Mike Tyson-Promoted Showtime Card Rocks Pittsburgh April 18

MikeTyson's Iron Mike Productions struck a take care of Showtime. | Picture:Rey Sanchez/Iron Mike Productions

 


Mike Tyson’s Iron Mike Promotions will make its Showtime networkdebut with an April 18 Pittsburgh-area card, headlined by three ofhis prized undefeated fighters.

Undefeated heavyweight prospect Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado(18-zero, 16 KOs), of Miami, Fla., will battle Rod Salka (18-three, 3KOs), of Bunola, Pa., in a ten-round attraction; Olympic goldmedalist Felix Diaz (14-zero, eight KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., will tanglewith Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and SammyVasquez, Jr. (13-zero, 9 KOs), of Monesson, Pa., will lock horns withJuan “The Beast” Rodriguez, Jr. (eleven-zero, 5 KOs), of Union Metropolis, N.J.,in an eight-round welterweight conflict.

“Iron Mike Productions is pretty younger but is a shortly growingcompany that has expeditiously risen to the achievement ofworld-class competitors,” mentioned Tyson. “I'm looking forward tocontinuing our rise to prominence within the subject of championshipboxing. I was the first fighter to deliver Showitme to the apex ofits prominence and it's great to have my firm begin off the place Ifinished.”

The cardboard airs reside on Showtime and goes down at the MonroevilleConvention Middle in Monroeville, Pa., positioned just outsidePittsburgh.

 

Klitschko urges protest on as death toll rises

KIEV, Ukraine – With the boom associated with exploding stun grenades plus fireworks drowning out their words at times, Ukraine resistance leader and former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko advised 20, 000 protesters wed to defend the camp that has been the heart of protests after a day of street fights left at least 25 individuals dead and hundreds hurt. among cries of "Glory in order to Ukraine! '' and with flaming tires lighting up the night atmosphere, thousands of riot police armed with stun grenades and drinking water cannons attacked the massive protest camp on self-reliance Square in the center of Kiev

 

 

Yury Kirnichny/AFP/Getty Images Ukraine opposition leader plus ex-heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko urged 20, 000 protesters to defend their camp after a day of street fights that left at least twenty five people dead and 100s injured.

 

"We will not go anywhere from here, '' Klitschko told the masses, speaking from a stage in the square as tents plus tires burned around your pet, releasing huge plumes associated with smoke. "This is a tropical isle of freedom and we will protect it, '' he stated.

 

numerous heeded his call. "This looks like a war against a person's own people, '' stated Dmytro Shulko, 35, who was heading toward the get away armed with a fire bomb. "But we will defend ourselves. ''

 

at the same time, in Sochi, Sergei Bubka, the pole vault excellent who heads the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, urged each sides in Ukraine's politics crisis to lay down their own weapons and halt the particular violence that is bringing the nation to "the brink associated with catastrophe. " The violence upon Tuesday was the deadliest within nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralyzed Ukraine's capital in a struggle over the identity of a nation separated in loyalties between russian federation and the West, and the most severe in the country's post-Soviet background.

 

 

because police dismantled some of the barricades on the perimeter of the sq. and tried to push aside the protesters, they fought against back with rocks, bats and fire bombs. Against the backdrop of a soaring monument to Ukraine's independence, protesters fed the burning fire flames with tires, creating wall space of fire to prevent law enforcement from advancing. A large creating the protesters had utilized as a headquarters caught open fire and many struggled to get away. Many of Vitali Klitschkothe protesters were hemorrhaging.talking over loudspeakers, police advised women and children to keep the square because a good "anti-terrorist'' operation was underway. the particular protesters appeared to sense that will Ukraine's political standoff has been reaching a critical turning point. Waving Ukrainian and opposition celebration flags, they shouted "Glory to Ukraine! '' plus sang the Ukrainian nationwide anthem.

 

Shortly before midnight, Klitschko headed to President Viktor Yanukovych's office to try to resolve the particular crisis. He returned to the square early Wednesday without having reaching any agreement upon ending the violence.Klitschko informed reporters that he had requested the president to stop the police action to clear the sq. and prevent further deaths, yet Yanukovych's only proposal was that the demonstrators have to go home and stop the protests."I feel very unhappy because there has been no discussion, '' Klitschko said. "They don't want to listen. ''

 

Still, Klitschko advised the protesters and law enforcement to stop the escalation associated with violence. He said resistance leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk has been trying to arrange for more discussions with Yanukovych later wed.

 

Bubka, who is in Sochi as an executive board member of the particular International Olympic Committee plus president of Ukraine's nationwide Olympic body, appealed to all parties involved in the conflict in order to resume negotiations.

 

"I'm shocked by what is happening in my native nation – especially because the assault is taking place during the Olympic Games, the world's the majority of peaceful and democratic occasion, '' Bubka said in a statement. "I am once again recommending all parties to stop the particular violence which puts our own country on the brink associated with catastrophe. "There is no 'their' Ukraine, or 'your' Ukraine. It is our Ukraine. a few do everything possible to get back to negotiations and make the compromise… There is still a chance for a peaceful solution.

 

the  violence began Tuesday whenever protesters attacked police ranges and set fires outside parliament, accusing Yanukovych of once again ignoring their demands. Parliament, dominated by his followers, was stalling on taking up a constitutional reform in order to limit presidential powers.

 

Tensions experienced soared after Russia stated Monday that it was ready to curriculum vitae providing the loans that will Yanukovych's government needs to maintain Ukraine's ailing economy afloat. This raised fears among the opposition that Yanukovych experienced made a deal with Moscow to stand firm against the protesters and would choose a Russian-leaning loyalist to be their new prime minister. the particular protests began in late nov after Yanukovych turned away from a long-anticipated deal with the European Union in exchange for a $15 billion dollars bailout from Russia. the particular political maneuvering continued, however , with both Moscow and the western eager to gain influence more than this former Soviet republic. till Monday, the government and the resistance had appeared to be making a few progress toward resolving the particular political crisis peacefully.

 

"We see that this regimehas begun shooting people; they want to kitchen sink Ukraine in blood. We will not give in to a solitary provocation, '' Yatsenyuk informed the protesters. "We will not take one step back from this square. We have nowhere in order to retreat to. Ukraine will be behind us, Ukraine's long term is behind us. ''

 

Tuesday's clashes were the first to lead to deaths since Jan. twenty two, when two protesters had been hit with live ammo and a third died after a fall. As angry protesters outside parliament hurled gemstones at police and set vehicles blocking their way on fire, riot police retaliated along with stun grenades and terminated what appeared to be small metallic balls, as smoke through burning tires and automobiles billowed over Kiev. In wa, Vice President Joe Biden expressed his "grave concern'' in telephone call to Yanukovych, urging him to pull back again government forces and workout maximum restraint. The white-colored House said Biden also called on Ukraine's government to address the protesters' "legitimate grievances'' and put forward proposals with regard to political reform. Earlier, oughout. S. Secretary of condition John Kerry urged each sides to end the assault, halt their ultimatums plus hold high-level talks. oughout. S. Ambassador Geoffrey l. Payatt also threatened each sides with sanctions.

 

"We think Ukraine's crisis can still become solved via dialogue, yet those on both sides that fuel violence will open up themselves to sanctions, '' Payatt said on tweets.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Read The Original Article

George Zimmerman goes toe to toe with DMX In Celebrity boxing match

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman will battle DMX in a “Celebrity Boxing” match later this 12 months. Sure, this is a actual thing. Two pillars of the media neighborhood — CNN and TMZ — confirmed the information and splashed it throughout their homepages Wednesday morning. Particulars of the three-round combat will be revealed subsequent Wednesday by promoter Damon Feldman.

Zimmerman gained infamy for restraining and killing unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012. He was tried for homicide, however found not guilty last summer time. There have been no scarcity of applicants eager to struggle Zimmerman, as Feldman said over 15,000 individuals applied.

