Boxing: bob arum

Jack Dempsey tops second NY Hall class

March, 6, 2013
The ballots have been counted, and the results are in. All-time heavyweight great Jack Dempsey and promoter Bob Arum top the second New York State Boxing Hall of Fame class, and they'll be feted during an induction dinner on Sunday, April 28.

"This is an exceptional group of inductees," NYSBHOF and Ring 8 president Bob Duffy said. "We are inducting legitimate New Yorkers in the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame. All of these inductees have a significant impact on New York State boxing during their respective times."

Others to make the cut include featherweight Johnny Dundee (83-32-20, 17 KOs); two-time world featherweight champion Sandy Saddler (144-16-2, 103 KOs) and light heavyweight champion Maxie Rosenbloom (207-39-26 (19 KOs). Living boxers heading into the Hall include middleweight Joey Archer (61-6-9, 50 KOs), three-division world champion Iran Barkley (43-19-1 (27 KOs); Mark Breland (35-3-1, 25 KOs), light heavyweight Bobby Cassidy (59-16-3, 27 KOs); world heavyweight challenger Doug Jones (30-10-1, 20 KOs), Junior Jones (50-6, 28 KOs), James "Buddy" McGirt (73-6-1, 48 KOs) and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (50-8-1, 39 KOs). Non-participants heading into the Hall include managers Shelly Finkel and Tony Graziano, analyst Larry Merchant, matchmaker Teddy Brenner, announcer Don Dunphy, and promoters Mike Jacobs and Tex Rickard.

All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years in order to be eligible for NYSBHOF induction, and all inductees must have resided in New York State for a significant portion of their boxing careers.

Tickets for the induction dinner are priced at $150.00 per adult ($125.00 for Ring 8 members in good standing) and $50.00 for children, and includes a complete brunch and cocktail hour upon entry, starting at 12:30 p.m., as well as dinner (prime rib, fish or poultry) and open bar throughout the evening. Tickets are available to purchase at the Waterfront Crabhouse (2-03 Borden Ave in Long Island City), or by calling Tony Mazzarella at 718-729-4862 or Ring 8 president Bob Duffy at 516-313-2304.

Martinez and Chavez Jr. come to NYC

July, 12, 2012
The best middleweight in the world will be crowned on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas, when Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. face off, in a bout which will be presented on HBO pay-per-view. A press conference to hype the scrap, which is being promoted by Top Rank's Bob Arum, Junior's promoter, and New Yorker Lou DiBella, Martinez's promoter, unfolded Thursday afternoon at the Edison Ballroom in Midtown.

Arum took to the mike and lauded the scrap as being what the fight fans deserve. DiBella then said that this sort of event, the best fighting the best, is what can save boxing from stuff that drags it down, like bad decisions by boxing. Martinez's trainer Pablo Sarmiento said that on September 15 "we will shut his mouth," speaking of Chavez. Martinez's adviser Sampson Lewkowicz admitted that three fights ago, he thought this fight was a mismatch. Not so now, because Chavez has come of age. Check back for more on the presser ...

Did Chavez Jr. hurry to escape urinalysis?

February, 6, 2012
On Sunday afternoon, I busted Marco Antonio Rubio's chops for insinuating that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. used an illegal PED or PEDs before his unanimous decision title-defense win in San Antonio Saturday night.

I stand by that piece, because Rubio made that implication in a Boxing Channel interview based on his feeling that Chavez was stronger than he thought he would be and had more stamina than the loser thought he should have. However ... it now emerges -- in stories that ran on Boxing Scene and Yahoo! -- that Chavez apparently didn't provide a customary post-bout urine sample, and Team Rubio claims that he fled the arena to avoid providing it. If Junior did in fact skip out, that info, combined with the fact that he tested positive for a banned diuretic following his November 2009 fight with Troy Rowland in Las Vegas, makes Rubio's sour grapes a bit less sour. There would be a track record at that point, and even though I maintain that a using a diuretic to aid weight loss isn't in the league of an EPO, Rubio's allegation becomes more understandable. However, as Twitter followers Ron Buckner and EdwinAA kindly noted, the diuretic furosemide is sometimes used by dopers as a masking agent to avoid detection of banned substances. So perhaps Junior wasn't just seeking a shortcut to make weight back in 2009.

We need to know the specific postfight circumstances. Did the Texas commission drop the ball in not having a rep with a cup handy in Chavez's dressing room? I texted Freddie Roach, Junior's trainer, to ask for clarification, and I'll share that if and when I hear back.

