Swift vs The Ghost: Reflections on Latino Politics

By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @boxingintellect

On Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 Danny “Swift” Garcia defeated Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero via a 12 round unanimous decision (all three judges had it 116-112). Garcia’s victory earned him the vacant WBC Welterweight title that once belonged to The Best Ever, Floyd Mayweather Jr.


This was a unique match up as these two boxers were both trained by their fathers for this fight. Both fathers have a reputation for being charismatic trash talkers who have contributed to the build up of their son’s previous matches. What was also unique about this match up was that both Danny and Robert are US born fighters who redefine the famous Puerto Rico vs. Mexico boxing rivalry. Danny was born in North Philadelphia and Robert was born in Gilroy, California.

Things got heated at the final press conference and weigh in. Leading up to the final presser, interviews with Ruben Guerrero surfaced in which he was commenting on the silence of Angel Garcia as well as questioning Danny Garcia’s Puerto Rican identity. When asked by Martin Gallegos who he thought the Puerto Rican fans would be cheering for come fight night, Ruben responded by saying:

“Well I think they are going for Robert, because this guy don’t even speak a licking word in Puerto Rico bro, like he said he’s not real Puerto Rican. He just says he is, but he’s not! I don’t know what he is. He hasn’t figured that out yet.”

The question of “who will the Puerto Rican fans cheer for?” is a question that stems from building up the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico drama. Ruben’s response contributes to the build up of the spectacle that the media desperately tries to craft by asking questions like this. One interpretation of what Ruben is saying is that he feels Puerto Rican fans will side with his son because Danny Garcia is whitewashed and not Latino enough for Puerto Rican boxing enthusiasts.

Ruben’s response is an unfortunate example of Latina/os policing other Latina/os for their lack of “authenticity.” His response brings up three complex questions to my mind: What makes someone Latina/o? What constitutes “authenticity” when discussing ethnic/cultural/racial identity? and Why is it that Latina/os continue to use the ability to speak the Spanish language as an argument to say you are more/less Latina/o?

At the final press conference this week, Ruben Guerrero also made a comment that dealt with language as being a marker of authentic Latina/oness. As he was delivering his speech at the final presser, Guerrero announced in Spanish that “shit talkers go down” in reference to Angel Garcia. He followed that up by saying that he had to translate that to English because “you (Angel) don’t talk Spanish, Puerto Ricans don’t talk Spanish!”

For Ruben, “authentic” Puerto Rican identity comes down to one’s ability to speak Spanish. I guess for Ruben, it doesn’t matter that Angel is well aware that that Puerto Rico is still a US colony or that Danny identifies as Philly-Rican. Interestingly enough, Ruben Guerrero identifies as Chicano and practices a form of Chicana/o Spanglish. Spanglish, being a constructed language that takes both English and Spanish as a tool to communicate Chicana/o culture, experience, and struggle in a world that privileges colonial languages over indigenous tongues. Language is a way to communicate culture and not an absolute marker of cultural, racial, and ethnic identity.

As a boxing fan and writer, I am well aware that trash talking is used as a strategy to get in the mind of your opponent. Some of the greatest mental game strategist consist of Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali, Fernando Vargas, Ricardo Mayorga, Mike Tyson, Paulie Malignaggi, Bernard Hopkins, amongst many others. Paying attention to the content of the trash talking however, is important as it communicates messages that are reflective of the broader society and social problems that go beyond the boxing realm.

When it comes to Ruben Guerrero, his trash talking game takes on a hyper-masculine approach perpetuating the idea that this world is run by men. His emasculation of Angel Garcia reeks of misogyny. And his policing of Angel and Danny Garcia’s Puerto Rican identity based on one’s ability to speak Spanish is unfortunately a common factor that breaks up the possibilities of Latina/o solidarity. The media plays a huge part in this, but it also takes two to tango.

In closing, I want to again say that I understand that trash talking is part of the boxing game. It is a tool used to mentally throw off your opponent. Trash talking takes creativity and thoughtfulness. Can boxers today be more creative and innovative with their trash talking and find ways to not perpetuate isms (racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, etc.)? It is a challenge that I would like to discuss with anyone in the boxing game, even Ruben Guerrero. As long as he doesn’t say I have “baby nuts” or challenges me to a fight, I am all in for an honest conversation.

Canelo vs Cotto: Prediction Edition


Jarrett Bato 

It’s refreshing to have a fight like this come at a time of the year when nostalgia hits the hardest. As the year comes to a close, we humans naturally contemplate of the days that have gone by and why our current reality doesn’t quite match it. That’s why Cotto taking the challenge of Canelo is very important for the sport, and will cement Cotto’s legacy as one of the greatest that ever stepped in the ring.

There’s almost no advantage given to any of the boxers on the signing of this fight. Cotto could have easily given himself an advantage in the weight limit, but the fight is set at 155, which is still easily made for Canelo, though probably still more difficult for Canelo compared to Cotto. The A-side/B-side mental game that Cotto sometimes wallows in has no effect to Canelo, who is of the new generation of boxers that doesn’t accept that the house poses any underlying advantage to any fighter. On paper, it seems that the fight is at an even keel, given the richer experience of Cotto versus the raw and still-blooming talent of Canelo.

I think the key to this fight will be preparation, where here Cotto has the advantage. Cotto has never been shy to make big changes that are needed, and that’s truly the mark of experience and ring generalship, and I believe there couldn’t be any better team behind him than Team Freddie Roach. I think Freddie will bring an excellent game plan to the fight that will expose some of Canelo’s tendencies ala Ronda Rousey, because Canelo has honestly been exploiting his natural talents with little evolution fight to fight.

However, Canelo has demonstrated the ability to evolve as the fight goes on with the one thing he has improved, which is his endurance. With his newfound endurance, he’s able to focus longer, improvise longer, and pull out majestic combinations exploiting new holes in his opponent that weren’t obvious in his earlier fights that went longer than 5 rounds because he’s been too gassed to see them. If Canelo indeed puts 100% focus on Cotto he might just pull off the upset.

But that’s what it will be, an upset compared to the potential perfect game plan. #warcotto, UD

Prediction: Cotto by unanimous decision 

Rudy Mondragon (Twitter: @boxingintellect)

I have dedicated a great deal of time thinking about the outcome of this fight. My heart says Miguel Cotto, but my studies tell me Saul Canelo Alvarez will emerge as the victor.

Since hooking up with Freddie Roach, many have said that Cotto is a new and improved boxer. I agree, to an extent. Cotto has had his ups and downs. Many thought he was done after his loss to Austin Trout in December 2012.

Since then, Cotto has been under the watchful eye of Roach and has won three straight. Two of his three wins have come off worthy opponents. Cotto beat Sergio Martinez in June 2014 and Daniel Geale a year later. A closer look at those two opponents however, reveal serious discrepancies. Martinez had 2 bad knees and was inches away from retirement. Geale was drained at the weigh-in and looked similar to the many zombies that appear on the Walking Dead.

Based on those two victories, I can’t confidently say that Miguel Cotto is a new and improved fighter. After all, how much can a fighter learn from a new trainer this late into their career? However, I do believe that Cotto is inspired by Roach and has a great deal of faith in him. This makes Cotto’s corner a dangerous one when it comes to strategy and game plan.

At age 25, Canelo is younger and hungry for what Cotto has. Although Canelo is the favorite to win this fight, it is Cotto who has the A-Side power. Miguel Cotto will earn $15 million for this fight, while Canelo will take $5 million. Not a bad pay day by any means, but Canelo wants to continue building his legacy. In order to establish himself as an all-time great however, he needs to take down the experienced Miguel Cotto, who serves as Canelo’s gatekeeper.

Canelo is not the best boxer and in this fight, he will emerge as the combination puncher that will chase Cotto down. Canelo will cut the ring and take some of Miguel’s punches in order to land power shots of his own. At age 35, Cotto will not be able to put together a complete fight. A complete fight requires Cotto to land 1-2 punch combinations and quickly circle left and right. Cotto will not land power punches. This is too dangerous for Cotto because it means sitting down on his punches, leaving him vulnerable to Canelo power combinations. Eventually, Cotto will tire and Canelo will be able to catch him more frequently. Cotto bruises and bleeds easily. By the 8th or 9th round, expect to see Cotto’s face visibly marked. My prediction is that Canelo will trap Cotto in a corner or on the ropes and stop him in the 11th round.

My heart is with Cotto and I hope I am wrong with my prediction. I just don’t see the younger and hungry Canelo losing this fight. There is too much on the line for him. Canelo has graduated from the defeat he had against Mayweather. This will be reflective tomorrow night as Canelo will pull the trigger and take successful risks in his quest to take down the future hall of famer.

Prediction: Canelo by 11th round stoppage 

Check out the video collaborations between Blood Money Boxing’s Rudy Mondragon and In My Humble’s Pierre Banks:


BMB & In My Humble Video Collaboration

Blood Money Boxing’s Rudy Mondragon (Editor in Chief and Co-Founder) sat down with Pierre Banks of In My Humble to discuss various topics in the boxing world. These topics include Mikey Garcia, upcoming fight between Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley, and a reflection on the Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz fight that took place August 29th at the Staples Center.

Special thanks to Elie Seckbach for video footage from my visit to the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. It is worth noting that he was one of a few independent reporters present at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy Gym to document the fundraiser that Robert Garcia put on to support Luisa Rosas, a cancer victim from the Oxnard community. It is actions like this by members of the boxing community that are worth sharing and documenting. At the same time, people like Robert Garcia don’t do these things to get media attention. Nonetheless, it is important that we see how boxers and trainers give back to their communities.

