Monday, August 31, 2009

Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez Almost Upon Us

And I can't help to think we might see an upset. When I say "upset," I'm referring to Juan Manuel Marquez getting the victory over Floyd Mayweather Jr. The closer the fight gets, the more I think Marquez has a real good shot at beating Mayweather.


Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been out of the ring a long time. Since December of 2007 to be exact. By the time Mayweather stands opposite of Marquez in his corner, it will almost be a full two years since he's fought. I don't care who you are; being absent from any professional sport for close to 2 years will cause an athlete to have rust. Like any sport there is "game speed." They often use this term for Football. Really, it's no different with boxing. Floyd Mayweather Jr. might be a gym rat - he might still be the greatest pound for pound fighter on the planet - but he will inevitably have rust. Especially in the first few rounds. Having rust for any amount of time, against a fighter of Juan Manuel Marquez's caliber is dangerous.

Marquez is no Ricky Hatton; he can brawl like Hatton, but unlike Hatton is a smart boxer and great counter-puncher. Juan just might be able to apply the right mix of aggressiveness, with boxing intelligence to get the job done against Floyd Mayweather.

But there is a flip side to all of this: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a smart business man. For all of the talk about his greatness, it cannot be ignored that Floyd is great at "cherry picking," to best suit his chance of winning. He's always been a master at picking the right opponents at the right time. Do you think this time will be any different?

To me, it's a matter of weighing Floyd Mayweather's boxing intelligence and his bad gamble. Out of the two, what will be victorious in the end?

Clearly, Floyd Mayweather is banking on having the strength advantage and size advantage at 147 - a weight Juan Manuel Marquez has never fought at. Mayweather will be the bigger man in the ring come fight night by a long shot.

I don't think Juan Manuel Marquez will be able to carry his power effectively - enough to hurt Mayweather anyway. Another reason Mayweather wanted the fight to take place at welterweight. But will all of these advantages for Floyd be enough in the end?

I'm starting to think they wont. A 2 year lay off is a long time to be absent like I said earlier - and even though Mayweather will have the size advantage, I do not think that will be enough to overcome Marquez's style. I feel Juan Manuel Marquez will bring the perfect mix of aggressiveness and economical boxing. I'm thinking Juan wins most of the early rounds due to Mayweather's rust, with Mayweather winning the middle rounds. Down the stretch, I don't think Marquez will be that effective, but he'll outwork Floyd. This fight could be a real close fight like the De La Hoya-Mayweather bout; possibly a split decision. I do not feel either fighter will be in danger of being stopped. As a matter of fact, I have a feeling this fight will be lackluster. So as of now, unless I see something in training leading up to the fight, I'm going with Marquez by a close UD.

BUT, for the sake of boxing, I'm hoping Mayweather wins, to set up a mega-fight between either Manny or Cotto.

For the record, anytime I have ever went against Mayweather, he's proven me wrong and I ate crow in the end. Even so, now is the best opportunity to bet against Floyd. Enough cards are stacked against him.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Paul Williams Is A Dangerous Move For Kelly Pavlik

I admire Kelly Pavlik's willingness to take on tough challengers. Let's get that out of the way first. But, like his choice to fight Bernard Hopkins, I think Pavlik bit off more than he can chew with deciding to face Paul Williams.

Paul Williams is a rangy southpaw with a long reach, who throws a lot of punches. Kelly Pavlik has a decent chin, so I do not think Williams will be able to stop Pavlik, but he'll have an advantage in just about every category, minus power.

If Paul Williams decides to stand right in front of Pavlik, he will be in danger of getting caught with something ala Jermain Taylor. I do not believe Paul will make that mistake. I think he will box smart, and effectively. Paul Williams will have a speed advantage, and I expect him to use that to his advantage. He will give Pavlik angles, and his hands will be busy.

To put this simply; I see no way Kelly Pavlik can win this fight. Paul Williams is the better boxer. He has more speed and can improvise, whereas Kelly Pavlik can't. Pavlik is a bad man, with great power, but is a little one dimensional. There is no way on earth Kelly Pavlik will be able to outbox Williams. The only way he can win is by TKO. I don't foresee that happening.

I will be expanding on these thoughts later on, closer to fight night; talking about both fighters' styles. Sometimes while making predictions, I'm less confident in those predictions, depending on the fighters, their styles, what weight the fight will be held at; especially if it's a pick'em fight. I do not see this bout being a pick'em fight. I am confident that Paul Williams will fill into middleweight nicely, and that he has the right style to beat Kelly Pavlik. So for now.....

Paul Williams UD over Kelly Pavlik.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Paulie Malignaggi Was Robbed!

Before his bout with Juan Diaz, Paulie Malignaggi brought attention to the fact that he probably wouldn't get a fair shake in Texas. As it turned out, Malignaggi was right.

When I watched the fight live on HBO I thought the fight was extremely close, closer than what it was. I'm sure the home crowd advantage for Juan Diaz had an impression on my judgement. I've since watched the fight 2 times. Each time I have Paulie Malignaggi winning, 7 rounds to 5.

Malignaggi threw more punches, landed more punches, had the better defense and used his style better than Juan Diaz used his style; Malignaggi was the better ring general on the night.

The fight itself was entertaining. The classic boxer vs. puncher.

It's hard to score a fight between a brawler and a pure boxer, because of contrasting styles. What it comes down to is, what fighter can implement his style better; that's what Paulie Malignaggi did.

I've checked a lot of boxing message boards, and the vast majority of fans think Malignaggi was robbed, or at the very least, thought he should have gotten the decision. I would agree.

To the few fans (most likely living in Texas) who still think Juan Diaz won, I would suggest watching the fight again, without bias.

As an aside, I was seriously impressed with Malignaggi. I thought after the fight with Hatton and the poor performance Paulie put on, he was done. It looks like getting rid of Buddy McGirt was the right thing to do. Paulie should be granted a rematch with Juan Diaz or even Ricky Hatton. No matter, Malignaggi still has a lot of options open for him. It will be interesting to see who he fights next.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roy Jones Jr. Destroys Jeff Lacy

Roy Jones Jr. took Jeff Lacy to school tonight, consistently beating him to the punch and out speeding him. All around, Roy Jones Jr. had too much for Lacy; Jones was comfortable through out, constantly showboating and putting on a great display for the live crowd.

Jeff Lacy was a perfect opponent for Roy Jones to look good against, but if Jones is 'shot to pieces' like a lot of boxing fans proclaim, that's the best shot fighter I've seen in ages. Jones was impressive, fighting well on the inside. Roy is still damn fast for a 40 year old, and I think, a legit top 5 light heavyweight.

Last year, on the night of November 8, I was hoping Jones would ride off into retirement. Now, I'm changing my tune. THIS Roy Jones Jr., with the high guard, often jabbing, fundamentals first, looks good for a 'shot to pieces' boxer. I feel Roy would have a good chance of beating anyone at light heavyweight.

Could I be jumping the gun? Possibly. But it doesn't matter. I want to see Roy continue to fight. The man says he wants to fight on, and looked great, so he should be able to do so without boxing fans harping on him to quit.

Roy Jones Jr. says he wants to fight Australian, Danny Green in his next fight. I think that is a winnable fight for Roy - and if successful, could lead to one last big fight for him, against the likes of Chad Dawson. I think that is Jones' intention; to get one last, major fight.

Do I feel Jones could beat Dawson? Absolutely. But honestly, I wouldn't favor Jones. Dawson would apply the same formula that Calzaghe applied, that of pressure and a constant stream of punches. But Dawson doesn't have Calzaghe's work ethic or stamina, so Jones, in my opinion, would have a better chance of beating Dawson than he did Calzaghe.

One thing is cemented - Roy Jones Jr. is entertaining, win or lose, even at 40 years of age.