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May The Schwarz Be With You~Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz

The mercurial Irish rogue, Tyson Fury goes against Tom Schwarz this Saturday, June 15th @MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.

Schwartz is a fringe level Euro contender out of Germany who’s fought a grocery list of “Who’s Thats,” yet only just turned 25. He’s unproven and undefeated, so that makes him an unknown dangerous quantity. One never knows just how hungry he might be and what untapped genius that may be pulled out of nowhere for the first time in the middle of a tough fight.

Fury in this Wilder interim seems to have had a major “Fancy Dan” style makeover. No shirt, no shoes, and, most probably no underwear. Those little squares are classic boxing photos, perhaps a couple of thousand in a one off suit. Compare the long and lanky Fury to the blocky, thickly built Schwarz. And no, I don’t know the significance of the eye candy staged between them, but she’s got that smirking satisfied “look” to her.

The Stats Zone Tale of the Tape more than a little bit off on Fury’s boxing stance. Fury has fought strictly lefty in a few bouts and has been generously switching seamlessly from righty to lefty and back and forth for a few years now. Not sure if that is a real advantage for him other than it seems to suit his nature which is a good thing for a boxer to feel in the ring, maybe like Ali and his Ali shuffle. Fury is still fresh off an epic fight with Deontay Wilder in California where he was widely leading on all the cards before getting careless that resulted in Wilder dropping him twice, definitely a thriller as Tyson made a big impression on Americans even if the final result was a draw.

Schwartz is also a big, strong fella, so if he can fight some and has a punch, well, “It Happens.” Meanwhile here’s Tyson is looking like that snappy choirboy in Church choir, apparently the soloist singing in the “gravel” range with more tiny squares of classic boxing photos embedded in his suit. I’d guess he loves boxing.

Also noteworthy is that this will be Fury’s first fight with Bob Arum’s Top Rank in a reputed multi-fight deal. And apparently Fury’s old promoter, Frank Warren, will be a co-promoter as he has been part of the team in every press conference. Sonny Conto as part of Arum’s newly acquired heavyweight stable made his splashy debut early in 2019 also says he will be fighting on the undercard and has been a training partner for Fury in the lead up to this fight.

May The Schwarz Be With You!

 

 

 

Terence Crawford vs Viktor Postol

Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol each make his debut at MGM Grand, Las Vegas,  Saturday, July 23. This looks to be a WBC/WBO unification fight which is always good news not to mention that both of these guys are tops in their division, something of a rarity in boxing these days when a fight between the #1 and #2  happens, so lets hope boxing can continue to fight it’s way out of the stinking abyss it had sunk into circa last year.

WBO Terence Crawford vs WBC Viktor Postol

WBO Terence Crawford vs WBC Viktor Postol

Crawford recently got into some kind of bad funk with a mechanic doing some work on his classic car that resulted several pending criminal charges filed against him, perhaps emblematic of the pressures of being Top Ranks newest darling. While I don’t think the incident will be a factor in the outcome of the fight, he’ll be frustrated over all the questions about it for sure. May also have dragged down his hereto steady promotional rise for glory. Then again, he may gain promotional traction as American boxing’s newest bad boy. Certainly never hurt TUE 49-0 and his little buddy, Adrien Broner.

One thing is always a certainty, a great fight absolves a fighter of any previous sins, not that Crawford had really committed any serious sins yet. The gold standard of modern 140lb fights would be the classic wildman Aaron Pryor vs gentleman Alexis Arguello, definitely in the running for greatest ever fights that featured more high end boxing skills and adjustments displayed, ebb and flow of action, and vicious slugging than any single fight I’ve ever seen, finally concluding with a brutally, conclusive, concussive ending in the 14th round that left us in awe of what we just saw.

I doubt this fight can live up to that, but both these boys came up hard, poor, and hungry, so I’m expecting a hard traditional scrap as Crawford comes in with 3 straight KOs and Postal with 2 KO of his last 3 fights. One thing for sure, Arum is the best at developing his fighters with both learning bouts and the toughest bouts possible that this represents.

The 32 year old Ukrainian born and raised Postol is in the current mold of the ubiquitous “nameless/faceless” Eastern European washing up on US shores these days attempting to make a Gennady Golovkin or Sergey Kovalev type splash. Haven’t seen any of him save his dismantling of Lucas Martin Matthysse which is about as top shelf as it gets at 140 lbs these days. Listed at 5-11 with a near 74″ reach, he will loom over Crawford like he’s never been loomed over before. He seems to be an excellent technician with an all around kind of style that poses problems for anyone, but perhaps more importantly, Freddy Roach has been further sculpting him into a modern pro style, and more worrisome for Crawford, adding more power. Needless to say, the difference in trainer credentials between Freddie Roach and Crawford’s long time trainer, Brian McIntyre, more colloquially known as BoMac, is monumental. Certainly we can’t summarily dismiss BoMac’s thus far stellar credentials that seemingly have roots based on a long standing mutual commitment to Crawford, an inherent trust between the two that may well be more important in a tough fight than technical instruction.

The stakes have grown also with this being the 28 year old Crawford’s first PPV, not that I think he’ll pull in much more than 100K numbers, but I’m hoping to be surprised on that front since this is such a good bout that boxing fans need to get behind. Both are being mentioned as front runners for the Manny Pacquiao comeback, the jackpot of boxing

Postol vs Matthysse

Postol vs Matthysse

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is reportedly planning a supporting exhibition match between two alltime legends, Roberto Duran and Julio Cesar Chavez, to take place on the undercard. According to Arum, the two ring legends would face off in a two-round exhibition match wearing headgear and 16-ounce gloves. Duran last fought in 2001 and Chavez back in 2005, and although the timelines of their divisions never overlapped, they seemed to have developed an intense rivalry, meaning this might well turn out to be a really short war. Both have won over 100 career fights, but Duran is significantly older at age 65 compared to 54 year old Chavez. Perhaps more important, Duran looks to have lost at least 70 lbs of late, putting him at 180 or so, meaning with some training he might get down to 170 and will still be bigger than Chavez who seems to have stayed reasonably close to his fighting weight, say around 150 or so.

Legend vs Legend

Legend vs Legend

Hard to know how the big main event turns out since it seems more likely than not to go to a Las Vegas decision, ie another crapshoot that riles up the ever diminishing fan base of boxing to quit the sport. We can only hope for the officiating to operate at as near at an optimal level which will still be well short of the level top fighters operate at. The public has been clamoring for some time now for more consistent, fairly officiated fights. Sadly, fairness is too often lacking since officiating amounts to a part time job. Judges are stuck tabulating an outdated, bloated points system that totals up to 119-108 or 115-113 basketball type of scores that never reflect what actually happens in the ring.

While I see the fight as basically even, Vegas reportedly gives 6-1 odds on Crawford making a Postol bet a jackpot winner as they try to guide the bets into the best results for them which probably explains the problems with officiating as mentioned above.

Crawford and Postol both need more divisional rivals to fight to become true crossover stars with the public, but anything is possible when the time is ripe, and boxing is desperately ripe for a fresh all time great trilogy type of rivalry to be birthed with ever increasing stakes to be reaped. We can still dream, can’t we?

Al Haymon Makes Boxing Debut of Sorts~Keith Thurman vs Robert Guerrero

Well, Al Haymon did say he wanted to take over boxing, and he did utterly ravage what is now the wreckage of Golden Boy promotions, and he has set up a boxing network of sorts working with small promoters so he could secure the reported $20 million deal with NBC, and he did sign what is probably the largest population of fighters currently working today, nearing the 200 mark if media talk amounts to anything, so with all that big hoopla going into the March 7th WBA welterweight challenge of Keith Thurman by Robert Guerrero, what are the odds Al Haymon makes a public appearance before Howard Hughes slips in ahead of him?

