First-hand Account of Floyd Mayweather at WrestleMania 24

As Uatu pointed out, we weren't about to do anything live on WrestleMania - this isn't WrestlingWatchers.com, after all. But I was present in the press box at the Citrus Bowl in one of my secret identities, and I can tell you that Floyd Mayweather put on a surprisingly good show, pun intended.

Floyd's entrance was phenomenal, with cannons firing money and a big burst if fireworks from the top of the stadium once he got to the ring. Some of the bills made it all the way across the floor to the far side, while a whole bunch piled up behind the guard rails by the ramp. I saw one man try to jump the rail until security swarmed to stop him.

Mayweather used MMA-style gloves despite saying he'd have only taped hands. The match was well-choreographed, with Floyd using his quickness early and Big Show dominating once he was able to slow him down. To his credit, Mayweather took a few bumps - I guess you're expected to absorb some impact for a seven-figure payday - though nothing that would really put him at risk. Show used good psychology too, stomping on Mayweather's hands and working his arm, but that's not surprising since he's been in the business for a long time.

The fans were definitely behind Big Show, cheering every time he got in any offense. After a big chop smacked across Show's chest, a loud "one more time" chant got going. And they booed Mayweather lustily after the finish, which came after numerous chair shots and some brass knuckles.

Would Mayweather be viable for more WWE appearances? He definitely has the natural personality for it, though he's more effective when he's just being himself, and he didn't come across too well in the more scripted segments during the build-up to WrestleMania. It would be tough to sell such a small heel (or bad guy) though, and his price tag would probably prohibit regular appearances.

For one night, Mayweather wasn't half bad. I'd like to see him get back to boxing (maybe guys other than De La Hoya!), but he was entertaining in Orlando, and that's what WrestleMania is all about.


Pretty Boy Floyd Money Mayweather Wrestlemania Update

Floyd is the winner by KO as he furnishes the brass knux!

Pretty Boy Floyd Money Mayweather - Wrestlemania XXIV

BoxingWatchers will not be doing a live blog from Wrestlemania, but we do know someone who will be there, live and in person, tonight. So perhaps this week we will be able to have a Q and A or some sort of first hand account of what happened tonight for Floyd Mayweather.


Quick Thoughts on Spinks - Philllips netcast

First, disappointing walk out by Spinks. "Stronger" by Kanye West is old now and not very creative. Also, no dancing and no rapper along with him.

Second, the netcast was excellent. Obviously connection speeds and hardware affect the experience, but Uatu watched over a cable hook up and a laptop. The resolution and look of the cast was nothing short of excellent. It was like watching it on a TV from before the flat screen HD era. This is the future for sure. The angles and camera work was just as good as anything on TV. It blew the CBS netcasts of NCAA games away. CBS has everything too small and the view too far away. Not so for Don King. There was no pixelization, no freezing, no jumping, no nothing.

Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather on Mike and Mike

Mike and Mike is the morning show on ESPNRadion and ESPN2.
Today Mike Golic and Eric Kuselias are hosting.

Floyd first goes into the training behind Dancing with the Stars.
He said he would learn a routine in one day instead of four.

He won't be wearing gloves to fight the Big Show at Wrestlemania, he will have his hands taped.
A lot of hyping up the amazing size difference.

They ask how he got roped into this.
Floyd was sitting ringside at No Way Out, as just a fan and that's when he broke the nose of the Big Show after Show challenged him.

What is he going to do to beat the Show?
Floyd says he is real smart and the Show won't be able to catch him.

How is he going to knock him out?
He already broke the Show's nose so...

Floyd does not and won't guarantee a victory, he said he can't do that.

What's his plan if he gets trapped under all of that weight?
Floyd says he has tricks up his sleeve and other guys with him to help him.

He has been boxing before the age of seven. He fought in pee-wee boxing. He says the Oscar fight was easy work.

Why no knockout?
Oscar gave him heavyweight gloves. He gave him pillows. So for Hatton he got the right gloves.

Floyd says he has the PPV records, and he guarantees that WrestleMania 24 will break all of the records for wrestling.

What's next for boxing?
Floyd says he doesn't know.

Could Floyd take Mike Golic?
He says he likes Mike and wants to come back so he has no problems with Mike. Mike says the body shots would hurt him much more than a face shot.

That's it. Apparently Floyd will also be on ESPN First Take, the mid morning show on ESPN2 following Mike and Mike.


Interesting News - Valero ok to Fight in the US

Quite possibly the most buzzed about fighter, Edwin Valero, has been ok'd to fight in the state of Texas according to ESPN. Valero is a gaudy 23-0, with 23 ko's. 19 of those in the first round! While anyone could be built up with this type of record by fighting tomato cans, Valero has gotten credit from any expert who has seen him as being the real deal.

Dougie Fischer at maxboxing.com has been at the forefront of touting Valero as more than just a creation of good matchmaking. If you can, go and try to find Dougie Fischer's articles about Valero and sparring footage they had over at maxboxing.com or probably on the youtube. He has quite an interesting life story and had been on medical suspension due to a motorcycle accident that had given him some head damage.

Valero was backed by Oscar De La Hoya and was managed by Oscar's father Joel the first time around. He then fought in Japan because of the suspension.

This guy has the potential to be huge star and will bring a large amount of anticipation to his US return.


Round By Round: Joel Casamayor vs. Michael Katsidis

Some nice pre-fight staring down and a little pre-fight mind games and shoving. Always nice to add a little spice. Katsidis came out in his normal Warrior gear; maybe the Brush, El Cepillo, didn't appreciate the entrance. This ring announcer is not Michael Buffer.

Shane Mosley in the crowd. He may overtake Chris Byrd for most boxing matches attended.

Round 1
Feeling out and Katsidis goes down in the first 30 seconds from a left! Unreal, flurrying and Katsidis down a second time in the first minute! Announcers thinking he is not ready for that straight left. Shades of Pacquiao-JMM I. Katsidis looks tentative, but he is still trying to take the lead by coming forward. Cagey Casamayor showing a lot of movement and his usual pot shotting. Katsidis looks like he could get tagged again at any time he is open.

Uatu - Casamayor 10-7

Round 2
Well, now Kats comes in without throwing, probably to not be open. Casamayor blocking and pot shotting. Clinching too. Left from Joel. Mike trying to be aggressive but Joel will grab if he gets too close. Nice left from Joel and he gets away. Lennox steals a line talking about Joel being cagey. Decent shot by Mike. Overhand left from Joel. Joel looks totally different from his last fight. This is a more active Joel due to his opponent. Post-round stare down and trash talking. Entertaining fight at this point but Joel all the way.

Uatu- Casamayor 10-9

Round 3
Although if this keeps up, it may get boring. Now THIS is ineffective aggression. It's like a poor man's Hatton-Mayweather, at least as far as the stakes, crowd and hype go. No disrespect to the fighters. They are both trying hard, but Kats isn't really getting to Joel. And even if Joel is not a one-punch power fighter, he could stop Kats at some point in the same way. Joel doing some clowning with his hands down. Kats really trying to work the body against the ropes but Joel doesn't seem bothered. Tough round to score.

Uatu - Casamayor 10-9

Round 4
Interesting fact from Lederman. Casamayor was forced by the commission to shave because his beard was too long. More of the same. Kats aggressive. Kats finally gets to him! Joel is hurt! Another strong right from Kats! An exchange of big crosses! Casamayor really trying to hold on. Still throwing though. Very gritty stuff. Kats throwing bombs but Joel throws too and then grabs. This is no longer a Hatton-Mayweather clone. That notion has just been thrown out the window! Big momentum change.

