SOMEBODY’S ‘O’ MUST GO
I’m really excited about “The One”, and really looking forward to the fight Saturday. And thinking of the two undefeated records of Floyd and Canelo, I started thinking about the special circumstance in boxing best described as “Somebody’s 0 has got to go!”
Paulie Malignaggi mentioned it last Saturday, but I was thinking about it even before that because the situation in which a top flight boxer loses his undefeated record is often a special, important moment. And this is ironic given the fact that I adhere to the same school of thought as you – that being that we put too much stock in undefeated fighters, and too easily write off young boxers when they suffer their first loss. (Pacman and Hopkins are just two shining examples of great fighters who did their best work after having losses on their records.)
This was front and centre recently when Abner Mares lost his ‘0’ in dramatic fashion. As a big Mares fan, I totally related to your description of watching the loss as being gut wrenching. So I wanted to ask you, which undefeated record being lost has been most interesting or impactful to you as a boxing fan and scribe?
There are some huge ones for me. Certainly the most impactful was watching my all time favourite fighter, Roy Jones, get KTFO by Tarver. My wife often says she’s never seen me more shocked and upset than during that shocker. Speaking of her, she was ecstatic as a huge Baby Faced Assassin fan and Prince Hamed hater when Marco Antonio Barerra knocked Naseem Hamed off his undefeated perch in satisfying fashion!
I loved seeing B-Hop take Tito Trinidad’s ‘0’ one amazing evening. I cringed when Shane Mosley lost to Vernon Forrest. I didn’t watch Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas live, but I imagine that one would have been great to witness in realtime!
Anyway, sorry for rambling. The best fight I ever saw didn’t involve an ‘0’ (Marquez-Vazquez 3), but the concept is electrifying for sure! I know your prediction for Saturday. But curious about your thoughts on this topic, and which impacted you the most!
All the best. – Corban, Toronto
There’s no doubt that high-profile showdowns between accomplished unbeaten prize fighters holds a special place in the sports world. (That’s why our own Lee Groves put together his excellent two-part top 10 list of “Somebody’s ‘O’ must go” fights this week. Check ‘em out if you haven’t already.)
When a well-known boxer has gone unbeaten over a long period it’s hard to imagine that fighter ever losing, so when he does, it has a powerful impact on the sport.
The most stunned boxing environment I ever witnessed from press row was when Jones was iced by Tarver, but fans forget that RJ’s ‘O’ had already been taken by Montell Griffin (via DQ). Still, HBO (with the help of the boxing media at the time) billed Jones as an “essentially” undefeated fighter after Jones whacked Griffin out in their rematch.
The most shocking fight where an undefeated fighter lost that I ever saw live (on TV, of course) was Tyson’s inglorious TKO loss to Douglas (who I was rooting for). Hopkins’ 12th-round TKO of Trinidad and Barrera’s boxing clinic UD over Hamed are tied for the most significant fights that resulted in an undefeated champ losing that I covered from press row. Both upsets were extremely satisfying because Hopkins was not respected (at the time) by much of the media (and unknown to casual fans), while Barrera had been written off (despite his bold performance in the first Erik Morales showdown).
Of course, Canelo beating Mayweather would take the cake.
I just want to share my thoughts on the big fight this weekend. I think this fight will turn out like the first Bernard Hopkins-Jermain Taylor fight with the young undefeated fighter getting a close controversial decision in a fight most thought the veteran fighter did enough to win. I think Canelo will throw more punches but Mayweather will be more accurate. Canelo’s higher punch output will get him the benefit of the doubt in close rounds.
Where do you see both of these guys after this fight? If Canelo wins there will be a rematch, however, I doubt Mayweather will give Canelo a rematch if he (Mayweather) wins.
Regarding Garcia-Matthysse, I will be cheering for Matthysse but somehow I get the feeling that Garcia is going to catch him coming in and score a TKO in the middle-to-late rounds.
