Monthly Archives: December 2019

Step On Down Sirous Abdipour, Last Ranked Boxrec Heavyweight of 2019

Yup, end of 2019 Boxrec ranking is upon us, the survivors of the cruelty boxing sometimes exacts from those who love it.

A 29 year old debutante from Iran, Sirous Abdipour, 0-1, 0 KO bolstered by a KO loss lasting 2 rounds to another debutante from Kazakhstan is ranked 1056th of all the active heavyweights in their database, but rejoice! He’s ranked 3rd out of the 5 heavyweights of Iran, so small gifts are better than no gifts at the end of the year.

His victor here is Toregali Bissengaliyev, 1-0, 1 KO, age 35 years old ranked 851st.

Hmmm, sorta look like twins don’t they? Only in boxing folks!

Danny Jacobs Rolls the Dice With Son of the Legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr

Daniel Jacobs will be a supermiddleweight debutante when he tackles the Son of the Legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr this Friday, December 20th at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona.

That this takes place on a Friday evening in Arizona perhaps the result of the decline of the fighters, yet Danny is still a Boxrec ranked fighter at middleweight and young enough to make another title run at his new weight. One thing Danny, 35-3, 29 KO, and Junior, 50-3-1, 33KO, have in common is that of being traditionally weight bullys, always rehydrating two full divisions above they actually fight at, in this case the cruiserweight division.

Such is the nature of modern boxing with their day before weighins.

Junior one of the most widely pilloried villains of the modern era due in part to the good and bad notoriety of his legendary pop who had his own legions of vociferous critics. It didn’t help either that Bob Arum orchestrated his rise to the top all whilst Junior played it fast and loose with his training and weight, in fact even recently when he allegedly kicked a VADA goon out of his camp.

All a bunch of He said/She said tabloid fodder for the rubes. Jacobs easily boxes circles around Junior as P4P great Sergio Martinez did, yet one punch by Junior discombobulated Sergio such that only the final bell saved him seconds later. Junior may have lost that fight, but won the war as Sergio was now severely damaged goods to become easy pickings, so Danny best beware that deep down the kid has his father’s punch.

Terence Crawford & Teofimo Lopez Jr Fighting This Saturday

Terence Crawford a consensus #1 Welter and Teofimo Lopez the Boxrec #4 lightweight are both undefeated with a number of showy knockouts that lucky fans at Madison Square Garden in New York may be able to witness this Saturday, December 14th.

Their Uncle Bob @Top Rank loves knockouts and has arranged some tough guys for them to knock out so as to further develop the dynamic duo’s skill and craft, ie the undefeated Egidijus Kavaliauskas of Lithuania for Bud, and the toughest, most awkwardly dangerous fighter in boxing today, Richard Commey of Ghana for Teo. Net result of this promotion is a near guarantee now that Arum will still have the #1 welter, and with a little luck and fingers crossed, the redhot young kid lightweight who could be beating up on any rival promoter’s lightweights for 2020.

Can boxing’s rivals cross the street as boxing lingo ascribes rival promoters and fighters doing to make great fights that everyone benefits from?

The accursed Friday the 13th will pave the way to this coming Saturday when a 21 year old Dallas boy, Vergil Ortiz Jr, a touted fringe contender currently ranked # 22 on Boxrec, takes on an experienced former contender Brad Solomon in Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California. Soloman is 28-1 and never been knocked out, so maybe gives some much needed rounds to 14-0, 14 KO Vergil.

2020 Greatness loaded in the queue awaiting the answer, a Yea or a Nay..only in boxing today!

Anthony Joshua Rematches His Andy Ruiz Disaster

Anthony Joshua will confront his nightmare of Andy Ruiz Jr this Saturday, December 7th, only this time the venue is the wildcard of Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia for the first ever heavyweight title bout in Saudi history, and what a doozy it is with four titles on the line, WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO.

