Golovkin Rubio Donaire Walters October 18

Another great fight coming up with Golovkin vs Rubio (trained by Robert Garcia) and Donaire vs Walters, promising a scintillating fight night in the always-game venue and audience of the Stubhub Center in Carson, California.

These two fights are interesting in that the there’s an obvious favorite by boxing pundits, and a recognizable name in the boxing mindshare. Golovkin is a rising star and is being groomed to be called upon on bigger and bigger fights. He’s a fan favorite, disseminating his last 17 opponents by KO, albeit there has been lots of criticism in the quality of opponents. Rubio is being personified as the sturdy, experienced veteran that Golovkin really has to overwhelmingly overcome if he really is to be the heir of future PPV blockbusters. I believe Rubio gave trouble to JCC Jr. but Golovkin is really a star, and we have really yet to see him struggle in any of his fights to reveal his champion spirit. I doubt Rubio is going to expose that kind of character from Golovkin, but maybe we’ll see some frustration if he isn’t able to hurt Rubio in the opening rounds.

Donaire is as big a name to fight fans as well, who was able to step away from the shadow of Pacquiao as a legitimate all-around threat, complete with talents of speed, combinations, and heart. Though Walters is a talent that’s rising with power that makes any potential matchup shake in their boots. I picked Donaire for this fight especially because of that, because although Donaire was schooled by El Chacal, and almost lost in a battle of attrition with a guy he easily disposed of before (Darchinyan) I believe Donaire is putting himself in a position to test his own will and confidence. I believe Walters is talented, but a motivated Donaire has no limits, I believe.

Let’s have fun this weekend’s fights!


Mayweather-Maidana II BMB Predictions

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Floyd “Money” Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) will take on “El Chino” Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) for a second time in Las Vegas Nevada. In their first match, El Chino came out strong, but a little to fast. He burned out, gaining early success, until Mayweather dominated the second half of the fight, ultimately winning via majority decision. This is how the BMB team see’s tomorrow night’s fight. 

Jose Hernandez

Floyd “Money” Mayweather will face off against Marcos “El Chino” Maidana for the second time on September 13th 2014. This will be Floyd’s only second rematch in his illustrious career (the previous being against Castillo over 11 years ago!). In my eyes there can only be three possible outcomes, a) Mayweather picks up where he left off in the later rounds of their first match (dominating most of the action and taking advantage of Maidana’s aggressiveness). b) Maidana comes in, in the best shape of his life and maintains a relentless pressure for most of the fight. He also increases his accuracy and wins a close decision (similar to Bradley Vs Pacman I) hurting Mayweather along the way. c) We witness something that only happens once every couple of boxing generations, Maidana hurts Mayweather early and awakens the dragon, seemingly cementing himself at the helm of boxing immortality. As a fan I want to option c to happen, we’ve seen a glimpse of this a couple years back against Mosley, and the stage is set for perhaps one of the most exiting fights, if not in the history of boxing, at least in the career of Floyd. Maidana is Floyd’s antithesis, he embodies his greatest fear, someone that is not attracted to boxing for the glory (and the material things that you can gain from it) and thus is not phased by Floyd’s masterful mind games (Ariza at his gym, the PR train that comes with the promotion, etc.). Maidana is a man who, “fears no living man on this earth”, and he’s going to bring it on Saturday, Floyd better be ready.

Prediction: A combo of a+b Floyd Money Mayweather by decision (not decisive)

Jarrett Bato

There’s an underlying tension between the rematch thats becoming more palpable as we reach fight night. The rematch is has no allure of, say, a rematch between Leonard and Hearns, or Arguello vs Pryor, where the fans were left with unanswered questions. This time a fan backing a particular side is pretty confident of the outcome, he/she is just hoping to convince the enemy that indeed the winner was Chino/Mayweather.

This rematch is all about emotion and legacy, and i think each side has a lot of stake. I think El Chino is prepared to stay underwater for 12 rounds and thats what I’m excited for. I think Mayweather isn’t prepared for more than his regular but will be exciting to see who shows up to fight. I believe it will go all 12, SD Chino.

Prediction: El Chino by Split Decision

Ms. LadyJustice (Julie Alarcon)

Ok, so we are all tired of the same show: Mayweather dominating every opponent he comes across, no boxer having a real chance at dethroning Money May – The Best Ever, and Mayweather walking away with over 25 Mil for a light day of work. Nevertheless, I ask you to take a step back. Look at this rematch with more observant eyes and I dare you to say, “Well, maybe.”

What do we know about Maidana? He looked good last time. Sure, you’re thinking good isn’t good enough for Mayweather and it really isn’t, let’s be honest. However, let us take a deeper look. Maidana’s camp said he was only able to train 5 out of the 8 weeks last time because he was expecting a new born. This time, he has 8 full weeks and a new strength and conditioning coach. The two new developments will enable Maidana to take full advantage of his brawler style. He will pressure Mayweather, a situation Mayweather runs from.

Also, let’s talk about the insistent request of padded gloves? Do not even say that gloves don’t make a difference or say Mayweather would have won regardless (unless of course, you have been in the ring and have been hit with 8 oz. gloves). The glove specification will not change this fight but it does indicate Mayweather was concerned, or at the minimum took note, of Maidana’s punching power. Maidana is aware of this and will have to translate it into 12 rounds.

