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TSS Has The Best Morning QBs! Reaction To Pacquiao-Rios

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Reactions were mixed on Manny Pacquiao’s performance on Saturday (US) in Macao, in that the vast majority decided that either the old Pacman is back, or, if not quite at the level of “vintage” Manny, that he’s close enough to restart the salivating at the prospect of a Pacquiao-Mayweather clash.

I am not going into that rabbit hole, believing that the impediments which prevented that fight from being made in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 are still present, and I don’t detect even a hint of change in that realm. So, I figure, speculating about fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao (seen celebrating in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) is pretty much a masturbatory exercise, and best left to others so inclined.

Two days later, if asked to offer a single element of Manny’s effort that stands out for me, I have to choose from a few, not being able to cordon off just one. His stamina was marvelous, and continual. There weren’t but a few parts of several rounds when it looked like he was conserving energy. I attribute that to some extra oomph in training, derived from his wounded pride; Manny said he wanted to come back and show the world that the KO at the hands of Marquez was truly an aberration, and not the new normal for him.

His battle plan was exemplary. The left to the gut the great work with the right hand, which allowed him to slither and slide out to his right, and keep Rios from winging left hooks and/or cutting off his path of escape, the discipline in sticking with it, the resistance of temptation to start loading up more, seeking a KO, and therefore leaving himself open to a counter which could spur a flashback to that Marquez moment…Manny gets an A for tactics and strategy.

Trainer Freddie Roach has to get an A, as well, for superior game-planning. He tried to tell us that Rios was a mere “tough guy” and doesn’t possess enough grounding in the arts and the scientific elements of pugilism to hang on the same playing field as Manny…and he was right. Public opinion has swung from Roach as the ‘It Trainer,’ to Robert Garcia, and now its swung back again, with the anti-Garcia crew now noting they didn’t hear or see what they’d hope to hear in the corner in between rounds to attempt to goad Rios into a re-set of tactics to switch the momentum in the Macao clash.

As always, the superlative Forum crew at TheSweetScience.com exhibited the keen eye and knack for communicating their insights post-fight. Let me share some of the feedback from our Forum faithful now:

Pacman fan Amayseng dug Manny’s effort as much as I did, it seems, maybe more.

“Manny peppered Rios and boxed his ears off in a boxing lesson. Manny fought smart and controlled,” he wrote. “Rios is a walking punching bag when fighting an elite athlete and boxer like Pacman. I hope Rios didn’t take so much punishment that he STUTTERS the rest of his life like he was doing in that video making fun of another individual who is disabled and handicapped to certain extents due to a disease…or DONT I??”

Clearly, that gym meltdown featuring embrassing behavior by ex Team Pacquiao member Alex Ariza and Roach won’t soon be forgotten by Amayseng…

The inimitable Radam weighed in, in his patented fashion:

“Bam Bam was full of fright, instead of fear. From the first time that he got clocked, his noggin he couldn’t clear. He couldn’t handle the big-fight atmosphere. He definitely didn’t have “The Eye of the Tiger,” but the eye of a-struck-in-the-path-of-a-headlight deer. To himself, he and Team Rios, told a lot of lies. Just before the start of the bout, he had dragonflies, instead of butterflies. With condition coach Alex Ariza, he ought to cut ties. Or to elite boxing, say his goodbyes. Holla!”

Reader Jzzy also came down hard on Rios and company:

“Manny exposed Rios for what he is, a loser with limited intelligence, class and zero boxing ability. Garcia provided no help whatsoever from the corner, where was their plan B? This was reminiscent of the Pac/Clottey fight, another lopsided paint job by Manny. Rios absorbed a frightful amount of punishment and yes he is a punching bag well on the way to Palookaville.”

Mortcola too had a stinging assessment of Rios:

“No sign of decline in Pacquiao,” he said. “Pac was destroying Marquez before he walked into that punch. And Saturday night he showed more speed and stamina than in years. Maybe the new god-fearing version really doesn’t like to hurt people. But more likely is that he hits hard enough to bust the big welters’ faces and bodies up, and KO some of them, but the size difference shows in whether he gets the KO. But still, that was a prime, quick, focused fighter in there. And Rios is already slurring.”

A sweet review came from our guy Brown Sugar:

“Even though the uncompromising non-stop aggressive style of Paq’s youth is gone, he still fought a masterful fight against an opponent who was as made to order as a pepperoni pizza.? Manny floats like a dragonfly and stings like a hornet. Rios was being out-classed in every department and had no chance to win while suffering the most lopsided loss of his career. ?I was surprised he sounded offended when Max asked him if felt like a punching bag.? Manny looked sharp last night, putting on a performance that would have made Mayweather proud. Speaking of Mayweather ….it’s time to make that fight.”

