“Before I Leave I Just Wanted To Beat The Best British Fighter Out There”

I wasn’t able to record Floyd Mayweather’s latest conference call for his upcoming bout against Ricky Hatton (12/8, HBO PPV) but below are some of the highlights:

On whether he (Mayweather) was happy to get booted off Dancing With The Stars early so he could focus on his training:

“Well, I would rather go home early then go home, you know, a week before the fight. I’d rather go home early. I mean it’s just like when you’re fighting a guy, you say to yourself, like – it’s hard to explain. It’s more like – I mean I was happy that – just to get the experience, just to go on dancing with the stars, just do so something different, because I was the only athlete that was active. You have other athletes, they weren’t active. They were like – I was doing two things at one time. I had to wake up, go to the dance studio. After the dance studio, go to the boxing gym. After the boxing gym, go run. After the run, I had to go back to the dance studio. After the dance studio, then I had to go to physical training, you know, at the fitness gym. So, I mean it was grueling, but was it worth it? Absolutely.”

Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy is promoting this fight) was also on the call and had this to say regarding Mayweather’s involvement on the show:

“Well, I – being a fighter myself, you know, and the fighting world, you know, it’s a small world. And we all know that Mayweather is a professional when it comes to his boxing. We all know that he’s always in great shape. We all know that he goes to the gym every day and he doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke. He doesn’t – you know, he has not bad habits. You know, so it really didn’t worry anybody much, you know, because even though if he did stay until the last week, you know, we felt it wasn’t going to effect him because he’s always in great shape.
And so, you know, obviously, in my case, I think it was a little bit different, you know. You know, I wouldn’t stay in shape, like Mayweather in between fights, and so, you know, it was a different case for me. You know, when I was fighting and younger, but with Mayweather, I think there no doubt that he can pull this off with no problem.”

Mayweather on his amazing stamina:

“Well I don’t train like no other fighter. We don’t train like no other fighter. And, you know, I mean of course, Oscar is – you know, he’s one of the guys that’s going down in history as one of the best guys of my era. And if I’m fighting one of the best guys of my era, I’ve got to push myself to the limit, you know. And what I was doing for that fight is – actually I’m training harder this fight than I did for that fight because for that fight, you know, I just started boxing nine rounds probably into the third week. But, you know, I think it’s my second day back boxing – it’s my second day back boxing in the gym I started boxing nine and 10 rounds.
So, you know, I’m all ready in tremendous shape all ready. I’m running eight miles. And it’s just that we don’t – we’re not like no other fighter. We don’t use a bell when we go to the gym. We don’t use a bell at all. We don’t even have a bell in our gym. So, sometimes when we box, we box, you know, six to eight straight minutes, because if a guy gets tired, we put another guy in to keep boxing. So, I guess I’m a throwback fighter. I’m a fighter than can fight 15 rounds, you know, if needed. But, I mean I have nothing but the utmost respect for all of these – you know, all fighters who dedicate themselves to his craft. And I just come with tremendous shape. I mean a lot of it is God-given talent. Most of it is God-given talent, you know. And the rest is just hard work.”

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The State of Boxing

Mosley vs. CottoApologies for the lame title but that really is the best way to describe my conversation with Dave Larzelere aka Larz aka Large from No Mas. If you are a boxing enthusiast and haven’t checked his site out you’re truly missing out. For my money, he’s the best boxing writer on the world-wide-web (he’s also a tremendous musician, too). His sparring mate and the head of the No Mas empire, Chris Isenberg, designs the greatest sports t-shirts I have ever seen. Be sure to check those out as well (ahem, hopefully all that love will grant me some free shirts).

The last few months have produced some tremendous fights inside the squared circle and here’s hoping some more fireworks are produced in the next few weeks with Calzaghe-Kessler, Cotto-Mosley and Mayweather-Hatton on the horizon. Rest assured, Larz will be stepping into the Park to break down the sweet science every week but for his first appearance around these parts we wanted to briefly look at it, well, the state of boxing.

Oh, and when I say “briefly” I mean 45 minutes long so sit back and enjoy.

