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Boxing Articles By James Slater, Author at Boxing News
By James Slater January 12th, 2007 All Boxing Articles
With the sixth and (hopefully) final instalment of the Rocky series currently doing great business at the box office in America, I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a fighter many have called, “The closest real life similarity to the gutsy Rocky Balboa.” And certainly, New York’s Vinny Maddalone is one tough, somewhat crude, yet full of heart heavyweight.
Honest enough to put himself at the front of the queue of people asserting that he is a fighter lacking in the skills department, the down to earth Maddalone acknowledges readily that he has limitations as a boxer. Yet, as he is keen to point out as he talks to me over the phone from his home in Flushing, N.Y, heart and guts are not attributes he is short of.
Vinny prides himself on pleasing the fans. “Oh, without a doubt, I wanna give the fans their money’s worth. They pay for their tickets and I promise, I will never leave anything in the ring, I always give my all. They deserve it.” More...
By James Slater December 21st, 2006 All Boxing Articles
As surely all boxing fans know by now, the much anticipated super fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather has been announced officially to take place at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This choice of venue was no surprise to anyone, what with Vegas being a virtual second home for “The Golden Boy.” What may come as a shock, however, is the incredibly high prices the tickets for the fight are going for. A ringside seat will cost a staggering two thousand dollars, while even a “cheap” seat will set fans back over three hundred bucks. Surely then, this epic in the making is THE most expensive boxing match in history, at least from the perspective of the punters who will have to shell out a small fortune to witness it live and in person. Epic in the making? Well, that’s my point in this article - will the fight serve to give the fans who are fortunate enough to be there value for money?
Let’s be honest, it’s very possible the fight could be a letdown. With so much at stake for both men, the bout may unfold as one being fought with much caution. And while both Oscar and Floyd have given us thrills in the past, especially in Oscar’s case, they have too given us boring affairs. Indeed, most fans nowadays, if asked if they would rate “Pretty Boy” at the top of the list of boxers they most want to see perform, would respond with a resounding no. For while Floyd is without doubt a superbly skilled boxing master, he has received more than his share of negative publicity just lately for failing to please those amongst his fan base that love nothing more than a good, hard fight. More...
By James Slater December 15th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
A Genuine Crowd Pleaser, Back In Action Friday Night
Raw crowd pleaser Vinny Maddalone is back in action against an opponent TBA tomorrow night in New York. Fighting for the first time since his tough points win over Jermell Barnes in August of this year, a fight in which the thirty-two year old Vinny was badly cut, Maddalone will be keen to once again delight his following of vocal fans with an exciting fight.
Whoever it is that finds himself in the opposing corner on Friday, he better make sure he’s ready for a blood and guts effort from his opponent. For Vinny always gives his all in the ring and this is why his fans love him. A fighter almost impossible to root against, Vinny is as well liked as he is exciting to watch fight.
And though he’d be the first to admit he’s far from the most naturally gifted Heavyweight fighting today, Vinny, 27-3 with 19 KO’s is certainly the most consistently exciting big guy boxing in today’s heavyweight division. Indeed, Boxing News, the trade paper for the sport in England, recently called him, “The closest real life similarity to Rocky Balboa.” More...
By James Slater December 6th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
The year is 1990, and two former heavyweight champions of the world, George Foreman and Mike Tyson, have both recently appeared together on the same bill for the first time ever. Foreman, now just over three years into an improbable seeming comeback designed to see him regain the title he last held two decades ago, flattened his first top-ten ranked opponent in the Brazilian, Adilson Rodrigues. While Tyson, having his first fight since being sensationally knocked out by huge underdog James “Buster” Douglas, took care of former Olympian Henry Tillman in one round. The idea, however, is that after one more double header together the two will fight each other. Talk about a dream fight! The young tiger trying to get his title back, fighting an elimination bout with the old lion trying to do likewise.
Unfortunately though, as we all know, the fight never happened. For one reason or another, both the second planned double header failed to materialise (Foreman was scheduled to face the Italian, Francesco Damiani while Tyson would box Alex Stewart) and the contest that would see the two legends pitted against one another never came off either. What a pity. It was a fight everyone was talking about, and as pretty much an even match at that. What with Mike’s aura of invincibility removed due to his drubbing at the hands of Douglas and Foreman’s newfound respect at the age of forty-one, the fight was now seen as a genuinely intriguing one. One that either guy may win. More...
By James Slater November 28th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
As U.K fight fans will more than likely be aware, the boxing biopic of “The Greatest” was aired at the weekend. Though I had seen the movie before, I tuned in for another viewing. I’m sorry to say, however, that my opinion of the film was not changed as a result of watching it once more. I was extremely excited when the project was first announced some years back, but the finished product was a big let down. In my opinion the film, despite both its considerable budget and star quality, fails both Muhammad Ali and his many fans. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows? These are just my feelings. Feelings I explain in the following article. See if you agree with me.
Michael Mann’s “Ali” is a painstakingly put together film. At least regarding the selection of actors in relation to their ability to look and sound like the real life characters they are playing. Will Smith must be commended for the incredible effort he put in so as to give as good an impersonation of Ali as possible. The muscle he added to his physique was the result of months of boxing training and voice coaching enabled him to bring back to life all Ali’s famous quotes, speeches and poems with dialect remarkably similar to “The Greatest’s”. He definitely looked and sounded the part. The problems with the film do not lie at his feet though. It really is quite extraordinary that such a talented filmmaker as Michael Mann was able to come up with a film, dealing with one of the most exciting and controversial figures of the twentieth century, if not of all time, that is boring. But this is indeed the case. More...
By James Slater November 22nd, 2006 All Boxing Previews
Click for larger image
|Ricky Is Happy Living The Dream, But Will Juan Urango Spoil The Party?
At the age of twenty-eight, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton is certainly living the dream he had as a child. Boxing on the top of the bill in fabulous Las Vegas next year, Ricky will see the ambition he has had since first putting on boxing gloves come true.
Indeed, appearing on a big bill in Vegas is as much as any fighter can hope for in many ways.
“Fight Town”, as Vegas is known, is THE place for professional prize fighting these days, as it has been since the late 1970’s. And for Ricky Hatton, a tough kid from the streets of Manchester, to be the top of the bill there is something that will perhaps mean more to him than becoming world champion did.
Vegas is the place where legends are made and Hatton wants to become one. He is definitely going the right way about it. With a mega fight with Mexican warrior Jose Luis Castillo scheduled to follow the Urango bout, “The Hitman” is looking to fight the best opposition available. The thought of a Hatton-Castillo fight, a match-up that potentially has fight of the year/decade all over it, is absolutely mouth watering. First though, Ricky must take care of the unbeaten Columbian - the man who currently holds his old IBF world title. More...
By James Slater November 15th, 2006 All Boxing Previews
Is 154 Too High For Floyd?
The fight looks a dead-cert to happen (although in boxing you never know for sure until the two fighters are in the ring together) and we fans can't wait.
Of course, I'm talking about the boxing extravaganza that is Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya, set for May next year. A bigger super fight you will be hard pressed to find at present and as such both “The Golden Boy” and “Pretty Boy” must be applauded for agreeing to terms so as to make the fight.
Boxing is always much the richer for mega events like this bout will be, and surely there will not be a single ticket going spare come fight time. Who wouldn't want one?
Looking ahead to the action, however, I can't help but feel as though Oscar will have a big advantage with the match being held at 154 pounds. De La Hoya, to my mind, has already won the negotiations battle by getting Floyd to agree to move up yet another weight class. More...
By James Slater November 11th, 2006 All Boxing Interviews
Moments after the “Pretty Risky” Floyd Mayweather Jr., vs. Carlos Baldomir title fight in Las Vegas last Saturday, I ran into Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward. Emanuel had just finished commenting on the fight as part of the HBO broadcast team and graciously gave me a few minutes of his time for the following short interview.
