Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Undefeateds~Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz

The battle for undefeated supremacy is always welcomed by boxing fans, so popular British superbanty, Carl Frampton, is doing his part to further the genre by moving up a division to challenge the current Super WBO Featherweight Champ Leo Santa Cruz. The fight takes place July 30th @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. This represents a kind of compromise geographical midpoint for the Mexican born Santa Cruz who fights out of the California area, whereas Frampton fights out of the UK, so that disconnect combined with the lukewarm promotion of such a potentially great fight means this flies under the public radar of sorts.

Tip O The Top of New Yawk, New Yawk

Tip O The Top of New Yawk, New Yawk

Both are top shelf fighters in their primes with excellent skills and well battle tested. The 29 year old Frampton, 22-0, 15 KO gives up approximately 3″ of height and 7″ of reach to the rangy 27 year old Santa Cruz, 32-o-1, 18 KO, but looks to have a speed and power advantage that he needs to leverage since it’s obvious that Santa Cruz will be boxing at distance and with volume for the most part. Just think bob and weave and the quick leaping hooks and combos needed to derail such a distance fighter.

Lots of potential with this fight with plenty of upside for the winner. I don’t care what the odds are because I doubt they’ll mean anything to this particular style match up where the talents and experience are fairly balanced out. The best man on the night tends to win these type of dustups, so we’ll be waiting to find out.  

Terence Crawford vs Viktor Postol

Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol each make his debut at MGM Grand, Las Vegas,  Saturday, July 23. This looks to be a WBC/WBO unification fight which is always good news not to mention that both of these guys are tops in their division, something of a rarity in boxing these days when a fight between the #1 and #2  happens, so lets hope boxing can continue to fight it’s way out of the stinking abyss it had sunk into circa last year.

WBO Terence Crawford vs WBC Viktor Postol

WBO Terence Crawford vs WBC Viktor Postol

Crawford recently got into some kind of bad funk with a mechanic doing some work on his classic car that resulted several pending criminal charges filed against him, perhaps emblematic of the pressures of being Top Ranks newest darling. While I don’t think the incident will be a factor in the outcome of the fight, he’ll be frustrated over all the questions about it for sure. May also have dragged down his hereto steady promotional rise for glory. Then again, he may gain promotional traction as American boxing’s newest bad boy. Certainly never hurt TUE 49-0 and his little buddy, Adrien Broner.

One thing is always a certainty, a great fight absolves a fighter of any previous sins, not that Crawford had really committed any serious sins yet. The gold standard of modern 140lb fights would be the classic wildman Aaron Pryor vs gentleman Alexis Arguello, definitely in the running for greatest ever fights that featured more high end boxing skills and adjustments displayed, ebb and flow of action, and vicious slugging than any single fight I’ve ever seen, finally concluding with a brutally, conclusive, concussive ending in the 14th round that left us in awe of what we just saw.

I doubt this fight can live up to that, but both these boys came up hard, poor, and hungry, so I’m expecting a hard traditional scrap as Crawford comes in with 3 straight KOs and Postal with 2 KO of his last 3 fights. One thing for sure, Arum is the best at developing his fighters with both learning bouts and the toughest bouts possible that this represents.

The 32 year old Ukrainian born and raised Postol is in the current mold of the ubiquitous “nameless/faceless” Eastern European washing up on US shores these days attempting to make a Gennady Golovkin or Sergey Kovalev type splash. Haven’t seen any of him save his dismantling of Lucas Martin Matthysse which is about as top shelf as it gets at 140 lbs these days. Listed at 5-11 with a near 74″ reach, he will loom over Crawford like he’s never been loomed over before. He seems to be an excellent technician with an all around kind of style that poses problems for anyone, but perhaps more importantly, Freddy Roach has been further sculpting him into a modern pro style, and more worrisome for Crawford, adding more power. Needless to say, the difference in trainer credentials between Freddie Roach and Crawford’s long time trainer, Brian McIntyre, more colloquially known as BoMac, is monumental. Certainly we can’t summarily dismiss BoMac’s thus far stellar credentials that seemingly have roots based on a long standing mutual commitment to Crawford, an inherent trust between the two that may well be more important in a tough fight than technical instruction.

The stakes have grown also with this being the 28 year old Crawford’s first PPV, not that I think he’ll pull in much more than 100K numbers, but I’m hoping to be surprised on that front since this is such a good bout that boxing fans need to get behind. Both are being mentioned as front runners for the Manny Pacquiao comeback, the jackpot of boxing

Postol vs Matthysse

Postol vs Matthysse

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is reportedly planning a supporting exhibition match between two alltime legends, Roberto Duran and Julio Cesar Chavez, to take place on the undercard. According to Arum, the two ring legends would face off in a two-round exhibition match wearing headgear and 16-ounce gloves. Duran last fought in 2001 and Chavez back in 2005, and although the timelines of their divisions never overlapped, they seemed to have developed an intense rivalry, meaning this might well turn out to be a really short war. Both have won over 100 career fights, but Duran is significantly older at age 65 compared to 54 year old Chavez. Perhaps more important, Duran looks to have lost at least 70 lbs of late, putting him at 180 or so, meaning with some training he might get down to 170 and will still be bigger than Chavez who seems to have stayed reasonably close to his fighting weight, say around 150 or so.

Legend vs Legend

Legend vs Legend

Hard to know how the big main event turns out since it seems more likely than not to go to a Las Vegas decision, ie another crapshoot that riles up the ever diminishing fan base of boxing to quit the sport. We can only hope for the officiating to operate at as near at an optimal level which will still be well short of the level top fighters operate at. The public has been clamoring for some time now for more consistent, fairly officiated fights. Sadly, fairness is too often lacking since officiating amounts to a part time job. Judges are stuck tabulating an outdated, bloated points system that totals up to 119-108 or 115-113 basketball type of scores that never reflect what actually happens in the ring.

While I see the fight as basically even, Vegas reportedly gives 6-1 odds on Crawford making a Postol bet a jackpot winner as they try to guide the bets into the best results for them which probably explains the problems with officiating as mentioned above.

Crawford and Postol both need more divisional rivals to fight to become true crossover stars with the public, but anything is possible when the time is ripe, and boxing is desperately ripe for a fresh all time great trilogy type of rivalry to be birthed with ever increasing stakes to be reaped. We can still dream, can’t we?

Fatty Chris Arreola Jumps In Against Toothpick Deontay Wilder

Yes, Virginia, the little known, lightly regarded Deontay Wilder plans on defending his ill begotten WBC heavyweight title in the Mecca of Alabama Boxing, Saturday, July 16 from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham against the congenital fatty livewire, the always entertaining and often hard slugging Chris Arreola, 36-4-1, 31 KO.

Wilder vs Arreola Video Conference

Wilder vs Arreola Video Conference

This little in house stag do is part of Al Haymon‘s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on FOX and FOX Deportes and typical of Wilder’s short notice defenses against fighters seen as fringe contenders at best. Actually, most all of Wilder’s entire career was built against short notice TBAs because he flew so far under of the radar of public notice. The formerly ranked Arreola has been unranked by Ring for some time now, and currently ranked 46th by the expanded boxrec rankings, so he would be the 2nd highest ranked defense of the four fighters Wilder has defended against. Conversely, PBC viewing numbers have been sinking like a rock from this poorly conceived business model that looks to bleed investors dry. They did manage to get a big numbers boost 3 weeks ago from the Keith Thurman/Shawn Porter fight that actually pitted 2 top fighters in a compelling fight compared to the usual Haymon dross. Utterly amazing that they never seemed to think about matching their top fighters this before.

The Canary That Ate The Cat?

The Canary That Ate The Cat?

A comparison between Wilder’s and Arreola’s most recent common competition saw Wilder struggle mightily against a suspiciously sick Don King fighter, Bermane Stiverne, a terribly sloppy affair. In stark contrast, Arreola had been whoopin’ a much healthier Stiverne a new one before getting coldcocked in the 6th round. Not sure of Deontay could take a tenth of that damage Arreola doled out, but if Wilder happened to be caught, he and Haymon will be forever known as the two dolts who backed out of a $20 mil fight with Povetkin because of a few nanograms of a common prescription drug and they may well still be regardless of this outcome.

Arreola is both literally and financially a massively “hungrier” fighter than Wilder and would take that fight in a nanosecond. And speaking of nanos, a nano gram is one Billionth of a gram folks, more properly expressed as 1/1,000,000,000. If Wilder was entirely made of meldonium, the exotic drug in question, 229 lbs in his last fight, and was divided by a billionth, he wouldn’t be big enough for a microscopic mite to eat, but if that mite accidentally inhaled him, why that mite would test positive in illicit drug testing cartel laboratories, perhaps leading to a suspension by The Mighty Mite Kingdom until Mr. Mite could find a meldonium free zone to do his mighty mite work.  That’s how ridiculously worthless this unholy marriage of Boxing and the illicit drug testing cartels has been. Worse, if Arreola lifts the title and test positive for marihoochi as he’s done twice before, well, it couldn’t happen to a pair of more deserving goofs.

Fortunately for Wilder, the reason Arreola is ranked so low these days is because in his three 2015 fights, he looked lethargic even if he got his weight down to 236 for his last fight. Could be all the spark has gone out of him after Stiverne starched him?

The only thing left is to hope for is a good fight and let boxing sort out if they really want to continue their ever dwindling business model that couldn’t even competently officiate their highest grossing all time fight in history, Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2015. The UFC was recently sold for 4.2 billion dollars, that after an investment of a $2 million some 16 years ago that has consistently posted higher earnings than boxing and pro wrestling for about a decade now. The reason for their success is so simple as to beggar belief: They actually made competitive fights that were fan friendly, it was that simple, so here we are stumbling into Wilder vs Arreola in Birmingham, Alabama, only in boxing!

Mutt & Jeff

Mutt & Jeff

Who The Dickens is Jazza Dickens & Why Is Guillermo Rigondeaux Fighting Him?

The “event” takes place this Saturday at the Ice Arena Wales, Cardiff, Wales, July 17th, when Guillermo Rigondeaux, 16-0, 10 KO defends his shaky Super WBA superbantam title against James Dickens, 22-1, 7 KO, aka Jazza Dickens.

And who in the dickens is Dickens you ask?

Damned if I know other than perusing boxrec which reveals him to be a still somewhat fresh fringe of the fringe contender level, rated 64th by boxrec. Of the four opponents Rigondeaux has defended against since lifting his title off a true era P4P great, Nonito Donaire,  the best is currently rated 31st in his division in boxrec and unrated in Ring as are the others. Two are near 40 years of age and currently unranked even in boxrec as their careers wind down from inactivity, yet somehow Rigondeaux managed to get knocked down multiple times in these fights and looked more like a dog pound fighter than P4P. The so called Bible of Box, Ring Magazine rates him as #5 P4P while boxrec ranks him 67th P4P, just over #68 Donaire who remains unranked in Ring P4P rankings. Poor Jazza is so far back in boxrec P4P rankings that he’s effectively buried.

Only in boxing are there such routine, glaring contradictions, a sport that simply fails to offer any but comical self regulation with no end in sight.

Not Charles, but rather the other Dickens

Not Charles, but rather the other Dickens

At this point me thinks Rigondeaux should next attempt to cash out of his disappointing career by taking short money for the biggest possible fight since he cannot be making much money in a peewee division fighting such low level comp. He defected from Cuba to the US where the boxing “establishment” bent over backwards for him. He claims fighters are ducking him, but truth is he’s a management nightmare, never understanding that tiny fighters need a compelling style, thus killing perfectly good fights with salary demands beyond the capacity of his drawing power. He could easily move up or down 4lbs to make some bigger fights than this one, but he don’t want it. Freddie Roach trained him when he first turned pro and thought him “the greatest talent I’ve ever seen.”

Talent in boxing has always been in abundance, yet never guaranteed a great fighter, instead reinventing himself into the most talented slug in history hanging on for the few peanuts his grade C latest shady promoter can scrounge for him. This is America, so it’s his choice if he likes that kind of fare.

The International public could care less, but plenty enough local rabid Brit boxing fans to care to at least make at least some noise in Wales on the night. Might keep a pillow handy if you’re watching on the tele just in  case you nod out early and need a place for your noggin to fall. It’s that type of fight though on paper he could easily knockout the overmatched Jazza.

Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba To Take Sergey Kovalev “Krusher” Test

Isaac Chilemba is poised to take the Sergey Kovalev Krusher test this Monday, July 11th, far and away buried deep in the exotic locale of DIVS, Ekaterinburg, Mother Russia in the wee, wee, early morning Western hours. Why such a distant place and why on a Monday you ask?

Golden Boy

Golden Boy

Beats me other than to note this is a Kovalev homecoming of sorts staged in a much different culture than the standard American boxing culture, so maybe Monday is hot stuff there. At any rate, Chilemba, 24-3-2, 10 KO, is a classic light swatting, rangy, spoiler/boxer type with a Ring rating and tougher than his record might appear since he has yet to be knocked out. He was born into the impoverished Malawi region of Africa, turned pro in South Africa, and embarked on a world wide quest as the true definition of the ultimate International road warrior. He was served a steep learning curve in the early going, yet his last two losses were close decisions against top fighters, so he knows his way around the ring pretty well these days.

Such attributes are perfect for giving Kovalev, 29-0-1, 26 KO, a preview of the touted yet somewhat tainted light swatter swatting boxer Andre Ward, 29-0, 15 KO, projected to be his next bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. Chilemba is expected to provide competitive rounds and is good enough to cause an upset if Krusher has an off night even if the odds makers have made him a 100-1 underdog. In turn, The Ward of the State of California will be fighting a near 40 year old supermiddle, Alexander Brand, in Oakland of course, always Oakland as befits this Son of Gob. Not exactly the sort of prep to prepare for a beast like Kovalev, but perfect for the new lite in his loafers era he has entered into the past few years, basically acquiring an Imelda Marcos quality shoe collector fetish supported by a dreary series of TBA short notice fights.

Oh, my, be still our beating hearts.

It’s a shame that myself and others are actually looking forward to the Chilemba fight while cringing at the thought of the sheer ugliness that constitutes most every Ward fight. If the poor wunderkind  wonders why he doesn’t have any fans outside of Oakland and can’t make any big money, it’s because the wonder of the last US 2004 Olympic boxing gold medalist has got a tarnish to him these days that can’t be wiped away with his present faint hearted efforts.

Ekateringburg also notably happens to be the site where in 2011 Kovalev brutalized a highly regarded Russian prospect, Roman Simakov, knocking him out in the 7th round. Unfortunately Simakov never recovered and passed 3 days later, requiring Kovalev to take time off from boxing when he was charged with the death and sued by the fighter’s family. We cannot know how that affects this fight to go back to that night. Reportedly the lawsuit and maybe even the charges are still pending.

Putting Hopkins on his can

Putting Hopkins on his can

Issac Chilemba first though. Taking care of necessary business at hand first always works, so lets see who’s got it on the night.