First off- no, I don’t mean MMA (or UFC).
Secondly-My favorite boxer isn’t Manny Pacquaio.
This, my friends, is just a short glimpse into the life of a female boxing fan. When attempting to engage a new person in a conversation about the sport, I’m typically met with a sneer of some sort when the d-bag I’m talking to dismisses me as being just some cute lil thing trying to impress the big boys. Then comes the inevitable. The response I loathe. “Who is your favorite boxer, anyway? Mannnnyyy?” (It’s said just like that, too. If you really want the full effect, read it out loud, and if you don’t sound like a complete dickhead at first, re-read it until you do.) I tend to enjoy responding to this, especially in front of a larger group of people, because nine times out of ten the person has no idea who my favorite boxer is after I say their name. (Or in the case of a Facebook convo, who the dude in the picture with me is.)
Duh. Keith “One Time” Thurman.
The point can also be driven home by dropping a few other names obscure to your typical random asshat casual boxing fan, like so:
Amir Khan (stop laughing)
And if you really want to sound like a boxing hipster, bring Cuba into the conversation. I guarantee that after throwing around an Erislandy Lara or (even better) a Guillermo Rigondeaux, you’ve pretty much won this fight. A couple of years ago, the same effect could have been achieved by dropping a Gennady Golovkin or (even) a Canelo Alvarez (shocking, especially in Texas, but it used to be so).
Or even this guy: Miguel Cotto. Not so much so in the past couple of years, but I can remember a time when he wasn’t as well known as he is now, at least not to your typical random asshat casual boxing fan (this needs to go on a t-shirt, by the way.) It can be stated without argument that boxing fans have definitely seen a change for the better in Cotto’s style since he started training with Freddie Roach in 2012. No longer a boxer (although he is more than capable of being one) but moreso a brawler, bringing action and, well, fun to his fights. (Unless you’re Geale. Pretty sure that wasn’t fun for him.) Roach has succeeded in bringing out the “raging bull” in Cotto, a goal he publicly set for himself when the pair announced that they would be joinng forces.
The same held true in Cotto’s bout against Australian Daniel Geale last night, when Geale went down in the fourth round after being hit with Cotto’s devastating left hook. After being stopped again in the same round, Geale shook his head “no” when asked by the ref if he was okay, and the fight was ended. I feel it’s safe to say that no one was truly suprised that the fight ended this way, with the real fun happening after the decision was announced.
Who does Cotto plan to fight next? Canelo. Not really a shocker to those who follow boxing, as the possibility of this fight had been announced weeks ago. The real surprise (to me, anyway) was when Cotto said that it would be “just another fight,” as Canelo is “just another fighter.”
Did Cotto miss that fight on 5/9? You know, that uneventful one (sarcasm, by the way) with the beautiful KO of Kirkland? I’m all about boxers down playing another fighter in order to psych themselves up, but if Cotto truly believes this I think we’ll all be in for a one-sided battle. If the fight even happens, that is. Because Cotto has to take time off to spend with his family before committing to a date. Now, I’m all for taking time off to spend with one’s family (if you like them, otherwise I say screw it and go to Disneyland or something instead.) But dude is averaging one fight PER YEAR. That’s a lot of family time. Moreso even than the likes of other fighters such as Mayweather and Pac, who fight twice a year (as any typical random asshat casual boxing fan would know).
And even with Cotto’s new found offensive-strategy raging bull realness, a fight with Canelo will not be as easy as he may think. Granted, they’re both strong guys and both great fighters in their own likes. But Canelo has the combination of strength and youth behind him. And I know, I know, age isn’t everything, and B-Hop and all, but this combo in a fighter like Canelo could mean bad things for Cotto. Which is why I’m wondering if it happens in the first place. (And really, does Chris Algieri have plans next June? Because if Cotto’s trend of yearly first week in June only fights continues, he might).
A potential fight with Gennady? I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one, folks. Not only did Cotto stammer out a bs response, it took him about 30 seconds to do so. Bottom line? He’s running scared of GGG, and with good reason, as he plans to retire soon and going out on a fight with GGG probably isn’t the best ending to an otherwise great (for the most part) boxing legacy.
Finally, I can’t be the only one who caught the major shade Cotto was throwing at Max Kellerman after being asked if he was a middle weight fighter now. That deserves a “Face Off” special of it’s own. (Does HBO even still do those??)
And for those of you who think I’m being too hard on Cotto, I’m actually a fan. Had it been up to me, this guy would have been named Cotto. Instead, I let my husband name him. Taco Kawhi. (Texans.)