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Hi CA,

 

I hope it's competitive and at least a little entertaining, as the other fight on the card looks rather underwhelming.  As Michael mentioned, it should be interesting to see Donaire in with a guy that's actually bigger than him.  I do wonder just how good Mathebula can be though, as he split a pair of bouts with Ndlovu, a fighter I've seen a few times, and one that I definitely wouldn't consider a threat to Donaire.

 

I hate to publicly admit this... but I might actually record the HBO show and watch the UFC.  I know, that's outrageous, but it looks like a fun show and I'm tempted to go out and watch somewhere, while indulging in wings, nachos, etc.

2 years, 4 months ago on SUPERUNKNOWN: Nonito Donaire-Jeffrey Mathebula Preview

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 @thenonpareil Hi CA,

 

There's quite a bit of extra drama to the Bivins-Moore feud.

 

Publicly, their dislike was said to stem from Moore's knockout of Lloyd Marshall, a buddy of Bivins.  But, I'd guess that was just an easy way for both guys to explain it without getting into the real issue...

 

The book Cleveland's Greatest Fighters mentions that Moore was dating Bivins soon to be ex-wife, Dollree Map, at the time, and she was ringside that night cheering for Moore. Only two weeks before their fight, Bivins and his wife were in court, having just filed for divorce.  During the proceedings, she managed to get his purse for the Moore fight tied up.

 

Bivins wasn't a playboy, didn't drink, and saved his money... and she took him for a large chunk of it in their divorce settlement.  She would eventually sue Moore for $750,000, after he broke off their engagement.  Part of her suit alleged that Moore had beat her, which was a claim she made against Bivins too.  The suit was dismissed.

 

After her involvement with Bivins and Moore, she got into a bit of trouble with the law and was the defendant in a 1961 court case over illegal seized evidence that went all the way to the US Supreme Court.  She won that one.  But in 1973, she was sentenced to 20 years for running a heroine factory out of her apartment.

 

Anyway, Bivins ended up losing his cool when he fought Moore and the Cleveland crowd really turned on him.  His next fight in Cleveland wasn't for another 8 months, when he fought Walcott... and the crowd rooted for Walcott that night.  Next up for Bivins was Lee Q. Murray, and the Plain Dealer described his performance that night as "Spiritless and Stale".  And of course, next up was Charles... and he knocked Bivins flat for a 10 count.

 

I wonder how much of his fall had to do with not just being burnt out, but perhaps disillusioned with life in general.  All his money going to a woman, who by the sounds of it, was nothing but trouble.  Having Moore kind of rub his face in it, and then his hometown crowd turning on him too.  It couldn't have been a very happy time for him... and perhaps his training slacked, etc.

 

2 years, 4 months ago on JIMMY BIVINS 1919-2012

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Hi CA,

 

I've been going through the Plain Dealer archives, reading about Bivins today.  There's some good stuff in there.  It's too bad that the timing wasn't quite right for him.  It seems like he just kind of fell off after his great run from 42 to 45 - which isn't really surprising given the impossibly rough schedule he fought.  Before his career was 2 1/2 years old, he'd already been in with Burley, Christoforidis, Yarosz, Sheppard, Franklin, Bettina, Soose, Lesnevich, Pastor and Maxim.  Even considering the era, that's still kind of mind boggling for a youngster.

 

From what I read, it sounds like he was quite brash in the ring, especially in his younger days - though modest in retirement.  When fans asked him why his name wasn't listed with Louis and Charles, he would say that he was "just another fighter." 

 

A line from a 1974 article on Bivins by Allen Wiggins...

 

"He is a man prepared to live with his own pain as part of his character, his fate, and it is not to share."

 

 

 

 

2 years, 4 months ago on JIMMY BIVINS 1919-2012

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Thanks Scott.  Regarding Garcia's work in the corner... I'm hesitant to be *too* critical, as I don't know their full history.  Perhaps Ortiz has a habit during training camp, etc, of taking it easy when the going gets rough - or maybe saying he's hurt, when he's not, and Garcia has had to really push him to stay at it.  We've all seen plenty of corners act irresponsibly, so I realize I might be reaching with this, but the same way many fans doubted the seriousness of the injury, Garcia may have doubted it too... and felt he owed it to his fighter to get Ortiz through, what Garcia may have felt was just a loss of self belief, and not a serious injury.