SaddoBoxing: It’s a great pleasure to speak to you Emanuel; What did you think of Floyd’s performance tonight?
Emanuel Steward: "I was not impressed. When Floyd starts talking about himself being up there with Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson, yet then fights negatively against a guy standing right in front of him, totally beaten, and doesn't finish the job, he doesn't look good. I was not impressed, no."
SB: Larry Merchant certainly upset him didn't he?
ES: "He didn't say anything wrong. Larry commented on the fact that fans were leaving before the end of the fight and that there was booing to be heard, which there was. Floyd can't take criticism is all it was." More...
By James Slater October 17th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
A Fifty-Fifty Fight?
There is a saying in boxing that reads, “you're only as good as your last fight.” For those people wishing to put stock in such an assessment, the mooted showdown between rival world super middleweight rulers Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler will have the look of a very winnable fight for the Danish boxer. The way he dismantled German southpaw and holder of the WBC 168 pound title, Markus Beyer, last Saturday, was mightily impressive.
Joe, on the other hand, struggled that very same evening with the extremely rough and tough Australian, Sakio Bika. Based on both men’s latest performances, Kessler has to be at the very least even money to emerge as the unified super middleweight king if and when he and Calzaghe meet.
But things don't always work out quite so simply. Yes, Kessler did away with his opponent far easier than did Calzaghe, but we cannot judge any fighter by one performance alone. Despite the importance any prospective prediction maker must put on recent form, the past achievements of a boxer have to be recognised also. And in the past, Joe has boxed so well, against better quality opposition than Kessler, that he himself will feel as though he is by far the better man. More...
By James Slater October 13th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
Those people who read the interview I conducted with Herbie Hide, “The Dancing Destroyer”, a few weeks back will already be aware of how intent the thirty-five year old is on “shaking up” the 200 pound division. As volatile and confident as ever, Hide made clear his immediate goal in his new weight class; cleaning up the British scene before eventually challenging for a major title at world level.
Still, Hide was never at a lack for words about certain heavyweights from the .UK either. Despite stating how he was never a real heavyweight, and is now ultra convinced he will be unbeatable as a cruiserweight, Hide could not resist issuing challenges to both Audley Harrison and Danny Williams - both of whom he appears to have an intense grudge against.
Such fights, however, have more or less no chance of coming off. And surely Herbie must recognise this. Therefore, putting such big talk down as just that, talk, the future for Hide lies at 200 pounds. But can Herbie become a major player there? More...
By James Slater October 4th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
When last seen in a boxing ring, Australian super featherweight Robbie Peden was being given a boxing lesson by his former employer. Challenging the man he once served as chief sparring partner for, in a bout that contested both men’s world titles, Robbie was soundly out-pointed by the superb Mexican, Marco Antonio Barrera. As such he not only failed to lift Marco’s WBC 130 pound title, he also lost his IBF world honours.
That was last September, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Now Peden is ready to give it another go.Returning to Vegas, this time The Mandalay Bay, the thirty -two year old meets the much younger Wes “Wicked” Ferguson on November 4th, in a fight held at lightweight.
Boxing on the huge Mayweather- Baldimor bill, Robbie, who won his world super featherweight title by defeating the over confident Nate Campbell in February of 2005, aims to get his career back on track with an impressive win. Opposing him will be the twenty year old Ferguson, a native of Flint, Michigan, in the United States. Trained by the accomplished Roger Mayweather, Wes will be no pushover. In fact, he’s only lost one of his sixteen fights. So what will the likely outcome be? More...
By James Slater September 29th, 2006 All Boxing Interviews
Former two time WBO Heavyweight Champion Herbie Hide has returned to the sport of boxing after two years of inactivity and is now campaigning as a cruiserweight. His long awaited return to the ring saw Hide blow away one Mitch Hicks in a single round earlier this month. Now based in Las Vegas, the British fighter is excited at the prospect of “shaking up” his new division and earlier this week, Herbie graciously granted SaddoBoxing the following interview.
SaddoBoxing: First of all, congratulations on the comeback win. Did it feel good getting back in the ring after being out for over two years?
Herbie Hide: "Well, I was never really two years out, Mick (Hennessy) couldn't seem to get me a fight. I'd never retired, I was always in the gym training. At the time, Mickey was trying to get a deal going but he couldn't get no fights. But I was always in the gym anyway."
SB: Was it frustrating? Were you dying to get back in the ring?
HH: "Yeah, I was dying to get back because I knew I was gonna be a cruiserweight and that was a new excitement to me. I was never really a heavyweight, I fought them because I could beat heavyweights, but I was never a heavyweight. Danny Williams and Audley Harrison and all them guys are probably thinking, 'oh, yeah, he’s gone down to cruiserweight, good.' More...
By James Slater September 25th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
Former heavyweight champion of the world, Primo Carnera of Italy, was born exactly one hundred years ago this coming October. Born in Sequals, Italy on 26 October, 1906, the man known as “The Ambling Alp” remains one of the best known and most fascinating off all heavyweight kings. And not always due to reasons that could be called flattering. With many of his fights now pretty much accepted as having been set-ups, due to the huge influence the American mob had over the naive and unsuspecting Carnera, the huge Italian’s place in history is that of a curiosity, more so than as a great and legendary champion.
This is not to suggest that Primo was without courage though, for he very definitely had guts. His merits and accomplishments as a boxer, however, are fully deserving of the questionable way in which they are looked upon by historians. Quite simply, no one can be sure which of Primo’s fights were on the level and which were not.
Due to his freakish height and overall size, Primo was instantly seen to be a potential money spinner by the less than scrupulous characters that were orbiting around the boxing world in the United States at the time of his 1930 arrival - namely the Mob. Whether he could fight or not, they knew Primo would make them vast amounts of cash. With his gigantic size and perceived strength, Carnera was a dead-cert to fill the arenas. He was snapped up on this premise almost as soon as he stepped off the boat. More...
By James Slater September 20th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
As most boxing fans will no doubt already be aware, Bernard Hopkins is ready and willing to move up to heavyweight and challenge WBC ruler Oleg Maskaev next June. Apparently the idea of retirement didn’t last very long as an attractive option for the restless Hopkins, and he now wants to make the most audacious move of his entire career.
Bernard actually joked about his future some time ago. When asked if he really was done after his superb upset win over Antonio Tarver for the light heavyweight title, “Nard responded by asking a question himself. “What am I gonna do?” he demanded, “move up to cruiserweight!” Well, now he has put his mind towards doing something else entirely more risky. As a result, if he manages to be successful in his heavyweight title challenge the history books will be filled with nothing but glowing praises for the man from Philly in the
It’s a dangerous challenge he has set himself, for sure, but then the great ones are considered great for the very reason that they dared to be. The forty-one (and counting) year old Hopkins, if he can defeat the man who won the title from Hasim Rahman, will have to be looked at as a very special fighter indeed.
Perhaps one of the top ten of all-time. More...
By James Slater September 14th, 2006 All Boxing Articles
Although he has the looks of a man at least ten years his junior, Ray Leonard reached his half century in May of this year. Also, as amazing as it may seem, Leonard’s finest fight, against his finest opponent, hits the twenty five year old mark this month on 16 September.
It really was back in 1981 when Ray and Tommy Hearns first clashed. I wonder if Ray feels his age if and when he views or reminisces on his finest hour in boxing. Tommy, as we all know, is trying his best to fight off the advances of father time with his current comeback. Ray, however, is firmly retired these days; he has no desire to follow Tommy’s lead of boxing in the twenty first century.
Ray and Tommy will always be compared with one another, such was the intensity of their rivalry and athough to many minds they are “one and one”, officially, Leonard was never defeated by “The Hitman”. And despite losing a good deal of his popularity in recent years, Sugar Ray’s greatness is beyond doubt. To me, the fight that cements this greatness is his come from behind win over Hearns. This was a great fighter at the very peak of his powers. More...
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