Tag Archives: Amir Khan

Terence Crawford vs Felix Diaz

Terence Crawford defends his junior welter titles against Dominican Republican Felix Diaz @ Madison Square Garden, New York, New York. Now say Dominican Republican 10X real fast and see how stupid you end up.

Crawford vs Diaz

Crawford vs Diaz

Crawford makes a strong case study for everything that is right in boxing and dangerously wrong for Crawford personally. Bob Arum has done his damnedest to promote him into the soon to be retired Manny Pacquiao PPV replacement slot by building his local Omaha fan base. Arum secured excellent, increasingly more difficult developmental fights for him, yet in his biggest coming out party and PPV debut at the MGM Grand in Vegas against Viktor Postol, it was a flop, only 50K PPVs if even that. OK, we have to acknowledge that boxing PPVs in 2016 sank to, what, a 30 year low that year with the exception of Canelo Alvarez of Mexico and Anthony Joshua of the UK.

Oh, most certainly, Crawford fought his most brilliant fight against his most formidable opponent that he got little credit for because of the 2016 blow back after the 2015 Manny/TUE record setting farce, but there’s more at play here. Coming up and just breaking into contender status, he was interviewed and told of taking a grazing scalp wound when a guy pulled out a gun during a craps game. The inference of the article was that he had matured past those dangerous lifestyle choices, a story of redemption leading to the fulfillment of his potential in a feel good rags to riches story. So, going into to his PPV debut, instead of his focus being on the grand fight, it was on “Bud” Crawford himself and his fellow “buds” ganging up on some overwhelmed auto body shop owner to hijack Bud’s car in the middle of paint job or some such nonsense. They damaged the guy’s equipment and put a big scare into him as we can imagine, so of course the owner pressed charges, won a settlement, and Crawford was put on 2 years probation. The net result was basically telling the larger, casual boxing public that boxing needs for big promotions that Crawford was just another 2 bit street punk soon to become unraveled and behind bars and hardly worth the effort.

Coming into this fight against Diaz, he had another incident involving a girl friend fighting another girl in a street fight where he pulled out a concealed, permitted gun to brandish that scattered the smattering of spectators watching, but landed him into hot waters again. So, while thus far his flawless boxing as been top of the heap, his personal judgement in his regular life is proving problematic and potentially life threatening had someone else pulled a gun in retaliation to start a shootout in his most recent self inflicted mishap.

That certain segment of the thug culture in the US may yet adopt him en masse as they did Mike Tyson and Floyd TUE Mayweather Jr, but that culture is heading for something of a bleak extinction given their lack of relevance in this new rapid fire information culture. At any rate, they are only a small segment of the market he needs to capture for financial success.

Now as to Felix Diaz, while not Ring ranked, he holds a worthy 20th Boxrec ranking, an impressive 2008 Olympic Gold Medal, and is a squat, tricky, 5’5″ southpaw, the kind of fighter that can cause any fighter problems. This matchup could further be seen as the longtime desire of Bob Arum to prep Crawford for the southpaw style of Manny Pacquiao fight. A potential problem with that is that Arum is in his mid 80s and has recently put on some weight and sounded less than lucid in interviews of late and may not have the control over boxing that he used to.

Just think how far Don King as fallen in relevance in his advanced years. Manny was supposed to fight Amir Khan in April, but that fell apart over money and control of Manny’s career when he and manager/advisor Michael Koncz independently tried to negotiate a fight outside the Arum loop with Khan in Dubai for fabulous money, so nobody to really know where the Golden Goose lays his next Golden Egg save Manny reluctantly committed to the Horn fight in Australia for about 1/6 of what he would have made in Dubai after that deal fell apart.

Certainly there’s not much spare money in this fight, but fight fans may be as well pleased as can be possible for such an unlikely demographic with this matchup. By rankings alone it’s a bit of mismatch, and by the bookies, 25-1, but by styles and caliber of talents, it could be quite interesting for as long as it lasts. Any early ending will be by Crawford, but straggling to decision is always a crap shoot in boxing. Crawford’s already dodged one bullet looking to put a hole through his noggin, so he best not push his luck with another crapshoot.

That POT ‘O GOLD at the end of the rainbow still remains within Crawford’s grasp, but rainbows quickly fade, so he best get to cracking in the ring and straighten up outside it. When Manny retires as expected for his campaign for the Filipino presidency, not even Manny Pacquiao can continue boxing.