Check it out, comment, and share BMB family! More to come. This is just the first of many videos to come between BMB’s Rudy Mondragon and Pierre Banks from In My Humble. Enjoy the conversation!

Chocolatito & GGG: The cursed, the last Highlanders


What a night of boxing. Please check out our instagram for the latest clips of exciting knockouts by the highly favored Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin against their proud, but doomed opponents. When I did research on the opponents of the darlings of boxing pundits, I admit I didn’t see any interest until I saw the photos from the weigh in. Monroe Jr. wore sunglasses at the weigh in. Damn Edgar Sosa’s picture looks nervous on the tale of the tape. Were these opponents just marching towards their fate? Was the pressure of these champions so immense that it was inescapable? It seemed so, and I became more curious to the downside of their plans getting foiled tonight.

Maybe it’s the risk-taker whispering doubt in my ear, but what would the champions lose if they lost tonight? I began to think hard and just realized in a daze… they would’ve lost nothing.  A loss changes nothing. They would really want to bring that drama in if they could. It’s just that their champion souls burned so bright in their human but finely honed bodies that a loss would actually bring purpose to their domination. “Ahh,” they might say. “There are people that are better, and that’s why I must train harder and learn more to be the best. My punches are not strong, I’m not fast enough, I’m not smart enough, …” But of course they are. Triple G and Chocolatito are the very BEST of this sport and we saw 732 seconds of true, old-school but in the flesh sweet science.

And of course, Willie Monroe Jr. and Edgar Sosa were very good, but not even close to the candidates to bring these champions an inkling of doubt. In GGG’s case, and using a Dragon Ball Z metaphor, he even powered down to 60% in a round to bring that “Big Drama Show” to a crescendo just for his fans. Chocolatito and GGG’s spirit, strength, and courage are indomitable, and anyone who carries a belt in the division they live in know that for sure.

For the 112 lb. Flyweight division, I feel Chocolatito must have been feeling that fate. He is absolutely dominated the division and has demonstrated excellence in brutality against a dynamic spectrum of boxing styles. I feel what he might find to appease that champion drive is perhaps a move to higher weight classes but arguably he has more work ahead of him unifying the divsion, and it’s not like he’s suffering trying to make weight. His peaceful demeanor makes me think his 43-0 hides the wisdom he has beyond his years, and perhaps hiding a secret desire to hone the craft and push the science further. His highlight reel is certainly a priceless collection, and will remain timeless as boxing excellence executed to a T. Naoya Inoue might be on his radar on the 118lb division but his direction is upward in weight as a 22 year old. Regardless, tonight’s show was a swift execution of an experienced veteran in Edgar Sosa. It wasn’t even fair. Chocolatito stands among no one, and his resume will stand the test of time.

@chocolatito87 just lining them up and shooting em down #boxeo #boxing #gennadygolovkin #chocolatito #ko @rudymondragon #bmb A video posted by bloodmoneyboxing (@bloodmoneyboxing) on May 16, 2015 at 7:21pm PDT

Gennady Golovkin however, sits itchy on his throne, unsatisfied with lords of other boxing lands reaping rewards he believes should be for the strongest, the real champion. As if releasing his naive, perhaps even Roman expectations that the best would fight the best in these modern boxing days, he instead appeals to Mexican, Latin hearts, to gain traction and a powerful democratic voice to gain credibility for a fight with the Cotto’s the Canelo’s of the world. Even Andre Ward was in the conversation, yet GGG might have recognized him another Highlander to save for another time.

2015 might have had a bust in the fight of the century feeling like a robbery in it’s record-setting richness, but 2015 also proved that drama pays. Perhaps the trio of GGG, Cotto, and Canelo might be tipped with the very same hearts that GGG is appealing to, the Mexicans and real fight fans, and their thirst for fights on their holidays. GGG is now fully playing the game in and most importantly out of the ring, and perhaps learning from an outgoing Floyd Mayweather Jr. to hold on to that emotional connection you have to the fans, it’s powerful. I predict Floyd tipping the balance and pulling Cotto in for a rematch in September in 2015 and Canelo claiming his seat as the prince of Mexican Style with a bout with GGG in the fall as well. Christmas comes in September for fight fans and yours truly.

It’s very very lonely at the top, and we were treated to a night showing a total of 7 rounds of sweet sweet science. I guess if these type of champions truly took out everyone, there would be no drama. In fact, there would also be no need of refs, judges, or any other supporting roles that it takes to organize a boxing event. It would simply be arranged, and they would come out victorious as simple as that. But this is reality, and drama exists, even in boxing. The Big Drama Show.

I’ll Take My Roses Now


By Luke Givens

“They say, they never really miss you till you dead or you gone…”
-Jay Z

This past weekend the world witnessed one of the greatest fighters of all time put on a masterful display of technical boxing against one of this generation’s best fighters. And yet, what we’ve been hearing from most so called boxing fans and many in the mainstream media is how disappointed they were in the fight. How they expected more. How it didn’t live up to the hype. How Floyd was too cautious, Manny too timid, and how so called real champions…. (fill in your descriptions here).

