TIME Boxing

Manny Pacquiao Says He Can ‘Easily Beat’ Floyd Mayweather

Mayweather still has to confirm the May 2 match

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao tweeted Tuesday that it’ll be easy to defeat the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, whenever their legendary match actually gets the green light.

Pacquiao didn’t stop there: while he has agreed to the match’s terms, there’s still no word from Mayweather. But Pacquiao wasn’t afraid to call out his silence.

The real delay, though, is the negotiation between Showtime, which broadcasts Mayweather fights, and HBO, which claims the rights to Pacquiao’s matches, on how they’d broadcast the event.

Pacquiao has previously expressed his hope for the match, which would occur on May 2, telling the Los Angeles Times on Monday, “We just want to make that fight happen — for the sake of the fans, for the sake of millions of people around the world who are excited to see that fight. We have a deadline … this month.”

TIME Boxing

Manny Pacquiao: Floyd Mayweather Must Confirm May 2 Fight This Month

Manny Pacquiao, Chris Algieri
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, center, celebrates after defeating WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri of the United States during their welterweight title boxing match at the Venetian Macao in Macau, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 Kin Cheung—AP

HBO/Showtime television deal may be biggest hurdle

Manny Pacquiao has urged Floyd Mayweather to confirm this month if the boxing legends are going to meet in the ring on May 2.

In what would be one of the most anticipated boxing matches in modern history, Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) says he’s already signed on to fight Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) but is just waiting for his opponent to ink the deal, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We just want to make that fight happen — for the sake of the fans, for the sake of millions of people around the world who are excited to see that fight,” Pacquiao said. “We have a deadline … this month.”

The stumbling block for recent negotiations does not appear to be Mayweather’s camp, but rather how Showtime (which broadcasts Mayweather fights) and HBO (which hold the rights to Pacquiao clashes) can both televise what is expected to be among the most lucrative bouts in decades.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME Boxing

First U.S. Heavyweight Champ in 8 Years Deontay Wilder Says It’s Just the Beginning

Bermane Stiverne v Deontay Wilder
Deontay Wilder celebrates after defeating WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wilder took the title by unanimous decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images) Steve Marcus — Getty Images

The Tuscaloosa native is back home in Alabama after his victory over Canada’s Bermane Stiverne

Deontay Wilder arrived home in Alabama Sunday as the newly crowned heavyweight champion of the world, and the first American to lay claim to one of the sporting world’s most prestigious titles in eight years.

Wilder secured the WBC heavyweight title on Saturday night in front of a packed house at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, after delivering a bruising, one-sided whipping to Canada’s Bermane Stiverne to win the belt.

Following the bout, the Bronze Bomber tweeted a portrait of himself in a tuxedo to show off the lack of damage he incurred during the 12-round unanimous victory.

Upon arrival at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Sunday, the champ appeared to have already set his sights on the future.

“This is just the beginning,” Wilder told local media outlets. “It’s a great feeling to be the WBC champ of the world, but there’s more to gain from this.”

Wilder is the first U.S. fighter to win one of boxing’s heavyweight titles since Shannon Briggs lost the WBO belt to Sultan Ibragimov in 2007. Since then, a majority of the world’s heavyweight belts have remained under the domain of Ukraine’s Klitschko brothers.

TIME Boxing

Muhammad Ali Has Been Hospitalized Again

Moet & Chandon At Celebrity Fight Night XIX
Muhammad Ali at Celebrity Fight Night XIX at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix on March 23, 2013. Michael Kovac—Getty Images

The legendary heavyweight is receiving follow-up care days ahead of his 73rd birthday

Boxing icon Muhammad Ali was checked back in to hospital on Thursday for the second time in less than a month for follow-up care, after suffering from a severe urinary-tract infection in December.

Ali was initially hospitalized late last year for what was originally believed to be a mild case of pneumonia, but was later determined to be a urinary tract-infection, reports the Associated Press.

However, the sporting legend is hoping to recover soon and plans to celebrate his 73rd birthday on Saturday at home with his family, said Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

The former world heavyweight champion has kept a lower public profile as of late as he continues his long-running battle with Parkinson’s disease.

