In Boxing News: Tarver-Hopkins, Calzaghe Fever, Hitman In New York

BY Robert Ecksel ON March 08, 2006
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In Boxing News: Tarver-Hopkins June 10

After the weekend’s dustups, the boxing news machine, in neutral for a few days, is finally back in gear.

The Tampa Tribune reports that Antonio Tarver and Bernard Hopkins have agreed to fight on June 10 in Las Vegas. Hopkins will move up to light heavyweight for what he swears is the final fight of his career. "First,� Hopkins said, “it's a historic fight for me to move up from middleweight to light heavyweight, and secondly, Antonio Tarver has the credibility, but he's not a Hall of Fame boxer, I am.� Tarver has his doubts. "Like I told everybody, I'm out to prove they never overestimated me, but underestimated me and never gave me my just due and I'm out to prove that. Bernard is coming off two controversial losses, but we aren't taking him lightly. We're up to the challenge. It will be one of the best fights of the year. After June 10, I'm changing my nickname from the Magic Man to the Dream Killer because I'm putting legends to bed. May Bernard Hopkins rest in peace.� Rest in peace or not, the Executioner got in the last word: "Tarver needs to buy a 1975 afro-wig. Why? Because he won't want anyone to recognize him after I beat him" … John “The Quietman� Ruiz is angling to get a rematch with WBA champ Nicolay Valuev, to whom he lost his title in December. Ruiz also lost his longtime trainer that night (the incredible human IED Norman Stone), but has since hooked up with Puerto Rico’s Manny Siaca Sr., who has trained 23 champions, and Ruiz is feeling pretty good. “He has a lot of valuable experience,� said the Quietman. “I’m rededicating myself to become a three-time world heavyweight champion. I will return.� If, or until, James Toney wins a portion of the title in Atlantic City, it looks like Valuev’s still the man to beat in the heavyweight division … Boxing sometimes turns the trick for writers whose usual subjects are not so uncompromising. From Philly comes a vivid reminiscence about that night on March 24, 1962, The Friday Night Fights on NBC, The Cavalcade of Sports sponsored by Gillette, in the old Garden in New York City, Benny “Kid� Paret defending his welterweight crown against Emile Griffith. Norman Mailer was ringside and wrote that “Paret died on his feet. As he took those 18 punches, something happened to everyone who was in psychic range of the event. Some part of his death reached out to us.� Many believe boxing, like Benny, never recovered … It seems everyone needs and wants to know who Joe Calzaghe is fighting next. Last week it was the winner of Tarver-Hopkins who topped the list. This week the BBC reports that Team Calzaghe is eyeballing Roy Jones Jr. "We are looking at July next and the ideal opponent would be Roy Jones," said Calzaghe's promoter Frank Warren. "I am sure Joe would do a job on him. But Joe will take a break and we'll talk to the TV companies because Joe's reputation has risen significantly." According to The Mirror, Calzaghe has more than a passing interest in an all-British world title clash with IBF light-heavyweight champion Clinton Woods. "Clinton Woods has a world title and domestically that would be a great fight to make," the champ said. "I've always had the feeling that he doesn't want to fight me, but I'd love to fight Clinton Woods. It would be a great fight for this country – the best super-middleweight against the best light heavy.� Irate boxing fans besieged ITV Wales with complaints after the station decided to not rebroadcast Calzaghe’s fantastic win over Jeff Lacy. Other ITV regions across the UK aired the repeat of the 2:00 AM fight at 11:25 AM Sunday morning, but ITV Wales aired Welsh football (soccer) instead. Drowning in a sea of angry complaints, the station caved in and rebroadcast the fight Wednesday night. Some of Joe’s fans’ comments set the tone: “I thought it was disgusting that ITV Wales did not put the fight on this Sunday. No wonder the man feels undervalued in this country.� “My brother in Ireland watched the fight but I couldn't because it wasn't on.� “Imagine my disgust when Soccer Sunday came on, while every other part of the UK could watch the great Welsh champion fight his greatest fight.� “I stayed up to watch the fight but my granddad couldn't and he was gutted the repeat was not shown. ITV treated the Welsh viewing public with contempt� … Cleveland is hosting its first world heavyweight title contest since 1983. WBO champion "Relentless" Lamon Brewster makes the fourth defense of his crown against Sergei "White Wolf" Liakhovich at Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University on April 1. "I'm excited about bringing a heavyweight world championship fight home to Cleveland," said Don King. "Lamon Brewster is a great heavyweight champion and it is an opportunity for the fans around the country to see the best of the heavyweights on Showtime." Brewster said that he wants to be “universally known as THE world champion, not a United States or regional champion or somebody who just fights in his backyard. That means fighting anybody, anywhere. Boxing is not a beauty contest. It is not the Olympics where you get points for style and grace. It is all about winning, and all I do is win� … Word out of Manchester reveals Ricky Hatton’s advisor was attacked while with the light welterweight champ in New York City. Solicitor (lawyer) Gareth Williams was coming out of a Big Apple tavern in Times Square when he was nailed with an unprovoked one-punch knockout. "It all happened so quickly,� Williams said. “We had been for dinner with an American boxing promoter, and then Ricky and I went for a drink in Times Square. When we came out of the bar, it was bitterly cold and I began zipping my coat. Someone shouted ‘It's Ricky Hatton’ – and then next moment a guy came out of the crowd, punched me and ran straight off. It all happened so quickly. I was knocked over and left a bit shaken with a black eye and a cut. It was a bit sore the next morning and I noticed the wound was quite deep, so I went to hospital." New York, New York. So great they named it twice. Read more at the BLOG

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