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Knockout Nation: Darchinyan Tonight! Mayweather Clowns Mosley, Bradley Calls Out Pacquiao, Spinks, Holyfield-Tyson 3?! Hopkins Speaks On Monzon Mythical Matchup

Vic Darchinyan Headlines Showtime Card

Outspoken knockout specialist Vic Darchinyan looks to continue to put pressure on Nonito Donaire for a rematch with a showcase bout tonight against Rodrigo Guerrero.

Darchinyan has been simmering for a return bout with Donaire since being on the wrong side of a knockout of the year candidate back in 2007. Following the bout, Darchinyan went on an impressive run of 5-1-1, uniting the super flyweight belts with KO’s over Dmitry Kirillov, Cristian Mijares, and Jorge Arce. Now after a failed experiment at bantamweight, Darchinyan is back at super flyweight to defend his belts.

Donaire was never able to capitalize on the momentum of his Darchinyan KO, despite jumping ship from Gary Shaw’s stable to Bob Arum’s Top Rank. He’s won 5 bouts since his big win, with most being confined to quiet PPVs.

“He had luck the first time, and he knows it. He doesn’t want to fight me. I’ve heard Showtime has offered him three times the money he’d get from anyone else, and that he won’t take it,” Darchinyan boasted at a recent press conference. “That says he doesn’t want the fight. I want to prove how strong I am. Boxing is all about patience, I’ve learned, not rushing the big punches. Look at my last fight. I wait my time, and hit. People love my style. People come to my fights from Armenia, a 15-hour flight, and they keep coming. I will show what I always do, with the speed, skill and power. I will knock [Guerrero] out.”

Darchinyan’s last fight was a devastating 2nd round KO of Tomas Rojas in December 2009.

Bob Arum is also not one to mince words, and flat-out denied Darchinyan’s claims that he’s being ducked.

“The problem with boxing is that everyone talks too much and nobody reflects on what they say. We’re ready to do the fight,” he explained. “For the kid to say Donaire is ducking him is absurd. Let’s see what numbers Showtime is offering us to telecast the fight, sit down and discuss everything, and see where we are. That’s how you start.”

If Vic takes out Guerrero in impressive fashion (which he should), expect a Donaire-Darchinyan rematch before the end of 2010. It’s the bout that makes the most sense for each fighter, financially and legacy-wise.

Darchinyan’s fight airs tonight on Showtime at 9PM.

 

Mayweather Getting the Better of Mosley Outside the Ring

While fight night may be an entirely different story, Floyd Mayweather has remained one step ahead of Shane Mosley in the verbal jab department on their recent press tour stops.

The normally reserved Mosley has been taken out of his element trying to retaliate against Floyd’s jabs on everything from Shane’s suit, recent divorce, and admitted past use of steroids.

 

As usual, it was all fun and games and led to the expected “scuffle” when the two future Hall of Famers had their faceoff.

 

But as we all know, the fight is won with fists, and not words. On Mayweather’s end, he believes his recent antics have gotten him a definitive mental edge over Mosley. The welterweight champ dismissed this notion, revealing his animosity will only be reserved for fight night.

“We’ll dislike each other before May 1. And actually, I’m not even sure I dislike him now,” Mosley told the Associated Press. “But after May 1, we won’t dislike each other unless we have to fight again.”

So far the fight is getting a lot of mainstream press, even eclipsing next week’s Pacquiao-Clottey fight. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer is so confident in the pair’s box office ability that he proclaimed a record 3 million PPVs could be sold.

“These fights come along once in a lifetime and this is going to be one of the most promoted fights in the history of the sport,” Schaefer explained. ‘We are here to set new records and set new standards. We have NASCAR-like sponsors. This is going to be the most promoted fight in the history of the sport.”

 

 

 

Bradley Not Impressed By Pacquiao-Clottey

Junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is anxious for a showdown with the best boxers in and around his weight class. And his first target is the man considered by many the #1 fighter in the sport, Manny Pacquiao.

In the March issue of RING Magazine, Bradley derided Pacquiao’s selection of Joshua Clottey as an opponent, questioning why the Filipino icon is taking time to fight an opponent coming off a loss.

