Tag Archives: Marcos René Maidana

Glove Gate II~Mayhem Mayweather & Chino Maidana Roll Dice Again

Their previous Cinco de Mayo dustup at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas produced such an unexpected spectacle of Marcos Maidana unloading his arsenal on Floyd Mayweather frozen on the ropes that the suits look to roll their loaded dice again with more of the same. Mayweather has adopted a new moniker of Mayhem, presumably the first shot of the payback he expects to extract from Chino this next Mexican Independence Day weekend, Saturday, September 13th.

It must be said that Mayweather absorbed the kind of beating that few thought he would ever take again after Jose Luis Castillo savaged him in their first go round. Looking back over his career, Mayweather has suffered only one recorded knockdown, perhaps more remarkable than his undefeated record that has taken on a canned quality these past 7 years at his personal mint, the MGM Grand in Vegas. Then again, another look reveals that he never faced any prime slugger types after moving up from lightweight until just this year, so he was quite fortunate in his matchmaking.

Combined with the mighty push and pull of his manager Al Haymon, he had the power to threaten to cancel the first fight against Maidana when Team Mayweather wouldn’t approve Maidana’s custom Mexican Everlast boxing gloves and then turned down the NSAC approved Everlast replacements. The big money backing Mayweather is claimed to have finally put up the funds to pay Chino another couple of million more on top of his 1.5 million dollar purse to wear some Mayweather approved pillows so the promotion wouldn’t go bust with a cancelled main event.

The GloveGate Affair

The GloveGate Affair

Hmmm, faced with a fight cancellation of his biggest fight and largest purse ever or to more than double his net take for punching with pillows, well now, it’s easy to see how a po’boy from Argentina was gonna swing on this and who wouldn’t?

The finances and organization of this fight were supposed to be quite different this time around after long time Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Floyd Mayweather announced their acrimonious departure from GB. Yet after playing Barclays in Brooklyn off the MGM Grand in Vegas, Mayweather decided to eat the lucrative crow and crawled back to Golden Boy as he’s done in the past for more of the same. His word has never been his bond, money is his bondage. Could it also be that Schaefer has reset in Haymon’s underground Vegas bunker to again pull the strings of the finances for this fight on a contract basis now?

Subterfuge may rule the day in any Mayweather promotion, but years from now after the fetid stains of marketing greed will have washed away, it will become more apparent just how financially orchestrated these many years at the MGM have been for Mayweather. Nine fights  over 7 years starting with a highly disputed split decision over Oscar de la Hoya before ending with two consecutive majority wins over Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana paying him out some $250 million, that’s a quarter billion in shorthand folks. The fight numbers and tepid fights vs the revenue numbers could never add up in previous generations, but then again this ain’t your great grandpappy’s generation with the US gu’mint printing money like there’s no tomorrow.

So, how does a rare Mayweather rematch go?

***I was finished with this part of the preview by the time the Nevada State Athletic Commission surprisingly announced the referee and judges well in advance, so I decided to leave it unedited as it shows the canned predictability of how making a Mayweather fight has been. Kenny Bayless was selected as ref with Dave Moretti of Las Vegas, Guido Cavalleri of Italy and John McKaie of New York the judges. Cavalleri is the wild card here***

***Maidana got a surprisingly equitable performance out of referee Tony Weeks who’s only sin was allowing Mayweather to keep Maidana locked up for extra precious seconds after ordering and attempting to break them. Weeks may never be invited back for another Mayweather fight, so look for his longtime concierge, Kenny Bayless, or alternately Robert Byrd, currently being groomed for the position after the infamous Joe Cortez retired. To wit: “But the referee had a bad night last time. We forgive him but this is going to be a much cleaner fight. None of those dirty rabbit punches or elbows.”

