Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Class of Jason Robinson

This last weekend was a fairly quiet one in boxing unless you were one of the pugilists duking it out with his all like Jason Robinson was. Jason challenged WBC cruiser champ, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk for the rights to claim the championship belt, and what a fight.

The Fight

The Fight

Robinson had to pack up his essentials to fly way, way over the rainbow to Warsaw, Poland, the champ’s hometown stompings, just to stake his claim. It was a bittersweet moment for the Chicago based fighter who had never challenged for a world title before. Jason may have come up short on the cards, but he put up a valiant effort in spite of being outgunned and outboxed against a prime younger champion at the height of his powers.

Can we ask any more of any fighter than that?

But wait, there’s more. In contrast to far too many big name fighters making bad press these days, Jason Robinson had the temerity to conduct himself with the utmost class and respect in and out of the ring. Not withstanding the brave fight that he put up, Robinson deserves a shout in an otherwise dreary period of low boxing activity.

It was a good, entertaining back and forth scrap that saved the weekend for me, one that I will remember.

I don’t claim to know much of the full story of Jason Robinson, but the press he received in the build up to the fight was admirable. He was always going to be a big underdog and has no special experience or physical attributes to call on, but he can fight and he can train, so once he stepped through the ropes, he was in the fight from the first to the 12th and final bell.

The Training

The Training

He trained at a public gymnasium, the Chicago Park District Garfield Park from what I understood. His trainer, George Hernandez is also deserving a big shout for training Jason while making himself available to the kids who walk into the gym. It echoes a similar story of the Agape Boxing Club in my area that I recently wrote about.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/my-thoughts-on-agape-boxing-and-jem-mace/

Jason Robinson may not fully realize the extent to which those kids looked up to him, but it’s almost guaranteed that some if not all managed to figure out how to watch his title challenge, and kids, they do keep character references for future use. They now have an exemplary example to draw on as they get on with the ups and downs of everyday life.

Mr. Robinson and Mr. Hernandez are doing the essential unsung noble work that every society needs in order to develop and maintain a sense of social civility, justice, and to progress forward as sentient human beings and citizens.

Society could use a few thousand more little boxing gyms like these for that purpose alone, but, make no mistake, it’s these little clubs that are truly the backbone of boxing. Gypsy Jem Mace, the great granddad of modern boxing, ran one and so on and so forth, too many to remember have come and gone. Gypsy Jem was only carrying on what was passed on to him through the mists of time.

So, a hearty congratulations Gentlemen, and that includes the great champion, Krzysztof Włodarczyk and his team who also played their parts to perfection.

Well done…………

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen

The Strange Case of Deontay Wilder, The Last US Olympic Medalist

Deontay Wilder was the sole US Olympic Medalist in boxing from the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the only bright spot among that ill fated Olympic squad.

He won a bronze medal, so perhaps flew under the American radar upon his return given the poor showing by the rest of the team, a far cry from the gold medal bonanzas Americans used to gather in as their birthright in the glory days of yore.

The Bronze Bomber

The Bronze Bomber

Deontay sorta came out of nowhere to win a pair of national amateur titles before qualifying for the Olympics and nabbing a bronze, so he has a limited amateur background. Call him a George Foreman Lite since George surprised a lot of folks by taking gold in 1968 with a very limited amateur background before turning pro.

Difference between Big George’s pro career and Wilder is that Foreman started off facing some pretty stiff competition and quickly became a ranked and greatly feared fighter.

Young Wilder is a month away from turning 25, the start of traditional athletic peak years and coming up on 2 yrs as a pro while sporting an 11-0, 11 KO record. Sounds great, right?

So, in 4 yrs he’d be 22-0, 22 KO and a ranked fighter, right?

WRONG!

He might well be 22-0, 22 KO, but he won’t be within a light year from landing a ranking by facing the poor opposition he’s been feasting on. His last two opponents were 400 and 300 pounders respectively. The 400 pounder had never beaten a fighter who had won a single fight and is so poor that not even boxrec will rank him. The 300 pounder is just under a 500th boxrec ranking, meaning there are almost 500 fighters around the world ranked ahead of him.

I’m sure there are many more qualified folks than I in boxing wondering how Wilder can develop into a contender fighting such morbidly weak fighters?