Maidana may have found the key not only to beat Mayweather in this rematch but also give Mayweather something great. If Mayweather loses, it may increase his marketability. Why, you ask? Well, for starters, his remaining fights under his Showtime contract will get the attention of boxing fans who will want to see how he responds after his first defeat. Also, people who are tired of seeing the same show will be on the edge of their seats for the next contender to blotch Mayweather’s record and put his arrogant persona in check. TBE may lose to Maidana but stands to win much more in the long run. It may sound ludicrous but it just a thought.

Ultimately, Maidana is the only fighter that has had a chance at winning. He is going to have to come much stronger than 4-6 rounds. He is going to have to leave his soul in the ring in order to dethrone Money May, the undefeated Champ, but I have a weird inclination that he might just do that.

Prediction: Maidana by split decision

Rudy Mondragon

This is Mayweathers second rematch in his undefeated career. This will be the first one for Maidana. Historically, we can see that a rematch would benefit Mayweather. He lost to Castillo in a close decision and in their rematch, Mayweather acclimated and made the adjustments to win more comfortably. If history can teach us something, it is that Mayweather is a creative genius when it comes to making adjustments during a fight, let alone for a rematch. Maidana however, is a cold blooded fighter. No mental games will get to him. He can ignore everything and stick to his game plan. His game plan needs to change for this one if he wants to come out on top. He cannot come out like a sprinter. He will need to come out like a marathon runner and find a pace to fight a complete 12 round fight. If he can do that, he will overwhelm Mayweather and if he works on some accuracy, he will score points on the judges cards.

History tells us a lot about Mayweather’s success, but it also tells us about previous greats who have suffered their first defeats. Tomorrow will be one of those nights. Mayweather will be dethroned and history will be made. Maidana will cut the ring and out work Mayweather. He won’t get tired as he will fight a complete 12 round fight, pacing himself and not burning himself out.

Prediction: Maidana by split decision

Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia: A Visit to North Philly [Photos]

By Rudy Mondragon 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a rich boxing history. It is home to some of the rawest fighters the boxing scene has ever seen. From the hard punching Bennie Briscoe to hall of famers like Joey Giardello and Philly’s forever Heavyweight Champion, Joe Frazier. The list of old timers and modern day fighters from Philly can make for hours of bar conversations. One can’t forget Julio Cesar Chavez’s toughest fight during his undefeated hot streak was against North Philly’s  Meldrick “The Kid” Taylor. And as all boxing heads know, the current fighter and future hall of famer who put Oscar De La Hoya down with that nasty body punch is North Philly’s own, Bernard “The Executioner and Alien” Hopkins.

In a recent trip to Philadelphia, my vision was to take in this rich history. With stops to the  Blue Horizon, the Rocky Statue and Steps, the Joey Giardello Statue, Italian Market, and Pat’s Cheesestakes, I was on a mission to experience Philly boxing culture. A necessary step in doing this was visiting Danny “Swift” Garcia’s gym. With the help of John Disanto, founder of phillyboxinghistory.com and my new friend, I was given the needed information to make my way north.

The area was industrial and had the vibe of a blue collar, hard working-class neighborhood. The gym was located in a decent sized lot with a few humble signs, making it difficult for me to spot at first. I parked and worked my way towards the gym, in hopes that the Champ and his father, Angel Garcia, would be at the gym.
DSG EntranceAt first glance, the building did not appear to house a gym. There was a body shop, a car wash station, and a barbershop. My initial instinct was to head into the barbershop and talk boxing with the community. I was reminded of the scene from “Coming to America” and that reflection confirmed that I go in there to get an idea as to whether Danny and his team would be making an appearance.

I walked into the barbershop and it felt like home. It reminded me of the neighborhood barbershops I would visit when I was growing up in South Gate, California. The major difference here was the connection to Danny Garcia and the boxing world. I sat down with Steve, a young brother who has close ties to Danny. He hooked me up with a clean tapper and shared how Danny Garcia opened up the barbershop as a side hustle to create jobs for his immediate community. Rather than having a passive entourage as most boxing celebrities do, Danny’s barbershop provides the barbers a way to sustain themselves and maintain close relationships with the champion.

I shared with Steve that I made the trip all the way from Seattle, Washington and was excited to meet Angel and Danny. Steve’s response to that was, “there goes Angel right there!” I looked up and there was Angel, the high energy and hardcore trash talking father and trainer to his son, Danny Garcia. Respectfully and humbly, I greeted the man and he walked over. He asked me if I was being taken care of and if I was having a good experience. To that I said “absolutely, Steve is hooking me up and I am looking forward to checking your son if at all possible.” Angel said it most definitely was and told me to enjoy the rest of my cut. The best way to remember that moment was with a picture, which Steve and Angel agreed to.

DSG Barber

The next stop was the gym itself, which was located all the way in the back of the building. Close to the entrance was Danny’s personal parking spot. It was car less at the moment of arrival, signaling to me that Danny had not yet arrived.  This bought me some time to check the inside of the gym and gain an appreciation for the aesthetic nature of the place.

DSG Parking Spot

Entering the backside of the building was transformational. After having checked the barbershop, the body shop, and car wash, the back of the building took on a new life. The gym communicated love, respect, and appreciation for Philly boxing history as well as Puerto Rican boxing legends. The first art piece as I walked in was a juxtaposed frame of Danny Garcia and the late Hector “Macho” Camacho. For boxing heads, knowing about Macho is important. He is the man who stepped into the ring against some of the biggest names in boxing: Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Vinny Paz and others. Hanging over head were old boxing gloves, similar to the neighborhood where you would see old sneakers hanging by the laces. Those gloves, I am sure, have a story and symbolize something deep. Most striking about the gym however was Danny’s WBC Jr Welterweight championship belt on display for all to see. It communicates to the people that Danny won that belt with his team and the support of his fans. Those lucky enough to come visit the gym can see this symbol of greatness first hand and up close.

