Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

B-Hop Loses Title Via 2nd Round Bodyslam

Pictured: Bernard Hopkins getting tapped on the chin by a jab from Chad Dawson.

I know the phrase gets tossed around by ignorant fans all too often these days, but I’ve gotta’ say it:

Jesus-fuck man, boxing’s in trouble.

As of last night, we now have 2 consecutive pay-per-view events ending via bizarre, and wholly dissatisfying circumstances.

Last time it was Floyd Mayweather sucker punching an thoroughly unprepared and unnervingly bipolar Victor Ortiz.

Every time I see this, I hear Manny Steward in my head going "Aw..........."

This time, it’s Bernard Hopkins sustaining a shoulder injury via an accidental throw at the hands of Chad Dawson, resulting a questionable TKO that will likely be overturned within the next few weeks.

While Manny Pacquiao will always draw a huge audience, particularly among the Filipino demographic, with so many boxing main events degenerating into disappointing circus-like tomfoolery, it’s hard to say whether his rubber match with Juan Manuel Marquez will be able to generate significant interest with the UFC heavyweight title match being aired on public television during the same time slot.

For a life long boxing fan like me, this is a no-brainer, but for many other typical fans of “combat sports,” it’s hard for me to see people turning down a free event over a pay one, especially given the high-profile nature of the UFC bout.

....As well as the "bro-ey" nature of most UFC fans.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as excited as the next guy for Pacquiao Marquez III, in fact probably more so; but it’s hard for me to picture Marquez getting his sea legs at Welterweight overnight.

That’s a topic for a different day though.

Getting back to the matter at hand, the B-Hop and Dawson fight lasted around 5 minutes, and from the looks of it, Dawson was likely going to coast to a decision victory.

B-Hop’s one of my favorite fighters, and I’d watch him fight even if he was in a wheelchair, but from the looks of things with Dawson, I didn’t see the same spark that I did in his fights with Jean Pascal.

His feet were flat, there was little spring in his step, and oddly enough; he looked stiff to me.

B-Hop doesn’t get stiff.

The old adage in boxing, is that when it comes to old age, your legs are the first thing to go.

I hate to say it, as we only got to see him for less than 2 rounds last night, neither of which he seemed to lose by more than a slim margin; but I feel like this sadly might be the last time we see B-Hop in the ring.

From what I could tell from the footage, the “bodyslam” that occurred in the 2nd round was the fault of neither man.

B-Hop charged in to clinch, Dawson ducked, and while B-Hop leaned on his back, Dawson stood up, or at most, shrugged; resulting in the old man getting lifted off his feet.

Pictured: B-Hop goin' for a ride.

Slipping off of Dawson’s back, B-Hop fell to the canvas and jammed his elbow, sending force up his arm; resulting in what doctors reports are now confirming as a dislocated shoulder.

Given B-Hop’s advanced age, it’s hard to see him recovering from an injury like that in time for another go in the ring to be feasible, hence my concern over the fact that this garbage-ass fight/debacle might be the last time we see The Executioner in action.

For whatever reason, referee Pat Russell declared “no foul” on Hopkins’ spill to the canvas, thereby ruling his inability to continue a TKO for boxing.

Now, I don’t mean to question the merits of a professional referee, but frankly; my understanding of the rules of boxing had me picturing the fight as either a technical draw on the grounds of no “boxing maneuver” being utilized to acquire the victory, or a no contest on account of the bout having ended before 4-5 rounds could be scored on the cards.

Pictured: B-Hop seen in a rare light: On the canvas.

That’s just me though.

In any case, the fight looked like it was well on it’s way to becoming the chessmatch it was foreseen as.

No significant punches were landed, but Dawson’s quickness and reach seemed to be the sort that could give B-Hop fits.

Despite everything I said about B-Hop’s legs looking kind of sluggish, the man is very much a late round fighter; so it’s entirely believable that he could’ve pushed Dawson to mentally check out the same way he did against Jean Pascal.

Unfortunately, the boxing Gods were not smiling last night, so we’re left instead with yet another oddity for the hall of disappointments and weird-ass decisions.

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

So… Larry Merchant’s A Meme Now.

Pictured: The picture that launched a meme.

Seriously?

Of all the stupid fucking bullshit that could call attention to boxing in the mainstream media, THIS is what’s responsible?

I mean it’s cool an’ all, the idea of the perpetually curmudgeonly and grandfatherly Larry Merchant talking back to one of this generations greatest fighters; but even so, I would hardly consider it worthy of being a “thing.”

While I’m on the topic, whoever started the meme that is the mainstream use of the word “meme,” is an asshole that will very likely have a place in future encyclopedia articles regarding “The Collapse of Western Civilization.”

As a lifelong fan, any news, no matter how trivial/stupid, of boxing making waves in the mainstream is good for the sport.

In a perfect world, news of good fights, or exceptional fighters would be sufficient to qualify as “news-worthy,” but sadly, in this day and age; we need to rely on stupid bullshit like Uncle Larry cussing out “Money” Mayweather to get any sort of publicity for boxing.