Uatu- Katsidis 10-9

Round 5
Joel on his bike and Kats stalking. There is drama in every exchange now. Kats trying to brawl and throwing hard again. Joel grabs. Can Joel last the night? Action slows because Joel grabs. And grabs again. Kats not an open book like before because Joel has to be careful as Kats presses. Low blow from Kats, retalitation from Joel. Kats trying more and more body shots. Have to go with Kats.

Uatu - Katsidis 10-9

Round 6
Kats is an action brawler as advertised. Kats right back at it. Joel not really keeping him as honest as before. Digging and digging away at the body. Kats not getting to him as much. Joel doing some good boxing and moving. Kats rocks Joel in the side of the head! He then finishes Joel, knocking him out of the ropes! Joel survives but he is weakened. The round ends and saves Joel. Kats looks to have everything going his way now. It was left to the body, left to the ear and body to knock him through the ropes.

Uatu - Katsidis 10-8

Round 7
Joel back on thie bike. He is trying to keep him away. Big shots from both. Joel seems to be getting his legs back but danger is one punch away because Kats is throwing bombs. Sneaky left from Joel. Bike and pot shotting. Big time left from Joel. Kats goes back to the body. Kats landed next to nothing in that round to get excited about.

Uatu - Casamayor 10-9

Round 8
Hey, there's Bernard in the crowd too. Lederman gave round 7 to Kats. Disagreed. Not too much landed early. Jabs ahoy from Casamayor. Kats coming forward but not throwing much. Kats pops Joel. Joel gets away. Joel gets through another round without too much struggle. Tough round to score as neither man had the success of the previous rounds, or any success really. Was considering an even round but Casa did more.

Uatu - Casamayor 10-9

Round 9
Point deduction for a low blow. Who was that for? Casamayor apparently. Kind of a rip-off call. Kats back to his ineffective aggression. Head butt warning to Joel. Punches exchanged and some clinches. Nice right from each. Actually Joel's was a left. Another boxing round from the Brush.

Uatu- Casamayor, so it's 9-9

Round 10
Joel lands with about the biggest punch ever in the first 20 seconds! Kats wobbles around and up! Surprising this is even continuing. And it's not anymore! It's waved off!

It was an enormous left right on the chin to Kats. He was open by throwing a wide punch and was hit. Kellerman for some reason is saying the stoppage may have been quick. He is saying he wouldn't have stopped it.

Kats's face looked like a person who was not entirely there. Uatu has no idea why it wouldn't be stopped. Lennox says he would have stopped it. Agreed.

Joel Casamayor by TKO 30 seconds into round 10!

Uatu looks like a genius for the earlier Hatton-Mayweather comparison. Retract the earlier retraction. Just kidding. Similar to that fight, this knockout was unexpected, but unlike that fight, it wasn't really like Joel was wearing him down. But it was an aggressor versus a master boxer and the master boxer had the guts to to throw the big punches when needed and got the other man out of there.

Post-fight, Joel says Kats is not that good of a puncher but puts a lot of pressure on. Joel says he was not badly hurt and he slipped out of the ring. That is questionable. Joel said he had to sit down on his punches because his fights have been stolen before. Kellerman makes a smart comment about winning some robberies and losing some robberies.

Joel is looking for the big money fights. Nate Campbell is there saying he wants to make the fight. A somewhat raucous interview. Joel's interpreter is an animated fellow.

They interview Kats. HBO must really love him. Kellerman was all over him during the fight.

Kats seems like a decent chap. He doesn't dispute the stoppage and said the ref was doing his job. He seems very disappointed, understandably, and apologizes to Austrailia.

Round By Round: Andrade vs. Stieglitz

Kellerman says that every fight with Andrade is compelling. That's why this fight is on TV.

Round 1 of 12
Andrade throwing punches early. But not really with bad intentions and they are being blocked with ease. Andrade jabbing away. Andrade working body. Andrade throwing 3 to 1 but neither man doing too much damage. Lewis says Stieglitz is tight. Agreed. Andrade tries a lot of uppercuts during the round. Have to go with Andrade based on output and ineffective aggression. Stieg didn't land many shots at all. Probably less the five solid hits combined if that.

Uatu - Andrade 10-9

Round 2
Stieglitz wastes no time in the opening seconds. Threw a three punch combo. Consecutive uppercuts from Andrade. Solid connects. One two from Andrade. Big time uppercut even from the outside. and now the inside. Stieglitz goes for a four punch. Two way action erupts! Never has this many uppercuts been thrown in the first two rounds of a fight. Body hooks by Andrade. Stieglitz is a "bloody mess" per Kellerman. Agreed. Good action round. Crowd was into that round.

Uatu - Andrade 10 -9

Round 3
Right to the body from Andrade. Andrade goes body again and uppercuts again. Lewis enjoys Andrade's gladiator spirit. Interesting fact: Andrade used to manage a Jack-in-the-Box. Lead left hook by Stiegliz blocked. He forces Andrade to try to fall out of the ropes. Phone booth fighting with Stielgitz pressing. Andrade fights him off. Nice left from the outside by Andrade. Stieglitz falls but it is ruled a slip.

Uatu - Andrade 10-9

Round 4
Lederman too has it 3-0 Andrade and he loves the uppercuts too. A bit of feeling out and feinting going on both ways. Andrade left to the body. Grab and hit by Stieglitz. Stieglitz gets a decent right to the body in. Stieglitz throws a decent combo and and is pressing Andrade back to the ropes again. Not really in danger though. Flurry by Steigz but Andrande closes the round like he is trying to really put an exclamation point on things. However neither fighter looked to hurt the other.

Uatu - Stieglitz 10-9

Round 5
Lead right Stieglitz. Misses and a clinch. Stiegz throwing heavy punches but Andrade evades and blocks and rolls well. Steigz is throwing and trying hard though. Stiegz gets in an uppercut of his own. Jabbing around both ways. Andrade forcing Stiegz back to the ropes. Andrade doing good defensive work. Nice right and some mroe uppercuts from Andrade. Andrade bombing away to end the round. He came on strong to finish that round.

Uatu - Andrade 10-9

Round 6
At least in this fight Andrade's defense has been sneaky good. He's not a fleet of foot mover, but he keeps his hands up and rolls with punches well. Steigz gets in a combo but Andrade fights him right back. Stiegz jabbing. Big right from Stiegz, but not a huge one. Andrade has no issues with it. More close uppercuts and body work from both. Looping left lands from Stiegz. Andrade may have Stiegz hurt. He throws a good 8-10 unanswered punches in the corner as Steigz covers up. He may have turtled his way out of getting seriously rocked again. Andrade steals the round.

Uatu - Andrade 10-9

Round 7
Lederman has it 5-1 Andrade. Careful jabbing in the middle of the ring. Similar to pervious rounds. Decent two way punching but nothing too heavy either way. Still more from Andrade than Steiglitz. More of the same of previous rounds. Stiegz throws three blocked shots and Andrade lands the left. Same thing happens again. Andrade jabbing well. 1-2 from Andrade backs up Stiegz. Not too much significant that round so it favors Andrade

Uatu - Andrade 10-9

Round 8
Wow UCLA down at half. Stiegz nice combo to start. Back to the middle. Stiegz nice body shot. Clinching. Combos both way but mostly blocked both ways. Stiegz two decent rights. Andrade doesn't looked slowed. Andrade carefully stalking. Clinching again. Andrade works his way in behind jabs. There's a huge shot by Andrade! Steigz turtling. Andrade going for it. Steigz not throwing back. The Ref stops the fight! Andrade then does a very cool flip in the ring off of a turnbuckle like Rey Myeterio and the crowd chants for Mexico. Quick but good stoppage as Stiegz stopped throwing. It was all due to the serious right from Andrade. When Steigz stumbled back Andrade literally ran to him as he stumbled to a corner. He followed up with some hooks and that was that. Any more and Stiegz could have been hurt for real, for real.

