Promoter Langston Hampton Ready To Deliver “The Big Pay Back”
By: Sean Crose
Langston Hampton is an ambitious man. Only 33 years old, this product of some of Memphis’ toughest streets is on his way to making his mark on the sport of boxing through his Lank Promotions. Unlike many in what is considered the red light district of sports, Hampton is about as clean as they come. “I don’t drink,” he tells me. “I don’t smoke.” He doesn’t do drugs, either. What’s more, after earning himself a degree around ten years ago, Hampton got himself into the boxing business. It’s an endeavor he truly has a passion for.
“I love what I do,” he says. While admitting that boxing is “a real political sport,” Hampton believes his youth helps him connect with fighters, who tend to be closer to his age than, say, the age of Bob Arum. Not that Hampton is ageist. To the contrary, the man is open of the debt he owes to legendary promoter Don King, who took Hampton under his wing when the Tennessean was a novice. “I learned a lot from him,” Hampton says of King. “He’s an icon. He’s a legend.” The experience helped give Hampton the confidence and skill to form Lank Promotions, which the promoter describes as a “new boxing/entertainment” enterprise “that’s designed for the world.”
In other words, the man’s looking beyond the traditional boxing fans base. For instance, Floyd Mayweather himself is part of the whirlwind surrounding Lank Promotions’ card this weekend at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. “He’s hosting an after party,” says Hampton. The card, which will feature former Mayweather opponent DeMarcus Crowley, will be live streamed on http://lanktheking.com/. It’s one of numerous events Hampton has planned. “We have four dates as far as this year,” he says. With things moving along smoothly, Hampton declares that “everything is looking marvelous.”
Sure enough, Hampton is working alongside Affiliation Management, which itself is affiliated with Mayweather’s The Money Team. Along with having effective connections, Hampton clearly believes a positive attitude brings success to one’s endeavors. As Lank Promotion’s homepage states, Hampton’s “unique approach to Sports & Entertainment can be attributed to having tackled his own personal struggles, transforming them into a positive philosophy and making him the youngest and one of the most sought-after professional boxing & entertainment promoters in the United States.”
Aside from Crowley, Saturday’s card, called “The Big Pay Back,” will showcase such fighters as Lanell Bellows and Charvis Holified. If all goes as planned, Hampton will more than live up to his nickname, “Lank the King.”
Langston Hampton can be followed on Twitter, @TheKingLilLank, and on Instagram at Instagram.com/LankTheKing
Canelo-GGG Reportedly Does Over A Million Pay Per View Buys
By: Sean Crose
Since the publishing of this article Golden Boy Promotions released the following statement:
While everyone at Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions appreciate the media’s recognition that the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin was an enormous success, the figure that is being cited by some news outlets is simply inaccurate.
Not only are satellite operators and cable companies still in the process of compiling data, that number does not include online PPV sales through RingTV.com, Sony Play Station, and Sling TV which far exceeded any previous fight featuring Canelo or Golovkin. The bottom line is that we expect the final numbers to be well north of current reports, and we will make a decision on reporting those numbers when we know they are accurate.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that this month’s middleweight extravaganza between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin brought in 1.3 million pay per view buys. That’s a very impressive sum for any pay per view event, though some may be disappointed that the fight, which went down on September 16th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, didn’t perform even more strongly on the pay per view front. Any number over a million when it comes to pay per view sales is indicative of a clear success, however. This is particularly true in the case of Canelo and the fighter known as GGG.
Photo Credit: USA Today
To begin with, neither individual speaks English well. That’s a serious PR issue for any boxer looking to crack through towards mainstream success in the United States, where English is the dominant language. The fact that Mexico’s Alvarez and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin managed to draw in as many viewers as they did speaks volumes to both their in-the-ring skill sets and their likable personalities. It can be fairly stated that each fighter is a man of few words. Yet Canelo, and particularly Golovkin, have emerged as pleasant on-air personalities once the fists stop flying. Rather than engaging in outrageous pre-fight theatrics, the two middleweights came across as mature professionals in the leadup to their bout. Call it the anti-MayMac affect.
Speaking of what was clearly the pop culture event of 2017, last month’s Mayweather-McGregor battle may have also had an impact on the pay per view performance of Canelo-GGG. Lots of money – LOTS of money – was coughed up for fans to watch Floyd and Conor throw down in what was essentially a one sided but entertaining affair. That bout, which reportedly came within a hair of breaking the all time pay per view record (set by Mayweather’s 2015 battle with Manny Pacquiao) had the potential to either draw attention to or take attention away from the Canelo-Golovkin battle. Yet it remains to be seen what kind of impact, if any, the August 26th blockbuster had on the September 16th card.
One thing most analysts and fans agree on, however, is the argument that Canelo and Golovkin put on a highly entertaining affair that, unlike Mayweather-McGregor, didn’t skimp on showcasing high level ring techniques. The match, which was declared a draw, instantly begged for a sequel, one which is apparently already in the works. That inevitable pay per view card should draw in quite a good number, itself. At the moment, it appears either May or September will be the date for Canelo-Golovkin II. Both months have major Mexican holidays and are the months Canelo traditionally likes to fight during.
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Diaz, Martin, and De La Hoya Win Uneventful Decisions
By: William Holmes
Three bouts were televised on tonight’s HBO PPV offering before the start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
The undercard fight between Nicola Adams and Alexandra Vlajk was called off after Alexandra Vlajk failed the pre-fight medical. Three fights were on the untelevised undercard in front of a nearly empty arena.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing
The first bout of the televised portion of the pay per view was between Ryan Martin (19-0) and Francisco Rojo (19-2) for the WBC Continental Americas and WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Titles.
Martin was the taller fighter and fights out of an orthodox stance, but was previously promoted by 50 Cent and has been relatively inactive the past few years.
Martin stayed busy with his jab in the opening two rounds and Rojo targeted the body, but not much action and Rojo was slightly busier than Martin.
Rojo complained to the referee about punches landing to the back of the head and Martin appeared to be shaking off ring rust. Rojo continued to come forward in the fourth and fifth rounds and was the more aggressive fighter of the two.
Martin was able to land a good double left hook to the body and head in the sixth round but that may have been his best combination of the first half of the fight. Rojo was able to momentarily stun Martin with a right cross in the seventh round and Martin was warned by the referee to keep his punches above the belt line.
Martin was warned for low blows twice in the eighth round and the referee gave Rojo time to recover, but Martin was not deducted a point. Martin connected with some good right hooks this round, but this round, like the others before it, could have been scored either way.
Martin was finally deducted a point in the ninth round for landing another low blow, but he was able to land some good combinations to the head of Rojo.
The final round was similar to the rounds previous, with Rojo pressing the action coming forward and both boxers throwing and landing, with Martin appeared to land the cleaner punches but Rojo throwing slightly more.
