Tag Archives: Danny Garcia

Shock & Awe~Canelo vs Amir Khan

Now that seismic tsunami waves created by the Thunderclap announcement of Saul Alvarez vs Amir Khan have finally died out, here they’ll be on this Cinco de Mayo weekend to inaugurate the spanking brand new T-Mobile in Las Vegas @ 155lb catchweight, the new Caneloweight class. What comes next?

Back to 2015 for context: Fans of both Miguel Cotto and Canelo were highly disappointed over that light sparring match for the legendary WBC/Ring/Lineal middleweight title after expecting a well waged WAR for the ages given their usually fan friendly styles. Fans of Khan have been long disappointed over his lack of top ten opponents since being knocked out by Danny Garcia in 2012. Upon announcement of this fight, based upon expectations on paper, ie their records, Canelo knocks Khan out all day every day and twice on Sundays, and true, that may well come to pass, but Khan does have some upside on Canelo starting with nominally better handspeed and the kind of fleet running footspeed that could dampen Canelo’s offense. If Khan manages to survive the distance, then according to unwritten boxing code, that means he exceeded expectations, meaning he may cop the decision regardless how many might think Canelo won it in a landslide. Decisions, sometimes even knockouts these days, are too often a crapshoot in boxing. Who could ever really win or lose when boxing’s officiating/scoring rules are so backward, corrupt, and unenforceable that they literally create negative feedback from fans every other fight week? Especially grievous are when Al Haymon fighters are on the cards, and guess what, Khan is currently one of 200 fighters “advised” by Haymon.

The Money Fighter: This fight was designed for the 25 year old Canelo, 46-1-1, 32 KO, to secure a big payday before the Gennady Golovkin fight that we all hope we’ll see later this year. Although Canelo was brought up hard in the traditional Mexican way, he now occupies a rare high niche as the future of high level boxing along with the newly minted Brit Anthony Joshua. His critics have long moaned over his supposed favored status, but critics are always moaning about everyone and everything anyway, especially Canelo even when he fights top contenders. Now he enters into the main of his prime still huge in Mexico, yet still developing internationally, so enter Khan and the potential harvest of new British fans who may like what they see in their first viewing if Canelo seals the deal.

The Hype That Didn't Deliver

The Hype That Didn’t Deliver

The Wannabe Money Fighter: The now 29 year old Khan, 31-3, 19 KO, was the sorta money fighter for a while, but Golden Boy could only keep him propped up so long. After his setbacks, he disappeared from the mainstream, only surfacing during petty twitter nonsense. As a former Olympic Silver medalist, he had turned pro with a lucrative contract and guaranteed popularity until he started opening his mouth to repeatedly insert his foot. Then came the humiliating 54 second first round knockout at the explosive hands of Breidis Prescott. Devastated personally by such a brutal loss and subsequent derision by Brits who loved his cocky comeuppance, he soon fled the British Isles for a productive maturing phase to be trained by Freddie Roach, but seemed to be off mentally in the ring the few times he was matched up hard as if he never actually learned to actually fight and strategize other than going through basic boxing mechanics that put him further back of the pack with a couple more losses. Recently completing a succession of interim and vacant WBC silver titles, he now goes for one of the most prestigious titles ever, the Lineal/Ring/WBC middleweight title held by Canelo, a humongous step from where he’s ever been before, but as legendary English Poet Robert Browning once asked three centuries back, “if a man’s reach can’t extend beyond his grasp, then what’s a heaven for?”

Canelo vs Khan

Canelo vs Khan

Khan has the sort of flashy hand and foot speed with eye popping combinations to dazzle judges, yet the individual talents never added up for the expected whole package down to the mental letdowns and somewhat fragile chin. In contrast, Canelo turned pro as a 15 year old kid Julio Cesar Chavez style and worked his way up a very competitive Mexicano food chain to the point where his startling looks in an otherwise mostly mono physiotypical culture combined with his youth and fighting ability to make him a huge star. He’s not blessed with flashy physical attributes that wow the casual fan, but every physical and mental attribute that he needs in boxing he has in plenty enough abundance, sorta like an all around B+/A- student beating out all the honor students on college entrance examines and in the workforce. The sum of his individual talents have thus far proven greater than the expected whole.