At many points in my life, I’ve found myself putting my head between my legs and muttering to myself:

“Why couldn’t I have grown up being a football fan?  It would be so much easier…”

Boxing doesn’t have seasons or teams.

Thanks to the lucrative nature of pay-per-view and the alphabet soup of rankings and belt commissions, big fights are virtually impossible to see without paying out the nose.

And if you’re like me, and are from the Pacific Northwest, you don’t have any big name fighters to represent your city, state, or continental region.

Sure, we had a few greats, like Freddie Steele and Greg Haugen, but nowadays we lose pretty much all of the “would be” talent to MMA, ’cause, well; that’s just how it is these days.

Needless to say, where I’m from, “Did you see the fight last night?” is one of those phrases that just doesn’t compute with most people.

If this incident snags boxing a few more fans, that’s terrific.

Just don’t expect me to put up with you if you try to reach out and talk boxing with me and bring up Larry Merchant and Mayweather’s little tiff as you’re opening topic.

To that I’d probably say:

“Yeah that was kind of funny, you do realize there was a fight that night, right?”

That being said, while I’m happy boxing and my boy Larry Merchant are having their (mostly undesired) moment in the sun, I’ll be a lot happier when the buzz dies down and we can get back to business.

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

Mayweather Defeats Ortiz By Hilariously Stupid KO

Pictured: Floyd Mayweather decking an apologetic and entirely off-guard Victor Ortiz for the 10 count.

As you’ve likely heard by now, Floyd Mayweather earned his 42nd consecutive victory by defeating Victor Ortiz last night in controversial fashion.

In a move that will likely go down in history as one of the more snarky and underhanded in-ring moments of his career, Mayweather sucker punched the young Ortiz during an awkward moment of miscommunication between the fighters and referee Joe Cortez.

It’s funny too, ’cause for all of the 4 rounds it lasted, the contest was actually shaping up to be an entertaining bout.

Ortiz didn’t look all that comfortable with Floyd, as he ate right hands all night and never really managed to create any angles or cut off the ring; but to be honest, he was a lot more competitive than I initially expected.

On several occasions, Ortiz was able to bully Mayweather to the ropes and get some punches off, however most of it was just for show, not really dealing any significant damage.

Even so, instances in which a fighter is able to bully Floyd, or put him in a position where he isn’t 100% in control of the flow of the fight are very much a rarity in boxing, so I’d consider that an achievement in and of itself.

In all fairness to Ortiz’ pluck and tenacity though, Mayweather looked to be in charge throughout.

Oddly enough, I’d go so far as to say this was one of Floyd’s best performances in years.

He threw combinations.

He threw an inordinate number of punches per round.

Hell, he even pressed the attack and went on the offensive early in the 3rd round!

Despite all this, Floyd’s accuracy with his lead right was easily the star of the show.

I don’t know if it was Mayweather speed or Ortiz porous defense, but watching Floyd slip straight right through his opponent’s guard was a thing of beauty.

In all honesty, despite the eventual outcome of the fight, the puffiness of Ortiz’ face in the 4th coupled with his inability to seemingly get comfortable with Floyd’s movement and speed suggested that he’d likely be hurt or felled by a right hand at some point in the fight.

We’ll never know of course, but I’m just saying is all.

After 4 rounds of an occasional flurry on the ropes from Ortiz in a Mayweather dominated fight, few could have predicted the end to the fight.

From what I saw, Ortiz caught Mayweather on the ropes towards the very end of the 4th round, whereupon he began to throw combinations.

As is typical of employing such tactics against Mayweather, most of the punches bounded off of the undefeated fighter’s elbows and shoulders, though in this case 1 or 2 actually did make their mark pretty solidly.

During all of this, Mayweather found an opening in Ortiz’ flurry, and attempted to sling his arms over the younger fighter’s shoulders, likely in an attempt to tie-up.

At this moment, Ortiz lowered his gloves and proceeded to hike himself up onto his toes, lurch forward, and slam his cranium into Floyd’s chin.

Pictured: The "butt" in question.

Fouling in boxing is an art, one that some fighters have built their entire style off of.

Fighters like Evander Holyfield were routinely accused of using their head as a third glove, while trickier fighters like Bernard Hopkins managed to get away with using every dirty trick in the book.

Fouling can be useful to offset an opponent’s mental state, open up a cut, or to buy a moment to breath.

The thing is, fighters that make use of fouls as a tactic, usually know how to do so subtly and in manner that doesn’t call attention to their wrongdoings.

Hell, I’ve seen instances where ‘ole B-Hop managed to trick the ref so bad he actually managed to get away with a foul and cost the other guy a point!

What I’m driving at here, is that Ortiz has never shown himself to be a “dirty” fighter, but his amateurish and blatant use of an intentional headbutt was in very poor taste nonetheless.

The guy claimed it was unintentional, that Mayweather “leaned into” the butt; but if you watch the replay, the footage paints a picture that plainly supports the contrary.

