THIS WEEKEND’S FIGHTS
Looking forward to the Marcos Maidana vs Devon Alexander fight tomorrow. For me it’s the perfect big name fighter for Alexander to look good against after his disappointing last three outings. We all know that despite his heavy punch, Maidana is a very crude fighter and I see this as the key factor in this fight. Alexander has never exhibited a particularly weak chin and has the skill set to easily catch Maidana coming forward (which I know isn’t really saying much). If I was a betting man, I’d have money on a UD in favour of Devon, but Maidana’s power always adds the drama and intrigue that gets fans excited and I wouldn’t be surprised with a late rounds KO of the hometown boy (after Alexander’s “victory” over Lucas Matthyse, it seems Marcos would have to knock Devon down in every round to score a points win). In fairness to Alexander, though I don’t see him as elite, you can’t doubt his balls. His last 4 fights, Urango, Kotelnik, Bradley and Matthyse prove this in my opinion. You got a favourite in this?
This side of the pond, Nathan Clevery’s matchup with Tommy Karpency has irritated me greatly. In his 23 fights, only Karo Murat and tony Bellew have been of note (and Bellew is only of note because of how well he performed in that match). He will easily come away with the win, but I think he will be exposed soon. For such a lanky fighter, he throws far too many wide, wild hooks and is very easily dragged into a tear up. His jab is fairly average also. If matched against Tavoris Cloud, I see him getting outfought inside. If matched against the likes of Gabriel Campillo or Chad Dawson, he would get thoroughly schooled and the smarts of B-Hop would create a fight similar to Ward vs Froch. Do you reckon that’s too hard on the man, or do you agree that he won’t last with the big names?
Also in British bookmakers, odds of a return by David Haye to fight Dereck Chisora have been slashed significantly… I would actually be quite impressed if the whole thing was staged and the two where smartly creating some controversial interest, rather than acting like d__kheads because they can’t accept who’s going to get beaten around by Big Bro. Cheers. – Mike, London
I really hope the Chisora-Haye melee wasn’t staged. It sets an awful example for young fighters, and though I understand that boxing is a highly emotional sport and that sometimes men go crazy, sooner or later somebody (probably not the fighters going at it) is going to get seriously hurt during one of these press conference punch outs (and it won’t matter if the unsanctioned fight is on the level).
I think you are being a little hard on Cleverly. He’s only 25 years old with just 23 pro bouts under his belt. He’s done well for a fighter of his experience. Murat and Bellew were undefeated when he fought them. Just because he’s got the WBO belt doesn’t mean he’s automatically ready for the elite fighters of the division. I think he’s still being developed by his handlers.
Having said that, I do believe that he’s overrated by THE RING. There’s no way he should be rated as high as No. 4 in the world. Personally, I would favor the magazine’s No. 10-rated light heavyweight, Ismayl Sillakh, to beat Clevelry if they were to fight this year. But hey, that’s just one man’s opinion.
I’m also looking forward to the Alexander-Maidana fight. It’s one-half of the reason that I made sure to be here in St. Louis to cover the show (the Adrien Broner-Eloy Perez fight is the other half). I think we’re in store for an interesting matchup, and like you, I favor the hometown fighter to win on points. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that if he wins it’s because he really deserves it. Alexander has gone 2-3 in his last five bout on my scorecard (I thought both Kotelnik and Matthysse beat him handily). However, like you, he’s got my respect. I don’t view him as an “elite” fighter, but he’s definitely world class and I admire him for facing quality opponents in his last five bouts.
Maidana is cut from the same cloth. He’s not looking for easy fights. I wish more fighters were willing to challenge themselves as they are.
PEREZ WILL SHOCK BRONER
So here we go. Our boy Eloy is finally getting his shot. Televised fight for the first time if I’m not mistaken. Great weekend for boxing ahead but this is the one fight I can’t wait to see. Broner is a very good and skillful fighter but I personally think Daniel Ponce De Leon beat him. With that said, I got Eloy beating him close but clear UD. I just hope that the judges give him a fare shake. Broner is def the A-fighter on this card and I’m just scared to see another misjudged fight like Cloud-Campillo last weekend…
What is your official take on this fight, and how do you think will it go?
