Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Saul Alvarez Is The Real Deal

A word came to mind as I watched Saul Alvarez systematically dismantle journeyman Ryan Rhodes this evening.

Truth be told, many words came to mind as I watched the fight, hence the existence of this article; however the one among them that stood out the most was:

“Poise.”

For a fighter not yet 21 years of age, Saul Alvarez fights with a great deal of poise.

Despite being the larger and more powerful fighter in virtually every contest I’ve seen him in, “Canelo” rarely overextends himself, and never wastes his punches.

With a record of now, 37-0-1 against fair to middling competition, it’s hard to say just how good Alvarez truly is in the grand scheme of things; but in terms of bringing the excitement, and pleasing the fans, I’d be hard pressed to find another fighter that has captured the public’s imagination the way Canelo has the people of Mexico.

While nowhere near his level of polish, it’s impossible to look at Alvarez’ fighting and not see flashes of the great Julio Cesar Chavez.

Moreso than the man’s own son, Canelo’s punches, his stance, even parts of his physical build hold close resemblance to the Chavez of old, transposed onto a flame-haired, 154 lbs. body.

Despite the similarities, Alvarez fights with the poise of a man wise beyond his years, slipping punches at will, and pounding out combinations with alarming fluidity.

In short, he fights like a man who is comfortable in the ring, and has found himself through honing his craft rather than through the influence of past greats.

Saul Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are looked upon as controversial “paper” champions.

Both fighters have bloated records and speculative worth among A-grade competition, but in my eyes; at least one of them could grow into something truly special.

And it's probably not this fatty...

Chavez Jr. has always struck me as a severely limited fighter that spent most of his early years chasing the spectre of his father’s legacy; and only now is starting to come into his own.

Unfortunately, “coming into his own” involved developing a bizarre style that makes absolutely no use of his considerable height and reach, as well as causes him to take an excessive amount of punishment in many of his fights.

He’s got his dad’s left hook to the body, but outside of that he’s a fighter without an inkling of science to his boxing.

He’s like Librado Andrade, only with bigger marquee value and a much wimpier resume.

Pictured: The extent of Librado Andrade's talent.

In that sense, I see Chavez Jr. making a lot of money, making a lot of people *Cough!* Bob Arum! *Cough!* only to have his body give out on him while he’s still relatively young.

Alvarez on the other hand, while not a stranger to walking into a shot or 2 now and again, showed in tonight’s fight against Ryan Rhodes; that he’s got quite a future ahead of him, both as an entertaining prospect; and in terms of longevity.

Rhode’s slipperiness and caginess were supposed to be the sort that could give anyone fits, but Canelo walked him down and took nary a significant punch over 12 rounds, eventually stopping the Brit in the 12th round.

On a side note, if you ask me that stoppage was a very poor call by the ref.

To be fair, Rhodes was very obviously hurt, as he had been for much of the later rounds, but it was the last round and he was still doing well to defend himself.

Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents.

That being said I look forward to what the future brings for Saul Alvarez, as any exciting fighter that puts the asses in the seats like he does is good for boxing, and more importantly; good for my Saturday nights!

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Filed under: Boxing, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

Sugar Shane Mosley: The Odd Road to Redemption

Shane Mosley never beat Vernon Forrest.

Undefeated at that point in his career, Mosley had just moved up 2 whole weight classes, from Lightweight to Welterweight to face, and defeat; Oscar De La Hoya in the first super-fight in his career.

He was standing at the screen door of mainstream success, only to get splashed in the face by the dirty dishwater of an upset loss.

Said thrower of said dishwater, was one Vernon Forrest.

Vernon Forrest: Man, Boxer, Thrower of dirty water...

An amateur Gold Medalist, Forrest entered into his first bout with Mosley an undefeated and well-rounded fighter that, while quite accomplished up to that point, was regarded as a very well-rounded, but otherwise unexceptional fighter.

In the 2 contests between these 2 men, Forrest humbled and hurt Mosley as virtually no fighter had up to that point in his career.

Not only that, a little bit of research (*cough!* Wikipedia! *cough!*) shows that he also defeated Mosley in the Olympic trials.

That’s not to say Vernon Forrest was any sort of super talented uber-fighter, (he wasn’t) the simple fact of the matter was, he had Sugar Shane’s number.

They say styles make fights.

Well, sometimes it’s not so much the styles of the 2 fighters, as it is a simple matter of 1 man being exactly the wrong fighter for the other guy.

Eder Jofre had Fighting Harada:

Willie Pep had Sandy Saddler:

And Shane Mosley had Vernon Forrest:

…And to a lesser extent Winky Wright, but he doesn’t count on account of him being a problem for, let’s see, just about EVERYONE.

Well, maybe not Paul Williams...

Sugar Shane never beat Vernon Forrest, and now, through the mysterious machinations of the vile beast that is boxing promotion, Shane Mosley is hours away from facing the last man to fight, and defeat Forrest, Sergio Mora.

