Top Rank Boxing http://www.toprank.com Top Rank boxing news, event, videos and photo galleries en-us Copyright Top Rank 02-05-2016 21:14:37 60 Freddie Roach y Teddy Atlas: Punto Contrapunto http://www.toprank.com/news/freddie-roach-y-teddy-atlas-punto-contrapunto/ FREDDIE ROACH Y TEDDY ATLAS: PUNTO CONTRAPUNTO | Por: Bill Dwyre *

Las imagines de TV del boxeo el sábado pasado en la noche fueron de un Jean Pascal de ojos cristalinos y un preocupado Freddie Roach.

Era el final del sexto asalto de una pelea de título de peso semi-pesado entre Pascal y Sergei Kovalev en Montreal, el pueblo natal de Pascal. Ellos habían peleado antes. Pascal quería otro chance y contrató al siete-veces entrenador del año para que lo guiara por la tormenta de fuego esta vez.

Ahora, Roach solo estaba siendo el único tipo de guía que  quedaba. No había necesidad de instrucciones de usar el jab, o agacharse o contragolpear. En la esquina, le estaba diciendo a Pascal que todo había terminado. Roach estaba haciendo su mejor Roberto Duran. No Más, Jean.

Esto entonces, mientras continuamos revisando la pelea del 9 de abril entre MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO y TIMOTHY "Desert Storm" BRADLEY JR., dispara una discusión en de las responsabilidades, humanidad y sentido común de un entrenador.

Roach y Pascal solo fue una vez. Roach hizo lo mejor que pudo con él ex campeón, pero sabía que Kovalev era una bestia sin piedad. Si estás en la división de Kovalev, tienes la opción de pelear o pararte frente un tren a toda velocidad.

Roach le dijo a Pascal que él iba a parar la pelea. Pascal dijo que no. Él quería un round más. Claro que él lo quería. Los boxeadores son entrenados para ser gladiadores, para batallar hasta la muerte. En este caso, esa no era una preocupación exagerada.

Pascal estaba acabado, terminado, apaleado. Tanto como el puede ser un golpeador salvaje, su chance de conectar a Kovalev con un puño de nocaut era el mismo de que fuese electo como Papa. Roach lo sabía. Le pintó la imagen a Pascal. “Te pueden hacer mucho daño. No puedo dejar que eso pase.

Pero casi lo hace. Roach lo dejo ir. Pascal mostró pequeños espacios de nueva energía, pero era así porque Kovalev se lo permitió, queriendo que Pascal continuara peleando para que él lo pudiera torturar más.

Cuando terminó el round, Roach fue hacia donde el referee Michael Griffin y le pidió que parara la pelea. ¿Fue eso un round muy tarde?

Como en la mayoría de las cosas con Roach, hay una historia interesante. Él se sentó en su gimnasio Wild Card en Los Ángeles esta semana y lo discutió, entre el siempre presente sonido de zapatillas de boxeo y guantes golpeando. Su preferencia al parar peleas – cuando lo haces, como lo haces – cambió en el 2008, cuando el vio como Pacquiao apaleaba a un maravilloso, pero ya mayor, Oscar De La Hoya.

“Yo aprendí, del entrenador de Oscar (Nacho Beristaín), que no hacer,” dijo Roach. “Nacho le dijo a Oscar en la esquina, ‘Voy a parar la pelea, ¿Está bien?’

“No puedes hacer eso. El ‘¿Esta Bien?’ nunca va a funcionar. Él era el mejor pagado boxeador de pay-per-view en el planeta y Nacho le estaba preguntando, en televisión nacional, que aceptara rendirse. Ningún peleador haría eso. Es la responsabilidad del entrenador.”

Lo que inmediatamente levantó la pregunta de, con Pascal, Roach siguió su propia filosofía, aprendida de Beristain.

“Probablemente yo debí haber parado la pelea cuando él me pidió que no lo hiciera,” dijo Roach. “Pero siento que, en una pelea de título mundial, mi responsabilidad es darle a mi peleador un último chance.”

Roach también dijo que hizo algo que nunca había hecho antes.

“Antes de que lo dejara ir para ese último asalto,” él dijo, “Fui a donde el ref y le dije que tuviese un ojo en Pascal. Usualmente, cuando dices eso, ellos paran la pelea en ese momento. Cuando la paré después del último round, el ref (Michael Griffin) me dijo que había hecho lo correcto.”  

Roach admitió que estaba preocupado que había hecho algo mal al dejar que Pascal saliera una vez más, y por eso trajo a Griffin en ese momento. En esencia estaba pidiendo al referee que compartieran la responsabilidad. Él admitió eso.

Teddy Atlas, mucho más que alguien interesado, estaba viendo en TV. Él estará en la esquina de Bradley el 9 de abril. Será la primera vez que él y Roach se hayan enfrentado uno al otro en esquinas opuestas.

Atlas, un ex Entrenador del Año en su propio merito, ha vivido estos paros de peleas y es firme en sus creencias.

“Tienes que conocer a tu peleador,” dijo él. “Tú comienzas a tomar esa decisión antes de que aceptes entrenarlo. Y entonces, cuando es tiempo de hacer la pelea, te preguntas si eso hace sentido. ¿Debemos movernos hacia delante?

Atlas habló de dos situaciones.

En una, él paró la pelea, aún cuando su peleador ha sido verificado por el referee y le han permitido continuar.

“Era en el Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden, probablemente 30 años atrás,” dijo Atlas. “El referee estaba sorprendido. Él no conocía al peleador como yo. ¿Cómo podría? El peleador estaba enojado. Cuando fui a poner mis brazos a su alrededor, pude descifrar que no tenía piernas, no tenía control.

“Era mi responsabilidad reconocer eso.”

El peleador quería continuar su carrera. Atlas dijo que no. El peleador consiguió otro entrenador y estaba apunto de entrar al ring otra vez. Atlas ya no tenía el control, pero aún estaba preocupado. Él había escuchado que el pelador lo habían noqueado durante el entrenamiento. El peleador necesitaba un examen físico para renovar su licencia antes de la pelea. Eso le llegó a Atlas. El doctor que hizo el examen físico no permitió la pelea y dijo que los resultados podían haber sido fatales.

“Yo tenía otro peleador peleando por el título supermediano en Alemania.,” cuenta Atlas. “Al final del onceavo asalto, estaba cortado bastante. No había caído, pero había sido golpeado por muchos puños. Y no tenía mucha fuerza en los suyos. Yo no iba a permitir que continuara recibiendo castigo, así que la paré. No había razón. Él no podía ganar.”

El boxeador tenía “25 o 26,” dijo Atlas, y tras su sugerencia, el joven peleador nunca volvió a pelear.

Él confiaba en mi,” dijo Atlas. “Siento que hice mi trabajo. Me dio tristeza, porque sabía que no alcanzaría las metas que se había trazado en el boxeo. Él había llegado a 17-0, pero las cosas cambian. Es un deporte difícil. Tú no puedes ser uno de esos que continúa sin importar lo que pase.”

Atlas nunca recibió su pago por esa pelea. Cuando el peleador tuvo un hijo, le pidieron a Atlas si podía ser el padrino.

“Eso me hizo sentir bien sobre todo,” dijo Atlas.

Atlas está de acuerdo con la filosofía de Roach para parar pelea.

“En eso, Freddie está 100% correcto,” él dijo.

Él no necesariamente está de acuerdo que Roach siguió sus propias reglas con Pascal.

“Lo que es bueno para el ganso es bueno para el ganso,” dijo Atlas. “Él debe recordad lo que dijo de Nacho. Gracias a Dios no pasó nada malo, porque el tipo [Pascal] no tenía chance.”

Una cosa está clara. No habrá duda cuando Pacquiao y Bradley peleen. Pacquiao y Roach son como padre e hijo. Pacquiao ha dicho un sinnúmero de veces que, si Roach ve que él está decayendo y se lo dice, él se retira.

Atlas y Bradley, en tan solo un campamento de entrenamiento y una pelea exitosa ante Brandon Ríos, también se han convertido en casi familia.

“Veo a Timmy como persona primero,” dijo Atlas, “Y después de eso, como peleador.”

Esperen una buena pelea. Esperen las decisiones correctas de ambas esquinas. Mejor aún, esperen que ese tipo de decisiones no sean necesarias, que los peleadores, referee y jueces se hagan cargo de eso.

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Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:54:51 -0600
Freddie Roach & Teddy Atlas: Point Counterpoint http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-freddie-roach-amp-teddy-atlas-point-couterpoint/ The TV images from boxing last Saturday night were of a glassy-eyed Jean Pascal and a worried Freddie Roach.

It was the end of the sixth round of the light heavyweight title fight between Pascal and Sergey Kovalev in Montreal, Pascal’s hometown.  They had fought before. Kovalev had destroyed Pascal.  Pascal wanted another shot and hired the seven-time trainer of the year to guide him through the firestorm this time.

Now, Roach was doing the only kind of guiding left.  No need for instructions about jabbing, nor ducking and countering.  In the corner, he was telling Pascal it was over.  Roach was doing his best Roberto Duran.  No mas, Jean.

This then, as we continue to preview the upcoming battle April 9 between MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO andTIMOTHY "Desert Storm" BRADLEY JR., triggers a discussion of boxing trainers’ responsibility, humanity and common sense.

Roach and Pascal were a one-off.  Roach did his best with the former champ, but knew that Kovalev was an unforgiving, unyielding beast.  If you are in Kovalev’s division, you face a choice of fighting him, or standing in front of a speeding train.

Roach told Pascal he was going to stop the fight.  Pascal objected.  He wanted one more round.  Of course he did. Boxers are trained to be gladiators, to battle to the death.  In this case, that was not a far-fetched concern.

Pascal was done, shot, beaten up.  As much of a wild-swinger as he can be, his chances of catching Kovalev with a knockout punch were the same as his chances of being elected Pope.  Roach knew that.  He painted the picture for Pascal.  “You can get hurt badly.  I can’t let that happen.” 

But he almost did.  Roach let him go.  Pascal showed brief glimpses of new energy, but it was mostly because Kovalev allowed him to, actually seeming to want Pascal to keep fighting so he could torture him further.   

When the round ended, Roach went to Referee Michael Griffin and asked him to stop it.  Was that a round too late?

As in most things with Roach, there is an interesting back story. He sat in his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles this week and spelled it out, amidst the ever-present background of squeaky boxing shoes and mitts hitting bags.  His approach to stopping fights -- when you do it, how you do it -- was shaped in 2008, when he watched Pacquiao beating up on a marvelous, but aging, Oscar De La Hoya.   

“I learned, from Oscar’s trainer (Nacho Beristain), what not to do,” Roach said. “Nacho said to Oscar in the corner, ‘I’m going to stop the fight, OK?’    

“You can’t do that.  The ‘O.K.’ would never work.  Here you had the highest earning pay-per-view boxer on the planet and Nacho is asking him, on national TV, to agree to quit.  No fighter will do that.  It’s the trainer’s responsibility.”

Which immediately raised the question of whether, with Pascal, Roach followed his own philosophy, as learned from Beristain.     

“I probably should have stopped the fight when he begged me not to,” Roach said. “But I feel that, in a world title fight, my responsibility is also to give my fighter one more chance.”       

Roach also said he did something he had never done before.

“Before I let him go out for that last round,” he said, “I went to the ref and told him to keep an eye on Pascal. Usually, when you say that, they stop the fight right there.  When I stopped it after that last round, the ref (Michael Griffin) told me I had done the right thing.”

Roach admitted he was worried he had done the wrong thing by letting Pascal go out one more time, and that’s why he brought Griffin into the moment.  He was hedging his bets, in essence asking the referee to share the responsibility.  He admitted that.          

Teddy Atlas, much more than just an interested party, was watching on TV.  He will be in Bradley’s corner April 9.  It will be the first time he and Roach have ever faced off against each other from opposite corners.  

