Tag Archives: roc nation

The Ward of Oakland, Andre vs Sullivan Barrera Tonite

The Ward of Oakland and self proclaimed Son of God managed make it to the weigh in of his scheduled bout against Sullivan Barrera without injury, but can he make it to the scratch line and beat a legit lightheavyweight tonite at the Oracle on Oakland? 

Nobody really knows since Andre Ward tried his damnedest to wriggle out of this fight, denying the match repeatedly over twitter in spite of Barrera and his manager possessing the contract for the fight signed, sealed, and delivered. Ward may look like he lost his way in boxing, but that didn’t prevent the bookies from making him a huge favorite, so what are they seeing?

Ward: We ain't fighting buddy. Sullivan: It's on. Beware, I'll be there.

Ward: Ain’t fighting you Buddy….Sullivan: Beware. I’ll be there.

The venue, Oakland, always Oakland these days, of course. Ward has all the advantages of hand picked refs and judges ready to mug Barrera who is a relatively unproven fighter thus far, so nobody wants to go against such a blatant canned hunt setup for Ward. My guess is his promoter, Roc Nation, will have to dynamite him out of Oakland into a big venue and big fight to recoup losses since Ward’s signing, this representing the first step towards that goal.

Barrera does look overmatched on paper and he’s Cuban, so two strikes against him before the first bell sounds, but make no mistake, this guy has excellent amateur credentials and has been making a solid transition into the pro style unlike most Cubans with 6 straight knockouts. In short, he ain’t a runner, so cutting to the chase, he’s a whole lot hungrier fighter than the fainthearted Ward who noted he’s become a shoe collector in the manner of the infamous Imelda Marcos. Barrera is much more dangerous than that. He happens to hold ama wins over Chad Dawson, Beibut Shumenov, and wants to knock Ward out of his shoes. His problem being that he’ll have to defend against a blizzard of head butts, getting hit on the break, low blows, elbows, all delivered without penalty as the ref pulls him off Ward anytime he gets on top of him.

I get the feeling Barrera knows it’s an uphill battle and will be ready for the dirty stuff that most Cubans already know about. This is a non title fight. Bet on the outcome at your own risk.

Ward of Oakland vs Son of Cuba

Ward of Oakland vs Son of Cuba

 

CC Your Buds~Canelo vs Cotto Is ON!

Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas will be exploding come Saturday, November 21st when Saul Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Angel Cotto renew the historical Mexican vs Puerto Rican family feud with a real fight, can you believe it, a real fight in America? Who’d have ever thunk it in this faint hearted day and age of posers, duckers, and bawling punch monkey darlings? Could even be a fight for the ages, but at very least we know from their pedigrees it’ll be good as long as it lasts.

The new promotional kid on the block, Roc Nation, and Golden Boy will share promotional honors after a heart stopping, grueling set of negotiations with Cotto who has lately become something  diva, one of the concessions needed being the 155-pound catchweight. Up for grabs will be Cotto’s Ring Belt and the WBC middleweight belt that he is reported as earning $30 million to defend compared to Canelo’s $10 million. I would have thought the purses would be roughly even after their similar recent PPV numbers, but such is another huge concession that Canelo takes for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Luckily Canelo has been well priming himself for this big bout at 155 with his last three outings at the weight where he did quite well for himself, knocking the doggie biscuits out of Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland and forcing Erislandy Lara into a shameless run, shuck, and jive for survival.

Meanwhile, Cotto hasn’t been doing too shabby himself with conclusive knockouts of Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale. Why he insisted on a silly 159lb catchweight against Martinez? Because he can call more shots at this stage of his career. In making the Geale fight at 157lb, now I could understand as that’s a sweet three pounds under the middleweight limit, but I don’t think those catchweights affected the results anymore than this one at 155lbs will. However, if the winner tries to make Gennady Golovkin make 155, that could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Cotto might try for that kind of fight, but I think Canelo is ready to move up permanently to the full 160 where he obviously belongs if he wins this, but their futures are not ours to see. First things first.

Cotto Pounds Money

Cotto Pounds Money

In a bad sign of the declining times for Andre Ward, amazingly only 31 years of age and wasting his career away, he is supposed to be fighting another light heavyweight type opponent. Ahh, ha you say, another TBA sacrificial lamb for the needy Ward is it again? Yup, dragged him all the way kicking and screaming out of Oakland they did for this. He can’t even make the cut for the main supporting bout of the night anymore, just pitiful. His heart must be buried in that big load sagging his shorts for this farce, but it’s his career to fritter away, so be it.

Oh, yes and oh, no, so now he can’t even glove it up for his TBA after having a knee problem, so looks like Mr. TBA will just have to wait until 2016 to find Ward in a ring…maybe. What a loss to TBA boxing!

So enter yet another faint hearted P4P poser added to the undercard, Guillermo Rigondeaux , reportedly fighting a last minute TBA, Drian Francisco. World P4P rated by Haymon/Golden Boy News of the Ring Word and still fighting TBAs is it? Such is the fainthearted nature of boxing these days.

As to the otherworldly compelling main event, I strongly favor Canelo. Cotto’s older brother, also named Miguel, managed to rock the teenaged Canelo, slumping him for maybe a second before he recovered quickly to blast the senior Cotto to smithereens shortly thereafter, so could be Cotto has some younger brother payback working here his motivation. Even in his losses, nobody ever had an easy time against Cotto who has added significant caginess to his game to compensate for his fall from the absolute top of his prime. Problem being that Canelo is immensely stronger and even more experienced than Cotto by now, yet still very young and fresh. Simply put, he’s never been beat up. However, trying to walk through Cotto from the gitgo may well be the equivalent of trying to walk through a truck, so I expect Canelo to take his time warming into the fight as a boxer as does Cotto. Then all Hell gets unleashed for the finale.

Yes Sir, Freddie Roach has got Cotto boxing smarter than ever, and Canelo is a high level boxer, so this should be a traditional, high level stakes, aggressive, ring centered boxing display with plenty of applied hurt and heart. Neither comes out completely unscathed in this one, yet the fans may count themselves lucky to remember where they were on this monumental night if the fight is as good as is hoped.

 

Deontay Wilder Finally Steps Up Vs Bermane Stiverne

Freshly crowned WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) defends against his mandatory, Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) this Saturday, January 17 at the MGM in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for boxing, more specifically American boxing, Wilder is only a modest prospect by his limited achievements, yet by hook and crook has managed through dubious rankings in the WBC and shady maneuverings at Al Haymon/Golden Boy News of the Ring World to become top rated contender.

Perhaps more telling has been the tepid promotional push since the fight was announced. That this deal is a backroom deal seems more and more apparent as it flies under the usual radar of hyped American heavyweight title fights. The bigger story is news that Golden Boy Promotions has given up his interest in Al Hayman signed fighters and settled his lawsuit against Richard Schaefer the week before this fight.

In contrast look for the planned Wladimir Klitschko/Bryant Jennings fight at Barclays in Brooklyn to be very well promoted as a legitimate heavyweight challenge by a worthy American against the growing legacy of the long time champ. Though the monetary terms have been agreed to, the other big boxing story is the advances Roc Nation has made by the recent signing of Jennings which may complicate the final details.

Yes,

Yes, “It” Happens!

The Don King promoted Stiverne manage to earn his limited chops and the WBC title by beating long time contender Chris Arreola, once in 2013 and again in 2014 for the belt. Arreola himself had something of a specious record after never having beat a top ten contender, the ultimate scourge of the last decade of faint hearted US heavyweight prospects and their promoters. The last US Olympic boxing medalist, Wilder, was last seen buried in California on the undercard of little known IBF Welter champ Shawn Porter when he defended against even less known British contender Kell Brook. In spite of Wilder’s bronze medal in 2008 and perfect 34-0, 34 KO record, only a couple dozen fans were in the seats of the Stubb Hub to watch him pad out his choreographed streak against long time journeyman Jason Gavern.

Mutt & Jeff Monkeyshines

Mutt & Jeff Monkeyshines

The physical aesthetics of this fight are something akin to a modern day rendition of the old Mutt & Jeff cartoon given the sleek 6-7 tattooed physiology of 29 year old Wilder in contrast to the stubby blubber of the 36 year old Stiverne, generously listed at 6-2 on boxrec in spite obviously challenging the 5-11 mark. In a styles make fights sport, the fight becomes a real puzzle since nobody knows what kind of style Wilder will use since he’s never faced any fighter near the danger of the limited Stiverne who can easily be outboxed in the early going. Does Wilder have the stamina to go the distance against a tough guy like Stiverne? Does he have the power to knock him out? Does Wilder have the chin to stand up to the inevitable shots landed on him? Does he have the innate moxie to know when to move and box and when to stand and land?

We know what Stiverne brings but in spite of 34 fights we don’t know what kind of fighter Wilder really is other than heavily protected and we may not find out given the shaky promotional natures of Don King and Al Hayman for whom fairly officiated fights are an anathema. This is a roll of unknown dice for the public, however there’s little doubt that young Wilder represents the future American boxing interests as opposed to the unheralded Haitian Stiverne who can never generate a decent sized purse unless the unspeakable happens and he knocks out Wilder. Then he would have to sign to fight Wladimir Klitschko in a unification bout, not likely given his promoter Don King’s reluctance to risk one of his last meal tickets.

Speculation aside, the model for this “event” is likely found in the first Michael Dokes vs Mike Weaver confrontation when the unsung Weaver was stopped controversially in the first round in spite of having all of his faculties just because he took some hard punches as was always his style. Naturally Don King secured the rematch which did nothing to settle the controversy with the draw result.

Stiverne is the closest heavyweight to the Weaver style today and there is no historical parallel to the limitations of Wilder, so the big question is whether the ref will favor Wilder or not. Regardless, I don’t see these guys going the distance and the potential for controversy is about as high as it can get for a fight.