Archive for October, 2016

The Mail Pouch: A Question From McGarry

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

By William Trillo

Once again we have received an email from David McGarry. This time in the form of a question. Knowing that I had just visited Montreal McGarry inquires about a fighter who has suddenly fell off the radar. I will do my best to answer his following question:

Dear Mr. Trillo,

It’s a fairly quiet weekend for boxing and you’re just back from a trip to Montreal, so I thought this would be a good time to ask you: what is going on with Artur Beterbiev? The guy is already 31 years old and has had only ten fights since turning pro over three years ago. At times, he’s looked great and ready for the big time, but he hasn’t progressed. He could have been the next pound-for-pound star in boxing, instead his last two opponents were Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna and Alexander Johnson. Considering the three opponents before that were Tavoris Cloud, Jeff Page and Gabriel Campillo, he has not lived up to earlier promise. I can understand a hard hitter like Beterbiev will be avoided by some rivals, but being a destructive puncher hasn’t stopped Kovalev and Golovkin from fighting regularly. So, is this the calm before the storm or has Beterbiev’s career fizzled out after a very promising start?

Thanks for the question. As I told you in my previous blog Beterbiev looked to be reappearing on the scene sometime around Christmas. As it turns out, he is in fact fighting in December. You can read all about the fight in today’s Cloutier’s Canada Corner.

I did some poking around in Montreal and was told by people close to Artur that he will return on the scene after healing from an injury. I was also told that fighters are reluctant to fight him, including one Sergey Kovalev whom he beat in the amateurs. I can neither confirm or deny Kovalev was approached.

I can tell you that I was more than worried about his career once he signed with Al Haymon and The PBC. He is not the first fighter to sign with them who suddenly becomes less and less active. Whether or not the injury comes into play is up to speculation but it is good to see he is scheduled to fight again soon.

Like you, I believe Beterbiev can be a force in the Light Heavy division. I hope to see more of him in 2017 and if I am lucky I will get to see him live and in person once again.

Thanks for your continued support of our site.

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Cutman Bob Miller Paralyzed In Tragic Accident

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

By William Trillo

Those in the know in boxing know who Bob Miller is. The renowned cutman has worked the corner of many Champions over the years. I don’t know Bob personally but I did have the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago on a card in Mexico. He is a kind and hard working man. When I arrived in Montreal early last week I was informed that Miller, who worked with Lucian Bute was involved in a serious car accident that left him completely paralyzed. The news really struck home if the Montreal gymnasium as I am sure it has throughout the boxing community.

Miller’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the medical costs the entire family will now be facing. I would like to ask boxing fans to check out the link and please donate to this worthy cause. The entire family sends our prayers to Bob and his family.

To help out, visit

Quintessentially Quebec

Monday, October 24th, 2016

By William Trillo

It’s been well over two years since I ventured northward to my favorite fight city, Montreal. That’s right, although Las Vegas, the fight capital of the world, is basically a stone’s throw away from my Southern California home, there is still nothing that pleases me more than being a part of the fight week festivities in Montreal.

With two shows on the ledger last week, GYM on Thursday and Eye of the Tiger/Interbox on Saturday there was more than enough action to satisfy my ferocious fight hunger. Along the way I managed to squeak in a crepe or two. (maybe three)

Without question the highlight of my Montreal vacation was paying a visit to The Grant Brothers Gym. Howard and Otis always welcome us with open arms and make us; (Librado Andrade and I) feel right at home. With Lucian Bute now a part of The Grant Brothers team it will go without saying that our Jerked Chicken and Ox Tail lunch was a classic. This was one of those, “you had to be there” moments and I wouldn’t do the reunion of the fighter’s, (Andrade, Bute and Otis Grant), justice if I tried to recreate that moment. Suffice to say it’s a memory I won’t soon forget.

As to the fights, I had not covered the fights at The Casino Montreal until now. It’s a great venue that puts a lot of good local talent on display. Of course having the two Grant Brothers fighters come out on top made the evening perfect. The GYM Group put on a nice evening of action

Saturday night it was back to my familiar stomping grounds at The Bell Center covering the Eye of the Tiger promoted card. Without question this is one of my favorite venues to cover boxing.

Speaking of questions…why in the world would anyone bring up seasoned fighters from Mexico and try to showcase the local Montreal talent against them? You give me a fighter from South of the Border with 20-30 fights and I don’t care what his won/loss record is; chances are there is going to be an upset in the making. Such was the case for two of the budding Quebec up and comers on Saturday night. That’s a hard lesson to learn.

In the first of two main events of the evening we saw Steven Butler in a free swinging three minutes that saw him victorious before the first round was over. Butler looks like the goods. Keep an eye on this kid as he takes his next step up in completion. It’s time for the rubber to meet the road.

To cap off the night David Lemiuex won a unanimous decision over a tough and awkward Argentinean by the name of Rios. It was far from a classic performance by David but he got the job done and now it looks like he will be part of the Bernard Hopkins farewell fight in Los Angeles.

With all the cravings satisfied for now it’s time to head back home to sunny Southern California. Until next time…..thanks Montreal….Je t’aime.

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Crossing The Line

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

By William Trillo

As I was downing my first cup of coffee Saturday morning I got a call from someone I will identify only as a concerned boxing enthusiast. The caller said, “I do not want to go on the record with this,but on the televised broadcast of last night’s Peter Petrov vs. Michael Perez fight you can hear Perez trainer Robert Garcia in between rounds clearly telling his fighter, (who was getting pummeled by Petrov), to throw a low blow in the next round. There is no mistaking it, he said something like throw a hard one then leaned over and whispered, in the juevos.”

