Thursday, December 18, 2008

Boxing Lifer

Tonight's show should be a lot of fun. Boxing executive Bobby Goodman will join us. He has been Don King's right hand man for years. More importantly, Bobby has been in the sport since he was a kid, tagging along with his father Murray Goodman. Bobby spent his childhood in the training camps of guys like Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano.

And last week Bobby was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

He's a great story-teller with lots of behind the scenes stories to tell.

We tried to get Lennox Lewis as well, since he was also just elected to the Hall. But apparently HBO hates me because they have never, and I truly mean never, have helped me book a guest on Through the Ropes. In fact, before the first time we had Jim Lampley on, they told me he was not available. When I called him directly, he told me he'd be happy to do it. How ya like me now HBO publicity department?

Unfortunately, I don't have Lennox's cell #.

But I will. Mark my words. I always get my guests, eventually.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December Schedule

We've got an abridged schedule for December. We're off this week, the 11th as I'll be traveling. Our final show of the year will be next week, the 18th. We'll make sure it's a good one. Christmas and New Year's day falls on Thursday this year so now shows those nights. We'll be back in action on January 8th.

Talk to you next week.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Golden Boycott

I've expressed my belief that this weekend's big fight is meaningless. There are so many other more important fights coming up that I will not be spending the majority of this week's show on the so called "Dream Match".

Sure, we'll talk about it. But the guests, cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham and Jr. welter champ Kendall Holt are in far more interesting bouts.

I decided not to bring on any guests related to the Dream Match, because I just don't care about the fight.

If you agree or disagree, let me know -- either on this blog or call or email the show.

Talk to you Thursday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Climbing off the Canvass

I always say that I'm the Arturo Gatti of the airwaves. The ultimate blood and guts talk show host. I've done shows with migraines, stomach viruses and hay fever that would have fallen lesser men. But I know my audience needs me so I crawl into the studio and maintain my stature as pound for pound champion of boxing radio.

Tomorrow, I'll be doing the same. Hopefully, my voice will cooperate but if I sound off my game, know that I climbed off the canvass (or out of bed) to be there.

It's a show I couldn't allow myself to miss. Ricky Hatton and Jim Lampley will be with us. I hope you'll be there as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hanging with the Boys

When I moved to Florida, I had no idea what a hotbed of boxing the area is. Of course, I knew that years ago, Miami and its famed 5th Street gym attracted fighters from all over the world. But I was pleasantly surprised to see how many big names show up at pretty much any event in the area.

Last night at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, where Glen Johnson was the main event, I hung out with Nate Campbell, Allan Green and a very good looking prospect (2-0 2KOs) named Isiah Thomas. In both of his KOs, he rendered his opponent unconscious. I was ringside for the first one and it was one of the most devastating KOs I've ever seen.

While talking to the guys, Allan told me he is back in action this weekend against Carl Daniels on the Taylor - Lacy undercard. I've always liked Allan in and out of the ring and invited him to be on the show Thursday night. He's an interesting story because boxing treats him like a big star even though he hasn't won anything yet.

It's nice to see Nate Campbell getting so much respect and adulation from the crowd and boxing insiders. He was always popular because of his personality, but now that he has the belts, people go out of their way to talk to him. He is one of the funniest guys in the sport, by the way.

Along with Green we'll have Paulie Malignaggi on this week. Be sure to call in or email your questions. Both guys don't hold much back when they're in front of a microphone.

Oh, and James McGirt Jr. lost his fight last night. However, two judges were the only people in the building who didn't think so. He was awarded a draw and if he hadn't been knocked down in the last minute of the fight he would have been awarded the victory. The judging was atrocious all night.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


No, I'm not talking about a repeat performance by Bernard Fernandez. The Executioner, Bernard Hopkins will be with us. He'll discuss his incredible win over Kelly Pavlik, this weekend's Jones - Calzaghe fight and his relationship with Shuan Negler.

Of course that's time permitting. We all know that Bernard can take 10 minutes to answer one question, though I promise to try to keep him under control. Try being the key word.

By the way, Hasim Rahman getting another title shot? Really? Hell, I'd rather see DaVarryl Williamson fight Klitschko. At least he gave Klitschko a run for his money.

Rahman is a good interview. But he made a career out of winning the lottery by knocking out Lennox Lewis. That was a great and deserving win, but he hasn't done squat since.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quick Update

Sorry for not posting for a while. I've been on the road. But I'm back now and should be on a regular schedule for the foreseeable future.

Tonight's show features the always entertaining Vic Darchinyan, Boxing Digest Editor in Chief Sean Sullivan and Philadelphia Daily News writer Bernard Fernandez who has an incredible story about Bernard Hopkins that you won't want to miss.

Talk to you tonight.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rolling Like Lennon

This weekend, I cage announced the ShoXC card in Hammond, IN.

An hour outside of Chicago, Hammond seemed like your typical struggling rust belt town. The show was at the new $500 million Harrah's Horshoe Casino. However, there is no hotel there, only a casino. So we had to stay at the Ramada Inn just down the road.

Now, I have a very negative impression of Ramada. Several years ago, I stayed in one before taking a professional exam. It was the worst hotel room I've ever had. I actually found a cup of beer with a cigarette butt in it in one of the drawers. And it only went down hill from there.

This Ramada wasn't nearly as bad. But it's still a Ramada. However, for some reason, I was given the "Whirlpool Suite." It was a huge room with a couch, kitchenette and a bathtub/whirlpool that was up on a faux marble riser along with a glass shower.

I don't understand why they would have such a suite in a Ramada in Hammond. Do people really go in there and say, "You know, honey, we don't get to Hammond very often. Let's make it special and spring for the Whirlpool Suite."?

Anyway, the room was fine, other than the train that came roaring past the hotel every 15 minutes and the toilet that would mysteriously make noise in the middle of the night.

Along with the fancy suite, I felt like Jimmy Lennon, Jr. as for the first time, I had an announcer to do the undercard, so I could rest my precious pipes until just before the cameras started rolling.

It was a good show, though there is no commission in Indiana and the officiating was the worst I've ever seen. No inspectors in the dressing room, referees that blew calls and delayed stopping fights while guys were tapping, etc.

