Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

Q & A With Larry Merchant:
The Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Situation

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

By William Trillo

It’s been of couple days and by now we have all had a chance to digest the Canelo tainted meat story and come up with our own conclusions on the matter. That being said I still was looking to hear the opinion of an expert. That’s when I decided to give renowned boxing announcer Larry Merchant a call. If anyone could put this situation into perspective it’s Merchant. Always candid and always matter of fact, I knew Larry would have plenty to say on this hot topic. As expected Larry didn’t disappoint. Check out our exclusive interview:

Pound4Pound: Now that the Canelo and Golden Boy situation has played out for everyone to see and he has been forced to withdraw from the GGG fight what are your thoughts on the matter?

Larry Merchant: First, as a fan I am disappointed. I wanted to see the 13th round because I thought the first fight was pretty darn good, it was a very close fight. That is my basic take. Whether you believe Canelo’s story or not, that being like other Mexican athletes that got trapped with tainted Mexican meat, he is responsible. It looks as though a one year suspension will be cut in half so the fight will be rescheduled in September.

P4P: I agree with you that he is responsible. Alvarez made it perfectly clear in the press conference that he was aware this problem has affected other major athletes in various sports in Mexico. My thinking is, if you knew the problem existed couldn’t you have taken some obvious precautions and stayed away from red meat while you were in training in Mexico?

LM: Right! And he could afford his own ranch!

P4P: That being said, it makes the tainted meat excuse very difficult to swallow.

LM: Well, that’s his story and he is sticking by it, but I think that he implied in his pulling out of the fight that he takes responsibility. So I am just going to have to go with that. There have been other prestigious fighters who have failed to pass tests including Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather and it didn’t harm their careers, but it is such a focal point today that everybody is taking out their frustrations on the guy who disappointed them.

P4P: Over the past week or so press conferences were called, postponed and then rescheduled and the date of the NSAC hearing changed from April 10th to the 18th. What do you make of all the rapid fire changes that occurred surrounding the failed drug test?

LM: I don’t really know. The only thing I can guesstimate is that it had something to do with the case that they presented. That in fact, they (Team Canelo) showed receipts from restaurants they ate at in Mexico. I don’t know what their (NSAC) response was. Maybe everybody was so surprised that in a big event like this, which Las Vegas depends on in a certain way, that the commission took this action. The last time I remember in a big high profile event that something like this happened in Las Vegas was when the Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis fight was rejected. That fight went to another venue in Memphis.

P4P: I along with a host of other boxing reporters said after the first test came back dirty that there was no way Las Vegas would pull the plug on this one, that there was just too much money involved. Soon there were rumblings that NSAC commissioner Bob Bennett took offense to those remarks and may reject the fight based on not only the evidence but spite. Do you think there is any truth to that at all?

LM: I think after looking at the evidence they probably decided that the mandatory one year suspension would be reduced by half, which is not uncommon, and the fight would be rescheduled in the Fall anyway. And sometimes the stars are aligned in a certain way, the rules are the rules and government commissions that are essentially designed to help Quasi-promote whatever they are commissioning sometimes in these events come down on the right side of the rules instead of finding other ways. I thought that they would find some other way to penalize Canelo, whether it was financial or suspension after the fight. But I think at the end of the day they did the right thing and the commission should be saluted for that.

P4P: It appears the show will go on and GGG will face someone that night on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand Arena. What do you think they chances for a successful show will be now?

LM: You don’t salvage that event! Canelo is the Heavyweight Champion of the box office, without him there is not much of a box office to be spoken of. Will Golovkin make enough money to make it worthwhile? Probably! Does it have to be a real opponent? I would hope so. I am certainly not going to buy the event if he is fighting someone who can’t even be remotely competitive. That’s up to Golovkin and his promoters on how they can do that. If that’s the best they can do then so be it. It will keep him active and give him a platform to continue ranting against Canelo. And so it goes.

P4P: Do you think at the end of the day both sides will be able to stay at the negotiating table and barring Alvarez eating more tainted red meat at another restaurant in Mexico make this blockbuster happen this September or next May?

LM: I think it’s going to happen in September. Maybe this controversy will even help the fight. I am curious to see the reception that Canelo gets, a lot might change. I don’t have a crystal ball. I never did. I am just looking at what makes sense under the current conditions. If we can recall how long Pacquiao and Mayweather took until it happened, and that seemed to enhance the promotion when it did happen. So I think they will still get together. It makes economic sense and it makes competitive sense after the first fight. We all will just have to delay our gratification.

Pound4Pound thanks Larry Merchant for taking our interview request.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

April’s Fool

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

By William Trillo

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez halfheartedly stated, “I am truly shocked about what has happened and for those who have doubts and suspicions about my integrity, I have always been and always will be clean fighter.”

The lack of any remorse shown by a fighter who had to withdraw from one of the biggest fights of the year due to his own negligence spoke volumes. After testing dirty not once but twice for the performance enhancing drug Clenbuterol, Alvarez still held firm to his tainted Mexican meat excuse.

What we have here is a clear cut case of denial.

Flanking Alvarez were a trio of sullen faced Golden Boy brass that looked about as uncomfortable as could be as they sat in “support” of Alvarez.

Let’s go ahead and call them “The Enablers”.

Am I suggesting Alvarez is guilty as charged? Given what has transpired over the past week, yes… that is exactly what I am suggesting.

As I understand the impromptu press conference that was held yesterday was actually scheduled to take place exactly a week ago to the day. That’s right, an unnamed PR rep from Golden Boy placed calls over a week ago to A-list media members, (no I wasn’t on that list), telling them there would be a press conference held at the Golden Boy office on Monday but no details were given. Early that Monday the press conference was postponed and the next thing anyone knew the Nevada State Athletic Commission had changed the date of the Alvarez hearing from April 10th to April 18th. The wheels were coming off the bus quickly and even a “bottom tier” journalist like myself could see this show unraveling right before our very eyes.

Monday’s announcement came as a surprise to exactly no one. The Dog and Pony show that took place yesterday was an exercise in futility. The intention was most likely to save face but at the end of the day the charade was pointless at best.

While trying to plead his case for innocence Alvarez said, “How did this happen, I don’t know. Unfortunately, there is a public problem in my country of Mexico. Football, cycling, soccer, boxing — people have tested positive for Clenbuterol. This can be transmitted through meat in Mexico. Contaminated meat is what caused this. That is my statement. This has happened in all sports.”

Giving Alvarez the benefit of the doubt for a moment, if he and everyone and his team were aware of the rampant problem in Mexico and its athletes, didn’t one of them have the common sense to stay away from red meat while training South of the Border? I mean, you are scheduled to fight in a multi-bazillion dollar blockbuster. Didn’t the thought of all these other athletes problems with Mexican meat occur to ANY OF YOU? Or, is the story you are running with purely a crock of bull? (Pun intended).

Another point that made literally no sense to me at all is when Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said, “We’re going to have to cancel the May 5 rematch. As you all know there is a hearing on April 18 and it’s extremely unlikely this will get properly resolved by then and we need enough time to promote this fight.”

Enough time to promote the fight?

Excuse me if I am mistaken but wasn’t there a press conference held on February 27th to announce the rematch? Seems to me any and everyone knew darn well about the rematch. It was the most talked about fight of the year. And when Alvarez said, “I want to apologize to HBO, Tecate and Hennessy and all my other sponsors, the media and to everyone who is involved in the promotion of this event, and especially to the fans,” it seems pretty clear to me that the promotion for this fight was more than on the right track. If you really thought Alvarez was clean wouldn’t you have went ahead with the fight no matter the date of the hearing?

Financially there was no reason to pull the plug, by Alvarez’s own admission all the sponsors were in place as were the fans. According to a highly placed source close to the promotion, “Ticket sales were very strong and they were almost sold out as of last week, which actually is better than their first fight!”