The honors go to DMX, who informed TMZ:

“I’m going to beat the  f**k out him … I’m breaking each rule in boxing to ensure I f**ok him proper up.”

These sentiments should come as no surprise from a man who as soon as famously advised his audience, “I’m not a pleasant individual.”

Within the late nineties and into the early 2000s DMX was one of the top MCs in the rap recreation. He offered multi-platinum albums along with his Ruff Ryders crew and appeared in movies — often driving an ATV — with Hollywood stars resembling Jet Li. Lately, though, he’s fallen on bad times with quite a few arrests and even an look on VH1′s Couples Remedy, the place he broke down in tears.

DMX better enter the ring to his traditional banger, “X Gon’ Give It To Ya,” because this celebrity boxing match is most assuredly “not a game.”

As absurd as this whole factor sounds, it wouldn’t be a shock if loads of people tune in to look at — no less than more than previous celeb boxing matches like Screech vs. Horshack in 2002.

 

Mike Tyson: Dennis Rodman is guilty of treason

In an insane world, Mike Tyson is the voice of reason.

In an insane world, this is the voice of reason. (USATSI)
Because this whole Dennis Rodman-North Korea story wasn't crazy enough, let's add some Mike Tyson, how about? After Rodman apologized for his comments regarding Kenneth Bae and for flipping out at a CNN anchor this week, the former heavyweight boxing champ has decided to weigh in with his thoughts. He's not a fan of Rodman, if you were wondering. From CBS Philly:

“[Rodman] lost it. They'll probably arrest him when he gets back in this country. When you see [former NBA player] Charles Smith, who you know is a decent person. I could not believe that Charles Smith would be involved with that, unless it was something advantageous for him, ” Tyson said. “But I couldn't believe, Dennis Rodman, who's leading the way. Man, it's such a disappointing factor. It just wasn't good. And it didn't help the cause. Look, nobody can stop me from making a fool of myself, but that was some really, some really bad stuff. It wasn't even funny. It was like, a [fictional] scene. You couldn't even believe that's real. If I would have woke up in the middle of that, I would have thought it was a sketch or something. It was really some bad stuff, when you look at it. And he put those other guys in a bad predicament too. They may never get a job to work with, to be involved with the NBA again, for life. ”

 

“It's treason. It's treason, 100 percent. Look, I'm not politically incarnate or anything, but when you examine what treason is, it's treason, ” Tyson said. “He's in another land, that's an enemy of our land, and he's talking [expletive] on us. He's talking really bad to our guys over there. ”

“And he's defending [North Korea]. And plus they've got one of our guys over there in prison, and he's defending them, saying ‘do you know what that guy did? ' Well you don't either, ” Tyson said. “You become his lackey. He must have paid them with money, I'm sure he's getting paid. I'm sure Dennis is not doing this out of the kindness of his heart. ”

via Mike Tyson: ‘Dennis Rodman Is Guilty Of Treason' « CBS Philly.

 

Rodman was in North Korea this week visiting his friend Kim Jong-Un, whom he sang happy birthday to while hosting a series of basketball camps with other former NBA players. Rodman has been an outspoken advocate in favor of North Korea and urging the US to ease its diplomatic tensions with the country.

 

Let's be clear on this, when Mike Tyson is telling you've gone too far and is acting like the voice of relative reason? You're in a bad place.

 

Pretty sure Rodman's not going to be held on treason charges, however, what with this country's feelings on free speech.. despite the comments having been made on foreign soil. This situation has reached epic-crazy proportions and adding Mike Tyson to the mix only makes it that much more guano insane.

Let's get Lindsey Lohan and Miley Cyrus to weigh on this issue next. Can we, please?

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V. Klitschko Gives up WBC Belt

Vitali Klitschko, that has not defended his WBC heavyweight title in 15 months and it is one of the central figures involved in the politics unrest in his native Ukraine, vacated his belt Monday.

The WBC instead designated him as the organization’s “champion emeritus. ” It means that if Klitschko, forty two, decides to fight again, he can automatically get a shot at the name upon his return, if he or she wants one.

Klitschko, however , sounded as though he or she is finished boxing.

Vitali KlitschkoVitali Klitschko has vacated his WBC heavyweight belt, which he has held given that 2008 and has defended nine instances.

“I want to thank the WBC and its president, Don Jose Sulaiman, for the support in our fight for democracy and freedom in Ukraine, inch Klitschko said. “It was and it is a great honor to hold the WBC title, and I’ve always carried out it with pride. The provide of the WBC gives me the theoretical possibility to return to the boxing band, which I cannot imagine at all to the present state.

“Right now, my full concentration is definitely on politics in Ukraine, and am feel that the people need me generally there. My brother [and unified heavyweight champion] Wladimir will ensure more sporting achievement and I will, as always, support your pet as much as he currently supports myself in my political fight. ”

This is the second amount of time in his career that Vitali Klitschko has been designated as a “champion emeritus. ”

Whenever he was hampered by as well as knee injuries, Klitschko vacated the particular title and retired in 2006 and later used his position to his advantage. A healthy Klitschko returned in 2008 and instantly got a shot at then-titleholder Samuel Peter, whom Klitschko stopped within the eighth round of a one-sided battle to regain the belt.

Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) has made nine one-sided name defenses, including a fourth-round cut-induced stoppage of Manuel Charr in Sept 2012 in Moscow in what probably was the final fight of a 17-year professional career that figures in order to land him in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Klitschko, a three-time heavyweight titleholder, had vacillated on time for the ring. He had a long-overdue mandatory defense to make against Bermane Stiverne and put off the purse bet for the fight multiple times in addition to wondering the WBC to move back the particular deadline for him to make a choice on his future. But the latest deadline day was Sunday, and he finally determined.

Now that the particular title is vacant, it should be loaded by the winner of a rematch in between Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) plus Cristobal Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs), the top two contenders in the WBC’s ratings. Stiverne dropped Arreola plus easily outpointed him in a title-elimination fight April 27 to become the required challenger. However , Stiverne is associated with litigation with promoter Don Ruler, and he might not be available for a name fight. In that case, the title might be filled by a fight between Number 2 Arreola and No. 3 Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KOs).

Klitschko’s life is right now dominated by politics in Ukraine, where he is the leader of the authorities opposition UDAR political party, that is pushing for reform and to line-up the nation economically with the European Union instead of Russia. He is also a member of the particular Ukrainian parliament and a 2015 usa president candidate.

“Vitali Klitschko is fighting the combat of his life, this time away from ring, ” said WBC professional secretary Mauricio Sulaiman, son from the ill Jose Sulaiman. “Vitali is usually showing to the world what is the correct heart of a champion by top his countrymen to battle in the roads in their search of human equal rights, rights and peace for the excellent country of the Ukraine.

“With the current extreme plus delicate political situation in the Ukraine, Vitali has answered his state’s call to fight for human legal rights and equality. Accordingly, Vitali will never be able to provide the WBC with a foreseeable time frame to return to the ring. Because of those considerations, the WBC the very best unanimously to name Vitali Klitschko WBC heavyweight champion emeritus. Very few excellent fighters have received such an honorable variation, which will entitle Vitali to guard the WBC heavyweight world tournament when he is ready to return to the particular ring… We all wish him excellent success in his political career. inch

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Mikey Garcia stops Rocky Martinez in 8th (The Associated Press)

mikey,garcia,stops,rocky,martinez,associated,press

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) – Mikey Garcia stopped defending champion Rocky Martinez fifty six seconds into the eighth round Saturday evening to take the WBO junior light-weight title.

The 25-year-old Garcia, from Oxnard, Calif., floored Martinez with an uppercut, sending the Puerto Rican fighter to the canvas for the first time in his profession.

”I believed it was a very good punch when I landed it,” Garcia stated. ”I felt I really hurt him, enough to the place he wouldn’t stand up. I had a sense it might be over after I connected.”

Garcia improved to 33-zero with his 28th knockout. Martinez dropped to 27-2-2.

After falling down with 15 seconds left within the second spherical, Garcia weathered by way of 5 principally calm rounds at American Financial institution Middle before launching his attack within the sixth.

Garcia completed the seventh spherical by connecting on a right uppercut and, with many within the crowd of 5,124 cheering him, ended it in the eighth.

Mikey Garcia, right, lands a punch on Roman Martinez, left, throughout round three of a WBO Super Featherwei …

”I felt his energy from the very first punch,” said the 30-12 months-old Martinez, whose last bout was a 12-round break up decision in April towards beforehand undefeated Diego Magdaleno. ”He’s a robust fighter. I knew I was fighting a top quality opponent and I knew when I knocked him down the first time that he wasn’t harm.”

The 2 fighters had been on the identical card Jan. 19 in New York when Garcia received the WBO world featherweight title with an eight-round technical choice over Orlando Salido, and Martinez held on to his junior lightweight belt with a draw towards Juan Burgos.

Garcia was stripped of his featherweight title in June, when he didn’t make weight for a protection against Juan Manuel Lopez. On Friday, Garcia weighed in 1 / 4-pound beneath the one hundred thirty-pound restrict.

Martinez related on solely 14 p.c of his punches, together with 10 p.c of his jabs. Garcia, who got here into the combat in the uncommon place of both challenger and favourite, connected on almost half of his 127 power punches, which included the 16th knockout punch in his final 18 fights. In the final three rounds, Garcia landed fifty two punches to Martinez’s eight.

The bout was the main event on a nine-match slate.

Demetrius Andrade celebrates his win over Vanes Martirosyan in a WBO junior middleweight title bout, …

In a rematch of a 2007 struggle in Bridgeport, Conn., 37-year-outdated Vic Darchinyan appeared ready avenge the loss that price him the IBF flyweight title, but 31-year-old Filipino star Nonito Donaire floored him twice within the eighth spherical. Donaire improved to 32-2 together with his twentieth knockout, and Darchinyan fell to 39-6-1

”We have been doing great up until that point,” Darchinyan said. ”I felt I was winning the combat. He caught me with a few photographs and that’s simply the way in which it goes.”

Donaire related on more than half of his energy punches. He had surgery on his proper shoulder after his most up-to-date combat, a loss by resolution to Guillermo Rigondeaux.

”Vic hit me hard and it felt like he broke my jaw earlier within the struggle and all I used to be thinking was, ‘I’ll lose,”’ Donaire said. ”But I continued preventing and located a possibility to land an amazing shot.”

Demetrius Andrade, from Providence, R.I., received the vacant WBO junior middleweight title, outpointing Armenian-born Vanes Martirosyan in a split decision.

Andrade improved to twenty-zero, and Martirosyan dropped to 33-1-1.

”We stuck to our sport plan, which was jab, jab, jab,” Andrade said. ”We weren’t prepared for the quick knockdown and we needed to play just a little catch-up after that.”

In the first featured battle, Jamaica’s Nicholas Walters (23-0, 19 KOs) claimed the WBA featherweight title with a fourth-spherical technical knockout of Mexico’s Alberto Garza (25-6-1).

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Arrests made in death of national champ boxer (The Associated Press)

arrests,death,national,champ,boxer,associated,press

PHOENIX (AP) – Phoenix police have made two arrests in connection with the beating loss of life of a 17-12 months-old nationwide champion boxer.

Police say Alexis Urbina was found unconscious and covered in blood in his household’s south Phoenix home in September. He died of his injures two days later.

There was no obvious sign of forced entry into the house, however Urbina’s family told police a few of his boxing memorabilia was lacking.

Sgt. Trent Crump confirms 22-yr-old Robert Chavez and 23-12 months-outdated Joseph Corrales have been arrested Friday evening. Both have been booked on fees of murder, housebreaking and trafficking in stolen property.

It wasn’t immediately clear Saturday if that they had attorneys.

Urbina gained the 141-pound Youth Men’s Division on the USA Boxing Nationwide Championships in April at Spokane, Wash. His household says he had Olympic aspirations.

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Scary incidents remind us that more needs to be done to protect boxers

scary,incidents,remind,needs,protect,boxers,yahoo,sports

Mike Perez punches Magomed Abdusalamov during their heavyweight combat Saturday. Abdusalamov suffered a blood clot …

LAS VEGAS – Eddie Mustafa Muhammad is one among boxing’s great trainers. The previous mild heavyweight champion is also a robust and outspoken advocate for boxers. He’s lengthy supported the formation of a union to protect the interests of boxers who do not have a voice and have steadily been exploited.

Muhammad has an attention-grabbing philosophy about his career that he shares with every fighter who hires him as a coach: fireplace me.

He is one of the trainers who’s keen to lose his job as a way to save his fighters. Muhammad will stop a struggle each time he thinks his boxer is in trouble, regardless of what the fighter and/or his household may say.

“Things occur in this sport, however my job as a coach is to protect my fighter and to do no matter I can do to reduce the danger of him getting harm,” Muhammad stated.

Mexican boxer Frankie Leal died Oct. 22 from head injuries he suffered in a bout with Raul Hirales on Oct. 19 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. On Saturday, heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov suffered a blood clot in his brain and underwent surgery following a loss on HBO to Mike Perez in New York. He remains in secure situation.

And in Hermosillo, Mexico, Hernan “Tyson” Marquez was taken from the ring on a stretcher on Saturday after his bout with Giovani Segura. Marquez did not want surgery and promoters said later he was simply dehydrated.

The incidents are isolated, however they point out the necessity of vigilance from all these concerned with a fighter’s career in order to promote security.

Boxing is a violent sport, and there is a risk of damage any time anybody is hit within the head. However the threat might be lessened by knowing when enough is sufficient and figuring out some history concerning the fighters.

Referees should be keen to stop a combat, no matter how important or significant it may be, if one of the fighters is taking too many blows to the top.

“Everybody in a fighter’s corner is all the time so damn brave, however they forget typically that it’s the fighters who are taking the punishment,” longtime elite referee Richard Steele mentioned. “It is simple to be courageous and to be robust when you’re not the one getting hit within the head. My number one duty as a referee when I bought into that ring, no question about it, was to consider the security of the fighters.

“As a referee, I do know I am unable to please everybody, and so I don’t worry about that. Fighters are taught since they have been kids to by no means surrender and keep going. That’s the place I came in because the referee. I generally have to protect the fighter from himself. As an official, I want to cease a combat if a guy is in hassle so he can come back another day if he wants.”

However referees only have management of a fighter for a short period of time. Many occasions, a fighter could also be damage during sparring classes in the gym.

Muhammad mentioned it’s crucial for trainers to be with their fighters as a lot as possible and to communicate extensively with them to know as best as possible their degree of risk.

“Some of these gym wars are brutal and typically they’re worse than the precise fight,” Muhammad stated. “A guy gets hit within the head, possibly knocked down or knocked out, and he’s again to do it again the following day. You can’t let that happen. Whenever you get that type of head trauma that you just’re getting knocked out, it’s essential get away from the health club and take time to let your self get well and heal.

“I’ve seen guys in these wars within the gym after which they go struggle four or five days later and get killed. I’ve seen that happen. It should not occur, nevertheless it does.”

Corridor of Fame referee Joe Cortez says Tony Weeks, proper, did an ideal job in protecting Mike Alvarado in his loss … Retired Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez said he tried to know as much about a fighter as he might. He praised the performance of Tony Weeks, the referee who stopped the Oct. 19 Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov battle.

