Kevin Iole

  • Hall of Famer 'Big' George Foreman picks Pacquiao to edge Mayweather

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 hrs ago

    Former heavyweight champion "Big" George Foreman is no stranger to big fights. He lost his heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali in 1974 in a bout which became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle." That fight marked the invention of the term, "Rope-a-Dope," in which Ali laid back on the ropes and allowed Foreman to punch himself out.

    Few people know that Foreman also competed in the first pay-per-view bout in history. He was part of a staggering 1.5 million PPV buys for a 1991 bout with Evander Holyfield. That came at a time when the universe for pay-per-view was just 15 million, so it had a penetration of 10 percent. If the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout on May 2 in Las Vegas does a 10 percent penetration, it would sell nearly 10 million.

    On a conference call to promote an HBO documentary show, "Mayweather-Pacquiao: Legends Speak", Foreman shared his thoughts about the significance of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, his reaction to Mayweather's claim that he's the greatest boxer of all time and explained why he is picking Pacquiao to win.

    Foreman didn't appear to agree, but he didn't really dispute it much.

     

  • Freddie Roach scoffs at notion that Manny Pacquiao is uptight or nervous

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 6 hrs ago

    One of the reasons why attorneys usually sweat out a jury's decision is because two people can frequently see the same set of facts in vastly different ways.

    And that's what is happening, in a sense, during the buildup to the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

    Pacquiao has made a number of changes to his normal routine as he prepares to face Mayweather, the man widely regarded as the top fighter in the world.

    Pacquiao has watched a great deal of video of Mayweather, which he often doesn't do. He shut off media access for the last month when he's normally very open and accessible. And he's made all of his sparring sessions off-limits to everyone but to those approved by his trainer, Freddie Roach.

    In addition, Pacquiao has decided not to participate in the customary "grand arrival" ceremony on Tuesday at the MGM Grand as he has typically done.

    "It's the first thing we're doing on Fight Week that's for the fans and they're skipping it," Ellerbe said.

  • No 'grand arrival' for Manny Pacquiao, as promoter says he's feeling the heat

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago

    Major fights have kicked off the last few years in Las Vegas with what has become known as "The Grand Arrivals." An elaborate set-up is constructed in the lobby of the MGM Grand.

    The public and media are invited, there is festive music playing and, occasionally, an extremely and frequently obnoxious DJ shouting incessantly. It's become as much a part of the fight week ceremonies as the nose-to-nose staredown at the weigh-in.

    It's not going to be quite the same for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout, which will be May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden. Mayweather will do his grand arrival at the MGM as usual on Tuesday, though the final schedule hasn't been released. But Top Rank CEO Bob Arum chose not to have Pacquiao participate.

    So Pacquiao will quietly bus into Las Vegas from his Los Angeles-based training camp on Monday and will stay at Mandalay Bay. On Tuesday, instead of an arrival ceremony, Arum said he'll have Pacquiao meet the media in a ballroom in the bowels of the casino, away from the screaming fans.

    "Manny doesn't need all the chaos that ensues with a grand arrival," Arum said.

  • Michael Bisping determined to prove he isn’t a UFC 'gatekeeper'

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    For the first time in almost a decade, Michael Bisping enters a fight not really relevant in his division's title picture.

    From the time Bisping won Season 3 of "The Ultimate Fighter," he was a top prospect and considered a rising star.

    He's had his shares of ups and downs along the way, but despite the losses and the division switch from light heavyweight to middleweight and everything else that's occurred, Bisping was always either on the upswing or right in the championship mix.

    But as he enters his bout on Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal against C.B. Dollaway at UFC 186, there is no clear path to the middleweight title. The match is one of those gatekeeper-style bouts in which a fighter on the rise meets a grizzled veteran in an attempt to prove he belongs with the big dogs.

    For years, that was Bisping on the rise. In this fight, it's Dollaway.

    And Bisping, one of the UFC's most outspoken fighters, would be the first to admit it.

    Bisping came along at a time when the UFC was exploding in popularity and he was a big part of that. He was a quality, entertaining fighter and a polarizing personality who engendered passion in those who watched him.

  • Could Floyd Mayweather reach $1 billion in career ring earnings? Possibly

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago

    LAS VEGAS -- The amount of money that is being generated by the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 is staggering. The fight will likely gross in excess of $400 million and Mayweather's purse alone could hit $200 million.

    As amazing as it sounds, it's nothing when one considers this:

    There is a chance, and a pretty good chance at that, that by the time Mayweather retires, he'll wind up with $1 billion in career earnings. Yes, that's billion with a B.

    Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said Mayweather is "already more than halfway there." If he hits $200 million for the Pacquiao fight, it would be hard to imagine that he couldn't make it.

    Mayweather is 47-0 and has two more fights on his contract. According to Forbes, Mayweather made $224 million from 2012 through 2014. Adding $200 million from the Pacquiao fight to that is $424 million, and that counts only six fights (Miguel Cotto in 2012, Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez in 2013, Marcos Maidana twice in 2014 and Pacquiao on May 2).

    It's mind-boggling to think that any athlete could make that kind of money, particularly in a sport like boxing.

     

     

  • Why Mayweather-Pacquiao II likely won't happen

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    LAS VEGAS – Once Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao finally put their signatures on a contract, it seemed all but certain their May 2 welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand would be the first of at least two, if not more, bouts between them.

    After all, when the fighters are going to take home roughly $300 million between them for a night's work, why stop at just one? There is no rematch clause in the contract, but that was beside the point. The bout was so big and so lucrative and interest seemed so intense, a rematch was almost a fait accompli.

    There was only one way, it appeared, that there wouldn't be a rematch: If Mayweather just totally routed Pacquiao.

    Otherwise, it just seemed too logical to assume they'd simply fight again. Would you be interested in, oh, Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas after seeing Mayweather-Pacquiao? I didn't think so.

    It took more than five years to complete negotiations to make the first fight, but once they had the framework in place, it made sense organizers would be able to make small revisions to the terms, as needed, and for the boxers to fight again.

    Oh, you better believe there'd be a rematch.

    It all made so much sense.

  • Deal reached, tickets for Mayweather-Pacquiao bout on sale Thursday

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago

    Leslie Moonves has done it again.

    The president and CEO of CBS Corporation, whose involvement was credited with helping Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao reach a dealto fight each other, saved the day a second time.

    A dispute between Top Rank, Mayweather Promotions and the MGM Grand was putting the fight at risk. But a late morning conference call resolved all outstanding issues, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday.

    Arum said he and Top Rank president Todd duBoef met with Moonves and Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and that nothing now stands in the way of the fight going forward.

    "We resolved all of the issues and now we're waiting for the paperwork," Arum said. "I said on the call that if what we agreed upon is in the paperwork we receive, we will sign it and the tickets will be released."

     

     

  • Tough sell: Why Demetrious Johnson still doesn't draw for the UFC

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Injuries and a court ruling decimated the planned main card, and the Johnson-Horiguchi fight was moved into the main card slot. If the card doesn't sell, the PR team is going to hear it from the bosses, particularly CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White.

    Unlike boxing promoters, who focus almost to a fault on the main event only, the UFC for years has tried to use the depth of its card as an inducement to fans to buy its pay-per-view offerings. While it has an impact, the reality is that the biggest driver in sales is the perception of the main event.

    If the public is interested in the fight or the fighters in the main event, typically, the card will do well. And if not, it will struggle somewhat.

    That meant the UFC's estimable PR staff led by Dave Sholler had a massive challenge ahead of it.

    It had to A) convince reporters to write about Johnson; B) try to find a way to get Johnson to be more compelling without compromising who he is as a man; C) sell a bout in which Johnson is roughly a 10-1 favorite as a competitive, must-see match and D) drum up interest in a fight that is in one of the UFC's least-popular weight classes.

    There are easier jobs.

  • Progress! Top Rank receives ticket manifest for Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 days ago

    There was a major breakthrough in the ticket debacle between Top Rank and Mayweather Promotions that has brought talk about the May 2 mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to a standstill.

    Top Rank president Todd duBoef confirmed to Yahoo Sports he received a ticket manifest late afternoon Tuesday, which he said represents significant progress in the dispute. DuBoef said there were "small issues" with the manifest but he was generally pleased with what he saw.

    It is a step forward toward getting a deal done.

    "This is very positive news," duBoef told Yahoo Sports after going over the manifest.

    Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's adviser, angrily said a "lawsuit is inevitable" earlier Tuesday as another day passed with no tickets on sale and no signed contract between the promoters and the venue for the May 2 megafight at the MGM Grand Garden between Pacquiao and unbeaten rival Floyd Mayweather.

    Haymon doesn't speak to the media and Hornbuckle couldn't be reached.

  • Oscar De La Hoya blames Mayweather camp for megafight ticket snafu

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 days ago

    Another day has passed without any word of when – or even if – tickets will go on sale for the Floyd Mayeather-Manny Pacquiao fight that is scheduled for May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

    Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya, who fought Mayweather in 2007 in the top-selling pay-per-view event of all-time and whose company, Golden Boy Promotions, promoted all of Mayweather's fights between 2007 and 2014, was asked his reaction to the fact tickets haven't been put on sale yet.

    He didn't pull any punches. He put the onus on Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and took a none-too-subtle zing at Mayweather Promotions.

    "We promoted Mayweather's last 10 fights, I believe," De La Hoya told Yahoo Sports. "The promotions all were great. Everything was smooth. We never came across any problems whatsoever. This is mind-boggling. This is shocking, but at the same time, we understand what is going on. This is the Al factor. This is what you get when you deal with Al."