[AP]

TIME Boxing

Pacquiao and Mayweather Fight Still Up in the Air

Clash In Cotai II - Manny Pacquiao v Chris Algieri
Manny Pacquiao speaks to media at the postfight press conference after winning against Chris Algieri during the WBO world welterweight title at The Venetian in Macau on Nov. 23, 2014 Chris Hyde—Getty Images

The Filipino boxer’s management says there's still "a long way to go"

Correction appended, Jan. 16, 2015, 10:18 a.m. E.T.

Boxing fans hoping to see the fight of the century between eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather will have to keep waiting.

Earlier this week, Pacman’s publicist Fred Sternburg labeled the negotiations between the fighters as a “process” but said things were headed in a good direction.

“There is still a long way to go,” said Sternburg in a message to the BBC that was shared with TIME. But, he conceded that “the movement has been in a positive direction.”

The potential matchup between arguably two of the greatest welterweights to have ever laced up gloves has been stalled for the better part of eight years because of management feuds, contract disputes and disagreements over drug testing schemes.

[BBC]

Correction: The story has been updated to include the full statement from Pacquiao’s representative. The original version of this story also misidentified Fred Sternburg. He is Manny Pacquiao’s publicist.

TIME Boxing

Muhammad Ali Hospitalized With ‘Mild Case’ of Pneumonia

Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Sept. 27, 2014 in Louisville.
Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Sept. 27, 2014 in Louisville. Stephen J. Cohen—Getty Images

Ali, widely considered the greatest fighter in boxing history, has been hospitalized with a 'mild case' of pneumonia, reports said

Muhammad Ali was hospitalized on Saturday with a mild case of pneumonia, according to NBC News. His prognosis is considered good, as WDRB in Louisville, Ky., reports Ali is in stable condition.

Ali, 72, is widely considered the greatest fighter in boxing history. In 61 fights, he finished 56-5 with 37 knockouts. Ali also won the heavyweight crown three times, the first boxer to do so. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., he changed his name to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam.

Ali has battled Parkinson’s for decades. In October, Rahman Ali reportedly said his brother’s health had declined to the point where he was too ill to speak, according to The Courier-Journal. Ali later refuted the reports on Twitter, as did his family’s spokesman.

“Muhammad is doing fine at this point,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in October. “His speaking style is lower in tone, and as the day goes on, he doesn’t speak as well as he does in the morning. But Muhammad’s a strong person for his age and for the disease he has.”

Mike Fiammetta

TIME celebrities

Mickey Rourke Out-Boxes 29-Year-Old in Return to Ring

Mickey Rourke
US actor Mickey Rourke kisses his glove after beating his opponent Elliot Seymour of the United States, during their professional boxing match at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow on Nov. 28, 2014. Denis Tyrin—AP

The actor says the sport 'sort of saved me from myself'

Actor Mickey Rourke, 62, defeated a 29-year-old opponent in an exhibition boxing match in Moscow Friday.

The Wrestler star hadn’t participated in a boxing match in more than 20 years, the BBC reports, when injuries resulted in corrective surgeries to his face that significantly altered his appearance. While Rourke didn’t explain his decision to return to the ring, he has said that boxing “sort of saved me from myself.”

“I’m very happy to be back to the boxing ring. Thank God for letting me do this,” he said before the fight.

Rourke’s opponent, Elliot Seymour, is a former California Golden Gloves champion.

[BBC]

TIME Boxing

Mike Tyson Says He Was Sexually Abused as a Child

Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Mike Tyson at the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, Aug. 9, 2014 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller—Getty Images

Says an older man "bullied me, sexually abused me"

If you heard that Mike Tyson was visiting Opie and Jim Norton, you’d expect some kind of debauched conversation to take place that was suitable only for a satellite radio audience. Instead, Tyson opened up about his past in a candid and heartfelt way, discussing how an incident from his youth may have shaped him as a man going forward, even if he doesn’t exactly know how.

In his interview, seen below, Tyson discussed how he was snatched up at seven years old by an older man who ‘bullied me, sexually abused me and stuff … snatched me off the street. I was a little kid. Never seen him again.’

