Snippets on Arguably The 8 Hottest Topics In the Sport This Week

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1)      Well, It Took A Few More Than “One Time”

Keith Thurman was all business Saturday night as he once again displayed speed and power while showing continued maturity in the ring. Even though the fight ended after Round 3 due to a rib injury sustained by opponent Julio Diaz, Thurman proved once again that he is a force in the division. There is speculation of a Shawn Porter matchup sometime this year and that my friends would be one great matchup.

 

2)      A Machine, A Gladiator, And A Whole Lot of Fun

The fight between Lucas Matthysse and John Molina was one of the best scraps in some time. Both men gave their all and treated the fans to one of the best fights of the year so far.

 

3)      Protect Yourself At All Times

Josesito Lopez scored a 5th Round TKO over Aaron Martinez this week when Martinez turned his back on Lopez after being hit by a left to the head. When he turned his back referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight telling Lopez “You abandoned the fight, you turned your back on your opponent” “You abandoned the fight”

 

4)      Cold War Not Thawing Anytime Soon

Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya stated this week that he would be in favor of a fight between Saul Alvarez (Golden Boy Promoted) and Manny Pacquiao (Top Rank Promoted). Problem is, the CEO of his company, Richard Schaefer, has vowed not to work with Bob Arum of Top Rank. Look for a possible merger between Schaefer and Al Haymon, if that occurs, get ready for WWIII.

 

5)      R.I.P Hurricane

“Hatred and bitterness and anger only consume the vessel that contains them. It doesn’t hurt another soul” Rubin Carter on if he allowed himself to harbor anger after being wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and spending 19 years in prison. Carter, 76, passed away this week after losing his battle with prostate cancer. Bob Dylan put it best, “That’s the story of Hurricane, But it won’t be over until they clear his name. And give him back the time he’s done. Put him in a prison cell but one time he could –a been, The champion of the world.

 

RIP Hurricane, everyone’s a champ where you’re going.

 

6)      Maybe He Doesn’t Own One??

Ok Shannon Briggs, I get it, you’re trying to land a fight with Wladimir Klitschko by crashing his training sessions and press conferences ala Clubber Lang, ala Mr. T but even the aforementioned T kept his shirt on. I like the fire and quite frankly I would love to see you fight the guy but keep your shirt on when you’re crashing events unless you get that fight and step in the ring.

 

7)      Buildup Continues

May 3rd is less than a week away and excitement for the excellent fight card set for that night is building. So many subplots will make for an incredible night at the fights.

 

8)      Enough Already

The Heavyweight Division is on an upswing with great talent and exciting fighters. The problem is the current champ; owner of three of the belts has not faced any of these young lions. Ok, I know what you’re going to say, “He just faced the #1 contender” Uh, the #1 contender for the WBO who doesn’t even make the top ten in any of the other alphabet soups, for that matter, only #11 in one and not even in the top 15 in the other two.

 

Step it up champ this is getting ridiculous.

Why I Love Boxing

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There are many reasons why I love the sweet science but look no further than tonight’s epic battle between Lucas Matthysse and John Molina and I am reminded once again.  Fights like these come around from time to time and when they do it’s a sit back, relax, and enjoy every minute of it kind of night.

For 11 rounds these modern day gladiators gave fight fans everything they could have asked for. Each man suffered knockdowns and cuts and were forced to adjust their game plan as each man adapted to the other.

It was the underdog “Rocky” like Molina, who very few gave nothing more than a puncher’s chance, knocking down Matthysse early in the fight showing his mettle and making the fight unexpectedly a classic. It was Matthysse coming off a loss to Danny Garcia having to dig deep after being knocked down early and wondering just what the heck was going on in this return fight he was supposed to dominate.

The ebb and flows of this fight were amazing and the type of fight that you just didn’t want to end. But end it did in the way most had envisioned, with a Matthysse victory; however, that is irrelevant to what the real story was here; two warriors giving their all for the greater good while learning lessons and being humble, one in victory and one in defeat.

 Just another reason why I love this game.

Well, At Least It Was Free

So Wladimir Klitschko KO’d Alex Lepai in 5 rounds. Did we expect anything else from Dr. Steelhammer? He was after all,  fighting a part time delivery driver. Did we even care that there was a heavyweight title fight? Could you measure the excitement in the air because the Heavyweight Champion was fighting? The answer to the first one is probably,  but only because we love the sport. The anwser to the latter………NO..  The best part of this event was the fact that it was on free, or basically free TV, being shown on ESPN. Ok, Ok,  I know that it is an achievement to be undefeated for a decade but the opposition for that period has been less than stellar.  

