Nigel Collins, Editor in Chief of THE RING magazine

THE RING March issue: At a glance

ensuing decades, THE RING has added additional awards, bringing the total to seven categories.

In 1945, Fight of the Year and Round of the Year were added, with Upset of the Year and Comeback of the Year starting in 1980. The final two categories, Knockout of the Year and Event of the Year began in 1989 and 1993, respectively.

Two other ingredients of THE RING’s 20-page Year-End Spectacular are the often-irreverent “Highly Unofficial Awards,” now in its 31st year, and the “Best Fighter Poll,” a survey of experts that has been around since 1980. There is also a complete list of former winners in each category.

There is often spirited debate among RING staffers and contributors as to who deserves to be Fighter of the Year, but there was very little deliberation about 2010’s winner. Virtually everybody consulted voted for middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, the first boxer from Argentina to garner top honors since Hall of Famer Carlos Monzon in 1972.

Although the annual awards section is the centerpiece of the March issue, there are plenty of other features and departments, including Senior Writer William Dettloff’s article about the world lightweight champion titled “Juan Manuel Marquez: Not the Boring One Anymore.” Dettloff uses Marquez’s up-from-the-floor TKO of Michael Katsidis to discuss his place in history compared to that of fellow Mexicans stars Marco Antonio Berrera and Eric Morales.

“Profile In Courage: Khan Overcomes Adversity to Beat Maidana” marks THE RING debut of award-winning writer Norm Frauenheim, whose graceful prose and insights have made him a must read for more than 25 years on the boxing beat.

“Now There are Two: Mares and Agbeko Advance to the Finals” by regular contributor David Mayo not only covers their victories over Vic Darchinyan and Yonnhy Perez, respectively, in the first round of Showtime’s bantamweight tournament, but also analyzes the impending showdown between the two winners.

“Frozen Out! Did Hopkins Get Hosed in Canada?” by Canada correspondent Paul Salgado delves into the controversial draw between ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins and world light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal in Quebec City. “Make no mistake,” writes Salgado, “to see Hopkins in the ring on this night was to witness pure fighting genius.”

Contributing Editor Don Stewart covers the latest action among contestants in Showtime’s other tournament in “From Helsinki to Oakland: Froch and Ward Ready for Super Six Final Four.” As Stewart writes, “It was two fights on the same night on different continents in different cities separated by more than 5,000 miles in distance and 40 degrees in temperature. One turned out to be a clean, one-sided boxing lesson, and the other a messy, rugged affair that was something like a demolition derby.”

As in every issue, our trio of intrepid columnist Jeff Ryan, Ivan Goldman, and Jim Bagg give their opinions on a wide range of topics. Ryan mounts a strong defense of Sylvester Stallone’s induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Among other items, Goldman suggests the best way to save Julio Cesar Chavez’ career. The Baggmeister hands out his own yearly awards in “From Bagg To Worse,” which includes Loser of the Year, Wuss of the Year, Egomaniac of the Year, and other awards that nobody in their right mind would want to win.

In “Fight Doctor,” Margaret Goodman, the only MD writing for a boxing publication, examines the risks of fighters drinking alcohol, while Michael Rivest profiles Ray and Justine Velez in “Amateur News & Views.”

In his long-running instructional series, “Perfect Execution,” Bernard Hopkins demonstrates the correct use of the heavybag. This issue’s “New Faces” by freelancer Mike Coppinger focuses on undefeated lightweight prospect Adrien Broner.

And that’s not all. There is also “Round One,” “Ringside Reports,” “Ring Card Girl Of The Month,” “Looking Ahead,” and much more. It’s an issue packed with great articles and wonderful photographs, including Howard Schatz’ fantastic image of Sergio Martinez that graces the cover.

DINAMITA” BLOWS AWAY KATSIDIS
Juan Manual Marquez: Not The Boring One Anymore

By William Dettloff

If humans are still following boxing 70 or 80 years from now, and we all should hope for their sake that they are, they will look back at the 1990s and a little after as a Golden Age of Mexican featherweight-ish prizefighters. This is not an original thought. We’ve known for as long as Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Juan Manuel Marquez have been splitting eyebrows and flattening noses that, as a set, they are as good as anything this business has produced, in any era. They have been three uncommonly and singularly committed, skilled, and tenacious Mexican warriors all doing business at the same time, at or around the same weight, and largely against one another.

Future historians will note that of the three it was Barrera who broke out first, his left hook and body attack reminiscent of a miniature Julio Cesar Chavez, all pressure and steely arrogance. Then came Morales not more than a year later, hollow-eyed, long-armed, seemingly emaciated, a 125-pound Tommy Hearns. They eventually would make wonderful, terrible, bloody music together.

Trailing behind them was Marquez. More cerebral than the other two, more deliberate, not nearly as exciting, and maybe a tad unsure of himself. He was the technician, content to jab or counter, where Barrera and Morales charged in, fists flying. He was the dull one.
The determined historian will note that by the halfway point of the following decade, Barrera and Morales were more or less finished, each done in to some degree or another by a whirlwind Filipino, who, certainly by coincidence he will think, had the same name as a Filipino Congressman. “Must be an uncle or cousin,” he will conclude before moving on.

For more, subscribe to The Ring or visit your local newsstand for complete articles and more! Or you can view the story for free on the new Digital Edition, which will be available on Thursday.

PROFILE IN COURAGE
Khan Overcomes Adversity To Beat Maidana

By Norm Frauenheim

There is no stardom without peril. Maybe that’s why Amir Khan almost seemed to welcome it. For weeks, Khan sounded as if he wanted to walk the high wire, precariously balanced on that unforgiving edge of a crisis. Fall and it’s a quick trip into a dark corner crowded with broken clichés, unfulfilled promise, and few chances at a comeback ticket. Stand and the potential increases by breathtaking multiples.

Khan stood, withstood, the moment delivered by Marcos Maidana, 139, with a concussive impact that could have sent a lesser fighter’s career tumbling into demise. On the career clock, a right hand from Maidana at 1:05 of the 10th round and 28:05 after opening bell on the night of December 11 struck with powerful punctuation that looms as a reference point.

There is still much to know about Khan. No single moment defines. There will be many. Connect the dots. Timothy Bradley might be the next one. Or maybe Devon Alexander.
A hint at who Khan might be, however, was there in the immediate aftermath of a Maidana punch that left him looking dazed and desperate before winning a narrow decision in front of Mandalay Bay crowd filled with only doubt about his future throughout one furious round.

For more, subscribe to The Ring or visit your local newsstand for complete articles and more! Or you can view the story for free on the new Digital Edition, which will be available on Thursday.

NOW THERE ARE TWO
Mares And Agbeko Advance To The Finals

By David Mayo

Yonnhy Perez hummed one 95-mph fastball after another down the middle of the plate. But once Joseph Agbeko had it timed, it could have been 125, and it wouldn’t have mattered, because the one thing Perez lacked was something off-speed to make his attack overpowering.

Perez was the power forward who can’t defend outside the paint, while Agbeko was the center that can score either facing the basket or with his back to it. Perez was the running back with the inborn ability to run to daylight, but no ability to cut or change pace, while Agbeko mixed his speed with a stutter-step and a real ability to make an opponent miss.

That all of this came as a great surprise—that Perez’ withering assault did not carry the day, and particularly that Agbeko’s cunning did—was the big answer to those who pooh-poohed or trivialized Showtime’s four-man bantamweight tournament because of what it lacked, from the biggest names at 118 pounds, to losing its originally planned venue over security issues.

For more, subscribe to The Ring or visit your local newsstand for complete articles and more! Or you can view the story for free on the new Digital Edition, which will be available on Thursday.

FROZEN OUT!
Did Hopkins Get Hosed In Canada?

By Paul Salgado

Richard Schaefer, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, had sung the praises of Canada in the days leading up to 45-year-old Bernard Hopkins quixotic challenge of the young Quebecois sensation, Jean Pascal for THE RING magazine light heavyweight championship belt.

Especially impressive to Schaefer was the fan base in Quebec, where boxing cards are gate-driven attractions with passionate support of its local fighters. Tickets for the Pascal vs. Hopkins rivalry had almost completely sold out within two days of going on sale, and it was real meat-and-potatoes fight fans paying good money to fill the 16,000 plus seats in the Pepsi Colisee where the fight was held amid the vintage beauty of Quebec City, nestled along the frigid waters of the St. Lawrence river.

Schaefer acknowledged there was much to be learned from the business model virtually perfected by Pascal’s promoter, Yvon Michel of GYM Promotions, in developing his stable at the regional level.

For more, subscribe to The Ring or visit your local newsstand for complete articles and more! Or you can view the story for free on the new Digital Edition, which will be available on Thursday.

FROM HELSINKI TO OAKLAND
Froch And Ward Ready For Super Six Final Four

By Don Stewart

It was two fights on the same night on different continents in cities separated by more than 5,000 miles in distance and 40 degrees in temperature. One turned out to be a clean, one-sided boxing lesson, the other a messy, rugged affair that was something like a demolition derby.

When it was over, nothing much had changed for Showtime’s “Super Six World Boxing Classic.” The same four fighters were rolling into the semifinals, with Andre Ward still leading the way. On the surface, really all that was resolved were the semifinal matchups. Dennis Green’s infamous “They are who we thought they were,” NFL postgame rant seemed apt.

And, really, neither bout in the November 27 doubleheader that closed out Group Stage 3 truly shook up the Super Six: Ward survived a rough non-tournament meeting with Sakio Bika in Oakland, California, while Carl Froch boxed Arthur Abraham silly in Helsinki, Finland. Instead of shakeups, what we got was further data backing up previous findings unearthed during the first two rounds. These guys are pretty much who we figured they were heading into Stage 3, but thanks to a tournament format that’s created so many high-level fights in a relatively short period, we know a lot more about them than we did when the tournament began in October 2009.

For more, subscribe to The Ring or visit your local newsstand for complete articles and more! Or you can view the story for free on the new Digital Edition, which will be available on Thursday.

Read The Ring every month by clicking on SUBSCRIBE in the navigation bar or visiting your local newsstand. Or you can subscribe to the new digital edition of the magazine. The February issue is available for free by clicking on the following link: http://thering.imirus.com/Mpowered/book/vring11/i2/p1. And the digital edition of the March issue will be available by subscription on Thursday.
 

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