Tag Archives: wbc

Say It Ain’t So~Just Another Joe Smith vs Sullivan Barrera

Last time he was in action, New York Local 66 Laborers Union member, Joe Smith Jr, 23-1, 19 KO, spectacularly knocked Bernard Hopkins completely out of the ring and out of boxing. Now, mysteriously, he’s assigned the formidable task of prevailing against Sullivan Barrera19-1, 14 KO,  this Saturday, July 15th in a return to the scene of his last spectacle, the Forum, Inglewood, California.

                                                         WHOOPS…….

                               >>>>>Going>>>>> Going >>>>>

\/**********GONE!**********\/

While I expect this to be a good fight between quality contenders, it’s very interesting in how Smith is being shunted aside after two of the hottest knockouts of 2016 as the away limited “away” fighter against the touted hometown heroes. Andre “Maternity” Ward was busy delivering the Kiss of Death to Boxing in his two matches with Sergey Kovalev, as Adonis Stevenson was busy fighting fringe contenders to pad out his bank account and title record that is looking smarter and smarter every day given how Kovalev and his promoter Main Events treatment by the boxing suits. They were near run out of town by horrific officiating in those two Ward bouts in spite of Kovalev’s fan friendly knockout fights that spiked interest in the moribund Lightheavy division.

“Just Another” Joe Smith leap frogged over his opposition to net a #4 Boxrec rating to Barrera’s #12 rating, so on paper this promises to be be a competitive bout, all dependant however by Barrera’s using his traditional come forward boxing style. The WBC International light heavyweight title bauble is the minor bauble being fought for.

I’m picking Joe, but Barrera could prove to be a banana peel and the officiating? These days you’d be better counting on a roll of the dice in a craps game than count on boxing officials. Sad indictment of the noble sport empowered with fair and equitable rules they seldom enforce except in favor of their orchestrated result…only in boxing! 

Día Mexicano@Ground Zero~Canelo vs Junior~Quien Es Mas Macho?

Saul Alvarez, 48-1-1, 34 KO, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, 50-2-1, 32 KO, currently two of Mexico’s most popular active boxers, square off on Cinco de Mayo weekend, Saturday, May 6, @ T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada in what is being hyped as the biggest all Mexican fight ever. Perhaps, but it also may well be the biggest fight this year as far as the financials goes though the Wladimir Klitschko/Anthony Joshua fight may surpass it or not. Regardless these two biggest fights of the year happen back to back weekends for a thrilling run for boxing.

Canelo has taken a lot of stick from fans for the delay of the Gennady Golovkin bout, but blame Richard Schaefer and Al Haymon for illegally gutting Golden Boy Promotions that have completely upended boxing that resulted in hundred million dollar lawsuits. Then we have All Star Boxing winning a rather dubious $8.5 million judgement they against Canelo in spite of having no contract with him…only in boxing and only in Floriduh could this happen.

So of course Canelo has had to follow the richest prize money against Amir Khan and Junior. Golovkin, in spite of his vastly superior boxing credentials, brings an inferior purse after the down year of 2016 that saw boxing in America it the lowest financial point in in the last 35 years regarding general public interest. Assuming Canelo prevails against Junior, the Golovkin fight will be twice as big as this time as compared to last year and primed for this September. White gloved, snooty, connoisseur snifting boxing purists may not like it, but Canelo has been giving the fans what they want the bulk of his career which is why he has been so financially successful save for the big civil judgement against him. All Star have filed a lien in advance to garnish that $8.5 million judgement on Canelo’s purse for this fight, a huge bite of cash for a really big OUCH!

Before the fight was announced: Best Buds

As to Junior, he’s taken well deserved stick for his lack of dedication, but make no mistake, this kid has a dangerous punch to him as future HOFer Sergio Martinez found out. His post fight career was utterly ruined when he was only barely to crawl out a survivor against Junior, and then Andy Lee KTFU.

After the fight was announced: Grrrrr

Canelo vs Junior

Canelo vs Junior

With this being an all Mexican superfight, the super special, superduper, WBC championship belt for the Mexican Champion of the World will be on the line. Three designs were presented to voted on with the participation of thousands of fans around the world, but primarily Mexicans fans that will decide the winning design, or at least that was the promise by WBC El Presidente Gordo Para la Vida Sulaimán. The “Winning” belt was obviously a complete redesign of the three…only in boxing in the WBC!

All the belts were designed by native Mexican Huicholes Indians. Here were the contenders.

 

And……………………….THE CHAMPION:

The All Mex WBC Belt

The All Mex WBC Belt

Word is that Canelo has made a special point to reject the belt that I assume involves WBC sanctioning fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Money and pride is quite enough for Canelo who has indicated a disparagement of the WBC after some heavy handed demands they made upon his career. I suspect amends will be made before the fight since Canelo would otherwise be proud to accept such an outstanding design of his native countrymen.