It’s not like he doesn’t have a strong team behind him either.  Mark Breland is his trainer and is arguably the best amateur boxer in US history, an Olympic Gold Medalist and two time WBA welter champ, so he has some chops. Wilder is managed by Shelly Finkel and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, high profile insiders.

Did Golden Boy blow a golden opportunity this Saturday to feature The Last US Olympic Medalist as the headliner in Las Vegas on an otherwise dreary weekend in boxing that sees him buried in Mississippi fighting another 38 yr old no hoper flirting with a 600th boxrec ranking?

And Mark Breland relocated from Brooklyn to Mississippi to train Breland for this?

Really?

Or is Deontay Wilder simply not interested in doing more than exploring the bottomless depths of boxing’s empty barrel?

Shame is that he’s a very long, lean, handsome, telegenic type of kid that Americans desperate for a glimmer of hope in the heavy division could really get behind, but the general public has just flat out never seen him or forgot about him if they had even heard of him.

The most damning, obscene words imaginable fail to capture the depths that the long time dominant American Big Man in boxing has fallen into for this and future eras it would appear.

There is HUGE $$$,$$$,$$$ to be made for the next American heavyweight champ, but apparently all you can eat buffets and soft opposition that they can gum are more inviting with this generation.

Nobody with any sense expects the kid to necessarily be fighting fringe contenders in his 2nd full year of professional boxing, but the kid is moving backwards at a faster rate than he’s moving forward. He’s being de-evolved as a prospect, and nowhere near being a contender in this lifetime.

Well, it’s his life and his career and he and his handlers can do with it what they may, but it remains a mystery for a fighter known as the Bronze Bomber.

Who?

Boxing 101, How to Score Ugly or Mora vs Mosley, The No-Win Non-Fight of the Year

The Mexican Independence Celebration Mora vs Mosley headliner  at the Staples Center this Saturday was a matchmaking disaster foretold in advance to go the distance and likely to turn ugly.The Score

The Score Enlarged:http://fightnews.com/Boxing/mosley-mora.gif I don’t claim to know what machinations were going on inside the Golden Boy Promotions complex that added this match to an otherwise excellent night of knockouts that the boxing public clamors for.

Shane Mosley is a remarkable physical specimen for his age, but that’s the qualifier.

Defused Bomb

Defused Bomb

It’s his age and long career that has left him in a slower state of being that every fighter must face if they insist upon carrying on past their best form. It’s was guaranteed that a younger, faster, quicker, taller defensive minded boxer with a good chin was going to make a difficult night for him, so the question would be,

“What were they thinking?”

Flash Jab

Flash Jab

Perhaps they wanted to rest Mosley with a light puncher while testing his reflexes against a faster fighter, so by this criteria, they were successful.  It was otherwise a terrible complement to an otherwise exemplary card  of explosive proportions that the largely Mexican crowd was well pleased with.

The official result was a DRAW with cards reading 115-113 Mora, 116-112 Mosley, and 114-114, Even.

The outrage started with Jim Lampley and Harold Lederman of HBO who were sputtering into their microphones they were so incensed over Mosley being robbed. Yet on another broadcast, I understand Ring Magazine’s Doug Fischer scored the bout as a near Mora shutout, and on it went, passed around like a strain of the 3 day flu, which is about how long this “controversy” will last.

For the record, I found the bout interesting from a technical point of view, a classic boxer who couldn’t pop a soap bubble against an older volume puncher above his best weight. They both did the best they could within the strengths and limitations of their styles.

A Connection Has Been Established

A Connection Has Been Established

Anyway, I did something about my own outrage many years ago by scoring bouts according to the fundamentals of the sport, which at it’s best is still a highly subjective exercise, so I dampened the subjectivity based on the scoring directives used by Nevada and other commissions, who “encourage” judges to never score even rounds.

The order of priority in modern scoring is generally the following:

1. Offense

2. Defense

3. Ring Generalship with 10 points to the winner of the round, 9 points to the loser, and one point deducted to a fighter knocked down x the number of times he’s knocked down in a round.

NO EVEN ROUNDS or find another part-time job.

Hmmmm, I thought to myself, why the prejudice against even rounds? By this time I had already tired of trying to pick out the difference between a hotly contested round with both fighters doing well or poorly contested round where both fighters looked clueless and was scoring even rounds.

