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Say Adiós as The First Lady Shutters HBO Boxing

Es Adiós Tiempo as the First Lady of Boxing, Ms Cecilia Braekhus,  will close out HBO Boxing when she puts all her belts on the line vs Ms Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes @StubHub Center in south Los Angeles this Saturday, December 8th.

Only ONE of a Gazillion Titles

Only ONE of a Gazillion Titles

To Wit: International Boxing Federation World Female Welterweight Title
International Boxing Organization World Female Welterweight Title
World Boxing Association World Female Welterweight Title
World Boxing Council World Female Welterweight Title
World Boxing Organisation World Female Welterweight Title

Oh, and she’s already The Ring’s female 147 champ, but additionally Ring commissioned the first ever female P4P belt just for her. Kinda leaves ya breathless, eh!

The 45-year history of HBO boxing begins January 22nd, 1973 when Big George Foreman upset the Joe Frazier juggernaut to concussively usher in a new golden era of world heavyweights as fight # 1. Fast forward>>>>> and all’s well that ends as the last, yet certainly not the least of HBO’s final 1,118th bout when Ms Cecilia defends her title for the 24th time in an historic first as the boxing headliner.

Ms Cecilia ironically  starred in the first-ever women’s cofeature on HBO on May 5 when she survived a seventh-round knockdown and retained her title by unanimous decision over Kali Reis on the Gennady Golovkin-Vanes Martirosyan undercard, also at the StubHub Center.

Here we have a photographer’s dream photo op courtesy of Ms Lina Baker of 360 Promotions. Ms Cecilia thus far sports a perfect 34-0, 9 KO record. Is there nothing not to love about her?

Well, this ain’t the way I want to get to know her!

A sorta boxer’s yoga pose made yummier by Ms Cecilia.

Here is former trainer of record breaking heavyweight champ, Wladimir Klitschko, Johnathon Banks being the lucky bum working the mitts for her!

Yes you can Ms Cecilia!

The only fly in the ointment is if Ms Lopes can upset the First Lady’s heavily laden apple cart. Ms Cecelia is 37 years of age now and should be thinking a soft landing for retirement. She is said be highly sought for product endorsements by the marketing industry, most especially in Europe where she is worshiped as a goddess!

And then we have the background story of Ms Cecilia being orphaned as a newborn in Columbia before being plucked out of an orphanage by her kindhearted Norwegian adoptive parents.

Thus, this heart strung feel good story tain’t over til the Fat Lady sings, so ladies, good luck with that!

 

 

 

 

 

Old Lion Manny Pacquiao vs Young Lion Jessie Vargas

Jessie Vargas is the WBO welterweight champ holding Manny Pacquiao‘s old title he won from Timothy Bradley Jr back in April before retiring. Now Manny wants to reclaim it come Saturday, November 5th @ the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The collective howls of derision from the antisocial media monkeys who were desperate for Junior Welt champ Terence Crawford to get the call promptly soiled any reasonable public expectations for this fight, but just looking at both the excellent title credentials of Vargas coupled with his natural attributes that include significant height, reach, youth, and presumably strength, this looks like a really good action fight. Manny turns 38 next month with 431 rounds waged professionally and Vargas is in a traditional range of athletic prime at age 27 with 189 professional rounds logged, so this the classic battle of the Old Lion against the Young Lion.

Manny’s PPV numbers for Bradley III were about the same as the Floyd TUE Mayweather PPV against the hapless Andre Berto, in other words the expected blow back of fans against both for their sham “Fight of the Century.” So is the public ready to embrace their former favorite again?

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Boxing is in a major rebuild thanks to that pathetic grubbing of greed and corruption, so nobody should ever expect big PPV numbers again until some legit new crossover stars are born. The much ballyhooed Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward PPV that follows this probably won’t clear more than 300-400K if even that because Kovalev is Russian and Ward a P4P STINKER who has made himself irrelevant these past few years. And speaking of pathetic, Vargas should be undefeated after knocking out Bradley only to have the silly putty ref change his mind AFTER he stepped in to save Bradley. How could such blatant idiocy ever be more convenient than that? Amazingly Vargas seems not to have let it get to him, instead turning around disappointment for a very excellent upswing after that robbery, a vicious KO of the undefeated Sadam Ali that earned him this fight. That said, if Manny gets in a half decent camp, he should handle Vargas in a great fight for fans, but it’s hardly the given win his critics complain about. See the Bradley/Ali KOs for proof. Young Vargas has the lean and hungry look of being reborn with cracking power and confidence.

Crawford has a chance to grow a few more fans, humility, and the understanding he won’t dictate the weights and finances like he attempted. Manny’s still the boss and most obviously as a welt if he wins back the WBO title. I didn’t see the alleged Crawford shutout of Postol, but I did see a very crafty Crawford using his speed and power to get the two knockdowns that insured in an otherwise well contested fight he would get the win. That was some smart boxing from the kid instead of trying to match brute strength against a bigger, stronger guy. Now he needs to better calculate his appeal after drawing 60K PPVs for that fight. At any rate, Manny is still the fastest in the division with power enough and more experience at top levels than any fighter going today. He too seems to be reborn after his shoulder surgery, so if the Vargas fight reestablishes his star power, he won’t go away quietly if he can come back once every year like clockwork. His greedy Uncle Bob is already talking about the Crawford fight next April, way too much return action for what is now a full time Senator.

And speaking of politics with this being a particularly low brow, low blow waged American presidential election year, the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is as harshly hard line conservative and vulgar as they come. He slandered US President Obama as the son of a whore and demanded US troops stationed there exit the Philippines post haste. America is not his friend, instead looking to Asia and especially China for economic and military allegiances. The last time Manny got caught up in presidential politics during an election year was 2012 when he was baited by the press into offering his negative views of gay marriage in the liberal state of Nevada. That faux pas cost him one of boxing’s worst decision losses ever against Tim Bradley that reduced his earnings by multimillions of dollars. So here we go again with Manny perfectly framed for an identical political crunching moment in time, literally a deer in the Vegas headlights against a really rough, tough, game Mexican for boxing promotional purposes, but who is as native born and endemically American as breakfast tacos have become.

It’s an embarrassment to have to broach the historic reach of boxing corruption in the land of the free and home of the brave where all are guaranteed Constitutional rights in theory, but not boxing decisions. A few days later the big Presidential election occurs, and a few days after that comes the “hated” Russian destroyer Sergey Kovalev  fighting the last American Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward in another title fight in Las Vegas. We will see with these two boxing events just how fair America is for honorable visiting foreign nationals these days.

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

An interesting development in this fight is the PPV structure will be in house on Top Rank’s own website where they have broadcast fights in the past. The results of this experiment should be interesting, but one problem I picked up early is that the promotion seemed a little weak, and on their website I saw no place to purchase the PPV stream just 2 weeks away from fight time, but we could purchase tickets to the fight, c’mon now Bob. I had to research to google to a completely different website, http://www.toprank.tv/index.jsp where the fight costs $59.99, and which is backlinked to the main Top Rank website. Why their main site has no forwarding link that I see can only be answered by their website designers, but dumb is still dumb by any other name. When I checked back days before the fight, Hallelujah, the forwarding link is there. Better late than never.

The backdrop of this in house PPV was that HBO had already committed to Kovalev vs Ward the very next week and didn’t have the funds left in their reduced boxing budget to finance this, and also didn’t want to have two PPVs on the same month for business reasons known only to them. Top Rank is desperate to develop alternatives after taking a financial bath on both the Manny/Bradley fight and the Crawford/Postal one as well, but criminy, next time put the freaking livestream link on their main site well in advance with the ticket sales for folks to buy the stream at their convenience…duh!

Of course after doing decuple duty, that’s 10x duty as Senator, husband, father,fighter, movie star, basketball player and coach, singer, lover, and the softest touch for money for the needy, Manny could get proverbially old overnight, but I say let him do it his way. He looked dominant in his last P4P battle against Bradley and has earned his chops at least as hard as any fighter in history and harder than most all. Jessie not only earned his opportunity, but is also the hungriest for it in the welterweight division. That counts for a whole lot more than just picking up a payday like many fighters do in big fights these days.

Here they were out of training 2 months away already looking in shape and fight ready. This is gonna be great, guaranteed.

Showtime Banty Final–Joseph Agbeko vs Abner Mares

Joseph Agbeko was forced to withdraw from his Showtime banty final against Abner Mares last April due to a bad case of sciatica, a very painful nerve problem leading to leg problems.

Joseph Agbeko

Joseph Agbeko

We’re now entering the homestretch this week of the long anticipated tourney final between a recovered Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares in what should be an action oriented fight with plenty of ebb and flow mixed in as the fighters vie over who will be the tourney winner.

Though Agbeko will likely be the marginal favorite, this is an even type of fight that is heavily influenced by the actions of the ref and the judging. I’d favor Agbeko under ideal conditions, but don’t know if he’s fully recovered.

