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Anthony Joshua believes muscle loss is the answer


Karim Mayfield ko’s Tito Serrano

At first glance, Mayfield may look like an unpolished fighter. He hangs back and relies on reflexes and instinct to get the job done. He has been working with the very underrated Virgil Hunter, however, and his game is improving. Teddy Atlas touches on this during the last part of this video as Mayfield does a subtle dip to his left and catches Serrano coming in with a picture perfect right hand.

I think Mayfield can make some noise in the junior welterweight division. The corner in Serrano showcases why it isn’t recommended for a father to work with their son on a professional level. Serrano’s father chastizes his fellow cornerman for wanting to stop the fight (you can read his lips, “Don’t do it! Don’t you fucking do it!”) The end result was that Serrano didn’t receive the necessary time and care to be rejuvenated. Still out on his feet, he came out for the next round and Mayfield was on him like a harbor shark.

Alexis Arguello vs. Edwin Rosario

I love “fire versus ice” matchups in boxing and an Arguello versus Rosario fight would have epitomized that description. Using the simulation TITLE BOUT, I’m placing Arguello in his lightweight prime which occurred around 1980-81. I believe Rosario hit his lightweight (and career peak) in 1986 when he nearly decapitated reigning title holders Hector “Macho” Camacho and Livingstone “Pit Bull” Bramble.

Alexis Arguello...Cool as ice.

Arguello and Rosario should have fought in 1983. Rosario was an up and coming lightweight by 1982 and emerged as the top contender for the throne held by Arguello. Arguello, however, elected to move up in weight and attempt to become boxing’s first four division champion by fighting Aaron Pryor. Had Arguello remained in the division, he and Rosario would have no doubt made for a classic battle. Rosario would have had an eleven year age advantage but Arguello would obviously have the experience on his side.

Rosario could start fires with his left hook.

I would favor Arguello by the slimmest of margins in this fantasy fight. I can’t see Rosario taking him out early although Arguello was certainly vulnerable in the early rounds (Jose Luis Ramirez/Andy Ganigan). Rosario starts fast but can be outmuscled. He suffered beatdowns from Ramirez and Julio Cesar Chavez but never tasted the canvas so his toughness is underrated. I think a bout between the two would go to a decision with Arguello by a point or two.

Using strategies I believe they would employ if they had met, here is the result as simulated by TITLE BOUT.

After a brief feeling out period, Arguello surprises by opening up with power shots early. He lands a few long left hooks which force Rosario to back off. Rosario is content to probe with the jab and dance away.

Arguello tries to leave off where he began in round one but Rosario returns the fire. Arguello lands some big right uppercuts which have no effect on the Puerto Rican. Rosario lands a pair of big left-rights which backs up Arguello.

Arguello is more aggressive now and lands a three punch combination. Rosario wades in and Arguello counters well. Arguello seems to have found a home for his left hook as he lands three before the bell.

Arguello is simply the more precise counter puncher. He forces Rosario to lead and replies with well timed left hooks and right crosses. This is Rosario’s worst round yet as he barely lands a punch on Arguello who is boxing on a dime.

Rosario tries to make up for the last round nad lands well with left hooks and uppercuts on the inside. Arguello returns the fire and controls the majority of the round with slick counterpunching. Rosario shows some life but he’s falling behind.

Rosario finally lands the power shot he’s been waiting for and Arguello staggers. Rosario follows up but Arguello covers well. Rosario is the aggressor throughout the round and gains some well needed momentum.

The two meet at center ring and exchange power shots. Rosario goes in and out while Arguello stands stationary. It appears that Arguello’s shots have more effect on Rosario than Rosario’s have on him.

A carbon copy of the last round. Rosario starts fast but Arguello counters and by round’s end he has Rosario backing off. His experience and counter punching appear to be too much for “El Chapo.”

Rosario gets on his bicycle and pumps the jab in Arguello’s face. Arguello seems content to take the round off as Rosario adjusts his strategy. Rosario lands a nice combo at the sound of the bell to annex the round.

Rosario continues his jab and move routine. He lands with some regularity, wades in and BAM! He’s floored by a beautiful Arguello right cross. It is merely a flash knockdown at the end of the round and he is up at the count of three. Arguello comes in but cannot follow up.

