Tag Archives: Macao

Maturing Manny Pacquiao vs New Kid Chris Algieri In Macao

Well, folks, it just so happens that up and coming undefeated prospect Chris Algieri won the lottery when he was chosen for Manny Pacquiao‘s 2nd Macao appearance at the Venetian come Saturday, November 22nd. This may be the biggest Chinese promotion yet since Pacquiao appears to have surmounted his previous setbacks with another P4P performance against fellow P4Per Timothy Bradley. In short, it’s Manny rising in the East over shining Pacific waters as it should be in this part of the world.

Some great up and coming names on undercard with Chinese Olympic gold medalist  Zou Shiming, 5-0, 1 KO, taking another big step up the rung as he fights a WBO title eliminator against an undefeated Thai, Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym, 27-0-2, 12 KO. Then with gold medals oozing out of his every pore,  Vasyl Lomachenko, 2-1, 1KO makes his first title defense against a prime age hungry Thai, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, 52-1, 33 KO that promises to be all action.

Chris Algieri was nary a whisper for any big fight until he recently upset Siberian slugger Ruslan Provodnikov in Algieri’s home evirons of New York, New York via highly controversial split decision, so look at him sitting pretty now. Of course “Boxing” had to shoot itself in the foot for the umpteen billionth time again to pull off this matchup. Algieri won two of the judges’ cards close to give him the split decision whereas Provodnikov won one card wide as well as the significant majority of total points scored and rounds. That boxing scoring can have so many offsetting numbers like this naturally sets off fans in a rabid, frothing frenzy of accusations of robbery, legitimate grievous perceptions due to inane officiating protocols, proof positive that boxing needs a major overhaul, not that a major overhaul would solve their Three Blind Mice White Stick Dart Throwing scoring woes. These ABC and commish honchos will  never be confused by far sighted, innovative, original thinking processes, but rather more act out as a gaggle of ol’ gits milking a corrupt system they inherited to maximize their power while expanding their pockets and porcine waistlines.

At any rate,  after Algieri rose from one early nuclear detonation to quickly take a knee for his 2nd knockdown, he summoned up amazing powers of recovery to put up one helluva fight on his back foot. A slugger like Provodnikov seldom looks good when he has to chase, aw hell, lets just say what it is: nobody ever looked good having to chase down chickens, yet for some reason only sluggers are required to do so as opposed to light hitting boxer types who get a pass for their lack of killer power and instinct and have to rely on running. The bias of not meeting knockout expectations held against sluggers in boxing has always existed, even more so now that pure running strangely counts as “good defense” in the unspoken rule book used in the modern era of watered down boxing.

Since Algieri benefited at the expense of the Freddie Roach trained Provodnikov, Pacquiao and Roach will have the revenge angle for this promotion that leverages Algieri’s telegenic Gentleman Quarterly good looks and advanced education that he acquired in New York to lure in the higher order Chinese and Western populations for the fight. In that vein, Algieri can be seen a modern day welter version of Gene Tunney, the tall, handsome, urbane New York based heavyweight stylist of his day. Perhaps also praise worthy is the interesting balance between Algieri’s perfect 20-0 boxing record and 20-0 kickboxing record where he competed as a welter/junior middle with a pair of titles to prove his acumen. It’s a sign of the times that both Algieri and Pacquiao have martial arts training before launching boxing careers.

So, Algieri has significant height and reach to go with youthful low mileage and zest, all combined with a pure box and move style to trouble even Pacquiao on his best day. Alas, Pacquiao’s best fighting days are behind him as he lives on the edge as a modern Renaissance man with his substantial political career, movies, women, and songs competing with his newest interest. He was recently announced as the coach of a new Philippine  Basketball Association’s expansion team, but wait, there’s more. Manny promptly drafted himself to play point guard, I kid you not.

You can bet that Uncle Bob went full apoplectic over that news as the ongoing Manny soap opera has enough material for many more episodes to keep his bowels bubbling for at least a couple of more years. Of course I still expect Pacquiao to prevail over Agieri, likely concussively, but he may well be put through his paces early on unless Algieri gets caught again early as he did in the Provodnikov fight. Manny doubtless would be quicker to jump on him for the knockout, but I’d imagine Algieri starts superdefensive to put that scenario out of play.

