Thursday, June 3, 2010

Controversial Fight Series: Cotto-Clottey

by Dafs117, Siren1927 and Mentaldynamo

As part of The Boxing Tribune’s preview of Yuri Foreman’s maiden defence of his WBA junior middleweight title against Miguel Cotto, we revisit Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey in the Puerto Rican’s closest fight of his career.

At The Garden – WBO Welterweight Title
MIGUEL COTTO (33-1, 27 KO, WBO Titleholder)
June 13, 2009 | Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

June 13th, 2009

This was Miguel Cotto’s first real comeback test since his devastating first career defeat to the hands of Antonio Margarito. Suspicions were raised when Shane Mosley’s camp found an illegal substance in Margaito’s handwraps, which led many to believe that his win against Cotto was not legit. The victory still stands, and Cotto had begun his comeback trek with a one-sided beatdown of Michael Jennings, stopping him in the fifth round.

Joshua Clottey was no Michael Jennings. Viewed to many as an underrated top-end welterweight, Clottey was going to be a much tougher opponent for Cotto to break down. In 2006, Clottey had gone the distance with Margarito, starting brightly before a hand injury forced him into retreat. The Ghanaian was coming off the most impressive victory of his career, a technical decision over Zab Judah to capture the vacant IBF welterweight title.

Clottey didn’t defend his IBF title and blamed Cotto for failing to file paperwork on time to make the contest a unification fight. This had no effect on the purse however, as the marketing was successful and the gate was huge, partly because it was held on the eve of the Puerto Rican Parade.

This was Miguel Cotto’s first fight without long-time trainer and uncle Evangelista Cotto, who were involved in several arguments in their fiery relationship. In front of a pro-Cotto crowd, Clottey’s defence frustrated Cotto early on, and it proved in the middle rounds as Cotto resulted into wild shots. Cotto was also cut in round three, the worst cut of the year. Was Cotto’s late surge enough for victory? Or did Clottey’s middle-round cleanout ensure an upset?

The Boxing Tribune have replaced the judges with our own set of scorers. The three judges will be Dafs117, Siren1927 and mentaldynamo. They will give their round-by-round opinion, with a quest to find if Cotto was on the right-end of a split decision at the Garden.

Round 1

Dafs117 – “Both fighters start well, not landing much but getting their punches off in bunches. Cotto begins to land a couple of body shots as he begins to stretch out a lead in the round, and very late on, he lands a left hook which catches an off-balance Clottey who touches down.” 10-9 Cotto [-1 knockdown for Clottey]

Siren1927 – “Great start to the fight, with both fighters jabbing well and both looking to attack the body early. Cotto is finding a home for his straight right already, and it’s a pretty even first round until Cotto drops Clottey, who to be fair looked off balanced.” 10-9 Cotto [-1 knockdown for Clottey]

Mentaldynamo – “High tempo start from both fighters, knockdown clinches it for Cotto.” 10-9 Cotto [-1 knockdown for Clottey]

Round 2

Dafs117 – “Clottey begins to land a couple more scoring shots this round, sweet uppercut and a nice right hand at the end of the round to win the round. The more accurate punches came from Clottey and probably the best defence.” 10-9 Clottey

Siren1927 – “Cotto is firing away nicely but he cannot break through the guard of Clottey. Clottey keeps on firing uppercuts which are mostly blocked too. Cotto is throwing a lot, but not landing. Clottey landed the most telling blows in this round for me.” 10-9 Clottey

– “Although Cotto looked more active, Clottey landed the cleaner, sharper blows.” 10-9 Clottey

Round 3

Dafs117 – “Clottey’s left hand can’t miss in the opening minute as he fires a hook followed by a handful of jabs onto Cotto’s chin. Cotto’s peek-a-boo style is ineffective, as Clottey finds his range to land left uppercuts. Cotto throws more punches, but they simply don’t find their target, and a nasty clash of heads causes blood to trickle above the Puerto Rican’s left eye. This round should separate the judges, Lederman gives it to Cotto for out-jabbing, but for me, he doesn’t land anything to compare to Clottey.” 10-9 Clottey

Siren1927 – “For the first minute, we have Cotto teeing off and landing one punch. Clottey is again landing clean, he’s found a home for that left to the body. Cotto uses the jab he forgot in the last round to actually catch Clottey twice, then he forgets it again. However he is starting to catch Clottey now and he takes the round on activity for me.” 10-9 Cotto

Mentaldynamo – “Clottey controlled the round with his jab, backing Cotto up and using it to land his right.” 10-9 Clottey

Round 4

Dafs117 – “Clottey again starts strongly, and his defence is just excellent. They trade heavy leather with Cotto going to the body and Clottey firing back. The cut is really bothering Cotto as he wipes the blood away. Kellerman suggests that Cotto can’t see the right hand coming, and he’s right. Cotto with a late flurry and Clottey tries to answer back. Brilliant round!” 10-9 Cotto

Siren1927 – “Both start the round on fire, throwing and connecting, though if I’m honest Cotto's head movement wins the early exchanges. Clottey then comes right back and Cotto, looks as though he is going to steal the round then acts like a clown and Cotto steals it right back.” 10-9 Cotto

Mentaldynamo – “Controlled the round with the jab, and again backed Cotto up with right hands. Clottey also blocked most of Cotto’s punches.” 10-9 Clottey

After 4 Rounds: Dafs117 – 38-37 Cotto; Siren1927 – 39-36 Cotto; 38-37 Clottey;

Round 5

Dafs117 – “Clottey blocks Cotto’s shots before landing a huge right hand. Another right hand lands from the Ghanaian, and another. Cotto keeps pawing at that cut and it’s really hurting him. Clottey comes in with another right and Cotto basically just slams him to the canvas. Clottey complains, and rightly so in my view, that was a cheap shot from Cotto. Poor officiating from Arthur Mercante Jr., who tells him to walk it off, and on the replay, Clottey slips more than I originally thought. This is getting feisty and Clottey complains about his knee.” 10-9 Clottey

– “Clottey starts this round really well and around the two minute mark lands a lovely double jab right hand combo. Cotto slams Clottey to the ground and special mention must go to the ref who simply tells Clottey be a man, be a champ and walk it off. Clottey wins the round but by God I wish I could take a point off for being a wimp.” 10-9 Clottey

– “Clottey blocks Cotto’s shots before landing his own right hands. Clottey wins because he lands the cleaner, more precise shots.” 10-9 Clottey

Round 6

Dafs117 – “Cotto presses and Clottey stands still and gets hit. Cotto traps him in the corner, digging at him punch by punch. Clottey counters with a straight left and they trade, before Clottey goes back into defence mode. Cotto keeps him in the corner landing heavy shots, but Clottey keeps on firing back. Clottey’s mobility is non-existent this round, maybe his knee is a problem. Big round for Cotto, but also a tough round for the Puerto Rican.” 10-9 Cotto

Siren1927 – “Cotto is on fire at the start of the round, throwing and landing multiple shots. Clottey’s mobility is clearly an issue here. Cotto traps him in the corner, but Clottey fires back and catches Cotto, but he’s still trapped in there. They trade leather at the end but Cotto kept him in that corner all round.” 10-9 Cotto

Mentaldynamo – “It looks like Clottey took a round off, getting his breath back after a high tempo start. Cotto dominates and wins the round easily on my card.” 10-9 Cotto

Round 7

Dafs117 – “Cotto really taking control of the fight right now, and I don’t know how much Clottey hurting from that slip/throw has to do with it. Cotto with four unanswered punches, two land. Clottey’s movement is better this round for sure, but getting outpunched. Clottey gets away a combo that ended with a nice right hand. Clottey hurting Miguel, but Cotto gets out of danger. Clottey is the one cranking up the pressure. Another big right, and he takes this round fairly handily. Cotto fires hard near the bell.” 10-9 Clottey

Siren1927 – “How else can you explain this round other than say Clottey just simply beats Cotto up. Cotto fires enough back to at least be competitive but Cotto has a massive target on that cut eye and Clottey’s right hand can’t miss.” 10-9 Clottey

Mentaldynamo – “Again, Clottey landed the cleaner shots and backed up Cotto with that lead left jab.” 10-9 Clottey

Round 8

Dafs117 – “Cotto goes back to pressure Clottey on the ropes again, but Clottey is still able to get his punches away. Cotto then backs himself onto the ropes, de ja vu to the Margarito fight. Clottey lambasts Cotto with rights, that uppercut is hurting Cotto as he grabs both eyes. Cotto now unloads in the corner. Clottey shakes his head like a badass. Clottey takes the round for me, but very close.” 10-9 Clottey

