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Rizwaan
Zahid

B&W No. 3 | Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries | The Ringside Boxing Show
Timothy "Desert Storm Bradley"

The mess at junior welterweight
t
ypifies boxing's problems


By Rizwaan Zahid
of The Boxing Amusement Park


After Amir Khanís win over Paulie Malignaggi on May 15, the British boxing star expressed his interest in having a tournament at 140, ala Showtime's Super Six Classic for super middleweights. The proposal was that Khan would fight Marcos Maidana and Devon Alexander would fight Timothy Bradley. Three weeks later, that idea seems like it was ages ago as all four fighters are all taking different paths.
 Maidana was originally scheduled to fight Bradley, but pulled out with an injury. They rescheduled, only for Maidana to claim injury again. Now recent news is that Maidana didnít have a back injury, but, rather, a promotional dispute. In short, he wanted more money for the Bradley fight and used the back injury to get out of a proposed date with Amir Khan for July 31st. Now, although that proposal for a fight was pretty useless with Maidana supposedly injured, the new information brings to light the fact that Maidana did not fight Khan because of financial issues with his promoter. Although Khan was avoiding Maidana before, it did seem like he wanted the fight now.
 As for Khan himself, it seemed as if he was going to fight Michael Katsidis after the Aussie defeated another Brit, Kevin Mitchell. But Katsidis  reportedly would not be offered enough to go up to 140, and instead is likely to fight the winner of Marquez-Diaz.
Katsidis' trainer, Brendon Smith, insists they havenít received an offer and they would indeed take a fight with Khan. Also, in the latest published interview with Katsidis, he has indicated that he is interested in fighting Khan. Right now, though, Khan is rumored to be lining up a fight with Joel Casamayor. The former champion Casamayor has said the fight ďis a go,Ē although it has not been made official yet.

Timothy Bradley has not expressed interest in fighting in the tournament, but says he'd participate if the money was right. Bradley instead appears to be looking for major paydays against the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
In my book at least, he doesn't yet deserve a major payday. Devon Alexander has repeatedly shown an interest in fighting Bradley, but with the Maidana fight falling through, Bradley will now go up to 147 to fight undefeated but untested Luis Carlos Abregu next month.

Many networks may not want to showcase Devon Alexander, a Don King fighter. HBO and Showtime have tried for years to keep King away from their telecasts and promoting major fights. Alexander will now fight another Don King Promotions fighter, Andrei Kotelnik. Although Kotelnik is a good opponent, heís not one of the great fighters people would like to see Alexander take on.
Itís simply amazing how quickly boxing can shoot itself in the foot so many times.
There is no one individual to blame for causing this mess, but fights the fans want are becoming diamonds in the rough -- so deeply embedded, in fact, that itís nearly impossible to get to the diamonds.
That is what boxing is becoming, it seems. A major fight is a surprisem rather then expected. These fighters are young and have the chance to put boxing pack on a straight path. Theyíre all talented and have the skills to be the best. But thereís no way we will find out who is the best unless they fight.




Steve "USS" Cunningham

 

Troy Ross, Steve Cunningham
collide at a crossroad


By Rizwaan Zahid
of The Boxing Amusement Park


Troy Ross and Steve Cunningham are Canadian and American respectively, yet for Saturdayís vacant IBF cruiserweight title bout the two will be fighting in Germany. Why are two of the top cruiserweights fighting on another continent when they are entertaining and highly skilled?
Neither fighter has had many HBO or Showtime events in which they were showcased. Cunningham, a Philadelphia native, has travelled to his opponentís backyard numerous times, especially in the past couple of years. After losing a controversial decision to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in his native Poland, Cunningham went back six months later to win a majority decision in the rematch. Later in the year, Cunningham went on the road again to Germany to take on local star Marco Huck and beat him convincingly by a 12th-round TKO.
Along came Tomasz Adamek. In a late candidate for Fight of the Year, Adamek took home a close split decision. The brutal war was not on HBOís Boxing After Dark or Showtime Boxing, but on Versus on a Thursday night. Cunningham is now signed with German promotion company Sauderland Events, so while he may not be on HBO Boxing anytime soon, he has at least made a mark on German boxing. That nation already knows him quite well after his destructive win over Huck.
The route to this title shot has been nothing short of arduous for Troy Ross. Difficult, problematic, tough, demandingÖ all these words give an indication as to just how determined Ross had to be to continue fighting. Ross was a two-time Olympian for Canada and five years ago retired from the sport. Why? Simply because he wasnít able to book any meaningful fights. Ross won the reality TV series "The Contender" last year and showed what television networks have been missing all this time. I had the pleasure of doing an interview with him last year, and perhaps itís his soft-spoken manner that does not get him on the big fight cards. He doesnít talk as much as Mayweather and is not a politician like Pacquiao. Ross, a Brampton, Ontario resident, does not have the simple luxury that most fighters have by fighting in their hometown or around the surrounding area.
For both fighters, this is a make-or-break fight in many ways. Cunningham will be 34 next month and Ross will be 35. Ironically their birthdays are only two days apart. They've had similar struggles, and, at their age, will recognize the importance of this fight.
For Cunningham, itís the chance to shine in front of his new German fans. For Ross, itís the dream heís been chasing since turning pro, and a win could put North America on notice.



 

More columns
by Rizwaan Zahid:

Khan & Ortiz figure to beat savvy vets

Haye and Adamek: A report card after 3 fights

Joan Guzman: Best welterweight in the lightweight division

Devon Alexander/Female Boxing

Impressive U.S. debut for Campillo

Williams ready to punish at 147

Happy birthday, Champ!

Stars to Shine in 2010

The Grinches steal Christmas

Malignaggi-Diaz showed why instant replay is needed

Williams, Martinez show why they're avoided

Lucian Bute impresses America, and the world

James Kirkland: So promising, yet so wasteful

Suspension for foul language? That's bull$#:+!!!

Pacquiao-Cotto: Who wins?

Super Six Will Still Have Controversies

Haye, Angulo proved little

 

 

 

 


 

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Rizwaan Zahid



Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is in his senior year at Carleton University in Ottawa, pursuing his Mass Communications degree, with the future aspirations of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.

Although boxing has been his main focus over the years, Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper.
Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.

Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.
Contact Rizwaan