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Like Hillary, Kovalev wins but loses in the judges’ ‘electoral college’

“As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it.” –– Budd Schulberg

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Bad news for Vladimir Putin. Good news for his “favorite”, President-elect Donald J. Trump.
We have boxing’s version of the puzzling “electoral college”, the decrepit system that denied Hillary Clinton the presidency despite besting Trump in the popular votes in the recent election.
We respect the judges’ verdict, an identical 114-113 unanimous decision in favor of American Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs), but the night belonged to dethroned Russian world champion Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in the battle for WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight belts on Saturday night (November 19) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
With 84 percent KO in his ledger, the 33-year-old warrior, born in Kopeysk, Russia, should have prevented a “hometown” decision by finishing off the 32-year-old challenger from Oakland in the early rounds.

RESCUE

But orthodox Kovalev allowed Ward to be rescued by the judges when he failed to put him away for good after scoring a second round knockdown which was worth 55 electoral college votes in the presidential race.
But unlike Clinton who gamely accepted her upset defeat, the Russian KO artist could only complain: “It’s the wrong decision. I don’t want to say my opinion. The witnesses are here – they saw it. It’s my job. It was a fight of my life. I am disappointed in the judges’ decision. He got maybe a few rounds, I agree with that. I kept control. I lost maybe three rounds the whole fight.”
He added: “Of course, I want a rematch and I will kick his ass. I want to show good boxing. I am against here it is the USA and all the judges were from the USA. He is a boxer. It’s a sport, don’t make it politics. It’s a sport and I won the fight!”

‘NOT SURPRISED’

Ward, who earned my admiration when he blasted to smithereens the incredible Chad Dawson for the WBC and WBC super-middleweight crowns in 2012, believed he won the bout: “No, I was not surprised when I heard the decision, I don’t’ know where you got that from. I know it was a close fight – the crowd you can hear they thought I won…I have been a champ before I knew it was going to be a tough fight – it was the first time in my career I was dropped.”
Ward added: “He did everything I expected him to do. He started to show up as I expected he started to fight like I expected. My coach did a great job…It’s hard for me to call myself great. At the end of the day I am a two-weight division champion. Of course, I would do a rematch. I am not going to negotiate a fight right now I will go home and relax and see what’s next.”

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

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Big injustice for boxing if Floyd vs Pacman is off

“Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There’s nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring.” Sugar Ray Leonard

By Alex P. Vidal

THERE should be no more excuses.
Fight fans will never forgive those behind the careers of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. if the two won’t face each other next.
Or if the dream fight, postponed multiple times, will never happen, at all.
But, lo and behold, Uncle Bob Arum is now singing a different tune.
The 82-year-old Harvard lawyer has joined the chorus of those calling for the Pacquiao-Mayweather match to happen soon.
“Speaking for Manny and myself, we’re tired! Every place we go they ask us when is that fight gonna happen? When is it going to be made? You cannot believe the number of times I’m questioned about this by just people, waiters, anybody, who wants to know one question ‘when is the fight gonna happen?’ I say enough is enough! Let’s just make the fight happen. Let’s get it done,”
Arum declared hours after the Filipino lefty retained his WBO 147-lb crown with a commanding 119-103, 119-103, 120-102 unanimous decision against Chris Algieri in Macao on November 23.
“And let’s make it the next fight for each fighter sometime in the next six months of next year. That’s our position and we’re going to do what we can to make it happen.”

BLAME

We are tired of the now-you-hear-it-now-you-don’t tug of war; of the blaming game and finger-pointing on who’s to blame why until now the megabucks deal has not been inked.
The Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight should happen soon or next year.
No more 2016. No more 2017.
By that time, Pacquiao, 37 years old before the May 2016 elections in the Philippines, will be very busy campaigning for senator.
By that time, 39-year-old Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), the richest-ever prizefighter in history, may no longer want to allow somebody to inflict more damage on his face in preparation for a grand retirement.
By 2016, the commodities may no longer be ripe.
It’s enough that Mayweather has collected five straight decision victories against Miguel Angel Cotto (12 rounds), Robert Guerrero (12 rounds), Saul Alvarez (12 rounds) and Marcos Rene Maidana (12 rounds twice) while waiting for Pacquiao to get old.
It’s enough that Pacquiao amassed seven decision wins in his last nine bouts with defeats only to Timothy Bradley (first fight) and Juan Manuel Marquez (KO6, fourth fight) while waiting for Mayweather to say “yes, I’ll fight you, Manny.”
There are other upcoming ring superstars waiting for their date with fame and destiny who deserve to be given large paychecks and mammoth publicity like the one being enjoyed by Pacquiao and Mayweather.
They are only waiting for Mayweather’s and Pacquiao’s exit and they, too, must be itching to hit a paydirt in the main events.

CASH

Giving Pacquiao and Mayweather “honorable” or farewell cash prizes as a token of appreciation for their magnificent contribution in fight business won’t hurt the industry that benefited a lot from their talent.
Uncle Bob should expect Mayweather to continue demanding for a 60-40 purse. HBO, Top Rank and probably Showtime (a rival network) should be ready to fork out some $50 to $60 million for Mayweather’s pcoket.
After the Macao conquest of Aligieri, Pacquiao was again hounded by calls for a Mayweather duel, which is actually beyond his call.
Pacquiao (57-5, 38 KOs) is very much willing to retire immediately after facing Mayweather for an exclamation point of his fistic career that started on January 25, 1995 with a four-round unanimous decision against Edmund Enting Ignacio in Sablayan, Mindoro Oriental.

AGAIN

Fighting again after a Mayweather showdown would be a total folly unless he wants to retire with a brain injury, physical deformities and speech defects (he can’t afford to speak like “Barok” in the Philippine Senate).
He does not need more fame and money. Pacquiao has secured a place in history.
As an elected senator in 2016, he can forget boxing and focus as a lawmaker.
Retirement should be a non-negotiable option for Pacquiao win or lose against the charismatic black American.
Mayweather will never be happy for the rest of his life once he retires without swapping leathers with the only man in the planet to win eight world titles in eight different weight classes.
He will be booed and jeered at as “coward” everywhere he goes.
It’s a big injustice for boxing and a mockery of sports if the Pacquiao vs Mayweather duel will not materialize.
No matchup can be compared to the Pacquiao vs Mayweather rumble in terms of global excitement and promotional wizardry.
Fans can tolerate the delay, but not the postponement.
Fans can forgive and accept if Mayweather lost to Maidana and Pacquiao lost to Algieri, but not the cancelation of the
Pacquiao versus Mayweather match, much ballyhooed as the ultimate showdown.
It’s better late than never.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in SPORTS

 

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KO remains elusive for Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

AS expected, Manny Pacquiao walked past unbeaten WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri, but failed to score the knockout demanded by his fans since November 2009, winning by a lopsided decision after 12 rounds to keep his WBO welterweight crown at the Cotai Arena inside the Venetian Resort in Macao, China.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) scored a tension-filled unanimous decision over Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs), who was downed six times and became the seventh man to finish the distance with Pacquiao since March 13, 2010 when Pacquiao beat Joshua Clottey by 12-round unanimous decision in Arlington, Texas.
The scores were 119-103, 119-03, 120-102.
Pacquiao, 35, stalked Algieri, 30, the whole fight, as Algieri used his footwork to backpedal and box from outside.
Algieri slipped in round two but referee Genaro Rodriquez credited it as a knockdown for Pacquiao.
Algieri never threatened Pacquiao, who patiently waited to land a solid combination in a hope to nail the elusive knockout victory.

SOUTHPAW

The Filipino southpaw scored two more knockdowns in round six. Pacquiao floored Algieri two more times in round nine and Algieri, fighting for the first time outside New York, barely survived.
Algieri went down for the sixth time at the end of round ten.
Pacquiao’s last KO was against Miguel Angel Cotto on November 14, 2009.
Freddie Roach had predicted a first round stoppage win for his ward, who is now a playing coach in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Bob Arum negotiates for Pacquiao’s next fight eight against Ruslan Provodnikov or Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the names being floated as Pacquiao’s next foe. If the fight happens, it will be their fifth meeting.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in SPORTS

 

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BRIEF PRE-FIGHT ANALYSIS: What to expect when Pacquiao and Algieri throw punches

By Alex P. Vidal

–Pacquiao is left-handed. He throws a jab with his right and makes a follow up straight with his left.

–Algieri is orthodox or right-handed. He throws a jab with a left and makes a follow up straight with his right.

–Pacquiao will attack and tries to get nearer Algieri most of the time so he can connect with solid combinations.

–Algieri will try to stop Pacquiao in his tracks by using his reach advantage and sprays Pacquiao with a two-punch (jab-straight) combination.

–Pacquiao, being the shorter, will go in front of Algieri.

–Algieri will use lateral movements (footwork) and step side by side to avoid a frontal assault.

FINISHING TOUCHES:

–Pacquiao will use a left hook most of the time to catch the taller Algieri. A left hook will come after a set-up right jab. The fight could end with a single shot (left hook). If the impact is not so strong, Pacquiao can make another follow-up left hook or right uppercut. Pacquiao could finish off Algieri in any round with a two-punch combination.

–In order to knock out Pacquiao, Algieri must be able to connect at least five unanswered blows which is a remote possibility considering that Pacquiao moves quickly and can evade Algieri’s dragnet after being hit with two unanswered punches.

–To beat Pacquiao, Algieri must start piling up points in the first phase (rounds 1 to 6) of the bout and sustain it in the last six rounds. That is granting that Algieri will survive Pacquiao’s juggernaut in the first four rounds which is expected to be violent and bloody.

–Normally it should be Pacquiao, given his vast edge in experience, quality of opponents plus speed and force, who should win by either KO or TKO. If he fails to flatten Algieri past seven rounds, the fight can go to the judges’ scorecards.

–Normally it should be Algieri, because of his height and reach advantage and perhaps stamina, who should win on points if Pacquiao can’t connect the much-ballyhooed haymakers. If Algieri will run most of the time and forget that the fight will be decided on the scorecards thus he fails to land crisp punches that would convince the judges, Algieri will lose by unanimous decision.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in SPORTS

 

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Algieri sent to Macao to be massacred

“Boxing is not about your feelings. It’s about performance.” Manny Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

IN terms of style and skills, Chris Algieri, 30, pales in comparison to Manny Pacquiao, 35.
Experience wise, the difference is like an automobile and a pushcart.
Algieri (20-0, 5 KOs) joined prizefighting at 23 while Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) has been boxing as a pro since 15.
He was an amateur boxer at 9 in Gen. Santos City.
Algieri, five feet and 10 inches, has a KO of 40 percent while Pacquiao, five feet and six inches, tots a KO of 60.32 percent.
Judging from his record, Algieri does not possess a one-punch KO power.
Pacquiao has demolished more than a dozen fighters with a single blow.
Because of his longer reach, Algieri is expected to use a two-fisted assault (jab-straight combination) to prevent brawler Pacquiao from penetrating his breadbasket when they clash for the 12-round WBO welterweight title at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort in Macao on November 22.

TACTIC

The same tactic Algieri used when he survived two knockdowns in the first round en route to escaping with a 12-round split decision against Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on July 14, 2014.
Criticized for his failure to score a knockout win since 2009, Pacquiao knows he badly needs a stoppage victory in Macao to convince his fans he isn’t yet over the hill.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum picked the unbeaten but inexperienced Algieri to make sure Pacquiao will satisfy the bloodthirsty fight fans.
But Team Algieri thinks the big break is more than a blessing in disguise for the previously unknown former world kickboxing champion.
Algieri himself believes his come-from-behind win against Provodnikov was not a fluke.

ENDING

He foresees Pacquiao’s ending in the 10th canto on a technical knockout (TKO).
But Algieri’s record does not indicate he can easily eat alive fighters of Pacquiao’s caliber.
All his eight KO victims were either patsies or dishwashers. No big names; all small fries: Ken Dunham (TKO3), Rakeem Carter (TKO4), Clarence Smith (TKO1), Eric Rodriguez (TKO3), Julias Edmonds (TKO4), Winston Mathis (TKO3), Wilfredo Acuna (TKO7).
Pacquiao, on the other hand, has demolished some of the most destructive fighters in the world en route to collecting eight world crowns in eight different divisions.
Tall fighters like Algieri are actually Pacquiao’s favorite hitting targets.
The hard-hitting Filipino superstar can stop an opponent with a body attack. He is trained to assault even a dinosaur and an elephant in the square jungle.
The congressman from Mindanao also loves to rumble against opponents who move forward and engage him in waterfront brawl.

