In Boxing News: Floyd Mayweather goes independent
It looks like Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxingâ€™s Mr. Pound-For-Pound, can afford to be pretty darn picky and choosey. Pretty Boy Floyd rejected Bob Arum's $8 million offer to fight welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito, a fight that everyone wants to see, and instead decided exercise an option in his contract to buy Arum out and become a free agent.
"I did hear from him," Arum told Dan Rafael at ESPN.com. "He decided not to fight this summer. I made him a tremendous offer. I think Margarito is the riskiest fight for him of anyone out there." Leonard Ellerbe, Floydâ€™s advisor and confidant, insisted that Mayweather isnâ€™t ducking Margarito. "Floyd is not 100 percent healthy," said Ellerbe. "He has a bruised right hand. His hand is not broken. It's bruised, but it's a bad bruise. He wants to go into any fight 100 percent healthy. If Antonio Margarito happens to be the best available option when he is healthy, so be it.â€? Arum said Mayweather agreed to the $8 mil to fight Margarito, but he wanted $10 million to fight Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, and $20 million to fight Oscar De La Hoya. "That's not in the cards," Arum said. "He wants $20 million for the De La Hoya fight? It's not there. Sometimes, my man, you gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'emâ€? â€¦ If every debut was like Tom Zbikowski's debut boxing would be a different sport than it is. But not every first time pro fighter plays football for Notre Dame or gets to strut his stuff at Madison Square Garden. Nor is every 0-0 pug so complected. Zbikowski is special in these ways, and maybe in ways we have yet to discover, but the young fighter isnâ€™t wasting any time making his mark, in or out of the ring. Surrounded by his lawyer/boxing advisor Mike Joyce and his sister/public relations coordinator Kristen Zbikowski, Team Zbikowski found time to open up. â€œIf he wasnâ€™t playing football here at Notre Dame,â€? said Joyce, â€œpeople would be talking about this kid being the next Mike Tyson, or the anti-Mike Tyson, as far as out of the ring behavior goes. His skills are that good and amateur credentials are that good. I firmly believe that if he tried out for our last Olympics, he would have been our representative.â€? Zbikowski is being promoted by Top Rank and has Arum in his corner, but â€œIâ€™m just taking this as a one-fight deal,â€? Zbikowski said. â€œI want to get ready for the football season.â€? Zbikowski has an amateur record of 66-13. According to the Notre Dame Spring Media Guide, he weighs 202 pounds, but wants to fight at 215. Zbikowski will train at the university and at a gym in Chicago before heading off to Miami to work with Angelo Dundee â€¦ From the New York Times N.Y./Region section comes an article about a small company that makes boxing gloves in the Bronx. â€œIn a dimly lighted fourth-floor factory in the South Bronx, three women chatted in Spanish as they stitched together boxing headgear. The windows were closed, the smell of leather and glue strong.â€? John Golomb, who runs the tiny operation called Legacy, is the grandson of a Russian immigrant named Jacob Golomb, the man who in 1910 founded what would eventually become the giant Everlast. Jacobâ€™s specialty in the beginning was bathing suits (he was an avid swimmer), until a â€œlittle-known boxer named Jack Dempsey asked Mr. Golomb to make him a headgear that would protect his cauliflower ear during training.â€? The dye was cast. A few years later Golomb designed the gloves Dempsey wore during his July 4, 1919 massacre in Toledo, Ohio of the heavyweight champion of the world Jess Willard. A lot has happened since then. The company changed hands in 2003 and moved production from the Bronx to Moberly, Missouri. But Golomb isnâ€™t down; nor is he out. â€œMy father used to say that Everlast is the Mercedes-Benz of boxing. If you want the best cigar, you get a Havana cigar. I'm not saying I can make a Havana cigar in the Bronx, but I can make a boxing glove." According to the Times, â€œMaking a boxing glove starts with a high-quality section of cowhide, a strong and supple leather, cut very thin. It is treated and cut into patterns. The strongest part of the hide will form the gloves' punching surface, while weaker portions â€” from the cow's stomach area, for instance â€” will be used for the palm and thumb. The interior lining is a synthetic, absorbent material, while the padding is a combination of four types of foam molded together with an adhesive. Each glove is first sewn inside out and then turned right-side out. Then the foam padding is inserted and the remaining hole covered with leather.â€? And then we all get together and punch.
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