Dec 12 2011

Weekend Wrap Up.

Amire Khan was brought down to earth by new WBA/IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Lamont Peterson last Saturday night in a give and take war. This fight was close, very close. It was also full of action and back and forth momentum.

The only thing that tainted this fight was the refere’s performance. He was bad. He was always in the way and mistakenly called a trip by Lamont a knockdown. Lamont triped over Khan’s foot and the ref also blundered when he took two points away from Khan for pushing. There was no hard warnings from the ref. That was fucking bullshit. The ref’s bad calls should never affect the scoring in a close fight and those two points did.

Khan started fast and looked great the first two rounds using his hand speed and movement to keep Lamont in check. Lamont then picked it up and went to Khan’s body very well throughout the fight. He made Julio Cesar Chavez proud with that relentless attack.

Khan made the mistake of backing straight up and backing into the ropes where Lamont ripped into him with ody head combos. Khan’s fundamental mistakes fed right into Lamont’s strenghts. Khan blew the fight after starting well by letting Lamont build momentum of his work.

Barry Hunter pleaded with Lamont to pick up the pace as he slowed down from the frantic pace. I thought Lamont could have done more. He landed the more telling harder blows but he seemed stuck in one gear. I mean fighting for the world titlw in his home town should have brought at the best in hime like never before. It bothered me to see Hunter plead with Lamont to pick it up where Lamont should have been possessed with the will to win.

Not to take anything away from Lamon’t performance but Khan really did beat himself with his arrogance and reluctance to respect the ref. He kept shaking his head after Lamont landed hard blows. Why did he even put himself in position for that to happen. That mach attitude back fired on him as Lamont kept the pressure on and kept chopping away at Khan.

I think this was a good loss for Amir. It was a close very competitive fight that brought Amir down to earth. He was getting way ahead of himself calling out Mayweather. Lamont was no joke coming in and he’s not now being the new champion.

I would like to see Lamont fight with more urgency when the momentum swings in his favor. He needs to pick it up and learn to bury his opponent. By doing just enough he allowed Khan to linger.

Khan needs to work on his stance as he over extends himeself when punching coming forward. He needs to work on his infighting to. If he can stay off the ropes and own the center ring he will be hard to beat with his reach and lateral movement.

Lets hope a rematch is next for both fighters. This was too good of a fight not to be followed by an oncore.

Coming Out Party

American contender Seth Mitchell was impressive in becoming the first fighter to stop Timur Ibragimov. Seth caught Timur with a sharp left hook in the 2nd round and he followed up well with right hand left hook combos prompting the ref to step in.

Seth looked realxed in the ring. He looked athletic and knew how to place his punches well. His footwork was good as was his sense of distance. It was a good sign for better things to come. Golden Boy just has to be patient with the former Michigan State Spartan linebacker and allow him to grow a bit more before anointing him the best American heavyweight contender.

After another step up fight, I would love to see Arreola-Mitchell. We haven’t seen an all American heavyweight contender fight like that for years!

Dec 8 2011

Boxing Training Q/A: Who Makes Who? The Trainer Or The Fighter?

Rob, Hope you are doing well. I have 2 questions I was hoping you could answer for me. Thank you in advance and keep up the good work!

1) How many rounds of sparring should I be aiming to get in each week? I know it’s different if you are preparing for a fight, your experience level, etc. But I was just wondering as a general rule of thumb to shoot for so I can ensure I am getting in the rounds I need to. I have been boxing for about 2 years and have been sparring now for over a year. I’m at a stage where I feel I have gone to the next level. I’m a lot more comfortable in the ring and really thinking about what I’m doing during sparring.

Yes it is different if you are preparing for a fight. How many fights have you had in those two years? You may need more fights so you can really see where you are and what you need development wise. Then you can adjust the sparring to fit those needs.

If you don’t have a fight coming up light sparring is fine. There is no need to spar hard when you don’t need to why accumulate the wear and tear on your body? Sparring a lot means you are good at sparring. You have to get under the big lights to truly progress and grow.

So when you have a fight coming up 2 days a week is fine to stay sharp and prepare. Pros can spar 3 days and it really all depends on who the fighter is preparing for.

Add some partner drills to improve your technical needs as well. Sparring is great but controlled partner drills (parrying drills, slip drills) can give you a quick growth spurt without the unneeded wear and tear.
2) I wanted to get your opinion. How much of a fighter do you think is the fighter and how much is the trainer? From your experience, do you think if you are meant to be a good fighter it will come out, no matter what kind of trainer you have. Or if you don’t have the best trainer, then you don’t be able to become a good fighter.

They both go hand in hand. Sure, some fighters naturally do things very well and the trainer just has to make mild adjustments to polish the fighter. Some trainers do bring out the unforeseen greatness in a fighter like Charley Goldman did with Rocky Maciano. Marciano was very crude, raw, and limited with speed but Goldman molded Rocky into the wrecking ball he was. He did that by starting from the ground up improving his punching stance and leverage. Without Goldman that’s highly unlikely Marciano would have become what he was.

Eddie Futch taught Joe Frazier his very effective bob and weave style to allow his heavy hands to flow from that defense. The first Ali fight was won thanks to Futch’s fight plan and critiques to Joe. He did the same with Norton when Ken fought Ali. He devised that crab defense style that Ken used to neutralized Ali’s strenghts. Frazier and Norton owed a lot of their success to Futch.

