Tag Archives: Kenny Bayless

Boxing 101~~How To Score Ugly, Part II~~Alvarez vs Mayweather

This followup pertains to the recent Alvarez/Mayweather “outrage” that has sent a long time boxing judge scrambling to ignominious retirement while the resident guvn’r was rudely roused from oversight of his Den of Gaming and Trolloptry by swarms of angry complainants using his name in vain. Anyone needing to catch up on the longtime scoring dilemmas facing the modern era of boxing can review my first draft on the subject here concerning the Shane Mosley vs Sergio Mora tempest in a teapot. It was a typical scoring controversy that got the usual antisocial ninnies boiling over in forever misplaced outrage for about a week before their tiny attention spans had found a new outrage to run off to knock over more gravestones:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/boxing-101-how-to-score-ugly-or-mora-vs-mosley-the-no-win-non-fight-of-the-year/

There is no doubt that boxing, notwithstanding record revenues by Alvarez vs Mayweather, well, boxing has a problem of legitimacy as older American fans are dying out faster than new ones are coming aboard by an alarming margin. There are fewer American fighters left in the sport, probably due to fewer kids wishing to leap into a career of corruption where there is almost no money to be made except at the very top. The UFC shines in today’s New World Order as boxing moves to the pro wrestling format of  prefight promotional themes of conflict. Even old timers are fleeing modern matchups to pine over lost glory years when the fighting actually took place in the ring without a 3 ring circus of announcers corrupting the experience.

Moreover, if an average kid does decide to turn pro, chances are forever that the deck will be stacked against them in the referee enforcement of rules and the assignment of points by the judges anytime they face fighters associated with the larger promoters. By modern marketing standards, company products are always promoted #1, as such the ancient and forever poorly managed sport of boxing has been moving to canned fights reminiscent of old truck commercials between Ford and Chevy. One truck would attempt to climb a pyramid stack of loose rocks and fail half way up, so then the featured truck cruises breezily up to the top of the pile to show us all how champions comport themselves in “difficult” contests.

Saving Money Investment

Saving Money Investment

In a world run by Marketing…getting back to Alvarez/Mayweather, the vilest of the directed bile has blasted judge C J Ross full broadside to the backwater docks for repairs and probable retirement, all for scoring a 114-114 draw on her card which did not affect the victory for Mayweather, not one single bit. In contrast, last year Manny Pacquiao was “robbed” by both Ms Ross and Duane Ford in scoring that actually did alter a seemingly wide unanimous win for Pacquiao into a split decision loss that drastically altered future big fight fight negotiations.

So how could such a trivial scoring anomaly in the Alvarez/Mayweather “event” become upgraded to such importance?

I’d guess you’d have to start with some basic facts: Official fight scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 114-114 with Mayweather winning a majority decision. Each fighter starts a 12 round fight with 360 points or 120 points per each of the 3 judges cards, that’s 10 points for each round. The way boxing does it’s scoring is ass-backwards from the way almost every other sport is scored where athletes have to “win” points to win their contests. In boxing, athletes lose points, so in that respect it’s much like the well known punitive politics of amateur ice skating and gymnastics where the 10 point mandatory is used to mark down athlete performances before being collected and totaled for an average score.

Mayweather “lost” 13 points in the fight to end up with 347 points out of the 360 point maximum. Alvarez “lost” 23 points to end up with 337 points out of the 360 point maximum. So Mayweather ended up with 96.3% of his maximum and Alvarez ended up with 93.6% of his maximum, the difference in the fight being that Mayweather was 2.7% better than Alvarez. The academic difference suggests the zone between an A+ test result and an A test result if we use 90-100% scores as traditionally being an A test score. This is hardly the dominance suggested by the media who seldom had any problems reporting the perfect 44-0 official record of Mayweather coming into the fight as though he were perfectly unblemished during his career. No fighter gets through a long career without some controversies, and Mayweather has some doozies.

