“Facing Maidana” – Hear from Soto Karass, Matthysse, and More on How the Argentine Can Beat Mayweather

Maidana-on-ropesPhoto: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

By Tim Smith
If there is one major asset that Marcos Maidana carries with him every time he steps into the ring it is power. If there is one trait that he combines with that awesome power it is durability. And if there is one intangible that he adds to all of that it is an indomitable will to win.

That is the triple threat that Floyd Mayweather will contend with when he faces Maidana over 12 rounds in the welterweight world championship unification bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 3 (live on SHOWTIME PPV).

Some of Maidana’s former opponents believe it is enough for the hard-hitting Argentine to do something that none of Mayweather’s other 45 opponents have been able to do – erase the zero on the right side of his professional boxing ledger.

Maidana’s best chance at beating Mayweather will be to employ the same shock and awe strategy he did in his victory over Adrien Broner. Maidana attacked Broner right away, hurting him in the first round and knocking Broner off his strategy, which was to box and stay away. Continue reading

Hopkins Tops List of World Titlists – Beyond Forty, and Still Unstoppable

From SHOWTIME Boxing Analyst Steve Farhoodhopkins-with-beltPhoto: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

Bernard Hopkins is 49 and going strong. There’s little doubt that today’s pro athletes are maintaining their form for a greater length of time than their predecessors.

While Hopkins seems to be stretching the boundaries of what can be accomplished, it’s telling that most of the boxers on this list fought within the past 20 years or so.

FIGHTER AGE AT TIME OF LAST TITLE FIGHT
*Bernard Hopkins (now 49)
*Guillermo Jones (now 41)
Archie Moore 48
George Foreman 46
Virgil Hill 43
Bob Fitzsimmons 42
Sugar Boy Malinga 42
Vitali Klitschko 41

*Denotes fighter still actively boxing

Pittsburgh’s Best – Farhood’s Top 5 Fighters from the Steel City

From SHOWTIME Boxing Analyst Steve Farhood

Harry Greb In Fighting Pose Waist UpOn Friday, April 18, ShoBox will take place in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, located 15 miles east of Pittsburgh.

It’s hardly a surprise that “The Steel City” of Pittsburgh has produced some of the toughest fighters in history.

Here’s my all-time top five.

1. Harry Greb, 264-23-12: Something tells me the legendary former middleweight champion (pictured at left) would find today’s fighters soft; he fought 299 times, and over the last five years of his career, did so with sight in only one eye.

2. Billy Conn, 63-12-1: Best remembered for his near-upset of Joe Louis, but was an outstanding middleweight and a world light heavyweight champion.

3. Charley Burley, 84-11-2: With only one no-contest, this middleweight was arguably the greatest fighter who never fought for a world title.

4. Teddy Yarosz, 106-18-3: Started 55-0, and went on to win the middleweight title. Beat a slew of champions, including Archie Moore.

5. Fritzie Zivic, 157-65-10: Welterweight champion twice beat the great Henry Armstrong. One of five fighting brothers and a crowd favorite, he carried the reputation as one of the dirtiest fighters in history.

Canelo Alvarez Returns on July 12 to Take On Erislandy Lara

canelo-trout-wide-shot

From SHOWTIME Boxing Analyst Mauro Ranallo
“In fighting the estimable Lara, Canelo has hopefully silenced some of his critics who thought he would avoid this bout at all costs. At 23,the Mexican superstar has shown he is willing to face the best competition available (Trout, Mayweather, Angulo.)

lara-trout-wide-shot

Lara should provide him with an incredibly tough exam due to his decorated amateur pedigree,superlative boxing skills, and oh yeah, he’s a southpaw.

Of course, Canelo will seek to test the chin of the Cuban fighter, the same one that was dented twice by Alfredo Angulo in Lara’s last outing. Canelo followed that up by dominating “El Perro.” Then again, Lara dropped the tricky Trout en route to a one-sided decision while Alvarez handed “No Doubt” his first setback in a much closer affair. Taking boxing algebra out of the equation, Canelo vs Lara should equal an entertaining formula.”

Champion Turned Promoter: An Interview with Mike Tyson

From SHOWTIME Boxing Analyst Steve Farhoodtyson-ringside-shoboxPhoto: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

For former fighters, life races by in three-minute intervals.

Consider that it’s been 17 years since Mike Tyson was heavyweight champion, and nine years since he lost to Kevin McBride in his final fight.

Tyson is 47, and like Elvis, Bill Clinton, and Madonna, The Ultimate Survivor has come to realize that as a superstar ages in our celebrity-driven world, the secret to remaining relevant is reinvention. In recent years, we’ve seen Tyson the Actor, Tyson the Broadway Star, Tyson the Reality TV Star, and Tyson the Autobiographer.

And now, Tyson the Promoter.

Last year, Tyson joined forces with a fledgling promotional firm, Acquinity Sports, to create Iron Mike Productions. The firm has already built a strong stable of fighters, from a world titlist like Argenis Mendez to a sizzling prospect like Erickson Lubin.

Three of Tyson’s prized fighters will appear on a Friday April 18 ShoBox card in Monroeville, Pennsylvania (15 miles outside of Pittsburgh). In the headliner, Cuban lightweight Alexei Collado faces Rod Salka. Hugely popular welterweight Sammy Vazquez tackles Juan Rodriguez Jr. And Dominican welterweight Felix Diaz, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, is matched against Emmanuel Lartey.

Collado (18-0), Vazquez (13-0), and Diaz (14-0) are all undefeated.

Here’s Tyson’s take on the trio:

  • Alexei Collado: “He’s a slick counterpuncher with good moves. He doesn’t look for the kayo; he wears guys down.

    “I’m for quick action, but it’s not everybody’s personality to go for the kill right away. Collado sets up guys and does it real well. We’re working on making him slightly more aggressive.”

  • Sammy Vazquez: “This kid is very exciting. Before his last fight, the guys from the other corner were saying that we’ll want to sign their fighter after he knocks Sammy out. And Sammy got dropped early in the fight.

    “The opponent [Berlin Abreu] was a strong, muscular guy, but Sammy came back and stopped him.

    “Sammy has a huge following. The first time I saw him, I said, ‘This is an American hero type.’ I’m proud to have him associated with my organization.” (Vazquez is a veteran of the U.S. Army who served two tours of duty in Iraq.)

  • Felix Diaz: “Diaz is a very smart boxer who can punch. He’s very exciting; he just needs activity.
    “Winning a gold medal is pretty special, but this is a very different stage now. Felix should be a 10-round fighter by now. [The Diaz-Lartey fight is scheduled for eight rounds.] I fought 15 times in one year [actually, 16, in 1985]. These guys haven’t experienced one-tenth of that. I want them to fight once a month, whether on TV or off TV.

    “If Felix gets active, everything will come.”

I asked Tyson how he thinks he’ll feel if one of his fighters goes on to win a world title.

“It’ll be an amazing feeling. I try not to be too emotional because this is a business. Hopefully, it’ll be an exciting champion who takes on all comers.”

It seems to me that while Collado, Vazquez, and Diaz will undoubtedly want to impress the ShoBox audience, they’ll need to impress the boss.