Tag Archives: Marco Antonio Barrera

Juan Manuel Marquez Better Than Floyd Mayweather Jr?

Now that long suffering Marquez supporters are in the middle of their fun propping him up on an impossible pedestal as happens to Hall of Fame fighters when they deliver their signature bout, in this case a singular Hail Mary savior right hand delivered as Marquez teetered on the brink of extinction, so where does he rate in today’s boxing landscape and yesteryear’s historical record?

One question you won’t hear the Great Wizards of Boxing’s Oz World ask, “Is Juan Manuel Marquez better than Floyd Mayweather Jr, thusly and justly due the consensus Ring and Boxrec #1 P4P spot?”

We can forgive Boxrec for not talking because servers are designed to be mute as far as interpersonal communication. Ring won’t talk about it because Mayweather is The Franchise of Golden Boy Promotions, and we know who owns Ring. They had already stripped Manny Pacquiao before he ever took the Bradley loss, a  warning shot across the bow of the Pacquiao Ship of State before the boxing bombardments blasted him out of the water with 2 consecutive losses.

We can clearly see that what passes as boxing’s illustrious cognoscenti these days, why they have supposed that in a single mighty swipe by Marquez, 55-6-1, 40 KO, he has leapt over the decaying careers of Salvador Sanchez, 44-1-1, 32 KO, Marco Antonio Barrera, 67-7, 44 KO, and Eric Morales, 52-9, 36 KO to share the almighty throne  of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, 107-6-2, 86 KO.

A time share contract is currently being hammered out with The Great Pantheon of Boxing.

The Marquez fans are a relentless bunch outside the ring much as Juan Manual Marquez was inside the ring when he got his man hurt, a great combination finisher and now a one punch assassination artist to boot. According to the official Hysterical Society of Never Say Die Marquez Fans, Marquez has now proven he owns Manny Pacquiao, 54-5-2, 38 KO, with a perfect 4-0 record against the newly revised Pacquiao record, 52-8-1, 38 KO. Pacquiao is now officially stripped of all his fighter of the decade awards which are transferred to Marquez. Pacquiao’s 2nd place finish in the largest Greatest Fighters poll ever conducted, why that is also stripped from Pacquiao and awarded to Marquez who is now sandwiched between Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali, well beyond any Mexican fighter in history, so adios Julio, we barely knew ya, now get lost.

Well, that makes Marquez better than Mayweather now and in the future, after all, he’s got a perfect record of 4-0 against Pacquiao. Now compare to Mayweather’s perfect 3-0 record of skipping out of the Pacquiao fights. Marquez toed the scratch line against Pacquiao 4X whereas Mayweather has thrice scratched through his own name on the agreed upon Pacquiao fight contracts.

And when we compare overall records, why Mayweather at 42-1, 26 KO just can’t match up to the Marquez newly minted perfect record of 62-0, 40 KO.

Everyone and their dog, heck, even Manny Pacquiao’s long gone dog, they all know that Marquez shut out Chris John on the cards and never punches low. And he completely outclassed Freddie Norwood, period, end of.

!Yummy For The Tummy!

!Yummy For The Tummy!

In the well documented Golden Boy Promotions sordid Pissgate scandal,  had Marquez not been the lower ranked fighter surreptitiously tricked into drinking his own pissoir slurpees for the privilege of fighting the higher ranking Mayweather, why Marquez woulda knocked  that mothabeata back to Timbuktu, he would have, leaving only the prickly Javier Duran to finish off. Easy, go roust up the Junior son of the Mexican honcho that signed off on the disqualification of Marquez by a 1st round headbutt. Pay him to testify that el padre was dyslexic and recorded everything in reverse order, so serve up some Mexican justice to reverse the reversed order and kiss Javier goodbye.

We already know that the late, great Sugar Ray Robinson fought in washerwomen flurries, so transfer him into the women’s records, voila, Juan Manuel Marquez es numero uno del mundo!

Et tu, Brute,  We’re Done. 

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money at MGM Grand, Saturday, December 8th is the shorthand of all you need to know.

`36 Rounds & Counting

36 Rounds & Counting

I did become excited about this fight when Bob Arum bigged up a Mexico City venue, just the place to make Marquez step out of his shell and try for once to really take it to Pacquiao, and just the sort of challenge that Pacquiao loves, a Mexican Bullring packed to the hilt with El Locos screaming for  mano a mano Mexican style boxing that the Filipino relishes. Imagine the contagion spreading around the world on fight night with HBO and Larry Merchant broadcasting from Mexico City as tens of millions storm the worldwide broadcasters for a stream of the fight on whatever set ups they’re using!

Nope, ain’t gonna happen that way.

I gather the numbers didn’t work since Marquez has been a Vegas fighter for most of his career and lacks the overwhelming Mexican support that Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales enjoyed. Marquez is a Top Rank fighter now, so Arum gave him a trial run  in Mexico City against Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko for the WBO junior welter title. Marquez aggressively outpointed Fedchenko for his 4th divisional title.

Pacquiao has also become something of a Vegas fighter with Arum carefully booking him at MGM Grand, Floyd Mayweather Jr’s home for the last several years. Mayweather might decide to take the plunge and make a Pacquiao fight on the spur of the moment, so Arum maybe looks to keep the Grand booked for all future Pacquiao dates.

The Trilogy

The Trilogy

As you can see, Marquez was well packed and ripped for the rubber match in a fashion that he has never been thanks to Angela Heredia, one of many infamous trainers part of the BALCO scandal. Somehow he avoided the convictions and jail time others in the scandal were handed, probably by plea deal in exchange for favorable prosecution testimony.

Regardless of whether or not Marquez has fallen into the PEDs trap, his conditioning has been at career bests against Pacquiao. I had hopes that he could provide a good fight against Mayweather when he moved up two divisions a few years back, but then he started taking his frothy health cocktails drawn from a spigot hooked up to his own private pistola, well, I winced and hoped I wouldn’t heave. Then the comic book endurance and strength training of him throwing around large rocks at altitude evaporated whatever chance he had against the crafty Mayweather.

Pacquiao is taking on his third P4P fight in a row with Timothy Bradley sandwiched between Marquez, and, boy howdy, what a surprise wake up call against the undefeated physical phenom. Pacquiao took it big time to Bradley for 9 rounds, hitting him so hard that the shock waves popped tendons in Bradley’s ankles loose from their moorings. Incredibly Bradley didn’t go down in spite of sporting the usual Pacquiao souvenirs of a lumped up, mashed out of place face before convalescing in a wheelchair after the fight ended.

Even more incredibly, the Vegas judges awarded Bradley the split decision in a fight nobody thought was even close. The outrage was such that the WBO commissioned 5 veteran judges to review the fight and awarded Pacquiao the unanimous decision, yet Bradley still holds the WBO title. Bob Arum called for an investigation of himself, wanting to distance himself from the grievous improprieties of the Nevada commission who stacked the judges.

Bradley did physically extend out Pacquiao’s conditioning more than any fighter yet. The 9th round is what turned around the fight for Bradley as he was completely exhausted, a sitting duck for legendary straight left hands that made Pacquiao the most celebrated fighter since Muhammad Ali. Right at the point of the knockout, Pacquiao hit the wall and went into slower and slower motion until they were standing there looking at each other in disbelief. Neither had anything left to mount a decent assault for the rest of the fight, yet Bradley won the judges over while the rest of boxing told him that he really didn’t win the fight. Yeah, thanks guys.

The decision was a headscratcher until you consider the source. This is boxing in Vegas that’s moving closer to pro wrestling in plot line and choreography, see  the Ortiz/Mayweather outrage, and in outcomes, see any of dozens of their fights every year where the judging defies all logic.

There always has been a long standing prejudice against big sluggers like Pacquiao when they fail to knock out their opponent as was expected. Big Vegas Players lose huge sums no matter how technically nuanced Pacquiao has become under Freddie Roach, so it means nothing to judges who know the bottomline. The Marquez and Bradley fights were the easiest fights Pacquiao has had in ages as evidenced by his postfight choirboy looks as opposed to his typical mangled features after he lays down ferocious beatings and knockouts as the most celebrated offensive fighter of the decade. All the lumps were transferred to Bradley and Marquez.

Pacquiao didn’t help his concentration by the revelations of his marital woes hours before the Marquez fight when he was supposedly served divorce papers. His concentration further lapsed before the Bradley fight when he came out against gay marriage in the home state of the powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a liberal democrat in support of gay marriage who Pacquiao had previously campaigned for. Boxing results shouldn’t be determined by politics, but the reality has always been that if the referee and/or judges want, they can determine the outcome of any fight, not the fighters, and the Nevada Commish is a political appointment.

Pacquiao suffered his first officiating outrage with the Agapito Sanchez  Technical Draw when the Dominican Billy Goat butted his way out of the fight. I’ve never seen a better example of a fighter that should have been DQed after it was obvious butting was the only offensive tool in his arsenal. Then the admitted scoring error in the first Marquez fight that would have given Pacquiao the split decision instead of a draw. Then the missed 2nd knockdown by referee  Kenny Bayless in the rematch that should have been at least a unanimous decision for Pacquiao if not a knockout when Marquez walked to Pacquiao’s corner, clearly out on his feet. Bayless is also the ref for the 4th installment, so we’ll see if he can get it right this time around.

Maybe Marquez can borrow some of the fight from diehard JMMarquez fans who continue to litter the internet with bitter claims of victory over Pacquiao. He really does need some extra fight to him IF he REALLY wants to beat Pacquiao.