“It’s not even about the money. I want to fight the best fighter in the world and I want to see if I can beat him.  Manny is human just like I am,” Bradley said. “All I ask is an opportunity. I worked my butt off to get to the number-one spot just to fight him. I don’t want to see Joshua Clottey and Pacquiao. It’s a joke. Miguel Cotto beat Clottey and Pacquiao crushed Cotto. So what do you think Pacquiao will do to Clottey?”

Bradley also had words for Floyd Mayweather. Immediately following the collapse of the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, there was speculation that Bradley was an option before the Mosley bout was secured.

“It’s a matter of time that the guys who don’t want to fight me will one day fight me. If Floyd Mayweather doesn’t retire before I fight him, I’ll be the first man to beat him. I don’t want to be cocky; I’m just being real.”

You have to admire Bradley’s determination. Unfortunately, those two guys will certainly not look his way anytime soon. However, that doesn’t mean Bradley doesn’t have exciting matchups in his own division. Guys like Amir Khan, Paulie Malignaggi, and possibly Edwin Valero moving up in weight are all excellent matchups.

In my opinion, the young champ should at least stick to junior welterweight for the next year and a half before considering a move up to welterweight.

 

 

 

Holyfield Shoots Down Rumor of Tyson Rubbermatch

Over the past several days, rumors spread those former champions Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were in talks for third match.

Their two respective bouts in 1996 and 1997 were blockbusters and record-setting PPVs. Holyfield shocked the world with an upset TKO in the first bout, and won by disqualification in the rematch following Tyson savagely biting off his ear.

Evander Holyfield gave a statement to the Las Vegas Review Journal advising that there hasn’t been any talks, but he’ll still continue to chase his dream of winning the heavyweight title for a 5th time.

“No one’s presented anything to me,” Holyfield confirmed. “I hear things about Tyson all the time. But he keeps saying he’s through with boxing, and me, I’ve moved on. I’m trying to win a championship and Tyson doesn’t have a belt. Right now, it’s a joke.”

Tyson and Holyfield were last seen together on Oprah reconciling in their first sit-down since the infamous 1997 ear biting rematch.

 

 

 

Cory Spinks Returns on March 26

Resilient slickster Cory Spinks (37-5, 11 KOs) will defend his IBF junior middleweight title later this month against another veteran in Cornelius “K’9” Bundrage (29-4, 17 KOs).

After losing the welterweight title via KO to Zab Judah back in 2005, Spinks has had many up and downs personally and professionally. That same year, his now ex-wife Kimberly Calvin was charged with domestic assault for stabbing him in the shoulder and abdomen.

Spinks won the IBF junior middleweight title in 2006 against Roman Karmazin. But he then lost a close decision to then middleweight champ Jermain Taylor in 2007, and dropped his IBF belt in 2007 with another hometown loss, this time to Verno Phillips.

Spinks found redemption last year, when he spoiled what was supposed to be a changing of the guard bout versus a young St. Louis fighter in Deandre Latimore. After getting dropped badly and nearly stopped in the first round, Spinks abandoned his usual style and fought Latimore tooth and nail in the trenches. Spinks’ courageous stand would earn him a split decision win and a new reign as IBF junior middleweight champ.

If Spinks, who’s been out of the ring since March 2009, hasn’t slipped any further, he should boxed circles around the powerful but limited 36 year old Bundrage, who’s lost to the best fighters on his resume (Steve Forbes, Sechew Powell, Joel Julio, and Kassim Ouma).

 

Notes

-          Yankee Stadium has been confirmed as the site for the June 5 bout between Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman. Cotto is moving up to 154 pounds and is challenging for Foreman’s WBA junior middleweight title.

-          Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach turned 50 on Friday (March 5). Happy Birthday, Freddie!

-          Juan Manuel Marquez is targeting a summer 2010 return at lightweight. There has been discussion of a rematch of his 2009 shootout with Juan Diaz

-          Miguel Cotto is considering Buddy McGirt as his new trainer

-          Joshua Clottey is shooting to come in no higher than 155 pounds next Saturday against Pacquiao

-     James Toney has signed a deal to compete in the UFC.

-     Tonight on HBO Boxing After Dark, undefeated Devon Alexander (19-0, 12 KOs) defends his WBC junior welterweight belt against IBF titlist Juan Urango in a unification bout.

 

 

 vs.

Mythical Matchup of the Week: Bernard Hopkins vs. Carlos Monzon

The middleweight division is of the blue-collar class. Unlike the flashiness seen in many fighters of its fellow original weight class, the welterweight division, middleweight champs are almost always no-nonsense men.

Through the decades, legends like Bob Fitzsimmons, Stanley Ketchel, Dick Tiger, and Harry Greb epitomized the rough and tumble demeanor of the elite middleweights.

Two notable pugilists from that cloth are the late Carlos Monzon and Bernard Hopkins.

Monzon’s career began unassumingly in 1963, with him going 16-3 over his first 19 bouts. It wasn’t until 1970 that he hit the national radar by breaking down a game Nino Benvenuti over 12 rounds to win the WBC and WBA titles. He annihilated Benvenuti in a 1971 rematch, this time in only 3 rounds.

 

The dominance continued. Monzon became the second man to stop Emile Griffith, another Hall of Famer, in 1971. The rematch saw Griffith lose a clear decision.

All-time great welterweight Jose Napoles could do no better, receiving a thorough beating in 1974 before retiring in his corner. Monzon would fight on until 1977, beating his young rival Rodrigo Valdez twice before retiring with a final record of 87-3-9, 59 KOs. For years, he held the middleweight record of defenses at 14.

 

A notorious woman-beater, Monzon received an 11-year sentence in 1988 after murdering his wife by throwing her off a balcony. He was killed in a 1995 car crash on his way back to jail following an approved weekend furlough with family. Speculation persists that the crash may have been suicide.

Hopkins, still active at an astounding 45 years old, is the fighter who broke Monzon’s record by posting 20 defenses, and being the oldest man ever to hold the title.

Hopkins served 5 years in prison on robbery charges, and picked up boxing upon his release in 1988. Like Monzon he struggled early, losing his first bout at light-heavyweight.

He then reeled off 22 straight victories before losing a competitive unanimous decision to Roy Jones in 1993 in his first title attempt.

He would not lose again for 12 years.

In 1994, Hopkins would finally win a title by KO’ing Segundo Mercado to win the IBF belt. He made 13 defenses through 2001 when he achieved his signature win, a dominant 12th round TKO over Felix Trinidad at Madison Square Garden.

He made 7 defenses before losing a highly controversial decision to Jermain Taylor in 2005. Since then, Hopkins has gone on to move up and win the light-heavyweight championship.

The high pedigree of both Monzon and Hopkins is without question. Monzon was a calm assassin, controlling his opponents from a distance with a long, wiry jab. From there, he rained home an extremely accurate and long straight right hand. When fighters did breach the outside distance, Monzon had a stunning right uppercut. There was no flash with Monzon, just precision punching.

In his younger days, Hopkins was very aggressive and loved to carve up fighters in the trenches. Hopkins was equally adept at out brawling his foes on the inside and forcing boxers there by countering them. Before age slowed him, Hopkins was a very active puncher and overwhelmed many opponents into brutal KOs.

 

Hopkins’ mission will be to continually avoid Monzon’s deadly jab-straight right combo, and force a contest of wills up-close. Hopkins is the superior in-fighter, and Monzon would be at a disadvantage trading shots with the faster Hopkins.

I don’t see a knockout for either man, but Hopkins would not be deterred by Monzon’s punching power. Hopkins is usually trouble immensely by speed, which Monzon doesn’t possess on his shots despite their amazing accuracy.

Assuming we have  a lenient ref, Monzon would likely being the man constantly in retreat and fighting while pinned on the ropes by Hopkins, who matches up very well physically at 6’1.

It would be close, but I feel a younger Hopkins (circa ’97-’03), would outwork and wear down Monzon in the later rounds for a close but clear decision. There would be several very close nip and tuck early and middle rounds.

When I spoke with Bernard earlier this week to hear his opinion, he argued that he would not only beat Monzon, but stop him.

“I think Carlos Monzon is a straight up fighter, tall fighter that can be broken down to the body,” Hopkins told Knockout Nation is his upcoming exclusive interview. “I would’ve knocked him out. I see myself beating him based on breaking him down with my vicious body attack. And taking him out of there with speed, accuracy, and like I said the body shots. [It would be] the left hook to the liver like I hit Oscar [De La Hoya] with.”  

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