Sug also offered up a roster of possibilities for Manny’s next:

“Provnikov is a friend and won’t fight. Broner is unproven at the weight. Thurman is an Al Haymon fighter. Cotto is too big. Garcia is on Showtime. Marquez is chasing a rematch with Bradley. Bradley can’t sell tickets but Paq can…so we’ll see. Matthysse has been eliminated. I wouldn’t mind seeing Alexander getting the call…but it’s unlikely. Khan needs to prove he can compete at the top level again. That leaves Mayweather.”

By the way, I have no problem with fight fans and consumers calling for That Fight to be made. They need to speak up and demand the fights they want to see, be it Mayweather-Manny, or fights that “can’t” be made because of The Cold War.

Ultimo Shogun brought up a nice point, that of Manny’s class. Rios could absorb some of that, as it says something about a person in how they react in both good times and bad. Manny acts the same after winning and losing: with class and dignity. He’s a role model, after all.

“Manny’s a class act…the way he hugged Rios and then his corner (including Ariza) after the fight was surprising to me,” US said. “Always good to see great sportsmanship like that despite all the ugly things that were said between the two camps.”

Feel free, friends, to continue the high-level of discourse in the Forum, and riffing off some of the points made here!

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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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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face

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Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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Bob Arum Hails Terence Crawford (not Lomachenko) as Boxing’s Next Superstar

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Arum says Terence

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says Terence Crawford will become this generation’s Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao–elite boxers who became worldwide celebrity sensations. Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Pacquiao on the way to their historic crossover statuses expects big things from the undefeated Crawford over the next few years.

“He’s the best fighter in the United States, and he’s so charismatic,” said Arum. “He comes from middle America, and In the next year or so, he will be huge.”

Arum’s assertion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Arum is also the promoter for Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. More importantly, Lomachenko seems to have a groundswell of support behind him both in the media and among fight fans.

Lomachenko has also been heavily featured through Top Rank’s television partnership with ESPN. While Crawford has achieved more in his career than Lomachenko (at least in my eyes) and, as noted by Arum, is a homegrown American talent, Lomachenko seems to be considered the more marketable commodity to that network judging by the amount of promotional materials ESPN has pumped out about the fighter over the last year.

The other reason Arum’s claim about Crawford is interesting is the performance of Canelo Alvarez over the weekend in his majority decision rematch win over Gennady Golovkin. Besides Mayweather and Pacquiao, Alvarez is the clear PPV leader among all of boxing’s current commodities, and his status as boxing’s new money fighter should only grow stronger after the best win of his career.

Still, Crawford is one of the few very elite fighters in all of boxing. He’s ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

While Lomachenko and Alvarez are also candidates to become boxing’s next big thing, there’s no doubt Crawford is also one of the few boxers in the sport right now with the right things in place to become the next Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Omaha’s Crawford is in the midst of an historic run. When he stopped Jeff Horn in round 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June, Crawford captured a world title in his third different weight class, welterweight. This after Crawford had already captured two lineal boxing championships, as well as multiple alphabet titles, in both the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

By any measure, Crawford is truly one of the best boxers in the sport. Not only does he look the part in the ring on fight night (something more and more writers seem to value most when voting for pound-for-pound lists), but the fighter has already accomplished so much in his career that it seems Arum is doing more than the fiduciary duty of promoting his fighter when he ascribes to Crawford such lofty praise.

Crawford, still just 30 years old, is already halfway to matching Mayweather and Pacquiao’s shared record of most lineal championships. Over the course of his career, Mayweather captured lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. Pacquiao won his as a flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight.

In order for Crawford to grab lineal championship No. 3, most believe he’ll have to go through welterweight phenom Errol Spence. While promotional entanglements might keep this superfight on the shelf for a while, Arum said he had no problem pitting Crawford against Spence in what would be one of the best matchups in recent memory.

“Absolutely,” said Arum when asked about working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, who represents Spence, to make the fight. Could any response from him be more exciting? Crawford vs. Spence might be the next superfight in boxing. Both fighters are among the very elite, and unlike what ultimately happened with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, who fought each other well past their peak years, both would be in the prime of their careers.

Winning that fight would certainly go a long way to making Arum’s vision of Crawford’s future come true. And who knows? Maybe Crawford really is the next Mayweather or Pacquiao. Heck, for all we know, he could even be on his way to doing something more.

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