Tag Archives: cowboy stadium

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? 

?What’s For Dinner–Cowboy ChopSteakSuey–RAW!

First off, apologies for the software problem that has mysteriously butchered up my Pacquiao vs Margarito—Superbowl Del Boxeo article. I’m attempting to edit it back, but I’m not sure of any success, so it may be edited in an inferior fashion to the original or it may just have to be grammatically interpretated as best as possible.

Now, as to last night’s fight at Cowboy stadium, let’s be clear here, regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about Manny Pacquiao or Antonio Margarito, these two fighters deserve high praise for showing up in as fine a condition as any fighters in history ever have, taking last night’s fight to each other with skill and ferocity.

The fight was mostly staged at ring center with each doing as much as they are capable within parameters of their styles and talents, yet by the end, the superiority of Manny Pacquiao stood out as bright as the multiple rotating sky lights that spectacularly lit up the night sky and Cowboy stadium.

ChopSteakSuey Time Para Tu, Senor!

ChopSteakSuey Time Para Tu, Senor!

 I am not of the persuasion that derides lesser losing fighters with banal common descriptors such as “Bum” or dismissing them as ”Shot” or “Trash” and so on. Some fans just don’t understand how this also greatly diminishes their own favored fighter who have apparently only beaten bums or fought trash by extension.

Still, it’s only natural that we the people can have a little fun with metaphors, similes, euphemisms, and captioned photos, all of which paint a picture of the life of a fighter, typically mixed with humbling doses of public pain and humiliation in the ring with shining moments of public glory and satisfaction, even adulation.

It’s no fun getting your face punched in and your guts tenderized in the public view, but to then keep fighting back in a losing cause or having anything left to storm back for ultimate victory, that my friends, takes a special fighter’s heart that was on display last night.

Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito have been two of the highest ranked fighters of their generation with Manny ascending to the top of the fistic heap in these last few years to sweep all the prestigious Fighter of the Decade awards in the first decade of the newly minted 3rd Millennium.

There was a reason that Manny batted clean up for last Sunday’s 60 Minutes that opened with President Obama’s Asian tour and G-20 summit. When the smoke clears, the history will be that Manny Pacquiao will be one of the few seminal world names that kicked off this new decade and millennium.

The fight may have seemed an easy night’s work to the unstudied eye for Senator Manny, but it ain’t easy taking those famed Tijuana Tornado left hooks to the liver, “El Gancho,” anymore than it is eating the famed uppercuts that are Margarito trademark. Those shots brought down highly acclaimed contenders such as Sergio Martinez, Kermit Cintron, and Miguel Cotto and had Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr avoiding him like the plague.

Mr. Manny controlled the ring center with brilliantly dazzling footwork, negating most of Margarito’s offense before it could be triggered.

Credit to Margarito for starting strong with a nice, long, sharp jab that controlled much of the distance between the two early on as Manny probed around the perimeter, getting his timing and openings set to gradually ease into the full measure of the formidable fighter that Margarito is. Some forget or dismiss that Margarito was a Ring ranked fighter for near a decade before being stripped after his wrap fiasco and suspension. He’d earned the WBC #1 contender status by fight night along with the more impartial formulaic Boxrec rankings that had him #2. He made his comeback with renewed vigor, conditioning, and learned some new tricks from his new trainer, so it’s important to understand Antonio Margarito in context.

Margarito has never been more experienced in ring craft, never been in better condition, never been as physically strong as he was last night in Cowboy Stadium, yet Pacquiao slowly chopped him up and then minced him for good measure, one of the most brilliant pieces of ring generalship and talent I’ve ever seen in one fighter.

Cynics may say that Margarito was chosen exactly because his style could be exploited, but folks, I’m here to tell you that any style, any fighter can be exploited by the right talent melding with the right fight plan and style on the night, but it takes a fearless master to put it all together to tame a monster like Margarito who looked like a giant next to the little Filipino.

Sure, I agree that the 150lb catchweight was a bit of a joke, and it’s a mystery only deciphered by the shrouded “public” regulations of the ABC orgs that create these title matches where one of the fighters, Pacquiao, technically failed to make the minimum weight limit of the junior middleweight division which would be one ounce over 147lbs up to 154lbs, not the 144+ figure Manny weighed in at.

The actual fight night weights are no joke however, giving us a rough comparison of the actual size differences in the ring after the fighters have undergone some 36 hours of rehydration and the replenishing and topping off nutritional reserves.

