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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rios vs Alvarado II: Will Alvarado even the score for a possible trilogy?

Photo via Google Images

Rios vs. Alvarado II needs not to be hyped as much as the first match. The outcome from the first encounter was pure advertisement that promised nothing, other than action packed entertainment from start to end.

HBO Boxing After Dark features rematch on Saturday night, Mar. 3, 2013 the anticipated high octane action between Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios, 31-0-1 (KO 23) and Mike Alvarado, 33-1 (KO 23) at the Mandalay Bay, Resort and Casino, Las Vegas Nevada.

In the previous encounter, Alvarado was ahead on the scorecards before the referee stopped the fight. Alvarado was the fighter who mixed it up, looking for angles and was moving around the ring. While Rios was a one dimensional fighter, that walked straight away towards Alvarado.

Rios used head movement to evade incoming punches from Alvarado.
That being said, Alvarado was able to land crisp combinations from the outside--snapping Rios's head left and right with those hooks.

However, when Rios felt those combinations from Alvarado, it made him wake up to press more forward and landed his own punches from the inside--with real bad intention. And once Alvarado got hit from those counters from Rios, Alvarado was lured to fight toe-to-toe from the inside--abandoning his side to side movement and engaged Rios in close quarter battle, which doesn't work well for him.

In Round 7, Alvarado was hurt with a big right hand through the ropes, while retreating from Rios's barrage of head blowing punches. Rios then followed up with more powerful combinations to a wobbly Alvarado and just in time the referee halted the fight.

My Prediction:
 I think Alvarado will obviously learn from the mistakes he made from the previous fight. Abandoning his control from the distance and angles by circling around, was never a good idea.

In this rematch, I think Alvarado will try to fight smartly looking for more angles and controlling the distance. He will try to outbox Rios early on and build points on the scorecards like the early going of the first fight. And he will cruise for a unanimous victory that will lead to a trilogy.

Don't get mistaken that the bout will be with lesser action compared from the first bout. No, it will still be the same--action packed fight because Rios said that he was training for power and I expect him to come forward, as always forcing the action against a more systematic and smarter Alvarado.

Predictions around the web:

Tims Starks - The Queensberry Rules - Rios by TKO below Round 7.
The fight Score Collector - Rios between Round 5 and 7 TKO/KO

BadleftHook Staff:
Scott Christ - "Rios by ninth round stoppage"
Tom Craze - "Rios by decision."
Kory Kitchen - "I'm taking Rios by stoppage in 10."
Dave Oakes - "Rios by a one-sided 6th round stoppage." Staff:
Adam Berlin - "When the smoke clears, Brandon Rios will have his hand raised, his points victory carved out of relentless, joyful violence.”
Cheekay Brandon - "I see another controversial decision, with Rios winning on the cards but losing by two rounds between ropes.”
Teron Briggs - "I like Rios to win a close and disputed decision."
Mike Casey - "My pick is Alvarado after about four or five brutal rounds.”
Ben Hoskin - "I see it being a war of attrition with Rios getting a decision or a late stoppage on cuts."
Norman Marcus - “I haven’t seen Alvarado too many times but I think Rios has faced the better opposition. Provided Rios makes weight without any issues, I like him by a late KO.”
Robert Mladinich - "Alvarado TKO 7."
Ezra Salkin - "I like a mid-to-late round stoppage for Alvarado.”
Ted Sares - “This one is a toss-up, but I’ll go with Rios ... "
Michael Schmidt - "Rios by stoppage, on the canvas type, in eight or nine. Sorry that one of these guys has to lose!!!!”
Peter Wood - “Rios wins by decision. But his battered face looks like he lost.”

Andrew Garewal - Boxingnews 24 - "Alvarado will be more cautious and keep Rios off him for a while, but Rios will score a KO in the later rounds. Rios via KO 9th round

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Donaire's 'no-show' on PSA causes pinoy scribe social media beef

Dennis “D’Source” Guillermo and Joey S. Villar had an ongoing twitter and facebook beef. It started when Guillermo posted the following lines on twitter,

“Is it just me, or do you find this story comical? Why can't Sports Writers understand why a fighter chooses to...”
The link will lead to an article posted on entitled Donaire snubs PSA award.