DSG with Legend

DSG Glove

DSG Gym Mural

DSG Gym BW

DSG WBC Belt

By the time I had finished taking it all in, Danny had arrived and was warming up and wrapping up for a five round sparring session. He was scheduled to get into the ring with young and hungry super featherweight contender, Omar Douglas (12-0, 9 KOs). Prior to the start of the sparring session, Angel Garcia approached me and asked if I wanted to meet his son. My response was most definitely, but only if it was cool with the champ. After all, this is his work place, his office, the place where he sharpens his blade and works on his craft. Angel said it was no problem and I was allowed beyond the “DO NOT PASS” gate. DSG Gate

Danny was in work mode. Quiet, focused, serious, reserved, composed, and ready to enter the ring to spar against Omar Douglas, a man who was being paid to fight Danny in preparation for his August 9, 2014 showdown against Rod Salka. Danny’s vibe was appreciative that I came to visit and he showed love for a fan. I appreciated Danny as he appeared to do a great job balancing the many roles he was playing at that moment. At that moment, Danny was a family man as he was training with his father and in the presence of his sisters. He was a fighter, about to step in the ring and spar. He was a public figure, greeting his fans and posing for pictures. He was a mentor, as many youth were working out in the gym looking up to the champion. A balancing act that not many can do, let alone do it well. That is why Danny is the professional in this game.

DSG and Me

Omar Douglas and Me

Danny Garcia is in a good place. The property he and his father own is alive and well with potential growth. The size of the gym and the resources in there have been enough to prepare the young champion to defend his title five times now. The beauty of the situation Danny is in, much like the physical property, is that there is much room for growth. Danny is still hungry and working his way up to a new weight division. This could bring him a future showdown with boxing’s king, Floyd Mayweather. Danny has great mentorship as Bernard Hopkins chooses to train at Danny’s gym. This means Bernard is available and accessible to talk with, providing Danny with an opportunity to absorb all the boxing wisdom Bernard has to offer.

Before I close this out, it is worth mentioning that Danny and his father are also trying to build a record label. Boxing gym, barbershop, car wash, body shop, and recording studio all in one building!  Angel said that the music industry has been a challenge for the two of them as they are trying to figure out the politics and nature of the music game. Nonetheless Angel said that they will figure it out and find a way to be successful. Like boxing, there is no easy hustle. One always has to work at it and if you get knocked down, know that it is part of the game, the true test is if one can get up and keep fighting.

DSG Recording Studio

Lara vs Canelo: BMB Predictions

Canelo Lara

This is a fight that many of us have been waiting to see. I’d like to give a shout to both fighters – Lara for calling out Canelo at his own press conference and Canelo for stepping up like a young G despite his advisors discouraging him to take the fight.

Now, then, it’s important to remember a few things about this bout.

First, this fight is not for a belt. So, the traditional thoughts about the champ having the upper hand don’t really fly here. In fact, many consider Lara, who currently holds the interim WBA light middleweight title, to be the underdog in this bout given the fan base and hoopla behind the GoldenBoy-backed Cinnamon Man himself.

Second, the bout is being held at a catchweight of 155lbs, one pound over the official light-middleweight limit. While one pound may not seem like much, it can make the world of a difference when trying to drop several pounds from your normal body weight for the weigh-in, simply to blow back up to the 170lb+ range (hint: think Canelo). So, again, some believe this gives Canelo an advantage, which is probably why his camp asked for the catchweight in the first place.

Mateo Banegas

On to the keys to victory and prediction.

Canelo is a young, strong fighter who has demonstrated improvement with every fight, even considering his lopsided loss to Mayweather. For him to be successful, he’s going to have to land shots to the body of Lara, in hopes of slowing his opponent down in the later rounds. Canelo also needs to cut off the ring, limiting Lara’s movement, and use his weight/strength advantage to push and keep Lara against the ropes so that he can land punches on the inside. It will also be essential for Canelo to stay busy and keep throwing punches. As long as Canelo can land hits, they will add up and wear down Lara, little by little. Lastly, he’ll need use good head movement and watch out for that killer left of Lara.

Lara is a tremendous technical boxer from the Cuban school of boxing. He has great movement and footwork, which should benefit him as he tries to stay away from Canelo’s punches. It may also tire out Canelo, if he decides to try and chase Lara around the ring hoping to engage him in a firefight. Lara will need to use his angles and land calculated shots, which he did very effectively against Trout and even Angulo to some extent. The left hand of Lara is devastating and his most powerful weapon, if he employs his jab to set up this shot, just as he has done so well in the past, all should be good. Even though Lara was able to pull out the win against Angulo, he didn’t look so well at times. Angulo was able to land some great uppercuts and catch Lara on his chin with nice counterpunches, leading to two knockdowns. This is super important with an opponent like Canelo, so Lara will have to be stay away from too many close exchanges and keep his hands up as he moves out.

Lara should outbox Canelo, as he is the better, more sound boxer, and be able to land effectively against Canelo. If Lara isn’t able to get a knockout (and I don’t think he will), he’ll have to put on a masterclass show against Canelo – putting him well ahead in points by the end of the fight to get a win by decision. Canelo’s advantages make him a dangerous opponent that could end the fight for Lara at any moment or steal the win by decision in close fought bout. In the end, Lara wins a great fight, while Canelo shows enough to maintain his worldwide fan base.

