Thursday, April 30, 2009


I always enter the week with a plan of who I'd like to have on the show. The list usually is 4 or 5 names deep. On weeks, such as this, where I can't get my A list names, I'm often left scrambling to find guests. Even when they're not the biggest stars in the sport, the guests are usually very good.

As of early Thursday afternoon, I still hadn't filled one of the slots with a top name guest. As I was going through my contact list, my phone rang. Could we put Bernard Hopkins on tonight? Umm, yeah I think I can squeeze him in.

So tonight we've got B-Hop and Fighnews/Fightwriter's Graham Houston.

Also, I'm going to talk about my harrowing experience announcing the Spinks - Latimore fight.

Tune in tonight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some weeks I've got all my guests lined up by Monday afternoon. Others, like this week, I won't know who's on the show until Thursday afternoon (if I'm lucky).

Some weeks I put out two requests and get positive answers immediately. Others, like this week, I cast a wide net and get nothing.

I really should have someone booking guests for me but when the show first started 3 years ago, I had a booker and still ended up having to make calls on Wednesday nights and Thursday mornings to land guests, so I decided to do it my damn self.

This week, I requested interviews from the following people: Ricky Hatton, Wlad Klitshcko, David Haye, Jermain Taylor, Paulie Malignaggi, Carl Froch and Nick Charles. To make matters worse, Shane Mosley was pitched to me, I agreed and then it took an email and phone call from me to find out he couldn't make it.

I was told on Monday, we had a good shot at Hatton. Today I was told that Golden Boy booked interviews with him already on several radio stations. Yes, I can see why you'd want to talk to one market at a time when you can reach 75 stations plus the entire boxing community on Fightnews and iTunes in one 10 minute interview. Plus, let's face it, how many local radio sports talk hosts have a clue about boxing? OK, I'll stop being a sore loser. It's not becoming of a man of my stature.

I never heard back from Klitschko's, Haye's or Froch's people. Taylor doesn't like to do radio (which I knew). Paulie hasn't responded yet (3 days before the fight, he might not be checking voice or email). Showtime's Nick Charles graciously agreed to do the show despite the likelihood that he'll be in the middle of dinner. Nick is one of the nicest guys in the business (not because he's on the show). He truly loves boxing and always enjoys talking about it, whether to me or to a fan that approaches him after the fights.

Keep an eye on Fightnews tomorrow for the official lineup.

While today was frustrating, last Friday was a great day. I got the call from Don King Productions that I'll be ring announcing Friday''s ShoBox show in St. Louis. I like Cory Spinks and Devon Alexander. Plus, it's a world title fight. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pumped for it. I'll be doing one off TV bout too. I always like to announce boxers that I'm friends with. While his star has fallen a bit, DaVarryl Williamson is also one of the nicest guys in the sport. I've known him for about 5 years now. He's good people. When I found out he was on the card, I requested his bout.

Lastly, I sparred on Friday. It was the first time in 5 years. I didn't get in too deep. I swapped leather with Lou Martinez, who runs Palm Beach Boxing. Because I know and completely trust Lou, I wasn't at all nervous. The fact that I was so relaxed definitely helped my game. I was able to think in the ring for probably the first time in 18 rounds that I've sparred.

I still took way too many punches, but left feeling pretty good about it. Especially for a guy old enough to remember watching Cory Spinks' dad on TV.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Glad to be Back

We're back with a vengeance this week and we have a packed show scheduled.

We'll kick it off with Fightnews Managing Editor Flattop, who will express his opinion on Oscar De La Hoya's retirement. Not surprisingly, I think Flattop is dead wrong.

Next we'll check in with Cory Spinks. He takes on Deandre Latimore next Friday for the IBF Jr. Middleweight title. Besides being a skilled boxer, Cory comes from boxing royalty. Tune in to hear his thoughts about his fight, father Leon and uncle Michael.

In the last segment will talk with Freddy Roach who is currently training Manny Pacquiao for the Hatton fight. He and Floyd Mayweather, Sr. have engaged in a war of words as of late. The exchange should continue on Thursday night.

On a separate note, it looks like I'll be doing color commentary for the Macho Camacho - Yory Boy Campas fight on may 9th. I'm thrilled to be partnered with the legendary Col. Bob Sheridan. I'll let you know when I have more details about the broadcast. The highlight of the weekend will no doubt be attending Angelo Dundee's 88th birthday party.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fan Friendly

Boxing is different from other sports for a whole host of reasons. One of the key factors is it is just much more fan friendly than other sports. Boxers are accessible while baseball, basketball and football players are not.

If you go to your local batting cages or basketball court, the chances of seeing A-Rod or Dwayne Wayde practicing are slim to none. However, go into your local boxing gym and there's a decent chance you'll see some pros.

This has happened to me time and again. Of course, I live in South Florida where many top fighters come to train. I used to work out at the same time as Zab Judah, when he was in his prime. If you like a boxing workout, I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it is to work out next to a world champion.

Yesterday, instead of lunch, I ran over to Palm Beach Boxing to work out. Bermane Stiverne, a heavyweight prospect who I have written about before was finishing his training for the day. This is a guy who will be a top 10 contender in two years and has a legitimate shot at winning a title. We talked for a while (he said Jameel McCline is the hardest puncher he's ever been in with and that includes both Klitschkos and Sam Peter).

Then as I was skipping rope, Cory Spinks and Devon Alexander walked in. I talked with those guys for a few minutes and let them start training.

I tailored my work out to try and emulate what they were doing. It's like getting free coaching from top pros. As I was working the heavy bag, I told Cory to pay attention, he might learn something.

The best part of encountering these guys in the gym is that it's their office. It's where they're comfortable. They're much more relaxed than when being interviewed. I've met Bermane several times and always got one or two word answers from him. At the gym, he was talkative and we had a normal conversation.

The highlight of yesterday's session was watching Cory shadow box. As soon as the round ended, he'd spend his minute of rest, practicing dance moves. I didn't get the impression this was something done for his ring walk. I think he just likes to get his groove on.

I all of my years covering boxing and watching fighters train, I've never seen anyone do that.

If you haven't already, check out your local boxing gym. You never know what or who you'll see.