The Week That Was (September 9-15, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on September 16, 2013
The Week That Was (September 9-15, 2013)
“I had a game plan and I tried to work it,” said Alvarez after the fight. (Naoki Fukuda)

If you read “Five Reasons Canelo Will Defeat Mayweather” and wagered money on Canelo, I hope it wasn’t October’s rent…

MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Money Mayweather shoulder rolls his way to another dominant win

“He’s very elusive, he’s a great fighter and that’s why I couldn’t catch him. I didn’t know how to get him. It’s as simple as that,” a dejected Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1, 3O KOs) said following his 12-round majority decision loss to the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Floyd “Money” Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs). Everyone watching Saturday night on Showtime pay-per-view, with the exception of C.J. Ross, who apparently sees as well as Mr. Magoo, would agree with Canelo. Ross shockingly scored the fight a draw.

Prior to the most anticipated fight in years, most pundits picked the undefeated Mayweather to beat the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine light middleweight champion, but few thought he would do so in such dominant fashion. One “expert analyst” even penned a column titled “Five Reasons Canelo Will Defeat Mayweather.” If you read it, were persuaded by my arguments and wagered money on Canelo, I hope it wasn’t October’s rent.

Face-to-face in the center of the ring, the size disparity between the two was evident as Canelo weighed as much as 15 lbs. more than Mayweather by fight night. Despite being the younger man and harder puncher, Canelo and his team couldn’t come up with the answers to solve the complex puzzle called the shoulder roll. “I had a game plan and I tried to work it,” the stubborn Alvarez said afterward. Why didn’t his team have a plan B? To beat a world-class talent like Money you’re going to need more than one plan.

In the first few rounds, it became crystal clear that Canelo was trying to do the impossible. He wanted to outbox the most talented pure boxer in the sport. He tried to shoot his jab over Money’s shoulder roll, Mayweather’s patented defensive technique, but failed miserably. The final CompuBox numbers show that Alvarez landed only 15 percent of his jabs (44 of 294), while the master boxer, Mayweather, landed 138 of 330 for a more than respectable 42 percent. A lot of Canelo’s punches landed on Money’s shoulders and arms.

Midway through the fight, Canelo looking frustrated and gassed, threw some questionable low blows. Mayweather, who in recent fights hasn’t shown much movement, glided around the ring as he found different angles to potshot the clueless Canelo. The former champion followed Mayweather around but was unable to corner him against the ropes. By the late rounds, though Canelo was still trying hard, the outcome of the fight was academic. Neither fighter was able to hurt the other, unless you count Alvarez’s feelings and Floyd’s arms. When a fighter lands 50 percent of his power shots he usually wins and Floyd landed an impressive 52 percent of his (93 of 175).

After 12 rounds, two scorecards read 117-111 and 116-112 for Mayweather. The third judge, C.J. Ross, scored the fight a draw, 114-114, despite Money landing nearly double Canelo’s punches, 234 to 117. If Ross’ name looks familiar it’s because she somehow scored the Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight in favor of the latter. Ross is obviously delusional or incompetent and should be condemned to only judge fights involving Ishe Smith; more on that later.

Alvarez’s people might have rushed him into this fight a bit prematurely, he’s only 23 years old, but they had at least 12 million reasons to do so. That was his guaranteed purse for the fight, before PPV numbers are tallied. “A true champion like Canelo can take a loss and bounce back,” Floyd said about Alvarez after the fight. I predict that Canelo will ultimately change trainers from the good but limited Jose “Chepo” Reynoso to a more accomplished ring coach. The future is still as bright as a diamond for the Mexico superstar. On May 3, 2014, the weekend in boxing affectionately known as Cinco de Mayweather, Money will return to the ring. Once again the list of potential opponents is as long as Saturday’s undercard, but every possible candidate would be a heavy underdog. Danny Garcia; the winner of Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander; and maybe even Manny Pacquiao could be up next. Whoever it is, it’s likely Money’s next fight will be at welterweight.

Danny Garcia beats up challenger Lucas Matthysse to retain his titles

The pride of Philadelphia, Danny Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs), outslugged the feared Argentinean power puncher Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 31 KOs) to retain his WBC and WBA light welterweight titles in a crowd-pleasing fight. The scores were 115-111 and 114-112 twice in favor of the still undefeated Garcia.

The 12-round fight didn’t live up to its lofty expectations but it certainly didn’t disappoint. The tension from the opening bell would somehow be maintained throughout as both fighters threw explosive punches all night. Garcia, the underdog, connected on 225 of his 624 punches, compared to 206 out of 566 for Matthysse.

The first round started like a Philadelphia fistfight with both fighters eschewing their jabs in favor of power shots. Garcia did a superb job of keeping Matthysse at arm’s length early, but the challenger landed the harder combinations. Garcia out-jabbed his opponent and made it difficult for Matthysse to gain a rhythm.

In the fourth round, Garcia started to find a more consistent home for his big right hand, though Matthysse handled his shots well. Whenever the Argentinean would throw punches it was impossible not to have your breath taken away, as it seemed like every shot he threw had knockout written all over it. But Garcia’s underrated defense and surprisingly agile feet kept him just out of harm’s way. In between the sixth and seventh rounds Danny’s trainer, his loudmouthed but somewhat entertaining father Angel Garcia, smacked him in the face and insisted he “wake up.”

The fight took a terrible turn for the challenger in the seventh round, when his right eye began to swell badly from Garcia’s accurate left jabs. Matthysse’s corner was not used to seeing him get hit that much and either forgot or didn’t bother to bring an Enswell to alleviate the swelling. By the 10th round, it looked as if Matthysse couldn’t see out of it any more than if he had Slick Rick’s eye patch over it.

Garcia was in full control of the later rounds, until the 11th when Lucas knocked his mouthpiece out just a few seconds in. A brutal combination by Garcia, at the end of the round, dropped the Argentinean badass to the canvas for the first time in his career. A blatant low blow by Garcia cost him a point in the 12th and final round, as he and Matthysse slugged it out. But it wasn’t nearly enough to give the challenger the decision.

Matthysse is still one of the best fighters in the world at light welterweight, but some luster has been taken off his previously sparkling shine. Going forward, against top tier talent Lucas is going to have use his jab more to set up his power. He can’t just walk forward, throw power punches and expect to have success against champions. “I’m the champion of the world. The champion of the world isn’t scared of anyone,” Garcia told Showtime commentator Jim Gray afterwards, responding to his critics who claimed he was trying to duck Matthysse. Garcia has proven himself to be the best fighter in his division and he stated his next fight will likely be at welterweight. Could it be against Money Mayweather?

Molina wins boring fight over Smith to claim IBF light middleweight title

Carlos Molina (22-5, 6 KOs) won his first world title by outpointing Ishe Smith (25-6, 11 KOs) over 12 mostly dreadful rounds of fighting. The only person who could call this fight part of the Sweet Science is C.J. Ross, who probably scored it an exciting bout.

Both Smith and Molina have participated in their fair share of stinkers, but boxing fans hoped that this matchup could at least be watchable. It wasn’t. Instead, it went the distance and was one of the reasons the main event didn’t go on until 12:30 am Eastern Standard Time. The undercard for Mayweather vs. Alvarez only needed three bouts and this bout shouldn’t have been one of them.

I’ll spare you from recapping the entire fight by saying the cleaner of the few punches that landed were delivered by Molina. Carlos didn’t fight with the urgency of a man trying to win his first title and Smith didn’t attempt to hold on to his belt like someone who relished having it. Molina was awarded a split decision on scores of 117-111, 116-112, while one judge had Smith winning 116-112.

If you can say one positive about Ishe Smith it was that he didn’t look as bad in this fight as he did in his title winning performance against Cornelius Bundrage in February of this year. At 35 years old Smith is going to have a difficult time getting another shot at a belt, even though his promoter is Mayweather. He’s just too difficult to watch. Kudos to Molina on winning his first title, but if he hopes to build a fan base he’s going to have to put on better fights than this. “I’m happy about my win, but I’m never satisfied with my performance in the ring,” Molina said. “I want the winner of the [main event]. It makes sense.”

It only makes sense to him.

Theophane loses to Pablo Cano by split decision

Most observers, with the exception of judge Richard Ocasio, had Pablo Cesar Cano (27-3, 20 KOs) defeating Ashley Theophane over 10 fun but one-sided rounds. Two judges had Cano winning 98-92 and 97-93, but Richard Ocasio’s head scratching card had Theophane ahead 96-94.

Cano rocked and badly hurt Theophane in the third, fourth and fifth rounds though he was unable to knock him down. Theophane had his best round in the fifth, when he visibly hurt Cano with some solid right hands. But it wasn’t enough for the fighter from the United Kingdom who had no answer for Cano’s right hand.

Theophane is under the Mayweather promotional banner and though he’s far from a world-beater, he can engage in entertaining fights. Cano put an end to his two fight-losing streak; he lost to Shane Mosley in May of this year and lost a disputable decision to Paulie Malignaggi in October of 2012. After the fight he said he would campaign at light welterweight going forward, after weighing in at 141.5 lbs. for this fight.

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  1. raxman 09:15pm, 09/16/2013

    tony - I remember thinking “wow that’s really effective. and it must hurt like a son of a bitch!!!!

  2. Tony 08:11pm, 09/16/2013

    Oops, I meant ice “bag” when I was referring to Aaron Snowell’s ineffective work in Tyson’s corner vs. Douglas.

    And in looking at the LM corner’s thumb work again, it again impressed me, just as it did live, that the guy pushed HARD on that swelling.  I remember thinking Saturday night that the swelling would pop!  But he just shoved it down out of the way!

  3. Tony 08:05pm, 09/16/2013

    —-Raxman, Ted: Like you guys, I had never seen that before.  I can remember Tyson’s corner against Douglas being sans Endswell and trying to use an ice bad, with poor results.  But this fascinated me, because the thumb pressure actually seemed to work!  You never know when you’ll see something you haven’t seen before.
    —-Frankie John: Rafael is mistaken.  I just went to look again to make sure I hadn’t been hallucinating.  After round 7, LM’s corner used the Endswell.  Silver metal contact bar with a red handle and an obvious “Ringside” logo.  They used it again after round 8.  Then after round 9, one cornerman went to apply it again and a second cornerman went to the thumb.  Voila!  Pushed the swelling right down!  The Endswell guy backed off, and LM’s eye was more open than it had been when he first sat down.

  4. Frankie John 07:22pm, 09/16/2013

    Tony - ESPN reporter Dan Rafael is reporting there was no end-swell in the corner as well.
    http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9680140/floyd-mayweather-jr-league-own

  5. Ted 06:52pm, 09/16/2013

    NO RAX, NEVER SAW THAT BEFORE, I HAVE SEEN SWELLING CUT-UGH—BUT NOT PUSHED OUT. AND IT WORKED.

  6. raxman 06:41pm, 09/16/2013

    ted and tony - I thought I was the only won who had never seen that eye thing done before. are you guys saying it was new to you too? I thought the beauty of it was that it opened LM’s eye long enough for him to get past the doctor who seemed ready to stop it

  7. bikermike 05:17pm, 09/16/2013

    ........NEXT !!!!

  8. bikermike 05:16pm, 09/16/2013

    without getting into what color of panties were ripped off in this ‘fight’//////dod any or one of you give this ‘worthy opponent’ more chance than a stray dog in the Korean Restaurant district…..FFS   Honestly !!!????

  9. Ted 03:07pm, 09/16/2013

    bk don, Ishe is a zombie so he doesn’t count.

  10. Ted 03:06pm, 09/16/2013

    Tony, I saw that as well. It was VERY effective.

  11. Tony 02:18pm, 09/16/2013

    One point of disagreement: I’m pretty sure I did see an Endswell used in Matthysse’s corner when his eye first began to swell.

    I was pretty fascinated to see one of his cornermen later on just use his thumbs to push down on the swelling.  Interestingly enough, I thought that did a pretty effective job—even if only momentarily.  The swelling was being pushed down, away from LM’s eye, rather than just pushed flat like the Endswell did.  And the cornerman seemed to feel freer to push harder with his fingers than the Endswell pressure.  At the end of that pushing, LM’s eye seemed to have a little bit more of an opening than it had when he sat down in the corner.

    Of course, Garcia just closed it back up again right away.

  12. bk don 01:30pm, 09/16/2013

    Ted - it’s one step above water boarding. However, watching Ishe would be crueler than any human deserves.
    IFC -Is GGG going to move down to 154lbs to fight May, b/c may can’t go any higher than junior middleweight? Sergio v May looks like a good fight,  and sergio has certainly said he could move back down to 154 so i could go for that. I have a hard time believing Devon will lose to Khan but if he does…..That very well could be the fight we get. Have you given up hope on Pacman? Arum said that he would be available to fight anyone, incl May, if he beats Rios in Nov.

  13. Ted 12:57pm, 09/16/2013

    Irish. He is entitled to an easy one in the UK to showcase his skills in Europe. He has earned the right. Not every fight needs to be a killer.

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:42pm, 09/16/2013

    Teron Briggs-Devon Alexander better do his part because they’re getting ready to set up another sucker play in the UK with Kahn if he doesn’t. Mayweather doesn’t need another gimmie fight (more than likely a KO win for a change) as a reward for this “real challenge” he just overcame. There’s Sergio and GGG out there if he really wants a challenge….he knows it and so does anyone who’s paying attention.

  15. Ted 12:28pm, 09/16/2013

    :)

  16. Danny Collins 12:23pm, 09/16/2013

    Hahaha, nice one Ted.

  17. Ted 11:52am, 09/16/2013

    Molina fights should be used to torture captured terrorists.

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