Jeff Schimmel

I’ve been pondering this one for a long time. So many thoughts. Perhaps one of the toughest fights to pick with any confidence. I don’t think anyone will look foolish for backing either one of these guys.

I’ve never been too impressed with Alvarez. He’s got a lot of gifts, but he doesn’t always fight smart. He hits hard, but so what? It’s boxing. You’re going to get hit.

Lara is tricky and fast and a lefty. He could present all kinds of problems. In my opinion, he got robbed in the Williams fight, so maybe judges don’t like his style or they don’t like his promoters.

Also, Lara went down twice against Angulo, and he was gassed midway through the fight. Luckily, Angulo had a hard time catching him. I doubt Alvarez will apply less pressure than Angulo, so if Lara isn’t in the best shape of his life, he’ll fade and get KO’d. I’d hate to see that.

I feel that Lara has to either hurt or at least cut up Alvarez early to back him off a bit and make him think. If Lara can do that, he can win a decision.

I don’t see Alvarez winning a decision. He either pounds Lara into submission and wins by KO, or Lara wins by decision. So hard to guess.

In my heart, I’d LOVE to see Lara make Alvarez quit and win by TKO.

Jarrett Bato

I’m very excited for the first round because of all the intangibles each fighter has. Lara has to demonstrate confident speed and skill that looks like it will not fade to win. Otherwise, Canelo’s confidence, power, and improving consistency will take it. Canelo seems very motivated to beat him while it seems Lara is looking past him already which I hope isn’t true. In any case I think Canelo wants to prove to the world that he’s a talent beyond talents and give him props for selecting worthy opponents this time. I think Canelo should take this one but damn if Lara boxes beautifully tomorrow it will be a masterpiece exhibition.

Rudy Mondragon

This is an exciting fight based on the two names. However, this fight is one that puts an amazing boxer versus a decent boxer with power. I am leaning towards Lara in this fight as he is the more athletic and skilled fighter. In looking at the weight in, it appears that Lara is in good shape while Canelo looked dry and dehydrated. It is no mystery as to why the fight is taking place at a catch weight of 155lbs.  This surely helps Canelo, who looks to be either outgrowing this weight class or not eating his vegetables. Heavier Canelo for tomorrow nights fight versus a very fit and quick Lara. Lara’s speed will allow him to outbox Canelo early. Once the later rounds come, based on Canelo’s history, the young Mexican fighter will fade and he will lead his attack by throwing single power punches. Lara, by boxing and controlling the tempo, will be able to counter punch the one punch efforts of Canelo. Lara will collect points, execute a boxing style of swimming without getting wet, and will weather early storms towards a unanimous decision win. Canelo will be okay with the defeat. At his young age and with his marketability, Golden Boy Promotions will continue to find ways to squeeze all the dollars out of him.

Martinez vs Cotto: BMB Predictions

On Saturday June 7, 2014 Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez will step into the ring against the challenger from Caguas, Miguel Cotto. This fight is for WBC Middleweight Title. But more than that, this fight represents multiple opportunities and possibilities. For Miguel, it means the possibility of becoming the first fighter in Puerto Rican history to win titles in four weight classes. It also means the possibility for a future fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. For Martinez,  this fight represents the defending of his middleweight crown but also solidifying himself as an elite fighter. In beating an A-Side fighter in Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez can add a reputable future hall of fame fighter to his boxing resume.

Both men are coming off wins. Cotto beat Delvin Rodriguez back in October of 2013 and Martinez beat Martin Murray in April of 2013. Cotto will come into the ring with more recent activity where as Maravilla will have had a whole year of absence from the ring. The question remains, will Martinez’s past injuries be a factor in this fight? Let’s see how the Blood Money Boxing team is predicting the outcome of this fight.

Jarrett Bato

The fight hype for Cotto-Martinez was a 100% immediately after the Mayweather fight, marketing the best thing they have going for the fight: there is no one with a clear advantage. Just for that small, significant, and delightful fact, I’m extremely happy, because all the fight fans I know and all around the world through twitter and facebook are excited about this fight. My Puerto Rican co-worker Julio is #teamcotto, and I am #teammaravilla since he took out Paul Williams. He predicts a 6th round stoppage, and I predict inline to Maravilla’s own prediction, a 9th round knockout. I am hoping that the fight goes the distance, personally, as the styles that will be displayed that night are very interesting theoretically.

Cotto’s brawling style has been tamed and refined somewhat by being in Roach’s stable, and given his last fight with Delvin Rodriguez, bringing in vintage-Cotto-style with strong left hooks felt by the light-middleweights, I think he is thriving under Roach’s guidance, bringing big power up weight classes.

Maravilla, however, has so many intangibles going for him, and against him too. His injuries, however much he claims healthy, will be a factor that Cotto will take advantage off immediately if he shows any sign of holding back in ring movement. But Maravilla’s strength in will and genius improvisation could steal the show if he is able to hurt Cotto, as Maravilla does have the power in his hands that brought bigger men down.

I think Maravilla’s mind will be the winning factor here, so much so that he will fulfill his own destiny and his prediction. #warmaravilla!