BINGO, I unlocked the key to this hereto impenetrable maze of behind the scenes officiousness.

Simply put, invariably the number of even rounds I scored even coincided with the margins of the cards, meaning that the fighters either benefitted or were penalized by rounds that were even in nature.

The major sports, baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf, and soccer only keep one score and have playoff procedures in place for when draws occur. Boxing is “different,” or perhaps “special,” because it keeps “3 scores” whose results are strangely combined after the competition ceases in prolonged ring huddles of whispers, head scratchings, and muted cries resembling rugby scrums.

The judges do their “judging” in street clothes, a very handy procedure that generally allows them to lose themselves in the crowd after the bout and successfully escape with skins, limbs, and teeth intact for those hotly disputed decisions.

Click Here To Take Your Local Connection Speed Test

Click Here To Take Your Local Connection Speed Test

Let’s face facts here folks, with boxing’s “golden history” of association with gambling and various criminal syndicates controlling various “local” jurisdictions combining with the more obvious hometown favoritism, and the modern developments of assorted sordid ABC orgs of boxing and commissions, boxing fans have grown up expecting these scoring outrages, but seldom score bouts themselves much less consider the logistics or bureaucracies that create these latest scoring outrages, so scoring controversies get passed on seamlessly from one generation to the next much like war, death, and taxes.

Can You Feel Me Yet?

Can You Feel Me Yet?

In the above Mora/Mosley scorecards with the point totals added together end up being 341 for Mora to 343 for Mosley of the 684 points awarded. That’s a 2 point advantage for Mosley, or 2 of 684 total points, or 0.003 fractional difference, or approximately 1/3rd of 1% difference, not even pennies on the dollar, but potentially a huge windfall for the fighter for whom you’ve cast your bet, which perhaps is the origin as much as any for the outrage after scoring controversies.

Nobody likes to lose, much less lose their beloved wad.

One point happens to be the barest minimum that a fighter can win a bout, but the average fan seldom considers the margins of all the close decisions in history under modern scoring rules.

It should be added that HBO has become dependent on Compubox for the use of “punch stats” to form their analysis around. The Compubox “computer” tells them that Mosley threw 522 punches to Mora’s 508 punches and “landed” 161 punches compared to Mora’s 93 punches.

It strikes me that HBO could save a lot of money in these lean times for them by eliminating the broadcast crew, and just have a rotating cast of their marketing staff hype the round by round along side a running tabulation of Compubox numbers.

Need to make boxing a bloodless, knockout proof sport with fighters shadow boxing like the amateurs with the computer spitting out the results.

Lumpy

Lumpy

Remember, computers are infallible and man is but clay!

Maybe we could match up Jim Lampley with Doug Fischer and let the computer decide who gets to decide the results of Mora/Mosley, right?

Yeah, riiiiiight…………………..

New School vs Old School-Saul Alvarez vs Carlos Baldomir

This coming Saturday at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, California, fast rising Mexican sensation, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez squares off against former welterweight champ, Carlos “Tata” Baldomir, for the WBC Junior Middleweight Silver Title.

Hammy Stretch

Hammy Stretch

Actually, the header should read Really New School vs Really, Really Old School since the 20 yr old Alvarez is 19 years younger than the grizzled Baldomir who has not had a significant win since he turned out the lights on a shot Arturo Gatti some 4 yrs ago. Since then he was shutout by Floyd Mayweather Jr for Tata’s WBC welter belt, equally shut out for Vernon Forrest’s WBC junior middleweight belt, was beat up by a journeyman, Luciano Perez, yet somehow, by hook or crook, Baldomir was quite fortunate to scrape out the sparest majority decision imaginable. Then  he went on to be beaten by Jackson Osei Bonsu in a WBC welter eliminator before finally knocking out journeyman Jairo Jesus Siris in Argentina for a meager measure of redemption last year.

Saul Alvarez is not only younger and fresher, but much faster with excellent punching power, boxing skills, and fighting instincts. He fights like a seasoned champion, which begs the question of why he was held back this year from his first title challenge?

Canelo

Canelo

Canelo’s record is already 33-0-1, 25 KO with 195 pro rounds in the bank. His team claims he may have as many as a dozen more professional fights that aren’t recorded yet. Officially by the records available he turned pro at age 15, so a contender with his record and talent should’ve been moved faster with a premiere promoter like Golden Boy behind him.

