Tag Archives: antonio margarito

Hercules Cleaning Out Al Haymon Stables~Anthony Joshua vs Dominic Breazeale

IBF Heavy Champ Anthony Joshua, 16-0, 16 KO,  ever more looking to be a modern day Hercules cleaning out Al Haymon‘s stable of heavyweights, defends against Dominic Breazeale, 17-0, 15 KO, at the O2 Arena (Millenium Dome), Greenwich, London, Saturday, June 25.

Joshua looking American & Breazeale looking British, go figure...

Joshua looking American & Breazeale looking British, go figure…

The USurper Breazeale wants us to know that he’s no Charles Martin, the soft Haymon heavyweight that Joshua blew out in two rounds two months ago. Well, bully good for Breazeale to step up for this title shot, however in his last fight where he did indeed step up for the first time against a 43 year old southpaw fringe contender, Amir Mansour, it is exceedingly rare to see a fighter so greatly outclassed as was Breazeale. Mansour swept the first five rounds on the judges’ scorecards by 50-44, 50-44, 50-44, even knocking down Breazeale in the third round for a 10-8 round.

Mansour, however, was so sick with the flu before the fight that he could barely breathe, so his trainers gave him a mouthpiece fitted for his upper teeth only. That contributed to what proved to be a disastrous injury when he almost bit tongue in half during the 2nd round when Breazeale caught him. It remains a mystery how the partial mouthpiece was even allowed by the California State Athletic Commision other than to note these are the same knucklenoggins who approved Antonio Margarito handwraps that turned out to be loaded with a few plaster crumbles in an insert. Nobody in these commissions is ever publicly reprimanded for these rules violations that they are supposed to be screening for, which begs the question, why are they even there if all they are is empty suits?

As the fight finally played out, Mansour had to retire on his stool after gulping a quart of his blood. He was rushed off to the hospital to undergo five hours of surgery requiring 36 stitches to sew everything together. Amazing the amount of heart he showed under such painfully debilitating conditions to dominate for as long as he did.

So while we have to credit the 30 year old Breazeale for enduring such a terrible beatdown, and he did come up with some big punches that hastened the end over his wounded prey, as far as demonstrable skill levels goes as to what normally constitutes a contender, he miserably FAILED his first real test. Thus the prime aged, rampaging Joshua will be the big favorite with Breazeale in desperate need of a Hail Mary punch.  If the flabby Breazeale makes it halfway through round four, the “over” wagers would triple their money, so the oddsmakers are anticipating a huge flux of wagers on the KO of Breazeale before 3.5 rds is up.

That’s just the way it is for this one. If the 26 year old Joshua’s ego doesn’t swell up up beyond containment from the ease of his victories, and he stays in training and progressing, he could finish out as one of the best ever and maybe even undefeated to boot. Gonna be a platoon of big boys out there in his future just waiting for that one shot to obliterate him, so this one more step at a time, easy as she goes sailor.

The Mesomorph vs The Endomorph

The Mesomorph vs The Endomorph

American Hero Tony Thompson vs Cubano Luis Ortiz

Tony “The Tiger” Thompson, 40-6, 27 KO, challenges WBA interim heavyweight champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz, 24-0, 21 KO, this March 5th at the DC Armory, in Washington D.C. Despite his age, 44, Thompson has beaten some notable names the last few years including highly touted Olympians David Price and Odlanier Solis twice each in their home environs. Such heroics elevated him into the pantheon of favorite American heavyweights after a painfully slow early career development.

The tubby, awkwardly fighting Thompson is, of course, not the usual life saving public service stereotype touted as a hero, but me thinks many boxing fans have come round to him no matter his setbacks because he gives it his all. He’s done his part to save the soul of old school boxing that made America great with his heady risk taking and confidence, something that has been missing in American boxers. That has allowed him to extend out his career that was teetering on the brink too many times in his prime due to general lack interest boxing had in him. Doubtless he’s also made considerably more money these past few years than the long years that proceeded him, so amen to that.

The Solis name is noteworthy in that he was also a heavily touted Cubano Olympic Gold medal compatriot of Ortiz for whom big things were predicted to no avail when Thompson beat him up and nailed his coffin shut for the duration. Ortiz is certainly no spring chicken himself, soon to be age 37 in a couple more weeks, with near 400 hundred of amateur bouts on his odometer, but professionally he is most certainly fresher than Thompson. Thompson claims a couple of amateur wins over him before they turned pro, but that was ages ago and little relevance to today’s cutthroat pro game when Thompson has started to wind down. In otherwords, Ortiz will be heavily favored. Also interesting is this a battle of two heavyweight southpaws for a title.

