Month: July 2011

27 Jul

million dollar beibut shumenov

cozzone / fight coverage, las vegas / / 0 Comments

If you’ve had it with boxing’s overgroomed babies, meet undersold Beibut – Beibut Shumenov, that is.

With just a dozen fights and a quarter of the light-heavyweight championship tucked into his belt, Shumenov is on a mission to show the sport that years of coddling and a diet of fresh ducks will get you nowhere but stale . . . |more|

24 Jul

khan-judah ringside impressions

cozzone / fight coverage, las vegas / / 0 Comments

Been spitting out crow feathers all morning from picking Zab “Super” Judah to upset Amir “King” Khan at last night’s HBO-televised card at Mandalay Bay. Not quite ready to enlist in Khan’s Army, but there’s little doubt who reigns at 140 pounds.  Judah, meanwhile, aged five years with every round and the beltline blow was a way out of an even uglier end for the former champ.

Undercard a snoozer: While the seven undercard bouts were all “gimme” bouts in favor of the favored, there were still a few pleasant surprises. Topping off the list was seeing Gary Russell Jr. for the first time. Matched up against the granite-chinned Windy City pug, Eric Estrada, Russell’s movement, speed and brilliance in the ring has marked him, at least for me, as THE kid to watch. We’re talking scary.

Peter Quillin put the hurt on game late sub Jason Lehoullier but it was “Kid Chocolate’s” treating the fans and media to handfuls of chocolate kisses and his charisma that has him marked as the man to watch at middleweight. The rest of the undercard? James Kirkland destroyed an overmatched, smaller foe, heavyweight Bryant Jennings showed less than hoped for; Ronnie Rios was handed a win and Josiah Judah .. less said, the better. In the opener, Jamie Kavanagh had to work for his win against game Marcos Herrera.

22 Jul

khan, judah weigh in

cozzone / fight coverage, las vegas / / 0 Comments

Lacking the army brought across the Pond by Ricky Hatton, England’s Amir “King” Khan weighed in before a small, subdued crowd at the Mandalay Bay for tomorrow night’s showdown with Zab “Super” Judah. Both fighters were 140 pounds. For a complete slideshow . . . . |more|

20 Jul

khan, judah limber up at mandalay

cozzone / fight coverage, in the gym, las vegas / / 0 Comments

Public workouts are usually crap, meaning, don’t expect to really see your favorite fighter do much more than shadowbox, maybe hit the mitts. Today’s event at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas was no exception. Zab “Super” Judah was super-late, but at least he gave the fans several rounds of mitt work, while living legend Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker watched on. Khan spent most of the time talking to the media, answering what was probably the same handful of questions, over and over, while Judah did his thing in the ring. The highlight was Judah crouching down behind Khan for a split second – and one this photog (and every other one) failed to capture. Best I could do was try to get the two to share a frame (see above). After his interviews, Khan did a brief limbering up in the ring, giving nothing away, while Zab’s pop watched on. For more photos . . . |more|

19 Jul

revolving door traps khan

cozzone / fight coverage, las vegas / / 0 Comments

Amir “King” Khan, Freddie Roach and Scott Ghertner of MGM/Mandalay Bay should’t feel too bad about momentarily getting trapped in the Mandalay Bay’s main lobby revolving door. Just minutes before, I was one of three photogs who were victimized by the same door. Question here is, does the “Wrong Way” sticker near Khan’s predict a rough night on Saturday when Khan steps into the ring against Zab “Super” Judah?

14 Jul

texas station weigh-in

cozzone / fight coverage, las vegas / / 0 Comments

Photographers pray for anything to happen at a weigh-in – anything that goes beyond having to take a zillion shots of a bunch of guys in their undies. Of course, a shoving match, a face off with guys yelling things about the other’s mammas are welcome breaks. Today’s weigh-in, alas, might not have had anything dramatic, but, as pictured above, Jesse Magdaleno showed a little humor with his over-aggressive opponent. For the usual run of boring weigh-in shots, check the rest out on Fightnews.com.

08 Jul

hatton retires … finally

cozzone / fight coverage / / 0 Comments

Two years after his brutal knockout at the hands of Manny Pacquiao, Ricky “Hitman” Hatton has formally announced his retirement. Sure, most of us aren’t going to forget the glass-eyed drop to the canvas of his last fight, but the Manchester madman had his moments – mugging Paulie Malignaggi in 2008, taking out Jose Luis Castillo in 2007 with a Mexican-like liver shot, and mauling now-Hall-of-Famer Kostya Tszyu into retirement in 2005. There were also the thousands of wankers he brought over from the U.K., who took over Vegas with chants and beer drinking; and Hatton’s sense of humor (remember Ricky Fatton?) – as unorthodox as his phone booth fighting style. Here’s to the “Hitman!”