Tag Archives: Boxing

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Boxing’s Prospects Fail to Make It to the Promised Land

by Paul Magno

Something’s been happening to boxing’s young prospects.

Actually, something’s not happening to them: They’re not winning.

The latest example was in this past Saturday’s Latin Fury 10 PPV, which saw highly-regarded Lightweight prospect, acosta-antillonUrbano Antillon, taste the canvas, and defeat, for the first time against the unknown Venezuelan stylist, Miguel Acosta.

On a personal note for Antillon, he failed in his attempt to win the vacant Interim WBA Lightweight title and failed to live up to the hype that had him regarded by Larry Merchant of HBO as a “can’t miss” future superstar.

However, in the big picture, Antillon’s inability to cope with simple lateral movement spoke of a greater problem behind the scenes of the sport. It spoke of a future generation of star athletes who are simply not being taught the skills to go along with their athletic promise.

The list of failed prospects in recent weeks is almost comical:

*Well-regarded amateur stand-out, Juan Carlos Velasquez, is defeated by Mexican journeyman, Jose Beranza, on Friday Night Fights. Velasquez actually seemed to be shocked and surprised that Beranza would fight back.

*Colombian banger, and destroyer of fellow prospect, Amir Khan, Breidis Prescott is outpointed by Miguel Vazquez, basically, because he had no idea how to deal with Vazquez’s head movement.

*Golden Boy’s Victor Ortiz is battered and psychologically torn down by Marcos Maidana, the first fighter with the nerve to actually keep fighting when confronted with the force of a “future superstar.”

*Alfredo Angulo is bested by Kermit Cintron because of his utter inability to deal with lateral movement, even when that lateral movement comes from a non-speedster like Cintron.

*Deandre Latimore is out-slugged by, of all people, a flat-footed and immobile Cory Spinks. deandre_latimore

One by one, the prospects are falling from contention and they’re not being replaced by veteran stars like in the case of Bernard Hopkins’ one-sided schooling of Kelly Pavlik.

Many of these young talents are being beaten by the products of hardcore boxing gyms in Latin America. They’re being beaten by fighters who, 10 or 20 years ago, would’ve been little more than a snack for talented athletes on their way to titles.

So, what’s the problem? What’s happening to our young lions?

Part of the problem rests in the fact that “old school” boxing trainers are mostly a thing of the past in the United States. For every Freddie Roach, there are a couple dozen trainers who would be better-suited working an aerobics class.

Serious boxing gyms are disappearing and the quality trainers are literally dying off.

There simply aren’t enough of the blood-and-guts Teddy Atlas-types who will take the time to teach their kids solid fundamentals and the value of being mentally prepared as a professional.

Instead, they are fed into an amateur system which now values arm-punches and “back-foot” fighting over a professional defense and a workable inside game.

In the modern amateur game, points are valued more than power and a light jab is a bigger asset than solid body punching.

It’s no wonder young fighters seem to be lacking a certain degree of mental toughness these days.

The second reason for this apparent failure of the young prospects has to do with our culture.

We are in a culture of instant gratification where anything worth having better be had right now.

It takes a lifetime to become a fundamentally solid professional boxer. It’s something that takes blood, sweat and tears. Hour after hour is spent going over one basic move, until it’s perfected.

Unfortunately, in a prize-fighting world of flailing, crude UFC brawls and “extreme” instant gratification, many young people simply don’t have the patience or dedication to sweat for hours at a time on something as mundane as learning how to walk the ring.

The scary part is that, at some point, those boxers who have taken the time to learn their craft, will retire, leaving behind this crop of talented, but not fundamentally sound pretenders.

Then, what will boxing look like?

Discuss This Topic on the BTBC Message Board!

Madcow’s Standing 8 Count (6/29/09)

by Madcow

Aside from actually being written, this week’s column will be a little different.

Last week, as you all know, Michael Jackson died. I have had a special relationship throughout my life with madcow11Jackson. No, I never got to visit Neverland ranch as a child and I was never able to share a can of Jesus Juice with the “one-gloved-one.”

My connection with Jackson isn’t even about music. Actually, I’m luke warm to his talents.

No. My link with Jackson goes directly through Lori C, Madcow’s first love and a very fine looking High School Junior with bubble gum lip gloss and a teddy bear backpack.

I had taken “Ms. C” to the Junior Prom and, to spare all the details, that was the night your favorite bovine became a man.

On the way home, I turned on the radio in my clunker in absolute glee and the first song on the radio was “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. Not my type of music, but on that particular night, it was the greatest song I had ever heard.

So, this column is dedicated to Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean,” and beautiful Lori C, who was more woman at 17 than all 3 of my wives put together. But enough with this sappy crap.

