The Boxer’s Pride: Served Two Ways

The Fight of The Century. The fight they were talking about for 5 years, and complained about it for hours afterwards, including yours truly.

I’m here to share a reflection that maybe it actually was a classic, but in ways that weren’t obvious, and in layers maybe we’ll never know. Or we’ll continue to learn in the coming days as everyone collectively learns how human these fighters are compared to the demigods that we were building them up as in the last couple months. Not to say that Floyd and Manny are normal humans. They represent the absolute pinnacle of human athleticism combined with one of the oldest of martial arts. They both carry the pride and spirit of champions past, but just a way we’re not used to yet.

The narratives coming into the fight were unusually flipped, where Mayweather was the one subdued in public, actually not claiming yet to win but touting supreme and cautious confidence. Critics of Floyd were already calling him scared, and even as the fight progressed, his own father claimed how he was fighting scared. Manny on the other hand flew early from the islands to Los Angeles eager to start camp before the fight was even announced. If being Filipino is a source, that just fueled the flame for fans anticipating the fight being made. Freddie Roach immediately began a campaign, marketing his 5-year gameplan and commenting on how pleased camp was progressing, even as rumors now swirled on how the camp hid details like injuries in plain sight.

Then the fight actually happened, and both fighters demonstrated why they were number 1 and 2 in the world. Except 1 was several stories upwards from 2, and 2 was flights up from 3 to N. And as the fight progressed and I was in fact only now realizing that we were watching the Floyd Mayweather Jr. show, and the champion’s adjustments slowly pulled away from the challenger.

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The fight ended and Floyd immediately stood on the ropes and told the crowd “I won.” He crossed his arms and let the rain of boos wash over him. Manny took a while, but raised his arms, however he couldn’t feign, his head wasn’t raised. Floyd’s smiled shone through, as if he hasn’t smiled in years, and was gracious to his opponent for what seemed like the first time ever amongst the 47 previous opponents.  “Thank you for marketing for me, those Foot Locker commercials, for bringing your fans, and giving me your best.” He seemed to say. Manny’s body might not have been 100% able, but his pride drove his legs to the steps of the canvas. Now, Manny seemed more broken than ever. Floyd thanked God, while Manny cursed his under an ever-amicable smile.

In his storied past, Pacquiao’s raw talents brought him out of the streets and into the land of lucrative prizefights. If God had ushered Manny to discover his gifts, it was Man that led him astray. His so-called yes-men had driven every decision in his life since his sensational strings of fights and displays of courage. He was yet refined, and reminded people about boxing’s savage past, and brought hope to simple men in a simple country. Yet that simpleness was exploited, all the way to the last hour where in pride and simple loyalty he could not even predict his own future. Instead his “team” and Bob Arum will determine his future.

On the other hand, Floyd celebrated as soon as he heard the clap of the 10 second mark. As his internal clocked wound to 48-0, his resume grew to one more champion defeated, and he relished the words he would impart to his doubters. But something tells me this win was different, how happy he was. Floyd was arguably already transforming into the affable personality hidden underneath the riches, his gifts, his vision. The prime example of the self made man making unheard business moves on a shark-infested environment, he seemed to finally allow himself to celebrate his accomplishments and shed his persona. He only has one fight left, what left does he have to hide?

As for Manny, I hope he can ask his own heart of his desires. A man of responsibility, he has carried a burden too big, in the name of God, to ever start complaining about what own needs are… but he should, and I hope he does. He carries an old soul derived from the great champions of the past, who at times carried their burden/debt/sins/guilt/pride to their death. Floyd is fiercely fighting that archetype, believing that champions who have served the sport deserve the best of this life. That new pride is a needed evolution for the souls in this sport, and will define its future. Cheers, everyone.


Bernard Hopkins Victorious

By Rudy Mondragon

On Saturday November 8th, 2014, Bernard Hopkins stepped into the ring for the 64th time. Another historic night for Bernard for at the age of 49, two months shy from turning a half century young, Hopkins fought for not one but three championship belts. Already the oldest man to capture and defend championships belts, Bernard once again attempted to look logic and common sense in the face and resist it.