“Tony obtained within the nook and the corner guys had been all saying, ‘He’s OKAY. He’s OK,’ ” Cortez stated. “But Tony pushed by and got proper in front of Alvarado and asked him twice, ‘Do you need to continue?’ He did not respond and Tony stopped that fight, which was the right thing. That’s an necessary thing.

“I do not think the referee should have to pick up the scorecards from the judges after a spherical. These 10 or 15 seconds are sometimes important and if a fighter seems harm, letting the referee get into the corner and keep watch over him can make a big difference. Safety is the No. 1 thing and allowing the referee to be there the entire time evaluating a fighter is crucial.”

In the corner during a battle, it is a trainer’s job not only to give directions, but to guage the boxer and know when to say when.

Coach Andre Rozier did a magnificent job – as did referee Harvey Dock – on Saturday in New York, stopping the Gennady Golovkin-Curtis Stevens bout at the finish of the eighth spherical.

Stevens was harm by a physique shot from Golovkin in the eighth and retreated to the nook, the place Golovkin pinned him and was winging onerous photographs to the top and physique. Dock was only toes away, watching carefully and clearly on the verge of stopping the battle.

Because the round ended, Rozier, who’s Stevens’ uncle, walked up the steps, hugged Stevens and instructed Dock the battle was over.

Sadly, there are a whole lot of trainers who would have allowed the combat to go on and tried to revive Stevens in the nook. It was the biggest battle of Stevens’ career and he punched arduous sufficient that it was not inconceivable that he could catch Golovkin with one nicely-placed shot and end the fight.

Trainers have to pay their payments, too, and often are fearful that the fighter or the fighter’s manager will fire them if they decide to do as Rozier did and cease a bout.

“In fact that occurs. Are you critical?” Muhammad stated. “Of course there are guys who fear about [getting fired]. That fighter is their meal ticket. The fighter will argue with you and inform you that you decreased his market worth by stopping the struggle. He’s going to be angry. Guys have been fired for that and so they understand it.

“However a giant part of the job is knowing your man. You must tell them you are there to guard them and you are not going to let anything happen to them. I inform them, ‘Go forward, fire me. Go forward and do it. We’ll still be mates later.’ I’ve at all times been that manner.”

Generally a boxer is simply too robust for his own good and is prepared to absorb any quantity of punishment in an effort to win.

The referees must be on top of those situations, but so, too, do the trainers.

If all trainers acted as Rozier acted on Saturday, and as Muhammad usually acts, there would be far fewer incidents in boxing.

An awesome fight is a superb thing to behold.

It isn’t value it, though, if it is on the expense of the boxer’s lengthy-time period well being.

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USA Boxing claims Tyson poaching fighters

It didn’t take Mike Tyson lengthy to search out controversy in his new role as a boxing promoter.

The pinnacle of USA Boxing came out swinging Tuesday with an open letter to Tyson – a former Olympic hopeful himself – that accuses the former heavyweight champion of making an attempt to poach fighters who may be candidates for the U.S. Olympic staff in 2016.

[+] Enlarge Mike Tyson AP/Richard Shotwell/InvisionUSA Boxing despatched an open letter to Mike Tyson, asking him to attend till after the 2016 Rio Games to signal the country’s prime novice fighters.

Dr. Charles Butler mentioned within the letter that not too long ago shaped Iron Mike Productions has been providing money to the very best novice fighters to show professional, in particular an 18-year-old who some in beginner boxing consider to be the nation’s finest hope for a gold medal at the Rio Video games. He says the money being supplied is “pennies on the dollar” of what the prospects may very well be price with an Olympic medal.

“Mike, USA Boxing does not have the funds to compete together with your presents,” the letter said. “You probably have cash and would like to assist these young athletes and the sport, you should donate for athlete stipends to assist the training of these boxers and assist your nation regain its prominence on the medal stand. Please do not take them from us. If they win a medal for their nation, you can all the time sign them to skilled contracts at the moment.”

Tyson didn’t instantly return a phone call, and publicist Joann Mignano stated he wouldn’t be commenting. Mignano confirmed, although, that Iron Mike Promotions signed Florida fighter Erickson Lubin on Tuesday, his 18th birthday.

Lubin is a two-time Junior Olympic national champion and received the 152-pound division at the Nationwide Golden Gloves this year. In his USA Boxing bio, he stated his goals have been to win a gold medal on the Olympics, flip pro and win each title doable.

“We want to be competitive and we wish to enhance our total efficiency in the Olympic Video games,” said USA Boxing govt director Anthony Bartkowski. “This can be a new strategy of making an attempt to ensure our Olympic-aged athletes aren’t poached by promoters. In the past, USA Boxing was passive and simply accepted it.”

Tyson isn’t the only promoter attempting to lure amateurs to the professionals. Last month, DiBella Leisure stated it signed extremely touted 17-12 months-outdated Junior “Sugar Boy” Younan of New York to a contract and stated he would make his pro debut in late October or early November, after he turned 18.

Boxing promoters have lengthy trolled the amateur ranks in search of talent, particularly in recent years because the lure of Olympic gold has light for a lot of fighters. Profitable in the Olympics was once a guaranteed option to make millions, however as U.S. Olympic boxing teams have light so have the prospects for Olympic fighters.

The last American man to win an Olympic gold in boxing was Andre Ward in 2004, and last year’s group in London didn’t even medal. USA Boxing, in the meantime, has undergone a series of shake-ups and its funding has been reduce by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The manager director of the USOC said Tuesday that boxing, a sport once dominated by Individuals, remains to be trying to find a option to replicate earlier successes.

“Boxing is a type of sports that I believe now we have a very rich tradition in, but not a lot of current performance,” Scott Blackmun stated. “I feel the recent reorganization of USA Boxing.. goes to be very, very beneficial because it brings some very unbiased thinkers to the board.

“However I don’t suppose you’ll be able to take away the choices our athletes have. They should weigh the significance of an Olympic medal and the influence an Olympic medal may have on their lifetime earning capabilities, and weigh that versus the brief-term benefits of turning skilled.”

Tyson is somewhat of an unlikely goal of an amateur program he used to compete in, making it to inside one combat of the Olympics in 1984. He began working as a promoter solely just lately, joining up with a promotion company called Acquinity Sports activities to host his first card last month in Verona, N.Y.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather wins $200,000 off Johnny Manziel’s first-half effort

(USA Right this moment Sports Images)

Boxer Floyd Mayweather made it very clear how a lot he values Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel – the Heisman winner is price about $200,000.

That’s what “Cash” gained off Manziel’s performance when the mercurial QB led his Aggies to a 32-6 halftime lead over Southern Methodist. Mayweather ended up almost doubling his cash (making $200K off a $220K wager) and Texas A&M went on to win a 42-thirteen rout.

And then he let Manziel find out about it with a trolling tweet about Manziel’s inability to get paid for his efforts.

A couple hundred grand is chump change for a guy who just made greater than $forty one million to combat and beat Canelo Alvarez last weekend, but it was still a slight punch in the intestine to Manziel and the other Texas A&M players who worked laborious to make Mayweather his money and who’ll in all probability be eating pizza instead of caviar tonight.

The bet itself wasn’t precisely unusual for Mayweather, who occasionally posts profitable betting stubs on his Instagram account. Trolling the individuals who assist him win the guess, however, may be a first.

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Floyd Mayweather dominates Canelo Alvarez, quieting Mexico’s latest hope

LAS VEGAS – They had arrived in throngs, wearing red headbands that emblazoned “Canelo” across their foreheads, or tricolors of the Mexico flag over their shoulders, or simply the pride of a nation on their sleeves.

In Mexico, boxing remains one of the prime sports, not a tune-in-every-once-in-a-while pursuit. It’s part of the fabric of a nation and how it wants to see itself: industrious, tough, unrelenting.

So this was going to be a celebration, the night when the inevitable occurred. That’s why they came. Floyd Mayweather, the American, has dominated the weight classes Mexicans often do, and he’s done it for years. Along the way, he’s defeated eight Mexican fighters and, of course, never lost.

