Five Years Too Late?

Roy Jones Jr. (51-4, 38 KOs) faces Felix “Tito” Trinidad (42-2, 35 KOs) next Saturday at Madison Square Garden (true).

The boxing world is buzzing over this showdown between two legends of the ring (not really).

Fans are willing to pay $5,000 to seat ringside for this bout (I would love to meet those “fans”).

A win by Jones over Trinidad could get his name back in the mix (questionable).

This is an interesting one. There has been virtually no buzz surrounding this fight, yet, when you look at what these fighters have accomplished one would expect a little more excitement from boxing enthusiasts. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that after losing three in a row, Jones has only defeated a couple of tomato cans in Prince Badi Ajamu and Anthony Hanshaw.

Nevertheless, at least he’s been keeping active. Trinidad, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since his loss to Winky Wright in May 2005. In fact, he has only fought three times since September 2001.

In an effort to get the boxing world talking about this one, Jones and the incomparable Don King recently held a conference call to discuss the upcoming bout, why we should care about it and who Jones is looking to fight next. (By the way, it may have just been a poor phone connection, but am I the only one who thought Jones sounded a whole lot like Riddick Bowe?)

Roy Jones Jr. – 01/13/08

Oh, and I think David Banks is still knocked out.

Part Two Of Press Conference Monday: Horodecki & Hieron Preview The IFL WGP Finals

The International Fight League held a conference call today featuring Chris Horodecki (11-0-0) & Jay Hieron (13-4-0). The last time I checked Horodecki was scheduled to face Ryan Schultz for the IFL’s Lightweight title at the 12/29 World Grand Prix Finals. That said, I haven’t checked my e-mail in the last ten minutes so chances are there is a press release waiting for me there stating he will now be facing Danny Abbadi.

You may recall that, Horodecki was originally slated to face Wagnney Fabiano. Fabiano was then sent to the new Featherweight division(?) and was promptly replaced by Shad Lierley. Sure, that came from left field but a Horodecki-Lierley rematch was definitely exciting. Sadly, Lierley sustained an injury while training and was replaced by John Gunderson…until Gunderson injured himself a day later.

Enter Ryan Schultz. Seriously now, how fitting would it be if Schultz knocked out Horodecki and was crowned the promotion’s first-ever Lightweight champ? Given the year the IFL has had the prospect of that happening wouldn’t surprise me.

As for Hieron, he will be facing Delson Heleno. He was scheduled to face him along so no confusion or drama there.

Below is the audio from the press conference.

IFL’s Horodecki & Hieron Press Conference – 12/17/07

Part One Of Press Conference Monday: HDNet Fights Post-Fight PC

As promised a couple of days ago in my HDNet Fights live-blog, below is the audio from the post-fight press conference.

Some of the highlights include:

* Mayhem being Mayhem. He definitely has some great lines but do you ever get the sense that he sometimes tries a little too hard? Nonetheless, his performance here was great. Definitely worth listening to.

* Sam Hoger, of all people, asking a ton of hard-hitting questions.

* Robert Villegas trying to save his career by claiming a broken leg suffered in the middle of his bout made him flop several times en route to getting DQ’d. By the way, I watched the fight last on TV and the man wasn’t limping at ALL during or after the bout.

* Randy Couture talking about his future.

* The Andrew Simon coming out party.

The audio begins with Tim Kennedy’s assessment of the fight.

HDNet Fights Post-Fight Press Conference

Part two of Press Conference Monday comes at you later this afternoon as the IFL presents the “who is the latest opponent scheduled to face Chris Horodecki at the GP Finals.” Stay tuned.

HDNet Fights: Take Two

Mark Cuban’s HDNet is quickly establishing itself as a leader in MMA programming. Witness the fact that they’ll be showing four solid events in the month of December alone. Things start off with HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon this Saturday night followed by Sportfight XXI on 12/22, the IFL World GP on 12/29 and the Yarennoka! new year’s eve show on 12/31. They also air Inside MMA the best weekly MMA news program on North American television (and the only one to my knowledge) as well as are sporting a new website.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, JarryPark will be travelling to Dallas to cover HDNet Fights in person this Saturday night in what is shaping up to be a pretty solid card. We’ll have more on that later in the week.