Mayweather’s preferred judges are Dave Moretti , Jerry Roth, and Burt A. Clements based on their wide Mayweather scoring and substantial appearances in all of his consecutive 7 years of MGM Grand events, so look for at least one or perhaps even all for his strategically important 10th straight Mexican Holiday MGM Grand fight also.***

In the first Maidana fight Mayweather was easily trapped on the ropes much like the Jose Luis Castillo and Oscar De La Hoya fights where he was faced with bigger, stronger opponents who went hard after him. Maidana is not naturally bigger or stronger than him though, but he is a prime aged unrepentant slugger who got on top early and smothered him in brutalizing punches that likely took away his legs early and fuzzed his thinking. I’d imagine Floyd won’t risk being “Bronerized” again and goes on the run for ye aulde stink and move routine similar to his Robert Guerrero style. Guerrero had beaten up his pal Andre Berto in a toe to toe classic that Mayweather wisely didn’t fancy to reprise.

Mayweather made a big stink about Maidana’s “dirty” fighting which is really rich given the dirty history of his own fights with regards to razor sharp elbows, hitting on the break and sucker punching moves that he has always been allowed. Against Canelo in the early going he introduced the patented Bernard Hopkins upperbutt and a rather amateurish form of lacing Canelo’s eye that resulted in Canelo being warned by Kenny Bayless, the typical fight template in the early rounds that keeps Mayweather opponents off balance as they have to worry more about the ref instead of fighting Mayweather.  Vic Drakulich recently DQed Diego Chavez as he was lacing the face of Brandon Rios in another Vegas fight if you want to see how stuff like that can work out in a more equitable environment.

With Mayweather’s style of twisting into pretzel like forms and often compressing himself illegally below the beltline, it was inevitable that some of Maidana’s  voluminous punches would stray low or behind the noggin since that’s where the target areas relocated for him to wing his punches at. Mayweather sometimes illegally shows his back when boxing defensively and turns his noggin away, so no wonder he got a few rabbits thrown his way. There were no point deductions for the infractions that Mayweather claims, so Tony Weeks amazingly gave Maidana a green light to go after Mayweather, after all, Maidana was considered a lowly 12-1 underdog and stood no chance according to Haymon News of the Ring World experts and the Mayweather nation. More interesting was the utter lack of protest after the draw was scored by a new Mayweather judge picked to replace the previous C.J. Ross draw score, Michael Pernick.

So for the 2nd fight in a row the judges failed to see the full measure of the wondrous wizardry of Floyd Mayweather as the self emasculated Mayweather nation may be withering on his PPV vine. Drunken punch monkey stats claim they landed about the same number of punches, but it’s self evident that Maidana punches much harder than Mayweather and he was throwing hundreds more punches that were “blocked” on shoulders and arms that Mayweather was credited with good defense for, yet probably couldn’t get out of bed the next day. Mayweather was pummeled as hard as Sugar Ray Leonard was in his first loss to Roberto Duran, but that fight was held in neutral Montreal, not on Leonard’s personal playgrounds where Duran could never cop that kind of decision.

The buffet grazing herd mentality of the “fighting” press was such that precious few gave Maidana much credit at all. I’m certainly no fan of Sugar Ray Leonard, but it was easy to see the incredible talent, heart, and desire he had before his first retirement and I’ve never seen anything close to that in the Mayweather career. My fighters of that era were Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and most especially the no quarter asked nor given Marvin Hagler who saved his savagery for inside the ring and civilized demeaner for outside the ring. I could witness awe inspiring greatness in the making in that era that I simply fail to see in Mayweather fights. We can however count the staggering sums of money he has claimed with a style that even his substantial fan base admit is boring, eking out spare tap-tap hometown scored incremental rounds one extra tap per round to his benefit.

Save for the substantial endurance needed to throw so many power punches, their last fight was one of the easiest Maidana fights for him as far as punishment taken and he will have an extra week to train this go round. Additionally he has sacked his physical trainer, Alex Ariza who’s philosophy of artificially swelling up his fighters after the weigh in with huge weight gains may have compromised the stamina of the small framed Maidana who is no great shakes as a physical specimen.

