Adios-2013; Hello 2014’s Boxing Wish List

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Marcos Maidana destroyed Adrien  Broner

[BoxingGlove Notes]

The boxing year of 2013 has been somewhat of a fistic bonanza for the fight fan since they were witnesses to some of the most exciting squared circle matches for almost every other month.

On one weekend alone, two local major championship fights, one at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., and the other at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, competed against each other.

The month of November was a boxing bonus with fights every Saturday.

Can we have an even greater year in 2014?

Of course the most talked about fight was the Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs. Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez, Super Welterweight Championship fight, on September 14, 2013,  which went global with so much anticipation of a great fight or a possible upset. 

It was neither; it was just an expensive pay-per-view  “boxing clinic” conducted by the Boxing “Guru” Mayweather on his favorite selected “student,” in this case, Canelo Alvarez. It was really that disappointing, despite Canelo’s frustrated futile efforts to surpass his teacher.

Obviously, throughout the 2013 year there were many other boxing matches all over the world. 

By my calculations there were many fights that had us fight fans “glued” to our televisions sets; some championships, and some just mega money attractions to eliminate one opponent from contention while opening the door for the winner to continue his quest for a world title at his weight level, and of course more lucrative purses.

The standout fights in my opinion were:

Marcos “El Chino” Maidana’s complete, embarrassing punch by punch domination of Adrien “The Problem” Broner in a 12 round distance championship fight. 

Ruslan “Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov’s  two “wars” with Timothy Bradley and then with Mike Alvarado; and then we went all the way East to Macao, China, to see Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, considered by many to be “washed-up” because of his devastating knock out loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last year, unanimously win all 12 rounds against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. He's placed himself once again in the “mix” of future pay-per-view mega fights.

We certainly cannot forget, 140 pound world champ Danny Garcia defeating the most feared fighter in the Junior Welterweight ranks, Argentine, Lucas Matthysse. 

Cool headed Garcia maintained his ring generalship, out boxed and literally out punched Matthysse, and scored an important 11th round knockdown in the process.

Garcia begged for this fight after he had defeated veteran journeyman Zab Judah a few months before. Everyone but Danny, and also his proud dad, Angelo, thought he was crazy when he was begging the promoters to fight no one else but Matthysse. 

It was not insanity, it was just a total “gutsy” confidence in his own ability to win, and, he did win convincingly.

How could we forget Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, who some folks call the “Middleweight Mike Tyson”?

Yes, he hits that hard. Ask Matthew Macklin; k.o.’d in two rounds, and Curtis “Showtime” Stevens, a rock hard hitter himself being knocked out in the 8th round, by this short nerdy “Clark Kent” look-a-like who has extreme power in both hands.

We saw the surprising eye-catching one round knockout that an over-confident Abner Mares suffered at the hands of veteran and underdog, Johanny Gonzalez, losing his W.B.C. world featherweight crown. 

Mares of course demanded a rematch and was granted one, scheduled for Saturday, February 15, 2014, at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, California.

There were other eye catching boxing events of 2013, in particular the first openly Gay fighter, Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz who fought and was knocked out by Orlando “Siri” Salido for 126 pound W.B.O. world title, as a semi-final fight that was headlined by a hard fought championship bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley.

Bradley’s victory over Marquez that night was decided by a knockdown that Bradley scored over Marquez in the last round. Marquez has since been a demanding a rematch to no avail.

Juan Marquez however has been offered a purse of over 15 million dollars to fight Manny Pacquiao a 5th time; he has refused stating that he already got his revenge over Pacquiao. 

Fifteen million dollars is 15 million dollars, and that is enticing enough for a half hour’s  “work” in the ring. I may be “enticed” to un-retire for that amount of money. Money talks so will we see Marquez walk into the ring for 15 million good reasons?

Speaking of Timothy Bradley how could we not mention the 12 round  survival phone booth war he had with Ruslan Provodnikov?