Ok Champ listen up, there are plenty of young lions out there ready for a shot at the title….start fighting legitimate opponents and make this reign mean something.

Porter “Tyson” Like In Defending His Title in D.C.

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Shawn Porter seems to get better with every fight. In his last fight, he beat a very good fighter in Devon Alexander who has defeated the likes of Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana. On Saturday night, Porter did something that arguably no other opponent has ever done; dismantle Paulie Malignaggi.

From the opening bell, Porter used a quick left jab to set up big right hands, stayed discipline with a sustained body attack and displayed excellent lateral movement while changing angles. In the second round, Porter landed a wicked three punch combination flush on the head of Malignaggi that seemed to daze him even though he swung back wildly in return. Porter then landed a huge overhand right followed by a powerful looping left hook that had Paulie hanging on. Porter then landed a huge right hand towards the end of the round which wobbled Malignaggi. In Round 3, Porter went back to the body while tripling up the jab and with a little over a minute left in the round, Porter landed another huge right that had Malignaggi in big trouble again but he was able to survive the round.

To begin Round 4, Porter landed multiple jabs and then a right on the left temple of Malignaggi which dropped him as he was moving backwards, Malignaggi was able to get up right away and did not look to be overly hurt. Porter then begins an assault and lands a huge looping left hook followed by a huge right hook as Malignaggi wobbles into the ropes. Porter then lands a devastating right cross followed by a vicious assault of left hooks and right crosses that drops Malignaggi. As Malignaggi lay on the canvas with the top of his torso under the bottom rope, he is counted out.

When asked after the fight about the right hands that ultimately ended the fight, Porter stated “We knew the right hand was going to come all night, we knew it was just a matter of lining it up”

Looking at times like a mini Mike Tyson, Porter threw combinations with bad intentions. The speed of Porter was amazing and was especially impressive because Maiignaggi’s speed is one of his biggest strengths and Porter was able to match him even while throwing power shots.  It would be hard to find anything here that Porter didn’t do well in this one but he did get touched with right hands from time to time a little more than he should have and will need to tighten up that part of his game before facing a bigger puncher.

As far as what is next for Porter he stated “I’m going to enjoy this, let my team handle it, my dad, my manager, my coach, Kenny Porter, he does a fantastic job with me, I’m sure they will all communicate and come up with the next gameplan and we’ll tackle it”
The options are limitless for Porter who retains his welterweight title and moves his record to 24-0-1 (15 KO) with this victory. There are many options at 147 such as the aforementioned Matthysse and Maidana or what about other possible opponents such as Timothy Bradley? One interesting future opponent could be Danny Garcia, who during Showtime’s telecast stated that he was moving to 147 in the near future. Whoever the future opponents are should be ready to face an opponent who will be better than he was the fight before, and that’s Showtime.

Snippets on Arguably the 8 Hottest Topics In The Sport This Week

1)      And New….

Reports of Manny Pacquiao’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Even without a dominating performance he defeated one of the top Pound For Pound fighters in the game in Timothy Bradley and in the process put to rest the misfortune of 2012.

 

2)      Game Plan?

It seemed evident that the only game plan for Bradley was to try and land a “Marquez” type right hand to try and knock Pacquiao out. I guess he did state several times before the fight that that was his plan but it was surprising to see that he actually meant it. He did great work early especially to the body but abandoned that strategy in the middle to late rounds to stick to the “game plan” which untimely led to his demise.

 

3)      It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work

Call it what you want but seeing Pacquiao’s mother try and will her to son to victory in her own way was a mother’s love at its finest. It was however; odd enough for the PPV telecast crew to have a cut in of her during an actual round which I can’t remember ever happening during a PPV fight. Save that for the minute break and keep it off the screen when live action is occurring. 

 

4)      Will The Wait Be Over?

As expected, the Pacquiao win has ignited the buzz for a matchup with Pound For Pound King Floyd Mayweather. When asked about this topic after the fight Pacquiao stated, “The line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week”……. Your move Money.

 

5)      Older, Wiser of Just Cranky?

Bob Arum created quite a stir this week when he blasted the MGM Grand for all of the Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana advertising visible during fight week for Pacquiao vs. Bradley. Said Arum, “In the Venetian they wouldn’t make a mistake like this” Most of the advertising was removed the next day. Well played Mr. Arum, well played. In a related note, Arum suggested fans boycott the May 3rd Mayweather bout. The speculation is that if the fight does poorly it would make Mayweather more likely to take the long awaited fight with Pacquiao.

 

6)      Get Out Of My Sandbox

Reports continue to swirl of trouble brewing at Golden Boy Promotions between President Oscar De La Hoya and CEO Richard Schaefer. Any such split between the two or a company restructure would leave a stable of fighters looking for answers and most likely a string of contractual chaos.  If the rumors of a possible new powerhouse promotional company led by Schaefer and Al Haymon are true, forget the Cold War and dig in for WW III. 

 

 

7)      Wish Granted

Back in late 2013, Erislandy Lara was speaking about a possible matchup with Canelo Alvarez and stated “I’m not confident that Canelo will fight me because I think he’s scared of me, I think the fight would be easy for me, no problem” Lara will get his wish as the fight has been made for July 12. This is going to be one hell of a fight folks. Ishe Smith is the hard luck loser here as he was supposed to meet Lara on May 2nd.

 

8)      UFO Sighting over D.C.

The legend of “The Alien” continues this Saturday the 19th at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C. as 49 year old Bernard Hopkins will again attempt to defy father time as he faces Beibut Shumenov in a Light Heavy Unification bout. It’s always a treat when BHOP is in action but the fight between Shawn Porter and Paulie Malignaggi may steal the show on this card. “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin will round out this triple header as he faces Lukas Konency.

Davenport’s Dennis Looks To Continue Winning Ways on ESPN FNF

dennisWhen the city of Davenport, Iowa is mentioned in boxing circles, most immediately think of former middleweight champion Michael Nunn and with good reason, but there is a “hidden gem” lurking in the heavyweight division that hopes to add his own name to the conversation.

On the undercard for this week’s ESPN Friday Night Fights from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, Davenport’s own Donovan Dennis 11-1 1NC (10 KO), looks to keep climbing up the heavyweight rankings when he meets undefeated fighter Nat Heaven 8-0 (6KO).

At 14 years of age, Dennis wandered into the legendary Pena’s Davenport Boxing Club and it was here under the tutelage of Alvino Pena that his journey began. Dennis credits Pena with mentoring him and leading him down a successful path not only in boxing, but in life. Said Dennis “Everything he taught me is the foundation of what I’m doing now”. Pena passed away last month at the age of 82 but his legacy will continue to live on through fighters like Dennis and the future generations who will pass through the doors of the club that he founded in 1968.

Dennis, 26 at 6’4 with a 79” reach surely fits the mold of today’s heavyweight but his training regimen and box first mentality are a bit uncharacteristic for the division. In an interview earlier this year, Dennis stated “I play to my stamina, that’s my ace in the hole” “Nobody’s going to out-train me” Although Dennis has knock outs in 10 out of his 11 wins, he knows that he must box as well. “I don’t want to be a Rocky” Dennis said, “Boxers who are Rockys don’t last long because they take such a beating. That’s not me. I want to be as smart a boxer I can be”. Dennis is very athletic for a heavyweight and can box or punch. His southpaw stance often creates advantages during a bout that Dennis seems to excel at exploiting.

Heaven, 28, 6’6 fought four times in 2013 winning three by knockout. This will be his first fight in 2014 and the first six rounder of his career. Heaven has a lumbering jab and quick right hand so he also has a few tools in his tool box that Dennis will have to be mindful of. If Heaven fights tall and uses his jab, Dennis will have to be every bit of that boxer to create opportunities for success.

If Dennis has an advantage early, it may be a result of his recent activity level.  Dennis must be racking up the frequent flier miles as this will be his 7th fight in just under a year and his third fight in the past seven weeks! That is surely an “old school” type of schedule which used to be the norm with up and coming fighters. He must have his bags packed and waiting by the door because he’s always on the move fighting whenever called upon, keep an eye on this guy, he’s going to be a force in the division.

As Dennis moves up the rankings we need to start seeing him in ten round fights as the majority of his bouts have been six rounds as is the case on Friday night.  If he continues to perfect the craft that Pena instilled in him long ago, it will not be such an oddity when the name Dennis is mentioned alongside Nunn when the city of Davenport is being discussed with regards to the squared circle.