Ripped & Ready vs Rounded & Rowdy

Ripped & Ready vs Rounded & Rowdy

Sure, Mayweather has a superior defense and few look good against him because of his spoiling instincts and painstaking matchmaking, but conversely he could never win these hometown tap-tap type fights in Thailand where the 19 year old Manny Pacquiao utterly pulverized the highly regarded Chatchai Sasakul for his first title. Wladimir Klitschko only recently traveled to what is a literally the Ukrainian “enemy state” of Russia amidst their tragic border war to take on their undefeated champion Alexander Povetkin, an Olympic superheavyweight gold medalist who had never once been knocked off his feet, ama or pros. Wladimir blasted poor Povetkin to the canvas 4x and otherwise pounded and threw him around and down in a near shutout. Roy Jones may not have been an international fighter in his prime, but he fought brilliantly across the country in a host of venues, often dominating in his opponent’s home environs, but how quickly folks have forgotten that Roy Jones truly was self promoted and really did call his own shots to take his show to the people.

That Mayweather has offered to match Maidana’s entire purse in a bet over who wins the rematch is the last refuge of the unrepentant scoundrel by asking others to risk everything while he risks very little in return. He has always had unprecedented money and power backing his entire pro career, so we’ll see soon enough what transpires in this supposed Golden Boy reorganization that has already reverted in part back to the same ol’, same ol’ as before. Maidana trainer Robert Garcia called his bluff when he offered back a “winner take all” wager, a much riskier proposition that Mayweather ignored and rightly so if he wants his guaranteed purse.

Oh, and let us not forget the divine ruling from above passed on down to us peons by WBC El Presidente For Life Sulaiman Jr. The WBC welterweight and junior middleweight belts will be on the line as well as the WBA Superduper Welter title. There are no words to describe such infinite largess though perhaps the endowment of the WBC interim heavyweight belt might be a start, but let us the fans not get too greedy over these goodies that have been provided.

Whoops, almost slipped by that Mayweather has now been spotted working out with ex-Pacquiao and ex-Maidana trainer Alex Ariza who seems to be available these days as both mercenary trainer and informer as he floats on a fight to fight basis as his destiny intermingles with that of Mayweather’s.

In the middle of all this internal and external chaos, Mayweather was immediately granted his Nevada’s promoter’s license upon application with no background questions about his finances, criminal record, or alleged failed drug tests if you want to see how Nevada works for him. He was even praised for being a wonderful role model, I kid you not.

I don’t make this stuff up folks, “it” happens in Nevada all the time.

And speaking of it, Mayweather sure stirred up a big pot of it when he made his drug accusations and demanded Olympic drug testing for the rest of his fights that he has never actually undergone. Nor has he or any of his team ever addressed insider allegations of his own failed drug tests nor have they addressed why his own stable of fighters have failed the standard drug tests that he wants to abolish.

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

Will the Floyd Mayweather Jr legacy be further feathered out as Showtime nurses him along to the Rocky record of 49-0 or will Marcos Maidana be the straw that finally breaks the Mayweather jackpot? The highly protected undefeated touted fighters of the Team Mayweather stable have recently been spectacularly knocked out left and right as signs of decline seem to be lining up in the stars in advance of the Maidana rematch.

And perhaps prophetically thus spake TBE:

“Let me step back so y’all can check my swag. The diamond Gucci belt, it’s official. The Dita glasses, it’s official. The diamonds are always flawless. The style is always flashy. Check the Forbes list. It’s all about “Money May” all day. Let me step back so y’all can check my swag. Get your cameras out and take a picture!!! This is gonna be the last time y’all see a champion like this.”

The Best Ever prophecy?

 

Money Mayweather Picks Wings Off Amir Khan~Fights Marcos Maidana

The official Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Marcos Rene Maidana fight takes place Saturday, May 3rd at the MGM Grand. The irony of Mayweather previously retiring to avoid competitive rematches against Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton  at the MGM Grand only to return there again and again these past 7 years to fight Golden Boy promoted fighters is lost on the average fan, yet many gleefully set their watches to his once a year Mexican Holiday bouts, perhaps twice this year, a rare Mexican Holiday hallelujah moment for his fans.

Team Mayweather to wit: “… it’s a great feeling for Floyd to be able to get up, get out of his 20,000 square feet mansion, and drive a couple of miles down the road and to just come and pick up $30 or $40 million…”

The convoluted history of this bout was set up on Mayweather’s “official” twitter account where he ran a poll asking fans to vote between Marco Maidana and Amir Khan for his next fight promoted as “Who’s Got Next?”  Maidana quickly rang up an insurmountable lead that also included kopykat polls at ESPN, Fightnews, ect, but then the international Khan nation took to voting enmasse on the official Mayweather twitter poll and Maidana was “knocked out” by Khan who had already agreed to terms at the beginning of the year with a signed the contract. Meanwhile back at Haymon/Golden Boy headquarters, “Boxing Experts” at Ring also picked Khan over Maidana by 18-10 result, and my o my, it was like a giggle of brain surgeons picking their favorite porn star whilst operating at the local medical school amphitheatre the dialogue was so choice:

http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/317539-floyd-mayweather

Well???

Well???

 

If hay is for horses than Money is for Mayweather as he left not only the fans and aspiring challengers, but the future schedules of the entire combine of Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon dangling in the cruel gusts of MayweatherTwitter winds before boredom set in, so “Whats we gots do next?”

Why he and his one ton security squadron and select gofer buddies took an all expenses paid trip to South Africa in the wake of the passing of world legend Nelson Mandela. The top South African Poohbah lauded him as “the rose who grew from concrete” in a celebratory speech before Mayweather was asked what legacy he hoped to leave behind from this trip.

“A lot of fighters are looking at being the best. I’m looking at being the smartest outside the ring.”

Outside The Ring

Outside The Ring

“Everyone is gunning for me, from heavyweight down to 105.”

Of course when contract push came to shove, Mayweather promptly turned his back on the fans he was soliciting to pick Maidana to fight, his signature personal style of going back on his word as many opponents agreeing to his contract demands have discovered. Never mind that Maidana is Argentinian, certainly not the desired Mexican opponent for a Mexican holiday, bottom line is that Maidana comes cheaper than the egocentric, high maintenance British Khan. What Mayweather craves is the extra large percentage of the purse, probably around 95%.

Khan gets the consolation prize of Luis Collazo on the Mayweather/Maidana undercard. The tea leaves are predicting that winner gets Mayweather for his planned  September Mexican holiday, Diaz y Seis at the MGM Grand.

Floyd Mayweather vs Puerto Rican-American Luis Collazo anyone?

History will record whether the 37 year old Mayweather, currently 45-0, 26 KO, is able to shrug off the prime aged 30 year old Maidana to “match” the 46-0, 32 KO record of recently retired Joe Calzaghe. Here are notable undefeated records of other modern fighters for comparison starting with Super Joe:

http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=5364&cat=boxer

Samson Dutch Boy Gym of Thailand. 43-0, 36 KO with 36 defenses of World Boxing Federation superflyweight title:

http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=8222&cat=boxer

Sven Ottke, he of 36-0, 6 KO and 21 defenses of IBF super middleweight title with an additional 4 defenses of his WBA title added in the mix:

http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=7203&cat=boxer

Joe Mesi, 36-0, 29 KO:

http://www.boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=016554&cat=boxer

Deontay Wilder, 31-0, 31 KO, also of Golden Boy Promotions.

http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=7203&cat=boxer

Ali Raymi, pro debut at age 39,  20-0, 20 first round KOs, all against undefeated minimum weight fighters compiled inside the 2013 timeframe. No titles yet, but a boxrec #10 ranking:

http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=7203&cat=boxer

As to the fight itself, Mayweather goes in as a huge favorite in his cozy MGM Grand sleep over with the referee and judges working out of his corner. Maidana is used to being handcuffed against touted money fighters, yet he still managed to manhandle  Mayweather protege Adrian Broner who had referee Laurence Cole riding shotgun for him down the stretch in San Antone when they tried to tag team Maidana, tried being the operative failure of their objective. Still, many were surprised he won the decision against Broner who had been clearly outboxed and outworked before, yet always copped the unpopular decision.

Tony Weeks has become one of the regular rotation of 3rd man concierges assigned to make Mayweather feel comfortable during his MGM Grand forays, so what would be his likely style based on previous Golden Boy promoted fights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas?