Sergio Martinez fans will certainly want this mystery cleared up. They want Junior to put his WBC middleweight crown on the line against Sergio after the latter takes care of his business on March 17 at the Madison Square Garden Theater, against Matthew Macklin, and they'd like assurances that the 25-year-old Junior is on a level playing field with Martinez, 36, if that fight comes to fruition. That's a big, fat "if" in the minds of many fans, who think Junior and his promoter, Bob Arum, would rather he battle ultra-faded Antonio Margarito than risk his title against a less-faded Martinez.

Roach wants Floyd first, and talks "The Cut"

January, 14, 2012
I chatted with trainer Freddie Roach after the HBO screening of the first two episodes of his miniseries, "On Freddie Roach" on Wednesday, said that promoter Bob Arum and Manny met that day. He said they have the say in who Pacman fights, not him. Freddie told Arum his preference of the four men the promoter had picked out as potential foes for a June Pacquiao bout.

Freddie likes Lamont Peterson first, then Tim Bradley, then Miguel Cotto number three, because he thinks the fight would be similar to their first tangle, and Floyd Mayweather was the fourth. "And he was out of the equation now, Juan Manuel Marquez didn't want the fight, so we took him out of the equation, so it was those three guys," Roach said.

The trainer said he thinks Lamont is the best style-wise for Manny, and that Bradley uses his head too much, in a bad way. Roach said that the Mayweather fight is "the first one I want now."

He said he didn't think it'd be optimal to put Pacquiao-Mayweather on in May, because there wouldn't be enough time for the promotional tour. "I don't think it'll happen right now, I think both guys will have one fight and then fight each other. Then fight each other in November? I'd say so."

And remember how Arum said Manny's cut eye from the Marquez fight would disqualify him from a May date? Roach said he got cut in a fight Thanksgiving and then I fought the day after Christmas. "That's the way it was," he said. "I think the cut is OK. Manny feels the June date is more attractive to me, but I don't think the cut is a factor in there."

"I don't talk to Manny when he's in the Phillipinnes, because I don't have his number," he said, chuckling.

Top Rank: Plug NOT pulled on MSG card

November, 17, 2011
A report that the Dec. 3 boxing card set to unfold at Madison Square Garden will be relocated to another venue, out of New York, is looking like it is premature.

Reporter Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated Tweeted that the card, featuring Miguel Cotto against Antonio Margarito in a rematch of their 2008 clash, would not occur in New York. The Tweet, from a verified account, said: "Source: New York Athletic Commission will reject Antonio Margarito's application for a license. Margarito-Cotto will move out of NY."

A Tweet directly after said, "Bob Arum tells SI that Texas, Denver and Mississippi will be looked at as alternate venues. Announcement will come at end of the day."

But Top Rank VP Carl Moretti, in a Thursday phone call with NYFightBlog, refuted the information.

"The plug has not been pulled on the card," Moretti said. "A hearing with the New York Commission will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m," and the commission will render an up or down decision on whether Margarito will be granted a license to fight.

Moretti continued: "I am not at liberty to comment on other potential sites." He said that if Margarito is not granted a license to box in New York, "we will act appropriately and accordingly."

ESPN's Dan Rafael first clued in readers on the specifics about the Margarito licensing issue on Wednesday.

A source with intimate knowledge of the situation, and not affiliated with the promoter, told NYFightBlog that no decision has been made by the three people who will decide if Margarito will get the go-ahead to box. Commission chair Melvina Lathan and commissioners Edwin Torres and Tom Santino will listen to testimony from medical experts who will state that they believe Margarito is not at undue risk if he boxes, and also experts who fear his right eye could be subject to severe and permanent damage if he fights.

The boxer had surgery on his left eye following his November 2010 fight with Manny Pacquiao. Margarito (age 33; record of 38-7) absorbed large amounts of punishment in his decision loss, and drew praise from pundits for his perseverance in the face of such an assault.

My two cents: I see both sides of the issue. I presume Margarito knows and accepts the potential risks that are present in the prizefighting arena. He has announced that he is willing to die in action, so it is clear that he is a different breed of human being. But I have to applaud the N.Y. commission for looking so hard at Margarito's eye situation.

We often hear of commissions proclaiming that they exist primarily for the health and well-being of the boxers. We don't often see as much evidence of that as you would hope. Whatever direction this goes in, I think and hope we can all agree that all involved do indeed keep at the forefront of their mind the health and well-being of the boxers.

