In Boxing News: Broadway Boxing hits Hammerstein tonight
DBE’s Broadway Boxing series continues to evolve and tonight’s show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in midtown Manhattan looks to be its best card yet.
Lou DiBella has had the dates, the venue and the stable of fighters, but consistently competitive world-class fights have thus far been elusive… but not for long. Thursday’s main event is headlined by Silence Mabuza, the bantamweight dynamo from Johannesburg, South Africa. Robert Mladinich brought his trademark open heart to a feature spotlighting Mabuza and his manager Nic Durandt in The Sweet Science. I am an African warrior and I am here to showcase what Africans are made of, Mabuza said at Tuesday’s press conference at Gallagher’s Steak House in Manhattan, where tender London broil was served in a mustard sauce to the east coast boxing press corps. We come from the farthest place on Earth, continued Durandt. We are given no gifts and all fighters in Africa come up the hard way. What Silence has been able to accomplish is incredible. He is like the Oscar De La Hoya of South Africa, the most decorated amateur in the country’s history. In addition to being the most decorated amateur in South African boxing history, Mabuza is a road warrior to his core who has fought in South Africa, England, Oklahoma City, and Nevada, including Las Vegas. When Mladinich asked Durandt if he and Mabuza were concerned about fighting in the Big Apple, Durandt said matter-of-factly that This is just another town The Boston Globe revisits the Marvelous One, Marvin Hagler, at his longtime home in Milan. The body, still solid and within 10 pounds of his glory days in the ring, gives nothing away, writes the Globe’s correspondent. His face, with nary a nick, remains as smooth and polished as his signature shaved head. The 51-year-old former world middleweight champion said he feels fantastic. I just love Italy. Italians are warm people with big hearts. I fought a couple of times there and never imagined I’d make it my home. I couldn’t be happier.” Or busier. Last month Hagler stopped by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers offices in Dorchester in the U.S. to show his support at a fundraiser to raise awareness about homelessness. Before that, Marvelous Marvin was in Argentina for a fundraiser to help keep kids off drugs. In between his trips to Boston and Buenos Aires, Hagler revisited his hometown of Brockton, Mass. to touch base with some friends. ”It’s always good to hear from Marvin,” said legendary trainer Goody Petronelli, who with his brother Pat helped mold the cocky street kid into a world champion. ”Marvin came to Pat and me. We didn’t find him. He told me early on he was going to be a world champion one day. Being the good trainer, I kind of winked and said, ‘OK, Marvin.’ I’ll be damned if he didn’t know what he was talking about.” After Hagler quit the fight game in disgust after the questionable loss of his crown to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987, he moved to Italy and built a decent rep for himself as an actor. Hagler has appeared in four Italian-made films, in which he portrayed a military officer, a cop, and a terrorist. Never, he said, would he portray a boxer. ”I want to branch out and play a doctor or a lawyer,” Hagler said. Funny, I know doctors and lawyers who’ve said the exact same thing. In the spirit of time heals all wounds, the Miami Herald heralds the incredible rebirth of Roberto Duran and writes, Few athletes can catch the public’s attention in almost any corner of the globe Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Pel, to name a few. Manos de Piedra, Hands of Stone Duran, dominated the lightweights in the 1970s, and he was as feared as he was tough. The story of his one punch kayo of a horse on the streets of Panama to impress a pretty girl is the stuff of legend. And in later years, when someone told Duran’s former cornerman, Ray Arcel, that Duran had a heart condition, Arcel said, A heart condition? Duran doesn’t have a heart. But times and Duran have changed. He is on such a short list of sporting personalities whose appeal radiates long past retirement. On a radio broadcast Saturday, Duran said There is no reason to be self-centered when it comes to dealing with the public. If the public gave you so much support, why not return that favor with a handshake or pose with them for a photograph? Duran’s career spanned 32 years and 119 fights. He is one of the all-time greats. While we’re in Florida, the Palm Beach Post, not always known for its boxing coverage, lets us know that folks on the gold coast opened their arms to ESPN2 for last night’s barnburner between David Estrada and Kermit Citron at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The piece opens with, Float like a butterfly ballot. Sting like a hurricane deductible. Hometown promoter Bobby Bostick, wearing an olive-colored suit and matching shoes with a silk handkerchief in the breast pocket, said, “There hasn’t been a fight of this caliber in Palm Beach County ever, certainly not on national television. You can have a sense of humor about it. It’s different. But the Palm Beach County Convention Center welcomed me with open arms. ESPN came in and gave it thumbs up.” Bostick’s good vibes are counterbalanced by Palm Beach County’s long memory about good boxing deals gone bad. The Post writes that Don King talked of turning an abandoned jai alai fronton in Mangonia Park into a world boxing center, but it never happened. Fighters have not always showed up for the bouts that have been scheduled. On Tuesday, a doctor failed to appear for the weigh-in, delaying the schedule by more than an hour. But Bostick, and ESPN, are not to be deterred. ESPN announcer Joe Tessitore said he knew the area because his grandfather owned a condo there. Tessitore said he spent a lot of time at Okeechobee Steakhouse. From one steakhouse to another, bon appetit.