This fight is the number one candidate for fight of the year, and deservedly so. There were times that I thought that the referee was going to stop the fight because Bradley who was knocked down, was  severely  battered throughout many rounds; but was the eventual winner by decision,

Bradley did admit before his next fight-with Marquez- that he had to have a series of medical exams because after the Ruslan fight he was still dizzy, lethargic, and suffered from headaches. 

“That Ruslan could surely hit hard”, Bradley said. A “keep busy” fight was with Roman “Rocky” Martinez, W.B.O. Super Featherweight champ defending his title against undefeated Mickey Garcia from the Fighting and Training Garcia family fame. 

Powerful Mickey with already a career in law enforcement, won the W.B.O. Crown by knocking out Martinez at 58 seconds of the 8th round, adding a second world crown to his boxing resume.

Other note-worthy fights were ex-Olympian Cuban defector Guillermo Rigondeaux defending his W.B.A. & W.B.O. Super Bantamweight crowns against Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko, on December 7th, In the Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Fans wanting to see a war instead of a demonstration of the “sweet science”, booed all the way throughout the 12 round fight, as Rigondeaux won an easy 12 round unanimous decision.

On the same night, across the rive at the Barclay's Center, Pauli Malignani was crowned king of Brooklyn by defeating a listless Zab Judah in a 12 round decision “fight”. Both are former champions.

We certainly were delighted to see the return of ex-Olympian Gold Medalist, Andre Ward, after shoulder surgery, to successfully defend his Super Middleweight title against, Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez. 

Now that he has cleaned up the 168 pound division, Ward should move up to the Light Heavyweight division to keep busy. The 175 pound level is where Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins resides as well as Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev, and Beibut Shumenov.  

Please note, Andre, these are all still 175 pound world champs, since they successfully defended their crowns in 2013. Maybe the two last 168-pound fights Ward could consider are against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (if Chavez ever gets some boxing discipline and totally commits himself to boxing), and Sakio Bika, the I.B.O. Super Middleweight champ from the Cameroons, who retained his title gaining a draw decision when he fought Andre Durrell.

Rounding out the year we saw: Miguel Cotto coming back by knocking out Delvin Rodriguez; Arislandy Lara defeating Austin “No Doubt” Trout; Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin stopping Gabriel “The King” Rosado and retaining his W.B.O. Middleweight Crown; Danny “The Miracle Man” Jacobs overcoming a bout with cancer and knocking out Giovanni Lorenzo, a relative unknown; and, James “The Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland totally dominating and pummeling, undefeated upstart, Glenn Tapia, finally knocking him out in the 6th round. 

Tapia, “The Jersey Boy”, should seriously start thinking about another career outside of boxing. Certainly included in the list of future boxing stars and a potential world champ is Keith Thurman who k.o.’d Jesus Soto Karass who in turn had knocked out aging and former world champ, Andre Berto. Last, but not least of the 2013 boxing highlights, unknown undefeated Shawn Porter defeated and won the 147 pound W.B.A. crown from Devon Alexander by a unanimous decision.

Forgive me readers if I missed some fights that you may have seen and considered worth mentioning. Moving on and talking to my “street people”, at the bodegas, barber shops, my neighbors, and my un-documented, I was “bombarded” with a list of fights they want to see this year of 2014. 

So boxing promoters, Golden Boy, Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, Gary Shaw, Don King, T.M.T., K-2, etc.,please pay attention. Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, should fight either one or both of the Klitschkos, Vitali or Wladimir; preferably Vitali since he is doing a “Pacquiao” and going into politics in his country very soon.

My friends unanimously demanded that Floyd “Money” Mayweather stop “avoiding” Manny Pacquiao with phoney excuses and set the date to fight him. The fight should be one of Mayweather’s  four remaining mega money fights with Showtime cable on his “victory tour” towards retirement. 

My public  is particularly incensed by Floyd’s latest insulting statement that he would not fight the PacMan because Pacquiao is not at his level. What does Mayweather mean by that? Manny Pacquiao has been named the fighter of the decade by the National Boxing Writers Association, the modern day, “Henry Armstrong”; he has won eight consecutive world crowns. 

