Thursday, April 26, 2012

What is the Most Loaded Division in Boxing?

Throughout the history of time the two most popular divisions of boxing were the heavyweight division and welterweight division.  The Heavyweight Division always appealed to the American public.  The thought of two larger than life men going at mano y mano was intriguing.  The Welterweight division brought the most skill to boxing.  It makes sense considered the average male would fall between 5’6 to 5’10 and weight around 145 to 160.  Those types of guys would not excel at basketball or football, so there is a larger pool of men to choose from.  Throughout history boxers from the welterweight division represented itself on the mythical pound for pound list.  From the greatest of all time Sugar Ray Robinson to the pound for pound king today Floyd Mayweather all held that position from the welterweight division.

In today’s game I believe there are many divisions that are talented, but taking a deeper look there are only a few divisions that would supply 10 guys worthy of being in title contention.  Welterweight today holds the sports two top stars Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather, but it only goes so far.  Over the next few days I will be showcasing several divisions and giving my rankings on those divisions.

The Junior Featherweights (122 Pounds)
Deep, deep division!  The division has established fighters holding down title positions.  Recently many top talents from 4 pounds south have joined the elite 122 pounders.  Let’s take a look at the fighters ranked in order.

1)      Nonito Donaire (28-1-0) - Yes, even though Donaire has only one fight at Jr. Featherweight he is the guy to beat.  His one fight came against a top 10 talent and he won impressively.  Donaire is the name of the division.  He demands the most money and is widely considered a top 5 pound for pound fighter.  Donaire has won 27 fights in a row, his lone loss coming in his second pro fight.  Donaire is schedule to take on Cristian Mijares (45-6-2). 
2)      Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3) – Toshiaki has been in the divison for some time now.  His most recent victory was a hard fought crowd pleasing fight against popular Mexican Rafael Marquez.  Toshiaki is on a 16 fight winning streak, 12 coming at the Jr. Featherweight limit.  Many boxing fans do not know much about Toshiaki, but he is a fighter that is highly skilled and will bring the fight to you 100% of the time.  His next fight is to be determined.
3)      Guillermo Rigodeaux (9-0-0) – What only 9 professional fights?  Yes sir.  Rigo is the real deal.  9 pro fights and holds a legit title after beating formerly undefeated Rico Ramos (20-1-0).  Rigo may have the best amateur career in the history of the sport, including 2 gold medals for Cuba.  Rigo has been calling for a clash with Donaire since his victory, but will have to settle for a title defense on the Pacman-Bradley undercard.  Rumors have opponent to be Teon Kennedy (17-1-2).
4)      Jorge Arce (60-6-2) – That’s a lot of fights against some tremendous competition.  Arce has been around long enough and has earned his recognition because of the crowd pleasing style and willingness to fight anyone.  Arce ahs not lost in 9 fights.  His draw against Lorenzo Parra was avenged in a 2012 rematch in which Arce stopped him in the 5th round.  Rumors have Arce and Donaire hooking up later this year in what would be a tremendous fight.  In the mean time Arce is fighting on the Pacman-Bradley undercard June 9th against Jesus Rojas (18-1-1).
5)      Abner Mares (24-0-1) – In the division for 1 fight Mares deserves a top 5 ranking because he is a ball of fire.  His last 5 fights have come against top notch competition, Yonnhy Perez, Vic Darchinyan, Joseph Agbeko X2, and Eric Morel compiling a record of 4-0-1.  Against Morel he dominated showing a wide variety of skills, both boxing and brawling.  In the process he added a vacant Jr. Featherweight title.  With the added weight Mares looked to be able to enhance his power.  Mares may look to fight fellow golden boy fighter Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1) who may make the jump to Jr. Featherweight later this year.
6)      Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-2-1) – Coming off two losses in three fights against top 5 fighters in the divison, Donaire & Arce, Wilfredo will look to get back in the winning ways and rebuild his confidence for another title run.  His future opponent has not been set.
7)      Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (46-2-0) – Poon not very well known in the States is a lot like Chris John.  Poon has 1 lost in the last 6 years, a hotly contested decision lost to Ryol Li Lee (16-1-1) at the time.  Poon has general fought in Asia, but is highly regarded in inner boxing circles that he would do very well against any top fighter in the division.  No future opponent named.
8)      Rico Ramos (20-1-0) – Ramos lost his title to Rigo in January of this year.  Since then we have not heard much from him.  It was his first lost of his career and he should be able to bounce back.  Ramos holds some good wins against some tough divisional fighters.  I would expect a tune-up fight to get back in it and another title shot down the road. 
9)      Steve Molitor (34-2-0) – The Canadian kid has an impressive record, but big chances have left him in defeat.  Most recently a rematch loss against Takalani Ndlovu.  Steve is entering the later half of his career and it would do him well if he could make a run and fight for a title soon.  If not it may be the way of gatekeeper in his future.
10)  Akifumi Shimoda (25-3-1) – Shimoda is a very tough fighter who again is not as well known in the States.  Shimoda fights mostly in Japan, but a trip to Atlantic City last year resulted in a loss to Rico Ramos.  Shimoda does hold some nice wins against very good fighters.  Shimoda has the ability to give any fighter at 122 lbs trouble on any given night; hopefully we get to see him in the states sometime soon.

There you have it, my top 10 Jr. Featherweight fighters.  This list does not include any fighter that may fight in the division in the future,  For instance in Moreno were to make the jump to 122, then of course he would deserve a divisional ranking.  A fight at 122 would have to have taken place.

News and Notes: 
**Yesterday featured quite the Twitter war between Adrien Broner and Hank Lundy.  Both fighters made the marks.  Lundy has tasted canvas, Broner has not fought anyone.  There is no need for either of them to gain anymore exposure.  Fighting each other would provide that.  Both fighters have mouths that would drive the fight.  Broner has the power, Lundy has more experience.  Shut up and get it on!

**Richard Abril suddenly thinks he I worth a damn.  Dude, we get it!  You got a raw deal against Rios.  I would be all in favor of a rematch at 140.  BUT, don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.  Some how Abril thought it was ok to get involved between Broner and Lundy.  Dude, you lost to Lundy!  Abril you’re a decent fighter but the bottom line is every chance you got at a big time fight you lost.  Prescott = Loss, Lundy = Loss, Rios = Loss. Get back to the drawing board.

**Alfonso Gomez dropped out of his fight against Jesse Vargas due to severe back spasms that put a halt to his training.  In steps Steve Forbes.  Forbes is in good shape as he has been serving as chief sparring partner to Saul Alvarez.  Besides being excited about the opportunity to fight on the Mayweather-Cotto undercard he is also excited to see Mosley and Alvarez exchange leather.

Follow me on Twitter @Toddyrock 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Weekend Round Up, a Look Ahead!

So over the weekend we had some exciting action.  If you like KO’s we had Adonis Stevenson making a statement and knocking out Noe Gonzalez within 3 rounds.  Stevenson’s straight left is vicious and when he landed it he followed with a smooth combo that left his opponent dazed.  The Ref stepped in to stop the fight.  Some may consider the Refs stoppage a bit early, but I do not think Gonzalez would have recovered to make it out of the round.

Anselmo Moreno continued his winning ways in slowly dismantling a disinterested David De La Mora.  Moreno pressed the action and landed some heavy shots to the body.  After being put down with a vicious body attack, Mora looked as if he did not want to fight anymore, even resorting to jogging around the ring.  Eventually the fight was stopped.  Moreno has pretty much cleared out whoever remained at 118.  It would benefit Moreno to move up to 122 and follow everyone up to get a big fight.

Speaking of a big fight Abner Mares and Eric Morel did not disappoint.  Both fighters brought it, but it was Mares that was super impressive.  The added 2 pounds that Mares carried in the ring looked real good on him.  Mares put together combo’s touching Morel to the body and head continuously.  Morel was game and attempted to answer back, but it was Mares right hooks to the body and overhand right to the head that found continued success.  The fight was entertaining throughout.  Both fighters earned their check.  This fight closed out a weekend where I picked 3 more winners, bringing my record to 10-1.

Looking Ahead
Adonis Stevenson said he would like to take on the elite at 168, but would very much like a fight against fellow Montreal native Lucian Bute.  A fight between Stevenson and Bute could draw a crowd at home, but Bute has a very tough fight against Froch overseas.  The Supper middleweight division has enough options that Stevenson will be sure to find a meaningful fight.  With Emanuel Steward in his corner he will continue to improve and make some noise in the division.

Abner Mares is an absolute beast.  The guy comes to fight.  It does not matter who is in front of him.  He has now fought 5 top fighters in a row going 4-0-1.  After the fight he asked for all the big names at 122.  Most impressively he said he just wants to make good fights and is no scared to lose.  His style a little boxing with a little brawling will make great fights.  Anselmo Moreno won impressively as well.  After his win he sat ringside very interested in the Morel-Mares bout.  If Moreno wants to stay at 118 he could very well fight Morel.  If he wants to move to 122 a bout with Mares should be easy to make being as they are both Golden Boy fighter.  The 122 lb. division is stacked.  It has awesome talent and many top notch bouts could be made.  The main issue is not with the fighters but with the two powerhouse promoters controlling the top talent in the division and throughout boxing.

**Vanes Martirosyan (32-0-0 Junior Middleweight Fighter) and myself exchanged some words over the weekend through twitter.  After reading an article that had Vanes blasting Oscar De La Hoya about not being ambitious enough to make a fight between Vanes and Canelo he decided to make it personal.  Curious as to why Vanes believes he deserved a title shot, I took a swipe at him.  Convo:

@toddyrock: @vanesboxing @oscardelahoya @kevinI congrats Vanes, the best 32-0 fighter to never fight anyone! Fight @DRodriguez1980 then talk #titleshot

@VanesBoxing: @toddyrock @oscardelahoya @kevinI @Drodriguez1980 Ok Buddy ask your boy y he aint fighting me and fighting someone I beat3times already

@Toddyrock: @vanesBoxing @oscardelahoya seriously how did you get to fight a guy with 5 loses in past 6 bouts for a silver belt? #whateverthatmeans

@VanesBoxing: @toddyrock @oscardelahoya shows how much you know about boxing have a good day take care

Vanes has turned down multiple fights over the past year for a variety of reasons, but the facts remain he has not fought a legit contender.  How can you get a title shot when you have not beaten anyone of significance and you can not draw a crowd.  I think Vanes is a very solid fighter that does have the potential to hold a legit belt in this sport, but he needs to be more aggressive in his choice of opponents.  LOOK no further.  The corrupt WBC has given Vanes the chance to fight someone legit.  Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan for the mandatory slot to face Saul Alvarez (whenever that is).  Either way this fight would settle a lot of critics of Vanes and supply a much deserved opportunity to Lara.
Update:  Vanes is more than willing to accept a fight with Lara if Canelo Alvarez is contracted to fight the winner. 

**Alex Ariza has left Manny Pacquiao’s and Amir Khan’s training camp.  Official word has not come out to as of why, but rumors have persisted that Manny would not do everything Alex asked resulting in the now famous “leg cramping” excuse.  Alex has now joined up with Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr. for his training camp.  Ariza claims he had an agreement with both Manny and Amir that would allow him to leave and join back up with their camp when they return to Las Angeles. 

**Ajose Olusegun (30-0-0) has continued to call out Philadelphia’s own Danny Garcia.  Ajose is Danny’s mandatory and has let it be known he will not be taking any interim fights.  He wants Garcia next.  Meanwhile a fight between popular fighters Lucas Matthysse and Humberto Soto will take place with the winner being set up as a possible future opponent to Danny Garcia.

