Tag Archives: pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather reveals $40m offer to fight Manny Pacquiao

'Who wouldn't want to lose for $40m' Mayweather reveals his offer to Pacquiao

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UPDATED:

11:07 GMT, 18 December 2012

Floyd Mayweather has reiterated claims that he
offered Manny Pacquiao the biggest payday of his career to face him in a
$100million superfight.

Pacquiao's defeat by Juan Manuel Marquez earlier this month cast further doubt on a potential mega-fight with Mayweather materialising anytime soon.

Mayweather has two dates set for next year – in May and September – and is yet to reveal his opponents.

But he has revealed that he did make Pacquiao a lucrative offer to fight him, raising hopes that the pair could eventually go toe-to-toe in the ring.

Big money: Floyd Mayweather has reiterated claims that he offered Manny Pacquiao $40million to fight him

Big money: Floyd Mayweather has reiterated claims that he offered Manny Pacquiao $40million to fight him

'I have footage of Manny Pacquiao
talking about what I offered him. I offered him $40m and I told him to
accept that and we could talk about the rest,' said Mayweather.

'The proof is in the pudding. He
received $6m against Timothy Bradley and $8m in this one [against Juan
Manuel Marquez]. What guy wouldn't want to be in a position to take a
loss for $40m He could have made a lot more fighting me.

'I'm very, very comfortable
[financially]. I have great business outside of boxing and all I want to
do is to continue to help the young fighters who are up-and-coming so
the sport of boxing can live on.'

Mayweather returns to the
ring in Las Vegas on May 4 for his first fight since his release from
prison and he admitted that the stretch inside was difficult.

Good to talk: Mayweather claims he has already discussed a potential fight with Pacquiao

Good to talk: Mayweather claims he has already discussed a potential fight with Pacquiao

'I did my time in the hole. I was
locked up for 23 hours a day in a small box and only coming out for one
hour, and at weekends not at all,' he said.

'Not being able to see nothing, not having any contact with anyone can hurt anybody.

'That was a crucial moment for me but
I'm strong and I'm happy to be home. I've got something to live for; my
four children, I want to give them the best education.'

Rising American star Adrien Broner, meanwhile, has been hailed as the successor to pound-for-pound No 1 Mayweather – and has already taught him a lesson on the basketball court.

Broner, 23, the WBC lightweight world champion, has stopped 21 of his 25 opponents and could meet Scotland's Ricky Burns next spring in a mouthwatering unification clash.

On the ball: Mayweather takes on Adrien Broner in a charity basketball game

On the ball: Mayweather takes on Adrien Broner in a charity basketball game

But he showed he can also hold his own outside the ring with a starring role in a charity basketball game in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Nicknamed 'The Problem', Broner went head-to-head with Mayweather, mesmerising the 35-year-old with his close control before leaving him for dead and scoring a basket.

He then performed a spectacular flip in celebration during a match which also featured Amir Khan's conqueror Danny Garcia.

Floyd Mayweather ready to fight Manny Pacquiao in September

Mayweather: I feel bad for Manny… $100m superfight must wait until September nowFloyd Mayweather Jr confirms May 4 comebackBoxer tells Pacquiao to come through tune-up fights firstWait for $100m superfight could end on September 14

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UPDATED:

18:38 GMT, 13 December 2012

Floyd Mayweather Jnr has not ruled out facing Manny Pacquiao in boxing's first $100million superfight – but only after the battered Filipino has at least one warm-up bout.

Pacquiao was knocked out cold by the brutal right hand of Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas last Saturday, a result which looked to end hopes of the 33-year-old facing Mayweather.

But the five-weight world champion insists he remains interested in fighting his pound-for-pound rival, if terms can be agreed.

May the fourth be with you: Floyd Mayweather has confirmed his return to the ring will take place on May 4

May the fourth be with you: Floyd Mayweather has confirmed his return to the ring will take place on May 4

Wrong side of the law: Mayweather served two months in prison before his release in August

Wrong side of the law: Mayweather served two months in prison before his release in August

'Pacquiao's focus should on be on
trying to take a vacation, get his mind right, and get a few tune-up
fights so he can bounce back,' Mayweather told Fight Hype.

'I feel bad for him. There's a
difference in the ways you can get knocked out. See, when a guy gets
knocked out and he can get up, they sit him on his stool, rub his back
and he goes home to ice himself.

'But when you gotta wake a guy up
with smelling salts and got a concussion and he gotta go to hospital
overnight, that's crucial. I mean, that's close to death.

'When I offered Manny Pacquiao $40m, I told him I would wire him $20m up front, just agree to the guaranteed $40m.

'He told me [he wanted] 50/50 and then hopped off the phone.'

Mayweather will return to action on
May 4 at the MGM Grand, his first bout since serving two months of an
87-day prison sentence for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

All smiles: Manny Pacquiao arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila with his wife Jinkee following his defeat to Marquez

Smiles better: Manny Pacquiao arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila with his wife Jinkee following his defeat to Marquez (below)

Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez in Las Vegas last week

Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez in Las Vegas last week

He also revealed he is considering hiring his father, Floyd Snr, as his trainer after his uncle Roger took ill.

The pair have a fractured relationship and Floyd Jnr ejected his dad from his gym last year before his fight with Victor Ortiz.

'We don't really know what the future
holds for Floyd Mayweather as far as who's gonna be the trainer, but
I'm leaning towards my father at this particular time,' he added.

