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CedricK ushner presents

Once a month Gotham Boxing invades New York City to showcase and provide live boxing in an upscale, exciting atmosphere



Jermain Taylor

FEB. 1968— Wide angle shot of interior of the new Madison Square Garden (NYC) with boxers Buster Mathis (L) & Joe Frazier (R).

Ralph Morse/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

SUMMER 2007. ISSUE 4. VOL. 1

A Letter From The Publisher

Every opportunity I have to attend a live fight, I’m there! Whether it’s a championship fight at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden (pictured), or a club show at the Manhattan Center, I’m there. For me, no other sport delivers the exhilaration and anxiety felt in my gut, just in anticipation of the opening bell. And when the fight is right, there is an incredible energy in the place that thrills me to the bone. This issue is dedicated to the events and fighters who do everything in their power to make your guts tight and entertain us with their heart, style and two fists, like our cover (golden) boy, Oscar De La Hoya [p.7]. Thank you, Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik for a breathtaking fight (9/29) for the middleweight title (Pavlik KO7) and for launching with a blast this season’s string of potential classics [Early Odds, p.8]. But before you go to the web to place your bets, read our review of the online boxing documentary “Brooklyn to Beijing ” [p.18], then logon to watch it— it’s raw! I hope this issue is as entertaining to you as it was for the staff and I to compile and deliver. Now, touch gloves and good luck! — Lamar Clark — Lamar Clark


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frequently entered the ring looking like a mixture of Mr. T, Milton Berle and Gerardo. He may have been the first fighter to wear tassels as trunks and sometimes as a hairdo. If Naseem Hamed was the prince, Paez was the court jester. But this clown was no joke when it came to scrapping. Paez won the IBF featherweight title in only his seventh pro fight. He defended it eight times before trying his hand in other divisions. Though his rise in weight netted mixed results, Paez was always a star. He proved it in 1996, when he made his acting debut in the low-budget movie Dirty Money. Fittingly, he resides in Beverly Hills today.

El Marom

d owns the crow Jorge Paez clnent. (Feb 1994) and his oppo


Camacho: Ken Levine /Allsport; Mayweather: Al Bello/Getty Images

whether he was sporting a skirt or baring all at weigh-ins, his talent spoke for itself. Camacho’s fast hands and feet netted him three world titles over a respectable list of names. And he wasn’t above using sound fundamentals: he worked his dizzying combinations off a terrific jab. That style made him one of the world’s best, until Edwin Rosario’s fists damaged his image and features. Though Camacho rallied to eke out a close split decision, he would never again fight with that reckless abandon. He became a safetyfirst fighter who drew more interest for antics outside the ring than for action inside it. Still, his accomplishments are nothing to scoff at. And even if his image took a few hits, his bravado never wavered. u

ut ure B s a e l is P ss.” sure a e l usine tor Camacho P B “ s i ess —Hec Busin

(L) Floyd Mayweather Jr., Cinco de Mayo '07. (R) Hector “Macho” Camacho rockin' his gold. (Sept. 1991)


H Saddam Ali and Victor Roundtree. U.S. Olympic Team Trials (Houston, TX, 6/26/07)





to Beijing




avoc Boxing Gym in Coney Island is a stone’s throw from the famous hot dog stands and rickety roller coasters, but the Words by tiny establishment exists in a world of its Kenneth Bouhairie own. While visitors troll the surrounding area in search of Images by leisure activities, the steamy gym is home to some of the Nicholas Strini Big Apple’s best prospects–warriors who spend countless hours honing their craft. Danny Jacobs is a regular here at Havoc, and perhaps its most prized pupil. The 165-pound fighting machine is widely considered the best prospect from New York since Mark Breland tore through the ranks. This gym is a second home for him—Big Bear it’s not, but you’d be hard pressed to find another spot that so captures the essence of the sweet science. “I like it,” Jacobs says, struggling to talk over the sounds of Fabolous’ “Brooklyn Remix” blaring through the speakers. “It’s small, it’s hot, and it’s rugged. It’s like a gym’s supposed to be.” It’s also the place where he met director Nicholas Strini who, along with producer Chris Isenberg, is the brains behind the well-executed Brooklyn to Beijing, a film series documenting the lives of three New York City Golden Gloves champs as they fight for a spot on the 2008 Olympic squad. Light heavyweight William Rosinsky and 132-pounder Saddam Ali round out the trio. 19

Scenes and stills from 'Brooklyn to Beijing'.





But it’s Jacobs, 20, who’s the focal point of the first four episodes (these short flicks can be found online at As is the case with any series, the success of this documentary hinges on the star power of its characters. Lucky for Strini and Isenberg, Jacobs dazzles like Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s wrist. The rising amateur is as compelling outside the squared circle as he is in it, whether it’s handling a disappointing loss in Colorado to bantering with a junkie from around the way. Jacobs is not quite a finished product in the ring, but he’s already perfected his post-fight interview routine with Larry Merchant. Michael Jordan would be proud. Each episode of the series takes us through different


aspects of Jacobs’ life, particularly his connection to the neighborhood and borough that birthed him: Brownsville, Brooklyn. “Growing up as a child, I was faced with a lot of things I had to overcome,” he says from the steps of a tenement building in the bricks. “That includes the streets and fighting in the streets. Me and boxing kinda went hand in hand.” Jacobs and boxing may go hand in hand but Brownsville lies closer to his chest. The small district houses a predominantly




H to Beijing

minority population, nearly half of whom live off less than $5,000 a year. Residents speak their own language, set fashion trends, and follow a different code. Jacobs is a local hero in these parts, a role he embraces. Though he embodies the culture with pride, he sees the bigger picture. “In Brooklyn–or in any other ghetto–all we see are rappers and trappers on TV,” he notes. “So when we get the money, it’s only right we buy the jewelry or be in the rap videos because that’s what we wanted to be as a child. I can’t be mad at somebody for


H to Beijing

that, but you have to go about things in the right way.” Jacobs’ outlook on life belies his 20 years. He’ll need that internal fortitude as he prepares for the next stage of his career: A stunning loss to the talented Shawn Estrada at the Olympic Box-Offs in Houston, TX dashed his dreams of Beijing. Still smarting from the upset, Jacobs declined an alternate slot on the team, opting instead to go pro. Some believe his style is better suited for the higher ranks; others wonder if this loss may be a sign of things to come. Given the obstacles he’s already overcome, it’s hard to



bet against him. Brooklyn to Beijing allows the fighter’s words–and the images that accompany them–to paint the picture for viewers. Without frills or pomp, the story unfolds on its own. Future episodes will feature the rugged Rosinsky and Ali, the latter being the only one of the three to make it to Beijing 2008. Whether their stories are as dynamic as Jacobs’ remains to be seen. But like any good series, it’s already accomplished the chief objective: whetting our appetites enough to keep us coming back for more. Stay tuned. u


Sadam Ali went undefeated at the Olympic Box-Offs. (Houston, TX, 6/26/07)



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BOXING TO THE BONE. The Entertainment Issue