So, to suggest there wouldn’t be enough time to promote the fight is akin to saying you tested positive for a performance enhancing drug is because you ate a Carne Asada Burrito from a street vendor in Guadalajara.

Let me put it like this; the next person I speak to that believes Alvarez is not a cheater will be the first.

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why is Oscar and the rest of the Golden Boy Honcho’s willing to stand by Alvarez and expect us to believe this half baked excuse?

Yes, I know Alvarez is the only goose that is laying the proverbial Golden Egg for the promoter right now, but someone might want to stoop down and get a whiff of one of those eggs.

Pssssst! They’re rotten.

Personally I think Golden Boy would be doing themselves a huge favor by saying, “Look, Saul Alvarez is our fighter and we will support him 100% as he gets clean, but right now we cannot and will not condone his use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. We will accept whatever penalty the Commission sets and we hope Alvarez will do the right thing and serve his suspension and then come back clean as he attempts to become champion again.”

It’s highly unlikely any statement like that would ever happen but if it does my consultation fees are $4500 per hour and a check can be sent to Pound4Pound.com at your earliest convenience.

Last but not least, did Alvarez really say, “To be honest, what Golovkin or his team say doesn’t bother me at all because, No. 1, they are not doctors, not experts, I don’t pay attention to them. It sounds more like an excuse that he doesn’t want to fight me or he’s scared.”

Seriously dude?

I’m not sure what else they are shooting in those steers down in Mexico but while it allegedly is enhancing your physique and endurance it ain’t doing a damn thing for your perception of reality! Hence the Aprils Fool blast.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing truth.

Jaw Dropping Performance By Oscar Valdez; Fight Manager Frank Espinoza “Weighs In”

Monday, March 12th, 2018

By William Trillo

The rumblings started early on Saturday…Scott Quigg had no intentions of stepping on a scale. It was just a day earlier that Quigg came in three pounds overweight and threw away his WBO Featherweight title shot against the champ Oscar Valdez.

Quigg lost his chance at a title but after being fined the fight was allowed to take place. The problem now was just how much would he weight come fight time? That question was not going to get officially answered. That meant Valdez could have chose not to fight him and not suffered any consequences outside of the fact he would not be collecting his payday purse.

Valdez would have none of that and no matter the “stay safe” advice he might have been given Valdez took the warriors route and said he wanted to fight Quigg that evening.

That decision gave boxing fans one heck of a thrilling and bloody battle that truly was a lot closer than the wide unanimous decision score in favor of Valdez revealed. Along the way Valdez suffered a fractured jaw for his trouble. As Top Rank’s Lee Samuels stated, “This was a brutal fight!”

I spoke with Valdez manager Frank Espinoza on Sunday. Of course he was thrilled with the heart and courage of his young champion who came out victorious, but he also expressed concern for a system that may need a bit of tweaking for the safety of the fighters.

Said Espinoza, “Oscar showed he is truly a world class champion against Quigg and the rest of the division needs to take note. Oscar came into the ring that night at 135 pounds and Quigg came in at 142 or more. After coming in three pounds overweight on Friday Quigg was not willing to re-weigh on Saturday, yet Oscar being the champion he is was willing to fight on. You saw the result, Oscar came out on top but he suffered a broken job while facing a much bigger man. The safety of all fighters needs to be taken seriously. I hope the commission will take a look at this situation and change their rules to make it mandatory for fighters who come in overweight the day before the fight to have to re-weigh on fight day with no exceptions. We have to keep the fighters safety in mind.”

I agree with Espinoza. Fighters these days are making it a calculated habit to not make weight in order to have the upper hand come fight night. One only has to look back at Salido vs. Lomachenko or Castillo vs. Corrales 2 to know a few pounds can make all the difference in these high profile fights.

I too hope all boxing commissions will take a look at this situation and adjust their rules to not only make it an even playing field for the fighters but more importantly protect the fighters who trained their butts off in the gym in order to comply with the contracted weights.