AVOID

Algieri will avoid this type of war, of course.
As the defending champion, Algieri is expected to make a lot of lateral movements and will not press the fight.
Pacquiao will be coming out like a house on fire in the first three stanzas.
The longer the fight develops, the more that Pacquiao becomes dangerous.
At the back of his mind, only a knockout win will redeem his name after six victories, all by decision, interrupted only by a split decision defeat to Timothy Bradley on June 9, 2012 and an embarrassing 6th round KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8, 2012.
A mistake by Algieri in the first three rounds could end the fight by a quick knockout once Pacquiao is able to connect with a left hook, the same punch that sent Algieri to the canvas for a mandatory eight count in the first round against Provodnikov.
Algieri was sent to Macao to be massacred.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in SPORTS

 

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Pacquiao needs a samurai to bring down Bradley

“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” Winston Churchill

By Alex P. Vidal

Manny Pacquiao’s fiery eleventh hour assault against Timothy “The Desert Storm” Bradley in their first meeting on June 9, 2012 failed to convince judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross, who scandalously awarded the WBO 147-lb title to the unbeaten black fighter from Palm Springs, California via 12-round split decision.
Both judges scored an identical 115-113 for Bradley to obscure Jerry Roth’s 115-113 in favor of the eight-time world champion, who plans to run for senator in the Philippines in 2016. In the eyes of both the experts and fans, Pacquiao was the clear winner.
Pacquiao (55-5, 38 KOs) got tired of chasing the elusive Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) and “lost” in the last three rounds. Both ended the 12th and final round throwing wild punches.
I was at ringside at the MGM Grand from start until the 10th round. I hurriedly left my assigned seat (Floor “G” Row “F” #18) before the 11th round. By 11th and 12th stanzas, I was watching the fight inside the media center and saw a lopsided duel with Pacquiao landing most of the haymakers. I wanted to be the first get the official scorecards transmitted immediately to the media center.

WINNER

To my horror, Bradley, 30, was declared the winner by split decision. I pulled the first piece of paper that came out from the copier machine and downloaded it on my Facebook account. Thousands of “friends” shared it as the world exploded in outrage over the “highway robbery.”
Fans had expected a come-from-behind KO win for Pacquiao in the first Bradley duel but were ready to accept a decision when Pacquiao could not nail the lucky punch. But not a bum decision. They crucified the two judges, not Bradley.
Although Pacquiao, 35, has not scored a stoppage win since Nov. 14, 2009 when he snatched Miguel Angel Cotto’s WBO welterweight belt via 12th round TKO, he is no stranger to late round knockout victories. Pacquiao retired Oscar De La Hoya in 8th; halted David Diaz in 9th; demolished Jorge Solis in 8th; TKO’d Erik Morales in 10th in their rematch; stopped Marco Antonio Barrera in 11th; put away Nedal Hussein in 10th. They were some of his fiercest battles en route to become a ring legend.

BACK-TO-BACK

In their rematch on April 12, Bradley seeks to become the first fighter to score a back-to-back victory over the famed Pacquiao. His confidence boosted after rolling past Ruslan Provonikov (23-2, 16 KOs) and Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7, 40 KOs), Bradley increased muscles and posed for photographers in apparent copycat of Marquez, who did the same trick prior to knocking out Pacquiao in 6th last December 8, 2012.
The message Team Bradley wanted to impart was: “I’m willing to engage Pacquiao in a brawl and I won’t run away.” This could be meant to confuse Team Pacquiao which expects Bradley to again dance and avoid a head-on collision.
Nobody survived with Pacquiao in a phone-booth brawl except Marquez, whose one-punch demolition of Pacquiao was considered as a “lucky punch”. In order to beat Pacquiao, Morales, in their first meeting on March 19, 2005 also in MGM Grand, sprayed the Filipino superstar with blinding and dizzying jabs and confused him with consistent lateral movements from start to finish.

EXPOSED

No boxer has been very much exposed in Las Vegas than Pacquiao in as far as styles and weaknesses are concerned. Even those who have been vanquished have studied Pacquiao, but only a few of them have been given the privilege to face him again in a rematch and a trilogy.
Like in his previous bouts, Pacquiao is again under pressure to satisfy bloodthirsty fans with a knockout win. But given Bradley’s mental and physical preparations, it looks like the Filipino congressman will need to bring a samurai or revolver to fulfill this difficult mission assigned to him by fans baying for Bradley’s flesh and blood.
Bradley’s camp is aware of the danger their ward faces once the reigning WBO welterweight champion makes a mistake of forcing a KO win against the durable Pacquiao only because Bradley now looks like Incredible Hulk. Team Bradley is also aware that finishing the full route against Pacquiao is already half winning the bout — with or without “cooperation” of the judges.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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