Arguello looks to finish things and comes out smoking! He lands left hooks and right hands and Rosario absorbs them all. Rosario is clearly hurt and in trouble.

Rosario grabs and holds for the majority of the round. Arguello is content to throw a power shot here and there, knowing that his aggressiveness on its own will be enough to seal the round.

All three judges score in favor of Arguello 117-111, 115-112, and 116-111.


Mike Tyson vs. David Tua

Interesting that there was never really serious talk of this match ever taking place. There is only a six year age difference between the two but it must be said that Tyson was at a higher place in the food chain when Tua came around. Tyson was at his peak around ‘87-89 during his 21st-23rd years. Tua, on the other hand, hit his peak around ‘96-97 at around 24-25 years of age. Theoretically, this would have been a viable matchup from ‘96-’01…In hindsight, however, Tyson was clearly at the tail end of his skills and whatever management team he employed during that time simply steered clear of the dangerous Tua. Add in the fact that Tyson was fighting for Showtime and Tua was showcased on HBO, there was never serious talk. But with a little promotion, this could have easily been a fight the public would have bought hook, line and sinker as it has barn burner written all over it.

So, my dream match here would have taken place around 1996. Tyson had just regained the WBC heavyweight crown from Frank Bruno with a third round stoppage. Meanwhile, Tua is an up and comer with knockout wins over John Ruiz and Darroll Wilson while being hyped heavily by HBO.

My personal belief is that Tua would have knocked out Tyson if they had met during this time. Tua never had the tenacity or aggression Tyson possessed. But I believe his left hook was just as lethal as Tyson’s. Tyson had advantages in speed, killer instinct and experience. Tua will have an advantage in mental toughness and an arguable advantage in physical strength. I believe that the power of will Tua showed in his fight against Ike Ibeabuchi would have been enough to overcome the now mentally unstable Tyson.

Neither man has ever fought anybody of a similar style. Their only common opponent is Lennox Lewis. Lewis stopped Tyson in eight rounds in 2002. Tua dropped a decision to Lewis in 2000.

The fight as simulated by TITLE BOUT…

Tyson meets Tua in center ring and immediately goes on the attack. He lands a big right uppercut which Tua takes well. Tua clinches and tries to quell Tyson’s attack. Tyson manages to another left hook while Tua manages a few pitty pat punches.

They meet center ring again and this time Tua responds first. He absorbs a combo from Tyson than has Tyson backing up with a couple of left hooks. Tua is throwing more punches than Tyson now and wins the round on sheer volume.

There is a lot of clinching. Tyson tries to work free and lands a few to the body. Tua lands a few hard shots to the head which includes a big left hook. Tyson absorbs Tua’s punches well but he is being outworked.

A round with minimal work from both men. Tyson’s enters Teddy Atlas’ “unspoken agreement” as he allows Tua to hold on. Tua manages to land a few uppercuts. Not much else going on as the two tank-like heavyweights clinch and maul.

Tyson explodes with a huge eight punch combination started by a big left hook. He finishes with a huge right cross which fells Tua to the canvas. The referee reaches the count of ten in a stunning turnaround at 0:19 of the fifth round.


Vaitele Soi

When you think of the Samoan athlete you immediately think of Junior Seau or Troy Polamalu. Hard hitting, focused and strong as all hell, one cannot help but wonder when a great boxer will emerge from the Samoan islands.

Samoa has had its share of boxers but with the exception of David Tua there hasn’t been anyone who has achieved worldwide renown. Hardcore fans will point out that the Polynesian islands have produced Fossie Schmidt, Karama Leota, Maselino Masoe, Samson Pouha, Jimmy Thunder, and recently Bowie Tupou but again, not really a murderer’s row. My personal favorite was Pisa Finai who made a few appearances on ESPN in the early 1980s. He was the epitome of the crude brawler who swung for the fences with every shot.

Considering the Samoan gene pool has produced many football players so one can extrapolate that same pool can produce a great fighter. Problem is that boxing Samoans face disadvantages as the culture does not really have that sport in its history. To excel, a Samoan fighter must leave the native soil and get the advanced training available in countries like Australia and New Zealand.

Enter Vaitele Soi, a 5’11” cruiserweight who turned pro in 2008 and has amassed a record of 13-0 with 10 knockouts. He has feasted on the slim pickings in the Oceania boxing scene (one of his opponents had a record of 1-14) but he has dispatched the rest in acceptable fashion. His goal is to sign with Top Rank which has David Tua and the recently signed Leti Leti to its roster.

Initially, Vaitele was discouraged by his family from going into the sport. “When his father was still alive told him to take up another sport,” Vaitele’s mother Sulufaiga said. “He was vehemently against boxing citing it’s not right for Vaitele to be beaten by another person that’s not family. He brought him into the world and is responsible for him.”

His mother, however, saw how serious Vaitele was when he left school to pursue the sport. “For me I saw that Vaitele was totally committed to boxing so I convinced his father that perhaps boxing is his calling and we’re just prolonging the inevitability.”

Soi comes from a supportive family which prays and watches out for him as he ascends the boxing ladder.

“When he goes out we all make sure we talk to him to be careful, don’t drink too much because you never know that there are people out there who are jealous, or some just want to challenge him because of who he is and those kinds of things,” his mother said.
Here is some footage from Youtube on Vaitele Soi. This is from his eighth pro bout against Wayne Orbell. Granted, Orbell is a clubfighter with a 2-3 record but Soi puts him away the way a prospect should. As you will see he is an aggressive stalker who has the kind of paralyzing power that will put the asses in the seats.

Soi may have a problem in that he has been inactive for the past eight months. Here is hoping he signs with Top Rank and is spared years of toiling in the Australian/New Zealand circuit.

Source: Samoa observer

Johan Perez

Youtube is the best place to be on the lookout for the latest up and coming prospects.

Johan Perez looks to be the heir apparent to Edwin Valero as the next power punching Venezuelan to hit the world scene. You can see here that he has some pop and has good height for a junior welterweight.

His weakness as far as I can see is that he sometimes keeps his chin in the air when he throws a power shot a la Naseem Hamed.

Currently he is 11-0 with 8 knockouts. I’m adding him to the list of prospects to be monitored.

You can check out a clip of his knockout of Azael Cosio here.

A star is born

This Saturday was a coming out party for Nonito Donaire (is it pronounced doe-nair or do-nai-ray?).

Either/or, you can call him a star on the rise.

Nonito Donaire ko Fernando Montiel

Donaire simply annihilated a formidable champion in Fernando Montiel . Montiel, who never seems to win the big one, was never in this fight. He looked a full weight division smaller than the “Filipino Flash” and was steamrolled by Donaire’s evil left hook in the second round. As Montiel was sprawled out on the canvas, it was apparent that the punch had short circuited his brain so badly that he seemed to continue to throw punches while laying on his back. Referee Russell Mora seemed to be at a loss as to what to do when Montiel arose (more on instinct than anything else). He instructed Montiel to come forward and received no response from the dazed Mexican. The fight should have been stopped here. But then Mora took the bull by the horn, wiped off Montiel’s gloves himself, and then waved Donaire on to complete the execution. Mora then quickly jumped in to stop the bout when Donaire landed two additional blows and seeing the error in his allowing the bout to continue.

Donaire was never mentioned in pound for pound rankings until Saturday night’s coming out party. All of a sudden, the team of Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman, and Roy Jones were effusive in their praise of their newly designated “number two” best fighter in the world. Jones was astute enough to point out that, indeed, he was ranking Donaire number two only because “Floyd Mayweather was inactive.”

Nonetheless, the “Filipino Flash” delivered an electrifying knockout of a solid champion so I understand the HBO hyperbole. Donaire’s breakout performance rivals that of Donald Curry’s annihilation of Milton McCrory in 1985 or even Thomas Hearns’ destruction of Pipino Cuevas in 1980. You got the feeling you were watching someone special hit their stride with the possibility of greatness.

The only question really is how far up in weight class can Donaire go. The bantamweights are a sturdy bunch but no one is a threat to the power punching Filipino. The junior featherweight division is a wasteland of unknowns playing musical chairs with the belts. The featherweight division, however, would be an ideal spot for Donaire. Juan Manuel Lopez, Chris John, Yuriorkis Gamboa would all be delicious matchups for boxing‘s fastest rising star. I believe Donaire would be best served leapfrogging up to the featherweights and continue to rise up as far as he could go…

Donaire has a lankier build than Pacquiao and quickly dismissed Kellerman’s question of him ever facing the Pacman in the ring with a “no, no, of course not.”

