Tag Archives: liam smith

Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia~Anyone Care?

Not to disparage Keith Thurman, 27-0, 22 KO, and Danny Garcia, 33-0-1, 19 KO, but these are two undefeated American Welters unifying WBA/WBC titles Saturday, March 4th, @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, so what if boxing threw a superfight and nobody showed up?

The Combatants

The Combatants

The current state of boxing as of this March 4th is such that little known fresh cruiser champ, Tony Bellew, fights celebrity heavyweight David Haye in London not for a title, but rather for oodles of pounds sterling after staging a feud. Saul Alvarez already notched one big money celebrity bout against Amir Khan and going for his 2nd straight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, likely the biggest fight this year as far as financial numbers go. Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao ran a twitter poll that overwhelmingly picked Khan as his next opponent, so actually the fighters are bringing the people the fights they want to see and thereby raising the stakes for all fighters. Can their light in the loafer promoters, broadcasters, and boxing commissions get their acts together to start making regular, compelling, fairly officiated fights?

Recent history, the only way we can judge our own era, suggests probably not if the powers that be can continue to make their money wagering on limited matchmaking and orchestrated results.

In the meantime, New York boriquas will doubtless show up in force given the Puerto Rican genealogy of Philly born and bred Garcia, and of course boxing hard cores will watch across the country. Thurman deserves kudos for taking this fight in the Garcia back yard so to speak, but will the public at large be watching? I hear this is only the 3rd time in history that two undefeated prime age welters are fighting to unify the title, yet there is no buzz to this fight because both are Al Haymon fighters having been kept out of the glaring limelight of any potential losses so they could be kept propped up for a potential TUE 49-0 fight. With that horse having bolted the stable for his umpteenth retirement, this fight represents their consolation tussle.

The two previous undefeated unifications were 1985’s Donald Curry vs Milton McCrory, not a big fight per say, but they split $1.5 million which was great pay for two good fighters lacking extra public appeal. Then the mega 1997 Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Trinidad unification that guaranteed Oscar $21 million and Tito $8.5 million with $71 million of PPVs they each got a piece off. Boxing killed off those days after their major league fraud of 2015, so this fight to be closer to Curry/McCrory given it’s supposed to be on free TV, CBS they say.

The fighters have gotten in on the numbers game now with Thurman wishing for 6 million viewers and Garcia for 10 million. Wishful thinking for sure when today 3 million would be considered outstanding, but when Canelo fought the unknown British Liam Smith in Cowboy Stadium, over 50,000 fans packed the stadium and this was a PPV fight. Over 17 million in Mexico saw that fight broadcast over their own free broadcast networks, and Mexico no way close in population to the 300+ million of the US. Those numbers tell us just how far boxing has dropped as a credible sport in the US.

I gather the numbers will fill us in days after the dust settles, but for now I’m picking Thurman in a fight that could be dramatic or a stinker depending on how Thurman moves. He’s much more versatile with his footwork and faster with his fists than the plodding Garcia who is something of a one trick pony, but then again, a one trick punch is all a fighter needs in boxing, but what if nobody showed up to witness it? 

And What Is This? Canelo Alvarez vs Beefy Smythe?

Damned if I or anyone knows what Saul Alvarez and Golden Boy are doing any more other than seeking to challenge the 154 lb WBO British champ Liam Smith on Mexican Independence Weekend, this Saturday, September 17th at Cowboy AT&T Stadium, aka Jerry World.

Only 0.00001% or less of the American population might even know who Beefy is, yet that lack of recognition doesn’t appear to be an obstacle to the anticipated near sellout of Jerry World, aka Cowboy stadium by crazed fans wanting to get in on a Canelo title fight according to Mr. Cowboy, Jerry Jones. Jerry says he’ll make his money on the popcorn sales, and of course Jerry knows more ways to Jimmy crack pop corn than anyone in boxing.

To cut to the chase, basically Beefy is a huge powerful guy as you can see from the prefight announcement publicity pictures of the two out of training in street clothes where Canelo is likely at 180 lbs. That must make Beefy near 200 lbs, and neither he or Canelo are looking fat, meaning a 26 lb weight loss for Canelo and a 46 lb weight loss for Beefy to make the 154 limit, absolutely astonishing as well as dangerous in an already dangerous combat sport.

