Kevin Iole

  • Now a rival, Floyd Mayweather once cheered hard for Manny Pacquiao

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 hrs ago

    They're now bitter rivals and their fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand has created a huge gulf between their fan bases. But on Jan. 21 2006, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was cheering Manny Pacquiao on during a rematch with Erik Morales in a super featherweight fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

    At the time, Mayweather had just begun preparations for a welterweight title bout against Zab Judah on April 6, 2006, and no one could imagine that a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight could ever be feasible, let alone become the highest-grossing fight of all-time.

    Mayweather and Pacquiao finally meet in a welterweight title fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand that will set all sorts of financial records.

    Mayweather is expected to make at least $180 million and could make as much as $200 million after proceeds of the pay-per-view sales are tabulated. Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said it hasn't been determined what Mayweather's guarantee is yet, but he could get a check on Saturday for as much as $80 million.

    The rematch in 2006 was at the Thomas & Mack Center, the home of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball team.

     

     

  • Manny Pacquiao winding up camp, heading to Las Vegas on Monday

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 5 hrs ago

    Fight week has finally arrived, and if you're on Interstate 15 heading north between Los Angeles and Las Vegas sometime late Monday afternoon, you might catch a glimpse of Manny Pacquiao and his entourage en route to Las Vegas for the mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    Pacquiao has a custom-painted bus he'll be riding in after he finishes his final workout on Monday at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood and begins the trek to Las Vegas to officially start the countdown to Saturday's latest incarnation of boxing's "Fight of the Century."

    Pacquiao is staying at Mandalay Bay, not the MGM Grand where the fight is being held. And to this point, he's not planning to make a public appearance at the MGM until the final news conference on Wednesday. He was slated to attend the grand arrival ceremonies on Tuesday at the MGM but his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, is feuding with MGM officials and decided to have Pacquiao skip the arrival.

     

  • 'Mighty Mouse' sets unbreakable record, gets arm bar with a second left

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 15 hrs ago

    The final nine seconds of the main event of UFC 186 on Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal was all that was needed to define the brilliance of Demetrious Johnson.

    Johnson had his fight with Kyoji Horiguchi well in hand, and clearly was going to rack up his sixth consecutive successful flyweight title defense in the main event of UFC 186 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

    Johnson once again showed his amazing all-around ability. He's exceptionally fast, but there isn't one other trait that makes him feared. He's not the hardest hitter. He doesn't have the best submissions. He's not the greatest wrestler.

    Not only are there few fighters whose technique is as good as Johnson's, but there are even fewer who improve fight-to-fight the way Johnson does.

    And with 10 seconds left Saturday, he had Horiguchi in a crucifix. Johnson could have held him there and would have gone on to take a wide unanimous decision victory. That, though, wasn't good enough for Johnson.

    "I was being lazy and I heard Matt yelling, 'Arm bar! Arm bar!' " Johnson said. "I said, 'Oh, man, I better do what he says.' I didn't want to get yelled at."

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

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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."