Convicted Artist Magazine

Apr 25th
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chris arreola boxingI predicted almost every winner correctly on this huge boxing weekend... but I called them all knockouts, and I was wrong virtually every time in that regard.  Thank goodness for Fernando Guerrero and Audley Harrison's weak chins for making sure I didn't have a goose egg for my KO column.  While the courage and abilities of Julio Diaz, Berman Stiverne, and Martin Murray need to be applauded for their respective efforts, I beleive their performances highlighted issues in their opponents that need solving.  Never did I think I would be potentially recommending retirement for all three of their opponents: Sergio Martinez, Amir Khan, and Chris Arreola, but it may not be far off in the scheme of things if changes are not implemented.
For Khan, it is too early to tell.  Tough fights against limited opponents with heart is what he does.   Maidana, Diaz, they fight him tough.  However, he also dominates men like Malignaggi, Judah, Salita, and Kotelnik, who almost always make it difficult for everyone else.  His chin will always be a problem, but fighting better when hurt may not be.  Better inside fighting, along with improved defense, and ability to smother opponents is what he needs.  The offensive brilliance on the outside will always be there.  Revenge wins are necessary, too, in order to rebuild his confidence.  Start with Prescott, whose dance card is quite empty, and move him into Peterson fight, regardless of what happens to Lamont against Matthysse.  Garcia showed he is still very solid-chinned against Judah, but actually can be rattled.  Khan could break him down in an even bigger fashion, and unlike Judah, not be behind when doing so.  Again, it is too early to tell, but unless Virgil Hunter drastically improves his learning curve, Golden Boy is going to rush Khan straight into another defeat. If that happens, he could be close to washed up by age 27.
Sergio Martinez has more than earned the right to be washed up.  However, when a fighter loses fights the way an older injured fighter does, it leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.  Vitali Klitschko has never really been beaten, but his body hasn't always cooperated with his ability.  Yet, his punch receptivity was never changed.  Maravilla has not been so lucky.  Never an iron-chinned fighter, he is being caught more often, and being pushed back on his heels in the process.  The blueprint has been written on how to walk down and defeat the great Argentine, and while no one has yet had all the tools to do so, Peter Quillin and Gennady Golovkin do.  These are two men who would never have been picked to defeat Martinez 2 years ago, but I would pick either one now.  I think Martinez is in a perfect position to either retire on top, or cash out by calling out Mayweather or Andre Ward... depending on which division he finds it easier to drift into.  Either way, two more fights is one too many in the career of Martinez.  I think his promoter knows it, too.

Chris Arreola showed heart in going the full 12 rounds against Bermane Stiverne, not so much because of the broken nose, but because of it's effect.  Every offensive burst from "The Nightmare" had to be followed by at least a minute of catching his breath.  Stiverne, not known for his stamina, was given the ability to cruise, and fight in spots.  Admittedly not a one-punch knockout fighter, Arreola had nothing else to hope for, as his offense was stifled by his pulmonary limitations.  Add to that, he was losing blood, and it's amazing he did not look horribly gassed until the 12th round.  Kudos to Stiverne for realizing this, and maintaining the safe attack.
Arreola also had no help in the corner.  Henry Ramirez is not known as a stylist's trainer, but at least give some strategic advice.  Round after round, Ramirez had nothing except, "I know you're hurt, but you need to dig deep."  Talk about wasting breath.  Yeah, we all know that, Henry.  How about not reminding him of his pain, and telling him a new way to breathe when he throws, or which punches would be most economical.  Confidence starts with knowing your corner is on top of it.  I think honesty in the corner is on tap for all three trainers of the aforementioned fighters.

Chris Strait

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