Serra hasn’t fought since losing a unanimous decision to Chris Lytle at UFC 119 on Sept. 25, 2010, but has yet to actually utter the dreaded “R word.”
“It’s like you can’t say it, even though it probably is true,” Serra recently told Newsday when asked if he was retired. “I would love to put closure on my career with one last fight at (Madison Square Garden), but at the same time, if that doesn’t happen, I definitely consider myself done. It’s hard to say the ‘R word.’ I might never say the ‘R word.’”
“It’s like you can’t say it, even though it probably is true,” Serra recently told Newsday when asked if he was retired. “I would love to put closure on my career with one last fight at (Madison Square Garden), but at the same time, if that doesn’t happen, I definitely consider myself done. It’s hard to say the ‘R word.’ I might never say the ‘R word.’”
A recent health scare gave Serra – who had long been contemplating one more fight – a new perspective on his career. Serra had been experiencing pain in his left arm. It flared while cornering one of his fighters at a recent Ring of Combat event and didn’t go away. In fact, it got bad enough that he went to the emergency room.
Doctors discovered two blood clots in his arm and another in his lungs.
Serra wound up staying in the hospital for four days, had one of his ribs surgically removed, and was put on blood thinners.
"Serra’s collarbone and first rib were compressing a blood vessel and restricting blood flow, a condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome,” Newsday reported. “Serra had the first rib on his left side removed in early May.”
It will take approximately six to eight weeks to recover from the rib removal, and he must remain on blood thinners for about another month after that.
Had the blood clots went undiscovered, death was a distinct possibility.
“You don’t catch that (and) after the lung, that stops your heart or your brain,” said Serra. “Then you’re done. I’m very fortunate to, basically, be here. Sounds kind of morbid. If I didn’t catch that – I was about to go to bed.”
The doctors did catch it, however, and Serra is expected to make a full recovery and return to teaching at his jiu-jitsu schools.
The allure of fighting is always there, the tug of one more shot at glory for the only man to have ever knocked out UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. But at the end of the day, Matt Serra has bigger, better, if less glamorous, plans for himself.
“I know I can be beat by some of these guys, but I know I can still knock some of these guys out and be a threat on the ground. But at the same time, it used to be that the thing that made me happiest was the next fight,” said Serra. “Now, I whistle to work going to my schools. I love hanging out with my kids, my family. That’s something you never really anticipate or understand it until you have a family. I love spending time with my girls. I’m a very involved dad.”
Earlier this week UFC officials announced lightweight Pat Healy would lose $130,000 in performance bonuses after testing positive for marijuana metabolites. There is a general feeling that while the rules are the rules and must be enforced, stringent prohibitions on marijuana are not in keeping with sweeping changes in the way sociey views marijuana use.
"Society is changing, it's a different world now," said UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner on March. "States are legalizing marijuana and it's becoming more and more of a problem with fighters testing positive and the metabolites."
Right now I just cannot believe that a performance enhancing drug and marijuana can be treated the same. It just doesn't make sense to the world anymore and it's something that has to be brought up."
One quick solution to the problem, was presented by the The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which recently upped the standards for a positive test, to prevent fighters from competing while high, but not penalizing those fighters that choose to engage in marijuana on a recreation, or prescription basis.
WADA raised the threshold for a positive test for marijuana from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 nanograms per milliliter, significantly reducing the likelihood of detection for athletes who use the drug.
“We wanted to focus on the athletes that abuse the substance in competition,” said Julie Masse, WADA’s director of communications. “This should exclude cases where marijuana is not used in competition.”
Although marijuana is not considered a performance-enhancing drug, WADA included it on its initial list of prohibited substances in 2003 after caving in to pressure from U.S. sports officials.
“From a sports perspective, I was rather ambivalent (toward marijuana),” stated Richard Pound, an attorney who was WADA’s initial chief and still serves on the Foundation Board. “As we morphed into WADA, the USA was very keen to have it included.”
Although marijuana thresholds and testing are vague indicatives rather than precise measurements of use, WADA hopes that the new limit will lessen the chance that responsible recreational users will suffer disciplinary action. In recent years, a number of athletes, some of them legitimate medical marijuana patients, have faced suspensions and huge fines failing post-competition marijuana tests.
“There is no desire to go soft on the list,” WADA’s Athlete Committee announced, “but members want cheaters to be caught for cheating, not for recreational usage.”
Jacare Souza: “I Was Born To Be a Champion”
Former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza makes his UFC debut on May 18 against Chris Camozzi in the co-main event of UFC on FX 8 and is confident that he’ll emerge victorious.
Wrestling's Dirty Secret
He died crawling to the scale. Glassy-eyed and pale, his legs too weak to hold him after he had shed nearly 17 pounds in three days, Jeff Reese collapsed and expired on the cold floor of a locker room in Crisler Arena on Dec. 9 in Ann Arbor.
