Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vitali Klitschko Is Underrated!

I feel Vitali Klitschko is extremely underrated by boxing fans and doesn't get the credit he is deserved. Yeah, Vitali Klitschko fights in a weak heavyweight era, but that's not his fault; Vitali takes care of business every time out and is always in shape. You cannot say that about any of the heavyweight pretenders on the scene. What other 6'7'' 250 pound behemoth heavyweight do you know who can fight moving backwards? I'll answer that for you: None.

Vitali Klitschko isn't the prettiest looking heavyweight, but he's effective; as you saw last weekend when he put on a clinic against Chris Arreola. Vitali boxed beautifully - fighting going backwards, while being pressured hard by Arreola - dodging punches and then countering. And not running out of steam. Klitschko was on pace to throw 1000 punches, had the fight went the full distance!

When you put Vitali Klitschko into proper perspective, you'll see that he would have been a decent challenge for any heavyweight in history. Vitali has the size, footwork, speed, chin, power and an unorthodox, yet effective boxing style to be a threat to any past all time great.

Vitali might not have the athleticism of his younger brother, but I feel his defense is superior to Wlad's.

Vitali has also never been behind in a fight - even the two fights that he lost. He was up on the judge's scorecards in the Chris Byrd fight, and against Lennox Lewis.

I think Vitali Klitschko has already secured himself as an ATG. Some will argue against that - but at the very least, he's a shoe in for the hall of fame.

You can best define Vitali Klitschko's greatness by the fact that he took 4 years off from boxing - comes back in his first fight to dominate a legit heavyweight belt holder - dominating where he left off. I don't care who you are; coming back to compete at the highest level of the sport, after being absent for close to 5 years, is amazing.

The older Klitschko brother is 38 years young and looks better than ever. I don't see anyone out there posing a threat to him, besides David Haye.

Vitali is a rare athlete, great fighter, and clearly underrated by boxing fans.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vitali Klitschko Vs. Chris Arreola - Full Fight

Is Time Running Out For Manny Pacquiao?

Part of the problem boxing fans have, is constantly looking into the future, without living in and appreciating the now. The time has come for boxing fans to stop, and cherish what we have in fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, the Klitschko brothers and especially Manny Pacquiao.

Even though Manny Pacquiao is in his prime, there is already talk by his trainer, Freddie Roach, that time is short for his fighter; Manny himself has discussed an interest in politics. Roach recently had this to say:

“If he retires after this (Cotto) fight I’ll be fine with that also,” Roach told the Inquirer over breakfast at the Manor Hotel in Baguio City Monday.

“If negotiations with Mayweather fail and Manny wins against Cotto, he’ll be having seven world titles. Nobody has done that before, so there’s nothing else to prove.”

I think we're witnessing one ore two more big fights from Pacquiao, before he calls it quits. If Manny does get past Cotto, he'll likely face Floyd Mayweather Jr., and win or lose, that will probably be his last fight. And who can blame Manny? He's had a tremendous career and given boxing fans some great fights to watch.

The only troubling thing about the retirement talk now is, it's so close to the Pacquiao-Cotto fight. Hopefully it isn't a sign that Manny has lost his passion for the sport. He needs to bring the fire against Cotto. He needs to bring it all. Because if Manny has lost even an ounce of passion for the sport, Cotto will snuff out what's left of the flame.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Roy Jones Jr. And Bernard Hopkins To Fight In Early 2010

Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins have signed a deal to face each other in early 2010, according to ESPN writer, Dan Rafael:

"Sixteen years ago they fought each other and went on and made history in their own way," said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Hopkins' promoter. "Each one is considered today as ring royalty. That's why I think when those two guys are going to fight it will be to determine who will be king of the ring. We went back and forth for so long, but we finally pulled it off. They both signed and they will fight. It will be a truly historic showdown. A lot of people didn't believe it would ever happen. But guess what? It's going to happen."

Dan Rafael's full column can be read here:

Roy Jones will first have to get past Australian, Danny Green. Roy said he thought about pulling out of the fight with Green, but decided against it, because he already gave his word and signed a contract. Roy will be facing Green in Australia, December 2.

It's good that Jones is keeping his word, but I still think he should cancel his fight with Green, in order to focus attention on Bernard Hopkins. And there is always the possibility that Green upsets Jones. If that happens the fight with Bernard Hopkins will be in jeopardy ; Hopkins wouldn't want to face a Roy Jones Jr. that was knocked out in a previous bout, and I'm sure fans wouldn't be hyped up enough to order the ppv.

Anyway, I'm ecstatic that this fight will finally be made. I feel Roy Jones' style will give Bernard Hopkins enough trouble, even now. I'm picking Jones by UD - if the fight really materializes. Crossing my fingers!

Max Kellerman Is Forgiven - Larry Merchant Needs To Go!

I can forgive Max Kellerman for the horrible interview he conducted after the Marquez-Mayweather fight. It's now more apparent than ever, after watching last night's fight on HBO, Larry Merchant is past his prime and over the hill. He needs to go!

Larry Merchant is an HBO boxing icon. He'll always be remembered for his funny (sometimes witty) remarks. But for the last couple of years, he's taken on the image of a drunken old man - and sounds like one too!

Last night was painful; usually I welcome Larry Merchant's wise remarks, but he's gotten to the point where he can't think on his feet like he used to. He rambles on, usually during the most exciting and important parts of a fight, where Jim Lampley is/should be explaining what the viewer is witnessing. For those of us who understand boxing, I guess it isn't a big deal, but there are a lot of casual boxing fans who do not have the hardcore fans' knowledge of boxing. And from listening to the HBO crew for years, it's apart of the routine as a viewer to hear good, flowing commentary. That isn't the case anymore, thanks to Larry Merchant.

There were parts in the fight where you could tell even Lampley was getting annoyed by Merchant's long, drawn-out rambling. At least Max Kellerman can speak fast enough and make his point without interrupting the flow of the commentary.

Larry, we love you, but you have overextended your stay.

Vitali Klitschko Dominates Chris Arreola

Vitali Klitschko successfully defended his WBC belt Saturday night, dominating and putting enough beating on Arreola that his corner eventually stopped the fight, before round 11.

Chris Arreola certainly made the fight interesting, even though it was one-sided in Vitali's favor. Chris made Vitali fight on the move for the majority of the fight, and didn't really let him relax. Arreola gave it his all, but it just wasn't enough to overcome Klitschko's size and boxing ability.

This fight was interesting in my eyes, because Chris seemed to push himself and try harder than previous Vitali challengers. So many times, after Vitali or his brother come away with the win, fans come with the ready made excuse of, "If only the challenger tried harder, or put some effort in." Well, Arreola did, and it wasn't enough - not by a long shot. This fight just reinforces my opinion that Vitali, not Wlad, is the best heavyweight in the world.

Vitali arm punches, and doesn't put his weight behind his shots, unlike his brother Wladimir, but Vitali, unlike Wlad, can improvise - and he's far better defensively. Not to mention, Vitali has the better chin between the two and is more game.

Even more impressive about this dominant win for Vitali, is the fact that he's 38 years old! In every round he was busier than Chris Arreola, the younger man, while constantly on the move.

I rate this win as one of Vitali's most impressive performances.

So what is next for Vitali Klitschko? Well, I would love to see him fight his brother; if that is not an option (and it's probably not), I'd like to see him face Eddie Chambers.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mayweather-Marquez Generates A Million PPV Buys

So much for boxing being dead as a lot of UFC/MMA fanboys like to say. The Mayweather-Marquez bout did over a million ppv buys.

Mayweather-Marquez went up against UFC 103 on the night. It has been reported that UFC 103 did around 500,000 ppv buys.

Dana White was constantly saying, in the lead up to the fight, that no one was interested in the Marquez-Mayweather fight - and went on record saying that UFC 103 would generate more ppv buys. It looks like Dana White has to eat crow, along with the very vocal UFC fanboys. And this also proves, boxing is far from dead.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Max Kellerman Was Out Of Line

Max Kellerman did a poor job Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view, interviewing Floyd Mayweather Jr., after his dominant performance against Juan Manuel Marquez. Max Kellerman, for those of you who didn't see it yet, was basically an ass during his interview with Mayweather. Most people think Max is an ass regardless; but I'm talking, MAX KELLERMAN WAS AN ASS! He interrupted Floyd, tore the microphone away from him, AFTER Shane Mosley had originally taken the mic from Max, and just did a horrible job.

After such a hyped up fight that didn't really live up to peoples' expectation, the best thing that could have happened was some fireworks after the fight - some call outs - some more hype. Max Kellerman ruined that, when he killed the flow and didn't let Floyd Mayweather speak. On top of that mess, Max Kellerman belittled Floyd Mayweather Jr. by talking about the size disadvantage of Marquez, and wanting to know why Mayweather didn't drop weight to fight Marquez at a lower weight division.

To be quite honest, these are important questions that should be demanded of Mayweather; I agree with Max, but he went about it in the wrong way. He was an ass who pissed off a lot of boxing fans. Max Kellerman certainly didn't do himself any favors by trying to win over his critics. This interview with Mayweather will probably set him back.

Max Kellerman was critiqued obsessively about being such a suck-up in interviews after fights. Maybe Kellerman overcompensated and took it to an extreme in the other direction - a Larry Merchant on steroids.

Max Kellerman is good for HBO boxing, in my opinion, but he's no Larry Merchant. He needs to be himself. He can ask the tough questions we as boxing fans want the answers to, without cutting the fighters off and constantly interrupting.

The interview wouldn't be half as bad if it were on regular HBO - but it wasn't. What made the whole interview a disgrace, was the fact that it was on HBO pay-per-view. That is the reason so many boxing fans are pissed off. People do not pay money to hear the announcers ramble.

Better luck next time Max.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Outclassed Juan Manuel Marquez

I recently picked Juan Manuel Marquez to upset Floyd Mayweather Jr. I figured, because of Mayweather's long absence from the boxing ring, he would definitely have some rust to shake off. How wrong I was. As I've said before, every time I went against the grain and picked against Mayweather, he made me eat crow; no different this time!

Floyd Mayweather Jr. started off quickly and looked like he never went anywhere. He pretty much dominated from the opening bell to the last round.

It was a case of a great bigger man beating a good smaller man. We have to put Marquez's size into perspective; just 18 months ago, he was fighting at 130 pounds. Marquez fought Mayweather at the highest weight he's ever had to fight at. Juan's punches didn't have the same snap, and he obviously didn't carry all that extra weight as good as Manny has, for example.

But take nothing away from Mayweather's performance; regardless of his size advantage, I figured it would at least be a competitive fight, in large part because of Floyd's long lay-off. That certainly wasn't the case. I'm not shocked that Mayweather won, but I am surprised at how he dominated. He made it look like a walk in the park.

Even after such a brilliant display of boxing from Mayweather, he will still have his hard-core critics. They'll say he beat a smaller man yet again; his cherry picking continues. If that's the case, should Mayweather bypass a match-up with Manny Pacquiao, should he come away victorious against Miguel Cotto, and opt to fight the winner of the Mosley-Clottey fight? These are legit questions to ask yourself. If Mayweather fights AND BEATS Manny, his critics can still use the size advantage angle - but if he goes on to face Clottey or Mosley, he'll be belittled for ducking Manny. I guess some of these questions will be answered after we find out who wins between Mosley-Clottey/Cotto-Pac.

Whatever the case, I'd favor Mayweather against all 4 challengers. I know styles make fights, but Mayweather is on a whole different tier than the rest. After watching him fight Saturday, after going against Mayweather, and after eating crow AGAIN, I'm going to be hard pressed to ever pick against him again. That much I know.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mikkel Kessler Successful In Tune Up

Mikkel Kessler was successful in his tune up fight against Perdomo. Kessler started slow and calculated behind his jab, until the action finally picked up in the 3rd round. Just as soon as the action picked up, it was over. Kessler ended up stopping his challenger in round 4.

The Viking Warrior had an easy night; he's now due to face Andre Ward next.

I thought Kessler looked as he usually does - calculated with great boxing technique. Mikkel does all the little things right. His jab is one of the best in the game. Although I thought Kessler looked a little slower than usual; you could attribute that to his long lay-off.

Mikkel Kessler will have to be at his best when he faces Andre Ward come November. In my opinion, Ward has the potential to beat Kessler. But if Mikkel is at his best and gets his jab going, he should come away with the victory.

There is an X-factor involved in the fight with Kessler/Ward, and that is, how well Kessler handles fighting away from Denmark. The fight is going to take place in Oakland, California. Kessler has fought outside his home country on a few different occasions, so he should respond okay, but Ward will definitely have the home town advantage.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shane Mosley Will Face Joshua Clottey

It looks like Shane Mosley found an opponent finally. He will be taking on Joshua Clottey, December 26.

Once again, Shane Mosley showing he will fight anyone. And once again, Shane Mosley showing he's one of the most avoided fighters in boxing today. The same holds true for Joshua Clottey.

Joshua Clottey is no slouch. He will be an extremely tough opponent for Shane Mosley to win against. Many boxing fans thought Joshua Clottey should have got the decision in his fight with Miguel Cotto.

I'll be giving an in-depth analysis of the bout closer to the fight date, but I'm definitely leaning towards Joshua Clottey to come out the winner.

In reference to Shane Mosley being avoided. He just recently came off a spectacular victory over Antonio Margarito, and is arguably the number 1 welterweight in the world - yet has to face Miguel Cotto's leftover. Shane Mosley should be fighting Manny, Cotto or Floyd Mayweather Jr., NOT Joshua Clottey. The Mosley-Clottey fight is great for Clottey though, and will be great for fans.

What a fight this should be!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The State Of Boxing

Is the sport of boxing being 'swallowed' by MMA like UFC announcer, Joe Rogan argued in an ESPN debate with boxing promoter, Lou DiBella? Well, yes, in a way boxing IS being marginalized.

For years the sport of boxing was the ONE combat sport - mainstream combat sport - which the public turned to to relieve their day to day frustrations, and to get entertainment. Two guys fist fighting is universal; it transcends religion, race and language. Two guys fist fighting is a language in itself.

