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Monday, August 20, 2012
What does Riley have left?

By Michael Woods

Floyd Mayweather's jail stint served to raised his profile a notch further.

Yathomas Riley's two years in jail, charged with attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend, didn't do him any such favors.

A dedicated few tried to spread the word that they thought Riley was being falsely accused. Michael Miller of the Miami New Times wrote about the case, and friends sent around articles and poked journos to please take a look.

On Friday, vindication came, when the system decided that the evidence against Riley, a light heavyweight from Florida who built an 8-0 (6 KOs) record fighting for Star Boxing of New York, was not sufficient to maintain a case against him. After cooling his heels in lockup waiting for a trial, Riley was released, and charges against him were dropped.

We know that Mayweather, with a comfortable nest egg and support staff at his beck and call, will proceed to his next extravaganza seamlessly. But what about Riley? He's 30 years old, his last bout occurred in April 2010 (TKO2 win over Walter Foster in Connecticut), he's been away from the gym and under severe mental duress since he called 911 the night of June 10, 2010, told the operator his girlfriend had tried to kill herself with a gun, and then was accused by the woman of being the trigger-puller.

I asked Star Boxing matchmaker Ron Katz about Riley's prospects after a lengthy layoff. "Riley was a beast," Katz told me. "Search-and-destroy and one of the best pure punchers I've seen, God gifted power." Riley had dedication issues and was prone to lose focus outside the ring, Katz noted. "If he dedicates himself, and trains hard and has something left he can be a force to be reckoned with, he has really big-time power."