I’m not going to make the case for Floyd Mayweather’s bid as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) or T.B.E (The Best Ever). The truth of the matter is no one reading this can objectively make that evaluation. Sure I have my opinion but that opinion is based on subjective evidence. That evidence being what I’ve seen, witnessed, heard and read. It’s my experience. I didn’t watch Sugar Ray Robinson, Jack Johnson, Rocky Marciano, Willie Pep, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, or Muhammad Ali fight in their prime. I’ve heard the stories, listened to the experts, and seen some of the old reels but there is no way me or anyone else can objectively evaluate and make that determination on which of these is the so-called GREATEST OF ALL TIME. They didn’t fight each other. They were in different weight classes. They trained differently. They fought with different rules and in different eras. Those who came later were influenced by those who came before.

I grew up watching Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr., Pernell Whitaker, Lennox Lewis, Tito Trinidad, George Foreman (the 2nd go around), and Mike Tyson. My experience was shaped by sitting on my parent’s livingroom floor watching HBO’s Boxing After Dark, Pay-Per-Views and old VHS tapes my uncles and parent’s friends recorded and passed around. You see, my evaluation is shaped by that experience. So you can’t tell me that Roy Jones Jr. in his prime wasn’t the most exciting boxer ever, because I saw it with my own eyes. I watched him toy with opponents, avoid shots, then knockout guys with some crazy off-angle counter from out of nowhere. You can’t convince me of George Foreman’s grit because I watched a 45 year old Foreman come from behind on the cards to KO the 26 year old champion Michael Moorer. We can’t argue Tyson’s punching power or the fear he instilled in opponents because I watched him win fights in the staredown. (Sidenote: Mike was the only person who could make grown men spend $50 for what might only end up being 10 seconds of pleasure. Hell most prostitutes can’t do that. You paid for a vicious knockout and whether it took 10 seconds or 10 rounds, you left satisfied. Sidenote over) I can’t be convinced of Tito’s controlled aggression or Sweet Pea’s elusive defense. That’s not to make a case for any of these guys as the Greatest, it’s simply to provide a context for how I evaluate guys like Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, or Wladimir Klitschko. I’ve seen the tapes of Ali, Frazier, (young) Foreman, Louis, Johnson, Leonard, Duran, and Hagler but I didn’t watch them live. Most importantly, I couldn’t watch them without the knowledge of the influence they would have on future boxers.

If you never knew about the existence of a cellular phone and I gave you the iPhone 6, it would blow your mind. But if I then handed you the LG flip phone I used to carry in college, you’d be decidedly less impressed. That doesn’t take anything away from the flip phone (or the boxers I’m using for this comparison), it’s to communicate that one couldn’t exist without the other. Mayweather’s greatness was built on the foundation of men like Ali, Leonard, Hearns, and Whitaker. Now would we honestly argue that the LG flip phone is a greater cellular device than the iPhone 6? Compared to the Zack Morris Motorola…YES! But compared to the iPhone 6? However, the iphone can’t exist without that Motorola. Mayweather can’t exist without Ali…Ali without Robinson…Robinson without Louis…and Louis without Johnson. Boxing, like technology, and like all things grows and evolves. So when we look at Mayweather, we’re looking at the best of what that evolution has produced.

The old-school fighters trained differently. They fought more often. They competed for fewer belts. All of this is true but their greatness wasn’t recognized in their time, it came with people’s ability to understand how they built on the foundation of those who came before. This is why I make the case for recognizing Floyd’s accomplishments now. We forget how despised a fighter Ali was in his time. Both Black and White America hated the young mouthy Cassius Clay. It was only after a few years of inactivity (due to his stance against the war) that Black America gained a slight appreciation for him as a fighter. Let’s not even get started on Jack Johnson’s image (or his private life). While we’re talking about private lives, take a few moments to Google Sugar Ray Robinson. That’s who most boxing experts label T.B.E. right? The point of making these comparisons isn’t to slander any of these fighters or their legacy; nor is it to excuse the sometimes questionable actions of Floyd Mayweather. The point of the comparisons are to provide a context for how these individuals were viewed in their time and how time has allowed society to shift and in many cases change that perception. Sure, those fighters may have labeled themselves the best or the greatest but did the expert say so?

We don’t appreciate Floyd because it’s so easy for us to take him for granted. The casual boxing fan will never really like Floyd because he doesn’t charge into the ring like an uncaged animal and knock people’s heads off. That person is never going to appreciate the gifts a guy like Mayweather has. They said Johnson ducked his greatest opponents, Robinson hugged too much, and Ali ran. But after a few years of inactivity those voices got softer and the voices of appreciation got louder. So maybe in five or ten years, when it’s been awhile since his last fight, and he’s not in the media as much, and the guys he’s fought wrap up their careers and begin their induction into the Hall of Fame, maybe we’ll start to appreciate Floyd. Right now we don’t miss him. He’s too fresh. He’s too cocky. He’s too brash.