Disclaimer: Flash to the first Bradley fight as case in point. If Algeiri manages to hang on to the end like Bradley did the first Pacquiao fight, than he “exceeds” expectations and might cop another disputed decision to become the newest boxing media geegaw if you want to contemplate how that might work.

Seeing is believing, so boxing fans and curious Chinese will doubtless be out in substantial numbers to check it out as Arum looks to further leverage the internet PPV market in this two billion Asian viewer godsend. Speaking of these new found opportunities, there’s much ado by the mainstream fans and press over Manny’s recent relatively low PPV numbers. That’s not surprising they don’t seem to understand that Macao promotions will at least for now not garner large American PPV numbers modern boxing fans tend to obsess over more than the fights. Most Americans are put off by anything foreign and don’t understand Manny is no longer dependent on Vegas or American PPVs. He’s as international a fighter as it gets and he’s getting the exploding market of Asian highrollers into the casinos for record business that easily tops Vegas which is losing money, something like 6X the slumping Vegas revenues. If anything Manny is getting underpaid with his usual $25 million or so purse, but that ain’t why he’s fighting there. They love him in Macao. Though he’s not burning down any bridges to Vegas either, they completely disrespected Pacquiao and Tim Bradley in their rematch by simultaneously elevating the Mayweather/Maidana rematch over their fight even as that bout was 2 weeks later.

However, just as in boxing, timing is also everything in life. China has only recently started to crack down on the shady going-ons at Macau emblematic of the new Chinese highrollers with hundreds of millions to spend not on just gambling, but on luxury goods that can be laundered through a cash back option that bypasses strict Chinese monetary controls over moving money overseas.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/11/07/360177247/china-s-corruption-crackdown-pummels-macau-casinos

That’s the political and financial backdrop going into this fight, but regardless, Pacquiao better be focused come fight night. Algieri is no mug and figures this is his time and this coming Saturday will be the time for us to find out.

 

Macao Ring Girls in support of Manny, Zou, and Chris

Macao Ring Girls in support of Manny, Zou, and Chris

 

Pacquiao 143.8--Catchweight 144lbs--Algieri 143.6

Pacquiao 143.8–Catchweight 144lbs–Algieri 143.6

Mo’ & Mo’ Macao: Nonito Donaire vs Simpiwe Vetyeka

Top Rank continues it’s international development of  world class boxing at the  Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Saturday, May 31st when Filipino-American icon Nonito Donaire tackles as dangerously hard punching fighter as exists in boxing today in South African Simpiwe Vetyeka. The newly aquired WBA Super World featherweight title will be the bauble Vetyeka defends.

Down goes John...the end

Down goes John…the end

The little known Vetyeka is emblematic of the tough, pressure fighting South African style that recently saw him beat up future Hall of Famer Chris John in a firefight. John had sought to defend his WBA title while simultaneously matching the storied undefeated Rocky Marciano 49 victories without a loss that stands as a permanent marker of excellence in the boxing world. T’was never meant to be as it turned, but John fought the great fight to go out on his shield and will be regarded highly in his retirement as a Thai legend.

As is becoming par in this part of the world, Bob Arum has assembled an international cast of support with a couple of Latino Americans tossed in the mix for spice along with an undefeated Jamaican WBA featherweight titlist Nicholas Walters going against Armenian former champ Vic Darchinyan, an undefeated Russian featherweight titlist Evgeny Gradovich who makes a return to The Venetian against a undefeated Belgian, a Japanese fighter, a touted prospect Brazilian 2012 Olympic silver medalist Esquiva Falcao, and so on.

Featherweights are the key descriptor here, perfect for the Chinese market as I’d guess an unofficial round robin tourney of rivalries is being set up between the four of them. Unofficial in that Top Rank doesn’t want to limit these guys to a tourney format when bigger fights may become apparent after this date at other venues. I suspect the growing success in this venue will certainly see at least some returning fighters at the next Macao promotion.

A tad off the mark

A tad off the mark

Donaire should be the nominal favorite, but he’s been struggling ever since he divorced former Balco trainer Victor Conte and then was distracted by his expectant wife and arduous self training duties. Anti social media monkeys hate him as “that 2nd Filipino,” but even as he struggled Donaire has made his power quite audible, knocking down Guillermo Rigandeaux twice in a close loss, and being the only fighter to ever knock out Vic Darchinyan, TWICE now with his last win.

I favor the overall excellence and experience of Donaire, but this Vetyeka character may be the ultimate wild card in boxing right now. He simply refused to stop attacking John, walking through every thing thrown at him to ultimately blast John to smithereens, so how is Donaire going to deal with him?

Be a great fight to watch and find out.

Mo’ Macao~~Miguel Vazquez vs Denis Shafikov

That’s February 22nd at Cotai Arena at Venetian Resort in Macao where Top Rank honcho Bob Arum seems to be establishing a comfortable set of digs for his up and coming exotic stable of Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Eastern Euro boxing stars he has been signing of late.

Miguel Vazquez

Miguel Vazquez

As such, the Zanfer Promoted headliner Vasquez is being isolated in Macao on a Top Rank card. Well, there it is, proof that Top Rank and their fighters have always maintained a working arrangement with other promoters no matter how strained things look in the bright glare of public mutterings.

On paper Miguel Vazquez, 33-3, 13 KO, is old school credentialed Mexican tough, yet something of an anomoly in that he is a tall, light punching stylist as opposed the shorter stereotypical Mexican slugger. He’s also oddly paired with infamous trainer Javier Capetillo of the Antonio Margarito plaster crumbles handwrap scandal. Denis Shafikov, 33-0-1, 18 KO, was a solid juniorwelter/welter prospect out of Russia who only moved down to lightweight last year against two modest journeymen, yet here he is with his new Top Rank contract in the prestigious Macao venue challenging lightweight champ Vazquez in his 6th defense of his IBF title. A mighty fine deal Shafikov and Vazquez have that many fighters would love to trade places for. 

Denis Shafikov

Denis Shafikov

At least the squat Shafikov has one advantage on paper, that of having fought last year. Poor Vazquez had the rug pulled out from under him so many times it became something of a slapstick comedy sketch, but presumably he was in training during those periods, so not all is lost. His big advantage is that Shafikov is basically untested at the weight and at this caliber of competition. Both are prime age mid to late 20s and should be up for it.

Undercards include the hugely touted Asian fighters, Japanese Olympic Gold Medalist Ryota Murata and Chinese Olympic Gold Medalist Zou Shiming among others.

There have been better boxing cards of course, but the main event has some interesting aspects to it and the supporting bouts are a must see for diehards interested in how the future of boxing is being shaped in far away exotic locales.

GOD, Guns, & Holy Ghost Robert Guerrero vs Showtime Debut of Floyd Mayweather Jr

Cinco de Mayo got a whole lot more interesting this year when Floyd Mayweather Jr signed a mega six fight deal with Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions. A preposterous figure of around $220 million was quoted, but regardless, the first installment comes against the interim WBC welter titlist Robert The Ghost Guerrero for the supreme claim to the WBC welterweight title being defended by Mayweather. That’s Saturday, May 4th, but look out and be forewarned all ye Mayweather team and fans. Robert Guerrero says God is on his side and he enjoys packing heat when away from home as happened recently at JFK airport in New York City.

Yes, Virginia, this “event” seems to have taken on a personality of it’s own, perhaps not even being a fight any more. Or it could be one of the greatest fights of this era, or just another Mayweather and Showtime sham. See the Mayweather/Victor Ortiz fight and the Showtime Super Six and Super Banty tourneys for reference.

It’s certainly not the all time P4P matchup of the millennium like Pacquiao vs Mayweather would have been. That horse bolted the gate 3 yrs ago and ain’t been seen in these parts since then. Nor is it the fascination when two big heavyweights meet in that rare ripple of time where the fate of the world almost seems to hinge on the result. This fight takes place in an odd shift where overlapping boxing eras intersect with the supermega money of politics, media business rivalries, and global realignments.

We also have the unseemly specter of the dad trainers polluting the promotion, Ruben Guerrero vs Floyd Mayweather Sr. They vowed to beat the tarballs out of each other in the ring or in the parking lot, so who knows where that goes? Crazy uncle Roger Mayweather started a ring riot years back when he attacked Zab Judah in the middle of a round and wrestled with the referee Richard Steele in a disgracefully officiated match that should have been an automatic disqualification loss for Mayweather according to the standard rule long been in force.

