Tag Archives: DeAndre Latimore

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?

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The Standing 8 Count (4/26/09)

by Madcow

Ahhhh….There’s nothing like a week off to really make a man feel at ease with the world. I was feeling a little guilty at madcow112first, but then I thought to myself, “Hey! You ain’t getting paid!” That made me feel a lot better.

Is there anyone who gets knocked out better than Jermain Taylor? I mean, look at his face and his body when he gets whooped! He gets this blank look in his eyes and his body crumples like one of my used kleenex. Now, there’s a man who has the decency to look whooped when he was whooped.

Congratulations to Carl Froch who followed the perfect strategy for beating “The Head of Block from Little Rock”: Throw punches and wait until Taylor gets tired and starts running into them. But, sorry, “Cobra,” you are still not “worthy” of a fight with Joe Calzaghe. It’ll take 10 more years and a loss to Sven Ottke to qualify you for “Super” Joe.

This Just In: Juan Manuel Lopez has just broken into Gerry Penalosa‘s house and his beating the Filipino up at his dinner table… And Penalosa still won’t go down!

Gerry Penalosa is a freaking robot. I’ve never seen anyone outside of a Friday the 13th movie take so much punishment and still keep coming forward.

Penalosa’s toughness aside, Lopez is a beast and will massacre most of 122 and 126.

Speaking of massacres, Allan Green finally found his mojo and starched Carlos DeLeon Jr. on the undercard of Froch/Taylor. This is the first time I’ve seen the potential from Green that so many claimed he had. Where was this version of Green when he “pussed” his way around the ring against Edison Miranda? Maybe the section of colon he had removed? May I suggest a similar ass operation for Andre Ward and Eddie Chambers?

Speaking of ass-work, Cory Spinks is back in the mix at 154 lbs. with his solid win over DeAndre Latimore on Friday. Actually, to be fair to Spinks, this one wasn’t actually all bad. I just have to say, though: Doesn’t Cory Spinks look like the biggest idiot in the world when he does his pre-fight dance thing?

What I want to know is why anyone still sticks with Don King as a promoter? With just about one real card a year, he has at least a half dozen solid fighters just withering on the vine. A 22-year old prospect like Devon Alexander should not have ring rust against a club fighter like he did on Friday’s undercard.

James Kirkland was arrested on gun charges and could likely see prison time for a parole violation. Would it be too much to ask of Ann Wolfe to cut her hair short like Kirkland’s and assume the young phenom’s fight schedule? I mean, gee, Kirkland was doing so well…

So, next week is the big one- Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton. Let me be one of the first to say that, despite the 24/7 shows on HBO and all the hype, this is a mismatch. By the 4th round, Hatton will look like he was eating tomato paste without his hands. Forget all the pro-Hatton reasoning, Ricky doesn’t have a chance in hell. Pacquiao is going to beat him like Reginald Denny got beat in the LA Riots. This one will put the quaint and likeable chap, Hatton, into a much-needed retirement. And if Pacquiao is especially blood-thirsty on the 2nd, this bout will not be suitable for younger, more squeemish viewers. Floyd Mayweather Sr.- Bring a pint of O+ with you.

Apparently, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s retirement is only going to last about 18 months. Rumblings are strong that “Money” will be coming back on July 18th against Juan Manuel Marquez and I believe them. Now, if it were rumored that he was coming back against a prime, world-class fighter in his own weight class? Then, I wouldn’t believe a word of it.

Ok, gotta run and see if I still have some money in the bank. I have a big vacation coming up. Paul, please remove all Swine Flu patients from the Central Mexico area- especially the zonas de tolerancia.

See ya next week, ladies.