Archive for July, 2012

Treat yourself to some melodic, well-made Hip-Hop this morning courtesy of Focus’ “Clouds.” This track will be a part of Focus’ upcoming Focal Point 1172 EP, dropping on August 7.

FOCUS X J. PINDER X RAPPER BIG POOH “CLOUDS”


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Before you watch Robert Guerrero jump two weight classes to welterweight to face Selcuk Aydin this Saturday (July 28), check out this mini-documentary on his wife Casey’s inspiring battle against cancer. Guerrero vs. Aydin will air live at 10 p.m. ET.

Lloyd Banks has unleashed The Gift, the latest installment of his V6 series. Guest spots are supplied by Jadakiss, School Boy Q, Vado and Young Chris. The  production features regular collaborator Don Pesci, Cardiak, Automatic, A6, The Beat Butcher and many more.  

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Reks drops a video for his “bang Bang” track off his new album REBELutionary. This is one emcee you can’t say isn’t giving you the truth in his art. REBELutionary is available now.

Take it back to the essence, you say? Has-Lo has done just that with the release of his first vinyl 45. “Stained Glass” laces Has-Lo with a horn-heavy boom-bap sample while !llmind delivers a more catchy, snyth-based soundscape. The vinyl can be purchased HERE.

Phonte and Median channel their inner Jehovah Witness for the latest video off Charity Starts At Home. 9th Wonder is on production and makes a funny cameo. We’re coming up on this quality project’s one-year anniversary so it’s nice to see Phonte still pushing it.

 

 

Not much background was given on this track and frankly not much is needed. It’s dope and that’s more than enough. The soul sample is familiar but the emcees each give their own creative approaches and flows. Sean Price’s usual humorous one-liners are the standout here.

CINCINNATI, OH — After Adrien Broner failed to make the super featherweight weight limit of 130 pounds twice heading into last night’s (July 21) fight against Vicente Escobedo, the concern amongst media was that Broner would win and perhaps inflict significant damage on Escobedo due to his size advantage.

In the end it was a combination of Broner’s counterpunching, speed and defense that carried him to a dominant fifth round TKO before his hometown fans at the U.S. Bank Arena.

Broner made the speed difference apparent early with a quick left jab-right cross combination in round one. He firmly kept himself at ring center and succeeded in thwarting Esocbedo’s attempts to get inside with potshot counter hooks to the head and body. In the second, Broner opened up his offense with stinging counter left and right hooks that knocked Escobedo into a corner. While he fought back with solid body shots, Broner continued dominating with effective counter left jabs and his own puncturing right hooks to the body.

The third round saw Broner’s shoulder roll nullify Escobedo’s hooks on the backfoot. At times, Broner walked his opponent down with right hooks and left jabs to the body. In addition, Broner found a home with counter right upperuts and chopping overhand rights.

Escoboed spent the first half of the fourth round throwing hooks in vain at Broner’s should roll defense. Broner opened up in the second half with overhand rights. However, both fighters exchanged solid left hooks in the closing seconds.

Broner stormed out for the fifth with hard right uppercuts and hooks that opened flowing blood in Escobedo’s mouth and nose. Broner committed himself to the body, at times tripling the right hook. Escobedo sagged on the ropes where Broner unleashed several hooks to prompt the white towel of surrender from Escobedo trainer Joel Diaz.

Broner, who weighed in tonight as a welterweight at 147 pounds, will now move to lightweight after losing his WBO super featherweight title on the scales. In his post-fight interview, he named-checked Antonio DeMarco, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios as opponents on his radar.

On the undercard, 23 year old Keith Thurman ended his year-plus layoff with an easy stoppage over Orlando Lora. Thurman showcased his hard counter-punching and he tested Lora’s chin throughout the first five rounds with right uppercuts, left hooks and body shots. The end would come in the sixth off a counter left hook and right cross that dropped Lora, who then rose and immediately went to his corner in capitulation. A welterweight, Thurman now believes he’s ready for the big names of the division.

“I’m the new thing in the welterweight division,” said Thurman. “Paul Malignaggi, I want your belt. Tim Bradley, I want your belt. Floyd Mayweather, you’re undefeated but I think I can beat you. Come get some.”

