I’m sure your mailbag is going to be full of these emails, but I’ve got to bring it up: How on earth can the judges keep screwing up with these decisions? I thought Erislandy Lara-Canelo Alvarez was a close and competitive fight. I had it 115-114 for Lara. I gave him rounds 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, & 11. I had round 2 even.
Erislandy simply outlanded Canelo with more effective punches. They threw a comparable amount of shots but the Cuban landed more. I can see the argument for awarding rounds to the more aggressive fighter if he is at least throwing more and landing more (even if less cleanly). Lara may have been running, but he was definitely hurting Alvarez to the head.
My primary issue though is that after aggregating 15 reputable press scores, I found that 53% saw Lara winning, 27% saw Alvarez winning, and 20% saw a draw. How is it that in the set of official judges, 67% saw Canelo winning? I wholeheartedly agree that it was a close fight and could even concede a draw as a reasonable outcome, but I have a difficult time seeing Alvarez winning when he had sparse success landing punches anywhere other than the body.
While I wouldn’t say I agree with the 115-113 card for Alvarez, it at least falls in line with the press scores who had Canelo winning. The 117-111 card was a disgrace. And strangely, Levi Martinez gave round 12 to Lara. This was one of the few rounds I felt was clearly Canelo. It feels like he decided his card would look too suspect if he had Alvarez winning 10 rounds to 2.
How did you see the fight? And do you feel Alvarez owes Lara a rematch?
Frankly, I don’t see Lara getting a decision under any circumstance because of biased judging. So a rematch seems pointless to me, though I believe Lara deserves it. – Vincent, New York, NY
I can see Lara getting a decision over Alvarez under different circumstances (such as different judges and a different fight location), but he will have to do more than he did on Saturday.
I don’t feel Alvarez owes any fighter anything, especially Lara, who was blessed by the boxing gods to be in the same time and division that includes a bona-fide star young enough and bold enough to agree to face him. If Lara was a top-rated junior welterweight or welterweight who called out Floyd Mayweather Jr. 10 years ago, “The Pretty Boy” would have laughed and then proudly claim that he’s never heard of him if members of the boxing press brought up the Cuban’s name.
Boxers with Lara’s style and limited fan appeal do not get many opportunities to take down one of the attractions and future superstars of the sport. To be honest – and I’m not saying this reality is a good thing or the right thing – they’re lucky if they get one shot. Lara had his shot on Saturday and he came up short in a very close fight. I don’t think Team Canelo or Golden Boy Promotions is going to give him another chance. Alvarez took a gamble in facing Lara, dodged a bullet on the scorecards, and now he’s going to look to bigger and better matchups (i.e. Miguel Cotto).
How did I see the fight? (I guess you don’t follow me on Twitter.) I scored seven rounds for Alvarez, giving him a close 115-113 decision. As I scored the fight there were three rounds that I marked as “very close, could go the other way,” so I’m not surprised that many fans, boxing insiders and members of the media scored the bout a draw, or 115-113 for Lara, or even 116-112 for Lara. I don’t have a problem with a 114-114 scorecard or 115-113 tally for Lara.
I do have a problem with Levi Martinez’s tally of 117-111 for Alvarez because it gave the Mexican star the benefit in every competitive round (forget about close rounds). Martinez bended over backwards for Alvarez and I think his scorecard is the main reason for the outrage among many (but not the majority) of hardcore fans.
However, I don’t personally see in any controversy in Alvarez winning. He got the nod in a very close fight – I don’t think that was a surprise outcome given his status in the sport and given his style vs. an often negative boxing style.
Regarding the 15 “reputable press scores” you gathered, that’s fine that 53% had Lara winning, but basically you’re talking about eight individuals. My question to you is how many had Lara winning by more than seven rounds?
RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield polled 21 boxing media and insiders (plus one fan) on who they thought won Alvarez-Lara. Nine had it for Alvarez, five had it for Lara, and eight had it a draw. Everyone that Lem polled who scored it for Lara had the southpaw winning by a 115-113 tally. Seven of the nine who had it for Alvarez scored it 115-113 for the Mexican star (the other two had it slightly wider).
