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title Lacy Defeats Mendoza On Questionable Decision, Will Fight Jermain Taylor Next

lacy46357.jpgBy Chris Williams: Former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy (24-1, 17 KOs) battled long and hard on Wednesday night winning a 10-round majority decision over Colombian journeyman Epifanio Mendoza (28-6-1, 24 KOs) at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, in Cabazon, California. The final judges’ scores were 96-94, 97-93 and 95-95. I had Mendoza winning the fight by one round, although I could see the fight being scored a draw, but definitely not a victory for Lacy. He did little after the 5th round, and appeared to lose the 6th though 9th rounds by a wide margin while also being badly hurt in the 2nd and 8th rounds. Given Mendoza’s lack of popularity among boxing fans, I wasn’t particularly surprised that he came out the losing end of the fight, but let’s not kid ourselves, Lacy, 31, didn’t come close to winning the fight and should consider himself very fortunate to have been given the gift decision.

Afterwards, sounding more than a little defensive, Lacy, his left eye swollen, said “I think I did a marvelous job. He [Epifanio Mendoza] should have done what he had to do in the ring to get the win.” Read the rest of this entry »



title Cotto vs. Margarito: Why Antonio Will Win

margarito54247.jpgBy Jason Kim: For the past week, most of the boxing public have quickly taken sides with one fighter or the other with most of the backing WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (32-0, 26 KOs) to retain his title with a victory over Antonio Margarito (36-5, 26 KOs) this Saturday night at the at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, as much as I’ve tried to see what the other people are concentrating on to make such a choice, I just can’t see it happening that way. I like Cotto as a fighter because he’s very entertaining, much more so than Floyd Mayweather Jr., who much to my relief he retired recently from boxing.

However, Cotto is really more of a small welterweight and has benefited by facing either shot welterweights or ones that are also small like himself. The beating of these lower quality fighters have helped build up the mystique of Cotto, making him seem virtually unbeatable in the minds of many boxing fans. However, with a clear view of the situation, the fans seem to be using poor judgment in choosing Cotto because he’s still unproven as a fighter and as welterweight despite his glamorous 32-0 record. In effect, you can completely throw out his entire record because every one of his fights have been meaningless in helping him prepare for this Saturday’s fight with Margarito. Read the rest of this entry »



title Is David Haye a True Heavyweight?

hayes5555.jpgBy Nate Anderson: The more and more I see of David Haye (21-1, 20 KOs), I think he’s not really cut out to be a heavyweight. His 6’2″ frame seems still far too smallish to achieve what he’s trying to accomplish by moving up from the cruiserweight limit of 200 lbs. Although there are some decent smaller heavyweights in the division like Monte Barrett, Lamon Brewster and Brian Minto, Haye doesn’t appear to even as big as those fighters. Recently I saw him on Setanta Sports with Steve Bunce and Haye looked a little larger than he had while fighting as a cruiserweight, but mostly he just appeared plain fat, with a noticeable gut on him.

With three months to go before his fight on the Vitali Klitschko vs. Samuel Peter undercard on October 18th, he still has time to put on some size, but I don’t see how it will make him anything other than a small heavyweight. To be sure, it’s difficult to put on 30-40 lbs of muscle in a short time like Haye is trying to accomplish, and probably even harder to be able to use the weight effectively that is put on in a hurry. In Haye’s case, he needs to gain a lot of weight before he’s able to compete with the top heavyweights, and if he’s at all serious about taking on a top contender in his next fight, he’s probably making a fatal mistake in doing so. He’s had big problems when facing opponents that can take his shots, as evidenced in his fight with Giacobbe Fragomeni in November 2006. Read the rest of this entry »



title Pavlik-Hopkins: Could Kelly Lose?

pavlik45731.jpgBy Sean McDaniel: I must admit first off, when I initially heard about unbeaten WBC/WBO middleweight champion fighting 43 year-old Bernard Hopkins (48-5, 32 KOs) in a non-title bout held at the catch weight of 170 lbs, I thought it was a bad decision for Pavlik because he’d easily win a dull 12-round fight. But now that I’ve had time to think it over, I’m starting to come to the belief that Hopkins may actually be able to win this fight quite handily in fact.

Pavlik, 26, perhaps the hardest puncher in the middleweight division today, doesn’t have much experience in fights that he’s had to win by the use of more technical skills. So far, he’s been able to get by with his power and heavy pressure both of which have enabled him to blast out or decision good but not great opponents like Jermain Taylor, Gary Lockett, Edison Miranda, Jose Luis Zertuche, Bronco McKart and Fulgencio Zuniga. And, with the exception of McKart, they each went right at Pavlik trying to take him out with big shots and beat him at his own game. Taylor, who had previously been stopped by Pavlik in a 7th round TKO in September 2007, tried to make some adjustments to his style and box more against him in their rematch in February 2008. Read the rest of this entry »



title Few People Giving Margarito a Chance Against Cotto

margarito654235.jpgBy Manuel Perez: As the saying goes, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” That may be even more true in terms of this Saturday night’s bout between challenger Antonio Margarito (36-5, 26 KOs) and WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (32-0, 26 KOs) at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. By an avalanche of opinion, most boxing fans, betters and writers are choosing Cotto, 27, to defeat Margarito. The reason for their choice is varied, having to do mostly with Cotto’s recent development of boxing skills – a jab, better movement and the use of strategy rather than his old style of slugging – as the primary reason why they feel that Cotto will defeat Margarito.

Most of them doubt that Cotto can even come close to matching Margarito punch for punch, but they seem to feel that Cotto will be able to keep from getting hit enough to win the fight by a decision or possibly a knockout. The general consensus is that Cotto won’t be able to hurt Margarito with a shot to the head, and will have to focus on landing a hard body shot in order to drop or take out Margarito. Read the rest of this entry »



title Jeff Lacy vs. Epifanio Mendoza Tonight

lacy67765.jpgBy Aaron Klein: Super middleweight Jeff Lacy (23-1, 17 KOs) returns to the ring tonight after a seven month layoff to face the powerful but slow Epifanio Mendoza (28-5, 24 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, in Cabazon, California. Lacy, 31, is still trying to get his once promising boxing career back on track after experiencing a humiliating 12-round unanimous decision loss to undefeated super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe in March 2006.

The loss, a brutally one-sided affair, seemed to take a lot out of Lacy, who was pounded unceasingly in every round of the fight. In all honesty, the fight probably should have been stopped by the 7th round when it had become apparent to most, if not all ringside boxing observers, that Lacy was far too slow and mechanical to catch up to the speedy more experienced Calzaghe and had no chance of knocking him out. Read the rest of this entry »



title Valuev vs. Ruiz On August 30th

valuev572468.jpgBy Scott Gilfoid: Former WBA heavyweight champions John Ruiz (43-7-1, 29 KOs) and Nikolay Valuev (48-1, 34 KOs) will fight for the vacant WBA heavyweight title on August 30th at Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, in Berlin, Germany. The title was vacated by WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev who has been struck down several times with serious illnesses and injuries causing him to cancel two title defenses and a planned unification bout. Chagaev’s latest medical problem, a tear of his Achilles tendon, caused a second cancellation of his title defense against Valuev which had been previously scheduled for July 5th.

Ruiz, 36 and Valuev previously met in December 2005, when Valuev took a controversial 12-round majority decision over Ruiz to take his title in a fight fought in Germany. The final decision, however, seemed not to match the actual fight that took place for Ruiz landed the harder shots and appeared to dominate most, if not all, of the exchanges that took place in the fight. The location of the bout, fought in Germany where Valuev, 34, is currently promoted, seemed to lead to more speculation by boxing fans that Ruiz had been the victim of a home town decision. Despite the controversy surrounding the outcome of the fight, Ruiz was never given a rematch with Valuev – until now. Read the rest of this entry »



title Is Povetkin Ready For Wladimir Klitschko?

povetkin764346.jpgBy Erik Schmidt: After watching unbeaten heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (16-0, 12 KOs) dispatch a rather reluctant, timid-looking Taurus Sykes (25-5-1, 7 KOs) in the 4th round last Saturday night at the Olimpyskiy Sports Palace, in Chekhov, Russia, I have grave concerns about whether Povetkin, 28, is ready for a fight against IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in the near future. Given the fact that Povetkin not too long ago won the IBF tournament to become Klitschko’s number # 1 mandatory challenger, by defeating Americans Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers, it put Povetkin in line for a shot against Klitschko.

That’s all well and good, but with only 16 fights under his belt, I’m not sure if it’s especially smart for Povetkin to be thrust into a fight this early with a fighter as seasoned, powerful, elusive and as tall as Wladimir. Say what you will about Wladimir having a bad chin, but he’s done reasonably good job of protecting it for the past four years, going unbeaten in his last nine fights since losing to Lamon Brewster by a 5th round TKO in April 2004. Povetkin, a 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and considered perhaps the 2nd or 3rd best heavyweight in the division at this point, doesn’t really have the kind of one-punch power that Wladimir has historically had problems with. Read the rest of this entry »



title Margarito vs. Cotto: Will Miguel’s Chin Hold Up?

margarito46575.jpgBy Chris Williams: Welterweight Antonio Margarito (36-5, 26 KOs) will be bringing it this Saturday night against Miguel Cotto (32-0, 26 KOs), hoping to take away his WBA welterweight crown and in the process removing the aura that surrounds Cotto and makes him seem unbeatable. It is doubtful that Margarito, 30, really knows what’s in store for him this Saturday against Cotto. He may have heard the hype, seen him fight a few times, but it’s going to be a whole different matter to have to actually go in the ring and face him. Cotto isn’t unbeatable, however, because he’s sometimes hurt in his fights, although never serious enough for him to lose. Looking back on his past fights, he’s done well to get by the bigger punchers he’s faced like Ricardo Torres, whom he was badly hurt against but recovered to eventually stop in the 7th round. Since moving up from the light welterweight division in

Up until this point in his seven-year boxing career, undefeated WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (32-0, 26 KOs) has had the physical and offensive advantages over every one of his opponents, but this Saturday Cotto will finally meet a fighter in December 2006, Cotto has done well, defeating several good fighters in Zab Judah, Shane Mosley and Alfonso Gomez, and only getting stunned for a moment in his fight with Judah in June 2007. Read the rest of this entry »



title Cotto-Margarito: Has Miguel Bit off More Than He Can Chew?

cotto44572.jpgBy Dan Ambrose: Up until this point in his seven-year boxing career, undefeated WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (32-0, 26 KOs) has had the physical and offensive advantages over every one of his opponents, but this Saturday Cotto will finally meet a fighter in Antonio Margarito (36-5, 26 KOs) is superior to Cotto in every possible way – work rate, size, reach, chin and experience – with the exception of youth and power. There are a lot of things working against the young 27 year-old Cotto going into this bout, and regardless of the things that he’s accomplished up until now in beating mostly lesser fighters or fighters considered over the hill, it may do little to prepare him for what Margarito will be bringing to the ring on Saturday night.

Size: The size alone, with Margarito towering over Cotto by four inches and with a reach advantage of half a foot, will be huge obstacle for Cotto to get past. However, the height advantage might be minimized because Margarito tends to stand in close and loop many of his punches, not using his reach to his full benefit. But, when Margarito does choose to fight on the outside, Cotto, a fighter who tends to fight mostly on the inside, will likely find that he’s unable to get his big body shots nor land his excellent jab. Read the rest of this entry »



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