Tag Archives: ring

Little Man Mikey Garcia Fires Up For Big Man Errol Spence

T’is the silly season raining down upon us for 2019 when Little Man Mikey Garcia challenges Big Man Errol Spence Jr for a whole lot more than his IBF bauble in Jerry’s World@Cowboy Stadium, Texas this Saturday, March 16th. To paraphrase a noted American political leader best forgotten, “It’s the legacy, stupid!”

Note the planned pose here when a surprise presser announced this unexpected fight. Mikey being out in front enhances his size while also reducing the comparative size of Spence.

Could it be fortuitous for Mikey and Boxing to duck that fateful Ides of March day when Brutus was fatally stabbed in the back by young lean and hungry Cassius?

Or more probably piling on disastrous? After all, they will conduct the weighin on the Ides of March where Mikey officially debuts his SNAC enhanced body for the literati and illiterati alike to carefully inspect so as to further shape their odds of winning.

And, yes, I must confess that I remain skeptical of Mikey’s chances, but I must applaud his reach. “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?” Or perhaps “How sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet,” both courtesy of that great bard Robert Browning who was blessed with much wisdom before our times. Four division champ Mikey has been dancing around with lesser talents between lightweight and juniorwelterweight, but in both talent and size wise, the still untested  southpaw Spence would appear a bridge too far, or at least so say I in conjunction with most everyone who follows the sport.

My biggest regret of this fight is to see a super savvy family pro boxing team now headed by former champ Roberto Garcia spanning several decades of top level experience fall for the disgraced shaman of the notorious BALCO PEDs scandal, Victor Conte. The miscreant heads the physical training facility of the modern science of weight gains, strength, and speed enhanced with his VADA sponsored SNAC PEDs and high tech training routines, ie intermittent hypoxic training to simulate high-altitude conditions without the drawbacks of dangerous high-altitude climates. A hypoxicator mask pumps low levels of oxygen into Garcia’s lungs, literally starving him of oxygen before immersing him in yet another chamber infused with extra oxygen to rebuild him. There’s also the SNAC Dome, a huge structure capable of approximating altitudes as high as 20,000 feet for him to work out in. The idea is to artificially increase increase production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body.

Used to be athletes could steadily draw their own blood for storage, and then centrifuge a dense cluster out and inject their own blood back into their bodies, but athletes using their own blood is considered cheating, yet using VADA approved PEDs and a multimillion dollar facility to get the same is perfectly legal, I mean go figure how these modern scammers get away with this right in front of the public eye?

http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/26220284/how-mikey-garcia-overhauled-training-fight-thought-take

It’s sorta like, “When is cheating not cheating?”

Answer: When cheating laundered through Uncle Vic’s SNAC supplements and training program sad to say. Poor third world boys need not apply, but rock and movie stars are always a welcome bonus in the off hours, especially when they come bearing grrls…only in boxing!!!

Nuevo SNAC Mikey

Nuevo SNAC Mikey

Win, lose, or draw, Spence will be the loser in that it’s already been near etched in stone that he will win the fight in a dominant way. In the Ring Poll of experts though, Mikey got surprisingly strong results, 15 for Spence, mostly by KO, with 8 for Mikey, and one Draw. Spence probably got more money to go to England to dethrone Kell Brook for the IBF belt, and although this will be another stellar payday and his biggest exposure of his career, the average American will be wondering. “Why is Spence picking on a little guy?”

Answer: The little guy aggressively clamored for the challenge and brings the $$$$$$$$, so of course Spence has to take the money or look foolish for ducking the little tyke. On a P4P basis, they are oddly juxtaposed mirror images of each other in Ring and Boxrec P4P ratings with Spence being 10th and 7th respectively, and Mikey 7th and 10th.

Also interesting to note that Spence ain’t signed onto WBC’s clean boxing program that was alleged to be mandatory for champs and contenders, meaning that since he already owns the IBF belt, he falls into that gray area of WBC rules. According to Conte he’s got strict implementation of drug testing for Mikey who is signed on, but presumably Spence falls under a different set of rules, and none of this is what the boneheads in the media used to screech about when TUE 50-0 and Golden Boy first made false claims of wanting to do “Olympic Drug Testing” to clean up boxing, so this fight is not only highlighting their own ignorance of the science of drug testing, but that of the media and fans becoming so dumbed down these days they have to rely on illicit punch monkey stats to bolster their speculations.

An unknown to me, Derrick James, is the Spence trainer, so given the level of success they have had, he must be developing into a good trainer, but definitely as a larger team, Mikey has a massive advantage. I don’t know if Spence carries a physical trainer and nutritionist through his training camps to offset that Mikey advantage.

One of the better developments in boxing is the ongoing development of Ring’s new female wunderkind, Cynthia Conte, here interviewing the B side of this promotion in this youtube clip. She has a breathless, zany kind of disarming feminine charm to to draw out sometimes reticent fighters into the limelight for a good personality profile.

So, with Spence expected to win, just how does Mikey go about his craft to wrest the title from him?

