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HBO PPV Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin Rematch, Plus Full Undercard


By: William Holmes

Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin PPV
HBO PPV: $84.95
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Start time: 8PM ET/ 5PM PT
TV Undercard: Jaime Munguia vs Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook
David Lemieux vs Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Moises “Moi” Fuentes

On Saturday, September 15th the long awaited rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will finally occur for Golovkin’s WBA and WBC Middleweight Titles.

They were originally to fight on May 5th, but a positive test for clenbuterol scuttled those plans. Canelo claimed the trace levels detected were due to contaminated meat, which was met with some skepticism by Golovkin and his team.

Jaime Mungui and Brandon Cook will meet in the co-main event of the night for Munguia’s WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. David Lemieux and Gary O’Sullivan will also meet in a middleweight bout with possible future title implications.

Other boxers such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Moises Fuentes, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Alexis Rocha, and Brian Ceballo will also be featured on the undercard.

The following is a preview of the three top fights for Saturday’s HBO PPV offering.

David Lemieux (39-4) vs. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2); Middleweights

David Lemieux is only twenty nine years old, and will be five years older than Gary O’Sullivan come fight night, but in ring years he’s significantly older. He’s been in some tough fights with some tough competition and already has thirteen more professional fights than O’Sullivan.

They’re about the same size, O’Sullivan will have a slight ½ inch height advantage. They both have decent power. Lemieux has stopped thirty three of his opponents while O’Sullivan has stopped twenty. However, Lemieux only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights while O’Sullivan has five victories in a row by stoppage.

They also have both been stopped. Lemieux has two stoppage losses while O’Sullivan has one stoppage loss on his record.

They both have been fairly active. He fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and twice in 2016. O’Sullivan fought once in 2018, four times in 2017, and once in 2016.

Lemieux does have an edge in amateur experience. He won the Canadian National Junior Championships in 2006 while O’Sullivan does not have any notable amateur accomplishments.

Lemieux’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, and earlier in his career to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubion. He has beaten the likes of Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr., Fernando Guerrero, Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, and Karim Achour.

O’Sullivan’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. He has defeated the likes of Berlin Abreu, Antoine Douglas, Nick Quigley, Melvin Bentancourt, and Matthew Hall.

If this fight happened three years ago Lemieux would be considered the favorite. But he looked slow and old in his loss to Billy Joe Saunders and he is starting to show signs of ring wear. O’Sullivan on the other hand, has been riding a good win streak and looked sensational against a solid young prospect in Antoine Douglas.

This writer has to pick O’Sullivan in a minor upset.

Jaime Munguia (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title

Jaime Munguia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ best young fighters and at the age of twenty one is already a legitimate world champion.

He has exceptional power. He has twenty five stoppage wins and has stopped six of his past seven opponents. He’s also eleven years younger than his opponent Brandon Cook, who only has thirteen stoppage wins, and already has one stoppage loss.

Munguia has been incredibly active. He already fought four times in 2018 and fought seven times in 2017. Cook has also been active and fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017.

Munguia has the better amateur pedigree. He was a Gold Medalist in the Mexican National Championships and turned pro at the age of 16.

Cook’s lone loss was to Kanat Islam by TKO in 2017. He doesn’t have any big victories of note, he has defeated the likes of Miguel Suarez, Steven Butler, and Hector Santana.

Munguia has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Sadam Ali, Jose Paz, Paul Valenzuela Jr., and Johnny Navarrete.

On paper, it’s hard to find anything that Bradon Cook does better than Jaime Munguia. It’s likely we will see that in the ring too.

Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title

Gennady Golovkin has to be considered one of, if not the best middleweight boxers in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t have that big signature win over an exceptional opponent on his resume.

Many thought he did enough to beat Canelo last year, but Canelo came on strong in the later rounds and was able to make the fight a draw.

Both boxers have good power. Golovkin has stopped thirty four of his opponents, though his power seems to be slipping recently. Canelo also has thirty four stoppage wins. Neither boxer has ever been stopped in their career.

