JULY 2007

01 | The Life and Times of  a Boxing Pioneer
By Enrique Encinosa

02 | Poem of the Month
By Colleen Aycock

03 | In the Ring with James J. Corbett : Book Sample
By Adam Pollack

04 | My Candidate for Manager of the Year: Cameron Dunkin
By Adam Pollack

05 | Touching Gloves with Ruben Navarro
By Dan Hanley

06 | Flashback to the 2006 World Boxing Hall of Fame Banquet
By Dan Hanley

07 | Why the Old Soviet Block of Nations is having Success in Boxing
By Rocky Alkazoff

08 | "I'm from Down-Under too" Reflections from    IBHOF 2007
By Orion Foote

09 | Prelims:the Art & Science of Matchmaking [pdf]
By Don Cogswell

10 | Boxing's Lineal Mathematics : Champion Versus Champion
By Cliff Rold


My Candidate for Manager of the Year: Cameron Dunkin

by Adam J. Pollack

You will not hear from or see him very often, and probably most of you have no idea who he is. Cameron Dunkin is a behind the scenes guy who is perhaps the most effective boxing manager in the business. His resume includes world champion names like Stevie Johnston, Diego Corrales, Johnny Tapia, Danny Romero, Marc Johnson, and Eric Morel.

The key to being a great manager is knowing how to move the fighter along so that he not only maximizes his long term economic prospects, but also so that he learns the game, isn’t overmatched, and is positioned to obtain a title shot and be best prepared to able to win it. To me, the best manager gets the most out of a fighter, regardless of talent. A good manager can handle a super talent. A great manager can get a title shot or a title for a guy without a great deal talent, but who learns the trade and is brought along well. That is the beauty of Dunkin. He is a guy who gets title shots and often title victories for guys who, at the start of their careers, were not necessarily predicted to do so. 

Cameron Dunkin does a beautiful job at getting his prospects the experience they need to win a title, and protects them in the early years while they are still learning. A lot of his fighters who are undefeated or who have only one or two losses could easily have multiple losses in other manager’s hands. Some of his champions, in the hands of another manager, could easily have been nothing more than journeymen.  

Guys who are and were champions were not household names when Dunkin first took them from the amateurs and groomed them into the finished product with which we are all familiar. Consider Diego Corrales. How many of you would have predicted the type of career that he had when he was an amateur back in 1996? He did not come out the amateurs a big heralded star. He was not an Olympian. Hell, a lot of folks did not even think he was going to beat Robert Garcia when he first won the junior lightweight title. But Dunkin has the eye, and knows how to develop and move fighters. He has the patience to bring them along slowly and properly, and not rush them. Oh, and take a look at Corrales’ record after he and Dunkin parted ways. 

All you need to do is look at the position some of his fighters are in today and you will realize that Dunkin simply has it. Kelly Pavlik was unheralded coming out of the amateurs. Today he is a 31-0 knockout artist, a fan favorite exciting #1 contender who just impressively knocked out Edison Miranda on HBO, and is going to get a title shot. Win or lose against Taylor, there is no denying that Dunkin moved and positioned Pavlik beautifully, and Kelly is going to make a lot of money in his career. 

Nonito Donaire – 18-1. In a brilliant performance, he just knocked out the undefeated 28-0 IBF world flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan, the big bad monster that was knocking everyone out. There is no denying it now that Donaire has learned his craft very well and got the experience that he needed to be prepared to do what he did. He did it looking very good. 

Steven Luevano – 33-1. He just went to England and stopped 27-0 Nicky Cook for the vacant WBO featherweight title. Here is a guy who was moved along well over the years, and got the experience that he needed in order to step it up in the big one. How many would have predicted this? 

Victor Ortiz – 18-1-1 – This is one of the hottest prospects in the business today. Win or lose, this kid is a whole lot of fun to watch, and in Dunkin’s hands, is likely to win a world title at some point. He has been on Telefutura and Showtime, and I cannot wait to see him again. 

You can really tell a great manager when he even manages to move fighters who are not necessarily guys you would pick to have undefeated records. Jose Aguiniga is 31-0 and has been televised on Telefutura a number of times. I guarantee that in another manager’s hands, this kid could easily have a lot of losses. 

Here is another sign of a good manager – when he can get his fighter a bunch of fights and paydays when he is not even that entertaining. I cannot stand watching Zahir Raheem! I hate watching him and root for him to get knocked out every time I see him. This was a guy who got knocked out in the Olympics, and probably not too many managers wanted to touch him. Yet, Dunkin miraculously got him to 28-2, has got him on HBO three times, including a victory over Erik Morales and close losses to Rocky Juarez and Acelino Freitas, and he was recently on ESPN. Raheem is a boring fighter who is going to make far more money with Dunkin than he would otherwise have done with anyone else. Dunkin has the golden touch.  

Not every one of his Dunkin’s fighters is going to make it. But in his hands, they have a higher probability. Cameron Dunkin is having a stellar year, with guys doing well who many would not necessarily expect to be in the positions that they currently are, and he deserves some credit for it.