Coooooooooooottoooooooooo!

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)

Brandon Rios

Kell Brook

Adrien Broner

Shawn Porter

Ruslan Provodnikov

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.”

Que?

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.)

        Look! He’s being shy and moody, just like his would-be namesake!
Also-I’m on Twitter! You can find me at @junk_n_trunx 

Review: Mayweather v Pacquiao

Seriously, you know you’ve been in Vegas for four days when you’re dying to eat a vegetable the second you get home.

The “Fight of the Century” has come and gone, and contrary to popular belief (or much to the dismay of some, depending on what side of the fence you’re on) boxing is, in fact, not dead. Rather, it’s been revitalized with new interest, even if that interest was purely in a superfight that failed to live up to it’s hype.  And no matter your opinion on the actual fight itself (or the personal lives of the pugilists), you have to admit that it’s fun to get this wrapped up in something bigger than all of us; it makes the days exciting and (sometimes) the letdown afterward that much harder. But it also reminds us how much fun it can be to live in a moment, if even only for a little while. Enough with this sentimental stuff, though….

I WAS IN VEGAS, Y’ALL!!!

Not being a baller and all, I couldn’t afford tickets to the actual fight itself, but I was lucky enough to be able to attend the weigh in and an amazing closed circuit watch party (which turned out to be VIP for the price of a regular ticket, thanks to a mix up) and had the absolute time of my life.

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My wristband to get into the party. It was sparkly, and it guaranteed free drinks, so this     girl was happy. 

Surprisingly, I learned a lot while in Vegas. I learned that I’m terrible at Black Jack or Roulette, but awesome at War. I learned that when you’re in Vegas, Carl Froch can be innocently walking behind you for quite some time at the Grand and you won’t even realize it until someone yells his name. (I also learned that my fangirl tendencies aren’t limited to titles on this blog-sometimes I inadvertantly also yell “AAAAHHHH!!!!” after taking a picture with a famous boxer while running back to my husband. I like to play it cool.) And finally (possibly most important) I learned how crucial it is to carry a bag large enough to hold a pair of flip flops if you’re going all out on fight night. (You’re welcome, ladies. And men. I don’t judge.)

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These were the bane of my existence after about three hours

I could go on and on about how incredible Vegas is, but I know that ain’t what y’all came here for. On to the review!

Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Gamalier Rodriguez

This fight confirmed what most of us already thought would happen: simply put, that Rodriguez got his ass handed to him by Lomachenko in a bad, bad way. Although not unwilling to engage (mostly low blows, however), Rodriguez was just no match for the Olympian. After several calls for illegal hits (one of those being Lomachenko’s retaliation low blow), Rodriguez took two knees, with the final being in the ninth round where he stayed for the 10 count, ending in a KO for Lomachenko.  At first glance, I thought that Rodriguez was just giving up, but after watching a couple of replays, it was easy to see that he was shaken and pretty hurt.

Despite this being a wholly one-sided fight, I was really impressed with Lomachenko’s performance (and his first name-if I ever have a kid {so, never} it’s name will be Vasyl. Boy or girl, I don’t care.) He’s still pretty early on in his career, and I’m really excited to see what the future will hold for him. I’m expecting greatness from this one, but I’m also horrible with my predictions so it can’t be held against me if I’m wrong.

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Jose Cayetano

Before I start in with this, I need y’all to know that I’m quite possibly (especially after this performance), the last remaining LSC fan in the greater United States. (Aside from any family or womens that LSC may have here, but that should go without saying.) And my well thought out, purely based on performance and style reasoning for liking LSC so much is this: he seems like a funny guy who enjoys his job and he wore a big cowboy hat after he fought here in San Antonio. Boom.

However; his performance on Saturday night was not his best, and I was actually very, very impressed with the heart and determination showcased by Cayetano in this fight.  Cayetano was a late addition to the fight and wasn’t officially made an opponent until the end of April, giving him little time to prepare for a bout of this magnitude, especially since he still works two day jobs. (Again, LOTS of heart. I can’t even be bothered to go to the gym after working one job.) He was also coming off of a record of two previous losses in 10 round fights, so not the best setup, either. This had all the makings of a stepping stone fight that I daresay wasn’t as easy for LSC as we all thought it would have been. (In terms of going the distance, I mean.)

The fight went all 10 rounds and ended in a Unanimous Decision for LSC, but it was a fun 10 rounder to watch, IMO.  As previously mentioned, Cayetano absolutely refused to quit, was moving around the ring well, and was a good little counterpuncher, too, at least for the first few rounds. LSC pretty much had him figured out by mid-fight.  He also seemed to handle LSC’s blows (huh, huh) with relative ease.  But in the end, LSC dominated the kid, although I’m not too sure what this says about him. It was an easy fight for LSC, as was the original intent (I’m sure), and I’d like to see better from him in the future.

But this is one of my favorite things about boxing. For all intents and purposes, they plucked a boxer out of nothingness, gave him a HUGE opportunity, and he made it worth his while. True, he didn’t show us absolute greatness or looming strength, but he went the distance and persisted during a fight billed to be the greatest of our time (well, my time anyway. Not sure how old the rest of y’all are 🙂 ), which had to have been an incredibly daunting task. Had this not happened, I’d know nothing of Cayetano, and now I’m looking forward to his next fight, whenever that may be. (Could be quite a while before he ends up on TV again, though, but still.)

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Seriously y’all, never in a million years did I think that I would be typing that (unless it ended with the phrase, “will never happen”), so just the fact that it occurred at all still has me amped, regardless of how one feels about the actual match. By this time, I’m relatively certain that most of the world knows how this fight ended, but if for some reason you haven’t yet heard (or you don’t want spoilers) stop reading now. (But come back later, I need the “Views” on my stat count).

Also (disclaimer), I’m neither a Pactard nor a Flomo and thoroughly enjoy both fighters, so this will be an unbiased account of this fight (even though I’m sure that some of you will disagree. Kisses.)

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And for the Pac “Truthers,” here’s proof of the aforementioned statement. Yes, I bet with my heart and not my brain. My big baller $20 bet on Pac getting the KO over Mayweather.

Y’all, Floyd put on a boxing clinic on Saturday night, and it was both parts amazing and crushing all at once. To see a boxer adapt to another fighter’s style so quickly and easily is truly the mark of greatness. This statement will not be backed by popular opinion (hell, this whole review probaby won’t), but Manny truly did give it his all, and he just couldn’t make it happen. It’s a tired cliche, but the greats make it look easy, and I think that Manny realized this after a few rounds with Floyd.

And as for the hotly contested “Floyd Ran, Floyd Hugged” debate, those of you who are saying that don’t know boxing. Period. Floyd threw and landed more punches than Manny, and more clinching went on during the Klitschko fight a couple of weeks ago (and really, every other recent Klitschko fight in recent years) than during this one. As for the running argument, Manny knew well in advance (assuming that he watched tape from Floyd’s last fights, which I would imagine that he did) that it would be VERY advantageous to him to cut off the ring in order to ensure that Floyd would have to go toe to toe with him (which was really the only way that he could win the fight in the first place) and he failed to do so.

This was Manny’s loss, fair and square. I hate to say it, because I truly do like the guy and enjoy his performances, but he simply was not the better boxer this time around. This had nothing to do with the ref or the judges, and everything to do with Manny being one-dimensional in this fight and not having a Plan B, something that would have been expected of an elite pugilist going into what was the biggest fight of his life.

Annnnnddd…on to “Shoulder Gate.” Of course, instead of just being able to say “I lost,” we get a story about Manny having a torn rotator cuff, which seems to be true the more it plays out. All fine and good, and I hope that Manny is able to heal well and continue to impress us after his surgery.

BUT

Why did this go completely unmentioned until after the fight was said and done? Yes, had Manny’s shoulder been unharmed, this could have impacted the fight in a way. However; there were plenty of opportunities for him to announce this injury, and it wasn’t even mentioned on the pre-fight questionnaire, a document that explicitly asks if the boxer currently has a shoulder injury. Also, according to Bleacher Report, the shoulder injury was the catalyst for impairing Manny to the extent that he was unable to spar for WEEKS leading up to the fight. Weeks, people. (And I ain’t talking Tony.)

I completely understand the hesitance to call off a super-giant-megafight that was a huge pain in the butt to negotiate in the first place, (not to mention the on/off relationship of this fight to begin with) but really? If a boxer can’t throw punches because of a torn rotator cuff, what else is there to do?  (I mean, I would have been pissed and all, but still.)

And then? This:

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Via a text to Stephen Smith, no less. That’s how I want to negotiate big deals. And is he just fighting the shoulder, or all of Manny?  Because truly, it’s really only the shoulder that deserves a second chance. 

The circus starts all over again. Although probably not for as much money next time around. If this even happens, after all. It could take another six years.

In closing, for those of you who wanted an all out war (which, save an outstanding performance by Manny was never going to happen anyway), “Meet Mago.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/sports/meet-mago-former-heavyweight.html?_r=0

An outstanding NY Times article on Magomed Abdusalamov, a former heavyweight

These are the consequences of the brawls that the causal fans and the knockout salivaters seek. You can also look to Muhammed Ali and Freddie Roach for concrete examples of long-term boxing related injuries. As much as you may hate to admit it, boxing is just as much a sport of hitting and not being hit as it is anything else. The sweet science is the art of boxing, and what makes it equally as fun to watch as an all out brawl.

Long rant over. Be on the lookout for Canelo v Kirkland this Saturday, y’all, which should be a lot of fun. Also, HBO will be replaying the May v Pac fight prior to the broadcast of the Canelo fight, for anyone who would like a second view.

Stay safe, peeps. And thanks for hanging in there during the rant 🙂

Gab: This Week in Boxing Ch-Ch-Ch-Chisme (3/23-3/27)

Disclaimer: I’m DWB (Drinking While Blogging) y’all, so this could get a little sloppy.

I need you all to know that in spite of the all of the May/Pac chaos going on, THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to me right now is that Amir Khan has called out Miguel Cotto. Miguel freaking Cotto. (At least there’s a fair chance that Cotto won’t try to dodge this one, amIright?)  Khan stated that he is eschewing (I do love that word) a fight with Kell Brook in favor of a bout with Cotto.  Will it happen? Who knows. Maybe, if Khan can keep his mouth shut and refrain from taking to Twitter to bitch about having to wait for a response. I think that this would be an easy fight for Cotto, honestly, which is why I’m predicting that he’ll take it. As much as I love Khan, I think that Cotto is stronger than him in a big way. Could make for a fun fight, though.

Nonito Donaire is fighting again this weekend in Manila as part of “Pinoy Pride 30” and to be honest, I’m not even sure it’s being shown in the US. It’s kind of sad, really. Dude is ESPN’s “Fighter of the Year” (and well deservedly so) in 2012, and then in 2013 gets his ass literally HANDED TO HIM by Rigondeaux (it’s in the outtakes-Rigo is like “here you go” and gives Nonito his {Nonito’s} butt) and his career is pretty much over. (Save for like, one other fight {that he lost} but y’all get what I’m saying.) Don’t get me wrong-I really like Donaire and thought he could have done big things, but it just wasn’t in the cards. The lesson to be taken from this: if you decide to fuck with a Cuban, at least prepare yourself ahead of time. Watch a few fight tapes beforehand or something. (Although I think it would be pretty cool if Donaire got into the fight commentary biz. I would love to hear his perspective on things. And really, could he be worse than Max Kellerman?) At any rate, I’m hoping for a Donaire win tomorrow.

Audley Harrison announced his retirement and I didn’t even know who he was until that happened. That’s all. (Apparently he’s British, for all you Harry Potter fans).

Hey y’all! Freddie Roach is talking shit again! (Seriously, we should take a drink every time that happens). Freddie has recently alleged that Floyd Joy was knocked out for 10 clean seconds by none other than famed Zab Judah, whom he hired as a sparring partner in preparation for his fight against Manny. Judah is denying this, but he’s also being paid by the Mayweather camp, so who’s surprised? Judah is a hell of a fighter, so even though I’m not sure I believe the story about the knockout, he’s a good candidate to pin it on. Conversely, Manny’s legs are cramping (again), and they’re working to solve the problem (again-although this time with $1,800 massaging cream) I have nothing clever to add to this.

In other Mayweather/Pac news: Kellerman thinks that Mayweather will win, Ronda Rousey things that Pacquaio will win, Khan thinks Floyd will win, Ludacris thinks that Floyd is focused, Hulk Hogan thinks it will be a draw, and yes, Bieber will be escorting Money May into the ring on the night of the big event. Bromances.

TMZ is reporting that the MGM Grand will be blocking all hotels aside from it’s 14 other properties in Vegas from showing May vs. Pac. In addition to the rumors this week that only 1,000 tickets for the fight are being released to the public, it’s looking more and more like “The People’s Fight” …um..isn’t the People’s Fight after all.

Kell Brook fights Jo Jo Dan (did anyone tell this guy that he has three first names and no last name) this Saturday. I could write a prediction article, but I’ll spare myself the embarrassment of being horribly incorrect on all of my predictions and will opt istead to write a review article after the fact. See y’all then.

Gab: This Week in Boxing Chisme

Amid all of the boxing headlines from this week, I would be remiss in not mentioning that time that Floyd Mayweather broke the Internet with this picture:

Pactards chided him for this, stating that taking to the harsh Nevada wildnerness and doing some good old fashioned tree killing was a sign that he was intimidated by Manny. Flomos defended the champ, positing that this is a variation of a common boxing workout using a sledgehammer and a big ass tire. I’m aligned with most probable theory: that Floyd was doing this (and really every other aspect of his life) for attention. Who knows if this is the first time he’s done this and really, who cares?  I’m actually more upset that no one mentioned the fuzzy red ball on top of his TMT hat.

Also noteworthy this week is the mention that Floyd is refusing to agree to terms of a $5 million dollar fine for positive blood and urine tests in the upcoming months preceding the May 2 fight, a clause set forth by Pacquaio’s camp. This is kind of ironic, really, as it was Manny who initially refused the drug testing when the notion of the fight was first conceived six years ago (allegedly). This is also a contradictory move for Floyd, who has been kind of a pit bull for drug testing regulations. Both champs have reportedly already been tested recently, so I guess speculations could arise as to why he’s not agreed to a fine in the event of a positive result if he’s already complied with the testing. Of course, Bob Arum is doing what he does best in talking out of his ass in regards to demanding more money for a positive drug result, but we’ll see how far that actually gets.

Ugh, y’all. While I’m all for charity and I like the idea of Mitt Romney being knocked out; really, was Vitali Klitschko busy that day? Now THAT would be a fight. (And, you know, politician on politician).

Gennady Golovkin still wants to fight Miguel Cotto, and Miguel Cotto (and possibly Freddie Roach) are still running scared. I think I speak for the majority when I say that this fight will probably never happen, although I would love to be wrong. If it ever did happen, though, GGG would dominate Cotto (even in his new reincarnation as a “raging bull”) and with Cotto’s talk of impending retirement in the near future I doubt that’s how he’d like to go out.

Until next time, friends.