Category Archives: National Boxing News

Sergei Kovalev warms up for Andre Ward with a Monday afternoon fight. Only in Russia!

In a couple hours – Sergey Kovalev and Isaac Chilemba face off in a rare Monday afternoon fight (1pm-ish EST) from Ekaterinburg, Russia. Vegas lists The Krusher as a whopping 85-to-1 favorite. The more interesting bet is the over / under on rounds.

Does the “Warm-up for Ward” go past the 8th? Check back for a live stream link with replay on HBO tonight at 10. 

with Isaac Chilemba,Sergey Kovalev and Oscar De La Hoya.

R.I.P. Muhammad Ali (1/17/42 – 6/3/16)

On June 3, 2016, former Heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali passed away in a Phoenix-area hospital at the age of 74. This marks the end of a 32 year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Out of respect for the champ, I’d like to watch a good Muhammad Ali fight. Since I’m way too young to have seen “The Greatest” in his prime – I need some old school recommendations.

What are some of the best interviews, fights, TV clips etc to watch from the one many consider the G.O.A.T. of boxing?

Funeral services will take place in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky and will be open to the public.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor – B.S. promoter talk or a real possibility?

I’m hearing more than usual chatter about a potential Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. It would certainly be a blockbuster event if both sides could come to an agreement. But with the cross over between a Boxer vs. MMA guy, do you really see it happening?

Floyd was on TV last weekend saying it is a 50/50 chance. McGregor seems to think he will win easily.

I’m extremely doubtful – but with all of that bread on the table – who knows. What do you think? 

Wilder vs. Povetkin is postponed due to traces of a banned substance

Per ESPN – “Alexander Povetkin has tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, putting his mandatory shot at world title holder Deontay Wilder in jeopardy.”

Do you still think this fight still happens in Russia on May 21st? I was really interested in seeing how Wilder does defending the WBC portion of the title in Moscow against a hostile crowd.

UPDATE: The May 21, 2016 date in Moscow is officially off but hte fight itself has not been completely ruled out for a later date. Wilder side saying it is canceled, Povetkin saying it is merely postponed and that his drug test came in under the allowed amount of “meldonium“.

$7.5 Million dollars is left on the table. Lawsuits are brewing. The WBC is investigating before making their ruling which could lead to a Povetkin suspension if found guilty. Only in boxing….

Andre Ward returns after an 18 month layoff against unknown Paul Smith

Tonight marks the return of former pound-for-pound stalwart Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) who reappears after 18 months on the bench due to injury and promotional issues. “S.O.G” is signed on for a 12 round non-title fight against England’s Paul Smith (who weighed in a whopping 4.4 pounds over the 172 lb contract limit) in his home base of the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. This return has been a long-time coming for Ward, and people are wondering – can he reclaim his status as a star of the sport or has the wear-and-tear of a long amateur and pro career caught up with his 31-year-old body?

This contest marks the first professional fight ever broadcasted on Black Entertainment Television (BET) which has partnered with Jay-Z / Roc Nation to broadcast to nine live boxing events in the year-and-a-half. BET recently released a statement promising that the new program will “stretch the boundaries of the sport.” Cameras go live at 10 PM EST with the show hosted by Sway Calloway from Sway in the Morning fame. The network picked an interesting bout to start their run to become a player in the sweet science.

Not long ago, Ward was considered by most to be the number three pound-for-pound fighter in the world, rating only behind floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The undisputed champion of the 168 pound division was a double darling of the sport. As an athletic, well-spoken, gentlemanly type who came off as a likable person, promoters built entire events around his fights and networks lobbied for his services as a commentator during his periods of downtime. The sky was the limit.

Andre Ward vs Allan Green 2010 (10)
Andre Ward defeats Allan Green in the Super Six Tournament

Four years can be an eternity in boxing. Now the future is unclear for the Ring Magazine 2011 Fighter of the Year. Just when it looked like the former Olympic Gold Medalist was hitting his peak, he slowly faded away, fighting only twice since winning the Super Six Showtime Tournament that put him on the map.

The general views are that he is easing back into the ring against an average opponent at a catch-weight for a bout that had little promotional backing. Yes, he is the main event on the pioneer network’s inaugural telecast but that can be viewed as a demotion from the bright lights of HBO where Ward attained star status. Then again it could be viewed as a good place to hide a returning fighter. With little fan-fare behind this bout, Ward can dust off the cob webs and prepare for the major fights that the fans have been calling for, in particular a date with Gennady Golovkin.

“I’m coming back off of two layoffs,” Ward said in a recent interview. “During this past camp, I felt a lot better than I have in the past. I did more. My shoulder feels stronger and I think you all are going to see that on Saturday night.”

andreward_paulsmithSmith, 32 years old from Liverpool, realizes that this is his big chance. While the Vegas line has him listed in the neighborhood of a 7-to-1 underdog, Smith likes his chances to shock the boxing world.

“This is probably the only opportunity I will get to face such a great boxer,” said Smith. “As always with me, you’re going to get 100%. I’m going to give it every last thing I’ve got.”

That last quote leads one to wonder, was coming in nearly five pounds over-weight a strategic move or is he coming only to collect a pay check? Missing weight in unprofessional but Smith’s camp must have known that there is no way the show would be canceled. The Englishman needs every advantage he can get.

There is a chance for Smith to pull it off. There is also no guarantee that Ward is the same fighter as he returns from a severe shoulder injury. It is possible that the wear-and-tear of a long amateur and professional career may be beginning to take its toll on Ward’s body. It’s a long shot but stranger things have happened. Most experts predict that Ward will beat the boxing trunks off of him.

The bottom line is that a potential super star is back where he belongs, in the ring competing. Many are speculating about impact Ward will have on the sport as he moves forward. It is anyones guess at this point. what are your thoughts?

2006 National Boxing Awards

2006 was another year of great boxing and at the end of every season the best should be recognized, so here they are the second annual Philly Keith Awards!

Fighter of the Year – Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao 2006While it was another entertaining year of boxing, there wasn’t one fighter that truly stood out after Carlos Baldomir took the loss against Floyd.

But if I had to pick one, I am going with the PacMan who basically ended the career of legendary yet fading Erik Morales over two fights and in between put a severe beating on Oscar Larios in the Philippines.

The promotional free agent was thought to have signed with Golden Boy but at the zero hour changed his mind and went with Top Rank so that might put a damper on a rematch in 2007 against Marco Antonio Barrera.

If that fight doesn’t shape up how about a rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez or giving Joan Guzman a shot?

What ever comes about, you can always count on Pacquaio to give a crowd pleasing performance. Continue reading 2006 National Boxing Awards

Shannon Briggs says other champs are chopped liver


NEW YORK–America’s only world heavyweight champion, WBO belt holder Brooklyn Shannon Briggs, sat ringside as IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko easily disposed of unprepared Calvin Brock Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. To put it mildly, Briggs was unimpressed by the mismatch.

“I told everyone that Brock-oli was green as grass,” Briggs said. “He looked like a rank amateur. The guy was a total flop on the US Olympic team and he was a total flop in the Garden Is he animal, vegetable or mineral? After this showing, I think he can be stored in the vegetable section with the rest of the Brock-oli. I knew he was a pretender contender from Jump Street. That was an embarrassment to our whole country. You can stick a fork in Brock. Hush, hush, Sweet Charlotte and like that. No heavyweight from Brooklyn would perform like that in the Garden, that is for sure.

On the flip side, Briggs, who was behind on the three scorecards when he nearly decapitated WBO champ Sergei “White Wolf” Liakhovich November 4 in Phoenix, knocking Liakhovich out with seconds remaining of the 12th and final round at Chase Field, congratulated Klitschko.

“Larry Merchant’s pet retained his title and for that I congratulate him,” Briggs said. “But he did not look good in winning. Now you why Klitschko trainer Manny Steward feared having his guy fight me and why Shelly Finkel tired to screw me and my great manager, Scott Hirsch. We were rescued by our new promoter, Don King, and I made Don look prescient when I knocked Sergei completely out the ring.”
Continue reading Shannon Briggs says other champs are chopped liver

End of August 2006 weekend roundup

A good weekend of boxing is clouded by suspect scoring as Sam Peter snatches one from James Toney, Clinton Woods edges Glen Johnson to retain the IBF Light Heavy strap, and Allan Green gets a home cooked decision.

Samuel Peter won a semi controversial split decision over James “Lights Out” Toney in what turned out to be a good, tough fight. Toney was looking a little flabby as usual but his left jab was coming in at the speed of a lightweight and it consistently busted Peter in the mouth.

Peter was his usual self which means nothing fancy (besides the double ear muff punch that cost him point late in the fight) for the most part walking right in and throwing bombs. There were spots where Toney absolutely schooled Peter. There were other spots where Peter looked like he hurt Toney. In the end, it was Peter’s arm being raised and Toney complaining about how he was robbed.

Peter will likely fight Oleg Maskaev next.

Continue reading End of August 2006 weekend roundup