Section: Boxing

Boxing: Mayweather says World will stop when I fight Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather says he has never wanted to win a fight more after coming face-to-face with Manny Pacquiao at a press conference.

The pair met in Los Angeles to promote their long-anticipated $300 million mega-fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2.

“Pacquiao is one of the best fighters of the era,” Mayweather said. “I think we couldn’t shoot at a better time.

“I’m in the gym right now working, dedicating myself to my sport and pushing myself to the limit because I have never wanted to win a fight more in my life.

“He wants to win just as the same as I do. One thing I do know about any sport is when you lose once it’s in your mind. When you lose twice, it’s in your mind.

“From day one I was told to push myself to the limit, to be a winner. We tried to make this fight happen in the past but we kept bumping heads about random blood testing. We finally resolved everything.

“May 2, that’s when the world stops. Mayweather-Pacquiao, the biggest fight in boxing history.”

Pacquiao emerged first on to the stage and when Mayweather arrived the pair stood a foot away from each other in a stare-off that lasted a minute.

“This is what the fans have been waiting for since five years,” said Pacquiao. “I came from nothing into something and I owe everything to the Lord.”

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach was less polite.

“I love challenges and this is the biggest challenge of my life,” Roach said.

“I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a long, long time. We are in the toughest fight of our lives and Floyd is the best fighter in the world, but we’re going to kick his ass.”

It was the only meeting the pair will have before fight week in a showdown to decide boxing’s pound-for-pound No.1 that will make more money than any other fight in history.

American Mayweather, 38, has won world titles in five weight divisions and will take a 47-0 record into the fight against Filipino Pacquiao, 36, who suffered a fifth career defeat in 61 fights when he was knocked out by Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.

Southpaw Pacquiao has won world titles in eight divisions and will be putting his WBO belt on the line against Mayweather’s WBA and WBC straps.

Read more at ESPN

Boxing: Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao confirmed for 2 May

Floyd Mayweather will fight Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on 2 May in what promises to be the richest bout in the history of boxing.

American Mayweather, 37, and Filipino Pacquiao, 36, are considered to be the best two fighters of their generation.

Mayweather’s WBC and WBA welterweight titles and Pacquiao’s WBO belt will be on the line at the MGM Grand.

Mayweather is unbeaten in 47 professional fights; Pacquiao has 57 wins and five losses from 64 contests.

The fight is expected to generate as much as £162m ($250m). The most lucrative fight in history is thought to be Mayweather’s bout against Saul Alvarez in 2013, which made an estimated £97m.

Mayweather-Pacquiao is also expected to break the record for pay-per-view buys in the United States. The current record of 2.4 million was set when Mayweather fought fellow American Oscar de la Hoya in 2007.

Mayweather wrote on his webpage: “What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs Pacquiao on May 2, 2015 is a done deal.

“This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2.”

Mayweather, whose unbeaten record stretches back to 1996, has won his past five bouts on points, most recently a rematch with Marcos Maidana in September.

British welterweight Amir Khan, who wants to fights Mayweather and also held talks with Pacquiao in January, said before the bout was announced that it is “not going to be what people expect”.

He told the Daily Mail  on Thursday: “Four years ago it would have been a massive fight because both of them were at their peak. It might have gone past that now.

“It will be a good fight for a couple of rounds. I think it will go the distance but that Mayweather will win by unanimous decision.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Boxing: Injury leaves Froch sidelined until the summer

Carl Froch faces relinquishing his IBF world super-middleweight title after announcing an elbow injury will keep him out until early summer.

Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn had been in talks for him to face Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Las Vegas on March 28. But WBA-IBF world super-middleweight champion Froch, 37, suffered the injury in training which rules him out of fighting on that date.

“I’m disappointed to have to let this opportunity go but at this stage in my career I have to make every fight count,” said Froch. “I will get some treatment and then we will look to make this fight or another big fight in the early summer.”

The IBF had given Froch until January 31 to agree terms on facing DeGale or staging the fight would go out to purse bids. Froch, who knocked out Londoner George Groves last May, will make an announcement about his IBF and WBA belts next week.

“We have been deep in negotiations for some time and we were almost ready to go,” said Hearn. “Carl has gone into fights before not 100 percent fit and paid the price and he has made the right decision to hang fire.

“We will have a meeting early next week and plan out 2015. I’m confident we will see him back in the ring this summer.”