Hows about we start with the Weeks’ pro style WWE bellyflop on poor old Joel Casamayor who had counterpunched the counterpunching JMMarquez into a draw on the cards before suffering the flash knockdown. That smartly moved JMM along to the big money Pac rematch much like Weeks prematurely stopping Afredo Angulo did for Canelo Alvarez though that could be rationalized as rescuing Angulo from from his one sided beating. Lucas Matthysse had a completely closed eye fight for the last 6 round against Danny Garcia that Weeks allowed to continue to the finish. Compare to Marcos Maidana completely shutting Morales eye into a sickening state early in the first round, yet Weeks allowed the favored past prime money fighter to take Maidana punches as Maidana grew progressively queasy at the damage he was doing to this all time Mexican legend. No merciful early stoppages there, but pitterpatting Mayweather has been making noises about needing knockouts to enhance his self esteem, so if anyone gets the early stoppage, well, Money talks so fine and Maidana will walk the line.

Another interesting by line is that trainer Robert Garcia is actually a contemporary of Mayweather, winning his superfeather title months before Floyd did before fighting undefeated Diego Corrales back when Corrales could still make the weight and Casamayor whom Mayweather never faced. This should be the first time Garcia in any role faces Mayweather, so I’m guessing his losing experiences against Freddie Roach in big Pacquiao fights makes this a more competitive match than the usual opponent training teams. We’ll see if Garcia can stand up to Weeks’ favoritism early in the fight. 

Maidana has been hooked up with Robert Garcia for his last few fights and by results they seem destined to be a perfect match. The newly motivated Maidana is getting the best sparring and ring advice of his career and it shows in improved footwork, punch selection, accuracy, and ringmanship not to mention conditioning. When added to his naturally instinctive awkward slugger style that Garcia looks to retain in him, Maidana spells more hurt, trouble, and menace in the ring than ever before in spite of the long odds against him.

And if those long odds weren’t enough, reports are that his purse may be detained pending settlement of a manager spat dating all the way back to 2004. OUCH, life ain’t never been easy outside boxing for Argentinian bad-asses, but there’s always the solace of the ring.

Well now, if any additional incentive is needed, the WBC is inaugarating it’s first ever vibrinium belt as the prize, whooo-hooo!

Brand Spanking New Vibranium Belt

Brand Spanking New Vibranium Belt

I kid you not:

http://news.boxrec.com/news/2014/mayweather-and-maidana-contest-vibranium-title

Ahem, on a more sober note, mo’ mum is still the word from Mayweather and his team concerning noted boxing author Thomas Hauser’s long standing drug testing allegations here:

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

Then the TMZ story where two contractors hired by Mayweather claimed to have been beaten within an inch of their lives and put into the hospital by Mayweather’s personal security behemoths. The two seemed to have smartly hired lawyers before leaking their story, seemingly to pursue the inevitable private settlements that Mayweather has been paying out of his monumental boxing purses when he’s not losing millions wagering on his favorite college or pro sports team.   The worse the screw turns on Mayweather, the more money he makes much like Mike Tyson was able to do post prison. Americans and perhaps now the world just love to see a good train wreck in breaking slow motion.

http://www.tmz.com/2014/03/12/floyd-mayweather-kidnapping-brutal-beating-suspected-jewelry-heist/

To top the outrage, a brand new boxing website, Boxaldia, came out with an article claiming the FBI is investigating Mayweather’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions for “fight fixing.” Could that be the reasons for GBP honcho Oscar de la Hoya’s repeated celebrity substance abuse rehabilitations? Add on Nevada State Athletic Commission stating they will no longer rubber stamps fights after Mayweather vs Alvarez brought their roofs crashing down over them, and could be we have a perfect storm brewing going into this fight.

Stir in some heat and venom from Top Rank honcho Bob Arum when he slammed MGM as a company struggling in debt while putting up giant Home of the Champion Floyd Mayweather banners for Top Rank’s big Pacquiao/Bradley promotion.  For sure The Fates are stirring up some kind of evil  mumbogumbo in boxing for devious purpose, but for whose purpose?

MGM Promo @ Pacquiao vs Bradley Fight

MGM Promo @ Pacquiao vs Bradley Fight

Permanent Home of Floyd Mayweather

Permanent Home of Floyd Mayweather

 

What’s really going on behind the ozzy curtains of Wizard Al Haymon’s stealth management empire that has secured the services of most of the name fighters operating in the US? Does Haymon have the Watson brothers’ feet stuck in the door as he looks to corner the market for on vibranium also? Has Marcos Maidana has arrived at this point in time like so many years ago when Joe Louis took on Max Schmeling and the Hitler global megalomania for the future survival of the free world? Can Maidana save our free world from future Haymon domination?

