Tag Archives: top rank

2X Olympic Gold Robeisy Ramirez Turns Pro@Top Rank

The crafty Octogenarian Bob Arum caught smirking like the cat who ate the canary with his signing of the 2X Cubano Olympic Gold Medalist Robeisy Ramirez.

Young Ramirez will compete at featherweight for now, a perfect set up for Arum’s other two featherweight stars, Shakur Stevenson and Michael Conlan, always needing ever bigger fights on their path to glory. The kid should be fast tracked as a potentially greater talent, say 2 years before he catches up and fights the first of them. Some of his Ama and Olympic highlights here.

http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/Robeisy_Ramirez

With at least part of his family seemingly stateside who may or not be a good influence, he should have some grounding unlike some of the other Cubanos tossed into the American cultural overload. The kid won Gold at age 18 and repeated, so you can bet the farm on American based trainers to be scrambling for a chance to lead him to professional glory. 

Part of the previous Cubano failures seem to be with poor Cubano management and trainers who don’t understand the pro style and capitalist nature of the American fight game, so touted Cubano Olympic fighters thus far have never fulfilled their pro promise. That’s my generalization for better or worse.

The kid at age 26 in his full athletic prime years also looks telegenic enough to land some lucrative endorsements, so presumably Robby looks to exceed previous Cubano efforts, but only if he has the proper management and public grooming for that beyond the fight game. I’m thinking the most obvious training pairing would be as a sparring partner for Vasiliy Lomachenko, the most successful 2X Olympic Gold professional in history. If his father and trainer,  Anatoly Lomachenko, took on Robby, the Axis of the Earth might shift to Cuba.

Here’s hoping for The One, which is if I don’t say so, a super snappy moniker that could very well describe the kid. Make it so!

Undefeated Austin City Councilman Fights For Top Rank In Vegas Tonight!

*** FYI, a superfeather/lightweight, Casey Ramos, 23-0, 6 KO, is fighting Andy Vences, 16-0, 10 KO, tonite in Vegas.

Casey is an interesting kid who graduated this year with a degree in economics at St Edwards. He’s with Top Rank and on election day a few days later may well be elected as a city councilman in his district, so I fibbed a little to get his great storyline going. Got a lot of irons in his fire he does, and morever sounds like he may have tapped in to his constituency much like Manny Pacquiao did in the Philippines. His moniker is The Wizard, and with only 6 KOs and giving up some big size to The Shark here, so he best bring his A+ game.

Might be worth a look tonite.

Casey Goes to Bat against Vences

Casey Goes to Bat against Vences

Old Lion Manny Pacquiao vs Young Lion Jessie Vargas

Jessie Vargas is the WBO welterweight champ holding Manny Pacquiao‘s old title he won from Timothy Bradley Jr back in April before retiring. Now Manny wants to reclaim it come Saturday, November 5th @ the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The collective howls of derision from the antisocial media monkeys who were desperate for Junior Welt champ Terence Crawford to get the call promptly soiled any reasonable public expectations for this fight, but just looking at both the excellent title credentials of Vargas coupled with his natural attributes that include significant height, reach, youth, and presumably strength, this looks like a really good action fight. Manny turns 38 next month with 431 rounds waged professionally and Vargas is in a traditional range of athletic prime at age 27 with 189 professional rounds logged, so this the classic battle of the Old Lion against the Young Lion.

Manny’s PPV numbers for Bradley III were about the same as the Floyd TUE Mayweather PPV against the hapless Andre Berto, in other words the expected blow back of fans against both for their sham “Fight of the Century.” So is the public ready to embrace their former favorite again?

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Boxing is in a major rebuild thanks to that pathetic grubbing of greed and corruption, so nobody should ever expect big PPV numbers again until some legit new crossover stars are born. The much ballyhooed Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward PPV that follows this probably won’t clear more than 300-400K if even that because Kovalev is Russian and Ward a P4P STINKER who has made himself irrelevant these past few years. And speaking of pathetic, Vargas should be undefeated after knocking out Bradley only to have the silly putty ref change his mind AFTER he stepped in to save Bradley. How could such blatant idiocy ever be more convenient than that? Amazingly Vargas seems not to have let it get to him, instead turning around disappointment for a very excellent upswing after that robbery, a vicious KO of the undefeated Sadam Ali that earned him this fight. That said, if Manny gets in a half decent camp, he should handle Vargas in a great fight for fans, but it’s hardly the given win his critics complain about. See the Bradley/Ali KOs for proof. Young Vargas has the lean and hungry look of being reborn with cracking power and confidence.

Crawford has a chance to grow a few more fans, humility, and the understanding he won’t dictate the weights and finances like he attempted. Manny’s still the boss and most obviously as a welt if he wins back the WBO title. I didn’t see the alleged Crawford shutout of Postol, but I did see a very crafty Crawford using his speed and power to get the two knockdowns that insured in an otherwise well contested fight he would get the win. That was some smart boxing from the kid instead of trying to match brute strength against a bigger, stronger guy. Now he needs to better calculate his appeal after drawing 60K PPVs for that fight. At any rate, Manny is still the fastest in the division with power enough and more experience at top levels than any fighter going today. He too seems to be reborn after his shoulder surgery, so if the Vargas fight reestablishes his star power, he won’t go away quietly if he can come back once every year like clockwork. His greedy Uncle Bob is already talking about the Crawford fight next April, way too much return action for what is now a full time Senator.

