Tag Archives: Lamont Peterson

American Graffiti~Errol Spense vs Lamont Peterson

This All American donnybrook takes place this Saturday, January 20th at Barclays, a shiny new entertainment venue located in what used to be the graffiti covered working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn before New York suits upended the residents for upscale gentrification.

The 28 year old Errol Spense, 22-0, 19 KO is the newest American hotshot in the welter division with high hopes of greatness. The 33 year old Lamont Peterson, 35-3-1, 17 KO has generally been an honorable contender and minor beltholder for this weak American generation of 3rd millennium boxers. While having some good natural physical attributes such as quickness and durability melded with the current negative defensive skills taught to modern American boxers to the exclusion of offensive excellence, he could never enter into the mix of greatness. And like many fighters in the fight game, he was led astray with some bad advice, the worst being that illicit doctor’s prescription for a testosterone implant that led to his unfortunate public moniker of Cheaterson when he failed a drug test.

Sadly, this low key fight seems to be the best fight boxing can put on in January. While a decent fight from a boxing enthusiast point of view due to Peterson’s ability to make Spence work hard for his victory, a true fan might wonder why some bigger fights couldn’t be made in such an open month as the barren January traditionally is?

Well, folks, here it is as the naked truth, there really are no really big all American fights to be made in boxing, and the boxing suits are also loath to go viewing head to head against the NFL Superbowl build up and the NBA regular season.

Spense has already needed to go overseas for his biggest fight where he acquitted himself quite well against long time British contender, Kell Brook, but physically Spense is really tight at the weight and will need to go up to middleweight for a Canelo fight if he wants a really big payday. That shining beacon of hopeful purses is not likely to be hanging around that much longer, maybe 3-4 years, and Canelo certainly doesn’t need Spense to make his money, so good luck to Spense spinning his wheels in what is left of Boxing’s barren landscape. Money Mayweather and the boxing suits sucked out all of what was noble and good about boxing, leaving vast shadows in an empty cavern of what used to be a plethora of hardnosed contenders now defensively shadowboxing each other for the privilege of a fight with what used to be the great champion, now pretend belt holders. Spense holds one of those pretend belts, the IBF.

But for boxing fans in this bitterly cold winter, it’s Spense vs Peterson who will almost certainly be boxing in a negative defensive style to take Spense deep into rounds where he may show some stamina vulnerability. In turn, I would interpret Spense’s ambition and professionalism to show up in top shape with a savvy game plan to highlight both his boxing skills and his formidable power, and more importantly, enhance his boxing media marketability. In just the battle of natural attributes, Spense wins hands down before we ever get into his excellent all around skills shown thus far. I don’t see Peterson going past 6 rounds, and will likely be whacked out by the 4th round in spite of his durability, but maybe early on he could bust up Spense’s eye or break his nose to force Spense to gut out a gritty fight. It happens.

I do hope Peterson puts up a credible fight for as long as he lasts. He may not realize it, but he could well make his best purses as a credible gatekeeper test for up an coming fighters due to the woeful lack of quality boxers these days, but he ain’t doin’ a damn thing to promote fights with that mangled mess of a crow’s nest glued to his face, another reason boxing has been on the decline. Too many modern fighters don’t look and act professional anymore.  The best Americans can do for Spense is hope and pray he keeps his head screwed on as he continues his ascent. He is one of the few bright hopes American boxing fans have in these barren depression years of boxing.

Many in the archived boxing annals were the talented American fools succumbing to the temptations of wine, women, and song, and now they have to pass through the gauntlet of suits who determine fight outcomes more than the fighters do these days, so good luck gentlemen. Your futures await you.

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.

The P4P Battle–Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley

Long time Ring P4P King, Manny Pacquiao, goes up against one of the latest Ring P4P Princes, Timothy Bradley, in what promises to be one of the most dynamic all action fights of the year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 9th.

Or it could end on an ugly leaping headbutt, but regardless, Pac Man meets a serious physical challenge in the awkwardly hard charging fellow shortstuff Desert Storm Bradley who never met an angle he couldn’t punch from or used a muscle that wasn’t fully flexed out. Although the sculpted Bradley amazingly may be down on the power charts, he provides the kind of action that could be fought from pillar to post for as long as the fight lasts.

