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Mayweather’s Timing As Usual Is Brilliant

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Mayweather’s Timing As Usual Is Brilliant – Let’s just say for the sake of argument that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao actually face each other on May 5th of this year. If they do, and yes, it looks like they won’t, it will in fact be Mayweather who again will have called the shots in dictating when the fight will have taken place. And to that I say, “Was there ever a doubt that when Manny and Money got together it would be only if and when Mayweather felt it was the right time for him?” If you think otherwise you’ve been living in another world.

For the rest of my years, I’ll marvel at Floyd Mayweather the manager and thinker more than I ever will him as a fighter. I’ve seen many fighters his equal or superior to him in the ring, but he’s near the top of a very short list of great fighters who knew the business of boxing to the level that he does. Mayweather has used the 24/7 social media like no other athlete alive to manipulate the public. He just Tweeted the other day that he now wants to fight Pacquiao, and the boxing world has been a buzz since. The only thing that would overshadow Mayweather’s Tweet would be one by Tim Tebow.

Floyd knows boxing history and realizes that a marquee world champion retiring undefeated stands the test of time. It’s been almost fifty years since former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano retired undefeated at 49-0. Rocky is in the debate in every conversation that centers around who was the greatest heavyweight champion in history because he never officially was defeated as a pro. However, had Roland LaStarza been awarded the split decision verdict in their first fight and Rocky retired 48-1, it’s doubtful his name would be included amongst the top-10 greatest heavyweights ever.

Being undefeated is why the 1972 Miami Dolphins are talked about every NFL season until every team in the league has lost once. On the morning of Super Bowl XLII the 18-0 New England Patriots were hours away from being anointed the the greatest team in NFL history after they presumably defeated the New York Giants and finished the season 19-0. And for 59 minutes it looked as if it was going to happen. But they lost the game 17-14 and finished 18-1. How many times since February 3rd 2008 have you heard anyone say that the 2007 Patriots were the greatest team in NFL history? I’m betting not once.

Floyd Mayweather has been hellbent on protecting his undefeated record. And he grasped it a few years back that despite being undefeated, his defining legacy would be determined on the outcome of his eventual showdown with Manny Pacquiao. Floyd knows that beating Pacquiao in what will be the only fight of his career that anyone reading this will remember in 10 years along with retiring undefeated will keep his name in the conversation regarding the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in boxing history for the next 50 years.

Something else Mayweather has always known since Pacquiao’s accession is, the fight would always be there for him whenever he wanted it. Therefore he could sit on the sideline as the anticipation grew and in the end could jump at it whenever he felt it was the right time. For the better part of the last two years Pacquiao, the smaller man, has been more than willing to meet Mayweather in a legitimate fight without gimmicks and stipulations, only to see Mayweather move the goalpost back and insure the fight wouldn’t be made time after time.

Now that Mayweather has gone on the attack and is at least acting with his words like he wants to fight Pacquiao, Manny has to jump at the chance in the eyes of the public. And sadly he and promoter Bob Arum have been played and if they don’t it’ll look like they harbor the same reservation Mayweather’s held for the past two years. The only plus for Pacquiao agreeing to the fight at this time is, Mayweather will be laughed at if he still tries to insist that Pacquiao has to be subjected to any type of nuanced drug testing. Floyd has to know that that’s off the table forever now and if Manny and Arum cave into those sort of demands they’re really dopes.

I don’t care what anyone says…it’s obvious that Mayweather is at least acting as if he wants the fight because of what transpired in Pacquiao’s last bout against Juan Manuel Marquez. Is it a coincidence that since the names Mayweather and Pacquiao have been paired against each other that Mayweather waited for the exact time when Manny’s confidence has never been so low to so loudly lobby for the fight? What a willing suspension of disbelief would it take to see it any differently.

The bottom line is Floyd has held his cards close to his vest and is now ready to raise the stakes. The only problem is he may have waited too long to jump up and make the fight. And that’s because everyone who saw Pacquiao this past November knows that Marquez out thought and out fought him for the better part of 12-rounds. If there were 15 clean punches landed in that fight, Marquez landed 11 of them. At this time Pacquiao’s confidence is down and he may even be second guessing himself inside, if ever so slightly.

Maybe this time Pacquiao and Mayweather will finally get together. But the fight is past the point when it had a chance to be spectacular. Beating Pacquiao now after he was clearly bettered by Marquez in his last fight doesn’t look so terrific and breath taking any longer. I will say it until the fight is history, “Mayweather will beat Pacquiao when they meet.” He’s always had the temperament, size and style to do it. The difference now is he may finally believe it.