 

2 years, 5 months ago on Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto

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 @Michael Nelson Hey Michael, agree on Matthysse.  He also seems to have learned from the mistake he made against Judah, when he seemed to really take an overly patient approach early.  I still thought he clearly won that fight, but had he fought with more intensity from the opening bell, he wouldn't have had to worry about the cards.  On Saturday night, he was coming hard from the get go.

2 years, 5 months ago on Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto

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 @thenonpareil Thanks CA, it's been awhile since I've written about anything that took place within the last 50 years!

 

I was also surprised that Lopez stood up so well.  There was a moment when I thought he was really starting to lose steam, but I think I was just assuming that Ortiz, being much bigger, was doing more damage than he was.  I agree that he's not a star, though right now there aren't too many truly top fighters at 140, and I think he would have a solid shot against many of the current top 10.

 

I'm a Matthysse fan.  Yeah, his technique is lacking, but man, does he fire away at the body with some mean intentions.  Looking forward to seeing him in there again soon.

2 years, 5 months ago on Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto

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 @JohnPaulFutbol Hey JPF, you won't get any arguments from me on Ortiz not helping his cause. When he turned the Mayweather fight into fun and games at the nut house, he pretty much lost the trust of the paying customer.

2 years, 5 months ago on Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto

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 @jet79  Hey JT.  That must have been a fantastic card to attend live.  Those five rounds of Soto-Matthysse were as packed with action as any we'll see all year, and the main-event far surpassed all expectations.

 

In any other sport, fans accept injuries with no issue, and understand it's part of the game, yet with fighters, there's a strange expectation that they endure and get on with it.  Easier said than done, especially from the safety of one's stadium seat or living room.  While Ortiz didn't deliver on expectations, he certainly didn't shrink from combat, and some of the post-fight reaction on Twitter and the various forums has been quite unfair and cruel.  As you say, it does also speak to the importance of the reputation one has cultivated for themselves, and in the case of Ortiz, there's a feeling of... "Oh, geez, what's he doing now..."  But in this case, all he did was call it a night after suffering a rough injury, and there's no shame in that.

2 years, 5 months ago on Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto

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Hi JT,

 

Nice piece.  I have to agree that there's no chance we see the competing September 15 PPVs, as neither GB or TR wants to split that kind of revenue.  I imagine something will happen between now and then to scuttle it, though a Lopez victory is probably not it... though when it comes to Ortiz, anything is possible.

 

Hope you have a good time at the show.  I'm excited for Matthysse-Soto, as that looks like a pretty well matched scrap.  A 50/50 (at least according to the odds) fight on Showtime or HBO is not a common occurrence, so we should cherish these moments when they come along!

 

 

2 years, 5 months ago on Carts Before Horses: On Victor Ortiz, Saul Alvarez, and Josesito Lopez

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Hi CA,

 

I just tried to comment and it didn't go through, so I'm trying again!

 

I'm excited about tonight's fight.  It's nice to have a main-event, where the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.  I'm a little worried over a potential head clash, as Chavez likes to really lean in and he's facing a southpaw tonight - but hopefully no such downer will befell the night's action, like it did in the UK today.

 

Chavez is a busy worker, and he's going to have the crowd on his side, so one has to figure Lee will need to do some real damage to win.  Maybe he can, maybe he can't - should be fun finding out.

2 years, 5 months ago on You Got to Work to Get Your Pay: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr-Andy Lee Preview

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 @Michael Nelson I would say this to everyone pointing at the Holt fight as an example of why Bradley is going to get flattened... Marquez was dropped hard by a somewhat shop worn Michael Katsidis - and didn't even get buzzed against Pacquiao. Knockdowns happen.  Fighters get caught sometimes, and at least in my opinion, how Bradley reacted after the knockdown, is more telling of his chances than anything else.  He got back up and took the fight to Holt in every round.  He's a smart gritty fighter, and he'll be tough to keep down on Saturday.