The Network Numbers, the real bottom line in boxing these days:

The HBO replay of the Canelo-Liam Smith fight drew 459,000 HBO subscribers, but in perhaps in spite of the 50,000 fans that packed Cowboy stadium, the PPV sales appear approximately 300,000. However, it is also supposed the Smith fight was seen by 18 million viewers in Mexico on free television via Azteca 7. Notably, Alvarez’s fight this past May versus Amir Khan drew around 600,000 PPVs and 767,000 HBO subscribers on the replay. His Miguel Cotto fight drew 900,000 PPVs and the replay 901,000 HBO subscribers. Junior may prove to be bigger than all three combined, so we shall see.

Junior has hired legendary Juan Manuel Marquez boxing trainer Ignacio Beristain for this fight, and perhaps most tellingly the notorious Marquez BALCO PED pusher, Memo Heredia, as his physical trainer. Junior was slapped with a minor drug violation of using illegal diuretics to drop weight in the past plus one marijuana violation that cost him $900,000 in a clear daylight robbery by the Vegas commish, so it is quite sad and telling that Junior is resorting to these dubious means at this juncture. It becomes scary to contemplate what Junior could do pumped up on Memo Heredia’s PEDs.

As a preview to this Mexican  family guerra  in Mexico, Canelo older brother “Inocente” Ramon Alvarez was knocked out in the 2nd round by Junior’s younger brother “The Businessman” Omar Chavez to even up that series 1-1, so the Alvarez and Chavez family already have some history of competition. My question would be if Meme Heredia also works with Omar in a family affair?

Lest the 164.5 lb catchweight be a problem for Junior, here he is after hard training for 2 months in the mountains of Mexico a month before this fight, doubtless in the best condition of his somewhat wasted career as to his unfulfilled potential. Here he is probably near the lightheavy limit of 174 lbs looking ready to fight with fire in his eyes at that weight again. All he has to do is lose a gallon of water, and presto, he’s made the 164.5 catchweight with 36 hours to rehydrate and replenish to a probable 190+. Many construction workers deal with similar losses most every day working outside during the summer months.

Ripped Junior

Ripped Junior

Add in that Canelo likely to be at 180+ lbs come fight night, really this is what used to be an ol’ fashioned heavyweight fight. Canelo’s fabled El Gancho Izquierda should prove the difference. However long it lasts, it promises to be HOTLY contested in a WAR strategically waged by Canelo and emotionally waged by Junior, but only after Lupe Contreras asks them, “Quien is mas macho?”

A Time To Laugh~Deontay Wilder vs Andrzej Wawrzyk

WBC heavyweight beltholder Deontay Wilder, 37-0, 36 KO, defends his ever diminishing reputation this February 25th at the “tarnished” Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama against Polish fringe contender, boxrec ranking #29, Andrzej Wawrzyk, 33-1, 19 KO…errr…oops…Seems Wawrzyk had a minor “slip up” and, ahem, was replaced by former football player and Sugar Daddy Al Haymon playmate, that other G. Washington from President’s day, Gerald Washington, 18-0-1, 12 KO.

Wilder vs Washington

Wilder vs Washington

OK, I need go easy on boy wonder Wilder. This is his first fight since breaking his hand and tearing up his bicep on Chris Arreola‘s thick noggin in his last fight, so so of course he has to keep his big boy training pants on yet again lest he have a nasty accident. Still, it’s inevitable with the same reoccuring injuries that he ain’t long for this game the first time he fights someone with a pulse and legit ranking.

For now, he’s Alabama’s best heavyweight secret so shush yo mouth lest the word slip out.

Washington for his part has won 3 his last 4 against nominal fringe contenders and ancient former contenders, yet with only one KO to show along with a draw, suggesting he is far from becoming a bonafide contender. Such faint progress, unranked by Ring and 20th ranked by Boxrec, is the modern state of American heavyweight boxing that of course makes him perfect for the apparently permanently developing Wilder.

In a strange twist of modern American culture, Washington, whose parental heritage is reported as half black and half Mexican, is known as “El Gallo Negro” which sorta translates to “The Black Cock” as a sort of double entendre, wink, wink. If he wins, he will be the first Mexican American heavyweight champ for those who keep racial counts, and yes, that would be Arreola moaning in the background wishing he’d never had quit his Wilder fight had he known how busted up he really was.

For his part, Wilder will forever be known as the dummy turning down a small fortune last year to fight Alexander Povetkin, instead preferring to fight Arreola for peanuts dug up in his native Alabammy mud flats, so here we go with goobers again, and who to thank? How about another big thanks to his other enabling Sugar Daddy, WBC El Presidente para toda la vida, Mauricio Sulaimán, who keeps him bundled in swaddling infant wrappings well protected from the mean world of heavyweight contenders.

But, wait, wait, maybe his brain trust is smarter than advertised. Just days before this fight, team Wilder won the civil suit for damages against #1 contender Povetkin and his promoter, Andrey Ryabinsky after their May 21st 2016 fight in Moscow was canceled when Wilder suddenly balked at traveling to Moscow. The reason given was laughable, a billionth of a gram of Melonium. A Manhattan federal court of jurors ruled for Wilder in this highly complex case involving a trace billionth of a gram contamination of 5 mandatory VADA drug tests of  Povetkin. The jurors used their “new math” skills taught in public schools these days to make it an open and shut case in a record 30 something minutes that divided by a billionth yields 0.0000018 seconds or 0.00000003 minutes for a perspective of what a billionth represents.

Andrey Ryabinsky had already filed a $34.5 million counter lawsuit filed against Deontay Wilder and his team that has yet to go to court. The lawsuit filed for Wilder is in at least one major factual error by claiming Ryabinsky failed to deliver Povetkin for their scheduled May 21 Moscow fight, when point in fact it was Wilder who killed the fight by never delivering himself to Moscow because of a specious VADA drug result that VADA admitted was well below the threshold of what would be a failed test result . The cool thing about VADA drug testing for boxers is BALCO Vic Conte being a key architect of the VADA organization. He can guarantee his majic elixirs pass VADA drug screens just like in his heyday at BALCO. In short, his PEDs don’t stink up the test, another nice scam he has going thanks to boxing’s overlords.

We have to at least acknowledge one good thing about Wilder that separates him from his American peers, he comes to fight in the ring no matter how stupidly and awkward, so this should be competitive at a clubfighter level, yet amazingly only for 1/5th of the major heavyweight world titles. So, doing my “old school math, 1/5 of Deontay’s 226 lbs in his last fight is 45.2 lbs, the pissweight of the heavyweight titles. A Billionth of Deontay is 0.000000226 lbs, or 0.0000036 ounces, or 0.000103 grams, meaning we will have to watch this fight under an Electron Microscope to see it…only in boxing folks. 

Wilder vs Washington

Wilder vs Washington

Bernexit of Bernard Hopkins~Just Another Joe Named Smith

The Bernexit of “The Executioner or is it still Alien?”

Bernard Hopkins, 55-7-2, 32 KO, takes on boxing’s newest darling, Joe Smith Jr, 21-1, 18 KO, in a 12 round WBC International light heavyweight title fight from the Forum in Inglewood, California this Saturday, December 17. Perhaps sadly, it will be broadcast by HBO, whimsically entitled “The Final One.”

We can only hope not fatally since Hopkins has been unofficially retired after Sergey Kovalev beat the tarballs out of him two years ago not to mention he’ll be about a month shy of his 52nd birthday. Why Hopkins wants one last fight has to do with his ferociously insecure ego of not wanting to retire on a defeat, that and needing to be coddled with extra “Special” accolades after mostly anonymous beginnings in the first half of his career and a much mottled latter half of his career where he’s been promoted like the mysterious meat item on the corporate menu by obligated announcers lest they offend powerful corporate bosses.

That said, if you’re Ol’ Man Stinker in desperate need of the newest contender to beat, Joe Smith would be it. That is no knock on Smith whose day job has been as a union construction worker in the Big Apple. He may well have many as yet undiscovered talents going for him, but the simple fact is that he’s been a career New York centric fighter in small halls against fellow clubfighters. He’s a good lookin’ kid as far as base level physical fighter attributes, and he obviously packs a punch as he showed in his one round blitzkreig against Andrzej Fonfara, but that perhaps partially the fault of the Fonfara team rightfully underestimating Smith based on his limited record.

I shudder to remember when fellow construction worker and derided journeyman underdog Glen Johnson brutalized big favorite Roy Jones Jr in one of the most horrific beatdowns in modern history. Jones took a savage whooping that left him for all intents quite literally dead on the canvas and took some long minutes before he was able to be carried to his stool and many more minutes before he had recovered enough to leave the ring with assistance. Glen Johnson, unlike Smith, was well experienced at the highest levels of boxing at that point. Joe’s logged a career total of 73 baby rounds to Hopkins’ 506 mostly either easy rounds against nobodies, or stinker rounds against the elite. So on paper it’s hardly fair fight but for that single knockout round against Fonfara.

Let’s at least acknowledge Hopkins’ few best fights where he fought as clean as capable, yet still mixed in with hitting on the break against Felix Trinidad for example. Tito saw the ref wouldn’t protect him and fought in kind until he was buried in Hopkins’ dirt, so all in all it was a equal fight save Tito hopping up two divisions to middleweight where his slugging couldn’t hide his lack of boxing skills. And then there was Hopkins’ crowning achievement in expertly throttling new middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik at a 170 lb catchweight. Hopkins likes to brag he ruined Kelly mentally, but facts are after winning the title Pavlik shattered a window at home in a drunken incident that required surgery to repair the tendons that led to the dreaded staph hospital infection that at one point threatened his life and caused cancellation of a couple of fights. Pavlik could never be the same fighter afterward, going into seizures and seeking treatment for alcoholism, so of course his career ended up prematurely since he was no longer medically fit to fight.