It helps in the English speaking culture Canelo primarily operates out of these days that he doesn’t yet speak English very well, perhaps mitigating any potential “gotcha” stupid comments. The press takes great joy in baiting those unfamiliar with the dirty machinations of the media. Poor Khan in contrast, continues to step in one public mess after another because he does speak English and is not shy about expressing himself.

The Officiating: This being Las Vegas, you can bet your last dollar on it, the officiating is generally atrocious. Kenny Bayless is the assigned referee who most notably as far as Canelo is concerned, allowed TUE 49-0 to headbutt Canelo with impunity in the early stages of that fight as well as warning Canelo for a low tap he delivered to let TUE know he needed to release his simultaneous choke hold while lacing his face with the tape on his gloves, all while Bayless stood by pretending to be a statue until Canelo roused him from his stupor by issuing his love tap. So no love for Canelo by Bayless who would also appear to favor Haymon fighters. Judges are: Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Trowbridge and Glenn Feldman who is the only non Nevada resident of the bunch to make the officiating appear at least somewhat fair, yeah, right. Byrd is an horrific judge who favors light hitting/hard running American boxer types, an unholy alliance that has literally eliminated boxing as a traditional sport of combat and popularity. She seemingly would favor Khan, especially since he’s become an American trained, American based fighter. Trowbridge seems to be a low profile type on the right side of the scoring scale in the few big fights I used to establish context for him. Feldman operates normally in the northeast US, most recently in the Adrien Broner vs Ashley Theophane joke this April Fool’s 1st in Washington, DC, a place rife with specious officiating as one might expect from the seat of US government these days.

Bayless nets $4,150 as  the judges net $2,950 for the gig, but of course these are chump change figures released for the rubes. There is no telling what’s going on under the table behind the scenes.

So, stylistically, Khan has to implement an effective hit and run style to have any chance of surviving to win a decision. In contrast, Canelo is basically a well balanced fighter both on offense and defense who can pretty much do it all when needed. His style perhaps best described as counterpuncher/slugger against powerful fighters or a cautious boxer/counterpuncher in some of his less compelling fights against boxers where he concentrates on not making any mistakes, so in his fashion he boxes with boxers, and punches with punchers.

That would seem to indicate Canelo would box with Khan to put steady but careful pressure on him, making sure the public gets to see Khan running the extra mile in the ring to avoid contact. He surely knows he’s expected to knockout Khan and generally abhors disappointing his fans. Can he deliver this go round?

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin

 

Not Much Goin’ On~ Danny Garcia vs Paulie Malignaggi

Danny Garcia tip toes forth ever so gently to take on the flying feather fists of Paulie Malignaggi on a painfully slow Saturday, August 1st, at Barclays in Brooklyn, New York. This non-event was conjured up by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions league, an attempt by Haymon in his own feather duster fashion to replicate the Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts billion dollar enterprise formed by Dana White. If the public could ever catch a glimpse of the hidden from view Haymon, they might see the murderous gleam of a young Cassius as he looks to wrest boxing away from the current Cesar, 80 something Bob Arum.

Yes Virginia, there’s an unholy power vacuum brewing in boxing since Golden Boy has been knocked for a loop, now left hoping beyond hope that their $300 million dollar lawsuit against Haymon is successful. It’s only natural for future shady boxing operators to make their move now, but in a surprise move, Arum joined in the fun with his own $100 million lawsuit against Haymon who’s now find the going considerably less lucrative. Lawyers to be swarming and storming in for their share of the pie of the orchestrated Mayweather juggernaut. Mr. cent already made his bold move only to be shot down in flames of his fighter’s losses, and now in a bankruptcy filing.

The mouse that squeaks Malignaggi hasn’t fought since Shawn Porter pounded him into Brooklyn meatballs in April of last year. Likely he has little ability left to avoid the hard punching Garcia who may not be the best boxer, but packs a big punch. He also has the suits behind him as one of boxing’s propped up and undefeated darlings. Malignaggi did manage to further expose Adrian Broner in 2013 to no credit, but Broner punches like a jelly doughnut, so it’s not an analogous fight.  However, if Garcia can’t knock Paulie out, it’s gonna be ugly since his growing fan base has been fleeing in droves after he unveiled his light in the loafers Haymon schedule designed to keep him undefeated.

In the end, words simply fail to convey the useless hopelessness that this bout represents as the supposed future of boxing. Lord help us.

 

 

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.