He came up short last night versus Sergey Kovalev, a worthy opponent with massive power and respect for Bernard outside the ring. Last night, that respect was slightly visible at the end of the first round after he was able to floor Bernard. A gesture to shake hands, not reciprocated by Bernard, Kovalev’s respect for Hopkins in the ring went out the window and to serious work Kovalev went. It was a one sided bout as Kovalev used distance, power, faints, and his reach to keep Bernard from having any success last night. The last round had the most action as it appeared Hopkins had hurt Kovalev. Closer look at the replay and it was a simple tangling of the feet. Hopkins pressed him after that and the two exchanged heavy punches, Kovalev getting the better of his elder.

The winner on paper and for the record was Kovalev. As a boxing community, we should give Kovalev all the credit for fighting his fight and executing a successful game plan to a t. However, on a monumental and historic level, Bernard Hopkins was the winner last night.

To explain why I argue that Hopkins was last nights winner, I will borrow from the 1976 fictional boxing classic, “Rocky.” The idea of winning for Rocky was to go the distance against Apollo Creed, something no one had ever done against the champion. Rocky was not supposed to be in the ring against Apollo, he had not gone through the process of becoming a number one contender to challenge the champion, but he was there nonetheless. Rocky won on the night he lost because his idea of being victorious was going the full 15 rounds against Apollo.

Now, I’m not saying Bernard and Rocky are one and the same. Bernard is way more accomplished and already hall of fame bound where as Rocky was simply starting to make a name for himself. These two however have this in common: Both were not supposed to be in the ring against their opponents. As Bernard shared with HBO, “I’m an alien. I come from an era that’s not the era of today, I just happen to be here.”

Bernard, was victorious last night because he went the distance against a man who was knocking all his opponents out. Everyone kept saying that Kovalev would not go beyond 8 rounds, he would either knock Hopkins out or Hopkins would win a 12 round decision. For a 49 year old man who defied the odds and did not accept the after life that most experience post-prison sentence and was able to stay in the ring for 12 rounds and not get taken out by a younger opponent, his performance last night was simply historic. Credit in that regard is due to this man who has given so much to boxing.

At this point, it would be wise for Hopkins to walk away from the sport. There is nothing more to prove as a fighter. There is a great deal for Hopkins to prove as a leading voice in boxing. I hope he makes good on his claim to want to clean up boxing and have the best fighters fight the best. A vision like this is important but means nothing unless it is put to practice. Is Bernard the man to make this vision a reality? Well, he  comes from an era when this was actually done. His task is to push this agenda and be a part of match making this era is yet to see.

Adrien Broner: Scapegoat Racist

By Rudy Mondragon 

Racism: Beliefs, actions, practices, and social/political systems that create a hierarchy of races deemed more superior or inferior to each other. Racism gives advantages to groups with power and privilege (white) and is manifested towards people of color who are in subordinated positions.

Adrien Broner was recently used as a scapegoat of racism in a time where racial insensitivity is a hot topic. This is due to the recent incident with Clippers owner, Donald Sterling and his hate towards black people, not wanting black people at his basketball games, and his history of racism. Although what Broner said this past Saturday night after his victory over Carlos Molina was racially and culturally insensitive, disrespectful, arrogant, lacked humility, and ignorant, I would not say that it was racist. A racist position would be someone who said something of someone from a different race with language and a tone of hate and power over another racial group. As a black man, Adrien Broner is not in a position of power, but more so in a position to disrespect an entire community as a result of his dominant performance over Carlos Molina (who is Mexican and Argentinian).

The question here is: Where were the suspensions or fines for racially insensitive shit before the Sterling fiasco? Had the Sterling incident not gone down, would the WBC acted the way they did towards Broner? The actions taken towards Broner come at a time where racialized (the process of making something about race) discourse is a sensitive issue and actions are more reactive than proactive. The actions taken by the WBC towards Broner is more of a move to protect the Mexican fight fan market than addressing racism in the boxing world. With that said, the WBC’s attempt was poorly executed because it was in the name of business rather than intentionally addressing systemic racism and hate. They were actions taken for the sake of taking action.

It is easy for white people to label people of color as racist in order to mask their own white privilege, power, and racial bias. Doing this frees them from discussing their own issues with racism and power and makes racism a universal practice that everyone engages in equally. Example, in 2012 Floyd Mayweather made a comment about the attention that Jeremy Lin was receiving was due to his Asian identity.

FM Tweet

There is a truth to what Floyd was saying that was misunderstood. Jeremy Lin was seen as an exotic player because he did not fit the norm of what a basketball player in the NBA looks like. As a result, the NBA and fans made a huge deal about a player (Lin) that was no different than other stand out rookies. Lin had MVP numbers in his first 10 games as a starter for the Knicks (24.6 points, 9.2 assists, and shot 49.7 percent from the floor), but in the next seven games his production dropped (CBS Sports). Yet the words that Floyd Mayweather put out were misconstrued, taken out of context, and simplified to Floyd being a racist bigot. It’s not that simple. If something is not within the norm, it is seen as exotic and when exoticized (process of making something or someone exotic), there is an opportunity to make money off of it, which is what was done with Jeremy Lin (See Lin Jersey Sales).

In conclusion, this piece is not an attempt to excuse Adrien Broner of his mistake. Let’s be VERY CLEAR ABOUT THAT. However, I do not think a suspension is fitting for his actions. I would say a monetary fine is more appropriate as his racially and culturally insensitive words would warrant consequences in any work place. Again, the question is, where were the suspensions or fines in the boxing world for racially and culturally insensitive shit before the Sterling fiasco? Remember Freddie Roach’s words towards Donald Leary and calling him a “Fucking Mexican” or Jim Lampley saying James Kirkland needs to “go ghetto on him” or his insensitive comments towards Islam?

The list goes on. The conversation of racism in boxing needs to be addressed and folks need to be held accountable in a more equitable fashion. This reactive response from the WBC and from the boxing world labeling Adrien Broner a racist is a scapegoat move that needs to be further discussed. I suggest that racism in boxing be seriously dealt with by looking at the history of racism in boxing, understanding it, and taking well informed action in addressing it and calling out those who have power and privilege that go untouched when being racially insensitive and bias.

Predictions for #TheMoment


BMB Fam, here is the prediction for the match between Floyd Mayweather Jr (45-0, 26 KOs) and Marcos Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs). We start off with a special prediction by Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora.

Miguel Marino 

Here are the numbers that matter: 45-0. Others can point at these numbers: 37 v. 30 (age of Mayweather v. Maidana), 89% (Maidana knockout win percentages) and $170 million v. $6 million (estimated net worth of Mayweather v. Maidana). Age shouldn’t matter at this point. The Maidana KO win percentage is interesting and can pose a problem for Mayweather. I always imagined the first person to beat Mayweather was someone who would knock him out. The net worth difference is just hilarious and makes me feel sad for Maidana and all other boxers (as well as myself). No matter what numbers you look at, this fight is a going to be another notch in the belt for Mayweather.

Mayweather by Unanimous Decision 

Mateo Banegas 

Like many boxing fans, I think it would be great to witness Maidana continue his giant-killing streak against the pound-for-pound king. However, I just don’t see it happening.

If nothing else, Mayweather has shown us time and time again how he employs his uncanny boxing skills and defensive technique to outclass opponents with the characteristics of Maidana – a slugger, who is flat-footed and not known for good lateral movement. So, there is no reason to think that this time around will be any different.

The only way I see Maidana winning is if he can land enough body shots to slow Mayweather down and put him in a position for a knockout.

Mayweather by Unanimous Decision

Luke Givens

This will not go well for Maidana.  Mayweather is coming in ranked #1 pound for pound, 45-0, with -1200 odds.  This is boxing, so of course there’s always a puncher’s chance (and Maidana can certainly punch) but I just don’t see anything close to a victory for the Argentine.  This fight goes one of two ways: a.) Mayweather puts on a boxing clinic like he did against Guerrero.  He takes advantage of his superior speed and footwork to keep his slower, clumsier opponent off balance and missing. b.) Mayweather comes in looking to make a statement i.e Miguel Cotto.  He stands in the pocket using a high-shoulder, lots of head movement and combinations to pepper away at his opponent.  It means he gets hit with more punches and it certainly means he opens himself up to one of those big shots Maidana is known for, but it also proves that he’s willing to trade shots with one of the hardest punchers in the division.  Mayweather’s at a point where he’s trying to cement his legacy so call me silly but I’m actually leaning towards the latter.  But let’s be serious here…$ not knocking anyone out.