Then Joey Villar, which I believe the writer of the above linked article replied,“@dRealSource You're an asslicker I guess. Can't Donaire just say he can't attend and not leave the PSA hanging?

Then a series of back and forth bashing continued on both social media that went too ugly.

Guillermo, a sportswriter that covers Philippines, boxing and MMA, is trying to justify why boxing champion Nonito Donaire not able to show-up PSA ceremony in Manila.

Donaire is in deep training in the US prior to his April bout with slick Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux, which is considered his toughest foe.

In the other hand, Joey Villar a sports writer for The Philippine Star, is trying to stress out why Donaire, if chose not to show up because of the very obvious reason, was not able to at least send email, or any means of communication whatsoever to inform that he cannot attend.

Renowned sports writer Ronnie Nathanielsz also expresses the same idea on tweeter saying, “Nonito should have sent a message to PSA that he couldn't attend the awards because he is deep in training. Understandable.”

Donaire then replied, “Ronnie, I never received an official letter from anyone stating I was awarded so those writers who informed me”“w/o the letter I did not know who to address my nonattendance to.”

After Donaire’s reply Ronnie expresses agreement on Donaires situation saying, “Don't worry Nonito.Its no big deal.You can't fly halfway around the world to pick up an award when training”.

However, Joey Villar and Dennis Guillermo continued their battle on twitter which I think would not be necessary. We can agree to disagree and move on from there.

Bottom line is we need more athletes’ that will move to greater heights and that will continue to inspire more people. That is, what it is.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bradley vs. Provodnikov Prediction: Will Ruslan’s tenacity can calm the ‘Desert Storm’?

Photo via Google Images
Timothy Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight title against Russian challenger Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16, 2013 live on HBO at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California USA. This will be Bradley’s comeback fight after a controversial win over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012.

This will be Bradley’s return after nine months of limbo of whom and when to fight again after Pacquiao dumped a supposed rematch.

Bradley, 29-0 (KO 12) is a fighter who thinks and adjusts in real time during a fight yet does not have the needed sting on his punches to back off an aggressive opponent. His 12 KO’s against 29 wins is a testament to that.

Desert Storm, is a technically sound boxer that looks for angles to a surging opponent and fighting on backpedal that neutralizes aggression to compensate his lack of power.

Bradley used this technique against Pacquiao in the last six rounds which I believed was effective because he could not match Pacquiao’s power. But for the untrained eye to judge, it can be mistaken as merely running and avoiding.

Many believed that Bradley won most of the rounds in the second half of the fight but not enough to win the fight, not even close.

Ruslan Provodnikov, 22-1 (KO 15) is a very insistent slugger that overpowers his foe. He needs to be tough in order to impose his fighting style. He has better chances with a fighter who loves to trade punches and fight toe-to-toe. For a fighter that looks for angle and fight scientifically, he needs to be fast and sneaky.

Provodnikov’s key of winning against Bradley I think would rely upon the approach he will adjust in executing his attack. If he will just walk straight through Bradley; he will be greeted with combinations from an angle that will keep him out of balance for his own counters. He needs to cut the ring, corner Bradley to the ropes and let go bombs after bombs.

My prediction:
Although, Provodnikov could be successful at times to corner Bradley against the ropes but I think Bradley’s tough chin (Pacquiao’s left straight is a living witness) and head lead could be a factor. Bradley’s lack of power is well compensated also by his mental toughness and desire to win that he showed against Peterson. I pick Bradley to win via unanimous decision.

Here are the predictions from writers and sites around the web:

D'source Guillermo - Bradley UD 12
Bad Left Hook Staff - Ryan Bivins - Bradley UD 12
                                 Scott Christ - Bradley by shut-out type decision
                                 Kory Kitchen - Bradley by Decision (117-111 vicinity)
                                 David Oakes Bradley by wide decision
ESNEWS - Alber Alvarez - "I’m picking The Desert Storm Bradley to win by late stoppage or by Unanimous Decision."
Noel Clubb - Boxing Trainer, via MMA Crosfire - Bradley by UD 12
Tim Starks - The Queens-berry rules - Bradley UD 12

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hopkins outworks Cloud to win IBF light heavyweight title

Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins at 48 years old executed supreme performance and schooled the younger champion, Tavoris Cloud to win the IBF heavyweight world title.

