Monthly Archives: July 2019

Mighty Mo Hooker vs Jose Yes I Can Ramirez

Mighty Mo is, of course, a native Texas born and bred Texas boy name of Maurice Hooker who looks to unify his WBO juniorwelt title with the WBC juniorwelt title of California born and bred Jose Carlos Ramirez in College Park Center, Arlington, Texas this Saturday, July 27th. This a rare win/win in advance of what looks like a good fight for both the fans and the fighters.

The 29 year old Mighty Mo, 26-0-3, 17KO, had a curiously long apprenticeship of 7 years before winning his first title, and now this will be his 3rd title defense. Jose “Yes I Can,” 24-0, 16 KO, is only 26 and a 2012 Olympian, yet curiously took almost as long to win his first title with this his 3rd defense, so on paper these two are like mirror boxing images.

One distinct advantage for Jose have been his trainers, the first being  Freddie Roach until  Robert Garcia took over in 2018. Mo’s trainer is Vincent Channing Para, an unknown to me. Another factor is Jose can be seen as the country boy growing up in a tiny agricultural community, and Mo the big city slicker if we want to have fun with regional Country Boy vs City Slicker stereotypes. Or Texas Saviors being the destination point for California Refugees fleeing the imperious cornflakiness of that state and so on and so forth.

They are both near the same height according to Boxrec and tall for the division, but Mo has a significant reach advantage of 80″ to Jose’s 72,” so I suspect in the ring face to face on fight night, Mo might actually be as much as 3″ taller. Mo important to Mo is he signed a lucrative deal with Eddie Hearn of DAZN notoriety, whereas Jose with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, meaning Jose by default is the hungrier fighter at this point…hmmm…Things could get mighty interesting from that standpoint.

And where do we go from here? Gonna have to body up to College Park Center in Arlington or subscribe to DAZN or bootleg an illegal stream if you want to see a good fight. Only the choicest of choices, it’s what’s for dinner this Saturday…only in boxing!

 

Dillian Whyte Popped After Winning WBC Interim Heavyweight Title?

Thomas Hauser is probably the number one boxing writer currently reporting on drug testing issues, but this is a bit too much he said/she said for me.

https://www.boxingscene.com/dillian-whyte-tests-positive-banned-substance–141178

This is a presser of fight in question with Whyte being the larger fella and Oscar Rivas the smaller. It was a good competitive fight with a knockdown and a missed knockdown in the last round, both by Rivas who showed some power over Whyte to no avail on the cards. It’s typical hometown officiating that is where most boxing crookery is occurs, in this case where Whyte got all the favors.

No drug test values are given, nor substance(s) mentioned, but it’s worth noting that Whyte comes under the British UKAD drug testing and VADA, and Hauser says it was UKAD who popped him.

What happens next? Who knows in this slimy drug testing biz?

My thoughts summarized are the almost always lack of transparency and/or values and/or substances given, and the almost goose stepping, maniacal obsession to ban perfectly legal over the counter substances and substances found in the natural food chain. I don’t recall any truly big busts of some truly serious stuff, but rather a whole lot of nickle and dime, mom and pop stuff that wouldn’t confer a nanogram of muscle on a gnat.

…only in Boxing…

All Time Manny Pacquiao vs Once Upon a Time Keith Thurman~Loser Retires to the Moon?

Filipino living legend Manny Pacquiao challenges Keith Thurman for his World Boxing Association Super World Welterweight Title @MGM Grande in Vegas this Saturday, July 20th, coincidentally on the 50th anniversary of mankind’s first moon landing in 1969?

The only fighting senator in the history of boxing for these past ten years, Manny has looked sensational in his last two fights against fringe contenders, but Thurman has been struggling for his last three, having the look of a shot fighter and needing 2 years entailing surgery on an ailing arm and a prolonged recovery time to repair and heal his seemingly shattered ribs that kept him on a visibly wincing run for much of those 3 fights.

