TruSparta Boxing Blog II

By David Matthew on May 5, 2012
TruSparta Boxing Blog II
Mayweather was flashing his jack-o’-lantern grin, chewing his gum as Cotto stood ice-cold

In what was one of the most intense and prolonged staredowns we’ve seen in awhile, both Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto…

•    As the largest full moon projection of 2012 prepares to illuminate the night sky tonight, the energy and tension that accompanies such was vibrantly on display at yesterday’s weigh-in. In what was one of the most intense and prolonged staredowns we’ve seen in awhile, both Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto stood their ground in demonstrative fashion. Mayweather was flashing his trademark jack-o’-lantern grin, emphatically chewing his gum as Cotto stood ice-cold, cemented in an unwavering gaze of intensity and focus. Finally, after what seemed like 10 minutes, Floyd mouthed off something akin to “you’re messing with a monster”—and the jawing back and forth began. Interestingly, Cotto jawed back as the bravado heated up and the fighters needed to be separated. After a successful promotional build-up to tonight’s mega-fight, it appeared that the magnitude of the moment sunk in precisely as the fighters were faced off with each other, recognizing the immediacy of a bout that has been brewing for a half decade. Cotto weighed in at a sturdy 154 pounds. His lower body and shoulders appeared to have gained some mass, and we shall see if that gives him any physical edge in the fight. For Mayweather, he is in impeccable shape as usual, weighing in at 151 pounds. While some may feel that Cotto has the edge in being fully filled out at the 154-pound limit, the weight will be largely meaningless in a fight where master-skill and technique reign supreme.

•    Both Canelo Alvarez and Shane Mosley were able to make weight, but it took Shane a second effort on the scales to reach the weight limit. Initially, Shane was half a pound over the limit. After leaving the staredown session, Shane was able to make weight. I still think that this fight will turn into a war fairly quickly, with both men exchanging chopping right hands. I sense that Shane still has something left in the tank—even at 40 years old—but the 21-year-old Alvarez seems destined to rise above this moment and I reckon he will be the harder puncher and the faster fighter in the heated exchanges.

•    While many seem disappointed with what was labeled a “boring” fight this past weekend in Atlantic City, I was thoroughly impressed with Chad Dawson’s performance against Bernard Hopkins. Dawson dominated the action throughout, and was more assertive than he’s been in previous fights. While nobody looks good against Hopkins, Dawson actually looked in command and was able to aesthetically please audiences that are partial to a technically fluent application of the sweet science. Dawson was continually clipping B-Hop with uppercuts on the inside, scraping him with precise straight left hands, and employed a steady jab that controlled the action on the outside. B-Hop was able to land a few of his patented sneaky right hand leads, but his moments were far too seldom in a fight where a changing of the guard took place in the division. Afterwards Dawson surprisingly called out Andre Ward, and Ward instantly took to the twittersphere implying that he’d be open to such a clash. Perhaps I’m alone in this, but this is a fight I’d love to see.  Ward—with his cagey inside fighting and iron-will—is coming off an unbelievable 2011 where he received Fighter of the Year honors. Dawson, with his length, technical mastery, and newfound ability to be more aggressive, would feature an intriguing contrast of styles that could produce a high-level technical chess match. Here’s to Dawson-Ward in 2012.

•    A TruSparta salute to Brooklyn’s Paulie Malignaggi who decisively outgunned Vyacheslav Senchenko in Donetsk, Ukraine this past weekend to capture the WBA welterweight title via TKO victory in the ninth round. Malignaggi was able to use his superior jab and footwork to outbox the Freddie Roach-trained Senchenko throughout, and continued his trend of throwing more punches and being a more exciting fighter. It also appears his punching power is a slight bit more impactful as he’s become sturdier in the upper body, even if he’s lost a step in his legs. After punishing Senchenko with accurate shots all night, Malignaggi was able to bust up Senchenko’s eye so badly that Steve Smoger was forced to step in and halt the action, as Senchenko simply couldn’t see right hands coming, as his eye was completely shut. Good stoppage and a terrific performance by Malignaggi.

•    This week’s TruSpartan of the week shout out goes to an actual Spartan of Michigan State football lineage—Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell. In what was one of the most exciting heavyweight fights of recent vintage, Mitchell was caught early when Chazz Witherspoon landed a solid right hook in the opening round that had Mitchell seriously buzzed. To the surprise of everyone, Mitchell was able to come back from being hurt in the very next round to dominate the action, ripping Witherspoon with blistering body shots via a medley of heavy, sweeping hooks. In the third round, Mitchell turned the tables on Chazz and unleashed mayhem yet again, dropping Chazz with a beautifully timed left hook after ducking a flurry by Chazz. Moments later, Mitchell landed a pair of picture-perfect straight right hands that landed right on the chin, reverberating Witherspoon’s entire frame, and ended the fight dramatic fashion. While some are critical of Mitchell for getting caught, we saw an awesome display of heart and courage with Mitchell’s ability to recuperate and overcome big time adversity. Further, we now know that Mitchell can survive getting hit flush by a legitimate heavyweight puncher, as Witherspoon was more than game in this exciting fight. Mitchell also displayed a warm presence as his personality shone through in the post-fight interviews where he jokingly explained that he “did the stanky-leg a little bit” after being momentarily wobbled by Chazz. We will watch great interest as the Mayhem flight continues its ascent in the dormant American heavyweight landscape, which is finally starting to awaken from its slumber. TruSparta salutes the bravery and courage of Seth Mitchell, who is this week’s TruSpartan.

TruSparta Boxing Blog I
TruSparta Boxing Blog II
TruSpart Boxing Blog III

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  1. the thresher 07:02pm, 05/06/2012

    Good stuff David

  2. Henry Williams 04:00am, 05/06/2012

    Mayweather is a good fighter

  3. Cheekay Atomic 10:03pm, 05/05/2012

    Stellar work

  4. Bontchimuz 05:25pm, 05/05/2012

    Superb article and broad based news coverage for all boxing fans.

    It’s do or die for Shane vs Canelo….that fight might be the most exciting of the night.

    Cant wait….excitement very high

  5. David Matthew 05:08pm, 05/05/2012

    I got Canelo stopping Shane.  I know you don’t think much of Cotto, but I have him being competitive in this fight.  Buckle up!

  6. the thresher 04:20pm, 05/05/2012

    Canelo looks ripped and will rip SSM apart.

    Cotto has a gaunt aura to him and I don’t like the color of his skin. Reminds me of Bowe before Golota. Just saying….

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