Abner Mares

Abner Mares

Mainly we get to finally see the end of the Showtime banty tournament, a good idea whose time has regrettably petered out. Perhaps it was asking too much for the American market to support the little guys over the long haul, but thankfully the little guys showed their class and persevered, so the final should finish with some colorful fireworks before it’s all said and done.

Top fight, so be there.

Pacquiao vs Mosley–When Plan B Turns to Gold

Try as many times as he may, Manny Pacquiao simply cannot entice Floyd Mayweather Jr into a geniune all time prize fight, the richest in history even at the most conservative estimates.

Pac Man vs Sugar

Pac Man vs Sugar

Mayweather has been beset by doubts and legal woes from the start of his 2009 comeback, all while carefully dancing around Pacquiao’s fight schedule, teasing, taunting or defiling the honor of Pacquiao. Then he pulls out of both fights after repeated transcontinental flights by team negotiators, endless phone calls, and tedious, extended talks were  conducted with the terms finally agreed upon.

Enter Plan B.

Woes Galore

Woes Galore

Fortunately, Pacquiao has a savvy, experienced promoter in Bob Arum looking out for his boxing interests, and he has kept promotional plans B and C handy for practical use. There is no need to risk delaying or even losing lucrative fight dates and promotions while fruitlessly waiting for Mayweather to work his way through the maze of the some half dozen criminal charges against him so Mayweather can man up to the challenge the public has been calling for for over two years now.

Moreover, Arum has pulled off a real sweet deal with his Plan B in what may alter the future of big boxing promotions by negotiating a deal with both Showtime and CBS, stunning the HBO juggernaut that has been fading badly these past few years and now struggling in hard economic times.

CBS will provide a substantial part of the promotion by airing the Fight Camp 360 prefight series on free terrestial TV, exposing the electric boxing career and public sector life of Manny Pacquiao to a broader viewing audience who may wish to know more come fight night. As such, Shane Mosley arrived perfectly poised at the exact best time under the best conditions to secure what may well prove to be his biggest ever, most lucrative fight and that in the twilight of his career.

Quite a turnaround of good fortune for Mosley who was clueless the last 10 rounds of his 2010 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr and then looked terribly awkward and off balance in his next fight against Sergio Mora.

Naturally, critics have had a field day savaging Pacquiao and Arum for fighting what many consider a fighter well past his best form, but someone must have forgotten to tell the rest of the independent ranking orgs such as Ring, Boxrec, and Fightnews, all of whom have Mosley well ranked. Ring has him #4 welter, Boxrec has him #3 welter and #22 P4P, and Fightnews puts him at #3 welter.

I personally think the 39 year old Mosley has been well overrated for some time, but Arum is doing what a good promoter should be doing, securing a top fight to leverage for all its worth to make money for everyone, and Mosley provides an excellent supplemental promotional storyline for this occasion.

We can’t ignore that Arum also “sticks it” to his main rival, Golden Boy Promotions with the defection of Mosley to the Arum for this fight. That makes the 2nd business partner to cut his business ties with GBP after Marco Antonio Barrera left a few years back.  Bernard Hopkins has also been making threatening noises from time to time as well.

Juan Manuel Marquez is not a business partner with GBP, but he has been grumbling after being left on the sidelines by the Mosley deal, unable to secure his own dream Paquiao rubber match. However, Arum has been talking up Marquez as Pacquiao’s next fight assuming he beats Mosley, but maybe everyone should check out this past week’s upsets before taking negotiations as fait accompli .

It was Oscar de la Hoya who revitalized the tattered careers of Marquez, Mosley, Barrera, and Hopkins, making them more money in their last few fights than the whole of their careers beforehand, yet this surly bunch seemingly have no thanks or loyalty for their benefactor which is their choice at their own peril I guess.

Arum has made it clear that there will be no co-promotion with a competitor in making a Pacquiao fight with the sole exception of a Floyd Mayweather Jr fight suddenly materializing.

Fat chance that happening, but how about the chances of Shane Mosley pulling off the upset you ask?

Sugar vs Pretty

Sugar vs Pretty

Boxing is a funny business because it’s the only major sport where a competitor can be comprehensively shut out and turn things around with a single action, where one good knockout punch can trump a thousand and one excellent punches in a heartbeat as Floyd Mayweather Jr almost found out when knocked temporarily out on his feet after Mosley caught him with a big time right hand.