Atlas, a former Trainer of the Year in his own right, has lived this stoppage of fights, and is steadfast in his beliefs.  

“You have to know your fighter,” he said. “You start making that decision before you even agree to train him.  And then, when it’s time to make a fight, you ask yourself if that fight makes sense.  Should we even go forward?” 

Atlas talked about two situations.

In one, he stopped a fight, even when his fighter had been checked by the referee and allowed to continue.  

“It was in the Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden, probably 30 years ago,” Atlas said.  “The referee was shocked. He didn’t know the fighter like I did.  How could he? The fighter was angry.  When I went to put my arms around him, comfort him, I could tell he didn’t have his legs, that he had no control.    

“It was my responsibility to recognize that.”

The fighter wanted to continue his career.  Atlas said no.  The fighter got another trainer and was about to get in the ring again.   Atlas no longer had control, but was still worried.  He had heard that the fighter got knocked out during training camp.  The fighter needed a physical to renew his license before the fight.  Word got back to Atlas.  The doctor doing the physical wouldn’t allow the fight and said the result could have been fatal.  

“I had another fighter going for the super middleweight title in Germany,” Atlas recalled.  “By the 11th round, he was cut up pretty bad.  He hadn’t been down, but he was hit with a lot of punches.  And he didn’t have any zip on his.  I just wasn’t going to let him take any more punishment, so I stopped it.  There was no point. He couldn’t win.”     

That boxer was “25 or 26,” Atlas said, and at his suggestion, the young man never fought again.

“He trusted me,” Atlas said.  “I felt like I did my job.  It saddened me, because I knew he would not reach the boxing goals he had set.  He had been something like 17-0 at one point, but things change.  It’s a tough sport.  You cannot be one of those guys who just keeps going, no matter what.”       

Atlas never took his payment for that fight.  When the boxer had a son, Atlas was asked to be the godfather.      

“That made me feel good about everything,” Atlas said.          

Atlas agreed with Roach’s philosophy on stopping fights.    

“On that, Freddie is 100% correct,” he said.    

He didn’t necessarily agree that Roach had followed his own rules with Pascal.   

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” Atlas said.  “He should remember what he said about Nacho. Thank god nothing bad happened, because the guy [Pascal] didn’t have a chance.”  

One thing is clear. There will be no hesitation when Pacquiao and Bradley fight.  Pacquiao and Roach are like father and son.  Pacquiao has said numerous times that, if Roach sees him slipping and tells him so, he will quit.   

Atlas and Bradley, in just one training camp and one successful fight against Brandon Rios, have also become like family. 

“I see Timmy as a person first,” Atlas said, “and after that, as a fighter.”    

Expect a good fight.  Expect correct decisions from both corners.  Better yet, hope no such decisions are needed, that the fighters, referee and judges take care of that.

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* This column was not subject to the approval of Top Rank.  Any editorial usage of all or part of this column is welcome but must include credit to Bill Dwyre.

Bill Dwyre will be writing a series of weekly columns  on the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event.  Bill was sports editor of The Los Angeles Times for 25 years, ending in 2006.  He was a sports columnist for 9 1/2 years at The Times, ending Nov. 25 with his retirement.  Boxing was among his most frequent column topics.  Bill can be contacted atBillPatDwyre@gmail.com or via Twitter at @BillDwyre.

 

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Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will take place on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

 

Remaining Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley are priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, not including applicable service fees.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com or ticketmaster.com.  

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Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:32:56 -0600
El próximo miércoles se anunciarán las preliminares Pacquiao vs. Bradley http://www.toprank.com/news/el-proximo-miercoles-se-anunciaran-las-preliminares-pacquiao-vs-bradley/ LOS ANGELES – Los invictos contendientes Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramírez, Oscar Valdez y José Ramírez, el ex campeón mundial ‘El Ruso Mexicano’ Evgeny Gradovich y el legendario promotor Bob Arum serán los anfitriones de una conferencia de prensa en Los Ángeles el próximo miércoles, 10 de febrero, en The Conga Room localizado en LA Live (800 West Olympic Blvd., Los Ángeles, California, 90015). Los participantes estarán anunciando sus respectivas peleas de campeonato en las preliminares del cartel Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley. La prensa se puede presentar al mediodía para un almuerzo y la conferencia de prensa comenzará a las 12:30 p.m. PT.

Gilberto Ramírez (33-0, 24 KO’s), de Mazatlán, México, co-promocionado por Zapari Boxing Promotions, el primer clasificado contendiente supermediano y oponente mandatorio de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), tendrá su primera oportunidad de disputar un título mundial cuando rete al campeón supermediano de la OMB Arthur Abraham (44-4, 29 KO’s), de Berlin, Alemania.

Valdez (19-0, 16 KO’s), de Nogales, México, el primer clasificado contendiente peso pluma de la OMB, defenderá su título peso pluma de la NABO ante el ex monarca mundial peso pluma de la Federación Internacional de Boxeo (FIB), ‘El Ruso Mexicano’ Gradovich (21-1-1, 9 KO’s), natural de Rusia que vive ahora en Oxnard, California.

José Ramírez (16-0, 12 KO’s), de Avenal, California, un Olímpico de los Estados Unidos en el 2012, defenderá su título superligero de las Américas del Consejo Mundial de Boxeo (CMB) ante Manny Pérez (25-11-1, 6 KO’s) de Denver, Colorado.

Estos seis guerreros tienen un record combinado de 158-16-2 (96 KO’s) – un porcentaje de victorias de 90% -- con una proporción de victorias por nocaut de 61%.

En una promoción de Top Rank®, en asociación con MP Promotions, el evento de campeonato mundial Pacquiao vs. Bradley se llevará a cabo el sábado, 9 de abril, en el MGM Grand Garden Arena en Las Vegas, Nevada. El evento será producido y distribuido en vivo por HBO Pay-Per-View®  comenzando a las 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Boletos restantes para el evento de campeonato mundial Pacquiao vs. Bradley a precios de: $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, sin incluir cargos aplicables por servicio. Para cargar por teléfono con tarjeta de crédito, llama a Ticketmaster al (800) 745-3000. Las taquillas también estarán disponibles para compra en mgmgrand.com o ticketmaster.com.  

Pata actualizaciones: www.TopRank.comwww.HBO.com/boxing o www.MGMgrand.com.

Utiliza el Hashtag #PacBradley para unirte a la conversación en Twitter.

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Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:33:43 -0600
Saucedo & Booth to Clash in Cali http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-saucedo-amp-booth-to-clash-in-cali/ LOS ANGELES – Two up and coming rising stars and outstanding prospects will battle in an intriguing match that promises a lot of action, when unbeaten Mexican prospect Alex ‘El Cholo’ Saucedo and the rugged American fighter Clarence ‘The Truth’ Booth clash in the February 13event that will take place at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City.  
 
Saucedo, a powerful Aztec puncher who has amassed an impeccable record of: 20-0 and 14 knockouts, will face the always-tough and well-trained Booth, who possesses a record of: 13-1 and 7 knockouts, in an eight round welterweight scrap in the main event of the ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ card that will be televised at 11pm ET/PT on UniMás.
 
“I feel very grateful with Top Rank for this big opportunity. I feel blessed. I know that this is a big opportunity for me and this could lead to getting bigger fights, but first I have to win this fight. I am more than ready. I know that I will fight in the main event and I feel very happy and motivated,” said Saucedo.
 
“I expect a great fight. I’m coming well prepared. We know that Booth is a tough fighter that likes to apply pressure. I also like to go forward, but I know that for this fight I have to use all my tools,” expressed the young fighter that was born in Meoqui, Chihuahua, México, and now resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
 
On the other hand, Booth also guarantees he will come out victorious.
 
“I’m going to make a statement. I’m ready for whatever he brings to the ring that night. No matter what it takes, I will get the W,” assured Booth. “I know he is a good fighter, but I’m on a mission. I have kids,” declared the fighter from Saint Petersburg, Florida.
 
“There will be a lot of action in this fight. I’m coming to wreck his ship,” affirmed the fighter that is riding an eleven-bout winning streak. “If his fans think that this will be a easy win for him, they will be very upset. I’m coming to take away all that he has. I’m going to take it all away,” finalized saying Booth.
 
In the co-main event of the card, undefeated prospect Andy ‘El Tiburón’ Vences (14-0, 10 KO’s), from San José, California, will face Mexico’s Yardley Suarez (14-1, 8 KO’s) in an eight-round bout in the super featherweight division.
 
These undefeated prospects will also see action in the card: welterweight Egidijus ‘The Mean Machine’ Kavaliuskas (11-0, 10 KO’s), light heavyweight Oleksandr ‘The Nail’ Gvozdyk (8-0, 6 KO’s), featherweight Toka Khan Clary (17-0, 11 KO’s), among others.
 
 
Presented by Top Rank in association with Bash Boxing, tickets to the February 13 ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ card at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, California, start at $40.00 and can be acquired on: www.ValleyFightNight.com or by calling (626) 388-8888.
 
Join the conversation in social media by using the hashtag #SoloBoxeo. For more information on this event, visit: www.TopRank.com and follow us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/trboxeo /www.Facebook.com/trboxing), Twitter: (www.Twitter.com/trboxeo / www.Twitter.com/trboxing) and Instagram (www.Instragram/trboxing).
 
#          #          #
 
For more Info (Media):
 
TOP RANK

Lee Samuels:  702-378-1083 / Lee@toprank.com
Gardy Lopez: 787-246-3668 / GLopez@toprank.com  
Fred Sternburg: 303-740-7746 / TooFred@aol.com


BASH BOXING

Steve Bash: (626) 388-8888 / steve@bashboxing.com
 
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Wed, 03 Feb 2016 22:45:03 -0600
Alex Saucedo y Clarence Booth batallarán el 13 de febrero en Studio City http://www.toprank.com/news/alex-saucedo-y-clarence-booth-batallaran-el-13-de-febrero-en-studio-city/ LOS ÁNGELES – Dos destacados prospectos y figuras en ascenso del boxeo mundial se enfrentarán un interesante combate que promete mucha acción, cuando choquen el invicto púgil mexicano Alex ‘El Cholo’ Saucedo y el fornido peleador estadounidense Clarence ‘The Truth’ Booth, en la función que se celebrará el sábado 13 de febrero en el Sportsman’s Lodge en Studio City.

Saucedo, un fuerte pegador azteca que ha logrado acumular una impecable marca de: 20-0 y 14 nocauts, se medirá al siempre difícil y bien entrenado Booth, quien posee foja de 13-1 y 7 nocauts, en un combate a ocho asaltos en la división peso welter, que será el evento estelar de la función ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ que será televisada de costa a costa en los Estados Unidos, el sábado 13 de febrero a las 11pm ET/PT por UniMás.

“Me siento bien agradecido con Top Rank por esta gran oportunidad. Me siento bendecido. Sé que esta es una gran oportunidad para mi para conseguir peleas grandes, pero primero hay que ganar esta pelea. Me siento más que listo. Como sé que voy a pelar de estelar me siento muy contento y motivado,” dijo Saucedo.

“Espero una gran pelea. Yo vengo muy bien preparado. Sabemos que Booth es un peleador fuerte, que le gusta poner presión. Yo también soy un peleador que me gusta ir hacia adelante, pero sé que para esta pelea también tengo que usar todas mis herramientas,” expresó el joven peleador natural de Meoqui, Chihuahua, México, y que ahora reside en Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Por su parte, Booth asegura que saldrá del combate con una victoria.

“Vengo a dar una gran demostración. Estoy preparado para lo que sea que el traiga al ring esa noche. No importa lo que se necesite, yo saldré con la victoria,” aseguró Booth. “Yo sé que el es un buen peleador, pero yo estoy en una misión. Yo tengo hijos,” declaró el peleador de Saint Petersburg, Florida.