Siren1927 – “Before we even start the round, I’m wondering why the fight hasn’t been stopped, that eye is terrible and I’ve seen far less serious cuts stop fights. The actual round starts with Clottey still in his groove; he gets inside and lands some decent shots. Cotto backs him to the ropes before Clottey flurries out of it. Cotto is continually dabbing at his eye and Clottey is punishing him for it. The amount of right hands Clottey is landing is unreal. Cotto backs him back into the corner in an attempt to steal the round however, Clottey shakes his head and I shake mine.” 10-9 Clottey

Mentaldynamo – “Cotto’s exciting burst at the end of the round not enough to win it. His flurry of punches is not as good as the cleaner 1-2’s from Clottey.” 10-9 Clottey

After 8 Rounds: Dafs117 – 76-75 Clottey; Siren1927 – 76-75 Cotto; 77-74 Clottey;

Round 9

Dafs117 – “It’s Clottey’s turn to stalk early in the round as Cotto moves backwards, not doing much. Another Clottey right lands again. Cotto coming forward with 40 seconds left, but not finding much. Now he’s punching! Clottey resets at mid-ring and jabs Cotto. Cotto’s just not breaking the defence enough to win these rounds, in my humble opinion. Clottey landed the better shots this round.” 10-9 Clottey

Siren1927 – “Nothing of note in the first minute, seconds later Clottey lands a nice straight right then flurries almost straight afterwards. Both fighters are feeling the pace and are not doing much. Both fighters come to life in the last 30 seconds both landing roughly equal. It’s a tough round to score, but I’ve given it to Clottey based on accurate punching.” 10-9 Clottey

Mentaldynamo – “More effective punches came from Clottey in that round, and Cotto doesn’t seem to have anything left as his cut gets worse.” 10-9 Clottey

Round 10

Dafs117 – “Clottey chasing Miguel around again for the first half of the round and Cotto is just not in this fight right now. Lampley thinks Clottey is slowing, I agree, but Cotto is just staying away more than before. Cotto, like in the Margarito fight, has just stopped his work to the body and is head hunting albeit unsuccessfully. Round is winnable for either with 40 seconds to go. They trade leather, most punches miss. Another card-splitting round. I’m going with Cotto.” 10-9 Cotto

Siren1927 – “The first minute of the round is beautiful for Cotto, he doesn’t land much but his footwork and ring generalship are on display for everyone here. Cotto has found something here; he is bobbing and weaving, throwing a few and then moving out of range. It almost wins him the round, but Clottey lands around 12 punches in the last 40 seconds to steal it.” 10-9 Clottey

Mentaldynamo – “Not much action in round ten, but Clottey kept coming forward so I award the round to the Ghanaian on effective aggression.” 10-9 Clottey

Round 11

Dafs117 – “Everyone from HBO is excited. Cotto outworks Clottey, who has really slowed down now. The pace is getting to him, and Cotto picks and pecks. Good idea, he needs the rounds. Clottey lands a meaningful right, but it’s Cotto’s round.” 10-9 Cotto

Siren1927 – “Another close round, it’s now Cotto’s turn to throw the most of the punches and starts to fire back at Clottey. Both fighters have their moments and it’s another tough round to score. You have the sense that if Clottey had thrown a few more he would’ve taken the round hands down. He just about took it, but only just.” 10-9 Clottey

Mentaldynamo – “Much of the same as Clottey keeps coming forward and dictating the pace of the fight.” 10-9 Clottey

Round 12

Dafs117 – “Both come out to win the round and Cotto moves around the ring as Clottey pressures. Cotto lets his hands go, Clottey follows suit, nothing lands though. Cotto turns to southpaw and smacks Clottey in the back of the head. Good call from Mercante Jr., it looked an accident. Clottey tries to find time as he complains for a low blow, nothing given. Cotto with five punches, nothing coming back from Clottey. Left hand from Cotto, and a right from Clottey. Brilliant fight, a rough tussle.” 10-9 Cotto

Siren1927 – “Another tough round to score and unfortunately, more Joshua Clottey bad acting classes. Cotto is just much more active and his defence is actually better in this round. Cotto stole it for me. He didn’t so much as win the round; it was Clottey that lost it.” 10-9 Cotto

– “It was a close round, but Cotto just did enough to win it. Cotto had his moments, but that was it, just moments.” 10-9 Cotto

Official Scores: Don Trella – 116-111 Cotto; John McKaie – 115-112 Cotto; Tom Miller – 114-113 Clottey;

Miguel Cotto successfully defends his belt by split decision

BTBC Scorecards: Dafs117 – 114-113 Cotto; Siren1927 – 114-113 Clottey; Mentaldynamo – 116-111 Clottey;

Joshua Clottey wins via split decision

BTBC Combined Scorecard

Round 1 – 10-9 Cotto (3-0); [-1 knockdown for Clottey]
Round 2 – 10-9 Clottey (0-3);
Round 3 – 10-9 Clottey (1-2);
Round 4 – 10-9 Cotto (2-1);
Round 5 – 10-9 Clottey (0-3);
Round 6 – 10-9 Cotto (3-0);
Round 7 – 10-9 Clottey (0-3);
Round 8 – 10-9 Clottey (0-3);
Round 9 – 10-9 Clottey (0-3);
Round 10 – 10-9 Clottey (1-2);
Round 11 – 10-9 Clottey (1-2);
Round 12 – 10-9 Cotto (3-0);

Total – 115-112 Clottey;

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Money, Money, Money: Odds on Foreman-Cotto and The Weekend Action

As a keen boxing fan, I take a healthy interest in what the books are thinking, as it normally is a good indication to see how the fight will turn out in the casual fans’ mind. Maybe once in a while I’ll back up my predictions with putting some money down, but for enjoyment and the profit, not to fuel any sort of addiction.

For those unfamiliar with how it works, it’s not that difficult. For example, a fighter is -300, it means every $3 you win a $1. If a fighter is +300, it means you bet $1 to win $3. And the line varies on how big a favourite/underdog a fighter is.

Junior Middleweight: Yuri Foreman vs. Miguel Cotto (HBO) [12 Rounds]

Yuri Foreman +200, Miguel Cotto -250

Close fight on paper, closer than expected fight in the books. For those who think that Miguel Cotto is shot and favour the Rabbi, you could make a healthy profit out of this fight with the tempting price. Cotto is also at a juicy price, and I expected that his star reputation would make him an obvious favourite.

Cruiserweight: Steve Cunningham vs. Troy Ross (Polsat) [12 Rounds]

Steve Cunningham -500, Troy Ross +333

This will be the first time one of our House Fighters will be in a title shot, and it’s a big ask for Troy Ross to pull it off as he’s a clear underdog going into the fight. Cunningham is regarded as the best in the division, and you could strongly argue that he’s head and shoulders above everybody else in the top 10.

Middleweight: Sebastian Sylvester vs. Roman Karmazin (Polsat) [12 Rounds]

Sebastian Sylvester -250, Roman Karmazin +188

In his prime, Karmazin would probably beat up Sylvester over the distance. But the battles are beginning to catch up with him, as was displayed in his come-from-behind knockout win over Dionisio Miranda in January. Sylvester is on a four-fight winning streak since he lost to Felix Sturm, and I favour him to extend his run to five.

Junior Middleweight: Vanes Martirosyan vs. Joe Greene (HBO) [10 Rounds]

Vanes Martirosyan -200, Joe Greene +150

This might be the most intriguing fight this weekend, despite three other strong contenders. Both fighters are undefeated and are expected to put on an explosive fight. Martirosyan is a slight favourite due to his background.

What do you think will happen? Get involved in The BTBC's new fantasy boxing betting game!


Listen to the show HERE

Mares vs Parez WrapUp

Why I Love Wilfredo Vazquez Jr?
Why nobody can beat Vitali Klitschko
Cotto vs Foreman Analysis
Is Arum pulling a fast one with the Cotto vs Foreman matchup?
Call in line: 206-202-4468

Margarito's Sudden Acceptance an Illustration of the Double Standards in Boxing

by Dafs

Antonio Margarito’s ring return was greeted by many with a ‘forgive and forget’ attitude, with the hand-wrapping controversy a distant memory for fans and media alike; a stark contrast to the outrage and resentment in the public a year ago.

I wasn’t offering a welcome back hug to the fighter who claims he was deceived by his immoral trainer. Margarito still disputes today that he knew nothing about the two rock hard pads implanted in his hand wraps by Javier Capetillo, who sacrificed himself for Margarito’s career.

Despite some early negative press, Margarito outrageously finds himself in a better position sixteen months on. Bob Arum has pledged that he will face Manny Pacquiao in the Fall, guaranteeing that Margarito will be joining the exclusive eight-figure salary club with the leading figures of the sport.