Boxing --

Sam (Acelino) Peter's performance Saturday was among the most pathetic in years. I'll have a lot to say about it on the show Thursday. Dawson on the other hand was very impressive. I expected him to win, but didn't believe he could dominate the way he did.

More later in the week.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What a Riot

Last night I cage announced the undercard of what was supposed to be the Kimbo Slice - Ken Shamrock Card on CBS. For those who tuned in, you heard that Shamrock got cut training earlier in the day and Seth "The Silverback" Petruzelli replaced him (and shockingly knocked out Kimbo in 14 seconds).

I'm not sure if the CBS announcers communicated what went on behind the scenes, but it was nerve racking for everyone involved.

The first fight was scheduled for 6:00 with the CBS broadcast starting at 9:00. A few minutes after 5:00, I was tipped off that Shamrock had pulled out. What he was doing training the afternoon of the fight is beyond me. Elite XC asked Petruzelli if he'd step in.

The Silverback took the fight. Hopefully, they made him a generous offer to do so. However, since the fight was not official yet, I couldn't tell the crowd about the change. Around 6:30 I got word that Kimbo said he would only fight Shamrock or not fight at all.

This was a potential disaster. Financially -- Elite XC would have had to offer a refund to the crowd, which was quite large. The reputation of MMA and Elite XC would have certainly suffered. And most importantly, there was genuine concern there would be a riot.

In fact, at around 7:00 or so, Jimmy Lennon, Jr. told me CBS was working on the wording for the announcement to the crowd, and that we would have to give the arena's management a 15 minute warning before the announcement was made, in order to get security in place.

At about 8:00, CBS's stage manager told me that before Jimmy makes the announcement, they were going to take CBS's talent to a secure area and that I was welcome to join them if I wanted to. Hell yes, I wanted to!

I was still sworn to secrecy but I was planning on texting a friend in the crowd (John Martin who produces Through the Ropes) to go find somewhere safe.

Luckily, at 8:30 we got word that Kimbo had thankfully agreed to the fight. You could see everyone in the know exhale a deep sigh of relief.

I give a lot of credit to both Kimbo and Petruzelli for taking the fight. I don't know if Kimbo was threatened, bribed, cajoled, bluffed or in any other way persuaded to take the fight (Petruzelli accepted right away). As it turns out, I think the rematch will be bigger than the Shamrock fight ever was.

Just a little peek at what was going on cage side and behind the curtains.

FYI - no show this week due to Yom Kippur. Talk to you next week.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bad Chad

Tonight we've got light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson and promoter Tom Moran. Tom is Kassim Ouma's advisor and traveled with him back to Uganda. He'll have lots of interesting stories about life with Kassim.

I'm not sure if we'll be on Fightnews tonight as I haven't been able to get a hold of Flattop for the past 24 hours. If you listen online, you should go to for tonight's show.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Good, Bad & Ugly

This is a long one. There's no show this week, so this would have been what I talked about during one of the segments.

This weekend, I went to a local boxing show that reminded me of all the good, bad and ugly things about the sport.

First the GOOD -- A guy I know made his pro debut. In fact, I sparred with him four years ago, when I was getting ready to spar with Kassim Ouma for an article. You can read it here. (Sorry I can't link to it. Blogger doesn't support Mac).

Anyway, the boxer, Omar Brown, used to give me pointers in the gym all the time. Often, we were the only ones in the gym and though he was still learning, would teach me little things that he was working on.

One day, he asked me if I wanted to work. I was warned to be careful because sometimes these guys like to take advantage of a novice like me. I responded that I knew Omar would be cool. We went five rounds and the only time he took it to me was when I got tired. He'd make me fight him off. After I did, he'd back away and work on his defense again.

Omar disappeared a month or so later. I was told he had some personal problems to take care of. I didn't see him again until last summer. He said he was going back to the gym and was working toward his pro debut.

Saturday night, I was as pumped for his debut as I've been for anyone's fight in a while. I visited him in the dressing room and told him that after five rounds with me, what he was about to experience would be easy. He laughed heartily and agreed.

He was fighting Elliot Alvarado, a decent local fighter who was 3-0. Omar was clearly the opponent.

For four rounds, he outhustled and out punched Alvarado, knocking him down in the first. There were lots of things he did wrong, but the one thing he did right was that he wanted it more.

After he was announced the winner, he broke down and became emotional. Omar doesn't have management and will likely be an opponent during his career. But for at least one night, he knew that he had overcome some pretty difficult odds and obstacles. That all of his hard work in and out of the ring had paid off and he was a winner.

Those are the good lessons boxing teaches.

I also spoke with several boxers who were telling me various stories. What resonated with me was how many great experiences some of these guys had. We're talking with journeymen fighters who grew up or still live in the 'hood. Yet they've been to Finland, Russia, and various other countries. Places they likely would never have had the opportunity to see otherwise. Those kinds of experiences help people expand their horizons and grow as human beings.

Oh, the card was incredible -- including the main event in which Daniel Edouard won by first round TKO, but not after he had to climb off the deck to do it. The house was standing room only, vocal and everyone had a great time. It was everything that a club show should be. Nice work Moe Malacarne and Eventco Sports.

The BAD - Lots of people came up to me telling me how much they enjoy Through the Ropes, so I feel guilty taking this week off to go announce ShoXC on Friday night. But tune in to Showtime at 11:00 on Friday and watch your boy.

The UGLY -- A boxer did get hurt that night. The opening bout featured two boxers making their debuts. Isiah Thomas was in a different league than his opponent Tyronne Dicks. Thomas knocked Dicks out with a vicious three punch combination. Dicks fell face first and slammed into the canvass just inches from me. It was scary as he lay there motionless, with his eyes closed. After less than a minute I realized we had a problem and moved my chair so the paramedics would be able to get to work. The kid didn't move for about 10 minutes. He was taken out on a stretcher. The last report I heard was that he was doing well, thankfully.

Talk to you next week.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Happened?

That's what I was wondering when I tuned in to Showtime Saturday night.