2 years, 5 months ago on STORMBRINGER: Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Preview

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Hey Michael, nice preview.

 

I've been on the Bradley bandwagon for awhile now, and had been hoping he'd get a crack at Manny - but now that the fight is so close, I can't stop worrying about an early clash of heads and the dreaded 3-round technical draw decision.

 

If it doesn't end in such disappointing fashion, I think we'll see a good close fight.  Bradley is not the same class of counter-puncher as Marquez, but I think he's quicker on his feet, and has the ring smarts to pull off his own variation of that strategy... circling away from Manny's left, while picking his spots to attack.  Can he win a decision though with that sort of plan?  Of course he might go in to bully mode, and look to keep the fight at close quarters, which has it's pros and cons too.  A lot of possibilities - and I agree with your assessment of the match-up as fast paced chess.

 

 

2 years, 5 months ago on STORMBRINGER: Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Preview

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Hi JT,  nice piece.  As you say, it's impossible to criticize Bute's career choices when you consider the sport's economics, but it certainly not the best path for reaching one's true potential.  If you took the most talented of baseball players... let them feast on minor league pitching for 10 years, and then at the age of 32, threw them into the majors - they would almost certainly have issues.  Bute looked like a guy that had never seen a real nasty slider, and couldn't cope.

2 years, 5 months ago on New Paradigms: On Carl Froch and Lucian Bute

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Hi Carlos,

 

That was quite a piece, a fitting tribute to a trouble soul... and I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed towards the end.

 

RIP Johnny

2 years, 6 months ago on UNDER SATURN: Johnny Tapia 1967-2012

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@dreaderick Thanks for reading, Dread. I actually went to Hopkins-Dawson... it was underwhelming, to say the least.

2 years, 6 months ago on Terrors of the Lightweight Brigade: Ad Wolgast and Battling Nelson

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Hi Carlos,

 

I'll be watching tonight, but with limited enthusiasm.  Agree with your take... Cotto's best days are more than a few years in the past, and I don't think the current version can offer up anything to worry Mayweather.  Cotto as his best probably wouldn't have won more than a few rounds either, but at least that guy would have brought a bit of menace into the ring - especially early, when he might have have been able to test Mayweather with some hard hooks downstairs.

 

Throw in the dismal undercard, and it's hardly an evening to get excited about.

2 years, 6 months ago on THE GOODBYE LOOK: Miguel Cotto-Floyd Mayweather Jr. Preview

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Hi Jimmy.  Good stuff and welcome aboard.

 

Of those potential fights, I also find a match-up with Alvarado to be the most appealing.  I don't think it will be all that competitive, but Alvarado deserves a nice pay day for his most recent efforts, and you know he's going to bring it for as long as it lasts.

 

I'm with Carlos in not wanting to see Marquez-Morales.  Morales really shouldn't be fighting anymore, and given he has about a 1% chance of winning... why bother?  It's a beating he doesn't need to take, and of the opponents mentioned, I hope that's not the match-up that gets made.

 

 

2 years, 7 months ago on My Next Victim: Juan Manuel Marquez Takes Aim at Morales, Gesta, Rios, & Alvarado

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 @jet79 Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.  Yes, very much different times when it came to stopping fights, especially a title contest.  The fact that Smith actually did stop it, shows just how far gone Nelson was at that stage.

2 years, 7 months ago on Terrors of the Lightweight Brigade: Ad Wolgast and Battling Nelson

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Hi Carlos,

 

Fair points.  I certainly don't think it was a conspiracy or anything like that, but just a case of a referee overreacting to a minor incident.  Just my guess, but I think if Schorle could get a do-over, he'd let the fight continue.

 

You mentioned Kirkland's corner, and honestly, their reaction kind of annoyed me.  I know I'm not living in the real world when I say this, but I wish there would be a better sense of fair play in sport.  I wouldn't want to win in such a manner.  Kirkland said as much after the fight, though I don't know if he really meant it, or was just trying to please the angry crowd.

2 years, 7 months ago on 10 & Counting: Linares, Pavlik, Kirkland-Molina Afterthoughts, Harry Crews & The Knockout Artist, Bell-Ringing Blues

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I just wanted to clarify one of my comments.  "When that bell rang, there's no reason why he shouldn't have believed the round was over, and it was safe for him to enter the ring."  Saying there was *no reason* is probably going too far in absolving Askenette of any responsibility.  But what took place - a knockdown happening a split-second after the bell rang - was so rare, that it's not something he could have been expected to account for.

 

Anyway, my basic point is still the same.  There were unusual circumstances that lead to Askenette making an innocent mistake.

2 years, 7 months ago on 10 & Counting: Linares, Pavlik, Kirkland-Molina Afterthoughts, Harry Crews & The Knockout Artist, Bell-Ringing Blues

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Hi Carlos,

 

I personally thought the DQ was rather outrageous as there were mitigating circumstances for Askenette stepping between the ropes - and it all stems from the bell ringing. 

 

When that bell rang, there's no reason why he shouldn't have believed the round was over, and it was safe for him to enter the ring.  Because 99.9% of the time, that's the case.  Bell rings.  Round over.  He's got a tired fighter in need of attention, and he's got to climb the steps, slip between the ropes and get the stool down before Molina gets to the corner.

 

The fact that Molina had been looking a little weary in the round was all the more reason why Askenette should have been rushing to get into that ring.  And if he's rushing, can we really expect him to be paying attention to anything else besides getting in that ring so he can make use of the 60 seconds.  In his haste, I doubt he saw or heard anything, other than the noise of the crowd and was probably startled to see a count being given.

 

Furthermore, the rules state that a DQ can be administered if the corner enters the ring AND interferes.  It certainly didn't look like there was any interference.  Molina was up, and listening to the count with a clear head.  The trainer immediately ducked back between the ropes.  No harm occurred.

 

So when ones consider the confusion (Schorle himself was confused enough not to send Kirkland to a neutral corner) that the bell ringing caused and that there was no interference, I thought a DQ was an extremely drastic action.

 

That all said, the fight was kind of rubbish, but it looked like we were heading towards a potentially satisfying ending.  I just felt like it was a time when common sense should have prevailed, and the spirit of sport take precedence over some silly technicality.

 

Anyway, that's my take.

2 years, 7 months ago on 10 & Counting: Linares, Pavlik, Kirkland-Molina Afterthoughts, Harry Crews & The Knockout Artist, Bell-Ringing Blues

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 @roger zotti Thanks Roger, glad you enjoyed it.

2 years, 8 months ago on THE WORKS: Bob Montgomery vs. Wesley Mouzon II

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Hi Carlos,

 

Williams was only 20 at the time of the first fight, so it's hard to hold the result against him - it's just unfortunate that one guy was a little raw, and other was a little past it, during their two meetings.  You have to figure it would have been a hell of a fight had they both been at their peak.

 

I'm not sure if I can say whether Montgomery has been short-changed, as I don't really pay too much attention to all-time lists - so I wouldn't be able to tell you where the consensus has him rated.  But he strikes me as the type of fighter that would have excelled in any era, and on his best night, given anyone at 135lbs a hellish evening.

 

As for the quick knock-outs, well, those happen, and could well have been flukey.  Especially with a fighter that likes to press, a guy like that has better chance of walking into the perfect shot.  And anyone, if they get hit just right, is going to be in trouble.

 

 

2 years, 8 months ago on THE WORKS: Bob Montgomery vs. Wesley Mouzon II

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Hey JT.  Thanks for the kind words and the welcome back.  I had thrown out a few ideas for my return story, and Carlos was a fan of "anything to do with Bob Montgomery" - so this was it.  I'll try and stay a bit more active!

2 years, 8 months ago on THE WORKS: Bob Montgomery vs. Wesley Mouzon II

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 @JohnPaulFutbol Thanks JPF.  Good to be back.

 

You would think, given the era, how hard he fought, and the level of opposition that he went up against, Montgomery would have been a broken man by the time he was through - but amazingly, he emerged in good shape.  I found an article from one of the Philadelphia papers, written around the time of his HOF induction, and Montgomery was still doing okay...

