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Mayweather-Mosley Camp News, Berto, Hopkins Done with Golden Boy? Haye the Heavyweight Savior? Brother Naazim Interview Next Week!

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Mayweather-Mosley Intensify Workouts, Random Blood Testing Underway

Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley are well underway with respective camps, and news is beginning to filter out on how both stars are progressing.

Starting with Mosley, there have been strong, persistent rumors that Shane is getting worked over in sparring sessions. This news reportedly comes from anonymous “sources” close to Shane’s camp.

The rumor doesn’t appear to have dimmed Mosley’s confidence, who proclaimed to the media that he will not only be the first man to beat Mayweather, but be the fighter that delivers a career-ending beating.

“I was 38-0 with 35 knockouts when I stepped into the ring and lost for the very first time,” Mosley explained.  “So when you say 40-0, that doesn’t mean a thing to me.  All it means is that I’ll be the one giving him his first loss.  No disrespect, but I really don’t think he’s been in there with a fighter like me, and I believe that when I beat Floyd, I will send him into retirement. May first will be May’s first loss.”

Fighter Karl “Dynamite” Dargan is in camp as a verified sparring partner. Cruiserweight titlist Steve Cunningham is also there, but it hasn’t been confirmed that he is helping Shane with sparring.

Mosley is surprisingly at ease despite the pressure of such a big event, and it being his first fight since January 2009.

“I love Big Bear and have gotten very comfortable with the surroundings and the people who live up here,” Mosley stated.  “It’s quiet, peaceful, the air is clean and the altitude can’t be beat.  There is no other place that I could feel more relaxed and ready to prepare for a fight, particularly a big one like this.”  

 

Over in Las Vegas, the news is consistent that Floyd Mayweather has looked phenomenal in his training sessions. This is normal for Floyd, who has a built a reputation for engaging in grueling workouts in preparation for all his fights.

However, an interesting note for this fight is that Mayweather has reportedly been knocking out his sparring partners.

Mayweather has only scored 1 knockout in his last 5 fights, which date back to 2006. This new focus on punching could yield explosive exchanges, and a surprise to Mosley and fans who are expecting Mayweather’s usual safety-first approach.

“Floyd always trains with intensity and passion but this camp is unlike others in that he has a singleness of purpose and a focus that is phenomenal,” boasted Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe.  “I can only imagine what is going to happen to Shane Mosley on May 1.”  

Just last year, Floyd Mayweather berated Mosley on ESPN as a washed up fighter with multiple losses, and not worthy of his time. Now with the fight signed, Mayweather has finally acknowledged that the May 1 superfight may be his toughest challenge as a professional.

“…For this one it’s different.  I recognize what Mosley brings to the ring and he’s going to be one hell of an opponent,” Mayweather admitted. “He’s one of the best fighters of this era and he’s been talking a lot about knocking me out.  That is not going to happen and on May 1 people are going to see another side of me.  I am ready to capitalize on this opportunity and come fight night I will leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am the best in the world.”

 

The much publicized random blood testing has begun for both fighters, although to date Mosley is the only one to have detailed his experiences.

The testing was agreed upon at the behest of Mayweather, and governed by the USADA (United States Anti Doping Agency). The issue was the main reason for the dissolution of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, when the latter’s camp refused to adhere to the testing for fears it would weaken their fighter.

 

Mosley detailed to Boxing Fanhouse that he’s received 5 tests: 2 for blood and 3 for urine.

“I could see how fighters would not like this,” he reveled. “I could see how fighters would not like to give blood and to be so-called harassed or to be on notice 24 hours a day, wherever you go. I could see how it could be bothersome. But at the same time, I kind of like it. It’s truly a good thing. I think that it’s great for the sport. It will change the mentality of a lot of fighters, and what they need to do to get themselves together and to get themselves in shape. I think that it’s great. Everybody knows that you’re clean.”

The fighters have to make their whereabouts known to the USADA at all times. A positive find for any illegal substances can lead to suspension and criminal charges.

Catch more information on everything Mayweather-Mosley this weekend on HBO with the debut of 24/7:Mayweather-Mosley at 10Pm EST.

 

 

 

Naazim Richardson Coming to Knockout Nation

Mosley’s trainer Nazim Richardson will be giving a thorough interview next week on the May 1 welterweight battle.

Affectionately known as Brother Nazim in boxing circles, attention to Richardson’s skills as a trainer grew exponentially after laying out blueprints for Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley in respective dominating victories over Kelly Pavlik and Antonio Margarito.

Early next week, read as Nazim answers my questions on Mosley rumored sparring issues, how to beat Mayweather, and why it’s time for Hopkins to hang up the gloves.

 

 

 

Andre Berto Faces Carlos Quintana Tonight

With the triumvirate of Mayweather-Pacquiao-Mosley tied up, WBC belt holder Andre Berto has become the forgotten champion of the welterweight division. He’ll look to change that this weekend in a dangerous comeback fight against Carlos Quintana.

Berto hasn’t fought since last May, when he won a boring decision over undersized junior welterweight Juan Urango in what should have been a showcase bout (see Devon Alexander’s job on Urango last month). Now, Berto is looking to bring some luster back to his name since unfortunately having to pull out of the biggest fight of his career in January against Shane Mosley, due to several family deaths in the Haiti earthquake.

Matchup-wise, Berto’s speed is comparable with Quintana, but Carlos is by far the more accurate puncher, especially when it comes to counter shots. Neither are defensive wizards, but Quintana has a slight edge there since his footwork can usually get him out of trouble.

As I noted to Berto in our interview earlier this week, Miguel Cotto had considerable success in cutting off the ring and walking down Quintana with power shots. If Berto finds that he is the stronger man physically, than that is a good strategy to wear down Quintana. But, he’d have to be cognizant of getting tagged flush with counters as he was against Luis Collazo last year.

I expect Carlos Quintana to give Berto a serious test in a very even fight. An upset wouldn’t surprise me, but I believe Berto will get the benefit of the doubt in close rounds due to his aggression to take a close unanimous decision.

If you missed it, check out my Andre Berto interview HERE.

 

David Haye Building Buzz as Heavyweight Champion

The Klitschko brothers are two of the most imposing heavyweights in the division’s history, and for the last several years have been mowing down contenders with ease. And yet, fan and media interest in heavyweights is arguably at its lowest point in history.

Enter David Haye.

His knockout of John Ruiz has generated a lot excitement in boxing, with many now clamoring for the Klitschkos to face him. There were fights on the table last year with the brothers, but both fell through: Wladimir’s fight disintegrated after Haye suffered a back injury in training, and the Vitali bout fell through because of contract issues.

In a recent interview on Sky Sports, Haye explained that he wants to be retired from boxing at 31, which roughly gives him 2 years to solidify his name at heavyweight. According to him, he’s ready to face the brothers now and unify the titles.

Unfortunately, HBO nor Showtime has gotten behind Haye, which they should have done long ago. He’s a very exciting fighter, who pursues KO’s and has enough vulnerability at his size to make his aggression risky. Aside from the Valuev snoozer, all of Haye’s fights at heavyweight have been entertaining. Along with his outspokenness, you have a potential crossover star and a good foil for the stoic and dominant Klitschkos.

This leaves his management in a tough position.

Cash out against the Klitschkos now, or go for the Adamek-Arreola winner to get more U.S. exposure and make the Klitschkos showdown bigger. In addition, Haye would gain more leverage at the negotiating table.

It’s a great “problem” to have. I’d say go after to the Adamek-Arreola winner (another exciting slugfest no matter who wins) and then move on to the Klitschkos.

Your thoughts?

 

Bernard Hopkins At Odds with Golden Boy, Threatens to Leave

Bernard Hopkins has been hearing calls to retire following his abysmal decision win over Roy Jones last weekend. The Executioner wants a bout at heavyweight with fellow Golden Boy stablemate David Haye, but now appears to be contemplating leaving his company rather than hang up the gloves.

“Maybe the money’s not being made off me like its being made off somebody else,” Hopkins told ESPN. “If that’s the problem, then fine. I’ve got a lot of other promoters calling me as of today … It’s gonna look strange to y’all when I’m moving in with [Bob] Arum or [Don] King. I don’t blame anybody for being a businessman. Just tell me, so I can do what’s right for my family, so you can’t blame me for going across the street. That’s all I’m saying.”

In an interview going up next week on Knockout Nation, Hopkins’ trainer Naazim Richardson stated he’d like to see Bernard retire as well, as he’s “done everything there is to do in the sport of boxing except lose badly.”

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer also supported a Hopkins retirement, stating right after the Jones rematch that the Philly legend should serious review that option.

Hopkins was insulted by these suggestions. As he’s done in the past, the Executioner said he will use these doubts in his current ability as motivation to once again prove the naysayers wrong.

“The thing is coming to a head based on my next move. Because my next move isn’t retirement. I have no reason to retire. Don’t tell me that he’s [David Haye] bigger, he’s stronger,” Hopkins challenged. “They told [Evander] Holyfield that. You’re telling me that [I should retire] because of the Roy Jones fight? So, let’s play Devil’s Advocate, Richard … Now you try to use the illegal hit on the back of the head to say that you won’t be a part of that [a Haye fight]?”

Not that Bernard Hopkins will listen to anyone else, but I fully agree with the opinions of Richardson and Schaefer. Hopkins has come to the end of the road. The only thing waiting for him at heavyweight is a KO from David Haye.

If they were the same size this could be entertained, but Hopkins’ frame isn’t going to handle 200 plus pounds, something Naazim Richardson also expressed doubt to me about.

And let’s face it, if Hopkins can fall out and see spots from those Jones rabbit punches, imagine what would happen if Haye clocks him with one like he did John Ruiz. Haye wouldn’t tolerate Hopkins’ dirty inside tactics and respond in kind.

Bernard Hopkins has had a great career, but I suspect like many past greats he won’t hang it up until he’s pushed…no, beaten out of the sport like the fates of Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Unfortunately, most champs don’t have the foresight of others like Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, and Lennox Lewis.

Your thoughts?

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News and Notes

-          Timothy Bradley will face Marcos Maidana on June 19 in a premier junior welterweight showdown. Devon Alexander’s camp has already questioned if Bradley is scared to face him over this decision.

-          Antonio Margartio still refuses to take any blame in the illegal wraps scandal that resulted in his license being revoked in the United States. In a press conference earlier this week, he maintained the blame should fall on his trainer. He returns to the ring in Mexico on PPV against Robert Garcia on May 8.

-          Ricky Hatton still hasn’t made a decision on whether he will retire. The Hitman has turned down 2 recent fight proposals against Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez.

-          Paulie Malignaggi is upping his taunts against opponent Amir Khan, scheduled for May 15. Get your offical “Amir Con” t-shirt directly from Paulie’s site.

-          Arthur Abraham promoter Sauerland Event has filed a protest over their fighter being disqualified for punching Andre Dirrell while he was down on March 27. The protest also mentions referee Laurence Cole missing a knockdown that Abraham scored in the 10th, and states Dirrell should have gotten warnings for multiple low blows.

-          Audley Harrison won the European heavyweight title by KO’ing Michael Sprott in the last round on Friday night (April 9). Harrison fought through a ripped tendon in his right shoulder, and was behind going into the last round. This was a revenge win for Harrison, who was KO’d by Sprott in 3 rounds in 2007.

 

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