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Who Knew? Danny Garcia vs Lamont Peterson @143 catchweight

Danny Garcia fights Lamont Peterson in a nontitle 143lb catchweight bout Saturday, April 11th at Barclays in Brooklyn, New York in what could be plenty of action. Or perhaps ever more controversy since these are two Al Haymon fighters, officiating controversy being the main domain of most any Haymon arranged fight.

Both of these guys are really too big for 140, but Peterson still holds the IBF belt he won off Amir Khan and may chose to return after this fight depending on future offers. The not nearly so “Swift” Garcia may hold the WBC/WBA belts, yet has not defended in over a year now. Maybe because most know that the unsung Mauricio Herrera made him look like silly little putty in what was his grande Puerto Rico homecoming. Of course with Garcia being one of the crown pasted glass jewels of the Al Haymon empire, natch, Garcia happily ran away with the boos and the decision to much derision. His team hasn’t been able to find the fortitude to chance another risk to his title, thus he is becoming what is all too common in boxing as many top fighters milk out their titles for extended paydays against lesser opponents, a propped up fighter.

At least we’ll see Garcia in against solid, very tough contender. I expect Peterson to outbox him and pick his big shots carefully for a comprehensive win according to written rules regarding scoring, but can he win over the Haymon judges who have shown a distinct propensity to pick the money fighter Garcia who has been less than scintillating during his career save for a few spectacular KOs? Certainly nobody would begrudge him knocking out Peterson, and that could happen since he’s the slugger in this bout, but Boxing has never been in such perilous times as now with no real future stars coming up. Too many of the few select contenders are seemingly content to be involved in endless series canned fights as Al Haymon launches his big media deals in his bid to take over boxing.

Peterson is not nearly so carefully propped up for a Floyd Mayweather fight as Garcia is, and such is how we follow Haymon boxing, by following the money to the top of the food chain.

El Terrible Mismatch–Danny Garcia vs Eric Morales

The old Houston Astrodome, now named Reliant Arena, is the boxing venue March 24 when young phenom Danny Garcia challenges Mexican Legend Erik Morales.

By credentials alone, Danny Garcia wouldn’t even be in the same ballpark as Erik Morales, but such is not the way boxing works. Garcia is young and hungry and owns recent wins over Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt, so now he’s matched against the grizzled old Mexican warrior attempting one last go at glory.

The Heyday of Morales vs Barrera

The Heyday of Morales vs Barrera

Where to start trying to figure the meaning of a bout like this might begin with the ill advised comeback of 35 year old Erik Morales after retiring several years ago. He had been knocked out consecutively by the rapidly rising Manny Pacquaio and then outmuscled and outbrawled by then WBC champ David Diaz when he moved up to lightweight.

Look up Mexican Warrior in the dictionary and Erik Morales will be among the definitions, yet after a long and brutal career as one of boxing’s brightest stars, he just didn’t seem to have it any more. Complaints about ringing in his head caused some concern, so his retirement was a relief for all those interested in his well being.

El Terrible vs Hands of Steel

El Terrible vs Hands of Steel

His weight promptly blew up to an unrecognizable whale scale, so fans were still concerned about his health, but after 3 yrs on the banquet circuit he returned at a flabby 147 lbs to outpoint the forgettable Jose Alfaro. Gone was his timing and balance, but his strength of will to fight remained, so it was onward and upward to Willie “Hands of Steel” Limond and Francisco Lorenzo as he gamely boxed his way into a semblance of fighting shape in more forgettable fights. The Lorenzo fight saw him being well whipped and out of clues in spite of taking the unanimous decision.

El Golpe

El Golpe

Morales managed to go the distance in a terrible fight against Maidana who should have gotten the early stoppage. Morales’ right eye was closed in the 1st round by a vicious Maidana uppercut and he took a beating. Eventually Maidana realized he had a real tough fighter in front of him who wouldn’t go easily and lost his stomach for the sometimes cruel brutality of  boxing , so Morales promptly took advantage of the weakness and went after Maidana hard, thus giving his fans the support they had been waiting for.

Truth is, by the end of the fight Morales had something of the look of the young Eric Morales when he refused to buckle and stung Maidana with some well placed shots. Still, there was no reason at all to make him take an unholy beating like that, but some fighters just cannot leave gracefully.

