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LANDSLIDE! Experts Predict Mayweather Over Canelo

Kelsey McCarson

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One of the best aspects of fight week during a mega event in boxing is all the predictions. Everyone has a take. That’s part of what makes boxing special. Fans, fighters, promoters, managers, historians — you name it. You ask them to give you a prediction about the big fight, and they’ll do it.

And that’s what I did. Here are 56 expert Mayweather-Canelo predictions from around the globe.

TSS CREW LIKES MAYWEATHER 12-1

Mayweather looked brilliant against Robert Guerrero, making The Ghost look like he’d seen a ghost. He will be just as ghostly for young Canelo, who is too flat-footed, too mechanical and too inexperienced to deal with the speed, agility and ring intelligence of Mayweather. Floyd by decision. — Ron Borges, TheSweetScience.com

Floyd Mayweather Jr. can look very, very good when he is at the top of his game, but his true strength is the same as Pernell Whitaker’s: he is even better at making the other guy look bad. It’s the same principle that was applied when puffed-up middleweight Roy Jones Jr. schooled WBA heavyweight champ John Ruiz. Canelo Alvarez is a rising star, but he hasn’t attained his career apex yet. There’s enough remaining of the best of Floyd to come away with another points victory. — Bernard Fernandez, TheSweetScience.com

I’m picking Mayweather by decision. He’s getting older and Canelo is young and can punch, but Mayweather still has some great tools and his experience adjusting to fighters’ styles will make a difference. I also have some doubts about the weight. Canelo might make it down, but that could take a lot out of him. And if he puts on 15 pounds overnight, he could be a little sluggish. — Rick Folstad, TheSweetScience.com

23-year-old Alvarez has incredible work ethic and the soul of a warrior, but I think Mayweather Jr. will be too fast and elusive. And let’s not forget the experience factor. Mayweather easily defeated some of the best in the business. Corrales, Cotto, Marquez and Hatton couldn’t topple Mayweather, and I don’t see Alvarez solving the Mayweather puzzle. I’m going with Mayweather via unanimous decision. — Ralph Gonzalez, TheSweetScience.com

While a Canelo win via stoppage would not come close to shocking me (his power is real, Floyd’s legs have slowed down considerably), I can see Floyd having his way with the youngster. He’ll have to move more than he did against Robert Guerrero, but I think he’ll land at will while constantly setting traps that Canelo doesn’t recognize. Floyd by UD 12, but not without some drama as Alvarez hurts him a few times throughout the fight. — Blake Hochberger, TheSweetScience.com

Mayweather is always the boss; it is his promotion, he gets the attention, money and has an aura of superstardom. These factors seem to convince opponents that they are inferior and can’t win. Miguel Cotto was one of the few who rose to the occasion, but I don’t think Canelo has the skills or resolve to improve on Cotto’s performance. Mayweather by clear decision in a man versus boy affair. — Ronan Keenan, TheSweetScience.com

The only way Canelo can win is if he can turn the bout into a street fight. It’s his only option. He can’t win by waiting and reacting or boxing, he must make Mayweather do what he doesn’t want to. I don’t think he’s capable (he’s not the puncher he’s been built up to be), and I’m not convinced that Alvarez won’t be compromised by having to weigh-in at 152 or less. And if Floyd wins this one, it’s a given he’ll retire undefeated and will be forgotten soon thereafter. Mayweather by UD. — Frank Lotierzo, TheSweetScience.com

Canelo can only win with a lucky punch, an Antonio Tarver/Roy Jones style knockout punch. A punch that Mayweather’s body doesn’t react to very well, even though he has taken similar shots thousands of times. I think Floyd does what he always does, but this time it will be in front of a hostile crowd. Mayweather wins by decision. –Ray Markarian, TheSweetScience.com

Mayweather has been the best in the business for a long time, but how much longer can he keep it up? Canelo is bigger, stronger and almost just as fast. I like Canelo in an upset by close decision. As the fight goes into the later rounds, the 23-year-old’s punches will simply be too heavy for the now 36-year-old Floyd Mayweather. — Kelsey McCarson, TheSweetScience.com