I told the caller that the fact of the matter was I was just thinking about that moment myself, which was 100% fact. From my perspective ringside and right next to the Perez corner I had a great vantage point for what was going on in the ring. Admittedly I did not hear what the camera’s picked up but when that round began Perez landed a blow extremely South of the Border. Moments after the blow landed while the ref had given Petrov time to recuperate Garcia shouted to his fighter something along the lines of, “OK Mikey, that’s enough! No more Mikey!” I glanced over my shoulder and looked at a very concerned Garcia. It seemed to me he had ordered the low blow because his fighter was getting a real beat down and he had no other answers.

As we know, the low blow had little or no effect on Petrov and Garcia would soon be keeping his fighter from answering the bell for the next round.

I told the caller I wasn’t surprised the camera picked up the low blow order from Garcia and it confirmed my suspicions that the foul was premeditated. I finished the call by saying thanks for the information, maybe I will mention it in my Monday morning blog.

A few hours later I got a message on Facebook from someone else in the boxing community who asked, “So how unethical & bad would it be if a trainer sends his fighter to hit the opponent HARD on the balls & it’s heard on national TV?”

I told him that he was not the first person who brought this to my attention and that I knew exactly who and what he was talking about.

He replied, “This shit is serious a HARD BLOW in the balls can end your career…it’s all on tape…disgusting!”

Just to confirm what I had been told because I had not yet watched the replay I reached out to someone on the broadcast team who confirmed what I was being told by saying, “Yes, it was caught on tape.”

Enough said.

As Bernard Hopkins says when asked about opponents and their dirty tricks, “This is the hurt business”, this kind of stuff happens all the time.Let’s not pretend to be naïve here. Low blows, elbows, head butts, rabbit punches are just but a few of the questionable tactics that have been used and will be used again by fighters who feel they have no other way to get back into the fight…it’s just the nature of the beast.

Call it Crossing The Line or Doing What You Gotta Do, it ain’t going away anytime soon…if ever.

Am I condoning the illegal behavior? Heck no.

Do I expect to see it stop anytime soon? Again…heck no.

But in this day and age of high tech microphones in corners, cell phone cameras in everyone hands et al, I would think people in “the biz” would be more discreet when imploring their fighters to use less than The Marques of Queensbury rules.

In this case Karma reached out and bit Perez directly on his ass but that is not always the case, sometimes fighters successfully apply some dirty tricks and turn the fight around and end up becoming victorious in a bout they otherwise would never have won.

So much for calling it “The Sweet Science” or “The Manly Art of Self Defense”.

There is nothing Scientific or Manly about cheating.

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The Mail Pouch: McGarry Chimes In Again

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

By William Trillo

It looks like our avid reader David McGarry is becoming a regular contributor to our site and we welcome his on point thoughts. Allow me to step back and allow McGarry to break down the coming events for the month of October.

Dear Mr. Trillo,

September was a bad month for British boxing and October could hardly have got off to a worse start with news that heavyweight champion Tyson Fury allegedly testing positive for cocaine. Not only will Fury be stripped of his titles, but it means Wladimir Klitschko is going to be with us for a while longer, telling everyone who’ll listen how he was going to win back his titles. Yeah right, you planned on throwing punches this time, did you Wladimir? Worst of all, Tyson’s antics have dragged down the career of his unbeaten younger cousin, Hughie Fury.

At least we have a so-called world title fight to look forward to today. In Neubrandenburg, WBA light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer is supposed to be defending his title against Nathan Cleverly. Hopefully he’ll turn up this time. The German had agreed to defend the WBO version of the title against the same opponent five years ago and then changed his mind two days before the fight without ever giving an excuse. Cleverly went on to win the vacant title.

After four successful defences, Cleverly was brutalised over four rounds by Sergei Kovalev and has not been the same since. A brief foray into the cruiserweight division did not go well, and now he’s back, hoping to win another world title.

Meanwhile, Braehmer has returned and some skillful matchmaking by his promoter has seen him reclaim his old title. He has followed the Sauerland blueprint for German boxers: whenever possible pick opponents with limited punching power and a few losses on their record, always fight at home and if all else fails you can rely on the judges just so long as you last the full distance.

Nathan Cleverly fits that bill perfectly, but have Team Braehmer miscalculated this time? The Welsh challenger is 29 and still reasonably fresh whereas the champion is 37. One of Cleverly’s best attributes is his very high work rate – don’t be surprised if he throws over 1,000 punches over the 12 rounds. That would force Braehmer to work every minute of every round and risk tiring well before the end. Also, Cleverly seems motivated because Braehmer said a lot of things during the build up to the fight five years ago and then, basically, ran away.

My prediction: this would be a stroll in the park for Cleverly if it was taking place in any other country, however, he has to overcome a hostile crowd, the most notorious judging in the world and a boxer who is probably very keen to “set the record straight”. The challenger has a decent height and reach advantage, so if he keeps the fight at long range and focuses on a high volume of accurate punches, he could still persuade those judges to do the right thing. If the champion is able to close the distance and drag his opponent into a brawl then anything could happen. Braehmer will be especially keen to inflict a cut somehow and try to force a stoppage. I think Cleverly will do just enough good work for neutral observers to feel he won, but not enough to ensure the judges agree. A narrow points win for the champion.

Whoever wins should not be considered a true world champion. Sergai Kovalev has already stopped Cleverly and would hardly break into a sweat while dispatching Braehmer. Adonis Stevenson would probably stop both of them, although Cleverly would have a chance if he could use movement and high work rate to tire the older, smaller guy.

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