Video: Boxing Analyst Steve Farhood says Manny Pacquiao’s ‘shoulder injury’ sounds like an excuse

May 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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Renowned SHOWTIME boxing analyst Steve Farhood discusses the recent “Fight of the Century” between rival world champions and future Hall of Famers Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao that finally came to fruition on May 2, 2015, Pacquiao’s claim that he went into the fight with a shoulder injury and boxing power broker Al Haymon’s ambitious venture that has brought the sport back to network television with the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series.

 

Martinez decisions Chavez widely after a pair of incredibly close minutes

September 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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By Bart Barry (Ringside)

LAS VEGAS – And in an instant, Martinez-Chavez went from Pacquiao-De La Hoya to Chavez-Taylor.

Not since Manny Pacquiao retired Oscar De La Hoya had a small southpaw looked so profoundly dominant against a larger titlist as Sergio Martinez looked against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for 11 rounds. And not since Chavez Sr. came back to stop Meldrick Taylor in the final seconds of a fight he was losing lopsidedly had such a profound change of fortunes been brought to a world champion the way Chavez brought it to Martinez in the 12th.

Saturday night, in a match at Thomas & Mack Arena that disappointed all expectations of suspense for 33 minutes before becoming an unforgettable thing in its final three, Argentine middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) rose from the canvas in the final round to survive and decision Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1-1, 32 KOs) by unanimous scores of 117-110, 118-109 and 118-109. The 15rounds.com ringside scorecard concurred, marking 117-110 for Martinez – while marking the final round 10-7 for Chavez.

“We are two professionals,” Martinez said afterwards. “And we comported ourselves as professionals.”

The fight began the way all prognosticators believed it would. Martinez’s class was too much for Chavez in the first round and each of its successors. What little sense of geometry Chavez showed in the opening round, extending Martinez’s circles to the perimeter somewhat, was gone by the third.

“I began slowly,” Chavez said in the ring after the judges’ cards were read. “But I will not do that in the rematch.”

In fact, not till the sixth round did Chavez land anything consequential. Though Chavez was the much larger man, Martinez was the far more balletic, polished, athletic and accurate, hitting Chavez with nifty left uppercut leads and other inventive combinations. Chavez, sporting a knee brace and suffering abrasions and swelling round both eyes, was not dissuaded, however.

“This confirms me in boxing,” said Martinez, to an outnumbered but surprisingly vocal Argentinean group of fans. “Long live Argentina!”

More fatigued than he knew as the bell for the 12th rang, Martinez walked into a short Chavez left hook that wobbled and shocked him in the final two minutes. Martinez’s eyes bulged and he collapsed in the ropes. A pair of rights and lefts from Chavez then tossed him limply to the canvas. But Martinez rose, ran, held, slipped, and ultimately punched his way to the final bell, as suddenly enchanted Mexican fans rabidly urged their man on.

“Of course,” Martinez said when asked if he would grant Chavez a rematch.

“Long live Mexico!” cried Chavez at the end of his postfight interview.

ROMAN MARTINEZ VS. MIGUEL BELTRAN JR.
In an attempt at prophecy, or at least wishful thinking, Saturday’s excellent Top Rank co-main event featured a hard-pressing Mexican slugger named “Junior” against a foreigner named Martinez. Unfortunately for the emotional Mexican crowd, the Mexican did not prevail.

Fighting for a vacant WBO super featherweight title, Puerto Rican Roman Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) sneaked past Mexican Miguel Beltran Jr. (27-2-0-1, 17 KOs), besting him by split-decision scores of 116-111, 113-114 and 113-114. The fight would have been a majority draw, were it not for a penalty assessed to Beltran in the championship rounds.

Each round of Martinez-Beltran featured punches both well leveraged and well landed by both fighters, but in each of the opening six rounds, regardless of what Martinez did, Beltran appeared to do a little more. In the sixth, Beltran landed the match’s most-devastating punch, a right cross that snapped Martinez’s head back between his own shoulder blades.

The seventh round, though, saw Martinez begin to establish a more effective attack, catching Beltran on the way in, with oddly placed punches. But by the middle of the eighth, Beltran again appeared the stronger man. By the end of the 10th, Martinez, game as he was, did not appear to want much more.

The 11th brought a point deduction to Beltran’s tally from overly officious Nevada referee Russell Mora, though, tightening ringside scorecards somewhat. Martinez also flurried in the 12th, appearing to steal that stanza as well. Ultimately, the fight was a close one that might have gone either way and probably should have gone the way of a majority draw.

MATTHEW MACKLIN VS. JOACHIM ALCINE
Matthew Macklin makes his ring entrance to a hybrid song of “Mack the Knife” and “Rocky Road to Dublin,” in a two-part nod to his nickname and heritage. But Saturday, he didn’t have to take his opponent very far down a rocky road before knifing him.

In the penultimate match of the evening’s undercard, Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) caught Canadian middleweight Joachim Alcine (33-3-1, 19 KOs) with a flush right cross in the opening moments of the fight then marched him down, dropped him a second time and brought the match to an exciting knockout conclusion at 2:36 of round 1.

