Tag Archives: shane mosley

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

Trout Fishing For a Whopper–Canelo Alvarez vs Austin Trout.

The year 2013 looks to be a big transition year in boxing and one of the bigger transitions is Austin Trout finally landing the biggest whopper of his fight dreams against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for a light middleweight WBA/WBC unification. This “dream” bout takes place Saturday, April 20th  in ol’ San Antone for any Texas fight fiends still interested in the finer science of fisticuffs.

The unification story is just small patooties stuff. The orgs will quickly split the belts off at the most opportune time in the near future as is the transitory nature of titles these days. Canelo won the belt vacated by Manny Pacquiao who won the belt stripped off Sergio Martinez after he won their WBC middleweight belt. Sergio in turn won his 154 lb WBC belt from the stripped Vernon Forrest. Incredibly the WBA belt Trout first won has more strippages than a Red Light District No Tell Motel in Vegas, and so it goes in the strippage crazy merry-go-round world of ABC orgs.

Miss Corona, Canelo, Oscar, Jesse James, Austin

Miss Corona, Canelo, Oscar, Jesse , Austin

For Trout, these are new opportunities giving him the recognition he believes he deserves. Win, lose, or draw, he’s in a bigger mix for as long as he produces good fights. Golden Boy has a big stable of potential 154 lb fights to keep him busy for years. The venue came about because of bold moves by Canelo who has been ahead of the opportunity sweepstakes as soon as Golden Boy Promotions signed him as an 18 yr old Mexican sensation. With a record of 41-0-1, 30 KO, he has not yet disappointed like so many touted phenoms, yet he’s only 22 years of age with plenty of gas left in the tank.

The disclaimer: Canelo Alvarez vs Money Mayweather may soon be archived in the dusty bins of The What If Library of Fantasy Fights” if recent trends hold. Alvarez was the first fighter of record to reserve the Cinco de Mayo weekend as the perfect date for the Mayweather fight, something Golden Boy Promotions has been pointing to with some four co-promotions between the two over the past few years. Alas, Mayweather negotiations are always a prickly, back stabbing, down and dirty affair, so ultimately Alvarez refused to support the Mayweather trump card again and staked out his claim as the headliner in his own venue to play his own wild cards.

The unvarnished facts of today are that Alvarez is already ahead of the pro career of Floyd Mayweather Jr at the same age when both were holding their first WBC belt. Alvarez has more defenses against a higher grade of fighter than Mayweather faced at age 22, fact, and he won his title a year earlier than did Mayweather, fact. Not only that, but he’s well ahead of Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya at the same age with his own cracking promotional company staging boxing matches in boxing crazy Mexico, fact.

Unvarnished facts are heresy to regrettable Americans anchoring the current hunkered down HBO vs Showtime vs Golden Boy vs Top Rank entrenched lockout that threatens to put a stranglehold on American boxing. The kid takes a lot of profane stick and cheap shots in the antisocial media websites, yet precious few boxers have ever accomplished more than Alvarez at the same age. He can take heart knowing that Julio Cesar Chavez had more than his fair share of rabid detractors as happens when any boxer surges to the top.

At the kickoff presser to official announce the big dukem up, the prime aged 27 year old Austin Trout announced, “I don’t think he has his man strength yet. I will impose my will on him. I am going to take him out of his comfort level.”

Such tepid fodder well short of the usual doomsday beatings of a lifetime, knock you into the next county morgue stuff typical fighters utter in the build up to their fights, but perhaps indicative of a more direct sweet science approach the southpaw Trout is looking to apply to the hide of the orthodox Alvarez.

Since Alvarez made his Golden Boy American debut against aspiring fellow prospect, Larry Mosley, a close relation to Shane Mosley, Canelo has gone 19-0, 15 KO against a much stronger line up of prospects, fringe contenders, and former champs than the mostly journeyman padded record of local fighters Trout has been promoted with.

An added amusing aspect to the proceedings is watching the hordes of antisocial media critics eat their brown stained shorts when Alvarez signed the fight. Such is their nature that they almost immediately took to moaning that Trout will not get a fair shake in the officiating.

Meanwhile, the self appointed Ring “boxing experts” got exposed recently after some 20 odd “experts” picked Brandon Rios to knock out Mike Alvarado in their dynamic rematch, ouch! Almost the same number picked Donaire over Rigondeaux, ouchie~ouchie! Figure on a panel of baboons to be able to pick around 50% winners by chance alone, but no matter, Ring and too many other experts have been too blinkered to understand the timeline of Alvarez accomplishments in the lead up to the fight.

An interesting parallel is this bout somewhat reprises the Mayweather/Corrales fight. Both were similarly undefeated and highly regarded though still relatively unproven at the elite level. The slightly younger 23 year old Corrales at 33-0 had higher quality defenses with more wins than the 24 year old Mayweather at 24-0, but Mayweather had the advantage of the biggest name, Genero Hernandez in his record. Mayweather also had a Ring P4P ranking, similar to Alvarez who has a Boxrec #8 P4P ranking and looking to crash the Ring P4P list.

In spite of fewer fights against lesser competition, I will use his moniker to prove a point, there is No Doubt that Trout is a quality operator with a decent chance to win this fight. He did what he had to do against the home favorite Miguel Cotto, waging an aggressive no quarter asked war as Cotto’s best shots bounced harmlessly off him like popcorn. Alvarez was similarly put through his paces against Shane Mosley.

One advantage on paper for Alvarez runs contrary to the claim Alvarez has not faced legitimate 154 lb fighters. Fact is he beat the Ring ranked #4 Ryan Rhodes, a big southpaw who had fought as high as super middle, as big or bigger than Trout. The result was a lopsided beatdown for Alvarez who was only 20 years of age at the time, not even needing his full “man strength” as I suspect southpaw Austin Trout will learn once they step into the ring. Facts are that Canelo has been matched hard and often in Mexico since age 15, so he knows how to beat bigger, stronger, “man strength” fighters and now he’s matured into a physical match for Trout with more power. Speculation has it that Trout has more speed, but Alvarez is certainly speedier than Cotto who had no problems catching up to Trout.

I like Alvarez in this fight for all of the above reasons, but I have to wonder what happens as the sometimes farcical Golden Boy promotions aligns with the farcical Showtime. Thus far Canelo has been immune from the dubious officiating and dirty fighting of Hopkins and Mayweather fights because he comes to actually fight and thus far has scarcely struggled save a competitive bout against Mosley. On his worst day he has yet to quit as Hopkins is prone to do.

This being a Texas fight, that also means the inglorious Laurence Cole is the “chosen” ref, the lousiest ref in boxing since the lamentable Joe Cortez thankfully exited the ranks. Cole pulled Danny Garcia off the knocked down and out on his feet Eric Morales in their first bout to nurse Morales to the closing bell Joe Cortez style. He was one of the Showtime cabal of dirty refs in some of the most ham handed officiating and judging of recent years. He DQed Arthur Abraham for knocking out Andre Dirrell in their supersix tourney in spite of being blocked way out of position to even see the details of what transpired.

We have no idea what GBP options are on Trout or any other machinations going on behind the scenes. The Showtime banty tourney featured some of the most blatantly dirty fighting ever seen as Abner Mares merrily fouled his way to spurious wins Andre Ward style to claim the tourney.

Making The Big Splash

Making The Big Splash

I can’t say for how long Golden Boy will have Alvarez signed, but the kid could turn out to be the Mexican Oscar De la Hoya Golden Boy looking to expand north, so Alvarez has much to lose in the short term if he loses to Trout. In turn, Golden Boy will have at least temporarily staved off another competitor in promotions.

I’m trying to ignore my well justified cynicism as I close up. If the fighters have any say so, it’s a great night featuring high level boxing, plenty of guts and heart, and some big challenges to overcome. Let’s cross fingers X X and hope the poohbahs, judges, and ref keep their sticky fingers out of the fight and let the fighters decide how best to proceed without the usual monkeys on their backs.

To quote the reknown Latin Lover of Linguistitudes, Lupe Contreras, “Quien es mas macho?”

Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Austin No Doubt Trout

Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Austin No Doubt Trout

Floyd Mayweather Jr Off to “The Big House”

Well, folks, it finally happened. The other shoe finally dropped in regards to Floyd Mayweather Jr‘s plea arrangement on multiple charges of domestic abuse when the Clark County judge in Nevada sentenced him to 90 days detention at the Clark County Detention Center.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

The full sentence includes 3 suspended months which could be reinstated if Mayweather cannot mind his Ps and Qs during lockup. Part of the plea deal was the dropping of felony battery charges which could carry many extra years of imprisonment if reinstated. You can catch up to more of the history of his charges here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/future-shock%e2%80%94what-caused-the-ruination-of-floyd-mayweather-jr/

Mayweather had recently reserved a May 5th date next year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his next bout, but that could well be “money” flushed down the drain given the length of the sentence. A desirable high profile fight is not likely be secured on such uncertain notice,  not that his last alleged fight against Victor Ortiz was such a fight.

Mayweather will be 35 years old at the time of his release, traditionally past prime for most fighters and athletes, but regardless of the plethora of Mayweather personal flaws, he tends to stay in some semblance of training between fights. Many fighters blow up their weights and have to constantly be trained down to make their division limits, so perhaps traditional age limitations cannot be placed on him.

The question is whether or not this represents a long drawn out process of the wheels coming off of his career during his “retirement and comeback” phase of his career. His bitter retirement after the controversial Oscar de la Hoya supermatch that smashed all PPV records for a single fight burned a lot of boxing bridges, but all was forgiven during his comeback fights that generated more interest than all of his entire previous career.

Vs JJMarquez

Vs JJMarquez

Though his comebacks have included Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Shane Mosley in high profile matches, the Philippine Pacific Cyclone storming out of Manilla named Manny Pacquiao has sucked all the wind out of his sails and left the well accomplished Mayweather short on the awards, accolades, and rankings as the last decade closed out.

You can read about their compelling parallel career developments through the decade here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/modern-p4p-rankings-manny-pacquiao-vs-floyd-mayweather-jr/

Needless to say, the fabled on again-off again super matchup against Manny Pacquiao seems to be no more than schoolboy fantasy at this point. The 33 year old Pacquiao has been on more than a tear through boxing’s ranks, he finally got elected to his congressional district after years of hard campaigning all while logging an incredible number of miles back and forth in international air travel as he pursued his remarkable fight career.

At some point, there has to be a toll on his boxing and life. His overriding ambition has always been to be elected to the Philippine Presidency, so the Floyd Mayweather Jr super fight is fading fast as his next career priority. He was supposed to be retired by now, but the money on the table is simply too big to walk away from, so he has amazingly carried on two very demanding careers.

If Mayweather does keep the May 5th date intact and is released in time for a reasonable training camp, there will be no shortage of lesser contenders and champs willing to strike at a low ebb in his career.

His last fight with Victor Ortiz may well to be the farce of the new millennium. The only thing missing was Big Show storming the ring to pile drive the lot of them during their frequent nuzzles as they exchanged sweet nothings. Nobody in boxing was calling for the Ortiz fight, and Mayweather even denied he was fighting Ortiz.

Could Ortiz be the last fight of his career?

Prior to that, he backed off the date of the showdown he requested against Manny Pacquiao and had to be forced into the ring against Shane Mosley he was so reluctant to fight again, but he desperately needed the money after the government put a lien on his Marquez purse for back taxes. Mike Tyson started exhibiting the same traits as his career wound down, and not surprisingly Tyson seems to have become a favored member of Mayweather’s large entourage.

It’s a long month before Floyd Mayweather is to report to serve his sentence, so his family and friends can only hope he doesn’t land in more hot water during that time. Then he has to play his get out of jail card according to the terms set by the prosecution and detention officials.

The glitter of Las Vegas will be a bit grittier and grimier in the immediate term as history and boxing anxiously await the final return of Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

Edited Update:

Mayweather has been granted a temporary stay to fulfil May 5th contractual agreements. The moveable date of incarceration begins June 1st. More details here:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/mayweathers-jail-sentence-delayed-105503

The Handwraps Travesty, Part II–Cotto vs Margarito

The highly anticipated on again-off again-relocated again Miguel Cotto/Antonio Margarito rematch has finally passed the snifters of the white gloved New York State Athletic Commission who prematurely pulled up Margarito from his training camp in Mexico to be interrogated under the white lights of NYSAC-appointed ophthalmologist.

Cotto vs Margarito

Cotto vs Margarito

Both Margarito and Cotto have moved up to the light middleweight division and will be contesting Cotto’s WBA “Super” Title he won off the injuredYuri Foreman last year and defended against Ricardo Mayorga in a entertaining slugfest earlier this year.

Margarito is coming straight in off his very serious beatdown by Manny Pacquiao this time last year. After subsequent surgery and recovery from a fractured orbital bone, a very serious injury in the boxing world, a fair assumption is he will be the more damaged and rustier fighter compared to Cotto who has been more active.

Antonio Margarito paid a huge price after being caught up in a handwraps controversy just before stepping into the ring against Shane Mosley. He was lumped up before being knocked out and then suspended for a year. After serving his suspension he was refused relicensing by the California Boxing Commission. More history here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/open-letter-to-the-association-of-boxing-commissionsabc-and-dick-cole/

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/breaking-antonio-margarito-denied-a-california-boxing-license/

The Insert

The Insert

Some claim it is Miguel Cotto who paid the heavy price after being beaten to a bloody pulp by Margarito, allegedly using the same illegal wraps. Others think retribution was extracted when Manny Pacquiao beat Margarito into a bloody pulp this year.

In this truth is stranger than fiction world, the facts are that Margarito has never been shown to have used illegal wraps for any fight. The “illegal” insert was placed in his wraps in plain view of the California commish by Margarito’s then longtime trainer,  Javier Capetillo. It was the notoriously picky Shane Mosley trainer, Nazim Richards, who demanded the rewrap, exactly what the Margarito camp and everyone in boxing knew would happen. That’s when they discovered the inserts

Crumbles, Crumbles

In short, they might as well been holding a large placard taped to Margarito’s forehead stating illegal inserts were being used. Not only was there no slight of hand, but the inserts were shown to be nothing but crumbles, hardly a weapon any serious fighter would use to load his gloves when commission approved tapes and gauzes can be added in excess to more easily fly under the wire.

Had Margarito been busted for gummy bear inserts or knuckles of silly putty, those substances are just as “illegal” and confer the same laughable competitive advantage as plaster crumbles. It has long flown under the wire that Margarito was not fit to fight against Mosley because of eye surgery a week before the fight. My theory is the handwraps scenario was devised so the big players could cut their losses with appropriate counter bets, but who can really know the mindsets of these maestroes of travesty?

Though Margarito has always worn same approved wraps as his opponents, many in boxing will never forgive him in spite of him serving the full measure of his suspension. Such is the way it shall forever be.

It is the controversy that makes this fight both incredibly appealing or appalling, but potentially the fight could match or exceed the first fight, so it’s must see for true fans. Incredibly Miguel Cotto’s stellar reputation took a beating in the first fight when fairweather critics accused him of quitting after absorbing one of the all time beatings in boxing history. Go figure critics since they usually can’t support a shred of their charges. Margarito also took a horrendous beating, but managed to outlast the retreating Cotto who was completely spent by fight’s end.

The general concensus is that neither fighter has looked the same since their epic first match, one of the finest prize fights in the history of boxing. They are still some of the best fighters in their division even now, a testament to their dedication to boxing and toughness, so the match looks very lively and competitive.

Both fighters have different trainers now, not surprising given the role the trainers play in any handwrapping, and both are now covered in a maze of tattoos, perhaps a psychological bandaid designed to cover up the pain of the controversy and the beatings they have taken in the ring of late.

The Weighin

The Weighin

The problem for Cotto still remains though, Margarito is simply the bigger, stronger fighter by a significant margin and probably hits harder at the 153lb catchweight the fight will be contested at than their first welterweight title thriller. His style of being a heavyhanded war of attrition walk’em down tough guy is a difficult hurdle for any fighter to overcome.

Cotto made his chops as a brutal slugger, but he was also a pretty nifty boxer when he wanted and has often sparred with his little buddy, the quicksilver strawweight phenom and fellow Puerto Rican, Ivan Calderon, so by styles the fight is likely to start like the first fight with Cotto sprinting out to the lead for the early rounds.

It’s the mid rounds that are likely to spell the difference. Cotto has been whipping himself into better condition ever since he took the fight against Manny Pacquiao. Margarito of course is legendary for his work rate and conditioning, as high as 1200+ punches in a 12 round fight.

Tough fight to pick because of the unknowns, but Cotto will have the edge as “the good guy” against “the bad guy” in his comfortable “hometown” settings stocked with plenty of Puerto Ricans who love him. It goes without saying that he will target the repaired Margarito orbital, perhaps doing enough damage to earn a stoppage.

Margarito will have to beat Cotto substantially to eke out a decision, or seal the win with a knock out, never an easy task in the best of times under the best of conditions against a top opponent. Nonetheless, absent egregious interference from the ref, I expect him to walk down Cotto again, perhaps earlier if his eye holds up.

While the outcome may still be open, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito have a golden opportunity to set the record straight come December 3rd in Madison Square Garden and perhaps seal their legends with another modern classic.