Mayweather by decision: Alvarez is young, strong, and hungry, but I don’t think that’s enough to overcome the hand speed and defensive skill of Mayweather. Canelo has the theoretical puncher’s chance, and there’s also the possibility of him being awarded a decision he doesn’t deserve, but more likely, I think Mayweather outboxes him and frustrates him as he has so many other opponents, pulling away from the middle rounds on for a decision win. — Eric Raskin, TheSweetScience.com

I’m not brave enough to go against the Money. Floyd is a master. Is he an all-time great, near the skill level of Sugar Ray Robinson? I don’t have a time machine and a promotional license, so really, who the hell knows? But I do know this…I think Canelo graduated to being an A minus fighter against Austin Trout. But I’d be more inclined to say he’s going to win more than three rounds on Sept. 14 if I didn’t see him fight so many sub-stellar rounds against Shane Mosley, Ryan Rhodes, Matt Hatton…I think Floyd’s movement will be so key, keep him away from the only danger zone of Canelo’s right hand. Floyd, comfy UD 12. — Michel Woods, TheSweetScience.com

Haven’t seen Mayweather live since ’08 and I’ve never seen Canelo, so this long distance call is based solely on prior Vegas handicapping trends. On paper it’s all Money. Alvarez hasn’t really even earned Ricky Hatton status, let alone De la Hoya territory, so I see Floyd as at least a 2 – 1 favorite. Still, (from close ringside) I thought Castillo deserved the nod in the first fight vs. Mayweather and Oscar (from far grandstands) earned at least a draw, so if Canelo is as strong as many think and maintains pressure, we could have a wild night. I doubt that. Mayweather takes the boy to old school. Floyd by TKO on accumulated damage. — Phil Woolever, TheSweetScience.com

While Mayweather may be a slowing bit, he has busted the myths of countless fighters who had much more power than him. At 36, he may not make Alvarez look foolish, but he can still manage him for 12 rounds. Mayweather by decision. — Aaron Tallent, TheSweetScience.com

 

OTHER MEDIA MEMBERS TAKE FLOYD 18-4

I think Canelo will win some rounds early, starting the fight aggressively as Mayweather carefully surveys his opponent. But as the fight progresses, Mayweather will use his legs and potshot to establish control of the fight. His movement and accuracy will keep Alvarez from having any sustained success in the later rounds. I think Mayweather wins 116-112. — Adam Abramowitz, Saturdaynightboxing.com

Canelo by split decision. If there is any Mexican fighter out there with the style to beat Floyd Mayweather that is Canelo Alvarez. He is strong, quick of hands, and is not your typical pressure fighter; he is a patient and smart boxer. By his employment of feints and his hard right, Canelo can take the fight to the bag as long as he varies his attack as he did with Trout. By taking Floyd out of his comfort zone, luring him to attack, Alvarez can counter Floyd and hurt him. Expect a controversial decision. — Eduardo Badillo, BoxPlatino.com

Canelo has two rounds to level Mayweather with a right hand, and boxing’s current landscape with him. After that, Mayweather will have him solved, and The One will deteriorate into The 45th. Mayweather will win by a split decision, divided between two accurate scorecards and a third filled-in during the flight from Mexico City. — Bart Barry, 15Rounds.com

Floyd “Money” Mayweather is 36 years old and expected to come into the ring around 150 lbs. On the other hand, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez may outweigh Mayweather by 15-20 lbs and is additionally 13 years younger. Obviously, Alvarez clearly has a major physical advantage, but will he know how to use it? And even if he knows the right thing to do, will he be able to do it? My guess: probably not…Unless Canelo can somehow discover the stamina to consistently work on the inside (mainly with hooks as Mayweather doesn’t lean in for the uppercut) or stay busy from long range (mainly utilizing lots of jabs) it’s going to be an easy fight for Money May. Personally I’m of the opinion that Alvarez does try to out box Mayweather from long range, but not with activity. I get the feeling the young man actually thinks he can fight at a modest pace and beat Mayweather with timing and subtle technique…Among previously listed attributes that Canelo lacks, he additionally doesn’t have the height, reach, reflexes or experience to win the kind of fight I’m envisioning…Mayweather by UD. — Ryan Bivins, Bad Left Hook