Tonight, you'll find out exactly what happened when we talk to Nate Campbell and Showtime Sports Executive Producer David Dinkins, Jr. Nate and David will discuss what went down behind the scenes -- exactly when Nate found out, what the conversation was with Don King and Showtime, etc.

We also have an interview with Shane Mosley that I recorded yesterday. So no calls for Shane, but Nate and David will be happy to take your calls and emails.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Woe is Me

I'm interviewing Sugar Shane Mosley on Wednesday and will play the segment on Thursday's show. He'll be training during the live broadcast which is why we have to record it in advance. If you have any questions for Shane, post them in the comments section and I'll do my best to ask them.

On another topic -- Saturday, I was Mr. Mom and was out all day with my kids. I didn't check the internet or hear any news regarding the Campbell - Guzman fight. I knew I'd get the kiddies to bed late that night, so I set my DVR for the Showtime broadcast. Finally, at about 10:00 I cracked open an ice cold Moosehead (my beer of choice for those looking for holiday gift ideas) and settled in to watch what I expected to be a decent undercard fight followed by an exciting main event.

If you hadn't checked Fightnews either, I'm sure you were as stunned as I was to hear that Guzman pulled out at 6:00 that evening. I can't recall ever hearing about something like that in a major fight. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

To make matters worse, shortly after Bradley knocked Cherry down, my DVR quit. Too many Cartoon Network and Nick shows eating up all the memory.

With the wife away for a week, the house is a disaster, the kids are a mess (happy, but a mess), we're eating leftover leftovers, I'm dead tired and all I wanted to do was drink my fine Canadian lager and watch a fight that I was really amped up for -- especially after spending that time with Nate in the studio.

I ended up watching World Poker Tour reruns, going to bed early and throwing myself a pity party.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No Max

This week we've got Andre Berto and Fightnews' Flattop.

A quick look behind the scenes -- I book my own guests. I have never had any luck booking HBO talent, other than Jim Lampley, who I go to directly.

This week I put in a request to interview Max Kellerman. I wanted to talk to him about his comments at the end of last week's broadcast where he stated that the judging was so bad it had to be corrupt. Also, I figured he could comment on this weekend's Casamayor - Marquez PPV event, even though he's not working that show.

I emailed my request to HBO. But instead of forwarding my request to Max, the PR rep accidentally hit reply with the question, "Should we decline?" I responded, that they should not decline but should gladly accept. Failing to find the humor in the situation or the faux pas, I received a reply four minutes later saying there was a schedule conflict. That's it.

I've liked Max since I used to watch him on Manhattan Public Access when he was a 16 year old kid. However, unless I contact him directly (or he gets in touch with me), don't look for him on Through the Ropes any time soon.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Repeat Offenders

Actually, the headline is not an accurate description of Thursday's show as we have two of the nicest guys in the sport on with us -- though they may hold the record for most appearances on Through the Ropes.

Former lightweight champ Juan Diaz will be on for the 4th or 5th time. I'm positive no boxer has appeared more. Also, Showtime's Steve Farhood. He may be second to Joe Tessitore in the media category but it's got to be a close race by now.

By the way, how good was Nate Campbell last week? I had a blast talking with him. The cool part was it didn't stop at the commercials. Sometimes when we have a boxer in the studio with us, he'll be great on air but as soon as the mike is off, he's on his cell phone or talking to his entourage. Nate and I simply continued the conversation between commercials.

If he were on this coast of Florida, I would ask him to be permanent co-host.

In case you missed it, the podcast is available at

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Galaxxy Warrior in the Studdio

This week, the Galaxxy Warrior, lightweight champ Nate Campbell will be in the studio as a special co-host. Also on the show is Jr. Flyweight champ Ivan Calderon.

Glad to be back.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Tonight, I'm taking my 7 year old son to the fights for the first time. He has never shown an interest in boxing, despite the fact that he knows about my radio show and ring announcing. Then out of the blue, two weeks ago, he asked if he could come with me to a boxing event.

Warriors was gracious enough to grant him a press credential. That alone should make him feel special. As Wayne and Garth showed, there's nothing like having a laniard around your neck that allows you to get into restricted places. Usually, at the Hard Rock there are lots of well known boxers. On a given night you might see Shannon Briggs, Jameel McCline, Glen Johnson, Ricardo Mayorga, Kassim Ouma, Edison Miranda, Juan Urango, etc. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to talk to some of these guys and have pictures taken with my son.

I remember going to my first ball game with my dad like it was yesterday. It was against the Baltimore Orioles. I was 8 years old. Grant Jackson threw me a baseball and Dick Tidrow signed it.

I can't tell how excited he is about tonight. He is a pretty mellow kid. But I can't remember the last time I was this amped about going to a show. I'm sure he'll be blown away by the experience and it will create memories for both of us that will last a lifetime.

FYI -- no show for the next two weeks. After getting home around midnight tomorrow, I'll be on my way to the airport by about 4:30 to catch my flight to Fresno to cage announce ShoXC Friday night. I'm off the following week as well. It's a good opportunity to recharge the batteries.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What's the Score?

If you've been listening to the show over the past month or so, you know that I've been eagerly anticipating the Olympics. After watching a few bouts, I came to the conclusion that my memory must be going, beacause I forgot how assinine Olympic scoring is.

It appears Olympic judges wouldn't know an effective jab if Larry Holmes planted one on their kisser. I don't think I've seen one jab scored a point, despite plenty landing cleanly. Same can be said for body shots.

In one fight, a boxer got knocked down and the judges didn't give him a point.

I've seen boxers' heads turned around from hard rights to the jaw, with no movement on the scoreboard. Why is Olympic boxing relegated to CNBC at 3:30 a.m.? The scoring is absolutely one of the reasons people are not interested. Even my mother can watch a fight and discern what is a clean and effective blow. When they don't get scored as points, fans lose interest, believing they either don't understand it, or it is rigged.

The current system does nothing to eliminate biases. They need to change the scoring system, if they want to grow interest in Olympic boxing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Head in the Clouds

This week, we've got undefeated light heavy contender Tavoris Cloud, who fights Julio Gonzalez in the main event on Friday night Fights this week.

