Kevin Iole

  • Oscar De La Hoya called out Donald Trump for cheating at golf, but does it sell PPVs?

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS – Oscar De La Hoya called Donald Trump a golf cheat, but said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee would attend the fight he’s promoting on Saturday at the new T-Mobile Arena.

    Trump not only denied De La Hoya’s allegations, but he said he never played golf with him and isn’t planning to attend the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan pay-per-view bout.

    After Trump’s denials, De La Hoya appeared on TMZ and insisted his story was 100-percent true, even though it seems like some aspects of his story don’t check out (more to come on that).

    But it’s safe to say that we’ve just witnessed the first public schoolyard feud between a leading presidential candidate and a renowned Hall of Fame boxer.

    No matter who’s telling the truth, it doesn’t seem to do the one thing that De La Hoya most should be focusing on this week: Selling as many pay-per-views as possible at 70 bucks a pop.

    And Trump has angered many by calling for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants.

    So who’s right here, Trump or De La Hoya?

  • Why Alistair Overeem has no problem fighting teammate Andrei Arlovski

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 7 hrs ago

    Training partners, yes ... but friends? Alistair Overeem said he doesn’t consider teammate Andrei Arlovski a friend, and said he suspects Arlovski feels the same way.

    Overeem will fight Arlovski in a significant fight within the UFC’s crowded heavyweight division, when they meet Sunday in the main event of a show in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

    It is the UFC’s first venture into Holland, Overeem’s homeland, and he’s eager to please his hometown fans.

    The fact that the opponent is Arlovski, whom Overeem hospitalized with a rib injury after delivering a knee during a sparring session in Albuquerque, N.M., in 2014, is all the better.

    He got enough intel, he says, from their work together that he feels like he’ll be able to formulate a good game plan.

    “I know enough to know what I need to do and also what not to do,” Overeem said.

    Arlovski has seemed angry because he said Overeem sought him out for the bout, though Overeem has insisted he had little choice. He said UFC chairman/CEO Lorenzo Fertitta texted him and asked him to fight Arlovski.

    Overeem, who is ranked No. 3 in the division, will find himself in another significant bout if he gets past the fifth-ranked Arlovski.

  • Canelo Alvarez is the new face of boxing

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 8 hrs ago

    LAS VEGAS — About a year ago, Mayweather-Pacquiao mania gripped this gambling mecca like few fights had ever done.

    Taxi drivers were talking about it. Waiters brought it up to their hungry customers. The guy at the car wash had an opinion. Your neighbor. My neighbor. Las Vegas couldn't wait for the big event.

    And then the big event came and it stunk. It was a terrible fight. Floyd Mayweather easily defeated Manny Pacquiao, who revealed after the fight that he competed with a torn rotator cuff that would need surgery.

    Promoters comforted themselves with the knowledge that the show sold a record 4.6 million on pay-per-view and generated more than a half-billion dollars in revenue.

    Mayweather returned to the ring in September, and sold only 400,000 pay-per-views for a fight with Andre Berto.

    After his surgery, Pacquiao came back on April 9 to face Timothy Bradley. That, too, was a pay-per-view disaster, not even hitting 400,000.

    Combine the sales from Mayweather-Berto with those of Pacquiao-Bradley III and you'll come up about 100,000 shy of the number that Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto sold for their Nov. 21 bout for the WBC middleweight title.

  • Bellator fighter Jordan Parsons dies after hit-and-run accident

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 1 day ago

    Jordan “Pretty Boy” Parsons, a 25-year-old contender in Bellator’s featherweight division, died Wednesday of injuries he sustained in a hit-and-run auto accident Sunday in Delray Beach, Fla.

    Parsons was struck by a gray or silver 2012 or 2013 Range Rover while crossing the street shortly after midnight on May 1. He was taken to Delray Medical Center, where a portion of his right leg was amputated.

    On Wednesday, Bellator MMA president Scott Coker confirmed the news in a statement.

    "It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a dear member of the Bellator family, Jordan Parsons,” Coker said. “Jordan was an exceptional athlete and a rising star in the sport. But more importantly, he was an exceptional young man. Jordan was hard-working, dedicated, intelligent, and a pleasure to be around. He represented all the reasons we love this sport. It is a terribly tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and teammates."

  • Here's where Amir Khan is better than Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    LAS VEGAS – It's easy to criticize boxers who don't always seek out the toughest fights, who avoid the bouts the fans are eager to see. Far too many top-level boxers compete in far too many "appearance" fights.

    You know the kind: The public wants A to fight B. But A and his promoter and B and his promoter want to milk it. So they say they'll fight each other, but then A announces he'll fight Z and B says he'll fight Y. And then if they both win, A will fight X and B will fight W.

    And if they win those, then and only then will A fight B.

    It gives the stars two easy wins and lines the pocket of the promoter with television money for what are non-competitive fights.

    But it's a problem that has plagued boxing for years. Promoters will tell you they need to build up a fight, and while there is a sliver of truth to it, if they did a better job of promoting and making the competitive fights all the time, it wouldn't be nearly as necessary.

    That, though, is the environment in which professional boxing exists in 2016.

    So when there is an outlier like Amir Khan, a guy who has literally jumped through hoops to land a mega-fight, he should be singled out.

