Jun 27 2008

Blast from the past: A true all time great.

With the retirement of Floyd Mayweather he and his team are claiming that he should be acknowledged as one of the best if not the best fighter ever. Floyd obviously hasn’t done enough to earn that respect. Yes he has one titles in 5 different weight divisions but against whom really? On paper Floyd is there but looking closer and the truth comes out.

Here is a highlight clip of one of the indeed all time best in Pernell Whitaker. Unlike Floyd, Pernell had the zest to fight the best, Hell that rimed right there didn’t it? Pretty cool! Pernell won titles in four different weight divisions compared to Floyd’s five but Pernell did fight and beat better fighters which is what counts compared to how impressive Floyd’s accomplishments on paper.

See for your self how good Pernell was against the best. He did it right by fighting the best, not by feasting on weak champions for the sake of collecting multiple titles in weight divisions and living with the fake glory that comes with that.

No, Pernell was old school.

Jun 23 2008

What’s lacking in a lot of boxing training camps today.

I recently recorded a phone interview with strength/conditioning coach Mackie Shilstone that will be available on boxingperformance.com very soon. Mackie has worked with many world champion fighters from Michael Spinks when he beat Holmes to become the first light heavyweight champion to win a heavyweight title, Riddick Bowe when he beat Holyfield for the title, Roy Jones when he beat Ruiz for the heavyweight tile the first to do it since Bob Fitzsimmons, and Bernard Hopkins when he moved up to beat Antonio Tarver for the light heavyweight title accomplishing what his great idol Sugar Ray Robinson couldn’t.

Mackie has been around boxing for a LONG time and what he said is sorely missing today is professionalism in fight camps and fighters period. We discussed Ricky Hattons tendency to balloon up in weight after his fights and the shear focus of his training camps being dropping the weight and not improvements in skill/style.

Mackie talked about the old school fight camps up in the Catskills and how they were run. He talked about his experience and time spent with the great Eddie Futch. Professionalism was displayed at its fullest. Mackie also commented on Bernard Hopkin’s discipline and professionalism for the sport and how he now serves as a spokesman for it. That was Bernard’s secret and fountain of youth that he constantly dipped in and drank from.

It’s bullshit now a days with the training camps focus just being on getting the weight off for the fight. The taxing and over training that come with it withers fighters and their desire to fight more often as they must if they want to stay sharp and blossom. Where is the guidance and discipline that the old school greats like Futch, Arcel displayed and influenced their fighters with? The control and ability to know how much to push and when.

Better responsibility must be taken to create better fighters and lasting fighters. Listening to Mackie’s stories about the old school fight camps and my experience/conversations with the old school trainers I spent time training with in upstate NY ingrains this in me fully.

It must be ingrained in many others too if they want their fighters to constantly reap the many rewards of being a world champion fighter or becoming one for that matter.

This is often the missing ingredient that prevents it from happening, or allows for a short taste and reign.

Jun 16 2008

The blind leading the blind, a terrible trend in boxing strength training workouts.

I was reading how my favorite fighter James Toney appears to be in the best shape since Holyfield. That’s great, I can’t wait to see him fight next month if it’s true. The disturbing thing I read was he was lighting light weights with high reps the typical bullshit magic bullet that these strength?/conditioning coaches use, yes there’s a ? behind strength as I’m shaking my head why? The reason why James lost to Peter in his last fight wasn’t because he wasn’t lifting light enough!

The popular trend in strength training boxers is if you’re going to lift weights play it safe and lift light with lots of reps yet the people who prescribe this crap claim the fighter will get strong. This do this while obviously neglecting the real needs of the fighter.

I’m just so sick and tired of hearing this myth and seeing fighters misled by training this way. I watched a video that my bud Alwyn Cosgrove sent me with Kelly Pavlik stating how he trains some 6 hours a day and when he lifts weights… Yup… I ain’t going to say it… SAME shit. His strength coach was sitting there saying I don’t like to talk about Kelly’s training. The dude didn’t need to what Kelly was saying just made you shake your head why? Why is that guy in Kelly’s camp?

So that is the trend in strength training boxers, the blind are leading the blind. It seems either none of these trainers have the balls to educate the fight team on why true strength training is needed, or they just don’t care and are along for the ride collecting the check by playing it safe and going with the popular trend and myth. Judging from the shit I’ve been reading and believe me I hope it isn’t true, it appears that the latter is the case.

Click here http://boxingperformance.com/for REAL boxing strength training workouts

Jun 14 2008

Q/A: Floyd Mayweather was he that good?

With the seemingly for real retirement of Floyd Mayweather comes this question of how good was he?

