It is currently Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:33 pm

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 629 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 63  Next
The Greatest Prize in Sports 
Author Message

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 595
Post The Greatest Prize in Sports
The New York Age



Story by James Reynolds

The world of professional boxing received an unexpected shot of intrigue yesterday when Las Vegas businessman James Molk announced plans to establish a new organisation that will operate in direct competition with the sport's existing sanctioning bodies, such as the World Boxing Association. It will be known as the International Boxing League and, in the words of Molk himself, "will endeavour to return boxing to the days when the heavyweight championship was the greatest prize in sports and the American public adored and followed it with a devotion only equaled by baseball." Molk spoke openly and confidently of his ambitions for the IBL, saying that in the years to come he expects the organisation to become the "premier sanctioning body" running the sport.

"I don't need to express my disappointment when it comes to the terrible way in which this great sport has been administered for so many years now," Molk said. "Because my disappointment is the same disappointment that so many others who have followed boxing also feel. It's a source of great frustration but I will say right now, on this the day of its birth, that the International Boxing League will be built on a strong, rock-solid foundation of integrity. We will, above all else, uphold the integrity of the sport and it's brave combatants, who will be treated with more regard than at any time during boxing's entire history."

Molk made the announcement at a pre-arranged press conference held at his own casino, the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. He went on to reveal that since last September he had engaged in extensive conversations and meetings with associates in various businesses throughout the United States and a number of former boxing greats as to their interest in assisting him in his venture. He had received positive feedback and commitments from a group of prominent individuals whose involvement and backing of the IBL will make it "a financial powerhouse." Molk declined to name names but assured the gathered media throng that such information, in addition to further details on the IBL, will be made available in time.

Born and raised in the Ventura County city of Oxnard Molk is the son of the late owner and founder of the Los Angeles Dragons baseball club, Kelvin Molk. After attending UCLA Molk followed his father's footsteps and entered into the casino business, where Kelvin had made his fortune before becoming involved in baseball. But James did not want to benefit from the favouritism that his father's name would have brought, making it a priority to become a success on his own terms. In doing this he legally changed his name to James Oakley before moving to Vegas. James went by the name for almost fifteen years, only reverting to his original moniker after successfully establishing himself. Now just three months short of his 51st birthday James Molk has carved out a business empire that, at the very least, rivals the accomplishments of his father.

It will be interesting to see and hear how boxing's established sanctioning bodies react to Molk's announcement. There's next to no chance that their responses will be favourable, especially considering some of the fighting words that Molk spoke yesterday. The "alphabet" organisations and the promoters attached to them have ruled the sport unopposed since the early '80s and there's no doubt that they won't appreciate Molk's attempt to rock the boat. Their incompetence and corruption has gone mostly unchecked but James Molk and his associates might end up being just the antidote that boxing needs...

Last edited by kenyan_cheena on Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:29 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:24 pm
Posts: 6669
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
Welcome to the 4th solo universe on the board ...

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:32 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 595
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports



Story by Michael Drayton

After the underachievements of Sydney four years earlier the 2004 Athens Olympic Games proved an unexpected return to prominence for American amateur boxing as seven of the USA's ten competitors brought home a medal of one sort or another. The team's final count was two gold, three silver and two bronze, more than doubling Sydney's returns of two gold and one bronze. Even after such a great showing there were a couple of disappointments but they were outnumbered by those who performed beyond expectations, such as New York-born flyweight Frankie Genaro. The 19 year-old overcame some challenging circumstances just to make the team and to pick up a bronze medal was a great outcome for him.

Seventeen months have now passed since Athens and for each of the ten members of that team life has changed in various ways. Some have started on the journey of establishing themselves in the professional ranks and are already well on the way to fortune and even greater fame, while others decided to continue with their amateur careers in the hope of once again representing our country in 2008. We here at Boxing Monthly decided that the time was right to give our readers a progress report, and also do a bit of crystal ball gazing on what might be in store for each of them...

Super-heavyweight: Riddick Bowe, 21 years old
(silver medallist, lost to Canada's Lennox Lewis in tournament final

This bragadocious Brooklyn native talked a big game leading into the Olympics, having won the New York Golden Gloves Championship in both '03 and '04. But when the moment of truth came in Athens he was pounded into submission inside of two rounds by Lewis, making his silver medal something of an underachievement. As a result he's been regarded by the American public as a loudmouth who couldn't back up his own hype, his stock amongst potential promoters also falling. Despite his obvious talent the loss to Lewis has led many to question Bowe's heart and desire as he appeared to give up during the gold medal match. It even had some branding him with the unflattering nickname "Riddickulous".

For a brief period of time Bowe showed a more modest, regretful disposition, acknowledging that he'd failed to live up to his own expectations. But he cast aside the Olympic disappointment pretty quickly and of late has reverted to his egotistical, outlandish ways after accumulating a 9-0(7) professional record against some soft opposition. If he stays on track and dedicates himself to the cause there's no reason why Bowe can't win himself one of the alphabet titles, but many would consider than a very big "If". At 21 Bowe is already a father of two and by all accounts is a fantastic parent, something that seems in contrast with his perceived immaturity.