Manny was weighed in at 148lbs and Margarito at 165lbs, or what used to be a standard welter vs middleweight match up of the old days when weight division discrepancies were no big deal.

Boxing needs to be more careful with the way it promotes these types of bouts these days since had Margarito’s strength and power overcome the diminutive Pacquiao with injurious results, the lurking enemies wishing to ban boxing would scurry out in force and the general public would be outraged.

Thankfully, what we saw is what many already knew, Manny Pacquiao is simply a class above any fighter of this generation no matter how much size and strength he has given away in the ring, no matter how many distractions he has outside the ring. He only seems to have grown more nuanced and gotten better and better with every fight, begging the question of whether a limit can ever be reached?

It’s shocking that he can be a sitting Senator, a music and movie star, a husband, a father, an icon for the ages, and still be improving as the best fighter of the decade.

Sweet Victory

Sweet Victory

Some are now mentioning Pacquiao as the best ever, and to be fair, he earned the #2 spot in a well publicized world wide public poll held last year, just behind the fabled Sugar Ray Robinson, but ahead of Muhammad Ali.

His admittedly biased promoter, Bob Arum has been proclaiming Manny as the best ever,  and with the gravitas he carries as promoter of some 25 Ali bouts, his view is starting to gather some public steam.

I don’t get into many of those lineal, top down descriptors that limit understanding of all the great fighters that have come down the pike in every generation, but it’s out there now folks, a new “beauty contest,” so there it is for any to chew on as they see fit.

Mainly a big thanks to Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito for leaving everything they have in the ring, and to their highly developed training teams that provided some well publicized handwrap controversies and drug accusations in the final countdown before the first bell sounded to kick off the fight.

It’s all settled now. Classic Boxing 101 in Spades!

Pacquiao vs Margarito Pre-Fight Update

With the Pacquiao vs Margarito fight at Cowboy Stadium just a few days away now, physical training is winding down as the fighters enter the tapering stage. Maximum physical gains and sharpness are realized by relaxing their bodies as their mental states gear up for the weigh-in and first bell. Promotions are entering their final push as the public interest fleshes out, so there have been some interesting developments that are worth noting.

Also, some interesting links to follow and of course you can read the main course fight preview as the next article on this home page or click this link directly or copy and paste it into your search:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/pacquiao-vs-margarito-superbowl-del-boxeo-3/

First off, controversial Texas referee Laurence Cole has been named as the 3rd man in the ring to oversee the actions and insure a fair contest according to the rules of the sport. I last saw him in action when he butchered the Abraham/Dirrell match up in Detroit by being woefully out of position to see  or intervene in the “final knockdown” of Dirrell by Abraham. This he compounded by delivering a count over the convulsing Dirrell before stopping to yell at Abraham in the neutral corner before asking the ring doc for medical assistance a full 20 seconds after Dirrell had been convulsing. Amazingly, Cole then loudly proclaimed his ruling of a disqualification by foul in spite of not seeing what actually occurred and without consulting anyone or any reflection that I could see.

Maybe I’ve seen worse officiating efforts, but it’s up there near the top. I get too riled reliving it, so you can read a more detailed report here. Fighters deserve much better for sure, so I can only hope and pray he can do better for Manny and Tony’s sake this Saturday.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/an-outsider-looks-in-on-abrahamdirrell-results/

Moving on, Manny had scarcely arrived in Los Angeles before Bob Arum asked him to make a campaign appearance to boost US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a former boxer himself. The Senator was targeted in a bruising re-election battle during a hellacious take no prisoners election cycle, being knocked down and taking the count according to many polls.

Manny eats up this stuff like candy, so of course he showed up to plug the Senator, and of course Arum, Manny, and Tony all got a bonu$ by this unusual opportunity to plug their fight to a national political audience not usually plugged in on fight night. The fighting Senator Reid edged out a split hair decision on the cards.