Though he lost the bout, his name was back in the public eye and was floated in with potential bouts with Floyd Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Amir Khan. Instead the WBC maneuvered him into another forgettable bout against Pablo Cesar Cano for the title they had shamelessly stripped from undefeated champion Gary Bradley.

Danny Garcia vs Kendall Holt

Danny Garcia vs Kendall Holt

So now they call Morales a champion and he defends against a quick, prime boxer type in Danny “Swift” Garcia in what could be another ill advised 12 round war on the Morales body which just saw the bout delayed as Morales had some kidney stones removed.

The hope is that Morales is starting to physically look like a Mexican Warrior instead of the Tijuana Tamale he resembled at the start of his comeback, so the bout has the potential of a high action classic to it. It helps that Garcia is not the big puncher that can discourage Morales who will likely be the aggressor in this bout.

All I can say is the 23 year old Garcia best not take this version of Morales lightly if he wants to make any inroads in boxing. He wants to swap his 7th Ring rating against the 5th rating of the old man.

Maidana took a lot of flack for allowing Morales back into the fight after running out of gas and desire in the mid rounds. Morales knows he could be back in the business end of the next big fight against  Floyd Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Amir Khan with a resounding victory over the kid. 

No fighter ever had any more desire than Eric Morales, but is the kid smart enough, quick enough and in good enough condition to overcome that desire and ring experience? Their intertwined fates await the unraveling hour as the days and seconds tick down to the sounding of the first bell.

Showtime Supermiddle Final Showdown– Andre Ward vs Carl Froch

The action is supposed to occur December 17th at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, but this Showtime Supermiddle Tourney has been plagued by so many cancellations, reschedules and bad hometown officiating it’s hard to know how much the average fan cares about the final.

The Showtime tourney was announced with great fanfare and accolades, but only a few fights have lived up to the promise of the best fighting the best. Now the tourney limps home on the final leg.

The best officiated and by far most competitive fight was overseas in Mikkel Kessler‘s backyard of Denmark where he and Carl Froch went toe to toe with great overall boxing skills. Excellent ebb and flow and a very clean fight where both fighters had to dig deeper than ever before just to stay in the bout. Kessler won the bout but had to withdraw from the tourney because of a eye injury first suffered in the Ward fight where he was without vision. 

One thing is certain about this bout, Andre Ward and Carl Froch are two really tough fighters with a lot of strength at the weight. Ward holds the traditional prime age advantage at 27 years to Froch’s 34 years, but Froch is fighting as well as he ever has, so I don’t see age playing a factor though Froch has 5 more fights and 48 more rounds on his ledger.

Andre Ward is the last American Olympic Gold Medalist and was supposed to be boxing’s new star, but he has almost disappeared in the boxing landscape since his 2004 debut to become a small venue hometown California fighter well removed from the bright lights of Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden. Ward compiled a 24-0, 13 KO record in boxing’s hinterlands and will be making his 4th defense of the WBA belt he won off of Mikkel Kessler, the blueprint of his butting, elbow and grappling style offense he has employed during the tourney.

Froch vs Pascal

Froch vs Pascal

Meanwhile, Englishman Carl Froch turned pro to no acclaim in 2002 and stayed that way in England as he steadily fought his way up the chain until his spectacular “international” debut in Froch’s hometown of Nottingham, England. He dethroned undefeated Canadian Jean Pascal to snatch away his WBC belt in a very well fought bout with plenty of back and forth action. Since then he has done a foxtrot around the world against the best supermiddleweights in the business and has slowly built up a healthy following in the UK. He is a fan friendly action fighter with only one very competitive loss to Mikkel Kessler to sully his record, 28-1, 20 KO.

So Froch is better prepared to fight away from home than Ward and may have more fans in attendance than Ward since British fans love to hop The Pond to vociferiously support their fighters. However better prepared Froch is to fight away from home, Ward is clearly the Showtime “house” fighter, the only fighter to fight all his Showtime fights on his hometurf until this fight was scheduled.

Ward is more than the last Olympic Gold Medalist, he is also undefeated, so there’s much more upside to keeping him undefeated for Showtime than if the British fighter wins. This means Froch has to beat him substantially to secure a draw, and knock him out cleanly to secure the win, but Froch is the slugger in this match even if his power seems on the wane of late.