Despite a record with four losses on it, Macklin again proved that he can rally a crowd and make an exciting, satisfying match whomever he is given for an opponent.

GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX VS. ROBERTO MARROQUIN
After a 2010 showing in Cowboys Stadium that brought loud boos from those fans not yawning, Cuban super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux needed two years of exciting knockouts to make fans forget how displeasing his defense-first style can be. Saturday in Thomas & Mack Arena, though, they were reminded once more.

Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) successfully, and rather easily, defended his WBA super bantamweight title against tough if limited Texan Roberto Marroquin (22-2, 15 KOs) by unanimous scores of 118-108, 118-108 and 118-109. And if there is a prizefighter today who fights like Floyd Mayweather as well as Mayweather does, he is Rigondeaux, right down to the cautiousness.

Rigondeaux established a superiority of reflex over Marroquin – a superiority of reflex Rigondeaux enjoys over most every opponent he faces – and then put the match on a form of cruise control that did little to entice fans. Possessed of every punch and step in the boxing lexicon, Rigondeaux does not appear to enjoy physical matches with larger men, and he certainly did not look for one with Marroquin, who appeared a weight class or two larger than Rigondeaux on Saturday.

Twice in the match Marroquin managed to land a pulled left hook that temporarily destabilized the Cuban southpaw’s otherwise flawless footing, but from each of those faux scares, Rigondeaux quickly recovered and returned to mastering Marroquin technically if not combatively.

In round 10, bored by Rigondeaux-Marroquin, the crowd – partisan Mexican though with an Argentinean contingent – began to sing futbol songs at one another till the match was over, despite Rigondeaux’s scoring the match’s one knockdown in its final two minutes.

MIKE LEE VS. PAUL HARNESS
Mike Lee is undoubtedly the best light heavyweight on the Notre Dame campus, but he is decidedly not the best light heavyweight in the world. Further evidence of this came at the midway point of Saturday’s undercard when Lee (11-0, 6 KOs) whacked away at Kansas City opponent Paul Harness (4-4-1, 3 KOs) for four rounds and ultimately prevailed by unanmious scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 40-36.

Questions about Lee’s power – he landed at least four clean right hands in every round without once felling Harness – and his defense, though, remain, and grow, with every showing. Despite leading comfortably in the fourth round, Lee nevertheless was tagged by several knee-buckling shots by Harness.

UNDERCARD
Highly regarded super welterweight John Jackson brought his undefeated record in the Thomas & Mack Center ring for Saturday’s third bout, against Cleveland’s Willie Nelson, and Jackson’s ‘0’ left the ring before Jackson did. In a close fight that might have been scored either way, Nelson (19-1-1, 11
KOs) decisioned Nelson (13-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 98-92.

Before that, in an eight-round super welterweight match, Mexican Michael Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs) scored a lopsided decision victory over North Carolinian James Winchester (15-5, 5 KOs). All three judges had the match 80-70 for Medina.

The evening began with an eight-round, unanimous-decision victory for California welterweight Wale Omotoso (23-0, 19 KOs) over Puerto Rican Daniel Sostre (11-7-1, 4 KOs).

Opening bell rang on a sparsely populated Thomas & Mack Center at 3:17 PM local time.

Pacquiao – Marquez IV is on!!!

September 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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According to Dan Rafael of espn.com, Manny Pacquiao will take on Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth battle on December 8th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“Because the economics for the Marquez fight were so much greater than for a Bradley rematch, that is what Manny decided to do,” said promoter Bob Arum. “It’s so much greater because of the support Marquez has from the Hispanic community. Look at the past numbers. When Pacquiao fought Marquez (in November), it sold close to 1.3 million pay-per-view. Bradley was about 900,000. That’s a big difference. Plus, the gate goes from probably $8 million to $12 million.”

“Manny knew I would prefer Bradley,” said Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. “I think the money was a huge factor. Bradley doesn’t bring the people Marquez does. But I would have rather had revenge for that bad decision in June.”

Roach said because of the controversial nature of the three previous fights between Pacquiao and Marquez, especially their fight in November, that Pacquiao would start out “down three rounds on the scorecards. Judges are human. They know what happened before. Maybe the judges will be thinking Marquez was robbed last time and they’re human, and they will give Marquez the benefit of the doubt.

“But Manny picked Marquez, and that’s who we will get ready for. It’s about time we have a good knockout anyway.”

“We had to work it out, work out the money and then (Marquez promoter) Fernando (Beltran) had to close with Marquez because he had only talked generally with Marquez about the deal,” Arum said. “But we couldn’t close anything until Marquez got here (Thursday).”

“There is no sanctioning organization title involved,” Arum said. “We’re going to give that money to charity.”

BIG BOXING WEEKEND ON MSG

September 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Tune-in this weekend as MSG presents marathon blocks of boxing with some of the top names and matchups in the sport. The action begins this Saturday at 8pm with back-to-back “MEGA Fights!” featuring the best of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., including Pacquiao’s 2007 WBC International Super Featherweight bout versus Marco Antonio Barrera and Mayweather Jr.’s 2007 battle with Ricky Hatton.