Naturally some are crediting Super Manny who furthered his political connections for his own newest senatorial, ahem……..Presidential ambitions :

Mr President

Mr President

Here’s a link to an interesting 24/7 series showing Pacquiao and Margarito in fine training camp form and confident in their respective victories. I believe the final 24-7 segment will be released shortly:

http://www.youtube.com/user/SerpicoRising#p/u/0/9eiM2cDRZ1c

How about his CBS 60 Minutes appearance this last Sunday:

Here’s a brief 60 Minutes clip talking about Mama Manny and her new career. She has apparently never seen one of his fights, disliking boxing and fearing for her son’s safety like so many boxing moms:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWZ8ec0QAFM

Here’s the clip of Manny singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” with Will Ferrel on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT4hHMIpnjU

Here’s a photo of Margarito soaking in all his adulation in Fort Worth at a tamale festival. It’s worth noting that Margarito fans seemed to have outnumbered Manny fans at the Cowboy Stadium press conferences, perhaps more a reflection of the huge Mexican presence in Texas.

The Siesta Comes Later

Below are some photos Sports Illustrated graciously dug out of their archives showing Manny’s development through fight photos into a world wide icon and superstar.

Note: It begins with a concussive shot on Marcos Antonio Barrera, a huge upset at the time. I almost got to see it first hand from ringside but for the last minute timing of joining the old Boxing Central website writing staff, later hacked out of existence. It’s big brother, Boxrec lives on gloriously and recently resurrected a new staff of sorts, reporting on the British fight scene. Had I joined up the week or two before the fight, there would’ve been time to properly sort out press credentials instead of the 2 day timeline we had, but what a FIGHT!

The Siesta Comes Later
I don't recognize you!

I don't recognize you!

 

Where am I?

Where am I?

 

 
Ya snooze, ya looze!

Ya snooze, ya looze!

 

Final Thoughts on the fight:

mini-manny vs MIGHTY-MARG

mini-manny vs MIGHTY-MARG

The conditioning issues have already been addressed in the original article that you can read next. Roach is on record as stating he expects Margarito to be at 160 lbs or more come fight night, so apparently the rehydration clause was just a rumor. We shall see if Tony allows himself to be weighed on fight night.

Manny of course will have to be over 147 lbs to make this fight an official WBC superwelter title fight, and the reports indicated that he chose to abandon excessive strength training and weight gaining programs to come in at a more natural 147+ so as to concentrate on his speed that he and Roach see as key to this fight. Interesting to see the difference they think those 3 extra pounds might impose on Manny.

Margarito is in the best condition of his life, impressive considering he holds the Compubox punch stat record for the most punches thrown, some near 1400 punches in a 12 rd fight against Joshua Clottey who Manny beat up earlier this year in Cowboy Stadium’s first boxing match. I personally think Compubox is a bunch a marketing hooey, but regardless, he holds the record and means to come right at Manny, bulling him around with a blizzard of sledgehammers, which is exactly the kind of fight Manny, the press, and the fans want to see.

Manny will move some, give angles, and pick openings to dart in with lightning combos and disappear. He has been sparring with some big middleweight types so should be well prepared for Margarito’s style. There are fewer options for Margarito to prepare for Manny, him being a one off once in a century type of fighter, but Team Margarito has brought in a few southpaws who did their best with the best being tallish WBC middle champ, Sergio Martinez. It’s hard to know if Margarito can cope with Manny’s control over ring center, because that is where 90% of the battle will be waged, who to be the King of the Ring?

Quien es mas macho?

Watch for Manny cutting and swelling up. Clottey didn’t throw and land much, but Manny was a bit marked up after the fight, and Margarito will throw and try to land 10x that. Could be a factor as might the natural lefty/righty style unintentional headbutts that stopped two of Margarito’s title fights against Daniel Santos, one of which he lost a technical split decision on.

I’m picking Manny for all the obvious reasons, but Margarito should prove to be a serious danger in the ring and he’s the hungrier, more motivated fighter looking for redemption and a measure of the considerable respect he used to enjoy. If anyone can stage an upset on Manny at this point in time, he’s one of the select few.

This is a REAL FIGHT, a classic little man/BIG MAN battle, so enjoy……..  

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:

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/

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

The Class of the 3rd World Vs Boorish Thuggery of the US

The Class of the 3rd World Vs Boorish Thuggery of the US

By Bobby Mac

March 13, 2010
http://www.ringnews24.com/news/index.php/ring-news-staff/writers-columns/70-bobby-mac/284-the-class-of-3rd-world-vs-boorish-thuggery-of-western-world.html
Am I the only one noticing the vast gulf of class between eminent 3rd world emissaries Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey as opposed to the general thuggery and juvenile inclinations of boxing’s unsavory US emissaries, Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley?


Both Manny and Josh have been nothing but gentlemen boxers in the leadup to the big Cowboy dance in Dallas. It goes further, however. Both seem to be genuinely buoyed by the presence of each other and are happy to be part of the historical inauguration of Cowboy Stadium‘s boxing venue.