Besides, since when does Floyd “lean into” anything?

Anyway, following the headbutt, Ortiz approached Floyd and gave him a friendly hug and apologetic kiss on the cheek.

To be honest, I really wouldn’t think a fighter, least of all Floyd Mayweather, would really be down with the idea of his opponent kissing him during the fight.

Maybe it’s just me, but Floyd doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would respond well to a gesture like that, even in jest.

Following this, Joe Cortez jumped in and hastily deducted a point from Ortiz, separating the 2 fighters in the process.

Upon returning to the center of the ring, Ortiz appeared to continue his apology, to Floyd as the 2 touched gloves.

During this exchange, Ortiz’ gloves remained no higher than chest level, often dwindling as low as his thighs.

Mayweather on the other hand, approached the center of the ring with his gloves held to his temples and at the ready, even during the ceremonial touching of gloves.

If anything was to be deduced from this image, it was that the 2 men were in very different states of mind at this moment in time.

Ortiz was working on perhaps a 3rd gesture of apology, while Mayweather was good and ready to continue the fight.

What followed was of course Mayweather clean clocking Ortiz with a left hook, followed by a straight right hand that ended the night.

Pictured: Joe Cortez finishes out the 10 count as a listless Victor Ortiz rides the bus past Queer St. and on the way to Queer Manor.

During this entire process, Joe Cortez made no indication for the 2 fighters to continue.

Truth be told, he was probably the least informed individual at the time of the knockout considering he seemed to be eye-fucking the judges/officials during the seconds preceding the sucker punches.

While many view this event as disgraceful to the sport of the boxing, and a stain on Mayweather’s reputation, I look at it as just another silly moment in boxing.

Sure, I was looking forward to the fight, and I was a little upset that both fighters didn’t get to show everything they had, but I’m not gonna’ lose sleep over it.

After all, the guy I was backing won, and he looked phenomenal leading up to the KO.

“Protect yourself at all times” is the golden rule in boxing, and Ortiz simply got too cute for his own good.

The funny part is, while Floyd will likely take most of the flack for knocking out a virtually defenseless opponent, personally I think Ortiz deserves some shame for the headbutting.

Seriously man, butting is fine, but not when you do it in blatant and malicious fashion.

Ultimately, it was a fight that could potentially do harm to both fighter’s reputations for the forseeable, however business is business, and boxing marches on.

You’ll see, a few months will pass and, surprise!:

Mayweather will still be bankable, and Ortiz will still be on his way to becoming Oscar De La Hoya Mk. II.

Oh well, boxing fans will moan and howl over this silly “sucker punch” ending until either something dumber/more controversial happens, or there’s a rematch and Floyd wins it the way most of us figured he would in the first place.

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For Once, I’m Backing Mayweather


It’s funny, despite largely despising his public persona, over the years I’ve begun to appreciate Floyd Mayweather a lot more as a fighter.

I’m not saying I never acknowledged his skills, as that’s pretty much impossible to do without willfully deluding yourself to the truth; rather I failed to recognize how valuable he was to the sport of boxing.

In short, outside of Congressman Pacquiao, no other currently active fighter possesses the name recognition and marquee value that Mayweather does.

In an era where boxing is rapidly becoming less and less relevant in the eyes of the masses, fighters like Floyd Mayweather, however publicly distasteful their image may be; are crucial to the success and survival of the sport.

That’s not to say boxing will every truly be phased out as a sport, (it won’t) but without big name fighters to generate money and interest; the chances of the sport floundering or losing ground to MMA become much more feasible.

That being said, the reason I used to hate Floyd Mayweather, was not because he acted liked a buffoon outside the ring, or because I found him boring, but because he was just so damn good.

Growing up, I remember watching the young Floyd cut a swath through the competition, gradually moving up in weight and creating matchmaking chaos all the way.

Every time he’d move up in weight, everyone in the division would either swarm to make a date with him, or hastily move up themselves so as to preserve their reputation and continue with their careers.

Most of all though, I just hated him because he beat my boy Gatti so badly.

I still have trouble watching this.

Nowadays, despite the repeated instances of Ray Leonard-esque layoffs, I’ve begun appreciate Floyd’s place in the sport.

In many ways, he’s like this generation’s Muhammad Ali or Jack Johnson, not in terms of skills or style; but in terms of the way he markets himself.

He’s a loud, brash, defiant, and arrogant black man, and what results is people coming out, en masse, to see if he’ll back up his words or end up eating them.

If anything is true about Floyd Mayweather, it’s that, of all the pay-per-view buys and ticket sales he generates, half of it can likely be attributed to people that want to see him lose.

I don’t know if it’s intentional on his part or not, but Floyd has very skillfully positioned himself as the quintessential heel of boxing.

Like in wrestling, everyone knows that it’s easier to sell a feud between a face and a heel as opposed to 2 faces, and as such; Floyd has basically streamlined the marketing and matchmaking process for his fights by (seemingly) willfully embodying the role of the heel.

Ted DiBiase: The Mayweather of wrestling, minus the in-ring ability.

Floyd is far from one of my favorite fighters in the sport, but I do enjoy watching him work nonetheless.

Of this generation, I can think of a better technical boxer than Mayweather.

He doesn’t use his legs to dance as much anymore, but in terms his positioning and quickness, few can match him.

His economical style is far from the most thrilling to watch, however his ability to remain elusive and utterly dominate the pace of the fight are second to none.

Similarly, his hand speed and tricky defense put him the rare position of being dangerous at all times, while being a steadfast 12 round fighter.

On top of it all though, in my mind Floyd’s mind is his greatest asset in the ring.

While he certainly is far from a mental giant outside the sport of boxing, Mayweather is, like Bernard Hopkins; a genius in the ring.

B-Hop: Master of demoralization, deception, and straight up dirty tactics. I love it.

More than that though, he’s possessed of a confidence and focus that seem virtually indomitable.

In a sport where mental strength accounts for about 80% of a fighter’s success at the top level, having unwavering confidence in one’s self is key.

While one-punch knockouts can and do happen, more often than not, knockouts are crafted through a combination of serendipity and careful coordination.

The point I’m trying to get across, is that often times, when you see a fighter defeated in emphatic fashion; it comes as a result of several visible factors throughout the fight.

In short, many fighters are defeated in the ring mentally, long before they are physically.

Case in point Zab Judah, who has a tendency to suddenly become retarded after the fourth round.

While he’s not a knockout artist in the least, Floyd is a fighter that frustrates, humiliates, and makes guys quit through sheer boxing skill.

And through a few cheap, borderline fouls, but that’s besides the point.

Today Floyd Mayweather will be fighting Victor Ortiz, a young Southpaw that’s dropped every man he’s faced at one time or another.

Many people look at Ortiz’ recent hard fought victory over Andre Berto as a Fight of the Year candidate, but personally, I do not.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a very good fight, with no less than 5 knockdowns throughout, however personally I found it to be somewhat frustrating.

To his credit, Ortiz dominated the fight through bullying and crowding Berto, resulting in a fight that was a whole lot more one-sided than the knockdowns would suggest.

Essentially, the outcome of the fight was decided solely in the first half of the bout, with Berto mentally checking out sometime after the sixth round.

Berto has never been possessed of one-punch knockout power, and given that he was pressured into relying solely on counters and potshots; he never really got his stuff going in the fight.

While I wholeheartedly commend Ortiz for his dominating performance, his lack of offensive tact (I.E. jabs) resulted in him getting floored twice but a guy that was fighting both hurt, and on the run.

He overextended himself, as young guys tend to do in energetic brawls; and it cost him what very likely could’ve been an easy victory.

Eat enough of these, and you go down. It's simple physics.

In case you couldn’t see where I’m coming from with all this, I’m picking Floyd to win over Ortiz.

While Ortiz can in fact box, his bet would likely to be to brawl with Floyd, though if he brings the same free swinging style as he did in the fight with Berto, he’s likely to walk into something big, more than likely a right hand.

Homerun punches are a double-edged sword.

Sure the have the capacity to deck guys in one shot, but should the be slipped or countered, the resulting fatigue and damage generated by such an outcome is far greater than punches of a more economical nature.

I wouldn’t go so far as to predict a knockout on Floyd’s part, but I do see him getting to Ortiz and maybe hurting him at some point.

For what it’s worth, and I’m likely to piss somebody off with this, I honestly don’t like Ortiz.

He can be fun to watch, as any guy that knocks people down can be; but I really don’t like the image he projects.

He has that trademark Golden Boy-tailored, people friendly image, but underneath it all he clearly has a chip on his shoulder, not to mention a massive helping of machismo.

With the haircut, the tribal tattoos, and the talk of “destroying” his opponent, Ortiz comes across as a fighter for the UFC crowd moreso than boxing.

Guys like this = Ortiz' crowd.

Oh well it’s not important, I just felt I should get that off my chest while I was on the subject.

That being said, tonight will be only the second time I’ll have rooted for Mayweather, with the first being when he fought Ricky Hatton.

Man I hate Ricky Hatton…

Anyway, here’s hoping my support for him doesn’t jinx, but above all; here’s hoping the fight turns out to be a good time!

 

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Floyd Mayweather: Back In Action

After a lengthy 16 month layoff, Floyd Mayweather has finally announced his return to boxing this coming September.

Curiously enough, Mayweather’s chosen opponent comes in the form of the very live dog that is Victor Ortiz.

I’m not gonna’ lie, the selection of Ortiz as a “comeback” opponent actually kind of shocked me.

Despite Mayweather’s considerable talents and in-ring ability, 16 months is a long time for any fighter to be away from the sport, such that it’s difficult not to look at this fight and see it as being anything less than dangerous for Pretty Boy Floyd.

