TOP BANTAMWEIGHTS & SUPERHEROES
Boxrec.com has Ruben Olivares as the #6 all-time bantamweight which doesn't seem high enough but without having lived the past 50 years as a hardcore fan it’s hard to evaluate records just within a specific weight class. Do you have a good idea of the consensus all-time top bantams?
I accidentally spelt bantamweight as batmanweight which lead my mind wandering to the question of who are your top 10 superheroes of all-time? I know it’s getting late and that's a pretty serious call but I just thought I'd throw it out there….maybe for another day
Enjoy the fight this weekend! Peace. — Adam, Whitby, Ontario, Canada
You know I will, Adam, as I’m sure every red-blooded hardcore fan who’s able to watch Agbeko-Mares live will.
I agree that it’s a toss-up fight (my favorite kind of match up, especially when the combatants are busy and aggressive complete fighters such as Agbeko and Mares). However, like you, I favor the younger man. I think Mares will have the right mix of boxing, pressure fighting and counter punching to narrowly outpoint Agbeko in an excellent world-class 12-round bout. Mares’ body attack might be the difference in the fight. We’ll find out tomorrow night.
If Mares beats Agbeko I think he can have a terrific run at 118 pounds. I would favor him against anyone in the division, which I believe is boxing’s deepest, except for Nonito Donaire. “The Filipino Flash” is to the bantamweight division what the early-to-mid 1990s version of Roy Jones Jr. was to the middleweight and super middleweight weight classes. Regardless of how he may one day fare against Donaire, I think Mares will become a bona fide attraction in Southern California, Arizona and Texas, much like the great Mexican bantamweight champs of the past.
Thanks for the kind words on the 10 list of Mexican bantamweight titleholders. We’ll have more “10-list” features on boxing’s best in the near future. (I think the official website for THE RING magazine should give props to boxing’s storied history, and I was pleasantly surprised by the among of feedback the piece attracted.)
I enjoy writing historical features even though they take a lot of time and research to complete. But that’s OK because I learn during that process and I also learn from readers’ comments. Somebody commented that Jose Medel deserved consideration on the bantamweight list (even though he never won a title) and after looking over his record I have to admit that I agree.
Regarding Olivares’ place among the all-time great bantamweights, I agree with Boxrec.com’s top two choices — Eder Jofre and Manuel Ortiz (as do most boxing history buffs); but I think Olivares could be rated higher than number six. Many longtime boxing insiders (who I respect) believe that an argument can be made for Olivares being the best 118 pounder of all time. (Personally, I believe Jofre was the closest thing to a perfect fighter; the Brazilian doesn‘t get enough consideration on all-time pound-for-pound lists.)
My top 10 superheroes of all time, f__k, that’s a tough one, bro. I’ve been reading comic books since the late 1970s and I love to go back and check out the classics from the Silver and Bronze Ages. Off the top of my head, Nightcrawler (of the Uncanny X-men — the 1970s/‘80s version by Chris Claremont and his creator, the late Dave Cockrum, as well as the late ‘80s Excalibur/Alan Davis version), Darksied (the great New Gods antagonist created by “the King” Jack Kirby, whose early ’70s version absolutely rules), Green Lantern and Green Arrow (the late ‘60s/early ‘70s Dennis O’Neil/Neal Adams versions), Ultra Boy (of the Legion of Super-Heroes), Power Man and Iron Fist (the late ‘70s Claremont/Byrne version), Thor (the ‘60s Stan Lee/Kirby version and, of course, Walt Simonson’s awesome ‘80s version), Batman (I appreciate pretty much every version of the Dark Knight that‘s evolved since Bob Kane’s 1939 creation), and Wolverine (the Claremont/Byrne version and the version from some of his recent solo series).
FINALLY, SOME FIGHTS!
Well Doug. After a rather dismal two months for boxing it's finally Fight-Time! Actually, we'll be having a few fights on our hands within the next few weeks. So here's who'll be kicking whose ass and why.
Abner Mares-Joseph Apbeko. This is going to be a real intense, flammable match up as expected. Both of these warriors are nearly evenly matched, especially in desire and aggression. I'm still pulling for Mares to win a real close one with his youth and slightly superior fire-power.
