Eric Armit, who is a Director of the CBC and its former Chairman, is renowned worldwide as an authority on boxers records and also as a satirical and cynical observer.
Eric Armit writes in his capacity as a boxing journalist and not as a director of the CBC. His views and comments are his own and have not been the subject of prior discussion or consideration by his fellow directors, nor form official CBC policy.
The live gate for Pacquiao vs. Bradley II came to almost $8 million so with Pacquiao guaranteed $20 million and Bradley $6 million it gives a picture of just how much money TV puts into the pot. I am surprised there is not a market in idols of the gods of TV as there a lot of big time fighters who should be worshipping at the entertainment temple that makes them so rich.
There is obviously a lot of mileage left in the Filipino star and whilst I doubt that the Mayweather fight will ever take place a win for Juan Manuel Marquez over Mike Alvarado next month would put Pacquiao vs. Marquez V on the menu. The carousel has to stop soon. Marquez is 40, Pacquiao 35 and Mayweather 37. Altogether now. Where have all the young men gone……………
There is also the Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto fight coming up in June with Cotto, if he loses, probably going into the mix with his old opponent Pacquiao. Martinez is 39 and Cotto is 33. Where have all the young men gone………
I guess there has to be a chance that Felix Trinidad might have to return to the ring. The former five-time world champion and his father have both reportedly lost a huge sum of money on investments in Government Bonds. The figure of $63 million was being quoted with the family taking action against their financial advisor for recommending risky investments. Trinidad took part in some big money fights including reported purses of $12 million vs. Oscar De la Hoya in 1999, $6.5 million vs. Francisco Vargas in 2000, $8 Million vs. Bernard Hopkins in 2001, $10 million vs. Ricardo Mayorga in 2004 and $9 million vs. Winky Wright in 2005. He should have received his biggest payday of $15 million for fighting Roy Jones Jr. but he did not receive anything like that amount. Let me see now who promoted that. Oh yes I believe it was Don King. “Tito” is 41-years-old and has been out of the ring for 6 years, but if the money’s gone then it is gone and the ring may be his only way to rebuild.
Wlad won’t be the only Klitschko in the ring on the night that he defends against Alex Leapai but the other one will be wearing a dress. No, it is not Vitali coming out of the cupboard but Vitali’s wife Natalia. A talented singer she will sing the national anthem at the show. It would be too greedy for Natalia also to be a boxer and hold all of the world titles for females.
Leapai is being helped in his preparations by former WBO title challenger Kali Meehan. The 6’5” (196cm) New Zealander lost a split decision to Lamon Brewster in his run at the WBO title in 2004 but never got another shot. He retired in March 2012 with a 38-5 record. Meehan has his own reasons for helping Leapai as he is aiming to return to the ring in June in a Prizefighter type tournament with a lucrative prize for the winner and Hasim Rahman also in on the act. Sounds like a senior’s benefit tournament.
Sad to read of the death of Tony Ayala Snr. His family was a real boxing dynasty that just came out the loser for the big prize. Tony Snr. did fight briefly as a pro but without much success. Son Mike was the eldest. He won the NABF title at super bantam and featherweight but lost in world title shots to Danny Lopez for the WBC feather title, Juan Meza for the WBC super bantam title and Louie Espinoza for the WBA title. Sammy was next eldest and compiled a 23-3 record without ever really climbing beyond local level. Paulie was much the same with a record of 14-3-2. The jewel in the crown was going to be Tony Junior. He was a sensation as a teenager winning the National Golden Gloves as a 16-year-old and reputedly beating up world welterweight champion Pipino Cuevas in a sparring bout when only 15. Boxing people such as Angelo Dundee and Bob Arum said he had it in him to be one boxing’s greatest fighters. Those hopes went down the drain when in 1983 the unbeaten Tony Jr. was convicted of rape and sentenced to 35 years. When he was released 16 years later he was the shadow of the young man who went inside and later he was sent back to jail for ten years for other crimes. The work Tony Snr. did with his boys made his San Fernando Gym in San Antonio a place that attracted others to work there with guys such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Pernell Whittaker all being drawn to the gym over the years. Tony was one of the great trainers RIP.
In a recent interview with a British boxing magazine Mauricio Sulaiman explained that the WBC Silver titles are “intended for fighters who are not yet at that highest level (world championship level) but are fighting to prove they belong there”. That is confusing since the WBC accepts that fighters in their top 15 are eligible to fight for a world title-or presumably would not be rated there. Senor Sulaiman’s remarks sound okay as long as you don’t actually check the facts. The current WBC Silver champion at heavyweight is Bermane Stiverne who was rated No 7 before winning the title. Cruiserweight Silver champion Rakhim Chakhkiev was WBC No 1 before he won the Silver title. Super middle Silver champion James De Gale was WBC No 3 before he won the title. Silver light middle title holder Sergey Rabchenko was WBC No 5 when he won the title. Super feather Silver champion Fernando Saucedo was rated inside the WBC top 15, at No 13, when he won the Silver title and had already gone twelve rounds with Chris John for the WBA featherweight title. Super flyweight Silver champion Carlos Cuadras was WBC No 1 when he won the Silver title. Flyweight Luis Concepcion, who has now moved up to super flyweight, was WBC No 2 when he won the interim Silver title. So either these guys were not really world class despite being in very high spots in the WBC ratings or senor Sulaiman was talking rubbish. Another deceit. When the late Jose Sulaiman announced the introduction of Silver titles he stated that “ the rules and regulations covering WBC Interim championships are very clear and state that they can only be approved when a champion is inactive for six months or longer due to legal or medical problems “. Well the holder of the real WBC flyweight Silver title at the time Concepcion won the interim Silver flyweight title in April 2013 was Edgar Sosa and he defended that tile on a number of occasions including March 2013 and May 2013. Additionally this month Marco Rubio won the inter WBC middle title and yet champion Sergio Martinez defends the full title in June which makes a nonsense of what was said about the retention of interim titles. Listen to what people say-but always check the facts.
Having diced the WBC it is time to do the same to myself. In my last fight report I said that Swiss fighter Mohamed Belkacem was slipped into the EBU ratings to let the fight for the vacant EBU light heavyweight title fight with Igor Mikhalkin go ahead. That was wrong as Belkacem was in the January ratings. I also had the Christian Hammer vs. Konstantin Airich fight as for Hammer’s WBO Europe title but it was not. Mea Culpa-must do better in future.
At one time Mikey Garcia was saying that he was not going to wait around for a fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa. Despite having only two fights in 31 months the Cuban was indicating he would not be ready to fight the WBO super feather champion until later in the year. Garcia was said to be planning a fight in the summer but now he has filed a lawsuit against Top Rank so who knows what will happen next.
Iron Mike Productions won the bidding for the return match between Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy for the IBF super feather title. The bid was $260,000. Barthelemy had their first fight won when he stupidly landed a late punch. That moment of stupidity cost him not only the IBF title he would have won but also around $195,000 the difference between what Mendez will get for the return as champion and Barthelemy will get as challenger.
The Mike Perez vs. Bryant Jennings fight looks a good heavyweight match on paper. The winner will face Deontay Wilder to become the mandatory challenger for the WBC title with the winner of Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola mandated to fight the winner of those eliminators. There has been concern expressed over Don King getting control of the heavyweight division through the winner of Stiverne vs. Arreola. Forget it. King is not the force he was nor does he have the political pull he once had. Compared to Top Rank and Golden Boy he is now a second tier promoter at best and it is the TV companies that call the shots and not the promoters. Good match up also on the May 24 Perez vs. Jennings bill will see former IBF middle champion Daniel Geale taking on Matthew Macklin. Geale has more to lose in this one as he is rated WBC 2/WBA 3/ IBF 3(2) whilst Macklin is WBA 9/WBO 10/WBC 13
On the subject of EBU ratings it is difficult to give an accurate rating if the fighter does not appear in the actual EBU ratings themselves. The ratings are on two levels. There are two sub sets which feed into the EBU ratings. They are the EU ratings and the EE-EU ratings. It is not quite straight forward but in simple terms the EU ratings are for fighters from countries which are members of the political entity the European Union and the EE-EU ratings are for fighter who come from European countries which are not in the European Union. There are other regulations over where a boxer is licensed but that is it in its simplest form. The EBU ratings are the top strata where the EBU rates/lists fighters who on the basis of their records are suitable to fight for the EBU title. That EBU list is a mixture of the best from those in the EU and EE-EE-EU ratings. The complication comes when trying to give an accurate rating for a fighter who is not in the EBU list. There may be 19 fighters in the EBU list (they do not limit themselves to numbers but list those they consider suitable challengers which may be 20 in one division or 12 in another) of those 19, 12 may be EU fighters and since they also appear in the EU list if an EU fighter is not good enough to make it into the EBU 19 then the best he could be is No 13 in the EU behind the 12 from the EBU. God even I am having trouble following this and I’m writing it. However, from the example EBU list if the 12 EU fighters were the bottom 12 then there are 7 non-EU fighters also ahead of the EU No 13 so within the context of European fighters the No 13 EU rating is just that and not a No 13 fighter in Europe. Now I am sorry I bothered!
At least the EBU do have ratings and respect them. Some of the recent WBO Europe title fights have been farcical and again shows the lack of respect they have for their own titles. For instance Christian Hammer won his WBO Europe title by beating a 39-year-old Danny Williams who had lost his last two fights. Tamas Lodi win their cruiserweight title in a fight between a guy with a 9-1-1 record and a guy with 12 wins but only one eight round fight and one ten round fight. Zsolt Bedak won the super bantam title by beating a guy with a 13-9 record who had been kayoed inside a round by a British novice. The danger is that these poor fights come complete with a guarantee of a WBO rating for the winner irrespective how poor the match is.
News of an oldie has German Juergen Blin opening a new gym in Hamburg. The 71-year-old former European champion scored some good wins beating Gerhard Zech, Giulio Rinaldi, Ray Patterson, Billy Joiner and Manuel Ramos. He lost a split decision to Joe Bugner for the European title in May 1971 and was kayoed by Muhammad Ali in December the same year. He was kayoed again by Bugner for the European title in 1972 and retired after losing to Ron Lyle in 1973. No chance of him trying to emulate Bernard Hopkins although he will be sparring with the kids in the gym.
Former WBC feather champion Rudy Lopez has also opened a gym. Rudy pulled off a huge shock when he halted Takashi Koshimoto in Japan in 2006 to win the title but lost it in his first defence. He has won an ever bigger battle since then against cancer so I wish him well in his project.
Australian heavyweight Lucas Browne is looking to make history by beating Canadian Eric Martel Bahoeli for the Commonwealth Boxing Council title at the end of this month. If “Big Daddy” can pull it off then he can claim to be the first Australian Commonwealth heavyweight since Peter Jackson back in 1892. The title in those days was the British Empire title but we no longer have an Empire and I no longer have any hair so nothing lasts for ever. The title picture was very muddied back in those days, but let’s not ruin a good story. Jackson “The Black Prince” was actually born in US Virgin Isles but turned pro in Australia. He was good enough to beat guys such as George Godfrey and Peter Maher. He fought Jim Corbett in 1891 for a $10,000 purse but after 61 rounds the fight was declared a no contest and each participant received $2,500. Corbett subsequently said that Jackson was the best fighter he fought. John L Sullivan used the race card to avoid fighting Jackson who had 100 recorded fights and died in 1901 at the age of just 40. If Bahoeli wins he will be in distinguished company also. The last Canadian to hold the title was Trevor Berbick with Larry Gaines and Tommy Burns being the only other Canadians to hold the title.
Nice touch from former IBF feather and super feather champion Robert Guerrero. He fronted a fund raising drive to help young Caley Camarillo to raise funds for her medical treatment. Caley suffers from cystic fibrosis. Working with the family they raised over $15,000.
Fights to look forward to: April 26 in Carson sees Keith Thurman defending his interim WBA title against Julio Diaz (he gets the shot as a reward for losing his last 2 fights) Omar Figueroa defends his WBC title against Jerry Belmontes (who gets the shot for losing 2 of his last 3 fights) and Lucas Matthysse fighting John Molina. On the same night on the Lucas Browne vs. Eric Martel Bahoeli show Karim Guerfi defends his EBU title against Zhanat Zhakiyanov. Again on April 26 Juan Francisco Estrada defends his WBA/WBO flyweight titles against Richie Mepranum. May 3 under Arthur Abraham vs. Nikola Sjekloca Robert Helenius return to the ring against a TBA. On the same night in Cebu City John Riel Casimero defends his IBF title against Mauricio Fuentes. Oh yes. In Las Vegas some guy called Mayweather fights Marcos Maidana that night also, and Amir Khan takes on Luis Collazo. May 17 in Fresno Andy Ruiz tries to go to 22 wins against Manuel Quezada. May 24 under Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara David Lemieux fights Fernando Guerra and Artur Beterbiev faces former IBF super middle champion Jeff Lacy. May 31 is the day of the Carl Froch vs. George Groves return and is also the date of Nonito Donaire vs. Simpiwe Vetyeka and Nicholas Walters vs. Vic Darchinyan in WBA featherweight title fights and Evgeny Gradovich vs. Alex Miskirtchian IBF feather title fight. The feather will fly that night. June 7 at Madison Square Gardens under Martinez vs. Cotto Wilfredo Vazquez takes on Marvin Sonsona. June 14 will see Ruslan Provodnikov against Chris Algieri. July 12 we have the intriguing puncher/ boxer battle between Saul Alvarez and Erislandy Lara so plenty to look forward to.
With his son Jesse Hart making waves I thought it might be a time to remind/inform people how good his dad Eugene “Cyclone” Hart was. The Philadelphian middle weight was active at what was probable the most exciting time in the history of boxing in the city. J Russell Peltz was putting on quality show after quality show at the Blue Horizon and Spectrum and they used to say that Philly was the only city in the world where two bums fighting in the street would both be throwing jabs. Hart turned pro in 1969 and won his first 19 fights by KO/TKO earning him the “Cyclone” nickname. There were no easy matches to be had on Philly shows and between 1972 and 1974 Hart had a 2-5 spell against top opposition and never really climbed to the heights again. He beat fighters such as Vernon Mason, Stan Hayward, Don Fullmer, Fate Davis, Matt Donovan, Sugar Ray Seales and Melvin Dennis and drew with Bennie Briscoe, but never quite broke through to a title shot. His losses were to Nate Collins, Jose Gonzalez, Willie Monroe, Bobby Watts, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Briscoe in a return, Marvin Hagler, Vito Antufermo and after 5 years out of the ring to Tony Suero. A bunch of serious guys in that list. He ended with 30-9-1 record with 28 wins by KO/TKO. Perhaps son Jesse can go on to win the title that eluded his father and dad can watch him do it.