Kevin Iole

  • Former boxer Holly Holm trying to slow 'hype train' going into UFC debut

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 hrs ago

    LOS ANGELES – It's never easy for the new kid in school, and the adjustment is often awkward and fraught with problems. It often gets harder before it gets easier.

    In an odd way, 13-year boxing veteran Holly Holm is the new kid. There is a significant difference, however.

    Holm hasn't had the chance to blend into the background and find her way in her new surroundings. Rather, she's been brought to the head of the class and singled out on her very first day.

    Holm is not only a former world champion boxer, but is one of the most successful boxers to ever transition into mixed martial arts. Her boxing record is long and glorious.

    She was 32-2-3 as a boxer and won multiple world titles in different weight classes. She's a member of the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame and was a two-time Ring Magazine women's Fighter of the Year.

    Almost from the day she first considered giving MMA a try, the sport's fans anticipated her arrival and potential opponents looked forward to schooling her.

    She's been mentioned as a potential Rousey opponent almost from Day One, and there has been speculation that if Rousey beats Zingano, Holm could be next if she defeats Pennington.

  • Why Ronda Rousey-Cat Zingano is the biggest fight of Rousey's career

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    LOS ANGELES – On Saturday at Staples Center, for only the third time in UFC history, two unbeaten fighters will meet for the world title.

    Ronda Rousey (10-0, 10 finishes) will defend the women's bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 184 against Cat Zingano (9-0, eight finishes).

    The only other undefeated championship bouts in UFC history were Rashad Evans-Lyoto Machida for the light heavyweight title at UFC 98 in 2009 and Rousey-Sara McMann at UFC 170 last year.

    The Rousey-Zingano fight will attract a horde of celebrities who are coming out to watch what could be the match that, 10 years from now, 25 years from now, 50 years from now, is the one that all other women's bouts are judged against.

    Just as major boxing matches are measured by the standard of Muhammad Ali (31-0, 25 KOs) against Joe Frazier (26-0, 23 KOs) on March 8, 1971, it's possible that future women's MMA fights will be judged against Rousey-Zingano.

    "A lot of celebrities we don't normally get," White said.

    One of the marks of the greatest athletes in any sport is that they perform their best when the stakes are highest.

  • How Ronda Rousey's journey helped cultivate her aura of dominance

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    Ronda Rousey is hardly just a mixed martial arts star, though she's easily the most dominant athlete in the sport.

    Rousey will defend her women's bantamweight title Saturday in the main event of UFC 184 at Staples Center in Los Angeles against Cat Zingano in a rare title bout pitting opponents with unbeaten records.

    But Rousey is far more than just the UFC's brightest star. She's an Olympic medalist, a popular movie actress, a swimsuit model and a media sensation who frequently guests on late-night talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and Conan. She's also a favorite of Jim Rome's and appears regularly on his national radio and Showtime television shows.

    There are six statues that sit outside the various entrances to the Staples Center, honoring some of the greatest men to work in Los Angeles. In addition to legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, there are bronzed statues of Lakers stars Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson, ex-Kings star Wayne Gretzky and boxer Oscar De La Hoya.

    Given that there are no women so honored, it is hardly a stretch to think that one day Rousey, a native Californian, could be the first.

  • Twenty years later, the boxing world has largely forgotten Gerald McClellan

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago

    The boxing world remains in euphoria, five days after Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally signed a contract to fight each other in a bout on May 2 in Las Vegas that will, quite literally, generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

    But Wednesday is the 20th anniversary of another memorable fight, one that far too many in and around boxing have forgotten about. 

    On Feb. 25, 1995, in London, WBC super middleweight champion Nigel Benn stopped WBC middleweight champion Gerald McClellan in the 10th round of their fight. The powerful McClellan had knocked Benn out of the ring in the first, and knocked him down again in the eighth, and several times appeared on the verge of a knockout victory.

    But Benn survived and turned the tables in the 10th. He knocked McClellan to a knee twice in the 10th round. McClellan couldn't resume the fight, and Benn won by TKO. McClellan had trouble walking to the corner and collapsed, where he lost consciousness.

    She said she has no issues with boxing and is happy that Mayweather and Pacquiao are earning so much money from their fight that they'll be able to set up future generations of their families for years to come.


  • Why no one may be tougher than the UFC's Cat Zingano

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    Cat Zingano wants to speak. She wants to make something good come out of a senseless, devastating tragedy.

    As she lay in a hospital bed in 2013 recuperating from a knee injury, many thought it was a tragic event. The injury was devastating to Zingano, who challenges Ronda Rousey on Saturday in the main event of UFC 184 at Staples Center in Los Angeles for the women's bantamweight title, but it wasn't tragic.

    Zingano had experienced tragedy first-hand while a freshman in college, when a close friend from high school was murdered.

    Nothing can ever prepare you for that.

    So while a knee injury that became two knee injuries and cost Zingano a television gig and a world title shot is unfortunate, it's hardly a tragedy.

    Life goes on.

    Until it doesn't.

    It's been more than a year since Zingano's husband/coach/mentor/best friend/soulmate, Mauricio Zingano, took his own life in his home near Denver.

    She's gotten on with life, but it's hard to say she's moved on. She wants to speak about the experience to help others who may be dealing with a similar situation.

