Friday, 23rd August 2019

Winky and Sugar Shane Say Goodbye

Posted on 04. Jun, 2012 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

Winky and Sugar Shane Say Goodbye

In the prime of their careers, Sugar Shane Mosley and Ronald Winky Wright were the best at what they did. Defensive specialists with chins of steel, it wasn’t until their final handful of fights that they even looked vulnerable. Now at age 40, both men are calling it a day.

For the love of the fight game and a few extra payouts, both ended their hall of fame careers with more of a whimper than a bang. Mosley was highly criticized for lackluster performances against the likes of Sergio Mora and Manny Pacquiao. He showed some fight in what would be his final bout against Canelo Alvarez in May, but he ultimately lost on the scorecards with the outcome never being in doubt. Wright lost his last three fights, though two of those were against Bernard Hopkins and Paul Williams. His final match was against undefeated Peter Quillin in June. It was one of those ultra rare nights where the boxing world got to see Wright get knocked down en route to a decision loss.

In a few years though, the ending of their careers won’t be remembered. Boxing is one of those sports where undefeated records don’t mean much to avid fans. Mosley and Wright’s shortcomings as they went up against father time (who Charles Barkley says is undefeated) in their final fights will fade from our memories. Instead, fans will remember Sugar Shane beating a prime Oscar De La Hoya not once but twice. They will think of Winky Wright clearly beating Fernando Vargas on HBO but losing by controversial majority decision and his surprise domination of Felix Trinidad.

Mosley and Wright would even face each other in a mini rivalry of sorts. In an effort to unify the championship belts in the 154 pound division, Sugar Shane challenged a surprised Winky to a unification bout in 2004. Winky scored an upset decision victory and became the first undisputed champion in the division in 29 years. It was the biggest moment in Wright’s career and he followed up with a majority decision victory in the rematch later that same year.

Perhaps it is somewhat fitting then, that both men announce their retirement on the same day. Confident in their bodies of work, they didn’t need a retirement fight against a tomato can opponent just to go out with a W.

The boxing hall of fame will surely be calling on Sugar Shane Mosley in the near future. It will be a shame if the invitation is not extended to Winky Wright as well.

Wladimir Celebrates His 50th

Posted on 04. Mar, 2012 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

Wladimir Celebrates His 50th

Spare us the same old comments about the heavyweight division being boring and weak. Though we don’t think they are 100% untrue, they shouldn’t overshadow what Wladimir Klitschko accomplished in the ring on Saturday night when he dominated Jean-Marc Mormeck en route to his 50th career knockout.

The bout only lasted four rounds and Mormeck was dropped on multiple occasions. The inevitable occurred in front of 50,000 fans in Düsseldorf, Germany, a venue where the Klitschko brothers enjoy a more than healthy following. With his monumental KO victory, Wladimir slides up to 5th on the all-time list for knockouts in the heavyweight division. He can now be mentioned in the same sentence as Joe Louis.

The numbers are impressive. Sixty bouts, 57 wins, 50 KOs, and only 3 losses.

Klitschko turns 36 years-old later this month. It has been nearly a decade since he has taken serious punishment in the ring. It’s not unrealistic to think he will be in the boxing game at a high level for another five years if that’s what he chooses to do.

Happy 50th KO Wladimir!

R.I.P. Mr. Nice Guy

Posted on 03. Feb, 2012 by FSM Staff in Boxing, General Sports

R.I.P. Mr. Nice Guy

Much like the rest of the sporting universe, the folks at FreeSportsMag were deeply saddened to hear of Angleo Dundee’s passing at age 90 on Wednesday. Mostly known for his work with Muhammad Ali, Dundee also worked the corner for George Foreman when he pulled off one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history. But even more than being a great trainer and motivator, Angelo Dundee was a legendary nice guy – something more impressive than all of Ali’s wins combined in a sport as shady as boxing. So if you are reading this right now, we ask you that you take a brief moment of silence for a legend lost.

If you would like to read more about the great Angelo Dundee, ESPN has a great story currently running on their website.

Smokin’ Farewell

Posted on 09. Nov, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, General Sports

Smokin’ Farewell

For better or worse, Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali will be forever linked. Many years after their famous trilogy, the heated rivalry between the two has overshadowed their individual accomplishments in the ring. It’s similar to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Both men achieved many things in the NBA, bust most fans (outside of L.A. and Boston) only remember that era in terms of Magic versus Bird or Lakers versus Celtics.