Wake up to fights at 10am Sunday morning with additional “Mega Fights!” bouts all day long, including: Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (2008), Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya (2008), Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton (2009) and the premiere of Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley (2010).

Below is the full schedule for MSG’s marathon weekend of boxing programming:

MSG BOXING MARATHON

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! WBC International Super Featherweight Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Manny Pacquiao, October 6, 2007

9:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton, December 8, 2007

10:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, March 15, 2008

11:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Welterweight super fight Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya, December 6, 2008

12:00am Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton. May 2, 2009

1:00am Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, September 19, 2009

2:00am MSG’s Fight Night Classics Patterson vs. Chuvalo at MSG

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

10:00am Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! WBC International Super Featherweight Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Manny Pacquiao, October 6, 2007

11:00am Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton, December 8, 2007

12:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, March 15, 2008

1:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Welterweight super fight Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya, December 6, 2008

2:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton. May 2, 2009

3:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, September 19, 2009

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Shane Mosley, May 1, 2010

9:00pm MSG Fight Night In 60 John Duddy vs. Anthony Bonsant, March 16, 2007

10:00pm MSG’s Fight Night Classics Griffith vs. Benvenuti- Fight of the Year

Pacquiao to fight on December 1st

August 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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According to Dan Rafael of espn.com, Manny Pacquiao will move his perspective November 10th fight back three weeks December 1st due to conflicts with his political schedule.

“Manny has to be in the Philippines for the filing of his candidacy in October, and I don’t want to interrupt his training, nor does Manny,” said Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz. “If he fights on Nov. 10, it would interrupt his training because he would have to go back to the Philippines. You lose two days going there, and it’s a long trip in the middle of camp. We don’t want to have any excuses when he fights. I believe if he fought on Nov. 10 but made a trip at that time to the Philippines, we’d lose a week of physical training, and I don’t want there to be any excuses. So we can’t go on Nov. 10, and we have told that to our promoter (Top Rank).”

“Once he starts training, we’re doing it all in America,” Koncz said. “Once he gets here, he wants to stay here and be focused. The first time we trained in the Philippines for part of the time it was done for taxation reasons. So we started to do that, and Manny enjoyed it. But it’s becoming a chore. He felt the training camp would be sufficient to do it all in L.A.”

“It’s important to us, Manny and I, to move the date because we haven’t had the greatest performances in the last two fights and he wants to stay completely focused on his training,” Koncz said. “To do that, we’ve requested that our promoter move the fight to Dec. 1. We’re working very well with Bob on it. That was the alternative date we came up with.”

“Right now, they’re scheduling it for the MGM Grand, but I’ve had discussions on it with Bob, and it depends on what opponent we pick,” Koncz said.

“We still need to start promoting it, and we should make a final determination in the next week or so,” he said.

“As you know, we’re willing and able to fight Floyd anytime he wants, but I don’t believe he is ready,” Koncz said. “Floyd just got out of (county jail). He’s spending time with his family. He’s enjoying his freedom. He has money left over from the last fight after being in jail for two months. I don’t see Floyd going into the ring until next year, but who knows? I have no confirmation of his schedule. I’m just glad he’s out of jail. I wish him all the luck in the world and so does Manny, but I don’t see Floyd fighting before us this year.”

Pacquiao’s rumored opponents are a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez or rematches with Timothy Bradley or Miguel Cotto.

FOX DEPORTES TO AIR ENTIRE MANNY PACQUIAO VS. MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA I CARD ON JULY 28 CLASSICS EDITION

July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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LOS ANGELES, July 27 – A virtual unknown to those other than hardcore fight fans at the time, current boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao introduced himself to the world in spectacular fashion on November 15, 2003 when he defeated Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. On Saturday, July 28 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, FOX Deportes will bring this exciting moment in boxing history to viewers in a special classics edition of its Saturday night fight series beginning.

Also airing on FOX Deportes on Saturday night will be the entire televised Pacquiao-Barrera I undercard, which includes appearances by former World Champion Jesse James Leija, Miguel Angel Huerta and Julio Zarate.

Sporting a record of 37-2-1 at the time, by the time he faced Barrera, the Philippines’ Manny Pacquiao had held flyweight and junior featherweight world titles, but despite his speed and power, many believed that the jump to featherweight would be too much. The veteran Barrera had won eight in a row coming into the Pacquiao fight, with wins over boxing legends Erik “El Terrible” Morales, Naseem “Prince” Hamed, Johnny “Mi Vida Loca” Tapia and Kevin “Flushing Flash” Kelley landing him at the top of the pound-for-pound list. On November 15, it was Pacquiao’s night, as he stopped Barrera in the 11th round, stunning the boxing world and beginning one of the sport’s greatest success stories.