Shawn Porter as is his rugged style mauled him pretty badly for a close and heavily booed decision for Thurman. Then Danny Garcia took some more shine off with a split decision loss in a fight previously most would’ve thought Thurman would have taken a much wider win than a split since Danny has B grade boxing skills on his best day and has always needed a big punch or favorable judging to bail him out of tough fights. Then Thurman after a strong start got rocked badly to finish out his last fight as a running survivor against longtime fringe contender Josesito Lopez for his comeback. His reputation that had thus far been sterling was now so bad that Thurman’s boxing moniker of One Time referring to his lethal Knockout punch became an internet punchline for variants such as Part Time, Run Time, and then Sometime in spite of being only 30 yrs old with only 148 rounds accumulated in 30 fights the ring. Compare to Manny with 474 rounds in 70 fights, so that’s more than double Thurman’s fights and more than triple the amount of accumulated rounds, and make no mistake, Manny has been in some wars with top competition at a much higher level than Thurman, and by all the rights claimed by Father Time, he shouldn’t even be in the same ring as Thurman, yet here we go again.

Let’s compare their recent competition comparison. Looking at their Boxrec records that shows the raw results of their last 6 fights, Thurmond dates 6 years back to 2014 against a 40 yr old Leonard Bundu who was the longtime EBU welter champ. Manny dates 5 years back to 2015 against Floyd Mayweather Jr, a p4p ranked welter, and in his very next fight Manny fights yet another P4Per in Timothy Bradley Jr. I don’t see that level of competition in Thurman’s record. In Manny’s last fight he fought the Boxrec #12, Adrien Broner . In Thurman’s last fight he chose a Boxrec #26 fighter Josesito Lopez, and on his once a year fight schedule Thurman has been in his absolute prime while 40 year old Senator Manny has literally been forced into a once a year schedule to accommodate his senatorial duties that his people elected him to do.

Think about it.

That ring mileage is the reason many of his fans want him to retire, yet amazingly Manny is still in the Boxrec top 10 P4P and the #3 welter, both well over Thurman who had a miserably slow rise to a title fight in spite of the formidable reputation of his youth, so boxing fans have to commend Manny for not just hanging on, but fighting top competition in his elder years.

Oh, and both Manny and Keith have been enrolled with VADA for drug testing for some time now since I started checking their records months before their fight. Just sayin’ in advance of all the crude, unstudied drug testing accusations against Manny that surface in his every fight.

Thurman has been making retirement noises, perhaps in response to this, his biggest cash grab of his career as it is for most anyone fighting Manny. He’s also been making contradictory noises of claiming to fight him like he did Danny Garcia that featured a lot of running to a split decision, and then in the next breath claiming he’s going straight after Manny to knock him out. Too much ado whistling a lot of smacky smack while walking through a dark graveyard to buck up his flagging spirits me thinks.

Here’s some interesting fighter and trainer picks for the fight, the majority favoring the 40 yr old Senator, and most notably, Sean Porter who was a long time sparmate of Manny while Porter was still  fighting at 154 and who fought Thurman recently at welter, why Porter picks Manny. Also P4Per Mikey Garcia who sat out a couple of years to ditch B0b Arum who at the time was pressing him to fight Manny, why he picks Manny also!

Pacquiao vs. Thurman Predictions – 46 Experts Give Their Takes

Here are the predictions from a mix of boxing legends, current and former champions and contenders, plus some of the most renowned trainers in the sport:

Thomas Hearns, former five-division champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao has the better skills and the experience overall in comparison to Keith Thurman, and I see Manny winning a decision by just out-boxing him.

Deontay Wilder, WBC Heavyweight Champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. I like both fighters and what they’ve been able to achieve. Manny Pacquiao’s a legend who still is among the world’s best fighters despite his age and having to overcome so many ups and downs. But I’m going with Keith Thurman on a split-decision in this one based on his youth and mentality. People are talking about Keith’s last fight against Josesito Lopez, but he feels like he’s the best, and that he’s not going to let anyone take that away from him.