Winner by TKO in the 8th round Andrade!

Good action fight. Andrade may not be the quickest guy but he is tough and busy. He may not be able to take out a fighter at the level of Joe Calzaghe, but he will be a tough out for most anyone else. After this it is a good bet he will be on TV fights again in the future.

Predictions: Casamayor vs. Katsidis

Another young man /older man contest.
First there was Diaz Campbell.
Then there was Pacquiao Marquez.
Now we have Casamayor Katsidis.
So far it's young men 1/ older men 1. Although Pacquiao is sort of in the middle really.

Casamayor has a huge advantage in experience, and Uatu would say in skill too.
So the only way Katsidis can win is by bringing aggression and output to win.

Uatu says Katsidis wins with ineffective aggression but the output wins over the judges. No fireworks, no knockdowns, maybe some cuts on headbutts.

Katsidis UD 12

Andy Lee loses to Brian Vera, Friday Night Fights

Much hyped and ballyhooed (especially by Emanuel Steward, his trainer) middleweight Andy Lee made what Uatu believes was Lee's first televised appearance against Brian Vera of The Contender on Friday Night Fights last night.

Uatu fell asleep watching college hoops as he figured this would be a quick KO win by Lee, since Steward has said many times that Lee is ready for Kelly Pavlik right now. Well, imagine Uatu's surpise this morning checking through results on ESPN.com to find out that Lee was stopped in the seventh round.

Watching the highlights, Lee knocked Vera down in the first, but it was a weak knockdown. As the fight progressed, Vera tagged Lee over and over with hard shots. Lee ended up getting stopped on his feet, and he was actually punching back as the ref waved it off, so it did look like a quick stoppage. It was likely inevitable that Lee was going down for good, but you never know.

Emanuel Steward is an interesting character. Since he has been an expert in the game for years and years now, and as the cliche goes, has forgotten more than most people have ever known, one questions him at the peril of being completely embarrassed. However, since he often holds a role as a broadcaster at the same time he acts as a trainer and manager, he might (not necessarily consciously) be a bit biased toward his guys. This, of course, is completely understandable. A good trainer and manager should be behind his guys all the way. After watching Lee last night though, it doesn't look like he is ready for Pavlik right now. Is Lee talented? Looks like it. Will he be the world champ someday? Almost definitely, which is a great accomplishment. It just doesn't seem necessary to hype him up so much so fast. But whatever. Lee will just have to wait a bit longer, and Pavlik will be out of the division by then anyway. In the meantime, it bears mentioning that Lee and Jermain Taylor are two fighters that Steward trained and may have slighly overestimated. Kermit Cintron has been moved aggressively by Steward as well, and one wonders if these other outcomes will have any bearing on Cintron's fight with Margarito.

Lee and Vera are moving to a rematch, and Uatu predicts Lee will get the KO in that fight.


Forbes Forced to Switch Mayweathers After Floyd's Comments

Steve Forbes is still going to have a Mayweather in his corner when he steps in the ring to face Oscar De La Hoya on May 3. It just won't be Roger Mayweather.

ESPN's Dan Rafael is reporting that after hearing that Floyd Mayweather was upset with Uncle Roger, Forbes fired him and turned to Jeff Mayweather to prepare him for his upcoming fight.

Floyd started the ball rolling on Thursday during a conference call that was supposed to be promoting his upcoming WrestleMania appearance. That didn't stop Money from injecting some family politics into the mix, specifically his perception that Roger training Forbes was a conflict of interest.

In Floyd's eyes, if Roger was able to help Forbes upset De La Hoya, it could potentially ruin his own rematch with the Golden Boy this fall. And that could hurt Floyd in the one place he guards most carefully: his bank account.

"That's not a good look at all," Floyd said during the conference call. "No disrespect to Steve Forbes. He's a good fighter and good person. Roger Mayweather is my uncle. My uncle is training Steve Forbes to beat Oscar De La Hoya and then he wants to come over and train me? He wants Steve to beat De La Hoya but if [Forbes] beats him, then everyone around me sees the fight go down the drain."

Floyd went on to suggest that if Roger wouldn't quit, he'd have to find another trainer. He even suggested that boxing sites poll readers to pick a new trainer if he had to fire his uncle.

All that won't be necessary now. After Roger allegedly no-showed a training session, Forbes made a call to Jeff - Forbes has actually trained with all three Mayweather brothers in the past - and just like that, conflict of interest solved.

Here at BoxingWatchers.com though, we think it would have been a lot more fun had Floyd actually used the internet to pick his next trainer. So we're running our latest poll assuming he would have been forced to turf Uncle Roger. Vote today!


Fight Name Trivia

For all fight fans out there, here is a list of "Fight Names" for some major fights over the last few years. Test your memory and Fight Game Knowledge. Franchise, feel free to add more, these were off the top of the head. More to be added later perhaps. See if you can remember the fighters that these fights took place with as well as whether they were the first, second, or third fight of a trilogy if applicable.

It's personal.
Unfinished business.
Thunder and Lightning.
Coming with Everything.
The World Awaits.
Bad Blood.
No Respect.
More than Personal.
Sworn Enemies.
No Excuses.
The Rematch.
Fast and Furious.
Next in Line.
Once and For All.
The Grande Finale.

The Franchise says...

A couple I'm pretty sure of are in my comment, plus a few more that are just guesses. Here's a few upcoming taglines:

High Stakes: Mosley-Judah
Battle of the Planet: Hopkins-Calzaghe (a double meaning since it is sponsored by Planet Hollywood Casino)


Round by Round: Marquez vs. Pacquiao II: Unfinished Business

It is now time for the rematch. After watching the first match between Marquez vs. Pacquiao, this fight should be intense and hard-hitting. Pacquiao's record is 45-3 with 34 KOs. Marquez's is 48-3 with 35 KO's.Tonight's fight is at 130 pounds. Marquez weighed in at 140 while Pacquiao weighed in at 145. Pacquiao putting on an extra 15 pounds is the subject of conversation amongst the commentators.

The crowd is heavily divided by their respective nationalities while they make their way to the ring. The crowd is ready and so are Marquez and Pacquiao.

Rd. 1: The fighters square off in the middle of the ring. They're feeling each other out. Pacquiao tries to establish the jab. Both fighters seem very cautious. Neither fighter is taking initiative to set the pace. Manny sets a combination to the body. JMM whacks Manny with a right and Manny pounds his gloves together. With 30 seconds left both fighters start to fight hard.

Spartan: 10-9 Marquez
Uatu: 10-9 Marquez

Rd 2: Manny tries to jab and set up his punches to the body. JMM counters with a straight that is blocked. Both fighters are on their toes. Manny is really trying to get that straight right inside to JMM's body. JMM lands a right hook. Manny lands a vicious straight right and JMM staggers but shakes it off. Marquez is trying a lead hook but they have been blocked so far. Marquez is clearly trying to counter punch. Manny gets clocked by a right and left and gets wobbled.

Spartan: 10-9 Pacquiao
Uatu: 10-9 Pacquiao

Rd 3: JMM continues his counter punching technique and Manny gets hit with a counter jab. 10 seconds later he gets hit with a harder straight right. Manny keeps the pace up but now JMM is starting to become more confident and comes forward. Marquez is winning this round so far. Their heads butt for a second time in the round and Marquez holds his head to the ref. Marquez gets rocked by a straight left bomb and goes down on his back. He makes it up and Marquez gets drilled with two more shots but fights back very hard. The bell sounds.

