Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Does Joshua-Wilder Really Need To Marinate?

There's only two heavyweights people would really like to see in this ring

Deontay Wilder really, really wants to fight Anthony Joshua. And, despite what some may think, Joshua is okay with fighting Wilder. He may not be as eager as Wilder is for the fight, but it's hard for me to believe AJ isn't interested in a Wilder sized challenge. Still, there's concern the anticipated heavyweight superbout may not happen right away. If that indeed ends up being the case - and there's no legitimate indication it may be - it will end up being an essentially pointless one. Okay, pointless may be a harsh word. Perhaps unnecessary is more fitting.

Look, buildup can be essential. That's understandable. Take Errol Spence and Bud Crawford - a superfight waiting to happen. No one feels it needs to be made right away, because there's still other fish out there to fry. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and, yes, even Jeff Horn, are all legitimately in the queue. No one is at the point of complaining that Spence and Crawford are the only gunslingers left in town. The same clearly isn't true with Joshua and Wilder, however.

Tyson Fury.

That's the only other major player at heavyweight right now - and he's not even playing at the moment. So, since the big man is out of the picture, there's really no other opponent people are dying to see either Wilder or Joshua fight besides each other. Parker? Cousin Fury? Miller? Sure, these guys are interesting but no one feels compelled to see them face Wilder or Joshua.

Something to think about.

Perhaps Joshua-Wilder should be put off for a while. I simply can't think of a good reason for it to be, however. Maybe I'm wrong. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Like Him Or Not - Deontay Wilder Delivers Fireworks

Wilder delivers fireworks

Those who accuse Deontay Wilder of not throwing straight punches are absolutely correct in their criticism. I myself noticed the same thing Saturday night, as did a ton of other boxing fans. Here's the thing, though - when watching old footage of Jack Dempsey beating Jess Willard senseless back in 1919, viewers aren't as blown away by Dempsey's crude form as they are by the sheer destructive violence of his punches. The same goes for Wilder. It's not that he demolished a hapless Bermane Stiverne on Saturday night in Brooklyn. It's the way in which he did it.

By the way, what the hell was with Stiverne? The guy looked scared walking into the ring. It's been a while since I saw a boxer with THAT look just before a fight. Then again, the guy had good reason to be afraid.  No matter. Wilder was winning this weekend and that was all there was to it. The man was pissed - good and pissed - about the way these co-called top level opponents keep getting busted for drug use. And he was right to be. With that being said, I think Luis Ortiz may have caught a break by not facing Wilder on Saturday. At least his jaw did. I know, I know, Ortiz is supposed to be a talented monster. Wilder, though, was guided missile last night. Someone was going down - and it wasn't going to be him.

While there's no doubt Wilder needs to work on his game some more, there's also no doubt that the guy is scary when he decides to be. So long as he continues to develop and keeps that wild personality from getting the best of him, heavyweights had better watch out. And yes, I mean guys like Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, or anyone else people may want to throw against him. Wilder ain't perfect, but he can take out a wall. And, scariest of all, he believes in himself.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Can Big Tyson Fury Actually Make A Big Comeback?

The man needs some serious time in the gym

Seriously people, the guy is huge. In case you haven't seen recent pictures, supersized heavyweight - or is it former heavyweight? - Tyson Fury has got himself looking like the Good Year Blimp. That's (hopefully) not me being mean spirited, it just is what it is. Still, the Englishman is telling people he's coming back. Not only that, he plans on reestablishing himself as king of the heavyweight division. That's all well and good, of course, but the guy hasn't fought since he stunned Wladimir Klitshcko almost two years ago. What's more, Fury has had his share of troubles since that time.

Look, I like Fury. I admit it. No, I don't like everything he says and does. I don't care for it when he showcases a bullying attitude. In fact, I think Klitschko might have actually beaten the man had he not let Fury get inside his head. Still, Fury is a colorful dude and there's a lot to admire about the guy. He's come up from nothing and became the big man among big men - albeit for a short time. He also possess a vastly underrated skill set. If he were to somehow return to the form he was in the night he bested Klitschko, I think he would offer all sorts of trouble for Anthony Joshua.

Yet it's hard to take Fury at his word these days. He sounds serious, true, but will he stick to his guns? Here's hoping so. Things are damn exciting right now at heavyweight and the edition of Fury will only make them more so. Besides, I want to see who ends up being king of the mountain when the dust settles. And if Fury isn't a part of the equation, questions of what might have been will float around indefinitely.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Can Rigondeaux Beat Lomachenko?

Untold numbers of pages can be penned about Rigo and Loma

For me, this is the top fight in boxing right now. Hands down. Sure, it may not end up being an insanely violent blood bath, but hey, boxing is a sport. Not a fight. A sport. An exceedingly violent sport, to be sure (just ask Conor McGregor, who learned the hard way), but a sport nonetheless. And that's why this Vasyl Lomachenko-Guillermo Rigondeaux throwdown is as intriguing as it comes to me. I know it's for the purists, but this, in my opinion, will be the highest level sporting event since Houston beat Las Angeles for the series. Believe it. Now that Andre Ward has called it a career, the winner of this fight may well be the best boxer in the entire sport.

Does Rigondeaux have a chance, though? As brilliant as these two men are in the ring, the thinking from the smartest people in the room seems to be that Lomachenko is too big. I'm guessing people are thinking he'll be too overwhelming for the smaller Rigondeaux, as well. And while all that may be true, I'm here to tell you that this entire contest will come down to one simple thing - whether or not Loma can turn Rigo. If the Ukrainian work those amazing angles of his, it's going to be a long - or short - night for the former Cuban star indeed.

Should, however, Rigo keep Loma from spinning him, should the Miami native keep Loma from dominating...well, then it will be anyone's fight. At that point, though, I'll be favoring Rigo, for he will have already won the all important psychological chess match.  Can Rigo beat Loma? Yes. Will he? That remains to be seen. It all depends on whether or not Lomachenko can be thrown off his game.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Demetrius Andrade Presents Some Questions

The long walk to middleweight stardom can be dauning

Demetrius Andrade made his middleweight debut this evening at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. Right from the word go, the Rhode Island native looked impressive. For he rocked his very tall opponent, Alantez Fox, within seconds, and then wisely took to breaking his man down throughout the rest of the first round. Here's the thing, though - Andrade never finished his man off. This in and of itself might not have been a bad thing. Fox looked to simply be wanting to survive, after all. Not only that, Andrade looked as if he wasn't at his best. In fact, my father - a master fight fan if ever there was one - felt Andrade's leg was cramping.

Still, Andrade brings with him a high set of expectations due to his superior skill set and impressive background. In other words, he's expected to mow through unknowns. And, even though he clearly dominated Fox for an easy 12 round decision win, Andrade didn't look like a man who could make the likes of Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez shake in their boots. Andrade may still be able to be a major player, perhaps even the dominant player, at middleweight, but he left the fight world with some questions on Saturday. Perhaps more questions than were floating around when he first entered the ring at the Turning Stone.


Looking ahead to some great boxing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Could Boxing Take A Lesson From The Maria Sharapova Story?

Perhaps you've heard by now - tennis star Maria Sharapova has been banned from playing professional tennis for two years - that's a hell of a long time - for doping. Funny how boxers who get caught doping don't seem to receive those types of punishments, even though boxers - unlike tennis players - can literally kill one another in the practice of their trade.

Nope. What we get in boxing is TUEs and arguments of "mistakes" and "small amounts." Best of all, we get arguments of "who even cares?" or "if you had a clue about this or that drug then you'd know it's no big deal." Again, we're talking about a sport where people concuss one another. That makes it a big deal to me.

Look, I'm not saying that every fighter who ever tested positive for a banned substance is a juicer. Nor am I saying that draconian punishments should be the law of the land. Is it wrong to ask, though, if those who handed Sharapova down her punishment got it right? Or if the UFC gets it right for it's supposed "no excuses" policy?

As Gennady Golovkin makes clear, boxing isn't a sport to be taken lightly. It's serious, serious, business...sometimes of the life and death variety. Are we so open minded that we're laissez faire about individual fighter's well being? If we are, then I argue we're not open minded at all. Rather, we're sociopathic.

Fortunately, I don't think we are. At least not the vast majority of us.