Archive for December, 2009

06
Dec
09

Honoring Muhammad Ali’s Birthday and Life coming home to waterbury, CT

 

Muhammad Ali collectibles at www.substancecollectables.com

Muhammad Ali collectibles at http://www.substancecollectables.com

WATERBURY, CT –

It has been more than 40 years since Muhammad Ali burst upon the scene as a gold-medal winner at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. To this day, Ali remains a magical figure, known and adored throughout the world. As a boxer, Ali had unprecedented speed and grace, while his charm and wit changed forever what the public thought a boxer should be.

On January 17, 2010, Muhammad Ali will celebrate his 68th birthday. In recognition of this milestone and his prolific career in and out of the boxing ring, local author Felix Manuel Rodriguez has partnered with the Waterbury Police Activity League and “Aliologists” (Muhammad Ali experts) from across the state to honor and celebrate Muhammad Ali’s 68th birthday and prolific career..

In association with Muhammad Ali’s countless contributions and this event, Governor M. Jodi Rell will declare January 17, 2010 as Muhammad Ali Day in Connecticut.

“Muhammad Ali’s dream to share his inspiration, hope, and peace throughout the world, appeals to the heart, spirit, and imagination of many adults and children right here in Connecticut,” Governor Rell said.

This event is an effort to advance Ali’s core guiding principles, which is to promote respect, hope, and understanding and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be.

“Muhammad Ali inspired me to be a better person, to be more humble and caring. He has been a huge inspiration not only to me, but to millions of people across the world,” said Rodriguez, author of Dad, Me, and Muhammad Ali.

The Waterbury Police Activity League (P.A.L.) will host this celebration at the William J. Sullivan Learning Center located at 58 Griggs Street in Waterbury on Sunday, January 17, 2010 from 2 to 4pm. There will be a brief biographical video highlighting Ali’s career, guest speakers, and meet and greet with local authors who will conduct a book reading and signing. It will be a free event and open to the general public. The first 100 families will receive a copy of Dad, Me, and Muhammad Ali compliments of State Farm Agent Mark Shumilla of Waterbury, CT.

Scheduled to appear: “Bad” Chad Dawson, 1960 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal Champion Dr. Wilbert “Skeeter” McClure, “Ice Man” John Scully, Author Rick Kaletsky and many more.

Waterbury P.A.L. is a not for profit organization which promotes partnerships between youth, law enforcement, and the community through educational, athletic, and recreational programs designed to encourage team building and foster positive relationships. To learn more visit http://www.waterburypal.org.

Felix Manuel Rodriguez is the author of Dad, Me, and Muhammad Ali. The Hartford Business Journal, the region’s largest business publication, named Felix one of its 2009 “40 Under Forty” for his contributions to the community and state. He is a proud father of two. To learn more about Felix, visit www.dadmeandali.com.

Ali Joe Frazier signature picture at www.substancecollectables.com

Ali Joe Frazier signature picture at http://www.substancecollectables.com

For all your Muhammad Ali collectibles just come take a look at www.substancecollectables.com

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06
Dec
09

Pacquiao vs Mayweather Super-Fight Highest paid boxing deal Ever!

Manny Pacquiaoby James Slater – It’s still a little too early to begin the celebrations, but for the optimists out there, Pacquiao Vs. Mayweather – the super-fight the entire boxing world wants to see – is tantalizingly close to being made. This is the word being reported on a number of top boxing web sites and news outlets (I read the latest on Sky Sports’ web site), as apparently, “Pac-Man” has agreed to face “Money” on March 13th of next year.

According to the Sky Sports News article, Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, told of how promoter Bob Arum presented the Filipino legend with a proposal at a breakfast this Friday whilst visiting Pacquiao in The Philippines..

“The requests of Manny were so realistic that Arum doesn’t feel it’s a problem and it’s pretty much a done deal,” Koncz told Sky Sports.

There are still a few details to be ironed out, but the fight many predicted would be an absolute nightmare to make is within reach already. Needles to say, if the mega-fight does go ahead, it will be a massive boost for boxing, and a fight that will bring in millions of dollars.

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach also spoke to Sky Sports News about the way negotiations have been looking good.

“We talked to Arum and he had the March [13th] date and May 1st available,” Roach said. “Manny chose the earlier date because of the elections in the Philippines, and I can’t wait to get started. It will be the biggest fight of all time, the biggest pay-per-view event of all time and my main sparring partner [for Manny] will be Amir Khan.”

Did I mention there are still a few details to be ironed out? According to Freddie, though he feels the negotiations can and will be worked out okay, one such item is the weight the fight will take place at.