Sergio Martinez with the Win

Miguel Marino 

Home-court advantage is something that the ordinary boxing fan doesn’t normally associated with boxing. Fights occur sporadically throughout cities and venues that make it hard for fighters to call a venue their home. Well, there might be an exception.  Miguel Cotto boasts a proud 7-1 record at Madison Square Garden where he’ll face a “100% healthy” Sergio Martinez. Though Martinez is considered a slight favorite, I expect Cotto to be aggressive from the starting bell and land some quality punches. This will be closer than people think, but ultimately, the home-court advantage of the Madison Square Garden will favor Miguel Cotto.

Miguel Cotto via split-decision

Jose Hernandez 

Miguel Cotto wins a close decision 

Rudy Mondragon

This is the fight of what ifs? If Sergio Martinez is healthy, he should win a tough war. If his knee and hands are fine, he will be his usual self. If Sergio doesn’t blow up to more than 16 lbs, he will be able to maintain speed and fluidity. If Miguel Cotto brings back his signature left hook, he will be able to break down his opponent. If Cotto can outbox the athlete, he will make it a competitive fight that will go to the cards. In my honest opinion, I feel that a year off did Martinez well. He has healed. He will have ring rust, but he will command the ring, use his speed to counter attack, and when Cotto uses his signature two glove guard close to his temples, Martinez will make him pay with hard hooks that will connect to Cotto’s gloves, transferring pain to the mans head. Think Darren Barker fight. In beating Cotto to the punch, Martinez will draw blood midway into the fight and that is when Miguel will start to open up and go on survival mode. This is dangerous as Martinez will have more openings to execute. Look for a 10th round stoppage for your winner and still WBC Middleweight Champion, Sergio Martinez.

Sergio Martinez via 10th round TKO

HOW DO YOU SEE IF BMB FAM? SHARE YOUR PREDICTIONS HERE

 

‘What If?’: Martinez vs Cotto

miguel-cotto-and-sergio-martinez

By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @bloodmoneyboxin
Instagram: Bloodmoneyboxing

I just finished watching HBO’s 24/7 of Martinez versus Cotto or as Miguel the “A-Side” prefers it, Cotto versus Martinez. HBO 24/7 started off as a great show that gave fans an in depth look at two fighters leading up to their fight. Now, it’s turned into simply another promotional tool. What can we learn from the first of two episodes of Martinez vs Cotto HBO 24/7? Well, it’s the battle of the “What If’s.”

I had a good conversation with my good friend, Edgar Villeda. The man know’s his boxing, we’ve been watching it since our early high school days and continue to debate. His thoughts on this fight lean towards the Puerto Rican fighter. My thoughts and bias, are with Sergio Martinez. In our conversation, Edgar commented on my assessment and said, “bro, you got a lot of what if’s man!” He is right and this first episode of HBO 24/7 confirmed it.

For Martinez, the ‘What if’s’ revolve around his health and age. Will Martinez benefit from his year off? Has he healed from his fractured left hand injury suffered in his fight against Martin Murray? Has his shoulder and left knee healed after his year away from the ring? If Martinez is healthy and has benefited from that year off, it will allow for this athletic boxer to do what he does: Move like a general in the ring, out speed Cotto, and as a south paw, force Cotto to adjust and avoid his massive left hooks.

At the age of 39, Martinez could get old in his next fight. With a whole year off, in his late 30s, ring rust takes on a whole new definition. We also see older fighters doing big things however: Juan Manuel Marquez and Bernard Hopkins are two great examples of this. Having started his boxing career late and not seeing many wars in his boxing days, Martinez does not run a huge risk in getting old in this fight. But nonetheless, it is possible. If Martinez comes fresh and healthy into this fight, he will give Cotto hell.

Cotto is known for changing trainers like he changes his underwear. He has had one fight with Freddie Roach and that was a simple tune up fight. Biggest thing taken away from that fight was that the honeymoon between Roach and Cotto was great and that Cotto’s confidence was built after beating an under par boxer in Delvin Rodriguez. Changing trainers this late into one’s career is also not a panacea. Just as Robert Garcia once told me, when training Antonio Margarito, he wasn’t out to change Antonio’s style, but to work with what he had and best prepare him for his next fight. Same applies with Roach. Roach cannot change Cotto, but he can provide him with a great game plan. If that game plan is a superior one and Sergio comes into the ring under 100 percent, than Cotto has an opportunity to make history.

As the perceived A-Side, Miguel Cotto moves with a mentality of having the power to pick his opponents. When one picks their next opponent as the A-Side, one looks for fighters they can exploit and have the edge over. As Sergio Martinez said, if Cotto picked this fight based on Sergio’s performance against Martin Murray, then Cotto is in trouble. However, if Cotto picked this fight for that reason and Sergio performs at that same level, then Cotto’s career as a matchmaker has great promise!

Boxing is a sport with many dynamics. There are many things that can influence the outcome of a fight. Many of those happen before the first bell, during training camp, the physical and psychological health of a fighter, chemistry in each teams training camp, etc. Different set of factors come the night of the fight: how well each fighter recovers from the weight in from the day before, judges, referees, psychological warfare, and home court advantage. This fight is no different and because of the many “what if’s,” it makes this match up the best 2014 has seen.

Cotto vs Martinez: Who is the A-Side?

A Side

By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @bloodmoneyboxin
Instagram: bloodmoneyboxing

In boxing, there has always been an “A Side” and a “B Side” when it comes to the two fighters stepping into the ring. Simply put, the “A Side” is the fighter who has the most power. I don’t mean punching power, I mean political power and leverage. Boxing is a business and fighters these days play multiple roles beyond their fighter role. They play the promoter role, the matchmaker role, and the negotiator. We see this done very well by Floyd Mayweather Jr. Miguel Cotto has said in an interview that he is the “A Side” and that the champion, Sergio Martinez, is the “B Side.” How is the “A Side” determined? Does it even matter any more if you are the legitimate champion? What are the factors that go into deciding one side of the coin over the other?

