Monthly Archives: December 2012

Standing Tall–Tomasz Adamek vs Steve Cunningham

Christmas is coming early for area boxing fans in the little town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania this year. The Sands Casino-Resort is hosting grudge rematch between former cruiserweight champs Tomasz Adamek (47-2, 29 KO) and Steve Cunningham (25-4, 12 KO) Saturday, December 22nd, a chance to see a good action contrast of styles by two top level pros.

Standing Tall

Standing Tall

Adamek is the more credentialed as a champion in both lightheavy and cruiserweight divisions and he is more acclimated as a top ranked heavyweight contender,  the division where this battle will be waged. Both are 36 years of age and turned pro within a year of each other, so how is it that Adamek sports almost twice as many wins as the former IBF cruiser champ USS Cunningham?

That is a more sordid revelation of the role promoters and managers play in the career of fighters, so skipping back to Cunningham the fighter, he won his belt the hard way in enemy territory of the hometown favorite Polish legend, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, and Europe is where he’s spent most of his last 5 years, winning a few and losing a few more title matches.

These two are more oriented to old school gentlemen out of the ring, fighters in the ring type of mentality than the current trash talk, thuggish walk type of modern behaviors that promoters sell to the public like cotton candy. As such, there is no actual grudge that I can see other than that Cunningham feels like he was shorted by the judges when they first met that saw Cunningham hit the deck thrice between outboxing Adamek for periods in a thrilling seesaw battle, so here we are with the rematch.

On paper by careers, Adamek is the big favorite to win. No matter the howls of the litters of critics that hound every fighter from the start to finish of their careers, Adamek showed excellent nuance to control the range and pace of Eddie Chambers who reverted back to his losing spoiling tactics against Wlad Klitschko. It was an awkward, ungainly match when Chambers ditched his offense to go on a run after a supposed arm injury.

The last full fight of Cunningham I saw was the Troy Ross fiasco. Ross looked to have taken over that bout before suffering a nasty torn eyelid that was not for squeamish viewing. Cunningham was accused of the thumbing after Ross had knocked him hard to the canvas. Cunningham continued to reprise his canvas pratfalls in consecutive losses to Cuban defector Yoan Pablo Hernandez, a relatively light hitting fighter.

Could be that Cunningham’s punch resistance is on the wane, as good as reason as any for team Adamek to risk a rematch, but Cunningham has some speed and can box and move better than most, so he could cause some troubles if he stays upright. Adamek did look slower than normal against Chambers, perhaps enough for Cunningham to squeeze in more shots.

The stakes are the IBF North American Heavyweight Title and the #2 spot in IBF rankings

Adamek is much closer to the top of his form than is Cunningham, that’s the bottomline skinny going into their fight. Eventually opening tactics will play out and I see them reverting to previous stylistic form with Adamek prevailing, possibly by knockout this time, but, regardless, I see a good fight even if they can’t quite reach the heights of their first memorable encounter.

Juan Manuel Marquez Better Than Floyd Mayweather Jr?

Now that long suffering Marquez supporters are in the middle of their fun propping him up on an impossible pedestal as happens to Hall of Fame fighters when they deliver their signature bout, in this case a singular Hail Mary savior right hand delivered as Marquez teetered on the brink of extinction, so where does he rate in today’s boxing landscape and yesteryear’s historical record?

One question you won’t hear the Great Wizards of Boxing’s Oz World ask, “Is Juan Manuel Marquez better than Floyd Mayweather Jr, thusly and justly due the consensus Ring and Boxrec #1 P4P spot?”

We can forgive Boxrec for not talking because servers are designed to be mute as far as interpersonal communication. Ring won’t talk about it because Mayweather is The Franchise of Golden Boy Promotions, and we know who owns Ring. They had already stripped Manny Pacquiao before he ever took the Bradley loss, a  warning shot across the bow of the Pacquiao Ship of State before the boxing bombardments blasted him out of the water with 2 consecutive losses.

We can clearly see that what passes as boxing’s illustrious cognoscenti these days, why they have supposed that in a single mighty swipe by Marquez, 55-6-1, 40 KO, he has leapt over the decaying careers of Salvador Sanchez, 44-1-1, 32 KO, Marco Antonio Barrera, 67-7, 44 KO, and Eric Morales, 52-9, 36 KO to share the almighty throne  of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, 107-6-2, 86 KO.

A time share contract is currently being hammered out with The Great Pantheon of Boxing.

The Marquez fans are a relentless bunch outside the ring much as Juan Manual Marquez was inside the ring when he got his man hurt, a great combination finisher and now a one punch assassination artist to boot. According to the official Hysterical Society of Never Say Die Marquez Fans, Marquez has now proven he owns Manny Pacquiao, 54-5-2, 38 KO, with a perfect 4-0 record against the newly revised Pacquiao record, 52-8-1, 38 KO. Pacquiao is now officially stripped of all his fighter of the decade awards which are transferred to Marquez. Pacquiao’s 2nd place finish in the largest Greatest Fighters poll ever conducted, why that is also stripped from Pacquiao and awarded to Marquez who is now sandwiched between Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali, well beyond any Mexican fighter in history, so adios Julio, we barely knew ya, now get lost.

Well, that makes Marquez better than Mayweather now and in the future, after all, he’s got a perfect record of 4-0 against Pacquiao. Now compare to Mayweather’s perfect 3-0 record of skipping out of the Pacquiao fights. Marquez toed the scratch line against Pacquiao 4X whereas Mayweather has thrice scratched through his own name on the agreed upon Pacquiao fight contracts.

And when we compare overall records, why Mayweather at 42-1, 26 KO just can’t match up to the Marquez newly minted perfect record of 62-0, 40 KO.

Everyone and their dog, heck, even Manny Pacquiao’s long gone dog, they all know that Marquez shut out Chris John on the cards and never punches low. And he completely outclassed Freddie Norwood, period, end of.

!Yummy For The Tummy!

!Yummy For The Tummy!

In the well documented Golden Boy Promotions sordid Pissgate scandal,  had Marquez not been the lower ranked fighter surreptitiously tricked into drinking his own pissoir slurpees for the privilege of fighting the higher ranking Mayweather, why Marquez woulda knocked  that mothabeata back to Timbuktu, he would have, leaving only the prickly Javier Duran to finish off. Easy, go roust up the Junior son of the Mexican honcho that signed off on the disqualification of Marquez by a 1st round headbutt. Pay him to testify that el padre was dyslexic and recorded everything in reverse order, so serve up some Mexican justice to reverse the reversed order and kiss Javier goodbye.

We already know that the late, great Sugar Ray Robinson fought in washerwomen flurries, so transfer him into the women’s records, voila, Juan Manuel Marquez es numero uno del mundo!

Et tu, Brute,  We’re Done. 

Mexican vs Filipino Déjà vu–Jorge Arce vs Nonito Donaire

Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire defends his WBO junior featherweight crown against Jorge “Travieso” Arce Saturday, December 15 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Not sure what the thinking is by having this fight in Houston other than a good deal on the venue and enough fight fans in the megapolis to raise some ruckus at the gate. Plenty of Mexicanos around the Houston area and Arce has become something of a Mexican legend as one of the most active, all action, big slugging fighters of his era, 61-6-2, 46 KO. His dizzying title record is 24-4 in 5 different weight classes as he keeps on keeping on a roll.

Now he’s queued up against a Ring P4Per and Filipino legend in the making, Nonito Donaire who is coming off a spectacular win over Japanese legend, Toshiaki Nishioka, knocking him down twice before the TKO stoppage. For purists, it started as a cautious cat and mouse game as Donaire switched to the orthodox stance to carefully pile up points on the puzzled Nishoka who cautiously avoided whatever trap Donaire was trying to set. Then they started to trade which lead to the 1st knockdown, a beautiful left hook to the body followed by a left uppercut that put the Japanese champion down. Nishioka easily beat the count and continued to pick his own big shots, but to no avail. After knocking Donaire into the ropes, he rushed in for the finish and was caught by a picture perfect short right hand, and that was that when he got up unsteady and his corner waved the white towel of surrender.

