Tag Archives: United States

Macau Manny Pacquiao On The Road To Brandon Rios

Venetian Resort in Macao on November 23rd will be the hottest place to be to be in Asia when the biggest international boxing match in Chinese history hits those shores, Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines vs Brandon Rios of the US of A.

Bob Arum of Top Rank has been testing the shores of Macao since he signed Chinese gold medalist Zou Shiming straight out of the 2012 Olympic Games. Shiming will help shore up the Pacquiao/Rios undercard with his 3rd straight bout in Macao this year. With both Pacquiao and Rios coming off notable losses that might take the shine off a Vegas PPV promotion, the perfect moment to introduce the big fight climate into Macao has finally arrived.

On The Road..

On The Road..

The idea is a type of low cost PPV off the Chinese internet that Arum says has the biggest potential with an Asian population in the billions. Presumably HBO will be still broadcasting in an American PPV format, so we’ll see how the figures are split if and when they release them.

It should be noted that even going against a diminished version Pacquiao for this fight, Rios is making a quantum leap up the big fight scale, not to mention the internationally exotic venue being beyond his wildest dreams. What Rios has going for him is a straight ahead physical style, so there is precious little boxing nuance to freeze up as might happen with a more complex style and personality in such a big fight. Rios likely knows how to box better than he shows, but why bother with such frilly notions when power on top of even more power has been all that he has needed to get him to this point, 31-1-1, 23 KO with a world title belt for a trophy? He’s also the bigger, stronger fighter in spite of moving up another weight class for the Pacquiao fight, 161 lbs in fighting trim for his rematch against Mike Alvarado, so he has to be feeling good about his chances to be even a bigger fighter against a smaller opponent in Pacquiao, not that I am suggesting his team might be overlooking Pacquiao.

Quite the contrary in that Rios will be able to spend more time in actual physical fight preparation than any other camp since he won’t have to waste precious resources losing unnatural weight as happened too many times in previous camps. Rios has earned hot blasts of criticisms from looking like death warmed over at the weighin before subsequent poor fight performances, but has been in training an incredible 5 months for this fight. That’s one thing Pacquiao has done for boxing competitiveness, giving fighters plenty of time to whip themselves into all time good shape compared to some other top fighters who’s opponents are often given short notice.

Team Pacquiao couldn’t have picked a more dangerous opponent for Manny’s return from the death punch knockout loss of the century against Juan Manuel Marquez.  Rios is prime aged at 27 years and been brought up old school hard by one of the premiere trainers in boxing, Robert Garcia. He vaults into the stratosphere of boxing with a dynamic win here, and even with a hard fought loss he still wins. He always comes out swinging to let the chips fall where they may anyway, but perhaps that much harder now that he has a sniff at a big time boxing purse.

If any added intrigue is needed, Pacquiao’s longtime physical trainer Alex Ariza fell out with team Pacquiao after the devastating Marquez loss. Pacquiao looked spectacular in that fight but for what in tennis is termed a foot fault, having the mortally wounded Marquez lined up for the knockout before jumping in with his lead right foot landing on the Marquez lead left foot. The penalty in tennis is the automatic loss of the serve, but in boxing the consequences can be much more severe even if nominal foot faults played out a dozen times in their past fights. This time Marquez was well balanced with his back to the ropes. Pacquiao’s sudden loss of balance with momentum changes left him stooped over, his entire noggin being exposed for the Marquez counter right hand that exploded with all time great effect behind the ear.

Ariza quickly took up an opportune offer from the “enemy camp” to rework Brandon Rios who is changing up after an ill advised stint with disgraced BALCO figure Victor Conte. It goes without saying that Ariza knows all of Pacquiao’s weak spots, so his input helps shape their fight plan to tap into those weaknesses in spite of banal denials by the Garcia camp that they ever intended to tap into the Pacquiao history with Ariza. 

Justin Fortune served as Pacquiao conditioning coach from 2003 until 2007 and will reunite with Freddy Roach for this effort at least. An ankle and leg specialist Gavin McMillan is in support to shore up Pacquiao’s long time leg cramping problems. The illicit drug testing cartel chosen for this non Vegas bout is supposed to be the newly created VADA,  Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, also associated with Victor Conte and operating out of Las Vegas if any more drug testing sleaze factor is needed. I’m sure Team Pacquiao felt the need to keep the Las Vegas connection however loosely associated since the Chinese boxing commission was only newly formed this year. Whether or not Conte now has a grudge against Team Rios is not known by me, but any advantage would appear to be Pacquiao’s. Who can really know with claimed traces in parts per trillion modern day snake oil medicine men and drug testing cartels are selling the public? They can’t pass their own drug tests which is why you’ll never see them implemented on themselves.

What Pacquiao used to sell was a tigerish instinct to fight with lightning knockout punches out of his southpaw stance that garnished him every fighter of the decade bauble that counts. The past couple of years, however has seen him selling soap in the form of Filipino politics. His brother and sister in law are now elected officials on top of Manny being the supreme politico as a congressman for his district. His wife also holds another substantial office, so could be the start of a new Filipino political dynasty if Pacquiao can keep his focus once he retires.

His domestic life certainly became the stuff of soap operas with his wife serving a divorce subpoena going into the Bradley fight after years of Pacquiao infidelities. Then he added fuel to the fire with ill advised comments over gay marriage, going against the liberal Speaker of the House, longtime Senator Harry Reid, a former amateur boxer that Pacquiao actually campaigned for. Few in boxing even care for politics save the liberal Nevada governor who appoints boxing commission honchos. That “political misstep” is likely the real reason Pacquiao didn’t win the Bradley fight. If that wasn’t enough of a tactical boner, what were Team Pacquiao genii thinking when they invited “Hi, I’m Mitt Romney and I just lost the US presidential election.” in for a canned chat before the always tough Juan Manuel Marquez? The quotation is exactly as Romney introduced himself, I kid you not. They further compounded that grave error by saturating the Paquiao corner with more negativity when they gave this loser’s loser a ringside seat spitting distance from where Pacquiao was knocked cold before his eyes. 