Perhaps the clue is his career weight which his been mostly at welter. Folks who follow boxing know that  the WBA/IBF titles belong to overseas fighters Vyacheslav Senchenko and Jan Zaveck, the WBO by Manny Pacquiao, an Arum fighter with a pending lawsuit filed against Golden Boy, and WBC title being controlled by Andre Berto who has been on a career long soft diet. Not many prospective title shots there for a dangerous, up and coming contender who is equally adept at boxing or slugging.

Looking at the junior middle division, the prospects for a world title fight are equally daunting unless he becomes the WBC mandatory to the Arum controlled winner of the WBC title bout between Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao.  Arum fighter Miguel Cotto owns the WBA belt, the WBO by undefeated Sergeii Dzinziruk who may have relocated to the States, and the IBF by Cornelius Bundrage, a Don King fighter not likely to give up a belt to a dangerous, non-King contender.

Golden Boy seems to have given Alvarez the Herculean task of cleaning out the massive set of stables at the higher weight by knockout this year. Fringe contenders Jose Cotto, brother of Miguel, and Luciano Cuello had never been stopped before, and Brian Camechis had only been stopped once, but none could stand in against Canelo.

Tata

Tata

Carlos Baldomir has only been stopped once, way back in the Jurassic era circa 1994, so a knockout may be significant on one level, but really just another fringe contender feather in Canelo’s already fully stocked cap. At the very least, Baldomir is gonna replicate a punching bag since Alvarez should be able to move and punch at will.

Mind you, I’m not dismissing the 39 yr old Baldomir out of a lack of respect, the Argentinian has a 45-12-6 record with 520 professional rounds on the ledger, but he’s slow as molasses in the Arctic and with a 22% KO ratio, his power is next to nil. He’s simply gotten too old, too shopworn to be much use as a test other than whether he can be knocked  out.

A similar yet different test occurs on the card with the 39 yr old  former legend Shane Mosley trying to comeback from his one sided beatdown at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Former “ Contender” and WBC junior middleweight champ Sergio Mora recently signed with Golden Boy for the honors. At age 29 and a fast handed busy boxer, this is a bad match up for Mosley who has a history of being handled by boxer types, but the upside for Mosley is that Mora has no power, so the fight likely goes the distance.

The winner regains a measure of past glory and probably a title shot somewhere.

Former WBO super banty champ, Daniel Ponce de Leon faces Antonio Escalante in a WBO featherweight title eliminator. Victor Ortiz looks to continue his climb through the junior welter division by taking on former champ Vivian Harris in a Vicious vs Vicious battle of monikers, so overall the card is a decent one.

Even the Brits are getting in on the act with a nice card in Birmingham. The highlight for me is young British lightheavy contender and EBU champ, Nathan Cleverly, going up against young contender and former EBU supermiddle champ, Karo Murat, who fights out of Germany. This is a WBO title eliminator and both are undefeated, so it’s great to see some young lions risking their zeros with special props to Murat who goes to the lion’s own den for the task.

So, there it is, you’ve been notified in advance that in spite of rumors, boxing is not yet dead.

El Canelo Crunch

El Canelo Crunch

The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy

Sweet Dreams My Darling

Sweet Dreams My Darling

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr, What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Boxing as a mug's game

Boxing as a mug’s game

Just looking at the  mug shot taken this week from the Clark County Detention CenterFloyd appears quite happy and pleased with himself, reminding me of ye olde children’s nursery rhyme about little Jack Horner sitting in his corner eating his Christmas pie. He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum.

And said, “What a good boy am I!”

Still fresh off his signature victory in May over Shane Mosley where it’s estimated he earned some 15-20 million dollars, every day is Christmas in Floyd World, and what could be better than having your mug shot plastered across the world’s media for free publicity?

It’s a thug’s world in the new world order after all, so Floyd Jr or his uncle Roger being arrested for battering women is scarcely news anymore. More like a tool that gives them the street cred they need to maintain the veneer of their manhood while they sit on his perfect 41-0 record hoping to hatch another batch of golden eggs in yet another comeback fight next year against another poor fighter desperate to give away some 80% of the purse just to earn a couple of million as Juan Manuel Marquez did.

Nothing wrong with a fighter leveraging his position to secure the most lucrative purses, that’s the history of boxing, indeed, the history of economics. Curiously though, Mayweather has a history of turning down career high purses to wait out for lower risk fights not to mention his retirements in advance of the most lucrative purses at the point in time when he was at his earnings apex.

Regardless, his critics aren’t charged with having to live his own life, so he’s entitled to live his life as he sees fit with as many retirements, comebacks, arrests, and profane videos produced as he sees fit. He has been at boxing since he was a little tyke, worked hard, and as of the finish of the Marquez fight last September, presumably caught up on his taxes after Uncle Sam seized his purse for that fight to clear out his taxes in arrears.

And if it doesn’t bother Floyd that his actions have cost him lucrative endorsement deals as sponsors drop him like a red hot rock, why should it bother his critics?

And if it doesn’t bother him to have his children witness the assault on their mother as has been reported, well, as previously mentioned, that buys him more of street cred in the thug’s world he enjoys running in, so look at the mug shot, he’s pleased as punch to add on to his long rap sheet.

Philthy Rich
Philthy Rich

If he’s willing to pay the price for crossing the line by pitting himself against the greater public interest that comes into play anytime the welfare of children is threatened or anytime law enforcement has to put themselves at risk to answer the nightmare of police everywhere, the dreaded domestic dispute call, well again, these are Floyd’s calls whether his critics like it or not.

For the Mayweather family, Floyd Mayweather has been The Rock that has lifted the family boat.

He supports his mother and even his father now that previous disputes with Floyd Sr have been smoothed over. His children have had access to the best of whatever Floyd wants to provide towards their development, becoming a privileged class that few children in the world have ever experienced. Uncle Roger in the role of his longtime trainer has also piggybacked on Floyd’s fame and accomplishments.

Why Floyd has even been quite generous with God, thanking Him profusely after his victories, so who says there’s anything wrong with this picture?

Of course, with critics being a dime a dozen or so by many millions, there is still no shortage of Manny Pacquiao fans frothing in fury over his refusal to fight Manny in one of the biggest fights in history. Instead, Mayweather accused Manny of using drugs to enhance his performances and taped a video to easily defeat Manny outside the ring within the self contained confines of Floyd’s shiny noggin.

If Floyd doesn’t mind insulting that vast part of the boxing world that has made Manny the consensus fighter of the decade which also makes him the best fighter at the start of the 3rd millennium, an accolade that will only grow in importance as Manny has also become the first active boxer to be elected to his country’s highest legislative body, the first to win a world title in 7 divisions and going for his 8th divisional world title this coming November 13th, well, that too is Floyd’s call. 

No sir, if Floyd can endure the accumulating irony of turning down yet another date against Manny, and doesn’t mind if Manny picks up Floyd’s old WBC junior middleweight belt he won in a split decision against Oscar de la Hoya, his critics can never make Floyd do something he obviously doesn’t want to do, so they should just sit back and enjoy the Manny express while they have him and let sleeping dogs lay where they may.

Manny is nearing the end of a master plan of fights and retirement that he and his promoter, Bob Arum have laid out. This was projected to be his last year.

Floyd will be 34 yrs old early next year, and after near 30 yrs of boxing, 299 professional rounds completed, near 100 amateur fights, thousands of sparring rounds, and a lifetime of training, this looks to be his way of slowly backing out of boxing in spurts and jerks while maintaining his all important street cred.

Senator Manny

Senator Manny

Few understand that it is impossible for Manny to be at his physical peak as a newly elected congressman. His impoverished Pilipino constituents are looking to him to improve their access to education, healthcare, and opportunities in life, things much larger in scope than being the best fighter of the new millennium. And then there is the always present danger of political assassination and his family to worry about, keeping them safe.

But, what of Floyd’s family? What becomes of them if Floyd is convicted and sentenced to an extended prison sentence?

His long time lawyer, Richard Wright, claims he did no wrong and has managed to keep Floyd out of the Big House in his previous scrapes with the law, so we shall see where it all shakes out.

A Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight would no longer be the two at their best when it mattered the most to boxing, and more importantly, when it really mattered to the general public who only tune in to watch fights that command public interest. Let’s face cold facts here, the drug accusations, myriad negotiations going nowhere, and Floyd’s latest entanglement with the law, the public at large doesn’t understand it so has tuned out.