The future Roman Emperor then military ingenue, Julius Caesar, famously sent word to his then superiors the results of his military campaign with these abruptly succinct words, “Veni, vidi, vici, ie I came, I saw, I conquered,” seemingly words crafted by that Roman Colossus for the boxing world’s American debut of Joshua after knocking over every fighter he faced, emptying the heavyweight stable of Al Haymon, and consolidating the scattered belts. Alas, modern day monkey wrenches were tossed into his sculptured works by the rolypoly rotundeth boy, Andy Ruiz, a favorite son of taco and hotdog venders everywhere, who vanquished our statuesque Caesar to make off with his spoils of war,  a sumptuous banquet of Joshua’s hard earned belts.

So, our boxing Caesar, having been stung badly by his upset as the previous accolades flowing his way have been replaced by howls of derision by the lowbrows who have always existed in any society, why he has been training in hard diligence to right the wrong promulgated against him by his cheeky upstart. Fat Andy for his part has seems to have been training harder than at any point in his career, “possibly” scaling below 250lbs for the rematch. In short, the human interest dynamics and prime boxing motivation dynamics of the fighters are all lining up on the celestial charts in the ink black skies of Saudi Arabia for a potential all time great rematch and, fingers crossed, perhaps an all time great trilogy.

The importance of this seminal fight has not been lost by the boxing world either. Though perhaps being seen something of a schoolboy cornball attempt, The Ring recreated a 45 year old facsimile cover honoring our present day combatants by way of Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman from 45 years ago. While Andy appears in his approximate size dimensions, the half foot taller Joshua has been shrink wrapped to fit in the frame.  Also this fight is a much needed rematch whereas Ali skipped out of the lucrative rematch with Big George, so really, other than both fights were huge upsets fought in foreign lands, there are otherwise no parallels between them.

Africa is replaced by the adjoining Saudi Arabia, and the Don King inspired theme, “The Rumble In The Jungle” is not mentioned in the Foreman vs Ali edition, yet Ring has seen fit to add the rather vanilla “Clash on the Dunes” for Ruiz/Joshua II. I’d have chosen “Duke’m Out In The Desert,” but then I don’t get paid to make critical, hit or miss boxing marketing decisions.

In the first fight, Joshua was easily leading the cards in a rather tepid start by both fighters. Joshua was seemingly puzzled by the one off physical dimensions of Ruiz who sports a massive skull set and upper body hidden under all that lard with a cartoonish pant inseam equivalent to a 5-5 featherweight. Mighty Joe Parker also struggled against the Fat Andy dynamics of constant pressuring punctuated by fast handed combinations. Joshua smartly started slow so as to adjust to this never before seen mix of natural talent and physical attributes in a heavyweight title fight before the frenzy of 5 knockdowns exploded that started with Joshua’s knockdown of Andy who had never tasted the canvas before.

When the smoke finally cleared, Joshua was left staring vacantly into his fuzzy new universe, propped against his own corner after his 4th knockdown as the ref righteously waved off the fight. The blubber of Andy slam dunked skyward in the sheer jubilation of suddenly seizing the biggest prize in all of boxing, the unified heavyweight title from the great champion as one of the biggest upsets in history.

No Way Jose had just come true!

The reactions of the boxing community over the “morbidly obese” first ever Mexican boxing champion(born and lives in the US side of the Mexican border with Mexican being his self identified Demographic) reminds me a bit of another boxing outsider, that of the clowning first “Jewish” heavyweight champion, Max Baer, who sent chills through the morally upright pillars of America in the 1930s when he won the heavyweight title. One stalwart member of the pulpit and the physical culture of the time opined(paraphrased,) “Here we have the disgrace of the new heavyweight champion of the world, and he trains on beer!”

Snickers Galore!

The unexpected manner in which the Colossus of Joshua suddenly imploded after putting Ruiz on the brink of knockout has generated all manner of hysteric theories as befits this vacuous twitter/facebook generation. My own initial take was first the contrast of fighter focus entering the ring. Ruiz made the gauntlet ring walk first through the eerily silent populace of security and fans with a terse, no nonsense stare to the ring of his destination. A roar greeted Joshua as security and fans engaged in hand and back slaps naturally wanting to be a piece of this Colossus history in the making as Joshua willingly engaged them in his natural “nice guy” demeanor for his American debut. He had everything other than this fight in his focus, and folks, no matter the training, a fighter without focus entering the ring, well, it’s gonna be a long painful night as it turned out to be. Has any King of England ever traveled with such a platoonish largess of adoring servants?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8CSvMIWwAAqw4_.jpg:large

Then another controversy of sorts as Andy’s sudden defection was revealed not by press release, but rather by the abrupt presence of Al Haymon’s main man, Sam Watson, in the ring with Andy’s team. From my perspective, that revelation put me on RED ALERT for monkey business since Andy had been promoted by Bob Arum from his pro inception. This boxing stealth move equivalent would be a national act of treason.

I’m not saying that any monkey business actually occurred in the ring, but Joshua seemed to be fighting underwater in slo-mo like in a dream. Not being his physician or trainer, I don’t know the exact physical and mental reasons for that, but reliable sources before and after the fight maintain he’d been knocked out in sparring a couple of weeks before. Post fight Josh’s father attacked his promoter Eddie Hearn in the dressing room furious that he had allowed this fight to happen after a grueling prefight scramble of fighters failing drug tests and refusing to fight for the $5 million short notice offer until Andy stepped in. In short, there was too much $$$ already on the line not to mention the prestige of Eddie and Joshua.

Ruiz for his part that night showed patience in carefully adjusting to this new Colossus armed with an Olympic Gold medal after just 2 yrs of Amateur boxing and the best professional knockout record in modern heavyweight title history after his 18 fights. That Andy managed to do so without significant change in his style to ring up boxing’s greatest jackpot points to his previously ignored overall excellence as a fighter buried under vicious howls of derision that night by besotted Brits. Natch, he promptly went on a sorta celebrity tour of Mexico to be properly feted by la gente y politicos who unexpectedly found themselves with a new hero. I’m sure he returned from his impromptu tour well over 300 lbs and fully satiated with his accomplishments, after all, he made his pro debut only a Big Mac Meal Deal short of 300 lbs

Yet still the fallen former hero of the British people still lays in wait to glove it up again. The list of fallen heavyweight champions regaining the unified title in the immediate rematch is a short one. Floyd Patterson became the first vs Ingemar Johansson, and then Lennox Lewis vs Hasim Rahman stands out, but perhaps not even that one given Lewis had already sold his WBA belt to Don King. The racketeering ignominy of that move and later selling his IBF to King can never be forgiven. Lewis finally had to retire days before the WBC was due to strip him of his last belt, a sad end indeed.

As mentioned previously, the mental state of a fighter is perhaps the most important part of any fight, and Josh it appears had a ton of distractions, not the least was his opponent falling out with no replacements to be found until Andy finally stepped up to the scratch line to save the fight and his touted American debut. Now, perhaps disturbingly due the massive fallout over his loss, Josh has been genuflecting in the shadow of his former greatness with some very strange comments. While his focus and determination must be there since he immediately tapped his rematch clause, it’s natural to think his confidence has been cracked with such bizarre talk.

The Venue!

A 2 month blitzkrieg of a purpose built, 15,000 capacity stadium erected on the outskirts of town that will last for several years as a venue if Saudi based sporting events continue to grow. What is not mentioned in all this fight leadup is that months ago Iran knocked out half the Saudi oil production with some well placed missiles, an act of war for most countries save that the Iranian’s deny it. Nobody wants to stomach yet another war in the middle east when Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Syria are still smoldering in the ashes of their lost paradises, so what are the Iranians thinking about this splash heavyweight debut in the Saudi desert?

Would they?

I sure would be nervous and I expect both fighters and camps to be doubly nervous over this rematch given the HUGE STAKE$ for the fight. A loss by either knocks the loser out of tens of millions of future dollars, but if we the boxing community are lucky, we may well see an epic Valhalla quality trifecta in the future to date one of the all time great series in boxing history in our era.

If a man’s reach cannot extend beyond his grasp, then what’s a Valhalla for?

 

 

 

Reviewing The 2020 Fighter of the Decade~Manny Pacquiao

Folks, epic history in it’s creation worth repeating again and again for boxing aficionados and naysayers!