Fight!

Fight!

Bradley is always in tremendous condition, boxing’s nonstop Energizer Bunny in the ring, but if recent form holds of Pacquiao opponents whipping themselves into best ever career conditions, Pacquiao may have trouble picking his spots like he was able to do against the laid back defensive counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight. He just might be forced into his old school Pacman slugging frenzy, not  bad thing for fight fans as Ricky Hatton found out.

Speaking of the Marquez rubber match, the worm may have turned on the phenomenon of Manny Pacquiao’s unparalleled career. The Congressman/Boxer was heavily booed in his decision win over the popular Vegas fighter, a highly technical bout that resembled two feuding Spanish matadors taking turns at lightning rapier thrusts of their estocadas for the finishing strike.

Pacquiao came up as an all action slugger in the mold of a Jack Dempsey, but is now picking his shots like the master boxer he’s become under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. He’s become so defensively adept that he made the counter punching Marquez whiff amazingly wide on many occasions, but all apparently for naught with Vegas crowd. Bradley is not nearly so popular, but if he succeeds in taking the fight to Pacquiao and having some success, well, who can say how an fickle boxing crowd is really going to react until the moment arrives?

The Congressman/Boxer is also being investigated by the Philippine government  for alleged improprieties in one of his charitable organizations. It’s no surprise that big guns are after Pacquiao now since his stated ambition is to run for the presidency in the next election, so he may be in need of an overhaul of his “staff” of faithful followers if he is to ever achieve that ambition. Also, he may or may not have been served his divorce papers on the eve of the Marquez fight, depending on the source.

OUCH!

Pacquiao may be a grizzled ring veteran of 33 years of age now, yet he is as distracted now as he was in the first Morales fight 7 years ago where he was undergoing highly disputed managerial and promotional scrums over his services that left him exposed in the ring without his beloved Reyes’ puncher’s gloves.

The extracurricular distractions have slowly extracted their toll, so the time could be ripe for a prime young gunslinger who’s never been beat and hungry for recognition to show up at the right place at the right time for the huge upset if he can stay upright. Otherwise it’s gonna be a painful night if Bradley gets behind on the scoring because of knockdowns, something Marquez can attest to.

Bradley does have some problems with his balance, his helter skelter attacks leaving him ripe for sharp counters, so I’d imagine that would be the focus of the Roach strategy.

Noteworthy news is that the Boxrec P4P ratings formula has moved Mayweather up after the win over Miguel Cotto, finally edging Pacquiao to become their new #1. Ring’s more personalized opinion is to demote Pacquiao into a tie with #2 Floyd Mayweather and leave #1 newly vacated,  rather akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater by alleged boxing experts. They simply haven’t compared their actual Ring P4P records, 4-0, 2 KO for Mayweather to 7-1-1 for Pacquiao with more KOs, 5, than Mayweather has P4P fights. Moreover, Pacquiao has twice moved to a new division to face the top Ring fighter in his inaugural fight at the weight, something Mayweather has never done during his rise through the divisions.

I can’t be bothered, but I’d imagine the Boxrec historical p4P data would pretty much parallel the Ring P4P data, ie both Ring and Boxrec curently having Bradley ranked #9 P4P.

Impressively, Bradley will be Pacquiao’s 10th career Ring P4P bout, a new record with every P4P fighter he meets now.

Since most every fan agrees to disagree with the “experts” anyway no matter the order of the fighters attached to #1 through 10, it’s all a bunch of hooey for show and bragging rights in the end. The true tragedy is that the explosive primacy for Pacquiao vs Mayweather has gone the fizzle route. If by a strike of drizzling lightning they do happen to meet next year, Manny will be 34 years old and many years into his Congressional duties and Floyd will be 36 after completing his prison sentence and probably still on probation. 2013 is a long ways in boxing years from the March 13th, 2010 date  that Mayweather demanded and Pacquiao accepted. The terms were quickly agreed upon when the fight was at it’s hottest apex with Manny at age 31 and Floyd at age 33.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men gone awry yet again.