“There’s always negotiations, like he [Mayweather Junior] wants ten-ounce gloves and we want eight-ounce, stuff like that.” Freddie continued. “The weight he wants [the fight to take place at] is 154-pounds, we want 147, so there’s some issues but I think it can be solved.”

Typical Floyd Mayweather; wanting the fight to take place at light-middleweight. No way would the man who turned pro down at a stick-like 106-pound agree to that. Maybe a compromise will be made, and Pacquiao will agree to another catch-weight fight, at, say, 150-pounds? Ideally, though, the fight should be a legitimate welterweight clash – as neither guy has any problems making 147. Hopefully, as Roach says, these details can be worked out.

It really does seem hard to believe that the monstrously huge fight that will pit pound-for-pound king Vs. pound-for-pound king could happen in just over three months. But, when two fighters are full of equal desire to take a fight (as is the case here it seems), any match-up can be made.

The hype for this one will sure be something. And as far as Manny’s political goals are concerned; if he beats Mayweather, especially by KO, he could darn near run for emperor of his country!

Floyd Mayweather Jr glove at www.substancecollectables.com

Floyd Mayweather Jr glove at http://www.substancecollectables.com

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05
Dec
09

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will get 40 million each!

By Seth Green: Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have reportedly come to an agreement for a fight on March 13th, according to Dan Rafael. Pacquiao has signed a contract for a 50-50 split of the revenue with Mayweather. The location of the fight has yet to be settled, but the fight will be held at 147 instead of 154 or a lesser catch weight. The fight could bring in $80 million which would be split in half by the two fighters.

The Fight May Be Just Three Months Away!

by Andrew Hall

I just heard the big news. Manny Pacquiao has signed to fight Floyd Mayweather for a split of 50-50. This is so exciting and so absolutely amazing. If Floyd Mayweather signs that contract boxing fans around the world will be extremely enthralled. Its almost a dream come true. It is almost idyllic how all of this has come together so perfectly.

These two fighters combine so much that its going to be amazing to watch them fight. It reminds me of the possible fight that almost occurred a hundred years ago. I”m referring, of course, to Jack Dempsey vs Jack Johnson. When Dempsey was growing up he dreamed of defeating Johnson and returning the title to the white race. It never happened but maybe this fight is even more exciting.

You have to give Mayweather certain natural advantages. First of all, he has had more time to recuperate from his last fight. Plus, his last fight wasn’t nearly as tough as Pacquiaos. That could prove very important. Can Manny’s ear drum recover in time for the fight? If not, will it affect his balance and timing? This could be very important.

You can bet that Mayweather is already hard at work for this fight. He is probably out running as I write this article. He is probably already grunting and sweating. I am going to pick Mayweather for this fight. He has too much defense and finesse for this guy. I think he may even knock Pacquaio out. Then it will start all over again for the Mayweather haters. They will have to find someone new to tout as the one to dethrone The Money Making Monarch Of Mayhem.

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Autographed Boxing Collectibles at www.substancecollectables.com

Autographed Boxing Collectibles at http://www.substancecollectables.com

05
Dec
09

Vitali Klitschko destroys Kevin “kingpin” Johnson

kjohnsonBy Jim Patrick – Since Vitali Klitschko’s scheduled December 12th title defense against Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson was announced the overwhelming reaction of many observers has been that of disinterest. What? Who? and Why? basically sum up the general responses of the sporting public. Destroy, dominate, swift and easy were terms used by many when offering their views of this perceived one sided mismatch. What has Kevin Johnson done to deserve a shot at the title? Who has Kevin Johnson fought? Who is Kevin Johnson? These are the questions repeatedly pondered by arm chair analysts and fight fans alike. On December 12th the skeptics will get the answers to these questions and possibly many others they may have. One thing they will realize is that Kevin Johnson signed on to fight the Klitschko that was right for him.

Clearly and deservedly Kevin Johnson will enter the squared circle on December 12th as a prohibitive underdog, but that does not mean he will not be competitive. Heavyweight is, and always will be, the sport’s marquee division. Unfortunately the division is void of many capable or recognizable names presently. With Lewis, Bowe, Tyson and Holyfield apparently off the title radars for good (finally, hopefully and thankfully) the name Klitschko is the one which is synonymous with the heavyweight division. If there was only one Klitschko the perception of dominance wouldn’t be so great but two of them means that almost every significant title fight must go through a Klitschko.. This keeps the name fresh in everyone’s mind. There certainly are other title fights out there like Valuev-Haye and now Haye versus whomever but to be considered the true heavyweight champion one must beat a Klitschko. The problem is there is not a consensus as to which Klitschko that would be. There is a line of thought that Wladimir is the best while many praise Vitaly as the true king of the division.

If it was possible to morph the strengths of each Klitschko into one fighting machine we would have the answer. The only common denominators they have are size and strength. Individually, Wladimir’s strengths: athleticism, footwork, hand speed are what would be considered Vitaly’s weaknesses. Conversely, Vitaly’s strengths: toughness, chin, and heart are what Wladimir arguably lacks. Taking these factors into account the brothers have done a very good job of facing challengers that play into their individual strengths while limiting the possibility of someone exploiting their weaknesses. Vitaly has saved Wladimir from a rematch with Sam Peter or a potential brawl with Chris Arreola, two sluggers who could have tested Wlad’s fortitude and chin.

After seeing Wlad stopped by Lamon Brewster and Corrie Sanders and being deposited on his posterior by Peter it is safe to say Wlad would prefer to stay away from punchers. Instead of a rematch with Sanders or Peter, Wlad had his big brother blow them out, thus, alleviating any rematch talk. Hell, even after he lost to Ross Puritty, due to stamina issues, he had big brother Vitaly beat up the bully for him. The only loss he avenged on his own was Brewster, three long years after the original encounter, and only after Brewster had lost to Sergei Liakovich. If the Brewster fight wasn’t during Vitaly’s four year hiatus from the sport big brother probably would have been called upon to beat up the bully once again.

Present day, Arreola’s recklessness would have caused Wlad to be uncomfortable and we all saw Sam Peter dribble Wlad off the canvas three times while Wlad cautiously scored a defensive and tactical victory. Would Wlad have been comfortable with the prospect of facing the Nigerian again? Naysayers will argue that Wlad beat Hasim Rahman and Ruslan Chagaev to disprove this theory. Rahman was shot and hadn’t scored a meaningful knockout since 2004 and Chagaev had gone to the scorecards in five of his previous six victories. Wlad, when healthy, is scheduled to defend against the light punching Fast Eddie Chambers. Stylistically Chambers is a perfect match for him but not one that would be ideal for Vitaly. Vitaly’s style is more suited for crude brawlers who bore in face first, like Peter and Arreola. By selectively choosing their opponents the brothers have collectively toppled many of today’s top contenders but would the Klitschko dominance seem so impregnable if they had faced their brother’s challengers instead, possibly allowing their weaknesses to be exposed? On December 12th this theory will be put to the test.

Kevin Johnson is quick, agile, athletic and well schooled. Kingpin’s critics argue that he is boring, hasn’t faced top competition and he cannot punch. What is overlooked is the fact that Kingpin moves well for a heavyweight and has very fast hands. Johnson took up boxing late in life and had very limited amateur experience. He learned how to fight while on the job. With a record of 3-0 he traveled to Laughlin, Nevada to face highly decorated amateur and touted prospect (at that time) Timur Ibragimov who was 13-0. The bout ended in a four round draw which many felt was a blatant gift to the better known Ibragimov.

Three months later, with a record of 4-0-1, Johnson traveled to Uncasville, Connecticut to face local prospect Robert Wiggins who was 19-3-1. The favored Wiggins had already defeated Cisse Salif, undefeated prospect Erik Kirkland and fellow prospect Derek Bryant in a rematch of his first pro defeat. Wiggins’ other two losses were a narrow points loss to 17-1 future title challenger DaVarryl Williamson and a controversial split decision loss to future title challenger Monte Barrett who was 27-2 at the time. In only his 6th pro fight Johnson won a clear points verdict over his vastly more experienced foe.

Sporting a career mark of 8-0-1 Johnson faced the durable Robert Hawkins who was 21-5 at the time. In the six months leading up to his fight with Johnson, Hawkins fought three times. He lost a competitive 12 round decision to Eddie Chambers (115-112 across the board), he defeated Robert Wiggins and in his last fight prior to facing Kingpin he lost a decision to Sam Peter. Johnson proceeded to shut out the much more experienced Hawkins over eight rounds. In Hawkins’ next fight he lost a razor thin 10 round decision to David Tua (96-94 on two of the cards).

Johnson made his ShoBox debut in August 2007 when he shut out fellow prospect Damien Wills and after two more wins he defeated the competent Terry Smith by unanimous decision.

Following his scrap with Smith, Johnson scored three straight stoppage victories. First up was former WBA Heavyweight titlist Bruce Seldon. At age 41, and realizing this was his last chance, Seldon was game and in remarkable shape (221 pounds). He fought with a desire, courage and hunger many have said he lacked after his fight with Mike Tyson. After some good two-way action early Johnson began to pull away and stopped Seldon in round five.

A 3rd round stoppage of Matthew Greer followed which led to Johnson facing another undefeated hopeful, former US Olympian Devin Vargas. Despite his 17-0 record Vargas was no match for Johnson. The Kingpin had his way from the opening bell and battered the game Vargas until the bout was mercifully stopped in round 6. The stoppage win over Vargas paved the way for Kevin to earn his opportunity to fight for the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Despite the perception that Johnson is undeserving, stylistically this fight is a golden opportunity for him. Vitaly has not given any indication that he will be stopped any time soon by the current crop of heavyweight hopefuls and Johnson will not be looking to score a knockout on December 12th. What Johnson will do is attempt to outhustle the mechanical and calculated champion. Vitaly has a very good jab but Johnson’s is faster and despite a height disadvantage Kingpin possesses the longer reach. Johnson will not walk in face first looking to land crude powerful punches. He will use his athleticism and speed in an effort to punch and avoid Viatly’s retaliatory blows. Johnson’s record suggests he lacks knockout power but his resume isn’t littered with no hope opponents who were brought in to build his record. He was matched aggressively early on and that will serve him well against Vitaly. Had he started his career versus the same 21 foes Vitaly did Kevin probably would have KO’d 15 or 16 of them and people wouldn’t be making such an issue about his knockout percentage. Despite having virtually no amateur experience the cumulative record of Johnson’s opponents from his 4th bout through his 11th bout was 91-25-2 and only 10 of their losses cam via stoppage. Despite his extensive amateur pedigree, including the Olympics, the cumulative record of Klitschko’s first 11 opponents was 117-101-6 and they had been stopped an astounding 74 times! It is easy to see how Johnson would have more KO’s to his credit had he been matched as carefully as Vitaly. With his on the job experience Johnson has developed into a more complete fighter and judging by his most recent victories he appears to be sitting down on his punches much better now when need be.

Johnson has the legs and speed to make Vitaly look awkward and keep him off balance. Vitaly is very consistent and methodical in how performs. Every one of his fights looks like a mirror image of his last. There are no surprises when facing a Vitaly, his style is well known, often seen and it varies very very little. There is not a whole lot known about Johnson. Early on he was 95% jab, all left hand and little else. In his recent efforts we have seen other weapons added to his repertoire, including more frequent use of his right hand. It will be difficult to prepare for Johnson based on past fights because he is constantly improving.

Look for Johnson to box cautiously early and as the bout progresses to mix in more of his arsenal. Johnson will give Vitaly angles, move in and out and will not stay in the pocket for any extended period of time. When Chris Byrd began to frustrate Vitaly his shoulder injury became incrementally more severe, eventually causing him to quit. Johnson has the ability to outbox Vitaly and he will not allow Vitaly to turn this into a war. The only time Johnson has looked uncomfortable as a pro was for a short period of his fight with Seldon. Bruce recklessly attempted to crowd and swarm him in the first round which caused Kevin to back up. It was short lived though as Kevin regrouped and took command from that point forward. Vitaly is not a swarming, relentless brawler he is measured and consistent which will work in Kingpins favor. This fight will go deep as both combatants have good chins. As the bout progresses look for Johnson to increase his work rate and find success. People question Johnson’s stamina (not sure why since he has easily gone 10 rounds on four occasions) but that will not be an issue since Johnson has had plenty of time to prepare and will show up on fight night in the best shape of his life. The bigger issue will be Vitaly’s stamina. He is getting up in years, appears to get a little gassed in the middle rounds and quite possibly he is taking Johnson lightly. The perception is that Vitaly is a borderline all-time great. How?

His resume is as follows: Two-Time Heavyweight Champion with a grand total of 6 title defenses over those two reigns. He picked up his titles by beating former Cruiserweight Herbie Hide and Nate (not Tony) Tubbs knockout victim Corrie Sanders. He has defended against the immortal: Ed Mahone, Obed Sullivan, Danny Williams, Sam Peter, former Cruiserweight Titlist and Yanqui Diaz 1st round knockout victim Juan Carlos Gomez and Chris Arreola. Over his two-reigns he has actively held the title for a little over 2 years. It seems like he has been champ forever because he retired, as champ, for four years. Oh and by the way, despite the circumstances, he DID lose the fight he is most remembered for against Lennox Lewis!