In a “Thriller,” Marcos Maidana overcame knockdowns and all obstacles to force Victor Ortiz into submission. Now, after an embarrassing quit job and a non-fighter-like post-fight interview, Ortiz has to seriously take a look at the “Man in the Mirror” and decide if he really wants to continue fighting or if he just wants to “Beat It.

Smooth Criminal,” Oscar De la Hoya desperately tried to spin Ortiz’s quit job into something quite the opposite, but nobody is buying it. Overall, it hasn’t been a good time to be a Golden Boy prospect. Abner Mares split, Ortiz was just crushed and “King of Pop,” James Kirkland is eating bologna and mayonaise sandwiches behind bars.

Remember the Time” when PPV dates were reserved for only the elite fights, the best of the best? The Latin Fury show this Saturday was just, plain “Bad.” I would like to run into the chump who paid 35 bucks to see this suck-fest so I can sell him some bumper car tickets at Neverland Ranch. Wake me up when Juanma Lopez starts fighting someone with a pulse.

Arthur Abraham defended his title against some guy named Oral on Showtime Saturday. I’m sorry, but the only thing I’m watching with the name “Oral” on it is a PPV movie from The Spice Channel.

Everything else this Summer has been a big let-down. Cancelled or postponed fights, combined with weak matchups. Boxing is in a serious “Jam” and needs to fix things fast or, maybe next year, there won’t be anyone buying these shows for broadcast.

Well, seeing that its been a slow news Summer and that I’ve exhausted my Michael Jackson references, I think I’ll end this special edition of Madcow’s Standing 8 Count.

Besides, I’ve just called the escort service and told them to send their best; Doesn’t matter if they’re “Black or White,” I just “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’.” Now, “Leave Me Alone.”

RIP Michael

Urgent!

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-No Flame Wars
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The BTBC Boxing Community is looking to expand into something truly special and we need good, dedicated and loyal boxing fans to round out our membership roster.

Come and Visit Us: www.btbc.proboards.com

Madcow’s Standing 8 Count (6/8/09)

by Madcow

Here I am, your favorite bovine boxing columnist, rockin’ you like a mother frickin’ hurricane, with several axes to grind and a massive inferiority complex (not to mention a substance abuse problem, a weight problem, severalmadcow11 dozen outstanding parking tickets and a sexual addiction that makes David Carradine look like Fred Rogers)!

Sorry for last week’s lack of a column, but I was knee-deep in Polynesian trim and I honestly didn’t feel like writing another column on a slow news week.

But then, as if delivered from heaven directly to my bloodshot eyes, David Haye gives me enough material for several month’s worth of columns!

By now, I’m sure you all know, but Haye pulled out of his Heavyweight title fight against Wladimir Klitschko, leaving behind a stadium’s worth of sold tickets, several million dollars and about 50,000 dumb T-shirts where Haye is ripping the heads off of the Klitschko Bros.

Now, it’s just Haye who’s getting a virtual decapitation from fans and media for talking so much trash and backing out at the last minute.

Don’t buy the injury talk, this Madcow can smell cold feet when their rubbed up against his nose. Haye wrote a check that his sack couldn’t cash.

Now, Wlad has an opponent in Ruslan Chagaev who may have Hepatitis, but isn’t suffering from “yellow” fever. I say Klit, as a punishment, makes Haye fight Chris Arreola, Alexander Povetkin and Samuel Peter before getting back into contention.

All in all, though, this is a good thing since it saves me the 5 minutes the fight would’ve lasted before Klitschko separated Haye’s flapping jaw from his head.

Ahhhhh. It’s good to be back!

Message boards and websites are on fire all over the net about the upcoming Floyd MayweatherJuan Manuel Marquez fight. I’ve heard both sides and here’s the official decision from Madcow:

Mayweather’s entitled to a tune-up fight and even a mini-Marquez is not bad at all for a tune-up. If Mayweather isn’t making a serious effort to fight someone named Pacquiao, Cotto, Mosley or Williams next, then he deserves the wrath of the world.

Doesn’t it seem that Manny Pacquiao’s people know deep down inside that the dog and pony show is just about up? His people want nothing to do with a real Welterweight fight, they’re already dismissing the idea of a Mayweather fight and they’re going to price themselves out of any fight against a legit 140 lb. fighter.

On a similar note, if any Welter melts down to meet Pacquiao’s crazy demands, they are goofy and deserve the dehydrated beating they’ll get. Hear that, Shane Mosley?

David Tua announced that he’ll officially be changing his ring name from “Tuaman” to “The Tuaminator.” Can Madcow make a few more name change suggestions? How about “Tua Years Since He’s Last Fought,” “It’s Tua Bad He Doesn’t Get Off His Fat Ass and Fight, ” or “I Wouldn’t Pay Tua Cents to Watch Him Fight Shane Cameron?”

Alfredo Angulo, buddy, how the hell could you lose to Kermit “I’m Too Sensitive” Cintron?

Kelly Pavlik re-signed with Top Rank after they spent the last 18-months burying the kid against weak opposition on bogus cards and allowing him to get within spitting distance of a slick spoiler like Bernard Hopkins. Maybe Pavlik is the “take the money and run” type of fighter after all. Kelly, how many pick up trucks and “Best of Bob Seeger” CDs can you buy?

John Ruiz is still whining about not getting another shot at the Heavyweight title and about not getting the respect he thinks he deserves. Well, this cure for insomnia has had almost a dozen world title fights in his putrid career and, combined, they’ve produced less excitement than the first round of any James Kirkland bout. Go away, Ruiz and take your garbage attitude and style with you. You are to Boxing what Stryper was to Death Metal.

Alright, kiddies, all out of venom for this week. See ya next Sunday and, remember, support the BTBC. I have it on good word that this Summer will make or break our community. Let’s keep stickin’ it to the man. F*ck You Fightnews and Max Boxing! Madcow’s gonna rape Boxingscene’s mother!

Peace and Love.

Monthly Awards- May ’09

Fighter of the Month:

Manny Pacquiao- This was a no-brainer.

With Pacquiao’s 2nd round destruction of Ricky Hatton, to pick anyone else as FOM would be a crime. While paqhatdmany felt that Pacquiao would win handily, few thought that he would dominate so quickly and so violently.

The talk around boxing is that Manny’s trying to lure Welterweights Miguel Cotto or Shane Mosley down to a catchweight of 143-142 lbs. If that’s the case, expect Manny to have a better chance of doing to them what he did to Hatton than if he had to fight them on equal terms.

While the catchweght bouts would make money and be smart business, here’s hoping that Pacquiao takes his role as lineal 140 lb. title seriously and decides to defend it against some of the best in the Jr. Welterweight division.

And, of course, hopefully Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s in his plans as well…

Bum of the Month:

The WBA– The oldest sanctioning body deserves this dubious honor for putting up with one of the most wbafrustrating title reigns in recent memory- The title reign of Ruslan Chagaev.

With all the injuries and illnesses, it’s about time the WBA puts its foot down and officially strips this reluctant warrior. Chagaev has only defended the title twice in two years and has repeatedly pushed back or completely pulled out of big fights. To have him wearing their belt makes the entire organization look bad.

Make Nikolai Valuev the full champ. While Valuev is an abomination as well, at least he’ll fight once in awhile…

And while you’re at it, WBA, please get rid of those stupid “Super” and “Regular” Champion designations- It makes you look desperate for sanctioning fee money…

The BTBC Thread of the Month:

Money May vs. Kenny

http://www.btbc.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=1376

by: LatinAce

The Brian Kenny/Floyd Mayweather interview heats up the board and inspires debates ranging from blue corner1Mayweather’s resume and Kenny’s credentials to the upcoming Mayweather/Marquez bout and the general state of the Welterweight division.

Love him or hate him (and it’s mostly the latter), Floyd Mayweather inspires heated debate.

Floyd Mayweather Jr: Master of Space and Time?

by Paul Magno

For the critics of Floyd Mayweather Jr., there seems to be no middle-ground; No possibility whatsoever that may-hatwhat they say and what they’ve heard is not the absolute gospel.

Mayweather ducked all the best fighters at Welterweight…and that’s the end of the conversation for them.

They point to names like Cotto, Mosley and Margarito and then point to Mayweather’s ring record. “He fought none of them! None of the best Welterweights of today!”

But when we look deeper and dig a little further we begin to see the holes in their arguments.

The timelines don’t match up and for Mayweather to have truly fought the list of fighters he allegedly ducked, it would’ve required him to do some time-bending that would put to shame anything ever written by H.G. Wells.

Floyd Mayweather is an outstanding fighter, but he is most definitely no match for the space-time continuum.

So, timeline and ring records in hand, I’m going to run through the list of fighters that Mayweather is accused of ducking and demonstrate how things aren’t always as they appear to be and that perception sometimes overrides reality.

I intend to show that the fighters in question were, for the most part, fringe players when Mayweather was active and, therefore, not even worthy of a fight, much less fearsome enough to be ducked.

I’ll cover the portion of his career from April of 2006, as Mayweather prepared to fight Zab Judah in his first major bout at Welterweight until his official retirement after the Ricky Hatton bout in December of 2007.

Antonio Margarito

 The tale of Mayweather ducking Margarito has been passed down from message board to message board and margarito2from blog to blog, but it has very little validity when examined.

When Mayweather was about to fight Judah, Margarito was just coming off a fourteen month layoff and had just defended his WBO title against dubious challenger, Manuel Gomez.