Nothing less should be accepted.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

Canelo Dirty Drug Test Is A Meaty Issue;
GGG: “I Just Want A Level Playing Field, Boxing Is A Dangerous Sport!”

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

By William Trillo
Photo-Chop: Bret “The Threat” Newton

We are barely a week out from the Kick Off press conference that announced the Cinco De Mayo rematch between Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez and controversy has already reared its ugly head. Simply put, Canelo tested dirty for the banned PED Clenbuterol. The drug can burn fat, build muscle and improve performance. It’s pretty easy to understand the concern. In the body of a world class boxer the drug known in athletic circles as “Clen” can be a deadly proposition.

Early Monday afternoon Golden Boy Promotions sent out a press release that among other things stated, “As part of the voluntary testing program that Canelo Alvarez insisted on ahead of his May 5 fight, one of his results came back positive for trace levels of Clenbuterol, consistent with meat contamination that has impacted dozens of athletes in Mexico over the last years….Upon receiving this information, Golden Boy immediately notified the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Gennady Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler…..”

Pound4Pound reached out to Loeffler later in the day to see if GGG had made any comments about the failed drug test. According to the 360 Promotions chief Tom Loeffler, Golovkin said, “Gennady says he just wants a level playing field for both fighters as boxing is a very dangerous sport. That is why Abel has insisted on testing for GGG fights, to make sure there is no question as to GGG’s tremendous punching power or his conditioning in Big Bear.”

I then mentioned to Loeffler that chat rooms and message boards across the internet where crying “Bull”, (pun intended), to the claim that Canelo must have gotten that dose of Clenbuterol while ingesting some tainted Mexican meat.

Loeffler quipped, “That seems to be the opinion of a lot of people.”

In Canelo’s defense the Golden Boy press release quoted Alvarez who said, “I am an athlete who respects the sport and this surprises me and bothers me because it had never happened to me. I will submit to all the tests that require me to clarify this embarrassing situation and I trust that at the end the truth will prevail.”

At this point it’s hard to imagine this will put the Block Buster Event in any jeopardy and barring Canelo being served up another plate full of Clenbuterol Carne Asada it’s doubtful any of his upcoming tests will show any signs of PED’s and the fight will go on as planned.

If I was running the show down South pollo y pescado would be the main dish of choice until Team Canelo make their way north of the border.

Really?

The most anticipated fight of the new millennium and you want to play around with tainted meat stories? Just giving you the benefit of the doubt, have you not seen this same story in Mexico often enough for you to be just a tad more careful than this?

Good Grief!

We have literally two months to go for these guys to settle the score. Let’s hope this is the last we hear from either camp for the next few weeks.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

I Have A Few Questions

Monday, March 5th, 2018

By William Trillo

In my always humble opinion that was about as interesting a weekend in boxing as we have had this year. I am sure you would have to agree. While Showtime and HBO were busy playing dueling networks, New York boxing fans had to decide which event would satisfy their palates. It was an evening of Championship boxing that had social media on fire when all was said and done. After digesting the fights and contemplating what fans had to say on message boards I have a few questions I would like someone/anyone to answer. Please!

Wilder vs. Ortiz

Has there ever been a more technically unsound Heavyweight Champion in the history of the game?

What was with the thirty second break Wilder got at the start of the round after Ortiz almost decapitated Deontay in the previous round? Has anyone ever explained that?

Is it just me or does the fact that Wilder was ahead on all scorecards at the time of the stoppage, (identical scores by the way), seem absolutely absurd?

Is trying to compare what Wilder did against Ortiz to what Joshua accomplished against Klitschko seem ridiculous at best? I mean, y’all are aware Wladimir Klitschko will go down as one of the greatest Heavyweight Champions of all time, correct? And you do realize he defended his unified titles a record 15 times in a row right? As for Ortiz, he tested dirty for performance enhancing drugs and was suspended…you are aware of this minor detail, right? Now tell me how you compare the accomplishments please.

Uzcategui vs. Dirrell

Has Virgil Hunter ever taken an established world class fighter and made him better?