With Joe Frazier’s recent passing from liver cancer at age 67, boxing fans now look back at perhaps the greatest era the Heavyweight division has ever seen. One that started with Sonny Liston and ended with Larry Holmes and George Foreman. The era is full of great fighters and legendary battles.

Frazier was the first man to beat Muhammad Ali. But it was the third fight in their series, dubbed the Thrilla in Manila, that people most remember. Frazier and Ali traded blows for 14 violent rounds. Frazier’s corner ultimately threw in the towel, but his performance in the fight was a perfect illustration of what made him great.

The current era in the heavyweight division will undoubtedly be labeled the Klitschko era in the years to come. Had the Klitschko brothers run into Joe Frazier or anyone like him it might be a different story.

So we at FreeSportsMagazine would like to bid Joe Frazier a sincere, smokin’ farewell. We’ve gathered some quotes from around the web for you to read and share as you remember a legend:

“I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.” -Muhammad Ali

“Joe Frazier should be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time and a real man. He’s a guy that stood up for himself. He didn’t compromise and always gave 100 percent in the ring. There was never a fight in the ring where Joe didn’t give 100 percent.” -Bob Arum

“The courage Smokin’ Joe showed in The Thrilla in Manila, answering every Ali onslaught with an equally withering response, will remain in the hearts and minds of boxing fans around the globe forever,” – Don King

“Talk about Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, even me. But the fact is, there is only one common, ordinary, everyday Joe, and he is ‘The One and Only Joe Frazier.’” -George Foreman

How to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 3 easy steps

Posted on 01. Nov, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

How to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 3 easy steps

How to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 3 easy steps

With all the recent controversy over the Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Victor Ortiz knockout, the most important topic of all has been overlooked – How exactly do you beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Luckily for the sporting world, the experts at FreeSportsMagazine have finally devised a plan. Follow these three easy steps and FSM guarantees you will attain victory.*

Step 1: Go Amish

In the era of social networking and HBO’s 24/7 series, one of Pretty Boy Floyd’s greatest weapons has been psychology. He is certainly a provocative figure who knows how to push people’s buttons. If you end up hating him, he has done his job. For once you let Floyd Mayweather Jr. wiggle his way into your brain you have already lost the battle. A hate filled fighter throwing wild punches full of rage (Victor Ortiz anyone?) plays right into his hands. Take away the platform, and you take away some of his power. Don’t dare watch television and forget about twitter. Abstain from the internet and only talk to your closest friends.

Step 2: Get Fit

Perhaps the only fighter in history to come in to the ring in better shape than Floyd Mayweather Jr. is Rocky Balboa. Pretty Boy Floyd will battle to the end and you will have to win this fight in the late rounds. Forget about good conditioning. This effort will require supreme conditioning. Don’t waste time working on technique or punching mitts. Run and spar. Run and spar. Run and spar. For as long as possible for as many days in a row as possible. Mix it up with heavy sparring as well. You will have to be able to take punches without getting tired. Sucker Floyd into thinking your stamina has peaked and then take it to the next level for a TKO in the championship rounds.

Step 3: Become the Hunter

Just because step one calls for ignoring Floyd Mayweather Jr., it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t throw verbal jabs of your own whenever you get the chance. Any time someone in the press asks you about him, respond by asking, “Are you referring to the bronze metal winning Floyd Mayweather Jr.?” Remind him of his only failure in boxing. Get under his skin and ignore him when he tries to get under yours. Floyd is an emotional guy. Find his bugaboo and get personal if you have to.

*If anyone other than Manny Pacquiao beats Pretty Boy Floyd we will assume they read this article. Our cut is 10%.

Klitschko TKO’s Adamek, Multitasks in the Process

Posted on 10. Sep, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

Klitschko TKO’s Adamek, Multitasks in the Process

I’m usually not a betting man. However, from time to time I have been known to place a wager on a long shot that I’m positive will pay off. Perhaps the ghost of Jimmy the Greek inhabits my body, or perhaps I just have the sport aficionado’s sixth sense. I knew the 2007 Golden State Warriors would beat the Dallas Mavericks in six games and I knew the 2008 New York Giants would halt the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. I even had the audacity to believe that Tomasz Adamek could score a twelve round split decision against Vitali Klitschko when the two heavyweights collided today in Poland.

Before you call the loony bin to come pick me up, just hear me out. My prediction was born more from an apprehension over Klitschko’s age and history of injuries than Adamek’s ability to get the job done. And I was never going to be more than $100 anyway.

No disrespect to Tomasz Adamek. He was outsized and outclassed from the beginning. But he showed up and let his gloves go as much as he could in typical Adamek fashion. It just wasn’t enough though as he suffered a TKO in round 10 in his native Poland.

At one point Vitali Klitschko was averaging 44 jabs per round. At age 40, are you kidding me?

Hyperbole be damned. Vitali Klitschko is one of the most dominant pugilists I have seen in my 30 year lifetime (I didn’t start following boxing until my late teens). Lean and mean, what I saw today defies logic. There is no doubt in my mind that Vitali can whip Wladimir’s arse any day of the week.

More impressive is that Vitali and his younger, overrated brother, have the nerve to multitask while they are dominating the heavyweight division. That’s how easy it is for them to fight. Despite thriving, busy careers, they still have the time to promote themselves via their promo company K2.

The Klitschko brothers are no fools. Once their domination in the ring comes to an end, they will give their full attention to dominating the world of promotion. With the fledgling K2 gaining slow momentum like George Foreman in a Michael Moorer fight, it was a no-brainer that Vitali Klitschko would agree to defend his title on his opponent’s home turf when he faced Adamek today in Poland. The event took place in brand new stadium capable of accommodating 40,000 fight freaks (as Dan Rafael would say). The vast majority of those fans were Polish and were card carrying members of the Tomas Adamek fan club. There was potential for a hostile environment to say the least. In the end however, Vitali Klitschko took care of business as usual while planting a small promotional seed with the Polish nationals. A seed, like so many of the other little seeds the Klitschko brothers have been planting throughout Europe, that will grow in to a redwood by the time both retire and are out of the fight game for good.

Please Respect Glen Johnson

Posted on 16. Aug, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, General Sports

Please Respect Glen Johnson

Kelly Pavlik refuses to do it. Mikkel Kessler wants no part of it either. Both can use the money excuse all they want. None of them want to trade punches with Lucian Bute in Montreal any time soon. Has the electric Bute ran out of intriguing fight options? Not if you ask Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson. At 42 years young, Johnson lobbied hard to land a match against Bute in his own backyard – and he got one.

Most would look at Glen Johnson’s career record of 51-15-2 and dismiss him right away. Avid fight fans would not be so quick to brush him aside however. The Road Warrior always brings it. Always. With Pavlik and Kessler ducking Bute for the time being, Johnson is a worthy substitute.

I’ll admit Johnson didn’t pop up on my radar until his brutal upset knockout of Roy Jones Jr. circa 2004. He also beat Antonio Tarver that year in a split decision, earning the Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight title in the process. Since then Johnson has been involved in some great fights and some close decisions with the likes of Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud, and Carl Froch.

Now Johnson is focusing his attention to rising star Lucian Bute (29-0, 24 KO) for a November 5th bout in Canada. Bute’s IBF Super Middleweight title will be on the line. If the pattern of Johnson’s last six fights (alternating wins and losses) continues, the boxing world will have a new champion this fall. Whatever the outcome, Johnson deserves respect for continually fighting top notch opponents on their home turf.

Undoubtedly Glen Johnson will show up in great shape and ready to rumble. Does the Road Warrior have one last title-grabbing upset left in him?

How Much is Enough for Jones Jr.?

Posted on 24. Mar, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

How Much is Enough for Jones Jr.?

Here we go again – again. The announcement was made this month that fading boxing star Roy Jones Jr. will lace up the gloves for yet another questionable fight.

Exactly how much is enough punishment for a man to take in the ring? Unfortunately this is not a question a boxing fan can answer. Well I guess they could answer but it wouldn’t make much difference to Roy Jones Jr. who will travel to Russia on April 22 to face hot prospect Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs).

Lebedev is bigger, stronger, and 11 years younger. His only loss was a controversial decision in an opponent’s backyard. There should be no doubt that Roy Jones Jr. is being used as a stepping stone. Check any Las Vegas sports book if you think the Russian guy is the underdog this time (yes that was a Rocky IV reference).

Roy Jones Jr. has lost two fights in a row. One of them was an embarrassing first round knockout to an Aussie journeyman and the other was a beating at the hands of Bernard Hopkins. Even before these two bouts, concerned citizens in the boxing community were pleading for Jones to stop fighting. His diminished skills were apparent in the fight against B-Hop. When fighting a younger contender like Lebedev, there will be potential for serious harm. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Jones get knocked out in the style of the Glenn “Road Warrior” Johnson fight.