His ninth opponent from the country was of the new generation, though – 23-year-old Canelo Alvarez, and a country came here to support him.

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr. dominated his fight against Canelo Alvarez. (AP)

Mayweather lives in Vegas, trains in Vegas and fights almost exclusively here at the MGM Grand Garden in Vegas. Yet, this was a Canelo crowd, the heavy majority of the 16,746 in the house and the 25,403 at closed-circuit spots on the Vegas Strip.

 

Inside the arena, they chanted “Ca-nel-o,” chanted “Mex-i-co,” chanted, “Beat May-weather.” They screamed and shouted through the walk-ins and the introductions and even the first couple rounds until the damnedest thing landed right on top of them.

Resignation.

The resignation that, while there may come a day that Mayweather, now 36, will lose just enough of his speed, agility and reaction senses to get caught by a younger, stronger opponent, Saturday was not that day. And Canelo Alvarez was not that opponent.

Mayweather completely dominated this big prizefight, even if he won merely a majority decision. Vegas’ favorite contrarian judge C.J. Ross somehow called it a 114-114 draw. (“That score card was a disgrace,” said promoter Richard Schaefer.)

Ross is famous for blowing the 2012 Tim Bradley/Manny Pacquiao fight, too. That one she stunningly called for Bradley.

“I’m not in control of the judges,” Mayweather said.

He controlled everything else. This was total domination, if not a shutout then a completely lopsided affair that failed to live up to the hype, if only because Floyd Mayweather is simply too good.

“This was chess tonight,” Mayweather said.

 

Alvarez couldn’t deliver a victory over Mayweather for his large fan contingent. (AP)

Forty-five opponents up, forty-five down. If anything, the gap is widening between Mayweather and everyone else.

 

Mayweather used his shoulder roll defense to avoid virtually any solid shot. He used his feet to slide out of any trouble. He used his hand speed to pepper Canelo before Canelo knew what was coming.

“He’s a very elusive fighter,” Alvarez said through a translator. “That’s what happened today. I couldn’t catch him. He’s very intelligent. He’s very elusive. …We were trying to catch him but we couldn’t.”

At one point in the 11th round, Alvarez took a wild, desperate swing at Floyd and missed big. Mayweather, who was moving to his left, watched the glove sail by and punch the ring ropes. He then stopped and mockingly looked at the air that Canelo had just punched through, and broke into a laugh.

It was that bad. He was that good.

By then, the entire mood of the night had swung. Gone was the electricity. Gone was the danger that only the theater of a big fight can produce. Gone was all the hope and hype.

You didn’t need the non-C.J. Ross scorecards to know this fight was over. With each ensuing round, the noise drained out of the building as Mayweather made the previously unbeaten Alvarez plod around the ring, looking stiff and uncomfortable.

Canelo still had a puncher’s chance, but his backers went silent. No chants. No screams. There was simply the awe of true boxing fans watching a true boxing savant. They wanted Floyd Mayweather beat in the worst way, but there was no denying reality.

By the 12th round, Canelo’s fans were so dispirited that they didn’t bother to counter a chant of “U-S-A, U-S-A.”

“Canelo was a young, strong champion, a true Mexican champion,” Mayweather said afterward, as he thanked the country of Mexico for supporting the fight.

There weren’t many fans left to hear Mayweather thank them.

After the bell, the crowd began shuffling out, looking to beat the foot traffic rather than wait for the inevitable decision. The Grand Garden cleared in impressive speed, so fast that when Canelo, after a brief radio interview ringside, finally left the arena floor, only a small group of well-wishers remained.

Alvarez actually had time to poise for a few pictures. Someone threw him a sombrero. There was a weak “Can-el-o” chant for old times’ sake, but it didn’t take.

An hour after the hopes and hollers of a boxing nation rattled the Strip, Canelo Alvarez shuffled toward the locker room to mostly silence – Mayweather’s most complete and dominating accomplishment.

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Muhammad Ali awards to honor humanitarian efforts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Boxing great Muhammad Ali wants to recognize the greatness of people waging their own fights for social justice.

The former three-time heavyweight champion plans to be in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., for the presentation of the first-ever Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on Oct. 3.

The award winners were not immediately identified but include people who have fought for gender equity in Afghanistan, started a school for orphaned children in Uganda and has provided shoes for the homeless in the U.S., the Muhammad Ali Center said Tuesday.

The awards revolve around core principles espoused by Ali, with an emphasis on the humanitarian works of young adults, the center said.

Ali’s wife said the awards embody her husband’s efforts to inspire good deeds by others.

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”Of course he is proud of his accomplishments in the ring, but Muhammad’s proudest moments are those where he is able to touch the lives of others in positive and sometimes profound ways,” Lonnie Ali said in a statement. ”Muhammad is a living example of how one person can inspire and improve the lives of others.”

A half-dozen awards will honor people ages 35 and under for making significant contributions to the causes of peace, social justice and other humanitarian janeefforts, the center said. Awards will be given for exemplifying each principle – confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect and spirituality.

”The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards is his opportunity to formally recognize some of these young people for the good works they do and to encourage them and others to begin and continue to do good in their own communities and hopefully extend that good to the global community,” Lonnie Ali said.

One winner has fought for gender equality in Afghanistan by promoting women’s sports, the Ali Center said. Another started a community school in Uganda that educates orphans and children from families touched by HIV and AIDS. Another co-founded a nonprofit group that offers free sports clinics for special-needs children and sensitivity training to help other students understand the challenges they face.

View gallery .”

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, boxing great Muhammad Ali, with his wife, Lonnie, right, wa …

Other presentations will be for a Humanitarian of the Year Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kentucky Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Ali and his wife are members of the selection committee.

Award presenters will include Ali’s daughter Laila Ali, a boxing champion herself, the center said.

The awards ceremony will be at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. It will be part of a three-day celebration at the Ali Center.

On Oct. 2, the Ali Center said, it will host the U.S. premiere of the HBO Films presentation of ”Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.” The film looks at Ali’s historic Supreme Court battle from behind closed doors.

Ali was stripped of his heavyweight crown in 1967 for refusing to be drafted for military service during the Vietnam War. He cited his religious beliefs as the reason for his refusal. His decision resulted in a draft-evasion conviction. Ali found himself embroiled in a long legal fight that ended in 1971, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

Ali regained the heavyweight title in 1974, defeating George Foreman in the ”Rumble in the Jungle.”

On Oct. 4, the Ali Center will host the Louisville premiere of Bill Siegel’s film, ”The Trials of Muhammad Ali.” The film looks at some of the defining moments of Ali’s life, including his conversion to Islam and his refusal to serve in the military.

Tickets for the awards ceremony can be purchased through the Ali Center’s website (www.alicenter.org ) or by calling 502-992-5353.

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Mayweather in fine form for a fight

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A rare series of storms had cooled the summer air to an almost tolerable level, though it was steamy as ever inside Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s gym just a few miles from the Vegas Strip.

With a couple of sparring partners in front of him late Monday afternoon, Mayweather turned up the heat even more.

”Right there, right there,” he yelled at the first hapless pugilist to feel his wrath. ”You can’t get away. I’ll hit you when I want to.”

It didn’t take Mayweather long to do just that. As the third of four rounds stretched to the 10-minute mark he connected with a rapid volley of punches, finishing it off with a left hook that rocked his opponent for the day, sending him stumbling across the ring.

All in a day’s work, but there was still work to be done. Always is when it’s Mayweather in training and especially now, less than three weeks before his fight with undefeated Mexican star Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez.

It’s a big fight, but all Mayweather fights are big. He’s the undisputed pay-per-view king and the Sept. 14 matchup is so attractive that the pay-per-view price is a whopping $74.95 for those watching in high definition. Though Mayweather’s last fight in May against Robert Guerrero – for which he earned $32 million – wasn’t a huge box office smash, this one should make executives at Showtime and CBS feel better about the money they laid out for boxing’s biggest draw.