And speaking of politics with this being a particularly low brow, low blow waged American presidential election year, the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is as harshly hard line conservative and vulgar as they come. He slandered US President Obama as the son of a whore and demanded US troops stationed there exit the Philippines post haste. America is not his friend, instead looking to Asia and especially China for economic and military allegiances. The last time Manny got caught up in presidential politics during an election year was 2012 when he was baited by the press into offering his negative views of gay marriage in the liberal state of Nevada. That faux pas cost him one of boxing’s worst decision losses ever against Tim Bradley that reduced his earnings by multimillions of dollars. So here we go again with Manny perfectly framed for an identical political crunching moment in time, literally a deer in the Vegas headlights against a really rough, tough, game Mexican for boxing promotional purposes, but who is as native born and endemically American as breakfast tacos have become.

It’s an embarrassment to have to broach the historic reach of boxing corruption in the land of the free and home of the brave where all are guaranteed Constitutional rights in theory, but not boxing decisions. A few days later the big Presidential election occurs, and a few days after that comes the “hated” Russian destroyer Sergey Kovalev  fighting the last American Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward in another title fight in Las Vegas. We will see with these two boxing events just how fair America is for honorable visiting foreign nationals these days.

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

An interesting development in this fight is the PPV structure will be in house on Top Rank’s own website where they have broadcast fights in the past. The results of this experiment should be interesting, but one problem I picked up early is that the promotion seemed a little weak, and on their website I saw no place to purchase the PPV stream just 2 weeks away from fight time, but we could purchase tickets to the fight, c’mon now Bob. I had to research to google to a completely different website, http://www.toprank.tv/index.jsp where the fight costs $59.99, and which is backlinked to the main Top Rank website. Why their main site has no forwarding link that I see can only be answered by their website designers, but dumb is still dumb by any other name. When I checked back days before the fight, Hallelujah, the forwarding link is there. Better late than never.

The backdrop of this in house PPV was that HBO had already committed to Kovalev vs Ward the very next week and didn’t have the funds left in their reduced boxing budget to finance this, and also didn’t want to have two PPVs on the same month for business reasons known only to them. Top Rank is desperate to develop alternatives after taking a financial bath on both the Manny/Bradley fight and the Crawford/Postal one as well, but criminy, next time put the freaking livestream link on their main site well in advance with the ticket sales for folks to buy the stream at their convenience…duh!

Of course after doing decuple duty, that’s 10x duty as Senator, husband, father,fighter, movie star, basketball player and coach, singer, lover, and the softest touch for money for the needy, Manny could get proverbially old overnight, but I say let him do it his way. He looked dominant in his last P4P battle against Bradley and has earned his chops at least as hard as any fighter in history and harder than most all. Jessie not only earned his opportunity, but is also the hungriest for it in the welterweight division. That counts for a whole lot more than just picking up a payday like many fighters do in big fights these days.

Here they were out of training 2 months away already looking in shape and fight ready. This is gonna be great, guaranteed.

Bob Arum vs Al Haymon~Who You Got?

The Skinny: Top Rank Boxing through the direction of former US Department of Justice Attorney and long time boxing promoter, Bob Arum, filed a $100 million lawsuit last year in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on the basis of Al Haymon’s monopolistic PBC series that violated federal antitrust laws and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. Haymon, financed through an investment hedge fund, basically bought out most all the boxing programing  of the television networks, in effect leaving the rest of boxing promoters pretty much high and dry in making their own TV deals. Golden Boy Promotions was the first to file suit that is still pending for a much greater sum due to greater damages, a staggering $300 million.

The Blow by Blow

The Blow by Blow

It seems Haymon recently settled with Arum out of court a couple of weeks ago according to latest media releases, but what this means for boxing’s shaky future is unknown. Boxing futures today as seen by young kids and their parents are pretty much a no go investment, this after a long storied era in the US where boxing was the “go to” sport and part of the amateur athletic competition of  higher education along side baseball, football, ect. That status started dying somewhere between the 1950s and 60s when boxing finally started falling out of favor with the public due to the long time mob influence in pro boxing and general exploitation of fighters. In other words, the educated classes no longer saw a future need for boxing with it’s subsequent punch drunkeness, so they largely abandoned it.

Needless to say, this recent settlement sees the litigants sworn to silence regarding the terms, but I’d guess Arum netted $20-30 million along with in number of concessions regarding the way boxing business will go forward.

The much bigger hurdle for Haymon is still in the queue, and it’s a doozy with Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy still waiting for his pound of flesh after Haymon colluded with former Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaefer, to gut the company from within, taking away most all his fighters. Schaefer has settled with GB out of court already, so now it’s just Haymon still swimming in shark infested waters as GB and Haymon’s investment fund are looking for compensatory justice in the civil courts.

Boxing will survive no doubt, but it’s just a matter to what degree. It would seemingly be in it’s twilight years by the large decline in the numbers of participants, both amateur and pro, but that could change with a better, more productive business model that wasn’t filled with so much skulduggery…

…And the beat goes on…

3rd Time The Charm? Manny Pacquiao vs Tim Bradley

Nobody was calling for this rubber match, yet we’ll find Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr scrapping again, perhaps in this 3rd time the charm to daze and amaze us at the MGM Floyd in Las Vegas come April 9th. Amir Khan had been begging to fight Manny and was likely the frontrunner, but as typical, he priced himself out much like he did with TUE. At any rate, Bradley is a much more difficult fight for Pacquiao because he’s just as fast, more awkward, and has already logged 24 rounds of hard earned experience.

Such matchmaking shenanigans are the currency of the current sorry state of coldwar between Top Rank and Al Haymon that this rubber happens to be the most viable option for Manny. JMMarquez has steadfastly refused to sign up for a highly lucrative 5th fight, and most every other notable welter is signed with Al Haymon, a non starter for consideration.