The main bouts for Reckless Abandon are:
Tim Kennedy vs. Jason Miller
Frank Trigg vs. Edwin Dewees
Yves Edwards vs. Alonzo Martinez
Pete Spratt vs. Tristan Yunker
Freddie Espiricueta vs. Nissan Osterneck
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Robert Villegas
Chris Bowles vs. Cory Mahon
Patrick Castillo vs. Jay White
Jason House vs. Liam McCarty
Lee King vs. Marcus Lanier

The promotion held a press conference earlier today to preview the card. Among the notables on hand were HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon, President Guy Mezger, Tim Kennedy and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Take a listen below.

HDNet Fights Press Conference

A TUF Night To Predict

Sure, it’s no Hatton-Mayweather but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to fill your appetite of combat sports tomorrow night you must check out the The Ultimate Fighter Finale on Spike TV (9 PM ET/PT). Guida vs. Huerta. Danzig vs. Speer. Some other filler matches include the return of Jonathan Goulet (Is it me or does Goulet seem out of place on this card? In any event, he needs a win ASAP so I guess he’ll take what he can get).

Anyhow, trying to predict Guida-Huerta is tough. I just believe that the UFC has too much invested in Roger “The Latin Sensation” Huerta to let him lose. No, the fight won’t be fixed but I have a feeling who Dana & Co. will be rooting for tomorrow night.

Danzig vs. Speer, on the other hand, seems a little more cut and dry. I haven’t seen anyone predict a Tommy Speer victory but, then again, no one even thought he would make it this far.

The official card:

Roger Huerta Vs. Clay Guida
Tommy Speer vs. Mac Danzig
Jared Rollins Vs. John Koppenhaver
Billy Miles vs. George Sotiropoulos
Matt Arroyo vs. John Kolosci
Troy Mandaloniz Vs. Richie Hightower
Ben Saunders vs. Dan Barrera
Roman Mitichyan Vs. Dorian Price
Paul Georgieff Vs. Jonathan Goulet

Below is audio from yesterday’s press conference which involved the likes of Roger Huerta, Clay Guida, Matt Hughes, Mac Danzig, Tommy Speer and Brian Diamond – Senior Vice President of Sports & Specials for Spike TV. Please excuse the semi-poor audio quality. The problem wasn’t on our end.

TUF 6 Finale Press Conference

Stay Tuned for The Park’s TUF predictions coming tomorrow.

There’s Only One Ricky Hatton

I touched on this last week but the reason I love the current edition of HBO’s 24/7 so much is because the differences between Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather are so vast its almost comical. Sure, Oscar De La Hoya is no Pretty Boy Floyd but there’s no denying that they share similar personality traits. I would be hard-pressed to find one thing in common between Hatton and Mayweather.

Some have said the whole “I love to drink me Guinness at me Pub” routine seems a little manufactured and that’s certainly a valid point but once you juxtapose it against the brash antics of one Floyd Mayweather it’s television gold.

As for the actual fight, come 12/8 the Manchester native will certainly walk to the ring an overwhelming underdog but, regardless, the Hitman seems more focused than ever.

I’m not just saying that, too. He really does. Take a listen for yourself.

Ricky Hatton – 11/27/07

Booker T Digs His Change Of Scenery

The worst kept secret in professional wrestling – six-time Heavyweight champion, Booker T, signing with TNA – proved to be correct last month. Since signing with TNA, Booker has repeatedly said that he was unhappy with the current direction of his former employer World Wrestling Entertainment. In fact, after his departure from WWE he wrote on his website:

“I had been unhappy for quite some time with the direction that the company was going in. In fact, I asked for my release back in July for that very reason. However, after further contemplation, I decided to continue on with WWE because of my passion for this industry and my desire to entertain the fans. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that my unhappiness with my work environment was beginning to take a great toll on other aspects of my life.”

However, as we all know, there are two sides to every story. After Booker’s name came up in the infamous Signature Pharmacy investigation he was suspended from WWE. Apparently, Booker took exception to the suspension and asked for his release…or was he fired?

While we will never truly find out if a) Booker actually asked for his release or was fired and b) if he ever purchased anything from Signature we can welcome the fact that one of the top performers of all-time has found a new home in TNA. Booker’s arrival will, at least for the time being, give the promotion some new blood to work with.

Take a listen as Booker discusses his arrival in TNA Wrestling, the Signature Pharmacy story and his reasons for leaving WWE. (Apologies for the audio but the issue isn’t wasn’t on my end.)

Booker T – 11/27/07

Let’s Get It On…One More Time

The UFC held a conference call today to officially announce that Georges St. Pierre (14-2-0) (right) will be replacing the injured Matt Serra at UFC 79 to challenge Matt Hughes (41-5-0) (left) for the interim Welterweight title.

