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Boxing 101~~How To Score Ugly, Part II~~Alvarez vs Mayweather

This followup pertains to the recent Alvarez/Mayweather “outrage” that has sent a long time boxing judge scrambling to ignominious retirement while the resident guvn’r was rudely roused from oversight of his Den of Gaming and Trolloptry by swarms of angry complainants using his name in vain. Anyone needing to catch up on the longtime scoring dilemmas facing the modern era of boxing can review my first draft on the subject here concerning the Shane Mosley vs Sergio Mora tempest in a teapot. It was a typical scoring controversy that got the usual antisocial ninnies boiling over in forever misplaced outrage for about a week before their tiny attention spans had found a new outrage to run off to knock over more gravestones:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/boxing-101-how-to-score-ugly-or-mora-vs-mosley-the-no-win-non-fight-of-the-year/

There is no doubt that boxing, notwithstanding record revenues by Alvarez vs Mayweather, well, boxing has a problem of legitimacy as older American fans are dying out faster than new ones are coming aboard by an alarming margin. There are fewer American fighters left in the sport, probably due to fewer kids wishing to leap into a career of corruption where there is almost no money to be made except at the very top. The UFC shines in today’s New World Order as boxing moves to the pro wrestling format of  prefight promotional themes of conflict. Even old timers are fleeing modern matchups to pine over lost glory years when the fighting actually took place in the ring without a 3 ring circus of announcers corrupting the experience.

Moreover, if an average kid does decide to turn pro, chances are forever that the deck will be stacked against them in the referee enforcement of rules and the assignment of points by the judges anytime they face fighters associated with the larger promoters. By modern marketing standards, company products are always promoted #1, as such the ancient and forever poorly managed sport of boxing has been moving to canned fights reminiscent of old truck commercials between Ford and Chevy. One truck would attempt to climb a pyramid stack of loose rocks and fail half way up, so then the featured truck cruises breezily up to the top of the pile to show us all how champions comport themselves in “difficult” contests.

Saving Money Investment

Saving Money Investment

In a world run by Marketing…getting back to Alvarez/Mayweather, the vilest of the directed bile has blasted judge C J Ross full broadside to the backwater docks for repairs and probable retirement, all for scoring a 114-114 draw on her card which did not affect the victory for Mayweather, not one single bit. In contrast, last year Manny Pacquiao was “robbed” by both Ms Ross and Duane Ford in scoring that actually did alter a seemingly wide unanimous win for Pacquiao into a split decision loss that drastically altered future big fight fight negotiations.

So how could such a trivial scoring anomaly in the Alvarez/Mayweather “event” become upgraded to such importance?

I’d guess you’d have to start with some basic facts: Official fight scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 114-114 with Mayweather winning a majority decision. Each fighter starts a 12 round fight with 360 points or 120 points per each of the 3 judges cards, that’s 10 points for each round. The way boxing does it’s scoring is ass-backwards from the way almost every other sport is scored where athletes have to “win” points to win their contests. In boxing, athletes lose points, so in that respect it’s much like the well known punitive politics of amateur ice skating and gymnastics where the 10 point mandatory is used to mark down athlete performances before being collected and totaled for an average score.

Mayweather “lost” 13 points in the fight to end up with 347 points out of the 360 point maximum. Alvarez “lost” 23 points to end up with 337 points out of the 360 point maximum. So Mayweather ended up with 96.3% of his maximum and Alvarez ended up with 93.6% of his maximum, the difference in the fight being that Mayweather was 2.7% better than Alvarez. The academic difference suggests the zone between an A+ test result and an A test result if we use 90-100% scores as traditionally being an A test score. This is hardly the dominance suggested by the media who seldom had any problems reporting the perfect 44-0 official record of Mayweather coming into the fight as though he were perfectly unblemished during his career. No fighter gets through a long career without some controversies, and Mayweather has some doozies.