But we like brash. We like cocky. We just like it in hindsight.

So I would ask folks to go back and look at the old clips of Louis, Ali, Robinson, Pep, Holmes, Frazier, Duran, and the many others who’ve influenced today’s boxers. I’d ask them to look at their opponents. I’d ask them to look at their records. I’d ask them to look at how they trained. I’d ask them to look at how they were judged…both inside and outside the ring. Some people are brawlers, some knockout artist, some technicians, and some even icons. But we’re not talking about the greatest fighter in history, or knockout artist, or even the fighter with the greatest social, cultural, or political impact. We’re talking about the greatest boxer in history. Now I’ll ask that you to look at Floyd Mayweather, judge him with that context and through that perspective, then make your determination.

“If you can’t respect that, your whole perspective is wack. Maybe you’ll love me when I fade to black.”
-Jay Z

The Boxer’s Pride: Served Two Ways

The Fight of The Century. The fight they were talking about for 5 years, and complained about it for hours afterwards, including yours truly.

I’m here to share a reflection that maybe it actually was a classic, but in ways that weren’t obvious, and in layers maybe we’ll never know. Or we’ll continue to learn in the coming days as everyone collectively learns how human these fighters are compared to the demigods that we were building them up as in the last couple months. Not to say that Floyd and Manny are normal humans. They represent the absolute pinnacle of human athleticism combined with one of the oldest of martial arts. They both carry the pride and spirit of champions past, but just a way we’re not used to yet.

The narratives coming into the fight were unusually flipped, where Mayweather was the one subdued in public, actually not claiming yet to win but touting supreme and cautious confidence. Critics of Floyd were already calling him scared, and even as the fight progressed, his own father claimed how he was fighting scared. Manny on the other hand flew early from the islands to Los Angeles eager to start camp before the fight was even announced. If being Filipino is a source, that just fueled the flame for fans anticipating the fight being made. Freddie Roach immediately began a campaign, marketing his 5-year gameplan and commenting on how pleased camp was progressing, even as rumors now swirled on how the camp hid details like injuries in plain sight.

Then the fight actually happened, and both fighters demonstrated why they were number 1 and 2 in the world. Except 1 was several stories upwards from 2, and 2 was flights up from 3 to N. And as the fight progressed and I was in fact only now realizing that we were watching the Floyd Mayweather Jr. show, and the champion’s adjustments slowly pulled away from the challenger.

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The fight ended and Floyd immediately stood on the ropes and told the crowd “I won.” He crossed his arms and let the rain of boos wash over him. Manny took a while, but raised his arms, however he couldn’t feign, his head wasn’t raised. Floyd’s smiled shone through, as if he hasn’t smiled in years, and was gracious to his opponent for what seemed like the first time ever amongst the 47 previous opponents.  “Thank you for marketing for me, those Foot Locker commercials, for bringing your fans, and giving me your best.” He seemed to say. Manny’s body might not have been 100% able, but his pride drove his legs to the steps of the canvas. Now, Manny seemed more broken than ever. Floyd thanked God, while Manny cursed his under an ever-amicable smile.

In his storied past, Pacquiao’s raw talents brought him out of the streets and into the land of lucrative prizefights. If God had ushered Manny to discover his gifts, it was Man that led him astray. His so-called yes-men had driven every decision in his life since his sensational strings of fights and displays of courage. He was yet refined, and reminded people about boxing’s savage past, and brought hope to simple men in a simple country. Yet that simpleness was exploited, all the way to the last hour where in pride and simple loyalty he could not even predict his own future. Instead his “team” and Bob Arum will determine his future.

On the other hand, Floyd celebrated as soon as he heard the clap of the 10 second mark. As his internal clocked wound to 48-0, his resume grew to one more champion defeated, and he relished the words he would impart to his doubters. But something tells me this win was different, how happy he was. Floyd was arguably already transforming into the affable personality hidden underneath the riches, his gifts, his vision. The prime example of the self made man making unheard business moves on a shark-infested environment, he seemed to finally allow himself to celebrate his accomplishments and shed his persona. He only has one fight left, what left does he have to hide?

As for Manny, I hope he can ask his own heart of his desires. A man of responsibility, he has carried a burden too big, in the name of God, to ever start complaining about what own needs are… but he should, and I hope he does. He carries an old soul derived from the great champions of the past, who at times carried their burden/debt/sins/guilt/pride to their death. Floyd is fiercely fighting that archetype, believing that champions who have served the sport deserve the best of this life. That new pride is a needed evolution for the souls in this sport, and will define its future. Cheers, everyone.


