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By Dennis Taylor

The heavyweight division, and professional boxing as a whole, got a much-needed jolt of life when Wladimir Klitschko was dethroned by Tyson Fury in 2015, ending his 11 1/2-year, 21-fight winning streak.

During his reign, Klitschko took his lumps from critics who called him a dull fighter and a drag on the heavyweight division, but there's no doubt that both he and brother Vitali will be first-ballot Hall of Famers.

Our expert analysts, Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and John J. Raspanti, take a thorough look at the career of the legendary Ukrainian, who retired at age 41 with a 64-5 record, including 53 knockouts.

How will Klitschko be remembered? How good was his competition? What's the future of the heavyweight division now that it's in the hands of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker, Hughie and Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz, "Big Baby" Miller and others?

We also hear from British correspondent Paul McLaughlin, who gives us the lowdown on the latest from the United Kingdom boxing scene.

And we catch up with James "Quick" Tillis, who reminisces about his own 23-year, 63-fight career that included collisions with Mike Tyson, Earnie Shavers, Evander Holyfield, Frank Bruno, Pinklon Thomas, Greg Page, Carl "The Truth" Williams, Joe Bugner, Gerrie Coetzee, Tommy Morrison, Marvis Frazier and others.

 

Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of "Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy," currently on Amazon's Bestsellers list.

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Jonathon Banks was just 30 years old and still fighting his own battles in the squared circle when his trainer and mentor, Emanuel Steward, was stricken with colon cancer.
That's when Banks -- who had zero experience as a trainer -- was approached by the heavyweight champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko (also trained by Steward) to step in as his coach while the iconic Hall of Famer recovered.
When asked why he thinks Klitschko sought him out, Banks can only laugh. "Honestly, I have no idea," he said.
We had a compelling and candid conversation with Klitschko's trainer on Sunday's Ringside Boxing Show, during which Banks talked in-depth about the level of intimidation he felt trying to fill the shoes of one of the greatest trainers of all time. Banks also talked to us about his early days at Kronk Gym (where he began training at age 15), the differences between boxing and training, and multiple other topics.
 
Our interview with Johnathon Banks is preceded by Paul McLaughlin's report on the UK boxing scene, plus expert analyst from Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and John J. Raspanti, who analyze rumors about three exciting match-ups -- Wilder-Ortiz, Porter-Garcia, Kovalev-Barrera, and Charlo-Lubin. They also talk about the disturbing personal tailspin of former middleweight king Jermain Taylor.
 
Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of "Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy," which is currently on Amazon's Bestsellers list.

 

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When he remembers his razor-thin losses to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook, former IBF welterweight champ Shawn Porter says the only rounds he remembers are the close ones -- and he dwells on what he might have done to swing them the other way.

With a couple of well-timed punches or flurries, Porter might still be an undefeated world champion at this point, rather than a guy waiting for another shot at glory.

The 29-year-old joined us Sunday, alongside his father/trainer, Kenny Porter, for an in-depth discussion about the talent-stacked 147-pound weight division, a conversation rife with speculation about Thurman, Brook, Jeff Horn, Manny Pacquiao, Danny Garcia, and Terence Crawford.

They're ready to take on any of the above in their quest to exit the sport at the top of the heap.

Our interview with the Porters is preceded by our brand-new segment featuring British boxing oracle Paul McLaughlin, who unpacks part of the fascinating boxing scene in the United Kingdom in his lively, 4-minute segment. And we lead off, as always, with expert analysts Rizwaan Zahid and John J. Raspanti, who weigh in on the Mayweather-McGregor phenomenon/farce, among other topics.

Front to back, this is an informative and action-packed episode.

Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of "Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy," currently on Amazon's Bestsellers list.

 

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After he beat wildly popular Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini -- not once, but twice -- Livingstone Bramble embraced the role of villain in boxing. He was known for showing up at press conferences and walking to the ring with a boa constrictor around his neck. He brought a "voodoo witch doctor" to a Mancini press conference. He taunted and tested his opponents. He was often roundly booed.

Surprise ... Bramble is actually a great guy, although he's every bit as colorful today as he was during a career that spanned 24 years and almost 70 pro fights, including battles with Edwin Rosario, Buddy McGirt, Kostya Tszyu, Oba Carr, Rafael Ruelas, and many other outstanding opponents.

This lively interview with the Rastafarian champ is follows a conversation with trainer Max Garcia about his 20-year-old sensation, undefeated featherweight Ruben Villa, and our opening segment with expert analysts Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid and John J. Raspanti, during which we break down the upcoming World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight and super middleweight tournaments.

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Eight-division, 11-time world champion Manny Pacquiao was ambushed by a former school teacher -- and, according to some, three blind judges and an under-officious referee -- Saturday in Brisbane, Australia, where he lost his WBO welterweight crown to a ferocious underdog named Jeff Horn.
Was Manny robbed on the scorecards? Did ref Mark Nelson blatantly ignore Horn's rough tactics? Is Pacman a shot fighter? What's on the horizon for both fighters?
We cover all aspects of the biggest upset of 2017 on The Ringside Boxing Show with expert analysts Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and John J. Raspanti.
Then Raspanti and host Dennis Taylor get an in-depth lesson on Cleveland's rich tapestry of boxing history from author Jerry Fitch during the second half of the show.
 
Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy, currently on Amazon's Bestsellers list.

 

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What do they take us for? Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach are trying to convince us that Australian Jeff Horn (16-0-1, no A-list opponents) is an inspiring threat to the future Hall of Famer.

Meanwhile, Colin McGregor's promoter, UFC czar Dana White, says his fighter (0-0) is no joking matter for Floyd Mayweather (49-0).

Our expert analysts, Travis Hartman and John J. Raspanti, unpack both match-ups, psychoanalyze supporters of the underdogs, and also tell us what to expect from Broner vs. Mikey, and speculate about a possible Rigondeaux-Lomachenko collision.

This wide-reaching discussion is followed by an eye-opening interview with Adrian Clark, a 31-year-old boxing manager/agent (and author of Protect Yourself At All Times) who is on a quest to convince fighters that people who want 33 percent of their purses are ripping them off in a very big way.

This is a conversation guaranteed to enlighten fighters, managers, promoters and fans of "The Sweet Science."

NOTE TO LISTENERS: The Ringside Boxing Show is now a proud member of thegruelingtruth.net sports network. Please check us out there!

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A few months ago, Sergey Kovalev was an undefeated world champion and undisputed king of the mountain in boxing's light heavyweight division. Then came his two collisions with Andre Ward, resulting in two losses -- both bubbling with controversy.

Our expert analysts, Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and John J. Raspanti discuss Saturday's stunning eighth-round TKO victory by Ward, which Team Kovalev insists was the result of multiple low blows that went unheeded by referee Tony Weeks. The loss becomes even more bitter in the light of their first fight -- a unanimous decision to Ward that was unpopular with at least half of the boxing public. So, where do both fighters go from here?

Our Ward-Kovalev coversation is followed by an interview with welterweight prospect Alan Sanchez, and our classic interview from January 2016 with Hall of Famer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

 

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Paul Banke knocked out a future Hall of Famer, Daniel Zaragoza, to win the WBC super bantamweight crown in 1990, but by then he was already adrift into the dangerous world of substance abuse.

The hard-partying fighter had just one successful title defense, and his once-promising career ended just three years after the Zaragoza triumph, but his battle with the effects of crystal meth (among other drugs) is a battle he's waged throughout his life.

Twenty-two years ago, in 1995, he was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS (probably from needle sharing or unprotected sex), a disease that, in those days, was tantamount to a death sentence. With the help of a daily cocktail of medications, he has persevered, enduring 13 failed rehab stays before finally resolving to end the cycle of substance abuse at age 50.

Now 52, Banke is clean and sober, working with boxers, and celebrating life with the support of a strong contingent of friends. He's also being inducted this year into the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.

This memorable interview with Paul Banke is preceeded by John J. Raspanti's conversation with Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez, a super middleweight from Chicago scheduled to put his 20-1-1 record on the line June 23 in a rematch with Aaron Pryor Jr.

Before that, we talk to our expert analysts, Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and Raspanti about the breakout performance of welterweight Regis Prograis (who TKO'd previously undefeated Joel Diaz Jr. on Friday), and the upcoming rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.

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Montell Griffin's storybook career had a few unhappily-ever-after episodes that still grate on his nerves all these years later, at age 47.

His father owned the Windy City Boxing Gym, which was Montell's home away from home until his dad passed away at age 12. At that point, his mother pulled him out of the sport through his teen years, until he finally split for Los Angeles to resume training as an 18-year-old.

Against all odds, Griffin made the 1992 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team and went to Barcelona with a squad that included Oscar De La Hoya, Julian Wheeler, Raul Marquez, Chris Byrd, Tim Austin, and Larry Donald.

Unfortunately, those were the first Olympics to use the new electronic scoring system, which routinely awarded points to the wrong fighter -- a snafu that eliminated Griffin before the medal round.

After turning pro (where he was trained from his eighth fight on by the legendary Eddie Futch), Griffin won his first 14, then stepped into the ring with future Hall of Famer James Toney, who already was 44-1 and a former world champion. Griffin not only upset Toney, but also won a rematch the following year.

That put him inthe ring with undefeated world champion Roy Jones Jr.., the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world at the time -- a fight Griffin was winning going into the ninth round, when Jones was DQ'd for hitting his opponent while he was on a knee.

Fans trolled Griffin after that, adding to a career filled with disappointment and disillusionment.

This is a remarkable 20-minute interview with a colorful fighter who deserved better from a career that spanned from 1993-2011.

Our interview with Montell Griffin is preceded, as always, by our expert analysts, Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and John J. Raspanti, who discuss the weekend victories by Adonis Stevenson and Eleider Alvarez, the skullduggery involving Team Ward and Kovalev trainer John J. Raspanti, and the claim by a Sky Sports reporter that Deontay Wilder was knocked out cold -- twice -- while sparring with Wladimir Klitschko.

This is a rockin' show with a lot of revelations.

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Our extraordinary boxing historian, Christopher James Shelton, joined us this week to tell the tale of bare-fisted British boxer Tom Spring, whom Shelton considers 'the Mike Tyson of his day.' Check out this colorful interview and find out why.


 Our Christopher Shelton conversation is preceded by expert analysts Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and John J. Raspanti, who unwrap Errol Spence's breakout performance against Kell Brook, and look forward to what might be in stor for both fighters and the talent-loaded welterweight division.

 

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