Canelo vs Beefy

Canelo vs Beefy

Sadly, for whatever reasons which may have to do with building up the Canelo fan base even further with two British type fights in a row, such are the current shenanigans in use to avoid the seemingly big money Gennady Golovkin fight that gets put off for the 3rd time. That fight has supposedly been pushed back to 2017, but who can know these days of hard times for boxing that sees Oscar De La Hoya looking to save and rebuild his company after the razing by Al Haymon and Richard Schaefer.

And now in a luverly bit of English irony, we had Golovkin traveling overseas to Merry Olde England to battle welter champ Kell Brook the week before this fight, by easy as pie knockout of course, so by the end of September, there should be plenty of British interest whenever the belated Canelo/Golovkin bout gets made. Maybe that was the plan all along, and it sure sounds goofy, but perhaps hidden economic concerns are driving these actions. A civil lawsuit had previously been filed against Canelo and Goldenboy concerning a contract with All Star Boxing that Canelo is alleged to have been under when signed by Goldenboy. Right after the Khan fight when Golovkin negotiations seem all but done, that civil case was heard and ruled upon in Florida.

All Star Boxing won a judgement against Canelo’s contract in spite of the ruling they had no contract, so of course Canelo has to appeal the $8.5 million in damages. Immediately all talk of the Golovkin fight from Golden Boy ceased. Maybe they don’t want to risk a big fight until their appeal is heard. May also be gold in them Brit hills with Smith and Canelo both a family of boxers in the same general weight classes, so they could have a pretty lucrative family tourney together.

At any rate, Smith, who oddly seems to be prematurely graying at age 28, is undefeated and ranked like most Canelo opponents, 8th by Ring and 16th by boxrec. The original idea was to set up Canelo for Billy Joe Saunders WBO belt by having him defend it on the undercard, but this is boxing so back stabbers change the landscape daily. Saunders pulled out of the card, but the good news seems to be Golovkin working in cohoots to build up his share of the British market. However, we must also remember that Leoffler and Golovkin turned their backs and walked out of the arena after Canelo invited them into the ring after dispatching Khan. Not a very sporting gesture to promote their fight.

Then there is always the spector of Haymon settling Golden Boy’s $300 million lawsuit against him that might grease the path for Floyd Mayweather Jr coming out of retirement to exploit another PPV.  Canelo can add the 154 WBO title to his Ring middleweight belt as incentive on either side of the 154-160 divide for another megafight. Sad to say that makes far more money than the Golovkin fight, so logically, who could blame Canelo from keeping lucrative options open in these uncertain times for both Canelo and Golden Boy?

Nonetheless, we the unwashed masses do understand this is a dying professional sport that needs to take full advantage of any revenues generated, but at some point, like right about now, any of the fractional remaining good will that boxing may have had with fans has edged over into the red side of the ledger. The only way to rebuild boxing is do what the UFC did, that is to make compelling fights every fight cycle and build up fan base with easy to access terrestrial over the air networks and regular subscription cable channels.

And more importantly regarding the biggest current star in the sport, Oscar needs to stop trying to hammer the 26 year old Canelo like a square peg into the round PPV hole. Boxing has managed to effectively neuter their most lucrative business model from sheer greed in 2015 that has caused a serious backlash against PPVs and boxing in general. They might can pack Cowboy Stadium with favorable ticket prices, but this is not a traditional PPV fight, not even close. The resultant PPV numbers will only make boxing and Canelo(That would be Canyellow to his new detractors) look even worse, but of course boxing has too often proven to be irredeemably shameless, so it won’t matter to them since they don’t have to answer to anyone but themselves.

As to the fight, technically Beefy has 8 consecutive knockouts going into it albeit vastly inferior local competition. The best of those fighters was ranked 51st in the boxrec middleweight rankings a couple of weeks ago, and from there fighter rankings quickly digress, so Canelo with a huge advantage of being forged in the high heat of better competition and big favorite.

Stylistically, I’ve never seen Beefy fight, but he’s reputed to be an aggressive boxer type, so I suspect it will be bruising encounter between the two. Those Brits happen to have the most titleholders of any nation in the world now, so sneer at them at your own bloody risk.