And on the even of the Olympics opening ceremony we'll talk with former heavyweight contender and 1972 Olympic team member Duane Bobick. Though he beat Teofilio Stevenson a year earlier, Bobick lost to the Cuban great in the Olympic games.

I'll also have lots to say about the Judah - Clottey fight. I've got a strong point of view on the bout and one that I haven't heard anyone else discuss.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No Super Zab for Us

All week, I toyed with the idea of getting Zab Judah on the show. But if you think he's a flake in the ring, you should see him out. He's like Roy Jones in how unreliable he is with the media. While there's always a chance a guest won't show, I just figured that the odds were against me that even if we had him booked, he'd actually do the interview.

Instead, we'll have his opponent Joshua Clottey. He has a good story and is a hell of a fighter. I'm looking forward to meeting him.

We'll also have Showtime's Nick Charles to talk about his network's two shows this weekend.

As always, we welcome your calls and emails throughout the show.

Talk to you tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teddy and the All Stars

This week we've got Teddy Atlas discussing Olympic boxing.

We're also working on putting together an all-star lineup to discuss the Cotto-Margarito fight.

More later..

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rated R

This week we've got new Jr. Welter champ Kendall "Rated R" Holt. If you missed his stunning performance last weekend, I urge you to watch it on Youtube. It lasted 61 seconds and was a remarkable comeback. Also on the show is Fightnews writer Gary "Digital" Williams who will talk about the upcoming Tony Thompson - Wlad Klitschko fight as well as the Peterson Brothers and all else DC related.

We hope to resume the Olympic coverage next week with Rau'Shee Warren, who will be representing the United States for the second time.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Best Of

I'll be taking a much needed vacation this week, so Sports Byline will run a "Best of Through the Ropes" program. I'll be back on the 10th with more great guests.

Over the past few weeks, we've had a couple of members of the USA Olympic boxing team. Do you want more coverage and interviews of team members or should we stick to the pros.

Please take a moment to fill out the poll to the right and leave any comments below.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tony The Tiger

Sorry, this is so late but we just got the show booked. I like to have everything confirmed by Tuesday when possible, Wednesday at the latest. And I usually have no problem hitting my self imposed deadline. But this week was tough. For some reason I couldn't get calls back, even from people who seem to pitch me on a weekly basis.

The good news is heavyweight Tony Thompson will be on the show. He is the guy I wanted for tonight as he leaves for Germany next week to face Wlad Klitschko on July 12th. There are a lot of people, myself included, who think he has a real chance at pulling off the upset. He's tall, a southpaw and very awkward. If Wlad doesn't lay him out early, the champ could be in for a long night.

Also, my verbal sparring partner Flattop will join us as well.

We are broadcasting tonight's show from the mothership in San Francisco, so the call in number is 415-434-2844.

Talk to you tonight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

David Diaz

This week we have lightweight champ David Diaz on the show. He faces Manny Pacquiao June 28th. We've had Pac-Man on before and he was one of the worst interviews in the history of broadcasting. Nice enough guy but terrible radio.

We also hope to have another Olympian with a remarkable story. I'll update the blog once he's booked.

And Xbox 360 players -- we'll be giving away a copy of Don King Presents Prizefighter. So be sure to listen Thursday night from 9 -10 p.m. ET for your chance to win.

UPDATE: We're on for Thursday with Deontay Wilder. He is the United States' heavyweight on the Olympic team and he has an incredible story you don't want to miss. Let's just say he's a very unlikely Olympian.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Going for Gold

As many of you know, one of the goals of Through the Ropes is to give boxers and their compelling stories exposure. This week we kick off what I hope will be a regular segment leading up to the Beijing Olympics. Going for Gold will introduce listeners to the members of the U.S. Olympic boxing team.

Our first Olympian will be Sadam Ali, a Brooklyn based lightweight that a lot of people are talking about.

For our other segments, we've got calls out to some A list people. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bradley & Bernstein

No, it's not the name of a law firm, it's the name of our two guests tonight -- Jr. Welter champ Timothy Bradley and Showtime's Al Bernstein.

For those who've inquired, yes I did get to work Saturday night.

Talk to you all tonight.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Another look into the glamorous life I lead:

Late last night, I received a call from EliteXC. I had been expecting to cage announce the undercard of their big CBS show in Newark, NJ tomorrow night. However, no one ever got in touch with me, so I assumed they found someone else. I was disappointed, but it wasn't a big deal because I have to leave for California on Sunday anyway, so I was looking forward to being home with the family for the weekend.

EliteXC asked if I could be on a plane today to cage announce tomorrow night. Because of my pending trip to California, the travel arrangements were complicated. We had to change my flights and try to avoid the costly fees. I was up until 1:00 a.m. with their travel coordinator, figuring it all out.

I arrived in beautiful downtown Newark and checked into my hotel. It's your typical New York hotel in that the rooms are tiny and poorly lit. A little depressing actually. But there's nowhere else to go. We're in the middle of the hood. I was warned not to venture out after sundown.

Now, I get a call saying there was a mixup and I may not be announcing. The NJ State Athletic Commission demanded a name last night and since EliteXC didn't know for sure if I was coming, they got some chick. Now the commission is insisting that because they have her name already, she has to work the show.

This commission is a huge pain in the ass to deal with. I had to jump through hoops to get my license from them a few months ago. Meanwhile, why they care so much about who announces the undercard and whether it's the person in their paperwork is beyond me. I mean, really --- who gives a flying...?

So it looks like I have a two day stay in Newark and won't even be working the show.

Does it get any better than this?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The White Whale

Like Captain Ahab's quest for the white whale that took his leg, my white whale has been Kelly Pavlik -- although thankfully he hasn't caused me any bodily harm (yet).

We had Pavlik scheduled the night before the weigh in for the first Taylor fight but when we called he was in the sauna, sweating off the remaining pounds. That was the closes we've ever been to getting him on the show.

Hopefully, after tomorrow night I'll be able to say I caught my white whale as he is scheduled to appear on Through the Ropes. Also scheduled is boxing writer Eric Raskin of and former Editor in Chief of Ring Magazine.