Certainly, Pacquiao has been knocked out three times; but he has come back to win. “Can Floyd do it?”; that’s one of the questions asked by Jorge my neighbor. “Sometimes a man’s courage is measured by coming back from a loss and not remaining undefeated like Mayweather. Could Floyd come back from a defeat?”

Franklin, the Bodega owner stated that Floyd has “found a million excuses not to fight Manny; first it was steroids use accusation, then he wanted to pay Pacquiao little money and he-Floyd-would keep all of the pay-per-view money, and now he-Pacquiao- is not at his level”. 

Another “trick” or excuse up Mayweather’s sleeve was that he demanded that Pacquiao end his promotional contract with Bob Arums’s Top Rank and sign with T.M.T. , Floyd’s company, and then, and only then would the fight take place.

What audacity on Mayweather’s part.

Another demand of Mayweather's is that he now wants to dictate to promoters the fighters and the matches on the undercards when he fights. 

Has Floyd been afraid of Pacquiao all of these years and doesn’t want to admit it? Floyd should man-up. Is fear of Pacquiao the real truth? We’ll never know because he will never admit it.

I feel that in all honesty and with no doubt that Mayweather could defeat Pacaquiao with his style; but maybe Floyd is not too confident about his ability to absorb Pacquiao’s painful punches to gain the victory. 

Maybe Manny is Mayweather’s achille’s heel.

I personally thought about these statements and honestly wonder about their merit. Through the years since Pacquiao and Mayweather were supposed to fight: Floyd retired twice, came back and fought, Juan Marquez, a “blown-up” super featherweight; beat “shop-worn” Shane Mosley; and, defeated Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, a journeyman veteran, all at pay-per-view status.

Were they at Floyd Mayweather’s level? Only Mayweather could answer that question.

Moving along, my friends want to see Miguel Cotto fight Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez for the $10 million dollar offer; then Carlos Molina for his Junior Middleweight Crown he won from Ishe Smith,

For his final fight before retiring, Cotto should fight Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez for his 160 pound crown.

If Cotto wins, then Puerto Rico could finally “boast” of a Puerto Rican born world champ once again.

Other “we wish to see” fights are: Gennady “Triple G” Glovkin vs. Felix Sturm, and then 3 G should fight Sergio Martinez; Keith Thurman vs. Arislandi Lara, Junior Middleweights; “Irish” Mike Perez vs. Cristobal Arreola, heavyweights; and, Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux vs. Abner Mares providing that Rigondeaux becomes a 126 pounder.

Last, but of course not least my “friends” demanded to see a “round-robbin” contest like the past Super-Sixes Championship contest which was won by Andre Ward. 

It should include all of the Light Heavyweights Champs: Hopkins to fight Superman Stevenson; and, Sergey Kovalev to fight Beibut Shemenov. Each victor would fight the winner from the other pairing and the overall champ would fight Andre Ward, if he is successful in defeating Sakio Bika, and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.

I thought about these boxing demands as I was writing them down and I thought that there is merit in these matches because it would ultimately eliminate the confusion as to who is the “real” champ in any weight division.

This idea could be applied to all of the existing weight levels on a world-wide basis.

Maybe to initiate this agreement among promoters they should convene a “Promoter’s Summit” and discuss this issue coming from the people who are “diehard” fight fans.

They don’t have to “hug and kiss”, under the mistletoe; just shake hands and try to make these boxing wishes come true for us. 

My fervent  “wish” for the new boxing year of 2014, is a full recovery for Magomed Abdusalamov, Russian heavyweight, from his critical injuries he suffered in the ring, so that he can return to his family, his wife and three children. The latest report on his progress is that Abdusalamov was moved to the Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, New York, for rehabilitation treatment. That is certainly God’s Blessings, and a message that he will recover.

Another wish is that the Boxing Commissions would be more diligent in their responsibilities in examining fighters under jurisdiction and those from abroad to avoid these boxing tragedies before the fight. 

Is it too much to ask since boxing is the “hurt business”?


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