Convicted Artist Magazine

Apr 25th
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boxing glovesZou Shiming has to look impressive.  Zou Shiming has to be explosive.  Why is everyone saying that?  Ummm, excuse me, he has to do nothing of the sort.  He had both of his gold medals bought for him, and the same will be true of his pro career.  Get ready for a lot of distance fights, where he wins dubious decisions, and becomes a major star in Asia, while never fully catching on internationally.  Remember you heard it here first.  He's Sven Ottke minus the tough opposition.

Speaking of dubious decisions, Juan Carlos Burgos now has two straight draws that should have been wins.  While it is true that promoter connections probably screwed him the last time, we now see a style pattern.  He may out-throw his opponent, but he does it off the ropes, and gets caught in between his combinations.  That makes every fight and every exchange look closer than it is.  His style confuses judges, and he will not be able to dominate anyone of note unless he learns to move forward occasionally, and polishes up his defense.

Speaking of defense, I would not be surprised if that was the way to defeat Floyd Mayweather.  Everyone expects it to be a volume punching quickster, but Floyd has beaten them before.  Someone he cannot catch may be different.  Alvarez beat Trout with defense, and Roy Jones was given hell by Antonio Tarver in just the same way... ditto for Barker and Murray against Sergio Martinez.  It requires a bit of patience, and gambling with the scorecards, but the old adage about "hooking with a hooker, or jabbing with a jabber" does not apply to defense.  The best defensive fighters can't do anything if they cannot land their counters.  Whittaker against De La Hoya is another example.

Speaking of Oscar, I was a big fan in his fighting days, for the high level of opposition he continually took on, and his usually dominant wins over the next level down.  People focus on his fame, but he was a damn great fighter for a very long time.  However, after years of interviews with the Golden Boy, I can finally stop demonizing the Latino fan-base that was critical of him.  I thought it was because they were lionizing the ignorance, while vilifying the well-spoken intelligent fighter.  It is not that.  He speaks disingenuously.  When he tries to correct this, he looks even more fake.  Maybe Oscar is just caught between loving the attention, but not wanting to let people in, or he's believing what publicists tell him.  In any case, when he speaks, one quickly gets the feeling of being sold.  It's off-putting.
Speaking of selling, the two biggest draws in boxing are now Canelo and Floyd.. and they are fighting each other.  We waited for this for years... not with Canelo, but with Pacquiao.  If you ask me, Floyd is risking more here, and this fight will be just as big.  His haters will always have a reason to doubt him, like De La Hoya's did no matter who he beat, but if he wins here, it will be the last nail in the coffin for Pacquiao-Mayweather.  That will not be true because Manny cleaned up, but because Mayweather will have transcended him so far, that nothing Pacquiao can do will ever catch that star.  Just as Roy Jones denied us the Michaelchewski fight for years, only for common opponents and longevity to prove Jones superior, so is the case with Floyd and Manny.  One can only hope Floyd quits before Roy, who should have retired a decade ago.

Chris Strait


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