The judges scored it 98-91 Rojo, 96-93 Martin, and 95-94 for Martin. The crowd loudly boos the decision of the judges.
The next bout of the night started almost immediately afterwards and was between Randy Caballero (24-0) and Diego De La Hoya (19-0) for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles.
Caballero is another boxer that has not been very active in the past two years. De La Hoya was able to land good hooks to the body in the opening round but was reaching for his punches a bit. Both boxers were a little sloppy in the opening two rounds and clash of heads occurred in both the first and second round.
De La Hoya was landing the cleaner shots in the third and fourth rounds, though Caballero was able to knock De La Hoya off balance a little bit with a right hand to the chin in the fourth.
Caballero had a small shiner underneath his left eye in the fifth round and took a hard combination that forced him to retreat into the ropes a little dazed. De La Hoya continued to land good combinations in the sixth round and even pushed Caballero to the mat.
De La Hoya had a good showing in the seventh round and was able to tie up Caballero whenever he got in close.
Caballero needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came and he didn’t press the pace enough to ever come close.
Diego De La Hoya wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.
The final bout of the undercard was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0) and Rafael Rivera (25-0-2) in a WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Rivera was training for another fight when he got the call to face Diaz at the last minute.
Diaz came out aggressive in the opening two rounds but Rivera was more than willing to fire back with shots of his own. Both boxers appeared to be evenly matched early on.
Diaz was pressing the pace more by the fourth-round while Rivera was looking for his counter shots, but Diaz was the more accurate puncher.
Diaz’s accuracy carried the way in the middle rounds with the exception of the seventh, in which Rivera was able to land several hard shots on Diaz during their exchanges.
Diaz focused on the body in the eighth and ninth rounds and looked like the fresher fighter. He had a dominating tenth round and landed several hard-straight left hands on Rivera.
Even though Diaz didn’t score any knockdowns, he looked like the fresher fighter and was boxing better as the fight progressed. The championship rounds were rounds that he clearly won.
The final scores were 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Joseph Diaz.
Untelevised Undercard Quick Results:
Marlen Esparza (3-0) defeated Aracely Palacios (8-8) by scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards in the Flyweight division.
Vergil Ortiz (7-0) defeated Cesar Valenzuela (7-2) by TKO at of the 1:22 of the second round.
Serhil Bohachuk (5-0) defeated Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1) by TKO at 1:58 of the second round in the super welterweight division.
Why the Sport of Boxing Needs a Canelo Victory
By Jaime C. Feal
To many casual observers and fans, Saturday night’s superfight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin represents a thoroughly even match up. Two fighters in their prime with fantastic records, both champions, ready to throw down and entertain all at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The largest gap between the two fighters, however, exists not in the ring, but outside of it.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Simply put, Canelo has a fan base that can be monetized in a way not many other fan bases can. As a Mexican fighting in America, Canelo has the support of both his home country of Mexico, a neighbor to the U.S., and all the Mexican-Americans living in the U.S., as rabid fans who turn out for Canelo fights. Furtermore, Canelo is a “Golden Boy” both literally and figuratively, the baby-faced assassin being both the pride, joy, and hope of Mexico, and an Oscar De La Hoya-promoted boxer. A lot rides on Canelo’s success in the sport of boxing. While a loss to the highly ranked GGG wouldn’t ruin his career by any means, what the big players in the boxing industry want more than anything is a resounding victory for Canelo. Just shy of 30 years old, Canelo has many more years of top ranked fights ahead of him, and lucrative ones at that. Golovkin, on the other hand, is 35 years old, and might only have a couple years of top-level fights left in him.
GGG just can’t match the same level of numbers with his fan base. A native of Kazikhstan, a small country with even fewer immigrants in the U.S., Golovkin is at a disadvantage on the marketing side of boxing. While most American boxing fans appreciate a good knockout artist, they don’t have the same kind of attachment that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans do for their native son Canelo. What this means is that unlike the Mayweather-McGregor fight, which had a roughly even split of fan support both in the arena and at the bars and restaurants showing the PPV, the Canelo-GGG scrap figures to have the fan support massively in favor of Canelo. Indeed, the bars and restaurants will be filled with Mexican pride and support, and the T-Mobile Arena will be lit up with Mexican flags and apparel. You may see the odd Kazakhstani flag here or there, but for the most part, the sheer numbers and loyalty that the Canelo fan base produces will drown out anything the GGG fan base can muster.
What does this all mean? Now that Floyd “Money” Mayweather is out of the sport completely, Boxing needs a new money fighter. Canelo is much more ready to be the hero the sport needs, to drive the big money fights going forward into 2018 and 2019. Because of this, HBO and the powers that be will be massively rooting for Canelo, the younger, more popular fighter, to win emphatically. And although a rematch with GGG would be potentially lucrative, Canelo disappointed in his last big fight and still has a lot to gain with a victory over Golovkin. On Saturday Night, Canelo will not only be carrying the pressure and expectations of his home country, but also his adopted one. Here’s hoping he can live up to the hype and propel boxing to new heights and popularity.
MMA and Boxing are Both Better For Mayweather vs McGregor
By Bryanna Fissori
The sport of Mixed Martial Arts as a whole had little to lose putting its poster boy up against arguably the most familiar face in boxing for this generation. McGregor the MMA fighter was coming into this bout with literally no professional boxing experience against boxing’s undefeated 49-0 Mayweather.
Expectations were exceeded by many when McGregor was able to not only make it through the early rounds, but to actually win rounds on the scorecard. Maywether contends that losing the early rounds was his plan all along. Given his propensity to warm up in the later rounds, this is not unlikely. Despite the loss, McGregor made many MMA fans proud and has undoubtedly served as a catalyst for change in the sport.
Several MMA fighters and industry professionals such as Max Holloway, Daniel Cormier, Eddie Alvarez, Cody Garbrandt, Mick Maynard, Matt Brown and more have praised McGregor for his representation of MMA athletes.
Increased Fan Base for Both Sports
McGregor’s efforts in entering the world of boxing will have long lasting effects on the MMA industry. First and foremost, a new demographic of fans has been introduced to the sport. Even if unintentional, hardcore boxing fans have sat through a plethora of UFC focused images and clips during the media circus surrounding this fight. Undoubtedly, many boxing fans who may not have the utmost appreciation for Mayweather have found themselves cheering for “the MMA fighter.” How much more likely are they now to tune into McGregor’s next UFC fight?
On that same note, MMA fans have been introduced to the world of boxing. They have looked up rules, questioned and compared striking styles and sat through at least nine full rounds. Talk of which other MMA fighters have good enough hands to box has already started to circulate through the discussion threads.
MMA Fighter Salaries
McGregor has been the most vocal proponent for an increase in MMA fighter salaries. In his professional boxing debut McGregor will have made more than his four and a half years in the UFC combined.