Canelo will have a slight ½ inch reach advantage, but will also be giving up about two inches in height. Canelo will be eight years younger than Golovkin on Saturday, and Golovkin may be showing some signs of rust in his armor with his advancing age.

Golovkin has the better amateur career of the two. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Canelo turned professional at a young age, but did win the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships.

Golovkin has beaten the likes of Vanes Martirosyan, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado. He has fought twice a year in 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Canelo has beaten the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he had a draw very early in his career to a Jorge Juarez.

Both boxers seem motivated and have a genuine dislike of each other since Canelo’s positive steroid test in the spring. In their last fight they appeared to be very respectful towards each other, almost too much.

Golovkin’s age is a big concern and his best days are likely behind him. Canelo also appeared to have figured out Golovkin by the end of the fight and was coming on strong. The fight fans in attendance will also likely be in favor of Canelo over Golovkin.

The intangibles favor Canelo,but it’s hard to pick against a man that has never lost and looked absolutely dominating at times.

This is basically an even fight, but this writer has to give the slightest of edges to Golovkin, only because it appeared that Golovkin should have received the decision last time.

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Canelo and Mayweather Could Signal the End of PPV, Streaming Poised to Take Over


By: William Holmes

“I don’t fight for legacy. I don’t fight for none of that, I fight for that check. I’m in the check cashing business.”

-Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Boxing isn’t just a martial art, it’s also entertainment. Floyd Mayweather was wise enough early on in his career to understand that having a public persona sells, and when you’re a fighter it’s best to minimize the physical damage while maximizing your earnings.

He has professed that his career is over, and it’s hard to argue against the proposition that he has been boxing’s most profitable star.

Entertainment value is not the only key to a pay per view’s success, nationalistic pride can also be a driving force in PPV sales.

Manny Pacquiao was a pay per view force in part because of it. Today, the Mexican pride for Canelo Alvarez leads many to express their patriotism with their wallet.

But the long term stability of PPV fights is at risk with the rise of streaming platforms.

New outlets like DAZN and ESPN+ now offer a reasonable financial alternative for fight fans. PPV’s were costing anywhere between $60 and $100 for the opportunity to watch one fight. $60 will get you half a year subscription with DAZN. DAZN promises to have 32 US and UK Matchroom Boxing Events and 15 World Boxing Super Series Events for the year.

ESPN+ has a partnership with Top Rank Promotions and will broadcast 54 live boxing events annually. ESPN + is available for only $5 a month.

The value for fight fans is with the streaming services, and a fight fan that’s spending $15 a month for both DAZN and ESPN+ will be less inclined to shell out another $60 or more for a ppv.

The expansion of heavily invested streaming services combined with boxing’s lack of marketable stars to the wide casual sport fan, spells the beginning of the end for pay per view.

The past two years have been particularly troubling for the boxing pay per view business. The rematch between Golovkin and Canelo is the only notable boxing pay per view fight of 2018. In 2017, Canelo’s fights with Golovkin and Chavez Jr. did well on pay per view, as well as Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s one off showcase with Conor McGregor, but outside of these two Boxing PPV has floundered.

Andre Ward rematched Sergei Kovalev on HBO Pay Per View, but by all accounts that fight underperformed and only sold 125,000 pay per views.

The money for boxing is still present for promoters and boxers alike to take advantage of, even with the decrease in PPV events. The contract DAZN has with Matchroom is worth a reported $1 Billion dollars over eight years (125 million a year) and while the official financials that Top Rank has signed with ESPN hasn’t been reported, it is for seven years and was lucrative enough to lure Top Rank away from their long time partners at HBO, and to resign one of their top stars, Terrance Crawford, to a recent contract extension.

The rise of streaming will present many problems for the Pay Per View model. The obvious one is the value that streaming provides. Fight fans will be able to get high quality fights, and a large number of them, for a substantially cheaper price than PPV.

Additionally, streaming services like DAZN and ESPN+ provide access to other events besides boxing. DAZN has locked into an agreement with Bellator MMA and provides other sport offerings, and ESPN has an agreement in place with the UFC as well as other professional and collegiate sport leagues.

