Monthly Archives: November 2014

Tyson Fury vs Derek Chisora, Rematch~Part II

This much savaged and justly ravaged rematch might possibly take place at the ExCel Arena in London on November 29th, a Saturday. Last I heard Tyson Fury hadn’t yet signed off against Dereck Chisora, but since their “Allegedly” fight has taken on the look of a promotional disaster, few would notice any news if he did finally sign. 

Welcome to review the breakdown of their first rematch that was rescheduled due to Chisora injury. Poor Fury has been so much poorer now for 3 straight big money fights being canceled, but Fury’s dilemma is to be expected after working with a weak promotional team just as he was ready for his title shot. The kid desperately needs a new promoter as he’s becoming stir crazy what with all usual monkeyshines, fines, deaths in the family, and other such that have kept him penned up like a caged tiger at a circus with his cage constantly rattled. Not much has changed from the original fight breakdown save for Fury’s fury and frustration level. He’s still favored over Chisora.


Justice Served: Raymondo Beltran vs Terrence Crawford.

Terence Crawford of course is the latest meteor streaking across the boxing landscape with his recent ascension to champ after stunning victories over Ricky Burns and then Yorkis Gamboa. Crawford now makes his second title defense at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha against mandatory challenger Raymundo Beltran on Nov. 29 (HBO).

All Smiles

All Smiles

The unsung Beltran who oddly enough is ranked #2 in Boxrec rankings to Crawford’s #1 was last year a victim of the grievous injustices practiced by boxing when he broke the jaw and otherwise beat up hometown favorite Ricky Burn only to lose the decision. Boxing has much in common with ice skating and gymnastics histrionics in that regard save being so much worse, but I digress.

This is a rare opportunity that sees Crawford and Top Rank salve that injustice by giving Beltran a crack at the belt he should have won and been defending for this fight. Unfortunately Beltran lacks the elite talent and natural attributes that Crawford has been demonstrating, but he looks game enough to take it hard to Crawford and to risk going out on his shield which is what will give him his chance, a puncher’s chance that he can turn the fight around with a big set of punches. Not too many title offers are gonna come the way of a 29-6 journeyman, but surely in the back of his mind he understands there have been much bigger upsets than this if he pull it off, so there is always his hope that he will be at his peak at just the right moment.

The problem for Beltran is that Crawford is just as hungry, perhaps more so now that he might be inline for some really big fights. He has the frame to eventually go up to welter if the money is there, but for now he’s needing to make his chops in the lightweight division. Thank goodness he has a Raymundo Beltran to put a hard test to him and put him through his paces as too many top fighters in boxing are taking easier paths of development that leaves them soft and vulnerable when push comes to shove. His cause is helped with this defense being in Crawford’s hometown that looks to grow his home fanbase before turning to bigger fights at bigger venues for more money.

Win, lose, or draw, this donnybrook has a Win-Win-Win feel to it for all the parties involved, so good luck gentlemen and may the best man on the night take home the belt as it was meant to be when Jack Broughton first drew up codified rules some 4 centuries ago that form the historical root of modern boxing.

Maturing Manny Pacquiao vs New Kid Chris Algieri In Macao

Well, folks, it just so happens that up and coming undefeated prospect Chris Algieri won the lottery when he was chosen for Manny Pacquiao‘s 2nd Macao appearance at the Venetian come Saturday, November 22nd. This may be the biggest Chinese promotion yet since Pacquiao appears to have surmounted his previous setbacks with another P4P performance against fellow P4Per Timothy Bradley. In short, it’s Manny rising in the East over shining Pacific waters as it should be in this part of the world.

Some great up and coming names on undercard with Chinese Olympic gold medalist  Zou Shiming, 5-0, 1 KO, taking another big step up the rung as he fights a WBO title eliminator against an undefeated Thai, Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym, 27-0-2, 12 KO. Then with gold medals oozing out of his every pore,  Vasyl Lomachenko, 2-1, 1KO makes his first title defense against a prime age hungry Thai, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, 52-1, 33 KO that promises to be all action.

Chris Algieri was nary a whisper for any big fight until he recently upset Siberian slugger Ruslan Provodnikov in Algieri’s home evirons of New York, New York via highly controversial split decision, so look at him sitting pretty now. Of course “Boxing” had to shoot itself in the foot for the umpteen billionth time again to pull off this matchup. Algieri won two of the judges’ cards close to give him the split decision whereas Provodnikov won one card wide as well as the significant majority of total points scored and rounds. That boxing scoring can have so many offsetting numbers like this naturally sets off fans in a rabid, frothing frenzy of accusations of robbery, legitimate grievous perceptions due to inane officiating protocols, proof positive that boxing needs a major overhaul, not that a major overhaul would solve their Three Blind Mice White Stick Dart Throwing scoring woes. These ABC and commish honchos will  never be confused by far sighted, innovative, original thinking processes, but rather more act out as a gaggle of ol’ gits milking a corrupt system they inherited to maximize their power while expanding their pockets and porcine waistlines.

At any rate,  after Algieri rose from one early nuclear detonation to quickly take a knee for his 2nd knockdown, he summoned up amazing powers of recovery to put up one helluva fight on his back foot. A slugger like Provodnikov seldom looks good when he has to chase, aw hell, lets just say what it is: nobody ever looked good having to chase down chickens, yet for some reason only sluggers are required to do so as opposed to light hitting boxer types who get a pass for their lack of killer power and instinct and have to rely on running. The bias of not meeting knockout expectations held against sluggers in boxing has always existed, even more so now that pure running strangely counts as “good defense” in the unspoken rule book used in the modern era of watered down boxing.

Since Algieri benefited at the expense of the Freddie Roach trained Provodnikov, Pacquiao and Roach will have the revenge angle for this promotion that leverages Algieri’s telegenic Gentleman Quarterly good looks and advanced education that he acquired in New York to lure in the higher order Chinese and Western populations for the fight. In that vein, Algieri can be seen a modern day welter version of Gene Tunney, the tall, handsome, urbane New York based heavyweight stylist of his day. Perhaps also praise worthy is the interesting balance between Algieri’s perfect 20-0 boxing record and 20-0 kickboxing record where he competed as a welter/junior middle with a pair of titles to prove his acumen. It’s a sign of the times that both Algieri and Pacquiao have martial arts training before launching boxing careers.

So, Algieri has significant height and reach to go with youthful low mileage and zest, all combined with a pure box and move style to trouble even Pacquiao on his best day. Alas, Pacquiao’s best fighting days are behind him as he lives on the edge as a modern Renaissance man with his substantial political career, movies, women, and songs competing with his newest interest. He was recently announced as the coach of a new Philippine  Basketball Association’s expansion team, but wait, there’s more. Manny promptly drafted himself to play point guard, I kid you not.

You can bet that Uncle Bob went full apoplectic over that news as the ongoing Manny soap opera has enough material for many more episodes to keep his bowels bubbling for at least a couple of more years. Of course I still expect Pacquiao to prevail over Agieri, likely concussively, but he may well be put through his paces early on unless Algieri gets caught again early as he did in the Provodnikov fight. Manny doubtless would be quicker to jump on him for the knockout, but I’d imagine Algieri starts superdefensive to put that scenario out of play.

Disclaimer: Flash to the first Bradley fight as case in point. If Algeiri manages to hang on to the end like Bradley did the first Pacquiao fight, than he “exceeds” expectations and might cop another disputed decision to become the newest boxing media geegaw if you want to contemplate how that might work.

Seeing is believing, so boxing fans and curious Chinese will doubtless be out in substantial numbers to check it out as Arum looks to further leverage the internet PPV market in this two billion Asian viewer godsend. Speaking of these new found opportunities, there’s much ado by the mainstream fans and press over Manny’s recent relatively low PPV numbers. That’s not surprising they don’t seem to understand that Macao promotions will at least for now not garner large American PPV numbers modern boxing fans tend to obsess over more than the fights. Most Americans are put off by anything foreign and don’t understand Manny is no longer dependent on Vegas or American PPVs. He’s as international a fighter as it gets and he’s getting the exploding market of Asian highrollers into the casinos for record business that easily tops Vegas which is losing money, something like 6X the slumping Vegas revenues. If anything Manny is getting underpaid with his usual $25 million or so purse, but that ain’t why he’s fighting there. They love him in Macao. Though he’s not burning down any bridges to Vegas either, they completely disrespected Pacquiao and Tim Bradley in their rematch by simultaneously elevating the Mayweather/Maidana rematch over their fight even as that bout was 2 weeks later.

However, just as in boxing, timing is also everything in life. China has only recently started to crack down on the shady going-ons at Macau emblematic of the new Chinese highrollers with hundreds of millions to spend not on just gambling, but on luxury goods that can be laundered through a cash back option that bypasses strict Chinese monetary controls over moving money overseas.

That’s the political and financial backdrop going into this fight, but regardless, Pacquiao better be focused come fight night. Algieri is no mug and figures this is his time and this coming Saturday will be the time for us to find out.


Macao Ring Girls in support of Manny, Zou, and Chris

Macao Ring Girls in support of Manny, Zou, and Chris


Pacquiao 143.8--Catchweight 144lbs--Algieri 143.6

Pacquiao 143.8–Catchweight 144lbs–Algieri 143.6

Wladimir Klitschko vs Kubrat Pulev, Part II

The first Kubrat Pulev fight was abruptly rescheduled after Wladimir Klitschko tore a bicep in training, or so the official story goes, November 15th at the O2 World Arena in Hamberg, Germany. I sense more than a biceps injury may have been in play. Hard to get a grip on what is going on with Wlad’s career now that he has a sociopathic clown Shannon Briggs stalking his every move in anticipation of increasingly dangerous physical confrontations, the last one using a speedboat to capsize Klitschko off the coast of Florida.

I have to think that building pressure interfering with his concentration played a part in the injury, but who can really know save the team itself? Klitschko is 38 years of age, traditionally quite ancient by previous heavyweight generations, especially after a very active Olympic career and 65 professional fights in 329 rounds of action. Add thousands of rounds of sparring, that’s a lot of wear, yet until now he’s been relatively injury free.

Nary a peep from Pulev about the delay. He’s likely sharpening his knives thinking the scenario favors him against an ailing Klitschko. You can read about the previous fight breakdown here which would remain the same, unless…

…We’ll just have to see how healthy Wladimir is. Pulev would be a handful for a healthy Wlad, but a nightmare for an ailing Wlad.

Dead Man Walking~Bernard Hopkins vs Krusher Sergio Kovalev

I vowed to never watch at another unwatchable Bernard Hopkins fight after he was TKOed for quitting the first Chad Dawson fight, but here we go again. Truth be told I wouldn’t be able stomach this light heavy unification fight but for the recent surge of unrelenting slugger, Sergey Kovalev, who deserves much better than the usual Hopkins stink and mirrors circus side show. The suits have placed the thing at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey this Saturday, November 8th, so let’s see what kind of fight we get out of the boxing “establishment” in these parts as their casinos are starting to shut down.

Perhaps it’s telling that long time boxing icon Larry Hazzard has been reinstated as commissioner of the New Jersey Athletic Control Board coming into this fight, but what it says as applies to this fight is unknown. The economy has gotten so bad in Atlantic City that “The Donald” Trump has filed a lawsuit to remove his name from the Trump casinos after they’ve fallen into disgrace. Who could have ever thunk up such capitalistic heresy?

As to the fighters I’ll start on a positive note with the A-side, Kovalev, who is getting B-side money because his division is so weak overall and his era so weak that precious few want to be brutalized and knocked dead cold out of the rankings. When his promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events, was putting together the deal, naturally she contacted his manager who relayed the terms to Kovalev. His response was as blunt force, take no prisoners  style inside the ring, “Make the fight, make the fight, make the fight,” and so she did.

HBO Bound

HBO Bound

These Russians know what it’s like to be hungry. What else is non English speaking Russian immigrant in America to do but to say yes to the terms before the ceremonial jaw breaking commences?

Now with the negative B-side, Hopkins, who is getting A-side money for being the nastiest, dirtiest, not to mention the oldest, rankest fighter of his generation, a puredee rotten spoiler who may shamelessly crawl about on the canvas like a kicked cur puppy howling to the ref for special needs recompensation at the drop of a hat as needed. He was knocked out by Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones who received no credit because of the hamhanded misanthropic manner that boxing conducts it’s public business if you want to talk about why boxing is dying with the general public. Chad Dawson saw his TKO victory overturned to a No Contest if anyone need contemplate the pull Golden Boy has in California as another example.

When a congenitally dirty fighter turns his back and refuses to fight so as to feign receiving a single payback foul, not once, not twice, but rather a gruesome thrice in big fights, this sure ain’t no all time great no matter what his Golden Boy minders and their News of the Ring World tabloid may spin out in his behalf. He has been recently flattered against weak opposition that has allowed him to alter his prefight Halloween masked entrances that are so important to his self absorbed identity. He should cut holes in a pair of Big Boy training diapers to wear over his mug for his ring entrance as a truth in marketing prop if he had any honesty as to his intentions.

It’s no wonder he and Andre Ward never gloved it up in the ring. That would be an utter promotional and boxing disaster that might well signal a death knell of boxing if not set it back even more generations than it is currently.

I’m not saying Krusher is such a great fighter either. He too is flattered by his weak opposition as well, the sad truth that top level boxing has finally come to in the most historically competitive division in boxing, but at least he yanks the rug out from under unscrupulous judges and give fans infinite more value for the modest purses he claims for his signature knockouts.

These Eastern Euro, African, and Latino nationals know they seldom get any favors with US and British officiating and make no excuses for their straight forward destroyer styles. They can goof off in the gym playing out the running, jabbing, jiving Ali for fun as well as anyone to relieve the stress of training camp, but when the bell rings they assume an aggressive, hurt you badly business model in contrast to the typical modern American floating stink bomb style that needs substantial “in house” officiating to survive. Apologies to raging P4P offensive American fighters Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams who were throwbacks to the traditional American style when men were men and fought like lions, not pattycaking pettycoats pushing out marshmallows while bleating incessantly to the ref like Mary’s little lost lamb. Alas, the time of Pavlik and Williams has come and gone with their potential replacements  being nonexistent at this point.

So here we are well into the third millennium and it would be a major upgrade to see American refs and judges step up to the fair play and justice that boxing rules were designed so as to give legitimate form and function to the public nature of the sport. Or do we get more of the same seedy backroom deal officiating boxing is renown for?

I know Sergey Kovalev comes to fight out of a pretty nifty boxing style for the purists, but will Bernard Hopkins actually man up for a good fight or is this just another in a long list of stink’em ups for him as he feathers out his pension well beyond his sell date?