Below I will briefly discuss the different angles that can help us see more clearly who is the A and B Side between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez in their upcoming June 7th, 2014 fight, which will take place at the Garden in New York.

Promotion Company 

Miguel Cotto has been on and off with Top Rank. Top Rank is one of the top boxing promotion companies in the game. Miguel has been able to find a way to fight under the Top Rank banner both as a member of their stable and as an independent partner. The partnership that Miguel has with Top Rank provides him with power in the context of the fight against Martinez. Sergio is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, the smaller of the two boxing promotion companies. Their top fighter is Sergio Martinez, whereas Top Rank has a larger stable with multiple big names (Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia, Nonito Donaire, Juan M Marquez). As far as Promotional Companies, Miguel Cotto has the power and leverage here.

Round 1: Miguel Cotto 

Years Boxing

Next we look at the years both fighters have spent in professional boxing. The amount of years put into the sport are the dues one pays. In simply looking at these numbers, we see that Sergio Martinez has put in 17 professional years whereas Miguel Cotto has invested 13.

Round 2: Sergio Martinez 

Boxing Records 

The boxing records of these two reflect the amount of years they have put into the sport. Sergio Martinez has a record of 51-2-2, with 28 KOs. Miguel Cotto has a record of 38-4, with 31 KOs. The amount of wins is on Sergio’s side whereas the amount of KOs favors Miguel Cotto. Miguel Cotto has fought in his weight class (welterweight) and went up to light middleweight when he outgrew the 147 limit. Sergio on the other hand, had a hard time finding opponents at the 154 lbs limit and moved up to the 160 limit when he fought Kelly Pavlik. He has since stayed at that weight class and in 7 middle weight fights, he has secured 4 stoppages.

Round 3: Sergio Martinez 

Quality of Opponents 

Boxing records tell us a lot. An important thing to look at when analyzing a boxer’s record is the quality of their opponents. Below are the top 5 fighters Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez have faced:

Miguel Cotto:

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr (Loss)
2. Manny Pacquiao (Loss)
3. Antonio Margarito (Loss and Won)
4. Shane Mosely (Won)
5. Zab Judah (Won)

Sergio Martinez

1. Paul Williams (Loss and Won)
2. Antonio Margarito (Loss)
3. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Won)
4. Kelly Pavlik (Won)
5. Kermit Cintron (Draw)

These opponents inform me that the quality of opponents faced favors Miguel Cotto.

Round 4: Miguel Cotto 

Title Defenses 

Lastly, in analyzing the records of Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, we see that Miguel has been in more title fights. Sergio has been in 19 title fights whereas Cotto has been in 27. The experience of being in title matches favors Miguel Cotto in this round.

Round 5: Miguel Cotto 

Current Champion

The current champion between these two is Sergio Martinez. He holds the WBC middleweight title. This round goes to Sergio Martinez.

Round 6: Sergio Martinez 

Fan Base

Fan base says a lot in boxing. Boxing is a national sport. A sport where fans uphold their nation and select a fighter to represent that land. In the case of Miguel Cotto, his fan base comes from the colonial USA commonwealth territory of Puerto Rico. Fight fans come in the bunches from Puerto Rico, having had the likes of Wilfred Benitez, Felix Trinidad, Hector Camacho, Wilfred Gomez, and others. Argentina on the other hand, has not had the same kind of following in boxing until recently. Names like Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse, and Sergio Martinez as of the last 5 years have put Argentina on the map of popular boxing. Due to the richness of boxing in the Puerto Rican community, Miguel Cotto earns this round.

Round 7: Miguel Cotto

Pay-Per-View History

Business as usual. Boxing is a business and what drives the “A Side” majority of the time unfortunately is pay-per-view sales. Who can boxing exploit as their cash cow? In this case, it is Miguel Cotto. His top three pay-per-view events as well as Sergio’s are listed below:

Miguel Cotto:

1. vs Floyd Mayweather Jr (1.5 million sales, $94 million)
2. vs Manny Pacquiao (1.25 million sales, $70 million)
3. vs Antonio Margarito II (600k sales)

Sergio Martinez

1. vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (475k sales, $25 million)

Looking at the numbers alone, it is all Miguel Cotto. An argument can be made that Mayweather and Pacquiao drove those sales. Although the Argentine fan base is growing, there is no evidence that says that this will make a difference in the future ppv sales for this upcoming fight. Miguel Cotto’s track record in ppv sales speaks volumes and therefore earns Cotto another round.

Round 8: Miguel Cotto 

Conclusion 

So there you have it, 5 rounds to 3 for the winner, Miguel Cotto. Based on this, Miguel Cotto has the right to claim the “A Side.” It’s a wicked world when the “A Side” can be determined by the amount a fighter sales, promotional partnership, and fan base. More importance and emphasis on the quality of one’s opponents, title fights, and current title holder should hold more weight when making negotiations and writing out contracts. For a fighter who is not the champion, to say he is the “A Side” and validate that signals one of many problems that exists in the boxing world. Miguel Cotto is great, future Hall of Fame figure, but this fight is evenly matched with two “A Side” fighters. As Sergio Mora put it:

 

Upcoming Fight Preparations: Marquez’s War and Maravilla’s War

Maravilla Dinamita

These next couple of Saturdays puts us in the audience of two very interesting fights coming off the weekend of “The Moment” and the Heavyweight clash of Arreola vs. Stiverne. Juan Manuel Marquez will be out on a mission to cement his shining legacy after being in the mix with the best of the best in the lightweight, light welterweight, and welterweight divisions. Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez on the other hand wants to assert his brilliance in the ring after being avoided by fighter after fighter for being a high-risk, low-reward kind of boxer. To me, these next weekends juxtapose two very similar champions that have their loyal fanbase but have an annoyingly large chip on their shoulders because they haven’t been able to receive the same limelight enjoyed by the likes of Mayweather, Pacquiao, or even the underrated Klitschkos.

