Five Fights Wishlist


The punch that turned out the lights on Paul Williams.

With news that Ken Hershman was scooped up by HBO (and away from Showtime) to be the new president of HBO Sports, it makes me feel hopeful that the debacle at HBO Sports and their problems with reaching their budget and forcing some non-PPV worthy fights onto PPV is over.

This hopefulness has me thinking of some fights that I would love to see. Not that any of these fights will or will not be made, just my current wish list.

I want to see two men* in the trenches, pouring their heart and soul into every punch. Refusing to give into the will of their opponent and fight as if it was their last chance in the ring.

*Or women, I don’t discriminate I mean I have watched women fight locally in Sarah Kuhn and Jaci Trivilino in fantastic, hard nosed battles that were extremely enjoyable*

5. Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto

I realize Cotto has a fight on HBO PPV coming up (I see a Cotto KO victory over Margarito, btw), but I don’t care. The styles that both men have would end in nothing less than fireworks. I understand and appreciate a fighter that is over skilled defensively and from time to time it’s a joy to watch someone so skilled in that craft do their work in the ring, but what I really enjoy in a fight above all else is a fight. I think these two have the potential to have a 5-star fight. I have almost no doubt Maravilla would win, but I am also sure that Cotto would give him everything he could handle.

4. Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Gary Russell, Jr.

Russell, Jr. is realistically about three fights away from being ready for someone of Gamboa’s quality. It’s just that to see Russell in the ring now you would think he’s a 10+ year veteran. He looks extremely polished with the whole package at his disposal. The 23-year-old has speed, power, defense and controls the ring like a grizzled veteran.

Gamboa is no slouch though. While I am high on Russell, I think Gamboa is the cream of the featherweight division. He, too, has almost unmatched speed and throws deadly accurate combinations. His major flaw is his ability to disappear for a minute or so in some rounds. He can get away with that against most because he is so superior in talent and quickness, but another grade A fighter would be quick to exploit that weakness. Continue reading “Five Fights Wishlist”

Blocked!


Apparently my mouth got me blocked by a former mega sports star!

At least he re-tweeted my comments to UFC President Dana White.

I feel special. Blocked by a multiple division champion!

HBO World Championship Boxing, 9.10.11 (Part 2)


Daniel Ponce de Leon vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa
From Atlantic City, NJ

I admit I was excited for this fight when it was announced. I envisioned a flash of a fight ending in a vicious KO.

What I got was mild action and a weak ending. I can’t complain about the ending too much. The clash of heads was certainly vicious, just not the KO I was pining for.

The fight was steady throughout with Gamboa winning every round except for the 1st which I gave to Ponce de Leon. Even though Gamboa won every round it was a closer fight than the score would indicate.

Ponce de Leon lunges way too much, especially against such a deadly accurate puncher like Gamboa, but Gamboa seemingly takes a good 30 seconds off every single round and Ponce de Leon took full advantage of those seconds with solid body shots and looping lefts. Some of those lefts gaining the attention of Yuriorkis.

The clash of heads came in round 8 as they were both coming in to throw a punch.

Gamboa was on his way to a semi-easy victory, but I have doubts to his ability to stay on point for all three minutes. Stepping his game up against the absolute best in the world and taking off 30+ seconds a round is not going to end well for him.

He called out Pacquaio, who he will not be seeing in the ring. Even though Juan Manuel Lopez lost his last fight against Orlando Salido I would still love to see a fight between him and Gamboa. Young up and comer Mikey Garcia would also make a nice match-up.

A fight I would absolutely drool over for Gamboa would be the young Gary Russell, Jr. I realize Russell Jr. is only 23-years-old and has fought a mere 65 rounds as a pro, but he has something special in him. If a year from now Gamboa and Russell are within 5 lbs of each other it needs to happen.

HBO World Championship Boxing, 9.10.11 (Part 1)


 

"Battle of the XXI Century"...not quite.

Tomasz Adamek vs. Vitali Klitschko
From Wrocław, Poland for the WBC heavyweight title

The fight went just about how you’d imagine.

Coming in I thought for Adamek to have even a punchers chance he would have to open it up and just let the punches fly. In the first round he did no such think and it appeared as if he was content to just take his beating, collect his check and be on his way.

Then round two began. Even though this was the most dangerous approach (and sure to end poorly for him) for him, Adamek let the fists fly. It wasn’t going to realistically change the outcome of the fight, but it was going to at least make it worth watching. At least more so than that dreck of a fight between Vitali’s brother Wladimir and David Haye.