Note: The Friday hearing, in which testimony from sides lobbying for and against Margarito obtaining a N.Y. license to box, will take place at the commission headquarters, at 123 William St. in Manhattan. It is open to the public and begins at 11 a.m. Deliberation among the officials who have final say will not be open to the public.

Nonito Donaire went from being seen as top 20 pound-for-pound guy to a top 10 or top 5 pound-for-pound guy with his TKO2 win over highly regarded slugger Fernando Montiel in February.

The hitter was born in the Philippines, so he enjoys a measure of the adulation among Filipino fight fans that the Congressman, Manny Pacquiao does. But Donaire lives in the U.S., in California, so his level of fame isn't in that Pacquiao zone.

Donaire (26-1 with 18 KOs) -- as you can see in the video I shot at the Edison Ballroom in NYC on Tuesday, at a press conference to hype Donaire's Oct. 22 title defense at the MSG Theater against fellow lefty Omar Narvaez (from Argentina; 35-0-2 with 19 KOs) -- is an affable gent with a wicked sense of humor. Combine that with a fan-friendly desire to separate his foe's head from his neck, and you have someone who has a chance to make some ripples outside the hard-core circle.

Donaire understands this, which is why he he tried to maximize his leverage after the Montiel win. "The Filipino Flash" left Top Rank, and signed with Golden Boy, in March. Top Rank cried foul, saying that the 28-year-old was still under contract. An arbitrator agreed, and in July, Donaire kissed and made up with Top Rank, with a multiyear contract extension.

Americans aren't overly enamored of jockey-sized fighters. They'll make some exceptions, more so in this era, in which the heavyweights by and large stink up the joint ... but fighters under 120 pounds basically get ignored by the non-fanatics. But we recommend people make an exception, and tune in to see Donaire do his thing. And if you really have an aversion to under 120-pounders, not to worry, he'll be moving up to 122 pounds soon, and likely 126 after that. We hear that Donaire attacked NY cheesecake and pizza with the same ferocity he does foes, so he'll likely have to add a mile or two of roadwork so he makes 122 for Narvaez.

Woods' Twitter handle is @Woodsy1069

Bob Arum, the Brooklyn-born promoter who worked in JFK's Justice Department before breaking his parents' heart and jumping ship to the the boxing biz, was in town on Tuesday to hype two NYC shows. The bigger one takes place on Dec. 3, at MSG. That card is headlined by Miguel Cotto versus Antonio Margarito, in a rematch of their 2008 thriller. That scrap had the look of a "Saw" sequel. Cotto was leaking blood copiously by the third round, and by the seventh, he was in a bad state.

Margarito, who looked like a Terminator of pugilism as he shook off Cotto launches and plowed forward with scary malevolence, ended the affair in Round 11. Cotto took a knee twice to stop the Mexican's bomb-dropping, and the ref pulled the plug as Cotto's corner moved to do the same. Fight fans looked at Margarito as a certified badass at that point, but their estimation shifted radically when he was found to be trying to use hardened hand wraps when he met Shane Mosley in his next bout, six months later. He was suspended for more than a year, and to this day, many if not most boxing fans assume -- fairly or unfairly -- that he'd cheated before.

They note that he is 1-2 since the Cotto victory, having been schooled by Mosley (TKO9 loss), beating lesser light Roberto Garcia in his comeback bout (UD10), and getting pummeled by Manny Pacquiao in his last outing, on Nov. 13, 2010.

There is no evidence that Margarito had ever used implements to get an extra, illegal edge before, and he says his ex-trainer inserted the pads, and he didn't notice they were not kosher. His promoter, Arum, concurs.

I admit, Arum's stance holds sway with me as I ponder the issue. You see, Arum promotes Margarito and Cotto. If he were working from a purely political place, one would think he'd take pains to not take sides. You'd think that he'd defer on making a judgement on whether or not Margarito is a serial cheater, or if, indeed, the boxer was involved in a single incidence for which he deserves no blame, because it was his trainer who messed up.

But no, Arum defended Margarito to the hilt once he sifted through all the evidence. We will post some video in a bit in which Arum explains why he thinks Margarito is no villain. My stance has shifted, I admit, from being one who finds it hard to fathom that Margarito hadn't used illegal aids in the past, to one who admits that he doesn't know. A good deal of that is because of Arum's behavior on this matter. Because bottom line, it seems like his stance makes his dealings with Cotto more difficult. Mostly reading in between the lines, I sense that over the last couple years, Cotto has been less-than-thrilled that his promoter essentially chose Margarito over him.

What do you think?