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 7th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
Corpus Christi, TX- (HBO) Champion Roman Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KOS) vs Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) (WBO 130 lb. title) Odds/Prediction: Garcia 14-5. Few people outside of Team Martinez are giving him a shot. Worthy champion and a quality fighter vs. next boxing superstar? Mikey Garcia is looking to impress, Roman to defend and leave champion. That being said, going with Garcia to be 33-0 come Sunday morning.
BATTLE OF UNBEATEN GO AFTER WBO 154 LB. TITLE
Vanes Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KOs) vs Demetrius Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) (WBO 154 lb. title) Odds/Prediction: Vanos 3-1. One pundit considers this a mismatch with Vanes the easy to bet on favorite. In this battle of undefeated fighters, I’m going to sit on the fence (can go either way) with a ever-so slight lean towards Vanes.
NONITO DONAIRE RETURNS WITH VIC DARCHINYAN REMATCH READ MORE…
November 2nd, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
Theater @ Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY- (HBO) Champion Gennady Golovkin (28-0, 25 KOs) TKO 8 Curtis Stevens (28-4-1, 18 KOs) (WBA/IBO 160 lb. titles) Although he didn’t cut through Curtis Stevens like a hot knife and butter, Gennady Golovkin, in control from the start, with two left hooks put Stevens down hard in round two. The Brooklyn native who talked a good talk, could not walk the walk, as most expected against the two heavy fists of the still unbeaten punching machine from Kazakhstan.
COULD HAVE GAVE CURTIS ROUND FIVE…
While one guy I was with for the fight thought Stevens won the opener, I gave him round five as it was extremely close, which was not the case as Golovkin stalked his prey for the most part with little apprehension. Going both to the body and head with hard meaningful punches, Golvkin may have wondered what was keeping Curtis up. The end came as the Stevens corner stopped the fight after round seven. The fighter did not object.
GOLOVKIN “OPEN FOR ANYBODY”
Having already said he would drop to 154 for Floyd Mayweather, WBA middleweight (160) champ Golovkin has also indicated me might be open for a move to 168, to face even Andre Ward, the recognized World super middleweight champ, or a battle with middleweight counterpart and linear champ Sergio Martinez. “I’m open for anybody,” said Golovkin post fight.
CUBAN NEEDS DIETICIAN & TAD MORE SEASONING! READ MORE…
October 20th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA- I will preface each article this evening, on both the boxing card on HBO and the UFC 166 presentation, it was indeed a great night to be a fight fan. In the HBO main event, “Mr. Hard Luck” Ruslan Provodnikov, denied what looked like a deserved win against WBO 147 lb. champion Tim Bradley last time out, silenced a pro-Mike Alvarado audience in the now former WBO 140 lb. king’s hometown midway through the fight.
AGGRESSION & CLEAN PUNCHING
Opening strong, Ruslan won the opener with aggression, effective at that, and punches that made a statement as he was the puncher and Alvarado found that out early. Going into a boxing mode, Mike hoped he could stifle the always coming forward Russian.
ALVARADO HAS “HUGE STONES”
With things relatively close, the ninth round produced fireworks that saw “Ruslan the Russian” drop Mike Alvarado twice. Landing left hooks, preceded by left jabs, coupled with crunching right hands, you knew it was only a matter of time before Mr. Alvarado would succumb.
“BRAVE CORNER” SENT MIKE OUT HURT! READ MORE…
October 18th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
Saturday October 19, 2013FIRST “REAL” FIGHT IN DENVER IN IONS
First Bank Center, Denver, CO- Champion Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) vs Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) (WBO 140 lb. title) Odds/Prediction: Provodnikov 8-5. Ruslan beat Tim Bradley in the minds of not just a few, but mostly everybody outside of the judges and Bradley. Alvarado lost to Brandon Rios, the suspected pigeon for Manny Pacquiao next month, and when you match that against the Provodnikov efforts of late, I’m leaning towards Ruslan. Willing to drop $1,600 to win $2,600.
BRADLEY-MARQUEZ TIP: SCORE EACH ROUND SANS ANY SOUND!