Spartan: 10-8 Pacquiao
Uatu: 10-8 Pacquiao

Rd 4: Marquez starts the round off differently now backing up more than in previous rounds. Now both fighters are swinging at will. Manny lets his punches fly but gets hit with a hard right. Marquez fights back and backs Manny into the ropes but Manny fights back. Now they take it to the center of the ring. Both fighters go back to their technical skills. JMM now starts letting his punches go. Manny starts throwing hard power shots, but most are blocked. Marquez lands a right hook and Manny shakes it off. Marquez has a good round for getting knocked down hard in the last.

Spartan: 10-9 Marquez
Uatu: 10-9 Pacquiao

Rd 5: In the beginning of this round the fighters start off slower. They choose their punches wisely and concentrating hard. Manny backs him up with a combo of of jabs to set up a straight right. Marquez counters back. JMM starts to come forward now and lands a right hook. Manny now gets drilled with another hard straight right. Manny gets hit again before the bell.

Spartan: 10-9 Marquez
Uatu: 10-9 Marquez

Rd 6: Marquez comes forward again to start off this round but pays for it with a straight from Manny. Manny receives to hard right hooks again but seems to shake them off. Manny is slowing down his combos and flurries. Manny gets knocked off balance with two hard right shots. Manny's defense seems to have his holes and JMM is finding them. JMM has been landing his straight right hand very well. JMM lands yet another straight right to end the round.

Spartan: 10-9 Marquez
Uatu: 10-9 Marquez

Rd 7: JMM is doing well and if he keeps it up Manny will lose this fight. Manny throws a single straight and JMM counters with a combo. Their heads collide again and a cut opens over Marquez's eye from an accidental head butt. It is outside the eye and doesn't look like it will go into his eye. Now both fighters come back and trade hard wild punches in the center. It's hard to tell who is taking more punishment. Now they slow the pace and square up. Again, they trade punches again to end the round.

Spartan: 10-9 Pacquiao
Uatu: 10-9 Pacquiao

Rd 8: JMM lands a hard straight right hand and backs Manny up again. A cut now opens over Manny's eye from a solid punch. JMM lands a hard shot to the liver and it backs him up into the ropes. Manny looks bothered put does his trademark glove smash to show hes not hurt. Manny's cut looks serious and he is clearly bothered. Manny looks like he's in trouble. JMM is now jabbing at the cut and clearly stalking Manny now. Manny comes back and starts throwing wildly. This round clearly goes to JMM.

Spartan: 10-9 Marquez
Uatu: 10-9 Marquez

Rd 9: JMM starts to go back to work to try to open the cut again. Manny keeps his defense up. Manny looks like hes back on his game and choosing his punches. Manny now lands a hard right but JMM comes right back. JMM now landing at a higher percentage and opens the cut again. Now the fighters turn up the energy to overdrive and swing away hard in the center. Both fighters are taking punishment in this round. Both fighters now bleeding. The ref stops the action to check JMM's cut because it was caused by a head butt. A new cut now opens over Marquez's left eye this time from a punch. They trade again as the bell sounds.

Spartan: 10-9 Pacquiao
Uatu: 10-9 Pacquiao

Rd 10: Manny lands a vicious straight and seriously wobbles JMM. Manny now goes after him but JMM throws back to keep himself out of trouble. JMM looks to have shaken off the cobwebs. Manny lands another straight right hand and JMM hangs back. The blood now starts to flow into JMM's eye. Both fighters now throwing hard as if to be aware that the fight could be stopped because of a cut. Neither fighter looks tired. Manny loses his mouth piece towards the end of the round but JMM fails to capitalize.

Spartan: 10-9 Pacquiao
Uatu: 10-9 Pacquiao

Rd 11: In between the rounds JMM's cut looks absolutely horrid. JMM comes forward to start the round and lands a hard straight left. JMM continues to get in his counter punches. JMM gets warned for a low blow. Manny takes the time to recover. Manny backs him into the ropes when they come back but doesn't land. Both fighters now trading hard combinations to the head that land. JMM comes in and throws four very wide punches that get blocked. Manny lands a hard straight to end the round.

Spartan: 10-9 Marquez
Uatu: 10-9 Marquez

Rd 12: They touch gloves to start the last round. They start the round cautiously. JMM lands a hard right hand but Manny still comes forward. JMM comes in with hard combo but it all gets blocked. Manny now lands a hard left and right. JMM now lands a hard uppercut. Now the fighters get serious and trade hard blows in the center. Manny gets knocked back into the ropes but comes right back out. JMM now landing at a higher percentage and landing hard lunging straights. They trade again to end an extremely hard and gutsy performance by both fighters.

Spartan: 10-9 Marquez
Uatu: 10-9 Marquez

Judge 1: 115-112 Marquez
Judge 2: 115-112 Pacquiao
Judge 3: 114-113 Pacquiao

Spartan: 114-113 Marquez
Uatu: 114-113 Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao wins a split decision and is the new super featherweight champion of the world.

Pacquiao says he thought the fight would be a hard one. He also says that his cut definitely bothered him throughout the fight. He gives props to JMM and says he was a great fighter. Manny says he will consider moving up in weight for his next fight.

Marquez says that the cut didn't affect him and it was caused by a headbutt and we thought we were winning the fight. He said "we hurt him in many rounds".

Marquez vs. Pacquiao II: Undercard LiveBlog

It looks like we'll get three televised fights on the undercard tonight as we head live to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. First up is David Diaz, the lightweight title-holder who is widely assumed to be Manny Pacquiao's next opponent should he win tonight. He'll be facing Ramon Montano, though not many of the fans are in their seats to see it.

Montano certainly doesn't look like a complete stiff, showing a determined body attack in the opening round. This fight is reminiscent of the opening rounds of the recent Campbell-Diaz fight in the sense that both men seem to want to fight as close together as possible. Diaz looks a little more comfortable in the second round, finding more space to land to the head and body.

Through four rounds the fight is still being waged at close range. It's hard to see this tactic working for Diaz if he chooses to try it against Pacquiao. Round five sees a little more space start to develop and that favors Diaz, who lands a nice right-left combo about midway through the frame.

The sixth round turns into a contest of uppercuts with Montano backed up against the ropes. He manages to weather the storm, though, and still doesn't look like he's in any danger of getting knocked out. Jim Lampley starts talking about the ring girl between the seventh and eighth round, which should give you an idea of how safely Diaz seems to be winning this fight.

There's no question that Montano is tough. He absorbs a wicked right that snaps his head back in the ninth but shows no signs of quitting. His only chance is a knockout, though he doesn't appear to have the power for that, so it should just be a formality for Diaz to wrap this one up. Referee Joe Cortez makes a sweet move by replacing Montano's mouthpiece on the fly. Both guys trade right up until the final bell.

As expected, Diaz wins the decision, though one judge mysteriously scores it a draw. Solid work, but Diaz doesn't appear to have the speed to hang with Pacquiao.

Next up is Abner Mares against Diosdado Gabi. Amazingly, Gabi put on 15 1/2 pounds overnight, going from 119 1/2 to 135. It's a Mexican versus Filipino clash just like tonight's main event. Larry Merchant says Mares has never faced a southpaw in his brief pro career.

Gabi starts out strong but gets staggered by a couple of right hands with about 40 seconds left in the first round. He makes it to the end of the round, but we'll see how badly he's hurt.

As it turns out, he really was hurt. Gabi goes down early in the round from a straight right hand, then again from a rising left that glances off the side of his head. The ref stops the fight and Mares is the winner by TKO at 49 seconds of the second round.

The final undercard fight pits Steven Luevano against Terdsak Jandaeng for Luevano's WBO featherweight belt. A left from Luevano seems to stun Jandaeng early on, but he stays on his feet.