The story for this fight was Vitali’s jab (which could second as a straight right for anyone else). He consistently jammed it into Adamek’s face and by the time the ref stopped the fight in the 10th his nose was a bloody mess.

Rounds 1 through 10 were almost near carbon copies of each other. Vitali would jab, through some overhand rights, mix in a few uppercuts and Adamek would do his best to move, cover-up and try to retaliate.

Adamek did try to retaliate, even landed a few good body shots, but nothing Vitali couldn’t just absorb.

Klitschko handled what little Adamek dealt and gave him back blow after blow until his nose was bleeding everywhere, he could barely stand and by round 10 the ref finally, mercifully, stopped the fight.

It’s my opinion (as I’m sure it’s others as well) that there isn’t anyone in the heavyweight division that can beat the Klitschko’s. With the slight exception of each other of course.

I would, however, love to see a David Haye vs. Tomasz Adamek fight.

HBO Boxing After Dark, 7.9.11; or A Travesty in Atlantic City


“I don’t know how in the world Paul Williams won the decision… It’s a joke. Paul Williams thought he lost the fight.” – HBO boxing announcer Bob Papa

I’m in shock still.

I watched a fight tonight that was an alright fight, although it was one-sided there was decent action, but clearly won by one particular fighter. This fighter won all but three rounds on my scorecard and two of them I could have seen going to the other guy too. It was a fight where one fighter clearly dominated.

It was a fight where the announcers were openly talking in round 11 about how the ref should stop the fight out of fear of the losing fighter having taken too much punishment for his own good.

As the 12th and final round ended and one fighter jumped and threw his hands up, clearly thinking he won the fight. As well he should. He fought the perfect game plan.

Smiling he stood in the ring as ring announcer, Joe Antonacci, read the judges scorecards. Continue reading “HBO Boxing After Dark, 7.9.11; or A Travesty in Atlantic City”

David Haye…a mere footnote


False advertising.

All the talk preceding this fight from David Haye would have led you to think he really was going to try.

You would have thought there would have at least been some sort of effort.

Not only was there a serious lack of effort (as shown by his landing one singular punch in round 10. One punch.

I honestly and truthfully thought Haye would come out and be aggressive, if not right from the get go then at least work himself towards it. It never happened. Haye’s performance was literally the opposite of all his talk. It was one of the most uninspired performances I have ever seen.

My card read like this;

Rd 1, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 2, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 3, 10-9 Haye
Rd 4, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 5, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 6, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 7, 9-9 Wlad (Wlad won the round, but was penalized 1 point for pushing Haye to the canvas)
Rd 8, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 9, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 10, 10-9 Wlad
Rd 11, 10-8 Wlad (Haye ‘fell’ again and ref Gino Rodriguez called it a knock down)
Rd 12, 10-9 Wlad 

118-108 for Wladimir Klitschko

David Haye won one round on my card. It was really one of only two times in the entire fight when he actually showed any form of aggression.

Haye also decided early on that he was going to start flopping all over the ring. Of all the times he was “pushed” to the canvas there were about two times when it was Wladimir’s fault. All the rest were the result of some sort of strange strategy, or at least that was how it seemed to me.

While it’s true that Wladimir jabbed the bejeezus out of Haye and yes, that does make for a boring fight by itself, but if Haye could have at least put the peddle to the floor (aka did what he has run his mouth for two years about) and forced Klitschko to fire back and open himself up. It just seemed as if he was unwilling to exchange with the large Ukrainian.

Lastly, the fact that David Haye said he couldn’t throw his right hand because he had a broken pinky toe is completely ludicrous. When Wladimir questioned his “injury” by asking, “Do you have a medical statement?” Haye responded by showing him his toe, with Wladimir responding, “It’s a bee sting!”

The fight itself was a D+. Extremely boring and I’m sure if I had watched the replay at 9:45 I would have fallen asleep.

On the brighter side of things we do have “Super” Zab Judah vs. Amir “King” Khan coming up soon, July 23!

Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye; War!


I have waited for this for 2+ years.

I have watched and listened as David Haye has tried with every last ounce of his being to get into Wladimir Klitschko’s head.

He’s worn a graphic t-shirt with the decapitated heads of the Klitschko brothers. He’s refused to shake Wladimir’s hand. He’s said he was going to beat Wladimir and then destroy his brother, Vitali. He’s done everything he can think of to rattle a man that seems to be unrattleable (I’m fairly sure that isn’t a word).

Today was the last presser before the fight this Saturday, July 2. There was a stare down that went like this… Continue reading “Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye; War!”

HBO Boxing After Dark, 6.4.11


Sebastian Zbik vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Robbery!

No, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t the best decision I’ve seen.

The champ, Zbik (30-0, 10 KO’s), came out quick. Sticking his surprisingly good jab into the much heavier Chavez Jr’s (42-0-1, 30 KO’s) face*. That jab kept Chavez relatively at bay for the first four rounds as Zbik threw multiple combinations and generally outworked the larger opponent.

(* The HBO broadcast said Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. weighed in, unofficially, the day of the fight at 180lbs. Zbik weighed in at 165lbs on that same HBO scale. In effect it was a fighter that was just 5lbs over the middleweight limit taking on a fighter 5lbs over the light heavyweight limit. Not sure would could be done about a fighter ballooning 20lbs from the weigh-in to the day of the fight. I mention the unofficial weight because it’s definitely a factor.)

The best thing Chavez could have done was use that 180lbs frame to drive and dig hard, thudding body punches into Zbik’s ribs and kidneys. As always the person taking the body shot didn’t react much, if at all, but that is par for the course. The body shots were meant to soften Zbik up and slow him down and they did just that. Continue reading “HBO Boxing After Dark, 6.4.11”

Did Mosley try to quit?


It seems hard to imagine that Shane Mosley, a fighter most would consider a warrior, would ask out of a fight, but it appears to be true.

On a short 15 minute episode scheduled to appear before Showtime’s Froch vs Johnson and Kessler vs Bouadla double header this Saturday, Mosley clearly states to Naazim Richardson that he wants him to stop the fight.

I realize the PPV match between Mosley and Manny Pacquiao was a month ago now, but this is just shocking to me. I do know that we don’t usually hear every little second and sound bite that goes on in every corner, in every fight. So this could happen more frequently than I perceive it to happen (I doubt it though). The simple matter of the fact is that “Sugar” Shane Mosley asked out of a prize fight.

To say I am disappointed in Shane is an understatement (with the caveat that he wasn’t asking out because of an injury and it didn’t appear that he was).

The Pac Man Cometh


Manny Pacquiao is a bad, bad man. Some think he’s overrated. Some think he’s the best fighter since Sugar Ray Robinson.

I disagree on both accounts, but that still doesn’t change the fact that he has left a field of devastation in his wake.

The world of boxing has been raped and pillaged by this man for the last ~8 years.

Since his last loss (a razor thin unanimous decision loss to Erik Morales on 3/19/2005) Pacquiao has gone 13-0 with seven knockouts. Two of those KO’s sent a borderline Boxing Hall of Famer (Ricky Hatton) and a first ballot, 100% guaranteed, HOFer (Oscar De La Hoya) into retirement in extremely violent fashion.

His fight against Miguel Cotto (whom I did think he was going to beat, but not in the way it happened) was just plain hard to watch. With a gathering of people at my house, including some Puerto Rican friends, all of us were pleading with the ref (aka the TV) to stop the fight. Even Manny had looked at the ref on several occasions in effect saying, “Don’t you think he’s had enough?” He took a man that any boxing fan would describe as a warrior and one of the hardest men in the whole sport and he bludgeoned him. My wife, who enjoys boxing, but is a novice, was disheartened by the referee not stopping the fight. She was covering her face with her hands off and on for the last three rounds of the fight. With blood streaming from at least three different spots on Cotto’s face referee Kenny Bayless finally gave the mercy call in the 12th and final round (a little late in my opinion).

The crowd watching at my house resembled the crowd of British civilians watching William Wallace get tortured, begging for his mercy. That’s a Braveheart reference. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should!

Now on May 7, 2011 Shane Mosley is going to be the next to try and break through Pacquiao’s armor (which appears to be nearly indestructible at this point).

It’s not to say that Manny can’t lose, he can and has lost before, it’s just when you look at his body of work since his last loss and how he has performed under the tutelage of Freddie Roach it’s hard to imagine.

As a fan first, I pray that Sugar Shane can muster even a small amount of his old self. Just a little of what he had against Oscar De La Hoya or even against Antonio Margarito (whom he destroyed).

If Mosley goes into that ring like he did against Sergio Mora? Pacquiao will beat him into a bloody pulp.

I don’t want another Cotto-Pacquiao, which was hard enough to watch just once.

We’ll find out May 7.