I would suggest Mikey keep the action fast and furious inside to negate as much power as he can. He’s most open to being picked apart by power shots at distance. If he can aggressively make Spence move in reverse for some good punching space, that might look like Spence is running from the smaller fighter. Duran managed to carry a lead on the cards after 12 rds with Hagler that forced Marv into a furious rally the last 3 rds that pulled out that fight for him. Most were giving Duran no chance before the first bell, so sometimes the herding instinct in the boxing media to gather around the obvious can betray them. Yeah, on paper it’s all Spence, but Mikey ain’t gonna be reading no damn paper, so I don’t discount his chances no matter how slim they may look.

And 50,000 screaming yahoos bouncing off the roof in Jerry’s World may well have some say so too!!! This fight could well set the stage for more big stadium fights. 

How about some fun with some Mugshots? Spence looks like a lazy country boy ready to fall asleep on the job at the first lull, and Mikey looks like a serial killer destined for Death Row.

Regardless, both seem to have a high degree of respect for each other and for the art and the craft of boxing, so I expect no lowbrow monkey business between them at the weigh in, but of course the pressure dynamics of such a big fight as this may disrupt their tranquility for some unsavory outbursts, so we shall see.

We the people wish to pray for a fairly officiated boxing classic, so let’s see if our reach and their grasp can exceed that of the new boxing normal currently in derelict disarray to show us what God is for…

“Deyonce” Wilder Defends WBC Alabama Title against Bermane Stiverne

I wasn’t going to bother with this WBC farce, but the comedy value is just too temptingly great to pass up.

Yup, “Deyonce” Wilder Defends his WBC Alabamy Mudflats Title against Bermane Stiverne in Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, of all places, Saturday, November 4th. Expect the place to be heavily papered in free and reduced value tickets since he can’t draw more than a few flies in his home state of Alabama where he usually can be found fighting the latest TBA on short notice that Stiverne represents for a bag of peanuts and popcorn.

Yup, the WBC Alabamy belt represents the highest achievement of American heavyweights since his debut 9 years ago.

Oh, he’ll moan about phantom drug test failings, something that Stiverne himself is guilty of in the most incremental way of a fail possible when you understand that 90% of the American population couldn’t pass modern day drug testing including the kids who are so addled after being drugged up by modern docs and psychologists that the American culture is ready to implode yet again. So it ain’t like dear Deyonce is some kind of holy warrior only fighting clean fighters when in fact he’s been fighting guys who nominally failed drug tests like Stiverne who couldn’t make a top 20 ranking in Ring or Boxrec, but King can pay the WBC to make him a mandatory opponent in spite of the complete lack of accomplishments after he lost his title to Deyonce.

The 39 year old Stiverne is just a single fight above being retired after their last fight almost 3 years years ago, and that against a journeyman where he hardly distinguished himself. Let’s face it, at this stage of Don King boxing is just a hobby and Stiverne is perfect for him in that he’s about a lazy a ring presence as ever existed. Everything about his first fight with Deyonce stinks as most Don King fights do when Stiverne had to be admitted to a hospital afterward suffering from “severe dehydration”, a condition almost impossible to achieve in heavyweights from never needing to drop weight to make a division limit. Moreover, their fight like most are in climate controlled environments, and like most heavyweight bouts, their’s was slow paced because neither has ever in traditionally good shape because neither has ever aspired to fight the best in their division.

Stiverne turned pro in July 2005 and Deyonce in November of 2008, and allowing the typical 3 years of heavyweight development before fighting their first touted prospect or fringe contender types, Stiverne only shows two wins over former contender Chris Arreola in 2013-2014, 8 years AFTER his debut. Wilder made that jump in 2014 over former champ long past any credible ranking, Siarhoi Liakhovich in 2014, 6 years after his debut, and mostly fringe contenders since if even that. The Ring and Boxrec top ten heavyweights have never been targeted because in general those types of top 10 fighters tend to fight each other. Since both Stiverne and Wilder are basically fringe contender types who have made a decent living holding a corrupted WBC belt, their circle of fighters has been limited to the fringes.

This promises more of the same, and a well deserved pittance for an orchestrated heavyweight title fight for the WBC Alabama title. Deyonce has never fought much less beat a legit Ring or Boxrec top ten heavy. The list of top 10 names he has failed to even bother negotiations with would include a who’s who of top Ring and Boxrec contenders over the past 10 years since his debut that would only partially include:

RING:

Wladimir Klitschko
Vitali Klitschko
Ruslan Chagaev
Alexander Povetkin
Nikolay Valuev
Sultan Ibragimov
Samuel Peter
Oleg Maskaev
Juan Carlos Gomez
Alexander Dimitrenko
Eddie Chambers
David Haye
Denis Boytsov
Tony Thompson
Tomasz Adamek
Robert Helenius
Kubrat Pulev
Tyson Fury

Current BOXREC:

1 ➡ Anthony Joshua
2 ➡ Alexander Povetkin
3 ➡ Deontay Wilder
4 ⬆ 1 Luis Ortiz
5 ⬇1 Kubrat Pulev
6 ➡ Tony Bellew
7 ➡ Joseph Parker
8 ➡ Christian Hammer
9 ➡ Dillian Whyte
10 ➡ Adam Kownacki
11 ➡ Jarrell Miller
12 ⬆ 1 Dominic Breazeale
13 ⬆ 1 Malik Scott
14 ⬆ 1 Charles Martin
15 ⬆ 1 Andy Ruiz Jr
16 ⬆ 1 Johann Duhaupas
17 ⬇5 Lucas Browne
18 ➡ Eric Molina
19 ➡ Carlos Takam
20 ⬆ 1 David Haye

As you can see, he has at least fought and beat the current boxrec #13 and #18, hardly a Murderers Row in the Pantheon of all time feared heavyweights, and that’s it. Yet somehow in today’s heavyweight division where most fighters tend to avoid their fellow top ranked peers in the weakest heavyweight era in history, this 32 year old marshmallow has somehow wormed his way into a high Ring and Boxrec rating on dint of a long career @37-0, 36 KO where 3/4ths of his opponents weren’t above a 300th Boxrec rating.

