Krzysztof Wlodarczyk puts his cruiserweight WBC title on the line in Australia November 30th against local legend Danny Green.
Diablo vs Green Machine
Wlodarczyk has been a class operator in the division for the last 6 years or so against many of the best fighters in the division, so Green seems to have his hands full with this bout. I did not see Wlodarczyk’s last fight against Francisco Palacios, but it was a hometown split decision which means the fight was very close, but truth of the matter is that many of Wlodarczyk’s fights are close spirited battles, so perhaps there is no concern there.
I’ve heard rumors that he had some serious health problems that may be a concern, but most rumors in boxing are mean spirited attempts to degrade a fighter and need be taken with a grain of salt. It was no rumor that Green was coming off a serious scare of appendicitus not too long ago, and was subsequently knocked about and out by Antonio Tarver in their last fight.
Green is the hometown fighter with the “power of the purse” and he uses that to set catchweight bonus incentives, so we’ll have to see what weight Wlodarczyk comes in at, but Diablo is not a big cruiserweight, that is certain.
Wlodarczyk is 8 years younger than Green, but with more fights and rounds, 45-2-1, 32 KO in 278 rounds of boxing to 31-4, 27 KO in 177 rounds of boxing, so perhaps the age advantage is moot.
Should be a good solid action fight if you are up early in the AM Western time.
A rare title fight takes place December 3rd in Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland when new WBA titlest Alexander Povetkin puts boxing’s softest title on the line against 42 year old Cedric Boswell.
It goes without saying the little known Boswell was brought in to lose, so he best bring his big punch because he is not likely to outwork the busy Povetkin who at least has a work ethic going for him.
The Finnish Finish
The serious heavyweight action takes place when the Finnish Nordic Nightmare Robert Helenius has a homecoming against Dereck Chisora who recently was well lumped by young heavyweight phenom Tyson Fury.
Helenius has been on a tear everytime he steps up in class, but to be fair, Chisora lacks the credentials of previous champs Helenius has knocked out. Chisora is a young, strong, tough fighter who was on a rampage in Britain until Fury derailed him and did briefly hold the British Commonwealth title. He also broke into the Boxrec top 10, so in his comeback he could prove to be a tougher fighter this time around.
Del Boy in his pomp
Both Helenius and Chisora are the same age, 27, with the same number of fights, 16, and near the same rounds, 81 for Chisora to Helenius 79, so they are evenly matched in raw numbers with the Helenius record at 16-0, 11 KO edging out Chisora at 15-1, 9 KO.
This vacant EBU title challenge could be quite entertaining since both are big, strong, prime heavies who come to fight with some big punches, but only if Chisora can step up his game from his Fury effort. He was doughy looking and overweight, sometimes a by product of fighters looking for extra mass when they go against giants such as Fury or Vitali Klitschko. More to the point, he was clumsy without a gameplan other than landing the big punch.
Helenius is on an undefeated upswing and should be the big favorite with the oddsmakers. Chisora has seen his star plummet after the Fury loss, but therein lays his hope. Sometimes a fighter in his big homecoming against fighters they are supposed to beat can get caught up in all the hoopla of “The Magnificance of Me” and lose their focus by the time of the first the bell.
The Chisora style is that of a straight ahead puncher, and in boxing, one good punch could mean a huge payday in his next fight, so this is his puncher’s chance. Helenius can be a slow starter as he dials in his timing and punch placement, but for a big man he has shown some bruising, eyecatching combinations when he gets going for impressive stoppages.
Is this copromotion a preview with the winner getting a crack at the WBA “regular” title currently held by Povetkin? That would likely be Helenius who is signed to the same promoter, Sauerland Events.
Abner Mares defends his IBF banty title in the rematch against Joseph Agbeko December 3rd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The fighters are about as evenly matched as a good matchmaker could dream for with the only edge going to the dirty fighting of Mares, turning it something of a promoter’s nightmare if Mares remains true to form. Will the referee allow a 3rd straight dirty fight by Mares after he eked out wins over Vic Darchinyan and Agbeko previously with low blows, punches after the bell and other rabbit tricks that used to be known as the Dark Arts of boxing?
