Ceremonial Ten Count: A Requiem for HBO Boxing

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The other day, while discussing boxing in detail with a knowledgeable co-worker – and there’s a opening I never would’ve thought I’d possibly write five years ago – I casually reminded him that Saturday night’s Boxing After Dark card would technically be the final telecast of HBO Boxing after 45 years of standard-bearing quality and omnipresent, sport-influencing significance. He professed mild disappointment when hearing that the best card the network could apparently assemble as its swan song was a triple-header featuring two matches from the nascent and still relatively obscure realm of women’s boxing. I found myself neither particularly surprised by his knee jerk response nor my general agreement with it. Boxing fans are always hungry, after all, rarely satisfied, and can be exceedingly hard to impress. Continue reading “Ceremonial Ten Count: A Requiem for HBO Boxing”

Beauty before age: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez UD12 Miguel Cotto

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Once imagined as an answered prayer, the long-awaited showdown between the two greatest fighters of this generation, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, was instead a fairly epic failure, widely purchased and even more widely reviled, and, months later, lingers as a topic of uncomfortable conversation and a general pox on the house of boxing. Gun-shy consumers still smarting in the aftermath of May’s grand non-event voted with their shuttered wallets when offered the opportunity earlier this fall to anoint a new pay-per-view star, Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin. Even from the perspective of someone who did not buy that fight card live, or particularly feel it PPV-worthy, it was still a disappointing result, despite solid in ring efforts at the top from Golovkin and direct support Roman Gonzalez, the post-Floyd world’s current #1 pound for pound entrant. Continue reading “Beauty before age: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez UD12 Miguel Cotto”

Turtle Meets Shredder: Gennady Golovkin KO2 Marco Antonio Rubio

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The warriors’ rugged features tell what is already a fairly intriguing story, however incomplete. Neither is any sort of pretty boy, a De La Hoya, say, or a Leonard, or a Mayweather. Both have the air of having cleared countless hurdles over the course of their hardscrabble existences, and an entrenched look of hunger that money and fame might mitigate but possibly never cure. Ring institution Michael Buffer handles the preliminary introductions before his trademarked “thousands in attendance” (in this case, an overflow sellout crowd of 9,300), who in turn thrum with anticipation as HBO’s cameras inspect the two combatants. One bounces with nervous energy while the other radiates quiet confidence, but their eyes are both lively. Continue reading “Turtle Meets Shredder: Gennady Golovkin KO2 Marco Antonio Rubio”

Evasion of the Body Snatcher: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez SD12 Erislandy Lara

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Watching Saul “Canelo” Alvarez doggedly pursue Erislandy Lara around the MGM Grand Garden ring tonight, I could not help but reflect there are some things that, as a boxing fan, you just innately know.

If indeed the axiom that “styles make fights” holds, then a matchup between two brawlers – say the late Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward – is going to produce a solid matchup regardless of the eventual winner. The same is generally true for the classic puncher vs. counterpuncher fight – think Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. These are not deep thoughts. The two pairings I just used as shorthand examples produced a total of seven fights for a reason. Far trickier is the standard boxer vs. puncher fight. Continue reading “Evasion of the Body Snatcher: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez SD12 Erislandy Lara”

Power Surge, Overload, Short Circuit: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez TKO10 Alfredo Angulo

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Alfredo Angulo, crestfallen, wore the pain of the decision on his badly misshapen face, and almost every boxing fan watching at that moment – whether in the ring, or ringside, in the “cheap” seats or the lower bowl, at a bar or at home, in Las Vegas, Mexico, Middle America, or at a movie theater like I was – carried its considerable, uneasy weight in his or her gut. In a well-anticipated pay-per-view main event pitting the relentless but relatable, self-styled underdog Angulo – nicknamed “El Perro” in case that identity wasn’t obvious enough – against slightly tarnished, by no less than Floyd Mayweather, Mexican matinee idol Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Continue reading “Power Surge, Overload, Short Circuit: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez TKO10 Alfredo Angulo”