News in Boxing Boxing news, schedule, fight dates, previews, odds, predictions and results. We celebrate the legacy of all things boxing and provide health & fitness coverage Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:01:33 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb McGregor vs Alvarez odds: Too close for comfort? McGregor vs Alvarez odds: Too close for comfort?
Any true fight fan knows that the odds ultimately tell the story of an upcoming bout.

By simply looking at numbers, fans and experts can dissect a fight and can understand how close a fight will be, what is expected, and how the sportsbooks are predicting the fight to conclude.

(Image courtesy of the top MMA site,

Right now, the story is UFC 205's main event between Featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and its virtually pick 'em odds

As of today, October 20, 2016, 5dimes has McGregor as a slight favorite.

  • Conor McGregor -150
  • Eddie Alvarez +120

This is a bit unusual considering McGregor is fighting at 155 pounds for the first time in his UFC career (even though he fought at 170 his last two fights).

While the experts will likely have their money on Eddie Alvarez, the general public will surely and overwhelmingly have their money on McGregor, the A-side.

As the fight gets closer, expect this line to inflate a bit towards McGregor. And when fight time rolls around, McGregor could be as high as a -180 favorite, if not higher.

The McGregor vs Alvarez odds are similar to Conor's most recent fight, his rematch with Nate Diaz. Many experts picked Diaz even though the overall odds favored Conor McGregor.


McGregor vs Alvarez
UFC 205

Date: Nov 12, 2016
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Location: New York City

Title: Lightweight
Champion: Alvarez


Fact: Even though Alvarez is the Lightweight champion, he's relatively unknown to the casual audience. Many don't know Alvarez, who signed with UFC just 2 years ago, has been considered a top 5 Lightweight for nearly 10 years. In fact, Alvarez has been crowned the "Underground King" because of it.

Are the McGregor vs Diaz odds well-placed? And should the champion, Alvarez, be the favorite?

]]> (Mark Weber) News Fri, 21 Oct 2016 01:57:04 +0000
Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua: The real reason it won't happen in 2016 Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua: The real reason it won't happen in 2016
It would seem as though the highly anticipated, dream Heavyweight match-up between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua is exactly that...just a least within the calendar year of 2016.

What was once viewed as a realistic and imminent showdown between two of the sport's best big men, has become a mere figment of every disgruntled fight fan's imagination.


According to promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports, both fighters "want" the fight to materialize, and appear to agree on the majority of terms proposed by the two respective camps.

So what happened?

Ego and individual financial clout is what ultimately doomed this proposed pairing for the time being.

It's been regurgitated by many media outlets that Wladimir desperately wants to compete for the Super WBA distinction as well as Joshua's existing IBF championship, as the reason why this once alleged "confirmed" deal seemingly fell apart at the eleventh hour.

If anyone believes this story, they'll believe pretty much any outlandish rumor currently floating around the boxing community.

When a fighter is as accomplished as Wladimir Klitschko, and remains one of the world's top financial draws within boxing, belts become irrelevant. The 40 year old, future Hall of Famer doesn't need the WBA or any sanctioning organization to sell any of his potential events; especially one opposite a legitimate attraction like Anthony Joshua.

Although Wladimir has used the sanctioning organizations as a tool to determine his opposition over the last decade or so, he doesn't need the various alphabet soup titles to sell his brand.

Even in the apparent twilight of his career, Klitschko remains one of the biggest money makers in boxing.

What's great about this pairing is ultimately what's stalling it as well.

In an industry which seems dependent on the strength of its match-ups, the two fighters in question are genuine superstars who don't need a thrilling B-side, or an ostensibly imposing adversary to sell out an arena.

We've seen both Wladimir Klitschko and Joshua pack the house while facing lesser offense to anyone named Kubrat Pulev, Charles Martin, Dominic Breazeale, or Alex Leapai.

The two Heavyweight commodities would be just fine financially with or without an eventual meeting on their respective resumes.

Was it unrealistic to think that a match-up between two industry behemoths like Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua could be put together within just a couple of weeks?


It's all about compromise and concession within the time honored sport. The business of boxing is and never has been about pugilism...the fight game should be more accurately called, "Let's Make a Deal"...especially within today's level of business transparency.

Just like the painstaking process in which Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez was eventually made, the younger and lesser accomplished IBF champion should be willing to make greater concessions just to make this fight happen.

Is it fair?

The question is irrelevant in this scenario, just as it was when bringing up the aforementioned Cotto vs. Canelo example.

Although Canelo was arguably the bigger ratings draw and the greater ticket seller leading into the belabored negotiations with the future Hall of Fame, four-division world champion, the young Mexican needed Cotto's moniker on his resume to seemingly escalate his career to the next level of mainstream success. Did Miguel Cotto need Canelo to elevate his respective brand? Absolutely no

So Canelo and his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, made whatever "reasonable" concessions necessary to Team Cotto just to make the clamored match-up a reality. Although Alvarez was the bigger attraction at the time, Cotto took home the lion's share of the purse split and demanded the fight be held in a neutral setting, which was the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Would it have made more sense to stage the "Mexico vs. Puerto Rico" rivalry match-up in front of tens of thousands more at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas?

Of course.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and Canelo desperately wanted a fight against Miguel Cotto.

The same can be said in the case of Wladimir Klitschko versus Anthony Joshua.

Did Hearn and company really think Wladimir Klitschko would be fine competing for Anthony's belt in Manchester, England, where Wlad would be fighting in an unusually hostile setting?

And because Joshua would potentially be defending his IBF trinket in his backyard, where he would be the bigger attraction and the primary ticket seller, I'm sure Hearn rationalized taking a greater chunk of the suggested purse as well.

Is it any wonder why Wladimir, a future, first ballot Hall of Famer and an all-time great heavyweight fighter, is choosing to face Lucas Browne next in Germany instead?

Although the 40 year old attraction would ultimately be taking the assignment for considerably less money, Klitschko more than likely will be facing the Aussie based Heavyweight for the WBA title on December 10...because he can.

How many opportunities is Anthony Joshua going to have throughout his entire career to square off against a Heavyweight as revered and accomplished as Wladimir Klitschko?

When looking at the current landscape of the Heavyweight division, probably never.

A match-up opposite Klitschko is a once in a career type of endeavor for the young Briton.

Wake up, Eddie Hearn!!! Although Anthony Joshua is the current IBF champ and a legitmate draw, give the Heavyweight ring legend his due and make the match-up a reality. Concede...and concede some more.

Your fighter will ultimately be better off as a result.

]]> (Joseph Herron) News Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:35:21 +0000
Floyd Mayweather vs GGG: Elite trainer likes Money May's chances Floyd Mayweather vs GGG: Elite trainer likes Money May's chances
It was reported last Friday, October 14, that former pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. was back in the gym, sparring publicly for the first time since announcing his retirement in September of 2015.

A former world champion and current fight coach from Southern California interprets the activity as a sign of an inevitable Mayweather comeback in 2017.

"I'm not surprised," trainer Robert Garcia recently stated to "Everybody already expected him to make a comeback. If he is, I'm hoping he fights Triple G."

After a year layoff from professional ring activity, as well as consistent world class training and sparring, would a fight with one of the top current pound for pound fighters in boxing be a wise choice for his historic 50th bout?

Although assessments of his recent Vegas gym session are mixed, Garcia believes fight fans should expect to see a very sharp and precise version of Money May if he does return next year.

"Floyd Mayweather can comeback whenever he wants," stated the two-time trainer of the year. "He could wait a year from now and still comeback. He still has all of the reflexes, and is still healthy. Floyd is always sharp and he's always in shape. He's not one of those guys who gains 30 pounds or anything like that, so he's always in shape. I'm sure he looked good on Friday."

But picking a fight with a top 147 pound fighter is a completely different assignment than taking on the perceived best of the Middleweight division...especially someone with the power and physical durability of Gennady Golovkin.

Coach Garcia believes Mayweather should take on GGG if he decides to come out of retirement in 2017. After watching Kell Brook enjoy several moments of success in his losing effort against the most feared Middleweight on the planet, the astute boxing trainer feels Floyd can outbox Gennady Golovkin...even at age 40.

"I hope he does comeback and take on Golovkin. He could beat Triple G. I think he could beat Triple G, and that would be a bad-ass win!"

Many critics and observers believe a Mayweather victory over GGG at age 40 would cement Floyd's place in history as a genuine "TBE" candidate. Would a decisive or even a controversial win over Golovkin at this stage of Money May's career make a convincing "greatest of all-time" argument? Or would most critics come to the conclusion that GGG was indeed a product of hype?

Garcia believes it would make for an appropriate ending to an already legendary career.

"It would be a bad-ass win, and the perfect cherry on top for Floyd."

]]> (Joseph Herron) News Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:41:24 +0000
Manny Pacquiao vs Barrera shocker: Roach recalls his favorite bout Manny Pacquiao vs Barrera shocker: Roach recalls his favorite bout
In less than three weeks, future Hall of Fame fight legend Manny Pacquiao will enter the professional ring for the 67th time, as he takes on current WBO Welterweight title holder Jessie Vargas at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When reflecting on the Pacman's illustrious two-decade career in boxing, head trainer and Hall of Fame fight coach Freddie Roach recently singled out a specific performance as his personal favorite since joining forces with the Filipino typhoon in 2001.

"Barrera 1," Freddie stated to FightHub TV. "My favorite fight of all time. It was great."

In November 2003, a young Manny Pacquiao traveled to the renowned Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and upset pound for pound favorite Marco Antonio Barrera in his first assignment within the stacked Featherweight division. Not only did the Philippines Senator defeat the 4 to 1 betting favorite, but the Pacman became the first and only fighter to stop the Mexican fight legend within the distance.

In the mind of the seven-time trainer of the year, the singular performance made Manny Pacquiao a legitmate force within the sport of boxing.

"I thought that really made him [Manny] a superstar," states Roach. "Ledwaba was a great win, but not too many people remember (former IBF Super Bantamweight champion) Lehlo Ledwaba. That fight in Texas...that was a good night."

Leading into the landmark bout in Texas, Marco Antonio Barrera put together an impressive string of eight consecutive victories, including career defining wins over Prince Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales, Kevin Kelley, and the late Johnny Tapia. Not only was MAB becoming one of the biggest names in the sport, but the two division world champion had recently signed a lucrative, multi-fight contract with the newly formed Golden Boy Promotions.

Freddie remembers how important the 11 round KO was in building the legacy and reputation of the Filipino superstar.

"I remember when Barrera knocked Manny down in the first round. It was a kind of a slip, but they counted it as a knockdown. I didn't see it and I said, 'oh s**t'. "

"I was trying to get settled in the corner, I looked up and the referee was already counting over Manny. I said, 'oh my God, is it over?' Then we saw Manny go out and stop him in the eleventh round."

"That was one of my best fights with Manny Pacquiao."

But where does the impressive and seemingly improbable stoppage victory rank all-time among Pacman's most memorable KO performances?

"Ricky Hatton was probably the best KO ever, but that fight with Barrera was a great fight. I love that fight."

Does Senator Pacquiao still have the hunger, willingness, and ability to put forth another awe-inspiring performance at age 37?

Fight fans will find out if Manny is still capable of being "Manny" on November 5.

]]> (Joseph Herron) News Wed, 19 Oct 2016 19:21:00 +0000
Shannon Briggs exposes David Haye in entertaining video? Shannon Briggs exposes David Haye in entertaining video?
Set to return in December, it appears David Haye won't face Shannon Briggs next.

In 2014, former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs generated a lot of buzz and momentum with a well-orchestrated return to the ring after a 3 1/2-year hiatus. During a 7-month span that year, Briggs would fight and win 6 times, earning 5 knockouts in the process.

His antics, including his obsessively bizarre stalking of then heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, a new rippling physique, the popular 'Let's Go Champ' movement and a series of devastating knockouts earned the then 42-year-old a lot of press.

Now 44, Shannon Briggs (60-6, 1, 53 KO) is 9-0 on his comeback and has recorded seven first-round stoppages while David Haye returned after a long hiatus to quickly and impressively dispatch Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj.

Haye vs Briggs would be huge but perhaps the Brit wants one more fight before taking on the dangerous 'Canon?'

Shannon, of course, is convinced David is running from him.

In a recent and highly entertaining video produced by Tru School Sports, Shannon Briggs said:

"Your boy David Haye went on IFL TV ... and was talking crazy..."

"He [said he] thought once he won the title, it [Haye vs Briggs] would be a bigger fight."

"These are all lies. You're lying to your fan base."

"You're a coward and a liar. That was never discussed. We were gonna fight for nothing [no title], Champ."

"Now we got the network, Champ. Don't sit here and lie to the people."

"There's a network available... You just don't wanna fight!"

Tough words from a tough man.

Combine his poise with his strength, punching power and vast amateur and professional experience, and a focused, disciplined, well-conditioned Shannon Briggs could spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for any heavyweight, including David Haye.

Although Shannon would be the clear underdog, he still possesses crippling power and, as a result, has a 'puncher's chance' against any heavyweight. Power is the last thing to leave an aging fighter. Moreover, and at this moment, Haye's ability to absorb punishment is questionable. Hence, David doesn't get whacked often.... But we know Shannon has a great chin, something that may serve him well against the explosive, quicker 'Hayemaker.'

As for Haye, Briggs, past his prime or not, would give him tremendous momentum on his comeback should he win.

Is David Haye and Co. running from Shannon Briggs?

]]> (Lee Cleveland) News Sun, 16 Oct 2016 17:54:46 +0000
Klitschko vs Joshua prediction: "He's scared to get hit" Klitschko vs Joshua prediction:
Who will win the high-profile superfight between Wladimir Klitschko and IBF belt holder Anthony Joshua in December?

Deontay Wilder and David Haye predict a Joshua victory... Shall we add Shannon Briggs (60-6, 1, 53 KO) to the list?

"It's not too early for's a great fight...once you're scared to get hit, anything can happen," the former heavyweight champion told the elite boxing site recently.

"We've seen in the last fight (with Klitschko), he's scared to get hit."

"...He's [Wladimir Klitschko] no longer relevant...this is a great time for Anthony to step up and possibly knock the guy out."

Without offering a direct prediction, Briggs seems to suggest Wladimir Klitschko doesn't have the fire to defeat Anthony Joshua.

Briggs, of course, who is 9-0 with 8 KOs since his comeback started in April 2014, publicly stalked and taunted Wlad for over a year, hoping to generate enough buzz to create the groundswell for a potential Klitschko vs Briggs showdown.

Is Shannon still upset because Wladimir didn't give him a title shot?

Perhaps... But Briggs makes a fine point as Wladimir’s ultra conservative style is symbolic of a fighter who is a little too concerned about getting punched.

Late, great fight trainer Emanuel Steward used to plead with Klitschko in the corner bewteen rounds, "Let your hands go!"

Wladimir has been tentative for quite some time but against Tyson Fury in 2015, Klitschko fought with the level of cautiousness of a soldier walking through a mind field. Hit, hug, hold and pose... Pose, hold, hug and pose more.

Wlad's output was hideous as he landed a dreadful 52 punches and 8 power shots in the entire 12 rounds. And when he finally exhibited some semblance of aggression in the final two rounds, he was seemingly hurt by subsequent Fury combinations.

Was Wlad protecting a weak chin? If so, will his conscientiousness and concern force him to clam up when he faces the explosive Anthony Joshua in December?

Tyson Fury, himself, who participated in a Klitschko training camp in 2010, accused Wlad of being mentally weak last fall.

"He was very worried about fighting Dereck Chisora, who was unbeaten at the time and was the British and Commonwealth champion," Fury told the BBC in 2015.

"He was very afraid; he was very mentally weak. I remember seeing him so uptight about things and I walked over to him and said: 'Wlad... he can't beat me, never mind you. You're the champion.'"

In Klitschko's defense, he ended up taking a much bigger fight with a more-dangerous David Haye.

However, Wlad, ever since getting knocked out by Corrie Sanders in 2003, has been extremely tentative in the ring. And yes, despite all of his accomplishments, he's often fought like a fighter 'worried.'

Is Wladimir Klitschko, a man with awesome punching power of his own, an offensively- limited fighter these days because he's too concerned with being punched?

]]> (Lee Cleveland) News Sun, 16 Oct 2016 15:54:38 +0000
Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua odds: Perplexing or accurate? Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua odds: Perplexing or accurate?
It's all but confirmed... IBF heavyweight belt holder Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KO) will face 40-year-old former dominant, long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO) in December.

Matchroom Sport will make it official early next week.

Klitschko vs Joshua will serve as Wlad's first bout in 13 months, when his 10-year win streak and heavyweight title reign came to an end in unspectacular fashion.
Taller and with a longer reach, a spry 6'9" Tyson Fury outboxed Wlad over twelve dismal rounds.

Wladimir had been training for an October 29th rematch showdown with Fury but that bout was once again cancelled as Tyson is on a hiatus from boxing to focus on drug addiction recovery.

Given Fury's inactive status and the fact he's been stripped of his titles, the winner of Wladmir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua will probably be viewed as the consensus heavyweight champion of the world.

So who do you like this fight?

WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder and former champ David Haye think Joshua's youth and athleticism will be too much for the 20-year-old presumably shopworn former champion but trainer Abel Sanchez, Gennady Golovkin's mentor, thinks Klitschko has the edge due to his vast experience iver his 24 year old foe.

What are the oddsmakers saying?

Klitschko vs Joshua odds

As of today (Oct 15) and according to, Joshua is 4 to 5 favorite while Wladimir, for the first time in years, is the underdog at 6 to 5.
Has Klitschko ever been an underdog? Perhaps this will be a first if it holds.

The odds: Accurate or perplexing?

A sure hall of famer, Wladimir Klitschko has faced better opponents and has made a successful living beating up top contenders, fight after fighter, year after year. Although not always entertaining, Klitschko was dominant throughout during most of his long reign as champion. In fact, Wladimir looked every bit of an all-time great in his prime when defeating Alex Leapai and Kubrat Pulev in 2014, not long ago.

Should he be the underdog?

Anthony Joshua is unbeaten and has looked superb but hasn't faced a fighter of Wlad's experience, athleticism and pedigree.

What are oddsmakers looking at?

At this moment, we know a lot more about Klitschko than we do Anthony Joshua. As a result, the odds are more reflective of Wlad than Anthony.

Despite his record of dominance, a 78 percent knockout ration and the fact he's lost only one fight in 10 years, rest-assured oddsmakers are placing a lot of emphasis on Wladimir Klitschko's last two performances coupled with his age.

Klitschko vs Jennings
His April 2015 win over Bryant Jennings was a bout only non-violence advocates and Greenpeace would appreciate. Left jab, hold...Clinch....Left jab, hold...Clinch.... Left jab, right hand, hold.

After being repeatedly by referee Michael Griffin for clinching, Wlad was finally deducted a point in the 10th but it didn't matter because Klitschko's lone jab was more than enough to secure the win because some semblance of offense trumps no offense.

Klitschko vs Fury
And in his most recent bout against Tyson Fury, it was the same ol' story... Hit, hug and hold. Actually, Wlad was far worse that night, landing a dreadful 52 punches and 8 power shots in the entire 12 rounds.

Only in the final round did Klitschko, who had been told by his trainer six rounds earlier he was blowing the match, take a chance and start to unleash some heat on his foe. But Wlad's efforts were too little, too late.

There was little sense of urgency nor creativity, and usually-careful Wladimir Klitschko took caution to another level. Not only did Wlad fall short, the world class hunger and courage showcased by legends like Ali, Marciano and Holyfield was nowhere to be found in Wlad's arsenal that night.

On paper, Wladimir Klitschko should be the favorite. And rational thinking suggests Anthony may not yet be ready for a fighter of Klitschko's experience and polish. But it's obvious oddsmakers think Wlad's dismal performances in 2015 are no coincidence and that they are reflective of a fighter who is on the downslide of his career.

]]> (Lee Cleveland) News Sun, 16 Oct 2016 01:55:49 +0000
Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas: Brandon Rios shares key overlooked intangible Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas: Brandon Rios shares key overlooked intangible
When comparing and contrasting fighters' strengths and weaknesses heading into a bout, we often evaluate experience levels, height and reach, age, punching power, quality of opposition, technique, speed, and ring IQ.

After all, a proper analysis of the above factors can often help fans determine which fighter may have the upper hand in a match-up. However, there are intangibles we fail to take into account, and some are more significant than others.

One key element we often overlook in superfights is a fighter's experience on that stage.

Sparring at a gym in front 50 people is much different than fighting in front of 5,000 in an auditorium. And fighting a legend in a high stakes main event of a PPV is much different than fighting a peer-level opponent on subscriber HBO.


Manny Pacquiao vs
Jessie Vargas PPV

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 9PM ET/6PM PT
Network: Top Rank
Cost: $69.99 (not confirmed)

Will a fighter who is fighting on boxing's biggest stage for the first time become tense or anxiety-ridden because he's awed or overcome by the moment? If so, how will it impact his performance?

Conversely, how much of an advantage does a fighter who has frequented the big stage often have over an opponent who has never fought in a similar situation?

When Jessie Vargas faces Manny Pacquiao next month, it'll be unlike anything the former has experienced to date. Sure, he fought Tim Bradley on subscriber HBO; But now he'll be fighting a sports legend in the main event of a high-profile PPV card.

Recently, former Pacquiao foe Brandon Rios admitted he was overcome by the situation in his Fall 2013 showdown with Manny. And while Brandon stopped well short of using that as an excuse for losing, he suggested he could have given Manny a better challenge had he not been overwhelmed by the moment and Pacquiao’s stature.

"Anxiety, anxious...just's hard to explain get nerves never went away during the Pacquiao fight," Rios recently told

"I had goosebumps the whole fight."

"I thought my nerves would go away in the Pacquiao fight. They never went away," an animated Rios added.

"I just couldn't believe I was fighting a f**k*n' legend like him."

"He f**k*d me up. I give him credit. But ... it's hard to explain. It was like WOW!"

No matter how much Jessie Vargas trains for Manny, there's nothing that can prepare him for that 'WOW' moment when he steps in the ring with the legendary Pacquiao November 5.

How will Vargas react in the moment? Will he be a ball of nerves? Or will he overcome that obstacle and rise to the occasion?

No matter what Jessie Vargas says, Manny Pacquiao isn't just another opponent for him and Pacquiao vs Vargas won't be just another fight.


]]> (Lee Cleveland) News Sat, 15 Oct 2016 23:31:40 +0000
Ward vs Kovalev odds: Boxer gets the nod in even match-ups Ward vs Kovalev odds: Boxer gets the nod in even match-ups
In boxing, how often do we see two unbeaten, top 5 pound-for-pound champions who are believed to be in their primes get the opportunity to face one another?

That's what we're getting with Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev next month.

There have been some quality light heavyweight match-ups since the division's inception, but few have had the potential to capture the imagination of the public like Ward vs Kovalev.

This fight is one of the best match-ups over the last ten years and the biggest, most significant fight of 2016, and will certainly make its mark in the annals of light heavyweight history.

Ward vs Kovalev odds

Since this bout was confirmed, Ward, the challenger, has been a near-unanimous slight favorite. Barring any shocking developments, expect Andre to enter the ring as a tight favorite.

“I really believe this could end up being a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate," Jay Rood, Vice President of Race & Sports for MGM Resorts International, recently told

"Usually fighters in good form don’t meet up. Because of that, this fight opened close, has remained so and, most likely, will close so."

"It’s not very often that a fight in Las Vegas that’s this significant is this close in terms of odds. Ward opened at -145 and he now is at -150. I don’t believe it will change much from here.”

Hence, a $150 bet on Ward would yield a $100 net.

Why is Ward the favorite?

Answer: Experts tend to think the safer money is with the perceived natural boxer or technician.

“The public is perceiving this fight, right or wrong, as ‘Boxer vs. Puncher,'” added Rood. “Usually the boxer draws the ‘sharp’ action. Most of the ‘sharp’ money will be on the boxer,” Rood added.

True to form, should Ward vs Kovalev go the distance, many believe the natural boxer, Ward, would have the advantage. After all, boxing is a hit-and-don't-get-hit endeavor, and judges tend to favor ring artistry over brute force; Relatively-speaking of course.

Sugar Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler (1987) is a fine example of a close fight between two top fighters with contrasting styles. A case could probably be made for either fighter winning. But not surprisingly, Leonard, the fighter with the smoother, more technical style, convinced 2 of the 3 judges he'd done enough to win.

In a match-up between a technical boxer and brutish brawler, the former, whether the favorite or underdog, will usually get a small bump in the odds.

... But is Andre Ward the consummate boxer?

]]> (Lee Cleveland) News Sat, 15 Oct 2016 19:15:47 +0000
Cocaine treatment and weight gain: Tyson Fury beware Cocaine treatment and weight gain: Tyson Fury beware
Earlier this week, lineal heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury was forced to relinquish his titles, and his boxing license was subsequently suspended.

Fury, of course, is expected to go on a hiatus while being treated for cocaine addiction.

And while some in boxing insist Tyson will return better than ever, addiction recovery can be challenging for obvious reasons.

Fury's body will yearn for the pleasure chemicals produced in excess by cocaine. When his body doesn't get that 'high' it so desperately wants, and 'low' of sorts sets in and an addict may temporarily plunge into a chemically-starved depression while experiencing bouts of fatigue, slowed thinking and sluggishness.

One often-overlooked side effect experienced by recovering addicts is profound weight gain. And given Tyson struggled a bit with his weight earlier in his career and sometimes gets flabby between fights, the recovering champion certainly may not be immune to this peculiar yet sometimes profound side effect.

Weight gain is a common complication of treatment for cocaine addiction, and an athlete's potentially negative reaction to their increasing body weight doesn't make avoiding relapses easy.

It's inevitable, and perhaps healthy, for someone to gain a few pounds during the recovery process. However, athletes without the gift of ultra-charged metabolisms, like Tyson Fury, must be wary about the prospect of gaining too much weight. Not only is it unhealthy, the weight becomes yet another obstacle a recovering addict must overcome, especially if someone is a celebrity and/or is already conscientious about their body image.

Why the weight gain?

For starters, cocaine use speeds the metabolism while inducing appetite suppression and a preference for high-fat foods. Hence, an addict may consume only 1,200 calories of junk food daily but she/he losses weight because their daily caloric intake (when using cocaine) is 1,000 calories less than their typical (pre-cocaine) diet, and they benefit from the drug's ability to naturally reduce fat.

“We were surprised how little body fat the cocaine users had in light of their reported consumption of fatty food. It seems that regular cocaine abuse directly interferes with metabolic processes and thereby reduces body fat. This imbalance between fat intake and fat storage may also explain why these individuals gain so much weight when they stop using cocaine,” Dr. Karen Ersche from the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cambridge told

(Cocaine, however, can eventually stunt a person’s metabolism following long-term use)

After use of the drug ceases, an addict's normal appetite returns and the body’s metabolism slows, returning to its normal function. However, a cocaine-induced preference for high-fat foods lingers for some time, according to a March 2015 report in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse from the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge.

In sum, the addict's body, which had become accustomed to functioning off of 1,200 calories daily, is temporarily shocked and overwhelmed when a recovering addict starts consuming 2,200 calories daily, again.

Couple that with the lingering craving for high fat foods, the loss of a super-charged metabolism and reduced physical activity due to lethargy, and it's easy to understand why weight gain often accompanies cocaine treatment.

“Notable weight gain following cocaine abstinence is not only a source of major personal suffering but also has profound implications for health and recovery,” added Dr. Ersche.

“Intervention at a sufficiently early stage could have the potential to prevent weight gain during recovery, thereby reducing personal suffering and improving the chances of recovery.”

During Tyson Fury's road back, his team shouldn't underestimate the importance of keeping his weight gain to a 'healthy' minimum; Especially given the champ seemingly already has a mild penchant for being a little chubby.

]]> (Lee Cleveland) News Sat, 15 Oct 2016 16:47:17 +0000