Speaking of the worm turning, Miguel Cotto may not have won the battle against Floyd Mayweather, but perhaps the war as he dished out as good as he got and undermined the invincibility of Mayweather. Then the Al Hayman managed Mayweather stablemate, Andre Berto, has been reported to have trace amounts of a steroid by VADA,  the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association  testing agency, so the repeated accusations that Floyd Mayweather slung at Pacquiao are now dangling on his doorstep making a big stink as the spokesman for “cleaning up boxing.”  Maybe he’s trying to clean out Al Hayman who has little left to promote during the interim as Mayweather prepares for his impending Nevada incarceration on June 1st.

Mayweather should at least be able to console himself with his better Cotto PPV numbers than Pacquiao is likely to show against the relatively unknown Bradley. For boxing fans who prefer fight stats, Pacquiao is currently 6-0-1, 3 KO against common opponents to Mayweather’s 5-0, 1 KO.

The less than honorable Berto trainer and ex-con Victor Conte was bragging about being such a whiz as an advisor and spokesman for VADA  after the Lamont Peterson postive test shocker, but now is jumping ship and explaining it all away.  What a can of worms and cancelled fights Golden Boy and HBO has fallen into, cancelling multimillion dollar fights on the specious trace readings in parts per trillion that very few of their bigshots or the public could pass if they tried.

Pacquiao with the big fight experience will be the betting favorite, but Bradley has been pointing to this fight for over a year, beating southpaws Devon Alexander and Joel Casamayor consecutively. Bradley first made his chops by flying overseas to England to dethrone southpaw favorite Junior Witter in his best ever showing. He’s an aggressive swaming type whose style is reminiscent of HOFer Aaron Pryor even if lacking Pryor’s firepower.

He did knock out the elderly Casamayor after scoring some knockdowns, but his fight with Alexander ended with a butt that went to the cards for a technical decision. Bradley tends to lead with his head, so in a lefty/righty fight, butts seem a certainty and may leave both seeing stars.

Lets’ also be clear about their weights since Pacquiao has had a series of controversial catchweight fights. Bradley turned pro at 143 lbs a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday and has since mostly fought at the junior welter limit, but sometimes straying well over in nontitle fights. Pacquiao has been in the 142-146 range for his 7 welter fights, so Bradley is the natural lifetime welter and as far as I know the fight is at the full welter limit of 147lbs. If promotional comments hold a kernel of truth, Bradley considers Pacquiao to be weaker than him who can be easily counterpunched, so he expects to bully Pacquiao around the ring while sharpshooting him.

I see an up and down type of fight with a series of adjustments until the magic formula is found for the win. Could be a Bradley upset, or another Pacquiao beatdown, or anything between, but guaranteed  by styles to be quickly paced action with some interesting technical twists. Bradley is a harder nut to crack compared to most any fighter in the world right now and knows he could make a splash into the Big Buck$ pool, but only IF he defeats Pacquiao cleanly with some style.

Then again, Pacquiao probably feels his future election to the Philippine presidency hinges on every win, so who could beat that kind of motivation?

Fight!

British Invade Washington DC–Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson.

The British will be invading Washington DC Saturday, December 10th as their Crown Prince, WBA/IBF junior welterweight titlest Amir Khan defends his crown against local contender, Lamont Peterson.

Khan at work

Khan at work

Both of these fighters are of traditional prime age, 24 years for Khan and 27 years for Peterson, and both are classic boxer types with Khan holding a 26-1, 18 KO record against 29-1-1, 15 KO record of Peterson. Both are fairly big fighters for the weight with Khan announcing that he will be moving up to the welterweight division after this fight to pursue more opportunities, ie, a Floyd Mayweather Jr match.

Lamont Peterson

Lamont Peterson

Plotting a career path may be well and good for mice and men, but Lamont Peterson surely must be as hungry a fighter as Khan has ever faced and has the boxing skills to negate Khan’s own skills to keep the match competitive in a hometown setting. Though his record may not reflect it, I do believe Peterson has enough power and sharpness on his punches to hurt Khan, and in any battle of the chins, Peterson may just have that edge over Khan who suffered a spectacular 1st round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott and need blatant interventions from referee Joe Cortez to keep from being knocked out by Marcos Maidana.

Peterson has already tasted the power of a bigger more powerful fighter in Victor Ortiz, so is likely to have full confidence going into this bout. If he wins, could be he wins the Floyd Mayweather Jr sweepstakes, or at very least become a much bigger player in the boxing landscape. 

Peterson’s question marks are whether he is possessed of the championship attributes needed to dethrone a very good boxer/puncher being trained by the best in the business today, Freddie Roach.

Peterson lost to the best he faced thusfar in Timothy Bradley, and he was quite fortunate to scrape by with a draw against Victor Ortiz who clearly controlled the fight and knocked him down. None of those fighters is remotely similar to Khan who has done well against light swatters Andriy Kotelnyk, Paul Malignaggi, and  Paul McCloskey.

They will have to fight to hash out their future career paths, so as the scrappy referee Mills Lane was want to announce before the start of every fight:

“Let’s get it on!”

Floyd Mayweather Jr–Will He Really Fight Victor Ortiz?

The fight has been officially announced with attendent press conferences and 24/7 tapings and is now less than a week away. Floyd Mayweather will be coming out of his latest retirement to challenge Vicious Victor Ortiz for the WBC welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Saturday, September 17th.

Apparently Mayweather has a residency at the MGM Grand since his last 5 fights spread over these past 5 years have been fought there starting with his hotly contested win over Oscar de la Hoya in 2007. He skipped the previous 5 years at the MGN Grand after his hotly contested win there over Jose Luis Castillo in the first fight, so maybe he has a numerology thing goin, but wait, there’s more.

Mayweather vs De La Hoya
Mayweather vs De La Hoya

Mayweather’s last 5 fights will have also been promoted by Golden Boy, so he has definitely settled into the comfy confines of scheduling in his advancing years. He’s become the proverbial “house” fighter after a career of consecutive WBC belts, flitting in and out of retirements and fights on personal necessity.

Ortiz won the WBC  title from Mayweather stablemate Andre Berto, outboxing, outworking, and outslugging the surprisingly game Berto who looked tired and out on his feet at times but couldn’t be stopped. Then Ortiz shocked the boxing world by announcing via Twitter that he would be fighting Floyd Mayweather who promptly shot down that idea as foolish in a fluster of twitterings that pass as the fighters’ press releases these days.

Mr. Muscles

Mr. Muscles

Then lo and behold, a month later the big announcement that the fight’s on, so Vicious Victor wins the opening salvo, but wait, you just had to know, there’s more.

Mayweather as most know is highly compromised legally, facing down more than a half dozen criminal and civil lawsuits in what may prove to be the meltdown of his career. He has pulled out of fights before and now he’s back needing a new cash infusion, so what happens in the ring?

The usual suspects will run off on the sublime boxing skills of Mayweather, dismissing any chance by the 24 year old Ortiz as too raw, too crude, too inexperienced to properly match up against the highly credentialed Mayweather.

This of course ignores the rich history of aging all time greats being beat by lessor fighters too many times to be counted. Stuff happens, and sometimes it happens for well known reasons that are ignored or glossed over.

The talented Victor Ortiz was heavily promoted by Golden Boy as the new star in the making. Things then came unstuck when he was matched against the huge hitting Marcos Maidana in an entertaining slugfest that saw them swap knock downs until Ortiz pulled the plug. Howls of outrage followed with no shortage of insultive suggestions regarding what Ortiz could do with himself.

Since that time, he’s been sucessfully matched against light hitting, top boxer types, Nate Campbell, Vivian Harris,  Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto, all but former champ Harris being Ring ranked. Ortiz pretty much had his way with them though he was most unfortunate to only secure a draw against Peterson who was knocked down twice. Again Ortiz took criticism for backing off and not going for the kill, but that’s the typical unsupported bias through boxing history used against sluggers when they sucessfully use their boxing skills instead of slugging. We seldom see boxers criticized for knocking out opponents, so go figure the average boxing critic if you dare.

But guess what folks, Mayweather is the tip of the top boxer types who has proven to be a featherduster since he moved to welter. He needed an assist from the turnbuckle to finish off the game Ricky Hatton, a fluke accident rarely seen and not likely to happen again in his career.

