Convicted Artist Magazine

Apr 26th
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boxing-greatsI do have to say that for the most part, a hometown defense should be just that.  At first, anyway, a new champion should be able to defend against a soft touch at home.  This is especially true if he has had a tough schedule, and not fought at home before.  Virgil Hill, Aaron Pryor, and others who fought in their hometown many times needed to have both tough and easy fights there, which they did.  Cory Spinks belongs on this list as well, for losing 3 times in his hometown... but he has also had a couple big wins in St Louis, and all his defenses were tough.  Today, however, I will look at 3 times where fighters picked the wrong guy to bring home to a packed arena.  

Sergio Martinez (Martin Murray)
After a few years atop the division, and riding high after his win over JC Chavez Jr, Maravilla decided to have a hometown defense in Buenos Aires.  Not only did he pick a bad time (rain pouring down, while recovering from a knee injury), but he picked one of the most durable and difficult middleweights out there. Murray is still the fighter to extend GGG the longest, but at the time he fought Martinez, he was unbeaten, and was coming off a robbery draw against Felix Sturm.  Italian Domenico Spada would have satisfied a mandatory, and likely ended in an easy TKO win for Sergio.  Instead he won a close squeaker, and further injured his leg... ultimately leading to a layoff, title loss, and retirement.

Danny Garcia (Mauricio Herrera)
Puerto Rico should not really be called his hometown/place, given that he was born and raised in Philadelphia.  However, Garcia is of PR descent, and always wanted to have a defense there.  Therefore, after his biggest win (over Matthysse), he came to the island to defend.  He picked a Mexican American, known for winning and losing close decisions, as well as his granite chin.  What happened was what happens in every Herrera fight.  It went all 12, and could have gone either way on the judges cards.  Garcia got the decision, of course, but Herrera won the event.  Considering it was entirely an optional defense, one has to wonder what possessed the usually carefully managed Garcia to choose that opponent.

Mike Alvarado (twice!)
Not once, but twice has Alvarado fought in front of his Denver fans in a title fight.  He is also 0-2.  Ruslan Provodnikov and Brandon Rios were fighters whom a motivated Mike Alvarado could outbox.  However, his chin would not hold up against either, and ultimately two corner surrenders are the way his hometown fans have to remember him.  It is a shame for a man who had other great performances in L.A. and Las Vegas, but the Denver faithful never got to see much of it.

Chris Strait

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