Boxing News And Notes

By Francis Walker
Updated: June 9, 2008

GlovesNEW YORK — Unbeaten and five-time WBC champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) dropped a bombshell on Friday by announcing his abrupt retirement from boxing.

Mayweather retired following his 12-round unanimous decision against Oscar De La Hoya in May 2007 only to return to stop unbeaten 140-pound champion Rick Hatton in December.

The second time around the 31 year-old from Grand Rapids, Michigan appears to be a little more serious about retirement as he went as far as to have a statement released to the media:

Dear Media:

It is with a heavy heart that I write you this message today. I have decided to permanently retire from boxing. This decision was not an easy one for me to make as boxing is all I have done since I was a child. However, these past few years have been extremely difficult for me to find the desire and joy to continue in the sport.

I have said numerous times and after several of my fights over the past two years that I might not fight again. At the same time, I loved competing and winning and also wanted to continue my career for the fans, knowing they were there for me and enjoyed watching me fight.

However, after many sleepless nights and intense soul-searching I realized I could no longer base my decision on anything but my own personal happiness, which I no longer could find. So I have finally made up my mind, spoken to my family, particularly my mother, and made my decision.

I am sorry I have to leave the sport at this time, knowing I still have my God-given abilities to succeed and future multi-million dollar paydays ahead, including the one right around the corner.

But there comes a time when money doesn’t matter. I just can’t do it anymore. I have found a peace with my decision that I have not felt in a long time.

Finally, I want to personally thank all of my fans for their loyalty and dedication as my career comes to a close. I always believed that their enthusiasm and support helped carry me to victory with every fight I ever had.

It was a great joy to have fought for all of you. Now I hope you understand my decision and wish me well with the rest of my life.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Mayweather’s talent was exceptional

After compiling an impressive 84-6 amateur record that included a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and a pair of National and Michigan State Golden Gloves championships, Mayweather won five WBC division titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, and 154 pounds. Mayweather always defeated the best fighters available.

De La Hoya, Hatton, Genaro Hernandez, Angel Manfredy, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti, Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez, Sharmba Mitchell, DeMarcus Corley, and Carlos Baldomir, have all failed to solve the mystery that is “Money Mayweather.”

Mayweather is recognized as the best fighter in the world, pound-for-pound. Mayweather’s skill level is exceptional. Mayweather has proven difficult to be hit and was often much faster then his opponents.

Mayweather simply did everything in the ring very well. Mayweather was a boxer-puncher, but is highly touted for his ability to slip and counter punches effectively. Mayweather was a very, very sharp fighter and was always in superb condition.

Many, including this writer, will question Mayweather’s sudden decision to retire so abruptly. If we’ve seen the last of “Money Mayweather” then it was certainly an exciting run.

Pavlik, Lopez smash-up AC Boardwalk

Undefeated WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik returned to the place where he beat Jermain Taylor to win his first world title.

Pavlik (34-0, 30 KOs), making the second defense of the 160-pound titles, executed No. 1-ranked Gary Lockett (28-2, 20 KOs) in the third round at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. Pavlik, at 6-foot-1 with knockout power in both first was too fast, too accurate, and too powerful for Lockett.

Lockett became the WBC mandatory challenger after having won 14 consecutive fights in six years and has never been knocked out.

After hurting Lockett in the first round with a series of solid rights, Pavlik dropped Lockett on his knees twice in the second and once in the third. The bout was stopped at the time of 1:40 seconds when Lockett’s corner literally threw in the towel.

“I was catching him with good shots” Pavlik said. “He was smart to take a knee when I hurt him. I knew each time he took a knee, I had buzzed him.”

There is talk of a potential fight between Pavlik and unbeaten WBC/WBA and WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe in the fall. If a Pavlik-Calzaghe fight can’t materialize, Pavlik next fight will be in September and again in September. The opponents being discussed are Marco Antonio Rubio and Randy Griffin.

Lopez Handles DeLeon in 145 seconds

The say to beat the champion, you have to knock the champion out him out. Daniel Ponce De Leon, the dominant WBO junior featherweight champion, is champion no longer.

Undefeated WBO mandatory challenger Juan Manuel Lopez (22-0, 20 KOs) knocked De Leon (34-2, 30 KOs) out 145 seconds into the very first round.

De Leon was in trouble after eating a vicious right from Lopez that stunned him. De Leon looked as though he didn’t know that had hit him. De Leon was seriously hurt, but attempted to trade with Lopez, who was clearly the stronger of the two. Lopez floored De Leon twice with the second knockdown being the most vicious.

Pavlik-Lockett undercard

Undefeated super featherweight prospect Kevin Mitchell (27-0, 20 KOs) was stunned by Walter Estrada (32-6, 23 KOs) early in the contest, but came back to stop him at the end of round five. Mitchell is ranked No. 3 by the WBO and No. 4 in the IBF.

Super lightweight Demetrio Soto (4-0, 4 KOs) starched Gustavo Mejia (2-3-1, 2 KOs) in 58 seconds.