One could easily see each return for a joyous joint appearance 25 yrs hence shaking hands and signing autographs in a big anniversary celebration of The Event.

Now compare to the unseemly immature thug mentality of the Who R U Picking promotion with the tawdry pulling and pushing posing session that kicked off the Mayweather/Mosley match. Or was this choreographed by some 7th grade class as part of their yearly class play or was this the actual representational mental ages of the two 30ish year old American MEN these days?

But wait, there’s more.

Mayweather is part of a team with long rap felony sheets to rival any team in boxing history and was last seen being part of the promotional team served a civil lawsuit for “allegedly” slandering the career of Pacquiao with Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) accusations.

Shane Mosley has a more sympathetic reputation, but is also a key member of that promotional group and was investigated by a federal grand jury for his role in the notorious Balco Laboratories scandal that resulted in several criminal investigations, convictions, and prison sentences.

Oh, I have no illusions that Pacquiao and Clottey are the sainted reincarnations of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Any of us may have kicked the odd dog or proffered the odd obscenity or otherwise behaved rudely or even dangerously in the maturation process, but most people grow into to the larger social responsibilities of citizenship.

And, doubtless both Mayweather and Mosley have hugged children and otherwise engaged in charitable causes, so it’s not as if they are without some measure of redemption.

A key difference is that Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey are motivated by seeing themselves as representatives for their countries, diplomatic ambassadors if you will. They wish to honor their country and peoples to enhance their reputations and improve their impoverished lot.

There was a book written about Americans by Americans, Eugene Burdick and William Lederer over 50 yrs ago named The Ugly American that has come to be emblematic of far too many American athletes these days.

I guess if there is a positive spin to be put on this minor rant, perhaps it would be that all of the aforementioned parties are free to chose their behaviors, so what you see is who they are.

Well, we shall see who brings the most bottle to the battle soon enough, which is what these promotions are supposed to be about, right?

Perhaps, but I already know which one fans will but popping up for review years from now.

How about you?

Open Letter to The Association of Boxing Commissions(ABC) and Dick Cole

Regarding ABC recommendations to Dick Cole,
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation  Combative Sports Program(TDLRC) on Antonio Margarito’s application for a license to box in the state of Texas:

Sirs, recently it has been brought to my attention that the Antonio Margarito/Carson Jones fight has been bumped from “The Event” held in the spanking new Cowboy Stadium recently completed with taxpayer monies in Arlington, Texas. Or at least, such are the reports from boxing news links. I also noticed that no reasons were given.

The implication was clear that Antonio Margarito will not be getting  his boxing  license back any time soon, so instead, his fight with Carson Jones will be in Mexico.

I didn’t see any indication of public testimony from interested parties held by the TDLRC as was requested, so a question arises as to if a decision was made in private and what were the results of that decision?

According  to Fightnews, the California State Athletic Commission is expected to “revisit” the Margarito suspension on February 22 of this year.

Is this to be a private or a public hearing?

During the year of Antonio Margarito’s suspension, there was much speculation that he may have used illegal wraps in previous fights, with his most immediate previous fights being held in Nevada and New Jersey. Has the Nevada and New Jersey State Athletic Commission conducted an inquiry or investigation into the Margarito handwraps controversy?

One reason we the unwashed masses of boxing fans want to know is that we never heard of any suspension of any official for allowing the illegal Margarito handwraps in the first place. We thought the commission was put into place to prevent these types of activities, yet it was apparently done in full view of the commission with the evidence laid out on the training table if reports are accurate.

What were the names of the CSAC representatives and has anyone asked if they were complicit in the attempt to load Margarito’s gloves?

What purpose do commissions serve if they are not properly doing their job other than collecting paychecks they may not be properly earning?

Who is investigating the ABC commission for not investigating the CSAC, NJSACB, and NSAC? Is this something that needs to be kicked upstairs to the US Congress for a federal inquiry, or would this be a state inquiry?

I, we, the unwashed boxing fans have some other questions, so when are the ABC, CSAC, NSAC, NJSACB, and TDLRC going to publically address the issues at stake, which are previous loading of gloves under noted jurisdictions and the future of the Antonio Margarito and Carson Jones fight? Both are US citizens in good standing it would appear, yet denied a place to pursue their profession without having to leave the US?

Well?