April 7th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA- The English language could explain this no simpler. Ether you like Don King or you don’t. Having always found a way to pierce his shield, I used to love to challenge the guy his peeps used to refer to simply as “DK.” Now in his 82 turn of the Roman Calender, I simply call him Don. The Donald has been promoting fights since 1974 and the “Rumble In The Jungle” aka Muhammad Ali-George Foreman.
King who had had a piece of Earnie Shavers after doing his first wooing of a fighter when he wooed the hardest puncher in boxing history away from fellow Cleveland native Don Elbaum. But as a promoter, that cherry was popped with Ali-Foreman in Zaire, Africa. Don had gotten a reported $10 million for a site fee from President Mabutu who had great hopes of his country becoming the next French Riviera in tourism and that this fight would bring it priceless worldwide media exposure.
ZAIRE WAS A JUNGLE FOR SURE
But it wasn’t peaches and cream in Zaire leading up to the September 1974 match for a 24-year old Foreman as George was hated by the locals. His having a number of German Shepard dogs, a trait locals could only tie to the slave owners started George down the path of being the heel (bad guy) in this promotion.
CHAMPION CUT RIGHT BEFORE FIGHT READ MORE…
April 1st, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez
DON KING ON FIRE, HIS 40 YEARS & MUCH MORE
SATURDAY IS ONE HOUR & SUNDAY TWO HOURS
This was part of the two-hour Sunday edition of Ring Talk which starts at 11 AM PT on the Sports Byline Broadcast Network & the I Heart Radio Network which has an hour of boxing with the second hour all MMA. On Saturday at 11 AM PT Ring Talk is a one hour presentation that combines boxing and MMA.
29 YEAR RADIO SHOW “OFTEN IMITATED, BUT NEVER DUPLICATED”
To listen to promoter Don King and this particular program click on the black arrow in the gray box above or hit the play button.
March 13th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez
VIDEOTAPE OF “GREAT” FIGHT FOR YOUSan Francisco, CA- The stage was set. The grudge filled rivalry that is Mexico vs. Puerto Rico was in play here. In Lupe Pintor’s corner you will see WBC President Jose Sulaiman. Across the ring with champion Wilfredo Gomez was the great late Yamil Charde. Simply put, Yamil Charde was the Godfather of Puerto Rican boxing. The referee was the iconic Arthur Mercante Sr.
AMERICA’S VOICE OF BOXING, TV, MORE!
Introducing the fighters was the late Jimmy Lennon Sr. Being March 3, 1982, this was “old school” boxing at it’s best with Don King in his prime. Lennon Sr., a household face who appeared on countless television shows and feature films, his voice was pure Americana. Mr. Lennon, that’s what I called him, to everybody else he was just Jimmy, passed in 1992.
HOPE YOU ARE READY FOR VIDEO OF PURE VIOLENCE READ MORE…
March 11th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA- We have talked about how Larry Holmes had a hard road to hoe in following Muhammad Ali. That being said, if there was ever a main event that could not live up to the semi-main, it was Thomas Hearns & Wilfred Benitez having to enter the ring after Wilfredo Gomez and Lupe Pintor. The exact date was December 3, 1982, Ronald Reagan was in the White House, with the wirehaired wonder Don King promoting this card at the Louisiana Superdome.
MEET LUPE PINTOR FOLKS
Before we get to the fight, let’s water the plant first. Lupe Pintor was a “rugged” Mexican fighter who went 12-1, 9 KOs in Mexico before coming to the Great Western Forum and meeting Albert Davila in February 1976. In a battle of bantamweights that would both go on to win World titles, Davila prevailed via unanimous decision.
INTER STABLE FIGHT WITH ZARATE
Losing a couple of decisions along the way, Pintor was matched with the great Carlos Zarate (54-1, 53 KOs, only loss to Gomez) in Las Vegas on June 3, 1978. I believe they were both managed by Cuyo Hernandez, and Zarate a top five P4P guy at the time was not going to re-sign with Hernandez. After 15 rounds, judges Harold Buck and Art Lurie both saw it 143-142 Pintor, while Bob Martin scored the fight, are you ready, 145-133 for Zarate. That’s 12-3 in rounds! Feeling he had been screwed, Carlos would retire and not fight again for seven years.