  • New heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua inks deal with Showtime

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago

    Showtime landed a big fish on Wednesday, though it wasn't the boxer many speculated it might be. Floyd Mayweather Jr., for the time being, anyway, remains retired.

    But Showtime on Wednesday announced an exclusive multi-fight deal with new IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, one of the sport's most promising stars. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist will make the first defense of the title he won via second-round knockout on April 9 from Charles Martin on Showtime when he faces American Dominic Breazeale on June 25 at The O2 in London.

    The deal is big for Showtime, because a star heavyweight boxer is always a big draw and Joshua oozes talent. He's 16-0 with 16 knockouts, including 13 in either the first or second round. He's also a charismatic personality who figures to resonate with the fan base when he begins to fight top-level competition.

    That fight is headed to pay-per-view


  • Caros Fodor to take on 'crime-fighting' brother 'Phoenix Jones' in WSOF

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 2 days ago

    Caros Fodor has a little advice before hanging up and his tone has changed. He's spent about 20 minutes discussing his July 30 bout in the World Series of Fighting and going over the strengths and weaknesses of his opponent, Phoenix Jones.

    He knows Jones better than most, though, because Jones is his brother, whose real name is Ben Fodor. The two don't get along, and haven't for some time. But with their fight now booked, Caros admits, "It's kind of surreal that this is really happening."

    Ben Fodor is, to be kind, a character. Phoenix Jones is his alter ego, a so-called crime fighter in Seattle who wears a costume as if he were a modern-day Batman.

    Asked about his brother's superhero shtick, Caros Fodor sniffs dismissively.

    "It's [strange]," he said of his brother portraying himself as a crime fighter. "I think it's a gimmick for attention, if you want to know the truth. He started out meaning well, but, I don't know. You know, I don't even like Marvel comic books. I can't read the super hero stuff. I just don't understand it. I'm not belittling it, but I don't get it.


  • Why Canelo-Khan isn’t exactly a classic speed vs. power matchup

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    LAS VEGAS – There’s no reason to be cynical, even though it would be easy to do so when examining Saturday’s middleweight title bout at T-Mobile Arena between WBC champion Canelo Alvarez and challenger Amir Khan.

    Promoter Oscar De La Hoya has tried, almost desperately at times, to frame the bout as a battle pitting Khan’s speed against Alvarez’s power.

    Unquestionably, Khan’s hand speed is his biggest advantage in a fight in which he’s completely overmatched in terms of size.

    This is a good fight, an interesting matchup, though it’s hardly the super fight that some in the media have so breathlessly dubbed it.

    Khan has fought 34 times as a pro, with 30 bouts coming at super lightweight or below. Alvarez has fought 48 times, with 23 fights coming above welterweight. He’ll likely walk into the ring on Saturday after rehydrating from Friday’s weigh-in at more than 170 pounds.

    The fight is on pay-per-view, and pay-per-views only tend to sell in large numbers when the public believes that the underdog has a legitimate chance to win.

    And so De La Hoya, whose company’s biggest star is Alvarez, has spent much of the past two months extolling Khan’s virtues.

  • Floyd Mayweather strongly hints at comeback, says 'crazy numbers' offered

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 4 days ago

    Only eight months since he announced his retirement, Floyd Mayweather opened the door to a comeback on Saturday during an interview with Showtime's Jim Gray.

    Mayweather, who promoted Badou Jack's majority draw with Lucian Bute on Saturday in Washington, D.C., in a match for the WBC super middleweight title, said he's been in talks with CBS and Showtime, whom he worked with for the final six fights of his legendary career.

    Asked by Gray if he would come back for the money or the opportunity to raise his record to 50-0, Mayweather laughed and said, "Both."

    He said several times he was happy in retirement, but he didn't slam the door on a return to the ring.

    "Yes, I'm happy to be where I'm at," Mayweather said to Gray. "Everyone is asking, asking me, 'Is Floyd Mayweather coming back?' Right now, I'm happy on this side [of the ropes], but I've been talking with CBS and Showtime and you just never know. But for now, I'm happy on this side.

    "How can Floyd Mayweather fight at 160 and I could never make 154?" he said, conveniently ignoring the fact that he won the super welterweight title twice.

  • How James DeGale turned a negative into a positive

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    To begin to understand how James DeGale got to the top of the mountain in boxing’s super middleweight division, it’s best to look back at his low moment as a professional.

    DeGale won the middleweight gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He instantly became a huge star in the United Kingdom, where he was born and raised.

    In just his 11th professional fight, DeGale fought George Groves for the British super middleweight title on May 21, 2011. It was a fight that DeGale figured to win.

    It was supposed to be a pathway toward a world title for DeGale. Instead, it was a disaster. He wasn’t properly prepared and shockingly suffered a majority decision defeat.

    On Saturday in Washington, D.C., DeGale will make the second defense of his IBF super middleweight title against Rogelio Medina in a bout to be televised by Showtime. That loss nearly five years ago seems like just a blip on the radar, an outlier to be ignored.

    DeGale, though, certainly doesn’t look at it that way. That defeat has everything to do with the fighter he’s become.

    DeGale’s blunt words and brutally direct self-assessment stands in contrast to the majority of high-end athletes.