Archive for November, 2016

Uno Mas “No Mas” – The Panama Connection

Monday, November 28th, 2016

By William Trillo

I don’t know what it is about fighters who come out of the Panamanian gyms and the phrase “No Mas”, but after Nicolas Walters, (who is from Jamaica but now calls Panama his home), had his corner uttered that phrase before the eighth round to end his fight with Vasyl Lomachenko one could only reflect back on Panamanian legend Roberto Duran who spoke the same words in the eighth round of his legendary rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard.

Enough has been said about this weekend’s fight. It was a major letdown for everyone.

It seems my comments about the “Cocktail Party” last week the night before Ward vs. Kovalev ruffled a few feathers. Not only did McGarry rip me but via my twitter feed David Payne @TheBoxingWriter let me have it as well.

Look, the event was to honor fighters from another epic Pound4Pound fight years ago. That being Julio Chavez Sr. vs. Pernell Whitaker. Both fighters were in attendance and I still hold to my conviction that it was a nice touch from Main Events promotions. Sorry if it as taken the wrong way.

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Friday, November 25th, 2016

By William Trillo

Before I completely shut the door on my weekend in Las Vegas there are just a few bits that in and of themselves don’t make a complete story but are worthy of mention nonetheless. In no particular order here we go:

I noticed PBC was represented on fight night by a small contingency of team members. I was told we can expect to see them promoting shows together with ROC Nation in the coming year.

That being said the tweet that went out by Adonis Stevenson moments after Ward took the unanimous decision over Kovalev bordered on ridiculous. Superman said, “Congratulations to @andreward . Now it’s time to unify the titles.” Now? What do you mean by Now? Pretty much solidifies the fact that Adonis never had any thought of stepping in with Kovalev. Never.

Is it just me or is the guy who follows Heavyweight Champ Deontay Wilder shouting, “BOMB SQUAD”, every 30 seconds extremely annoying?

Call me old fashioned but the media in attendance who are more concerned about broadcasting themselves as opposed to covering the fight are doing a disservice to those of us who are there to cover the action in the ring. Unfortunately the promoters have allowed this to go on and have created this monster. Good luck getting rid of them now. I harken back to my mentor Nat Gottlieb telling me years ago the fans are reading our reports to find out what happened in the ring, not to find out how cool we in the media are for getting a credential.

Kudos to Main Events Promotions for their professionalism throughout the weekend. Even though things did not go their way it they did an upstanding job. The pre-fight cocktail party after the weigh in on Friday was superb. We hope that other promoters will take note and follow suit.

With that said let’s close the book on this one as we look forward to the Lomachenko vs. Walters fight this weekend.

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Turkey Of The Year & More

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

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

Where does the time go? Is it really already the holiday season? That can only mean one thing boxing fans and you know what it is!

That’s right,it’s time to name our Turkey Of The Year. As usual there could be many recipients of the award and up until last weekend it was anyone’s guess as to whom might take the crown. But after a world class dud of a performance in Las Vegas there is only one choice for the award.

That would be referee Robert Byrd.

I will admit I was apprehensive when he was named as the ref for the Kovalev vs. Ward fight. It just didn’t feel like the right fit to me, and now I know why. I don’t want to say Byrd lost control of the fight early because quite frankly I am not sure he ever had control. In allowing Ward to tie up Kovalev all night long Byrd turned this possible Fight of the Year into another travesty for boxing fans who paid good money for the show. Talk about a classic Turkey Coma…this was it.

Where’s My Giblet’s Award

This year Pound4Pound has went the extra mile and added a special award for a fighter who has set himself up like no other for this not so prestigious honor.

We call this award: Where’s My Giblets?

There can be no fighter on the planet who has shown time and time again that when it comes to lacking, ahem, Giblets, this guy is in a league all his own.

From Rod Salka to Samuel Vargas this guy has earned this special award.

Let’s hope he finds ’em before he steps into the ring with Thurman.

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Maurice Is Not Off The Hook

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

By William Trillo
Photo: David Spagnolo – Main Events

With all the hubbub surrounding the controversial score in the Ward/Kovalev main event you can bet that Maurice Hooker was hoping no one would remember the injustice rendered when he was given a gift draw against Darleys Perez. As bad as the decision in the main event may have seen, this was worse.