“Habrá mucha acción en esta pelea. Voy a destruir su barco,” afirmó el peleador que carga con una racha de once victorias. “Si sus fanáticos piensan que esta será una victoria fácil para, van a quedar bien desilusionados. Yo vengo a quitarle todo lo que él tiene. Le voy a quitar todo,’ finalizó diciendo Booth.

En el combate co-estelar del cartel, el invicto prospecto Andy ‘El Tiburón’ Vences (14-0, 10 KO’s),  de San José, California, se medirá al mexicano Yardley Suarez en una pelea a ocho asaltos en la división súper pluma.

También estarán en acción en la cartelera los invictos prospectos: el peso welter ‘The Mean Machine’ Egidijus Kavaliuskas (11-0, 10 KO’s), el semi pesado Oleksandr ‘The Nail’ Gvozdyk (8-0, 6 KO’s), el súper pluma Toka Khan Clary (17-0, 11 KO’s), entre otros.

En una promoción de Top Rank en asociación con Bash Boxing, los boletos para el cartel ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ comienzan en $40.00 y pueden ser adquiridos en el sitio web www.ValleyFightNight.com o llamando al (626) 388-8888.

Únete a la conversación utilizando el hashtag #SoloBoxeo en las redes sociales. Para más información de este cartel visita: www.TopRank.com y síguenos en Facebook (www.Facebook.com/trboxeo / www.Facebook.com/trboxing), Twitter: (www.Twitter.com/trboxeo / www.Twitter.com/trboxing) e Instagram (www.Instagram.com/trboxing)

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Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:49:21 -0600
Super Bowl Predictions From the Pacquiao-Bradley Undercard http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-super-bowl-predictions-from-the-pacquiao-bradley-undercard/ LAS VEGAS, NV (February 3, 2016) -- Before they enter the ring for their super brawls, World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight world champion ARTHUR ABRAHAM, undefeated contenders GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMIREZ,ÓSCAR VALDEZ and JOSE RAMÍREZ, former world champion EVGENY GRADOVICH, and dangerous veteran MANNY PEREZ  took time out to make predictions on Super Bowl 50, which will pit the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, February 7.  The six fighters will be featured in title fights on the Manny Pacquiao - Timothy Bradley world welterweight championship pay-per-view undercard, Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.  Abraham vs. Gilberto Ramirez will be co-promoted by Sauerland Event and Zapari Boxing Promotions.

THE PREDICTIONS

ARTHUR ABRAHAM

“I like the Denver Broncos‘ chances to win Super Bowl 50, I like them a lot!  Peyton Manning is one of the all-time greats, the oldest quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl berth.  With his experience in clutch-time situations, he cannot be denied winning his third championship ring. I n addition, the Broncos have had THE best defense all season long, knowing how to penetrate the opposing team for errors.  That could be compared to my style of boxing.   And nine out of 10 times, a good defense beats a good offense in championships.  Watch the Broncos prevail 24 - 17 against Cam Newton’s Panthers.”

 

GILBERTO RAMIREZ

"The Panthers have an explosive offense and a very strong defense.  Carolina 28 to 21."

 

ÓSCAR VALDEZ

"Panthers 30-10 because Denver beat my favorite team, the New England Patriots." 

 

EVGENY GRADOVICH

"It's all about the defense as Carolina will quickly find out.  Denver Broncos 28-21"

 

JOSE RAMÍREZ

"Panthers because of their momentum.  Their confidence as a team and their Quarterback, "Super" Cam Newton, started strong during the season and seem to get stronger.  Final score will be Carolina 24-17".

MANNY PEREZ

"No. 1 Defense vs. No. 1 Offense.  Defense wins games.  Denver Broncos 24 to 10."

Gilberto Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan, Mexico, the WBO No. 1 super middleweight contender and mandatory challenger, will get his first world title shot when he challenges two-division world champion Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs), of Berlin Germany.  Valdez (19-0, 16 KOs), of Nogales, Mexico, the WBO's No. 1 featherweight contender, will defend his NABO featherweight title against former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Gradovich (21-1-1, 9 KOs), a Russian native who lives in Oxnard, Calif.  Jose Ramírez (16-0, 12 KOs), of Avenal, Calif., and a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental America super lightweight title against Perez (25-11-1, 6 KOs), of Denver, CO.

These six warriors boast a combined record of 158-16-2 (96 KOs) -- a winning percentage of 90% -- with a victory by knockout ratio of 61%.

 

********************

 

            Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), of General Santos City, Philippines, boxing's only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, collides with five-time world champion Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif., in a 12-round world welterweight championship battle. 

 

            Remaining Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event are priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, not including applicable service fees.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets are also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com or ticketmaster.com.  

 

            For fight updates go to toprank.comhbo.com/boxing or  mgmgrand.com,  on Facebook atfacebook.com/trboxing,, facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing,twitter.com/trboxeo, or twitter.com/hboboxing.  Use the Hashtags #PacBradley to join the conversation on Twitter.

 

#          #          #

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (Media):

 

TOP RANK

Lee Samuels/Bradley:  702-732-2717 / Lee@toprank.com

Gardy Lopez: 787-246-3668 / GLopez@toprank.com  

Fred Sternburg/Pacquiao: 303-740-7746 / TooFred@aol.com

Ricardo Jimenez/Valdez:  909-615-3436 / ricardoej@aol.com 

Thomas Schlabe /Abraham:  +49-30-301297-18 / t.schlabe@se-box.de  

Ed Keenan:  609-399-1330 / Keenan@emcevents.com

 

HBO

Kevin Flaherty:  212-512-5052 / kevin.flaherty@hbo.com         

Patrick Byrne: 212-512-1361 / patrick.byrne@hbo.com  

 

MGM Resorts International

Scott Ghertner:  702-692-6750 / sghertner@mgmresorts.com

 

CREDENTIALS:

www.MagnaMedia.com 

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Wed, 03 Feb 2016 14:12:23 -0600
Hart to Headline in Native Philly http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-hart-to-headline-in-native-philly/ Philadelphia, PASuper middleweight Jesse Hart brings his boxing skills back home for the first time in 15 months when he defends his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) title against Dashon Johnson, of Escondido, CA, in the scheduled 10-round main event Friday evening, March 18, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.  First of seven fights is at 7 p.m.

Hart, 26, is the son of former Philly middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, whose legendary left hook terrorized the 160-pound division in the 1970s.

The younger Hart (left), a pro since 2012, is 19-0, 16 K0s.  He is ranked No. 3 in the world among 168-pounders by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), No. 8 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No.10 by the World Boxing Association (WBA).

“I’m beyond excited to be fighting in my first main event in front of my home town fans,” Hart said.  “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Hart last boxed in Philadelphia on Dec. 13, 2014, when he knocked out Colombian Samuel Miller in two rounds at the 2300 Arena.

In three subsequent fights in 2015—two in Las Vegas, NV, one in Tucson, AZ--Hart scored knockouts over Mike Jimenez, of Chicago, IL, Aaron Pryor, Jr., of Cincinnati, OH, and Andrik Saralegui, of Tijuana, Mexico.

Hart won the vacant NABO super middleweight title by beating Jimenez and he defended it against Pryor.

Johnson (right), 28, has turned his career around by winning his last  four fights, including an eighth-round stoppage of one-time conqueror Mike Gavronski in Gavronski’s Tacoma, WA, backyard last November. He followed that upset with another one in his last fight Jan. 15, when he earned a 10-round decision over Izaak Cardona, of Colorado Springs, CO, also in Tacoma, WA.

“I’m ready and I’m excited,” Johnson said.  “We took a different and more difficult route to get here but we’re here now.  I hope the 2300 Arena in packed because somebody is going to sleep.”

A pro since 2008, Johnson is 19-18-3, 6 K0s, but his record was compiled against some of the best from 154 to 168:  Aaron Martinez, Glen Tapia, Jermell Charlo, Yudell Johnson, Julian Williams, Joshua Clottey, Dominic Wade and Luis Arias.  He has boxed 10 men who were undefeated when he fought them and he has only been stopped twice in 41 fights.

The preliminary card will feature popular local favorites:  lightweight Victor Vasquez; junior middleweight Ismael “Tito” Garcia; lightweight Jerome Conquest; junior middleweight Fred Jenkins, Jr., junior welterweight Scott Kelleher.

ABOUT MARCH 18

The Jesse Hart-Dashon Johnson Homecoming Fight headlines a seven-bout card at the 2300 Arena, located at 2300 South Swanson Street in South Philadelphia (between Ritner & Porter, Front and 2d Streets).  The March 18 fight is being sponsored by Parx Casino. Doors open at 6 pm; first fight at 7pm.  Tickets are $40, $50 and $75 and can be purchased by calling Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and Wanamaker’s Tickets (215-568-2400).  Tickets also can be purchased online at www.wanatix.com.  The March 18 card is promoted by Top Rank, Peltz Boxing, Joe Hand Promotions and BAM Boxing.

                                                  #        #        #

For press credentials, contact Bam Rogers:  (215-280-6709)

Press request deadline is Friday, March 11, 2016

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Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:34:33 -0600
Félix Verdejo y Monica Puig protagonizan nuevo anuncio de la marca Dodge http://www.toprank.com/news/felix-verdejo-y-monica-puig-protagonizan-nuevo-anuncio-de-la-marca-dodge-1/

El boxeador puertorriqueño Félix “El Diamante” Verdejo y la tenista boricua Monica Puig presentaron el anuncio de la nueva campaña publicitaria de la marca Dodge.

La ejecución 'Creados para Vencer', muestra cómo los campeones entrenan y se preparan para vencer a sus oponentes. Mientras que se muestran imágenes de los vehículos que componen la gama de vehículos Dodge.

Para motivar a los niños de la YMCA de San Juan a practicar deportes y a luchar por sus sueños, el boxeador  Félix  “El Diamante” Verdejo y la tenista Mónica Puig asistieron a una clase de educación física, en la que entrenaron con los niños. Ambos deportistas compartieron con los niños entre las edades de cuatro a cinco años, los movimientos básicos y ejercicios que realizan en sus respectivos deportes.

“El éxito que ambos deportistas han tenido a temprana edad, ha sido el resultado de mucho esfuerzo y preparación. Lograr estas hazañas y poner el nombre de Puerto Rico en alto, ha requerido mucho sacrificio y entrenamiento. Estos jóvenes han sido Creados para Vencer y esto es lo que resaltamos en este nuevo anuncio”, indicó, Ricardo García, gerente general de Chrysler Puerto Rico.

El comercial de 30 segundos comenzará a transmitirse próximamente en los principales canales del país, y debutará durante la transmisión del Superbowl. El anuncio, creado por la casa productora Praxxis y por la agencia de publicidad 29 de Febrero, podrá verse también en la página www.dodgepr.com.

Mónica Puig viajó unos días antes de comenzar su participación en el torneo Fed Cup, para asistir a la presentación del anuncio y compartir con los niños de la YMCA. Mientras que Félix Verdejo, tomó unas horas de su entrenamiento para su próxima pelea en Nueva York para hacer lo mismo.

En el 2014, la joven tenista Mónica Puig se unió a Chrysler como su nueva imagen. Mientras que en abril del 2015 el boxeador Félix Verdejo anunció su alianza con Dodge para ser parte de los esfuerzos promocionales de la marca.

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Sat, 30 Jan 2016 14:55:57 -0600
Hall of Famer Rates Pacquiao-Bradley "Terrific" http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-hall-of-famer-rates-pacquiao-bradley-quotterrificquot/ Don Chargin’s nickname is “War a Week,” a well-earned label from his heydays of matchmaking in Los Angeles at the Olympic Auditorium.  That was bestowed upon him by no less than the last person to create any semblance of original radio sports programing, Jim Healy.

Chargin doesn’t put on a war a week anymore.  Nowhere near that.  Closer to 20 shows last year, most in Northern California.

But if you think he has slowed down, think again.  He may be about to turn 88 in June, but he still knows the sport like few others and loves it when a good fight is on the horizon.  Which is exactly what he calls the upcoming Manny Pacquiao -Tim Bradley battle,  April 9, in Las Vegas.

To some, that might be a surprise.In the minds and hearts of many, Chargin is one of the true learned men of the sport, a boxing Socrates.  When he speaks his mind, he has given it much thought before opening his mouth.  He speaks his mind.  If he thinks a fight is a dog, he barks that without fear of reprisal.  When you have been in the game since 1951, were inducted into boxing’s Hall of Fame 15 years ago, and have promoted close to 150 world title fights, the sport listens.  As it should.

In this case, it listens, even though the initial overwhelming impression of the Pacquiao - Bradleymatchup was lots of frowns and rolled eyes.  They have fought twice before.  Bradley won the first one in a controversial decision and Pacquiao the second in a dominating performance.  That has been Bradley’s only loss.   

“I was like a lot of people,” Chargin says.  “At first, when I heard about it, I thought it would be just another fight.  But the more I thought about it, the more I saw lots of storylines.  And that’s what drives a promotion.”

Chargin said he can see that Pacquiao badly wants to be a Philippine senator or, even in the not-too-distant future, the country’s president.  That means this fight doubles as a boxing match and unprecedented political exposure.  Who will get bigger headlines in the month of April in the Philippines -- any old Senate candidate or an international boxing star, about to fight again?

“He wants to go out on a high, to finish right,” Chargin said, knowing full well that that sort of high is not only worth the $20 million Pacquiao will be paid for the fight, but countless numbers of votes.  Pacquiao has only until May 9 to do the usual political campaigning for his Philippine Senate seat.  But whatever might be lost in the absence of on-site speech-making could be more than made up by spectacular left hooks and a real Philippine nationalistic show on April 9.

That doesn’t mean that Bradley will be a willing political pawn.  Chargin sees reason for him, too, to be an inspired fighter on that Las Vegas Saturday night.

“Bradley is pumped,” Chargin said.  “He’s been that way ever since he hired Teddy Atlas to train him for his last fight.  He is a different fighter.  He is buying into everything Teddy is telling him and he wants to please him.

“As a matter of fact, it seems like every fighter that Teddy has wants to please him.  That’s a real skill.”

Chargin said that too much is at stake for this to be a slow-starting fight, the kind that can develop into a never-starting fight.

“There is too much at stake for both of them,” Chargin said.  “Both guys will want to get off fast, and get out to a lead.”

During an interview, Chargin even upgraded his initial assessment of the fight from “good” to “terrific.”

“My first impression was that this was just a fight,” he said.  “But I think Bob may have made himself quite a fight.”

Bob Arum is the chief executive of Top Rank, the  promoter of the fight.

Chargin also saw Pacquiao-Bradley as an extension of the embarrassing Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, which made a lot of money, but left a lot of boxing fans angry.  Mayweather won that one in a solid decision and Pacquiao revealed afterward that he had reinjured his right shoulder in the fourth round, severely limiting his chances.

“That one was terrible,” Chargin said, “but I don’t see this one as another boring disaster.”

Chargin also said he thought it would be a mistake for Pacquiao, even with an impressive performance, to hang around and wait for a rematch with Mayweather.

“I think people will remember the first fight for a long time,” Chargin said, “and all this talk about it being another huge money maker won’t be the case.”

Chargin said he probably will attend the fight now, after initially thinking it wouldn’t be much to miss. He lives in the central California coast town of Cambria, swims every day, and has slowed down much less than others at his age in any comparable profession.

“I feel good,” he said, “but then, it’s good, at my age, just to be able to feel.”

 

#          #          #

 

* This column was not subject to the approval of Top Rank.  Any editorial usage of all or part of this column is welcome but must include credit to Bill Dwyre.

 

Bill Dwyre will be writing a series of weekly columns  on the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event.  Bill was sports editor of The Los Angeles Times for 25 years, ending in 2006.  He was a sports columnist for 9 1/2 years at The Times, ending Nov. 25 with his retirement.  Boxing was among his most frequent column topics.  Bill can be contacted at BillPatDwyre@gmail.com or via Twitter at @BillDwyre.

 

****************************

 

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will take place on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

 

Remaining Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley are priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, not including applicable service fees.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com or ticketmaster.com.  

 

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Sat, 30 Jan 2016 13:09:23 -0600
Gilberto Ramirez Gets 1st Title Shot Against Abraham http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-gilberto-ramirez-gets-1st-title-shot-against-abraham/ LOS ANGELES (January 28, 2016) -- Undefeated contenders GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMIREZÓSCAR VALDEZ and JOSE RAMÍREZ, former world champion EVGENY GRADOVICH and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum will host a Los Angeles press conference luncheon on Wednesday, February 10, at The Conga Room, located at LA Live (800 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90015.)  The participants will be announcing their championship fights on the Manny Pacquiao - Timothy Bradley pay-per-view undercard.  Luncheon will be served at Noon with the press conference beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT. 

Gilberto Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan, Mexico, co-promoted by Zapari Boxing Promotions, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 1 super middleweight contender and mandatory challenger, will get his first world title shot when he challenges WBO super middleweight champion ARTHUR ABRAHAM(44-4, 29 KOs), of Berlin Germany.  Valdez (19-0, 16 KOs), of Nogales, Mexico, the WBO's No. 1 featherweight contender, will defend his NABO featherweight title against former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Gradovich (21-1-1, 9 KOs), a Russian native who lives in Oxnard, Calif.  Jose Ramírez (16-0, 12 KOs), of Avenal, Calif., and a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental America super lightweight title against MANNY PEREZ (25-11-1, 6 KOs), of Denver, CO.

These six warriors boast a combined record of 158-16-2 (96 KOs) -- a winning percentage of 90% -- with a victory by knockout ratio of 61%.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will take place on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Remaining Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event are priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, not including applicable service fees.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets are also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com orticketmaster.com.  

For fight updates go to www.toprank.comwww.hbo.com/boxing or  www.mgmgrand.com  on Facebook at  facebook.com/trboxing,  facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter attwitter.com/trboxingtwitter.com/trboxeo, or twitter.com/hboboxing.  Use the Hashtag #PacBradley to join the conversation on Twitter.

#          #          #

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (Media):

 

TOP RANK

Lee Samuels/Bradley:  702-732-2717 / Lee@toprank.com

Gardy Lopez::  787-246-3668 / GLopez@toprank.com

Fred Sternburg/Pacquiao: 303-740-7746 / TooFred@aol.com

Ricardo Jimenez/Valdez:  909-615-3436 / ricardoej@aol.com  

Ed Keenan:  609-399-1330 / Keenan@emcevents.com

 

HBO Pay-Per-View

Kevin Flaherty:  212-512-5052 / kevin.flaherty@hbo.com        

Patrick Byrne: 212-512-1361 / patrick.byrne@hbo.com  

 

MGM Resorts International

Scott Ghertner:  702-692-6750 / sghertner@mgmresorts.com

 

CREDENTIALS:

www.MagnaMedia.com

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Fri, 29 Jan 2016 16:36:58 -0600
PACQUIAO & BRADLEY: Listos para cumplir con sus promesas de campaña http://www.toprank.com/news/pacquiao-amp-bradley-listos-para-cumplir-con-sus-promesas-de-campana/ Sostuvieron la promoción en la costa este para el combate MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO TIMOTHY "Desert Storm" BRADLEY JR.  Entre las revelaciones que podían detener las prensas estuvo que no hay villanos en esta pelea.

Leo Durocher decía que los tipos Buenos terminan últimos. Nunca consideró que ellos pelearían entre si.

Este tipo de cosas podría arruinar el deporte. Pero, en esta, ese tipo de esqueletos en el closet han sido permanentes encerrados, o nunca existieron. Se puso tan mal (bien) la cosa durante la conferencia de prensa, luego de que Pacquiao y Bradley hicieran la usual pose cara a cara para los fotógrafos -- ¿Hay alguien que todavía utilice estas cosas? – se despidieron dándose la mano y sonriendo.

Mike Tyson, quien una vez le arrancó de un mordisco parte de la oreja de uno de sus oponentes, estaría revolviéndose en su tumba, por no ser que aún sigue vivo. Floyd Mayweather Jr., si hubiese visto esto, hubiese ido afuera y le hubiese pegado con un bate de pelota a un árbol.

¿Dónde estaban los insultos? ¿Dónde estaban los sobrenombres, la testosterona fuera de control, la tensión actuada para vender taquillas? ¿Era esta un promoción de boxeo o de un convento? En los viejos tiempos, antes de que George Foreman conociera a Dios, este tipo de promoción lo hubiese llevado a pegarle al saco o a vomitar.

A decir verdad, la mejor y más justa manera de describir lo que sucederá el 9 de abril en Las Vegas es tirar por la borda el cliché de: Es lo que es. Estas son dos personas decentes, quienes también son tremendos boxeadores.

Pacquiao es un congresista de Filipinas, quien es universalmente conocido por su generosidad. Dijo el jefe ejecutivo de Top Rank, Bob Arum, “La mayoría de los políticos quitan, quitan, quitan. Manny da, da, da.”

Bradley es un campeón un mundial que ha sido derrotado solo una vez y que fue descrito por Arum como, “una gran persona, quien seguirá peleando por su familia y por la gente de este país.”

Claro, esa es la hipérbole de un promotor. En este caso, también es preciso. La única esperanza es contratar a Mayweather Jr. para que venga a un día de prensa especial y comience a lanzar insultos. Dicen que él no está ocupado.

La conferencia de prensa en la costa este fue en ‘El Teatro’ del Madison Square Garden. El MSG simboliza al boxeo como una arena, y Arum no dejó pasar el chance para señalarlo. La conferencia de prensa en la costa oeste fue en Beverly Hills. Los eventos fueron casi lo mismo. El mismo mensaje. Mejor comida en Beverly Hills.

Faltan varias semanas hasta el día de la pelea. Incluyendo el siempre presente tema de buen tipo contra buen tipo, las historias han sido establecidas y no parece que cambiarán mucho. Eso comienza con los boxeadores.

Bradley: “Solo tengo una fecha en mi calendario, el 9 de abril.”

Pacquiao, aún con su promesa de retiro dijo: “Luego de esta peleas, si me quieren ver, vengan a Filipinas. Es un buen lugar para vacaciones.”

Entre los puntos de discusión que se trabajarán en los próximos meses está:

• ¿Es esta una pelea de salida comoda para Pacquiao, o es Bradley diferente y mejorado ahora, y si es así, traerá eso el tipo de competencia que Pacquiao está buscando para despedirse de la manera correcta.

• ¿Está el hombro derecho de Pacquiao, que fue quirúrgicamente reparado y que aparentemente le costó cualquier tipo de victoria ante Mayweather, completamente sanado?

• ¿Una victoria de Bradley lo convertiría en la nueva estrella de Top Rank, con la salida de Pacquiao? ¿O se irá Pacquiao si él pierde?

• ¿Si Bradley es el nuevo ganador de dinero de Top Rank, como Arum lo hará pelear con su amigo y estrella en ascenso TERENCE "Bud" CRAWFORD, a quien Bradley dice que no enfrentará? (La respuesta preliminar de Arum: “Le haré una oferta que él no pueda rechazar.”).

• ¿Una impresionante victoria de Pacquiao podría sacar a Mayweather del retiro por un chance de alcanzar el preciado record de 50-0?

• ¿Es eso lo que Mayweather ha estado deseando todo este tiempo, para que él pueda ser la estrella de deportes que abra la nueva T-Mobile Arena?