Reese, a junior at Michigan trying to make weight in the 150-pound class for a wrestling meet against Michigan State, spent the last two hours of his life in a plastic suit, riding a stationary bike in a room in which the heat was cranked up to 92. He was the third college wrestler to die in 33 days. Billy Jack Saylor, a freshman at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., and Joseph LaRosa, a senior at Wisconsin-La Crosse, died in November while cutting weight. Though the official causes of their deaths varied, Reese, Saylor and LaRosa died of the same thing: the self-inflicted torture of drastic weight loss, college wrestling's ugly secret.
For me—as for most former or current college wrestlers—Reese's death serves as a horrible reminder of the many times during my career I peeled off my plastic suit and slumped near a scale, too exhausted to move. Once, after cutting 16 pounds in two days much the same way Reese had—through starvation and dehydration—I was hospitalized in Rochester, N.Y., with a clogged salivary gland that had swollen to the size of a grapefruit. To prevent that from happening again, my coach said upon my return to campus that he was putting me on the Jesus Christ diet. "Forty days and 40 nights in desert conditions without food or drink," I remember him saying. "That ought to get you down to weight."
Dangerous weight loss has long been the norm in college wrestling. In fact, the amount of weight you can cut is a wrestler's warped, macho badge of honor. During my four years at Miami of Ohio, I saw wrestlers using laxatives and diuretics, while others suffered from bulimia or starved themselves. It was not uncommon for some of them to work out to the point of delirium. The only time I witnessed a coach supervising wrestlers' cutting weight, it was my impression he was there not as a precaution but to make sure we kept working out.
In its wrestling rule book, the NCAA strongly recommends that such practices as fluid deprivation and the use of diuretics, impermeable suits and hot rooms "should be prohibited," but it doesn't ban any weight-loss techniques. That fecklessness, coupled with a shrinking number of scholarships (in the last 15 years, 48 Division I schools have eliminated wrestling) and an already intensely competitive sport, fosters risk taking. Reese, a natural 170-pounder who was a highly successful high school wrestler in Wellsburg, N.Y., hadn't been able to break into Michigan's lineup this year until a spot opened at 150 pounds. So he killed himself trying to make that weight.
A week after the third death, five organizations active in wrestling, including the NCAA and USA Wrestling, did the typical public two-step. They held a 21-person conference call during which a joint committee was formed to address weight management in the sport. (A day later the FDA decided to look into whether the use of the dietary supplement creatine played a role in the deaths.) This lack of immediate action is cowardly. It's time to admit that if wrestling didn't all but encourage participants to exercise and diet to exhaustion, all three of these young men would still be alive.
For starters, the NCAA must ban plastic suits. Also, college wrestlers must no longer be allowed to weigh in 24 hours before matches, as opposed to the day of the match, because having a day to recover from excessive weight loss only encourages them to lose pounds in less time. Finally, the NCAA should institute random specific-gravity urine testing at weigh-ins, which can detect dehydration.
For the most impact, though, the NCAA should follow the lead of some state high school athletic federations. In Michigan, for example, all high school wrestlers must have their body fat calibrated before the season. Then, using a medical formula, a wrestler is given the minimum weight at which he is allowed to compete. Schoolboy wrestlers in Michigan are no longer emaciating themselves. The sport is thriving.
On the other hand, college wrestling is gradually disappearing. If schools continue to drop wrestling at the current rate, the sport will be finished at this level within 15 years. I used to think that would be a tragedy. But if wrestling can't do a better job of protecting its own, then maybe it deserves to perish. Better an entire level of competition than one more college athlete.
Mayweather (44-0, 26 KO) looked just a bit rusty in the earlygoing, but once he had Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KO) timed, it was all one-way action. Guerrero had a lot of determination, and came out with a lot of fire, as did his corner, but as the fight progressed, it was clear: Mayweather was on a whole other level, and though Guerrero was a perfectly credible challenger, and a good fighter, he just couldn't beat Floyd Mayweather.
Jones: I got my toe back intact
Jon Jones charts via Twitter the recovery of his big toe from OHMYGOD to in the ambulance to upside down to stitched up to a group hug with the doctor and staff.
Nelson hopes big win over Kongo earns title shot
"It really comes down to the fans," said Roy Nelson. "It is about that timing... So the timing after this, if I win, I definitely could get the next title shot."
Rousey signs as brand ambassador for Xyience
Xyience Xenergy, the official energy drink of the UFC®, has signed a one-year endorsement contract with Ronda Rousey, the UFC women's bantamweight champion.
Holyfield and Tyson reunite
By Jose E. Santiago
On Saturday afternoon in Kennesaw GA, Delgado Boxing Promotions presented “The Future Series 5″. Aside from promoting professional boxing in the southeast, Delgado Boxing also features amateur boxing in different venues throughout the greater Atlanta area. On the card was Evan Holyfield son of Evander as he looks to follow in his father’s footsteps. Naturally, Evander was expected to be in attendance, but the surprise came when he walked into the venue with former nemesis, now friend Mike Tyson.
