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Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/HBO

The weights are in for the fight many are hoping will be a definitive, Fight of the Year level conclusion to the rivalry between Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios.

Mike Alvarado: 146.5 lbs.

Brandon Rios: 146.75 lbs.

PREDICTION: If you’re an optimist, you’re banking on a fight similar to Ali-Frazier III in the sense of two warriors being past prime but having the perfect style contrast to put on a breath-taking battle. Unfortunately, the main difference here is at least one fighter, Mike Alvarado, is beyond past prime and into “shot fighter” territory. Rios hasn’t looked good in his last two bouts against Manny Pacquiao and Diego Chaves. And in the Manny bout, Rios took sustained punishment. But Alvarado has take considerable beatings in his last two against Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez.

In the training videos that surfaced, Alvarado appeared lethargic. Vocally, he sounds like an old man battling pneumonia. At this stage, I don’t believe he has the stamina nor discipline needed to replicate the boxer-puncher strategy he executed in the second fight. Rios will drag Alvarado into another war where Bam Bam prove again to be the more durable fighter. RIOS TKO6

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Gilberto Ramirez: 170.5 lbs.

Maxim Vlasov: 170 lbs.

PREDICTION: Ramirez is 23 and this is being framed as a coming-out party due to his pedestrian competition down in Mexico. On the other hand, Maxim Vlasov has been in there with Isaac Chilemba (his only defeat) and recently journeyman Derrick Findley, Vlasov is tall, rangy and very active with his offense. An upset wouldn’t be shocking, but Martinez’s strength, particularly his body punching, should pay dividends against a guy who likes to exchange. MARTINEZ UD10

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Super lightweight contender Lucas Matthyse has come to terms with Golden Boy Promotions for a five-year contract extension.

Matthysse had two outings in 2014, defeating John Molina (TKO11) and Robert Ortiz (KO2). The Molina bout, which saw Matthysse overcome two knockdowns and deliver two of his own before the stoppage, was considered by many to be the 2014 Fight of the Year. With Top 3 rankings in the WBC and IBF, and a potential fight with Ruslan Provodnikov looming, Golden Boy president Oscar De Lay Hoya viewed resigning Matthysse as a top priority.

“As Golden Boy works to put together a 2015 full of huge, fan-friendly fights, Lucas Matthysse is, and will now remain, a core part of our team,” said De La Hoya. “Lucas is a strong and powerful fighter, someone the elite of the division have to look out for in the years to come, and we are excited to continue our successful partnership with him.”

Last month, a court settlement between Matthysse advisor Al Haymon and Golden Boy allowed the Argentinian fighter to remain with the company. Over the last two weeks, Haymon has announced his new promotional venture, Premier Boxing Champions. Many Haymon-advised fighters declined to renew contracts with other promoters to make themselves available for cards that will be airing in prime time on Spike TV and NBC. Matthysse is the first Haymon-advised fighter to sign a new deal with Golden Boy.

“They are my family,” explained Matthysse. “They have supported me and built my career from the beginning and I’m loyal to them as they have been to me. I’m looking forward to my future and what 2015 has to offer.”

“Golden Boy Promotions has exceeded expectations, and we look forward to what 2015 will hold for Lucas under the tremendous support and guidance of Oscar,” added Mario Arano, Matthysse’s manager.

Matthysse holds a 36-3 record with 34 KOs.

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Not resting on the laurels of his 36 Seasons album, Ghostface Killah has teamed up with BADBADNOTGOOD for an upcoming album dubbed Sour Soul (February 23). Some of the colorful characters in this clip include Left Brain playing “The Mask” and Sarah Parker as “The Goddess.” Frank Dukes is on production. Is it me or are Doom’s vocals sounding much clearer these days?

Sour Soul is available for pre-order.

[Video] Power | Season 2: Trailer

Posted: January 23, 2015 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Concert/Film/TV Reviews
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50 Cent’s Power will kick off its second season this summer. Watch the trailer to catch up on what’s happened thus far and what to expect for the upcoming season.

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Chris Brown is a crooning samurai smitten with Karrueche in his video for “Autumn Leaves.” No appearance from Kendrick, but he’d look out of place on this one anyway. “Autumn Leaves” can be found on Chris Brown’s X album.

Apathy – “45 KIller”

Posted: January 21, 2015 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Music News
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DJ Force is on the boards for this new track from Apathy. This 7″ is made more special by the fact it’s limited to 500 copies worldwide via the boutique label We Play! Records out of Australia. You can purchase it HERE.

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Since Tha Carter V and his recording career with Cash Money remain in limbo, Lil Wayne has taken his talents back to the street via the second entry in his Sorry 4 the Wait mixtape series. The 17-track projects keeps the guest to a minimum, but they include Drake, Christina Milian, Mack Maine and 2 Chainz. Stream it below and if you’re feeling it, hit the download link.

DOWNLOAD (DATPIFF)