Thank goodness I don’t get paid big bucks for making these kinds of critical decisions for fighters, but we have to wonder what further idiocy the team will have in store for the beleaguered Pacquiao going into Rios? He’s been in the ring against the hardest overall caliber fighters of anyone in boxing not to mention there are few ranked fighters with more than his 61 career fights currently operating. He needed and got an 11th month breather from boxing for the first time ever in his career. This is surely going to be a firefight for as long as it lasts, and it may last 12 rounds of the kind a grind the near 35 year old fighter really doesn’t need, but relishes all the same because he’s been the purest premiere fighter of his ages in giving his all in the ring. 

Certainly Rios is stylistically made to order for Pacquiao, yet Rios still remains an unrelenting knockout beast wanting to duplicate Pacquiao’s still painful KO loss. The vacant WBO International welterweight title is the bauble. Rios can be outboxed for spells, but nobody has yet to put a serious dent into him like Pacquiao always used to do, but can he still?

Fun on Tour

Fun on Tour

The undercard is strong with perhaps the most varied international cast of top fighters ever assembled from the 4 corners of the earth. Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr looks like the biggest upside there in potential stardom, looking to become the best Mexican heavyweight contender in history and not too far removed from a title shot, perhaps late next year or 2015 if his victories continue to mount. He goes against former touted American prospect Tor Hamer looking to climb back in the ratings.

Contract terms  of Pacquiao and Rios are may be unknown, but supposedly Rios would earn more than the $3 million Robert Guerrero made to fight Mayweather according to Arum in a dig at his former protege now nemesis. It’s a gamble on whether the Asian market picks up on this historic opportunity to see Manny Pacquiao in what looks like a firefight of the year in the deal of the century!

The skinny here:

http://www.venetianmacao.com/manny/?utm_source=google-us&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=aug13-tkt_en&utm_campaign=sem-ven-manny-fight

If all the above history of distractions aren’t enough, the worst typhoon in the history of the Philippines has devastated that country. Congressman Pacquiao should be slogging around in the middle of the mess leveraging his position to speed as much aid possible to his district, but alas, he has schedule conflict with what may turn to be the most importing fight of his boxing career coming up. These types of conflicts were well predicted in advance of his assuming congressional duties, and in fact he was supposed to be retired as early as 2012.

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/pacquiao-registers-worst-attendance-in-congress-094644868.html

The tens of millions left on the table luring him for one more fight again and again simply cannot be forsaken by such a poor bedraggled Filipino waif as he grew up. Presumably many if not most Filipinos forgive him his distance from the tragedy since he does have his “lieutenants” working on the ground as they would be even if he were there. The official statement here:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/manny-pacquiao-statement-230941

“I really feel very bad over what happened in the Visayas region where more than 10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives. I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy but I’m in deep training in General Santos City for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go. I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.”

Indeed, these are very trying times for many, even for Manny Pacquiao and “boxing” in general. Such are what The Fates have given Pacquiao to work with. Brandon Rios for sure has his own Fates to deal with. Fighters seldom enter a fight 100% healthy and mentally prepared. Life imposes it’s will, so we shall see how they deal with it.

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Tomasz Adamek vs Vyacheslav Glazkov

Saturday,  November 16 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York, heavyweight contenders Tomasz Adamek and Vyacheslav Glazkov fight for future title challenges to the Klitschko brothers. The NBC “regular” network is the broadcaster, a big boost for any American fight fans even if both are Eastern Europeans. They fight in America or wherever they can make a good fight and this promises to see plenty of action with both being offensive minded boxer types.

*** This fight has just been officially canceled. Garrett Wilson substitutes for a flu ridden Adamek. Details here:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/glazkov-to-face-garrett-wilson-on-nbc-231042

Young Lion vs Old Lion

Young Lion vs Old Lion

The soon to be 37 years old Adamek at 49-2, 29 KOs, would love to round off that figure at 50-2, 30 KO with a big knockout of the 29 year old Glazkov at 16-0, 11 KO, easier said than done since the young lion usually wins these types of age matchups. 

Adamek is still has most of his powers even with the long mileage. His problem is staying motivated as he stays busy waiting for his chance at title redemption. Glazkov has his hands full with the cagey experience Adamek brings, a huge step up, but the kid is game and the time is now for all concerned. A 12 rounder on NBC, easy to catch most anywhere.

Zer0 Sum~~Nuevo Canelo Alvarez Battles Viejo Money Mayweather For PPVs

Since any Mayweather fight now begins and ends with PPV numbers, let us begin with the September 14th Saul Alvarez vs Floyd Mayweather bout being projected to break the De La Hoya/Mayweather PPV record of 2.4 million, or at least that’s the hyped target. Whether or not the resulting PPVs will be enough to adjust the negative red ledger of the much ballyhooed Mayweather Showtime contract into the black is unknown. Showtime wisely didn’t publicize losses from the Guerrero fight, perhaps anticipating this fight to make up their losses. 

150 lbs in training....

150 lbs in training….

Both fighters have almost identical undefeated records, Alvarez at 42-0-1, 30 KO to Mayweather’s 44-0, 26 KO, in theory an Las Vegas based dream fight, but look again. Both are pure boxers though Mayweather started off as a powerhouse of note and Alvarez has a healthy knockout punch when he choses. They both fought boxer types in their last bouts generally accorded as fairly dull in terms of fight action.  Mayweather refused to engage more than his footwork save for two modest rounds of action and Alvarez mostly feinted and countered a cautious counter puncher though he did score a nicely timed highlight knockdown that briefly got the San Antone crowd rocking.

Let us travel far far away to a distant galaxy of reality when once upon a time there was the Montreal classic between Panamanian legend Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard to conjure up another huge Latino vs USA fight. The 24 year old undefeated Leonard was still a little wet behind his Olympic Gold medal ears and not yet the American legend he would become, but he was making his second defense of his WBC title won off 21 year old wiz Wilfredo Benitez. The 29 year old wildman Duran was at his raging never to be seen again peak with 71 victories, mostly by KO after having dominated the lightweight division against a single loss avenged twice by knockouts for good measure, the days when boxers were still fighters, not the posers and preeners of today. 