The CEO of DAZN, James Rushton, believes DAZN will be a big disruptor in the industry and he believes DAZN will help change the game of Sports Broadcasting. He recently stated, “We are the world’s first truly dedicated, which stand alone, OTT live sport streaming business. We focused on what that means, is providing fans with unlimited access to some of the best premium sports content available, for one affordable monthly fee. No contracts, no bundles, all that stuff that people don’t like with traditional network television. We are live in five markets right now, and we are launching here in the US later on this summer, we are super excited. We are looking to disrupt and change the game of sport broadcasting starting off with fight sports with our partnership with Matchroom Boxing US and Scott and his team at Bellator. We’re looking forward to our first event going live on the 29th of this September with Bellator.”

The introduction of ESPN+ and DAZN into the boxing viewership marketplace will also force each to be competitive and put on high quality fights. Under the PPV model, boxing broadcast mainstays like HBO and Showtime would showcase their best fighters against boxers that would basically be considered “enhancement” talent, in order to build their popularity for the almighty goal of PPV.

With streaming, DAZN and ESPN+ will have to put on high quality competitive fights to draw the consumer away from the traditional televised boxing model to the new streaming boxing model. Tune-up fights won’t attract paying customers.

Mayweather’s last hurrah was likely against McGregor. If he chooses to come back, he will undoubtably remain a PPV attraction. But as of now, he’s officially retired.

Canelo is still in his athletic prime and has many productive and profitable years ahead of him. A loss to Golovkin will hurt his financial drawing power, but he still has that passionate and loyal Mexican base and will still be a bigger draw than most in the sport.

But outside of Canelo and Mayweather the PPV pickings are slim, and for fight fans and their wallets, that’s probably a good thing.

Is PPV Dead? Not yet, and PPV will likely remain an option for promoters who want to cross promote. But it’s on wobbly legs, and the streaming platforms look fresh and ready to go.

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What Makes a Card PPV Worthy?


By: Oliver McManus

What makes a card pay-per-view worthy? It’s a good question and whilst there’s a general consensus on the criteria it’s still relatively subjective – it needs a top-class headlining fight, that’s a fact, and a cracking undercard but aside from that it’s a relative free for all.

Of course living in the UK we have it relatively easy in comparison to our friends over in America who frequently pay upwards of $70 for a PPV so the £19.95 we are asked to cough up by Sky (or £16.95 for BoxNation / £9.95-£16.95 for ITV Box Office) seems almost spare change.

But that’s not really the point, there’s still very much a live debate as to the future of PPV in the United Kingdom and I’m going to kick off with a fight you couldn’t exactly call “legit” despite the word being hammered down your throat if ever you were to scroll through the two competitor’s social media – KSI and Logan Paul will compete for the “YouTube Boxing Championship” in a glorified white-collar match at the Manchester Arena.

A Mayweather-McGregor-esque first press conference witnessed theatrics a plenty with both “boxers” doing their best to get under the skin of one another in a display that was, in parts, comical and, in parts, genuinely tense – no less than when KSI made reference to Logan Paul’s infamous suicide video.

Of course this attracts a different audience to those that will watch boxing on subscription channels such as Sky or BT and is, undeniably, targeted at a younger, more impressionable demographic but it’s just a nice place to get started when examining the British PPV scene.

Whyte-Parker is another card to examine with the headlining fight being a genuine 50-50 and one that certainly ticks the box of “fight that couldn’t be made without PPV revenue” but with no major title on the line nor the fight being an eliminator contest – despite Whyte being offered two – it’s certainly towards the weaker end of the PPV spectrum.

Taking that into account, then, you’d expect an even better undercard to try and off-set the slightly weaker, albeit enjoyable, headlining act and, despite the card being beset with injuries and withdrawals from the offing, you can’t really say it delivered – Katie Taylor fights an inactive opponent with her next fight already announced, Dereck Chisora and Carlos Takam fight in a barnstormer yet, overall, inconsequential fight and Connor Benn and Cedrick Peynaud rematch in a fight which is only marginally interesting because last time round Benn was worse than expected and Peynaud better than expected.

