Boxing: sechew powell

Pssst, I got a trade secret for ya. Fightwriters sometimes tend to wring every bit of drama out of a matchup they can by proclaiming it a last chance for one of the pugilists to reach the mountain top. I read such pieces about Micky Ward TEN YEARS before he engaged in his all-time classic for the ages, that epic of beautiful brutality, against Arturo Gatti (5-18-02).

Sechew Powell is in a fight Friday, June 1 against Gabriel Rosado (a deceptive 19-5 record; age 26; when his head is screwed on straight he is a bit of a beast; from Philly) which you could make a case is a crossroads fight for him. If you wanted to go that extra mile of hyperbole, you could say that it is a last chance sort of fight. I will not go that extra mile; but I will make clear that it is a bit of a must win for the Flatbush-based boxer, who turns 33 on June 6. He is coming off two losses, to IBF junior middleweight champ Cornelius Bundrage last June (UD12), and a L-UD12 IBF title shot eliminator to Cory Spinks in January.

The lefty Powell was in the gym anyway, giving Delvin Rodriguez work ahead of his Saturday bout with WBA super middle champ Austin Trout in California, so he snapped up the shot when Main Events called for him to sub in for Joel Julio in the featured bout on NBC’s Fight Night, which unfolds in Pennsylvania and on the NBC cable sports channel (9 PM ET start.)

Can Powell (26-4 with 15 KOs) get ‘er done in PA? I asked that of Russell Peltz, the matchmaker for the Fight Night series. "It's a pick 'em fight,” he said. “Since Rosado was training for a righty Powell can use that to his advantage. I really think this is a 50/50 fight."

Powell tries moving on from Spinks defeat

January, 30, 2012
Sechew Powell is a thoughtful fellow, puts in his time studying philosophy and knows there is limited upside to spending too much time dwelling on negatives. "Onward and upward," the Flatbush boxer knows, is the preferred battle cry for the boxer and, really, anyone scratching and clawing their way up any ladder.

But two days after his unanimous decision loss to ex-welterweight champion Cory Spinks of St. Louis at the Shrine Mosque, in Springfield, Mo., Powell, 32, is struggling with a desire to look down at the puddle of milk, and continue to process how and why it got there.

"It's Monday and I'm moving forward, won't cry over spilled milk," Powell wrote on Facebook on Monday morning of the IBF junior middleweight title eliminator, "but for the record: I WON my fight on Saturday night and it was stolen from me because I was in my opponents back yard fighting, I knew going in that it would come down to me needing a KO to win if we went to the scorecards so it wasn't a big surprise but being cheated still sucks. Major props to Cory Spinks for staying on his feet wobble wobble and all from those big left hand shots he held on for dear life."

I would have liked to assess the scrap meself, but it was off TV, and there's no video available. The judges awarded the 12-rounder to Spinks, 115-113, 115-113, 116-112.

I texted Powell (now 26-4) on Sunday and checked in.

"Yeah, I got some home cooking," the Brooklyner responded, referring to the loss to Spinks, who turns 34 on Feb. 20 and rises to 39-6 with the W. "But I knew I had to beat him up bad to win and not just beat him up."

Powell believes the judges, with proper optical prescriptions, should have scored the fight 116-112, times three.

The fighter vows he will soldier on, milk spillage be damned.

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Sechew Powell to fight Cory Spinks on Dec. 31

December, 6, 2011
Sechew Powell picked up some tips on how to conduct yourself when he worked in Floyd Mayweather's camp for Money's fight against Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17. The Brownsville, Brooklyn-born and raised hitter will look to show fight fans some of what he learned when he takes on veteran Cory Spinks on Dec. 31 in Anaheim.

Powell (26-3 with 15 KOs) dropped a UD to Cornelius Bundrage in his last outing, on June 25. The 32-year-old told NYFightBlog is amped to take on the ex welterweight and junior middleweight titlist, the 33 year-old Spinks. "I'm looking to resurrect my career with an explosive win against the biggest and best opponent I have faced to date." The winner will get a crack at Bundrage.

The clash will take place on a Don King card topped by Tavoris Cloud vs TBA. Cloud, the IBF light heavyweight champ, was set to meet Zsolt Erdei, who pulled out a few days ago with a hand injury.

NY P4P list, Nos. 14-10

November, 7, 2011
Good news, we didn't hear of any pub tussles occurring after we posted Part 1 of our NYC Top 20 Pound-for-Pound List.

Fingers are crossed that all will remain calm as numbers 14-10 are released.

