Kevin Iole

  • Brandon Rios blows out ill-prepared, over-the-hill Mike Alvarado

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago

    Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado waged a pair of the most memorable bouts of this century, but the rubber match Saturday was nothing of the sort.

    A prepared and determined Rios overwhelmed an out-of-shape and clearly at the end of the line Alvarado, stopping him after three one-sided rounds when Alvarado couldn't answer the bell for the fourth in their welterweight bout at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo.

    The loss was Alvarado's third in a row and fourth in his last five fights, and should spell the end of his boxing career, even though he put on a brave front during a post-fight interview with HBO's Jim Lampley. 

    He was stopped by Rios in a classic battle on Oct. 13, 2012, in Carson, Calif. He avenged that defeat in Las Vegas on March 30, 2013, in yet another spirited brawl. But he quit on his stool after the 10th round against Ruslan Provodnikov on Oct. 19, 2013, and then was beaten up badly by Juan Manuel Marquez on May 17, 2014, in Inglewood, Calif.

    That's simply a fighter deluding himself. 

    "All the instruction, I followed. I did the game plan from camp. I was victorious."

  • Anthony Johnson KOs Alexander Gustafsson; table set for Jon Jones bout

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    It was short, direct and to the point, but Jon Jones' response on social media after watching Anthony Johnson earn a shot at his UFC light heavyweight title by stopping Alexander Gustafsson in the first round Saturday was probably also the best take:

    Wow.

    Johnson moved to within one punch of one of the most incredible journeys to the top in UFC history, bludgeoning Gustafsson in front of nearly 30,000 partisan fans at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, to earn the next crack at the light heavyweight belt.

    Jones has run roughshod over the best the UFC has to over, but he was not able to run over Gustafsson when they met in 2013. Gustafsson gave Jones the battle of his professional life and, to this day, there are those who are adamant that it was Gustafsson, not Jones, who earned the decision that night in Toronto.

    Nobody has ever done to Gustafsson what Johnson did on Saturday. Johnson hit Gustafsson with a right hand by the ear that badly wobbled the Swede. Gustafsson began to stagger around the cage and it was essentially the beginning of the end.

  • Manny Pacquiao looking into becoming ... a professional wrestler?

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 days ago

    Manny Pacquiao is a man of many talents. He's best known, of course, for being one of the greatest boxers in the world. He's an eight-division champion and a surefire bet for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame upon his retirement.

    He's in the midst of talks to line up what would be the richest fight in boxing history, a long-awaited and hoped for match against pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    But Pacquiao apparently still has time to ponder a career change. Recently, he worked out with the hope of becoming a professional wrestler. He was even given assistance by legendary comedian Garry Shandling. 

    So, how did it go? Well, you'll have to watch the video below to find out. 

     

  • Politician's arrest is no guarantee that MMA will be legalized in New York

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 4 days ago

    Mixed martial arts remains illegal in New York state, and the reason is as simple as it is disgusting: politics.

    The Culinary Workers Union 226 of Las Vegas has done anything it can to harass UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta because their gaming company, Stations Casinos, is non-union. The union has actively worked against the UFC, which is 90 percent owned by the Fertitta brothers, as retaliation.

    The union has created websites which bash the UFC and its fighters. The UFC, in turn, has created a website that goes after the union.

    The union has lobbied against the legalization of the sport in New York. It has encouraged visitors not to vacation in Las Vegas. It has picketed non-union casinos and harassed its guests. An editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper on Dec. 17 railed against what it called the "union’s reckless and economically harmful political stunts."

     

  • Manny Pacquiao dines with Prince Harry, opens talks with Amir Khan

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 4 days ago

    If Manny Pacquiao's next opponent is not Floyd Mayweather Jr., put Amir Khan on the top of the list of possibilities for his next bout.

    Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz told Yahoo Sports by telephone from London on Friday that he'd met with Khan and members of Khan's team about a potential pay-per-view fight between the two later this year.

    Pacquiao traveled to London along with his wife, Jinkee; Koncz; Chavit Singson, a former governer in the Philippines, and several others to meet Prince Harry. The group had dinner with the prince at Buckingham Palace on Thursday and another shorter meeting on Friday morning.

    After that, Koncz told Yahoo Sports the group met with Khan's team at Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club in London.

    Koncz said there is interest in holding a potential Pacquiao-Khan bout in either London or Abu Dhabi. He said he also would not rule out the fight being held in the U.S.

    Talks are ongoing for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, and Mayweather was in Los Angeles on Wednesday where he met with adviser Al Haymon.

    "Do I want to fight Pacquiao? Absolutely. Are we negotiating? Absolutely. Has the fight been made? Not at all."

