Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Everybody Asks Me

Why does anyone out there want to take the chance that this happens to Jermain Taylor again?

Everybody asks me and I don’t know whether Jermain Taylor should be allowed to fight this Friday night on national television. I’ve never been the type to tell someone else what to do with their lives, but something tells me that Taylor should steer clear of the boxing ring. He took a pummeling from Carl Froch at the end of a fight that, from my ringside seat, I had him winning. The Arthur Abraham loss was downright scary from whatever perspective one viewed it from.

Yes, Taylor has passed all of the medical tests that declare him fit for hand-to-hand combat, but sometimes there is more behind those reports than meets the eye. Someone said he looked “fragile” and I think that is a good term to describe him these days. He doesn’t look strong, able and sharp to my eye and in order to compete at the top level and to stay safe – one has to be all of those things and more.

Everybody asks me and I tell them this Saul “Canelo” Alvarez kid can fight, but that he’s no second coming of Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. Yes, he is young and yes he has a lot of wins and yes he has a green belt from theWBC, but I’m just not sold on the kid just yet.

Alvarez will likely prove too strong and too young for Shane Mosley when they meet on May 5 in Las Vegas and he may very well become the first man to stop the 40-year-old version of “Sugar” Shane. At the MGM Grand betting parlor he is not only the favorite to win, but he is also expected to stop Mosley as the over-under is 9 ½ rounds.

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (right) will meet Shane Mosley on May 5 in Las Vegas. In the background is the promoter of the bout, Oscar De a Hoya.

What must Alvarez do for me to get excited about him? Firstly, he needs to knock Mosley out next month. Secondly, he needs to face and defeat his long-time, mandatory and #1 challenger, Vanes Martirosyan. For all of those who want to talk to me about Alvarez and your belief that he is the second coming – I’d be more than happy to discuss his merits after he accomplishes the two items listed above.

I have nothing personal against Bernard Hopkins, but it’s time for boxing to be rid of him. Reason number one is that very few people even care enough about him to purchase a ticket to his bouts. Very few of his recent matches have sold many “real” tickets and they have been money losers all the way around. Reason number two is that HBO and Golden Boy Promotions spend money on his bouts that could be much better utilized elsewhere. Think for a moment about the prospects that could be developed or the young contenders the viewing public could see if the powers that be would spend money on the up and comers rather than the down and goners. Hopkins is a big betting underdog against Chad Dawson whom he will meet again on April 28 in Atlantic City.

Juan Manuel Marquez (right) defeated Serhiy Fedchenko over the weekend. In his 19th year as a pro and his 61st career bout, Marquez is one of the best.

Everybody asks me and I tell them that I have Juan Manuel Marquez rated as #3 on my pound-for-pound ratings – behind only Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and then Manny Pacquiao. Marquez just picked up another win over the weekend to bring his record to 54-6-1, 39 knockouts. It’s a toss-up for the number three slot between Nonito Donaire, Sergio Martinez and Marquez, but I truly feel that if they all weighed the same - Marquez would find a way to beat Donaire and Martinez. At age 38, Marquez’ physical condition appeared better than ever as he soundly defeated Serhiy Fedchenko in Mexico City. Marquez should finish out his career at 140 pounds as he is sharper at this weight than he is once he goes beyond 10 stone.

I have always said that when a fighter appears to be at his most invincible point – is precisely when he is most vulnerable. Joe Frazier when he lost to George Foreman in Jamaica, Foreman when he fell to Muhammad Ali in Zaire, Mike Tyson when he was slain by the hands of Buster Douglas – you get the point. That’s why the upcoming bouts featuring Mayweather against Miguel Cotto and Pacquiao versus Timothy Bradley are interesting from that standpoint. Both Mayweather and Pacquiao are perceived as virtually unbeatable at this point and that’s a dangerous thing.

Everybody asks me and I tell them despite all the personnel changes at HBO and Showtime boxing - things seem to be...exactly the same as they were.

April 2012

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