The State of Boxing with Larz

No Mas Scorecard [No Mas]
No Mas Online Store [No Mas]

Kurt Angle discusses his DUI, his future in MMA, Lesnar signing and more

Kurt AngleWhat a year its been for Olympic Gold medalist Kurt Angle. First, he leaves World Wrestling Entertainment after a legendary seven-year run. WWE claimed they fired him for repeated drug suspensions; Angle claimed he pulled a fast one on Vince and tricked him into releasing him. Rumors then begin to circulate that Angle is talking with the UFC about fighting for their promotion. Then, all of a sudden, he signs with TNA wrestling and it appears as though his wrestling career is back on track…That is until his name comes up in a Florida steroid investigation, BodogFight begins negotiating an MMA contract with him and he wins the TNA heavyweight title…

…But his year didn’t end there. Angle recently appeared at an International Fight League event fueling more rumors that he is interested in trying his hand at MMA, he’s charged with a DUI and UFC president Dana White continues to call him out. Then the UFC announced that they had signed Angle’s long-time friend and opponent, Brock Lesnar, to a two-year deal.

And while announcing the Lesnar signing, White didn’t forget to (sort of) take a shot at Angle:

“I don’t think there are any other pro wrestlers who can make the transition to MMA except for Brock Lesnar.”

It was time to reach out to Angle and ask him about his future in MMA, his recent arrest, Lesnar’s signing, Couture resigning and more. All in a year he will surely never forget.

(Sorry for the echo in our voice. It will never happen again. Enjoy.)

Kurt Angle – 10/22/07

Inside The Steroid Sting [Sports Illustrated]
Angle Gets Fired Up Ringside At IFL Finals [IFL]
Dana White: Kurt Angle Is “Full of Sh-“ [MMA Junkie]
Brock Lesnar Is The Latest Heavy Hitter in the UFC [UFC]
UFC Signs Lesnar [Yahoo! Sports]

October 3, 2004

That date will forever signify the end of my innocent obsession with sports. Once the Montreal Expos, my Expos (and yes they actually did had fans), played their final out things started to change. Simply put, I began to loathe sports. The one thing I could count on had finally betrayed my trust. You see, it’s one thing for your team to lose a heartbreaking playoff series. Those hurt but there’s always next year. It’s another for them to simply disappear and never play another game again. The latter is a pretty terrible feeling.

Shockingly, time (as it usually does) began to heal my wounds. I needed to find a silver lining in this mess. So, I decided to get to know some of my other favorite teams a little better. Surely I could find happiness through their exploits, right? Wrong. Growing up the teams I passionately followed were the New York Knicks, the Buffalo Bills and the Montreal Canadiens. Now, let’s see: The Knicks are generally viewed as the biggest laughing stock in sports. The Bills haven’t made the playoffs in the 21st Century and the Canadiens, once the gold standard on the ice, haven’t made it passed the second round of the playoffs since 1993.

As I began to grow tired of the traditional team sports I found myself paying more attention to a trifecta of combat sports: mixed-martial-arts, boxing, and pro wrestling. Maybe it’s because they represent everything team sports are not. Or maybe it’s because I draw some kind of enlightenment from watching two guys beat the crap out of each other. Who knows?

At this point it only made sense to become “the free agent fan.” I never formally made this announcement to the world. I never offered my services up on eBay. Nor did I ever appear via satellite from my basement on Cold Pizza. It just kind of happened. I even thought about naming this site freeagentfan.com but I never want to be viewed as some disgruntled ex-sports fan. We all hate those guys. Then I remembered where it all began. The one stadium I would have loved to visit but will never have the chance: Jarry Park – the first home of my first love (the Expos). When I think about those lucky enough to attend a game at Jarry Park I am filled with envy. It seemed like the most joyous and serene place to enjoy a sporting event.

I know most, if not all, of you couldn’t care less about the Expos or Jarry Park. Trust me, this site will not be a shrine to either institutions. It’s not even a baseball site. It’s just that whenever I think of Jarry Park and what it stood for (in my mind, at least) I am reminded of why I love covering sports so much. Until this day, Jarry Park no longer existed. Well, I’m bringing it back and instead of hosting baseball games it will be the new home to all things combat.

Rest assured you’ll never just be hearing my voice on the site. Every day we’ll feature several special guests. I have worked in the television and radio business for several years now and have met some amazing people. They’ll drop in from time-to-time and hopefully hook me up with some great guests too.

Welcome to Jarry Park: The Coliseum of Combat Sports. Touch ’em up.