Roy Jones Jr., Former Three-Division World Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W12: I’m going to go with Pacquiao because he’s the older and therefore more experienced fighter.

Errol Spence Jr., IBF Welterweight Champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. It just depends on which Pacquiao shows up and which Keith shows up. I think Keith will be a lot sharper than he was in his last fight. You know he had a long layoff and is just coming back. Keith is a lot tougher than people think he is. He took a lot of punches in that last fight. He took a lot of punches in the Shawn Porter fight, too. He might be a boxer, but he’s tough and he’s gritty, so I think he’s going to win a split-decision or he’s going to blow him out. It just depends on which Pacquiao comes out. If he can turn the tables a little bit and become the Pacquiao of back then, I think he can win. But if it’s the Pacquiao that fought Broner, then I think Keith will edge him out and outpoint him. Keith can get on his bicycle and move around and just pot shot him. I think Keith will edge it out.

Sugar Ray Leonard, former five-division world champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman has a ton of talent, power and speed. I like him to win.

Gerry Cooney, former heavyweight title contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao’s been a phenom, but age has been creeping up on him. Thurman’s gonna try to box and use his power, and Manny’s been knocked out before. It’s a 50-50 fight, but I’m going with Pacquiao, who is really awkward and fast, to win a decision.

Shane Mosley, former three-division world champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I think that Pacquiao is going to win because of the experience, the speed and his power.

Shawn Porter, WBC Welterweight Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Manny Pacquiao, who still has the hunger, several levels of competitive spirit and quickness out of that southpaw stance that’s hard to game plan for. Keith Thurman’s young but coming off of a very long layoff and a level of relaxation and comfort that makes it difficult for me to see him being ready for this fight. I don’t think Keith’s body will be able to withstand what’s going to come during those championship rounds. Pacquiao weathers the early storm and wins a decision.

Andy Ruiz Jr., Unified Heavyweight World Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Pacquiao because of his speed and aggressiveness.

Mikey Garcia, four-division world champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Ultimately Manny’s footwork, hand-speed, combinations and volume punching will carry him throughout the rounds. Keith Thurman has the power to win it, and he’s very dangerous for that power, but he’s not a better fighter, overall, than Manny. I think Manny takes it.

Julian Williams, WBA & IBF 154-pound World Champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. Manny’s always super-competitive and I believe we’ll see a hungrier and more determined Manny Pacquiao than the one who beat Adrien Broner. Manny may even be able to hurt Keith Thurman as he does everybody, but I believe Keith Thurman will have too much youth for him. Keith may not look great, but I’m going with Keith to win a close decision.

Derrick James, trainer of welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Jermell Charlo

Pick: Thurman W 12. I think Keith Thurman’s gonna beat Manny Pacquiao by a decision as long as he can do what he did for the first seven rounds against Josesito Lopez for 12 rounds against Pacquiao. Keith’s consistency will win the fight.

Leo Santa Cruz, WBA Featherweight World Champion

Pick: Thurman W 12: I feel that Keith Thurman is going to win because he’s younger.

Roberto Duran, former four-division world champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12: Manny Pacquiao is very tough and for me, he is going to win this fight.

Robert Garcia, trainer of former four-division champion Mikey Garcia, contender Josesito Lopez

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman is strong, solid and smart in the ring, and he has youth on his side, so I see him winning a unanimous decision. I would no doubt pick Manny Pacquiao if this was four or five years ago the way he was dominating, but with him being at the age of 40, that’s hard for me to do.

Paulie Malignaggi, former two-division champion

Pick: Thurman TKO 11. I saw Pacquiao in January beating Adrien Broner who was willing to enter the pocket but not let his hands go. Pacquiao is not a defensive genius, and I’m not saying that he’s super hittable. But I do see Keith catching up to him and winning by a late-round TKO.

Tony Harrison, WBC Super Welterweight Champion

Pick: Draw. I have so much love and respect for Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman and I’ve seen fire in each of their eyes. I am envisioning an action-packed, seesaw battle that enhances the legacies of both fighters with the fans getting their money’s worth. Manny’s been re-awakened into the beast he’s been in the past, and when the final bell rings, I believe this fight will end in a draw.

Jarrett Hurd, former unified 154-pound champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. I believe the youth of Keith Thurman will play a big factor. Yes, Thurman had a long layoff but I think he broke the ring rust after the Josesito Lopez fight.

Josesito Lopez, Former title challenger

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. In our fight, Keith Thurman took a really hard punch from me that would have taken out almost anyone. That proves a lot about his championship ability to come back to win a fight. Thurman has great power and boxing skills and movement, but I still see Pacquiao pulling out a close decision victory.

Gary Russell Jr., WBC Featherweight Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman is probably the bigger, stronger fighter, which will give him the puncher’s chance, but I think Manny Pacquiao’s work ethic and his punch output will dictate the fight. I really like Keith Thurman, but I don’t know which Keith will show up. He has the ability to get Pacquiao outta there, but I see Pacquiao being more consistent. So, I think Manny’s gonna outwork him and take it.

Ronnie Shields, trainer of 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo, former 154-pound champion Erislandy Lara

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith is fast on his feet and has enough boxing ability to keep Manny at bay. I don’t believe a KO will occur. I really believe they both will try for one, but in order for Manny to win, he has to hurt Keith early and often. I don’t see it any other way.

Jessie Vargas, former two-division champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Manny Pacquiao because of his experience and explosiveness and the fact that I believe that’s something Keith Thurman’s never seen before. A knockout for Pacquiao is 85% possible. Each is a great fighter who doesn’t back down.

Stephen Edwards, trainer of unified 154-pound champion Julian Williams

Pick: Draw. I can’t call this fight. I was picking Keith Thurman due to youth and not being the better fighter. I thought he would control Manny Pacquiao with a check hook. But Thurman has not looked right to me in the training footage. Maybe that’s a ploy. Who knows? One fighter is 40 and the other looks rusty. I expect a close and controversial draw.

Sergio Mora, former 154-pound champion

Pick: Thurman KO 9. Manny Pacquiao’s speed and footwork has diminished with age but he is still dangerous. Both will be aiming for the body and both will have their moments. Ultimately, I see Pac getting over aggressive and caught attempting to be great once again. Size and youth prevails in an exciting and competitive fight.

Andre Berto, former two-time 147-pound champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. I’m picking Keith Thurman to win a decision because he is younger, faster and stronger than Manny Pacquiao.

Omar Figueroa, former world champion

Pick: Pacquiao by KO 8. Keith Thurman is a really smart fighter, but he leaves himself open with some of his punches. I think Manny Pacquiao catches him with those short lefts and right hooks inside and possibly stops the fight in eight.

Robert Guerrero, former two-division champion

Pick: Pacquiao by late round KO. Manny’s experience, combined with this speed and power, hitting off angles, is going to be too much for Keith Thurman.

Jay Deas, trainer of WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder

Pick: Thurman W 12. Can Manny Pacquiao spell bound Keith Thurman, building a lead and holding off a late-round Thurman rally to take a decision? I don’t think so with only one knockout since 2010. Thurman’s left hand will be a key if he can jab the southpaw Pacquiao effectively. If Thurman is intelligently aggressive, uses his left and starts and finishes the exchanges, I believe he will win a decision in an exciting fight.

Joel Diaz, renowned trainer

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman didn’t look good against Josesito Lopez, who is a warrior but not on the level of a Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s a lefty with great speed and footwork to create problems for Thurman. Thurman’s bigger, younger and stronger, but Pacquiao has the power to hurt Thurman with either hand. I see Pacquiao increasing the pace over the later rounds and winning a decision.

Abner Mares, former three-division champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. Everyone is going off Manny Pacquiao’s last performance, where he looked phenomenal against an Adrien Broner who didn’t throw a lot of punches and was on the ropes a lot. Pacquiao’s not fighting Broner but a Thurman who knows how to work every round. He got hurt against Josesito Lopez, but that was after a long layoff.

Erislandy Lara, former 154-pound champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. This is a true 50-50 fight and a great one for the boxing fans. Going off their last few performances, I’m leaning towards Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao to win a decision. But I wouldn’t be shocked to see Keith Thurman return to form.

Sergey Lipinets, former 140-pound champion

Pick: Draw. The fight looks like a 50-50 proposition. Manny Pacquiao is a way more diverse fighter then Keith Thurman. The big question would still be if Pacquiao has got any of that left or enough to maintain that through 12 rounds. I think we’ll see them fight to a draw.

Gary Russell Sr., father and trainer of 126-pound champion Gary Russell Jr.

Pick: Thurman W 12. Manny Pacquiao has a herky-jerky style that can cause problems for Keith Thurman, who I don’t think can out-box Pacquiao. Keith’s gonna have to be the more physical fighter, coming out as the stalker and going to the body. I think that ultimately that’s what he’s gonna do to win a decision.

David Benavidez, former 168-pound champion

Pick: Pacquiao by KO 9. I feel like Manny is going to have a hard time with Keith Thurman running around in the first few rounds. Then I expect “PacMan” to start hurting Thurman by Round five or six and then I see him stopping “One Time” around the ninth. It’s gonna be a great fight though.

Marcus Browne, interim WBA 175-pound champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. This is a great fight that’s tough to call, so to pick a draw wouldn’t be far-fetched. I’m a big Manny Pacquiao fan and he looked great in his last fight beating Adrien Broner. But Keith ain’t Adrien Broner, and I think he’ll overcome the ring absence since he appears to be in a zone. I’m going to choose Keith to win a close decision.

Ruben Guerrero, father and trainer of former two-division champion Robert Guerrero

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. It’s going to be one hell of a fight, but Manny Pacquiao will win the later rounds to win a close one.

Luis Ortiz, heavyweight title contender

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. Manny Pacquiao will win via decision. He has too much experience and has been active. Keith Thurman has been too inactive. I think it will probably be a split decision for Pacquiao.

Erickson Lubin, 154-pound title contender

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. Manny Pacquiao’s southpaw style will confuse Keith Thurman. “Pacman” wins by split-decision with his power, speed and combination punching.

Austin Trout, former 154-pound champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. I’m going to rock with my man Keith Thurman. People who are judging off his last fight don’t understand how much inactivity can play a role. Now that the rust is off, I expect Keith to pull it off. Keith is going to go above and beyond in what will be a 12-round fight that he’s gonna win by a split-decision.

Kevin Cunningham, trainer of Erickson Lubin

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m gonna have to go with Manny Pacquiao on this one because he still has good speed, explosiveness, footwork and punches well in combinations. Keith Thurman may be looking to land something big, and he may be able to hurt Manny in some way, but I’m picking Manny by decision.

Jamal James,147-pound contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman comes in with great skills, but I don’t see him beating Manny Pacquiao, who is a really crafty southpaw, is still quick on his feet, and throws fast, sharp combinations. I don’t think Keith can match Pacquiao’s hand-speed and footwork. I can’t rule out a knockout, but I think Pacquiao wins a decision.

Caleb Truax, former 168-pound champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I think the smart pick is Keith Thurman, but I can’t bet against Manny Pacquiao. I have “PacMan” by close decision in a back and forth fight.

Calvin Ford, trainer of WBA 130-pound champion Gervonta Davis

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman’s motivated to get his name back into the spotlight, but Manny Pacquiao looks as if he’s up to the challenge after beating Adrien Broner. Pacquiao throws a lot of punches, but I’m going with the younger guy on this one and Thurman winning a great fight by decision.

Andre Rozier, trainer of former 160-pound champion Daniel Jacobs

Pick: Thurman W 12. I have a tale of two fights for you. If we see the “One Time” Thurman of old, it will be a long night for the “PacMan.” If we see the tentative, super cautious Thurman that we have been seeing lately, the “PacMan” will have a chance.

Stephen Fulton, Unbeaten 122-pound contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I see Manny Pacquiao winning a unanimous decision based on his activity and that fact that Keith Thurman has been inactive for a while. Pacquiao lets his hands go more than Thurman, and I believe that, as well as Pacquiao’s heart and being smarter in the ring, wins the fight.

Mario Barrios, undefeated 140-pound contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I believe Manny’s going to be too crafty for Keith Thurman and Thurman won’t be able to land those big shots on him.

Total:
Pacquiao – 24
Thurman – 19
Draw – 3

Unless Thurman can right his listing ship, Manny will take this if he can avoid the desperate KO punch from nowhere, and make no mistake, Thurman surely must have that big punch buried somewhere in his physiologic infrastructure even if he’s only had one KO from the point of his first full WBA title fight dating back 5 years ago. His record during that period is 5-0, 1 KO with two UDs, a SD, and a MD, so clearly he’s been struggling. If Thurman has to peck and run from the 40 year old Senator whose popularity with fans is off the scale of any measurement, he will earn no favors from the crowd yet again, but who of us outsiders can ever know what the crap shooting judges will see if it goes to decision?

Does the undefeated Thurman even have an upside left to influence the judges? Does he even know that his destiny as a fighter is hanging by an unraveling thread in the balance? Man or Mouse Time for Keith Thurman. Which is it to be?

The Eagle has landed.

 

 

 

 

Moonshot!

Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que será, será

Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas @O2 London For Heavyweight WBC Interim

Longtime British contender Dillian Whyte, 25-1, 18 KO, never received his mandatory shot against Deontay Wilder, but now the blessings of the WBC have bestowed a title for his fight against new Colombian contender Oscar Rivas, 26-0, 18 KO this Saturday, July 20th at the O2 in London. Rivas would be the first ever Colombian Heavyweight champ if victorious, and truth be told, Whyte is far more qualified for a title shot than the guy who ducked him, Wilder, who had never faced a top 10 contender before getting a title shot.

Rivas will be giving up some size and a lot of high end experience to Whyte who is one of the most accomplished heavies going these days by record in spite of only 26 fights. Whyte’s style is that of a straight up, unrepentant slugger that guarantees a slugfest, and I’d have to think Rivas could never be more motivated for a fight knowing he could be the first heavyweight Colombian champ in history, so here we go again!

Young Brooklyn Boy Teofimo Lopez Vs Japanese Interloper Masayoshi Nakatani

A young Brooklyn boy, Teofimo Lopez, 13-0, 11 KO, takes on Japanese Interloper, Masayoshi Nakatani, 18-0, 12 KO @MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA this Friday, July 19th in what looks on paper to be a highly flammable barn burner.

I haven’t seen much of Teo yet, but what I did see is a highly talented fighter only 21 years of age with ferocious punching power and mean streak in the ring where it counts the most on the record books and future purses. I’ve never seen the 30 year old Masayoshi fight, but looking at his record and knowing the extensive rigorous training he received in the Japanese school of boxing as an amateur, and knowing the Hell bent for leather style the typical Japanese fighter uses, hoooo, Daddy, this the kind of bout boxing deserves in the current spare climate that contenders generally employ to avoid each other.

Here’s Teo with 140 champ, Regis Prograis, a division he will likely move to this or next year.

In an oddly interesting ratings snafu, Ring ranks Teo at 5th while Masayoushi is unranked, yet on Boxrec, Masayoshi is ranked 8th and Teo at 12th. I suspect that since he’s never been out of Japan before, he simply remained off the radar of the US centric Ring panel. Hope he’s hungry and makes a good showing so he’ll want to return. Here he is in the prefight presser with Hurricane Futa who is the shorter fighter to give you the idea of the scale of height and reach he has over Lopez for their fight.

Another factor in the fight is rounds accumulated, Teo literally just above a novice level at 46 rounds, and Masayoshi with more than double at 119 rounds. Then again, big advantage for Teo in fighting in his natural time zone whereas Masayoshi has to fly in from Japan in need of a serious time zone adjustment in his biorhythms while dealing with a seriously different culture and cuisine.

Insert Culture Shock here!

As it turns out, Masayoshi arrived to no fanfare weeks before the fight and not a peep afterwards about him or Teo, an odd development for such an up and coming young star. Nary a press conference in the mainstream media between the two, and Top Rank is Teo’s promoter. They have to weigh in on Thursday which is today, so perhaps then we can see if they’re in fighting trim.

I would think Teo would be highly favored by the bookies over Masayoshi, but the simple fact that is emblematic of boxing today is that both these fighters are largely untested to be ranked so highly because of a shallow talent pool in most divisions. I pray that they get the best officiating possible so the best man can win.

SuperSized British Heavyweight Showdown!!!

British superheavyweights are starring this Saturday, July 13th when Joe Joyce, 9-0, 9 KO takes on former American title contender Bryant Jennings, 24-3, 14 KO, and Nathan Gorman, 16-0, 11 KO, a great nephew of famed Irish Traveler bare knuckler Bartley Gorman takes on Daniel Dubois, 11-0, 10 KO. The 3 Supersized Brits are all undefeated fringe contenders looking for their title shot, so fair play to them. The O2 in Greenwich is a top shelf venue and should be packed by boxing crazy Brits not wanting to miss out an an all English Super Dreadnought dustup.

THE LINEUP: Joyce, Dubois, Promoter Frank Warren, Gorman, and Jennings.

The “Juggernaut” as Joyce is known by has style is somewhat baffling in that he is slow and even ponderous both of feet and hands, but he sets a solid pace in a sorta grind em up and spit them out piece by piece style. Jennings the more expensive fighter is coming off a heavy knockout loss to heavyweight contender Oscar Rivas in January, so he must’ve been dangled so good $$$ to fly over to England to get heavily pummeled again. As a late comer in the boxing biz and as such a small heavy relying on speed of foot and hand and at age 34 entering those years of athletic decline of those attributes, I guess he feels now is the time to run circles around Joyce, and maybe he can. Big gamble type of fight for both if they want to progress.

Gorman is reputed to be fast of hand and a solid boxer whereas Dubois is noted as the puncher with both being light on opposition thus far, so this also a big step up for them. This is what prospects and fringe contenders used to do, ie fight each other for primacy, something that has too often been cast aside by the multiple ABC boxing orgs and the multiple belts in each division that has become the running joke.

No matter, this Saturday at the O2 in England is the place for the entire British boxing fraternity to shine, and so it shall be!

Centennial Celebration~4th of July 1919~Jack Dempsey Obliterates Jess Willard

On a blistering hot 4th of July in 1919 before the roaring 20s had a chance to kick off, the young challenger, Jack Dempsey, blistered the giant champ, Jess Willard, with 7 knockdowns Knockdowns in the opening round, a devastation so deadly that has happened in boxing through all these centuries that the officials in charge of the bout literally melted in their moment to become useless. Jack “Doc” Kearns, Dempsey’s manager had foolishly bet $10,000 of Jack’s $27,000 purse on a first round Knockout of the incredibly tough Willard, and of course there was the requisite “Bell malfunction” with the ref becoming so confused as to seemingly signal the bout was over. Dempsey had to be retrieved from his triumphal walk to his dressing quarters to return to the ring for more battle, but sadly the damage to Big Jess was only compounded with interest. Eventually Jess and his corner came to their senses to stop the fight after the 3rd round.

The Backdrop: Before the fight could be made, Willard wisely made Dempsey sign a waiver that his estate would not sue Willard in case big Jess obliterated Jack permanently from the earthly premises, something that had happened against 2 previous opponents. Jess was a wealthy man by then only wanting to look out for his own estate, so not only was it a smart legal move, it also served as an intimidating tool to upend Jack’s confidence in himself.

Jess a mighty man indeed even 100 years later, a 6-7, 240 lb cowboy out of Indian country in Kansas back when men were really men, and that lean, whipcord working man’s physique was naturally attained through much harder and more dangerous work than today’s coddled candied generations can imagine. Dealing with unpredictable, free range, half wild horses and cattle sometimes weighing in the thousands of pounds requires the highest attention, reflexes, instincts, strength, durability, and an outright ornery nature that can scarcely be imagined much less overstated. This weren’t PlayStation.

Now, Jess may not have looked like the stock in trade, handsome Hollywood cowboy, but he could out wrangle all them Fancy Dans, out fight em, and out F em in other ways as well. Poor Jack was a scrawny 6-1, 185 lbs in comparison, as big a physical mismatch as could ever be conceived, giving up 6″ in height and reach and over 65 lbs in weight.

A few rapid fire chops are starting to level Big Jess closer to Jack’s level.

Early in the fight it’s still fun and games for Big Jess who never lacked for any confidence over his formidable physical talents. He was just getting warmed up and sooner or later Jack is gonna pay bigtime.

The fun and games phase has now passed into a fight for Jess’ survival. A Dempsey left hook has clearly caved in the orbital region of Big Jess’ right side resulting in as much pain as a human can endure. His right jaw line is also swollen with some blood running down his chest. It was alleged he broke his jaw. 

Here we see the start of the confusion as Doc Kearns is jumping into the ring thinking the fight is over. As mentioned previously, the Bell malfunctioned, and it wasn’t even electric, a poster child moment for the way the shady boxing business operates when they can’t even get the simplest things right. The ref had to rely on a puny whistle that only got muffled mute from the massive roar out of the monstrous crowd buried in their sea of “strawboaters”, who by the luck of the draw were witnesses to the most destructive bout in history.  Ollie Pecord was the ref of record in his first and this was his only fight as a referee.

After the shockwaves of that bout had finally subsided, Willard injuries were greatly exaggerated by the too often drunken press of the day, and in turn, Big Jess claimed Jack was carrying iron bars or that his wraps were plastered, both points refuted in a court of law in a handsome civil settlement and public apology by Time Inc., the media outlet that published the derelict Doc Kearn’s accusations.

Part of that testimony is certain to include Ring owner and editor Nat Fleischer who was still alive and bore witness to Dempsey’s hand being wrapped publically in his corner.

Longtime Heavyweight contender Cleveland Williams was employed by Boxing Illustrated to test the plaster theory on a hot summer day with 5 rounds on a heavy bag, the result being both he and his manager concluded the steaming mess of crumbles would have proven worthless in a fight.

Dempsey would go on to more big gate records as the most exciting heavyweight in history. Her he was literally pushed out of the Ring by the Wild Bull of the Pampas, Luis Angel Firpo, that naturally caused a lot of controversy because all the Knockdowns that proceeded that moment melts all logical thought processes. It was said that two spectators suffered heart attacks and died that day from all the excitement.

Net result was Jack became the biggest sports name in the Roaring 20s, even bigger than Babe Ruth because the heavyweight title is much more international than baseball. Facts are they once did some gentlemanly sparring and were good friends. On July 4th, 1919 Babe was still a pitcher with the Boston RedSox and making his first big splash with the larger sporting public by setting every new Homerun record the scattered press could conjure up that day. 

Jack stayed relevant on the boxing scene with his boxing themed restaurant next to the old Madison Square Garden where as a 74 year old stepping out of his cab in front of his restaurant, two young thugs with not enough “cents” to know what they were doing attempted a mugging on the elderly gentleman in his finely tailor suit. Jack flattened them and told the cabbie to go in his restaurant to call the police while he kept em down. Even the clowning charismatic Ali had to check out that mighty left hand that left so many down and out.