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If Mayweather Really Wants High Praise, Do Something Only Duran Did

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If Mayweather Really Wants High Praise, Do Something Only Duran Did – Isn’t it great to see how welterweight title holder Floyd Mayweather 42-0 (26) has been granted a postponement in serving his three month jail sentence for his battery conviction, which was supposed to begin on January 6,  2012? Mayweather’s delayed jail term will have to wait for him to pick up another easy payday on May 5th before he can take up residence at the cross-bar hotel for a few months.

What’s even more astonishing is, Mayweather’s May 5 opponent hasn’t even been named yet, though we did just get word from Raymond Markarian that it looks like Robert Guerrero will get the nod. The only thing we know for sure is that it won’t be against another welterweight title holder, Manny Pacquiao 54-3-2 (38). Yes, even as of this writing and despite it being almost two years past the date when it should’ve happened a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather is still the biggest and most anticipated fight that can be made in combat sports. And everyone knows, or should know,  that the hard truth is the fight hasn’t been realized yet because Mayweather hasn’t seen enough slippage in Pacquiao. I for one certainly have and don’t harbor any reservation in saying that Mayweather will outbox Pacquiao on his way to a non-controversial decision when they fight. However, Mayweather isn’t quite there yet, although he’s getting closer.

Here’s a novel idea and challenging task for Mayweather, something that would even shut up his sternest critics if he were successful…Challenge WBC middleweight title holder Sergio Martinez 48-2-1 (27), who’s perceived as the best middleweight fighter in boxing, to a non-catch-weight title bout.

Only one lightweight champion has ever won a middleweight title – Roberto Duran. Henry Armstrong came close but drew with Ceferino Garcia, a fighter he had previously beaten.

Mayweather has been a prohibitive favorite in all of his fights since turning pro. Moving up and taking a shot at a fighter who is not a sure thing would enhance his argument and legitimacy for being an all time great. Even if a fight with Pacquiao came off Mayweather would still be the odds-on favorite to win. Mayweather has been criticized for handpicking opponents. Here is an opportunity to fight an opponent who has a legitimate chance to beat him and would likely be favored over him. And if he lost, but was competitive, he’d gain fans and his legacy wouldn’t take a hit.

A number of lightweights have won welterweight titles but only one has won a middleweight title. This is so because of the added strength, size and power of the 160 pound class. Mayweather, fighting at 154,  likely walks around near the middleweight limit. If Mayweather is concerned about his historical legacy then fighting for the middleweight title and winning it could cement his career.

Had Roy Jones retired after winning the WBA heavyweight title from John Ruiz he would likely be considered a legit top 10 p4p great and some may have argued, wrongly, that he was in the league with Sugar Ray Robinson. Right now Mayweather has no such marks on his resume to argue he belongs in the same conversation as true all time greats like Robinson, Harry Greb, Sam Langford, Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Leonard or Roberto Duran. He needs a win that can validate his legacy.

A fight with Martinez would be easy to put together as long as Mayweather isn’t a thug about it. Granted, he’s the draw and deserves the lion’s share of the purse, but he can’t dictate the terms like he has in everyone of his previous 42 professional fights. He needs the fight for his legacy more than Martinez does. And that’s because nobody views Martinez as a potential all time great like they do Mayweather. Beating Mayweather would glean Sergio some high praise and attention along with his biggest payday, but nobody, I mean nobody would be saying Martinez is the next Carlos Monzon because he beat Floyd Mayweather. On the other hand, if Mayweather beat the best middleweight in boxing, even his staunchest critics would have to bow their heads to him.

Actually, if Mayweather fought and defeated Martinez, he wouldn’t have to fight Pacquiao. By taking out the bigger and more formidable Martinez, no one would question who’s the better fighter between Floyd and Manny if they never fought. Mayweather would be the default winner, something he’s never been adverse to being.

Yeah, in a perfect world the above sounds really intriguing and would no doubt captivate the boxing world. But the combination between the business of boxing and Mayweather’s reluctance to take part in a fight in which everything isn’t tilted in his favor will prevent it from ever being realized. What we’ll see instead is, quite soon Mayweather will announce that he’s fighting an opponent who despite a solid resume, lacks the size, experience or world class skill set to really challenge him, let alone beat him.

Some of this is in part due to the fact that Mayweather is so good in the ring while at the same time too reluctant to really fight the best opposition when they’re at the top of their game and available. That’s been documented throughout his stellar career. However, at this time there’s really only two legitimate challenges out there for him, Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez. If Floyd fights anyone other than one of them in his next fight, don’t waste your money on it.

Happy New Year boxing fans! The year 2012 will play out with the same predicted results as 2011, 2010, 2009 etc when it comes to the matchmaking strategy of Floyd Mayweather, the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing. Who, ironically wouldn’t be in all that much over his head if he in fact did step up and fought Sergio Martinez in a legitimate middleweight title bout with no catch-weight stipulation. It’s not like Martinez is even close to being what anyone would perceive as a big middleweight himself.

Roberto Duran had no reservation getting in the ring with a prime Marvin Hagler or a big middleweight like Iran Barkley. Go ahead Floyd, try to equal Duran’s feat of being the only lightweight title holder to win a middleweight title.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

If Mayweather Really Wants High Praise, Do Something Only Duran Did / Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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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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