Fighting Harada is a legend in his native Japan and deservingly so. He beat Pone Kingpetch to win the flyweight title. He lost it back to the talented Kingpetch and then moved up to bantamweight. Not once but twice he outscored Brazil’s great Eder Jofre for the title. Those were the only fights Jofre ever lost. The legacy of Harada had been forged.

Harada would defend his title against Australia’s Lionel Rose. Very few thought the title would change hands when they met. Rose was a talented contender but Harada had defeated a legend in Jofre. I guess Rose forgot to read the script. The night Rose met Harada he put on a boxing clinic. Lionel met Harada’s strength, power and aggression with pure and simple boxing tactics. He jabbed effectively. He counter punched with precision. He moved side to side. He smartly spun out of corners and away from the ropes. Lionel fought a perfect tactical fight. In essence, it was a masterpiece.

Rose would struggle to retain his title against the very tough Jesus Castillo. He would lose it to the legendary Ruben Olivares. Harada would move up to featherweight and twice fail to defeat Australia’s Johnny Famechon for the crown.

Harada is in the Hall Of Fame and rightfully so. He was a great fighter who had an outstanding career. Lionel Rose is not in the Hall Of Fame and to be honest, I would not vote for him. BUT…The night he beat Harada was a performance of Hall Of Fame status and you can never take that away from him.

Jim Amato

By Jim | April 6, 2010 - 1:53 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

CHARLEY BURLEY AND THE BLACK MURDERERS’ ROW

By ; Harry Otty

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Charley Burley was a
special fighter in a time when there was a vast surplus of good boxers. The
author Harry Otty takes you on a journey that covers much more then the life
of Charley Burley. It captures the historical existence of this whole era
and the great men who did battle inside the ring. As in the case of
professional baseball, it is a shame that so many great players spent their
careers in the Negro Leagues and never received their just due. In boxing
there are several cases where competent fighters were denied title shots due
to their color of their skin.

Mr.Otty explores the plight of the outstanding Negro boxers of the 1930’s
and 1940’s. Although the book centers on the life of the fabled Burley, it
also enlightens the reader to the abilities of Holman Williams, Eddie
Booker, Cocoa Kid, Lloyd Marshall, Jimmy Bivins and Jack Chase just to name
a few.

This is a fine read. I highly recommend it.

Jim Amato

By Jim | April 1, 2010 - 7:57 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

The ” Super Middleweight ‘” division with a 168 pound weight limit was conceived by the International Boxing Federation in 1984. On March 28th of that year rugged Murray Sutherland pounded out a fifteen round decision over Ernie Singletary in Atlantic City to become the first champion of this bastard weight classification. . The World Boxing Association began to recognize the weight class in 1987. The World Boxing Council followed suit in 1988. Somewhere along the line the lightly regarded World Boxing Organization also gave this division its blessing. In all fairness the creation of the 168 pound class has some merit. The jump from middleweight ( 160 ) to light heavyweight ( 175 ) is a serious challenge. A few have accomplished the feat but other great middleweights like Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler avoided the issue.

Little by little the division began to take hold. Currently the top regarded super middleweight is Joe Calzaghe although he now has a serious challenger in Mikkel Kessler. Since 1984 though the division has been graced by some great, great boxers. Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and James Toney all held the piece of the title at one point or another. Iran Barkley, Nigel Benn and Michael Nunn among others were recognized titleholders.

Who was the best 168 pound boxer since the inception of the weight class in 1984. Many will favor Joe Calzaghe because of his numerous title defenses. It would be hard not to say Leonard or Hearns as their classic battle at 168 lbs. ended in a controversial draw. Really neither boxer spent a lot of time in this weight class to make a major impact. Well for my money I feel the most formidable super middleweight titleholder was Roy Jones Jr. In the two years he held the crown he made six successful defenses, all by knockout.

Roy won the title by defeating unbeaten James Toney. This much anticipated Super Bout took place on November 18, 1994. Toney had won the title in 1993 with an impressive stoppage of Iran Barkley. Entering the Las Vegas ring to face Jones, Toney sported a 44-0-2 record. The fight wasn’t even close. Jones scored a flash knockdown over Toney in the third round. Roy then proceeded to walk off with the title by scores of 119-108, 118-109 and 117-111.