 

"Montgomery lives in a small, sparsely decorated apartment in Center City, his press clippings stored in a dresser drawer he seldom opens.  He does not have to.  The ex-champion, now bald, and bespectacled, remembers the important dates - from his pro debut to his first title shot - as if they had been field in his memory bank this morning.  "No reason why I should forget anything," he said.  "I had 97 fights, but I'm not punchy, not punchy at all."

 

 

2 years, 8 months ago on THE WORKS: Bob Montgomery vs. Wesley Mouzon II

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 @JohnPaulFutbol I'll have you know, JPF, that I have written a story!  It shall appear on TCS, at the convenience of Mr. Acevedo.

2 years, 8 months ago on MERCIFUL HOUR: Sergio Martinez TKO11 Matthew Macklin

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Hey Michael, nice preview. Of all the fights on today's line-up, this is the one I'm most interested in. I enjoy watching Cloud, and unfortunately, we don't get to see nearly enough of him. I agree, it's going to very tough for Campillo, as he's going be right there in front of Cloud - and the power disparity is big. But, as Carlos mentioned, he might prove a bit of an irritant. Cloud like to set his feet and rip, and Campillo might be able to off-set his rhythm enough with the jab to make it interesting.

2 years, 9 months ago on On the Grind: Tavoris Cloud-Gabriel Campillo Preview

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Hi Carlos,

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think Chisora's going to do better than everyone's expecting. Since Vitali returned a few years go, his opponents have almost all been the sort that like to fight at his preferred range. The only exceptions are Peter & Arreola, and neither of those guys were really in the best of condition.

So for the first time, Vitali's 40-year-old legs might be tested a little bit, as he's going to have an opponent that isn't going to sit on the outside and let him leisurely dictate the pace. Maybe that won't matter, given the huge gulf in talent, but I wouldn't be shocked if Chisora gets inside enough to win a few rounds and make Vitali a little uncomfortable at times.

2 years, 9 months ago on Geezers Need Excitement: Vitali Klitschko-Dereck Chisora Preview

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Hi Carlos, the ESPN show is best quickly forgotten. After about 2 rounds of the main-event, I was already regretting my promise to type up a recap. I was tempted to turn it off, and tell you that my cable had gone out, or the DVR had malfunctioned. That said, I thought Douglin vs Martinez was okay as both guys, though limited, were at least trying, and it was an evenly matched contest. Given how many prelims are blow-outs, seeing a fight where there's some question as to the outcome, is worth something.

@thenonpareil

2 years, 10 months ago on Aftermath: ShoBox & Friday Night Fights Results

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Hey Michael, nice breakdown and I agree, despite all the hiccups, the tournament has been worthwhile. I'm expecting a lot of mauling and grappling on the inside tonight, as Ward has the speed to get in close, and that's where he's going to have the advantage. Not sure how Froch will cope with that kind of fight, but it will be interesting to find out.

2 years, 11 months ago on ENDGAME: Andre Ward-Carl Froch Preview

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Thanks Carlos,

Arthur struggled during his last decade and he endured his share of heartache, and of course never got the title shot... but when one considers how this sport breaks so many men down, Arthur really was one of the luckier ones. If his worst decision was to sign with Palermo, his best was to walk away before he absorbed the needless late career punishment that so many fighters endure.@thenonpareil

2 years, 11 months ago on Arthur King 1927-2011

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Good stuff, Carlos.

In the heat of the moment, I thought the second deduction was a bit much. I wasn't outraged by it, as some where, but wasn't totally on board with it. That said, given all the warnings Khan received, and they were for legitimate infractions, the second point wasn't unwarranted. I think we're all so used to seeing officials slack off in their duties, that when a ref calls the rules properly, it's all too stunning to cope with. Cooper called it properly, and he doesn't deserve the criticism being leveled at him by some.

