Monthly Archives: April 2013

GOD, Guns, & Holy Ghost Robert Guerrero vs Showtime Debut of Floyd Mayweather Jr

Cinco de Mayo got a whole lot more interesting this year when Floyd Mayweather Jr signed a mega six fight deal with Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions. A preposterous figure of around $220 million was quoted, but regardless, the first installment comes against the interim WBC welter titlist Robert The Ghost Guerrero for the supreme claim to the WBC welterweight title being defended by Mayweather. That’s Saturday, May 4th, but look out and be forewarned all ye Mayweather team and fans. Robert Guerrero says God is on his side and he enjoys packing heat when away from home as happened recently at JFK airport in New York City.

Yes, Virginia, this “event” seems to have taken on a personality of it’s own, perhaps not even being a fight any more. Or it could be one of the greatest fights of this era, or just another Mayweather and Showtime sham. See the Mayweather/Victor Ortiz fight and the Showtime Super Six and Super Banty tourneys for reference.

It’s certainly not the all time P4P matchup of the millennium like Pacquiao vs Mayweather would have been. That horse bolted the gate 3 yrs ago and ain’t been seen in these parts since then. Nor is it the fascination when two big heavyweights meet in that rare ripple of time where the fate of the world almost seems to hinge on the result. This fight takes place in an odd shift where overlapping boxing eras intersect with the supermega money of politics, media business rivalries, and global realignments.

We also have the unseemly specter of the dad trainers polluting the promotion, Ruben Guerrero vs Floyd Mayweather Sr. They vowed to beat the tarballs out of each other in the ring or in the parking lot, so who knows where that goes? Crazy uncle Roger Mayweather started a ring riot years back when he attacked Zab Judah in the middle of a round and wrestled with the referee Richard Steele in a disgracefully officiated match that should have been an automatic disqualification loss for Mayweather according to the standard rule long been in force.

Mayweather thus far in his career has received every benefit of every foul ruling and final decision to accumulate one of the best known safety records of his era. He trains year round but only exposes himself to one fight a year against a carefully selected opponent for the past 7 years, all while a golden era of welters fought each other tooth and nail for supremacy.

Getting back to boxing basics, on paper the Ghost only has a ghost of a chance, but look again. It took a Ghost to track down the ghost of the ever elusive Mayweather and badger him into signing the fight contract, so already Guerrero is up on the cards of opportunity. Speaking of opportunity, the Mayweather main supporting undercard bolted to ol’ San Antone for greener pastures when Saul Alvarez took his WBC/WBA unification fight with Austin Trout there to score one of the higher level checkmate boxing wins of this era. The antisocial media howler monkeys hate him, but Alvarez has officially arrived as the A side to any proposed match for him in boxing, including the aborted fight with Mayweather. The pressure is now on Mayweather to see if he can keep up with the rapidly advancing 22 year old kid in the perfect record department, 42-0-1, 30 KO compared to the Mayweather 43-0, 26 KO record. Moreover, can Mayweather recover the considerable Mexican PPVs lost with the Alvarez defection?

There are many other variables affecting this fight, so it’s hard to touch on all of them in an orderly manner, but let’s start with the Guerrero losses. How a fighter loses and his reaction to it is often informative. His first loss was to Gamaliel Diaz, an unheralded fighter who has since maintained a high Ring rating until a loss dropped him only a few weeks ago. The Ghost lost the split on the official cards, but I scored it for him by a couple points in a sloppy uninteresting fight where he looks to have fought down to the level of his opponent. He knocked him clean out in the rematch with solar plexus shot in the 6th, very impressive in that Diaz had never been put down before much less out.

Then the Orlando Salido fight that Guerrero lost, yet was overturned when Salido tested positive for steroids. I had it a close competitive fight with Salido eeking the win, but what was telling is that Salido had most of the fire and offensive activity. Guerrero looked like he was sleepwalking at times, scarcely even bothered when Salido landed flush and also looked painfully slow. I’m thinking he was probably tight at the weight given his ample frame that has marched rapidly through four more divisions since then. That was also 6-7 years ago, light years in time as applied to a boxer’s short career, but nonetheless a window into the boxing development of Guerrero. Perhaps it is not without coincidence that 6-7 years ago is when Mayweather began to command his biggest purses and most acclaim and that Guerrero is also light years younger at age 30 to Mayweather’s 36 and the hungrier fighter by far.