So far, the commissioners have stood firm, refusing to restore his license. In their opinion, he has not done his time. The case was revisited after the indefinite year suspension, but he was refused by the usually lenient state of Texas. Arum blamed California’s influence, who have been stubborn in their case against Margarito.

The lack of remorse shown by Margartio and the constant digs towards the commissioners didn’t help his cause. He disobeyed his rejection by reminding everyone he could fight in his native country Mexico, through taking countless interviews outlining his arrogant return plan back to the top, while crying innocent.

The more and more media coverage Margarito received, the more the fans began to believe his story. But when asked about Capetillo’s return, the fans that completely neglected the elephant in Margarito’s room will be the first to let rip at Capetillo’s incompetence.

At least Capetillo was man enough to own up, and for me, that deserves a chance at redemption, just as any guilty man should if that second chance comes from a place of empathy. I don’t approve of Capetillo’s actions on that January 24 night, not at all, but at least he had the fortitude to admit that he was in the wrong.

I don’t know if Margarito had cheated before, frankly I don’t have the knowledge, but I find it improbable that he would have loaded in a fight where he was a 3-to-1 favourite, but not in a fight where he was a 3-to-1 underdog.

‘Plaster-gate’ has drawn the obvious comparison with the Resto-Collins fight back in 1983. To this day, Resto and his trainer Panama Lewis are banned from boxing, partly because they didn’t take responsibility over their actions until they were broke and needed the money.

The name Panama Lewis is enough to send shivers down any long time follower of the sport’s spine. But why has Margarito been allowed to wriggle out of the same punishment implemented on Lewis and Resto twenty-six years ago?

The fighter is the head of any team, and if he doesn’t like what his trainer is plotting, he can easily tell him to sling his hook. Margarito knew exactly what the situation was in that dressing room, and was caught red-handed with the illegal hand wraps. Margarito should not be treated differently to any other fighter, trainer or cutman, regardless of their status in the game. Like Resto and Lewis, Margarito should be banned for life.

Say "No" to the Alphabet Soup Organizations in Boxing

by Paul Magno

I don't know of any real fight fans who actually like boxing's four major sanctioning bodies (WBO, WBC, WBA, IBF). As a matter of fact, hardcore fans are unanimous in their disgust for these "Alphabet Soup" Organizations.

The laundry list of offenses is too long to detail in one short article, but with only their own self-interest in mind, these groups have committed just about every offense possible against the sport and it's athletes.

For this reason, The Boxing Tribune is spearheading the campaign to discredit and eventually eliminate these blights on the sport. We urge all fans and websites to join in and support the cause for the betterment of the sport. A large, vocal movement may give fighters and managers the courage and incentive to ditch these now meaningless belts and bring the sport back to where it needs to be.

Join the movement:

It's easy to say "Ditch the Sanctioning Bodies," but what does that really mean and how can the sport exist without the current power structure? Here's a FAQ-style rundown of some of the major sticking points of this movement:

Why get rid of the sanctioning bodies?

To be kind, they're very unnecessary. To be real, they are a blight on the sport and merely exist to line their pockets with the hard-earned money fighters truly deserve. Aside from the bribes and kickbacks that most acknowledge as real parts of the ranking procedure, there's the issue of sanctioning fees. About 3 percent of fighter's purses in all championship fights and official eliminators are handed over to the sanctioning body in charge of the fight...we're talking 5 and 6 figure sanctioning fees just for the right to hold the belt that they earned on their own. But if this isn't bad enough...all 4 major organizations regularly invent new belts and new titles in order to extract more money from more fighters...So, with compromised rankings and a landscape littered with World, Interim, Regular, Super, Diamond, International and Silver champions, the continued existence of these groups is not only bad for the fighters who want a fair, even playing field but, also, for the casual fans who want to follow the sport but get no clear idea of who's who because of all the diluted titles and cartoonish corruption.

Fighters use the sanctioning bodies and the lesser belts as a ladder to climb in their development...What will the young fighters do to get that push and be seen by a large group of fans?

Well, they'd do what they've historically done: Win, make a name for themselves and fight their way to the top. Why should the sanctioning bodies be involved in promoting fighters to new heights? That's what promoters are for. The sanctioning bodies should be for protecting the fighters and making sure that all are fighting on an even playing field.

What about the history and title lineages that accompany these sanctioning bodies?

Well, the sanctioning bodies, as we know them, have only been around since 1962 when some members of the NBA (National Boxing Association) executed a hostile take over of the organization and moved it out of US jurisdiction, renaming it the WBA. Eliminating the modern organizations will do nothing to lessen the importance of the great fighters of the past. And, as far as title lineages go, the arbitrary rules of the sanctioning bodies have already compromised a good share of title lineages.

Ok, They're corrupt, but what would boxing do without at least some sort of sanctioning body?

I'm not endorsing chaos in the sport. Boxing does, indeed, need a sanctioning body, but it needs an organization that will do the right thing and put the sport ahead of the wallets of the boss men. The sport can operate on the same level as other sports do, but a house cleaning is desperately needed in order to start the cleansing process. In the absence of the Alphabet Soup Crew and while a new sanctioning body is being formed, local and state commissions could handle the record keeping and other logistical duties while, short term, the media could handle the rankings. I'll admit, this is not an ideal situation, but the only way to reform is to remove the offending parties. If they still exist and operate as usual, their stranglehold on the sport would be too strong to enact any reform.

Why not work from within and try to reform the existing sanctioning bodies?

48 years of repeat offending have shown us that they simply will not clean up their act...and there's nothing we can really do to force them. Three of the Four sanctioning bodies are based outside US jurisdiction and the one US-based group, the IBF, has already been busted, disassembled and re-formed with little real change.

How can we even do this?

Getting rid of the sanctioning bodies would be as easy as cutting off the cash supply. Six to Nine months of no sanctioning fees or kick-backs would significantly cripple them. A lot depends on whether fighters and managers would join in the movement or if they'd rather continue on with the corrupt current scene that allows them a chance to buy their way to the top. I guess this movement would also say a lot about the integrity of many active participants in the sport and whether they'd choose to play on a level playing field if given a choice.

How can we ensure that the next sanctioning body wouldn't fall into the same corrupt pattern as the ones we have now?

Remove the profit factor and the veil of secrecy; That would just about do it. Make the rankings based upon a fair, objective formula that takes activity and level of opposition within a given weight class into consideration. Publish the formula, make it simple enough to verify and keep it as an untouchable method of ranking fighters. When it comes to money issues, make all financial dealings 100% transparent. Yes, sanctioning fees do need to be charged, but the current rate is too high. A scaled-down, small government-style sanctioning body would require less of an operating budget than the massive bureaucracies that currently exist only to sustain themselves. The new sanctioning body's responsibilities would be to supervise the officials, ensure for the safety of the fighters and oversee officially sanctioned bouts. All of this, of course, would take place in complete transparency with all meetings transcribed, observed and posted in a public forum and all revenue paths clearly earmarked.

Believe me, I have no delusions of grandeur regarding this issue. Maybe this is the greatest of pipe dreams, but I owe a lot to this sport and have nothing but the greatest respect for those warriors who risk their lives each and every time they step into the ring. To have a bunch of middle-aged confidence men divvying up these warriors' hard-earned money is just obscene. And to have the sport riddled with bogus titles and bought rankings that ruin all credibility is sickening. I just couldn't live with myself if I didn't at least make my voice heard...this is your chance to make your voices heard as well...And, maybe, together we can make a loud enough noise.

Join the movement...Say "No" to the Alphabet Soup Organizations in Boxing:

Monday, May 31, 2010

Maidana Passes on Khan Clash

BoxingScene report that Marcos Maidana has turned down the opportunity of facing Amir Khan on July 31 in the UK, citing a reoccurring back injury as the reason the fight couldn't be made.

Maidana had pulled out of a fight with WBO junior welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley, for the same reason only three weeks ago. Team Maidana say that the back injury won't recover in time to have a sufficient training program set-up for the fight.

In my opinion, this is another cheap shot from Khan. He knows that Maidana is injured, and knows that Khan-Maidana is one of the most revealing fights on the table for the fans about Khan. And here, with some PR magic, they have attempted to turn it round that Maidana is avoiding Khan.

The biggest problem is that Maidana is injured, and that should be the end of story. But the July 31 date is only nine weeks away, hardly enough time for world class fighters to prepare efficiently. It's a big commitment for a fighter who's got a lot of pride to lose, such as Maidana.

Anyway, Michael Katsidis and Joel Casamayor are the other options discussed for Khan, and I think we all know which one appertizes Khan the most out of the two.

