Tag Archives: golden boy

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.

 

 

Deontay Wilder Finally Steps Up Vs Bermane Stiverne

Freshly crowned WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) defends against his mandatory, Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) this Saturday, January 17 at the MGM in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for boxing, more specifically American boxing, Wilder is only a modest prospect by his limited achievements, yet by hook and crook has managed through dubious rankings in the WBC and shady maneuverings at Al Haymon/Golden Boy News of the Ring World to become top rated contender.

Perhaps more telling has been the tepid promotional push since the fight was announced. That this deal is a backroom deal seems more and more apparent as it flies under the usual radar of hyped American heavyweight title fights. The bigger story is news that Golden Boy Promotions has given up his interest in Al Hayman signed fighters and settled his lawsuit against Richard Schaefer the week before this fight.

In contrast look for the planned Wladimir Klitschko/Bryant Jennings fight at Barclays in Brooklyn to be very well promoted as a legitimate heavyweight challenge by a worthy American against the growing legacy of the long time champ. Though the monetary terms have been agreed to, the other big boxing story is the advances Roc Nation has made by the recent signing of Jennings which may complicate the final details.

Yes,

Yes, “It” Happens!

The Don King promoted Stiverne manage to earn his limited chops and the WBC title by beating long time contender Chris Arreola, once in 2013 and again in 2014 for the belt. Arreola himself had something of a specious record after never having beat a top ten contender, the ultimate scourge of the last decade of faint hearted US heavyweight prospects and their promoters. The last US Olympic boxing medalist, Wilder, was last seen buried in California on the undercard of little known IBF Welter champ Shawn Porter when he defended against even less known British contender Kell Brook. In spite of Wilder’s bronze medal in 2008 and perfect 34-0, 34 KO record, only a couple dozen fans were in the seats of the Stubb Hub to watch him pad out his choreographed streak against long time journeyman Jason Gavern.

Mutt & Jeff Monkeyshines

Mutt & Jeff Monkeyshines

The physical aesthetics of this fight are something akin to a modern day rendition of the old Mutt & Jeff cartoon given the sleek 6-7 tattooed physiology of 29 year old Wilder in contrast to the stubby blubber of the 36 year old Stiverne, generously listed at 6-2 on boxrec in spite obviously challenging the 5-11 mark. In a styles make fights sport, the fight becomes a real puzzle since nobody knows what kind of style Wilder will use since he’s never faced any fighter near the danger of the limited Stiverne who can easily be outboxed in the early going. Does Wilder have the stamina to go the distance against a tough guy like Stiverne? Does he have the power to knock him out? Does Wilder have the chin to stand up to the inevitable shots landed on him? Does he have the innate moxie to know when to move and box and when to stand and land?

We know what Stiverne brings but in spite of 34 fights we don’t know what kind of fighter Wilder really is other than heavily protected and we may not find out given the shaky promotional natures of Don King and Al Hayman for whom fairly officiated fights are an anathema. This is a roll of unknown dice for the public, however there’s little doubt that young Wilder represents the future American boxing interests as opposed to the unheralded Haitian Stiverne who can never generate a decent sized purse unless the unspeakable happens and he knocks out Wilder. Then he would have to sign to fight Wladimir Klitschko in a unification bout, not likely given his promoter Don King’s reluctance to risk one of his last meal tickets.

Speculation aside, the model for this “event” is likely found in the first Michael Dokes vs Mike Weaver confrontation when the unsung Weaver was stopped controversially in the first round in spite of having all of his faculties just because he took some hard punches as was always his style. Naturally Don King secured the rematch which did nothing to settle the controversy with the draw result.

Stiverne is the closest heavyweight to the Weaver style today and there is no historical parallel to the limitations of Wilder, so the big question is whether the ref will favor Wilder or not. Regardless, I don’t see these guys going the distance and the potential for controversy is about as high as it can get for a fight.

 

Fight of the Year—Jhonny Gonzalez TKO6 Jackson Asiku

I’m surprised that I’ve heard no mention yet of the major Fight of the Year awards by Ring, BWAA, and ESPN. Perhaps that’s in deference to this Saturday’s coming match ups which could theoretically see Bernard Hopkins become the oldest fighter to win a major title or could see an all time fire fight between Marcos Huck and Denis Lebedev.