In undercard action that night at the Alamodome, Texas fan favorite and former World Champion Jesse James Leija kept his exciting career going with a second round stoppage of Fernando Mena. Plus, Miguel Angel “Anestesista” Huerta decisioned Roque Cassiani in lightweight action and junior bantamweights Julio “La Sombra” Zarate and Oscar “Pajarito” Andrade slugged it out for ten rounds before Zarate emerged victorious via majority decision.

Don’t miss the exciting classic action, Saturday night, July 28 on FOX Deportes at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.

msg presents Seven weeks of SUNDAY NIGHT “mega fights!” featuring pacquiao and mayweatehr

July 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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MSG’s Sunday Night Fights Presented by Lion’s Gate Films

Every Sunday Night from July 29 – September 9 Starting at 8:00 p.m.

New York, NY (July 26, 2012) – As boxing fans clamor for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to step into the same ring, MSG will present Fight Sports: MEGA Fights!, showcasing some of the best bouts from Pacquiao’s and Mayweather’s careers. The fights will run on Sunday nights for the next seven weeks starting Sunday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. with Pacquiao’s 2007 WBC International Super Featherweight bout versus Marco Antonio Barrera.

MSG’s Sunday Night Fights presented by Lion’s Gate Films will feature either a Pacquaio or Mayweather fight every Sunday night through September 9. In addition to the Pacquiao-Barrera fight, the Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! lineup includes: Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya (2008), Mayweather vs. “Sugar” Shane Mosley (2010), Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton (2007), Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (2008), Pacquiao vs. Hatton (2009) and Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (2009).

Below is a full schedule of MSG’s upcoming Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! bouts as well as additional classic boxing programming on Sunday Night Fights.

MSG’s SUNDAY NIGHT FIGHTS

SUNDAY, JULY 29

8:00 p.m. Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! WBC International Super Featherweight Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Manny Pacquiao, October 6, 2007 – Entering the ring as the “2006 Fighter of the Year,” boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao faced three-division world champion Marco Antonio Barrera in a Vegas rumble.

9:00 p.m. MSG Fight Night in 60: John Duddy vs. Shelby Pudwill (2006)

10:00 p.m. MSG’s Fight Night Classics: Heavyweights at MSG Through the Years

SUNDAY, AUGUST 5

8:00pm Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton, December 8, 2007 – Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (38-0) puts his WBC Welterweight Championship on the line against Britain’s Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton (43-0) and hands him his first career loss with a tenth round TKO.

9:00 p.m. MSG Fight Night in 60: John Duddy vs. Yory Boy Campus (2006)

10:00 p.m. MSG’s Fight Night Classics: George Foreman Grilling at MSG

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12

8:00 p.m. Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, March 15, 2008 – In the second fight of their exciting trilogy, Pacquiao and Marquez returned to the ring to settle the controversial draw of their first bout. With the decision coming down to the judges’ scorecards, Pacquiao notched a split decision.

9:00 p.m. MSG Fight Night in 60: John Duddy vs. Anthony Bonsante (2007)

10:00 p.m. MSG’s Fight Night Classics: Rocky at the Garden

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19

8:00 p.m. Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! Welterweight Super Fight Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya, December 6, 2008 – The reigning World Boxing Council’s lightweight king at the time of the fight, Pacquiao defeated Oscar De La Hoya in his first welterweight bout.

9:00 p.m. MSG Fight Night in 60: John Duddy vs. Dupre Strickland (2007)

10:00 p.m. MSG’s Fight Night Classics: Roberto Duran – Hands of Stone

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26

8:00 p.m. Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton. May 2, 2009 – In what was promoted as “The Battle of East and West,” Pacquiao dropped Hatton twice in the first round, and quickly finished the IBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight champ off in the last moment of the second round.

9:00 p.m. MSG Fight Night in 60: John Duddy vs. Alessio Furlan (2007)

10:00 p.m. MSG’s Fight Night Classics: Patterson vs. Chuvalo at MSG

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

8:00 p.m. Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, September 19, 2009 – Returning from a nearly two-year retirement, Mayweather faced lightweight champion Marquez in a non-title welterweight match-up. Dominating each round, Mayweather took the unanimous decision.

9:00 p.m. MSG Fight Night in 60: John Duddy vs. Prince Arron (2007)

10:00 p.m. MSG’s Fight Night Classics: Hurricane at the Garden

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

8:00pm Fight Sports: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Shane Mosley, May 1, 2010 – In a “show and prove” response to his critics, Mayweather secured a lopsided unanimous decision after going 12 rounds with “Sugar” Shane Mosley in their WBA welterweight match.

9:00 p.m. MSG Fight Night in 60: John Duddy vs. Howard Eastman (2007)

10:00 p.m. MSG’s Fight Night Classics: Griffith vs. Benvenuti – Fight of the Year

Throughout the summer, visit www.msg.com/summer for the latest programming information as well as photos, video, trivia, polls and more. Also, fans can get the latest Summer Block Party information by liking MSG on Facebook (/MSGNetworks) and following MSG on Twitter (@MSGNetworks).