'My dad has to realise that I'm an
adult. I just want my dad to accept and respect me as an adult. I think
my dad still looks at me as his 10-year-old son.'

Back in action: Mayweather also has a date schemed in his diary to fight in September

Back in action: Mayweather also has a date schemed in his diary to fight in September

Mayweather will also fight on
September 14 and while no opponents have been announced for either date,
names in the frame include Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Robert Guerrero.

The 35-year-old, who remains
undefeated after 43 fights, and holds the WBC welterweight and WBA
(Super) light-middleweight world titles, concluded: 'I don't know who my
team has scouted but whoever it is, it's going to be an exciting show.

'I can't wait. I'm looking to go out there and perform and look well for my fans.'

Amir Khan"s former trainer Freddie Roach reveals wrist injury

Amir's chin is fine (…but his right hand is an issue): Former trainer Freddie Roach reveals Khan's wrist injury

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UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 13 December 2012

The problem with Amir Khan is not his chin, it’s his right hand.

Freddie Roach, the world renowned trainer sacked by Khan after the knock-out which has put his career in jeopardy, has revealed the injury which has to be overcome on the climb back to the boxing summit.

As if regaining world titles is not tough enough, Roach spelled out the extra degree of difficulty confronting Khan as he goes into his rehabilitation fight against local hero Carlos Molina here tomorrow night.

With Khan no longer in attendance and Manny Pacquiao back in the Philippines licking his wounds after his shock KO by Juan Manuel Marquez, the fabled Wild Card gym in Hollywood was relatively quiet as Roach explained why Khan’s move up in weight divisions, to light-welter, is not the reason for his apparently reduced punching power of late.

Wounded: Roach believes Khan's right wrist injury could cause him problems

Wounded: Roach believes Khan's right wrist injury could cause him problems

Roach said: ‘Amir’s hitting as hard as ever in sparring because he knows that if something goes wrong its not as important in the gym as if it happens in a fight in the ring. The problem is that he’s a little wary throwing his right hand now.

‘He suffered some damage to the right wrist a while back and once any fighter gets hand trouble it’s with him for the rest of his life.

'That’s part of boxing and you have to live with it. He doesn’t want it to go again in a fight. It often stops him punching properly with the right as well.’

Amir Khan sparring

Amir Khan sparring

Must win: Khan knows he can't afford another loss after losing his last two contests to Garcia and Peterson

Roach talks about Khan with genuine concern, even though the young man from Bolton chose to move up the California coast to join rival trainer Virgil Hunter in the San Francisco bay area.

‘You get hired and you get fired in this game,’ says Roach. ‘It doesn’t bother me. Amir said he wanted me to make him my priority but as Manny Pacquiao’s trainer I couldn’t do that.

'What did surprise me was when he came out with that stuff about my Parkinson’s affecting me. If there was a problem with me as his trainer why ask me to put him before Manny

‘Was I disappointed Yeah. But I don’t care. I don’t wanna be angry with Amir. He’s a good boy. Works hard. I wish him well. We had three good years. He was never a problem.’

What Roach does not believe is Khan’s insistence that Hunter has already changed him into a more mature, better defensive, smarter boxer.

Khan was knocked off his world championship perch by Danny Garcia’s thunderbolt left hook earlier this year and Roach, who saw Pacquiao suffer an even more devastating shock from Marquez on Saturday, says: ‘Of course when Amir came back to the corner I told him to use his jab for a round or two and stay out of trouble. Then he could have gone back to beating up Garcia the way he was before he got caught by that strange punch to the neck.

‘But that’s not his instinct. He likes to exchange. He’s a fighter. When he gets hit and hurt his instinct is to hit back. No trainer in the world can change that. Amir will always fight that way and he can do it most of the time because I don’t believe he has an especially suspect chin.'

Khan was brutally punished by Danny Garcia in Las Vegas last time out

Khan was brutally punished by Danny Garcia in Las Vegas last time out

He added: ‘He made the same mistake as Manny, instead of continuing to dart in and out he stayed in the pocket too long when he sensed he was close to winning and got caught by a huge shot. That’s also boxing. But I will always be an offensive trainer because that’s the way to win fights.

‘I don’t know how good a trainer Virgil Hunter is. I know he’s got a great fighter in Andre Ward but however good he is Amir will box aggressive whenever he fights.’

Khan accepts he cannot afford a third successive defeat now but Roach says: ‘He should be okay, even though he should still be a little careful.’ He passes on that warning from his own unbeaten prospect Frankie Gomez, who fights on the undercard here.

Roach says: ‘Frankie fought Molina in the amateurs and tells me he punches harder than his record suggests. Still, Molina is small and Amir should win. You never know what psychological damage may have been done by a big knock-out until the fighter gets in the ring. But I don’t see Amir troubled. And I don’t see that in Manny either.’

Far from splitting from Roach, Pacquiao has invited his trainer to spend Christmas with him in the Philippines as they plot the return of the PacMan.

But if they do go ahead with a fifth Marquez fight Roach will insist on Olympic standard drugs testing. Eyebrows were raised at the muscular transformation of Marquez and his elevated punching power, not least because he recently hired as his physical conditioner one Angel Heredia, who confessed to supplying shamed American Olympic athletes Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery with steroids. Both he and Marquez deny any wrong-doing.