That tells me that most folks witnessed a fight that could have gone either way.
I’m not giving you s__t about your opinion, but I don’t understand why you have a difficult time seeing Alvarez winning the fight when you only scored it for Lara by ONE point (and you had an even round)?
Also, I disagree that Lara “simply outlanded Canelo with more effective punches.” Lara landed 10 more total punches than Alvarez, half of which were jabs, and I don’t think he hurt Alvarez once during the fight. On the other hand, I thought Alvarez hurt Lara a few times and discouraged the gutsy Cuban from standing his ground more or mounting a sustained attack, which tells me that his punches were more “effective.”
I haven’t been that frustrated since Carl Froch-Andre Dirrell. It’s so frustrating to me to see a fighter dominating but not engaging at all! I mean Lara had the speed and footwork to beat the s__t outta Canelo but chose not to. He looks scared without a helmet.
Here’s one thought I had: Since this isn’t the amateurs, and since people pay good money to attend these events or watch these fights on PPV… the ref should be allowed to warn and take points away for running as he’s allowed for holding!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid boxing fan who enjoys technical fights as much as brawls… But a fighter shouldn’t be allowed to ruin a fight like that (especially after all that trash he talked before the bell rang but that’s another story).
That way, the Andre Dirrell-, Guillermo Rigondeaux- and Lara-type fighters would be forced to make good use of their incredible foot speed and movement to produce an attack instead of running all night. Just a thought. – Francis
The late Arthur Mercante Sr. (in his seventh decade as a referee at the time) twice called time and ordered Zab Judah and Reggie Green to step up the pace of their 2001 IBF title bout, telling both junior welterweights “Let’s mix it up!” in Rounds 6 and 7. The crowd responded positively to what Mercante did because the action instantly increased. The corners of both fighters didn’t seem to have a problem with what Mercante did because they believed that more activity was a key to their fighters’ victory.
However, if memory serves me right, Mercante was criticized by some media members and insiders for doing what he did. They didn’t think it was fair to Green, a very competent boxer who couldn’t match Judah for power or speed, but had given the defending beltholder a difficult fight with his patience, fundamentals and technique. Once the tempo of the fight stepped up Green gambled a little bit more and Judah eventually caught him and stopped him in Round 10.
I should note that Judah and Green were NOT “running” at all in this boxing match. They stood in front of each other and they let their hands go in comparison to Alvarez and Lara, but they were just going tit for tat at a moderate pace (I wouldn’t even call it slow).
I understand where Mercante was coming from and I don’t think his actions upset me at all at the time of this fight (which I watched on Showtime), but in retrospect I don’t think it’s the referee’s job to make sure a fight is entertaining. That’s the job of the fighters, if they want it. The ref’s job is to look after their safety and to make sure they follow the rules of boxing.
If one or both of the boxers are holding too much, I have no problem with the referee pausing the fight to order them to stop. If a fighter is just running without punching at all, I have no problem with the ref warning him, docking him a point or even disqualifying him.
However, although I thought Lara moved too much for his own good against Alvarez (in terms of the scoring of the bout), it’s not like he wasn’t punching at all. Lara let his hands go enough to be competitive. He just didn’t let them go enough to take firm command of the bout or make it an entertaining bout.
Anyway, if a referee did what Mercante did today, I think he’d be ripped to shreds by all the boxing “purists” who populate social media and the industry.
THIS IS GETTING SILLY
Long-time fan of your mailbag – educated me an awful lot over the years.
I’ve written in a couple of times. Hoping this one makes the cut…
I’ve not yet been able to watch the Alvarez-Lara fight but reading the reports, a lot of people are laughing about the 117-111 score from Levi Martinez.
First off, you were bang on the money about how the fight would pan out (bet your smug-ometer is off the chart) and secondly this all fits into all that’s been written about recently concerning at least one ‘banker’ score for the ‘home’ fighter.
It is ridiculous that it all swirls around plausible deniability and it’s like the movers and shakers are just laughing at the punters while they’re being so brazen.
