Snips 'n' Snipes

About The Author

eric portraitEric Armit, who is a Director of the CBC and its former Chairman, is renowned worldwide as an authority on boxers records and also as a satirical and cynical observer.

Eric Armit writes in his capacity as a boxing journalist and not as a director of the CBC. His views and comments are his own and have not been the subject of prior discussion or consideration by his fellow directors, nor form official CBC policy.

18 September 2012

So who were the winners in Las Vegas? No I don’t mean Sergio Martinez and Saul Alvarez. I mean Golden Boy or Top Rank. Figures from the Nevada Commission say that the Saul Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez show had an attendance of over 14,000 and took in just over $1.6 million at the gate. The show was sold out. The Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr show had an attendance of just under 17,000 with gate money of just over $3 million. Top Rank win on points, but both shows were a big success.

Naturally, after the dramatic finish, there is a big interest in a return. Even before the fighters got back to their dressing rooms the owner of the Cowboy Stadium in Dallas was already putting his property forward as the site. However, no one was committing themselves. Bob Arum was rightly claiming that a return match would be even bigger business than the original. The team behind Martinez were not biting and there was talk of Martinez preferring a fight with Miguel Cotto. He can do things like that now that he has his title back. On the other hand Freddie Roach is saying that he feels Chavez should go up to super middle as it is a tough struggle for him to make 160lbs.

The action by the WBC in taking Martinez’s title away was disgraceful. It was this fight that showed the real cost to Martinez of that action. Chavez was the big draw for the Mexicans, so was the better ticket seller. However, if Martinez had still been WBC champion, as he should have been, he would have had the title as his bargaining chip and could have held out for, if not parity, then a much better purse. The absence of that bargaining chip may have cost Martinez as much as $1 million. That makes the WBC Diamond Belt that Martinez was palmed off with the most expensive trophy in sport.

 

Alvarez was probably the biggest winner as he received a $100,000 prize from the promoters for the best knockout of the night. All Lopez got was a beating.

This is the reality of boxing in the USA today. Of the 18 boxers who appeared in the title fights and ten round bouts on the two shows only three, Robert Marroquin, Willie Nelson and John Jackson (US Virgin Islands), were Americans. There were eight Mexicans, two Puerto Ricans, two Argentinians, one Cuban, one from Britain and a Canadian. The simple fact is that of all active American boxers only Floyd Mayweather Jr, and to a lesser extent Andre Ward, can match the Mexican’s in drawing power-in America.

No sooner had Bob Arum breathed a sigh of relief that the Las Vegas show was done, than he was on the road again to drum up interest in Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV. This one had to happen if Marquez was to get his justice, but please, please guys make this one decisive. For Pacquiao vs. Marquez XXXVI I don’t want to see bath chairs in each corner instead of stools, and gum shields only needed to protect gums.

The fight for the vacant WBO super featherweight title fight on the Golden Boy show featured former champion Rocky Martinez and Mexican Miguel Beltran. Good fight, but Beltran was rated No 6 by the WBO and Martinez No 8. What happened to guys 1 to 5 and No 7. Makes ratings redundant when it is the promoter who decides who gets a title shot.

 

One brother is in-one is out. The much anticipated Mexico vs. Puerto Rican fight between Juan Manuel’s brother Rafael and Wilfredo Vasquez Jr has fallen through. The Mexican was said to be having personal problems which had interfered with his training. In his place comes Puerto Rican prospect Jonathan Oquendo. He has a 22-2 record with one loss being a disqualification and the other a stoppage by Juan Manuel Lopez back in 2008. Vazquez has not fought since losing a split decision to Nonito Donaire in February.

European cruiserweight champion Alex Alekseev is due to fight for the WBO Inter-Continental title on 28 September. There was a time when that fight looked very doubtful. A little while back the Russian suddenly started vomiting violently and was then numb on the whole left side of his body. Test have not been able to establish what the problem was but Alex is confident it is behind him.

 

Australian Danny Green is not contemplating retirement. Instead the “ Green Machine” is said to be negotiating for a fight with New Zealander Shane Cameron in Melbourne in November at cruiserweight. Green resurrected his career with a stoppage of Danny Santiago in July. Commonwealth cruiser champion Cameron also fought in July. He was up at heavyweight, knocking out Monte Barrett in four rounds.

 

Yet another WBA farce. They had lined-up Panamanian Alberto Mosquera to fight interim champion Diego Chaves on September 22 for their vacant secondary welterweight title. However, Mosquera decided he did not want to fight at welterweight. In comes Jose Miranda, a Panamanian (remind me where the WBA is based?) with a 12-11-3 record. He is in the August ratings at No 15. However he was not in the previous ratings and had not fought since April. Normal business for the WBA.

With Brockton now having a statue of Rocky Marciano the mayor of Philadelphia has started a campaign to raise money for a statue of Joe Frazier. I hope they manage it, but if you put up a statue for all the great fighters to come out of Philadelphia you would have no room for the pedestrians and traffic. There is also a movement dedicated to buying and restoring Joe’s old gym.

 

Thomas Hearns is going into promoting. His Hitman Entertainment has scheduled their first show for October 12 with Tommy’s son Ronald Hearns on the bill.

Looks like the WBO are determined that Nat Cleverly will fight Robin Krasniqi. The Serbian-born German-based fighter was No 5 in their ratings but after beating an unrated fighter he suddenly jumps to No 1. Previous No 1 Pownceby disappears altogether, despite winning his last fight. Denis Simcic, who was above Krasniqi at No 3, suddenly falls to No 11. He was stopped inside a round by Jonathan Profichet , but that was on September 7 and the ratings say they only take in results up to September 3. The simple truth is that Krasniqi was going to No 1-with or without a reason. Honest ratings-I will see bacon in flight before then.

 

Michael Sprott is certain and deservedly to receive punishment for pushing over the referee after the controversial stoppage of his fight against Edmund Gerber. He would do well to throw himself on the mercy of the German Board. Khoren Gevor has twice attacked referees after his fights and hardly even got a smack on the wrist. Will Sprott get the same leniency or is it a case of one rule for German based boxers and another for outsiders?

 

The Russian’s have come up with a good idea-Parliamentary Games-yes members of parliament competing against each other at sport. I was going to have a wee bet on Nikolai Valuev in the boxing, but it is not on the list of events. Instead big Nikolai is going to compete at table tennis-another macho image blown apart. They also staged the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Russian Boxing Federation. Famous names from the past such as double Olympic champion Boris Latugin, Yuri Alexandrov, Victor Ageev and Alex Lebziak attended. Evander Holyfield was there as a guest of honour (must be nice to be getting away to somewhere you are not being pursued for child maintenance).

 

It takes more than a war against terrorism to stop boxing. Afghan Hamid Rahini  who is based in Germany, is returning home to defend his WBU middleweight title in Kabul on October 20. Rahini, 29, has a 20-1 record and has a big following of his fellow-countrymen in Afghanistan and Germany. Just how far he can go is questionable. His only loss was to Hungarian Attila Kiss in 2010, and Kiss had a 9-58-3 record at the time. I wish him well and safety in his plan to put on the first ever pro boxing show in Afghanistan.

 

One veteran came back and two are talking about coming back. Canadian Fitz Vanderpool made his comeback at the weekend. The former Canadian welterweight champion returned after over five years of inactivity. Now 44 he should have stayed retired. One talking comeback is Dane Mads Larsen. Despite a four round kayo loss to British novice Luke Blackledge in June, the 39-year-old says he still has an uncompleted seven fight contract with Sauerland, and he wants to continue. Another talking comeback is Lamon Brewster. Brewster needed eye surgery after his losing fight against Robert Helenius in January 2010, but says he is ready to get back in the ring. Naturally his aim is a third fight with Wladimir Klitschko. They are 1-1 in two fights. Lamon’s nickname is “Relentless” and he is a relentless optimist if that is his aim.

Italian heavyweight Francesco Pianeta seems to be carrying out an age discrimination policy. If you are under 34 don’t bother to apply. His most recent opponents have been Matt Skelton (42), Evgeny Orlov (34), Mike Middleton (44), Samir Kurtagic (36), Ivica Perkovic (38), Robert Hawkins (42), Zack Page (39), Oliver McCall (47) and Frans Botha (43). Even this is streets better than Deontay Wilder whose last opponent was Damon McCreary. Poor McCreary is 39, 8” shorter than Wilder, was having only his second fight in almost five years and his first since November 2010. If Wilder’s management, promoter and the Californian Commission think this match was ok you have to seriously wonder what would be unacceptable.

 

Boxing just does not seem serious about tackling the use of performance enhancing drugs. We have both Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto coming up with excuses which would hold no water if the were Olympic athletes. You are responsible for what you ingest-full stop, no excuses, you are banned for a long period. Now we have Konstantin Airich testing positive for testosterone after his fight against Odlanier Solis in Florida in May . Banned ? Not likely. This month, four months after his positive test, he was fighting in Moscow. The certainty of getting caught is only a deterrent if severe punishment is also certain.

 

Trivia. What do Saul Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, Pongsaklek and Sergio Martinez all have in common? All of these future Hall of Fame inductees had fights early in their career which would have led you to wonder if they were even going to be good let alone great.  In his fifth fight Alvarez was held to a draw by Jorge Juarez who had a 3-5 record. A year after turning pro Pacquiao lost on a third round kayo to Rustico Torriecampo. In his first eleven fights Pongsaklek lost on points and was then kayoed by Jerry Pahayahay, a guy with a 25-21-1 record. In only his third fight Martinez was held to a draw by Mario Nieva who had a 3-6 record.  I would have written them all off, which proves how little I know.