Stay tuned for the finale…only in Las Vegas…only at the MGM Grand…only on Mexican holidays…only on Showtime…and now only for you, the fans…

…well, maybe not Khan fans…

 

 

 

 

 

Marcos Maidana Tracks Down Adrian Broner

Looks like Marcos Maidana gets another shot at redemption against Adrien Broner at the Alamodome in San Antonio December 14th. Maidana has actually done quite well for himself after his torpid debut at welterweight against Devon Alexander last year. He is really a small framed junior welter, but he takes his orders from Golden Boy who wanted him in a more glamorous division where they needed quality name opponents, opponent being the operative word here. Maidana has been used in the non starring role against heavily hyped Golden Boy “stars.”

The Golden Boy promoted Maidana got off on the wrong track with  when he knocked out their Oscar de la Hoya heir apparent Victor Ortiz in a spectacular encounter. It didn’t help that competing manager contract disputes over his services soon combined with a terrible traffic tragedy in Argentina that made his services in the US problematic for a spell. He was then poorly served by unsporting officiating in the big name Amir Khan and Eric Morales debacles, yet onward he punched with a current 84% KO average, one of the highest in boxing in support of his 34-3 record.

Tubs & Lean

Tubs & Lean

Adrian Broner has been the heavily hyped Al Hayman fresh flash posterboy, yet now looking quite corpulent around his corpus, seemingly so “flush” as to “dump” $20 dollar bills during his potty sessions if his inflated ego video productions offer up any proof. After being touted as the next Floyd Mayweather Jr by the Hayman/Golden Boy combine, he’s been matched against an assortment of carefully selected featherweights, dwarfs, and feather dusters who have actually done quite well against his plodding defenseless version of the Floyd Mayweather shoulder roll. Now he goes against a true  slugger in Marcos Maidana who has knocked out the bigger, stronger, more talented Victor Ortiz and the tougher Josesito Lopez.

While only 24 years and still developing, Broner is still officially unblemished at 27-0, 22 KO, 81% knockout ratio. Most of those fights were at 130 or 135 divisions before completely jumping over the 140 division, now in his 2nd fight at 147. Likely he’ll never make 140 and why should have have to if the bigger money is in 147?

Yet ridiculously the Gimpy Ring ratings continue to rank him at both welter and lightweight and P4P, a total failure of logic other than being a rubber stamp for the Hayman/Golden Boy paymasters who have taken over the spare bones and mangy hide of what used to be a proud magazine in the days of Nat Fleischer.

Fortunately for Broner, Maidana is no Fancy Dan in the boxing department though he can box some when he has a mind to. Unfortunately for Broner the Maidana power is proven at higher weights. Broner has shown poor defense in his career, probably due to being in against little guys with little demonstrable power at those lighter weights. Hard to say if he can improve his defense, but on any fair playing field, Maidana must be salivating at the thought of an easy to hit plod forward style, a perfect stylistic match up for him, but that may be illusory.

The reason being that Maidana is seemly yet again “the opponent” if recent form of Hayman/Golden Boy fights follows script. They continue to prop up Broner and Amir Khan as stars for example against all evidence of their limitations with the hope they can maybe make a decent PPV with Floyd Mayweather Jr who doesn’t have any credible Golden Boy fighters left to dance with. No problem, this combine will manufacture cardboard cutouts for Mayweather to “fight.” 

Golden Boy has actually had some really great fights over the past few years, like James’ Kirkman against Carlos Molina and Angulo for example, but poor Kirkman can’t seem to stay out of trouble and jail. He’s recently been released from captivity, signed with his new 50 cent manager, and rushed on a ‘Top Rank card this weekend in Madison Square Garden, so strike him as savior for Hayman/Golden Boy when Mayweather retires. Keith Thurman has discipline and potential, but he’s been way underpromoted for whatever reason. Meanwhile the GB Argentinians, Matthyse and Maidana, they’re poor boys from a poor country, so they’re willing to brave the ring officials stacked against them, yet against the odds they somehow managed to make some the best fights in boxing.  And you wonder why they claim boxing is dying when the best, most exciting fan friendly fighters willing to fight anytime, anywhere get the short straw in what should be their biggest opportunities.