I wonder if there’s scope for some sort of Lance Armstrong-type study to prove that something’s amiss: ok he never failed a test but the Feds and USADA put together a huge amount of data to show there’s no way he could have done what he did clean. Occam’s Razor and such.
So in this case, someone gathers up all the fights in a given year and maps out the patterns for scoring from each judge. This should both show the relative harmony in most fights and bring up some repeated patterns in dodgy fights/scores, like when you mentioned a judge awarding the last round to Antonio Margarito against Paul Williams potentially so his card didn’t look completely stupid, even though Williams clearly won the round.
It would be a huge amount of work, but it would provide definite data to back up the shouts of foul play and cut down room for plausible deniability and might shame some repeat offenders into not continuing their nefarious ways.
P.S., personally loving Arum’s Asia expansion efforts. Nonito Donnaire last month (albeit a bit of a disappointment), Rigondeaux next week. How often would I get to see these guys in the UK?… Exactly. Top stuff. – Al (Hong Kong, via Manchester, UK)
I’m glad you’re enjoying Top Rank’s Macau shows. Rigo’s got to a get a victory for Cuba this Saturday. Lara and Yuriorkis Gamboa came up short. I think he’ll be alright. The last time the 37-year-old Thai veteran that Rigo’s fighting faced a live body he was starched in one round by Daniel Ponce De Leon. That was in 2007.
As far as keeping track of poor or dodgy fight scores (and potentially making a case for a study into biased or corrupt judging), I know that some boxing writers and websites have proposed doing so a few years back but I don’t know if they’ve kept it up. That’s something worth Googling on your part if you’re really curious.
I found this site, called the Judge Profile PodIndex, which tracks and measure the consistency of prominent boxing and MMA judges. Check it out.
FYI, THE RING magazine recently announced that it would keep a watch out for habitually bad judges shortly after Gustavo Padilla somehow scored the Bernard Hopkins-Beibut Shumenov fight for Shumenov (114-113). Starting with the July 2014 issue, editor Michael Rosenthal said that he’s instituting a new feature called POOR JUDGEMENT, “a list of horrible scorecards that we’ll continually update.”
My guess is that Martinez will make the list in the next mag.
Lara’s co-manager Luis DeCubas asked the boxing media to keep an eye on Martinez during the post-fight press conference. DeCubas said Martinez was inconsistent with how he scores fights because he scored the controversial Shumenov-Gabriel Campillo rematch (which Shumy won via controversial split decision) for Campillo – the boxer in the matchup – by a 117-111 score; and he scored the Orlando Salido-Vasyl Lomachenko (won by Salido via split nod) for Loma by a 115-113 score.
While I understand DeCubas’ frustration with Martinez’s lopsided scorecard in favor of Alvarez and his perceived inconsistency in boxer-vs.-aggressive fighter matchups, I would argue that Martinez had the CORRECT scorecard for Shumenov-Campillo (which I scored 116-112 for Campy) and that Salido-Lomachenko was a close fight.
I would also argue that boxer-vs.-aggressor matchups come in many variations. Yes, Campillo was the boxer against Shumy, but he was also aggressive and busy! Campillo let his hands go in brilliant body-head combinations all night against Shumenov and from the middle rounds until the end of the fight, he often walked to Shumenov (and brutally worked the big thug over, especially in the late rounds). And while Loma definitely employed a stick-and-move strategy vs. Siri, he stayed in the pocket more than Lara and he definitely let his hands go more than the Cuban did vs. Alvarez.
Just read the late edition of your Friday mailbag in the aftermath of the Canelo vs. Lara fight. You were pretty spot on with your prediction, Canelo most certainly landed the harder shots and it looks like two of the three judges didn’t like Lara’s ‘running’. Anyway, I am disappointed in Canelo. I had picked him to win but I thought he would be a little more convincing and buzz Lara a bit more. Canelo has to learn to deal with people who ‘run.’ I’m not buying this BS that the opponent is obligated to stand and trade with you! GTFO here!
