Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia~Anyone Care?

Not to disparage Keith Thurman, 27-0, 22 KO, and Danny Garcia, 33-0-1, 19 KO, but these are two undefeated American Welters unifying WBA/WBC titles Saturday, March 4th, @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, so what if boxing threw a superfight and nobody showed up?

The Combatants

The Combatants

The current state of boxing as of this March 4th is such that little known fresh cruiser champ, Tony Bellew, fights celebrity heavyweight David Haye in London not for a title, but rather for oodles of pounds sterling after staging a feud. Saul Alvarez already notched one big money celebrity bout against Amir Khan and going for his 2nd straight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, likely the biggest fight this year as far as financial numbers go. Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao ran a twitter poll that overwhelmingly picked Khan as his next opponent, so actually the fighters are bringing the people the fights they want to see and thereby raising the stakes for all fighters. Can their light in the loafer promoters, broadcasters, and boxing commissions get their acts together to start making regular, compelling, fairly officiated fights?

Recent history, the only way we can judge our own era, suggests probably not if the powers that be can continue to make their money wagering on limited matchmaking and orchestrated results.

In the meantime, New York boriquas will doubtless show up in force given the Puerto Rican genealogy of Philly born and bred Garcia, and of course boxing hard cores will watch across the country. Thurman deserves kudos for taking this fight in the Garcia back yard so to speak, but will the public at large be watching? I hear this is only the 3rd time in history that two undefeated prime age welters are fighting to unify the title, yet there is no buzz to this fight because both are Al Haymon fighters having been kept out of the glaring limelight of any potential losses so they could be kept propped up for a potential TUE 49-0 fight. With that horse having bolted the stable for his umpteenth retirement, this fight represents their consolation tussle.

The two previous undefeated unifications were 1985’s Donald Curry vs Milton McCrory, not a big fight per say, but they split $1.5 million which was great pay for two good fighters lacking extra public appeal. Then the mega 1997 Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Trinidad unification that guaranteed Oscar $21 million and Tito $8.5 million with $71 million of PPVs they each got a piece off. Boxing killed off those days after their major league fraud of 2015, so this fight to be closer to Curry/McCrory given it’s supposed to be on free TV, CBS they say.

The fighters have gotten in on the numbers game now with Thurman wishing for 6 million viewers and Garcia for 10 million. Wishful thinking for sure when today 3 million would be considered outstanding, but when Canelo fought the unknown British Liam Smith in Cowboy Stadium, over 50,000 fans packed the stadium and this was a PPV fight. Over 17 million in Mexico saw that fight broadcast over their own free broadcast networks, and Mexico no way close in population to the 300+ million of the US. Those numbers tell us just how far boxing has dropped as a credible sport in the US.

I gather the numbers will fill us in days after the dust settles, but for now I’m picking Thurman in a fight that could be dramatic or a stinker depending on how Thurman moves. He’s much more versatile with his footwork and faster with his fists than the plodding Garcia who is something of a one trick pony, but then again, a one trick punch is all a fighter needs in boxing, but what if nobody showed up to witness it? 

All Girls~Ms Cecilia Braekhus vs Ms Klara Svensson

Yes, Ms Cecilia holds all the female welterweight belts that count, the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and IBO, so the latest is that Ms Cecilia Braekhus is fighting Ms Klara Svensson, the 3rd ranked welter according to boxrec. The “fight” will be at The Spectrum, Oslo, Norway tonight in a sort of Norwegian vs Swede grudge match if we want to stretch the truth.

Miss Cecilia

Miss Cecilia

Ms Klara

Ms Klara

The real truth of the matter is I never, ever watch women’s boxing and never will, but these two are just too lovely to pass up, and fairplay, I hear tell their fights are better than many American Men boxers these days…only in boxing!

A Time To Laugh~Deontay Wilder vs Andrzej Wawrzyk

WBC heavyweight beltholder Deontay Wilder, 37-0, 36 KO, defends his ever diminishing reputation this February 25th at the “tarnished” Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama against Polish fringe contender, boxrec ranking #29, Andrzej Wawrzyk, 33-1, 19 KO…errr…oops…Seems Wawrzyk had a minor “slip up” and, ahem, was replaced by former football player and Sugar Daddy Al Haymon playmate, that other G. Washington from President’s day, Gerald Washington, 18-0-1, 12 KO.

Wilder vs Washington

Wilder vs Washington

OK, I need go easy on boy wonder Wilder. This is his first fight since breaking his hand and tearing up his bicep on Chris Arreola‘s thick noggin in his last fight, so so of course he has to keep his big boy training pants on yet again lest he have a nasty accident. Still, it’s inevitable with the same reoccuring injuries that he ain’t long for this game the first time he fights someone with a pulse and legit ranking.

