Thursday, June 30, 2011

The return of Mayweather

It's the biggest against the best and it doesn't get much better or brighter. Boxing's biggest star, undefeated Floyd "Money" Mayweather, and its newest star, WBC Welterweight World Champion "Vicious" Victor Ortiz, will align their super powers when they meet in "STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz." The mega-fight, which will be contested for Ortiz's WBC Welterweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Star Power, promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWALT and AT&T, falls on Mexican Independence Day weekend and is already being touted as boxing's biggest and best match-up of 2011. It's a contest of galactic proportions that will have fans worldwide waiting in a Milky Way of anticipation for one of the most intriguing and exciting fights in recent years. One of the most recognized athletes in the world today, the highly decorated Mayweather, who is undefeated as well as a six-Time and five-division world champion, announced his return via Twitter (@floydmayweather) earlier this month and is being commended for pursuing a fight against the young, hard-hitting southpaw Ortiz, 10 years his junior and undoubtedly one of his most challenging contests to date. "I am excited to get back in the ring because Victor Ortiz is a great challenge for me," said Mayweather, who will be returning to the ring after a 16-month layoff. "Ortiz is a young, fast, and very strong champion so this is not going to be easy, but I will prepare myself with the same dedication I have always had for my fights and show fans around the world that I am the best boxer in the world today. I am also looking forward to fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend. I love all my fans and know I have a lot of Mexican fans cheering for me too." Ortiz, who captured his current WBC Welterweight title with a dazzling performance in a victory over Andre Berto April 16, said, "I have always said that I would be the first fighter to beat Floyd Mayweather and now that I have my chance, and to do it on a weekend that celebrates the independence of the Mexican people, is an amazing blessing for me. I have worked so hard to become a champion and to show the world that I am the best. I am not going to let anyone take that away from me. I'm confident that I will walk away from this fight with my belt and a new title...the first to defeat Floyd Mayweather.""The excitement surrounding Floyd's return has been amazing and is always an indication of his popularity and drawing power among fans worldwide," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "I wasn't surprised when Floyd said he wanted to fight Ortiz because he likes to be challenged when he fights and Victor, with the skills and heart of a young lion, is exactly that type of challenge he relishes. I have no doubt that the stars will sparkle, shine and collide in that ring on September 17 and that the sports world is going to be in for a great fight. We welcome Floyd's return as his fights are always sensational." Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, said, "The stars aligned for this true mega-fight and there is no doubt that September 17 will be the biggest boxing event of 2011 anywhere in the world. When Floyd Mayweather fights, everyone watches as he continues to set the bar for most pay-per-view buys and this fight will be no different. He is also going to be challenged by a very special talent in the young, strong and highly motivated World Champion Victor Ortiz, who knows that a win over the pound-for-pound champion will catapult him into superstardom. It's a showdown of two great champions colliding and one that I can't wait to see." "The MGM Resorts family is very excited to welcome the return of Floyd Mayweather to the MGM Grand on September 17," said Richard Sturm, president of Sports & Entertainment for MGM Resorts International. "This championship event marks Mayweather's first fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in more than 15 months and continues our tradition as the leader in the sports and entertainment industry." Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View, agreed and said, "The return of Floyd Mayweather is big news for the sport of boxing. He is a major attraction and must-see TV. Fight fans will be excited to see him put his experience, style and undefeated record on the line against the youth and punching power of the fast-rising Victor Ortiz." The undefeated, six-time world champion in five weight divisions, Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) remains boxing's biggest attraction, wowing crowds and generating tremendous box office and pay-per-view numbers each time he steps into the ring. Three of his last four fights generated more than one million pay-per-view buys, including his record-shattering bout against Oscar de la Hoya in 2007, which generated 2.44 million buys, the highest performing pay-per-view event in history. In his last ring appearance on May 1, 2010, Mayweather dismantled Sugar Shane Mosley in a lopsided unanimous decision victory. Mayweather is no stranger to fighting on the traditionally boxing rich Mexican Independence Day weekend, as prior to his sensational win over Mosley, he took on Mexican boxing star Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, 2009, and beat his opponent in spectacular fashion. During his extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over world champions including Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. In addition to his boxing accomplishments, Mayweather has become a crossover star, appearing in HBO®'s Emmy® Award-winning reality series "24/7" four separate times, providing cameras with an all access look at his training and personal life. His name never leaves the conscience of boxing or sports fans as news of his career continues to trend worldwide, a testament to his nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers, the latest indication of a famed person's popularity. Twenty-four-year-old "Vicious" Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) is the definition of a new and shining star. From a tumultuous childhood that left him in foster care at the age of 13 to a meteoric rise above obstacles to become a world champion, Ortiz's story both in and out of the ring is one to be admired. Introduced to boxing by his father at the age of seven, Ortiz and his siblings soon had to deal with life on their own after both parents abandoned them when Ortiz was 12 years old. Resilient and determined to make something of his life, Ortiz found salvation in the ring and saw boxing as a way towards future success. Ortiz's grit and determination has shown up throughout his boxing career. A highly touted amateur, he turned pro in 2004 and has persevered through its highs and lows to become the champion he is today. He is currently riding a six-fight undefeated streak including his previously mentioned sensational win over Berto. The hard-punching southpaw came of age during their 12-round battle when he sent Berto to the canvas in round one, got off the canvas himself in the second round and survived a knockdown in the sixth round only to come back to drop Berto at the end of that round in a definite Fight of the Year candidate. Ortiz, a Ventura, Calif. resident who hails from Garden City, Kansas, also holds victories over former World Champions Carlos Maussa, Nate Campbell, Vivian Harris as well as high profile opponents Antonio Diaz, Mike Arnaoutis and Jeffrey Resto. Both fighters have also agreed to drug testing under the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency protocol, which includes random blood and urine testing.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Khan and Judah Get it On

