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- Video: Wladimir Klitschko on olympic-style drug testing, Shannon Briggs
- Mchunu-Wilson Weigh-in Weights and Photos
- Rockin’ Fights 15 Weigh-In Results: Cletus Seldin, 141 vs. Ramses Gil, 138.8
- Galahad vs. Dos Santos Weigh/In Results
- Weights from Queens, NY: Frank Galarza 153.8 – Jhonathan Batista 152.8
News: Mares, Moreno, Angulo & Santa Cruz conference call; Pacquiao vs. Marquez
Thank you, everyone for taking the time out to join today’s call. We’re going to get straight to the fighters. On the first half we’ll have Alfredo Angulo and Leo Santa Cruz and then later we will be joined by Anselmo Moreno and Abner Mares. So at this time I’m going to turn the call over to the President of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar?
Oscar De La Hoya
Thank you, Monica. We are getting close. Thank you guys, all the media; I appreciate you being on the call. This is definitely one of the Golden Boy’s more exciting and anticipated cards of the year.
We obviously have Anselmo Moreno versus Abner Mares, which will be and should be a terrific card. Also on the card we have Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz versus Victor Zaleta. That will also be for a world title fight, and Alfredo Angulo versus Raul “El Tigre” Casarez, which is a 12-round junior middleweight fight.
This event will be taking place right around the corner, Saturday, November 10th at the Staples Center promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. I want to thank the sponsors Corona and AT&T.
If you cannot be there live, which I urge you, you should, because these are action packed fights, you can watch it on Showtime Championship Boxing and the telecast begins live at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time and it’s delayed here on the West Coast. But you can also watch the preliminary fights, which will air live on Showtime Extreme beginning at 8:00 Eastern.
There are tickets still available. Tickets are priced reasonably for these three terrific, terrific fights on TV. We obviously have more preliminary fights that will be taking place that night. Tickets start at $25 and you can get your ringside tickets for $200, and in between you have $100 and $50.
I am extremely, extremely proud to be introducing to you this next gentleman who has gone through a lot in life. He hails out of Baja California, Mexico and is now fighting out of Los Angeles, California. We obviously know him for his exciting style, his devastating punching power, his relentlessness up inside that squared circle.
He’s making his first appearance since having that fight of the year war against James Kirkland in 2011. He has been away for a while and he is now back, back with a vengeance, facing Raul Casarez. A fighter who is coming an 11 fight unbeaten streak. His last fight took place in March beating JC Candelo.
So he wanted a tough opponent. He wanted a guy who was coming at him who is going to make a fan-friendly fight and that’s who this next guy is. Let me introduce to you. He has a record of 20-2 with 17 knockouts, Alfredo Angulo.
How are you, everybody? Thank you so much for the call. I appreciate it.
De La Hoya
And also I have the pleasure to introduce to you a fighter who is making a great name for himself. He is the IBF bantamweight world champion. He’s making the second title defense. He’s a young Mexican-American phenom who is one of boxing’s bright young stars and he’s knocked out ten of his last eleven opponents.
He’s coming off a career-defining win over former world champion Eric Morel on September 15th, which he handed Morel’s first ever knockout loss. Obviously he’s now looking to continue his momentum and close out 2012 with a big bang.
He’s facing Victor Zaleta. He has a record of 20-2 with 10 knockouts, hailing out of El Paso, Texas, and he’s coming off four consecutive victories and he’s getting ready for his first world title shot. So let me introduce to you the champion, the IBF world champion, Leo Santa Cruz.
Leo Santa Cruz
I want to tell everybody thank you and I’m real happy to be on this interview and I’m ready. I’m training really hard and I’m going to be ready to give all you guys a good show on November 10th.
Alfredo, obviously you’ve been out of the ring for a long time. Can you talk about your hunger to get back in the ring after having that disappointing loss?
I’m really, really hungry, more excited to get back to L.A. and fight at Staples Center. I’m more hungry and I am ready for November 10.
Who are you training with and who is your trainer? And also how is it getting the rust off from having not been in the ring? How long have you been training and how is the rust coming off?