The really good news: Likely the best fight of the night will be when new champ Oleksandr Usyk defends against tricky southpaw Thabiso Mchunu in one of the best cruiserweight matches that can be made. Usyk has been looking mighty impressive for a guy with only 10 pro fights. I suspect this to be high end controlled violence for as long as it last as both can box and punch very well. Both are southpaws which should make the action even trickier.

Meanwhile, nobody can know how the Hopkins/Smith fight turns out because of fighter unknowns going into the bout, but typically, I smell another Hopkins’ stinker, he simply can’t help soiling himself when push comes to shove. Will Smith get the appropriate high end sparring needed, ie the 101 + advanced course of defense against headbutts, low blows, hitting on the break, elbows, and unceasing grappling for such a dirty foe? Does Hopkins still have any reflexes, chin, and heart left after the Kovalev beating? We already know Joe is the hungry one not looking for a mere hand out, but ready to fight for what’s his. Meanwhile Hopkins has long been sleeping on silk sheets in silk pajamas in his mansion before pulling his typical wink-wink mugging act in the ring. Hey, who says boxing can’t be like ‘rassling?

The battle of the trainers is also striking with Smith employing the unknown Gerard Capobianco as opposed to Hopkins dumping his 2nd trainer, Nazim Richardson, just like he did his first, Bouie Fisher, not by letter or to their face, but rather just coldly forgetting they ever existed. He instead hired  John David Jackson in replacement, yet says nothing has changed for these preparations. What, he thinks were born yesterday? This is touted as his last fight as written into his contract, but he’s welched against his word plenty and will do so again when convenient. One also has wonder if he is still stiffing waitresses as he was notorious for doing not so far back ago. He smiles the snaggly toothed grandfatherly smile, but this is not a nice man.

Oh, and PLEASE, let us all pray together that ol’stinker ain’t coming out in pink shorts. Roll them dice boys, it’s another boxing crap shoot.

Ol' Man Stinker vs The Kid

Ol’ Man Stinker vs The Kid

Oh My, SuperFly TNT~Roman Gonzalez vs Carlos Quadras

Gonna be dynamite going off in them Golden Hills of California when #1 Flyweight Roman Gonzalez, 45-0, 38 KO challenges #1 Super Fly Carlos Cuadras, 35-0-1, 27 KO, for his WBC superbelt at the Forum, Inglewood, California on Saturday, September 10th.

Chocolatito vs Cuadras

Chocolatito vs Cuadras

Again, boxing seems to be having an exceptional year of sorts regarding top prime matchups that too often failed to be made in the recent past. I guess they had to do something by default after driving their collective state of ship into the rocks with their poorly regulated, past prime, mega blockbuster of Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr, aka TUE 49-0. The most lucrative fiasco in boxing history generated multi million dollar lawsuits as boxing was exposed nakedly before their largest audience ever as the seedy, greedy, corrupt sport that has been driving away fans in droves these days. Gonzalez is in full HOF sway at 29 years of age and thus far scarcely missed a beat, usually completely outclassing his foes by judicious use of his formidable skills and 84% KO ratio. He is also moving up to his fourth division after holding titles in the 3 lower divisions, so clearly he has been aiming high and means to take no prisoners. Life in boxing has been good to him thus far, currently ranked Ring #1 P4P over all the big boys.

Cuadras has been much steadier at this weight and may possibly be the naturally bigger man though his 5-4 height is not much over the 5-3 of Gonzalez, nor is his 66″ listed reach much over the Gonzalez 64″ just using boxrec listings that tend to be more in a general range of accuracy rather than specific. This will be the 7th defense of Quadras’ title he won back in 2014 and by far the best opponent he’s ever faced, so he’ll be the underdog in this scrap. He seems to be fairly heavy handed also with a KO% of 79%, which given the often hellish pace the little guys usually set, means there’ll be plenty of TNT charges going off in this one in between careful boxing while looking for openings.

Quadras got off the first combination in this fight just days before the weighin when he anointed himself, “I’m faster, more handsome than Chocolatito!” He does have a tall, urbane look to him and maybe in another era might have been a flashy bullfighter moving his red flag with aplomb around the angry beast before dispatching him in an artistic dance of death. So this fight looks to be the movie star against the dumpling playing the role of the bull, except this dumpling much more intelligent and experienced than any bull could be. And one more thing, these little guys bust up the glass ceiling of US boxing headliners not only by dint of their diminutive sizes, but by their nationalities, Gonzalez being Nicaraguan and Quadras being Mexican.