2 years, 11 months ago on The Third Man: Lamont Peterson W12 Amir Khan

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Ha, thanks, though right up until the opening bell, I was second guessing myself. I think there's something to fighting in front of a vocal hometown crowd. Just like other sports, the crowd can give a fighter a lift, and with a guy like Peterson, he probably needs that emotional boost to shift into a higher gear.

I thought the deductions were also questionable, as was the knockdown, but overall, Khan did go a little too far with the pushing down, holding, etc. A 1 point swing in favor of Peterson for an accumulation of infractions was probably fair.

Great fight, and I hope we see a rematch.@Michael Nelson

2 years, 11 months ago on In Session: Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson Preview

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Nice preview, Michael.

Peterson's typical all too measured approach won't get it done - and I agree, if he doesn't get busy early, we're likely to see a fight that looks very similar to Khan-Kotelnik.

But...

You mentioned how Peterson needs to raise his game to win - and I have a feeling we're going to see that from him. Normally I wouldn't take much notice when a fighter promises an increased tempo - but the circumstances here, fighting in front of a vocal home-town venue, could lend themselves to providing the kind adrenalin boost he needs to come out of his shell. And if he can pick up the intensity a little, and go hard to the body - and he's a strong body puncher - an upset could be in the cards. At the very least, I think he's going to make it real close and push Khan hard down the stretch.

2 years, 11 months ago on In Session: Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson Preview

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Thanks Carlos. I had originally planned on doing a post with a few short bits on several rivalries, but quickly got hooked on the Ketchel-Papke feud - mainly due to what transpired in their second and third meetings. Those two contests will be the subject of my next couple posts, so stay tuned for more.

2 years, 11 months ago on "When You Won't Look So Pretty": Stanley Ketchel vs Billy Papke

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Yeah, he looked sharp and confident - and yes, unlike the first fight, he wasn't afraid to get physical. The quick combos, followed by the turn were very effective. I actually thought he could have done even more in those situations, as Margarito was wide open for a right hand after the turn, but instead Cotto played it a little safe and often danced away without following up. Still, it's hard to be critical, as he really fought a great fight overall. @dennis wise

2 years, 11 months ago on A Score Settled: Miguel Cotto TKO10 Antonio Margarito

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Yeah, considering how many empty weekends there are, the fact that we had to choose what to watch last night was infuriating. I ended up going out to watch the PPV, and DVR'd the showtime card, and watched when I got home.@Michael Nelson

2 years, 12 months ago on RICOCHET: Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko II Preview

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Just to clarify my comment. That should have read: It's too hard to get around the thought that something criminal *may have taken* place, and that holds true for all his previous victories.

It's impossible to say one way or the other, but I'm of the opinion that when a fighter tries to pull a stunt like Margarito did against Mosley, he loses the benefit of the doubt. There will always be question marks about his career, and that's on him.

2 years, 12 months ago on PAST MIDNIGHT: Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II Preview

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Thanks JPF. I'm often wrong, but glad to be on the mark for this one. I think this may have been Cotto's last hurrah though, especially if Arum matches him with Chavez next time out. @JohnPaulFutbol

2 years, 12 months ago on PAST MIDNIGHT: Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II Preview

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Hi Carlos, a good read as always.

Yes, this is a bit of a tasteless affair, but an interesting fight all the same. I used to really enjoy Margarito's fights, and I was standing for the final few rounds of his victory over Cotto. But since the whole loaded gloves incident, I've felt a little guilty over how much I enjoyed that bout. It's too hard to get around the thought that something criminal took place, and that holds true for all his previous victories.

As for the fight, Margarito can take plenty, at least he has been able to in the past, but I'm not sure exactly what he's still capable of dishing out. Part of his success came in the ability to make his opponents break ground, putting them on the defensive, as he pressed forward, building momentum. If the sting is gone - for whatever reason - than he might no longer be able to do that. And given the way he used his jab so much against Pacquiao, I almost wonder if he still has the same belief in his "heavy hands" as he did before.

Anyway, as with JPF, I'm hoping Cotto gets his pound of flesh.