Slim and none I would suspect, and speaking of suspect, the card was stocked three weeks in advance with referee Kenny Bayless and judges Adalaide Byrd, Dave Moretti and Jerry Roth at the MGM Floyd in Las Vegas if anyone needs directions. That’s an all star Floyd Mayweather line up of home stocked minders that not even he always rates. Such is the canned debut for the new NBC series which is a shame since Thurman and Guerrero have shown themselves to be first rate boxers with fighting hearts willing to leave it all in the ring.

Clearly Thurman is young, undefeated, and telegenic as opposed to Guerrero who has something of a bite the hand that feeds him reputation during his contract disputes with Goldenboy. Guerrero is the highly credentialed veteran here and has that advantage, thus the need for officiating that knows the bottom line in advance. American Boxing desperately needs a new Floyd Mayweather and Thurman is the chosen one. Oscar de la Hoya has been playing that game for ages, trying to replace himself as the golden cash cow, but his handpicked prospects with golden monikers never panned out just as boxing history shows that exceptional talents too often don’t translate into exceptional fighters.

Maybe Al Haymon has a change of heart from his last few years of tepid matchmaking since this bout has some high action and drama potential, but will boxing allow fair officiating? We’ll be watching.

 

To Be Or Not To Be Undefeated, Is That Really A Question?

To be, or not to be–that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or to take arms against a sea of troubles. And by opposing end them.

http://www.monologuearchive.com/s/shakespeare_001.html#zvRdClc6x7OyrpMg.99

In tribute to the most ballyhooed undefeated record of an active boxer since Julio Cesar Chavez ran his record out to 89-0, and perhaps with the gentle lassitude of centuries passing, a comparison to the first great undefeated boxing record, that of John L. Sullivan to that of Floyd Mayweather Jr might be instructive.

John L, The Boston Strong Boy

John L, The Boston Strong Boy

The Boston Strong Boy turned “modern” boxing on it’s nascent head by not only becoming the first recognized heavyweight champion under the new fangled Marquis of Queensbury rules, but he became boxing’s first “fully unified” champ of sorts when he also claimed the last remaining bare knuckle title claim under Revised London Prize Ring Rules in a memorable, a quite remarkable contrast of styles against Jake Kilrain down Mississippi way.

Sully was in the final days of his long standing dissipation from the ravages of a great fighter’s most formidable enemy, that of the gross excesses of wine, women, and song, unceasing calls carousing like sirens set loose in the night ensnaring those possessing such great fame and fortune as did Sully. He was only at age 30, a figure usually considered near the peak of most traditional sports, but not necessarily so in such a brutal sport of the era of boxing that he fought in.

Sirens singing their fatal calls for Ulysses

Sirens singing their fatal calls for Ulysses

John L reaped a fortuitous turn of The Luck of the Irish when impossibly he agreed to the spartan training regimen of the champion Greco-Roman wrestler and physical trainer of the era, William Muldoon, a son of Irish immigrants just like Sullivan who cut his own swath of considerable size and strength to match his advanced theories of physical cultivation that brooked no stick from any man. In short, he was the last man standing in the world that John L could respect enough to set aside his massive ego and pride to be ruled over those many months it took to cut out the fifty some odd pounds of flab and add the hard conditioning and strength that the 220 lb Sullivan commanded at his best.

William Muldoon

William Muldoon

Sullivan had already “unified” any of the standing claims to the Marquis of Queensbury gloved rules and really had no need for another bare knuckle unification added on to his own claims. The problem he shared with Floyd Mayweather was profligate spending that ultimately left him in needs of funds despite being literally a walking mint in his prime years, an estimated ring earnings of near one million dollars on top of his considerable touring exhibitions of boxing, plays, and other public appearances that likely exceeded his ring earnings.

Consider how staggering those figures were in the considerably deflated 19th century dollars where few American citizens earned more than a few hundred dollars every year, if even that.

