched the canvas, thus an official knockdown.
PACQUIAO WENT FOR THE KILL & WAS KILLED INSTEAD! READ MORE…
September 13th, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez
PACQUIAO-MARQUEZ OR MARQUEZ-PACQUIAO IV
San Francisco, CA- It wasn’t the fight that Manny Pacquiao wanted. In fact, with Manny announcing that he is running for Governor in his native Philippines in 2013, I wonder if he wants to fight at all? Against Tim Bradley in June, whether you agree with the split verdict or not, Pacquiao looked old, slow and one dimensional as all he was throwing was straight left hands. Fighting Bradley again wasn’t in the cards as Tim’s style isn’t worth the risk of possibly losing again. Instead on December 8, Pacquiao will face his arch nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.
MARQUEZ BEAT PAC & PAC BEAT BRADLEY!
Such is the sport of boxing, but this is what the majority of pundits feel, that last November Marquez beat Pacquiao and was given a gift. These same railbirds feel that Pacquiao defeated Bradley. I thought the Bradley-Pacquiao fight was closer than some people had it, this seeing I watched the fight sans any HBO “influencing” from their announcing team led by cheerleader Jim Lampley. That being said, I thought the third fight with Marquez, who has yet to beat Pacquiao as they had a draw the first time, Pacquiao won controversially the second tango, but the controversy paled in comparison to their third fight last November.
BOTH GUYS ARE CLOSE TO HANGING THEM UP! READ MORE…