But how much credit can Angelo Dundee take for Ali and Ray Leonard’s success? Dundee didn’t add a whole lot to either fighter. This is not a discredit to Angelo at all but Ali and Leonard where born to fight. They had god given gifts that couldn’t be taught. Dundee would lay the fight plan and guide them in the corner. But again, In Ali’s case when he upset George Foreman against insane odds he DIDN’T listen to Angelo and out witted George is own physically damaging way.

When Freddie Roach was training James Toney he admitted he didn’t really have to teach him shit. James was a product of Bill Miller’s work and of course James’ own unique and natural fighting ability.

So yes it depends on the fighter but the fighter can make the trainer. How really good is Rodger Mayweather as a trainer? Well when Floyd Jr, retires we will soon see. Floyd Sr. didn’t do shit for Hatton and hasn’t worked with a marque fighter since De La Hoya.

Some fighters will be as good as what they are taught and learn from their trainer. Some rare fighters are so naturally good that they make the trainer and actually teach the trainer some things. The key to success though is chemistry. That is the special ingredient in Pacquiao’s and Roach’s success with each other for so long. Chemistry. Both respecting and teaching each other. Roach as done a great job molding Manny into a two handed fighter with quick angles. Manny has the genetics and fighting ability to take that work and win titles in 7 weight divisions with it.

Cus D’Amato molded Tyson into what he was IN his prime. That was equal. They both made each other look good. That training system was perfect for Tyson and Tyson’s genetics was perfect for the D’Amato style. That style didn’t work well for every fighter though.

The fighter HAS to execute in the ring. The trainer can have the most brilliant fight plan but that doesn’t mean jack shit unless the fighter can execute that plan. So the trainer can only take so much credit. It’s shared credit in most fights. The shared credit coming from the chemistry which creates unique communication between the two that nobody can just come in and duplicate.

In my opinion, Long lasting greatness is achieved when the right student and master meet and train with good chemistry.

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Dec 6 2011

Week Wrap Up: Sweet Revenge.

Miguel Cotto had his revenge last Saturday night in busting up Antonio Margarito and stopping him in the 10th round. Cott was simply too fast, too sharp, and too good for Margarito. Maragrito looked slower than usual and he didn’t seem to carry much power with him in this fight.

Cotto took Margarito’s punches far better this time. I’m not saying Margarito’s wraps were loaded in their first fight, I’m saying Cotto wasn’t hurt or frustrated this time around.

Credit Cotto’s trainer Pedro Diaz for laying a brilliant fight plan that Cotto executed flawlessly. Pedro did a great job in the corner steering Miguel right. Cotto made several key adjustments in this fight like grabing Maragrito in close and pushing him back. I liked how Cotto pushed Maragrito back on his heels several times. He let Antonio that he wasn’t going to be bullied this time. I liked how he kept turning Antonio getting beind him a few times. This fight was a gret fight for young fighters to study on howe to handle relentless pressure with lateral movement, tying up, and pushing a fight back in close.

Pedro and Miguel look like a great match. It’s been awhile that Cotto looked that sharp and fast. His defense was very nice too. Look for Cotto to fight the winner of Pacquiao-Mayweather provided that fight is made. If not look for Cotto to fight Mayeather in a BIG $ fight in May. Cotto has earned where he’s at now. He’s earned only big money fights. Another option Cotto has is moving up to middleweight to fight Chavez Jr. He could capture a title in his fourth weight class.

As for Margarito that classless asshole is done. He doesn’t deserve any more big fights he’s been getting busted up in his last htree biggest fights against Cotto, Pacquiao, and Mosley. If he is too keep fighting look for him to be a stepping stone for fighters like Kirkland and Angulo. Margarito blew his career with the loaded wraps scandal and hasn’t looked like the same monster since.

Dec 3 2011

Cotto-Margarito: My Pick.

I think this fight will be very similiar to the first fight just fought with more passion and with Cotto making certain key adjusments. Margarito only knows one way to fight and you know what you are getting with him. Pressure. Lots of constant pressure. So he isn’t going to change but how much does he have left? How will his eye hold up?

Cotto is the better skilled fighter no doubt but how will he handle Margarito’s pressure with out fading again? Can he fight a more relaxed fight? Can he pace himself without burining himself out?

If Cotto can neutralize Margarito in the inside by tying him up and resting in those spots he will have success. If he can work Maragrito’s body early he can slow him down to a more comfortable pace. If he can make these adjustments I think he wins. I can see Cotto busting up Maragrito late.

We will see if Maragrito’s wraps were loaded in their first fight by how Cotto reacts to Margarito’s punches tonight. If they don’t seem to bother Cotto how will that play on Margarito’s mind? That’s what makes this fight interesting. The loaded wraps conspiracy. If this fight unfolds totally unlike their first fight Margarito will be crucified again as a cheater. People will say there is no dout that he cheated in their first fight.

There is a lot of drama leading into this fight. These guys hate each other. They both have something to prove. Margarito wants to prove that he’s not a cheater. Cotto is possessed with pay back. I think it’s safe to say that tis is a guaranteed good fight.

We’ll find out tonight. Oh, I’m picking Cotto bu UD. I think he slows Margarito down and busts him up late.