Margarito would go on to take another ten month hiatus before fighting an, at the time, unknown Joshua Clottey. Margarito was being outclassed early on until Clottey suffered injuries to his hands and had to spend the last two-thirds of the bout just surviving. It was hardly a star-making performance by “The Tijuana Tornado.”

Margarito would follow the Clottey win with a loss to Paul Williams followed by a comeback blow-out against journeyman Golden Johnson.

Margarito’s popularity and credibility as a top challenger wouldn’t spike until his win over Miguel Cotto- about 8 months after Mayweather’s retirement.

While Mayweather was chasing the lineal 147 lb. championship and beating Ring Magazine’s #1 and #2 ranked Welterweights at the time, Margarito was well in the background as an inactive fringe champion who was only known among a relative few hardcore fans and had yet to set himself apart.

Shane Mosley

The ducking of “Sugar Shane” accusation is a relative new one, but let’s examine the time line of this one as well.Margarito Mosley Boxing

When Mayweather was staking his claim in the division, Mosley was one division to the North at 154 going toe-to-toe with Fernando Vargas in a pair of bouts.

Mosley then came down to 147 where he had a very impressive performance against Luis Collazo.

However, a month before Mayweather’s retirement, Mosley would lose a close unanimous decision to Miguel Cotto.

In reality, Mayweather and Mosley only shared the division for about ten months- a period of time that saw Mosley win one and lose one.

This hardly established a burning case for a Mayweather-Mosley showdown.

Paul Williams

Frankly put, Williams and Mayweather only shared a prominent role in the Welterweight williamsXdivision for about five months, between his win over Margarito and his stunning upset loss to Carlos Quintana.

Mayweather could’ve rushed in and forced a fight with the tall, awkward southpaw, but nobody was rushing to fight Williams and the upset loss effectively cut him from the picture for the time being.

Miguel Cotto

Cotto wasn’t even in the same division as Mayweather until a month after Mayweather became the lineal world CottoXchamp by outclassing Baldomir. That adds up to about a year where both fighters were even in the same division.

Cotto earned his spot at the top of 147 by beating Judah and Mosley in exciting, well-attended, but ultimately disappointing PPV shows.

Mayweather, in almost direct point/counterpoint was busy taking part in the biggest PPV of all-time (vs. Oscar de la Hoya) and a near-million seller (vs. Hatton).

By the time Cotto had established himself as a player at Welterweight, Mayweather already had plans to get out while still young.

Could Mayweather have turned down the Oscar and Hatton fights to have it out with Cotto? Of course…but what fighters in history would turn down 20 million dollar checks and mega-events in favor of a third of the money and one-eighth the publicity?

Final Analysis

When looking back on Mayweather’s recent career, we have to be careful to put things into their proper perspective and clearly analyze what went down- not with the negative benefit of hindsight, but with the ability to fairly see things as they were.

When Mayweather first moved up to Welterweight, he called out a Zab Judah who had just ripped Cory Spinks to shreds and was ranked on many pound-for-pound lists. Judah was, far and away, the consensus #1 Welterweight in the world.

Judah ended up being upset by Carlos Baldomir and the the Argentinian became lineal champ.

Mayweather beat Judah first and then went after Baldomir to complete his sweep of Ring Magazine’s top two mayweather2arated Welters- Regardless of what would later on happen to the careers of the two Mayweather victims, they were considered the top 2 at the time.

Then, the real public relations problems began for Mayweather.

The newly-crowned lineal champ cashed in on his growing fame by opting for a huge money fight against De la Hoya; A fight that everyone from 140 to 154 would gladly have taken instead of a mandatory defense for a fraction of the money.

The Hatton fight followed. Another blockbuster payday for a fighter just starting to make the mega-bucks of some of the other stars of the sport.

If Mayweather’s guilty of anything it’s trying to cash in on a lifetime of hard work in order to secure his financial future after retirement.

This is a crime that, in my opinion, is 100% forgivable in a sport that is famous for not taking care of its own after they cease to be vital.

Mayweather could’ve insisted on fighting relative unknowns for fractions of what he could’ve made elsewhere, but what fighter given the same circumstances would do that? Right…none.

So, while the name Floyd Mayweather may have a visceral effect in your belly and cause you to explode in a rage of self-righteous condemnation, I ask you to think.

Are the timelines matched-up properly?

Is it fair to ask a fighter to give up his biggest paydays in favor of bouts with your personal favorites?

Is it intellectually honest to expect a 2006 Floyd Mayweather to beat 2009’s best Welterweights?

Step aside from the hyperbole and mob mentality when it comes to Floyd and put some serious analysis behind the rhetoric.

We are unfairly putting Mayweather into the no-win situation of having to defend himself against allegations of ducking the best; Not the best fighters of his time, because he did beat them, but the fighters that would eventually go on to be the best welterweights nearly three years later.

Mayweather can do a lot of things, but time travel is not one of them.