This fella, Bobby Hunter goes to great lengths to tabulate consensus fight scores, and of 86 “press” scores, the average was 119-109 for Mayweather. That would be 357 of 360 maximum points compared to 327 of 360 maximum points for Canelo, or 99.2% for Mayweather to 90.8% to Alvarez, a larger spread of victory, but still in the “A” academic range for both fighters.  

http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/latest/feature/floyd-mayweather-scored-a-clear-winner-over-saul-alvarez-by-86-members-of-press

The typical boxing fan might say that boxing is actually scored round by round, sorta true that, but only indirectly. As mentioned, each fighter is assigned a 10 point maximum value to start a round with on each judge’s card. I don’t make this up, it’s just happens to be the big white elephant in the room that boxing media and fans ignore, that the scoring in boxing is not only counter-intuitive, but contains unneeded padded points that are utterly useless  until someone wishes to add an element of smoke and mirrors to hide the deceptions and misdirections that magicians, carny barkers, and card gamblers also use to deceive the common rube. Moreover, time and time again we see the scoring is overly complex for some of the more arithmetically challenged judges who sometimes miscalculate their totals that cause delays in announcing the results, sometimes even resulting in a recalculation of the announced result that leads to ever more fan distrust in venues big and small around the world.

Re-calculable scorecards. Yeah! Who wouldn’t like to recalculate their own bank balances when they don’t like the results?

True round by round scoring hasn’t been used for some time, but perhaps the greatest ever round by round scored fight was the 1971 Fight of the Century, Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier in Madison Square Garden. Joe Frazier won that dramatic 15 round classic by scores of 9-6, 11-4, and an amazing 8-6 by referee Arthur Mercante under rules of the day when refs were part of the scoring process. I seem to recall Mercante having to use “supplemental rules” to enact the tiebreaker. Nontransparent supplemental rules of scoring such as this are likely one reason round by round went the dodo bird route of extinction, but let’s contrast the scores of this slugfest often called the greatest single fight in history.

Frazier won 28 total points(rounds) to Ali’s 16 points(rounds), a margin of victory of 75%, quite a bit the more compelling result. Yet Ali supporters were claiming he was robbed, not because of a trifling scoring error, but rather that “The Man” had it in for him to be beat, a popular political expression expressing deep divisions within America emanating out of that era. These days, most agree Frazier won the fight hands down, but modern fans have no such arbitration by wiser, cooler heads. That usually comes after they go senile and die out. Since Mayweather may well have fought his best fight against his best opponent of record, let’s look closer at the fight later on.

There are a myriad number of rules selectively enforced to officiate or score a bout, in effect a form of “movable goalposts” for treatment and evaluation of different fighters that fans are either blindingly unaware of or simply apathetic about, take your pick. In this case, had the referee and judges been given different instructions, the bout might well have been controlled in the other direction for Alvarez by whatever margin, yet the outrage would have been about the same. Been much worse pillar to post beatdown robberies in boxing history than this tepid stylist soiree, that’s for sure. These folks crying in their beer simply have no context to rationally discuss a fight.

Or do they? What’s missing?

Well, as Juan Manuel Lopez mentioned after being blasted to the deck by Orando Salido in their rematch, he suspected the referee who “prematurely” stopped the fight had bet on the Salido stoppage. Lopez was promptly suspended and fined, yet the ugly little can of worms remains kicked over and squirming. There are few if any regulations pertaining to boxing teams and other boxing insiders placing wagers on involved fights much less any oversight. Nobody screams louder in boxing than “players” losing their main stake plus their projected winnings because of a “bad” referee or judging decision, and guess what?

Vegas and international bookies at large saw the most business they’ll have for many years that somewhat made up for the thrice canceled Pacquiao/Mayweather Superfight fights with even bigger players and revenue streams. Still, stupendous amounts were bet on this fight with the best odds given on the exact round and result prediction. Since Mayweather tends to rack up unanimous decisions like clockwork, there you go, the projected mass of the betting being put on that outcome. The unexpected majority decision tossed a monkey wrench into that payout, hence the stampede of howler monkeys on the suits that run boxing. Before the fight we also saw the rumor stampede that the fight would be scored a draw so they could stage the lucrative rematch for another big flood of bets lost forever. Great for business though.

Oh Yeah & True Confessions: The NSAC commish Bill Brady asserted that his office was no longer going to be a “rubber stamp” for fight venues, presumably unlike the previous NSAC “rubber stamped sanctions of Mayweather “events” these oh so many years. Just check out the two Joe Cortez refereed Mayweather fights for a snapshot of rubber stamped Vegas “in action.”