To me, these two fighters have the correct ingredients to be considered as all-time greats and future hall of famers.

  1. Out-worldly boxing talent – Marquez’s mind and eyes are ultimately his best weapons, followed closely by his whiplash-command of his left hand, which could have a mind of its own. Maravilla’s head movement and footwork are a talent from his time in bicycling and soccer, but his intuition and awkward timing are just something that cannot be anticipated. Preparing for a fight against these guys is like training in the dark, because you’re not going to find anyone that could closely simulate these styles in sparring.
  2. Consistent Corner and Team – Marquez is famous for being the pride and joy of his trainer and mentor Nacho Beristain, and has never left his side since 1993 debut at Featherweight. Maravilla has been with Pablo Sarmiento since 2011, and with Gabriel Sarmiento long before that, while now training with both brothers for the Miguel Cotto fight. Teams win championships, and Marquez and Maravilla arguably have one of the best utilized partnerships in the game.
  3. Monk-like Daily Regimens and Mental Training – Both of these fighters are disciples of the game, with their widely publicized training regimen and the added wrinkles (we can forget about the urine-drinking for a moment) that contribute towards their game plans for a particular opponent or strategy. Their attention to their body is probably considered more understated compared to how they approach their fights: with anticipation, confidence, and most importantly, an unwavering plan. Marquez approaches his fights like a gunslinger or a swordsman picking the best weapon for a battle, with care and eagerness to utilize his vast array of tools. On the other hand, Maravilla approaches his fights like a chess game, with anticipation of secondary scenarios still playing towards his benefit, and utilization of traps and wild tempos. Watching the first round of these fighters is like just seeing the Title Screen of a movie, there’s always so much more to come.

BMB will be watching these next fights for sure, and hopefully we get to see those shining moments where these two fighters can be uttered in the same breath as all the living boxing greats.

Predictions for #TheMoment

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BMB Fam, here is the prediction for the match between Floyd Mayweather Jr (45-0, 26 KOs) and Marcos Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs). We start off with a special prediction by Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora.

Miguel Marino 

Here are the numbers that matter: 45-0. Others can point at these numbers: 37 v. 30 (age of Mayweather v. Maidana), 89% (Maidana knockout win percentages) and $170 million v. $6 million (estimated net worth of Mayweather v. Maidana). Age shouldn’t matter at this point. The Maidana KO win percentage is interesting and can pose a problem for Mayweather. I always imagined the first person to beat Mayweather was someone who would knock him out. The net worth difference is just hilarious and makes me feel sad for Maidana and all other boxers (as well as myself). No matter what numbers you look at, this fight is a going to be another notch in the belt for Mayweather.

Mayweather by Unanimous Decision 

Mateo Banegas 

Like many boxing fans, I think it would be great to witness Maidana continue his giant-killing streak against the pound-for-pound king. However, I just don’t see it happening.

If nothing else, Mayweather has shown us time and time again how he employs his uncanny boxing skills and defensive technique to outclass opponents with the characteristics of Maidana – a slugger, who is flat-footed and not known for good lateral movement. So, there is no reason to think that this time around will be any different.

The only way I see Maidana winning is if he can land enough body shots to slow Mayweather down and put him in a position for a knockout.

Mayweather by Unanimous Decision

Luke Givens

This will not go well for Maidana.  Mayweather is coming in ranked #1 pound for pound, 45-0, with -1200 odds.  This is boxing, so of course there’s always a puncher’s chance (and Maidana can certainly punch) but I just don’t see anything close to a victory for the Argentine.  This fight goes one of two ways: a.) Mayweather puts on a boxing clinic like he did against Guerrero.  He takes advantage of his superior speed and footwork to keep his slower, clumsier opponent off balance and missing. b.) Mayweather comes in looking to make a statement i.e Miguel Cotto.  He stands in the pocket using a high-shoulder, lots of head movement and combinations to pepper away at his opponent.  It means he gets hit with more punches and it certainly means he opens himself up to one of those big shots Maidana is known for, but it also proves that he’s willing to trade shots with one of the hardest punchers in the division.  Mayweather’s at a point where he’s trying to cement his legacy so call me silly but I’m actually leaning towards the latter.  But let’s be serious here…$ not knocking anyone out.

Mayweather via Unanimous Decision.