Kentrell Claiborne will quickly tell you his current record inside the ring is less than stellar, and without hesitation, he will chill you with the brutal honesty of his harrowing past outside of the ring. But, Kentrell “The Beast” Claiborne’s passion to turn his 4-6 record into a championship career and his opportunity to overcome his incarcerated past to leave a positive legacy for his family are all the reasons he needs to be motivated for success in and out of the ring. Before you pass judgment on any man, it is imperative you try to get an understanding of where they came from, where they are, and where they are going. Kentrell Claiborne deserves the same.
Born Kentrell Cortez Claiborne in Shreveport, LA, Kentrell was the oldest of six children. He was raised by his grandmother, who had seven children. While his grandmother worked two or three odd jobs per day cleaning and taking care of other people’s homes, Kentrell and his other siblings had to raise themselves. Kentrell became especially close to his maternal uncle Derrick, who was close in age.
While the average pre-teen was learning to read, play with friends, and master the disciplines of being a kid, Kentrell received coarse reminders to do chores around the house to repay people taking care of him. Too young to understand, Kentrell’s focus was that of a child’s. Instead of being taught as a child, he was stripped of his self-esteem and youth. Repeatedly reminded he looked exactly like his dad and told he wouldn’t amount to anything like his imprisoned Uncle Willie, he turned to the harden streets for acceptance and happiness. Unfortunately, he found it in the form of a gang.
Uncle Derrick would go on to become an engineer and model citizen, but Kentrell chose another path. He chose the uncertain, yet inevitable life of a gang member. Unfortunately, there are only two ways the life of a gang member end: Death or Prison.
Both young men had similar circumstances and the opportunity to choose a positive road, but when faced with challenging situations, predicting what humans do becomes almost impossible. Any man can sit on a soap box and say Kentrell should have followed Derrick’s lead. That’s an easy to judgment to pass. The choice they made in life is the exact same situation two warriors commonly face each in the boxing ring. No one can predict what each warrior will do when they are tired, bloodied, and faced with punishing adversity. Only the warrior knows his comfort level and only Kentrell knew his.
Claiborne’s dream as a young man was to be a war hero. He found comfort in gangster movies. After all the bullets were fired and the smoke cleared, he wanted to be the last man standing. Without guidance or the direction to reach his goal, Claiborne became a gang banger. “I was a child then no vision of the future, vulnerable to the streets.” Claiborne’s decision to join a gang luckily landed him in prison.
Ironically, prison is where Kentrell Claiborne refocused his dream and fell in love with the sport of boxing. Watching the prison boxing team train, he found a desire to get in shape and learn the sport. He liked the fluid movements and the warrior mentality. He wanted to train, he needed to train, and he became a part of the prison boxing team. Claiborne found inspiration in former Heavyweight challenger, Clifford “The Black Rhino” Etienne. Etienne served 10 years in prison. After being released on good behavior, he stormed through the Heavyweight division and at the height of his career he faced Mike Tyson where he lost by first round KO. Etienne slipped back into his criminal ways, and is now serving a life sentence.
After serving five years in prison, Claiborne pursued his boxing dream. “Man, I was hesitant to get hit at first. I was sparring with pros for 2-3 years. I had to learn the sweet science. In prison, you learned to brawl, so this was different at first.” He fought one amateur fight and was DQ’d. Taking what he calls, “A leap of faith,” he turned pro.
Freedom and Professional boxing have not been easy. Kentrell chose to be homeless for eight months to escape what he says was a situation filled with the same traps that landed him in prison the first time. “I had to get out, so I learned about public transportation, I worked as a day laborer, I found a gym to train in at the Garland Police PAL, I found where to bathe, and I found out where I could get a hot meal. The only thing I really had was the will to train and learn boxing. I trained in my day labor clothes rolling up my jeans and wearing my boots.” Kentrell was hit by a car in March 2012 and admittedly has had some minor setbacks with the law.
While Kentrell Claiborne says, “he is not religious, but he is spiritual,” life’s saving grace has presented itself in many forms. Claiborne cherishes his common law wife of eight years, he has 2 wonderful kids, and he gets to practice the one thing he loves in the world, BOXING. “Boxing exposed me to a lot of things. I have been in the company of Mayweather, Roy Jones, Paul Williams, Arreola, De la Hoya, Broner, and Don King. I have already fought on an HBO undercard and Showtime undercards twice. I have the opportunity to go into the gym, train hard, and at the same time teach young kids about life. I wish I could have been in the gym at eleven years old, but I didn’t. Now, I get to use my stuff, my experience to pass to them so they can realize their talents and avoid my past.”