The Rubber was a stylistic technical disappointment for both. Marquez throw a some furious popcorn flurries off the backfoot that never put a dent into Pacquiao’s features, whereas Pacquiao leading right hooks swiped Marquez’s left eye half closed and his straight lefts lumped up his right side, but he never really went after Marquez nor did he ever hurt him or knock him down like previous encounters.

Pacquiao for his part needs to understand the sympathies that Vegas holds for Marquez and bring back some of his aggressive offense that made him such a legend. No need to abandon technical boxing, just step up the intensity a few notches or risk another controversial decision that might not go his way.

It should also be noted that Pacquiao continues to break his own record for the most Ring P4P fights, the Marquez rubber being his 11th and Marquez will vault into sole ownership of 2nd place with his 5th P4P fight. He’s currently tied with Mayweather for 2nd place with 4 each.

FYI, you can read about the compelling parallel P4P histories of Pacquiao and Mayweather here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/modern-p4p-rankings-manny-pacquiao-vs-floyd-mayweather-jr/

Another interesting development going into this fight is that after Mayweather was released from prison, he quietly paid out a private settlement with a public apology to Pacquiao in exchange for dropping the lawsuit that Mayweather had lost every round in. The IRONY is now Mayweather has been hit with hard rumors about 3 positive drug tests that were hushed up by Golden Boy Promotions and the  USADA drug testing cartel. Here’s the skinny by Thomas Hauser that pretty much backs up what I’ve been saying about the poor reporting in the boxing media about drug testing, plus plenty of new revelations:

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

Yes, most anywhere we look in the boxing world, there’s a lot of cynicism over the 4th fight between Pacquiao and Marquez. It doesn’t seem possible they could top their previous PPV total, yet there should be plenty of interest in the fight come first bell.

Who wants to miss what could be the best fight by far between these warrior adversaries? Not a chance. 

Modern P4P Rankings–Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr

by Bobby Mac

OK, let’s start with a brief primer of the history of the P4P concept that is poorly understood by modern boxing fans who too often only want to justify their favorite P4P fighters rather than to impartially compare top fighters across the divisions. Other less than honorable fans are only bent on destructive argumentation lacking any merit based on their personal dislike of certain fighters that may even bleed into unseemly hatred for a fighter.

The “modern” concept of boxing “Pound for Pound” dates back to a series  of many P4P tributes to the incomparable Sugar Ray Robinson who turned pro to much acclaim after an undefeated amateur career.  I’d imagine there are earlier references to the concept of P4P framed in different terminology probably going back to the 18th century bare knucks era and beyond to the David vs Goliath era and then beyond that.

Every new generation tends to rediscover a concept to reframe for their own understanding, leaving the original concept in an increasingly fuzzy state. For the blessed purpose of establishing a set of base level P4P guidelines, let us start with a representative comment penned a few years later in 1951 by Wilfred Smith that is typical of the P4P accolades heaped on  Sugar Ray Robinson:

“Ray Robinson has been called the finest fighting man for his pounds in the history of pugilism.”

The early P4P concept incorporates the values of weight disparities, excellence of application, and skills. The mid 1900s concept of weight is important because the original weight class dating back to the days of James Figg was an open one, i.e., the fighters could weigh whatever they wanted which ultimately became the heavyweight division by way of general consensus. Naturally folks took note when a smaller fighter challenged a bigger one, so fighters were weighed to satisfy curiosity, but in truth, the ritual was constructed in order to harden the betting line since the bigger fighter usually prevailed.

Weight stipulations begin working their way down from that original open class in order to more closely match up fighters of different weights that eventually began to be known as middleweight and welterweight divisions that were further split into the some 17-18 modern weight classes we have today. Weights and ages of fighters were almost important as the claimed records of the fighters in those unregulated bare-knuckled days.

Sugar Ray Robinson fought in the middle range of modern divisions, starting his career at 130 lbs and working up to 160lbs at his peak. He was often matched against larger fighters as was the norm back then, and was always victorious save the first Lamotta loss, his only anomaly in his first 140 fights. The importance of weight was such that appropriately skilled fighters with an established record of excellence across these weight disparities were naturally lauded as the top fighters. The thinking was` that when proportionately sized up and down various weight classes in his era, Robinson could beat every fighter regardless of weight, the ultimate fantasy culmination of a rabid boxing enthusiast come true.

Objective interpretation of the attributes needed today when comparing fighters across widely disparate weight classes would follow:

1. SIZE, as in results of fights with obvious height, weight, and reach disparities that are the historical holy trinity of significant boxing physical measurement records. Successfully moving up through weight classes is very important to today’s generation of more heavily regulated fighters who usually are no longer allowed to make matches against much heavier opponents save the open heavyweight division that sees the dramatic size differences..