2 years, 12 months ago on PAST MIDNIGHT: Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II Preview

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Hey Jason, nice story. I'm not quite as hyped for this fight as most, but anytime you mention Montgomery-Jack, Leonard-Hearns or Ali-Frazier, I get excited. And I agree, it does have all the elements, the expected violence, gripping narrative and interesting style-issues, that make for a very good, potentially great, fight.

Regarding the style questions. I don't think Cotto is the only one that can make adjustments to how he fought last time, and I think we've seen changes from Margarito since their first meeting. He didn't attack Garcia, or Pacquiao for that matter, with the reckless abandon he'd previously shown - and I'm not sure he still has it in him, to bring the same kind of pressure as he did before. It could be that he doesn't have the same engine pushing him forward, or maybe the same confidence in his punches to do damage, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him rely more on the jab on Saturday.

2 years, 12 months ago on In the Blood: On Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto II

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Hey Michael, nice preview.

Of all the match-ups taking place on Saturday, this is the one I'm most looking forward to, as I don't these two can make for a bad fight - and I agree, they might be so evenly matched, that we just don't get a definitive result.

2 years, 12 months ago on RICOCHET: Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko II Preview

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I'm in the same boat, JPF. I'm going to be rooting quite hard for Cotto tomorrow night, though I think I'm more confident of his chances than quite a few fans that I've talked to. I just get the feeling that Margarito doesn't have much to offer at this stage, and while Cotto is certainly diminished, at least he has a few skills to fall back on. @JohnPaulFutbol

2 years, 12 months ago on PAST MIDNIGHT: Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II Preview

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Hi Carlos,

Yeah, this was an especially sad story to work on. It's heartbreaking to know how hard Smith fought, how poorly he was likely compensated for those struggles, and how rough his descent was.

He really did take on a lot of tough guys in his career. I wrote that the Carter fights likely finished him, but it was the real hard grind on the road to the title shot that must have taken the most out of him. There was a 22 month period between 1953-55, where he fought Zulueta three times, Gonsalves twice, Miceli twice, Lastre twice, Saxton, King, Rawlings & Persley. Just crazy, and it's no wonder he went to pieces. @thenonpareil

2 years, 12 months ago on The Champion That Time Forgot: Wallace "Bud" Smith

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Thanks Michael. Along with these guys, boxrec lists over 50 boxers that lost their lives while serving their country, and I would guess there probably are quite a few more that haven't been accounted for on that list. @Michael Nelson

3 years ago on Fallen Soldiers: In Remembrance of Jordan "Sonny" Jones

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Hi CA,

Agree - as much as we all want it, it probably doesn't make business sense for Pacquiao and Mayweather to meet up. They each have a very good thing going, and a loss, possibly a bad one, could certainly derail someone's sweet deal.

Regarding tonight's fight...

As good as Pacquiao has looked over the last few years, he hasn't been in with opponents that have been able to really make him think in there. While guys like Cotto & Clottey weren't bad boxers, neither really mixes offense and defense together that well - and when Pac was on the attack, he didn't have to worry all that much about getting hit with something unexpected.

But, I just don't know if Marquez still has the ability to stand up to Pacquiao's heat and deliver the counters he needs to. It's become evident over his last few fights that the years are starting to catch up to him, and common sense says that he just doesn't have the durability to still deal effectively with such an explosive fighter. If Diaz could shake him a little (and I thought he did a bit in the first fight) and Katsidis could floor him, what will Pacquiao do? Probably plenty.

That all said... I wouldn't be shocked if Marquez gave him a rough ride again. Age be damned, he might just have Manny's number, and from a viewer's perspective, I hope that's the case as I'd love to see another great fight.

3 years ago on ACT III (Or Something Like It): Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez Preview

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Hi Carlos - you're welcome, and glad you've enjoyed these.

It is an astonishing aspect of British boxing history that such a rule existed in the first place and a wonder how it remained in place for so long.

@thenonpareil

3 years ago on Fallen Soldiers: In Remembrance of Stafford "Buzz" Barton

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You're welcome JPF, and I appreciate the kind words.@JohnPaulFutbol

3 years ago on Fallen Soldiers: In Remembrance of Elijah P. "Smuggy" Hursey

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