Manny Pacquiao as the Fighter of the Decade from 2000-2009, opened up 2010 with successive resounding bombshells. First he knocked his main rival, Floyd Mayweather Jr, out of his scheduled fight date of March 13th at the MGM after their fight talks evaporated over the dubious terms of drug testing. Manny then roared back with a huge flurry to debut both himself and brand new Cowboy Stadium that March 13th that established Cowboy Stadium as the premiere stadium fight in all of America. Longtime welter contenders, Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, both of whom were ducked by Mayweather, why they had to take what was coming to Mayweather instead…Ouch City!

Here are the current Boxrec top 11 P4P fighters as of the approximate end of this decade:

1 Canelo Lightheavyweight
2 Terence Crawford welterweight
3 Gennady Golovkin middleweight
4 Errol Spence Jr welterweight
5 Vasiliy Lomachenko lightweight
6 Miguel Berchelt super featherweight
7 Callum Smith super middleweight
8 Manny Pacquiao welterweight
9 Shawn Porter welterweight
10 Deontay Wilder
11 Andy Ruiz Jr heavyweight

The Ring has most of the Boxrec top 10 in a different order including Manny, but The Big Names having fought/beat multiple P4P and/or HOF type fighter in Boxrec order are:

Canelo, 22-1-1 for the decade with 3 P4P/HOF fights, Golovkin, 21-1-1 for the decade with 2 P4P/HOF fights, Manny, 12-4 for the decade with 7 P4P/HOF fights. So while the other prime big guns compiled larger numerical wins and less losses, by P4P/HOF criteria, the sheer density of the quality of Manny’s opposition screams out.

Let’s take a closer look at Manny’s record from 2010 to 2019 while he was pulling duties as an elected Philippine Congressman and then Senator, thus making him necessarily a part time fighter for the decade. In it you will find 7 P4P/HOF fighters, 11 or more ranked contenders, 6 undefeated fighters, Zero(0) Hometown fights, and 14 Knockdowns with one Knockout. We could allow a half dozen more Knockdowns and another knockout with the Chris Algieri fight, farcically “officially” with 6 KDs where Manny was knocking him into the ropes the whole of the fight. The kid proved to be extra tough to last the distance, but it was a needless beatdown of a new contender who has struggled ever since. The cornball ref for that fight held @Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao according to Boxrec was Genaro Rodriguez, but if you click on the link another name comes up, and if you do a search, a number of identical names come up much like an Ed Smith or Tom Jones search, so no matter the ref’s true identity, for that fight that ref was a joke.

In short, Manny did not just dare to be great, he was insistent upon being great as an extension of his BWAA Fighter of the Decade 2000-2009. Manny holds the Ring P4P record of most wins, most KOs, most fights, and most years consecutively P4P ranked, 12+ years. Moreover, he will have been ranked as P4P in his 4th decade of boxing next year if he chooses to fight again, almost a certainty. I don’t see how these Ring P4P records can ever be broken, and he did it within the adversarial, litigious construct between his promoter, Bob Arum and that of Ring’s owner, Oscar de la Hoya.

At the start of 2010 Manny’s record was 50-3-2, and at the close of 2019, his record was 62-7-2. That translates to 16 fights resulting in a 12-4 record during the decade. He averaged 1.6 fights every year he’s been an elected member of the Filipino Congress, near half of them being against P4P/HOF fighters with the entire scope of his fighting and political life melding seamlessly into the whole of his life that is not only unheard in those two completely unrelated pursuits, yet scarcely comprehensible in the limited modern scope of understanding seminal history in the making before our very eyes.

He has fought in Brisbane, Australia and Macao, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as inaugurating the brand new Cowboy Stadium with 2 epic shutouts over Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito to establish Cowboy stadium as the premiere boxing stadium in the US not to mention his epic forays in Vegas. He goes to where the $$$ is, wisely I would say.

There is no modern great who brought the “great” fight to so many diverse peoples in and out of the ring in this decade.

We of the western boxing community did not know him at the start of 2000 when he was still fighting as a super bantamweight in the Philippines, but by 2001 this skinny little Filipino made his US debut at the new MGM in Vegas with a sensational KO for his first superbantam world title, kicking off the irresistible, irrevocable Manny Pacquiao era that has been with we, the boxing folk, ever since. He may well have become the most internationally known boxing icon ever since he has basically opened up the vast 3 billion Asian market to boxing far beyond their traditional Southeastern Asian boxing that has always been there. The Chinese have made some significant inroads and the traditional Indonesian/Thailand boxing countries are now stronger than ever with even India also fielding amateur boxing teams and professional.

Manny’s opponent list for 2010-2019:

20 Keith Thurman 29 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
W-SD World Boxing Association Super World Welterweight Title

2019-01-19 Adrien Broner 33 3 1 MGM Grand, Las Vegas
W-UD World Boxing Association World Welterweight Title

2018-07-15 Lucas Martin Matthysse 39 4 0 Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur
W-TKO World Boxing Association World Welterweight Title

2017-07-02 Jeff Horn 16 0 1 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
L-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2016-11-05 Jessie Vargas 27 1 0 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2016-04-09 Timothy Bradley Jr 33 1 1 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
W-UD vacant World Boxing Organisation International Welterweight Title

2015-05-02 Floyd Mayweather Jr 47 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas L-UD World Boxing Council World Welterweight Title
World Boxing Association Super World Welterweight Title
World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2014-11-23 Chris Algieri 20 0 0 Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2014-04-12 Timothy Bradley Jr 31 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2013-11-24 Brandon Rios 31 1 1 Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao
W-UD vacant World Boxing Organisation International Welterweight Title

2012-12-08 Juan Manuel Marquez 54 6 1 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas L-KO

2012-06-09 Timothy Bradley Jr 28 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas L-SD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2011-11-12 Juan Manuel Marquez 53 5 1 MGM Grand, Las Vegas
W-MD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2011-05-07 Shane Mosley 46 6 1 MGM Grand, Las Vegas
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2010-11-13 Antonio Margarito 38 6 0 Cowboys Stadium, Arlington
W-UD vacant World Boxing Council World Super Welterweight Title

2010-03-13 Joshua Clottey 35 3 0 Cowboys Stadium, Arlington
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

Let’s look further: His collective opponent record at the time of their fights in this decade adds up to 560-39-7, and that divided by 16 fights yields an average opponent record of 35-2, and again, just the sheer density of the quality of his competition stands above all other Fighter of the Decade candidates.

Now I could Blah-Blah and moan in ecstasy about the number of PPVs Manny was in and the hundreds of million$$$ he made for himself and boxing, but that would just cheapen the fighter aspect of Fighter of the Decade. With Pacquiao soon to be 41 years of age this year and entering his 4th fight decade, he will be looking in 2020 to make another great fight if he can, great being how he always tackles a brutal, blunt force sport in such an infectious, joyous manner against the best. He is the embodiment of The Alpha and The Omega and The Joy of Boxing wrapped up in the most compactly framed welterweight in history save that of the legendary Homicide Henry Armstrong who would be downsized in this massive new era of day before weigh ins and scientific weight loss and gain tricks.

Folks, in his last fight, Keith Thurman had been a young gun at the top of P4P lists until his health recovery interim after shoulder surgery, 29-0 in the full flower of his rejuvenated youth, yet Pacquiao steadily took the fight to him for 12 rounds, charging and prodding and then firing himself at Thurman with superhuman energy. Thurman, whose face was blotchy and bleeding before the end of the first round after suffering a knockdown, did not know what to make of it; there’s no chance he’d ever experienced this form of relentless mayhem. He was in the ring with a maniacal fighter fighting for something nobody else can see, his beloved Filipino peoples.

Manny’s superhuman P4P strength is like that of the great Achilles, born flesh, blood, and bone to be controlled magnificently by a one off instinctive fighting brain and fast twitching neurons that ultimately must succumb to the ravages of mortality as all mortals must do in their stages. So, in the interest of his health and that of his family, I propose he take the riches that an Amir Khan fight in Dubai would bring to settle the score against another fighter Mayweather ducked before riding off into the sunset of our yesteryears in 2020.  He will always be the most riveting fighter of his generation and for generations well past this one.

 

 

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