Obviously this has got to be leading to a Cotto-Canelo showdown hasn’t it? It gives Canelo a great opportunity to move up to middleweight and to still actually fight someone who will still be naturally smaller! I would be intrigued by this fight since I think Canelo will be better at middleweight. (I am thinking he won’t turn pink after two rounds because he won’t kill himself making weight.) But the wildcard is that Cotto is apparently ‘rejuvenated’ under Roach. It’s still too early to even talk about who would win, but my money is on another controversial SD (but definitely an entertaining one) for Canelo. If it does get announced, I will probably change my mind a couple of times.
Where do you see Lara going from here? Unfortunately, because of his style I think he is gonna have to sit on the sidelines for a WHILE. Hopefully, he got a good payday against Canelo. I know quite a lot of people are calling for GGG vs. Canelo, but I do not think that’s gonna happen (everyone knows GGG would put some serious hurt on Canelo). What about GGG vs. Lara? I think Lara took Canelo’s shots well, how do you see him faring against GGG? I think he still loses but gives GGG a more competitive fight than anybody GGG has faced.
Lastly, Crawford is the TRUTH! I liked him a lot before the Gambi fight, but cos he made Gambi look like Bambi, a lot more people are gonna know about him. If I was his manager, I would avoid Vasquez like the plague, move him up to 140 and fight Provo, then Rios, then Alvarado, and then try and get Pacquiao. I think he beats the first three. I know this is a long mail, but really hopes this makes the cut so I’m gonna go ahead and compliment you, I love your mailbags and read them every Friday and Monday Blah Blah Blah your awesome Blah Blah Blah. LOL.
Peace. – Riz, London
Thanks for the kind blah, blah, blah….
I think it’s official: “Crawford-mania” has taken hold of hardcore fandom. Everyone loves “Bud” (Top Rank should make buttons that say that), despite his understated demeanor and less-than-lively personality. But hey, it’s what they do in the ring that counts, and Crawford delivered big vs. Gamby (another one that I called correctly – I’m a roll!) It’s love to see him vs. any top 135 pounder or junior welterweight who is going to take the fight to him. I wouldn’t mind seeing Bud take on a busy boxer like Jorge Linares, either.
I don’t think Lara should go to middleweight. Despite being taller than Canelo, he appeared smaller and weaker on fight night. I don’t think the Cuban has the size or physical strength to deal with world-class middleweights. I think he should stay at 154 pounds where he could assume the top spot once Alvarez officially moves to 160 pounds (and Mayweather retires). Who can he fight next? That’s tricky. He’s got to find someone notable who is just as desperate as he is (or more). The only guy I can think of who fits that description is IBF titleholder Carlos Molina, who has some unfinished business with Lara. Andy Lee might be willing to face Lara to get a shot at the interim WBA belt (which will probably be elevated to the “regular” belt soon). There’s also Ishe Smith and 36-year-old Joshua Clottey. A showdown with Demetrius Andrade would be interesting but the undefeated WBO beltholder’s strong relationship with HBO could block that matchup.
As for Alvarez, I can’t imagine his team and Golden Boy Promotions not angling for a super-showdown with Cotto. If the young star wants to take back the Mexican holiday months of May and September from Mayweather for his own pay-per-view dates, he’s going to need the veteran Puerto Rican star. Cotto-Canelo is the biggest PPV event that can be made outside of Mayweather-Pacquiao. I don’t know who Alvarez faces next (if he fights a third time in 2014), but I think Cotto is his target for 2015.
I was also a bit disappointed with Alvarez’s performance against Lara. I thought he’d cut the ring off a little better and have better timing with his head shots, which I thought would lead to a clean knockdown. I thought he did enough pressing and got in enough of a body attack to edge Lara on the scorecards, but he didn’t make a huge statement. Neither did Lara, who also disappointed me. With the all s__t Lara talked in the build up to Saturday’s fight, I really expected to see him display his punching power and try to take the Mexican star out. I don’t think he ever made that kind of an effort and I think he needed to. Lara needed to make more of a statement than Alvarez but he played it safe instead.
I agree that Alvarez needs to learn how to deal with world-class boxers who move a lot. Maybe the 12 rounds he went with Lara will help him in future bouts. Having said that, I don’t think he’s going to face any fighters who move as much as Lara did on Saturday. I also don’t think he’s going to face many styles that were as difficult as three (Trout, Mayweather and Lara) of his last four opponents were.