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The first Duran/Leonard pillar to post donnybrook got the juices roiling most everywhere within and outside of boxing, but frankly, I don’t see this fight in the same legendary vein in terms of international legacy or terms of ring action. Mayweather is well off his prime days no matter how much the Al Hayman Golden Boy News of the Ring World and Showtime want to promote him beyond his sell date, and in spite of the Mexican hype, Alvarez lacks the US public awareness of the heavily touted Gold Medalist Leonard or the international legend of Duran for this fight.

165 lbs in training

165 lbs in training

However, Alvarez is the latest thing to hit the boxing big stage at this point, so figure on the promotion to leverage his cherubic youth for all it’s worth since he doesn’t look the prototypical Mexican assassin to the rest of the world. It will be heresy if the usual antisocial media muffins littering the internet ever find out that the just turned 23 year old Canelo is actually further along in the fight game compared to Leonard and Mayweather when they had just turned 23. He’s also ahead of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and the great Duran when they had just turned 23.

If Alvarez wins this fight, “if” being the major sticking point pending results, he would be well ahead of any listed above. He is in the same ballpark for now as all the great Latino fighters in that “boxing experts” never project a young 3rd world Latino fighter to be an all time great until after the fact becomes glaringly obvious by consensus opinion of three blind mice. The 17 year old Wilfredo Benitez was one obvious exception with monumental things being predicted for him that he ultimately never achieved in spite of his HOF accomplishments.

Just turned 23 year old phenoms ahead of Alvarez would include Mike Tyson who had completely unified 3+1 Ring belt , and incredibly Wilfredo Gomez who was 11-0, 11 KO in WBC title fights by the time he turned 23. Fellow Mexican Salvador Sanchez was closest to Alvarez, 8-0, 4 KO in WBC title fights by age 23, not bad company at all to be in league with not to mention the Sanchez record was almost identical when he turned 23, 42-1-1, 31 KO, veeerily eerie that one. By then Sanchez had also claimed the Gomez undefeated scalp by spectacular knockout if we want to consider just how quickly forgotten the sublime genius Sanchez has become in this modern era of tinman greats making millions upon millions for too often showing more bravado in their prefight pressers and ring entrances than their fights themselves.

“All knowing experts” were also saying that Alvarez was too young and inexperienced for Mayweather before the fight was announced, ignoring the perfect promotional track that Alvarez has been on for 3 years now designed exactly for the Mayweather challenge. The kid clearly has ambitions far beyond the speed at which he’s been developed, so now a chastened herd of experts scramble to give him his chances in order to get the promotional bandwagon moving. The slick Giampa News of the Ring World P4P Czar even maneuvered Alvarez into a Ring P4P slot once the fight was agreed much like they did for Robert Guerrero when he signed against Mayweather. They must have had a frightful shock when they came across my Ring P4P history of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather here that Pacquiao has only added to since:

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

Ring couldn’t be more disingenuous if they tried, but they do try hard in their dishonorable quest so late in the game to make up for the lost P4P years of Mayweather’s career.

In spooky contrast, the 36 year old Mayweather is eerily on the same track as the in and out of retirement version of Sugar Ray Leonard who chose a stink and run style to “defend” his ill begotten “WBC supermiddleweight title” against 38 year old Duran in their belated rubber match. There are are precious few fighters able to chase a Leonard or a Mayweather around the ring for 12 rounds for a clean KO as Robert Guerrero recently tried which is the only way a fighter can bypass the political decisions and preferential referee treatment star fighters receive, especially since this fight is being contested in Mayweather’s home, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

The 35 year old Leonard finally met his Waterloo when he came out of retirement the next year to challenge 23 year old young gun Terry Norris who delivered a beating and a half on Leonard he was lucky to survive. Eerie number correlations and fight styles aside, every fight and fighter is different even if career parallels can be drawn. Mayweather has been much cagier in his career to limit his physical damage and stays in training year round for his one fight, but now he’s going for his 2nd fight of the year, a huge leap for him.

Lest anyone think I’m “hating” on Mayweather, his record speaks for itself, a “perfect” 44-0, but exclusively a WBC union card fighter until recently, never having once unified a title and never holding more than 25% of the available titles in any of his 5 divisions of 21 title fights. Wladimir Klitschko has held all but the WBC title that his brother Vitali holds, 20-2 in title matches overall, considerably more impressive than Mayweather’s WBC fetish as an example of an era peer comparison. The same could also be said of Manny Pacquiao and Roy Jones Jr as two other multiple belt P4P stars, Jones especially owning just about every Lightheavy title fabricated by the worldwide ABCs.

Alvarez also happens to be WBC centered and with Golden Boy Promotions as is Mayweather, thus the impetus for making this fight conveniently inevitable in spite of a recent “promotional” spat the two fighters had earlier in the year. Alvarez is primarily a ring centered boxer/puncher who can slug, fight, or box as needed, but he’s never had to chase down a sprinter wearing track shoes in the supersized ring dimensions this fight will be contested, dimensions that likely will never be published but can be inferred when the fighters enter the ring. The fight could only be made at a 152 lb catchweight with no details on rehydration limits imposed on Alvarez.

While the Canelo final legacy has many more years of hurdles to come, he gave early notice of his potential as a precocious 15 year old when he outpointed future IBF lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez and in the rematch two years later. Alvarez probably could have handled a title shot in 2010 when he easily defeated the likes of Mayweather sparring partner Lovemore N’dou after blasting out Carlos Baldomir whom Mayweather scarcely dented in a wide points decision. In 2011 he won his title by beating Matthew Hatton who had been an early frontrunner for a Mayweather fight the year before. That’s three Mayweather associated fighters in a row Alvarez has used to play pin the donkey on Mayweather on his way to the 154 lb WBC title.  

