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Here’s My Position On The Mayweather Poll

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From what I know, Floyd Mayweather does not answer to anyone. Floyd does not answer to his business partners, to Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank, Golden Boy, or Showtime.

Floyd Mayweather is his own boss. Remember?

Since when did Floyd Mayweather need a poll from the fans to tell him what to do? Maybe the 37 year-old had an overnight change of heart. Maybe he doesn’t care about the money he will generate by accepting a fight with Amir Khan, which most of the boxing world has already expected to happen since November.)

Say what you will about Amir Khan. Love him or hate him. Say he deserves a shot at King Floyd or say he has no chance. But one thing is for sure, Amir Khan is an international boxing star, make no mistake about it.

Maybe Khan is not the biggest star in the United States. Maybe he’ll lose to Mayweather in a one-sided fight. I don’t know what will happen. Khan has lost fights. And he has speed, foot work, and natural skill that is extremely effective. We’ve seen him outbox some of the world’s best fighters. Freddie Roach claims that Khan beats Mayweather.

We can go back and forth about the outcome of Mayweather/Khan or Mayweather/Maidana all day. That is the beauty of boxing. And no disrespect to Marcos Maidana or his fans–he is one of my favorite fighters–but no one was calling for a Mayweather/Maidana fight until Maidana beat Adrien Broner. And Maidana and Broner combined do not have more fans than Khan.

Floyd knows Khan’s impact. And boxing is a business. We are in the fight business, my friends, the fight business. Fans choice has little to do with the boxing decisions made to benefit the boxing business. If our opinions made a difference to Mayweather, the businessman, he would have fought Manny Pacquiao ten times by now.

Most intriguingly for Mayweather is that Khan is the most popular fighter in the UK. Khan is probably “known” more than Mayweather in other parts of the world outside of the US. Imagine an international press tour that sends Mayweather/Khan to Pakistan, England, Dubai and other exotic countries. Khan has that kind of universal pull from the public. Just follow Khan’s Instagram or Twitter accounts to see where he goes.

Are we supposed to expect Floyd to take a Maidana fight because hardcore fight fans submit a vote on a public poll? That’s a risky financial choice for Mayweather, who likes to gamble his money on football, not boxing.

Boxing needs anything that allows mainstream sports fans to interact. Look, I get it. And Mayweather is a marketing genius. OK. Just don’t treat me like a fool.

On Super Bowl Sunday Floyd Mayweather announced that he will have the fans decide his next opponent. Mayweather created a poll on his website, Mayweatherpromotions.com, to allow fans to vote their choice between Khan and Maidana. On February 5th Fightnews.com reported that Marcos Maidana was winning the poll by a wide margin. The website said Maidana was winning 79% of the vote. On February 6th, Yahoo Sports reported that Maidana only had 51% of the votes. The website has roughly 20,000 votes as of this writing, and an overnight change of nearly 30% sounds a little strange. So I did some independent research on the poll and looked to see how it benefits Floyd Mayweather outside of boxing. The poll is generated by Lockerdome.com. Their slogan is “Collect Anything.” Before a voter submits a pick on Mayweather’s website they must sign into their Facebook or Twitter account and authorize Lockerdome.com to update their personal profile, post tweets, and see who they follow and who follows them. Mayweather and Lockerdome.com will have access to every users’ likes and dislikes. Facebook does the same thing. When you “Like” something on Facebook they know to target you. If you are a football fan and have liked your favorite team’s fan page don’t be surprised to see ads that target your interests.

This is the future of marketing. By doing this future opponent poll, Floyd is building a database of super fans. Now he can create content and merchandising for engaged followers because he knows their interests and curiosities. It’s genius. It’s smart business. Floyd is changing the game once again. But I’m not falling for it. Don’t waste my time. I have enough of my personal information on the Internet.

You can email Ray Markarian on Twitter @raymarkarian or email him at Raymond.Markarian@yahoo.com

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Canelo-Charlo Gets All the Ink, but Don’t Overlook the Compelling Match-up of Gassiev-Wallin in Turkey

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Canelo-Charlo Gets All the Ink, but Don’t Overlook the Compelling Match-up of Gassiev-Wallin in Turkey

The eyes of the boxing world will be on Las Vegas this Saturday where Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez risks his four super middleweight title belts against unified 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo. Earlier that day at a luxury resort hotel in the city of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, there’s a heavyweight match sitting under the radar that may prove to be the better fight. It’s an intriguing match-up between former world cruiserweight title-holder Murat Gassiev and Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin, a bout with significant ramifications for boxing’s glamour division.

Gassiev (30-1, 23 KOs) and Wallin (25-1, 14 KOs) have only one loss, but those setbacks came against the top dogs in the division. Gassiev was out-boxed by Oleksandr Usyk back in the days when both were cruiserweights. Wallin gave Tyson Fury a world of trouble before losing a unanimous decision.

Since those fights, both have been treading water.

Gassiev

Gassiev was inactive for 27 months after his match with Usyk while dealing with legal issues and an injury to his left shoulder. He is 4-0 (4 KOs) since returning to the ring while answering the bell for only eight rounds. The only recognizable name among those four victims is German gatekeeper Michael Wallisch. After stopping Wallisch, Gassiev was out of action for another 13 months while reportedly dealing with an arm injury.

A first-round knockout of Carlouse Welch, an obscure 40-something boxer from the U.S. state of Georgia on Aug. 26, 2022, in Belgrade, Serbia, was promoted as a title fight. The sanctioning body was the Eurasian Boxing Parliament (insert your own punchline here). Gassiev followed that up with a second-round knockout of former NFL linebacker Mike Balogun who came in undefeated and was seemingly a legitimate threat to him.

Although he has yet to fight a ranked opponent since leaving the cruiserweight division, Gassiev — a former stablemate of Gennady Golovkin who has been living in Big Bear, California, training under Abel Sanchez – is one of the most respected fighters in the division because he has one-punch knockout power as Balogun and others can well attest. The rub against the Russian-Armenian bruiser is that he is somewhat robotic.

Wallin

Otto Wallin, a 32-year-old southpaw from Sweden who trains in New York under former world lightweight champion Joey Gamache, fought Tyson Fury on Sept. 14, 2019 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. There was a general feeling that the Swede would be a stroll in the park for Fury, but to the contrary, he gave the Gypsy King a hard tussle while losing a unanimous decision.

Wallin is 5-0 since that night beginning with victories over Travis Kauffman (KO 5) and Dominic Breazeale (UD 12), but his last three opponents were softer than soft and all three lasted the distance. In order, Wallin won an 8-round decision over Kamil Sokolowski, who was 11-24-2 heading in, won a 10-round decision over ancient Rydell Booker, and won an 8-round decision over Helaman Olguin. His bout with Utah trial horse Olguin was at a banquet hall in Windham, New Hampshire.

It isn’t that Wallin has been avoiding the top names in the division; it’s the other way around. His promoter Dmitriy Salita reportedly came close to getting Wallin a match with Anthony Joshua whose team had second thoughts about sending Joshua in against another southpaw after back-to-back setbacks to Oleksandr Usyk.

Gassiev vs Wallin is a true crossroads fight. Both are in dire need of a win over a credible opponent. At last look, Gassiev, who figures to have the crowd in his corner, was a 3/1 favorite.

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Skavynskyi and Bustillos Win on a MarvNation Card in Long Beach

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Skavynskyi and Bustillos Win on a MarvNation Card in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Ca.-A cool autumn night saw welterweights and minimumweights share main events for a MarvNation fight card on Saturday.

Ukraine’s Eduard Skavynskyi (15-0, 7 KOs) experienced a tangled mess against the awkward Alejandro Frias (14-10-2) but won by decision after eight rounds in a welterweight contest at the indoor furnace called the Thunder Studios.

It was hot in there for the more than 600 people inside.

Skavynskyi probably never fought someone like Mexico’s Frias whose style was the opposite of the Ukrainian’s fundamentally sound one-two style. But round after round the rough edges became more familiar.

Neither fighter was ever damaged but all three judges saw Skavynskyi the winner by unanimous decision 79-73 on all three cards. The Ukrainian fighter trains in Ventura.

Bustillo Wins Rematch

Applerose2

In the female main event Las Vegas’ Yadira Bustillos (8-1) stepped into a rematch with Karen Lindenmuth (5-2) and immediately proved the lessons learned from their first encounter.