As I projected in my prefight, the opening round was a cautious feeling out where little was accomplished until just before the bell ended the round. Mayweather leaped inside with a perfectly vicious Bernard Hopkins’ style upperbutt to the jaw of Alvarez, a blatant foul everyone but referee Kenny Bayless could see. No message in a bottle this, but rather a bottle crashed over his noggin that let Alvarez know he was out of his element and away from home. Mayweather could do what ever he wanted with impunity, so he followed up in the 4th round by locking up Alvarez left arm with both arms as he wrapped up his body trying to pull it out of socket Bernard Hopkins style. Alvarez tapped him on the thigh with his free right hand, reflexively leading Bayless to jump in for the break, pushing Alvarez back as he severely admonished him for the “low blow.” Then he went over to Mayweather for a much friendlier pow wow. Alvarez had been struggling with the baffling timing of the Mayweather defense, but when he started getting in some good rights to the body, one finally hit the Mayweather kidney while in his classic “show the back defense” that he’s gotten away with the whole of his career. It’s illegal to deliberately turn your back in boxing, so Bayless issued more dire warnings Canelo instead of correcting Mayweather. Reminds me of the complaints not so many years back when fighters were warned by German refs for hitting the last undefeated wonder Sven Ottke in the jaw or the stomach, I kid you not.

I myself chose  not to score this fight because it was clear before the fight that Alvarez needed a concussive all time knockout to win. As I’ve found like clockwork from so many of my previous efforts, every controversy revolves around the number of even rounds that I score that boxing judges are forbidden to score as such. Typically the “Home” or “Money” fighter, both descriptors fitting Mayweather in his fights, he gets those rounds by default, but on occasion the judges give don’t care to go that route. Previously CJ Ross was widely pilloried for preferring the “slick, black, awkward, reverse footwork style of undefeated” Timothy Bradley over the offensive firepower of Manny Pacquiao, so duly ravaged by  antisocial media misanthropes, she scored some those even rounds for Canelo this time around. There were only two rounds difference between her another Mayweather judge, normally a perfectly acceptable range of difference. Of course this being the Las Vegas gambling destination of the world, any judge or ref can be seen as suspect when it comes to their roles as history has shown us repeatedly.

How about the “boxing media,” nearly all dismissing Alvarez well before the fight was ever signed. How many lost their meager wages on the match?

Media transparency has never existed, but Ring transparency would be a big improvement, like having all the officials and promotional teams list their wagers on fight they’re involved in as well as the full disclosure of contract conditions for the fight, like gloves, catch and rehydration limits, ring size, fast, slow, or medium speed canvas, purse particulars, all of which play a role in the outcome to various degrees, yet usually squirreled away from the unwashed public. Of course the “insiders” could just move to having their friends or relatives place their bets, but at least they would be driven to an illegal netherworld befitting their natures.

Getting back to the maddening puzzle that is Mayweather, here are some fight shots representative of his style that the boxing press has gone screaming Colonel Bob agaga over:

Blind Man Touching

Blind Man Touching

To Fight or How to Score Ugly?

To Fight or How to Score Ugly?
Below The Beltline Boxing or Alternative Lifestyle Flick?

Below The Beltline Boxing or Alternative Lifestyle Flick?

Thank goodness for Mayweather’s hometown Grand Rapids Press photos or someone might accuse me of photoshopping which would be easier than scoring a Mayweather fight. Mayweather won the fight, no doubt after the kid was stifled by Bayless early when Mayweather was at his freshest, fastest, and most puzzling. However the number of hurtful punches landed by either was exceedingly low because of their defensive natures. I’m remember when Miguel Cotto visually came out almost unscathed against the busted up Mayweather.

Punched?

Punched?

Even feather fisted Pauli Maglinaggi managed to bust up a much younger, fresher Cotto in their fight long ago, so what kind of impact do most of Mayweather’s punches have other than as flash and glitter?

Boxing needs a major comeback with the larger public who now prefer more easily understood team sports like basketball, football, and baseball. I dare say most would rather even cruise down to the local rec fields for, gasp, co-ed kickball for easily understood rules and first rate viewing. Broadcasters could put chokers and muzzles on announcers to allow real fight audio that could distinguish between silent love taps and thunderclap hammer shots for the edification of the public. Then state commishes and ABCs could come up with simplified, transparent scoring and scrap recalculable duffed scorecards with negligible point differences that define the loser more than the winner.

In other words, instead of using modern assbackward 10 point must scoring, every fighter should start off at the zero ledger like God intended athletic contests to start, even golf and track and field for crimony’s sake!

They could keep their current one point assessments for “rounds won, knockdowns scored, and assessed fouls awarded to come up with a point total that may not solve the weekly cries of “robbery,” but would remove the unwanted flab points that flabby overseers of boxing have used to cover up their obtuse tamperings of fights. Translating Alvarez/Mayweather, we’d get scores of 9-3, 8-4, and 6-6, totaling 23 of 36 maximum points for Mayweather and 13 or 33 maximum points for Alvarez, making Mayweather the winner by a 77% margin which is substantial. Yet I read many in the “media” scored 100% for Mayweather, typically the mindset of those who have failed in their journalistic duty to even handedly report on an athletic event. If Mayweather were really 100% good, he would have no need of catchweights and rehydration limits with the opposing fighter having to drag the ref around as a ball and chain for the full 12 rounds.

And if Mayweather, his promoter, and his handlers were really cleaning up boxing, they’d answer why his Mayweather Promotions fighters have failed drug tests and why Mayweather refuses to answer failed drug testing allegations against him.

http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-one

Meanwhile, back at the hideout:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/all-star-boxing-given-court-go-ahead-to-seek-punitive-damages-against-golden-boy-for-their-signing-of-canelo-alvarez-227250

Unfinished Business–Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez look to finalize loose ends left from their previous meetings when they complete the last leg of their great trilogy at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Saturday, November 12th.

Pacquiao vs Marquez II

Pacquiao vs Marquez II

The official record currently stands at 24 rounds completed in two fights with Pacquiao leading 1-0-1 to 0-1-1 while scoring exactly one(1) more point in the combined scoring totals. That includes 4 credited knockdowns of Marquez and one uncredited knockdown that would have secured a unanimous decision in the 2nd fight had it been properly called by referee Kenny Bayless.

Three of the knockdowns occurred in the first round of the first fight, after which one of the judges made a very rare admission that he made a mistake in scoring that first round that would have given Pacquiao the split decision win.

Marquez fans are a relentless bunch, claiming wins for both fights, so now the table has been set for the biggest fight of Marquez’s career, a chance to secure his place among the elite after being overshadowed by great featherweights of his era, Paquiao, Barrera, and Morales, all of whom have some great featherweight trilogies for their records.

The fight is another in a series of catchweight fights for Pacquiao causing a great hue and cry among supposed purists who don’t know their boxing history much less the nuances of modern fight contracts.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/catch-22-a-history-of-boxing-catchweight-fights/

Manny’s catchweights have been part of a bonus incentive program where the fighters make more money if they come in at the contracted weight. If not, they pay a penalty much like Floyd Mayweather Jr paid to Marquez. The fight goes on regardless.

In this case, it’s Marquez asking for the catchweight, settled at 144 lbs because he is not a natural welterweight, and of course Pacquiao’s promoter loves the publicity and notoriety that the catchweights garner. Folks, it’s all about maximizing big money, something Bob Arum is an expert at no matter how many howls of protest from the impoverished critics.

Ideally, there would never be any catchweights, but outside of boxing the world is a very disorderly place, so how is boxing to be perfect in the larger imperfect world?

Marquez wanted 142 lbs, the same as he got against Mayweather, but negotiated up in order to secure his biggest payday ever, not a bad deal at all for the aging warrior. Boxing fans had hopes that he would provide a competitive contest against Mayweather, but alas, his training was literally piss poor since his self produced urine tonics and tossing about of large rocks couldn’t provide the technical nuance needed against the crafty Mayweather, surely one of the most bizarre nutritional supplements in the history of modern boxing.

Though he lost a wide technical decision on the cards, he did land a few signature right hands early in the fight, enough to keep Mayweather on the backfoot for most of the fight and resembling a Chinese contortunist as he twisted his body into incomprehensible positions to avoid the Marquez offense.

The Mayweather Pretzel Defense

The Mayweather Pretzel Defense

So Marquez is a sharp counterpunching boxer whose power has to be respected. He is susceptable to being outboxed by crafty boxer types as Freddie Norwood, Chris John, and Floyd Mayweather have shown and Pacquiao has held his own in the boxing points tallies. Pacquiao was hurt briefly in their last fight, so a knockout for Marquez is not out of the question even if it seems unlikely.

The main key for Marquez is the knockdowns he suffers from, and not only against Pacquiao.

Marquez Duffs the Canvas

There is no way he can ever win against Pacquiao if he continues to be battered to the canvas, and Marquez was more than battered in the previous two fights, he was out on his feet and quite fortunate the fight wasn’t stopped at those points.

The Marquez brothers, Juan Manuel and Rafael, are some of the toughest fighters in any era. They do not quit out of sheer stubborness, nor do they or their supporters concede any of their defeats. These are very proud men, a noble attribute for sure, but one that has doomed many a misfortunate who lacked the judgment to know when to give in or make an adjustment, so can Marquez make the adjustment for this fight?

