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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Andre Wards Off Bika to Defend Title

Here's my ringside report of Saturday's WBA super middleweight title fight between Oakland's Andre Ward and Sakio Bika:

OAKLAND, CA -- When Andre Ward’s original opponent, Andre Dirrell, pulled out of their scheduled scrap, the boxing world wondered if Ward’s focus would waver, now that the bout would be outside the confines of the “Super Six” tournament.

Unfortunately for Sakio Bika, there would be no letdown.

Ward, 168, punished his relentlessly charging opponent over 12 rounds in front of his hometown fans at the Oracle Arena to make the second successful defense of his WBA super middleweight title by unanimous decision.

Marty Sammon scored it 120-108, Jon Schorle 118-110, and Hunter Walton 118-110, all in favor of the 2004 Olympic gold medalist.

While the final margin was decisive, Ward was not satisfied with his performance.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Big Fight Cards Missing a Woman’s Touch

Daly City's Ana "The Hurricane" Julaton once drew over 3,500 as the main event in San Jose. Her last fight was seen by almost 5 million people worldwide, and she was given a ticker-tape parade in Manila. So why isn't she fighting on today's card in Oakland?


Thursday, November 25, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Pacquiao-Margarito Official Scorecard & Compubox Stats/My New Twitter Account

First, as far as my current articles on MaxBoxing or other sites are concerned, I've gotten some e-mail requests from readers to have everything linked up to Twitter, so I'm going to try that on a tentative basis and see how that goes based on how many people contact/follow me through there (Admittedly, I haven't been a really big Twitter guy).

With that said, you can follow me on Twitter at @rmaq28. Hope to see you there.

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Something I plan to do from this point forward is post the official scorecards from the fights I cover ringside from press row, along with any other information the fans might want to see. Here are both the official scorecard and the CompuBox statistics from Manny Pacquiao's unanimous decision win over Antonio Margarito to secure the WBC light middleweight championship. Click the pictures for a bigger view:

I thought Oren Schellenberger had it right, giving Margarito the sixth. I would've given Pacquiao a 10-8 round in the 11th, but there was nothing controversial about this result.

If you read the caption on the bottom, apparently the Pac-Man's 474 total connects added up to eighth-best all-time in title fights scored by CompuBox.

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I plan to do the same for this Saturday's WBA super middleweight title fight between Andre Ward and Sakio Bika in Oakland, so come back to my page for that one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My prediction for Pacquiao-Margarito: Manny by UD

Philippine News asked me for my prediction on how Pacquiao-Margarito would go the night before the fight. Here's what I said near the ringside apron:


(South)West Coast Watch: JuanMa’s Next Opponent, Ines Sainz & Donaire’s New Hobby

This week, the Watch had a southwestern feel to it, as I ventured to Arlington, Texas, for Pacquiao-Margarito, and ended my trip back in San Francisco, burning countless phone lines and Whataburger calories on the way there.


So, Manny…Who’s Next?

As I sat in the front row of the Manny Pacquiao–Antonio Margarito post-fight press conference, it became evident that most of the media in attendance had already moved past breaking down the Filipino superstar’s latest accomplishment for much more pressing matters.

One by one, as promoter Bob Arum, trainer Freddie Roach, and eventually the new WBC light middleweight champion himself stood at the dais, the questions they fielded took a familiar pattern.

“Bob, what are the chances of a Floyd Mayweather fight still happening?”

“Freddie, Shane Mosley is here and he wants to fight Manny. What about him?”

“Manny, would you be interested in a third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez?”

While Pacquiao’s performance against a heavier, taller, and supposedly stronger opponent was one for the ages, one would have to possess the skills to sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman with white gloves to convince the public that Margarito was the man they wanted to see last Saturday night.

References toTommy Boyaside, at this point in Pacquiao’s career, belts take a backseat to bucks. As much as Pacquiao embraced the idea of winning an historic eighth world title in as many weight classes, I would guess that the prospect of making upwards of $25 million—a result of earning the lion’s share of the purse in a Top Rank in-house production—was more of a driving factor in him taking the Margarito fight.

That said, now that the “Pac-Man” has gobbled up another well-deserved gargantuan payday, the real question becomes who will be the next soul to step in the ring with him. I decided to canvas the situation by asking some of the principal decision makers involved in the Pacquiao sweepstakes to find out.


Eight Me Now: Pac-Man Gobbles Up Another Title

Here's my ringside report of all 11 fights including quotes from the undercard!

ARLINGTON, TX – By his own admission, trainer Freddie Roach said it was the worst camp of his fighter’s career.

Beset by a parade of distractions ranging from his congressional duties in the Philippines to campaigning stateside for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, many felt that Manny Pacquiao’s 28-month reign as pound-for-pound champion of the boxing world had finally met its maker.

They were wrong.

Although saddled by an extra three pounds as a result of his latest venture into a new division, the “Pac-Man” overcame the naysayers once more, thrashing a valiant Antonio Margarito on his way to a unanimous decision in front of 41,734 fans at Cowboys Stadium to claim the vacant WBC light middleweight title, his unprecedented eighth title in as many classes.


Double Duty Awaits Prodigious Prospect Jose Benavidez Jr.

On this Saturday’s Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito undercard, light welterweight wunderkind Jose Benavidez Jr., 8-0 (8), will take the next step toward establishing himself as one of the top prospects in the sport. The Phoenix native is slated to take on Winston Mathis, 6-2 (2), of Rochester, N.Y., in a six-round affair.

If he can keep his undefeated streak intact, then just three weeks later, Benavidez will fight on the undercard of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s California clash with Alfonso Gomez on December 4. That bout will feature his most experienced opponent yet, longtime veteran Justo Sanchez, 17-25-1, of Howell, Utah.

The thought of notching double-digit wins in the professional ranks at the age of 18 seemed unthinkable to Jose when he started his career in January.


The Art of Matchmaking

This coming Saturday, Cowboys Stadium will play host to one of the biggest bouts of the year.

Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito will lock horns in the middle of the ring for the vacant WBC light middleweight title before an expected 70,000 fans in the famed football facility and a purported figure upwards of one million pay-per-viewers outside of it.

The payouts for the two fighters will be just as grandiose; Pacquiao, a former construction worker who sold stolen cigarettes in the streets as an adolescent, could haul in close to $25 million. Margarito, himself a former newspaper peddler in his pre-teen days, stands to make as much as $8 million.

The various subplots and storylines leading up to the fight are plenty. For Pacquiao, will an extra three pounds and a Filipino congressional seat finally make the best fighter in the world ripe for the taking? His opponent, meanwhile, has been surrounded by questions regarding his one-year suspension and his having jumped the supposed pecking order for a substantial payday.

I’m not talking about The Most Interesting Man in the World from the celebrated Dos Equis commercials, but I might as well be.

Rather, I’m referring to Bruce Trampler, who has forgotten more about boxing than most people will ever know.


Boxing Barista Jose Ramirez is America's Best Lightweight


For any California travelers worth their weight in gasoline, Kettleman City serves as an unofficial halfway point on the Interstate-5 freeway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

A haven for rest stops, the place is perpetually teeming with people and parked cars, regardless of the time of day. No matter if the issue is hunger, an empty tank, or the grinding necessity of a caffeine jolt, one will in all likelihood find a remedy here.

So imagine this writer’s surprise when I learned that the kid with the green apron behind the counter at the local Starbucks just happened to be USA Boxing’s reigning national champion at 132 pounds.


Floyd Mayweather’s Legal Defense Put to the Test

I go to law school for a reason, so how about I apply a little bit of what I learned? Here's my breakdown of Floyd Mayweather's legal defense for his upcoming trial.


Parrying. Pick-sticks. Pulchritude in the pocket.

Throughout his career, Floyd Mayweather’s trademark has been his impenetrable defense.

Now more than ever, he’s going to need to employ his famous shoulder roll in a Nevada courtroom to slip some hard time behind bars after running afoul of the law on the morning of Sept. 9.