Building the secret Mississippi venue

Building the secret Mississippi venue

Jake Kilrain was something of multi sport athlete, being both a champion sculler in his early days before turning to boxing and the considerable income brought in by being a claimant to the heavyweight bare knucks title. His style has some overlap with that of Mayweather, being a lithe 178 lbs against the considerably stronger, more powerful Sullivan, and of being a wrestler and clincher of considerable skill combined with a limited light tapping offensive arsenal operating out a running, contorting defense that went down upon the landing of any heavy or light blow landed by the soon to be frustrated Sullivan. Kilrain’s style was the practice of the defensive masters under LPRR rules.

Last Bare Knuckles Fight of Champions, Jake Kilrain vs John L Sullivan

Last Bare Knuckles Fight of Champions, Jake Kilrain vs John L Sullivan

The reigning consensus of the day was that Sully could not maintain his strength over distance much less in his current bloated, dissipated state, so imagine the Kilrain shock as Sullivan stripped down to reveal a Muldoon rejuvenated John L in better condition than ever. There were at least three dozen knockdowns and throwdowns or more of this contest that went 75 rounds, too many to count with most every one being the game Kilrain hitting the turf. He was successful in defensively extending out Sullivan beyond the point of no return, alas, to no avail by the end. Kilrain retired on his stool at the end of 75 rounds, pulverized beyond recognition after going far beyond any prudent notion of survival instincts, unable to do more than lift a pinky to wipe his bloodied face while drawing painful breaths.

Sullivan was undefeated under Queensbury rules, an amazing 38-0, 32 KO record of what would prove to be one of the highest knockout ratios in boxing history at 84%.  He was also undefeated under his dozen or more bareknuck fights with many more savage knockouts. He promptly sauntered forth on a greatly renown tour to be feted by his fans, yet still savaged by his enemies who had long spared no expense with full page challenges of his reputation of being an intemperate, bull necked, drunken brute of a bully. Sullivan did not have to return to the ring some 3 years later in a such a poorly trained corpulent  state to go against his former sparring partner and touring buddy, James J. Corbett. They had conducted a boxing exhibition in formal dress attire when the cocky, youthful manner of Corbett became the final challenge to the fierce pride of Sullivan.

So Sully ultimately went out on his shield, finally giving satisfaction to his vehement critics, but not before 21 hard rounds against a lithe boxer and mover in his prime. Noteworth was that Corbett was also considerably bigger and stronger than Kilrain with more offensive nuance at his disposal.

Fast>>forward 123 amazing years later spanning three centuries and here we are again in 2015 with Floyd Mayweather currently standing at 47-0, 28 KO after having finally rising to the top of the monied food chain of boxing. He rakes in more than his fair share of the billions, sometimes trillions the US government issues in printed money and debt every year. Where does boxing and Mayweather go from here?

He has more in common with James J. Corbett who was 9-0-2, 3 KO than he has with the powerful John L who was the proto undefeated Mike Tyson of his day. Corbett had also had defeated the unbeaten under Queensbury rules version Jake Kilrain who was also closer to Mayweather than to Sullivan. Kilrain was 19-0-9, 12 KO coming off his grueling bareknuckled beating by Sullivan the year before going into the Corbett 6 rounder which can hardly be seen as significant given the light nature of the fight.

Kilrain would log several more wins culminating with his last significant win in a fight to the finish under Queensbury rules against era black contender George “Old Chocolate” Godfrey. It was recorded as a thrilling contest of skill until Godfrey landed face first in a pile of straw after having been knocked out of the ring after 44 rounds.

Unlike Mayweather, Sullivan fought all across the country, taking the fight to the people wherever it could be arranged in those “illegal days” when boxers had to dodge the authorities as much as they did punches. He even traveled to Great Britain and France because that’s where the money and the challenges were.