Professional boxing has been a real experience for Claiborne. He did not know the politics of boxing, and he did not know the business aspect of the sport. He took fights on short notice to get paid, has had problems with consistent training, but through it all, he has had the will to work and train hard. His will and work ethic got him noticed, and he has had the opportunity to go to training camp and spar with James Kirkland at Ann Wolfe Boxing Fitness. Kirkland’s legendary trainer, Ann Wolfe, had this to say about Claiborne: “I really like him as a fighter, because he trains hard. He is what the sport of boxing is all about. Boxing gives people second chances, and he can give back to the sport. With the right management, he could turn it around.”
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Kentrell Claiborne is 4-6 today, but he is focused and motivated to make that record a fading memory. He embraces the six losses, which were to six different undefeated prospects, and holds on to them as good experiences. He cherishes his four wins, because he defeated four highly regarded prospects most notably Greg Hatley and Golden Boy Promotions’ prospect Steve Geffrard.
Kentrell Claiborne (R) Lands on Greg Hatley (L)
His lifestyle has changed and he is as hungry as when he started. His swag is back! Even more important and as Claiborne proudly states, “being a parent and a husband motivates me to succeed. I have a reason to live and to do something positive. I scrapped the (expletive) it! Mentality and I am no longer vulnerable to anything. I will fight to the death to reach my goal. Others come in with the skill, but I have the will.”
The “Beast” is back, but in a good way!
By Chris Williams
Follow me twitter @cboxinginfo
UFC President Dana White was a guest on Jay Mohr Sports on FOX Sports Radio Thursday afternoon and told Mohr that a stem cell procedure he had in Germany has cured his Meniere's Disease. Mohr, who’s mother-in-law also suffers from the disease, asked White how his initial surgery with Meniere’s went.
Meniere’s disease typically afflicts people in their 40′s or 50′s and is caused by a build up of fluid in the inner ear. The symptoms can cause serious vertigo, nausea, and vomiting.
White revealed to Mohr that he’s since had another surgery done – a stem cell procedure done in Germany following the UFC on FUEL TV 9 card that has cured him. Apparently, a conversation White had with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez prompted him to check out stem cell procedures done in Germany that could ease the symptoms of the disease which is currently known to have no cure.
“Meniere’s disease is nerve damage inside the ear. And what happens is the nerve starts telling the brain that you’re moving when you’re not moving, your eyeballs start fluttering back and forth, and the room is spinning a hundred miles an hour. If you don’t close your eyes, go into a dark place and lay down, you literally start throwing up. You can’t stand, you fall down, it is horrible. And sometimes when I get hit with it, I’m down for 8-9 hours at a time,” White said.
“So it’s funny because you ask me this question, I had the surgery for it, which is the new surgery where they go in and put a stint inside your ear. So it’s basically like having brain surgery and the surgery did not go well for me. It did not help me at all. It actually made me worse. And I was living a pretty miserable life.
“Well, A-Rod from the Yankees, hit me up and told me that when he was hurt Kobe [Bryant] called him and they both went to Germany and did this stem cell stuff. Right. So he says ‘listen bro, I don’t know if this is going to help you, but I’ll tell you what it’s worth a shot.’ Well, long story short, we had the fight out in Sweden. I went to Germany. I got the stem cells. Dude, I am 100 percent cured.
“I am 100 percent a new guy, man. I’m working out again. I’m doing all the things that I used to do. I’m traveling. My life is back,” White said. “All they do is they go in there, they take your blood, they incubate it, they spin it and add stuff to it. I don’t know what the hell they do, I’m no scientist. I’m a million bucks now, man. I couldn’t feel better.”
White said the procedure is known to help Parkinson’s disease as well. He’s already contacted Freddie Roach who is going to the same doctor to see if the procedure can also help him.
USA TODAY: Despite near-tragic weight cut, UFC's Daniel Cormier considering 205
by John Morgan
Despite building an undefeated record as a heavyweight mixed martial artist, Daniel Cormier is strongly considering a move to the 205-pound light heavyweight division.
It's an astonishing revelation for a man who has long insisted such a move would be impossible, especially since dropping weight once nearly killed Cormier.
"It was very scary," he told USA TODAY Sports. "I was in the hospital. I was getting IV bags, not really eating food. I couldn't recover from the weight cut."
The two-time Olympic wrestler's harrowing experience came during the 2008 Beijing Games. As is customary with almost all elite-level wrestlers, Cormier was cutting water weight when his kidneys failed, forcing him to withdraw from the competition.
"I had been cutting weight for a really long time," Cormier said. "I think I started when I was 13, but I was doing it the wrong way. I put (a plastic sweatsuit) on a week before I weighed in, and I would just start sucking out that water. ... Your body can only take so much. I was beating it down every time. It was very scary."
Cormier's history is one reason, even at 5-10, all of his professional MMA bouts have been as a heavyweight, with its 265-pound limit. It's the division in which he'll make his UFC debut at Saturday's UFC on FOX & event in San Jose (FOX, 8 p.m. ET). Cormier (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) faces ex-UFC champ Frank Mir (16-6 MMA, 14-6 UFC), but he thinks that, win or lose, his future might lie in a different weight class.