Perhaps there’s some hope in that the fight is in San Antonio which has a rich boxing tradition. San Antonio is where Manny Pacquiao burst into the spotlight in his demolition of P4P great Marcos Antonio Barrera not that many moons ago, but another era in the flash primes of typical fighters. The dubious Laurence Cole is the likely assigned ref, a dissertation of all his ring transgressions being the perfect submission for the ambitious business or a law grad. I should note his near flawless handling of his last fight I witnessed, the Alvarez vs Trout highly technical boxing match. He only made one mistake when he broke them up in the first round while they were in an exchange. He immediately recognized his error before laying back to enjoy one of the cleaner boxing exhibitions this year, so maybe there’s some hope for this fight since it could be a great slugfest if there is no interference..

We’ll be watching.

El Terrible Mismatch–Danny Garcia vs Eric Morales

The old Houston Astrodome, now named Reliant Arena, is the boxing venue March 24 when young phenom Danny Garcia challenges Mexican Legend Erik Morales.

By credentials alone, Danny Garcia wouldn’t even be in the same ballpark as Erik Morales, but such is not the way boxing works. Garcia is young and hungry and owns recent wins over Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt, so now he’s matched against the grizzled old Mexican warrior attempting one last go at glory.

The Heyday of Morales vs Barrera

The Heyday of Morales vs Barrera

Where to start trying to figure the meaning of a bout like this might begin with the ill advised comeback of 35 year old Erik Morales after retiring several years ago. He had been knocked out consecutively by the rapidly rising Manny Pacquaio and then outmuscled and outbrawled by then WBC champ David Diaz when he moved up to lightweight.

Look up Mexican Warrior in the dictionary and Erik Morales will be among the definitions, yet after a long and brutal career as one of boxing’s brightest stars, he just didn’t seem to have it any more. Complaints about ringing in his head caused some concern, so his retirement was a relief for all those interested in his well being.

El Terrible vs Hands of Steel

El Terrible vs Hands of Steel

His weight promptly blew up to an unrecognizable whale scale, so fans were still concerned about his health, but after 3 yrs on the banquet circuit he returned at a flabby 147 lbs to outpoint the forgettable Jose Alfaro. Gone was his timing and balance, but his strength of will to fight remained, so it was onward and upward to Willie “Hands of Steel” Limond and Francisco Lorenzo as he gamely boxed his way into a semblance of fighting shape in more forgettable fights. The Lorenzo fight saw him being well whipped and out of clues in spite of taking the unanimous decision.

El Golpe

El Golpe

Morales managed to go the distance in a terrible fight against Maidana who should have gotten the early stoppage. Morales’ right eye was closed in the 1st round by a vicious Maidana uppercut and he took a beating. Eventually Maidana realized he had a real tough fighter in front of him who wouldn’t go easily and lost his stomach for the sometimes cruel brutality of  boxing , so Morales promptly took advantage of the weakness and went after Maidana hard, thus giving his fans the support they had been waiting for.

Truth is, by the end of the fight Morales had something of the look of the young Eric Morales when he refused to buckle and stung Maidana with some well placed shots. Still, there was no reason at all to make him take an unholy beating like that, but some fighters just cannot leave gracefully.

Though he lost the bout, his name was back in the public eye and was floated in with potential bouts with Floyd Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Amir Khan. Instead the WBC maneuvered him into another forgettable bout against Pablo Cesar Cano for the title they had shamelessly stripped from undefeated champion Gary Bradley.

Danny Garcia vs Kendall Holt

Danny Garcia vs Kendall Holt

So now they call Morales a champion and he defends against a quick, prime boxer type in Danny “Swift” Garcia in what could be another ill advised 12 round war on the Morales body which just saw the bout delayed as Morales had some kidney stones removed.

The hope is that Morales is starting to physically look like a Mexican Warrior instead of the Tijuana Tamale he resembled at the start of his comeback, so the bout has the potential of a high action classic to it. It helps that Garcia is not the big puncher that can discourage Morales who will likely be the aggressor in this bout.