Better yet, he’s fighting for the second time in four months after not fighting more than once a year since 2007.

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”I’m ready to perform and entertain, that’s what it’s all about,” Mayweather said. ”I’m a lot older now so the last five fights I have I want to go out with a bang.”

The fight is the second in his six-fight deal with Showtime, which lured him from HBO to help sell cable subscriptions and build the network’s boxing brand. He says the bouts will be the last of his career, though at the age of 36 he doesn’t seem to have lost any of the reflexes or speed that have helped him win all 44 of his fights in a professional career that began following the 1996 Olympics.

What has changed is how Mayweather sells himself, even if he claims he hasn’t changed. Ever since his release from a Las Vegas jail after serving 64 days on domestic abuse charges last year, Mayweather has been the model of politeness and civility – in sharp contrast to the bad-boy persona that made him such a big attraction over the years.

That’s one reason why Showtime’s All Access show on Mayweather-Alvarez seemed to fall a bit flat in the first episode. There were the requisite shots, of course, of Mayweather and Alvarez in face-offs and together on a tour promoting the bout, but there wasn’t the drama of Mayweather’s earlier fights when he could be seen yelling at his father or counting stacks of $100 bills with his former buddy, 50 Cent.

That sold pay-per-views to people who spent their money hoping to either see Mayweather win or get knocked out. But Mayweather seems to either have outgrown the part or simply doesn’t want to play it anymore.

”What do you mean by image? My image has always been as an entertainer, but at home I’m a great father,” Mayweather said. ”There’s no bad guy, that’s an image the critics picked. My image is to make sure my kids get the best education and provide a comfortable life for my family.”

If the new Mayweather is a kinder and gentler sort outside the ring, he’s changed some inside, too. His fights sometimes tended to become tedious affairs as he sought to win without getting hit, but in recent years he has changed his style somewhat and has become more aggressive and flat-footed.

It showed on Monday as he walked two sparring partners across the ring, banging away with left hooks and right hands while keeping up a steady stream of chatter. The short time between fights should be beneficial to Mayweather at his age, and he’s already inside the 152-pound catch weight for the fight.

”I got back into it so quick that I’m still sharp,” he said. ”I feel good, real good.”

Boxing fans should feel good, too, that Mayweather is taking on Alvarez, a 23-year-old who is unbeaten in 42 fights and holds a piece of the 154-pound title. Mayweather has been criticized in the past for hand-picking his opponents and refusing to fight Manny Pacquiao, but Alvarez is about as dangerous a fight as any he could take on at this stage of his career.

Not that Mayweather will acknowledge any such thing. Icing his sometimes brittle hands while sitting in a dressing room after his workout, he questioned the quality of Alvarez’s opponents, and said it was just another fight to him.

Another fight and another $40-million to $50-million payout that will cement his reign this year as the highest paid athlete in the world.

As for Pacquiao and the fight that will likely now never happen?

”I don’t even know who that is,” Mayweather said.

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Tyson says ‘on the verge of dying’ from drugs, alcohol

(Reuters) – Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has claimed he is on the verge of dying from ongoing drug and alcohol problems.

“I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die. I’m on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic.” Tyson said on ESPN’s ‘Friday Night Fights’.

Tyson, now a promoter, told a news conference, “I’m a bad guy sometimes. I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven.

“So in order for me to be forgiven, I hope they can forgive me. I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now,” the former champion said.

Tyson admitted to being a continual substance abuser but was hopeful he was finally becoming clean.

“I haven’t drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that’s a miracle,” he revealed.

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“I’ve been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I’m not. This is my sixth day. I’m never gonna use again.”

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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Jhonny Gonzalez ruins Golden Boy’s best-laid plans, upsetting Abner Mares in opening round (Yahoo! Sports)

CARSON, Calif. – After Leo Santa Cruz put on a boxing clinic in a third-round destruction of Victor Terrazas on Saturday at the StubHub Center, Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer was asked about a potential Santa Cruz-Abner Mares bout.

“That would be huge at Staples [Center],” Schaefer said.

There was a lot of anticipation in Southern California for a Santa Cruz-Mares fight, which would have matched two of the fastest rising stars in the sport.

Jhonny Gonzalez heard the talk, too, and he quietly seethed.

“They were treating me like a steppingstone for Mares and were making plans for a Santa Cruz fight before [he even fought] me,” Gonzalez said.

And that turned out to be a bad decision.

Gonzalez scored the upset of the year with a crushing first-round technical knockout of the previously unbeaten Mares, dropping him twice and claiming Mares’ WBC championship.

Abner Mares’ undefeated record collapsed in the first round against Jhonny Gonzalez. (Getty) “At this moment, this is the single greatest and most glorious moment of my life,” Gonzalez said. “When I came to the U.S. for this fight, no one gave me any credit. All they talked about was Mares fighting Santa Cruz.”

The talk was for good reason, as the two were quickly rising up the ranks and were among the most skilled, and exciting, fighters in the game.

After Santa Cruz dismantled Terrazas on Saturday, it was Mares’ turn to hold up his end of the bargain.

Mares, though, never got on track and didn’t land a meaningful blow before being violently beaten up.

The first two minutes were almost completely uneventful, with neither man landing anything of significance. But with about a minute left in the round, Gonzalez landed a strong straight right hand. Mares took it well, but it was a harbinger of what was to come.

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Not long after, Gonzalez decked Mares with a textbook left hook to the jaw. Mares was in obvious trouble this time, but courageously bounced up and referee Jack Reiss allowed him to continue.

The clock was running down in the round, and Gonzalez knew he had Mares hurt. He also knew Mares would be dangerous, and he had a decision to make: To attack and go for the early finish, or to play it cautious and not get caught with a Hail Mary from a desperate Mares.

After briefly considering his options as Reiss tended to Mares, Gonzalez knew what he had to do.

“I knew I had to go in for the kill,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t want to let him survive. It was just a matter of time before he’d be knocked down again. People just didn’t give me the respect I deserved.”

Gonzalez entered the bout with 46 knockouts in 62 professional fights and a deserved reputation as a hard hitter, if not a slick boxer.

Mares found out the hard way it wasn’t all talk. The Gonzalez win clearly derailed talk of a Mares-Santa Cruz fight, and left Schaefer to consider his options.

“You just have to enjoy the fights,” Schaefer said. “We all think we know what is going to happen. I was reading a story where The Ring picked 19 experts, probably some of you [ringside media] and asked who was going to win. All 19 picked Abner Mares.

“We think we know everything, but the truth is, we don’t. And that is why boxing is so exciting.”

Santa Cruz continued his upward momentum in the opener of the Showtime-televised doubleheader. He challenged Terrazas for the WBC super bantamweight title and put on a virtuoso performance.

What will Jhonny Gonzalez’s win mean for his career? (Getty) He knocked Terrazas down twice in the third and forced referee Dr. Lou Moret to stop it to save Terrazas from a frightful beating. It was plenty bad as it was, with Terrazas’ right eye swollen shut from a series of sharp, accurate Santa Cruz blows.

Terrazas was a veteran with far more experience, but Santa Cruz took him apart with a cool, surgical precision.

“I was not expecting a knockout this early in the fight,” said Santa Cruz, who dedicated the fight to his brother, Roberto, who is battling lupus. “I thought it would have been later. Terrazas is a great fighter and I knew I had to pressure him in order to bring him down. I needed to do this in the early rounds because he’s a tough fighter. In the second round, when I saw his eye swell, I knew I had to work up to that more.”

That shifted the spotlight to Mares, who made a mistake that cost him his title.

Schaefer said he didn’t think the stunning loss would hurt Mares’ popularity, because the promoter pointed out that Mares always comes to fight and puts on exciting events.

And Mares shrugged off his first loss.

“I’m in this sport not to remain undefeated, but to fight the best,” Mares said.

Gonzalez proved he’s on his way to being one of the best with his performance, recording his 55th win and his 47th knockout.

And after enduring all the talk about a Mares-Santa Cruz fight without complaint, he finally had his moment in the sun.

“They had me wrap my hands twice in the locker room to try to break my concentration,” Gonzalez said. “But it was then that I knew I had to win at all costs.”

That he did, and it was one of the most remarkable bouts of his career.

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Jhonny Gonzalez’s power gives him a shot against featherweight champion Abner Mares

Jhonny Gonzalez, left, lands against Daniel Ponce de Leon during their 2012 bout. (Getty Images)

From the time he first pulled on a pair of gloves as an 8-year-old boy in Mexico City, Jhonny Gonzalez was different from the rest of the kids.

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He’d throw a punch and it had a force that belied his tiny size and skinny frame. From his earliest days, he punched harder than anyone his age and racked up scores of knockouts.

Nearly a quarter of a century later, little has changed. Gonzalez is one of boxing’s top knockout artists, and has racked up 46 victories by stoppage heading into his bout Saturday against WBC featherweight champion Abner Maresat the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Gonzalez is 54-8 in his 62 pro bouts, with 46 knockouts. That uncanny punching power has led him to world titles at bantamweight and featherweight and, he hopes, an upset of Mares in their title bout in the main event of the Showtime-televised card.

His 46 knockouts are more than notable power punchers such as WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (41 knockouts in 47 fights), Manny Pacquiao (38 knockouts in 61 fights) and Shane Mosley (39 knockouts in 57 fights) among active boxers.

He was mentored as a young pro by Hall of Famer Humberto Gonzalez, an ex-light flyweight champion, and ex-welterweight champion Pipino Cuevas. Both of them were known for their power, and Gonzalez has followed in their footsteps in that regard.

He may lack Mayweather-esque defense, and he’s been knocked down and out himself more times than he cares to mention, but it’s the rare bout when Gonzalez isn’t the hardest hitter in the ring.

It’s something that has made him one of the better boxers of his time, but it’s not something he learned after hours working on technique in the gym.

“Power is not something I think you can be taught,” Gonzalez said. “You either have it or you don’t. It’s a natural thing.”

He won his first world title in 2005 when he stopped the legendary Thai champion, Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, to win the WBO bantamweight title.

It was Gonzalez’s most memorable win, and he has never forgotten the thrill of landing the decisive blow.

He caught Vorapin with a right uppercut, badly hurting him, and quickly finished the bout just 22 seconds into the seventh round.

“I just remember that punch and it just had that good feel to it,” Gonzalez said. “I knew I got him with it. You can feel it sometimes, and that was one I knew that I hit him good. He was there for me to hit him and I felt I could hurt him if I caught him. Fortunately for me, I did.”

Gonzalez, 31, will have his hands full with Mares on Saturday. They sparred briefly in 2006 as Gonzalez was preparing for a title bout against Israel Vazquez.

Mares was just 20 then, but Gonzalez was already impressed. He’s been impressed even more as Mares has matured into one of the game’s finest all-round fighters.

“He is the best guy out there at featherweight, for sure,” Gonzalez said. “He does so many things well, and he’s very smart. It’s a great motivation for me to fight Abner at this stage of my career. I know if I beat him, people aren’t going to think I’m done. I have been fighting a long time, but I’m not old.

“My power is a big weapon, but against Mares, I have to be the total boxer, not just a big puncher. If I have an opportunity to hit him with a [hard punch], of course, I will, but he’s smart and I just can’t look for the knockout.”

But Gonzalez is one of those kinds of fighters who doesn’t have to load up and swing for the fences in order to generate power. It comes from his core and he’s hurt plenty of fighters with an otherwise innocuous seeming punch.

He’s got nearly twice as many knockouts as Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs) has fights, and he’d love to add one more to his total because of the significance of the opponent.

“Knockouts are good and I know the fans love to see them,” Gonzalez said. “If I can give a knockout, I will, but in this fight, just beating Mares is all I am focused on.”

It’s a long shot for him to pull it off, but if he does, don’t be shocked if it’s Gonzalez’s power that leads him to the win.

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Featherweight champ Abner Mares survived on the streets in order to thrive in the ring

Abner Mares, right, connects with a right hand against Daniel Ponce de Leon in Mares’ victory in May. (Getty I …

Toughness manifests itself in very different ways. Athletes are viewed as tough when they play through injuries. Fighters are considered tough when they take blows and keep moving forward.

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Abner Mares, the classy WBC featherweight champion, is tough in that regard.

But Mares showed his toughness long before the world knew his name. Mares, 27, is now one of the world’s most popular boxers, and will defend his belt against power-punching Jhonny Gonzalez on Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., in the main event of a Showtime-televised card.

Long before he earned fame and some fortune, he survived by eating out of trash cans, living on his own in a foreign country at 15, sleeping on floors and fending for himself.

Mares was born in Mexico into abject poverty, but even when his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was seven, their lot in life was not much better. Mares was still living in poor conditions and didn’t have the casual suburban upbringing.

He showed a skill for boxing at an early age and so when he turned 15, the former gang member was sent by his parents by himself to live in Mexico so he could pursue a spot on the Mexican Olympic boxing team.

He represented Mexico in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, but the day-to-day grind was hard.

“I am the person I am now because of everything I went through as a child,” the friendly and affable Mares says. “All that, eating out of trash cans, being in a gang, sleeping on the floor because I had nothing, living on my own at 15, that made me who I am. I grew up fast. I had a different life, but it’s all good.

“I’m here today because of all of those experiences. I became a man because of what I’ve been through in my life.”

When he first returned to Mexico at 15, he was desperately lonely. He phoned his mother every day, pleading to be allowed to return home.

But his parents believed making the Olympic team would be best for his future and made him stay. Eventually, Mares adapted.

And he’s been doing that ever since. He’s become successful as a fighter not only because of his sheer toughness, but also because of his ability to adapt in the ring.

He’s faced sluggers, boxers, southpaws and every style imaginable, and has rung up a 26-0-1 mark with 14 knockouts.

He’s beaten some of the better lighter weight fighters of his time – he’s bested elite opponents such as Anselmo Moreno, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Vic Darchinyan and Joseph Agbeko – and he’s never shied away from a challenge.

Mares said he’s better because of the elite opponents he’s faced. When you’re facing championship-caliber opposition every time out, it’s either figure out how to survive or get content with being an also-ran.

Mares is no also-ran. He learned how to survive and flourish.

“I’ve fought nothing but the best, and I can’t begin to tell you how much that has helped me,” he said. “Everyone I’ve fought I’ve learned from and taken something from them. It’s helped me to progress.”

He’ll have to survive Gonzalez’s vaunted power. Gonzalez has 46 knockouts among his 54 wins and is one of the hardest hitters in the lower weight divisions.

Mares’ toughness didn’t escape the notice of Gonzalez, who isn’t expecting to run over him with a power attack.

“With Mares, you know he’s a good fighter and he knows what he’s doing in that ring, so it’s important to have a plan and execute it, because he’s very good,” Gonzalez said. “I believe in my power, but I can’t go just for knockouts because he knows how to [deal with] that. I have to follow my plan.”

Mares’ plan – surviving a desperately poor childhood and living alone at an extraordinarily young age – shouldn’t be a blueprint for others.

But his willingness to adapt and to not make excuses should.

Despite all of his disadvantages, Abner Mares has become one of the most complete fighters in the world and is an idol to thousands of Mexican and Mexican-American fans. His story resonates with them, because so many of them have been in his situation.

You have to be tough to take a punch, but taking one isn’t the only way of proving toughness.

A 15-year-old Abner Mares proved that.

