Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Mikkel Kessler Hype Train Derailed By Ward

Mikkel Kessler was favored to win the super middleweight super six tournament. Not anymore he isn't. Kessler's opponent, Andre Ward had something to say about Mikkel being the favorite in the tournament; in what was Andre Ward's biggest challenge to date since turning pro, he aced the test, pretty much dominating the highly touted Mikkel Kessler.

Andre Ward didn't just win, he outfought, outboxed and outsmarted Kessler in every round. I was extremely impressed by Ward. Quite frankly, I didn't think he had a chance against Kessler coming into this fight. Perhaps I got caught up in the Mikkel Kessler hype train:

Mikkel Kessler's claim to fame is losing against now retired, Joe Calzaghe. Given that Calzaghe was a special talent, and seeing Kessler put up a stiff challenge against Joe, most boxing fans thought Kessler would beat all challengers in the tournament; as did I.

Kessler is no joke. Although a little stiff and upright, he has beautiful boxing mechanics, decent power, and one of the best jabs in boxing. Before his fight with Joe Calzaghe, Kessler had hardly lost a round in his professional boxing career! He's no bum. He has legitimate talent.

So if we know how good Mikkel Kessler is, just how good is Andre Ward? After the performance Ward put on - if he can stay focused - I find it hard to believe he'll be beaten by Jermain Taylor, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, or even Dirrell. Dirrell will probably pose the toughest test for Ward because of his speed, and Abraham has the one punch power to end the fight quickly, but certainly, Ward has to be the favorite now. He has the style and talent to beat anyone in the super middleweight division.

Other than fans of Mikkel Kessler, you know who's really upset Kessler lost? Joe Calzaghe. Joe was banking on Kessler to further boost and cement his legacy. It looks like that wont happen now. No one had more invested in Kessler's performance than Joe Calzaghe did (and still does). Andre Ward beat Mikkel easier than Joe Calzaghe did.

The Danish fighter will look to get back on track against Carl Froch next. It's do or die time for Kessler.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao Fight Generated Roughly 1.25 Million PPV Buys

The numbers are finally out. After tons of speculation, the final Pay-per-view buy-rate for the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao fight was released Friday: 1.25 million buys. Not bad at all. Certainly not a disappointment, but below my personal expectations. I thought for sure Manny-Cotto, combining their star-power, would easily generate at least 1.5 million buys.

When the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight finally materializes, after all said is done, I expect that fight to break box office records. I can't imagine Pacquiao-Mayweather not besting De La Hoya-Mayweather (the total PPV buys settled in at 2.4 million). There is finally a fighter in Manny Pacquiao who has a GREAT shot of giving Floyd his first loss: Villain vs. hero, speed vs. speed, offense vs. defense; an immovable force in Mayweather vs. a destructive offensive moving machine in Manny Pacquiao. Oh yes, people will tune in - by the millions!

What does this matter to me? Well, I'm not financially invested in either fighter; but it is a sign that the sport is doing good - thriving even. 2010 looks to be an up-year for boxing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Miguel Cotto's Future And Excuses For His Loss

The type of beating that Miguel Cotto took from Antonio Margarito can ruin a fighter. The same type of beating pretty much happened to Cotto again by the hands of Manny Pacquiao. Cotto's already taken an extreme amount of punishment from both of those fights. But it doesn't mean he cannot make a successful comeback. And I doubt Miguel Cotto is done boxing.

What is next for Miguel Cotto? Well, the first thing probably on his mind is a long vacation; recuperating, meditating on his loss and contemplating his passion for the sport, etc. Once/if Cotto decides to come back, there are a lot of good match-ups for him out there.

Rematching Margarito is always a possibility. Although Cotto is adamant about not fighting him (because of the hand wrap controversy). There is the Shane Mosley rematch waiting to happen. Cotto could also face the winner of Ricky Hatton/Juan Manuel Marquez, if that fight comes to fruition. Miguel could fight Juan Diaz, if he'll move up to welterweight. There are a lot of routes open to Miguel Cotto if he decides to come back - which I'm sure he will.

The bottom line is that, just because Cotto lost, or just because he took another beating, doesn't mean that he has to retire. . . if he doesn't want to. That's for him to decide.

I'm seeing a lot of calls for Miguel Cotto to retire. It's nonsense. We see this type of hysteria after any big name boxer gets beat a second time, or takes quite a bit of punishment. The same calls for retirement happened to Ricky Hatton after he was effortlessly knocked out in the second round by Manny Pacquiao. It is true a beating like the one Miguel Cotto took can permanently effect a fighter's career. On the other hand, many fighters have took 10 times the punishment as Cotto did, on numerous different occasions and come back and not be effected. It depends on the fighter. Each case has to be handled independently. There isn't a one case fit all type of criteria for determining if a fighter has taken too much punishment. We wont know that answer until Miguel Cotto (if he does) gets back in the ring.

The Miguel Cotto excuses have already started: Miguel Cotto's corner gave him the wrong advice, to Cotto being weight drained, etc. Excuses are to be expected.

For one, Miguel Cotto wasn't weight drained; by his own admission he wasn't. Cotto himself offered no excuses after the fight. It is true Cotto's corner did not offer the best advice, and he could have followed a better game plan, but didn't. Could've, would've, should've. The real excuse for Cotto losing - the only excuse for Cotto losing, is Manny Pacquiao.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Says Manny Pacquiao Is 'One Dimensional.'

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never shied away from speaking his mind. In his latest rant, Mayweather calls Manny Pacquiao 'one dimensional.' Floyd's full statement about matching up against Manny Pacquiao:

"The thing is with Pacquaio I don't see any versatility as a fighter; he's a good puncher but just one-dimensional.

"The world's going to go 'wow' if Floyd Mayweather gets beaten. That's what everyone is looking to see.

"If I beat Manny Pacquaio do you know what they are going to say? 'You are supposed to beat him, you are Floyd Mayweather, you are the bigger man'. If I knock him out they'll say 'you're supposed to knock him out he's been knocked out before'.

"I'm in a no-win situation and when I beat him no one is going to be surprised because he's been beaten before; whatever I do to Pacquaio has been done before - he's been beaten on three occasions. And if I knock him out I don't want the world shouting because he's been knocked out twice before."

My thoughts: What Floyd Mayweather says has some truth in it; mainly that he's in a lose-lose situation. He is the naturally bigger man, and has already taken on his fair share of smaller opponents -- without testing himself against good, solid, natural 147 pounders. But, Mayweather is off base when he calls Manny Pacquiao 'one dimensional.' Pacquiao wouldn't be where he is today -- running through all his competition, if he was one dimensional.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. should not be faulted for fighting Manny Pacquiao, even if Manny is the naturally smaller man; Pac has proven time and time again that he carries speed and power up with him from the smaller weight classes.

If Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao, I'm one boxing fan who will not be making excuses. Manny is a legit threat. How can he not be, after dominating a much bigger Miguel Cotto?

On a side note, it's good to see that the hype has already started. The main stream sports media is definitely interested in Pacquiao-Mayweather.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

David Haye Vs. John Ruiz - I Hope Not

John Ruiz vs. David Haye? I can't think of a more meaningless fight. The thought of David Haye fighting John Ruiz is not very appealing. Some would argue that Ruiz would pose as a test for Haye, but not I.

Ruiz is 37 years old. His better days inside the ring are behind him. He grapples more than an MMA fighter and has already lost to Valuev - a man David Haye just beat (a very close decision). The potential match-up between John Ruiz and David Haye makes no sense from David Haye's perspective, and quite frankly, the thought of it puts boxing fans to sleep.

Boxing fans, Klitschko fans, Haye fans want to see David Haye vs. either Klitschko brother in the spring or summer of 2010. That is a fight that makes sense!

If David Haye cannot secure a date with Wladimir, or Vitali for his next trip to the ring, then so be it . . . but under that scenario, I'd rather see him fight Adamek. The Polish heavyweight has already issued a challenge to David Haye; not only would that be an exciting fight to see, David Haye would be testing himself. If he fights and manages to get past Adamek - a fighter who is respected and highly ranked - David Haye Vs. Wladimir/Vitali becomes that much bigger.

More fighters should follow Manny Pacquiao's philosophy; that is, take the boxing path of most resistance.

If Anyone Can Beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. It's Manny Pacquiao

Out of all the fighters out there in and around Floyd Mayweather Jr's weight division, Manny Pacquiao has the best chance of beating him. Stylistically, Manny matches up good against Mayweather.

If you take a look at the Floyd Mayweather Jr./Zab Judah fight, you'll notice that Judah caught Mayweather with some good shots early on and in the middle stages of the fight. Zab Judah, like Manny Pacquiao is a south-paw with speed. But unlike Manny, Judah doesn't have the stamina, chin or discipline.

Judah's best weapon in that fight was the left hand - a punch Manny Pacquiao lands often against his opponents. There is no doubt that Manny would be landing a few of these powerful left hands on Mayweather's chin in the course of the fight; how many can Floyd Mayweather absorb before he falls? Or the better question probably is, can Mayweather avoid the left hand all night? Possible. But doubtful.

Mayweather has a great defense, but Pacquiao has the offensive firepower, speed, activity and stamina to capitalize. Even if Manny doesn't stop Mayweather, he certainly has the aggression and overall style to make it difficult for Mayweather -- possibly outpointing Floyd in a close fight. Remember, most judges will favor aggression and activity. There is no doubt in my mind Manny will be more active, the only question will be how effective he is.

It's certainly not a foregone conclusion that Manny Pacquiao WILL beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. if these two fight - this fight is 50/50 in my eyes with a slight edge in favor of Manny - and the reason this fight is so attractive - but if anyone can beat Mayweather, it's Manny Pacquiao!

All Time Great: Manny Pacquiao Highlight

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Manny Pacquiao Gives Miguel Cotto A Beating!

Manny Pacquiao is now undoubtedly the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. Manny is simply awesome, and secured himself tonight as an all time great!

The fight turned out pretty much how I envisioned it -- Pacquiao having the speed advantage and his superior stamina/output being the key to victory. There were a few treats along the way:

Manny Pacquiao took some blistering shots from Miguel Cotto - a full fledged, hard hitting welterweight - and walked through them like they were nothing. It cannot be ignored; Manny has a strong chin at welterweight! He also carries his power extremely well. Pac put Cotto down twice and hurt him throughout the contest. Towards the latter half of the bout, Miguel Cotto was reduced to having to back up constantly, due to Pacquiao's relentlessness.

The fight was finally stopped by the referee in round 12, but truth be told, I thought the fight should have been stopped a couple of rounds earlier.

Kudos to Miguel Cotto for showing heart and taking the punishment he did. He has nothing to be ashamed of; he lost to the (as of right now) best boxer on the planet. Ricky Hatton can testify to that!

What have we learned? Well, for starters, Manny Pacquiao has welterweight power with speed to boot. He hasn't lost his speed. His stamina is still there. But the most surprising lesson learned from the fight has to be Manny's chin. Leading up to the fight, I never envisioned, that Pac would be able to walk through Cotto's shots. This is Miguel Cotto we're talking about - a big welterweight who's always packed a punch!

This fight lived up to expectation. It was action packed, exciting and kept you on the edge of your seat. Boxing won tonight.

Besides Manny Pacquiao being the pound for pound number one fighter on the planet, he's also the most exciting fighter on the planet - something Floyd Mayweather Jr. will never have the privilege of saying about himself.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. needs to happen in 2010. It would be a travesty to boxing if it didn't! This is a fight that could potentially put boxing back in the mainstream and possibly be the highest grossing fight in the history of the sport. The fight would be a gold-mine for promoters and the two boxers because of the hype leading up to the clash. In other words; I don't think you'll have to twist Mayweather's arm in order to see this fight. If he's the savvy business man he proclaims himself to be, he already sees the writing (money) on the wall.

Floyd Mayeather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao - 2010. Let's make it happen!

Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto Weigh in

Some observations about the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto weigh in: Surprisingly, Manny Pacquiao looked about the same size as Cotto. He wasn't dwarfed by any means. Perhaps the size difference will become more apparent when the two fighters step into the ring - but I was expecting more of a size difference than what I saw; considering Miguel Cotto is a full fledged welterweight.

Cotto is physically bigger than Manny, and will be heavier by the time the two fight. But height and reach-wise, they match up well and are quite equal.

Before I watched the weigh in, I was expecting to see Cotto somewhat drained, due to the extra two pounds he had to drop; if Cotto was drained, his body didn't show it. He looked great - as did Manny Pacquiao.

Both fighters looked in top shape (they always are), confident and ready to go. There should be no excuses from either fighter/camp, or from fans of either boxer after the fight.

After months of hype and excitement, they are ready to go. I just hope the action surpasses the pre-fight hoopla!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Gets Into It With "Ra The Rugged Man."

Mike Tyson Arrested

Mike Tyson is back in the news. Apparently, Tyson got into a scuffle with a photographer at an LA airport. There are conflicting reports as to what really happened. It's possible the photographer provoked Tyson so he'd lose his cool, which would allow the photographer to sue. As we all know, the paparazzi are scum of the earth, so I wouldn't be surprised if the photographer did indeed provoke Tyson. And truthfully, I wouldn't be surprised if Mike Tyson was the one who overreacted and went overboard; lord knows he's went off the deep end before.

It's a shame, but Mike Tyson's latest run in with authority exemplifies his life outside the boxing ring and his career inside the boxing ring; that of hostility and instability.

Mike Tyson, a one time feared, exciting and gifted heavyweight boxer -- now a freak-show, even long after retirement. I don't say that out of disrespect, but pity. I can't recall there being as tragic a heavyweight life-story as Mike Tyson's is.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

HBO 24/7

HBO's 24/7 series is probably the best thing to happen to boxing in the last 10 years. One thing boxing was lacking, and has been lacking for quite some time, is personalities. Every fighter can't be a Floyd Mayweather, so HBO's 24/7 is perfect; it allows the casual boxing fan a glimpse into what goes on behind the scene and a window into a boxer's life. And it obviously helps with garnering interest for fights.

HBO finally realized the potential of introducing the individual boxing personalities to the general public. Hopefully 24/7 is here to stay. Now if only HBO would broadcast more big fights on their regular cable station, and cut down on the pay-per-views. So many pay-per-views is one problem that is hampering the sport.

StrikeForce (an MMA organization) just put together a card and broadcasted it on CBS - network television - for free. Millions tuned in. Why can't the greedy promoters make some deals to get fights on network television? Even if only a few higher-end cards a year, it would do wonders for the state of boxing in America.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Final Prediction For Cotto-Pacquiao

After giving it a lot of thought, my prediction for the Cotto-Pacquiao fight hasn't changed much. I started off thinking Miguel Cotto might be too big of an opponent for Manny Pacquiao to overcome. But now I'm back to where I was in the beginning; thinking Manny will win by TKO in the latter half of the fight.

Miguel Cotto isn't like Ricky Hatton, and he isn't shot like Oscar De La Hoya, but I don't think he'll have the speed to be effective against Manny. Cotto's jab might be a neutralizer for the first half of the fight, but I expect Pacquiao's speed and stamina to overcome the odds.

I don't believe Manny will get Cotto out of there quick like he did Hatton, because Cotto is well rounded and much more versatile. But Cotto has always had stamina issues. That's where I see Manny drowning Cotto - later on in the fight.

Cotto of course has the power to gain Manny's respect, but I don't foresee his power bailing him out. Manny's footwork, in-and-out style and speed will best brawn.

Miguel Cotto will have to force the action and back Pacquiao up if he wants to be successful. IF he can constantly back Manny up he has a real shot. Cotto's most important tool in this fight will be his jab. Pacquiao's most effective tool will be his footwork.

It is going to be speed vs. power on November 14!

So here it is: Manny Pacquiao by TKO in round 9.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chad Dawson Outpoints Glenn Johnson

Chad Dawson defeated Glenn Johnson more thoroughly than he did the first time around (many argue that Johnson beat Dawson in their first encounter). Dawson won a UD in the rematch.

It was business as usual for young Chad Dawson, who seem disinterested at times. He easily outboxed Johnson, using his superior speed and footwork to rack up points without putting himself in too much danger.

Chad Dawson has fought two rematches in a row, against over the hill fighters -- Antonio Tarver being the first of the old men, Glenn Johnson the most recent.

Dawson has a natural athletic gift and is a great fighter, with even greater potential, but leaves something to be desired. Last night he "did enough." Lately, it seems as though Chad Dawson only "does enough" to win.

Chad Dawson has some things working for him: He's young, in his prime, a southpaw, natural speed, able to put together combinations, great footwork and decent defense.

Dawson also has a few things going against him -- things that he needs to work on if he wants to make fans forget about Joe Calzaghe: He seems to have stamina issues for one; he lets off the gas and frequently takes breathers in the middle portion of a fight. He also has a lack of power. And Dawson's mentality seems to be lacking a killer instinct -- like I said before, "doing just enough to win."

Chad Dawson really shouldn't be labeled a prospect, but strangely, that's what he is. He's still growing as a fighter. He still has a lot of tricks to learn. Dawson has potential -- you can see flashes of brilliance when he fights -- but his true potential might not be fully realized by boxing fans until he fights someone in their prime, or a Bernard Hopkins (Yes, I know, Bernard Hopkins isn't technically in his prime, but he's an uncommon exception to the rule).

If Joe Calzaghe were still around - and based on Dawson's last two performances - I don't see anything from Dawson that makes me think that he could beat Joe.

Be that as it may, Chad Dawson needs to fight Cloud, Hopkins, or move up to the Cruiser weight division and take on the likes of Adamek and/or Cunningham (Dawson came into the ring last night weighing 191 pounds!).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

David Haye Decisions The Giant

David Haye came away with the victory against Russian giant, Nikolay Valuev, tonight in Germany. David Haye was awarded a majority decision points victory.

I personally thought it was a lackluster performance by David Haye, who promised to 'slay' the giant. Truth be told, it was a boring fight.

The fight could have gone either way really, but I thought the judges got it right. I think Haye shaded it.

It can be argued the ancient Evander Holyfield defeated Valuev more clearly than Haye did. But whatever the case, Haye got the victory, and finally had a fight. It might be too soon to judge Haye at heavyweight or estimate his potential in the division by this performance, when he's up against a behemoth like Valuev.

David Haye says he hurt his hand early on in the fight. Is this injury wiggle room for Haye, to excuse himself for not doing the job he promised he'd do in the lead up to the fight, or is it a sincere injury? Sincere injury or not, I hope it's not a pretext to delayed and canceled fights. Fighting once a year and then living off his mouth doesn't hold any weight to the fans who want the heavyweight division spiced up.

I'm tired of the waiting. I'm tired of the scouting. I'd much rather see David Haye face either Klitschko brother next. Let's finally get it on!

Tomasz Adamek Looks Impressive Beating Andrew Golota

Tomasz Adamek looked impressive in beating Andrew Golota, stopping him in round 5. Adamek carried his speed and combination punching from cruiser weight to heavyweight quite well.

Granted, Andrew Golota isn't the fighter he once was, but there were a lot of skeptical boxing fans out there before the fight, who picked Golota to beat Adamek, mainly, because of the size advantage Golota has.

It remains to be seen what Tomasz Adamek can do in the heavyweight division. I personally feel he is a little too small in stature to mix it up with the Klitschko brothers.

Adamek has a cast iron chin, good speed, decent jab, but his lack of size and lack of head movement would see him getting bludgeoned to death by either Klitschko.

The Polish boxer could easily mix it up (and probably be successful) with the Eddie Chambers of the division.

In any case, Tomasz Adamek has made it clear he wants to stay in the heavyweight division. After all, that's where the big money fights are. . . he can add some much needed excitement to the division.

Super Middleweight Super Six

Carl Froch vs. Andre Dirrell: It was a boring, uneventful fight. Carl Froch practically did all the engaging, chasing Andre Dirrell from pillar to post, from the first round to the last. However hard Froch tried to make it an exciting boxing match, he didn't land all that much.

Dirrell was too fast for Froch; he landed more punches than Carl - and I fail to see how you can score the fight in Froch's favor when he was out landed by Dirrell. Just because a fighter forces the action (like Froch did), doesn't mean he should be awarded the victory. Not when the boxer's aggressiveness is ineffective.

Carl Froch is lucky the fight took place in England, otherwise, I don't think he would have gotten the nod. Andre Dirrell, in my opinion, was robbed. He clearly outpointed Froch.

Jermain Taylor vs. Arthur Abraham: Jermain Taylor might be damaged goods. Yet again, he gets knocked out in the final round. First against Carl Froch, and most recently against King Arthur.

The fight between Abraham and Taylor was much more exciting than Froch/Dirrell. Abraham continues to improve with every fight - and I think there is no question he has some serious power that the rest of the super middleweights should be weary of.

Arthur Abraham just might be the dark horse in the super middleweight tournament. If he can get to Dirrell within the course of a 12-round fight, I see Abraham knocking him out. The other possibility is Dirrell outboxing Abraham, which I can also see.

Abraham vs. Kessler would be a great fight to watch, although I favor Kessler to win. Kessler is a better all-around boxer than King Arthur. The only category in which Abraham is superior to Kessler is in the power department. Other than raw power, Kessler has the speed advantage and is fundamentally more sound.

Whatever the case, I'm enjoying this supper middleweight super six tournament. It's a win for boxing fans. I'm looking forward to the next round!

P.S. I firmly believe Jermain Taylor should hang up the gloves!