Bradley is coming off his best showings in many years after knocking out Brandon Rios. I never counted his running, fleeing, spare split decision over 40 year old Juan Manuel Marquez in 2013 for much. Marquez was quite miffed about Bradley’s lack of engagement, but then Bradley struggled to secure another split against Argentine club fighter Diego Gabriel Chaves. Next, as he was polishing up an excellent showing against undefeated Top Rank darling Jessie Vargas, he was knocked out according to the rules and the reactions of the ref, Pat Russell, but NOOOOOO, this is boxing we’re talking of, so of course the ref amazingly overruled his previous actions to allow the fight to continue. That neat trick bought Bradley enough time to survive the final seconds of the last round that unluckily for Vargas ended the fight, only in boxing folks.

Pac/Bradley II

Pac/Bradley II

While the previous two Bradley/Pacquiao fights weren’t exactly barnburners, they did showcase solid skills, plenty of speed, action, and an interesting style clash for those of a technical viewing bent. Unfortunately both were terribly scarred from the horrendous officiating of the first fight and it’s been an uphill battle to fortify their careers ever since. With them both being somewhat vulnerable these days, they could make for a closer, more dynamic fight. The odds have closed dramatically in this last week with Pacquiao only a nominal 2-1 favorite now.

One new wrinkle for this bout came out of the blue when Bradley picked a new trainer for the Rios fight, the unsparing, loonytune, and congenital loose cannon, Teddy Atlas, who was mentored by Cus D’amato, but not for long after he pulled a gun on the teenage Tyson. His training resume is sparse, briefly with Michael Moorer and Donny LaLonde a long time ago as his biggest successes, and later dragging down Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin into the depths of despair most recently. He never seemed to have the mental stability needed for the job, most worryingly at one point going looking for LaLonde with a pistol meaning to do criminal harm. Fortunately he didn’t find Donny, but Bradley found Atlas and convinced him to sign on for the Rios fight. Bradley unveiled a new Wlad Klitschko clinch and release style for that fight that finally made use of his previously useless big muscles, limiting the offensive output of the highly dangerous Rios. And to think that Teddy has spent the better part of two decades running down three of the all time boxing talents ever, the Klitchko brothers and Manny Pacquiao, but I guess he finally found a clue with the clinching strategy and swung with it. It was an odd KO by the light punching Bradley with Rios almost looking like he quit, but I tend to think it was one of those moments when the right punch, the Mexicans call it El Gacho, a left hook to the liver that finally landed in a fashion that flattered the disbelieving Bradley.

Pac/Bradley II

Pac/Bradley II

In contrast, Pacquiao last looked terrible in his last outing against TUE 49-0 who refused to engage to take another home cooked decision based on little more than tossing out the sparest of unpopped kernels of popcorn before turning his back to duck and flee the scene of the crime. See my comments on boxing scoring below. Then the post fight revelation of Manny’s shoulder injury leaked out followed weeks later by revelations by Thomas Hauser of Mayweather’s TUE saline flush just before the fight, but wait, there’s more, this is boxing! The scandal further compounded when the USADA’s Theraputic User Exemption was found to be  submitted for approval  to the Vegas commish a full 3 weeks after the fight ended. The Vegas commish are the same folks who allowed TUE’s hand injections while denying Pacquiao’s request for an injection for his injured shoulder…only in boxing folks. To pile on to that blatant bias, the official scorecards showed the Red Corner winning the fight, ie Manny being in the red corner, before the cards were altered after being submitted…only in boxing folks. These yahoos couldn’t organize a garage sale with the correct sticker prices, but they sure managed to screw up the most lucrative signature boxing event in the 3rd millennium pretty good to give boxing another black eye…gee, thanks guys.

http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/13621142/floyd-mayweather-took-wada-banned-iv-manny-pacquiao-fight-according-report

Currently there is a combined $400 million combined lawsuit against Al Haymon by Golden Boy and Top Rank on top of a few dozen more lawsuits against the two fighters filed by various fans(re: gamblers) feeling robbed as we all were by the farce that I elaborated about before the fight ever commenced.

And if that wasn’t enough problems to send most mortals to an early grave, the the mainstream tabloid press recently dropped a cluster bomb that went viral when it was revealed in February that Manny had said that homosexuals were lower than animals during an interview conducted in his native language that nobody but Filipinos could understand. That minefield had already been well seeded and won’t be going away anytime soon after Pacquiao’s similar comments in the lead up to the first Bradley fight, one of the all time robberies in boxing when the shocked Bradley was announced the winner. The winner immediately had to recuse himself to a wheelchair because Manny had hit him so hard that his ankles popped loose and had to undergo rehabilitation in order to properly function again. But wait, there’s more. Manny did it again in the 2nd fight, popping Bradley’s knee loose this time.

Let’s be clear though, Manny is running for another high public office, the Senate in the Philippines, so his opponents are going to every length to discredit him. Tabloid media has hundreds of sordid years of history of quoting people out of context or making up lies, but since Manny quickly apologized, he must of said something along those lines even as he added that some biblical quotes attributed to him were made up by the media. While his animal comment is regrettable, the imperious, sanctimonious condemnation by the tabloid press was the much greater abomination. One example would be the boorish Bill Dwyre who says he’s retired from the LA Times and now pens articles for Ring Magazine and Fightnews. This is a guy who toed the dirty corporate tabloid line in his sports reporting like most do if they want to keep their jobs. A prime example would be the media typically pandering the story of Floyd Mayweather wanting Olympic drug testing, when anyone could clearly see he only wanted his very own personalized, well paid for drug testing program, and he got it while most of our dear reporters were collecting paychecks for their dutiful blither that they used to slander Manny as if he was ever opposed to drug testing.

More to the point, in one of Dwyre’s recent condemnations of Manny, he utterly clowned himself by claiming animals of the same sex “procreate” with each other, I kid you not. Sorry to tell you Billy Boy, but no mammals of the same sex can make offspring through a sex act, P-R-O-C-R-E-A-T-I-O-N…DUH, something any 7th grader can tell you about. Animals are animals and serve no gay agenda any more than they do Republican, Democrat, or any other political agenda. Of course many in this world like to anthropomorphize their pets with human characteristics as they also take on the characteristics of their “beloved” pets, the animals. Atheist and anthropologist camps like to note that Humans are animals, so maybe George Orwell did get it right in his classic, 1984, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 

I can appreciate that gays wanting their due civil rights under the laws of the US constitution, as all self respecting citizens would like their own due civil rights, but unfortunately life often doesn’t respect the US Constitution, so we get trampled, especially in 3rd world countries. The gay agenda has morphed into dirty politics just like Republican, Democrat, religious, and most every other worthwhile philosophy once it crosses over the ideal into the political realm that would include, ahem, a certain Philippine boxer running for office. What was he thinking?

Nonetheless, boxing at it’s worst is almost always more honorable than politics that typically create ideal conditions for intractable poverty, disease, injuries, and fatalities compared to the few negative repercussions of boxing. Boxers tend to spring from the poor multitudes beaten down by dirty politics, only trying to fight their way out of otherwise bleak futures. Maybe Billy hasn’t noticed these days that he’s just being used as clickbait in support of the antisocial media comments underneath his articles, so perhaps he should remove the giant logs from his eyes and venture forth to take a sniff of that filth he sits atop of. The puerile pile steams of the discourse of raw sewage, consistently delivering the most aggressively racist, homophobic, sexist, and nationalistic slurs imaginable not to mention brutally violent threats. Far too many have been against Manny dating from when he came to America two decades ago to obliterate the highly popular Three Mexican Amigos, Barrera, Morales, and Marquez. Please do launder your own dirty laundry first Billy, and maybe buy some vowels for some integrity for once in your subservient, lackey life. The typical morally Imperialistic American with his extended height and belly may loom in self righteous indignation over the diminutive Manny, but rest assured neither you nor you colleagues at your best could ever lift Manny’s jock strap on his worst day.

Even Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum turned on him, conveniently forgetting his own ill advised 15 minute rant at JM Marquez in the post fight presser after the 2nd fight with Manny. How many times and how many ways did he scream at Marquez to go fuck himself? While Marquez had a reprimand coming after stupidly complaining about the result, we had to turn away from the sheer volume of Arum’s poisonous profanity pouring forth. And how about Arum’s comments about the UFC where he opined that “nobody wants to see a bunch of guys humping on the canvas?” Where was the gay community outrage then? My guess is they were too busy planning their next public parades and costume parties replete with cross dressing of sexes for insulting pantomimes of heterosexual men and women and their families that they think is so cute. We could only imagine the international condemnation if Manny chose a Halloween party to cavort around as a gay blade or in black face.

It strikes me that in today’s world, Adolh Hitler was born a century too early. Today he wouldn’t have to militarize Germany to invade Europe. Instead he could easily consolidate power off shore thru pyramiding corporate structures and then direct various governments to make his wars for him. No need for those unsightly genocidal death camps either, just tap the teeming 3rd world backwaters for his disposable slaves, a perpetually renewable source of labor. That’s the ticket for world domination these days.

The above was the backdrop from where a desperate, starving, 98 lb stick of a Filipino kid emerged to upset all the odds stacked against him and his people. Those of the western world shielded by the thin veneer of their poorly constructed bubbles of moral hypocrisy shouldn’t be throwing rocks much less lobbing smart bombs on the poor wretches of the world, yet they surely do just as sure as they still stone people to death in the Middle East. Many “boxing writers” today scarcely know much about boxing past droning on endlessly about idiotic punchmonkey numbers. yet another boxing “genius” recently filled his shorts about how Manny can’t win the election after his gay smear. It’s a crapshoot Einstein, nobody knows how the Philippine election will turn out for Manny, not even Filipinos.

In short, gay community supporters generally lack the high moral ground they wish to claim regarding this episode, but they could learn to roll with his apology and move on to more productive endeavors that affect all citizens that they claim to be a part of. As a homeless kid scrapping for his very existence on the 3rd world streets, Manny doubtless had untold negative contacts with homosexuals that forged his views, something that soft western culture is mostly insulated from.

Now, lecture over and back to the match up. Could be that Loony Uncle Teddy and Bradley were destined for each other since Bradley, and more importantly his wife who from all reports seems to run his show these days, so do they believe in miracles? Word is that Tim has taken to eating meat for this fight, his previous vegan diets thought to be a weakness in his extremely strenuous profession that I alluded to in previous articles after his leg injuries piled up.

His training camp has cloaked this fight in a surreal type of wet and foggy Zen mysticism, labeling it The Log in the Ocean. Against Rios during the heat of battle, Teddy was screaming about them being firemen fighting fires, which I guess sort of ties in with Bradley’s fighting moniker of Desert Storm. Beats drinking Koolaide, but if anything might tip the fight in their favor it will be the incessant clinching, not the motivation factor which Bradley always overflowed with. I don’t think Manny is strong enough to handle extensive clinching though he did OK against TUE in that misbegotten fight.

The Typhoon Manny that stormed the boxing world in the first decade of the millennium has long been tamed by the boxing nuance provided by Freddie Roach. Nobody yet knows how well Manny’s shoulder has recovered after surgery, but he does want to go out in style. This is supposedly his last fight because of the strain of being a congressman and fighter all these years not to mention being a professional basketball coach, player, and all around movie star and recording artist. It’s ridiculously crazy to think anyone could ever do so many things, and true, nobody else but Manny has or ever will. If we look at his overall record, he has the most historically spellbinding rivalries in all modern boxing, Erik Morales x 3, Marco Antonio Barrera x 2, Juan Manuel Marquez x 4, and now Tim Bradley x 3. Everyone of them a certified Ring P4Per with nobody else in boxing history being close to putting up his overall number of Ring rated P4P fights, wins, and KOs, currently 8-4-1, 5 KO going for his 14th P4P fight.

That’s why he so grabbed the international community’s attention during the largest boxing poll ever conducted in 2009 with over a half million frenzied boxing aficionados participating. The poll was staged in Las Vegas by an international group of boxing scribes to oversee the boxing communities phoning in their picks from all over the world.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/179507/sports/boxing/birthday-gift-pacquiao-in-league-with-ring-greats

P4P  #1. Sugar Ray Robinson   #2. Manny Pacquiao   #3. Muhammad Ali

#1 Welterweight:  Sugar Ray Robinson,   #1 Featherweight: Manny Pacquiao,   #1 Heavyweight: Muhammad Ali,  #1 Lightheavyweight: Roy Jones Jr,  #3 Lightweight, TUE 49-0.

And what about the Punch Monkeys who tally up nonsensical Peter Pan numbers for talking airheads to babble about. There’s a good chance these numbers will be just about even for this fight. Some recent fights that show the useless babble of those bubblegum boxing experts would be the Kovalev vs Pascal rematch where Sergey grotesquely outlanded Pascal in a terrible beat down that anyone could see. The announcers are probably contractually obligated to blabber about this corruption of the sport, but they should be obligated to have noted that the fight needed to be stopped earlier since Pascal was slumped head down for most of the fight taking mega punches. Pascal has never been the same since his tangle with Kovalev. The second example is Bradley/Pacquiao 1 and 2. First fight Pac “outlanded” Bradley 253 to 159, or 34% to 19%, yet Manny lost a split decision that anyone could see was wrong without needing the stats. Second fight was slower paced with Bradley slightly improving his performance as Manny coasted more, yet Manny still outlanded Bradley 198 to 141, or 35% to 22%, not as dominate as the first fight, yet this time Manny got a modestly wide decision. So if boxing clearly doesn’t use punch numbers, what good are they? Maidana hits 5x harder than TUE and deserved the decisions according to many, but did judges ever bother to multiply his numbers by that factor to give him the decision? Of course not, boxing and punch monkeys are all about serving up a mystery meat baloney sandwiches as far as their end of the product goes. If they were as half as well trained and half as competent as the fighters, the quality of officiating would shoot up 500% and fans would be flocking back in droves.

The official “ABC” guidelines of scoring that boxing is supposed to adhere to with my commentary to follow:

Judges should avoid scoring a round even. (Complete concentration and application of the scoring criteria will allow Judges to pick the winner of each round.) Boxing the only major sport that won’t score even intervals of competition as even. The “Money or Home” fighter typically gets these even rounds to cause great controversy, usually much of the clamor caused by busted wagers on the fight.

1. Clean punching (power versus quantity). Maidana hits 5x harder than TUE, but got no credit as the most blatant example of judges ignoring their rules.

2. Effective aggressiveness. Highly subjective terminology generally ignored as needed when judges are so directed.

3. Ring generalship. Highly subjective terminology generally awarded to American runners as needed when judges are so directed.

4. Defense. Highly subjective and LAST in value, but first in TUE 49-0 scoring. Judges are directed to use it as needed to boost the favored money fighter.

Since Pacquiao has a history off poor officiating aligned against him, let’s look at the officials this time around. Robert Byrd, the ref in the first Bradley fight will reprise his role. As I recall, he did fine in that bout save missing Bradley touching down in the 5th, but now due to a health issue has been replaced by Tony Weeks. Weeks had previously earned TUE 49-0 wrath by allowing to Marcos Rene Maidana to bludgeon him in a straight up fight instead of protecting him. Weeks was banned from any further TUE fights. Dave Moretti and Burt A. Clements were 118-112 and 116-112 respectively in Manny’s last fight against TUE, but Moretti always gives TUE wide wins. Clements was at least somewhat reasonable in that stinker, but wait, remember it was Clements who manned up to making a mistake in the first Manny/Marquez bout by botching the scoring of the 3 knockdown first round that would have given Manny the split decision. We normally don’t see that level of integrity out of boxing judges, but it’d be nice if the judges were credible this go round given the histories.  Steve Weisfeld  is the 3rd judge. He seems to be reasonable overall, especially in his scoring of the 4th JMMarquez action packed fight, 47-46 for Pacquiao before the KO.

Longtime champ, 36 year old Arthur Abraham, 44-4, 29 KO,  defends his WBO Supermiddle title on the undercard against Top Ranks future Mexican megastar, 24 year old , Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez, 33-0, 24 KO. Abraham is short, but very strong and well tested at 5-9, whereas Ramirez is very tall at 6-3, an untested, rangy southpaw. Big step up for the kid, but he has all the suits and fans in his corner against the German based Armenian who used to inflame the typical US xenophobic hatreds that foreigners Lucien Bute, Manny, Canelo, and the Klitschko brothers also endured. This could be the best fight of the night if the kid can handle himself.