Heavyweight: Jack Johnson, 22 years old
(gold medallist, defeated Australia's Peter Jackson in tournament final)

Regarded as one of the most exciting talents in the nation, Texas-born Johnson came about as close to perfection as an amateur boxer can in Athens. Everything worked out perfectly for him. After cruising to easy wins in his first two bouts Johnson bamboozled the German Max Schmeling in the semi-finals, stopping him in three rounds. He then dominated Caribbean-born Australian Peter Jackson to win the gold by a score of 31-15. Johnson returned home a hero, his charisma, charm and handsome good looks complimenting his outstanding talent. Before long he had signed a seven-figure endorsement deal with Nike. Johnson fought his first professional bout in October 2004 and as of this writing is 13-0(11), his record including stoppage wins over former contenders Michael Rice and Frankie Goddard.

Johnson has earned himself a reputation as something of a ladies man and a playboy. During the early months of '05 he was spotted at a number of popular nightspots accompanied by a trio of blonde bombshells. Once they were out of the picture an assortment of fine young ladies were often seen at his side. Johnson was then reported to have had a steamy three-week affair with a popular Cuban television personality while in Havana for a fight in August. He is regarded as one of America's most eligible bachelors and while his extra-curricular activities have not bothered his sponsors they have brought down upon him the ire of some of the more God-fearing individuals in his hometown of Galveston, to the point where Johnson recently said that he's seriously considering relocating to California.

During the Olympics Johnson clashed on more than one occasion with Riddick Bowe, their two egos constantly smashing into each other. Johnson talked as tough a fight as Bowe but where the super-heavyweight failed to deliver Johnson excelled and triumphed. Johnson has held an attitude of disdain towards the New Yorker ever since and has said that he would gladly take him on at any time and any place. Obviously each man's promoters would love to see it happen eventually but are steering well clear of such a matchup for now. Rumours surfaced a couple of days before the publication of this article stating that Johnson had signed a contract with James Molk's recently established International Boxing League, rumours that Johnson did not deny or confirm when questioned on them.

Light-heavyweight: Elmer Ray, 19 years old
(bronze medallist, lost to Canada's Sam Langford in tournament semi-finals)

One of a trio of Athens Olympians from the outstanding Pensacola-based gym of Roy Jones this extroverted, brash young man went beyond what was expected of him in claiming bronze. Ray upset Great Britain's Sydney silver medallist Allan Thomas in the tournament's quarter-finals, the referee stopping the contest in round two after Ray had punished his man in the 1st and then floored him twice in the 2nd. Ray tested the eventual gold medallist Langford in the semis, the Canadian winning 25-21 after four exciting rounds. Ray garnered much admiration for his aggressive, explosive fighting style but gave all credit to his trainer Roy Jones. Elmer said that Jones taught him how to "channel his anger and demons" into an effective offense once he stepped between the ropes and it definitely worked against Thomas.

After the Olympics Jones was undecided for a time over whether his charge was ready to commence a professional career or not, believing that as he was still young he could benefit from another four years in the amateur ranks. But after Ray's continued improvement through the first half of 2005 Jones sat him down and told him that he felt he was ready to make the jump. Elmer made his professional debut this past September and has started his career impressively, reeling off four stoppage victories to date fighting in the cruiserweight division. Ray has said on more than one occasion that he's driven by a desire to avenge his Olympic loss to Langford. It's an ambition that he might very well realise some day.

Middleweight: Holman Williams, 23 years old
(silver medallist, lost to Panama's Joe Gans in tournament final)

The second of the trio of Roy Jones-trained Olympians, Williams is a fantastic talent and it was only the brilliance of defending Olympic Champion Joe Gans that kept him from a gold medal. Jones is Holman's uncle and started training him when he was fourteen. Athens was Holman's second trip to the Olympics after he lost in the quarter-finals in Sydney. Williams is a much more laid-back and mellow individual than Elmer Ray, one who presents himself with the type of class and style that is rarely seen these days. He had already decided before Athens that he would turn professional after it and since making his debut in September 2004 Williams has been very active, fighting sixteen times and boasting a record of 14-1-1(10). That one defeat came in controversial circumstances back in November as he was stopped due to a cut that had come from a headbutt but was incorrectly ruled to have been from a legitimate punch. Despite that setback Williams appears to be right on course to eventually be ranked amongst the best middleweights in the world.

Welterweight: Billy Graham, 18 years old
(lost to Australia's Ali Mahmoud in tournament quarter-finals)

Graham was the youngest member of Team USA and while he would have benefitted from the Olympic experience he appeared quite overwhelmed by the occasion against Mahmoud. The New Yorker is committed and determined to retain his spot on the team for Beijing 2008 so there's little chance we'll see him in the professional game before then.