Regardless, it’s clear for everyone to see that Mayweather became real brave at a time when Pacquiao’s never been more vulnerable since he fought Hatton. It was just a matter of Mayweather overcoming the small percentage of doubt that he held that Pacquiao could beat him. Judging by Floyd’s words and semi actions, once again he waited for the threat and demand for the fight to be at it’s lowest point.

Mayweather’s Timing As Usual Is Brilliant / Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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Tanaka vs. Kimora: A Monday Morning Treat For Serious Fight Fans

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Kosei Tanaka was just 4-0 the first time he was appraised on The Sweet Science back in 2015; the question then was, is Tanaka the world’s brightest boxing prospect? The question now is whether or not Tanaka is about to add a strap at a third weight to an already glittering career that has seen him annex belts at 105 and 108lbs in just his first eight fights.

Now 11-0 with seven knockouts he prepares, this coming Monday, to duel Sho Kimura in Nagoya, Japan and with a lot more than just the WBO trinket on the line.

Hearts and minds, as always, translate into dollars and yen. The winner of this all-Japanese contest will find himself buoyed in fame, glory and gold in his home country, which also happens to be one of the few places on the planet where a boxer can collect a small fortune without ever leaving his native shores. Should the winner dare to dream a wider dream, then that too can be facilitated by the win.  Even fistic denizens of boxing strongholds in Japan and Britain feel a shiver run down their spines when the words “Las Vegas headliner” are whispered into their ear.

The favored man among the hardcore in the west is Tanaka. He is still very young at just twenty-three years old and is slick and quick, what the west expects of a Japanese force. Interestingly enough, however, the Japanese seem to be leaning towards Kimura: older, at twenty-nine, armed with a superb work-rate, good power, limited technique but the conqueror of Chinese superstar Shiming Zou who he stopped in the summer of 2017. Zou may have had his bubble burst by the Thai brawler Amnat Ruenroeng in 2015, but it was Kimura who sent him stumbling into retirement and at a time when the talk was of China stealing Japan’s thunder as boxing’s home in the east.

Kimura was indeed impressive that night in Shanghai. He maintained pressure with wonderful variety, eschewing the jab, perhaps, for spells, but filling those gaps with an assortment of wonderful punches, most of all his body attack, which was persistent, withering, and apparently went unscored by two of the three judges who somehow had the Chinese ahead at the time of the eleventh round stoppage. Zou had shown a skill for flurrying while fleeing and Kimura had shown him how to fight.

Now a strapholder at 112lbs, Kimura staged two defenses in the following twelve months. The first was against Toshiyuki Igarashi, the man who beat Sonny Boy Jaro, the man who had beaten the superb champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam before a softer fight against Froilan Saludar. He won both by stoppage.

Kimura, then, rather came from nowhere but made the most of his arrival. What he displayed in all three of these fights was a determination to offer pressure and footwork educated enough to do it while taking many fewer steps than his harried opponent. A tad overrated as a puncher, I suspect, he places himself in hitting position often enough that his default fight plan – chase, harass, throw – makes him capable of hurting his opponents by way of persistence and pressure.

He left Zou, Igarashi and Saludar, broken in his wake.

In short, he is the type of opponent Kosei Tanaka has been waiting for.

There have been calls for Tanaka to be considered a pound-for-pound talent should he overcome Kimura this Monday. I understand the impulse. Tanaka, were he to triumph, would become a three-weight world champion and he hails from a boxing territory which has little direct control over the meaningful pound-for-pound lists, if such a statement is not a contradiction in terms.

In short, it is felt he would be undervalued.

Tempering these calls is the fact that he has never beaten a divisional number one and that Kimura would be, by far, the best opponent he would have bested, and the most proven. Some Tanaka opponents have come good after he defeated them, some were ranked in the lower reaches of their respective divisional top tens when he matched them, but none are scalps as impressive as those dangled by the likes of Errol Spence or Anthony Joshua, who populate the nine, ten and eleven spots in reputable lists.

But this is neither here nor there; the key is not what Kimura does not represent, it is what he does represent. He is the best that Tanaka has met and, I would argue, the first truly elite fighter that Tanaka has met. He is the litmus test and he is one with a stylistic advantage.

Tanaka can punch. Here we will find out whether or not he punches hard enough to keep Kimura off him. Personally, I doubt it and that means that Kimura is going to hand him a serious gut check.

Interestingly, it will not be Tanaka’s first. The first time I wrote about him I stressed that his chin was essentially untested. That is no longer true. Tanaka, who is reasonably sound defensively, can be lazy in minding himself and foolish in pursuing the attack.

