HBO boxing rings in the new year with the international showdown World Championship Boxing

January 28, 2016

Sergey Kovalev VS. Jean Pascal II and Dmitry Mikhaylenko VS. Karim MayfieldK, presented from Montreal saturday, Jan 30.

HBO Boxing’s flagship program kicks off 2016 with a highly anticipated light heavyweight title rematch when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: SERGEY KOVALEV VS. JEAN PASCAL II AND DMITRY MIKHAYLENKO VS. KARIM MAYFIELD is seen SATURDAY, JAN. 30 at 9:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from the Bell Centre in Montreal, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports broadcasting team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Other HBO playdates: Jan. 31 (9:30 a.m.) and Feb. 1 (11:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdate: Feb. 2 (11:30 p.m.)

Undefeated Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) of Kopeysk, Russia, now living and training in Los Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale, defends his light heavyweight crown for the second time against Jean Pascal (30-3-1, 17 KOs) of Quebec, Canada, in a scheduled 12-round bout. The 32-year-old Kovalev, who owns one of the highest knockout percentages in boxing and is among the fiercest punchers, has been a force in the 175-pound division, beating ring legend Bernard Hopkins in a unification bout, as well as knocking out Nathan Cleverly and Cedric Agnew prior to his fiercely contested victory over Pascal in March 2015. His name appears on virtually every list that ranks the sport’s pound-for-pound aces.

After losing to Kovalev via technical knockout, Pascal, 33, rebounded with a decision win against Yunieski Gonzalez in Las Vegas last July and now seeks victory before a hometown Montreal crowd. The fight marks Kovalev’s eighth appearance on HBO and Pascal’s sixth.

The opening bout features undefeated welterweight prospect Dmitry Mikhaylenko (20-0, 9 KOs) of Gelendzhik, Russia, and San Francisco’s Karim Mayfield (19-2-1, 11 KOs) in a 147-pound contest set for 10 rounds. Mikhaylenko’s opponent was originally slated to be Ray Robinson, but an injury suffered in an automobile accident caused Robinson to withdraw. Mayfield hopes to upset Mikhaylenko’s plans to fast-track up the ladder in the deeply talented welterweight division.

HBO’s flagship “World Championship Boxing” series marks its 44th year in 2016, while HBO Boxing presented its 1,000th fight last year.

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All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.

The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Dave Harmon; director, Johnathan Evans.

Credit HBO Boxing

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel profiles controversial heavyweight champ Tyson Fury

Tyson fury on HBO
January 26, 2016

TV’s most honored sports journalism series, returns with an interesting interview to Tyson Fury and all-new season of enterprising features and reporting when its season premiere and 226th edition debuts TONIGHT (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

In beating Wladimir Klitschko and doing what 18 title challengers before him could not, Tyson Fury shocked the boxing world and claimed its greatest crown.

TYSON FURY: “’From the United Kingdom.’ And it took a second to sink in. And I thought, ‘Yes, that’s me.’ Hands up. I’ve won it. I am the man who beat the man. And I always knew it and I always said it. So not being big headed, but told you so.”

In Fury’s mind, this was destiny. Fighting is what he was born to do, he says.

On his first day back to the gym since the Klitschko fight, in his native Manchester, England, it was certainly a family affair.

Fury sparred with his brother Tommy while his cousin Hughie trained all under the watchful eyes of his father John and uncle Peter. Even Fury’s four-year-old son Prince is now learning the family business.

TYSON: “Like horses are bred to run around the track. Fury’s are bred to fight. It’s definitely in the blood, that’s for sure.”

HBO’S DAVID SCOTT: “You believe that? Literally in the blood?”

TYSON: “Yeah. I don’t fight for money. I don’t fight for fame. I don’t fight for glory. I fight because I love it. I love getting punched in the face. I love tasting blood. I love hurting people. That sounds mad, doesn’t it? To me, fighting’s my life. I don’t do nothing else. I can’t function without fighting.”

For ten generations, the Fury men have been bareknuckle prizefighters which is the preferred sport of their nomadic clan the Irish Travellers – a band of gypsys -who have roamed Ireland and the United Kingdom for centuries.

TYSON: “If two men have got a problem, they fight about it. They don’t involve the law. It’s got nothing to do with the outside world. Our Travelling community settles our own disputes by fighting bareknuckles outside on the street.”

DAVID SCOTT: “What does it mean to be king of the gypsies?”

TYSON: “It means you’re the best bareknuckle fighter in the world.”

In Fury’s bloodline, there are two gypsy kings. One on each side of his family and when Fury’s parents were dating, the gypsy king on his mother’s side foretold a kind of prophesy to Peter Fury, Tyson’s uncle.

PETER: “’Your brother,” he said, “is seeing my niece.” And he said, ‘Can you imagine what kind of offspring they’re going to have?’ And he said, ‘If they ever get into boxing,’ he said, ‘we’re destined to have a world champion.’ I’ll never forget that.”

Like most Traveller boys, young Tyson longed to fight. So his father invited him to spar and found out the hard way that Tyson had a gift.

TYSON: “I hit him with a right hook to the body. To the ribs. And I mean, I remember him letting a loud scream out. Ah!”

JOHN: “Smack in the ribs. Out of all them fights and all them problems in me life, I never even got a broke bone. I’m messing with a 14-year-old boy, got me ribs broke.”

DAVID SCOTT: “Did you feel proud?”

JOHN: “Hundred percent. I wish he’d broke me other rib as well. And me jaw.”

And as Tyson grew, that power became stoked by a growing anger as he became aware of the bigotry focused on his gypsy clan by mainstream society.

TYSON: “Travellers have been persecuted for thousands of years. And even me now as the heavyweight champion, no matter what I achieve and who I beat or what country I represent, deep down I’ll always ever be a dirty gypo. Cause every country a Traveller goes to, a gypsy goes to, they’re hated. They’re the most hated race of people on Earth.”

DAVID SCOTT: “I’ve been struck by the many slurs aimed at your people.”

JOHN: “’You Pikey bastard, you Gypsy bastard,’ that means nothing to me. I can smile about that. I can’t even get upset over it because we’re used to it. I’m a gypsy through and through, traveling man. Call me what you will. I’m proud.”

Fury fought his way toward the top of the rankings, driven to silence the slights and slurs of others.

TYSON: “’Tyson is rubbish. He’s a dirty gypo who cannot fight. Our man will kill him.’ And guess what? Not one of them could. What fuels me is the hatred of people. How much they hate me and how much they want me to fail? And how much I’m not going to let them get their way.”

When the first bell rang, the odds against Fury seemed insurmountable. He was in Germany and most of the 50,000 fans in attendance were against him. But that, of course, is just the way Tyson Fury likes it. Just more fuel for his resentful rage and by the last bell, the Fury family prophecy had been fulfilled.

TYSON: “Ding, ding. I thought, ‘I’ve won the heavyweight championship of the world.’ Hands up straightaway. I looked at Wladimir’s face and I could see he knew he’d lost the fight. His face told the story of the fight. He was cut to pieces. There was blood squirting out of him left, right and center. And I never had a mark on me.”

PETER: “To beat the super champion in Germany will never, ever be repeated. No matter what he does in the future, will never be as glorious as that moment.”

JOHN: “It was the defining moment in our lives. And at the end of the day when he got the decision, well, it’s unbelievable.”

PARIS (WIFE): “I went up the steps, I said, like, ‘Get me in, get me in.’ Like, I told the security people, ‘Let me in.’ I got in, and when I found him, he started to cry when he saw me, I was crying.”

TYSON: “Serenaded her to the world. The Aerosmith song that was used on the film Armageddon, where they saved the world. And I saved the world from a boring era of Klitschko.”

How long the era of Fury will last is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, he’s going to revel in making history by becoming the first gypsy king of world heavyweight boxing.

TYSON: “Seven billion people in the world, and to be the best fighter out of all of them, it’s a hell of a fate.”

DAVID SCOTT: “You call yourself the gypsy king. What does it mean to you now?”

TYSON: “It’s a great honor of mine because even after I’m dead 100 years, my people will talk about the gypsy king, and that was Tyson Fury.”

Credit HBO

Boxing Great Pacquiao Confirms Retirement

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao confirmed on Thursday (January 21) that his April 9 fight against Tim Bradley is going to be his last.
January 21, 2016

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao confirmed on Thursday (January 21) that his April 9 fight against Tim Bradley is going to be his last.

At a press conference in New York Pacquiao said: “It’s sad to say that this is my last fight with Tim Bradley and it’s sad to say that after this I am going to retire and hang up my gloves and focus on my other big responsibility in life, to help the people.”

Credit Reuters Sports

Conor McGregor to Floyd Mayweather: ‘Don’t ever bring race into my success again’

Conor McGregor didn't mince words in his response to Floyd Mayweather after the former pound-for-pound boxing king said that racism played a part in the Irishman's rise to fame.
January 9, 2016

Conor McGregor didn’t mince words in his response to Floyd Mayweather after the former pound-for-pound boxing king said that racism played a part in the Irishman’s rise to fame.

Conor McGregor didn’t mince words in his response to Floyd Mayweather after the former pound-for-pound boxing king said that racism played a part in the Irishman’s rise to fame.

Mayweather’s comments started out aimed at his own sport of boxing, but he eventually turned his ire toward former UFC champion Ronda Rousey and McGregor, calling reactions to his trash talk “biased” compared to the vitriol Mayweather received during his career for making similar remarks.

McGregor fired back on Friday night via an Instagram post where he took direct aim at Mayweather’s comments and responded in kind by reminding the boxing champion of the prejudices he’s dealt with his entire life growing up in Ireland.

“Floyd Mayweather, don’t ever bring race into my success again,” McGregor said. “I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood.

“In my family’s long history of warfare, there was a time where just having the name ‘McGregor’ was punishable by death. Do not ever put me in a bracket like this again.”

The UFC featherweight champion wasn’t finished with his tirade either, because he then challenged Mayweather to a fight while trashing the retired boxer’s last bout, against Andre Berto, which earned paltry numbers on pay-per-view by comparison to most of his fights and didn’t sell out the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

McGregor has welcomed a fight with Mayweather in the past, and the outspoken Irish fighter certainly didn’t back down this time either while issuing another offer to the undefeated boxer.

“At 27 years of age, I now hold the key to this game. The game answers to me now.”

As of yet, Mayweather hasn’t responded to McGregor’s post.

Credit: Fox