Ortiz is still a developing fighter, so it’s hard to gauge his realistic chances, but he has the raw size, strength, and talent to win the fight against the 34 yr old Mayweather who may be losing his focus. Ortiz has at least made the first part of his dream come true, a signed fight with Floyd Mayweather who ain’t the easiest guy to get a pen to.  

The short of it is that the 24 year old Ortiz is in ascendency whereas Mayweather may or may not be in decline, but now is when their career timelines intersect. Does Ortiz have the heart and skill to finish what Sugar Shane Mosley started? Will Mayweather be distracted by legal woes and handicapped by ring rust or will he outclass the kid at every turn? Has Ortiz’s recent stint at modeling underwear gone to his head?

Or my favorite Mayweather question: Any controversial reffing or judging decisions?

I know this, Mayweather was rocked harder than he had ever been rocked by Shane Mosley who has modest power at the weight. He showed great instincts to not only survive, but have Mosley on the back foot by round’s end.

Can he do it again?

The southpaw Ortiz was a very powerful junior welter, so he’s a dangerous fight for anyone, but maybe team Mayweather see the typical flaws of a young gungho fighter still trying to please everyone yet pleasing no one yet. Ortiz has shown he can be put down on a regular basis, so if Mayweather can put Ortiz down, could be he could showboat his way to victory with no further effort.

In an special Golden Boy promotional co-PPV arrangement, unbeaten Mexican sensation Saul Canelo Alvarez will be making his WBC defense of his light middle title against Alfonso Gomez in what should be a breezer. Is this the setup for Mayweather’s challenge to his old WBC belt that he never defended, a battle of undefeateds against Alvarez?

Here they are looking rather chummy as they keep their options hot:

Canelo y Money

Canelo y Money

It’s up to the fighters now. Could well be the kind of fight you’ll remember for the rest of your life or one of the worst, so let’s hope for the best and leave the worst for later.

Something to Prove–Andre Berto vs Victor Ortiz

A very underrated fight takes place at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut, Saturday, April 9th when WBC welterweight titlest defends his title against young junior welter contender, Victor Ortiz.

Andre Berto

Andre Berto

While Berto looks the part of a skilled operator, truth be told his career has been carefully orchestrated against a series of some of the softest touches in boxing considering the reputation the WBC belts holds in some circles. The only legitimate Ring ranked welter contender he has faced, the light hitting Luis Collazo, knocked him down hard and gave him more than he ever wanted to see in the ring again.  

It’s an odd career for the man who won Floyd Mayweather Jr’s title back in 2008 against the unheralded and never heard from again Miguel Angel Rodriguez. I guess some credit goes to beating former titlest Carlos Quintana, but Quintana has never been up in the contender class again after the montrous Paul Williams knocked him cold in the 1st round back in 2008. And Berto did outpoint Juan Urango, the IBF jr welter titlest, so maybe I’m being a tad harsh, but this is one of the deepest welter divisions in ages and Berto has been largely missing in action, so maybe I’m on target.

Victor Ortiz

Victor Ortiz

Vicious Victor Ortiz just turned 24 and has already been in against stiffer competition overall, and now looks to jump a division for opportunity. The positives about Ortiz are that he is a more skilled, versatile boxer with some killer power, the likes of which Berto has never tasted. The negatives go back to his fight of the year type of bout against Marcos Maidana that saw them trade some hard, highlight quality knockdowns, only to see Ortiz quit on his feet after the last one, earning him the derision of armchair fans and hardened boxing people.

We now know that Maidana was very underrated and has that kind of bone shattering power that causes fighters to question their health once they taste it. I can’t say what was in the kid’s heart that night after having his wiring scrambled by Maidana, but that he continued his career with great success against high caliber oposition tells me he’s still in the game to win and make a difference.

The last time out, Ortiz got a most unfortunate majority draw against Lamont Peterson, a bout I thought he won hands down with his slugging, one knockdown, and comprehensive boxing, but truth be told, the critics savaged him for backing off going for the KO, choosing the more careful route of boxing.

So we have two talented fighters with some serious question marks about their true status as top fighters which leads me to think both will be trying to prove something to the public which usually translates to at least a pretty good fight if not a great fight.