I know you have been hearing from fans for several years now. I am curious which fighter’s fans were the most annoying or delusional: Mike Tyson fans, Roy Jones fans, Oscar De La Hoya fans, Trinidad’s, Mayweather’s or Pacquiao’s?
Take care and enjoy the fights.– Ricardo, Los Angeles
Jones fans were the most annoying. They were just like Mayweather fans in that they’d brand you a “hater” if you had any criticism at all for their idol or if you said anything less than their man was the G.O.A.T., but there were hell of a lot more Roy Boys that there are May-Huggers.
Golden Girls were a close second. I’d say they were more annoying than the Roy Boys, but their insults weren’t as clever.
Tyson fans were the craziest. They couldn’t just insult you and leave it at that, they had to threaten you (and since this is a family online publication, I won’t go into detail).
All hardcore fans of a particular fighter are delusional to an extent. That’s what makes them loyal, which is a good thing for the sport. I could call fans of Mayweather, Trinidad, Pacquiao and the other fighters you mentioned “delusional,” but they could easily say I was delusional about Edwin Valero and that I’m equally delusional about Gennady Golovkin and a certain young, unbeaten red-headed Mexican champion.
Sometimes delusional just means you believe in a particular fighter. Nothing wrong with that.
I have considered the Hopkins-Taylor scenario for the Mayweather-Alvarez fight, and though I think it’s possible, I really hope that doesn’t happen tomorrow night. It would be bad for the sport if the biggest boxing event in years ended in a controversial decision.
I don’t think it will happen, though, because Alvarez isn’t as busy or aggressive as Taylor was at that time. Alvarez is choosier with his punches and much more polished than Taylor was, but I’ll add that the strapping Arkansas native had a better and more consistent jab.
If Canelo wins (and yes, I still believe that he will), he won’t do it by outhustling Mayweather. He’ll do it by hurting the future hall of famer with accurate power punches and body-head combinations.
If Canelo wins there will definitely be a rematch (unless the older, smaller man is seriously hurt). If Mayweather wins, I still think there will be a rematch because that will be biggest fight of Floyd’s career and most lucrative option for him.
Sure, Mayweather could take on the Danny Garcia-Lucas Matthysse winner but that fight wouldn’t be near the event that a Canelo rematch would be and the smaller guys are still dangerous because of their power.
Speaking of Garcia-Matthysse, I’m picking “the Machine” but I won’t fall out of my seat in shock if the champ keeps his titles in a tremendous scrap.
Watching them both again on YouTube last night, kind of envisioning their respective fighting styles and mentalities coming together in the same ring and how it might appear, and the only way I could see Alvarez coming out on top is if you could just tweak a little dial somewhere and increase his overall speed by 20%.
It might sound daft, but that was the vision!
I think it’s the critical difference that’s suddenly going to make Alvarez look, and feel, like he’s doing all the right things but suddenly rather human in comparison.
But hey, I would LOVE to be wrong, and to see your prediction come to fruition… and if indeed that’s the case I’ll personally send you over a bottle of my favourite local beer (Lancaster Red) in celebration.
As for Garcia/Matthyse, would swing to Garcia winning if pushed, but just want to enjoy it as a spectacle.
Take care, and enjoy! – Rob, UK
Fights like Garcia-Matthysse are meant to be enjoyed not pontificated on.
I actually think the Mayweather-Alvarez fight will be a good one, so I won’t pontificate too much on it.
You’re absolutely right that Mayweather is the faster man in tomorrow night’s mega-matchup. And speed kills in boxing. We all know that. However, timing beats speed and the young champion have very good – though underrated – timing, particularly with his counter right hand.
Also, I know what Alvarez looks like on YouTube, on TV and live from ringside, and I can tell you that he’s a lot faster than he appears on screen. He’s not a speed demon by any stretch of the imagination but his hands are fast enough that when combined with his timing and sharp reflexes, he’s able to surprise boxers who are naturally quicker (as he did with Austin Trout).
