Convicted Artist Magazine

Thursday
Nov 21st
  • Login
  • Registration
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Boxing

Boxing Editorials

JULY PREDICTIONS, PART 1

JULY PREDICTIONS, PART 1

Amir Khan vs. Danny Garcia
This matchup is the most fun fight of July, perhaps.  Many things had to unmaterialize for this fight to take place.  Peterson's drug test, the lousy decision between Rios and Abril, the abandoned plans of Juan Manuel Marquez, etc.  However, if Khan wins, and Bradley remains at 147 after the Pacquiao fight, Khan vs. Peterson is much more lucrative.  It will be for the undisputed 140lb title, and will feature an advantage for Khan, since Peterson is not likely to take even vitamins prior to his next fight.  Even if Garcia wins, he will be the man at 140lbs, moreso than Peterson... wich will in turn force that fight to take place.

Not to mention the action that the fight itself could produce.  Garcia is a good fighter, who was belted by catching Erik Morales at the right time.  Something tells me he is not ready for a fighter like Amir Khan, who is still a cut above most others.  Garcia will work hard, and even win a few rounds, but Khan is motivated, ready, and needs to make a statement.  In or about round 6 or 7, the gap in talent will reveal itself.  Khan by late round TKO, probably on cuts or swelling.

Brandon Rios vs. Mauricio Herrera
What is this?  The battle of guys who get gift decisions?  Herrera is just good enough to give Rios problems if Rios is unsure of himself.  Rios may have the weight issue behind him, but he also has another fighter in front of him, who is very good at outboxing plodding sluggers.  I think Herrera will do so just enough to make it close and intersting, but Rios will outwork him.  Bam Bam also has the better connections to get a close, but not bad, decision.

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tony Thompson
Not much has happened for either man since their first meeting.  Klitschko has gotten even more careful, and Thompson has gotten older.  I don't think Thompson has seen anything new, so much as he has forgotten what facing Klitschko is like.  Somewhere in the first few rounds, he will get tagged hard enough to jog his memory. 

 

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS
Danny Green is making a comeback against Danny Santiago, because fractional belt holders are calling him out at light heavyweight.  If he is looking to distance himself from Australian rival Anthony Mundine, this is not going to do it.  Mundine, like Green, is heading for America soon to face former belt-holders who are past their prime.  Even if you get a belt or two, these two men should head back to Australia, face each other at 168, and make the money.  Chad Dawson and Sergio Martinez are waiting for each of you, respectively, in the U.S... and the results there won't be pretty.

Speaking of not pretty results, I am not a science guy, but to see even medical professionals confused by what constitutes a performance-enhancing substance is not encouraging.  In an already corrupt sport, we are providing another way to add to the corruption.  Now, it is dangerously easy to get out a fight, or reverse any reult we don't like, by simply perverting the results of a drug test.

Speaking of drugs, I personally do not want results from a Johnny Tapia autopsy.  If it turns out that it was drugs, or a cumulative collapse from years of drug abuse, it will be no surprise.  Nor will any additional lesson be learned.  If it turns out to be something random, like a heart defect, how depressing would that be... for a man who had overcome so much?  There is no happy ending to most autopsy results, and unless you suspect foul play, in this case, it is unnecessary.

 

 

Read more...

2012 - MERCIFUL MAYANS

2012 - MERCIFUL MAYANS
I have to tell you, I am less than thrilled with the boxing results for 2012 thus far.  After a few years of action fights, and interesting occurrences, 2012 has been one of the worst years in recent memory.  Lousy decisions, deaths, injuries, canceled fights, and positive steroid tests.  Most of these trends started in 2011 or before, but they are reaching their peaks now.  It seems we cannot get excited about anhy upcoming fight.  Two very interesting rematches are a no-go after positive steroid tests.

Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto each had seemingly more to gain than their opponents in going through with their respective fights with Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz, and it was even they who asked for stringent testing.  We are so quick to yell foul at any positive test, that we don't bother to educate ourselves as to what kinds of banned substances there are.  The rules change frequently, and without much sense.  We need more education for fighters and fans as to what denotes a banned substance, and why.  The list also needs to be drastically whittled down to the substances that truly make an unfair difference, or that damage the body.

Certainly human growth hormone is headlong into cheating, but diuretics, and healing drugs should definitely not be.  Marijuana is technically a banned substance, yet that is, and always has been, a ludicrous aspect of drug testing.  It is not the responsibility of athletic commisssions to catch someone breaking a law.  It is their responsibility to catch cheaters.  As new substances become available, we need to determine what that is.  We are dangerously close to making people scared to take vitamins... we need more diagnostics, less judgments.

The tragedies of Johnny Tapia and Paul Williams are just the latest.  Julio Gonzalez also met his untimely death via motorcycle accident.  None of these deaths affected the boxing landscape, yet, much like the more timely passings of Angelo Dundee and Goody Petronelli, they put an exclamation point on the end of an era. 

 

Read more...

DULL WEEKEND

DULL WEEKEND
Sometimes a fight comes along and eliminates both combatants from future gain.  Usually it is a draw or close fight, and it is not always legitimate.  Indeed, when Cus D'Amato used the Eddie Machen-Zora Folley draw as an excuse to have his champion Floyd Patterson avoid both men, it was a cowardly move.  However, when Ray Mancini and Hector Camacho fought to a close split decision, it was a comment on how neither were the same fighter they had once been.

For Antonio Tarver, he turned pro at the late age of 27, and has not been in too many grueling wars.  He has not been the picture of activity, however, and the resulting gaps, as well as division hopping make it hard to gauge how far one has fallen at age 43.  Tarver can still expose many prospects at crusierweight, but why?  The money in that division is in Europe, as are the few in the division who would probably beat him.  If he wants to face Flores and Jones for a kind of Western Hempsphere tourney, that is fine.  There will be guys like Ryan Coyne, Guillermo Jones, and Kayode for him until he turns 50.  Yet, Marco Huck and Yoan Hernandez should be avoided, if Tarver is not going to do any better than he did Saturday night in his draw with Kayode.  

Meanwhile, Lateef Kayode has not scored a kayo in his last 4 fights, which would not be a problem if he were a polished boxer, but for a man who is nicknamed, "Power", the holes in his game become wider with each fight.  I don't even think Don King's WBA beltholder in Jones will avoid him... even if Jones' once a year schedule might mean Kayode will die of natural causes before getting a shot.  Denis Lebedev will likely call out Tarver next, as his MO has been to call out old American champions, once they are already exposed.

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS
Karim Mayfield is looking like the real thing.  What an exciting time this is for Bay Area boxing.  Between Mayfield, Nonito Donaire, and Andre Ward, Northern California is on the boxing map, after many years of not producing anything noteworthy.  Virgil Hunter being voted trainer of the year, plus the climate and culture, should be producing more fighter migration to the area as well.

Speaking of boxing centers, the Seattle-Tacoma area is due to produce a decent prospect or two, as well.  The 70's and 80's were chock full of champions and contenders: Haugen, Seales, Randolph, Lockridge, Bumphus, etc., but since then, the pickens have been slim.  It's a wonder, too, since they have more than enough fight cards at various Indian casinos throughout the state.

Speaking of boxing centers, Germany is in danger of losing it's edge.  The ridiculous decision loss of heavyweight Maurice Harris has taken corrupt judging to a new level.  Apparently this one was god awful.  With more and more German based fighters getting free: Erdei, Dzindziruk, and soon Golovkin, the new in thing to do is going to be building the record there, until someone calls you a protected joke, then coming to the U.S. to cash out, and prove your skills.  It's kind of the opposite of what the Klitschkos did.  It's making guys look like wimps for not doing it, as well.

Speaking of cowardly moves, Dmitry Pirog has offically erased all intrigue after choosing to face Nobuhiro Ishida in his last fight.  Hiding in Russia and fighting exposed journeyman to lackluster decision wins pretty much proves that even he knows his win over Daniel Jacobs was a fluke.

 

Read more...

AMATEUR BACKGROUND NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE?

AMATEUR BACKGROUND NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE?
We as fight fans have always heard that the more amateur fights a fighter had prior to turning pro, the more well equipped he/she would be to enter the pro game.  Now, I am not going to attempt to turn that entire theory on it's head, yet I feel like many previously standard life statements, i.e.: get a college degree and you'll be guaranteed better jobs, American standard of living will never decrease, morality and religion go together, etc, it has lost it's luster.  These statements were at one point accepted fact.  Now they are all not only open for debate, but bordering on being thrown out altogether.

While wathcing ESPN2's Friday Night Fights recent telecast, I couldn't help but notice that lightweights Ji-Hoon Kim and Alisher Rahimov had very different styles.  However, I had to be told which one had the long amateur background.  While Rahimov's late start as a pro, plus his nationaility (Uzbek), is a bit of a hint as to his amateur pedirgree of over 250 amatuer fights, he was not the obviously better schooled of the two.  Ji-Hoon Kim had no amateur fights, yet was able to outwork his more experienced opponent, and even show better lateral movement and angles than Rahimov.

Kim has scored two straight decision wins after being an all action knockout fighter, so he is learning well on the job, but i think more of it is due to the lack of amatuer fundamentals being learned these days, particularly in western countries.  On the undercard, Seattle-area heavyweight Vince Thompson won a dull decision over Joell Godfrey.  Thompson flicked his right jab, barley used his left, and neglected the body.  During the telecast we were told he had 43 amateur fights.  That is 40 more than it looked like he had. Even experienced heavyweight Chris Arreola does not fight with the polish than it would seem a former national amateur champion should have.

 

 

Read more...

HARD LUCK CONTENDERS

HARD LUCK CONTENDERS
Sometimes fighters have bad luck inside the ring.  Other times bad luck just seems to follow them wherever they go outside of it, as well.  Here are a few modern examples of fighters who have not had things go their way, on their march towards belts and money.

Anthony Dirrell
Dirrell came into our view as a background entity.  He was the brother who didn't make the Olympics.  He fought in his brother Andre's shadow, as the bronze medalist made his way up the ranks.  Also fighting in the same division, he had to wait until Andre's own bad luck sidelined him (Arthur Abraham's dirty fighting resulting in a brain injury), but it was not that off that opponent, and returning to the ring, he was given a high (if not inKflated) ranking in the WBC.  This all but guaranteed a title shot.  As negotiations for that bout were underway, he suffered a motorcycle accident.  One thing is for sure.  If and when Anthony Dirrell gets a shot at a title, it will be well-deserved, regardless of who he fights to get there.

Daniel Jacobs
To lose one's grandmother on the eve of your title shot is hard enough.  Then to find yourself in a harder fight for that title then you anticipated is another.  Then to finally seem to be figuring out that awkward opponent (Dmitry Pirog), when you get caught and stopped, is one heck of a bad month in your life.  Sadly for Jacobs, it did not end there.  A couple of meaningless comeback wins over fighters with losing records followed... then the dreaded c-word: Cancer.  This is where the story picks up a bit, as Jacobs seems to not only have beaten cancer, but is already scheduled to come back in October in his hometown of Brooklyn.  This guy deserves a happy ending to one heck of a crazy road.

 

 

Read more...

Interview With Cleotis Pendarvis

Interview With Cleotis Pendarvis
Cleotis "Mookie" Pendarvis is thankful.  Thankful for the talent he has been given.  Thankful for the team he has assembled around him.  Thankful for all the big name sparring partners that taught him so much on the way up.  Even thankful to his opponent on May 25 for taking the fight.  Pendarvis is not the kind of fighter with a padded record, who wishes his team would throw him in deep.  Pendarvis has faced tough opposition early in his career, and swam more often as he sank.

He has already suffered from questionable scoring and officiating, and has always seemed to come bck stronger.  Now settled in at 140, after campaiging at welterweight for much of his career, Pendarvis is focused on the future.  Convicted Artist had the chance to speak to him a few days before he squares off against Rob Frankel for the USNBC and USBA Junior Welterweight titles at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California on May 25th.

C.A.: How'd you get the nickname "Mookie?"
Cleotis Pendarvis: It's a family nickname, that my Auntie gave me.  It's followed me from family to boxing to everywhere... but my boxing nickname is "Prince".

C.A.: When did you get into boxing, and why?
Cleotis Pendarvis: I was ten years old.  I was fighting all the time.  Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, you fight every day... at Washington Park, etc I was always fighting.  I kept coming into the gym, and people knew me in there.  The trainers would tell me to leave, and I said I won't leave unless you put me in the ring with him.  "Him" was this kid named Miguel, who was one of the best amateurs in the state at the time.  After I sparred with him, the trainers said, "man, you can fight!"

 

 

Read more...

JUNE PREDICTIONS, PART 2

JUNE PREDICTIONS, PART 2
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs Andy Lee
JCC Jr. is returning to Texas, where it's easy to get away with corruption.  Not to mention, his name is Chavez, which means he will be getting the benefit of the doubt anyway.  It is also a Top Rank card, and a Lou DiBella opponent.  Add to that, that Chavez Jr has seemingly been blessed with his father's chin and tough skin (in Chavez Sr.'s early career at least), and you have one heck of an uphill climb for the Irishman.  I think Lee would have been better served taking on Sergio Martinez in an all DiBella matchup for the legit title, but clearly his promoters think he has a better chance at the young Mexican.  They are wrong.  Chavez legtimitate boxing skills are nothing to scoff at, either.  He is not just hype and corruption anymore.  Actually, I think it is more Lee who has been built up a bit out of proportion.  My guess is that it is a pretty even fight, until a small cut or a slight wobble causes the referee to intervene early.  Chavez by mid-late round TKO.

Winky Wright vs. Peter Quillin
Wright made the right decision to walk away when he did.  A dominating loss to Paul Williams could have been chalked up to Williams work rate, and a bad style matchup, but Quillin is a bit different.  Not that he isn't vulnerable, but a defensive minded fighter is not going to bother him.  Wright has a lot to gain, as if he wins... he will almost certainly end up in the ring with a Middleweight beltholder.  he would be a name, but vulnerable opponent for the cowards that reign there (except Martinez and his recent opponents)  He won't gain it, though.  Wright just needs a bit more convincing that it is over.  Quillin will provide it.  Quillin by wide UD.

 

Read more...

JUNE PREDICTIONS, PART 1

JUNE PREDICTIONS, PART 1
Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley
Let's just get the big one out of the way now.  I started off saying that Cotto was a mismatch for Mayweather, and Bradley was a tough fight for Pacquiao.  More and more it is going to look like I don't know what I am talking about.  Cotto ended up going all 12, and winning 3 or 4 rounds, to give Mayweather his toughest fight since De la Hoya.  However, the more I analyze Bradley vs. Pacquiao, I am beginning to see why Bob Arum allowed this fight.  Bradley is not so much light-hitting as he is simply not a finisher.  Add to that Pacquiao's incredible recuperative powers, and Bradley is not a danger to stop Manny.  Bradley employs effective agression, and comes in behind good body work, combinations, and yes, a dangerous head.  Pacquiao, however, seems to have the answer for every problem Bradley presents.  A distance counterpuncher with good defense is what bothers Manny Pacquiao, not the style of Bradley.

While the Californian reacted very well when dropped against Kendall Holt, he was also the more effective fighter in that fight, and was aware that he simply walked into a great shot.  Pacquiao hits men, and they change.  It is hard to imagine Bradley giving up, and maybe that is what Arum is seeing.  A Donny Lalonde to Pacquiao's Leonard.  Someone who is big and strong enough to give Manny a great fight, and keep coming... but who has shown a chin question, and does not possess single shot KO power.  Bradley may provide tense moments, but will figure to get hit a lot harder and more often than he did against Holt.  Also Manny's upper body movement will make it hard to Bradley's head to find its target.  Plus, the power Bradley feels may make him think twice about exposing his head in the first place.  I pick Manny by 9th round KO.

Lateef Kayode vs. Antonio Tarver
By the time Tarver gets a chance to clean things up at Cruiserweight, he could be well into his mid-forties.  That division is so weak now, however, that it is entirely doable.  At the very least, with discussions already going on between Tarver and Steve Cunningham, the Magic Man at least could be reigniting the division on these shores.  There is still BJ Flores, and while Denis Lebedev was beating up old Americans in Jones and Toney, but has been smart enough to steer clear of Tarver after how good The Floridian looked against Danny Green.  Wlodarczyk is a protected joke, but if Palacios gets by him, then Don King will have two cruiserweight belts, and maybe Tarver could start up a tournament.  Florida may be the center of 200lbs once again.  This all depends on Tarver getting by Lateef Kayode.

 

Read more...

El Paso Boxing & Martial Arts Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees

El Paso Boxing & Martial Arts Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees

No other sport in modern times captures the public’s imagination and brings together so many people from different walks of life like boxing and martial arts. El Paso Boxing & Martial Arts Hall of Fame is a memorable experience that brings back the excitement of fight-night. The Hall’s mission is to honor and preserve El Paso’s boxing and martial art’s rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of those who have excelled while providing an educational experience. Founded in 1993 by boxing coach and Convicted Artist boxing writer Thomas W. McKay, the El Paso Boxing & Martial Arts Hall of Fame has been credited for recognizing and rewarding El Paso’s outstanding fighters, trainers, officials, promoters and managers for their sacrifice, career performances as well as their civic pride.

On Saturday May 12, 2012 the El Paso Boxing & Martial Arts Hall of Fame held a press conference at Jaxon’s Restaurant at 1135 Airways Blvd, El Paso, Texas to announce this years 2012 inductees and awardees. Two-time USA Boxing Champion & Three-time Women's National Golden Glove Champion, Jennifer Han will be inducted into both the boxing and martial arts hall of fames. Jennifer Han will also receive the best female professional boxing award for her wins in the ring in 2011. Jorge Munoz, a six-time Texas State Boxing Champion and a two-time National Boxing Champion will be inducted into the boxing hall of fame. Boxing champion and military hero, Francisco ‘Panchito’ Alvarado will be recognized by being inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame for his lifelong achievements. Louie Burke, has been chosen for Boxing Coach of the Year. And Louie’s brother Rocky Burke, who was a standout amateur boxer and former professional boxer will also be inducted. Rocky is an active boxing official and also a referee for Showtime Boxing. Three-time regional Golden Gloves Champion and former WBC champion of Mexico, Rene Herrera will be inducted and El Paso Times veteran sports reporter of over 30 years, Bill Knight will be inducted as well.

The 2011 awards for outstanding performances include WBA World Light Middleweight Champion Austin Trout from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Trout has defended his title twice and is the halls choice for professional boxer of the year. His renowned trainer, Louie Burke, was voted the top boxing coach of the year.  Burke’s legendary training resume and boxing career were rewarded by his recent induction into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. The boxing amateur of the year award will go to the 2011 El Paso Regional Golden Gloves Champion, Josh Enriquez. A Legend Award will be given to the late Sammy Burke of Las Cruces, New Mexico as will seven-time world kick boxing champion, Cliff ‘Magic’ Thomas.

 

Read more...

Shall we dance? A perfect match-up of two fighters is a lot like watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Shall we dance? A perfect match-up of two fighters is a lot like watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
A perfect match-up of two fighters is a lot like watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  When styles mesh, there’s a fluidity and beauty to the action that brings boxing to the level of improvised performance art. These are the rare instances where lunges, parries, punches, blocks, feints and clinches create an ebb and flow that seems almost choreographed - bouts where the momentum moves us along to a crescendo and dénouement with scarcely a wasted movement or clinch.

Interestingly, classic boxers with outstanding footwork are sometimes lousy dance partners. Slick movers like Floyd Mayweather, Pernell Whitaker, Roy Jones, and Bernard Hopkins have tendencies to run or clinch to the point where the flow of the fight is more like a log-jam than a waterfall.

A matchup of sluggers occasionally creates more intrinsic beauty than a pairing of standup boxers. One thinks of Duran versus De Jesus, Hagler versus Mugabi, Foreman versus Lyle, and Trinidad versus Mayorga. All were grueling, fast-paced fights with both boxers looking for KO’s, and yet they were exquisite in their symmetry.

The old axiom, “styles make fights,” describes one of the most enigmatic traits of boxing. However, it needs a clarifying addendum: “Styles make fights, and minute discrepancies create contradictory outcomes.” No matter how astutely pundits dissect the fighters’ skill sets and compare opponents, it’s relatively meaningless until that moment when the two come together inside the ring. The wild card that signifies consternation for odds-makers is the variable that stirs fans to continue coughing up exorbitant sums to see a fight. They are compelled by the outside chance that what appears to be a mismatch on paper may become a shocker in the flesh.

It took Felix Trinidad to tarnish “The Golden Boy,” Hopkins to solve Trinidad, and Vernon Forrest to disrupt Shane Mosely’s nine-year winning streak in two shocking upsets. Forrest had Mosely’s number, and the perfect style to take the championship he later lost to Ricardo Mayorga by third round KO, yet MosIey KO’d Mayorga five years later.  

It took Joe Frazier to derail Ali, Foreman to trounce Frazier, and Ali to demystify Foreman. It took Marco Antonio Barrera to capitalize on Prince Naseem Hamed’s egregious technical flaws, Douglas to upset Tyson, Holyfield to overwhelm Douglas, Bowe to befuddle Holyfield, Tarver to unstitch Roy Jones, and on it goes …

 

Read more...

BAD REFS ARE WORSE THAN JUDGES

BAD REFS ARE WORSE THAN JUDGES

I have a bad taste in my mouth after Adonis Stevenson's TKO over Noe Gonzalez.  Not because it was the worst stoppage I have seen.  Far from it.  But because the quick trigger is so commonplace now, that I have grown to expect it.  Like a bad decision, this is the first time in 27 years of following boxing, that I now expect a lousy stoppage, more than I do not.  The element of surprise is completely gone.

It has ruined what is supposed to be the most fun part of watching a fight.  Instead of enjoying the hurt fighter trying to recover, while the fighter with an advantage tries to finish him, I am just looking at the ref, saying "don't you dare stop this fight".  And more often than not, they do.  In so doing, referees are shifting the spotlight to themselves, and robbing fighters of a come-from-behind win.  It continues to get worse, and shows no sign of calming down.

Like bad decisions, they will not stop until heads roll for the referees who commit this infraction.  If a committee decides that you pulled the trigger too soon, you get a warning.  Do it again, you are suspended for a year.  Do it again during your probationary period, you get de-frocked.  Period.  And that will not happen, until there is an unbiased, appointed national commission.

There is not one intelligent, lucid argument against such a body existing.  The only opposition would naturally come from promoters who do no want their sphere of influence circumvented.  They are tantrumming 3-year odls.  They don't care what's right or wrong.  They simply wish to have it all.  Mine! Mine! Mine!  It is the argument of political parties today, as well.  How much control should a governing body have over private economy?  However, in boxing, we have both.  We have private business posing as a governing body.

 

Read more...

El Paso Boxing Hall of Fame Awards Austin Trout Professional Boxer of the Year

El Paso Boxing Hall of Fame Awards Austin Trout Professional Boxer of the Year

Born in El Paso, Texas, September 18th, 1985, Austin Trout participated in many sports before he found his niche in boxing. Beginning his amateur career at age ten when his mother took him to a local gym, Austin soon found himself in Las Cruces, New Mexico and turning heads in the boxing game. Trainer Louie Burke was quick to follow the young talent and from that point on boxing history was in the making. Within a few years Austin was winning regional and state titles and culminated his amateur career by winning the 2004 United States National Amateur Welterweight Championship and selected as an Olympic alternate in Athens, Greece.

A skilled and rugged southpaw, Austin turned professional and under the guidance of trainer Burke, built an impressive undefeated record while gaining the necessary experience to challenge for a world title. Before a prized title chance would occur, Austin went on a winning streak that rewarded him with the 2009 WBA Continental Americas Light Middleweight Title, the 2009 WBA Fedelatin Light Middleweight Title, and the 2009 WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Title. Those wins upped him to the number one WBA ranking and the tough preparation bode well for him in 2011 when Burke was instrumental in obtaining a WBA World Junior Middleweight Title fight for Austin against Mexico’s Rigoberto Alvarez.

It was February 5th, 2011 when Austin and Alvarez squared off in the latter’s hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. Nevertheless, Austin was on a mission and was relentless in his thunderous attack of Alvarez and shocked the crowd by clearly defeating their favorite by unanimous decision over twelve brutal rounds. It was a glorious victory for Austin and sheer joy for his trainer Burke. Their return to Las Cruces, New Mexico, was a happy occasion to say the least.

Champion Austin Trout sported a 23-0 record with 14 knockouts and his celebrating was short lived. On the horizon for a June title defense was another top-ranked and dangerous Mexican, David ‘the Destroyer’ Lopez. The two battled furiously but Austin was in top condition and he persevered over his tough foe by a unanimous decision over the championship rounds. But before he would take on the next mandatory contender, Austin, a very religious man, wanted to get busy with his civic responsibility.

 

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS
Felix Sturm says he wants to unify the middleweight titles.  Yeah, as long as he picks the venue, judges, referee, and signs no rematch clause.  I'm sure the other belt holders at Middleweight will be lining up to agree to that, Felix!  Let's see if you can even beat Golovkin.  Something tells me you cannot.

Speaking of unification, it looks like we may soon be farther rather than closer to Super Middleweight cleanliness.  Andre Ward is the one and only champion, but the number one contender is not being fought.  If Ward relinquishes the WBC belt as is rumored, two more contenders get ducked in Adonis Stevenson and Anthony Dirrell.  Not that they shouldn't fight each other... neither of them have done anything to merit a title shot yet, and it would be a good competitive fight.  However, it should not be for a belt, and not be so that Ward will have even less motivation to face anyone pulse-worthy soon.

Speaking of Super Middleweights having a pulse, check the next couple of Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik opponents.  Not that I need to see them face each other a third time, but it's time to test the waters with someone real.  Give Allan Green credit for continuing to take challenges that are probably past his capabilities.  At least he's trying.