“The game changes every time,” McGregor said when asked about returning to a sport where the purses are traditionally much smaller than boxing.
With MMA promotions like Bellator and the Professional Fighter’s League who may be able to offer competitive salaries and bonuses, it is likely that the UFC will have to step up its pay scale. This is even more true now that fighters have seen how much more can be made in boxing rather than MMA.
The Best Got Tested
Boxing is something sacred that requires complete focus on the specific discipline. Boxing . . . went into the 10th round with a debut fighter. Some could view that as a weakness in the competitive caliber of boxing, others would see the strength of a 40 year old veteran coming out of retirement and still able to be victorious.
Props to Mayweather for a victory and solid game plan. For many fans of both sports, this was boxing versus MMA. No matter how it is viewed from the perspective of the actual fight, McGregor went nearly 10 solid rounds in an entertaining fight with a boxer some may consider TBE (The Best Ever.) McGregor landed 111 punches, which was 30 more than Manny Pacquiao. A debut boxer, an MMA champion and now the face of two sports, McGregor has done well for himself and the sport of MMA despite the loss.
Golovkin Ready to Show Who the Better Boxer Is
By: Francisco Martinez
September 16th Gennady Golovkin is set to meet Saul Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile arena. A fight 2 years in the making. A fight announced right after Canelo’s shutout of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a masterful performance not enjoyed to long by Canelo as his next opponent was brought to the ring there and then. To the surprise of many the fight we’ve all been asking for finally materialized. Canelo vs Golovkin is suppose to be the fight that proves what Canelo truly is capable of and the fight that proves is Golovkin the bogey man they make him out to be.
With a combined record of 86 victories and 67 knockouts Canelo & Golovkin is almost a certain knockout ending. How do both fighters feel in regards to those expectations “It’s going to be a tough fight, a fight with a lot of action but I’ll make it clear as to who is the better man” expresses Canelo a conservative prediction as does Golovkin “I’m a professional athlete and for me it’s very interesting to see who’s better. Not special but who’s the better athlete, who’s the better boxer” states Golovkin.
If we look back into this fight and dig a little more we’ll find that Canelo & Golovkin have shared the ring before as both careers took off. In a sparring session that took place about 6 years ago or so at the Summit Boxing gym in Big Bear, California owned by Golovkin’s trainer, 2015 BWAA Trainer Of The Year, Abel Sanchez. The man responsible for Golovkin’s Mexican Style inside the ring. As for the sparring session a lot has circulated around the media and gym talk as to what actually happened but both fighters had this to say about their now legendary sparring session
“That happened about 6 years ago more or less. He has advanced, I have advanced. It can help a little bit but I won’t focus on it as we’ve both have totally advanced and sparring can’t influence a fight it’s way too different. It’ll be a good fight a fight the people have been wanting. It’ll be a good fight. We’ll be ready” says Canelo of the 6 year old sparring session. Gennady Golovkin had this to say about the past sparring session
“It was 6 years ago it’s a different time right now. It was sparring and it’s different. Sparring and fighting. It’s sparring not fighting” says Gennady Golovkin with a similar tone as Canelo to the past sparring between both. Canelo was just making his transition into 154lbs class and Golovkin was already a full fledged 160lbs fighter so the sparring can be taken with a grain of salt aside from what rumors might say took place within the sparring at the time.
About 21 days before Canelo & Gennady Golovkin are set to face each other another big fight will take place. The return of Floyd Mayweather in the same place and venue. A fight some critics think might affect Canelo & Golovkin’s revenue and possibly a strategic move by Mayweather. Arguably the best boxer ever, surely the best of our time and also known as one of the best business minds in boxing as well.
Golden Boy promotion’s Oscar De La Hoya is not concerned with Mayweather & McGregor taking place a couple of weeks prior to Canelo & Golovkin neither is K2 promotion’s Tom Loeffler “I figured they would make the fight I wasn’t sure when they would do it. It surprised us they would go before on August. You know August people are in still in vacation and you know that’s two big names that they have so they probably figured they can go when they wanted to and were gonna focus on our end to promote ours the best that we can and I’m sure that Floyd and Conor are gonna promote their event and I think that’s one of those fights that the build up would be more exciting than the fight itself but we’re gonna do the best we can on our end”
Floyd Mayweather gave his prediction to Canelo vs Golovkin late last year and he predicted Canelo would knockout Golovkin also went as far as to say he would beat Golovkin. Gennady had this to say about Mayweather’s recent comments “He talks too much. I think he’s not a promoter, he’s not Canelo’s promoter. I don’t know why? Ask him why?” Replied Golovkin to Mayweather’s comments.
Two mega fights that will take place withing a month of each other can only benefit boxing although some would disagree others would say it’s what boxing needs at this point in time in a year that has been one to remember boxing wise. This September 16th Supremacy in the middleweight division is what we’ll get once Canelo & Gennady Golovkin step into the ring in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena live on HBO PPV.
So don’t miss it and follow the conversation and converage leading up to fight night via #CaneloGGG
Diffusing the Notion of Power: Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather
By: Kirk Jackson
The main argument Conor McGregor, UFC President Dana White, UFC’s legion of hardcore, biased followers, advocate is McGregor’s overall physical strength, youth, size and punching power.
Essentially claiming these physical tools automatically dwarf anything the older, smaller, Floyd Mayweather can muster.
Their barbaric approach and sentiments suggest either ignorance of the sport of boxing, or a clever ploy to draw other demographics of audience into the event that will hog headlines August 26.
“Conor’s got extraordinary power, he’s got extraordinary movement and he’s bigger,” saidformer UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “He’s a far bigger guy. I mean he’s a big framed guy and he’s strong and he’s young.”
“That’s what Conor McGregor is. He’s a freak athlete. There’s a guy named FirasZahabi, who’s one of the best trainers in MMA, Georges St-Pierre’s trainer — he calls it the touch of death.”
The last man to share an octagon with McGregor, Eddie Alvarez, stated similar thoughts regarding McGregor’s punching power.
“I don’t know if it was after I got hit that I kind of went into fight or flight mode,” Alvarez said of their encounter.
“To be honest with you, that first shot, I had no clue what it was. I had no clue, and my butt was on the ground, and I remember in my head going ‘what the fuck was that?’”
Comparatively, McGregor is the bigger than Mayweather regarding physical size.
The Irishman has a one-inch height advantage and a two-inch reach advantage. With longer arms working to McGregor’s favor, as he enjoys utilizing his advantage as he likes to strike opponents from the outside.
Another physical factor favoring McGregor is he is in his twenties and eleven years younger than the 40-year-old Mayweather.
This is where the physical advantages for McGregor end.
Even at the advanced age of 40, Mayweather looks faster than McGregor and if we compare professional fight history between the two, Mayweather has the edge in regards to stamina.
Aside from showing slight fatigue in his last bout against Andre Berto, it’s a rare sight to see Mayweather tired in a fight. McGregor however displayed exhaustion against Nate Diaz in both encounters, falling to submission in their first fight.
McGregor may possess explosive speed, power and athleticism by mixed martial arts standards, but the application of these traits is applied differently within the realm of boxing.
If the Irishman tires out after two, five-minute rounds in the Octagon, it’s fair to suggest he will tire out over the course of an accelerated pace of 12, three-minute rounds via boxing.
Which may have prompted McGregor to suggest he will stop Mayweather within four rounds of action.
According to UFC President Dana White regarding McGregor’s claims, “He [McGregor] gets off the flight from Ireland, looks like he was just fitted at Armani. Walks off the plane and he says, ‘I will knock this man [Mayweather] out within four rounds.’”
McGregor figures he won’t outpoint the boxer and win on the score cards and he knows his body more than anyone else; meaning he knows his gas tank is limited.
Regarding punching and power in boxing, there are two famous phrases or mantras that hold true.
“All it takes is one punch,” and the famous, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth,” – via Mike Tyson.
These adages provecorrect over time and they actually point towards Mayweather’s favor.
McGregor is southpaw and as a mixed martial arts stylized-fighter, his style and rhythm will probably throw Mayweather off – he is not accustomed to facing mixed martial artists.
But that goes against McGregor too. He is not used to fighting boxers with superior hand-striking ability. Eddie Alvarez is not going to cut it.
No disrespect to Nate Diaz, but Mayweather is in a different solar system skill-wise comparatively speaking.
Mayweather will not stand squared up and lunge in with his arms down like Jose Aldo. The same openings McGregor is accustomed to seeing fighting his UFC contemporaries will not be there against Mayweather.
A quick comparison to what McGregor faces regarding Mayweather and Diaz.
Diaz doesn’t make his opponents miss punches. Diaz doesn’tevade strikes or necessarily force the opponent to move all that much. Diaz stands in front of his opposition and essentially lets opponents hit him.
Mayweather is the polar opposite;the pursuit of Mayweatherrequires great footwork, feinting him out of position, cutting the ring off instead of chasing a great jab helps along with a wonderful sense of timing.
Mayweather fights utilizing different angles and stances, each with a specific purpose and as the opponent is chasing, missing punches, while consistently eating counter punches, Mayweather also attacks the body; wearing opponents down, making the chase that much more problematic.
Regarding the adage of all it takes is one punch to end anyone’s night, yes that is true.
Sure, one punch can end the fight for Mayweather. Applying a certain amount of pressure across the temple or chin can even put to sleep the most iron-chinned competitors.
The most damaging punch however, is the punch you don’t see coming. Mayweather is a master of landing those types of punches; accurate, precise, deceptive and damaging.
Regarding pure punching power, ESPN’s Sport Science did a report/experiment testing and comparing McGregor and Mayweather’s punching power.
Bringing it back to McGregor and Diaz, the man from Stockton stunned McGregor with a solid left hand; prior to submitting the Irishman later in the round.
According to Sports Science, with the very least Mayweather hits as hard as Diaz but possesses greater speed and places greater emphasis on precision, that all spells trouble for McGregor.
To echo the sentiments of mixed martial arts fighters Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisbing, boxers generally speaking punch harder than mixed martial artists. That’s a given right?
Many boxers, train from ages 4, 5 and focus on punching. Placing and shifting the weight into punches, moving hips behind punches, snapping the wrist, generating the proper torque for unleashing fistic fire power.
Sonnen stated on his podcast, “Floyd is throwing punches at guys that are great at slipping and rolling with and dealing with punches.”
“Conor is throwing punches at guys who aren’t great at –they’re very good… but they have to focus some of their time on the grappling, on the submission, on the conditioning, on the strength, on the weight cutting… they’re not great at it in comparison to what Floyd is throwing punches at,” Sonnen said.
“Floyd throws harder and punches significantly harder than Conor does. And he’s also used to throwing it at harder targets.”
While there are more nuances to boxing than what was mentioned in regards to punching, imagine the various nuances mixed martial artists have to learn – those trying to absorb multiple disciplines of fighting.
It makes sense a boxer generally possesses greater punching power and why should that be different with Mayweather?
Concerning form and technique, Mayweather is a boxing savant, considered a prodigy at a young age. While his knockouts decreased over time, we must take into consideration he moved up four weight classes and fought bigger opponents.
Emphasizing a point Sonnen touched on, the opponents he faced are trained to take punches; many of these boxers know how to roll their chins to mitigate the impact of incoming punches. Something McGregor lacks experience with.
Another thing to consider, contrary to White, Rogan and McGregor’s narrative, Mayweather is accustomed to fighter bigger guys.
Regarding opponents of the past, Marcos Maidana weighed around 175 lbs. after weigh-ins for a welterweight bout (147 lb. limit) against Mayweather.
Oscar De La Hoya weighed in the upper 160 lbs. range, same with Miguel Cotto. Canelo Alvarez weighed in the lower 170 lbs. range and these aforementioned fighters punch harder than McGregor. These are three Hall of Famers and De La Hoya is also an Olympic Gold Medalist.
Body punching is another thing McGregor has to worry about. While observing sparring and training footage, can’t help but notice McGregor keeps his cup/protector high; above the navel area.
Mayweather is an underrated body puncher. He utilizes his patented jab to the solar plexus or jab to the pit of an opponent’s stomach, essentially sapping strength from oncoming opponents.
Facing a southpaw we’ll more likely see straight right hands towards McGregor’s body, as the distance between an orthodox fighter’s right hand and a southpaw fighter’s chin and body is closer in distance.
And for a guy with questionable endurance issues, deposits to the body only makes sense for Mayweather.
McGregor is not used to defending his body from attacks like that; a subtle nuance of the boxing that is yet again underestimated.
Whether Mayweather can deal with McGregor’s punching power remains to be seen. Wonder what big punchers such as Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, De La Hoya, Cotto,Maidana, Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao think?
There are more variables at hand that determine the fate of a fight, but power looks to be Mayweather’s advantage.
Why Mayweather And McGregor Are Beloved For Engaging In Bad Behavior
Why Mayweather And McGregor Are Beloved For Engaging In Bad Behavior
By: Sean Crose
America loves the pairing, but make no mistake about it – Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather behave horribly. The past few days have set me to thinking quite a bit about these two, as I’ve watched and written on the migraine headache that was their international press tour. And while I admit there was a fascinating element to it all, I found it strange that such men, McGregor in particular, are viewed as legitimate heroes.