The conclusion is that Guerrero has never been beaten up and seems to have found his perfect niche at welter where he recently relished the combat against undefeated raging bull Selcuk Aydin and then long time former WBC #1 and mandatory, later the WBC  champ, Andre Berto. Guerrero’s new tough inside roughhouse style is always difficult for the pure boxer of Mayweather because the Ghost also possesses decent boxing chops out of the southpaw stance, so the long odds I hear around the 10 to 1 range might shorten up considerably by fight night as big players take a harder look at this fight.

The Eyes Know

The Eyes Know

In a fairly officiated contest, I see Mayweather needing to work extra hard for a win like he did against Miguel Cotto in his last dukem up. Guerrero is a considerably fresher boxer on a long time upswing than was Cotto who has been in some all time wars and is winding down his career. Mayweather has certainly not recently looked the P4P juggernaut the boxing industry has made him out to be, another example being the Victor Ortiz “incident,” a prearranged orchestration ala his infamous dustup with Big Show. If the Ortiz knockout is to be in the record, then the Big Show brass knuckles knockout should be also, both preferably in the official WWE record where they could be better savored as a matching pair of great heel performances of modern times.

Vs Miguel Cotto

Vs Miguel Cotto

Anyone seriously contemplating the Guerrero fight should consider the context of the Mayweather career as he winds down. He turned pro making good money on HBO shows where they promoted him as the P4P successor Roy Jones Jr. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the Manny Pacquiao fight that never was, Mayweather ended up squeezed off between the all time boxing legends of Roy Jones in the 1990s, superseded by Manny Pacquiao in the 2000s by consensus accolades, a snub with a building pressure that put an edge on him. He finally boiled over with a blizzard of felony assault and other charges in 2011 leveled against him resulting in a plea bargain stint in The Big House in 2012. That edge has forced his hand into the type of unsavory comments and accusations against his rivals that he knows will anger his critics and bolster his substantial fan base, so in his world perhaps there is a rhyme to his reason.

His recent regius remunerations have been due to a seismic shift in modern American culture in that his serious felony transgressions have greatly appealed to the hip hop culture where prison time lends street credibility. The troubled man-child, Mike Tyson, had been their posterboy in the past, so Floyd became their unholy mantraman as the national plates of identity shifted with unstable modern American culture.

Thing is, when the historians take over and look at careers to talk about all time rankings and legacies, his record becomes The Big Lie after he leaves Top Rank for Golden Boy. There are huge gaps in his record at a time when equally talented fighters are challenging themselves more frequently with more fights against as good or better competition, but such is the nature of the promotional business that could care less about truth or boxing legacy, they just want the bottom line of his considerable PPV sales when he fights.

And that’s another part of The Big Lie, that he’s the PPV king. His promoter, Oscar de la Hoya, is the all time PPV king by record, and if you average out all of Mayweather’s 8 PPV fights, two with Top Rank and six with Golden Boy, they are almost identical in numbers to Manny Pacquiao’s last 8 , but Pacquiao has many more PPVs that easily put him over the top as the first ever featherweight to be put on PPV promotions. Most Mayweather fans could care less about the facts, it’s the perception that in spite of losing out on accolades, they desperately need to affirm he’s the best not unlike Mike Tyson was made out to be even as his career wound down against vastly inferior competition compared to his peak years that were cut short by long stays in the pen. Tyson was also signed to a Showtime blockbuster contract, but Tyson supposedly did not receive the full value of his contract when Showtime elected to pay more pressing bills stay in business rather than go under, thus leading to Tyson’s infamous bankruptcy.

And you know it’s The Big Lie when Forbes, and other mainstream media outlets report that Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in the world, using his 2 year reported income figures to everyone’s one year figures. Yes folks, it’s not just the boxing press with collective cognoscenti up each other’s arrears, the history of the “mainstream” media is rift with tabloid sized lies, mistruths, and deceptions. They’ve been drafted into action not because of any inherent interest in his boxing career, but because there’s an immense amount of money to be made picking his bones apart before he departs boxing.

Even the infamous Mayweather drug testing program has taken a back seat to this nonpromotion that has scarcely seen Mayweather do more than go between his Vegas lairs at his gym and at home. Noteworthy is that near as I can see, NSAC, Golden Boy, Al Haymon, and Mayweather have refused to address the two part article Thomas Hauser put together last year concerning Mayweather’s alleged positive drug tests and cover up by USADA illicit drug testing cartel:

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

Meanwhile, recent inroads of BALCO associated trainers Victor Conte and Angel Heridia AKA Hernandez into boxing have stirred up a hornet’s nest of disputatious minor infractions resulting in a NSAC one year suspension and millon dollar fine of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for smoking marijuana, yet only a minor fine and disregarded suspension of Conte trained Mayweather stablemate Andre Berto for trace steroids. Berto merely moved his show to California to fight Guerrero which is where the Mayweather/Guerrero fight was birthed. 

Boxing has a way of eating it’s own, taking down better, more honorable fighters throughout history than Floyd Mayweather. I’m sensing a lot of rat traps being set around the perimeters as boxing may well be moving past the old into the new as Macao and Singapore and Dubai move to supplant Las Vegas for big fights. More telling is Floyd sporting the “Oscar” shiner of surrender going up against a new gunslinger single handedly promoting the fight in unlikely religious and political circles of God and Gun constituents. Lord knows what happens outside the ring when they clash with hiphoppers in the MGM after typical grevious ring shenanigans fire up the riff raff.

Put on the blindfold to be spun around to toss your dice and throw your darts to pin the ragged tail on the donkey, there’s your winner, but we’ll just have to see for ourselves. 

Shine On Souvenir

Shine On Souvenir

Low Key Defense–Wladimir Klitschko vs Francesco Pianeta

Wladimir Klitschko defends his myriad collection of championship titles against Francesco Pianeta Saturday, May 4th at SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

On paper, it would seem Wlad is taking a breather against Pianeta, but any fighter measuring in at 6-5, 240lbs is hardly the kind of breather most folks would wish to have any part of. Pianeta has been near cracking the boxrec top ten rankings, and he’s a prime 29 yrs of age, and an undefeated southpaw, 28-0-1, 15 KOs. He has typical “names” on his record to lend respectability, decisions over former WBC champ Oliver McCall and former WBO champ Frans Botha, and a decision and a draw over former EBU/EU champs Matt Skelton and Albert Sosnowski.

Pianeta also has some history with Wlad as a sparring partner as typifies many title fights today, and then there’s the understated backdrop of his comeback from a very unusual cancer of the hand. He’s also a native born Italian living and fighting in Germany as befits any fighter serious about pursuing a heavyweight career, so he’s not quite your Daddy’s usual heavyweight contender.

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen

Speaking of history, Wlad has some real history to contemplate as he closes in on the Joe Louis record of 26 title wins and final record of 66-3. Wlad is currently at 20 title wins with a record of 59-3 after having already surpassed Louis’ knockouts by a 51 to 49 margin. Comparisons to the great Joe Louis stick in the craw of primarily American fans for whom the Russian Robots represent everything wrong with boxing, ignoring that the Klitschko brothers are genuinely Ukrainian, not Russian, and the only thing being wrong with boxing is that fat, spoilt Americans keep on falling behind the rest of the world. It is what it is, an American gag reflex to the current reality.

Facts are there are almost no truly dangerous contenders left for Wlad, so this defense suffices until up and coming contenders Tyson Fury and Kubrat Pulev gain a bit more experience. The WBA shadow champ Alexander Povetkin and his promoter have may have finally mustered up some courage after falling out of previous contracted fights when the Povetkin manager, Vlad Hryunov, put in an outrageous Russian backed $23 million purse bid to win the rights to promote their fight. October 31st is the projected date with the venue not yet chosen, but Russia probably with Moscow as the frontrunner. Wlad receives 75% and Povetkin takes 25% of the proceedings is how purse bids go.

Getting back to the Pianeta defense, many of the usual complainants to claim Pianeta is unworthy and has no chance, but at Wlad’s 37 year maturity with over 20 years of amateur and professional rounds accumulated in sparring and in bouts, lightning could strike to upset the best laid plans of mice and men, even the Wlad juggernaut. Pianeta is certainly big enough, strong enough, skilled enough and credentialed enough to beat up many contenders throughout the heavyweight history as well as versions of previous great champions upset by a huge underdog.

Wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last, so look in to see a bit of history in the making. Wlad seems to have signed a deal with HBO to broadcast the fight to American shores in the late afternoon hours as the battle takes place according to German evening hours, so plenty of Americans to have access this latest waltz round the German ballroom.

Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina–Sergio Martinez vs Martin Murray

Sergio Martinez has a dream homecoming come true when he puts his considerable ring accolades and WBC middleweight title up for grabs against the undefeated British contender, Martin Murray, 25-0-1, 11 KO. That’s almost a perfect half of the record of Maravilla, currently at 50-2-2, 28 KO. Not only is the paper record is owned by Martinez, but even more so the 50,000-seat Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires where soccer riot rabid boxing fans will be  howling for their legend to put a proper whipping on the dreaded English lackey.

Such fare salves grievous injuries incurred after losing the Falkland Islands to the British decades ago is the way this particular nationalist type rivalry goes. More importantly, the Argentine government is subsidizing this little shindig to the tune of up to 5 million buck$ to bring his title home, a nice tribute to the late blooming boxing star.

Maravilla vs Murray

Maravilla vs Murray

The experience discrepancy is further highlighted with 379 rounds for the 38 year old Martinez, almost triple the 132 pro rounds of Murray. The Martinez rounds over the past few years have been against the best boxing has to offer compared to the domestic oriented Murray who has only fought once out of the UK and only once against a world class fighter when he secured a draw against then world WBA champ, Felix Sturm in Germany in 2011.

Noteworthy are recent British challengers Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker being knocked out in late rounds by Martinez after significant struggles. Could be that Martinez wear and tear may be settling in after these many years of skyhigh Ring ratings as well as channeling the rabid hopes of fellow Argentines for whom he has become the number one sporting star of the entire country.

Martinez is coming off a very close encounter of the damaging kind as evidenced in his last bout against Son of the Legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Many so called “boxing experts” littering the media and antisocial media websites could never admit that Junior was dishing out some heavy punishment by the end of that bout much in the manner of his old man did to Meldrick Taylor in a truly epic battle. Martinez managed to hear the final bell with a wide decision win, but he was in no better shape than the all busted up Meldrick Taylor save a higher order consciousness and ring savvy that carried him to the end.

A 30 year old fresh boxer type might well be able to explore the recently exposed frailties of Martinez who sported wrecked out leg when he had to come off the canvas in the final round. I’ve heard rumors of shoulder surgery as well. No doubt Murray has a plan in place to box hard and smartly pressure to further exploit vulnerabilities, but as Joe Louis and later on Mike Tyson were fond of paraphrasing, “They all have a plan until they get hit in the mouth.”

Come this Saturday in Argentina, plenty of mouth to be smacked and jaw to be cracked as gum shields and game plans get knocked askew when these two tangle, either for further supremacy or a new legacy with a new sheriff in town.

Trout Fishing For a Whopper–Canelo Alvarez vs Austin Trout.

The year 2013 looks to be a big transition year in boxing and one of the bigger transitions is Austin Trout finally landing the biggest whopper of his fight dreams against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for a light middleweight WBA/WBC unification. This “dream” bout takes place Saturday, April 20th  in ol’ San Antone for any Texas fight fiends still interested in the finer science of fisticuffs.

The unification story is just small patooties stuff. The orgs will quickly split the belts off at the most opportune time in the near future as is the transitory nature of titles these days. Canelo won the belt vacated by Manny Pacquiao who won the belt stripped off Sergio Martinez after he won their WBC middleweight belt. Sergio in turn won his 154 lb WBC belt from the stripped Vernon Forrest. Incredibly the WBA belt Trout first won has more strippages than a Red Light District No Tell Motel in Vegas, and so it goes in the strippage crazy merry-go-round world of ABC orgs.