From the early 1900's, all the way up to Ali's time, boxing was the most popular sport in America, besides baseball. Then other sports, such as football started to gain in popularity and overtake baseball and boxing as America's favorite sport. But boxing never had a competitor. Baseball is totally different than boxing. It co-existed for years beside baseball as America's beloved fighting sport. And while football is a physical and oftentimes violent sport, it has no parallel with boxing. For years, boxing was the ONE true combat sport.

Boxing never had a competitor until the sport of MMA was created. It's a combat sport just like boxing is, but the difference is, MMA allows not only boxing, but other martial arts and wrestling. Today, MMA is seen as the pure combat sport, while boxing is seen as a limited form of fighting. And make no mistake about it, that is true; boxing IS a limited form of fighting compared to MMA. But, to me, boxing is more aesthetically pleasing to watch. Sadly the mainstream doesn't think so. Boxing today is very much a niche sport.

Can we blame MMA for the lack of interest in boxing today in America and in other parts of the world? Absolutely not! If you remember, boxing has been struggling since the late 1980's. Apart from Tyson, boxing wasn't seeing the success and popularity is seen in the 70's and earlier. The 90's were the same way. Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson and a couple of other mainstream boxing stars were the exception, but beyond them, the state of boxing was hurting. It's been that way ever since! Boxing has been a niche sport for a very long time. We cannot blame MMA. We need to blame the greedy promoters and the way the sport is managed today.

The reality of the situation is this; MMA will always be more popular from here on out. In reality, boxing had to evolve, and it evolved into MMA. It was only a matter of time until someone took all the combat styles and mixed them into one sport. Boxing fans need to except that. But that doesn't mean boxing cannot co-exist with the sport of MMA! If anything, the boxing promoters should be learning from the UFC.

We probably have more talent today in boxing than in anytime in history. But it's the marketability that hurts the sport; no personalities, no big time stars, no advertising dollars from big companies so the sport can be broad casted on CBS, NBC or ABC - which means the sport will always have less exposure, etc.

The sport of boxing can grow! It will never be bigger than MMA, because of simple evolution, but it can learn from the UFC on how to conduct business and how to gain interest once again.

There needs to be more oversight in boxing. Bad decisions are hurting the sport. These alphabet soup organizations need to be a thing of the past; it causes too much politics and restricts the biggest fights from happening. Each weight division should have ONE champion! Less confusion is always a good thing. And these damn promoters. These greedy promoters have been sucking the blood from boxing for years. It starts and ends with the promoters!

Until some of the aforementioned points are addressed, the state of boxing will not change from where it stands now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shane Mosley Suggests Below Average Ticket Sales For Mayweather-Marquez

Floyd "Money" Mayweather doesn't seem to be the big draw he is always claiming himself to be. Shane Mosley, a partner of Golden Boy Promotions, has recently hinted that ticket sales for the Mayweather-Marquez bout are below average. You can read the full article about the ticket sale drama at the link below:

Compare this to the Cotto-Pacquiao fight/ticket sales; only 24 hours after the fight was officially announced, the place where the fight is to be held was virtually sold out; only 1,000 or so tickets were available.

Floyd Mayweather's skills inside the boxing ring cannot be denied - but his drawing power needs to be questioned.

Whether you like, or dislike Floyd Mayweather Jr. shouldn't matter in this instance; this is a boxing problem. Bad ticket sales (if true) reflect on the popularity of the sport. Floyd Mayweather has been absent for nearly two years. He's making a comeback to fight one of the sport's best - so ticket sales shouldn't be as bad as rumored.

There are a lot of things wrong with the sport of boxing, which I'll expand on some other time. But let's just hope Mayweather and Marquez put on a memorable boxing show, for the sake of the sport.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Roy Jones Jr. Vs. Bernard Hopkins - Repeat Or Revenge

Bernard Hopkins hasn't fought since he beat Kelly Pavlik, and is looking for an opponent. Most boxing experts say he will either face Chad Dawson or Adamek. I think Bernard Hopkins against either Dawson or Adamek would be interesting, and great from a fan's perspective; but I'll tell you, I would really like to see Bernard Hopkins swallow his pride and face Roy Jones Jr.

Roy Jones Jr. isn't what he used to be, but isn't shot either; he still possesses speed and decent power. And since reformatting his boxing stance/style, and implementing basic boxing fundamentals into his game, he's a different Roy Jones Jr.

Jones has recently went on record and publicly stated he would be interested in facing Bernard Hopkins. This is a fight most boxing fans would like to see, and I feel Hopkins would garner more interest from the boxing world were he to sign a contract to face Roy Jones Jr. than he would taking on Dawson or Adamek.

Roy Jones Jr. Vs. Bernard Hopkins; repeat or revenge. After all these years, it has a certain ring to it.