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AC | The Sports Report Girl

Pacquiao vs Mayweather… Don’t Hold Your Breath For It!

November 19, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

Time Magazine didn’t have Cotto’s face (nor Mayweather’s for that matter) on the cover of its 2009 edition of the World’s 100 Most Influential People.

To make the international edition of the magazine takes a little bit more than killer fists.

Because of his strength and endurance, Pacquiao has mesmerized his home country of the Philippines, and with the title stealing win over Cotto, the multi-tasking tsunami has mesmerized the world.

He put the doubters to rest last weekend in Vegas by breaking the will of Miguel Cotto in a battle of pride and country. There were boxing people who gave Cotto a good shot to win, or make it a close fight by decision. But fans in Vegas edged the odds to 3-1 in favor of Pacquiao last Saturday at a sold out MGM Grand. I believed Cotto’s body punches and power would be something Pacquiao would have to adjust too.

Didn’t happen.

Cotto could do nothing. His power was wasted on the little guy who, grinning and nodding to his fans on his way to ring, made it look easy to get his seventh title in seven weight divisions.

It’s as if Pacquiao were the reincarnation of Bruce Lee. It wasn’t too long ago Pac-Man was just an amateur that only hardcore fans knew about. Now, he’s hailed as one of the best boxers ever. And the next chapter in his career could provide one of the greatest Super Fights in history, one that everyone is anxiously waiting to see…

Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But first, there is a deal that needs to get done. Negotiations and money are holding back the best thing boxing has seen in years. Ross Greenburg, HBO Sports president said, “There’s so much money to be made. If it doesn’t happen, there’ll be a revolt. Nothing else is acceptable, and I’m speaking on behalf of the American public and the sport itself.”

The deal basically hinges on which fighter gets more than a 50% cut of the purse. Seasoned on the art of the mega fight deal is Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter. He will no doubt find a way to set aside personal issues to make nice with head of Golden Boy Promotion’s Richard Schaefer, Mayweather’s current promoter.

The work is cut out for this diplomatic endeavor. Arum has to set aside personal dislike for Mayweather, and the usually polite and humble Pacquiao said the fight may not happen due to Pretty Boy Floyd’s attitude.

Aside from some outlandish smack-talk, Mayweather hasn’t truly responded. He feels he is the world’s best fighter, and even though Pacquiao has continued an astounding reign as a force of nature, Mayweather will remain absolute to the art of the deal. Thus, I give it a 50/50 chance of even taking place.

Are You Ready For A Rumble?

November 12, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

Vegas is getting ready for another great fight weekend. The war between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto is only a few days away and boxing fans are salivating.

As the fighters settle into the last phases of promotion and training, Manny Pacquiao remains calm amid the chaos on the strip. Basking in the adulation and spoils of success as thousands of fans welcome the Filipino phenomenon at the hotel, Pacquiao doesn’t look like a guy gunning for his seventh world-title in a seventh-weight class.

He gamely tells the press, “I never thought I would be this popular in the United States.”

Miguel Cotto too is adjusting to the desert, albeit trading friendly smiles with a detached seriousness.

By all accounts it is shaping up to be a tense, crowd-pleasing, high energy fight. While most insiders at this point are looking for any weaknesses, some speculation has been made that Cotto appeared withdrawn at the press conference. The likely inference becomes a question of the 145 agreed catch weight. Pacquaio’s camp asked for it, clearly to neutralize some of Cotto’s size advantage.

Aside from the size issue, the case for a Pacquiao victory remains strong. Here’s why.

Pacquiao has a way of systematically changing confident fighters into ones who are depleted and confused, just trying to find anyplace in the ring where they can catch a breath.

Miguel Cotto is fierce and tough but the consensus is he’s no match for Pacquiao’s superiority in terms of experience, speed and strength. The Vegas odds makers have Pacquiao as a 3-to-1 favorite.

It will be a difficult fight for Pacquiao and the biggest fight of Cotto’s career. Expect to see Cotto resume his natural style of fighting as the aggressor. As a tremendous body puncher, he’ll definitely go to work on the body and land a few good shots in between stalking Pacquiao and trapping him in corners.

However, Pacquiao’s newfound mastery of angles, combined with his other weapons, will keep him out of serious trouble.

But it’s boxing. Anything can happen.

Who will prevail come fight night and set the stage for a possible Mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather? Will it be a tribute to unquestionable toughness and an upset by Cotto? Or will the unmatchable speed and power by Pacquiao secure his bid for boxing history?

The answers will come quickly as the punches start to fly at the MGM Grand this Saturday night.

Sometimes When We Touch

November 5, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

Meet Manny Pacquaio. America’s Latest Boxing Celebrity.

The likeable five foot five, pound for pound champion is dominating the media like Oscar De La Hoya did in his prime, and the masses are eating it up.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, with the audience chanting “Manny,” a smiling and relaxed Pacquaio talked about his many talents (which include singing and acting), his upcoming movie, “Wapakman,” as well as the political issues that face his homeland of the Philippines.

He also mentioned a little side project… an upcoming battle against welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on November 14th. Seemingly Pacquaio can juggle fighting with his various other activities well enough that he can still beat the best fighters in the world and raise awareness about his country and his many other pursuits.

In little over a week, Manny Pacquaio and Miguel Cotto will go to war.

The early rounds will be the biggest test for Cotto as he will get a taste of Pacquaio’s power for the first time. If Cotto can get through the bombs and return some of his own, then the fight will be a lot harder to predict.

The majority seems to think Manny will stop Cotto without any problems. Others are worried that Pacquaio is getting too caught up with both his celebrity status and political career in the Philippines, as well as the conflicts within his own camp.

A source of tension comes from Pacquaio’s “advisor” Michael Koncz, who seemingly has come from thin air. Koncz has no real ties to boxing other than his connection to Bob Arum. The bad blood between Pacquaio’s trainer Freddie Roach and Michael Knocz is boiling to a surface with Koncz urging Pacquaio to dump Roach.

Normally camp drama is a red flag for the fighter and has been known to change the odds at the sports books in Vegas. Add to that Manny’s multi-tasking, and the question begs to be asked… “Is he as dangerous as he used to be?”

But since we’re talking about the best trainer and the best fighter in the business, the likely answer to that question is, “Yes he is.”

Back to the Jimmy Kimmel interview, Pacquiao ended his appearance by singing “Sometimes When We Touch.” The sentimental song, its lyrics dripping with irony, would make the perfect background music for a YouTube video of Pacquaio destroying Cotto.

But if you think about it, the rendition would work just as well if Cotto were to pull the upset.

This Is Personal For Camacho Jr.

October 29, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

Hector “Machito” Camacho Jr., son of legendary, three time world champion Hector Macho Camacho, is ready to avenge his father.

His opportunity will come October 30th in El Paso, Texas when he fights former junior middleweight champion Luis Ramon “Yory Boy” Campas.

The showdown is aptly titled “Latin Invasion 2: Revenge of the Son.”

In press interviews Camacho Jr. insists that he will take care of family business.

“I demanded this fight with Campas. This is personal: he offended my father and my family. I know there are members of the media saying why Campas, but they need to remember that Campas is a really tough fighter who has fought the very best and held his own.”

His motive for payback began four months ago when Campas earned a draw with Camacho Sr. The result ended in animosity which permeated long after the fight ended, prompting the curious father-son campaign.

Camacho Jr’s career started when, as an eight year old, he followed his father into the ring and mock sparred with him before the elder Camacho’s world title defense against Edwin Rosario. Three years later, Camacho Jr. began fighting.

A few minor light welterweight titles later solidified him as a boxer in his own right with a record of 47-3, 27 by knockout. In recent years, his career has been lackluster, with a disputable no-contest against Jesse James Leija, a loss to Omar Weiss, a stoppage by Andrey Tsurkan and a loss to Don Juan Futrell.

Fight night will determine if Camacho Jr. has it in him to continue the legacy and get the win that he seriously needs against a 38-year old fighter, who struggled with his 47-year old father.

Camacho Jr. and Campas will fight at the Don Haskins Center with an undercard that features El Paso super bantamweight contender Antonio Escalante vs. Carlos Fulgencio.

Déjà vu For Jermain Taylor At The Super Six

October 22, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

With the devastating knockout to Jermain Taylor in Berlin Germany, undefeated Arthur Abraham emerged as the clear winner of the first round of Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic— a six-fighter event aimed at producing the sport’s undisputed 168-pound champion.

Taylor, a former middleweight world champion, who suffered his second straight last-round knockout, has some insiders calling for his retirement- not just in the tournament, but from boxing in general.
Saturday’s brutal knockout sent Taylor to a Berlin hospital for precautionary measures after suffering from concussion-like symptoms.

This wasn’t the plan for Taylor, who had the sport at his feet just four years ago. In the summer of 2005, Taylor, then a 26-year old prospect, took the middleweight title by decision from 40-year champion Bernard Hopkins. It was a close fight and despite the arguable win, Taylor was deemed a new era in the middleweight class.

How quickly things change. The ageless Hopkins with some stellar fights behind him, is now gearing up for a battle against ex-rival Roy Jones. On the other hand, Taylor’s middleweight reign has been anything but impressive. He’s now lost 4 of his last 5, 3 by way of dramatic stoppage.

The Super Six was an opportunity for Taylor to get back on top but in the first match he found himself in a familiar position, on his back in the 12th.

Meanwhile, WBC champion Carl Froch won a controversial split decision over previously unbeaten Andre Dirrell in Nottingham, England.

There is still debate over whether the Super Six is a way to forward boxing. Is creating a champion’s league event good for the sport?

Most fans and insiders do agree on one thing… Danish champion Mikkel Kessler, who will cap off the first round on November 21st in Oakland, CA against Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward, is a favorite to win the tourney. Abrahams is a popular second.

Ring Rust and Low Blows!

October 15, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

Ring rust used to be a big concern in boxing. But lately, it seems like the longer the layoff, the better the results.

First there’s the case of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his masterful return against Juan Manuel Marquez. Then, nearly a month later in Los Angeles, Israel Vazquez knocked out Angel Priolo (30-8 20 KO’s) after a 19-month hiatus.

Last Saturday at the Nokia Theater, a bloodied and shaky Vasquez (44-4, 30 KOs) showed he wasn’t going to let a 2-inch cut (opened over his left eye during the sixth round) threaten his bid for a comeback. Ironic, due to the fact his absence was a result of surgery to repair a detached retina.

Vasquez admitted to being rusty… but a win is a win. And considering his former trainer, Freddie Roach, hoped he would retire given the grueling rivalry with Rafael Marquez last March, those words were never more true.

But with another mega fight on the horizon for his wunderkind, Manny Pacquiao, Roach has his mind on other matters… Like Cotto and his track record of low blows. The legendary trainer is awaiting a rules meeting before next month’s fight to address the issue.

Roach will be seeking an automatic disqualification for the first intentional low blow thrown. “Cotto tends to get dirty when the going gets tough in most of his fights and I don’t want this to happen. I will make sure the referee will be very strict about it,” Roach says.

Count on it. Roach is a master at micro-management. When Cotto gets threatened, which he will, can the Puerto Rican warrior stop his impulse from hitting below the belt?

We’ll have to wait until November 14th to find out.

The Road To Pacquiao

October 8, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

Mayweather’s last bout with Marquez was a clinic. Against all the talk of ring rust, and weight, Mayweather made it rain once again in September. His unparalleled speed, skill and natural talent reduced a good fighter to an average one.

According to Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach, “Floyd needs us- we don’t need him.”

Roach, among his many skills, can foresee the outcome of fights that involve his favorite fighter. Polite manners aside, Roach predicted a knock out on Hatton when the majority believed his boy would go down. If the Mayweather fight happens, the forecast will be hazy. Even for Roach. This is the one guy that may stop Pacquiao’s brilliant reign as a pound for pound favorite.

For many fight fans, we love to hate Mayweather. He’s branded himself as the villain of the sport. It’s not the fact that he backs it up, but underneath the bravado he has heart. As much as Vegas fans booed him for dominating Marquez, most fans like myself, smiled at the outcome. He has yet to partner up with Golden Boy Promotions or Bob Arum. The fact that he held on this long without selling out is very rare in a sport that buys fighters faster than a slot machine in a Reno tourist convention. Besides his storied family history and his cockiness, he’s charming.

Pacquiao is another fighter that has yet to sell out to the mega promoters and may be the most likeable guy in boxing in decades. His humility and honesty touches people. It would be an eyesore to watch him being beaten to the punch. Unlikely, when you remember his last few fights, dismantling a faded Oscar De La Hoya and shutting down the tough Brit from Manchester, Ricky Hatton… But nonetheless, “Money” Mayweather will close the show because….will because, bottom line he always has. Period. Pacquiao’s past legacy of knocking off the best Mexican fighters doesn’t apply to the elusive Mayweather. Although, his speed and footwork, with Freddie Roach in his ear has evolved with every fight, it’s no match for Mayweather’s hand speed and blinding combinations and a newly discovered left jab. Here’s the thing, even with a year and a half of ‘retirement’ he’s smarter.

Speed vs. Speed. Mayweather is two inches taller and with a reach advantage of five inches it’s no contest. It will come down to who has more talent.

It won’t be easy and there is always the chance that Pacquiao will do the unthinkable and administer the first loss to Mayweather. But there’s also a chance I will win the lotto.

Whatever goes down that night, make no mistake, there will be a rematch.

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