Up Close Dark Arts

Up Close Dark Arts

The biggest problem for Froch being that Ward is also the dirtiest fighter in boxing, well experienced in spoiling tactics and various “Dark Arts.” More to the point, Ward is strong enough and willing to use them as his primary offensive weapons in naked view for all to see. So far only the brawling Sakio Biko could match his dirty tactics, and poor Bika had the ref interfering anytime he looked to be up against Ward, and of course the hometown judges awarded Ward almost every round of the ugly fight only Ward’s family might like to judge.

There is no easy way to prepare for the strength and skill Ward uses to employ his Dark Arts any more than there is to counter the interference from the referee. If Froch is to win he has to fight in a defensive grappling  style any time Ward gets in on him for a butt while aggressively setting up his knockout punches on the outside.

Grappling inside with dirty fighters is not Froch’s forte.

Ward is easy to find in ring center usually, but harder to hit cleanly with his octopus arms and elbows sucking up a fighter’s offense and spirit. He did employ cleaner tactics against Arthur Abraham and Allan Green, but Abraham is a pure upright slugger that a good boxer with footwork in a hometown setting can secure a win against and Green barely showed up, meaning that Ward does have some legitimate boxing skills to employ when he chooses and knows how to stay away from sluggers.

Nonetheless, Ward makes a very awkward fight to score because even when he chooses to box outside, he’s still got a quick low shoulder rush inside that knocks other fighters off balance and disrupt continuity.

Adding it all up, Ward has to be considered a favorite. I’ve no doubt Froch could outbox and outslug him in a cleanly officiated and scored bout, but such rules of fair play are regrettably not likely to be in force. I don’t envision a knockout, but a headbutt could stop the fight. The fight was originally delayed when Ward got a truly nasty cut in sparring, possibly working on a headbutt that went awry.

Should be interesting to see what tactics each employs, and if Froch is smart, he’ll stay clean and use his considerable skills to work as hard as he can and let the chips fly where they may. Two high profile Brits, Dereck Chisora and Amir Khan have lost against hometown fighters recently. Chisora employed headbutts and clowning strategies that clearly didn’t win over the judges. Khan was warned repeatedly for pushing before being deducted points. Both were winnable fights with a smarter, cleaner strategy.

Wonder what the over and under odds are for a clean fight vs a dirty fight?

Shame it has to come down to a question like that, but the Showtime folks and New York Commish have a chance to correct what has been largely a disappointing tourney with some genuine sporting rules of fair play enforced to finish the tourney and the year with a great fight.

British Invade Washington DC–Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson.

The British will be invading Washington DC Saturday, December 10th as their Crown Prince, WBA/IBF junior welterweight titlest Amir Khan defends his crown against local contender, Lamont Peterson.

Khan at work

Khan at work

Both of these fighters are of traditional prime age, 24 years for Khan and 27 years for Peterson, and both are classic boxer types with Khan holding a 26-1, 18 KO record against 29-1-1, 15 KO record of Peterson. Both are fairly big fighters for the weight with Khan announcing that he will be moving up to the welterweight division after this fight to pursue more opportunities, ie, a Floyd Mayweather Jr match.

Lamont Peterson

Lamont Peterson

Plotting a career path may be well and good for mice and men, but Lamont Peterson surely must be as hungry a fighter as Khan has ever faced and has the boxing skills to negate Khan’s own skills to keep the match competitive in a hometown setting. Though his record may not reflect it, I do believe Peterson has enough power and sharpness on his punches to hurt Khan, and in any battle of the chins, Peterson may just have that edge over Khan who suffered a spectacular 1st round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott and need blatant interventions from referee Joe Cortez to keep from being knocked out by Marcos Maidana.

Peterson has already tasted the power of a bigger more powerful fighter in Victor Ortiz, so is likely to have full confidence going into this bout. If he wins, could be he wins the Floyd Mayweather Jr sweepstakes, or at very least become a much bigger player in the boxing landscape. 

Peterson’s question marks are whether he is possessed of the championship attributes needed to dethrone a very good boxer/puncher being trained by the best in the business today, Freddie Roach.

Peterson lost to the best he faced thusfar in Timothy Bradley, and he was quite fortunate to scrape by with a draw against Victor Ortiz who clearly controlled the fight and knocked him down. None of those fighters is remotely similar to Khan who has done well against light swatters Andriy Kotelnyk, Paul Malignaggi, and  Paul McCloskey.

