Tag Archives: Thomas & Mack Center

Juan Manuel Marquez & Timothy Bradley Fight For Respect

Coming up fast under the wire like a nuclear studded stealth fighter comes the Timothy Bradley/Juan Manuel Marquez confrontation Saturday, October 12th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Hard to know how this bout is going to shake out because of the polar opposite styles and attributes of the two longtime P4P fighters. Prior to each fighting Manny Pacquiao, I would have favored the unrelentingly awkward frenzy of the quicksilver Bradley over the traditional, upright, stationary countering style of Marquez.

The boxing landscape has since rumbled massively on the Richter scale, swallowing up the Manny Pacquiao phenomenon of the last two decades that left him twisting cruelly in the forever hot winds of his critics. Nor have the two fighters responsible for that tectonic shift been able to escape venomous strikes against them. Timothy Bradley may have won the judges’ hearts in a split decision win over Pacquiao, but he lost a lifetime of respect built up over his considerable career thus far because nobody but his family thinks he came close to winning that fight.

Billions upon Billions...

Billions upon Billions…

Who to thank in Vegas for yet another rinse and repeat “rubber stamped” hack job? Insert Carl Sagan intoning “billions upon billions” of hack jobs littering the great boxing galaxy in perpetuity it would seem.

Speaking of Vegas, their favorite fighter not named Floyd Mayweather Jr just happens to be Juan Manuel Marquez. He may have finally scored a highlight knockout for the ages over his long time nemesis, but all was for naught on the respectometer due to the sordid reputation of his BALCO associated physical trainer Angel “Memo” Heredia who transformed Marquez’s modest physical frame into Hulk Jr. This ain’t your tubby, pissoir tonic guzzling Juan Manuel Marquez of the Floyd Mayweather Jr fight anymore, that’s for certain.

As to physical frames, Timothy Bradley is right out of a Superman comic book, clearly engaged in a lifetime of body building that he apparently pares down with a vegan diet during training camp if what I have read is correct. He loves to flex and pose, so it will be interesting to see the weigh in contrast between what used to be the modestly composed Marquez who used to let his fists do his talking in the ring.

Hulk Jr vs Superman Jr?

Hulk Jr vs Superman Jr?

Bradley was coaxed into a comeback of sorts after his one year rest period to recover from serious ankle injuries sustained in the Pacquiao bout. The deranged death threats against him and his family along with the failure of the boxing community to rally round his huge “upset” put a rust on his insecure form against Ruslan Provodnikov, a brutal bout Bradley spent much time out on his feet as he staggered around looking for a place to fall. We’ll see soon enough if he’s recover full use of his ankles and chin since this new form of Marquez punches harder than ever.

Marquez found out the hard way that hiring BALCO associated trainers won him no new fans either. This fight was cobbled together after a last ditch compromise that sees Bradley being tested by the illicit VADA drug testing cartel while Marquez is drug tested by some fly by night illicit drug testing cartel because of longtime down and dirty disputes between Victor Conte and Memo Heredia who claim to be cleaning up boxing with their magic elixirs. Yeah, and I’ve got some lovely ocean frontage in Afghanistan for sale too, just send me your bank account numbers for a steal….errr….the deal of the century!

It also goes without saying that neither of these guys can carry a PPV on their own, so it will be interesting how those numbers pan out. Both could’ve earned much more against Pacquiao, but their egos insisted on parity if not the lions share of that purse, so this fight is also when their high flying rockets make a hard return to the boxing business world they live in.

Bradley could get careless and pop like a burnt out light bulb, or he might do light saber pirouettes around the bulked out form of Marquez. Don’t know who the favorite will be since Marquez is 40 years old to Bradley’s 30, but like I say, Vegas loves Marquez, thus he can be seen as both the money and the home town fighter for this bout and likely the modest betting favorite.

Be a nice change of pace to see an exciting, well contested, well officiated, and well scored fight to make up for the last couple of big duds this year. Marketing grossly exceeded the quality of the officiating and fighting of the year’s big “events.” Mayweather vs Alvarez and Klitschko vs Povetkin were anticlimactic compared to the hype of their big money promotions, so maybe next year boxing can get quality back into big events…..always a next year.

Sergio Martinez Lands The Big One–Baby Chavez Jr

The much avoided, can’t get no Rodney Dangerfield respect Sergio Martinez finally landed his big bout with Son of the Legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Of course Junior has his own view of the match after finally securing a legacy bout he hopes use to put his howling critics into permanent internment.

Happy to Fight

Happy to Fight

September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center is the place to be for the fireworks, and there should be plenty of rockets and bazooka shots on display between these two. Martinez has promised to blast the diapers off of Chavez before sending him bawling back to El Padre Sr. All the while Junior is chomping at the bit to show off his new cut to the bone physique and sporty form last featured in a spectacular combination that knocked out Andy Lee. 

I would have to note that the 37 year old Martinez has shown near peak form in 4 consecutive KTFOs of Paul Williams, Serhiy Dzinziruk, and British fighters Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin, all in all fighters a grade above than the competition that Chavez Jr has fought. El Maravilla comes into this bout with an impressive career record of 49-2-2, 28 KO. The only fighter who ever really handled Martinez was 20 year old Antonio Margarito who put on his fear inducing walk’em down and blast’em to smithereens style to destroy him in a classic boxer/slugger matchup.

There’s no shame in losing to Margarito who was well on his way to a decade long Ring ranking, culminating in a Ring belt Belt and P4P rating. Martinez returned to Argentina like so many great Argentines before him to hone his style and skills to perfection before returning to the States with great success.

The 26 year old Chavez counters with consecutive wins over Sebastian Zbik, Peter Manfredo Jr, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Andy Lee, surging performances that makes out his promoter, Bob Arum as being a genius for showing patience enough to ignore the critics to give Chavez the proper boxing development, currently at 46-0-1, 32 KO. Now the promotion has the proper forward push as befits one of the few big fight events this year.

It must be mentioned that Junior comes into the fight with a sullied reputation down to testing positive for diuretics a few years back, typically used by athletes to cut weight. Recently there were reports of him missing or delaying a couple of mandatory post fight drug tests in his last two Texas fights. A few of his opponents have claimed that the scales were tampered with to get him under the steadily rising limits as he has grown from his 130 lb, 17 year old debut to a 180+ lb fighting weight middleweight, meaning that he gains an incredible 20+ lbs from the weighin to the next night of the fight.

That’s one of the biggest fight night weight gains in boxing and one never knows when the body might rebel against the torture of reducing and then regaining that amount of weight in advance of severe competition. Junior also had multiple DUI charges leveled against him during the Rubio training camp, so we can’t know how dedicated he truly is to this fight. He has always seemed to be in pretty good overall condition, but Martinez is a big step up and could expose a lack of dedication.

Chavez Jr fought Andy Lee in one of the smallest rings you’ll ever see in a championship bout, looking to be about 16′ square compared to the usual average of about 20′ square. The details of ring conditions were not released for this upcoming fight as far as I know yet, but a small ring gives more advantage to Junior who will be the bigger, stronger, younger fighter looking to leverage those assets against Martinez who is a smaller, more traditionally sized middleweight. Martinez will have to use fast footwork and combinations to move around and get in and out of Junior’s typically up close range he likes to fight at.

Junior is probably about as strong Kelly Pavlik whom Martinez outpointed thanks to a cut that was poorly attended to by the Pavlik team, so this fight may well resemble that fight initially. Thing is, Pavlik is much taller and rangier and punches much harder than does Junior, so he was more dangerous to fight and took a lot out of Martinez who was losing on the cards before Pavlik was cut.

I’m thinking Martinez will conduct a careful survey of himself and Junior before picking his spots to launch his chin cracking tests. Thus far Chavez has scarcely been fazed by a hard punch. Passing the Rubio test did a lot for everyone’s confidence since Rubio is about a hard punching a middleweight you can find.

If Martinez can’t stop Chavez, I’d think he could hang in the pocket all night to outclass him by a wide points victory, but they gots to prove it in the ring, so here we go again:

Who ya got, the highly skilled favorite Sergio Martinez, or the new kid on the block, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr?