Boxing: Highlights and lowlights
With an improbable combination of speed and power, he's an electrifying presence in the ring, a relentless attacker and a master of distance, who comes at opponents from surprising angles while still maintaining tremendous leverage and balance. He also fights with an urgency and a joy unseen since the young
Thirty seconds in, Castillo dropped Corrales with a crushing left hook. Amazingly, "Chico" beat the count, gaining a few extra seconds to recover when his mouthpiece came out. Castillo jumped on him immediately and, 30 seconds later, Corrales was down again, badly hurt. But again, the mouthpiece came out and this time referee
A three-time New York Golden Gloves champ and one of the most highly touted amateurs in recent memory, Judah began the decade by winning the vacant IBF 140-pound title. He was 22 years old and 22-0 and, with his blend of unearthly speed and ring smarts, appeared on track for pound-for-pound greatness. But a lack of discipline and focus repeatedly derailed him.
In 2001, Tszyu knocked him out in two rounds. Judah came back to win, and then carelessly lose, two welterweight belts; melted down in a bout against
Six months later, in Los Angeles, just before Margarito entered the ring to face
The Mosley incident threw an immediate shadow over Margarito's knockout of Cotto, and while Margarito has denied any wrongdoing in that fight, most observers believe Cotto was the victim of an egregious crime.
So, when the two parted ways in 2007, after Arum had promoted Mayweather for a decade, it was no surprise that some acrimony ensued. Mayweather charged Arum with underpaying and under-promoting him, while Arum asserted that the fighter was notoriously hard to deal with.
All that would just be more colorful fodder for boxing gossip, save for the fact that it threatens to get in the way of the next decade's first superfight: a showdown between Arum's
Still, in boxing, money (and we don't mean "Money" Mayweather) talks. Even the Hatfields and the McCoys would get together for the kind of bottom line Manny-Floyd will generate.
Gatti, born in Italy and raised in Montreal, had become a cult hero (especially in New Jersey, where he fought so often), celebrated for a series of near-miraculous comeback wins and a seemingly bottomless capacity for punishment. Ward was a lunch-pail Irish-American brawler out of Lowell, Mass.
Their first fight, on May 18, 2002, was a 10-round extravaganza of give-and-take violence, highlighted by a ninth round of almost cartoonish ferocity in which both men were nearly finished off. Ward won that one by narrow decision and the two bonded afterwards in neighboring hospital beds. The next two bouts, both won by Gatti, were, if not quite as spectacular, just as gloriously two-sided.
Rahman's reign lasted a little less than seven months. In a rematch in Las Vegas, Lewis knocked the "Rock" out in four with a right cross that landed with the crack of a rifle shot. In the years since, Rahman has stumbled his way through a record of 10-4-2, with one No Contest.
Things started under control, with the speedy Judah stinging and out-boxing Mayweather early. Then Mayweather took over, increasingly frustrating Judah. With 10 seconds to go in the 10th round, Judah, clearly desperate and disgusted, hit Mayweather low and followed with a shot to the back of the head. Referee
Order was finally restored, and Mayweather went on to win an easy decision. Five days later, the Nevada commission held a hearing and handed down a total of $600,000 in fines.
Over the past decade, he has worked with 27 world champions, foremost among them Pacquiao, whom he molded into the best fighter in the world. Further, Roach is determined to protect all his boxers from the kind of damage he suffered, limiting the rounds they spar and even suggesting early retirement, calling such concern "
That's what made Mayorga, the Pride -- er, make that the Shame -- of Nicaragua, so perversely entertaining. A wild-swinging brawler in the ring, he was even wilder with his mouth, dubbing De La Hoya "Pretty Girl" (and presenting him with a skirt); referring to
True, Floyd was fighting with an injured shoulder, and in a rematch eight months later, he won by a clearer margin. But had the judges given the first fight to Castillo -- as many observers thought they should have - "Pretty Boy's" record would have been one W less pretty and he would have had just a little less leverage to avoid matches with the likes of Mosley, Margarito or