I’d like to write about guts, the Fabolous Four, and the 1-1-2, the evolution of the 1-2, or the most basic combination, the jab+straight.
I want to start with Dinamita, because I believe the signs that boxing was evolving happened as soon as our gaze left the heavyweights and towards the lighter weights. The speed, unreal display of high velocity pugilism is what attracted us to the new generation of the Barrera, Morales, and Marquez. These three, along with Pacquiao, really brought to the fans the true character of a boxing champion, which combines the skill and talent of the boxer himself with true courage and heart that you could see when these guys would fight each other. It was truly the definition of a battle of wills. Michael Rosenthal said “The bottom line is this: Barrera, Morales and Marquez were precious gifts to fight fans who admire an unusual combination of skill and courage.”
Dinamita in particular was interesting because his talent was developing that basic combination and pairing it with one of the most intelligent ring IQs in the game.
His counter style wraps around his opponent so that when he fights, you really see a master at work, creating opportunities to hit hard and continue hitting. He starts the first round a student, studying, prodding his opponent with the highest IQ left hand in the game. Especially as a featherweight, the velocities he was working on were blazing fast. In recent history, he’s been a much faster starter, but his exchanges always ended with a well placed crescendo, using complicated one-twos, one-one-twos, and uppercuts. You could even break down the one-one-twos into specific components. The timing of the first hard jab, the intuition to step in fast into the opponents chest right behind the second jab to keep the opponent off balance, then using a hard straight right filled with malice to end with all the intention to end the fight. Boxers like the Fabolous Four above would use this remix of a basic combination to such success with lesser opponents that once they fought each other and found that they were still standing after the 1-1-2, they knew that from then on it would be a real man’s battle through to the end.
This is the passion that got me into boxing as a fan, and I really wish for the sake of the sport that young boxers would look towards the Fabolous Four’s careers and understand what it really takes to carry that hunger and passion year after year, fight after fight. I’m looking directly at you Berto, and even you Miguel Cotto, to show us this hunger this upcoming weekend.
These cats are coming off losses, but I have been such a fan of their hunger, their ring presence, and motivation in the past, just hoping that they could show that same glimmer this coming weekend.
A toast for the future hall of famers! Especially for Erik Morales and one of my favorites, the baby-faced assassin, Barrera. Let’s end with some 50.