Congressman Pacquiao

Congressman Pacquiao

Any fighter who can deliver a punch like that cannot be blithely dismissed out of hand as many will do against the vastly superior near prime Pacquiao. I say near prime because I’m not yet convinced he can be both a serving Congressman for his people and a fighter at his best at this point in his career.

Regardless, the 32 year old Pacquiao is at an apex of his career and still in the latter phase of traditional prime athletic years compared to Mosley who has been going up and down like a yoyo as he winds down his career.

Mosley says he wants to fight on for several more years, so is surely motivated to make a good showing against the greatest fighter of this last decade and one of the all time greats for sure, but even beating a Pacquiao off his best form would be a tall order.

The biggest problem for Mosley is that he has a history of being handled by excellent boxer types. Freddie Roach has been adding layer after layer of boxing nuance to Pacquiao’s considerable slugging skills and I don’t see what Mosley has to counteract Pacquiao’s boxing save a “lucky” shot.

So the fight will likely play out as predicted with Pacquiao outworking, outboxing, and outslugging a game to go Mosley in the opening all action stanzas, and then comes the beating and perhaps Mosley’s first ever stoppage loss.

If Pacquiao beats Mosley, he will have demolished the dominant top 5 ranked welters of the past 5 years, what many regarded as a golden era with Margarito, Mosley and Cotto also rated as P4Pers and of course Clottey rounding out the division. Other than the Marquez rubber match or Mayweather signing a fight contract, there is nowhere left for Pacquiao to go for big fights, but he says he wants another 2-3 yrs, so we shall see.

So onwards to Saturday night, May 7th at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas if you want to see about catching greased lightning in action when Manny Pacquiao executes what should be an exciting Plan B for as long as it lasts.

Contender Star Brinkley Gets Shot at Lucian Bute

This October 15 on a low key Friday evening in Montreal, Canada, former Contender star and current IBF mandatory Jesse Brinkley gets a shot at Lucian Bute’s IBF crown.

Bute is the top ranked Ring and Boxrec supermiddleweight, a Romanian transplant fighting almost exclusively out of Montreal. His style is of a slick, quick, savvy southpaw not likely to lose any rounds against the overachieving Brinkley who has rebuilt his career the last 4 yrs in solid fashion to get to this point.

Jesse Brinkley with hair

Jesse Brinkley with hair

I hate to see a fine, popular, salt of the earth type of fighter get blown out of the water with little effort as is likely to befall Brinkley, but sometimes in the real world, nice guys lose, and there are no better fighters than Bute for him to lose to.

Brinkley will probably be pumped to the gills for this opportunity of a lifetime and he earned every minute that it lasts. It will be quite the experience for him in Montreal, one that he can pass on to the grandkids one day.

With some good luck combined with spot on timing, maybe Brinkley will land a few stingers on Bute and create some highlight footage for himself before succumbing to the inevitable.

Lucian Bute

Lucian Bute

There are of course much bigger fights for Bute in the grand future queue of things since he recently signed a lucrative contract with HBO.

That was unprecedented for a Montreal centric fighter, but the notion is to feed off the excitement of the Montreal crowd and eventually lure Bute in to Las Vegas for a superfight against the winner of the Showtime Super Six tourney, or at least one of the drop outs.

He also has another IBF mandatory, the undefeated Frenchman Jean Paul Mendy who fights out of Paris that should be a natural fit in Montreal or even Paris.

The biggest option would be to move up a division to challenge the very popular newly crowned Ring Champ, Montreal lightheavyweight Jean Pascal. 

HBO would be all over that fight in a heartbeat, doubtless the biggest Canadian promotion ever put together and a geniune modern day superfight. First things first, however, so Bute has to take care of at least one of his current mandatories in the here and now that can be quite treacherous for a champion with stars and dollar signs clouding his focus.

Brinkley vs Bute

Brinkley vs Bute

Gonna be a fun night that also sees two more popular Romanian transplants fighting out of Montreal, Adrian Diaconu and Ionut Dan Ion back in action, so tune in if you have the chance.

A Spritzer With Your Nightcap, Sir

A Spritzer With Your Nightcap, Sir

Boxing 101, How to Score Ugly or Mora vs Mosley, The No-Win Non-Fight of the Year

The Mexican Independence Celebration Mora vs Mosley headliner  at the Staples Center this Saturday was a matchmaking disaster foretold in advance to go the distance and likely to turn ugly.The Score

The Score Enlarged:http://fightnews.com/Boxing/mosley-mora.gif I don’t claim to know what machinations were going on inside the Golden Boy Promotions complex that added this match to an otherwise excellent night of knockouts that the boxing public clamors for.