  • Spike TV’s new boxing showcase to provide another boost for the sport

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Kevin Kay, the president of Spike TV, calls himself a lifelong boxing fan. Which, by definition, kind of means he's 50-plus.

    Boxing for years has been the television domain of men 55 years of age and older, and it's one reason why it's been years since network television paid it any more than scant interest. Advertisers are far more interested in the younger demographic that boxing has been unable to provide.

    Spike, though, is billed as a network for young men, and much of its programming is designed to attract the 18-to-34-year-old males who love mixed martial arts but who in recent years have turned up their noses at boxing.

    But in what could be yet another transformative move for the sport, coming on the heels of last week's announcement of a series of high-quality fights on NBC, the monthly Premier Boxing Champions series on Spike is another significant investment in the sport's future.

    Porter said he's all in on the series and believes it's going to create an entirely new class of fans.

  • Alexander Gustafsson tied to Jon Jones, whether he likes it or not

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    It's kind of odd that Alexander Gustafsson has no interest in talking about Jon Jones, because if it weren't for his connection to the UFC light heavyweight champion, Gustafsson would have a significantly lower profile.

    Gustafsson faces Anthony Johnson in a title eliminator on Saturday in Stockholm, Sweden, with the winner getting the next crack at Jones.

    Gustafsson already had one shot, and lost a razor-thin decision that many believe he deserved to win.

    The bout was one of the great matches in UFC history, a back-and-forth battle that Jones eventually claimed by doing what champions do and raising his game down the stretch when it mattered the most.

    Sometimes, a fighter raises his profile while losing and comes out of the fight with a greater reputation than he went into it holding. That unquestionably is true of Gustafsson.

    The UFC was mocked pre-fight for the angle it took in promoting the Jones-Gustafsson match. The pitch was that in the 6-foot-5 Swede, Jones was finally meeting a guy his own size.

    And so not many thought Gustafsson had a shot. There probably weren't a lot of people inside the UFC who believed in him. So the size angle was played up.

  • UFC Fight Night a smash ratings hit thanks to Conor McGregor (and NFL)

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 6 days ago

    Two things became immediately clear in the wake of the record ratings for Fox Sports 1 of its UFC Fight Night in Boston telecast on Sunday: One, it doesn't hurt to have constant promotional pushes during an NFL broadcast with 60 million people watching. And two, McGregor is clearly as popular as any athlete in the UFC.

    The Nielsen ratings were so good that UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that he believes McGregor's featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo will be the company's biggest pay-per-view of the year.

    "I think that's a huge fight and it beats everything we do this year," White said of the Aldo-McGregor title fight, which still doesn't have a date yet.

    The card averaged 2.75 million viewers, and peaked in the 15-minute segment from midnight to 12:15 a.m. ET, during the main event, when it attracted 3.162 million viewers. 

    Among the other interesting notes were that the show had a total of 4.703 million unique viewers. That beat the Fight Night average viewership from 2014 of 1.7 million by 3 million viewers.

  • How Anthony Johnson became a UFC contender

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    Nearly eight years ago, Anthony Johnson made the most auspicious of UFC debuts, needing just 13 seconds to defeat Chad Reiner.

    It was impressive, to be sure, but Johnson wasn't really viewed as a title contender in those days. Tough? Absolutely. Physically gifted? For sure. But legitimate contender? Nah.

    He was a curiosity more than anything else, just like 300-pound Jared Lorenzen was a curiosity more than a prospect as an NFL quarterback. Or, similarly, the way 7-foot-7 Manute Bol was a curiosity more than a Bill Russell-esque defensive force in the NBA.

    Johnson was this freak of nature who could drop 40 or 50 pounds seemingly at will to make the UFC's 170-pound welterweight limit.

    And even after it became apparent that he was only fooling himself by trying to make 170, he remained a curiosity. He was incredibly athletic for a big guy; he could do things that few people have the ability to do.

    Big, most assuredly. But the next big thing? Well, let's just say that mentions of Johnson's name alongside the words "UFC champion" were few and far between.

    In 2014, though, something changed dramatically.

    Making that change started at the top.

  • Former WBC heavyweight champion diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 7 days ago

    LAS VEGAS -- Bermane Stiverne said he knew something wasn't right with his body on Saturday before he stepped into the ring at the MGM Grand Garden to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Deontay Wilder.

    Stiverne was unable to warm up properly and kept asking trainer Don House to hold the mitts for him. It turns out that his suspicion that something was incorrect was right on the money.

    Stiverne was hospitalized for two nights at University Medical Center after dropping a unanimous decision to Wilder in a fight in which he was passive and didn't throw early enough punches. He was severely dehydrated and was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis.

    Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos suffered from rhabdomyolysisfollowing his loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 in 2012 in Las Vegas.

    He said he saw openings to punch in his fight with Wilder but was unable to react or he reacted slowly.