The negotiations have settled, the social media battles are raging and on Saturday, July 23, two of boxing's best will step into the ring to unify the 140-pound weight division when rising superstar and World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion Amir "King" Khan faces Five-Time World Champion and current International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Welterweight World Titleholder Zab "Super" Judah at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. The fight will be a super lightweight world championship unification bout televised live on HBO's World Championship Boxing. The fight, which figures to be a classic match-up of two fighters with blazing speed who also punch with power and brute force, has led to a litany of questions regarding the outcome. Does Khan have enough experience to deal with a veteran such as Judah? Will Judah be able to keep pace with the younger Khan? Will each fighter be able to handle the power of the other and reach the final bell? On July 23 at Mandalay Bay, all of these questions, among others, will be answered. Khan vs. Judah, a 12-round WBA and IBF Super Lightweight World Championship Unification fight, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events in association with Khan Promotions and Super Judah Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and AT&T. The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to unify the 140-pound division which always has been a dream of mine," said Khan. "Fighting Zab was the toughest option my team presented to me, but a true champion is up for any challenge. I already was in training camp because it doesn't matter who I fight; I will train hard no matter who it is because I want to be the best." "I got what I wanted, so I am happy. Now it's time to go work," said Judah. "I've been praying on this fight. My goal is to be undisputed champion at two weights. I did it at 147 and I'm gonna do it at 140 starting with Amir Khan. I'm gonna work hard. I'm very experienced, so whichever way he brings the fight, I can deal with it and take it from him." "We know that boxing fans are asking for the best fights out there and we are giving the fight fans what they want with Khan vs. Judah on July 23," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "These two champions are going to leave the trash-talking behind and let their fists fly on July 23, but only one will come out as the unified 140-pound champion and we are confident that will be Amir 'King' Khan." "In the end, Zab and Main Events decided to stop quibbling about a few percentage points and get the fight into the ring. Zab's real upside will come after he wins the fight and moves on to an even bigger payday," said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. "It is an intriguing fight on many levels. Both fighters have engaging personalities and exciting styles. As a promoter, I couldn't be happier about this opportunity. As a fan, I can't want to see the fight!" "It is great to have Amir back fighting in the United States at Mandalay Bay in a massive unification fight against Judah who has shared the ring with the best fighters out there," said Asif Vali of Khan Promotions. "We know Amir has what it takes to accomplish his dream and unify the division and he will be ready for July." "Judah vs. Khan will be an explosive exhibition of the true definition of boxing," said Bill Halkias of Super Judah Promotions. "It's two world champion fighters who possess speed, power and all around natural boxing ability meeting in a high paced matchup that is guaranteed to quench any boxing fans thirst for excitement. The 4th of July might have been a more fitting day for this fight because without a doubt, it will be full of fireworks." "This is a great showdown between two champions who always bring excitement into the ring," said Kery Davis, senior vice president programming HBO Sports. "Both fighters are looking for a win here to prove that they'rethe top of the junior welterweight division." Amir "King" Khan (25-1, 17 KOs), who despite being only 24 years old, already is a star in the United Kingdom, selling out huge arenas and racking up impressive pay-per-view numbers. Considered one of the sport's future stars, Khan has sailed to the heights of the amateur and professional boxing worlds, however, he is far from finished on his quest to becoming the best of his era. An accomplished amateur who earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens at only 17 years old, the Bolton, England native took the professional game by storm in 2005 and, with the exception of a brief bump in the road in 2008 when he was upset by Breidis Prescott, Khan has since been unstoppable. A World Champion since 2009 when he defeated Andreas Kotelnik that July, Khan has defended his crown four times, first knocking out previously undefeated Dmitriy Salita in less than one round. Next, in his United States debut at Madison Square Garden in May 2010, he dominated the always tough Paul "Magic Man" Malignaggi en route to an 11th-round technical knockout win. On December 11, 2010 at Mandalay Bay, Khan battled Marcos "Chino" Maidana in what was eventually named the Boxing Writers Association of America 2010 Fight of the Year. Khan dominated the early rounds including a first-round knockdown, but Maidana closed the gap in the later rounds. Khan later displayed some extremely impressive fortitude in surviving a vicious 10th-round onslaught by Maidana in which the British star looked to be on the brink of being knocked out. However, Khan made it out of the round on his feet and came out swinging in the 11th and 12th rounds sealing the unanimous decision victory in an instant classic. In his last fight on April 16, Khan retained his title by defeating European Champion Paul "Dudey" McCloskey via technical decision in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 17,000 at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England. A win over Judah will make Khan a unified world champion and take him a step closer to becoming one of the best of his era. A native of Brooklyn, New York who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, Zab "Super" Judah (40-6, 28 KOs) established himself as one of the best boxers of his era by winning multiple world championships at 140 and 147 pounds. With wins over Cory "Next Generation" Spinks, DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley, Junior "The Hitter" Witter and Terronn "The Tramp" Millett, and having waged war with the likes of Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Miguel Cotto in what many considered 2007's Fight of the Year, the 33-year-old Judah is well aware of what it takes to win when the spotlight is shining brightest. In July of 2010, after having fought only once in nearly two years, Judah made a huge statement to the boxing world with a third-round technical knockout over former World Champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz. Employing a vicious, perfectly timed uppercut, Judah drove Santa Cruz to the canvas in the third round and wasted no time finishing him off. In his next fight on November 6, Judah faced then undefeated Argentine knockout artist Lucas Matthysse. During the fight, Judah clearly dominated the early rounds. The power-punching Argentine made a strong push in the late rounds, sending Judah to the canvas in the 10th round. The veteran Judah skillfully regrouped and scored a 12-round decision victory. On March 5 of this year, with his new trainer and former World Champion Pernell Whitaker in his corner, Judah became a Five-Time World Champion when he scored a devastating seventh-round knockout of Kaizer Mabuza to capture the IBF Junior Welterweight World Championship. Judah used slick head movement, quickness and solid footwork to frustrate the taller South African. When the seventh round began Judah exploded with a huge straight left hand that propelled Mabuza through the ropes. The referee stopped the fight shortly after Judah capitalized with a barrage of power punches that seriously hurt Mabuza. Defeating Khan will continue to set Judah up for some of the sport's most lucrative fights, and it will go a long way towards cementing him as a Hall of Famer.