Miss Corona, Canelo, Oscar, Jesse James, Austin

Miss Corona, Canelo, Oscar, Jesse , Austin

For Trout, these are new opportunities giving him the recognition he believes he deserves. Win, lose, or draw, he’s in a bigger mix for as long as he produces good fights. Golden Boy has a big stable of potential 154 lb fights to keep him busy for years. The venue came about because of bold moves by Canelo who has been ahead of the opportunity sweepstakes as soon as Golden Boy Promotions signed him as an 18 yr old Mexican sensation. With a record of 41-0-1, 30 KO, he has not yet disappointed like so many touted phenoms, yet he’s only 22 years of age with plenty of gas left in the tank.

The disclaimer: Canelo Alvarez vs Money Mayweather may soon be archived in the dusty bins of The What If Library of Fantasy Fights” if recent trends hold. Alvarez was the first fighter of record to reserve the Cinco de Mayo weekend as the perfect date for the Mayweather fight, something Golden Boy Promotions has been pointing to with some four co-promotions between the two over the past few years. Alas, Mayweather negotiations are always a prickly, back stabbing, down and dirty affair, so ultimately Alvarez refused to support the Mayweather trump card again and staked out his claim as the headliner in his own venue to play his own wild cards.

The unvarnished facts of today are that Alvarez is already ahead of the pro career of Floyd Mayweather Jr at the same age when both were holding their first WBC belt. Alvarez has more defenses against a higher grade of fighter than Mayweather faced at age 22, fact, and he won his title a year earlier than did Mayweather, fact. Not only that, but he’s well ahead of Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya at the same age with his own cracking promotional company staging boxing matches in boxing crazy Mexico, fact.

Unvarnished facts are heresy to regrettable Americans anchoring the current hunkered down HBO vs Showtime vs Golden Boy vs Top Rank entrenched lockout that threatens to put a stranglehold on American boxing. The kid takes a lot of profane stick and cheap shots in the antisocial media websites, yet precious few boxers have ever accomplished more than Alvarez at the same age. He can take heart knowing that Julio Cesar Chavez had more than his fair share of rabid detractors as happens when any boxer surges to the top.

At the kickoff presser to official announce the big dukem up, the prime aged 27 year old Austin Trout announced, “I don’t think he has his man strength yet. I will impose my will on him. I am going to take him out of his comfort level.”

Such tepid fodder well short of the usual doomsday beatings of a lifetime, knock you into the next county morgue stuff typical fighters utter in the build up to their fights, but perhaps indicative of a more direct sweet science approach the southpaw Trout is looking to apply to the hide of the orthodox Alvarez.

Since Alvarez made his Golden Boy American debut against aspiring fellow prospect, Larry Mosley, a close relation to Shane Mosley, Canelo has gone 19-0, 15 KO against a much stronger line up of prospects, fringe contenders, and former champs than the mostly journeyman padded record of local fighters Trout has been promoted with.

An added amusing aspect to the proceedings is watching the hordes of antisocial media critics eat their brown stained shorts when Alvarez signed the fight. Such is their nature that they almost immediately took to moaning that Trout will not get a fair shake in the officiating.

Meanwhile, the self appointed Ring “boxing experts” got exposed recently after some 20 odd “experts” picked Brandon Rios to knock out Mike Alvarado in their dynamic rematch, ouch! Almost the same number picked Donaire over Rigondeaux, ouchie~ouchie! Figure on a panel of baboons to be able to pick around 50% winners by chance alone, but no matter, Ring and too many other experts have been too blinkered to understand the timeline of Alvarez accomplishments in the lead up to the fight.

An interesting parallel is this bout somewhat reprises the Mayweather/Corrales fight. Both were similarly undefeated and highly regarded though still relatively unproven at the elite level. The slightly younger 23 year old Corrales at 33-0 had higher quality defenses with more wins than the 24 year old Mayweather at 24-0, but Mayweather had the advantage of the biggest name, Genero Hernandez in his record. Mayweather also had a Ring P4P ranking, similar to Alvarez who has a Boxrec #8 P4P ranking and looking to crash the Ring P4P list.

In spite of fewer fights against lesser competition, I will use his moniker to prove a point, there is No Doubt that Trout is a quality operator with a decent chance to win this fight. He did what he had to do against the home favorite Miguel Cotto, waging an aggressive no quarter asked war as Cotto’s best shots bounced harmlessly off him like popcorn. Alvarez was similarly put through his paces against Shane Mosley.

One advantage on paper for Alvarez runs contrary to the claim Alvarez has not faced legitimate 154 lb fighters. Fact is he beat the Ring ranked #4 Ryan Rhodes, a big southpaw who had fought as high as super middle, as big or bigger than Trout. The result was a lopsided beatdown for Alvarez who was only 20 years of age at the time, not even needing his full “man strength” as I suspect southpaw Austin Trout will learn once they step into the ring. Facts are that Canelo has been matched hard and often in Mexico since age 15, so he knows how to beat bigger, stronger, “man strength” fighters and now he’s matured into a physical match for Trout with more power. Speculation has it that Trout has more speed, but Alvarez is certainly speedier than Cotto who had no problems catching up to Trout.

I like Alvarez in this fight for all of the above reasons, but I have to wonder what happens as the sometimes farcical Golden Boy promotions aligns with the farcical Showtime. Thus far Canelo has been immune from the dubious officiating and dirty fighting of Hopkins and Mayweather fights because he comes to actually fight and thus far has scarcely struggled save a competitive bout against Mosley. On his worst day he has yet to quit as Hopkins is prone to do.

This being a Texas fight, that also means the inglorious Laurence Cole is the “chosen” ref, the lousiest ref in boxing since the lamentable Joe Cortez thankfully exited the ranks. Cole pulled Danny Garcia off the knocked down and out on his feet Eric Morales in their first bout to nurse Morales to the closing bell Joe Cortez style. He was one of the Showtime cabal of dirty refs in some of the most ham handed officiating and judging of recent years. He DQed Arthur Abraham for knocking out Andre Dirrell in their supersix tourney in spite of being blocked way out of position to even see the details of what transpired.

We have no idea what GBP options are on Trout or any other machinations going on behind the scenes. The Showtime banty tourney featured some of the most blatantly dirty fighting ever seen as Abner Mares merrily fouled his way to spurious wins Andre Ward style to claim the tourney.

Making The Big Splash

Making The Big Splash

I can’t say for how long Golden Boy will have Alvarez signed, but the kid could turn out to be the Mexican Oscar De la Hoya Golden Boy looking to expand north, so Alvarez has much to lose in the short term if he loses to Trout. In turn, Golden Boy will have at least temporarily staved off another competitor in promotions.

I’m trying to ignore my well justified cynicism as I close up. If the fighters have any say so, it’s a great night featuring high level boxing, plenty of guts and heart, and some big challenges to overcome. Let’s cross fingers X X and hope the poohbahs, judges, and ref keep their sticky fingers out of the fight and let the fighters decide how best to proceed without the usual monkeys on their backs.

To quote the reknown Latin Lover of Linguistitudes, Lupe Contreras, “Quien es mas macho?”

Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Austin No Doubt Trout

Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Austin No Doubt Trout

VADA/Conte/Donaire vs USADA/Rigondeaux for the Cleaner Than Thou Crown

Nonito Donaire will be fighting Cuban Olympic Gold Medal legend Guillermo Rigondeaux at Radio City Music Hall in New York City this Saturday, April 13th. On paper, Rigondeaux has no chance but a puncher’s chance, and he’s not a big puncher though he is a skilled and shifty boxer. The bottom line is that he’s too small and still on a professional learning curve, a baby as it were.

Filipino vs Cuban

Filipino vs Cuban

Nonetheless, the boxing world has been agaga over Cuban Olympic boxers even though most of them simply never got further than where Rigondeaux is, a WBA strap holder for a short while with few wins of any significance on his ledger, currently a mere 11-0, 8 KO, with 59 pro rounds in the bank. His achievements are certainly admirable at a certain level, but nowhere near the top mark that  Cubans typically seem to think they rank. The best of the modern Cuban pro boxers has to be Juan Carlos Gomez, the well credentialed cruiserweight champ and heavyweight contender, yet he had numerous personal issues that set him back, including disputes with managers and promoters, drug use, suspensions, lack of training.

Most noteworthy is that Cuban fighters didn’t get rich like they were promised when they were lured into the pro game. Few want to see them box save some few other Cubans and the ever diminishing remnants of boxing aficionados due to their boring, light punching amateur styles, often showing no heart or guts in the ring and needing plenty of referee intervention and dubious points decisions to keep them going.

It’s always a nice promotional PR stunt with a lot of political push when they get signed, Fidel Castro giving up ever more of his tired, his poor, and his hungry, capitalism starved fighters to come to America to set the world afire, but then? Into the virtual void of “Who Cares” they go.

The reasoning behind making this specific bout is that of convenience, both fighters being promoted by Top Rank, both highly rated, and both in need of a “big” fight, particularly Rigondeaux who has somewhat languished in spite of his heralded amateur success and obvious talents. Donaire  is wanting to silence the unceasing hordes of moaning critics littering the antisocial internet who insist he has been ducking the Cuban, the Mexican, the (insert nationality of your choice here).

In spite of  the positives for making the fight within Top Rank, it almost didn’t come off after stalling too many times to keep up with. Frankly, Rigondeaux  hasn’t looked pleased that he finally landed his signature big bout, perhaps upset with his manager and promoter and his purse, but that has been a longstanding problem with too many Cuban stars. Pro boxing is a cutthroat business and few pro fighters are pampered like the Cubans were used to in Cuba. Fighters in America have to be a star attraction to achieve the pamper level that Cubans were massaged with under the Castro regime.

Rigondeaux can last the 12 round distance if he shows up to spoil and run, but he won’t improve his future earnings with that strategy, see Timothy Bradley for how that works. He’s has to risk going out on his shield and really taking to Donaire in a controlled, clever way, fighting at a level much higher than he ever had to before.

Does Rigondeaux have the desire and the will to endure the big hurt Donaire is guaranteed to hit him with? Does he have the creativity and natural attributes to come up with a strategy that can really take it to Donaire offensively while protecting himself defensively?

Nobody knows what Rigondeaux has in him yet, not even Rigo, but wait, there’s the hope of a new development coming into this fight for him.

Donaire may somehow be weakened after the divorce from his ex-con BALCO trainer, Victor Conte. His tap of the majic swill elixirs that turn run of the mill store clerks into supermen able to leap over multiple divisions and rated fighters with a single bound has been turned off. Donaire may be in his Clark Kent mode for this fight.

Yes, folks, the sad truth is the boxing business has welcomed discredited trainers from the BALCO illicit performance drug operations that netted multiple felony convictions into their sordid, unseemly fold, a perfect fit if you study up on the history of boxing. Indeed, these n’er do well PED pushers have wormed their slimy hooks into top ranked fighter training camps everywhere. New supermen have been resurrected in the form of Nonito Donaire, Andre Ward, Andre Berto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jorge Arce, Zab Judah, Brandon Rios, and too many others to keep up with. Give Conte and his hunched assistant Angel “Memo” Heredia your sickly, anemic, low testosterone count weaklings and voila, Showtime and HBO will come calling with big money in hand just to see their newly hulked out frames do a cartoon style seek and destroy on their opponent.

Currently we have WADA, VADA, NADA, and USADA all vying for a piece of the drug testing pie as slimy illicit drug testing cartel business operations merge with the sleaze of boxing. Do a web search on the dirty drug testing business after the recent upset by Sam Soliman over long time WBA middleweight champ Felix Sturm to see dozens of sordid press releases and updates all these many weeks later as both parties sling back and forth the kind of stuff you see slung by apes in zoos, and this just one fight!

One thing is for sure, these little banties are gonna be blood dripped bone dry in a head to head fight between VADA and USADA to see which operation is the sleaziest in the land. Nonito Donaire was extracted minutes before an early morning sparring session for example.

What kind of idiotic program is that?

Regardless, the new news is the same as the old news of hundreds of years prior with new fighters taking the most risks being ill advised or otherwise set up by neferious boxing “advisors.” The human condition never changes.

Ahem….is the time ripe for old school Panama Lewis glove tampering cheats to make a return to even up the balance on the PED ledger, ya think?