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Archive for June, 2008

Diaz vs Pacquiao: A Look at Manny Pacquiao’s first fight at 135lbs & The Prediction

Posted by beeshabo on June 27, 2008

Tomorrow, June 28, Filipino Superstar Manny Pacquiao makes a move up in weight to challenge David Diaz for his WBC 135lb title. Manny was the king at 130lbs by beating Mexican Legends Marco Antonio Barrera (once at 126lbs and again at 130lbs), Erik Morales twice (at 130lbs), he had a close fight in his first bout with Juan Manuel Marquez that ended in a draw, then he won a close Split Decision in the rematch this past March. Since bursting on the scene with his first unexpected win against Barrera, Manny Pacquiao has become one of the most explosive fighters in boxing today, he’s reached “Superstar” status in his home country of the Philippines and has reached the near top of the Pound-4-Pound list, being number two on ESPN’s list (Joe Calzaghe being #1 since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather). Manny makes a move up in weight and has dreams of winning titles in four different weight classes (he’s officially wont belts in three), but still, nothing is guaranteed, he’s facing a well prepared hungry champion (Diaz), Manny may have his hands full come Saturday night.

Of coarse we all know that Manny is the favorite coming into the bout, and rightfully so, but like many boxing fans know, you cannot over look an opponent, and many boxing writers and boxing press claim that the statements Pacquiao has made of his desire to fight Rick Hatton (at 140lbs) leads them to believe he’s already looking past Diaz. So, Is Manny Pacquiao over looking Diaz?

I would have to say NO!! So many times before Pacquiao has been accused of looking over confident, or out of ring distractions may come into play, but that has yet to be the case. Then only time I feel Pacaquiao lost due to looking past a fighter was his lost to Erik Morales. In what seemed to be over confidence, Manny was out boxed by Morales, who fought a great fight, Morales used Pacquiao’s aggression against him, and got a well deserved decision. Although Pacquiao won the rematch (via 10th round TKO), Morales still did okay for the first 5 rounds, it looked as if the fight would end just as the first. Only that wasn’t the case this time around, Pacquiao turned up the heat in the later rounds to stop the Mexican Warrior (for the first time in his career), but let’s be real, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) knows that Morales was not the same fighter who beat Barrera the first time, or even the same fighter who beat Pacquiao, most thought he would even lose the first, his body has been through a lot of grueling wars and rigorous training. But in an attempt to make a comeback, Morales chose to move up in weight (to 135lbs) to face who other than David Diaz, and not only did he make it a competitive fight, but many (including me) thought he won, but hey, Diaz was the champ, and we all know you must beat the champ convincingly, and Morales did not do that. Although I feel Manny Pacquiao is a good fighter, there is just something about him that I don’t like, maybe it’s the fact that he’s beat some of my favorite fighters (haha), no but seriously, I just want him to get beat, I was so happy when Erik Morales out-boxed him in their first meeting, it was a great day for me.

Now, Pacquiao makes an attempt at a Lightweight Championship this Saturday, What will happen?

Here’s what I think,

Pacquiao is strong, fast and has progressed as a boxer, he’s developed his right hand making him more of a two handed fighter, and posses excellent stamina, he can fight hard all night long. But the questions surrounding his Lightweight debut are, Will He Carry His Power Up To Lightweight? Will He Still Have The Speed? Well, I think the answer to these question are, Yes, although he will not be as fast nor as powerful at 135 than he was at 130 (or 126), he will without a doubt still have enough of both to win this fight. David Diaz is a warrior, he has a big heart and he likes to fight, he comes forward and likes to press the action, so I think this will be a case of both fighters wanting to come forward, one will have to give ground, So, Who will it be?

I think this will be an interesting matchup, it’s not going to be a blowout, Diaz is strong and naturally bigger, he’s only a half inch shorter than Pacquiao but he has a two inch reach advantage which I think he’ll use to the fullest. Manny cannot fight going backwards, he tends to square up when he punches, he’s gotten better at maintaining balance, but he still is not comfortable moving backwards, so if Diaz can pressure Pacquiao to fight going back, he can get some work done on the inside, because generally Pacquiao is fighter who likes distance to set up his power shots, the straight left and right hook. But getting in close will be Diaz’s biggest challenge, he may have to (or attempt to) walk through some shots in order to make his own mark. Diaz has a good chin and a good record, he only has one loss (in 34 bouts), and that came in the form of a TKO at the fast hands of Kendal Holt, but another challenge for Diaz is his lack of power, having only KO’d 17 opponents out of the 34 he has beaten, so he’s not the biggest puncher, but maybe his naturally bigger frame may posses enough power to disrupt the speedy offense of Pacquiao. We will soon find out. I see this fight going the distance, but a KO for Pacquiao is still in the cards, Diaz just has to fight smart, press Pacquiao and don’t get lazy and he can also pull of the upset.

