On Saturday night, Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1 32 KO) was disciplined and calculated in his unanimous decision win over Miguel Cotto (40-5 33 KO) to capture the WBC strap. He pressed forward for most of the fight and used his size advantage to walk down Cotto, stunning him on more than one occasion.
The difference in power was evident. Canelo was walking through most of Cotto’s bombs whereas Cotto was visibly bothered by what he was receiving.
It wasn’t a secret that for Cotto to be successful in this fight, he would have had to box brilliantly.
The scores, 119-109, 118-110, 117-111 would lead you to believe that he had trouble doing just that. On the contrary however, while there is no argument here that Canelo was a UD winner, Cotto surely did enough to win more than one or two rounds.
Standing-8 scored the fight 115-113 Alvarez. Yes there were several close rounds but Cotto’s movement, defense, and counter-punching should have been given the benefit in those rounds.
Talk is heating up for Canelo and Gennady Golovkin and it could be as early as May….on Cinco De Mayo weekend.
Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0 10 KO) is one of the top fighters in the game but his performance on Saturday night looked more like a sparring session. The “sparring partner” in this case was opponent Drian Francisco (28-4-2 22 KO).
Rigondeaux landed less than ten punches a round and looked a bit rough in his usually fluid movement. He took the fight on short notice and had not fought for almost a year so I guess there are excuses to be found.
Rigondeaux was never in jeopardy of losing the fight but for a fighter who has struggled to gain fan appeal due to his defensive style, this performance was an epic fail.
Why We Love Boxing
Boxing sometimes parallels the metaphors of life. On Saturday night, Francisco Vargas (23-0-1 17 KO) was slowly losing his fight with WBC super featherweight champion Takashi Miura (29-3-2 22 KO). The bruised and worn challenger refused to quit. As in life when your back is against the wall and the odds seem stacked against you, you either rise to the challenge or fail.
Miura had dropped Vargas in round four and had continuously battered him. Vargas was also giving as good as he was getting but seemed to be wearing down.
Miura again had Vargas in trouble at the end of the eighth and it seemed Vargas would be in big trouble in the ninth.
As the bell sounded to start the ninth, Vargas, with his right eye shut and protruding from his head, found a way with the odds against him. Vargas dropped Miura with a monster right.
Miura was hurt bad but got to his feet as Vargas landed a brutal combination causing referee Tony Weeks to jump in and stop the fight.
Although there had to be a loser, they were both winners, two warriors giving their all for the love of the game.
Southpaw Has A New Name And It’s “Z-U-R-D-O”
Gilberto Ramirez (33-0 24 KO) is a rising star in the super middleweight division and has secured a title shot after his unanimous decision win over Gevorg Khatchikian (23-2 11 KO). He is now the WBO’s mandatory challenger for Arthur Abraham’s strap after Abraham’s defeat of Martin Murray on Saturday (see below).
Hector Zapari and Zapari Boxing/Promotions have brought Ramirez up at an excellent pace slowly raising the level of competition with each fight. On the journey to his title shot, they have matched him with tough solid opponents who have challenged the young kid by putting him in uncomfortable situations forcing him to find a solution. He has passed every test and each fight he looks to be getting better and better.
Ramirez is 6’2 with a 75” reach but looks even bigger in the ring. So many things to like about Ramirez, how he destroys the body, throws nice combinations with unique punch selections, and is always in attack mode looking to end things. I still remember the uppercut from long range that he knocked out Junior Talipeau with, a thing of beauty.
As he moves forward, he would benefit from using his physical advantages a bit more. He tends to fight small and not use the jab consistently. With his dimensions, a paralyzing stick would be a massive weapon. In addition, although he has a solid beard, a tighter defense to guard against those overhand rights would serve him well.
Canelo’s win over Cotto has catapulted him to Mexico’s favorite darling but Ramirez may very well be giving him a run for his money very soon.
Always A Groomsman, Never The Groom
Murray can’t catch a break. He has won the intercontinentals, the silvers, the commonwealth’s, but just can’t seem to capture the World. Well, unless it was the interim title that is.
On Saturday, he lost out on the WBO super middleweight strap to Abraham by split decision, 115-112 112-115, 111-116. Murray started well but couldn’t sustain his effort throughout although he landed some telling shots which were few and far between. In addition, he was deducted a point in the eleventh for using his shoulder which seemed to eliminate any momentum in the final two frames.
So, Murray again loses out on a chance at a World title. He has three losses and one draw in his career, all in World title fights.
BREAKING……The Heavyweight Champ Is Fighting!! The Heavyweight Champ Is Fighting!!
“I can lick any sonofabitch in the house” quipped John L. Sullivan in the late 1800’s. He was a bad man, the heavyweight champion. There was a time when the world stopped when the heavyweight champ was fighting, times have changed.
A casual most likely would have known that Canelo v. Cotto was happening last Saturday but doubtful they would know about the week’s heavyweight tilt.
This Saturday WBA, IBO, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-3 53 KO) will face Tyson Fury (24-0 18 KO) for all the hardware sans the WBC.
Fury will actually have both a height and reach advantage which could make things interesting. He’s generally plodding in his approach and if memory serves he was floored by cruiserweight turned heavy, Steve Cunningham. Granted Fury won by stoppage but if Cunningham’s power stunned him, a Steelhammer will be big trouble.
Let’s just hope Fury’s best act against Klitschko wasn’t his impersonation of Batman.