Nov 14 2011

Weekend Wrap Up: No Closure.

Pacquiao-Martinez III was a fight billed for closure. This was no closure in this fight as the decision was highly disputed. It was tactical close fight. There was no drama or fireworks. These fighters no each other too well for that to occur.

I thought Marquez won and scored it 115-113. His brilliant counter punching neutralized what Pacquiao does best. Marquez was in Manny’s head. He frustrated him and he also frustrated Pacquiao’s corner. Manny fought a lot slower and one dimensional than in any other fight since Marquez. he was thinking too much and hesitating. It was very interesting to see how Marquez’s style totally neutralized Pacquiao’s.

Manny did have success in this fight, just not enough to carry momentum and allow him to roll. They thought Marquez was done coming in and boy where they wrong. Marquez knew when Manny was going to punch and timed him out very well all night long. he punched with him and punched right when Pacquiao was done. Brilliant.

Arum can be blamed for Pacquiao’s performance more than anyone as he kept matching him soft and as allowed him to become bored and stale in the ring. It was very evident last Saturday night as Manny looked clueless at times. Freddie saw it and knows it too. Pacquiao just didn’t have the readiness to handle a fighter like Marquez that night. Fighting punching bags in Margarito and Mosley will do that!

Young fighters should take note on Marquez’s ring generalship and how he seized back the tempo and kept the fight at HIS comfortable pace. great fighters do that and Marquez did it. Young fighters should study how Marquez changed up his style and timing through out the fight keeping Manny off balance and guessing. When was the last fight you saw Manny’s feet getting tangle and him off balance at the wrong moments? great fighters do that and Marquez did that.

Like Hopkins, Marquez does the little things right but he just takes more risks than Bernard does when he fights. Marquez fights with passion AND pride just like a young Pernell Whitaker did. He’s a brilliant fighter to study and watch this fight again to see for yourself on the keen adjustments he makes.

In closing I’m not throwing Pacquiao under the bus. he is still a great fighter but he can not master and dominate Marquez yet alone beat him it seems. Marquez has fought Pacquiao 36 rounds and knows HIM very well. Floyd hasn’t so slow the thoughts of Floyd dominating Pacquiao. Marquez also takes more risks than Floyd so there is some glaring differences there.

What was settled last Saturday night is that both men are great fighters. Manny just isn’t the unbeatable juggernaut that many people thought he was. It takes a very solid fighter that knows him well in the ring to prove that and Marquez did just that.

*** TRUE Grit.***

Props to Mike Alvarado for scoring a dramatic KO in the 10th and final round of his fight with Breidis Prescott. Prescott was winning the fight and looking the best he has as a pro to date but Mike stormed back to seal the fight with that amazing KO. What a stage to do it on too!

Nov 11 2011

Throw Back Friday Edition: Smokin’ Joe Frazier Tribute.

32-4-1 with 27 KO
(January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011)

Joe Frazier was best remembered in the ring as being a relentless viscous puncher that kept coming and coming and coming bobbing and weaving his way forward. He was a true pressure fighter likened to Henry Armstrong, jack Dempsey, and Rocky Marciano. Joe had amazing stamina, his body attack one of the best ever in the heavyweight division along with his devastatingly destructive left hook. Joe could soak up and swallow pain and punishment and spit it right back out at his opponents.

“Joe Frazier would come out smoking. If you hit him, he liked it. If you knocked him down, you only made him mad,” says George Foreman on ESPN Classic’s SportsCentury series.

But Joe Frazier is an often over looked champion who fought in the golden era of heavyweight boxing. In the middle 70’s Joe was sandwiched between Ali and George Foreman two all time great heavyweight champions that he lost to. Joe is sometimes thought of as being over rated by the way he lost to Foreman and by his inability to reclaim the heavyweight championship. After reading this tribute, I’m sure you’ll agree on how ignorant that thought is.

Amateur Career

When Joe was an amateur boxer he was one of the best heavyweights in the nation. His amateur nemesis Buster Mathis kept Joe out of the Olympics beating him at the Olympic trials. Joe became an alternate and trained just as hard as if he was on the team. fate would have Buster pull out of the Olympics with an injury and Joe readily taking his place. Joe took advantage of it by winning the gold medal in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Joe was in fact the ONLY gold medalist on the team.

Professional Career

Joe began his pro career in August of 1965 with a first round TKO of Woody Goss. With the backing of a group of local Philadelphia business man Larry Merchant being one of them, Joe could focus solely on boxing. Merchant’s investment eventually paid off as Joe rose to the top. In only his 11th pro fight Joe fought the rugged and experienced “Argentine Bull,” Oscar Bonavena. Oscar had over 30 pro fights at the time! Joe was dropped twice in the second round of that fight but fought his way back into it to win a close decision.

Frazier owed a lot of his ring identity to Eddie Futch who was brought aboard by Joe’s trainer Yancey Durham. At that time Eddie also trained ken Norton and when Yancey died Eddie was asked to train Joe. Eddie had to choice between Ken and Joe. Luckily for Joe Eddie chose him. It was Eddie who devised the brilliant fight plans and developed the bob and weaving swarming style that branded Joe.

