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BOXING PROMOTIONAL DOWNFALL

BOXING PROMOTIONAL DOWNFALL

The world of big time boxing promoters has always been changing.  In the world I came into, Bob Arum and Don King were just making their names as big time promoters.  I am nearly 40, and they are both still there.. albeit at different levels.  However, the recent victory of Bermane Stiverne gives a long-ineffective Don King a bit of a rebirth.  He now has a piece of the heavyweight division more than a decade after he last did.  There are promoters on the rise, and promoters on the downslide.  I have always been a prediction man, so here is my prediction for the next decade of big time boxing, as to who will increase, and decrease, their presence.
 
Increase:
K2 - Started by Klitschkos, and run my Tom Loeffler, this is the European version of Golden Boy.  The one weakness in Golden Boy's game has always been the foreign markets, and K2 seems to be attempting to avoid this by bringing some of their young stars like GGG over to the USA.  It remains to be seen how many more will follow, but with the fading of the other big German promoters, K2 is poised to do quite well.
 
TMT - The money team is still in it's infancy, and needs desperately to attract more fighters who are not trying to be Floyd.  They also need to do some business outside of the 168lb division, where many of their young charges are rated.  However, as Floyd recedes into the background as a fighter, one can only assume their recruitment will increase.
 
Iron Mike - Probably never going to rival Top Rank or Golden Boy, but a strong Goossen-like long term presence should be expected.  Iron Mike is in a good place now, has world ranked fighters, a national presence, and TV deals.  He seems to be only a couple years away from getting fighters on the bigger networks as well.
 
Decrease:
Top Rank - They are making a good international presence with so many foreign Olympic medalists, but none of them seem special enough to carry the outfit.  They also do not have any regular presence on an English-speaking US network. 

Read more...
 

RICHARD SCHAEFER HAS LEFT GOLDEN BOY??

RICHARD SCHAEFER HAS LEFT GOLDEN BOY??

So, Richard Schaefer has left Golden Boy?  Well, a twitter announcement does not a big move make.  I will believe this one when I officially see it, but it looks as if Richard Schaefer has indeed left Golden Boy Promotions.  The alliances within that very powerful company are a complex web, that also involves Showtime as well as Al Haymon, and Floyd Mayweather.  In the immediate aftermath, it appeared Schaefer was not only leaving Golden Boy, but based on his wording, he was leaving boxing altogether.  Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's chief advisor has annoucned that this will also sever the ties between Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions.  

Many questions are now being asked: What does that mean for Golden Boy's deal with Showtime?  It is Mayweather who is bound to Showtime.  GBP is simply forbidden from HBO.  Does this open the door to new networks?  Does this mean Top Rank and Golden Boy will be working together again (besides the one-off Russell-Lomachencko fight)?  Will Al Haymon fighters jump ship from Golden Boy?  There are many questions, but I will attempt to do what I do best (and by "best" I just mean "frequently"... predict the answers.

Floyd Mayweather
I am not sure TMT is really ready to kiss off GBP.  The strong undercards we are accustomed to, as well as Floyd's pool of opponents, all have come from GBP.  If he tries to rely on himself, he simply does not have enough fighters, nor are there many who are unrepresented by one of the big two.  And remember, it was Floyd who said he would not work with Arum, long before Schaefer inferred it.  Odds are, Mayweather will still involve GBP in his own cards, or else his PPV undercards are going to be even worse than Top Rank's

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STRAIT BOXING JABS

STRAIT BOXING JABS

Vetyeka is a live underdog against Donaire, as far as momentum and weight division comfort are concerned, but it's hard to pick against Donaire.  The gap in opposition is so wide, but it's hard to pick against anyone who dominates Chris John.  However, a closer examination reveals that Vetyeka's weaknesses: left hand low, not following right hand with hook effectively, may play right into Donaire's hands.. eventually, Nonito should get to him.

Speaking of getting to him, Groves and Froch definitely get to each other verbally, as do Sam Soliman and Felix Sturm.  However, this does not always translate into exciting fights.  Sturm is more exciting than he appears at first glance, if given the right opponent.  However given Soliman's style, this is likely to be another long, drawn out decision, where Sturm's paid judges will get it right this time.  Froch and Groves are also talking a good game, but each now has reason to fear the other's power, which I am not sure they did going into the first bout.  This should also play for a less exciting bout than their first.  All I'm saying is the pre-fight trash talk does not always equal a brawl.. even if it is rare when Europeans match their American counterparts in press-conference antics.

Speaking of press conferences, I am glad they are receding from importance the way they were years ago.  It seemed as if not a big fight could go by without a big blow-out at a press conference.  Whether verbal or physical, it would seem that a sport based on confrontation wouldn't need this overkill.  And if the numbers lately are to be believed, it is better without them.  If only we can get weigh-ins to be less important again.  Maybe holding them on the day of the fight would do the trick.