Mayweather’s advantages in speed, technique and experience — even at 36 — are just too potent against a fighter as green as Alvarez to solicit a prediction other than a victory by unanimous decision. But that doesn’t mean the fight will be a snoozer, as Canelo’s size, power and underrated ring intelligence will present enough resistance to create drama. Alvarez might go as far as scoring a flash knockdown, but in the end the brilliance of Mayweather’s mid-fight adjustments will be the storyline. — Brian Campbell, ESPN.com

I’m a Canelo believer, but I think this fight has come too soon in his development into a complete fighter. Though Alvarez has some heavy hands, he also has a bad habit of not letting them go often enough, and I expect that to play right into Floyd’s strengths. Mayweather will take this via comfortable decision, with Canelo looking bewildered by the eighth round. — Scott Christ, BadLeftHook.com

Mayweather by UD. The deck is stacked against Saul Alvarez in a number of different ways, and perhaps the only area where Canelo might have an advantage is size — hedged a bit by Floyd by way of catchweight. If Floyd Mayweather were more chinny, that might be an opening for Canelo to make up ground, but Floyd has shown that he can take a punch just fine when his excellent defense fails him. At the end of the day, Floyd Mayweather is a much better fighter with more high end experience, and much of Alvarez’ hope seems to hinge on the idea that Floyd might get old, and soon. — Patrick Connor, Queensberry-Rules.com

Canelo has size and age advantages and is capable of providing a challenge, and maybe even a scare or two. But if Floyd is still Floyd, I think the fight will be typical Mayweather fare. Floyd will make the necessary adjustments and win the decision. — John DiSanto, PhillyBoxingHistory.com

If you believe the marketing, you feel that Floyd Mayweather is aging, slowing down, and will be undersized when he steps into the ring against Canelo Alvarez, who is younger, larger and in his prime. Don’t believe the marketing. Mayweather remains faster, smarter and just plain better than Alvarez. Mayweather will either break Alvarez down for a late stoppage or score a decision victory in which wishful viewers grade Alvarez on a curve rather than on his actual performance. –David Greisman, BoxingScene.com

On paper, I don’t see how anyone could pick against Mayweather. He has all of the tactical, technical advantages over Alvarez to suggest a decisive victory. As for Canelo, it’s still debatable whether, physically, he’s a special fighter. But, mentally, the kid is cast iron tough and laser beam focused. That, alone, makes him dangerous — at least in terms of being able to execute a coherent game plan and not fall into a state of quiet resignation, like most Mayweather opponents do. Mayweather will have to be a bit more aggressive than is normally the case, but the logical prediction is Floyd via unanimous decision in the vicinity of 116-112 or 117-111.—Paul Magno, TheBoxingTribune.com

I am making a sizable wager on Carrot Top (btw, I gave him the nickname) to do the unthinkable, meaning topple Money May. I will be rich as soon as I get out of the mental institution. Seriously, I know it goes the 12-round limit. Canelo takes a split, controversial decision. Rematch looms even larger. – Michael Marley, Examiner.com

I am picking Mayweather by a unanimous decision. In order to be able to beat Mayweather you have to be able to cut off the ring on him. I don’t think Alvarez can do that. Also, he telegraphs that big right hand of his and Mayweather will see that one coming a mile away and tattoo him with his vaunted counter right. Also, you can’t be predictable and beat Floyd and much as I respect Canelo I think it will be relatively easy for Mayweather to figure him out and anticipate his punches and anticipation is everything with Mayweather. Mayweather will not take any chances with him — so don’t expect him to go for the KO if he is way ahead. –Gordon Marino, The Wall St. Journal

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” School’s in, kid. (Mayweather wins.) — Matt McGrain, Boxing.com

Canelo is going to test Mayweather for the early part of this fight. His size and power will see to that. But the young gun doesn’t have a big engine on a good day, let alone when he’s weight-drained by an extra two pounds. Mayweather will gradually take over, snap Canelo’s neck with his vaunted right hand and leave the Mexican with a coat of paint to match his hair. – Alex McClintock, Queensberry-Rules.com

Canelo is definitely the biggest, strongest and most physically imposing opponent of Mayweather’s long career, but there is nobody better than Floyd at finding a weakness and exploiting it. I expect the first-half of the fight to be close, and there to be some possibly dicey moments for Mayweather in the early rounds. But, as always, Floyd will figure out his man in the second half of the fight, and he’ll dominate a fading Canelo to win a unanimous decision. — Kevin McRae, BleacherReport.com