Fourth time lucky: Marquez finally got the better of Khan's former gym-mate Pacquiao

Fourth time lucky: Marquez finally got the better of Khan's former gym-mate Pacquiao

Juan Manuel Marquez celebrates after defeating Manny Pacquiao by a sixth round knockout in their welterweight bout

Roach reveals that he asked for random blood testing prior to Saturday’s shock, adding: ‘The Marquez people refused. I went to the (Nevada) commission but it is their practice not to do that unless both sides agree. If not, they just take a urine test on fight night. But that can be too late.

‘I’m not saying anything specific about Marquez but its not good for boxing if cheats win. There is too much stuff going on now about drugs. We had it with Lamont Peterson being on steroids before he was adjudged to have beaten Amir. It’s not right.’

Pacquiao’s chin is not his problem, either. Roach explains: ‘That punch from Marquez would have knocked out anyone. The issue with Manny will be that even if we don’t get agreement on drugs testing in our training camps, Manny will fight him again, anyway.’

Roach would still prefer that fourth re-match – and, yes, then the big one against Floyd Mayweather – to having Pacquiao start taking on ‘the young guns like Brandon Rios.’

Mayweather After that KO

‘Floyd has got the perfect excuse not to fight Manny now,’ says Roach. ‘But I say why not do the fight. Mayweather is talking about having two fights next year. The first looks like being against Tim Bradley (the beneficiary of a scandalous decision over Pacquiao). Then they are talking about Canelo Alvarez. But that’s too early in Canelo’s career. He needs to continue developing.

‘Canelo is already a bigger star than Floyd in many places so it makes financial sense, also, to let that build towards a mega-fight in 2014. So why not fight Manny after Bradley’

Roach remains convinced of this: ‘I still believe that there are only two men who can beat Mayweather. And they are Pacquiao and Khan.’

Wrap those wrists tight! Roach warns Khan to wrap his hands properly to prevent any further damage

Wrap those wrists tight! Roach warns Khan to wrap his hands properly to prevent any further damage

If Khan is to get that opportunity in the future, he must win in the historic Los Angeles Arena here and now.

To help ensure that victory, his immediate past trainer gives him one reminder, for free: ‘I hope he doesn’t forget to wrap his hands properly. I always wrapped them really stiff because he needs that to protect that right wrist.’

50 Cent"s rapping is small price to pay if he brings bling to the fight game – Jeff Powell Boxing Column

50 Cent's rapping is small price to pay if he brings bling to the fight game (just pass me the earplugs please!)

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UPDATED:

00:21 GMT, 11 December 2012

The future is loud. The future is garish. The future is bling.

So says the rapper who calls himself 50 Cent and is now investing considerably more than that in boxing.

Mr Half Dollar is offering to give the hard game of blood, sweat, pain, courage and not a few tears a glamorous makeover which he believes will attract a new generation of fans.

Is it a bird Is it a plane No it's 50 Cent! The rapper is lowered to the ring before the fight

Is it a bird Is it a plane No it's 50 Cent! The rapper in the ring before the fight

Is it a bird Is it a plane No it's 50 Cent! The rap superstar in the ring before the fight on Saturday

This involves theatrical ring entrances like the one he made prior to his fighter Yuriorkis Gamboa’s arrival on the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard here in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Rapping away, 50 Cent was lowered on pulleys from the ceiling of the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

He was accompanied by pounding music, blinding light shows and strings of celebrities being paraded through the arenas to their ringside seats, defeated US presidential candidate Mitt Romney among them.

Gnarled old boxing followers are no longer enough, it seems. Not even when they bring their scantily clad molls with them to sex up the evening’s sport.

It is on condition that he can wrap boxing promotions in the trappings of rock concerts and movie premieres that 50 Cent is gambling some of his hard-rapped millions on the fight business.

Acrimonious ending: 50 Cent was originally involved in a deal with Floyd Mayweather jnr

Acrimonious ending: 50 Cent was originally involved in a deal with Floyd Mayweather jnr

The American boxing establishment are letting him come along for the ride, to see whether he can claw back some of the audience which is gravitating to the UFC.

That summit of mixed martial arts already packages its events in a similar youth culture.

While piggy-backing on Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum’s 81st birthday show at the MGM Grand, 50 Cent turned boxing’s attention to people a fifth of that age: ‘The audience demographic for boxing is 30 and up. The UFC’s key support is aged between 15 and 34. To tap into that future we need spectacular promotions.’

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To emphasise his commitment, he added: ‘I’ve always loved going to the fights but now that I’m involved its going to be expensive for me and I’m determined to make it work by expanding the fan base.’

When first granted a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission 50 Cent went into a partnership with the Money Man himself, Floyd Mayweather Jnr.

That ended in acrimony almost as soon
as it started and he has crossed the Rubicon of the ring to join forces
with Manny Pacquiao’s advisors with an eye to future deals with younger
boxers.

Arum invited him to participate on Saturday, saying; ‘I’m always open to new ideas from young people so let’s see if it’s time to freshen up the way we do things and open up a new market.’

The timing was peculiar, since Arum has just realised the biggest-money live gate ever for boxing in Vegas – $10.5million from a 16,000-plus sell-out – a figure which is providing Pacquiao with a minimum purse of $26m and Juan Manuel Marquez with $6m to take home to Mexico.