A featured part of this promotion was a name coined by Arum, his “No Trump Undercard,” a political shot across the Republican bow featuring a host of future Latino boxing stars. Even worse, days before the fight a deranged man attacked Manny in an underground garage. Foiled by Manny’s small security team, he heaped an avalanche of the foulest profanities on Manny, presumably upset over his gay remarks. Could have caused a terrible international incident had the nut a knife or gun, no doubt sadly whipped up by the tabloid press in an unstable time in this country.

Of course I still think Manny beats Bradley, I can’t help it even as the Typhoon has calmed down to the last few days of a Monsoon. It’s buried deep in his genetic code, he can’t help it, but I do wish Tim the very best fight he can muster up. Win, lose, or draw, these guys make no bones about teeing it up in the ring which what boxing needs to start rehabilitating the sport. Then they could settle the half billion dollar lawsuits and design a better model starting with their commishes, the scoring and refereeing to go with more reasonable drug testing consistency…nah, ain’t happening anytime soon…only in boxing…

Pac/Bradley III

Pac/Bradley III

 

Terence Crawford vs Dierry Jean in Omaha

Terence Crawford , now 26-0, 18 KO, defends his freshly minted WBO junior welterweight title against Dierry Jean, now 29-1, 20 KO, Saturday, October 24th at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

The 33 year old Jean is a native of Haiti based in Montréal, Québec as are many other Haitians and other foreign fighters. I haven’t seen much of him, but clearly he comes to fight with 20 knockouts. He’s also quick handed and fast afoot, so this looks like a solid, game matchup for true fighting fans who enjoy not only the sweet science of true fighters, but also fast action and those virtuoso moments of impact when the drunken chicken dances start.

The 28 year old Crawford, who is promoted by Top Rank, has obviously been enjoying his hometown development by Bob Arum who has traditionally grown local followings first even as he is following the path of big fights in big venues down the road. Already on the table is a projected fight with Manny Pacquiao in March of 2016, as big a fight as there is. I personally think that’s way too much for Crawford who is still gaining experience at the higher levels, but then again we don’t know if Pacquiao’s shoulder problems have been corrected by his recent surgery. Regardless, be a good fight to take if offered not to mention exceedingly lucrative, but it’s not a done deal yet as Top rank mulls over other offers and projected PPVs for Manny, most prominently Amir Khan.

Still, not shabby pickin’s in store for the po’boy out of Omaha, but first things first, so now we got a certain mean Mr. Jean wanting to lay his keen hands on Crawford. Should be an interesting fight that I obviously favor Crawford in…enjoy…

Crawford vs Jean

Crawford vs Jean

A Fat Man Fight~Andy Ruiz Jr vs Devin Vargas

A fat man stumbles into a boxing ring, and then suddenly another fat man enters the ring. Where’s the punchline you ask?

How about Mexicali Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr tangling with Toledonian American Devin Vargas at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California, Saturday, September 26th? Is that good enough?

Updated: Devin Vargas is now out, for what reason I don’t know. Joell Godfrey, 17-14-1, 6 KO, moves in for an 8 rounder. Weights are Ruiz 248 lbs and Godfrey 211. Ruiz near his all time low in weight. Godfrey flits between heavy and cruiser and usually goes the distance, only being KOed twice, but Ruiz by far the best heavy he’s ever faced. I’m guessing Godfrey will be a runner for this and Ruiz will have to chase him down, hopefully patiently as American judges love American runners these days, so this could be a potential banana peel for Ruiz.

Godfrey record here:

http://boxrec.com/boxer/361027

Andy Ruiz, currently 24-0, 17 KO, should be in better matchups at this point in time, but truth be told his promoter, Top Rank, has spent near a lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears over 5 fruitless years to finally make the biggest paying boxing match in history, Pacquiao vs Mayweather to the neglect of the rest of their stable. No need to go into further sordid details in the making of that disaster and subsequent hundreds of millions of dollars worth of lawsuits, but the main thing is Top Rank should now be free to better promote it’s future. The unlikely shaped Ruiz is also scheduled for a 2nd bout a month after this presumed victory. In short, a pair of tune ups at the close of the year to hopefully set the stage for a much bigger year for the 26 year old Ruiz who could easily challenge for the WBC belt currently being babysat by Al Haymon for Deontay Wilder. What a beautiful Mutt and Jeff promotion that would be with the pencil thin Wilder against the butterball Ruiz.

Deja Vu Two Ton Tony Galento

Deja Vu Two Ton Tony Galento

Make no mistake though, this fatboy can fight with the best right now save a Klitschko. He turned pro in 2009 at a shade under 300 lbs, and though he fluctuates wildly, we can see him above two years ago in Macao, China at 255 lbs where he demolished highly regarded, undefeated prospect, Joe Hanks. As you can see, this is one stout kid with a one off type of physique, so we best make our fatboy jokes with some major respect.

Olympic Team Captain

Olympic Team Captain

Devin Vargas, 18-4, 7 KO, happens to be an excellent boxer with Olympic credentials, his main problem being a distinct lack of power, meaning that most top heavies can walk right through him. His last three losses have been knockouts, so likely his chin is cracked permanently and won’t be able to put up much of a battle, but he’ll definitely give Ruiz another stylistic look from what he’s used to for as long as he lasts.

The main focus of this piece is Ruiz, of course, being the favorite. He’s been off 9 months, so what kind of shape will he be in? How long will it take him to get untracked and put Vargas down? Is he ready and focused on 2016 as a breakout year?

Monstrous Chinese Superheavyweights Invade America

It was a long time coming before the first ever Chinese heavyweight boxer would make his American pro debut from the Peoples Republic of China, ie ruling National Communist Party as opposed to the vestigial Republic of China, ie Taiwan to plainly state saber rattling, missile splashing geo-political distinctions. Last night at the storied Fisherman’s Wharf of San Francisco, California, all seven foot and 300 or so pounds of Taishan Dong swung into action to knock out Alex Rozman, a novice journeyman with an nonthreatening losing record. 

7' Taishan Dong

7′ Taishan Dong

It was something of a stealth debut for the little known Dong who is named after a holy Taoist mountain of Mt. Taishan. He may find his fleeting accolades soon shadowed by another supersized countryman come August 8th in Fallon Nevada when Chinese Olympic Superheavyweight Silver Medalist Zhang Zhilei makes a much more touted debut against novice Matt McKinney, 0-0-1, 0 KO and also currently ranking among near the last grouping of the 1000 or so Boxrec listed heavyweights. The stellar amateur accomplishments of Zhilei and the high level professional training he has received cannot be immediately matched by Dong without further development.

But the good news is that the Chinese peoples and international boxing community will have some new favorites or villains to pick from. Dong’s background is in various martial arts, most notably kick boxing like the Klitschko brothers who have infuriated, re: emasculated the more traditional mainstream American and British heavyweight fans with their dominance in the ring. How Chinese fighters will be received is unknown, but the most touted professional Chinese fighter is currently Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming who fights out of Macao, China for Top Rank, currently at 5-0, 1 KO. He trains with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles though and may eventually make an American debut in the future, but since he’s a flyweight, he won’t catch on like the heavyweights might well do.
I know little of Zhang Zhilhei’s boxing skills other than he defeated current New Zealander up and coming contender Joseph Parker in the 2008 Olympics in Bejing. The notoriously “political” International Olympic Committee always reserve medals for the host nation’s best boxers, so make of it what you will.
Making a Splash in the Big Apple

Making a Splash in the Big Apple

The 31 year old Zhilei is definitely cast in the mold of a giant, looking much bigger here than his listed 6-6, 240 claimed pounds as he dwarfs his “advisor” Evander Holyfield. He is also looks to be quite personable which may endear him to American fans, but he’s also a southpaw who may soon be flattening hapless American prospects which may not endear him at all to flag waving Americans, but it is what it is, currently a fragile construct of modern international politics that would allow these types of immigrations to take place.

The plan seems to move Zhilei along smartly with maybe a title shot in 3 years or so around 34-35 years of age. Looking forward to seeing these latest Chinese developments for sure. True boxing fans are always game for more good fighters to come along to blast some much needed infusion into a stagnating sport, so we shall see what shall be.

Canelo Alvarez To Resurrect Golden Boy?

After beating “los burritos de perros” out of Alfredo Angulo and then turning Erislady Lara into the post fight presser joke, Canelo Alvarez must have liked the hearty responses to his fight performance and punchlines and now looks to add a few more combos on the Lara noggin come Saturday, July 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This Canelo “event” will headline another modest  Showtime Pay Per View attempt as his Golden Boy combine moves to build him into boxing’s replacement PPV cash cow after the recent Mayweather exit.

The 31 year old Lara is one of the dozens “may or may not be” Golden Boy fighters who are now advised, re: managed and promoted by boxing’s stealthiest Wizard, the forever lurking behind the curtains in the dark shadows of the dimmest light, the daylight, nightlight, and always brightlight avoiding Al Haymon. The southpaw Cuban, 19-1-2, 12 KO, was a touted amateur star who managed to “defect” twice before he was able to make his pro career debut in Turkey and now has been “advised” into the interim WBA World light middleweight title whilst fighting out of the United States to the sparest  acclaim imaginable.

The big shakeup at Goldenboy Promotions when honcho Richard Schaefer resigned after a long time dispute with head honcho Oscar De La Hoya and Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum will have their impact on this fight. Schaefer is closely aligned with Al Haymon and was the front and center force in getting this fight signed and off to an early promotional start. What the full repercussions of this seismic promotional upheaval and the future Golden Boy/Haymon related fights may still be unknown, but they’re out there waiting to pounce for better or worse when their time is ripe.

Canelo~Golden Boy Post Rehab~The American Dream

This will be waged as 12-round non-title bout at a “catchweight” between 153-155 pounds to give the ever growing Alvarez a chance to ease into the middleweight division as he did with his last fight against Afredo Angulo at 155 lbs. The soon to be 24 year old Alvarez eased into the junior middleweight division from the welter division in the same manner to great success, success that Lara has been desperate to trump via vehement twitter challenges that have finally brought him this fight, so what are his chances?

Truth be told, Lara’s performance against top fighters has been lucky at best. His best showing was his last against former WBA champ Austin Trout who must be wondering where it all went wrong after back to back knockdown, decision losses to Alvarez and then Lara. Before that Lara looked not long for this world after Alfredo Angulo cracked open his eggshell chin and spaghettied his drumstick pins into chicken cassiatore before being suddenly being suddenly derailed by an alien soft tissue softball popping up over his eye. There was also Lara’s weak spoiling efforts against Paul Williams where he showed he was a great fighter for 30 seconds of every round, giving away the other two and a half minutes with a gold medal worthy track meet performance that had me thinking he was in the wrong sport. Then hows about his droopingly dreary drawers…err…draws against contenders Vanes Martirosyan and Carlos Molina that put him in the same class as nobody special that fewer still even care to remember him by?

There are no big money fighters available now for Alvarez in the 154 division which is currently as weak as a litter of newborn kittens, so why they are handicapping his marketability by making this a PPV probably has it’s roots in unreasonable promotional greed. The biggest Alvarez fights may be already mapped out against newly resurgent Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao now that Golden Boy looks to be working with Top Rank. Those are huge PPV numbers and fights worthy enough to draw in the general public for a spectacle, so in the interim Golden Boy needs to keep his PPV bandwagon on the move.

Lara has long fantasized about crashing their party for another chance to redeem his “American Dream” moniker, his biggest fight ever to prove he can do more than just pose as a touted Cuban amateur talent, but he has to improve substantially if he is ever to reach the potential that his few vehement fans insist on seeing in him. That’s a big unknown to be going against a professional fighter who worked his way through the boxing ranks old school Mexican style before signing with Golden Boy as an 18 year old phenom, currently 43-1-1, 31 KO, more than double the career of Lara. Two more contrasting careers and personalities cannot be be found in boxing even if their boxing instincts almost guarantee a fairly dull bout of natural counterpunchers attempting to counter-counterpunch each other on top of Lara also being runner.

Scratch Alvarez hard enough though and his caged Mexican fighter instincts get unleashed, something the rather meek and mild Lara is not likely to arouse unless he unveils a more aggressive style that might make this PPV worthy. Given the recent failures of his fellow defector Cubanos Odlanier Solis and Yuri Gamboa, the pressure is building on Lara like never before, so how will he respond?

Another intriguing question: How many strings does Al Haymon have left to pull after the big shakeup at Golden Boy?

When Alvarez went against Mayweather, De La Hoya cracked under the heat and ducked out on his fighter to check into isolated drug rehab, thus leaving Canelo without protection from the officiating manipulations of the sharks who run boxing. While few are praying for Lara to be the new hope in boxing, this fight has decision stamped all over it and boxing has lost faith with the public over their Three Blind Mice white stick scoring system. We can only await awash in baited breath for their next preordained travesty.

The supporting undercard is also rather meek and mild with Juanma Lopez being the single unrepentant slugger of any note on the promotion. No spectacular Mexican holiday fireworks extravaganza this, so best be caught up on your sleep and modest in your weekend beverage intake to perhaps appreciate the finer technical maneuverings that might reveal themselves in the course of their deliberate dickerings over who shall be the finest boxer on the night…oh mirror, mirror in the ring, who’s the prettiest in his bling?

Locked & Loaded @155lbs X 2

Locked & Loaded @155lbs X 2

Boxing Enters Dead Zone Until July~Say Bye Bye To Swiss Pie, Richard Schaefer.

 Boxing officially enters a summer “dead zone” with the recent completion of Miguel Cotto’s signature win over Sergio Martinez. Certainly the hard core fan can still see plenty of good fights featuring top fighters most every week, but there are no more “Big” Fights” until July. That’s when Canelo Alvarez fights Erislady Lara in an exploratory Vegas MGM Grand PPV and Tyson Fury rematches Derek Chisora in a big stadium fight to be held in Manchester, England. Often the general fan’s schedule is unable to make time for these summertime blues “dead zone” fights, and I won’t be writing about them, so the question gets begged before the stifling summer ennui sets in: What of Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer’s recent adversarial departure from his long time gig at Golden Boy? Alvarez vs Lara was his last creation as it were and he won’t be around to massage the final details.

Oh for sure, the “boxing expert” world is agaga over what the impact will be not to mention all the anti-social media monkeys over flowing their shorts with competing befouled projectile offerings of what the former Swiss Banker Schaefer and the rest of his boxing crew does next.

Myself? Neither boxing expert, boxing insider, nor fly on the wall of Richard Schaefer am I, but I can guarantee a big shakeup in the boxing world that’s been a long time coming. This arcane 17th century sport looks to be setting up a scramble for big international dollars as boxing is being developed in the Asian markets as it wanes in the American market. The European market seems to be holding with the Brits and Germans hanging in there as Russia is gaining traction to pull even with them.

So Golden Boy is conclusively split up with Floyd Mayweather Jr also announcing he’s exiting the ranks. And mum’s always the password at the Al Haymon underground boxing works buried somewhere deep down in a former Howard Hughes bunker in Las Vegas, still stocked with thousands of rows of kleenex box slippers ready to be shuffled around in me thinks. Schaefer has given no indication of what capacity he might continue in boxing, but if he does he will have to start from scratch and get to working with as many promoters not named Golden Boy or Top Rank if he is to continue his adversarial relations with Oscar de la Hoya and Bob Arum even as he is still a shareholder in Golden Boy.

Bad Marriage

Bad Marriage

 

 

And where do the Showtime contractual obligations land?

Another sticking point is the many Golden Boy fighters also signed with Al Haymon. Word is many of those fighters don’t actually have a contract with Golden Boy and may no longer be promoted by them, not the least of which is Floyd Mayweather who has his big Mexican Holiday set for his 10th consecutive appearance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for September 13th. That would be vs TBA, of course with a TBA vs TBA supporting undercard. Sticky Mayweather negotiations are typically settled at the last minute, but now they may be stickier and more unsettled than usual. His promotional company supposedly lacks a license to officially do business, but no problems when he was aligned with Golden Boy. Just slap his logo up on all the promotional banners and and reap the extra profits.

The Logo

The Logo

Somebody somewhere running some connected responsible promotional entity has to come up with those monstrous 30 and 40 million dollar guarantees that Mayweather has enjoyed, but by whom and by what means will that be accomplished?

Stay tuned for the gold rush crush as everyone and his aunt and sister stake a claim as lawsuits whizz by like bullets in an OK Corral Shootout. It may not be pretty, but sure as shootin’, “It’s Boxing!”