Thai puncher Rangsan Chayanram checked him in 2017, delivering a serious eye injury among other ignominies before succumbing in nine; puncher Angel Acosta, a ranked fighter if not a great one, hit and hurt Tanaka repeatedly late in their 2017 contest. If Tanaka has been learning these lessons, expectations concerning his potential may be realized. If he is not, he will fall short. Kimura is the man to test him.

Kimura’s experience and seemingly limitless twelve-round stamina are to be pitted against Tanaka’s skill, proven heart and taut footwork. It sees a superior technician – Tanaka – who has shown a propensity for being drawn into a cruder fighter’s wheelhouse matching an aggressive stalker – Kimura – who specializes in drawing technically superior foes into knockdown-drag-out scraps.

It is framed both as a fight that is likely to finish a future pound-for-pounder’s education and a fight where a young pretender is found out by a grizzled veteran.

Best of all, it is a fight that fight fans can watch for free, simply by clicking here.  The Asian Boxing website has secured exclusive international rights to the fight and will broadcasting it, free of charge, to anyone with an internet connection. As can be seen here, the fight is due to start at 4pm Japanese time.

All the reader has to do is find out what that means for timing in their own corner of the globe and a potential fight of the year will unfold before his or her eyes free of charge.

World class boxing being broadcast for free and including two of the best below 115lbs; a stylistic crossroads contest that opens up the on-ramp to pound-for-pound recognition for at least one of the combatants – on a Monday.  All facts worth keeping in mind the next time that someone tells you boxing’s prime was any number of decades ago.

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Fast Results From London: Joshua Takes Out Povetkin in the 7th

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UK sporting

It was a very wet night at Wembley Stadium, but the dampness didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the crowd which welcomed UK sporting hero Anthony Joshua into the ring with a thunderous ovation. And Joshua didn’t disappoint. After six relatively even rounds, he found his range in the seventh and became the first man to stop Alexander Povetkin. A three punch combo that began with an overhand right sent Povetkin sprawling into the ropes. The Russian beat the count, but Joshua smelled blood and as soon as the ref allowed the proceedings to continue he moved in for the kill. The official time was 1:59.

Povetkin started fast and in the eyes of many observers won the first three rounds. A sharp right hand in the waning seconds of round one reddened Joshua’s nose which leaked blood in the next round. The tide began to turn in round four when Povetkin suffered a cut above his left eye.

Povetkin (now 34-2), was the lighter man by 23 pounds. Joshua had a four inch height advantage and a seven inch reach advantage. And it mattered greatly that AJ was the younger man by 10-plus years. Povetkin wasn’t intimidated by Joshua and had several good moments but, at age 39, his reflexes betrayed him once the fight had crossed the midpoint.

Joshua, who owns three of the four meaningful heavyweight title belts, improved to 22-0 with his 21st stoppage. His next fight is penciled in for April 13 of next year against an opponent to be determined. His promoter Eddie Hearn has reserved that date at Wembley Stadium.

Other Bouts

In a 12-round lightweight bout, Joshua’s Olympic Games teammate and fellow gold medalist Luke Campbell (19-2) avenged the first loss of his career with a unanimous decision (119-109, 118-111,116-112) over France’s Yvan Mendy (40-5-1). This was Campbell’s second start since coming up short in a bid for Jorge Linares’s lightweight title and his first fight under his new trainer Shane McGuigan.

In their first meeting in December of 2015 at London’s O2 Arena, Mendy won a split decision that should have been unanimous. Campbell insisted that he had improved greatly in the interim and tonight’s fight bore witness. However, he needs to develop a harder punch to rank among the top lightweights in the world, a list headed by Mikey Garcia. As this fight was framed as a WBC title eliminator, Campbell is next in line to meet Garcia, but Mikey has indicated that he will pursue bigger game.

Lawrence Okolie, a 2016 Olympian who trains with Anthony Joshua, won a Lonsdale belt in only his 10th pro start with a 12-round decision over defending BBBofC cruiserweight champion Matty Askin in a messy fight. The undefeated Okolie had a point deducted in round five for leading with his head and had two more points deducted for holding, but banked enough rounds to get the nod on all three cards: 116-110, 114-112, and 114-113. Askin, who declined to 23-4-1, had won five straight heading in.

A 10-round heavyweight match between Sergey Kuzmin (13-0, 1 NC) and David Price (22-6) ended suddenly when Price retired on his stool after four relatively even rounds. The six-foot-eight, china-chinned Price claimed to have aggravated a biceps tear.

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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

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Michael Dutchover

ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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