Shane Mosley is a remarkable physical specimen for his age, but that’s the qualifier.

Defused Bomb

Defused Bomb

It’s his age and long career that has left him in a slower state of being that every fighter must face if they insist upon carrying on past their best form. It’s was guaranteed that a younger, faster, quicker, taller defensive minded boxer with a good chin was going to make a difficult night for him, so the question would be,

“What were they thinking?”

Flash Jab

Flash Jab

Perhaps they wanted to rest Mosley with a light puncher while testing his reflexes against a faster fighter, so by this criteria, they were successful.  It was otherwise a terrible complement to an otherwise exemplary card  of explosive proportions that the largely Mexican crowd was well pleased with.

The official result was a DRAW with cards reading 115-113 Mora, 116-112 Mosley, and 114-114, Even.

The outrage started with Jim Lampley and Harold Lederman of HBO who were sputtering into their microphones they were so incensed over Mosley being robbed. Yet on another broadcast, I understand Ring Magazine’s Doug Fischer scored the bout as a near Mora shutout, and on it went, passed around like a strain of the 3 day flu, which is about how long this “controversy” will last.

For the record, I found the bout interesting from a technical point of view, a classic boxer who couldn’t pop a soap bubble against an older volume puncher above his best weight. They both did the best they could within the strengths and limitations of their styles.

A Connection Has Been Established

A Connection Has Been Established

Anyway, I did something about my own outrage many years ago by scoring bouts according to the fundamentals of the sport, which at it’s best is still a highly subjective exercise, so I dampened the subjectivity based on the scoring directives used by Nevada and other commissions, who “encourage” judges to never score even rounds.

The order of priority in modern scoring is generally the following:

1. Offense

2. Defense

3. Ring Generalship with 10 points to the winner of the round, 9 points to the loser, and one point deducted to a fighter knocked down x the number of times he’s knocked down in a round.

NO EVEN ROUNDS or find another part-time job.

Hmmmm, I thought to myself, why the prejudice against even rounds? By this time I had already tired of trying to pick out the difference between a hotly contested round with both fighters doing well or poorly contested round where both fighters looked clueless and was scoring even rounds.

BINGO, I unlocked the key to this hereto impenetrable maze of behind the scenes officiousness.

Simply put, invariably the number of even rounds I scored even coincided with the margins of the cards, meaning that the fighters either benefitted or were penalized by rounds that were even in nature.

The major sports, baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf, and soccer only keep one score and have playoff procedures in place for when draws occur. Boxing is “different,” or perhaps “special,” because it keeps “3 scores” whose results are strangely combined after the competition ceases in prolonged ring huddles of whispers, head scratchings, and muted cries resembling rugby scrums.

The judges do their “judging” in street clothes, a very handy procedure that generally allows them to lose themselves in the crowd after the bout and successfully escape with skins, limbs, and teeth intact for those hotly disputed decisions.

Click Here To Take Your Local Connection Speed Test

Click Here To Take Your Local Connection Speed Test

Let’s face facts here folks, with boxing’s “golden history” of association with gambling and various criminal syndicates controlling various “local” jurisdictions combining with the more obvious hometown favoritism, and the modern developments of assorted sordid ABC orgs of boxing and commissions, boxing fans have grown up expecting these scoring outrages, but seldom score bouts themselves much less consider the logistics or bureaucracies that create these latest scoring outrages, so scoring controversies get passed on seamlessly from one generation to the next much like war, death, and taxes.

Can You Feel Me Yet?

Can You Feel Me Yet?

In the above Mora/Mosley scorecards with the point totals added together end up being 341 for Mora to 343 for Mosley of the 684 points awarded. That’s a 2 point advantage for Mosley, or 2 of 684 total points, or 0.003 fractional difference, or approximately 1/3rd of 1% difference, not even pennies on the dollar, but potentially a huge windfall for the fighter for whom you’ve cast your bet, which perhaps is the origin as much as any for the outrage after scoring controversies.

Nobody likes to lose, much less lose their beloved wad.

One point happens to be the barest minimum that a fighter can win a bout, but the average fan seldom considers the margins of all the close decisions in history under modern scoring rules.

It should be added that HBO has become dependent on Compubox for the use of “punch stats” to form their analysis around. The Compubox “computer” tells them that Mosley threw 522 punches to Mora’s 508 punches and “landed” 161 punches compared to Mora’s 93 punches.