For now, he’s Alabama’s best heavyweight secret so shush yo mouth lest the word slip out.

Washington for his part has won 3 his last 4 against nominal fringe contenders and ancient former contenders, yet with only one KO to show along with a draw, suggesting he is far from becoming a bonafide contender. Such faint progress, unranked by Ring and 20th ranked by Boxrec, is the modern state of American heavyweight boxing that of course makes him perfect for the apparently permanently developing Wilder.

In a strange twist of modern American culture, Washington, whose parental heritage is reported as half black and half Mexican, is known as “El Gallo Negro” which sorta translates to “The Black Cock” as a sort of double entendre, wink, wink. If he wins, he will be the first Mexican American heavyweight champ for those who keep racial counts, and yes, that would be Arreola moaning in the background wishing he’d never had quit his Wilder fight had he known how busted up he really was.

For his part, Wilder will forever be known as the dummy turning down a small fortune last year to fight Alexander Povetkin, instead preferring to fight Arreola for peanuts dug up in his native Alabammy mud flats, so here we go with goobers again, and who to thank? How about another big thanks to his other enabling Sugar Daddy, WBC El Presidente para toda la vida, Mauricio Sulaimán, who keeps him bundled in swaddling infant wrappings well protected from the mean world of heavyweight contenders.

But, wait, wait, maybe his brain trust is smarter than advertised. Just days before this fight, team Wilder won the civil suit for damages against #1 contender Povetkin and his promoter, Andrey Ryabinsky after their May 21st 2016 fight in Moscow was canceled when Wilder suddenly balked at traveling to Moscow. The reason given was laughable, a billionth of a gram of Melonium. A Manhattan federal court of jurors ruled for Wilder in this highly complex case involving a trace billionth of a gram contamination of 5 mandatory VADA drug tests of  Povetkin. The jurors used their “new math” skills taught in public schools these days to make it an open and shut case in a record 30 something minutes that divided by a billionth yields 0.0000018 seconds or 0.00000003 minutes for a perspective of what a billionth represents.

Andrey Ryabinsky had already filed a $34.5 million counter lawsuit filed against Deontay Wilder and his team that has yet to go to court. The lawsuit filed for Wilder is in at least one major factual error by claiming Ryabinsky failed to deliver Povetkin for their scheduled May 21 Moscow fight, when point in fact it was Wilder who killed the fight by never delivering himself to Moscow because of a specious VADA drug result that VADA admitted was well below the threshold of what would be a failed test result . The cool thing about VADA drug testing for boxers is BALCO Vic Conte being a key architect of the VADA organization. He can guarantee his majic elixirs pass VADA drug screens just like in his heyday at BALCO. In short, his PEDs don’t stink up the test, another nice scam he has going thanks to boxing’s overlords.

We have to at least acknowledge one good thing about Wilder that separates him from his American peers, he comes to fight in the ring no matter how stupidly and awkward, so this should be competitive at a clubfighter level, yet amazingly only for 1/5th of the major heavyweight world titles. So, doing my “old school math, 1/5 of Deontay’s 226 lbs in his last fight is 45.2 lbs, the pissweight of the heavyweight titles. A Billionth of Deontay is 0.000000226 lbs, or 0.0000036 ounces, or 0.000103 grams, meaning we will have to watch this fight under an Electron Microscope to see it…only in boxing folks. 

Wilder vs Washington

Wilder vs Washington

Roy Jones Jr vs Bobby Gunn For WBF Marbles

Four-division world champion, and ring legend Roy Jones Jr, 64-9, 46 KO, laces them gloves up again on February, 17th, 2017, when he takes on former two-time world title challenger Bobby Celtic Warrior Gunn, 21-6-1, 18 KO, at the Chase Center, in Wilmington, Delaware.

They will scrap for the “vacant” WBF world cruiserweight title in yet another of what is growing somewhat popular “old man” fight. The combined ages of 48 year old Roy and 43 year old Gunn are a creaking 91 years old, a new world record perhaps?

Gunn is also the self proclaimed bareknucks champ of the world, ahem, 72-0, 72 KO or 73-0, 73 KO depending on the source, so I scarcely know where to begin. Perhaps this can be seen as the precursor to both Roy and MMA/UFC legend  Anderson Da Silva‘s long time desire for a fight since both are well beyond their primes now. Under which rules, I know not, but speculate a BKB match that both could be licensed with some overlap between boxing and MMA to even the playing field.

As to this Gunn fight, I’ll just let her lay to play for a “Tis what it is” moment in boxing with a big “OUCH” for emphasis!