2. Skills, as in the number of skills and strategic nuance the fighter shows on offense and defense.

3. Dominance, as in the excellence of application of natural talents and abilities over opponents.

4. Quality of Opposition as in a record full of quality, ranked or otherwise highly regarded fighters.

5. Power, as in genuine knockout power that takes the result out of the hands of subjective judges.

OK, now with the essential historical background and modern concepts of P4P established, how about we move to the main course, the meat of this P4P debate, Pacquiao vs Mayweather. To get to the main course, I have to make proper preparations such as asking the essential question that nobody ever bothers to ask and then look at the answers.

Exactly what are the actual Ring P4P histories of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr?

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao

Starting in sequential side by side career order, Manny Pacquiao as the younger fighter was the first to turn professional as so many future boxers do in impoverished “3rd World” countries lacking a public education system. It was 1995 at age 16, when this skinny junior flyweight scaling 106 lbs entered the ring to earn a hard fought 4 round decision. The very next year, 1996, Floyd Mayweather Jr turned pro after a stellar amateur record including a bronze medal in the Olympic Games. He was age 19 at 129 lbs campaigning as a super featherweight, usually winning by knockout.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Mayweather was the first to win a title in 1998, the WBC superfeatherweight belt that he took from the highly regarded Genero Hernandez, 38-1-1 by way of 8th round KO. He was now age 21 in his 3rd year of boxing and earned his first Ring P4P ranking with the win at the #10 spot.

Pacquiao followed a couple of months later by winning his first title, the WBC flyweight title that he took from highly regarded Chatchai Sasakul, 33-1, also by way of 8th round KO. Pacquiao was now age 19 in his 4th yr of boxing, but he did not earn Ring P4P honors.

So, to sum up 1998, both hold their first titles, a WBC belt  for each with Mayweather earning an additional Ring P4P ranking. Neither had yet to fight much less beat a Ring ranked P4Per. Remember though, Ring Magazine is American based and Mayweather was well known to the voters, whereas Pacquiao was almost completely unknown in America and certainly not yet fighting in Vegas on American broadcasts as Mayweather was from the gitgo of his career.

Mayweather beats a Ring P4Per for the first time when he knocks out #5 Diego Corrales in 2001. That upgrades him to the Ring #8 spot by the start of 2002 with Eric Morales, Kostya Tszyu, Oscar de la Hoya, and Marco Antonio Barrera notably ranked over him. 2002 happens to also be the year Pacquiao fights his first ever Ring P4Per, beating #3 Barerra that earns him the #6 Ring ranking, just under #5 Mayweather by the start of 2003.

So, by 2003, these natural adversaries are starting to look like two peas in the P4P pod, but Pacquiao has to become a marquee name across the globe before the P4P debate between these two becomes serious.

Since Pacquiao quickly becomes the best known boxer across the globe, than by all means, let the serious fun begin.

2004 starts the year with some shakeout of the Ring rankings due to losses resulting in Mayweather being bumped up to #2.  Manny moves into Floyd’s old #5 slot and fights his 2nd P4P fight ever against the #6 making his P4P debut, Juan Manual Marquez, in their forever controversially fabled draw. Other notable P4P names that year at or near their divisions ` are #3 Kostya Tszyu, #7 Barrera, #8 Morales.

2005 starts with Mayweather in the #1 slot courtesy of Jermaine Taylor who dethroned #1 Bernard Hopkins. #3 is Barrera who worked his way back up with back to back wins over #6 Morales. #4 is Ricky Hatton with #5 occupied by Pacquiao, notable because he fights #6 Morales who wins a close decision. That would be Pacquiao’s 3rd P4P fight. Marquez is #7, and noteworthy that old Mayweather foe, Jose Luis Castillo makes his P4Pdebut at #9 followed by Zab Judah’s return to the rankings at #10 after a 4 yr absence thanks to a big upset of reigning welter champ Cory Spinks that earned Judah the unified title.

So, 2006 starts with Mayweather still in the #1 slot and scheduled to fight #10 Judah, but Judah is upset by unknown journeyman Carlos Baldomir, negating Mayweather’s opportunity to match up against his 2nd ever Ring P4P. Meanwhile, Pacquiao has fought his way to #2 before twice knocking out #6, Morales in back to back fights that are Pacquiao’s  4th and 5th opportunities against a P4P fighter.

2007 starts again with Mayweather still in as #1. In his 2nd ever P4P fight, he knocks out #8 Ricky Hatton and then retires. Pacquiao and Marquez are #2 and #3 with Miguel Cotto making his debut at #7. Pacquiao doesn’t make any P4P fights in 2007.

2008 sees Mayweather retired with Pacquiao installed as the new #1. He promptly makes his 6th ever P4P fight, beating the new #2, Marquez. Antonio Margarito makes his P4P debut at #6 while Cotto is bumped to #8 and Hatton goes to #10.

2009 sees #1 Pacquiao has his 7th and 8th P4P fights, knocking out #9 Hatton and #8 Cotto while Mayweather returns to beat #2 Marquez in his 3rd ever P4P fight. Noteworthy is Shane Mosley returning to the P4P rankings after a long absence to #5 by knocking out Margarito who has his boxing license suspended and is promptly stripped of his Ring P4P and welter rankings.

