Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

“The Cruncher”

By Tim Shaffer

On paper it would be any Philadelphia area sports fans dream, The Bernard Hopkins/Chad Dawson boxing re-match sandwiched between the Phillies versus the Cubs and a Flyers versus Devils NHL playoff game.

In my mind I knew that this could very well be the final fight for the aging Bernard Hopkins. The Philadelphia native was dropped to the canvas and injured his shoulder in the first meeting in Los Angeles, which was declared a no-contest. After my arrival at historic Boardwalk Hall I found my spot, set up my laptop and my cameras and waited for the show to begin. Upon inspection of the undercard I noted a few of the fights and decided to do a little warm up for the main event.

I was interested in shooting the third fight on the card. The bout featured light heavyweight boxer Lavarn Harvell from Atlantic City, who was undefeated at 9-0, against Tony Pietrantonio from Sharon, Pennsylvania. This was only a four round fight and normally would not carry national interest. Early in the fight it appeared that Harvell was overpowering Pietrantonio and expecting a knockout. I paid close attention.

As the third round started Harvell cornered Pietrantonio and slugged him in the head for a knockout. Pietrantonio fell to the canvas, out cold. I patiently watched for movement as the medical professionals tended to the boxer. Thankfully Pietrantonio started to move and appeared stable as he left the ring. As I looked through my images from the fight I discovered a picture of the knockout punch at the moment of impact. I have documented a number of fights over the years but that peak action point shot of impact boxing had always avoided my camera. Not this time, and what a doozy.

from Photographers' Blog:

The fight of their lives

By Kai Pfaffenbach

Steve Marcus, our Boxing expert in Las Vegas, is maybe the one and only photographer within the company who has shot more World Championship title bouts than I have throughout the last couple of years.

I shot “Iron” Mike Tyson in Copenhagen, South Africa’s “White Buffalo” Francois Botha on several comebacks, I got my picture taken with Lennox Lewis after a fight I photographed and I followed the untouchable Klitschko brothers on their way to dominate the heavyweight class as only “The Greatest of All Times” (Muhammad Ali) did before!

Pacquiao could damage reputation by fighting Mosley


BOXING/Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be first pick, Juan Manuel Marquez wouldn’t be a bad choice either but Shane Mosley is certainly not the man the world wants Manny Pacquiao, the undisputed pound-for-pound best boxer on the planet, to fight next.

However, it appears very likely that Pacquiao will announce a May 7 bout with the 39-year-old former welterweight title holder during his birthday celebrations in the Philippines on Friday.

Mitchell could overshadow Khan’s U.S. debut


WBA Light-welterweight champion Amir Khan makes his U.S. debut on Saturday when he faces Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi in the American’s hometown of New York but perhaps the better fight involving a British fighter on the night will be occurring some 3,000 miles away.

Undefeated lightweight Kevin Mitchell faces Australian Michael Katsidis in what could be one of the fights of the year. The last time the Australian was in Britain three years ago he stopped local Graham Earl in five rounds after one of the most punishing rounds of boxing I have seen in a long time.

Will Mayweather take on Pacquiao after Mosley?


BOXINGFor a moment in round two it appeared the incredible was going to happen — Floyd Mayweather was going to get knocked out — but somehow he hung on and kept his unbeaten record intact with a commanding points win over Shane Mosley.

Mosley’s crushing right hand in that second round hurt Mayweather and I couldn’t help but feel if it had been Manny Pacquiao in the ring with Mayweather the fight would have been stopped shortly afterwards. Mosley just didn’t press home his advantage.

Pacquiao against Mayweather should still take place


It was all going so well, everything running smoothly and then, someone mentioned drug testing.

The proposed super-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr is off, for now, because the Filipino won’t agree to Olympic-style testing that the American wants.

Pacquiao – Mayweather fight moves closer


The news that Bob Arum has flown to Manila to meet Manny Pacquiao and discuss a contract offer to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr is a good sign that next year’s super fight is close to being signed.

Roy Jones Jr’s surprise first round defeat to Australian Danny Green on Wednesday means his expected rematch with old rival Bernard Hopkins scheduled for March 13th is unlikely to go ahead, and with the major U.S television networks looking for a fight to fill the void, step in Pacquiao and Mayweather.

Time for Mayweather to enter the ring with Pacquiao


mayweather2Floyd Mayweather Jr destroyed Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez with a ruthlessly clinical display in Las Vegas at the weekend but the non-title welterweight bout ended with an overall feeling of dissatisfaction.

The controversial weigh-in on the eve of the eagerly anticipated fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena raised the biggest question mark of all.

Who’s the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter?


mayweatherSaturday’s welterweight clash in Las Vegas between undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez could well be the first leg of three to settle the mythical title of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.

As things stand, most boxing fans would give that tag to either Mayweather, 39-0 (25 KOs), or Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao, 49-3-2 (37 KOs).

Fame, fortune and the death of Steve McNair

mcnairSixty years after former baseball star Eddie Waitkus survived being shot by a 19-year-old female stalker (his life story became the template for Bernard Malamud’s 1952 novel “The Natural”), police suspect former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and former world boxing champion Arturo “Thunder” Gatti were slain by women they were once intimate with.

Less than two years after retiring from sports that brought them fame and fortune, McNair, 36, and Gatti, 37, are dead. McNair, who was married with four kids, was shot to death by Sahel Kazemi, his 20-year-old mistress who worked as a waitress at Dave & Buster’s.