THURSDAY’S BOXING NOTEBOOK
WLADIMIR KLITSCHO WINS IN MOSCOW
San Francisco, CA– With nothing “climactic” this past weekend coming from heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko, we can see the WBO champion is above average with maybe a below average chin. That aspect alone, Wlad will never be a George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes. However wonderful the younger Klitschko is, the one that won a Gold Medal for Ukraine in the 1996 Olympics and outside of his elder brother Vitali, is the best heavyweight and has been for years. My only real gripe is that he wants to fight in the 2016 Olympics, which in my mind is criminal!
COTTO WAS THE TV STAR, WLAD MADE THE MONEY!
Miguel Cotto was the “man” this past weekend, and not even a Klitschko fan can say anything to the contrary. Look, it wasn’t the grabbing, clinching, it was the “leaning” on Alexander Povetkin. The referee involved himself ten rounds too late when he “realized” the leaning. I worked with a lot of bigger guys who would try that crap in the gym. When they couldn’t out perform you, leaning can be unbearable and both physically and emotionally, and surprise, it is not good for your back. Still, still, World heavyweight champ, 60-3, 50 KOs, Wladimir Klitschko.
LEFT HOOK TO BODY DELIVERS DELVIN TO DEFEAT
So Miguel Cotto looks spectacular in the minds of some under the tutelage of newly hired trainer Freddie Roach. Being one of the people that believe the Top Rank matchmakers are the best at getting their guys fights they can win. Bruce Trampler, Carl Moretti, two of the best at looking through guys as a fighter and while Top Rank has to throw a “lamb” for slaughter for the buck, as they are in the “promotional” side of the business. Payton Sher was a great matchmaker and builder of talent. Matchmaking, and I don’t mean packing a local card, I did that in California, is like shooting craps. Instead of sweating the roll of the dice, you’re sweating the results in the ring. Being a real matchmaker, Eric Bottjer is pretty good, is the most difficult task in promoting boxing.
UNDERDOG BETTERS THOUGHT COTTO LOSES THIRD IN ROW
Now how did I get to matchmaking, well a lot of people thought that the Top Rank brains had maybe been “Hangin’ with Oscar,” by matching Cotto against Delvin Rodriquez. Although I don’t think Cotto will be in any more “life or death” fights before he hangs them up, if it is it’ll be “one and done” because Cotto, unlike a lot of guys with tenure will retire at once if he had to endure something like the beating he took down the stretch with Antonio Margarito in their first clash, nor the thrashing he took from Manny Pacquiao.
MARQUEZ ONCE “UNWELCOME” AT HBO
If you ask me to look at Juan Manuel Marquez-Tim Bradley, actually seeing Bradley is the WBO champ thanks in part to a CJ Ross and a 115-113 score for Tim, it’s Bradley-Marquez. Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez was so unwanted by HBO after losing a horrible hugging match in 1999 with Freddie Norwood for a WBA title at 126. I remember one HBO suit, no longer with the network, “Juan Manuel Marquez, he’ll never fight on HBO again.”
IT’S MR. MARQUEZ WHO FOUGHT HIS WAY BACK TO HBO
And he didn’t for a while. But his three fights with Manny Pacquiao, the third a one-piunch KO win, everybody is smiling at HBO because Marquez, exciting or not, has a huge Mexican and Mexican American fan base in addition to fight fans worldwide…who don’t remember the Norwood stinker! Saturday night at 9 PM ET on HBO PPV.