Mayweather will beat Canelo the way he beats everyone else. It will start off exciting, but the thrill will subside after five rounds with Mayweather pot-shotting Canelo at will en route to winning a unanimous decision. Canelo, like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., won’t lose any luster with the defeat. He will come back and beat all but the best. Mayweather is much too fundamentally skilled, mature and well trained for Canelo, who is made to order for him. Mayweather W 12. — Bob Mladinich, Boxing.com

Canelo TKO 11. Canelo has proven that he can play up to the moment, which tells me that on the biggest stage of his career we’ll see the outright best version of Canelo. The same can’t be said for Floyd, whose decline is much more apparent when his opposition is throwing back. Canelo is capable of earning a stoppage in the championship rounds by just being the cunningly aggressive, athletically charged Mexican fighter that he is. — Mario Mungia, ThaBoxingVoice.come

Youth versus experience. Tactics versus courage. Speed versus power; the list goes on. Canelo Alvarez will neutralize Floyd’s tactics and attack him to the body. The Mexican independence chant will be heard loud and proud after a close, unanimous decision. Luis Ortiz, HooksandHoops.com

Canelo will be competitive early, even if he doesn’t win the rounds. Mayweather adapts around the fourth, and controls the center of the ring for the rest of the fight. Mayweather by decision. — Matt Paras, Maxboxing.com

Let’s keep this simple because it is simple. Mayweather is faster, more experienced, and frankly better in every facet of boxing than Alvarez. The size advantage means nothing if you have no prayer of landing a meaningful shot against the defensive wizard Mayweather (not to mention even if Alvarez lands one lucky bomb Mayweather has shown he is no soft touch on the chin and can handle it as he did against Mosley). Floyd will box circles around Alvarez and uncharacteristic of his typical nature pounce on the demoralized and bruised Alvarez late in the fight for an 11th round stoppage. Enjoy the hype for this one, because the action will be all one-sided once the bell rings. — Gary Purfield, PhillyBoxingHistory.com

Everything I know about the history of fighting screams at me to pick Canelo. In many ways, it seems 36-year-old fighters were put on this Earth expressly for 23-year-old rising stars to feast upon. But Floyd Mayweather is different. He’s shown no signs of age or wear and I expect him to waltz to a lopsided decision. — Jonathan Snowden, BleacherReport.com

Mayweather is in for his sternest test since Jose Luis Castillo, which does not mean the fight will be competitive. Alvarez lacks the gas to pressure for twelve rounds, and the pedigree to outbox the best boxer on the planet; whatever wrinkles he introduces will be parsed by Mayweather, who has seen it all, in all its variations. Size, youth, and Mayweather’s patience might allow Alvarez to bank a few early rounds, but once Mayweather assesses the threat before him, he will neutralize it. Expect a closer fight on the cards than in the ring. Mayweather by UD. — Jimmy Tobin, TheCruelestSport.com

I had the chance to visit both Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez in their recent media workouts. Both looked solid, and in impeccable shape, but there was a clear supremacy. While Canelo is undeniably powerful – appearing fast, strong, and unfatigued – there is something about Floyd Mayweather that is overwhelming. Watching him up close at work is like nothing else. His confident mindset and tremendous skill seem unshakable. The only trouble I foresee is if Floyd is too concentrated on going for the knockout, as he has said he wants this time. If the ring was reduced to a 5′ x 5′, I might favor Canelo, but in the standard squared circle, Floyd Mayweather is at home. I don’t see a straight KO, and I think Canelo can escape the TKO, but on Saturday Floyd will prove once again that there is no fighter smarter than him. Mayweather (probably) by UD. — Stephanie Trapp, Trappfotos

FAN EXPERTS LIKE MAYWEATHER 5-3

Mayweather wins this one. His superb defense, his footwork, and his hand speed, will be too much for Canelo. — Eddie Cahill, Actor, @EddiePCahill

Canelo by UD. Canelo will put on relentless pressure and Mayweather will break his fists early trying to keep the bigger man at a distance. — Juan Francisco Garza, Medical Doctor, @JGarza6804

Mayweather by decision. Canelo will try to outbox Floyd and lose decisively. — Peter James Gonzalez, Undergraduate Student, @History_Pete

Floyd has finally agreed to fight a quality opponent who is in his prime. This mistake will take the 0 off his loss column. Alvarez will come out early landing shots and generally making Floyd look his age. As the fight continues, Floyd will begin to fight desperately and take a chance that gets him knocked out late. Canelo by KO in the 10th. — Matt Higginbotham, Baptist Minister, @MaHigginbotham

I think Canelo has some early success, even shakes Mayweather up, and maybe even scores a knockdown early. However, Mayweather will adjust and come back to put on another great boxing performance, picking his shots and landing combinations as Canelo tires down the stretch. The final is a UD win for Mayweather, who takes 8 out of 12 rounds. — Jimmy Lujan, Financial Consultant, @JL_N_LL

Saturday night will be a one-sided win. The question is: for who? Mayweather comes to the ring and shows us all nothing has changed—he’s fast, smart and hasn’t lost a step on defense. Canelo comes to the ring and shows us he’s the real thing—he’s fast, he’s strong, but most importantly he’s adept at adapting. I hate making predictions, but for The One I’ll do anything—Canelo by wide UD. Rachel McCarson, Amateur Boxing Photographer and Awesome Wife, @Rmac81

Canelo may have an edge in weight on fight night, but the advantage in height, length and strength could easily go to Floyd. Add in the fact that Canelo is only 23, just now learning to fight, and was actually an opponent built up by Floyd by way of having him on his undercards, and I see an easy UD or possibly a 9-10 round stoppage for Floyd. –Hadeer Zbar, Mortgage Banker, @HadeerZ

Canelo has all the tools to defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr. From reading articles, his strategy on how to defeat Jr. is the right one. The one concern is stamina. Does he fight with the same energy all 12 rounds, if needed? “The One” for me is Mayweather. But who knows how I feel on Sept. 14? — Mark, Undisclosed, @ThisIsNotMark

CHAMPS AND CONTENDERS TAKE MAYWEATHER 5-1

This is Canelo’s fight to lose. Mayweather has speed, Canelo has speed; Canelo has power, Mayweather has power if you follow him. Canelo has youth, Mayweather has none. Experience is good; punching power is better. Split decision for Canelo. – George Foreman, Former Heavyweight Champion

I think Mayweather’s skills, speed and intelligence will allow him to win. Canelo is strong and young, and he can win if he uses his strength, but I see Mayweather being smarter and winning a decision. – Mikey Garcia, Featherweight

Mayweather is a master of positioning in the ring–he has the smarts and skills to take his opponents’ strengths away, and he trains for the strength and finesse needed to consistently “check-mate” his opponents for 36 minutes (if they last that long). Canelo has brought a different game in every fight and has shown the ability to make his previous opponents uncomfortable in the ring. It’s about “who” shows up when that bell rings in front of the thousands in the arena, LIVE in front of millions worldwide. Whoever is the most physically AND mentally prepared will win, and I question if Canelo can handle a skillful Mayweather who is not afraid and will make Canelo fight for every opportunity in the allotted 36 minutes. I’ll take Mayweather. — Ana Julaton, Super Bantamweight

I like Floyd Mayweather by twelve-round unanimous decision. — Erislandy Lara, Junior Middleweight

I pick Mayweather. If this fight happened a year from now then maybe Alvarez but right now I still think Floyd has enough to beat him. – Andy Lee, Middleweight

I do believe because of politics, and Floyd’s style, it will be a majority split decision for Floyd. He is a very smart counter puncher, and a cleaned up version of Bernard Hopkins when it comes to the “hit and not get hit concept.” BUT I’d like to see how Floyd handles Canelo’s strength and power. I can see a surprise KO. – Kaleisha West, Bantamweight

BOXING BUSINESS FOLK PICK MAYWEATHER 5-1

Mayweather wins. Floyd is one of the greatest counterpunchers in boxing history and an all time great. — Lou DiBella, Promoter, DiBella Promotions

Mayweather by UD. The only real doubts for me are if Mayweather suddenly gets old and the abnormally short (for FMJ) time between this fight and the Guerrero fight. Activity is good for a young fighter; it may not be good for a vet in his late 30s that is accustomed to time off. — Nicole Duva, Promoter, Main Events

Until proven otherwise, Mayweather reigns supreme. You can do all the statistical analysis you want but he stands head and shoulders above all, and I expect nothing less next Saturday. — Ron Katz, Matchmaker, Star Boxing

I am going with Canelo. I think his youth and power will give him that chance to win this fight, plus Mayweather is getting old and isn’t as fast at higher weight. Don’t get me wrong, Mayweather is fast, but I think weight and age will slow him down a little and Canelo will capitalize. – Jolene Mizzone, Matchmaker, Main Events

Size means little to me; it is overrated unless you have a flyweight facing a heavyweight. Like him or not, Mayweather is the finest fighter of his generation. Whether or not he wakes on the wrong side of the bed one day is something we cannot know ahead of time. Put it this way: The best Mayweather beats the best Canelo, Russel Peltz, Promoter, Peltz Boxing

The Canelo-Mayweather fight truly only has one outcome: confusion. Canelo’s straight forward and predictable style will be easy for Floyd Mayweather to pick apart, that Canelo will be confused by round 4. Floyd wins by unanimous confusion (decision). –Michelle Rosado, Promoter, Raging Babe

FINAL TALLY: EXPERTS CHOOSE MAYWEATHER OVER CANELO 46 – 10.

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Conor McGregor vs. Pac-Man: The Circus is Back in Town

Arne K. Lang

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Conor-McGregor-vs-Pac-Man-The-Circus-is-Back-in-Town

MMA superstar Conor McGregor stole some of the thunder from a busy Saturday in boxing with his announcement that his next fight would come against Manny Pacquaio. “boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East,” McGregor tweeted on Friday, Sept. 25.

Jayke Johnson, a representative of Pacquiao, confirmed that there have been preliminary talks. Johnson hinted that this would be Pacquiao’s final fight and said that Senator Manny would be donating a large chunk of his purse to COVID-19 relief in the Philippines. The situation is bad there. As of Sept. 22, there were 291,789 confirmed infections in a population of approximately 109 million. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that travelers postpone all travel to the Philippines, including essential travel.

The best guess is that the fight will take place early next year. Pacquiao is unlikely to leave his homeland until the pandemic has abated there.

Pac-Man, who turns 42 in December, last fought in July of 2019 when he further cemented his great legacy with a 12-round decision over previously undefeated Keith Thurman. McGregor, 32, last fought in January of this year. His fight with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone was over in 40 seconds. Cerrone left the ring with a fractured nose and orbital bone.

In June, McGregor announced his retirement, but few people gave it any credibility. McGregor was just making noise which he is very good at. But like him or loathe him, the fellow is certainly adept at selling his brand. In the world of combat sports, the Dubliner is Mr. Charisma.

In 2019, McGregor was reportedly the 4th wealthiest sports personality in the world, trailing only Mayweather, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo. And his bank balance was growing in leaps and bounds because the whiskey he was promoting was flying off the shelf. Proper No. 12, a three-year-old blended Irish whiskey bottled at Ireland’s oldest distillery, was launched in September of 2018 and reportedly attracted $1 billion in sales in its very first year. (The “12” refers to the postal code of the neighborhood where McGregor grew up.)

McGregor started the company; he wasn’t merely the spokesperson. The parent company of Tequila maker Cuervo recently upped their stake in Proper No. 12 to 49 percent. Without a punch or a kick, McGregor made a big score.

(By the way, the popularity of Conor McGregor’s libation isn’t matched by the reviews. A bottle was sent complimentary to a business magazine in London with instructions to pass it around the office. No one liked it. “It smelled like ethanol and tasted only marginally better,” said one imbiber.)

McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in June of 2017 attracted a whopping 4.3 million pay-per-view buys. The match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas drew 13,094 paid and a live gate of $55.4 million, the second highest in Nevada history (albeit well short of the $72 million gate generated by Mayweather vs Pacquiao in 2015).

McGregor plainly won the first round in that fight and won the first three rounds in the eyes of many observers. But by the ninth round the Irishman was clearly fatigued and Mayweather stopped him in the 10th.

Many people, including this reporter, believe that there was a gentleman’s agreement in place whereby Mayweather agreed to fight the first few rounds under wraps to give the paying fans more bang for their buck. In a recent tweet, McGregor said that he was disgusted with himself for not following up his early advantage and that, if he could go back and do it over, he would give Floyd a good kick in the neck because getting disqualified wouldn’t have stung as bad as getting TKOed.

The preamble to the McGregor-Mayweather fandango was a four-city promotional tour that began in Los Angeles and coursed through Toronto and New York before concluding in London. At each stop, the public was invited to come and witness the fighters’ vent their mutual enmity and the circus was live-streamed on several social media platforms.

Each session was marked by an orgy of F-bombs. Veteran boxing writer Bernard Fernandez, after tuning-in to the Toronto segment, articulated the feelings of many as he voiced his disgust: “(The show) defiled whatever remained of the nobility of combat sports, and in a broader sense the fabric of civilized society.”

If there is a promotional tour for McGregor-Pacquiao, it will take a different tack. Manny is deeply religious; he won’t play that game.

Historically, some fights for charity have been little more than exhibitions. A writer for an MMA site speculates that McGregor-Pacquiao may be contested under a modified rule set, whatever that means. Regardless, if this event comes off, it wouldn’t command my patronage if I were anything other than a boxing writer obliged to give it a look-see.

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Emerging Heavyweights: Three to Watch

Ted Sares

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Victor Faust (Viktor Vykhryst), a 6’6” 232-pound Ukrainian heavyweight (and long-time amateur) is a product of the great amateur program in the Ukraine–one that has produced the likes of the Klitschko brothers, Oleksandr Usyk, Vasily Lomachenko, and more recently Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

At first glance, his amateur record does not appear stellar, but a closer review indicates several SD’s or MD’s.

Earlier this month, on Sept. 20, he scored a frightening one punch KO when he fought the more experienced Gabriel Enguema (10-9) in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro. It was his third KO victory in three professional fights—all in 2020. The end came as a result of a Doctor Steelhammer-like perfect straight right to knock the Spaniard out cold. It brought back memories of Wladimir’s KO of Calvin Brock in 2006. Faust displayed skills, size, a solid chin, and power in dispatching his opponent.

“…Soon everyone will …see how skillful he is. He’s the complete package and will compete in massive fights sooner rather than later.” Erol Ceylan (Faust’s German promoter)

Oh yes, Faust beat Romanian Mihai Nistor in the amateurs and the talented Nistor in turn halted Anthony Joshua in the amateurs back in 2011. (Nistor also went 1-2 with Filip Hrgovic and lost to Tony Yoka in 2012.) Of course, one must be circumspect when using logic in boxing. Now that Nistor has turned pro, he will be worth following as his style is very much Tysonesque.

There are others who have—at a minimum– the same potential as Faust.

Tony Yoka

tony

Hard-hitting Frenchman 6’7” Tony Yoka (8-0) has beaten far better opposition than Faust and has a far better amateur record. In fact, he beat Filip Hrgovic and Joe Joyce in the 2016 Rio Games on the way to a Gold Medal. Recently, he dismantled veteran and fellow Frenchman Johan Duhaupas, a fringe contender with some notable notches on his belt. The end came in the first round by virtue of a crunching right uppercut.

Yoka perhaps could be slotted above Faust at this point.; he just might be the best of the new guys on the block. However, there are some dicey anti-doping issues that have tainted his reputation, though they do seem to be mostly resolved at this point.

Arslanbek Makhmudov

Arslanbek

This Russian “Lion,” 6’5 ½”, 260 pounds with an imposing muscular frame, is still another hungry prospect ready to break into the next tier. Nicknamed the “Lion,” — he also has been called “Predator” and “Beast — he is 10-0 (10 KOs).

He now lives and fights out of Montreal. The holder of two regional titles, he stopped a shot Samuel Peter in one round this past December.

“I’m confident that with my team, Eye of the Tiger Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, I will reach my goal of becoming heavyweight champion of the world,” —Makhmudov.

This all said, The Lion needs some work on his technical skills as size can only go so far.

Makhmudov’s next opponent is Canadian heavyweight Dillon “Big Country” Carman (14-5) whose claim to fame is that he KOd comebacking Donovan Ruddock in 2015 in Toronto. This one will end differently for “Big Country.”

Others

Arguably, classy Americans Stephan Shaw (13-0), and Jared Anderson (6-0 with four KOs in the first round) could be added to the above. Filip Hrgovic and Efe Ajagba, both 6’6”, have already moved up.