Luevano's accuracy is serving him well through three rounds, though Jandaeng is sticking in there and throwing hard pitches when he gets an opportunity. Between the third and fourth rounds, highlights from Marquez-Vazquez III are shown, which is never a bad thing.

Just when it looks like Luevano is cruising, Jandaeng fires a left that scores a knockdown with just under a minute left in the fourth round. He tries to follow it up, swinging wildly and unsuccessfully. Jandaeng hits the canvas himself late in the round, but it's ruled a slip.

The fifth round starts out as a bit of a slugfest, which does not favor Luevano, but it settles down later on. Luevano is able to control the rest of the round with his counter-punching skills, and he seems like he's shaken off the knockdown. Mike Tyson is shown in the crowd.

Emanuel Steward praises Luevano for his patience and technique, and Jandaeng's face is starting to show a lot of damage on both sides. He's still coming forward consistently but Luevano's footwork is excellent, and he's able to move laterally to avoid getting in trouble.

In the eighth round, Luevano gets hit with an obvious low blow, and the ref gives him time to recover. Steward says he doesn't think it was intentional, but it still looked painful. He's back to picking his foe apart for the rest of the round, and as long as he doesn't get caught and knocked down again, he should be in good shape.

Jandaeng's corner is telling him he needs a knockout to win, which is good advice. He's definitely going for it in the tenth and eleventh rounds but to no avail. A left hand knocks Luevano's mouthpiece out with about a minute to go in the 11th, but he manages to readjust it himself and avoid more incoming punches.

Harold Lederman actually gave the 11th round to Jandaeng, though he should still be way behind on the scorecards. He did score the knockdown though, and this is boxing, so you never know. Luevano is doing a lot more running in the final round, and the crowd seems to be on Jandaeng's side since he is actually going for it. Luevano circles all the way until the bell and we'll go to the scorecards.

Luevano wins by unanimous decision, and though I don't put much stock in CompuBox numbers, the stats show he landed about four times as many punches.

Live Round By Round Updates of Marquez-Pacquiao II: Unfinished Business Tonight

You know we wouldn't miss this one. If you can't catch tonight's pay-per-view telecast of the rematch between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, bookmark BoxingWatchers.com and get live round by round updates from our own Spartan117 and Uatu. It's the third-best thing to being there!


Marquez vs. Pacquiao II: Unfinished Business Weigh-in

Caught the weigh-in on HBO.
Pacquiao was his usual ridiculously ripped self and came in at 129.
Marquez looked toned and ready at 130 on the dot.
There was some energy in the crowd, but everything at this point pales in comparison to Hatton-Mayweather. Nothing special happened.

Shane Mosley, Marco Antonio Barerra, and Bob Arum were in the house. No Oscar or Bernard or other Top Rankers were on the stage at least.

Not a physique or anatomy expert, but does the more ripped and dehydrated-looking man in turn mean the man who will put on more weight overnight and thus the heavier man on fight night? Is there any way to eyeball people the night before and be able to tell who will put more weight on when they get in the ring? Since Arum has said that Manny is moving to 135 to fight David Diaz if he wins, and Marquez has always been around the 126-130 range, writers have been stating that Manny will be bigger on fight night. That could sway even more favor towards the PacMan.

Miranda vs. Kessler is on

Edison Miranda vs. Mikkel Kessler is on according to ESPN for May on Showtime.
This is a very interesting fight.

One can't help but wonder about where Miranda really fits in the boxing landscape. Is he a Mayorga-like trash talking brawler that won't be able to back up his talk against the elite? Consider Mayorga vs. Forrest and compare it with Miranda vs. Abraham. Then think of Mayorga vs. Oscar and Tito and compare them to Miranda vs. Pavlik.

What about Kessler? Impressive against Andrade. Undressed by Calzaghe.

Miranda also reminds Uatu of Tyson and to a lesser extent Juan Diaz (minus the power of course). If you can stand up to these "bullies", then you can take them on with skill. But standing up to them is, of course, no easy task.

But can Kessler stand up to the Panther? To be determined soon.

Predictions: Marquez-Pacquiao II

The Franchise says...

It's tough for me to pick any of Manny's fights simply because it's so difficult to take my rooting interest out of the equation (Disclaimer: All staff members of BoxingWatchers.com are part Filipino!). That being said, I was relieved when the first fight between these two turned out to be a draw, because I honestly thought Marquez had won the fight. That's how much he dominated the second half of the bout with his boxing skills.

What's changed to make me think the outcome will be different this time? For starters, I don't think there's any question Pacquiao's all-around game has improved. In the first half of the decade, Pac Man fought the same way every round. He came forward, threw a lot of punches, and his hand speed and power were usually too much for his opponents. His defense consisted of moving his head side to side while he advanced.

That's not the case today. While Manny's first instinct continues to be blasting his foes out of there, he's a little smarter about how he goes about doing it. Marquez is still the superior technician, but Pacquiao's improvements, especially on defense, have narrowed the gap.

I also think Father Time is Pacquiao’s corner. JMM is five years older, which could turn out to be significant - though Manny has certainly has put a lot of miles on the odometer in his career. If this fight goes the distance, age may end up working against Marquez.

Those factors tie into the final one, which is that Marquez really has only one way to win the fight, which is to out-box Pacquiao and win on the scorecards. It's almost unthinkable to see JMM scoring a knockout - he's KO'ed only two of his last nine opponents, and Manny hasn't been knocked out since 1999. That gives him less margin for error, increasing the chances that he'll be caught or worn down late.

And that's exactly what I think will happen. Marquez is an excellent boxer, and as the first fight showed, he's got toughness and heart to spare. The 2008 version of Pacquiao is better than the one he faced in 2004 though, and I like the new Manny to stop him in the late rounds.

On the undercard, I'm going to stay away from picking the Luevano-Jandaeng fight because I don't know enough about either fighter. I am going with David Diaz over Ramon Montano since he has too much at stake (he's been mentioned as the likely next opponent for Pacquiao should he win Saturday) to lose to an inferior opponent.

Uatu says...

Well, he doesn't say much more than what has been said above.

No reason to wait for the weigh-in because both of these guys are making weight no problem. Manny will look like an action figure with a crazy physique, and JMM will look good too. These guys are top flight pros and won't mess around and come in heavy. Too important.

Manny looks unbelievably fast in recent footage. Speed kills. If anyone can neutralize the speed though it's a consummate skilled pro like JMM.

JMM would have been the pick if the rematch had been made years ago. Not in 2008.
Lots of action, lots of fun. Manny UD 12

Undercard? Not interested in picking.


Round by Round: Maskaev v. Peter

The last fight of the night is the heavyweight fight between Oleg Maskaev v. Samuel Peter. The commentators believe that these fighters will swing hard and often to make an exciting fight. Maskaev is the title holder. The winner of this fight will be the fighter that Wladimir Klitschko must fight and defeat to become the undisputed heavyweight champ.

Maskaev is 39 years old while Peter is only 27. As the last fight demonstrated, age doesn't always matter.

Maskaev comes out to "Another one Bites the Dust" and in a sombrero. Very similar to an entrance we've seen before. Floyd Mayweather perhaps?

Both fighters look big, mean and ready to fight.

Round 1: They walk to the center of the ring and touch gloves. Both fighters are feeling each other out and don't throw anything for the first 30 seconds. Peter throws the first punch but it does not connect. Maskaev looks cautious. Peter lands a left hook and a jab. The pace is slow. Peter lands the first forceful blow and its a right to Maskaev's head.