But if he keeps piling up these type of electrifying victories and he continues to rise in weight the answer may change from “of course not” to “why not?”

I’ll poke your bloody eye out, mate!

This is one for the WTF? Category if I had one. Turns out the father of heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury, Mr. “Gypsy” John Fury is going to jail.

His crime? It seems that Mr. Fury fought himself in a fight with one Oathie Sykes at a car auction. He shoved his finger in Sykes’ right eye and gouged it out.

Moments before he did this, “Gypsy” John Fury declared himself to be the “toughest man in the country.” Now that is a bad ass move.

Turns out the elder Fury was a heavyweight prospect himself at one point in his life and earned an 8-4 record over a professional career that lasted from 1987-1991 (with a brief comeback bid in 1995.) The closest he came to making headlines was against Henry Akinwande in 1991 and Fury was stopped in the third.

The following is an excerpt from the Manchester Evening News, describing the court testimony.

 Choking back tears, Fury – of Moss Lane, Wilmslow – begged the judge for mercy after admitting wounding Mr Sykes with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

“I’m worried about my son,” he said. “His boxing career is on the line.”

Speaking of the victim, he added: “If I could give my own eye to him to get back to my children I would do – I’m begging you for my life.”

Mr Sykes told court that he believed Fury wanted to completely blind him in the attack on the morning of July 14 last year.

“It was like he was trying to pull his finger into my brains through my socket,” he said. “I was screaming, ‘Please stop, you’re hurting me.’

“After that he tried to take my other eye – he tried to blind me, sir, not once he tried to blind me, twice.”

Mr Sykes told the court he had gone to British Car Auctions at Belle Vue to buy his 17-year-old son Buddy his first van when John Fury approached him with his ‘chest up’.

The two men had been pals but had a violent bust-up over a bottle of beer during trip to Cyprus in 1999.

When they met at auction Mr Sykes claimed Fury asked him: “What about me and you finishing that fight?”

The victim claimed that he said ‘I don’t want no trouble’ and Mr Fury replied: “I’m the best man here in the auction, I’m the best man in the country.”

 Mr Sykes added: “He meant that he could beat any man at the auction, he’s the best man at fighting.”

The pair traded punches, lurching between cars, before Fury grabbed Mr Sykes by his shoulder-length hair and gripped him in a headlock.

“He was pushing his hand in my face,” said Mr Sykes. “It was his finger, it went in my eye, in the corner and he wouldn’t stop, he was like gouging and poking and twisting and poking, all of a sudden I heard this sound, a clicking like, a popping noise and when he took his hand away I realised blood was in his hand, a lot of blood.”

The attack, which Mr Sykes said he ‘thought would never end’ was witnessed by scores of car-buyers.

Mr Sykes’ teenage sons Buddy, and 13-year-old Jesse, saw the ‘awful aftermath’ after going to the cafe to get a drink.

Fury was arrested a month later and admitted the offence, saying he was ‘a man of honour’ who was willing to accept responsibility.

But he denied that he had meant to deliberately blind the victim in what had merely been a ‘hard contest’.

He claimed that the victim had bitten him on the cheek, and had been accidentally injured when he pulled his face away.

This meant the two men had to give evidence in court before Judge Michael Henshell.

Fury said the brawl had started out as a fair ‘fight between travelling people’ before Mr Sykes family waded in, leaving him ‘frightened for my life’.

“If I was going to do what he said I done to him it would have been a lot worse than that,” he said. “I’m a not a feather-duster man.”

Fury said that Mr Sykes had targeted him ‘to make a name for himself’ knowing that he was ’out of shape’.

But Mr Sykes denied it had been a ‘straightener’ – an organised fight between two grudging parties – and told the judge ‘what John Fury did was wrong’.

His son Buddy, himself an amateur boxer, said his father suffered a ‘savage beating’, and his 13-year-old brother, Jesse, also gave evidence in his dad’s favour.

