Tag Archives: California

Here’s Jhonny~~Gonzalez vs Abner Mares

The most exciting two-division champion of his era, Jhonny Gonzalez, looks to fight his way back to the top against undefeated WBC featherweight champion Abner Mares at the StubHub Center this Saturday.

The 27 year old Mares has won titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds and currently the undefeated younger man as compared to the grizzled Gonzalez at 31 years with 62 career bouts and 300+ rounds of wear on him. By career record Mares is 24-0-1, 14 KO to Gonzalez 54-8, 46 KO, but more importantly Mares is the money fighter picked by Golden Boy and Showtime to be featured for as long as they can ride him. He also happens to be one of the dirtiest boxers of his era with a plethora of blatant old school fouls that he is almost never reprimanded for much less penalized, so he’s clearly the house fighter from every angle save one.

Here's Jhonny

Here’s Jhonny

It was a curse really when Hayman/GoldenBoy News of the Ring World “boxing experts” picked Mares by a 17-0 shutout to beat Jhonny Gonzalez. Early in the year they dismissed most of their “boxing experts” after some spectacularly blown shutout prognostications, so their latest team may have well set the stage for Jhonny Gonzalez for another one of his patented comebacks by blasting high flying favorites out of the sky like clay pigeons at a trap shoot.

Gonzalez has taken another step to improve his chances by employing legendary trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain to impart some of the Juan Manuel Marquez magic to the Gonzalez mix. He may have had spectacular wins over top competition Hozumi Hasegawa and Fernando Montiel, but it is Mares who will be the overwhelming darling of the sporting crowd who love a sure thing. The California referee is Jack Reiss who would seemingly favor the naturalized Californian over Gonzalez who primarily fights out of Mexico.

Could be a real stinker or could be a fantastic fight, all dependent on which version of Abner Mares turns up. He showed excellent natural talent and skills at the start of his career and seems to have a lot of heart, so we’ll have to see if he wants an all time classic between two top ranked Mexican fighters as part of his legacy.

Jhonny Gonzalez may be overmatched on paper, but he has shown a transcendental quality in his biggest fights, so Here’s Jhonny yet again loaded in the breech of destiny, waiting, waiting……waiting for those big looping punches to power him to yet another stunning upset as we await the opening bell. Can he?

Robert Guerrero vs Andre Berto–Guerrero Means WAR!

The Interim WBC welterweight title is up for grabs Saturday, November 24, Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California when Robert Guerrero defends against former champ, Andre Berto. Guerrero has been making steady inroads on his way up in the boxing world while Berto has been on the way down after a hard loss of his title to the oft disparaged Victor Ortiz. Then Berto booted their lucrative rematch over a positive trace of nandrosterone in the prefight drug tests done by VADA.

Let's Do It!

Let’s Do It!

Robert The Ghost Guerrero is a fine champion long relegated to the back pages of boxing due a myriad of problems beyond his control.  However, when opportunity came knocking with a chance to secure Floyd Mayweather Jr‘s old WBC welterweight belt, The Ghost jumped all over it. Floyd Mayweather has been in his sights for a couple of years now with Guerrero making some prominent challenges, but he needed to step up 2 or 3 divisions to make the fight, so nobody took him seriously.

Guerrero means Warrior in Spanish, and War is what he waged against Selcuk Aydin, a bruising, brawling undefeated WBC Silver Belt holder from Turkey who always shows up to fight hard. Guerrero fought a tough, gritty fight to show he could step up 2 divisions to handle the strongest fighter he’s ever faced in his career. Mayweather may not be as strong as the young Turk, but he’s got boxing savvy oozing out of his pores and is a tough nut to crack, and tougher to get into the ring, only fighting once a year, so it may take a ghost to track a ghost down, we’ll see.

Enter Mayweather stablemate, Andre Berto, who has taken a different tact from Guerrero. After shoeshining his way up the rankings to become Mayweather’s old WBC #1 challenger, he  won the vacated belt in the cushy way too many modern fighters go about it, that of fighting a set up against a fighter who shouldn’t even be ranked.

Berto was disgraced when he tested positive, a real shame since he scored a TKO on cuts over IBF beltholder, Jan Zaveck to set up the lucrative Ortiz rematch, all blown to smithereens now. Redemption will have to come about the hard way, a classy win over the ascending Guerrero who will be the best fighter Berto has ever faced. He can thank the much beleaguered California commission for giving him a license after his failed drug test. Golden Boy is Cali based, and you know how that works.

Andre Berto’s strengths are a left jab, good conditioning, and some heart he showed against Luis Collazo and Victor Ortiz after he was knocked down. It could also be said he’s the naturally bigger man and easy to hit.

Guerrero looks to be the hungrier fighter with more to prove to himself. He should be the better overall boxer and has more experience. He’s also shown plenty enough grit and heart when needed, so on paper, this is a pretty even match, but Berto will also be the best welter he ever faced, a prime boxer type with some hand speed compared to the brawling, looping Aydin.

I like Guerrero to outbox and outslug Berto when needed. He’s a smart boxing southpaw going against the record of Berto against top boxing type southpaws; a knockout of Carlos Quintana, a disputed win over Luis Collazo who knocked him down, and a hard loss to Victor Ortiz where Berto tasted the canvas again.

I see a fight going the distance since neither is a big puncher at the weight. I only hope the judges can score a bout as well as the fighters are gonna fight it,  likely a highly competitive fight fought at a higher level than the typical boxing judges could ever be counted on.

Beating Berto would be another line drawn in the sand for Guerrero who might be seeing the end of his career coming and is pulling out all the stops trying to make a megafight, but talk is cheap and the best laid plans of mice and men and all that.

Soon enough it will be one fighter mano a mano against the other fighter,  and with luck the ref will stay clear and let them decide who it’s gonna be.

Antonio Margarito Finally Licensed to Box in Texas

After serving his one year suspension for illegal handwraps and being denied a new boxing license in California, and after the Association of Boxing Commission’s letter indicating Antonio Margarito met all the requirements of his suspension and could be considered for licensing, Margarito was granted a boxing license in Texas last week.

You can read my previous commentaries on the handwrap issue as it played out here:



Ilegal Inserts

Ilegal Inserts

Many wished for him to be banned for life, or worse, so the disappointment from those quarters has been palpable. Regardless, the net result is Margarito is cleared to fight Manny Pacquiao in a mega-fight at Cowboy Stadium for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title.

Antonio Margarito

Antonio Margarito

Some say Margarito is undeserving of a big fight and has done nothing in boxing to warrant being granted a title shot. Boxing has a long history of granting title shots to undeserving contenders regardless of what one thinks of Margarito’s considerable ring achievements.

Not only, but the criticism extends to Texas, the WBC, Bob Arum who promotes both fighters, and Manny Pacquiao for whom everyone has a favored fighter they want to see him fight.

There’s never been a case of pleasing everyone in the history of this world, but this fight will have a huge gate and even bigger potential as a mega fight given the contrast in histories of the fighters.

The fight is scheduled for November 13, eleven weeks away, so it’s hard to project exactly what will transpire in that period regarding public mood and how the fight will be promoted. One or the other might be injured in training, or any other number of events may cause the fight to fall out or rescheduled.

Pacquiao vs Clottey at Cowboy Stadium

Pacquiao vs Clottey at Cowboy Stadium

The main story is now the fight appears to have a venue after being projected for 3 different locations now that Margarito is licensed. Jerry Jones is quoted as saying he’s positive the final details can be worked out this week and seems primed for a big fight.

So there it is. Read it and weep, celebrate, or schedule your weekend how you see fit.

‘Tis what ‘tis……

Cowboys Forever

Cowboys Forever

Breaking: Antonio Margarito Denied a California Boxing License

Today, Antonio Margarito was denied a California boxing license by a 5-1 vote by the California State Athletic Commission.

Antonio Margarito

Antonio Margarito

The hearing was long, approximately 5 hours with several breaks. The CSAC attorney, Karen Chappelle acted as the commish prosecutor, hammering Margarito and his new trainer, Roberto Garcia,  repeatedly questioning their honesty, integrity, and knowledge of the CSAC regulations. She accused both of breaking California’s rule requiring sparring permits that at least one commish member admitted he was unfamiliar with.

Daniel Petrocelli, Margarito’s attorney, did an admirable of job of countering every character assassination to no avail in the end. Everyone was caught off guard by the sudden revelation of the sparring permit rule which apparently has never been enforced. Margarito was very publically promoted in full transparency at some of these sparring sessions.

Every fighter who sparred with him and every trainer who allowed his fighter to spar with Margarito was in violation of California rules as well as 99% of the fighters sparring without a permit in California.

Perhaps everyone on those fighters’  teams including the manager, health care specialists, promoters, hair dresser, you name it and they might be held in violation of the sparring permit rule.

Readers know I previously wrote an open letter to boxing’s ruling bodies questioning the overriding call to block Margarito from obtaining his boxing license after complying with his one year suspension.


It was easy to see how the vote was going to go during the last break with commish members joking and cutting up with each other. Margarito never had a chance on the cards with this set of judges, losing a wide unananimous decision.

Honoring his one year suspension, turning down offers to fight in Mexico and living without means to earn his living turned out to be all for naught.

Apparently, Margarito had best get used to being bounced off the various commission canvases as they knock him about from one jurisdiction to another. His currently scheduled fight with Manny Pacquiao is likely to be fought in Las Vegas or Dallas, so it looks like it’s back to the Nevada State Athletic Commission or the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation  Combative Sports Program run by Dick Cole.

Or Bob Arum can chuck the USA whole thing and have the fight in a Mexico City bullring and set the gate record, but I defer to the actual complexities currently being negotiated rivaling the Cold War Detente to make this fight happen.

Manny Pacquiao has already had Floyd Mayweather pull out of 2 mega fights and may be on his last fight, so he can ill afford his replacement fights having problems now.

Or Pacquiao can chuck the whole fight business since he really has no business fighting now that he’s a newly elected congressman in the Philippines. However, money shouts equally loud in boxing and politics though, so Manny doubtless will find someone eager at a crack for a career payday.

In the meantime, Antonio Margarito will have to find solace in having his day in open court and getting the sole commissioner with boxing experience to vote for his license. The other commission members were as hostile as the “prosecuting attorney” Karen Chappelle was with their questioning.

One commish member bragged about being an “ethics” trainer for CEOs and lauded the integrity of the recently disgraced British Petroleum’s CEO, Tony Hayward, who resigned after a legacy of BP regulatory transgressions, finally concluding with the largest oil spill in world history which has collapsed the storied Gulf Coast fishing and tourist industries for 4 months now, perhaps for a lifetime.


I don’t make this stuff up folks. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Apparently they want Margarito to do the Tony honour thingy and resign his boxing career, bailing out of all of his problems in a corporate golden parachute, never to surface again, living the life of a gentleman miscreant in Tijuana.

Unbelievable, but sadly too, TOO, all too true.