2010 sees #1 Pacquiao and #2 Mayweather scheduled to fight in March and then later in November, but Mayweather mysteriously backs of both of the fights and dates, choosing instead to fight #5 Mosley in May, Mayweather’s 4th ever P4P fight. After winning a decision, Mayweather announces a 2 yr retirement.

So, the current  P4P tally is #1 Pacquiao holding a career 6-1-1, 5 KO record against Ring ranked P4P fighters in comparison to #2 Mayweather at 4-0, 2 KO.

Pacquiao is scheduled to fight his 9th ever P4P fight, the current Ring # 4 P4P, Marquez, in their long anticipated rubber match this coming November. The results of that fight are obviously pending. Mayweather announced his return from retirement with a fight against the new WBC welter champ, Vicious Victor Ortiz, this coming September 17th. Ortiz who has no P4P ranking yet, so for 2011 Mayweather looks set with 4 total career P4P fights to Pacquiao’s anticipated 9th ever P4P fight.

It’s probable that the Pacquiao has already set some P4P records that may never be broken in both the number of P4P fights he has already had, 8, and the number of P4P wins he has notched, 6, and the # of P4P knockouts he has, 5.

The average ranking of Pacquiao’s eight P4P  opponents is a 6 with Marquez being the highest at #2, Barrera #3, Morales #6 x3, Marquez again at #6, Cotto #8, and Hatton at #9. Noteworthy is that against 3 of these P4Pers, Pacquiao simultaneously made his divisional debut against the 2 best fighters at that weight, Barrera at featherweight, and Hatton at juniorwelter. Pacquiao could have made his 3rd divisional debut against #1 Barrera who had moved to the superfeather division, but Barrera refused to exercise his rematch clause since he didn’t want to risk losing the new plaudits he found in his new division. Pacquiao’s divisional P4P debut record is 2-0, 2 KO.

The average ranking of Mayweather’s 4 opponents is #5 with Marquez being the highest at #2, Corrales #5, Mosley #5, and Hatton #8. Mayweather has no divisional debut P4P fights in his record.

Also noteworthy is that Pacquiao also eventually beat the #2 fighter, Marquez in this case, to consolidate his #1 status, the only fighter in the brief history of P4P rankings that I can recall having done this.

The more inventively argumentative might claim that former #1 Mayweather later returned after a two year absence to beat the #2 in Marquez, but that seems a lesser achievement since Marquez had to jump two weight divisions to where he was unranked just to make that fight happen, technically a fight between two divisionally unranked fighters designed as an unlikely and unexpected novelty bout that attracted quite a bit of interest, it’s only intent.

Lest anyone need a reminder, Pacquiao already beat #2 at #2’s best weight at the apex of Marquez’s career. Why Mayweather has steadfastly refused to challenge #1 after repeatedly teasing the boxing public by having his team hammering out expensive, arduous negotiations leading to agreed upon terms that Mayweather then chose to reject may end up as the ultimate unsolved mystery of 21st Century boxing.

Mr. P4P

Mr. P4P

Few would doubt the overall skills, dominance and quality of opposition of each fighter. As prime fighters, they generally match up well against most of the greats in history in my opinion regardless of where any fighter ranks.

Pacquiao has also established a significant edge in moving through weight classes, winning belts in 8 divisions and has held all the major belts at one time or the other, the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, and Ring belts. Mayweather has been  successful in winning belts as he moved through 5 divisional belts, but he is more limited in the variety of those belts, confining himself to the WBC and Ring belts though technically he also won the IBF belt from the disgraced Judah after he was beaten into ignominy by the ancient journeyman Carlos Baldomir. Baldomir in any fair world deserved that IBF strap  to go with his WBA and WBC belts, but boxing doesn’t always operate under fair terms.

Pacquiao also has a significant advantage in power as he moved up, notching several serious knockouts of P4P opposition, whereas Mayweather just has two of those kind of knockouts.

So, there it is folks, the current history of the P4P careers of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Make of it what you may at your own peril since P4P rankings are still evolving. Many fighters have been able to make P4P lists on the excellence of their records without beating an actual P4P ranked fighter.  Fighters often don’t have an available P4P fighter near their division to fight, so it’s always a bonus when two P4Pers do fight, but that’s no guarantee of memorable classic like the fans are want to project when they dream of these fights happening.

I deliberately chose to ignore the broader overall career record comparison because that’s been done to death and just muddies waters that need clarification. I am more interested in the narrow focus of the historical Ring P4P rankings regarding these two to sharpen any objective differences rather than run off on another subjective dead end, and that was accomplished in this case.

I recall Ring Magazine not long ago updating their P4P rankings by noting that P4P rankings are “mythical.” I would add that all rankings are “mythical”, including past or current Ring divisional rankings. The only thing “tangible” in boxing is who holds which belt, and as we all know, the belt holder may not come close to being considered the best in their division nor may he have any financial or personal interest in even fighting the best.

Nonetheless, Ring Rankings establish a general framework for a consensus benchmark in a sport that is too often is one of the most of the most subjective sports. Boxing desperately needs objective oversight for any true understanding, but that won’t stop every fan, boxing analyst and their grandmothers from constructing their own personal P4P lists, dismissing all lists that came before them, so I won’t bore anyone with my own P4P rankings.

Interestingly, however, I have often suggested combining P4P consensus rankings to get a broader consensus average ranking, which led to me constructing the BSIBRO alltime heavyweight ranking a few years back. That would be the Boxing Scene all time heavyweight rankings compiled by vote by one dedicated fellow named Hurricane that I combined with the International Boxing Research Organization ratings, an amalgamation of the largest fan boxing website with the most established boxing “historian” organization.

Though the top two rankings remained the same with Joe Louis edging out Muhammad Ali, more modern heavies from the 70s era on up dominated the Boxing Scene poll compared to the IBRO poll of older “gentlemen” who preferred the older heavies. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that folks tend to like and vote for fighters they grew up knowing about rather than rate by any serious objective standard that isn’t even established anyway, so in that regard, putting together the BSIBRO poll highlighted the bias that I had long noticed in “objective” Ring rankings.

So, that concludes the Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr Ring P4P comparison. It was a tedious exercise for me, but worth the information and understanding it ultimately imparted.

An Outsider Looks In On Abraham/Dirrell Results

By Bobby Mac

March 30, 2010

In my preview of this fight, I threw out the possibility that this fight had the potential to be a classic for the ages.

The fighters did their parts, training to their maximum to utilize their styles to the best of their abilities in the difficult circumstances that each style caused for the other. The expected frontrunner ran to a dynamic lead with the late finisher closing strongly in what looked to be a compelling, dramatic fight to the finish.

Dirrell knocks Abraham to the ropesropes

The finish was sudden and dramatic alright, but it turned on an ugly foul that left Arthur Abraham disqualified as Andre Dirrell fell into unconscious convulsions on the canvas.

The good news is that Dirrell was given a thumbs up release from the hospital where he had been taken as a precaution. The bad news is that boxing was given yet another thumbs down black eye for yet another poorly cobbled together bout that left health assistance to Dirrell dangerously delayed and left Abraham and his team puzzled and dissatisfied over his disqualification.

The contrast drawn between the fighters was stark with the fight playing out much like many had suggested. Dirrell melded quick elusive footwork to a busy attack that kept Abraham covered up for much of the first half of the fight. Abraham started to make adjustments and was closing powerfully as tension built for the championship rounds.

Perfect!

Would Dirrell be elusive enough to survive for the certain decision, or would Abraham close the show with another crunching blow to a young contender’s aspirations? Everyone with a pulse filling Joe Louis Arena was in hog heaven dreaming of their fighter proving his mettle down the stretch and cheering him on.

All would be decided with the controversial disqualification of Abraham by referee Laurence Cole at 1:13 of the 11th round.  In spite of ample video evidence, boxing aficionados have their own eyes, so the events are disputed, but the results are certain to stand. Dirrell wins and Abraham loses by DQ.

Dirrell played hard to get in the 11th round as Abraham chased him down. The End turned on a few precious seconds of action as Dirrell moved to the corner as Abraham closed hard, jabbing his way in. A jab lands to Dirrell’s head as his right foot slipped out just before Dirrell launched a left hook that landed on the point of Abraham’s jaw and throat just before that glove hit the canvas. Is that enough busy action for you?

Cole shouts “STOP” after the glove touches, just before Abraham launches a right hook. As the “P” tails off  Cole’s “STOP” command, Abraham’s hook jolts the jaw of Dirrell, freezing him in place before he falls on his back to the ring apron.

Sheriff sez Hold’em High

These are the split second events that I pieced together from many slow motion replays after the fact. It is important to remember this careful reconstruction is obviously unavailable in that terrible flash  moment of real time when ring action screeches to a stop as chaos breaks out in the ring.

Technically it could be said that Dirrell went down from the Abraham jab that bounced off his noggin, another knockdown that was not called in the fight of another controversy separate from the ending, but regardless, down is down by whatever the means when Abraham’s glove crossed over to Dirrell’s chin.

Viewing things at a distance on video in slow motion after the fact is an odd thing. It gives us superiority over ring officials stuck in the moment in real time. The danger is that we lose perspective of what real ring time means to those making those split second calls. Otherwise, hereto blind men can suddenly see under such advantageous circumstance.

When the slip occurred, Laurence Cole was some distance behind the fighters, not in position to physically intervene. It is unclear how much he was able to see, but Abraham’s back surely blocked much of his view. He may not have seen Dirrell’s left hook bouncing off of Abraham’s jaw, but he seems to have seen the glove fell silent to the canvas a fractional moment before Abraham launches his right hook. It doesn’t seem likely he saw Dirrell’s head a give a little twist upon impact, but perhaps he understood as Abraham has turned to go to neutral corner with gloves up.

Cole advanced as Dirrell goes into convulsions at the most disturbing point of the fight for me. Make that extremely disturbing for me.

Cole seems to wave off the timekeeper’s count at 3 to stand over the convulsing Dirrell. At 10 seconds from impact, Cole yells “FOUL” to someone. A few seconds later he dips down to examine the shaking Dirrell and nearly 20 sec after impact he calls for doctors who enter seconds later.

Cole then walks away and some 30 seconds after impact Cole shouts that Abraham is disqualified and then argues with Abraham about the incident. As far as I could see and hear, the decision was made by Cole without consultation some 10 seconds after impact with his “foul” pronouncement and subsequent “disqualified” pronouncement. That’s the assumption.

So the onus of the disqualification falls upon the actions of Abraham and Cole in those final moments, unless one accepts the premise floated that Dirrell acted out the KO. That seems too implausible for me, a bridge too far, but it’s out there.

So, what of Cole and Abraham is there to assign blame for this travesty? I am but an outsider from distance with no particular insight into the character of either man, but I think it’s a fair and reasonable assessment that both reacted perfectly naturally in the heat of the battle in those final moments. How could they not with the arena screaming their lungs out as Abraham tore into Dirrell for the finish?

It’s mano a mano moments like those that make boxing the King of all sports with the richest, most storied history of all sports, yet this time it all turned bad in a twisted split second that I have no doubt all parties wish they had back to do over again.

King Arthur filed a protest over the unkingly disqualification, but the likely result is that he will just have to live with the loss and learn from it like so many thousands of fighters before him. He is still the tournament leader in good position, but his reputation for good sportsmanship took a hit when he charged Dirrell with acting.

I’ve heard some call for Abraham’s banishment from this tourney, indeed, from boxing itself. I don’t see it. A fighter relies on his fighting reflexes, and I for one cannot fault him for those split second reflexes after coming in with heavy artillery and taking return fire. Ban, boxing if you must, not Rocky Marciano, Marco Antonio Barrera, and too many other storied warriors caught in the heat of battle.

Anthony Dirrell is the winner on paper, gaining his first points and improved rankings. He will have to live with the frightening specter of a shaky threshold of punch resistance in spite of otherwise proving to be a durable fighter in his career.

Laurence Cole has come under scrutiny after previous bouts favoring hometown fighters in Texas and even a suspension. He missed at least two knockdowns and appallingly broke up the action a couple of times for no good reasons when Abraham appeared to have the upper hand.

Why he was chosen for such a high profile bout, and why an out of the mainstream venue like Detroit was chosen after a delay because of an alleged injury are  unanswered questions for a poor promotion that delayed getting what could have been critical medical assistance to Dirrell.

I don’t have the answer on how to make a call like that, but it seems a good deal more discussion was needed to make the call AFTER Dirrell was secured and removed to an ambulance to go to the hospital. I saw a rush to judgment based on fractional technical merit that bore no resemblance to the spirit of the regulations that the letter of the regulations is supposed to represent.

Not even Dirrell’s own team and Showtime can escape scrutiny. His team were cuffing and roughing him about, trying to man him up for a moment he was understandably clueless about and further delayed his transport to the hospital while Jim Gray flitted about trying to gain an interview.

The Super Six Tourney started with a grand gesture by Showtime to bring together fight teams and promoters from America, United Kingdom, Denmark, and Germany in an international diplomatic statement of goodwill. Boxing fans were excited, the excitement spread through the boxing press into the mainstream press. Folks stood up and took notice.

There have been 4 fights with all 4 fights won by the hometown fighter. Three of the fights had controversies revolving around the hometown favoritism. The results have been odd to say the least with a split decision, a technical decision, a disqualification, and a dramatic last second KO.

Let us hope the rest of the tourney is stocked with the best officiating and promotional venues available that these fighters deserve. There will always be disputes, grievances, and complaints, but surely boxing can do better.

The Breakdown of Manny Pacquiao vs Joshua Clottey

The Breakdown of Manny Pacquiao vs Joshua Clottey
By Bobby Mac
March 8, 2010
http://www.ringnews24.com/news/index.php/ring-news-staff/writers-columns/70-bobby-mac/268-bobby-mac.html

Come March 13 this Saturday, yet another chapter in fistic history will be etched in stone, but some of us of the sweet science persuasion cannot wait for results. Perhaps some day scientists will isolate the pugilistic gene that defines our lot’s behavioral characteristics, but for the here and the now six days before history is made in Cowboy Stadium, we want to know NOW.

How do these guys match up and what is the outcome?

