Hi Doug. My thoughts from Saturday’s fights…
Keep up good work. — Naoki, Reno, Nev.
Thanks for emailing me with your thoughts, Naoki. I gave you top billing because of the Morris Day reference. Just be aware that 80-percent of the folks reading this mailbag have never heard of Day or The Time (not that I give a rat’s ass). I’ll respond to your points in order:
1. Broner didn’t make any new fans on Saturday. He’s too talented to stink it out against smaller, slower fighter like de Leon the way he did (I don’t care how much experience the former beltholder has), but he’s not so talented that African-American fans are going to support him if he elects to make a habit of playing it safe. In other words, the Cincy native should not try to emulate Mayweather’s style or ring attitude.
2. GBP didn’t “feed” de Leon to Broner. They offered him an HBO-televised fight against a bigger, faster, but unproven prospect and the veteran took it. The last time de Leon was on HBO he was pancaked in one round by JuanMa Lopez. His ticket back on the network was either a 21 year old in Broner or waiting until he became the mandatory challenger for WBO featherweight titleholder Lopez (who probably has his number) or IBF beltholder Yuriorkis Gamboa (who is every bit as fast and powerful as Broner, but more experienced and very willing to get in de Leon’s ass). De Leon wanted the HBO exposure and the nice pay day that comes with it. If you were managing him who would you put him in with? Lopez, Gamboa or Broner? I’d go with the punk kid. It wasn’t a horrible proposition from GBP or a terrible choice by Team de Leon. De Leon didn’t get the decision but he didn’t get badly hurt. In fact, de Leon has won sympathy points with a lot of hardcore fight fans who didn’t care about him prior to Saturday’s fight.
3. The Mexican fans, who were probably 11,500 of the 11,674 fans inside the Honda Center on Saturday, didn’t seem to want to root for him.
4. Alvarez was going to be the bigger, stronger, more powerful fighter whether he weighed in at 150 pounds or 151.4 (his final weight on Friday). Hatton knew that when he took the fight. It was unprofessional of Alvarez not to make the contracted weight, and he was rightfully fined for the infraction, but does anyone think the outcome of Saturday’s fight would have been different had the kid weighed in at 150 pounds? GBP is considering Trout for “Canelo” by the end of the year. I don’t think the young man is ready for the undefeated southpaw from New Mexico, but if he does, more power to him. I think Alvarez is ready for Martirosyan, which would be a good fight, definitely worthy of Showtime or HBO. I know Alvarez and GBP would do that fight. Will Bob Arum allow it? I think you know the answer. If GBP puts Canelo in with Cintron or Angulo at this stage of his career they should have their promoter license pulled. I don’t care how many fights he has. He’s freakin’ 20 years old. Those two contenders are grown-ass men with world-class power. Beyond the safety of a still-growing/developing fighter, there’s common sense. If you got a kid who can sell close to 12,000 tickets fighting anybody, you don’t feed him to the wolves just yet.
5. 96-94 either way works for me. 99-91? Not so much.
With all the running and not punching by Broner I thought Ponce took it 7 rounds to 3. What is that called what Broner did — effective retreating? Broner didn’t land enough for a win. That one judge has to be barred from ever judging again or needs new glasses. Lederman had the right call.
Five of us were watching, we couldn’t believe the decision. Thanks. — Harry B., Stratford, Conn.
The decision wasn’t out of line, in my opinion, just one of the official scorecards (Tony Crebs).
I scored it for Broner, but I had it like the other two judges, 96-94. I can totally see a draw or 96-94 (6 rounds to 4) for de Leon, too. I credit clean punching and ring generalship and I don’t credit sheer aggression and volume from a fighter unless his punches land and at least do a little damage (hence my scorecards that favored Sergio Mora over Shane Mosley, Andre Dirrell over Carl Froch, Gerry Penalosa over de Leon, and Bernard Hopkins over Jermain Taylor in recent years).
I scored rounds 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 for Broner. If you want to give one or two of the first three rounds to de Leon, I won’t be mad atcha.
SHOULD’VE WATCHED STRIKEFORCE
A guy two weight divisions up can’t take out Little Mac from England?
I was actually dying for Emanuel Stewart on the commentary just so I could hear him say, “These boys need to start knocking each other out.” Or in the case of Adrien Broner, “These boys need to start putting together combinations.”
Maybe boxing will be relegated to the Tivo, and MMA will go live. At least then I could see some people who aren’t afraid to lose, and came to fight — just like Ponce De Leon, who got jobbed for trying to do so. Regards. — Patrick
If you’re a real fan of both boxing and MMA, you should know a good matchup when you see one whether it takes place in the ring or the cage.
Alvarez-Hatton did not have “fight of the year” written on it and nobody said it did. If that’s what you were expecting, that’s on you, brotha.
And yeah, Tony Crebs’ scorecard sucked, but are you going to tell me that bad decisions don’t occur in MMA?
If you want to Tivo or DVR boxing and only watch MMA live that’s your choice. But I think that would have been a mistake on Feb. 26, and on Dec. 11, and on Dec. 4 (all recent dates in which a live boxing broadcast on Showtime, HBO or PPV and a Strikeforce or UFC show went head to head).