Perhaps it’s all a backlash to the insane political correctness that has rocked the country. When students at exclusive colleges literally shut down free speech with the possible intent to take censorship nationwide, guys like Floyd and Conor can seem downright refreshing. “Mate,” McGregor once told a reporter calling him out for some prickly comments, “shut the fuck up.” Such things can be pleasing in a world where an Orwellian nightmare appears to be morphing into real life.
Yet Conor and Floyd are far from heroes saving the planet from goose stepping social justice warriors. They’re two men enthralled with bad behavior. To support these guys, to cheer on their antics, isn’t standing up to the tyranny of political correctness, it’s allowing the pendulum to swing too far the other way. Words are not, as the snowflakes tell us, acts of violence. They can hurt like hell, though, and that’s something these guys refuse to keep in mind – or even care about.
Mayweather has made some ugly statements over the years, including some particularly nasty ones regarding Manny Pacquiao’s being Asian. He’s since expressed remorse for those actions – fair enough – but his entire ho/pimp/ stripper routine during the press conferences this week bordered on scary at times. I sensed that McGregor himself was uncomfortable with it after a point, as if the master of mind games himself had finally found that it was he who was being played.
McGregor was far from a sympathetic figure during the tour, however. The man, in my opinion, knew what he was doing when he called Mayweather “boy.” He was simply seeing how far he could go. What’s more, McGregor’s actions with Showtime honcho Stephen Espinoza were truly horrifying. That’s right, horrifying. Not funny. Horrifying. Riling up a crowd of thousands, then flashing true disdain – and perhaps even a sense of violence – towards a single person isn’t cute or funny. It’s simply wrong – end of story.
By the way, McGregor’s hold on vast crowds is worth noting. Imagine, if you will, the man being a political figure rather than a sporting one. Frightened yet? With the instant aggression McGregor can suddenly summon in his enormous cult-like fan base, maybe you should be. The guy has a strange hold on people. Perhaps there are large numbers of individuals who find bad behavior liberating, who find what the Marlon Brando character in Apocalypse Now called “petty morality” stifling. If so, McGregor might be their man.
Or perhaps people just lack an empathy button and feel that McGregor and Mayweather are simply entertainers. Sure enough, some are openly saying they will pay one hundred dollars simply to be somehow engaged in a vast spectacle when the two meet for their massive, pay per view broadcast fight on August 26th. Then again, perhaps there’s something more at play here, something more sinister that says unsettling stuff about our society as a whole.
I haven’t watched pro wrestling in years, but one of the things that used to delight me about it was the characters – those over the top, cartoon figures who’d engage in all kinds of off the wall, sophomoric dramas right before our very eyes. One of the big keys to these characters was that they consistently celebrated the self. Indeed, pro wrestling was successful because it presented the art of self worship as a joke – a joke that even kids could see through, yet still enjoy. I’m guessing that still rings true with professional wrestling today. The whole freakin’ thing is satire. Mayweather and McGregor appear to have a lot in common with pro wrestlers of yore…except neither seems to be playing a part. Rather, these two appear to be, at most, employing extensions of themselves for public consumption. Each man is taking himself and his incredible success so seriously that it’s either frightening, pathetic, comical, or some combination of the three.
Yet, whether we choose to admit it or not, we as a society are taking them seriously, too. Again, this may all be a backlash to the PC crowd, which is attempting, with some serious success, to instill itself as a harsh and fearful deity to be cowed by, groveled before, and meekly obeyed. There’s even a good argument to be made that Political Correctness and the Cult of the Self are in competition to decide what society’s unofficial religion will be. If that’s the case, Mayweather and McGregor are the Cult of the Self’s Peter and Paul…except, of course, it’s doubtful either will ever settle for the role of mere apostle.
What’s easy to forget in all of this is that these are two men we’re talking about here, individuals with good and bad qualities who it would be wrong to judge in entirety. There’s no harm in judging their pubic personas, though, and seen through the prism of the past week, those personas leave much to be desired, whether they’re adored or not. That’s mainly why I’m not big on this fight – it’s all about the person rather than the contest.
Me, I’ll take the upcoming middleweight showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin over this circus anytime.
Mayweather-McGregor: It’s All About The Money
Mayweather-McGregor: It’s All About The Money
By: Seamus McNally
Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard by now that former pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather (49–0, 26 KOs) will return from a 23-month layoff to face UFC lightweight champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (21–3, 18 KOs) in a 12-round junior middleweight boxing match on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all time, will attempt to reach the hallowed 50–0 mark by facing a fighter who will be making his professional boxing debut
So why is a bout between a future first-ballot hall of fame boxer and someone who has never boxed a day in his life taking place? Quite simply…. money.
When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, the long-awaited showdown shattered every financial record possible. It garnered approximately 4.6 million buys and generated $623.5 million in total revenue. Most people figured those numbers would never be reached again, and yet here we are just two years later with a fight that has the potential to exceed those astronomical numbers.
To give you an idea of how much money this fight could generate, ESPN’s Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell spoke to ticket brokers, sports marketers and those who are in the boxing business, and based on projected revenues from tickets, pay-per-view, sponsorships, merchandise, and betting, they came up with an estimated total revenue figure of $606.1 million generated by this mega-fight.
To put in perspective the amount of money Mayweather-Pacquiao generated and the expected numbers Mayweather-McGregor will produce, the next highest grossing boxing fight is the 2007 Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoyafight which sold 2.48 million pay-per-views and grossed a total revenue of $165 million. McGregor’s best pay-per-view was his rematch against Nate Diaz last August which did a reported 1.65 million buys.
The hype behind Mayweather-Pacquiao was built largely on them being the two best boxers of their generation and the anticipation of fans who waited six years for the fight to finally come to fruition. The promotion itself was subdued, with older and more mature versions of Mayweather and Pacquiao largely being respectful in the press conferences leading up to the fight. That will not be the case in the build-up for Mayweather-McGregor.
The promotion for this fight will be unlike anything we have ever seen before. McGregor is the best trash-talker in combat sports since the late Muhammad Ali and his press conferences are usually just as entertaining as his fights. Not only does he talk more trash than anyone in sports today, but he consistently backs it up inside the Octagon, which has made him a global superstar and an icon in his native Ireland.
McGregor will hurl more insults at Mayweather in the next two months than Mayweather has heard in his previous 49 fights combined. McGregor will probably attempt to ignite some type of altercation with Mayweather during a press conference stare down. The media and casual sports fans will eat it up. McGregor will talk millions of people into believing he has a chance. The hype of fight week will probably exceed the Super Bowl.
Even before the promotion has hit full-gear, McGregor’s bravado already has plenty of people believing he will win. ESPN.com put a poll up on their site asking who will win and out of over 100,000 votes, 24% picked McGregor.
But to be frank, this fight is purely a money-grab. It might be an even bigger scam than Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. It’s more like a Ringling Brothers Circus show. I for one, am very excited to see the shenanigans that McGregor will pull at the press conferences and how Floyd will react. But I know going into this, McGregor has no chance to win.
Yes, I know 18 of McGregor’s 21 wins in mixed martial arts have come via knockout with his fists. Yes, I know he is taller, bigger, and younger than Mayweather. Yes, I know he’s a southpaw, which supposedly is Floyd’s kryptonite.
It means nothing.
McGregor has scored those knockouts against guys who come from wrestling and jiu-jitsu backgrounds, not professional boxers. Mark Hunt, Donald Cerrone, and Anderson Silva, all accomplished MMA fighters who are considered great strikers, have a combined professional boxing record of 1 win, 3 losses (2 by knockout) and 1 draw.
Mayweather has managed to defeat the best boxers of his era, and with ease. Many of them never even managed to hit Mayweather with one punch of significance. And now people are expecting a guy to come in with no prior professional boxing experience and beat one of the best defensive fighters to ever live. The idea is laughable. The same would be true if Mayweather fought McGregor in the Octagon. He would stand as little a chance of defeating McGregor as the Irishman does of out-boxing Mayweather.
This was already proven when former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture submitted boxing legend James Toney in the first round of their 2010 MMA bout.
I heard one analogy that describes this fight perfectly. It will be like the best diver trying to beat Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly. The diver knows how to swim, but not as fast as the most decorated Olympian ever. McGregor knows how to punch, but he won’t be able to outbox the best boxer of this generation.
Like everyone else, I will be glued to the television the night of August 26th to watch the spectacle of two iconic figures in their respective sports duke it out for 12 rounds (or less). But I expect nothing less than another easy victory for Mayweather.
Just How Big Will Canelo-GGG Be?
Just How Big Will Canelo-GGG Be?
By: Sean Crose
People were all kinds of excited when news was announced that Canelo Alvarez would finally be facing middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin in the ring. Not only was it THE fight serious boxing fans wanted to see, but the bout had the potential to cross the margins and make its way into the mainstream consciousness, where boxing rarely sees the light of day. There was a lot to look forward to that night in a Las Vegas ring, when Canelo, after easily beating Julio Caesar Chavez Jr, made it clear he and GGG would finally be getting it on. Boxing, much on the upswing in 2017, would have a bright shining object to show the world when middleweight supremacy was battled for in September.
Unfortunately, another bright, shining object, nothing more than a trinket, really, seems to have taken all the mainstream potential Canelo-GGG may have promised. That particular object, which is honestly not worth mentioning, is said to be an affront to what is essentially the best bout in boxing. It may well be. But boxing fans shouldn’t care. For the truth is that Canelo and Golovkin were never going to break records when they met in Vegas. This was a one-to-two million buy pay per view event, at most. Enormous to be sure, but nowhere near groundbreaking.
So don’t get too upset. Sure, the circus has pushed Canelo-GGG back to the margins. Yet it’s a pretty well-known fact that Canelo has an enormous Mexican fan base behind him that’s VERY interested in his bout with Golovkin. Let’s also not forget about the serious fight fans who won’t be wasting money on a circus but, rather, will be gladly coughing up money for Canelo-GGG. Here’s something else worth considering – boxing, with our without the circus everyone is talking about – is in a VERY good place. Canelo got good PPV numbers for beating a guy few expected to win last time out. Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in front of close to one hundred thousand people in London. The Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia battle owned the night when it appears on network television. Things are going strong.
And as long as fights like Canelo-GGG are made, the sport will continue to prosper. A pop culture event can’t beat steady growth when it comes to the health of boxing. Circuses come and go. Great fights are timeless. Canelo-GGG will do excellent business in September. And if the fight is good, things will continue looking up for the sport.
Conor McGregor May Play Possum against Floyd Mayweather; So What?
Conor McGregor May Play Possum against Floyd Mayweather; So What?
By Ivan G. Goldman
When he accepted a fight against the UFC’s Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather in one brilliant stroke secured a magic 50-0 record, revitalized his celebrity status, and concluded a deal that will earn him lots and lots of millions, maybe even more millions than when he vanquished one-armed out-slicked Manny Pacquiao two years ago in the largest grossing boxing match ever. And he accomplishes all this with little risk to his health or reputation.
Given these facts, Floyd is a man who clearly doesn’t need much in the way of advice. Still, if I were advising Floyd I’d emphasize one simple idea: don’t fall for any tricks. Because as the referee will instruct you, you must protect yourself at all times.
Playing possum would be a corny move on McGregor’s part, but let’s face it, this is a corny spectacle. A guy with no chance boxing a boxing genius. No octagon, no kicking, no limb-bending, and no wrestling beyond what transpires in a boxing clinch. This will be like a human trying to outrun a racehorse.
Yet plenty of folks will root for and talk themselves into expecting a Rocky kind of ending, where, damn the odds, the no-chance underdog comes from behind with a massive punch to trample odds into dust. Some of them have already put their money on it, which explains why the line, the last I checked, was only -650 Mayweather, +425 McGregor. McGregor bettors are risking $100 against a profit of only $425, which is like putting $100 on a hunch that the Earth is flat. It ought to pay better.
But so far at least, MMA zealots are keeping the line respectable by moving money to the crazy side of the gamble. Although it’s also true a 40-year-old who hasn’t competed in more than two years will be facing an active 29-year-old.
Expect to see a flustered Irishman being peppered minute by minute by a master and unable to do a thing about it. Notice I say peppered, not hammered. Floyd doesn’t, as a rule, hammer opponents. But he usually destroys them. He accomplishes this with speed and boxing science and above all, defense. Really good boxers have trouble landing clean shots against Floyd, and a non-boxer will find it impossible.
I know there’s an element of boxing in MMA, but the fighters employ it under such different circumstances that it’s not boxing. It only looks that way. This, by the way, is not intended to disparage mixed martial arts fighters. They’re tough guys in a tough sport, and if Mayweather-McGregor transpired under MMA rules Floyd would have only the barest of chances.
If in the course of time McGregor looks like a wobbly beaten fighter who can’t take one more punch, Floyd should assume he’s faking and proceed with caution. But of course he’s been doing that for most of his career. When’s the last time you saw him go in for the kill? For that matter, when’s the last time you felt after watching one of his bouts, “Man, that was some fight!”?
He’s created his great career by patiently taking his opponents apart and then continuing to take them apart in a round-after-round beat-down that morphs into an unspoken deal between the two fighters: They both get to finish on their feet as long as no one tries to get cute.
Fans apparently flock to Mayweather fights hoping someone will shut his big mouth, but the fact is, he’s great at what he does and also is in fact tough. We’ve seen him hurt from time to time, and he doesn’t panic, doesn’t go down. He fights back and prevails.
There have already been several matches between fighters from different sections of the combat spectrum. They tend to be either boring, not memorable or both.
