Saturday, December 9, 2017

Guillermo Rigondeaux Stuns The World Against Vasyl Lomachenko...By Quitting On His Stool

Let's put this in perspective. Guillermo Rigondeaux escaped a brutal Cuban regime, then got dissed unfairly by boxing's powers that be...all while being ducked by pretty much everyone. Then, when this supremely talented man finally had the chance to prove himself...he quit on his stool. He's going to take a lot of heat for that. But, let's face it, there's probably one reason and one reason only why Rigo dropped out of this much hyped bout against Vasyl Lomachenko this weekend. And that reason was his opponent...Lomachenko himself.

Yes, my friends, Loma is that good. He's now the number one pound for pound fighter in the world...hands down. Is he the greatest ever? Well, I'm sure we'll be hearing that he is a lot in the insanely near future. And maybe (maybe) it's true. But, really, let's not even think about that right now. Let's just call it like it is - Loma is the king of boxing. No. he's the king of combat sports. Hell, he might be the king of all sports at the moment. Again, he's that good.

For those who didn't watch, Loma was beating Rigo through the first half of Saturday's bout at Madison Square Garden. I didn't think it was the blowout others seemed to, but it appears I was wrong. For Rigo, the Cuban great, didn't get off his stool for the sixth. Oh man. Man, oh man. Rigo blamed it on a hand injury. Maybe he was right to - but I blame it all on Loma. Why?

Because the guy's a once in a generation talent.

Hoping For Fireworks - Why Lomachenko-Rigondeaux Is A Big Deal

You may be wondering, if you're not much into boxing, why tonight's Vasyl Lomachenko - Guillermo Rigondeaux fight, which will be aired live on ESPN from Madison Square Garden, is such a big deal. And the answer, really, is pretty simple.

These are two of the best boxers in the world. Indeed, they may be the two very best. That's a big deal, no matter which way you slice it. What's more, these were two of the best amateur fighters in the world back in the day. Indeed, they may have been the two very best. Again, that's a big deal, no matter which way you slice it.

Now, with such a high level event going down, you may wonder why it's not on pay per view. The truth is that neither of these two combatants have huge fan bases, and popularity dictates who doesn't and doesn't fight in the pay per view market. That's why the insanely popular Conor McGregor got on pay per view to face Floyd Mayweather without a single professional boxing match to his name.

Speaking of popularity, the business of boxing is so cruel that it has iced out Rigondeaux up until this point at least partially because the man has been so good top level fighters haven't wanted to face him. Indeed, he's had to go up in weight to face Lomachenko - though to call Lomachenko afraid of Rigondeaux would be ridiculous. Here, for once, is a man who isn't afraid to face the Cuban whiz.

Of course, it has to be noted that Rigondeaux can indeed be a boring fighter to watch. Sometimes - not all the time, as his powerful detractors would have you believe - but sometimes,  he's all skill and no thrill. That, friends, doesn't make for good television. Tonight, though, Rigondeaux is taking on a fighter who isn't afraid to bring it. And who seems to be as talented as he is.

Lomachenko is the favorite walking into the fight tonight, and that's completely understandable. Don't be surprised, though, if Rigondeaux walks away with the upset win.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kovalev Returns In Destructive Fashion

Sergey Kovalev returned to the light heavyweight division this evening in absolutely destructive fashion, as he demolished Vyacheslav Shabranskyy to pick up the WBO title he had once held. It was quite the impressive return for Kovalev after his brutal loss at the gloves of Andre Ward earlier this year (his second loss to Ward in a row). With a new trainer and a reported new attitude, Kovalev attacked his foe with hard straight rights and piercing lefts. Shabaanskyy never had a chance. Referee Harvey Dock wisely stopped the proceedings (which went down at the Theater in Madison Square Garden) in the second round after Shabranskyy had hit the deck numerous times.

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.