Lastly, there's a chance we'll have Paulie Malignaggi. Here's some breaking news -- he had surgery on his fractured right hand today. No one else is reporting this. How do I know? Because I spoke to him as he was on his way to the hospital. He told me to give him a call tomorrow and if he's up for it, he'll spend some time with us on the air. I wouldn't count on it as I suspect he'll be on pain killers, but he's a warrior, so you never know. He's an entertaining interview under regular conditions. It could be a lot of fun if he's under the influence of heavy narcotics.

Also, please vote in the poll to the right. We want to gauge Ropes listeners interest in MMA. Should we expand coverage to MMA. Vote and feel free to leave comments.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Euros are Coming!

This week we have Jr. Middle prospect James Moore. I know we had him on not too long ago, but being that he's the only Irish prospect left who hasn't let his fans down recently, I figured we'd get him back on. He's got a fight coming up in two weeks.

Also, Fightnews and Fightwriter's Graham Houston will handicap this weekend's fights in England (Hatton - Lazcano and Malignaggi - N'Dou) along with Pavlik- Lockett. I wonder if Graham is tired of only being invited on when there's a british fighter involved?

A peek behind the scenes -- I thought I was going to have Pavlik. As of yesterday I was told it was basically a done deal. Today his rep sounded as if he barely remembered talking to me. We're shooting for next week. He assured me his schedule is much easier then and we should be able to get him on.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two Heavyweight Champs

This week we've got two former heavyweight champions on the show -- Chris Byrd, who fights the following evening on Friday Night Fights. Byrd will be fighting as a light heavyweight. Also on the show is Shannon Briggs. The Cannon will be calling Byrd's fight with Joe Tess, as he fills in for Teddy Atlas.

I know that Briggs is not the most popular fighter due to his lackluster performances. However, the guy is a terrific storyteller. I've gotten to know him over the past few years and he really is quite interesting.

Here's my Shannon Briggs story:

We were calling the Joan Guzman - Antonio Davis fight in the Dominican Republic. On the way to the arena we were stopped by military personnel who wouldn't let us go further. We tried to explain that we were with television calling the fight. Except none of us spoke Spanish. Finally I pointed at Shannon and said, "el grande campeon" Not having any idea as to whether that actually meant he was a champion, but they recognized us and waved us through.

The arena was packed with 12,000 Guzmaniacs. When the fight was over, it seemed as if all 12,000 rushed the ring. Before I was finished saying, "Good night from Santo Domingo" Shannon had his earphones off and was heading for the exits. I asked him where he was going. Without turning around, he replied, "I don't know but I'm getting the f&%$ out of here!" Since I considered being with the baddest man on the planet my best shot at survival, I ran after him.

We had no idea how we were getting back to the hotel as the arena was located in a terrible neighborhood. On the way to the exit, he found his publicist Michael Marley. Michael told us Guzman had a bus and we should follow him.

We waited outside Guzman's dressing room for about an hour. The President of the D.R. came to visit Joan in the dressing room. Finally someone mentioned the bus was outside and we could get on. After a long night, all any of us wanted was a cold beer. But there is a law against selling alcohol after midnight during the week. Since it was 11:30 and Guzman was nowhere to be seen it would be a while before we got back.

Luckily, Shannon saw that the door to the concession stand was still open. He offered the guy $20 and came back to the bus with a few six packs of ice cold Presidente beer.

We waited for Guzman in comfort as we downed cerveza and listened to Shannon's stories of life as an amateur, being chased through the streets of Poland by skinheads and other wild tales.

Looking forward to having him on.

Talk to you Thursday.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


I've been performing for most of my life. It all started when I got the lead in the 6th grade play and Donna Fuhst paid attention to me for the first (and only) time. She walked past me after the show, patted me on the back and said, "Good job, Marc." After that I was hooked on show biz.

As a kid and even early in my acting career as an adult, I would get so nervous before a performance that I would pace the floor incessantly. At home, backstage, anywhere I happened to be, I'd pace... until the curtain rose and then I'd be fine.

Those nerves calmed quite a bit as I grew more experienced.

Then, when I started ring announcing, they returned. My first gig was an ESPN Friday Night Fights show. I was so nervous before hand that I barely ate and spend most of the day with a bad stomach. Not butterflies, but outright distress. Of course, once the bell rang, I was calm and gave a solid performance.

Whether I was doing a club show or ShoBox, I'd still get antsy, although not to the degree mentioned above. Then a few weeks ago, I worked a ShoXC card. I'm very critical of my own performance, but thought that show was one of my best. I realized why. I wasn't nervous. It was the first time I can remember going on stage and being completely relaxed.

This week, I did the undercard for ShoBox. The day of the show, my stomach was all a flutter. It was ridiculous. I wasn't going to be on TV and the venue is fairly small. I've played arenas, ten times the size. I had a slight cold, so maybe I was concerned my voice would give out, but still, I only had to make it through 5 fights.

It drove me nuts all day. There was no logical reason to be nervous, but nevertheless I was. Once the fighters were in the ring I was fine and gave a performance I was proud of -- especially because the last two fights had to be rushed in order to get them in before TV. I made my announcements very efficiently and told the fighters and their corners to get out of the ring. One decision, we didn't even tabulate and read the scores, the commission simply said, "unanimous decision, Avalos."

The show went great and as usual, I had nothing to be nervous about.

If I'm that anxious and/or pumped before a show, I can only imagine what a boxer is feeling before a fight.

This week's Through the Ropes will feature Mike Arnaoutis, who will be on Friday Night Fights the following evening. We're still working on a second guest. Any suggestions, leave a comment here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This Week's Show

We have Jesse Feliciano, who headlines on Friday Night Fights this week and the original "Magic Man" -- former welterweight champ Marlon Starling.

Marlon was known back in the day as being a bit opinionated and difficult. I just got off the phone with him and he has not mellowed with age. Say what you will about him, this was a guy that lived, ate and breathed boxing. You couldn't keep him out of the gym. Should be a fun interview.

Talk to you Thursday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I was supposed to announce the undercard of Tarver - Woods/Dawson - Johnson. While I love announcing any fights, I was particularly stoked to be front row for Dawson - Johnson. I expected this to be a tremendous fight and know Glen and his handlers fairly well.

Thursday, I got a call that the local promoter had hired Mark Beiro to do the show. Now, Beiro has forgotten more shows than I've worked, but I was still miffed that I lost the job. This is the 4th time in my career that I'd been told I have a card and the job fell through. I'm starting to feel like a fighter. I must be the only ring announcer that gets scratched on a regular basis.

As I sat at home watching the great fight between Dawson and Johnson, I kept remarking to my wife, "I can't believe I'm not there for this." You can imagine the sympathy that comment invoked.

Next gig is ShoBox in May. That should be a good one. Andre Dirrell vs. Anthony Hanshaw. Looking forward to it. Assuming they don't get some other guy to do it.

I'll post an update with this week's guests as soon as they're confirmed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Best Of

This week we're running a "Best Of" Through the Ropes show as I'll be traveling. I'm headed to Tampa to do the undercard of the Tarver - Woods/Dawson - Johnson card. You won't see me in the center of the ring during the Showtime broadcast, but hopefully I'll still be ringside once Jimmy takes over.

We'll talk next week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two Kings

No, I'm not talking about poker. This week we've got IBF Welterweight champion Kermit Cintron and WBC Light Heavy belt holder "Bad" Chad Dawson. We're back in Florida, so call the usual number 1-888-760-3776.

Speaking of being back home, here's another glimpse into the glamorous life that I lead. I was in Santa Ynez, cage announcing ShoXC on Showtime last weekend. I had to make two narrow connections to get back.

My driver's license is ripped, which means when I go through security, I get singled out for extra screening. About the only thing they didn't do was put on a rubber glove (and in one instance I thought that was next).

In Phoenix, where my first connection was, I had an hour to make my connection. Unfortunately, I had to switch airlines which meant I had to leave the terminal and go through security again. I made my flight with moments to spare.

Then we sat on the runway for 20 minutes before taking off. This caused me a lot of stress because I only had 30 minutes on the ground in Atlanta before catching the last flight out.

On the flight from Phoenix, I was busy working when I heard what sounded like a soda can being opened. Next thing I know, the back of my neck, my computer and the woman next to me were sprayed. I turned around and the woman behind me half heartedly apologized, explaining her baby was choking.

Of course, I'm glad the kid is OK, but I'm not too psyched to be covered in baby slobber. I've been cleaning strained peas off my computer for days.

Get to Atlanta and my gate is at the opposite end of the terminal. I sprint carrying my two bags. Keep in mind, I haven't eaten a meal since a sandwich 8 hours ago. I'm literally the last person to board the plane. I arrive home at 1:00 a.m. Sunday. My daughter wakes me up at 6:30 as usual.

I bet Buffer doesn't get baby slobber all over him when he travels. Yeah, I know. I ain't Buffer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

First Timers

This week, I'll be doing the show from Santa Ynez, CA, where Friday night I'll be cage announcing ShoXC on Showtime .

Through the Ropes should be a lot of fun this week. We have two guests making their first appearance. Former champ, Glen "The Road Warrior" Johnson, who fights April 12th against Chad Dawson will be on. Glen is one of the nicest guys in the sport. He's got a tough challenge facing Bad Chad, but Dawson better be prepared because Glen is always ready to take someone to hell.

Also on the show is promoter Lisa Elovich. She's promoting this week's Friday Night Fights card featuring Andy Lee and Aaron Pryor, Jr. (we had both of them on a few weeks ago). We'll talk with Lisa about the difficult job of promoting s and what it's like to be a woman in this business.

Do not call the usual call in number since we'll be on location. Instead, dial 1-800-878-7529. The email address -- is still the same.

Talk to you Thursday.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Inside Information

This afternoon, I attended the grand opening of the new Deerfield Beach, FL Police Athletic League boxing and wrestling facility. In attendance to take photos and sign autographs were former Light Heavyweight champion Glen Johnson and former Heavyweight champ Michael Moorer.

Johnson, of course has a title fight with Chad Johnson coming up on April 12th.

After the ceremony, pizza and pasta were served. Johnson's trainer asked Glen if he was going to have some or stick to his diet. Johnson turned down the food. Just the fact that his trainer was giving him the option to eat that kind of starchy food just four weeks before the fight tells me the Road Warrior is in good shape.

We'll try to have both guys on the show before the fight. I spoke to Johnson about it and he said he'll be glad to do it.

Bad Chad has to be considered the favorite, but he better be prepared for a fight. I've got a feeling that like Juan Diaz, he's never experienced what his challenger is going to bring that night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't Miss This Week's Show

Fresh off of his upset of Juan Diaz, Nate "The Galaxy Warrior" Campbell will be with us as will undefeated Jr. middle prospect James Moore. Can't wait to talk with both guys.

I'm looking forward to asking him his thoughts on Diaz now that the heat of the moment has passed. He was quite dismissive of him leading up to and immediately after the fight. Let's see if he's still unimpressed or if he gives Juan his propers.

Call in and email your questions.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Pen is Mightier

This week we'll see if the pen (OK, the keyboard) is mightier than the fist. We'll be talking with Fightnews' Flattop. He and I rarely agree on anything because he's always wrong. We'll also speak with Andrew O'Toole, who is the author of Sweet William, the biography of Billy Conn.

We'll be giving away a copy of the book to the winner of a trivia contest, so brush up on your Billy Conn trivia.

On a side note, I am back training in a boxing gym -- Palm Beach Boxing. It's the first time in about 3 years that I'm training. Not to brag, but let me just say that I'm the baddest 40 year old boxing writer/ring announcer with no pro or amateur experience that you ever saw. I'll take on all comers. Michael Katz, Jimmy Lennon, Jr. They'll all fall before Marc "The Weekend Warrior" Lichtenfeld.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Maskaev and This Time I Mean It

I've been assured that Oleg Maskaev will be on the show this week. In fact, I'm headed down to the gym in an hour to confirm it with him myself. Also, boxing promoter Scott Hirsch. He was the manager that got Shannon Briggs and Jameel McCline title shots. He's a fascinating character having made his fortune in spam (email, not the mystery meat) and online porn.

Also, if you ever have trouble with the podcast, you can always click on and it should work.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Two Champs and a Chump

Great show coming up tomorrow night. WBC Heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev and IBF Featherweight champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero will be on. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm the chump.

Regarding the podcast, I've been assured this week's show should be posted. There was a technical glitch with last week's.

Also, check out my story on about Emanuel Steward and Jeff Mayweather, the trainers of Klitschko and Ibragimov.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Three Morons Interview Wlad Klitschko

This title and video clip was originally posted by Don Steinberg on the Boxing Writer's Association of America website at

Click here to watch.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Podcast and Double S

First of all, good news. The podcast is back. Just go to click on podcast library and follow the instructions. The process a little different than the old one but it works fine. Let me know if you have problems.

This week we have referee "Double S" Steve Smoger. You'll recall that he was the ref for the first Taylor - Pavlik fight, so he should have some great insights. We'll also talk with NY Daily News columnist Tim Smith who is in Vegas for the fight and will also be at the Garden for next week's Klitschko - Ibragimov bout.

I hope you had the chance to listen to last week's show. Manny Steward is the best. If not, check out the podcast.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Rassen Frassen Rassen Frassen

The unusual title refers to a joke between my wife and I. Whenever we're in a situation that is particularly frustrating, we say that. It's supposed to sound like muttering to oneself. I have no idea how we started doing that.

Anyway, yesterday I found myself actually muttering real words of frustration. As great as Sports Byline has been to Through the Ropes, the technical difficulties have been maddening on my end.

It became apparent to me a few months ago, just how many people listen to the podcast. When the podcast went down, I received tons of email asking when it will be back up. I have inquired every week and was told it would be up and running this week. Well, it wasn't. When I expressed my frustration, I received a kurt email reply saying they were doing everything they could with limited resources. I'm not even sure what that means, but I have a feeling it's not good news.

Also, this past week, we had a phenomenal show. Manny Steward was in the studio and was tremendous. Andy Lee called in. Johnathon Banks and Aaron Pryor, Jr. were in the studio as well. Unfortunately, some people who tried to listen live had difficulty as the link on Fightnews was not working for everyone (not Fightnews' fault).

I do hope that you guys will stay with me despite some of our technical issues. I work hard every week to bring boxing fans a unique show that is designed with them in mind. I receive great feedback from people telling me how much they enjoy it, which is very satisfying.

I'll let everyone know when the podcast is up and running again. Until then, I hope you'll listen on Thursday nights between 9 - 10 p.m. ET.

Until next week, obey my commands and protect yourself at all times.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Behind the Scenes

When I started this blog, one of the things I wanted to share with you is what my glamorous life is really like on my way to boxing superstardom.

This entry might be kind of long but it details my travels last week to ring announce the ShoBox show in Hinckley, MN. If you don't care about that and are only here to see who is on the show this week -- Emanuel Steward will be in studio with me. He tells me Andy Lee will be coming in as well.

OK, on to Shobox:

I was supposed to fly out Thursday morning and arrive in Minneapolis around 4. The weigh in wasn't until the next morning. That would give me plenty of time to get all of my info, meet with some of the fighters, etc. I particularly wanted to speak with Mickey Bey, Jr. as I will be writing a story about him for Boxing Digest.

I had to connect in Chicago and before I boarded my flight in West Palm Beach, I found out all flights out of Chicago were canceled, so I rebooked for first thing in the morning and went home. I'd miss the weigh in but would still get there by 1:00 which would give me plenty of time to get ready.

When I tried to print out my boarding pass that evening, I saw my flight was canceled again. They rebooked me for an 11:00 flight that would get me into Minneapolis after 4:00. The venue was 90 minutes away and the doors opened at 6:00, so that was cutting it too close.

Got an different flight and arrived in Minneapolis at 1:15. I was supposed to have a ride waiting for me but no one was there to pick me up. A trainer and his fighter, who was a last minute replacement, were also waiting for a ride. The poor kid still had to weigh in and hadn't eaten since the night before. They were as agitated as I was about waiting for a ride. After many frantic phone calls to Gary Shaw's office and matchmaker John Beninati, John got the driver's number and told me to call him directly as John was being told the guy was there. I reached the driver and tell him we're waiting for him. He replies, "Oh, you're here?"

Of course he's slow as molasses getting us to the car. It's now 2:30. After driving for about 15 minutes, he gets a call that there is someone else at the airport waiting for him. He starts to turn around. The trainer and I both start yelling that there is no way he can turn back and to keep going. He really wanted to go get this other person but we were insistent. I thought the trainer was going to rip his head off if he turned around.

We finally pull up to the Grand Casino at 4:00. As I'm checking in, the fire alarms start going off and the lobby fills with smoke. I'm now thinking I'll be doing ShoBox unshowered, with 2 day old scruff in my sweatshirt and jeans. Luckily, we didn't have to evacuate.

I get my keys and meal tickets and run to the buffet. I hadn't eaten since 10:00 when I had a muffin. I see Showtime photog Tom Casino and ref Steve Smoger at the front of the very long line. I say hello to Tom, hoping he'll let me cut. He doesn't (he explained later he would have but he had just done that for Steve and the line went ballistic). I finally get in to the restaurant and inhale a plate of food. Run upstairs, shower, shave, get dressed and make it downstairs to the venue at 5:00, which is when Showtime wanted to go through some things.

By the time we went to air the stress was killing me. I had been up since 4 a.m. I get stupid when I'm tired and was concerned I would have a brain fart on the air. Plus my neck and back were in knots.

Maybe that's the recipe for success because I was very happy with my performance (one of the rare times). The house was packed with over 2,000 fans. Minnesota has some great boxing fans.

I met Smoger for the first time in the ring and spoke to him throughout the night. Great guy. He'll be on the show in the near future.

Andre Dirrell fought on the undercard. He blew out Shannon Miller in 3 rounds. He is gifted but needs to be less cautious. We spoke after the fight. He said his brother is now cancer free which is great news.

Hung out with Steve Farhood and Nick Charles before the fights started. They're both two of the nicest people in boxing. They also both absolutely love boxing and are happy to talk shop anytime.

I also finally got to speak to Mickey Bey, Jr., although it was only to set up the interview, not actually conduct it. We've known each other for a few months now since his brother was supposed to be on a ShoBox undercard last fall. He's an interesting story, so I'm looking forward to writing it.

I think Farhood nailed it on the broadcast by saying you can't judge him by that fight. Acevedo was awkward and only interested in surviving.

After the show, I hung out at the bar with some Showtime people. We couldn't get over the $3 beers. In NY, California and Florida you'll pay at least $5 for a beer at any halfway decent bar.

The van was leaving at 8:30 but my flight wasn't until 1:50 so I caught a ride with Gordon Hall who heads up Showtime's sports programming. He is a boxing junkie. He knows everything about everyone.

Luckily, my flights were uneventful. The last ShoBox I did, my plane had to make an emergency landing due to a cracked windshield. In fact, I gave Beninati shit all weekend about putting me on planes not fit to fly, having me check in to burning hotels. Got home at 10:00 and passed out.

I'm actually bummed I didn't get to spend a little more time at the hotel. I was there for a total of 16 hours and it seemed like a pretty nice place.

I'm still waiting for my back to go out now that the stress is gone. I worked out today in hopes of avoiding that. If I'm slurring my words on Thursday night, it's the painkillers.

Speak to you Thursday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Greatest Hits This Week

No live show this week as I'll be in transit to Hinckley, MN to ring announce ShoBox. Usually, I'm able to schedule my travel so that I'm in my room and can do the show remotely, like last week. However, it just wasn't possible for this Thursday.

To make it up to you, next week should be a great show with Emanuel Steward in the studio with us for the full hour.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jan 24th

Real quick because I'm getting on a plane to Atlantic City to ring announce ShoXC tomorrow night.

Tonight we'll be talking to Lou DiBella and Jr. Middle prospect Ricardo Cortes, who fights on ShoBox next week. There's a different call in # tonight. If you want to talk to Lou, Ricardo or me, call 1-800-878-7529.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In the Dark

So this week I sent out emails and made calls to all the usual suspects -- fighters who have big fights coming up in the next few weeks.

After an inquiry to Wlad Klitschko's people, I received a terse reply that he is not doing media interviews other than media week and the conference calls.

I was stunned.

I wrote back explaining what I thought was obvious -- that although Wlad is the heavyweight champion of the world, he could walk down the streets of most cities in the U.S. and no one would know who he is. I further explained that a few quotes from the conference call on the internet sites won't generate excitement for the fight. He needs to do more (and an appearance on the largest nationally syndicated boxing radio show would certainly help).

People should be excited about Wlad as heavyweight champ. He has heart (despite previous reports) hits like an S.O.B. and conducts himself as a true champion outside of the ring. He should be known. It boggles my mind that his management team prefers to keep him hidden.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Who Knows?

Trying to line up guests for this week has been a challenge, yet is typical. Here's a peek at what it's like to book guests each week.

When the show first started, I hired a guy to assist with the booking. He was useless and I ended up getting all of the guests myself in a panic on Wednesday nights. After I let him go, I started calling around on Monday, or even the week before.

For this week, I want to get George Foreman and Roy Jones. Foreman because this month is the 35th anniversary of his winning the title against Joe Frazier. Jones because he's fighting this week. I contacted Bill Caplan, one of Top Rank's PR people and a good friend of Big George's. He gave me George's son's (George #3) email address as he handles the former champ's schedule.

After sending him an email, I received a reply from Caplan saying Young George told him they would do the interview. Meanwhile, I have not heard from either George. When I got in touch with Caplan again, he said, no, George will be in touch with me, they hadn't agreed to anything yet, but I should keep trying. I've emailed Young George every day and received no response.

Meanwhile, Roy Jones has been even more difficult. After responding to an email offering up Roy, I was told to speak with a different PR person. That one suggested I call yet another one. The last one was very non committal and told me to get back to him this week. I called today and he basically said, we'll see what we can do. I explained that I need to have things scheduled i nadvance and he can't call me on Thursday at 5:00 to tell me Roy will do the interview at 9:30. He reiterated that he'll see what he can do.

So at this point, I have no idea what the odds are that we get George this week and I'd say Roy is less than 10%. So where does that leave us?

I interviewed Bruce Buffer today for an article I'm writing for I asked if Michael was available on Thursday night. He thought he was but has not yet confirmed. Current odds about 50-50. By the way, Bruce is an incredibly nice guy and extremely sharp. This was my first time speaking with him at length.

This is where I stand on Tuesday night. If I don't hear anything in the next 24 hours, I go into panic mode and start going through my rolodex to see who we can book, so you don't have to listen to me blather on for an hour.

The good news is that Emanuel Steward and Andy Lee are going to come into the studio with me on Feb 7th for the full hour. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

WED. NIGHT UPDATE -- Michael Buffer and Joe Tessitore are confirmed for this week's show. Talk to you tomorrow night.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tonight's Show

Sorry I haven't posted earlier. I was on the West Coast all week and didn't have tonight's lineup set until early this morning while I was sitting on a plane ready to head home.

Tonight we'll have cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham and promoter Joe DeGuardia.

Furthermore, I'm having trouble getting in touch with the folks at Fightnews, so if you usually listen to Through the Ropes on Fightnews, you may want to go over to to listen tonight.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Young and Old

I was able to reschedule Larry Holmes for this week's show. However, it will be a recorded interview. Shoot me an email at if you have a question for him. It will be great to talk to him about being elected to the Hall of Fame, considering he never got his due while he was in his prime.

Also, on the show are Anthony and Lamont Peterson. The brothers fight on Shobox this weekend. They've been on the show before and were good interviews. If you're not familiar with these guys you need to be. Not only can they fight, they have personalities, an inspiring story and are stars in the making (as long as they keep winning.) They will be on live, so call in to speak with them.

Talk to you tomorrow night.