Speaking of the numbers, I am actually glad Canelo is taking the PPV route.  It seemed primadonna-ish at firts, but normally the sport can only have one or two PPV guys at once.  This was making the 1% vs 99% problem in boxing even worse than it already is. 

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JUNE BOXING PREDICTIONS, Part 2

 JUNE BOXING PREDICTIONS, Part 2

Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Terrence Crawford
Gamboa finally gets a big fight, and it's not one he is likely to win.  His victory over Orlando Salido looks good retroactively, but besides that, he's been suffering flash knockdowns, and a lot of inactivity.  Omaha's Terrence Crawford is an odd signing choice for Top Rank, given their latino/Asian/foreign centric business plan, but it is perfect timing in the lightweight division. Other beltholders like Vasquez and Abril reside here.  Those two are boring and inactive, so Crawford is skipping them.  Beltran is dangerous, so he gets passed on as well.  Like Mike Alvarado, Crawford is taking on his toughest opponent in his hometown fight, but unlike Alvarado, he has the stuff to pull it off.  Crawford by UD or late round TKO, after a decent start by Gamboa.
 
Anatoliy Dudckenko vs. Nadjib Mohamedi
The useless mandatory that the IBF is insisting on in order to block Stevenson-Hopkins will be decided in this fight.  I have seen Dudchencko fight live many times in LA, and while he has skills and a booming right hand, he is not threat to Hopkins.  The Frenchman, on the other hand, hasn't even won every time he's stepped up.  He has suffered two early stoppage losses, and a decision loss to Nathan Cleverly.  Mohamedi has more experience than Dudchencko at the higher (only a bit higher) level, but style and momentum is more with the Ukranian.  Dudchecnko by middle round KO.
 
Demetrius Andrade vs. Brian Rose
Andrade's only politically available worthy opponent is James Kirkland, so I can see why they are in no rush there.  Rose is a mandatory we know very little about, save his wins over shot former world champions: Vivian Harris and Joachim Alcine.  Those are two of his rare stoppages, so it can be said he rises to the occasion.  Hopefully we'll get some rounds out of him, but I like Andrade to take control early, and never let up.  Andrade by wide UD or late round TKO.

Read more...

BOXING PROMOTIONAL DOWNFALL

BOXING PROMOTIONAL DOWNFALL

The world of big time boxing promoters has always been changing.  In the world I came into, Bob Arum and Don King were just making their names as big time promoters.  I am nearly 40, and they are both still there.. albeit at different levels.  However, the recent victory of Bermane Stiverne gives a long-ineffective Don King a bit of a rebirth.  He now has a piece of the heavyweight division more than a decade after he last did.  There are promoters on the rise, and promoters on the downslide.  I have always been a prediction man, so here is my prediction for the next decade of big time boxing, as to who will increase, and decrease, their presence.
 
Increase:
K2 - Started by Klitschkos, and run my Tom Loeffler, this is the European version of Golden Boy.  The one weakness in Golden Boy's game has always been the foreign markets, and K2 seems to be attempting to avoid this by bringing some of their young stars like GGG over to the USA.  It remains to be seen how many more will follow, but with the fading of the other big German promoters, K2 is poised to do quite well.
 
TMT - The money team is still in it's infancy, and needs desperately to attract more fighters who are not trying to be Floyd.  They also need to do some business outside of the 168lb division, where many of their young charges are rated.  However, as Floyd recedes into the background as a fighter, one can only assume their recruitment will increase.
 
Iron Mike - Probably never going to rival Top Rank or Golden Boy, but a strong Goossen-like long term presence should be expected.  Iron Mike is in a good place now, has world ranked fighters, a national presence, and TV deals.  He seems to be only a couple years away from getting fighters on the bigger networks as well.
 
Decrease:
Top Rank - They are making a good international presence with so many foreign Olympic medalists, but none of them seem special enough to carry the outfit.  They also do not have any regular presence on an English-speaking US network.  The cold war hurts them far more than Golden Boy, and they are even losing their names at the featherweight region, with the intentions of Garcia and Rigondeaux to leave soon.  It will be a slow slide, but it is happening.

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Who will have a long career? Who will not have a long career?

Who will have a long career? Who will not have a long career?

Brawlers - This one is obvious, if someone is taking a ton of punishment, they will age faster.  When they start feeling for the canvas as they step backwards, neurological damage has been done.  There have been exceptions to this, but even most of them were only part-time brawlers, who still had easy wins from time to time.
Men who turned pro young - Again, exceptions such as Orlando Salido are out there, but most who start fast burn out fast.  This could have to do with both absorbing punishment on an unfinished skull, as well as overall wear and tear.  People forget that Hopkins was a late starter, and a man who scored most of his early victories by 1st round KO, until he was 30, and had a much improved defense.Men who balloon in weight between bouts - Duran is the big exception, but he had to adjust his style as a result of his hard-partying ways.  Ricky Hatton, Carlos Baldomir, and many others watched their prime years shrunk down because of their in-between fights weight fluctuations.
 
Who WILL have a long career:Defensive specialists - True, they rely on reflexes, one of the first things to go for most men, however a defensive master is usually very fundamentally sound, and will retain many tricks as his reflexes diminish.  He also will not absorb as much punishment as others, no matter how long his fights go.Big punchers - Mike Tyson took 3 hard beatings in his career: Lewis, Douglas, Holyfield 1, but most of his other fights were over to soon to see any real damage.  This is why the champ doesn't seem too mentally or physically diminished after a 20 year pro career.  His late-career lethargy was more an issue of lack of desire than anything else.
George Foreman is another example of a puncher never having to take much punishment, as his fights are usually over quickly.  Exceptions like Diego Corrales are out there, but his high-level of opposition and desire for brawling accounted for his longer fights more than anything.  

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Mayweather vs. Maidana Fight Card Predictions

Mayweather vs. Maidana Fight Card Predictions

It's Mayweather vs. Maidana in may.  A lot of Mays.  There are fights worthy of discussion in the rest of the month, but that will come in another article.  Expecting to hear the same prediction over and over, I actually am seeing some variance from the experts.  Seems we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss either Maidana's chances, or Mayweather's power.  Let's break down the televised card:
 
J'Leon Love vs. Marco Antonio Periban
It's seems Mayweather promotions doesn't think the bad luck will continue with matching it's young super middleweights with Periban.  The overrated Mexican 168lber has received a loss and a draw that should have been a loss when he has stepped up... the latter being against Love stablemate Badou Jack.  Love has a lot to prove for an undefeated fighter, mainly because of the closeness and positive drug test surrounding his fight with Gabriel Rosado.  This is a chance for him to right the ship in a division where not much 168lb action exists on Showtime, outside of TMT.  It would be a test, but Periban is only troublesome and durable, little else.  Love by UD.
 
Adrien Broner vs. Carlos Molina
Taking on a light-hitting fighter one division down is the right move for Broner, but it is no way to win back the critics who say size and power are your downfall.  Molina will show heart, but style-wise this is a nightmare fight for him.  Broner usually walks down fighters whose power he does not respect, and then he breaks them to the body.  At welter this did not work, as those high-level, bigger fighters could not be broken.  It will happen here.  Broner by 5th round TKO, after a slow start.
 
Luis Collazo vs. Amir Khan
The toughest call of the night.  The winner will get Floyd?  Let me correct you.  The winner will get Floyd if it's Khan.  It should be.  Collazo is troublesome, and an underrated fighter, but his power-display in the Ortiz fight has more to do with Ortiz than Collazo.  He will likely go outside of his normal style, and that is where Khan will get him.  Amir has never been bothered by slick boxers anyhow.  He's too quick, and powerful.  Pressure defeats Khan, and Collazo is not the best at that game.  His heart is a plus, and Khan is always one punch away from losing, but gut instinct says Khan by close MD.

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Why do people act like there is only Top Rank and Golden Boy?

Why do people act like there is only Top Rank and Golden Boy?

Why do people act like there is only Top Rank and Golden Boy?  SMS, TMT, Goossen, Gary Shaw, Star Boxing, Banner Promotions, Cohen, DiBella, K2, etc. may have something of an alliance, but few or any of them have network exclusivity, and they all have, or have had recent world champions.  They can go on any network, and fight on any card.  Here's hoping they get more champions soon, as it is they that will render the cold war obsolete.
 
Speaking of obsolete, the 3 judging system has got to go.  Why is it they can make changes in Olympic boxing that may seem drastic, but in professional boxing, where the monopolies are much less total, and the financial implications so much more severe.. it takes forever?  Back to 15 round fights, odd number distances of rounds, open scoring, 5-7 judges chosen on day of fight, instant replay, etc.  These are things that have been discussed for decades, but only done by dipping toes in and quickly retreating.
 
Speaking of retreating, I'd like to congratulate Canelo and Chavez Jr for not taking the path of least resistance.  If the Lara and GGG fights come off as expected, they will each be taking the highest risk, lowest reward money fights possible.  They are also promoted by two companies not known for this, either.  It is refreshing when a star fighter takes on the best.  Since De La Hoya, and Hopkins in his late 30's, we have not have nearly enough of this.
 
Speaking of Hopkins, he can retire after beating Stevenson, or wait around after that to face Mayweather.  He'd not be favored in either of those fights, but he's earned the right to do anything in the sport.. cherry pick opponents, take a year off, lose, fight boring, and he will remain a star.  A far as Kovalev, it would be nice to see that fight, but Kovalev is not married to HBO.  He is a Main Events fighter, and can go where he wants, and work with Golden Boy.  See earlier section.
 
Speaking of Golden Boy, congrats to them for continuing the re-established tradition of making the whole card interesting.  A few weeks in a row we will have this.  Top Rank would have made Khan, Broner, Porter, etc all have their own main events, while giving us eight-rounders to build up to it.  Between than and no English-speaking network for showcase fights, Bob Arum is guaranteeing his slide into obscurity.  He should just ask his old rival Don King.

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