Light-welterweight: James Ray, 21 years old
(silver medallist, lost to South Africa's Benedict Khumalo in tournament final)

The older cousin of Elmer Ray was, in the opinion of most, robbed of a gold medal in Athens by incompetent judging. Either that or his hands were simply too quick for the judges to see. Despite outlanding Benedict Khumalo by a ratio close to 2:1 James lost on points, 19-17. The verdict was disputed and Team USA officially protested it but the result was not overturned. James grew up with his cousin Elmer in the small Florida town of Hastings. The pair came to Roy Jones' attention back in 2002 when he happened to be at a Jacksonville boxing clinic they were also attending. Roy spotted their talent immediately and six months later was training them full time. James Ray is currently regarded as the finest Welterweight in the United States, blessed with lightning-fast hands and an outstanding defense. He's accumulated a 12-0(9) professional record and it would not surprise this writer in the least if in the not-too-distant future he joins fellow stablemate Terone Haynes (the WBO's Heavyweight Champion) as the second world champion trained by Jones.

Lightweight: Pernell Whitaker, 22 years old
(gold medallist, defeated Cuba's Orlando Zulueta in tournament final)

The sky's the limit as far as Pernell Whitaker is concerned. The egotistical Virginian swept all before him in Athens and is considered to be on par with fellow gold medallist Jack Johnson in terms of talent and potential. He dominated Zulueta in their Olympic matchup in a performance that solidified his claim to being the best young lightweight in world boxing. Whitaker bumped chests with James Ray during Athens, creating a rivalry that could produce a fantastic clash in years to come. The Norfolk native has already said that his sights are set on being "at least" a three-division champion in the pro ranks (lightweight, junior-welterweight, welterweight) so it's certainly a possibility. Whitaker has made a steady start in the professional arena, his record currently 9-0(6). He has not been as active as he would have liked due to some family-related issues that saw him out of action for five months through the middle of 2005. Even so, it seems only a matter of time until Whitaker secures a shot at a world title. Just thinking about what this young man will achieve during his career excites me.

Featherweight: Johnny Kilbane, 20 years old
(lost to Japan's Takeo Hitashi in tournament first round)

While not expected to come home with a gold medal around his neck Cleveland's Johnny Kilbane was thought to have a good chance of making the semi-finals in Athens. Instead he crashed out in his opening bout to the unheralded Japanese fighter Takeo Hitashi. After that disappointment Kilbane took a complete break from the sport and for a time it looked like he would not return. But he re-emerged last August, claiming he was going to continue fighting in the amateur ranks with the intention of redeeming himself in Beijing. It will be interesting to see if he can achieve that goal.

Bantamweight: Paulie Ayala, 21 years old
(lost to Mexico's Vicente Saldivar in tournament quarter-finals)

Ayala was always going to struggle against the brilliant young Mexican Saldivar and as it turned out he didn't make it out of the fight's 2nd round, Saldivar unloading a succession of scoring shots on him before the referee stepped in to end the carnage. America's bantamweight stocks are very light as far as the professional ranks are concerned but Ayala is out to change that as he joined those ranks soon after the Olympics. The Texan has been brought along cautiously, being fed a steady diet of stiffs through the first fifteen months of his career. He's currently 11-0(8) but until he makes the step up in regards to the quality of his opposition Ayala cannot be taken seriously as a real contender.

Flyweight: Frankie Genaro, 19 years old
(bronze medallist, lost to Argentina's Santos Laciar in tournament semi-finals)

One of the feel-good stories of the Athens Olympics, Genaro overcame a serious respiratory illness in the weeks leading up to the selection trials before defeating the team's Sydney flyweight representative Brian Jackson. Once in Athens Genaro then accounted for two of the gold medal favourites in successive bouts (Canada's George Carmont and the Japanese fighter Hideki Suzuki) but ran out of steam when he came up against Argentina's Santos Laciar in the semi-finals. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic run. Genaro hopes to go all the way in 2008 and has put any plans for a professional career on hold. The New Yorker's passion for representing his country is what drives him and his ultimate goal is to claim Olympic gold. He even said recently that if by chance it doesn't happen in Beijing he would be prepared to chase his dream all the way to London 2012.

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:33 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:22 pm
Posts: 2207
Location: Loudon, TN.
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
Man I wish I could do write ups like yours Kenyan. I always enjoy reading up on your universes and look forward to this one as well.

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:35 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 595
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
mh2365 wrote:
Welcome to the 4th solo universe on the board ...

Thanks, Mike. I really should have started posting this here earlier, but better late than never, I guess.

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:36 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 595
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
Brooks wrote:
Man I wish I could do write ups like yours Kenyan. I always enjoy reading up on your universes and look forward to this one as well.

Thanks for the kind words, Brooksie. The main thing that drives me is my enthusiasm to tell a good story, which is why I try to flesh out the fighters as much as possible. I think if I can get the reader to feel some empathy for the fighters beyond the wins and losses they've recorded it makes it an even more enjoyable experience.

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:38 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 595
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports

*** Published bi-weekly out of Chicago, Illinois since 1950 ***

Monday 20 February 2006
Volume 57, Edition 4


Story by Larry Masters

On February 10 ESPN's Friday Night Fights visited the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena where hometown hero and former Olympic and WBO Heavyweight Champion Ray Mercer made a victorious return to the ring following a hiatus of some ten months. The 34 year-old had been inactive since stopped in eight rounds by WBC Champion Ken Norton last April, a defeat many thought had spelt the end of his career. Mercer was by no means fantastic on FNF but against a hand-picked opponent in the shape of Boston's Lonnie Raines he didn't have to be, the 5th round TKO win improving his record to 31-5-1(22). The evening was noteable for the fact that the man who dethroned Mercer as WBO Champion Terone Haynes was in the crowd at ringside along with fellow Pensacola gym member James Ray. They weren't there to hound or torment Mercer but to support a third member of their entourage, Athens bronze medallist Elmer Ray who appeared on the undercard and scored an eye-opening 2nd round KO victory to maintain his perfect record at 5-0(5).

