SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTGASM
I agree to an extent, Mike. I think Angulo will win the fight by a mid-rounds stoppage in the kind of back-and-forth slugfest that we all expect to see, but I don’t think the Mexican Olympian wins because he’s “tougher” or has more “intestinal fortitude” than Kirkland. I think the junior middleweight sluggers possess equal toughness. They are both fearless, gutsy fighters with take-no-prisoner attitudes.
I favor Angulo because he’s got better technique — and not just with his punching form, but with his balance and footwork — and the better chin. Having said that, I think Kirkland will hurt him. The Texan has the faster hands, and who knows? Maybe his southpaw stance will bother Angulo. Kirkland, who has fought five times this year, has also been a lot busier than Angulo. Maybe this will be a factor, too. We’ll find out tomorrow.
Aw, come on, don’t call Lucian Bute “Booty.” The undefeated IBF super middleweight titleholder is all class and he generally makes for entertaining fights. There’s no reason for anyone, even diehard Johnson fans, to disrespect the Quebec-area attraction. I know Bute has never faced a bona-fide former champ as seasoned and accomplished as Johnson, but my hunch is that he’s more than merely “good.” I think he might be an elite-level talent. Again, we’ll find out tomorrow.
FINALLY A WEEKEND TO GET EXCITED ABOUT
What’s good Doug? Glad to see you still doing your thing and even more glad to have a good boxing weekend to look forward to. Just some random observations to reflect on and talk about. You know how I do things.
1. This is probably the most interesting Pacquiao has ever been in all of the 24/7 shows he’s done. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s less hijinks and more boxing, but the show has been pretty decent.
2. Abner Mares doing his Golota routine, Victor Ortiz thinking he’s Juggernaut busting through a wall, and Bernard Hopkins throwing right hands that allow him to jump on his opponent’s back. Damn, what’s going on over there at Golden Boy? LOL.
3. I wonder what’s going to be the end of the year theme for this year of boxing? Year of the rematch? Year of the cancellations? Year of the dirty boxing? Year of the reschedules? Still been a good year, though, it just hit a major slump in the middle of the year to the fall.
4. Damn, I can’t wait for that Angulo/Kirkland fight. I like both fighters but I still believe Kirkland will win, although I’d say Angulo’s better defense and poise might make the difference in this bout. They both eat leather but James seems to catch a shot or two more with his face than Angulo but I feel his one punch power is greater. Might be one of those “who can take the other guy’s punch better” type of fights. We’ll see. (Damn, now I’m 2nd guessing myself here after recalling how a sick Angulo walked through some early round Cintron bombs.) From browsing the web, doesn’t seem like too many people are giving Kirkland a chance in a fight I feel is 50/50. If the fans get a great scrap then there’s no loser in my book.
5. Lucian Bute is finally in there with a live body. Wow, thought I’d never see the day. Bute has the goods but I notice that he really gets irked when he gets hit. (Yea, yea, who doesn’t?) but seriously he starts looking real uncomfortable in there. He’s gonna need to get over that when he gets in there with the Road Warrior. On the outside it looks like a stylistic nightmare advantage for Bute but I feel Glen is gonna be in his face and really run him tired. Bute boxes and turns fighters well but it’s easy to do that against guys who aren’t pushing you. Johnson will push him to the limit. I wanna say Bute takes this closely but Glen is about due for a good win. I can’t see Bute taking all those right hands Froch took and still keep his game plan. They both sparred before so it makes it interesting but we’ll see. I think Glen is going win by late stoppage but wouldn’t be surprised if Bute uses his legs to play keep away in the 2nd half for a narrow decision victory.
6. James Toney is fighting Denis Lebedev. I hope Toney gives him the business. Damn shame all these greats have the balls to go overseas now. We needed that s__t back in the mid 90’s. Well, better late than never I guess.
Take it easy and have a great weekend. — JB
I will, JB. I’m going to enjoy watching the HBO and Showtime broadcasts. I’m also glad to still be “doing my thing” after more than 10 years. So on that note, I’ll answer your points in order:
1. I agree. If a boxer doesn’t speak English very well and doesn’t have much to say anyway, I’d rather watch him train and spar in the gym than listen to him answer lame questions or follow him through his personal life. Pacquiao is dynamic in the ring; not out of it.
2. Aw, come on, JB, those are just three guys out of maybe 70 boxers who fight under the GBP banner. I don’t know what’s next for Nard and Floortiz (that one still gets me), but I believe my man Abner will set things right in his rematch with Joseph Agbeko by stopping the former two-time titleholder late without controversy.
3. I’m going to try to stay positive and predict that it’s going to be the “year of the rematches” after Rodriguez-Wolak II, Cotto-Margarito II and Mares-Agbeko II exceed expectations.
4. I think Angulo-Kirkland is close to being an even fight. I think Angulo deserves to be a slight favorite, so I’ll say it’s 60-40 in favor of the 29-year-old Mexican pressure fighter, but you know as well as I do that anything can happen in a slugfest, which this will undoubtedly be. I can see Kirkland hurting Angulo to the body and rocking him with uppercuts (one of his best punches). And while I think (like everyone else is assuming) that Angulo has the better set of whiskers, I’m also fairly sure that the Mexican’s skin cuts easier than Kirkland’s. That could be a factor. Of course, for Kirkland to get to Angulo’s body and face with uppercuts, he’s gotta get close. So the question anybody who’s picking Kirkland must ask himself is how many right hands is he going to eat as he tries to close the gap? How many flush right hands can Kirkland take? And also be aware that Angulo will come back with a left hook if he scores with his right. He also likes to tap the body. Bottom line: this is going to be a brutal fight for both men.
5. I’ve seen the hesitation in Bute that you’ve noticed after he’s been nailed clean and I also wonder how he’ll handle Johnson’s smart pressure. However, I must admit that I haven’t seen that look on Bute’s face in a long time. His confidence has to be sky high after stopping his last six opponents. I think that confidence will help him build an early lead that his fancy footwork will protect in the late rounds when the Road Warrior goes for it. I like Bute by close decision.
6. I agree, but I must note that the boxing scene in the U.S. was much stronger when Toney and Roy Jones Jr. were in their primes. There was no need for young American standouts to travel in order to make a buck. Things have changed, and not for the better here in the good ole US of A. Still, it would have awesome if Toney and Jones were willing to travel to the UK to fight Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank at 160 or 168 pounds in the early-to-mid ‘90s; or to Germany to fight Dariusz Michalczewski at 175 (or even 190) in the mid-to-late 1990s.