"I have a history of destroying young champions and you never see them again," Hopkins said. "I don't know if you'll see Tavoris Cloud again."

Cloud joined the list of young champions that tasted defeat from Grandpa Hopkins, including Pascal and Pavlik.

Hopkins not just win the IBF light heavyweight title but also breaks his own record set in 2011 as the oldest boxer to win major world title.

Hopkins just proved doubters who believed that he is more of dirty tricks now than skills. He probed that he can win real clean. Hopkins throws more often combinations rather that pot shooting which he did in his previous two fights with Chad Dawson. This time he outworked a 17 years junior, strong and hard hitting champion, who was slightly favored to win before the fight.

The fight started very slow in the first three rounds. It seems to me that, Hopkins really gets through the head of Cloud. Many anticipate that Cloud would immediately jump into Hopkins to impose his power and agility. But to the contrary Cloud was just too hesitant to engage.

In the fourth, Cloud tries to dig more to the body but that never stops Hopkins or slows him down to move around the ring to avoid Cloud’s charge.

In the sixth Cloud was cut on left eyelid that the referee ruled out as an accidental head butt. But it turns out from the replay that it was Hopkins left hook that opened the cut.

Hopkins was comfortably ahead of the scorecards entering the second half of the fight. When the final bell sounded, the scorecard reads 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112 all for Hopkins.

With his blockbuster performance I think Hopkins could still continue fighting till he reaches 50 years old. His record will be setting in the history book for a very long time, I believed. He even becomes more popular now than his reign in the middleweights.

Nigel Collins said in his tweet “B-Hop is far more popular now than when he was in his prime & kayoing his foes. I guess he's mesmerized fans the way he does his opponents”.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hokins vs. Cloud prediction and analysis: Who are you picking, experience or youth?

Photo via Google Images

According to Randy Pausch in his famous speech, “Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”  For a boxer as accomplished as Bernard Hopkins, undisputed middleweight champion for a decade—from 1995 to 2005, and a sure hall of famer, what else he wants as a prizefighter? I can’t think of other things except for setting new record by breaking own record as the oldest fighter in history to have won a world championship title.

Bernard Hopkins, 52-6-2 (KO 32) will try to get once again on top at the age of 48 vying for the IBF Light heavyweight world title held by Tavoris Cloud on Mar. 9 at Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, New York. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don King Productions.

If you look back Hopkins back-to-back losses against Jermain Taylor, you could think that it is the ideal time to quit for a fighter already at his 40 at that time. But that is not the road Hopkins has taken. Instead, Hopkins left the middleweight division where he was once the monarch that ruled for a decade and move up to light heavyweight division with a debut fight against his conqueror‘s conqueror, Antonio Tarver.

“The Executioner” got past Tarver, and kept on fighting. Since then, Hopkins had won five, from his last nine bouts, (defeating the likes of Wright, Pavlik, Pascal, and avenging his loss to Roy Jones Jr.) lost two close decisions, drawn once and one no contest.

Hopkins fighting the undefeated harder hitting champion, Tavoris Cloud, 24-0 (KO 19) is something you will think of; how Hopkins will defy father time with his almost golden age? Tavoris, physically strong that hits harder and perhaps on his prime right now, will definitely will have his hands full come Saturday night. Tavoris with a mission in mind to retire an aging veteran for good, beating him decisively or stopping him in the fight that his previous 62 opponents have failed to do.

It could be easier said than done for Tavoris, because Hopkins might have the physical attrition but the vast experience that he brings to the table could be enough to strip his belt. Not to mention the craftiness and the out of the book tricks that Hopkins for sure may employ once he feel the champion will try to impose athleticism to overwhelm him.

Tavoris has youth with his side and physically stronger than Hopkins but if you look at the tale of the tape, it is Hopkins that has the advantages. Hopkins being the taller and longer reach would capitalize this advantages and look to fight from the outside, keeping Tavoris at bay and impose a one-two-if-miss-hug combination to avoid in-fighting situation that would let Tavoris sneak his short right hook. If this scene will work on Hopkins, my prediction is that once again Hopkins defies father time and cruise to unanimous decision victory.