BEAT THE SUPERFLY & KILLED THE BRIT READ MORE…
February 6th, 2014 By Kevin Perry
MAYWEATHER SENDS OUT TWEET AND ASKS FANS TO PICK HIS NEXT FIGHT
This week amidst bad publicity about a potential fight with former 140lb champion Amir Khan(28-3, 19 KOs), a fighter with no credentials whatsoever in the welterweight (147lb) division, WBC welterweight king and pound for pound superstar Floyd Mayweather asked his fans via twitter “Who should I fight? Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana (35-3, 30 KOs)?” Maidana is clearly the better opponent when you consider he’s actually had his last 5 bouts at welterweight.
However when you look closer, while Maidana certainly has earned the fight on the surface, he’s really no world beater to a certain extent. To put it mildly, he has no shot at beating Floyd. He will try, and that makes for what in essence would be a slaughter. Certainly a fighter who will fall right into the supreme counter punchers hands and make him look good. As effective as he was against Mayweather clone, or should I say “wannabe” Adrien Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) in a 12 round decision victory in December, Floyd won’t just be standing there to get hit. When he chooses to stay in the pocket against Maidana, expect the Argentiniean to be on the receiving end of hooks and right crosses.
MAYWEATHER POLL MISSING HIS OBVIOUS NEMESIS
If both Floyd and Manny Pacquiao(55-5-2, 38 KOs) win their next bouts, and thats no certainty (Manny must defeat Tim Bradley(31-0, 12 KOs) in their rematch in April), they certainly at the least need to enter some sort of negotiation. For as much as Goldenboy Promotions and Top Rank don’t appear to want to do any business together, Bob Arum and Don King could put their differences aside to negotiate a superfight if need be.
VIDEO:MANNY SAYS HIS LINES ARE OPEN 24/7!
FANS HAVE MADE THEIR VOICES HEARD!98% OF 10,000 VOTERS SAY NO TO FLOYD VS KHAN READ MORE…
January 13th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez
KING DON STILL HAS PLENTY OF CHARM & CHARISMASan Francisco, CA- This picture with promoter Don King taken in late August in of all places the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary, this at the 2013 WBO Congress. Having just led the crowd that included Hungarian President Yanos Ader in singing the Donald “Happy Birthday,” I thank Minnesota based and world class referee Mark Nelson for capturing this moment with the 82-year old icon that is Don King.
October 14th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
TRAINER OF STARS DEAN POWELL STEPPED IN FRONT OF TRAIN
San Francisco, CA- When I was in Budapest in August, the high point at the 26th annual World Boxing Organization Congress for me was introducing the Hungarian President Janos Ader. Sitting at a table with promoters Don King, Frank Warren, an interpreter, Dana Jamison of Don King Productions and and Warren’s #1 guy Dean Powell, this was obviously the VIP table whose food servers were either armed, searched and or escorted.
HUNGARIAN GOULASH JUST BEEF STEW
The dinner consisted of this great Hungarian goulash and duck. Well I’m no McDonald’s guy at home, but a Quarter Pounder with Swiss Cheese from the Mickey D’s near our Inter Continental Hotel, was looking a lot better three hours from now than the duck was right then and there.
WARREN BROUGHT POWELL UP WITH HIM
When I gave Frank Warren one of the WBO awards, it was his 47-year old matchmaker Dean Powell, whom I believe accompanied Frank to the stage. What has gone unreported here in the United States that was the death less than two weeks after I saw him in Hungary, trainer, matchmaker and Frank Warren’s right hand Dean Powell committed suicide on September 10 by stepping in front of a train at New Cross Gate station. I didn’t notice any US sites doing anything other than his obituary.
WHY SUICIDE DEATH SHOULD SURPRISE NO ONE? 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 30th, 2013 By Robbi Patterson
“SUPERMAN” STEVENSON COULD BE “REAL DEAL”
Glasgow, Scotland- Adonis Stevenson walked into the Bell Centre for the first defense of his WBC light heavyweight (175 lb.) title bout against Tavoris Cloud wearing a baseball cap and donning a red cape with that Clark Kent look. Here was a fighter oozing with so much confidence as he stepped off a music stage. While it wasn’t quite like Prince Naseem Hamed coming into a London Arena on a “magic” carpet, Stevenson’s walk to the ring commanded attention.
ADONIS “OWNED” CLOUD & LET HIM KNOW IT
Make no mistake about it, the spectators had just witnessed the boxing equivalent of a Beatles concert in the main event as they departed the arena. Stevenson (22-1, 19 KOs) strummed his gloves off Cloud’s head and body as sweetly as one of Canada’s greatest musicians, Neil Young on the guitar. Dressed in the famous Kronk Gym (gold) trunks opened up with authority working behind his southpaw right jab.
