Boxing: Boxing Writers Association of America

Roach: Mayweather is a little bit boring

May, 7, 2013
Five time Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach saw Floyd Mayweather do his thing in Las Vegas on Saturday night. His verdict? "Mayweather fought careful, calculated," he said. "The fight against Robert Guerrero was a little boring."

Roach trains Manny Pacquiao, who has for a couple years been the on-again, off-again target of barbs from Mayweather. Often, Roach, the more outspoken of the two men, will stand up for Manny, and fire back at Floyd, as Pacquiao is not at all interested in the trash-talk side of the sport. So, there is little love lost between Freddie and Floyd, it is safe to say...

"I gave Robert Guerrero one round," he continued. "Many people thought he did so well with Andre Berto in his last fight that they thought he'd give Mayweather more of a challenge. But Berto and Mayweather are worlds apart. Guerrero was overwhelmed with Mayweather's speed."

Roach sides with fans who came away a tad bit miffed that Mayweather concentrated so much on defense. "He doesn't take chances," Roach said. "I felt he could have knocked Guerrero out. But he doesn't take chances. He'll land one and get out."

And what if it was Pacquiao in that ring on Saturday night against Mayweather? "It will be difficult for anybody, as we know," he said. "Mayweather proved he fights southpaws well. I think you have to be more aggressive, put more pressure on him, smart pressure, you can't throw one at a time. You have to make a fight out of it, but it is hard to get him into a fight, he's such a great boxer. He's a little bit boring, I wish he was a better finisher. Five guys I was with literally fell asleep."

And do those on the message boards who admit disappointment that Guerrero didn't seem to go balls out, fight fast and furious, when he knew he was down on the cards, make it a rumble, do they have a point?

"I think he was overwhelmed, he didn't see that coming," Roach said. "Guerrero thought he'd be like Berto. But Mayweather ties you up and locks you down. He's very, very careful. I'm not gonna punish Guerrero too badly. I wish he was more aggressive but I don't think he could anything more. Mayweather has great defense."

Browne likes Mayweather over Guerrero

May, 1, 2013
Seems like everyone I come across is impressed with Marcus Browne's progress as a pro thus far. The Staten island hitter, a light heavyweight, rose to 4-0 with a KO2 takeout of Taneal Goyco at Barclays on Saturday night.

I asked the lefty, who repped the U.S. at the London Olympics, for his takeaway on the victory.

"It was a good win, now for our next time out we're doing six rounds for the first time," the 22-year-old told me. "We're trying to get a decent opponent and I'm just going to continue to work hard so fights can be easy, although not every fight will be."

Browne is being guided by Al Haymon, who is sort of a "Wizard of Oz," man-behind-the-curtain type who is rarely seen in public -- he didn't even appear to accept his Boxing Writers Association of America Manager of the Year award at the April 11 awards gala in NYC -- but is one of the three (two, one?) most powerful people in the sport. Haymon is not prone to risk-taking as he builds his prospects, to the point that many fans grumble that Haymon fighters don't subject themselves to risk early or often enough, but if you're a fighter, you have to feel comforted that your manager isn't one to throw you into waters that might be too deep, or shark-filled, before you're ready.

Browne said Haymon told him he would likely fight on the June 22 Barclays card which is topped by Paul Malignaggi's welterweight title defense against Adrien Broner, who is coming up from 135 pounds.

And who does Browne like in Saturday's Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero fight? "Floyd is in a higher class than this kid, to me personally we'll see that display itself from the fifth round on," Browne told me. "If it even goes that far ... I got Floyd in round eight or nine."



Donaire facing shoulder surgery

April, 15, 2013
Nonito Donaire hadn't tasted defeat in 12 years, and he sipped from the bitter cup on Saturday night, at Radio City Music Hall, as Cuban native Guillermo Rigondeaux showed amazing command of the sweet science and took a unanimous decision from the 2012 BWAA Fighter of the Year.

Donaire's wife Rachel told me on Monday afternoon that she and the fighter are keeping proper perspective on the loss. First things first, the Cali resident will be visiting doctors to fix torn ligaments in his right shoulder, which hobbled his gameplan and removed a most potent weapon against a lefty. Rachel told me that the shoulder was diagnosed in late January and a doctor recommended surgery. But the fighter said he wanted to put it off, to have one more bout before he took some time off. Their first child is due in July, and the wife said the fighter is looking forward to decompressing. First, there will be a surgery, maybe by the same healer who did Andre Ward's recent shoulder surgery, perhaps within a week or so.

Difficulties making 122 also weighed on the boxer, she told me. He had difficult making it out of the 130s in camp, she said, and on Thursday, was at about 126 pounds. Making 122 pounds is no longer a solid option, she said.

So, is there a rematch in the future, near or far, with Rigo? The Donaires don't seem to be that enthused by the prospect. Nonito has fought a bunch of risk-averse types recently, and some foes who will take it to him, like a Juan Manuel Lopez, for example, would make for more fan-friendly encounters, and play better to his style. "We're taking nothing away from Rigo, but that style of fighting is mostly for the purist fans, which are something of a dying breed," she told me. "He can fight that way his whole career, that's fine, but that's not what a lot of the fans want."

Donaire is likely to appear back in the ring, she said, in late fall.

Arum happy about his Triple Crown

April, 10, 2013
The two best 122-pound professional fighters will face off on Saturday night in New York City, on a show promoted by Brooklyn-born Bob Arum, the 81-year-old sage who presided over a press conference at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to hype the clash, which will run on HBO.

The promoter spoke enthusiastically about the bout, which pits his fighter, 30-year-old Nonito Donaire, named by the Boxing Writers Association of America their 2012 Fighter of the Year, against Cuban technician Guillermo Rigondeaux, regarded as maybe the best amateur of all-time, but still semi green as a pro, with an 11-0 mark. The matchup clearly juices Arum, but the setting for the bout, Radio City, seems to excite him equally.

Arum has done a boatload of shows at Madison Square Garden since he got his feet wet in the business in 1966, promoted a Miguel Cotto fight at Yankee Stadium in 2010, and now fulfills a Triple Crown, of sorts, by placing the second pro fight card ever at Radio City. (Roy Jones beat David Telesco in the first, back in 2000.)

“Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and Radio City Music Hall are iconic locations,” Arum said. “I was blown away when my parents took me to these places when I was a kid. I really never dreamed I’d be promoting Ali in the Garden or at Yankee Stadium.”

The dealmaker said he had no jet lag after returning from a promotion last Saturday in Macau. He expects Radio City to be sold out, and the fracas between Donaire, who holds the WBO 122-pound crown, and the 32-year-old Rigo, the WBA champ, to be a pleasing style clash.

Donaire candidly admitted during his time at the mic that he could be at a precarious stage. "At this time of my career is when people are usually vulnerable," said the California resident with a 31-1 mark. "You get ‘Fight of the Year,’ you get a baby coming ... but I guarantee you coming into the fight you’ll see the best Nonito Donaire." His wife Rachel, who was in attendance, is expecting their first child in July.

Rigo's comfort zone is in the ring, not at the mic stand. The Cuban-born hitter, who lives in Miami, was spare in his remarks. "I’ll become a world champion once again and unify the titles," he promised. Rigo won an interim super bantam title in just his sixth pro outing but he's no neophyte. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, he had over 400 amateur fights.

Donaire said after the two did their customary staredown that he achieved a "moral victory" because Rigo was shifty, and broke eye contact, indicating, he said, a level of discomfort.

Arum should know Manny foe by Sunday

April, 10, 2013

Bob Arum is looking to determine who will get the coveted slot to fight Manny Pacquiao in his next bout by Sunday, he told NYFightblog during a Wednesday press conference at Madison Square Garden. The press conference was called to hype the Saturday super feather unification bout between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux at Radio City Music Hall.

Arum, the Las Vegas-based Brooklyn-born promoter, was clearly on a high counting down to the Radio City event. He talked about entering the famed venue as a little boy, and how proud he is to have now staged shows at MSG, Yankee Stadium and now at this third iconic platform.

Arum said Juan Manuel Marquez will be attending the Thursday night Boxing Writers Association of America dinner, to accept an award for taking part in the 2012 Fight of the Year, with Manny Pacquiao. He will see if the Mexican wants to meet up with Manny a fifth time, or wants to go in another direction. A rematch with Tim Bradley, who won a controversial decision over Pacquiao last June, is a possibility.

Arum has also been in talks with Bradley and his manager Cameron Dunkin, who was present at the presser. Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz will be in NYC, to help clarify the next move for Manny, as well.

I asked Arum about Freddie Roach's remarks to me yesterday, that Roach doesn't think Marquez deserves a 50-50 split, and should accept that Manny deserves more moolah, because he's a PPV draw. "I'm not negotiating in the press," Arum answered. "We will talk privately and come to a decision."

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Boxing Writers dinner open to fans

March, 29, 2013
The 88th annual awards banquet of the Boxing Writers Association of America will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Capitale in New York City, and marquee players in the game, like Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire, and Juan Manuel Marquez, who dropped, stopped and shocked Manny Pacquiao in December, will be present.

The Filipino-American superstar Donaire is scheduled to box Guillermo Rigondeaux at Radio City Music Hall just two nights after the banquet.

Other notables set to appear include Roy Jones, Timothy Bradley, Ruslan Provodnikov, Paul Malignaggi, Steve Cunningham, Bob Arum, and Jim Lampley.

The best part is that fight fans can attend, and rub elbows with these boxing bigs. Ticket information is at

Tix on sale for April 11 BWAA dinner

March, 11, 2013
Tickets are on sale for the 88th annual Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) awards dinner on April 11 at Capitale in New York City.

The dinner is open to fight fans, and 2012 Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire, who fights on April 13 in NYC, will be in attendance. NYFightblog will also be soaking up the scene, so if you attend, please tap me on Twitter (@Woodsy1069) and let me know so I can say hello.

Tickets are priced at $200 per person, $150 for BWAA members. Tables of 10 are $2,000. A limited number of VIP tickets are also available for $400 per person and $4,000 for a table of 10. VIP tickets include premium seat at dinner, photo opportunity with honorees and a special VIP gift. Payment must be received no later than March 31.

"The response to the upcoming banquet has been great," BWAA president Jack Hirsch said. "By now people understand that the BWAA dinner serves as the Academy Awards of our sport. We have an exceptional list of honorees, but our list of presenters is awesome as well. That will be made public before the dinner. Everyone attending the dinner receives a gift bag which has a total value close to the price of the dinner ticket.

"From a social perspective, the annual BWAA dinner is by far our sports best social evening of the year. We always sell out in New York. I strongly advise anyone planning to attend to buy their tickets early."

• Cocktails are available at 6 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. ET by dinner and the awards ceremony.

• Bernie Award Winners for boxing writing will also be announced and presented.

• A silent auction will be held. Those donating items for the silent auction will be listed in the event journal and may display their business cards or promotional material on the silent auction table.

• For further information, go online to or email Gina Andriolo at or Jack Hirsch at