Perez won this fight hands down and how one judge saw Hooker winning the fight and another saw the battle a draw is simply anyone’s guess. The 97-93 call for Perez was correct and he should have won this fight across the board.

To add insult to injury it was Hooker who grabbed the microphone at the weigh in telling everyone to expect him to win by another quick KO. Not only did Hooker not come close to a KO but he was in fact schooled by Perez who moved up to 140 pounds for the first time in his career.

With all the talk of a rematch for the main event has anyone mentioned the fact that Perez deserves a rematch of his own? The likelihood of that happening is far less than a rematch for the main event. Hooker will want no part of Perez ever again. Take that to the bank.

The common denominator in both bouts is that the fighters who were on the receiving ends of early Christmas gifts are both promoted by ROC Nation. Do with that information as you will.

Sorry Maurice, I can’t let you off the hook here. You were a beaten man on Saturday night.

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Kovalev vs. Ward: Robbery, Assault & Battery

Monday, November 21st, 2016

By William Trillo

The very first words that Andre Ward spoke to the media in attendance at the post fight media were, “I see some sad faces out there, I don’t know why.” He then pointed to a handful of fans who somehow hadn’t left the building yet and said, “But I see some fans up there clapping.”

The reason Andre saw a room full of less than happy faces is because almost everyone to a man was let down by boxing again. Those sad faces were a reflection of the scores that only 30 minutes earlier handed Ward a victory and light heavyweight titles most believe he did not deserve.

Oh sure, there will be a few Ward fans like the stragglers in the auditorium who got to cheer for him, but once Ward hears what the majority of boxing pundits and fans have to say, he can look back and know why that room was full of sad faces.

I’d like to personally lay out everyone from the ref to the judges and all points in between for this travesty but it is likely you all will just say it’s more “Sour Grapes” from Trillo, this guy is never happy. So instead I will just give you a handful of quotes from boxing luminaries who most likely know a lot more about boxing than both you and I. Then you can go ahead and come to your own conclusions for yourself.

I asked long time boxing broadcaster Larry Merchant what he thought of Harold Lederman’s score after the fight. Larry stated he did not know what Harold said. When I told him the Lederman score was 116-112 Larry said, ‘That is pretty much the same score I had. Kovalev jumped out to an early lead and even though Ward did come back late there is no way I saw him winning that fight, not by any means.”

Montell Griffin, a former Light Heavyweight contender with 59 fights against some of the best to ever lace them up at 175 pounds stated, “This is why The UFC is taking over boxing. Decisions like this will send more fans away and over to MMA. Fans paid good money to see this fight both live and on PPV and now they will walk away with a bad taste in their mouths. Do you think they are going to want to buy another fight when they see robberies like this? This is a disgrace.”

Another former world champion with 57 bouts on his record, Jesse James Leija said of the outcome, “I feel like it was a close fight and Ward did well in the second half of the fight with his body punching. He pressed the fight at times and then boxed when he needed to. I still honestly feel it was close but I still had Kovalev winning. 114-113 or 115-112.”

A publicist for Top Rank Promotions who was in attendance simply said, “Ward did not win that fight.”

Montreal Trainer and former fighter Howard Grant told me, “Bill, I watched this fight two times. Once live on Saturday night and I watched it again on Sunday. When I watched it Saturday night I thought it was a very close fight that could have gone either way. Then I watched it Sunday with the sound off, I put the TV on mute. Without the commentary of the announcers I saw the fight completely different and now believe that Kovalev won that fight hands down.”

Puerto Rico boxing writer and Major League Baseball strength and conditioning coach Luis Cadiz Sr. said, “Let me tell you something, they stole everything from Kovalev Saturday night. His undefeated record and all his titles are gone. This was a pure robbery.”

As Kathy Duva stated at the post fight press conference, “We all got a great fight which is what boxing wanted but what boxing didn’t need is another bad decision…and we got that.”

Sergey Kovalev just cut to the chase with his comments, “You look at his face after the fight and look at my face. You tell me, who is the winner?”

I heard that Max Kellerman was trying to educate the fans watching the PPV what the difference between a close decision and a robbery is. I am really sorry I missed that. (Not really).

Look, what happened to Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night was criminal. As Cadiz said, Here is a guy who had an undefeated record and captured multiple world title belts with hard work and perseverance. Yet, in the blink of an eye he lost everything due to some extremely inept work by the officials overseeing this contest.

