In only a few hours, fight fans around the world will get a chance to see potential history as the legendary Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32KOs) takes on the very dangerous Sergey Kovalev (25-0, 23KOs). Few in the sport have stepped up to take such a challenge. Weeks away from age 50, one warrior took the bout without flinching. For Kovalev, a resume short on credibility has led to many questions. Most which will be answered by the final bell. As we prepare for this showdown, we’ll take a look at “Keys to Victory”, “Four to Explore”, and an “Official Prediction”:
BERNARD HOPKINS – KEYS TO VICTORY
For Hopkins, this is a very dangerous fight. Rarely has ever been hit flush, but it’s even more rare to see him hit often. Kovalev has been trained to attack without fear. Hopkins wasn’t able to get in his head with pre-fight antics, but fans can expect that to change in the ring. Hopkins is known for setting traps and frustrating an opponent early with clinches and a cunning defense. He will need to bait Kovalev and get him to open up, taking that opportunity to countershot with precision punches, mainly his patented lead right hand. This will make Kovalev hesitant to fire. If Hopkins can frustrate Kovalev early, the entire dynamics of the fight changes, and Hopkins can cruise to victory. Continue reading
Left-Hook Lounge Radio goes live tonight at 9ET/6PT! EastSideBoxing’s Vivek “Vito” Wallace, joined by trainer/analyst “Iceman” John Scully, will break down tomorrow night’s clash between Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32KO’s) and Sergey Kovalev (25-0, 23KO’s). For the ageless wonder, Bernard Hopkins, Father-time is at the doorstep knocking. Could this be the night it finally breaks in? Call in live at 949.943.1665 or follow this link to hear what they think!
Marc T. (Athens, GA): I’m tired of hearing all of the talk about Golovkin and how he’s “the most feared man in Boxing”. Andre Ward’s team sent HBO a direct statement saying that he wants the fight, & Golovkin responded in saying he’s basically “not ready” for Ward. What are your thoughts about GGG and this whole “most feared” reputation being built around him?
Vivek W. (ESB): For starters, I think there’s a slight hint of truth to it. Strong promotion and network support can be credited for this growing cult following, slash, bootleg version of an almost Tyson-like mystique. When we look back at Tyson, many of us were young enough to buy into the ‘Boogeyman’ persona that he embodied; but as adults when you look back, it’s very easy to note that most of the men he destroyed had no chance against you and I on two weeks training, let alone him! Our entire perception of Tyson – (one of my personal favorites) – vanished when he faced someone who couldn’t be intimidated and wouldn’t be denied. There lies both my question and answer relative to GGG. Continue reading
Barry N. (Houston, TX): Floyd Mayweather has ripped several people in the news lately and it’s not only uncalled for, but also kind of hard to understand it all. What do you think is really going on with him lately?
Vivek W. (ESB): The on-going drama we’ve seen lately between these four men have somewhat reached a boiling point. While Smith and Mayweather Sr. have stepped away from the table, it seems little Floyd and Khan still have a few things to air out, which we’ve heard lately. There are so many different angles to this discussion that I don’t even know where to start, but I guess the safest statement for me to lead off with is the fact that I think there’s a hint of truth to all of their respective positions, with the exception of maybe Steven A. Smith’s. Continue reading
South Florida Female Boxing Team is a newly established Florida based boxing team with some of the best talent found in the country. At the head of it all is CEO, Wanda Jiles, joined by Dalia Duran, who most know as daughter of the legendary Roberto Duran. Training new talent with proper fundamentals is vital to such an operation, so looking for the right person to make it happen wasn’t easy. After much consideration, the decision was made to bring in former world bantamweight Champion, Ada Velez of Puerto Rico. Recently, EastSideBoxing took a moment to talk about the project, as well as what fight fans can expect to see from them in the coming months: Continue reading
Austin E. (Charlotte, NC): Paulie Malignaggi was recently quoted saying that he feels Thurman and Khan both have enough in their arsenal to defeat Mayweather and Pacquaio. I was curious to hear your thoughts on his words and whether or not you find them true?
Vivek W. (ESB): Malignaggi is one of those guys who has earned my respect both in and outside of the ring. Despite his limited power, I always viewed him as a fighter who had a very strong grip on the fundamental element of boxing. Listening to him in the role of commentator, I think his words solidify that position, as I think he’s a complete natural at breaking it all down. Few have done a better job than Paulie behind the mic, as it relates to articulating how certain fighters need to go about execution to gain victory in a given match. I think this is the first time I totally questioned his logic, but in all truthfulness, I can’t say that he’s wrong, either. Continue reading
Martin R. (St. Louis, MO): Alex Ariza has apparently been signed to Mayweather Promotions to be Floyd’s strength and conditioning guru. Everybody was critical of him when he was with Pacquiao. What are your thoughts now that he is with Floyd Mayweather?
Vivek (ESB): I don’t think there’s a way to defend Mayweather from the “hypocrisy” tag. Several times in the past he spoke bad about Ariza, as it relates to the possibility of him providing steroids for Pacquiao; now he’s going to use him? To many, that double-talk instantly kills credibility, and I can’t say it shouldn’t. It’s just not a good look. That being said, I can see his angle for making such a move. From my seat, this move is part strategy, part psychology. I really believe that Ariza’s presence will be a welcomed addition, when you consider that Mayweather has found this level of success without ever popping a basic vitamin! The addition of modern science could be a very intriguing element to add to his repertoire. Continue reading
Layton F. (Brooklyn, NY): I never thought I’d see the day, but to me, Floyd Mayweather looked old and out of sorts. I just didn’t think he looked the same. Is it safe to say that he’s no longer the guy he was?
Vivek W. (ESB): The old adage has it that “time waits for no man”! Oddly, we’ve seen Floyd Mayweather dominate for so long that we’ve grown accustomed to the notion that he’s some blind exception to the rule, and unfortunately, this is not the case. While there were some points that just didn’t quite seem normal for him, statistically, we see the same level of success. From day one, Mayweather’s statistics have been mid to high 50 percentile (or greater) in offensive connection rates; all while holding the opponent down to a very low 20 percentile connection rate in exchange. Has he been touched a bit more lately? Certainly seems that way, but again, all percentages remain intact, so is he truly “slippin” (as Steven A. Smith of ESPN went on record to say)? Continue reading
Four months ago, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather encountered what most viewed as the toughest night of his 18 year career at the hands of Argentinean slugger Marcos ‘Chino’ Maidana. From the moment the final bell rang, fans all around the world have been split on what we witnessed. Mayweather critics felt he would avoid a risky rematch at all cost; supporters felt there was no need for one. Yet here we stand at the doorstep of a sequel, and tonight, once and for all, questions raised will be questions answered. As we prepare for this epic showdown, we take a look at keys to victory, four critical game changers to explore, and an official prediction:
FLOYD MAYWEATHER – KEYS TO VICTORY
Tonight, Mayweather will need to start fast and dictate the tone early. Part of that process will need to be dedication to aggressive body work. In their first fight, once he went to the body, we saw an immediate change in the overall aggression of Maidana as Mayweather slowed him down rather quickly. Aside from body work, Mayweather needs to keep all exchanges in the middle of the ring. Maidana missed 637 punches in the first fight, and of the 221 he landed, more than 70% came against the ropes. If Mayweather can stay off the ropes, be first, and commit to the body, a little footwork would cement his chances of victory, barring an unexpected powershot that he fails to overcome. Continue reading
Las Vegas – The weigh-in is over, and the countdown is officially on for Mayweather vs Maidana II! Before a packed MGM Grand crowd, a ripped and ready Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather tipped the scales at 146.5lbs. Argentinean phenom, Marcos Maidana, tipped the scales thinner than typical (as a welterweight), weighing in at 146lbs. Trainer Robert Garcia made it clear in recent interviews that the game plan was to have Maidana enter the ring in better condition to go 12rds, focusing on stamina by way of cardio.
Weighing in as trim as he did certainly confirmed those plans, and in the end, it could make a difference on the cards, as many believed that he ran out of gas down the stretch! With only a few hours left until they enter the ring, the Las Vegas fire buzz has been sparked, and soon enough these two warrior will step in the ring! (Look out for tomorrow’s official fight prediction and analysis piece, published right here on EastSideBoxing) Continue reading