No doubt the fight would still make great money, might still be a spectacle, and might even set the earnings record. It would also smack of Sugar RayLeonard’s comeback fights against Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns when everybody was well past their best form, great money, but not the classic fight for the boxing purists nor much of a spectacle as it turned out.

The Big One That Got Away

The Big One That Got Away

It’s not the all time classic it could’ve been. The tides of time wait on no man, an immutable physical law of the universe. 

…………..The Big One that got away…………. 

The Tyson Fury Show Makes American Debut

The widely acclaimed and equally reviled British heavyweight, Tyson Fury, makes his American network debut with a delayed Showtime broadcast from historic York Hall at Bethnal Green, London.

Rich Super Power vs Tyson Fury

Rich Super Power vs Tyson Fury

The undefeated, 12-0, 9 KO, Rich “Super” Power is the emergency replacement after previous selections fell out. This will be Power’s 4th bout this year, his last being 6 weeks ago, so he’s been an active fighter. Weighing in at a career low 221lbs, Power looks like he’s been in training as most fighters should be in case an opportunity of a lifetime comes along. At age 30 with a total of 26 rounds in the bank in 12 fights, it’s safe to say that Power counts on power as the defining element of his arsenal.

With an almost identical record of 11-0, 9 Kos, on paper it may seem they are equally matched prospects, but the 22 yr old Fury has been in with considerably stiffer competition, winning his first belt when he beat Big John McDermott for the English title last year and defending it with a knockout in the rematch this year.

Tyson's Fury

Tyson’s Fury

Fury comes from a longstanding family of Irish Travelers whose bareknuckled genealogy goes back a ways. His father, John Fury, also was a gloved boxer for a spell and apparently has the biggest influence in calling the shots in his son’s career. In short, Fury was destined from birth to be involved in some form or another of the Fury family fighting tradition, and made quite a splash with the public from the point of his debut forward.

As one of the most well known British fighters, on that front alone the Fury express has been quite the success story. He struggled mightily with hand problems and a new trainer after winning the English title, but may be righting himself by returning to his original trainer, his uncle Hughie I believe, with the result being his signature fight to date, the knockout of McDermott in a rousing rematch performance.

Not much is known of Power who’s largely been confined to small club fights in Michigan, but Tyson Fury’s bouts have all been televised, so it’s easy to pick up his strengths and weaknesses as a fighter.

He was born premature as the story goes, a single pounder who grew into a massive 6-9 stature, weighing in at 263 lbs for this fight. He’s always had a soft, poorly conditioned look to him, yet handled the 12 round Championship distance in the first McDermott fight as the stronger man at the finish, and he moves well with fast hands for such a big man.

As an offensively styled fighter, he gives plenty of openings for his opponents, but his chin has proven to be sound at this level and nobody has really been able to exploit any of his defensive lapses to hurt him and take away his bread and butter offense. Of course, the most damning evidence of a glaring weakness is the youtube clip of him almost decking himself with his own uppercut, something his critics have howled in delight over.

Fury is a very brash, but very amiable young man very much full of himself in a compelling, charismatic way that draws much attention to anything he does. With a twinkle of the mick in his eyes, he reminds me a bit of the playfulness of a young Cassius Clay who could say the most outrageous things that only piqued public interest.

Fury of course has quite a climb just to reach the foot of the pinnacle the legendary Ali rests on, but he’s one of the most interesting heavyweight prospects in some time, so I thought him worth a shout for anyone trying to find a ray of hope for the future of the heavyweight division.

Fury only recently horned his way into the announcement that David Haye would be defending his WBA title against Audley “A-Force” Harrison in an all British showdown, calling the match “a farce.” Perhaps more prophetically, he opined, “I’d definitely put up a better fight (against Haye) than Harrison. I reckon I could beat Audley Harrison, to be honest. But it’s about getting the chance to prove it.”

If Audley lands another Sprott Hail Mary on the vulnerable chin of Haye, does this mean a Fury defense could be the trump card of the fickle finger of Fate early next year?

Veeerily interesting me thinks, but first things first for young Fury.

Somebody is gonna have to knock Fury off his perch to put a dent in his climb, so is Rich “Super” Power that fighter?

Stay tuned for the results.

Putting the !POW! in Power

Putting the !POW! in Power

9/11, Wladimir Klitschko vs Sam Peter Reprised

This coming Saturday, September 11th, Wladimir Klitschko and Sam Peter reprise their classic IBF eliminator match in 2005 that saw Klitschko hit the deck several times against the greatly feared, wide swinging, undefeated clubber who entered the bout at 24-0, 21 KOs.

Peter was on a horrific tear through the division back then and the general feeling in boxing was that Wlad had no heart for combat, and worse, was afflicted with a glass jaw that would quickly shatter.

The Champ

The Champ

It Seems like a distant, fuzzy era light years removed from the current heavyweight scene that has seen Wlad on a fine current run of dominance, going for his 10th straight title win and his 9th knockout. He not only holds the IBF title, but also the WBO, IBO, and more tellingly, the Ring belt, finally fulfilling the promise he held as a gangly 20 yr Olympic Gold Medalist, touted as the savior of the heavyweight division when he turned pro.

The Belts

The Belts

Wlad won that first confrontation with Peter, doing something that his critics said he couldn’t do, and that is overcoming adversity by regrouping his form and going about the task of picking Peter apart until the final bell ended the 12th round.

Peter disputed the decision, wanting a rematch, but the Fates had already set each out on separate paths, only to come back full circle after having run 5 years of boxing’s tortuous gauntlets.

Peter returns as a former WBC champion, having dropped his crown to Wlad’s older brother, Vitali, a couple of years ago. After a lethargic loss to Eddie Chambers in his next bout, Peter has won all 4 of his last bouts by knockout, and, just having turned 30 years of age a few days before the rematch, Peter is near the age of a traditional athletic peak.

Wlad will rightly be a big odds favorite due to his near invincible form since the 1st Peter fight in contrast to Peter’s pair of failures against Vitali and Chambers. Wlad is also 34 yrs old in his 58th career bout which is pushing the envelope for modern heavies.

Nigerian Nightmare Lite
Nigerian Nightmare Lite

Meanwhile, Peter has transformed himself since those losses, dropping some 25 lbs of weight from his ample frame as can be seen in this training photo.

Potentially he should be about as quick afoot or quicker than he was in the first bout, but the question arises as to what style he will utilize?

Since that first bout Peter has reformed his style from crude clubber into a boxer of sorts, but finally was outboxed by Vitali and Chambers. His “Wild Bull of the Pampas” style was effective the first time, putting Wlad in dire straits and needing every fiber of his being to right the sinking ship.

Assisted Boxing

Assisted Boxing

 Of course by the bout’s end, it was Peter hanging on he was so spent. Peter was lucky to hear the final bell.

There is no way Peter can ever outbox Wlad in a million years. Wlad has won almost every round he has boxed in his professional career, so Peter has to outslug him, plain and simple. Can he do it? Peter may be in his 2nd “Reformation” as a fighter, but Wlad has steadily improved his game fight by fight, and more importantly, has earned a bit of swagger in his walk and talk that he lacked before. Whether he has gotten too far afield from his humble Ukrainian roots with the videos and brash talk remains to be seen. Understandably Wlad has been frustrated by dubious antics that saw top contenders David Haye and Alexander Povetkin fall out of scheduled matches that resulted in Wlad being placed in the position of having to search and sign replacement fighters for his defenses these past few years.

I guess it can be seen as a backhanded compliment that the top heavies would rather withdraw to endure the scorn of fans than risk the typical methodical beating followed by a knockout that Wlad lays down on his overmatched opponents.

I don’t recall this phenomena afflicting previous champions, though. Usually top contenders can’t get a title shot soon enough for their satisfaction, but it’s a new era and a softer way of doing business I guess if fighters can move to pick up a weak cheese belt.

Although Peter is a replacement fighter, he is a worthy opponent who has retained a ranking and is very hungry after going on a long diet. He may no longer be the fan favorite on a rampage through the division as he was in the first match, but he does provide the potential for some spectacle that Wlad’s defenses have lacked IF he can connect with a clean shot.

The first fight was one of the most dramatic heavyweight fights of the decade, so I plan on being glued to the rematch.

The "Right" Way

The “Right” Way