Floyd Mayweather is obligated to fulfill his last two fights under his Showtime contract. He will be in his 8th straight year of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, almost half of his career and all of his most acclaimed period of a fighter. No fighter in history has ever been so confined, coddled, swaddled, and rewarded in such a single venue, there is no precedent. He will be looking more and more like an aging, shopworn 38 years of age if his last two fights against Marcos Maidana are any indicator. The emasculated Mayweather nation can blow their smoke up his keister ’til Gabriel blows his horn in the end times, but the plain truth is that Mayweather didn’t fight his main rivals during their prime years, most especially Manny Pacquiao, a fight that will continue to be floated to the public by the press in fruitless efforts 6 years after it’s primacy has passed.

In short, he will not have any “signature fights” of note to be remembered by. It’s his money, his many “retirements, and his hometown venue that will  that stand out as his legacy when future historians rate him. We can only judge in our days where he manages to cover much of the full range of the spectrum from a so, so great to the best ever, but we have no final word as ratings of boxers goes up and down all through history with every new generation.

There are near some 50 fighters of any note who retired with undefeated records, most not being HOF fighters and none making the International Boxing Research Organization, IBRO, their historical rankings of P4P top 20 fighters. Such is a perspective to consider as Mayweather and his here today, gone tomorrow bandwagon fans proclaim him The Best Ever.

http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/Category:Undefeated_Boxers

Retirement is near and beckoning while the siren sings the eternal song of mo’ money, Mo’ Money, Lot’s MO’ MONEY We Gots Next!   We’ll see how that all works out for him come 2015 after a long rest from his recent “grueling” schedule of 2 Mexican Holiday fights at the MGM Grand per year with two more TBAs in the queue waiting, waiting…forever waiting….until…..and……?  

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?

 

Boxing Enters Dead Zone Until July~Say Bye Bye To Swiss Pie, Richard Schaefer.

 Boxing officially enters a summer “dead zone” with the recent completion of Miguel Cotto’s signature win over Sergio Martinez. Certainly the hard core fan can still see plenty of good fights featuring top fighters most every week, but there are no more “Big” Fights” until July. That’s when Canelo Alvarez fights Erislady Lara in an exploratory Vegas MGM Grand PPV and Tyson Fury rematches Derek Chisora in a big stadium fight to be held in Manchester, England. Often the general fan’s schedule is unable to make time for these summertime blues “dead zone” fights, and I won’t be writing about them, so the question gets begged before the stifling summer ennui sets in: What of Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer’s recent adversarial departure from his long time gig at Golden Boy? Alvarez vs Lara was his last creation as it were and he won’t be around to massage the final details.

Oh for sure, the “boxing expert” world is agaga over what the impact will be not to mention all the anti-social media monkeys over flowing their shorts with competing befouled projectile offerings of what the former Swiss Banker Schaefer and the rest of his boxing crew does next.

Myself? Neither boxing expert, boxing insider, nor fly on the wall of Richard Schaefer am I, but I can guarantee a big shakeup in the boxing world that’s been a long time coming. This arcane 17th century sport looks to be setting up a scramble for big international dollars as boxing is being developed in the Asian markets as it wanes in the American market. The European market seems to be holding with the Brits and Germans hanging in there as Russia is gaining traction to pull even with them.

So Golden Boy is conclusively split up with Floyd Mayweather Jr also announcing he’s exiting the ranks. And mum’s always the password at the Al Haymon underground boxing works buried somewhere deep down in a former Howard Hughes bunker in Las Vegas, still stocked with thousands of rows of kleenex box slippers ready to be shuffled around in me thinks. Schaefer has given no indication of what capacity he might continue in boxing, but if he does he will have to start from scratch and get to working with as many promoters not named Golden Boy or Top Rank if he is to continue his adversarial relations with Oscar de la Hoya and Bob Arum even as he is still a shareholder in Golden Boy.

Bad Marriage

Bad Marriage

 

 

And where do the Showtime contractual obligations land?

Another sticking point is the many Golden Boy fighters also signed with Al Haymon. Word is many of those fighters don’t actually have a contract with Golden Boy and may no longer be promoted by them, not the least of which is Floyd Mayweather who has his big Mexican Holiday set for his 10th consecutive appearance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for September 13th. That would be vs TBA, of course with a TBA vs TBA supporting undercard. Sticky Mayweather negotiations are typically settled at the last minute, but now they may be stickier and more unsettled than usual. His promotional company supposedly lacks a license to officially do business, but no problems when he was aligned with Golden Boy. Just slap his logo up on all the promotional banners and and reap the extra profits.

The Logo

The Logo

Somebody somewhere running some connected responsible promotional entity has to come up with those monstrous 30 and 40 million dollar guarantees that Mayweather has enjoyed, but by whom and by what means will that be accomplished?

Stay tuned for the gold rush crush as everyone and his aunt and sister stake a claim as lawsuits whizz by like bullets in an OK Corral Shootout. It may not be pretty, but sure as shootin’, “It’s Boxing!”

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…

 

 

 

 

 

Finally~Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley~The Rematch

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley finally have a their big rematch come Saturday, April 12th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as they look to assauge their wounded pride from their fateful encounter almost two years before. Then n’er do well boxing gods, ring officials, and fans conspired against both of them in one of the biggest controversies of the new millennium.

Grrls In Support

Grrls In Support

Unfortunately, big boxing controversies are becoming a dime a dozen these days to be quickly buried under a never ending avalanche of new controversies, yet some of us still remember. Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum called for an investigation of himself to wash away the stench as the WBO reviewed the fight and concluded that Pacquiao had won a wide decision, not that it mattered one whit to the Nevada honchos who run Vegas boxing events.

This time around there is a new commish and new director in Nevada courtesy of yet another controversy over the scoring of the Saul Alvarez/Floyd Mayweather fight that didn’t even affect the final result for the fighters. Their “new and improved” mantra is that they will no longer be “rubber stamping” fights as they admitted to in the past.

Golly gee, and who to thank now?

Whatever. We know leopards don’t change their spots and boxing remains the only pro sport I can think of where the outcome is so uncertain and irregular than nobody in authority can make a good case as to who deserves to win in many of the matches because the rules are so poorly enforced and subjectively written. Just fill in some blabber with a jigger of opinion and a shot of balderdash before staggering on to the next round of controversial fights.

Boxing as currently scored has about 90% useless padded points added that make the results read like a typical basketball shootout of 100+ goals being scored, yet is actually ass backward one spare point at the time penalty oriented that defines the loser rather than the winner. Sometimes scores are even recalculated after the announced results PO some Big Shot who pulls rank.

Add on all the even rounds that boxing ignores by insisting judges pick the loser of every round no matter how poor the fighters looked or how mightily contested the round was, and it doesn’t matter how many think a fighter may have won or not. Boxing can fill in the result to fit their hidden agenda any time they want just like contract terms of the ring conditions such as ring size, surface, gloves, rehydration limits, ect are almost always hidden from the public view like a pea in a 3 shell monte game.

In that respect, I must applaud the WBC requirements for open scoring where ongoing scores are revealed in the 4th and 8th rounds of championship fights before final results are announced. That recently helped keep the hometown judging of Tony Thompson vs Odlanier Solis on a leash as compared to previously announced results of an undercard split decision where the scores were never revealed at all. The scoring and the judges may still be questionable as in the recent Danny Garcia/Mauricio Herrera controversy, but at least the fighters and fans have a sense of transparency that they never had before.

That’s a better start than incomprehensible half point nonsense or placing judges on pretentious pedestals looking down their noses on the fighters that boxing has been making noises about implementing. Yeah, right, and how about let’s put the ref in a clown suit and the judges in black robes and powdered wigs too while the promoter grinds his organ for their monkey dances?