Fighters used to be more circumspect and less obvious in practicing the Dark Arts, but to be fair, fighters only use what they can get away with, and regrettably the Showtime supermiddle and banty tourneys have been full of dubious refereeing. The supermiddle finale is allegedly due early next year in what could be a dirty way to start the new year.
Incidential fouls are to be expected in a high action bout when punches start to flow in bunches, so let’s hope the ref does his job properly this time around to sort out what could be a very lively bout between two game and skilled practitioners of the sweet science.
The “undercard” is a main event unto itself.
The longtime undersung former WBA banty champ Anselmo Moreno defends his new superbanty WBA title against the raging Vic Darchinyan who has to be the toughest little man in boxing today. Yes, the former flyweight titlest continues to plow up new divisions and is making his superbanty debut.
Moreno is 31-1-1 with 11KOs against some pretty fair competition. Darchinyan is 37-3-1 with 27 KOs against the best competition of his era, so by records looks to have the edge going into the fight with more power against better class.
The Harder They Fall
Normally a fight between two southpaws makes for an awkward, difficult fight to watch and judge, but both fighters are offensively oriented with contrasting styles and attributes, meaning a good fight is in the cards.
Darchinyan can be said to be the slugger even if his power has not kept up with his rise through the divisions. He’s 35 years old, ancient in the little man world of boxing, and will be giving up a lot of height and reach to the rangy 5-8 Moreno who is a prime 26 years old.
Moreno has a good jab and credible defense to go along with his two handed attack. Darchinyan has his trademark crouching lobster style with the right hand mostly used as a distraction and defensive purpose to disguise his big left hand where the power is.
Each fighter made his chops early on in the flyweight division and now they finally meet in the Panamanian Moreno’s American debut. They are very durable fighters, so this is likely a 12 round decision in the making.
Could be a classic card of some really great banty fights if, and only if the referees show as much class as the fighters. We shall see.
Mexican phenom Saul Canelo Alvarez makes his most dangerous fight yet, defending his WBC lightmiddleweight belt against former titlest Kermit The Killer Cintron November 26 in Mexico.
Killer Kermit Cintron used to be the young phenom, a KO artist coming up, but once in the mix against a better class of fighter, his knockout has almost disappeared, only a single KO over the past 4 yrs.
In a twist of boxing fates, Cintron won the WBC eliminator in 2009 against an ailing Alfredo Angulo before literally taking a dive off the deep end onto the ring floor against Paul Williams and then dropping a noneffort against Carlos Molina. Angulo has won some big bouts since and is currently WBC #1 while Cintron has slumped to 14th and has never fought for the WBC junior middleweight title until now.
There have been questions about his heart and dedication to boxing, but here he is in arguably his biggest fight ever, a Puerto Rican taking on the undefeated Mexican legend in the making. We should all be so lucky as to have such a grand opportunity fall into our laps
- The Canelo Crunch
Meanwhile, young Saul Alvarez may have his own demons to conquer as Mexico’s latest undefeated darling. He is only 21 yrs old, but he owns the WBC title, a 200 MPH Maserati and seemingly has his pick of the bevy of beauteous Mexican senoritas flocking to see him.
Femme fatales have been the bane and downfall of many great historical figures through the ages, and someone who cares about his future should show him the death scene of the great Mexican legend, Salvador Sanchez , who crashed of his mere 130 MPH Porsche on the way home early one morning after a late night tryst.
vs Archie Solis
Now Canelo is being accused of beating up former light flyweight champ Archie Solis for making time with his girlfriend, a charge he denies although it seems at very least his “camp” was involved.
Where will it all end with the young phenom?
Cintron's Big Right Hand
Cintron would like it to end with his big right hand crashing over the defense of Alvarez.
Young cocky boxing phenoms are the historical mothers milk of boxing, making for some all time great fights with plenty of spectacular crashes. Alvarez thusly to be quite confident going into this bout as will the oddsmakers in his favor. A Cintron upset wipes out many of his previous boxing sins and make him a major player again. It wasn’t that long ago that Cintron was being talked about as the opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr, so how much more motivation does a fighter need?