14) Joe Greene: Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, now calling Florida home, the junior middleweight Greene had a chance to accumulate heavy buzz if he beat Vanes Martirosyan at Yankee Stadium in June 2010. Instead, he dropped a UD10 in a listless bout. At 23-1 with 15 KOs, Greene (age 25) can commiserate with Jacobs in that the fans and press can be harsh, and drop a young guy from the radar for one measly loss. Critics wonder how badly he wants success, and would like to see him be busy, show the judges he wants every second of every round.

13) Gabriel Bracero: You might notice and take issue with the fact that the 30-year-old Sunset Park, Brooklyn hitter has just 3 KOs on his 18-0 ledger. Point taken, but then you should nore that it's hard to recall when this solid product last lost a single round. With Tommy Gallagher acting as trainer/manager, he'll get a title crack sometime next year.

12) Ashley Theophane: The Londoner has set up shop in Brooklyn to get to the next level. The junior welterweight says he's been pleased with the level of sparring he's gotten at Gleason's, and he'll look to prove that on Dec. 10 when he looks to defend his British title versus 24-6-1 Nigel Wright in Peterlee, County Durham, England.

11) Monte Barrett: This man deserves props for longevity. The Jamaica, Queens native debuted in 1996, and had cracks at crowns, losing to Hasim Rahman (2005) and Nikolay Valuev (2006). He's still plugging away, politely asking to get a chance as a recycled asset against a Klitschko. Barrett, residing in Bayonne, New Jersey, is hedging his bets, though, taking part in a training session for a stint in Vince McMahon's WWE.

10) Sechew Powell: The "Iron Horse" got a long awaited title shot in June, against Cornelius Bundrage, but couldn't get over the hump, dropping a UD. He has much in the way of boxing skills, but would be aided if he had a meaner streak and concentrated on volume. At 32, Powell (26-3 with 15 KOs) knows time is not infinite. He should get a chance to prove to the crew back in Brooklyn, and himself, that is promise will be fulfilled.
  • Thanks to consultants Zach Levin, "Manager X," Kevin Rooney and Ryan Songalia for their input into the NYC P4P. Follow me on Twitter here. Send suggestions or hatemail to
The older I get, the more likely I am to defend the sport of boxing when someone points out that prizefighting is a barbaric act which should be abolished.

The closer to I get to my checkout time, the more I understand that we are given one shot at this, and one might as well test oneself to the max, challenge one's limitations, so you don't have reservations and regrets in your waning days.

Sechew Powell
, the junior middleweight from Flatbush, feels like boxing has given him far more than it's taken, and he gives no apologies for giving the savage science full-on props.

"Life is dangerous. Every man is going to die. Every man does not fully live. I've been around the world because of boxing, to England, Ireland. Life's been good. Without boxing, I can't say it would be as good."

The fighter acknowledges it could be better; he wasn't in peak form in his last fight, and lost a decision to IBF junior middleweight titlist Cornelius Bundrage. Powell said he aims to be the No. 1 contender in the IBF to start 2012, and get a title crack next year. And while he feels that age is just a number, and that the effects of aging are more a matter of ingrained expectations that reality, Powell acknowledges that "I'm not the youth of boxing" anymore.

He quickly points out that he hasn't been in any "car crash" fights, rumbles which tend to age a boxer a few years in one night. Curiously, maybe, to some, Powell said he is looking to get into Gatti-Ward territory, to take part in a back a forth tussle which leaves fans jaws on the floor next to the empty beer cups. "I'm looking forward to that 'wear and tear' fight, I want to give those epic fights," he said.

Now with promoter Don King, after Warriors Boxing sold his contract to DK, Powell said he would happily get it on with Mayweather, the man who has been cutting him checks for the last six weeks as a sparring partner. "I'd love the opportunity if it presented itself. After three or four of the right fights, it is possible. But now, to be in the Floyd sweepstakes, I'm not in them, because the fans don't know me enough."

And if his lucky numbers pop up? Would he beat Mayweather?

"Of course," Powell said. "I would say I'd win against anyone. I truly believe I have what it takes to beat the best."

I tried to lure Powell the tiniest bit, test him, see if he'd admit to trying to test Mayweather in sparring, to see how he matched up to the P4P best. He set me straight..."In sparring, you're not boxing to win," he said. "It's about giving him work."

And it's also about finding the pockets of good in life, the moments and opportunities to savor and to help sustain yourself in a most rigorous vocation.

"I'm with the champ right now," Powell said. "It's awesome. People out there wish they could do what I can do. I don't take it for granted."

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The politics of the fight game, the crooked managers, shifty promoters, the dates that fall through, all the annoying impediments that must be dealt with for a boxer to ascend to the upper echelon can sap a man as much or more than physical punishment.

Sechew Powell
, a 32 year old junior middleweight who lives in Flatbush, has been touched by all the typical collateral idiocy associated with the climb to the word class level. But he has not let those hurdles sap his love for the game.

So no, no fan of Powell's who has followed him since he turned pro in 2002 should hear that he has been working as a sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, and infer that he has capitulated. No, Powell told NYFightblog, even though he has made more money working with Floyd with the first week of August than he did in his last bout, a title shot against Cornelius Bundrage in June, he hasn't retired his desire to win a world title.

Mayweather has been getting himself ready for his fight with Victor Ortiz, which unfolds at the MGM Grand in Vegas tomorrow night. So Powell (26-3 with 15 KOs), a lefty like Ortiz, has tried to approximate the underdog for Mayweather. He believes he's earned his keep, and helped Floyd to fine-tune. But the experience has also benefitted him, beyond the solid paychecks. He's soaked up some of the ways and means which have made Mayweather the top rated fighter, pound for pound, in the world.

"You'd be a fool to come around the best and not pick up some things, not take a few pages from him," Powell said. "His work ethic, his psychology, it's out of this world. I believe Mayweather is the best in the biz."

Part of that success, Powell said, stems from the fact that Mayweather isn't afraid to do things that work for him, even if the culture or tradition frowns upon it. Thus, Powell has to be ready to work four rounds sparring with Mayweather at 4 AM if the champ asks.

Mayweather is 34; fight pundits wonder if he hasn't slipped a bit. He got wobbled by aged Shane Mosley in his last fight. I asked Powell if age has robbed Mayweather of something.

"He's looked sharp. He hasn't lost anything to my eyes. I think he's better than he was five years ago, two years ago. Staying in a line of work, you get better. When it comes to boxing, people skip over that. As you age, you get smarter. But people think he will regress. Floyd is not breaking down. It's all about how you take care of your body. The best Floyd is here today."

Check back later..I'll post some info on where Powell hopes his career will go next, and if he ever regrets the business he's chosen.

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Full slate for NYFightblog starting tomorrow.

I'm hitting a luncheon for Andy Lee (26-1), the middleweight trained by Manny Steward who is looking to make the leap from contender to Contender.

Lee, born in Ireland, living in The City, will fight Brian Vera (19-5; age 29; lives in Texas) on Oct. 1. That bout is a rematch of a 2008 fight Lee lost and will run on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker scrap in Atlantic City.

Vera is a journeyman, but on the upper crust of journeymen. He will simply beat you if you are not physically and mentally prepared, even if perhaps you supposedly possess more skills than he does. He's the sort of fighter who some smart folks are trying to re-position in the fight game. Yes, he has losses. Yes, he may never advance to to be premium talent. But he simply takes part in fan-friendly fights. Call it the UFC influence, which hasn't been embraced by boxing's suits, but IMO, should be. Just because a man has lost some bouts does not make him less of an attraction. Oh, and Lee, by the way, may also in the near future be assessed the same way as I just did Vera ...

Also looking to have a chat with Brooklyn's Sechew Powell (26-3; age 32). The junior middleweight had a shot at a crown, but came up short for the IBF 154-pound strap against Cornelius Bundrage on June 25 in Missouri. Powell has been on the cusp for many a moon, and I wonder if he's feeling some urgency, if he's wondering if things will ever break his way.

I feel some fondness for him, I admit, because I did a feature on him for the late Boxing Digest Magazine around 2003, when he'd had a handful of pro fights, and so I have always followed his goings-on that much more closely.

Powell has stayed busy giving Floyd Mayweather sparring in Las Vegas the last few weeks, so we'll get some insight on how Floyd has looked. Is he still all that, or does he look like a 34-year-old guy in the ring now, with diminished reflexes?

Also slated to chat with ex-super bantam champ Joan Guzman, once knocking on the door of pound-for-pound lists, now banging on the door, begging to be let back into the mix. The Brooklyn resident is 35; is it simply too late for the Dominican Republic native to get his head screwed on tight enough to have one more title run? He's had more trouble with the scale than anything else recently, so we'll keep a close eye on his poundage sitch when he tangles with Armando Robles (17-1) on Oct. 1 in the D.R.

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