Bustillos connected solidly with an overhand right and staggered Lindenmuth but never came close to putting the pressure fighter down. Still, Bustillos kept turning the hard rushing Lindenmuth and snapping her head with overhand rights and check left hooks.

Lindenmuth usually overwhelms most opponents with a smothering attack that causes panic. But not against Bustillos who seemed quite comfortable all eight rounds in slipping blows and countering back.

After eight rounds all three judges scored the contest for Bustillos 78-74 and 80-72 twice. Body shots were especially effective for the Las Vegas fighter in the fifth round. Bustillos competes in the same division as IBF/WBO title-holder Yokasta Valle.

Other Bouts

In a middleweight clash, undefeated Victorville’s Andrew Buchanan (3-0-1) used effective combination punching to defeat Mexico’s Fredy Vargas (2-1-1) after six rounds. Two judges scored it 59-55 and a third 60-54 for Buchanan. No knockdowns were scored.

A super lightweight match saw Sergio Aldana win his pro debut by decision after four rounds versus Gerardo Fuentes (2-9-1).

Photos credit: Al Applerose

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Tedious Fights and a Controversial Draw Smudge the Matchroom Boxing Card in Orlando

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Matchroom Boxing was at the sprawling Royale Caribe Resort Hotel in Orlando, Florida tonight with a card that aired on DAZN. The main event was a ho-hum affair between super lightweights Richardson Hitchins and Jose Zepeda.

SoCal’s Zepeda has been in some wars in the past, notably his savage tussle with Ivan Baranchyk, but tonight he brought little to the table and was outclassed by the lanky Hitchins who won all 12 rounds on two of the cards and 11 rounds on the other.  There were no knockdowns, but Zepeda suffered a cut on his forehead in round seven that was deemed to be the product of an accidental head butt and another clash in round ten forced a respite in the action although Hitchins suffered no apparent damage.

It was the sort of fight where each round was pretty much a carbon of the round preceding it. Brooklyn’s Hitchins, who improved to 17-0 (7), was content to pepper Zepeda with his jab, and the 34-year-old SoCal southpaw, who brought a 37-3 record, was never able to penetrate his defense and land anything meaningful.

Hitchins signed with Floyd Mayweather Jr’s promotional outfit coming out of the amateur ranks and his style is reminiscent in ways of his former mentor. Like Mayweather, he loses very few rounds. In his precious engagement, he pitched a shutout over previously undefeated John Bauza.

Co-Feature

In the co-feature, Conor Benn returned to the ring after an absence of 17 months and won a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Rodolfo Orozco. It wasn’t a bad showing by Benn who showed decent boxing skills, but more was expected of him after his name had been bandied about so often in the media. Two of the judges had it 99-91 and the other 96-94.

Benn (22-0, 14 KOs) was a late addition to the card although one suspects that promoter Eddie Hearn purposely kept him under wraps until the week of the fight so as not to deflect the spotlight from the other matches on his show. Benn lost a lucrative date with Chris Eubank Jr when he was suspended by the BBBofC when evidence of a banned substance was found in his system and it’s understood that Hearn has designs on re-igniting the match-up with an eye on a date in December. For tonight’s fight, Benn carried a career-high 153 ½ pounds. Mexico’s Orozco, who was making his first appearance in a U.S. ring, declined to 32-4-3.

Other Bouts of Note

The welterweight title fight between WBA/WBC title-holder Jessica McCaskill (15-3-1) and WBO title-holder Sandy Ryan (6-1-1) ended in a draw and the ladies’ retain their respective titles. Ryan worked the body effectively and the general feeling was that she got a raw deal, a sentiment shared by the crowd which booed the decision. There was a switch of favorites in the betting with the late money seemingly all on the Englishwoman who at age 30 was the younger boxer by nine years.

The judges had it 96-94 Ryan, 96-95, and a vilified 97-93 for Chicago’s McCaskill.

In the opener of the main DAZN stream, Houston middleweight Austin “Ammo” Williams, 27, improved to 15-0 (10) with a 10-round unanimous decision over 39-year-old Toronto veteran Steve Rolls (22-3). All three judges had it 97-93. Rolls has been stopped only once, that by Gennady Golovkin.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom Boxing

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