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Back in boxing, Tyson ready to promote with pride

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) — When Mike Tyson returns to boxing on Friday night, he’ll be on the outside of the ring looking in.

More than two decades after a social worker introduced him to trainer Cus D’Amato, Tyson will return to his roots in this sport, but this time as a promoter. The former heavyweight champion has a new enterprise, Iron Mike Productions, and he will present his first fight card at Turning Stone Resort.

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The main event features an IBF super bantamweight title fight between champion Argenis Mendez and challenger Arash Usmanee.

Tyson says he’s ecstatic to be back in the sport. He says his fighters won’t be subjected to what he went through in his heyday.

”When I first got involved, I just didn’t know,” Tyson said. ”Never in a thousand years did I plan on doing it. I’m just happy to be back involved in boxing. It’s a dream come true. I’m a little nervous.”

The man who once sued promoter Don King for $100 million for taking his money also has reinvented himself as an entertainer. Last month, Tyson announced he’s going back to pay television, where his fights were some of the biggest moneymakers in boxing history. He’s teaming with director Spike Lee to bring Tyson’s one-man stage show to HBO later this year. The program was filmed on Broadway, where ”Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” ran last summer.

Tyson’s wife, Kiki, wrote the script for the stage show, which toured the country earlier this year. Tyson said it reflects his life’s journey from Brooklyn street tough guy to happily married father, and credits his wife for his foray into promoting.

Not bad for a man who only five years ago was a desperate drug addict contemplating suicide. His depression reached a low on May 26, 2009, when his 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, was tragically killed when she was strangled by a cord while playing on a treadmill.

It hit Tyson hard, but the death – and his marriage to Kiki soon after – helped rescue him from the abyss.

”I didn’t think I’d be here much longer,” Tyson said. ”I was planning on killing myself. I was overdosing every night. I couldn’t believe it – that I was waking up. Living life is different for me.

”I had to change my life. It’s been hell, but I’m happy to be alive.”

And ecstatic to be back in the sport, where he earned and lost over $300 million.

Tyson, 47, who was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in nearby Canastota, N.Y., two years ago, hopes to provide his fighters with a structured environment for success – in and out of the ring.

”You’re never going to hear them say ‘Mike Tyson stole from me.’ Hopefully, they’ll never end up like me,” he said. ”I’m not a magician. The only thing I can do is suggest – go in the right direction. We have to look for happiness within. I can’t stop somebody from hurting themself.”

Still, he knows it won’t be the same.

”I can’t be like Cus. These guys (today) would lose their minds with the discipline,” Tyson said. ”Forty percent of fighters – they can’t even make their own weight. Fighters need to be self-motivated. They should be the first one in the gym and the last one out. I’m never going to be wealthy again, but I can still give back. Boxing gave me so much. This should be fun.

”This should really be fun.”

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Canelo Alvarez believes he’s the man who will stop Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Canelo Alvarez doesn’t seem to be fazed by the increased media attention. (AP Photo)

Canelo Alvarez speaks the words that every underdog in every sport speaks before facing the most significant opponent he or she has ever faced: I’m different. What’s happened in the past won’t happen to me. I’m willing to do anything to win.

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The reality of what it will take for the 23-year-old upstart to hand Floyd Mayweather Jr. the first defeat of his legendary career will soon be upon him, however.

In exactly a month, he’ll be standing across from Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, a crowd screaming deliriously, millions of fans around the world watching intently.

It will be the biggest moment of his professional life, and perhaps one of the biggest in boxing history, if he does what he says, almost insists, he’s going to do. Alvarez is utterly convinced that on Sept. 14 he’ll be the one to end Mayweather’s perfect record at 44 fights

It’s largely overlooked that Alvarez is also unbeaten, with only a draw in his fifth pro fight when he was barely 16, marring his 42-0-1 mark.

But not all unbeaten records are the same, and when it comes to quality of opposition, Mayweather has a significant advantage. He’s beaten the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Jesus Chavez, Carlos Hernandez and Robert Guerrero, among many others.

The majority of the opponents on Alvarez’s record are perhaps best described by the phrase Greg Haugen once derisively used to describe the caliber of opposition that the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. had faced: Tijuana taxi drivers.

Alvarez can be a gregarious, outgoing guy when he wants to be, and he seems to have a better handle on things than the average 23-year-old. Alvarez sincerely believes he’s in the right place at the right time, much as a 21-year-old Mayweather was in 1998 when he faced the great Genaro Hernandez for his first world title.

And while Mayweather has been down this road so many times before, Alvarez isn’t at all concerned. He’s studied Mayweather for years, and he believes he knows what he is in for. And judging by what he has seen, he is utterly convinced he’ll come out on top.

There were those who wanted to put Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, into the hospital and not allow him to fight Sonny Liston when he began to hyperventilate at the weigh-in.

But Ali went out and easily handled Liston, stopping him in six one-sided rounds to win the heavyweight title.

Alvarez said he’s working on what he needs to do to win, and is not allowing the hype, Mayweather’s taunts or anything that isn’t productive to creep into his circle.

“I’m a strong-minded fighter,” Alvarez says in such a way that you get he believes it to his core. “I’m not going to fight the fight he wants me to do. I will fight the fight I need to fight to win.”

So many of the legendary Mexican fighters have called, or stopped by camp in Big Bear, Calif., to share some wisdom or provide some advice.

It’s all appreciated, but he said he’s not going to allow himself to lose sight of what is important.

Alvarez defeated Austin Trout in April, but Trout is no Floyd Mayweather Jr. (AP Photo) He and his coaches have been preparing for this moment for the last several years. He’s not going to shift his attention away from that work to do something that someone who doesn’t have much invested in the fight suggests he do.

“There have been numerous tips and numerous people offering advice,” he said. “I appreciate it, because it all comes with good feelings from the heart. But some of it we’ll apply and some things we won’t. We know what we need to accomplish.”

A large part of his potential success will center around his ability to deal with all the distractions that are a natural outgrowth of fighting Mayweather. There are cameras everywhere, and beginning on Aug. 24, his story will be broadcast nationally as part of Showtime’s “All Access” series.

That will only bring more attention to him. He’ll have to answer the same questions hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times. He won’t be able to go anywhere without someone shoving a camera in his face, a pen and a magazine toward him, without people wanting to pat him on the back and wish him well.

Mayweather lives his life inside that fishbowl and thrives upon it. Alvarez has had far more attention in his young career than the average 23-year-old, though, and he might be the kind of guy, just like Mayweather, who not only deals with it, but improves as a result of it.

He is friendly enough, but he seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder that compels him to want to prove something to the doubters, be they real or imagined.

“Every fight brings out something different in me, and it will be no different in this one,” Alvarez said. “I have learned and gained from all of those experiences. And as I’ve often said, the public hasn’t seen the best of me yet. I need someone like Mayweather to bring that out of me.”

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Puerto Rico gay boxer Orlando Cruz to marry

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz has proposed marriage to his partner after announcing last year that he is gay.

Cruz made the proposal on his Facebook page and his boyfriend has accepted.

”I’d like to say, and share it with your friends, and with my friends: Do you want to marry me?” Cruz said on a video of about 2 minutes posted on the social media site Wednesday. ”It’s an important step, it’s a step I’ve thought about, it’s a step that we have thought about.”

Cruz also mentioned the proposal on his Twitter account, saying he had taken an important step in his life and wants happiness for him and his partner.

Puerto Rican gay activist Pedro Julio Serrano, spokesman for the U.S.-based National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said he will attend the wedding.

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The date and location of the wedding remains unknown. Same-sex marriage is not allowed in Puerto Rico or Florida, where Cruz has a home.

Cruz announced his sexual orientation in October, becoming what is believed to be the first pro boxer to come out as openly homosexual while still competing.

The boxer is a featherweight fighter and 20-2-1 with 10 knockouts.