Work has been a lot harder than usual lately (Price you pay for being a competent employee) so my output of fresh material hasn’t been. But I’ll try to make up for that with my quick thoughts on some of the latest and upcoming boxing news.
LARA VS. ANGULO
This fight sort of feels like a must-win for both fighters if they wish to stay relevant. Angulo has had only two fights since his loss to James Kirkland at the end of 2011 due to visa issues and being incarcerated in a detention center. I haven’t been able to find footage of those two fights so it’s difficult to see how he’s progressed since teaming up with Virgil Hunter, trainer of Andre Ward.
Lara… come on, those of you who know me know I’m a fan of the guy. I was disappointed in him getting a draw against Vanes Martirosyan as I felt he was starting to take control when an accidental clash of heads lead to the fight being ended in the ninth round. If he had been a bit busier he would have won the earlier rounds, thus making victory a much more sure thing.
In this fight Lara is going to have to fight the perfect fight. Move around the ring, make Angulo miss and tag him with hard shots when he does. Lara may be giving up an inch in height but you’ve got an equal length in reach.
Lara also has to be weary of Angulo’s power. After all, Angulo was only thirty seconds into his fight with James Kirkland when he dropped him.
What Angulo can’t afford to do is punch himself out like he did against Kirkland. Yes he did look dominant for the first thirty seconds but once Kirkland got up, he began to take control, knocked Angulo down and almost out at the end of that same round.
This fight can be a launching pad for whomever walks away victorious while the loser may be reduced to journeyman status.
WARD VS. FROCH II?
After Carl Froch’s clear victory against Mikkel Kessler, this fight makes the most sense. Ward doesn’t have anything on his plate right now due to injury. Carl Froch feels that he can do better, in front of his roaring fans in England, against the only other man to beat him (the first one being Kessler) .
And I’m all for that; let it be in England. Ward draws well in Oakland but he needs to step out of that comfort zone of always fighting in his backyard and put the emphasis in the title of ‘world champion’.
Is Ward possibly worried he could be the victim of a home town decision like some believe Andre Dirrell was when he fought Froch? Well if that’s the case, bring over a judge from America. Let Froch have one from England and the third can be a judge from a neutral country. Isn’t that what happened when they fought the first time in Atlantic City? It is and oddly enough it was the English judge who had it much more one-sided for Ward at 117-111 while the other two (from Canada and America, respectively) had it much closer at 115-113.
However any chance of it happening in England probably evaporated when Froch admitted he would like to fight in Las Vegas. I expect Ward to jump on that and use it to keep the fight in the United States. That’s too bad, because a rematch between the two of them in England would have been huge.
It only made sense. This time there didn’t need to be any false-flag tweets about Devon Alexander to get our attention; fans just wanted to know if Floyd Mayweather would accept the challenge of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
He did… after making the Alvarez camp agree to a catch-weight of 152lbs. But I’ll get to that a bit later.
Right now it is the fight people are going to be looking forward to the most as we get through the latter half of this year. Has Floyd bitten off more than he can chew with this young, hungry champion? Can Canelo cope with being so young and so much riding on his back? Will Oscar de la Hoya be able to keep his rhetoric below Ludicrous Speed in all the press conferences leading up to this fight?
Will Mayweather be able to trash-talk an opponent who doesn’t speak English?
Either way, expect all the stops to be pulled for the promotion for this fight.
Now as for the catch-weight… I’m puzzled. Floyd’s fought twice at 154lbs; against Oscar de la Hoya in 2007 and Miguel Cottoin 2011. Both fights were at the 154lb weight limit. Now all of a sudden he’s up against another 154 pounder but feels Canelo needs to cut weight an extra two pounds to 152?
This is why I wish we had a behind the scenes look at the negotiations so that we could find out the real reasons. Chances are they’ll come out later as we get closer to the fight but if I were with team Alvarez, I’d be pointing out that a catch-weight shouldn’t make any difference. I would also point out that when Floyd was required to make a catch-weight of 144lbs, he didn’t even bother and was flexing his muscles and flashing a toothy grin as he weighed in at 146lbs for his comeback fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2009.
Hopefully we’ll get some explanation as time goes on.