Spartan: 10-9 Peter
Uatu: 10-9 Peter

Round 2: This fight looks like it's in slow motion when it is shown after the last fight we just saw. Peter gets backed into the ropes but counter's his way out. Peter throws jabs to the head and body. Maskaev now getting busier. Peter usually throws the first punch in a sequence of traded punches. Maskaev throws a hard right that misses and causes him to loose his balance. Peter does not capitalize.

Spartan: 10-9 Peter
Uatu: 10-9 Peter

Round 3: Peter works the jab which is the first punch to land in the round. The commentators have been scolding Peter about his punches landing in the back of the head. Apparently Peter has a history of hitting behind the head. Peter lands a massive power punch and unloads on a hurt Maskaev against the ropes. Maskaev makes it out of the ropes and lands a hard right hand of his own and staggers Peter. Both fighters are lucky to make it out of the round.

Spartan: 10-9 Peter
Uatu: 10-9 Maskaev

Round 4: Both fighters are very cautious for the first minute of the round. Peter lands a perfect jab that hits hard. Peter's body movement dodges three hooks delivered by Maskaev. Maskaev lands a hard left hook which backs Peter.

Spartan: 10-9 Maskaev
Uatu: 10-9 Peter

Round 5: The open scoring of this fight lets us know that Peter is winning on all 3 judges score cards. Maskaev now throws more jabs. Jim Lamply now shows his hatred for open scoring as he has done numerous times in the past. Both fighters now taking their time before throwing their punches. Maskaev lands a hard right hand and the crowd erupts.

Spartan: 10-9 Maskaev
Uatu: 10-9 Peter

Round 6: Peter is the more aggressive fighter in this round. Peter lands a shot to the back of the head. Maskaev holds his head and takes two more hard shots. The ref warns Peter. Maskaev lands left that knocks Peter off balance. Maskaev gets clocked with a vicious right and staggers back. He is practically out on his feet. Peter follows the stumbling Maskaev around the ring landing at will. He also lands two punches to the back of the head which goes unnoticed by the ref but most of the barrage lands cleanly. The ref finally steps in and stops the fight.

The winner by TKO, and new WBC heavyweight champion, Samuel Peter.

Peter shouts into the microphone for his post fight interview. "UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD. WHO NEXT?" He says he can beat any boxer in the world and says he can do it tomorrow.

Round by Round: Diaz v. Campbell

The first bout in tonight's double header is the 135 pound fight Diaz v. Campbell for the lightweight championship. The fight is taking place in a bull fighting arena that has been converted to accommodate tonight's event. Juan Diaz has become a rising star in the sport and is currently undefeated. At 24 years old, he has been regarded as a fast puncher who is also a knockout artist for his weight class. Tonight he goes up against the 36 year old veteran Nate Campbell.

The night starts with a feature on Diaz's life. Not only is he coming up in the sport of boxing, he is also attempting to receive his college degree at the University of Houston. The story also features his Mexican family. He is scheduled to finish college in December. His dream after boxing is to become the mayor of Houston.

Commentator Max Kellerman believes that this fight is Campbell's last shot to improve his name in the sport.

After the feature the fighters make their way to the ring.

Round 1: Campbell seems to realize Kellerman's comment and wastes no time being aggressive. Campbell unleashes many strong combinations to Diaz's body. A cut already starts to bleed over Diaz's left eye, most likely from a accidental headbutt. They go toe to toe refusing to clinch and trade blows. Diaz turns it up and answers back with punches to the head.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Campbell

Round 2: Campbell starts the round early again and goes right in and swings for the fences. Diaz chooses his punches wisely and lands at a higher percentage. It is truly a fast paced fight. Diaz lands three hard right hands to Campbell's head. Diaz comes back off the ropes and swings back but Diaz blocks most. Both fighters take punishment to the head in the middle of the ring. Diaz looks faster and more accurate in this round.

Spartan: 10-9 Diaz
Uatu: 10-9 Diaz
Franchise: 10-9 Diaz

Round 3: Neither fighter looks tired in round 3, but Diaz looks more focused. Campbell looks like he's going for a knockout, swinging wildly and off the mark. Intensity is still high as the square off in the middle of the ring. Campbell now focuses on the body. Diaz backs Campbell into the ropes and lands flurries to the body and head. Campbell's upper body movement looks good and dodges some of Diaz's punches. It looks like this fight will be decided by the strength of chins.

Spartan: 10-9 Diaz
Uatu: 10-9 Diaz
Franchise: 10-9 Diaz

Round 4: They trade punches in the center again. Campbell now throws less. Diaz starts to work the body. Diaz continues to throw great combinations that land to Campbell's head. Campbell shakes his head to say it didn't hurt. The crowd chants MEXICO. Diaz continues to land and Campbell shakes his head again. Diaz now takes a lot of punishment upstairs but stays strong and swings back.

Spartan: 10-9 Diaz
Uatu: 10-9 Diaz
Franchse: 10-9 Diaz

Round 5: Diaz's trainer tells him to keep working because Campbell will tire. Neither fighter looks tired in the 5th. Campbell lands punches to the head while Diaz lands to the body. Now both fighters start to use the jab which is the first we've seen of it. Campbell now landing at a higher percentage and choosing his punches wisely. Both fighters trade punches at the end of the round.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Diaz

Round 6: Round 6 looks just like round 1 in the first seconds. Campbell comes in and throws hard. Diaz returns punches to Campbell's head. Now the fighters slow down but still throw. Campbell lands 3 hooks and an uppercut. I don't think Diaz can take much more punishment like that. Diaz does not appear to be phased and continues to fire at will. Diaz's eye is now gushing. 1 point now gets deducted by Campbell for a headbutt. Diaz takes his given time to clean his cut. There are 20 seconds left when they return to action. Both fighters end the round by swinging hard.

Spartan: 9-9
Uatu: 9-9
Franchise: 9-9

Round 7: The replay shows that Campbell should not have had a point deducted because the cut was opened by a punch. Campbell's defense looks better than his opponent in this round. Both fighters still punching at tremendous numbers. Diaz looks bothered by his cut and starts to paw at it. Campbell is now landing the cleaner punches. Compubox says that Campbell has thrown more punches in ever round so far.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Campbell

Round 8: Emanuel Steward complains that Diaz's cutman is not doing a very good job stopping his cut. Neither fighter looks tired as we enter the later rounds of the fight. Diaz's punches now look less accurate. The commentators state that the judges of tonight's fight are extremely inexperienced. Both fighters trade once again as the round ends.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Campbell

Round 9: They trade in the middle of the ring again. Diaz clearly taking more punishment to his head. Diaz looks more hesitant to throw now. Campbell now firing to Diaz's head with hard hooks. Diaz's eye is a bloody mess and takes more and more punishment as the round ends.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Campbell

Round 10: Campbell now looking for a knockout while Diaz slows his pace and throws less. The entire left side of Diaz's face looks terrible while he continues to favor it. Diaz now starts to punch more but his punches are inaccurate. Diaz stumbles around the ring and gets backed into the ropes and takes more punches to his head. The commentators believe that Diaz's will has been broken. If diaz makes it through this fight it will be impressive.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Campbell

Round 11: Campbell backs up Diaz in the first seconds of the round. Diaz refuses to give up and continues to swing. Campbell lands vicious hooks that Diaz cannot block. Diaz now fighting with his head down. Campbell looks comfortable and loose. Campbell now stalking Diaz around the ring and dishing out very strong hooks.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Campbell

Round 12: Campbell's trainer tells him to not get careless and if he follows that advice he should have this fight won. Campbell really wants a knockout but Diaz does not back down. Diaz is now clinching. Campbell is now bullying Diaz around the ring and fires at Diaz in the corner. The last 10 seconds are still action packed but Campbell landing more.