Of course Bradley was rightly miffed at the official snub of his hard fought victory and grabbed all his marbles to go home to nurse his injuries while pondering the misanthropic death threats against him for the rest of the year and into the new year. He was finally coaxed out by Top Rank into fighting Ruslan Provodnikov and then baited by Freddie Roach into fighting toe to toe with the vicious punching Siberian Bear, almost a fatal mistake since Bradley got rung up hard and often, barely scraping himself off the canvas in the first and 12th rounds to hear the final bell for yet another disputed though exciting win. That fight was chosen as Ring Fight of the Year and led to the match against Juan Manuel Marquez, a weepingly dreary fight as Bradley put his defense on the back foot to make the 40 year old plodding counterpuncher trail him around the ring trying to force the action. The close split decision resulted in yet another dispute where Marquez claimed to have been robbed, his own personal mantra these days since nobody has yet been able to knock him out, not that knockouts have any more credibility than scoring these days either, but I regress.

All the while Manny Pacquiao was taking a well earned rest at home after a long boxing career and new congressional duties have left him in a precarious state, a state of recovery after being KTFO by Marquez in their fourth installment of what will be known as the greatest modern boxing series of the millennium for many long decades me thinks. Top Rank honcho Bob Arum has been trying to build up their frenzied 5th fight by making noises about staging it in the biggest Mexican bullring in the country with more than 100,000 spectators. There’s also the fallback to trusty MGM Grand or the vast Cowboy Stadium as capable of staging such a lucrative spectacle so as to lure the reluctant Marquez back into the breech of boxing history.

Crazed Filipino Media In Manny Heaven

Crazed Filipino Media In Manny Heaven

The unvarnished truth going into this upcoming bout is that both the 30 year old Bradley and 35 year old Pacquiao have been damaged and are not the same fighters as before. Bradley is no longer that awkward, leg driven irrepressible energizer bunny and Pacquiao is no longer the invincible Pacman gobbling up all who stand before him, but they can still both fight if need be and fight hard they surely will for the respect and acclaim both have lost through no fault of their own. Their first fight was an intense conflict of physical styles and test of mental wills with matching speed for at least the first 9 rounds, but then they ran out of steam. They ended up posing their way to the final bell before relying upon the unreliable crap shoot of judging.

Bradley reportedly fractured his left foot and sprained his right foot in that fight before being brought into the post fight presser in a wheelchair. He has since moved to a more traditional upright defensive style to cover for those leg injuries. After finally returning to the ring at end of 2013, Pacquiao scored a lopsided win over Brandon Rios in Macao, but he was definitely a bit gun shy and chose to box mostly. Bradley doesn’t hit as hard as Rios and Marquez and has his own chin issues with no best use of his legs as backup this time around, so I expect more overall offensive action as Pacquiao should be able to press him to force a fight instead of having to chase him around.

This may well be the best bout by the official rankings as can be made this year and could end up a shootout given the contrasting strengths and vulnerabilities of the fighters. Major props for the combatants in putting aside wounded pride and getting the rematch made. There were mixed announcements as to whether the drug testing was to be by the competing VADA or USADA cartels, but you can be certain results are all funneled through the NSAC.

Can “boxing” can keep it’s sticky fingers from lousing up the results again? We’re watching and we don’t forget.

Alfredo Angulo Seeks The Truth About Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez returns to the scene of the crime at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 8 to fight a very dangerous big punching Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo.

Alvarez was last seen tethered to a stake in the ring for the ever skulking capricious jackals of boxing when his “promoter” of record, Oscar de la Hoya, needed to hide away at a celebrity drug rehab clinic so as to be removed from the final manipulations of the catchweight Alvarez fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The overall performance was the usual canned rinse and repeat Mexican Holiday sleepwalk at the MGM Grand that Mayweather has reprised like an annual Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Day appearance for the last 7 years now. 