One of the saddest parts is toward the end where Tyson claims he doesn’t know how the incident even affected or shaped his youth, and that going back down to examine those times can be a hard, lonely process.

Tyson lived in poverty as a child and never reported this incident, preferring instead to live with it on his own. Given the roller coaster ride that has been Mike Tyson since the early 1990s, it seems the effects of his abuse are incalculable. At least now, years and years removed from this harrowing time, the former heavyweight champion can look back with honesty and perhaps begin to understand how this may have shaped him.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Sports

How Muhammad Ali Won the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’

Rumble in the Jungle illustration
An illustration from TIME's Sept. 23, 1974, fight preview Illustration for TIME by Robert Handeville

The historic fight took place 40 years ago, on Oct. 30, 1974

When TIME sent Nairobi Bureau Chief Lee Griggs to Kinshasa in 1974 to preview the Oct. 30 boxing match that became known as “The Rumble in the Jungle,” it seemed clear that the winning money was not on the favorite. The bout between reigning champion George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, who had previously lost the title after refusing to be drafted into the military, came with the biggest purse in sports history. Both boxers were guaranteed at least $5 million but — though boxing fans worldwide, and especially in the country then called Zaire, were rooting hard for Ali — it seemed clear that Foreman would be the one going home with the title. He was younger and strong and on a winning streak. He would back Ali into the ropes, where the older boxer’s footwork would do no good. TIME’s sports editor Philip Taubman predicted that the result would be Foreman in six.

When the fight actually went down — 40 years ago Thursday, after a delay of about a month from its originally planned September date — that did not happen. Though Foreman went after Ali just as predicted, the results were far from what had been expected.

Here’s what did happen, as TIME reported in the Nov. 11, 1974, issue:

Then, in the second round, the bee unexpectedly threw away the tactics of his entire career. Off his toes and seemingly off his rocker, Ali stood along the ropes, exactly where Foreman wants an opponent to be. Indeed, with his customary authority, Foreman started pounding punches against Ali’s midsection. Some of Foreman’s blows glanced off Ali’s arms and gloves, and none hit Ali’s face, but it seemed to be only a matter of time before Ali’s belly would turn to pulp.

Astonishingly, Ali seemed hardly concerned. As the fiercest puncher since Sonny Liston whaled away, Ali shouted taunts at Foreman. “You can’t hurt me!” Ali yelled. “You punch like a sissy.” Soon it became clear that Ali had constructed a trap. All summer and fall he had been developing granite abdominal muscles with a grueling regimen of calisthenics, spending an hour every morning hardening his gut by doing sit-ups with his legs held up at a 45 degree angle or while his limbs were pumping back and forth in a bicycle-pedaling motion. Now he was simply letting Foreman punch himself out against that iron flesh. “I wanted to make him shoot his best shots,” said Ali later.

That is precisely what Foreman did. In the sultry tropical night (the temperature was 86° and the humidity about 90%), Foreman’s punches soon lost power. Arm weary, he began to swing wildly, frequently missing entirely, spinning around on his own momentum like a worn-out drunk. Ali took advantage of Foreman’s slack defense by springing off the ropes time after time to jolt the bone-tired champ with lightning combinations to the head.

By giving up on the “floating like a butterfly” that had made his career, Muhammad Ali won the match in the eighth round.

Read TIME’s run-up to the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ here, in the archives: Violent Coronation in Kinshasa

TIME celebrities

Justin Bieber Gets Boxing Lessons from Floyd Mayweather

Mayweather wrote on Twitter that he had a "good time"

Justin Bieber is getting boxing tips from world champion fighter Floyd Mayweather.

The 20-year-old singer posted a shirtless video to his Instagram account, in which he tosses practice punches in Mayweather’s direction and ducks the boxer’s slow returns.

No word on why Bieber is training to fight or why a world champion boxer would give lessons to a pop star, but given the celebrities’ numerous posts to social media, they both seemed to enjoy it. Mayweather wrote on Twitter that he had a “good time.”

A video posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

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