Lucas Mathysse-Eric Morales. Eric has the fighting heart and a pair of balls bigger than those of a frigging bull-elephant. Lucas, on the other hand is nearly as hard hitting as Marcos Maidana plus he's faster and clearly more skilled. Morales will fight hard to the finish but he'll still lose the decision to his bigger, stronger opponent.
Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz. Some hopelessly optimistic fans are pulling for Ortiz to score the big upset here. Not going to happen. Anyone who barely gets past Lamont Peterson and goes life-and-death with Maidana and Andre Berto loses to Mayweather. Plain and simple. Floyd by commanding unanimous decision.
Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson. If Dawson had Manny Pacquiao's warrior mentality I'll pick him to finally make Hopkins look his age. But such isn't the case. For all his considerable skill Dawson's just too damn passive and all of Emanuel Stewart's urging him on to let his hands fly won't change that. Dawson's also a real sucker for the right-cross and we all know what Hopkins does to those guys. He beats them handily. And that's what he does to Dawson.
Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez. Forget this horse-s__t about Pac being a beefed up flyweight. He's a natural junior-welterweight with the strength and power of a full-fledged welter while
Marquez is barely a lightweight and an aging one at that. And look at the those punishing bouts Marquez has been in with Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis, fighters that Manny would have chewed up easily. There, I said that e-word again. Marquez will certainly go down fighting but he will be going down. In seven rounds or less.
Well that's all I could cover for now Doug. I'll be back to you soon with my hard-earned bragging rights. Enjoy the fights. Especially the big one this week-end. — Todd The Torturer
You know your s__t, Triple T. Why do I say that? Because I agree with every one of your picks (and for the exact same reasons you provided), of course. Well, every pick except for your call on the Hopkins-Dawson fight. That’s a close fight and a tough call, in my not-so-humble opinion. I’m not saying that B-Hop won’t win that one, but I don’t think he’ll beat Dawson “handily.”
QUIET NIGHT AT CHUMASH
Long-time follower but first time writing. Last Friday's Vernon Paris/Tim Coleman fight featured incredible action in a back and forth grudge match, but the audience acted like they were in Augusta for the Masters. Why are two fighters from Detroit and Baltimore fighting a main event in California? — Shea from Lexington, KY
Good question. It’s because the promoter of that bout has a relationship with the Chumash Casino, which helps him pay for the card.
It’s too bad there isn’t a Detroit-based promotional company that puts on small monthly shows there the way Thompson Boxing Promotions does in Southern California or 8 Count Productions does in Chicago because I know that there’s a huge-but-untapped boxing fan base in the Motor City. There are a lot of fight fans in Baltimore, too, but like Detroit, they’ve been forsaken by the boxing industry for many years.
ZARATE AND VALERO
You have Carlos Zarate listed at number 2 and his description is almost a carbon copy of Edwin Valero. A fighter who stood straight up, with frightening power and way-above-average boxing skills.
Maybe at some point in the future just for fun, you could come up with a list of top 10 prospects who never made it. I'm sure Ibeabuchi, Valero and Bojado among others would definitely be in that list.
I'm curious as to who you like between Jorge Linares and Antonio DeMarco. I see this as almost even with maybe a tiny little edge to Linares. Peace — Juan 'West Coast' Alvarado (AKA 'Johnny Sunday' AKA 'Lieutenant Diaz')
I favor Linares to win by decision in a good, closely contested fight. The Venezuelan has a decided edge in natural talent, but you know as well as I do, how game and fearless DeMarco is. He took more punishment from Valero than anyone should have and hung tough for nine rounds.
That’s a good idea for an all-time “10-list,” however, Valero and Ibeabuchi wouldn’t be on it because they both nut cakes were fare beyond “prospects” when they went crazy. Ibeabuchi was the No. 1 heavyweight contender. Valero was a two-division titleholder.
Bojado belongs on the list. No doubt about that. I’ll have to think about who else deserves to be on it.
I don’t agree with the Zarate-Valero comparison. Zarate was too patient (and technically sound) to be compared to the “V-nom.” Valero was more like a southpaw combination of Ruben Olivares (with the in-and-out footwork) and Alfonso Zamora (with his hell-bent pursuit of the KO).