They will have to fight to hash out their future career paths, so as the scrappy referee Mills Lane was want to announce before the start of every fight:

“Let’s get it on!”

Freddie Roach’s Latest Wild Card to Trump Mayweather

Freddie Roach has been the hottest trainer in boxing for some few years now that his star pupil, Manny Pacquiao, has ascended to the highest boxing honors available in the sport, but Roach also runs his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles where he trains a number of up and coming prospects, contenders, and champs.

Not the least among them is young Amir Khan fresh off his hard fought victory over the HUGE punching terror, Argentinean Marcos Maidana.

Tres Amigos

Tres Amigos

Not withstanding the Joe Cortez fortuitously planned horror of officiating that protected Khan late in the fight when his lights precipitously flickered near the off switch, Khan did managed to scrape across the Maidana finish line to officially become boxing’s next most popular choice to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr after stablemate Manny Pacquiao.

It may be that Khan has also officially become the likeliest frontrunner to actually make that fight happen since he is in the Golden Boy Promotions stable, the only class of fighter Mayweather has chosen to fight for some 5 years.

Mayweather is “officially” taking yet another temporary retirement from the sport, so we don’t know when he will ever fight again or IF he ever fights again given the more than half dozen felony charges against him that could put him in some 35 yrs behind bars.

If Money May ever fights again, it seems ever more remote that it would be against Pacquiao who is promoted by Mayweather’s arch enemy, Bob Arum, whose fighters Mayweather has repeatedly asserted he will never fight, yet has no problems negotiating agreed upon terms for the fight he will never fight.

With the latest Khan victory notched, Freddie Roach can now hunker down at Fort Wild Card to develop two different strategies using two different fighters to beat Mayweather, effectively holding the keys to the two most lucrative Mayweather fights available to Floyd. Roach finds himself in a position of power perhaps never before afforded to boxing trainers in the history of boxing.

Roach is more than a trainer though with a link to the storied past as a bad ass lightweight with no punch mentored by the late Eddie Futch. Roach has become a rare combination of manager, mentor, advisor and friend to many of his fighters, so holds a big sway over any prefight proceedings.

Amir Khan most likely will be defending if not pursuing unification in his next junior welter bout, but the big story aside from the debunked chin of china perception is that Khan is willing to move up in weight to face Mayweather who has actually expressed an interest in fighting Khan.

Roach wants that fight. It may be presumptuous to say that all roads to the biggest two fights in boxing history pass through Freddie Roach, but, indeed, that seems to be the situation at this point.

Amazing, but true, a modern day Svengali in fisticuffs for the ages, and it’s no accident that his latest pupil, UFC p4p #1 Georges St. Pierre, used his boxing to score a devastating shutout of his most serious challenge yet.

No word or photos have yet surfaced of Freddie Roach walking on water yet, so stay tuned.

Ya never know what’s next in Freddie World.

Amir Khan vs The Moment of Truth: Marcos Maidana

 Young British junior welter, Amir Khan, defends his WBA strap against the hard charging, murderously punching Marcos Maidana this December 11th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

King Khan

King Khan

The bout is eagerly anticipated by the legions of Khan’s critics who dismiss him as a swaddled piece of royale china. Khan has an equal measure of loyal supporters who have channeled him into something of a minor star, not the least of which is his trainer, Freddie Roach, who saw enough raw talent and desire to take Khan under his wing and reshape him from shattered scattered shards into a highly ranked boxer/puncher sporting a shiny new belt.

Maidana earned his shot at this prize by winning an eliminator and becoming the much avoided mandatory until he could be put off no longer after Khan was finally threatened with strippage of his title.

None of that matters anymore now that they are fighting, so the hope is that that a definitive result emerges out of what has potential of being a very good or very bad or very short fight, depending on what style Khan employs and how quick to the point Maidana is.

El Chino

El Chino

Maidana is a very basic, some would even say primitive fighter who only looks to blast his opponent’s jawbone into the 5th row, but those critics fail to appreciate what it takes to harness natural talent and physical attributes to make that kind of power and results happen against another man intent on doing the same to you. With his current record standing at 29-1, 27 KO, Maidana has suffered somewhat from being something of “another unknown Argentinean slugger” with managerial problems in spite of signing with Khan’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, just another high risk but low reward foreigner.