NBC’s Premier Boxing Championship Volume 1: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Boxing, on TV, for FREE?!  That’s what I said when I heard NBC was brining back prime-time boxing.  Based on the scheduled future bouts, it seems that this will be an on-going thing for at least a few more months and will likely continue or sink depending on that very important thing in ‘free TV’: ratings.  I think it’s a long time coming, and this will certainty fuel some interest, or at least peek the curiosity, from those want-away boxing fans that can’t afford/refuse to pay those ridiculous pay-per-view fees.  So how did the bouts go?  I won’t analyze the actual fights, but instead will look at what was good, bad and ugly from the program (just picture Clint Eastwood narrating this article).

The Good:

Did I mention the fights were free?  Now, there were only 2 fights that were televised.  I’m assuming there must have been some sort of undercard since the fights were at the MGM in Las Vegas, or maybe the crowd was treated to discount tickets since there were only 2 fights and neither were championship fights. Now, the Keith Thurman v Robert Guerrero fight was an entertaining bout (Thurman victory by unanimous decision).  Neither of them held their punches, and both took a literal beating, just check out their faces after the fight.  It was a stark contrast to the first fight of the night (Adrien Broner v John Molina Jr., Broner win by unanimous decision). Thurman did run around a bit near the end, a tactic which ensured that he saved energy while simultaneously avoided Guerrero’s power-punches.  Overall, most boxing fans will be pleased with what they saw from these two men.  Another positive is the next scheduled event: Andy Lee vs Peter Quillin and Danny Garcia vs Lamont Peterson on April 11.  This sounds like another 2 solid fights for prime-time boxing.

The Bad:

The opening fight left a lot to be desired.  Broner was defensive, and Molina Jr. played it safe for too many rounds before realizing he needed to rock Broner or else would lose the match.  His frustration was seen near the end, but to Broner’s credit, Broner did what he had to do to win the fight.  ‘The Problem’ Broner recognized that his tactics weren’t the most entertaining for the crowd and apologized to them, but he passive-aggressively said that he didn’t fight for the crowd because the last time he fought for the crowd, he lost.  He sure did!

The Ugly:

Adrien Broner.  I get it, you’re playing Mayweather’s “Haters gonna hate cause I’m THAT good” angle.   But just like I don’t fit in a size 7 Starter cap, you look stupid doing it.  Here is one post-fight interview quote that makes you roll your eyes, “While we were fighting, I was talking to him (Molina), every shot he missed I was telling him, ‘Oh really? try that again’…”.  Then, he made another quote, which made me cringe a little given Broner’s history of unfortunate comments, “Like I said before, anybody can get it, afri-cans, mexi-cans…”. Kudos to NBC for cutting him off right then.  Coincidentally, it was against another Molina that Broner uttered the infamous quote “I just beat the fuck out of a Mexi-can”.  As an aside, I don’t take this as a racist statement, but I can see why many people were offended by it.  I just think Broner is an equal opportunity idiot. Another ‘ugly’ was that bump/welt on Thurman’s head.  Rodriguez caused it, but it’s unclear if it was the product of a punch or head-butt.


I will say that, while searching for this image, I found vastly uglier welts out there.  I’d give Thurman’s welt a 5 out of 10, but it’s still ugly. 

Overall, I would have to say it was a successful return of prime-time boxing. I’ll be looking forward to the next event. I can get used to this, but I guess I’ll also have to get used to seeing commercials between rounds.  I hope NBC finds the right balance to do this since there isn’t a lot of time to show replays unless it’s between rounds.  I encourage you all to check out the next event on April 11th.  Excelsior!

Bronze Bomber vs B.WARE Predictions


Bermane “B.WARE” Stiverne (24-1, 21 KOs) will be defending his WBC heavyweight title against Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) on Saturday, January 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Many believe this could be the fight where a U.S. born heavyweight fighter is crowned with the title. This is of great significance as there has not been a U.S born heavyweight champion since 2006 when Shannon Briggs held the WBO title. The match up we have for tomorrow is an experienced champion versus an inexperienced athletic knockout artist. This is how the BMB sees it:

Miguel Marino

32 KOs > 21 KOs. 6ft 7in > 6ft 2in. 84in > 80in. You don’t need to be a math wiz to know that the person in the left hand side of the equation has an advantage than the person on the right. So whom do these numbers belong to? The first set of numbers are the total fights won by knockout over each boxer’s career, which favor Wilder over Stiverne. The second set are each boxer’s height. Again, advantage Wilder. The last set of numbers are each boxer’s reach. No surprise, advantage Wilder. It is striking the physical advantage that Wilder has over Stiverne. The only number where Stiverne has the advantage over Wilder is this: 36 > 29. Well, maybe advantage isn’t the right word since this set of numbers denote age of the boxers. Though here at BMB we try to avoid seeing boxing as simply numbers and statistics, the number differentials between these fighters should not be ignored. Even if you ignore these numbers, looking at previous fights, you get the sense that this will be a one-sided fight as long as Wilder uses his reach advantage and pounds all night. The only chance Stiverne has is to get into Wilder’s space just once and deliver an authoritative punch. Unfortunately, at 36, it might be too late for Stiverne. Stiverne had struggled against previous foes bigger than him but has survived because none of those fighters had sufficient the power to take him down. Wilder doesn’t have a power problem and he should be the one to dethrone Stiverne.