If Cintron manages to stink out the place as he did against Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez, this would be the third recent Golden Boy promoted fight featuring their biggest stars tainted by what could best be described as incompetant travesties or worse.
Such are the precarious road hazards in the fast lane of a young Mexican boxing star.
- Undefeated Mexican Standoff
The ever clamoring critics want Alvarez to fight whomever their favorite fighter is as boxing holds it’s breath with fingers crossed until the big superfight can be made with the Juniors, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr or Floyd Mayweather Jr.
We may call it boxing, but the historical roots are prize fighting, so in the scramble for the big money fights, look for Saul Alvarez to make his mark at the Monumental Plaza de Toros, Mexico City so he can mint his fortune at a future date, TBA.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez look to finalize loose ends left from their previous meetings when they complete the last leg of their great trilogy at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Saturday, November 12th.
Pacquiao vs Marquez II
The official record currently stands at 24 rounds completed in two fights with Pacquiao leading 1-0-1 to 0-1-1 while scoring exactly one(1) more point in the combined scoring totals. That includes 4 credited knockdowns of Marquez and one uncredited knockdown that would have secured a unanimous decision in the 2nd fight had it been properly called by referee Kenny Bayless.
Three of the knockdowns occurred in the first round of the first fight, after which one of the judges made a very rare admission that he made a mistake in scoring that first round that would have given Pacquiao the split decision win.
Marquez fans are a relentless bunch, claiming wins for both fights, so now the table has been set for the biggest fight of Marquez’s career, a chance to secure his place among the elite after being overshadowed by great featherweights of his era, Paquiao, Barrera, and Morales, all of whom have some great featherweight trilogies for their records.
The fight is another in a series of catchweight fights for Pacquiao causing a great hue and cry among supposed purists who don’t know their boxing history much less the nuances of modern fight contracts.
Manny’s catchweights have been part of a bonus incentive program where the fighters make more money if they come in at the contracted weight. If not, they pay a penalty much like Floyd Mayweather Jr paid to Marquez. The fight goes on regardless.
In this case, it’s Marquez asking for the catchweight, settled at 144 lbs because he is not a natural welterweight, and of course Pacquiao’s promoter loves the publicity and notoriety that the catchweights garner. Folks, it’s all about maximizing big money, something Bob Arum is an expert at no matter how many howls of protest from the impoverished critics.
Ideally, there would never be any catchweights, but outside of boxing the world is a very disorderly place, so how is boxing to be perfect in the larger imperfect world?
Marquez wanted 142 lbs, the same as he got against Mayweather, but negotiated up in order to secure his biggest payday ever, not a bad deal at all for the aging warrior. Boxing fans had hopes that he would provide a competitive contest against Mayweather, but alas, his training was literally piss poor since his self produced urine tonics and tossing about of large rocks couldn’t provide the technical nuance needed against the crafty Mayweather, surely one of the most bizarre nutritional supplements in the history of modern boxing.
Though he lost a wide technical decision on the cards, he did land a few signature right hands early in the fight, enough to keep Mayweather on the backfoot for most of the fight and resembling a Chinese contortunist as he twisted his body into incomprehensible positions to avoid the Marquez offense.
The Mayweather Pretzel Defense
So Marquez is a sharp counterpunching boxer whose power has to be respected. He is susceptable to being outboxed by crafty boxer types as Freddie Norwood, Chris John, and Floyd Mayweather have shown and Pacquiao has held his own in the boxing points tallies. Pacquiao was hurt briefly in their last fight, so a knockout for Marquez is not out of the question even if it seems unlikely.
The main key for Marquez is the knockdowns he suffers from, and not only against Pacquiao.
There is no way he can ever win against Pacquiao if he continues to be battered to the canvas, and Marquez was more than battered in the previous two fights, he was out on his feet and quite fortunate the fight wasn’t stopped at those points.