197.4 vs 199

197.4 vs 199

Grizzled Aussie Green Eggs & Ham Grill Off~Danny Green vs Anthony Mundine

Danny Green, 35-5, 28 KO, tangles with arch enemy Anthony Mundine, 47-7, 27 KO, on Friday, Feb 3, @ Adelaide Oval, North Adelaide, South Australia.

Should be interesting by differing styles, sizes and advanced ages, Green being the older at 43 years as the bigger, more powerful slugger, and Mundine being the younger at 41 years as the anorexic, weaker, stinker style of boxer and personality. Supposedly he won’t be standing for the Aussie national anthem because of claims of Aboriginal heritage. Be interesting to see how the financials and public support end up being given Aussie welterweight Jeff Horn is likely to be fighting Filipino welter star Manny Pacquiao on these shores in one of the biggest Aussie fights in history.

First Fight

First Fight

Possibly the winner of Green/Mundine could advance to a minor world title shot, perhaps even in this fight given the plethora of belts floating around boxing these days. Supposedly the local Aussie Cruiser title is being defended by Green. For most of boxing, not many to care much about this bout. It’s more about Green and Mundine being the last of the top Aussie fighters of their eras with little to replace them save Horn, so there it is in a nutshell. 

January 28th~Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz~Boxing Shoots Itself Again?

You’d think the dramatic drop of fan interest in boxing after boxing’s epic 2016 bunglings might signal a shot across the bow of boxing overseers, but noooooo way Jose. These crooks make their money on the wagering and kickbacks, so why should they care about their inferior oversight of their product when it supports them so lavishly?

Here we have two of the finest, most honorable and well trained fighters in the world, the two best in their superfeatherweight division, Carl Frampton, 23-0 defending the Super WBA belt he won off Leo Santa Cruz, 31-1-1. They rematch this Saturday, January 28th @ MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, so what’s wrong with that you might ask?

Top O The World

Top O The World

Well, after the monumental fraud of 2015 that generated near a half billion dollars of lawsuits followed by a miserable 2016 scoring fights, boxing kicked off 2017 with another FAIL when they scored the James DeGale supermiddleweight unification against Badou Jack a draw. Jack not only knocked some of Degale’s teeth out that sent his gumshield flying through the air several times, but also burst his ear drum and had him looking like he’d just been run over by a Mack Truck. That New York transgression near replicated the 2015 Vegas fight and subsequent robbery of what  Sergey Kovalev did to Andre Ward in the biggest fight of 2016. That PPV bout could only command 160,000 PPVs, a pittance compared to the last 20 years of boxing PPVs thanks to sadistic matchmaking and officiating that continues to lose fans all while the UFC has grown into a 4 billion dollar business.

These are two game, highly competitive warriors with most in agreement of the scoring and results of their first highly contested fight. Frampton was a clear winner in a most excellent fight, and likely these two may provide another classic, yet it is never a given on the night if boxing can come up with a decent performance by the ref and judges who in this case tend to be the same 3 blind mice Vegas has been recycling for decades now.

OK, I’m done skewering the suits who run boxing and will let this fight play out. Last time I picked Frampton with no great conviction in my predictor league, but this time I’m picking Santa Cruz to make some adjustments to better leverage his physical imposition on the fight. Thankfully I never wager on such shady officiating, so let’s see what happens next.

Happy 2017 to Willie Kyles, Boxrec’s Last Ranked Heavyweight

Out of the 1294 heavyweight boxers currently active in Boxrec’s world database this January 1st, 2017, Wee Willie Kyles was ranked last. Of course this link shows he’s ranked 1000 out of 1294 because 294 are tied with zero points, presumably fractional points rounded to zero, but no matter.

http://boxrec.com/boxer/8941

We don’t know much about Willie, but of course the Wee just a “little” play on words since Willie goes around 290 lbs these days.

He has a perfect KO record of 2 wins by 2 KOs, 13 losses by 13 KOs, and no draws. He’s 37 years old, born April 8th, 1979 and fights out of Pritchard, Alabammy.

Somebody had to don the gloves and step into the ring for such a rating, so big props for Willie and maybe a climb in the rankings with a couple more wins.

Just Another Joe Named Smith~Fighter of the Year~KO of the Year

Yupsir, for many if not most of us boxing fans, Joe Smith Jr ticks all the boxes as Fighter of the Year, the KO of the Year, the Round of the Year, and the Upset of the Year. The self described “special one” Bernard Hopkins tapped common man Joe Smith for his pity farethewell party set up by Oscar and HBO, and he certainly did not disappoint. Joe executed Executioner  with a highlight KO for the ages against all the odds and all the suits stacked against him.

