Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: Should the boxing world judge slowly?

Josesito Lopez, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez boxing image / photo(Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME) By Joseph Herron: Like many great fighters of yesteryear, the boxing world has witnessed many great champions cultivated with a careful guiding hand.

Most recently, the career of Canelo Alvarez’s famed promoter Oscar De La Hoya was nurtured cautiously by the vigilant eye of Hall of Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

The Top Rank brass knew what they potentially had and elected to carefully navigate the Golden Boy’s career during the early stages of his rise to super stardom. Many ringside critics and boxing experts criticized the star-making machine, asserting that Oscar was a padded fighter who was purposely avoiding the stiffest competition available.

Although the five division champion currently possesses great disdain for his former handler, De La Hoya has learned very important lessons from the masters at Top Rank and is utilizing the same promotional tactics to develop his WBC Junior Middleweight Champion.

With a true architect of the sport like the great Don Chargin overseeing the 21 year old fighter’s career, Oscar has placed Alvarez in a position to succeed and possibly become the next big star of boxing.

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Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sergio Martinez boxing image / photo(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada) By Paul Strauss: What’s a silly movie made in 1966, starring Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers and Buster Keaton got to do with this Saturday night’s HBO PPV fight night at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV? Maybe it should be rephrased to …….”Life is what happens when you’re making plans”, or in this case game plans.

In the classic matchups between boxers and punchers, we expect the puncher to attack, hoping to land the big shot. If that doesn’t work, it’s expected he will continue applying extreme pressure, enforcing a threat, hoping to wear down his opponent and then eventually administering the coup de grace (or a series of them if necessary). On the other hand, the boxer is often expected to stay away, jabbing, moving and building up points in hopes of getting a decision. It’s not that unusual to expect he might even get lucky and cut the slugger and get a TKO. It’s pretty simple, right? The fighter who is best at carrying out his fight plan wins the fight.

However, more often than not, funny things happen along the way, and you’ll hear losing fighters in post-fight interviews say things like, “I just couldn’t get off tonight” or “He was faster and stronger than I expected” (Chad Dawson). Maybe the funny thing is “He was in a zone” or “He was really up for this one.” It is an emotional thing that can cause an announcer on nights like that to describe the high level of a fighter’s motivation by saying, “There’s something funny going on here”. (Can you say Buster Douglas) Sometimes new words are even invented as a result of the surprise, such as “rope-a-dope”.

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JC Chavez Jr. set the trap…has Maravilla already taken the bait?

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Joseph Herron: Great trainers insist to every fighter who walks through their gym to leave all emotion at the door. The sport of pugilism is not about violence, but built on sportsmanship, discipline, and athleticism.

Most decisions a fighter makes in the ring based on emotion almost always leads to a disappointing result. Adversely, every logical and intellectual judgment made within the hostile confines of the squared circle usually results in a satisfying performance and a victory.

Leading up to this Saturday’s main event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, the fighter most affectionately known as “Maravilla” has been uncharacteristically carrying around a sack full of emotion based largely on pride, vengeance, and anger.

Will the universally recognized Middleweight Champion decide to leave his emotions at the door of the Thomas & Mack Center this Saturday night? Team Chavez certainly hopes that he doesn’t.

On July 14th, 2012, we witnessed a similar dramatic situation unfold in the ring.

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Would Chavez Jr. be popular if he didn’t have a famous father?

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. boxing image / photoBy Michael Collins: In looking at how average WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO’s) has looked throughout his boxing career, including his time as the WBC 160 pound champion, one has to wonder whether the 26-year-old Chavez Jr. would be as popular as he is now if his father wasn’t the famous former boxing great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Chavez Jr. is able to draw huge crowds in stadiums and draw big ratings on HBO despite looking very mediocre.

To be sure, Chavez Jr. is winning fights but a huge part of that seems to be based on his size. He’s winning on being the much heavier fighter compared to the smaller middleweights he’s been facing. That’s part of the criticism of Chavez Jr. He’s like a light heavyweight/cruiserweight sized fighter that is somehow still able to get down to middleweight to compete against smaller guys and get and advantage in doing so.

If you compare Chavez Jr. to his father Chavez Sr. it’s like night and day. Chavez Sr. was had a ton of talent. Everything was so easy for him. He had big time power in both hands, he was light on his feet, and he never had to dehydrate down to fight smaller guys. Chavez Sr. was made for fighting.

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Khan possibly interested in Matthysse fight

Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse boxing image / photoBy Michael Collins: Amir Khan mentioned interim WBC light welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KO’s) as someone that he might be interested in fighting on December 15th when Khan fights next. Matthysse is among several names that Khan is looking into fight on that date.

Khan said to thatboxingvoice.com “Matthysse had a great win [over Olusegun Ajose]. Maybe he can be one.”

That’s a highly ambitious choice of Khan if he does go with Matthysse, because Khan was knocked out in the 4th round by WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia in his last fight in July and has now lost his last two fights.

Normally when a fighter has lost two fights in a row they look to face an easy mark so that they can get there confidence back and recover from the punishment they took in losing. However, if Khan does with a fight against Matthysse, he would be taking a huge risk for his career.

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Sergio Martinez wants Chavez Jr. to suffer slowly and painfully on Saturday

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Dwight Chittenden: If things go the way that Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KO’s) envisions them to be this Saturday, WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO’s) is going to experience a lot of pain and suffering in taking his first loss of his career when they fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Martinez said “It won’t be a quick knockout. I will punish him [Chavez Jr] a lot and after that I will knock him out and he will suffer a lot. I hope someone in your corner stops the fight because I will never stop. I will continue punishing you.”

Unless Chavez Jr’s chin is made of iron it’s not likely that he’ll suffer a great deal. Martinez hits with the kind of power that puts you down when he lands cleanly. Chavez Jr. is painfully slow with his movements and if he gets hurt by one of the southpaw Martinez’s left hands, it’s going to be hard for Chavez Jr. to survive it. Martinez tends to drop his opponents from single shots to the head. If he lands a clean left to the head of Chavez Jr. that could be all she wrote. The suffering won’t enter into it.

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Bradley stunned that Pacquiao will be facing Marquez next

Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley boxing image / photoBy Marcus Richardson: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley is less than pleased with the news that Manny Pacquiao won’t be fighting him next in a rematch to try and avenge his loss to Bradley from last June. Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum have chosen to go with a proven pay per view money maker in 39-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez for Pacquiao’s next fight on December 8th.

Bradley told the Desert Sun at mydesert.com “I can’t believe these guys. He didn’t want any part of me. Marquez is an easier fight. He knows that a fight with me and two good legs are going to be hell…Any champion who lost his belt, you would want to redeem yourself.”

In fairness to Pacquiao, he probably does want to avenge his loss to Bradley, but it’s not just Pacquiao making the decisions here. It’s a team process and and I think he realized after hearing the arguments from his fellow team members that it was simply more logical to go with Marquez because of his potential to draw in more PPV buys from his large Mexican fanbase. Bradley still doesn’t have a large fanbase and it’s going to take a while for him and Arum to build one up.

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Arum close to finalizing Pacquiao-Marquez 4, Roach not happy

Bob Arum, Freddie Roach, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao vs. Marquez boxing image / photoBy Michael Collins: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is close to putting the finishing touches on a fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. The bout will take place on December 8th in Las Vegas for a still yet to be determined pay per view asking price. Count on it being in the $49.99 range.

Arum said to Dan Rafael at ESPN “We’re having a meeting about Manny’s next fight and to get it finalized. My goal is to finalize the Marquez fight, but I have to meet with [Michael Koncz].”

This might good news or bad news depending on whether you’re one of the fans that want to see Pacquiao fight Marquez for a fourth time. Hardcore boxing fans are getting a little tired of seeing Pacquiao fight Marquez again and again, but casual boxing fans seem to really like the fight judging by the 1.2 million fans that purchased tickets for the Pacquiao-Marquez III fight last November. With boxing fans continuing to show interest in seeing Pacquiao fight Marquez, Arum is likely going to keep this rivalry going until it no longer brings gold for Pacquiao, him and Marquez.

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