The cutthroat that the WBA recently announced that this is a nontitle fight, so if Thompson wins, he can’t take the title away from Ortiz who they are trying to prop up for their upcoming cornball heavyweight tourney. Needless to say, if the steroid cheat Ortiz already didn’t have enough suits lined up in his corner before, now he’s got the WBA suits as well. He can’t lose his title no matter what…only in boxing.

In other heavyweight action this week, WBA “Regular” champ Ruslan Chagaev does indeed defend his title against Aussie Lucas Browne in Grozny, Russia. Chagaev has the credentials, but he’s done little these past few years. Browne has been a project from the start, but from recent activity, Chagaev is overrated and Browne underrated. We’ll see how it goes.

And last but not least in Mexico City, everyone’s favorite infidel and all around dartboard, Antonio Margarito, returns from retirement to fight Jorge Paez Jr on Saturday. Interesting week for boxing, perhaps a prelude of heated bouts to come.

 

 

Miguel Cotto Goes Trout Fishing In America.

The expedition begins December 1st at Madison Square Garden, New York when Miguel Cotto casts into the waters hoping to hook, fight, and land the undefeated WBA champ, Austin No Doubt Trout.

Cotto vs Trout

Cotto vs Trout

Upstate New York is known for it’s crystalline cold waters, but this fight is probably going to be a down and dirty affair since Trout is a prime aged 27 years of age and looking for his first respect in boxing in spite of holding the WBA junior middle title for two years. Now he’s in his 4th defense against a fighter who could be in the Hall of Fame some day.

You want to talk about respect, that’s something the 32 year old Miguel Cotto used to have a lot of before losing his way after an all time beatdown against Antonio Margarito. His personal life further took a beatdown, and then the beating by Manny Pacquiao.

These are the kinds of beatings that lesser fighters have to retire on, but Cotto stormed back with 3 straight knockouts as he claimed the WBA super lightmiddle title to find new respect and Ring ratings.

Then he manned up for Floyd Mayweather Jr’s Go To Jail fight and waged a battle against Mayweather who had no choice but to fight the pressuring Cotto. It was entertaining for the crowd, and oddly enough, Cotto came out scarcely marked unlike his big wins where he always emerged tattered. Mayweather suffered a badly bruised and bloodied nose and looked the loser by fight’s end for the first time in a long time, but the judges saw it different and kept his unbeaten streak alive….for now.

Mayweather was an easier fight for Cotto than his Margarito/Pacquiao fights since Mayweather is not a puncher, so of course Cotto thought he won the fight. I would tell him he lost the fight when he faded as Mayweather faded in the late rounds. He should know from experience that the money fighter almost always gets the even rounds by typical judging standards.

To be fair, Cotto only had a 6 week training camp due the emergency nature for the fight to take place before Mayweather went to jail. He trained at double that figure for Pacquiao and the Margarito rematch.

The Mayweather fight did excellent PPV numbers, so naturally he’s thinking, “What if I get the Mayweather rematch for my old super WBA belt with more time to train?”

Austin Trout holds the regular title, wanted a big fight, so in boxing like in any human concern, when two folks get together and like what they can do for each other, the deal gets done. Austin Trout lacks the pedigree of Cotto, but he’s a natural at the weight, something Cotto is not, and he’s got that yon Cassius lean and hungry look to him that was so fatal to Julius Cesar.

Trout doesn’t have much pop in his fists considering the lower tier opposition he’s been fighting, but at this level, any of these guys can land a sharp shot to turn out the lights. Problem for Trout is he’s got one of boxing’s all time bruisers who can box as good as he slugs. Perhaps the saving grace for Trout will be that he happens to fight as a southpaw.

Cotto got knocked out by the last southpaw he faced, but that was Manny Pacquiao. Got to go back to 2007 for the next southpaw, a competitive fight with Zab Judah whom Cotto brutalized in that run over by a truck fashion that he specializes in. The year before it was Carlos Quintana, an undefeated southpaw that he mashed up, and both Judah and Quinatana are still around making some noise.

Someone’s gonna have a fight on his hands if he wants to land the big whopper, so get your gaff ready and stay tuned.

The Fight That Never Was–Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Paul The Punisher Williams

Paul The Punisher Williams used to be known as the fighter who took over the mantle of the most ducked fighter in boxing from Antonio Margarito. Listed as 6-1 with a 79 ” reach on Boxrec for promotional purposes so as not to scare off potential opponents, he was noticeably taller and rangier than stablemate heavyweight Chris Arreola who was listed as 6-3. Fight teams all knew his data was heavily fudged and stayed away from the towering colossus in droves. Even the fearsome Kelly Pavlik looked none too anxious for a battle after twice signing to fight him before pulling out with a series of regrettable health problems.

Saul Alvarez has the opposite problem of Williams. The hottest undefeated darling of Mexico needs his team to beat back the hordes of fighters trying to get at him, so it seemed an incredible convergence of good fortune and opportunity for Williams when he was chosen by Team Canelo for a splashy September 15th defense of the Alvarez WBC belt.

The Punisher

Williams had been struggling according to critics, but of course his critics had him struggling all through his stellar career. Even Beethoven had to endure such ham handed reviews such as “It bodes ill for Beethoven if he continues down his current path.”

Sadly, this potential fight of the year turned into a tragedy when Williams was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident, squashing the big payday and the chance for Williams to upset the boxing applecart again.

Lineal light heavy champ Julio Gonzales recently passed from a motorcycle accident as did former champ Diego Corrales a few years back. Going back, fellow Georgian and HOFer Young Stribling was near the same age as Williams is now when he passed in a motorcycle accident, so Williams should thank his lucky stars for surviving with mental faculties intact.

Might even be time for Alvarez to make a test run with his 190 MPH Maserati and decide how much longer fate needs to be tempted.

Ladies and Gents, if you are married with a young family, sell your bike or at least mothball it until they can fend for themselves.

Willie Pep was similarly injured in a 1947 plane crash and told he would never box again, yet five months later he resumed the last 3rd of his stellar HOF career. Paul Williams is not likely to ever be voted into the HOF, but he did have his signature moment when he stood in the pocket all night to carve up Winky Wright like a Thanksgiving Day turkey. There were other great showings like his first round knockout of Carlos Quintana, outworking and outslugging Antonio Margarito in a firefight, and a spectacular give and take fight with current middleweight champ Sergio Martinez that had HBO salivating for the rematch in a classic series.

Alas, far too few American fighters or critics ever took to imposing giants as Jess Willard, Primo Carnera and Nikolay Valuev knew, much less a gangling southpaw giant who was a nightmare to fight, so Williams was left scrambling to find the best of the few opponents willing to test themselves against his formidable reach and work rate. He finishes with a stellar 41-2, 27 KO record.

I wish Paul Williams and his family all the best in his recovery and adjustment to his new life. He has been a great fighter and ambassador for boxing who has been greatly underrated.

Golden Boy Promotions has a well stocked stable of talented junior middleweights available for substitution, but then replacement James Kirkland fell out after citing ongoing shoulder problems. The 3rd choice, Victor Ortiz, had his jaw broken by the unheralded Josesito Lopez in what was supposed to be a mopup fight for Ortiz after his choreographed dive to the canvas in the Floyd Mayweather incident.

So after 3 fruitless rounds of scrambling for an opponent, Golden Boy finally did the right thing and yielded to the inevitability of fate by tapping the surging new boxing hero, Josesito Lopez.

Canelo vs Josesito
Canelo vs Josesito

Naturally boxing critics were instantly set howling in derision since the soon to be 29 years Lopez has never fought at junior middle, but then again he never fought at welterweight before pounding Ortiz into the hospital to ponder next year’s comeback with a rebuilt jaw. As you can see, Lopez looks to have some height and range over Alvarez, so he has plenty of time to pack on some additional pounds if needed.

Canelo is closing in on Floyd Mayweather Jr‘s undefeated record, 43-0, 26 KO. He’ll just have turned age 22 at the Lopez bout and goes to 41-0-1, 29 KO if he wins, so he’s already surpassed Mayweather in knockouts. They have been through a series of co-promotions together and Alvarez holds Mayweather’s old belt, so perhaps next year they meet in the ring for the final say so.

It’s been a troubling year for Golden Boy Promotions. Their #1 star Floyd Mayweather Jr is doing a stint in the federal pen as two of their young stars, Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan suffered humiliating knockouts by unsung underdogs. Their oldest star, Bernard Hopkins is going nowhere faster every day at age 47.

The good news for this card is that Mexican featherweight honchos, Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce de Leon, will collide in what promises to plenty of old school slugging. Gonzalez should be the slight favorite, but he’ll have to throw in some nifty boxing for good measure against the southpaw De Leon.

Undefeated American heavyweight Seth Mitchell looks to earn respectability against fellow American Johnathon Banks who has been fighting in Germany on the Team Klitschko cards. All out sluggers Marcos Maidana and Jesus Soto Karrass lock up for contender status, so it’s a pretty good card for free viewing.

That’s September 15 at the MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for those interested in the manly art of self defense otherwise known as prize fighting.

The Handwraps Travesty, Part II–Cotto vs Margarito

The highly anticipated on again-off again-relocated again Miguel Cotto/Antonio Margarito rematch has finally passed the snifters of the white gloved New York State Athletic Commission who prematurely pulled up Margarito from his training camp in Mexico to be interrogated under the white lights of NYSAC-appointed ophthalmologist.

Cotto vs Margarito

Cotto vs Margarito

Both Margarito and Cotto have moved up to the light middleweight division and will be contesting Cotto’s WBA “Super” Title he won off the injuredYuri Foreman last year and defended against Ricardo Mayorga in a entertaining slugfest earlier this year.

Margarito is coming straight in off his very serious beatdown by Manny Pacquiao this time last year. After subsequent surgery and recovery from a fractured orbital bone, a very serious injury in the boxing world, a fair assumption is he will be the more damaged and rustier fighter compared to Cotto who has been more active.

Antonio Margarito paid a huge price after being caught up in a handwraps controversy just before stepping into the ring against Shane Mosley. He was lumped up before being knocked out and then suspended for a year. After serving his suspension he was refused relicensing by the California Boxing Commission. More history here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/open-letter-to-the-association-of-boxing-commissionsabc-and-dick-cole/

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/breaking-antonio-margarito-denied-a-california-boxing-license/

The Insert

The Insert

Some claim it is Miguel Cotto who paid the heavy price after being beaten to a bloody pulp by Margarito, allegedly using the same illegal wraps. Others think retribution was extracted when Manny Pacquiao beat Margarito into a bloody pulp this year.

In this truth is stranger than fiction world, the facts are that Margarito has never been shown to have used illegal wraps for any fight. The “illegal” insert was placed in his wraps in plain view of the California commish by Margarito’s then longtime trainer,  Javier Capetillo. It was the notoriously picky Shane Mosley trainer, Nazim Richards, who demanded the rewrap, exactly what the Margarito camp and everyone in boxing knew would happen. That’s when they discovered the inserts

Crumbles, Crumbles

In short, they might as well been holding a large placard taped to Margarito’s forehead stating illegal inserts were being used. Not only was there no slight of hand, but the inserts were shown to be nothing but crumbles, hardly a weapon any serious fighter would use to load his gloves when commission approved tapes and gauzes can be added in excess to more easily fly under the wire.

Had Margarito been busted for gummy bear inserts or knuckles of silly putty, those substances are just as “illegal” and confer the same laughable competitive advantage as plaster crumbles. It has long flown under the wire that Margarito was not fit to fight against Mosley because of eye surgery a week before the fight. My theory is the handwraps scenario was devised so the big players could cut their losses with appropriate counter bets, but who can really know the mindsets of these maestroes of travesty?

Though Margarito has always worn same approved wraps as his opponents, many in boxing will never forgive him in spite of him serving the full measure of his suspension. Such is the way it shall forever be.

It is the controversy that makes this fight both incredibly appealing or appalling, but potentially the fight could match or exceed the first fight, so it’s must see for true fans. Incredibly Miguel Cotto’s stellar reputation took a beating in the first fight when fairweather critics accused him of quitting after absorbing one of the all time beatings in boxing history. Go figure critics since they usually can’t support a shred of their charges. Margarito also took a horrendous beating, but managed to outlast the retreating Cotto who was completely spent by fight’s end.

The general concensus is that neither fighter has looked the same since their epic first match, one of the finest prize fights in the history of boxing. They are still some of the best fighters in their division even now, a testament to their dedication to boxing and toughness, so the match looks very lively and competitive.

Both fighters have different trainers now, not surprising given the role the trainers play in any handwrapping, and both are now covered in a maze of tattoos, perhaps a psychological bandaid designed to cover up the pain of the controversy and the beatings they have taken in the ring of late.

The Weighin

The Weighin

The problem for Cotto still remains though, Margarito is simply the bigger, stronger fighter by a significant margin and probably hits harder at the 153lb catchweight the fight will be contested at than their first welterweight title thriller. His style of being a heavyhanded war of attrition walk’em down tough guy is a difficult hurdle for any fighter to overcome.

Cotto made his chops as a brutal slugger, but he was also a pretty nifty boxer when he wanted and has often sparred with his little buddy, the quicksilver strawweight phenom and fellow Puerto Rican, Ivan Calderon, so by styles the fight is likely to start like the first fight with Cotto sprinting out to the lead for the early rounds.

It’s the mid rounds that are likely to spell the difference. Cotto has been whipping himself into better condition ever since he took the fight against Manny Pacquiao. Margarito of course is legendary for his work rate and conditioning, as high as 1200+ punches in a 12 round fight.

Tough fight to pick because of the unknowns, but Cotto will have the edge as “the good guy” against “the bad guy” in his comfortable “hometown” settings stocked with plenty of Puerto Ricans who love him. It goes without saying that he will target the repaired Margarito orbital, perhaps doing enough damage to earn a stoppage.

Margarito will have to beat Cotto substantially to eke out a decision, or seal the win with a knock out, never an easy task in the best of times under the best of conditions against a top opponent. Nonetheless, absent egregious interference from the ref, I expect him to walk down Cotto again, perhaps earlier if his eye holds up.

While the outcome may still be open, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito have a golden opportunity to set the record straight come December 3rd in Madison Square Garden and perhaps seal their legends with another modern classic.