"Physically, I'm different now," said Cormier, 34, an All-America wrestler at Oklahoma State. "When I was saying that I couldn't make light heavyweight, it wasn't happening. At my heaviest, I was 264 pounds. I was consistently weighing in for fights at 250 pounds, and that was after training camps. I was losing 7, 8 pounds and being 250 pounds at weigh-ins. Now, I wake up in the morning, and I'm 234 pounds. That's almost a 20-pound difference. Now it seems realistic. I'm lighter now than even when I was wrestling."
Dropping a division would alleviate the possibility of Cormier being asked to fight teammate and friend Cain Velasquez, the UFC's heavyweight champ. It would also open the possibility of facing Jon Jones, the UFC's dominant light heavyweight champ who Cormier has said he has interest in facing.
First comes Mir, the highest-profile opponent of his career. But it seems Cormier has options in two divisions.
"I think I have to just get through this fight and then see what happens next," Cormier said. "I'm going to fight with my heart and soul and give you everything I have to win this fight against Frank and continue to build to hopefully one day be the UFC champion."
Don King was once the biggest power player in boxing, a bullhorn of a man, loud, brash, and aggressive. After decades of bad business dealings and too many infamous stories, King has in the recent years been reduced to a third-rate promoter, lagging sorely behind his peers.
Don King's last stand: Once the ruler of boxing, aging promoter now barely hangs on in changing sport
St. Louis light heavyweight Ryan Coyne has unfortunately had to learn the hard way what too many fighters have also had to learn in recent years: Don King, once the ruling promoter of the sport of boxing, is now little more than a sideshow, and far from a man with the power of Bob Arum's Top Rank, or the Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya-led Golden Boy Promotions.
Coyne, now 30, has been promoted by King for a few years, at least in theory. Really, though, he's been forced to promote his own cards most of the time, while King fails to secure fights for him. Other fighters over the last decade or so have experienced these same problems, and most of them have left King at the first chance they got, including Devon Alexander, Cornelius Bundrage, and Juan Diaz, among several others.
Coyne was scheduled to receive his first world title shot late last year, when he was to face Nathan Cleverly on a Golden Boy-promoted show, with the fight airing on Showtime. Instead, King blocked the fight from happening, leading to Coyne being replaced by Shawn Hawk.
Whether or not you think Coyne (21-0, 9 KO) really deserved a world title shot isn't even the point. He was getting an opportunity, and then the man who was supposedly looking out for his career put a stop to it.
Recently, Bernard Hopkins loudly spoke of ending King's career when he beat Tavoris Cloud in March, and Hopkins, a former King fighter himself, who had a very public and nasty split with the promoter, went ahead and beat Cloud. Much of the media, particularly those who don't regularly follow boxing that closely but reported on Hopkins' endless great story, bought into it -- as King's last really notable fighter, Cloud losing his world title and his "0" essentially put King down and likely out.
Of course, Don will be around as long as he wants to be, and he's promoting this Friday night's ShoBox card from the Treasure Island in Vegas. King has spoken glowingly about this venue before, but it's a mark of the entire situation that King has to be so thrilled to have a second-tier (at best) Vegas venue host his "bigger" shows.
In reality, King hasn't promoted a big show in a long time. While Arum has had Manny Pacquiao, and Golden Boy has run with Floyd Mayweather's events, the biggest fights King has been associated with were led by others, with King's fighters usually in more of an "opponent" role. When Arum and King buried the hatchet to promote a 2011 card in Vegas, King served washed-up veteran Ricardo Mayorga to Miguel Cotto for a rehab fight.
Cotto made $1 million on the Nevada commission purse report that night. Mayorga was paid a $50,000 purse, and after fees and debts were taken out, Mayorga's reported takeaway money was less than $15,000. This was a Showtime pay-per-view event. Even if you suspect that Mayorga made more money off the books (again, I've seen reported purses of $1, and I'm not missing any numbers), he wasn't paid much given that he was fighting a top talent, and still had at least a little name value of his own.
The fall of the heavyweights has had a huge impact on King. But more than that, the sport has simply changed, and he hasn't been able to keep up.
Coyne told BoxingScene.com that he doesn't consider King his promoter anymore, and says his act has grown stale. He also feels he's being set up in this fight against Marcus Oliveira (24-0-1, 19 KO), another fighter he says has been "trapped in the Don King dungeon."
"Don King is not my promoter. I'm not really sure who or what he promotes anymore. Last time I was browsing the net I saw him carrying on about the Iron Chef or some other incoherent garbage. He bids on fights, signs contracts, and never follows through on them. His hustle is tired. Professional promotional outfits don't conduct business in that manner. Things can never improve when one party refuses to treat the other like a human being, so of course not. Make no mistake, this fight is a setup. He doesn't want this legal spat anymore than I do. It's pointless with nothing to gain. King wants to see me get beat, but a setup blows up in your face when you send the hitman back to the boss in a duffle bag. I'm well aware of the factors at play here and I'm coming to wreck plans."
