Kevin Iole

  • Gennady Golovkin finally gets high-end opponent as Canelo's star fades

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 mths ago

    Gennady Golovkin, the power-punching middleweight champion who has been unsuccessfully chasing a high-end opponent, finally has one. This one, though, will require some explanation.

    Canelo Alvarez, the linear middleweight champion, decided last month that he still isn’t comfortable at the weight and wants to wait until the fall of 2017 to fight Golovkin.

    Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler thought he had a deal with British promoter Eddie Hearn for a bout with Chris Eubank Jr., but Hearn couldn’t finalize a deal with Eubank.

    But Hearn suggested that unbeaten welterweight champion Kell Brook might take the fight. Loeffler told him to try and two days later, the sides reached a contract.

    So on Sept. 10 at the O2 Arena in London, Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) will defend his IBF-WBA-WBC middleweight belts against Brook (36-0, 25 KOs), in a bout that will be televised in the U.S. on HBO.

    Brook deserves huge credit for stepping up to the challenge of the hard-hitting Golovkin, who is one of the elite fighters in the world.

    He was willing to do what Alvarez, who has been competing as at least a super welterweight since 2010, was not.

    Now Brook will get the same chance.

  • What Brock Lesnar's return means for himself and the UFC

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 mths ago

    LAS VEGAS – Almost five years have passed since Brock Lesnar last walked out of the Octagon – five years in which he, the sport and the UFC have changed immeasurably.

    Lesnar retired from mixed martial arts after getting knocked out by Alistair Overeem at UFC 141, his second straight knockout loss. Diverticulitis robbed him of the ability to train and prepare properly and against Overeem, he was a shell of the brute who’d won the heavyweight title in his fourth pro fight by stopping the legendary Randy Couture.

    When his body wouldn’t allow him to do what he loved to do, at least not at the sport’s highest level, Lesnar walked away. He did what he had to do to feed his family, and so he accepted an offer from the WWE to once again become a professional wrestler.

    Instantly, he was the biggest star in Vince McMahon’s universe. It was a part-time gig that allowed him to greatly reduce his travel while also increasing his paycheck. It’s not a bad life if you can get it: Work less and be paid more.

    When he finally felt he was fully healthy, thoughts of returning to the UFC bubbled up because nothing else could deliver that sense of satisfaction for him.

  • Top 10 knockouts since UFC 100

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 2 mths ago

    Seeing an amazing knockout at a UFC fight is the easy part. The hard part is picking between them.

    There were literally dozens of bouts that could be chosen for the 10 best knockouts since UFC 100.

    I pared the list down to 25 before making the final 10. Undoubtedly, you’re not going to agree with my picks. That’s fine, because there is an argument to be made for many more other than the ones I chose.

    Here are my top 10:

    10. Thiago Santos KO1 Steve Bosse, UFC Fight Night 70 – This fight ended in just 29 seconds and was as definitive of a finish as you’ll ever see.

    Bosse was moving forward, and preparing to throw a punch. Santos braced on his right leg and caught Bosse with a perfectly placed kick to the head, knocking the Canadian cold. The shin landed right on the jaw and Bosse never knew what hit him.

    9. Thomas Almeida KO2 Brad Pickett, UFC 189 – Pickett attempted a flying knee on Almeida, who saw it coming and danced out of the way. Seconds later, Almeida tried his own and the fight soon ended.

    It was as shocking of a finish as any on this list.


  • UFC 200: Is Jon Jones still the same dominant fighter of old?

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 mths ago

    LAS VEGAS – The biggest fight on the biggest card of the UFC’s biggest week also showcases its biggest question mark.

    Interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will bid to regain his championship Saturday when he meets champ Daniel Cormier in a title unification bout in the main event of UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena in a fight that should go a long way to answering two of the sport’s most pressing questions:

    • Is Jones still the dominant athlete he was from 2011 to 2015, when he won the world title, defeated six current, former or future UFC champions and went 9-0 in one of the great runs ever?

    • Has Jones finally solved his turbulent personal life and fixed the issues that seemed to be the only thing that could threaten to end his reign as MMA’s finest fighter?

    It is somehow appropriate that Jones is in the main event on this card, which will be the culmination of a wild 72 hours in which the UFC will stage 33 bouts, including five title fights, and will feature 11 current or former champions.

    With all due respect to Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre, there has never been a champion as talented, accomplished and as seemingly unbeatable as Jones.

    We’ll see.

  • Yahoo Sports' Top 10: Best fighters since UFC 100

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago

    (Editor's note: Yahoo Sports will be rolling out a new list of its favorite moments and figures each weekday i n anticipation of UFC 200. First up: Top 10 best fighters.)

    In the nearly seven years since UFC 100 on July 11, 2009, there have been 227 events held and hundreds of fighters have fought at least one time.

    There remains little doubt, however, about the greatest among them.

    Jon Jones fought at UFC 100 and will meet Daniel Cormier on July 9 in the main event of UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the undisputed light heavyweight title.

    Jones had an eventful six-plus years, as he moved up the rankings, feuded with a former teammate who had been a mentor, was blamed for the first cancelation of an event in UFC history, failed a drug test, spent time in jail, lost his major corporate sponsor, was stripped of his world title and brawled with Cormier in the lobby of a hotel following a news conference.

    What’s most remarkable about all that is that the controversy had no impact upon his performance in the Octagon. Since UFC 100 and heading into his bout next month against Cormier, Jones had 14 bouts.

    Here is my list, from 10 to 1, of the greatest fighters since UFC 100:

  • Travis Browne believes he should get title shot if he beats Cain Velasquez

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago

    During International Fight Week in Las Vegas next month, the UFC is putting on four world title bouts and one interim title match.

    In Travis Browne’s mind, though, it should be five title bouts. That’s because the 6-foot-7 Hawaiian sees his match with Cain Velasquez, which will kick off the main card of UFC 200 on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena, as a title fight.

    Browne has been near the top of the heavyweight division for years, but hasn’t quite earned that coveted shot yet despite a 9-3-1 UFC mark and eight finishes.

    The one failing Browne has had in a division where the title flips hands with regularity is losing at the wrong time.

    Most significantly, he was routed by Fabricio Werdum on April 19, 2014, in a title eliminator bout, losing a stunningly wide unanimous decision. He was a 2-to-1 favorite to beat Werdum, but he lost and Werdum went on to capture the title.

    But he was an underdog to Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett and won both of those impressively.

    Browne gives little credence to that. The competition is elite, and closely matched. And he said it is difficult for an outsider to fully comprehend what goes into getting ready to fight a world-class opponent.

  • Shawn Porter ready to seize spotlight after years of being 'the other guy'

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago

    Shawn Porter is one of the great guys in boxing, a genuine and unassuming man who is as likeable as he is talented. He was an extraordinary amateur, winning 276 of 290 fights and just missed out on making the U.S. Olympic boxing team.

    As a pro, he’s won a world title and is 26-1-1, and has the kind of entertaining style that fans love.

    Porter outboxed and outhustled Adrien Broner in his last outing, a unanimous decision victory in Las Vegas that was televised by NBC, but post-fight, the story was more about Broner’s failings than Porter’s abilities.

    A win on Saturday in his CBS-televised bout against Keith Thurman, though, will change things dramatically.

    Porter will go from being the other guy to the guy if he hands the unbeaten Thurman his first defeat.

    They meet on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for Thurman’s WBA belt in a bout that boxing fans have hotly anticipated for the better part of the last year.

    They will meet in the first bout televised in primetime on CBS since Muhammad Ali fought Leon Spinks in 1978.

    Porter is always highly motivated regardless of external forces, but following Ali has lit a fire under him.

  • Cat Zingano eager for return after 'humbling' Ronda Rousey loss, ensuing time away

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago

    The question for Cat Zingano was easy: Why have you been away from competition for so long? The answer, perhaps not unexpectedly, was hard.

    Zingano hasn’t fought since she submitted to a Ronda Rousey arm bar at UFC 184 on Feb. 28, 2015, in just 14 seconds at the height of Rousey-Mania.

    A decade-long dream of making it to the top, as well as years of sweat, suffering and sacrifice went poof in about the time it takes to get from the bed to the toaster in the morning.

    She hasn’t been seen since, though she’ll return to take on Julianna Peña on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the biggest show of the year and, quite possibly, in MMA history.

    The big stage will be a prime opportunity for Zingano to make amends, to remind folks who may have forgotten that she has finished both current champion Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes, who will fight for the bantamweight title on the loaded UFC 200 main card.

    Zingano submitted Tate in 2013 and Nunes in 2014, both in the third round, and took that momentum, as well as an undefeated record, into the bout with Rousey.

    But before she could do any of that, she needed to make sure she sorted her personal life out.

  • Canelo and Triple-G agree to fight, but you're going to have to wait for it

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 mths ago

    Promoters Oscar De La Hoya and Tom Loeffler met in Los Angeles at the Golden Boy Promotions offices on Wednesday to discuss putting together the long-awaited title fight between linear middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and WBA/WBC/IBF champion Gennady Golovkin.

    No deal was signed, though De La Hoya, who promotes Alvarez, tweeted following the meeting that the promoters had agreed verbally for Alvarez and Golovkin in September 2017.

    On Tuesday, Tom Loeffler came to @GoldenBoyBoxing's offices and we agreed that the mega fight between @canelo and GGG would occur next fall

    Fans have been clamoring for the fight for nearly a year, but the drumbeat picked up intensity on Nov. 21 after Alvarez defeated Miguel Cotto to win the WBC and linear middleweight belts.

    But Loeffler, who promotes Golovkin, stressed there is still no deal.

    The 15-month delay of pushing the bout to 2017 will allow Alvarez to get comfortable fighting as a fully fledged middleweight and to help Golovkin build his name.

  • Richard Schaefer creates Ringstar Sports, back in promotional business

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 mths ago

    After an 18-month absence, Richard Schaefer is back in the business of promoting boxing.

    The former Golden Boy CEO, who bitterly split with the company in January 2015, created a company he called Ringstar Sports and is in the process of building a staff and seeking out fighters.

    A prominent Swiss banker, Schaefer joined forces with Oscar De La Hoya in 2000 to build Golden Boy Promotions. He eventually became the CEO of the company and led it to become one of the major players in the business.

    He parted ways with Golden Boy last year and, as part of a confidential settlement that ended a lawsuit between the sides, he remained out of boxing for 18 months before starting Ringstar.

    Schaefer has no staff or fighters currently under contract. He said not only is he open to working once again with Al Haymon, the powerful boxing manager who created the Premier Boxing Champions, but he expects to have substantive talks with him soon.