Not only that but with Pacquiao
pledged to fight on despite his shock one-punch KO, Arum not only
envisages an equally profitable fifth fight against the body-building
Marquez but still anticipates his PacMan meeting Mayweather in a $200m
bonanza.

It is tempting to offer a reminder of one of the oldest maxims in big business: ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’

But traditional prize-fighting in the US has become somewhat paranoid about the UFC with all its razzmatazz, even though the highest ratings for pay-per-view TV audience here have all been set by boxing.

Despite its fan profile, mixed
martial arts has not competed yet with the pulling power down recent
years of Tyson, Holyfield, Lewis, De La Hoya, Mayweather and Pacquiao.

New alliance: The rapper has now joined forces with Manny Pacquiao (left) over future promotions

New alliance: The rapper has now joined forces with Manny Pacquiao (left) over future promotions

Nor, when it comes to big nights like Saturday, does boxing have any problem pulling in the Hollywood set.

It is the smaller shows which struggle to make financial ends meet but those promotions do not appear to be on the radar of 50 Cent and his associates.

And in all honesty not even the most high-profile of celebrity promoters would be able to persuade the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson and the Twilight stars to turn up at non-title fights in small halls.

So the experiment with the sound-bite generation will have to be conducted in the glare of major events, which are already heavily hyped in showbusiness style.

Still, if 50 Cent can give the game a boost then the wearing of ear-plugs by the rest of us will be a small price to pay.

Big year ahead: Amir Khan is still just one convincing win away from title contention despite recent defeats

Big year ahead: Amir Khan is still just one big win away from title contention despite recent defeats

Khan must stay part of Brit pack for big year

Amir Khan sets about reviving his career in Los Angeles on Saturday but if he needs any further incentive to secure an impressive victory over the undefeated Carlos Molina it comes with all the announcements of big world title battles and final eliminators for his fellow British boxers early next year.

Kell Brook, Khan’s verbal adversary, gets his big chance against world welterweight champion Devon Alexander in Los Angeles in January.

Martin Murray travels to Buenos Aires in April to challenge middleweight king Sergio Martinez, a daunting prospect made even tougher in the Argentine’s home city but a thrilling one for all that.

Ricky Burns is being lined up to defend his world lightweight title against the fast-rising Adrien Broner in the US in February.

Nathan Cleverly has been pencilled in for the retirement fight of Bernard Hopkins, which will be a star-studded mega-night in New York in March.

A week later in the same city, Tyson Fury is being lined up for a final eliminator for a world heavyweight title shot – either against Vitali Klitschko or for the vacant championship if the elder of the big brothers of the game decides to retire into Ukrainian politics full-time.

Khan will not want to be left out and he knows that even after two defeats, a convincing win over Molina will propel him back into world title contention in 2013, which promises to be the year of living dangerously for British boxing… but excitingly.

Price is still right for Fury

Frank Maloney has called for a truce in the war of words with Mick Hennessy as these rival promoters steer David Price and Tyson Fury, respectively, towards world heavyweight title challenges.

Maloney admits the exchange of insults is unproductive. So while he is still asking Fury to meet Price, he accepts that the travelling man is likely to find a shot at a Klitschko preferable early next year.

If Hennessy can confirm the obvious about Fury’s priority they can go their separate ways for the moment without further rancour… while keeping alive the prospect of a huge British fight between the pair a year or so hence.

Come on gentlemen, you know it makes sense.

Juan Manuel Marquez beats Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas

Pacquiao stunned as Marquez delivers knockout blow with stunning sixth-round shot in brutal 'Fight of the Year'

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UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 9 December 2012

Manny Pacquiao gives straight answers even after he’s been knocked cold in the upset of the new century, as he was by his perennial rival Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night.

‘I’m open to a fifth fight between us,’ said the PacMan once he had regained consciousness. ‘Why not fight again’

Why not, indeed, when the early returns from the fourth edition of this saga suggest gross takings of $85 million. Why not, now that this knock-out with one second remaining in the sixth round has almost certainly put paid to the even richer prospect of a dream fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Scroll down for video

Knockout blow: Marquez celebrates after stopping Pacquiao in the sixth round

Knockout blow: Marquez celebrates after stopping Pacquiao in the sixth round

Knockout blow: Marquez celebrates after stopping Pacquiao in the sixth round

The question which remains unanswered, however, is exactly how Senor Marquez, at the grand sporting age of 39, has developed a physique like the Incredible Hulk and nuclear power in his right fist.

If the world were as simple as when we were starry-eyed kids, we would have awoken with an almighty hangover on Sunday morning after joining thousands of Mexicans in their tequila-soaked celebrations here.

Instead we are walking gingerly on egg shells.

Stunning shot: Marquez lands the bout-winning right hand in the sixth

Stunning shot: Marquez lands the bout-winning right hand in the sixth

Knockout blow: Marquez lands the bout-winning right hand in the sixth

Knockout blow: Marquez lands the bout-winning right hand in the sixth

Knockout blow: Marquez lands the bout-winning right hand in the sixth

Knockout blow: Marquez lands the bout-winning right hand in the sixth

Knockout blow: Marquez lands the bout-winning right hand in the sixth

The world is not so simple when the victor of what might well be voted the Fight of the Year has to keep denying that his body-building transformation has been achieved with the help of performance enhancing drugs.

Marquez puts it down to incredibly hard work. We hear him but we also know that his physical conditioner is the man who confessed to supplying steroids to shamed US Olympic athletes Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.