Mayweather back in the Mood

The wait is over and once again Floyd "Money" Mayweather delivers as the undefeated six-time world champion announced today via his Twitter account @floydmayweather that he will return to the ring on Saturday, September 17, to face the hard-hitting and explosive current WBC Welterweight World Champion "Vicious" Victor Ortiz in what is now the biggest international boxing event of 2011. The announcement of the fight, which will take place on Mexican Independence Day weekend, widely considered boxing's biggest weekend, sends shock waves across the sports pages as there is no denying that the younger, stronger and current champion Ortiz poses an extremely credible threat to Mayweather, who returns to the ring after a 16-month hiatus. It is a highly competitive and very dangerous match-up that will give fans a chance to see the sport's biggest star against the sport's newest star in one ring on one very special night of boxing action. "I am ready to return to the ring and give my fans a fantastic night of boxing by fighting the best out there and for me, that is Victor Ortiz," said Mayweather. "He is the current champion and an extremely talented fighter who showed amazing skills, and heart, in his last performance against Andre Berto. At this stage of my career, these are the challenges I look for, a young, strong, rising star looking to make his mark in boxing by beating me. Like the rest of my opponents, he is going to try to prove that he can beat me. I commend him for accepting the fight, but on September 17, Ortiz is just going to be another casualty, the 42nd one who tried and failed. Trust me, I will be ready." "I respect Mayweather because he has been a champion for many years and I know he will be ready, but so will I," said Ortiz. "I'm a strong fighter and I have worked really hard to silence my critics. I'm a world champion for a reason and I am not going to let go of my title any time soon. This is going to be a great fight, but I will remain a world champion for many years to come." Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO's) remains boxing's biggest attraction, wowing crowds and generating record pay-per-view numbers each time he steps into the ring. In his last ring appearance on May 1, 2010, Mayweather dismantled Sugar Shane Mosley in a lopsided unanimous decision victory. Mayweather is no stranger to fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend either, as prior to his sensational win over Mosley, he took on Mexican boxing star Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, 2009, beating his opponent in spectacular fashion. During his extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over world champions such as Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO's) is on fire. He is riding a six-fight undefeated streak including his sensational win over Andre Berto on April 16 of this year. The hard-punching southpaw proved himself throughout their 12-round battle when he survived a knock down in the sixth round and came back to drop Berto at the end of the sixth round in one of the most exciting fights in boxing this year. Ortiz, who was already known as one of the most powerful young fighters in the sport but was questioned in the past for his desire, showed the world that his heart matches his hands of steel when faced with the best in boxing. "When Floyd fights, everyone stops to watch and this is an exciting time for boxing as it always is when Floyd steps into the ring," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "There is no better showman than Floyd and he backs up his legacy with amazing, one-of-a-kind skills. Victor Ortiz has shown us that he is a great fighter too and for the two of them to meet makes for a gigantic night for fans all over the world. It's always a thrill to see Floyd fight and it's even better when he faces the best out there such as a true champion like Ortiz. This is going to be a fight to remember. Sports fans have a lot to look forward to on September 17." "There is no doubt that September 17 will again be this year's biggest night of boxing worldwide," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "When Floyd Mayweather fights, it is an event which brings fight fans, sports fans and the general public together to see this truly gifted athlete perform. Every year Floyd sets the bar and standard for most pay-per-view buys and this year will be no different. In Victor Ortiz, he is facing a young, strong and highly motivated world champion who knows that a win over the pound for pound champion will catapult him into superstardom. The stage is set and I can't wait for the showdown of the year."
Mayweather vs. Ortiz is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Donald 's top spot in May