As the exclusive local television home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, New York Liberty and New York Red Bulls, MSG Networks telecasts nearly 700 live professional games per year. MSG Networks also telecasts 150 live college basketball games and 50 live college football games from top national conferences (SEC, Pac 12, Big 12), as well as horse racing, boxing and award-winning original programming. MSG Networks recently earned 16 New York Emmy Awards, including 14 for MSG – tops in the New York region for the third year in a row – and two for MSG+. Over the past five years, MSG Networks has totaled 77 New York Emmy Awards, including 69 for MSG – also the most of any New York station or network in that time – and eight for MSG+.

About MSG Media

MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from MSG’s venues. MSG Media consists of the MSG Networks (MSG, MSG+, MSG HD and MSG+ HD) regional sports networks and the Fuse Networks (Fuse and Fuse HD), a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Media is also responsible for managing interactive initiatives (online, mobile, VOD and iTV) across all business segments. MSG Media is part of The Madison Square Garden Company, a fully-integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The Company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the Company’s overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the Company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Connecticut Whale (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, track and field and tennis. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company’s diverse collection of venues. These venues include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

JULY HEATS UP with weeKLY BOXING programming ON MSG NETWORKs

June 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Marquee Fights Featuring Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and the Klitschko Brothers Highlight Summer Boxing on Sundays and Mondays

Sunday Night Fights on MSG at 8:00 p.m.

Monday Night Fights on MSG+ at 8:00 p.m.

New York, NY (June 29, 2012) – Starting in July and running throughout the summer, MSG Networks will entertain fight fans with a full slate of recent and classic boxing programming featuring some of the top names in the sport, including Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, and “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Sunday Night Fights on MSG and Monday Night Fights on MSG+, part of MSG Networks’ Summer Block Party, start every week at 8:00 p.m.

On Sunday nights in July, MSG presents “EPIX Fights” for some of the most exciting recent heavyweight championship bouts, including Vitali Klitschko vs. Dereck Chisora for the WBC world heavyweight title and Wladimir Klitschko vs. Jean-Marc Mormeck for the WBA/IBF/WBO world heavyweight championship.

Monday nights on MSG+ are all about Oscar De La Hoya, the former ten-time champ, as the network showcases the “Golden Boy” against some of his toughest opponents, including “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Julio Cesar Chavez. The “Fight Sports Boxing” events showcase the full breadth of the acclaimed fighter’s career, including victories over 17 world champions.

Beginning Sunday, July 29, MSG Network will present “MEGA Fights!” featuring some of the best Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. bouts, including Pacquiao’s 2007 WBC International Super Featherweight bout versus Marco Antonio Barrera and Mayweather Jr.’s 2007 battle with Ricky Hatton. Additional “Mega Fights!” bouts on the schedule include: Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (2008), Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya (2008), Mayweather Jr. vs. Mosley (2010) and Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito (2009).

Below is a full schedule for MSG Networks’ upcoming boxing programming:

MSG SUNDAY NIGHT FIGHTS

SUNDAY, JULY 1

8:00pm EPIX Boxing ‘12: Vitali Klitschko vs. Dereck Chisora, February 18, 2012- Set in Munich, Germany, Britain’s Chisora challenged the reigning champion Klitschko for the WBC world heavyweight title. After a volatile weigh-in, fans watched as Chisora entered the ring as the underdog against the Ukrainian fighter in his 12th title defense in three reigns as world champion.

SUNDAY, JULY 8

8:00pm EPIX Boxing ‘12: Alexander Povetkin vs. Marco Huck, February 25, 2012- WBO Cruiserweight Champion, Huck made his heavyweight division debut in front of his hometown crowd in Germany going round for round against WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin in what proved to be an exciting and aggressive fight.

SUNDAY, JULY 22

8:00pm EPIX Boxing ‘12: Wladimir Klitschko vs. Jean-Marc Mormeck, March 3, 2012- The youngest of the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir puts his WBO/WBA/IBF and RING heavyweight championship titles on the line against Jean-Marc Mormeck in Germany.

SUNDAY, JULY 29

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! WBC International Super Featherweight Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Manny Pacquiao, October 6, 2007- Entering the ring as the “2006 Fighter of the Year,” boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao faced three-division world champion Marco Antonio Barrera in a Vegas rumble.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 5