I wouldn’t expect Floyd to get old overnight, as he’s still relatively young, and is notorious for being a gym rat; but even so, Ortiz would not have been my first choice for a comeback fight.

At the same time though, Floyd is one of the shrewdest and most selective matchmaker’s in the business, which leads me to believe he saw something about Ortiz’ game that he could take advantage of.

Seriously man, if history has taught us anything; it’s that Floyd Mayweather only fights the big fights when he is damn well good and ready.

Case in point: Mayweather/Mosley

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some of factors that might have lead to Ortiz being Mayweather’s pick for his next fight.

Ortiz’ most recent fight saw him move up in weight and bulldoze the everloving shit out of the popular, but somewhat overrated Andre Berto.

I apologize, that is probably one of the most annoying songs the internet has ever produced.

*ANYWAY* despite the weight gain, it’s common knowledge that Ortiz was massive for a Jr. Welter; leading me to believe that, in a fight with Mayweather; the size advantage would likely go to Ortiz.

The Berto fight was highly competitive in terms of clean punching, but in terms of just about everything else; Ortiz dominated.

Despite his image enhancing performance in the Berto fight, (Ortiz had carried the label of “quitter” after the Maidana fight) Ortiz showed many of the same deficiencies he’s shown throughout his career.

In bullying Berto along the ropes, Ortiz showed little to no head movement, as well as a tendency to loop and telegraph his punches.

Pile this on top of Ortiz’ lack of a solid or consistent jab, and you have a fighter that very likely could fall prey to Mayweather’s slippery M.O.

So why do I still see that as a risky matchup for Floyd?

The layoff has a lot to do with it, but mostly I think it’s just Ortiz’ size and bullheadedness that have me thinking he’ll be a handful for Floyd.

Mayweather was stymied, and in the eyes of some; beaten by Jose Luis Castillo’s bullying and infighting in their first fight, and in the case of Ortiz, I could see him approaching the fight as a bigger version of Castillo.

Ortiz clinched and wrestled his way to victory against Berto, and though I’d never suggest Berto and Mayweather were on the same level in terms of technical ability, but even so, I think it’s fairly significant that Ortiz completely shut down Berto’s game in that fight.

At the same time though, Ricky Hatton made his living being a bully, and basically tried to do the same thing to Mayweather, and we all know how boosh that turned out:

The one other thing that’s worth mentioning about Ortiz, is the fact that he’s a Southpaw.

Mayweather has gone to great lengths to avoid Southpaws throughout much of his career, and with good reason.

Southpaws tend to land on Mayweather at above average frequency, (read: still not that often…) and as such, it’s clear he has some issues with them that most other conventional fighters tend to have.

At the same time though, Ortiz rarely makes use of the more advantageous tools that a Southpaw possesses.

He doesn’t have much of a jab, his feet are rarely in the “right” place, and his right hook never seems to come into play enough.

On top of all this, one also has to consider the fact that Ortiz’ mental toughness still might not be too far removed from his disastrous loss to Maidana, not to mention Ortiz had his hands full in pounding out a draw against Lamont Peterson.

The way I see it, if a fighter like Peterson can give Ortiz a run for his money, than Mayweather could likely do the same; maybe even hurting him in the process.

Don’t quote me on that last bit.

In any case, I’m seriously looking forward to this fight, as though I’m not a Mayweather fan per se, I respect his talent, not to mention the money and attention that he brings to the sport of boxing.

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

Andre Berto Vs. Victor Ortiz: A Fight Worth Watching

Damn! THATS a haircut!

This Saturday evening, WBC Welterweight champion Andre Berto will face 140 lbs. Southpaw dynamo Victor Ortiz.

In this day and age, when boxing has long since become an event driven business; it’s not often that non-pay-per-view match ups could be considered “must see” material.

That being said, consider Berto vs. Ortiz as “must see” as it gets.

Both fighters are in the prime of their physical development.

Both are vying for mainstream popularity and success.

Both are exceedingly heavy-handed.

Most importantly though, both are known to be vulnerable in some respect.

Put it all together, and you get an explosive fight that’s liable to put some serious miles on one, if not both fighter’s odometers; regardless of the actual length of the bout.

Pictured: How both fighters are gonna be talkin after the fight...

That being said, who do I think will win?

Well, even though I’m biased towards Andre Berto, ’cause well; I like him, in all fairness I feel Berto is the logical pick as winner.

As mentioned earlier, both fighters are notably heavy-handed, though it’s definitely worth re-iterating the fact that Ortiz will being fighting at 147 lbs. for the first time in his career.

While weight and body size will always be a factor well worth considering when picking a winner in boxing, in the current age of supplements and sports science; it seems be a factor of diminishing importance when dealing with fighters naturally/healthily filling out to a heavier weight class as opposed to gaining extraneous weight or being forced to move up due to a failing body structure.

Pardon me, I appear to be rambling.