The question, then, to be asked is why is this capable of being marketed at PPV when the card is, in all honesty, a slightly beefed up Saturday fight night? It’s a simple answer and it’s not necessarily something that is particularly surprising but people will buy the card – which isn’t meant to be a dig at people who will buy it – and the promoter and broadcaster know that.

Sure, this won’t do Anthony Joshua numbers but it will still pull in 200-250,000 purchases and, on the conservative side, near an extra £4million in revenue. From that side of things it’s a no-brainer to make it a PPV because it just means more profit (although, of course, that money goes primarily to the fighters).

Many people will, and do, feel hard done by PPV shows when they feel they aren’t worth the asking price and that comes down to the fact that to access boxing on British TV you already have to subscribe to both Sky and BT which comes in the hefty price of £815.88 a year so when the argument of “if you don’t like it, don’t buy it” comes into play then HOLD ON, we’re already paying nearly a grand a year and what we’re saying is the saturation of quality for an increase in subscription costs.

The outrage, therefore, is somewhat understandable.

And this feeling then seeps into other offerings such as the World Boxing Super Series final between Usyk and Gassiev which are sensational fights and worthy of PPV BUT had me getting outraged in the early stages of the build-up at the prospect of having to pay a mere £9.95 for the pleasure of watching it.

My reasoning for getting worked up about it? Benn-Peynaud II! It makes no sense but it all comes full circle because here I am, a full-time student, working a 30 hour job on top of that all while trying to get started in this boxing industry and, to be frank, I haven’t got that much money to spare. I hear people saying “why don’t you just stream it?”, streams are so unreliable and I’ve not had a lot of luck so the prospect of Benn-Peynaud being justified as PPV worthy ended up getting me irritated about Usyk-Gassiev and no it doesn’t make sense but it is what it is.

And OF COURSE, no-one is making you pay for anything and this isn’t an article looking to attack pay per view, not in the slightest, that was just the negative section of this piece.

There are, in turn, huge positives that can come out of pay per views cards, when done properly so a few bad examples don’t mean the format is a write off as a whole and, indeed, the revenue created via a PPV card has enabled some fights to be made that, otherwise, wouldn’t be financially feasible.

If we look at Haye-Bellew / Bellew-Haye II then they are two of the most publically demanded fights in recent memory filled with genuinely bad blood and whilst there was no title on the line and the fights weren’t the most aesthetically pleasing, the spectacle, the story, the drama, well it easily justified the price tag in my opinion based on the fact it was a wanted fight and only viable through the revenue of a pay per view.

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder, when or if that is made, will be a fight that you’d assume would be unable to be criticised for being on PPV but, as always happens with Joshua, there will be people incredibly vocal in their belief that they should be able to see the best of the best without paying extra BUT that for me raises a whole other point.

The point being Anthony Joshua, arguably, is the only real PPV fighter in the United Kingdom because his name alone is capable of selling an 80,000 capacity Wembley Stadium, regardless of opponent, and such is his attraction that you could put him in with a grizzly bear and it would sell upwards of one million buys (although, actually, that would be quite an interesting fight).

And my final point – entertainment. £19.95 for six, seven hours of entertainment on a Saturday evening, an opportunity for a social gathering, is bloody good value and certainly cheaper than taking my girlfriend to Nandos.

Anyway I’m going off on a ramble and I’m nearing 1,200 words so to conclude on PPV (in a very inconclusive fashion) – 1) too many PPV cards are saturating the quality of non-PPV cards 2) it doesn’t matter as long as people keep buying it 3) most PPV cards are good value for money for an evening’s entertainments.

Hey, I guess it’s a price you have to pay for being a boxing fan!

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Canelo-GGG Reportedly Does Over A Million Pay Per View Buys


By: Sean Crose

*UPDATE*

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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