the Super Six World Boxing Classic

Filed under , by am13n on 16:28

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Early on in Lance "Mount/Goofi" Whitaker's career it appeared that he was destined to achieve great things such as being the heavyweight champion of the world yet 14 years later the world title has still eluded him.

Now the 37-year old, 6-foot 8-inch, 240-pound pugilist with an 84 inch reach, with an impressive 33-5-1, 27KOs record and garnered knockouts of 70% of his opponents is embarking on the comeback trail to undo some of his recent losses and reach the top of the heavyweight division by becoming world champion.

On Monday July 14th, the Super Six World Boxing Classic officially came into existence. Media reports preempted the tournament’s official announcement by a weekend and since then speculation has run rampant. I, too, editorialized on the subject and promised a follow up piece. A few weeks have passed and much happened in the interim. This sequel piece incorporates follow up to the initial speculation...

They say that deaths come in threes. Such was the case for the boxing world, which, in addition to Alexis Arguello and Arturo Gatti, most recently lost another great fighter in the ring and a greater man outside of it, in Vernon "The Viper" Forrest. Often times in death, a person is spoken of fondly out of respect. With Forrest, it isn't just out of respect, it's because he truly deserved nothing less.

manny Pacquiao

Filed under , by am13n on 15:56

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Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took a break from training camp in the Philippines last weekend to distribute food and supplies to hundreds of people who have been affected by the country's worst flooding in 40 years.

Promoter Bob Arum said Friday that the back-to-back storms, which have triggered dozens of landslides and killed nearly 500 people, for the most part didn't affect the pound-for-pound king as he trains in Baguio for his highly anticipated fight next month against Miguel Cotto.

"I talked to them last night, and the typhoon is still hanging around, so he couldn't run outside," Arum told The Associated Press. "But he's getting good sparring in."

Arum said that Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach will leave for Los Angeles on Oct. 24, so that the fighter can get acclimated to the time difference. Pacquiao will have logged about 150 rounds of sparring against Urbano Antillon, Jose Luis Castillo and Shawn Porter by the time he arrives in Las Vegas for the fight on Nov. 14.

Cotto, meanwhile, will continue to train in Tampa until two weeks before the fight, which has a catch weight of 66 kilograms (145 pounds) and will be for Cotto's WBO welterweight title.

Top Rank also announced Friday that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will be on the undercard against journeyman Troy Rowland. Other fights include junior middleweight champion Daniel Santos vs. unbeaten Yuri Foreman, and a welterweight bout between Alfonso Gomez and Jesus Soto-Karass.

makes the sweet science

Filed under , by am13n on 15:54

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AS VEGAS - The crowd at the MGM Grand arena didn't waste any time leaving, with most getting out even before the decision was officially announced. They had come to cheer Juan Manuel Marquez, and the few who were still there when Floyd Mayweather Jr. left the ring sent him on his way with a chorus of boos.

That comes with playing the role of a villain in boxing, a role Mayweather plays well. Making it rain in strip clubs one night, giving a dominating performance in the ring the next, it all comes with the territory.

He returned from a brief retirement Saturday night to give an undersized Marquez a beating and, although the crowd might not have appreciated the messenger, they surely appreciated the message. Hate him all you want, but Mayweather is a singularly talented boxer, the kind of fighter who makes the sweet science seem even sweeter.

A 21-month layoff wasn't going to change that, something that soon became apparent to even the Marquez faithful, who had to know by the third round or so that this was a mismatch of both size and skill. Marquez did everything he could — including drinking his own urine in training — to beat a bigger man at his own game, but this was always going to be a long night.

If you were foolish enough to spend 50 bucks to watch at home in hopes that Mayweather would be beaten, well, that's 50 bucks you don't have anymore. The problem with boxing is the biggest stars fight only for the biggest money, so a comeback against a guy who was two weight classes smaller never figured to be terribly competitive.

If this were the UFC, no one would have cared or screamed ripoff at their flat screen TV. Fights there can be total mismatches or end in bizarre fashion in the first round and fans still cheer drunkenly and start saving their money for the next big card.

But this is boxing, and the sport's long and sometimes rich history means fighters are held to a higher standard. That means Mayweather is open for criticism for everything from not knocking out Marquez to helping build him up to be a tougher challenge than he turned out to be.

"I'm never going to win," Mayweather said afterward, and with some truth. "There's always going to be an excuse."

The excuse this time was that Marquez — who had fought only three times over 130 pounds — was far too small to give Mayweather a good fight even though he had given Manny Pacquiao almost more than he could handle in their two fights. Mayweather didn't help his own cause by coming in 2 pounds over the 144-pound contracted weight — making the size advantage even greater even though he had to pay Marquez $600,000 of his purse because of it.

Mayweather knocked Marquez down early and won every round on most ringside cards. He landed left hands to the head of Marquez every time he came inside and evaded his opponent's punches so well that Marquez was credited with landing little more than one out of every 10 punches.

Undersized and outclassed, Marquez had nothing going for him but his heart. True to his proud Mexican boxing heritage, he kept fighting hard up to the final bell even as he kept taking a beating.

"Hey, I tried," said Marquez, who seemed awfully happy for a guy who had just been given a whipping. "I proved I can give it my all."

classic boxing stance

Filed under , by am13n on 15:53

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CLASSIC BOXING STANCE

Stand almost sideways to your imaginary foe (or bag), feet more than shoulder-width apart. If you're right-handed, put your left foot forward and right foot back If you're left-handed, reverse your positioning. Line up your front foot, hip and shoulders, with your weight equally distributed on the balls of each foot and your knees slightly flexed. You should feel balanced and able to move easily, as if dancing:

the rule of 3

Filed under , by am13n on 15:44

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First, find an instructor with genuine boxing experience and take a couple of days to learn the basics--jab, straight right, hook, footwork, etc.--either through private lessons or a small class (as low as $15 a session). Barring that, see the "Technique" sidebar (page 108) for a quick primer on boxing basics; sooner or later, though, you'll want to invest in a lesson to see how you're progressing and to stay motivated.

Next, clear a space in your apartment, basement or garage (under a strong rafter) for a heavy bag and other gear itemized in the "Equipment" sidebar (below). And be sure to follow a good boxing-workout regimen, such as the one outlined here (opposite page).

I took my lessons from former professional welterweight fighter Steve Petramale, owner of Shadow Boxing, a hard-core Hollywood boxing studio with its own roped ring. Petramale is a purist who cringes at the term box-aerobics; he teaches "boxing class." And he does everything by the book--the way pro boxers do.

Petramale stresses the importance of the number three. Three-minute rounds on the heavy bag, to simulate a boxing match. Three rounds of hitting the bag, which, Petramale says, is "as much punishment as you can take without compromising form." Plus, everything you do, from shadowboxing to jumping rope, from sit-ups to stretching, do for three minutes.

For the last 30 seconds of each three-minute period, you'll want to increase your intensity, just as fighters do in the last rounds of a close fight. (This focus on time requires a timer--anything from a $5 egg timer to a $150 programmable alarm bell featuring a 30-second warning buzzer, adjustable rest periods and multicolored flashing lights.)

In between each three-minute burst, there's one minute of rest. Real rest. "You don't see a boxer jogging in place during rounds, do you?" says Petramale, not waiting for an answer. "He's sitting in his corner, resting, getting a drink, because he wants to be at his best when he goes back out. And how can he do that when he's out of breath?"

Granted, most people don't go to a cardiobox class to rest; some instructors have their students sprint and do push-ups during breaks from flailing at the bag. And I do mean flailing; the emphasis appears to be on speed--in other words, quantity, not quality. It's a grueling cardio workout, but it may as well be Spinning. Remember: The objective here is to get a workout and hone your newfound boxing skills. If you must jog as you rest, take it easy.

The workout schedule (page 111) sticks to the "three minutes on, one off' rule, and gives you a choice of a short (31-minute) or long (48-minute) version. All ab work or push-ups are done after a round of boxing; done earlier, they'll tighten muscles and compromise form, says Petramale. If you're superfit and desire a longer workout, just add more jump-roping at the start and more push-ups at the end.

One more thing: Don't worry if you initially float like driftwood and sting like a gnat. According to Petramale, if you take a lesson and follow up two or three times, the butterfly and the bee will emerge within two weeks.

left hook

Filed under , by am13n on 15:39

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hunk! Thunk! Thunk! Left jab. Overhand Rattling left hook. "Take that, you big, ugly, no-talent, go-cry-home-to-Mama ... bag!"

Whether it's dressed up as box-aerobics, cardiobox, slug-mania or one of a dozen other names, the sport of boxing has become a heavyweight in the fitness world. You can now find boxing classes, or some offshoot, in 21 percent of all U.S. health clubs, according to the American Council on Exercise. And that figure is rising.

To discover what all the fuss is about, I went mano-a-mano with 100-bags for one week and learned what so many others before me have already discovered: Boxing delivers a peerless total-body workout--which you don't need to attend a class to get.