What do you think of Mayweather? Is he as good as all of the hype or do you think he has cherry picked many of his fights too? -David-

David, Floyd is a really good fighter. He’s a born fighter with what he can do. He stood out in the amateurs with his amazing skills and he carried that into his pro career with wanting to fight the best up to a point.

When he fought Hatton, that’s the best he’s looked in awhile. Floyd has hand picked his opponents over the years with his rise in weight. Besides the Hatton fight he hasn’t looked all that spectacular or as much as he could because he hasn’t been severely challenged. His handpicking soft opposition has been pissing a lot of experts and die hard fans off cause to earn the right to call yourself an all time best fighter you have to prove it against elite competition.

The bullshit cry you hear from Mayweather supporters ( keep in mind I’m a fan of the young Mayweather who fought the best available then, Corrales, Manfredy, Castillio) is that this is a business and so and so Cotto or Magarito for instance haven’t done enough yet to deserve a fight. WTF ever!! Cotto and Maragrito are fighting one another and both are serious challengers and recognized by the FANS as serious contenders.

Team Mayweather needs to remember that when it’s all said and done that you are remembered for the fights you have fought against good opposition, fights that fans will remember for years, not just shear talent alone. I know this is a business and to fight a multi division champ who has hand picked opponents along the way the fans determine their worth, not the fear of his team in avoiding the challenge. The fans are the ones who purchase the tickets and make the show memorable with their energy and mass attendance. You won’t draw well and be remembered with fighting soft opposition and resiting the same old shit… There’s not enough money in it, or it’s just doesn’t make good business sense.

Mayweather is a multi divisional champion but if you ask the average fan, not hard core fan but average fan to name those champions Floyd beat, they can’t, because they didn’t care to watch or if they did remember and that’s why Floyd has been a huge disappointment with pay per view buys/sales, minus the Hatton and De La Hoya fights, but both Oscar and Ricky CARRIED and drove sales and attendance for both shows.

Zab Judah laid the blue print on how to beat Floyd, all Zab had to do was win 2 more rounds and he had that fight. Now we know why Floyd ducked Stevie Johnson at lightweight ( btw Zab carried a lot of sales in that fight too). I will say though that Floyd did respect the sport by staying in shape and not abusing his body with drugs and an over indulgence in alcohol. His not being in great shape was never an excuse to why he lost a fight or could.

If you want to be a savvy business man by taking pages right out of the Roy Jones Jr. low risk high reward gravy fucking train express manual of how to milk the system, go right ahead. You can’t call yourself an all time best fighter. Again, Floyd is a really good fighter, he has amazing skills when he wants to use them, but he doesn’t take the risks that the true greats did to live in history. A casual fan can name numerous Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Barrera, Holyfield,Tommy Hearns, and Roberto Duran opponents cause they took risks in tough fights.

These writers and hype machine media outlets are lowering the bar to be called an all time great. You may be asking Mike what must you do to be considered an all time great? Henry Armstrong set the bar high by holding titles in 3 weight divisions at the same time, would have held a fourth but was awarded a bullshit draw at middleweight, if he was awarded the decision he deserved he would have held titles in 4 weight divisions at the time there was only 8! Now that’s what you call an all time great fighter! Harry Greb beat 18 world champs fighting and beating the best when he was blind in one eye! Sugar Ray Robinson had 174 wins with 109 KO’s fighting and beating the best.

These fighters and many others, Benny Leonard, Pep, Moore, Charles, Langford keep the bar raised high.

You look at a fighter like James Tony Mike and his non title defenses where tougher than many of the other champs title defenses while he was champ and working hard. He was highly skilled and proved it against the best, welcoming the best to step to him. Pernell Whitaker jump all the way up to 154 to fight the toughest champion at the time there in Vasquez beating him just to show he could. Sweet Pea ducked no one. He was highly skilled beating the best and thriving on the challenge. Everyone knows he beat Chavez.

Then you have Winky Wright who is a modern day Charley Burley, He’s too good for his own good, nobody will fight him. Floyd popped off a few years ago about fighting him and of course nothing happened. Winky wanted the fight in a heart beat. A true old school real fighter.

So in ending my long rant Mike yes I think Floyd has hand picked a lot of fighters, and hey that’s ok to do on occasion, Floyd has beaten some pretty good fighters but what he needed to do to close his career right, was to fight the winner of Cotto-Margarito and fight a highly ducked fighter that nobody wants to fight in Winky Wright to close his career on a high note. He would do that then he could be mentioned as one of the best… Just NOT THE all time best as some delusional people think.