In 1976 Muhammad Ali took on Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki, who practiced an early variant of mixed martial arts. For most of the fight, conducted under a smorgasbord of rules, Inoki lay on his back like an upside down water bug, kicking at Ali’s legs. A draw after fifteen tedious rounds. Fans threw trash into the ring, and everyone who paid to see it got screwed.
Seven years ago aging master boxer James Toney, in need of a paycheck, took on MMA fighter Randy Couture in a cage. Toney was taken to the ground early and tapped out after 3 minutes, 19 seconds. Everyone who paid to see it got screwed.
Hardcore boxing fans know what to expect August 26 at the MGM Grand, a relatively small venue favored by Floyd. They foresee a huge buildup bursting with pizzazz followed by not much of a fight. But they may well be outnumbered by MMA fans and casual onlookers who don’t know much about either sport.
A boxing trainer friend of mine, Anthony Huizar, who operates out of Carson, California, is plugged into the ticket maze and expects to come up with a seat. He’s “going for the spectacle,” he told me.
Most tickets will likely be scalped through middlemen by the two fight camps and whatever prices are printed on them will be only a fraction of what fans actually pay, unless they’re super-high rollers, who don’t generally have to pay for anything in Las Vegas.
The sportsbooks’ over/under line is telling. It’s set at nine and ½ rounds, and the under is favored by -180. Bettors expect someone to get stopped, which would have to be precipitated by serious action. Hope springs eternal.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available from Permanent Press and wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.
Ward Stops Kovalev With Violent Body Attack
Ward Stops Kovalev With Violent Body Attack
By: Sean Crose
No one could have predicted this. No one.
For Andre Ward stopped the frightening Sergey Kovalev…with body blows in the eighth round. Truly, it was a stunning and brutal end for the light heavyweight title fight. For it was Kovalev who was long known as the terrifying ring monster. Ward, on the other hand, was seen more as the tactician. Yet ultimately the bout came down to tactical destruction. Seeing Kovalev crumpled helpless by the ropes was simply stunning for fight fans to see.
Photo Credit: HBO
It was some kind of fight.
And, sure enough, the fight seemed VERY close throughout. Kovalev’s shot were hard and he was as aggressive as they came as he stalked Ward about the ring. The night, however, ultimately belonged to Ward “I’ve never been the most talented,” Ward claimed after the bout, as he thanked Jesus. “I’ve never been the biggest.” He didn’t need to be, either. Even though it looked to this writer that he was losing almost as many rounds as he was winning, Ward’s body attack took a brutal toll on his Russian nemesis.
Kovalev claimed that Ward hit him low on several occasions. On the last occasion, however it seemed as if Kovalev was feinting injury from a submarine shot that wasn’t actually a submarine shot. Indeed, the shot seemed to land on the beltline at worst. Perhaps Ward sensed it, too, for Kovalev was clearly hurt shortly thereafter. And then the Oakland native went for the kill, ending things by tearing into the body rather than the head. It proved to be a perfect strategy, as referee Tony Weeks stepped in and stopped the bout.
It was an interesting night of boxing in other ways, as well. For Guillermo Rigondeaux knocked out Moises Flores with a shot that clearly landed after the bell closed the second round of their super bantamweight fight. Whether the shot was launched before or after the bell rang was a matter of some debate – but it was the Miami resident’s bout…at least for the time being.
In earlier fights, Dmitry Bivol stopped Cedric Agnew in a light heavyweight bout that made it clear that Agnew no longer has the skill which once troubled Sergey Kovalev a few years ago. Earlier still, Luis Arias dominated Arif Magomedov in the fifth round of a middeweight affair.
The Best Match In Boxing Is Going Down This Saturday…Does Anyone Care?
The Best Match In Boxing Is Going Down This Saturday…Does Anyone Care?
By: Sean Crose
While the sports world focuses on more frivolous matters this week, the best matchup in all of combat sports is going down this Saturday. No, it doesn’t involve a loudmouthed Irishman or a flashy hedonist with a perfect record. Believe it or not, it doesn’t even involve a red headed Mexican and a Kazakh knockout machine. No, the best match in all of combat sports involves a Russian immigrant and a churchgoing Californian who are set to collide in the city of Las Vegas. Few outside of the world of boxing even know it’s happening. Perhaps few inside the world of boxing even care.
And that, friends, is really too bad. For Saturday night’s Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev fight for light heavyweight supremacy promises boxing at it’s best. Exquisite skill. Frightening power. Two men with a lot to prove. Ward-Kovalev II has it all. The first fight between both men last fall wasn’t a classic, but it was damn good, with Ward pulling off a close, yet controversial decision win. Each man now aims to settle things once and for all. Oh, and they don’t like each other. Or at least Kovalev despises Ward. In fact, he despises Ward so bad, he’s made it clear he wants to hurt the man.
Considering the fact that Kovalev has already ended one life, that’s legitimately frightening stuff. Not that the Russian is actually looking to kill Ward, he’s just looking to dispense a world class ass kicking. Ward, on the other hand, is clearly looking to take his opponent to school. And by the way, the guy’s really good at taking opponents to school. One suspects Ward’s also looking to let Kovalev know he’s no pushover. In other words, there’s a lot to look forward to here. The question, however, is whether or not anyone’s actually looking forward to it.
This writer is, and no doubt others are, as well. Probably not too many others, though, and that’s a shame. Neither Ward nor Kovalev has an enormous fan base. People aren’t going to fly across the Atlantic by the jet full for this fight. Nor is an army of people donning hats declaring its preferred fighter the best ever going to be spotted around Vegas this weekend. Nope. This fight is for the purists. As George Foreman once said, boxing is like jazz, the better it is, the less people like it.
Here’s hoping for some seriously good jazz this weekend.
HBO PPV Preview: Rigondeaux vs. Flores, Bivol vs. Agnew, Ward vs. Kovalev
HBO PPV Preview: Rigondeaux vs. Flores, Bivol vs. Agnew, Ward vs. Kovalev
By: William Holmes
HBO Sports will present four fights on Pay Per View on Saturday night which will feature a main event rematch between the two top boxers in the light heavyweight division, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.
Their first bout was a close and entertaining affair that saw Ward scratch out a decision victory after being knocked down early in the bout. Ward and Kovalev genuinely dislike each other and this bout should be as entertaining as the first one.
Main Events and Roc Nation will be co-promoting this event which will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The following is a preview of three of the planned televised bouts.
Dmitry Bivol (10-0) vs. Cedric Agnew (29-2); Light Heavyweights
Prospect Dmitry Bivol is a two time Russian National Gold Medalist as an amateur at two different weights and has never tasted defeated. He lives in Russia but was born in Kyrgyzstan and has never tasted defeated.
Bivol will be four years younger than Agnew, who just turned thirty. They are both six feet tall. Agnew was a runner up in the National Golden Gloves as an amateur.