Take nothing away from Ward who got up off the deck after getting clubbed in the forehead. I think that Andre does himself a disservice by calling that a flash knockdown. He got up and survived a blow that dropped him to his hands and knees, a lesser foe might have stayed down. That being said, he did not get up and do enough to turn the tide that drastically, enough to win, in the opinion of the majority of the boxing world.

Duva now says she will exercise the immediate rematch clause yet Team Ward appears ready to drag this one out for a while and make Duva and Kovalev sweat it out. If there is one thing we all know about Ward it is the fact he will try not to honor contracts that he has already signed. If he were alive the late Dan Goossen would warn Duva to prepare for a long court battle.

I on the other hand see Ward accepting an immediate rematch as long as the fight takes place in Oakland. Knowing Kovalev I am sure he will accept that offer.

I for one would like to see this happen sooner rather than later. Kovalev deserves a chance to regain his belts.

“You’ve done me wrong”, it’s the same old song forever, forever
Robbery, assault and battery
The felon and his felony……. By Genesis

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Fortune Telling Elvis Pound4Pound Pick

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

By William Trillo

I don’t know how long it’s been since I felt the need to inquire with “The King” about a result for an upcoming fight, but it was on my way to Las Vegas that I pulled over once again to find out who Elvis thought would come out on top, Kovalev or Ward? The fight is a toss up and even though oddsmakers have put Ward as a 2 to 1 favorite it’s really difficult to say who will come out on top.

What Elvis had to say was plain and simple, “Remember this, hard work always pays off in the long run!”

Now that we have this clue the question to answer is this: How do YOU define hard work?

Do you define hard work as coming to a foreign country with no promoter and scratching and clawing your way to the top over your 30 fight career?

Do you think having your 30 fight career fed to you with a silver spoon is a difficult task?

Do you think going out and earning all those belts that are on the line tonight without the help of any made up tournament is difficult or are you more impressed with a guy who took first place in a round robin tournament that was plagued with indiscrepancies since the day it was conceived?

Do you think it’s hard to leave your homeland and fight across the United States and make stops in Canada as well as the United Kingdom and all points in between with only two fights in your home country?.

Or does it seem more difficult to fight the majority of your fights in your own backyard or at the very least in your own country with only one stop outside of your USA home soil?

It seems to me if you are honest the answer to these questions are simple and it’s easy to see who it is that Fortune Telling Elvis thinks will come out on top tonight.

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Speak No Evil

Monday, November 14th, 2016

By William Trillo

As my loyal readers (all three of you) know, I have been on somewhat of a hiatus over the last few weeks. I don’t think I have written a thing since my trip to Montreal, and for that I apologize…sort of.

I mean really, what of any real significance has been going on?

Let’s see:

Wilfredo “Papito” Vázquez, Jr. (24-6-1, 19 KOs) and Juan Manuel “JuanMa” López (34-5, 31 KOs) fought in one of the most meaningless fights this year.

After saying he is no ones puppet Richard “Faust” Schaefer showed up alongside the king marionette Tom Brown to announce he will be promoting Abner Mares vs. Jesus Cuellar in Los Angeles. Sorry to tell ya “Faust”…we all see the strings…go ahead and assume ventriloquist Al Haymon has added another dummy to his collection.

Even as a shell of his former self Manny Pacquiao dispatched Jessie Vargas with relative ease. On the same evening Nonito Donaire got beat by Jessie Magdaleno and then came up with excuse after excuse as to why he was screwed. Awful.

Speaking of awful how about that broadcast trio on the Top Rank PPV. Good Grief.

That being said we do have a big fight week ahead of us with the Main Events promoted Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward superfight on tap. Pound4Pound will be there all week with special reports coming your way from our ace reporter Daniel Cloutier who will be reporting live from Las Vegas all week. We also will have a full crew on hand for the weekend festivities.

It looks like my prediction that Ward will pull out has fallen by the wayside and now we look forward to a great night of championship boxing. Let’s hope we get the fight we are hoping for.

Although many boxing pundits are expecting Ward to stink up the night with his “Jab n Grab” tactics I am of the opinion that once Ward gets a taste of Kovalev’s power it will change his gameplan drastically and we could be in for a real barn burner. I hope I am right. Both men appear to be in prime condition and this could be a fight that will make us all forget about suffering through the Luis Ortiz vs. Malik Scott fiasco.

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