Weekend Review: A Lesson in the Pro Ring

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Hello BMB fam! I have some interesting facts to review after this weekend’s fights, a pay-per-view event for our dear friend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., son of a living legend, and the breakout 2nd professional fight for Lomanchenko in San Antonio, Texas.

On the surface, this Saturday’s fights were pretty boring, just a bunch of guys bullying the other guy and seemingly winning because of that bullying, smothering, corralling ring strategy. However, when we put on our critical-optimist BMB fedora and a monocle on, we can actually see a few interesting wrinkles on showing the hard-knocks our current crop of professional boxers have to endure.

In fact, we may be looking at a highly underrated angle of professional boxing, demonstrated by these two fighters Chavez Jr, and Lomanchenko. In today’s boxing world, there is arguably a wide gap in professional boxers making a living in the limelight, and professional boxers barely getting any love from the press or the fans. This is exhibited in Lomanchenko, a prospect trying to get in front of boxing fans after several years demonstrating a brutal separation in talent in the amateurs. Since 2007, Lomanchenko amassed a 396-1 record before dipping into the professional ring in 2013. In all those amateur fights, he’s been known to overwhelmingly defeat his opponents, and was able to translate that talent even in the Olympic ring, winning gold in the 2008 and the 2012 olympics.

Contrast that to young Chavez Jr.,arguably showing a turn for the better, showing up in the ring a proud man determined to step out the ring with a win. Jr. only fought two exhibition fights as an amateur before turning pro at 17 years old. He’s now fighting towards 51 professional fights.

Both fights last Saturday show the realization and execution, respectively, of the professional boxing mindset. It requires extremely strong dedication, purpose, and even faith. Jr., as Rudy Mondragon said, had the X-factor, that motivating factor that he was now responsible for supporting a family. Combine that with the staggering expectation that comes with carrying a legend’s name, Jr. left palpable evidence in the ring, and in Brian Vera’s face, that he is paving his own way towards his success. I’m actually pretty proud of that, even though in the BMB circle we tend to poke fun at his boxing resolve.

In Lomanchenko’s corner, we see evidence of these same motivating factors. An intense Salido pressured and bullied the fight, while Lomanchenko’s pulled out a few and brief glimmers of talent that failed to bend Salido’s will. I’m not saying that talented amateurs don’t belong in the pro ring, but they better be damn sure they have the correct mindset before stepping in there. Blood and money are at stake, rather than points, and looking pretty.

I’m positive Lomanchenko learns from this hard, hard fight and will bounce back with renewed spirit for his next challenger. He may even take a page out of Chavez Jr.’s book, in really looking inward to find that winning motivation. The pro ring is a tempestuous bitch, managed by fat-cats drooling at dollars, but sometimes beauty does emerge from its depths in the form of a sweet science, motivated with true resolve.

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