Yes, everything is good. I’m working for Darryl Hudson, my conditioning coach and two weeks after we were working very hard. I’ve been training for two and a half months.
My last question for you is what do you know about your opponent?
I really don’t know too much about my opponent but I do know he’s good. I know he’s been on an 11-fight win streak and it doesn’t matter what he does, if he’s going to run or if he’s going to stand and fight, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m focused and I can fight any way. I’m concentrating on making a good fight.
I don’t know if you appreciate the magnitude of what you’ve accomplished. I know you’ve heard it’s the first time Morel has been stopped, but it wasn’t just the knockout, it was the way you did it. This is a guy who did not quit. You made him quit. Can you talk about since that fight have you really gained an appreciation for the magnitude of what you accomplished and how you accomplished it, snuffing him out like that?
Yeah, I appreciate it. I’ve been hearing a lot of people that they like that it was a great performance and everything that that. It gives me more motivation. It gives me more strength to train, to come to the gym and work harder. It feels good hearing that from people and for people to tell me that. It gives me more strength to train in the gym and I want to do even better so I can hear more of that and have the people tell me other stuff.
What, in your mind, what was the difference between-were you a better fighter in just that one fight than the previous fight against Malinga, or was it just the function of styles and intensity that led to your performance against Morel?
I think it was a little of both because I did have more time to train for this fight, for Morel. For the Malinga fight, I didn’t really have that much time and for this one I did. With my strength and conditioning coach, we did, I think it was like two months of preparation and for the Malinga we only had like six weeks. So I think it was a little of both.
How big a part of your arsenal is the body punches? Was that something we’re going to see continuously? I mean there was a guy named Mike McCallum who was known as the body puncher. Was that a function of what happened that night or is that something you’re going to make a regular part of your arsenal?
I keep working on that because it’s natural. It comes natural for me and if we practice it more it’s going to come even better. My dad has always been teaching me that body jab in the gym. He’s always been telling me, “Work that. Work that.” If he don’t see me … he’s always telling me, “Oh, you have to throw it. Don’t be lazy and throw it because with that punch once you hit them good, little by little they’ll be dropping. And no matter how strong they are you’re going to drop them anytime.”
You know, you’ve gone through a difficult time, Alfredo Angulo, being detained and all that. Do you think that this a very tough opponent that you’re fighting?
Yes, I did go through a very difficult period, but I’ve proven to myself and I’ve proven to everybody that I’m ready for anything. I know that Casarez is a very good fighter. I’ve never asked for easy opponents. So if anything, I’m going to be ready and I’m going to give the fans what they deserve.
What does it mean to you that you’re becoming quickly the best action fighter in this sport, well the young action fighter I should say?
It’s an honor for me. I get excited to hear all that and all the people saying that. It shows all the hard work I have been doing and all the hard work and sacrifices. I’m dedicated to the gym. I’m always in the gym. I don’t go out. I don’t go partying. I’m always in the gym, go home, rest, eat and then back to the gym. Like that’s all I do.
The list of names that you mentioned before of guys you want to fight in the future, is that an indication that you’re probably moving up to 122? Because I’m looking at the bantamweight and it seems like all the best names have left and they’re moving up. I just want to know if that’s in your future and if you’re even still able to make the weight comfortably?
My plans for the future and my trainer plan to move me up in weight, 122. I think I will feel a lot stronger at that weight, because all the good fighters are moving up to 122 and they’re right there right now, and for me to be a good champion and to be the best I want to beat the best. Mares and Moreno are the best right now. So I would like to fight them so I could try to beat ….
Alfredo, while you were detained did you have any idea when you would be getting out or were you hopeless during that situation and then what were you going through while you were detained in the immigration situation?
I had no idea. I had no idea when I was going to get out. I was told it was going to be a short time and obviously that didn’t happen. So I just kept focusing on staying strong, just to get out of there.
I kept thinking about my daughter, which is very important to me. And also I kept thinking about helping other detainees, that were in the same situation as I was, get out and making a difference in helping them out. And obviously the last thing was being able to get back in the ring and fighting in the United States again.
Alfredo, were you able to stay in any kind of condition while you were there? Were you allowed to workout or was it just a matter of you couldn’t really do anything and so when you did finally come out you kind of had to start scratch to get yourself into boxing shape?
No, the reality is they didn’t let me train in there. A simple thing like having tennis shoes, it took me two months. They didn’t allow me to use or have tennis shoes for two months. The rules stipulate that it’s a three-day process, but for some reason it took me two months to get tennis shoes. The only thing I ever did to stay physically fit and in shape was play handball and I did that every day for two hours a day.
With other people or by yourself?
Yeah, no, it was team play, two on two or four.
Alfredo, how long were you actually in this detention center? How many months or how many weeks? How long was it from the time that you were put there ’til the time they let you out?
And is everything with your immigration situation now handled? You are able to legally be in America? You are able to fight in America? Are you able to go back and forth to Mexico and see your family and friends and it’s all taken care of or are there still other issues that are overshadowing this whole situation?
I’m here legally. Everything is fine. The process is behind me. All I have to do now is just think about the future and move forward.
Okay, very good, thank you, Alfredo, I wish you the best of luck next week.
Alfredo, how’s training camp coming along so far?
Honestly, it’s going very, very good, very good with the addition of Virgil Hunter. I’m working very, very good with him. He’s doing a great job, my fitness-conditioning trainer. I think that people are going to see the difference in me. They’re going to see that I have a great team behind me now and I’ve got so much more to give and that’s what was lacking before. So I’m very excited and it’s going to be very good.
All right, with the addition of Virgil Hunter have you made any changes in your arsenal going into this fight?
Basically, it’s the same style, the thing that Virgil has done is he’s added to my style. He’s enhanced it. He’s picked up on things that I already knew about but I forget through time, through different fights. So he’s picked up on some of the things that I wasn’t doing and he’s incorporated that through repetition and training.
So it’s the same style and nothing really has changed, but I’m ready for the fight. I’m ready. How am I ready? I’m sure everybody’s going to be able to tell because just alone with the weigh in you can a fighter’s ready or not and when you guys see me at the weigh in you’ll know that I’m ready.
Okay. And not to look ahead, Alfredo, but do you see yourself fighting a rematch with James Kirkland in the future?
Yes, no problem, no problem whatsoever. If the fight presents itself in the future, no problem, I’ll do it. I think that I owe it to my fans to come and see that fight and see the rematch. So I’ll do the rematch. I don’t have any problem fighting anybody, whoever it is.
Leo, each one of your fights is more exciting than the previous one. How important is it to you not only to win but look impressive?
It is very important for me to win this fight because it’s what we’ve been training for. We’ve been getting ready here in the gym. We’ve been sparring hard. We’ve been training really hard with my conditioning coach and my dad. We have been working the body, and I think it’s very important. I always train hard and train my best to give the fans and all my people a good show.
Thank you very much, Leo and Alfredo. We’re done with questions on your side. If you’d like to jump off the call now we will look forward to seeing you guys next week. Then, Oscar, I’d like to turn the call back to you to introduce our main event for November 10th with Abner and Anselmo.
De La Hoya
Thank you very much, Leo, Alfredo. Great job.
So now I would like to introduce to you guys the main event. I believe this fight will be who the best super bantamweight is in the world. You have first Anselmo Moreno. He has a record of 33-1 with 12 knockouts. He’s been unstoppable since his lone loss in his eighth professional fight in, I believe, 2002. He captured the WBA world championship title in 2008.
He’s coming off an incredible winning streak of 27 fights. In his last fight in April he stopped David De La Mora in nine rounds and now he’s moving up in weight, moving up in weight and facing the best out there in Abner Mares. A very good fight, a very good match up, it could be a tremendous, tremendous, exciting fight. Anselmo Moreno.
The hour’s upon us. I can’t wait. I think that a lot of fans can’t wait for this fight. It’s a fight that has been talked about before. I think that I’m ready and it’s going to be a very, very good fight. I can’t wait.
De La Hoya
Thank you very much. I would also like to introduce to you the champion. He hails out of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Now fighting out of Hawaiian Gardens.
He is the former IBF bantamweight world champion, moved up in weight to capture the WBC super bantamweight world title. He’s Golden Boy’s first homegrown world champion. He won an exciting split decision over Vic Darchinyan.
Also, he went on to win Showtime’s bantamweight tournament and we all know the great fight he had against Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko, winning the IBF bantamweight title and defending his WBC bantamweight title. Then he went on to have a rematch with him once again in December 2011 where he won his second divisional world title, also against “Little Hands of Steel” Morel, which earned him the WBC world title. So he’s a two time, two-divisional world champion.
November 10th he will be facing another terrific and great champion in Anselmo Moreno. You have two of the best bantamweights out there in the world today, in the one squared circle. So this should be a terrific, terrific fight, so without any further ado, the champion, Abner Mares.
Hi. Good afternoon to everyone. I just want to say I can’t wait. November 10th, it’s also my favorite month because it’s also the month of my birthday. And I can’t wait. I’m really excited to see fans excited for this fight. I can’t wait to give a show. I’m sure Anselmo trained really hard. I trained hard as well and I can’t wait for fight night.
Abner, you and Anselmo Moreno, you fought on the same cards a couple of times already. You were in the main event and he was fighting on your under cards. This was when you were bantamweight champion and also since you won your title of junior featherweight. When that was going on did you sort of anticipate that at some point this would be the fight you would have?
To be honest, yes, I did actually. Obviously we’re in the same weight class, bantamweight. When he first started fighting in my under cards he was a current champion as well. So I definitely saw myself fighting him in the future. Like I say, here we are. It’s made. People were asking, then asking, for this fight and I can’t wait to give the people what they want.
Were you paying attention to-I know you were fighting in the main event so you were warming up for fights when he was fighting in your cards, but were you trying at least a little bit in the dressing room to pay attention to what was going on with his fights?
Were you watching the monitor out of the corner of your eye and thinking in the future or were you just focused on your own fight that night and if this got made in the future then you’d go back and look at the videos and talk to your trainer about all that stuff? What was that like knowing that you might fight him?
Well definitely I was not looking at his fights while I was warming up. I was mainly concentrating on my fight. I was warming up, you know, and just thinking about my opponent that night. Like I’ve always said, I don’t like looking at opponents’ fights. I’ve seen him fight, yes. I’m not going to lie; I’ve seen him fight a couple of times, not many rounds. Like I say he’s a really technical, elusive fighter. I leave that for my trainer. But again, for some reason I always thought this fight would come, the day would come and we’re only ten days away.
So he hasn’t lost a fight since 2002, and I think if I’m not mistaken that was a four-round fight. So it’s been a long time. It’s been almost a decade since he’s had a loss. He’s won a bantamweight title and fought a lot of good opponents. He’s long. He’s a southpaw. He’s a tricky fighter. Let’s be honest about that.
How do you deal with that with your style? You’re a good boxer, a good puncher, but he’s a real slick, kind of an annoying kind of guy to fight I would imagine, just watching the way he fights. How in the world do you go about trying to break that tough style down?
Well first of all, he hasn’t fought anyone like me. Yes, he has over 30 fights. His last two fights were against good fighters. Those are the only two fighters that have been in the U.S. The rest have been in Panama. I don’t know who he’s been fighting.
Well he fought good guys. He fought guys like Sidorenko and Sermeno and Parra, you know, good opponents.
He hasn’t fought me. He hasn’t fought my style, I’m just going to go in there and figure him out really. I mean the training is done already. We got the proper sparring partners that really kind of imitated him in some way and we felt good in sparring.
I can’t wait to get in the ring. Again, I like to figure out the opponent once we get in the ring, but I think with Anselmo it’s just a matter of getting him out of his game plan and making it a really uncomfortable fight for him.
Okay great, I’m curious to know when you first came to America and had signed with Golden Boy and then started to fight on Abner’s under cards, if, like I asked Abner, if you thought was that at some point, whether it was in a bantamweight title fight or even a junior featherweight, that this would be the fight that would happen? What were his thoughts about that?
Yes, you know what, obviously yes. I mean I’ve always wanted to fight good fighters like Abner, and it crossed my mind, obviously yes, fighting him. He’s a very, very good fighter. It did cross my mind and I felt that someday it should happen or it will happen and I just thank God that it finally happened.
How closely to Abner’s fights then did you pay attention when you would finish your fight with winning and then Abner was on next. Did you scout him out and pay close attention or not?
The first couple of times I didn’t really pay too much attention. I didn’t really pay too much attention. But it wasn’t until the Eric Morel fight that I paid very, very close attention because I felt that there was a good chance that I would be fighting him. So I took a lot of notes and I paid attention to that fight from round one all the way to round 12.
Mares, are you feeling comfortable with the superstar role that Golden Boys’ kind of grooming you towards or do you get nervous leading up to this fight? How do you feel with that superstar role that you’re heading towards?
Well, I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel like I’m a superstar yet. I just do my job really, fight the best and that’s pretty much it. I mean I am excited to be fighting here in L.A. in the Staples Center. I grew up here. I’ve got family here, friends, and the first time headlining Staples Center or the Lakers’ Place. That’s it for me. I’m taking that really in a positive way. I’m excited and just can’t wait.
The Lakers haven’t had that much success this year, but hopefully we’ll see some success from you.
My next question is for Moreno. Now that Abner is kind of being groomed for the next superstar, if he’s not superstar yet, leading up to that are you looking to kind of steal the show at Staples Center, like you said, under the spotlight and kind of take his rhythm away from him going into that fight?
Obviously we both want to steal the night and we both want to be in the limelight. This is going to be a very, very, very tough fight for me. It’s not going to be an easy fight. I understand this. He’s the world champion. So, all I can say is that I’m very, very well prepared for this fight. I’m sure we both are. It’s going to be a great night and I think I have what it takes.
My next question would be, if Oscar De La Hoya’s still on the line, for the Showtime Extreme bouts, is there anything confirmed for those fights yet?
De La Hoya
Well that would be a question for Eric Gomez, the matchmaker.
Yes, actually we’re working on finalizing Nathan Cleverly’s world title defense with the WBO light heavyweight world champion. So he will be on the Showtime Extreme. And we also have Antonio Orozco of San Diego, who’s a hot prospect, that we signed, undefeated, a very exciting fighter and he’ll be on the Showtime Extreme as well.
Eric, what did you just say? Do you know who Cleverly and Orozco’s opponents are going to be?
We do have an opponent currently for Orozco. His opponent is Danny Escobar out of Riverside, California. And for Nathan Cleverly, we’re close. I’ve been working very closely with Dean Powell, who’s the matchmaker for Frank Warren. We’ve zeroed in on a couple of guys. There’s an opponent that fell out. So it’ll come out shortly.
Abner, you fought what 60 championship rounds against topnotch guys. You’ve had to grow up on television in front of your public. All of your mistakes were right there. This is a guy who has obviously watched you a little bit. For you personally, can you talk about the challenge of facing him? You’ve obviously proven yourself. How does he rank in terms of the challenges you’ve already faced in 60 rounds?
It’s a big challenge, believe me, and they keep getting bigger and bigger as I keep fighting. I want it to continue. Obviously I fought nothing but world champions, current world champions, ex-world champions in my last four or five fights.
Definitely everybody’s good in their own style and Anselmo Moreno brings in a different style. A unique style you could say, a great style that works for him. He’s obviously a really defensive fighter, smart fighter type of a fighter. But again, we train hard and this is what we train for.
You don’t pick your opponent now days. I don’t like to pick opponents. Whoever is there to fight, whoever is the best, I’ll fight them no matter what style he brings and I just have to get accustomed to it and figure him out.
And that’s what this beautiful sport is about. It’s about figuring out the opponent. It’s being like a chess game inside the ring. November 10th people are going to see a different Abner, as they always see every single fight, and I can’t wait to face this new style that I’ve never faced.
You and him have one common opponent that you fought within a year of each other. You beat Darchinyan in 2010. He beat him a year later in December, this past December. Do you gain anything from comparing the way he fought him to the way you fought him?
Not really. I mean they’re totally different styles. He’s a southpaw. I mean both of them were southpaws. I was fighting a southpaw. There’s no way you can compare being that he’s a different fighter, different style. I’m a different style. I have no comparison. I can’t compare that fight.