    Look at me, she wants to say. Look what I've accomplished. If I can overcome it, so can you.

  • The most epic fights in boxing history

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Whether they feature the biggest names in their primes or immense historical impact, there are a few fights that have risen above all the rest to be considered the most significant of all time. Here is a look at those bouts in chronological order. All records are at the time of fight.

    Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) vs. Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) May 2, 2015, MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas 12 rounds for the WBA, WBC & WBO welterweight championships

    For much of the last five years and perhaps longer, the two have been regarded as either No. 1 or No. 2 in the world pound-for-pound ratings. Mayweather is a 2 ½-1 favorite. They have five common opponents – Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton. Mayweather is 5-0 with one knockout against them. Pacquiao is 6-1-1 with three knockouts against them.

    Mike Tyson (45-2, 40 KOs) vs. Evander Holyfield (33-3, 24 KOs) June 28, 1997, MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas 12 rounds for the WBA heavyweight title

    Sugar Ray Leonard (33-1, 24 KOs) vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler (62-2-2, 52 KOs) April 6, 1987, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas 12 rounds for the WBC middleweight title

  • Mayweather-Pacquiao will become richest fight, but how about most historically significant?

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    By the time Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao slip between the ropes at the MGM Grand Garden to face each other somewhere around 9:15 p.m. PT on May 2, it will have been nearly 1,900 days since many boxing fans believe they first should have met.

    Talks in late 2009 that were aimed at putting the two men into the ring against each other on March 13, 2010, hit a snag when Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum declined Mayweather's demand for drug testing run by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

    For the better part of the past five years, Question No. 1 in boxing has always been the same: Do you think Floyd and Manny will ever fight?

    Now that they are, many are calling it the biggest fight of all time. If it is judged purely in financial terms, nothing else comes close.

    Mayweather is expected to receive at least $120 million to fight his rival, while the Filipino superstar figures to make at least $80 million.

    Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield each earned $30 million for their June 28, 1997, rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the heavyweight title. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $44.25 million for each man.

    Frazier won by 15-round unamimous decision.

  • Cain Velasquez-Fabricio Werdum to headline UFC 188 in Mexico City

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 3 days ago

    Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who has not fought since routing Junior dos Santos on Oct. 19, 2013, will defend his belt against interim title-holder Fabricio Werdum on June 13 in Mexico City in the main event of UFC 188, the UFC announced Monday.

    Velasquez was supposed to meet Werdum at UFC 180 on Nov. 15, but pulled out of the bout on Oct. 21 because of an injured right knee. Prior to that, Velasquez had shoulder surgery. By fight night, he'll have fought just once in more than two years.

    The UFC had held off going to Mexico City for a long time because it wanted Velasquez to be in the main event. And after coaching The Ultimate Fighter Latin America against Werdum, there was legitimate excitement among Mexican fans about seeing Velasquez, a first generation Mexican-American, fighting in the headline bout.

  • Frank Mir ends four-fight skid, stops 'Big Foot' Silva in first round

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 4 days ago

    Before his bout with Antonio "Big Foot" Silva, Frank Mir talked about reinventing himself as a fighter. The two-time ex-UFC heavyweight champion was on a four-fight losing streak and seemingly at the end of the line.

    Mir wasn't ready to quit, however. He felt he wasn't training properly and wanted to give himself one last chance. In addition to preparing better, Mir worked long hours on his boxing with Angelo Reyes.

    The results were extraordinary.

    Mir needed only 100 seconds to dispose of Silva Sunday in the main event of a UFC card in Porto Alegre, Brazil, looking very much like the man who once was an elite contender.

    Mir, who came out in a right-handed stance after boxing as a southpaw for years, also showed a new punch. Mir was never much of a jabber, but it was his jab which set everything up.

    He landed a couple of good shots behind the jab early, and then the jab was the key to the finishing sequence. Mir, who was clearly quicker and more athletic than the ponderous Brazilian, landed a hard jab followed by a quick left hook. The left hook dumped Silva onto his back, and Mir hurriedly finished the job.


  • GGG's KO Show rolls onward; champ eyes unification bout with Miguel Cotto

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 5 days ago

    Miguel Cotto has been one of boxing's great champions and bravest warriors for well more than a decade. But Cotto, who shared the ring with nearly all of the big names of his generation, may well be looking at the most significant challenge of his career.

    Gennady Golovkin continued his middleweight reign of terror, destroying a game Martin Murray Saturday in a fight that went a lot longer than it should have. Golovkin pummeled Murray with punishing shots to the body and head, knocked him down three times and stopped him in the first minute of the 11th round in Monte Carlo to retain the WBA and interim WBC middleweight belts.

    Before he'd left the ring, he called out Cotto, who is not only the linear middleweight king but the holder of the regular WBC 160-pound belt.

    Holding that belt has brought Cotto directly into the crosshairs of Golovkin, which has not proven to be a good thing for any fighter. Golovkin is now 32-0 with 29 knockouts after scoring his 19th consecutive knockout Saturday, and he said he wants to unify the WBC belt with Cotto.

    But when Mayweather chose Pacquiao, it left Cotto without an obvious opponent, until Golovkin called him out.