• ¿Se merece el entrenador de Bradley, Teddy Atlas, el crédito por la impresionante victoria de Bradley sobre Brandon Ríos, o simplemente Ríos estaba fuera de forma y no muy motivado para Bradley?

• ¿Puede Arum utilizar, con cualquier tipo de éxito, su plataforma de boxeo para influenciar algunos votos presidenciales? En cada oportunidad, el inclinado a liberal Arum se refiere a las peleas preliminares como las ‘preliminares Donald Trump’, y dice, ya que esas preliminares incluyen a muchos hispanos, que su deseo es que ninguno de ellos pueda ser deportado por The Donald.

• ¿Ha tomado Arum inteligentemente la ventaja de otras peleas en los primeros meses del año al hacer que esta promoción suene tanto tan temprano y con tanta visibilidad que algunos como Canelo Alvarez y Gennady Golovkin,  si logran hacer peleas, estarán jugando en desventaja?

La pelea no será juego de moralidad. Necesitas a un tipo malo para eso. ¿Pero, podrán el público deportivo, quienes parecen gravitar más hacia los choques de Nascar y gente peleando descalza en jaulas, conectar con la pequeña Annie contra Madre Teresa?

En la conferencia de prensa, Atlas le dio al publico la razón para hacerlo, al relacionar muy bien a nuestro corriente estado hipnótico sobre política.

“Estos peleadores,” dijo él, “siempre han cumplido con sus promesas de campaña.”   

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Thu, 28 Jan 2016 19:56:14 -0600
José Félix Jr. quiere demostrar que está listo para disputar un título mundial http://www.toprank.com/news/jose-felix-jr-quiere-demostrar-que-esta-listo-para-disputar-un-titulo-mundial/ LOS ÁNGELES - El contendiente mundial y figura en ascenso del boxeo mexicano, José ‘Josesito’ Félix Jr. sabe que su oportunidad de disputar un campeonato del mundo está muy cerca, es por eso que el peleador natural de Los Mochis, Sinaloa, se sacrificó entrenando durante las fiestas navideñas y realizó los ajustes a su preparación que creyó necesarios de cara al compromiso que tiene sobre el ensogado este sábado, 30 de enero, en la ciudad de Burbank.

Félix Jr., quien posee marca de 32-1-1 y 25 nocauts, arriesgará su racha de victorias y su posición en las clasificaciones mundiales ante el filipino Ricky Sismundo (30-8-2, 13 KO’s) en un combate a diez asaltos en el peso ligero que será en el evento estelar de la función ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ que será televisada este sábado a las 11pm ET/PT por UniMás y que se llevará a cabo en el Marriott Convention Center de Burbank.

“No tuve fiestas, me sacrifiqué entrenando durante las navidades y sé que los resultados se verán este sábado en el ring” aseguró Félix Jr. “Hicimos algunos cambios en mi preparación física para esta pelea. Hice menos trabajo de pecho y nos enfocamos más en fortalecer las piernas. Lo que buscamos con esto es más rapidez y poder lanzar combinaciones largas,” reveló el joven púgil azteca.

‘Josesito’ ha logrado cinco triunfos en línea, siendo tres de ellos por la vía del cloroformo y ante oposición de calidad, desde el primer y único revés de su carrera, cuando cayó en abril del 2014 en una cerrada decisión ante el costarricense Bryan Vázquez.

Por su parte,  Sismundo también entra al combate ante Félix Jr. con una racha ganadora. El filipino ha ganado cuatro de sus últimos cinco encuentros.

En el combate coestelar del cartel, el invicto prospecto Arnold Barbosa Jr. (9-0, 3 KO’s), de Los Ángeles, California, enfrentará a Robbie Cannon (15-11-2, 7 KO’s), de Festus, Missouri, en una pelea a seis asaltos en el peso súperligero.

Además, el campeón Olímpico e invicto prospecto ruso Egor Mekhontsev (10-0, 7 KO’s), se medirá al mexicano Felipe Romero (15-10-1, 9 KO’s) en un combate a ocho asaltos en la división de los semipesados.

En una promoción de Top Rank en asociación con Bash Boxing,  los boletos para el cartel ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ pueden ser adquiridos en el sitio web www.ValleyFightNight.com o llamando al (626) 388-8888.

Únete a la conversación utilizando el hashtag #SoloBoxeo en las redes sociales. Para más información de este cartel visita: www.TopRank.com y síguenos en Facebook (www.Facebook.com/trboxeo / www.Facebook.com/trboxing), Twitter: (www.Twitter.com/trboxeo / www.Twitter.com/trboxing) e Instagram (www.Instragram/trboxing).

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Thu, 28 Jan 2016 16:37:34 -0600
Pacquiao, Bradley & More Give Super Bowl Predictions http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-pacquiao-bradley-amp-more-give-super-bowl-predictions/  LAS VEGAS, NV (January 28, 2016) -- Before they enter the ring for their super brawls, MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAOTIMOTHY "Desert Storm" BRADLEY JR.,  TERENCE "Bud" CRAWFORDand FELIX "El Diamante" VERDEJO, who are headlining upcoming world championship events, took time out to make predictions on Super Bowl 50, which will pit the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers on February 7.  Also adding their two cents were trainers World-Famous FREDDIE ROACHand TEDDY ATLAS, who will be facing each other from opposing corners for the first time, with Pacquiao and Bradley, respectively, Top-10 contender "Hammerin'" HANK LUNDY and undefeated Brazilian buzz saw WILLIAM "Baby Face" SILVAthe respective opponents of Crawford and Verdejo.

THE PREDICTIONS

Manny_podium  

MANNY PACQUIAO

"Peyton Manning is a great competitor and with the possibility that this could be his last game I think he will be an inspiration to the Broncos to win and to end Peyton's career as a world champion.  He is certainly an inspiration to me."

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TIM BRADLEY

"It's very clear to me -- Carolina Panthers 31-27."

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FREDDIE ROACH

"I'm going with the Broncos because Peyton Manning, like Manny Pacquiao, has racked up all the records and the victories against superior opposition.  Champions like Manning and Pacquiao know only one way to go out in their last rodeo and that's on top.  It's Manningfest Destiny."

teddy_atlas  

TEDDY ATLAS

"It is Cam Newton's time as I believe it is Tim Bradley's and that is why Newton will win a Super Bowl and Bradley, a super championship, while Peyton Manning and Manny Pacquiao both retire after great careers."

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TERENCE CRAWFORD

"I don't know what the score will be but the Carolina Panthers are the better team.  One big reason is that they have Cam Newton as quarterback."

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HANK LUNDY

"I'm not really into it that much because I've got my own Super Bowl to worry about on February 27th and I'm coming to win the championship.  I like Peyton Manning a lot, but I think Cam Newton is going to take care of business.  Panthers 21-14."

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FELIX VERDEJO

"I'm going to pick the Carolina Panthers to win the Super Bowl this year.  They are the better team"

WILLIAM SILVA

"I'm from Brasil so I do not get to see a lot of American football, but I think the Panthers will be the better team on Super Bowl day based upon their performances in past games.  As far as the score, I think it will be the Panthers with three touchdowns to the  Broncos' one touchdown."   

********************

            Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), of General Santos City, Philippines, boxing's only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, collides with five-time world champion Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif., in a 12-round world welterweight championship battle.  Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, Pacquiao vs. Bradley will take place Saturday, April, 9, at theMGM Grand Garden Arena.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

 

            Crawford (27-0, 19 KOs), of Omaha, the 2014 Fighter of the Year and a two-division world champion, will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight world title against Top-10 contender Lundy (26-5-1, 13 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA.  Verdejo (19-0, 14 KOs), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be risking his WBO Latino lightweight title, Top-Five world ranking and his impending world title shot when he takes on Silva (23-0, 14 KOs), of São Paulo, Brasil, in a battle of undefeated contenders.     Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Tecate, Classic Entertainment & Sports (CES), Diamante Promotions and Madison Square Garden, the Crawford/Verdejo championship doubleheader will take place on Saturday, February 27, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.  Both fights will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.          

 

            For fight updates go to toprank.comhbo.com/boxing or  mgmgrand.com,  on Facebook atfacebook.com/trboxing,, facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter attwitter.com/trboxingtwitter.com/trboxeo, or twitter.com/hboboxing.  Use the Hashtags #PacBradley, #CrawfordLundy or #VerdejoSilva to join the conversation on Twitter.

 

#          #          #

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (Media):

 

TOP RANK

Lee Samuels/Bradley & Crawford:  702-732-2717 / Lee@toprank.com

Gardy Lopez / Verdejo: 787-246-3668 / GLopez@toprank.com  

Fred Sternburg/Pacquiao: 303-740-7746 / TooFred@aol.com

Ed Keenan:  609-399-1330 / Keenan@emcevents.com

 

CES

Michael Parente/Lundy: 401-263-4990 / michaelparente@gmail.com

 

HBO

Kevin Flaherty:  212-512-5052 / kevin.flaherty@hbo.com         

Patrick Byrne: 212-512-1361 / patrick.byrne@hbo.com  

 

MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

Larry Torres:  212-631-5178 / Larry.Torres@msg.com   

 

MGM Resorts International

Scott Ghertner:  702-692-6750 / sghertner@mgmresorts.com

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Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:28:30 -0600
Valdez Faces Gradovich April 9th http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-valdez-faces-gradovich-april-9th/ For world-ranked Oscar Valdez, last year was a very successful and satisfying year. But now the two-time Mexican Olympian is pointing to 2016 as the most important year of his professional career, as he sets on the road to become a world champion.

“Last year was a big one for my career, but I am now looking at 2016 as my year. I know everything I worked for the last few years is within my grasp. And I will continue to work very hard to reach my goal of becoming a world champion,” said Valdez, who is managed by Frank Espinoza of Espinoza Boxing.

In 2015, Valdez won his four fights, appeared on HBO and truTV, and closed the year with two sensational knockouts over Chris Avalos in September in Las Vegas and over Ernie Sanchez in December in Tucson, Arizona.

“The win over Avalos was very important, because as a former world title challenger, he was my toughest test to date. And the win over Sanchez was very special, because for me, Tucson is my second home, and I was happy to fight there and be able to give the fans a good fight,” said Valdez, who lived in Tucson for 10 years as a child.

After his tremendous year, Valdez was invited to the “Premios Univision Deportes” and was able to do various shows in the Miami area. After the spending the holidays with his family in Sonora, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, the Mexican contender started the year with a media tour in Mexico City.

In Mexico City, Valdez visited top newspapers, like Esto, Record and Milenio. He also visited the TV Azteca Studios for some promotional work, as well as appearing in various TV shows in the national network and was a guest in the ESPNdeportes show “Golpe a Golpe,” which is hosted by Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.

“It was great to talk and spend some time with the Mexican media. I was also able to speak with Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Cesar Chavez, who gave me some very important and sound advice on my career,” said Valdez, who also visited with the boxers who are going to represent Mexico in the Olympic Games in Brazil this summer.

While in Mexico, Valdez received the news about his upcoming fight on April 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada against former world champion Evgeny Gradovich. The fight will be on the undercard of the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley.

“When I got the news, I got very excited. It’s a very difficult fight against a former world champion, but I am ready to show everyone what I am capable of doing. I think our styles are perfect for each other and will make for a very entertaining fight,” said Valdez.

Valdez has returned to Southern California and will once again be training for this fight at Rock Gym in Carson, California under the tutelage of Manny Robles.

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Wed, 27 Jan 2016 13:29:31 -0600
Freddie Roach Harkens Back to De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao & the Making of a Superstar http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-freddie-roach-harkens-back-to-de-la-hoya-vs-pacquiao-amp-the-making-of-a-superstar/ It was just before a news conference in New York City last week, and Freddie Roach had that glint in his eye. If you write about boxing, the moment you see the glint, you look to the heavens in gratitude.

Roach was about to tell a story.  They aren’t all great, just 99% of them.  A Roach story is like the Super Bowl -- much anticipated and not to be missed.

MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO will fight TIMOTHY "Desert Storm" BRADLEY JR.  April 9 in Las Vegas. That’s why we were all gathered in the Big Apple.  The hype had begun.

Roach’s story had nothing to do with the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.  And everything.

A fascination in every major fight is how it gets put together.  Who has the final say?  Who gives it the last push to get it to the ring?  Who has the most influence, real veto power, besides the boxers themselves, the cable networks and the boxers’ promoters -- in this case, Top Rank’s Bob Arum.

In the case of Pacquiao, obviously high on that list is Roach, who has trained him to eight weight-division world titles and, in essence, into boxing history.  Roach and Pacquiao are as close to father and son as real fathers and sons.

“We’ve lasted longer than most marriages,” Roach jokes.

You can bet Roach gave his nod to the Bradley match, a rubber match in their three-bout series, which will likely bring an end to Pacquiao’s long and illustrious career, no matter what the outcome.  The right opponent for the right kind of going-away party is important for the boxing Philippine congressman, who soon will be, in all likelihood, the former boxing Philippine senator.

Roach is fine with this one.  But let us harken back to the summer of 2008, when they were trying to make a blockbuster fight between Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya.  Roach wasn’t fine with that one.

“I didn’t want it, couldn’t see it,” Roach said.  “I just said no.  No way.”

His reasoning was the same as that of most fight experts.  De La Hoya, while aging and declining a bit, was still one of the greats of an era and was simply too big a man for Pacquiao to face.  Pacquiao had started his career in fights for boxers 106 pounds and now, in his prime, had trouble getting to up to weights even as much as 140.  De La Hoya fought several times at 154 and even went to 160 for Bernard Hopkins.

Writers made David and Goliath comparisons, and few seemed to think David would have an effective slingshot this time.  One pre-match writers’ poll of a couple dozen allegedly knowledgeable scribes showed only two picking Pacquiao to win -- this one and Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review Journal.  Graney actually knows what he is talking about.  In the week before the fight, our peers were careful not to be seen in our company.  That was driven either by embarrassment for us, or the fear of guilt by association.

Little did any of us know at the time why Roach hadn’t nixed the fight, even though he had been outspoken against it for a long time.

Roach had been De La Hoya’s trainer only once, in the May 5, 2007 match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.  They were to train for eight weeks in Puerto Rico, where De La Hoya had a home and where his wife was a star singer.

“I needed sparring partners,” Roach says. “Some were coming in from Philadelphia, but they were late arriving. I ran into Ivan Calderon.  He is from Puerto Rico and was the 106-pound world champ.  I told him about my sparring-partner problem and he says, ‘I’ll spar with De La Hoya.’ ”

Roach says he told Calderon that was silly.  De La Hoya was too big.  Calderon might get hurt.  But Calderon was a left-hander, as Pacquiao is, and was also lightning fast, like Pacquiao.  Maybe there would be some value, Roach reasoned.

“He kept insisting,” Roach says.  “And I needed somebody, so I finally let him, even though I was afraid he’d get killed.”

So what happened?  According to Roach, Calderon “beat up” De La Hoya three days in a row.

Roach says he remembered thinking that was “the first sign” that De La Hoya’s boxing skills, once unmatched by anybody, were fading.  But he kind of filed it away, did the training job he was being paid to do and felt good about his work, even though De La Hoya lost to Mayweather.

“I felt good for about one day,” Roach says. “I got fired the next day.”

Flash forward a year or so, when the talk was about Pacquiao-De La Hoya.  Broadcaster Larry Merchant had floated the idea first, and the boxing world buzzed. Roach resisted, never losing the thought that De La Hoya was just too big.

“And then,” Roach says, “I woke up in the middle of the night one night, and there it was. Ivan Calderon.”

It was a bolt of lightning.  It was all right there.  Calderon was a lefty.  He had shown he was faster than De La Hoya, handling him in sparring, even though he was 50 pounds lighter.

“The next day,” Roach says, “I called up and said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s do it.’ “

And so they did, on Dec. 6, 2008.  And Pacquiao, who had won the lightweight title in his last fight, moved up two weight classes and won convincingly.  De La Hoya quit in a later round, after taking a beating from the much smaller Pacquiao, whose trainer, Roach, had predicted exactly that outcome, telling anybody who chose to listen that De La Hoya was done.

It was a shocking, dramatic ending, not only to the fight, but to De La Hoya’s Golden Boy career.  Shortly after stopping the fight, De La Hoya walked across the ring to Roach and said, “You were right, Freddie.  I don’t have it anymore.”

Pacquiao’s victory that night vaulted him from rising star to established superstar.  We can only wonder if Calderon ever got a thank-you note.

#          #          #

* This column was not subject to the approval of Top Rank.  Any editorial usage of all or part of this column is welcome but must include credit to Bill Dwyre.

Bill Dwyre will be writing a series of weekly columns  on the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event.  Bill was sports editor of The Los Angeles Times for 25 years, ending in 2006.  He was a sports columnist for 9 1/2 years at The Times, ending Nov. 25 with his retirement.  Boxing was among his most frequent column topics.  Bill can be contacted at BillPatDwyre@gmail.com or via Twitter at @BillDwyre.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will take place on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Remaining Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley are priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, not including applicable service fees.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com or ticketmaster.com.  

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Tue, 26 Jan 2016 10:32:14 -0600
Manny Pacquiao y el largo adiós http://www.toprank.com/news/manny-pacquiao-y-el-largo-adios/ MANNY PACQUAO Y EL LARGO ADIÓS | Por Bill Dwyre*

El largo adiós de MANNY PACQUIAO comenzó el martes en un lujoso hotel en una de las ciudades más ricas del mundo. Muchos llamarían esto una gran ironía.

Cuando el congresista de la provincia de Sarangani de las Filipinas se paró ante una abarrotada conferencia de prensa en el Crystal Ballroom del Hotel Beverly Hills, él estaba a mies de millas y millones de años luz figurativos de donde comenzó. Eso era cuando él era un niño hambriento, tratando de ayudar a su madre a alimentar a sus familiares.

Él estaba en una ciudad grande.  Él vendió cosas en la calle. Él buscaba comida solo para vivir. No había futuro más allá del mañana. Él jugó su juego de existencia un día a la vez. Manny Pacquiao era un pequeño filipino. Las luces brillantes de hoteles lujosos no estaban en su radar. Sobrevivencia, y ayudar a su familia, estaba en su radar.

Ahora él tiene 37 años, así que eso fue exactamente una vida entera atrás.

Pero el martes, ahí él estaba, el centro de atención como siempre, mientras le decía a su mundo de fans, a través de los medios, acerca de una pelea de boxeo más, esta en el horizonte el 9 de abril en Las Vegas.

Que él estaría enfrentando a TIM BRADLEY por tercera ocasión era importante. También fue la controversia sobre su primera pelea con Bradley y su derrota en una aparente mala decisión, al igual que su segunda batalla ante Bradley dos años después que trajo una sólida victoria. Él dijo que su hombro quirúrgicamente reparado ya está bien. Él dijo que ahora ve a Bradley como un peleador diferente, probablemente mejor, peleador.

Pero esas son cosas promocionales normales.

Esta vez, habiá más, mucho más, que hizo que la usual emoción e historias del boxeo parecieran simplemente incidentales. De hecho, esta pudo haber sido una de las pocas conferencia de prensa en la cual la emoción, vender boletos, insultos y ataques psicológicos tomaron el asiento trasero a un tema totalmente diferente.

Nostalgia.

El boxeo es normalmente tan sutil como un marrón. En un deporte construido en el éxito de un puño en la boca, hay poco espacio o paciencia para lidiar con el pasado y aceptar él éxito corriente. El boxeo tiene un ‘Salón de la Fama’, pero los integrantes muchas veces tienen que recoger sus placas en andadores y tienen problemas entendiendo lo que se dice de ellos en el podio.

Manny Pacquiao ha dicho que él se retira, que esta pelea, su número 66 como profesional, será su última.

En el mundo del boxeo, ese tipo de declaración usualmente no causa sorpresas. No será sorpresa en esta ocasión,  también. Los peleadores han creado esta situación. Cambian de opinión tanto como un nuevo padre cambia pañales. Los retiros en el boxeo usualmente no son retiros mientras se crea atención para la próxima pelea.

Bob Arum, el jefe ejecutivo de Top Rank, quienes han guiado a Pacquiao a su estrellato actual, está entre los mejores expresando sus dudas sobre el retiro en su propio deporte.

“Brandon Ríos se retiró después de su última pelea (con Bradley),” dijo Arum, “y salió del retiro una hora y media después. Algunos de estos peleadores, se retiran cuando tienen una esposa, y cuando tienen otra esposa, salen del retiro.”

Es por eso que Arum, tanto como el respeta la integridad de Pacquiao, se reúsa a declarar esta la última pelea de Pacquiao.

“Quizás él se retira,” dijo Arum, “pero no voy a perder sueño por eso.”

Él añadió, que la sirena que cambiaría la decisión de retiro de Pacquiao en el futuro sería una gran demostración ante Bradley y el regreso de Floyd Mayweather Jr., quien le propinó a Pacquiao su más reciente derrota.

Pero aún cuando Arum, que al parecer estaba seguro de sus apuesta. La nostalgia, y las oraciones en pasado, llenas de implicaciones históricas, hablaban fuerte.

“Piensa de donde él vino,” dijo Arum. “Él era tan obscuro como podía ser, un pequeño chico, de la otra parte del mundo. Esto es un tributo a él, pero es también un tributo a este país, que lo aceptó, y lo hicieron parte. Él no podía hablar inglés. Si el hubiese sido hispano, o afro americano, quizás tendría una ventaja, pero no era.”

Teddy Atlas, el veterano entrenador de Bradley, un estudiante del boxeo, llevó el tema un paso más allá en sus declaraciones. Él llamó a Pacquiao “el más dinámico” peleador de la última década y comparó a eso que quieran ver su última pelea con esos que fueron a ver a Derek Jeter en sus últimos partidos con los Yankees, y a esos que ahora buscan boletos para ver una última vez a Kobe Bryant, mientras él cierra su carrera con los Lakers.

Fue Pacquiao mismo, en todo lo que dijo y hasta su lenguaje corporal durante un largo día de entrevistas con los medios y su tiempo en el podio durante la conferencia de prensa, que afirmaron que el 9 de abril será la última vez.

“Mi logró más grande en la vida no ha sido lo que hemos logrado hacer por nosotros,” dijo él, “pero lo que hemos hecho por otros.”

Eso rápidamente trajo a la mente uno de los muchos actos de la generosidad de Pacquiao. Él se dio cuenta de la difícil que era para las barcazas de  pesca en su área de General Santos remar lejos para encontrar peces y llegar a casa a salvo. Así que le compró motores a todos.

“Estoy contento, contento de colgar los guantes,” le dijo Pacquiao a la audiencia. “Sé que me sentiré triste, pero así es la vida.

“Yo peleé porque quería ayudar a mi familia. Ahora voy a parar, porque quiero ayudar a mi país."

Pacquiao tendrá un mes para hacer campaña por un puesto en el senado filipino tras su pelea del 9 de abril. Para muchos, eso parece solidificar su deseo, y necesidad, de para de boxear. Hay 250 congresistas en Filipinas, pero solo 24 senadores. En esta elección de mayo, la mitad de esos 24 serán electos para términos de seis años. En las encuestas actuales, Pacquiao está en la posición número ocho.

Las dudas prevalecen, especialmente para esos que teorizan que estas peleas es solo una manera de agarrar titulares y exposición.

Arum es uno más en este juego, pero eso no lo para de resumir los sentimientos generales para su filipino que una vez vivió en las calles y ahora ha llegado a ser el centro de atención en un lugar como Beverly Hills.

“Arum dijo, “No puedo creer el sentimiento de que esta será su última pelea.”

Tampoco el boxeo.

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Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:32:48 -0600
Pacquiao & Bradley: Ready to Deliver Terms on Campaign Promises http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-pacquiao-amp-bradley-ready-to-deliver-terms-on-campaign-promises/ NEW YORK – They held the Right Coast promotional scrum here Thursday for the upcoming  MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO TIMOTHY "Desert Storm" BRADLEY JR. boxing match.  Among the revelations that could stop the presses was that there are no villains in this fight.

Leo Durocher said that nice guys finish last.  He never considered that they would fight each other.

This kind of warm and fuzzy stuff could ruin the sport.  But, in this one, the skeletons in the closet have either been permanently locked up, or they never existed.  It got so bad (good) Thursday that, after Pacquiao and Bradley did the usual contrived face-to-face pose for photographers -- does anybody actually use this stuff? -- they parted by shaking hands and smiling.

Mike Tyson, who once bit off a piece of an opponent’s ear, would be spinning in his grave, were he not still alive.  Floyd Mayweather Jr., if he saw this, would go outside and take a baseball bat to a tree.

Where were the insults?  Where was the name calling, the out-of-control testosterone, the phony tension contrived to sell tickets?  Was this a boxing promotion or the groundbreaking for a convent?  In the old days, before George Foreman found God and niceness, this sort of promotion would have driven him either to the heavy bag or the barf bag.

In truth, the best and fairest way to describe what will take place April 9 in Las Vegas is to trot out that terrible cliché of the day:  It is what it is.  These are two decent people who also happen to be great boxers.

Pacquiao is a congressman from the Philippines, who is universally known for his generosity.  Said Top Rank Promotion’s chief executive, Bob Arum, “Most politicians take, take, take.  Manny gives, gives, gives.”

Bradley is a once-beaten world champion described Thursday by Arum as, “a great person, who will keep fighting for his family and the people of this country.”

Of course, that is a promoter’s hyperbole.  In this case, it also happens to be accurate.  The only hope might be to hire Mayweather Jr. to come to a special press day and snarl some insults.  Word is he isn’t busy.

Thursday’s event was at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.  MSG as a venue symbolizes boxing, and Arum did not miss the chance to point that out.  Tuesday’s opener in this two-stop tour event was held in Beverly Hills.  The events were mostly the same.  Same message.  Same warm and fuzzy.  Better food in Beverly Hills.

It is 11 weeks and one day until the fight. Including the ever-present good-guy versus good-guy theme, the storylines have been established and are unlikely to change much.  That starts with the boxers.

Bradley: “I only have one date on my calendar, April 9.”

Pacquiao, steadfast in his retirement vow: “After this fight, if you want to see me, come to the Philippines. It is a nice place for a vacation.”   

Among the discussion points to be dealt with in the next months are:  

    • Was this fight a match-made-for-comfort exit for Pacquiao, or is Bradley different and improved now, and if so, will that bring the kind of competition that Pacquiao seeks so he can go out in the right way?
    • Is Pacquiao’s right shoulder, the surgically repaired rotator cuff injury that apparently cost him any chance to win against Mayweather last spring, completely healed?
    • Would a Bradley victory make him Top Rank’s new star, with Pacquiao exiting?  Or would Pacquiao not exit if he loses?
    • If Bradley is the new Top Rank breadwinner, how will Arum get him to fight his buddy and fast-rising star, TERENCE "Bud" CRAWFORD, whom Bradley says he will not fight? (Preliminary Arum answer: “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”).
    • Will an impressive victory by Pacquiao coax Mayweather out of retirement for a shot at a cherished final 50-0 record?

  • Is that what Mayweather has been hoping for all along, so he can be the opening sports star at Las Vegas’ soon-to-be-ready T-Mobile Arena?
  • Is Bradley trainer Teddy Atlas deserving of the credit he is getting for Bradley’s impressive victory over Brandon Rios, or was Rios simply an out-of-shape, under-motivated cup cake for Bradley?   
  • Can Arum use, to any degree of success, his boxing platform to influence some presidential votes? At every chance, the liberal-leaning Arum refers, tongue in cheek, to the preliminary matches for this fight as the ‘Donald Trump undercard,’ and says, since that undercard includes several Hispanics, his hope is that none will be deported by The Donald.
  • Has Arum cleverly taken the edge off other fights in the first quarter of the year by getting this promotion rolling so early and with such high visibility that the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, if they get matches made, will be playing from behind?    

This fight will be no morality play.  You need a bad guy for that.  But will the sporting public, which seems to gravitate toward NASCAR wrecks and people fighting barefoot in cages, embrace Little Orphan Annie versus Mother Teresa?

Here Thursday, Atlas gave that public the best reason to do so, relating nicely to our current hypnotic state over politics.   

“These fighters,” he said, “have always lived up to their campaign promises.”

 

#          #          #

 

* This column was not subject to the approval of Top Rank.  Any editorial usage of all or part of this column is welcome but must include credit to Bill Dwyre.

 

Bill Dwyre will be writing a series of weekly columns  on the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event.  Bill was sports editor of The Los Angeles Times for 25 years, ending in 2006.  He was a sports columnist for 9 1/2 years at The Times, ending Nov. 25 with his retirement.  Boxing was among his most frequent column topics.  Bill can be contacted at BillPatDwyre@gmail.com or via Twitter at @BillDwyre.

 

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will take place on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

 

Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley, priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, not including applicable service fees, go on sale TODAY!  Friday, January 22, at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com orticketmaster.com.   

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Fri, 22 Jan 2016 12:35:14 -0600
Manny Pacquiao & The Long Goodbye http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-manny-pacquiao-amp-the-long-goodbye/ MANNY PACQUIAO’S long goodbye began Tuesday in a plush ballroom of a lush hotel in one of the richest cities in the world.  Many would call this grand irony.

When the Congressman from the Sarangani province of the Philippines stood before a packed news conference in the Crystal Ballroom of The Beverly Hills Hotel, he was thousands of miles and millions of figurative light years away from where it all began.  That was when he was a hungry child, trying to help his mother feed his siblings.

He was in a big city.  He sold things on the street.  He scrambled for enough food just to live.  There was no future beyond tomorrow.  He played his game of existence one day at a time.  Manny Pacquiao was a tiny Filipino street urchin.  Bright lights of fancy hotel ballrooms an ocean away weren’t on his radar.  Survival, and helping his family, was.

He is 37 now, so that wasn’t exactly a lifetime ago. 

But Tuesday, there he was, the center of attraction as always, as he told his world of fans, through the media, about yet another boxing match, this one on the horizon April 9 in Las Vegas.

That he would be fighting TIM BRADLEY for a third time was important.  So was the controversy over his first Bradley fight and his loss in an apparent bad decision, as well as his second battle with Bradley two years later in 2014 that brought a solid victory.  He said his surgically repaired right shoulder was O.K.  He said he viewed Bradley now as a different, probably better, fighter.

But those are the normal promotional things.

This time, there was more, much more, that made the usual boxing hype and trial-balloon story lines seemed barely incidental.  In fact, this may have been among the few boxing news conferences ever where hype, ticket-selling, name-calling and psychological rants took a back seat to an entirely different theme.           

Nostalgia.     

Boxing is normally about as subtle as a sledgehammer.  In a sport built around the success of a punch in the mouth, there is little room or patience for such things as dwelling on the past and cherishing current greatness. Boxing has Halls of Fame, but the inductees all too often go to pick up their plaques in walkers and have trouble understanding what is being said about them from the podium.  

Manny Pacquiao has said he is going to retire, that this fight, his 66th as a pro, will be his last.

In the world of boxing, that sort of declaration usually brings snickers and rolled eyes.  It will bring some this time, too.  Boxers bring it on themselves.  They change their minds more often than new parents change diapers. Boxing retirements are usually not so much retirements as leverage plays for the next fight.  

Bob Arum, chief executive of Top Rank Promotions, who has guided Pacquiao to his current stardom, is among the best at expressing the skepticism about retirements in his own sport.  

“Brandon Rios retired after his last fight (with Bradley),” Arum said, “and unretired half an hour later.  Some of these fighters, they retire when they have one wife, and when they get another one, they un-retire.”     

That’s why Arum, as much as he trusts Pacquiao’s integrity, refuses to declare that this is Pacquiao’s last fight.      

“Maybe he will retire,” Arum says, “but I’m not gonna lose sleep on it.”         

He added that, the most appealing decision-changing siren in the future for Pacquiao would be a strong performance against Bradley and an un-retirement by Floyd Mayweather Jr., who dealt Pacquiao his most humbling setback.   

But even with Arum, that seemed to be mostly hedging his bets.  The nostalgia, and the sentences delivered in past tense, full of historic implications, spoke volumes. 

“Think of where he came from,” Arum said.  “He was as obscure as you can get, a little guy, coming from half-way around the world.  It is a tribute to him, but it is almost a bigger tribute to this country, which accepted him, even embraced him.  He couldn’t speak English.  If he had been Hispanic, or African-American, he might have had a leg up.  But he wasn’t.”    

Teddy Atlas, Bradley’s well-spoken, veteran manager, as much a student of boxing as there is, carried the theme a step further in his remarks. He called Pacquiao the “most dynamic” fighter of the last decade and compared those who will want to watch his last fight with those who went to see Derek Jeter in his last go-around with the Yankees, and to those who are now scrambling for tickets to catch a last glimpse of Kobe Bryant as he closes out his Lakers’ career.   

But it was Pacquiao himself who, in everything he said and even in his body language during a long day of media interviews and his speech at the press conference, furthered the concept that April 9 will be it.   

“My greatest achievement in life is not what we have done for ourselves,” he said, “but what we have done for others.”        

That quickly brought to mind one of the many stories of Pacquiao’s generosity. He once noticed how long and difficult it was for the fishing fleets in his home area of General Santos City to row out far enough to find the most fish and still get back home safely.  So he bought them all outboard motors.      

“I’m happy, happy to hang my gloves up,” Pacquiao told the audience. “I know I will feel sad. But that’s life.       

“I fought, because I wanted to help my family.  Now I will stop, because I want to help my country.”  

Pacquiao will have about a month to campaign for a spot as a Philippine Senator after his April 9 fight.  For most, that seems to solidify his desire, and need, to stop boxing.  There are 250 congressmen in the Philippines, but only 24 senators.  In this May election, half of those 24 will be elected to six-year terms.  In the current polls, Pacquiao is ranked No. 8.        

The skeptics remain, especially those who theorize that this fight is merely a grab for election-time headlines and exposure.

Arum is little more than a pinball in this game, but that didn’t stop him from summing up the general feeling for this onetime Filipino street urchin, who has risen to become the toast of the day in a place like Beverly Hills.

Arum said, “I can’t come to grips with the feeling that this is his last fight.” 

Nor can boxing.

#          #          # 

* This column was not subject to the approval of Top Rank.  Any editorial usage of all or part of this column is welcome but must include credit to Bill Dwyre. 

Bill Dwyre will be writing a series of weekly columns  on the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event.  Bill was sports editor of The Los Angeles Times for 25 years, ending in 2006.  He was a sports columnist for 9 1/2 years at The Times, ending Nov. 25 with his retirement.  Boxing was among his most frequent column topics.  Bill can be contacted at BillPatDwyre@Gmail.com or via Twitter at @BillDwyre.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will take place on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley, priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254 and $154, not including applicable service fees, go on sale This Friday! January 22, at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com orticketmaster.com.   

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Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:30:29 -0600
Pacquiao-Bradley Tix Go On Sale Jan. 22! http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-pacquiao-bradley-tix-go-on-sale-jan-22/ LAS VEGAS, NV (January 19, 2016) -- Boxing's only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, Congressman MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, and five-time world champion TIMOTHY “Desert Storm” BRADLEY, will collide in a 12-round World Welterweight Championship battle of pound for pound titans, Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  This will also mark the first time former Trainers of the Year Freddie Roach and Teddy Atlas have faced each other from opposite corners.  Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley, priced at $1,204, $804, $604, $404, $254,and $154, not including applicable service fees,  go on sale This Friday! January 22, at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at mgmgrand.com or ticketmaster.com.   

"I look forward to my battle with Timothy Bradley on April 9 and giving boxing fans a fight they will always remember," said Pacquiao.  "This fight has a very special meaning to me and I will pour every ounce of my being -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- into preparing for Bradley.  He has my full attention.  I dedicate this fight to my fans and to my countrymen throughout the world who have kept me in their prayers. And as always, I fight to bring glory to the Philippines."  

"I've never needed to light a fire under Manny to get him ready for a fight.  He's a professional," said Roach.  "April 9 will be Manny's finest hour."

"I have always dedicated myself to who I am on fight night.  However on April 9th I will not only have dedicated myself to that but also delivering the performance that everyone has long awaited," said Bradley.

"The greatest responsibility we have is to care for our families.  But our greatest privilege is to be given a challenge to achieve something special that our families can share and always remember.  Fighting Pacquiao is exactly that challenge," said Atlas.

"I am looking forward to this fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley.  We will see how much Manny has recovered from shoulder surgery and whether he has been able to retain all of his power.  We saw in Tim's last fight a new, improved Tim Bradley thanks and largely due to his astute trainer Teddy Atlas. One thing is for sure, this fight will be vastly different from the first two these two warriors have had," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.

"Manny Pacquiao has had an electrifying career and is destined to be enshrined in the Boxing Hall of Fame.  Fight fans worldwide are attracted to his spirited fighting style and the grace and humility he displays outside the ring.  He is one of the sport's giants," said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. "Timothy Bradley Jr. has consistently beaten the odds and produced a brilliant career that has but a single blemish on it. Now on April 9, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Bradley gets to try and avenge the one loss on his record."

Richard Sturm, president of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “We are thrilled to host the third fight in what has become a fantastic rivalry between two extremely talented fighters at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in April.  There is no doubt both Pacquiao and Bradley will arrive to Las Vegas ready to face-off in an incredible showdown, providing boxing fans worldwide a conclusion to this storied trilogy.”

Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), the lone congressional representative from the Sarangani province in the Philippines and an international icon, is the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many different weight divisions.  A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America's "Fighter of the Decade," Pacquiao's resumé features victories over present and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Márquez and Bradley.  From 2008 to 2010, five of his seven victories were world title victories in five different weight classes, from 130 to 154 pounds.  No active boxer has sold more live tickets in the U.S. than Pacquiao, who is also credited with over 18 million domestic pay-per-view buys.  He returns to the ring after a disappointing unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.  The May 2 world championship fight generated a record 4.5 million pay-per-view buys and over $400 million in television revenue alone. 

Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs), from Palm Springs, Calif., a two-division world champion who has held a world title every year since 2008, completed his comeback from his sole professional loss, to Pacquiao in their world title rematch, and a controversial draw against former interim world champion Diego Chaves -- both in 2014 -- when he beat undefeated world champion Jessie Vargas on June 27, to reclaim the WBO welterweight world title.  Bradley put an exclamation point on his banner 2015 year in his title defense, under the guidance of new trainer Teddy Atlas, by knocking out former world champion Brandon Rios on November 7.  It was the first time Rios had ever been stopped in his 11-year, 36-bout professional career, sending him into a temporary self-imposed retirement.  A consensus Top-10 pound for pound fighter, Bradley returns to the ring a new fighter thanks to Atlas' tutelage.  A former junior welterweight world champion who unified the junior welterweight titles twice during his previous four-year world championship reign, Bradley moved up to the 147 pound division and beat Pacquiao on June 9, 2012 to capture the WBO welterweight crown for the first of three consecutive career-best victories.  Bradley followed that by co-starring in the Fight of the Year on March 16, 2013, at StubHub Center, winning a brutal 12-round decision over future world champion Ruslan Provodnikov though Bradley was suffering from a concussion throughout most of the fight.  Seven months later Bradley encored with another virtuoso performance in defeating three-division world champion and Mexican icon Juan Manuel Márquez on October 12, 2013, at The Forum, proving that Bradley is indeed one of boxing's elite pound for pound fighters.

For fight updates go to toprank.com, hbo.com/boxing or  mgmgrand.com  on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing,, facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo, or twitter.com/hboboxing.  Use the Hashtag #PacBradley to join the conversation on Twitter.

About MGM Grand:

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino is “The Entertainment Authority,” creating the ultimate Las Vegas experience.  A variety of accommodations serve every need while guests discover signature dining by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Michael Mina’s PUB 1842, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star restaurant, Joël Robuchon. The resort offers a wide-range of world-class entertainment at the MGM Grand Garden Arena; the epic KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; world-famous dance crew Jabbawockeez; master illusionist David Copperfield; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and Hakkasan Las Vegas in addition to a pampering spa and salon and an elaborate 380,000-square-foot conference center. MGM Grand is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information and reservations, visit mgmgrand.com, call toll free at (877) 880-0880 or find us on Facebook and Twitter or follow our blog

#          #          #

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (Media):

 

TOP RANK

Lee Samuels/Bradley:  702-732-2717 / Lee@toprank.com

Fred Sternburg/Pacquiao: 303-740-7746 / TooFred@aol.com

Ed Keenan:  609-399-1330 / Keenan@emcevents.com

 

HBO Pay-Per-View

Kevin Flaherty:  212-512-5052 / kevin.flaherty@hbo.com         

Patrick Byrne: 212-512-1361 / patrick.byrne@hbo.com  

 

MGM Resorts International

Scott Ghertner:  702-692-6750 / sghertner@mgmresorts.com

 

MEDIA CREDENTIALS

www.MagnaMedia.com

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Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:29:02 -0600
The Log in the Ocean http://www.toprank.com/news/boxing-promotions-the-log-in-the-ocean/ So much of sports these days is image-building.  Not for world champion boxer TIM BRADLEY.  He spends exactly zero time even thinking about that.

 

            He is fond of saying, “I’m happy to be a C-Class celebrity.”

      

            Proof of that comes easily.

       

            It is a Thursday noon in Indio, lunchtime at a deli across the street from where Palm Springs native Bradley has his training gym.  Today, there is no training.  That will begin Feb. 15 for his April 9 rubber match with Manny Pacquiao.

        

            Bradley drives up in a big white van.  His wife and business manager, Monica, is along.  That’s it.  No entourage.  No security guards.  No hangers-on, wearing caps that proclaim Bradley as the greatest or the richest. Just Monica and Tim, ready for lunch.

        

            “I can go to dinner with my wife and a couple of people might stop by and shake my hand or say hello,” he says, “but nothing more.

         

            “I can go to Disneyland with my kids and we are fine.  Imagine MANNY PACQUIAO showing up at Disneyland. He does that and it’s over.”

          

            Bradley isn’t dissing Pacquiao or comparing himself to the superstar, eight-division champion.  He is merely doing his Howard Cosell, telling it like it is.

          

            Tim and Monica Bradley give new dimension to the word “normal.”

          

            It could be so different.  They are multi-millionaires.  Tim’s winnings -- including his shocker in the controversial decision over Pacquiao in their first meeting in 2012 -- and Monica’s managing of those funds, have made them so.  They live in a nice house in one of the nicer Palm Springs suburbs, Rancho Mirage, and they have the means to flaunt their success.

          

            Neither has the desire nor inclination.

         

            Lunch is equal parts discussion about Pacquiao, new Bradley trainer Teddy Atlas and the five Bradley children.

         

            The conversation broaches the premise that it must be nice to have the means to send all five kids to college, if they want to go.  Monica’s jaw tightens.

       

            “It’s not a matter of whether they want to go,” she says.  “They will all go.  They know that.  They know they have to do the work, because they have to get there.”

       

            A story of the oldest son follows.  He is smart, but has learned to get passing grades without doing the work. That doesn’t cut it with his parents.  He got a C in an Algebra class by mailing it in and now, at mom’s order, will retake the class because, as Monica says, “You don’t get into college with C’s.”

          

            Tim confirms that mother knows best.

        

            “They call her Mama Hitler,” he says, with a grin.

      

            Promoters who have dealt with Monica Bradley also know her resolve and determination.

      

            Bradley says that, even with the beginning of training camp still a month away, there is a game plan for Pacquiao, who beat him fairly convincingly in their 2014 rematch.  He and Atlas even have a name for it:

       

            The Log in the Ocean.

     

            For the next three months, we will all be trying to figure out what that means. Bradley and Atlas will never say until afterward, if then.  But the fascination and intrigue are hard to beat.  Usually, bigtime boxing matches are labeled obvious stuff, such as “Time For Revenge,” or “Slugfest II.”

      

            But “The Log in the Ocean?”  What a kick.  What a great puzzle.  The first sportswriter to figure it out will get free thirds at the buffet.

        

            Bradley says the shock and awe of fighting Pacquiao, who hadn’t lost a fight in seven years when he stepped into the ring that June night in 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is over.

       

            “That first time,” Bradley says, “when I went out there, I thought I was fighting King Kong.  He wasn’t King Kong.

      

            “He was very good, very fast, his punches were heavy and they were all that way.  Some fighters start with softer jabs in their combinations, but none of his punches are soft.”

       

            Of course, as all boxers do, Bradley has a plan.  Make that, Bradley will follow Atlas’ plan.  Atlas trained him for the first time in his most recent fight, a domination of Brandon Rios.  Now, there is no question who is in charge in the Bradley camp, who will map out the strategy, call the shots, be the man with the megaphone.

       

            “I’m not worried about Manny Pacquiao,” Bradley says, keynoting the weeks of work and discipline ahead. “I’m more worried about Teddy Atlas.”

    

            Lunchtime buzzes around the Bradleys.  Everybody in the place knows he is there, knows he is a celebrity, even if it is only C-Class.  But this is his place, the TKB Bakery and Deli, and it represents so much of what he is.

     

            There is nothing showy here.  It is 100% unpretentious, like the Bradleys.  The TKB stands for The Kids’ Business.  The kids are the three Sippels, with mom and dad making it a five-person operation.  The family, originally from St. Cloud, Wis., hard by the banks of the Sheboygan River, bake and ship cookies, as well as handling more than 400 people each noon-hour.  Bradley went to school with the Sippel kids.  When he fights, they come.

     

            The TKB Bakery and Deli is located in an industrial park.  You have to know about it to find it.  One national poll for 2015 ranked it the “4th Best Restaurant” in the country.  No other Palm Springs area restaurant was ranked in that poll.  When you eat the pastrami, you think more like No. 1.

     

            Thursday’s “Special” is listed on a chalkboard: “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

    

            Bradley walks in and, with 25 people in line and the sitting area in the adjacent room already packed, somebody behind the counter, spreading butter on bread, yells out, “Tim is here.  Tri-tip.”

     

            The C-Class celebrity grins and nods, then gets in line like everybody else.

 

#          #          #

 

* This column was not subject to the approval of Top Rank.  Any editorial usage of all or part of this column is welcome but must include credit to Bill Dwyre.

 

Bill Dwyre will be writing a series of weekly columns  on the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event.  Bill was sports editor of The Los Angeles Times for 25 years, ending in 2006.  He was a sports columnist for 9 1/2 years at The Times, ending Nov. 25 with his retirement.  Boxing was among his most frequent column topics.  Bill can be contacted at BillPatDwyre@Gmail.com or via Twitter at @BillDwyre.

 

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions, the Pacquiao vs. Bradley world championship event will take place on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®  beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

 

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Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:28:41 -0600