Speaking of trying, I don't like the attitude of the recent promoters of screw-job fights.  First off, it is depressing that it is not one person but everyone.  Sturm promoted his own bad decisions.  Don King was behind Cloud-Campillo, while Goossen Tutor was behind Williams-Lara, and Golden Boy was behind Kirkland-Molina.  Now, Top Rank is behind Abril - Rios.  They all do it.  Secondly, why no attempt to give rematches?  Why no comments on innocence or guilt?  It smells fishier after this silence than it did after the decision was rendered.

 

Read more...

MAY PREDICTIONS, PART 2

MAY PREDICTIONS, PART 2
Dmitry Pirog vs Nobuhiro Ishida
Wow, Dmitry!  Way to quell those fears that you may be taking the easy way out.  It's been nearly two years since Pirog confused, then KO'd Daniel Jacobs.  But more and more, that is looking like a fluke.  Watching the fight then, I thought Pirog was a star in the making.  Watching it now, I see that Jacobs was distracted by his opponets style and the recent loss of his grandmother.  He was also starting to take over the fight, when he got caught with a big right hand.  Jacobs also came to life when he hit the canvas, and likely could have continued, but the way he fell was so dramatic, the referee stopped it.  Looking at it that way would explain how dissapointing Pirog has looked, since then.  Late stoppages or close decisions against nobodies, while hiding in Russia.  That has been the plan, and now that he has waited until another upset-made star has been exposed to give him a shot, the plan continues.  Ishida, like Pirog, also burst on to our shores with a big upset early KO over a hyped, unbeaten prospect.  However, unlike Pirog who has only been minorly exposed since, Ishida was thoroughly dominated by Paul Williams.  This is a step up for Pirog?  Ishida has all 7 of his losses coming by 10 or 12 round decision, so he has one heck of a chin.  Pirog's power has been in question lately, so the result here isn't likely to help anyone.  Pirog by wide unanimous decision, in a fight that kills time and interest.

Marco Huck vs. Ola Afolabi 2
I don't see a way this fight is going to go much differently than the first.  Afolabi was unfortunate to come out on the wrong end of a close decision, but that's what happens when you fight Huck in Germany.  His counterpunching style, and long periods of inactivity both in and out of the ring, do not help either.  Plus, Huck is motivated by his recent near-miss against Alexander Povetkin.  Big rematches loom with him, a chance to avenge a loss to Cunningham, as well as potential unification (something Sauerland promotions hates to do) with Yoan Hernandez.  The last thing he wants to do is lose to a fighter he has already beaten.  Huck could be looking past Afolabi, in which case a lucky punch could land.  But I see the British born, American-based, German promoted, Nigerian waiting too long.  Huck by unanimous decision, in a fight where Ola waits and waits for a moment that never comes.

 

Read more...

MAY PREDICTIONS, PART 1

MAY PREDICTIONS, PART 1

May is, as usual, a big month for boxing. I must congratulate Golden Boy for bringing back something that I had not seen in years... the mega-card. Canelo Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley is easily it's own PPV attarction, but instead, it is being offered as an undercard of Mayweather-Cotto. The benefit of this is three-fold. One, they can set up a future Mayweather-Alvarez match-up, that will be all in-house at Golden Boy. Two, they can squeeze one last big money bout out of Mosley, and three, they can continue to fool the public into beleiving that Alvarez is a future star.

Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson 2
The rematch being held on more neutral territory is a surprise to me. I would have figured this match a natural for Britain, but Khan gained a lot of respect for going into Peterson's backyard, and perhaps he does not want the rematch decided by any hometown influence on either side. It is a bizarre situation where one fighter wins while still showing his opponent's superiority. One got the feeling after the great Corrales vs. Castillo battle, that if Castillo made adjustments, he could have it much easier, even thought he lost. The same can be said here. I missed this call with Salido vs. Juanma, and if Peterson is one of thoe fighters who becmes infinitely better after being crowned champion, then Khan will be in trouble. However, with better judges, a better referee, and a better strategy for Peterson closing the gap, I see Khan pulling away. Peterson is durable, but I think this time Khan is ready for that. Khan by UD.

Shane Mosley vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez
Should Cotto-Mayweather be uncompetitive, which is the belief held by many, Alvarez vs. Mosley is sure to be more exciting. Also, that fight will let us know once and for all if Mosley is finished. True, he has looked bad against Pacquiao and Mayweather, but who hasn't? Mosley has never shined against fighters who could come close to matching his speed. However, he has never lost to a Mexican (except de la Hoya, over whom he has a bad decision win), and he has made a career of beating face-first sluggers. The Alvarez of 2009 would not even be favored against the post-Margarito Mosley of the same year, but he has since shown speed an boxing ability, therefore, now's the time.

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS
Austin Trout has signed with Al Haymon.  Allying yourself with someone even more invisible than you doesn't normally help, but this should.  Haymon gets his guys on TV, and against tough enough opponents to gain them respect, without really threatening to win.  I am also glad Bundrage - Spinks 2 is happening.  Finally some moving and shaking in the avoidance-rich Junior Middleweight division.

Speaking of avoidance at 154, Vanes Martirosyan gets ducked again in favor of Andy Lee.  Now, Chavez Jr. will never be allowed to have a tough fight, because he will lose it.  Also, Martirosyan would be forced out of his natural division, John Mugabi style, because no one at 154 will face him... but it's still sad to see him ducked yet again.  Martirosyan vs. Mundine would be a good fight, and it may finally rid us of the cowardly Australian.

Speaking of cowardly, to not grant Gabriel Campillo an immediate rematch, is ridiculous.  Tavoris Cloud is about to join a long list of Don King fighters who are shelved/priced out of decent contests.  It's already started with a proposed Jean Pascal match.  the only reason he was fighting twice a year before, is that everyone had him as their number one contender.  Not so anymore.  He needs to gain respect, again.

Speaking of respect, Kristoff Wlodarczyk has not earned any, so why is he attacking Antonio Tarver's choice of opponents?  No matter how sub-par Lateef Kayode has looked in his last 3 contests, he has at least won them legitimately, which is more than you can say for the protected Pole.  His only legit win recently was a KO over Tarver's leftovers, Danny Green.  He's gonna need help to beat Palacios again.  If you can do that, plus unify with Guillermo Jones, then you can call out a hall of famer like Tarver, who has always put quality above belts, and  never ducked anyone.

 

Read more...

LINARES, LOVEABLE LOSER?

LINARES, LOVEABLE LOSER?

I feel bad for Jorge Linares.  It seems that a fighter who has immeasurable talent has also been cursed with the worst kind of bad luck a fighter can have.  Skin and chin are two things you cannot fix.  One cost him a belt against Juan Carlos Salgado in his first attempt at a hometown (adopted - Tokyo) defense.  Then, the other cost him a 3rd division world title against Antonio De Marco.

In a fight he was clearly winning, he was cut badly.  Although he was also wobbly in the 11th round, it was the blood pouring from the eye that led to his stoppage loss.  Now, he has suffered yet another unexpected loss, via TKO to unheralded Sergio Thompson.  Not much is known about Thompson, except he is a Mexican with an Anglican last name.  He is also from Quintana Roo, not a Mexican state known for producing fighters.

His name, proximity to the Belizean border, and fact that he has fought in Belize once before, suggests perhaps some ancestry there, but there is not much else on him.  Thompson was a motivated hometown fighter last Saturday, looking for a title shot against the aforementioned DeMarco.  He is also a big puncher with most wins by early knockout.  In fact, his only two losses were when he was forced to go longer rounds.  If that was Linares' plan, he never got there.

Both his skin and his chin betrayed him on this night, as he was dropped and cut, and the bout was over by round two.   Not that Linares cannot still wind up with a belt at Lightweight, but he is at the back of line now.  A fight between he and Miguel Vazquez would get Vazquez some attention, and should Linares win it, get the Venezuelan his third sanctioning body trinket, in as many divisions, but the big fights are far away.  Sadly for him, much like compatriot Edwin Valero, he did most of his best work in Japan and Mexico, so the U.S. fans and scribes who help make international stars did not see much of him.  Unlike Valero, however, he is not leaving us wondering what-if.

 

Read more...

5 WAYS TO CLEAN UP BOXING

5 WAYS TO CLEAN UP BOXING

1) Reward the screwed fighter.
Vitali Klitschko gave me the idea, when he gave the title shot to Dereck Chisora instead of Robert Helenius, after Helenius won a bad decision over Chisora.  This would mean Carlos Molina getting a title shot... Erislandy Lara, and Gabriel Campillo as well.  If this happens enough, promoters will stop wasting grease money on corruptable officials, because it just makes their fighter into the bad guy, and denies him a title shot anyway.

2) Judge and referee suspensions.
We can yell until we are blue in the face, but take it from the father of young children... the truth is that reward/discipline is the only way to affect behavior.  Why should Marlon Wright, Russell Mora, Gale Van Hoy, Laurence Cole, or Jon Schorle do their job any better?  They are just going to get more work from their names being put out there.  This is one category where boxing does not have it the worst.  Where the NBA should be using it's uniformity to punish officals who consistently make bad calls, instead they punish the coaches and athletes who have the nerve to point out the obvious infractions.  A national commission is only the first step.  Having it run by fans who love the sport, and not just businesspeople is the next.  A lot of people want that job, and are capable of doing it.  If these men got their jobs from competency, and not having the right golf buddy, things would improve.

3) More promoters
I know this sounds counter productive.  But we need more small cards, local and regional, and let them run the big fights when they come to town.  Most promoters nowadays are just venue bookers with a bigger bankroll anyway.  Golden Boy and Top Rank are the only ones making consistent stars out of their charges, however, few things are as pathetic as a big promoter doing local cards.  The Club Nokia series for Golden Boy in Los Angeles is one good example.  Protected prospects beating up on hapless victims, knowing they are one good combination away from a TKO win at the hands of a referee who wants more work from Golden Boy.  They usually put two clubfighters on for action's sake, but I prefer the old way.  Make competitive, action figths, records be damned, and if the cream rises, then get a bigger dog like Golden Boy involved.  Roy Englebrecht's 25 years series in Orange County, CA is sold out for a reason.  There are times the main event is a 6 rounder featuring a fighter with a losing record.  The action is there, though, and so are the fans. 

Read more...

ANALYSIS, HOPKINS VS. DAWSON 2

ANALYSIS, HOPKINS VS. DAWSON 2
So, there is a rematch of a fight we didn't need in the first place?  Yippee.  Anyone who is hoping that the resolution of this match will provide resolution to the picture at Light Heavyweight is only half right.  There is thankfully, one champion in this division.  That is Bernard Hopkins.  He has nothing left to prove at 175lbs, and would have probably been better off retiring after his monumental win over Jean Pascal... or at least relinquishing that belt, so he may take on the champ at 168 or 200lbs, if one were to emerge.  He has nothing to gain by fighting Chad Dawson, and despite his posturing to the contrary, he knows it.

Rebuffing the young upstart was worthwhile against Kelly Pavlik, because he was facing an unbeaten fighter, and forcing him out of his comfortable weight.  He had nothing to lose, and gained so much admiration.  It is the opposite here.  If Hopkins vanquishes Dawson, it may add slightly to his legacy, but he will have beaten a fighter who has already lost, is the challenger, and does not draw fans anyway.  A fight with Andre Ward at 168lbs makes the most sense, if he can still make that weight.  Hopkins has something to gain, another undisputed championship.

Andre is the champ at 168lbs, and seems without an interesting dance partner.  He can still have that fight this fall, even if he loses to Dawson, but his skills/marketability would have suffered, and interest would have wained.  Nobody dominates Hopkins, and Dawson is not a dominating fighter anyway, so one would have to think that unless trainer John Scully lights a fire under Dawson, in a way no other trainer has been able to, he will not go for the kill.  Even if he goes for it, he would still require cooperation on Hopkins part, or at least Father Time's.  An only slightly diminished Hopkins can make the fight ugly, and steal a few rounds.

Unlike Hopkins, Dawson has unfinished business at 175lbs.  A rematch with Pascal, and a line of contenders unwilling to fight each other, or in the case of Cleverly and Shumenov, anyone with a pulse.  So, there is the blueprint for hoping that Dawson wins.  Hopkins, however, is dangerously close to Holyfield-land.  This is a magical place where no matter how old a fighter gets, athleticism and careful matchmaking spare him a dominating loss, so he feels he can continue and compete.  I do not feel a dominating loss is coming, but it will be decisive.

 

Read more...

Warner Center War 7 Ringside Coverage

Warner Center War 7 Ringside Coverage

In Woodland Hills, CA it was a 70's theme for Warner Center War 7, held on Saturday, March 31, 2012.  8 bouts took place between young up and coming fighters, presented by Art of Boxing and Bash Boxing.  Ring Announcer was Jim Fitzgerald.  Judges were Celia Ciaz, Marty Denkin, and James Jen-Kin.  Referees were Lou Moret and Jack Reiss.

In the Middleweight main event, Donyil Livingston suffered the first defeat of his career at the hands of Miami's Elie Augastama.  The taller Augustama dropped the Palmdale native with a right hand at the end of round one, yet it was a difficult affair to score thereafter.  Augustama often gave up his height to fight on the inside, and each fighter had their moments.  The fight went to the scorecards after 6, where Augustama pulled off the upset by scores of 58-55 on 2 scorecards, while Livingston was up 58-55 on the third.  Livingston falls to 8-1-1-4KO's, while Augustama improves to 6-4-1-3Ko's.