Both boxers have decent power, but Bivol appears to be the harder puncher. He has eight stoppage wins in only ten fights, while Agnew has fifteen stoppage wins and one stoppage loss.
Bivol has been very active and already fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016. He has defeated the likes of Samuel Clarkson, Robert Berridge, and Felix Valera. Bivol has never faced someone with a losing record, which is rare for prospects as they are usually brought up slowly.
Agnew’s biggest wins have come against boxers past their primes. He has defeated the likes of Yusaf Mack, Otis Griffin, and Daniel Judah. His two losses were to Sergey Kovalev and a man that Bivol has defeated, Samuel Clarkson.
Agnew is a decent boxer with a good looking record, but he’s been fairly inactive since his loss to Kovalev. He only fought once in 2017 and did not fight at all in 2016. This is a bout that Bivol should win quite easily.
Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0) vs. Moises Flores (25-0); WBA Junior Featherweight Title
Guillermo Rigondeaux is one of boxing’s best talents and unfortunately, one of boxing’s most avoided fighters.
He’s a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and a two time Gold Medalist in the world amateur championships. He’s slick, quick, and has some incredible defense on top of pin point accuracy. But, his style is considered boring by the average fan and he struggles to bring in a large fan base.
He’s facing his mandatory challenger for his WBA Junior Featherweight title, but it doesn’t appear Flores will be a real challenge to him.
Flores does have an edge in the physicals. He’s six years younger than Rigondeaux and will have a five inch height advantage and about a one inch reach advantage. He’s also been more active than Rigondeaux, but not by much. Flores fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015. Rigondeaux fought once in 2016 and once in 2015.
Flores also doesn’t have the amateur pedigree of Rigondeaux and hasn’t faced good opposition.
Rigondeaux has defeated the likes of James Dickens, Drian Francisco, Joseph Agbeko, Nonito Doniare, Roberto Marroquin, Teon Kennedy, and Rico Ramos. He has eleven stoppage wins on his record but has been unable to entice any of the other world champions to face him in the ring.
Flores has spent most of his career fighting in Mexico against sub-par opposition. He has seventeen stoppage victories, but only two of his past five fights resulted in a TKO or KO victory. His notable wins have come against Oscar Escandon and Mario Macias.
Rigondeaux needs an entertaining victory badly if he wants to stay relevant and land a date on HBO or Showtime. Hopefully he takes some risks to go for the stoppage on Saturday, but there’s little to no doubt that will emerge victorious.
Andre Ward (31-0) vs. Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1); WBO, WBA, and IBF Light Heavyweight Titles
Their first bout was close, very close, and many boxing aficionados thought Kovalev did enough to win the decision. However, the judges disagreed and scored the bout 114-113 on all three cards for Andre Ward.
Luckily for fight fans they get to witness a rare rematch between two of a division’s best on Saturday night, between two boxers who genuinely dislike each other.
Both boxers are nearing the end of their prime. Ward is thirty three years old and Kovalev is thirty four. They are both six feet tall and Kovalev will have a slight one and a half reach advantage on Ward.
Ward is known for his slick, defensive boxing and his accurate counter punching. Kovalev is known for his devastating power. Ward only has fourteen stoppages in his career while Kovalev has twenty six of his opponents.
However, Kovalev’s last two opponents made it all twelve rounds and he was not able to stop the aged Bernard Hopkins. Kovalev’s power appears to be waning.
Ward had a considerable amount of success as an amateur and was able to win the Gold Medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Kovalev won a gold medal in the Russian Amateur Championships, but did not experience the type of success Ward experienced as an amateur.
Ward has defeated the likes of Alexander Brand, Sullivan Barrera, Edwin Rodriguez, Chad Dawson, Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham, Sakio Bika, Allan Green, Mikkel Kessler, Edison Miranda, and of course Sergey Kovalev.
Kovalev has defeated the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Ismayl Sillah, Nathan Cleverly, and Gabriel Campillo.
Ward is a slick, intelligent boxer who’s able to adjust his style mid match to defeat his opponent. Kovalev’s power caught him off guard in their first fight, but he was able to adjust and win a majority of the rounds in the second half of the fight. Kovalev’s power appears to be escaping him and he looked frustrated in the later rounds against Ward.
Even though their first bout was very close, a rematch favors Ward and this writer expects him to win by a more comfortable margin.
Dmitry Bivol Interview: “If I see the opportunity to end the fight I will go for it”
Dmitry Bivol Interview: “If I see the opportunity to end the fight I will go for it”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Dmitry Bivol is a highly touted young prospect from St. Petersburg, Russia. He sports an undefeated record of 10 wins with 8 coming by way of the knockout. Bivol is only 26 years old, and is already the WBA #1 contender in the light heavyweight division. On June 17th he will fight on the HBO pay per view undercard against his toughest challenger yet, the crafty veteran Cedric Agnew. We spoke with Dmitry as he was putting the last touches on his training camp.
Boxing Insider: How is training camp going?
Dmitry Bivol: The training camp has gone very well. Tomorrow we will have the final sparring and today we had a good run. Yeah, everything is good and we are just waiting for the fight.
Boxing Insider: What is your game plan for a veteran like Agnew?
Dmitry Bivol: I think I don’t have to waste too much energy in the beginning, because he tends to be very defensive. I think I should keep the distance and I should find the openings in his defense to react to. I think those are the three things I should focus on.
Boxing Insider: Is it more important for you to make this fight last longer and get some rounds under your belt, or to look for a quick stoppage?
Dmitry Bivol: I think the knockout is always a good result, but I am ready to go the distance, to go all the rounds, I am prepared for that. To be honest, if I see the opportunity to end the fight I will go for it. But we will have to see during the fight. I am ready to go all the rounds, but I am also ready to end the fight.
Boxing Insider: What are your goals for the rest of 2017?
Dmitry Bivol: I don’t like to look too much ahead, I tend to focus on what is right in front of me. I’m just looking at this fight that is happening on June 17th. As far as plans go, we’ll see after this fight, the only thing I can say is I will look to fight once or maybe twice more by the end of the year.
Boxing Insider: How are you feeling fighting on such a big pay per view event in such a big venue?
Dmitry Bivol: I’m very happy to be fighting on this card, it is very big. I am happy to be fighting on the network and in that arena. I’m very motivated and it is a great achievement of my team, because it’s my 11th fight and it’s such a big magnitude, such a big event, so I’m happy.
Boxing Insider: Since you are fighting on the Ward v. Kovalev card, who do you think is going to win?
Dmitry Bivol: It is a very tough questions. I am sure I will be rooting for Kovalev. We know each other and have mutual friends and he is Russian, so I will be rooting for him. But I do have to say that I think this time the fight will play out a lot different, and Kovalev will have a lot more challenges. It will be a very interesting fight.