The Marquez brothers, Juan Manuel and Rafael, are some of the toughest fighters in any era. They do not quit out of sheer stubborness, nor do they or their supporters concede any of their defeats. These are very proud men, a noble attribute for sure, but one that has doomed many a misfortunate who lacked the judgment to know when to give in or make an adjustment, so can Marquez make the adjustment for this fight?
He can start by losing his urine tonics and hire a respected nutritionist and physical trainer to gain the weight properly, something he failed to do against Mayweather.
Now Marquez is steeping a tempest in a teapot with the hiring of controversial strength and conditioning coach Angel Hernandez, AKA Angel Heredia who was affiliated with convicted felon of the BALCO Laboratories, Victor Conte. Marquez claims not to have known about the past of Hernandez which pretty much exposes the lack of quality professional advice from his team, but at least Marquez should be in better shape this time around than he was for Mayweather.
That is what Manny Pacquiao has done for boxing. He whips his opponents into their best ever conditioning before comprehensively whipping them in the ring, so is Marquez now following down the same treacherous path?
Boxing has never seen such out of the ring exploits of the likes of Manny Pacquiao. Movie star, recording artist, and serving Congressman in his district in the Philippines, not to mention devoted husband and father, there is simply no known past model that can predict when or if the monumental out of ring distractions will take their toll on his boxing.
Though Marquez is the older fighter at age 38, the 31 yr old Pacquiao has almost caught his 59 career fights with 58 career fights against better competition, most significantly at higher weights these past three years. Marquez has logged more overall rounds, 432 to 341 for Pacquiao, but Pacquiao has been taking the stiffer shots against bigger fighters, so both have significant wear, yet they’ve remained two of Ring Magazine’s favorite P4P fighters over the decade.
vs Marquez 2008
Pacquiao last fought Marquez only three years ago as a super featherweight and followed up by destroying Ring Magazine’s top welters who appeared on their covers that year, De la Hoya, Cotto, Margarito, and Mosley. Few in boxing would have believed that possible then, yet the critics remain unsatisfied.
Boxing is a business first and foremost and Pacquiao has worked as hard as any fighters in history to arrive at this spot where he can afford the luxury of fighting “only” twice a year. His political responsibilities are such that he should be hardpressed to fight even once a year and in fact, he has delayed his retirement the past 2 yrs because of all the money on the table for him and the big fights still available like this one.
The Marquez trilogy could be the biggest money fight of his career once the PPV totals come in which leads to another relevant point lost on the average boxing fan. Pacquiao is the first ever featherweight to command a PPV fight and looks poised to break the record for the most career PPV fights currently held by Oscar De La Hoya. More importantly, his PPV numbers over the past 3 yrs has set a new record first set by Mike Tyson.
He’s no longer the little Filipino fella with a funny name trying to make a name in America any more, though at the 146 lbs or so he currently enters the ring at, he is small for modern welters who sometimes come into the ring weighing over the middleweight limit come fight night. No matter the size, Pacquiao continues to rearrange the known boxing universe as we know it.
In spite of sweeping every consensus award as the decade’s best boxer, surely Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao know that he has to conclusively nail down this final fight with Marquez to get full credit for the rivalry.
Is Marquez just that sort of stubborn fighter who refuses to budge to the greatness of Pacquiao, or has Marquez been living on borrowed time at the fringes of officiating mistakes all these years?
Pacquiao will be the substantial favorite. In the 7 fights since their rematch, Pacquiao has dominated superior competition with 4 straight knockouts followed by 3 straight shutout decisions. Marquez has sometimes struggled in the points tallies and has continued to get knocked down or otherwise hurt in some of his 6 fights since, but he is the Ring lightweight champ even as he has slipped in the P4P rankings, currently Ring #5 and Boxrec #7 . In contrast, Pacquiao is #1 in every significant rating known to man.
I don’t see how Marquez can survive this latest version of Pacquiao, but Manny did seem to let up after his beatdowns of Margarito and Mosley, so could be Marquez survives yet again to tell the tale of being robbed.
Full props to all the parties who helped to tie down this difficult loose end for good. Marquez had to leave Goldenboy Promotions who chose not to match the Arum offer.