Rudy Mondragon

This fight is closer than we think. Floyd is the champion entering this fight and will have a load of powerful advantages entering this fight. He has been here before, this is nothing new to the Money Legend. He does however have quite a bit of mental challenges ahead. A fighter is a fighter and can block mental aspects out, but a fighter is not immune to mental fatigue. Dealing with a four year engagement, abortion of twins from his ex, struggles of being surrounded by an entourage but feeling lonely, Miss Jackson now dating Nelly, and these two apparently attending tomorrow’s event. This is the shot that I give the hard punching brawler, Chino Maidana. I see Maidana having early success in going to Floyd’s body, but missing to the head. On these misses, once Floyd times and calculates Maidana, it will be a Floyd clinic. Look to see a demonstration of the sweet science as Floyd disables and neutralizes Maidana’s power and relentless and never say quit attack. It will be the roughest fight Mayweather has been in because Maidana will have not respect for Floyd and will not be phased by the lights.  I say this fight is closer than we think in the sense that I see Maidana being busy early on and able to win close rounds on the judges cards. He will make Floyd work extra hard, but Floyd will simple box and do what he needs to collect points and win via unanimous decision. I see this fight 7 rounds to 5 in favor of Money May.

Mayweather by Unanimous Decision 

Closer Than You Think

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By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @bloodmoneyboxin
Instagram: bloodmoneyboxing

The highly anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marco Maidana is scheduled to take place this Saturday May 3, 2014 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most fight fans, critics, analysts, and boxers are giving the edge to Floyd Mayweather, as they should. He is the champion, has been a champion for over 17 years, has been here before and been successful 45 times without a blemish on his record. Although I too give the edge to Floyd due to the many advantages he has, I also believe that this fight is going to be closer than most feel. Here is why…

Floyd and Referees 

One of Floyd’s major advantages is that referees allow him to get away with a lot. With Floyd’s experience, he is able to implement elbows, clenches, and forearm action with no consequences. When was the last time Floyd was deducted a point, let alone a verbal warning? Closest he got was in the Hatton fight, yet Joe Cortez did not allow Hatton’s bully and rough tactics, which threw off a worthy game plan by the Englishman. Referees have also turned a blind eye to what Floyd does in the ring and instead capitalize on other fighters. Think of the Ortiz headbutt. Ortiz used that same dirty game plan against Andre Berto and not once got warned (he did get a point off for rabbit punches though). In the fight between Ortiz and Mayweather, Joe Cortez was quick to not allow Ortiz to carry out his dirty game plan. In this upcoming fight, Maidana will look to make it a rough fight. It will be critical that Tony Weeks calls it in an equitable fashion. Weeks knows Floyd has earned this platform, but that should not mean his officiating of the match should take away from the challenger. Floyd will, however, have the edge with the referee.

Calm and Collected 

Although the referee, in my opinion, will be favoring Floyd Mayweather, Chino Maidana possesses a unique energy. He is a calm and collected individual who would prefer to fight without the bright lights and cameras. Don’t get it twisted, the lights nor cameras phase the man. He has been on platforms where he has been expected to fail in order to raise the stock of other chumps. Look at Victor Ortiz and Adrien Broner. Although he lost, he exposed Devon Alexander and Amir Khan. Floyd is also a calm and collected professional. It has been what has made him in his long career. But when I see how Maidana comports himself during interviews and press conferences, all he cares about is beating his man down. He has faced other fast and technical boxers, yet he does not get intimidated or thrown off. His game plan stays the same and it works for him. Staying cool and chill in the fights has allowed Maidana to press his opponents and stay on their asses. With the fine tuning and strategies that his head trainer, Robert Garcia, has provided him, Maidana is in a position to press Floyd for an exciting 12 rounds.

X Factors 

X-Factor is defined as a hard to describe influence or quality that is important with unknown consequences. These two fighters have it. Maidana has a new born baby, a new source of motivation and energy. A man is changed when he brings a new life into this world. The urgency to provide and stay on top of their game because others are counting on him mean something. Chino will bring this energy to the ring Saturday night. Floyd also has an X-Factor. To what extent it will provide consequences is yet to be seen. Floyd’s 4 year engagement was recently called off. This is behind the scenes information as made available by ShowTime’s All Access. When interviewed by Robin Leach, Floyd joked that he does in fact wear ties and he will wear one on his wedding day. Obviously a wedding date is no where in sight. He also mentioned wanting to get married in a recent interview and starting a family and also vented about his personal life in the last episode of All Access. All that context to say this, Floyd is processing a void in his life. This is common for successful, workaholics like Floyd. All the time invested in their craft comes at a price and Floyd is now seeing that implication. These are the types of things that can take a man’s focus away from his craft and in the process risk his throne.

Awkward versus Technical

Two different styles. Floyd is a conservative, technical defensive boxer who is quick and smart. Maidana’s style is one of brawling and fighting rough, throwing power shots from awkward angles and having zero respect for his opponents. Maidana’s lack of respect for his opponents is what separates him from the recent Floyd victims. Canelo Alvarez and Robert Guerrero both were intimidated, got frustrated, had no game plan, lacked a strong corner, and fought to survive. Maidana will come into the ring Saturday night with the intentions to hurt Mayweather at any cost. This might mean that his momentum will be an advantage for a Floyd counter-hook that can put Maidana down. I can see that happening, however, Maidana will get up and fight on. Mayweather will not finish him off, it’s not his style of fight anymore. Maidana will make it a close fight because of his awkward fight style and ability to land complex angle shots and his no quit determination.

In the end, I give Floyd the edge to come out on top via a decision. I see a decline in Floyd’s game, more on the side of his mental focus than his physical ability to stay relevant. Maidana will fight to the end and will land some devastating body blows and some to the head that will make the crowd go nuts. If Maidana uses his jab, the fight will be closer than close.

Saturday night will be a good night for boxing. Think tenacity. Maidana will be the most tenacious boxer Floyd has faced in the last 12 years. If Mayweather can weather the storm and neutralize Maidana, it will be a demonstration of the sweet science.