These are two foreigner intruders brought over to American soil to thankfully to provide a real fight for typically soft, modern, plus sized Americans who have rather unfortunately gravitated to the ignoble stink science of the sport rather than the ennobling traditional sweet science of boxing. Let’er rip as the chips fall where they may!

Fatty Chris Arreola Jumps In Against Toothpick Deontay Wilder

Yes, Virginia, the little known, lightly regarded Deontay Wilder plans on defending his ill begotten WBC heavyweight title in the Mecca of Alabama Boxing, Saturday, July 16 from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham against the congenital fatty livewire, the always entertaining and often hard slugging Chris Arreola, 36-4-1, 31 KO.

Wilder vs Arreola Video Conference

Wilder vs Arreola Video Conference

This little in house stag do is part of Al Haymon‘s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on FOX and FOX Deportes and typical of Wilder’s short notice defenses against fighters seen as fringe contenders at best. Actually, most all of Wilder’s entire career was built against short notice TBAs because he flew so far under of the radar of public notice. The formerly ranked Arreola has been unranked by Ring for some time now, and currently ranked 46th by the expanded boxrec rankings, so he would be the 2nd highest ranked defense of the four fighters Wilder has defended against. Conversely, PBC viewing numbers have been sinking like a rock from this poorly conceived business model that looks to bleed investors dry. They did manage to get a big numbers boost 3 weeks ago from the Keith Thurman/Shawn Porter fight that actually pitted 2 top fighters in a compelling fight compared to the usual Haymon dross. Utterly amazing that they never seemed to think about matching their top fighters this before.

The Canary That Ate The Cat?

The Canary That Ate The Cat?

A comparison between Wilder’s and Arreola’s most recent common competition saw Wilder struggle mightily against a suspiciously sick Don King fighter, Bermane Stiverne, a terribly sloppy affair. In stark contrast, Arreola had been whoopin’ a much healthier Stiverne a new one before getting coldcocked in the 6th round. Not sure of Deontay could take a tenth of that damage Arreola doled out, but if Wilder happened to be caught, he and Haymon will be forever known as the two dolts who backed out of a $20 mil fight with Povetkin because of a few nanograms of a common prescription drug and they may well still be regardless of this outcome.

Arreola is both literally and financially a massively “hungrier” fighter than Wilder and would take that fight in a nanosecond. And speaking of nanos, a nano gram is one Billionth of a gram folks, more properly expressed as 1/1,000,000,000. If Wilder was entirely made of meldonium, the exotic drug in question, 229 lbs in his last fight, and was divided by a billionth, he wouldn’t be big enough for a microscopic mite to eat, but if that mite accidentally inhaled him, why that mite would test positive in illicit drug testing cartel laboratories, perhaps leading to a suspension by The Mighty Mite Kingdom until Mr. Mite could find a meldonium free zone to do his mighty mite work.  That’s how ridiculously worthless this unholy marriage of Boxing and the illicit drug testing cartels has been. Worse, if Arreola lifts the title and test positive for marihoochi as he’s done twice before, well, it couldn’t happen to a pair of more deserving goofs.

Fortunately for Wilder, the reason Arreola is ranked so low these days is because in his three 2015 fights, he looked lethargic even if he got his weight down to 236 for his last fight. Could be all the spark has gone out of him after Stiverne starched him?

The only thing left is to hope for is a good fight and let boxing sort out if they really want to continue their ever dwindling business model that couldn’t even competently officiate their highest grossing all time fight in history, Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2015. The UFC was recently sold for 4.2 billion dollars, that after an investment of a $2 million some 16 years ago that has consistently posted higher earnings than boxing and pro wrestling for about a decade now. The reason for their success is so simple as to beggar belief: They actually made competitive fights that were fan friendly, it was that simple, so here we are stumbling into Wilder vs Arreola in Birmingham, Alabama, only in boxing!

Mutt & Jeff

Mutt & Jeff

Shock & Awe~Canelo vs Amir Khan

Now that seismic tsunami waves created by the Thunderclap announcement of Saul Alvarez vs Amir Khan have finally died out, here they’ll be on this Cinco de Mayo weekend to inaugurate the spanking brand new T-Mobile in Las Vegas @ 155lb catchweight, the new Caneloweight class. What comes next?

Back to 2015 for context: Fans of both Miguel Cotto and Canelo were highly disappointed over that light sparring match for the legendary WBC/Ring/Lineal middleweight title after expecting a well waged WAR for the ages given their usually fan friendly styles. Fans of Khan have been long disappointed over his lack of top ten opponents since being knocked out by Danny Garcia in 2012. Upon announcement of this fight, based upon expectations on paper, ie their records, Canelo knocks Khan out all day every day and twice on Sundays, and true, that may well come to pass, but Khan does have some upside on Canelo starting with nominally better handspeed and the kind of fleet running footspeed that could dampen Canelo’s offense. If Khan manages to survive the distance, then according to unwritten boxing code, that means he exceeded expectations, meaning he may cop the decision regardless how many might think Canelo won it in a landslide. Decisions, sometimes even knockouts these days, are too often a crapshoot in boxing. Who could ever really win or lose when boxing’s officiating/scoring rules are so backward, corrupt, and unenforceable that they literally create negative feedback from fans every other fight week? Especially grievous are when Al Haymon fighters are on the cards, and guess what, Khan is currently one of 200 fighters “advised” by Haymon.