Bantamweight Jorge Diaz (5-0, 4 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision against Gino Escamilla (5-2-1, 2 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 60-54 (twice) and 59-55.

Super welterweight Eberto Medina (2-3-1, 1 KO) defeated Arman Ovsepian (0-1), via four-round majority decision.

Williams regains title, Forrest loses his

Previously unbeaten WBO welterweight champion Paul Williams “punished” the man that took his title away in February. In an immediate rematch at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, Williams (34-1, 25 KOs) regained his 147-pound crown with an emphatic first-round knockout of Quintana (25-2, 19 KOs).

Williams, who dropped a lopsided decision to Quintana in February, simply demolished him after landing a brutal series of combinations that produced a pair of knockdowns. The bout was stopped at 2:15 seconds when it was clear that Quintana couldn’t continue.

Mora outhustles Forrest.

Two-division world champion Vernon Forrest appeared to be in control of the early rounds of his of his WBC junior middleweight title defense against former “Contender” winner Sergio Mora.

However, as the fight progressed, Mora (21-0-1, 5 KOs) rallied and continued outhustle Forrest (40-3, 29 KOs) through twelve rounds, en route to a shocking 12-round majority decision win.

All three judges scored the bout 116-112, 115-113 (Mora) and 114-114 even.

It was Forrest’s second defense of the WBC 154-pound title he won last year. His only successful defense was an impressive eleventh-round KO of Michele Piccirillo in December.

Boxing Hits Times Square

For the first time ever, boxing hits Times Square in New York City. Junior middleweight contender Sechew Powell (23-1, 14 KOs) will be featured on the ESPN2’s Wednesday Night Fights card this week, beginning at 9 pm ET.

His opponent will be Deandre Latimore (18-1, 15 KOs). Plus unbeaten middleweight prospect “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin (18-0, 14 KOs) will be featured.

Powell, the hometown favorite from Brooklyn, NY, was a 2000 National Golden Gloves Champion and a United States National Amateur Champion in 2001.

Powell is the current IBF No. 1-ranked contender at 154 pounds and has defeated the likes of Grady Brewer, Cornelius Bundrage, Robert Frazier, Ishe Smith, and Terrance Cauthen.

Quillin is coming off the biggest win of his career in April against former world middleweight title challenger, the hard-hitting Antwun Echols (W 10). With a near 80% knockout percentage, Quillin is one of the hottest middleweight prospects in boxing today.

Wladimir Klitschko returns this summer

Unified IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (50-3, 44 KOs) continues his busy 2008 with a mandatory defense against WBO No. 1-ranked, Tony Thompson (31-1, 19 KOs) on July 12, at the Color Line Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

“Thompson has already been waiting for a year as the mandatory challenger,” quoted Klitschko. “There is a reason why Thompson is number one in the world ranking — he hasn’t lost in eight years! I saw his knockout win in Germany over Luan Krasniqi, and definitely will not underestimate him. I look forward to getting back into the ring in July and to defending the titles again by the end of the year.”

Krasniqi’s corner stopped the fight after the fifth round after he was simply dominated by Thompson’s lengthy right-jab and straight-left. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Krasniqi proved to be too small for the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Thompson.

The fight was such a one-sided mismatch that one is taking Thompson seriously as a heavyweight title challenger, even through he can fight.

If Klitschko beats Thompson, next in line is IBF No. 1-ranked, unbeaten contender Alexander Povetkin.

Malignaggi has hand surgery

Just days following his unimpressive repeat 12-round decision win over Lovermore N’Dou in Manchester, England on May 24, IBF junior welterweight champion Pauile Malignaggi underwent hand surgery to repair a fractured metacarpal bone in the idle finger of his right hand.

Dr. Steven Margles performed the surgery at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts. The operation was such a success, it will not interfere with Malignaggi’s preparation for a possible Fall showdown with Ricky Hatton.

“I was able to stabilize with minimally evasive treatment,” Dr. Margles explained. “Not opening it doesn’t disrupt the blood supply in the fracture, so it will heal faster.”

“It was well stabilized with two pins for a slightly displaced fracture that was manipulated into a satisfied position. We starting him on an ultrasonic stimulator, which will further speed the healing. Paulie will be in a cast for six weeks.”

Malignaggi, who injured his hand midway through the fight with N’dou said: “I’m feeling good,” Malignaggi reported. “The surgery wasn’t as bad as I’ve had before. Come this fall I’ll be at my best for Hatton.”

“Dr. Margles is the best in the business at what he does. It was frustrating because it affected my performance against N’dou. I couldn’t explode, but I beat a tough fighter with one hand, which should prove that I belong at the highest level in the junior welterweight division.”

Malignaggi’s promoter, Lou DiBella, added, “We’re thrilled that Paulie’s surgery was a success and that Dr. Margles was able to work his magic. “We’re looking forward to a showdown with Ricky Hatton in the fall to determine the King of the 140-pounders.”