Hot diggity, the UFC really worked their magic with this one. Sure, we all wanted to see Serra and Hughes settle their differences once and for all but Hughes-GSP III is just as intriguing.

And, one has to believe, Dana White will be all smiles regardless of who walks away with the interim title come 12/29. If GSP wins, it will potentially set up a great rematch against Serra in Montreal come April. I have attended many great events in Montreal and I can assure you that you will never hear a crowd like the one that will go nuts when a title-wearing GSP walks into the cage to avenge his loss to Serra.

Or, Hughes defeats St. Pierre for the second time, captures the interim title and Serra vs. Hughes, a feud that has been built up for over a year, is back on.

Regardless, UFC 79 is shaping up to be a tremendous card. Already announced was Silva vs. Liddell, Sokoudjou vs. Machida and, now, this.

Dana White, Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes were all present at a special UFC 79 conference call earlier today. No huge news coming out of it but Hughes definitely had some choice words for Serra that are worth checking out (including saying Serra is taking the easy way out and will be soon out of the UFC). Take a listen below.

UFC 79 Conference Call – 11/26/07

Boxing 101 With Professor Roger Mayweather

After one episode, HBO’s Mayweather-Hatton 24/7 is, by far, my favorite show on television. I love everything about it: the characters, the access, the production, the writing and, most importantly, the theme song (I feel like going 3-4 rounds everytime I hear it).

Undoubtedly, two of the biggest stars of the show are Pretty Boy’s trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather, and Ricky Hatton’s long-time trainer, Billy Graham.

In many ways, both are polar opposites but a closer look finds them to actually be quite similar. Tough and foul-mouthed they are two of the best trainers in the business.

So, needless to say, I was very much looking forward to their press conference today. While Hatton’s camp was a little subdued things certainly got interesting once Roger Mayweather appeared to teach us all a little bit about boxing. Prof. Mayweather must have questioned the boxing knowledge of at least ten journalists on the call, cussed more than Dana White and provided enough sound bytes to fill up a notebook.

Seriously, sit back, relax and listen to the audio because its absolutely brilliant.

(Note: The audio starts mid-conference as there were tons of technical difficulties at the start. Don’t worry, though. Nothing of importance happened and you won’t miss any of Mayweather’s quotes. Also, you can download this audio or any of our other interviews to your IPod or mp3 player by clicking on the link at the top right of the page.)

Mayweather-Hatton Trainers’ Press Conference – 11/20/07

Will HDNet Fights Soon Become A Force To Be Reckoned With?

HDNet Fights‘ first foray into the world of Mixed Martial Arts was, well, a mixed bag.

Their 10/13 card was put together on very short notice (described as a “trial run”) and while some of the fights were certainly entertaining it is believed that their upcoming show on December 15 will be the true test as to how good this promotion can and will be.

Needless to say, this card is a major improvement from their last one. The promotion, which is owned by Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, held a conference call to announce the entire 12/15 card and introduce some of their newest acquisitions – Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Sean Salmon, Frank Trigg and Edwin Dewees.

The main fights on the card include:

Jason “Mayhem” Miller (19-5-0) vs. Sean Salmon (14-4-0)

Frank Trigg (15-6-0) vs. Edwin Dewees (34-10-0)

Yves Edwards (30-13-1) vs. Alonzo Martinez (20-8-0)

Pete Spratt (16-10-0) vs. Tristan Yunker (11-6-0)

Some notes from the call:

– There will be 22-24 shows in 2008; three in Dallas and the rest will be held throughout the country.

– Recent signees Jason Miller and Frank Trigg have both signed a three-fight non-exclusive contract with the promotion.

– They are working very hard to getting HDNet on as many major cable platforms as possible.

– They are interested in signing guys like Ken Shamrock but are very cautious as to how the spend their money.

– No plans to crown any champions…yet. Commissioner Guy Mezger is not a fan of all the belts in MMA and you know what? Neither am I.

– No word on why they chose such a horrible name for the promotion, though.

In any event, I am really looking forward to this card. “Mayhem” Miller is one of the most entertaining fighters in the game and it will be interesting to see how much “Twinkle Toes” Trigg has left in the tank.

While the jury is still out on how good HDNet Fights will be I have a weird feeling that of all the new promotions out there these guys may be in the best position. Why? Two words. Mark. Cuban.

Below is the audio of conference call.

HDNet Fights Press Conference