FOCUSED CLOUD SANS ANY OFFENSE
Working behind that jab, Stevenson was the consummate boxer against the well-prepared Cloud in this battle of once beaten fighters. Instead of loading up on punches had so far defined himself as to this point in his career, Adonis showed that even the Marquess of Queensbury would himself been impressed. To say Cloud had difficulty landing blows and was unable to get into any kind of rhythm would sum up the former IBF titleholder Tavoris Cloud’s (24-2, 19 KOs) in Reader’s Digest like fashion.
FIGHTING LEFTIES IS A REAL BITCH….BUT WHEN… READ MORE…
September 24th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
FLOYD BREAKS PPV RECORD VS. HAPLESS CANELO
San Francisco, CA– With the record breaking pay-per-view numbers coming in this week for the Floyd Mayweather–Saul Alvarez fight, its time to admit the following: Floyd Mayweather is to boxing what Viagra is to sex. Seriously, whether you want to admit it or not, people, the masses, they want to see Floyd Mayweather fight, just not for the same reasons.
PURISTS LOVE FLOYD, KNOCKOUT LOVERS DO NOT!
For the boxing purists, Floyd, even at 36 is simply poetry in motion, albeit sans the knockout punch. On the flip-side we have a good percentage of people watching Floyd Mayweather fights simply hoping, no begging to see him get knocked out. This was the same when Muhammad Ali boxed, hell they were hating him before the name change when he was Cassius Clay.
ARIAN NATION MEMBERS EVEN WATCH FLOYD?
Now while I’m sure there are not too many fans in the Arian nation, his fan base, the people that want to see Floyd fight, be it to win or lose, is greater than any fighter since Mike Tyson. Much like Ray Stevens, the late professional wrestler who owned San Francisco back in the day, was both the most admired and most hated athlete, this during the great Willie Mays baseball era, having sold out the Cow Palace more than any individual or sports team in the venues 60 year history.
EXPECTING ARGENTINA TO CRY THIS TIME!
There is talk this week that Mayweather, now 45 and zip with 26 KOs, will step up almost two weight classes and take on reigning middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in May 2014. Martinez, who’s almost as old as dirt has looked extremely vulnerable since the last round of the Julio Cesar Chavez fight. You might not remember but Julio threw Sergio to the canvas as the frustrated Mexican was getting beaten round after round in September 2012.
SURGERY, AGE, MILEAGE, NOT GOOD FOR FIGHTING FLOYD READ MORE…
September 22nd, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
DANNY GARCIA PROVES TO BE “REAL DEAL”
Los Angeles, CA- Philadelphia’s reigning World & WBA/WBC light welterweight (140 lbs) champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) shocked several people on Saturday night when he retained his titles with by winning a hard-fought decision over hard-hitting Argentine Lucas “La Máquina” Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs). Many, myself included, believed Matthysse would dispose of Garcia easily, but Danny did just enough to take it in the eyes of the judges.
TEAM GARCIA WAS THE BETTER CORNER!
In what was a highly competitive bout throughout, both men landed solid shots over twelve rounds, with Lucas’ right eye eventually swelling shut halfway through the contest. Garcia was awarded a dubious knockdown in round eleven after landed a hook to the back of Matthysse’s head. After several warnings from Tony Weeks, Garcia finally had a point taken for excessive low blows in the 12th round, but the fight was already in the bag for him by then. Weeks likely should have taken one earlier, and its impact on the fight would have been interesting. With the final scorecards reading 115-111 and 114-112 twice in favor of Garcia, these deductions certainly had an influence.
REFEREE WEEKS WAS A BIT SLOW AT ONE POINT!
Weeks also seemed to give Danny quite a bit of recovery time after Lucas knocked his mouthpiece out in the 11th. The deck seemed to back stacked in Danny’s favor a bit, though he fought very well. A big money showdown with “Money” Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) is probably ahead, but Danny should take the opportunity to gain more experience before lacing them up against Floyd.
DO THEY DO IT AGAIN? READ MORE…
August 13th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS OF BOXING
San Francisco, CA- What has gone unnoticed, at least from a media point of view, is the lack of Black involvement in boxing. Before you say wait a second, African-Americans are supreme in five of 17 weight classes. It used to be more. Support for the game by African American fans since the end of the Mike Tyson era, has almost evaporated to non-existence except of when Floyd Mayweather “appears.”