In March of 1995 Roy blitzed the capable Antoine Byrd in a single round. Then in June he dominated the popular Vinny Pazienza. The bout was halted in six rounds. Then Roy took out veteran contender Tony Thornton in three rounds. In 1996 Roy belted out the game and hard punching Merqui Sosa in two. Rough and tough Eric Lucas was next and his grit and determination took him into the twelfth and final round when the bout was finally stopped. In 2001 Lucas would win the WBC version of the title. In his sixth and final defense he took out unbeaten Bryant Brannon in the second. One month later Roy would beat Mike McCallum for light heavyweight honors.

Taking the Toney fight and all six of his defenses into account, the combined record of Roy’s opposition was an astounding 208-21-7. That should clearly show how dominant Roy was at this weight. Could Roy have beaten Leonard, Hearns or even Calzaghe at this weight ? Good question but it is plain that nobody other then maybe Calzaghe dominated like Roy did at 168 pounds.

Jim Amato

Ike ” The President ” Ibeabuchi scored his twentieth and last victory on March 20, 1999. It was an impressive knockout stoppage of unbeaten, future WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd. Twenty one months earlier he had handed David Tua his first defeat. Ike was a serious heavyweight contender but then he took a detour to prison.

In March of 1999 Lennox Lewis drew with Evander Holyfield in a battle to unify the WBA, WBC and IBF titles. They met again eight months later with Lewis getting the decision. Lennox was now the undisputed champion.

Let’s just say that Ike does not go to jail. Let’s pretend that Lennox decides to meet Ike in the Spring of 2000 instead of Michael Grant. How would that fight had played out ? Lewis was 6′5″ tall and usually came in around 250 pounds with an 84″ reach. He was an imposing figure in the ring. In Ibeabuchi he would not be meeting a small heavyweight. Ike was 6′2″ who would tip the scales in the 235 pound range. Lennox would have an eight inch advantage in reach though. Going into the fight Lewis would have the edge in experience with a 35-1-1 record against better quality opposition. Although Ibeabuchi had to be considered a serious threat, Lennox would have probably been around a 3 to 1 favorite.

Here we go…Twelve rounds for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.

ROUND 1- Ike rushes out and misses a few wild swings but Lennox can see that Ike means business. Lewis starts trying to use his reach and establish his jab. Some are getting in but Ike is ducking under some and ripping in some strong shots to the body. Lennox doesn’t seem to like those. Still Lennox pretty much controlled the session. LEWIS WINS ROUND.

ROUND 2- Lennox is putting more on the jab and he has bloodied Ike’s nose. Ibeabuchi just keeps moving in and he is occasionally landing a pumping shotgun jab of his own. Now Lennox is bleeding from his nose. Lennox lands a powerful over hand right to the jaw of Ike who took the shot very well. Pretty good action. LEWIS WINS ROUND.

ROUND 3- Things are really starting to heat up now. Ike’s snorting like a freight train as he aggressively comes in. Lennox is trying to jab and tie him up but he is finding out that Ike is very, very strong. A hard left hook to the jaw by Ibeabuchi moves Lewis. Lennox comes right back and fires a vicious uppercut that snaps Ike’s head back. IBEABUCHI WINS ROUND.

ROUND 4- The pattern of the fight has now been set. Ike’s coming in hell or high water and Lewis has to find a way to discourage him. This is no easy task. Lewis is trying to keep him on the end of his jab but Ike is slipping more then he is taking Ike lands a nice hook followed by a short right to the jaw the got Lennox’s attention. Lewis comes right back with a stiff left jab followed by a long right to the head. He finishes with a left hook but Ibeabuchi just kind of grins at Lennox. LEWIS WINS ROUND.

ROUND 5- As long as Lewis can keep some distance between him and Ike he should be able to score points with the jab. Ike has a little swelling under each eye and his nose is still bleeding from the effect of those jabs. Lewis again lands a hard uppercut that momentarily stops Ibeabuchi in his tracks. Lennox sees this and jumps on Ike throwing a volley of punches. Out of nowhere Ike lands a left hook that stuns Lennox and sends him to the ropes. A hard over hand right catches Lennox and Lewis now looks to be in distress. The crowd is on its feet as Ibeabuchi is pouring in punches. Finally Lennox is able to tie him up at the bell. ROUND FOR IBEABUCHI.

ROUND 6- Lewis looks to be OK now. He realizes that he can’t get into a slugfest with this guy. Lennox is back to jabbing. Ibeabuchi is putting on tremendous pressure but Lennox is now fighting a tactical fight. Jab, jab, uppercut…Anything he can do to make Ike pay for his aggression. Slowest round of the fight since the first, clearly controlled by Lennox. ROUND FOR LEWIS.