Mayweather thus far in his career has received every benefit of every foul ruling and final decision to accumulate one of the best known safety records of his era. He trains year round but only exposes himself to one fight a year against a carefully selected opponent for the past 7 years, all while a golden era of welters fought each other tooth and nail for supremacy.

Getting back to boxing basics, on paper the Ghost only has a ghost of a chance, but look again. It took a Ghost to track down the ghost of the ever elusive Mayweather and badger him into signing the fight contract, so already Guerrero is up on the cards of opportunity. Speaking of opportunity, the Mayweather main supporting undercard bolted to ol’ San Antone for greener pastures when Saul Alvarez took his WBC/WBA unification fight with Austin Trout there to score one of the higher level checkmate boxing wins of this era. The antisocial media howler monkeys hate him, but Alvarez has officially arrived as the A side to any proposed match for him in boxing, including the aborted fight with Mayweather. The pressure is now on Mayweather to see if he can keep up with the rapidly advancing 22 year old kid in the perfect record department, 42-0-1, 30 KO compared to the Mayweather 43-0, 26 KO record. Moreover, can Mayweather recover the considerable Mexican PPVs lost with the Alvarez defection?

There are many other variables affecting this fight, so it’s hard to touch on all of them in an orderly manner, but let’s start with the Guerrero losses. How a fighter loses and his reaction to it is often informative. His first loss was to Gamaliel Diaz, an unheralded fighter who has since maintained a high Ring rating until a loss dropped him only a few weeks ago. The Ghost lost the split on the official cards, but I scored it for him by a couple points in a sloppy uninteresting fight where he looks to have fought down to the level of his opponent. He knocked him clean out in the rematch with solar plexus shot in the 6th, very impressive in that Diaz had never been put down before much less out.

Then the Orlando Salido fight that Guerrero lost, yet was overturned when Salido tested positive for steroids. I had it a close competitive fight with Salido eeking the win, but what was telling is that Salido had most of the fire and offensive activity. Guerrero looked like he was sleepwalking at times, scarcely even bothered when Salido landed flush and also looked painfully slow. I’m thinking he was probably tight at the weight given his ample frame that has marched rapidly through four more divisions since then. That was also 6-7 years ago, light years in time as applied to a boxer’s short career, but nonetheless a window into the boxing development of Guerrero. Perhaps it is not without coincidence that 6-7 years ago is when Mayweather began to command his biggest purses and most acclaim and that Guerrero is also light years younger at age 30 to Mayweather’s 36 and the hungrier fighter by far.

The conclusion is that Guerrero has never been beaten up and seems to have found his perfect niche at welter where he recently relished the combat against undefeated raging bull Selcuk Aydin and then long time former WBC #1 and mandatory, later the WBC  champ, Andre Berto. Guerrero’s new tough inside roughhouse style is always difficult for the pure boxer of Mayweather because the Ghost also possesses decent boxing chops out of the southpaw stance, so the long odds I hear around the 10 to 1 range might shorten up considerably by fight night as big players take a harder look at this fight.

The Eyes Know

The Eyes Know

In a fairly officiated contest, I see Mayweather needing to work extra hard for a win like he did against Miguel Cotto in his last dukem up. Guerrero is a considerably fresher boxer on a long time upswing than was Cotto who has been in some all time wars and is winding down his career. Mayweather has certainly not recently looked the P4P juggernaut the boxing industry has made him out to be, another example being the Victor Ortiz “incident,” a prearranged orchestration ala his infamous dustup with Big Show. If the Ortiz knockout is to be in the record, then the Big Show brass knuckles knockout should be also, both preferably in the official WWE record where they could be better savored as a matching pair of great heel performances of modern times.

