Sunday, May 8, 2011

"You are the true pound for pound King"

"You are the true pound for pound King." Note, that quote is not mine, although I concur 100%, but that quote came from Shane Mosley directly to Manny Pacquiao immediately after their fight Saturday night. With a swollen face and looking all of his 39 years of age in the ring, Mosley had nothing but praise for the best fighter in the world who wears boxing gloves; which is a whole other issue I will get too momentarily. Meanwhile, Pacquiao remains his always humble, but infinitely supreme self in the ring.

Although I did not write a formal preview for this fight, I did predict publicly via social media that I thought Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO's) would win this fight via late round TKO, after beating down Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KO's) and would force him into retirement. The TKO never came, but the beat down was evident and although Mosley did not announce he was retiring, he went from being 'Sugar Shane' to 'Sweet 'n' Low Shane' three fights ago. Pacquiao meanwhile, responded to Jim Gray in his post-fight interview when asked, why he could not finish Shane after an early round knockdown; "my legs started to stiffen up on me. I don't know why, but this happened to me once before during the Marquez fight."

Of course everyone wants to finally see Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr., but personally I don't care at this point and I believe Manny doesn't either. Mayweather has not fought since he defeated Mosley over a year ago. Also, when Gray asked Pacquiao how he feels about it, his response was simply, "I only want the fight to happen because that is what the people want. I am here to make the people happy." In other words, he could care less at this point.

On the undercard, the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry is alive and well as Mexican Jorge 'Travieso' Arce (57-6-2, 44 KO's) upset former WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr. (20-1-1, 17 KO's). Vasquez from Bayamon, Puerto Rico lost via TKO in the 12th and final round. However, this was a TKO solely because Arce appeared to have Vasquez in trouble against the ropes. After taking many shots, but throwing back as well, Vasquez's trainer, his father, a three-division former world champion, threw in the towel with two minutes left in the fight. A fight that was close in many people's eyes, including the judges.

I argue that this was a mistake for one reason. While I agree Vasquez, Jr. was clearly in trouble, at that point I felt that Vasquez, Sr. was not acting as a trainer, but rather as a father. I have no problem with a father protecting his son, but if that is the case, then your decision is not professional, but personal and I don't feel both can mesh in this game of boxing. Junior was clearly upset with his father in the corner for stopping the fight and it would not surprise me to see a change of trainer's from here on out.

In the fight prior to this, former middleweight champion Kelly 'The Ghost' Pavlik (37-2, 32 KO's) successfully came back from a stint in rehabilitation for alcoholism, although I do not agree with the decision. In a fight against previously undefeated super-middleweight prospect Alfonso Lopez (21-1, 16 KO's), Pavlik scored a majority decision victory. However, in a fight that was very close, I will point out that Lopez defeated Pavlik in every punch statistical category featured after the fight. Yet, one judge scored it 95-95, which shows how close it was, but the other two scores were 98-92 and 99-91 in a fight I and many others had Lopez winning.

This judging fiasco along with one other issue really ruined an otherwise entertaining night of fights for me. In all three fights mentioned above, I noticed a trend that's been going on quite a while now; in each fight, the competitors wore different brand gloves. I have an issue with this and I'll explain why. Whether they are made by Everlast, Grant, Reyes etc., every glove weighs the same and are sanctioned by the athletic commission, but that doesn't mean the playing field is the same. If each manufacturer makes their product differently than the other, then who is to say that one glove doesn't have some form of advantage over the other.

Though they may weigh the same, the padding may be slightly different. One may be more prone to cause thumb injuries to the eye, than the other. One brand may actually allow a fighter to scientifically have a speed advantage over the other. There was a time when both fighters were required to wear the same glove in a fight, when did that suddenly change? A friend of mine said to me Saturday night, "a glove is a glove isn't it?" My response was simply, "that's like saying Nike's are the same as Reject's/Bobo's; need I say more?"

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