GIVE ME MORE KAMEDA
I’ve got a couple comments on tonight’s fights for you.
1) In my opinion the fighter that made me want me to see him again the most tonight was Tomoki Kameda and he wasn’t even on the PPV. I’ve been wanting to be able to watch the Kameda brothers live on normal TV for years now and I liked what I saw. Once Kameda adjusted he was impressive. That hook was sick.
2) Francisco Vargas did what I figured he’d do now I want to see more of him too.
3) Abner Mares is one of my favorite TV fighters but it seems to me he is not as dominant as he could be. After the Showtime tourney, I thought he would dominate guys like Jonathan Oquendo. I realize the scores showed dominance but something seems to be missing. I can’t put my finger on what it is though.
4) Canelo and Lara didn’t impress. Canelo couldn’t land anything but body shots and I agree with what Brain Kenny said. Lara didn’t throw enough. I had it 7-5 Lara but totally can see Canelo getting the decision.
5) This fight made me even more impressed with Money. Especially when Canelo said in the pre-fight interview that he normally goes up to 170+ on fight night.
6) I like the fact that Showtime’s crew openly disagrees with each other. Very rarely do you see that on HBO.
7) Next 3 opponents for Canelo I’d like to see in order: Quillen, Cotto, GGG. Who else is out there really?
J in FLA
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, J. Here are my comments on your comments (in numbered order):
1) We witnessed a lot of body work from Canelo, who promotes Kameda in Mexico, but “El Mexicanito” landed the best shot of the night. Poor Pungluang Sor Singyu, who had his moments, was paralyzed after that liver shot.
2) Vargas turned in the most professional performance of his career against a faded version of JuanMa Lopez. He’s on a good run and I think he’s proven to be a lower-top 10 junior lightweight contender. Maybe we’ll see him challenge Mikey Garcia or Salido sometime next year.
3) Oquendo is definitely someone Mares would have dominated prior to his loss to Jhonny Gonzalez, but I think three-division beltholder was dealing with a lot, mentally, going into Saturday’s fight – coming back from a first-round KO, 11 months of inactivity, splitting with his former manager Frank Espinoza and acclimating to a different training system under new coach Virgil Hunter. That’s a lot, but I think he dealt with it during those 10 rounds with Oquendo and now he can move on and work on sharpening up his game for his next opponent.
4) Seven rounds to five for Lara is certainly a fair scorecard. Although both fighters disappointed me to an extent, I still found the bout to be compelling.
6) Score one for Showtime! I’m looking forward to watching the rebroadcast.
7) Wow, you really want to see Canelo walk the proverbial gauntlet. I tell you what, if Alvarez did fight that trio – making his last seven bouts vs. Trout, Mayweather, Angulo, Lara, Quillin, Cotto and Golovkin – it says here that so-called hardcore boxing fans among YouTube/Twitter Nation would still call him a “pampered paper champ.” LOL!
ENJOYED THE CHESS MATCH
Lara’s strategy was clearly to box and move and he was very successful with it in the early going, keeping his jab in Alvarez’s face and scoring every so often with a southpaw right-left combination that snapped the Mexican idol’s head back.
“Canelo”, for his part kept chasing and trying to cut the ring off and in the fourth round started breaking through as he started to connect with rib breaking shots to the body.
In the end, the split decision was not a surprise to me, aside from the fact that Jerry Roth, who usually heavily favours aggression over clever boxing, was the judge who voted for Lara. I agreed with the card that had Alvarez winning by two points.
How did you read the fight?
I thought that Lara was the clear ring general, as he never let Alvarez fight his fight and his movement and defense with his gloves and arms when Alvarez did get to him was excellent. I was also impressed by the way he took everything that the redhead could throw at him.
However, especially as the fight wore on, I think that he just didn’t throw enough punches. He needed just one more of those one-two combinations per round. Alvarez clearly landed the more damaging shots, while Lara never really budged him and that made the difference in the end.