Vs Miguel Cotto

Vs Miguel Cotto

Anyone seriously contemplating the Guerrero fight should consider the context of the Mayweather career as he winds down. He turned pro making good money on HBO shows where they promoted him as the P4P successor Roy Jones Jr. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the Manny Pacquiao fight that never was, Mayweather ended up squeezed off between the all time boxing legends of Roy Jones in the 1990s, superseded by Manny Pacquiao in the 2000s by consensus accolades, a snub with a building pressure that put an edge on him. He finally boiled over with a blizzard of felony assault and other charges in 2011 leveled against him resulting in a plea bargain stint in The Big House in 2012. That edge has forced his hand into the type of unsavory comments and accusations against his rivals that he knows will anger his critics and bolster his substantial fan base, so in his world perhaps there is a rhyme to his reason.

His recent regius remunerations have been due to a seismic shift in modern American culture in that his serious felony transgressions have greatly appealed to the hip hop culture where prison time lends street credibility. The troubled man-child, Mike Tyson, had been their posterboy in the past, so Floyd became their unholy mantraman as the national plates of identity shifted with unstable modern American culture.

Thing is, when the historians take over and look at careers to talk about all time rankings and legacies, his record becomes The Big Lie after he leaves Top Rank for Golden Boy. There are huge gaps in his record at a time when equally talented fighters are challenging themselves more frequently with more fights against as good or better competition, but such is the nature of the promotional business that could care less about truth or boxing legacy, they just want the bottom line of his considerable PPV sales when he fights.

And that’s another part of The Big Lie, that he’s the PPV king. His promoter, Oscar de la Hoya, is the all time PPV king by record, and if you average out all of Mayweather’s 8 PPV fights, two with Top Rank and six with Golden Boy, they are almost identical in numbers to Manny Pacquiao’s last 8 , but Pacquiao has many more PPVs that easily put him over the top as the first ever featherweight to be put on PPV promotions. Most Mayweather fans could care less about the facts, it’s the perception that in spite of losing out on accolades, they desperately need to affirm he’s the best not unlike Mike Tyson was made out to be even as his career wound down against vastly inferior competition compared to his peak years that were cut short by long stays in the pen. Tyson was also signed to a Showtime blockbuster contract, but Tyson supposedly did not receive the full value of his contract when Showtime elected to pay more pressing bills stay in business rather than go under, thus leading to Tyson’s infamous bankruptcy.

And you know it’s The Big Lie when Forbes, and other mainstream media outlets report that Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in the world, using his 2 year reported income figures to everyone’s one year figures. Yes folks, it’s not just the boxing press with collective cognoscenti up each other’s arrears, the history of the “mainstream” media is rift with tabloid sized lies, mistruths, and deceptions. They’ve been drafted into action not because of any inherent interest in his boxing career, but because there’s an immense amount of money to be made picking his bones apart before he departs boxing.

Even the infamous Mayweather drug testing program has taken a back seat to this nonpromotion that has scarcely seen Mayweather do more than go between his Vegas lairs at his gym and at home. Noteworthy is that near as I can see, NSAC, Golden Boy, Al Haymon, and Mayweather have refused to address the two part article Thomas Hauser put together last year concerning Mayweather’s alleged positive drug tests and cover up by USADA illicit drug testing cartel:

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

Meanwhile, recent inroads of BALCO associated trainers Victor Conte and Angel Heridia AKA Hernandez into boxing have stirred up a hornet’s nest of disputatious minor infractions resulting in a NSAC one year suspension and millon dollar fine of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for smoking marijuana, yet only a minor fine and disregarded suspension of Conte trained Mayweather stablemate Andre Berto for trace steroids. Berto merely moved his show to California to fight Guerrero which is where the Mayweather/Guerrero fight was birthed. 

Boxing has a way of eating it’s own, taking down better, more honorable fighters throughout history than Floyd Mayweather. I’m sensing a lot of rat traps being set around the perimeters as boxing may well be moving past the old into the new as Macao and Singapore and Dubai move to supplant Las Vegas for big fights. More telling is Floyd sporting the “Oscar” shiner of surrender going up against a new gunslinger single handedly promoting the fight in unlikely religious and political circles of God and Gun constituents. Lord knows what happens outside the ring when they clash with hiphoppers in the MGM after typical grevious ring shenanigans fire up the riff raff.

Put on the blindfold to be spun around to toss your dice and throw your darts to pin the ragged tail on the donkey, there’s your winner, but we’ll just have to see for ourselves. 

Shine On Souvenir

Shine On Souvenir