Mayweather will be able to beat Alvarez to the punch – especially the jab – but the more “Money” lets his hands go the more vulnerable he’ll be to Canelo’s deceptively fast offensive bursts. If Alvarez can match Mayweather’s punch output, I think the odds favorite will be in a world of s__t. But even if he throws and lands less than Mayweather, I think Canelo’s punches will move and knock the naturally smaller man off balance. If he clips Mayweather directly to the chin or high on the head, he’ll rock or drop the pound-for-pound king.
I think Alvarez will take some rounds to adjust to Mayweather’s speed, which might throw him off early in the bout, but I also think his underrated timing and hand speed will surprise Floyd.
CANELO HAS MORE THAN PUNCHER’S CHANCE
I just had to chime in on this one to get your thoughts. I haven’t been following the boxing scene as much as I used too, albeit when this fight was announced I had Mayweather in a no brainer. Felt that way until just a few hours ago. Then I watched Alvarez vs Trout. Trout was damn near tipping the scales as a light heavyweight that night. I think he was 172 pounds on fight night at 6-feet tall. Alvarez was fighting a damn monster that night! In all honesty I’m not even sure Mayweather could of handled that task. Logic says he would have been way too big for May. Do you agree/disagree?
It appeared Alvarez took too many minutes off in that fight which he will not be able to do against Floyd, but Floyd is nowhere near the size of Trout. That has to do something for Alvarez’s confidence. I can’t see him being too afraid of Mayweather’s punches after walking thru shots from a guy who weighs 172 lbs. It seems as though Mayweather has been getting hit just a little bit more and more every fight. Could he be ripe for the taking? I can’t help but think back to that moment in the Shane Mosley fight when he was hurt. Right when it happened I remember thinking to myself once Floyd gets in the ring with a systematical power puncher and he lands one of those he will not quit until Mayweather goes down. I think Alvarez has the power and technique to pull off such a feat. Also, isn’t is strange how Mayweather jumped right into this fight just four months after Robert Guerrero? I know he wants to stay sharp and all but I think he wanted to get this fight in asap. Three or four more fights under Alvarez’s belt and he’s a MONSTER. Fans would begin to beat the drums like we did for Pacman, not that Mayweather listens but his rep would take even more of a hit dodging Canelo a year or two from now.
Is he just trying to get to him now HOPING he’s still a little too green? I attached a pic of Mayweather after the Guerrero fight just four months ago. I just finished watching it again and I noticed something. Do you see that ring around the midsection? Mayweather NEVER had that. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Am I reading too much into all this? – Mark, Orlando, FL
You’re reading too much into a extra flesh around Mayweather’s midsection. He’s 36. That’s natural.
You’re not reading too much into the size factor, however. Alvarez was quick and powerful enough to earn the respect of a big, strong, fast and busy junior middleweight at bay for the majority of their 12 rounds. Trout had to respect the pop in Canelo’s shots.
I’m familiar with Trout from his many years of sparring with top fighters in the Southern California area, and I know that he’s strong and durable enough to go quality rounds with RING middleweight champ Sergio Martinez (before “Maravilla” began to decline physically).
I agree that Mayweather would have his hands full with Trout, as any top welterweight or 154 pounder would.
I also agree that Canelo won’t wait as much with Mayweather as he did with Trout. One reason is that Mayweather is smaller, but another reason is that Mayweather is not as busy as Trout.
I have no doubt that Mayweather took the fight with Alvarez because now was the best time to catch the evolving young champion. In a few more fights Alvarez would have not only become a monster to deal with in the ring, but also a monster to deal with at the negotiating table.
I don’t think Mayweather is “ripe for the taking.” I just think it’s Canelo’s time. He going to have to be at his absolute best and he’s going to have to work his ass off to beat boxing’s reigning king, but I think he can do it.
CANELO AND THE MONEY MORON
My final take on Alvarez-Mayweather:
Whether it proves to be a super-fight or just another super-hype remains to be seen. But I will state this: All this talk about Alvarez being just another cherry on the tree is total horse s__t. And the notion of Mayweather knocking out Canelo, that’s downright ridiculous.
Yeah I know Floyd is Floyd. One of a kind and all. A real Money-Moron.