Judge Henshell ruled against Fury’s account of how the victim was injury as ‘entirely unconvincing’.

Defending the father-of-six, Michael Levy said while fighting was a ‘way of life’ in Fury’s community, he was not a violent man, but someone dedicated to his family and the career of his ‘extremely accomplished’ son, who plans a world title challenege.

Sentencing, Judge Henshell said Fury had been ‘cold-blooded’ in inflicting the ‘catastrophic injury’.

A spokesman for the CPS said: “This was a sustained and unprovoked assault that led to a man losing an eye.

“The fact the root of this dispute which originated more than 12 years ago was so trivial only serves to highlight the senseless nature of the attack.”

 The elder Fury should have gone into MMA in the early days…

Canadian Invasion?

When most modern boxing historians think of Canadian boxers they usually name George Chuvalo first and if they’re really historically astute they’ll cite Sam Langford as the greatest. Being that I came of age as a boxing fan in the 1980s, I usually think of the Fighting Hilton brothers. I think of Matthew Hilton in particular as he had a bigger fan base than his brothers and certainly accomplished more. I recall his bout with Buster Drayton in Montreal and the crowd just rocked. Canadians are admirably serious about their boxing heroes and are great fans. Furthermore,  there has been a recent influx of talent (Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute) so they are starting to get some recognition on the world scene. This Friday, two Canadian contenders will be featured on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights as they go to the always raucous Bell Centre in Montreal to give us bouts involving Antonin Decarie and Ionut Ion.

Decarie has a 24-1 record with 7 knockouts. His one loss was against the ancient Souleymane Mbaye of France in which he lost a bid for the vacant WBA interim junior welterweight belt. Decarie was dropped in the fourth and going by the judges’ scorecards managed to win only three rounds. Three years ago there was talk of him taking on a comebacking Arturo Gatti for the Canadian belt until Gatti met his demise in Brazil. This past October, Decarie appeared lucky to get past Puerto Rico’s Irving Garcia. All of this despite Decarie being on the receiving end of high tech training which supposedly “trains the brain” for faster reaction times.

I say give me roadwork, sparring, and an old school trainer.

Decarie looks like the second coming of Stephane Oulette. Which means he’ll make some money fighting nobodies on the Canadian circuit but will fail spectacularly when faced with the slightest uptick in competition.

Ionut Ion (aka Jo Jo Dan) is another Romanian transplant (Bute, Adrian Diaconu) making his way as a pro in Canada. Like Decarie, he is a powder puff puncher and sports a 27-1 record with 15 knockouts. His one loss was via split decision to Seycuk Aydin. The bout took place in Aydin’s native Turkey and according to Internet reports Ion was robbed. Nonetheless, he is a light hitting southpaw in a division (welterweight) that seems to be getting more stacked by the day.  Tomorrow night, Ion takes on the prehistoric Steve Forbes and should win an easy decision. Doesn’t take a genius, however, to figure out he won’t become a force in the division.

Going to take a pass on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights tomorrow.

Adrien Broner

On March 5th, Adrien “The Problem” Broner will be making his HBO debut against the always dangerous Ponce De Leon.  DeLeon is a former junior featherweight champion stepping up to lightweight. Broner, on the other hand, has fought as high as junior welterweight.

This will be a showcase match for Broner.

Broner fights under the banner of Golden Boy Promotions. He started as a six year old under the tutelage of his father and embarked on a stellar amateur career of over 300 bouts. He has a twin brother who also boxed under the moniker “The Solution.”

 “The Problem” will have a problem overcoming the lure of the streets of Cincinnati, however. There is a growing list of Cincinnati champions and contenders who fell victim to the city’s dark side in various ways; Aaron Pryor, Tommy Ayers, Tim Austin, and Ricardo Williams. Evidently, Broner missed a shot at the last Olympics for undisclosed reasons.

 Judging by the footage I found of him on Youtube, Broner’s style is nothing like any of his Cincinnati predecessors. As some of the commenters have noted, it is easy to see the Floyd Mayweather comparisons. He uses the “Detroit style” of Mayweather and James Toney;  the same stance and employs the same shoulder roll defense. He often mimics Mayweather’s regular use of the left jab to the body.

Check him out…

Adrien Broner in action