Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Legend Passes–Manny Steward, R.I.P.

Emmanuel “Manny” Steward was announced as passing away on October 25th after 68 wonderfully vital years. Diverticulitis was mentioned as the culprit that took him down, an insidious grouping of gaseous distensions in the long maze of intestinal tract plumbing that many have fallen prey to over the years.

Those Were The Days

Those Were The Days

Steward was the most up front and center cornerman/trainer/commentator in boxing today, quickly taking up the slack left after Angelo Dundee‘s run with Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. His list of credits are impressive in spite of being on the losing end of two of the most exciting and high level bouts in boxing history.

The first was when the undefeated Tommy Hearns outboxed and outfoxed boxing’s flashmaster Sugar Ray Leonard before succumbing to a 14th round TKO stoppage on his feet against the ropes. The second being the most intense all out brawl in modern boxing when Hearns and middleweight marvel Marvin Hagler engaged in a vicious pillar to post slugfest, leaving Hearns pounded to the canvas before arising on shaky legs midway through the 3rd round, a TKO stoppage by the ref. Both fights were the highest profile bouts as can be staged at Caesars PalaceLas VegasNevada

Manny also won more than his fair share with two of the most dominant heavyweights ever in Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko, along with a host of other fantastic fighters that you can review on his Wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Steward

While greatly appreciated, no wiki article could ever explain what his Kronk Gym and charity work meant to disadvantaged youths everywhere and boxing.

Manny Steward, a Giant Beacon flashing out his wit and wisdom to all who entered his sphere, now enters the Great Pantheon of Boxing to be cherished forever, God Bless.

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Philipino/Japanese Southpaw Festival–Donaire vs Nishioka

Nonito Donaire was born in the Philippines, but he’s now a bonafide California boy looking to defend his WBO/IBF superbanty titles against the WBC champ, Toshiaki Nishioka in his home environs. Saturday, October 13 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

These are two highly skilled fighters with show stopping power looking to topple one another off their pedestals.

Meeting of The Great Champs

Meeting of The Great Champs

Donaire is the prime aged highly touted Ring P4Per moving up through four divisions with ease thus far. He looks poised and hungry enough to become the best Philipino, or is it Filipino fighter when Manny Pacquiao retires, but beating a top fighter like Nishioka is far from a given.

Toshiaki Nishioka, now say that real fast 10x in a row, he’s 39-4-3, 24 KO and is no joke as the more experienced Ring Superbanty #1. His  four losses were early in his career as he rose up the ranks through the tough as nails Japanese boxing system. The pity is that Donaire is only ranked #3 so that this won’t be for the Ring belt without editorial intervention. For mysterious reasons, Ring ranks Guillermo Rigondeaux #2 in spite of only 11 pro fights, so go figure since nobody else can figure their ratings.

Nonetheless, the 37 year old Nishioka could crack the Ring top ten with a competent win over Donaire, a nice plum to top off a stellar career and a great motivator that cannot be discounted.

Donaire should be the favorite as the hometown darling, but not by that much. Stylistically, Donaire is younger and incrementally faster with better defense, a traditionally good enough reason to pick him to win, yet both are technically astute boxer/punchers with game changing one punch KO power, particularly in their left hands as befits an all lefty matchup.

They could almost be each other’s shadows.

Nishioka has banked 292 pro rounds to 170 by Donaire, but there is no advantage for either in that statistic since both are at or near the top of their game and used to facing top fighters. It’s a risky fight for both, but both are fighters for whom risks are well worth the rewards, the type of great fighters boxing can never get enough of, especially in this era of fractured titles where a touted fighter can stay at home enjoying sumptuous home cooking rather than risk international travel.

The undercard features former WBA lightweight champ Brandon Rios finally doing the right thing and moving up to junior welter to challenge undefeated Mike Alvarado. The stakes are the WBO Latino title as part of an eliminator for the WBO title. Both are high action, undefeated slugger types, so look out Katy and bar the door, someone’s face is gonna be hurting at the end, probably both.

If you’re a fan of smaller division fighters as many are, you can’t miss this one.