Katsidis has just steamrolled Kevin Mitchell in three rounds and looked back to his fearsome best. While on the opposite end of the spectrum, Casamayor looked ancient in his eight-round exercise earlier this year, and struggled with Marquez's speed a year ago.

If Khan does find an opponent without alienating half of the division, Schaefer will discuss the prospect of a split-site PPV with Marquez-Diaz II headlining in the States, and Khan vs. whoever broadcasted from the UK.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vazquez and Martinez Stop Opponents In Puerto Rico

WBO junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (19-0, 16 KO) recorded a tenth-round technical knockout win over Zsolt Bedak (15-1, 5 KO) in his native Puerto Rico, defending his title with predictable ease.

It was Vazquez' first defense, following his four-round blowout of previously undefeated Filipino Marvin Sonsona back in February. Bedak was Vazquez' number one contender by the WBO, which is a joke in itself, who's best win came against Ramie Laput, who had long since been exposed as yet another fluffed record fighter from the Philippines.

Bedak was holding his own up until the fifth, where Vazquez landed a number of head-snapping right hands and left hooks. Vazquez continued his dominance until the stoppage in the tenth, dropping Bedak with a right hand and the bout was waved off.

In the age of fighters making the most of their fathers name to earn a healthy living from the sweet science, Miguel Vazquez Jr. offers something different, and behind the 'Jr.' tag lies one hell of a fighter that has plenty of potential to dominate the decision in future years.

In the co-feature, Roman Martinez (24-0-1, 15 KO) scored a stunning fourth-round knockout win over Gonzalo Mungia (17-7-3, 13 KO), defending his WBO junior lightweight title in the process. It was a thriller up until the stoppage, with the third round the highlight of the card as both men brawled recklessly. Eventually, Martinez had too much firepower for Mungia and overawed the Nicaraguan, stopping him in the fourth.

On the undercard, twin brothers McWilliams Arroyo (3-0, 3 KO) and McJoe Arroyo (3-0, 1 KO) continued their education of the game at the lower level as they both dominated their punchbag level opponents. McWilliams is a former Olympian and campaigns at bantamweight, while McJoe is a division south at junior bantamweight.

On a sidenote, this was a great card and well worth the £5 ($8) that UK TV charged for it. It seemed like a well organised event in Puerto Rico, with leading stars Juan Manuel Lopez and Ivan Calderon in attendance, reminding the public that they have fights scheduled for the next month or so.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shocker: Vitali Scores Tenth Round Stoppage

Vitali Klitschko (40-2, 38 KO) took his time to take out a resilient Albert Sosnowski (45-3-1, 27 KO) in the tenth round in his fourth defense of his WBC heavyweight title in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Klitschko won every round on The Boxing Tribune's unofficial scorecard, and although Sosnowski did some good work in the third and fourth, Klitschko dominated the entire fight. Vitali was an enormous favourite going into the fight, and it resembled in the one-sided performance.

Vitali came out in the ninth landing numerous power shots to take away Sosnowski's legs. The ending was inevitable, and it came with forty seconds left in round ten, when a straight right hand landed on the button and finished Sosnowski off.

Using this fight as a measuring stick, I would say that Vitali is pretty vulnerable for anyone with a little hand speed and footwork. If Sosnowski can be competitive in the early rounds by using some moderate speed, you would think that Haye and Adamek would box circles around the Ukranian brother.

So yes, to be blunt, I would pick both Haye and Adamek over Vitali right now. He just looked old, and a little bit fed up of boxing. He was still in fantastic condition, and maybe took the fight a little lightly, but there were signs that age was starting to catch up with him.

On the undercard, Jonathan Banks (24-1-1, 17 KO) bored everybody yet again, this time against journeyman Jason Gavern (19-7-4, 8 KO) with a twelve-round majority draw. The cards came in at 115-111 for Banks, and two 113-113. Gavern now has two surprise results in his last two fights, the other being a split decision victory over Manuel Quezada earlier this year.

What A Difference A Game Makes

by Siren1927

UFC 2010 Undisputed was released to widespread critical acclaim and fanfare from fans and journalists alike this week. Is it a coincidence that it has been released just a few days before the biggest grudge match in UFC history airs on PPV? Of course not.

Fight Night Round 4 was to be the jewel of the boxing series, the first fight night in three years. It was eagerly anticipated with fan forums buzzing with wish-lists, unconfirmed roster rumours and overall game play changes.

Then EA dropped their bombshell, there would be no button configuration in the game. Those fighters you would normally associate with the fight night series and boxing in general would not be included in the retail version of the game. Instead, should you want to own Oscar De La Hoya, James Toney (middleweight version) or Bernard Hopkins you would have to pay a combined total of around $15. Also there is no Floyd Mayweather, no David Haye, in fact there are very few of the top current crop of boxers in the game. Can you imagine UFC not having Lesnar, GSP and BJ Penn? Of course not because that would be stupid.

So on top of alienating 50% of its users by removing button configuration, EA also forced people to pay an extra $15 for content that should have been included at retail. Needless to say it was not the success it should have been. Eventually EA patched in a button configuration but it was far too late for most fans, including myself.

I am not even commentating on the Online game play, it was non-existent at time of release, EA used the fans as beta testers.

The commentary in Fight Night is tedious and repetitive, once you have played the game with around 8 different fights there is nothing that you have not heard at least twice. Couple that with the ESPN plugs and it becomes unbearable. There is no education from the commentators, they don’t really explain why one fighter has changed his game plan, or why someone has almost exclusively worked the body. They don’t explain the nuances of the sweet science, and one wonders if EA really care about the state of the game.

Compare that to UFC 2010. The first thing you notice when playing the game on the PS3 is the exclusive movies. Low and behold there you find some of the biggest fights in UFC history including two legendary wars. UFC 2010 is the undisputed winner.

The whole UFC game is one big promotional tool. The game itself is a pretty good game to be honest. THQ have integrated online fight camps, where you can meet up with online friends and train together to improve both of your fighters. THQ run online tournaments where you can earn actual prizes, which range from signed memorabilia to a UFC mug. Even if you lose in the first round, you still earn credits. Enough of which will eventually allow u to purchase UFC memorabilia.

The whole game is designed to promote the UFC product, no detail has been left unchecked. You get the feeling that Zuffa ordered THQ to spare no expense. They see the bigger picture, a great UFC game that hooks non-UFC fans eventually leads to more PPV sales and much more exposure. In order to bring in new fans, you have to have an outstanding product. Zuffa understood this and reacted accordingly.

Possibly the biggest promotional aspect of UFC 2010 is the commentary. Every move is covered with the utmost accuracy. When you counter an opponent the commentators explain how and why it happened. The commentary is intended to educate fans and ease them into the MMA world.

Zuffa saw exactly where EA had failed, and trod on a different path. UFC will no doubt get an extra few hundred thousand PPV buys for the next few months. It will die down eventually, but if this game permanently increases UFC PPV buy rates by 50,000, the game did its job.

Maybe it's time that Top Rank and Golden Boy got together and worked out the gaming industry for themselves, instead of allowing EA Sports to just make some money now and again. Don King attempted with his Prizefighter game, but it didn't take-off. With the marketing brilliance of both leading promotional companies, could they finally give something back to the fight fans?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let's Stop Playing The Bob Arum Game

by Paul Magno

“Yesterday I was lying, but today I’m telling the truth.” -- Bob Arum

It's become an inside joke among boxing fans.

"There goes Arum again...he's up to his old shenanigans." This is usually accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders and a knowing smirk.

Bob Arum is definitely another colorful character in a long line of shady boxing personalities, but it's time we start recognizing the reality behind the campy cliche. Arum is no caricature, no lovable scoundrel and definitely no friend of those who love the sport and care about the fighters who risk their lives in the ring.

He's been doing the dance for longer than many fans have been alive, but nothing has really changed about the man or the way he chooses to do business.

Arum has engaged in just about every confidence game one can think of in boxing, from the simple bait and switch to flat-out bribery, as was established by the US Department of Justice when he confessed to paying a one hundred thousand dollar bribe to the IBF in 1995 for getting them to approve a George Foremen-Axel Schultz title defense. One of his favorite tricks, though, is what I like to call the "Done Deal" scam.

The "Done Deal" almost exclusively happens in bouts where his guys face the greatest risk; The modus operandi is always similar. Almost as soon as negotiations for the fights are rumored, Arum runs to the press (usually a certain boxing website with the initials "BS" whose editorial process can also be referred to as "BS."). The "friendly" media outlet jumps on the story and prints the requisite, "Arum says fight is a done deal" story which intimates that everything is hammered out and only the non-Top Rank fighter's signature is needed to complete the deal.

All of this is news to the other fighter's management, though, as they were most likely not even aware that negotiations had begun, much less concluded...

The end result is usually a win-win for Arum. If the other fighter's team balks and walks away or if the negotiations naturally fall apart, it looks as though they were the ones backing down and acting cowardly; Arum's fighter gets credit for the win while never having to fight. If the fight goes through, Arum has already painted the other guys into a corner and has likely been in control of the negotiations throughout.

The most recent example of this was the proposed Nonito Donaire-Vic Darchinyan rematch, which was really just beginning to touch on some heavy revenue issues when Arum declared the fight a "done deal." A day or two after the "Done Deal" statement in BS (of course), the fight collapsed over those same hotly-contested matters. The impression left on some casual, lesser-informed fans was that Donaire was already signed on to fight and it was Darchinyan who walked away.

The truth of the matter, though, was that negotiations were still ongoing when Arum, probably sensing a falling apart of the proposed bout, went to the press (in breach of professional protocol) with his statement. As a matter of fact, sources say that Darchinyan's signature was the only one on the contract and that the fight fell apart before Donaire could even have a chance to sign.

There were also the cases of Shane Mosley vs. Top Rank's Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams vs. Arum-backed Kelly Pavlik where Arum had gone to the press early and often with the same stories of deals being reached when nothing could've been further from the truth. In the case of Mosley-Margarito, talks were re-established and the fight got made. The Williams-Pavlik fight, however, fell apart completely, a few times. The goal was to paint Williams as the one backing down, but Pavlik had taken so many missteps by then that few really blamed Williams for the failure to make the fight. Still, Arum took the microphone after Pavlik's annihilation of Miguel Espino and tried to back-door the "Done Deal" scam by re-writing history.

And then there's Arum's hate campaign against Floyd Mayweather, which may be Arum's most complete piece of work to date.

Arum somehow convinced a lot of the media and too many fans that Mayweather was running scared from Top Rank's Antonio Margarito and passing up on an 8 million dollar payday when the fact of the matter was that such a fight was impossible; Mayweather had just left Top Rank, was suing Arum and had the option to fight the lineal welterweight champ, Carlos Baldomir, for the same amount of money under his own promotional banner.

The Mayweather-Margarito dust-up was especially well-played by Arum. He had Mayweather tried, convicted and executed for something that never could've happened and a fight which Arum never even began to try and negotiate.

Then, of course, Arum and Floyd would cross paths later when a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout was being proposed. As usual, Arum was announcing a "done deal" just as the drug testing issue started to heat up. The intent was to make it look as though Team Mayweather suddenly brought up the issue after both sides had already agreed to fight. In reality, PEDs testing was on the table almost from the very beginning. The fact that Arum is keeping quiet about re-opened negotiations between Pacquiao and Mayweather is a good sign, but be wary of any "done deal" announcement from Arum that isn't accompanied by a similar announcement from Team Mayweather.

I don't necessarily blame the fighters for what their promoter has done in their name. Most are just trying to get the most of their short time in the sport and there are few promoters out there who will more viciously defend their fighters than Arum (Unless your name is Miguel Cotto and you're being fed to Manny Pacquiao, but that's a topic for another article.) Many fighters are probably unaware that anything shady is going on in their name. But, the fact of the matter is that every grease-ball move to advance one fighter is taking money from the pockets of someone actually doing it the right way.

And every shady "Done Deal" from Arum represents a fight being taken from the fans. It's an unprofessional, cynical attempt to "take his ball and go home" at the expense of everyone involved, from the fighters to the fans to the venues and cities that could benefit from the fight. It's Bob Arum putting himself and his ego ahead of everyone.

Boxing will never undergo a much-needed house cleaning as long as guys like Arum are in the driver's seat and, unfortunately, there are too many people, from fans right on down to media, who are more than willing to leave the driving to Arum.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Marquez and Vazquez End One Story; Perez and Mares Start Another

Los Angeles, CA- Fans in The Staples Center in LA witnessed the possible (some say hopeful) end of Israel Vazquez's (44-5, 33 KOs) long, accomplished career as heated rival, Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs), stopped him in three exciting rounds.

The bout was hardly dull, but it was a bit of a let-down as Vazquez seemed to be a step behind Marquez and appeared to be sporting fresh, barely-healed scar tissue above his left eye (which would be brutally ripped open in the first round).

After two relatively even rounds, Marquez put the pressure on in the third and dropped Vazquez, who was bleeding heavily from two cuts, one over each eye. Marquez put on the pressure and left the ref no option but to stop the fight halfway through the third.

After the bout, both fighters were eager to sign on for a fifth bout in their series, but Vazquez's manager, Frank Espinoza Jr., commented that this would be the last fight of his client's career.

In the televised opener, IBF Bantamweight champ, Yonnhy Perez (20-0-1, 14 KOs), fought to a majority draw with Abner Mares (20-0-1, 13 KOs) in a thrilling display of boxing professionalism.

Mares used his legs for the majority of the bout, opting to stick and move while Perez stalked him and tried to coax his younger rival into a back and forth ground war.

The beginning and end of the bout seemed to belong to Mares while the middle rounds were Perez's. The judges saw it 115-113 for Mares and 114-114 from the other two. The BTBC had it scored 116-112 for Mares.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Controversial Fight Series: Vazquez-Marquez III

With the fourth fight only around the corner, The Boxing Tribune's panel of judges take another look at Israel Vazquez's stunning last gasp victory over Rafael Marquez to win via split decision. But did Marquez do enough to win on the basis of the opening rounds? Dafs117, Siren1927 and Sooterkin are the judges and will decide if the right warrior got the nod in the best trilogy in living memory.

The Tiebreaker - WBC Super Bantamweight Title
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ (42-4, 31 KO, WBC Titleholder)
March 1, 2008 | Home Depot Center - Carson, CA

Round 1

"It's on." -- Al Bernstein
Siren 1927 -
"Rafael Marquez just edges the round in what is probably the tamest round of the trilogy, they only go to war for two of the three minutes, which in this series is quite disapointing!" 10-9 Marquez

Dafs117 -
"Vazquez starts on the inside, with Marquez looking to score with the jab. Marquez lands a sweet counter left after Vazquez misses with a left hook. Vicious left hook to the body from Marquez. Vazquez stuck with a jab, but fires back with some body work of his own. Marquez stuns Vazquez, but Vazquez comes back with an uppercut of his own. Vazquez is punishing Marquez on the inside, before Marquez rocks Vazquez with a hook. Great start." 10-9 Marquez

Sooterkin - "Bright start from both fighters, but Marquez edges the round with the better work behind the jab." 10-9 Marquez

Round 2

Siren1927 - "Great round with lively back and forth action. Both guys are really going at it, amazing action from both sides. 10-10 is probably fair, but as you all know we don't do even rounds in The Boxing Tribune." 10-9 Vazquez

- "Vazquez doubles up on the jab, and now they have a jabbing contest. Vazquez backs Rafael to the ropes, but Marquez wisely gets out quickly. A stiff jab from Marquez, and a right from Vazquez makes Marquez think twice about coming forward off the jab. Hook to the body from Vazquez, Marquez keeps jabbing. Those are just brutal jabs. Marquez is winning this round again. Vazquez shakes Marquez! Marquez shakes Vazquez! Monster left hook to the body from Marquez." 10-9 Marquez

Sooterkin -
"It's a level pegging round until the final minute or so, where Marquez's greater jab work and a huge left hook to the body wins him the round." 10-9 Marquez

Round 3

Siren1927 - "Marquez dominates the round and wins it on pure activity in my opinion. Another great round." 10-9 Marquez

Dafs117 - "From the 15 rounds that they've fought so far, we've learned that as hard as Marquez hits, Vazquez hits harder. As good a boxer as Vazquez is, Marquez is better. And it looks to stay that way here. They're trading inside again. Vazquez opens with a counter right. Vazquez is definitely the aggressor, but Marquez lands again with that 1-2 combo that Vazquez defended so well in the second fight. Hard right from Vazquez, and follows up with a left hook. The first low blow from Marquez. Just a warning this time. Slight edge to Vazquez." 10-9 Vazquez

Sooterkin - "The aggression from Vazquez topped with the accurate hooks and body work win him a very tough round that could really go either way." 10-9 Vazquez

Round 4

Siren1927 - "Marquez outboxes Vazquez for the majority of the round, before dropping him. Then with fifty seconds to go in the round, the fight finally wakes up as they both get hurt, swing for the fences and show us what the word heart actually means." 10-9 Marquez (-1 knockdown for Vasquez)