And really, it’s just as well that there’s only one Floyd Mayweather. We all know what a self-adoring, mirror-kissing ego-maniac Floyd is. If there were two Floyds, the both of them will have their faces so far up each others’ asses the jaws of life wouldn’t be able to pry them apart! It will be like looking at a friggin’ centaur! Well, sort of. The difference here is that we’re talking about a horse’s ass on each side!
Anyways, those who are picking Floyd to win by KO should hear this out. In his previous outings at 154 Floyd hoki-pokied his way past an aging, used-up De La Hoya and went life and death with a weary, battle-damaged Miguel Cotto. And Cotto himself was never a true 154 pounder.
And now here’s Floyd facing off against a big, strong and skilled junior middleweight at the height of his prime and we’re supposed to believe that Floyd is going to knock this guy out? The same folks, mind you, would probably insisted that Floyd would have KOed Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler with a single sweep of his arm. Uh huh.
Once again, Floyd had a really hard time getting past Cotto. The same Cotto who Austin Trout beat more convincingly. The same Trout who Canelo outfought rather handily! Need I say more?
The Money Moron might win on points but if he didn’t have the gusto to take out smaller, overmatched guys like JMM and Robert Guerrero there’s no way he takes out a bigger guy like Alvarez. Mayweather is no Pacquiao!
And as for the other fight? Glad you asked! Here’s the deal. I do like Danny Garcia and I wish him the best. But this is Matthysse he’s going up against. And I just can’t pick against a guy who whacks like he has a thermo-nuke in each of his mitts. Matthysse by KO!
One more thing. If Matthysse does indeed win then he gets my vote for Fighter Of The Year. Come to think of it, if Canelo beats the Money-Moron convincingly you can also make a very strong case for him being The Fighter Of The Year. Yeah, I know that notion probably has all those Canelo-bashers reaching for a barf-bag but really, who gives a f__k? –Triple T
If Canelo beats Mayweather tomorrow night (and he will) he’s hands-down the Fighter of the Year for 2013. Beating Trout to earn legit championship recognition at 154 pounds and then handing a first-ballot Hall of Famer (who some consider an all-time great) his first loss will be more than any other fighter has accomplished this year.
But Matthysse will be a close runner-up if beats Garcia (and I think he will).
The folks who are picking Mayweather to stop Canelo are the same folks who picked him to stop Guerrero and Cotto and Mosley and Marquez and De La Hoya and Baldomir and so on. They are also the same folks who get pissed when other folks predict that Mayweather struggles a little bit in getting the “W.” It’s perfectly OK to overestimate Mayweather in their minds but it’s downright blasphemy to underestimate their idol.
Whatever. They say “haters gonna hate;” I say “huggers gonna hug.”
NOT INTERESTED IN THE MAIN EVENT
I’m one of the very few people that don’t want to see this fight. I’m more excited about Danny Garcia vs Lucas Matthysse. Reason is Canelo should be fighting at middleweight where truly belongs. Whomever wins will never be given their just due to their detractors. I am one of them. Mayweather drained Canelo to 152 lbs, but Alvarez came weighing as a LHW. My major reason is if Floyd was more of a mover in his last fight, how much more back peddling and pot shotting shall we definitely get on Saturday?
Which brings me to another question how in the hell did Showtime sign a 6 fight deal with Floyd? Canelo, Matthysse or Garcia, Martinez later next year perhaps. Those three fights are fights that can be sold to the boxing public and your average Joe. What other fights are left out there? Perhaps they will treat us to the Top Rank special of re-runs. Mayweather vs Alvarez I, II & III. I will definitely watch the fight and I will wake up at 3 in the morning to do that.