The Tim Bradley (31-0, 12 KOS) vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) bout will be replayed tonight prior to Mike Alvarado vs Ruslan Provodnikov. Watch this fight with NO VOLUME please and you might come up 10-2, or 8-4 in rounds, 116-112 Bradley as I had it. I gave the close rounds to Marquez. As for Marquez, he whines READ MORE…
October 6th, 2013 By Jason B. Nava
FREDDIE ROACH: OVERRATED OR TRULY GREAT?
San Francisco, CA- After Miguel Cotto easily dismantled game but outgunned Delvin Rodriguez on HBO this past Saturday evening, a friend of mine asked me, “What makes Freddie so good?” Of course he was referring to Cotto’s latest in a revolving door of trainers, Freddie Roach, the man who led Manny Pacquiao to a TKO victory over Cotto back in 2009. What my friend was insinuating was that it must have been Roach who was responsible for Cotto’s gargantuan performance after not looking good in two consecutive decision losses.
DON’T BE SO QUICK TO CREDIT ROACH
On the one hand my buddy did have a point. Freddie Roach is indeed a great trainer. Where he is understandably mistaken however, is in assuming that Roach is responsible for Cotto’s seemingly revitalized nature on Saturday. Although the owner and founder of Hollywood’s infamous Wild Card Boxing Gym did great work with Miguel for this training camp, we should be careful to give him too much credit.
DELVIN WAS PICKED TO WIN BY SOME!
Rodriguez is a solid fighter but he’s never been on the elite level of Cotto. In fact he was made to order for him this past weekend. He doesn’t carry too much pop in his punches, isn’t very physically strong (allowing Cotto to bully him to the ropes), has poor defense, never fought well going backwards, and of course he couldn’t handle the Puerto Rican’s power. Roach himself admitted throughout the buildup to this fight that he couldn’t do anything to change his pupil this late into his career, only focus on things he naturally excels at but perhaps has neglected recently.
IS FREDDIE ROACH OVERRATED? READ MORE…
October 5th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
WRITER ALMOST PUT TO SLEEP BY KLITSCHKO
Lincoln, CA- As I watched the Wladimir Klitschko-Alexander Povetkin fight, er ,mismatch, I came away with two things that I think that are quite obvious. The first being, there needs to be a “super heavyweight” division. Secondly, to say Larry Holmes, Ali or George Foreman couldn’t beat the 6’7 Ukrainian and current World heavyweight champion is farcical. The holding of the much bigger champion was so blatant and prevalent that it zapped Povetkin’s strength, making yet another Klitschko fight a “stinker.”
SIZE IS THE ONLY REASON WLAD IS CHAMP!
Pushing, leaning, holding, this guy might be the best of today, sad as it is true, but Wladimir Klitschko is just not as good as he is big! There were other big guys who were lummox types, Primo Carnera for one, that were huge. The only difference is that Wladimir does have some “fencing” skills, notice I did not say boxing or fighting.
WLAD EITHER “SCARED” OR REALLY HAS “GLASS CHIN”
After nine, I had it 90-77 Klitschko, but there was nobody in my room here in Lincoln, some 25 miles from Sacramento, the California capital, saying anything other than, “This guy’s the champ?” They were watching Povetkin struggle against a guy who merely used his size to beat him. Although I did not see this going the 12-round route, as it did, it was like watching Porno with people wearing clothes, meaning this HBO broadcast could not get any more non-interesting.
KLITSCHKO SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED 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…
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 14th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
“DOE IN THE HEADLIGHTS” & “LAMPS” ON BOXING’S BEST
Los Angeles, CA- HBO talking heads Jim “Bang Bang” Lampley and Max “The Doe” Kellerman had a discussion about the best ‘pound for pound’ fighters in the world on a recent edition of Lampley’s show “The Fight Game.” While the two made decent cases for the fighters on their lists, I took issue with a few of the picks.
July 9th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA- If I could do radio every week with Larry Merchant, the recognized ex-Godfather of the HBO boxing crew, I would because anytime the great one is present, it’s both informative and entertaining. We discussed David Price-Tony Thompson II, Danny Garcia backing away from a match with Lucas Matthyse, the Klitschko bros, you name it and Larry went over it.