As to the fight, I’d expect Stiverne to get hit plenty as he did last fight, but this time they’ll call for an early stoppage to save Deyonce for the only big fight of his career where he might clear $5 million, and that’s over in England against Anthony Joshua who’s the hottest thing going in boxing these days. Of course Stiverne could catch Deyonce as he did last time, only harder, but I expect no favors for him by the judges or the ref. Watch it and weep for the good ol’ days when men were men and American heavies the real champs with nobody to dispute them. 

Shock & Awe~Canelo vs Amir Khan

Now that seismic tsunami waves created by the Thunderclap announcement of Saul Alvarez vs Amir Khan have finally died out, here they’ll be on this Cinco de Mayo weekend to inaugurate the spanking brand new T-Mobile in Las Vegas @ 155lb catchweight, the new Caneloweight class. What comes next?

Back to 2015 for context: Fans of both Miguel Cotto and Canelo were highly disappointed over that light sparring match for the legendary WBC/Ring/Lineal middleweight title after expecting a well waged WAR for the ages given their usually fan friendly styles. Fans of Khan have been long disappointed over his lack of top ten opponents since being knocked out by Danny Garcia in 2012. Upon announcement of this fight, based upon expectations on paper, ie their records, Canelo knocks Khan out all day every day and twice on Sundays, and true, that may well come to pass, but Khan does have some upside on Canelo starting with nominally better handspeed and the kind of fleet running footspeed that could dampen Canelo’s offense. If Khan manages to survive the distance, then according to unwritten boxing code, that means he exceeded expectations, meaning he may cop the decision regardless how many might think Canelo won it in a landslide. Decisions, sometimes even knockouts these days, are too often a crapshoot in boxing. Who could ever really win or lose when boxing’s officiating/scoring rules are so backward, corrupt, and unenforceable that they literally create negative feedback from fans every other fight week? Especially grievous are when Al Haymon fighters are on the cards, and guess what, Khan is currently one of 200 fighters “advised” by Haymon.

The Money Fighter: This fight was designed for the 25 year old Canelo, 46-1-1, 32 KO, to secure a big payday before the Gennady Golovkin fight that we all hope we’ll see later this year. Although Canelo was brought up hard in the traditional Mexican way, he now occupies a rare high niche as the future of high level boxing along with the newly minted Brit Anthony Joshua. His critics have long moaned over his supposed favored status, but critics are always moaning about everyone and everything anyway, especially Canelo even when he fights top contenders. Now he enters into the main of his prime still huge in Mexico, yet still developing internationally, so enter Khan and the potential harvest of new British fans who may like what they see in their first viewing if Canelo seals the deal.

The Hype That Didn't Deliver

The Hype That Didn’t Deliver

The Wannabe Money Fighter: The now 29 year old Khan, 31-3, 19 KO, was the sorta money fighter for a while, but Golden Boy could only keep him propped up so long. After his setbacks, he disappeared from the mainstream, only surfacing during petty twitter nonsense. As a former Olympic Silver medalist, he had turned pro with a lucrative contract and guaranteed popularity until he started opening his mouth to repeatedly insert his foot. Then came the humiliating 54 second first round knockout at the explosive hands of Breidis Prescott. Devastated personally by such a brutal loss and subsequent derision by Brits who loved his cocky comeuppance, he soon fled the British Isles for a productive maturing phase to be trained by Freddie Roach, but seemed to be off mentally in the ring the few times he was matched up hard as if he never actually learned to actually fight and strategize other than going through basic boxing mechanics that put him further back of the pack with a couple more losses. Recently completing a succession of interim and vacant WBC silver titles, he now goes for one of the most prestigious titles ever, the Lineal/Ring/WBC middleweight title held by Canelo, a humongous step from where he’s ever been before, but as legendary English Poet Robert Browning once asked three centuries back, “if a man’s reach can’t extend beyond his grasp, then what’s a heaven for?”

Canelo vs Khan

Canelo vs Khan

Khan has the sort of flashy hand and foot speed with eye popping combinations to dazzle judges, yet the individual talents never added up for the expected whole package down to the mental letdowns and somewhat fragile chin. In contrast, Canelo turned pro as a 15 year old kid Julio Cesar Chavez style and worked his way up a very competitive Mexicano food chain to the point where his startling looks in an otherwise mostly mono physiotypical culture combined with his youth and fighting ability to make him a huge star. He’s not blessed with flashy physical attributes that wow the casual fan, but every physical and mental attribute that he needs in boxing he has in plenty enough abundance, sorta like an all around B+/A- student beating out all the honor students on college entrance examines and in the workforce. The sum of his individual talents have thus far proven greater than the expected whole.

It helps in the English speaking culture Canelo primarily operates out of these days that he doesn’t yet speak English very well, perhaps mitigating any potential “gotcha” stupid comments. The press takes great joy in baiting those unfamiliar with the dirty machinations of the media. Poor Khan in contrast, continues to step in one public mess after another because he does speak English and is not shy about expressing himself.

The Officiating: This being Las Vegas, you can bet your last dollar on it, the officiating is generally atrocious. Kenny Bayless is the assigned referee who most notably as far as Canelo is concerned, allowed TUE 49-0 to headbutt Canelo with impunity in the early stages of that fight as well as warning Canelo for a low tap he delivered to let TUE know he needed to release his simultaneous choke hold while lacing his face with the tape on his gloves, all while Bayless stood by pretending to be a statue until Canelo roused him from his stupor by issuing his love tap. So no love for Canelo by Bayless who would also appear to favor Haymon fighters. Judges are: Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Trowbridge and Glenn Feldman who is the only non Nevada resident of the bunch to make the officiating appear at least somewhat fair, yeah, right. Byrd is an horrific judge who favors light hitting/hard running American boxer types, an unholy alliance that has literally eliminated boxing as a traditional sport of combat and popularity. She seemingly would favor Khan, especially since he’s become an American trained, American based fighter. Trowbridge seems to be a low profile type on the right side of the scoring scale in the few big fights I used to establish context for him. Feldman operates normally in the northeast US, most recently in the Adrien Broner vs Ashley Theophane joke this April Fool’s 1st in Washington, DC, a place rife with specious officiating as one might expect from the seat of US government these days.

Bayless nets $4,150 as  the judges net $2,950 for the gig, but of course these are chump change figures released for the rubes. There is no telling what’s going on under the table behind the scenes.

So, stylistically, Khan has to implement an effective hit and run style to have any chance of surviving to win a decision. In contrast, Canelo is basically a well balanced fighter both on offense and defense who can pretty much do it all when needed. His style perhaps best described as counterpuncher/slugger against powerful fighters or a cautious boxer/counterpuncher in some of his less compelling fights against boxers where he concentrates on not making any mistakes, so in his fashion he boxes with boxers, and punches with punchers.

That would seem to indicate Canelo would box with Khan to put steady but careful pressure on him, making sure the public gets to see Khan running the extra mile in the ring to avoid contact. He surely knows he’s expected to knockout Khan and generally abhors disappointing his fans. Can he deliver this go round?

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin

 

Good Sport Updated~Ring Ratings vs Boxrec Ratings~Who You Got?

Well folks, the “boxing experts” who purport to know all about boxing so as to fill our empty noggins with their boxing “expertise” seem to be completely at odds with each other here. No surprises there since boxing is a sport with rules that “boxing experts” often ignore so as to benefit “the chosen” for personal gain or other purpose. Nobody can even say with any degree of certainty from fight to fight which biases the referee will show or how close or far apart the fight scores will be. And for whom? Naturally this is passed on in their ranking systems, in this example being in dire opposition to each other, a perfect draw in boxing terms, but is it really?

You can see some fun I previously had with Ring rankings here, utter hilarity distilled just for you:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/ratings-ring-ratings-good-sport/

Anyways, ahem, the current Ring P4Pers were elected by rather large committee circle of…”experts”…are thus:

  • 1. ROMAN GONZALEZ Record: 43-0-0 (37 KOs)
    Ranking:This Week: 1 | Last Week: 1 | Weeks On List: 68
    Title: RING, WBC flyweight
    2. Andre Ward Record: 28-0-0 (15 KOs)
    Ranking:This Week: 2 | Last Week: 2 | Weeks On List:
    No title
    3. Sergey Kovalev Record: 28-0-1 (25 KOs)
    Ranking:This Week: 3 | Last Week: 3 | Weeks On List: 28
    Title: WBO, IBF, WBA light heavyweight
    4. Gennady Golovkin Record: 33-0-0 (30 KOs)
    Ranking: This Week: 4 | Last Week: 4 | Weeks On List: 32
    Title:WBA middleweight
    5. Guillermo Rigondeaux Record: 15-0-0 (10 KOs)
    Ranking: This Week: 5 | Last Week: 5 | Weeks On List: 109
    Title: RING, WBO, WBA jr. featherweight
    6. Wladimir Klitschko Record: 64-3-0 (53 KOs)
    Ranking: This Week: 6 | Last Week: 6 | Weeks On List: 268
    Title: RING, IBF, WBO, WBA heavyweight
    7. Terence Crawford Record: 26-0-0 (18 KOs)
    Ranking: This Week: 7 | Last Week: 7 | Weeks On List: 21
    Title: WBO jr. welterweight
    8. Manny Pacquiao Record: 57-6-2 (38 KOs)
    Ranking: This Week: 8 | Last Week: 8 | Weeks On List: 617
    No title
    9. Shinsuke Yamanaka Record: 24-0-2 (17 KOs)
    Ranking: This Week: 9 | Last Week: 9 | Weeks On List: 19
    Title: WBC bantamweight

    10. Kell Brook Record: 35-0-0 (24 KOs)
    Ranking: This Week: 10 | Last Week: 10 | Weeks On List: 2  Title: IBF

    OK, now on to boxrec rankings for comparison. Boxrec uses computer accumulated points which are the first emboldened numbers to go along with each fighter record, the most unbiased rankings regardless of various human errors in assigning the points for various performance measures:

    1. Wladimir Klitschko Dr Steelhammer 1330 64-3 heavyweight

    2. Gennady Golovkin GGG 1078 33-0 middleweight

    3. Saul Alvarez Canelo 1075 45-1-1 super welterweight

    4. Sergey Kovalev Krusher 999 28-0-1 light heavyweight

    5. Manny Pacquiao Pac Man 913 57-6-2 welterweight

    6. Miguel Cotto Junito 887 40-4 middleweight

    7. Kell Brook Special K 863 35 0 0 29 welterweight

    8 Keith Thurman One Time 835 26 0 0 26 welterweight

    9 Erislandy Lara The American Dream 781 21-2-2 super welterweight

    10 Adonis Stevenson Superman 777 27-1 lightheavy

    11. Terence Crawford Bud 760 26-0 jr welterweight

    18. Andre Ward 637 Son of God 28-0 supermiddleweight

    23. Guillermo Rigondeaux 564 El Chacal 15-0  superbantamweight

    29. Roman Gonzalez 519 Chocolatito 43-0  Flyweight

    90. Shinsuke Yamanaka  342 24-0-2 Bantamweight

    OK, first most glaring contradiction in the two rating systems is Roman Gonzalez being first in Ring yet only 29th in Boxrec due to being in a lower weight class of a smaller population of fighters compared to the more populous larger divisions. In context to the way they do their rankings, the Boxrec #1 P4P female, Delfine Persoon who operates in the lightweight division with a population of only 115 total females, she has only accumulated 172 points in contrast to the Gonzalez 519 points with  a male flyweight population of 709. Cecilia Braekhus is the undefeated 27-0 female welter champ widely acclaimed, yet only 10th P4P due to an exceedingly low welter population of 37 females, so fighter population, ie competition, is important to Boxrec rankings.

    If we combine Choco’s two ratings and divide by two for an average, we’d get a 15th rank which seems appropriate even if he has proven to be a beast in his 3 divisions. He could continue to accumulate points in Boxrec to rise further, but let’s move on to other glaring abnormalities.

    Boxrec has Golovkin #2 which seems about right given a general public consensus that he should be #1, but Ring lists the inactive Andre Ward #2 in spite of his gross inactivity in the supermiddleweight division dating back at least 2 years. He also refuses to leave California except when he was forced one single time by the Super Six Tourney, yet he was still at home in New York against a true international fighter in Carl Froch. Boxrec rankings seem more justified in that regard as Ward, 18th, simply wants to sit on his hometown canned record like another American supposed great, TUE 49-0, did for 9 consecutive years.

    Ring has Kovalev and Golovkin ranked 3 and 4 to Boxrec’s Canelo and Kovalev as 3 and 4, so we have only a small measure of congruancy due to Canelo being unranked by Ring in spite of being previously ranked and only losing a majority decision to TUE 49-0, otherwise cleaning out the 154 division at 155lb catchweights as he built to the highly anticipated showdown with Miguel Cotto who is Boxrec ranked. Advantage Boxrec as the Haymon/Goldenboy News of the Ring world simply cannot justify not having Canelo somewhere at this point.

    TUE nose knows it!

    TUE nose knows it!

    Boxrec has Manny Pacquiao ranked 5th, but Ring has dropped him down to 8th in between untested Crawford and Yamanaka in spite of Manny holding the P4P records by a long shot for the most P4P fights, wins, and longest duration in their P4P ratings. We’re talkin’ spiteful Ring ignorance squared x 10 me thinks.

    Moving on, Ring has their former #2, Wlad Klitschko, mysteriously demoted to #6 in spite of starting to tie and break Joe Louis’ heavyweight records set 8 decades ago. Axe to grind? What more can any fighter do than that? He’s sandwiched between the unusually gunshy, barely tested Rigondeaux who hasn’t fought a Ring ranked fighter in two years, preferring to be knocked down by international type journeymen for chump change, and the inexperienced Crawford who is a very good fighter becoming great, but not yet. Wlad has more knockouts than their victories combined and near 5x their combined title wins. Such “boxing experts” represent a gross American bias against foreign greats who have been supplanting their own greats, further magnified by the pitiful dirth of American fighters these days, especially at the contender levels.

    Knocked Cold

    Knocked Cold

    So now we’re down to Ring’s Yamanaka and Brook ranked 9 and 10, so there’s some overlap with Boxrec who ranks Brook 6th, but Yamanaka only ranked 90th down to being inexperienced in a low population of fighters. Yamanaka would be 50th if we combined rankings, not bad, but hardly a P4P top 10. What were Ring’s “experts” ever thinking, or were they? To think or not to think must be the burning question raging inside empty noggins.

    In Boxrec lower 10, they have Miguel Cotto, Keith Thurman, Erislandy Lara, and Adonis Stevenson, none of whom Ring ranks. Cotto I can see because of his long excellence and competitive losses, but Thurman and Stevenson are still relatively unproven being held back by their sugardaddy, Al Haymon. The always running, too scared to fight, feather fisted Lara barely has twenty wins to go with two losses and two draws in terrible performances, but again, there’s not a lot to pick from. Crawford, Ward, Rigondeaux, Yamanaka are all out of Boxrec’s top ten. I could see Crawford and Gonzalez squeaking in based on their startling performances and anticipated years of peak performances.

    Gone is Gone

    Gone is Gone

    I say Boxrec rankings are considerably better, so there it is, the mystery meat of sports, boxing, being served up on the public platter for consumption…yum…who’s on first, no, wait, he’s on third, wait, which way is up and where’s my candy bar and envelope? Only in boxing.

Low Key Defense–Wladimir Klitschko vs Francesco Pianeta

Wladimir Klitschko defends his myriad collection of championship titles against Francesco Pianeta Saturday, May 4th at SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

On paper, it would seem Wlad is taking a breather against Pianeta, but any fighter measuring in at 6-5, 240lbs is hardly the kind of breather most folks would wish to have any part of. Pianeta has been near cracking the boxrec top ten rankings, and he’s a prime 29 yrs of age, and an undefeated southpaw, 28-0-1, 15 KOs. He has typical “names” on his record to lend respectability, decisions over former WBC champ Oliver McCall and former WBO champ Frans Botha, and a decision and a draw over former EBU/EU champs Matt Skelton and Albert Sosnowski.

Pianeta also has some history with Wlad as a sparring partner as typifies many title fights today, and then there’s the understated backdrop of his comeback from a very unusual cancer of the hand. He’s also a native born Italian living and fighting in Germany as befits any fighter serious about pursuing a heavyweight career, so he’s not quite your Daddy’s usual heavyweight contender.

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen

Speaking of history, Wlad has some real history to contemplate as he closes in on the Joe Louis record of 26 title wins and final record of 66-3. Wlad is currently at 20 title wins with a record of 59-3 after having already surpassed Louis’ knockouts by a 51 to 49 margin. Comparisons to the great Joe Louis stick in the craw of primarily American fans for whom the Russian Robots represent everything wrong with boxing, ignoring that the Klitschko brothers are genuinely Ukrainian, not Russian, and the only thing being wrong with boxing is that fat, spoilt Americans keep on falling behind the rest of the world. It is what it is, an American gag reflex to the current reality.

Facts are there are almost no truly dangerous contenders left for Wlad, so this defense suffices until up and coming contenders Tyson Fury and Kubrat Pulev gain a bit more experience. The WBA shadow champ Alexander Povetkin and his promoter have may have finally mustered up some courage after falling out of previous contracted fights when the Povetkin manager, Vlad Hryunov, put in an outrageous Russian backed $23 million purse bid to win the rights to promote their fight. October 31st is the projected date with the venue not yet chosen, but Russia probably with Moscow as the frontrunner. Wlad receives 75% and Povetkin takes 25% of the proceedings is how purse bids go.

Getting back to the Pianeta defense, many of the usual complainants to claim Pianeta is unworthy and has no chance, but at Wlad’s 37 year maturity with over 20 years of amateur and professional rounds accumulated in sparring and in bouts, lightning could strike to upset the best laid plans of mice and men, even the Wlad juggernaut. Pianeta is certainly big enough, strong enough, skilled enough and credentialed enough to beat up many contenders throughout the heavyweight history as well as versions of previous great champions upset by a huge underdog.

Wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last, so look in to see a bit of history in the making. Wlad seems to have signed a deal with HBO to broadcast the fight to American shores in the late afternoon hours as the battle takes place according to German evening hours, so plenty of Americans to have access this latest waltz round the German ballroom.

Montreal Shimmers As Pascal Glimmers, But Hopkins To Steal The Shine?

Jean Pascal is the latest shining star coming out of a golden era of Montreal fighters, and he means to risk all that glimmers against the aging ring legend, Bernard Hopkins, who can strip the shine off the Sun when his spoiling neurons are all firing in correct sequence.

The best action of this fight might well be the prefight quotes:

Hopkins:  “There is no magic trick to this. December 18 you are going to see me win this fight. Not just go the distance, but win by TKO or stoppage.”

Pascal: ”I went to high school and I had great grades. I went to college and I have my diploma. What I know about you is you’re dangerous and you’re deadly but you’re dirty. That’s three Ds, so you failed the class.”

For Hopkins the prize is becoming the oldest fighter, one month short of 46 years, to claim a stake to a major title with Pascal holding the WBC, IBO, and Ring belts with the glittering vacant WBC “Diamond” belt being tossed in for grabs as well.

Be a nice bounty of booty for the old man if he can pull it off, but the sad truth is that with respect for two notable exceptions, the old man hasn’t been all that for a fair number of years now. He’s coming off of a disgraceful travesty against Roy Jones and a torpid performance against Enrique Ornelas who at least managed to leverage his own loss to the ring legend into a title challenge to WBO supermiddleweight champ, Robert Stieglitz.

The notable exceptions where Hopkins wowed the boxing cogsnetti sufficiently to maintain himself in the always mysterious myriad of boxing rankings are a signature masterclass against middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik at a 170lb catchweight in 2008, and his lifting the Ring belts off an aging, bloated Antonio Tarver in 2006. He has steadfastly refused to face any of the legitimately ranked lightheavies in the division since he dethroned Tarver, and now he’s going against a prime aged one in Jean Pascal in the Lion’s own den.