It strikes me that HBO could save a lot of money in these lean times for them by eliminating the broadcast crew, and just have a rotating cast of their marketing staff hype the round by round along side a running tabulation of Compubox numbers.

Need to make boxing a bloodless, knockout proof sport with fighters shadow boxing like the amateurs with the computer spitting out the results.

Lumpy

Lumpy

Remember, computers are infallible and man is but clay!

Maybe we could match up Jim Lampley with Doug Fischer and let the computer decide who gets to decide the results of Mora/Mosley, right?

Yeah, riiiiiight…………………..

Klitschko vs Chambers, The Fat Chances of Fast Eddie

http://www.ringnews24.com/index.php/site-map/boxing-news/339-klitschko-vs-chambers-the-fat-chances-of-fast-eddie.html

by Bobby Mac

Now, let me be up front and state that I like Eddie Chambers even if I am not always enthralled with his conditioning and style. Fast Eddie comes to fight and brings some stellar natural attributes to his challenge to Wladimir Klitschko‘s titles.

This is, however, not a billiards contest where the sharp shooting and sharp eyes of Fast Eddie might stand him in good stead, but a traditional blood sport that has been incrementally refined over the decades into it’s current twelve round championship format.

Wladimir Klitschko has made himself the master of those twelve allotted rounds, and almost never gives anything away to his opponents, no matter what their style, size, or strength is. Moreover, Wladimir rarely uses all of his allotted rounds, preferring to end fights sooner rather than later.

If careers were measured in rounds and stoppages instead of fights, Wlad and his brother Vitali would be in an elite class of their own, but thankfully careers are not measured in that fashion.

On his way to racking up 53 dominant wins with 47 KOs, a stellar record in any era, Wlad has been beaten in three major upsets against opposition he held almost all the advantages over, much like he does against Chambers, so therein lie the hopes and dreams of Fast Eddie.

Chambers has made upsetting bigger, stronger fighters part of his tidy 35-1, 18 KO record that has seen him to his current #8 Ring rating. He was the first to put a dent in the unblemished records of Derrick Rossy and Alexander Dimitrenko, and he also went the distance with Alexander Povetkin. Recently he defeated the former WBC champion Samuel Peter, all huge, strong fighters by any standard.

So, how does Fast Eddie turn the trick against Wladimir?

For starters, he seems to have whipped himself into a fine shape at 209lbs after stinging criticisms that he was sporting too much baggage. This is near the same form when he upset the massive Dimitrenko in his last fight, which has propelled Chambers into his first title challenge.

Returning to the scene of Wladimir’s last relevant loss against Lamon Brewster six years ago, Brewster used a concrete chin to break the strangely fragile stamina of Klitschko, who collapsed in a heap after 5 rounds. Chambers has proven to have a good chin thus far, but it seems a stretch to have to rely on Wlad collapsing in a heap again, but it has happened once, so the possibility is there.

It was seven years ago that Corrie Sanders used his lightning left hand out of a southpaw stance to surprise Wlad early with a big shot, and never let him recover for an early TKO. Chambers has never shown that level of power early in a fight, but Eddie does have some pretty fast hands and is capable of putting together the type of quick combinations that can drop a heavyweight, so he will be looking for this opportunity.

Realistically though, the above seems implausible for Chambers given the recent championship form of Klitschko, who is in the middle of his prime years. Wlad’s style is to impose a distance fight at range using what is arguably the most versatile jab in heavyweight history. It can be a shotgun in automatic mode, a pawing feint, a slapdown of defenses, or a set up for his excellent hook off the jab. Any fighter getting inside of his jab will be tied up by his prodigious size and strength, if not stretched out on the canvas from his right hand.

It all seems too much for Chambers to overcome, but Wlad is going to have to prove it one more time against the best proven American heavyweight today. Fast Eddie has already proven he belongs, and make no mistake, Chambers is the hungrier fighter with the greater incentive.

HBO thought so poorly of Chambers’ chances that they won’t be broadcasting this fight, which is a real shame. Maybe Chambers loses in a blowout, but he deserves better than being dismissed out of hand, especially since HBO has recently broadcast inferior American heavyweights in their title challenges.

If HBO had shown as much business acumen as the heart and ringmanship that Fast Eddie has shown in his career, maybe they wouldn’t be so rightly derided for poor matchups that have seen them lose market share, and called into question their devotion to the sport of boxing, which seems more oriented to painting by compubox numbers than the fighting spirit of the sport.

I expect both Wladimir and Chambers to acquit themselves quite nicely, so enjoy the moment.

I certainly will.