By: Anthony “Zute” George
How was everyone’s summer? If you are like me, a boxing nut, then it was not that good. The Olympics, a joke on so many levels, forced real boxing to take a back seat for most of the summer. This worked out really well…didn’t it? I am a person with many faults. At the same time, I am a person who takes pride in a lot of things I stand for and one of them is I never bought into the hype of the Olympics and hate amateur boxing.
August was a slow month in particular for the premium cable channels in the world of boxing; however, the fists will fly in September in a major way. September is filled with big names, important fights, and head to head battles with the premium cable channels. September also features the big men of in a major way.
On September 8th, at the Prudential Center, Main Events is showcasing three major names in the heavyweight division. Tomasz Adamek(46-2, 28), fresh off his victory over Eddie Chambers, takes on Travis Walker(39-7-1, 31). Many people felt Adamek did not deserve the decision, as he struggled with Chambers, who fought with the use of only his left hand throughout most of the fight.
Former cruiserweight king Steve Cunningham, 24-4, 12, steps up to the heavyweight division to take on Jason Gavern (21-10-4, 10), in his big man debut. Adamek and Cunningham faced each other at the cruiserweight level, with the Polish star besting the Philadelphian over twelve tough rounds. Both Adamek and Cunningham are skilled fighters who use both hands and put punches together, a rematch between these two would be a boost for the otherwise luke warm heavyweight division.
Bryant “By-By” Jennings (14-0, 6) is another talent two handed heavyweight fighter who has received a lot of attention over the last two years and is on track to making heavyweight boxing in the United Sates of America important again. He looks to continue his winning ways on the Main Events card September 8th as well and takes on Chris Koval (25-9, 18). All three men have to not just defeat there opponents, but beat them in convincing fashion, to continue towards the path of big money fights in the heavyweight division.
On that same day, 41 year old WBC Heavyweight Champion, Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40) defends his title against undefeated Manuel Charr (21-0, 11). Charr is a German fighter, a relatively unknown commodity who can soon become very relevant with a good showing another the dominant Vitali. The winner of this heavyweight fight can possibly look to the three heavyweights featured on the Main Events card for future fights. Vitali has already made easy work of Adamek, but I am sure Tomasz would not mind a second crack at what some people think to be an aging Klitschko Brother.
HBO and Showtime also go head to head on September 8th. HBO’s main event is a good one. Andre Ward (25-0, 13), fresh off of spectacular run on Showtime, ironically, takes on Bad Chad Dawson (31-1, 17), fresh off of his survival guide win over the dirty, methodical, and problematic Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32). This is a true boxing pursuit fight and has a chance to be an unexpected classic. My radio partner, The Boxing Prophet, is looking forward to this fight more than the “Superfight” of J.C. Superstar Jr. and Sergio Martinez. I do not blame him.
The biggest names of the sport are rumoured to be in fights in the final quarter of 2012 as well. Manny Pacquaio and Miguel Cotto for sure will be in action, against someone, while we all wait for Floyd Mayweather’s announcement on what is next, if anything, in 2012. The rumour floating around is that Pacquiao and Cotto may face off against each other. If this is true, it means Manny Pacquiao will continue to be the disgrace of boxing, not the face of boxing. Really? Another Mayweather sloppy second, a guy who you already beat before he became a Mayweather sloppy second? This is what you are going to ask us to pay sixty bucks plus for… DISGRACE!
But it is no surprise to me. Manny has been a disgrace to the sport for a long time now. After his narrow escape, in a fight I felt he lost, in 2008 against Juan Manuel Marquez, many has jobbed us time and time again.
First up is David Diaz. Need I say anymore? Next up he goes for the big money against Oscar. Alright, capitalism rules I get that, but Oscar was already beaten by Floyd Mayweather at this point so why did Manny feel this was a challenge?. What would have happened had it happened the other way around? All in all though, I cannot kill Manny for this fight that much. At that time, fight Oscar was the only way to make killer money in boxing. He gets a pass for that one. However, the fraud which is Manny kicked in high gear with fights against Ricky “ Already Beaten By Floyd” Hatton (you only get one pass from me with that method), Miguel Cotto, who, at the time, was believed to be exposed by Antonio Margarito and struggled against Joshua Clottey prior to the Manny fight. He then fights Clottey, then Margarito, not after his great victory over Cotto, but after he was disgraced by Shane Mosley and exposed as a cheater. Only Manny could have gotten away with giving Margarito a fight he had no business getting. Only Manny could build his legacy and wallet with fights like this and the public takes it.
The hits, however, keep on coming. Manny then fights Mosley, not after his great fight against Margaritto, but after his less than inspired performances against Floyd Mayweather and Serigo Mora. JOKE.