All I can say is the 23 year old Garcia best not take this version of Morales lightly if he wants to make any inroads in boxing. He wants to swap his 7th Ring rating against the 5th rating of the old man.

Maidana took a lot of flack for allowing Morales back into the fight after running out of gas and desire in the mid rounds. Morales knows he could be back in the business end of the next big fight against  Floyd Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Amir Khan with a resounding victory over the kid. 

No fighter ever had any more desire than Eric Morales, but is the kid smart enough, quick enough and in good enough condition to overcome that desire and ring experience? Their intertwined fates await the unraveling hour as the days and seconds tick down to the sounding of the first bell.

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.

The Tragedy–Marcos Maidana vs Erik Morales

Ring legend and Mexican favorite Erik Morales makes a most unfortunate return as a ring headliner Saturday, April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Words fail to properly communicate the true travesty and potential tragedy of such a bout against the deadly hitting Argentinean gunslinger, Marcos Maidana.

How this bout even got mooted to begin with is more than enough sociopathic manipulation to comprehend, but to get the bout actually sanctioned smacks of the long sordid history of boxing‘s worst ring moments rewritten and recast in the name of nothing more than greed and delusions of professionals who should know better.

It’s more the pity in that the undercard is a geniunely high level competitive set of bouts featuring two former champs, Robert Guerro and Michael Katsidis going after it for the interim WBO lightweight belt, and former champ Pauli Malignaggi further testing out the welterweight division against the other Cotto  brother, Jose Miguel Cotto, who is also looking for respect in a new division.

Better days for El Terrible

Better days for El Terrible

It would be a shame to see such solid matchmaking overwhelmed by a terrible tragedy, so I can only hope and pray that the disaster of Eric Morales is averted with a mercifully quick one punch KO by Maidana who is doubtless looking to do exactly that.

I won’t bore the public with a tiny tirade about the decline of the Eric Morales skillset and durability these past years. He retired in 2007 after a savage brawl against WBC lightweight champ David Diaz, claiming to be hearing ringing sounds as constant background noise, yet returned in 2010 claiming he wanted to be the first Mexican to win a title in 4 divisions.

Folks probably don’t recall that Morales turned pro as a tall skinny super bantamweight some 18 very long years ago in 1993. He’ll be 35 this year with 57 tough bouts and 387 hard rounds withdrawn as his credit line in the great bank of life.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to make the payments these days as the 40ish last minute replacement fighter Francisco Lorenzo showed him last time out, a bout that can only be described a WBC Christmas present to their lifelong WBC titlest, Morales. 

El Chino

El Chino

Maidana is one of the most feared, and I do mean feared punchers currently operating in boxing. It would be terrible for the future health of the tough as nails Morales to take the kind of punishment. Young Amir Khan has yet to show he can rebound after his recent slugfest against Maidana that saw “King”Khan out on his feet the last couple of rounds, yet held upright by his merciful “chamber ref in waiting,” Joe Cortez.

There is big money to be made on the backs of legends, and fairplay to Morales who apparently is still tough enough to make Juan Manuel Marquez back off their anticipated bout that would have been equally one sided from a technical point of view.

Maybe Marquez was feeling his own age and the effects of a tough bout against Michael Katsidis who knocked him down hard. Maidana, however, is still fresh and in his prime and suffers from no age related ailments.

Morales knew that Marquez also backed off a bout with Maidana, so he became the first in line for the opportunity, the brave warrior’s little dig at Marquez even if it means the last stand for Marquez. The fighting spirit of Erik Morales has always stood him in good steed, but this time there are serious health concerns, so I don’t feel like I am over dramatizing the debilitating aftereffects.

There is always the possibility of an unspoken gentleman’s agreement where Maidana wears the kid gloves and only looks to the judges to deliver him from the judgement of Fate, but having been jobbed most recently in the Khan bout, Maidana can be excused for his lack of charity if he goes after the old warrior hard.

Like the last Muhammad Ali bouts against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick, I will simply look away. No need to watch the beating of a dead horse.

It nevert had to end like this, but it always seems to happen against a certain class of great fighter who refuses to quit. Que lastima.