Just watched Canelo vs. Hatton and I can’t say that I’m as impressed with him as the HBO cheerleaders are. I respect the fan base he has built and also realize he is 20 and has plenty of room to grow, but he was fighting Matthew Hatton who lost before the fight even started. He’s too small with not enough power and did what he was suppose to do and lose. I think it’s pitiful and dangerous when GBP or HBO basically just feeds a guy like Hatton to someone who is physically that much bigger and better. I give Hatton credit for having a lot of heart because most guys would have quit.
Canelo needs to sharpen his defense or he’s going to get himself in big trouble. With all the shots he threw I was surprised that he didn’t KO Hatton and also question if his power is as strong as HBO would like you to believe because if it was that strong Hatton would have been out of there.
Canelo can have a solid career as long as he stays clear of the elite for a while until he matures. I’d highly favor Kirkland, Angulo, Cotto, Martinez over him. If I was GBP and wanted a big named fighter I’d go after Margarito. He’s burnt enough and Canelo should be able to exploit that. That won’t happen because of the GBP-Top Rank feud, but I believe that’s the best big name fight out there for him. I’d also say Yuri Foreman would be a good opponent, but again promoter feud. Not sure who Cornelius Bundrage is promoted by, but that can be a semi unification bout that’s winnable, but risky to a degree. Not sure what name fighters he goes after next or if he takes it easy and fights no hopers or has another guy come up in weight.
De Leon was definitely shafted, he deserved it. That one scorecard was one of the worst I’ve seen in a while and that person should not be able to judge again. I also think an investigation should be done because not even Stevie Wonder could have had that score. Even though I thought De Leon won, the other 2 scores weren’t anything to fuss about. Thoughts? — Michael NYC
I agree the 96-94 scores for Broner were OK and that the 99-91 tally sucks. I don’t understand how you feel that de Leon was “definitely shafted” but “deserved it.” Why does de Leon deserve to be shafted?
You would “highly favor Kirkland, Angulo, Cotto, Martinez” over Alvarez? Wow, Michael. Ya think so? You must be a boxing expert. Can you share more of your special insight? Tell us who would win between Adrien Broner and Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, and Humberto Soto.
Come on Mr. NYC, you don’t have to be Eddie Futch to know that Alvarez is still a boy and doesn’t belong in the ring with powerful young men like Kirkland and Angulo or elite veterans such as Cotto and Martinez.
I think Margarito will be ripe enough for Canelo to pick in about a year. Not this year. If Hatton, who is not as small and pathetic as a lot of American fans believe, can take Alvarez 12 rounds and bruise the kids face with right hands down the stretch, the Tijuana tough guy is definitely still a threat. I think Foreman’s style would give Alvarez fits and I believe Bundradge, who is promoted by Don King, is dangerous because of the veteran’s speed, powerful right hand, and guidance from new trainer Emanuel Steward.
I hate to say it but fighters like Hatton and those who are just slightly above the Brit’s level are who Alvarez should be fighting right now. Had Alvarez blown Hatton out or even stopped him late maybe I would have a different opinion. But the bottom line is that a 20-year-old fighter who can sell more than 10,000 doesn’t need to fight elite fighters anytime soon. When Alvarez is 23 or 24 years old and drawing 18,000-20,000 fans in L.A., Las Vegas, Chicago, and the major cities in Texas, that’s when it’s time to go after whoever is considered an “elite” fighter at that time.
If Alvarez can improve his defense in that time he might beat an elite fighter, or two, or three, and become the Mexican idol some think he can be. If not, he’ll get his ass kicked but probably do so in a good fight, and he’ll become a popular action fighter who regularly draws 10,000 fans to his fights and does good TV ratings.
There are worse fates in boxing.
NO CLASS LEFT
Just read that Wlad Klitschko has cited an “injury” and pulled out of his fight with Derek Chisora. Yup. Unnecessary quotation marks. Like most, I thought Haye’s “back injury” was dubious… But Wlad’s excuse isn’t just lame, it’s come after the best part of a year of Chisora’s life and career, that the UK fighter’s put on hold for his shot. It shows a real lack of respect for Chisora, and highlights the way the K-bros use their position at the top of the game to write contracts no sane man would sign. I’d given up on Haye, but the way Wlad has handled this has left me hoping that glass chin gets found out should the two get into the ring.
That harsh or fair? — Morgan, London
That’s fair, Morgan. I like Wladimir, and I believe that he and his older brother are pound-for-pound level boxers, but I don’t buy the injury claim and I don’t think it’s fair at all to Chisora, who thought he had a dream opportunity in front of him.
I’m not a big fan of Haye’s because I think he’s played it safe since he stepped up to heavyweight and won the WBA title. Say what you want about the Klitschkos — and you’re absolutely correct that they offer most of their opponents contracts that a slave wouldn‘t sign — but the Ukrainian giants aren’t afraid to get into the ring with a threat.
Is Haye a threat to the RING champ? I‘m not so sure, but the way Wladdy dissed Chisora might prompt more UK fans to root for their man when the two square off in June or July, and that’s a good thing.
NOT WHAT BOXING NEEDS
What’s up dude? Just what boxing needs. Another big mouff brutha that talks more than he punches. Ponce won that fight but I’m sure somewhere in the Pacific Gerry Penalosa is laughing his ass off. — Fleetwood
Nah, Gerry’s too nice of a guy to do that. Penalosa’s manager Billy Kean may have chuckled a little bit on Saturday, though.
I thought Penalosa won eight out of 12 rounds against de Leon. But the Filipino O.G. did the smart thing after that fight. He went down in weight and won his second world title.
That’s what de Leon needs to do.