It feels horribly churlish to withhold unqualified praise for Marquez’s achievement in flattening, at the fourth attempt, the Filipino idol who went into this tumultuous weekend as one of the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. But if you hire as your dietician Angel Heredia – or whatever he calls himself at the moment – you must know that you will invite suspicion.

The PacMan: Pacquiao makes his way out to the ring

The PacMan: Pacquiao makes his way out to the ring

The PacMan: Pacquiao makes his way out to the ring

Everyone was dancing around the issue once Pacquiao was back on his feet and en route to hospital for precautionary tests.

His master trainer Freddie Roach has raised questions previously, but, more diplomatically, said: ‘His body has developed as he gets older and he’s punching harder. His power has improved and he hurt Manny a lot more with his right hand than in the past fights.’

That much was obvious for all to see as Pacquiao was decked in the second round before being knocked head-first into oblivion at the end of the sixth. His wife Jinkee was in weeping distress at the sight of her husband lying prostrate under a rope but once her husband had been revived he consoled her on his way to congratulating Marquez.

He remains a gentleman in defeat – and arguably still the greater boxer than Marquez even though the clear and decisive outcome which both sought in this re-re-re-match went to his nemesis, not himself.

Sighter: Pacquiao lands a left in the first round

Sighter: Pacquiao lands a left in the first round

Smiles better: Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) was in the crowd

Smiles better: Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) was in the crowd

Pacquiao, with his crisp right jabs, in-and-out attacks and whiplash lefts controlled this fight with the exception of taking those two huge blows. He recovered from his first knock down to dump Marquez on the seat of his pants in the fifth.

For the most part Pacquiao dominated from his quick-fire response to the first bell until that single second before it would have rung to end the sixth.

Marquez, his nose broken and his face lacerated, was on the brink of defeat when Pacquiao sensed a KO of his own, became over-excited and walked onto his opponent’s desperation punch.

‘We made one mistake and got knocked out just as we were about to win,’ said Roach. ‘It happens in boxing. But I didn’t see any signs of deterioration in Manny. When we get back in the gym I will advise him to retire if I see bad things. But I don’t expect that.’

On the charge: Marquez takes the attack to Pacquiao

On the charge: Marquez takes the attack to Pacquiao

Floored: Pacquiao hits the canvas after Marquez connects with a right in the third

Floored: Pacquiao hits the canvas after Marquez connects with a right in the third

Floored: Pacquiao hits the canvas after Marquez connects with a right in the third

Floored: Pacquiao hits the canvas after Marquez connects with a right in the third

Marquez was also showing signs of concussion when he returned to the dressing room and he, too, had to go to hospital.

With both men determined to bring their dispute to an abrupt and finite conclusion, promoter Bob Arum compared this with the historic battle between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns which is regarded as the greatest three rounds in ring history.

Arum is probably right in arguing that Mayweather-Pacquiao could still be a $200 milllion pay-TV bonanza. As he says: ‘Losing a fight, even by knock-out, is not death.’ The problem is that Mayweather now has the perfect excuse for declining to put at risk the unbeaten record he cherishes. He did, after all, defeat the pre-muscular Marquez quite comfortably a couple of years ago.

Toe-to-toe: Both fighters were intent on attacking

Toe-to-toe: Both fighters were intent on attacking

Toe-to-toe: Both fighters were intent on attacking

Old acquaintances: The pair were meeting for the fourth time in their careers

Old acquaintances: The pair were meeting for the fourth time in their careers

Pacquiao-Marquez Five is another matter. The series continues to court the kind of controversy which, along with the intensity of the fighting, makes for good box office.

Marquez bitterly protested the results of their first three contests, a draw and two narrow decisions in favour of Pacquiao. Now he finds his night of redemption clouded by insinuations of drug abuse.

That will bring a sense of unfairness crowding in on him which will seem as over-powering as the roaring support he had in the Grand Garden Arena.

Old acquaintances: The pair were meeting for the fourth time in their careers

False dawn: Marquez had a wobble in the fifth after a left jab from Pacquiao

False dawn: Marquez had a wobble in the fifth after a left jab from Pacquiao

This was the night which was supposed to resolve their personal dispute once and for all.
Rather, it begs the question of a fifth encounter.

One for which the preparations need to be monitored, by wicked irony, by the Olympic standard blood testing which a certain Mr Mayweather is campaigning to make mandatory in boxing.

So when will it all end The PacMan may have to answer that, too. Whenever he decides to retire into politics full-time.

Floored: Pacquiao was face down on the canvas for some time

Floored: Pacquiao was face down on the canvas for some time

Floored: Pacquiao was face down in the canvas for some time

Floored: Pacquiao was face down on the canvas for some time

Job done: Marquez celebrates his victory

Job done: Marquez celebrates his victory

VIDEO: Reactions after Marquez knocks out Pacquiao in sixth round

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Manny Pacquiao weighs in four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez

Pacquiao weighs in four pounds heavier than Marquez ahead of fourth fight with rival

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 8 December 2012

Manny Pacquiao weighed in four pounds heavier for the big fight in Las Vegas, even though Juan Manuel Marquez has grown into the bigger and heftier looking boxer during the past year.

Marquez, who refutes accusations that he has used steroids, has bulked up, at the age of 39, almost to the point of appearing muscle-bound.

Pacquiao hit the scales on the welterweight limit of 10st 7lb for the fourth fight between these two rivals.

Time to shine: Pacquiao and Marquez square up ahead of the fight in Las Vegas

Time to shine: Pacquiao and Marquez square up ahead of the fight in Las Vegas

Weighing it up: Manny Pacquiao (left) was four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez (right) ahead of their fourth fight

Weighing it up: Manny Pacquiao (left) was four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez (right) ahead of their fourth fight

The PacMan dedicated this final act in their saga to the victims of a hurricane in the Philippines, where he is a congressman, while Marquez talked about trying to find 'that grain extra' which might finally give him victory after two narrow losses and a draw.

Pacquiao looked concerned, and perhaps distracted by events at home.

He said: 'It is important for me to represent my country in the ring and to win this fight.

'But the reason I have gone into politics is to try to help my people.'

In good shape: Pacquiao dedicated the bout to people in the Philippines

In good shape: Pacquiao dedicated the bout to people in the Philippines

Ricky Burns to face Jose Ocampo

Ocampo lined up for Burns night! Filipino in for injured Walsh to take on champion Ricky

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UPDATED:

12:26 GMT, 29 November 2012

Ricky Burns will face Jose Ocampo in his latest world title defence after the Filipino was drafted in as replacement for the injured Liam Walsh.

Burns had been due to defend his WBO lightweight belt against Walsh next month until the Norfolk-based fighter hurt his back in a road accident.

Ocampo, rated 14 in the world by the WBO, will now face Burns at London's ExCeL on December 15.

Great Scot: Ricky Burns (right) celebrates his victory over Kevin Mitchell

Great Scot: Ricky Burns (right) celebrates his victory over Kevin Mitchell

The 23-year-old challenger has suffered five defeats, but most of them came in his teenage years, and 12 of his 17 victories have come inside the distance.

Should he win, Burns has been lined up for a unification fight with unbeaten American Adrien Broner, who added to his growing reputation by securing the WBC lightweight title this month.

The Scot, who swept aside Kevin Mitchell in four rounds in September, said: 'I'd say that this is going to be the hardest fight of my career so far against a young hungry challenger who will be looking to take my title.

Too good: Scot Burns beat Mitchell in four rounds in Glasgow

Too good: Scot Burns beat Mitchell in four rounds in Glasgow

'Filipino fighters are as tough as they come, just look at (Manny) Pacquiao and Nonito Donnaire, like the Mexicans and Africans they come to have a fight and Ocampo will do just that.

'If he fights like those two, as people say he does, then I'll be in for a tough night.

'It's unfortunate that Walsh had an accident and had to pull out of our fight, but I'm a world champion and I have to deal with these changes and I'm confident I'll deal with Ocampo.'

Bad luck: Liam Walsh (left) was forced to pull out of his fight with Burns

Bad luck: Liam Walsh (left) was forced to pull out of his fight with Burns

Promoter Frank Warren added: 'It's going to be hard for Ricky, he's been training to face Walsh and in an ideal world he would have had more time to prepare for the different style that Ocampo will bring.

'He can't afford to slip up, though, we are virtually there with the fight against Broner for next year and that will only happen if he comes through against Ocampo.'

Manny Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton comeback is a mistake

Pacquiao on Hatton's return: I respect Ricky but he's making a big mistake

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UPDATED:

13:42 GMT, 21 November 2012

Ricky Hatton is making a big mistake returning to the ring this Saturday. That is the verdict of Manny Pacquiao, the man whose knockout blow consigned the two-weight world champion into retirement three years ago.

The Hitman makes his big comeback this Saturday against Ukraine's former WBA welterweight king Vyacheslav Senchenko in front of a sell-out crowd at Manchester Arena.

But Pacquaio, who brutally defeated Hatton inside two rounds at the MGM Grand in May 2009, thinks the 34-year-old should have stayed away from the ring for good and insisted it is not something he will ever do once he walks away.

Comeback: Ricky Hatton undergoes his final preparations with his trainer Bob Shannon before Saturday's big return

Comeback: Ricky Hatton undergoes his final preparations with his trainer Bob Shannon before Saturday's big return

'I do not think it is a good idea to come back once a fighter has retired. It’s not something I plan on doing,' said Pacquaio, quoted in the Daily Express.

'I know how hard it is to get back into good boxing shape after being out of the training camp for only three or four months.'

Pacquiao is preparing for his first fight since controversially losing his WBO welterweight title to Timothy Bradley last June with a fourth fight against rival Juan Manuel Marquez next month in Las Vegas.

Blow: Manny Pacquiao destroyed Hatton inside two rounds in May 2009

Down and out: Manny Pacquiao destroyed Hatton inside two rounds in May 2009 (celebrating, below)

Down and out: Pacquiao celebrates his win over Hatton in May 2009

Despite voicing his concerns over Hatton's return, the Filipino legend insisted he respects the Manchester fighter's decision.

'I cannot imagine what it is like after a number of years,' Pacquaio added.

'It’s not just the conditioning, it’s the reflexes, legs, mental conditioning, and so much more.

'But this is Ricky’s decision to make and I respect him for it.'

Crunch test: Hatton will collide with Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena

Crunch test: Hatton will collide with Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena

Amir Khan: Lose Carlos Molina fight and Floyd Mayweather dream is over

Lose against Molina and dream of Pacquiao or Mayweather fight is over, admits Khan

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 31 October 2012

Amir Khan believes he must score a convincing win in his comeback against unbeaten Carlos Molina next month or kiss goodbye to any chance of super-fights against the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Khan's career has lurched dangerously off course in the past 11 months, with his deeply controversial points defeat to Lamont Peterson last December followed by a crushing fourth round knockout loss against Danny Garcia in July.

Those twin setbacks have left Khan with no margin for error as he prepares to face Molina in the American’s backyard at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on December 15.

Comeback: Amir Khan (second left) fights Carlos Molina (second right) on December 15

Comeback: Amir Khan (second left) fights Carlos Molina (second right) on December 15

Fighting talk: Khan speaks during a media conference for his upcoming fight

Fighting talk: Khan speaks in Los Angeles on Wednesday during a media conference for his upcoming fight

'There’s always pressure when I fight but I definitely have to win this because if I lose, I’m done,' Khan said. 'This is a fight I need to win, 100 per cent. If I don’t win it I’m done. It’s that simple. The big super-fights I’ve always dreamed about won’t be there if I lose this. Pacquiao, Mayweather — forget it'

In an attempt to revitalize his fortunes, Khan took the bold step of ditching revered trainer Freddie Roach in favour of the quietly-spoken San Francisco-based Virgil Hunter.

The 25-year-old Bolton light welterweight has been in camp at Hunter’s gym in Oakland and is reveling in the austere surroundings, where Hunter’s house rules a ban on swearing.

'It’s a very tight community in that gym. You need to have people there you trust. Virgil keeps it very limited and that’s what I like about it,' Khan said. 'You’re not bothered about who’s watching, you’re not training for a crowd, or fans.'

A whole lot of glove: Molina signs autographs at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Wednesday

A whole lot of glove: Local boy Molina signs autographs at the Los Angeles Sports Arena

Khan was forced into an impromptu sparring session in early October when a gang of thugs attempted to steal a Ranger Rover he had been driving with his brother in Birmingham.

The confrontation ended abruptly with one of the would-be thieves being knocked out cold by Khan.

'I walked out of this caf and I opened the car door and these guys jumped in the car ahead of me and said “This ain’t your car mate,”' Khan said.

'It was a courtesy car I’d be given so at first I did a double take and thought, “Maybe it’s not my car”. Then I saw something in the back seat that I’d put there and I knew it was my car. Then the guys started saying – “We’re not getting out the car. You’re going to have to buy it off us”. I had the car keys so I wasn’t too worried. I thought it was a joke. But then it got a bit serious and one guy came out aggressively and said “What are going to do” And he jabbed me in the face. It wasn’t hard. He barely scratched me really. He tried to swing again and I knocked him out.

Golden Boy: Fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya builds up the light welterweight fight

Golden Boy: Fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya builds up the light welterweight fight

'I hated it to be honest with you. I never fight outside the ring. We’re born fighters, we’re taught how to fight.

'So when someone tries to fight you they’re making a big mistake. That’s when it got messy because they came out with baseball bats and sticks and smashed the rear window. They must have been drunk or high or something.'

Meanwhile Khan, who is engaged to New York student Faryal Makhdoom, has shrugged off revelations about his private life after allegations in The Sun he had been partying hard with other women in Marbella in August.

Khan insisted his fiance trusted him.

The wrong man to mess with: Khan revealed how he was forced to fight off a gang who tried to steal his car

The wrong man to mess with: Khan revealed how he was forced to fight off a gang who tried to steal his car

'She’s cool, she knows the truth because I didn’t do anything honestly,' Khan said. 'She doesn’t believe anything that the papers say because I’m honest to her. I don’t lie and she knows there’s always going to be stuff written about me.

'It’s a distraction when you’re preparing for a fight. But my fiance and my family haven’t really spoken to me about it.'

Boxing deserves cynical Audley Harrison: Patrick Collins

A sport without shame gets the man it deserves in cynical Audley

By
Patrick Collins

PUBLISHED:

21:17 GMT, 27 October 2012

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UPDATED:

23:50 GMT, 27 October 2012

It is a spring evening in May 2001 and
Wembley Arena is packed for the main event. In the red corner, Mike
‘The Jinx’ Middleton from Tampa, Florida. A 33-year-old private
detective, he has lost half of his 18 contests. He stands 6ft 1in,
weighs 15st 7lb and is earning about 3,500 for his night’s work.

In the blue corner, five inches taller
and three stones heavier, Audley Harrison, Olympic champion, national
hero. He is making his professional debut and has signed a long-term,
1million contract with BBC Television.

It is a predictably brief and farcical
encounter. Just two minutes and 45 seconds pass before the referee
waves merciful arms above the stricken Middleton.

Strike a pose: Mike Middleton and Audley Harrison before their farcical bout

The beginning of the end: Mike Middleton and Audley Harrison before their farcical bout

Later, ‘The Jinx’ is asked if he is
disappointed. He laughs, long and loudly. Disappointed! Not a bit. He
knows the score. He has given the punters what they want. Submission was
his highest ambition. Meanwhile, Audley, in a moment of modest
introspection, observes that it might easily take him all of five years
to become world heavyweight champion.

I remember thinking that the end was
nigh. Woefully devoid of talent and authenticity, professional boxing
had downgraded its status from sad joke to protracted pantomime. It was
time to draw the curtains. And yet the joke has endured for a decade
and more, despite the overwhelming evidence of absurdity.