The point you were supposed to extract from all that bullshit above, is that I feel the increase in weight won’t be much of a factor for Ortiz, as at a barrel chested 5’9″ he not only seemed big for a Jr. Welterweight; he also seemed big standing next to Andre Berto.

Berto: "Yeah... Hes biggern me."

On that note, as mentioned previously, both fighters have shown signs of vulnerability; Berto due to his porous defense and willingness to trade punches, and Ortiz for his questionable heart.

While his performances have been consistently energetic and well-fought, the main complaint against Berto these days is derived from his controversial split-decision victory over Luis Collazo, as well as the general dearth of big name fighters on his resume.

While there’s no defending Berto for the lack of A or B grade opposition on his record, given that he had at least 2 chances to make a date with the then recent conqueror of the seemingly invincible Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley; it’s worth mentioning that Collazo, a Southpaw like Ortiz; is just one of “those guys” that can make anyone look bad.

Any opportunity I take to post a picture of Ricky Hatton gettin bopped in the noggin is one worth taking advantage of.

One thing’s for sure though, Berto certainly does take far too many punches in his fights; however to date I have yet to see him actually pay for it.

That is to say, while he may stand toe-to-toe too often with guys; he has yet to lose, and he’s managed to put a lot of guys away in the process.

Moving on, as anyone reading this is probably aware, Victor Ortiz caught the bad end of a vicious back and forth affair with the brick-fisted Marcos Maidana back in 2009.

That fight ended as a TKO due to a cut over Ortiz’ eye, however the general understanding was that he responded in the negative when asked whether he wanted to continue.

This decision cost Ortiz a great deal in the face of the boxing community and his fans, leading to him fighting off of HBO’s telecasts during the early stages of his rebuilding phase.

...During which time he traveled back to 1992 and stole Will Smiths hat.

That being said, similar to Hector Camacho after his brutal encounter with Edwin Rosario; it would seem Victor Ortiz caught a taste of something he didn’t like, and has since made adjustments to his fighting style in hopes of never running into it again.

Once a freight train middle range brawler, Ortiz’ game has recently transformed into that of a more tactile and less volume oriented one.

Make no mistake, he’s still an aggressive fighter; he’s just not as prone to go balls out and leave his chin out in the open.

Anyway, that’s enough Berto/Ortiz 101, let’s get down figuring out what’ll happen when these 2 meet!

While speed is an issue many are speculating about, in my eyes neither guy is a mover, and both fighters seems comparable in terms of handspeed, so until I see them in the ring together I wouldn’t count on that being a determining factor in deciding who will come out ahead.

The real issues I see as being key to determining a winner for this fight, are the one’s that inevitably come up when dealing with left-handed fighters; and that is who gets off first, and who dictates the pace and the range of the fight.

From what I’ve seen of both men, Ortiz is a middle range, in-and-out type fighter, while Berto prefers to step in a little closer and dole out high-low combinations until he’s given a reason to back off.

Pictured: Both fighter

While this logic would suggest Ortiz as being the one most likely to dictate the flow of the fight, given that he’s more likely to step in to engage rather than hang back and rely on his jab; truth be told I think Berto’s aggressiveness will lead to him pulling the trigger earlier and more often.

In addition to that, one must also consider that Ortiz is the taller man by a scant half-inch, however Berto has the reach advantage of 2 inches.

In my mind, this translates to Ortiz’ middle range fighting taking place very much inside of Berto’s comfort zone; leading to prolonged exchanges in the latter’s favor.

Looking at both fighter’s repertoire of punches brings even more evidence in favor of this hypothesis.

Ortiz’ money punches are, like most Southpaws; his right hook and and his straight left hand.

He has a good jab, but in recent days he’s used it more as tool for keeping rhythm or measuring distance as opposed to a combination starter or actual weapon.

Pictured: The vaunted Ortiz jab...

His punches come from some pretty slick angles, however he rarely takes advantage of his Southpaw stance in creating them; preferring to square up with his opponents and step out of range to avoid punches as opposed to slip or block them.

Berto on the other hand, fights from a conventional stance and relies on short hooks with both hands, as well as a magnificent right uppercut.

While the uppercut probably won’t be helping him all that much against Ortiz, given that their opposing stances will force him to reach with it, an inherently double-edged sword of a punch; in order to connect with it, I feel that the speed  and sharpness of his hooks will give Ortiz fits every time he steps in.

While none of this points to either man winning out on paper by a clear margin, the length and frequency of Berto’s jabs and left hooks will likely create some difficulty for Ortiz in countering over the top with right hooks.

Perhaps most important of all though, Berto has recently begun using a straight right hand as a key punch in his arsenal; clearly a product of training for and fighting Southpaws post-Collazo.

BOOSH!

Ask anyone how to fight a Southpaw and they’ll tell you 2 things:

Keep your lead foot outside of his, and feed him straight right hands until he chokes on them.

In the end, I think Berto’s tenacity and combination punching will ultimately win the day.

Make no mistake, both guys are likely going to be sore in the morning after this one…

Prediction:

Both guys “do what they do,” but Berto forces, and ultimately wins the majority of the exchanges.