ROUND 7- Lennox seems to have found his stride and Ike is looking a little frustrated. There are less exchanges and the Lewis jab is again a dominant factor. Lennox bounces two hard rights off the head of Ibeabuchi but they seem to have little effect. He does jolt Ike with a hard uppercut right before the bell. ROUND FOR LEWIS.

ROUND 8- Lennox’s corner tells him to keep doing what he’s doing. The corner of Ibeabuchi is imploring him to go back to the body. Ike listens and when he does get inside he is pounding the body of Lewis. This seems to really bother Lennox. In an attempt to keep Ike off of him Lewis lands a powerful uppercut. He attempts to throw another and boom, Ike counters with a left hook to the jaw that seemed to freeze Lewis. He then hits Lennox with a straight right to the face that sent Lewis stumbling back into the ropes. It is likely that the ropes saved Lewis from a knockdown. Ike is all over him. Lewis is trying to tie him up but a short left hook to the jaw buckles the knees of Lewis. Finally the bell sounds. The crowd is in a frenzy. TWO POINT ROUND FOR IBEABUCHI.

ROUND 9- Lewis almost looks shell shocked as he comes out but he is still jabbing. Ike has become a little reckless wading in and Lewis lands a short left hook right on Ike’s nose that caused his legs to sag. Lennox quickly followed with a thudding right to the jaw and just like that, Ibeabuchi fall backwards to the canvas. Ike looks more surprised then hurt and he bounces right back up. Lewis is trying to measure Ike with long lefts and rights. Ike is trying to avoid the onslaught but finally a booming right lands sending Ike reeling. The referee is looking closely now as Lewis is following Ike, looking for the finisher. Another savage right lands behind Ike’s ear and Ike drops to his hands and knees. Ever game, Ibeabuchi is up at ” 5 ” and assures the ref that he can continue. Just then the bell sounds. THREE POINT ROUND FOR LEWIS.

ROUND 10- Lewis looks a little spent after his attempt to finish Ike. Still he fires a big right hand hoping to put Ike back in trouble but it just missed. Ibeabuchi is still working to get inside but he’s eating a lot of jabs for his efforts. Ike is obviously the worse for wear as his eyes are puffy and his nose and lips are dripping blood. Slow round as both boxers are trying to regroup after that torrid round nine. ROUND FOR LEWIS.

ROUND 11- It is evident that Ike needs a knockout to win and he is trying to no avail. Lewis just keeps sending out that jab. Ike throws a four punch combo to the head but only one lands cleanly on Lewis. Lennox answers with a very hard jab and a right cross. Ibeabuchi moves inside and rakes Lennox’s body with some mean punches. Lewis pushes Ike off and lands a series of jabs. Lennox then lands a straight right to the forehead and Ike wobbles a bit. A follow up left misses and Lennox seems content to just go back to the jab. ROUND FOR LEWIS.

ROUND 12- Although the scoring may not reflect it, this has been an entertaining match. There is no quit in Ike as he keeps coming in looking for the punch to turn it all around. Lennox appears to be at ease sitting on his lead. He jabs and ties up Ibeabuchi. Ike is desperate and moves in and lands a leaping left hook to the jaw that rocks Lennox. Ike senses his opportunity and is winging away. Lewis is surprisingly cool under pressure and although he takes a few more decent shots from Ike he is finally able to work his way into a clinch. Lennox is now stalling. He’s clinching and walking Ike around the ring, running down the clock. Ibeabuchi is flailing but most of his punches miss there mark. Finally the bell. ROUND FOR IBEABUCHI.

The scoring ; 115-110, the winner and still the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world…Lennox Lewis.

Jim Amato

By Jim | March 27, 2010 - 3:31 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

At one time Mike Boswell of Youngstown, Ohio was considered an up and coming heavyweight prospect. He turned professional in 1970 and won his first thirteen fights. He twice stopped J.D. McCauley ( the uncle of future heavyweight champion Buster Douglas ). He also defeated Terry Sorrell who would later meet George Foreman on Big George’s first campaign toward the title.