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton, December 8, 2007- Mayweather (38-0) puts his WBC Welterweight Championship on the line against Britain’s Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton (43-0) and hands him his first career loss with a tenth round TKO.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, March 15, 2008- In the second fight of their exciting trilogy, Pacquiao and Marquez returned to the ring to settle the controversial draw of their first bout. With the decision coming down to the judges’ scorecards, Pacquiao notched a split decision.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Welterweight super fight Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya, December 6, 2008- Reigning as the World Boxing Council’s lightweight king at the time of the fight, Manny Pacquiao defeats Oscar De La Hoya in his first welterweight bought.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton. May 2, 2009- In what was promoted as “The Battle of East and West,” Pacquiao dropped Ricky Hatton twice in the first round, and quickly finished the IBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight champ off in the last moment of the second round.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, September 19, 2009- Returning from a nearly two-year retirement, Mayweather Jr. faced lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez in a non-title welterweight match-up. Dominating each round, Mayweather took the unanimous decision.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Shane Mosley, May 1, 2010- In a “show and prove” response to his critics, Mayweather secured a lopsided unanimous decision after going 12 rounds with Shane Mosley in their WBA welterweight match.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones, Jr., April 3, 2010- The reunion 17 years after their first, Hopkins and Jones Jr. go toe to toe, exchanging bitter blows with Hopkins winning the 12-round fight by unanimous decision.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! WBO Lightweight & WBA Super World Lightweight Title Fight- Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz, February 28, 2009- Voted “Fight of the Year” by The Boxing Writers Association of America, Marquez and Diaz went to war in the WBA and WBO Lightweight World Title fight. Marquez proved victorious, stopping Diaz in the ninth round.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG: MEGA Fights! WBA Super World Welterweight Title- Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito, January 24, 2009- Mosley scores his most impressive victory of his late career when he knocked out Margarito in the ninth round to claim the WBA welterweight title.

MSG+ MONDAY NIGHT FIGHTS

MONDAY, JULY 2

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+ In: Oscar De La Hoya vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., September 18, 1998- After their 1996 bout where De La Hoya pummeled the legendary Chavez for four rounds before being stopped by a ringside doctor, the two reunited in a memorable rematch resulting in Chavez quitting on his stool before the start of the ninth round.

9:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+ In 60: Oscar De La Hoya vs. Ricardo Mayorga, May 6, 2006- Over a year and a half after the only knockout loss of his career, De La Hoya redeemed himself with a sixth-round TKO of Ricardo Mayorga in Las Vegas. The victory gave De La Hoya his 10th world title (in six weight classes).

MONDAY, JULY 9

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+ In 60: Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley, June 17, 2000- “Sugar” Shane Mosley made nine successful defenses of the IBF lightweight title before moving up two divisions to face Oscar De La Hoya for the WBC welterweight championship in Los Angeles’ Staples Center. After 12 back-and-forth rounds, Mosley took the split-decision victory.

9:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+: Greatest Classics: Special Edition: Medalist: De La Hoya vs. Grable- Just five fights into his boxing career, Oscar De La Hoya took on Mike Grable in a bout that extended his undefeated record to 6-0 knocking down Grable twice, on his way to a unanimous eight-round decision.

MONDAY, JULY 16

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+ In 60: Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao, December 6, 2008- Reigning as the World Boxing Council’s lightweight king at the time of the fight, Manny Pacquiao defeats Oscar De La Hoya in his first welterweight bought.

9:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+: Greatest Classics: Special Edition: Medalist: Fighters TBA

MONDAY, JULY 23

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+ In 60: Oscar De La Hoya vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., September 18, 1998- After their 1996 bout where De La Hoya pummeled the legendary Chavez for four rounds before being stopped by a ringside doctor, the two reunited in a memorable rematch resulting in Chavez quitting on his stool before the start of the ninth round.

9:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+: Greatest Classics: Special Edition: Medalist: Fighters TBA

MONDAY, JULY 30

8:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+: Fighters TBA

9:00pm Fight Sports Boxing on MSG+: Fighters TBA

Throughout the summer, visit www.msg.com/summer for the latest programming information as well as photos, video, trivia, polls and more. Also, fans can get the latest Summer Block Party information by liking MSG on Facebook (/MSGNetworks) and following MSG on Twitter (@MSGNetworks).

As the exclusive local television home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, New York Liberty and New York Red Bulls, MSG Networks telecasts over 400 live professional games each year. MSG Networks also telecasts 150 live college basketball games and 50 live college football games from top national conferences (SEC, Big 12, Big East, Conference USA), as well as horse racing, boxing and award-winning original programming. MSG Networks recently earned 16 New York Emmy Awards, including 14 for MSG – tops in the New York region for the third year in a row – and two for MSG+. Over the past five years, MSG Networks has totaled 77 New York Emmy Awards, including 69 for MSG – also the most of any New York station or network in that time – and eight for MSG+.

About MSG Media

MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from MSG’s venues. MSG Media consists of the MSG Networks (MSG, MSG+, MSG HD and MSG+ HD) regional sports networks and the Fuse Networks (Fuse and Fuse HD), a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Media is also responsible for managing interactive initiatives (online, mobile, VOD and iTV) across all business segments. MSG Media is part of The Madison Square Garden Company, a fully-integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The Company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the Company’s overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the Company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Connecticut Whale (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, track and field and tennis. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company’s diverse collection of venues. These venues include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

Looking ahead: The next pound-for-pound generation

June 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

By Norm Frauenheim

The furor surrounding Tim Bradley’s victory over Manny Pacquiao is more of the same in a tiresome, if not redundant, succession of lousy decisions. But there was not much argument about Pacquiao, who has been robbed more by time than judges.

Speed, especially in hands once as lethal as lightning, is gone. That suggests more controversy on the scorecards for his remaining fights, be they against Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto.

The big tease, Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr., is now full of more potential controversy than drama, simply because both are in decline. What Pacquiao has lost in his hands, Mayweather has lost in his feet. A better bet than a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight later this year, or early next year, or in any year is that Mayweather and Pacquiao won’t be No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in Forbes’ 2013 ranking of the world’s highest-earning athletes.

In the rush to find crooks, or conspiracies, or fault with the failing vision of aging judges, there’s still a simple solution as fundamental and reliable as a jab. Who’s next? Stardom’s successor is out there. Retirement is on the horizon for the current pound-for-pound generation that includes Mayweather, Pacquiao, Cotto, Marquez, the Wladimir-and-Vitali Klitschko empire and Bernard Hopkins.

What will that pound-for-pound crowd look like a couple of years from now? Here’s a guess from No. 1 to No. 10.

1 –Andre Ward. The reigning super-middleweight possesses classic skill, poise and surprising toughness. Everything, it seems, but a large fan base. In a media session before the June 9 craziness over Bradley’s split decision over Pacquiao, Ward said “give it time.” It’ll happen, he said. Give him the right opponent, too. An insightful friend says the right foe might be Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who is growing into Ward’s weight class. Chavez also has his dad’s legendary name and the Mexican audience, which might like what it sees in Ward when introduced to him.

2 – Nonito Donaire. He has been riding a crest of popularity since his crushing knock out of Fernando Montiel last year. There have been some mixed performances since then, perhaps brought on by a promotional controversy. Now that he’s back and apparently comfortable with Top Rank, he figures to regain the dramatic edge he had against Montiel. “He might be the best pound-for-pound fighter there is,’’ manager Cameron Dunkin said of Donaire’s 122-pound bout on July 7 against South African Jeffrey Mathebula in Carson, Calif. “In my opinion, he is. Five, six, seven titles? Who knows?’’

3 — Sergio Martinez. The Argentine middleweight often looks beatable, but the former soccer player’s unusual style has made fools of nearly everybody who has tried. The junior Chavez is expected to try on Sept. 15 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. It’s a defining bout for Martinez, mostly because Chavez is beginning to define himself with some toughness that few thought he had. If Martinez beats Chavez, he’ll have to move up in weight and onto another defining step against Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham and even Ward.

4 – Chavez Jr. and junior-middleweight Saul “Canelo’ Alvarez. We could break this tie if Top Rank, Chavez’ promoter, and Golden Boy, Canelo’s promoter, could sit down at the same table, break bread and agree on a date and weight. Then again, we’d probably get only a food fight. Too bad. Canelo’s combinations against Chavez’ emerging toughness would be a beauty.

6 – Abner Mares. If you’re sick of hearing about Pacquiao-Mayweather and Chavez-Canelo, prepare for more indigestion. At the lighter weights, there’s not a fight the public wants more than Mares-versus-Donaire. It could be the best rivalry in the lighter divisions since Michael Carbajal-Humberto Gonzalez. Without an end to the Top Rank-Golden Boy food fight, however, it won’t happen. Mares is a Golden Boy fighter and its first prospect to win a major title. Donaire is promoted by Top Rank. Mares has many of the qualities that makes Ward so intriguing. He’s smart, tough and skilled.

7 – Adrien Broner. What’s not to like about the unbeaten junior-lightweight from Cincinnati? He has speed in his hands and feet. He’s also a lot of fun. He likes to talk almost as much as he likes to fight. The showmanship includes a brush that might be worth some endorsement money if and when he moves to lightweight and junior-welterweight in search of name opponents and bigger victories.

8 — Chad Dawson. His bout on Sept. 8 with Ward will say something about his staying power, although the light-heavyweight will be at disadvantage in Oakland, Calif. – Ward’s hometown — and at Ward’s weight – 168 pounds instead of 175. A close loss wouldn’t keep him off this list, however. His future still might be at heavyweight, where the search for the next great American continues. Yeah, it might be former Michigan State linebacker Seth Mitchell. A couple of years from now, however, it could be the more experienced Dawson.

9 – Amir Khan. The UK junior-welterweight has as much to prove as he has potential. His split-decision loss in December to Lamont Peterson in Washington, D.C., was every bit as bad as the one that went against Pacquiao in the loss to Bradley. But it also left doubts about whether Khan is as good as he looked in victories over Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah. We’ll know more on July 14 against young Danny Garcia at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay. The athletic Khan is smart and knows how to market himself. If one punch exposes a suspect chin, however, he could quickly fall to the canvas and off this list.

10 – Bradley. It would be interesting see him in a Pacquiao rematch with healthy ankles. He injured both – a sprain to the right and damaged ligaments in the left — early in the June 9 bout. With both ankles intact, the result might be the same, but without the controversy.