While Mercer was billed as the main attraction on the night the card also featured a pair of young Florida heavyweights whose careers are only starting and who appear to have a ton of talent and potential. One of them is an impressive 22 year-old from Belle Glade named Romy Alvarez who possesses perhaps the quickest hands seen in the division since Jamal Johnston while the other is a frightening power puncher who goes by the unusual moniker of Cheetah Brown. Long-time followers of boxing would know that since the start of the 21st century the heavyweight division has been a pretty barren place as far as America is concerned. Norton, Mercer, Haynes and retired Texan Donnie Bates have been our only World Champions during this decade but Alvarez and Brown are just two amongst what is a growing crop of promising and young American heavyweights who might be currently unknown but look certain to explode upon the international stage in the next couple of years...


Alvarez grew up in one of Florida's poorer communities and so learned to appreciate from a young age the blessings life can throw one's way. And so it was in June 2003 when, with nothing else to do, he accompanied a friend to a local gym and was encouraged by a fitness instructor there to work out on the heavy bag. Alvarez had never held any major interest in boxing to that point but on that afternoon a new avenue and opportunity to escape his hometown (which he recently referred to as a "black hole of suck") opened up to him. He decided the very next day that he would become an amateur boxer and threw himself into this new-found calling with more enthusiasm than he'd approached anything in his life. He pushed himself to become as fit as possible, improving his eating habits and spending hours each day at the gym in training.

Although he was working part-time Alvarez could not afford to travel out of the state as he was helping to support his family. He entered a number of Florida-based amateur tournaments through the rest of '03 and into '04, finding some success and even winning a couple of them. The young man soon caught the eye of Olympic team officials and was asked to attend the selection trials for Athens, their interest serving as validation of all the hard work he'd put in and confirmation that he was heading in the right direction. By that time he'd put enough money aside to afford the price of a train ticket to Detroit and while he was unsuccessful in trialing as a heavyweight Alvarez did strike up a friendship with fellow Florida boxers Elmer and James Ray while at the trials, both of whom qualified for the Olympic team.

Alvarez considered turning pro after the trials, primarily because the money he could earn would help his family greatly. But he weighed that up against gaining more experience in the amateur ranks and decided to delay the switch. Alvarez continued competing through until September 2005, winning several tournaments and becoming one of the top amateur heavyweights in the USA. He finally made his professional debut this past October and so far he's been near faultless through four bouts, the last of which was on that February 10 ESPN card. Alvarez had maintained occasional contact with the Ray cousins since the Olympic trials but on the night they spoke at length about the possibility of the Belle Glade native relocating to Pensacola to train under Roy Jones, something that is certainly an exciting development for him.

Despite his pro career being only four fights old Alvarez has already been given a nickname by his fans: "The Iceman". They say it's due to the controlled, seemingly emotionless demeanour he employs during his bouts. It's something which he's not quite comfortable with but nonetheless understands, as he explained that he feels he is at his best when he doesn't let his emotions dictate his actions. Alvarez has said he'll never step between the ropes "hating his opponent" because every fighter, no matter their talent, is only "one big punch from disaster" and anger can only shorten the odds.

Besides his obvious boxing skills Alvarez has also attracted attention from the way he wears his hair during fights. He has long, brown hair which is pulled back in a ponytail and covered by a hair tie in the colours of his beloved Florida State University, garnet and gold. Alvarez explained that he wears a gold chain with a Virgin Mary charm on it, wrapped around his hair underneath. It's a gift from his parents that he wears everywhere as a good luck charm, something he says he'll never step into a ring without.


Joe Jeannette was well on the way to either a life of crime or an early grave by the time his 18th brithday rolled around. He had been kicked out of home and was living on the streets, an ill-tempered young man resorting to burglaries, shoplifting and bag snatching just to survive. But on an April day back in 2001 he met a man who would change his lfe and steer him away from the destructive path he was traveling. That man was a priest, Father Alfredo Ciccone of St. Brigid's Catholic Church in Jeannette's hometown of North Bergen. Ciccone challenged Jeannette to make something of himself, encouraging the teenager to take up amateur boxing in order to bring some discipline into his life. It also served another purpose for Jeannette, that of venting the anger and frustration he carried around inside. At first he was stubborn and resistant but after a time Ciccone's persistence paid off and by the end of '01 Jeannette was showing signs of real talent in the boxing ring.

Indeed, by the following April Jeannette was a different person compared to the common crook he'd been only twelve months earlier. That was a life he never wanted to return to and with Father Ciccone and the church's help Joe continued to take strides in rebuilding his life, even reconciling with his family. By May 2004 Jeannette was the 2nd ranked amateur heavyweight in the United States behind the Texan Jack Johnson. He was invited to attend the Team USA Olympic selection trials where he made it all the way to the final bout before being defeated on points by Johnson, who went on to claim gold. While disappointed Jeannette did not ponder on his failure to make the team, only having to look back at where he had been to remember how far he had come.

Jeannette started his professional career shortly before the Olympics and after a disappointing loss in his second fight has reeled off twelve straight wins. Understandably he has not received as much publicity as Johnson but that's something that doesn't concern him. Jeannette has become an upstanding member of the community in his hometown and a leader at the North Bergen gym where he trains. A number of promising fighters also train there and they look up to him for advice. One of them is the middleweight Mickey Walker who also happened to lose out in the Olympic selection trials. It will be interesting to see how Jeannette's career progresses, especially considering the news of the past week when he confirmed he'd signed a contract to fight under the banner of the International Boxing League.


Standing 6'4" and weighing in at an imposing 240 pounds Hanson has quickly gained a cult-like following in his hometown where he's fought each of his five professional contests to date, winning them behind a pile-driving right hand that has put each opponent to sleep inside of four rounds. Hanson is of Mexican heritage and was born and raised in Indianapolis, attending the University of Notre Dame where he played linebacker for the Fighting Irish and also met his future wife. His close friends (who call him "Hector") would tell you that "extroverted" is probably too mild a term to describe his personality. He's the type of guy who you can always expect to be the life of the party, one who has a lust for life and an energy that is infectious.

But how did he become a professional boxer? There was a brief period during his college days when Hanson was looking towards an NFL career, but his partying ways and ill-discipline in regards to training scuttled his chances. A year out of Notre Dame he was working in an office and would often wonder what could have been if he'd grasped the opportunity that had presented itself to him. Sharing some drinks with friends following work one evening he expressed his frustration to them and one made a throwaway remark, simply saying "We all know you can hit like a mule kicks so why not become a fighter, Hec'?" At first Hanson laughed off the comment but as the weeks passed by and the mind-numbing days behind that desk mounted the idea took root. He started training, hitting the pavement in the morning and going to the gym instead of the bar in the evening.

Having shed some twenty pounds from his frame Hanson debuted in October and has fought each month since. Yes, his right hand is like a sledgehammer and that is his main strength but on the negative side he is slow, with poor ring movement and hand speed. Unless his opponent is right in front of him Hanson finds it difficult to land shots with any regularity but that hasn't really been a problem so far, as his record indicates. He is durable and tough with a solid chin, something he'll really need if he goes in against anyone with that combination of speed plus power. Yes, he has some problems but he is still young and only starting his career. With the right advice and training these issues can be addressed before (or if) he hits the big time. In this writer's opinion the following he's quickly found amongst fans stems from the fact that he literally could be any one of them. He's literally quit his job and chased a dream and they admire him because of that.


Hailing from the same city as International Boxing League boss James Molk, it seems almost destiny that Sam McVey would start his professional boxing career mere months before Molk and his organisation came into being. McVey had been a high school football star and was set on playing at running back for USC before everything changed. He watched Jack Johnson claim gold in Athens and was inspired to become a boxer. To the shock and surprise of his close friends, family and the USC administration McVey turned his back on what they all thought had been his life-long dream and started training to become a professional boxer. He adopted the same application and determination that had driven him to become one of the top young running backs in the nation, that hard-working attitude making it seem that he was a natural talent in the boxing ring.

The muscle-bound teenager fought perhaps twenty amateur bouts through late '04 and early '05 before deciding, in his own words, not to "waste any more time". McVey made his pro debut this past 23rd of May, scoring a 2nd round knockout of Los Angeles-born journeyman Harold Gill. The wins have continued coming since then and while the standard of his opposition has left a lot to be desired it appears that McVey has the talent and dedication to go far in the professional ranks. In recent months the young man has benefitted from the tutelage and advice of current WBC World Champion Ken Norton, something that can only help McVey's development.


This young wrecking machine seemingly came out of nowhere last June and has smashed out a path of destruction up and down the east coast, scoring five 1st round knockout wins. Kane never fought as an amateur and some say it shows in his raw, aggressive style. He's hot-headed, opinionated and confrontational but has been uncharacteristically evasive when questioned about his background and how he came to be a professional boxer. Kane has generated a lot of buzz and excitement and was caught up in a bidding war between a number of prominent promoters before thumbing his nose at them and signing with the International Boxing League a day after Joe Jeannette had done the same.

Kane is a huge fan of New York hip hop legends Run-DMC and has been accompanied to the ring by one of their songs blaring from the arena speaker system before each of his eight fights to date. He also usually wears one of the oversized, rope-like gold chains that the group popularised, "bringin' back the ol' school" as he likes to say. Seeing as the IBL are yet to release any details of how they will actually schedule their contests it will be interesting to see what role Kane plays in the organisation.


There must be something in the water down in Florida as Brown is the third fighter from the state to be included in this article. He'll celebrate his 20th birthday this coming Thursday and is already well on the way to what could be a fantastic career. Brown possesses surprising KO power for his size, power that some of his opponents have underestimated to their great detriment. He appears lighter than the 215 pounds he was introduced at in his last fight. His story is similar in one aspect to that of Sam McVey, in that he had a brief amateur run before making the jump to the professional game.

Brown has displayed a great ability to control his fights in addition to that explosive punching power, always pressing his opponents and dictating the action. Brown's in-ring persona is in complete contrast to the smooth, calm character he is out of it. Rumour has it that he has taken part in "Toughman" contests in the past with some going as far as saying that he once knocked out a seven-foot tall, 400-pound giant with a single uppercut as he leaned over to attack him. Such a story seems unlikely but judging by the destructive manner in which Brown has dispatched his first five opponents it might not be so farfetched.

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:42 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:59 pm
Posts: 471
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
This seems to be easier to read on this board... unless it's just me?
The color and the background seem to work little better.

All-Time Greats vs. Today's Greats

The Ultimate, Historical Boxing Simulator
30 Years of Development
Title Bout Championship Boxing!

Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:02 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 595
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports


(following are selected entries from the magazine's
"Fight Review" section)

1 February: Coventry, England
Ian Lord (5-0(3)) KO3 George Hughes (7-4(4))
(middleweight division)

Local fighter Ian Lord maintained what has been an impressive start to his professional career, scoring an abrupt knockout win over Liverpool's George Hughes midway through round three. Showing a cautious disposition through the opening two rounds Lord caught Hughes with a flush left hook as the two traded hard shots in the 3rd. Hughes crumbled to the canvas as if shot and was counted out at the 1:25 mark. At just 18 years of age Lord appears to be one of the most promising young fighters in the UK. Some have said that they can see him challenging Nigel Benn for the title of England's best middleweight in the not-too-distant future. Standing just 5"8" he's a real pocket rocket and has been lauded for his toughness and aggressiveness.

4 February: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sam Langford (13-0(10)) KO5 Brian McNamee (21-12-2(14))
(cruiserweight division)

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Langford stretched his perfect professional career start to fourteen fights, disposing of McNamee in convincing fashion and defending his NABF belt for the second time. Langford sent the journeyman to the canvas four times, the final two coming within thirty seconds of each other late in the 5th. The Michigan native failed to beat the count on the second of these, the bout officially over at the 2:49 mark. Langford's march towards a world title shot remains on course, the only question being which sanctioning body will offer one to him. He revealed after his victory that representatives from the International Boxing League had spoken to him the week before and he was impressed with the information and contract they presented to him.

7 February: Berlin, Germany
Scott Mundt (8-0(6)) TKO3 Adrian George (11-9(6))
(heavyweight division)

Connecticut-born Mundt produced another classy performance in stopping Englishman Adrian George midway through round three on cuts. Mundt pummelled his man through the opening two stanzas, opening a cut over George's left eye that only got worse when he targeted it in the 3rd. Mundt's handlers are bringing him along quite carefully as despite his superior experience George was not expected to trouble him, a description that could be applied to most of Mundt's previous eight opponents also. Even so the 26 year-old is quickly earning the title of Germany's favourite up-and-coming fighter and there are some already calling for a clash with Olympic bronze medallist Max Schmeling to determine who the nation's best young heavyweight is.

10 February: London, England
Lennox Lewis (13-0(9)) KO6 Gary McNichols (10-12-1(7))
(heavyweight division)

The Olympic super-heavyweight champion continued what has been a near-faultless opening to his professional career with a dominant win over the Irishman McNichols. It looked like being an early night for Lewis when he floored McNichols a minute into round one but he didn't go all-out for the win, preferring to pick his foe off gradually before putting him out of his misery midway through the 6th. The people of England have embraced West Ham-born Lewis as the one who will end their nation's heavyweight championship drought and they were out in force at the Hammersmith Apollo to cheer him on to his fourteenth victory.

11 February: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Jake Morrison (6-0(6)) KO2 Milton James (3-5(1))
(middleweight division)

Wisconsin's promising young wrecking machine Jake Morrison had been set to take on the similarly undefeated Chicago fighter Chris Hendricks (5-0(4)) in what would have been a great regional clash. Unfortunately Hendricks pulled out three days before the fight because of a back injury. A replacement had to be found and that replacement was the underprepared and overmatched Milton James, who Morrison bombed into oblivion inside of four minutes. Sporting a freshly shaven pate the Chippewa Falls native presented an intimidating image but expressed his frustration afterwards, calling the fight "a waste of time". Morrison's camp felt the circumstances surrounding Hendricks' injury were suspicious and they still have their sights set on him. They're hopeful that the fight will happen next month.

14 February: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Scot Long (5-0-1(3)) UD6 Billy Marshall (4-2-1(2))
(light-heavyweight division)

Former amateur standout Scot Long was in fine touch against an opponent who was expected to test him. It didn't turn out that way as Marshall was never allowed to get within sniffing distance of a victory, Long's aggression and workrate too much for him to handle. Long is a native of McCune, Kansas and a number of his closest friends and family made the trip east to St. Louis with him to be ringside on the night. He did not disappoint them, producing a performance that led to a standing ovation from much of the Scottrade center audience. Long only just missed out on a spot on the Athens Olympic team, losing out to eventual bronze medallist Elmer Ray in the selection trial final. He's moved on from that disappointment and at just 21 years of age is regarded as one of the best young light-heavies in the nation.

16 February: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Mark Somogyi (7-0(5)) TKO4 David Gibson (5-5(2))
(light-heavyweight division)

Somogyi is one of a number of rising young stars from down under and against Gibson he put on a clinic, sending him to the canvas four times before the fight was stopped late in the 4th. Somogyi claimed the Australian light-heavyweight belt in his last fight and it would be true to say that Gibson was not a worthy challenger for it. The fact that he did is indicative of the quality of light-heavies in Australia and Somogyi said afterwards that he hopes to head overseas in his upcoming bouts. The 2004 Olympian has the potential to become a real force in the future and securing fights against quality opponents will help him in achieving that goal.

18 February: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Tyrell Biggs (26-4-1(18)) UD10 Michael Rice (34-8(25))
(heavyweight division)

Six years have passed since Biggs claimed gold in Sydney. After a pair of disappointing outings last year (KO losses to James Anders and Leon Higgins) the window of opportunity is quickly closing for the 29 year-old to claim a world title and his win against Rice (who is now 2-6 in his last eight bouts) would have done little to put him back in the picture. What Biggs really needs is a dominant victory over a top ten contender but despite his recent struggles most of them seem unprepared to risk their current standing to add his name to their resume. Apparently James Molk's International Boxing League has shown some interest in signing him and considering his situation it's an offer he should probably accept.

19 February: Cannes, France
Petite Fourie (4-0(2)) UD6 Sergei Vaulin (3-2(1))
(light-heavyweight division)

This fascinating Frenchman moved along to 5-0 in fantastic fashion, outboxing his stronger, more aggressive opponent and making him look downright foolish at times. Fourie displayed some of the best counter-punching this writer has seen in quite a while and employed a disciplined, deliberate strategy to wear the Russian down over the course of the fight. There were a number of occasions when he could have done even more damage but that doesn't appear to be Fourie's way. He's not particularly aggressive and lacks killer instinct as a result. But it mattered little, his efforts earning him a 59-55, 60-54, 59-55 verdict. This is one young Frenchman the boxing world should be keeping an eye on.

21 February: Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Richie Plunkett (8-0(7)) UD6 Michael Bates (4-4(2))
(lightweight division)

Bronx-born brawler Richie Plunkett continued to solidify his status as the best young lightweight in America behind Pernell Whitaker with a convincing win over the tough but overmatched Philadelphian Michael Bates. Plunkett floored his man twice on the way to victory, taking the verdict by scores of 59-53, 60-52 and 59-54. It was only the second time he's gone the distance in his career to date but that didn't bother him, Plunkett saying it felt good to be "stretched a little". Plunkett's impressive career start has apparently caught the attention of the International Boxing League as some of their officials were in the crowd at ringside to watch him in action.

21 February: Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Steve Finley (6-0(5)) KO2 Mario Davis (11-8(6))
(light-heavyweight division)

Fighting on the same Atlantic City card as Plunkett Virginia's Steve Finley scored an explosive 2nd round knockout of Miami's Mario Davis. After staggering him in the opening round Finley unleashed a succession of power shots early in the 2nd, Davis falling face-first to the canvas and being counted out at the 0:32 mark. At just 20 years of age Finley is already being spoken of as a future world champion and despite being full of such ambition he knows he still has a lot to learn before he can start considering such lofty heights. He's a level-headed, fantastically talented individual and with the right guidance he should be amongst the elite of the light-heavyweight division in the years to come.

23 February: Mexico City, Mexico
Salvador Sanchez (14-0(12)) KO2 Rafael Perez (11-4(5))
(featherweight division)

Olympic champion Sanchez chalked up his 15th win in brutal fashion, knocking his compatriot Perez out cold with a single right hand midway through round two. It was the third time Perez tasted the canvas in the bout after Sanchez dropped him early in the 1st and again just ten seconds into the 2nd. At a time when the nation boasts some of the top pound-for-pound fighters in world boxing Sanchez looks certain to be the next big thing to come out of Mexico. After his brilliant showing in Athens he's picked up the professional game without missing a beat. The International Boxing League have employed Mexican legend Israel Martinez to persuade some of the country's best talents to sign on with them and it appears to be working. Sanchez confirmed the day after his victory that he would be signing a contract with the IBL by the end of the month, joining the likes of now former IBF junior-lightweight titlist Hector Hernandez and promising welterweight Bernabe Carbajal under the new organisation's banner.

25 February: Portland, Oregon, USA
Freddie Steele (32-1-1(28)) TKO11 Marvin Blanks (25-3(19))
(middleweight division, IBF world title fight)

"The Tacoma Assassin" successfully defended his portion of the middleweight championship for the fourth time in a tough contest against Oakland native Marvin Blanks. After making a slow start Steele was in control by round six but Blanks never backed down, rocking him with some flush blows in the 8th and once again in the 9th. The Californian tasted the canvas twice in the 11th and when Steele had him helpless on the ropes after he'd risen from the second knockdown referee Joe Cortez had seen enough and halted the contest. In a talent-heavy division Steele is currently the longest-reigning of the four alphabet champions at two years and nine months. He's expressed an interest in trying to unify the belts, with a fight against WBC champion Bert Lytell being discussed as a possibility for later in the year.

Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:18 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 595
Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
The New York Age



Story by James Reynolds

Speaking yesterday from his organisation's Venezuelan head office World Boxing Association President Pedro Vielma made the surprising admission that the sport's established sanctioning bodies "should be worried" by the threat that James Molk's International Boxing League poses to their control of it. Molk's group has made fantastic progress since he introduced it to the world just under two months ago with the man himself saying last Monday that they've "already signed close to 150 fighters".

"When Mr. Molk made his speech back in January I was sceptical," Vielma said. "He made all these proclamations, talking tough and saying that his league would be a "financial powerhouse" and built on "integrity". It sounded like a lot of big words with nothing to back them up. But I've heard rumours about who he's managed to get involved in his organisation and what their plans are and if they are true then we have to take him very seriously."

The WBA is the oldest of boxing's four major organisations and first came into being as the National Boxing Association in 1921 before changing it's name in '62 to reflect the global reach of the sport. Vielma has ruled it unopposed as president since 1991 and he conceeded yesterday that some of the points Molk made back in January had "a ring of truth to them" and that "certain incidents in the past could have been handled differently." That comment seemed to be an agreement on his part that some of the more controversial actions taken by the sport's sanctioning bodies have damaged the public's perception of boxing and led to today's climate of disinterest in it. Vielma did try to put a positive spin on the sport's current reality, claiming that the upcoming 18 March lightweight unification bout between the Dominican Republic's WBA champion Francisco Ortiz and Mexican WBC champion Patricio Marquez will very likely be the fight of the year.

There have been situations that have made each of the four organisations hang their heads in shame and for the WBA the low point was probably the period during the 1980s when it came under the strong influence of the late promoter Freddie Hutchinson. His sway over the organisation was so absolute that other promoters had to resort to paying bribes to its officials just to get their fighters ranked. It must be said that Vielma's reign has been free of such corruption although he has rubber-stamped his fair share of inconsistent, perplexing and incompetent decisions.

However, compared to the nuthouse that is the current day International Boxing Federation the WBA is a model business. The IBF is facing two embarassing situations that are both the making of its often-lampooned president Michael Jacobs. The first one relates to Mexican featherweight Gilberto Vasquez. Last September he was victorious in an official world title eliminator, earning a shot at Puerto Rican world champion Jose Molina. The following month Molina relinquished the belt and moved up to the junior-lightweight division. Instead of allowing Vasquez to contest for the vacant title the federation decided that two fighters promoted by Jacobs' close friend Robert Tattaglia would do so.

An angry Vasquez then announced that he planned to sue the IBF for breach of contract if he did not receive the title shot he'd earned, to which they replied with an appeasing offer where he would challenge the winner of the title fight in their first defense. Seeing this as a further sign of disrespect Vasquez hired a lawyer and declared that he would be going ahead with legal action. To date the situation remains unresolved but it veered into dangerous territory recently when Vasquez revealed that he'd received death threats, intriguing news when one considers Tattaglia's rumoured links to organised crime in New Jersey, which is also where the IBF's head office is located.

The other mess that the federation has made for themselves involves current World Boxing Organisation heavyweight champion Terone Haynes. In recent months Haynes' manager/trainer Roy Jones has been pushing for a unification bout between his man and the current IBF champion, Germany's Marko Friedrich. Haynes captured the WBO belt from his fellow Florida native Ray Mercer in September 2004 and has already defended it on four occasions in the time since. By comparison, Friedrich has defended his title just once during that period, which was almost twelve months ago. He pulled out of a planned defense with Russia's Igor Berezutskiy late last year, who the IBF somehow installed as a mandatory challenger despite him having beaten no one currently ranked in their top ten.

Their clash has yet to be re-scheduled and what makes the incident even more farcical is Jacobs' recent bizarre words when he claimed that because Haynes had only fought twenty-one times in his pro career he was not worthy of challenging for the IBF's belt, this despite the fact that their current bantamweight champion Owen Moran won the title in his sixteenth fight. The WBO have not helped the situation either by stating they'd prefer Haynes to fight their own mandatory challenger. Roy Jones announced last week that if the situation is not resolved by the end of the month Haynes will be relinquishing the belt and signing with the IBL. The entire "Florida Alliance", as Jones' Pensacola-based team is sometimes known, would be going with him.

These two incidents with Vasquez and Haynes are only a pair of examples of why the majority of the sporting public is so down on boxing these days. It would seem that many of the sport's competitors are sick of the nonsense from the alphabet boys also, judging by the number of them who have already signed with the IBL. Last week's news that Canada's two-time Olympic gold medallist Sam Langford had become the latest high-profile fighter to do so will no doubt be a body blow to the World Boxing Council who were definitely grooming him towards a shot at the title in what is presently a shallow cruiserweight division. With Langford out of the picture the pool is almost empty. Molk's organisation has been very smart with their signings so far: most of them are young fighters who really are the future of this sport, such as the trio of Olympic champions who joined before Langford in Jack Johnson, Salvador Sanchez and Lennox Lewis.

And so, as Vielma said in relation to the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO's stance towards the IBL, "We should be worried."

Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:21 pm
Profile Send private message E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 629 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 63  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
phpBB customization services by