Alexander-Maidana should be good. I respect Alexander’s skills especially over Maidana, but I hope we don’t see another “it burns” from him. How do you see this fight going and would you consider Alexander as a bit overrated? – Joks, Bay Area, CA
Alexander’s only overrated if you think (or thought) that he’s a pound-for-pound level boxer. He’s not, but he’s very good. I don’t think we’ll get an “it burns” moment from him in this fight. Maidana doesn’t jump in and out while leaning in with his head as Timothy Bradley does, and Alexander knows he has to put on a good performance after getting an early Christmas gift in his last fight (vs. Matthysse).
I think Alexander is going to control most of the fight with his hand speed and lateral movement and generally outwork Maidana in the majority of rounds, but I also believe that the relentless Argentine slugger will land his share of hard shots and some of them will hurt St. Louie southpaw. I think we’ll have a few dramatic moments during the 10-round bout, which is why I’m looking forward to it.
Of course the fight I’m most excited about is Broner-Perez, which seems to have picked up a lot of attention now that it’s fight week. Alexander and Maidana don’t like each other, but Broner and Perez seem ready to get it on right freakin’ now. Everyone involved with the fight is staying at the Westin Hotel and since Monday there has already been some minor “set trippin’” between the Broner and Perez camps.
Broner and his team can’t help but talk s__t whenever they see Perez and his squad, who refuse to back down whenever they are insulted. I’m hoping everyone keeps a cool head until the two fighters get in the ring tomorrow night. Nobody wants a Haye-Chisora situation out here. We all just want to see a good fight.
I think we’ll get one. It won’t be a fight of the year candidate, but it will be intense and it will heat up by the middle rounds. I know Broner is fast and can be furious, but I’m curious to see how he handles a fighter as fundamentally sound as Perez, who think will make him miss and make him pay.
Like you (and few others), I think Perez will win a close but clear unanimous decision. It won’t be easy, but I don’t think it will be his toughest fight. I don’t mean that as an insult to Broner, who I believe has a bright future. I don’t want to come off like a California homer, either. (And I admit that I’m close to Perez and his team, who are among the best boxing people I know.)
I just don’t believe Broner’s ready for the top 130 pounders at age 22 with only four distance fights under his belt.
If Broner had fought Ricky Burns last November instead of Martin Rodriguez I would have picked the veteran Scotsman to win (easily). If he were fighting Takashi Uchiyama, Diego Magdaleno or Argenis Mendez on Saturday, I’d be picking those guys to win.
Perez is only three years older than Broner and he only has three more fights, but he has been in tough fights with quality opponents who came to win. That experience will be the difference tomorrow night.
Ready for this week’s action? I’m certainly am. It’s not like Maidana’s ever been in a s___ty fight. Nevertheless, the biggest buzz surrounding this fight seems to be these steroid tests with the big question being whether Alexander has been taking the stuff. Personally, I doubt he has been and even if he has been juicing up, it’s hasn’t been helping him much anyways. One clear loss and two bull-crap decision wins in his last three fights says it all. If anything, steroids just f__k fighters up and not just in the long run either. Look at our sport’s recent history.
Why would boxers take steroids in the first place? To pump themselves up into huge, hairy, heavily-muscled man-mountains that could pulverize concrete with single punches like Barry Bonds, Ivan Drago, and most pro-wrestlers? But our sport’s athletes just can’t get it right. Remember when fat-guy James Toney took roids? It just made him fatter to the point where he resembled a 300-pound 8-ball with limbs. Jameel McCline on roids? He just went from king-sized chicken to King Kong-sized chicken who continued getting his fat chicken-ass kicked. Nor did all those muscle-pills help Fenando Vargas that much against Oscar De La Hoya, either. When Shane Mosley took some roids just before facing the same De La Hoya he barely got by thanks to his friends the judges. Roid rage? More like roid-rot!
One funny piece of irony I must mention. I just think it’s kind of funny that Devon Alexander is the one suspected of snacking on roids and yet here he is taking on a boulder-fisted bruiser with this thick shock-absorber for a neck. Not that I’m pointing a finger at Maidana. It’s just an ironic kick in the ass. That’s all.
Now my prediction for the fight. Yes it’s true that Devon’s one of the best “6-round fighters” in the game and the fact that this fight’s ten rounds instead of twelve will help him somewhat. Still, D.A. was clearly out-fought by Tim Bradley inside ten rounds and he was barely hanging on against both Kotelnik and Matthysse by the time those bouts reached the tenth stanza. Maidana’s more powerful than any of these three other guys. I still think Alexander will probably out-box Maidana in the first half of the fight but he’s going to get seriously rocked in the 2nd half and probably be hanging on by a thread by the time the final bell rescues him. And as much as I hate to admit it, Dev will probably be saved by the judges as well unless Maidana does knock him out before he runs out of time. Yeah, just what we need. Another horse-s__t home-town robbery. But unless Maidana scores that big kayo or at least completely dominate eight of the ten rounds while scoring multiple knock-downs Alexander will probably get the nod.
Well that does it for me Doug. Enjoy the action. – Todd The Terminator
I will, Todd. Thanks for sharing.
The late rounds of Alexander-Maidana will be very interesting (if the fight gets that far).
I agree that the fighters who abused steroids in the early part of the last decade did not do themselves any favors (in terms of personal health and professional performance). However, PEDs have evolved considerably since 2002 and ’03. Boxers who cheat aren’t taking anabolic steroids to illegally up their game, they’re doing more effective s__t that isn’t easy to detect at all.
I believe there needs to be uniform testing for world class bouts but the simple urine test that is being administered before and after the Alexander-Maidana fight is a joke (unless Maidana’s people are hoping to bust Devon for smoking weed – which he doesn’t do).
If pro boxers want to truly prove that they are clean they need to be willing to have their blood tested at any time, year-round.
HOME RING ADVANTAGE
Chisora going to Germany decided to play the mind games w/ the Klitschkos, so he deserved it, but it’s obvious that the Klitschkos delaying the fight for almost an hour was possible because Vitali was in his hometown. How much did it affect Chisora’s performance? Who knows, but the guy deserved getting bopped away all night as a reminder that he’s way over his head acting like a disgrace to the sport he says he loves so much. Nevertheless, the organizers need to get a better grip of the situation, and not allow the fight camps to dictate policy.
The judging of the Cloud v Campillo fight is another example of hometown bias. The scorecard of 116-110 in favor of Cloud is such a disgrace to boxing, it makes Dereck Chisora look like Sir Lancelot. Judge David Robertson should be banned from judging anymore championship fights. He’s clearly incapable. On the other hand, judge Dennis Nelson who got it right (115-111), should be commended.
Also, Campillo made many fight fans with his excellent boxing skills and
Finally, the Jorge Arce-Lorenzo Parra rematch in Mexicali, although clearly dominated by Arce, I think Parra was the victim of referee bias. The 10 count the Venezuelan received when he went down was the fastest I’ve ever seen. Surely, had Arce gone down his count would have been a whole lot slower.
With the Alexander v Maidana fight being held in Alexander’s hometown of St. Louis this Saturday, Maidana has already declared that he must win by KO because he’s going into the fight against Alexander, the referee, the judges, and the crowd. Usually I pull for the American to win, but this time I’m rooting for the underdog Maidana to blow him out. I predict a 6th round KO win for El Chino. – Raj from East Hollywood
We’ll see what happens. That scenario is entirely possible. I intend to talk to Maidana today (hopefully before the ridiculously late weighin, which takes place at 5 p.m. local time) and ask him if he believes he has to score a knockout to win tomorrow night.
I DVR’d the Arce-Parra fight but I haven’t had a chance to see it. I don’t want to pass judgment before watching it, but to be honest, a quick 10-count doesn’t shock me. And that’s a sad statement.
I think poor officiating (both refereeing and judging) might be the biggest problem our sport has. Like I stated in Monday’s mailbag, something is terribly wrong when you KNOW a fighter is going to get screwed if he can’t knockout his opponent just because he’s not the “house” fighter or he’s visiting from another country.
Judges such as David Robertson, Ruben Garcia (who scored the Donaire-Vazquez fight for Vazquez), Tony Crebs (who had an insane 99-91 tally for Broner in the De Leon fight) and so many others need be watched.
I’ll do my best from now on to do that.
I haven’t read a mailbag since your MaxBoxing days. What was I thinking? No doubt you’re my favorite boxing writer. #imback – Cesar, Denver
You’ve been missing out, Cesar. #WelcomeBack.
Email Doug Fischer at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer