ALLEN BROS., KHAN & FURY
What's the latest on Rock and Tiger Allen? I haven't been able to find any online update on their condition since news of them being critical way back in early June.
With regards to Amir Khan, he's done brilliantly under Roach and is a tremendous athlete with discipline, conditioning, stamina, heart and speed, but I don't think he has anywhere near the boxing intelligence as a Mayweather. Khan has done well to follow out Roach's gameplans but I'm not sure how he'll fare when he's forced to adapt in the ring or chance tactics beyond a plan A. Apart from one round in the Maidana fight where he somehow managed to survive, we haven't really seen Khan having to do much out of his comfort zone. For me his chin still has a big question mark (his conditioning and heart got him through the Maidana crisis) but his much improved footwork makes him a more elusive target than before.
Anyway, Tyson Fury appeared on terrestrial TV in the UK last weekend and the viewing audience peaked at over 2 million. This is fantastic for British boxing and hopefully the likes of Channel 5 with stick with boxing this time. Fury is an entertaining character in and out of the ring and although he's done well to achieve what he has at such a young age, the heavyweight division is hardly brimming with talent and I think David Price and Irish based Mike Perez (if he knuckles down properly in the gym – he is rumoured to be lazy) remain the better prospects. Cheers. — Paul, London
I agree that Price (a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist) and Perez (a 2004 world junior amateur champ) are more talented/technically sound prospects than Fury, but the 23-year-old Manchester native might be the most marketable big man in the UK. He’s got charisma and a little bit of talent to go with his modern heavyweight size.
I was mildly impressed with Tyson’s decision victory over Chisora, who I thought would beat him. I wasn’t that high on Chisora going into the bout, but based on the sloppy form and poor stamina Tyson showed in his U.S. TV debut (on ShoBox, vs. Rich Power last September), I thought he was 6 feet and nine inches of pure dog s__t. However, he's clearly a better fighter than he looked that night. I thought he was poised and effective against Chisora.
I’m not going to get overexcited about the victory, though. That was the worst version of Chisora I’ve seen and he’s was still able to land wild overhand bombs on Fury (particularly in the second round). It makes me wonder what would have happened if Chisora had come in at a fit weight and actually set his overhand power shots up with straight punches (a jab or right) to the belly of the big man.
Don’t take this criticism as “hate” toward Fury. I like the big lug and wish him well. He’s a baby by heavyweight standards and I’m sure he will continue to learn, develop and improve. It will be interesting to see where he is in a year to 18 months from now, especially if it’s true that Emanuel Steward will be working with him soon.
I agree that we’ve yet to see Khan have to adapt in order to survive adversity or deviate from “plan A” in order to win a fight, which is a complement to the 24-year-old dual beltholder because he‘s fought some quality fighters in recent years.
With Khan’s talent, intelligence, amateur background and world-class corner, my guess is that when the time finally comes for him to adapt or drastically change tactics in order to win a tough fight he’ll be able to do so.
I still question Khan’s ability to take a punch, but that question mark on his chin is a lot smaller in my eyes than it was before the Zab Judah fight. No, Khan didn’t prove that he can take a better shot than I thought because Judah never really caught him with a good punch, but he fought and boxed in a manner that let me know that he isn’t overly concerned about his chin and I think that’s a good sign.
That wasn’t the case two years ago. He was a nervous when he fought Andreas Kotelnik (who can’t punch) for the WBA belt, and he boxed like an amateur because of that concern for his beard. I didn’t see a future world beater that night, but maybe I did last Saturday against Judah. I think the more confidence Khan has the better he’ll perform.
I haven’t heard anything about Rock and Tiger since it was reported that both were hospitalized following their car accident in June, and to my shame I didn’t even think to ask Bernard Hopkins or his right-hand man Malik when I saw them in Las Vegas last weekend. I will be sure to ask Nard, Malik or Naazim Richardson (the father of the twins for those who don’t know) the next time I see them and of course I’ll pass on (or even Tweet) whatever I find out. Thanks for asking.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR?
Ana María Torres vs Jackie Nava II IMO it's without doubt the fight of the year. I watched the Torres vs Nava I and was a great fight too (maybe the best fight of the year until this one) It's incredible the skills, the speed, punching power, the will and the heart of these warriors. Maybe The Ring magazine have a new champion because the honor goes to the best fight of the year no matter the gender, right? I scored the fight 96-94 Torres (like the three judges). But a draw (like the first fight) was ok too.
You saw the fight? What's was you scorecard? — Misael Rubio, Mexico City
I did not see the fight, so I have no scorecard for you, my friend. However, shortly after posting this week’s Weekend Preview, I noticed Face Book comments at the bottom of the article posted by fans who told me that I should have included a preview on the Torres-Nava rematch.
I’m not proud of this but I don’t generally follow women’s boxing. However, it’s not like I have some kind of rule against following or covering women’s boxing when it involves world-class talent. Out of curiosity I watched the first Torres-Nava fight on Youtube.com, and ya know what, amigo? That was world-class stuff.
You are absolutely right — the speed, power, will and heart of those two female warriors was indeed special. Although they probably stand as tall as Tyson Fury’s hip, Torres and Nava are heads and shoulders above the British heavyweight prospect in terms of skill, technique and sheer aggression.
Torres-Nava I (which took place in April and ended in a rare unanimous draw, three scores of 95-95) was a badass fight. But you know what? It was a typical high-level bantamweight fight. There’s nothing like watching world-class 118 pounders go at it, be they male or female. I thought Leo Santa Cruz and Everth Briceno put it down with just as much heart, will and skill (even though the younger man held the edge throughout the fight) and there’s no doubt in my mind that Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares will go to war for 12 rounds on Aug. 13.
Anyway, now that I’ve seen the first fight, I’ll seek out a DVD of the Torres-Nava rematch. If I think it’s truly a Fight of the Year candidate, I have no problem nominating it to THE RING’s editorial staff and to the Boxing Writers Association of America at the end of the 2011.
Oh, and if they fight a third time I’ll be sure to include it in the Weekend Preview (at the very least).
THE LAMPLEY EFFECT
“A lot of the hate towards Khan is from what I like to call the ‘Lampley Effect.’ This occurs when Lamps falls so in love with a fighter (the prime Oscar De La Hoya bringing out the worst of this) that he occasionally ignores or overstates what is actually going on in the ring for what his enthusiasm for said fighter allows him to perceive. So many of my friends I talked to after the Judah fight were sick over the way they thought HBO fell over themselves trying to hug Khan’s nutz. To be honest, I agree to an extent as it almost comes off to me like they are trying to convince us he already is a superstar on this coast when, despite his vast talent and potential, he clearly isn't.” (from Tom G.‘s email in the Friday mailbag, July 29)
That is the most succinct I have ever heard it put before! That is why I hate Andre Berto so much!!!!!!!! And disliked Jermain Taylor. The difference is that at least Amir Khan and Jermain got in the ring with guys, Berto never fought anybody ever expected to even give him a good fight. Going in, nobody even thought Ortiz had any balls or would stand up if he got hit.
Me on the other hand, I was hoping he would be knocked unconscious by the first blow he was hit with! Victor Ortiz should make Berto wait just as long as he makes Collazo wait for a rematch. If Berto wants to get any respect, he should start by settling his unfinished business with Collazo. Outside of that, I don't care to ever see Berto "perform" because they don't put him in "fights". — JCB
Yeah, I admit Lampley’s constant call of the “BIG right hand!” from Jermain Taylor that rarely landed on his opponents encouraged my constant ridicule of the former middleweight champ almost as much as those awful gift decisions he was awarded during his brief title reign.
However, I don’t think it’s fair to penalize a fighter just because he’s being hyped up, whether it’s by his promoter, the media or an influential (and excellent, by the way) broadcaster such as Jim Lampley. In most cases, the fighters are not seeking any undue recognition or special treatment.
And I should note that I became a Taylor fan during his gutsy but unsuccessful super middleweight campaign because, as you stated, he got in the ring with real guys, and he gave it his all. Khan seems like he’s willing to fight the best and give his all every time he steps into the ring, so I’m not going to hate on him no matter how hard HBO’s broadcast booth praises him.
Regarding Berto, yeah, he got on my nerves a bit, too. (Not nearly as much he gets on yours, obviously, LOL). He walked around with a kind of arrogant swagger that was infuriating given the general level of his opposition (and the amount of money he was being paid). I thought the one credible fighter he faced, Luis Collazo, beat him (although by a close score of 115-113, so I didn’t consider the decision in his favor to be a “robbery”).
However, I should note that I was thoroughly entertained by Berto’s fights with Collazo and Ortiz and I thought he showed heart in both bouts. I have no problem watching Berto do his thing on HBO provided that he’s in with Collazo- and Ortiz-level opposition.