Pound-for-Pound Perplexity

floyd63By Bob Smith: This weekend’s split decision for Bradley raises a lot of questions about who should rank in what place on the pound for pound list. And by the pound for pound list, I mean that of ESPN, which is much more reasonable and one that I typically agree with about 90% of the time, not that of Golden Boy/Ring Magazine, as it unfortunately has become in part a promotional tool for them.

#1 and #2 should be the same on everyone’s list: Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward. But after this, it gets interesting. Juan Manuel Marquez was #3 due to the Manny Pacquiao knockout. But he just lost to Timothy Bradley. Does that make Bradley #3? I would argue no, for in the first place, though he did win cleanly, Marquez is more of a 140 pound fighter than 147 pound fighter (though he has been competitive of course in both divisions).

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Who wins: Cotto vs. Alvarez?

cotto67666By Bob Smith: This is a very realistic question for the early to middle part of next year, say between March 2014 and August 2014. The two junior middleweight champions are on a collision course, are both immensely popular, and between them would likely beat any junior middleweight not named Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erislandy Lara or Austin Trout.

Who then would win between them: Miguel Cotto, or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez?

One way to test this thesis is to see how each of them did against Mayweather, whom they both fought within the last few years. But before we do this it is important to point out the following: Canelo LOST to Mayweather in a lopsided decision that should have been unanimous.

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Wladimir clinches his way to win over Povetkin

wlad99By Bob Smith: I have been a big fan of Wladimir Klitschko for some time, and have defended him as being underrated, and claimed that this underrated status was due to ethnic or cultural bias or failure to acknowledge the dominance that the two Klitschko brothers have exercised over the heavyweight division for nearly 10 years.

But he becomes more difficult to defend after his win over WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin last Saturday night in Moscow, Russia. I can understand trying to take the crowd out of the fight, but I counted 36 clinches in the first three rounds, and after that the fight became too boring for even me to watch. I am aware that Klitschko has power and a good jab, but I don’t think that Povetkin, while a good fighter, is even near in quality to the fighters of the 1990s era – Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, George Foreman, and so on. I say this as a person who likes to watch boxing and has seen the bulk of the televised fights of both Klitschko brothers.

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Next steps for Golovkin

golovkin45by Bob Smith: WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (27-0, 24 KO’s) is fresh from a very impressive win over the brave but overmatched Matthew Macklin, but the question remains: where to go from here? Golovkin systematically dismantled, overwhelmed, and in the end dominated one of the best middleweights in the world in Matthew Macklin.

Macklin is a peer of both Martinez and Felix Sturm and performed impressively against both of them. But against Golovkin he looked like an amateur.

However, don’t take my word for it – far more important words come from Matthew Macklin, and his promoter Lou Dibella said to ESPN: “I heard that shot, It sounded like something cracked. That was the hardest body shot possibly I’ve ever seen.”

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Tyson Fury is a legitimate heavyweight contender

fury122By Bob Smith: Like many boxing fans who watched heavyweight Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 KO’s) in a weak performance against Steve Cunningham, I came off with a view of him as sloppy, amateur, and more of a potential WWE star than a legitimate boxer. My antidote and I believe the antidote for those who also saw him against Cunningham is to view the fight between him and Derek Chisora.

Yes, Chisora was overweight and slightly sluggish; on the other hand, Chisora has been in with the elite of the heavyweight division including a Klitschko and David Haye, and in only his 15th fight Fury not only held his own, but dominated most of the fight.

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Alvarez will land fewer than 7 punches per round en route to a clear loss

canelo6By Bob Smith: it is not surprising to see a surplus of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez articles here; on the contrary, this is quite expected, given the skill level of Mayweather and the hype of Alvarez. Here is an article that focuses not on speculations but on facts – and will lead the impartial and rational observer to the only possible conclusion of the flight – a clear unanimous decision win for Mayweather.

To begin with, let us look at compubox numbers over the past 8 years of Mayeather’s boxing career. Many opponents have been hyped, perhaps none more than Alvarez, but all have failed. Looking back, Oscar de la Hoya performed the best against Mayweather, followed by Miguel Cotto. None of his other fights were even competitive. It is worth noting that both of these fights were at 154 pounds, which does give Alvarez an advantage I concede.

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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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