Tag Archives: Marcos Maidana

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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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