CRACK COCAINE TOOK GENERATION(S)
There are a few reasons, if not more that may begin to explain this phenomenon as to why Blacks have abandoned boxing. First of all, Crack Cocaine took away an entire generation, if not two groups of high-risk African-American youth. I watched it happen as towards the end of the 1980s.
BOTH NBA & NFL HAVE RECRUITMENT PLANS
There are so many other sports out there, but predominantly basketball and football, which are marketed with a future in mind. Boxing, rather the people that run it, are only concerned about how much profit they can make today. As was suggested here years ago, Mike Tyson might deserve some of the blame, as people READ MORE…
August 6th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
31 YEARS AFTER DEATH SANCHEZ REMEMBERED
San Francisco, CA- In less than two weeks, August 12, 2013 to be exact and it will have marked 31 years since the passing of featherweight (126 lbs) champion Salvador Sanchez. Notice I did NOT use the word anniversary, for I don’t honor the day Giselle Ortiz was killed, July 31, the day the US Government was overthrown by a coup that killed President Kennedy on November 22, to me, those and other dates are just not something to celebrate.
MEXICAN BOXERS TURN PROFESSIONAL EARLY ON
So goes the passing of Sanchez, just 23 years at the time his sports car rear ended a truck carrying live chickens to market. Turning professional at the tender age of 16, something not uncommon for Mexican boxers with and without ability. I’ve been told you can turn professional south of the border at the age as young as 15, as did Antonio Margarito. Erik Morales started punching for pay at 16 years of age. Said to be the greatest boxer in Mexican history, I consider him vastly overrated, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. began slinging leather professionally at 17.
LEGACY OF SALVADOR SANCHEZ ONE OF DOUBT?
Having met Sanchez twice, both on the same day of August 8, 1981, the day he slew unbeaten Wilfredo Gomez (32-0-1, 32 KOs) inside of eight fistic frames, “Double S” was the most unassuming boxer who attained greatness I had ever encountered. He was shy, spoke no English, and even in Spanish cut his verbiage in response to questions down to the briefest number of words possible, sort of like Evander Holyfield when he and I met in 1984.
TURNED PRO AFTER JUST FOUR AMATEUR SCRAPS!
With a chin that reminded me of the cartoon character Popeye, Sanchez had his first fight for money on May 4, 1975 against a fighter that BoxRec.com doesn’t have a record on named Al Gardino, that ended via KO 3. His next three opponents, Miguel Ortiz (KO 3), Victor Martinez (KO 2) and Cesar Lopez (KO 3), all of these fights were held in Veracruz, Mexico. Taking his trade to country’s capital of Mexico City where he would have two fights with Candito Sandoval (TKO 7) and Fidel Treijo who took him the eight round distance concluding 1975 for “SS” on December 11.
LEARNING ON THE JOB AS HE WENT! READ MORE…
July 8th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
SOME MEMORIES ARE PRICELESS!
San Francisco, CA- The landscape that is the sport and business of professional boxing has changed so much in the last couple of years. Once the most powerful man in the land, incredibly promoter Don King is now a tiny bleep on the pugilistic radar screen. Some say it is his age (82) and health, but I can tell you if King Donald could procure some AAA talent, be it by “hook or crook,” you’d be seeing him more often than throwing a couple of B cards with maybe an A name a year. The problem with Don is he won’t share his toys, er his knowledge, thus look for DK to take it all with him when he goes.
CAN’T CALL THESE GUYS NO MORE!
In a time span that seems like one or two rounds, Bert “The Hat” Sugar had checked out due to health issues, but he was 74 and had lived one hell of an adult life. Working a TV series with Bert in Las Vegas, being on the road with him in various states/countries, I’ll never forget the time promoter Lou Falcigno’s drunk and 40 years younger than Lou, pulled his hat off while we were at a private party the Riviera Hotel had thrown for the promotion. But what still brings a smile was when Hall of Fame writer Jack Fiske, owed monies for writing for Ring Magazine, of which Bert was the Editor, walked into the Ring offices and took pictures and drawings off the walls in lieu of compensation that Bert had promised him for two years!
ANGELO DUNDEE: GREAT OR IN RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME!
Some guys you fall out of touch with and in his last couple of years Angelo Dundee and I didn’t converse on a regular basis. When he passed at READ MORE…