King's purse bid defaults are quickly becoming one of boxing's running jokes. His absurd $1.1 million bid on a Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne fight shocked the boxing community, at least for a few seconds, before everyone realized he would default on that bid, and that it would fall back to Arreola's promoter, Dan Goossen, who bid a more sensible $550,000.
King called it a "super fight." And then, to the surprise of no one, he failed to put the fight together, and it went to Goossen.
King's last hope for a top fighter is probably Angelo Santana, a 24-year-old lightweight, a Cuban southpaw with power and skills. Santana is in the ShoBox main event on Friday, and he looks like he has a real future. But can a promotional company be built around a Cuban lightweight? Probably not. (Sorry, 50 Cent.) And what's more, if Santana is going to actually become a player in the sport, the reality is that he'll need to get away from King.
King, now little more than an exuberant collector of miniature flags, will never be the promoter he once was. His public persona is now about all he has -- when the cameras are off, he still reeks of the same shady boxing promoter the world grew, for whatever reason, to embrace and love, despite the destruction he has left in his wake. Only now, he's less powerful.
Don King once ruled the sport, and ruled it when it was a far bigger deal than it is today. Now 81 years old, he is a relic. While longtime sworn rival Arum has adapted and changed with the times, King has fallen by the wayside. He is not only lagging behind the big two of Top Rank and Golden Boy, but also Lou DiBella, Gary Shaw, Dan Goossen, and others, as well. And that's just counting American promoters. Globally, King probably isn't in the top 25 of boxing promoters anymore.
Don King will never promote another truly major fight. Occasionally in recent years, someone would remark that King could "save" boxing with one of his glamorous events. His pay-per-view cards from his prime years blow away the undercard fare we are offered now.
Those fans, though, hadn't watched for a while, obviously. King can't even make a fight as big as the first fight on one of his old pay-per-views. He tries desperately to sell his fights as events, speaking of Tavoris Cloud-Gabriel Campillo as if it were more than an undercard bout on Dan Goossen's show. He said the rematch of that bout -- which Cloud, King's fighter, stole via terrible judging -- could be held in a stadium in Florida, Cloud's native state, in front of 100,000 people. It was just talk, and it was just King squawking as he loves to do, but it's become less chuckle-worthy and more sad as time has wore on. King's entire schedule of fights in a calendar year now don't draw nearly 100,000 fans combined.
He'll stick around. He'll pop up for colorful quotes now and then; whether or not they make any real sense is hardly the point at all anymore. He'll wave his little flags, and at times, he will appear as though he's still truly part of the boxing landscape. He'll sometimes promote a boxing card, crowing about the great facilities at an also-ran Vegas casino, or some arena in Florida that he's papered to make it appear that someone actually cared to see the fights.
And now, as he wearily sits upon a ragged throne in the decimated ruins of what once was boxing's biggest empire, it is truly clear that Don King is finished. Only the caricature bordering on self-parody remains.
Dominck Cruz: 'I'm still the champion'
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has not fought in over a year due to multiple knee surgeries, and his return remains a ways off, at best. B/R's Damon Martin caught up with "The Dominator" to discuss his recovery.
Soon, Cruz will sit down in a meeting with UFC president Dana White to determine his next course of action. Everyone is curious if White will strip Cruz of his bantamweight title because his absence from the sport will likely reach past two years by the time he returns.
Cruz has no doubts that he is the true UFC bantamweight champion, and he has no desire to give up the belt he earned and defended on multiple occasions.
"I believe that's the way it should be which is me fighting the champion when I come back, which I will come back," said Cruz. "It's no question in my mind and anybody that's counting me out is crazy. Because I've been counted out before, I've been the guy that wasn't supposed to win several times, and I've always figured it out. It's who I am, it's how I do it, and I'm going to do it right.
"Let's be honest, Dana White is the business owner. He's the one that runs this entire organization and the second you start thinking you're calling the shots in a business that Dana White and the Fertitta's built, is when you have a rude awakening of you don't control it, they do. It's their business and I let them make the business decisions.
"In a perfect world, I keep my title and I come back and beat down Barao. In the business world, I don't know how Dana's visualizing this situation. I don't know what he's dealing with."
"I work for the UFC and I love everything that they've done for me, and that's about all I can say. I'm preparing to come back and fight for my title. That's all I can do, I can't make the decision. That's up to Dana. No doubt in my mind that I'm still the champion, I'm still the best in the world, and when I come back I will do just fine against a guy like Renan Barao."
By Chris Hall
Neither man was hesitant to strike early , but it was Rumble landing the better shots in the first couple minutes. He was beating Arlovski to the punch and mixing in kicks well. Arlovski landed some good shots of own and Johnson went in for the takedown. Referee Kevin Mulhall separates them after stalling out in the clinch. Almost immediately clinched back up and shortly broken up again. Johnson landed a big right hand and dropped Arlovski! He followed up and Andrei was turtling, but got saved by the bell ending the round.