Manny then decides to give Juan Manuel Marquez a third chance. Something he should have done prior to the end of 2011. However, all of the Arum cronies and Manny groupies dismissed a third fight with Marquez as no longer competitive when they were defending his disgrace of a fight with Shane Mosley. Sorry you had to either be an Arum crony or a Manny groupie if you tried to tell me his fight with Mosley was his best option.
In your defence, you all told anyone, who was listening, that Manny would kill JMM at this point in their point in their careers. The once proud Mexican Warrior had nothing left is all I kept hearing. Then you all shamelessly jumped on board and treated Manny vs. JMM 3 as, once again, a legitimate fight. Only Pac Man can get away with this garbage.
However, this time the lie was exposed, JMM was a legit and tough fight for Manny. The cries that JMM was no longer in Manny’s class were a myth that the fools who tried to sell it as such probably did not even believe. I know I never did and I cannot be that much smarter than you. Can I? I believe they just thought Manny would never resort to fighting JMM again.
After the fight, JMM gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson, by landed the stiffer shots, made Manny miss more than Manny made Marquez miss, and countered wonderfully whenever Pac Man did land anything of relevance. That is what a boxer does. However, the three blind mice disguised as judges gave the fight to Pacquiao.
The Arum cronies and Pac Man groupies soon went to work, justifying the decision by blaming it on JMM, and his trainer, Nacho Bernstein. Somehow Nacho telling his fighter he was winning the fight in the later rounds meant it was justified for the judges to say the best Marquez did was win five rounds in that fight. Really? Come on. Really? If JMM only won five rounds in that fight, I am the leading contender for GQ’s sexiest man alive contest… ABSURD!
Freddie Roach, Manny, and even Arum realized that the stench of the JMM decision was still in the air, despite all of the clowns who tried to defend it. There were enough smart boxing people out there to know that the decision was pure BS. They knew they had to do something in their next fight to erase the stench. Served up, Timothy Bradley.
Bradley was an undefeated fighter, a hard worker, and a genuine nice guy. Not even I, Manny’s biggest critic, could say much about this fight. However I knew what the thought process was. Bradley was undefeated, he was young, but he possessed no threat to Manny physically and in talent. He was not a big puncher or a guy who can put punches together with two hands. Bradley is a guy who keeps in great shape and would never give up, as shown in the fight.
As much as I do not like Manny Pacquiao, I know the attributes that make Timothy Bradley a successful boxer is not enough to beat a Manny Pacquiao, not even on his worst night. To beat a Manny Pacquiao you have to possess power and be superior with your combinations and counter punching. Timothy Bradley was not this type of fighter. He was perfect for Manny to look good against.
Picking Bradley was a great strategy by Arum; even I thought it was going to work. Funny thing happened on the way to the office though. Manny looked very ordinary in this fight. He did not showcase the blistering combinations he usually shows, he was one punch at a time, and he slowed down immensely down the stretch.
If Bradley bought anything to the table in terms of power he would have won this fight, Manny was there to be beat, and Timothy just did not have the proper goods to beat a Manny Pacquiao. It is good enough to beat Devon Alexander, Junior Witter, and Lamont Peterson, but not Manny Pacquiao. My issues with Manny are not his skills.
Due to his lack of power, Bradley won at best won five rounds in this fight. However, the judges were not that kind to Manny on this night, (for reasons everyone has a theory on), and gave Timothy Bradley a fight he had no business getting.
Yes, the Manny folks went wild, how can this happen, this was an outrage. My response to this is simple, if you justified other bad decisions in the past because a guy sat on his lead in the last few rounds, then you have no gripe here, because it was the same exact thing. But since it was Manny…..I think you get the point.
Whoever many Pacquiao fights next, he needs to concentrate more on boxing and less on politics. I do not think he is fading, I think he has lost his focus on boxing. This is more of a disgrace than his choice of opponents. It is one thing to take advantage of the fans who love you so much, and who made you so rich, by taking the safe route. It is another thing to not show up and be one hundred percent focused on taking your opponent out of there.
People fell in love with Manny because he was once a killer in the ring, stopping guys who did not get stopped, like Marco Anontio Barrera and Erik Morales. They would have never feel in love with a guy who was one punch at a time, fought sparingly in rounds, went through the motions against guys he was far superior to, and let guys off the hook when it seems he could have taken them out. This is what Manny Pacquiao has been in one way or another in his last few fights, save the Marquez fight, where he was just beat, and I just do not know why I am the only one who is pointing this out.
Anthony George is a regular contributor of BoxingIQ.com with his Zute For Thought blog piece. He is also the host of Zutes Boxing Talk on Blogtalk.com and Zutes Boxing Talk fanpage on Facebook.