Prediction: Wilder, KO 9th round.

Jarrett Bato

Bronze Bomber? More like Baby Bomber. There’s no debate that 32 KO’s is impressive, but I wonder about the mental maturity of the same Deontay Wilder picking on fights on the internet. In my mind Stiverne is more of the professional boxer, with methodical combinations and movement to pick off stronger opponents. Although Mexican-American Arreola is a much more clumsier fighter, I believe in Stiverne’s mind, Wilder is of the same template “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” I think I would have to see a true demonstration of maturity and ring generalship on Wilder’s end before I believe he’s the Vanguard of the new American Heavyweight. Until then, I pick Stiverne for a late 9th round KO for his ever-compact style and fundamentals to frustrate Wilder who’s looking for an early KO. If Wilder tries to go out of his KO style, he’s still in for a long night as Stiverne will get inside and score points if all Wilder wants is to prove he can last. Wilder need to demonstrate explosive quickness and a mix of body and head work that I just don’t see, and is more of Stiverne’s style albeit with less power.

Prediction: Stiverne, KO 9th round

Luke Givens

My Prediction?


Prediction: Wilder

Rudy Mondragon

There is a reason why they call Deontay “The Bronze Bomber,” he is far from being a gold. Deontay started his career at age 19 and has relied on his athletic ability. One who relies on their athletic ability in boxing sacrifices the technical and mental aspect of their game. All of Deontay’s fights have ended by the 4th round, meaning two things: 1) He has only fought scrubs and 2) He doesn’t have the experience to enter the second half of a regular fight, let alone a title fight. Stiverne has more experience and as of recently, has proven he can go the distance against an aggressive, hard hitting fighter. Not only did he go the distance against Cris Arreola, he was also able to knock him out in the 6th round of their 2014 rematch. Stiverene is a patient counter puncher with power in both hands. Wilder again has fought no body! How is Wilder making a million for this fight and Stiverne only $910k? This is why: Although Stiverne is the champion, Wilder enters this fight as the A-Side because his promoters (currently Golden Boy Promotions, but will more than likely leave them as he is managed by Al Haymon) are marketing him as the next U.S heavyweight champion of the world. All the pressure is on Deontay to win tomorrow night. But how does one expect Deontay to win if he has not fought anybody who could have given him the necessary experience to be competitive for this title match? According to Robert Ecksel’s prediction on boxing.com however, Wilder will hurt Stiverne and get him on the ropes, prompting the ref to stop the contest prematurely in favor of Deontay. This is definitely a possibility as Don King promotes Stiverne and Al Haymon manages Wilder and according to Ecksel, behind the scene deals can be made if it means making more money with Deontay as champion. Valid prediction, but I do not see this happening because Tony Weeks is the referee and he has proven high levels of integrity in his work.  I don’t see Wilder having success past the 5th round. Stiverne will weather the storm with his brain and patience, take Wilder into the later rounds and win via TKO stoppage in the 11th round.

Prediction: Stiverne, TKO 11th round

Bad Intentions


This past weekend’s Top Rank card headlined the champion Manny Pacquiao vs “The Fighting Collegiate” Chris Algieri and the co-main event Zhou Shiming vs. the sturdy journeyman Thai Onesongchaigym. On the surface Top Rank was selling the story about the People’s champ and Cinderella Man, and Macau’s champion Shiming attempting to prove his mettle in the competitive Flyweight class.

However, we really know this is the HBO Freddie Roach show, with the episode of the night being “Bad Intentions”. Freddie was on a battle path training his stable for this November 23 fight date, both his fighters showed up mad and in charge, imposing their will and disrespect from the first bell.

Zhou was landing impressively crisp combinations on his Pacquiao-doppelgänger opponent until getting lazy in the later rounds due to knowing how far he was ahead due to knockdowns and Onesongchaigym’s fouls. But through round 4, 12 minutes of impressive output, high-pressure tempo, and frightening motivation, Shiming simply outclassed his opponent with laser guided grenades towards Onesongchaigym’s head and torso. Shiming’s focus was impressive but his lack of experience (and heavy contributions of Onesongchaigym’s frustrated low blows and head butts) couldn’t seal the deal and the fight ended up going 12 rounds with a UD for Shiming. Here, Coach Roach’s song was “I want you to knock him out” but Zhou couldn’t deliver.