Kovalev vs. Mikhalkin

What happened to Kovalev in the post fight interview? Has anyone ever seen him so unsure of himself?

I know Sergey has had a life changing revelation but this new improved version seems a bit too passive for me. Can we just have “Krusher” back please ?

Bivol vs. Barrera

I agree Bivol is a talented fighter but don’t ya think HBO was going a bit overboard with their shill job?

Did they really say he was a Golovkin/Lomachenko hybrid? That’s one heck of a tall order. Do you think they are putting a bit too much mustard on the hot dog?

Was it really necessary to show highlights of Bivol’s KO over Sullivan during the Main Event? Don’t you think that’s extreme overkill?

OK, maybe most of those questions are a bit rhetorical, but that’s what’s on my mind.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Monday, February 19th, 2018

By William Trillo
Photo-Chop: Bret “The Threat” Newton

The Good

A huge congratulations to Ray Beltran for going to Reno, Nevada to become “The Biggest Little Fighter In The World”. His gutty performance over Paulus Moses earned him the WBO Lightweight title. The bloody war gave Beltran his well deserved championship. This is one of the good guys in the sport who has always let his fists do the talking for him in the ring.

The Bad

As much as I respect both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz, and that is through both the thick and thin of their illustrious careers, it’s hard to see how this fight was deemed a draw. All credit to both men, but seriously, Alexander should have been given the nod in this slugfest.

The Ugly

There should be zero credit given to Danny Garcia for knocking out the aged and blown up lightweight Brandon Rios. Sorry but this is just another case of Garcia beating up on another guy out of his weightclass, (see Rod Salka). With the victory Garcia has made himself about as relevant as an ipod.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

Bully For Billy

Monday, February 5th, 2018

By William Trillo

Yes, it’s that time of the year when I venture into the world of Professional Bull Riding. Better known to the in crowd as The PBR.

This year in Anaheim California the cowboys took center stage for the “Unleash The Beast” show. As always it was a night of thrills and spills for the crowd of over 14,000 fans.

In the last ride of the night and event Cody Nance rode his way to the top for his first PBR victory since 2014.

Nance went 3-for-3 over the two days and clinched the victory with an 88.75-point ride on 2017 World Champion Bucking Bull Sweet Pro’s Bruiser on the final out of the night to win the championship round.

“You know that bull is going to challenge you,” said Nance. “You ride him like any other bull, jump for jump. I tried hard, maintained my focus, and it worked out.”

From top to bottom, from Cowboys to bulls as well as the talented Bull fighters the night was a real crowd pleaser that had the Honda Center rocking.

The heart and courage of the men riding the bulls is without compare and is a must see for anyone looking for a never say die evening of one of the most rugged sports on the planet.

For more information on The PBR and when the tour will make a stop in your area log on to www.pbr.com

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

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 Pound4Pound.com 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.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing truth.

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”.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

Lumps Of Coal

Monday, December 25th, 2017

By William Trillo

Of course I don’t want to be tabbed as some sort of Scrooge or this years version of The Grinch but…have you seen the gifts sitting under the tree for us? I’m talking about the already made and/or the proposed fights coming our way in 2018.

Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios?

Keith Thurman vs. Jessie Vargas?

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson?

Really?

I mean come on. Garcia has lost any relevance on the boxing landscape and Rios who has been a great warrior is well past his prime. It may last a few rounds at best but in the end Rios is destined to go out in less than a blaze of glory.

Thurman should be fighting Spence now. Instead they will be taking on inferior opponents in fights that are sure to be one sided mismatches at best.

Rumored somewhere in between these gifts is the return of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. taking on the now human punching bag Alfredo Angulo. Can someone please gimme a break?

Boxing fans may not have behaved perfectly this year but we all deserve much better than this. I think you would all agree.

Hopefully the powers that be will put together some better offerings than this over the course of the coming year. There are plenty of big fights out there that can and should be made.

Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good fight….hopefully!

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.