The annual rinse and repeat spectacle

The annual rinse and repeat spectacle

Alvarez was easily “guided” by referee Kenny Bayless after repeated warnings into boxing with the notoriously slow paced defensive Mayweather resulting in a nondramatic duck and peck majority decision. The resultant stinkbomb created by emasculated Mayweather fans when they couldn’t collect their canned rinse and repeat bets made on a Mayweather unanimous decision quickly engulfed the Nevada fat cat boxing establishment to choke them out. Fast forward and they say it’s a new dawn down at the Nevada State Athletic Commission with a new commish, director, and presumably other turnovers so as to no longer “rubber stamp” boxing matches that they have admitted to doing in the past.

“Their words,” not mine. No need for me to make this stuff up when boxing is a gold mine of the “stuff.”

Alvarez would seem to be thrown to the wolves again in this SHOWTIME PPV® promotion against the WBA 7th ranked Angulo who is otherwise unranked by Ring with only a 30th Boxrec ranking. With all respect to Angulo who is considerably more dangerous and capable than his slight 22-3 record shows on paper, this should not be a PPV promotion and likely does poor numbers unless Alvarez truly is a one off media phenom at age 23. I see a PPV baby unfavorably compared against the grizzled PPV kings Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao who have millions of PPVs sold over many years.

Nonetheless, the unwashed public can’t get too weepy over the cinnamon whiz kid who made a $12 million guarantee plus residuals in his last encounter that he took a lot of stick for. Angulo for his part is guaranteed to start like a bad joke delivered with a killer punchline when the bell rings. He’s also a fellow Mexican fighter like Alvarez, but that’s where the comparison ends. Angulo started his pro career with modest acclaim as an undefeated former Mexican Olympian and developing knockout artist, but The Fates did him no favors in his losses. He was deathly sick with the flu against Kermit Cintron in what was meant to be his breakout fight. He refused to call off the bout and took the expected loss when he had no zip in his feet or oomph to his punches. He rebuilt with 4 straight knockouts against solid contenders before being detained on the US border for most of a year in a ham handed Homeland Security snafu. After being released he was rushed into a fight against fellow slugger James Kirkland who himself had been released from the clink earlier in the year, but at least with the chance to whip himself back into shape with 5 quick fights before they met. The result was an epic encounter of concussive savagery that left both fighters terribly battered and the poorly trained Angulo beaten down when the smoke and debris finally cleared. In his last loss to Erislandy Lara, Angulo had put him down hard twice with a favorable end in sight before his left eye mysteriously blew up and he had to turn away in pain. The stoppage was an horrific result for a fighter who gives it his all in every fight like Angulo does.

Alvarez has always been able to make adjustments, even in the Mayweather fight that saw him taking some of the last rounds as he stalked Mayweather around the ring, but he has never faced this type of raw power, strength, and pressure as Angulo has. Angulo has always made a good fight, so maybe that’s what the PPV honchos were thinkin’ when they were sitting around drinkin’ up this PPV disaster, that at least the fight would be a great one even if the PPV numbers didn’t deliver.

Regardless, the supporting bouts are weak with no star power though they are credible matches of ranked contender/champ types. Noteworthy is Canelo’s 32 year old brother and fringe lightweight contender Ricardo Alvarez seems to be overmatched against a sharp looking undefeated knockout phenom out of Weslaco, Texas, Omar Figueroa. Not a fan of putting brothers on the same card in a critical match such as this since a brutal loss can negatively impact the brother who follows.  Perhaps the saving grace is that Canelo has been in against stronger grown men all through his teenage years with a reported 100 unofficial Mexican fights added to his 44 official fights, so maybe his constitution is stronger than he is credited with.

As it turns, that bullet was dodged when Omar Figueroa suffered a wrist injury and scratched himself from the card. Maybe Ricardo Alvarez has a chance against the replacement if he fights at all since I don’t see him listed on the card any more.

Bottom line, this is a deadly serious gut check fight between Alfredo Angulo and Canelo Alvarez, a real shame that there will have to be a loser, but such is the life of fan friendly Mexican fighters from time to time, and now their time lies in wait…..waiting, waiting, always waiting for the inevitable.

Combatants in good cheer

Combatants in good cheer