Do you feel like you’re getting the respect that you deserve? Not just in this fight, because he’s already, I think, gotten votes for being in the top ten pound for pound and you haven’t. You’ve been in the public eye and you fought big name guys. What are your thoughts on that? Do you concern yourself with any of that?
It’s not a concern. It’s a little bit of frustration you could say. I mean being that you just said I faced all these tough opponents back to back. Really, I mean, thank God there are some good fans out there that give me the recognition and know who I am and obviously thank you to Showtime for showcasing my fights. But obviously there are other fighters out there that don’t have, the recognition I have. I’m really known out there. But again, I know my time will come. I’ve just got to be patient. Everything happens for a reason and I’ve just got to keep pushing myself and keep going.
Abner, I just want to know how well you’ve grown into the super bantamweight division? You only had one fight there so far and that was with Morel. I just want to know if you feel like you’re full fledged to the bantamweight now.
No doubt, I’m really familiar with the weight class. I started at the weight class actuall super bantamweight. So it’s not new to me. And if anything, I think I’ve gotten stronger, really, bigger, stronger, and I could tell you I’ve adapted to it really, really well. I’m sparing 140 pounders right now, 135-140 pounders, and they say they feel my power.
You mentioned your power. I was going to bring that up next. I think five fights have gone the distance. So do you think the weight is going to make a difference in this fight or do you think it’s going to be a matter of figuring out Moreno’s style first and then leading to a whole full knockout I guess?
Rumble in Dublin Weigh-in details
Boxing fever took hold of South Dublin this afternoon when a clatter of Ireland’s top boxing prospects stepped took to the scales for tomorrow night’s Rumble in Dublin fight fest at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
Topping tomorrow night’s card is heavy hitting Belfast prospect Anthony Cacace who tipped the scales at 9st.2lb. The classy Belfast native will look to dethrone current Irish Super featherweight champion Mickey Coveney who was required to make a return trip to the scales in order to make the championship weight having overshot his first visit by 1lb.
Finglas favourite Brendan Fitzpatrick who hopes to continue his current rich vein of form against former Breen gym stable mate Joe Rea was 1lb inside the twelve stone super middleweight limit while his two time Prizefighter contestant was 1.5lb lighter at 11st.12lb-5oz.
The biggest roar of the afternoon went to a trim and determined looking Robbie Long who will clash with another of Belfast’s upcoming prospects Joe Hillerby for the inaugural Celtic Warrior title. Long who is now trained by former Tallaght favourite and former Irish super featherweight champion Eddie Hyland tipped the scales at 11st.8lb while Hillerby measured 11st.9lb.
Standing between Ireland’s only native female professional fighter Christina McMahon and her first professional title is current French featherweight champion Stephanie Ducastel. While Christina satisfied the weight requirements coming in at 8st-11lb-9oz she had a tense hours wait as her France opponent undertook the task of dropping another 2.5lb to come in under the 9st limit which she managed on her return.
It was a week of celebrations in Sligo following Sligo Rovers title winning success on the football pitch and Stephen Reynolds intends on giving his hometown more to cheer about tomorrow night when he goes in search of win number two in the professional ranks. The former five times Irish senior champion and his Lithuanian antagonist Ruslan Bitarov both comfortably achieved their cruiserweight requirements on the scales.
Another Dubliner looking to delight home fans tomorrow night is Noel O Brien who will clash with Ballyhaunis youngster Brandon Peake. First on the scales was 10st-2lb-7oz Peake who is looking to register his first professional victory following a debut defeat to Michael Waldron while O Brien who has his sights set clearly on an Irish title came in at 10st-3lb.
Also in attendance today was Mayo favourite John Waldron who hopes his experience will be a telling factor against a young and eager Ray Ginley. Ginley hit the mark at 12st-7lb while the wily Waldron was a feather the larger at 12st-7lb.
Making his first ever appearance in the South of Ireland is number one British flyweight title contender Luke Wilton. The unbeaten youngster who is tipped to challenge for a major title in the very near future tipped the scales at 8st-1lb while his Bulgarian opponent Stefan Slavchev came in at 8st on the button.