Garcia vs Matthysse is more of an even fight, minus Angel “goofball” Garcia. My heart wants Danny to win. He is a good kid, but his father just wants my head to see him get KTFO. I know, I know we have seen worse but for Pete’s sake can a parent act like one. Who gives a crap if odds makers always see Danny as an underdog. Keep betting your whole house and your wife on it. Imagine if you take your son to that press conference as any parent (even as a crackhead) you still would be mortified by Angel’s antics to say the least. Actually, I know for a fact that if and when Angel Garcia takes a paternity test he will fail it, due to the fact the he fathered Ricardo Mayorga. I’m not sleeping on Danny but he better bring his A game Saturday nite. One thing I noticed in Lucas’ last fight is when he missed Peterson who was in front of him, lunging with his eyes closed and falling face first on the canvas. Before then I thought there was no way Broner or Garcia could beat this guy. Now we both know that in the sport of boxing balance is imperative. That dropped Matthysse stock a bit on my card. Danny will get his chances but he better not get too greedy of those openings which might just cost him. My head tells me that Garcia is warrior and that will be his downfall, he’s not afraid of exchanging bombs. Exchanging bombs with the evil badass machine will be costly too. Also sticking and moving is not in his repertoire. Thus I see a Matthysse victory. Can you imagine Angel Garcia and Roger Mayweather at the press conference, should Danny Garcia be victorious? I’m just sick and tired of these ol’ geezers messing up the sport I love. – Mbuyi , from Cape Town, South Africa
Lighten up, Mbuyi, jerks are the spice of life. Why do you think I include so many of Triple T’s emails in these mailbags? (Just kidding, Todd.)
Angel, Roger, and even Floyd Sr. don’t bother me that much. I understand that they’re gonna ride HARD for their family and I don’t expect them to present themselves like Rhodes scholars. But the main reason they don’t bug me is because I IGNORE them. What a concept!
My focus is always primarily on the fights, and I can totally understand being more hyped for Garcia-Matthysse than Mayweather-Canelo.
I’ve seen Matthysse throw himself off balance before, but I’ve also seen Garcia do that. These guys are bombers. It’s gonna happen. Bottom line is that both can crack, both can take a punch and both have better skills than given credit for.
I think Matthysse hits a bit harder, had a few more wrinkles to his game and is not as easy to nail cleanly as Garcia. That’s why I’m going with “the Machine” by mid-to-late TKO.
I don’t think Showtime or Mayweather thought that all six bouts on the contract would necessarily happen when the pound-for-pound king signed it, but if Alvarez beats him or is merely competitive tomorrow, they’ll do as many return bouts as they can. Nothing wrong with that.
TWO RING BELTS?
If Mayweather wins he would hold The Ring belt in 2 weght classes, am I correct? And has that ever been done before?
My predictions for this weekend: Mattheysse ko’s a too brave for his own good Garcia just like Garcia did to Khan. Even if Garcia gets on his bike, Mattheysse’s underrated boxing ability will get him a UD win, dropping Garcia more than once.
Ishe Smith wins an ugly boring fight.
Money May beats a dehydrated Canelo winning 9 rounds to 3 and those 3 coming early for Canelo. He’s just not gonna have no legs to do work after the 6th round. I think Mayweather won this fight already on the scales. Those extra 2 pounds are gonna be Canelo’s downfall bc if I remember correctly Canelo couldn’t get down to weight for the Hatton fight. – Ram Ram, West Texas
That’s true. Alvarez failed to make the 150-pound catchweight for the Matthew Hatton fight. However, he wasn’t training then the way he’s training now.
Canelo was upset with himself after that fight. He knew he had allowed outside issues to distract him and he knew he hadn’t given 100 percent in camp, which he used to hold in his hometown, where he was the big fish. After the Hatton fight he moved his camps to Southern Cali., where he trained harder and was more focused in Big Bear and in Santa Monica.
He’s obviously training harder than ever for the opportunity of his career. It will still be difficult for him to make 152 pounds. He might be light headed at today’s weigh-in. But I don’t think weighing half a pound more than he did for Hatton fight or a pound and half lighter than he did for Trout will completely wreck him for the fight.
If Canelo was 33 instead of 23, I might agree with your prediction, but youth allows your body to get away with a lot.
I think he’s going to be strong and confident tomorrow night and Mayweather’s going to feel it.
I think Smith wins a close, perhaps unpopular UD.
Regarding holding two RING titles at the same time, I believe Joe Calzaghe did it when, as the reigning RING super middleweight champ, he beat Bernard Hopkins to earn the magazine’s light heavyweight title in 2008. He held both RING belts until he decided that he would defend the 175-pound championship against Roy Jones in the final fight of his career.
What’s up D? I stopped writing as much but I’ve never stopped reading and I always watch the fights. Quick comments…. Stiverne would beat Arreola again. Let’s just say I have no faith that Chris can keep it together.
Both of K boys will retire as champions. None of the big fellas lacing up gloves can beat them – period.
I hate what happened to Rafael Marquez. I’ve always hated watching former champions who fight on but can’t do it anymore and they age right in front of us. Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, James Toney, Roy Jones, Erik Morales etc. The guys I mentioned are legends but when it was over for a few of them it was ugly. I hope Manny quits before it happens to him. I guess that’s why what B-Hop has been doing is so special. I also hope he quits while he still ahead. Father time Bruh! He still undefeated.
Floyd won’t finish his Showtime deal undefeated. I don’t know who though I have an inkling but it won’t be Canelo. I think Canelo is too slow and too green. I think Floyd stops him in 10 probably by mistake. Remember its usually the punch they don’t see that gets them.
Last thing, stop folks from calling Floyd’s arrogant fight-avoiding ass “pound for pound king.” That title in my opinion belongs to Andre Ward only! Cleaned out his division destroyed the undisputed Lt. Heavyweight Champ and when is the last time you heard B-Hop say “I’m not fighting that guy.” He has no obvious challenges and no one who I believe could even be competitive at this point. Carl Froch needs to chill or he’s going to talk himself right back into the woodshed in front of his hometown. Andre Ward is the man!
Stay UP D! – Mike Howza (Big 313)
I will, Mike (actually, I am up – it’s 4:00 a.m. as I write this).
Ward is indeed the man. Unfortunately, he hasn’t fought since stopping Chad Dawson one year ago and he seems to be out of worthy and viable opponents.
Listen, people tell me I’m the biggest Mayweather hater alive, and that might be true, but I have no problem calling Floyd the “Pound-for-Pound King.” He’s earned that mythical title not by remaining undefeated, not by jumping weight classes and winning a bunch of major titles – he’s done it by remaining world-class and at the peak of his physical, mental and technical powers since 1998. That’s special.
Ward is also a special talent and competitor, there’s no doubt about it, but he’s only been on the world-class scene since 2009. I know Dre has paid dues, but he’s gotta pay more to get to No. 1 on the P4P list.
You’re right about Mayweather not making out of this Shwotime deal with his “O”, and I think Canelo is the guy to beat him. If he doesn’t do it tomorrow, he’ll do t in a rematch. I don’t see any of the other Golden Boys getting the job done. They’re not big enough.
Canelo is, and he’s also got the right technique and variety to his offense and defense. Trust me, Mike, the red head isn’t as slow or green as you think.
I thought exactly what you think at the end of 2011 when he called out Mayweather after stopping Kermit Cintron. I didn’t fault him for calling out Floyd but I gave him no shot at winning his dream fight. However, he’s grown so much in his last three bouts over the past year and a half.
If you didn’t see it in his fights with Mosley, Josesito Lopez and Trout, I guarantee that you will see it on Saturday
I accept what happened to Marquez last Saturday. It was only a matter of time before Rafa completely ran out of “Fight” after three bona-fide ring wars he gave us with Israel Vazquez. There was not more fight to give after the seventh round against Efrain Esquvias and there’s no shame in that because he gave his all to boxing. He accepted his loss like a man and a champion, now he can get on with his life.
I agree that the K-brothers will retire as champs. Good for them.
You might be right about Stiverne having Arreola’s number, but I’d like to see the rematch anyway because I think a motivated and in-shape Chris would make for a hell of a fight with the talented Haitian boxer-puncher.
Follow Dougie on Twitter @dougiefischer