It will be close (maybe), but I think it will be a Unanimous Descision for Manny “Paman” Pacquiao.


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Courageous Win: Tiger Woods…..are you kidding me!!

Posted by beeshabo on June 23, 2008

Okay, last week most who seen (Golfing fans mostly) Tiger Woods win the US Open by beating Rocco Mediate with a 18th hole birdie putt would’ve said, “Tiger wins again”, “He played a good game”. I was at Shakey’s Pizza on my lunch break during the live broadcast of the playoff, I heard the reporters/commentators praising Tiger for playing through a bum knee that had previously been surgically repaired, I was a bit bugged by the brave use of the word “Courageous” to describe Tiger’s win. Well this morning I was reading my morning articles from my favorite boxing websites, and I came across this article by Eric Raskin, and I couldn’t have said it any better…..thanks Raskin.

[Read the ESPN Article Here]

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Lopez destroys De Leon In Less Than One Round: Just as I thought…..

Posted by beeshabo on June 9, 2008

This Saturday boxing fans were in for a treat (with fights on HBO & Showtime), or so I thought.

Two bouts (opening bouts for HBO & Showtime) ended in dramatic fashion, and both were shocking, although amazing, it still sucks when you were really looking forward to some good fights…..

In the opening bout for the HBO double header, Daniel Ponce De Leon was set to defend his title against the up and coming Puerto Rican Juan Manuel Lopez. Daniel came out strong, bombing away, seemingly trying to score another first round stoppage (as he did to another prospect in Bautista), but like I mentioned in my prediction post “over anxiousness will cost him the fight”, and it did, he was too aggressive early and he got caught, and like I also stated, if Lopez can hurt De Leon, he can finish him, and he did. De Leon’s premature aggression and over eagerness allowed Lopez to land his devastating right hook with pin point accuracy, with a delayed reaction, De Leon went crashing down to the canvas, up he got in 5 seconds but was on very shaky legs. After the 10 count and being allowed to continue by the ref, De Leon elected to fire back in an attempt to turn the tide, but with wobbly legs he was caught again, this time with his back against the ropes, Lopez landed what looked like four or five short and powerful blows (the right hook being the last) and down went De Leon again, struggling to beat the count, De Leon got up at the count of 8 but wobbled backwards into the corner and the referee stopped the fight, WOW!!! A first round stoppage for a once prospect, to now a current world champion. Although I was rooting for De Leon, it is no surprise that he was shocked, he was facing an excellent boxer with tremendous power, and once again, like I said “in the end, the one who lands their hardest punch first..Will win”, and it was Lopez who did, and he won.

In the opening bout for the Showtime double header, Paul Williams scored an impressive knockout over Carlos Quintana. It was quite surprising, after their first fight, I would’ve never thought that Williams can still punch with power when he had to, nor did I think he can KO Quintana the way he did, but he did, and it was shocking. Williams started fast, he seemed very eager, and didn’t press too hard, he allowed Quintana to engage a little bit, and with one punch, he changed the fight. Williams landed a right hand (I believe) that put Quintana in trouble, after going down once and allowed to continue, Quintana couldn’t do nothing to stop Williams from getting to him, and with vicious combinations, Willams ended sent Quintana crumbling to the mat again, and the referee stopped the fight, another first round KO…amazing, shocking, yet disappointing knockout. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of knockouts (who isn’t), but when you’re hyped up for fights, it’s a little bit of a downer when they end in the first round, if I’m just being honest….well, until next time!!

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June 7th Fight Predictions

Posted by beeshabo on June 6, 2008

Kelly Pavlik vs Gary Lockett

This Saturday will be a decent night for boxing fans, on HBO, we have Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik taking on Gary Lockett of Whales in a Middleweight showdown, also on the card, we have hard hitting Junior Featherweight Champion Daniel Ponce DeLeon facing the undefeated knockout artist Juan Manuel Lopez. Also, on Showtime, we have Vernon Forrest taking on Sergio Mora (contender champion), and the rematch between Carlos Quintana and the man he dethroned Paul Williams. These should be good.

Well, for the Pavlik/Lockett fight, it’s going to be good while it lasts, Pavlik is bigger, stronger and hits harder, Lockett will be in the fight no doubt, he’s shown he has guts and skills, but is a bit over matched in this one. Pavlik is knockout puncher, he likes to mix it up and bang with the best, this should be no different, in the ring will be a man who likes to fight, likes to trade, and this will suit Pavlik perfectly. I see an fairly easy win for the Youngstown hero, nothing much will change for Pavlik, jab jab right hand – all night.

Juan Manuel Lopez vs Daniel Ponce DeLeon

Okay, this is the fight I’m looking forward to the most, Daniel Ponce DeLeon vs Juan Manuel Lopez –OH YEAH! Two hard hitting boxers who love to fight, this should be very entertaining. I don’t see this fight going the distance, both can box (Lopez a bit more technical) and both can punch like hell. DeLeon is a lethal left hand puncher, he took out previously undefeated Ray Bautista in less than around with his left hand and left hand ONLY, he has an awkward brawling style, he keeps his hands high, and arms cocked, always ready to fire, he has a record of 34 wins 1 loss and 30 big wins coming by way of Knockout…so he can punch. Now Lopez, he’s an undefeated fighter with a record of 21 wins 0 Losses and 19 wins by knockout, so he has power too, and so far, displays great boxing skills, but he’s untested and has yet to face a big name or a man of DeLeon’s class. What will happen?

Well I find this fight very hard to call, because although DeLeon is the more experienced and accomplished fighter, he gets hit a lot, but can usually bail himself out of war with his devastating power, the problem here is that Lopez also has great power, so I think if Lopez can hurt DeLeon (which is very possible) he can finish him. Also, Lopez is a good technical fighter, he sets up power shots with a jab, and exerts himself when he’s given the opportunity, but he’s been in the ring with over matched opponents, they can’t compete, but this time, Lopez will be in the ring with a monster. DeLeon is more of a face first brawler, he comes forward and sometimes throws wild winging power shots that tend to miss, but because of his power, if one lands, it will and can change the fight. In his fight with Bautista (another technical boxer with power), DeLeon threw straight, and that was the difference, his punches got there faster and had more power behind them, and that enabled him to destroy Bautista dramatically in the first stanza. At his best, DeLeon is very measured and can find the mark, under stress or frustration, he gets desperate and sloppy, he must stay calm in this fight, over anxiousness will cost him the fight. Like I mentioned above, this fight is too tough to call for me, I want DeLeon to win, he’s great for boxing, but he has a stiff task ahead of him with Lopez, it’s going to be tough, but in the end, the one who lands their hardest punch first..Will win.

I’m not at all excited about the Forrest/Mora fight, both are not fan friendly, and neither interest me much. But I think Forrest will win.

Paul Williams vs Carlos Quintana

The other fight that I’m intrigued by, is the rematch between Quintana and Willams. In their first fight, Quintana was able to outbox the freakishly tall Williams to a well deserved decision, Williams looked slow and sluggish, no snap behind his punches and he had no answer for Quintana’s left hand. But in this fight, it will be much more of a challenge then the first time around, I think Williams was a bit over confident, and he paid the price, I don’ think he’ll make that mistake again, a better prepared Williams should be able to use his advantages to beat Quintana. But still, Quintana is an excellent boxer with a good record, he beat a up and coming prospect in Joel Julio in impressive fashion, his only loss came to that hands of the wrecking ball that is Miguel Cotto, he can still beat Williams if he’s better prepared. Williams will raise his game, and Quintana must also, fight harder than the first time and he should do okay, the main problem for Williams is making the 147lb weight limit, he struggled last time, coming in 17lbs over the limit on fight night, that’s the sign of struggle. I think I’m going with Quintana again, I was rooting for him the first time, and I’ll be rooting for him again, but he’ll have his hands full on Saturday.

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Kelly Pavlik vs Joe Calzaghe: Possible? What Would Happen?

Posted by beeshabo on June 6, 2008

Recently there has been rumors of a “Possible” match up between these two fighters (assuming Pavlik beats his June 7th opponent, and Calzaghe gets passed Hopkins) sometime this fall, of course Pavlik will be making slight move up in weight (from 160 to 168), seeing as Calzaghe is a natural Super Middleweight and Pavlik hasn’t fought any higher than 166lbs. This would be the classic Boxer vs Puncher.

In his last outing, Pavlik boxed his way to a decision win over former Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor, and in his last performance Calzaghe beat the crafty veteran Bernard Hopkins to be the #1 Light Heavyweight World Champion.

So, What would happen if these two ever met?

First and foremost, I am a huge Calzaghe fan, this man is an outstanding boxer with great speed and deceptive power, he is a master of timing and precision, he uses angles combined with a high punch volume to disrupt anything his opponent has to offer, he makes you miss and makes you pay, wildly competitive and simply…Knows how to win. Pavlik, is the old fashion Middleweight, those seen back when it was about two big men trading shots and testing chins. Pavlik is a tall lanky puncher who continuously finds a way to hit the mark, he calmly stalks, and viciously attacks, he has the killer instinct along with the finishing touch. It would be great to witness these two men go head to head. Although Pavlik is regarded as the biggest puncher (and rightfully so) in the Middleweight division, I do not believe his super natural strength will ever be enough to beat a man of Calzaghe’s class.

And here is why.

Calzaghe is special, born to be a fighter, born to be a champion and born to be a winner. Having been trained for his entire professional career by his father Enzo Calzaghe. Let me remind you that Enzo did not have any boxing history whatsoever before taking charge of his sons growth as a prize fighter, he was a jazz musician, who upon entering the field needed to read instructional books to guide himself in the path of a boxing trainer, he’s done pretty damn good job. Throughout his career, Joe Calzaghe has been a force in the Super Middleweight Division, he’s undefeated, and continues to prove himself against the best in the world, constantly being put in the ring with various types of fighting styles, he’s seen it all, and always wins. Pavlik on the other hand is an excellent puncher with decent boxing ability, nothing fancy, he patiently finds his openings and exposes them with great right hand power shots. Pavlik is the type of fighter that can end a fight with one single right hand to the chin, his power is unmatched at Middleweight, he’s also undefeated but has yet to face the quality of opposition of Joe Calzaghe. Pavlik is still young, still hungry and looks to make a name for himself, Calzaghe is no doubt towards the end of his astounding career, but he still shows the determination of a prospect, and always displays skills of a veteran when inside the ring.

Calzaghe loves to fight, he like guys coming at him, and uses his superior hand and foot speed to batter his opponents, just as he did to Jeff Lacy, and previously undefeated Mikkel Kessler. Calaghe always raises the bar, he finds a second, third and even fourth gear to do fight at a high level then his opposition. No on has yet to compete with him in that area, when a man fighting Calzaghe fights his hardest and it does nothing to discourage Calzghe, they find themselves giving up or getting desperate, and that falls right into Calzaghe’s plan, he then turns up the heat and does what he does best, which is to win. If Pavlik were to ever step in the ring with such a force, I think he’ll find himself missing and getting frustrated, I doubt he’ll find Calzaghe’s chin. Pavlik is a good fighter (not great yet), he boxes fairly well, and some how always finds his mark with that huge right hand, but it’s safe to say, that speed is not a part of his arsenal, he’s a thudding puncher with good reach, but it’s his lack of speed that will not allow him to do to Calzaghe what he’s been able to do to lesser opponents. Calzaghe will work the jab all night, set up Pavlik for left hand power shots, I can even see Calzaghe doing enough to KO the big middleweight. I like Pavlik, but he’s not in the same class ass the “Italian Dragon”.

Well, there has been talk of a possible clash of these two champions later this year (2008), Pavlik must win his June 7th bout against Lockett, and Calzaghe may go on to take some sort of a tune up fight, but it’s also possible that he may even go in the direction of making a fight with former pound for pound champion Roy Jones Jr. Whatever the choice will be, I pray for a fight between Pavlik and Calzaghe, it would seem to be the more entertaining fight, but still, Jones/Calzaghe can definitely stir up some heat in the sport as well. We shall wait and see.

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