Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks in boxing. As the year winds down, I just wanted to share my opinion on some of the main topics currently going on in the sport from Mayweather's next opponent to Marquez's magic trick.
This is not going to be pretty. A lot has happened in boxing over the last week or so, and I just wanted to share my opinion on some random items. This is not going to be the beautiful, rich prose that I typically hand to you peasants on a gold-platted platter (I'm kidding. I'm not Oli or Eddie.). Rather, I am going to share my thoughts on several topics in a sort of bullet-point style. Enjoy it or hate it, here's my thoughts on a lot of things in boxing.
Floyd Mayweather's Next Opponent, The Punishment Of Austin Trout
Two names have been handed down from the boxing gods for Mayweather's consideration as his next opponent: Canelo Alvarez and Robert Guerrero. One of these men has beaten Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto at welterweight in his last two fights. The other has defeated "Aspartame" Shane Mosley and Josesito Lopez up at junior middleweight in his last two fights. Guess which one I would rather see in May.
Neither fight is terrible. In fact, I want to see them both. However, a bout with Mayweather would represent a quantum leap in level of competition for Canelo. For a guy most have ranked in the top two at 154, his resume is very, very sparse. If his name was John Smith we would be embarassed about him getting a coveted shot at the highest-earning athlete in the world. Alas, his name is Canelo (OK, it's actually Saul), and his fame means more than his ledger. Which is why I expect him to get the fight, not Guerrero (whom I would rather see if you couldn't figure it out).
Meanwhile, Austin Trout will be punished for having the audacity to upstage the potential main event of Canelo and Miguel Cotto. If this were pro wrestling, they would probably punish him by giving him a ridiculous gimmick or make him lose to some random guy as to squash any possible momentum the promoters didn't plan on. Here, they likely just won't schedule him in any meaningful fights so he doesn't screw anything else up. Golden Boy has a good stable of men at junior middle, why not use them? Just have a Money In The Bank match already between Trout, Carlos Molina, Erislandy Lara, and Cornelius Bundrage. Seriously, Molina tames James Kirkland and Lara destroys Paul Williams then they both receive very little love from their promoter. I hope the same thing did not just happen to Trout, one of the best young fighters in the sport.
Shane Mosley Possibly To Fight Paulie Malignaggi
The good: Malignaggi doesn't hit very hard so maybe he won't concuss Mosley the way somebody else could.
The bad: There is a very good chance Mosley will look a little better than expected. He will then be brought back as a steppingstone for someone younger, more powerful, and looking to impress by being the first man to stop Shane Mosley.
The ugly: This fight.
In all seriousness, I see no upside to this fight. Why not put a younger, fresher opponent in with Paulie? Either Paulie wins and continues his late-career resurrection, or a younger man (like Josesito Lopez, for example) has a good win that can help his career move upward. With this potential bout we have nothing. No one is going to gain a thing from this.
Boxing On Network TV
I know I criticize Golden Boy frequently, but they deserve major props for having boxing on network television. Also, perhaps just as importantly, they featured the right fighter in Leo Santa Cruz. His "punches in bunches!" style is something that anyone can enjoy. A wise choice by Golden Boy, even though he had to make a quick turnaround from his previous fight.
Nonito Donaire Toys With Jorge Arce
Well, this went exactly as I had expected. For those who say "It was fun while it lasted!", try telling that to Arce.
The Ring Magazine Names Chuck Giampa As Maker Of Pound-For-Pound Rankings, Broner Placed Fifth
The decline of The Ring Magazine has been something of a sore spot for me over the last couple years. I used to read it and KO Magazine every month, pacing as fast as I could to the magazine section of our town's Hastings. When it was sold to Golden Boy I was puzzled. When it ultimately came under new leadership, I had finally come to the realization of what had truly happened. It was no longer "The Bible of Boxing". Now it was a tool for Golden Boy to use in order to promote their fighters and potential matchups.
As to why they would appoint the immortal Chuck Giampa, who will forever be known as the "Ahh....shit." guy on Showtime, as their pound-for-pound ranker leaves me with a deadpan Leslie Nielsen-type of look on my face. Surely you can't be serious. His decision to rank Broner, a wonderful young boxer that needs to be tested more stringently, as fifth is almost offensive. Especially when one considers he was put one spot ahead of Nonito Donaire.
Yes, I know pound-for-pound is purely hypothetical. All of our rankings are. However, you're a fool if you don't think it can't be used as a promotional tool to make ignorant folks think someone is something that they are not. That's what Golden Boy is ever so gradually turning The Ring into.
Juan Manuel Marquez's doping accusations
I have honestly stayed pretty quiet on this. Look, there is no legitimate physical proof of Marquez doping. He passed the Nevada State Athletic Commission test (haha!), and even though he appears to be in the best physical condition of his life at the tender age of 39 he did catch Pacquiao with a tremendous shot.
Marquez not only became the first man to floor Pacquiao (legitimately) for the first time since the 1990's (twice, in fact) he completely and utterly rendered him unconscious. To me, that seems, I don't know, really out of the blue.
I understand people that don't want to ask questions. We don't want to know that our heroes are flawed men, people just like us. They make mistakes, and sometimes even do things that we would not approve of. I don't want to know that Hulk Hogan was a 'roided up jerk to people backstage. I just want to see him as the guy that could magically bodyslam Andre the Giant....just from lifting weights, saying your prayers, and eating your vitamins.
For those that don't want to come to grips with the reality of doping in boxing (because I think, and this is totally my opinion, Pacquiao and many, many others have probably done it as well, perhaps unknowingly) then let me offer up this quote from Christopher Nolan's The Prestige on how magic tricks are performed (for full effect, imagine Michael Caine's voice narrating).
"The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary, a deck of cards, a bird, or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course....it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary.
Now you're looking for the secret....but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled."