Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mayorga, Peter, And Campas Victorious In Oklahoma City

An interesting card featuring three former world champions took place at the OKC Downtown Airpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Saturday night. Ricardo Mayorga, Sam Peter, and Luis “Yory Boy” Campas entered the ring looking to take a step toward potential contention for a world title down the line. In the main event, a scheduled six round bout, former two-division world champion Ricardo Mayorga now fighting in the Middleweight division, in his first fight in Boxing in over three years after spending some time competing in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) took only sixty-three seconds to stop an overmatched Allen Medina.

Mayorga stunned Medina with a right hand that was followed by a barrage of unanswered punches, which forced Referee Gerald Ritter to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:03 of round one. Ricardo Mayorga advances to 30-8-1, with 24 Knockouts. Allen Medina falls to 9-24-1, with 1 Knockout. There simply is not much to say about this fight. Mayorga simply saw an opening, took advantage, and closed the show.

In a scheduled eight round Heavyweight bout former WBC Heavyweight world champion Sam Peter, who himself was fighting for the first time in over three years scored a first round knockout of his own over forty-eight year old contender Ron Aubrey. Aubrey, who was announced at a weight of 301lbs. tried to use movement and make full use of the ring to make Peter who weighed 291lbs. miss and was somewhat successful in getting Peter to chase him. Peter however, would bring a quick end to the contest when he connected with a short right hand on the inside that sent Aubrey down to the canvas. Aubrey gamely made it to his feet, but the fight was stopped by Referee Gary Ritter. Official time of the stoppage was 2:34 of round one.

Much as was the case in the main event, Peter simply saw his opening and took advantage. The fight was Peter’s first since suffering a knockout loss at the hands of top Heavyweight contender Robert Helenius in 2011. Sam Peter advances to 35-5, with 28 Knockouts. Ron Aubrey falls to 12-4, with 12 Knockouts.

In a Middleweight bout former IBF Jr. Middleweight world champion Luis “Yory Boy” Campas scored a dominant six round unanimous decision over a very “Game” Julio Lanzas to earn the 103rd win of his career. Campas was in control of this bout from the outset as he consistently pushed Lanzas back with a pressuring body attack that Lanzas on the defensive. Lanzas showed his mettle in this fight, but he could not find a way to keep Campas off of him. I unofficially scored this fight for Campas giving him all six rounds or 60-54 in points. Official scores were 60-54, and 59-55 on two scorecards in favor of Campas.

With the win Campas, who began his professional career in 1987 advances to 103-17-3, with 79 Knockouts in one hundred twenty-three professional fights. Lanzas, who gave a good effort in defeat falls to 8-20-6, with 1 Knockout.

In what was the most competitive fight of the night former “Contender” tournament series winner Grady Brewer scored a six round unanimous decision over Said Ouali in a Jr. Middleweight bout. For six rounds the two fighters seemingly matched each other punch for punch and each had their moments in what was an extremely close fight. Despite the fight being close in the eyes of this observer however, two of the official judges scored the fight for Brewer by wider margins than the action in the ring suggested. Official scores were 60-54, 59-54, and 58-56 in favor of Brewer.  Unofficially I scored this fight even giving each fighter three rounds a piece or 57-57 in points. 

Despite my feeling that this fight was much closer than how the official judges saw it was still an extremely competitive fight and you could realistically make an argument for either fighter having won the fight.  It would not surprise me to see a rematch between the two at some point down the line.   Grady Brewer advances to 32-19, with 16 Knockouts.  Said Ouali falls to 29-5, with 21 Knockouts.

In a six round Middleweight bout Carson Jones scored a third round knockout of Shannon Miller. Jones used a systematic approach to get on the inside of the taller Miller using solid defense and lateral movement and mixed his offense led by his jab well to the body and head on the inside. This approach gradually broke Miller down and a combination from Jones brought an end to the fight in round three sending Miller down for the count. Miller was counted out by Referee Gerald Ritter. Official time of the stoppage was 2:34 of round three. Carson Jones advances to 36-10-3, with 25 Knockouts. Shannon Miller falls to 25-53-8, with 18 Knockouts. 

In a scheduled eight round Welterweight bout undefeated rising prospect Alex Saucedo scored an impressive second round knockout of Miguel Alvarez. Saucedo’s quickness and accuracy with his offense were the story of this fight as he consistently beat Alvarez to the punch kept him on the defensive.  A counter right hook from Saucedo dropped Alvarez early in the second round and he was counted out by Referee Gerald Ritter. Official time of the stoppage was :31 of round two. Alex Saucedo advances to 15-0, with 11 Knockouts. Miguel Alvarez falls to 8-13-1, with 7 Knockouts.

In a Jr. Middleweight bout Cody Crowley scored a convincing six round unanimous decision over Anthony Hill. Crowley was in control for most of the contest based on his effective aggression and accuracy with his offense. Crowley scored a knockdown of Hill in round three.  Unofficially I scored this fight five rounds to none with the first round even for Crowley or 60-54 in points with the third round scored 10-8 because of the knockdown.  Cody Crowley advances to 3-0, with 2 Knockouts. Anthony Hill falls to  1-1, with both fights having gone the distance.

The scheduled four round Jr. Middleweight bout between Martin Morales 2-1, 1 Knockout and Jeremiah Torres 8-26, 1 Knockout as well as the four round Jr. Middleweight bout between Rolando Garza 4-0, 2 Knockouts and Joseph Strong 3-2, 1 Knockout did not take place.  As of this writing there is no word on why those bouts were cancelled. 

The card titled “Rumble on the River” was promoted by Epic Sports and Entertainment and broadcast by GoFightLive (www.GFL.TV

Overall this card produced a healthy mix of prospects, contenders and former world champions.  In regard to Mayorga, Peter, and Campas this card served as both a platform for both Mayorga and Peter to begin their respective comebacks while also serving as a way for Campas, a veteran of now one hundred twenty-three professional fights to stay busy while hoping to get an opportunity for a lucrative fight down the line in the Middleweight division.

It will be interesting to see where all three go from here in their respective careers.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014


September 18, 2014 By O.Z. Productions-“There are reasons you never see in your neighborhood pickup games of boxing between neighborhood kids.”-Rafael Ochoa.

Boxing for its long history has always been considered the Red Light District of sports. While Floyd Mayweather is the pound for pound champion on the sport and the highest earning athlete on the planet, kids still inspire to be Lebron James and Peyton Manning. There is more than one reason for this, but for experienced boxing manager, trainer and promoter Rafael Ochoa there is one reason.  Mental Training.

“Boxing is a sport where you will spend hours training, having a strict diet and having to carry a large amount of emotional and mental weight. You have to remember unlike the big sports here in America, there is no team, no role player, no all-star team.” Says Ochoa. Boxing is a sport where you train mentality just as much as you do physically. That’s hard to do. There are reasons you never see in your neighborhood pickup games of boxing between neighborhood kids. It’s an individual sport and training is not a passive pick-up game.”
Ochoa, has been involved in the pugilist sport for over 40 years and his eyes have seen everything there is to see.

 “I’ve seen guys who are Gym Hall of Famers (Fighters who are well prepared at their training camps but unable to handle the mental and emotional toll of a professional career.) fall apart at the moment they face real adversity. That is pressure that no one wants to have to deal with day in day out. There is no league, no union just you and that is hard. When all the lights and eyes are on just you and the guy across from you what do you do? In football, basketball and baseball you get a chance to score it’s not like that in boxing. If you can train and perform like a Floyd [Mayweather] or a Ward [Andre Ward], you can in my mind handle any other mental toll from other sports.”

For all and all Ochoa feels that while boxing is not for everyone as a professional career, he does believe that boxing is a great sport for exercise purposes.
“Boxing as a way of cardio training in my view is one of the best ways to get into great shape. Just don’t take any punches!”

Rafael Ochoa is a trainer, manager and promoter with over 40 years of experience in boxing. He is the owner of OZ Productions, a Houston, Texas based management and Production Company that specializes in boxing and music.

For more information about O.Z. Productions please visit:  

Material courtesy of O.Z. Productions Used with permission.

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison  All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Another Lesson In Boxing At The Hands Of Floyd Mayweather

What are the circumstances that lead to a rematch? More often than not a rematch comes about due to a close decision in a fight where there is a difference of opinion as to who won and/or a controversial outcome that warrants a return encounter. The build up to the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana rematch had all the ingredients that warrants a rematch.

The first fight was highly competitive and the underdog Maidana not only proved that he belongs among the elite of the sport, but also created an element of doubt in regard to Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather, the fighter widely considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world had rarely been pushed to the limit that Maidana had pushed him in their first encounter this past May.

Maidana not only pressured  Mayweather for twelve rounds, but he also created a difference of opinion as to who won the fight. Clearly the rematch between the two was warranted and for Boxing fans came at an appropriate time. The first encounter between the two was to unify the WBC and WBA Welterweight world championships. The rematch would have some historical significance.

Not only was Mayweather’s unified WBC/WBA world Welterweight championship at stake, but a piece of Mayweather’s unified Jr. Middleweight championship was also on the line as the WBC world Jr. Middleweight championship was also at stake. This made the rematch historical as it is only the second time in Boxing history that world championships in different weight classes were on the line in the same fight.

On November 7, 1988 WBC Light-Heavyweight world champion Donny Lalonde defended his title against the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lalonde-Leonard had not only Lalonde’s Light-Heavyweight world championship at stake, but also the newly created WBC Super- Middleweight world championship. Although Leonard was favored over the bigger and theoretically stronger Light-Heavyweight world champion Lalonde, the fight exceeded expectations with Leonard getting up off the canvas in the fourth round to stop the “Game” Lalonde in the ninth round, in what was in this observer’s opinion one of the best fights of the 1980s.

Twenty-six years later on September 13, 2014 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada a highly anticipated rematch took place that would join Lalonde-Leonard in holding a rare place in Boxing history. Some may be of the opinion however, that this fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana failed to live up to expectations.

Maidana in contrast to the first fight, did not begin the rematch pressuring Mayweather and throwing punches with reckless abandon. This fight began at a more tactical pace which allowed Mayweather to utilize his lateral movement and to be elusive. The jab that worked well for Maidana in the first fight in pressuring Mayweather back to the ropes was absent in the early going. Mayweather meanwhile by using his movement was able to avoid being caught on the ropes for extended periods of time early on, which differed significantly from the first fight.

Although Mayweather established solid lateral movement from the outset of this fight the question would be whether he could maintain his movement for the full twelve rounds. Mayweather however, by using his movement and quick hands was able to dictate how the fight was being fought and was able to keep Maidana from establishing consistent pressure. One thing that was noticeable from very early on in this fight was whenever Maidana would get on the inside, Mayweather immediately tied him up and prevented him from being able to let his hands go.

Mayweather’s ability to get his punches off first, be an elusive target, and land right hands on Maidana with precision accuracy was the story of this fight in my opinion. Maidana was not able to make Mayweather stay stationary and was unable to cut the ring off. Maidana’s best chance for success in this fight in my opinion was to repeat how he approached the first half of the first fight. Simply put, against a fighter with the precision timing, quickness, and lateral movement like Mayweather you cannot be successful if you cannot back that fighter up for consistent periods of time. Mayweather was able to avoid being caught on the ropes and was able to keep the fight in a distance where he could control it.