Surprisingly, I have a similar report on Pacquiao’s performance against College Boy Chris, although to Coach, he was doing the right thing every second. The first four rounds were beautiful to watch as Pacquiao’s unreal footwork befuddled Chris into focusing on staying away from the ropes instead of throwing punches, and combined with Return of the Feint (one of my favorite jams of Pacquiao’s) Manny had Algieri shook already, a sign for Pacman to lick his chops in the tease of a flinching prey. Algieri had precisely two impressive rounds while Manny seemed to take a break, and could’ve served Mayweather of a visual proof, but in the end seemed to cave to Manny’s will, as if he just couldn’t look him in his eyes to say “yes, I’m still in this fight to win.” Manny was showing more intelligence and to me was actually showing handedness, seemingly now favoring a more conventional southpaw stance and looking to counter after a beautiful setup of cutting off the ring and feints. It was really a delight to watch and feel Manny could do this for several more fights in his already great legacy.

In the end, to me this was a demonstration of Freddie’s classic style that’s of the same old-school brain as Cus D’Amato who knows “Boxing is entertainment, so to be successful a fighter must not only win but he must win in an exciting manner. He must throw punches with bad intentions.” Both Freddie’s horses, the new buck with potential, and the hero still showing no fear, know this and with all the talk of boxing being dead the matchups were quite good despite so many fans calling it a mismatch with 20/20 hindsight. With Freddie still grinding at his fighters just as hard as Cus guilted his fighters into training, especially his young bucks, it makes it just look easy under the bright lights. That’s why Algieri and Onesongchaigym should actually get all the props to taking it to the champions for all 48 minutes, getting up after each knockdown. Their conditioning was unreal, and what makes modern boxing arguably harder because young “stepping stones/journeymen/cannon fodder” are all going for the gold harder than ever before, day in day out in the gym. I hope both fighters, especially Chris Algieri to continue with proud #championlifestyle. Just get rid of your corner man…

An amazing time for boxing fans. Kanpai Boxing!!

Bernard Hopkins Victorious

By Rudy Mondragon

On Saturday November 8th, 2014, Bernard Hopkins stepped into the ring for the 64th time. Another historic night for Bernard for at the age of 49, two months shy from turning a half century young, Hopkins fought for not one but three championship belts. Already the oldest man to capture and defend championships belts, Bernard once again attempted to look logic and common sense in the face and resist it.

He came up short last night versus Sergey Kovalev, a worthy opponent with massive power and respect for Bernard outside the ring. Last night, that respect was slightly visible at the end of the first round after he was able to floor Bernard. A gesture to shake hands, not reciprocated by Bernard, Kovalev’s respect for Hopkins in the ring went out the window and to serious work Kovalev went. It was a one sided bout as Kovalev used distance, power, faints, and his reach to keep Bernard from having any success last night. The last round had the most action as it appeared Hopkins had hurt Kovalev. Closer look at the replay and it was a simple tangling of the feet. Hopkins pressed him after that and the two exchanged heavy punches, Kovalev getting the better of his elder.

The winner on paper and for the record was Kovalev. As a boxing community, we should give Kovalev all the credit for fighting his fight and executing a successful game plan to a t. However, on a monumental and historic level, Bernard Hopkins was the winner last night.

To explain why I argue that Hopkins was last nights winner, I will borrow from the 1976 fictional boxing classic, “Rocky.” The idea of winning for Rocky was to go the distance against Apollo Creed, something no one had ever done against the champion. Rocky was not supposed to be in the ring against Apollo, he had not gone through the process of becoming a number one contender to challenge the champion, but he was there nonetheless. Rocky won on the night he lost because his idea of being victorious was going the full 15 rounds against Apollo.

Now, I’m not saying Bernard and Rocky are one and the same. Bernard is way more accomplished and already hall of fame bound where as Rocky was simply starting to make a name for himself. These two however have this in common: Both were not supposed to be in the ring against their opponents. As Bernard shared with HBO, “I’m an alien. I come from an era that’s not the era of today, I just happen to be here.”

Bernard, was victorious last night because he went the distance against a man who was knocking all his opponents out. Everyone kept saying that Kovalev would not go beyond 8 rounds, he would either knock Hopkins out or Hopkins would win a 12 round decision. For a 49 year old man who defied the odds and did not accept the after life that most experience post-prison sentence and was able to stay in the ring for 12 rounds and not get taken out by a younger opponent, his performance last night was simply historic. Credit in that regard is due to this man who has given so much to boxing.

At this point, it would be wise for Hopkins to walk away from the sport. There is nothing more to prove as a fighter. There is a great deal for Hopkins to prove as a leading voice in boxing. I hope he makes good on his claim to want to clean up boxing and have the best fighters fight the best. A vision like this is important but means nothing unless it is put to practice. Is Bernard the man to make this vision a reality? Well, he  comes from an era when this was actually done. His task is to push this agenda and be a part of match making this era is yet to see.