Typically, the earliest boxing months of the year get overlooked in deference to the all too common short memory span gene that afflicts most of the human species that includes the subspecies, Homo Hackeris, the boxing cogsnetti.

BIG NAME FIGHTS also always have priority over little fights, so with these factors in mind, likeliest frontrunners are Marquez vs Kasidis, TKO 9, and Khan vs Maidana, UD 12, both good action fights of recent vintage.

There are of course any number of all action dramatic fight of the year types in any given year, and as in any beauty contest, usually your personal favorite loses out. I can accept such routine defeat, but imagine my disappointment in finding out that perhaps the greatest ever modern fight staged under the Marquis of Queensbury rules, Alexis Arguello vs Aaron Pryor, their first fight, it amazingly lost out to Bobby Chacon UD 15 Rafael Limon IV, their 4th installment.

At least that was a great fight and Bobby Chacon also won the next year against Cornelius Boza Edwards. Chacon was one of my favorite fighters and game as can be so I’m happy such a great fighter of his day found his place in the sun, but still.

The sheer combination of technical boxing, slugging, ebb and flow, pace, endurance, heart, and dueling ringmanship exhibited by two among the greatest fighters to ever match up against each other in their primes, Arguello/Pryor ticks all the boxes including a minor or major controversy depending on your point of view about the “Black Bottle.”

But enough meandering warm and fuzzy reminiscing, in the here and now of this year, Jhonny Gonzalez and Jackson Asiku staged one of the most dramatic fights I’ve ever seen.

Gonzales is a scrappy Mexican warrior and championship fighter coming out of the banty division. He came up the hard way through the Mexican system, turning pro at age 17 and losing his first two fights before fighting his way to his current 47-7, 41 KO record.

Bulled to the ropes, Jhonny decks Jackson

Bulled to the ropes, Jhonny decks Jackson

His only three losses since 2002 have been to big punching great championship fighters, Israel Vazquez, Gerry Penalosa, and Toshiaki Nishioka, fights he was dominating before succumbing.

Jackson Asiku has a similar background, coming up as a tough Ugandan block of ebony fighting out of Australia who was also rode hard and put up wet early on. Action Jackson went on a six year win streak against some solid competition that netted him the British Commonwealth title. Technically he was the bigger man as a lifelong featherweight and a hard as nails pressure fighter never having been knocked out.

Jhonny Gonzalez had previously been knocked out, but he had also notched wins against the best such as Mark Johnson and Mexican legend Fernando Montiel who is currently a Ring Banty champ and P4Per, and now Gonzalez was moving up after a devastating knockout loss.

Asiku leaped at him like a leopard, but Gonzalez can fight inside or out, and he banged Asiku every which way, yet still Asiku attacked at a ferocious pace and the drama was set.

Could Gonzalez last in a bigger division or had he reached his limits of a after a long hard fought career against some of the best, 53 fights?

The answer came after Jhonny bounced Asiku off the canvas several times and had him finally listing like a ship looking for the right spot to go down with all hands on deck. The pace and urgency of the fight was incredible, and truth be told, Gonzalez is one of the very best all action type of fighters today with plenty of previous thrillers.

Going, going, GONE!

Going, going, GONE!

Where the establishment frontrunners fall short, ie: Golden Boy, starts with one of the worst refereeing efforts this year by Joe Cortez, interfering at every stage when the action grew compelling, even attempting to hold up Khan at a dire moment of dimming consciousness as Maidana stood over him.

Marquez/Katsidis was a more leisurely fight, pretty much a technical fight save for Katsidis knocking down Marquez hard for the umpteenth time in his career which had spectators wondering if the old man had come to the end of the road. Marquez roared back, but then the ref stopped the fight with Katsidis still game, bulling forward, another ref transgression possibly affecting the outcome.