Check Back for Continued News and Updates!

Follow me on Twitter @Toddyrock

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Lot of Fights, but are any Good? Weekend Predictions!

Alright, let’s get back at it.  I took a couple days off to enjoy some fantastic NHL playoff hockey.  Until the officials ruin it.  We’ll save that for an NHL blog.  We have ourselves a busy weekend when it comes to the amount of fights.  Let’s break some down and choose some winners.  Riding hot off a 5-0 weekend, it’s a busy time for boxing fans!

Adonis Stevenson (17-1-0) vs. Noe Gonzalez (28-1-0) At Montreal, Canada       
WBC Silver Super Middleweight Title
I have neither fighter ranked in my top 10 for the supper middleweight division, but that does not mean this will not be a good main event for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.  Each fighter only has one loss and knows that a win against each other would propel them to a top 10 ranking and a future title shot.  Stevenson is known as a very hard puncher and it has excited many fans.  Gonzalez is not as well known, but he is an excellent counter puncher with the Mexican boxing heart.  Gonzalez has become a well rounded fighter and his lone defeat comes at the hands of division champion Felix Sturm back in 2007.  This fight is taking place in Stevenson’s hometown, Montreal, who boosts one of the most fanatic boxing fan bases of recent years.  Stevenson is now trained by legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward.  Steward is sure to add a solid defense to Stevenson’s awesome power.  Stevenson plans to use his predicted win to set up a fight with fellow Montreal fighter Lucian Bute.  I believe in the end Adonis Stevenson’s power will be the difference.  Winner - Adonis Stevenson

Abner Mares (23-0-1) vs. Eric Morel (46-2-0) At El Paso, Texas
WBC Junior Featherweight Title
This is the biggest fight for the weekend.  We have two top notch fighters fighting for a title.  The way things should be.  Mares has taken on top contenders for some time now going 3-0-1 against Perez, Darchinyan and Agbeko twice.  This will be Mares first fight at Junior featherweight even though the contracted weight is 120 lbs.  Morel has dangled between 118-122 lbs.  Morel is on an 11 fight win streak, last losing a decision back in 2005.  The junior featherweight division is loaded with top talent including money man Nonito Donaire.  Expect Morel and Mares to be fully engaged with each other exchanging shots early and often.  In the end I expect Mares youth to take over.  This fight is great for the division and the winner will go on to an even greater challenge with names like Donaire, Nishioka, Rigondeaux, Arce and Vazquez Jr. around.  Winner – Abner Mares (If betting, take the distance.)

Anselmo Moreno (32-1-1) vs. David De La Mora (24-1-0) At El Paso, Texas
Moreno’s WBA Super World Bantamweight Title
Both fighters have impressive records, but Moreno has faced the far tougher competition.  Moreno has not lost since 2002 and with the departure of Donaire and Mares has become the division’s number one guy.  La Mora is a tough fighter, but has flaws.  He lost last August to Koki Kameda a nice fighter, but bounced back with a win against a less experienced fighter in Eddy Julio.  Moreno’s speed and experience should be too much for La Mora to handle.  La Mora has only participated in three 12-round fights.  He is 1-1 in the two that went the distance.  Moreno on the other hand has participated in many 12-round fights and his experience will without a doubt be the difference.  Winner – Anslemo Moreno (If Betting, take the distance.)

Here are some other notable fighters:  (Not recording W/L’s)

Jose Cotto (32-3-1) vs. Eric Cruz (13-8-3) Winner – Jose Cotto (Stay Busy Fight)

Cristian Mijares(44-6-2) vs. Eddy Julio (13-3-1) Winner – Cristian Mijares (It should be noted that Mijares has way to much to lose in that he is scheduled to face Nonito Donaire in July at Cowboys Stadium)

Omar Naraez (35-1-2) vs. Jose Cabrera (20-2-2) Winner – Omar Naraez (Omar’s WBO Junior Bantamweight Belt on the Line)

Jermain Taylor (29-4-1) vs. Caleb Truax (18-0-1) Winner – Jermian Taylor

News and Notes:
  • Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor is making his comeback fight.  Hopefully he has taken enough time off to let his head heal from back to back knockouts at the hands of Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch.  If Jermain can return to form at his most successful weight (160) he can again be a contender and add some spice to the middleweight division.
  • Puerto Rican legend Tito Trinidad is in the news.  Tito thinks Mayweathers speed and conditioning will be the difference come May 5th. #MayweatherCotto
  • Berto vs. Ortiz II is starting to heat up.  Each of them is claiming the fight will not go the distance.  Their first fight was a classic.  I think their second will be very good as well.  Each fighter is at a cross road in their career.  Looking forward to it.
  • Looks like Arthur Abraham has volunteered to face Kelly Pavlik this fall at 168 lbs.  Each fighter has suffered defeats since they were rivals at the middleweight division.  That does not mean a fight at 168 can not be good and meaningful.  Let’s get it done.

Stay Updated on Boxing News and Notes:  Check Back throughout the Day!

Follow me on Twitter @Toddyrock

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday’s Weekend Round-Up

Let me get it out of the way quickly.  The 5 fights I Picked were 5 winners.  Increasing my record to 7-1!  With bigger fights on the horizon, I will be breaking down some betting odds and giving you some bets if you are interested in making a little extra cash on the side.

Brandon Rios failed to make weight again.  Rios and team fooled themselves into thinking they can get down to 135 again.  He looked sick before and he looked sick again.  This time it affected him in the ring with a crafty Abril opposing him.  I had Abril winning the fight 7 rounds to 5 and I felt I was generous to Rios with that scoring.  Abril used a clutching method to limit Rios output and then shot a nice jab down the middle to control the fight.  Rios had the visual effect going, but with little substance behind his punches.  He never really hurt Abril as he did to his former opponents.  According to most on press row, Rios was granted a gift decision.  Bob Arum can stop sweating now his bout between Rios and Marquez can continue.  Abril based on what was perceived to be an unfavorable decision gets to keep his interim belt and will get another shot at the real title.

In the Friday bout Felix Sturm put on a clinic against Sebastian Zbik.  Sturm’s jab was on point.  It reminded me of when he lost a decision to Oscar De La Hoya back in 2004.  Zbik had some success in the first couple of rounds, but Sturm quickly turned the tide and cruised to a victory in when Zbik’s corner through in the towel in the 9th.  Sturm is a legit middleweight champion; I just wish he would come back to America to fight.  His future plans include a possible showdown with highly regarded Dmitry Pirog.  In my eyes both Pirog and Sturm would provide division kingpin Sergio Martinez the two toughest tests at middleweight.

Mike Alvarado is my winner of the week.  Mike puts on a show every time he steps in the ring.  He has beat two tough fighters back to back and stretched his record to 33-0-0.  If anyone deserves the bout with Marquez at Cowboys stadium it is Alvarado.  This fight started off as a brawl with both Herrera and Alvarado landing some nice hard shots.  As the fight wore on Alvarado started to impose his will and clearly land the harder cleaner shots.  Mike deserved this victory and some kind of title shot.

Mercito Gesta and Juan Manuel Marquez both rolled to victories as expected.

News Notes:
*Sergio Martinez continued his verbal assault on Chavez Jr.  He claimed Chavez Jr. is afraid to get in the ring without random drug testing and that he would be even more scared if they did testing.  Martinez wants Olympic style testing if he were to fight Chavez Jr. in the fall due to Chavez Jr.’s large weight jump post weigh-in.

*Trainer Robert Garcia spoke about Rios’s win.  He blames Rios sub-par performance on the weight issues and that at 140 lbs. Rios will prove his worth against Juan Manuel Marquez.  He gave a bit of credit to Abril for having an awkward style, but felt he held too much. 

*Kelly Pavlik pleaded guilty to lesser charges stemming back from a DUI arrest in his hometown of Youngstown, OH.  Pavlik was fined $300 on top of having to pay for $2000 worth of property damage he caused.

*Mercito Gesta was hanging out with countryman Nonito Donaire.  There have been small rumblings that Gesta has played his way into the Marquez bout in July as well.

*Fight Alert – For you across the pond boxing fans.  Paul McCoskey has signed on to face veteran gatekeeper Chop Chop Corley.


Follow me on Twitter @Toddyrock

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Prediction Time

I will be picking 5 fights!

Felix Sturm (36-2-2) vs. Sebastian Zbik (30-1-0) At Cologne, Germany 4/13/2012
WBA Middleweight Title Fight
This is fight is not on American Television, but it is a good solid middleweight fight with Sturm’s title on the line.  Here’s the major problem for Zbik, the fight is in Germany.  I don’t think anyone beats Sturm in Germany.  Sturm who has not had an official lost since 2006 has been a bit busier in the previous year fighting three times.  Sturm is a tough fighter that presents a challenge for anyone at middleweight.  He has not had the big fights because of his refusal to leave Germany.  In fact he has not fought in the States since he felt he was robbed against Oscar De La Hoya back in 2004.  Zbik has one loss to another middleweight belt holder in Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr.  Their fight was very competitive with each fighter willing to trade shots.  Zbik has quite the chin as it was clear Julio did not respect the power Zbik brought and ultimately walked Zbik down to landed the harder shots.  Zbik had success when he decided to box.  I think this is a very good fight that will feature both a bit of boxing and a bit of brawling at times.  I believe Sturm’s experience and the fact that Zbik does not possess the power to KO Sturm to be the difference.  Winner – Felix Sturm

Brandon Rios (29-0-1) vs. Richard Abril (17-2-1) At Las Vegas, Nevada
WBA Lightweight Title Fight
What was supposed to be an awesome fight between two young hungry undefeated fighters looks to have turned into a bit of mismatch.  I do not blame Rios for taking this fight at all as Abril forced his way into this fight by publicly challenging Rios multiple times.  When the Gamboa fight failed Abril received the offer.  Abril does not bring anything special to the table.  He has a bit of pop, decent boxing ability, but when it comes down to it, he fails against legit contenders.  He received his ranking due to beating an overrated Miguel Acosta.  Abril’s two losses have come against notable fighters I have mentioned recently, Hank Lundy and Breidis Prescott.  Rios is on a very hot streak stopping 9 of his last 10 opponents.  The one he didn’t stop happens to be Anthony Peterson who got DQ’ed after repeated low blows.  Watching that fight Rios was landing at will.  Abril seems to have pissed of Rios who vows to Batter and stop Abril.  Rios has had the tougher competition, the better trainer, and more incentive to win. (Possible Marquez Bout)  Betting I would take Rios by stoppage before the 9th round.  Winner – Brandon Rios

Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1) vs. Sergey Fedchenko (30-1-0) At Mexico City, Mexico      Interim WBO Junior Welterweight Title
Fedchenko has a fancy record, but the most notable name is an aged Chop Chop Corley.  Make no mistake about it this is a tune-up fight for Marquez to shake the cobwebs and get ready for a big event at Cowboys Stadium in July.  It’s also nice for Marquez to fight in his homeland one more time.  Marquez will put some work in early, but as the fight continues Marquez will have his timing down and will easily pull away.  Winner – Juan Manuel Marquez

Mike Alvarado (32-0-0) vs. Mauricio Herrera (18-1-0) At Las Vegas, Nevada
Junior Welterweight Fight
Alvarado is coming off a huge come from behind win on an HBO PPV undercard which has caused his stock to rise.  He shared a card then with Rios and is sharing one again.  If Alvarado keeps winning a shot at Rios is coming.  Talk about a fan friendly style and matchup.    Herrera is coming off a good win against a nice fighter in Mike Dallas.  The scores were very close and it could have gone either way in my eyes.  Herrera is facing a different beast in Alvarado who will definitely bring the pain.  I believe the pressure that Alvarado applies will be the difference in this fight.  I expect a nice entertaining fight, but Alvarado pulling it off.  Winner – Mike Alvarado

Mercito Gesta (24-0-1) vs. Oscar Cuero (15-7-0) At Las Vegas, Nevada
Lightweight Fight
There is no doubt in my mind that Gesta cruises to a victory, but I wanted to bring his name up.  This is a stay busy fight for Gesta, as he is trying to put himself in a position to contend for a title.  Cuero will make Gesta work a bit, but Gesta talent will win him this fight quite easily.  Winner – Mercito Gesta

Follow Me on Twitter @Toddyrock

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Who is Amir Khan?

Is Amir Khan an elite fighter worthy of pound for pound status? Or is he a Golden Boy Promotion hype project with an excellent amateur pedigree?  I think the answer lies somewhere in between and here is why…

Amir Khan is only 25 years old, but seems to of had a very long career already.  Khan has held two alphabet titles at junior welterweight.  No doubt about it, Amir Khan is a world class fighter.  You have to respect the fact that Amir always seems willing to fight the best.  He has attempted to unify the titles at junior welterweight.  Most recently losing a split decision, but Khan will step back in the ring in an attempt to gain his titles back from Lamont Peterson.  More importantly Khan needs the win to stay in the Mayweather sweepstakes and chance at elite status or pound for pound recognition. 

Many people can get past the Breidis Prescott knockout loss.  Any numbers of factors look like they have contributed to that.  A weight drained body has a way to lower punch resistance.  Since moving up in weight Khan looks to have a solid chin, even walking through hell against Maidana to prove it.  It truly is time to dismiss the glass jaw theory when talking about Khan.  Even after the loss Khan was able to pick up Freddie Roach as his trainer and Alex Ariza as his strength and conditioning coach.  Both moves proved to be positive for his career.  From there Khan really went on to prove his worth as a professional, reeling off 9 straight victories before agreeing to face Lamont Peterson in his hometown.  You have to respect a champion willing to fight in his opponent’s hometown.  It means they are confident.  Unfortunately things didn’t going as expected for Khan.  As mention Khan is only 25, with a rematch victory over Peterson and a planned move to welterweight, it should allow the opportunity for Khan to take his career to the next level.  Whether he does it is on him, but in my opinion he is never going to be a top 5 pound for pound fighter.  Here’s why…

1)      Power - At this stage of Khan’s career and at this weight Khan doesn’t have the power that is needed for opponents to respect him.  Some will say guys like Andre Ward, Floyd Mayweather, Timothy Bradley does not have it either. True, but as I will explain they are better than Khan in many other areas.
2)      Stamina – I think Khan has good stamina.  Not elite.  The difference between some guys and others are the way they go about taking breaks.  Every fighter needs to take time off during a fight; the difference between elite fighters and good fighters is that they don’t loose rounds over it.  This may be a Freddie Roach thing or Khan copying Manny, but Khan tends to lie on the ropes with his hands in high guard.  Manny will do this, but he does not do it for long periods of time and his opponents have more respect.  They know going gun-ho, all out poses a risk because of Manny’s power.  Khan lies on the ropes catching a breather while former opponents like Peterson and Maidana went after Khan’s body.
3)      Style – I might be in the minority but watching Khan fight, I feel he is still trying to score points as if he was an amateur.  He has awesome speed, but it’s like he is flicking his punches out there for visual effects instead of physical damage.  He also has a very bad habit of throwing punches forward without moving his feet.  He tends to look off balance and the threat of being timed and placed on your rear-end because of balance is out there.  If Khan sat down on his punches a bit more, I think he would improve his balance and power.
4)      Intangibles – These vary from trainer, manager, family.  It seems like the family issues have toned down, but it was quite public when Amir’s father was involved in a dispute around strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.  Freddie Roach is an awesome trainer, but as long as Manny is still fighting, Amir becomes second in line.  If Amir can stick it out, I have full faith that when Manny retires Amir becomes Freddie’s prized pupil.  I do not have full faith in Golden Boy Promotions ability to match Amir with the proper opponent or situation to allow him to get to the pound for pound equation. 

GBP will make Amir a lot of money, but will it be long lived to the point of recognizing Amir as truly a great fighter.  Or will it be cashing him out against Mayweather when everyone knows he will never be on that level?  Time will definitely tell.  I wish Amir Khan the best as he always gives it his all and puts on some fantastic fights.  As a fan that’s all I can ask for.

Follow me on Twitter @Toddyrock

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Does Mosley have a Shot, or Is Canelo going to shine?

Let me first start off by saying a young Sugar Shane Mosley is one of the fighters that really brought me into this sport along with the Gatti-Robinson, Gatti-Ward wars.  I am talking about the Sugar Shane that was ready to top everyone’s pound for pound list.  The guy is easily a first tier future hall of famer.  He has fought everyone and anyone around his weight class even daring to go to far north at times.

It seems every great fighter has their last Hoorah, but that might of already of happened for Shane when he beat Margarito senseless.  Since then he got beat bad by Mayweather and Pacquaio and looked pedestrian against Sergio Mora.  Mosley has reached the age of 40.  It really is quite the accomplishment.  To start when Mosley has and still be of relevance at this stage of the game is impressive, but father time catches us all.  It even catches some of us quicker than others when you put your body through some of the wars Mosley has been in.  Mosley owes us nothing, but he chooses to put his career on the line against a young champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.  I believe this is truly it if Mosley looses.  If he wins he gets to trot out there again.

Canelo has gained his stardom because of his looks in the ring and outside of it.  Make no mistake this kid can fight though.  He does not show no fear or nervousness when he steps in the ring.  He has already fought on some huge undercards even headlining his own.  He also had a split-site fight against Alfonso Gomez on the last Mayweather PPV card.  Canelo does not seem to do anything out of the ordinary, but he does everything extremely well.  He has solid power, solid chin, and good speed.  Canelo likes to put his punches together and overwhelm his opponents. 

What Mosley has going for him is his experience.  He has fought the 3 biggest names in boxing over the last 20 years in De La Hoya, Mayweather, and Paqauio.  Mosley has seen it all, so whatever Canelo brings to the table it will not impress Mosley.  Mosley still has good hand speed, one of the best chins of all time, and solid power. (Especially in the overhand right he throws.)  Brother Naseem Richardson will also be backing Mosley which adds a ton of experience.  The question is whether Mosley can still “pull the trigger”.  If Mosley does not get timid and lets his hands go, he will beat Canelo to the punch.  If Mosley does this early he has the ability to turn the table on Canelo and back him off.  Mosley is going to have to get away from the glove tapping and hugging and get back to fighting; Mosley is by far the toughest test Canelo could face. 

I am going to reserve making a pick on this fight until fight-week, but I am hoping the aging vet can bring it just one more time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pondering future Floyd Opponents

First things first, I will take my credit as for calling the Sosa vs. Uicab fight correctly.  Boy was it a war.  Each fighter survived a knockdown, with Sosa going on a claiming victory.  Toddyrock’s Boxing Picks jumps to 2-1!

Creeping up is the Mayweather vs. Cotto fight.  I am calling for a Mayweather win and will give a much more detailed explanation as to why when the fight inches closer.  This article is about possible opponents for Floyd’s second fight of the year which should happen late November or early December.  Guess what?  It will not be Manny Paquaio so let’s get that out of the way.  The reason why I am bring it up now is because certain fighters that want to place themselves in the sweepstakes need to start making choices on fighters and dates to align themselves up for a possible bout in late November or early December.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez – If Mayweather decides to stay at middleweight and defend the title I predict he will win then Canelo becomes an obvious choice.  Canelo would have to defend his WBC strap against fading star Shane Mosley on the undercard of Mayweather/ Cotto.  If he accomplishes this, he would be 40-0-1 with 4 title defenses.  He has clearly not faced the toughest challenges, but he is also only 21 years of age with limited amateur experience.  Canelo’s resume may not be the best, but outside of Manny and Cotto there is no one that would bring more money to Floyd’s pocket and we know Floyd likes money in his pocket.  This would be a unification bout and I am sure that adds incentive for Floyd to accept Canelo’s challenge.  Canelo has no bouts scheduled after the Mosley fight, so he would fully available to fight on any date.  8/10 chance of fighting Mayweather.

Sergio Martinez – Another bout Mayweather can choose if he decides to stay at junior middleweight would be middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez.  This bout would also have the slight chance of taking place at 160.  Martinez might be the biggest threat to Mayweather’s “0”.  He is naturally bigger, has an awkward style, and solid power.  Even with those attributes Mayweather would still be considered the favorite because of his uncanny boxing ability.  There would be no issues over money as Sergio has expressed interest in the fight with the knowledge of accepting significantly less money.  The biggest obstacle of this fight would be timing and whether or not Martinez can really draw enough money to the table.  Here’s a huge if:  Sergio’s next fight looks like it is going to take place at the beginning of September against the winner of Andy Lee Vs. JCC Jr.  If Sergio beats either Lee or JCC Jr. he would have more name recognition and become a greater pull, but will there be enough time to recover and come down to 154 to challenge Mayweather?  6/10 chance of fighting Mayweather.

Andre Berto – This bout would take place at Welterweight.  Berto currently has no belt as he choose to vacate his IBF belt in favor of trying to avenge his only defeat.  I dig that!  Berto is coming off a bicep injury that has delayed his rematch against Victor Ortiz.  In their first bout it was Ortiz who captured the win and went on to the biggest payday of his career against Mayweather.  If that was Berto on the winning end, would it have been him?  Well, we may be able to find out if Berto is able to redeem his loss to Ortiz.  Berto was once HBO’s golden child as he always had a date to fight on against subpar competition at times.  After the Ortiz loss Berto jumped back into it against a very credible opponent in Jan Zaveck in which he stopped in the 5th round due to cuts.  A Berto victory over Ortiz would put him in very good position of fighting Mayweather.  Both fighters are managed by Al Haymon which would make negotiations easy.  6/10 chance of fighting Mayweather.

Amir Khan – Amir has unfinished business against Lamont Peterson in which he lost a controversial decision.  What Amir has going for him if he were to avenge his lost is name recognition.  Amir is already a big draw and brings in a lot of money overseas.  Amir is also promoted by Golden Boy who represents Mayweather during certain negotiations.  Khan also has said he was moving up to welterweight win, lose, or draw.  Khan has a tall task in redeeming himself in impressive fashion if he wants to throw his name in the Mayweather mixture.  Khan has no obligations after the Peterson fight so a Mayweather match is certainly a possibility.  It is a possibility that Khan can control with an impressive victory against Peterson. 5/10 chance of fighting Mayweather.

Lamont Peterson – If Lamont can repeat his victory over Amir Khan in even more impressive fashion, he will get his name in the mix.  By taking the Khan rematch, he allows himself the opportunity to negotiate his own terms.  Peterson gained a lot of name recognition in the victory, but will need another victory under the Vegas lights to garner the attention needed when it comes to fighting Mayweather.  Peterson would also have to move north to welterweight, a decision he has never discussed doing.  Money talks though.  The reasons why he would stay at junior welterweight; are there are plenty of big fights he can take at 140 especially if he feels comfortable there.  3/10 chance of fighting Mayweather.

*Anyone else that would be a future candidate to fight Floyd would be 2 fights away. 

*The curveball to this all is whether Floyd honrs his word about fighting a couple lesser opponents as “tune-ups” or “voluntaries”.

-Pacman's Futures Coming Soon...

Follow me on Twitter @Toddyrock

Friday, April 6, 2012

Weekend Prediction Time? Really?

Check Back for Continued Updates Throughout the Day!

-Very good interview with  Bob Arum - Leader of the Evil Empire  <---Click

Wow, that’s all I can say about this weekend and that’s not a good thing.  The boxing world seems to have taking the weekend off when it comes to notable fights.  Does anyone really care about James Toney fighting Bobby Gunn?  I don’t think so.  We do have the one of the many WBC belts on the line.  It’s the Silver flyweight title featuring Edgar Sosa vs. Wilbert Uicab. 

So I am going to skip over the Toney vs. Gunn fight as there will be no winners and move on… 

Edgar Sosa (44-7-0) vs. Wilbert Uicab (33-6-1) At Cancun, Mexico 4/07/2012

Fighters from the flyweight division are not generally known, but it can be a very exciting division.  Uicab is the younger fighter, but he is coming off a 12 round loss where he traveled to Japan to take on Toshiyuki Igarashi.  Some of the score cards were close, so I would imagine the fight could have gone either way with the hometown scoring that often takes place in Asia for Asian fighters.  Sosa being the elder in this fight is coming off a bounce back win against Roilo Golez.  The fight before saw him take on division legend and future hall of famer Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.  That fight went the full 12 rounds with Pong Wonj dominating the scorecards.  I would expect this to be a very close and competitive fight as this fight can dictate the future of their careers as well as a future true WBC title shot.  Both Sosa and Uicab claim they are long standing friends outside the ring, but understand only one can advance.  They seem top be in excellent condition and are promising an all Mexican war.  Let’s home so!  Winner – Fans, and Edgar Sosa

-- Devon Alexander has been slated to return on Showtime 8/18/2012 with an undetermined opponent.  Latest rumors have undefeated contender Kell Brook as a possibility.  This would be a very good and intriguing matchup.  Devon Alexander would be a big step up competition compared to who Brook has beaten in the past.  Brook looks ready for a step up in competition and Alexander has always shown a desire to fight the best.  The breaking point of this fight is going to be location.  Brook has only fought in the States one time.  Alexander makes a good point if you want to make big time money and receive big time exposure you have got to capture the US audience.  Alexander is going to have to accept that this fight can not be in his hometown of St. Louis.  I vote Vegas baby!  Let’s hope thy come to an agreement as the winner of this fight would catapult to big time contender status and possible PPV spot in their next fight.
-  Update from Dan Rafael, ESPN Boxing Expert: 
Let me explain that situation. Some folks took my tweet way out of proportion. Brook promoter Eddie Hearn asked Golden Boy about Alexander, if he was willing to come to the UK to fight Kell on July 7. Richard Schaefer countered by asking if Brook was interested in coming to the US to fight Alexander on his Showtime date on Aug. 18. Neither side was interested in the proposed schedule. Devon wont be ready to fight July 7. Kell just did a huge sellout crowd at home and wants to keep that momentum going and is not going to come to the US yet for a major fight. On top of that, Golden Boy never discussed with the Alexander camp if they were interested in Brook. Kevin Cunningham (Devon's manager/trainer) told me they have no problem with Brook but that he needed to do something notable first before they would fight him because he is totally unknown in the US so beating him does nothing for them yet, which I agree with. So neither side was ducking. They both have other plans and it was never a "negotiation." It was the promoters have a brief concersation and raising the possibility that never went anywhere.  Dan Rafael, ESPN

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Top 10 Pound for Pound Active Boxers

When ranking the fighters I broke it down in 3 stages.  One and two are easily put together.  The fighters from 3-5 and 6-10 can be interchangeable.

#1 – Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0-0)
            There is not a better well rounded fighter in today’s game.  He may not be the most offensive, but he is easily the best defensively fighter today and will rank highly all-time.  He has never lost.  His speed is second to none.  His counter punching ability is the best today.  He has underrated power and a slick jab that he throws upstairs and down.  He has touched the canvas only once in his career, when he broke his hand on an opponents head.  He has rarely lost a round in his career and when a fight did come into question against Castillo, he went on to convincingly beat him in a rematch.  Say what you want about Mayweather and his choices in opponents, but all top fighters do it.  He has not stepped in the ring with who we wanted him to all the time, but his opponents have been very legit and Floyd has beat them convincingly.  (May 5th vs. Miguel Cotto)

#2 – Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2)
            Manny can easily be put as the # 1 fighter today, but I believe he has slowed done a bit sense his epic run to welterweight.  Manny has 3 blemishes on his record, but no losses since Erik Morales in 2005.  That’s a run of seven years against some of the toughest competition of this era.  His run will rank right up there with some of the greatest historically.  As dominate as Mayweather’s defense may be, Manny brings that dominance in his offensive output, while improving his defense throughout his career.  Manny’s devastating knockout of Ricky Hatton leads many people to believe he has huge punching power.  This is not necessarily true as Manny likes to touch you early to make you feel secure and to open you up a bit.  As the fight wears on many puts the power behind it and bust you up with his amazing combination punching.  (June 9th vs. Timothy Bradley)

#3 – Andre Ward (25-0-0)
            Could Ward be the future of boxing?  He certainly has the skill set.  Ward went through the Showtime Super 6 tournament with relative ease.  He has a solid offense, exceptional defense, amazing ability to control the tempo and style of the fight.  If there is one downfall to Ward, it would be his inability or desire to finish fighters off, but the name of the game is to win and he does it.  Ward is only 28 years old and has now entered the prime of his career.  After the competition Ward has faced in the super 6 he deserves time off or a tune-up bout against a solid fighter.  Make no mistake about it, if Bute beats Froch in the future fight, Bute becomes an instant contender to Ward in the Super-Middleweight rankings and pound for pound status.  Until then Ward has faced and beaten the much better competition in style. (vs. TBA)

#4 – Sergio Martinez (49-2-2)
            Sergio suffers from the fact that the middleweight division is not very strong.  The saying goes you can only beat who is in front of you and Sergio certainly has done that.  He has even done it in very impressive fashion at times.  Sergio has an awkward style, combine that with exceptional speed and athleticism, he is a nightmare for his opponents.  Since losing a controversial decision to former pound for pound fighter Paul Williams he has gone on to become the Middleweight champion winning 5 fights, 4 by stoppage.  Martinez has continued to call out fighters in his own division and some south.  Coming off an 11th round stoppage against Macklin, Sergio will have to wait patiently for the possible money fight this fall against divisional money man Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Fall vs. Chavez Jr. / Andy Lee)

#5 – Nonito Donaire (28-1-0)
            Donaire is in the prime of his career at age 29.  He has not lost in 27 fights and absolutely burst on the big time scene with his devastating knockout of Fernando Montiel.  He unfortunately could not capitalize on his success right away as the business aspect of boxing got a bit messy.  Things were later sorted out and he took on undefeated Omar Narvaez, who stepped up for division below.  The fight was boring to many as Omar went into a defensive shell and Nonito worked out the kinks of his 10-month layoff.  After dominating the bantamweight division Nonito stepped up to super-bantamweight and beat a tough Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. to win a vacant super bantamweight title.  (July 14th vs. Christian Mijares)

#6 – Wladimir Klitschko (57-3-0) (July 7th vs. Tony Thompson)
#7 – Vitali Klitschko (44-2-0) (vs. TBA)

#8 – Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1) (June 14th vs. Serhiy Fedchenko)

#9 – Timothy Bradley (28-0-0) (June 9th vs. Timothy Bradley)

#10 – Yuriokis Gamboa (21-0-0) (vs. TBA)

Honorable Mention – Miguel Cotto, Lucian Bute, Bernard Hopkins

You think something should be different, bring it!

Follow me on Twitter @Toddyrock

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Bit of Everything

Bob Arum makes some noise.  The bad kind!  He is already spouting off that Manny vs. Floyd will not take place this year, but he's hopefully for next year.  Why?  Bob Arum should jut come out and say he already lined up Manny's next opponent should he win the Bradley fight.  If Marquez and Rios both win in April they will fight in July with the prize being a shot at Manny in the fall.  Guess what?  All fighters have ties to Top Rank now.  Its all about keeping the money in house and not having to split it with anyone else.  If Manny was smart he should have realized a long time ago that he is bigger than the promotional company that works for him.  I think Manny fails to realize that he doesn't work for Arum and its the opposite.  When Floyd realized this, he wised up and left Arum and Top Rank in the dust.

Did anyone else think that the Cotto/Mayweather Faceoff with Max Kellerman was a bit weird last night?  Mayweather is a master at mind games, but in his career he has never seemed to disrespect Cotto, at times going out of his way to praise him.  I know you want to build your opponent up, but it’s just weird, especially coming from Mayweather.  Maybe it’s the mutual dislike for Antonio Margarito or Manny Pacquaio that was discussed?  I can not put a handle on it, but would expect things to heat up slowly on 24/7.

There is some big time news regarding a potential bout between future Hall of Fame fighter Juan Manuel Marquez and fast rising star Brandon Rios.  The fight would take place July 14th at Cowboys Stadium.  First each fighter must survive their split site matches come April 14th in which Rios will fight Richard Abril and Marquez against Sergey Fedchenko.  As a fight fan this is a huge match if it comes off in July.  A gritty veteran that deserves constant praise verse a prime Rios who has ko’d most of the guys in front of him.  This fight has the potential to be fight of the year worthy if they bring their best, which should be expected.  I am excited just writing about this fight.

We all have heard how hard it may be to negotiate with guys like Mayweather and Pacquaio, but we really need to start adding Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to the list.  No fight ever seems to get made easy with the guy, especially the illusive Sergio Martinez fight.  There is slight hope that it can happen this fall.  JCC Jr. has decided to fight Andy Lee June 16th on HBO.  Honestly, this is not a bad fight.  Lee is a solid fighter, clearly not on a Sergio Martinez level, but a notch below.  Lee is in the prime of his career and can matchup physically with the huge size JCC Jr. brings to the middleweight division.  I am looking forward to the winner of this challenging division kingpin Martinez this fall.

I previously mention Robert Garcia as being the go to trainer now.  Well add Marcos Maidana to his stable.  The brawler from Argentina who is coming off an unimpressive loss to Devon Alexander, seven pounds north of where he holds a junior welterweight title is looking to bounce back in impressive fashion.  Maidana feels Garcia is the man to help him.  I know some people will be bummed that this may prevent a future clash with Brandon Rios, but that was probably going to be hard because of the ongoing Golden Boy vs. Top Rank feud. 

Rant:  Juan Manuel Lopez deserved the bad press and mandated meeting with the Puerto Rican boxing commission.  Lopez made an off the wall comment about possible betting issues with referee Robert Ramirez Sr. after his loss to Orlando Salido on March 10th in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Lopez was stopped in the 10th round after being knocked down by Salido.  Not longer than 15 minutes after the fight Lopez was interviewed and he made those distasteful comments.  Lopez has since apologized several times and appeared in front of the P.R. Boxing Commission, admitting there was no substance behind his allegations and he is remorseful in his apology.  Still, the P.R. Boxing Commission banned him for a year.  Cheaters get less time than that in a sport where lives are literally on the line.  Talk about a punishment that does not fight the crime.  The kicker is that Lopez is under a 6-month medical suspension and the ban would not start until after that.  This is absolutely ridiculous in my eyes.  Lopez made a mistake after being concussed not long before.

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