In the Super Middleweight co-main event, Tyrell Hendrix, of West Los Angeles, overcame a slow start to break down and stop Woonsocket, Rhode Island's Reynaldo Rodriguez in 4 rounds.   Rodriguez appeared to win the first right, but as Hendrix began to find his distance with right hands to the body, and left hooks up top, he eventually wore down his opponent, prompting a stoppage at 2:09 of the fourth, when Rodriguez sank to a knee and did not beat the count.   Hendrix moves to 8-1-2-3KO's, while Rodriguez (originally from Puerto Rico),  falls to 6-4-1-3KO'S.

"Kid Yamaka" Zachary Wohlman got the first stoppage win of his career, albeit in bizarre fashion.  The L.A. native was declared the winner when his opponent, Clifford McPherson injured his right thumb and could not continue.  At the time of the stoppage, McPherson was looking better than his now 2-9 mark would suggest .  The Cleveland fighter caught Wolhman with an overhand right early on, and staggered the unbeaten prospect.  Wolhman appeared to have righted the ship, and was beginning to outbox McPherson when a badly blocked punch resulted in the injury.  Welterweight Wolhman, moves to 3-0-1KO.

 

Read more...

APRIL PREDICTIONS

APRIL PREDICTIONS
Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson 2
With Nathan Cleverly and Beibut Shumenov choosing to face bums and no-hopers, while Tavoris Cloud reels from his 'loss" to Gabriel Campillo, it seems we must look to Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins and hope for some excitement at 175lbs. Ismail Sillakh is looking the next big thing, but the avoidance has begun, so don't expect him to get a shot until it't forced. Pascal is playing the waiting game as well. Given their career histories, as well as the first 4 minutes of fight 1, I am not optimistic about Hopkins-Dawson being a barn-burner. The truth is Hopkins intimidated Pascal out of their two fights, and I do not believe Dawson is vulnerable to that head game. Nobody dominates Bernard Hopkins, but much like James Toney a few months back, this may be the fight where Hopkins finally shows his age. Dawson by dull unanimous decision.

Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril
While in no way should it be a PPV, Top Rank never downgrades a card, no matter what happens.  Remember the Chavez Jr. vs. Gomez fiasco.  They also know better than to go to regular TV with this mismatch and try to get any decent money.  Abril does possess some skills, but even a murderous puncher is likely to get nowhere with Brandon Rios.  Abril is not a puncher at all.  Even if Abril fights the perfect fight, it may not be enough because of the talent gap.  Abril's only chance is that Rios will be let down from the Gamboa tease, and looking ahead to a Marquez bout.  Even if this happens, I would still not pick Abril.  He may show heart and durability, but I wouldn't even bet on that.  Rios by early KO.

Paulie Malignaggi vs. Vyacheslav Senchencko
Malignaggi has still been outboxing fighters at 147, and figures to be capable of doing the same against Senchenko. The Ukrainian has been protected throughout his career, and is only ranked as highly as he has been (#5 Ring Mag), because of his alphabet belt. Other than that, he is largely untested. Built like a miniature Klitschko, he is too slow and robotic to legitimately defeat a slickster like Malignaggi. However, the fight is taking place in the Ukraine, and I believe Senchecnko is smart enough to punch in spots, go defensive, and land body shots during clinches. This should be enough to "confuse" the judges, and score a hometown decision. Senchencko by bad decision.

 

 

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS

I am not surprised that Yuriorkis Gamboa pulled out of the Brandon Rios fight.  His vulnerabilities are perfect for a Rios type of fighter, and it does not pay well enough to risk.  He will probably try to win a belt at 130, and watch Adrien Broner's star rise.  Then, he will likely leave the division before actually having to fight him.  The bloom is off the Gamboa rose, at least for now.  One does not have to lose a fight to lose luster.  Just ask Paul Spadafora or Joan Guzman.  They have never lost, except wads of money, yet their stars have irreversibly fallen.

Speaking of Rios, Richard Abril does not seem to have the firepower to keep "Bam Bam" off of him, but he now has a definite role.  Word is that they are trying to make Juan Manuel Marquez a Rios opponent, which would offer a better fight than Gamboa would have, and re-energize the lightweight division.  Once glorious, the 135lb division has been transient one for a long time now.  Abril's trinket (WBA interim) means he will get a chance to hope that Rios overlooks him.  It seems to be his only chance.

Speaking of only chances, turning down a fight almost never pays off.  These men are not actors trying to avoid typecasting.  This is not dating where your picky nature makes you look more desireable.  From Francesco Damiani's lame knee costing him a title shot against Evander Holyfield, to Alex Garcia's turning down half a million for a George Foreman match, it almost always ends in disaster.  Garcia was Ko'd by a journeyman, and never left basic cable.  Damiani lost to Oliver McCall and retired.  Take the fight, no matter what.  If you lose, blame it on the injury, then use the vulnerability you displayed to earn more lucrative opponents.  That's what works these days.

 

Read more...

OVERCOMING BIG INJURIES

OVERCOMING BIG INJURIES

Injury is a part of any althetes life.  Even the legendary ironmen like Cal Ripken and Lou Gehrig, who never missed a game, often talk about the pain they had to endure to maintain their perfect attendance.  Given what we are learning about the effects of exersion too soon after a concussion, Gehrig's work ethic likely cost him his life.  We know more these days.  More about how to reduce the chance of injury, as well as treat injuries, and repair broken bodies.  There are still those career-threatening injuries that happen, however, and one is never the same.  Bo Jackson and Fernando Vargas are two examples of athletes who were diminished by injuries while still young.  However, here are a few men who made it back from injuries that could have ended promising careers.

Vitali Klitschko
Not only are Vitali's only two losses due to injury (Shoulder - Chris Byrd / cut eye - Lennox Lewis), but he also lost 4 years of activity due to excessive injuries.  His knee, his back, his shoulder, his skin.  All were going out just as a product of age and genetics, or so we thought.  Being a 6'8" 250lb man could not have helped.  However, what did help, was truly impressive.  Although he lost even more prime years than Muhammad Ali, the elder Klitschko was not in fact shot, and came back to reclaim his old belt, and defend it several times since, scarcely losing a round.  The 40 year old Ukranian is likely nearing the end, but the fact that he sustained so many injuries in 2004 that he turned his back altogether, only to come back 4 years later, and dominate for 4 more years, is something to remember for the next generations.

Kassim Ouma
On the list of things that have been overcome by "The Dream", this one is usually lost in the shuffle.  Kidnapped by the Ugandan Rebel Army as a 7 year old boy, Ouma spent his childhood committing atrocities against opposition, under threat of death to himself or family.  When he found his saving grace in boxing, and defected to the U.S., the trouble did not end.  His father was murdered as retaliation, and his rise up the ranks was hiccupped by a loss, and a shooting.  He was shot twice while working in a restaurant in Florida, in December 2002, while climbing up the ranks as a boxer. 

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS

I am not a huge Joan Guzman fan, but he looked as good as you should look against his opponent Frdiay night.  After showing clear offensive superiority over Jesus Pabon, he responded to Pabon's "come on" gesture the best way that one can... with a spectacular knockout blow.  Given that he is not known for power at the higher weights, this is a good start towards regaining respect.  Granted, weak-chinned Pabon was chosen to showcase this specific trait, but if Guzman can't stop eating, he better bring more sting to his shots, and roll with the division changes.  At 140-147, he will not run out of opponents.

Speaking of running out of opponents, the Klitschkos are officially done with decent heavyweights to pound on.  Fury would be a good retirement fight, but Helenius and Povetkin have been recently disgraced, so who else is there?  Seth Mitchell needs to prove himself more, and Thompson and Arreola should fight each other, in order to stand above the pack.  Goossen will probably not risk that, so it looks like the back of the line has now become the front.  (yawn)

Speaking of the proving grounds... Shane Mosley may be shot, but given his style and experience, Canelo Alvarez will get a real test.  This is of course provided that the bout isn't waved off the second Canelo lands a decent combination (a realistic possibility), but given Mosley's first ballot hall-of-famer status, you have to hope Vegas refs will give him more respect than that.  I just hope this isn't what it looks like, which is building up another Mexican to be taken down by Floyd, in a "Manny-avoiding" move.  September 16 weekend is open, and if Alvarez looks better than Mayweather did in beating Mosley, we may be cheated out of the big one yet again.  This is especially true if Bradley beats Pacquiao, which is not out of the question.

 

Read more...

SAME PROMOTER, YET STILL CORRUPT??

SAME PROMOTER, YET STILL CORRUPT??
The aftermath of the Alexander Povetkin - Marco Huck matchup is not surprising to anyone who knows the history of the promoter in question, Sauerland Promotions. Nobody seems to want to mention it, but they are the most obviously corrupt force in boxing. Basically, Povetkin was lucky to keep his title via close, controversial decision. Not only was the performance of the judges called into question, but of the referee, as well. Luis Pabon repeatedly broke the fighters when inside work was taking place. His timing on this issue ion particular was off all night. Much like Canadian referee Marlon Wright, who botched the ending of the first Lucien Bute-Librado Andrade match, he is being rewarded with more work. He plays ball, and it shows. There are two other points about this match-up that are worth noting.

Povetkin was supposed to win easily. He is the number 3 heavyweight in the world according to many, and was not expected to have a rough night against a Cruiserweight belt holder, that was once KO'd by average punching Steve Cunningham, and has pretty much been carried ever since. Oh, how the heavyweight prospects are melting away on their own. Helenius and Povetkin were supposed to be the only ones left worth getting excited over. Tyson Fury is a hype machine, but no one is really considering him a threat to either Klitschko. Deontay Wilder seems to be hiding from serious competition. Now, Helenius and Povetkin have recently been rewarded with controversial decisions that made heroes (temporarily) out of their opponents. It has gotten so bad that the Klitschkos have to pretend they are fearing their inferior opposition, in order to sell tickets.

The second point I'd like to make, is that the corruption/incompetence surrounding Huck-Povetkin is even more ridiculous, when you consider that both men have the same promoter. This has happened before with Sauerland. Cunningham himself was the victim of shady dealings when his first match-up with Yoan Hernandez was stopped on a technical decision. The cut in question was minimal, and Cunningham was just coming on. Trouble is, both men are Sauerland fighters. Is Yoan just the favorite? Was this just a stupid call, rather than corrupt? The rematch being scored wider for Hernandez that was really the case hints at corruption, not incompetence. I know Sauerland's first two experiences in boxing involved Axel Schulz getting screwed on decisions over George Foreman and Franz Botha, but they have spent the last 16 years getting revenge.


Sauerland is not the only guilty party involving this infraction. Warriors Boxing, out of South Florida, had a lot of questions to answer in 2005, when Dale Brown seemingly outpointed O'Neill Bell, only to get screwed... unanimously in a 12 round decision, for the IBF Cruiserweight title. Both men were Warriors fighters, and no rematch was ordered. Brown had already lost to Jean-Marc Mormeck, the unified champion that was being groomed to face the winner, so maybe the agenda started there, but it does not justify it. Both Bell and Brown went downhill within a year or two, but not before Brown was screwed again by Warriors in a loss to journeyman Shane Shwartz.

Read more...

THINGS I LOVE/HATE THAT NO ON TALKS ABOUT

THINGS I LOVE/HATE THAT NO ON TALKS ABOUT

I've been covering this sport for a long time, and there are things I notice, that I rarely hear anything about from other fans/writers/fighters.  there are many things to love and hate about boxing, that we all mention... however, I feel alone in noticing certain aspects of the sport, and I just thought I'd make a bit of a list here:

Things I love about boxing, that I wish people would mention:

1) Guys with tassle trunks getting KO'd.  I don't begrudge anyone a fashion sense, but these guys are almost always light-hitting trash talkers who stink out the joint, and eventually get caught with a big punch.  I don't usually favor the brawler, but in this case, I typically do.

2) The desperation filler bout that turns out to be the best televised fight.  You can tell they didn't want to put on the fight... but they have 2 hours to fill, and unlike HBO or Showtime, they cannot do so with reruns of original shows.  Too many early KO's, and that 4-4 versus 1-6-1 fighter has to go on.  Sometimes that turns out to be the only competitive match, and if the fans stayed, it is even the loudest.  That young prospect who thought he was getting tv time to destroy a no-hoper now is forgotten while a SCAB gets the temporary fame.  I love it.

3) The foreign fighter who doesn't thank God.  This might just be me, but I wish people would mention how embarassing it is that 95% of the time, only an American thinks God gives a rat's ass about his boxing match.  I love it when the 3rd world guy, who has a lot more to be thankful for, omits that nonsense.  I wish someone else would point it out.

4) Fans of both MMA and boxing.  They are everywhere I look, and they keep both sports going as much as the individual die-hards, but there is still this image of the fans of each art opposing one another.  It's inaccurate, and if Dana White and Floyd Mayweather would shut up, maybe people would realize it.

 

Read more...