As expected, Lara thought that he should have won, but he really should have learned by now that if you are going to be the stylist in there you better make sure that you clearly outland your opponent and perhaps even mix in some of those Sugar Ray Leonard versus Marvin Hagler “shoe shine” combinations.
Is that the situation now with judges in the US or am I reading it wrong?
Maybe it was also a case of Lara simply not being able to take any more chances than he did. Do you think he could have done any better?
In the amateurs, yes, Lara would probably have won, but this is pro boxing, not the Olympics.
He does deserve another shot though and I would like to see him fight Carlos Molina for the IBF title in a rematch. Any chances of that happening and how do you see it playing out?
As for Alvarez, I don’t think that the junior middleweight division is deep enough to contain him. On this performance there is no reason to think that he will do better against Floyd Mayweather the second time around and I fail to see any other appetizing matchups out there for him. Do you think he can do something against Mayweather in a rematch?
I would like to see him challenge Miguel Cotto for the middleweight championship, whom I think he can beat and after that fight Gennady Golovkin, although that seems unlikely unless the Kazakh looks really bad against Daniel Geale.
How do you see those matchups playing out if they do happen?
Regards. – Droeks Malan, South Africa
I slightly favor Alvarez against Cotto, but to borrow a phrase from the British, I don’t “fancy his chances” against GGG.
I think Canelo could certainly perform better against Mayweather in a rematch given that he’s more matured, a little more experienced (and provided that he doesn’t have to come in at 152 pounds again), but I don’t think his offense is consistent enough and I don’t think his feet are fast enough to beat Floyd if they were to fight next year. Of course, time is on Canelo’s side. If they were to fight in 2015 or 2016, who knows?
I definitely think Alvarez is going to move up to middleweight soon (which means we can forget about a Mayweather rematch), and I think he’ll have better stamina and durability once he’s able to weigh-in at 157 or 158 pounds.
I think a Lara-Molina rematch if possible. I don’t think it will be a very entertaining fight (even if you’re a purist who is way into technique and strategy). I would slightly favor Lara in the return bout but if he fights Molina the way he fought Canelo, I can assure you that he will get outworked and he will lose another close decision.
I saw the fight exactly the way you did. I thought Lara was the ring general throughout the fight but Alvarez did more damage over 12 rounds. Lara was effective in the early rounds, but Alvarez was in command in the middle rounds. I thought they were tit-for-tat in the late rounds, but Lara boxed too conservatively to bounce back from the punishing middle rounds on all three official scorecards.
Fight scribe David Greisman summed Lara’s performance up perfectly with this Tweet from Sunday: “Yes, there were stretches Saturday in which Erislandy Lara boxed. But there were stretches when he Morrade Hakkared.”
Do you remember Morrade Hakkar’s embarrassing challenge to then-middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins? Maybe that fight is better off being forgotten.
Anyway, it wouldn’t have hurt Lara to drop a Leonardesque “shoeshine” flurry here and there against Canelo, but I don’t think pure boxers have to be flashy showmen to get the attention of the official judges in the U.S. I just think they have to do a little bit more than Lara did on Saturday. The fight that Lara put up against Angulo or the manner in which he boxed against Trout would have been sufficient. In other words, he needed to stay in the pocket a little bit longer and it certainly would have helped his case if he were able to hurt or drop Canelo (which I thought was possible).
