Boxing: Marcus Browne

Bid on Super Bowl tix at 'Teddy' dinner

November, 20, 2013
Teddy Atlas remembers one night he stayed up past his bedtime.

It was 1966 or so. He sat at the kitchen table of his family's home on Staten Island, waiting up for his dad. Young Teddy had fallen asleep, head down on the table, and woke up when his father Theodore walked through the door, after midnight. The boy asked his dad what he'd been doing, and the physician told him he was seeing a patient in the hospital. "Oh, well, that person's going to get better, because you're taking care of him," the boy told his dad. "No, actually, he's not," Dr. Atlas answered, giving his son a gentle dose of of vicious and inevitable reality. "So, why do you stay up so late and see the patient if he's not going to make it?" the boy said. "Because you don't give up on life," Theodore Atlas responded.

Adult Teddy Atlas took that lesson to heart, and fight fans see it in action when he puts himself at risk for an aneurysm as he gets into a ballistic fury after another judge offers up another grotesque scorecard on "Friday Night Fights."

Every two weeks or so, Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao's trainer, calls for a national commission to be formed, to clean up the quagmire in the sport. And Theodore Atlas' stubborn devotion to caring, and continuing to soldier on to boost up the fallen, and dispense care and material goods to folks who have been cheated by the inadequate safety net in a society gripped by a hypercapitalistic fervor, is on display annually at the "Teddy" dinner, which unfolds Thursday on Staten Island.

At the dinner, Roach convenes an all-star crew of celebrities, and sells tickets to the gala, which always features a stellar auction. I asked the analyst-trainer the highlight to be from this years' dinner.

Former NBAer Dikembe Motumbo -- "he's very tall," Atlas cracked -- will be present, as will MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who has graciously spotlighted the works of the foundation on his show "Hardball." Former New York Giant Harry Carson is slated to be on the packed dais, as is boxing legend Micky Ward and current pugilists Paul Malignaggi, Marcus Browne, Yuri Foreman and Sadam Ali.

One auction standout Atlas plugged is tickets to this years' Super Bowl, which takes place in our neck of the woods. Giant David Diehl has kindly offered up tix to the forthcoming Giants-Cowboys game, and that will include field passes. Those in the market for a new car might want to pony up $20 for a raffle ticket, or 20, to win a new Ford Mustang donated by Dana Ford Lincoln of Staten Island. Go here to get tickets to the dinner.

Atlas asked that I give props to his ESPN colleagues and former colleagues who will make the drive down from Bristol, including FNF producer Matt Sandulli, anchor Jonathan Coachman, and studio host Todd Grisham. Also, Howie Schwab will be in the house, presumably stumping a person or two.

So, I asked Atlas, what will be the takeaway message on Thursday night? "That room will be about all those people being together and me saying thank you," he said.

Sorry Teddy, I have to correct you. I will be present, and for me it will be about you being a role model of service and providing literally immeasurable aid and comfort to souls most in need of it.

Thank you, and for all those folks who have lost hope and don't know where to turn when insurance companies stomp on their heart, or who get slammed by a natural disaster and don't have the saving to keep them afloat while they rebuild their homes and lives, please, keep up your great work.

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Publicist Swanson wins via TKO1

November, 16, 2013
Some of her colleagues were chuckling post-fight, as the publicist to Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather was interviewed by the boxing writer, and being asked how she felt getting a win in her fighting debut.

But nobody was chuckling about Kelly Swanson's in-ring demeanor on Saturday night, at a jam-packed Gleason's Gym in DUMBO; the debuter, who strode to the ring in a blue robe with the words "The Communicator" stitched on the back, with cornerman Hopkins whispering encouragement and combat tips in her ear, showed a sharp left hand which made her foe Amy Handelsman do a 180 in the first round. Swanson quickly whacked Handelsman with combos, forcing a standing eight. The action resumed, but not for long. Swanson moved in for the kill, let her hands go, and the ref was forced to step in and halt the scrap. The end came at 53 seconds elapsed in round one.

The fight was the main event of a charity card, Fighters 4 Life Showcase, to raise money for at-risk youth, who can learn about fitness, and self-discipline and work towards positive goal-setting at Gleason's.

Afterwards, Swanson was barely breathing hard as she dissected her performance and the experience. Lisa Milner, Swanson's right hand for the past few years while helping promote Mayweather and Hopkins fights, was howling as she watched me query Swanson, who's done the same to the best in the business in her 20 plus years in the game. "The butterflies as you're getting ready, getting your hands wrapped, everything, are incredible," Swanson told me. "But once the bell rings you just get into it and fight."

Hopkins pre-fight told me that he'd told Swanson to keep it simple, don't try and get fancy. She complied, but with extra zest, firing with the same firmness and directness she often exhibits doing the publicity chores.

A celeb-studded crowd packed the joint, as Rosie Perez, and fighters Peter Quillin, Danny Jacobs, Yuri Foreman, Marcus Browne and Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza attended, to raise funds for the kids, and cheer on the publicist, who did indeed live up to the name "The Communicator:" Swanson communicated some serious intent with a thudding left hand, and even better, serious skills as a fundraiser: she raised $11,270 for the charity, tops among the 12 participants in the event.

Marcus Browne goes to 7-0

September, 30, 2013
Marcus Browne of Staten Island improved to 7-0 (6 KOs) with a unanimous victory over Lamont Williams at Barclays Center on Monday.

The judges scored it 79-72, 79-72, 76-72 for Browne, in what was an immensely chippy contest.

Afterwards, Browne said it was a “good learning experience.” The 22-year-old said he was OK with not knocking out Williams, as “you can’t knock out everybody.” He said the fight was “dirtier” than his others, and he expects to be stronger in his next eight-rounder.

Browne, the 2012 Olympian, was aggressive in the first. Williams was cautious, maybe too cautious for a shortened-duration bout.

Williams got nastier in Round 2, in a chippy round which saw Williams land a few clean shots on Browne.

In the third, Williams’ hand speed was impressive. With lead rights and lead hooks, he touched Browne a few times. Browne seemed slightly frustrated, as evidenced when he did a smush face on a break, and got warned by the ref. Williams’ feints kept Browne from getting into a rhythm.

The fourth was tight. Williams’ straight right was maybe the best punch of the round. Browne had a point taken for an intentional headbutt to start the fifth. The round was better for him because he came forward and wasn’t backing up so much.

In the sixth, it was another chippy round, with clinches, headbutting and elbows. Browne’s best punch was straight left, but he took a right counter in return. The judges could have gone either way.

In the seventh, Browne had a solid round, landing the cleaner, harder shots.

In the eighth, Williams ran and didn’t throw, giving Browne the round. We went to the cards.

Williams, from California, fell to 5-2-1 with the loss.

Junior welterweight Mike Perez from Newark delighted the crowd with a flurry plus some of left hooks on foe Miguel Zuniga in the main undercard attraction. Perez, an accurate hitter who takes enough punishment to make it interesting, won a UD, by scores of 99-91, 99-91, 96-94 over game Zuniga, who followed him, but couldn't match the hand speed of the victor. After the bout, Perez said, "I've been through a lot, and tonight I found out who I really am. I'm back on my own bandwagon."

Ali, Browne ready for Barclays bouts

September, 26, 2013
Barclays Center will stage its fifth fight night on Monday, with a card unfolding in the Cushman & Wakefield Theater, topped by a Sadam Ali-Jay Krupp main event.

[+] EnlargeSadam Ali
AP Photo/Gregory PayanSadam Ali
Ali and others on the bill, including Staten Island's Marcus Browne, showed up at Gleason's in DUMBO on Thursday to hype the Golden Boy event.

Ali, a Brooklyn resident who had a place on the 2008 U.S. Olympic squad, has taken his time to get to this place. He staged his own cards and stayed independent until he and his father/manager, Mahmoud, who stood next to the 25-year-old hitter while he chatted with NYFightblog, found the right terms. I asked Sadam if he had ever gotten impatient, to the point of severe frustration, since turning pro in March 2010 and seeing some other folks who arguably might not be as skilled as he is get signed to promotional deals.

"No," he said, "not at all. I knew this day would come."

And what about the father?

"Of course I did," the father admitted with a tiny grin. "I'm just always wanting what's best for my son."

The 16-0 welterweight takes on the 17-5 Krupp, who features a Mike Tyson-style peek-a-boo look he honed under ex-Tyson trainer Kevin Rooney. Ali didn't seem phased by the Tyson talk. "He can't peek-a-boo me if he can't see me," Ali said.

The 22-year-old Browne finished skipping rope, and I approached him for a quick chat. What if, I said, you upstage your pal Sadam, I asked. Will you feel bad?

"Of course not," the 6-0 light heavy said. "That's what you're supposed to do! Boxing isn't a team sport." Browne takes on 5-1-1 Lamont Williams, who is a half-step up from anyone he has tangled with before as a pro.

All the fighters seemed to be on message, and Ali, for one, was tested. Thursday was his birthday, and publicist Kelly Swanson presented him with a cupcake.

"I can't eat it," Ali said. "I'll eat it after the fight."

Sadam Ali to headline Barclays room

August, 29, 2013
Barclays Center's commitment to boxing is reaching another level, with word that Golden Boy will be putting on a show at the Cushman and Wakefield Theater, a smaller venue within the building, on Sept. 30.

Sadam Ali, a new signee to Golden Boy, will make his promotional debut on the card.

A Carlos Molina-Michael Perez bout will also be featured, and Staten Island's Marcus Browne will return to the ring as well. Fox will televise portions of the Monday evening promotion.

The event is being promoted as an anniversary fete for the building. Jay Z kicked open the doors with a gig on Sept. 28, 2012.

"There's no place like home," said Ali (16-0, 10 KOs), who had been acting as his own promoter. "I've seen some great fights at Barclays Center and I have waited for my name to be called to fight here. Now that day has come and I couldn't be more excited. This is going to be a performance and a win you won't forget."

Welterweight Ali was a heralded amateur, a two-time N.Y. Golden Gloves champ, a two-time National Golden Gloves winner and a member of the 2008 US Olympics squad. He turned pro in January 2009. His foe on Sept. 30 will be Jay Krupp (17-5, 8 KOs), a Louisiana-born hitter who lives in Catskill, N.Y., and has been trained by ex-Mike Tyson trainer Kevin Rooney. "I'm part of the Cus D'Amato legacy," Krupp has said, speaking of the sage who molded young Tyson into "Kid Dynamite."

Perez (18-1-2, 10 KOs), a 23-year-old Jersey boy (Newark), will meet Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs), the 27-year-old Californian who fought Amir Khan and was stopped in Round 10 of their Dec. 15, 2012 faceoff. A junior welter title will be up for grabs.

Marcus Browne goes to 6-0

August, 19, 2013
[+] EnlargeMarcus Browne
Elsa/Golden Boy/Getty ImagesMarcus Browne
Marcus Browne of Staten Island, who represented the US at the London Olympics, went to 6-0, with a TKO2 win over Robert Hill of Louisiana at the Best Buy Theater in Manhattan on Monday night.

The lefty Browne, aged 22, threw a stiff, straight left in the first and sent Hill to the floor. The ref waved a halt to the light heavyweight contest, put together by promoter Golden Boy, the first of 24 Monday events they're presenting.

Hill looked a bit nervous and hesitant to engage from the get-go and his record went to 1-2.

The loser was looked at by three ring physicians, who quizzed him for a couple minutes after the ending, which came at 59 seconds elapsed. They were satisfied with his responses and allowed him to head back to the dressing room.

Marcus Browne puts on power show

June, 22, 2013
Marcus Browne of Staten Island went to 5-0, with a TKO win over Ricardo Campillo of Mexico in a light heavyweight scrap set for six or fewer at Barclays Center on Saturday.

A left from the lefty dropped the loser, now 7-7-1, in round one. He ate another left right after that the crowd enjoyed, but made it to the second against the 22-year-old who took part in the 2012 Olympics.

A left, after a left hand-right hook combo, sent him down in the second. He got up, and the ref let it go, but his corner didn't. They hopped up on the apron with the inspector and the fight was ended, at 1:00.

Browne had the crowd ewwing and ahhing a couple times. He showed some likable surliness when he almost shoved the ref aside to get at Campillo after he buzzed him in round two.

Younan likes Paulie's chances vs. Broner

June, 20, 2013
Sherif Younan trained Paul Malignaggi for three fights, two against Juan Diaz, and against Amir Khan. The New York based tutor told NYFightblog he's still on good terms with the WBA welterweight champion who is an 11-to-1 underdog against 135 pound ace Adrien Broner. Younan gave NYFightblog his assessment of Malignaggi's chances against the (perhaps) heir to Floyd Mayweather in their Barclays Center showdown.

"Paulie has a lot of experience," he said Tuesday at a Gleason's press workout. "If Adrien thinks it's going to be easy, he'll be very sadly mistaken. You enter the ring against Paulie and it's a different world. He's cagey, has heart and speed."

Younan is hoping Malignaggi's gameplan relies heavily on his legs, his movement. "If he has his legs, he's going to control range, and have an easy night," he said. "If the legs are there, he could win eight rounds [of a scheduled 12]."

Younan can see a situation where Malignaggi builds a solid lead, and Broner needs to storm him late to try for a KO.

I did wonder if Younan's fondness for his former fighter clouded his judgement. He said he was still thinking with his head, as well as his heart. "This is Broner's first really big test," he said. "If Broner shuts Paulie down, then we know he's real. But I doubt that very much, Paulie doesn't lay down for nobody."

Younan's son Sherif Jr. aka "Sugar Boy," is, by the way, a superb boxer in his own right. Dad and son, who's repped by James Prince, are talking to promoters about a deal now. The kid is ranked No. 1 in the nation at 178 pound, and has been learning the ropes, getting superior sparring with local pros Marcus Browne and Curtis Stevens. "We might sign a contract this week," the father said.

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."



Galarza, Browne to fight at Barclays

March, 7, 2013
Confession: I'm sort of a fan of two of the young boxers on the Saturday card at Barclays Center. Frank Galarza and Marcus Browne are two promising hitters with engaging personalities. You have to hope that they keep excelling, and get to the professional promised land.

The 27-year-old Galarza was born in Red Hook. He stands out because of his upbeat attitude. His father died when he was seven, and his mom died when he was nine. He grew up in the home of his father's sister and her husband, Wilma and Benjamin Collazo. They will be in the building when the 8-0 Galarza meets 11-2 Guillermo Ibarra. "I expect more than one hundred friends and family at Barclays," Galarza told me Tuesday at Gleason's. I asked him why he didn't have a nasty gameface on and he said, "I'm just having fun, being able to fight in my home town." The junior middle got good sparring with Delvin Rodriguez, so he expects to go to 9-0. "There won't be nerves. I'm used to it. It's my stage and I want to perform."

Another kid on the card is 22-year-old Marcus Browne. The Staten Island light heavy meets 4-5-1 Taneal Goyco, and seeks to go to 3-0. Browne is advised by Al Haymon, so you know big things are expected of him. "I'm in great shape and I'm just ready to fight in front of my home crowd for the first time as a professional fighter," he told NYFightblog.

Marcus Browne to fight Feb. 9 in Brooklyn

January, 4, 2013
Marcus Browne has the sort of personality that will take him far, if his skills keep growing at the rate they have been. He mixes confidence and self-deprecation smoothly, as when I asked the 22-year-old Staten Islander if he behaved himself during the holidays or overindulged at the dinner table, sentencing himself to extra road work in the sub-freezing temperatures outside to carve off a spare pound or two ahead of his Feb. 9 bout at the Barclays Center.

Did you steer clear of second helpings during the holidays, Marcus?

“I’m a fat horse,” he said, chuckling. “No, I’m a gummy-bear fanatic. But it was cool. Making my home debut as a pro, in Brooklyn, it’s a great feeling. It will be motivating. It will push me to work harder in the gym.”

Browne, who repped the U.S. at the London Olympics and is signed to adviser Al Haymon and promoter Golden Boy, said he’s been getting great work at the Starrett City Gym, with fellow pros Danny Jacobs, Curtis Stevens and Will Rosinsky.

He doesn’t have a foe set for the Brooklyn rumble, but is hoping to get someone more seasoned than Ritchie Cherry, who he KO'ed in Round 1 on Dec. 15. Cherry was so rudimentary, Browne would like to see someone who can push him a bit more, forcing him to use new tricks of the trade.

Danny Garcia, a junior welterweight champ, headlines on Feb. 9 against Brownsville’s Zab Judah, the 35-year-old ex-champ who still has top-shelf skills, but whose mental makeup is questionable. Will focused-and-fierce Zab show up, or will the guy who drifts and doesn’t push himself meet Garcia? Could Zab regain a title against a 24-year-old young gun?

“This is hard,” Browne answered. “I’m a New York guy, I’m a lefty like Zab. I like Zab but the young kid, he got the dog in him. Zab says Garcia woke up a sleeping lion. And Zab will be fighting close to where he grew up, so you never know.”

Browne ended with a shout-out to the people of Staten Island still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy: "It's out of the news, but people are still coming out of it. People are helping, but people tend to forget. We can't forget about these people."

Marcus Browne goes to 2-0

December, 16, 2012
Marcus Browne, the boxing pride of Staten Island, N.Y., went to 2-0 with a TKO win over Ritchie Cherry at the L.A. Sports Arena on Saturday. Browne, 22, scored three knockdowns against his foe from Oklahoma.

Browne (2-0, 2 KOs) spoke to Brian Kenny of Showtime after the network finished airing an undercard fight ahead of its Amir Kahn-Carlos Molina main event. Browne promised to "stay on the straight and narrow," and the 2012 Olympian said he likes the pro game, where he can bang and not worry about the headgear and the computer scoring in the amateurs. The light heavyweight likes that kids who work out at the Atlas Cops and Kids Gyms in New York look up to him and wants to keep excelling so that he can remain a role model.

Cherry dropped to 3-6.

Romney wishes Pacquiao well

December, 8, 2012
Mitt Romney, who lost to incumbent President Barack Obama on Nov. 6, visited the dressing room of Manny Pacquiao, and Juan Manuel Marquez, before their big rumble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Romney greeted a seated Pacquiao, and said, "Hello Manny. I ran for President. I lost," drawing guffaws in the Pacquiao dressing room. "Wish you good luck tonight. Congratulations on your race and your fight. Congratulations, way to go, have a great night. Thanks guys."

He also checked in with Marquez, and was seen in the front row for the first TV fight, between Patrick Hyland and Javier Fortuna. Romney was accompanied by his wife, Ann. The ex-Massachusetts governor also shook hands with rapper-promoter 50 Cent.

Marcus Browne predicts Marquez to beat Pacquiao

December, 6, 2012
Staten Island prospect Marcus Browne looks to rise to 2-0 when he gloves up on a Dec. 15 card at the LA Sports Arena in Los Angeles.

The light heavyweight Browne is keeping his fingers crossed that his fight will be shown on CBS, which will televise a Leo Santa Cruz-Alberto Guevara bantamweight title fight as the main event.

Fellow Olympian Joseph Diaz has a TV slot locked down, and Browne told NYFightblog that he isn't sure if his scrap will run on CBS, or on Showtime Extreme.

"So, if my fight isn't on CBS it'll be shown on SHO Extreme, that's kinda weird but it's whatev(er)," Browne told me. "I was hoping I was a lock for CBS," he admitted.

A CBS slot would be a minor coup, as boxing has been off network TV for more than five years, and there will be solid hubbub surrounding the Golden Boy offering.

While I had him on the line, I asked the 22-year-old Browne who he likes in Saturday's Pacquiao-Marquez fight in Vegas (to be shown on HBO pay-per-view). "I got Marquez winning, by split decision," he said. "I won't be surprised if Manny gets a decision, I just feel like Marquez is gonna pull it off. I feel like Marquez won the last one, but who am I, Mike? I'm a small fish, I got to get my weight up," he said, chuckling.

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Marcus Browne debuts with KO

November, 9, 2012
Olympian Marcus Browne took out Codale Ford at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA Friday night.

The Staten Islander, in his pro debut, said he wanted to put on a show for those in the region hit by Sandy and he did.

Browne, after trainer Gary Stark Sr. told him to gun for the kayo, got nasty in the third. He sent Ford down with a left to the body. The loser arose, but two rights to the body had the ref interceding, and halting the light heavyweight tussle, set for four rounds or less.

The scrap ran on Showtime, and if you missed it, they run replays on the various Showtime channels.