Pretty Enough For Now

Pretty Enough For Now

Pascal is quite the surprising choice given that Hopkins turned down big money against Danny Green to fight a Roy Jones coming off a devastating 1st round knockout loss to Green. Hopkins may not be all that anymore, but he’s still got a cagey predator’s mind and he sees what I see, huge holes in Pascal’s style that can be exploited.

It also helps his risk/reward decision making process that this is about the last big money option left to him, and it fell into his lap, so why not?

Let’s take a look at the weaknesses of Pascal that Hopkins means to exploit, but first we should acknowledge Pascal’s strengths, that of being prime aged, durable, strong, quick and talented with a fiery fighter’s heart. In short, a handful for anyone in the ring.

In Pascal’s only loss against Carl Froch, he fought in bursts and became visibly fatigued as the fight progressed, lacking any consistency. Froch pulled away by fighting a steady, disciplined basic boxing plan that piled on the points at the end. That fight was closely contested as were his fights against Diaconu and Dawson, meaning that Pascal has yet to show any significant class that would vault him over his peers. Most recently, he was quite fortunate to get an opportune hometown Technical Decision ruling at a point where Dawson had Pascal hurt yet again and ready to go.

Pascal’s style of using great bursts of activity combined with his helter skelter ring movement and skittish jumping about that left him fatigued and off balance are all targets to be zeroed in on by Boxing Judo Grandmaster Hopkins. One could almost envision him orchestrating Pascal to leap through the ropes to bung up his previously dinged up shoulder on the arena floor ala Kermit “The Froggie” Cintron.

Hopkins means to use that shoulder injury and lack of balance as fulcrum points to yank his shoulder out during the inside fighting and pop his signature flash right hand to send the off balanced Pascal tumbling to the canvas for scoring knockdowns. Typically Hopkins slows the fight to his pace by use of the “walk-around”, getting the other fighter to follow him around which he controls by flash right hand counters and then resting on the ropes in the defensive mode, soaking up opponent energy.

Pascal will be forced by the home venue and the advanced age of Hopkins to be the aggressor, but it remains to be seen if he can fight a controlled, consistent fight plan with some nuance to offset the spoiling Hopkins tactics. It could be an easy fight with a good chance for a knockout such are his natural physical attributes over Hopkins, or it could be another classic Hopkins stinker, the choice is Pascal’s.

Hopkins has stated that he will knock out Pascal, but Hopkins ain’t the Archie Moore legend he fancies himself as, barely able to ding a bag of popcorn these days, so it would be a slap in the professional face of Pascal if he allows the old man to clown him.

Can Pasqual man up to the unenviable task ahead, or is he just another pretty boy sporting some shiny baubles for ol’ Gollum to steal from him?

Que sera, sera, what will be, will be, so we shall see what we shall see, que sera, sera…..

Wlad Klitschko vs Derek Chisora, Robbing the Cradle?

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See updated Fightnews link:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/klitschko-chisora-off-69636

Wlad is rightfully staying as busy as he can like his brother, Vitali, lining up as many challengers as their schedules will reasonably allow. So, for Wlad’s latest defense, he’s lined up Derek Del Boy Chisora for a December 11th defense at SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. 

 
 

Practicing Pirouettes

Practicing Pirouettes

 

Joe Louis famously took the busy route as he put up his heavyweight crown against a record number of contenders to let the people see the full measure of a great, undisputed heavyweight reign. The boxing writers of the day referred to this phase as his Bum of the Month Club, but looking back on that era, most were Ring ranked fighters at the time that he fought them.

It’s just that Louis knocked them out in such rapid succession, it followed that new names had to be dredged up to replace the knocked out old names, which made the new contenders seem less than they were to the boxing press.

Fast forward 70 yrs later and we have the great grandsons stocking this era’s boxing press whining about the poor state of the heavyweight division, an academic case in point refuting the theory of the advancement of evolution.

Nothing has changed!

This being the uber-modern 3rd millennium era where the various champions are often challenged to fight even twice a year, generally the fans appreciate when an active champion comes along. What has happened with the brothers is that Wlad and Vitali have by necessity split up Louis’ duties, dividing the belts and the fighters according to need. They will have fought 11x in the two year period since Vitali made his return to the ring before year’s end.

Like Louis, they have quickly exhausted the supply of ranked name fighters, so now it’s Wlad’s turn to select a heavyweight challenger that some claim is unqualified, Derek Chisora, 14-0, 10 KO. Chisora steadily crept up to a # 12 boxrec ranking and 10th by the WBO, so he certainly does hold some qualifications and also titles, the British and Commonwealth, even if he is unable to pass the sniff test of the usual long nosed suspects still shameless enough to pass themselves off as critics these days.

The BBC even went so far as to pen a piece proclaiming “Brave Chisora in too deep.

”Oh dear.

Yet nary a whimper when  game local domestic Rendall Munroe flew all the way over to Tokyo to take on a dominant Japanese champion with one punch knockout power. Must be OK when a happy little hard working binman takes a beating in beeb world one supposes, but let’s be worried about big, strong, unruly probationers now, eh?