The cast is preposterous. David Haye
and Dereck Chisora, a prize pair of hapless hams, prove that a bar-room
brawl is the perfect promoter. Ricky Hatton, battered by Floyd
Mayweather and laid flat as water by Manny Pacquiao, attempts a comeback
after three years of spectacular self-indulgence and the tickets go
flying from the box office. ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, once a magnificent
cricketer, sheds a few pounds, poses as a heavyweight fighter for a
television stunt and requests a boxing licence. He is famous, you see,
and must therefore be taken seriously.

Bloodied and bowed: Harrison's cut nose is nursed during the one-sided defeat to David Price

Bloodied and bowed: Harrison's cut nose is nursed during the one-sided defeat to David Price

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Meanwhile, our Audley remains perhaps
the most shameless figure in a sport without shame. For years, he has
performed with the nervous air of a tightrope walker afraid of heights.
He clearly hates the game, fears the punishment, dreads the humiliation …
but worships the purses.

Now 41, and having recently been
flattened in 82 seconds by David Price, he has taken stock. On the one
hand, he sees the world ratings which place him at 81st among the
heavyweights; just below a Christian Hammer of Hamburg and just above
one Bowie Tupou of Los Angeles. On the other, he recognises that there
is still money to be made.

And so, he issues an official
statement. ‘I’ve decided to carry on. One more shot at glory … A
decision has come from above. He told me, “Son, lace up your gloves.
Your time as a boxer is not quite done”.’

The mocking laughter comes in waves. What is this talk of glory Who could believe the deity is such a terrible judge of boxing Yet Audley ignores the derision. He knows memories are short and hilarity will quickly die. For cheap threats and banal banter still shift tickets; fewer than before but sufficient to keep the wolf from the door. And isn’t that what the game is all about; schmoozing the public, selling notoriety, pushing empty promises while remaining brutally realistic

Outgunned: Harrison reflects on the sixth defeat of his professional career

Outgunned: Harrison reflects on the sixth defeat of his professional career

Mike ‘The Jinx’ Middleton understood that simple truth. Aware of his pugilistic limitations, he became a sparring partner. He sparred with some of the biggest and best and his philosophical insights are instructive.

He said of his patrons: ‘If you give them too much, they’ll send you home. And if you’re too easy to beat up, they’ll send you home. You’re there for the guy who is paying you. Marvin Hagler used to say about sparring partners: “You bring ’em in on a jet and if they’re no good, you send ’em home on a bus”.’

Some of that clear-eyed realism rubbed off on Audley Harrison, who knows just how the cynical caper works. Well enough to keep the show on the road for a while longer. I gave the game a decade to live but I was wrong.

For the actors are still reciting their lines and the gullible are still lapping them up. We live in a credulous age, where talent is redundant and authenticity is an optional extra. At this rate, professional boxing might easily survive another five years.

Stats too much to digest

Question: what do you do when you don’t really like sport but wish to convey an air of blokeish authority Answer: you produce a statistic.

Stats are what they serve up in gastro pubs and Premier League hospitality boxes. Always they are preceded by the crushing query: ‘Did you know’

Each weekend yields a new and gloriously useless crop — the most ‘assists’, the greatest number of ‘flick-ons’ — and Saturday morning’s gem was up there with the best.

Mental block: The number crunchers love how Albion's defence adds up

Mental block: The number crunchers love how Albion's defence adds up

Did you know that West Bromwich have blocked more of their opponents’ shots than any other Premier League side this season A total of 44. Just in front of Sunderland and QPR.

How amazing is that Yes, I’ll have another sandwich, please. Prawn, for preference.

Olympics prove sceptics wrong

While the nation celebrated the extraordinary success of London’s Olympics, the sceptics stood scowling on the sidelines.

A joyless bunch, they had forecast doom, gloom and ultimate despair. The Games, they told us, were too flippant, too frivolous, a vulgar distraction from the sombre tone of the times.

As the days passed and the elation increased, their numbers grew significantly smaller.

Yet there remained an irreconcilable core of flat-earthers; too arrogant to change, too miserable to recognise joyful reality. And they wagged their fingers and addressed us with condescending disapproval.

Magical: The Olympics was a shot in the arm to Britain

Magical: The Olympics was a shot in the arm to Britain

No matter that the capital’s image was being transformed, that the world was looking at Britain in a different light, that the nation was revealing qualities of imagination and organisation we had quite forgotten we possessed: the fact was, we simply couldn’t afford to stage sport’s greatest festival. It was an outrageous extravagance. And anybody who believed differently was either a knave or a fool.

Last week, as you may have noticed, Britain came out of recession after recording one per cent growth in the three months to September. A fragile recovery, perhaps, but the strongest growth figure of the past five years.
And, while it is impossible to be wholly accurate, a substantial proportion of this growth was attributed to Olympic ticket sales.

As vulgar distractions go, I would say that London 2012 served this country rather well.

PS

Andrew Strauss has been reflecting on his last, emotional, act as England captain. He sat down and composed a stream of hand-written letters of appreciation to the players who had served under him.

Did Kevin Pietersen feature on his list, he was asked

‘Um … I didn’t write to KP, actually,’ he said. He added: ‘I texted him.’

By common consent, Strauss is a loyal, decent, honourable man. Who has a wonderfully wicked way with a stiletto.