They came out swinging again to start the second round and Johnson counters Arlovski's jab with a solid left hook. A good knee from the MT clinch by Andrei led to a takedown attempt from Rumble. Of course, they're separated again in short order. Arlovski finally found a home for his punches but Johnson eats them well. They clinch back up and Andrei landed an accidental low blow. Johnson threw wild hooks on the restart and ate a couple counters for his effort before getting the first successful takedown of the fight. Arlovski returned to his feet and landed some good blows to the body while Anthony struggled for the takedown.
Johnson backed up Arlovski with hooks to start the third and once again shot for an ineffective takedown. Also once again they were quickly separated for lack of action in the clinch. A spinning back kick attempt from Andrei led to another unsuccessful takedown attempt and back to a clinch against the cage. both men were completely exhausted here. The bell finally rang and everyone was happy.
Anthony Johnson won the unanimous decision (29-28 x 3) over Andrei Arlovski
Johnson came into the fight sporting a 4-fight win streak since being cut from the UFC after missing weight in a losing effort against Vitor Belfort back at UFC 142. Arlovski brought in a solid undefeated streak of his own with 5 fights. The only blemish was a No Contest to Tim Sylvia, who he knocked out with a soccer kick that was ruled illegal because ONE FC had really weird rules at the time.
Mike Treadwell says upcoming brother-vs.-brother fight left mom in tears
by Steven Marrocco
Mike Treadwell had trained MMA, and he didn't want younger brother Thomas getting beaten up by any old stranger when he got into the sport. So he volunteered to do it himself.
Now, a Canadian MMA promotion is giving them a place to fight. The Treadwells will make their professional debuts – against each other – at Maximum Fighting Championship 37 on May 10 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The fight's main card airs live on AXS TV. Curiously, the bro vs. bro matchup currently is slated for the event's untelevised preliminary card.
Everyone involved with the unusual fight says this isn't a publicity stunt – and the brothers want to be MMA fighters. Sure, they fought like any other siblings growing up, but now they're going to do it for real.
"If you're going to get your butt handed to you, it might as well be by me," Mike Treadwell told Thomas when the idea came about this past November.
The promotion, in turn, told them to "take Christmas and talk it over." Once they decided to do it, hiding the plans from their family proved a tougher fight.
"We were going to wait until everything was announced, and Thomas and I were talking about it one day and Dad walked into the room," Mike Treadwell told reporters. "He said, 'What are you talking about?' So we had to tell him."
Mike said their dad was angry at Thomas but later laughed about it to him.
"I think that's because I'm older and he doesn't want to upset me," he said. "Mom knows about it, but we're not saying a whole lot because every time it comes up, she starts crying. She hates me for it. She thinks it's not nice that I'm going to hit my brother."
MMA has known feuds between brothers. MMA legends and adoptive siblings Ken and Frank Shamrock almost fought years after a nasty falling out. UFC vets Joe and Dan Lauzon briefly weren't on speaking terms. In the gym, current UFC welterweight contender Nick Diaz certainly has no love for younger brother Nate, though their rivalry ends when sparring does.
Mike Treadwell said this is pretty normal for his family.
"I want to start something with a large explosion," he said.
At the very least, it sounds like there should be fireworks at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. The family – sans Mom – decided middle brother Russ Treadwell should corner Thomas, who just began training seriously.
Also, Mike, who works in transportation, has 10 years on the 20-year-old Thomas, who fixes Zambonis during his day job.
Technically, Mike "qualifies for old-man strength," according to MFC media relations director Scott Zerr, who came up with the idea with the eldest brother. Zerr said his phone and email have been blowing up since the announcement of the fight.
"It's probably the most inquiries we've had for any fight that I can remember in 12 years of working for the MFC," he said.
There's just one question, though: Does Dad get the winner?
"Russ might," Mike said. "Dad won't. ... I've already broken his back. It was a complete accident. We were in the kitchen, and there was alcohol involved. He decided he wanted to drop to his knees and punch me in the kneecap. I put him into a choke, and he tried to stand up and snapped his back."
That settles that, but what happens once the punches stop flying on May 10?
"I give him a hug, and we go for beers," said Mike.
Hopkins Makes History Again, Beats Cloud For IBF Title
By Thomas Gerbasi
Bernard Hopkins did it again. At the age of 48, he fooled a younger,stronger, and faster opponent – in this case Tavoris Cloud - into fighting his fight, doing his bidding, and losing his belt, winning a 12 round decision over Cloud Saturday night at Barclays Center to take the IBF light heavyweight title and break his own record as the oldest man to win a major world boxing championship. “The 40 and up club still rules,” said Philadelphia’s Hopkins.
Overeem injured, out of UFC 160 bout with Dos Santos
According to sources close to Alistair Overeem, the heavyweight recently suffered an undisclosed injury while training, which will sideline him for four-to-five weeks.