Maidana however, was always dangerous and briefly staggered Mayweather at the end of the third round with a straight right hand. Maidana continued applying more pressure and did have some success getting Mayweather back along the ropes in round four. Despite having a strong fourth round, Maidana could not build consistent momentum and when he was able to get close to Mayweather, he was consistently beat to the punch and did not seem to have an answer to avoid Mayweather’s right hand

Although this was in essence a tactical fight from start to finish and even though some may not find Floyd Mayweather’s Boxing style entertaining, it is important to remember that Mayweather is a boxer and should make full use of his skills and try to avoid putting himself at an unnecessary risk when he is able to outbox his opponent. This was essentially a chess match and Mayweather’s Boxing IQ was on full display.

There may be some who may choose to criticize Mayweather for the amount of holding he did in this fight, but this observer will not be one of them. He was able for the most part to fight his fight and keep Maidana from being able to be consistently effective by clinching him when he got close. There may also be those who might choose to criticize Referee Kenny Bayless for allowing Mayweather to hold as much as he did in this fight.

An element of controversy would emerge late in round eight when Mayweather complained that he was bit by Maidana on his left hand following a brief clinch where Maidana’s head was under Mayweather’s arm. There have been instances of a fighter being bit before during fights. This instance however, might be best described as strange because it is hard to imagine a fighter who was wearing a mouthpiece being able to bite through a Boxing glove. Whether or not Maidana did in fact bite Mayweather is a question that only they can answer. In the many years that I have covered the sport however, I will say that this was a first for me to see a fighter claim to have been bitten through the glove. As strange as this period of the fight was it would not affect the outcome as the fight resumed after a brief delay.

As the fight progressed Maidana clearly appeared frustrated by being unable to execute consistently. A sign of this frustration was demonstrated when he shoved Mayweather down to the canvas in round ten. A move which resulted in a point deduction by Referee Kenny Bayless. Mayweather would himself be warned by Bayless in the eleventh round for hitting Maidana with a low blow. Mayweather would go on to win a convincing unanimous decision in a fight that I unofficially scored in his favor 116-111.

This fight may not have lived up to it’s title of “Mayhem”, but at the end of the day Floyd Mayweather did what he had to do. He used an effective fight plan and executed it almost perfectly. It may not necessarily be entertaining, but as Mayweather has demonstrated for now the forty-seventh time as a professional having never been defeated, his main objective is to win.

What’s next for Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana? For Mayweather’s part he stated after the fight that he intends to fight in May 2015. Who Mayweather will face when that time comes is anyone’s guess, but almost certainly speculation will continue about a potential fight against Manny Pacquiao. Before such a fight can be made however, Pacquiao must first successfully defend his WBO world Welterweight championship against undefeated WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Chris Algieri on November 22nd in Macau, China.

As for Marcos Maidana, he is still a viable contender and former world champion in the Welterweight division. It will be interesting to see where Maidana might reemerge coming out of this fight. A rematch against Adrien Broner could be viewed as a possibility. Other options could include possible fights with the likes of IBF champion Shawn Porter, or top contenders Amir Khan or Keith Thurman, both of whom are possible Mayweather opponents down the line.

Floyd Mayweather emerges from his rematch against Marcos Maidana still undefeated now 47-0, with 26 Knockouts. The Boxing world will continue to ask the question is there anyone who can solve the Mayweather puzzle?

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

A Look At Mayweather-Maidana II

On May 3rd the Boxing world focused it’s attention on the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada when multi-division world champion Floyd Mayweather climbed into the ring to unify his WBC Welterweight world championship against WBA champion Marcos Maidana.  For some this was simply another fight in an illustrious career for Mayweather.  After all, in forty-five previous fights few fighters have been able to pose a threat to a fighter considered by many as the best pound for pound fighter in the world.

Maidana however, was not awed by the event and after defeating previously undefeated three-division world champion and Mayweather protege Adrien Broner last December was out to prove that his victory was not a fluke.  What resulted when Mayweather and Maidana squared off was frankly one of the closest fights in Mayweather’s career in what was a fight of the year candidate. 

Maidana’s consistent pressure and his ability to throw punches at all angles while forcing Mayweather back on the ropes and smother Mayweather’s counter punches made the fight extremely close. In a fight where both fighters had their share of moments it was Mayweather’s ability to turn the momentum in his favor in the second half of the contest, using his lateral movement to partially avoid Maidana’s pressure, but also as the fight progressed increasingly being able to get his offense off first.

An extremely close fight where there was a healthy difference of opinion as to who won the fight. Although at the end of the twelve round unification bout, Mayweather emerged victorious via majority decision to earn his forty-sixth victory in as many fights, Maidana’s performance fueled demand for something that has only happened once before in Mayweather’s career, a rematch.

Readers might recall in my coverage following the first fight in May that I stated that it appeared certain that a second encounter between the two might take place. Maidana, who was able to land more punches on Mayweather than any previous opponent Mayweather has faced was more than deserving of a second opportunity after the performance he put forth, and to his credit Mayweather said after the fight that if the fans wanted to see the fight that he was open to a rematch.

The rematch between the two will be only the second rematch of Mayweather’s career. Many will remember Mayweather’s encounters against former WBC Lightweight world champion Jose Luis Castillo in 2002 when Mayweather was campaigning in the 135lb. Lightweight division.

Much like Maidana, Castillo applied consistent pressure on Mayweather in their first fight in April 2002 and his pressure along with a consistent attack to Mayweather’s body created a difference of opinion as to who won the fight. Although Mayweather earned a twelve round unanimous decision over Castillo in their first fight there was demand for a rematch. When the two met in December 2002 Mayweather would score a second twelve round unanimous decision over Castillo.

Unlike the first encounter, Mayweather’s lateral movement and quick hands were the story of the rematch as he kept Castillo off balance and unable to apply the pressure that was successful for him in the first encounter. Now twelve years later Mayweather will square off for the second time with Marcos Maidana on Saturday night in Las Vegas at the site of the first encounter the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

Although there is no question of Mayweather’s dominance throughout his career, there have only been four fighters who many fans and experts alike believe were able to create an element of doubt when they faced Mayweather. Jose Luis Castillo, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and now Marcos Maidana.

Maidana will now join Castillo as the only fighters to get a second fight against Mayweather. Will the Mayweather-Maidana rematch have a similar outcome as when Mayweather fought Castillo for the second time? There is no doubt that Floyd Mayweather possesses an extremely high Boxing IQ and has shown repeatedly throughout his career his ability to make adjustments during the course of a fight.

One question as this rematch approaches however, could be whether or not at thirty-seven years of age Mayweather can still utilize the kind of lateral movement that he was able to use to keep Castillo from being able to apply consistent pressure in the rematch twelve years ago. As I said following the first fight whether or not Maidana’s performance was an indication of age becoming a factor is a subject for debate. It is a subject however, that will probably continue to be a subject of discussion as long as Mayweather continues his career as a fighter.

The other question is whether or not Maidana will be able to make the adjustments necessary to maintain the success he had in the first part of the first fight in this rematch. Maidana was consistent in pressuring Mayweather throughout the entire fight, but Mayweather was able to make adjustments in the middle rounds and was able to get his punches off first throughout much of the second half the fight and was also able to counter effectively.

Although Maidana was consistent in his pressure of Mayweather in the first fight, he was not able to completely nullify Mayweather’s offense and was unable to keep Mayweather from using his lateral movement. It will be interesting to see if Maidana approaches this fight in the same way he did in the first fight.  Whether or not he will be able to maintain his offensive output and keep Mayweather on the defensive for the entire fight remains to be seen.

The first fight between the two was highly competitive and fueled the kind of demand that has resulted in an immediate rematch. Will the sequel be as close and competitive? We will find out Saturday night.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Are Broner And Matthysse On A Collision Course?

The 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division has long been one of Boxing’s most competitive weight classes. The division currently features such names as undefeated unified WBC/WBA world champion Danny Garcia, IBF world champion Lamont Peterson, undefeated WBO champion Chris Algieri, Mauricio Herrera, Lucas Matthysse, and former three-division world champion Adrien Broner just to name a few. As has been the case over the years, there is certainly plenty of fighters in both the Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight divisions that can raise discussion among both fans and experts alike as to potential fights that could be made.