I'M PLAYING FORTUNE TELLER AGAIN

I'M PLAYING FORTUNE TELLER AGAIN
After watching the recent Gabriel Campillo-Tavoris Cloud battle, as well as Deandre Lattimore suffering a near-upset, I am reminded how much referees hold careers, as well as our entertainment, in their hands.  Imagine if Nunez was stopped, as commentators Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood were calling for, in his bout with Lattimore.  We would have been robbed of the fight's most exciting moments, when Lattimore was dropped twice, and nearly decisioned because of it.

Cloud vs. Campillo could have easily been a 1st round TKO win for Tavoris Cloud.  If that had been the case, nobody would have really blamed the referee, and we'd be annointing Cloud the heir apparent to Dawson-Hopkins, and dismissing Campillo as an awkward fighter with no chin.  Instead the referees gave fighters a chance to recover, and they gave us a great thrill.  Because nobody can prove what fights would have given us a better ending if they had been allowed to continue, referees go without being called on this infraction.  No more.  I am going to get the dialogue started with 3 fights I feel would have been great, or at least a lot better, had they been allowed to continue.

Guillermo Jones KO 4 Wayne Braithwaite
Braithwaite was coming off a loss to Mormeck in 2005, and trying to force a title shot, while Jones was trying to overcome his career of inactivity, in his 3rd fight that year.  The winner would get a title shot (although it took 3 years).  It was an exciting, back and forth brawl, wathcing both fighters hurt each other on numerous occasions.  Jones style was awkward, and Braithwaute was clearly not the same fighter he was before the Mormeck loss, but the referee's inexplicable stoppage robbed us of several more rounds of back and forth action.  Jones was staggered badly in the early part of the round, and then, in an exciting twist, truned the tbales on Braithwaite and staggered him.  Braithwaite was going defensive, while bobbing and weaving on the ropes, when it was suddenly stopped.  He weakly defended his stoppage in an interview with Jim Gray, by saying that Braithwaite had taken too many unanswered punches... which simply wasn't true.  I have no idea what would have happened after ropund 4.  That's how even a fight it was, anbd how random a stoppage.  However, I know it would have been exciting.

 

Read more...

BOXING, WE HAVE A PROBLEM

BOXING, WE HAVE A PROBLEM

I have seen Adrien Broner fight only a few times.  However, one need only watch the first few seconds of his most recent match-up, to know whom he is trying to emulate.  the stance, the speed, the combos, the lead right hands, and of course, the trash-talking.  He is clearly trying to be Wayne McCullough.  No, just kidding.  He is oibviously in the mold of Floyd Mayweather.

In fact, Floyd's greatest deficit (legal hurdles not withstanding) is his lack of one punch knockout power.  Broner seems to have that.  While he may not be challenged by many at 130lbs (at least in the U.S.), let us not forget that Floyd himself started at this weight.  Age will bring a natural progression in weight.  His height advantage at 130lbs suggests he can take on several more weight classes before he ends up undersized.  Both men also come from the boxing star-dry midwest, where local audiences do not always follow fighters, especially when it's football season.  In analyzing this comparison, however, I am also keenly aware of the differences.

Mayweather's daddy issues were apparent before his talent was, as the relationship between father and son has always been tenuous there.  Broner's father is rarely seen doing anything except brushing his son's hair in publicity stunt fashion.  Broner may be a puncher now, but Mayweather was early on, too.  If the kayos stop/slow down as he moves up in weight, he'll be glad to have developed his defensinve skills in the interim.

Read more...

SUPERCARDS... MAKING A COMEBACK?

SUPERCARDS... MAKING A COMEBACK?

For those of us who remember the early/mid 90's as a great time in boxing, there are many reasons. Tyson was deposed and then locked up, which opened the doors for an exciting heavyweight division: Bowe, Douglas, Holyfield, Lewis, Ruddock, Morrison, Foreman. Historical things happened in just that division alone. Not to mention the end of glory days for Chavez, Whittaker, and the beginning of dominant decades for Finito Lopez and Roy Jones. There was also an international flair to boxing once again, as American champions were fighting in Europe, Jaoan, and for the first time: China and South America. What I remember most, however, were the megacards. Ahhh, yes. Multi championship fight cards.

There were some nights we'd get Chavez, Norris, McClellan, etc all on one night. Nowadays we are lucky to get one decent regional belt on the line underneath a big match. Half the time, the main event is not even a toss-up. The support bouts are often showcase fights for protected prospects. Last I checked we don't have any more than 52 weeks to play with, and with MMA taking up many of them in the public eye, we need a return to these multi-title weekends now, more than ever. Sure, we get them sometimes.. but that means we have to switch from HBO to Showtime, to EPIX to one of a million Fox Sports options for Top Rank cards. DVRs make this a possibility, but how nice it was to get a four bout cards on PPV, where nearly all bouts were worthy of at least HBO billing on their own.

About the last I can recall that truly lived up was Hopkins-Trinidad. We got to see a few belts on the line, including the farewell of Finito Lopez. Showtime cards always used to feature 3 bouts. Which brings me to my encouraging sign. We will see three bouts tonight on Showtime. True, there is only one belt on the line, and no real titles, but it's a start. All three fights figure to be fairly exciting. Ishida-Williams is a toss up, while Arreola vs. Molina features an always exciting heavyweight, and Tavoris Cloud is testing himself against the contenders others do not want to face. That continues tonight with Gabriel Campillo. No result would be a huge upset, and it is bringing boxing to an area that does not see much of it at this level. Texas is no "Quito, Ecuador" as was once the location of a DKP card, but the specific city of Corpus Christi hasn't seen TV boxing on a regular basis since the career of 80's junior welterweight Frankie Warren.


Read more...

APRIL PREDICTIONS, PART 2

APRIL PREDICTIONS, PART 2

Marcos Maidana vs. Erik Morales – Ten years ago, Morales would have outclassed a tough guy like Maidana.  Now, however, and especially at this weight, what does he have that will deter the Argentinian?  Maidana is a seriously flawed fighter, but he is powerful, fairly durable, has a ton of heart, and possesses impressive stamina.  Basically, he is a bigger David Diaz with more power, and better skin.  We all saw how badly a younger Morales did there.  Morales has been able to pad his record enough to garner him another payday, and apparently this is it.  He boxes well early, but gets overpowered as the fight wears on.  And I don’t mean it will have to wear on for long.  ‘El Terrible” will take a bad beating, and be rescued either by corner or referee.  Maidana by 4th or 5th round TKO, in a match that distracts us from “ Chino ”s technical deficiencies.

Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskey – This fight is merely a chance for Khan to go show off his new status to the home fans, while killing time for a Bradley match to be negotiated.  If McCloskey was a serious threat, we would not be seeing this fight.  However, that seems to be the kind of fighter which poses the most risk to Khan.  McCloskey is unbeaten, but completely untested… his best wins coming against a shot former lightweight champ Cesar Bazan, and a once-dangerous Colin Lynes.  He is a good finisher late, and riding a four-fight KO streak, so if Khan gets tired, watch out.  However, I think we can count on Khan to win a wide unanimous decision, or late round TKO.

Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz – This is a tough one to call, but for the most part, Berto can do away with the lower weight class fighters.  Also, Ortiz is already becoming the kind of fighter we forgive for a loss.  Perhaps that is because he continually takes on tough opposition, and grows with every fight.  The same cannot be said about Berto, who lucked into a belt, and has been unwilling to test himself against worthy contenders ever since.  When he does take on somebody with a pulse, it is usually when he has a rare size advantage.  Enter Ortiz.  I’m sure Berto will be favored, but honestly, I am going to pick the upset here.  I think while Berto’s speed and strength could dazzle “Vicious” Victor… I see him making a costly mistake or two and not being able to use his strength and reflexes to keep Ortiz at bay.  Ortiz rallies after falling behind, to take a close decision.

Read more...

APRIL PREDICTIONS, PART 1

APRIL PREDICTIONS, PART 1
Marco Huck vs. Giacobbe Fragomeni
The first of two cruiserweight title fights this month.  It should be exciting while it lasts, but a question that will dog Fragomeni the rest of his career is, how much does he have left.  Huck also has a way recently of stopping fighters who usually hang tough.  Sauerland is likely positioning Huck and Cunningham to face each other in a rematch unification for the Ring Magazine title, so they are not likely to take any chances with either man.  Also, Zsolt Erdei looked painfully slow in lifting the WBC title from Fragomeni over a year ago, and a prime Huck is certain to give him even more problems.  Huck will dominate, and win by TKO, about round 8 or 9.

Krystoff Wlodarczyk vs. Francisco Palacios
While it’s very difficult to win in Poland against Wlodarczyk, it has been done before.  Palacios has not exactly beaten a who’s who if capable contenders, yet Louis Azille, Donnell Wiggins, and Luis Pineda have been around for years, and both were KO’d easily by the Puerto Rican.  Wlodarczyk is always competitive, but rarely if ever dominant.  That makes him ripe for a defeat, against someone who knows how to turn it on.  Barring a lousy referee or judges, I am picking Palacios by late round KO.

Palacios is a Don King fighter, and if he wins, we may actually see two unifications in the cruiserweight division soon.  Idle WBA champion Guillermo Jones vs. Palacios for the Carribbean unification, and Huck vs. Cunningham for the German one.  Imagine that!  A clear champ at 200lbs?  The winner of that tourney will certainly try to immediately move up to heavyweight.  They will also lose badly, but it is fun to watch a champion made, even if they do not last.

 

Read more...

GOOD DAD, BAD DAD

GOOD DAD, BAD DAD

While watching Mike Dallas Jr. dominate every minute of his bout with Miguel Gonzalez on Friday, one thought kept occuring to me, that had nothing to do with the fight: I have never heard of Mike Dallas Sr. Ditto Gary Russell Sr. or Roy Jones Sr. According to boxrec.com, Dallas was a clubfighter from the 90's who Ko'd or was Ko'd by most people he fought, and finished with a 12-13-1 record. It is one thing to stamp a 'junior' on someone if the father is deceased, but in every other case, more fighters should stand up the way Floyd Mayweather has. If you do better than your father, he should be proud. I have a son, and I hope he accomplishes way more than I ever do.

Call me sentimental for members of my other profession, but I subscribe partially to the late great George Carlin on this subject... "I don't respect any man who allows people to call him 'Junior'. I immediately think he's a chump and a loser. 'Junior' means lesser than, underneath, second to." Carlin goes on to brilliantly outline the problems of the 'daddy addicted' athletes, and the manhood problems they cause. Roy Jones often said that he knew at age 13, he would eventually have to leave his father as trainer, because he could never be his own man without him. "In my father's world, HE is the alpha male", said Jones, who said he thought his father had never prepared himself for the idea that his son would have to be his own man.

Naming your son 'junior' immediately puts a stamp on him that plays a huge psychological game. You are no longer a man, you are "my son". That is your identity first. It is not shocking that this selfish, egomaniacal attitude is prevalent in a sport where manhood is constantly tested. Some freely admit that they did this as a result of trauma. George Foreman, the only illegitimate son of a large family, was so traumatized by standing out in this way, that he wanted no confusion as to who his children were. They would always know who their daddy was, so he named them all George. A bit extreme, but at least he admits where it came from.

Read more...

FUN REMATCHES

FUN REMATCHES
I am glad the rematch between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson has been signed.  Regardless of the controversial ending, it is a good style matchup that made for an entertaining fight the first time.  Should be at least similar the second time.  It has me thinking, though, what are some other fights that might be good to see a second time.. or third.  In most cases, it is intriguing because of excitement... while in others, the shift in career momentum make it a better fight potentially than it was the first time.  Either way, activity is a good thing, and it rarely slows down a fighter's progress to revist a competitive opponent.  Here are a few I'd like to see again:

Brian Viloria vs. Giovanni Segura 2
The first fight took place in the Phillipines, and while Segura has gotten adept to winning on the road, his adopted home country needs to see him again.  Viloria is of Filipino stock, but is an American as well.  It was a big upset, and an entertaining fight.  Viloria also has a history of doing much better when we are expecting less, and vice versa.  The intrigue is there.  Another win for Viloria cements his status as a late career bloomer.  Yet, if Segura can avenge a second loss, he will gain even more fans... and money.

Chris Arreola vs. Tomasz Adamek 2 - Adamek used movement, a good jab, and resiliency to score a close decision win over Arreola a couple years back.  Since then, Arreola has not been beaten, has lost weight, and remained active, if not terrifically challenged.  Both men suffered 10th round TKO losses to Vitali Klitschko, but Adamek has not fought since, while Arreola has all but become a slightly better fighter since then.  He is still front foot heavy, aggressive, and durable, but Adamek is now a bigger question mark.  Also, the fight would likely take place in Adamek's adopted hometown of Newark, since the first tussle was Adamek's one and only trip to an opponent's backyard.  The winner can springboard straight into another title shot.  Perhaps with Alexander Povetkin, should his careful managers allow him to be tested.  Regardless, it figures to be exciting.

 

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS
We are getting a bit too excited about Dereck Chisora's chances for Vitali Klitschko.  I think Chisora fights tall fighters better than most, but Tyson Fury and Robert Helenius are not the Klitschkos.  Chisora is also not a puncher, so he won't get much of the elder Klitschkos respect.  Chisora's best chance is to use his good chin and constant movement to stay in Vitali's chest, and hope the old man's knees and slowed reflexes finally kick in.  Maybe he can force an injury-based surrender, which is the only way Vitali loses.

