In Boxing News: Hatton-Collazo, Tarver Star, Pass The Bread And Butterbean

BY Robert Ecksel ON March 24, 2006
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In Boxing News: Ricky Hatton fights Luis Collazo in Boston

For those who hoped Ricky Hatton would fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., hold onto that hope for a little while longer, because it appears Ricky will fight New York southpaw Luis Collazo for the WBA welterweight title in Boston May 13. “It's an unbelievable fight for me,� Hatton told BritishBoxing.net. “I get the opportunity here to become a double-weight world champion and the owner of three world titles. I'm challenging an American champion for a WBA title in America against a good, young, class-act southpaw. Then there's the added challenge of moving up 7lbs to welterweight. It is a real fight, a real title and a real opponent and I can't wait to show the Americans what I can do.� We yanks can’t wait either. “It's funny, just a couple of years ago we were reading that ‘Ricky Hatton is afraid to step up to world level’ and ‘Ricky Hatton won't leave Manchester,’ but I think we've heard the last of that now.� Go Ricky go.

We’re in your corner … From the Daily Bulletin out of Ontario, Canada comes word that Shane Mosley, one of the game’s good guys, needs a damage control expert, and he needs it fast. At least that’s the conclusion based upon the fact that Sugar Shane disappointed 200 teenagers on Thursday when he was a no-show for a scheduled appearance at the Home of Neighborly Service. Jimmy Quiroz, Home of Neighborly Service’s head boxing coach, called Mosley's representatives and was told (1) that the former champ was running late for his 6:30 p.m. appointment due to a his attendance at a press conference for an upcoming Bernard Hopkins title fight, and (2) that the former champ would be late because he was stuck in traffic. Whoever was at fault and for whatever reason, the young aspiring fighters from three local boxing clubs learned a cruel lesson the other day. “I want to ask him about his pre-fight rituals,� said 16-year-old Jose Mendoza. “Does he pray or listen to music?� Jaime Rodriguez, a 112-pound national amateur champion, said, “By showing up, Mosley would show us that he cares and that he's not too big because he is famous. He let us down.� Is there a PR guy in the house? … Robert Morales reports from Inglewood on the Antonio Tarver-Bernard Hopkins pre-fight press junket as it made its way from the Atlantic seaboard to Cali. A little less caustic (living in Los Angeles will do that to a man) than TSS’s take on the same piece of theater from New York City earlier this week, Morales brings us front and center inside the Turf Club at Hollywood Park on Thursday, where the same quips, the same threats, the same everything gets repeated from sea to shining sea. Tarver has spent the past several months filming Rocky VI, for those who haven’t had all their Rocky questions already answered in Rocky I through V, in which he plays a heavyweight named Mason Dixon. “Hopkins' team, they feel they're catching me at the right time,� Tarver said. “Now, everybody knows I had to bulk up a little bit to heavyweight for a minute for the movie. But they think I went Hollywood and forgot where I come from, that I would forget why I'm here. And I'm here because of my passion for boxing. I'm not a movie star, not yet. I'm still a hungry, determined fighter.� And the award for best light heavyweight eating like a heavyweight to fight a middleweight in a film allegedly about boxing goes to … While we’re on the west coast, the LA Times reports that James Toney’s promoter, Dan Goossen, filed a written protest with the WBC, aka pissing in the wind, in an effort to gain a rematch with world champion Hasim Rahman, whom he “accused of landing illegal punches during a 12-round draw last Saturday in Atlantic City.� Goossen said replays show Rahman landing more than 200 illegal blows, primarily to Toney's left kidney area. Goossen said the kidney shots took a physical toll on Toney, who has since been diagnosed with “inflammation and traumatization� to the left kidney. “The doctors have told me it was astonishing that he was able to go 12 rounds with the exorbitant amount of shots to the kidneys. What do the refs say before every fight? ‘No hitting below the belt, no rabbit punches and no kidney punches.’� We love ya Dan, but we’re talking boxing, not badminton, and you know as well as anyone that anything but anything goes in the fight game. “After a football game is played you don't argue that someone stepped out of bounds,� Rahman’s promoter Bob Arum said. “The game is over, it's finished.� My point exactly … For those who think bigger is better – Toney recently told me “size don’t mean nothing, except in the bedroom� – Nicolay Valuev, the biggest thing to hit boxing since soon-to-be Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko rocked Lennox Lewis in LA, will make the first defense of his WBA heavyweight title in Hanover, Germany on June 3. Although an opponent has yet to be named, Valuev’s promoter Wilfried Sauerland has spoken to Don King regarding a possible bout with 29-year-old Owen “What the Heck� Beck. “I am top fit again and have been back in training since the beginning of March,� the new Russian champ said. “The first title defense will be a very tough fight for me.� Talk about getting less Valuev for your hard-earned dollar … And while we’re on the subject of big, word out of Kalamazoo is that 5-foot-11, 375-pound Butterbean (whose real name is Eric Esch), will fight Battle Creek native Dan White in the main event for the newly created Toughman Professional Boxing Series World Heavyweight championship. Even though Bean once fought Larry Holmes, they didn’t fight for a title, they fought for money, and the two men’s “performance� in the ring that night bears that out. “It depends if Dan comes to fight or if he brings his track shoes to run and try and survive,� Butterbean said. “I don't think he will, because he's fighting in front of his home fans and it's going to be a proving ground for him. He's a tough kid.� He had better be tough, ‘cause Butter packs quite a punch when he gets lucky enough to land one of those power shots. “This will show I have a good chin,� White told the Battle Creek Enquirer, “because Butterbean hits hard. (If I win), I should get a chance to be on the undercard in Germany for Chris Byrd's fight with Wladimir Klitschko� … And lastly, Marc Ratner, longtime executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission is quitting the classical verities of boxing for the no-holds-barrer verities of Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who once sat on the NSAC alongside Ratner, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that Ratner is “very knowledge about mixed martial arts and he's one of the most knowledgeable guys anywhere about combat sports, and MMA is a combat sport.� Ratner's last day with the commission will be May 13. Maybe this is the perfect time to reinstate Drs. Margaret Goodman and Flip Homansky to the place where their expertise is so sorely needed.

To read more of the TSS Boxing News Wire Read more at the BLOG

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