There are a thousand and one internet boxing sites quoting a hundred and one “experts” already stating the obvious, that Manny is too fast, too elusive, too aggressive, and too busy before the first bell sounds. When added together, however, it all becomes too true, a conclusion that is greater than the possible sum of the figures.

Poor Joshua Clottey seems to have never won a fight given the sum of his plodding, ear muff style figures.

If boxing was only about adding numbers or filling out standard forms for perfect grades, there would be no need for the actual fighting and fight fans would be left withering on the vine. Fortunately, the fighters have to prove it in the ring, and there are bigger underdogs that have upset the favorite than Joshua Clottey.

This bout is more than boxing, it’s also about opportunity which is big. “The Event” is an apt promotional moniker given the growing buzz coupled with a near capacity gate of 45,000 in the shiniest, newest venue in the world, Cowboy Stadium.

The winner moves to the $JACKPOT$, the winner of the May 1st bout between Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather if the fans have their say. Though Pacquiao is the big star already commanding the lion’s share of this purse, they are both financially motivated to win, not to mention the accolades the winner would receive.

So the current ledger reads natural talent and ability mostly on Pacquiao’s side, but Clottey will have size and strength on his side and it must be said that durability also favors Clottey who has never been stopped. Some may poopah the Clottey advantage, but they could play a role in the outcome.

With financial incentive and pride near equal, what of other incentives?

Both are well known in their native countries which also happen to be of the 3rd world and both are on board with making improvements in the lives of their families and countrymen with Pacquiao actually running for office, so both near equal there. Pacquiao might even be distracted from the fight because of politics.

Oddsmakers are a sharp lot and like to look at recent performances as part of setting odds for every fight, so what of recent performances against what kind of fighter and style?

Pacquiao has looked like a flamethrower the way he’s been burning up established contenders and champions with 4 straight Kos, and he also boxed quite well. Have to go back 2-3 yrs ago to find old featherweight rivals, Marquez and Barrera who went the distance. They survived largely by neglecting their offense to box defensively, but they still lost.

Clottey, however, lost his last bout to the fighter Pacquiao last knocked out, Miguel Cotto. It was a tough bloody battle that Clottey lost, and some claim he should’ve been granted the win. He did win the previous five, so for Clottey’s last six bouts, he’s 5-1, 1 KO, but only 3 of those fighters were contender/champion types.

Moreover, only one of Clottey’s six remains relevant in current ranking whereas four of Pacquiao’s last six remain highly ranked so Manny has a big edge not only in recent performance, but against a stiffer grade of competition.

Pacquiao has moved up from super featherweight, so what about the size and strength of recent competition? That would be an advantage in Clottey’s favor, him being the natural welter.

What about the advantage of Pacquiao’s natural southpaw style? Clottey has faced lefties Shamone Alvarez and Zab Judah and won decisions, so while he might be at some disadvantage, he has shown he can win against southpaws.

What other factors are there to influence a fight?

Both signed to the same promoter, Bob Arum, so that’s a wash. Only Manny has ever fought in Texas, 2 big KOs scored in San Antonio against Marco Antonio Barrera and Jorge Solis. The venue might be a small advantage for him, but they will be fighting in metropolitan Dallas/Fort Worth this time.

How about rest versus rust? Pacquaio last fought 4 months ago and sustained a busted eardrum from a Cotto left hook. Rumors were floated that he may have injured a leg in training. Was he recovered from the Cotto fight before rushed into training for this bout?

Clotty had more rest with 9 months off from his own tough bout against Cotto. When does rest turn to rust and when does rust turn to flab? Is there enough time for Clottey to regain his form in good health and condition?

Looks like no particular advantages there since they look ripped and ready. Most fighters go into bouts with nagging injuries anyway, and those things are usually hush-hush.

Most advantages still point in Pacquiao’s favor, but can Clottey leverage his advantage of size, strength, and durability? Style will play a key role in that if Joshua is to upset the odds.

How about the dirt factor?

Manny is generally known as a clean fighter, but he has a busy, buzzing in and out lefty style that leads to unintentional headbutts that often plague lefty bouts. Clottey has a long reputation of leading with his head and often receives warnings in his bouts, even being disqualified 11 yrs ago and winning a technical decision just 2 yrs ago. Headbutts could be a factor.

What can never be measured is when a key point comes in an athlete’s career where he has to either perform above his proven capabilities or be beaten and lose. Well?

Pacquiao has beaten as good or better fighters than Clottey, so is less likely to need to exceed himself. Pacquiao is the best fighter Clottey is likely to ever fight, so, unless Clottey can elevate his performance or land the lucky punch, he seems likely to lose. Pacquiao has to regress in form badly or get careless to lose, possible, but less likely.

It could be hard for both, or it could be easy for Manny, but one thing for sure, this is likely to be a fun fight for fans as long as Josh keeps his noggin to himself.