Speaking of only way to lose... Marquez and Guerrero are each without a dance partner this spring.  Why not face each other?  Marquez cannot afford a loss, but he is not likely to get Pacquiao again anyway.  If Manny gets past Bradley, it's Floyd or retirement.  He's not chancing Marquez again.  Guerrero cannot afford a loss either.  He may be young, but has slipped enough times that interest will wane badly if he is countered silly by Marquez.  So, why risk it?  It's a money fight, and no one else is racing in to face either one.  Stay in the front of the line.

Speaking of racing in, is there a reason no one has yet tried this against Vladimir Klitschko?  His stamina problems behind him, his only other achilles heel has been his chin.  It's better than people think, but before he's had a chance to settle in and establish the jab, why not force him to fight on instinct by jumping into his chest.  Corrie Sanders scored the only win over Klitschko that was not fatigue-based, and did so this way.  Few men are as fast a starter, or as powerful as Sanders was, but if you're gonna lose anyway, don't waste our time.  Give yourself a good shot.



Read more...

FIGHTERS WHO SHOULD HANG 'EM UP

FIGHTERS WHO SHOULD HANG 'EM UP
I have not done one of these in a while.  Not that there have not been fighters who have exhibited diminished skills, but with the roster of impressive comebacks lately, I have been hesitating to dole out advice.  Demarcus Corley once seemed like a guaranteed no-hoper, hanging on in order to feed his enormous family, but lately he has gotten close, been robbed, and showed he still has something left in the tank.  Brian Viloria would have made this list, had he lost to Giovanni Segura as most predicted.  Eric Morel has been inching close to it for years.  The following three, however, are not so lucky, and enough is finally enough.

Joel Casamayor - He has made my list before, but now the gaps in effectiveness have finally shown their classic symptoms.  He is getting stopped, even by fighters who do not typically do so at the championship level (Marquez, Bradley).  In between, he is now struggling to beat journeyman.  Add to that, his advancing age, and you have a recipe for a timely exit.  Actually, his loss to Robert Guerrero would have been a more timely exit, but when your first three losses are very close affairs, and you are still pulling off upsets well into your mid-late 30's, it can be hard to convince someone they didn't just have a bad night.  You've had several now, Joel... time to move on.

Christy Martin - Her career longevity is unheard of in women's boxing, as most leave to model, act, etc.  This is a woman who was peaking over 15 years ago.  Her recent troubles with being shot and stabbed, made her comeback last year inspirational, but she's been finished for a long time.  The fact that she lost to then 9-9 Dakota Stone isn't what told me that.  Martin was winning when she broke her arm.  It's the fact that she's suffering injuries like this, and had struggled to beat the same Stone when she was two years younger.  You're a pioneer in women's boxing, Christy.  Don't end up a pioneer in women's boxing brain damage sufferers.

 

 

Read more...

WHO IS LEFT OUT?

WHO IS LEFT OUT?
It looks like our spring of avoidance is shaping up.  Neither Klitschko is really threatened, and neither is Povetkin.  The cruisers are all doing their own thing, and not even forcing mandatories.  the Light Heavies are all posturing and waiting for Hopkins to leave.  Only Tavoris Cloud looks interested in fighting anyone with a pulse.

Super Middle is delaying us our big Bute-Ward fight, ditto at Middleweight with Martinez-Chavez.  The ones with the belts at 154 seem least likely to get any real shots, and at 147 the biggest threats are avoiding one another, or delayed by injury.  I won't bother going any lower, because I'm sure you get the point.

With Floyd looking much better against Ortiz than Pacquiao did against Marquez, it seems they are switching karma.  Now Floyd is the favorite, and taking a soft one in Cotto, while Pacquiao is taking on the only real threat in Bradley.  This also leaves Lamont Peterson with his big fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.  This leaves out two men who've been looking for a fight.  Amir Khan and Robert Guerrero.  I say they should face each other.  

 

Read more...

MARCH BOXING PREDICTIONS, PART 2

MARCH BOXING PREDICTIONS, PART 2
Zab Judah vs. Vernon Paris
Zab Judah fights seem so easy to predict.  He wins over the B grade and below, and he loses to A-grade fighters.  However, if you really take a good look, it becomes a bit more confusing.  He was two different people in two fights with Cory Spinks.  He lost a one-pointer to Joshua Clottey.  beat Omar Weis, when no one was able to legitimately do so.  He also fought Floyd tough, but was dominated by Amir Khan.  He goes even-up with guys at the Matthysse/Clottey level, but here's the real question: Where is Vernon Paris?  His win over Tim Coleman was impressive, but was more a story of Coleman's collapse.  I like the trash talking capabilities of both men, but there are too many questions to make an accurate prediction.  Gut instinct tells me that Judah is not motivated to get in the same line for the umpteenth time, and slacks off just enough.  Paris by majority decision.

Danny Garcia vs. Erik Morales
Erik Morales is taking on another young prospect, but this time, it's someone who we have actually heard of.  Garcia did not exactly look dominant against Holt, but few people do.  Morales has never done well against fighters who can box, and use footwork.  Not that Garcia is Zahir Raheem in that style, but I think this is where we will see all sides of Danny Garcia.  He will slug to prove he is "mas macho", but after taking a few hard shots from the old warrior, he will get smart, and outbox a much slower Morales down the stretch.  Morales' thin skin will also be an advantage to the Philly fighter.  Garcia by UD or late round TKO on cuts.

 

Read more...

Alejandro (Alex) Guerrero - Boxer/Businessman - June 12th, 1931 – December 27th, 2003

Alejandro (Alex) Guerrero - Boxer/Businessman -  June 12th, 1931 – December 27th, 2003

It was back in 2003 when El Paso, Texas boxing legend and successful businessman Alejandro Guerrero passed away after a gallant battle with cancer. It was back in 1947 when as a youngster, Alex, as he was affectionately known, discovered the rough and tumble world of boxing. Over the next ten years Alex would learn well the skills and nuances of the squared circle winning his share of championships and establishing himself as an elite boxer and dynamic puncher. From that juncture on, Alex gave generously to boxing serving as an official, promoter, manager and entrepreneur. He also liked the business world but knew too that it took a lot of savvy and smarts to acquire the necessary business acumen to reach the lofty goals he desired. So he entered college at Texas Western in El Paso, Texas and majored in accounting. When asked by his friend, Thomas W. McKay, how he planned to succeed, Alex responded, “I grew up rather poor in a Southside El Paso barrio and always noticed that ‘Whitey’ had a knack for business and making money. So, I planned on getting a good education and following ‘Whitey’s’ formula.”  And succeed he did, becoming a millionaire many times over. More importantly, he became a gracious and generous millionaire supporting causes for children and caring for boxers who were down and out in their fading years.

While attending El Paso High School it was boxing coach Ted Bynum who was aware that Alex was a kid to be reckoned with in a scuffle. He approached Alex with the prospect of making him a pugilist on the high school team.  It was no sooner said than done. A couple of months later Alex engaged in his first bout and was victorious by knockout. The exhilaration he experienced was overwhelmingly mind positive and from that moment on boxing was the young lion’s raison d’ etre.

Knowing that high school intramural boxing was limited Alex wanted to take on the better boxers of the southwest and he was soon a young protégé of the remarkably talented trainer of the Pan American Boxing Club, Frankie Dimarco. Under the tutelage of Dimarco, Alex would box his way to a record of sixty victories and only six defeats. Along the way, he often threw caution to the wind and recorded over fifty knockouts. Dimarco was adamant that he couldn’t get Alex to be more of a boxer – slugger until late in his career. Nevertheless, Alex won the Regional Golden Gloves six times with only a two year stint in the United States Army preventing more regional titles. He was also a state semi – finalist in 1953 losing to state favorite Billy Haynes in a match that in his opinion was the worst decision he ever encountered in the ring. Alex was a benevolent man in nearly all matters boxing and business but that nasty decision sometimes escaped the deep recesses of his brilliant mind and made him bitter...for only a short period of time. He copped the 5th Army Middleweight Championship in 1954 for a little consolation. 

 

Read more...

MAYWEATHER VS. COTTO - NOT EVEN OUR SECOND OR THIRD CHOICE

MAYWEATHER VS. COTTO - NOT EVEN OUR SECOND OR THIRD CHOICE

More bad news from the world of boxing.  OK, a slow couple of months would not have soured the average boxing fan.  As a fan of the sweet science, you take your good with the bad, because when things are good, they stay with you forever.  However, boxing fans are being teased... and that is what I will remember most about the month of January.  It is one thing to not get.  However, we thought we would be getting a lot.  We started off with a few slow weeks on Friday Night Fights (until last week), a cancellation of hotly anticipated Berto-Ortiz 2, and you guessed it... no big superfight.

If Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are not going to fight, it's time for us to shut up about it.  I am speaking to other scribes, Freddie Roach, Bob Arum, as well as the fighters themselves.  Enough already.  We were not teased this long for Frazier vs. Ali, and that was only stopped by a licensing issue!  This is the last article I will write on the subject until the fight is signed.  All parties involved are to blame, and history will likely blame them all equally.  There is nothing they can do about it.  Freddie Roach may get off scott free, as will perhaps Golden Boy, but the rest of the parties are all history's villains.

It would be one thing if both men were forgoing the fights to break new ground.  If Pacquiao were having a fourth fight with the most competitive opponent he's had, in Marquez, then fine.  If Mayweather were attempting to make history by moving up to Middleweight to take on Sergio Martinez, that would be great.  However, not only are we not getting those fights, we are likely not even getting our consolation prizes.  Canelo Alvarez and Timothy Bradley are also out of the equation.  We are back to each man taking on the other's victims, to compare themselves, and waste valuable time.

 

Read more...

MARCH BOXING PREDITCIONS, PART 1

MARCH BOXING  PREDITCIONS, PART 1
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Jean-Marc Mormeck
I have no idea why this fight is happening, but we are not off to a competitive start with March.  Mormeck is a former two time Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion, but is pushing 40, undersized, and has done nothing to earn a crack at the legit heavyweight champion.  Perhaps Wladmir is looking for a fighter against whom it will look like he is taking risks, by being aggressive, but instead it will simply look as if he is picking on a smaller man.  Mormeck will likely go out with a whimper, and not a bang.  Klitschko by early KO.

Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Rocky Juarez
This bout would only be mildly intriguing if Juarez was in his prime.  Even then, he failed at the level to which Gamboa has already proven himself a member.  Now, at a slower, older age, he is basically being put in front of the Cuban sensation to make him look faster than lightning.  Juarez ’s chin will keep him in it at first, but a corner rescue is inevitable here.  Gamboa by 7th round TKO.

Orlando Salido vs. Juan Manuel Lopez 2
Puerto Rico is quickly becoming the St. Louis of non-mainland hometowns.  I mean that in that it is no advantage, as fighters lose at home, as often as they win.  Lopez the last time, then Ivan Calderon.  Now, Lopez is looking to take the island back to winning ways.  While Salido did suffer a few KO losses in his earlier career, that was a lifetime ago, and he is quite durable now.  Lopez has surperior skills, and provided his ego does not get in the way, he should be able to right the ship.  It is a very dangerous rematch, but I see Lopez remaining disciplined just long enough to escape with a close unanimlous decision.

 

 

Read more...

GOING THE DISTANCE

GOING THE DISTANCE
I applaud the fighters who are perennial gatekeepers… particularly the ones who force young prospects to put in the rounds.  It’s true that these are the wrong kinds of long careers to have, yet most of their fights only go 4-6 rounds, therefore they don’t accumulate as much damage.  There is something to be said for lasting, and earning a paycheck that was technically earned the second you made it into the ring.  Especially when you know, as many of them do, that the decision would not go your way, even if you deserved it.  Most of these fighters were simply not punchers.  Combine that with a lack of a support system, and you have a recipe for this kind of career.  Let’s look at a few modern examples:

Reggie Strickland – With over 300 bouts to his name, Strickland was Buck Smith, if Smith lost all the time.  For those of you who don’t get the comparison, Smith was the insanely active prospect of the early 90’s, who once fought twice in one day!  Strickland made his living entirely as a journeyman clubfighter.  He usually extended young prospects as well, including a young Tavoris Cloud, at a time when Cloud was knocking everyone silly.  He also saw his share of controversial decisions go against him.  One was so flagrantly obvious, that Strickland was announced the winner, only to witness a loud argument between the promoter and the commission at ringside.  Next he heard the decision reversed.  Wow!  That takes balls!  But none compared to the ones Strickland showed fighting anyone and everyone with futility for that many years.  He finally did retire, and let’s hope this is where his boxing story ends.

Marion Wilson – Don’t bother trying for the knockout.  While Wilson , like Strickland, had enough skills to scare an upset as a possibility, his main skill was going the distance.  Even against murderous punchers like Sam Peter, Wilson saw the final bell.  He did so with chin, and guile, and more than a little bending of the rules.  He even scored the occasional upset, such as over silver medalist Paea Wolfgramm.  His robbery story was Ray Mercer.  Not a bad decision really, but the draw was much more kind to Mercer than Wilson.

 

Read more...

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT, A MESS AGAIN??

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT, A MESS AGAIN??

I have a few thoughts regarding the recently proposed deal for a two-fight series between Carl Froch and Lucian Bute.  The idea involves a two fight series, one fight in each fighter’s hometown.  First off, nice try in getting us to forget that the big fight in the Super Middleweight division is Andre Ward vs. Lucian Bute.  Perhaps someone looked at the numbers and realized that Bute vs. Ward has a problem.  Both men sell tickets in their home regions, and nowhere else.

Neutral ground made no sense, and perhaps neither was willing to give up home ring advantage, as that fight is likely to go to the scorecards.  While the matchmaking done in the Super Six 168lb tournament should be an inspiration to us all, it was a series that did not display a ton of knockouts.  There were two to be exact… Johnson over Green, and Abraham over Taylor .  Overall it was a positive experience.  There was drama, a few upsets, and not really any outright lousy decisions.

While the set-up forced most people to fight outside of their home turf, it did not really make a star out of anyone in a new region.  Andre Ward won the whole tournament without leaving his home country.  In fact, he did not even leave his home state until the final.  He didn’t even leave his hometown until the semi-final.  He is now the legitimate champion at 168lbs, but he is still largely unknown in Europe , as is the number one contender, Lucian Bute.  Bute does not need to beat Carl Froch to prove this further, either.  This is merely delaying the inevitable at least 7-8 months, if not a full year, as injuries and postponements are very likely.

Read more...

REMATCHES CAN BE ILL-TIMED

REMATCHES CAN BE ILL-TIMED
I have written once before on the subject of ring fatalities, from the perspective that the victor in a fatal contest is often rushed in their next outing.  George Jones, Steve Dotse, Jesus Chavez, etc all were soundly beaten in their next outing following a fatal KO.  Part of this may have been a gun-shy nature after a traumatic event, but most of it was the result of taking the biggest step up that had been taken by each fighter at the time.  Death is not the only traumatic event that one has to overcome in boxing.  Losses, especially in certain fashions, are something that must be dealt with.  It is a vulnerable time, and matchmaking must be done carefully.

I believe certain rematches are planned at good times for the fans, but bad times for one of the fighters involved.  The recent pull out of Yordanis Despaigne, from his rematch with Edison Miranda, is a prime example.  Despaigne was criticized for facilitating a DQ win over Miranda in their first match.  It is not his fault that Miranda is a dirty fighter, or that the referee got carried away.  However, this brand of win is the most dubious.  A rematch would normally serve no purpose, but Despaigne was thoroughly outboxed and beaten up in his last major outing… against Ismail Sillakh.  He needed a confidence builder.

Andre Berto is getting another crack at Victor Ortiz, in a similar turn of events.  Ortiz may have beaten Berto last time, but Berto is hungrier, and Ortiz is likely feeling a bit let down after his embarrassing loss to Floyd Mayweather.  The thinking behind Despagne’s people, as well as Ortiz’ might be that a good confidence builder following a defeat would be to put your fighter in with someone they have beaten before.  This logic is simple, yet you are not calling on your fighter to cover any new ground.  They have a lot to lose, yet little to gain.

 

Read more...

FEBRUARY BOXING PREDICTIONS, Part 2

FEBRUARY BOXING PREDICTIONS, Part 2

Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. Steve Cunningham 2
The first fight highlighted all weaknesses, but that is what a Cunningham fight is.  He rarely dominanted, and never gets dominated.  Every fight is an adventure, and I do not believe this to be any different.  Although both men have the same promoter, Hernandez is where the money has been spent, and where the interests lie.  The winner of this fight still ahs to get past Troy Ross (no easy task), but uinification with Marco Huck, and the Ring championship should be what happens by years end.  Hernandez will box more carefully this time, and not even press the advantage should he hurt Cunningham.  This may be end of the line for the underappreciated Philly champ.  Hernandez by split decision.

Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz 2
Ortiz won before, so there is no reason to believe he cannot win again.  There are, however, plenty of reasons to believe he WILL not win again.  Berto was hit behin gthe ear early on, and that looked to affect him the entire fight.  Without that equilibrium-alterer, the bout may have been quite different.  He also looked absolutely tenacious against Jan Zaveck, and he is quite hungry again. Ortiz is likely viewing this bout as a consoltation bout for his disapoiting performance against Mayweather, and is probably unmotivated.  He doesn’t have much to win, and not even much more to lose.  His pride may carry him uinto the late rounds, and he will hurt Berto again, but tenacity will make the difference.  Berto picks up a late round TKO, probably from cuts or swelling.

Marcos Maidana vs. Devon Alexander
Alexander is coming off of a close win, and an embarrassing loss.  He ahs the pressure to deliver in St. Louis , the most unforgiving hometown in recent memory (Alexander has had two close shaves there, and Spinks has lost all 3 titles at home). 

 

Read more...

FEBRUARY BOXING PREDICTIONS, Part 1

FEBRUARY BOXING PREDICTIONS, Part 1
Nobuhiro Ishida vs. Paul Williams
Ishida hasn’t really shown us much since his suirprise KO win over James Kirkland.  Willims hasn’t shown us anything impressive sicne his surprise KO loss to Sergio Martinez.  Both may be entirely different fighters than was the case 15 months ago, but I believe we have no choice but to look into their recent pasts.  Williams is the guy who owns a legit (albeit close) win voer the middleweight champion of the world.  Ishida lost a close decision to the younger less talented brother of Canelo Alvarez.  It should be interesting while it lasts, but I believe this is the fight where a return to normalcy can eb expected.  Williams by late round KO.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Marcio Antonio Rubio
Rubio is a live underdog, as he proved against David Lemieux, but Chavez simply has too many assets to lose this fight.  Some of those are extrernal… Freddie Roach, the Chavez name, Top Rank judges and referees, etc.  Rubio has to know that if goes the limit, eh will noyt get the decision.  Also, if he gets even slightly staggered, the bout will be waved off.  It is taking place in texas, where the father and son team of Dickie and Laurence Cole run thigns, and are about as corrupt and untrustworthy as they come.  Rubio’s only plan for success is a one-punch knockout, and Chavez has too good a chin to depend on that.  This will be a good test of how well cahvez can outbox a man with a similar height and reach, and he has passed all other tests.  No reason to think he cannot this time.  Chavez by decision.

 

 

Read more...

IT’S NOT WHINING IF IT WORKS

IT’S NOT WHINING IF IT WORKS

Ok, now that the message boards and Twitter are lighting up with scribes and fans complaining about the Amir Khan – Lamont Peterson conspiracy allegations, let me just remind everyone of something.  This is a corrupt world, and an even more corrupt sport.  I am inclined to believe any allegations until proven false. I know our justice system operates in the opposite fashion, and I am not going to suggest it do otherwise, but let’s look at the facts, as they are coming out.  A representative, who was not credentialed for the fight, was handling scorecards.  He was also celebrating with one fighter after the match.  The scorecards have also allegedly been mysteriously “misplaced”.

As far as I am concerned, that is enough evidence for a conviction, let alone a trial.  Amir Khan is not even asking for that.  He is not asking that the decision (a bad one in my view) be overturned, even though there are substantial grounds for him to do so.  That would actually diminish both men’s legacies.  Avenging a defeat is more memorable and valuable to one’s legacy than calling back a defeat.  That will damage you in people’s eyes.  And why rob Peterson of a chance to say he was world champion for a while… if it ends up helping you both?

I believe Khan can win the rematch, with a different referee and judges.  That is why he is making a lot of noise about the controversy.  Nobody wants to work hard for something, only to have it taken away in corrupt fashion.  Let me also remind the fans that there is no reward for silence. 

 

Read more...

Boxing Coach Tom McKay Stunned By TRS Cancer Drug Cancellation Notification

Boxing Coach Tom McKay Stunned By TRS Cancer Drug Cancellation Notification
Coach Thomas McKay of El Paso, Texas has been battling aggressive cancer for some 15 years. Tom is a Marine Corps Veteran, a former policeman, a science teacher for twenty five years, a boxing coach for 45 years, and an author. He is the man who formed a 501 c3 hall of fame to raise money for children with cancer, a family man and a cancer speaker. Originally given less than a few years to live locally and by   M.D. Andersen Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, Tom sought out a novel treatment.  He got extremely lucky in finding Dr. Robert Leibowitz of 2080 Century Park East in Los Angeles. Dr. Bob, a graduate of Harvard, had only a couple of years prior to Tom’s visit, created his patented ‘Triple Androgen Blockade’ treatment. When it did work and most of the time it did for all patients, Dr. Bob would follow up three or four years hence with low-level chemotherapy specially designed for each individual patient. After that, maintenance on really severe cases involved a special cocktail that Dr. Bob also created for each individual patient. Assisting Dr. Bob is the very capable oncologist, Dr. Jeffrey Turner.

In Tom’s case, he has done wonders on Dr. Bob’s protocols and his main two cancer drugs the past few years have been Revlimid and Leukine. They have been so beneficial that Tom has been able to train some boxers even though he is 77 years old come October 2nd, 2011. However, TRS Healthcare (For retired teachers of Texas) has suddenly done an about face in helping provide for these drugs, likely due to the insane rise in pharmaceutical cancer drugs, and some kind of a less then qualified board or a director concerned over costs, and sent Tom a letter advising him that TRS was no longer going to pay for his cancer drug Revlimid. A few months ago Tom was cut off of Revlimid and a month ago Tom received another TRS letter, this time stating that he will only get Leukine until February of 2012. Of course, that could change as his oncologists are always ready to fight for their clients. Those letters are mean, cold calculated and insinuating that Tom might have to face the consequences of the return of aggressive cancer. In short, that is like a judge passing a death sentence on a sick person who with his oncologist has fought this deadly disease in a manner that should help change the standard protocols that most cancer patients receive.

 

 

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS
I like the excitement I feel from Friday Night Fights coming back each January, but isn’t one of the biggest pluses to boxing that we have no season?  Sure, big fights are timed around late February, early May, September, and mid November when no other big sport is ending, but we pretty much go all year round.  If you have to stop FNF for College Football, why not bring back the Wednesday night fights for a fall series?

Speaking of Fall Series, I liked the shortened version of Cotto vs. Margarito, 24/7.  We have seen each one before on 24/7, therefore why rehash it.  Perhaps this can work in future PPV build-ups, so we don’t have to rewatch everything we already know about Mayweather and Pacquiao.

Speaking of Margarito, can you think of anyone besides Mike Tyson who has made more money after already proving himself washed up?  We should all have a retirement package like this.

Speaking of retirement, Vitali Klitschko should wind things down.  Given his age, knees, and back… he’s going to end up with yet a third loss due to injury, in a fight he was winning.  His 16 year career, of losing maybe 12 rounds in his entire career, is already extraordinary.  There is nothing left needed for his legacy.

 

 

Read more...

2011 YEAR END BOXING AWARDS, PART 2

2011 YEAR END BOXING AWARDS, PART 2
Now, I know this category is no longer the exclusive property of ‘Ring’ Magazine.  Nearly every writer puts in a list, and I am no different.  It has not been a stellar year for boxing.  The big matchup eluded us, while belt situations only got muddier.  Martinez is still middleweight champion, but landed no big fights.  Khan and Bradley may now never happen, and the Klitschkos scarcely lost a round.  Maybe I can at least create a new catgory or two, but familiar names are involved.  2011 did offer some surprises and some thrills.

Bad Decision of the Year:
Erislandy Lara vs. Paul Williams.
Felix Sturm is in this category twice with his “win” and “draw” over the 4M crew: Matthew Macklin and Martin Murray.  However, he could rob 12 fighters and still not come off as bad as this decision did.  As wide as 10-2 in some circles, this one was even surprising in a sport which can hardly surprise anyone anymore.  Williams was cleanly outboxed all night, and even his corner knew he was way behind.  A rematch will not be forthcoming, as his supposed genius manager definitely slipped up by letting another slick southpaw in front of ‘The Punisher”.  Honorable mention goes to Robert Helenius over Dereck Chisora.

Round of the Year
James Kirkland vs. Alfredo Angulo, Round 1.
Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz’s round 6 would be hard to top, especially when you can make Emmanuel Steward exclaim “My God!”  However, I cannot recall a round when I was erroneously certain that both fighters were going to be KO’d.  The referee saved this one, and I thank him for it.  Angulo looked quite rusty, but after hurting Kirkland , he was not allowed to be.



 

Read more...

2011 YEAR END BOXING AWARDS, PART 1

2011 YEAR END BOXING AWARDS, PART 1

Now, I know this category is no longer the exclusive property of ‘Ring’ Magazine.  Nearly every writer puts in a list, and I am no different.  It has not been a stellar year for boxing.  The big matchup eluded us, while belt situations only got muddier.  Martinez is still middleweight champion, but landed no big fights.  Khan and Bradley may now never happen, and the Klitschkos scarcely lost a round.  Maybe I can at least create a new catgory or two, but familiar names are involved.  2011 did offer some surprises and some thrills.

Fighter of the Year
Andre Ward.  With two dominating (despite what two judges scored) wins over championship level opposition, in Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham, Andre Ward gets the nod with consistency.  He hasn’t had a KO in quite a while, and will not likely have many more.  However, he seems to effortlessly beat top-tier opposition again and again.  Ever since his gold-medal run in 2004, Ward seems to accomplish things that most American fighters have difficulty with.  He gets foreign judges to score for him.  He sells boxing tickets in the Bay Area.  He beats European fighters.  He is also a multi-styled fighter who does not appear confused when implementing that.  No matter how young he is, he always looks like the boss in there.

Fight of the Year
Delvin Rodriguez D10 Pawel Wolak.  Rodriguez has had a hard time with judges, and does not trust fights going to the cards.  Wolak is an all action fighter, no matter the circumstances.  This was one of those great fights that everyone knew would be great going in.  Something out of the ordinary would have to happen for this to not be a barn burner.  While the up and down drama of Berto vs. Ortiz was not present, the non-stop action puts this above and beyond anything else that happened in 2011.

 

Read more...

Khan vs. Peterson, Worth a Second Look?

Khan vs. Peterson, Worth a Second Look?

This is a hard one for me, but I have quite a history of telling fans, writers, and bloggers alike not to allow their fandom to doctor their opinion.  Of course it will, and only published writers are ultimately held to any level of journalistic integrity, but it’s nice to see the effort made.  In this day of mass communication and information, an unbiased call of the action one has witnessed is what sets an intelligent, informed opinion apart from a glorified stadium sign-maker.

I was cheering for Pacquiao to defeat Marquez.  He did so.  However, there was quite the uproar, and I made sure to watch, and rewatch the fight, to see what my score was.  This is a practice in which I have engaged, ever since the Leonrad-Hagler match.  I watched that fight in real-time when I was 11 years old, and at least a dozen times since.  At first, I was defending my close scorecard, as many people at the time were saying Leonard clearly won.

People don’t like to admit that now, but as time has passed, Hagler’s legend has only grown since his retirement, while Leonard may have tarnished his a bit with subsequent performances.  In recent years, I have had to defend the fact that I had Leonard winning at all… which he did, and I still believe that.  I had Leonard by one point, but many people now say that Hagler won.  I had a similar score for Pacquiao-Marquez.  Manny by one point.  I have had to make sure, but I do believe that.

 

Read more...

CHISORA VS. V. KLITSCHKO, GLAD TO SEE IT

CHISORA VS. V. KLITSCHKO, GLAD TO SEE IT
I will believe it is really going to happen when I see it, but I like the Vitali Klitschko vs. Dereck Chisora match-up.  Not that I think Chisora will win in any fashion except a Vitali injury, but he has hung tough with two big men, and now he is getting a shot at one of the best of them all.  Normally, I would complain that a fighter coming off two losses (not withstanding the six-round filler bout Chisora won last month) would be getting a title shot, but let’s look at the circumstances.

Last year round this time, Chisora was teased twice into thinking he was getting a shot at Wladimir Klitschko, only to have big Wlad pull out numerous times.  When the younger man finally did defend his undisputed title against a smaller Brit, it was David haye.  Granted, Chisora deserved that title shot even less than did Haye, but in the interim, Chisora has made his name known.  He came in out of shape and uninspired against Tyson Fury, and still managed to win a few rounds.  Showing how much he learned in that fight, he came in motivated against heir-apparent Robert Helenius.

Helenius had so impressed us, that many had him as not only the one to supplant Povetkin as number one contender, but even as the one to successfully challenge the Klitschkos.  He scored highlight reel KOs over durable fighters, and has the right size to match-up evenly with the Ukrainian champions.  According to all I’ve read who saw/scored the Helenius-Chisora match, Chisora was robbed outright.  Some scores were as wide as 10 rounds to 2.  Not since … ok, well every recent Felix Sturm match… has such a bad score been rendered.

 

Read more...

RING MAGAZINE... A DISGRACEFUL ISSUE

RING MAGAZINE...  A DISGRACEFUL ISSUE
A few of the writers, and especially the editors, have really dropped the ball on the 2011 rankings issue of "Ring Magazine".  Never have I seen this low of a quality effort by a prestigious print magazine.  Print journalism has the advantage of not needing to be a 'right now" phenomena.  Web editors may miss many things, because there is a rotating deadline of "immediately!"  This is not true of a monthly print magazine, which makes the following editor blunders so surprising and cringe-worthy.

Did you really think you could print an entire article about U.S. Olympians, that was based on false information?  There were no U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists between 1992 and 2004?  Have you ever heard of David Reid?  It was embarrassing enough that a paid writer would make this error, but for an editor to miss it is unacceptable.  Also, did you check the records of the 'honorable mention' fighters?  Amazing how not one of them was correct, and most of the fighters ended up with more KO's than total fights.  There were other mistakes, including which belt, etc, but I know I am not the only one to complain about this, so I'll spare you reading the whole list once again.

One other problem, and this is my opinion rather than established fact, is that the Ring ratings are much more affected by the alphabet belts than you let on.  Maybe that should be an argument with the old guard as well, but you're in charge now, and should do an overhaul where it matters, on the rankings.  The 'Ring's' championship policy is supposed to grant one champion, in order to clear up confusion about the roster of belts out there.  Maybe they do not matter at the championship level, but a glance into the top ten show that they clearly do make some difference.

 

 

Read more...

MAYWEATHER OPTIONS

MAYWEATHER OPTIONS
In the wake of Manny Pacquiao’s close shave with Juan Manuel Marquez, everyone is talking about Floyd Mayweather’s next move, as opposed to Manny’s.  It must be nice to see your pound-for-pound supremacy returned, while sitting on your couch.  While some of the luster is taken off of Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, most of the fixed eyes on Floyd, are the result of another question being answered.  Pacquiao’s next fight should undoubtedly be a 4th with Marquez.  Even if Manny beats Mayweather, there would still be the lingering Marquez question.  Mayweather, however, has a host of options.  Some lucrati, some challenging, some both, some neither.  Let’s take a wild guess which one he will choose.  First, let’s explore a few options:

Robert Guerrero – We’re not sure who is entering and pushing his name into the sweepstakes, but it seems that his inclusion is dependant on that magical May 5 date.  We’re pretty sure Pacquiao will fight then, if the opponent in Mexican (Cinco de Mayo and a sheep-like Latino base is what’s being exploited here).  The angle most likely played will be all that Guerrero has overcome: small town, wife cancer, injuries, no-contests, avenged defeats, etc.  He’s a bilingual Chicano, and an easy sell to the public, who would like to see how big a star they can make out of someone with no chance to win.  They just did that with Ortiz.  Time to move on.  Chances: Average

Saul Canelo Alvarez – Another way to play the Mexican angle, and for far more money.  Floyd would be painted as the “Mexican Assassin”, much like his uncle Roger was 25 years earlier, and Alvarez would become a Chavez-like hero if he was able to topple him.  The only problem with this is that Golden Boy has put a lot of time/money into Alvarez.  Ortiz had already established himself as exciting yet vulnerable, so he could lose and retain marketability.  Alvarez is only gaining respect now, and it will disappear if he is embarrassingly outboxed by the smaller man, which is what will happen.  They can make a killing off of Alvarez without Mayweather.  Chances: Not likely

 

Read more...

FORGOTTEN BROTHERS, Volume 1

FORGOTTEN BROTHERS, Volume 1
Leon and Michael, Vitali and Vladimir, Rafael and Juan Manuel.  We know the last names without them being said.  If you are a true boxing fan, you will even recognize Gabriel and Rafael, as well as Gaby and Orlando.  It is rare enough to have one world champion in the family. To have two is super rare, and gives credence to geneticists who claim that athletic ability is 90% in the blood.

However, for every pair of siblings with competitive accolades, there are those who do not quite match up.  I don’t mean fighters with brothers who never fought.  That is the majority of them.  I mean fighters whose brothers got nowhere close to the level of their famous sibling, but did make an attempt.  Some of them did pretty well themselves.  Perhaps we wouldn’t be forgetting them, if not for that enormous shadow.  Here are the first few entries, in part one of a two part story.

Rigoberto Alvarez – He is the first of two men on this list, who actually can call themselves world champions. In the category of fame, however, they is being currently dwarfed.  Unlike Omar Chavez, Rigoberto cannot even blame the name.  It is the unbeaten record of his more famous brother, along with the complexion, that pushes the older Alvarez into the background.  Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is a star to such an extent that many do not even realize he has a brother in the same weight class.  This Alvarez won his belt from James Kirkland conqueror Nobuhiro Ishida, and lost it to American Austin Trout.  It looks like he is already taking on better competition than his younger brother.  His career is nowhere near over, but he’d have to accomplish a lot to overtake “Canelo” in the eyes of the fans.

 

 

Read more...

STRAIT JABS

STRAIT JABS
When are the Showtime commentators going to tell Antonio Tarver that Vic Darchinyan’s name is not Victor?  Vic is short for Vakhtang.

Speaking of Vic for short, I’d always applauded Darchinyan’s ability to learn from losses.  I think, however, he has finally suffered his “Hamed” loss.  Which means that he lost from being inferior; from being figured out… and there is nothing he can do about it.  Kudos to him for admitting it.

Speaking of admitting it… Agbeko did not help his cause by not admitting he was soundly beaten by Mares.  What did he think the judges were going to do, ignore the sharp, crisp punches by Mares, and reward his looping misses?  When he jabbed and threw the right hand, he won the rounds.  He did it in maybe 3 or 4 rounds.  It was his fight to control, and he failed.  Mares kept doing what worked.

Speaking of what worked, this was a fight that answered all questions.  Yes, Agbeko is a perpetual victim (in mentality), and yes, Abner Mares is a very dirty fighter.  Mares is the worst kind of dirty, too.  Joel Casamayor dirty.  Even when it is not necessary, and he has shown superiority, he still feels the compulsive need to hit borderline, or hold behind the head, or punch the kidneys.  It seems to be the result of insecurity, and that is hard to cure.

 

Read more...

IMPRESSED WITH THE LONGEVITY

IMPRESSED WITH THE LONGEVITY
There are a handful of fighters today, who happily surprise me, by continuing on.  I don’t mean fighters like Antwun Echols, Evander Holyfield, or Vivian Harris.  Those are fighters who should stop, but can’t get the hint.  I am talking about fighters that remain vital, long after we thought they would slip, and stop.  Let’s look at a few:

Bernard Hopkins – Not only did we think he’d be done by now, we thought he’d be in the hall by now!  It was impressive that he was able to beat Trinidad at 36!  That was his career starting, not culminating nicely, as we all thought might be happening.  His impressive credentials since then include reaching 20 defenses, stopping the hot streaks of Winky Wright and Kelly Pavlik, and twice winning the legitimate Light Heavyweight championship.  He’s not even done yet.  It may look as if he is, but we’ve made that mistake too many times before.

Guillermo Jones - Most inactive Don King fighters, would have rotted on the vine long ago.  Jones has never been a picture of activity, but it took him 3 years to receive a mandated shot at the WBA Cruiserweight title, and 2 more years to make his first defense.  Yet he continues to win, and win impressively.  He tops it off by continuously looking as if the layoffs do not affect him at all.  The tall Panamanian came closer than anyone, except maybe Victor Polo, to winning a world title 3 times (1 Sd, 2 draws), and now that he has won a belt, he seems to only be hitting his stride at 38.  Too bad the Sauerlands control the top 2 fighters in the division, neither of whom seems likely to risk anything for a bout with Jones.

 

 

Read more...

NEW YEARS EVE PREDICTIONS

NEW YEARS EVE PREDICTIONS
Tavoris Cloud vs. Zsolt Erdei
A battle of unbeatens, for questionably the number one position in the Light Heavyweight division.  Dawson and Hopkins may have unfinished business.  Pascal may be awauiting the winner, but the boxing world is tiring of these 3, and looking to the next big 175lbs star.  Things are too exciting for 168lb-ers to step up, so we await the anointing of the next hot contender/belt holder from within the division.  Cleverly and Shumenov have tried to garner interest, but their low level of opposition keeps them on the outside looking in for awhile.  The winner of this fight is the next big thing, and will be able to call out the names.

This is tough one to call.  On the one hand, Erdei has the longer unbeaten run, is arguably the linear champion still at 175lbs, and has shown skill and versatility.  Cloud, however, is young, hungry, powerful, and far more active recently.  The x-factor here may be quality of opposition.  Since his 2004 win over Julio Gonzalez, Erdei did not exactly face a who’s who of 175lb talent.  That has much to do with his promoter at the time, Universum.  He made the jump, like stablemate Dzindziruk, but it may have been too late.

Erdei has shown the ability outbox sluggers, but that was years ago, and he has never taken on the firepower of a Cloud.  That will likely make the difference, as Erdei’s counterpunching skills will have to be perfect… while Cloud can make mistakes, and still wear down his prey.  I’ve never seen Erdei hurt or cut badly, and Cloud’s power is overrated at this level, but sustained pressure should force Erdei into a defensive shell for most of the bout.  Cloud by unanimous decision.



Read more...
 
Page 6 of 15





Dog Boxer Clothing

Latest Boxing News

Latest MMA News