Dafs117 - "Long right from Vazquez lands, followed by a body attack. Nice right from Marquez, countered with a solid left from Vazquez. They trade their signature punches, Marquez's straight right and Vazquez's left hook. Marquez is back to controlling the fight with his jab. A left hook from Marquez stuns Vazquez, and a right hand to follow and down goes Vazquez! He's up and a little wobbly, but he comes back straight on Marquez! Amazing stuff, Marquez is wobbled! Left hook from Vazquez, right hand from Marquez! Left hook clatters Vazquez, and another right from Marquez! Right from Vazquez, uppercut from Marquez! BELL!" 10-9 Marquez (-1 knockdown for Vasquez)

Sooterkin - "The best round of the trilogy, as Marquez floors Vazquez with a solid right hand, before Vazquez comes off the canvas to wobble Marquez. Great stuff." 10-9 Marquez (-1 knockdown for Vasquez)

After 4 Rounds: Siren1927: 39-36 Marquez; Dafs117: 39-36 Marquez; Sooterkin: 39-36 Marquez;

Round 5

Siren1927 - "Another fantastic round, Izzy edged it on the basis of better work and more accurate power shots." 10-9 Vazquez

- "Just about recovered from the last round, ready for the next? Accurate combo from Marquez, but Vazquez comes back with a 1-2 of his own. This is incredible! Vazquez with an uppercut, Marquez with a left hook. Vazquez stings him with a short check hook. Big left hook from Vazquez! Marquez is wobbled, but lands a thudding body shot. Vazquez is now getting inside and doing his thing. Huge straight right from Marquez! Vazquez is getting beaten pretty soundly at this point. The jab is scoring, the right hand is now effective, and his left hook might even be outscoring him too." 10-9 Marquez

Sooterkin -
"Marquez with the better work again this round, working behind the jab and scoring to the body effectively." 10-9 Marquez

Round 6

Siren1927 - "Marquez starts well and controls the whole round until the last fifty seconds, where he's stunned by Vazquez for a second after a wonderful combination. However, it's not enough to take the round on my card." 10-9 Marquez

Dafs117 - "Out they come again, Vazquez throws a 1-2 and they keep trading, there are no breaks in action, nothing stops either of them from fighting forward. Vazquez is working the combinations much more than he has in the previous rounds. Marquez's jab has been amazing tonight, keeping Vazquez from fighting in the pocket for a long period of time. Stinging right hand from Vazquez, who hurts Marquez again! The tension is growing, and this is a close round. A Marquez round, but Vazquez is rocking Marquez and slowly getting himself back in the fight. My card is very wide towards Marquez, but every point has been earned." 10-9 Marquez

Sooterkin - "Vazquez stuns Marquez a couple of times in the round, and his body of work is greater than Marquez's jab work." 10-9 Vazquez

Round 7

Siren1927 - "Anybody got a coin? Vazquez dominates early but then Rafael comes back with a cracking left hook-straight right combo but then he's hurt by Vazquez and I'm mentally drained watching the fight. God knows how those two feel." 10-9 Vazquez

Dafs117 - "Vazquez and Marquez come out once again firing on all cylinders. Hard short right from Vazquez, who hurts Marquez again. Marquez is known for fading in these rounds. Vazquez is looking a lot better this round. Crunching right from Marquez to the side of the head then a shot to the chest. Vazquez throws two jabs and corners Marquez, who escapes once more. This is a super round for Vazquez, but Marquez comes back with a combo! Marquez hurts him again, left hook to the jaw! Marquez with a nasty uppercut! Marquez is measuring him! Hard shots land in bulk! Brilliant round!" 10-9 Vazquez

Sooterkin - "A thrilling round with back and forth action throughout, where Marquez seems to make a comeback to level up the round, but I don't think he's done enough." 10-9 Vazquez

Round 8

Siren1927 - "Pass me that coin again Dafs. I've given this to Izzy by the margin of a cigarette paper. Both of them trade bombs, both continue to steal the momentum from the other. If only all fights were like this." 10-9 Vazquez

Dafs117 - "Marquez with combos, and now they trade absolute bombs. Another hard-fought round, and this one has been really even. Vazquez scores with 1-2's, taking the lead. Big right from Vazquez. Marquez answers back! Marquez with hard shots on the inside, taking control once again. Can this get any better? Massive right from Vazquez! Right uppercut from Vazquez! These two men are warriors. Marquez is getting tagged!" Vazquez 10-9

Sooterkin -
"Vazquez is beginning to catch Marquez a lot now with big rights and uppercuts. Quite a big Vazquez round." 10-9 Vazquez

After 8 Rounds:
Siren1927: 76-75 Marquez; Dafs117: 77-74 Marquez; Sooterkin 76-75 Marquez;

Round 9

Siren1927 - "Marquez edges it for me by clearly hurting Vasquez at the end of the round. Otherwise its a coin toss again." 10-9 Marquez

Dafs117 - "Vazquez's eye looks quite bad. Marquez with a left hook, but Vazquez just won't stop pressurizing. Vazquez is controlling this round again, and he's taking any momentum from Marquez. The combos from Marquez aren't as quick as they were earlier. Vazquez drilled with a straight right, luckily for him the bell comes to save him." 10-9 Vazquez

Sooterkin - "Vazquez with the greater work, and Marquez looks a little tired as we approach the final stages of the fight." 10-9 Vazquez

Round 10

Siren1927 - "A close round in which Rafa shades for his beautiful combination punching. Pat Russel did the correct thing by taking a point off Marquez for the low blow. Is it just me or would any other referee bar Capuchino and Mercante have spoiled this fight? Marquez round." 10-9 Marquez [-1 deduction for Marquez]

Dafs117 -
"Vazquez putting the pressure on at the beginning of the tenth round. Marquez's jab is no longer halting Vazquez, as it's just not being thrown or landed much. Vazquez corners him again, but yet again Marquez gets out of there fast. Good shots from Rafael Marquez, a three-punch combo, all of it landing. Vazquez lands a right, and what, is that really what I think it is... A clinch! Marquez with a low blow, and that's the point deduction for Marquez. That could be a big deal come scorecards." 10-9 Marquez [-1 deduction for Marquez]

Sooterkin - "That point deduction could make a big difference to the final scorecards. Marquez wins the round, he looks to be back to his best." 10-9 Marquez [-1 deduction for Marquez]

Round 11

Siren1927 - "Vazquez takes the round for me, he just can't miss with that right hand at the moment and he is clearly dictating the pace in round eleven. Marquez comes back late but its just not enough to overshadow the body of work done earlier by Vasquez." 10-9 Vazquez

Dafs117 - "Vazquez and Marquez will not stop punching. It's special. It's historical. Stiff jab from Marquez, and then with a right. This is fantastic stuff. Vazquez races after Marquez and lands that trademark left hook that's been well defended from Marquez up until now." 10-9 Vazquez

Sooterkin - "It's an even round up until the final minute, where Vazquez presses Marquez and lands the cleaner shots." 10-9 Vazquez

Round 12

Siren1927 - "What a call by Pat Russell. Any other referee would have ended the fight at that knockdown. Instead, Pat used his common sense and allowed the last few seconds to let the fight finish. Izzy dominates this round add in the knockdown and Vasquez wins the fight on my card despite being behind the entire fight." 10-9 Vazquez [-1 knockdown for Marquez]

Dafs117 - "The crowd are going wild, on their feet cheering the warriors on. They touch gloves, and here we go! Vazquez smacks Marquez with a straight right hand and looks physically a lot stronger right now. Vazquez is absolutely owning it. Another right rocks Vazquez and the crowd can't believe it, and neither can I! Vazquez is destroying Marquez, who has no other option but to hold on. He can't do anything else. Vazquez with a 1-2, then a right on the ropes. Marquez hangs on! VAZQUEZ IS GOING FOR IT AND DRILLS HIM AGAIN! MARQUEZ GOES DOWN! THE BELL SOUNDS, WHAT A FIGHT! WHAT A FIGHT!" 10-9 Vazquez [-1 knockdown for Marquez]

Sooterkin - "Brilliant final round from Vazquez, who's hungry for the knockout and hunts down a demoralised Marquez who is hanging onto the ropes before being drilled by Vazquez and called a knockdown. Great round from Vazquez." 10-9 Vazquez [-1 knockdown for Marquez]

Official Scores: Max DeLuca 114-111 Vazquez; Tom Kaczmarek 114-111 Marquez; James Jen-Kin 113-112 Vazquez;

Israel Vazquez successfully defends his WBC title via split decision

BTBC Scorecards: Siren1927: 113-112 Vazquez; Dafs117 113-112 Vazquez; Sooterkin 114-111 Vazquez;

Israel Vazquez successfully defends his WBC title via unanimous decision

BTBC Combined Scorecard

Round 1 - 10-9 Marquez (0-3);
Round 2 - 10-9 Marquez (1-2);
Round 3 - 10-9 Vazquez (2-1);
Round 4 - 10-9 Marquez (0-3) [-1 knockdown for Vazquez];
Round 5 - 10-9 Marquez (1-2);
Round 6 - 10-9 Marquez (1-2);
Round 7 - 10-9 Vazquez (3-0);
Round 8 - 10-9 Vazquez (3-0);
Round 9 - 10-9 Vazquez (2-1);
Round 10 - 10-9 Marquez (0-3) [-1 deduction for Marquez];
Round 12 - 10-9 Vazquez (3-0);
Round 12 - 10-9 Vazquez (3-0) [-1 knockdown for Marquez];

Total: Vazquez 113-112;

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Midweek Hangover With Siren1927

by Siren1927

Can Katsidis Be Floyd's Gatti?

“I’ve been in a lot of fights, and every one has been the fight of my life. Every time I get in the ring I put my life on line, and if my heart was big enough, I’d give it to the world.”

Michael Katsidis had just been through five rounds of some of the most brutal action ever seen in a British ring with Graham Earl in what has become a forgotten classic. In a fight which saw both men down and badly hurt, Katsidis showed his huge heart in becoming the last man standing.

Cut under his right eye and with four separate cuts on his left eye, Katsidis battled through another fight of the year candidate with Czar Amonsot. Both men were hurt in the bout, but yet again, sheer heart and determination once again allowed Katisidis to prevail.

Down in the first round twice and seemingly on the verge of his first defeat, Katsidis rallied back to drop the then-lineal lightweight Champion Joel Casamayor, before finally succumbing to the future hall-of-famer in what many believe to be the last great performance of Casamayor’s career.

“I don’t think he’s afraid to lose, I think he’s more afraid of being in a bad fight.” Sooterkin, BTBC Member

Another loss in his next fight to Juan Diaz may have spelled the end of Katsidis young career, however wins over Angel Ramirez, Jesus Chavez and the unbeaten Vicente Escobedo put him back on the map and brought him to the UK to face Kevin Mitchell.

As we know Katsidis blew away Mitchell in three, but yet again, Katsidis had to battle back through adversity to win. His style has never changed; head up, look the other guy straight in the eye and out muscle him. Sometimes this hasn’t worked, but one thing it has always done is make it a real fight. It will drive the purists crazy but boxing needs excitement like Micheal Katsidis.

His fights bring in new fans, he is Mr. Excitement. And it doesn’t hurt that he is one of the most humble boxers around today, as he displayed after the Mitchell fight.

“I don’t care who the people are cheering for, there are 20,000 passionate people here cheering the sport that I love and that means everything to me, regardless of who their cheering for .”

Once every decade or so we unearth a special fighter, someone who through sheer excitement helps push the sport to a new era. While De La Hoya brought in the casual fans, Arturo Gatti is credited with keeping them hooked.

Similarly today we have Floyd Mayweather Jr., a man who has transcended the sport. Yet while Floyd brings in casual fans, his fights aren’t enough to keep them hooked. Can Katsidis be Floyd's Gatti?

Let's hope the powers that be realise what they have with Katsidis before its too late. He may not be the greatest boxer in the world, but for sheer heart, determination, and most importantly excitement, Michael Katsidis is pound-for-pound number one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Listen to the show HERE

Khan dominates Malignaggi
Why I'm not impressed with Victor Ortiz?
Why I don't want to see Marquez vs Vasquez IV?
Yonnhy Perez vs Abner Mares Breakdown
Call in line: 206-202-4468

Golden Boy Will Ruin The 140 lb. Division

by Paul Magno

There's a party at 168 lbs. with six of the division's best currently involved in a hotly-contested tournament that has captured the attention of fight fans from around the globe.

In a true win-win, these six world class elites are getting the exposure they deserve and making the money they want while giving the fans the quality match-ups they crave. The World Classic Super Six Tournament really should serve as the template for the entire sport.

Dropping 4 divisions to the South, we find a jr. welterweight division which is arguably even richer in depth than the aforementioned super middleweight class. But, while the 168 lb. crew hammered out their differences and got their act together to give the fans a treat, the 140 lb. division seems to be spinning its wheels and providing more excuses than quality encounters.

So, what's the deal?

Aside from the obvious weight difference, the only real distinction between the two divisions is that the super middleweights are free from Golden Boy and Top Rank fighters and that fact, alone, may be the difference between getting something done and just pushing around promises and reams of hype.

Golden Boy currently has its grip on three of the top 10 jr. welterweights in the world and we're already seeing the customary foot-dragging of a promotional giant looking to protect its investment at the risk of denying the sport's fans.

With Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz in their pocket, Golden Boy opened its checkbook and bought off the one fly in the ointment, Marcos Maidana. The Argentine slugger, who had beaten Ortiz into submission and had become the mandatory for Khan's WBA title, was offered a one year, three fight promotional contract by Oscar De la Hoya's promotional outfit in what many are saying is more "step aside" deal than real acquisition.

So, instead of Maidana-Khan, which was mandated and a legal necessity, we got Maidana-Victor Cayo. But wait, there's more...

After crushing Cayo, Maidana was lined up to fight current division top dog, Timothy Bradley. Outstanding match-up and a real consolation prize for those wanting Khan-Maidana, right?

Well, hold your horses...this is big time boxing. Maidana pulled out of the Bradley fight just as the promotional hype was to begin. Citing a back injury, Maidana decided to not go ahead with the plan...and why not? All he has to do is cool his heels for the next few months and he stands to make a mint of a payday with a still-mandated, more winnable shot at Khan.

Short-term problem solved for Golden Boy; Bye bye Marcos Maidana for the fans....and, just like that, one of the division's most exciting fighters has been muzzled and leashed.

Khan is now free to sit on Golden Boy's pile of cash while fighting division re-treads and smaller exports from the lightweight division. Rumor has it that Michael Katsidis is being talked about next.

Now, switch to Victor Ortiz, who played Rihanna to Maidana's Chris Brown last year and is still being shoved down the throats of the boxing public via Golden Boy's hypnotic hold on HBO.

No fights are being rumored for Ortiz, but you can bet that no real challenges are being batted about at Golden Boy headquarters.

With a division full of home run hitters, Khan and Ortiz, two of the division's brightest talents, are looking for batting practice with the bat boy.

Here's hoping that Golden Boy wakes up at some point and realizes the lesson learned from the super middleweight class; You can make more money by giving the fans what they want than by trying to manipulate them into buying the hype.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nothing Different From Dominant Ortiz

by Dafs117

Victor Ortiz won for the third time since Marcos Maidana handed him a heavy sixth-round technical knockout beating eleven months ago, and despite shutting out a cooked Nate Campbell, Ortiz showed no signs that he’s adapted his predictable style that came undone against a hungrier, less-skilled opponent.

His ferociousness has made him a marketable fighter, along with a backstory which will always make fans root for him. But when he fell short of the promise land, his bloodthirstiness deteriorated into a tentative boxer that lacks killer instinct, which normally are the first words associated with the Golden Boy prospect.

Ortiz’s profile will always be overshadowed by his infamous post-fight interview with Max Kellerman, where he let slip the worrying quote for any talented boxer “I don’t think I should get beat up like that.” There will always be a question mark over his mentality, which made some experts pick Nate Campbell to roll back the years and lure him into a testing brawl.

Like Bigswa mentioned on his exceptional podcast, Golden Boy would not choose Campbell for Ortiz unless they were utterly convinced that he was shot. They are still in the re-mapping process with Ortiz, and were trying to get some rounds against a faded name fighter to re-build his status.

Campbell clearly has no business at 140 pounds, and had nothing in the ring. But what left me disappointed with Ortiz’s performance was his lack of desire to make a statement as he made no effort to chase the stoppage, a complete contrast to promotional light welterweight rival Amir Khan.

I just get the feeling that Richard Schaefer is waiting for Devon Alexander to drop one of his titles and gift-wrap it to Ortiz to hold hostage on HBO World Championship Boxing. After re-watching his performance, I can’t help but predicting that Ortiz will fold against anyone who offers a little bit of pressure, someone who holds a slight advantage in either speed or power.

There’s one fight that Victor Ortiz badly needs, and that’s a rematch with Maidana. Maidana stole Ortiz’s pride, taking away the lighthearted side that we saw a peek of when he whooped overmatched step-ups Jeffrey Resto and Mike Arnaoutis.

And until he defeats Maidana, I can’t see Ortiz competitive against any of the titlists. When he’s matched with any resistance, who knows how Ortiz will react. He has the talent to mix it up at the top, and he showed glimpses of it against Campbell as he perfected combinations with slick movement. But I don't think he knows it. Unless he finds that ruthlessness that made him an awkward opponent, or maybe even a simple change in setup, Ortiz will suffer in the shadows of Golden Boy's new blue-eyed boy, Amir Khan.

Weekend Hangover With Siren1927

by Siren1927

Last night, undefeated UK prospect Kevin Mitchell lost his first professional bout against Aussie hardman Michael Katsidis. Looking at both fighters records it should not be a real surprise. Yet once again, Frank Warren’s fantastic promotional skills had us all believing that Mitchell was deservedly a 2 to 1 favourite. Mitchell’s only recognizable previous opponents were Carl Johanneson and an over-hyped Breidis Prescott, was facing a fighter who has been at the higher echelons of the division since he fought Joel Casamayor back in March ‘08, and really had no business being favourite.

Katsidis, known and loved by hardcore fans around the world for his crude, all-action brawling style, relies on just four things in the ring; heart, pressure, power and one hell of a chin. Katsidis does not box, he walks straight forward and hammers you with punches. His only defense is his huge heart, and his own belief that he will knock you out before you knock him out. Some call him the modern Arturo Gatti, and it's probably too early to say, but he is certainly making a case for himself.

In face of such a challenge, how does Mitchell prepare for by far his biggest test to date? He goes out on the town during training, and just hours before the fight he was seen with a group of his “closest friends” in a shopping mall in London, as Colin Hart reported on UK Radio Station TalkSport early this morning.

25-year-old Mitchell said after the fight that his trainer had told him five weeks ago "you have not prepared for this fight properly, you keep messing around." For professional sportsmen, this stern warning from your trainer should kick you into gear and make you realise that you haven't grafted enough to reach his demands. But Mitchell thought differently.

"There were things I wasn't doing and I was having a few late nights and this has given me a kick up the backside. But I've got a young family and there have been a lot of rows that people don't understand about. That's made things hard. One minute I'm living at my mum's, the next I'm back at my flat."

Which begs the question as to why Mitchell was not locked away in a training camp? We have heard so much about how he struggled to earn a living working on the railway tracks while injured. Why did this young fighter who had his chance at glory, totally disregard his training, his promoter, and most importantly, the 14,000 adoring fans who parted with their hard earned wages to watch him fight?

This is not about a fighter losing, a loss is nothing, many great fighters have lost. Sugar Ray Robinson lost 16 times and yet he is the greatest boxer of all time. It is about a boxer who has totally disregarded the fans, his associates and embarrassed himself in the process.

Micheal Katsidis locked himself away for three months in Thailand doing nothing but preparing for this fight. He also has a young family, but he respects his loyal fans back at home, and wanted to prove that he still belonged at the top of the division and was focused on the task ahead. This is the reason why whenever Katsidis loses there is no backlash. We know that he comes to fight, we know he will sacrifice everything before and during the fight.

As fans, that’s all we ask, and personally, I don’t think its too much to ask for.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Talk is Cheap: Khan and Ortiz Dominate Malignaggi and Campbell

New York, NY- Paulie Malignaggi and Nate Campbell, two of boxing's best talkers, had the general public believing that they had a real chance of beating their younger, more naturally gifted rivals on Saturday night.

However, once the bell rang and the fights actually began, we saw that talk is indeed cheap.

In the HBO Boxing After Dark main event, Amir Khan (23-1, 17 KOs) made his UD debut and easily handled a game, but over matched Paulie Malignaggi (27-4, 5 KOs).

From the opening bell on, Khan proved to be too strong, too fast and too disciplined for his rival. Malignaggi was hit hard and often as he tried to box, but simply had no solution for Khan's hand speed and physical strength.

After ten and a half one-sided rounds, referee Steve Smoger stopped the contest after a particularly hard shot sent Malignaggi to the ropes.

Post-fight, Khan expressed an interest in fighting Marcos Maidana next and eventually unify the jr. welterweight division.

In the opening bout of the telecast, Victor Ortiz (27-2-1, 21 KOs) was also too big, strong and quick for his foe.

Nate Campbell (33-6-1, 25 KOs) spent most of the fight trying to chase a mobile Ortiz down while getting caught with sharp counters in return. "The Galaxxy Warrior" never could corner Ortiz and failed to apply the pressure that seemed to be part of his game plan. The only knockdown of the fight was against Campbell; a dubious flash knockdown in the first.

Ortiz cruised to a one-sided decision by the scores of 100-89, 100-89 and 99-90. The BTBC had it scored 100-89, also for Ortiz.

Katsidis Disposes Mitchell In Three

A monster left hook and a barrage of brutality was enough for Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22 KO) to score a devastating third-round technical knockout win away from home against Kevin Mitchell (31-1, 23 KO) to position himself as a mandatory for the Marquez-Diaz II winner.

Katsidis landed the harder shots in the opening two rounds, and in the third, Katsidis staggered Mitchell very early and kept up the pressure to take him out at the end of the third.

Mitchell didn't back down though, deciding to trade as his legs continued to wobble. But Mitchell was outclassed as Katsidis continued to stun the Englishman with heavy shots before referee Dave Parris stopped the bout with Mitchell still unsteady.

On the undercard, Derek Chisora (13-0, 8 KO) blasted out Danny Williams (41-9, 31 KO) in the second round. Williams weighed in at a career-high 275 pounds and offered no resistance in what is likely to be his last professional contest.

James DeGale (7-0, 5 KO), Frankie Gavin (7-0, 6 KO) and Billie Joe Saunders (6-0, 3 KO) all impressed against domestic cans. Only Billy Joe Saunders gained valuable rounds as DeGale and Gavin were badly undermatched.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kevin Mitchell: The Modern Day Cinderella Man

by Dafs117

A year and a half ago, Kevin Mitchell’s dream was over. A persistent hand injury forced him to take a lengthy layoff, flirting with retirement as he slaved on the train tracks to get by. It was set to be a sad end to a promising career which had already surpassed domestic level.

Mitchell persevered through the tough times, but was still struggling to make ends meet. After his hand had fully healed, Frank Warren knew that it was time to turn his undefeated prospect into a top 10 contender. The introduction of Jimmy Tibbs was an inspired change, as the veteran domestic trainer polished the reckless wild slugger into a well-rounded boxer.

Tibbs' re-branding process of Mitchell started with adding a more efficient jab and straight right hand to his arsenal. After successful public sparring sessions against Lanquaye Wilson and Rudy Encarnarcion, Tibbs regenerated Mitchell’s ability to find angles from the amateur days into an effective, multi-dimensional ‘Dagenham Destroyer’.

And on December 5, those world title aspirations were ignited again, this time at lightweight. He gave Breidis Prescott the boxing lesson that rival Amir Khan was supposed to play out in 2008, impressively out-shining Khan who headlined the card that night.

Mitchell could go one step further than Khan with a win over Michael Katsidis, a fighter that has constantly called out Khan to no prevail.

Say what you want about Katsidis’ goofy helmet, the guy comes to fight. His electrifying fights with Joel Casamyor, Graham Earl and Czar Amonsot has made Katsidis a fan favourite, gathering more tags as the modern day Arturo Gatti every time he steps into the square circle.

In his 28 professional outings, there has not been much ‘D’ from Katsidis. He prefers to walk through punches to land his own bombs, and this proved to be his downfall in his biggest career fights. Against the underrated then-champion Joel Casamayor,
Katsidis was flattened twice in the first, before weathering the early storm to floor Casamayor in the sixth. However, the lack of defense allowed Casamyor to consistently land power punches which drained Katsidis, forcing a stoppage in the tenth round.

The story wasn’t too different in the fight with Juan Diaz. Diaz threw quick 1-2 combinations before spinning away from Katsidis, who could not block any punches thrown by Diaz in the earlier rounds. Diaz utilized the jab to full effect, keeping Katsidis at bay to win a deserved split decision. It wasn’t the case that Diaz won the fight, it was more of what Katsidis could have polished since his defeat to Casamayor.

Since then, Katsidis has hammered home two impressive, but gruelling wins over a post-prime Jesus Chavez, and contender Vicente Escobedo, who exposed the flaws that Team Mitchell will be hoping to capitalise on at Upton Park come May 15.

Despite his background, the media have continued to turn a blind eye on Mitchell by concentrating on the Olympic silver medallist, Khan. This is Mitchell's chance to fill in Khan's spot as he plys his trade across the pond, completing his fairytale story in the process.