UFC CEO On Hand as New York Senate Committee Again Approves MMA Bill
Lorenzo Fertitta, the Ultimate Fighting Championship Chairman & CEO, on Thursday thanked the members of the New York State Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation for overwhelmingly – 11 to 3 – approving S.2755, which would authorize the New York State Athletic Commission to add Mixed Martial Arts to the list of contact sports that may hold matches and exhibitions in New York.
The lawsuit claims that Live Nation and its company SFX Financial Advisory Management Enterprises haven't given the boxer and his wife, Lakiha, a full accounting of their losses. The company returned some of the embezzled money but wanted the Tysons to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which they refused, the suit states.
The lawsuit seeks more than $5 million in damages for breach of fiduciary duty, negligent hiring, unjust enrichment and other claims.
A spokeswoman for Live Nation Entertainment Inc. said the company had not been served with the lawsuit and could not comment on it.
The lawsuit claims the embezzlement prevented the Tysons from emerging from bankruptcy, and forced them to hire new advisers and turn down lucrative contracts. The couple trusted Brian Ourand, their adviser at SFX, so much that he attended their wedding, the case states.
Ourand, who could not be reached for comment, has since left SFX, according to the lawsuit. The filings claim his conduct has not been reported to regulators.
"Defendants did not secure, protect, safeguard and appropriately apply the Tysons' finances for their intended purposes," the case states, "but instead misappropriated said funds for the benefit and enrichment of SFX/Live Nation.
The former boxer has broadened his career in recent years. He appeared in "The Hangover" and is leading a one-man autobiographical show, "Undisputed Truth."
By Matt Richardson
50 Cent: To bring that energy back to boxing is exciting for me to be a part of. There are new things we can inject to make it interesting and I look forward to it. This is the first event I’ve been involved in for the entire process.
Billy Dib: March 1st is going to be a great event. This is my second coming now. I’m a completely different fighter and I’m a completely different animal and when the bell rings you’re going to see that.
Lou DiBella: We’re not doing this to make money. We’re doing this to give the public the chance to see boxing at an affordable price and to give Billy Dib exposure.
Don King wins purse bid for Huck vs. Afolabi III
By Malte Müller-Michaelis
Don King shocked Sauerland Event and K2 Promotions by not only surprisingly showing up for the purse bid for the WBO cruiserweight championship between Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi in Miami on Tuesday morning but winning the bid by a wide margin. King’s 1,500,000.- US$ easily outpriced Huck’s promoter Sauerland (914,000.- US$) and Afolabi’s promoter K2 (375,000.- US$). Apparently, DK is planning to stage the world title fight in Huck’s home country Germany on May 25th.
Main Events announced today that they have signed middleweight hopeful Curtis “Showtime” Stevens to an exclusive promotional contract. Stevens, born and bred in Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY, has a strong amateur pedigree, a solid professional record of 23-3, 17 KOs, and is a hot commodity after his most recent bout. Stevens needed less than one round to finish off the seasoned and usually-durable Elvin Ayala last month in a nationally televised fight for the Vacant NABF Middleweight Title. Stevens brutally handled Ayala, dropping him twice in the opening round to send the message that he is ready to take on the best of the 160-pound division. It was the second consecutive first round knockout for Stevens, who halted Romaro Johnson after just 2:16, last March in his first middleweight bout.
SD rep calls MMA child porn of sports, plans ban, hearing Monday
By David Montgomery
Sen. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls, and others support creating a South Dakota Athletic Commission that would regulate sports such as boxing, kick-boxing and mixed martial arts. South Dakota has no such commission, meaning those events either avoid the state or happen without oversight.
The result, Johnston argues, is people getting hurt or even killed fighting in unsanctioned bouts. The athletic commission created in Senate Bill 84 would be able to create rules.
But Gov. Dennis Daugaard and others say the athletic commission would legitimize these violent sports and lead to more, not fewer, people getting hurt.
“I’m offended that the state would legitimize cage-fighting and the bloody violence that those kinds of spectacles create,” Daugaard said in January. “I think it’s interesting that we declare that it is a crime for one human being to strike another, and yet the state now proceeds to legitimize, and label a sport, cage-fighting.”
Rep. Steve Hickey, R-Sioux Falls, feels the same way. When SB84 comes up for a hearing at 10 a.m. Monday, he plans to offer an amendment he sees as a compromise — creating the athletic commission, but limiting it to sports such as boxing and traditional martial arts such as karate and judo. Mixed martial arts would be banned.
“The conversation on violence in society needs to start somewhere — why not with our most violent entertainment, and that’s mixed martial arts,” Hickey said. “There’s a reason two governors have been reticent to appoint a commission: It’s because they agree with me that elbowing a guy in the head, kneeing him in the face, is beyond where we need to go.”
The supporters of the athletic commission proposal aren’t getting on board with Hickey’s alternative. They defended mixed martial arts from Hickey’s characterization of it as unusually brutal.