From the Vault | Blood Sport: The Story Of Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas

They called the fight “Bad Blood.” It was a marketing angle that wrote itself. In 2002, Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas met in a clash of Mexican-American U.S. Olympians from southern California, bringing the two biggest draws at 154 pounds together for a monster pay-per-view event that was powered by a bitter grudge.

In a special edition of the HBO Boxing Podcast, Eric Raskin speaks to De La Hoya, Vargas, and numerous insiders who were at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas that night and lets them tell the story of a modern classic, a showdown in which scores were settled and blood was spilled.

HBO Boxing Insiders Receive Honors From BWAA

Photo: Ed Mulholland

Photo: Ed Mulholland

On Tuesday, April 17 the Boxing Writers Association of America announced its 2017 Bernie Award winners, with the HBO Boxing Insider staff receiving top honors for their contributions to Inside HBO Boxing and From The Vault.

Eric Raskin earned first place in the Boxing Investigative Reporting category for his story, "Unrealized: The Story of Ike Ibeabuchi, the Great Lost Heavyweight." The oral history is also available as a podcast. 

Kieran Mulvaney was recognized in two categories. His article "The Last Boxing Days of Miguel Cotto," which went inside the legendary fighter's camp as he prepared for his farewell fight against Sadam Ali, won third place in the Boxing Feature (over 1,500 words). The fight story from the heavyweight championship at Wembley Arena in London, "Joshua Is the New King As Valiant Klitschko Goes Out On His Shield,"  also won third place, in the category of Boxing Event Coverage.

Gordon Marino received an Honorable Mention  in the category of Event Coverage for his Inside HBO Boxing piece, The X’s and O’s of Canelo-GGG. Additionally, HBO Boxing Insider Springs Toledo received numerous awards for work that appeared in a variety of publications.

HBO Boxing photographer Ed Mulholland received an honorable mention for his entry in the BWAA's Action category of their photo contest, which appears at the top of this article.

Congratulations to all the honorees.

The Prince and the Flash: The Story of Naseem Hamed vs. Kevin Kelley

By Eric Raskin

Twenty years ago, an undefeated, power-punching British featherweight of Yemeni descent named “Prince” Naseem Hamed brought his show to America for the first time when he faced his toughest professional test, New Yorker Kevin Kelley, a.k.a. “The Flushing Flash,” at Madison Square Garden. The hype was off the charts. And the fight exceeded all hype.

Read the oral history "The Prince and the Flash: The Story of Naseem Hamed vs. Kevin Kelley" on From the Vault.

Still Standing: The Story of Hopkins vs. Trinidad

Photo: Will Hart

Photo: Will Hart

HBO Boxing commemorates the 15th anniversary of Bernard Hopkins vs. Felix Trinidad with a special web feature and HBO Boxing Podcast dedicated to the historic fight.

The podcast, which includes interviews with more than a half-dozen of the key players involved in the bout -- including Hopkins, HBO Boxing broadcaster Jim Lampley and many more -- serves as an extensive oral history of one of the sport's most memorable fights.

"Fifteen years ago, one future Hall of Famer established his greatness, while another had his run to boxing immortality cut short. And it happened just 18 days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, just three miles from Ground Zero, at Madison Square Garden, in the first major sporting event in Manhattan after the towers fell. In the shadow of 9/11, sanctioned savagery shared the spotlight with recovery from America’s darkest hour, and the result was one of the most dazzling individual performances the sport of boxing has ever seen."  

Read the full story here.

 Listen to the podcast here.