“RING TALK” IS “OFTEN IMMITATED, BUT NEVER DUPLICATED”
With 28+ years of radio presence, “Ring Talk Worldwide” airs Saturday for a mixed hour of boxing & MMA at 11:05 AM PT on the Sports Byline broadcast Network. ON Sunday,. it’s the two-hour weekend wrap also starting at 11:05 AM PT with one hour of boxing and one hour of MMA. LISTEN NOW to Larry Merchant & host Pedro Fernandez use our new podcast player above the post!.Please leave a comment and let us know how we are doing! READ MORE…
June 20th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
WILL BOXING LIFE OF SETH MITCHELL GO BEYOND BANKS II?
San Francisco, CA- Whether Seth Mitchell realizes it or not his boxing life is on the line Saturday night when he faces Johnathon Banks in the HBO heavyweight curtain raiser emanating from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. While the main event pitting Adrien “The Problem” Broner vs. defending WBA welterweight champ (147 lb.) Paulie Malignaggi champ has the more media friendly participants, it is Banks-Mitchell II that has drama written all over it.
FEW RISE TO GREATNESS AFTER NASTY KO LOSS
For some reason once a heavyweight is seen laying horizontally helpless, his “contender” status is yanked away and until proven otherwise is labeled a “pretender.” That being what took place when Banks dropped Mitchell thrice last November in route to a TKO 2 loss. One must also take into account that Mitchell was “not” afforded an easy fight back after being hammered.
LENNOX LEWIS DOES COME TO MIND
With the exception of once undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis rebounding and taking his game to another level after getting his head handed to him by Oliver McCall, can you think of any heavyweight of late accomplishing such? There in lies the dilemma Seth Mitchell wakes up with each morning asking himself, “contender or pretender?”
Johnathon Banks has his hand to the frying pan as well. Should the trainer and sparring partner of Wladimir Klitschko fail to duplicate his rendering Mitchell prone, then the pundits will say it was a fluke and that Banks was nothing more than a true cruiserweight that got lucky and on that once occasion caught “lightning in a bottle.”
SO WHICH IS IT BOXING FANS?
Is Mitchell a pretender, contender, glass jawed heavyweight who through astute matchmaking and a lucky break or two was making six figures fighting Chazz Witherspoon types on HBO? Has Johnathon Banks shot his wad per se? Just a cruiserweight who’s prior claim to fame was being a sparring partner and getting drilled by Tomasz Adamek?
June 14th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
FIGHTING IN DALLAS CAN BE DEADLY!
San Francisco, CA- Fifty years ago this coming November, President John Kennedy went to Dallas, TX to fight for votes and went home in a box. Sad as it is, history might very well repeat itself as Juan Manuel Lopez is in serious peril tomorrow night when he takes on unbeaten WBO 126 lb. champion Mikey Garcia at the American Airlines Arena in a 12-rounder airing on HBO Championship Boxing.
JUAN MA LIKE JFK AFTER FIRST BULLET
As the limosine carrying Kennedy slowed to a crawl for reasons that would become quite obvious later, the president was hit with a single shot in the throat that entered from the front. With his life hanging in the wind for a few seconds before the final head shots, this is where Lopez is now as a boxer. He has been hit, we’re only waiting for the final salvo of shots to seal his boxing fate.
HEIR TO PUERTO RICO’S BOXING THRONE
Who would have thought that the “darling of Puerto Rican boxing, the heir apparent to the likes of Felix Trinidad, Wilfredo Gomez and 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…
February 19th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA– Fresh off his win over Gavin Rees, WBC 135 lb. champion Adrien Broner, the flashy fighter out of Cincinatti, OH looks like he’s physically prepared to meet bigger (and better) foes. Looking at the lightweight challengers of note, Brandon Rios’ name keeps popping up here in reader comments. Before I go on and praise Broner, and to a lesser extent Rees (37-2) for “bringing it,” Rios is not a lightweight and is now rated at 140 (jr. welterweight).
BRONER PULLED BRANDON RIOS MOVE
Broner got chided for this when he didn’t make 130 in a televised event against an outsized and over matched Vicente Escobedo (26-3). Rios, a controversial decision winner last year over Richard Abril that still reaks of inept scoring or worse, is no longer rated at 135. Outside of Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs) and Ricky Burns (35-1, 10 KOs) of the UK, Adrien doesn’t have another opponent that can make READ MORE…