With undefeated WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Chris Algieri moving up to Welterweight to challenge WBO champion Manny Pacquiao in November for Pacquiao’s world title, some might be wondering what may be in store in the near future in the Jr. Welterweight division. On September 6th both Adrien Broner and Lucas Matthysse competed on the same card at the U. S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio in separate bouts. Matthysse, who was fighting for the second time after losing a hard fought twelve round unanimous decision to Danny Garcia last September faced undefeated contender Roberto Ortiz.

There is simply not much to say about this fight as Matthysse brought an end to the contest by dropping Ortiz with a left hook to the body late in the second round. In a scenario that has been seen in the sport before, Ortiz seemed to misjudge the count administered to him by Referee Benjy Esteves and got up from the knockdown as Esteves reached the count of ten. It is certainly not the first time that a fighter has suffered a knockout loss by misinterpreting the count of a referee. This however, was not a controversial stoppage, in my opinion.

Esteves was in position in front of Ortiz and did both verbally as well as visually indicate his count. Although Ortiz did appear to get up right at the count of ten, it appeared as though he may have simply misinterpreted the count and that ultimately cost him the fight. The mild controversy notwithstanding, Lucas Matthysse certainly maintained his position as a top contender in the division with this victory.

The main event on this card featured Adrien Broner in his second fight since moving down in weight to the Jr. Welterweight division as he faced Emmanuel Taylor. Broner, who scored a ten round unanimous decision over Carlos Molina earlier this year in his first fight at 140lbs.  was looking to get back into the world title picture after losing his WBA world Welterweight championship in December of last year to Marcos Maidana. Broner would get a tougher test than most expected against Emmanuel Taylor.

Taylor, who scored a ten round unanimous decision over Karim Mayfield in July entered the fight with an impressive record of 18-2, with 12 Knockouts in twenty professional fights. Broner however, a former world champion in three weight divisions did have more experience at the elite level of the sport. 

The first six rounds of this fight can easily be described as “Swing Rounds” where both fighters were able to have their moments and there can be a healthy difference of opinion as to who won those rounds. This was due to Taylor’s aggression in being able to force Broner back to the ropes and maintaining a consistent work rate in punches thrown. Broner however, did have the edge and hand speed and when he was able to let his hands go and land punches in combination that appeared to be more effective.

Broner was able to take over in the second half of the fight by letting his hands go and keeping the fight for the most part off of the ropes. In contrast to the first six rounds, Taylor’s offensive activity and aggression seemed to decline as the fight progressed. Although Broner suffered a cut as a result of a clash of heads in the eleventh round, he closed the fight strong knocking Taylor down with a left hand in the twelfth and final round to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision.

Even though both Matthysse and Broner were victorious in fights that they were expected to win, this card may have set the stage for a showdown between the two at some point in the near future. For his part, Adrien Broner stated after his victory over Emmanuel Taylor that he wants to fight Matthysse in his next fight.

In terms of what this might mean for the landscape of the Jr. Welterweight division, both Matthysse and Broner are rated number two and three respectively in the World Boxing Council (WBC) ratings. It is unclear where the current WBC number one contender Viktor Postol will factor into a potential fight between Broner and Matthysse in terms of rankings, but it would not surprise me to see a fight between the two labeled as a world title elimination bout with the winner to challenge unified champion Danny Garcia.

Even though there might be some questions in regard to what may be in store for the winner of that fight should it be made, I believe that a fight between the two offers a classic scenario of a boxer against a puncher and it will be a fight that both fans and experts will want to see. How soon can the fight be made is a subject for debate, but clearly it is one of the biggest fights that can be made at 140lbs. 

Are Adrien Broner and Lucas Matthysse on a collision course? We will have to wait and see.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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