The Money Fighter: This fight was designed for the 25 year old Canelo, 46-1-1, 32 KO, to secure a big payday before the Gennady Golovkin fight that we all hope we’ll see later this year. Although Canelo was brought up hard in the traditional Mexican way, he now occupies a rare high niche as the future of high level boxing along with the newly minted Brit Anthony Joshua. His critics have long moaned over his supposed favored status, but critics are always moaning about everyone and everything anyway, especially Canelo even when he fights top contenders. Now he enters into the main of his prime still huge in Mexico, yet still developing internationally, so enter Khan and the potential harvest of new British fans who may like what they see in their first viewing if Canelo seals the deal.

The Hype That Didn't Deliver

The Hype That Didn’t Deliver

The Wannabe Money Fighter: The now 29 year old Khan, 31-3, 19 KO, was the sorta money fighter for a while, but Golden Boy could only keep him propped up so long. After his setbacks, he disappeared from the mainstream, only surfacing during petty twitter nonsense. As a former Olympic Silver medalist, he had turned pro with a lucrative contract and guaranteed popularity until he started opening his mouth to repeatedly insert his foot. Then came the humiliating 54 second first round knockout at the explosive hands of Breidis Prescott. Devastated personally by such a brutal loss and subsequent derision by Brits who loved his cocky comeuppance, he soon fled the British Isles for a productive maturing phase to be trained by Freddie Roach, but seemed to be off mentally in the ring the few times he was matched up hard as if he never actually learned to actually fight and strategize other than going through basic boxing mechanics that put him further back of the pack with a couple more losses. Recently completing a succession of interim and vacant WBC silver titles, he now goes for one of the most prestigious titles ever, the Lineal/Ring/WBC middleweight title held by Canelo, a humongous step from where he’s ever been before, but as legendary English Poet Robert Browning once asked three centuries back, “if a man’s reach can’t extend beyond his grasp, then what’s a heaven for?”

Canelo vs Khan

Canelo vs Khan

Khan has the sort of flashy hand and foot speed with eye popping combinations to dazzle judges, yet the individual talents never added up for the expected whole package down to the mental letdowns and somewhat fragile chin. In contrast, Canelo turned pro as a 15 year old kid Julio Cesar Chavez style and worked his way up a very competitive Mexicano food chain to the point where his startling looks in an otherwise mostly mono physiotypical culture combined with his youth and fighting ability to make him a huge star. He’s not blessed with flashy physical attributes that wow the casual fan, but every physical and mental attribute that he needs in boxing he has in plenty enough abundance, sorta like an all around B+/A- student beating out all the honor students on college entrance examines and in the workforce. The sum of his individual talents have thus far proven greater than the expected whole.

It helps in the English speaking culture Canelo primarily operates out of these days that he doesn’t yet speak English very well, perhaps mitigating any potential “gotcha” stupid comments. The press takes great joy in baiting those unfamiliar with the dirty machinations of the media. Poor Khan in contrast, continues to step in one public mess after another because he does speak English and is not shy about expressing himself.

The Officiating: This being Las Vegas, you can bet your last dollar on it, the officiating is generally atrocious. Kenny Bayless is the assigned referee who most notably as far as Canelo is concerned, allowed TUE 49-0 to headbutt Canelo with impunity in the early stages of that fight as well as warning Canelo for a low tap he delivered to let TUE know he needed to release his simultaneous choke hold while lacing his face with the tape on his gloves, all while Bayless stood by pretending to be a statue until Canelo roused him from his stupor by issuing his love tap. So no love for Canelo by Bayless who would also appear to favor Haymon fighters. Judges are: Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Trowbridge and Glenn Feldman who is the only non Nevada resident of the bunch to make the officiating appear at least somewhat fair, yeah, right. Byrd is an horrific judge who favors light hitting/hard running American boxer types, an unholy alliance that has literally eliminated boxing as a traditional sport of combat and popularity. She seemingly would favor Khan, especially since he’s become an American trained, American based fighter. Trowbridge seems to be a low profile type on the right side of the scoring scale in the few big fights I used to establish context for him. Feldman operates normally in the northeast US, most recently in the Adrien Broner vs Ashley Theophane joke this April Fool’s 1st in Washington, DC, a place rife with specious officiating as one might expect from the seat of US government these days.