You may add your prediction below via comment.

Here are the prediction around the web: - Tavoris UD 12
Boxing Philosophy - John Apocalypse - Hopkins UD 12
Bleacher Report Boxing - Hopkins UD 12
Boxing News Online - Tris Dixon - Hopkins
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist - Ralph Longo - Cloud TKO 10
The boxing Tribune -  Tim Harrison - Hopkins - 115-113 Split Decision
Bad Left Hook - Scot Christ - Hopkins by Decision
                        Tom Craze - Cloud UD 12
                        Kory Kitchen - Cloud UD 12 (Close)
                        Dave Oakes - Cloud Split Decision 12
The Queensberry Rules - Tim Starks - Hopkins by Decision
Jean Pascal via Twitter - Hopkins by TKO
CompuBox - Cloud by Decision            
Saturday Night Boxing - Cloud UD 116-112
ESPN Analyst Teddy Atlas - Cloud UD 12

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hopkins vs. Cloud: Shuttlepen's March Fight Schedule

The first two month for this year headlined a lot of very good fight cancellation. Most cancellation were due to injuries during training. However Chris Arreola's case was bronchitis.

This month of March I will cover only one fight. This month seems to me a slack month for boxing. That is why I choose only one for this month. The IBF light heavyweight title fight between ageless veteran Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins 52-6-2 (KO 32) against undefeated young lion Tavoris "Thunder" Cloud 24-0 (KO 19) at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Can Hopkins defy age and come out victorious against undefeated young blood that seeks his own spot in this sport? Will experience and crafty tactics would carry Hopkins for another title in his long storied career? This and many more questions that surround this fight will be answered on Saturday, 9th March 2013.


I need to update this post. Initially, I decided to have Hopkins-Cloud covered for March but It was a mistake. Not considering Bradley-Provodnikov and Rios-Alvarado II only means I don't want pure action.

Bradley will comeback after his controversial win over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012. He was left hanging in the air when Pacquiao did not demand for a rematch. After nine months Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight title against Russian challenger Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16.

Meanwhile, who will forget Rios-Alvarado I? Who will forget that all around aggression that both fighters showed? My March will never be complete without this card on March 30 covered here in this blog.

Alvarado seems slightly ahead to all scorecards all the way to the start of round 7, when Rios turned the tide landing the biggest shot that sent Alvarado back on the ropes. From there he was peppered with bombs after bombs that opted the referee to stop the contest.

On March 30, we will witness the continuation of what have been a strong contender as fight of the year for 2012. Will Alvarado avenge his lone lost? and even the score for a possible trilogy?

Friday, March 1, 2013

OFW Boxing Association in Kuwait

When I arrived Kuwait in 2006, what came first to my mind was, to look for something that worth doing during day-off. As an OFW, I’ve got no relatives to visit, no alcoholic beverage to drink to unwind (at least occasionally) and the worst of all—no family to spend for the remaining hours of the day after a long-day of work here in Kuwait.

I understand that it is a must to do something worthwhile--to ease stress, boredom and homesickness. I think of hanging around in a mall. But at times, a mall is not even the safest place to go. And besides it cost you money to stay in a place where in every corner you will see a red tag that says “sale up to 70% off”.

I first think of boxing as a good thing to do. Boxing is my all-time favorite compare to any other sports but I presume that this is mamno (not-allowed) in Kuwait. Fast track: I look for basketball court and it become my past time in Kuwait for almost five years.

However, my love for boxing did not stop. I watch over and over fights of my favorite boxers from my CD/DVD collection or from live PPV subscription. I also read a lot of boxing articles in the web and never missed to leave my opinion and comments.

In 2011, my reading brought me into writing. I am now blogging about boxing—like this, in my personal blog here. I am also a member of yahoo! contributor network. You may read my first article published on yahoo here.

Nevertheless, I found out that writing about something very far from the place where boxing happened is somewhat difficult. I am not able to get first hand information. It is best if you are in the place where boxing event happened. How I wish, I am residing in Nevada (just day dreaming) and watch big boxing fight cards, live every weekend and write every bit of it.

I may not be granted to reside in the boxing capital of the world, but I finally discover that boxing is never ‘mamno’ in Kuwait. In fact, it is an accepted sport here in Kuwait. It just that I presumed it was not allowed.

How I discover it?

Mr. Tony Trono (sited 1st from right) with some of the pioneer clinic members

A friend handed me a leaflet that reads “Kamao laban sa Kamao” (fist vs. fist) boxing training and workshop clinic.

When read the above lines, I get so excited and called one of the organizer--Mr. Tony Trono, OFW-BAK Founder/Chairman and confirmed that they launched a two-month boxing clinic ‘Kamao laban sa Kamao’ in Kuwait starting on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

Below is the full excerpt from an article posted in site written by Ben Garcia for Panorama Balita.
KUWAIT: The OFW-Boxing Association in Kuwait (OFW-BAK) in cooperation with the Kuwait Boxing Federation and Kuwait Olympic Committee launched a two-month boxing clinic ‘Kamao laban sa Kamao’ in Kuwait last Friday. The event was held at Khaifan Sporting Complex, (in front of Kuwait News Agency and back of Platinum Gym) with Captain Adnan Radda, Captain Bader Atiyyah head and deputy of Khaifan Boxing Department respectively and Dr Mohammad Al-Bannay of Kyokushin Karate Club as their chief guests. The opening ceremony was attended by various Filipino community leaders including Mario Adones of Catsclaw, Buboy Aguilar of FCAK, Allan de Castro (Guardians) and Captain Cyril Mansueto of Filipino Sailors Club in Kuwait.

Speaking during the event, OFW-BAK Founder/Chairman Antonio ‘Tony’ Trono said boxing will be the next famous sports for Filipinos in Kuwait. “In the Philippines, the second famous sports is not volleyball not even badminton or tennis but boxing. Boxing is second to basketball so I thought of introducing boxing in Kuwait because Filipinos love this sports,” Trono mentioned. He said boxing made many Filipinos famous in the international scene such as Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire. “It was a dream come true for all us Filipinos because at first, we knew it was ‘mamnu’ ‘haram’ (forbidden) in Kuwait, but eventually we found out from Kuwait Olympic Committee they have their own boxing federation here, so we immediately coordinated with them and we’re all happy to finally have boxing clinic,” Tony opined. Adnan Radda, head of boxing committee at Khaifan Sports Complex said: “We welcome everyone in this sports arena, this is for you and we hope to cater as many Filipinos who love this sports. We already have Filipinos here undergoing training in taekwondo..and now boxing; if we have more venue to accommodate your community, we’ll love to welcome you all here,” Adnan noted.

The boxing training and workshop will be held every Friday with the guidance of professional boxing trainers/coaches provided by the OFW-BAK and Kuwait Boxing Federation. The boxing clinic is open to male participants only from 17-45 years old. Women are also welcome as spectators and they can also sponsor their own players (boxers). Trono encourages all Filipinos in Kuwait to join their boxing clinic especially since they plan to organize a title/amateur bout in the coming months. “We plan to bring Manny Pacquiao or Nonito Donaire as our guest in the next months or so, we are working hard for their upcoming visit,” Trono revealed. Khaifan Gym Boxing Arena is open to Filipinos from 1-5pm. Trainers, coaches are available in the gym including boxing gloves and all related boxing gears. For details please contact Tony at Tel no. 66476918, Buboy Tel 66032010. Training/workshop is sponsored by McDonalds, Zain Telecommunications, Al-Alamia Manpower Services, Waleed Supermarket, Sebamed, Kuwait Times, Filipino Panorama, DTA Rockstars Kuwait (of Aim Global), Oman Exchange Company, Universal Arwa Printing Press and Fonz International.

On Friday, I visited the boxing clinic with my friend Engr. Joel Alcantara because we plan to enroll. We met personally Mr. Tony Trono and talked about how to enroll and the future plans of the clinic. In my next post I will write what we discuss during our visit.

Here are the following photos I took during our visit.

Joel hit the bag with his bare knuckles

Heavy bags in the gym

The boxing ring that I love to climb very soon

Club members sparring

Club Members also did a their own version of Harlem Shake