Leo Santa Cruz – very exciting fighter

santacruz3By Bob Smith: I am much more of a casual fan than a boxing expert, but I can say that I was very impressed by Leo Santa Cruz on the undercard of Mayweather vs. Guerrero. He is known as “El Terremoto” or the earthquake, and there is a reason for this – he averaged over 100 punches per round in his five fights in 2012 – this is an almost unbelievable work rate.

He was the bantamweight world champion until deciding to move up to junior lightweight, for similar reasons that Mayweather, Broner, and Mares have moved up – bigger paydays, better competition, more exposure, and more chances for belts. In fact, he is currently the #4 fighter in the division as of 5/27 right behind Rigondeaux, Donaire, and Victor Terrazas, but he will fight Victor Terrazas some time in the next few months.

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Golovkin will be on the pound for pound list within 5 weeks

golovkin2By Bob Smith: At times there are great match ups between world class fighters that unfortunately because one fighter has a major advantage – speed, power, combinations, defense – are complete blow outs. Some recent examples are Williams-Martinez, Guerrero-Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez-Mayweather, and Julio Caesar Chavez-Martinez.

Unfortunately, for Macklin, his fight with Golovkin in late June will be such a fight – Golovkin is simply too powerful a puncher and too skilled a fighter for Macklin, and the come forward style of Macklin and his fearlessness will be his downfall.

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Mayweather vs. Alvarez = Mayweather vs Gatti

alvarez4445by Bob Smith: Let us be honest with ourselves: Arturo Gatti was an excellent fighter who was also one of the most courageous in recent memory, and he is also a boxing hall of famer with three fight of the year candidates to his credit, and is more or less a real-life incarnation of Rocky.

However, when he entered the Ring against Floyd Mayweather, despite the fact that Gatti was by far the fan favorite and boxing with the home crowd advantage, Mayweather completely dominated Gatti and ended up with a six round stoppage victory.

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Who could have beaten Mayweather?

floyd#300By Bob Smith: As it stands now, Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights are beautiful in that the viewer gets to see him display his defense, quick attacks and counter-punches, and also speed and power but are “boring” in the sense that he completely dominates anyone that he fights. This has been the story for several years now, and even though he is 36, amazingly, this continues.

I honestly don’t see a fighter today that could cause Mayweather problems, much less defeat him, Some say that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would be a good match for Mayweather, but the resume of Alvarez is weak, and though he did show significant improvement in his fight versus Austin Trout, anything remotely resembling a catchweight will negate the major advantage of the punching power of Alvarez, and Mayweather will insist on something that approximates a catchweight.

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Broner-Malignaggi: Problems for “The Problem”

broner65454By Bob Smith: Nearly all boxing fans are familiar with one of the rising young stars in boxing today, Adrien “The Problem” Broner. He is ranked #5 on the Golden Boy pound for pound list, AKA the Ring Magazine Pound for Pound List and arguably lives up to the hype of all but Golden Boy Promotions.

Since his unanimous decision victory in early 2011 against Daniel Ponce de Leon – which I actually scored as a loss for him or at best a draw – he has scored six straight KO victories against world class competition such as Vicente Escobedo, Antonio DeMarco and Gavin Rees.

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Three June knockouts to anticipate

golovkin322by Bob Smith: In scanning the boxing matches coming up next month, I will venture to make predictions of three KO victories. Will I be right? Only time will tell. For the (very recent) record, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez did better than I anticipated he would, though I had him losing a narrow decision; I also thought that Guerrero would have some more success in pressuring Floyd, though I did anticipate Floyd Mayweather Jr would win by unanimous decision.

The good news is that Gennady Golovkin should dismiss the highly talkative and disrespectful but very world class and skilled Matthew Macklin within roughly 8 rounds. I thought Macklin did very well against Sergio Martinez, but I don’t see him being able to cope effectively with the power and pressure tactics of Golovkin. I think that Martin Murray and his excellent defense would pose more problems for Golovkin though I think Golovkin would defeat Murray in a decision.

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Three most underrated fighters

wladimir#7By Bob Smith: Earlier I wrote that in my opinion the two most overrated fighters currently are heavyweight Tyson Fury and junior middleweight Canelo Alvarez. But what about the most underrated fighters? I name three: Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, and Gennady Golovkin.

Why are they are underrated? It is simple – boxing announcers, promoters and commentators are strikingly similar between the mid-80s and currently – if you watch the old Tyson fights or other 1980s fights of the era, there is Al Bernstein and Harold Lederman commenting, with Bob Arum as a promoter in the background. I don’t dispute that they are excellent commentators or promoters, but boxing commentary and promotion does have a lot of barriers to entry (otherwise they would have had some competition in the last 27 years or so). Basically, they still have a Cold War mentality and are biased against Russian/Ukrainian fighters. And this goes for the network heads as well.

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Prime Pacquaio or prime Mayweather: who wins?

pac73by Bob Smith: This is a topic really any boxing fan should love and I definitely look forward to reading your comments and suggestions. Of course, an article like this is purely speculative; at the same time, these speculations are worth real money, as 2-4 years ago this fight would have been worth tens of millions to each fighter.

Of course, this is article is not to say that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not in his prime, but arguably Manny Pacquiao is not in his prime at this point.

The truth is that I am not sure who would win if these two fighters fought at their primes.

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Two current most overrated fighters: Canelo Alvarez and Tyson Fury

canelo212by Bob Smith: Of all of the fighters currently trying to move their way up the ranks and to obtain championships and big paydays (no particular order) two strike me as the most overrated: Tyson Fury and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

First, let’s start with one ‘”fighter” hopefully all of us can agree is overrated – Tyson Fury. To be fair, he is a respectable 2nd rate fighter with wins over Derek Chisora and Kevin Johnson but he is nowhere near the level of either his hype or his self-perceptions. In his match with Steve Cunningham he behaved like a WWE clown with his touching of the gloves and hitting after the bell and still got knocked down within three rounds by a glorified cruiserweight who is at least six inches shorter and at least 30 pounds lighter than him.

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Not impressed with Ring’s pound for pound list

wladimir3by Bob Smith: Though Ring magazine is a respectable if not venerable boxing publication, there are two ways in which its pound for pound list can inaccurately report the best boxers – one is by being susceptible to the favorites of boxing promoters and hype; the other is by overemphasizing recent wins, especially by knockout.

For instance, IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko jumped from #9 to #4 just because he defeated a badly overmatched challenger in Francesco Pianeta. Also, WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner is still untested yet is ranked ahead of Sergio Martinez on the list. I will present my own list here to correct for these errors.

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