Bayless nets $4,150 as  the judges net $2,950 for the gig, but of course these are chump change figures released for the rubes. There is no telling what’s going on under the table behind the scenes.

So, stylistically, Khan has to implement an effective hit and run style to have any chance of surviving to win a decision. In contrast, Canelo is basically a well balanced fighter both on offense and defense who can pretty much do it all when needed. His style perhaps best described as counterpuncher/slugger against powerful fighters or a cautious boxer/counterpuncher in some of his less compelling fights against boxers where he concentrates on not making any mistakes, so in his fashion he boxes with boxers, and punches with punchers.

That would seem to indicate Canelo would box with Khan to put steady but careful pressure on him, making sure the public gets to see Khan running the extra mile in the ring to avoid contact. He surely knows he’s expected to knockout Khan and generally abhors disappointing his fans. Can he deliver this go round?

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin

 

CC Your Buds~Canelo vs Cotto Is ON!

Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas will be exploding come Saturday, November 21st when Saul Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Angel Cotto renew the historical Mexican vs Puerto Rican family feud with a real fight, can you believe it, a real fight in America? Who’d have ever thunk it in this faint hearted day and age of posers, duckers, and bawling punch monkey darlings? Could even be a fight for the ages, but at very least we know from their pedigrees it’ll be good as long as it lasts.

The new promotional kid on the block, Roc Nation, and Golden Boy will share promotional honors after a heart stopping, grueling set of negotiations with Cotto who has lately become something  diva, one of the concessions needed being the 155-pound catchweight. Up for grabs will be Cotto’s Ring Belt and the WBC middleweight belt that he is reported as earning $30 million to defend compared to Canelo’s $10 million. I would have thought the purses would be roughly even after their similar recent PPV numbers, but such is another huge concession that Canelo takes for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Luckily Canelo has been well priming himself for this big bout at 155 with his last three outings at the weight where he did quite well for himself, knocking the doggie biscuits out of Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland and forcing Erislandy Lara into a shameless run, shuck, and jive for survival.

Meanwhile, Cotto hasn’t been doing too shabby himself with conclusive knockouts of Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale. Why he insisted on a silly 159lb catchweight against Martinez? Because he can call more shots at this stage of his career. In making the Geale fight at 157lb, now I could understand as that’s a sweet three pounds under the middleweight limit, but I don’t think those catchweights affected the results anymore than this one at 155lbs will. However, if the winner tries to make Gennady Golovkin make 155, that could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Cotto might try for that kind of fight, but I think Canelo is ready to move up permanently to the full 160 where he obviously belongs if he wins this, but their futures are not ours to see. First things first.

Cotto Pounds Money

Cotto Pounds Money

In a bad sign of the declining times for Andre Ward, amazingly only 31 years of age and wasting his career away, he is supposed to be fighting another light heavyweight type opponent. Ahh, ha you say, another TBA sacrificial lamb for the needy Ward is it again? Yup, dragged him all the way kicking and screaming out of Oakland they did for this. He can’t even make the cut for the main supporting bout of the night anymore, just pitiful. His heart must be buried in that big load sagging his shorts for this farce, but it’s his career to fritter away, so be it.

Oh, yes and oh, no, so now he can’t even glove it up for his TBA after having a knee problem, so looks like Mr. TBA will just have to wait until 2016 to find Ward in a ring…maybe. What a loss to TBA boxing!

So enter yet another faint hearted P4P poser added to the undercard, Guillermo Rigondeaux , reportedly fighting a last minute TBA, Drian Francisco. World P4P rated by Haymon/Golden Boy News of the Ring Word and still fighting TBAs is it? Such is the fainthearted nature of boxing these days.

As to the otherworldly compelling main event, I strongly favor Canelo. Cotto’s older brother, also named Miguel, managed to rock the teenaged Canelo, slumping him for maybe a second before he recovered quickly to blast the senior Cotto to smithereens shortly thereafter, so could be Cotto has some younger brother payback working here his motivation. Even in his losses, nobody ever had an easy time against Cotto who has added significant caginess to his game to compensate for his fall from the absolute top of his prime. Problem being that Canelo is immensely stronger and even more experienced than Cotto by now, yet still very young and fresh. Simply put, he’s never been beat up. However, trying to walk through Cotto from the gitgo may well be the equivalent of trying to walk through a truck, so I expect Canelo to take his time warming into the fight as a boxer as does Cotto. Then all Hell gets unleashed for the finale.

Yes Sir, Freddie Roach has got Cotto boxing smarter than ever, and Canelo is a high level boxer, so this should be a traditional, high level stakes, aggressive, ring centered boxing display with plenty of applied hurt and heart. Neither comes out completely unscathed in this one, yet the fans may count themselves lucky to remember where they were on this monumental night if the fight is as good as is hoped.

 

Fall Fireworks~Gennedy Golovkin vs David Lemieux

The somewhat under appreciated David Lemieux has surprisingly agreed to put up his freshly minted IBF middleweight bauble against the WBC/WBA baubles of new age juggernaut Gennady Golovkin in what promises to be a fan friendly slug’em up. That would be at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, Saturday, October 17th, supposedly on HBO PPV which ain’t shabby fare for an Armenian-Frenchman from Montreal and a refuge from Kazakhstan. Them fur’nrs is takin’ over American Boxing, and thank goodness for that or we would never have any decent fights in the US.

That said, Lemieux, who gamely fought his way back from ignominy after a couple of stinging losses, me thinks he’s well overmatched here. He used to be listed as having only has a 64 inch reach, meaning he has to be in pretty close to land any punches regardless of what his short reach really is. Golovkin is unfortunately for him the superior long distance sharpshooter who likely boxes in a technical, counterpunching way to let his natural power eventually take out Lemieux who will be charging in like a bull, but now a more mature and nuanced bull, so Golovkin needs to be very careful. It’s a shame really to see Lemieux sacrificed so early in his career just as he reached the top echlon, but then I get the feeling he’s near the best he’ll ever be and may not be planning on a long future in boxing. Then again he may prove to be the bull in this china closet, shattering the expectations of all his naysayers as he as been doing most of his career.

So take the money now and leave the rest to sort itself out later in the fight as the saying goes by real fighters, a dying breed in the boxing world these days.

The Hawaiian Punch

The Hawaiian Punch

The supporting undercard is a very dynamic and perhaps somewhat mysterious bout between the acclaimed, fast rising, undefeated, newly crowned Ring #1 P4P…whew…that would be Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez, and the always popular fan favorite, the Hawaiian Punch, Brian Viloria. The highly credentialed Viloria tends to fight very hot or very cold, usually up to the level of his opponent, so it’s hard to predict the nature of outcome other than to note Chocolatito will be a substantial favorite to defend his WBC flyweight title for the very good reason of consistency and youth. He has become the proverbial beast, and he sure better be ready come fight night, because if Viloria can work up a head of steam early, there may be no stopping him. I’m guessing this could also well be the fight of the night if not the year if Viloria is really dialed in.

Whatever the results on the night, this is an all action card with some serious hurt being doled out as limp bodies splatter the canvas for the count, the history of boxing packed in nutshell this one.

When Two Worlds Collide

When Two Worlds Collide

Please Don’t Faint~ It’s Deontay Wilder vs Johann Duhaupas

Johann Duhaupas won the French lottery when the TBA Heavyweight was chosen on short notice to challenge the increasingly spooked WBC beltholder Deontay Wilder as he pussyfoots ever so lightly toward his limpid legacy. The historical world renown Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama was chosen as the venue come Saturday, September 26th, and WHOOHOO, who else to thank but the usual suspects squirreled away deep where the sun don’t shine in an underground Vegas bunker trying to take over boxing.

“The Reptile” Duhaupas

The bad news is that the 34 years old Duhaupas only has a 34th ranking on boxrec, but the good news is he’s ranked #1 in France as the French Heavyweight Champion for the limp wristed Wilder fans to swoon over. The bad news is that the last American Olympic boxing medalist, bronze, has been given a new nickname by anti social media monkeys, the Bronze Bambi. The good news is that Duhaupas might just be the 3rd best fighter Wilder has ever fought. The bad news is few care about boxing anymore much less this faint hearted Olympic medalist. The good news is few care about boxing anymore, so fewer fighters are left to get hurt and fewer fans are disappointed.

The really sad, really bad news is that Sugardaddy Al Haymon, his overseer, passed on a $2 million dollar Shannon Briggs offer to challenge Wilder for considerably less against the unknown Euro based Frenchman now travelling to Alabama. The really feel good news is that I don’t make this stuff up folks, only in boxing can we be provided with such rich material to snicker over.

The promotion is touting that this is supposed to be the first prime time heavyweight title fight on NBC since May 20, 1985. Then the rapidly fading Larry Holmes poorly defended  his ill begotten IBF bauble against young Carl “The Truth” Williams in Reno, Nevada. Larry was well whooped with his eye completely closed against the raw kid, should’ve been a stoppage, but boxing kept Larry propped up for one more fight, his 49-0 attempt against Michel Spinks who, like Williams and Witherspoon before him, easily outboxed the increasingly plodding, gunshy Larry, and lo and behold, actually got credit for it. Amazing things sometimes do happen in boxing and in life, after all, we remember getting money for our baby teeth under our pillows, but I don’t think the Tooth Fairy will be visiting the Frenchman in Alabama.

Not sure about the exact numbers, but it may well be Wilder holds the modern world heavyweight record for the most TBA knockouts, so the burning question for this “event” is…badaboom…how do you say DUH in French with an Alabama accent?