Luke Donald has been named The 2011 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for May following an astonishing sequence of success culminating with a victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club with which he claimed the Number One position in the Official World Golf Ranking. Donald, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, finished tied fourth in the Players Championship on the US PGA Tour and runner-up in the Volvo World Match Play Championship before leading from start to finish, following an opening 64, to claim the BMW PGA Championship – The European Tour’s flagship tournament – and the €750,000first prize. In winning on the West Course with a birdie four at the first extra hole of a play-off against Lee Westwood, Donald claimed his second win on The 2011 European Tour International Schedule – he captured the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February – and strengthened his position at the top of The Race to Dubai with €2,581,495. Ian Poulter, who won the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin by beating Donald 2 and 1 in the final, Thomas Aiken (Open de España), Darren Clarke (Iberdrola Open) and Michael Hoey (Madeira Islands Open) were other winners during another remarkable month which closed with Westwood and Donald duelling over 73 holes for World Number One honours and seven of the top ten in the Official World Golf Ranking being European Tour Members. The judging panel – which comprised members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from radio and television – acknowledged Donald’s spectacular consistency as well as his determination to become the number one golfer in the world. Iain Carter, Golf Correspondent of BBC Radio Five Live, said: “Luke Donald is living his life on the leaderboard. He enjoyed another fabulous month, following an extraordinary run of success, and by winning the BMW PGA Championship he realised two objectives – winning a tournament he watched every year as a youngster, and to be recognised as the best golfer in the world. He has fully earned his Number One status and he is unanimously our choice of Golfer of the Month.” The 33 year old Englishman was also named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for February and, along with other season winners so far; Martin Kaymer (January), Paul Lawrie (March) and Charl Schwartzel (April), he will be considered for The 2011 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award which was won jointly by Graeme McDowell and Kaymer in 2010.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Manassero's Maybank Malaysian Magic

Matteo Manassero has won The European Tour Shot of the Month award for April after his brilliant eagle on the final day of the Maybank Malaysian Open was voted the winner by fans of My European Tour. The young Italian holed his third shot on the par five tenth to open up a two stroke lead as he surged towards his second European Tour title, achieved two days before his 18th birthday. Having become The European Tour's youngest winner when he won in Spain last year, Manassero’s victory at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club gave him the top two positions on that list. His shot was the comfortable winner of the April Shot of the Month competition, polling almost 90% of the votes from the My European Tour fan community to claim the award ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts in the Volvo China Open and Lee Westwood in the Ballantine’s Championship. One lucky fan who picked the winning shot wins a fantastic golf break with an overnight stay at the Radisson Blu Resort Schloss Fleesensee in Germany for two people and golf at the Fleesensee Golf and Country Club, a stunning European Tour Course. The winners of each Shot of the Month Award will be put forward for The European Tour Shot of the Year, won last season by Graeme McDowell for his unforgettable birdie putt on the 16th green of The Celtic Manor Resort which helped Europe regain The Ryder Cup. Manassero joins the other monthly winners so far; Paul Casey (January), Alvaro Quiros (February) and David Horsey (March).The May Shot of the Month competition will go live shortly on My European Tour with a golf break to PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain on offer.