This fight figures to be his breakout moment and you can be sure that El Chino figures on being the Bull on a rampage in King Khan’s finest china shop.

Young Khan, age 23, is where the future revenue potential is, teetering on the cusp as a potential international star. Floyd Mayweather Jr has been rumored to have an interest in fighting Khan if he prevails as a convenient in house Golden Boy promotion.

As such, Maidana knows it’s unlikely he could ever outbox a highly trained, talented touted boxer much less get a decision on the cards, so he’s gotta storm the venue and knock over the apple cart to become a star in his own right. As one of the hardest p4p punchers in the game today, he has a pretty fair chance of doing just that, IF he can catch the fleet footed Khan who doubtless is getting special training from the aptly named 100 meter man, Usain Bolt.

Maidana is pretty quick on the mark himself and can cut the ring off well when he chooses, but like most big sluggers, he’d like nothing better than to trade at ring center where he’s in his deadliest zone. It’s highly unlikely that Khan engages him for more than brief flashes though, probably implementing his Kotelnik strategy that saw him pecking away while on a frenetic run for most every minute of all 12 rounds against the light punching Ukrainian.

That fight was terrible as a spectacle, but it earned Khan a wide hometown decision on the cards and gave him a measure of redemption after the Breidis Prescott disaster. Maidana may look clumsy as he overextends while on the chase, but he’s hungry enough to eventually hunt Khan down for some fireworks which is where the true interest in this fight lays for fight fans. Khan has some healthy power of his own and is a quick combination puncher who looks to establish enough hurt to slow down the iron chinned Maidana onslaught.

Can Khan survive the huge crunching swings of Maidana to establish that respect and cruise to another decision? Maybe. Khan will certainly be the bookmaker’s favorite for this fight.

 I see Maidana as having the right style and attributes to eventually splash Khan into Bolivia on the Thames sooner than later, but like any fight, each has to prove he can win in the ring thankfully.

The Show Before The Fight

The Show Before The Fight

The undercard is intriguing in that it is also co-promoting other top Golden Boy junior welters, Victor Ortiz and Joan Guzman in separate bouts, convenient in-house future opponents for both Khan and Maidana.

Well, as they are fond of saying, gots to fight to prove it, so all the talk, the posturing, the duckin’, divin’ & jivin’, all fixin’ to end once the first bell sounds for the real braggin’ rights.

Khan vs Maidana may be long overdue, but it may well turn out to be well worth the wait.

The Strange Case of Deontay Wilder, The Last US Olympic Medalist

Deontay Wilder was the sole US Olympic Medalist in boxing from the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the only bright spot among that ill fated Olympic squad.

He won a bronze medal, so perhaps flew under the American radar upon his return given the poor showing by the rest of the team, a far cry from the gold medal bonanzas Americans used to gather in as their birthright in the glory days of yore.

The Bronze Bomber

The Bronze Bomber

Deontay sorta came out of nowhere to win a pair of national amateur titles before qualifying for the Olympics and nabbing a bronze, so he has a limited amateur background. Call him a George Foreman Lite since George surprised a lot of folks by taking gold in 1968 with a very limited amateur background before turning pro.

Difference between Big George’s pro career and Wilder is that Foreman started off facing some pretty stiff competition and quickly became a ranked and greatly feared fighter.

Young Wilder is a month away from turning 25, the start of traditional athletic peak years and coming up on 2 yrs as a pro while sporting an 11-0, 11 KO record. Sounds great, right?

So, in 4 yrs he’d be 22-0, 22 KO and a ranked fighter, right?

WRONG!

He might well be 22-0, 22 KO, but he won’t be within a light year from landing a ranking by facing the poor opposition he’s been feasting on. His last two opponents were 400 and 300 pounders respectively. The 400 pounder had never beaten a fighter who had won a single fight and is so poor that not even boxrec will rank him. The 300 pounder is just under a 500th boxrec ranking, meaning there are almost 500 fighters around the world ranked ahead of him.

I’m sure there are many more qualified folks than I in boxing wondering how Wilder can develop into a contender fighting such morbidly weak fighters?

It’s not like he doesn’t have a strong team behind him either.  Mark Breland is his trainer and is arguably the best amateur boxer in US history, an Olympic Gold Medalist and two time WBA welter champ, so he has some chops. Wilder is managed by Shelly Finkel and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, high profile insiders.

Did Golden Boy blow a golden opportunity this Saturday to feature The Last US Olympic Medalist as the headliner in Las Vegas on an otherwise dreary weekend in boxing that sees him buried in Mississippi fighting another 38 yr old no hoper flirting with a 600th boxrec ranking?

And Mark Breland relocated from Brooklyn to Mississippi to train Breland for this?

Really?

Or is Deontay Wilder simply not interested in doing more than exploring the bottomless depths of boxing’s empty barrel?

Shame is that he’s a very long, lean, handsome, telegenic type of kid that Americans desperate for a glimmer of hope in the heavy division could really get behind, but the general public has just flat out never seen him or forgot about him if they had even heard of him.

The most damning, obscene words imaginable fail to capture the depths that the long time dominant American Big Man in boxing has fallen into for this and future eras it would appear.

There is HUGE $$$,$$$,$$$ to be made for the next American heavyweight champ, but apparently all you can eat buffets and soft opposition that they can gum are more inviting with this generation.

Nobody with any sense expects the kid to necessarily be fighting fringe contenders in his 2nd full year of professional boxing, but the kid is moving backwards at a faster rate than he’s moving forward. He’s being de-evolved as a prospect, and nowhere near being a contender in this lifetime.

Well, it’s his life and his career and he and his handlers can do with it what they may, but it remains a mystery for a fighter known as the Bronze Bomber.

Who?

Emerging Talent, Devon Alexander vs Andriy Kotelnik

A low intensity under the wire Don King promotion is coming up this weekend in St Louis, Missouri at the Scottrade Center headlining an emerging, engaging new WBC/IBF 140 lb champion, Devon Alexander defending against former WBA champion, Andriy Kotelnik.

Alexander vs Kotelnik

Alexander vs Kotelnik

The 140 lb junior welterweight division has transformed into boxing’s hottest with the emergence of the 23 yr old Alexander, Gary Bradley, Marcos Maidana, and Amir Khan, all youthful and full of talent, but the perpetual question forever remains in boxing as to whether they will ever fight each other because of promoter rivalries?

Perhaps, but for now young Alexander has a major hurdle in defending against a very tough, very technically sound Ukrainian, Kotelnik, who is used to traveling for big fights, yet just now making his American debut at age 32.

On paper, it seems the most important advantages point to Alexander being younger, faster, and more powerful, a combination that has been traditionally difficult to beat, but not impossible. Kotelnik has been an under promoted, under appreciated  block of what Americans call faceless East European fighters who have emerged enmasse since the end of The Cold War and the break up of the Soviet Empire.

Andriy Kotelnik, however, is the more experienced fighter with 35 fights and 256 rounds in the bank compared to Alexander’s 20 fights and 106 rounds and at age 32 coming off a tough loss of his WBA crown to Amir Khan in England, Kotelnik remains a hungry, viable contender. He is also the 2000 Olympic lightweight silver medalist, so with a record of 31-3-1 and never having been stopped, he has a long record of excellence that cannot be sneered away for being unknown in America.

From the few bouts I’ve seen of Kotelnik, his style is that of being ring center and counter punching primarily from a sound defensive stance. Khan took his belt by taking flight while peppering him with a fusillade of popcorn, but I doubt Alexander would employ this style since Kotelnik’s biggest weakness is his lack of power, only a 37% knockout percentage with only 1 KO win out of his last 6 fights.

Alexander has the opposite “problem” after having won the last 5 of 6 by stoppage, he may be falling in love with his power and underestimate what a tough fight that Kotelnik really is. Kotelnik stood up against wincing, crunching shots by one of the most powerful p4p punchers in boxing, Marcos Maidana, and slowly worked his way back into that fight by sheer will and technical excellence.

No sir, this is no cupcake homecoming defense for Alexander, however it must also be noted that Alexander is the only fighter to have ever stopped Junior Witter and Juan Urango, and these in his last two fights when he first burst upon the champion’s podium, thus the dilemma.

The Irresistible Force is going straight up against The Immovable Object.  

Which may also describe the supporting bout where another young emerging champion, Tavoris Cloud with his 90% knockout percentage puts his undefeated record and Lightheavy IBF title on the line against always tough veteran, The Road Warrior, Glencoffe Johnson who’s stood up to heavy fire against his era’s best. They are the two large bookends in the above photo.

The televised card could scarcely ask for two more action oriented fights than this, so you might want to tune in.