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Adrien Broner put himself in a no win situation by having to double Escobedo’s purse in order to come in at 147-148 pounds. He did what he supposed to do; dominate a solid fighter who he held every conceivable advantage over. Now what’s next? Like Broner himself told me in our interview, it needs to be top competition from here on out. Broner gave an excellent list of future opponents in Antonio DeMarco, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios. Out of that list, the bout that would be the easiest to make is against DeMarco, who fights John Molina on September 8.

Broner still has a ways to go before everyone jumps on the bandwagon, but the skills and natural physical talent are undeniable. Now it’s time to see those attributes put to the test against equally talented fighters.

UPDATE: The camps of Adrien Broner and Vicente Escobedo have agreed to new provisions for tonight’s scheduled HBO bout. Per boxingscene.com, Broner will be allowed to compete at his latest weight of 148 pounds. Escobedo is alleged to have  had his purse increased to $400,000 for agreeing to go through with what was initially a super featherweight bout (130 pounds). The card airs tonight on HBO at 10 p.m.

CINCINNATI, OH — Adrien Broner’s scheduled WBO super featherweight title defense against Vicente Escobedo is now officially canceled after Broner failed to make a last-minute renegotiated fight weight of 140 pounds.

Earlier today, Broner tipped the scales at 143, three pounds over the 140 limit that was re-negotiated with Escobedo’s camp last night. At the first weigh-in, Broner came in 133.5, exceeding the super featherweight limit by 3.5 pounds. He was stripped of his WBO title and fined 20% of his $300,000 purse ($60,000).

Escobedo’s camp delivered on their promise to not go through with the fight should Broner come in over 140 pounds. The entire card, which included an televised co-feature of Keith Thurman vs. Orlando Lora, has been annulled.

In an recent interview with Beats, Boxing & Mayhem, Broner had declared this would have been his last fight at 130 pounds.

At press time, Broner has not released a statement.

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I can’t stress enough how unprofessional and embarrassing this whole episode is for Adrien Broner. First, he’s deprived Escobedo a title shot payday and the two other guys who trained for weeks for tonight’s card. Then add on the financial loss Golden Boy and HBO will endure. Finally, all the fans who ordered tickets got shafted.

I have no problem with Escobedo not going through with this. Broner was already huge for 130 pounds and would have entered tonight’s fight a solid welterweight or even close to the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds. Huge weight advantages are how fighters get hurt.

Broner needs to issue a sincere apology to everyone involved. He’ll rightly get hammered from fans and writers for this stunt, but it’s a start.

UPDATE

Looks like we have a fight back on for tonight. Considering that Escobedo’s initial purse for tonight was under $200k, I can understand from a financial standpoint why an increase to $400k was damn hard to turn down. Still, the weight difference will be striking and this is a dangerous fight only happening to protect an investment made in a fighter who in this situation has shown zero professionalism and respect to a fellow fighter in Escobedo, the fans and the sport.

I just pray we don’t see a situation like Gatti-Gamache tonight.

Writer’s Note: At today’s weigh-in, Adrien Broner was over the 130 pound super featherweight limit by 3.5 pounds for his July 21 championship match against Vicente Escobedo. Broner has been stripped of his WBO super featherweight title and per last-minute negotiations, cannot weigh more 140 pounds for Saturday’s bout.

Who will become boxing’s next superstar? The question becomes more pressing every fight and every year as the sport’s current kings, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, get deeper into their 30s and closer to retirement.

Enter Adrien Broner, an upstart Cincinnati fighter with dreams of becoming the face of boxing. A string of flashy KOs over the past year has brought him to the second defense of WBO super featherweight against Vicente Escobedo on HBO Boxing After Dark (July 21). Not everyone is enamored with Broner, who’s been called everything from a “poor man’s Mayweather” to another in a long line of “HBO hypejobs.” And like the former comparison, Broner finds himself polarizing boxing fans into love ‘em or hate ‘em camps.