Machito time, European girls and blue-raspberry slurpees

June 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

By Bart Barry

SAN ANTONIO – Saturday, Hector “Machito” Camacho Jr., fighting for the first time in 16 months, dropped an overmatched opponent on the red canvas of an outdoor ring erected in La Villita’s Maverick Plaza about a two-minute stroll from the River Walk. Meanwhile at ringside, and on message boards everywhere, and on YouTube, debate about Bradley-Pacquiao continued, though in significantly politer terms.

Camacho’s comeback, as these things go, does not appear a particularly serious one. He is George Foreman, with the religious awakening and cheeseburgers but without the stopping power. Camacho is a Puerto Rican welterweight/junior middleweight/middleweight/super middleweight, not an American heavyweight, and so he also must rely on shtick more than Foreman did. Shtick is a family specialty, though; cry not at all for Machito.

His dad, without whom the Camacho name in Puerto Rico would be more obscure, by far, than the Chavez name in Mexico, does not care a whole lot about his son’s conversion to Islam, one that finds Junior prefacing statements with “God is great” and donning a white thobe that clings more than billows at ringside. Saturday, Camacho’s shiny silver trunks, too, clung, in a summer look that said, Whoa, even I didn’t think my ass could get this full. And “full” is good a word as any to describe Camacho’s physique.

Four and a half years ago, when he weighed an embarrassing 173 pounds in Scottsdale, Ariz., for a fight the day before Super Bowl XLII, Camacho said he thought maybe he should get down to 147, to prove he was serious. He’s not down there yet, though he claimed Friday he weighed as little as 157 before his opponent fell-out and he learned the sacrifice they were trucking up from Corpus Christi would be well over the middleweight limit. That sacrifice, J.D. Charles, caught a Camacho left uppercut to the belly in the second minute of their main-event tilt and went down and stayed down. Afterwards, he said he could have gotten up but didn’t. With the short notice and purse they offered him, in other words, he’d more than fulfilled his obligation when the 120th second passed. Camacho didn’t grandstand or insult Charles.

Therein lies a little of the appeal Camacho holds for those who’ve crossed paths with him during his 16-year campaign. He can actually fight when he wants to and is so wonderfully self-deprecating, and therefore empathetic, he would never fault a fellow prizefighter for wanting effort. Camacho understands the exact brutality of our sport and talks candidly about it. In all his court-jesterliness, he is, when the bell rings, additionally a reminder of something Carlo Rotella wrote in an excellent 2003 book called “Cut Time”:

“The lowliest of professional opponents . . . can fight better than almost everybody else on earth. Any one of them could beat the hell out of the typical top-flight contact-sports jock remotely his size, and any one of them could single-handedly clear out a bar full of fight-goers, writers, and other smart alecks who dismiss him as a stiff when he boxes in the ring.”

Camacho, seeming stagy but sincere, tells you he is embarrassed about what shame he’s brought on his career. Then he tells you about the women he enjoyed during that run – and you realize the insincerity of those lines about shame. For a short, chunky kid with a birthmark that runs the left side of his face, he’s done things to women more than reason expected. Where his father was a character, a leading actor in many a hijinks, Machito is a storyteller, a supporting actor who doubles as narrator. Had his reflexes been a tad slower, he’d have made a good cameraman in gonzo pornography – such is his charisma, timing and capacity for disarming inquisitors.

“F–king the girls I was f–king in my days?” Camacho Jr. explained in the foyer of Allstar’s Gentlemen’s Sports Club, Friday. “You can’t blame me, man! I was f–king the baddest girls, from Switzerland and Europe. You cannot blame me, man!”

Ah, the effects of the camera. Saturday, a third ringside experience in as many weeks brought another chance to reflect on what happened in Bradley-Pacquiao, and what happened to those at ringside and those at home. Locked in a narrative that said Pacquiao would win an easy decision, after the sixth round, many a serious ringside journalist on a tight deadline – thank Pacquiao’s fascination with the NBA playoffs, in part, for that – put his head down and wrote while the last 15 minutes of the fight happened. Then he turned-in a scorecard that was not close as perhaps it should have been, for a fight all three professional judges saw turn on a single round.

The home viewer? He was treated to an experience that bore only a derivative resemblance to reality, and primed for another outrage. That outrage was nearly universal, but rather than fixate on the “universal” part of that clause, in a maniacal search for absolute consensus some have fixated on the “nearly” part. Well. You’ll get no apologies for those three ringside scorecards that dissented, so stop asking.

A few days after the latest unconscionable robbery that is the reason no one will ever watch another prizefight again in the history of humankind, apropos of nothing at all I had a conversation like this:

“I like the ‘blue raspberry’ slurpees at 7-Eleven better than real raspberries.”

“You know those drinks are filled with artificial sweeteners, concocted in laboratories to be delicious, unfilling, and to make you buy more, right?”

“They still taste better.”

The televised-fight experience – with its infallible commentators, scorecards and superduper slow motion – may well taste better than the real, ringside experience. But for goodness’ sake, do not tell a gardener that the corn-syrupy, synthetic blue mess in a plastic cup you got at the corner store tastes “more like real raspberries” than what he picks from red canes.

Bart Barry can be reached at bart.barrys.email (at) gmail.com

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