A good yardstick is 6’5” American Jonathan Rice who lost a 10-round bout to Ajagba, was TKO’d in the seventh round Makhmudov, lost a 6-round decision to Tony Yoka, and a lost 6-round decision to Shaw.

Have I missed any?

Ted Sares can be reached at tedsares@roadrunner.com of on Facebook.

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Jermell Charlo Unifies Super Welterweights Via Solar Plexus Punch

David A. Avila

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Jermell-Charlo-Unifies-Super-Welterweights-Via-Solar-Plexus-Punch

WBC super welterweight titlist Jermell Charlo knocked out IBF and WBA titlist Jeison Rosario with a knockout punch delivered to the solar plexus on Saturday to add two more belts to his collection.

“I’m definitely bringing home the straps,” said Charlo.

Shades of Bob Fitzsimmons.

Back in 1897, Fitzsimmons used the same solar plexus punch to dethrone Gentleman James Corbett for the heavyweight title in Carson City, Nevada.

In another casino city Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) floored Dominican Republic’s Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs) three times at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. He and his brother co-headlined a heavy duty pay-per-view card with no fans in attendance on the Premier Boxing Champions card.

Charlo jumped on Rosario quickly in the first round when he charged and clipped him with a left hook to the temple. Down went the two-belt champion for the count. But he got up seemingly unfazed.

For the next several rounds Rosario was the aggressor and put the pressure on Charlo who was content to allow the Dominican to fire away. Occasionally the Houston fighter jabbed but allowed Rosario to pound up and down with both fists.

After allowing Rosario to get comfortable with his attack, suddenly Charlo stopped moving and connected with a short crisp counter left hook and right cross in the sixth round. Down went Rosario again and he got up before the count of 10.

Charlo said it was part of the game plan.

“I’m growing and I realize that the knockout will just come,” he said.

Charlo was in control with a patient style and allowed Rosario to come forward. But the Dominican was more cautious in the seventh.

In the eighth round Charlo jabbed to the head and then jabbed hard to Rosario’s stomach. The Dominican fighter dropped down on his seat as if felled by a gun shot. He could not get up and convulsed while on the floor. The referee Harvey Dock counted him out at 21 seconds of round eight.

“That jab that got to him must have landed in a vital point,” said Charlo after the fight. “I hope he recovers and bounces back.”

Charlo now has three of the four major super welterweight world titles.

WBC Super Bantamweight Title

Luis Nery (31-0, 24 KOs) captured the WBC super bantamweight title by unanimous decision over fellow Mexican Aaron Alameda (25-1, 13 KOs) in a battle between southpaws. The war between border town fighters was intense.

Nery, a former bantamweight world titlist, moved up a weight division and found Alameda to be a slick southpaw with an outstanding jab. At first the Tijuana fighter was a little puzzled how to attack but found his groove in the fourth round.

But Alameda, who fights out of Nogales, Mexico, began using combinations and finding success.  A crafty counter left uppercut caught Nery charging in a few times, but he managed to walk through them.

In the final two rounds Nery picked up the action and increased the pressure against the slick fighting Alameda, He forced the Nogales fighter to fight defensively and that proved enough to give the last two rounds for Nery and the victory by unanimous decision. The scores were 115-113, 116-112 and 118-110 for Nery who now holds the WBC super bantamweight world title. He formerly held the WBC bantamweight title.

Roman Wins

Danny “Baby-Faced Assassin” Roman (28-3-1, 10 KOs) managed to rally from behind and defeat Juan Carlos Payano (21-4, 9 KOs) in a battle between former world champions in a nontitle super bantamweight clash. It wasn’t easy.

Once again Roman fought a talented southpaw and in this fight Payano, a former bantamweight titlist, moved up in weight and kept Roman off balance for the first half of the fight. The jab and movement by the Dominican fighter seemed to keep Roman out of sync.

Roman, who fights out of Los Angeles, used a constant body attack to wear down the 35-year-old Payano and it paid off in the second half. Then the former unified world champion Roman began to pinpoint more blows to the body and head. With seconds left in the 12th and final round, a left hook delivered Payano down and through the ropes. Sadly, the referee missed the knockdown. It didn’t matter as all three judges scored it identical at 116-112 for Roman after 12 rounds.

“I made some adjustments and picked up the pace and got the win,” said Roman who formerly held the WBA and IBF super bantamweight world titles.

Photo credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME

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