Using the Boxrec comparison of a fighter’s last 6 bouts, incredibly the Mayweather inactivity stretches way back to 2007 against Ricky Hatton.  In 2007 Saul Alvarez was just 17 years old, a year before his American debut on his way to adding 24 more wins to his undefeated record that now includes a 6-0 WBC title record for his last 6 fights. That includes two more title fights than Mayweather has been engaged his last 6 years, so these are two different worlds they currently operate in.

Since Mayweather has been extremely inactive compared to the hyperactivity of Alvarez, perhaps his last 3 fights would be a more informative “up to date” comparison: Mayweather last played Mr. Chickenman, “he’s everywhere, he’s everywhere” against Robert Guerrero to cop the decision after promising to go toe to toe. The only two fighting rounds were when Mayweather had the better 7th round than Guerrero had the better 8th round, otherwise Mayweather refused to engage and Guerrero couldn’t catch up to him. The year before he traded heavy artillery against Miguel Cotto in a fan classic to pull out the win, leading the herd of “experts” to conclude Mayweather’s legs would be suspect against Guerrero and he would be forced to fight, no kidding! Lastly, who can forget his choreographed farce with Victor Ortiz and Joe Cortez in a superb remake of the all time Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Jersey Joe Walcott travesty? Thanks to that Academy performance Vic Ortiz got a big offer to star in the Expendables “muscled up” action cartoon fantasy that Hollywood specializes in, so he set aside boxing for acting, I kid you not!

Which Mayweather will show up come fight night depends much on the referee tapped for the fight and the selection of judges. Alvarez coasted an easy decision based on the WBC open scoring rules for his last fight against Austin Trout for example. Some criticized Alvarez for a lack of action compared to previous efforts, but why should a boxer take unnecessary risks with his eye butted open when the Mayweather fight been so long planned for?

We do know now the well experienced Kenny Bayless is the ref, but when I first tried to check his record, all I could get on Boxrec was a glossy promotional page promoting this fight.  I do know he messed up the Pacquiao/Marquez rematch when he failed to call the obvious 2nd knockdown after correctly calling the first knockdown, then to compounded his error, he had to grab the wobbly Marquez from sitting on Pacquiao’s corner stool to guide him to the Marquez corner so out on his feet poor Marquez was.

Nor could I check on the announced judges, Dave Moretti, CJ Ross and Craig Metcalfe after the same glossy promo interference popped up. Offhand I recall CJ Ross as one of the two butchers of the Pacquiao/Bradley much derided scoring. It’s a shame that the supposed independent organization of Boxrec has allowed these promotional ads to interfere with their operations, but such is a prime example of the reach of a big promoter and broadcaster, so I need not bother with any more research into the ring officials. It is what it is.

History will show that the legend of Mayweather automatically upgraded to the best American boxer 9 years ago after the legend of Roy Jones took a guided missile on the  tiny sliver of his exposed chin left open for Antonio Tarver to crack. It is unfortunate that Mayweather and current P4P American compatriot Andre Ward can scarcely be bothered to fight but once a year these days, but that seems to be OK with the new generation of American boxing media and fight fans who seem more oriented on talking about all the fighters they could beat rather than see them in action actually beating someone.

Today’s softer and kinder American punchers can’t compare to the straight up wars that Duran, Leonard, Hearns and Hagler waged in multiple fights with each other not so long ago featuring high level action in thrilling encounters. The last two prime American P4Pers who fought in the traditional Americanno quarter asked or given”  style were Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams, regrettably retired now before they ever had a chance to fully develop.

Such is the current American boxing scene that  Alvarez faces as the staked out sacrificial goat for another canned hunt that could ultimately see Mayweather tied with Rocky Marciano at 49-0. Look a little closer and you might just see Oscar de la Hoya duking it out with Al Hayman for future promotional stakes projected when the 81 years ancient Bob Arum finally rolls over to the great Valhalla in the sky. Golden Boy and Hayman would then be thrown into a perfect storm for control of boxing.

Just think of the Roman Empire and the hundred plus “Ceasars, Augusti, Emperors, Popes and assorted sordid split titles of command they created after most every new leader was poisoned or stabbed to death when not run out of town skewered on a split rail. Boxing may be less vicious than the Roman Empire, but when big money is at stake, Ides of March power is leveraged until stability of leadership is reestablished.

Monkey business alert: Oscar De La Hoya had been providing spooky updates on his substance abuse recovery all while Mayweather skewered him at a press conference for being no more than a front man for GBP. Then De La Hoya entered drug rehab 4 days before the fight, leaving his number one star “unprotected” against the hometown Vegas fighter.

Incommunicado….really?

The sly Hayman has been using Golden Boy to promote his growing stable of fighters and on record as saying he could “easily” come to control boxing as he steadily moves to the forefront in stealth mode.  Golden Boy provides a handy tool to organize the complicated often nasty work of a fight card without the need for Hayman to set up shop for himself. As manager/advisor of Floyd Mayweather, his number one client makes both Hayman and De La Hoya more money for the year than the rest of their fights and fighters combined. That they finally sweet talked Mayweather into “speeding up” his career by dangling the Showtime plum indicates they can at least cooperate to obtain such a sweet goal, but Showtime is currently in financial dispute with Time Warner cable going into this fight. Maybe they can kiss and make up, when we can’t know.

Hmmmm…..

Oscar De La Hoya has been desperate for a mega star since his own star faded and may well have found him in Alvarez. This kid has managed to keep his head mostly screwed on outside of boxing and let his fists do the talking inside the ring. Oh, there was the unseemly publicized dustup with former fly champion Archie Solis who reportedly tried to make time with Canelo’s girlfriend and a child born out of wedlock, all pretty mild stuff for a young fighter who has literally had much of Mexico at his feet since he was a teen phenom. 

We could have some prefight fun by superimposing their last fights: The action starts with the usual light sparring to make the rubes think a legit boxing match is shaping up with some light tapping and movement. In the 2nd round Canelo backs to the ropes slipping and ducking imaginary punches as Money contorts his body bouncing off ropes on the other side of the ring running from his imaginary pursuer.

Certainly stranger scenarios have played out in boxing, but for boxing to have a shred of respect left, this, the “biggest” fight that can be made this year needs to be a legitimately officiated without the WWE choreographed farce of recent Showtime and Golden Boy involved “events.”

All that glitters....

All that glitters….

Speaking of WWE, here’s the WBC first ever first edition superduper special “solid gold” blarney belt for the coronation, promoted as having “two kilograms of gold” in it. Such blarney shall have to suffice as tribute by the WBC poohbahs of boxing to this “event.”

Superduper WBA Bauble

Superduper WBA Bauble

Not to be outbuffooned, the WBA answered by creating it’s own superduper bauble belt. This “event” pits their “co-super” beltholders against each other for the WBA superduper unification bauble. Yes folks, truth is stranger than fiction in the current boxing world.

Interestingly enough Mayweather shares an obsession with large bags of money just like the undefeated heavyweight Rocky Marciano if we want to examine further eerie connections. Marciano died in a tragic plane crash without anyone ever stepping forward to tell where he squirreled away his stash of millions in cash. His family was left impoverished dependent on various benefits and sympathetic contributors. No need to be a brain surgeon or genius forensic scientist to see that publicly stashing millions in cash in your home is a tragedy in waiting, but Mayweather does employ a squadron of NFL sized behemoths to guard his 150 lb prized perfect record from being folded, spindled or mutilated. Presumably that would include his greenery and gold.

The Golden Ring Zer0

The Golden Ring Zer0

Mayweather is currently closing in on the record of another “25% percenter” era peer Joe Calzaghe who posted a perfect 46-0 before retiring at age 36. Calzaghe unified at age 33 on his way to 21 title defenses before moving up to claim the Ring lightheavy title from Bernard Hopkins. Mayweather  has 13 title defenses of his credit though he did climb through 5 divisions to claim belts, but since has been silly gobslopping willy nilly around winning belts he never defends as he flits in and out of retirements or jail.  Further comparison shows Calzaghe also suffered from glass hands in his last years similar to Mayweather’s china hands, but a big difference between the two was that Calzaghe was almost completely ring center offensively oriented combination puncher whereas Mayweather uses defensive strategies as his major orientation of avoiding contact in a contact sport to more carefully select his punches.

Aside from PPVs, I see Mayweather’s greatest boxing “legacy” of being pretty much a self trained fighter not needing much fight input other than someone to work the pads for him. His family of trainers, Floyd Mayweather Sr and uncle Roger Mayweather, they are not the HOF trainers most all time greats were fortunate to hook up with. Their corner advice is usually either unrelated to any problem or incomprehensible Mayweatherese dialect not readily translated. Where would Muhammed Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard be without Angelo Dundee for example, or Thomas Hearns without Emmanuel Steward? Trainers like that are like having another ring general at your side to break down strategy or replenish sagging fortitude.

The worst boxing legacy of Mayweather will be his insistence on drug testing changes that have thrown boxing into a sewer of bogus drug testing experimentations that have been laughable in their oversight. The resulting freefall has allowed the infamous BALCO associated duo of Victor Conte and Angel Heredia into training camps to foist their majic elixirs of performance on selected fighters. Mayweather and his promotional team have yet to answer for Mayweather Promotion fighters Mickey Bey and J’Leon Love being busted by standard drug testing procedures,  nor have they answered well publicized allegations of failed drug tests by Thomas Hauser here:

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

Noteworthy of mention are the two other biggest fights of the year being staged after Mayweather/Alvarez. Two weeks later the top British heavyweights square off in jolly olde England as Tyson Fury and Mr. David Haye vie for contender supremacy. One week after that many belted heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko defends against Russian Alexander Povetkin in Moscow. There is nary a single American heavyweight in Ring rankings. Aging welterweight Mayweather is the last untarnished American legend standing between the history of boxing and near American oblivion. Most of the top fighters these days with American addresses are Eastern Europeans and latino nationals, a sure sign of the future face of boxing, and there isn’t a whole bunch of them either.

We’ll have to see which boxing jurisdiction, the US, the UK, or Russia will stage the type of reputable classic that would boost the faltering boxing corpse on the gurney. The time is now to forsake these posturing three ring circuses that have driven the newer generation of fans to the UFC and other MMA related martial sports, but will American boxing ever learn or will it continue in decline with the average sporting fan. Mayweather paydays have outsized the actual fighting of his career, but Americans have spoken with their pocketbooks, so be it.

Check in September 14th on Showtime to find out if the featured undercard of Danny Garcia vs Lucas Martin Matthysse outfights the main feature of the suits. It sure could happen that way.

Tyson Fury–Madison Square Garden–Steve USS Cunningham–Look Out!

Look out United States of America, Tyson Fury, Britain’s most beloved and hated man-child and most congenital twitterer comes to New York City’s storied Madison Square Garden venue to take on Steve USS Cunningham in a 12 round IBF eliminator donnybrook. The good news is that he will have to pass through Homeland Security screening.

And the bad news? The bad news is that in spite of informing the public that he is coming after USS Cunningham with the intent to knock him out, Fury will pass seamlessly through screening and find a taxi to take him to Madison Square Garden, so what then you ask?

Fury With Friends

Perhaps a reflection of the reverse story backdrop that played out weeks ago in sunny London would be instructive. Grizzled southpaw contender Tony Thompson sicced his Tiger on British heavyweight hopeful David Price to take him down for the abrupt stoppage that left British pints full of tears that mournful Saturday night. Steve Cunningham is not as large, grizzled, and scary as Thompson, but he’s quick, moves well, and jabs well and still hungry for respect in his new heavyweight division.

But can Cunningham really take down the heavyweight hopes and dreams of the young mountainous man-child  Fury?

Fury has big ambitions planned when he intends to introduce his “little” 18 year old cousin Hughie Fury to the world by way of his pro boxing debut at the Madison Square Garden venue. Both Furys are trained by Peter Fury, keeping this Irish Traveler family tight in the spilled blood bonds of the often treacherous sport of boxing. This card will be their first step towards consolidating the heavyweight championship belts between them as The Furious Two, the new dynamic duo tapped to replace the Klitschko brothers when they retire.

Here is an entertaining Youtube video of Fury reprising his best devil may care, sly tongued, young, lean and hungry Cassius persona. Twinkles fall like stars out of his eyes as he showers the camera with his gift of self promotional gab. It’s a good time to be Britain’s biggest, brightest, undefeated heavyweight star with a bountiful future all laid out in front of him as you can see:

http://news.boxrec.com/news/2013/video-decent-quality-smack-talk-tyson-fury

Mr. USS Nice Guy Helping Others

Mr. USS Nice Guy in Assistance

Steve Cunningham is coming off a disputed split decision loss to his old nemesis, Tomasz Adamek in an IBF eliminator. The 6-9 Fury will be substantially larger with greater reach than any previous opponent of Cunningham. He has a busy offense, quick hands, can box outside and especially loves mixing it up inside, and moves very well for a big man. More unsettling, Fury has become a switch hitter, boxing orthodox or southpaw as the mood strikes, a completely southpaw fight against Martin Rogan as I recall.

That’s a really tall order for Cunningham to be sure, but USS has been a staple in Germany for a number of years and had good sparring against many of the tall heavyweights who dominate modern divisional ratings. You can bet a championship fighter of his caliber has a plan mapped out to surprise Fury, but it best be better than the tepid game plan he showed against Adamek. Feather jabs alone just won’t cut the mustard at this level, so we shall just have to see what the fighters bring.

Tyson Fury fights tend to be interesting because of his palpable charisma and busy, animated style. I daresay he will attract a raucous crowd who have heard the noise and want to check out the reality. That’s Saturday, April 20th, Madison Square Garden, that’s where the action will be. 

Is The David Price Right or Can Tony Thompson Discount Him?

This coming Saturday, February 23 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, British Commonwealth champion David Price will find out if he can increase his heavyweight value enough to secure a title shot when he takes on long time American contender, Tony The Tiger Thompson.

It’s a crossroads fight between the young lion in ascendancy and the wily old veteran looking to stay relevant with a return to Ring rankings.  Thompson is following in a long line of Americans imported to the British Isles to strengthen the breeding of local heavyweight hopefuls. No belt appears on the line although it is a 12 rounder as befits the aspirations of the two fighters.

Thompson is coming off a major knockout loss to the dominant champion Wladimir Klitschko. Thompson was never able to recover the strength in his shaky legs after the first few Klitschko blasts, and was soon was hitting the canvas often enough that the ref had no choice but to pull the plug. The 6-8 David Price is undefeated at 14-0, 13 KO with the size, strength, and punching power to reprise that fight for Thompson, but it remains to be seen if he has enough ring development and nuance to land such devastating punches as Wladimir is able.

By rankings and experience, Thompson represents the best fighter Price will have faced, and he’s a long, lean, 6-5 southpaw  with plenty of power to trouble any fighter he lands his big punch on. Price should be the betting favorite, yet on paper the fight is competitive enough to represent a danger that Price’s has yet to face, a fighter who could seriously knock him out. The Thompson record is 36-3, 24 KO, almost triple the ring experience of Price, but Thompson is also a grizzled 41 years old to Price’s prime age of 29 years, off-setting strengths and vulnerabilities that make for a potentially exciting fight.

No David Price fight is replete without the mention of his more highly ranked and younger domestic rival, the forever tweeting but never meeting Tyson Fury.  Price and his promoter have long been engaged in promotional one upmanship with team Fury, trying to take their domestic spat to the ring where it properly belongs. If Price does beat Thompson as expected, could be the moneytree finally bears enough fruit to make that fight happen. The promoters and networks  that the fighters are contractually bound need to iron out their own business rivalries, the big elephant in the room holding the big monkey wrench that typically kills these types of fights. See Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr for how that works.

The Test is Pass/Fail, so we will see soon enough who passes and who fails.

Fast Eddie Meets Goral–Adamek vs Chambers

Tomasz Adamek may be Polish born, but he lives and fights mostly in America and looks to be the favorite and hometown hero at the Prudential Center on Saturday, June 16th in Newark, New Jersey against Philidelphia’s Fast Eddie Chambers.

Chambers is the lifelong heavyweight and should be the fresher fighter at 30 years of age and only 245 rounds in the bank, but looks are deceptive. He hasn’t fought in over a year after cancelling two quality heavyweight fights because of ongoing back problems. Adamek is 5 years older with 300 harder fought rounds in the bank as the former WBC lightheavy champ and IBF cruiser champ, but he seems to be about the same fighter as he was before, in excellent shape with the ability to make ring adjustments to win fights. As you can see, he’s also the naturally bigger fighter in spite of coming up from the lightheavy ranks thru cruiserweight as champion before moving to heavyweight to pursue bigger money and more titles.

Chambers & Adamek Faceoff

Chambers & Adamek Faceoff

Both fighters lost recent challenges to the Klitschko brothers‘ supremacy, both by knockout, but the Chambers’ knockout was a scary one punch boomer by Wlad, the kind of life altering experience we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies. 

Chambers is 1-0 in his comeback after beating Derric Rossy in a rematch. Adamek beat Nagy Aguilera, also by decision.

Both are skilled come forward action fighters with modest power, but Adamek holds all the credentials and been in against better overall competition even if he lacks Chambers’ heavyweight resume, so he should be the favorite. That said, if Chambers is healthy again, in shape, and can shake off the ring rust, this could be a great donnybrook and boost to heavyweight boxing in the US. Chambers was at one time the best American heavyweight by far before his medical woes beset him.

Thank goodness we finally have a decent heavyweight scrap on American shores. It’s been ages of shameless dogging by America’s big boys, so maybe they can tune in to this fight and learn how genuine boxing class operates in the ring.

Showtime Banty Final–Joseph Agbeko vs Abner Mares

Joseph Agbeko was forced to withdraw from his Showtime banty final against Abner Mares last April due to a bad case of sciatica, a very painful nerve problem leading to leg problems.

Joseph Agbeko

Joseph Agbeko

We’re now entering the homestretch this week of the long anticipated tourney final between a recovered Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares in what should be an action oriented fight with plenty of ebb and flow mixed in as the fighters vie over who will be the tourney winner.

Though Agbeko will likely be the marginal favorite, this is an even type of fight that is heavily influenced by the actions of the ref and the judging. I’d favor Agbeko under ideal conditions, but don’t know if he’s fully recovered.

Abner Mares

Abner Mares

Mainly we get to finally see the end of the Showtime banty tournament, a good idea whose time has regrettably petered out. Perhaps it was asking too much for the American market to support the little guys over the long haul, but thankfully the little guys showed their class and persevered, so the final should finish with some colorful fireworks before it’s all said and done.

Top fight, so be there.

An American Holiday–Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Magic Matthew Hatton

The current EBU welter champ, Magic Matthew Hatton, will be travelling to the Honda Center, Anaheim, California on Saturday, March 5th, for a fateful encounter against widely acclaimed Mexican wunderkind, Saul Canelo Alvarez.

Magic Time

Magic Time

This is a bit of a novelty bout in that normally we don’t see EBU champs abandon lucrative title defenses to fly over the pond to challenge a red hot Mexican contender, but truth is that Magic Hatton has won all 6 of his fights in the US and should in theory feel relatively comfortable fighting a fighter looking like just another Irish fighter in Alvarez.

The comfort level won’t last long after the first bell chimes in since the 20 yr old Alvarez is in reality already near legendary in Mexico and hopefully wrangling his promoter, Golden Boy, to make this his breakout year. Hatton has also pressured his promoter into making this his biggest year, and his promoter is none other than acclaimed older brother, Ricky Hitman Hatton, who has strong Golden Boy ties which is the impetus for this classic confrontation.

The breaking news going in is that Golden Boy petitioned the WBC to make this a vacant WBC junior middleweight title fight since Alvarez is the #1 mandatory and “Silverbelt” holder.

The previous title holder was Manny Pacquiao who relinquished the belt shortly after winning it in his last fight against Antonio Margarito.

Magic Hatton is at a traditional athletic peak at age 29, and has a bit more ring experience, 299 ring rounds at 41-4-2, 17 KO to Canelo’s 213 rounds at 35-0-1, 26 KO, but experience seem to be his only advantage going into this bout. They are otherwise about the same size and strength with Canelo having a speed and power advantage and harder overall competition coming up the rankings compared to Hatton who has stepped up his competition recently to get to this point.

A significant common denominator is Lovemore N’dou whom Hatton struggled to a draw against whereas Alvarez laid a technical thrashing on him.

I’m thinking Alvarez is the big betting favorite here. Hatton is a strangely awkward fighter for being so technically oriented, but the few times I’ve seen him he always looks off balance and off his timing to start a bout. While his chin has proven solid at the Euro level, Alvarez is a grade above and could take him out early before Hatton warms and adjusts to the fight.

Many regard this as a mismatch with Magic Hatton being long derided as a joke because he never lived up to Ricky’s achievements, but few fighters ever do. Persistence pays dividends though since Magic Hatton has proven to be a solid fighter in his own right and seems to have finally won over the respect of the British boxing public. It helps that brother Ricky is no longer in fighting trim these days, preferring the role of promoter and thus relieving Matthew of the immediate comparisons.

Bottom line is that many in boxing see so much more untapped potential in Alvarez than they do Hatton, and doubtless that should be the case come fight night. More importantly, win, lose, or draw, both fighters will have increased their international exposure which is a win/win scenario for Golden Boy in what could be an entertaining bout if it manages to go more than a few rounds.

       

Newest Old School Flash

Newest Old School Flash

 

Young Canelo has a mean and hungry old school look about him this time out, so what say you tune in for the first hand results?

Tommy Morrison Through The Looking Glass in Never-Never Land

Dear Tommy,

Is it Tommy Morrison or Tommy Gunn, or have the personages become fused now? I can never keep the story straight about Tommy David Morrison, born January 2, 1969.

Young Tom

Young Tom

Neither can Wikipedia:

This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

Vs Big George

Vs Big George

Anyway, most boxing fans appreciate the heavyweight boxing career of the Tommy The Duke Morrison even if we never quite got the claimed lineage to John Wayne anymore than we did the claim of being Scottish American and half Indian. I guess being from Arkansas, Tommy Morrison can claim just about any and every genealogical link possible.

(Insert: He’s his own grandpa joke here.)

Naw, man, anymore than we can keep it straight whether Tommy Morrison ever tested positive or not for HIV. Man, life is a bitch living in the “testing era” where folks undergo millions of routine drug and HIV screening tests every year that have life and death career consequences once a positive sample turns up.

Funny that we almost never find out the public results of the screenings of Leaders of State and Corporate Bigwiggies, but then everyone knows their stuff don’t stink and have no need to abide by the regulations they hand down to us.

So we have to laugh in between crying as we jump through the regulatory hoops for the right to earn our daily bread.

Well, we the people have some wise words handed down to us through the ages to assist us in dealing with the ever present powers that rule over us. “When in Rome, do as Romans do” sounds like sage advice. When Cesar comes callin’, then give unto Cesar that is due him as Jesus counseled in earlier days.  

What is Morrison gonna do when they come for the post fight drug test, tell them that his admitted steroid use is all in the past and no longer relevant?

If he’s truly interested in fighting sans a certified HIV negative test result, there’s always an odd Indian casino to be found, or head on back down to Mexico again, or better yet, Columbia or Ecuador if lax standards of oversight floats his boat.

Why he suddenly got a hankering to fight in Montreal, claiming he was licensed in Canada which he is not, might be a mystery better told on Dr. Freud’s leather couch rather than wage a shoddily constructed battle against Canada regulations.

Ol' Tom

Ol' Tom

Or get a league of likely sponsors like the flat earthers allying with the moon landing and global warming deniers to sponsor him on the unlicensed circuit along side the dog & cock fights in the backwaters. No shortage of “fighters” loving the opportunity to notch the scalp of a 42 yr old Tommy Morrison operating at 20% of his prime level.

Or, as per Tommy: “We’ll take the dog and pony show somewhere else.”

DO IT!

How The Greatest Boxing Web Forum in History Crumbled Into Dust

by Bobby Mac

http://www.fanhouse.com/forums/Boxing/?bid=1a719a90faaa44dc8cf621222922d844&pid=/

The above link will take you to AOL’s weak reincarnation of what used to be boxing’s greatest forum, indeed, what arguably used to be the world’s greatest website, but today, it’s struggling for relevance and revenue.

AOL

AOL

AOL turned out to be more like Enron, all bubble and no ma$$.

Sure, the founders and early investors made out like bandits as the tech bubble swelled, but the story of AOL and Enron should be part of any business course to study how a corporation can gather a huge dominant market share with savvy marketing only to ((PoP)) like a shining, rainbow hued soap bubble for a lack of credible product and/or leadership to hold everything together.

AOL’s website was easily on par with todays’ yahoo/msn with one huge advantage: They hosted largest web forum in the world that created the greatest global internet dialogue I’ve ever seen. Now, their AOL-Fanhouse forum is but a spare set of bones.

The level of debate and qualifications so many brought to bear on the old AOL forum was outstanding overall. Home Internet access and PC use was still somewhat limited in those days. I paid some $2000 for a state of the art IBM in 1998 for example, a healthy hunk of change. However, even in those golden days the political forums were dominated by the unceasing  salvos of spam in the never ending War of the Reds & Blues bound and determined to take the US down.

By Jove, what a boxing board we had, though.

We were graced at times by the presence of Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, and various writers. There was a curious fella by the name of Rick Farris, a journeyman pro boxer out of the 60-70s ama/pro California ranks who was a constant source of insider information on Indian Red and Little Red Lopez, Bobby Chacon, the Olympic Auditorium, and all the rest of the great Cali boxing scene. On the east coast we had a host of expugs headed up by Ice John Scully who showed us the cool calm demeanor he used as a former contender by deftly jabbing and moving through all the insipid schoolboy internet challenges.

Ice John

Ice John

I remember one regular out of Jersey way got so incensed at Ice that he drove the 3-4 hour trip up to Hartford where Scully trained the likes of Jason Litzau, Chad Dawson,  Lawrence Clay-Bey among others so as to knock his block off.

Imagine the puzzlement of the regulars to find some goof storming their gym spittin’ fire about Ice only to find out Ice was on the road handling a big fight for one of his boys!

PureDeeComedy back at ye olde forum it was and just an example of the monkey shines that went on.

Well, that fight fizzled out as quick as his angry red gave way to embarrassed magenta, but God Bless Ice, he was always up for a spar against any local internet warriors to prove his points. One day I hope to actually find him in his gym for a friendly go and give him some needle on his biography he’s been writing going on a decade now.

The usual stock story about AOL’s decline was the rapid move by customers from their AOL dial up service to DSL, broadband, and satellite. This of course ignores that it was AOL that bought up the Time/Warner communication giant which was the largest provider of broadband and satellite services in the US, so AOL should’ve been perfectly poised to piggyback their brand on the new gains of the Time Warner business, but instead their loyal customers fled for other websites.

Why is that you might be scratching your head?

Well, it’s simple folks, the boys that ran AOL and now also ran Time Warner had arrived at that exact point in time where the Peter Principle starts to take effect:

“In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.”

The stock market high tech bubble had popped which was then exacerbated by subsequent 9/11 attacks, and then the corporate accounting scandals of Enron, MCI, and others leading to AOL’s brand suffering a precipitous drop in value. The AOL marketing boys changed their “old” familiar forum format from a user friendly one to a strange “new and improved upgrade” top down lineal system that was akin to carrying on a conversation through two tin cans connected by a 100 foot string.

The exodus was on.

Oh, dear, how I’ve missed those halcyon day boxing forums, and baseball too. Having myriad conversations with folks from all walks of life was intoxicating in it’s own right, particularly with the boxing and religious forums since English speaking fans from the UK, Australia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America also had access to duke it out.

There are dozens of boxing forums now, maybe a hundred or more, but none match the perfect balance of size, quality, and respect we had on the old AOL forums, it’s simply not found in today’s largest forums who need no mention. Not that I would never claim we were all a collection of AOL saintly boxing genii having our tea and crumpets in the garden, no sir, but we did have a touch of class and humor to round out the rougher edges of our pugilistic instincts and inevitably ran across one or the other at a local boxing match.

Which is how I met Benny Henderson who still writes for Doghouse boxing.

Big Dog Benny

Big Dog Benny

I was covering the Juan Diaz/Billy Irwin title defense with Calvin Brock/Clifford Ettienne on the undercard for the soon to be hacked out of existence Boxing Central website when he asked me for the best directions from Dallas to the Reliant Center in Houston.

Lemme tell you, Benny is B-I-G with fists the size of Virginia hams and he was there with his cousin, I’ll call him Bluto because he looked like Bluto of the Popeye the Sailor Man cartoons had Bluto been training on a steroid and sumo diet.

These boys were so BIG that even their shadows were knocking my skinny ass around.

They promptly sandwiched me between’em, eyeing me like a pair big ol’ grizzlies eye a freshly cut T-bone yukking it up about their latest fights. Lemme tell, there was NO EXIT, so I just smiled and nodded and prayed for survival and oxygen.

Fortunately for me they was just some good ol’ boys from Texas and we got along great, so I figured on using them to hide behind if any spectator fights spilled over to ringside.

Oh, and Benny finally did have his belated pro debut at a slimmed down 363 lbs the very next  year, 2006, and he sports a perfect record of 2 fights–2 rounds–2wins–2 KOs in 2 minutes of total ring time, so take that Mr. Money!

Big Dog Barkin'

Big Dog Barkin’

Of course I like where I post and write at now, so don’t get me wrong, but a news lead today was the 25th anniversary of the founding of AOL, so I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of koolaide those boys at AOL started drinking to run down their organization so rapidly. The boys they bought out, Time Warner, finally kicked em out on their keisters last year and told them they’re on their own now.

Who’d have ever thunk that back then?

It would’ve never gone down like that had Benny and I been running the show, I know that.