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Folo Punch: On Premier Boxing Champions, Chavez-Fonfara, and more

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James Foley returns to BLH with the latest edition of the always hot take-filled FOLO PUNCH!

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Hi kids, do you like violence? Do you want to see Danny Garcia get punched in each one of his eyelids? It's me, your old friend Bloggy McBloggerson, back on the beat, ready to spit some scorching hot Yoga Flame takes like Dhalsim, pull some rabbits out of my hat like your boy Kung Lao (friendship!), here to deliver that sweet goo-goo-gah-gah boxing baby talk for all the good #folks out there who've grown tired of BOXING WRITING FOR GROWN UPS™ that's littered with obscure philosophy and lit references to stroke your IQs and have you masturbating about your own intelligence. If you're looking for keep it simple stupid, dumbed down prose that won't stray beyond the occasional Ghostbusters or Kindergarten Cop allusion, you've come to the right place. In the words of the esteemed German humanist Johann Reuchlin, "It is; what? It is."

Last week, Adonis Stevenson made his PBC on CBS debut, defeating the thuggish ruggish Sakio Bika over twelve rounds in an ABSOLUTELY EPIC-ally mediocre fight. If the occasion, the launch of Al Haymon's PBC series on another terrestrial network, seemed the perfect platform for the lineal champ to make a statement, Stevenson was more Admiral Stockdale's perplexed "Who am I? Why am I here?" than Lloyd Bentsen's emphatic death-blow "You're no Jack Kennedy." Bika was far from an ideal opponent for a showcase, a fighter with no knockout losses on his ledger who boasts a long track record of making things rough and tough against elite foes. Also, he's not a light heavyweight! Far be it from me to suggest that the so-called LINEAL CHAMP face off against someone resembling an actual ranked contender in the division where he reigns, but Bika, a massive underdog going into it, was a stupefying selection beyond his lack of qualifications: Stevenson likely wouldn't look good in winning, nor would he get much credit for beating a lighter fighter with no real claim to share his ring. If this was some reverse psychology tactic designed to make Stevenson look more vulnerable going into a potential fight with his clear number one contender, Sergey Kovalev, it worked! Kovalev must now be considered the presumptive favorite if ever the two should meet, in the ring, in the streets, or in the sheets.

I don't see Peterson's trainer Barry Hunter out there making provocative racial comments about Pakistanis or instigating riots in shoe stores with Zab Judah and his crew.

The PBC made its second primetime date on NBC this past weekend, with Danny Garcia eking another controversial decision over Lamont Peterson in the main event. Now personally, I had no problem with Garcia winning this fight for the same logic that I also defended his debatable win over Mauricio Herrera. When a guy's father/trainer is as maniacally entertaining as Danny's pop, Angel, from his legendary "Argentino Valentino" rant to claiming he would literally behead himself if they lost the fight to Lucas Matthysse, I'm gonna go ahead and edge that guy every close round. Indeed, Peterson seemed to get the better of it in the last half of the contest and inflicted the most compelling damage throughout the fight. But I don't see Peterson's trainer Barry Hunter out there making provocative racial comments about Pakistanis or instigating riots in shoe stores with Zab Judah and his crew. What happens outside the ring is just as important as what happens in it. And thus I scored the fight 118-110 Garcia, clear as day.

This upcoming weekend features an incredible matchup on HBO between Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov. But why the hell would I want to focus on a guaranteed bloodbath between two top guys in a division when one of the sport's most prestigious championships will be up for grabs on rival network Showtime? Yes, the legitimate 173 lb. crown is on the line when two of the sport's brightest talents, reigning champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Polish superstar Andrzej Fonfara, match wits at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California. In this chemically enhanced era of PED suspicions and nefarious ‘nutritionists', it's refreshing to see a man in Chavez who needs nothing more than a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, some pink undies, and an inner tube to gather his thoughts during a nightly float. And what more can be said about his competitor, the beloved Fonfara, coming off a glorious romp of vaunted Congolese pugilist Doudou Ngumbu, and one fight removed from nearly supplanting the aforementioned Stevenson from his perch atop the neighboring division, light-heavyweight, were it not for a suspicious long count from a likely complicit Canadian ref.

It is true that both of these men have allegedly had some past incidents with banned substances, diuretics, to cut their large frames down to fighting weight—but isn't that preferable to little guys pumping themselves full of illegally imported Gorilla testosterone or whatever else is hot these days to build artificial muscle and turn themselves into lethal weapons? These guys were using drugs to get smaller! They put themselves at a disadvantage knowing that the show must go on. Mad respect! Chavez and Fonfara just did whatever it took to fulfill their obligations to make weight, despite the negative blowback these supposedly positive tests may have incurred. In overcoming these adversities from the past, and dedicating themselves to clean adherence of the rules in the present, both men have become profiles in courage, in and out of the ring.

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Finally, in a new series I'm dubbing "SECRET ALLIANCES" we'll take a look at some of the key entourage members involved in the mega-fight on May 2nd. In this edition, it's Manny Pacquiao's long-time adviser Michael Koncz facing off with Floyd Mayweather's prodigal mouthpiece Leonard Ellerbe.

KONCZ
Pros- Was present at the famous meeting during halftime of the Miami Heat game that gave the negotiations that final push. In his own mind, probably feels most responsible for brokering the deal.
Cons- You would find more reputable looking characters in the reptile tank at your local zoo. At various points in the past, has rocked a slick-back, a mullet, and a pony tail, effectively utilizing every sleazy 80s villain hairstyle in the book.

ELLERBE
Pros- A dapper dandy in his finely tailored pinstripe suits and Versace shades, Ellerbe always dresses the part of sharp businessman in his role as front man for The Money Team.
Cons- Ellerbe's signature look is a goatee that appears to be painted on with shoe polish or a Sharpie, and his sycophantic cry of "You heard ‘im!" when his charge was engaging in verbal fisticuffs with an octogenarian on national television won't soon be forgotten. He is also the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, the outfit responsible for classic ShoBox outings like John Molina-Mickey Bey and that time Badou Jack got knocked out. Actually, those kind of ruled. Maybe that should be in the pro category.

VERDICT
While Ellerbe seems to be at his most happy when clutching Floyd's ankles during crunch exercises, he ultimately comes across as no more than a cheesy figurehead for a more malevolent enterprise. Koncz, on the other hand, seems like the type of guy you want to count your fingers after shaking his hand. Aside from appearing oilier than Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez spill, I suppose you can't knock Koncz' stewardship of Pacquiao's career and finances. At least not for another five years or so until we read that Manny is broke and destitute and asking for $20 from random people to tweet a personalized message to his followers. Advantage Ellerbe. That's what's up. Fol.