CANELO WINS A SPRINT RACE
Hey Doug,Wanna get this in before you get a wave of haters trying to prove they know boxing because they thought Lara won. Unfortunately, boxing has gotten new fans that think that a Mayweather style has to always win. They don’t know the difference in power punching and body shots. Yes, Floyd is a talented dude that actually hits and not gets hit by actually staying in the pocket. Lara by the way, was nowhere near that. One of my favorite fighters of all time, Pernell Whitaker, would step backwards and hit you flush in the face constantly throughout the fight. Lara just ran. Yes, he had a couple of rounds here and there that were definitely his, but if you see the overall fight, he thought that fighting the amateur game would get him a win in the pros. Yes, he is more of a poor man’s Rigondeaux or Floyd, he moves well, but that’s about it. Canelo throws to the body, jabs, uses combination punching, and just simply fights the pro game. Lara doesn’t. You can’t win at the pros if you fight an amateur style. Sorry Lara but you didn’t “outbox” Canelo, you certainly think you did, but that’s because you think you are still in the amateurs. I had it 7-5 for Canelo. I think Alvarez could’ve won a couple of more rounds if he stayed focused on offense a little bit more, he had to chase a lot, though. I hate this new style of boxing consisting of running, running, running. Got to hit your opponent flush and with power to win. Canelo passed a tough test, he should move on. Lara needs to rethink what he did. He in no way won the fight. He didn’t fight the pro game.I can’t wait for Canelo vs Cotto. That’s a fight I would pay to see. What do you think Doug? – Juan Valverde, Tijuana
I agree with you, Juan. I’d gladly pay to see Cotto-Canelo and I’m not a fan of amateur boxing or stick-and-move tactics that involve more moving than sticking. Do you remember when Jorge Arce fought a guy from Argentina named Julio Ler in January of 2007? That s__t was bizarre. At least Ler stood his ground a little bit by trying to mix some “rope-a-dope” in with his walk-in-the-park attitude and style.
I watched the Canelo-Lara fight. I think we got, what could be expected: a stick and move kind of fighter against a solid boxer-puncher.
Before the fight I thought, that maybe Lara could get caught and even be dropped by the heavy hands of Alvarez, but he didn’t and boxed beautifully. I thought that Alvarez never was able to bully Lara and Lara on the other hand, did a good job in being Lara – moving on quick feet and jabbing. So I didn’t see any kind of effective aggression that Michael Rosenthal noted and I don’t see how you could have scored it a draw (not mentioning 117-11, that is just a disgrace!). I had it 116-112 but understand that you could score it 115-113.
I get the feeling that you don’t win fights when you see the game as a “sweet science” and try to hit and not to get hit. I think that’s a shame and damages the sport (besides bad judging). When I want to see aggression, I watch MMA!
What do you think?
And as a big fan of B-Hop, do you think a fight against Adonis Stevenson will be happening?
Keep up the good work and excuse my English. – Leonard (not Ellerbe, now Sofia, Bulgaria)
Thanks Leonard. Your English is fine.
I’m expecting a Hopkins-Stevenson showdown before the end of the year. That one should give you all of the Sweet Science that you crave thanks to the Immortal B-Hop.
I can certainly see a 115-113 scorecard for Lara, I don’t think 116-112 for the Cuban stylist is out of the question, but I also think one has to give him the benefit of the doubt in close rounds to score eight of the 12 for him.
I thought Alvarez’s aggression was effective – especially in Rounds 4 through 9 – because he discouraged Lara from ever stepping forward with any sort of sustained offense, which was Team Lara’s plan coming into the fight. Lara was supposed to box the way he did in the early rounds and then gradually take the fight to Alvarez over the second half of the bout when they thought he would be frustrated and tired. But that did not happen and I think it’s due to Alvarez’s patience and his body attack, which was administered in aggressive spurts from the middle rounds on.
So, yes, Lara was effective in preventing Alvarez from physically overwhelming him, but Alvarez was also effective in keeping Lara on his back foot and from mounting any sort of significant offense. Lara was reduced to one-two combos and pot shots on the fly. That’s not Lara at his best. That’s not the Lara who made Angulo turn away and quit. That’s not the Lara who stood his ground and counter-punched Trout and occasionally walked down the classy American southpaw.
You have to ask yourself why Lara wasn’t as bold with Alvarez – in the biggest fight of his pro career, mind you – as he was with so many other quality fighters, from Paul Williams to Trout. Why didn’t he take any chances? The answer, as I see it, is that Alvarez did not allow him to.
Oh, and when I want to see aggression, I watch boxing, not MMA. Some of the best pure boxing matches (between two boxers) that I’ve ever witnessed featured the Sweet Science AND a lot of controlled aggression. Do yourself a favor and watch the first James Toney-Mike McCallum fight or Marco Antonio Barrera-Juan Manuel Marquez. Those bouts feature 12 rounds of skill, defense, technique, ring generalship, aggression, guts and NO RUNNING. LOL. Enjoy!
Email Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer