Boxing: BWAA

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.

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
Keith Sullivan is one of a tiny handful of highly regarded attorneys working in the fight game. The Queens-based lawyer chatted Wednesday night with NYFightBlog at the BWAA awards dinner, the 87th annual, in Manhattan.

I am curious just how much time Floyd Mayweather, currently jailed in Nevada for a period of 87 days or less for a domestic assault conviction, will actually serve, so I asked Sullivan, based on his knowledge of the justice system, to hazard a guesstimate.

"He will most likely get out early, he will probably serve two-thirds of his sentence, that tends to be standard, so we will probably see him in two and a half months," Sullivan said, as he waited to greet heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, who was due to receive an honesty and integrity award along with brother Wladimir.

Sullivan suspects Floyd will have to adhere to standards of probation upon his release, and that there may be a continuing order of protection from his ex-girlfriend, whom he clashed with.

Will the stint help Floyd? "It should humble him," Sullivan said. "If he takes a good look around and takes stock of where his life is, from where he came, it should humble him, compel him to be a better person, a more caring man, not someone who arrogantly burns money, simply because he has a lot of it. Jail knocks the proudest and tallest of men off their self-aggrandizing pedestals. He should realize how far ahead of the curve he is in life and how less fortunate so many others are and in turn he will be thankful for the gifts and opportunities given to him."