Mayweather via Unanimous Decision.

Rudy Mondragon

This fight is closer than we think. Floyd is the champion entering this fight and will have a load of powerful advantages entering this fight. He has been here before, this is nothing new to the Money Legend. He does however have quite a bit of mental challenges ahead. A fighter is a fighter and can block mental aspects out, but a fighter is not immune to mental fatigue. Dealing with a four year engagement, abortion of twins from his ex, struggles of being surrounded by an entourage but feeling lonely, Miss Jackson now dating Nelly, and these two apparently attending tomorrow’s event. This is the shot that I give the hard punching brawler, Chino Maidana. I see Maidana having early success in going to Floyd’s body, but missing to the head. On these misses, once Floyd times and calculates Maidana, it will be a Floyd clinic. Look to see a demonstration of the sweet science as Floyd disables and neutralizes Maidana’s power and relentless and never say quit attack. It will be the roughest fight Mayweather has been in because Maidana will have not respect for Floyd and will not be phased by the lights.  I say this fight is closer than we think in the sense that I see Maidana being busy early on and able to win close rounds on the judges cards. He will make Floyd work extra hard, but Floyd will simple box and do what he needs to collect points and win via unanimous decision. I see this fight 7 rounds to 5 in favor of Money May.

Mayweather by Unanimous Decision 

This generation’s version of a Gutsy Card on May 3

After the announcement of KhanCollazo, news quickly came out for Adrien Broner to join the Mayweather-Maidana card against Carlos Molina, who last lost to Amir Khan by TKO from an unfortunate, early cut in the 10th round. Another fight tagged on to that is the rising prospect J’Leon Love against Marco Antonio Periban.

This card is the best this generation’s fight fans could look for this year, and I started to reflect on what exactly I’m getting excited about. Was I interested in the moment that Mayweather might lose? Am I excited to see Khan get cracked on the jaw, just like Ortiz did? Am I looking forward towards Broner getting embarrassed once again? Will it be interesting to see J’Leon run over another opponent?

Those questions had something in common: the first names on the bill. Much like a broadway play, the order of the names on the fight card are just as important as the names themselves for the theater that Mayweather Productions, Leonard Ellerbe, and other invisible hands at work want to present to their willing audiences. Right from the start, the syntax of how the fights were announced had someone to celebrate and, on the other side of the arena, a villain to dispatch. A narrative was already in place, and instead of viewing these fine fighters as warriors willing to put it all on the line for their fans, promoters view them as cash cows lining up for a killing [in the box office]. You’d think we were talking about how to produce this summer’s next action movie hit, not boxing.

Fortunately, thanks to the internet, little glimpses of the glory of boxing live in the archives. (A little bit of a clue here, if you want to really get into interesting boxing, hit the books.) I wanted to understand what generations past would think about this May 3rd card and whether the results of these fights would be anything more than predictable

One quote by a blogger and commenter, Fight Film Collector:

— I also like Khan.  He has his flaws, and he’s not lived up to the expectations promised at the beginning of his career, but very few do.  He’s fast, smart, can punch and is still working hard to make the best of his tools.  I’m not making a comparison, it’s just my appreciation of a boxer who’s better than most and has put on some good fights.  I think Floyd saw Khan bringing him problems, and so instead we get another in a long line of come at you Latino sluggers who will eat jabs and straight rights for twelve rounds.  As long as Mayweather wins his fights, he’ll continue to write his own ticket.  With the exception of Pacquiao and perhaps Bradley, the money won’t change for him no matter who he fights at this point.  Floyd is having his day, and that day will end when he loses a fight, as it goes in boxing, when its least expected.  And that, ironically, will end up being the most memorable fight of his career.

Another quote by the Hall of Famer, Terry Norris:

NORRIS: The key to beating Floyd is somebody that’s going to go in there and mix it up with Floyd. Not box him, but go at him, bang Floyd, push Floyd around, and hit him with uppercuts and hit him with things that he’s just not expecting to be hit with. You need somebody strong, somebody bold, and somebody that’s real aggressive and just throws a lot of punches, and goes in there in the best shape of their life and ready to go.

JENNA: Okay now Terry, you mentioned before that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Junior wouldn’t do so good in your era. I’m wondering, there were so many great fighters when you fought, was there any particular one that you wished you could have gotten in the ring with that you didn’t?

NORRIS: Not really. When I was fighting, I wanted to fight everybody but now that I’m not fighting I really don’t care. Back then I would have loved to have fought De La Hoya. I would have loved to have been able to fight Floyd. I would have loved to have been able to prove that Floyd is not the best fighter in the world, and I know I could have beaten him.

In the end, I’m not a professional boxer, and it really isn’t fair to compare generations when boxers of today are, arguably, also thinking and training for the same thing against their respective opponents, “I know I can beat him”. The thing is, the sentiment of true champions seems to have shifted from Norris’ time — “When I was fighting, I wanted to fight everybody…” We have fighters today cherry-picking their opponents, and promoters paving a path to stardom by feeding prospects pawns while riding the tails of PPV draws.


Isn’t that a trip? Fighting everyone, anyone? In that case, there’s only one fight in the May 3rd card that deserves credit, and that’s the Khan-Collazo fight. My gut was right in looking forward to that fight the most, as each fighter is hungry, and talented, and willing to go the distance, challenge each other and emerge truly victorious. May the best fighter win.



Floyd Mayweather’s Top 5 Career Moments

Behind The Gloves and Gorilla Productions hooked up to put together this great video. Floyd Mayweather’s top 5 career moments gives fans insight to his experience’s of great emotion, struggle, victories, defense, rise to stardom, and the capturing of his first title.

With Floyd days, hours, minutes away from announcing his next opponent, this video will provide a good opportunity to remember, recall, and reflect on the greatness of Floyd. Hate him or love him, he is simple The Best Ever of our current boxing era.

Enjoy, Blood Money Boxing family!

2013 Best of Boxing Awards

By Rudy Mondragon

2013 was one of the best years of boxing that I have ever experienced. Boxing is a diverse community made up of fans who love technical fights, wars, brawls, knockouts, and fights that go the distance. From Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov’s war in March to Floyd Mayweather’s clinical win over Saul Alvarez, 2013 had a little bit of everything. This year gave it’s fans something to hold onto as we move into 2014. With the fights that were manifested in 2013 also come the dream fights that can be made as a result. Before those are announced however, here are the 2013 Best of Boxing Awards brought to you by Blood Money Boxing.

Pound for Pound of 2013

  1. Floyd Mayweather
  2. Timothy Bradley
  3. Andre Ward
  4. Guillermo Rigondeaux

Fighter of the Year 

Adonis Stevenson and Floyd Mayweather

Knockout of the Year

Adonis Stevenson KO over Chad Dawson

Fight of the Year

Ruslan Provodnikov VS. Timothy Bradley

Warrior of the Year

Ruslan Provodnikov

Upset of the Year

Marcos Maidana VS. Adrien Broner

Trainer of the Year

Robert Garcia and Joel Diaz

Boxing Fail of the Year 

Julio Cesar Chavez Decision Win over Brian Vera

2014 Dream Fights 

  • Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao
  • Marcos Maidana vs Floyd Mayweather
  • Marcos Maidana vs Ruslan Provodnikov
  • Danny Garcia vs Adrien Broner
  • Saul Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin
  • Mikey Garcia vs Yuriorkis Gamboa
  • Adonis Stevenson vs Sergy Kovalev
  • Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Leo Santa Cruz

As we transition to 2014, my biggest hope is that the promoters that have ultimate power in boxing will lessen some of that power and privilege and think of the fans for once. May Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions settle their differences and team up to make fights like Leo Santa Cruz and Guillermo Rigondeaux or best of all, can the fans finally get Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao? As long as Oscar De La Hoya stays out of the mix and lets Richard Schaefer and Bernard Hopkins do their thing for the company, I believe big things will take place in 2014. Schaefer has proven himself to be the one who makes things happen for GBPs. It might be a good idea to have Manny Pacquiao and his peoples in a room with Schaefer and his peoples. Only a dream thought, but the idea of that happening looks more promosing that continuing to sit and negotiate with Bob Arum and his peoples. Out with the old and in with the new. If Top Rank doesn’t begin to be more flexible, they might be walking into their worst year of boxing in 2014 as their stable has not been as strong as years past.