This fella, Bobby Hunter goes to great lengths to tabulate consensus fight scores, and of 86 “press” scores, the average was 119-109 for Mayweather. That would be 357 of 360 maximum points compared to 327 of 360 maximum points for Canelo, or 99.2% for Mayweather to 90.8% to Alvarez, a larger spread of victory, but still in the “A” academic range for both fighters.  

http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/latest/feature/floyd-mayweather-scored-a-clear-winner-over-saul-alvarez-by-86-members-of-press

The typical boxing fan might say that boxing is actually scored round by round, sorta true that, but only indirectly. As mentioned, each fighter is assigned a 10 point maximum value to start a round with on each judge’s card. I don’t make this up, it’s just happens to be the big white elephant in the room that boxing media and fans ignore, that the scoring in boxing is not only counter-intuitive, but contains unneeded padded points that are utterly useless  until someone wishes to add an element of smoke and mirrors to hide the deceptions and misdirections that magicians, carny barkers, and card gamblers also use to deceive the common rube. Moreover, time and time again we see the scoring is overly complex for some of the more arithmetically challenged judges who sometimes miscalculate their totals that cause delays in announcing the results, sometimes even resulting in a recalculation of the announced result that leads to ever more fan distrust in venues big and small around the world.

Re-calculable scorecards. Yeah! Who wouldn’t like to recalculate their own bank balances when they don’t like the results?

True round by round scoring hasn’t been used for some time, but perhaps the greatest ever round by round scored fight was the 1971 Fight of the Century, Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier in Madison Square Garden. Joe Frazier won that dramatic 15 round classic by scores of 9-6, 11-4, and an amazing 8-6 by referee Arthur Mercante under rules of the day when refs were part of the scoring process. I seem to recall Mercante having to use “supplemental rules” to enact the tiebreaker. Nontransparent supplemental rules of scoring such as this are likely one reason round by round went the dodo bird route of extinction, but let’s contrast the scores of this slugfest often called the greatest single fight in history.

Frazier won 28 total points(rounds) to Ali’s 16 points(rounds), a margin of victory of 75%, quite a bit the more compelling result. Yet Ali supporters were claiming he was robbed, not because of a trifling scoring error, but rather that “The Man” had it in for him to be beat, a popular political expression expressing deep divisions within America emanating out of that era. These days, most agree Frazier won the fight hands down, but modern fans have no such arbitration by wiser, cooler heads. That usually comes after they go senile and die out. Since Mayweather may well have fought his best fight against his best opponent of record, let’s look closer at the fight later on.

There are a myriad number of rules selectively enforced to officiate or score a bout, in effect a form of “movable goalposts” for treatment and evaluation of different fighters that fans are either blindingly unaware of or simply apathetic about, take your pick. In this case, had the referee and judges been given different instructions, the bout might well have been controlled in the other direction for Alvarez by whatever margin, yet the outrage would have been about the same. Been much worse pillar to post beatdown robberies in boxing history than this tepid stylist soiree, that’s for sure. These folks crying in their beer simply have no context to rationally discuss a fight.

Or do they? What’s missing?

Well, as Juan Manuel Lopez mentioned after being blasted to the deck by Orando Salido in their rematch, he suspected the referee who “prematurely” stopped the fight had bet on the Salido stoppage. Lopez was promptly suspended and fined, yet the ugly little can of worms remains kicked over and squirming. There are few if any regulations pertaining to boxing teams and other boxing insiders placing wagers on involved fights much less any oversight. Nobody screams louder in boxing than “players” losing their main stake plus their projected winnings because of a “bad” referee or judging decision, and guess what?

Vegas and international bookies at large saw the most business they’ll have for many years that somewhat made up for the thrice canceled Pacquiao/Mayweather Superfight fights with even bigger players and revenue streams. Still, stupendous amounts were bet on this fight with the best odds given on the exact round and result prediction. Since Mayweather tends to rack up unanimous decisions like clockwork, there you go, the projected mass of the betting being put on that outcome. The unexpected majority decision tossed a monkey wrench into that payout, hence the stampede of howler monkeys on the suits that run boxing. Before the fight we also saw the rumor stampede that the fight would be scored a draw so they could stage the lucrative rematch for another big flood of bets lost forever. Great for business though.

Oh Yeah & True Confessions: The NSAC commish Bill Brady asserted that his office was no longer going to be a “rubber stamp” for fight venues, presumably unlike the previous NSAC “rubber stamped sanctions of Mayweather “events” these oh so many years. Just check out the two Joe Cortez refereed Mayweather fights for a snapshot of rubber stamped Vegas “in action.”

As I projected in my prefight, the opening round was a cautious feeling out where little was accomplished until just before the bell ended the round. Mayweather leaped inside with a perfectly vicious Bernard Hopkins’ style upperbutt to the jaw of Alvarez, a blatant foul everyone but referee Kenny Bayless could see. No message in a bottle this, but rather a bottle crashed over his noggin that let Alvarez know he was out of his element and away from home. Mayweather could do what ever he wanted with impunity, so he followed up in the 4th round by locking up Alvarez left arm with both arms as he wrapped up his body trying to pull it out of socket Bernard Hopkins style. Alvarez tapped him on the thigh with his free right hand, reflexively leading Bayless to jump in for the break, pushing Alvarez back as he severely admonished him for the “low blow.” Then he went over to Mayweather for a much friendlier pow wow. Alvarez had been struggling with the baffling timing of the Mayweather defense, but when he started getting in some good rights to the body, one finally hit the Mayweather kidney while in his classic “show the back defense” that he’s gotten away with the whole of his career. It’s illegal to deliberately turn your back in boxing, so Bayless issued more dire warnings Canelo instead of correcting Mayweather. Reminds me of the complaints not so many years back when fighters were warned by German refs for hitting the last undefeated wonder Sven Ottke in the jaw or the stomach, I kid you not.

I myself chose  not to score this fight because it was clear before the fight that Alvarez needed a concussive all time knockout to win. As I’ve found like clockwork from so many of my previous efforts, every controversy revolves around the number of even rounds that I score that boxing judges are forbidden to score as such. Typically the “Home” or “Money” fighter, both descriptors fitting Mayweather in his fights, he gets those rounds by default, but on occasion the judges give don’t care to go that route. Previously CJ Ross was widely pilloried for preferring the “slick, black, awkward, reverse footwork style of undefeated” Timothy Bradley over the offensive firepower of Manny Pacquiao, so duly ravaged by  antisocial media misanthropes, she scored some those even rounds for Canelo this time around. There were only two rounds difference between her another Mayweather judge, normally a perfectly acceptable range of difference. Of course this being the Las Vegas gambling destination of the world, any judge or ref can be seen as suspect when it comes to their roles as history has shown us repeatedly.

How about the “boxing media,” nearly all dismissing Alvarez well before the fight was ever signed. How many lost their meager wages on the match?

Media transparency has never existed, but Ring transparency would be a big improvement, like having all the officials and promotional teams list their wagers on fight they’re involved in as well as the full disclosure of contract conditions for the fight, like gloves, catch and rehydration limits, ring size, fast, slow, or medium speed canvas, purse particulars, all of which play a role in the outcome to various degrees, yet usually squirreled away from the unwashed public. Of course the “insiders” could just move to having their friends or relatives place their bets, but at least they would be driven to an illegal netherworld befitting their natures.

Getting back to the maddening puzzle that is Mayweather, here are some fight shots representative of his style that the boxing press has gone screaming Colonel Bob agaga over:

Blind Man Touching

Blind Man Touching

To Fight or How to Score Ugly?

To Fight or How to Score Ugly?
Below The Beltline Boxing or Alternative Lifestyle Flick?

Below The Beltline Boxing or Alternative Lifestyle Flick?

Thank goodness for Mayweather’s hometown Grand Rapids Press photos or someone might accuse me of photoshopping which would be easier than scoring a Mayweather fight. Mayweather won the fight, no doubt after the kid was stifled by Bayless early when Mayweather was at his freshest, fastest, and most puzzling. However the number of hurtful punches landed by either was exceedingly low because of their defensive natures. I’m remember when Miguel Cotto visually came out almost unscathed against the busted up Mayweather.

Punched?

Punched?

Even feather fisted Pauli Maglinaggi managed to bust up a much younger, fresher Cotto in their fight long ago, so what kind of impact do most of Mayweather’s punches have other than as flash and glitter?

Boxing needs a major comeback with the larger public who now prefer more easily understood team sports like basketball, football, and baseball. I dare say most would rather even cruise down to the local rec fields for, gasp, co-ed kickball for easily understood rules and first rate viewing. Broadcasters could put chokers and muzzles on announcers to allow real fight audio that could distinguish between silent love taps and thunderclap hammer shots for the edification of the public. Then state commishes and ABCs could come up with simplified, transparent scoring and scrap recalculable duffed scorecards with negligible point differences that define the loser more than the winner.

In other words, instead of using modern assbackward 10 point must scoring, every fighter should start off at the zero ledger like God intended athletic contests to start, even golf and track and field for crimony’s sake!

