Archive for January, 2018

Errol’s Victory Over Peterson
Comes At A Huge Ex-Spence

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

By William Trillo
Photo: Amanda Westcott – SHOWTIME

So…before you fake boxing news gurus think you clicked on this article to read that Errol Spence was injured in his victory over Lamont Peterson, it’s not that. And if you’re some “has been” boxing website owner named after a 60’s haircut, there is no hard news here for you to wonder why you didn’t get it first. This is merely my take on what transpired this weekend in Brooklyn. And a bit more.

First let me tell you that both Errol Spence Jr. and Lamont Peterson are stand up guys who take their professions seriously. The problem is that this fight ever took place.

Spence is in the prime of his possibly Hall of Fame career. On the flip side Peterson is well into the deepest darkest twilight of his once fine career. All credit for him to hanging in there with Spence for as long as he did but be honest with yourselves here, this fight was over before the ink was dry on the contract they signed to fight.

If Spence for one second thinks he did himself any favors with this one-sided beat down of Peterson he is gravely mistaken. Boxing insiders saw what went down on Saturday night and although there is no questions among them that Spence is the real deal, it’s clear he was in there against a very shop worn opponent. At the end of the day the only positive to come out of this fight for Spence is that it kept him active. After that it was another in the long line of meaningless charades put on by the ever scrutinized PBC.

All Spence has to do is take a look at Danny Garcia to know and understand that fights like this are one step forward and two steps back. No matter how you slice it that is a career that is going in reverse. You can argue with me on that point all you want but look at where Garcia is now. Danny will be taking on a long in the tooth Brandon Rios in a fight that literally no one cares about.

Think about it. If Garcia doesn’t go out and whitewash Rios inside of one minute of the first round this fight will set him back even further than he is now. And thanks to the promotional genius of “you know who”, Garcia is all but a forgotten commodity. If by some chance Rios should stretch Garcia into the mid rounds before succumbing to Father Time you can pretty much write Garcia’s off. Even a decision by Garcia or heaven forbid a loss will thrust him into boxings Never Never Land, we will never see him again.

Spence might want to think long and hard about his next opponent before he falls by the wayside like Garcia. And yes, I am aware Spence is supposed to be fighting Keith Thurman next but as we know Thurman has been inactive for almost a year, (another staple of PBC promoted fighters), so who knows if he will take a stay busy fight with the likes of Jessie Vargas, (ahem), or if he will just show up full of ring rust against Spence.

I digress…Before you say that can never happen may I direct your attention to one Adonis “Superman” Stevenson. You might remember him. Stevenson won the Light Heavyweight title in stunning one round KO fashion over Chad Dawson back in 2013. All indications where he was on his way to Super Stardom. Soon thereafter Superman was picked up by PBC and Superman’s career was promptly hit with a fistful of Kryptonite. Stevenson’s activity went as south as did his opponents. While ducking every worthy challenger at 175 pounds Adonis has become a pariah. No one in his adopted home of Montreal cares about him, he allegedly can’t travel to the USA to fight and like the rest of his stable, Adonis has been put on the shelf by his Advisor/Promoter and instead of grabbing the rest of the 175 pound belts all he is collecting is dust.

Again, this should not be news to Spence. The writing is clearly on the wall here. I reiterate, fighting Peterson did him no favors at all. Spence is a way too talented and gifted a talent for a fighter who hasn’t fought in over a year and that’s exactly who Thurman will be if he is next on Errol’s agenda. That’s just not good enough.

You all remember Keith Thurman, correct? Two years ago in an interview on Showtimes Al Bernstein suggested Thurman was the heir apparent to fill the shoes of Floyd Mayweather. Since then Thurman’s activity rate has him more like being the heir apparent to Claude Rains. (You youngsters will have to Google that one to catch my drift).

If Spence wants to prove he is worth his weight in gold he needs to not only call out to Terrance “Bud” Crawford but then he must demand that his promoter/advisor make it happen….NO EXCUSES.

Making money on boxing should be a snap for Spence. Many many monies. But if he allows his career to go the route of Garcia, Stevenson, Thurman and the like he will find his bank account will fall far short of the lofty goals he and his team have in mind.

A lot of these problems could be alleviated if all these second-tier promoters would stop being Haymon’s personal hand puppet by allowing him to smoke and mirror the public with these dog and pony show under the radar promotions. That would be Michel, Brown, DiBella, Margules and more if you are looking for names. I used to call them Marionettes, but I think hand puppet more accurately describes the roll of these do anything for a buck carnival barkers.

At the present time the lead hand puppet is none other than Richard “Faust” Schaefer. You might remember him. The only thing greasier and dirtier than his hair and that one tattered suit he wears to every press conference is the way he has conducted his boxing business over the past decade. In recent interviews the head of his company Ring Star Promotions has wondered aloud why his “World Series Whatever It Is” can’t get any play stateside.

C’mon Richard, you are not a stupid man. Aren’t you the guy who used to introduce Oscar De La Hoya as not only your business partner but best friend as well? And wasn’t it sometime later you unceremoniously stabbed him in the back. It’s really no wonder why the networks don’t want to touch you with a ten-foot pole…is it?

For guys like Spence it’s going to be an uphill battle to get to the place he aspires to be, that being one of the top Pound4Pound fighters in the world as recognized by the real boxing public.

Maybe guys like Spence should follow Danny Jacobs example and find a way to get out from under the PBC and the team of hand puppets. In the end that might be his wisest move.

And lastly, while I am on a roll…lately a new breed of boxing media members has appeared on the scene. The Supremely self-entitled journalists have rubbed most of the old school scribes the wrong way. It’s just a matter of time before the proverbial crap hits the fan. Getting credentialed as the Team Photographer while others more deserving are getting downgraded is not going to serve you well in the long run. A lot of us made our bones while you were still standing outside the arena hoping to get an autograph after the fights conclusion. Just pay your dues like the rest of us and everything else will fall into place.

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Loeffler’s Game Plan For Success In 2018: Promoter Cooperation

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

By William Trillo
Photos: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/360 Promotions

The year end holidays always bring boxing to a standstill but the Superfly 2 press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday put the wheels in motion for the 2018 boxing season. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, (43-4-1, 39 KO’s), will be defending his title over 12-rounds for the second time against former world champion and #1 ranked mandatory challenger Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada, (36-2, 25 KO’s), of Sonora, Mexico. The event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark® beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Coming off a stellar 2017 boxing has seen a resurgence. In the eyes of the newly founded 360 Promotions director Tom Loeffler, it would be a shame not to jump on that momentum for 2018. Of course, that is always easier said than done. With all the different agendas that plague the sport the wheels can come off the bus quite quickly. But in Loeffler’s mind it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it seems very simple. “I think we just need to keep putting the best fights together, stated Loeffler, “If we can do the rematch with GGG & Canelo, if we can do shows like Superfly…. Anthony Joshua just announced a unification bout with Joseph Parker…these are the types of fights that boxing needs.”

With the Lucas Matthysse vs.Tewa Kiram bout notwithstanding, Superfly 2 will be one of the first real championship fights to come down the turnpike in 2018. The rest of the early 2018 boxing landscape looks more like a who’s who of contender’s or pretenders taken on a slew of broken down war horses. These “keep ‘em active” fights are exactly what Loeffler wants promoters to stay away from.

When asked how to keep boxing relevant this year Loeffler suggested, “Maybe not just a bunch of stay busy fights, but instead the best fighting the best and Champions being willing to unify their titles. For instance, we had the most challenging time when GGG was coming up and trying to get another champion in the ring with him. That’s why I always gave David Lemieux a lot of credit for unifying while all the other champions were not willing to unify with Gennady. These are the types of fights and shows that the sport of boxing needs.”

I don’t think it’s any big secret that I have been shouting from the rooftops that there is a simple solution to all that has been ailing boxing. But since no one is listening to me maybe you’d like to take the advice from someone who put together successful sold-out show after successful sold-out show in 2017.

“It’s really the responsibility of the fighters and the promoters to make these types of events happen,” said Loeffler.

So Mr. Fighter, the next time your promoter comes to you and offers up some has been broken down palooka for your next so called test, simply refuse it. Tell him you want to be a real champion so quit serving up the bums because no one is taking you seriously.

And as for you Mr. Promoter, stop the charade, no one is buying it. If you don’t believe me go take a look at ticket sales for that atrocity you have coming up in Las Vegas next month. Boxing fans are not as stupid as you think. No one is going to shell out a dime to watch you try to rehabilitate a fighter you singlehandedly ruined yourself.

But what are the chances of promoters really working together and putting on the fights boxing truly needs? Is it even possible that could happen? “I hope so”, stated Loeffler, “The sport needs the cooperation of the different promoters. I know sometimes that certain promoters are affiliated with different TV networks and then there is no cross promotion. The philosophy of my company 360 Promotions is to promote worldwide events and we are looking to keep putting on these types of shows. That’s what we are looking forward to do.”

I reminisced a bit with Loeffler reminding him that it was back in 2003 when we first met at the Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko Heavyweight title fight. “It started with Vitali back at The Staple Center and we’ve built the product from there.” Loeffler chuckled to himself and quipped, “It’s funny you mention Vitali, we started with the Heavyweight Championship of the World and now we are here with the Flyweights at The Forum. It’s been a tremendous run. All the great fights with GGG that we’ve done, and then Chocolatito …and now we are just looking to build on that success.”

With his new company 360 Promotions and a highly anticipated fight to debut his company Loeffler is looking forward to being at the center of the biggest fights of 2018. With fighters like Gennady Golovkin in his holster that success he is hoping for is right at his fingertips.

For the rest of his promotional peers the message is clear…. “put up or shut up”.

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