If Froch wants to pursue his dream of fighting in Vegas for the first time in his career later in the year he will have to give up his IBF world title. Relinquishing the IBF belt will leave it free to be contested by Londoner James DeGale, 28, who is mandatory challenger.

American Andre Dirrell, 31, who lost a split points decision to Froch in 2009, is No.2 in the IBF rankings and is most likely to face DeGale for the vacant belt.

Mexican Gilberto Ramirez, 23, is the next in line behind Dirrell in the IBF rankings and boxes Maxim Vlasov, of Russia, on Saturday.

Dane Mikkel Kessler, who has beaten and lost to Froch, and Liverpool’s Rocky Fielding, will also be in the running to face DeGale – possibly at the O2 Arena in London on April 25 – if Froch vacates the belt.

Read more at ESPN

Boxing: Deontay Wilder beats Bermane Stiverne to win WBC title

Deontay Wilder became the first American heavyweight world champion since 2006 after taking the WBC title off Bermane Stiverne on points.

Wilder, 29, dominated against his 36-year-old Canadian rival, with the three judges scoring the bout 118-109, 119-108 and 120-107 in his favour.

The win was the first time Wilder had not won by knockout as he extended his unbeaten record to 33-0.

“I answered a lot of questions tonight,” said Wilder.

“I already knew I could go 12 hard rounds and take a punch. I am just excited,” he added.

Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

Wilder had not gone past the fourth round in any of his previous fights, but he constantly outpunched a lacklustre Stiverne in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“I want to bring excitement back to the heavyweight division,” said the American, who won an Olympic bronze at the Beijing Olympics and knocked out Britain’s Audley Harrison in one round in 2013.

After Boston’s John L Sullivan became the first gloved champion in 1885, the heavyweight division was dominated by American fighters for more than 100 years.

However, the last American to own a portion of the world heavyweight crown was Shannon Briggs, who briefly held the WBO title.

Stiverne suffered his second defeat from 26 pro fights.

“It just feels like I was flat in the ring,” he said. “I didn’t do what I know I can do. I need to go back and work on the mistakes.

“I couldn’t cut the ring. I couldn’t move my head like normal.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Boxing: Crolla: I’ll be back stronger than ever next year

Anthony Crolla has vowed to come back stronger next year after a brutal attack left his career in the balance.

The Mancunian lightweight was left with a fractured skull and broken ankle after pursuing two men who he saw in his garden after hearing his neighbour’s burglar alarm going off last week.

His long-awaited world title shot against Richard Abril on January 23 was scrapped and his trainer Joe Gallagher admitted he was unsure whether he would even be able to box again.

But Crolla took to Twitter on Sunday night to thank people for their support, and he promised to “be back stronger than ever in 2015”.

Promoter Eddie Hearn also tweeted on Sunday and appeared to be in no doubt that Crolla would be back in the ring.

“Great chat with @ant_crolla tonight – great to hear him in such good spirits,” he he wrote. “Excited for ‘the comeback’ -he will get his world title shot!”


Police said on Friday that a 17-year-old boy was being questioned in custody on suspicion of burglary, assault and possession with intent to supply drugs in connection with the incident.

Read more at ESPN

Boxing: Muhammad Ali taken to hospital with pneumonia

Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali has been taken to hospital with a mild case of pneumonia.

Ali, who is battling Parkinson’s disease, is being treated by his team of doctors and is in stable condition after the pneumonia was caught early. His spokesman, Bob Gunnell, said the illness should only result in a short hospital stay.

“He was admitted earlier this morning and because the pneumonia was caught early, his prognosis is good with a short hospital stay expected,” Gunnell said in a statement.

Gunnell declined to say where Ali, 72, is in hospital. No other details are being released due to the Ali family’s request for privacy, he said.

Ali’s public appearances have diminished in recent years as he continues to battle Parkinson’s disease, but he still enjoys getting out to watch sport and visit friends.

Ali appeared in public in September at a ceremony in his hometown of Louisville for the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards. Ali did not speak to the crowd but posed for photos with award winners, including former NFL great Jim Brown and NBA great Bill Russell.

Brown leaned over and whispered to the seated Ali during the photo session. Later, Brown said he told Ali: “You’re the greatest of all time”.

Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and devoted himself to social causes. He traveled the world on humanitarian missions, mingling with the masses and rubbing elbows with world leaders.

The Muhammad Ali Center, in Louisville, is dedicated to Ali’s humanitarian causes and showcases his boxing career.

Ali and his wife, Lonnie, have homes in Paradise Valley, Arizona; Berrien Springs, Michigan; and in Louisville.

Read more at ESPN

Boxing: Anthony Crolla: Teenager arrested over Manchester boxer assault

A teenager has been arrested after a boxing world title contender suffered a fractured skull while tackling two alleged burglars at a neighbour’s home.

Anthony Crolla, 28, saw the pair fleeing the neighbour’s back garden on Tuesday in Chadderton and was hit with a concrete slab in the incident.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said a 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of assault, burglary and possession with intent to supply drugs.

Crolla is recovering in hospital.

His trainer Joe Gallagher said Crolla was “lucky to be alive” following the incident, in which he also suffered a broken ankle which will require surgery.

But the Manchester boxer has already been ruled out of the biggest fight of his eight-year professional career, a WBA world lightweight title clash with Cuban Richard Abril on 23 January.

Gallagher added: “He is in bits and heartbroken. I’m devastated for him. He has been training for six weeks for this and had a shot at the world title in his home town.”

GMP said Crolla had spotted two intruders climbing over the fence from his neighbour’s home in Halsey Close and chased them through Thorley Close onto Butterworth Lane and Crescent Road.

The boxer, who has won 29 of his 35 professional fights, managed to catch one but was hit on the head with a concrete slab by the other.

A police spokesman said Crolla had done “an admirable and valiant thing” in trying to tackle the burglars.

His neighbour Chris Townsend said Crolla’s actions were typical of the man, adding: “When we spoke he just said to me: ‘We’re neighbours – we look out for each other.'”

Read more at BBC Sport

Boxing: Khan dominates Alexander in Vegas

One year after pulling out of a fight with Devon Alexander in order to preserve himself for a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr., Amir Khan might have properly stamped his ticket to the big dance.

Khan was too quick and too strong from the opening bell in outclassing Alexander by unanimous decision (119-109, 118-110, 120-108) on Saturday in front of 7,768 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. ESPN also scored the bout 120-108 for Khan (29-3, 19 KOs).

The 28-year-old looked spectacular in his second fight as a full-fledged welterweight by controlling distance with his jab and temporarily putting aside the chin issues that have haunted his career.

“I just fought a three-time world champion and proved myself to be a force at 147 pounds,” Khan said. “I think I’m getting better with age. I’m better than I was at 26 and now just starting to hit my peak at 28. I work very hard and put on one of my best performances.”

Alexander (26-3, 14 KOs) followed Khan around the ring throughout but was unable to land more than one punch at a time as Khan met him in his tracks with hard combinations.

The victory puts Khan in prime position to land a spring meeting with Mayweather, provided a long-awaited superfight with Manny Pacquiao is unable to be made.

“I feel like I proved to everyone that I deserved that [Mayweather] fight,” Khan said.

So did his promoter, Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya.

“So now I know why Mayweather doesn’t want to fight him,” De La Hoya said. “He was brilliant. I wouldn’t have fought him. He is hitting his peak just now. He looked incredible.

“I have a feeling Mayweather will think twice now of fighting Amir Khan. He showed focus, speed, angles, balance; he fought almost a perfect fight with a southpaw, which is very complicated.”

Khan not only looked stronger at 147 pounds, with a wide frame to carry the extra muscle, but also showed continued improvement in his third fight with trainer Virgil Hunter.

“Devon gave me a great fight but I worked my jab and I listened to what Virgil Hunter taught me,” Khan said. “I believe I have the best and quickest jab in the sport.”

Hunter agreed, saying, “I thought his performance was great. He had a 9.9 out of 10. He would venture off the game plan and come right back. This fight proves he can step up and move up to the next level of competition.”

Alexander, who lost his welterweight title to Shawn Porter last December, never committed to his jab and found minimal success looking to load up with one big counter shot. Each time he connected with a meaningful punch, Khan met him in his tracks with heavy and quick combinations.

Khan outlanded Alexander 243 to 91, according to CompuBox, and connected on 43% of his shots, compared to just 20% for Alexander.

Read more at ESPN

Boxing: Khan v Alexander – Chasing the Money

Amir Khan has to beat Devon Alexander on Saturday in Las Vegas at the MGM and he has to look good doing it.

The problem for Khan on Saturday night, and the reason that he has to look so good, is that he is just one part of three fights, at two rival casinos that feature men in the great money race for a fight against either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. There is also the Alexander problem and the southpaw, former world champion at two weights has been for a long, long time one of the world’s most avoided and neglected fighters.

“It has never been easy for me,” said Alexander, who is a veteran but still younger than Khan. “I’m blessed because I’m just getting better and better. There has been talk of a fight with Khan before, it never happened and that is why this fight is so important.” Khan, it needs to be remembered, withdrew from a fight with Alexander in December last year because he falsely believed that he had secured a fight with Mayweather.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town at the Cosmopolitan, Tim Bradley, who has a win and a loss against Pacquiao, is fighting Diego Chaves – a good win for Bradley and he would take up a prominent place on Mayweather’s shopping list for 2015. Mayweather refers to the list as the ‘sweepstakes’, which is a bit vulgar but very true. Bradley, by the way, has far more chance of looking good.

Fighting alongside Khan and Alexander at the esteemed MGM is unbeaten and overlooked Keith Thurman, who will be defending his WBA welterweight title against the extraordinary Italian Leonard Bundu, who is unbeaten in 33 fights and 40! If Thurman wins then he would be an ideal next opponent for either Manny or Little Floyd; Manny has been braver in accepting hard fights, but Floyd needs a good opponent to satisfy his increasingly demanding paymasters at ShowTime – I guess that can happen when the pay-per-figures are under performing and hundreds of millions of dollars are changing hands.

Oscar De La Hoya – a loser on a controversial decision to Mayweather but stopped by Pacquiao – is convinced Khan is in a favourable position, a nice place to be when something like $10 million is the real prize for a fight against either of the modern sport’s top cash cows. The casino operators would also like Khan in a big, big fight because of the travelling British fans and their willingness to empty out their wallets and bank accounts once they land in Las Vegas.

“Amir Khan is a real threat to the welterweight division,” said De La Hoya. “I would put him in with Mayweather and Pacquiao and don’t be surprised if he wins – he is that type of character.”

The shameless pursuit of a life-changing fight with either Pacquiao or Mayweather is becoming an even more ruthless race because both of the veterans are coming to the end of their fantastic careers. I would be amazed if they each fight three more times and right now there are as many as 12 boxers desperate to get a call for the fighting last dance, the multi-million dollar waltz that is a win-win for any of the losers.

Read more at ESPN

Boxing: Saunders earns split decision against Eubank Jr.

Billy Joe Saunders won a hard-fought split decision against Chris Eubank Jr. on Saturday at the ExCel Arena in London to earn a world title shot.

Fighting in the co-feature to the heavyweight elimination fight between Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora, Saunders became the mandatory challenger for the winner of the vacant world title fight between Matt Korobov and Andy Lee. They are scheduled to meet on December 13 in Las Vegas to fill the belt that Peter Quillin relinquished on September 4.

Two judges had it for Saunders, 25, a 2008 British Olympian, 115-114 and 115-113, while one judge scored the fight 116-113 for Eubank, 25, the son of former world champion Chris Eubank Sr.

Saunders also retained the European, Commonwealth and British titles – and he also gained bragging rights over Eubank, with whom he traded vicious verbal barbs throughout the promotion before they showed respect in the aftermath.

“Fair play to Chris Eubank Jr.,” Saunders said. “He is better than what I thought he was. Next stop is the WBO world title. I have some more learning to do but I am ready for the world title. When I’m world champion I will gladly give him first shot.”

Said Eubank: “I thought I won the fight but congratulations to him. He boxed the plan, he come out strong. I feel like I overtook him but the judges made their decision. I’ll be back.”

Saunders put many of the early rounds in the bank by outboxing a seemingly tentative Eubank, who was perhaps looking to conserve energy because he had never been past the eighth round.

Saunders (22-0, 11 KOs), a southpaw, was controlling the pace and landing solid jabs. He looked very comfortable while the less experienced Eubank did not begin to look comfortable until the second half of the fight, when he had his best rounds.

When he finally let his hands go, Eubank (18-1, 13 KOs) shook Saunders with several hard shots over the final few rounds. While Eubank Sr., in a black suit, stood in the ring in his corner between rounds, head trainer Ronnie Davis was forced to give instructions through the ropes. After the 10th round, he told Eubank he needed a knockout to win.

From there on, Eubank went for the knockout as he chased Saunders around the ring and exerted extreme pressure. But even when Saunders took some big blows he did not wobble. Eubank had a huge 12th round but could not get Saunders off his feet.

“It was close,” Eubank said. “I felt like I won most of the second half of the fight if not all of it. I’m back in the gym tomorrow. Hopefully, there can be a rematch ASAP.”

Read more at ESPN