Snippets on Arguably the 8 Hottest Topics In The Sport This Week

1)      And New….

Reports of Manny Pacquiao’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Even without a dominating performance he defeated one of the top Pound For Pound fighters in the game in Timothy Bradley and in the process put to rest the misfortune of 2012.


2)      Game Plan?

It seemed evident that the only game plan for Bradley was to try and land a “Marquez” type right hand to try and knock Pacquiao out. I guess he did state several times before the fight that that was his plan but it was surprising to see that he actually meant it. He did great work early especially to the body but abandoned that strategy in the middle to late rounds to stick to the “game plan” which untimely led to his demise.


3)      It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work

Call it what you want but seeing Pacquiao’s mother try and will her to son to victory in her own way was a mother’s love at its finest. It was however; odd enough for the PPV telecast crew to have a cut in of her during an actual round which I can’t remember ever happening during a PPV fight. Save that for the minute break and keep it off the screen when live action is occurring. 


4)      Will The Wait Be Over?

As expected, the Pacquiao win has ignited the buzz for a matchup with Pound For Pound King Floyd Mayweather. When asked about this topic after the fight Pacquiao stated, “The line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week”……. Your move Money.


5)      Older, Wiser of Just Cranky?

Bob Arum created quite a stir this week when he blasted the MGM Grand for all of the Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana advertising visible during fight week for Pacquiao vs. Bradley. Said Arum, “In the Venetian they wouldn’t make a mistake like this” Most of the advertising was removed the next day. Well played Mr. Arum, well played. In a related note, Arum suggested fans boycott the May 3rd Mayweather bout. The speculation is that if the fight does poorly it would make Mayweather more likely to take the long awaited fight with Pacquiao.


6)      Get Out Of My Sandbox

Reports continue to swirl of trouble brewing at Golden Boy Promotions between President Oscar De La Hoya and CEO Richard Schaefer. Any such split between the two or a company restructure would leave a stable of fighters looking for answers and most likely a string of contractual chaos.  If the rumors of a possible new powerhouse promotional company led by Schaefer and Al Haymon are true, forget the Cold War and dig in for WW III. 



7)      Wish Granted

Back in late 2013, Erislandy Lara was speaking about a possible matchup with Canelo Alvarez and stated “I’m not confident that Canelo will fight me because I think he’s scared of me, I think the fight would be easy for me, no problem” Lara will get his wish as the fight has been made for July 12. This is going to be one hell of a fight folks. Ishe Smith is the hard luck loser here as he was supposed to meet Lara on May 2nd.


8)      UFO Sighting over D.C.

The legend of “The Alien” continues this Saturday the 19th at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C. as 49 year old Bernard Hopkins will again attempt to defy father time as he faces Beibut Shumenov in a Light Heavy Unification bout. It’s always a treat when BHOP is in action but the fight between Shawn Porter and Paulie Malignaggi may steal the show on this card. “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin will round out this triple header as he faces Lukas Konency.

Davenport’s Dennis Looks To Continue Winning Ways on ESPN FNF

dennisWhen the city of Davenport, Iowa is mentioned in boxing circles, most immediately think of former middleweight champion Michael Nunn and with good reason, but there is a “hidden gem” lurking in the heavyweight division that hopes to add his own name to the conversation.

On the undercard for this week’s ESPN Friday Night Fights from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, Davenport’s own Donovan Dennis 11-1 1NC (10 KO), looks to keep climbing up the heavyweight rankings when he meets undefeated fighter Nat Heaven 8-0 (6KO).

At 14 years of age, Dennis wandered into the legendary Pena’s Davenport Boxing Club and it was here under the tutelage of Alvino Pena that his journey began. Dennis credits Pena with mentoring him and leading him down a successful path not only in boxing, but in life. Said Dennis “Everything he taught me is the foundation of what I’m doing now”. Pena passed away last month at the age of 82 but his legacy will continue to live on through fighters like Dennis and the future generations who will pass through the doors of the club that he founded in 1968.

Dennis, 26 at 6’4 with a 79” reach surely fits the mold of today’s heavyweight but his training regimen and box first mentality are a bit uncharacteristic for the division. In an interview earlier this year, Dennis stated “I play to my stamina, that’s my ace in the hole” “Nobody’s going to out-train me” Although Dennis has knock outs in 10 out of his 11 wins, he knows that he must box as well. “I don’t want to be a Rocky” Dennis said, “Boxers who are Rockys don’t last long because they take such a beating. That’s not me. I want to be as smart a boxer I can be”. Dennis is very athletic for a heavyweight and can box or punch. His southpaw stance often creates advantages during a bout that Dennis seems to excel at exploiting.

Heaven, 28, 6’6 fought four times in 2013 winning three by knockout. This will be his first fight in 2014 and the first six rounder of his career. Heaven has a lumbering jab and quick right hand so he also has a few tools in his tool box that Dennis will have to be mindful of. If Heaven fights tall and uses his jab, Dennis will have to be every bit of that boxer to create opportunities for success.

If Dennis has an advantage early, it may be a result of his recent activity level.  Dennis must be racking up the frequent flier miles as this will be his 7th fight in just under a year and his third fight in the past seven weeks! That is surely an “old school” type of schedule which used to be the norm with up and coming fighters. He must have his bags packed and waiting by the door because he’s always on the move fighting whenever called upon, keep an eye on this guy, he’s going to be a force in the division.

As Dennis moves up the rankings we need to start seeing him in ten round fights as the majority of his bouts have been six rounds as is the case on Friday night.  If he continues to perfect the craft that Pena instilled in him long ago, it will not be such an oddity when the name Dennis is mentioned alongside Nunn when the city of Davenport is being discussed with regards to the squared circle.