Another exciting addition to Irish professional boxing who took to the scales today was James Tennyson who came in a 9st-1lb. The quick punching, hard hitting youngster will look for his third professional win when he faces 9st-2lb Bulgarian Ignac Kassai.
The final step-up of the day was Belfast’s Eddie Nesbitt tipping the scales at 9st-3lb while his Polish antagonist Damian Lawniczal came in a 9st-1lb.
Tickets for this action-packed night of boxing are still available from Stephen Sharpe 0879537526 or on www.greenjab.ie, while a limited number of tickets will be available at the venue. Doors open at 6.00, first bout at 7pm.
DINAMITA SHOULD BE AN EASY FIGHT FOR PACMAN, BUT WHERE’S THE “PUZZLE”?
By Reni M. Valenzuela: No Thomas Edison can fix a puzzle which parts are kept under wraps. Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez could have been conquered by Manny Pacquiao in old days without the fans having to go through the perpetuity of boxing (or boring) rematches.
Pacquiao needed not even burn the candle at both ends. His demolition of giants since his second bout with Marquez is a testament to the eight-division champ’s evolution. Therefore the Mexican great should be a soft opponent to a well-rounded Pacquiao in their forthcoming quadrilogy, easier than when Floyd Mayweather Jr. disposed of Marquez.
The marvel of Pacquiao in beating the other common Mayweather opponents was more than enough ground to validate such prognosis. Take another look at how pitiful Ricky Hatton fell flat and easy on his back, Oscar Dela Hoya on his stool and Miguel Cotto on his knee after taking turns to brave the rampage of a titanic hurricane code-named Pacman. Hatton contemplated suicide as a result of that devastating loss. Dela Hoya was sent to retirement for good and Cotto has just deliberately “strayed” to a different route or Trout to shun alleged “clamors” for a rematch with the Matrix Man, having had the foretaste of hell fighting a power-machine.
All three champions pushed Mayweather hard to the limit, while Dela Hoya, according to observers, should have gotten the win on points; and which win should have deleted the proud zero from Money Floyd’s “unblemished” record.
Thus far, it is incumbent upon the Filipino icon to bring about a shining result that would render the judges’ scoring moot and academic in the Pacquiao-Marquez IV.
But where’s the black spot for Pacman?
Why Marquez seems to be the “perfect” nemesis to match and challenge the Pacquiao “Dynamo” aside from style? Why Pacman seems to be showing some white feather in solving Dinamita when he stunned bigger stars and stronger opponents by way of magnificent wins? Why there still remains a score to settle and issues to erase for Pacquiao after fighting Marquez three times? Why the hounding and never ending Pacquiao-Marquez controversies? Why is there a need to stage the fourth fight?
The answers are lost to a trainer or a Pharaoh who remains proud and stubborn, but plain to anyone who would not only look, but understand.
The “confidence factor” is among the three major reasons why.
Age, speed and power are out of the question. The half-prepared Pacquiao was simply dumbfounded during the last six rounds of his initial Marquez encounter. Pacquiao was conspicuously cautious and apprehensive in the subsequent rematch, over-confident in the last and now appears to be “unsettled,” contrary to the fight promotional “build up,” heading to the fourth quandary.
“Confidence” during interviews prior to the fight is usually false confidence. That’s not the kind Pacquiao would need to knockout Marquez. It is a confidence found only in the ring on fight night that Pacquiao would have to wear in his heart, complete and mighty, even just for a very limited duration of 36 minutes or less.
Freddie Roach must realize that Marquez is not a “mind-game,” but a ring puzzle.
What makes the first four rounds different from the rest of the 36 rounds that Pacman battled Dinamita on three occasions from 2004 up to 2011?
First is Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times as compared to only one for the remaining 32 rounds of their trilogy. Second is Pacquiao fought just as natural as he fought. Third is Pacquiao climbed up the canvass and moved with full “Pacman confidence.” Fourth is Marquez didn’t have Pacquiao figured out in those rounds. And fifth is Dinamita hasn’t developed yet a phantom in the shadows of Roach and his pupil.
How then will Pacman, together with his team, go about the “puzzle” come December 8?
Another rematch would be extremely unbearable.
So, play it good, this time.
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