The New Year is a time for
reflection. Last year’s memory
lane is littered with broken promises, betrayal and disappointments.
People seem to forget that no one ever forgets betrayal. You’d think
that in a game as small as boxing, they would have already learned their
lesson. Looking back upon the passing year we can be grateful we
survived it. Thank God there were also some sunny days.
Some of us managed to make an impression while others just got older.
The coming year shows great promise. My
boxing coverage will appear in several sports magazines and I am being
considered for syndication in several newspapers. I look forward to working
with promoters and attending bigger events around the country.
Closer to home, I will provide
live audio blow-by-blow coverage of boxing events and offer these tapes free
of charge to radio stations. Any radio station manager interested in receiving
audio coverage of local fights should contact me via e-mail.
Of course, I will continue to provide coverage and stories of local
boxers; thereby, hopefully supporting local events and helping to keep boxing
alive. I will also be covering amateur events when time permits.
My web site will include amateur event updates.
In Gun Smoke (Stockton) we have
already begun preparing for the upcoming Boxing Summer Camp. These are
intensive morning and afternoon training sessions. Last year’s summer
training camp saw a significant increase from the prior year. This year we
hope to continue providing white- and blue-collar professionals with an idea
on what to do during summer vacation. Individuals interested in attending the
summer boxing camp should begin preparing by getting into condition. Those
traveling from out of town should contact me via e-mail for lodging and
additional details. Space is limited in order to provide one-on-one training
for every participant. Bring your best and expect to work very hard.
Margarito Vs. Kyvelos
Dodge Theater Phoenix Ariz.
My first trip for 2004 proved a
little like attending a wake. Antonio
Margarito, 29-3 with 20 KOs, made mice meat out of his opponent Hercules
Kyvelos, 22-0, 11 KOs. It was a
little like watching a Ferrari race against a Volkswagen. Kyvelos looked as
scared as a Thanksgiving turkey and just as helpless.
I hope he made a lot of money, because his reputation suffered a
tremendous blow. It’s difficult to say how good Margarito really is in light
of how bad Kyvelos was. Whoever
is managing his career has done an excellent job of carefully picking his
opponents. However, Margarito who packs a punch and is very aggressive,
displays identical characteristics as many other Mexican fighters.
He lacks finesse and technique. I¹ll
acknowledge that it is difficult to make such an argument in light of his
record; however, I am a firm believer in fundamentals.
I¹ll admit Margarito has power and lots of experience, but is it
enough to match De La Hoya¹s, whom I believe beat Mosley. But that's another story.
Otherwise, the trip was uneventful.
Phoenix is still one of my favorite places to visit.
I have always loved the desert.
Sharmba Mitchell Vs.
February 8, 2004
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Mitchell, 33 years old, squared off against LoveMore N’dou, 32, in Ballys in
Atlantic City. Mitchell has entertained us for many years and always displayed
extra-ordinary boxing skills. He
was supposed to meet Kostya Tszyu but the match fell through. Both fighters
came in with excellent records and lots of bragging rights.
In dispute was the interim IBF Jr. Welter Weight Championship of the
world. N’dou was in the blue
corner fighting from Sidney Australia, via Johannesburg, Africa with 36 wins
with 22 KOs. In the red corner, Sharmba boasted 52 wins, with 30 KOs, known as
“The Little Big Man”. The
bout was scheduled for 12 rounds. Earl Brown worked as referee.
came out confidently in his Southpaw style.
N’dou came out in a left foot lead, jabbing with his left. Mitchell
looked as smooth as silk, moving easily and swiftly landing his jabs
apparently at will. N’dou
displayed no signs of being intimidated, however seemed to lack adequate
technical knowledge. He attacked behind a peek-a-boo defensive posture that
made him seem amateurish. He had
good hand speed and conditioning. Mitchell
set the tone while N’dou seemed to be waiting for his big shot. Sharmba
easily won the first round. N’dou displayed lots of heart and began looking
for counter-punch opportunities in the second. Sharmba easily outscored him.
N’dou began taking the fight to Sharmba in the third and scored effectively
with right hands. Mitchell continued to stay in control and easily out-danced
and outjabbed LoveMore who nevertheless attacked. Sharmba had more moves than
an eight-legged monkey and easily pivoted in and out at will. He possesses a
rare quality not often seen in today’s boxers. N’dou switched into a
Southpaw stance and began to score. Mitchell seemed unprepared for this little
surprise and took unprecedented punishment.
N’dou grew more aggressive and confident as he scored in his Southpaw
stance. A head butt opened a cut on Sharmba’s head; as blood flowed, N’dou
came in for the kill. Sharmba’s moves saved him easily; however I gave the
round to N’dou. Mitchell appeared momentarily surprised by N’dou. The
blood running down Mitchell’s head made him appear to be more hurt than he
actually was. I thought Mitchell stayed too long on the inside, trying hard
to hurt N’dou. He should have kept his distance, stepped in, banged away two
or three quick shots and spun out. Instead, he stayed too long and took shots.
It was clear Mitchell was not going to KO N’dou after the fourth
round. N’dou¹s conditioning was evident as was his hard head.
Sharmba would have had better luck working the mid-section.
Mitchell displayed a high degree of professionalism and skill.
He took more punishment than expected, but it would have been
impossible to predict N’dou’s determination. There were no knockdowns and
no points taken away for fouls. N’dou
gave a very good display and raised the value of his stock via this
performance. One or two rounds
might have been close, but there is no such thing as an “even” round in
professional boxing. N’dou’s
comments regarding the scoring were sour grapes. His misguided belief that he
won may be due to tunnel vision fighters get from being so close to the
action. It was an exciting bout giving fight fans their money’s worth. The judges saw it for Sharmba unanimously. I don’t agree;
the bout was as lop-sided as they scored it. However, this is the life we¹ve
chosen. Everyone has to learn to take their lumps, and nobody gets off without
some bumps and bruises. I look
forward to seeing both of these warriors go for it again.