Well, such are the misguided sensibilities of many in the newest blinkered era, and since it has been previously proven that boxing writers don’t evolve, but only breed successors, what’s say we skip past all the nonsense and break down the fight and the fighters?

You can check out the current consensus top 25 heavy contenders in a previous article addressing the “Klitschko dilemma” here. Not much has changed:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/the-heavyweight-dilemma-vitali-klitschko-vs-shannon-briggs/

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/the-battle-of-the-weakest-links/

Using historical context from the much acclaimed “Golden Era” of boxing as a base level of comparison, Muhammad Ali defended against Sir Henry Cooper who was the British, Commonwealth, and EBU heavyweight champion, the first two titles of which Chisora already holds. Cooper only sported a 33-11-1 record, hardly the kind of superior record modern boxing fans demand in fighters these days.

Ali followed that by defending against Brian London, 35-13, who had been beaten twice by Cooper for those titles. In his 2nd reign as heavyweight champ, Ali defended against Richard Dunn, 33-9, who also held a couple of those titles. Cooper and London were 32 yrs of age for those bouts, Dunn was 31 for his.

Derek Del Boy Chisora is undefeated and only a couple of weeks from turning 27 by fight night, the start of traditional peak years for athletes. Whatever ring experience he may lack, he’s certainly more qualified than a Pete Radamacher, he of the zer0 wins-zer0 losses-zer0 ties record, and Leon Spinks, 7-0-1 when they challenged Floyd Patterson and Ali for their undisputed titles as two more examples of heavyweight title history.

At a blocky 240 lbs, Chisora is 40 to 60 lbs stronger than any of the above mentioned Ali challengers were, which is exactly what is needed in modern 12 rd fights against supersized champions where knockdowns are scored and fights are often stopped quicker than in the past.

Speaking of stoppages: Unlike the 8 stoppages(Dunn), 5(London), and 5(Cooper) sported going into their Ali title challenges, Chisora has never been stopped as another point of comparison. This also happens to be Wlad’s 11th straight title match since 2006, so it becomes impossible to keep unplucked top ranked fighters propped in place at that pace of activity with his brother also picking from the rankings tree.

It may be heresy to suggest the obvious, but I’d reckon Chisora to knock out the above mentioned three brave British contenders at the point of their Ali title challenges, even if all were scheduled on the same night if he shows up as ready and fit as he was for the Sexton rematch if I fancied playing the silly card.

The good spin: Chisora’s promoter is the highly experienced Frank Warren who will make sure Chisora is properly prepared. All of Wlad’s belts would be a huge prize to take back to the Warren stable. Chisora is coming off a short but competitive fight in September, so he’s had plenty of time to recover and plenty of time for training that should see him in the condition of his prime life.

The bad spin: Wlad is coming off a dominant beating and knockout of Sam Peter, a championship fighter in the same size, shape, and approximate style of Chisora.

Chisora has something of a punch though, so if he can keep himself in the bout long enough to land it, he will have more of a puncher’s chance in this fight than many in the division would. Nobody has ever successfully outboxed Wlad, so power and stamina has proven to be the key to the few wins over him, that and the durability to soak up one of the most damaging offensive arsenals in history, certainly not a task for everyone.

Thing is, does Del Boy have the proper motivation?

He only turned to boxing as part to please a probation officer after a life of petty crime. After he gutted out the early stinging pain of the ring and started to rise through the ranks, he has scarcely availed himself of the sizable opportunities that come with being an acclaimed British heavyweight, preferring to land on the wrong side of the law and the British Board of Boxing Control, so it’s possible that he may lose the prize plum that fell into his lap, a challenge to the most heralded heavyweight champ of this era.

Hundreds of strong, talented heavyweight contenders through the eras have fought their guts out in the ring, yet never were granted such a stellar opportunity.

Chisora’s latest crime of tossing his “girlfriend” on the bed for a spanking would be good for some laughs with the bad lads he hangs out with but for the string of previous assaults on his record. The visage of a hulking professional boxer slapping down a petite lass at either end with his prize knock out mitts is not something the authorities can just blindly ignore in the face of such a long rap sheet.

Perhaps Chisora should look carefully at his own words in a recent interview:

“Let’s not kid each other. David doesn’t want to fight the Klitschkos. He hasn’t got a chance against them and he knows that. Haye is a good guy but he’s in the wrong sport. Let me fight Wladimir or Vitali. I ain’t scared.”

Can his promoters keep the young miscreant on a leash to keep him out of jail long enough to make it to the scratch line come fight night?

That’s how Mike Tyson finally came to be handled during his comeback from prison. He was given a minder who kept up with his every move, alerting the team when he was trying to scale the fences so he could be contained from yet another public assault charge until the fight could be completed and everyone got paid.

Wlad has gotten to be an old pro at finding emergency replacements after so many challengers have fallen out before the first bell sounded for various reasons, so he has a few names in training with contract terms agreed upon at this very moment hoping to hear the call for an opportunity of a life time if or when Chisora falls out.

The Consummate Pro @Training
The Consummate Pro @Training

Del Boy locked and loaded in the Klitschko breech. Time to Rumble pending countdown of the endless legal woes and suspensions of Chisora.

A dud or a live round?

Stay tuned on December 11th and all to be answered.