I know you're high on Gary Russell. What about another prospect, the heavyweight Seth Mitchell? In the Washington Post, they said they're hoping for a title shot by 2013. Is that realistic? Is he a potential top 10 guy? Also, what's your opinion on Tony Thompson-Eddie Chambers? I've always liked Chambers, but Thompson's my hometown guy. Any thought on undefeated super middleweight Alexander Johnson?
And finally, do you think Anthony Peterson and Tim Coleman (Baltimore native I know, but I like him) will be able to bounce back from those losses? Particularly Coleman, it's hard to gage how bad a loss that was given that Parris is a largely unproven fighter. Thanks. Be well. — David, Washington, DC
Coleman can come back. He’s smart, talented and only 27, but he needs to get back into the ring as soon as possible and not against another undefeated fighter (both of his losses were to unbeaten prospects). He needs hook up with a quality, full-time trainer — someone who can really devote some time with him in the gym — and he needs to be willing to take one or two developmental fights against sturdy journeymen before he hops back into a 50-50 fight like the Paris match. I also think Coleman needs to settle down on a primary ring identity. I believe he’s a natural boxer/counter-puncher, but it seems like he wants to be a badass these days. Maybe the one-punch KO he scored against Pat Lopez and his animosity for Paris got to his head last Friday, because I thought he fought over-aggressively and a bit out-of-character, which eventually played into the Ice Man’s hands.
Anthony Peterson has more physical tools than Coleman and he’s a year younger (26), so obviously I think he can be a factor once again at lightweight. He’s got a good full-time trainer/mentor behind him in Barry Hunter. All he needs is a promoter to believe in him and back him up. He just needs to get active again. He hasn’t fought since losing to Brandon Rios last September. That’s a fight he could have won if he had more respect for Bam Bam’s technique. He thought he was facing a one-dimensional brawler and that just wasn’t the case. I think a motivated Peterson can give any of the top 135 pounders a run for their money.
I don’t have any thoughts on Alexander Johnson. I’ve never seen him fight. All I know is that at 29, he’s getting a bit long in the tooth for a so-called prospect. Johnson needs to make a significant move soon.
I don’t have much to say about Thompson-Chambers, either, although I like both heavyweights. Thompson is almost 40 but he’s a real heavyweight, and an excellent technician, almost like a 250-pound version of Winky Wright. I’ve favor him over Chambers. However, if Tony does beat Eddie, is it really a victory? All he’s going to get for his efforts is another date with the champ, and I don’t see how he’s going to do any better against Wladdy than he did three years ago?
I think Seth Mitchell has potential. He’s a sharp cat with a good athletic base and he’s been developed well. He’ll never be good enough to challenge either of the K-brothers (I don’t care if he waits until Vitali hits 50; the old Ukrainian would still whup all over his ass), but I do believe that Mitchell can be developed into a top-10 contender by the end of next year if he‘s moved right. It really depends on what he does (or who he fights) between now and then. I’d like to see how he handles a tough, competitive 10-round bout before I really give my thoughts on his future (and I doubt that his next opponent, Mike Mollo on Aug. 27, is the guy to extend him that distance).
I think Lamont Peterson can win a major title and defend it more than a few times. I don’t know what concerns you about his loss to Bradley. He fell short against a versatile, elite-level titleholder who is still undefeated. No shame there. I thought Peterson performed well that night. I also thought he legitimately earned the draw against Ortiz, and I favored him to beat Cayo, so obviously I believe he’s worthy top-10 junior welterweight contender. I’d favor Lamont to beat Andreas Kotelnik and Devon Alexander (if the St. Louis native were to stay at 140 pounds), and would make showdowns with Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse pick-’em fights. I’d favor the top two dogs, Khan and Bradley to beat him, but I’ll doubt either titleholder wants to face Peterson.
I think a Khan-Peterson fight will only happen if Khan can’t make a deal with the Erik Morales (should he beat Matthysse) or Robert Guerrero (if he beats Maidana).
Doug Fischer can be emailed at email@example.com