Just Another Joe Named Smith

Just Another Joe Named Smith

Previous to that there was the 1 round demolition of ascending and well respected Contender, Andrzej Fonfara, who fans know beat the silly putty out of WBC beltholder Adonis Stevenson to no credit from the judges. Smith was never even considered a prospect much less a fringe contender, but here he is jumping all the queues ahead of him to a top Ring ranking. Joe Smith Senior must be popping all the buttons on his shirts in pride.

!!!From Coulda Been a Contenda to Top Dog!!!

!!!From Coulda Been a Contenda to Top Dog!!!

Here is the video of the KO for the Ages followed with relevant stills sequencing the action:

 

Entrance of the Executioner

Entrance of the Executioner

Poopsie Oopsie In Motion

Poopsie Oopsie In Motion

Executioner Executed

Executioner Executed

White Boy Hands to the Rescue!

White Boy Hands to the Rescue!
Waaaahhh, Boo, Hoo, Hoo!

Waaaahhh, Boo, Hoo, Hoo!
Mo' Waaah, Boo Hoo Hoo!

Mo’ Waaah, Boo Hoo Hoo!
Unceasing Tears of a Lifetime!

Unceasing Tears of a Lifetime!

Just Another Joe Named Smith

Just Another Joe Named Smith

 

 

 

Bernexit of Bernard Hopkins~Just Another Joe Named Smith

The Bernexit of “The Executioner or is it still Alien?”

Bernard Hopkins, 55-7-2, 32 KO, takes on boxing’s newest darling, Joe Smith Jr, 21-1, 18 KO, in a 12 round WBC International light heavyweight title fight from the Forum in Inglewood, California this Saturday, December 17. Perhaps sadly, it will be broadcast by HBO, whimsically entitled “The Final One.”

We can only hope not fatally since Hopkins has been unofficially retired after Sergey Kovalev beat the tarballs out of him two years ago not to mention he’ll be about a month shy of his 52nd birthday. Why Hopkins wants one last fight has to do with his ferociously insecure ego of not wanting to retire on a defeat, that and needing to be coddled with extra “Special” accolades after mostly anonymous beginnings in the first half of his career and a much mottled latter half of his career where he’s been promoted like the mysterious meat item on the corporate menu by obligated announcers lest they offend powerful corporate bosses.

That said, if you’re Ol’ Man Stinker in desperate need of the newest contender to beat, Joe Smith would be it. That is no knock on Smith whose day job has been as a union construction worker in the Big Apple. He may well have many as yet undiscovered talents going for him, but the simple fact is that he’s been a career New York centric fighter in small halls against fellow clubfighters. He’s a good lookin’ kid as far as base level physical fighter attributes, and he obviously packs a punch as he showed in his one round blitzkreig against Andrzej Fonfara, but that perhaps partially the fault of the Fonfara team rightfully underestimating Smith based on his limited record.

I shudder to remember when fellow construction worker and derided journeyman underdog Glen Johnson brutalized big favorite Roy Jones Jr in one of the most horrific beatdowns in modern history. Jones took a savage whooping that left him for all intents quite literally dead on the canvas and took some long minutes before he was able to be carried to his stool and many more minutes before he had recovered enough to leave the ring with assistance. Glen Johnson, unlike Smith, was well experienced at the highest levels of boxing at that point. Joe’s logged a career total of 73 baby rounds to Hopkins’ 506 mostly either easy rounds against nobodies, or stinker rounds against the elite. So on paper it’s hardly fair fight but for that single knockout round against Fonfara.

Let’s at least acknowledge Hopkins’ few best fights where he fought as clean as capable, yet still mixed in with hitting on the break against Felix Trinidad for example. Tito saw the ref wouldn’t protect him and fought in kind until he was buried in Hopkins’ dirt, so all in all it was a equal fight save Tito hopping up two divisions to middleweight where his slugging couldn’t hide his lack of boxing skills. And then there was Hopkins’ crowning achievement in expertly throttling new middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik at a 170 lb catchweight. Hopkins likes to brag he ruined Kelly mentally, but facts are after winning the title Pavlik shattered a window at home in a drunken incident that required surgery to repair the tendons that led to the dreaded staph hospital infection that at one point threatened his life and caused cancellation of a couple of fights. Pavlik could never be the same fighter afterward, going into seizures and seeking treatment for alcoholism, so of course his career ended up prematurely since he was no longer medically fit to fight.

The really good news: Likely the best fight of the night will be when new champ Oleksandr Usyk defends against tricky southpaw Thabiso Mchunu in one of the best cruiserweight matches that can be made. Usyk has been looking mighty impressive for a guy with only 10 pro fights. I suspect this to be high end controlled violence for as long as it last as both can box and punch very well. Both are southpaws which should make the action even trickier.

Meanwhile, nobody can know how the Hopkins/Smith fight turns out because of fighter unknowns going into the bout, but typically, I smell another Hopkins’ stinker, he simply can’t help soiling himself when push comes to shove. Will Smith get the appropriate high end sparring needed, ie the 101 + advanced course of defense against headbutts, low blows, hitting on the break, elbows, and unceasing grappling for such a dirty foe? Does Hopkins still have any reflexes, chin, and heart left after the Kovalev beating? We already know Joe is the hungry one not looking for a mere hand out, but ready to fight for what’s his. Meanwhile Hopkins has long been sleeping on silk sheets in silk pajamas in his mansion before pulling his typical wink-wink mugging act in the ring. Hey, who says boxing can’t be like ‘rassling?

The battle of the trainers is also striking with Smith employing the unknown Gerard Capobianco as opposed to Hopkins dumping his 2nd trainer, Nazim Richardson, just like he did his first, Bouie Fisher, not by letter or to their face, but rather just coldly forgetting they ever existed. He instead hired  John David Jackson in replacement, yet says nothing has changed for these preparations. What, he thinks were born yesterday? This is touted as his last fight as written into his contract, but he’s welched against his word plenty and will do so again when convenient. One also has wonder if he is still stiffing waitresses as he was notorious for doing not so far back ago. He smiles the snaggly toothed grandfatherly smile, but this is not a nice man.

Oh, and PLEASE, let us all pray together that ol’stinker ain’t coming out in pink shorts. Roll them dice boys, it’s another boxing crap shoot.

Ol' Man Stinker vs The Kid

Ol’ Man Stinker vs The Kid

Fat Boy Andy Ruiz vs Mighty Joe Parker For WBO Honors

Andy Ruiz Jr steps up for a big fight for the vacant WBO title against Joseph ParkerVector Arena, Auckland this Saturday, December 10th.

Though this pairing of a fat Mexican against a packed Kiwi down under in New Zealand seems unlikely because of ample Ruiz girth that we rather enjoy our mirth with, this fatboy knows how to fight. He’s very much like Tony Tubbs, Buster Mathis, Tony Galento and Willie Meehan before him, but can he match the girth of achievements of Big George?

We’ll find out after a really bad bummer year for boxing. Both have been very active, so this early December Christmas present for we the fans will be the 4th fight for each this year. When the fight was announced, Parker immediately went public with a painful recollection of the first sparring encounter between the two that left him with a huge cut in his mouth that kept him from eating for a few days. That, of course, was then, with this being now and both more experienced. Parker has faced better opponents the past couple of years whereas Ruiz slacked off in 2015, perhaps due to personal problems. His weight this year has been between 248-253 lbs which is a good range for him considering his past fluctuations, but supposedly he’s targeting 245 lbs for this fight.

As a regrettable side note, Anthony Joshua defends his IBF heavy title against journeyman Eric Molina on the same date in Manchester, but the good news seems to be that finally all the wheels got greased to put both Josh’s IBF belt and a WBA Super belt tossed in for added incentive against Wladimir Klitschko in spring of 2017 in an expected sellout of Wembley, the current capacity of 80,000+. Not to worry for fans though since there are over 2000 toilets to choose from.

Here these dynamic former spar mates are in Las Vegas after attending the Pacquiao/Vargas bout. The size differential is deceptive because Parker as the bigger is out front when in fact Ruiz will come in 10 lbs + heavier:

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilepa Alono Sailele Mallelegaol is said  to have been the primary financier for the fight so it could be held in New Zealand. To wit: “We are proud to be able to support our son Joseph Parker in his quest to become the first Samoan world heavyweight champion, and believe he possesses the qualities required to succeed, strength of body, mind and soul. In addition to this, this event will be a great opportunity for Samoa to promote our beautiful country to what will be a massive international audience.”

An additional wrinkle to this fight is Bob Arum has obtained 50% of Parker and other Duco Event fighter contracts, so will be co promoting him and them for the immediate future including this fight. Top Rank, win, lose, or draw, are back in the heavyweight champion biz again.

I really like the pace and skills of Parker, so of course I think he wins, but I also think Ruiz may possess hereto untapped potential waiting to be released, like maybe for this fight? Regardless of the results, the die is cast. Either the first ever Samoan or Mexican will become a world champ, unless……unless there is a draw or other such monkey business that boxing too often brings to fight results, yet still…only in boxing!

255 lbs vs 246 lbs

255 lbs vs 246 lbs