We will see if Golden Boy Promotions gets one of their big stars in the fight of the year. Juan Manuel Marquez vs Juan Diaz won last years Ring FOY with the Marquez name dominating the past 3 years after brother Rafael took honors the 2 years previous with his efforts against Israel Vasquez.  The Marquez brothers also won the BWAA FOY the last two years, Rafael and then Juan Manuel respectively.

Pictures and words will have to suffice in lieu of the Jhonny Gonzalez/Jackson Asiku fight video which was terminated because of copyright violations. This little gemstone is safely buried now in some big business bureaucratic file never to be seen again one supposes.

That Jhonny Gonzalez is also promoted by Golden Boy is rich irony indeed.

So, it’s Jhonny Gonzalez and Jackson Asiku this year for me, a high drama, all action fight of perfect contrasting styles with little referee interference save for issuing counts on Asiku. Truth be told, I doubt the fight will even be considered it falls so far out of the cogsnetti radar, but I have to pay tribute to these two game warriors who are the real face of boxing at it’s best.

Next in the queue, Knockout of the Year and Fighter of the Year……..>>>>>>>>>

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.

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Lovemore N’dou-Future vs The Past

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has another Herculean task ahead of him for his latest impossible labors assigned by Golden Boy Stables.

Canelo Crunch

Canelo Crunch

Alvarez has been busy cracking the iron chins of a cast of former champs and fringe contenders, and his next opponent, Lovemore ‘The Black Panther’ N’dou is no exception, never having ever been knocked out before.

The Black Panther

The Black Panther

N’dou is a tough as nails South African fighter in a proud tradition who has made hard challenges to the likes of Shamba Mitchell, Miguel Cotto, Junior Witter, Pauli Malignaggi, and Kermit Cintron over his career.  He may be 39 yrs old, but good enough still to warrant being tapped as a sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In short, N’dou is a former IBF belt holder who knows his way around a boxing ring and knows an upset of the highly groomed Alvarez can mean yet another title shot.

I’m not sure why the 20 yr old Alvarez has been held back this year when he’s clearly ready to challenge for one of the main titles other than boxing politics that has kept him mostly buried in Mexico. Building a fanbase is the usual justification in spite of already being wildly popular there, probably more so than the Marquez brothers for example.

 There is little doubt he will be a big favorite, and the kid can fight with anyone if he’s ever given a chance. I don’t see how knocking out older, durable fighters and yet another fringe contender properly prepares him for a title challenge against a prime champ, but the schedule tells us he’s due to fight this Saturday, December the 4th in beautiful Vera Cruz, Mexico.

Heck, when you put it that way, damn, I’d be happy to swap out a fight with Canelo just to spend some down time in Vera Cruz. Man, that sounds luscious, so maybe he’s one smart cookie!

Anyway, it’s not that big of a fight, but rather more of a Golden Boy watch. He’s their best prospect, and at 34-0-1, 24 KO, it begs the question?

Oscar, why is the kid still playin’ in the minor leagues?

He could beat Berto, Mosley, and maybe Mayweather, or at least a higher ranked contender. C’mon now!

148.9-In Fine Fettle-149.6

148.9-In Fine Fettle-149.6

So here we are. 

Canelo is charged with mowing down Lovemore N’dou, so if you like hard, scrappy fights and want to see the probable future of boxing, AND you can find a Mexican channel, the kid delivers plenty of action, excitement, and maybe a big knockout, so there it is.

El Matador de Canelo

El Matador de Canelo

New School vs Old School-Saul Alvarez vs Carlos Baldomir

This coming Saturday at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, California, fast rising Mexican sensation, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez squares off against former welterweight champ, Carlos “Tata” Baldomir, for the WBC Junior Middleweight Silver Title.

Hammy Stretch

Hammy Stretch

Actually, the header should read Really New School vs Really, Really Old School since the 20 yr old Alvarez is 19 years younger than the grizzled Baldomir who has not had a significant win since he turned out the lights on a shot Arturo Gatti some 4 yrs ago. Since then he was shutout by Floyd Mayweather Jr for Tata’s WBC welter belt, equally shut out for Vernon Forrest’s WBC junior middleweight belt, was beat up by a journeyman, Luciano Perez, yet somehow, by hook or crook, Baldomir was quite fortunate to scrape out the sparest majority decision imaginable. Then  he went on to be beaten by Jackson Osei Bonsu in a WBC welter eliminator before finally knocking out journeyman Jairo Jesus Siris in Argentina for a meager measure of redemption last year.

Saul Alvarez is not only younger and fresher, but much faster with excellent punching power, boxing skills, and fighting instincts. He fights like a seasoned champion, which begs the question of why he was held back this year from his first title challenge?

Canelo

Canelo

Canelo’s record is already 33-0-1, 25 KO with 195 pro rounds in the bank. His team claims he may have as many as a dozen more professional fights that aren’t recorded yet. Officially by the records available he turned pro at age 15, so a contender with his record and talent should’ve been moved faster with a premiere promoter like Golden Boy behind him.

Perhaps the clue is his career weight which his been mostly at welter. Folks who follow boxing know that  the WBA/IBF titles belong to overseas fighters Vyacheslav Senchenko and Jan Zaveck, the WBO by Manny Pacquiao, an Arum fighter with a pending lawsuit filed against Golden Boy, and WBC title being controlled by Andre Berto who has been on a career long soft diet. Not many prospective title shots there for a dangerous, up and coming contender who is equally adept at boxing or slugging.

Looking at the junior middle division, the prospects for a world title fight are equally daunting unless he becomes the WBC mandatory to the Arum controlled winner of the WBC title bout between Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao.  Arum fighter Miguel Cotto owns the WBA belt, the WBO by undefeated Sergeii Dzinziruk who may have relocated to the States, and the IBF by Cornelius Bundrage, a Don King fighter not likely to give up a belt to a dangerous, non-King contender.

Golden Boy seems to have given Alvarez the Herculean task of cleaning out the massive set of stables at the higher weight by knockout this year. Fringe contenders Jose Cotto, brother of Miguel, and Luciano Cuello had never been stopped before, and Brian Camechis had only been stopped once, but none could stand in against Canelo.

Tata

Tata

Carlos Baldomir has only been stopped once, way back in the Jurassic era circa 1994, so a knockout may be significant on one level, but really just another fringe contender feather in Canelo’s already fully stocked cap. At the very least, Baldomir is gonna replicate a punching bag since Alvarez should be able to move and punch at will.

Mind you, I’m not dismissing the 39 yr old Baldomir out of a lack of respect, the Argentinian has a 45-12-6 record with 520 professional rounds on the ledger, but he’s slow as molasses in the Arctic and with a 22% KO ratio, his power is next to nil. He’s simply gotten too old, too shopworn to be much use as a test other than whether he can be knocked  out.

A similar yet different test occurs on the card with the 39 yr old  former legend Shane Mosley trying to comeback from his one sided beatdown at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Former “ Contender” and WBC junior middleweight champ Sergio Mora recently signed with Golden Boy for the honors. At age 29 and a fast handed busy boxer, this is a bad match up for Mosley who has a history of being handled by boxer types, but the upside for Mosley is that Mora has no power, so the fight likely goes the distance.

The winner regains a measure of past glory and probably a title shot somewhere.

Former WBO super banty champ, Daniel Ponce de Leon faces Antonio Escalante in a WBO featherweight title eliminator. Victor Ortiz looks to continue his climb through the junior welter division by taking on former champ Vivian Harris in a Vicious vs Vicious battle of monikers, so overall the card is a decent one.

Even the Brits are getting in on the act with a nice card in Birmingham. The highlight for me is young British lightheavy contender and EBU champ, Nathan Cleverly, going up against young contender and former EBU supermiddle champ, Karo Murat, who fights out of Germany. This is a WBO title eliminator and both are undefeated, so it’s great to see some young lions risking their zeros with special props to Murat who goes to the lion’s own den for the task.

So, there it is, you’ve been notified in advance that in spite of rumors, boxing is not yet dead.

El Canelo Crunch

El Canelo Crunch

The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy

Sweet Dreams My Darling

Sweet Dreams My Darling