He can start by losing his urine tonics and hire a respected nutritionist and physical trainer to gain the weight properly, something he failed to do against Mayweather.

Now Marquez is steeping a tempest in a teapot with the hiring of controversial strength and conditioning coach Angel Hernandez, AKA Angel Heredia who was affiliated with convicted felon of the BALCO Laboratories, Victor Conte. Marquez claims not to have known about the past of Hernandez which pretty much exposes the lack of quality professional advice from his team, but at least Marquez should be in better shape this time around than he was for Mayweather.

That is what Manny Pacquiao has done for boxing. He whips his opponents into their best ever conditioning before comprehensively whipping them in the ring, so is Marquez now following down the same treacherous path?

Boxing has never seen such out of the ring exploits of the likes of Manny Pacquiao. Movie star, recording artist, and serving Congressman in his district in the Philippines, not to mention devoted husband and father, there is simply no known past model that can predict when or if the monumental out of ring distractions will take their toll on his boxing.

Though Marquez is the older fighter at age 38, the 31 yr old Pacquiao has almost caught his 59 career fights with 58 career fights against better competition, most significantly at higher weights these past three years. Marquez has logged more overall rounds, 432 to 341 for Pacquiao, but Pacquiao has been taking the stiffer shots against bigger fighters, so both have significant wear, yet they’ve remained two of Ring Magazine’s favorite P4P fighters over the decade.

vs Marquez 2008

vs Marquez 2008

 Pacquiao last fought Marquez only three years ago as a super featherweight and followed up by destroying Ring Magazine’s top welters who appeared on their covers that year, De la Hoya, Cotto, Margarito, and Mosley. Few in boxing would have believed that possible then, yet the critics remain unsatisfied.  

vs De La Hoya

Boxing is a business first and foremost and Pacquiao has worked as hard as any fighters in history to arrive at this spot where he can afford the luxury of fighting “only” twice a year. His political responsibilities are such that he should be hardpressed to fight even once a year and in fact, he has delayed his retirement the past 2 yrs because of all the money on the table for him and the big fights still available like this one.

vs Margarito

vs Margarito

The Marquez trilogy could be the biggest money fight of his career once the PPV totals come in which leads to another relevant point lost on the average boxing fan. Pacquiao is the first ever featherweight to command a PPV fight and looks poised to break the record for the most career PPV fights currently held by Oscar De La Hoya. More importantly, his PPV numbers over the past 3 yrs has set a new record first set by Mike Tyson.

He’s no longer the little Filipino fella with a funny name trying to make a name in America any more, though at the 146 lbs or so he currently enters the ring at, he is small for modern welters who sometimes come into the ring weighing over the middleweight limit come fight night. No matter the size, Pacquiao continues to rearrange the known boxing universe as we know it.

Cotto vs Mosley

Cotto vs Mosley

In spite of sweeping every consensus award as the decade’s best boxer, surely Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao know that he has to conclusively nail down this final fight with Marquez to get full credit for the rivalry.

Is Marquez just that sort of stubborn fighter who refuses to budge to the greatness of Pacquiao, or has Marquez been living on borrowed time at the fringes of officiating mistakes all these years?

The Bottom Line:

Pacquiao will be the substantial favorite. In the 7 fights since their rematch, Pacquiao has dominated superior competition with 4 straight knockouts followed by 3 straight shutout decisions. Marquez has sometimes struggled in the points tallies and has continued to get knocked down or otherwise hurt in some of his 6 fights since, but he is the Ring lightweight champ even as he has slipped in the P4P rankings, currently Ring #5 and Boxrec #7 . In contrast, Pacquiao is #1 in every significant rating known to man.

I don’t see how Marquez can survive this latest version of Pacquiao, but Manny did seem to let up after his beatdowns of Margarito and Mosley, so could be Marquez survives yet again to tell the tale of being robbed.

Full props to all the parties who helped to tie down this difficult loose end for good. Marquez had to leave Goldenboy Promotions who chose not to match the Arum offer.

Boxing fans tend to be an emotional lot and these two fighters bring out a bitter rivalry between the two groups. Some may moan about the completion of a great trilogy, but both Marquez and Pacquiao are richly deserving of this final battle to settle things once and for all.

The link for Pacquiao/Marquez 4 here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/pacquiao-vs-marquez-4-the-money/

Pacquiao vs Marquez III

Pacquiao vs Marquez III