Joe was a fast rising champion from then on knocking out Doug Jones who many though beat Ali when they fought and stopping the iron chinned George Chuvalo. Nobody had stopped Chuvalo before before Joe did. Before Ali was stripped of his title for his refusal to be inducted in the military to fight in Vietnam Ali heckled Joe claiming Joe would never whup him. Joe wouldn’t hear it and kept tearing his way trough the heavyweight division knowing one day they would fight.

After Ali was stripped the New York State Athletic Commission held a fight on March 4th 1968 between Joe Frazier & Buster Mathis to fill that vacancy with the winner to be considered the World Champion by New York. Joe KO’d his amateur rival in the 11th round. He would make defenses beating Bonavena again by easier decision this time and in 1969 he beat Jerry Quarry by 7th round stoppage in a thriller. That fight 1969 Ring Magazine fight of the year. Jerry was no joke either. he was so good George Foreman wouldn’t fight him!

On February 16, 1970 Joe became the first man to stop Jimmy Ellis while winning the WBA heavyweight championship. Angelo Dundee who trained Ellis wouldn’t let Jimmy come out for the 5th. In his first defense Joe KO’d light heavyweight bad ass Bob Foster in the 2nd round in Detroit.

The highlight of Joe’s career was on March 8, 1971 when he beat Muhammad Ali in a fight dubbed “the fight of the century”. Joe started slow loosing the early rounds but stormed back to close strong hurting Ali in the 11th and dropping him with a picture perfect left hook in the 15th. It was amazing to see Ali get up from that shot. Joe won a unanimous decision. That fight was Joe Frazier at his best and in his prime. That fight was Joe’s peak.

After two defenses he fought George Foreman in Kingston Jamaica on January 22, 1973 he was the favorite going into the fight. But George destroyed Joe knocking him down twice in the first. Arthur Mercante stopped the fight after the 6th knock down. Joe wouldn’t give up but was no match for big George.

Joe came back beating Joe Bugner by 12 round decision. He fought Ali again on January 28, 1974, in New York City. This fight wasn’t for a title and Ali evened the score with a decisive 12 round decision. Joe would KO Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis again in rematches and on October 1, 1975 he fough Ali the third time in the famed “Thrilla in Manilla.

This fight was sick and savage. it was also unbearably hot yet both men tore into each other. It was so grueling that Ali said it was the closest to death he had ever felt. Futch wouldn’t let Frazier come out for the 15th round as both of his eyes were swollen shut and he couldn’t see the punches coming.

Joe came back in 1981 against Floyd “Jumbo” Cummings fighting Floyd to a draw in Chicago. Joe retired for good after that abysmal performance. Joe trained and managed fighters back in Philly namely his son Marvis. He remained bitter toward Ali for the majority of his life. He could never forgive Ali for all the taunting and humiliation he spewed.

On Nov 7th 2011 he died of liver cancer.

Now watch Joe at his best and appreciate the LEGEND he was.

Nov 7 2011

Weekend Wrap Up: Dominating Performances.

Angulo-Kirkland looked good on paper and the fight was better than anyone could have anticipated. Round one is the round of the year so far. What a testament to conditioning, will, courage, heart, and desire for Kirkland to come back from that hard knockdown to later knockdown Angulo near the end of the round!

Angulo was never the same after that and James just kept coming and chopping and pounding away until the ref mercifully stopped the fight. Angulo has a ton of heart but just not enough conditioning to keep up with James.

Both fighters lack defense. James needs to improve his head movement and lateral movement so he doesn’t get hit with garbage shots. His conditioning is stellar no doubt, lets see if Wolfe can fine tune his lack of defense. If James is to win a world title, he’ll need it!

Angulo needs rest and a couple easy comeback fights. That will give Nacho some time to improve Angulo’s defense as well.

Staking His Claim

Lucian Bute’s shout out of Glen Johnson was very impressive to say the least. The two former sparring partners knew each other well but it was Bute displaying he knew more.

Glen didn’t press Bute to start the fight and this tactical error allowed Lucian to pick Glen apart. There was no thrilling action in this fight. It was a fight where a fighter in Glen appeared to get old and a fighter in Bute grew to another level from that experience.

Glen should retire as he has shit to prove. he’s almost 43 and looks worn out. Bute looks primed and ready to stake his claim as the best at 168 as he awaits the Super Six Winner. I like how Bute can box and set down on his punches. He can work the body well too. His footwork and defense is above average as well. I think he could challenge the winner of Ward-Froch. Hopefully we’ll see.

Lights Are Out

Everyone that knows me knows that I’m a huge James Toney fan. I mean I named my dog after him! I met James personalty and made my pro debut on one of his under cards. His was my idol growing up. I was very sad to see what happened to him this weekend as he was beat from pillar to post by Denis Lebedev.

James just doesn’t have the reflexes, timing, and snap on his punches anymore to compete with average fighters like Denis. In his prime James would have dusted Denis. But James’ poor lifestyle choices & habits have taken their tole on his body. I mean James looked like SHIT. He’s delirious if he thinks he can continue. He’s my dude and I still love watching him dissect Barkly when they fought back in 94. That was then and this is now and what is now isn’t worth loosing his long time health over. Get out while you can champ. You have nothing to prove.