Berto, TKO stoppage Round 7.

Anyway, I’ve ranted and rambled enough about this one for tonight.

As anyone can tell, I’m uber-excited for this one; so hopefully it turns out to be worth the 1200 word post.

G’night.

"Innnn West Philadelphia, born and raised..."

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Thoughts On The Fight Night Champion Roster

Last night I visited the wikipedia entry for EA’s upcoming Fight Night Champion boxing videogame.

As an avid follower (and critic) of the series since it’s inception, I found myself looking through the page taking in all the little tidbits of anticipated gameplay features.

While the “darker” (translations from gamerspeak: bloodier, more profane, and possible T&A) tone of the game does little to peak my interest, in fact if they push it too far I might view it as a detriment to the sport and my enjoyment of the game; my greatest hope is that EA takes the time to improve their character creation system, as it was truly ass in Fight Night 4.

Unfortunately, most of the gameplay and features of Champion are still very hush hush at the moment; so there’s not a whole lot to be said about it.

One thing that I noticed though, was that most of, if not the entire roster of real life fighters included in the game has already been released.

Boxing enthusiast/fan/walking encyclopedia that I am, I feel it is my duty to go through this list, fighter by fighter; and scrutinize the fuck out of it.

Below are my thoughts on some of the fighters that stuck out to me as being weak additions:

Tommy Morrison:

"YOU AND ME TOMMY, WE WAS LIKE THIS! AND YOU BLEW IT TOMMY! YOU BLEW IT!!!"

Though he was featured in the previous Fight Night, I’m still puzzled as to why he was selected to be in the game.

Honestly, as far as accomplishments go, the coolest thing Tommy Morrison ever did in my book was almost get decapitated by Ray Mercer in one of the nastiest knockouts I can recall.

Other than that, he was white heavyweight with a good punch and poor stamina, he came a few rounds away from getting steamrolled by George Foreman, he was in Rocky V, and oh yeah, he was a white heavyweight.

If we’re gonna’ play the race card, personally I’d have rather seen Baby Joe Mesi get thrown in there…

At least that would’ve made me laugh.

Seriously, Tommy Gunn or not, Morrison just doesn’t cut it for me.

Cristobal Arreola and Eddie Chambers:

Man, heavyweights are fat these days...

I list both of these guys together, because they’re on my naughty list for the same reason.

That reason being the Klitschko brothers.

Not long ago, both of these guys were quickly climbing the ranks and looking good doing it.

Then they each met a Klitschko, and each had a big fat Ukranian dump squatted out on their reputation.

Of the 2, I feel that Chambers has fared better since then, largely because he hasn’t lost since then, (truth be told he hasn’t fought, but it’s better than going on to mangled by Tomasz Adamek like Arreola was) and because he conditioning has actually showed improvement over the years, unlike Arreola who just seems to keep getting fatter.

 

Aw... I made the fattie cry.

While both guys are decent fighters, this is just a case of bad timing for EA.

Butterbean:

On the strength of this photo alone, Butterbean is now officially "awesome."

Outside of the novelty, name recognition, and an opportunity to show off realistic fat jiggle physics, why the fuck does Butterbean deserve to be in this game?

Oh well, chances are I’ll end up beating his ass to relieve stress, kind of like I used to do with Ricky Hatton in the previous Fight Nights…

Joe Calzaghe and Chad Dawson:

Let’s get one thing straight, both of these guys deserve to be in this game.

As much as I hate Calzaghe as a person, and as a home-turf fighter; the man has a laundry list of accomplishments in the sport, and I tip my hat to him.

The only problem is, all of those accomplishments were achieved in the Super Middleweight class, not Light Heavyweight.

It may not be that big a deal to the people over at EA, but I feel that including the intermediary weight classes (the supers and juniors) is necessary both to pay the proper respect to the various real-life fighters in the game, as well as to balance out the roster.

That being said, having just 2 guys that never even came close to fighting each other listed for a weight class is just plain stupid.

Not only that, as with the case of Arreola and Chambers, Dawson recently went from being regarded as the guy at 175 lbs., to becoming somewhat of enigma overnight.

Truth be told, I’d rather see a legend like Matthew Saad Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, or hell, Michael fucking Spinks featured at Light Heavy, but if EA wanted to “please” us with a contemporary fighter (nobody gives a shit about Light Heavy since the glory days of Roy Jones) then I guess they got their wish.

Carlos Monzon:


Another fighter featured in the previous game, Carlos Monzon is somewhat of an oddity in the cast.

Most likely unknown to most casual boxing fans, especially younger ones, Carlos Monzon was one of the greatest, and longest reigning Middleweight champs of all time, however there’s a catch to that accomplishment.

Monzon was a champion that really didn’t fight that many truly great fighters.

Sure, he bested Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith, and Jose Napoles; but who the fuck other than myself and the old guys down at the barbershop knows 2 out of 3 of those guys?

Other than the opportunity to put Monzon head to head with his successor, Marvelous Marvin Hagler; I don’t really see why Monzon is in the game.

I’d have put Tony Zale and Rocky Graziano in instead, but that’s just me…

Jermain Taylor and Danny Jacobs:


Let’s just call this bad timing and call it a day, shall we?

Seriously, Jermain = Damaged Goods.  Danny Jacobs = Overrated.  ‘Nuff said.

Anthony Mundine:

"And next week I'm gonna' fight a paraplegic cancer patient! That'll put the naysayers to rest!"

Anthony Mundine was in the previous Fight Night, and my reaction to his presence hasn’t changed since.

Mundine is a decent fighter, but he’s been fighting tomato cans for too long now, and he’s barely relevant outside of his native Australia anymore.

“Wow, Fight Night must sell well in Australia, ’cause other than that, I absolutely cannot justify why anyone would ever want to put Anthony Mundine in a videogame.”

That’s what I feel on the matter, and I’m sticking to my guns.

The problem with that, is the fact there are so many great Australian fighters out there to choose from.

While I’m aware of the inherent licensing difficulties that come with dealing with real-life sports figures, I would’ve loved to have seen Jeff Fenech, or Lionel Rose, or hell, if they wanted another fairly contemporary fighter, I would’ve been happy to have seen Paul Briggs or Kostya Tszyu in there.

But no, instead we get Anthony fucking Mundine…

Peter Manfredo Jr. and Sergio Mora:


Okay, I am officially getting tired of seeing Contender alum in the sport of boxing.

Jesse Brinkley had a decent run, until being dismantled by Lucian Bute recently that is, Cornelius Bundrage recently snagged himself a world title strap from an aging Cory Spinks , and, uh, Alfonso Gomez bleeds a lot… And, fuck it, y’know what?

I’m done trying to talk up the Contender guys!

Bottom line:

Sergio Mora was a poor addition to the previous game, and Peter Manfredo is an even worse one to this one.

Put ’em together, and you get 2 piles of ass occupying 2 slots in historically one of the most prestigious weight classes in the sport.

Good job EA, way to take the money and run…

Diego Corrales:


Let me just start off by saying, Diego; rest in peace.

Corrales was always amazing to watch, but his ever-present status in the Fight Night roster has always felt odd to me.

While the man was indeed talented, it was the fights in his career, not his skills; that carved his place in history.

The man will forever be remembered as the man that made Floyd Mayweather’s reputation, the man that gave Joel Casamayor fits, and the man that ultimately gave everything he had to defeat Juan Luis Castillo in one of history’s greatest bouts.

That being said, while I would never say that including Corrales is a bad thing, I feel it’s foolish if none of the aforementioned fighters are included in the roster as well.

Seriously man, it should be a rule of thumb to include at least 1 real-life former opponent for every fighter in the roster.

Maybe it’s just me, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing out real-life matchups in my boxing games.

Vinnie Pazienza:


First things first, I refuse to call him “Vinnie Paz.”

His name is Vinnie Pazienza in my book, and that it shall remain.

Moving on, I know he’s got one hell of a devoted fan club, but what the fuck man?

Sure, he beat a bloated and washed up Roberto Duran, and he got flattened by Roy Jones, but other than the appeal of getting a chance to reverse/replay those matchups, who the fuck gives a shit about Vinnie Paz anymore.

EA could’ve at least included Greg Haugen or Ray Mancini, y’know; good fighters that fought Vinnie Pazienza at a point in his career when it mattered, but oh well, he was in the previous one, and now he’s back again.

Whoop-dee-fuckin’-doo…

Closing Thoughts:

I’ve got other complaints with the roster, but I’m tired so I’m gonna’ call it quits here.

The only other thing I feel I need to say, is that I object to the inclusion of the Junior Welterweight and Flyweight classes.

The former because it’s a random weight class to include, being as there’s so much real-life talent in it at the moment, but only 2 fighters in the game for it, and the latter because there’s only 1 fighter to represent the weight.

Why is Junior Welter the only intermediary weight class included besides Light Heavy?

It just doesn’t make sense to include those 2, but none of the others.

Not only that, but of all the fighters to include at that weight, why Emmanuel Augustus and Victor Ortiz?

Sure, both guys are fairly popular, but they’re not at all connected to one another, nor are they all that good compared to some of the other talents floating around out there.

On the same note, Timothy Bradley should be moved down to Junior Welter, as that’s definitely his proper weight.

As I mentioned earlier, no fighter should ever be listed without at least 1 other fighter that has fought/will fight them, and to have only 1 guy for a weight is just plain ludicrous, especially when Fernando Montiel and Nonito Donaire are so close to having their superfight… At Bantamweight.

Good job placing Nonito in the right weight class EA, really shows you’re paying attention.

Oh yeah, it’s dumb, but I feel it needs to be said that now that Fernando Vargas is in the roster, we really need to get Felix Trinidad in there.

Jus’ sayin’ is all…


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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.

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