Yeah... He held that belt for about 5 minutes...

Personally, I don’t get it.

I don’t get how Sergio Mora has managed to somehow remain at all relevant in the sport of boxing after his stint on Sylvester Stallone’s ill-fated reality program, The Contender.

He’s fought a total of 8 times since winning The Contender, way back in 2005.

*GASP!* You mean he BEAT Peter Mandredo!? TWICE!? Sarcasm, folks: It's for dinner.

Unless you’re Sugar Ray Leonard and can repeatedly retire, unretire, and otherwise pick and choose whatever world champion at whatever weight class you want to fight at any given moment, simply because you’re SUGAR FUCKING RAY LEONARD, then there’s no way you should expect to find success in boxing by fighting 8 times in 5 years.

The point is, I fail to see the beauty of Sergio Mora’s soul, and thusly can’t help but feel that he’s being fed to Mosley for yet another comeback attempt.

Of course, everyone already knows that part.

The part of this that makes me feel weird, is what happens when you read into this particular match-up a little deeper than I think we’re supposed to.

Vernon Forrest is dead.

He was murdered on July 15th 2009 during an armed robbery attempt at a gas station.

Despite some recent downtime in his career due to reconstructive surgery, his talents had remained fairly well-preserved up until his death, such that it was difficult to ever discount his abilities despite his lack of marquee, “name;” value.

Sergio Mora beat Vernon Forrest, only to have the Light Middleweight title snatched away from him in their immediate rematch.

Pictured: Sergio Mora post-WBC Belt snatch-ery.

Forrest died a champion.

Now Sugar Shane “wants” a crack at Sergio Mora (I’m sure he had nothing to do with the match-making process).

Hmm, now that I think of it, Ricardo Mayorga also beat Vernon Forrest, TWICE.

In fact he flattened his ass like a opossum on a busy country road.

Wasn’t it just 2 years ago that Sugar Shane knocked out El Matador after a hard fought battle?

Pictured: A frustrating, awkward battle with a wonderful finish.

Come to think of it, isn’t it interesting that Sergio Mora and Ricardo Mayorga were the only fighters to ever defeat Vernon Forrest?

I smell someone’s lame attempt at earning their redemption via proxy.

Sort of a “I beat the men that beat the guy that beat me” thing.

It’s childish, but it happens all the time in boxing.

Think of it as the equivalent to the dick measuring contest in the sport.

No, you don’t get a funny pic for that one…

What the hell do you think Manny Pacquiao was doing when he fought Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton just after Floyd Mayweather had done the same?

Sending a message, that’s what.

In the case of Sugar Shane though, he’s got nothing to prove.

He’s, quite literally, fighting ghosts.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I don’t get it, but then again I’ve never had the shit kicked out of me in something that I’ve spent my entire life working at, twice, and then had to live the rest of my life with the knowledge that someone out there was “the better man.”

Just sayin’ is all…

Anyway, in regards to the fight, I wouldn’t think Mosley would have too much trouble with Sergio Mora.

Though Mora is long and rangy like Forrest, and has fast hands, he’s nowhere near as physical as he Forrest was, nor is he very good at putting his punches together in bunches, so I could definitely see Mosley looking like a young man against him, much like Forrest himself did in his second bout with Mora.

Bwahaha! In the FACE!

Then again, this fight is taking place at 154 lbs., a weight that Mosley has never looked good at.

Given his relatively advanced age, combined with the extra weight, I could also see him ending up looking like an old man, as he did in his previous bout with Mayweather.

Not gonna' lie: This was hard to watch.

Then again, that fight was against Mayweather, who can, and does, consistently make just about everyone look bad.

Bottom line:

Mosley is the selling point to the fight, thusly making him the favorite to win.

Though he’s quick, Mora doesn’t have a punch, and doesn’t really know how to use his attributes to his advantage, so I see this as a case where Mosley, the more talented fighter, will most likely win a fairly boring points victory via pot-shots and clinching.

What can I say, thank God for the promising undercard, which features Daniel Ponce de Leon, Victor Ortiz and Saul Alvarez.

I wouldn’t expect a lot of boxing science being put on display by any of the above listed fighters, (especially Ponce de Leon…) nor would I expect any sort of significant changes in the rankings as a result of their fights, but hey, when your main event bout is just about as irrelevant at 154 as humanly possible, one shouldn’t expect the undercard to mean anything for the lower weights either.

Anyway, I’ll probably be watching this one in a week or 2 when it’s free on HBO.

To all those who see this one live, have fun.

Take it easy in the afterlife Vernon Forrest.

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Haha, turns out every major fight on the undercard ended up a big knockout for the above mentioned fighters, but the main event turned out to be a fuckin’ SPLIT-DRAW.

Talk about your worst outcome imaginable…

Oh well, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:

Sergio Mora is no fun to watch.

That’s right.  I blame him.

Filed under: Boxing, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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