So back to my original question – how much is enough punishment for Jones Jr. to take? When a question like this is asked it usually means the person has already taken enough.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what you or I think. And as much as I hate to see former greats blocking punches with their face, I’m not going to be the one to tell Roy Jones Jr. that he needs to quit boxing. I would loathe it if someone told me I had to stop doing something I love, especially if I was the best in the world at doing it at one point in my life.

In Review: The Fighter

Posted on 21. Dec, 2010 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

In Review: The Fighter

Based on the life of boxing favorite “Irish” Mickey Ward, The Fighter fails to deliver the knockout blow which could have made it an instant classic with moviegoers this holiday season. Much like Ward’s professional career, The Fighter flirts with greatness but falls just a hair short when all is said and done.

The timeline and some of the events presented in this tale are inaccurate but nothing that is too atypical for a movie “based on a true story.” Overall, The Fighter gets the point across and the viewer leaves the theater with a good Cliff’s Notes version of the Mickey Ward story.

For a movie about a fast paced sport like boxing, this film trudges along at a snail’s pace. The fighting scenes are spectacularly exhilarating though they are few and far between and when they do pop up, they are short lived. The bulk of this film is a series of surreal interactions between Mickey Ward , his family, and of course the obligatory love interest.

This is definitely not the first boxing movie that is not about boxing. The original Rocky film did an excellent job of telling a love story using the darker side of the sport as a backdrop. The Fighter attempts to employ the same strategy but there is simply too much going on in the movie. Is this film about a dysfunctional family? A drug addict brother? A man who has lost the belief in himself? By trying to go in so many different directions, the movie spreads itself thin and ends up lacking in substance.

In terms of acting, there are a few strong performances, most notably Christian Bale as Dickie Ekland, the half-brother of Mickey Ward who is battling crack addiction. Melissa Leo (of Homicide: Life on the Street fame) also delivers as Ward’s mother who is both loveable and annoying to the viewer, often times simultaneously. And Mark Wahlberg is his typical, average, muscular self. He does well during the tough guy scenes and fails miserably when trying to invoke that sense of drama which really would have made this flick reach the next level.

Despite all the hype and Golden Globe nominations (it seems like the only prerequisite these days to get nominated is that a film is released in December), The Fighter is a movie you can wait to see in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.

FreeSportsMagazine gives The Fighter a grade of C+

Karma Breaks Margarito’s Face

Posted on 14. Nov, 2010 by FSM Staff in Boxing, General Sports

Karma Breaks Margarito’s Face

In January 2009, Antonio Margarito tried to enter a boxing ring with loaded hand wraps to fight Sugar Shane Mosley. Last night, avid fans in the boxing world finally got their revenge for Margarito’s heinous act.

Margarito received the beating of a lifetime at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in front of a crowd of 41,734 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas. For true aficionados of the sport, the beating was well deserved for the stunt Margarito tried to pull in the Mosley fight and his subsequent claims of ignorance he expected us to believe once he was caught.

What Margarito did between January 2009 and now to earn his penance is a mystery. How does a disgraced cheater earn a shot at the best fighter in boxing today (not to mention a $3 million dollar payday)? The answer is that the disgraced cheater and the best fighter share the same promoter in Bob Arum.

I am not certain what the appropriate punishment for Antonio Margarito should have been. Hardcore fans of the sport would probably support banishment for life while those less draconian in nature would settle for a temporary suspension and some donations to charity. Few however would agree with the punishment that Margarito actually received – no punishment.

After lying low for a brief period of time after the Mosley incident, Margarito found bouts in Mexico and now Texas. It did not seem to matter to anyone else that California held firm on the decision to uphold Margarito’s suspension and not to allow him to fight in their backyard. Instead, Margarito stepped in to the ring with the hottest fighter in boxing today and made millions.

The outraged boxing fan is now left looking for justice wherever they can find it. For just like Antonio Margarito, they would like to move on from the loaded hand wraps and the Shane Mosley fight. Manny Pacquiao’s 12 round thrashing of Margarito at Cowboys Stadium last night provides a perverse sense of closure. Fans can take comfort knowing that Pacquiao beat Margarito as if he was using loaded gloves and Margarito is awaiting surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone in his face.