The Boxing Diary

Views and Opinions

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Philippine Boxing: not having a good start for 2013

Philippine front-line boxers were not having a good start this year. It actually started late last year with the devastating defeat of Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao to his long time rival Mexican master counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez.

Although former super bantamweight  kingpin Nonito Donaire won last year that lifted the spirits of Filipino fans but lost this year against Cuban two time Olympian, Guillermo Rigondeaux for the unification bout last week.

A week before Donaire was dethroned by Rigondeaux it was Brian Viloria who lost his world title in Macau. Brian came up short against a more determined opponent. It seems to me that Viloria lack the proper conditioning which is really his problem. When we look at his losses except for that KO lost. It seems that he   is the tired boxer in the later rounds. He faded in the last four rounds in all his losses by decision.

Speaking of fading in the later rounds, Rey Bautista also lost his international title in the same passion against another Mexican, Ramirez. Bautista look so tired and keep on complaining to the referee although benefited a deduction but still unable to pull the championship round.

Bautista also instead of learning more tactics as he experience fighting instead seems his skills deteriorate. He lacks the lateral and head movement. He went for a brawl and the fans love it but lack the killer instinct to finished off a wobbly opponent who is ready to go. Instead of finishing the job he seems to rest.

The lost of Filipino boxing front liners might be because of their flaws but I did not take away the ability or the quality of their opponents. They are more determined boxers against the Filipinos this time.

However, 2013 is still long and I believed they can still end the year as champions again.      

Friday, April 5, 2013

Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria vs. Juan Estrada: Can Viloria win it in Macau?

Transnational Boxing Ranking Board (TBRB) number 10 pound-for-pound boxer Brian "Hawaiian Punch'' Viloria 32-3 (KO 19) will defend his WBO and WBA flyweight title against Juan Francisco Estrada in Cotai Arena, Macau, China on Saturday night.

I can not watch this fight on Saturday evening because I will be traveling to Manila for a vacation from Kuwait. But before I finally pack my things tonight, I will give my prediction of this fight.

I pick Viloria to win this fight via knock out in the middle rounds. Viloria at 32 has become better and stronger in his previous last six wins and knock out four of them--Veerapol, Segura, Romero and Marquez.

After his three losses many believed that Viloria is done in boxing. I have also that same feeling. Vilorias' losses except that lone KO was by a decision. It is a fight wherein I thought he could win if he had the proper conditioning.

Viloria look so tired, breathing from his mouth and with his hands low. Those two losses could have been salvaged if he was able work more in the championship rounds.

However, after his last loss against Carlos Tamara, three years back, Viloria came back strong, sweeping six opponents.

Juan Francisco Estrada at 22 years old (10 years younger than Viloria) is coming from a 12-round UD loss against Roman Gonzalez in November last year. It seems that Estrada has problem also going into the distance. He is not used to finish 12-rounds and win a decision. Most of his wins are TKO/KO.

Estradas' 75% KO percentage is a testament that he is a very good knockout puncher. And he has a punchers luck against Viloria who also loves to trade punches.

Nevertheless, I picked Viloria to win because of his experience coupled with his decent power. I think Viloria could systematically break down Estrada and finally release that power shot that will turn the lights off.

I may not be able to add the predictions of my favorite boxing sites and writers because as I mention above, I am going to prepare my baggage for a vacation in Manila. I will post my fight results once I get there and probably watch a replay there.

Adrien Broner: New entry on my undefeated boxers list

With the latest removal of Brandon Rios's precious 'O' in his record courtesy of Mike 'Mile High Mike' Alvarado on Saturday, I welcome Adrien Broner 26-0 (KO 22) to my undefeated boxers list.

A reader once ask why I did not include Broner in my undefeated boxers list when I update it on March 2013. Actually, when Sergio Martinez defeated former undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I need to choose between Bradon Rios and Adrien Broner.

I chose Rios over Broner on my March update simply because of quality opponent and the risk Rios took on Alvarado.

Both Rios and Alvarado where undefeated when they first meet in October last year. Now, with Alvarado even up the score against Rios, it is time for Broner to shine on my list.

In the next update Adrien Broner will be included.

Transnational Boxing Ranking Board--The future of boxing

With the existing alphabet belts (sanctioning bodies) in boxing, no one can tell who the real champion is, in every weight division. Each sanctioning bodies has its own version of world champion. The creation of TBRB or TRANSNATIONAL BOXING RANKING BOARD is viable, not as an alternative but as a definitive organization that will determine real boxing rankings.    

What's the use of a boxer called the 'welterweight world champion' if yet there is another four champions who shared the same title on four different alphabet belts?

There is a need to have a organization, that will rank boxers . A ranking board that oversees the entire sport of boxing. Unlike the existing alphabet belts who ranks only their own roster of fighters that pay their sanction fees.

However, there is already an alternative for the alphabet belts that exists for a long period--"The Ring Magazine", that first published in 1922. But in recent years had been drag into questionable changes in their policies on how to rank and crown champions.

"But what do you do when you need an alternative to the alternative?" said Eric Raskin a former managing editor of The Ring magazine and co-hosts the twice-monthly boxing podcast Ring Theory, in his article on ESPN.

In this article, Raskin also explains how TBRB work. As a boxing fan I support TBRB for their effort for the betterment of boxing. I hope, once this board become a solid source of boxing ranking, will not end up being eaten by corruption.

(Full disclosure: I became a member of Transnational Boxing Ranking Board in July 2013, two months after I posted this article.) 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Alvarado tweaks style against Rios, even the score after 12-rounds, for a possible trilogy

Photo via Google Images

Let me quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist and poet, “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

Mike “Mile High Mike” Alvarado, 34-1 (KO 23) clearly understood the mistakes he made in the previous fight, and made necessary adjustments with his style, to even the score against Brandon Rios, 31-1 (KO 23) to win the vacant interim WBO Light welterweight title, on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Alvarado sticks the plan, which is to box from the distance, move side-to-side, look for more angles, but engages whenever, is necessary.

"It was that movement I was talking about," Alvarado said.

Alvarado also intelligently ties Rios from the inside to limit Rios’s output from close quarter situation—the place where Rios’s more successful during the first match.

I predicted Alvarado to win this fight, and will not abandon the strategies mention above. In the first match, he was effective with those movements but was lured by Rios for a brawl.

Alvarado tweaking his style never slips from the expectation of another war in this rematch. In fact the only calm round—was the fifth round when an accidental blow from Rios—opt Referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight—for Alvarado to recover. He just put more legs into the fight not to clash head-on to Rios.

"The difference this time was that Mike had better legs”, his trainer, Henry Delgado said.

However, these adjustments don’t save Alvarado’s face from Rios’s aggression. He looks like the loser after 12 rounds. He’s bloodied early, from a cut over the left eye.

Alvarado headed to the hospital after the fight.

Round 8 was terrific, that let me up on my feet. Alvarado halts Rios from his track, with a big right hand—that Rios admits after the fight that he didn’t get rocked, but instead got rocked, and wobbled.

Rios is a ‘superman.’
How many hooks landed on Rios’s chin? It staggered him but not stopped him. I come to a conclusion that it is not only ‘Superman’ that is made of steel, or ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson. Please include Brandon Rios.

I want a trilogy.
With Alvarado clearly understood the experience he learned from the first match and successfully adjusted his style that paid off a win to even the score. I am too excited to see how Rios will adjust his own style for a possible trilogy.

There is nothing wrong to do it again because Rios and Alvarado like to do it.

What I love about trilogy: is that it is all about adjustment in all aspects, from training, strategy till fight night’s real-time.

Rios-Alvarado rematch was a win-win card for the sport of boxing: from fighters, officials, promoters and specially the fight fans. A fight card that you will never see happens every Saturday Night.