Spartan: 10-9 Campbell
Uatu: 10-9 Campbell
Franchise: 10-9 Campbell

This fight was a high energy fight with very hard punches. Campbell fought harder for 12 rounds and deserves to win the fight. Diaz's showed heart but looked hurt in the later rounds. He needs to work on his defense to continue to be competitive in this sport.

Judge 1: 114-113 Diaz
Judge 2: 111-116 Campbell
Judge 3: 112-115 Campbell

Campbell wins split decision and wins the title

Spartan: 116-111 Campbell
Uatu: 116-111 Campbell
Franchise: 115-112 Campbell

In the post fight interview, Campbell is arrogant. He says he fought "his ass off" and says he come out so strong because he knew Diaz couldn't take it.

He says he's the best fighter in the world. Diaz says that Campbell's intensity threw him off his game plan. He says he should have established his jab.

Round By Round: Haye Vs. Maccarinelli

They're staying up late in London to bring us the cruiserweight unification bout between David Haye and Enzo Maccarinelli. The WBA, WBC and WBO titles are on the line, and 20,000 fans are in the house.

Steve Albert is building this up as a fight that could end at any time with any punch. Let's hope it lives up to that billing. It's interesting that Showtime is using this fight as the first part of a boxing-MMA doubleheader, something they will also be doing at the end of March.

IBF light heavyweight champion Clinton Woods stops by for a short interview, promoting his upcoming bout with Antonio Tarver. They talk a little bit about how hot boxing is in Great Britain right now, and it's hard to argue that point.

The tale of the tape tells us the boxers are coming in within a pound of each other, despite reports that Haye was having trouble making weight and is leaving the division soon. Haye has a reach advantage of a couple inches.

Joe Calzaghe, Frank Bruno and Evander Holyfield are all on hand to take in the action. Haye comes to the ring first, sporting his own "Hayemaker" shirt. The announcers are saying he grew up just a short distance away from the O2 Arena, the site of tonight's fight. Maccarinelli enters to the sounds of Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down," and he gets a mix of cheers and boos from the London crowd.

Both men look to be in good shape, with Haye looking especially cut. And here we go!

Round 1

Big Mac lands the first big punch, a left hook that knocks Haye off balance. Haye is reaching with the jab. They aren't exactly throwing caution to the wind like you may have expected. Both guys land a few jabs. Haye goes to the body with a right. Now a big left upstairs. Haye goes in hard but Maccarinelli ties him up. Right to the body by Haye. A pretty cautious first round overall.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Maccarinelli
Uatu scores it: 10-9 Maccarinelli

Round 2

Both fighters trying to establish the jab. Big punches mostly miss in close. A big right by Haye finds the mark. A left coming in also hits, but Maccarinelli responds with his own left. Another right hand by Haye. A big right hand by Haye has Maccarinelli in trouble, and he goes down in the corner under a vicious barrage. And it's over! Haye stops Maccarinelli in the second round as the ref calls a stop to this one.

The winner by TKO at 2:04 of the second round, and WBA, WBC and WBO cruiserweight champion of the world, David Haye.

Live Round By Round Recaps of Diaz-Campbell, Maskaev-Peter and Haye-Maccarinelli (Maybe!) Tonight

It's a big night of boxing as both HBO and Showtime put on some interesting bouts. We're going to try something for the first time here at BoxingWatchers.com. For those of you who can't see the fights, we're going to try to do live round by round recaps of Diaz-Campbell and Maskaev-Peter AND the Haye-Maccarinelli fight.

Will it work? Who knows? It's going to involve multiple writers, multiple televisions and all the magic that the internets can handle. We'll have the HBO fights for sure, and we'll do our best to get the European clash up as well. Since they're fighting at 2 am local time for our benefit in the U.S., it's the least we can do.

Bookmark us here and check back later for all the boxing (hopefully) you can handle.

Hitman Strikes Gold: Hatton Signs With De La Hoya

First, Floyd Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya and enjoyed the experience so much he agreed to do more business with Oscar's Golden Boy Promotions. Apparently Ricky Hatton got the same kind of feeling when he fought Mayweather - even while getting knocked out - because it was announced recently that Hatton has also inked a deal with Golden Boy.

As part of the deal, Hatton will also have his own promotional company, the aptly named Punch Promotions, working together with Golden Boy. And the new alliance has already paid off by lining up an opponent for the Hitman's return to the ring: Juan Lazcano, who he'll face in Manchester on May 24.

While Hatton's loyal (some would say fanatical) fans are going to be thrilled to see him fighting on his home turf once again, the real intrigue here is seeing how aligning himself with De La Hoya will help the Hitman in future fights here in the United States. Despite his loss to Mayweather, Hatton has the personality and fighting style to be a big star, and since it's a given that his countrymen will travel well, all that remains to be seen is how many American fans jump on the bandwagon. Teaming up with Golden Boy can only help in that regard.

With Hatton on board, it's almost impossible to make an argument against Golden Boy Promotions as the power in the current boxing landscape. Along with aging stars like Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley and De La Hoya himself, the company's umbrella also extends to fighters currently in their prime, like Joan Guzman and Juan Manuel Marquez, and just enough of the next generation of boxers (think Demetrius Hopkins, Daniel Ponce-De Leon and Rock Allen) to ensure it remains a major player for the foreseeable future.

Now the question will be, do they have too many top fighters? The public is always going to be a little wary when two guys who do business together square off, wondering if they will be taking it easy on each other. Fortunately, going easy on anyone isn't Hatton's style, and he'll likely be able to laugh off any allegations all the way to the bank.


Predictions: Maskaev vs. Peter, Campbell vs. Diaz

Uatu says...

Peter over Maskaev. Uatu is thinking a mid to late TKO. Peter is younger and stronger and Maskaev won't be able to withstand him for the whole fight.

Uatu is actually much more interested in Campbell vs. Diaz. These are two fighters, that despite the fact that they aren't at the top of the boxing fame ladder, have actually both been in televised fights a large number of times.

Uatu really wants to pick the Galaxy Warrior. He has impressed in fights against Casamayor and Kid Diamond. However, the boxing press has really warmed up to Diaz, despite many at the beginning of his career thinking he was a limited pressure fighter. If Uatu was betting on the fight, he would absolutely bet on Campbell and take the underdog odds.

Diaz has youth on his side, as Campbell is in his mid 30's, but Nate only started boxing in his mid 20's and professionally in his late 20's, so he's a fresh fighter.

Oh boy, tough call. But if they were easy calls the fights wouldn't be worth watching.
Diaz UD 12, too much activity. The 'Baby Bull' wins on sheer volume.

The Franchise says...

I'll take on the lighter fight first. If you haven't already done so, read Dan Rafael's excellent piece on Nate Campbell and find out why he's a guy worth cheering on. Then read Steve Kim's article suggesting Juan Diaz may be distracted by his divorce with Don King.

Now forget it all. Though Campbell has the power and experience to prove a huge threat, the Galaxxy Warrior can't match the Baby Bull's hand speed and pressure. And boxing and promoter problems go hand in hand, so I don't think Diaz will be sweating his situation too much once he steps inside the ring.

Expect Campbell to be exceedingly game and probably hang in there for all 12 rounds. Just don't expect him to get his hand raised at the end, because I feel like Diaz will see the fight go his way.

As for the heavyweight bout, here's the "glass is half-full" point of view: it can't possibly be as uninspiring as the slap-fest that Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov put on a few weeks ago.

I agree with my brother here. Peter seems like he'll just prove to be too much to handle for Maskaev, who I think may be the worst of the current heavyweight belt-holders. It may not be a knockout - quite a few of Peter's recent fights have gone the distance, but I'm picking the Nigerian Nightmare to get the job done.

Predictions: Haye vs. Maccarinelli

Uatu says...

Uatu is interested in this fight for a number of reasons:
  1. The European "Big Fight" atmosphere.
  2. Two well-respected action fighters.
  3. Two fighters Uatu knows little about.

Therefore, this is a slightly uninformed prediction. It happens in boxing.

Haye is getting more hype, and is the more familiar name. So based on that, Haye gets the win.

The Franchise says...

Can I just say the guy from the U.K. is going to win?

All joking aside, I'd be lying if I said I'm an expert on these two European cruiserweights. Here's what I do know: both men are 27 years old and have fought almost entirely in their native United Kingdom. Both men have picked themselves off the canvas and come back to win a fight - including Haye's most recent outing, when he survived a fourth-round knockdown and came back to stop Jean-Marc Mormeck in seven.

Both men can obviously make it happen early, though Haye has more of a reputation for one-punch power and Maccarinelli is more of a volume puncher. In 10 or 12-round fights, Haye has three first-round KO's and Maccarinelli has five. So they should be willing to mix it up, and I fully expect this to be an entertaining scrap.

Neither fighter's resume stands out as particularly impressive, though the cruiserweight division hasn't exactly been loaded over the last few years. Popular consensus seems to suggest that Haye really is the top dog in the division right now, so I'm going with him to win by KO.


20-20 Hindsight: Vazquez-Marquez III Lives Up to the Hype, Should They Go for Four?

As excited as I was for Saturday's "Tiebreaker" between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, there was just a small twinge of anxiety mixed in. Since the first two fights in their series were so good, I thought there was a chance they wouldn't take it to the same level for a third time.

I shouldn't have worried. Thrilling, breathtaking... pick any superlative you want and it applied to the third chapter. Vazquez and Marquez showed the same skill, guts and determination that made their 2007 meetings so compelling, and this time they did it for a full 12 rounds.

While the recent Klitschko-Ibragimov fight was one you wouldn't want to show to your non-boxing fan friends, Vazquez-Marquez III was a perfect example of one that you could use to sell the sport. This bout had something for everyone: a frenetic pace, several shifts in momentum, and even a thrilling finish with a knockdown in the closing seconds that proved to be the difference in Vazquez's razor-thin margin of victory.

And speaking of the finish, I didn't see the controversy that some seemed to see. Vazquez was dominating the final round in a manner that may have had the judges thinking about a 10-8 round even without a knockdown, and referee Pat Russell made the correct call anyway, as the ropes were the only thing keeping Marquez from hitting the canvas. He's too proud and fought too hard to admit it, but he was going down.

One thing Saturday's fight did not provide is a definitive end to the rivalry. Some, like ESPN.com's Franklin McNeill, feel that Marquez gives away too much in strength and power to Vazquez, and that a fourth fight would automatically go Vazquez's way. Marquez did fade late in the fight, but take away the point he had deducted for a low blow and he's got a draw - or even a win if he doesn't go down late in the twelfth round.

So with little question about whether fans would enjoy seeing them fight again, the question becomes whether health considerations should prevent them for going for four, because the 12 rounds we just witnessed are the type that can easily shorten careers. One look at Vazquez's face after the fight - one of the ugliest winning faces I've seen since becoming a boxing fan - was proof enough of that.

I'll admit that I'd love to see a fourth bout, but it was nice to hear common sense prevail as December was thrown out as a possible date. Both men could use the time to heal up, and quite frankly, the rest of the boxing world needs a chance to catch up.


Round by Round: Vazquez-Marquez III - The Tiebreaker

Sly Stallone and Jack Nicholson are in the house. It is a chilly 55 degrees.

Round 1
Lots of jabs. Bomb uppercut by Vazquez. Serious action both ways. This is going to be near impossible to score.
Uatu - Vazquez 10-9
Franchise - Marquez 10-9

Round 2
Vazquez the aggressor.
Slightly more tactical. Still heavy shots both ways. Some good uppercuts from Vazquez.
Uatu - 10-9 Marquez
Franchise - 10-9 Vazquez

Round 3
Jabbing contest. But these are power jabs. Rough body shot from Marquez and a possible warning for lowness for it. Lots of punches but no real standout punch.
Uatu - Marquez - 10-9
Franchise Marquez 10-9

Round 4
Big right Marquez, big reply Vazquez. Left Hook, straight right. Down goes Vazquez! Big shots were exchanged and Vzaquez got the worst. Vazquez wastes no time going right back! Huge rights both ways! Marquez stunned. Tremendous action! Marquez throwing bombs in the final seconds.
Uatu - Marquez 10-8
Franchise Marquez 10-8

Round 5
Close in fighting. Crowd very into the fight. Marquez working body. Marquez great right. Vazquez closes the round with a good combo. Another action round which is tough to score.
Uatu - Vazquez - 10-9
Franchise Marquez 10- 9

Round 6
Big right from Vazquez. Tons and tons of jabs both ways. More rights stunning Marquez. Vazquez pushing the issue. Another low blow from Marquez. Warning #2.
Uatu - Vazquez 10-9
Franchise Vazquez 10 -9

Round 7
Not as many punches landing here. Still very close in fighting. Sill mostly Vazquez as aggressor. Marquez lands some nice combos to close the round and possibly steal the round.
Uatu - Marquez 10 -9
Franchise - Marquez 10 -9

Round 8
High activity, big trading shots in the middle of the ring. Vazquez doing all of the chasing. Big left hook from Marquez. Big right from Vazquez. Momementum going back and forth between salvos. Two big rights in the last 15 seconds from Vazquez. This is a barnburner. Nonstop action, impossible to tell who is winning in the eyes of the judges.
Uatu - Vazquez 10-9
Franchise Vazquez 10 -9

Round 9
Marquez moving more this round. He is being careful and doing more boxing than any other time. Do you prefer the ring general or the aggressor? Vazquez stunned slightly from a punch.
Uatu - Vazquez 10 -9
Franchise - Vazquez 10 -9

Round 10
Big right from Marquez. Low from Marquez! Point deduction! Could be huge. Marquez trying to steal rounds. Seems to be employing a Oscar De La Hoya like last ten second flurry.
Uatu - Marquez - 9 - 9
Franchise Marquez 9 -9

Round 11
Announcers seem to think Marquez is having vision problems with his left eye. Mostly Vazquez, but Marquez is jabbing like a mad man. Toe to toe trading to end the round.
Uatu - Vazquez 10-9
Franchise - Vazquez 10-9

Round 12
It's anyone's fight.
Huge right from Vaz in the first 5 seconds. Another one mintue in. Vazquez is an animal this round. Marquez is eating big time. Vazquez is trying for the KO! Marquez holding on for dear life. Vazquez knocks him down with 10 seconds to go!!! Marquez falls into the corner with only the ropes holding him up! Marquez keep his feet but it's a knockdown. It was all Vazquez in the 12th! Could have been 10-7 maybe even.
Uatu Vazquez 10-8
Franchise Vazquez 10-8

Uatu - 114 - 111 Vazquez
Franchise - 113-112 Vazquez

Judges 114-111 Vazquez
114-111 Marquez
113-112 Vazquez
Vazquez wins by split decision!

Postfight: as it turns out, the knockdown in the final round may have determined the fight. Marquez is angrily disputing whether that should have been scored a knockdown. Also, he thought the low blow call was B S.

Marquez wants a rematch.
All smiles for Vazquez. He would take a rematch.

Uatu says better trilogy than Barerra Morales.
Press row all for Vazquez.
Bernstein has it a draw.

The ref gets an interview and defends his calls. The knockdown looked like the right call for sure.

Live Round by Round Coverage of Vazquez-Marquez III: The Tiebreaker on BoxingWatchers.com Tonight

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