As we leave 2013, let us also remember those who lost their live’s this year: Ken Norton, Tommy Morrison, Emile Griffith, and Frankie Leal. May they rest in power.

Straight Right


I would like to echo’s article about Alexis Arguello and his fight with then-trainer of Mike Tyson, Kevin Rooney. Any time an article about Alexis comes up, I’m always about it. 

This guy is as classy as he comes. All the tapes I’ve seen of him even have him wearing indistinct, flat-colored trunks with his name on it, so simple. He even looks so tame, coming into the ring, honoring the ref, and the opponent before the bell rings. Even in the first rounds, as a slow starter, it would be a slow burn to get to the “esplosivo” part of his name. 

The fight above referenced by Mr. Giudice is another excellent example of the “guts” post I referenced earlier. Rooney started fast, bobbing and weaving and showing how Mike Tyson really listened to his trainer. Body shots were plentiful from Rooney, and you could see Alexis’ eyes widening as if to say “whoa there” haha. But even then, in his slow-starting ways, you could see how he parries with the right, leads with the left hook, and circles to open up opportunities for his magical straight right, a punch Alexis could throw in his sleep. It always looks the same, and when it hits, you can see Rooney’s head SNAP. 

Beautiful fighter, beautiful man, and RIP Mr. Arguello, you are missed. 

Note: Check out trainer Teddy Atlas in Kevin’s corner! What a G. 

Fabulous Four and 112

I’d like to write about guts, the Fabolous Four, and the 1-1-2, the evolution of the 1-2, or the most basic combination, the jab+straight.

I want to start with Dinamita, because I believe the signs that boxing was evolving happened as soon as our gaze left the heavyweights and towards the lighter weights. The speed, unreal display of high velocity pugilism is what attracted us to the new generation of the Barrera, Morales, and Marquez. These three, along with Pacquiao, really brought to the fans the true character of a boxing champion, which combines the skill and talent of the boxer himself with true courage and heart that you could see when these guys would fight each other. It was truly the definition of a battle of wills. Michael Rosenthal said “The bottom line is this: Barrera, Morales and Marquez were precious gifts to fight fans who admire an unusual combination of skill and courage.”

Dinamita in particular was interesting because his talent was developing that basic combination and pairing it with one of the most intelligent ring IQs in the game.

His counter style wraps around his opponent so that when he fights, you really see a master at work, creating opportunities to hit hard and continue hitting. He starts the first round a student, studying, prodding his opponent with the highest IQ left hand in the game. Especially as a featherweight, the velocities he was working on were blazing fast. In recent history, he’s been a much faster starter, but his exchanges always ended with a well placed crescendo, using complicated one-twos, one-one-twos, and uppercuts. You could even break down the one-one-twos into specific components. The timing of the first hard jab, the intuition to step in fast into the opponents chest right behind the second jab to keep the opponent off balance, then using a hard straight right filled with malice to end with all the intention to end the fight. Boxers like the Fabolous Four above would use this remix of a basic combination to such success with lesser opponents that once they fought each other and found that they were still standing after the 1-1-2, they knew that from then on it would be a real man’s battle through to the end.

This is the passion that got me into boxing as a fan, and I really wish for the sake of the sport that young boxers would look towards the Fabolous Four’s careers and understand what it really takes to carry that hunger and passion year after year, fight after fight. I’m looking directly at you Berto, and even you Miguel Cotto, to show us this hunger this upcoming weekend.

These cats are coming off losses, but I have been such a fan of their hunger, their ring presence, and motivation in the past, just hoping that they could show that same glimmer this coming weekend.

A toast for the future hall of famers! Especially for Erik Morales and one of my favorites, the baby-faced assassin, Barrera. Let’s end with some 50.