A LEGEND ENDS, A CAREER REIGNITES
It was a good night of boxing Saturday. I must admit that I had never seen Efrain Esquivias before. I knew Rafael Marquez well. (I still have the trilogy with Israel Vasquez that I burned to DVD.) After the first round and the kid was already bleeding I figured it was just a matter of time before Rafael got the ‘W’ but the kid really boxed a terrific fight, especially for such a little short armed guy (or he appears to be )… and to KO Marquez? Unbelievable.
Father time remains undefeated. Always sad to see him catch up to one you admire though. All props to Esquivias. He deserves a shot now. I hope he gets it.
Now to the big guys. Chris Arreola-Seth Mitchell went just the way I thought it would. I have seen Arreola several times. I knew he had the tools but as I always said, and he actually admitted, he never trained properly. You could tell in the prefight interview before he even took his shirt off that he was in better condition.
He is the kind of fighter you like to watch. He can hit, take a shot if he has to, has skills and is not afraid to step in and engage. He is a character too and it would be easy to root for him if he sticks with it and does well. We will see I guess, but he looks to be rededicated.
Mitchell, you have to salute for courage and guts but he is just another in a long line of football players who tried boxing and got their asses hands to them. Hope he doesn’t get hurt.
For me, forget the rematch for with Stiverne. I want to see Arreola vs Deontay Wilder. THAT will be a heavyweight fight to see. We can then find out what Wilder is made of when he gets cracked by someone who can hit and then has to dig down to stay in the fight.
Finally, my take on this Saturday’s PPV. I am really excited by this card. Canelo Alvarez looks to be the first Floyd Mayweather opponent in quite awhile that actually has a shot at winning.
He’s big, strong, very skilled and let’s face it, catch weight or not (Mayweather’s team laughed at Canelo’s team for accepting the catchweight) Canelo will probably enter the ring that night at 160 after a meal and rehydration. If he can keep his wits about him and stamina is not a factor (as Bob Arum said) then this could be monumental….. and don’t even get me started on Danny Garcia-Lucas Matthysse. (GO Lucas!). It’s gonna be a night of fireworks. I don’t ante up my hard earned bucks for many of these events but I have been saving my chips for this one.
Can you see Canelo by KO as Oscar de La Hoya is saying? Can’t wait. – David, Nashville
Yes, I can see Alvarez winning by KO or technical stoppage. I think that’s within the realm of possibility. That’s not my call on the fight. Mayweather’s toughness and durability are probably his most underrated attributes. I think Canelo pulls the big upset via decision.
Alvarez will weigh more than 160 on fight night. I’m thinking he will be around 165, perhaps as high as 170 (although I think it would be a mistake for him to come in any heavier than 165 or 166).
I think the two will box and fight on even terms with Mayweather being a bit faster, sharper and more accurate but with Canelo’s size and power being equalizer.
The main event will provide the drama. Garcia-Matthysse will provide the fireworks. How could this fight not live up to our expectations? We’ve got two fearless boxer-punchers – each with “one-hitter-quitter” power – fighting for universal championship recognition at junior welterweight.
I like Matthysse by late TKO, but nothing would surprise me in this matchup.
Arreola did what he was supposed to do against Mitchell if he was at his best, but because of Chris’ history none of us could really be sure if he was at his best (mentally as well as physically) until he stepped inside those ropes.
Arreola redeemed himself to an extent, but he still needs to prove that he can beat a bona-fide heavyweight contender. Mitchell was a prospect, just like the bulk of Arreola’s other victims (Damian Wills, Malcolm Tann, Chazz Witherspoon).
The Stiverne rematch makes sense for Team Arreola because it’s more redemption for the Southern Cali slugger, plus it would likely be for the vacant WBC title (if Vitali Klitschko doesn’t return to the sport by March or April). But I’d like to see Arreola take on solid contender, such as the Haye-Fury winner or Kubrat Pulev before he gets a shot at either Klitschko (or even a vacant belt).
As for Wilder, I want to see him go past four rounds before he’s turned loose on the top heavyweights. Showtime’s Steve Farhood nominated Dominick Guinn, who has never been stopped, after Wilder KO’d Liakhovich, and I second that nomination.
I don’t know if Esquivias is ready for a title shot in the deep and ultra-talented junior featherweight division, but I sure am happy for him. As sad as it was watching Marquez have to accept that his days as an elite fighter are done (as well as his career should be), I was elated to see a local fighter who had struggled so much in the past years and half get a huge opportunity like that and make big on it.
I thought Esquivias-Marquez was the fight of the night and both fighters did themselves – and the sport – proud by showing as much guts during the fight and class afterward as they did.
Esquivias is a guy I’ve seen spar with the best of Southern California for years, but he never exhibited the skills he showed in the gym in his actual fights – until the Marquez fight. After dropping the first two rounds, he stepped up the tempo and literally fought himself into top form over the next couple of rounds.
If he wants an immediate title shot, who am I to say he’s not ready? If Kiko Martinez or Leo Santa Cruz grant him his wish, we’ll get a hell of a fight.
WHY ALL THE HATE FOR CANELO?
Here’s my prediction for Mayweather-Canelo:
Alvarez is going to beat the snot out of Mayweather and then go on to score back to back wins over Gennady Golovkin, Sergio Martinez, and Andre Ward. And still his critics are going to s__t on him.
Yeah, dudes. I know that Canelo got that “gift decision” over Austin Trout even though Canelo scored the more damaging shots and blocked and slipped everything Trout threw in return. But I already made my pick and I’m sticking to it!
Actually, I don’t have any idea who’s going to win, but seriously Dougie, why is everyone dumping on Canelo all the time? He’s a good little dude! I just don’t get it! Neither do all those dumbass Canelo bashers apparently. – Captain Ron
I don’t like the “Canelo Contempt” out there, but I get it.
Hardcore fans don’t like to be told who’s a star in this sport – even if it’s true (in terms of ticket sales, TV ratings and appeal in certain demographics). That’s what they’ve been told about Canelo ever since he emerged on the U.S. scene. The fact that he’s with Golden Boy Promotions and has been personally endorsed by Oscar De La Hoya doesn’t help his case with the #BoxingHeads of Twitter Nation. (If Alvarez was managed by Al Haymon there would be diehard boxing crazies throwing pig fetuses at him at press conferences and weigh-ins.)
It also hasn’t helped his case that he hadn’t been matched really tough until the Trout fight and was the beneficiary of poor officiating (referee Wayne Hedgepeth’s fast stoppage in the Alfonso Gomez fight and Stanley Christodoulou’s 118-109 score in the Trout fight).
And finally, it doesn’t help that he’s a pale-skinned freckle-faced redhead who has benefitted from the “Canelo” schtick. Hardcore fans (of any sport or genre) don’t like gimmicks. So, fair or unfair, a lot of boxing fans don’t like Alvarez.
I’m fine with that. I just don’t like that they can’t give him credit for freakin’ anything! The way they describe him, you’d think he’s the Mexican version of Peter McNeely or Butterbean.
But at the end of the day, what Alvarez’s detractors think about him and what you and I think about Canelo doesn’t really matter. He doesn’t need us. He’s got a huge dedicated fanbase of casual fans of Mexican descent that is only going to get bigger; and he’s about to state his case to the casual U.S. fans against the pound-for-pound/money king of the sport.
He may never win over the hardcore haters, but if he does as well as I think he will on Saturday he might be able to challenge Manny Pacquiao as the boxer with the biggest international fanbase.
What’s up Doug,
Ricky Burns lost. Simple as that. Even if you saw the fight as close (which I did not) Burns still clearly lost. The draw score card was ridiculous and forget about that 115-112 card for Burns, after being knocked down? Beltran was going to Burns’ body like there was no tomorrow, and the judges gave him no credit for it. The announcers even said Burns dislocated his jaw, as if he did that all by himself.
I felt bad for Marquez, but father time is undefeated, and Esquivias just had too much activity and angles for him.
I knew Seth had no chance from the get go. I never thought it would go past 2 rounds. Seth has no chin and no defense, a bad combination.
All I have to say about Mayweather-Alvarez is – Mayweather by late round stoppage. Canelo’s corner will probably step in the ring to save him after they realize all the future money that is going down the drain. I see a mismatch Doug, Floyd moves too well for Canelo, and Saul believes he boxes and moves better than he does.
Peace. – Steve
Mayweather by late rounds stoppage. Bold prediction my friend. Not out of the realm of possibility. I can see it happening but only if Alvarez totally gasses out. He does have stamina issues. There’s no doubt about that, but do you think he completely runs out of gas against Mayweather? And do you think Floyd will take full advantage of the situation if Canelo is bone tired by the middle or late rounds?
I think Mayweather will come on late, and he’ll likely take the majority of the late rounds, but gunning for the knockout… mmm, I don’t know about that. He wasn’t going for the stoppage versus Diego Corrales, who looked like a zombie at the weigh-in for the fight and was completely depleted and demoralized midway through the bout.
He got the late TKO versus Ricky Hatton, but even then he wasn’t pressing it. Hatton was gassed by the middle rounds, rocked badly in the eighth, and he still made it into the 10th.
I know Mayweather and his team say they’re going for the KO in this one, but they said that before the Carlos Baldomir and Shane Mosley fights, too. Floyd was in complete control in those fights, but he didn’t take any risks. Hell, he was careful against Juan Manuel Marquez.
He says he wanted to go for the KO late against Robert Guerrero, but he hurt his hand. I’m sure he did hurt his hand, but I don’t buy that he wanted the knockout (just like I don’t buy that he purposely parked it in a corner and traded with Miguel Cotto because he wanted to entertain the fans).
You might be right, Steve. Mayweather might get Canelo out of there late, but I don’t see it.
Alvarez doesn’t fancy himself to be a master boxer. He simply strives to be as complete a boxer as he can be. It’s what makes him successful and it’s part of what makes him dangerous in this fight. But he’s not going to try to outbox Floyd. He doesn’t have to. He’s younger and bigger and harder punching than Floyd.
You brought up Father Time and Rafael Marquez. Once upon a time, it was on his side – when he fought Mark Johnson. Rafael could fight but he wasn’t in Too Sharp’s class as a boxer. He didn’t need to be. Johnson was getting older and fighting above his prime weight classes (112 and 115) when he fought Rafa in back-to-back bantamweight bouts – fights that he lost (although I thought he deserved the nod in the first fight). Marquez didn’t need to outbox Johnson, he just needed enough talent and technique to land his shots.
We’ll see if Canelo’s got enough of that to land on Mayweather.
Mitchell had one chance against Arreola – unfortunately for him, Chris actually trained for their fight.
Regarding the Burns-Beltran fight, I thought Beltran was straight-up robbed. I scored nine rounds for the rugged contender. I only scored rounds 1, 7 and 12 for Burns, who I like a lot but I just can’t see how anyone can think he won that fight (or even earned a draw). I think the second round could have gone to Burns, maybe the third, but that’s it. I think one could argue that Beltran deserved the seventh.
Bottom line is that Beltran dictated the pace, took the fight to Burns, landed all the heavy blows and did all the damage. It should have been an easy fight to score, but Ray got the shaft yet again. Poor guy. He gets screwed in America and in Europe. I doubt he could get a fair shake in his hometown in Mexico.
I hope the WBO moves him up in their rankings and forces Burns to give him a rematch. If not, I hope one of the other 135-pound beltholders does the right thing and gives Beltran a title shot – he deserves it. He should be the WBO’s champ.
As for the Rickster, I think his days are numbered as a titleholder. Apart from the damage his jaw took from all those hard left hooks Beltran landed, he seems to have lost his identity. He used to be a classic stick-and-move boxer who relied on a stiff jab and straight right. But I think knocking out Kevin Mitchell and coming from behind to make Jose Gonzalez quit went to his head a little bit. He tried to overwhelm Beltran in the first round, which was silly.
He pulled a “Tim Bradley” and found himself in a real fight. He should have tried to make it a long-distance boxing match from the get-go. If Burns doesn’t get back to boxing, the next puncher he faces will knock him out.
Hey Doug, just finished watching the Burns V Beltran fight. Bit gutted for Beltran who goes home without the belt, I had him winning by a couple of rounds as did nearly everyone in the studios on Sky TV. Also a bit disappointed with Burns and his team’s reaction afterwards when asked about a rematch. I’d expect at least one of them to say that Beltran was deserving of one, but Burns and promoter Eddie Hearns swerved the question and rather spoke about Burns’ dislocated jaw.
Speaking in the changing room after, Beltran said he’d like a rematch in America for a more fairer crack of the whip, although ironically it was the American judge who gave Burns the fight by 2 rounds. Anyway, I hope Beltran gets the rematch he deserves. He seems like an honest fella who deserves a bit of luck.
Just thought I’d share my 2 cents with ya Doug. I’d like to your hear your thoughts on the fight and what you think happens next with these fellas.
Thanks. – Seth, UK
I don’t know what’s going to happen with Burns. It might take awhile for his jaw to heal. If I was managing his career, I’d look to close it out and cash out. I’d advise him to take the biggest money fights he could get. If it’s a unification bout with Miguel Vazquez, so be it. If it’s a defense against WBO No. 1 contender Terence Crawford in the States, so be it.
I believe Beltran will get another shot at the WBO belt. Top Rank, which had recently signed Beltran, should be firmly behind him now that they know that he has world title ability. Prior to the Burns fight, Beltran had proven to be hell on young undefeated prospects like Sharif Bogere (who I thought he beat) and Luis Ramos (a fight I thought could have gone either way) and good enough to beat tough fringe contenders (Hank Lundy and Ji-Hoon Kim).
Now they know he’s better than that. I think they’ll push for Crawford to get a shot at Burns (provided the Nebraska native beats Andre Klimov next month) and if the American wins the belt they’ll have him defend it against Beltran, probably on HBO.
I had a quick look on the heavyweight rankings is published in The Ring and I wonder if it’s the first time ever that there’s no American on the top 10. Yours truly. – Francis
According to Michael Rosenthal, the editor of THE RING, no American heavyweights were ranked in the magazine’s top 10 as December of 2009. So, no this is not the first time (or the last).
However, I don’t think it will be too long before an American heavyweight is rated again. Arreola might re-enter the rankings soon or Deontay Wilder will blast his way into the top 10 the way he’s been blasting all of his opponents.
Follow Dougie on Twitter @dougiefischer