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Dear Floyd Mayweather, Ditch The Gambling, And Do What You Say You Do The Best…Box!

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Floyd MayweatherNo one is asking you to follow in Pacquiao's foot-steps. That'd be impossible, as Manny seems to be a once in an era sort of icon. But if you lose the gambling, the partying, all that, and get back to what you do best, box, then we think your legacy will be substantial. As of today, we are not so sure of that…(Hogan Photos)Dear Floyd Mayweather:

Hope you had a fine birthday on Thursday.

34.

Wow.

Hope you don't mind me saying, that's sort of old for a boxer. Even an ultra special one like you.

Hey, I'm 41, I mean no offense. But I'm in a business, where in theory at least, I get better as I get older. Makes sense..with age often comes wisdom, or at least, accrued experience and knowledge.

But as I get older, Floyd, I realize that the adage “with age comes wisdom” is flawed. That isn't the case much of the time. I know too many elders who by virtue of their years, should be rivaling Confucius with their wisdom. Yet they cling to antiquated notions, dispelled myths, tired ways. It saddens me when I see this nation and its citizens pursuing paths that bring them farther away from peace, serenity, happiness, and instead see people seeking to enrich themselves by acquiring, and earning their way to the promised land.

Hey, I'm no commie, Floyd. I see the bright side to the capitalist system, but as currently practiced, with the kingpins on Wall Street calling the shots in DC, our nation has by and large gone off the rails. We bail out the racketeers who boldly, without thought of the welfare of any but themselves, engineered schemes to enrich their bottom lines with a zealousness for excess that rivals Charlie Sheen. And though the crews at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Citi etc all engaged in book-keeping tricks which should land their shifty showrunners in prison, all have gotten off scot-free, and continue to engage in their systematic campaign to pillage, plunder, cheat and loot every dollar bill that isn't nailed down. Yes, the smart ones in those outfits knew damn well that they were selling oregano to dopey buyers, but shrugged off the shifty deals with a shrug of the shoulders, a reference to “caveat emptor” and a quote from Ayn Rand. Even if their conduct doesn't meet the definition of felony, at the very least, their ethical and moral boundaries have been proven to be wickedly off kilter, or absent.

Oops, sorry for the digression Floyd. I do have a point to my rant…and it does involve you.

I've been following your arc for years now. And I have to say, by this point in your life, I figured that you would have “got it.” I would have figured that you would have wised up. Floyd, you may well be the most talented pugilist of this, and maybe a few other generations. (I use the word “pugilist” deliberately, as in my mind, there is a clear difference between a “pugilist,” who engages in combat in a manner which the term “sweet science” is applicable, and “fighter,” who brings a whole different set of traits, mostly of character, to the table.”) But Floyd, on a daily basis, you fritter away your claim to greatness.

I'm not sure what you did for your birthday on Thursday, but judging by your social media output, I'm guessing it involved no boxing, or training. There was probably gambling involved, though, and I must put it out there, this gambling jones of yours worries me.

Hey, you might be saying aloud right now, I don't need you to worry about me, Woods. I got my stacks, Jack. What you got?

Well, I have some insight into human nature, especially in the area of addiction. I had a much misspent youth, when I went down paths in search of happiness, and serenity and fun, paths which proved to be hardcore dead ends. And to be frank, I see in you–and forgive me if I misread you and your situation, I am admittedly taking stock from afar–some really, really troubling behavior.

I'm not even talking about the brushes with the law, the fights with the security guards and the mother of your kids. Those are well documented, if slightly glossed over by enablers and fightwrite media who don't want to rock the boat of access.

I'm referring to the gambling.

Many of us became aware of your fondness for rolling the dice when in April 2010's Mayweather-Mosley 24/7, we saw you referring to winning $30,000 betting on basketball.

Back in December 2009, you admitted that you'd lost, as well.

“Two weeks ago I won like a million (dollars),” said Mayweather to Joe Buck on his HBO show, “that was across a week of games, Monday night, Sunday, and Thursday. I didn’t lose a million (this week), but I lost a couple hundred thousand.”

Lately, you've taken to putting snapshots of his winning tickets on Twitter. Your followers see your winning ticket from the Feb. 10 Mavericks-Nuggets game, on which you won $45,000-plus, after wagering $50Gs.

“Why would I ever show a losing ticket when I'm 41-0,” you wrote after a follower asked you about those bets that you lost.

Now, what you do on your own time is your business. Of course, you are a public figure, so your conduct is fair game for folks like me to assess and comment upon. Especially considering you are the man who purports to be the greatest of all time.  Remember when you said, “In my era, it's totally different. It's pay per view now, so things change. It's out with the old and in with the new. Like I said, Muhammad Ali is one hell of a fighter. But Floyd Mayweather is the best. Sugar Ray Robinson is one hell of a fighter. But Floyd Mayweather is the best.”

That may be so. I don't personally think so, but Floyd, you'd better make your case for your fabulousness if you spent more time boxing, and less time bragging about your gambling prowess.

Floyd, it may be cool in the circles you run in, but the “I'm an ace gambler, look at the piles of loot I won because I guessed which basketball team would win their game” thing really doesn't resonate with most of us. I'm not Dr. Drew, but having spent a fair amount of time delving into the nature of addiction, whether it be to drugs, booze, food, or gambling on basketball games, it looks like maybe you are trying to fill a void, and flood your brain with happiness chemicals thru gambling. I get it…it's a thrill when you win. But the pleasure is short lived, and you are on a never-ending treadmill following that high. You fool no one, except perhaps some impressionable kids who are entranced by your blingy existence, and your boasts that you never lose gambling. Everyone does. Everyone. You are a special boxer, Floyd, but in the gambling realm you are one of a billion. You win some big, and you lose more, but you just don't brag about the bum picks.

That bragging, and that throwing money up in public places and watching the ham 'n eggers dive for bills, and the flashing of the wads of bills, and the birthday cake in the form of a stack of greenbacks, it all makes me sad. You could be doing what you do best, and try to bolster your legacy by making that Manny Pacquiao fight happen, but instead you are posturing, and trying to make an impression on people with your supposed fortune. While Pacquiao sends a message with his service, as a Congressman in the Philippines and his desire to lift up the impoverished in his nation, you advertise your net worth. And the kids eat that up. Just like they eat up the lifestyle of the Wall Streeters who brought our country to the economic brink, and then needed taxpayer money to get bailed out, so they can rinse and repeat, and start up the whole greedy exercise again.

Floyd, you could be an antidote. There is still time. Ditch the easy thrills of the gambling and nightlife. This country is in a major league state of unease. You might have heard about the issues in Wisconsin. The Governor there wants to abolish the right of public sector union members to bargain as a collective. He says his state's budget is in the dumps, and that teachers, cops, firefighters should sacrifice for the cause. He suggested this right after he handed WI corporations a sweet tax break, despite the fact that 2/3 of them pay no taxes. It is time for leaders, in all walks of life, to fight for regular folks. Floyd, I'm not asking you to run for Governor, or Congress. But I see you, and what you could be, and I get bummed out.

I realize this could all come off as a self righteous rant. But as I said before, I've been no angel. I think I sort of get where you are coming from, believe it or not. But I also get where you are capable of going, and root for you to get there. Put the kibosh on the gambling, and the partying with the posse, and the silly nickname; that stuff is fun, but what it feeds you is false. Those are momentary thrills, lacking in substance. You are capable of much, much more.

Good luck.

Sincerely,

Michael Woods
Editor, TheSweetScience.com

FOLLOW Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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