They could keep their current one point assessments for “rounds won, knockdowns scored, and assessed fouls awarded to come up with a point total that may not solve the weekly cries of “robbery,” but would remove the unwanted flab points that flabby overseers of boxing have used to cover up their obtuse tamperings of fights. Translating Alvarez/Mayweather, we’d get scores of 9-3, 8-4, and 6-6, totaling 23 of 36 maximum points for Mayweather and 13 or 33 maximum points for Alvarez, making Mayweather the winner by a 77% margin which is substantial. Yet I read many in the “media” scored 100% for Mayweather, typically the mindset of those who have failed in their journalistic duty to even handedly report on an athletic event. If Mayweather were really 100% good, he would have no need of catchweights and rehydration limits with the opposing fighter having to drag the ref around as a ball and chain for the full 12 rounds.

And if Mayweather, his promoter, and his handlers were really cleaning up boxing, they’d answer why his Mayweather Promotions fighters have failed drug tests and why Mayweather refuses to answer failed drug testing allegations against him.

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

Meanwhile, back at the hideout:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/all-star-boxing-given-court-go-ahead-to-seek-punitive-damages-against-golden-boy-for-their-signing-of-canelo-alvarez-227250

Pacquiao vs Mosley–When Plan B Turns to Gold

Try as many times as he may, Manny Pacquiao simply cannot entice Floyd Mayweather Jr into a geniune all time prize fight, the richest in history even at the most conservative estimates.

Pac Man vs Sugar

Pac Man vs Sugar

Mayweather has been beset by doubts and legal woes from the start of his 2009 comeback, all while carefully dancing around Pacquiao’s fight schedule, teasing, taunting or defiling the honor of Pacquiao. Then he pulls out of both fights after repeated transcontinental flights by team negotiators, endless phone calls, and tedious, extended talks were  conducted with the terms finally agreed upon.

Enter Plan B.

Woes Galore

Woes Galore

Fortunately, Pacquiao has a savvy, experienced promoter in Bob Arum looking out for his boxing interests, and he has kept promotional plans B and C handy for practical use. There is no need to risk delaying or even losing lucrative fight dates and promotions while fruitlessly waiting for Mayweather to work his way through the maze of the some half dozen criminal charges against him so Mayweather can man up to the challenge the public has been calling for for over two years now.

Moreover, Arum has pulled off a real sweet deal with his Plan B in what may alter the future of big boxing promotions by negotiating a deal with both Showtime and CBS, stunning the HBO juggernaut that has been fading badly these past few years and now struggling in hard economic times.

CBS will provide a substantial part of the promotion by airing the Fight Camp 360 prefight series on free terrestial TV, exposing the electric boxing career and public sector life of Manny Pacquiao to a broader viewing audience who may wish to know more come fight night. As such, Shane Mosley arrived perfectly poised at the exact best time under the best conditions to secure what may well prove to be his biggest ever, most lucrative fight and that in the twilight of his career.

Quite a turnaround of good fortune for Mosley who was clueless the last 10 rounds of his 2010 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr and then looked terribly awkward and off balance in his next fight against Sergio Mora.

Naturally, critics have had a field day savaging Pacquiao and Arum for fighting what many consider a fighter well past his best form, but someone must have forgotten to tell the rest of the independent ranking orgs such as Ring, Boxrec, and Fightnews, all of whom have Mosley well ranked. Ring has him #4 welter, Boxrec has him #3 welter and #22 P4P, and Fightnews puts him at #3 welter.

I personally think the 39 year old Mosley has been well overrated for some time, but Arum is doing what a good promoter should be doing, securing a top fight to leverage for all its worth to make money for everyone, and Mosley provides an excellent supplemental promotional storyline for this occasion.

We can’t ignore that Arum also “sticks it” to his main rival, Golden Boy Promotions with the defection of Mosley to the Arum for this fight. That makes the 2nd business partner to cut his business ties with GBP after Marco Antonio Barrera left a few years back.  Bernard Hopkins has also been making threatening noises from time to time as well.

Juan Manuel Marquez is not a business partner with GBP, but he has been grumbling after being left on the sidelines by the Mosley deal, unable to secure his own dream Paquiao rubber match. However, Arum has been talking up Marquez as Pacquiao’s next fight assuming he beats Mosley, but maybe everyone should check out this past week’s upsets before taking negotiations as fait accompli .

It was Oscar de la Hoya who revitalized the tattered careers of Marquez, Mosley, Barrera, and Hopkins, making them more money in their last few fights than the whole of their careers beforehand, yet this surly bunch seemingly have no thanks or loyalty for their benefactor which is their choice at their own peril I guess.

Arum has made it clear that there will be no co-promotion with a competitor in making a Pacquiao fight with the sole exception of a Floyd Mayweather Jr fight suddenly materializing.

Fat chance that happening, but how about the chances of Shane Mosley pulling off the upset you ask?

Sugar vs Pretty

Sugar vs Pretty

Boxing is a funny business because it’s the only major sport where a competitor can be comprehensively shut out and turn things around with a single action, where one good knockout punch can trump a thousand and one excellent punches in a heartbeat as Floyd Mayweather Jr almost found out when knocked temporarily out on his feet after Mosley caught him with a big time right hand.

Congressman Pacquiao

Congressman Pacquiao

Any fighter who can deliver a punch like that cannot be blithely dismissed out of hand as many will do against the vastly superior near prime Pacquiao. I say near prime because I’m not yet convinced he can be both a serving Congressman for his people and a fighter at his best at this point in his career.

Regardless, the 32 year old Pacquiao is at an apex of his career and still in the latter phase of traditional prime athletic years compared to Mosley who has been going up and down like a yoyo as he winds down his career.

Mosley says he wants to fight on for several more years, so is surely motivated to make a good showing against the greatest fighter of this last decade and one of the all time greats for sure, but even beating a Pacquiao off his best form would be a tall order.

The biggest problem for Mosley is that he has a history of being handled by excellent boxer types. Freddie Roach has been adding layer after layer of boxing nuance to Pacquiao’s considerable slugging skills and I don’t see what Mosley has to counteract Pacquiao’s boxing save a “lucky” shot.

So the fight will likely play out as predicted with Pacquiao outworking, outboxing, and outslugging a game to go Mosley in the opening all action stanzas, and then comes the beating and perhaps Mosley’s first ever stoppage loss.

If Pacquiao beats Mosley, he will have demolished the dominant top 5 ranked welters of the past 5 years, what many regarded as a golden era with Margarito, Mosley and Cotto also rated as P4Pers and of course Clottey rounding out the division. Other than the Marquez rubber match or Mayweather signing a fight contract, there is nowhere left for Pacquiao to go for big fights, but he says he wants another 2-3 yrs, so we shall see.

So onwards to Saturday night, May 7th at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas if you want to see about catching greased lightning in action when Manny Pacquiao executes what should be an exciting Plan B for as long as it lasts.

Boxing 101, How to Score Ugly or Mora vs Mosley, The No-Win Non-Fight of the Year

The Mexican Independence Celebration Mora vs Mosley headliner  at the Staples Center this Saturday was a matchmaking disaster foretold in advance to go the distance and likely to turn ugly.The Score

The Score Enlarged:http://fightnews.com/Boxing/mosley-mora.gif I don’t claim to know what machinations were going on inside the Golden Boy Promotions complex that added this match to an otherwise excellent night of knockouts that the boxing public clamors for.

Shane Mosley is a remarkable physical specimen for his age, but that’s the qualifier.

Defused Bomb

Defused Bomb

It’s his age and long career that has left him in a slower state of being that every fighter must face if they insist upon carrying on past their best form. It’s was guaranteed that a younger, faster, quicker, taller defensive minded boxer with a good chin was going to make a difficult night for him, so the question would be,

“What were they thinking?”

Flash Jab

Flash Jab

Perhaps they wanted to rest Mosley with a light puncher while testing his reflexes against a faster fighter, so by this criteria, they were successful.  It was otherwise a terrible complement to an otherwise exemplary card  of explosive proportions that the largely Mexican crowd was well pleased with.

The official result was a DRAW with cards reading 115-113 Mora, 116-112 Mosley, and 114-114, Even.

The outrage started with Jim Lampley and Harold Lederman of HBO who were sputtering into their microphones they were so incensed over Mosley being robbed. Yet on another broadcast, I understand Ring Magazine’s Doug Fischer scored the bout as a near Mora shutout, and on it went, passed around like a strain of the 3 day flu, which is about how long this “controversy” will last.

For the record, I found the bout interesting from a technical point of view, a classic boxer who couldn’t pop a soap bubble against an older volume puncher above his best weight. They both did the best they could within the strengths and limitations of their styles.

A Connection Has Been Established

A Connection Has Been Established

Anyway, I did something about my own outrage many years ago by scoring bouts according to the fundamentals of the sport, which at it’s best is still a highly subjective exercise, so I dampened the subjectivity based on the scoring directives used by Nevada and other commissions, who “encourage” judges to never score even rounds.

The order of priority in modern scoring is generally the following:

1. Offense

2. Defense

3. Ring Generalship with 10 points to the winner of the round, 9 points to the loser, and one point deducted to a fighter knocked down x the number of times he’s knocked down in a round.

NO EVEN ROUNDS or find another part-time job.

Hmmmm, I thought to myself, why the prejudice against even rounds? By this time I had already tired of trying to pick out the difference between a hotly contested round with both fighters doing well or poorly contested round where both fighters looked clueless and was scoring even rounds.

BINGO, I unlocked the key to this hereto impenetrable maze of behind the scenes officiousness.

Simply put, invariably the number of even rounds I scored even coincided with the margins of the cards, meaning that the fighters either benefitted or were penalized by rounds that were even in nature.

The major sports, baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf, and soccer only keep one score and have playoff procedures in place for when draws occur. Boxing is “different,” or perhaps “special,” because it keeps “3 scores” whose results are strangely combined after the competition ceases in prolonged ring huddles of whispers, head scratchings, and muted cries resembling rugby scrums.

The judges do their “judging” in street clothes, a very handy procedure that generally allows them to lose themselves in the crowd after the bout and successfully escape with skins, limbs, and teeth intact for those hotly disputed decisions.

Click Here To Take Your Local Connection Speed Test

Click Here To Take Your Local Connection Speed Test

Let’s face facts here folks, with boxing’s “golden history” of association with gambling and various criminal syndicates controlling various “local” jurisdictions combining with the more obvious hometown favoritism, and the modern developments of assorted sordid ABC orgs of boxing and commissions, boxing fans have grown up expecting these scoring outrages, but seldom score bouts themselves much less consider the logistics or bureaucracies that create these latest scoring outrages, so scoring controversies get passed on seamlessly from one generation to the next much like war, death, and taxes.

Can You Feel Me Yet?

Can You Feel Me Yet?

In the above Mora/Mosley scorecards with the point totals added together end up being 341 for Mora to 343 for Mosley of the 684 points awarded. That’s a 2 point advantage for Mosley, or 2 of 684 total points, or 0.003 fractional difference, or approximately 1/3rd of 1% difference, not even pennies on the dollar, but potentially a huge windfall for the fighter for whom you’ve cast your bet, which perhaps is the origin as much as any for the outrage after scoring controversies.

Nobody likes to lose, much less lose their beloved wad.

One point happens to be the barest minimum that a fighter can win a bout, but the average fan seldom considers the margins of all the close decisions in history under modern scoring rules.

It should be added that HBO has become dependent on Compubox for the use of “punch stats” to form their analysis around. The Compubox “computer” tells them that Mosley threw 522 punches to Mora’s 508 punches and “landed” 161 punches compared to Mora’s 93 punches.

It strikes me that HBO could save a lot of money in these lean times for them by eliminating the broadcast crew, and just have a rotating cast of their marketing staff hype the round by round along side a running tabulation of Compubox numbers.

Need to make boxing a bloodless, knockout proof sport with fighters shadow boxing like the amateurs with the computer spitting out the results.

Lumpy

Lumpy

Remember, computers are infallible and man is but clay!

Maybe we could match up Jim Lampley with Doug Fischer and let the computer decide who gets to decide the results of Mora/Mosley, right?

Yeah, riiiiiight…………………..

New School vs Old School-Saul Alvarez vs Carlos Baldomir

This coming Saturday at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, California, fast rising Mexican sensation, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez squares off against former welterweight champ, Carlos “Tata” Baldomir, for the WBC Junior Middleweight Silver Title.

Hammy Stretch

Hammy Stretch

Actually, the header should read Really New School vs Really, Really Old School since the 20 yr old Alvarez is 19 years younger than the grizzled Baldomir who has not had a significant win since he turned out the lights on a shot Arturo Gatti some 4 yrs ago. Since then he was shutout by Floyd Mayweather Jr for Tata’s WBC welter belt, equally shut out for Vernon Forrest’s WBC junior middleweight belt, was beat up by a journeyman, Luciano Perez, yet somehow, by hook or crook, Baldomir was quite fortunate to scrape out the sparest majority decision imaginable. Then  he went on to be beaten by Jackson Osei Bonsu in a WBC welter eliminator before finally knocking out journeyman Jairo Jesus Siris in Argentina for a meager measure of redemption last year.

Saul Alvarez is not only younger and fresher, but much faster with excellent punching power, boxing skills, and fighting instincts. He fights like a seasoned champion, which begs the question of why he was held back this year from his first title challenge?

Canelo

Canelo

Canelo’s record is already 33-0-1, 25 KO with 195 pro rounds in the bank. His team claims he may have as many as a dozen more professional fights that aren’t recorded yet. Officially by the records available he turned pro at age 15, so a contender with his record and talent should’ve been moved faster with a premiere promoter like Golden Boy behind him.

Perhaps the clue is his career weight which his been mostly at welter. Folks who follow boxing know that  the WBA/IBF titles belong to overseas fighters Vyacheslav Senchenko and Jan Zaveck, the WBO by Manny Pacquiao, an Arum fighter with a pending lawsuit filed against Golden Boy, and WBC title being controlled by Andre Berto who has been on a career long soft diet. Not many prospective title shots there for a dangerous, up and coming contender who is equally adept at boxing or slugging.

Looking at the junior middle division, the prospects for a world title fight are equally daunting unless he becomes the WBC mandatory to the Arum controlled winner of the WBC title bout between Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao.  Arum fighter Miguel Cotto owns the WBA belt, the WBO by undefeated Sergeii Dzinziruk who may have relocated to the States, and the IBF by Cornelius Bundrage, a Don King fighter not likely to give up a belt to a dangerous, non-King contender.

Golden Boy seems to have given Alvarez the Herculean task of cleaning out the massive set of stables at the higher weight by knockout this year. Fringe contenders Jose Cotto, brother of Miguel, and Luciano Cuello had never been stopped before, and Brian Camechis had only been stopped once, but none could stand in against Canelo.

Tata

Tata

Carlos Baldomir has only been stopped once, way back in the Jurassic era circa 1994, so a knockout may be significant on one level, but really just another fringe contender feather in Canelo’s already fully stocked cap. At the very least, Baldomir is gonna replicate a punching bag since Alvarez should be able to move and punch at will.

Mind you, I’m not dismissing the 39 yr old Baldomir out of a lack of respect, the Argentinian has a 45-12-6 record with 520 professional rounds on the ledger, but he’s slow as molasses in the Arctic and with a 22% KO ratio, his power is next to nil. He’s simply gotten too old, too shopworn to be much use as a test other than whether he can be knocked  out.

A similar yet different test occurs on the card with the 39 yr old  former legend Shane Mosley trying to comeback from his one sided beatdown at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Former “ Contender” and WBC junior middleweight champ Sergio Mora recently signed with Golden Boy for the honors. At age 29 and a fast handed busy boxer, this is a bad match up for Mosley who has a history of being handled by boxer types, but the upside for Mosley is that Mora has no power, so the fight likely goes the distance.

The winner regains a measure of past glory and probably a title shot somewhere.

Former WBO super banty champ, Daniel Ponce de Leon faces Antonio Escalante in a WBO featherweight title eliminator. Victor Ortiz looks to continue his climb through the junior welter division by taking on former champ Vivian Harris in a Vicious vs Vicious battle of monikers, so overall the card is a decent one.

Even the Brits are getting in on the act with a nice card in Birmingham. The highlight for me is young British lightheavy contender and EBU champ, Nathan Cleverly, going up against young contender and former EBU supermiddle champ, Karo Murat, who fights out of Germany. This is a WBO title eliminator and both are undefeated, so it’s great to see some young lions risking their zeros with special props to Murat who goes to the lion’s own den for the task.

So, there it is, you’ve been notified in advance that in spite of rumors, boxing is not yet dead.

El Canelo Crunch

El Canelo Crunch

The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy

Sweet Dreams My Darling

Sweet Dreams My Darling