With only 31 fights and still fresh from his stylish boxer/puncher form at age 30, it stands to reason that Donaire, 30-1, 19 KO will be the big favorite over the aging Arce who has 70 really tough mano a mano fights on his odometer at 33 years of age.

What could prove troublesome is that Donaire will be only two months removed from his last fight, a dangerous scheduling move against the big punching Arce who has defied dwindling expectations before with big knockouts. Most recently he knocked highly regarded Wilfredo Vazquez Jr stupid last year for the stoppage and his 5th title whereas Donaire struggled to a split decision win over Vazquez to open this year. Donaire then endured a bruising battle against the huge Jeffrey Mathebula before the Nishioka fight, so oddly enough he may not be as fresh as Arce who has fought lower tier opposition this year, an easy year for him so far.

Of course Donaire can easily box and move Arce around to win on points, but this kid has big money dreams and wants to look spectacular, thus the inherent danger in this bout.

Perhaps even more dangerous is Donaire’s use of convicted BALCO felon, Victor Conte, who has him on some two dozen various pills and concoctions to be downed at timed intervals during the day. When Conte’s other client, Andre Berto tested positive for trace steroids, well, rats are always the first to jump sinking vessels and Conte was nowhere to be found to stick up for his client.

It would be a major shame if Donaire became tarnished because of this association, but it is what it is and such is the current state of boxing with another BALCO drug peddler, Angel Heredia AKA Angel Hernandez, training Juan Manuel Marquez who has taken some considerable stick over his newly ripped musculature. He also works with Arce, begging the questions.

Shouldn’t these new age witch doctors of alchemy be forced to register the contents of these newly created snake oils transforming this new breed of supermen? Could the trainers pass WADA/VADA/USADA drug testing? How about the honchos that run the myriad of boxing orgs and promotions, could they? The media? The fans? The testers?

The short answer is, “No.”

CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-The undercard is a boxing purist dream come true with Cuban Olympic Boxing legend Guillermo Rigondeaux, 11-0, 8 KO, goes against a modern Thai legend, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, 48-2, 33 KO, a classic example of when numbers can lie absent context. Rigondeaux is a two time Olympic gold medalist with some 400 amateur fights to add on to his spare 59 professional rounds boxed and 5 WBA superbanty title wins. Kratingdaenggym was matched hard from his pro start in the very competitive Thai boxing system with too many PABA and other regional title bouts to count, but also sporting a 4-1 record of the belt that Rigondeaux currently owns to go with his 339 pro rounds.

CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-Two more contrasting systems in the boxing world cannot be found, and now they’ll be clashing. Smart money is on Rigondeaux who will be the money fighter in his newly adopted homeland, so it’s up to Kratingdaenggym to take the fight to him and either show substantial class over him and still risk losing the decision, or knock him cold, the closest thing to a guaranteed win in sports which makes boxing in a class unto itself.

Santa really did come early to December in the boxing world with too many good and great matchups to count, not the least of which was the Pacquiao/Marquez shocker that knocked the known universe into a wobble on it’s axis. Now we reprise another classic Mexican vs Filipino matchup, a great way for boxing to close out the year for a change, so cheers to that and bottoms up, it’s déjà all over again!

Marquez KO Pacquiao–Time For Pacquiao/Marquez 5?

The plain unvarnished truth of the matter is after a firefight for the ages that saw both fighters hit the deck, with Marquez on the verge of being knocked out, Juan Manuel Marquez summoned up his signature right hand and delivered a knockout for the ages, felling the mighty timber of Manny Pacquiao.

That would be officially at the 2:59 mark at the end of round 6.

OK, the punch harkens back to the thunderbolt out of the blue signature left hand of Antonio Tarver that knocked out out Roy Jones at the beginning of the last decade. It felt like the universe had somehow wobbled and shifted on it’s axis, and maybe it did and maybe it shifted some more tonight.

Over & Out

Over & Out

It’s far too early for Marquez or Pacquiao to decide their next move. First the long suffering Marquez supporters have to have their fun as they prop him up on an impossible pedestal as happens to Hall of Fame fighters when they deliver their signature bout. Without Manny Pacquiao, the Marquez signature bout would have been a lesser one that saw him in just as much trouble against Juan Diaz, only to recover and knock the game Diaz cold.

It was Manny Pacquiao in their rematch at superfeatherweight who beautifully summed up his feelings after Marquez was knocked down and stormed back to knock Pacquiao into the ropes.

“You knock me out, you win……..”

Marquez finally won tonight, but he endured more than his fair share of scrutiny over his new strength and conditioning coach, Angel Heredia, aka Angel Hernandez of BALCO ilk, hired last year for the 3rd fight. He was ecstatic how much bigger and more ripped Marquez was compared to Pacquiao.  Keep in mind that this picture is from a Ring article addressing the accusations against him for showing up with the disgraced training coach and newly muscled up physique.

Here’s a comparison between the last fight in 2011 and this fight: 

Marquez 2011--Marquez 2012

Marquez 2011–Marquez 2012

Just from a visual point of view, Marquez looks like he reduced his body fat say 2% and bulked up his arms say 15%, something easily accomplished with proper weight resistance training for a guy who had never engaged in weight training as a featherweight.

OK, lets compare the Marquez of the Floyd Mayweather Jr fight when he first moved up two divisions to weigh 142 lbs, exactly one pound under what he weighed for the 4th Pacquiao installment.

Urine Tonics & Tossin' Rocks

Urine Tonics & Tossin’ Rocks

OK, the general consensus going into the Mayweather fight was that he was doing all the wrong things. While in good overall condition, he’s doughy with fat and considerably less muscular and fought a poor fight strategy.

I posited in my previous articles concerning fight 3 and 4 that Marquez was in far batter condition than he was for the Mayweather fight not to mention more acclimated at the higher weights to go along with his new trainer. He says he didn’t know about the history of Angel Heredia, aka Angel Hernandez, and that may be, but nonetheless I think he will find that the worm may have turned on his career as folks wonder how after 3 fights of never once downing Manny Pacquiao that he managed at the late age of 39 to not only down him, but knock him cold.

So, anyway, could be the stage is set for Act 5 of Marquez vs Pacquiao, or maybe Marquez can rematch Floyd Mayweather Jr who is reputed to be looking for a fight for the Cinco de Mayo weekend. Oh, but wait, Mayweather has gone on record repeatedly saying that he will never fight an Arum promoter fighter, one of the few statements of truth that he has ever uttered. He has had the pick of the Golden Boy Promotion stables to choose from the past 6 years.

However, Golden Boy Promotions has yet to answer accusations of positive Mayweather drug tests being covered up. Thomas Hauser gives the skinny here:

http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-one

The link also talks about Mayweather’s out of court settlement and public apology to Pacquiao after the supposed positive Mayweather drug tests became known  to the Pacquiao legal team.

Boxing has always been a tough, dirty business with most fighters never getting their just due for competing, it’s just a shame it has to get needlessly dirtier, but it is what it is in this era.

Like I say, it’s just too early for Marquez or Pacquiao to know where they can go from here. Pacquiao extended out his career and extra two years because of the huge amount of money on the table. Marquez might now have the luxury of that option also. Numero Cinco might possibly break PPV records, but they got to sign on the dotted line and then toe up to the scratch line to make a go of it. And don’t forget your pee cups and finger pricks. It’s a dirty and bloody sport, let’s not forget.

At any rate, Marquez KO Pacquiao for now……..enjoy…..