On December 12th there are two things to remember:

Kevin Johnson is fighting the right Klitschko for him and that only one fighter will enter the ring undefeated on December 12th and one fighter will exit the ring, still, undefeated!

Autographed Boxing Collectibles at www.substancecollectables.com

Autographed Boxing Collectibles at http://www.substancecollectables.com

For all your boxing needs and for all you boxing fans if your interested in a signed Boxing Glove or a pair of Everlast set of trunks Autographed by your favorite boxer go to www.substancecollectables.com

05
Dec
09

Boxing Hall of Fame Announced New Inductees!

Boxing Hall of Fame to Annouce New Inductees This Decenber 8th….

CANASTOTA, NY – NOVEMBER 30, 2009 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced a news conference will be held at the Hall of Fame Events Pavilion on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. to announce the newest Hall of Fame Inductees. Inductees will be named in five categories: Modern, Old-Timer, Pioneer, Non- Participant and Observer. Members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an international panel of boxing historians cast votes. Voters from Japan, England, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Germany, Puerto Rico and the United States are among those who participate in the election process..

“The Hall of Fame’s annual announcement is an exciting moment for the boxing community. All eyes turn to Canastota to see who will be among the new class of inductees,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy. “All inductees receive a permanent place on the Hall of Fame Wall and living honorees will be presented with a gold Hall of Fame Ring at the Official Induction Ceremony.”

The 21st Annual Induction Weekend will be held June 10-13, 2010 in Canastota, NY. Over 20 events, including a banquet, parade, golf tournament and the official induction ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds, are scheduled. A celebrity lineup of over 50 boxing greats of yesterday and today is anticipated.

For more information on the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, or the news conference announcing the newest inductees, please call the Boxing Hall of Fame at  (315) 697-7095  (315) 697-7095 .

For Boxing Fans who are interested in Rare Autographed Gloves of fighters and champions who are and visited the Hall of Fame click on this link: http://substancecollectables.com/hall_of_fame_gloves

Or visit www.substancecollectables.com

Milton and Larry Holmes

Milton and Larry Holmes

05
Dec
09

Miguel Cotto Retires!

Miguel-Cotto

Miguel-Cotto

by James Slater – Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto, last seen losing in a brave attempt to outgun pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, has been thinking and talking about retirement. The 29-year-old sure took a lot of punishment in the November fight – a fight that was thrilling to see for around nine rounds, before Pacquiao’s dominance made the fight a tough one to watch – and some people wondered whether he’d fight again after the 12th-round TKO. Well, according to a short interview he has given to FightNews.com, Cotto, 34-2(27) will likely fight again in June (it’s still way too early to expect an opponent to be named), but that he sees himself retiring from the sport at age 30 – his 30th birthday coming next October 29th..

Pacquiao-vs-Cotto

Pacquiao-vs-Cotto

“Ten months will fly by, so one, maybe two more fights and I will completely retire from boxing,” Cotto is quoted as saying by FightNews. “I’ve been champion three times and I’m satisfied with what I’ve done. I’ll be very satisfied with whatever God gives me the opportunity to achieve during the ten months remaining.”

Cotto is certainly entitled to feel satisfied with all he has achieved in boxing. With wins over excellent fighters such as Randall Bailey, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricardo Torres, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley and Joshua Clottey to his name, and with those three world title belts in his trophy cabinet, the exciting warrior has more than made his mark. More than likely a future Hall of Famer also, Cotto can enjoy his retirement if he indeed opts to take it.

I say if because, as we know, there have been many a great fighter over the years who has spoken of retirement and even given a date; only to change his mind. Who knows, maybe Cotto will look and feel great in his planned June return, and decide that there are more mountains he can climb. I myself thought very strongly we would not see Cotto back in a ring again after the brutal beating he took in the later rounds of the Pacquiao clash.

And don’t let’s forget the hammering the 29-year-old took in his only other loss, to the subsequently disgraced Mexican, Antonio Margarito. These two losses will hopefully not be the fights Cotto is best remembered for though. In his prime, when battling it out with and defeating superb fighters like Mosley (probably his finest win to date) and Judah – both fights being of the highest quality – Cotto really was majestic.

If he sticks to his retirement plan, it would be nice to see Cotto win his final two bouts and head off into the sunset off a victory. It will be most interesting to see who he chooses to face in what would be his 37th and 38th pro contests.

Are you a boxing Fan? Like many others, then go to www.substancecollectables.com where you can find many  Great Holiday deals on Autographed items from the past , present, and future boxers and champions! Signed boxing gloves, autographed boxing trunks and many more authentic boxing collectibles.




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