The heir or another pretender? Either way, Adrien Broner aims to make sure you the fans are entertained watching his destiny unfold.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: This fight is another “home game”since it’ll take place in Cincinnati. Do you prefer it this way or being on the road?

Broner: As long as there’s a boxing ring I’m gonna put on a show. It don’t matter if it’s three people in the crowd – I’m gonna put on a show. That’s what I like to do. I’m a showoff: I show up and show out. I love to entertain.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: Vicente Escobedo is a solid opponent but not one of the other champions at super featherweight. Do you feel your level of competition has been progressing or just treading water?

Broner: Actually all of my opponents have been real good starting with [Daniel] Ponce de Leon. He’s a knockout artist and I overcame that. Then Jason Litzau right after he’d beaten the #1 guy and he was then #1. Then I won the world title against a guy who everyone had above me because they brought into his hype [Vicente Martin Rodriguez]. Then comes the #1 ranked guy in the WBO, Eloy Perez, 23-0. I overcame that battle.
I really don’t listen to the critics. It’s just guys who aren’t blessed with the talent I have to make other good fighters look mellow. That’s what I do.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: Defense is a big topic these days concerning young fighters. You haven’t been hit much cleanly up to this point. What’s your approach to keeping out of danger?

Broner: It’s bringing everything together collectively. I know I have the talent, reflexes, the reach and youth is definitely on my side. I’m young and in shape. When it comes to defense a lot of guys get put down because they lose it mentally. They’ve been thinking about offense so much, hitting a guy so much they forget about bringing their hands up after a left hook. Or bringing their jab hand up after a jab. You have to always be ready for the next punch. Mentally I keep myself sound and ready.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: If the other champions won’t come from overseas or you going to them, are you willing to wait it out to see if any of the big name featherweights move up?

Broner: I’m not going to wait. After this fight [pauses] this will be my last fight at 130 pounds. I wasn’t even gonna fight at 130 in my last fight on May 19 but I said, y’know what, I’ll fight him where he’s comfortable at. So I’m doing it one last time. It really don’t matter.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: Has there been any movement on your dream fight of facing Yuriorkis Gamboa?

Broner: Y’know it’s still up in the air. It’s a fight everyone wants to see. What can I say? It would be a hell of a fight and like always I’d come out on top. I work hard. The fights are won inside the gym. People don’t see my gym work and ethics. If the fight happens, it would be a great thing for boxing. But I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: Be your own harshest critic for a second. Where do you need to improve?

Broner: As a fighter, boxer and puncher you can always get better. But that’s for guys who don’t have the [natural] talent. Guys like me, you just have to stay sharp. I know I can do everything in the book. I know I can be the slickest and be untouchable, but I have to be mentally and physically ready. As long as I stay focused , sky’s the limit.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: Do you feel like you have to tone things down to stop the Mayweather comparisons?

Broner: I mean it doesn’t bother me at all. We have some similarities but we’re nothing alike. I’m just being myself out there.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem:We’ve already seen you rap during your ring entrance. Which current emcee best sums up what you’re about?

Broner: Meek Mill.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: Why Meek?

Broner: Because he comes from the same place I come from. We’ve gone through similar situations and got out. The things he raps about I’ve been through. And now, he’s living his dream.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: Even now at this level, do you still see no benefit of viewing fight tape to prep yourself?

Broner: Y’know even in the amateurs you don’t watch tape you just get in there and fight whoever. All the boxing tape is worthless because a fighter is not going to fight the same way every time. I just make sure I have myself well-prepared to do whatever I have to do to get the victory.

Beats, Boxing & Mayhem: If you had the power, what’s the main thing you’d do to improve the sport?

Broner: [Pauses] Well with me… when I really become the people’s champ and the one that runs boxing for my era, I’m not going to hide from my fans or my haters. They want to see me. And if I’m on TV they’re gonna pay to see me.
I’m gonna try to fight as frequently as possible. You got some guys that fight once or twice a year. I’m young and I’d like to fight four times a year.

Adrien Broner vs. Vicente Escobedo airs live on HBO Boxing After Dark at 10 p.m. ET. The co-feature is Keith Thurman vs. Orlando Lora.