In 1971 Mike met former # 1 contender Mac Foster and he was halted in round four. How quickly Mike’s fortunes changed. Boswell would lose nineteen straight fights after his loss to Big Mac. In Boswell’s defense you have to look at the quality of opposition he faced. The losing streak featured names like Chuck Wepner, Joe Bugner, Ron Stander, Roy ” Tiger ” Williams, Ron Lyle, Pedro Lovell, former light heavyweight champion Vincente Rondon, George Chuvalo, Dino Denis and twice to the clever Jimmy Young. No chumps in that group.

In 1979 he finally scored a KO victory over Tim Murphy. Mike would have five more fights and he would lose four of them. Boswell finally hung up the gloves in 1981. His record was 15-24. He knocked out fourteen foes.

It is a deceiving record. Mike met some of the best heavyweights of his era.

Jim Amato

By Jim | March 18, 2010 - 6:53 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

Joey Carkido
By Jim Amato

AUTHOR’S NOTE; Joey Carkido passed away June 7, 2004 at the age of 75. Below is an article I did on Mr. Carkido a few years ago. May he rest in peace.

The great city of Youngstown, Ohio has produced many a fine fighter. Lenny and Ray Mancini, Tommy Bell, Tony Janiro, “Red” D’Amato and Harry Arroyo, etc…

One of Youngstown’s finest from the 1940’s and early 50’s has been all but forgotten. Only the die hard local boxing fans remember just how tough Joey Carkido was.

Joey Carkido racked up an impressive 33-3 record as an amatuer boxer before turning professional in 1945. As a pro he won 46 of his first 50 fights against some rugged customers like Vic Moreno, Pete Manchio, Ray Salas and Ross Anzalone.

On December 8, 1947 Joey fought the first of four world champions he would meet in his distinguished career. Paddy DeMarco halted Joey in seven rounds.

The year 1948 was an up and down year for Joey. He won only five of 16 fights while losing 8 and drawing in three. In 1949 Joey again lost more then he won but it was against top flight competition like Ron Delaney and another champ, Lew Jenkins.

On April 3, 1950 Joey scored the biggest win of his career when he out pointed Beau Jack over ten rounds. In his next match he dropped a ten round duke to Charley Fusari. As you can see Joey didn’t fight too many stiffs. Still there were more losses then victories.

In 1951 kayo losses to Chuck Taylor and Johnny Saxton pushed Joey out of the big leagues. He would lose all four of his 1952 contests.

In 98 professional fights Joey retired with a respectable 59-32-7 record. He boxed several times at Madison Square Garden.

In 1988 he was inducted into the Trumbull County of Ohio Legends Of Leather Hall Of Fame. A worthy tribute to a fine fighter.

Jim Amato

By Jim | March 11, 2010 - 6:41 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

JOE BUGNER

AUTHOR’S NOTE : This article was written long before the invasion of the Eastern European heavyweights. The Klitschko brothers, etc…

Well, let’s get this over with once and for all. Who was the best white heavyweight since Ingo, or since 1960? Many names come to mind but few have reached the pinnacle of world champion status. You could make a case for South African Gerrie Coetzee who briefly held the W. B. A. crown. He was a game fighter and a hard puncher but his chin was not always reliable and his boxing skills were limited. No, for my money the best Caucasian boxer over the last 40+ years was none other than Joe Bugner.

Before you laugh look at the facts. Joe was born in 1950 and turned pro in 1967. He was still fighting well into the 90’s. His record is a Who’s who of the heavyweights of that era. He went the distance with Muhammad Ali twice. His second encounter was in a losing effort for the championship. In all he traveled 27 rounds with the Greatest. He also went 12 rugged rounds with Joe Frazier losing a close verdict. Bugner did win decision victories over title claimants Jimmy Ellis and Greg Page. Past his prime, he was halted by future titleholder Frank Bruno.

During his prime he defeated the best that England and the rest of Europe could offer. He met world title challengers like Henry Cooper, Brian London, Manuel Ramos, Ron Lyle, Earnie Shavers, Chuck Wepner, Marvis Frazier, Steffen Tangstad, James Tillis, David Bey and Richard Dunn. He also met several other respectable big men such as Mac Foster, Jose Luis Garcia, Larry Middleton, Eduardo Corletti, Jurgen Blin, Jack Bodell and Jack O’Halloran.

Bugner, who was born in Hungary, boxed out of England and later fought out of Australia. He was tall and well proportioned. He was a smart boxer with a good left jab. He was very mobile for a man his size and he had a pretty fair right cross. He also had a solid chin.

Jerry Quarry was a terrific fighter but Bugner fared much better against Ali and Frazier than Jerry did. George Chuvalo also went 27 rounds with Ali. He also went the full route with Ellis, Floyd Paterson and Ernie Terrell. Still he was butchered by Frazier and George Foreman.

Forget Cooney, he could punch but he never did learn how to fight. Morrison had a good punch and decent skills but no chin. Duane Bobick was a solid puncher but slow and not very durable. Wepner was awkward and as game as they come but he could be easily outboxed. Henry Cooper had a great left hook but he cut easy and his chin was shaky. Boone Kirkman could punch but he had no defense. Randy Neuman was a good boxer with no punch. Karl Mildenberger was troublesome from his southpaw stance but little else. Ron Stander like Wepner was game to core. If courage alone won titles they both would have been champs.

Jim Amato

By Jim | March 5, 2010 - 7:02 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

There are certain dates that will stick with you as long as you live. Your birthday, the birthdays of family members, anniversaries, the day that you got your divorce ( s ), etc…Happy and important days that mark milestones in your life.

One such date I’ll always remember is March 8, 1971. The ” Battle Of The Century “, it was so aptly named.Two undefeated boxers who each had a legitimate claim to being the heavyweight champion of the world would collide. When Muhammad Ali first won the title in 1964 his name was Cassius Clay. He would shortly thereafter change his name and then proceed to change the face of boxing. He dominated the scene until 1967 when he refused induction into the US Military due to his religious beliefs. Then came the Eight Man Elimination Tourney that was won by Jimmy Ellis. The powerful New York State Athletic Commission would recognize the winner of a match up between unbeaten boxers Joe Frazier and Buster Mathis. A bout in which Joe won. In 1970 Frazier stopped Ellis to claim the vacated title. Later that year Muhammad Ali returned to ring wars and halted highly ranked contenders Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena. The stage was now set. Ali and Frazier would clash for the undisputed title.

The first Ali – Frazier bout was the epic that all others are compared to, even today. There is no reason in this article to describe the bout itself. Reams of print have appeared documenting the action that took place in the ring that magical night. What I would like to share is the impact that fight on me and probably millions of others. I have never before or since March 8, 1971 felt the same way about a prize fight. Yes there were a few that stirred my anticipation like Duran-DeJesus II and III, Leonard-Duran I, Leonard-Hearns I, Pryor-Arguello I, Hagler-Hearns and Leonard-Hagler. Still to this day Ali – Frazier I tops them all.

Was Ali – Frazier I the best action fight of all time ? I would have to say no but for sheer anticipation, drama and excitement, this fight was the whole package. You had movie star Burt Lancaster as a commentator and Frank Sinatra as a photographer. Each boxer would receive $ 2.5 million for their nights work. That was an unheard sum of money for one fight in 1971.

I have never been so wound up with anticipation for a boxing match in my life. I was a few months shy of my seventeenth birthday and had been a boxing fan from the time I was ten.I had closely followed all the events leading up this day in boxing history.

On fight night I was at a party and we gathered around the radio listening to the round by round summary. We were pretty much split on the outcome of the fight but almost all of us were rooting for ” Smokin’ Joe “. From the round by round reports we could sense that this was a bout with shifting momentums. The ever proud Ali realized that Joe had come to fight this evening. Maybe Ali took Frazier too lightly. Maybe Muhammad rushed too soon to get back in the ring after his lengthy layoff. Maybe, just maybe the Joe Frazier of March 8, 1971 was one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. I’ve never seen a boxer who laid it all out for one fight like Joe did that night. You’ve heard it said that a boxer would rather die then be defeated. On this night Joe would have died a hundred deaths before giving in to Ali.

Round after round went by and as we listened to the radio. In the eleventh Frazier rocked Ali and we as a collective group cheered. Even the ones who had bet on Ali to win. As the bout moved into the ” championship ” rounds, we were all on the edge of our seats. Then it happened. It was announced on the radio the Joe had decked Ali in the fifteenth round. More cheering and now the wait. Finally it was time to render the decision. The winner and still heavyweight champion of the world…Joe Frazier !

Oh what a night. Thirty eight years later I can remember it like it was yesterday. Ali, Frazier, my friends and myself are now entering the twilight of our lives. Still when I think of that night it takes me back to my youth and to the ultimate excitement that probably the greatest single sporting event of all time brought me. Thanks Joe and Muhammad.

Jim Amato

By Jim | March 4, 2010 - 6:45 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

He turned professional in 1974 and in a short time he became a serious contender for the welterweight title. Dave ” Boy ” Green took England by storm. He won his first 24 fights as he quickly climbed the ladder. In 1976 he halted Billy Waith in an eliminator for the British junior welterweight title. Later in the year he stopped Joey Singleton to win the British title.

1976 continued to be a big year for the busy Green as he defeated seasoned veterans Ramiro Bolanos and Jimmy Heair. Dave finished the year by knocking out Jean Baptiste Piedvache to win the European 140 pound title.

Six months before Green’s win over Piedvache, John H. Stracey the man who had finally dethroned the great Jose Napoles surrendered the welterweight title to Carlos Palomino. The drums were now beating for a match between Green and Stracey. Finally in March of 1977 the two met at Wembley. This much anticipated fight ended with Green the winner in the tenth round.

Next up, a shot at Carlos Palomino and the WBC welterweight crown. This fight took place in June of 1977. What a fight it was. Green was never one to take a backward step and he forced the action from the beginning. Palomino was as tough as nails. He was a great counter puncher. He was also a devastating body puncher as Stracey had found out. Nevertheless Green forced Carlos to give ground early in the fight. As the bout wore on Palomino was working his way back in but after ten rounds it was a very close fight. Then in round eleven, boom and it was over. One punch left Green out on the canvas. Palomino had retained his title and Green had taken his first defeat.

Three months later the gritty Green bounced right back to outpoint the formidable Andy Price. A fighter who held victories over Palomino and WBA champion Pipino Cuevas. That was the start of a seven fight win streak for Dave. It all came crashing down in June of 1979 when Green was surprisingly stopped by Denmark’s Joergen Hansen in the third round for the European welterweight title.

Dave came back to win two fights and then found himself again challenging for the WBC welterweight title. Palomino had been out boxed by the clever Wilfred Benitez in losing his title. In turn Benitez was halted in the final round by Sugar Ray Leonard who was now the champ. On March 31, 1980 Green came to America to challenge Leonard. With one of the most devastating left hooks I’ve ever seen Leonard flattened Dave in round four. It was a brutal knockout.

It is hard to recover from a loss like that but Green put together four wins to stay in contention. Finally on November 3, 1981 Green lost in five rounds to Reggie Ford, a fighter with an 8-7-1 record. It was time to hang up the gloves.

Green ended his career with 41 fights. He won 37. In all four of his losses he was stopped. In turn he won 29 by the kayo route. He was a tough, game and rugged competitor. He was among the best welterweights in the world in an era when the welterweight division was loaded with talent.

Jim Amato

By Jim | March 2, 2010 - 8:22 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

“IT IS WHAT IT IS” ; Thoughts On Boxing…

A couple of thoughts ;
Although 2010 has gotten off to a slow start things will be heating up as spring approaches. Some predictions…

Mayweather by UD over Mosley. As much as I like and respect Shane as a fighter I don’t think he’ll pull this one out. Like him or not, in my humble opinion Mayweather is still #1 until somebody whips him. It will be a good fight for six or seven rounds and then Floyd pulls away.

Pac TKO over Clottey…When this fight was first made I thought it would be a close contest.I felt Manny would win but it would be tough fight. The more I have thought about it the more I see Manny winning easier the I first anticipated. Don’t get me wrong. Clottey is far from a pushover. If fact I feel Clottey will be the strongest boxer Manny has met up to this point. I just believe Manny’s speed and punch volume will wear Clottey down and eventually stop him. I’ll say around the tenth or eleventh round. THEN the table will be set for the superfight of 2010. Floyd -vs- Manny.

Pavlik TKO over Martinez…This is a tough contest for Kelly but in the end the cream will rise to the top. Kelly has been bombarded in the press. This will be his second coming out party. Sergio will give him fits in the early going with his awkward but effective style. I just feel that Kelly’s size, strength and power will overwhelm Martinez in the end. Pavlik is a physical marvel. I’ve seen this kid train. He should have “Rocky Balboa” stamped on his forehead. Old school all the way !

I don’t feel Antonio Margarito should be allowed to box. Boxing is dangerous enough. A boxer risks his life every time he steps into the ring. To do what Margarito did was just plain wrong. He might as well have stepped into the ring with a tire iron in one hand and a billyclub in the other. It may seem harsh but he should have thought about the punishment before he did it. Remember an “unloaded” Margarito looked very ordinary against Mosley.

Jim Amato